Seeing the Round Corners

July 31, 2017

   It seems there is nothing going on in Washington except debate on health care, with frustrated Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) scolding his fellow Senators, “We are getting nothing done, we are getting nothing done.” The American public now has a full fledged picture of just how incompetent Congress is when it comes to handling such an issue. Remember, Republicans’ resounding vow during the 2016 Presidential election was to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Fighting the opposing party is far more important to our elected representatives in Washington than the need for health care legislation. 

Today’s column from this writer’s archives appeared in July 2012 and 2010. It seems appropriate to rerun with the recent news out of Washington. Consider the years that have passed since the column previously appeared and ask, has anything changed? It is a sad commentary that the answer to that question is a resounding NO! 

July 12, 2012

Today’s edition begins the eighth year of “Seeing the Round Corners.” The mission/goal of Seeing the Round Corners has always been NOT to tell the reader what to think, but to present information in such a way as to get you the reader thinking on their own, to get involved in their community and not be so blindly trusting of just anything published by their government and the media. Be a little skeptical of all. Occasionally, the writer’s opinion is offered.

Persuasive to the aforementioned “suggestion” is this. Three people were burned to death in the Lower North Fork Fire, an escaped prescribed burn set by the Colorado State Forestry Service – two of those people were an elderly couple who informed firemen ordering evacuations that they had a fire suppression system.  The third person who died in the fire made inquiries about smoke visible from her house, to be told the forest service was conducting a prescribed burn.

In the High Park fire, a single woman did not evacuate believing she was safe in her cabin. 

In the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, some of the residents said they followed all the suggestions made by authorities – did fire mitigation, metal roof, cement siding, but yet their houses burned, lamenting that doing all this gave them a false sense of security. An elderly couple also died in the Waldo Canyon fire, but that investigation is just beginning.

Far too often, those in charge are “in charge” because of who they know, not that they are the person most qualified. Should lives be in the hands of such people? Of course not, the answer is a resounding no, but that old adage comes to mind, “that’s the way it’s always been.” Justification for wars, “there’s always been wars.” Can anyone give a rationalization for the Vietnam War that took more than 3 million lives, including more than 58,000 American lives and maimed how many more? For far too long, it has been unpatriotic to question wars; yet in 2012, here we are in Iraq and Afghanistan with what purpose? Americans should not be sacrificed period – not military or civilians working for companies in war zones.


In this day of lightening fast technology, Americans are somewhere back in the cave days when becoming informed on that which impacts their lives the very most, far too often believing political rhetoric meant to persuade or dissuade.

That newspaper down below recently republished a political cartoon that first appeared in The Miami Herald (drawn by Jim Morin). To a door-to-door pollster, a resident responds: “I’m for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but I’m opposed to Obamacare.”

The Supreme Court ruled last week on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress on March 23, 2010, upholding its constitutionality. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), by its own description, is one of Colorado’s “leading advocacy organizations dedicated to advancing the health, economic security and well-being of low income Coloradans through research, education and litigation.”

CCLP provided this analysis, and some of the positive changes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already provided to Coloradans in the past two years since passage in 2010.

  • More than 40,000 young adults in Colorado under the age of 26 have gained health insurance
  • In 2011 alone, 39,900 Colorado Medicare recipients saved over $22 million on their prescriptions
  • 291,000 children in Colorado with pre-existing conditions can never be denied coverage
  • Many Coloradans are opening the mail this month to find rebates from their insurance companies

   The Health Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Elisabeth Areanales, stated, “We celebrate the ruling because it means that all Coloradans have the security of knowing they can get the care they need when they need it.”

Colorado Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, in true Republican rhetoric, issued this statement, “The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling is a serious blow to individual rights and freedom. The Obama Administration and Congress have just been granted unlimited power to coerce 313 million Americans into purchasing any product Congress chooses. By expanding the power to tax and regulate to every corner of our lives, this ruling truly is a threat to the very foundation of our republic.” According to the Republican news release, Cadman is also said to “represent the voice of the Colorado Senate Republican Caucus in the State Senate.”

Kaiser Permanent provided this summary of impacts:

  • Coverage and its availability – no one can be turned down for coverage and all Americans should be eligible for some form of coverage, whether through their employer, the new statewide Health Insurance Exchanges, Medicare or Medicaid
  • Choice and the information to make good choices – with statewide Health Insurance Exchanges and provisions such as the requirement for plain, easy-to-understand language in a Summary of Benefits and Coverage, Americans will have more information and more options to choose what is best for them
  • Quality – through more quality reporting and benefit standards, insurance companies are led to complete based on the quality of services they provide rather than their ability to avoid risk
  • Performance – through incentive programs and payment method changes, care providers will be rewarded for their performance and efficiency, encouraging more providers to focus on improvement and innovation

   Sadly, the response by the resident to the door-to-door pollster describes the level of just how uninformed far too many Americans are, or perhaps it is just not paying attention. Takes a political cartoon to drive home the point!

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