Live the American Dream? #WakeUpAmerica

carlin

#WakeUpAmerica

Like many entrepreneurs, I have faced many challenges. They’re called opportunities. I’ve met most, failed many, but I’ve persevered. The American Dream is about opportunity. It’s not a given. You have to face your challenges, because you can live the American Dream.

Many Americans no longer believe in the American Dream. There is a hashtag, #WakeUpAmerica trending on Twitter. I hope it resonates with more Americans. To realize your dreams, you have to wake up to those dreams. You have to live them. You have to have hope, passion, trust in others, work smart, and never give up.

From Forbes, The American Dream? are quotes from many well-respected leaders of the free world. Pick a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian or an independent, and they will say what you want to hear. In large part, Americans are supposed to believe what they say.

Take Nancy Pelosi for instance. She says, “The American Dream is the hope for a better future with equal opportunity for all to participate in the prosperity and success of our great nation.” Sounds good! You would think her basic beliefs are aligned with most Americans. In reality, that’s not the case.

An Obama quote is absent from The American Dream Forbes article. I Googled “Barack Obama on the American Dream.” From a 2012 NPR interview he said, “I think the history of the United States, the reason we became an economic superpower is because, not always perfectly, not always consistently, but better than any other country on Earth, we were able to give opportunity to everybody,” he said. “That’s what the American dream was all about.”  Obama says, “Preserving that dream requires a balancing act between self-interest and community. Success is not an entitlement in his book. But neither is it a reward for individual effort alone.” Obama said it to get reelected but his words fell on the deaf ears of many small business owners, a.k.a., taxpayers.

My support for Obama died when he said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back. If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Bullshit! He’s talking about the celebrity elite, not the guy that is building a successful business from nothing. He’s right! They didn’t build America, small businesses built America!

In 2012, we again, elected a president who is so self-absorbed with issues like a bad Iran deal, Islamaphobiaclimate change, Obamacare, and gun control.As for gun control, I believe we are entering a new era of lone wolf terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. Americans will absolutely recoil from any future gun control legislation.

Many American’s disagree with the president on almost every major issue, like Russia’s new conquest, Syria.  This president has gone so far as to put those who have taken all the risks, at risk of losing everything we’ve built, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. American exceptionalism is driven by individual effort multiplied by millions of Americans and it won’t take a backseat to entitlement. So sorry Mr. President, you didn’t build that, and you can’t take that away, either. #WakeUpAmerica

Does Anyone Really Want to Deny Anyone Else Healthcare?

20140701-235105-85865890.jpgThis whole mess called Obamacare could have been avoided if common sense prevailed. That said, common sense is in short supply in DC.  DC is full of corrupt politicians.

If the insurance companies were mandated to insure people with pre-existing conditions, people with insurance would pay more. How many people would object to it? Not me. How about you?

Unless,  of course, we  added some competition. If we could shop for insurance  anywhere and we were allowed to save the money we didn’t spend tax free (HSAs and FSAs) without putting ridiculously low limits on savings accounts.

If the government had developed their plan to insure the poor received adequate healthcare and left the private sector to their own devices, would that be untenable? It’s called Medicaid. Single payer, government run healthcare. Instead we have a poorly crafted 20,0000 page law and regs to do that but they wanted more.  No.  They wanted to control private sector healthcare, too.

So they cancelled your policy and taxed you, too.  Check out The Obamacare Report Card.

Why mess with an entire industry for 4 million uninsured? Does anyone want to deny anyone healthcare? Not me. How about you?

The simple solution is to use your vote in the upcoming elections to throw the corrupt politicians out! K.I.S.S. them all goodbye!

 

Obamacare, Who’s Going to Pay for It?

BL obamacare enrollment attkissonAs of March 31, according to the Obama administration, 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, exceeding its target of 7 million. After all the lies and scandals coming from the White House who would believe that number?

In fact, the 8 million figure is overstated because it counted people who weren’t actually covered because they hadn’t paid their premiums, which Blue Cross, analysts and the government agree is in the 15 percent to 20 percent range.

