How To Lose An Election

As the year 2019 winds down toward the next year and the 2020 presidential election; Democrats are in an excellent position to win the Presidency as well as retake control of the Senate and strengthen its majority in the House. It seems that as the year winds down, the Trump presidency is unraveling in front of the nation and world. Polls are now showing that the top Democratic candidates for President soundly defeating Donald Trump if the election were held now.

But the election is fourteen months away and a lot can happen in that time. No doubt Donald Trump won’t help his cause with his tweets and comments like saying that he is the “chosen one”. But the Democratic party has shown that they are great at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember 2016?

One sure fire way to lose an election is for the presidential campaign to devolve into what candidate Kamala Harris called a “food fight” among the candidates. Intra party squabbles and fights only help the opposition. I am reminded of a video posted recently on Facebook of two impalas locking horns in a fight when the herd suddenly flees. Those impalas are so involved in their own fight that they fail to see the lion in the bushes until the lion is right on them and one of them becomes the lion’s dinner.

Another sure fire way to lose this election is to go as far out in left field as the Republican party is in right field. This election will be much like the others and won or lost in the heartland, not on the coasts. I am deeply disturbed by the turn toward socialism by some of the leading candidates for President in 2020. Bernie Sanders is the most honest and he calls himself a socialist. But his key policy of a “Medicare for All” that eliminates private health insurance, covers everything including dental and vision and has no deductibles or copayments is a recipe for disaster as well as electoral defeat.

While that might sound great, the cost would be enormous. In those countries that have such a single payer health insurance system, especially the Scandinavian countries, their taxes are more than 50% of their gross income for working people. Americans just will not tolerate such a high rate of taxation.

Then there is the fact that the vast majority of Americans with health insurance receive their coverage through a private health insurance company. Many current Medicare beneficiaries like myself receive their coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan where the benefits are paid through a private health insurance company that is contracted with the government and receives their funding from the government. In addition, many working people receive their health insurance coverage through private health insurance companies through their employer. The vast majority of those insured through those plans are very satisfied with their coverage. A government single payer health insurance plan as proposed by Bernie Sanders and other Democratic presidential candidates would take all that coverage away from those people. No matter what, I believe that most working and insured Americans don’t want to lose health insurance that they like and have half their income going to pay taxes necessary to support such a health insurance system.  

There is a much better way to address the problem with health insurance without socialistic ideas. The Affordable Care Act will be ten years old next spring. For the most part, it has been working very well and has insured many Americans who would be uninsured without the ACA. At the present time, the ACA has become very popular with most Americans.

However, the ACA is far from perfect and there are some very serious flaws with the act as it currently stands. Rather than go off the rails into left field with pie in the sky socialistic ideas that won’t work, why not address some of the problems with the ACA that could much more easily be fixed. Despite several attempts by Republicans over the past decade to either “repeal and replace” the ACA as well as undermine it; the ACA or Obamacare still is working and remains popular.

In next month’s column, I will outline several ways that the ACA can be improved to work for every American without breaking the bank and even could, over time actually reduce our deficit. Stay tuned.

Lee Kamps

Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:14 PM, 09.02.2019