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Save the USA
Sign the petition to get "Vini" on the Ballot
U.S. Congress House of Rep. (District 7)

Why would one want to run for Congress?

 

You are probably here because you received a flier I left at your door. I have walked to about 3,500 homes in district 7. Why? because I love this country and I see it in significant decline (keep reading). Regardless of the party (Democrat or Republican) Congressmen (including Lizzie Fletcher) are not doing much to solve the significant problems we face.  

Massive problems this country faces:

1) Here is a number for you: $100,000,000,000,000 (total projected deficits + debt )

Your share of it is $100,000,000,000,000 / 166,000,000 (tax payers) = $602,409

And, if we sold every home in the U.S. ($47 trillion) and every company in the U.S. ($25 trillion), it would not be enough to cover these government obligations. 

Take a minute to catch your breath. 

AND:

 2) Annual deficits of $1 to $2 trillion;

3) Printing money (in part) to cover deficits (this is in part what has caused 33% higher prices over the past few years);

4) Health care costs unaffordable to most in the middle class (#1 cause of bankruptcy in middle class);

 5)Middle class real wages stagnant for 40 years (middle class makes-up 50% of this country);

 6) No border, ... (keep reading). 

We can do better, our children, deserve better. We are leaving them a mess. It will take 15 or more years to turn this around - we should start ASAP.

About Me

My name is C. Vince Couch. I have lived in Bellaire since 1998, I am married, have a 16 year old daughter and have been a high school physics teacher since 2013 at a local high school in Bellaire, Texas (St. Thomas Episcopal).  Prior to being a physics teacher I held positions in applied mathematics in industry (quantitative finance, logistics, and other). I have degrees in math (M.S.), physics (B.S.), business (BBA) and finance (CFA).  What is the most important thing about me you should know is a love for my country and how it was founded and how many have given up their lives for our freedom. I have spent quite a bit of time and money helping my country including the creation of 2 website to assist Americans in making an informed vote. My website www.myvoterscore.com is still available, again helping Americans get more informed before they vote. With the exception of a little help from family and a couple of students who have offered to collect signatures after May 28, I am the only person working on trying to get me elected to Congress.

Please help me get on the ballot - click on  I NEED YOUR HELP (above). You will be happy you did.

The Plan

I as a single Congressman have little chance of making the significant changes in government that are needed.  So, here is the plan. I prove that an independent can win this year (2024). I then help other independents (people like you and me: teachers, doctors, businessmen, chefs, waiters...NOT career politicians)  across the U.S. to raise money to run in 2026. It is possible that with sufficient funding independents can obtain a majority in Congress in 2026 AND we have not accepted a single $ of special interest money - we truly work for the American people AND we all agree to come home to our previous jobs after 2 terms (self-imposed term limits - current Congress has never been able to pass a term limit law for Congress).  Even better, we go to Washington with solutions to the debt crisis, inflation (which will get much worse due to the debt crisis), no border, health care costs, a social security system that will have huge shortages in 8 years (due to Congress spending the SS monies), real wages that have been stagnant for 40 years,  ...  

To get on the November 2024 ballot, I need to obtain 500 signatures from voters in district 7, which I sent to the election officials in Austin, Texas.  Please support my effort by going to the tab "I Need Your Help" and providing me your email address, phone number and name. I will contact you after May 28 to tell you where you can go (probably the local Starbucks, Bellaire Rec. Center or Evergreen park) to sign. Don't do this for me, do it for your children - we are leaving them with an awful situation.

More about why I am doing this...

After completing a report card (see menu for details) of the U.S. Government (I gave the U.S. Government an overall score of D), I came to the conclusion that this country is in bad shape, and most of my fellow Americans do not have an idea as to how bad it is. I feel that since I have the ability to do something, I have the obligation. Why is the country in such bad shape? I think because many (not all) of our elected officials (Democrat and Republican Congressmen) have put special interest groups priorities ahead of the American people.  It takes a lot of money to run an election and there is in excess of $7 billion (2020) to Congressmen per election cycle from special interest groups. I think also because the massive problems we have are very hard to solve and the solving of them has negative political ramifications. 

What some former Congresmen say:

In addition to the not good status of this country (see my Report Card herein) additional proof of what goes on in Washington is provided below by certain Congressmen. There are great people who go to Washington to try and make positive changes.

