Health Care Part 4: Death Panels

Health Care SymbolI figured it was about time that I got back to the health care series and began answering some of the questions that are out there. You all presented a plethora of things that you wanted me to research and I have been attempting to read everything I can in order to find some answers. Tonight I am going to talk about one of the hot button issues that seemed to stoke the fires at the town hall meetings. It seems there was a lot of sentiment out there for the fear of government creating death panels that will decide life and death for our elderly. I know that there is strong belief on both sides of this debate. Those on the left compare anyone who even asks the question to the “birther” movement and therefore state I am simply crazy for even giving any time to look deeper into the allegation. But I say failing to do some research and find out what government is really up to is as naive and crazy as anything I have heard. After all, with this group of 535 criminals running the show, Death Panels isn’t that far fetched of an idea.

Allow me to first add a disclaimer. There is no definitive health care reform bill out there. HR 3200 seems to be the version they were working hardest on, but there were 3 different bills in play in the House. Then there is the Baucus bill in the Senate. So it is tough to give direct answers here. What may be true in one bill may be false in another. Let’s start under the assumption that if it is in any one of the bills, it is under consideration, as at least someone in Congress was supporting the idea.

End of Life CzarThe idea of the death panels seems to have been the biggest driver of debate and divide among American citizens. Some of those on the right swear they exist in the bill. Those on the left characterize those folks as nut jobs. I know that I have seen several comments right on this site stating that Sarah Palin is both crazy and dangerous because she has come out claiming that death panels are real. I say that had the federal government not shown us on so many different occasions that they are capable of the most heinous acts imaginable, there wouldn’t have been so many people willing ot quickly believe that something like death panels was possible. So let’s get to the bottom of this question.

The death panels, as discussed, are panels of folks in the government that would determine the fate of those in need of medical care in the United State’s Health Care System. Hypothetically, if a 72 year old needs a $100k procedure to extend his or her life, this panel would determine how much and what level of care the senior in question would be eligible to receive. The premise being that the cost of the procedures would be weighed against expected return on investment. Can the senior further contribute to society? Questions like that. So let’s first see what part of the bill makes those making the claim feel that death panels are being created, at least according to the rhetoric.

Blumenauer

Blumenauer

A provision in the House bill written by Representative Earl Blumenauer (Democrat, OR), would allow Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. The conversations between doctor and patient would include living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort.

That in no way says anything about death panels or panels at all. So let’s be clear that the “death panels” as were reported are absolutely not in the health care bills being presented before Congress. The Associated Press and the New York Times went to great lengths to publish highly circulated articles to show what was actually said in the legislation being debated in Congress. In almost all of my searches for the truth around the claim of “death panels”, I was unable to find much of anything that actually said anything about these so-called death panels in any of the 4 bills that have circulated through Congress. The idea that these health care bills do anything along the lines of creating a panel that would have any say over what procedures or steps a patient can consider in seeking treatment, is patently false. I found no supporting evidence.

Palin on ObamacareI do understand the arguments out there that say rationing is an inevitable result of the health care system being put in place. In fact I agree that rationing has been the result in every other country that tried this, so it is only logical that we would see it here as well. But rationing wasn’t the claim. Death Panels were the claim. Palin very clearly stated the following on her facebook site: “The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” This was absolutely wrong of Palin to say. The health care bill doesn’t say anything about death panels. So she was lying, right? Simply making it all up. Showing the world how much of a dumb pageant girl she really is.

Not so fast….

All of you remember HR 1, right? That was the economic spendulus bill that I have railed about on many occasions. It seems that while politicians have adeptly pointed out that the death panels are nowhere to be found in the health care legislation being debated today, they conveniently leave out the fact that the council for comparative effectiveness was in fact created in the economic spendulus bill! I offer you this section, copied and pasted directly from the final version of the bill that can be found at the thomas.gov site linked at the bottom of this article (Highlights are mine):

economic stimulus logoIn addition, $400,000,000 shall be available for comparative effectiveness research to be allocated at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (`Secretary’): Provided, That the funding appropriated in this paragraph shall be used to accelerate the development and dissemination of research assessing the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions; and (2) encourage the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data: Provided further, That the Secretary shall enter into a contract with the Institute of Medicine, for which no more than $1,500,000 shall be made available from funds provided in this paragraph, to produce and submit a report to the Congress and the Secretary by not later than June 30, 2009, that includes recommendations on the national priorities for comparative effectiveness research to be conducted or supported with the funds provided in this paragraph and that considers input from stakeholders: Provided further, That the Secretary shall consider any recommendations of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research established by section 804 of this Act and any recommendations included in the Institute of Medicine report pursuant to the preceding proviso in designating activities to receive funds provided in this paragraph and may make grants and contracts with appropriate entities, which may include agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services and other governmental agencies, as well as private sector entities, that have demonstrated experience and capacity to achieve the goals of comparative effectiveness research: Provided further, That the Secretary shall publish information on grants and contracts awarded with the funds provided under this heading within a reasonable time of the obligation of funds for such grants and contracts and shall disseminate research findings from such grants and contracts to clinicians, patients, and the general public, as appropriate: Provided further, That, to the extent feasible, the Secretary shall ensure that the recipients of the funds provided by this paragraph offer an opportunity for public comment on the research: Provided further, That research conducted with funds appropriated under this paragraph shall be consistent with Departmental policies relating to the inclusion of women and minorities in research

Now I know that “comparative effectiveness” seems like a pretty harmless council to create. Don’t think for a second that the name was chosen randomly or in order to effectively tell us what the panel will do. As is the norm, any government creation is usually given a name that tells you nothing about what that creation actually does. And this time is no different. So I had to ask myself what this council does. I start with the bolded brown highlights.

Guess who is on the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness... Ezekiel Emanuel (Dr. Death)

Guess who is on the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness... Ezekiel Emanuel (Dr. Death)

research assessing the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions

Sounds harmless enough, right? I don’t think so. The word that I highlighted was the one that stood out to me. The group will determine the appropriateness of the medical procedures. That doesn’t equal a death panel. But I do start to have the hairs on my neck go up when I am told that the federal government is going to conduct a study to determine what procedures are appropriate. I stand by the belief that doctors determine appropriateness. Government determining appropriateness, in my opinion, opens us all up for government telling us we can’t have a procedure under their health care system because they don’t deem it the appropriate procedure. But I do agree, this in and of itself, does not back up Crazy Sarah’s death panel claim. It does make her claim seem a little less crazy, though.

So the next question I had to ask myself is what else can we find out about this comparative effectiveness creation. Who was behind it and what is their vision for what it will be? Interestingly, the council is the brainchild of one Tom Daschle. Oh, you all remember Tom. He was the administration’s first nominee for the Secretary of Health position. He didn’t pay $128,000 in taxes and had to withdraw his name. Too bad too. The Senate was expected to confirm him despite his criminal actions. I wrote about it HERE . At any rate Good ole Tom was the brain behind this being put in the stimulus bill. So what does Tom have to say about his vision of the panel?

Daschle-Confirmation HearingFortunately for us, Tom Daschle wrote a book in 2008 that distinctly outlined both what this council will be and the changes to the health care system in America that are needed. The book was titled Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis. According to Tom, the goal is is to slow down the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system. Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. (I have admittedly not read Dachle’s book. All of these comments from the book were, however, discussed on the Senate floor by Senator Burton of Indiana, so I am assuming them to be accurate, as they were not challenged on the Senate floor).

Now this is a little more disturbing. It seems that Daschle’s vision for the council that was created in HR1 was modeled after the UK panels that use a cost effectiveness formula, dividing cost by number of years of benefit. That bothers me. I also read on several sites that HR1 has language that supports this type of change. The most common claim was that HR1 changes Medicare from a system of approving based on “safe and effective” and changes it to a cost effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council. None of those claiming this offered a page of the bill to check (all except the one listed in the links below, and her page numbers were incorrect) and I didn’t have time to go back and re-read the entire 1000+ pages again looking for it. So consider that claim to be with a grain of salt as it is unverified.

Reid ArroganceSo where does this leave us? It leaves us with a few things. First, politicians can rightly claim that the death panels are not in the health care bills. That is fact. Second, Daschle’s version of the UK rationing panels is in the Economic Spendulus bill. That is also fact, but it took looking at Daschle’s book to realize that… very clever of him. As a side note, it is not surprising that this was tucked in HR1. Daschle wrote, prior to the 2008 elections, that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.” He was completely comfortable slipping his nationalized health care ideas behind the backs of Americans. Any Senator who says something like that cannot be trusted. Period. And doesn’t this sound awfully similar to the Senate Majority Leader’s threat to use reconciliation to pass health care reform because it is too important to be stalled by something as silly as rules of Senate debate?

Third, I want you to refer to the shaded pink sections of the spendulus bill passage. I pointed them out for a different reason. I want you to note the ambiguity that is intentionally put into federal legislation. They want to tell you that it is 1000+ pages to dot every i and cross every t. Yet this one page from that bill is laden with ambiguity in terms of timelines, rationale, and requirements. This is done on purpose. If you think Congress can interpret something as simple as the Constitution of the United States in so many despicable ways, imagine what they can do with language like this. What exactly does within a reasonable time, as appropriate, and to the extent feasible actually mean? Remember that for every page in this 1000 page bill, another couple thousand pages will be written into government agency protocols, directives, and rules. And none of those hundreds of thousands of pages will be scrutinized by the public or appear on C-Span. Ambiguity here allows the government TONS of latitude to screw us everywhere.

Palin ResigningSo I will end with Sarah Palin again. You saw her quote above. That offering from her began with the following statement:

As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!

I guess the question I have is whether we simply made an assumption when we judged her on her statement about the death panels. We assumed that she meant the health care bills. And that made her a liar. But perhaps she expected everyone to be a little smarter and understand that “delving into the disturbing details” meant to do so in the same way we have done here, looking much further than the language of a single bill. It is obvious that when we do that, the claims of death panels may not be fully substantiated, but they certainly are not quite as put to rest as we might first assume. Perhaps Sarah isn’t quite as dumb as the left would like to make her seem. I know Ray will answer that my defending her in any way is part of some secret obsession with Palin (he has made that claim several times already). But that is not the case. I simply have the ability to eliminate my bias on the matter and judge based on what I find.

My final analysis is this: I am not ready to say that the death panels being screamed about are an accurate way to portray anything that the federal government is proposing. I am not sure that it would even be fair to call the existing and proven UK panels as “death panels.” There simply isn’t enough evidence to prove that the path the government is taking, no matter how convoluted, is leading to a group of government lackeys sitting around deciding who will live or die and telling grandma she is out of luck. The evidence just isn’t there, despite the fact that some of the players involved (Tom Daschle, Ezekiel Emanuel) are absolutely proponents of rationing care to the elderly. So I officially say that the idea of death panels is false. As a judge I would throw this case out for lack of evidence….

And then I would keep my eyes really open to see if anything more concrete pops up that points to rationing panels in the future. The evidence isn’t there. But I trust these 535 hyenas about as much as I trust Michael Vick to pet-sit my puppy.

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Some Articles I used for research (admittedly my computer shut off during writing and I lost track of one or two, so if you want more information on anything I said, let me know and I will search for it again)

AP Fact Check: No ‘Death Panel’ In Health Care Bill

Facebook | Sarah Palin: Statement on the Current Health Care Debate

Search Results – THOMAS (Library of Congress)

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey – Bloomberg.com

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Comments

  1. USW and all who frequent this blog; I will be away from this computer until about the 24th of this month. See you all then, and have some good debates while I am gone.

  2. Average White Guy says:

    Is there supposed to be a time frame of when these versions will be amalgamated and introduced for a vote in the senate? I admit that most of the information I have been able to find has been limited to various mainstream news channels (mainly because of the *ahem* generous interpretations of both the far left and right.)

    With all the (mis)information flying around it’s a little tricky for me to pin down what’s really going on. Can an enlightened individual explain how, through so much confusion, the senate could possibly be putting this up to vote any time soon?

  3. Is there supposed to be a time frame of when these versions will be amalgamated and introduced for a vote in the senate? I admit that most of the information I have been able to find has been limited to various mainstream news channels (mainly because of the *ahem* generous interpretations of both the far left and right.)

    With all the (mis)information flying around it’s a little tricky for me to pin down what’s really going on. Can an enlightened individual explain how, through so much confusion, the senate could possibly be putting this up to vote any time soon?
    BTW I love your blog!

  4. Good Morning!

    As I follow along today, I will find video that I have in my archives that may lead one to believe that it IS the intention of the govt. to make decisions regarding healthcare decisions for seniors. I have posted them in the past and will find them again. Since they are from the snout of the pantystain himself (BHO, MMM, MMM, MMM), I think they hold credibility.

    G!

  5. The closest thing you could probably come up with as a “Death Panel” in the UK would be http://www.nice.org.uk/. They evaluate whether medications and procedures are cost effective or not. Not a perfect system but it has been able to give a high standard of care.

  6. Good post Mr. Weapon.

    I, for the record, do not think Sarah Palin is dumb. I do not, for that matter, even think George Bush Jr. is dumb. I’m not even convinced that Brittany Spears is dumb. I think, and I may be alone here, that these three are hardcore cynics who play to their constituents. Sarah Palin (who, I must admit to finding very attractive) is a sharp woman – and though she may need some seasoning and educating on certain subjects, she is all there mentally. This, more than anything else, is why I find it so reprehensible that she should claim the existence of these death panels. She knows they do not exist, she knows that the claim is false, but she knows that (A)the water is just muddy enough to get away with the claim and that (B)most of her constituents will never bother to check and will simply take it on faith (faith being a big hallmark of her followers).

