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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prescription Drugs

ABC reported this evening on Diane Sawyer World News, that "the cost of the most popular brand-name drugs used by older Americans soared 8.3 percent in the past year, according to a new report by the AARP.
Even though the consumer price index fell last year, the cost of those 217 drugs surged. Over the past five years, the retail price of brand-name drugs rose 41.5 percent. The consumer price index rose only 13.3 percent during that same period."

In my assessment of the new universal health insurance plan, I wrote that under the new plan there will be no negotiating with the drug companies for lower drug prices . The Veterans Administration negotiates with them and keeps drug costs down. By not negotiating lower drug prices, it is forecast that the there will be a 35 percent increase in the Medicare drug plan's 10-year cost estimate. Why won't the government negotiate for Medicare, Medicaid, and the new health care plan? Because the drug companies are the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill.

Since corporate health insurance plans first began covering prescription drugs, drug prices have soared. One can only wonder if this latest increase is due to the industry's expectations that the government will continue to pick up the tab no matter what the cost of the drugs. Ultimately it's the senior citizens and the taxpayers who will pay. This is unadulterated greed.