Operation: Draw the Line

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KASEY'S KORNER: A Legislative Update from Kasey Buckner

<img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2290" title="Operation Draw the Line" src="http://fwahu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Operation-Draw-the-Line-300

x234.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”234″ />So much attention has been placed over the last year on the health insurance reform initiative (and rightly so) that we sometimes forget there are bigger threats to our industry than that bill. I believe that the rules from this law (and those who will be writing those rules) can do more harm to us than the law itself. It’s time to focus on the big picture – the passing of the law was only the first stroke of the brush. Over the next few, and up to ten, years, those who are in power at both state and Federal levels will be interpreting, regulating, and (hopefully) rescinding parts of this legislation. It is imperative that we influence WHO will be in those positions of power. And make no mistake, we CAN make an influence, right in our own back yard.

To start this wave of influence, I am calling on all FWAHU members to participate in Operation: Draw The Line. What is “The Line?” Metaphorically speaking it is the line we all need to draw and dare those who would Governmentalize our industry to step over. We have to take such a stand in our hearts.

Physically, the line is much more real. It is the line that separates and outlines the Federal Congressional districts in our state. These are the lines that have been used by many ill-meaning politicians around the country, for the last two centuries, to pad the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. Those lines are drawn by the State Legislators which YOU elect to office in Austin. Those Representatives who win elections this November will be the ones drawing the lines that determine apportionment for House seats for the next ten years.

We need to “Draw the Line” and ensure that well-meaning, non-gerrymandering, servant-minded people make it to Austin this election! Only such people will make sure the lines that are drawn will be fair and accurate, and will reflect the true diversity of each district, and not create districts that are unnaturally biased and easily exploited by politicians of less-than virtuous character. History, AND the present, is replete with such examples. We need to draw the line, so that history does not repeat itself.

How do we begin drawing that line? Involvement. And just a little bit of time. I will spend more time on this in months to come, but in a nutshell we need all FWAHU members to reach out to their state representative, or their opponent, who you think will fit the above-needed characteristics, and get in front of their face ONCE! It’s easy, and exciting, and WILL make a difference.

Again, more to come each month as we lead up to the election. But for now, here is one little bit of homework. If you’ve read this far, take five minutes more and do one project for me. If you don’t know your state representative or district number, find out right now. Go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and find out. Write down their address, phone, email, etc., and put it in your cell phone, Outlook, wherever you need to in order to reference it later. That’s it.

Next month: Getting the Line Started.

Counting the Cost

As most of you know, or should know, NAHU’s House of Delegates voted to increase annual dues at the national level by $75 per member. Your local board has decided to vote “yes” to the increase. And I think it is time we count the cost. I support the increase, though $75 is no pocket change to me. As I look at the big picture I see that we in our industry are in the middle of the most pivotal era in insurance. Many may think that since the reform bill passed that the game is over. It is NOT over. In fact, the real battles are just beginning.

First the bill that has now come into law could have been much worse for us. Without the efforts of NAHU, AHIP, NAIFA and other organizations, it would have been. The fact that within this legislation there is still room made for the agent and broker community is due entirely too professional organizations like ours for shouting to Congress on our behalf.

Passed though it has, this battle is far from over. In fact I believe it has only just begun. The regulations and technical specifications of this bill are still to be determined in many areas. The people in Washington, elected and appointed, will be making those regulations over the coming two to three years. THIS is the time that our voice MUST continue to be heard. We have a great opportunity to continue to influence those who will design the regulations, those who will be in position to rescind parts of the bill, and those who still champion its repeal. And we are. But more help is needed.

A large portion of the dues increase will go directly toward hiring more staff at NAHU to specifically be involved in the abovementioned efforts. It is more than our current staff can adequately handle at this time. The staff additions would include regulation specialists and on-staff legal counsel. Our wings are spread as our influence grows in DC, and to clip those wings due to lack of funds is tantamount to giving up the fight.

All great endeavors have a cost. All the things that we hold dear we keep at a cost. All things worth fighting for are fought at a cost. It is time for each member to count that cost. $75 per year— it is $1.44 per week— less than one half of a Starbucks coffee per week. I encourage each of you to keep the fight alive, and know the cost is being counted on our behalf, and continue with us in the fight. Renew your membership and let us all renew our commitment.