    That said, I do not find anything in the post particularly scary. Comparative effectiveness research is the foundation of medical science. And to say the word “appropriate” as if it were code for something else is unfair. It is inappropriate to remove a thyroid because it may someday become dangerous. It is inappropriate to approve a mastectomy because a woman carries a breast cancer gene. Yes these may be effective, but are they appropriate? No. I see nothing to indicate that there is anything more sinister behind this term.

    • CWO2USNRet says:

      Mathius, agree that the word ‘appropriate’ is benign when interpreted by reasonable people such as you and I. The problem lies in the fact that the interpretation would be done by politicians. Depending on the underlying assumptions and standards used, the word can be twisted to produce virtually any result. Scary stuff when viewed with that realization.

      John

      • That’s fair, John, but I would say the fight should be fought at the point where they misconstrue the word. Consider one of my favorite analogies. If some people drink and drive and die, the problem is the drunk driving, not the car. The panel, as stated, is a good thing and pretty innocuous (a car). It is when/if they use it “inappropriately” (drive drunk) that we should complain.

        • The vast majority of people killed by cars are by drivers who are not drunk.

          Careful with bad analogies, Matt.

          • I like my analogies, Flag. But all I’m saying here is that we should object to the abuse of a thing. Not the thing itself.

            And, I’d be interested, what percentage of motorists are killed while either using a car inappropriately or by another drive who is? (speeding, texting while driving, eating, drunk, etc). How dangerous are they if used correctly? I’ve been driving for 9 years now, and my only accident was when I was a 16 and driving too fast. Should we ban cars because of their potential for abuse?

            • I like my analogies, Flag. But all I’m saying here is that we should object to the abuse of a thing. Not the thing itself.

              …which is why I pointed out the analogy flaw.

              You have no way to know if it is ‘abused’ or not.

              What is your measure?

              It isn’t profit – that is, people are buying your service in droves because they like you and less your competition.

              Do you had out a questionaire?

              What question…such as

              “Do you like not having to pay for your Ferrari?”

              What kind of answer to you think you’ll get?

              Or…

              “Do you think your Ferrari was delivered 1) on time 2) late 3) still waiting for it?”

              What will that measure?

              That is the problem – you believe you can create an objective measure of service levels but have eliminated the only comprehensive way to measure such level – prices.

              That is why Socialism fails, Matt – it destroys economic pricing mechanisms – and hence, destroys economic calculation.

              And, I’d be interested, what percentage of motorists are killed while either using a car inappropriately or by another drive who is? (speeding, texting while driving, eating, drunk, etc). How dangerous are they if used correctly? I’ve been driving for 9 years now, and my only accident was when I was a 16 and driving too fast. Should we ban cars because of their potential for abuse?

              No, we should not license anyone until they are 25 years old.

              The big differential is age.

              16-25 are the #1 risk in driving – the actual cause happens to be irrelevant. (In other words, you can ban drinking – 16/25 will crash because of speeding – you put limiters on their cars – 16/25 will crash because of ignoring stop signs….etc. It does not matter what you try to do, the 16/25 year olds will find a way to crash their cars – because they lack two things 1) an adult brain (fact of biology) 2) experience)

              • Of course if you delay driving until 25 you will only solve one problem, and then only partially.

                Then the highest risk group will be the 25 to 30 crowd.

              • Actually, the accident curve would flatten – as the other segments are all essentially the same as a ratio – until the 80+ – then it goes up again.

                Currently, the graph by age is bar-bell 16/25 high, then level until another high at 80+

              • So you would ban 18-25 year olds rather than cars? Seems logical. Why then, would you ban comparative effectiveness panels and not the abuse thereof.

                Adding: And how do you square banning anyone from doing anything with your beliefs on infringing on the liberties of others? Provided they are not doing anything wrong (and not all 16 year olds drive recklessly) and are not, therefore creating a clear and present danger to you, how do you submit that it is ok to stop them from operating a vehicle they own?

              • Mathius

                So you would ban 18-25 year olds rather than cars? Seems logical.

                To clarify, not ban – train.

                If I owned the roads – no training, no driving.

                But I don’t seem to own the roads, even though everyone claims I paid for them.

                Why then, would you ban comparative effectiveness panels and not the abuse thereof.

                Because, as I’ve already expressed to you, there exists no objective measure of effectiveness of the service.

                Adding: And how do you square banning anyone from doing anything with your beliefs on infringing on the liberties of others?

                Clarification above.

                Provided they are not doing anything wrong (and not all 16 year olds drive recklessly) and are not, therefore creating a clear and present danger to you, how do you submit that it is ok to stop them from operating a vehicle they own?

                Yep, if it was my highway.

                If they drive on their highway or property I truly do not care (not even a tiny bit).

        • CWO2USNRet says:

          I understand your point. The ‘panel’ would likely be insulated against complaints and course corrections by the above politicians.

        • Common Man says:

          Mathius;

          “the fight should be fought at the point where they misconstrue the word.”

          This is the wrong time to engage, because as it has already been demonstrated by government countless times, precidents result in unfair, lawless and tyranical constraints.

          Can you say 2nd Ammendment?

          Again, since 99.9% of what is originated by government results in loss of freedom and liberty, we must stop the actions before we go about sorting through the actions.

          This government needs an enema!!!

          CM

          • We could give it an enema, but anything that came out would probably need to be stored in Yucca Mountain…

            • Good one Matt, truly a good one.

              OTFLMAO.

              Thanks for the good wishes re. fishing trip.

              Best to you and yours as well.
              JAC

            • Matt:

              I almost forgot. Wanted to respond to your comment regarding words like “appropriate” in legislation.

              I have over 30 years experience in dealing with the effects of such legislation and the regulations they create.

              Believe me when I say that such wording is a prescription for nothing but problems. Unless of course you are employed by a lobbying firm to keep tabs on the CFR’s that will be written to implement the law.

              You see, before long the bureaucrats and lobbyists will be the only ones involved in deciding what “reasonable” means. Oh, and of course the judges. They will get to interpret the new law, federal regulations, when the lawsuits start flying. They will then set the “intended” standards based on their perceptions.

        • If the government were not trying to take over the remainder of health care, the effectiveness panels might not be too bad an idea. Their findings could provide useful information to doctors to use as they saw fit.

          But with the authority over health care being centralized as is being proposed, these panels are really scary.

  7. bottom line says:

    Just a thought…I like to compare “stealth legislation” to chess. It’s like that subtle repositioning of the knight. Pay attention or you may just find yourself in check with your queen in prize. AKA “knight’s fork”.

  8. The allocation of scarce resources happens only two ways:

    “Highest Price wins”

    “Biggest Guns wins”

    Economically, the latter – command/control, centralized and socialist – can only resolve to a conclusion where the system will be wholly exhausted while consuming nearly all the resources.

    At some point, probably a bit before complete collapse, an attempt to forestall the collapse will result in arbitrary allocation of resources. Since this allocation will not use any pricing mechanism for such allocation, it will be allocated on the basis of political power. There is no other way other then these two methods (…we can discount randomness …they could use coin-flips, that is, totally random in the allocations – but that is highly unlikely given the mental need of centralized management thinkers to CONTROL the outcomes)

    At that point, a decision of where such political power rests will be made.

    Will it be the old and weary?

    Or will it be the young and strong?

    Who mans the army? The old or the young?

    Who mans the police? The old or the young?

    The decision will be very clear – the old will be sacrificed.

    Of course, this will only delay the collapse – it will not solve the problems.

    • Now now, Mr. Flag.

      Tell me, how can you be so adamantly in favor of market forces, but deny the government (insofar as it is going to provide medical care) the ability to do so in a cost-benefit weighted manner?

      • It is impossible for a centralized management system to accumulate, correlate and disseminate all information in an economic system for it to allocate scarce resources.

        An economic system – with hundreds of billions of decisions being made every day – is an infinitely complex equation.

        The free market, by distributing directly the decision making broadly upon the owners of capital and resources aggregate the optimum decision and use of capital and resources.

        For a non-technical understanding of infinitely complex systems, please read the book The Black Swan

    • Rara Avis says:

      My dear Mathius,

      Do tell me, please, is it appropriate to treat a cancer at all if it is unlikely the person will survive? If spending money will only increase their life by days, should it not be spent? Taken further, where does one draw the line? Does having a breast cancer gene mean that the person will probably die early and should be de-prioritized for an unrelated procedure?

      Market forces are too heartless for this decision. How do you measure the value of a life, or of quality of life, objectively?

      The decisions must be made by the individual and by the family of the individual. Bureaucracy cannot do so.

      -Rara

      • Rara wrote: “The decisions must be made by the individual and by the family of the individual. Bureaucracy cannot do so.”

        Then why doesn’t it bother you when insurance companies make decisions to cancel coverae (and thus, treatment) for anything from “typos in the forms” to “pre-existing conditions”? They’re doing it to save their bottom line (profit). Why isn’t that immoral to you?

        • Yes, however, rare too.

          All most all of the denials are undisclosed pre-existing, conditions.

          If they did not deny people who lie, then the people who do not lie, and pay their way, lose.

          Such as system will collapse – since there is no penalty in lying and a large penalty in truth, the system will become one of lying and deceit – which is unsustainable.

          • In the world in which we live – that is, one with big government – would you advocate for a restriction that in order for a health insurer to deny you coverage on the basis of an inaccurate application, the inaccuracy must be materially relevant to the claim, and the omission must be deliberate. Without arguing the details of how to establish the meeting of these criterion, does that seem like a fair thing to mandate. Again, this is in the real world where real near-monopolies exist and one cannot so readily switch to a better provider.

            • Mathius

              In the world in which we live – that is, one with big government – would you advocate for a restriction that in order for a health insurer to deny you coverage on the basis of an inaccurate application, the inaccuracy must be materially relevant to the claim, and the omission must be deliberate.

              I have given you the praxeology (human action) in regards to allowing those that fail to disclose their conditions to still receive benefits.

              Again, for your refresher course (how quickly they forget the lessons! Kids today….!), if there is no penalty for failure to disclose, it will penalize those that do disclose.

              Thus, the onus will be heavily weighted upon the failure of disclosure – they will have to, essentially, demonstrate it was a mistake, or an honest admission of ignorance.

              Letting them slip by easily will create the moral hazard that more will attempt the ruse!

              Agree or disagree?

              Again, this is in the real world where real near-monopolies exist and one cannot so readily switch to a better provider.

              We cannot switch providers because the government prevents it.

              This has caused an unintended consequence of insurers who don’t give a damn about the insured – and are wholly beholden to government for their survival.

              To fix this, you want government to create another set of rules to somehow manage out the unintended consequences of the previous set of rules – which will create other unintended consequences – one likely being red tape grid lock.

              At what point does reasoning prevail for you?

              You cannot achieve a better economic outcome by perverting economic decisions?

            • The materiality argument has some logic, but the inadvertent error argument does not. If, in my insurance application, I omit that I have a heart defect diagnosed in childhood, am granted the insurance, and subsequently need expensive heart treatment, should the insurance company be forced to pay? If I had disclosed the heart problem, they probably wouldn’t have given me insurance or would have charged more. For me to say, after I need treatment, “I forgot” doesn’t change the insurance company’s situation.

              • JayDickB,
                Do you have any real-life cases of your heart defect example?

                In most of the cases I’ve seen, it’s not childhood heart defects, it’s things like childhood acne, that is not listed and causes claims/coverage for a newly diagnosed heart defect to be denied.

                Is that a valid “I forgot”, or is this a valid reason for the insurance company to deny coverage?

              • Todd:

                I have a question for you.

                Why is it that these outrageous examples of insurance company stupidity/incompetence are given as justification for eliminating private insurance (or greatly increasing regulations), yet the same examples of govt stupidity/incompetence are given as evidence that even more govt is needed?

                This “childhood acne” example is spreading across the web like wildfire. I am wondering if it is an urban legend or if it is true. And if true, what was the final outcome. I know my attorneys would have been all over those clowns and I’m guessing any jury would fry em’.

              • I will look for the link, but this is one of the actual sympathy examples that BO himself gave during one of his gazillion health care speeches. Come to find out, it wasn’t about a pre-condition of acne, but a pre-condition of a heart ailment that the patient did not disclose, ie BF’s example above. It was for that reason that she was denied coverage, not the acne. Imagine, BO not having his facts straight.

              • Excellant find Kathy.

                Thanks.

                I figured it must have been B.S., along with many of the other stupid examples given.

                Thanks again.
                JAC

        • CWO2USNRet says:

          The difference is that the market will punish private companies that don’t serve their customers. People will take their business to a competitor. An individual’s freedom of choice is preferable to government mandate for which there is no recourse.

          • “The difference is that the market will punish private companies that don’t serve their customers.”

            Except that doesn’t seem to be the case. Come on, when one insurance company represents 80-90% of a given state’s “options”, where do they go? The market has done nothing but support what companies do to increase business (i.e., rejecting claims).

            If what you said were true, the problem would have weeded itself out already. It hasn’t. It’s become worse. In a “for profit” system, business cannot be trusted to act morally. I think you kid yourself to think it will.

            • Charlie,

              You are arguing with yourself.

              The State licenses the companies – thus, limits their competition. Why do you think large insurance companies demand governments to license their service?

              …to keep out the competition…

              You are complaining that the free market doesn’t work – by pointing out how government destroys the free market!

              • That doesn’t change the morality issue, BF. Why doesn’t it (the state) regulate insurance companies from rejecting claims?

                Is it immoral to let people die or not?

                And why not increase competition by letting the government handle it? People would still be able to use private insurers. You’re arguing against yourself when you reject the public option.

