Kathy's Space

IT Seems To Me...Archive

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Regarding Immigration

Let me start by stating I have no problem with individuals and families coming to the US whether they are coming to visit to live and work or to become citizens. What I do have a problem with is coming into the country illegally and that applies to all of our borders. Anyone, who comes in illegally is breaking the law – plain and simple. Regarding the borders, both need to be aggressively monitored, patrolled and controlled.

So what do we do? Well I believe we need to take several steps. First, we need to fix our immigration process, to make it faster and more efficient so people who are applying to enter can expect to get through the process in a reasonable time frame and not get lost in the numerous black holes to exist today. This does not mean we would relax or compromise any entry requirements; it just needs to be done more efficiently.

There should not be any amnesty for current illegal immigrants; why would we reward someone for breaking the law! Illegal immigrants wishing to gain legal status must leave the country and re-enter legally. They will not be “fast tracked”; they will need to get in line with everyone else. However, the fact that they were in the US illegally will have no impact on their re-entry application.  

An illegal immigrant who commits and is convicted of any crime will be deported and denied entry to the country forever.

A legal immigrant who commits and is convicted of a felony crime will, after servicing his or her sentence, be deported and will be ineligible for reentry.

Regarding citizenship as a result of birth, it is time to change the law and require that at least one parent must be a US citizen in order for the child to automatically receive US citizenship. The US no longer needs to “solicit” immigration as may have been the case in a bygone era.

And that’s the way it should be… at lease in my opinion


Regarding Health Care

Congress has it backwards. Before any “public” health care system is enacted it would be wiser to address the cost issues behind the current system. That is, the cost of drugs, hospital stays, doctor visits and the way insurance companies seem to run their businesses solely geared to the bottom line with no concern for needs of the people. The first step should be to fix Medicare. While Medicare on the surface seems to be working well the fact of the matter is, it is causing “cost shifting” by the hospitals and drug companies. This is a practice whereby the costs of non-Medicare services and products are artificially raised to cover the loss created by Medicare’s below cost maximum fee schedule. These higher costs in non-Medicare cases effectively raise the cost of the insurance premiums in the private sector. As insurance premiums go up fewer and fewer small businesses and individuals can afford to provide or continue their insurance plans and coverage resulting in an ever growing uninsured base.

So what to do? Well it seems to me, the first step is to fix Medicare. That’s to say, adjust Medicare’s fee structure to more realistic levels. What is the magic number? I certainly do not know but I suspect it lies somewhere between what Medicare currently allows and what the hospitals and insurance companies claim are the actual costs. Next would to be put controls in place to monitor the costs hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can charge for non-Medicare cases. Thirdly, would be to impose controls on insurance companies that would not only monitor the premiums charged but also give the medical professionals the final say in recommended procedures. If done properly the effect would be lower insurance premiums. Lower premiums mean more small businesses and individuals could afford insurance thereby reducing the uninsured base.

Other indirect actions that could contribute to lowering insurance premiums would be the reduction in the medical industries overhead, such as through the Obama plan to computerize all medical records. Obviously, this would mandate stringent access and security policies be implemented as part of the plan. Another area to address would be that of the “sue happy” mentality of the American public. But this is a topic for a different discussion.

And that’s the way it should be… at lease in my opinion