Friday, September 12, 2008

Kerry's Roll Call and Palin's Doctrine

Last night ABC aired the first segment of Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson. Ignorant leftist remarks have been made regarding Governor Palin's response to Gibson's Bush Doctrine question. The following link takes you to a good article regarding this issue:

Below is a Roll Call look at John Kerry, senator of Massachusetts, who is up for re-election. All information is taken from Senator Kerry's website. (Please Massachusetts, vote for someone else. We are Kerry'd out!)

Health Care

Comprehensive health care reform is the great unfinished business of the last half-century in America. We need our health care system to provide meaningful, affordable coverage to every single person in this country, but we also need to deal with escalating costs and the erratic quality of care. Health reform is not only a matter of fundamental moral values, but an economic imperative as well. 47 million Americans are living, at some point of the year, without any health insurance coverage at all. Health care costs are rising at twice the rate of workers’ wages. Excessive waste and medical errors cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives each year. We live in the richest country on earth, but our health care system has fallen far behind, failing too many Americans.However, the road to fundamental reform of our broken health care system is clear. First, every American must have quality health coverage by 2011, starting with every child NOW. Second, we must control skyrocketing health costs that push families into bankruptcy and put our businesses at a disadvantage in the global economy. Third, instead of telling tens of millions to wait until they are sick enough to go to an emergency room, we should assure high quality preventive care.

On the first day the Senate was in session for legislative activity, I introduced a bill to guarantee health care insurance coverage for each of the 11 million uninsured children in America today. Kids First builds on successful programs, by creating a federal-state partnership to mandate coverage for all uninsured kids. It's the critical first step to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to grow, learn, and succeed in life.

I also introduced legislation that would help businesses afford to cover their employees, by making a new deal between employers, health insurers, families and the federal government. Today, the high costs of treating the sickest patients are driving up the price tag for everyone’s care and taking a huge toll on businesses. Just one percent of the population pays for nearly a quarter of health care spending. To help businesses get out from under the weight of the most expensive cases, I recently introduced legislation - The Healthy Businesses, Healthy Workers Reinsurance Act, which would reimburse businesses for a percentage of the highest cost cases. It includes cost containment benefits for preventative care, which lowers costs and premiums for employers and employees.

Recently Congress passed a provision in the Medicare Bill regarding electronic prescribing or e-prescribing. Based on bipartisan legislation I introduced, doctors treating patients across the country will receive incentives, such as start-up grants, to adopt e-prescribing technology -- the ability to replace handwritten prescriptions with online, automated technology. It will reduce the potential for errors when prescriptions are filled, provide information on the availability of generic alternative medication and streamline patient insurance coverage information. This technology will also warn the physician of potentially dangerous medication allergies or drug interactions. With the adoption of e-prescribing and its final passage, we will improve patient care and take important steps to lowering the costs of health care.

An important area in our health care system that needs addressing is how we treat mental health and mental illness, especially for our nation’s seniors. For several years, I have introduced bipartisan legislation that removes the discriminatory barriers facing Medicare patients in need of mental health services. Today, seniors in the Medicare program pay a 50% co-payment for mental health services, but only a 20% rate for other medical care. Legislation recently passed by Congress includes my provision that equalizes the Medicare co-payment rates for seniors who are in need of mental health services. This legislation is a critical step toward ensuring that seniors receive the proper, adequate, and timely treatment they deserve. (Blogger Comment: Okay, here’s the deal. Don’t be sucked into believing that universal health care is going to fix all our health care woes. With all of its flaws, we still have the best health care system in the world. It is against federal law for anyone, with or without insurance, to be denied treatment, so we already have universal health care. Let’s look at a couple of countries that have universal health care. Great Britain just turned their government health care over to a private organization to run because they said they finally realized that competition is what drives quality and the government had no competition. Prior to that, Britain’s government-run health care had a 22-month waiting list. One man died of colon cancer before he even made it to his appointment. One woman was put on the emergency wait list for dental care — that “emergency” list was three months long.