Quote by former Senator Jim Demint (DeMint served in the Senate until January 2, 2013, when he stepped down to become president of The Heritage Foundation). Jim Demint "I found the D.C. Swamp is programmed to destroy anyone who tries to disturb the status quo. There really are big special interest that guard their nests like vultures. The big union bosses for government workers will spend millions to defeat anyone who dares to cut government spending or eliminate a wasteful government program. Big corporations will fight tooth and nail to protect their tax loopholes, credits and targeted tariff waivers. All the big hospitals, banks, corporations and media moguls actually push for more complex regulations because it gives them an advantage over their smaller competitors. Washington D.C. is swamp of murky water filled with terrapins, alligators, and venomous snakes, only we call them lobbyists congressmen and bureaucrats. The American people deserve better. " (from "Drain the Swamp" book, Ken  Buck).

Quote by current Congressman Ken Buck (elected 2014, U.S. House of Representatives)

Ken went to congress for the right reason and below is some of what he found:

"It's bad enough that the budget plan was designed to deceive the American people. Even worse was that House leadership handed us talking points to explain to our constituents how all these lies, damn lies and false statistics balanced the budget, as if they did. There was plenty of bipartisan agreement that Washington should increase the size of the federal government and spend money it doesn't have. Members of Congress are, for the most part, fat and happy alligators who feel pretty darned comfortable in the swamp in Washington." (from "Drain the Swamp"). For an interesting video, click on the link below:

Issue Monday: Congressman Ken Buck Tells Another Story From the "Swamp" (youtube.com)

What I Believe

Financial responsibility

Three out of every four voters agree that the national debt should be a top three priority for lawmakers.

America's present value payments are more than its projected receipts by a whopping $73 trillion, that's

$73,000,000,000,000 - this was published by the U.S. Government. Here is the link:

Financial Report of the United States Government - Financial Statements of the United States Government for the Fiscal Years Ended September 30, 2023, and 2022 (treasury.gov)

Add to this $73 trillion, the current U.S. government debt of $33 trillion and you get about $100 trillion.  Mandatory spending is a breathtaking 83% of tax revenues and the deficit was about 30% of revenues (imagine yourself having 100,000 of income and 130,000 of expenses - the government has been running these types of deficits for many years and the forecast is that it will go on and on into the future (see my Report Card herein). There has been talk about reducing the deficit, but it never happens (example, Simpson Bowles attempts in 2010) - and the Fiscal Reform Act of 2023 was a joke (still adds $18.5 trillion over 10 years). 

 

If something isn’t done soon (3-10 years), economic instability likely will result. The dollar losing its status as the world reserve currency is a real possibility if careless fiscal management continues. If continued printing of money ($3 trillion in past few years) and huge deficits continue, hyperinflation will be likely. This will result in massive losses in value of pensions, homes and jobs lost. Most experts agree: Black Swan author Nassim Taleb, who correctly called the 2008 financial crisis, says the U.S. is in a ‘death spiral’ over government debt. Ray Dalio, one of the leading luminaries, has determined that the U.S. is on a decline cycle (see charts below, and the attached YouTube video (this is important) - he attributes this to massive debt, more spending than revenues, increasing gap between the rich and poor and more. See this critcally importnat video (49 million people have viewed it).

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio (youtube.com)

 

Secure Border

6.2 million illegal immigrants crossed the border in the past 3 years, adding tens of billions of  dollars to cost of social services, when the country already runs trillion $ deficits. I love immigrants and we need to increase the number of legal immigrants.

Access to Affordable Healthcare

The U.S. healthcare system is currently the most expensive in the world (by almost a factor of 2 - relative to European countries (OECD)) but ranked 15th to 30th in terms of quality. Many Americans (46%) struggle to afford the premiums, deductibles and out-of-pockets and yet the medical industry realized extremely healthy profits (in excess of 39% ROE, "Healthcare Providers and Services,"  "Pharmaceutical Companies" at 17% and "Hospitals (the 24% that are for profit) & Healthcare Facilities" near 69% (NYU Stern), "Healthcare Insurance", 18.5% (NAIC)). Medicare spending was $944.3 billion in 2022, or 21 percent of total NHE (National Health Expenditures). Medicaid spending at $805.7 billion in 2022, or 18 percent of total NHE. Private health insurance spending was $1,289.8 billion in 2022, or 29 percent of total NHE.  Healthcare costs contribute significantly to our national deficits and the fact is that we are an aging population: 18% of the population is age 65+ and contribute 35% of the annual healthcare costs. 

