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Archive for category Helping lead the Country

Willing to Thrive in 2025!

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It isn’t enough to just get by in America. This is where a family can grow and thrive, and benefit from the kindness that America brings to the dinner table.

With VELOCITY of money, the economy thrives because money keeps moving through the local economy. You can’t “not spend” your way out of a recession. We all must support the local business in town, if you want it to be there for you.
America is where the focus is on the family, values, and integrity to keep the system running. Our local government needs to have integrity and character to help the local needs. There shouldn’t be a “homeless problem” when every Mayor and every Governor takes an interest in the people in their city or state.
If you want America to be great again, then reduce the red tape and regulations that make it too expensive to be in business, and too complicated for the small business owner to be successful. Congress shouldn’t just be about full employment for accountants and attorneys.
When they write so many laws that even honest men can’t follow them, it’s a problem. Let’s focus on how we CAN get things done. Not all the ways we CAN’T get it done.
Americans are kind people. We are generous people. Our freedoms in America have helped make us the good people we are in the world. Women are key in running the show, and we focus on children and the family. We can spread that good will around the world as we share democracy and kindness.

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We the People need to speak up.

value-wheel-2009-500When did Congress stop looking out for “We the People?” When did they remove themselves from social security and build out their own retirement system? We still need 50 United States that come together with their different flavors and characters to make up the fabric of the United States of America. What made America great was the fact that anyone could rise up and do better. Work ethic was as important, and maybe even more than just your blood line.

Society is made up of many people and many groups, and our strength is in the variety. It’s only when we try to legislate “integrity” that we forget that values come from within. Character is taught by the family, and a lack of character is a problem.

No man really knows what he believes in until he begins to instruct and raise up his children. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything! The beauty of being a “parent” is taking the opportunity to be vulnerable and love someone more than yourself. You get to learn life all over again as you raise up your children and help them learn. That’s the real gift in life. Being a family.

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Obama Scare in one sentence…

I can’t be proud of a Congress that doesn’t read any law before they pass it.  The Senate and the House have a job to do for the American people.  They let us down in 2010 when they kicked the can further down the road on the Bush Tax Cuts.  The 12/31/2012 time frame looms in front of us, and again, Congress cannot get anything done.  I’m watching families fail on a daily basis, while congress waits until November.  The American People are not stupid.  Stop treating us like we are.

With all the technology we have now, why was the 2010 census less valuable for important data, than what I can get from an 1880’s census?  Because these days it’s all about voting, and districting, and redistricting.  Enough already.  We cannot afford the politics when good business practices abound.  We are a lot of smart people that follow on the footsteps of good people.  We can do this.

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Ode to Wisconsin!

My DNA was in Wisconsin during the late 1880’s when my great grandparents left Europe and made their way to America. My own grandmother was born in Wassau in 1893 and grew up speaking German before English.

I think back to all the opinions my grandparents had, and even how narrow their minds appear now. My grandfather was never interested in being politically correct, and he felt confident we should all know what he thought. His lifetime had taught him many lessons, and as an old man he knew some things!

He knew that freedom meant others could not tell him what to think, what to do or how to do it. Independence meant he was in control. Stubborn? I think so.

As I watch Wisconsin from a distance, it is clear to me that those stubborn people still live there, and they aren’t interested in others telling them what to do or how to do it! Even if the smart business people who pay attention to the numbers and the books tell them the old ways just won’t work.

Unions played an important role in establishing fairness for the working man. Somewhere along the lines under funded pensions and over stated expectations created a perfect storm that blew into a big blow up!

Thomas Jefferson said that “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” I hope that people don’t just shout and be mad, but that real progress comes from understanding the problems and working together to find solutions that can work.

 

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Leadership of America

It’s so basic, we forget how simple it is.
The Governor is in charge of the State, and each state in the Union has a little different flavor and character. The Cities, towns and communities have their own leadership and we all work together to keep local economies moving and a healthy chamber of commerce.
It is all built around clean water and sanitation with a power grid to sustain life and industry.
Transportation is key, and how the people get around is open for discussion.
In 1850 the world moved at 3-5 miles an hour.
Technology has been put to good use in this category, and there is more to be done.

In 2007 life was moving along in a game of musical chairs. One day the music stopped with the mortgage crisis of 2008, and 2 out of 10 didn’t have a seat any longer. With the loan crisis, stopped the escrows, and the handymen and termite guys, and all construction slowed to a crawl as people took a deep breath in to see if they still had income. Debt defined life. You were a victim of your debt and the truth was in the mirror looking back at you. 4 out of 10 didn’t have a seat in the game.