              • Very true, Mr Stella. A public option would be only that: an option.

              • And that is what makes it so frustrating for someone like me. What’s the big deal. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head (it isn’t a socialist revolution).

              • The revolution happened in 1933, and freedom lost.

                And, it is a gun to the head and it is a big deal.

                The size of the socialist program by 2020 will exceed the entire US budget today.

                It will – literally – consume the entire nations wealth, with very little to show for it.

              • An option between paying full price and half price (or free)….

                … do you think people are stupid?

              • No, but if the service is lousy, they will still opt for the more expensive one. This should force the private sector to step up and improve. Or do you not think the private sector is at least twice as efficient as the government?

              • Below, Matt.

              • That doesn’t change the morality issue, BF.

                But it does.

                You forced to buy me steak destroys your ability to feed your children.

                Your suffering, forced upon another for payment, merely transfers the suffering to the innocent.

                You have not relieved anything – you merely pushed it onto someone who is weaker than you – someone who cannot complain or resist your impositions.

                Socialism always weighs heaviest on the weakest because the weak are unable to avoid the measures.

                The elite do not suffer – Soviets drove around in German Mercedes while the people rode donkeys.

                The rich do not suffer – they move away, or buy out the elite and gain their ranks.

                You wish to stop suffering – but God has built a Universe in such a way that this is impossible.

                Hence, you can accept it and deal with your own suffering and let others deal with theirs to the best of your … and their…. ability.

                OR

                Transfer your suffering to someone who cannot avoid you.

                The latter – I would suggest – is the action of immorality.

                Why doesn’t it (the state) regulate insurance companies from rejecting claims?

                It does – if the company denies coverage on a disclosed issue.

                The State forces 1) payment to the injured and commonly 2) additional payments as punishment and often 3) fines paid to the State as punishment.

                Yes, there are many immoral companies that weigh the odds of criminal activity and subsequent cost vs. not paying claims.

                However this is an artifact of Government and its monopoly – that is, the State itself creates these circumstances.

                Because government prevents competition, these companies are immune to moral competition!

                They can lie and cheat -and they don’t care- because where will you go??? Government has eliminated any alternatives. The People are stuck – you get a choice between a crook or …nothing…

                Macdonald’s does not cheat you because you can go to Burger King. This is what Macdonald’s actually will do – personal experience – they screwed up my order. I went back and asked for my missing burger. The employee got it, and then handed me a coupon for a free meal to apologize for their mistake.

                With choice, companies are under daily threat of you ‘voting them out with your money’.

                With government-controlled economy, the only threat to the insurance companies comes from (not you at all) but the government – and they will pay them off.

                Is it immoral to let people die or not?

                People die every day and nothing can be done.

                Dying does not measure immoral.

                Action is the measure of immoral. If by my action some dies, it is immoral.

                If I was NOT there, and they die – it is not my fault. If I do not act, it is the same as if I am not there, and they die – it is not my fault.

                And why not increase competition by letting the government handle it?

                How?

                How does the government ‘measure’ competitiveness?

                The Free Market does it automatically – those companies that provide the best service and product get the most business.

                How would government do it?

                People would still be able to use private insurers. You’re arguing against yourself when you reject the public option.

                No – because of a simple fact…..

                You cannot make a better economic decision by destroying economic choice

                Political decisions in place of economic decisions only gives political outcomes – it can never give a better economic outcome then making an economic choice.

            • Charlie:

              The reason for lack of competition is Govt rules regarding who can and can not operate within the state.

              And, what coverage they must provide.

              Stop repeating the rhetoric you here in the left wing talk shows and start digging into the truth. It will set you free.

              • Common Man says:

                JAC

                Thought you were headed out to wet a line and lie about past catches with some buds?

                What are you going to fish for and where are you going?

                CM

              • Slight change in plans. Not leaving until tomorrow now.

                So will have time to give you one response today.

                Working out my Mid East expose’ for ya.

                First two days will be fly fishing for trout (cutthroats mostly maybe a Brown or two) in eastern Idaho. Probably Henry’s Fork of the Snake.

                Then off to the upper Salmon River in central Idaho to fly fish for Steelhead.

                JAC

              • Welcome back, Jac, have a good trip tomorrow!

              • Common Man says:

                JAC;

                Ever been to the White River in Arkansas?

                My friends and I make at least one trip each year and spend a week fishing Cutty’s, booger browns, bows and an occasional Brookie.

                The water is some of the cearest I have ever experienced, the numbers (fish) are high and the cost is relatively cheap.

                Browns caught average 3-5 pounds, with a few in the 8-10 pound range. I have seen 20 pounders as well. Cutties (my fav) are less in numbers but average about the same in weight. My son holds the record for our group for rainbow (8.5 pounds and 28 inches long). In Michigan we call that a Steelhead.

                We have been going for over 9 years now and have not found a river that offers as much fun and variety.

                If you ever want to go let me know and I will hook you up with the right guides and best resort.

                Have fun

                CM

              • CM:

                Have not been to the White River but it is one of those on my list. Along with waters in Siberia and Argentina. Rumor has there is some good water in Costa Rica as well.

                I will definetly keep you in mind and may be asking soon.

                Our Steelhead (rainbow trout who live some in the ocean) come in two general types. A-run, which spend 1 year in the ocean and B-run, which spend at least 2 years in the ocean. This week is fising for mostly A run. They vary from 4 to 10 pounds on the high side and 18 to 30 inches. Sound very similar to what you describe.

                You planning on a trip to the White again next year?

              • Common Man says:

                JAC

                Yes, we are heading down in April. We stay at a place called the Norfork River Resort http://www.norforkriverresort.com which sets on the banks of the Norfork and White River. The cabin we stay in overlooks the Norfork and the White fork.

                The morning starts at 7:00 am and the day ends at 4:00. There are areas on both river designated “Catch and Release”, but there is plenty of river for those that wish to partake of the catch. For the most part we keep ‘eater’ rainbows turning everything else loose.

                The owners of the lodge are Steve and Pam McCumber and they run a top notch establishment. The guides are all native to Arkansas and most of them have been fishing the rivers for 20-30 years.

                You should know that even though you have the option to just rent a boat, I highly recommend you use a guide. The river levels are controled by damns managed by the local government and navigation at times can get touchy at best.

                Steve and Pam facilitate everything for you and he has the best guides on the river.

                The accomidations are wonderful and the catch is historic, both in numbers and size.

                If you use a fly rod try a sculpin immitation for browns near cuts and slews.

                If you are not a purest have the guides rig you up with real sculpins and a spinning real; the results are very interesting.

                Here is a clue; don’t set the hook on the fist hard bump, open the bail and let it run.

                The fall is also a great time to go, less traffic (which is minimal anyway) and the browns are hungry. Summers can be hot. We have fished in August in 107 degrees and it is a bit much.

                Fly choices are along the lines of terrestrials, scuds and minnow immitations since the area does not have much of a hatch.

                You should spend most of your time hunting browns and cutties. You will only need about an hour each day to catch your daily limit of rainbows, most of which will be in the 15-18 inch range.

                BTW: The browns are ‘german’ and there are 25-30 pounders in those waters. I have seen the pictures and the critters laying on the bottom mid day.

                Let me know when you are going and I will let Steve and Pam know I sent you.

                CM

              • What sets me free, my man, is the FACTS that national health insurance works everywhere and a lot more efficiently than what we have here. That is a FACT.

                What isn’t a fact, is that insurance companies left up to their own devices, will be purified by a free market for the greater good. That is nonsense.

              • Canadian Health Care is collapsing under overwhelming costs, as is in the UK, Norway, Sweden etc.

                One can dam a river – but eventually the river will win. The river always wins in the end.

                Certainly, some in this generation of people will win in the game of Socialist Health Care.

                Your children will lose everything, however.

                Soviet Union lasted 70 years – had free health care too…. but it could not sustain itself.

              • Is your claim that the USSR collapsed because of socialized health care?

              • No, it collapsed because it was Socialist.

                ..thus, had Socialist Health Care (which, by the way, sucked badly if you were not part of the elite)

              • Nobody is collapsing anywhere but here in the good old us and a. Not true, BF. Cuba has a better health industry than the U.S. That is sad.

              • Have you seen how the Cubans live?

                Many are willing to risk killing themselves in the open ocean to escape Cuba.

                Yep, Cuba is cradle to grave – and you’ll be lucky to survive long enough to leave the cradle and the grave comes early.

              • That’s an outright lie. Cuba has two very distinct medical systems in place. One that both party members and foreigners get to use, the other for the common man. By not knowing such I have to ask, how long have you been going there?

              • But you see your FACT is in fact FALSE. I have met many who moved here from those systems and none that I know think they are so good, now that they have been exposed to something different.

                It does not work everywhere or in fact anywhere. It is a shell game, a ponzi scheme. Our own attempt at it has created about a $60 trillion debt that we can not pay. In your mind it works because you think it is consistent with your values. And well it may be.

                But is it consistent with the nature of humanity and the rules of our existence? Such as the rules of economics? I think not.

                There is no “greater good” as you view it involved in a free market. There is just the cumulative effect of free men and women making free choices among themselves. There is no distortion of govt. But in the long run this will result in a greater good in that it will allow men and women to flourish, as they choose.

              • The “I have many” argument is just not credible. Trust me, I have met many too … and they’re more than fine with what they have and are shaking their heads that it is still an issue here (much the same way slavery was an issue here longer than elsewhere … or gay rights, etc.)

              • Today’s homophobic laws will be viewed by future generations in the same light as Jim Crow laws. Mark my words. History will not view it kindly.

              • Matt

                The future will look upon this time as being utterly bizarre as we look upon the time 500 years ago, where people whipped themselves with chains to please God.

      • Rara

        But we see this everyday with private insurance companies. That a more expensive tests or treatment is denied, something that would help a person. My brother oldest daughter had a stroke two days after being born. The doctor recommended that she have two major test to make sure we knew what damaged may have been done to the brain. His insurance would only cover one of the test, claimed the second was “elective”. So my brother paid out of pocket to make sure that the test was done. Lucky enough she ended up being okay.
        So with that said I am not sure I trust a business man anymore than I trust a government official.
        I do think there are issue in the Health care system that need to addressed and fixed. I am not sold that this plan is going to make that happen. No government does not run things well and fruad and waste usually goes hand and hand with them.
        But I also do not believe that their are death panels going to be apart of this bill.
        My thoughts on Palin are torn down the middle.

        • I’m with Ellen on this … but remember that it does work in other countries (contrary to the spin here). It’s been going on for a long time and not even the conservative political parties in Europe, Canada consider closing it down and privatizing the industry. It does work. And there would always be the option to seek private health insurance anyway.

          • Charlie it indeed does work for us but we have no blinders on regarding the quality. The expensive tests Ellen speaks of are months away from you in Canada, if granted at all, unless you are a member of the military or the government. Under our system it was/is impossible for a “private” insurer to operate in anything that resembles your own American system.

            I myself have spoken at length on the ACTUAL issues regarding getting UniHealth in America accomplished and the current incarnation of POTUS hasn’t done any of the changes, like Tort Reform, which absolutely MUST HAPPEN for that attempt to have a chance at success. The litigation costs alone of triage medicine would bankrupt your entire Medical Establishment and merely towing the line all will be of the same quality is outright lying to yourselves.

            I know it doesn’t read like I’m a proponent but read all my earlier writings. What I won’t do is ignore the facts to chase an ideal and neither should any of you.

          • Bee in my Bonnet says:

            Charlie, I was a guest commentator a few months ago regarding the Canadian health system…from a Canadian’s perspective. I find that in the US, the info regarding our system is either idealized by the left and completely vilified by the right. The reality in somewhere in the middle.

            Most of us who grew up with universal health care have learned to live with it and personally, I cannot imagine life without it. No personal bankruptcy due to health costs, however, we are not blind to the faults. The waiting times can be long and yes, there are those who go to the US to get more timely care. Not better care, but faster care. Some may argue that they are one and the same. That would be your call.

            • I don’t doubt it (waiting times, other issues) but we have ZERO health care for millions of Americans in the richest country in the world. It is insane at this point. We let people go broke and/or die so corporations can fork over multi-million dollar bonuses to themselves.

              And just like some of your people will come here for special needs (or timely service, etc.), so can we do the same here (private insurance as an option). My foreign agent lives in France and she has no issue whatsoever with the extra taxes she pays or the service she gets.

              • Also taking into account your debt and at the very least natural resources to help offset such massive debt, America is NOT the richest country in the world but America does SPEND MORE than any country in the world and that’s something else entirely.

  9. Common Man says:

    All;

    The challenge we face with the Health Care issue and other Acts/Bills proposed by the government is that they come from the government.

    Our response should and must be “NO!” to anything and everything in and out of Washington, State and Local representatives.

    Since there are so many ‘shell games’ going on within various halls and offices we, at our best, will have difficulty sorting them all out. Therefore we cannot trust that anything brought forward by those in government is righteous.

    Given the governments 100 year track record, they are not to be trusted, and given the devistation displayed as a result of those 100 years, they should no longer be allowed to propose, define, promote or approve policy, law, rules, or standards.

    Nothing coming from this regime is good, therefore everything coming from this regime is bad.

    CM

    • That’s pretty harsh, Common. If this administration passed a law against murdering puppies, by this logic, I should oppose it?

      I judge bills on their merits, as should you. Ideologically opposing everything is not a good way to go. But, you are free to do as you like. I will support the things I see as good.

      • Common Man is right, Mathius.

        You are confused with the use of Law – in the prevention, mitigation and repair of the use of violence…

        …with Law to alter, pervert and confound economic systems.

