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Random thoughts on God, life, work, family, country and the world. Meanwhile, take time to let a soldier know he's not forgotten. Visit Any Soldier to find out how.

Around the World…and Healthcare Non-Reform?

In world news, Germany faces energy decisions that are changing power lines (pun intended).  Due to be phased out by 2022 after the Greens passed legislation in 2000, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is trying to revamp and start construction again.  Despite the expense of building nuclear plants, they are cheap to run.  And, with oil prices still around $70 a barrel, and solar plants still only providing a small portion of power, the attractiveness of cheap power will be hard to ignore.  It could also mean Germany misses the greenhouse gas targets it has to achieve.  These same issues face Americans, as well.  Is there room for solar fields to generate power?  Is it possible for America to make a real difference in pollution emissions, besides the new tax structure of the cap-and-trade system currently making it’s way to the Senate?

Closer to home, Russia is financing arms for Hugo Chavez.  This time the amount is $2.2 billion, bringing the total value of Russian weapons contracts to almost $4 billion. Chavez is claiming he needs them for “self-defense” against American attacks, now that the US has access to Columbian military bases.  Many conservatives in America thought that with President Obama’s election and the power of the Left emerging that there would be a reduction in Chavez’s anti-US rhetoric.  Obviously that has not been the case.  More distrurbing than the weapons contracts is news that the Venezuelan leader is going to use Russian aid to develop nuclear power. This could easily lead to an Iran like standoff in the west.

Here at home, the big issue is healthcare reform, followed closely by financial reform.  Both are high on Obama’s agenda, as well as Democrats in general.  Shawn Tully has a series of articles that grade the proposed healthcare reforms.  The 8th in the series covers Obama’s latest speech.  Tulley’s overall picture paints something along the lines of no improvement, other than more government control through subsidies, giving non-profits and government agencies a huge leg up on private insurers.  This follows on the heels of reports indicating that reform won’t reduce cost of healthcare.  Now, there are two goals to healthcare reform.  The first is to provide healthcare to the uninsured.  The second is to cut down on the rising cost of healthcare, which is a major reason so many are uninsured.  IF the legislation goes through without reducing costs, what is gained beyond more government domination of private industry?  Couple that with the necessity of raising taxes to pay for it, and it’s a wonder so many Americans are in favor of it.  What legislation actually comes out of Washington remains to be seen, with much debate about whether a public option will actually be available.  But, it will be very important to watch where and how the costs are covered—if they can be.


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