March 2013

 


Beckerisms
I was invited to a meeting at the Greater Cincinnati Health Council in their Norwood office. To set the stage, the room was filled with about 50 people. There were hospital CEOs, medical professionals, and a host of staffers and lobbyists from various organizations. All of them were proponents of Medicaid expansion. There were five of us from the General Assembly. After two of my colleagues expressed concerns about the costs and noted the constituent feedback in opposition to Medicaid expansion, Reverend Damen Lynch, Jr. stated that fiscal and political issues should be put aside. He also said that the General Assembly should simply do the right thing and that this is a moral issue.
When it was my turn to speak, I looked over at Reverend Lynch and made the following remarks with as much professionalism and respect that I possibly could:

I'd like to comment on the moral issues.
For me to reach into the wallet of a taxpayer and turn that money over to a federal social program is a moral issue for me, sir.
To continue the unsustainable path that will ultimately lead to a federal bankruptcy, is a moral issue for me, sir.
To further expand a dependency class and further reduce peoples' motivations to rely on themselves, is a moral issue for me, sir.
You mentioned the political considerations. In part, I ran on a platform of limited government and lower taxes. For me to go back to Clermont County and tell the voters that I changed my mind, is a moral issue for me, sir.
I've had a number of discussions with various people regarding the potential of Medicaid expansion to apply to abortion. Some believe that there will be no impact. Others believe that abortion coverage will be expanded because of the exchanges and the commingling of private funds. It doesn't appear that anybody really knows for sure. However, there is one thing that we do know with absolute certainty. If there is any possible way that the Obama administration can find a loophole, or some gray area, or can in any way justify expanding abortion, they will. And that sir, is a moral issue for me.
You also asked about alternatives to Medicaid expansion. I have a few ideas:
1) All health care providers shall have immunity from prosecution for malpractice for indigent care. This will encourage more providers to volunteer their services to the poor and reduce their risk (cost) of doing so. Current law provides this immunity for office visits and routine care. I am working on legislation to expand that.
2) Encourage employers to fund portable Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for employees rather than traditional group coverage. This will encourage people to minimize usage and shop around for pricing. HSAs are not "use it or lose it." The money must be used for health care or retained for retirement. If health care were market based, competition would force down pricing making it more affordable for everybody.
3) Modify the "Good Samaritan law" that allows anybody to go to any emergency room for any reason for "free" health care. Select one hospital in every major metropolitan area to be designated for indigent care. (In Cincinnati, let's say that it would be University Hospital in Clifton.) Our long-time national policy of universal health care would remain. Medicaid would pay the cost. The designated hospitals would be largely staffed by interns, volunteers, students, trainees, etc. All hospital personnel would have immunity from malpractice litigation. All other area (suburban) hospitals would only accept indigents with life threatening conditions. Once stable, indigents would be transferred to the designated hospital. With this proposal: 1) everybody continues to get care without regard to ability to pay. 2) Costs are controlled. 3) Suburban hospitals are freed of the burden of providing indigent care and then cost shifting to the rest of us. It's a win-win for everybody (except the lawyers).

Although he didn't say another word, after the meeting I was very pleased that Reverend Lynch walked up to me and shook my hand. I hope that it was the beginning of a dialogue.

On a completely different topic, so-called "gay marriage" has been in the news lately. As I listen to the arguments in favor of this abomination, I keep thinking of how those arguments could be applied: If it's about love, can I marry my pet(s)? If it's about equality, can I have any equal number of male and female spouses? Who's to say how many of what that I can marry? If somebody has a different idea, isn't that discrimination or bigotry? If my son wants to marry his sister, is that a problem? Why?

Ohio House of Representatives
The three big issues that I consistently get asked about the most are Medicaid expansion, severance tax, and sales tax expansion. I like to keep my answers simple: hell no, no fracking way, and no sale.
Make no mistake about my position on Medicaid expansion. I oppose it in the strongest terms. Unless I'm mistaken, I was the first legislator to speak out against it both privately and publically. That being said, it is always a good idea to seek to understand the position of the other side:
Business owners see an opportunity to move a major line item expense to the public sector. Hospitals would love to have more paying customers and fewer deadbeats to cost shift for. Social organizations see an opportunity to help more people who cannot help themselves. Many medical conditions can be treated much more economically in the early stages rather than waiting and requiring much more expensive treatments. A healthier population is a win-win for everybody.
I have major philosophical problems with the federal government being involved in healthcare at all. Government run social programs run fathers out of homes and reward bad behavior. Fostering dependency is never a good idea. At some point the federal government will collapse under the weight of excessive debt. Will that happen in my life time? My children's? Grand children's? Nobody knows. But we all know that the current trajectory is unsustainable. And if that's not enough, consider the fact that Medicaid is perhaps the least efficient, least effective, and most wrought with fraud, abuse, and corruption of any government program. And that's what they want us to double-down on?

Video Central
Ronald Reagan Tribute (<5 minutes)
Common Core Part 1 (10+ minutes)
Common Core Part 2 (8+ minutes)
Common Core Part 3 (4+ minutes)
Common Core Part 4 (<4 minutes)
Common Core Part 5 (5+ minutes)

Event Calendar
April 1, 2013
Union Twp (Clermont County) Republican Central Committee at the Civic Center at 7pm

April 2, 2013
Clermont County Tea Party at the Eastgate Holiday Inn at 7pm

April12, 2013
Government Strategy Group's "First Friday Luncheon" at the Horseshoe Casino at 5:30

April 17, 2013
Clermont County GOP Central Committee meeting in Batavia

April 26, 2013
Republican State Central Committee meeting in Columbus

Becker for State Representative
Iíve raised $55,000 and expanded my donor base to over 370 people in six different states! Donation size has ranged from $1 to $1,000 and has averaged $81. You could donate for FREE! You may know that a $50 per taxpayer dollar-for-dollar tax CREDIT (It is $100 on a joint return.) is available every year. The "Ohio political contributions credit" is on line 55 of your Ohio IT 1040. Simply claim it on your state of Ohio tax return and get your money back. Contributions to candidates for State Representative (and other "state offices") qualify for this credit. That is why it will cost you nothing. Iím Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Limited Government and Lower Taxes. Please see the following brief videos:

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State Government (37 seconds)

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