It is not comfortable to fail. And once you’re all the way down, it is difficult to get back up. The systems in place in society should help people get back on their feet. It should help families remain together and regroup after adversity. It is the kindness of the American people that stands out in the world.

Let’s streamline the government in our own communities. Help your city use the assets it has to better serve the people. Our educational system and schools are a huge asset of the States and cities. How can they be used more effectively. How can we get private sector to help teach and use the buildings to a higher and better use standard? Sometimes it makes sense to own the real estate free and clear so you have an asset that creates the cash flow needed to sustain it’s own budget. That’s what an endowment is. A goose that lays golden eggs. How can this concept help shore up your community? We have a lot of smart people in America and we need to let them work. The creative spirit of the artist and entrepreneur is often in direct conflict with a Union job that wants to focus on a pay check and retirement mandates. If the real estate can be owned in the pension plans, then there is cash flow there old age.

Stocks should pay dividends and capital gains to those that help build the company. Those of us that spend money to own the products they sell should also own their stocks in our retirement accounts. That’s why the 401k idea was so well received. It makes sense to us to own the assets we support with our spending habits.

We have let the game look so complicated that even smart people think they can’t understand it. That is not good. Keeping it simple really is the key. Too much complexity and then no one understands it. We need to keep integrity within the system. People should be accountable for their character and values. We do have a code of behavior in society, and when it is broken we have penalties and jail.

No one wants to be fired, not even Congress. It’s hard for them to realize that Government really did get too big and that they are part of the problem. States and local agencies need to rethink their game plans, and take inventory of what they are doing right and what they need. Let’s start with the Mayor, and see how the people are doing. That is where “We the People” live.

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The Royal Wedding

I remember in 1981, when I got up very early while it was still dark.  I wanted to see Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles.  It was a wonderful courtship and the wedding did not disappoint us.  I was a young bride myself at the time.  We watched them have children together, heirs to the throne.  It was a beautiful thing.  The Queen could see life, and her mother was still alive too.  It is fun to see your bloodline thrive. 

The Monarchy has a place in history and it helped early man survive and evolve.  The Monarchy still has a place in this world in the hearts of its’ people.  Diana became the Peoples Princess as an honor we bestowed upon her from our hearts.  Her death brought it out in all of us, and we truly mourned together as a world.  She was always my friend, and truly my hero too.  Her heart was as beautiful as her eyes.  Her eyes, and that shy Di look she had with her sweet smile.  No wonder Elton John loved her so, that his heart cold pour out his song at a time my heart was crying.  And her poor sons.  Those boys we loved so much.  Mummy.

As it turns out Charles stepped up and did the best he could.  The boys have thrived and done well.  With William about to marry, and Harry as his bestman, my heart sings with Diana, as her ring adorns Kate in a terrific day!  I’ll get up early again, and I celebrate all around the world with a much needed hug from our hearts. 

America was part of that group before we broke away.  George Washington was brilliant when he did NOT become a King, but a President instead.  We took all that good old English and European knowledge, and created something we called the United States of America.  It was different.  And we the people, with good hearts continue to have hope for a brighter future.  Mothers are kinder than Fathers, and our connection to Mother Earth and the globe is real.  We do know that now, “Go World!” is a true statement.  We are all part of Mankind.  I hope we can find that kindness again.  It’s so easy to just be mad, and stay mad.  Leadership with vision is the key.  At least with the Monarchy we have hind sight, and we can see many bloodlines.  Seeing the past with a new perspective can help you make better choices for the future.

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Are you ready to travel?

We just got our new US Passport in the mail, and it is beautiful.  I’ve had a passport since I was 13, and it made me feel like a global citizen.  When I traveled in Europe the blue USA Passport was like traveling on the “gold card.”  You were treated well, and they knew we were a secure nation of good people.  Europe wanted our travelers there!  Many of us had DNA roots in Europe.  Back in that day we checked “white” on the paperwork and forms.  Today I’m a EuroAmerican! 

The new Passport ID Cards are very good too.  This is the card that should be used for voting.  It’s valid ID and the technology is state of the art. 

It’s time for Americans to see America again.  Visit a National Park.  Learn history first hand at Williamsburg.  That is an experience everyone should get to do at least once in their lifetime!  It is a terrific opportunity to step back in time.

Make a family memory and take a road trip!  You’ll never regret it.  Maybe you’ll find someplace else you want to try living for a spell.  America has a lot to offer.

Visit the web site for the Western Travel Initiative.  It is well done.

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Why we didn’t need Obamacare.

In 1996 we had Kennedy-Kassebaum which was intended to fix the health care problem. It gave self employed the Medical Savings Account, a forerunner to the newer Health Savings Account. “They” were paranoid too many self employed would take advantage of this new tool, so they capped the number at 700,000 eligible participants in the country.