The actual number of Obamacare enrollees as of March 31 was likely between 6.4 million and 6.8 million even while about 38 million uninsured are eligible for Obamacare

Estimates of how many marketplace enrollees were previously uninsured range from about one-third to more than half, depending on the survey and the methods used.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 43 percent of those who purchased insurance through the marketplace already had insurance.  They were shifted into the exchanges because of changes caused by Obamacare.

So fewer than 4 million newly insured shouldn’t be considered a victory for the Obama administration.

The rel victory for the Obama administration?  According to CMS estimates Medicaid will get 8.6 million new enrollees in 2014, thanks to Obamacare. Twenty-six states have expanded Medicaid, but if all did, spending by states would increase 26 percent—or $952 billion—from 2013 to 2022.  Who is going to pay for it?! true cost of obamacare

On the one hand, the CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next 10 years.”  What they neglect to mention is that the coverage expansions in the ACA are still estimated to increase federal spending by $1.383 trillion over this same period.

While 4 million uninsured and 8.6 million new Medicaid recipients now have healthcare, the cost to taxpayers to insure them is staggering for consumers, who will pay 4 to 16% more for insurance in 2015.  In addition taxpayers will foot the 1.4 trillion dollar cost for Obamacare over the next 10 years and undoubtedly the reinsured, the millions who got booted off their policies even though they liked the policies they had for ones that they like less—that often cost more.

 

You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

Politifact – How the Liberal Media Carried Obama’s Water to 2 Elections

The Tampa Bay Times liberal media bias shows itself time and again while claiming to be a reliable source on the truth or lies politicians make.  Cancel my subscription.

In October 2008, when Obama still had two Presidential elections coming up, PolitiFact rated his statement as “true.”

In June 2012, when Obama only had one more Presidential election coming up, PolitiFact rated his statement as  “half true.”

In December 2013, when Obama could no longer run for President ever again, PolitiFact rated his statement as “lie of the year.”

Obama Should Consider A Permanent Staycation.

civics quizObama should consider a permanent Staycation. Why?  Because it may deter him from breaking his own ill-conceived law a.k.a. Obamacare again and again.

What kind of man would blithely disrupt the medical care of millions of Americans, and then repeatedly lie to them with glib assurances that they could keep their doctors or health insurance if they wanted to?”  Thomas Sowell

1) Within months after Obamacare was passed, Obama, without approval from Congress, illegally gave some organizations, including numerous corporations and unions, an exemption from some of the requirements of Obamacare.  As time went on, more than 1,300 organizations received these exemptions.

2) In 2013, members of Congress and their staff complained that Obamacare was going to cost them a lot of money, and said that this would likely cause a brain drain among their staff. In response to this, Obama made changes to Obamacare so that these things would not happen. However, Obama’s actions were illegal, because he made these changes without Congress voting on them first.  The New York Times wrote of this:

… the language of the health care law requires Congressional employees to obtain health insurance through an exchange created by the law, but other parts of the federal legal code restrict the ability of the federal government to pay the usual employer share for group insurance programs approved by the Office of Personnel Management.

A straightforward reading of the law thus means that Congressional staff members, starting in January 2014, will have to obtain insurance through the Affordable Care Act but pay for it on their own without the normal contribution from their employer — Congress. This would be a multi-thousand-dollar income hit for those affected… many… would potentially feel the pain, giving rise to concerns over a potential brain drain of Congressional staff members finding other employment.

… the federal personnel office initially ruled that Congressional staff members would not be eligible for the subsidies, and then changed this decision under pressure from the White House…

3) In July 2013, Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate part of Obamacare from January 2014 until January 2015 without Congressional approval.

4) Even though Obamacare requires the government to verify the income of people who receive subsidies for Obamacare exchanges, in August 2013 it was reported that Obama would not be verifying their incomes.

5) As it was passed by the House and Senate and signed by Obama in 2010, Obamacare sets caps on the out of pocket payments that people pay for health care, and these caps were legally required to take effect in January 2014. However, in August 2013, Obama, without approval from Congress, illegally delayed these caps until January 2015.

