Friday, August 28, 2009

Read it and Weep

My Dad sent me this....rings quite true!!

Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama

Please read, even if you are an Obama fan. It is legitimate, written
by respected, Lou Prichett, formerly of Proctor and Gamble. Lou
Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an
acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest
rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize
him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way

America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to
be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to
Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble
and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike
any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy
League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no
visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth
growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus
don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself
with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly
denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America '
crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style
country where the government sector dominates instead of the private

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a
government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly
capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose
that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of
living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against
certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging
you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider
opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent
and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs,
Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points
of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will
probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett


This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it.
Big surprise! Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over
500,000 hits. Keep it going. All that is necessary for evil to
succeed is that good men do nothing. It's happening right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School!

Well, it was back to the ole' grind today for my three kids and me. Yep, that's right THREE. All three of them are in school full time this year!!! Crazy!!! I have no idea what I will do with myself. Ok, I have a few ideas but until I win the lottery, I'm going to have to do a little more brain storming. I thought about going back to school to finish my degree they have a major in Shopping with a minor in VISA and Mastercard available at accredited colleges these days? Ha!

Addy started Middle School today! She is a 6th grader. Man that makes me feel old! In this day and age when couples are having their first kid at the age of early-thirty-something, I am sending mine to middle school. Addy is really excited about middle school and I am happy for her. She is intelligent, kind, and beautiful inside and out and I know these qualities partnered with her many talents will serve her well. She dropped the "a boy at school asked me out today" on me while I was signing endless back to school paperwork. Are you kidding me??? Already???? She promptly told the KID, "sorry, I'm not dating until I'm 16". That's my girl!

Aidyn was pretty lukewarm about going back to school. He descried his day as not very fun, but "pretty ok", which for him means normal. At the beginning of every school year I have to remind Aidyn that he isn't going to school to "have fun". He is going to school to learn and if there happens to be a little fun had along the way, he's darn lucky! We use a version of the same psychology for church on rough Sundays. Anyway, he was lucky enough to get some of his friends in his class, he really likes his teacher, and I will be absolutely SHOCKED if he has anything but a fabulous year......of learning of course.

Ahhhh Avery. My little baby all grown up and going to Kindergarten!!! Here in Texas, it's full day Kindergarten and sooooo weird for me! 7 hours is a long time not to have any kids at home. Avery has been excited to go to Kindergarten since our first conversation about it last spring. During the summer she regularly asked me when she would start. Can you believe she is my first child to be excited about going to school? She wanted to walk in all by herself today until I finally convinced her that since she didn't know where her classroom was, maybe Aidyn could show her? Big brother is entirely more cool than "mom". When I arrived to pick them up, she was beaming; her famous ear-to-ear grin just plastered on her face and she couldn't wait to get home and tell me ALL about it. When John asked her what she learned at school today she said, "PE". Awesome! Oh, and true to her little fashionista self, she was already planning her outfit for tomorrow before bed this evening. So cute!!!

John gave each of the kids their annual Back to School Father's Blessing last night. Such a comfort for all of us. Having the Priesthood in our home means so much to me and I am eternally grateful to my husband for being a worthy holder. Addy remarked on how this annual Father's Blessing helps her to feel "ready and at ease" about returning to school. Aidyn asked how much longer before he could have the Priesthood and if he could start baptizing people as soon as he got it. Whoa there tiger! And sweet Avery; she smiled up at her Daddy when it was her turn with so much admiration, feeling like such a big girl and ready to conquer the world (or at least the first day of Kindergarten) and said, thank you Daddy, I love you. Aren't kids the greatest?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

5 Endangered Freedoms

If you aren't worried about the Obama Administration's health care reform plans, read the fine print. The deception is subtle and dubious. You'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

"In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans -- and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy's Health committee, contradict the President's assurances. To be sure, it isn't easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company's Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests -- you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.

In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage -- including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money -- but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can't have. It's a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

Let's explore the five freedoms that Americans would lose under Obamacare:

1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan

The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance through "qualified" plans offered by health-care "exchanges" that would be set up in each state. The rub is that the plans can't really compete based on what they offer. The reason: The federal government will impose a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer.

Today, many states require these "standard benefits packages" -- and they're a major cause for the rise in health-care costs. Every group, from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, do lobbying to get included. Connecticut, for example, requires reimbursement for hair transplants, hearing aids, and in vitro fertilization.

The Senate bill would require coverage for prescription drugs, mental-health benefits, and substance-abuse services. It also requires policies to insure "children" until the age of 26. That's just the starting list. The bills would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add to the list of required benefits, based on recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans, therefore, wouldn't even know what's in their plans and what they're required to pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bills become law.

2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

As with the previous example, the Obama plan enshrines into federal law one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating. Eleven states, ranging from New York to Oregon, have some form of community rating. In its purest form, community rating requires that all patients pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition.

Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan, but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care. The reason is twofold: First, it forces young people, who typically have lower incomes than older workers, to pay far more than their actual cost, and gives older workers, who can afford to pay more, a big discount. The state laws gouging the young are a major reason so many of them have joined the ranks of uninsured.

Under the Senate plan, insurers would be barred from charging any more than twice as much for one patient vs. any other patient with the same coverage. So if a 20-year-old who costs just $800 a year to insure is forced to pay $2,500, a 62-year-old who costs $7,500 would pay no more than $5,000.

Second, the bills would ban insurers from charging differing premiums based on the health of their customers. Again, that's understandable for folks with diabetes or cancer. But the bills would bar rewarding people who pursue a healthy lifestyle of exercise or a cholesterol-conscious diet. That's hardly a formula for lower costs. It's as if car insurers had to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with a history of accidents.