What has the Congress done recently to lower healthcare prices? Last December they passed the bill H.R.5378 , the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (was enacted into law). Moore, the sponsor of the bill claims that the bill would save taxpayers $700 million dollars over the next 10 years. That is $70 million per year, which is (70,000,000/4,500,000,000,000)  = .000015 of annual healthcare costs which comes to $13,500 * .000015 = 20 cents per taxpayer. Even this small number is disputed, one Congressman argued that the act would increase the deficit " Rep. Barry Moore released a statement after opposing H.R.5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. This legislation adds $11.645 billion to the deficit and uses budget gimmicks that may or may not come to fruition over the next decade to pay off the cost." 

There are two main reasons why healthcare cost in American is twice that of European countries (U.K., France, Germany, ...): 1) The administrative costs, which accounts for 1/3 of health care costs, are much higher here than Europe (believe it or not, Medicare administrative cost is only 3%). Additionally, the private insurance funds (called "sick funds" in Germany) are not-for-profit. Not-for-profit insurance companies certainly lowers the health care costs some but not alot (healthcare insurance company profits were $40 billion last year, a small fraction of the $4+ trillion in national healthcare costs).  2) The second reason why medical costs in Europe are far less than the U.S. is because the prices of medical procedures and drugs in the U.S. is far greater than that in Europe. For example, a hip replacement in the U.S. costs $100,000, in Belgium it costs $13,000. Lipitor, a popular drug costs $7 in New Zealand and $124 in the U.S.  Medicare, which serves 28% of America has price limits on medical procedures and thus costs are far less than those of private insurance companies. Many European countries have price limits on medical procedures and doctor office visits - set by the government. In Germany, there is a list of treatments and procedures that non-profit insurance funds will pay for (these treatments and procedures are negotiated between the insurance funds and health care providers, but also regulated by the German government). The insurance funds all abide by the same rules. The result is that instead of having countless price lists and administrative rules as the many insurance companies in the U.S. have, there is only one. This saves on administrative costs and provides certainty with respect to cost. In the U.S. the cost of a medical procedure can vary vastly between one provider versus the next - as much as several hundred percentage points. Finally, the third reason healthcare costs are lower in European countries is due to the individual mandates - requirement that all pay premiums for insurance, even if one doesn't want insurance. This lowers the premiums for all (the broader the base of those paying premiums, the lower the cost of premiums).

Note: Many think that medical liability and lawsuits increase health care costs. And they do, and the estimate is about 2.4%. In the U.K., the cost for doctor liability insurance (GP) is 1/12 of that of a U.S. doctor. In British law, any doctor who can show that he was following the guidelines approved by NICE for a particular treatment or procedure is immune from a malpractice claim. Also, in the U.S. what needs to be better controlled are the 70% of medical malpractice lawsuits that are "non-meritorious  & dropped." Defending these lawsuits is expensive, time consuming and stressful for doctors. 

The way to get administrative costs down is through standardization. "Standardization occurs when big participants decide they want it. In healthcare, the big participant is the government. Only the federal government has the buying power and administrative reach to force payers and providers to adopt billing and interface rules. The federal government could commit to a date by which all interactions are standardized and set up the infrastructure to make that happen. To date, however, the public sector has shirked its responsibility."   The previous quote was from David Cutler (Harvard Magazine).

We should all want healthcare providers to be motivated and to make a healthy profit. If the profits of healthcare providers drops below a certain level, the quality will also drop.  So therein lies the challenge. Make healthcare affordable while at the same time allowing healthcare companies to make a fair profit. 

Of course another issue is American citizen lifestyle. We have a diabetes (10% (USA) versus 6% (UK)), obesity and high blood pressure epidemic in this country that can only be fixed by better diet and more healthy lifestyle. So, we cannot rely on government to solve all of our problems. 

Healthcare costs can come down and there are many good ideas among healthcare professionals for doing this. But a better system would take 7-15 years to implement (slowly) and additional government intervention and regulation likely would be required in the form of:

1) Procedure cost caps,which 2/3rds of Americans are for (Medicare currently sets price caps - private insurance payments are consistently greater,  ranging from 199% of Medicare rates for hospital services overall to 264% of Medicare rates for outpatient hospital services).