        Bringing a knife to a monopoly game sorta changes the game – badly.

        There is no bill of government that can improve the economy, Matt.

        You regularly offer that government action in the economy can provide a ‘good’ – yet, can not demonstrate any economic theory which explains it!
        (Don’t worry – nobody has been able to, including Nobel Prize winning economists)

        Read carefully, Matt.

        If one uses a political decision to overrule an economic decision, the outcome will be a political outcome, not an economic outcome!

        You cannot improve an economy by making non-economic decisions.

        • Rara Avis says:

          Black Flag Said:

          There is no bill of government that can improve the economy, Matt.

          Oh, Dread Pirate Flag, you are so very, very wrong. You are wise, I imagine that you can guess the bill of which I am thinking which the Congress could pass which would most certainly improve the economy.

          .

          .

          .

          .

          Answer: A rollback of governmental overreach.

          Shame on you, Dread Pirate, for laying your name to such a false statement.

      • Common Man says:

        Mathius;

        As outlined in USW article today we have another example of the government working a shell game. They typically hide, or at least attempt to hide their objectives from public view and examination. In some cases they lie and in other cases they just avoid the truth.

        If your neighbour lied to you about everything, or just avoided telling you the entire story, how many times would you agree with or support his endeavors?

        If someone did propose a ‘bill’ that made it illegal to kill puppies, but that bill also included ammendments that made it legal to kill kitties, would you question the validity of the bill?

        My point is that those in office have an agenda that does not serve the people of this nation, and have demonstrated that they do not care what those they serve want. Those ‘serving’ in office are only interested in accomplishing their objectives dispite what we as a people say.

        Because they no longer ‘serve’, and everything originating from them is in the form of a shell game, we cannot allow anything they propose to become law; if for no other reason than it may contain hidden agendas.

        When this nation was established it was done so, at least in therory, to be a Republic Government dedicated to serving the people, and those chosen to represent the people did so with only the people’s interest in mind.

        It is, and has been for some time quite the opposite.

        As its citizens we are responsible, becasue we allowed it. Therefore, as its citizens we must stop it.

        I use an engine as an anology: If some of the gas in the gas tank is bad, and is causing the engine to run poorly, you don’t tune the engine to effectively use the bad gas, you empty out the tank and put new gas in.

        We need to get rid of the bad gas (pune intended). And since Acts and Bills are the fuel for Congress and the Executive office we need to shut off the fuel.

        CM

        • Common Man: As its citizens we are responsible, because we allowed it. Therefore, as its citizens we must stop it.

          D13 says: Thank you. It IS our responsibility to stop what we allowed.

          Common Man: I use an engine as an anology: If some of the gas in the gas tank is bad, and is causing the engine to run poorly, you don’t tune the engine to effectively use the bad gas, you empty out the tank and put new gas in.

          D13 Says: I like the analogy, CM….I think the engine is still good. Needs some fine tuning and certainly needs fresh oil/gas. It is up to us.

    • “Nothing coming from this regime is good, therefore everything coming from this regime is bad.”

      Lord knows I’m no Obama supporter (I’m way more liberal) but what you write above is what will guarantee he wins in 2012 (and possibly by a bigger margin). It is blind ideology at its worst.

      • Common Man says:

        Charlie;

        Please provide me some evidence of something good coming from the current regime?

        CM

        • You got me there … I’m way too liberal to think anything good has come from someone who ran to the center to get elected.

          For me Obama is just another business shill with a lot more charisma than the last guy. If it weren’t for Bush, Obama wouldn’t have gotten elected.

          But … if you take a “he’s a Dem/he’s Obama therefore he’s bad” approach to everything he does, then you obviously aren’t being objective. You’re being blind for some ideological reason that serves no one’s interest.

          I think we should pull out of both wars the day he was inaugurated. We haven’t. Many conservatives want him to imbed himself in Afghanistan. Is that not doing something some conservatives think is good? I don’t know where you stand on that issue and I’m not even sure conservatives believe in what they are saying (because Afghanistan has become a mine field for Obama of his own doing and may well bring him to his knees in 2012). You tell me if he’s doing something you agree with. For me, he’s not near liberal enough on key issues to me. But to suggest just because he’s a Dem or Obama he’s wrong is a very blind way to look at something (so to speak).

          • I think his position was more along the lines that if it is coming out of Washington, then it is bad…no political parties or people excluded.

            • Yes, but that’s not what he wrote. He specifically wrote Obama …

              • But..Bush is gone and Obama is here…..He can Veto…why does he not?

              • Veto what? Nothing has been proposed? The Reps are sitting back and enjoying the Dems inability to ram health care through. What would he veto. He’s taken bush’s lead and hasn’t altered a bit. Like I said, he rant to the center to get elected. You guys should be happy with what he’s done. Nothing.

              • Reread his original post…he states “Given the governments 100 year track record, they are not to be trusted”. I believe he then goes further to point out the current regime, but his original post was in reference to government in general…

              • I stand corrected. He said “regime”. Does it make a difference? If everything from this “regime” is judged automatically bad that does make it an objective statement?

              • No, it is not an objective statement to put it like that. It would probably have gone over better if he said nothing from this regime has proved good so far…

          • Common Man says:

            Charlie;

            To clear some things up:

            Government as a whole is not acting with the best interest of the people it was chosen by to represent; not now and not in the last 100 years. The pages of this site (past and present) offer a great many examples.

            I don’t support any non-representing representative because all of them are to some degree liars, thieves and thugs imposing their will upon the nations citizens.

            Although there maybe some in congress today that are righteous and moral (I doubt it) their peers greatly out number them.

            Start over, throw it all out because the cancer has spread to a point that the body cannot survive much longer.

            I attack the current regime because it has excelorated the governments long term plan of some sort of ‘isum’. It is not their agenda to promote liberty and freedom. It is an agenda to remove as many liberty’s and freedoms as they deem self-servingly beneficial.

            Since their objective is to rule, control and dictate the standards which we will be obliged to live by, we must stop them or accept their voice.

            I chose to stop them.

            Moral delema: If everything someone tells you is a lie how do you deal with whatever comes out of their mouth?

            CM

            • CM, just enough time for a brief reply, then I gotta go for a while.

              Your dilemma reads a bit paranoid and although it may be how you feel and I certainly agree that our gov’t today is bought and sold and reprehensible, I don’t agree is any different that the last regime (how you put it). I’m for a socialized resolution and understand you (vast majority here) are at the opposite end of that spectrum, but I do listen to what the opposite side has to say (whether I’m convinced or not). I don’t think we can just ignore everything an administration says whoesale so long as we exist under this form of gov’t. You should vote according to your consience and that is fine, but to discount wholesale everything an administration proposes is, I think, short sighted. But we’re all free to do what we want (so they haven’t taken that much liberty away from us yet really).

              • Common Man says:

                Charlie;

                But they intend too and are working toward that end.

                CM

              • I honestly don’t believe that for a second. The Dems are just as bought and sold as the Reps. They talk and do nothing (Regan nailed it: Do Nothing Democrats). But if that’s what you believe, it’s fair enough for me.

          • Charlie,

            There are so many other reasons not to trust Obama other than “he’s a Dem”. How about his relationship with Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, all those czars, his cozing up to dictators, and his anti white race comments in his books and press conferences?

            I don’t like Dems and I don’t like Republicans. I’m fed up with BOTH parties.

  10. I’ve been busy, amici. Hope all are well. I’m back to check in … and stir the pot (as usual). I read through the article above and took most issue with the following: “But I do start to have the hairs on my neck go up when I am told that the federal government is going to conduct a study to determine what procedures are appropriate.”

    Why doesn’t this bother you when Private Insurers do the same (i.e., when they systematically reject claims to protect their profit)? The fact is (regarding national health insurance being employed by other countries): On an average, they have better service at as much as half the cost. And private health care would still be available here (for those who choose to use it) as it is there. The rest of the world is using it because it works. To suggest it wouldn’t work here is flying in the face of the facts.

    I also have to take issue with a potential morality issue here (as regards what you described as social darwinism). What is the difference between allowing the weak to perish and those incapable of producing (elderly, etc.) facing so-called death panels (and I don’t for a second buy into the death panel nonsense). Doesn’t social darwinism as you described it have a morality issue? If not, why would it make a difference if already weak elderly were let to perish?

    I’m a proponent of neither death panels or social darwinim, but mostly because I don’t see the difference. Both, to me, are immoral.

    As for Sarah Palin not being as dumb as she has sounded (in her own words), I think the opposite … she’s dumber. If the GOP lets her run loose again, it’ll be shooting itself in the foot all over again. David Brooks nailed it the other day (although DOC at my website took me and the Times to the woodshed over this today). Palin is being viewed as someone sounding way too much like Glenn Beck, et al … that may be popular here, but there’s a reason McCain was the party nominee and not a more conservative candidate. The GOP still doesn’t have anybody to lead the party to a victory in 2012 and they should be licking their chops at Obama’s absolute failure thus far … but so long as they cheer America losing the Olympics, etc., they chase independents. Palin bringing up death panels was typical short sightedness; she fired up those standing in front of her (who wanted to be there/hear what she was going to say) and it alienated everybody else. The conservative movement has a solid base, but it is way too small to get one of their own elected. Until they knock off the vitriol, they will remain too small to get one of their own elected. Lindsay Graham couldn’t be more careful in how he tried to distance himself from Beck and Limbaugh, etc., the other day … and then Beck provided the Dems with all the fodder they’ll need to reelected Obama in 2012.

    Now, I as I already stated, I don’t believe anyone was proposing death panels and I would never be in favor of death panels … but I guess my question for USW is: If it is okay to let social darwinism do away with the weak (perish), why isn’t it okay to for death panels to do the same?

    • “The GOP still doesn’t have anybody to lead the party to a victory in 2012”

      The primaries are at the beginning of 2012 and the election is in November of 2012.

      If the GOP has someone already making a bid for the presidency now, it is completely ridiculous. The earliest that anyone should consider the presidency is after next years mid term elections. Wouldn’t the mid term elections show with greater accuracy what the national trend is? The amount of seats gained or lost by either party will help define what the party should look for in 2012.

      From “Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008” on wikipedia.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008
      Between November 2006 and February 2007, eight major candidates opened their campaigns

      In conclusion the GOP does not need someone to lead the party right now. Their leader will be decided in the primary elections.

      • “In conclusion the GOP does not need someone to lead the party right now. Their leader will be decided in the primary elections.”

        Here’s the problem with what you wrote above: Right now the only people being associated with “leading the GOP” are the carnival barkers on the radio. Republicans with a lot more sense are doing their best to distance themselves (but are obviously terrified of doing so because of the conservative backlash). All that does is weaken the party as a whole. Right now most people associate Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. as spokesman for the party. You can deny that all you want (and you may be totally truthful in your denial) but that’s how it is perceived on the street. Beck = Republican. That will keep independents running the other way.

        There’s no single person in the GOP who is the clear leader of the party. Dems had Hillary and then Obama way ahead (several years ahead) of the actual primary. The problem for the GOP is so long as the party lets cretins like Limbaugh (poking fun at the failed Olympic bid as an example, his use and emphasis of “hussein” obama, his very negative attempts to dip into the racist pot, etc.) no one individual in the party can come to the forefront from fear of having to deal with those morons. If they spoke for the party, why wasn’t the nominee conservative?

        • I really don’t think you are being fair to Glenn Beck. He has no compunction whatsoever to call out anyone…Democrat or Republican. He is mostly a conservative and expouses those values…if anyone from either party is contrary to those values, he will say so. IMO, Beck is among the most honest in the media…a little crazy, but honest.

          • I don’t know what to tell you, Terry. He’s a God in the conservative commmunity but the perception of him outside of the community is the polar opposite. Some believe it’s just an act for the sake of cash. Others believe he’s a lunatic. Personally, I believe it’s a little of both. He’s a bit hit playing a lunatic. The bottom line is his message is absolutely at odds with where the GOP needs to be come election time (if they want more than a conservative base support). He does the Reps no good and there are very few people outside of the conservitive community (if any) who believe for a second that Beck isn’t a Republican down the line.

            • I have come to care less about where the GOP needs to be and have taken more of the same approach you have…in a modified way. You repudiate both the GOP and Democrats, I will repudiate either depending on what the track record is of whoever is running…and will not exclude any independent.

              To me, Beck speaks the truth…no matter who it hurts. The truth needs to be told, no matter who it hurts…IMO. Is he a little wacky…yes, but if you simply look to him as the telling of the truth, and do your own research if you doubt him, he is what he is…Personally I like him…maybe I am a little wacky too.

            • I don’t know Charlie….the only thing that I can say about Beck..his facts seem to prove out more accurate than any talk show host….right or left or centrist.

              • I’m not home early enough to watch Beck except for the clips I see of him (mostly when they’re shown on Morning Joe — I’m a Scarborough fan). Someone here suggested the MSNBC carnival barkers use edited clips of Beck and Oreilly. I’m not so sure about that. I’ve watched Oreilly in the early morning before heading to the gym and work and he’s pretty innaccurate on facts. What I’ve seen of Beck is pretty appalling but I don’t know if the clips are edited or not (even so, he appears to be someone who gets off firing people up for nonsense issues). I guess I just don’t know.

                I wouldn’t mind seeing the GOP do weel IF they moved more toward the center and were a lot more inclusive. Right now they are losing ground at a time when they should be licking their chops (obama’s ineffectiveness). I think it’s Beck and the like’s fault (or the GOP leadership for not pushing Beek, Limbaugh, etc. further away) … but who knows. I bet my beloved new york state buffalo bills would win 4 super bowls.