3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That's what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less.

Hundreds of companies now offer Health Savings Accounts to about 5 million employees. Those workers deposit tax-free money in the accounts and get a matching contribution from their employer. They can use the funds to buy a high-deductible plan -- say for major medical costs over $12,000. Preventive care is reimbursed, but patients pay all other routine doctor visits and tests with their own money from the HSA account. As a result, HSA users are far more cost-conscious than customers who are reimbursed for the majority of their care.

The bills seriously endanger the trend toward consumer-driven care in general. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses. "The government could set extremely low deductibles that would eliminate HSAs," says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market research group. "And they could do it after the bills are passed."

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have ventured.

The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most other big companies.

The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

But read on.

The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.

5. Freedom to choose your doctors

The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges -- and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists.

Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what was billed as the solution to America's health-care cost explosion.

The bills do not specifically rule out fee-for-service plans as options to be offered through the exchanges. But remember, those plans -- if they exist -- would be barred from charging sick or elderly patients more than young and healthy ones. So patients would be inclined to game the system, staying in the HMO while they're healthy and switching to fee-for-service when they become seriously ill. "That would kill fee-for-service in a hurry," says Goodman.

In reality, the flexible, employer-based plans that now dominate the landscape, and that Americans so cherish, could disappear far faster than the 5 year "grace period" that's barely being discussed.

Companies would have the option of paying an 8% payroll tax into a fund that pays for coverage for Americans who aren't covered by their employers. It won't happen right away -- large companies must wait a couple of years before they opt out. But it will happen, since it's likely that the tax will rise a lot more slowly than corporate health-care costs, especially since they'll be lobbying Washington to keep the tax under control in the righteous name of job creation.

The best solution is to move to a let-freedom-ring regime of high deductibles, no community rating, no standard benefits, and cross-state shopping for bargains (another market-based reform that's strictly taboo in the bills). I'll propose my own solution in another piece soon on For now, we suffer with a flawed health-care system, but we still have our Five Freedoms. Call them the Five Endangered Freedoms."

To read more on the Obama Administration's subtle, dubious deceptions, go to:
It is worth your time to watch this video.

Educate yourself on what is happening in this Nation. Brush up on your Constitutional Rights. Stand up for yourself, your family, and your future. How have we let this national and world crisis escalate???

I ask Ron Paul, can't we just secede????

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where did the summer go???

With only 10 days until school starts, I can barely believe that summer is nearly over. Oh sure, here in Texas it will be summer until early November, but the fun ends just a little bit for everyone when school starts. Aidyn and Avery are SUPER excited to go back. Avery asks me on a regular basis if she can go to school "tomorrow yet?" Aidyn can't wait to see his friends. Addy, on the other hand, is a little apprehensive. Middle school is going to be different, and Addy doesn't get a long real well with different. She is a little nervous, but as usual, I am sure that after the first day is over, she will come home beaming like always, wearing her post first day "school is cool" smile.

We have been buuuuuuuuuusy these past few weeks. We went to San Antonio for a week as a family and hit all the major family fun parks down in that neck of the woods. 6Flags, Sea World, the SA zoo, Schlitterbaun, and the Alamo. In late July, the heat and humidity was awful. The kids were pooped not 15 minutes after we started each activity. We still ended up having a good time, but all in all, the vacation ranked well below our expectations. Note to self, we officially vote Schlitterbahn as the worst vacation destination on the planet. Not only was the place a total dump, but even on a week day, the crowds were beyond long. 2 hours into our Thursday visit, we had gone down 2 mediocre slides and were at the front (very front!) of the line for slide 3 when the weather turned. Rain starts pouring down, the powers that be decide to close the park, no rain checks, no refunds, $160 down the drain. Wow. We were shocked at not only the lack of organization and knowledge of the Schlitterbahn staff when the rain started and chaos ensued, but also at the horrible customer service. The ticket booths literally closed all their windows and the workers inside wouldn't talk to guests. NEVER GO THERE!!!

Bright spots on our vacation: Grandpa Ross joined us and it was great fun for all of us to see him. The San Antonio Zoo was really nice and I would rate it as the top attraction we visited. Togetherness as a family is not easy to come by in weekly format, and that alone made the trip worth it.

Last week the kids and I headed to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my family. I was born and raised in the area and my family still lives there. We were privileged to stay with my sister, Julie, her husband Erik, and their daughter Skyler. We also spent some good quality time with my parents, my brother, Brian, and my sister-in-law, Lori. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see my parents as happy as they have ever been, my brother and sister both married to 2 of the best people I know, and life moving on, getting better every day. Family is such a blessing and I love mine! I am grateful to have amazing relationships with both of my parents and my two siblings. 3 cheers for forever!!

One of our favorite outings was to San Francisco. My kids have never been and it has been several years since I myself have made my way across the Bay Bridge. My generous brother Brian and his wife Lori rented a party bus for the day. For those of you who do not know what a party bus is, think giant luxury bus complete with wet bar (which the kids loved), party music, and a fabulous driver. We rode the bus to the cable car station. From there we rode the cable cars to Pier 39 and then the party bus to the California Academy of Sciences. Both destinations were very fun. The museum was a little crowded, but still very cool. By and large, the kids thought the party bus was the best part of the trip. They sang, they danced, they partied. We all had a blast. When the kids and I boarded the plane for home, Avery sat down next to me looking a little forlorn. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Nothing.......I just really wish this was a PARTY plane". Awesome! Thanks family for a wonderful trip! It was so great to see all of you and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I can't wait until we can go back!