Anyone in the United States who currently supports single payer healthcare should pay close attention to what is currently playing out in the United Kingdom.
A 11-month old child is on a ventilator, terminally ill with a genetic disease called mitochondrial disease (or MDDS – mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome). He is unable to move his arms or legs or breathe unaided.
His parents want to move him to the United States or Italy for treatment, where doctors say an experimental treatment will give him a ten percent chance at survival.
U.K. doctors insist this treatment will not help and will cause more suffering. British and European courts have sided with the hospital and refuse to allow it.
This is the problem with a single payer healthcare system. Those who control the money control the decision making process. By going single payer, parents and patients are giving up their right to control their own destiny.
The United States was built on freedom. In choosing a single payer healthcare system, we would be giving up a big piece of those freedoms.
After a week of recess, Congress is back in session today. Today also marks the first day Congress is back in session without Jason Chaffetz. Mr. Chaffetz resigned earlier this year. Why he resigned is the real story.
It wasn’t a scandal, as too often it is when a member of Congress fails to finish his or her term. No, the reason for the resignation: money.
Mr. Chaffetz has come forward with details of a practice of which much of the American public is undoubtedly unaware. As is evidently the practice in both parties, if a Congressman desires to hold a leadership position or a committee chairmanship, he or she must commit to earning a certain dollar amount, a significant amount, of campaign contributions for his or her party.
Granted, the money isn’t coming from the Congressperson’s own pocket, but this could be reasonably interpreted as having the same ethical effect of a pay to play scheme. It prices those who should be leading our Congress – and it is OUR Congress – out of the leadership market. The ones who should be in charge in Washington are those who place a greater emphasis on solving legislative problems than financing future elections so they can stay in power.
I’ve previously written in this space about the need for Congressional term limits. This is exactly why term limits are needed.
Additionally, this practice raises two questions:
Who is making the decision to require this practice? Who is pulling the strings? Why doesn’t Congress prohibit this practice?
Because it’s about retaining power first and working for the taxpayers second.
And that’s backwards.
Our pastor used an analogy this morning that makes a lot of sense. I want to share it here.
President Bush gave a Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously to a soldier by the name of Ross McGinnis. During the War in Iraq, he jumped on a grenade that had been thrown through the gunner’s hatch into his vehicle. His actions saved the lives of four members of his crew.
If you were one of the crew members whose life he saved by his death, how would you feel about him?
How would you talk about him?
If you visited his parents house, would you enter solemnly? Or would you go in being loud, kick your feet up on the table and demand they feed you?
Is your attitude toward Private McGinnis different than your attitude toward Jesus, who also died so that you can live?
Trump met with leaders from Britain, Japan, and China at the G20 Summit, continuing to apply pressure about North Korea.
NBC News is reporting U.S. bombers carried out training missions Saturday in South Korea near the North Korean border.
North Korea obviously remains a primary concern of U.S. foreign policy. It appears the Trump Administration is not content to let the problem fester, though it is unclear what action will be taken if China and other countries do not join us in pressuring the North Korean regime.
What is important to note is that President Trump is taking a leadership role in the world. This fact is not always expressed by major news outlets.
Day two of Trump’s second foreign trip.
Day one of the G20.
President Trump met with Vladimir Putin in a meeting scheduled for forty minutes. It lasted over two hours.
The reaction is as expected. Criticism from the Left. Praise from the Right.
What are the facts?
According to Secretary of State Tillerson, President Trump raised the issue of election meddling. This is important. He didn’t back away from a controversial issue.
Also reported is that the two negotiated a partial cease fire in Syria.
North Korea was also reportedly discussed with no details released.
As far as the Left’s criticisms of the day, Putin is a bad guy. I get it. But what we saw today is our President engaging with world leaders to solve problems.
This is leadership.
President Trump began his second foreign trip with a stop in Poland. His speech to the Polish People was broadcast live early this morning, immediately after which Joe Scarborough on MSNBC called it the worst speech ever given by a President on foreign soil.
I didn’t get the same impression. A few key points from the speech.
“We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding, and their networks, and any form of ideological support that they may have. While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.”
On Russian aggression:
“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes — including Syria and Iran — and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.”
“Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger — one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people. The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.”
And on NATO:
“To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment.”
He’s sending the right message.
Tomorrow is a big day. G20 Summit and a meeting with Putin. Look for discussion about North Korea.
Yesterday, July 4th, North Korea successfully conducted a ICBM missile test indicating the country can now reach Alaska with missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
By every indication, the threat the United States faces from North Korea is getting worse. President Trump has pressured China to provide influence on North Korea’s actions because of North Korea’s reliance on China for food and energy. So far, this has shown no evidence of accomplishment.
So what do we do now? Let’s review the options:
Do nothing – This puts faith in a North Korea bluff. We know they have successfully tested nuclear weapons and are developing the missile systems capable of delivering a nuke to Alaska. Can we afford to call their bluff?
What about the other extreme? A nuclear or non-nuclear preemptive strike. It can be reasonably assumed that it is too early for either of these options. The consequences of a retaliatory strike by North Korea or its allies far outweigh the benefits. The United States is a peaceful nation. We will respond if provoked, but that provocation must be more defined than the mere possession of technology.
So where does that leave us? Diplomacy. The U.N. Security Council conducted an emergency meeting today about the crisis. China has U.N. Security veto power.
Do we encourage the world to sanction North Korea? Sanction China? Sanction Chinese banks? Keep an eye on the upcoming G20 summit for interesting developments on this.
This is the job of the President: making wise decisions based on the best available information. Which way will Trump go?
What can we do right now? Fast track improvements in missile defense development!
This is why we celebrate:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Last week, I argued in this space that voter identification laws are important because it has been documented voter fraud is taking place. The question is not whether it is happening, but is it happening on a large enough scale to make a difference.
If you believe our President, per CNN this morning, three million illegal votes were cast in the last election. The President has launched a voter fraud initiative to determine the extent of the problem.
In accordance with what I wrote last week, this initiative is a positive step. Critical to a representative democracy’s traditional peaceful transition of power is a high level of confidence in the electoral process. We cannot allow confidence in our elections to erode.
All that said, it is being reported today the Trump Administration has requested from each State its voter registration rolls as part of this voter fraud initiative. Early feedback indicates significant hesitancy on the part of the States to comply with this request.
This is understandable. Our elections are decentralized. Each state conducts their own and reports the results. Any federal initiative aimed at determining if fraud is indeed widespread, needs to work in cooperation with the States – not demand information from the States.
The place to begin is in the States where news reports have shown some level of fraud. The public needs to know: One, how often does this state audit its voter registration rolls? And two, what were the results of the most recent audit?
Report the answers to these questions, and move on to the next State. This is transparency. It’s as simple as that.
We are a deeply divided country, and the hatred rages on social media. It’s in politics, on Twitter, and even our President is not immune to the constant bickering.
How much different would the world be if we took it upon ourselves to actually love one another? I don’t mean giving lip service to the idea. I mean actually doing it.
Jesus said, as recorded in the Book of John, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
As I have loved you…Think about that.
“For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son…”
Jesus also said, “When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
Who are “the least of these”?
Your neighbor? Mow his lawn.
The person behind you in the drive thru? Pay for his meal.
The person who cut you off in traffic? Ease up on him. You don’t know what his day was like.
We CAN make a difference.