                My buddy the DOC took me to the woodshed today on my blog for going after Beck, etc.

              • Charlie:

                Here is the problem with those watching and playing gottchya with Beck.

                Beck is like a novel. You have to have read the whole story up until now to understand the plot and why this chapter is the way it is.

                The other talking heads are short stories. They change every day and thus each storie can stand on its own.

                Beck tries to get people caught up on the story from time to time but it is not the same as having read the entire book yourself.

        • The GOP does not need someone to lead the party right now because the only thing they should be worried about is the midterm election. For the GOP to have a strong candidate they must have a strong showing in this election. If they do not have a strong showing, it will be impossible for them to have a strong candidate.

          Obama made an incredibly short run to the presidency. State legislator 1997-2004, US Senator 2004-2008. People attribute his rise and potential presidency after 2004 election based off his keynote address at the democratic convention. Why I don’t know? At the time of the speech he was running for senator for his first term and he won by a large margin. Was that victory all that surprising? He did beat a one term incumbent republican. But he was also the only republican senator in that state since 1980. How could the presidency been on his radar at the time of the speech?

          Could it be possible that a republican can rise to the power to ‘lead the party’ after the midterm elections? While all the democrats were Bush bashing during his second term did they have a leader? I would say they didn’t have a clear leader until Obama, and Obama wasn’t the leader until he beat Clinton in the primary. Who was the leader directly after Bush 1 lost to Clinton? Who was the leader after Dole lost to Clinton? Who was the leader when Gore lost to Bush 2? Who was the leader after Kerry lost to Bush 2? If you can’t answer these questions without looking it up, does it really matter?

          • Hillary was an absolute clear leader of the Dem party. Not even debatable. Do you not remember the infighting in the Dem party over the two once Obama announced? Jesus, that was the Reps only hope post Bush, that the Dems split.

            You can’t go too far into the past here because we’re dealing with the present. The political atmosphere today is very different. There was no Beck back then. No Olbermann, etc. And if the GOP can’t pick up seats in 2010 after the big Zero Obama has produced so far, they’re in bigger trouble than I think.

    • I do not have time at the moment to write a lot but I wanted to make one point.

      Most largish companies are “self funded”. They pay all the medical bills above the deductable and premiums of their employees. They have an insurance management group (i.e. Blue Cross) manage the insurance protocols for them and to handle all the claims, paperwork, etc… But in the end the company pays for everything.

      The companies contract out to the insurance management groups that will service their needs best based upon the time of coverage they are willing to offer.

      So if you do not like your insurance. Complain to the company you work for. Have everyone complain. Then maybe it will change and they will pay for more stuff. Of course you or your buddy may lose their job becuase the company you work for cannot afford to have as many people on staff.

      Side note: Two years ago the company I worked for had 22,000 employees and paid out over $100,000,000 for health care benefits. They changed the type of health care from a PPO to a CDHC (Customer driven health care) to save money because the PPO was no longer economically viable. It cost some employees more and some employees less, but overall the company saved money by making the consumers of the health care more aware of what the real costs of the services being rendered were.

    • Obama is not the problem in 2012… He is powerless without Congress. The key, to start is Congress. I do not care about Obama…he is a bag man. But his power lies within the walls not of the White House..no matter the Czars and no matter the executive orders. He wants a legacy.

      Now, the bad guys are in Congress. Therein lies the real power. Interesting to see the change, if any next year. I am doing what I can to change it.

      death panels….it is all in the definition and the acceptance thereof….I have read the Baucus Bill and the HR bill…neither mention “death panels”….how ever…a duck is a duck…rationing health care by government edict that leads to less care even for the elderly because it is not cost effective and said decision shortens the life….what is it called?

      And, I know that insurance companies do it also and I do not agree with that. It is a death panel, no matter how you spin it, if any group of individuals makes a decision on with holding medical care that shortens anyone’s life….is wrong.

      Having said that, our family avoids this issue. we create living wills and codicils that dictate no prolonged procedures. We wish to die a natural death.

      • D13 … but what about those who die because they have no health insurance and might live if they did? Or those who lose their homes from health costs?

        Too many other countries do this successfully (at a lower cost) for this to be rejected wholesale in America.

        Obama’s problem is he can’t control his own party and if the GOP can find one person who isn’t a ranter (who scares independents the other way), they’ll have ruined any Obama legacy with victories in 2010 and then 2012. The GOP problems is they aren’t distancing themselves enough from the carnival barkers running wild on the radio.

        • Common Man says:

          Charlie;

          The problem with both the Dems and the Reps are those that make up the party; indignant, self-righteous liars, thieves, and thugs that have chosen a lifestyle which serves their own objectives, at the expense of those that they are suppose to serve.

          D13 is correct in that Congress is the biggest problem because it contains the bulk of the liars, thieves and thugs.

          Remove them and we have a better chance or regaining our liberties and freedom.

          CM

          CM

          • I’m all for either polar form of a new government before what we have today (i.e., Although I’d prefer a more socialized approach to the problem (Nader), I can live with the small government paradigm (Paul) rather than deal with Dems and/or Reps. I’ve voted for both parties in the past and they’ve each left me sorely disappointed. I have no use for either and stopped voting for them after I voted for Bush twice. I’m a Nader man for now (totally useless vote, I understand, but I’m not willing to vote for what I think is the lesser of two evils anymore. They’re both useless).

            • But, Charlie, thank you for your vote. No matter it is for Nader, if that is your choice. It is a vote and you exercised your right to vote…but more so, your vote is a record and repudiation of Dem/Rep and it is out there to see. A no vote, albeit a right, is hidden, and, in my opinion, does not show anything for or against. But that is my opinion.

            • Charlie…one issue here. I have read the house bill three times. I have read the Baucus bill twice….There is a misconception on “keeping” your health insurance. You can keep it..until it expires and then the requirements kick in. This is not keeping it.

              Also, if I were and employer, I would drop my private health insurance in a heart beat to save costs and shift the burden. Would yo not do the same?

              Also, I want the option of having health insurance. I do not want to pay a penalty if I choose to opt out. What say you?

              • I agree with what you say regarding maintainin the option (and there shouldn’t be a requirement that either costs more money to maintain private insurance or one that turns it into gov’t insurance).

                I would definitely go the cheaper route if I were an employer, no doubt, but I can live with it if I’m an employee having to go to a public option. Some might take issue with it, but I wouldn’t.

              • Understand and point made.

              • D13,

                Also, if I were and employer, I would drop my private health insurance in a heart beat to save costs and shift the burden. Would yo not do the same?

                If this is the case, why don’t employers drop the private health insurance right now?

                It would save costs and shift the burden – and as an added benefit to the employer, there’s no penalty right now…

                The reason employers provide benefits like health insurance is that it attracts and retains good employees.
                That will not change if healthcare reform is passed.

        • Hi Charlie…..good question but I would like to see real hard evidence of those that have no health insurance relative to death as a lack thereof…

          as to those that lose their homes….all the statistics that I have seen have shown that the health costs was the final blow…not the catalyst. For a family to be in debt up to their eyeballs and then get sick and say…see not having insurance sunk us…is not a good characterization.

          This is a tough question for me because I would like to see some reform but am dead set against nationalized health care and I am a senior. I also have a problem with anyone saying that it is a government responsibility to financially take care of me. If I do not have the money for long term health care and I do not have a family to take care of me, then woe is me and I have no problem with it. But to guarantee health care at the expense of others….I do have a problem with it. I have read the health care results and programs in Canada, England, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium and I look at their tax rates and their results…..no thank you.

          I am fortunate, however, I have VA and USAA supplemental. I do not even want medicare or medicaid but I do not think that I can opt out of it. If I can opt out of Medicaid/Medicare, I will do so. I do not think that the VA will allow that.

          Want to lower health costs….open up the market place. do not hamstring the insurance companies by not allowing them to compete across State lines. Leave it up to the states.

          • I’m pretty sure the stats are 20,000 a year die from no coverage and 750,000 a year lose their homes. Now, those may be skewed one way or the other, but I don’t think one can argue it isn’t a factor (i.e., there are those who cannot get necessary medicine’s etc. to survive because they can’t afford them/no insurance).

            If a family loses their home because insurance costs became the final straw (so to speak) what’s the difference? Should people live with the fear of financial ruin from the time they start earning a pay check until they pass? I’m not ignoring the credit card debt issues, etc., but not everyone was living the life of reilly who lost their homes (and not everybody was over extended). Severe sudden injuries (accidents, etc.) require enormous costs. People lose their homes because of it. No fault of their own (accidents) … how do we “morally” let them go under like that? I can’t blame them for not having a shoebox filled with cash “just in case”.

            I don’t mind taxes so long as we get something from it. To me, higher taxes would be worth a nationalized health plan, but that’s where we differ on that subject. I don’t believe companies that have proven they will systematically reject claims for nonsense issues (and/or pre existing issues) will suddenly become more beneficent. Those companies are doing more than fine right now (which is why they spent $400 million to block a public option). I understand they operate for profit … but their costs are skyrocketing while they maintain profit and we have too many uninsured in the richest country in the world. Other countries can do it, so can we. Nobody is fleeing Japan, Sweden, Holland, the UK because of health care costs.

            • If you don’t mind taxes being paid for what you would get anyway, why do you insist on taxes, and not just pay for it when you use it?

              I do not understand….

              “I need food, so I don’t mind being taxed so that the government will give me the food I need, even though I would buy the food if I didn’t have to pay the tax….”

              • BF, I might not mind personally but what about those who can’t afford it?

                I’m not sure you agree with USW’s “perish” proposal, but I can’t.

                I don’t see how you can ignore those who can’t afford health insurance and I don’t believe insurance companies left on their own would lower prices enough (competition never stopped monopolies from forming).

              • what about those who can’t afford it?

                Good ol’Charlie – a gangster with a heart.

                I know its hard for you to trust this, so let’s read history to confirm it.

                Every society, across all history and time, across the world – has had charity even the Spartans.

                A society that disdains itself cannot survive.

                The same with our society.

                For those that cannot pay, charity exists.

                Charity cannot compete with government – because a charity needs to perform; to do good work with the money give to it. A government does not.

                Bad money pushes out good money.

                Government pushes out charity.

                I’m not sure you agree with USW’s “perish” proposal, but I can’t.

                People will die – in your system, and many of those badly, too.

                So we cannot use “the lack of dying” as a measure, can we?

                People die. The Universe says so.

                I don’t see how you can ignore those who can’t afford health insurance and I don’t believe insurance companies left on their own would lower prices enough (competition never stopped monopolies from forming)

                Monopolies: Can only exist by government law

                Only government can prevent someone from doing business.

                Free market system cannot support a monopoly – a monopoly in a free market system would have to be a “perfect” company – which requires perfect suppliers.

                That demand of perfection outside of itself makes the theoretical base for monopolies impossible in a free market.

                Only government, by writ, can exclude people from entering a marketplace.

                I believe you want insurance companies to provide service for free – for that is the only way for everyone to have insurance – because there is always some price which is too high for someone.

                So your goal is wholly unattainable – something of value to be sold for free.

                You are trying to push a string, my friend.

            • Charlie:

              But I DO NOT wish to pay for your health insurance or medical care.

              Your use of the govt to take my money without my permission to pay for your care is nothing less than theft.

              If you want public health care then you pay for it, but leave me out of it.

              Then and only then would your system be MORAL.

              • I understand your argument; it is a valid point, but under a social contract that has been in existence for 200+ years, you may have to help pay for my medical insurance. Now, you can argue against it (and I do understand your argument) but I’m of the belief that we all need to chip in for what serves the greater good (not popular here, I know) but mostly because I don’t see how we don’t do that anymore. We’ve avoided national healthcare long enough. It works. It’s a proven commodity and we still have the option to buy our own insurance. We pay taxes because there are certain things we need as a society (defense, infrastrucutre, etc.). I know BF’s argument against this but I don’t agree with it. So long as we live under this system, we all have to chip in. It would be nice if the richest 1% of the country chipped in a lot more but that won’t happen while I’m alive (because they are free not to).

              • Charlie:

                But you see there is not such contract. The constitution is just that, a constitution. It does not fit the “social contract” theory because it does not include what govt is supposed to “do for us”.

                You see that is the root of Mr. Obama’s comments regarding the lack of “positive provisions” as opposed to the “negative constraints” in the constitution.

                It simply sets out specific authority. And since the politicians and judges have seen fit to break this document how can we claim it to be a “contract” or even still in effect?

    • Charlie:

      Your question to USW reveals the secret to your slavery. Apparently you see no difference between the actions taken by free people in the private sector and those actions taken by government bureaucrats and imposed upon you.

      Is that correct?

      • No, I was merely pointing out that (to borrow a BF argument a moment) it is unreasonable/illogical to argue “for morality” on the one hand (in proposing less government in the form of social darwinism where the weak will “perish”) but to then say it is immoral for the government to propose death panels.

        I don’t agree with either (where you’ve misread me, perhaps?). I think BOTH are immoral. I say we cannot let the weak perish nor can we permit death panels.

        • No one dying would be nice – but impossible.

          The choice comes down to – “Who pays?”

          One way, someone else pays …. is an unsustainable system – if the World famous author, Stella is forced to buy me lunch everyday, I assure Mr. Stella my lunch will be New York steak.

          Or, someone pays for themselves…. is sustainable – the World unfamous Black Flag now has to buy his own lunch – and he’d rather brown bag it….

