Monday, November 30, 2009


The battle over the new proposed government insurance program is getting heated up. In fact it does not appear to be about health insurance anymore; but, more about politics. If you support the government run health insurance do you support Obama? If you don’t support it does that make you a republican?

What is known, is it doesn’t appear that anyone in DC knows what they are doing or talking about. First of all insurance companies do not provide health care; they pay for it. The insurance rates to providers, doctor’s, hospitals, specialty etc, are negotiated with those providers. The insurance companies negotiate the lowest fee payment schedules with the providers, then tack on a decent amount for profit and charge you.

The dummies in DC are talking about the quality of health care when they should be talking about the quality of payments for that treatment plus big bonuses for insurance CEO’s; apples and oranges. Because of their apparent lack of understanding on how the system works I have serious questions as to the quality of the final work product.

If the government was serious about reducing the cost of health care delivery, they would revamp the medical malpractice laws. Secondly they would promote tax credits for health care delivery alternatives like free standing clinics for non life threatening medical issues, flu, sore throat, the dreaded ear infections for children, aches, pains etc; $50 payments vs. $800 emergency room visits.

They should not provide health care coverage to illegals. If that happens the US (that’s you and me) will be footing the bill for anyone who makes it to our shores for free health care and we will pay for it, driving up the price; bad idea.

Now looking at it politically, and deciding what poll you look at, the majority of Americans don’t want their health insurance tinkered with. The democrats say, “No we need to fix it, it is a crisis”. Everything with the Obama administration seems to be a crisis. If it is such a crisis why is it that it won’t take effect until after 2012, the next presidential election?

The best way to handle it is to leave it until the midterm elections and let the voters decide by electing candidates that will either fight it or pass it. That way it will be up to the voters to support socialized medicine that will be paid for by new taxes and ripping off Medicare to the tune of $500 million, or the old system that needs fixing.

What we do know is people do not like politicians messing around in their personal decisions such as health care or health insurance.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


There is a very contagious virus going around; but, no one can diagnosis it, it is a stealth/secret virus. It is mostly carried by politicians and it is transmitted by biting them in the butt. The behavior of the politicians is they all want to do things behind closed doors or in secret. The cure is daylight and sun shine.

For example, the board of selectmen, had a closed door session and by consensus voted in a $112,000 pay raise for the town department heads. Out of all fairness they have been working on this for almost 2 years. They implemented it at the worst possible time with no thought of the financial times the taxpayers are going through and lost sight of the financial ball. When it was discussed about putting the issue on the regular agenda for discussions and a public hearing, one selectman said, “There is no legal requirement to do that”. How stupid can you be, this was a hot button issue the requirement is that the voters don’t want issues like this done behind the scenes.

It took one selectman over a month to get it on the agenda; unfortunately the notice for the hearing was on page 3 of the News Letter in the second story of the “Around Town” section. The agenda for the selectman’s meeting was misrouted to the conservation commission then the night of the meeting, for whatever reason, the meeting was not broadcasted. It was recorded and played at later dates, but, not that night.

Matt brought the issue up to put it on the agenda, Bobby and Bill were resistant. Bill brought up that the board all agreed to the pay plan by “consensus”; Matt shot right back, “maybe we made a mistake”. At some point Bobby said there was no legal requirement to vote on this. It was put on the agenda and discussed and is half way to being put to bed.

Congratulations to Matt for bringing it in the open for public discussion and input; also, to Al Bailey for his tenacity on keeping town government open and honest.


If I made a plan to screw up a special interest funded get together I couldn’t do it any better than what happened in Exeter on the gambling promotion where all the local state reps were invited. They were wined and dined and told how wonderful the gambling would be for the state.

This was a Maggie show and the press was not invited. The Exeter News Letter wrote an article about this; Oh the press are now invited we have nothing to hide.

Right now there is a “black Friday sale” on state senators by the gambling interests, if you get to Concord before 11 am they are 3 for a dollar.

The Strafford County state reps that went to one put on for them were not as smart as the Seacoast reps. Strafford reps got half a meatball sub and pasta salad. The seacoast group got brazed lamb in cider sauce, fish and crab stuffed mushrooms. Senator Jackie Cilley sponsored the one for Strafford. I think Jackie grew up in a working class family and counted pennies; Maggie is with the Phillips Exeter Academy, more upscale. I read somewhere that the cost for the shin dig in Strafford cost about $7 per person while the one is Exeter cost $20; money is a wonderful thing and can buy anything and almost anybody.

Welcome to the world of special interest politics.

Is the state party AWOL on this issue? I think people need to know where the republicans are on this.

Monday, November 2, 2009


We are rapidly approaching the holiday season where families gather for thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Years. As we get ready for this holiday season we have thousands of young men and women around the world helping countries to walk towards the light of freedom.

As they sweat in the deserts of the Middle East and freeze in the cold mountain winters of Afghanistan each and everyone one of them is thinking of us, their loved ones and families.

In the quiet before battle they are wondering, as we ready for the holidays, if we appreciate what they are doing and are we thinking of them, do we miss them, is our love for them still pure and faithful, thinking of wives and girlfriends; maybe as they are reloading M-16 magazines, counting and issuing grenades, stacking boxes of machine gun ammunition or re-sand bagging their defensive positions.

What we are doing seems so inconsequential and miniscule compared to what they are going through. To us the traffic at the mall during the holidays is a pain, winterizing our homes for winter and budgeting for our heating bills, is a drain but that is our world.

What about the special ops recon troops that are preparing to go into enemy held territory? As they organize their equipment and try to figure how much equipment they will need for the expected time of the mission.

Then when they complete the mission, get de-briefed, take a hot shower, wash the camouflage off and think about the people they killed and maybe a friend they lost. They don’t want to talk to anyone; they just want to reconcile their feelings. They’ll think of home and feel very lonely because in combat, your world is violence, killing, deprivation and death. They need an anchor in reality to keep from slipping away from the world they came from; because this is the world they are now living in.

How do we know what they are going through? Many of the kids in the military are sons, daughters or grand children of combat veterans who made this trip many years ago. Even if they are not related to us by blood, they are related by experience; experience that bonds us by the pain, suffering and loneliness that we combat veterans have lived through.

As the holidays approach, even during these financially tough times, buy a gift; maybe a few food items, a bag of candy left over from Halloween (I’ll guarantee they’ll share it with their friends or children in their area), or a simple letter of appreciation and gratitude. It will make the separation from those they love a little less lonely. There will be drop off points in the area to leave items for “the kids” who are making these sacrifices.

Lee Quandt is a former State Representative from Exeter and Army veteran that served 37 months on combat tours between1965-1971