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Political Test

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Political Test

Postby tigwelder56 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:39 pm

Political Test



So, you think you know where you stand, politically. Think again. The result from this short test may surprise you and give you some food for thought. You'll be asked just 10 questions, and then it instantly tells you where you stand politically. It shows your position as a red dot on a "political map" so you'll see exactly where you score. The most interesting thing about the Quiz is that it goes beyond the Democrat, Republican, and Independent. The Quiz has gotten a lot of praise. The Washington Post said it has "gained respect as a valid measure of a person's political leanings." The Fraser Institute said it's "a fast, fun, and accurate assessment of a person's overall political views." Suite University said it is the "most concise and accurate political quiz out there." Copy and paste the link below...



http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html
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Postby beltbuckle » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:27 pm

No suprise here, I'm a Centrist leaning on the Left and libertarian side.
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Postby tigwelder56 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:14 pm

I'm a Centrist and just scratching the surface of a Conservative Libertarian. Even though it's a fair representation, I think some of those questions are ambiguous.
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Postby tigwelder56 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:07 pm

I just rec'd this from The AARP. I am not taking any sides for or against, I just thought everyone should see what it says, then form their own opinions. Please do not involve me in your opinions. See below.



FIGURING OUT HEALTH REFORM 2:



Are you for or against health-care reform -- or are you still trying to figure it out? Wherever you stand on health reform, many of you are telling AARP that this issue is just plain hard to understand. So many numbers, ideas and claims are floating around, it's hard to get a grip on this complicated issue.



A message from Lori Parham, AARP's FL State Director:



In this report, I'll share two questions we've been hearing lately, followed by our analysis. We won't just tell you what we think -- we'll cite the best research we can find. We've also listed other questions and answers on a special AARP web site. Our goal is to fill in parts of the health-reform picture you may have not yet seen.



To share your thoughts on health reform, pro or con, please call 1-866-AARP-449. To learn more about the issue, please go to www.aarp.org/fl. To share your story of how our health system is affecting you, please go to www.healthactionnow.org.



Question: I've heard that the House health-reform bill (HR 3200) calls for cutting Medicare by $532 billion. Does that mean my benefits would be cut? Will I be better off, worse off, or unaffected by health care reform as a Medicare beneficiary?



Let's deal with your Medicare benefits first. If you're among the three out of four older Floridians on traditional Medicare, you would gain new benefits under health-reform legislation without losing any that you currently have.



For example, pending health-reform bills would gradually close the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" prescription drug benefit -- a big gain for 312,000 older Floridians who fall into the "doughnut hole" coverage gap every year.



Health-care reform also would save most beneficiaries money on drug costs over time . This is no small matter for older Floridians. By 2019, if today's health laws don't change, the upper limit of the infamous Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" could grow from $4,500 today to $5,700.



Other provisions would eliminate Medicare co-payments and deductibles for screenings for diabetes, prostate cancer and osteoporosis, and pay doctors more to provide your care. Improving preventive care could be vital for you. Four in five Florida men will face concerns about prostate health by age 80. Half of all post-menopausal women in America will suffer an osteoporosis-related bone fracture during their lives. Having Medicare fully cover screenings for these conditions is a small change that will yield huge benefits for many seniors, perhaps including you.



Now let's look at what changes to Medicare really mean, and who would be affected.



First, note that the $532 billion in Medicare changes would take place over 10 years. The math seems simple -- $53.2 billion per year, right? -- but actually savings would vary from year to year. By the way, Medicare (government-run health care for Americans age 65+) is expected to cost about $422 billion in 2009 alone and $797 billion per year by 2019.



In all, the changes to Medicare represent about 7 percent of Medicare spending over 10 years. But saying Medicare would be "cut" by $532 billion isn't really accurate.



More than $300 billion of the $532-billion figure would actually be plowed back into Medicare to improve some benefits, such as closing the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole," paying your doctor more, and improving preventive care.