Kasey Buckner
Legislative Chair

Rich Text Area Toolbar Bold (Ctrl + B) Italic (Ctrl + I) Strikethrough (Alt + Shift + D) Unordered list (Alt + Shift + U) Ordered list (Alt + Shift + O) Blockquote (Alt + Shift + Q) Align Left (Alt + Shift + L) Align Center (Alt + Shift + C) Align Right (Alt + Shift + R) Insert/edit link (Alt + Shift + A) Unlink (Alt + Shift + S) Insert More Tag (Alt + Shift + T) Toggle spellchecker (Alt + Shift + N) ▼ Toggle fullscreen mode (Alt + Shift + G) Show/Hide Kitchen Sink (Alt + Shift + Z) Format – Paragraph Paragraph ▼ Underline Align Full (Alt + Shift + J) Select text color ▼ Paste as Plain Text Paste from Word Remove formatting Insert custom character Outdent Indent Undo (Ctrl + Z) Redo (Ctrl + Y) Help (Alt + Shift + H) KASEY'S KORNER: A Legislative Update from Kasey Buckner So much attention has been placed over the last year on the health insurance reform initiative (and rightly so) that we sometimes forget there are bigger threats to our industry than that bill. I believe that the rules from this law (and those who will be writing those rules) can do more harm to us than the law itself. It’s time to focus on the big picture – the passing of the law was only the first stroke of the brush. Over the next few, and up to ten, years, those who are in power at both state and Federal levels will be interpreting, regulating, and (hopefully) rescinding parts of this legislation. It is imperative that we influence WHO will be in those positions of power. And make no mistake, we CAN make an influence, right in our own back yard. To start this wave of influence, I am calling on all FWAHU members to participate in Operation: Draw The Line. What is “The Line?” Metaphorically speaking it is the line we all need to draw and dare those who would Governmentalize our industry to step over. We have to take such a stand in our hearts. Physically, the line is much more real. It is the line that separates and outlines the Federal Congressional districts in our state. These are the lines that have been used by many ill-meaning politicians around the country, for the last two centuries, to pad the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. Those lines are drawn by the State Legislators which YOU elect to office in Austin. Those Representatives who win elections this November will be the ones drawing the lines that determine apportionment for House seats for the next ten years. We need to “Draw the Line” and ensure that well-meaning, non-gerrymandering, servant-minded people make it to Austin this election! Only such people will make sure the lines that are drawn will be fair and accurate, and will reflect the true diversity of each district, and not create districts that are unnaturally biased and easily exploited by politicians of less-than virtuous character. History, AND the present, is replete with such examples. We need to draw the line, so that history does not repeat itself. How do we begin drawing that line? Involvement. And just a little bit of time. I will spend more time on this in months to come, but in a nutshell we need all FWAHU members to reach out to their state representative, or their opponent, who you think will fit the above-needed characteristics, and get in front of their face ONCE! It’s easy, and exciting, and WILL make a difference. Again, more to come each month as we lead up to the election. But for now, here is one little bit of homework. If you’ve read this far, take five minutes more and do one project for me. If you don’t know your state representative or district number, find out right now. Go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and find out. Write down their address, phone, email, etc., and put it in your cell phone, Outlook, wherever you need to in order to reference it later. That’s it. Next month: Getting the Line Started. Counting the Cost As most of you know, or should know, NAHU’s House of Delegates voted to increase annual dues at the national level by $75 per member. Your local board has decided to vote “yes” to the increase. And I think it is time we count the cost. I support the increase, though $75 is no pocket change to me. As I look at the big picture I see that we in our industry are in the middle of the most pivotal era in insurance. Many may think that since the reform bill passed that the game is over. It is NOT over. In fact, the real battles are just beginning. First the bill that has now come into law could have been much worse for us. Without the efforts of NAHU, AHIP, NAIFA and other organizations, it would have been. The fact that within this legislation there is still room made for the agent and broker community is due entirely too professional organizations like ours for shouting to Congress on our behalf. Passed though it has, this battle is far from over. In fact I believe it has only just begun. The regulations and technical specifications of this bill are still to be determined in many areas. The people in Washington, elected and appointed, will be making those regulations over the coming two to three years. THIS is the time that our voice MUST continue to be heard. We have a great opportunity to continue to influence those who will design the regulations, those who will be in position to rescind parts of the bill, and those who still champion its repeal. And we are. But more help is needed. A large portion of the dues increase will go directly toward hiring more staff at NAHU to specifically be involved in the abovementioned efforts. It is more than our current staff can adequately handle at this time. The staff additions would include regulation specialists and on-staff legal counsel. Our wings are spread as our influence grows in DC, and to clip those wings due to lack of funds is tantamount to giving up the fight. All great endeavors have a cost. All the things that we hold dear we keep at a cost. All things worth fighting for are fought at a cost. It is time for each member to count that cost. $75 per year— it is $1.44 per week— less than one half of a Starbucks coffee per week. I encourage each of you to keep the fight alive, and know the cost is being counted on our behalf, and continue with us in the fight. Renew your membership and let us all renew our commitment. Kasey Buckner Legislative Chair Path : p  » strong

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