We never got near that much participation initially and they have tinkered with it ever since.

There are so many rules and regulations that continue to bog down “the system” and make it so honest men can’t comply.

Kennedy-Kassebaum Law Means Greater Fraud Scrutiny

BY NEIL CAESAR, J.D.

On Aug. 21, President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 into law. HIPA is extremely significant for physicians and managed care organizations. I’m not referring to the portions of HIPA that gained the most press coverage–namely, the creation of an entitlement to (and mechanisms for) more affordable and portable health insurance. Rather, HIPA creates perhaps the most substantial and dramatic change to health care fraud-and-abuse laws since this category of legislation was created.

As we begin to explore these sweeping changes and their implications, I predict that we will draw three conclusions. First, HIPA makes the government more intrusive than ever in its commitment to seeking out health care fraud, and also makes the government more eager than ever to probe potentially unethical or illegal actions. Even when no fraud is found, the costs and burden from government and payer inquiries and investigations will be substantial for physicians, other providers and managed care organizations subjected to scrutiny. HIPA also creates an incentive for the government to seek financial settlement from many of the providers and managed care organizations that it investigates, even in circumstances where it previously would have walked away from the investigation because it was not likely to be worth the cost and effort of continued probing and/or prosecution.

Second, HIPA demonstrates that the federal government has become more responsive to the growth of creative and alternative systems and structures for delivery of health care services. Among these are alliances, management services organizations and integrated delivery systems. Some of this recognition, you will note, takes the form of new rules and means to fight fraud by these new systems and entities. Other rules reflect the converse: The government realizes that approaches that differ from “tried and true” methods do not necessarily indicate improper intent or encourage fraudulent activity.

The third conclusion reflects the first two: Every health care provider and managed care organization must put into place an appropriate health care fraud and abuse compliance program. At a minimum, every physician or physician group and managed care organization must undergo prompt and regular legal and financial analysis of its health care compliance activities, must correct deficiencies identified in that analysis and must implement a program to reduce the likelihood of these sorts of problems occurring. Period.

The question no longer is whether you can afford a health care fraud and abuse compliance program. Rather, it is whether you can afford not to have one.

Anyone may blow the whistle

Let’s start with one example. Section 203 of HIPA requires the secretary of health and human services to implement a program that will encourage people to report information about health care fraud. The program is quite broad. It encourages reports of improper activity in the past, even when it has stopped. It encourages people to report improper activity involving kickbacks, false claims, mail fraud, false billings or almost any other activity that relates to penalties under the Office of Inspector General’s areas of authority.

Longtime readers of this column know that one of my recurring themes is that our behavior is influenced by rewards, whether financial, egotistic, spiritual or other. HIPA also recognizes this observation about human behavior. It authorizes payment of a reward to anyone who reports information that leads to the collection of at least $100 under any of its law enforcement provisions except for the anti-kickback law. My understanding is that this reward program will be modeled on the Internal Revenue Service rewards for tax fraud tip-offs. IRS pays up to 10 percent of the amount recovered. When fine and penalty are added to overpayment, this can easily be very lucrative.

The new HHS program is dis- tinct from provisions of the federal false claims act that permit health care “insiders” who are aware of fraud in their organizations to undertake a lawsuit against the allegedly fraudulent providers on behalf of the government and collect part of the proceeds. The new HIPA incentive program, in contrast, permits any individual to obtain a reward. A beneficiary is eligible, a competitor is eligible and a health care adviser is eligible. (Note that the attorney-client privilege requires lawyers to maintain confidentiality about wrongdoing by their clients. But this does not apply to other health care business advisers!) Basically, if you are aware of the possibility of past or present fraud, you may receive a reward regardless of who you are.

Also, note that the law pays a reward simply for reporting information that leads to the collection of funds. The person does not have to sue the fraudulent provider. A physician would not, for example, need to risk becoming an outcast in the medical community, viewed as disloyal or greedy. Indeed, the reporter often will have no involvement beyond the initial conversation(s) with the government. And since the primary mechanism for this reporting will probably be some sort of hot line, the person may not even have to meet directly with government agents.

Are you your brother’s keeper? You betcha! And a darned lucrative job it can be, too!

Required: attention to detail

I don’t mean to be flippant. This system can go a long way to encourage people to report fraud that would otherwise never be reported. But I have had many clients suffer the burdens of government scrutiny without having engaged in fraudulent activity. This is especially true now that the government asserts that repeated billing errors may constitute a pattern of fraud. Thus, inattention to detail can easily subject a provider to a fraud investigation. HIPA will increase that danger.

