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Why Ending the Filibuster is Good for the Average Person

Just before Thanksgiving, Congressional Democrats voted to end the 60 vote majority required to end a filibuster of a Presidential nomination. They had to do this because Senate Republicans were refusing to allow a vote on three very well-qualified nominees for the very influential DC Circuit of the Federal Court of Appeals. Republicans claimed the President was attempting to “pack” the court (a la FDR in the 1930s), but their sense of history was misguided. FDR sought to create new seats on the U.S. Supreme Court to dilute the existing Justices’ voting power. President Obama is only trying to fill existing seats on the court– seats that George Bush filled during his term. If the people later vote in a Republican President, then he or she will get to name conservative judges to the courts, and if the people have also voted in a Republican Senate, then all of these nominees will be easily confirmed unless they have serious skeletons in their closets. If Democrats control the White House and the Senate, as is the case now, they get their picks. That’s Democracy!

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Why You Should Support Prop. 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014

Why You Should Support Prop. 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014 Prop. 46, which arose out of the death of the Packs’ children caused by a drugged driver who had been doctor shopping for prescriptions. The Act addresses three serious medical problems: 1) impaired physicians, 2) over-prescribing due to the lack of computerized tracking of prescriptions and 3) woefully inadequate allowable damages for persons injured or killed due to medical negligence. The Act calls for mandatary drug testing of physicians, just as occurs with pilots and public transit drivers. It also sets up a rigorous system for tracking prescriptions of controlled substances. As to No. 3, the current limit of $250,000 for pain and suffering (even if you’re a quadriplegic) was set in 1975 and adjusted for inflation should be $1.1. million.

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Why You Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage. And Lots of It

Every month, I talk to someone who was injured by a driver who either carried no insurance or not enough insurance. Often, my clients have not adequately protected themselves by carrying at least $100,000 (or more) in Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage. If you get hit and injured by someone with no insurance, you can recover up to $100,000 (or more if choose higher limits) in medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering from your own insurance carrier. If the person who hits you has some insurance, say the state minimum of $15,000, but you break your leg and have surgery, you can claim for all your damages above $15,000 from your own carrier. This is called an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim. There are two other factors that make UM coverage great (and please note– I don’t sell the stuff): 1) It’s cheap! About $50 a year buys $500,000 in coverage. Also, if you make a claim for an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, your rates won’t go up, since you weren’t at fault. 2) You resolve any disputes over the value of the claim with your UM carrier in binding arbitration, meaning you don’t have to go through a jury trial. The arbitration usually takes a day or less to complete.

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