Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Barack Obama”

What Do You Want Your Elected Representatives To Be Working On?

By EOM Contributor

We have so many important issues facing this country right now…what do you believe your politicians should be concentrating on?

What comes to my mind first is access to health care, including birth control.  Access to affordable birth control reduces the number of abortions performed and we can all agree that is a good thing.  The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has many important parts.  First of all, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition!  The ACA prevents insurers from charging women more for insurance than men.  In some states, women were actually paying up to 70% more for insurance coverage than men.  The ACA prevents insurers from denying coverage for a pre-existing condition (diabetes, high blood pressure…).  The ACA also prevents insurers from dropping your coverage if you are diagnosed with a condition such as diabetes or cancer.  These are all good things.  There may be some kinks to work out, but the ACA is a valiant attempt to provide millions of Americans with access to health care.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

What has Congress done since President Obama was re-elected?  They have voted 37 TIMES TO REPEAL OBAMACARE!  37 times at a cost of $50 million dollars!  Money well-spent, wouldn’t you agree?  Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result.  Yes, our elected representatives are officially insane!

Other issues that need our attention are job creation, tax parity,  immigration reform, equal pay for equal work,  the on-going violence against women in our society (and our military where our female soldiers need not fear being raped by the enemy, but do need to fear being raped by their fellow soldiers and commanding officers), and discrimination in housing and the workplace (women can be fired and evicted for being victims of domestic violence, and gays can be fired for being gay),  and investment in our infrastructure (repairs of bridges and roads which would make travel safer and create jobs), just to name a few.

But what have they actually done?  Well, I’ve mentioned the 37 failed votes to repeal the ACA.  In addition to that, state by state women are losing their rights to determine what will happen with their own bodies (male politicians believing they know more about our health than women and physicians do).   The House just approved a bill that would eliminate overtime pay.  Republicans want to raise the student loan interest rate to 8.5%, more than Wall Street Banks pay.  Now what would be the effect of these things?  Students graduating from college will be saddled with even greater debt.  I don’t see how that helps us.  Women facing an unplanned pregnancy will be forced to have children they can’t afford to care for.  Employees working more than 40 hours a week will get compensatory time, but at a rate of one hour to one hour, instead of pay at a rate of time and one half.  Most people work overtime for the pay, not for more time off.  I’m not seeing how that will help low-income families or anyone, for that matter.

Contact your elected representatives.  Tell them to stop passing bills that only harm us and do something that actually helps us!  And stop focusing on the reproductive lives of women!  

Why Are Men So Silent?

EOM Contributor

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first passed in 1994.  Since then it has reduced the rate of domestic violence by 58%.  This has saved countless lives.  It is up for re-authorization now and has been revised to provide protection for Native America women, gays and lesbians (yes, the act actually protects men against domestic violence, too), mail order brides and illegal immigrants.  The Republicans are refusing to approve re-authorization of the act.  Apparently, the four groups of people mentioned above aren’t worth protecting.

The Republicans are also fighting any discussion of reasonable gun control.  They, along with the NRA, are trying to make you believe that all guns will be removed from your possession.  President Obama has outlined 24 proposals to reduce gun violence.  None of them involve taking away your guns.  Many people believe we need even more guns to prevent a tyrannical take-over by our military, pushed by our own government.  There are 330 million Americans.  There are approximately 310 firearms in this country.  Do you really believe we don’t already have the firepower to stand-up and defend ourselves?

Yesterday we learned that a hero of last year’s London Olympics has been charged with premeditated murder in his hometown of Pretoria, South Africa.   Oscar Pistorius, also known as “Blade Runner”, was the winner of a silver medal.  Oscar shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steemkamp, four times.  He claimed he believed she was an intruder.  Police report that there had been a history of domestic violence between Oscar and Reeva.   Statistics show that a victim of domestic violence is eight times more likely to die if there is a gun in the home.   64% of the women who are murdered each year, die at the hands of a family member or intimate partner.  In most of these murders there is a history of police reports and trips to the ER, yet even then guns are not removed from the home.  Having a gun in your home significantly increases your risk of death and that of your spouse and children.  If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owing neighbors and their families to die in a gun related accident, suicide or homicide.

In the two months since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been over 1000 deaths by gunshot in America.  When will we stop the madness?

With all the news media discussing gun control, violence and other issues that concern women (reproductive rights), I find little discussion locally.  I work in the hospitality field and have the opportunity to talk to many people.  The women I’ve spoken to are vocal in their support for reasonable gun control and reproductive rights, the need to reduce violence in this country and particularly violence against women.  The men are strangely silent, other than to say they refuse to give up their guns.  Do they not have mothers, wives, sisters or daughters?  Do they not care that 1 of 3 American women will be the victim of a violent attack at some point in her life?  Are the men in your life talking about these issues, or are they just “women’s issues?”

Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act Upheld By Supreme Court

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard by now that the Supreme Court gave a 5-4 ruling in favor of the Affordable Health Care Act.

I’d like to point out some very positive aspects to the plan.  Young adults who are over the age of 19 can stay on their parent’s insurance.  This effects millions of college age people in the country, who are struggling to go to school and find jobs at the same time.

A person can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Your current insurance cannot drop you if you become ill.

There is no longer a lifetime maximum coverage amount.  Most policies were limited to $1,000,000 of lifetime coverage, which could easily be wiped out by cancer treatments or care for chronic conditions.

And the best part of all….it will be illegal to charge a woman more for insurance than a man.  Some states actually allowed insurances to charge a woman up to 80% more for insurance coverage.   President Obama has made it illegal for insurances to consider having a uterus a “pre-existing” condition and charging more for coverage.

Several studies have suggested that passing this law will actually result in lower insurance premiums.  This is what happened in Massachusetts when then-Governor Romney mandated that everyone purchase insurance.  97% of the citizens of Massachusetts have coverage and the average cost of premiums declined.

Some people are concerned about the tax penalty for not purchasing insurance.  The plan calls for a $150 tax penalty in 2014, if you have not purchased insurance, with the penalty going higher each year, to a maximum of $695.  However, there are no “teeth” to this penalty.  The plan specifically says that if you fail to purchase insurance and do not pay the penalty, there will be no liens on your tax return, or your property.  The prospect of a penalty simply encourages people to purchase insurance.

All in all, the Affordable Health Care Act will be beneficial to millions of American citizens.  The Supreme Court was right on this one.

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