Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Clarification on govt shutdown and healthcare

I wrote this to my family and friends. Please pass this along:

Family and Friends,

As you all are probably aware, the federal govt has "shut down".

I have been listening to the news and perusing various news articles on-line, and there is a lot of rubbish, half-truths, and general "the-sky-is-falling" rhetoric that can cloud the real issues and the real situation. 

Needless to say, it is quite irritating..

So, here is a summary of the facts to counter what you may be hearing on the media. Some of you are more well informed than others, so, this message is intended as a blanket message to cover all bases.. those who are political junkies, and those who are not.

1) That term "shut-down" is a rather disingenuous to the actual situation. Sometimes, you will also hear the term "partial shut-down." 
What does that exactly mean?

Yes, there will be many federal workers that will be on furlough (~800,000).. And yes, that is quite a distressing thing for those federal workers. However, if one is to look at the entirety of the situation, on an aggregate scale, what this "shut down" or "partial shut down" actually means is that 70% of the federal govt (entire civilian fed govt workforce is ~2.5M govt workers, part time and full time) will still be in operation.

TSA will still be around, military will be fully paid (the only bill so far that was 100% approved by both houses, and signed by POTUS), and USDA inspectors will still be around. (while FDA inspectors will not be).

-So, is it quite distressing that we have people not going to work for the fed? 
Yes.. of course, as it should be since they are earning a living through the fed govt.
However, let's put it in context and understand that the country is not going to implode because the federal govt is "shutting down" partially as some politicians are saying that it will.

-Additionally, while it is distressing that these federal workers are not going to be working until this budget issue is resolved, let's not forget that the entire country is struggling with finding quality work to do.. And while the unemployment rate is touted as ~7.3%, the actual figure is closer to ~15%-20% because the 7.3% number does not take into account people who have stopped looking for work or who have been out of a job for a certain length of time..
Example: If I lost my job, and I stopped looking, say, after 1 year of searching, does that mean I am no longer unemployed? No, of course not.. But by the definition of "unemployed" by the fed govt, I am no longer "unemployed."

With this 7.3%, this translates to 11.3M people.. So, yes, while 800,000 is a big deal, the country itself has been struggling for many years now.. But, the kicker is, once this budget issue is resolved (in about 1-2 months, most likely), all 800,000 people will be able to go back to work, get a paycheck, and get backpay for the months that they were not working.

Can we say that about the (actual) 15%-20% that are not working right now?
Once Congress passes something, these people will still be out of a job.

2) As a house keeping note, please be aware that the fiscal year for the federal govt starts on Oct 1 2013. So, even though it is calendar year 2013, we are technically in the **fiscal year*** 2014 now.
So, this is why you are hearing about this stuff now, and this is why it is a big deal around Sep/Oct timeframe every year because this is when Congress is supposed to pass a budget.. 

As you can probably understand, this has rarely been the case that proper appropriations and/or a budget have been passed on time.

3) What is actually being fought over is what is called the "continuing resolution"... this is a "stop-gap" measure that Congress is supposed to pass to fund the govt for a certain length of time (say, several months).. You may hear that term, or the term "CR"..
The purpose of a CR is to fund the govt when there is no formal budget..

So, with this budget battle, it was not even a battle for a formalized budget for the entire federal govt, but it was a battle over the CR that is to fund the govt until Thanksgiving... ?????? (I dont know the timeframe, so, please dont hold me to it).

4) Even with the whole govt "shutdown", this actually in no way affects the start of the health care implementation. It is still going on as scheduled, and the democrats anticipated that a situation like this would happen.. and so, in the event of a budget fight like this, they made the law in such a way that the law would still be funded, even without a Fiscal Year 2014 appropriated budget... (or FY14 appropriated CR more specifically in this case).

Any delay in implementation has to do with technical glitches or overall lack of competence in attempting to implement a program properly and on time...

It has nothing to do with the budget battle going on in Capitol Hill, absolutely nothing...

5) Initially, the issue for the CR was the House put in a measure to completely defund Obamacare. This obviously crashed and burned in the Senate.

6) Before the Senate voted on this first iteration of the House bill, Sen Cruz went on his 21 hour (with help from others) marathon speech.. It was NOT technically a filibuster because whether he did that speech or not, the Senate vote was still going to happen as planned. In Sen Cruz's speech, he mentioned numerous instances of how Obamacare has forced small businesses to cut back their hours and lay off employees, and also to drop their health plans.