6) Obamacare requires that individual employees of small businesses be allowed to choose their own insurance plan during the first year of Obamacare. However, in March 2013, the Obama administration announced that it would not be allowing them to make this choice during the first year. Because Obama did this without approval from Congress, his action was illegal.

7) After Obamacare was passed, Obama illegally added 20,000 extra pages to it, without approval from Congress.

8) In May 2013, the Washington Post reported that Obama had illegally used Obamacare to give additional powers to the IRS, without approval from Congress.

9) In May 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicited donations from health insurers to help pay for Obamacare. Such soliciting is illegal. Obama refused to fire or prosecute Sebelius for her criminal behavior.

10) Obamacare calls for the creation of 16,500 new IRS agents. In March 2011, 15 IRS agents illegally seized the medical records of 10 million people without a warrant. Obama refused to fire or prosecute them for their criminal behavior.

11) In August 2013, it was reported that Obama had illegally used Obamacare to fund pre-K education without approval from Congress.

12) In August 2013, it was reported that Obama had illegally missed 41 of Obamacare’s 82 deadlines.

13) In August 2013, it was reported that Obama was trying to give illegal Obamacare subsidies to unions, without approval from Congress.

14) Obamacare requires that the online registration for small businesses be ready by October 1, 2013. However, five days before that date, Associated Press reported that this deadline would not be met.

15) In November 2013, it was reported that Obama was trying to illegally exempt some unions from some of the Obamacare fees, without approval from Congress.

16) In August 2013, without approval from Congress, Obama illegally gave an Obamacare waiver to Massachusetts.

17) On November 14, 2013, after insurance companies had canceled policies that did not meet the minimum requirements of Obamacare, Obama told them to restore these policies. However, he did this without Congress voting to approve these changes to Obamacare. The President does not have the legal authority to change a law that was passed by Congress, without those changes first being approved by Congress.

18) In December 2013, Obama ordered insurance companies to cover “customers” who had never paid any premiums. Obama’s action was illegal because it violated the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. It was also illegal because he did not have approval from Congress.

19) On December 19, 2013, Obama gave exemptions from the Obamacare mandate to people whose insurance had been canceled due to Obamacare. Because Obama gave out these exemptions without approval from Congress, his action was illegal.

Source: Dan From Squirrel Hill’s Blog

My “Lousy” Health Insurance Plan

President Obama’s November 14, 2013, news conference on healthcare, was nothing more than him trying to save face by putting a presidential spin on something that has clearly spun out of control.  Mr. Obama’s spin could sound good for those unaware of how things really work with insurance and state insurance plan filings.

Mr. Obama’s come under fire for lying to the American people with his now infamous sound bite: “You can keep your doctor and your health plan.”  We’ve all heard it.  When that didn’t come to fruition on October 1, 2013 (the launching date for ObamadoesntCare), Obama and his spokespeople tried to spin the spin with another sound bite: “well if you had a lousy plan, your insurance company cancelled it” and boy did the people eat that up, giving consumers the impression they have Lousy insurance, which is contrary to:  “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it” promise.

Rosello Insurance Companies

But don’t fret, Mr. Obama has changed his position yet again and is now “allowing” us to keep our “lousy” insurance plan for at least another year. What’s the difference between the POTUS and an insurance salesman?  The POTUS knows he’s lying!

Well let me relate a personal horror story with the latest example of an Obama labeled “Lousy” insurance plan (which has become a reality for many Americans around the country).  We are now a statistic with the other 5,518,000 insured’s who’s insurance plans are being cancelled and losing our coverage.

As an Independent Agent, we represent a number of different insurance companies writing health insurance for small and medium businesses in Florida.  Our own agency group health insurance plan is presently written through United Healthcare.   Here is a brief description of what Obama defines as a “Lousy Insurance Plan” since United Healthcare is discontinuing/cancelling/terminating:

My Current Plan that was canceled due to ObamadoesntCare: ACA Approved Insurance Company Proposed Replacement Plan: Now when I attended school, we learned under old math:
$1,000  In-Network Deductible $1,700  In-Network Deductible $1,700 deductible is 70% higher than a $1,000 deductible
100% Co-insurance after the deductible 80% Coinsurance after the deductible
 $1,000 total out-of-pocket expense for the year $4,000 Out-of-Pocket expense $4,000 Out-of-Pocket Expense is 400% higher than a $1,000 Out-of-Pocket
$25 Primary Care doctor office co-pay & $30 Primary Care Doctor office co-pay $30 doctor copay is 20% higher than a $25 copay
$50 copay for a Specialist visit $70 copay for Specialists $70 Specialist copay is 40% higher than a $50 copay
Remember this is what Barack Hussein Obama refers to as a “Lousy Plan” in an attempt to cover his tracks from his “You can keep your health plan” sound bites. Group monthly savings for the “Replacement Plan” =  $158  per month Save $444 per year in premiums and pay more than $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses per year

My out-of-pocket expense will sky rocket under the replacement plan, costing me thousands of dollars more per year.  Hey, but at least my individual monthly premium savings will be $60 per month or $720 for the year.  What an investment, save $720 per year in premiums and pay more than $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses per year.

So much for the “Lousy Plan”.   Wonder if things could sound better if we can use the new politically correct Common Core mathematics equations, and see if we could arrive at percentages for the massive out-of-pocket increase, that would seem a bit more palatable, giving the appearance that $720 annual premium savings, is much better than having to pay more than $3,000 out-of-pocket expense?

My money is on Mr. Obama laying blame on insurance companies for cancelling health insurance plans (having to comply with ObamadoesntCare rules and regs) and Obama will double down on the “LOUSY” Plan narrative.  When Americans learn insurance companies cannot go back and reinstate those discontinued insurance policies because of state laws, it will be the evil insurance companies fault and not the genius in the White House (and I’m not talking about Valerie Jarrett or Jay Carney).

Sadly, the President’s Executive Order does absolutely nothing (but makes for a great sound bite – something Mr. Obama seems to be good at) for the 3 million people who have already lost their health plan, which is 2,924,000 more than enrolled in ObamadoesntCare for the same time period.  Insurance companies cannot do anything to remedy except re-file and unless the states are put on notice to streamline and approve the re-filings, it will take months upon months for the re-filings to get to the consumer.

Good news for Floridians, the state insurance commissioner will comply with the executive order and reinstate the cancelled policies.  However, I believe 9 states, including the State of California, have indicated stated they will not be reinstating cancelled health insurance plans. So much for being able to “keep your health plan”.  In the meantime, Obama will have the luxury of telling Americans he’s doing all he can (such as bypassing Congress and issuing Executive Orders) and insurance companies are just not responding fast enough and this has been the problem with insurance.

Obama and the Democratic Party have managed to dismantle and throw into chaos, a healthcare delivery system that successfully covered 85% of Americans, in order to cover 15% of the uninsured. 

Obamacare regulations 3-12-2013

Could health insurance companies have tweaked health insurance plans and made them better, absolutely.  They could have done it without the federal government issuing 3,000 new pages of laws and spending billions of taxpayer money by getting into the health insurance business!  Billions of dollars of taxpayer money the United States does not have!

Ideally, allowing business to purchase health insurance policies on an association basis and across state lines, would have helped increase the purchasing power for small business around the country.  But purchasing insurance through an Association and breaking down state barriers is a threat to the federal government’s quest to socializing America’s health insurance delivery system.

Being able to broaden the purchasing power of business, as labor unions are allowed, would have given business the opportunity to bring insurance rates down and to cover more of the 15% of the uninsured having a hard time qualifying for insurance.  Labor unions have the luxury and privilege to purchase their insurance across state lines, pooling union members.  Business is not allowed the same privilege.

It’s clear, Mr. Obama’s goal is to have the federal government takeover 1/6 of the U.S. economy.   There was no reason for the federal government to spend over $600 million of taxpayer money in reinventing the wheel, when insurance companies were already set up to underwrite and deliver insurance.  I cannot reiterate enough; the federal government disrupted and has ascended the U.S. Healthcare system into chaos to cover 15% of the uninsured, while inconveniencing 85% of covered Americans! Why?  It makes absolutely no sense!

Tom Rossello
tom@fmi-ins.com
 Florida Independent Insurance Agent
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