Incidentally, note that Section 203 also requires physicians and other providers to give beneficiaries an “explanation of Medicare benefits” form for every item or service, even if there is no deductible or coinsurance payment required of the beneficiary. At present, EOMBs are issued only where the beneficiary will pay for part of the service.

This means that Medicare beneficiaries will know all charges claimed by health care providers. In theory, this will alert them to potential fraud. In practice, it will probably lead to a lot of complaints about $40 bedpans and $10 Ace bandages.

Are you getting a bit nervous? In another column, we will explore additional ways HIPA will affect you.

Neil B. Caesar is president of The Health Law Center (Neil B. Caesar Law Associates, PA), a national health law/consulting practice in Greenville, S.C.

 

 

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A Proud American

If you could stick together, as 87 Proud Patriotic Americans, committed to old fashion values, and not sell out for cash and power, would you?

We have that group right now in our new freshman congressmen.

We must return to the vision that Benjamin Franklin showed us when he gave away money to a university, to hold and manage for 100 years before they used it. He was brilliant, to show us compounding interest grows geometrically. But so does debt, and we all know that lesson now.

We all need to brush up on our history lessons. My son’s 8th grade school paper is a perfect start. The world actually runs at about a 10th grade level these days. Are you smarter than a 10th grader? America has invested in its EDUCATIONAL system.

JFK was brilliant to launch the space program because it fine tuned our focus and helped us apply ourselves as a group. The most incredible technology has come out of NASA and the space programs, and it has enriched our lives in SO many levels you would be amazed.

Let’s help the Gang of 87 do their job with public support for serious REFORM. Start with the mayor in the local town, and help the Chamber of Commerce create viable businesses without over regulation and complication. Let us be creative at the local level, and the state level using what we know about the welfare state se feel. The money is in the budget already, just being spent in inefficient ways.

As a planner, you see the future and work to create it. How can we come off the “oil” based forms of transportation we use? Can we use other means to create a efficient community and people mover? Can we use something as simple as a roller coaster to move people around? The UNIVERSITY system is an asset America has built. We need to grow around our educational system into vibrant local economies. We can make things here in America, and use them locally.

Retirement villages are needed for the time span of age 65 to 100. We know our people will live long, and they can be a part of society long past their prime. Let us. Build those communities around your existing infrastructure. Create and revitalize your downtown area and clean up the place.

Nurture the arts, and the artists. Creative people bring value to society and they always have. A vibrant community always includes the churches, the charities and the arts. Get back to basics.

We need the food banks and the soup kitchens but we also need the Camps to help rehabilitate people back into usefulness. When you fail financially and emotionally you may require help to get back on your feet.

The famous “Hoover Towns” of the 1930’s were evident when the money supply was too constrictive, and it didn’t flow in a free banking market. You must remove some of the regulatory challenges that were brought upon the Insurance and Banking industry, so that they work to help the people grow once again.

The solutions that the Gang of 87 can present to Congress should be the will of “We the People.”

If we hold Congress out to the FIDUCIARY standards they would see that they are working with Our Money, not their money.

We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union.
Not, We the Government are going to form more perfect people.

Let’s help the Gang of 87 stand firm, even if they don’t get reelected.

Let the old ways go buy up cheap real estate somewhere and retire.

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.

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Grandma always had a garden and an apron

My hero as a child was my Grandmother in her 70’s. She led by example. Her garden was refreshing and a constant thrill to retrieve things we would eat, and her kitchen just worked. The salt in the salt dish, the can of bacon grease, her sour dough pancakes were my favorites. You had to start it the night before!

She loved Jesus, his teachings and his music. Her example as a mother and grandmother showed her offspring how life should be lived. She had a good life and a long life. She was loved.

Now, 30 years after her death, she lives in me still. That is how you carry on the family tradition, values and integrity. Thank goodness she had a business sense too, and she learned about real estate, stocks, bonds and how to carry back paper. She and grandpa were smart business people and they raised a family during the great depression. Grandma was full of stories!

When women all had to pull together, to get the vote, to make a difference, to advocate for ourselves and our children, we thrived.

We must come together once again for a 2020 Initiative to nurture our communities, our cities, our state with kindness, because we need to help save the failing without a government bailout.

Housing is at the base of someone’s life. Where do they live and with what stuff. In the end, stuff matters. But life is not all about stuff. 

Kindness in people is the goal.  Man is not really very kind.  He is downright mean to each other.  Jesus came to set man straight.

Women understand kindness because we birth the babies.  It’s an act of mother nature that is beyond man.  It’s a universal principal!  It’s truly a miracle!  As mothers we advocate and nurture.  As half the population we need to step up and nurture the world.  The women who know how to lead are around me, and together we can all have the thought that brings us out of this mess!

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