Disturbing Political News 2

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1) American health care is wanting. 2) America's college bound are destined for unprecedented debt. 3) Poll finds Americans support Roe V. Wade. 4) Lowering the minimum wage is one outcome of government policies. 5) Bush gets some more money to under educate school kids.

1) Mental Illness in America is the unspoken, and other half, of the health care crisis. The Washington Post reports:

The study -- the result of a months-long examination of the state's foster care and mental health services -- chronicles the difficult decisions that thousands of Virginia parents have made to relinquish custody of their children to the foster care system so they can get mental health services that are otherwise unavailable or unaffordable.

For far too many insurance companies, benefits for mental health are greatly reduced from those of physical maladies. The underlying premise for this appears to be that fraud and cost risks are higher. But, the facts seem to oppose that conclusion. Most mental health issues would not require hospitalization if adequate insurance coverage were available, and the overhead costs for outpatient treatments consist of little more than the lease on the office, remuneration to the health care provider, and prescriptions.

While there is a potential for fraud by patients in the form of seeking treatment that is not needed, the stigma attached to mental health issues would appear to counter such fraud dramatically. So, why are benefits for health care so wanting? It is an issue America needs to address.

2) America's college bound are also bound for unprecedented debt levels. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

"These young adults are doing everything society tells them to do," says Tamara Draut, coauthor of a new study, "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans," published by Demos, a public-policy group in New York. "They're going to college, taking on tremendous student-loan debt, and working longer hours than ever before while in college. When they get in the real world, they can't get ahead because of the debt they went into to get the degree to get the good job."

The biggest single contributing factor is the transfer of the cost of college from government grants to interest bearing student loans. Americans in general are holding the highest debt loads in its history and there is no end in sight to the loading of the credit wagon. This is just another sign that our economy and wages are simply not keeping pace with consumer needs for the basics of living a middle class lifestyle.

3) A USA Today story on an Associated Press poll reports:

The poll found that 59% say Bush should choose a nominee who would uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. About three in 10, 31%, said they want a nominee who would overturn the decision, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

While President Bush has not said he will appoint Supreme Court Justices on the basis of their intent to overturn Roe V. Wade, it is clear to many that Bush's views would predispose his selections in that direction. Will the President oppose the majority view of the American people in this regard and hide behind the thin veil of saying this one issue is not a litmus test for his selections? The evidence of course will be in his selections and whether they create a majority on the court that will send women to back alley make shift clinics for abortions that leave them dead of infections, massive hemorrhaging, or infertile due to massive scarring. Overturning will not stop abortions just as the war on drugs has not stopped demand for the black market products.

4) Many 'right to work' states, most of them Bush support states in the last election, champion laws and programs that recategorize jobs as 'independent contractor' forcing wages to fall below minimum wage, without overtime pay or health and pension benefits. Right to work states are states that establish laws to prevent unionization efforts and give employers the widest possible discretion in hiring and firing according to the company's needs. Independent contractor status in the eyes of the law does not necessarily mean one has established their own entrepreneurial start-up company. More often, it means immigrants and unskilled workers can have low wage no benefits jobs provided by the state. One such story appears at WashingtonPost.com entitled, For Aides to the Frail in Md., the Reward Isn't in the Pay.

5) Your tax dollars will support Bush in his efforts to under educate your children about sex. The Associated Press reports the recent omnibus spending bill by Congress increased federal tax dollar spending on one of President Bush's favored brainwashing programs in schools, sexual abstinence only. The story reports:

Congress last weekend included more than $131 million for abstinence programs in a $388 billion spending bill, an increase of $30 million but about $100 million less than Bush requested. Meanwhile, a national evaluation of abstinence programs has been delayed, with a final report not expected until 2006. ...

Those who say schools also should be teaching youths how to use contraceptives say Horn's argument ignores reality. Surveys indicate that roughly 50 percent of teens say they have sex before they leave high school. While the nation's teenage pregnancy rate is declining, young people 15 to 24 account for about half the new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States each year.

Teaching only about abstinence means students will be less able to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, say supporters of comprehensive sexual education.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on November 30, 2004 4:20 PM.

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