          God has not provided any other way, Charlie –

          • But that just isn’t true; that Stella is world famous or that people will opt for steak at The Palm. This is being down in other very advanced countries (France, Holland, UK, Ireland, Canada, etc.) It isn’t the disaster there some try to make it out to be or it would’ve been changed. It’s been around for a long time and there’s no reason it can’t be done here … especially since we’d still have the option to choose private insurers if we want.

            And we all pay for it sooner or later (whether it’s in the form of higher costs to sustain profit while others have none and are forced to walk into emergency rooms — which we pay for in the long run) or we pay for it as a tax. What’s the difference? It changes nothing for those who can afford their own insurance and it provides those without coverage with it.

            • It is an entitlement program no matter where it is instituted. Once an entitlement program is established, it is near impossible to get rid of…

              • But why get rid of it if it works? Medicaid can be classified as such. VA benefits as well. Why do away with them?

              • Given all I have read or heard, I am not sure it really does work. What works for other countries that do not have the level of medical expertise that exists in the US, is not a measure I can stand behind. I really need to do further research on my own to come to a definitive conclusion.

              • They don’t work. That is the problem. Medicaid and Medicare are unsustainable. We are seeing that already. The VA system kind of works but only because there are vast limits on what is done there. But the VA system is proving unsustainable as well. These nationalized health cares that you are claiming work everywhere else are proving unsustainable.

                I find it odd that we claim to learn from other countries who have done it, yet we ignore that those countries are facing problems. Canada is quickly moving towards more privatized health care. The nationalized health care system cannot do the job. Why do we have to go through the 40 years of learning for ourselves what our northern neighbors have already learned?

              • Quickly moving where? Europe has had it a long time and doesn’t consider doing away with it. Nor will Canada. NO way.

            • Charlie Stella

              But that just isn’t true; that Stella is world famous or that people will opt for steak at The Palm.

              Well, you are world famous – but perhaps not broadly – but, yes, people will select steak!

              It is praxeological – if there is no penalty upon me to take the most I can, I will take the most I can

              This is being down in other very advanced countries (France, Holland, UK, Ireland, Canada, etc.)

              Because, in a bizarre way to stop the rush to steak – these guys have done the equivalent of laying spikes down in the hallways!

              For example, in most places in Canada – you are only allowed to discuss ONE medical issue per visit to the doctor. Then you have to make another appointment.

              In the UK, if wait times in emergency are too long – they force you to leave, and then reenter – resetting the “timer”.

              All these countries, by some bizarre methods and reasons – make hoops and loops to gain access to service.

              One only needs to reference other government services – where it’s ‘free’ but you have to fill in the paper work, reams and reams of it….

              It isn’t the disaster there some try to make it out to be or it would’ve been changed.

              But that’s the other problem, Charlie.

              Once people get something for free – and then learn to believe they ‘deserve it’ – they will resist with all their might to stop any withdrawal of such ‘free’ service – until the system collapses.

              The system has only one route left – self collapse – because any attempt to stop the collapse means a withdrawal of service and no one will allow that.

              It’s been around for a long time and there’s no reason it can’t be done here … especially since we’d still have the option to choose private insurers if we want.

              Between ‘free’ (or nearly free) and pay – what do you think people will choose?

              And we all pay for it sooner or later (whether it’s in the form of higher costs to sustain profit while others have none and are forced to walk into emergency rooms — which we pay for in the long run) or we pay for it as a tax. What’s the difference?

              The former is made by free choice, the latter by force.

              Thus, the former is created by the free choices of consumers, voting daily with their dollar, to whomever is the best is sovling their problem.

              The latter is devoid of such mechanisms – where the worst of services are excused and given bigger budgets.

              It changes nothing for those who can afford their own insurance and it provides those without coverage with it.

              People will not pay twice, no matter how rich they are.

              Either they will withdraw their monies, and your system will collapse or they will pay for service you can’t get.

              And since the latter is your complaint (and focus of effort to prevent) you failed there too!

        • Charlie:

          My comment remains sound. You still do not recognize the difference between the two.

          One is choice made by free men of their own free will.

          The other is choice made by govt and imposed upon men.

          Thus the first is in fact moral at its core because it preserves the freedom and free will of man.

          • I have an awful hard time swallowing your “morality” when the same free men of their own will permit people to die because they don’t have insurance. How do you connect those dots?

            Until you can explain that one for me, you’ll have to excuse my refusal to buy into your argument.

            • Charlie:

              If I have no knowledge of the person you describe there is NO moral issue at all. Morality is a human concept designed to describe the right vs wrong behavior in our relationships to other humans.

              If I have knowledge of this person there is still no moral obligation to take care of this person. However, as a free man I am free to choose to help him if I can. I will provide assistance directly or through charitable contributions to assist with his insurance coverage.

              If I do not have the means to help then I must make sure that I take care of ME first. That is a moral decision as preserving my own existence is my most moral imperative.

              You believe there is a moral imperative for us to “take care of others”. I have shown before how this is in fact immoral, as it results in the use of coersion against us to meet the “greater good” as defined by the tribe in charge.

              In order for man to be prosperous and flourish, man must be free. That is the moral imperative. That is the core value from which the others should sprout.

              Free men do not “permit” people to die because they have no insurance. Free men do not “make decisions” for others. They allow the other free men to make their own decisions. The concept of “permitting” carries with it the inferrence of “action” on behalf of the other person. The poor man can ask for help. And as I said, the other free men may choose to help or not help. That is their choice to make based on the circumstances that each of them finds themselves in.

              But only the players involved can make the rational choices based on their circumstances. That includes the poor man. That is why it is the most moral choice. As rationality, the use of reason, is the core moral value. It is irrational to think that a govt can make the most best decisions for the actors in this play.

              • “I have shown before how this is in fact immoral, as it results in the use of coersion against us to meet the “greater good” as defined by the tribe in charge.”

                You have shown this to whom? I don’t buy it, not for a second.

              • I have explained it to you specifically, as has Peter and BF, and some others on occassion.

                But you refuse to listen and consider the information in a serious manner. I have come to think that you will not “buy” anything that is contrary to your currently held belief system. Regardless of how many facts are presented or how often your own philosophy is shown to be in contradiction with reality.

                Reasoned thought apparently doesn’t matter to you. At least for now. I will continue to hold out some hope for you though. I am after all the eternal optimist in this crowd.

                Hope your day went well.
                JAC

              • “I have come to think that you will not “buy” anything that is contrary to your currently held belief system. Regardless of how many facts are presented or how often your own philosophy is shown to be in contradiction with reality.”

                This is almost funny, my brother. I feel the same EXACT way about your position. You think you proved something; you proved nothing to me. If anything, after hearing about social Darwinism and the like, I’m twice as convinced your way is wrong (in spite of how many times I’ve tried to enlighten you … 🙂

            • “permit people to die because they don’t have insurance.” So instead we need to force them to live?

              Its interesting that all the numbers of people dieing because they lack healthcare are estimated. Why does the media not take a picture of one of these people who “died in the street”.
              They can take pictures of our fallen soldiers returned in caskets. If 47,000 are dieing in the street, surely they can get one or two pictures?

              “In the Sept. 2008 American Spectator, David Hogberg explained the origin of claims that 18,000 people die each year because they are uninsured and why some could improperly extrapolate even larger figures (up to 47,000 people).”

              http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-philbin/2009/10/06/former-clinton-staffer-says-47-000-die-annually-un-insurance

              • You’re already convinced of your position (by using an absurd counterpoint).

                If you don’t think people die because they don’t have healthcare, I don’t know what to tell you, brother.

                As far as soldiers dying overseas, we can remedy that pronto by ending these absurd wars and bring them home.

              • Stop interchanging health “care” and health “insurance” in ever other comment.

                They are not the same. No need to spread your confusion and irrational thinking to the rest of us.

                And “medical” care is also different but at least more closely linked to “health insurance”.

              • I didn’t realize so much brain power was so easilty confused. So sorry for the error.

              • “If you don’t think people die because they don’t have healthcare, I don’t know what to tell you, brother.”

                But how many die in the US because they do not have healthcare? Since our government is trying to spend a trillion dollars on this, is that not a fair question?

                Do I think there are US deaths that are preventable, yes. Are some of those because people do not have insurance, its likely.
                But I have also seen charitable hospitals that do not let a person go untreated, whether they can pay or not. I am sure some hospitals turn people away who cannot pay for non-emergency treatment.
                But if they keep trying other hospitals, its likely they will get treatment for life threatening illness, unless it is likely they will die anyway.
                Ex., they would not try to get a kidney transplant for an alcoholic or drug addict. But lets do like the media and politicians and say they died because they didn’t have health care.
                The alcohol or drug abuse that destroyed their body is not relevant to the point here, its the greedy insurance companies fault, right?

                Show me some real numbers and I might be persuaded, otherwise I am convinced the media lies, politicians lie, and when they push this hard on something, its agenda driven.

                So why do you believe their numbers?

              • Once you eliminate alcoholics and drug addicts (curious if Rush Limbaugh counts), I have an issue with your “charity”. I just don’t believe it is moral to let people die if something as basic as health care was provided (through insurance or whatever). I know people die all the time, but what does that have to do with the issue?

                Now, it is a gigantic cost, but since the insurance companies have made out so well, you’ll have to excuse me for not caring very much if their monopoly gets squashed. I think we’re on different pages. I don’t disrespect your argument, brother. I understand what you’re saying. I just don’t believe it is the right thing to do.

    • v. Holland says:

      “I’m a proponent of neither death panels or social darwinim, but mostly because I don’t see the difference. Both, to me, are immoral.”

      You may have to rethink this statement-I did-I was frankly a little horrified when USW brought up social darw. but I sat back and heard many people say I only want to help the truly needy(you were one of them, me too), by making this statement you are saying I would let someone die-If they were capable of taking care of themselves but just won’t would you continue to help them or leave them to take care of themselves or die, whichever they chose. I came to the conclusion, as distasteful as it was that I would let them die-that I couldn’t save them-they would have to save themselves.

      • And what about those who can’t help themselves (say, a paraplegic for an absurd example). He’s born into a poverty situation, his family is on welfare and there’s no help he can turn to. You let him die?

        I don’t let his family die, never mind him.

        Sorry, but I have a huge problem with social darwinism and morality being used in the same sentence.

        • v. Holland says:

          It was just an observation that saying social darw. is immoral when your statement supports it(to a degree)is something that you should think about. Or perhaps we all need to determine what truly needy means.

          • I don’t support it in any way shape or form. I think it is an absurd argument that if taken to its natural conclusion reverts us to a state of nature and the guy with the bigger stick wins.

  11. Gold smashed to new record high
    $1034, up $17 this morning – up 23% from a year ago.

    • False economy? Unless you own the hard material, as I do.

      • Barberian says:

        Buying gold since $350/ounce. Will continue and other hard commodities. The market is playing the dupes and will not trust the information coming out of the pie-holes that make a living out of it.

  12. Ray Hawkins says:

    Quick thoughts and comments after reading this….

    Am surprised that you would consider the assessment of Daschle’s book credible when you normally/typically demand a little bit more of concrete evidence.

    “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it”

    – Where did you pull this quote from? I cannot find original sourcing for this which raises doubt whether Daschle said it or not.

    Ambiguity – good point – I have also read numerous times on this site that many favor smaller, leaner, crisper bills that are easier to digest and read. Not sure where the middle ground is on this.

    “It is obvious that when we do that, the claims of death panels may not be fully substantiated, but they certainly are not quite as put to rest as we might first assume.”

    – Um – yes it is put to rest to rest. There is nothing one can even remotely & logically construe as death panels.

    “The evidence just isn’t there, despite the fact that some of the players involved (Tom Daschle, Ezekiel Emanuel) are absolutely proponents of rationing care to the elderly”

    – What is this *despite the fact* nonsense? You have offered nothing of consequence other than to say Senator such-and-such from Indiana said “this” about Daschle’s book. You’ll admit assuming Burton’s comments are “accurate” yet refer to him as part of the collective gaggle of liars and hyenas? Huh? Is a Senator believable only when they bash someone you admit you have bias against (e.g. Daschle)?

    Death Panels were nonsense – a creative and successful way to Chappaquiddick the Health Care dialogue – a strategy pursued by the empty suits and heads from the right who came to the debate to oppose any plan – not because they disagree philosophically (uh – Medicare anyone?) with Obama but because they simply want the guy to fail. People can rant on that “they took it from da bill didn’t they!” Sure – the Democrats are cowards to the hatefulness of the Republicans on this one – that is why it was removed.

    • Ray…as a favor…what is your definition of “death panel” ?

    • “Chappaquiddick the Health Care dialogue” Huh ??

      Seems that wouldn’t be any more valid than “Swift Boating” ..

      Like most Americans (heck everyone who may come here), I would love to have a reformed health care system. But as much time I spend looking for pros and cons – I see that the Obama admin has no intention of having any sort of discourse and NO-ONE knows what to even debate!

      Seems to me just another failure of transparency which was the only hope I had before the election.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Frank – Chappa…. is merely a metaphor – you know – irresponsibly driving off the bridge and then walking away while others deal with the collateral damage.

        As I have said numerous times – and more and more what I hear everyday – I don’t think we are going to have a reformed Health Care system. It is short sighted to set this merely at the feet of POTUS – wherein our elected officials could work for us they are working against us.

  13. I think trust is the issue here. There is no real provision for “death panels”
    in any of the current bills, but could their “Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research” grow in the future? Will their “recommendations” later become guidelines?

    Obama started this debate touting 46 million in America without healthcare, in his last speech there were only 35 million. Joe Wilson said he lied about coverage for illegals. Congress and the senate have stopped any amendments to address clearly the issues on immigration or abortion coverage. Does anyone here trust Pelosi or Reed?