Canadians pay 15% sales tax and 35% plus income tax to pay for their “free” health care. One Canadian had to go to New York to get a brain tumor removed because the Canadian government told him he had to wait for five to six months to be seen by a doctor — he would have been dead if he had waited. He is now suing the Canadian government to pay the $22,000 surgery bill. If we lose our health care system to the government, we will have nowhere to go for help. It is our opinion that it’s not the health care system in this country that needs reworking; it’s the insurance situation that is jeopardizing our otherwise good health care system. Insurance denies our claims, jacks up hospital prices, and makes us wait for surgery approval while only approving doctors on their lists. It seems to us that we have politicians in the pockets of pharmaceuticals and insurance companies and that we need health insurance reform before we need health care reform. Reducing the insurance situation would provide more competition in the market, thus bringing up quality and bringing down prices.

How much of our lives do we seriously want to put in the government’s hands? They are not all professional educators, doctors, mortgage brokers, etc. Yet they are assuming that role in a way that can only be disastrous for Americans.)


Every young person should graduate from high school, and every young person who works hard and wants to go to college should be able to afford it. And all Americans should be able to get the skills they need to succeed throughout their lives.

I want to ensure that all Americans can make the most of their God-given talents. We must offer schools the resources and the reforms they need to give every American child a great education, regardless of their income, race, or family background. We must also ensure that educators have access to the high-quality tools necessary to adequately prepare our students for the future. That’s why I introduced legislation to help my state and others secure the funding they need to improve their education systems and prepare their students for success. The Empowering Teaching and Learning Through Education Act would help states secure the funding they need to establish education portal initiatives and improve their education systems. Education portals are a one-stop resource for educators, parents, and students to support teaching, learning, and leading. They provide a secure, on-line community for educators to collaborate and discuss teaching and learning, as well as serve as vital communication tools between the school and parents. This legislation will help to bridge the urban-rural educational divide and ensure that all districts in all corners of all the states have access to high quality resources that allow both students and teachers to grow and succeed.

I believe we should meet our responsibilities to our schools and ensure that No Child Left Behind works for schools, states, and teachers by rewarding those who meet higher standards and rewarding schools that turn around and improve.

I support continuing reform, better training and better pay in troubled schools. We should also ask for a return on that investment, including fast, fair ways to make sure that teachers who don't belong in the classroom don't stay there.

I am a strong supporter of after-school programs. They give students extra help, keep them out of trouble, and offer peace of mind to working parents.

Educating our children is key to ensuring a strong economy in the future. I believe in making college affordable for all and expanding lifelong learning. Our workers should have access to the technical skills and advanced training they need. (Blogger Comment: Of course education is important. It opens doors and provides opportunities. It can also help build quality communities. What we don’t understand is why people think the government is the expert regarding quality education. Why would we turn our valuable education over to the government to provide mandates and limitations on what we can learn and teach? Furthermore, their concept of education costs a lot of money and is mostly mediocre. Parents are homeschooling their children for the cost of supplies while their children are ending up better prepared for college than public school children. This country is in serious debt. We need more control of education in our own communities, while eliminating the wasteful spending of the federal government. We, the people, are losing control of our children, our money, and our communities.)


America is a nation of immigrants. People from all over the world come here to make a better life for themselves and their families. However, politics has stymied attempts to reform the laws and we are left with a broken immigration system. We must enforce our immigration laws but we must also acknowledge the reality that approximately 12 million people are living in this country undocumented. We must offer them a path, however arduous, to become citizens of a country they desperately want to be their home, a country where they've worked, lived, raised families, and become part of communities.

As someone married to an immigrant, I am reminded every day by my wife of how you can love your roots and love your heritage; even as you fulfill the full measure of your love of this country, and your loyalty as a United States citizen. I believe that America can continue in its tradition of welcoming immigrants and giving them the opportunity to achieve the American dream, so long as we create a common sense immigration system: one that protects our national security as well as our national ideals. Reforms like the DREAM Act, something I've supported for a long time. It offers young people who have spent most of their lives in the United States, who believe in our country, who have worked hard and who have stayed out of trouble -- the same federal support for higher education as their classmates who are American citizens.

