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Healthcare, Pipedreams, & the Finger
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  August 13, 2009 - reprinted with permission


   As Nevada Seniors Coalition we were created some 25+ years ago to fight almost the same issue, so here we go again. To bad we aren't the 400 eager beavers we were back then because the issue is even worse now. What can we say other than here we go again and we have the big guns after us like never before. I can tell you that when it reaches 1,000 + pages it is bad, bad, and bad. Again we have government enforcers who will be on our backs big time and who can afford that? Not us for certain. How can our government want to do this to us? Maybe we can have Congress Women Dina Titus fight for us with her new role as a member of the United States Congress who seems to be wired against a lot of this monkey business that is being suggested. Who knows her well? We do need someone on our side. As I have mentioned before we had activist Jackie Ridley working with us and read every page of the 1,000 plus pages which seems to be about the same size again. From what I have seen and or heard this program will even be worse if that is possible. How can we keep these changes from taking place is really the $64,000 question. By the way I did talk to Jackie and she sounds the same as always and as usual being older takes its toll and slows us up.
If there are some 40 or 50 million people with out a health care plan, then just who are we talking about? Think about it. Are they including the12 million un-insured illegal aliens and if so how can we put them in an insurance plan? Why are we looking to force millions of illegal aliens as well as millions of younger Americans into buying medical insurance when they would be happy to have a walk-in medical clinic where they could get their own medical service without appointment and pay cash out of pocket for the service. Why would our government insist on forcing these people to insure themselves. The ones coming online who will need insurance will be the baby boomers so why not just add these twenty five+ millions to what we presently have and work at making the present system work? That might take a hundred or so pages added to the present Medicare/Medicaid health care program which might just sail through Congress in no time at all. That would be fun if the baby-boomers were slipped into the program with little or no fanfare and make the existing Medicare plan really work when it is needed. It would be outstanding if that issue could be added to the present program with little or no head ache, that might make sense to the majority of the people in the country I for one would get a big kick out of the idea.
Wellness plans should be added to anything being thought of with little or no head-ache and that would be a really worthwhile event. You can say that it would take an enormous effort but I doubt it if congress would keep it simple. So how do we get it over the transit without breaking the bank? How about building and keeping it simple with very little cost? That should be a barn burner of an idea if we keep it simple stupid. Let's do it.
It should be easy to keep it simple if we get some simple people to run the program. I volunteer. Another good question is who in our government can we trust to manage a program when it is passed? Who do we trust? That would be a barn burning question to ask anyone in government. There will be so much to patch that it no doubt would take at least a year with help who know what they are doing. I don't know who that is, do you? Is there such a thing as a Philadelphia attorney? Even then how could we trust any one?
 -----KEN MAHAL A.I.A.


   Our dear water lady Pat Milroy has been speaking out of late all about her grand $3.5 billion that is billion folks. In case you have not been listening this is all about her proposed water hose from 250 miles north and into the greater Las Vegas area. She seems to have a hang up that some of us have been opposed to her boondoggle for many years because of her priorities. It isn't about letting our water source dry up but it is about how much this pipe line would really cost if it were to go ahead. She has been of the opinion that we are against growth and with that a given she wants our heads on a chopping block so she could go ahead and squander the billions on a pipeline from the north. What has been my issue on this water case all along is that the water authority has not been willing to assess the corporate user a high enough user fee up front for the cost of capital investment (like design, contract for, acquisition of water, right of ways etc.) and then a high enough up front charge for using the pipeline and also the purchased water. Since we the residents will pay all of these costs eventually anyway, but I believe that the corporate user should up front all costs when they raise the bonds to acquire land etc plus all other investments that make the project a go to began with. Sure this is costly but it also puts the original costs on the corporate back when they are ready to go ahead with their project. I can just see Harvey Whittemore in his project, Coyote Springs, getting the first subsidy from the SNWA from his pal Pat Milroy. There is more and more that needs to be uncovered before P M is allowed to spend anymore money like in the $3.5 billion for a pipeline of some 250 miles that we do not need. If and when would we need the piped water? I say if some corporation has a few billion to spend we then take a look at it. Secondly if Lake Mead does dry up and it is proven to us that we need land water from the north we look at after we have determined how much water we have stored in Arizona and Clark County. I am not against growth, just against squandering billions in case someone may want to do something but have not put up a multi-billions of dollars bond issue to provide confidence that this someone is real and big time.


   Can anyone tell us if our economy is on the mend or is it just more circling of the wagons to see if it is safe to step outside of the circled wagons? All I can tell myself is that we like millions of others keep seeing the someone in the media trying to convince us that things are looking up and that we should be hi-fiveing it, take a deep breath, roll over and go back to sleep for another six months and then put the finger in the air again to see if things have changed any for the better. There is no question in my mind that the stuff has hit the fan and hit it big time. My biggest concern is with the no experience leadership leading us and promising something like a trillion and one half to turn something around what they choose to call our economy. My 1991 Mazda van is still a good buy even with the Junker buyouts that are on TV every day. There are really some very nice automobiles out there now that one wouldn't mind owning if you were about to part with some of your coins, but I still like my nice white MPV that I bought a new engineer for several years back when the valve heads developed a flaw that was hard to take but has been worth it. When I think about getting rid of the 18 year old MPV I quickly get over it when I think about the 8+% sales tax, the ridiculous license plate tax and last but not least the cost of car insurance. Well I also bought some good tires and all I use it for is to go to doctors and grocery stores so really cannot justify a new car that would cost maybe $35,000 and I think back to when I bought a Mark III and Mark IV and each one cost about $6,500 with little or no extraneous things like sales tax, license plates.