2) A third party to oversee test & procedure orders per medical diagnosis (could eliminate billions of dollars for unnecessary tests & likely-to-be-effective procedures). Relevant examples. The U.K. has an oversight group called NICE which determines if a procedure is absolutely necessary (examples from the book Healing of America (Reid): a) should a 94 year old patient get a hip replacement; 2) should a terminal cancer patient get the newest experimental treatment because is just might work; 3) should an extremely expensive drug be prescribed that has the same effect as chemotherapy and radiation, but less discomfort? An example close to home is this: my mom is 90 years old. She has a symptom that her doctor said is simply due to older age and the kidney's not working at 100% (this was based on extensive lab results). Her cardiologist said the same. But to be cautious her doctor provided us names and approved my mom seeing a kidney specialist. Of course, Medicare paid for it, so ok, no problem. What did he say? Basically the same thing the doctor said. In the meantime add several hundred  dollars to the U.S. government deficit. 

3) Premium costs and max out-of-pockets (to prevent individual bankruptcy due to medical costs). 

 

These 3 essential changes would be difficult to do, politically in this country - health care companies gave $290 million to federal politicians in the recent election. Politicians who do not take special interest money and agree to self-imposed term limits would be more receptive of these changes, which unquestionably would be the best for the American people, but not ideal for healthcare companies.

Would Medicare for all work?

The idea here, proposed by Bernie Sanders, is to make Medicare available for everybody. This would result in a dramatic change in our healthcare system. I do not think Americans want this, but those that have Mediare now (those 65 years), seem to like it. Medicare is a single payor system (it is not considered socialized healthcare since the companies providing the healthcare services are privately owned). "Medicare Advantage" is very popular among beneficiaries (90% are either satisfied or very satisfied - only about 33-50% are satisfied with their private insurance carrier, depends on the poll). Medicare is cost-free to those over 65 (there are annual deductibles). But would it be affordable for the country to provide this to all.  

There are many studies that have shown that Medicare for All would bring down healthcare costs: about $500 billion per year. Check out this link for more details: FACT CHECK: Medicare for All Would Save the U.S. Trillions; Public Option Would Leave Millions Uninsured, Not Garner Savings - Public Citizen

Most Americans do not want socialized medicine, and there are several European countries with healthcare systems that are not "socialized medicine" at half the cost with excellent healthcare outcomes. Again Germany and France are examples  - see YouTube links below. 

See these YouTube video for more details - click on link below

How French Health Care Compares To The US System (youtube.com)

How Germany's Universal Health-Care System Works (youtube.com)

The real reason American health care is so expensive (youtube.com)

Health care: America vs. the World (youtube.com)

Why Medical Bills In The U.S. Are Out Of Control - YouTube

What experts say about who has the world's best health-care system | Opinion (youtube.com)

How do healthcare prices and use in the U.S. compare to other countries? - Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker

How Much More Than Medicare Do Private Insurers Pay? A Review of the Literature | KFF

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U.S. Citizens MUST do their part to save their country and MOST are not!!

 

Voters must be knowledgeable about government and actively involved in monitoring their elected officials.  I created www.myvoterscore.com (Home | Myvoterscore) to help. If I am elected, I will allow district 7 voters to have a voice, via the ability to vote on my website. I WILL consider their vote and digital town meetings will be held to discuss upcoming important votes.

 

Safety via Strong Military

 

The current defense budget is $800 billion, 260% more than China and Russia’s combined budget. Why so much? Is it all really necessary? The defense industry donated $50 million to political campaigns in last election. Does that have something to do with it?​

 

Social Security

 

The government should keep its promises: the social security fund will be depleted in 2032, at that point, beneficiaries would be subject to an immediate 23 reduction in benefits.​

 

AI and Humans before Machines

 

Government should protect meaningful jobs with a far greater priority than tech. company profits."Nvidia CEO predicts the death of coding — Jensen Huang says AI will do the work, so kids don't need to learn

"​How you can help now?

 

I need 500 signatures from voters in district 7 (Bellaire, Sugarland and West University) Texas to get on the Texas ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives seat. I start collecting the signatures after March 5, 2024 (date of the Texas primaries).  If you would like to sign, send me an email with your name and address to cvcouchforcongress@gmail.com. A volunteer or I will be there to collect your signature.  Signing the form does not obligate you to vote for me. Additionally, you can go to I NEED YOUR HELP tab herein to send me your email address.

©2023 by Texas U.S. House District 7 (CC). Proudly created with Wix.com

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