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Gail K. Lightfoot - Candidate for U.S. Senate

Questions for the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate from California:
    As a candidate commenting on salient issues of the day, you'll be a source for positions on a possible website.

 Medicare fraud

"Medicare overpayments — they can be anything from a billing error to a flagrant scam — totaled more than $36 billion in 2009, according to the Obama administration."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_medicare_sleuths;_ylt=AiJpTj0vJR8UIAFWA.0aBihzfNdF

* How would you solve this issue as a Senator?
 

    The problem with health care is third party payment. Fraud and overuse exist in the [so-called] private sector as well as Medi/Medi. The solution is to return to a pay your own way and if insurance is involved, be reimbursed after the fact. Germany and France do this with great success in restraining costs. gkl

* What new enforcement procedures would you put in place? 
    Once the patient and family have to pay up front, they will be the watchdogs and fraud will drop to enforceable levels. Without a payment and a signed form from the patient or family, no one could submit a fake bill to Medi/Medi. Returning to a safety net run at the local level would reduce the magnitude of shear numbers that have become impossible to track. The advent of Medi/Medi destroyed the county and city safety nets. They need to be restored along with the local funding. Sending our taxes to Washington and Sacramento to be handed back simply means less is available for localities. gkl

* How would you prioritize this issue with other issues in your agenda, like the Drug War? 
     Ending the drug war will significantly decrease gov't expense at all levels even tho' a lot of the local and state funding comes from the Feds. So ending the drug war will only allow those gov't programs that really cannot do done by the private sector more funds to support them as they ought to be supported.  gkl

The LP Platform says 'eliminate Medicare', but most seniors
cannot conceive of a world without it.  How would you use the fraud angle
to open the door to other alternatives?  
    Medicare need not be ended for those totally dependent on it for their health care needs but other options could be set up and patients given a choice. It may not sound right at first but those who earned more during their working years who have other health insurance might have to give up Medicare. In other words, make it a program for the truly poor until the city and county system are fully restored to provide a safety net for the indigent. Saying I paid in and I should get back is not the answer. Is this a safety net or is it a benefit given equally to all regardless of income during their working years. No, it is not, high earners get a higher return from social security so why should they also get the benefit that acts as a safety net for the poor. Life is not fair, by the way. gkl
 
Nuclear disarmament:     65 years since the bombing of Hiroshima.

http://www.madhedgefundtrader.com/august-9-2010.html

Today Hiroshima is a major focus of international pacifist and disarmament
groups. The effort is being led in the US by former secretary of state,
George Schultz, who has played a key role in cutting American nuclear
stockpiles by 75% to 5,113 today. Some 20% of America’s nuclear power is
currently generated by plutonium from recycled warheads from the former
Soviet Union.

You can learn more about his efforts by visiting the Plowshares Fund at
http://www.ploughshares.org/

1.  What role should the US play in nuclear disarmament around the world?
What treaties would be acceptable to you as a US Senator?
    The U.S. should participate in discussions on disarmament along with all other countries. I would accept a treaty that all countries sign. A single country can undo all the good done by the others. gkl 

2.  Do you believe in nuclear power?  Should California add nuclear power
plants?  Are you familiar with the latest nuclear technologies? 
    Nuclear power is just like any other power source. There are pros and cons. The waste can be reduced to a fraction of what the U.S. permits so storage is not a problem. Recycling is as important here as it is anywhere else and is possible but not permitted by current regulations. Strict liability would encourage companies to operate safely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZR0UKxNPh8

http://seekerblog.com/archives/20100528/energy-from-thorium-a-nuclear-waste-burning-liquid-salt-thorium-reactor/
 
Elena Kagan was recently sworn in as the 112 Supreme Court Justice and the
4th women justice overall.

1.  As a Senator, would you have voted for her confirmation (YES/NO?)
    Probably not.  gkl

Please elaborate upon your reasons for your decision.
    We do not know enough about her beliefs and cannot be sure she would look at the Constitution as the Framers intended.  gkl

2.  If you would have NOT voted for her confirmation, who would you have
preferred/suggested to the President and why?
    James P. Gray. David Bergland. Ed Clark. Ray Hendrickson. ME.  : ) You do not need to study law to read and understand the Constitution. Since the Supreme Court made interpreting the Constitution their job, I and any other person can do that job just as well as any attorney. gkl 

3.  Please list three questions you would ask of a candidate for the
SCOTUS bench if you were assigned to the Judiciary Committee responsible
for recommending to the full Senate her confirmation--
 
    1.    What is the overall original intent of the U.S. Constitution?  Under the U.S. Constitution what is the proper role of gov't? A: gkl: To restrain gov't. In broad terms: To keep the peace.
    2.    Who has the right to Keep and Bear Arms? Can that right be regulated? Can any 'right' be regulated? A: gkl: Me and You. No! and No!
    3.    What is the purpose of the commerce clause? What does the phrase 'general welfare' in the opening statement of Section 8 of Article 1 refer to? A: gkl: The purpose of the commerce clause is to ensure free and untaxed trade between the states.  It cannot be used to set up federal regulations on individuals, business or  industry. The phrase 'general welfare' refers to the welfare of the union and its members, not the people collectively or individually. It cannot be used to provide services to the people. gkl

 Lightfoot's reply regarding the:

     This [1] is voluntary servitude backed up by involuntary servitude and [2] redistribution of wealth.

     I am opposed to both in principle.

     Robbing the rich to provide for the poor. Or 'from each according to his means and to each according to his needs." Who decides who has more than they need - defines the means - and who decides on our needs. What about the 'rich' man with a seriously ill child? Is his child less important than the child of a poor man? Does having the means deny that person the ability to provide for their own needs in order to provide for others? Do we punish the successful in order to provide for others against their will?

    Charity not only begins at home, it is only effective when it is voluntary. We should not fear a lack of charity. We should work towards the success of reliable charitable organizations.

    We work together best on a voluntary cooperative basis.

    The proper role of government is to protect the lives and liberty of the people, not provide for their needs [and wants].

    Both of these ideas are beyond the scope of government in a free society.

    They may be good ideas but they are not something our government should be doing.

    Government is the use of force. Such force is needed to stop the use of force [fraud is force].

    Governments exist so each individual does not have to be prepared to fight off the use of force, determine who is wrong and punish or isolate wrong doers.

    Government provides laws and law enforcement to do that for us so we can get on with our lives without interference from either other individuals or the government itself.