    All of these issues could be resolved with simple declarative statements written at the beginning of the bill.

    This bill is not to provide ANY funding to non-citizens not legally residing in the United States.

    This bill is not to provide ANY funding for abortion.

    This bill is not to provide ANY binding guidelines for end-of-life decision making. All such decisions should be between the patient and their medical physician.

    Their refusal to use clear language to resolve any of these issues leaves most Americans doubting, and its more important to get it right than to just get something passed into law.

  14. Morning All

    I am sticking to my guns on this one, and that is, the government does NOT belong in the health care business. It should not be up to government telling doctors what medical procedures they can and cannot do, or what and how much of any medications they can prescribe. That should be strictly be between doctor and patient, not doctor, patient and government. What ever happened to privacy between doctor and patient?

    Hope all will have a good day

    Judy

    • Judy,

      the government does NOT belong in the health care business

      What are your feelings on Medicare? And Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefit)?

      I imagine you’re against these, as they are government run healthcare?

      So you’d prefer to get medical insurance for your Mom in the private individual insurance market?

      It’s quite pricey, from what I hear.

      What ever happened to privacy between doctor and patient?

      That disappeared a long time ago, when insurance companies stepped in and started telling doctors what treatments and tests are covered. It’s call HMO’s, PPO’s, and Networks.

      Everything you don’t like about government healthcare is being done by private health insurance, but since it’s private companies, they don’t have to tell you about it…

      • Hi Todd

        As a matter of fact, yes my mother does have private health insurance as well as medicare, and medicaid. Not sure what the premiums are though, my sister makes the payment for her. Her insurance is through Health Net, and for what I understand, it is based in Calif. My mother is 87 years old, and has a case of Dementia, not a real bad case, but enough,can’t make rash decisions for herself, we have to make them for her.

        She was up here visiting, when she just keeled over, called the ambulance, they came, took her to hospital. ram several tests, found nothing, didn’t have to pay for anything. The bill came to $5000, so is that a good thing or bad thing? She’s paid into it throughout her working for 30 some odd years, is she not entitled to use it? Just asking.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Judy – I think Todd is perhaps pointing out the POSSIBLE contradictions in your own statements:

          Statement One: “I am sticking to my guns on this one, and that is, the government does NOT belong in the health care business.”

          Does not seem to jive with:

          Statement Two: “She’s paid into it throughout her working for 30 some odd years, is she not entitled to use it? Just asking.”

          So you are in favor of Healthcare as an entitlement program or are you against it? What isn’t clear if you are saying the government paid the bill or someone else did? If you are not in favor of government Healthcare then what is your reaction to your own family exercising that benefit?

          • Don’t mean to jump in here, but one statement caught my eye. Judy’s mam “paid into it”, and expects a return for her being forced to do so. Would you not feel the same way?

            The Medicare system has shown that healthcare procedures are denied at almost twice as much as regular insurance, and is on the verge of insolvancy. D.C. claims they can save 500 billion by eliminating waste and fraud, that they havn’t been able to do for over 30 years. Seniors, like Canadians, have grown up with this mess, that will eventually fail.

            Judy’s mom is “STUCK” with previous bad legislation, on top of many other bad legislations.

            Medicare is not an entitlement if one pays into it (like insurance).

            Welfare is entitlement, that needs eliminated.

            Just my two pennies Ray, hope your are healthy and happy!

            G!

            • G-Man,
              Who said you could jump in here?? 😉

              Medicare is not an entitlement if one pays into it (like insurance).

              Medicare and Social Security are entitlements. Everyone pays in, and everyone gets benefits.

              Welfare is entitlement, that needs eliminated.

              Welfare is not an entitlement. Everyone pays, but not everyone gets benefits.

        • Judy,
          I was just questioning your comment that government does NOT belong in the health care business. Government already is in the health care business with Medicare, and while it has issues, most people are glad to have it.

  15. Which insurance companies rejected the most claims?

    The Medicare denial rate found in the study was roughly 1.7 times that of all of the private carriers combined.

    You would think Medicare’s sheer size might enable it to have smoother procedures with its providers that would enable it to turn down a lower percentage of claims. But no, this is the government we’re talking about.

    So who’s the most “heartless” now? And why should Americans accept the idea of gradually being forced into a government-run system when, based on documented government experience, they will be more likely to see their claims denied?

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/10/06/deny-guess-who-has-highest-medical-claim-rejection-rate

    So why are so many worried about our government running all of our healthcare?
    Just because what they are running right now is screwed up does not mean they won’t fix this with a little more tax spending.

    • And then there’s outlandish fraud in Medicare… … If I recall (too many hits now on a search) 3 Billion that’s BILLION in just the Miami area !! Can you imagine what it is in the Chicago area?

      When I was pollyannish and thinking they wanted to really do something, I hoped they would address medicare 1st to prove it could be done, and the support would be there for expansion.

      • Frank,

        I wonder what individuals can do to start policing this waste. Obviously, it is beyond the government to control their own programs.

        Hey, D13, what about a Medicare fraud / waste expose in Ft. Worth? You have done so well with the other issues there, I bet with some investigation you could raise some real hell with this one.

  16. I know this is a little off-topic, but why don’t we hear more talk about the Pharmaceutical Industry? Yes, the insurance companies and trial lawyers are part of the problem as well.

    It seems that, in the past 10 or more years, we have broadened the definition of things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. More people with the “condition” will need some form of (expensive) pills FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

    I don’t quite understand why the prices of these medicines have gotten so out of control. I know people who don’t feel that they need to carry health insurance, but they do because it pays for their prescriptions.

    I don’t intend any disrespect to those who need these medicines. My point is that the big drug companies are fleecing America. A lot of people want the jump on Halliburton, BP, etc. but we’re quiet when it comes to Pfizer.

    And don’t even get me started on E.D., Restless Legs Syndrome or Chronic Dry Eye. Or all the school-age kids in America who go to school medicated.

    • Wasabi:

      You must be of the younger generation. Man don’t you know that we get better living through chemistry?

      All those scientists creating these miracle drugs were doing what in the 60’s and 70’s?

      Chemicals, more chemicals…………LOL

      The high cost of medication is due to the protected monopoly that comes with the patent protection on new drugs. Once the protection period ends the cost usually drops dramatically. I don’t think they are “fleecing” us in the traditional sense. We do seem gullible to every new wonder drug that comes along however. So perhaps it is more like snake oil sales than an outright fleecing.

      Hope the Wasabi is well today.
      JAC

      • Actually I’m over 50. I work offshore in the oil and gas industry, so sometimes I’m not around for 3 or 4 weeks. I see what the oil companies invest, so it bugs me when the oil companies catch hell but Big Pharma gets a pass.

        I understand the Miracles of Modern Chemistry, but you must admit that the profits are obscene.

        • Wasabi:

          Admit that Pharma profits obscene? NO. Not without proof they are made through theft or fraud.

          If you accept the Black Flag rule regarding intellectual property then perhaps you can claim such profits as obscene. Because they would be the result of govt patent protection.

          I am not convinced on that point and therefore do not view profits made during the copyright/patent protection as obscene in and of themselves.

          Now, the reality is that Pharma, like all big industries in this country, lobby the govt for special protections and favors. But oil companies also fit the bill there. Until WE change the game I can not chastize them for playing the current form of the game to win.

          And I don’t think Big Oil should catch hell either over its profits.

          • I find it amusing that people will yell and scream about defects of monopolies and government intervention – but fail to the same defects in all monopolies and all government interventions.

            Monopolies prevent free men from exercising their ability to earn a living by the means they have. Such an actions of monopolies forces free men into immorality, for the only other avenue left for such men is to take what they are prevented from earning.

            • BF:

              “Such an actions of monopolies forces free men into immorality, for the only other avenue left for such men is to take what they are prevented from earning.”

              Sorry my friend but that is a false choice. The free man has a choice. He can elect to find another moral option rather than “stealing” what he thinks he needs.

              The presence of immoral behavior or evil, does not require immoral or evil behavior by others.

              And for the record, I clearly see the connections between copyrights and their effect on others to use that work for their own gain. As I said, I have not abandoned the concept of intellectual property rights. I am still working on the issue but have not changed my position as yet.

              I don’t see how such property right impedes upon the rights of another. For you see, if my idea is not made public, the other person would not even have such an option available. So why is my right forfieted just because he now has knowledge of my discovery?

              Now is not the time for further discussion on that issue. AS I said, I am still working on it.

              Colder than you know what this AM.
              Fall lasted about 2 days.

              • Jac

                Sorry my friend but that is a false choice. The free man has a choice. He can elect to find another moral option rather than “stealing” what he thinks he needs.

                Then, sir, that argument applies to any monopoly. Therefore, by your argument, monopolies are not immoral.

                “Too bad you can’t sell burgers – go figure out some other business to earn”

                Again, my complaint – it appears the defects of monopoly magically disappear “in this special case”

                The presence of immoral behavior or evil, does not require immoral or evil behavior by others.

                It is not required – it is human action (praxeology).

                When I prevent men from earning, I will cause men to take, instead.

                I don’t see how such property right impedes upon the rights of another.

                Correct – REAL property rights do not impede – because REAL property rights exist due to the SCARCITY of objects – that is only one person at a time can physically stand on this one spot.

                Property rights are a methodology to determine that right.

                However, KNOWLEDGE is NOT SCARCE. My knowing does not prevent your knowing.

                I can build what you can build and vis versa.

                There is no use for Property rights since there does not exist scarcity.

                For you see, if my idea is not made public, the other person would not even have such an option available.

                Then it does not exist, either.

                We can only act upon what is, not what is merely fantasy.

                So why is my right forfieted just because he now has knowledge of my discovery?

                Because it is not a right. So you cannot apply ‘human rights’ test to it!

                Knowledge is not a right. It is earned.

                You do not have a right to prevent my earning.

                Now is not the time for further discussion on that issue. AS I said, I am still working on it.

                I added some more weights to the barbell.

                🙂

    • Don’t remember where I either saw read or heard it, but for every new drug that makes it to market, the pharmaceutical company has 500-1000 drugs that didn’t. All of the R&D from those failed drugs get paid for somehow.

      The other key is that the way health insuracnce works is itself driving up the cost. Look at the difference between the cost of a prescription drug and an OTC drug. OTC drug costs really haven’t changed over the years because when YOU have to pay for them from YOUR pocket, you will make the decision based on economic return. When your insurance covers or subsidises the cost, you really don’t care how much it is, because it isn’t coming outof your pocket.

      • From the Douglas Report,

        Every year, a more and more clinical trials are conducted overseas, with nearly a third of them now taking place outside of the United States and Western Europe.

        Many of these shady experiments are conducted in Third World countries, where patients are tricked, cajoled and forced into participating in studies that they don’t fully understand. A new report in the American Medical News is a real eye-opener if you’re unfamiliar with these devious deals.

        Even that fine piece of reporting only tells part of the story. While the authors of this study were rightly concerned about the impact these tests have on those poor human lab rats overseas, I’m even more worried about what this alarming trend means for you and your family.

        The FDA is already a largely ineffective body, barely able to keep tabs on the research going on here inside our borders. When it comes to these outsourced trials, they may as well throw up their hands and quit.

        There are literally thousands of sites in India where clinical trials have been held. Thousands. And a report late last year in Florida’s St. Petersburg Times found that the FDA had managed to visit eight of them over three years.

        I wonder why they even bothered at all.

        And if that doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you, maybe this will: Last year, a Times reporter visited one of the filthy hospitals in India where clinical trials are regularly conducted. She found feces on the floor, signs warning of bribery and a staff that simply couldn’t keep up with the 4 million desperate patients they see every year.

        And somehow, we’re supposed to believe that doctors in that hospital can run a safe and effective clinical trial with no funny business.

        One of those trials at that very hospital ended with 49 dead children.

        Do you want to take meds that came out of that system?

        • LOI,
          Are the results of these trials used to approve drugs for use in the USA?

          I thought drug companies run these trials in 3rd world countries because the cost of the trials (and the deaths and injuries they might cause) are much lower in 3rd world countries.

          If a drug shows promise in these trials, then they set up trials in the USA.

          Either way, the drug companies are not acting like good corporate citizens.

          Are you in favor of reducing government regulation and letting the drug companies self-regulate? Like they do in India??

          • Todd,

            This was all as written in the Douglas Report. The guy is a MD, and frequently a loon. That said, he has been right on several issues. I have not tried to validate this report in American Medical News, but think it is accurate.

            Agree on the drug companies behavior.

            Not sure on allowing them to self regulate, I favor the ideal, but in today’s world, I’m not sure I trust them to fully disclose side effects.
            I would like, if I were dieing, the option of trying an experimental drug rather than doing nothing, which current FDA rules will not allow.

      • Very true. We don’t feel the economic pinch as much if not paying cash. Spending someone else’s money is always fun.

        I also appreciate the R&D costs. What I object to is re-defining various diseases to create more customers.

        • Wasabi,

          3 times more is spent on marketing, than R&D.

          You are correct with all the new “guidelines” for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. I saw one estimate that 90% of those over 40 would be on meds if the guidelines are followed.

          Also, learn to decipher clinical trials, and the difference between relative and absolute risk…hint: relative risk / benefit is what you see on the marketing. The peer reviewed medical journals have questioned the bias in drug studies funded by those that stand to profit.

          I say this as a former employee of a Pharmaceutical company, and with a husband that was an employee of same company for decades. It’s ALL about the money.

          Example:

          When Hilliary was trying to push her Health Care junk, we got a letter from our employer (Pharmaceutical company). It requested that all us employees send a letter to our reps, pointing out how reasonable medications were priced, the R&D numbers, …on and on and on.
          You would have thought they were a non-profit organization practically giving them away for free! OMG, what a bargain!