Please make no mistake, it is because of the health care law that these businesses are suffering these consequences. For instance, UPS has dropped their spouse coverage. You can look it up online...

7) Just as importantly, in different ways though, if you listened to Sen Cruz's speech (at least part of it), you will realize that the entire intent behind the health care law is to ultimately go to a single-payer system. Sen Reid has emphatically stated this from the beginning as has Rep Pelosi..
Look it up, dont take my word for it.

For those who are not familiar with what a single-payer system is, in the end, the federal govt will be who is in charge of running health care.. No private insurance.
Do we really want a govt bureaucrat to make decisions about your healthcare, when it should be between you, your doctor and your insurance company?

If the federal govt cant even execute building construction properly (and no, they cannot), how could they possibly implement health care properly, when it is infinitely more complex?

8) The second, third and fourth iterations that the House passed, which the Senate immediately rejected was over the individual mandate and eliminating the exemption for congress and the president from the health care law.. which of course, the senate summarily rejected generally along party lines.

In other words, while we regular citizens will be subject to this law, Congress (and staffers) and the President (and his family) will not be...

-Please understand that the House did try their earnest to "compromise" while the Senate immediately rejected all attempts, and refused to "negotiate" at all because of the anti-Obamacare legislation.
Contrary to what you may be hearing, it isnt the House that is attempting to shut down the govt. Each CR bill that was sent to the Senate included fully funding the entire govt while maintaining an exemption from the individual mandate and eliminating the exemption of the POTUS and congress.. 

Now currently, the House is attempting to send separate CR bills to fund separate aspects of the govt piecemeal, and every time, it is expected that Sen Reid will reject these attempts, even though these attempts have nothing to do with the healthcare issue.

9) If you think that this is a pro-republican message, you are completely wrong. We are in this mess because of both the mealy-mouthed Republicans and the liberal democrats.

10) In the end, if we are to understand that Obamacare is designed to fail so that we can go to a single payer system (which has been flat out admitted by Sen Reid, and Pelosi, among others..) this entire health care debate is about control..

It has never been about health care.

Control of your life and your health.

Prior to Obamacare, 90% of Americans were getting some sort of healthcare. And of that group, 90% liked their healthcare. If this issue was really about healthcare for all, the bill should have only focused on the 10%... not forcing the entire nation to be on some healthcare, while exempting big business, labor unions, and themselves.

If the govt funds insurance, they can control whether you get a hip replacement when you are 75 yrs old. For instance, in the military healthcare system, it is already a quasi-Obamacare healthcare. A good friend that I know can tell you about it when she was pregnant with her daughter. Because their experience was so bad, she refused to give birth at Camp Pendleton, and they went all the way to Los Angeles to give birth.

And guess who pays for all 300M-350M people's insurance??? You do.. the taxpayer..

What right does the govt have to have this kind of control over you?
By what moral authority does the govt have to control you in this way?

The answer is, they have no authority to control you in this way.. Only through a proper understanding of the authority that Jesus Christ gave to the civil magistrate can we truly and properly understand that govt is to avenge evil, not to control your life by deciding whether you live or die based on whether a medical procedure is too expensive..

In our family worship in the evenings, my family and I pray that God's justice will be done and that God would raise up godly leaders and call upon the church to use its prophetic voice to command all people everywhere (including the govt) to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.

So, in conclusion, please consider what I have written above whenever you hear anything about this issue, and I hope that I am helping so that we all can be better informed citizens. Please also call your representatives and let your voice be heard.

It is difficult at this time to know how things will play out in terms of these multiple CR bills that will keep getting rejected, but please let your voice be heard. Please urge your representatives to stop controlling us and let us decide what is best for our health and well-being. 

Though this current effort in the House does not completely stop Obamacare (partly because the CR's keep getting rejected), it is a step in the right direction.. 

A) Please call your congressman, and tell him/her to do what it takes to do away with this law, step by step.. Your reps need to hear from you... Call both repub and democrat... 

B) There is an online petition that you can sign: http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/ Over 2M people have already signed. 

C) Knowledge and information is power... These are some good websites for news that actually give you the information you need to make an informed decision.. 


D) Inform your friends and others you know. You can forward this message. 

E) Lastly, let's ask God to execute his justice in this land and that all will repent and believe in Jesus. Let us repent of our sins that have contributed to this mess. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your time. 

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