Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Melbourne International Film Festival

Unlike Hollywood independent film makers routinely take on the tough current issues of our time. The Melbourne International Film Festival is one of those venues where such films can find an audience.

I was first made aware of the controversy surrounding this years Festival listening to BBC World on the radio. China has protested the screening of a documentary on exiled Uihger leader Rebiya Kadeer, and is even accused of hacking into the festival's computers in retaliation. A real documentary, unlike Al Gore's Oscar winning farce. It also may have caused three Chinese film makers to remove their entries, of their own initiative... or not. Another film was removed because the Festival recieved support from Israel.

Other films featured, "Stolen" and "Balibo."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Health Care

Nationalized Healthcare. Why?

I'm educated in Architecture and Art History yet the health care plan I proposed, nearly two years ago, is vastly superior than anything President Obama's backers can put together (because President Obama isn't actually doing anything himself, he doesn't even know what's in the bill). Just run the numbers.

We just passed nearly $1 Trillion bail out and conservative estimates for health care reform are $1.6 trillion over the next decade. My plan was HSA's (health savings accounts), subsidized and unsubsidized, and catastrophic insurance policies. At a supposed 47 million uninsured and a figure of $1 trillion, that gives everyone uninsured $21,000 dollars in an HSA. That would grow $420 a year at 2% interest.

Now, you have many who are so rich they do not need insurance. Take them out of the mix. The well off who don't want to buy insurance; require them to create a dedicated HSA for $30,000 or possibly more and catastrophic coverage. Those not quite as well off; matching funds to the required amounts. The truly poor, just set the account up for them at $30,000 or more depending on how much is saved from reductions of the previously mentioned groups. Save even more by giving the young who have fewer health costs a smaller HSA. A family of four could total approximately $80,000 in an HSA ($1,600/yr at 2%).

These would require monthly contributions which, will grow the accounts quickly for the young. For those who cannot afford the contribution or catastrophic policy the government can subsidize the costs. If you have 10 million people completely subsidized for their required HSA donation and catastrophic coverage, let us say an average of $4oo/mth, $4800/yr that comes to less than $50 billion a year. That's half a trillion over the next decade. I just saved the government $100 billion.

And while the government is working a kind of wealth redistribution, the funds are going into the free market which will drive costs down as people shop for the best price.

But Nationalized Health care is not really about providing care or wealth redistribution that the President is so fond of. As people find more and more out about the current bill they are mortified. It is about control. Complete government control. If President Obama truly believed in wealth redistribution, health care would be the way to get it done with the greatest benefit for all. People do not need wealth to be happy. Or to be the same as everyone else to live a fulfilled life. But the one material reality that contributes the most to one's happiness and sense of security, outside of food and shelter, is health care.

For the projected costs of nationalized health care, which will turn out to be astronomically higher when it's finished, I have given the uninsured coverage, security, empowerment..... Freedom. What are our elected officials doing?