"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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It's not and never will be free


Fri, Jun 1st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

There are in excess of 47 million uninsured and 12 million under-insured under age 65 in the U. S. One in three non-elderly will go without insurance in the next two years. Half of all bankruptcy is due to medical bills. Most people in bankruptcy had insurance when they became ill or injured. 18,000 people die yearly due to a lack of access to medical care (insurance).

No one with an I.Q. greater than their belt size ever believed universal one party tax supported healthcare would be "free". This is the argument raised by proponents of "free" market health care insurance used to frighten folks. The specter of raising taxes to a confiscatory level works only for those who mindlessly regurgitate this nonsense.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report over 45% of health care spending is paid for by taxes. This is based on who writes the check to the healthcare provider. FBI agents and other federal employees have their insurance paid for by the government but the insurance writes the check and is not counted in the 45%. This is tax financed care.

Private employers pay for employee insurance and this is tax subsidized. The Kaiser foundation released a study in January indicating the average cost for a family policy in the U. S. was over $11,000 year. Assuming a person pays 20% ($2,200) of the premium and the employer $8,800 (a tax write off for the employer); the employee has a benefit of $8,800 on which no taxes are due. In Minnesota a family with a $70,000 taxable income avoids paying $2,800 in taxes. This tax preference must be made up by others paying more taxes or reducing programs that may benefit others. Taxes are paying for a portion of these folks healthcare.

One study, in 2002, showed tax preferences accounted to 15% of tax financed health care, 9% public employee health benefits, and direct government payments 76%. The total tax payments add up to about 60% of healthcare payments in the U.S. In countries that have universal healthcare one party overt tax systems the payments total about 70% of payments.

We have only about 10% to go to reach the same level and give basic care to everyone. The 30% overhead of the private for profit insurance companies will pay for it. There will have to be a tax increase, but not a confiscatory increase.

The same old arguments I heard in the mid 60's about "socialized medicine" - (doesn't hold the same terror now that communism is relegated to a few smal .....
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This was one field trip well worth attending

Fri, May 25th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

On Tuesday, May 22, 270 fourth graders from seven schools in Houston and Fillmore counties converged on the Mabel Steam Engine Grounds in Mabel for a Farm Safety Day Camp. The seven schools participating in the event included Caledonia, Chatfield, H ..... 
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The class of 1968

Fri, May 25th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

When I graduated from high school in early June 1968, Lyndon Baines Johnson was president. The awkward Texan had completed John F. Kennedy's unfinished term and was elected president over Barry Goldwater in 1964, with the highest margin of victory i ..... 
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Finally, someone is in charge of the Iraq War

Fri, May 18th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Czar or Tsar - an Emperor or in more modern usage a Monarch or King. The word originates from the deified Roman dictator Caesar and came to represent the Roman Emperor. (Wikipedia)

We have been waging the Iraq War or Debacle for over 4 years ..... 
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Springtime renewal

Fri, May 11th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Spring is a time when we throw open the windows, clean out the closets, and get our hands back into yard work. It's all about taking advantage of fresh air, reevaluating your needs, and nurturing the green space in your life. Most people look forwar ..... 
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Buying the War

Fri, May 4th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Bill Moyers calls himself a "citizen journalist."

He is also an ordained Baptist minister, one-time aid to President Lyndon Johnson and, of course, a journalist with PBS.

Moyers is first and foremost a seeker of truth. That he work ..... 
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The power of words

Fri, Apr 27th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Could there be some good to come from the Don Imus foot-in-the-mouth scandal?

In the aftermath of Mr. Imus's unfortunate utterances some are now questioning the public use of terms most would find offensive. These offensive words and phrases ..... 
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Handicapping the Republican presidential candidates

Fri, Apr 27th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

John McCain's stay the course speech about the War in Iraq on April 11 certainly sealed any hopes of his becoming the next president of the United States. For the past several months he has been soldiering on for George Bush and the Republican Party ..... 
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Hospice care provides end of life options

Fri, Apr 20th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



About a month ago Charles Krauthammer wrote an article in Newsweek titled "The Good Death". It called to be read because the magazine printed a picture of Mohammed Atta (the leader of the 9-11 attack) juxtaposed with Sister Theresa. Shortly ..... 
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