The real net reductions to Medicare total about $234 billion over 10 years. This would be about 3.2 percent of Medicare's cost between 2010 and 2019. These figures come from the Congressional Budget Office, incidentally.



AARP analysts have looked hard at the changes proposed for Medicare. They clearly impact insurance companies, some health-care providers and those selling medical equipment. For some providers, such as doctors, payments would go up . Right now, your doctor is scheduled to take a 21-percent cut in Medicare reimbursements in 2010. This legislation would cancel this planned reduction and instead pay doctors more over the next 10 years. In all, doctors could expect to see $245 billion in additional payments from Medicare over 10 years if health-care reform legislation is adopted.



But for most Floridians, health-reform bills propose no cuts at all to your Medicare benefits.



Question: What kind of insurers and health providers would see lower Medicare reimbursements, and how would that affect me?



One big example involves Medicare Advantage insurance plans. Medicare pays these plans to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries. Private managed-care companies are paid one flat fee to provide covered services. Medicare Advantage plans are paid some 14 percent more per person than traditional Medicare pays to take care of the average beneficiary. In 2009, Medicare Advantage plans will cost about $111 billion, according to a recent Medicare trustees' report. Their extra payments amount to about $1,100 per enrollee.



In fact, if you're on traditional Medicare, your premium dollars help subsidize MA plans.



New studies have found, however, that the plans aren't nearly as efficient at providing care as traditional Medicare. Studies show that two of every three extra dollars paid to Medicare Advantage plans actually go for overhead, administration and profit. Recently, some Medicare Advantage plan members have raised questions about denials of care.



Under House health plans, MA plans would be cut by about $156 billion over 10 years , or about 10 percent of all MA spending over that period. AARP is seeking to persuade Congress to phase in these changes to help plans adapt.



Some MA beneficiaries fear that health-reform bills would eliminate MA plans entirely. This is just not true . Even after the largest cuts to Medicare Advantage proposed to date, the program would be significantly more costly in 2019 than today.



The health-reform bills also build in important consumer protections for Medicare Advantage plan members. Under the legislation, if your Medicare Advantage plan changed their list of covered medications or raised your out-of-pocket costs in mid-year, you could change your plan.



Whatever happens, you'd still have traditional Medicare to rely on.



Health-reform bills also would hold down planned increases in costs to some Medicare care providers, such as hospices, nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals by paying them based on more accurate, current payment rates. Together, these savings would total about $196 billion over 10 years.



One more big source of savings comes in the area of prescription drugs. House health-care legislation would save $30 billion over 10 years by taking better advantage of drug-maker discounts.



Major U.S. drug manufacturers already have agreed to lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries by $80 billion over 10 years if health-reform passes. This agreement has been included in current proposed legislation. Drug manufacturers say they can absorb this reduction without hurting their ability to deliver new, innovative drugs to market. An amendment put on the House health-reform bill would allow the government to negotiate with drug-makers to lower costs, which is not allowed under current law. AARP supports this provision.



AARP also has endorsed a bipartisan bill (SR 525 ) that would make it easier to re-import safe, effective drugs into the United States from Canada and other countries. This legislation is not yet part of health-reform proposals, but AARP is fighting to include it.



Make no mistake -- AARP believes our health system is broken and needs reform this year. While AARP hasn't yet endorsed a specific bill, we are urging members of both major parties to work together on health reform. In fact, AARP has endorsed 38 different pieces of legislation related to health issues this year, 19 of which have bipartisan sponsorship.



As the health reform debate progresses, AARP Florida will do everything it can to help you stay informed. Again, please visit our website, www.aarp.org/fl, often for updates or call 1-866-AARP-449 to share your thoughts on health care.





***AGAIN, this is just something I thought we all should be aware of, no matter which way you may feel about Reform. I am not personally endorsing anything here, and would appreciate not being personally brought into any "discussion" regarding this article.

Thanks, Bill
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