Presidential Election tomorrow

6 Nov

The U.S. is holding their Presidential election tomorrow (Nov.6). Four years ago I wrote about the election as it approached. Both major candidates made a few comments that were, well, ill informed. Barack Obama held forth a promise to make life better for the disability community. He had the clearest disability plan, including fully funding IDEA (special education) and naming an “Autism Czar”. These did not come to pass. Some extra money was set aside for special education as a one time event during the economic stimulus budget, but special education remains underfunded. No one person is in place to oversee autism research and policy, but there is a renewed commitment to keep funding research.

All in all, not where I hoped we would be four years ago.

And, yet, I have even less hope for the future with Mr. Romney.

I hope all is well for Americans who wish to vote. The east coast is still recovering. Whoever you support, make your voice heard.

By Matt Carey

6 Responses to “Presidential Election tomorrow”

  1. Broken Link November 6, 2012 at 02:21 #

    The US election has consequences for all of us in the world, particularly those from the rest of North America. I join you in hoping that is Obama that wins, and I hope that he wins decisively. The last thing the world needs is Romney as pres.

  2. Low Budget Dave November 6, 2012 at 02:43 #

    Well written. I feel much the same. Obama seems to represent promises unfulfilled, while Romney seems to represent promises to people other than me. Maybe not a great choice, but clearly a difference.

  3. Anthony's Dad November 6, 2012 at 04:06 #

    I respectfully disagree. I look at it more as a question of who is more likely to let me keep more of my money so that *I* can make the right decisions and afford the things my incredible 8-year-old autistic son needs. And really, from my standpoint, it’s more of a state and local thing that affects the services available to my son, and it’s much less about what the federal government can (or will) do for me.
    — As always, a long time LBRB reader…Anthony’s Dad

    • futuredave5 November 6, 2012 at 11:11 #

      I understand how you feel, I am just in a different tax bracket. There are no tax cuts in the world big enough to pay for therapy for an autistic three-year-old. The only way to pay for $17,000 in therapy, for me, is to spread the cost out over the thousands of people on my insurance.

      This is slightly unfair to the other employees, because they are paying for services they do not need, but that is the nature of insurance (and taxes, too.) Back when I was single, I paid for their heart attacks or cancer or whatever. I never suggested that insurance was socialist. After all, the deal was that the insurance would be there if I ever needed it.

      My insurance company has only covered autism since the law that forces insurance to cover autism. The law is an unfunded mandate, and is only a few years old. Each and every year, insurance companies spend a few hundred thousand dollars trying to overturn it. They complain that it is socialism. (In all fairness, they say the same about public roads, public schools, public libraries, and even public parks.)

      A couple of our friends voted in favor of tax cuts, not just at the national level, but at the state and local level as well. The cut in their income tax, under the “Bush” tax cuts and the “Obama” tax cuts combined, was about $4000. (They were not aware that their income taxes had declined under Obama.)

      The cut in their property tax was about $45. Putting aside the $4045 in tax cuts, their son’s (insured) medical bills last year were about $35,000. When the local and national laws are overturned, it will cost them roughly 100% of their take-home pay.

      I tried explaining to them that they might be voting against their own best interest, but they became very upset with me. So I let it go.

      Once their son is older, he will be out of therapy and in school. The extensive cuts in services for autistic children will continue, but won’t be as obvious. Instead of eliminating their insurance, the legislature will merely cut back on the funding for their son’s school.

      When he turns 18, he will no longer be on their insurance, and will qualify for Medicaid.

      When they are no longer able to care for him, his future becomes very uncertain. Our state legislature has slashed funding for nursing homes, group homes, and even the mental institutions (prisons) that are the last resort of adult autistics.

      But at least everyone got $4045 in tax cuts.

      Your mileage may vary. You may be looking at hundreds of thousands in tax cuts, which would more than offset the cost of school, therapy, and even a group home.

      I am not so fortunate.

      • Chris November 6, 2012 at 20:15 #

        When he turns 18, he will no longer be on their insurance, and will qualify for Medicaid.

        Actually due to ObamaCare that age was raised to 26. This is why our then 23 year old son’s heart surgery was covered by his father’s employer provided health insurance.

  4. lilady November 6, 2012 at 17:06 #

    Good morning all. I just voted at my local polling place and cast my ballot for President Obama.

    Here are some things that you should consider when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)…which Mitt Romney has vowed to dismantle if he is elected President:

    1) Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime coverage limits on your insurance. Never again will you face the risk of getting really sick and then, a few months in, having your insurer tell you, “Sorry, you’ve ‘run out’ of coverage.” Almost everyone I’ve met knows someone who had insurance but got really, really sick (or had a kid get really sick) and ran into a lifetime cap.

    2) If you don’t know someone who has run into a lifetime cap, you probably know someone who has run into an annual cap. The use of these will be sharply limited. (They’ll be eliminated entirely in 2014.)

    3) Insurers can no longer tell kids with preexisting conditions that they’ll insure them “except for” the preexisting condition. That’s called preexisting condition exclusion, and it’s out the window.

    4) A special, temporary program will help adults with preexisting conditions get coverage. It expires in 2014, when the health insurance exchanges—basically big “pools” of businesses and individuals—come on-line. That’s when all insurers will have to cover everyone, preexisting condition or not.

    5) Insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick, either—this plan means the end of “rescission

    6) You can stay on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26.

    7) Seniors get $250 towards closing the “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug coverage. Currently, prescription drug coverage ends once you’ve spent $2,700 on drugs and it doesn’t kick in again until you’ve spent nearly $6,200. James Ridgeway wrote about the problems with the doughnut hole for Mother Jones in the September/October 2008 issue. Eventually, the health care reform bill will close the donut hole entirely. The AARP has more on immediate health care benefits for seniors. Next year (i.e., in nine months), 50 percent of the doughnut hole will be covered.

    8) Medicare’s preventive benefits now come with a free visit with your primary care doctor every year to plan out your prevention services. And there are no more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare.

    9) This is a big one: Small businesses get big tax credits—up to 50 percent of premium costs—for offering health insurance to their workers.

    10) Insurers with unusually high administrative costs have to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead.

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