Comprehensive immigration reform has eluded congress several times, but I will continue to fight for reforms that ensure our borders are enforced, our laws are upheld and people are treated fairly and humanely. Keeping families together, giving our businesses the labor force they need to be successful, and opening the American dream to all those that work hard to achieve their goals, should be our priority. (Blogger Comment: This country is made of immigrants; whether it is first or fifth generation, we all owe our life in America to an immigrant. We support immigration, as long as it is done legally. However, no one has the right to break the law. We demand that our own citizens be law abiding, so we certainly expect visitors to be law abiding. Studies show that some, not all, but enough, illegal aliens come here as drug smugglers and continue lives of crime while residing here illegally. Additionally, many come here without having necessary immunizations, possibly bringing viruses or diseases. But probably the biggest reason for making sure that our citizens are legalized through the mandated process is because this country can only exist on the loyalty of its citizens. The founding fathers knew that a free civilization would appeal to a wide variety of people who have different dreams, goals, and definitions of success. This country not only allows that kind of life, but encourages it. However, a diverse nation still requires that we have a common goal of continued freedom and loyalty to the right of freedom and pursuit of happiness for all. A quicker legalization process, or no process at all, will invite those who are apathetic or even enemies to our freedom of choice. While some complain that the legalization process is too long and difficult, we maintain that the process weeds out those whose hearts aren’t true to this country nor loyal to its freedoms.)

Electoral Reform

Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. In the last year, millions of new voters registered and went to the polls. Yet, thousands upon thousands of Americans still fear that when they walk into the polls to vote that their vote will not be counted, or they will lose the opportunity to vote at all, because they are forced to stand in line for hours due to a shortage of machines or they will be turned away from voting all together.

Faulty voting machines have no place in the greatest democracy on earth. Barriers to voting are an insult to the freest, greatest nation in the world.

I'm working with my colleagues, Senators Clinton and Boxer (Blogger Comment: Boy, that must be a meeting completely void of common sense and brains), Congresswoman Tubbs Jones and Congressman Conyers, and the nation's leading civil rights groups to advance comprehensive election reform.
Congress must take action to ensure all Americans have faith in future elections that the votes they stood in line to cast are counted.

But to make it happen, we need our Republican colleagues to make protecting voting rights a priority and to put election reform legislation on the legislative calendar this year. Congress must keep its promise and fully fund the Help America Vote Act, fund the activities of the Election Assistance Commission, and help states invest in better voting machines with paper trails (Blogger Comment: The federal government needs to stay out of the state’s business).


With as many as 8,100 foreclosures devastating the lives of American families each day, the federal government needs to take immediate action to stop this tidal wave before it causes more serious damage to our economy.

Given these shocking numbers, it’s only natural to wonder how we got here. The fundamental problem is that lenders lowered their standards but didn’t appropriately plan for the increased risk they had incurred. They flooded the market with mortgage loans, ignoring the risks to borrowers and to their own bottom line. Some of these loans were predatory, and some came from the very same lenders that the Fed bailed out!

Since 2000, I have been concerned about predatory lending and have supported legislation to stop the excesses that these lenders have too often hoodwinked homeowners into accepting. At the same time, some borrowers inflated their incomes and misrepresented themselves in order to get bigger homes than they could actually afford.

I supported the Housing and Economic Recovery Act when it passed the Senate in July to assist well-intentioned homeowners who, with a little assistance, can make their payments and avoid foreclosure and a downward spiral into bankruptcy. The families this legislation aims to help are not trying to get a free ride. They aren't scam artists trying to get away without paying their mortgage. They are hard-working, tax-paying, honest people who too often had the misfortune of being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders unconcerned with the chaos they were creating.

The legislation brings much needed reforms to Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), modernizes the Federal Housing Administration, includes a new Hope for Homeowners program to limit foreclosures, provides approximately $4 billion in immediate funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, provides $150 million in additional foreclosure prevention counseling and includes the provisions the Senate passed earlier this year in the Foreclosure Protection Act.

All together, this bill will reduce foreclosures; provide more access to safe and fair mortgage credit for home buyers; increase the strength of our housing markets; and help expand our economy. (Blogger Comment: The federal government being involved in our business is what has made our economy decline. Their bailouts are putting this country in deep debt. We will never recover at this rate. No one wants to lose his or her home and nobody wants to see others lose their homes. However, the bailouts we’re providing to sinking businesses are ruining our country’s finances. Now we are seeing car companies asking for billions of dollars in bailouts. How are we going to pay off our debt?)

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