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(Note: This Hit Counter was effective November 9, 2016.)
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Watchdog Vigilance provides information about how we as as a nation can be extra vigilant regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression. An online community is established where Americans work together to help control government oppression. This volunteer effort is non-party, non-connected, and non-profit.
Many can identify the result of the 2016 presidential election as an expression of necessary vigilance regarding a government that has become tyrannical in its disregard for what makes America great.However, the 2016 presidential election also forces us as a nation to be extra vigilant regarding those who might be newly emboldened to impose the following types of government oppression:
Vigorous ongoing national vigilance will be necessary as we perfect our union and continue to make America great. As Theodore Roosevelt said,"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Watchdog Indiana and Watchdog Lebanon was founded by Aaron Smith on November 14, 2001 - Watchdog Vigilance was established November 9, 2016. Aaron's resides in Lebanon Indiana, and his biographical information can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/aaron.htm.
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Immediate action needed!
08/03/2017: We need to support all 23 Senators on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee as they begin their bipartisan work to stabilize our American Health Care System!
We no longer have Obamacare, Ryancare, O’Connellcare, or Trumpcare. We now have an American Health Care System with bipartisan support. In addition to unanimous Democratic opposition, 20 Republicans in the U.S. House voted once this year – and up to 9 Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted three times this year – against “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act.
Further evidence of bipartisan ownership of our American Health Care System came August 1 when the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released the following statement: “This committee will hold hearings beginning the week of September 4th on the actions Congress should take to stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market so that Americans will be able to buy insurance at affordable prices in the year 2018. We will hear from state insurance commissioners, patients, governors, health care experts and insurance companies. Committee staff will begin this week working with all of our committee members to prepare for these hearings and discussions.”
Senator Alexander made the additional comments listed next.
“The reason for these hearings is that unless Congress acts by September 27, when insurance companies must sign contracts with the federal government to sell insurance on the federal exchange next year, millions of Americans with government subsidies in up to half our states may find themselves with zero options for buying health insurance on the exchanges in 2018. Many others without government subsidies will find themselves unable to afford health insurance because of rising premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
“There are a number of issues with the American health care system, but if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market. Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this. Our committee had one hearing on February 1 on this subject, and we’ll work intensively between now and the end of September to finish our work in time to have an effect on the health insurance policies sold in 2018.
“I am consulting with Senator Murray to make these hearings bipartisan and to involve as many members of the committee as possible, all who want to can be involved. I’ll be consulting with Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden so that the Finance Committee is aware of any matters we discuss that might be within its jurisdiction.
“In these discussions, we are dealing with a small segment of the total health insurance market. Only about 6 percent of insured Americans buy their insurance in the individual market – only about 4 percent of insured Americans buy their insurance on the exchanges.
“But while these percentages are small, they represent large numbers of Americans including many of our most vulnerable Americans. We’re talking about the roughly 18 million Americans in the individual market – about 11 million of them who buy their insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. About 9 million of those 11 million Americans have Affordable Care Act subsidies, and unless we act, many of them may not have policies available to buy in 2018 because insurance companies will pull out of collapsing markets.
“Just as important, unless we act, costs could rise once again – even making health care unaffordable – for the additional 9 million Americans in the individual market who receive no government support – roughly 2 million of them who buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges but who don’t qualify for a government subsidy and roughly 7 million who buy their insurance outside of the exchanges – this means they have no government help paying for their premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
“As we prepare for these discussions,I have also urged the president to temporarily continue the cost-sharing reduction payments through September so that Congress can work on a short- term solution for stabilizing the individual market in 2018.
“Cost-sharing reduction subsidies reduce copays and deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs to help low income Americans who buy their health insurance on the exchanges (that would be those who make under 250 percent of Federal Poverty Level, roughly $30,000 for an individual or $60,000 for a family of four).
“Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt. Up to half of the states will likely have bare counties with zero insurance providers offering insurance on the exchanges, and insurance premiums will increase by roughly 20%, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
“In my opinion, any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package would need to be small, bipartisan and balanced. It should include funding for the cost-sharing reductions, but it also should also include greater flexibility for states in approving health insurance policies.
“Now if the president were to approve continuation of cost-sharing subsidies for August and September, and if Congress in September passed a stabilization plan that includes cost-sharing for one year, it is reasonable to expect that the insurance companies would then lower their rates. They have told us, in fact Oliver Wyman an independent observer of health care, has told us that lack of funding for the cost-sharing reductions would add 11 to 20 percent to premiums in 2018.
“So, if the president over the next two months and Congress over the next year take steps to provide certainty that there will be cost-sharing subsidies, that should allow insurance companies to lower the premiums that they have projected. In fact, many insurance companies have priced their rates in 2018 at two different levels. One with cost-sharing and one without cost-sharing. So it’s important not only that the president approve temporary cost-sharing for August and September, but that we in a bipartisan way find a way to approve it at least for one year so we can keep premiums down.
“Now this is only step one in what we may want to do about health insurance and the larger question of health care costs. So we will proceed step-by-step. A subsequent step would be to try to find a way to create a long-term more robust individual insurance market, but for the short-term, our proposal is that by mid-September we will see if we can agree on a way to stabilize the individual insurance market to keep premiums down and make affordable insurance available to all Americans.”
Did You Know?
08/08/2017: Everyone is urged to be vigilant regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression. Some pertinent U.S. laws and regulations requiring vigilance are summarized in the following public policy categories:
Military Use Public Policies
1. Iran Nuclear Deal
2. U.S. Israel Embassy Location
3. Syria Civil War
Immigration Public Policies
4. "Sanctuary City" Communities
5.. Mexico Border Security
Business Regulations Public Policies
1. Congressional Review Act
2. Overtime Pay Salary Threshold
3. Oil & Miming Extraction Disclosure Rule
4. Border-Adjustment Tax
5. Supply-Side Economics Reality
Environmental Public Policies
1. Congressional Review Act
2. Commercial Trucks and Buses Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3. Power Plant Carbon Emissions
International Trade Public Policies
1. American Manufacturing Changes
2. China Trade
Safe Family Planning Public Policies
1. U.S. Abortion Rate
2. Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funding
Health Care Public Policies
1. American Health Care Act (Trumpcare #1)
1.A. Advocacy Group Position Statements
1.B. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
1.C. Consequences of Significantly Lower Medicaid Enrollment
2. Better Care Reconciliation Act (Trumpcare #2)
2.A. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
2.B. Well-To-Do Welfare
2.C. ACT NOW: Oppose BCRA
3. Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
3.B. Health Care Improvements
3.C. ACT NOW: Oppose ACA Repeal
4. Insurance Coverage Mandate
5. Preventive Care
6. Contraceptive Options
7. Essential Health Benefits
8. Medicaid Coverage
9. Self-Insured Coverage
10. Pertinent Historical Data
10.A. National Health Expenditures
10.B. Federal Government Health Programs Spending
10.C. National Debt History
11. Employee Health Benefits
12. Medicare Expansion (ME) single-payer proposal
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This page was last updated on 08/08/17.