          Then…the Hilliary plan was defeated…we get another letter…

          Our co-pay for prescription drugs was going up 250 percent because of the “high cost” of those drugs.

          Check out the connections between the FDA and drug companies, amazing they can get that many people in bed together! Must be a hell of a big bed!

  17. From the Bobo Files

    Small gov. solutions to healthcare.

    1. Let individuals control their own healthcare dollars, spending them wherever they deem best meets their personal healthcare needs, because you are best able to make the best choices for your own, individual healthcare situation.
    2. Move away from employer-purchased health insurance, because your health insurance should attach to you, not to your job..
    3. Change tax laws that encourage employers and employees to include health insurance as part of the pay package, because that will will allow you to choose and control your own health insurance choices and provide you with better options.
    4. Allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines, because that will increase competition in the industry, making the right health insurance easier for you to find and cheaper for you to afford.
    5. Rethink medical licensing laws, such as allowing doctors to take their licenses from state to state, and allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other non-doctors to treat more problems within their areas of expertise, because that will open up innovation and provide you with better healthcare at a lower cost.
    6. Let Medicare enrollees spend their healthcare dollars on any plan on the market, if they choose, because that will prevent government bureaucrats from interfering in your Medicare healthcare needs.
    7. Allow health-status insurance to expand, because it is a fiscally solvent way to provide you with long-term, portable health insurance.

    This solution could be discussed, debated. But in most circles on the street, people have never even heard of “health-status insurance,” and they aren’t even aware that a free-market healthcare solution would work. They blame the “free market” for the current healthcare “crisis,” even though we actually aren’t in any meaningful healthcare “crisis,” no matter how many shocking statistics big-government politicians make up to bolster their case. (Political crises are almost always fabricated by politicians in order to invoke us to action without thinking, but that’s another article.)

    http://freedom.jtimothyking.com/2009/10/02/the-semantics-of-healthcare-reform

  18. From The American Spectator, Atlas is Shrugging:

    By Ralph R. Reiland on 10.6.09 @ 6:06AM

    The headline in Investor’s Business Daily, September 16, 2009: “45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul.”

    The headline in the Boston Globe, September 28, 2009: “States risk it, raise tax on rich.”

    The problem with four of nine U.S. doctors saying they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” is that “the number of doctors is already lagging population growth,” reports Investor’s Business Daily.

    Add millions of new patients to a shrinking supply of doctors and the obvious result is an English-style queue, longer waits in pain, and a centrally-directed rationing of service.

    The aforementioned Boston Globe article on soaking the rich explains that New York’s increased confiscation of income from the “deep-pocketed rich” through higher taxes is producing a “millionaires’ exit.”

    Said New York’s lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, regarding the flight of the state’s millionaires and the decline in government revenues that has already occurred as a result of the higher tax rates: “People aren’t wedded to a geographic place as they once were.”

    In Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand, the most productive and creative citizens in the United States — the innovators, risk-takers, artists, entrepreneurs, capitalists, intellectuals, industrialists — overturn the conventional concept of victimhood and go on strike, refusing any longer to be exploited by society, refusing to be demonized as too successful, too rich, too individualistic, too free.

    Led by John Galt, the novel’s hero, the industrious organize a strike against the ever-expanding yoke of government coercion. They strike to halt the murder of man’s spirit, to halt the confiscation of man’s work, to defend individualism, reason, liberty, human achievement and the market economy.

    They strike by mysteriously disappearing, by withdrawing their productivity from society, by withdrawing their minds and ingenuity, in a walkout that Galt describes as “stopping the motor of the world.”

    Near the climax of the novel, Galt takes over a radio broadcast to reveal the strike and its rationale, explain why society has collapsed into an ever-growing crisis of scarcity and misery, and deliver a manifesto for liberty to a corrupt society:

    I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world.… All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt…

    There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer.

    You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty…

    Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have deprived your world of man’s mind…

    While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem, I beat you to it — I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp…

    The inauguration of Barack Obama took place on January 20, 2009. The Economist magazine reported that week that Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, had moved up to 33rd place among Amazon’s top-selling books.

  19. Mathius

    No, but if the service is lousy, they will still opt for the more expensive one.

    But wait a minute.

    This government service exists by your argument that the free market is too expensive!

    So now, your argument is to use the too expensive service??? What about affordability? You now toss that out of the window?!?!

    Matt
    You sell hamburgers. I sell hamburgers.

    Your hamburgers are good and tasty, but cost $2,00, so you sell @ $3.00

    Mine are not as good, but though they cost $1.00 to make, I sell them for $0.65. To cover my cost, I take 0.50c from every burger you sell.

    Thinking cap time.

    If I do not sell one burger, I am rich – because you will sell a lot of burgers.
    If I sell a lot of burgers, I am rich – but you’ll be bankrupt, because nobody will buy from you.

    The market difference between our burgers allows me to take all but the most discerning tastes – you will not survive. Half your profit keeps me in business, where as none of my revenue (because I never have a profit) goes to you.

    You cannot survive.

    This should force the private sector to step up and improve. Or do you not think the private sector is at least twice as efficient as the government

    The more successful the private sector, the more losses they incur. They cannot use their profit to improve, because the government takes most of it way to subsidize socialized health care.

    Thus, every improvement – which requires heavy investment – cannot be sustained by the profits generated – as they are seized by government to fund itself.

    The private sector will close its door. No business, no matter how good, can compete with free.

  20. Charlie, Matt, Ray, etc.

    I thought you might like to see Glenn Beck do his thing in its entirety.

    http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=011008&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=10397106&referralPlaylistId=playlist

    • I made it past the edited Obama speaking. Basta (enough in Italian). I can’t watch this imbecile. He’s a bad actor playing a bad role. I guess enough people need it in their lives (as do those on the left needing Keith Olbermann). What it is, quite frankly, is sad that both the left and the right resort to that level of bullshit.

      • v. Holland says:

        No offense Charlie but if you can’t even make yourself watch one video of Beck in it’s entirety-you really just shouldn’t comment on him at all.

        • I wish I could make myself finish watching it, brother. I have a hard time watching clips of the guy. Same goes for Olbermann. he’s too obvious for me (maybe it’s my street background). The guy is a con artist plain and simple. I read him after one sentence. he’s an actor … a bad one.

          If you watch a drunk stumble out of a bar do you really need to watch him get in a car and drive away to know it’ll turn out ugly?

          The guy has nothing to say to me.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      JAC…..

      @ 17:34: Corruption and ethics more important to Americans than the economy – Rasmussen

      Now – I am not necessarily picking on Rasmussen – I am sure that the surveys done by others could be equally suspect – but these results I have a hard time considering credible. We have no idea what the demographics were in the sample, it does not appear that any “liar questions” were asked, and none of the statistical analysis is available (and to boot it appears only crosstabs are available – I would like to see some of the reliability tests and how the survey was coded)

      @ Comments with respect to “Social Justice” – Beck is taking some liberties here. Obviously the audio from Obama was chopped and I could not find a full transcript. But Social Justice can mean a variety of things – and that is even if you ask people from the left. I believe it to mean equality of opportunity and NOT equality of outcome. What did Obama mean?

      Well, context again comes important at/around 14:40 with respect to “redistributive change” – I won’t try and summarize the Slate research on this as it seems they also listened to the tapes – clearly Beck is taking some creative liberty with the context of the interview – do I believe Slate or do I believe Beck? Either could be correct, both could be wrong. Tantamount to the supposed argument – there is at least some doubt in my mind as to what was meant (http://www.slate.com/id/2203237/)

      @ 14:30 – in re: Joe the Plumber – again – partial cutout here of the dialogue- but that is ok – the video is on YouTube and we again see that what Obama was discussing was rolling back to the structure under Clinton whereby the first 95% I believe are at 35% (up to 250) while above 250 are back at 39 – giving more of small business access to wealth creation. I guess Beck was too drunk back in the 90s to scream what a Marxist Clinton was.

      I stopped listening around 12:00 minutes as I think you are seeing where I am going with this. I do not consider Glenn Beck credible as he spends the first 25% of his diatribe using a lot of creativity to build some dubious ‘facts’ that he uses to set the table for his ranting. Sorry – its still Kool-Aid that I am not drinking.

      Maybe if I feel the need for self-punishment I will watch the rest.

  21. Who needs death panels?

    In an effort to both reduce costs and increase the number of General Practitioners, the Administration is making some changes to Medicare. To that end our enlightened politicians are taking money away from medical specialists such as cardiologist and oncologist so they have more to pay to General Practitioners.

    “The 2010 rules, which will be finalized next month, visit an 11% overall cut on cardiology and 19% on radiation oncology. They’re targets only because of cost: Two-thirds of morbidity or mortality among Medicare patients owes to cancer or heart disease.”

    Think about that concept for a minute. What chronic diseases do you think affect Medicare recipients the most? Why would one de-fund the very specialties that are needed the most by recipients?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/10/who_needs_death_panels.html

    “So will the liberals object when there is an increase in US deaths? It shouldn’t matter if they die because their government health care was de-funded.
    Whats important is they had government provided health care, so it was better.
    Maybe that will be written on 47,000 tombstones.”

  22. From wheelchairs and walkers to orthopedic shoes and needles, Medicare buys tens of thousands of products every day for elderly Americans. And as the single largest buyer of medical products, you’d think it would at leastget a volume discount.

    But it doesn’t. In fact, Medicare doesn’t even get the best price.

    According to their own auditors, Medicare knowingly overpays for almost everything it buys. Examples include:

    — $7,215 to rent an oxygen concentrator, when the purchase price is $600.

    — $4,018 for a standard wheelchair, while the private sector pays $1,048.

    — $1,825 for a hospital bed, compared to an Internet price of $1,071.

    — $3,335 for a respiratory pump, versus an advertised price of $1,987.

    — $82 for a diabetic supply kit, instead of a $47 price on the Web.

    Last year, the Health and Human Services Department tried to replace its archaic fixed-price fee schedule for 10 commonly purchased products with a competitive bidding program in 10 cities. The department said the program could save Medicare $125 million in a single year, or $1 billion if adopted nationwide. But Congress stepped in to stop it.

    “There were products that we had as much as 75 percent savings. The average was 29 percent,” said Mike Leavitt, the former HHS secretary who oversaw the program.

    “It would have saved billions if we could’ve actually implemented it, but Congress deferred it. In Washington speak, that means we put it off forever,” he said.

    Leavitt blames Congressmen Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) for introducing legislation that terminated the contracts and postponed the program for 18 months. Leavitt says the congressional intervention helps explain why many are suspicious of claims that Washington can cut enough waste to actually pay for health care reform, as President Obama told a joint session of Congress last month.

    “Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan,” Leavitt said.

    “The problem here is one man’s waste is another man’s living, and whenever there is an effort put forward to actually make an efficiency, someone goes on the offensive and hires lobbyists and does what they can to constrain Congress from doing it,” Leavitt said.

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the health care industry is currently spending $2 million a day lobbying Congress. Leavitt’s pilot program died after small business suppliers claimed it would have put them out of business. Eventually, industry agreed to help pay the cost of terminated contracts that Medicare had already negotiated.

    Industry officials argued the new system would unfairly disqualify some suppliers, and others with little experience would get the business, causing a decline in quality and service.

  23. Hi Ya’ll,

    Reading todays comments, I couldn’t help but remember pantystain saying how much he liked Abe Lincoln during the campaign. Add some of the “greater good” talk, here’s what Lincoln himself thinks about things:

    “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot streng the n the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    Mr. Obama, you are no Abe Lincoln!

    G!

    • This the same Lincoln that fought a war so the union (federal government) not be destroyed?

      2009 – 1965 = ??? It just doesn’t apply, but I’ll do my best.

      “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich [except the formula only works one way in 2009–the rich get richer and the poorer base widens]. You cannot streng the n the weak by weakening the strong [so just let them die off/perish? Something tells me he didn’t mean that]. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift[so why bail out the banks?]. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down[You can’t lift him up by letting the wage payer outsource his jobs either]. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred[perhaps you should remind Glenn Beck?]. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence[why leaving the poor where they are only enhances the problem]. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves[if they can/when they can … it’s hard for the unemployed in Detroit right now to find work that isn’t there].”
      Abraham Lincoln[Charlie Stella]

      • Hi Charlie,

        On a good note, I have enjoyed reading you posts since you’ve come here, hope you keep coming back!

        CS said:

        [except the formula only works one way in 2009–the rich get richer and the poorer base widens].

        G says: Welcome to the welfare state that government has produced.

        CS said:

        so just let them die off/perish? Something tells me he didn’t mean that].

        G says: It’s those that have the money to invest in business that produces jobs, take that away, take away the jobs too.

        cs said:

        so why bail out the banks?].

        G says: Iagree with you here.

        CS said:

        You can’t lift him up by letting the wage payer outsource his jobs either].

        G says: been there, found a new job, I call it effort.

        CS says:

        perhaps you should remind Glenn Beck?].

        G says: Correct, and add Pelosi and all the other left wingers who started throwing the race card, first I might add.

        CS says:

        why leaving the poor where they are only enhances the problem].

        G says: The top ten cities with the highest rate of poverty have been politically ruled by Democrats for decades, maybe the poor should learn from there mistakes (I’ll post details of this shortly).

        CS said:

        if they can/when they can … it’s hard for the unemployed in Detroit right now to find work that isn’t there].”

        G says: try moving to a place where there is work, and quit living off my tax dollars.

        Peace my friend!

        G!

        • Interesting……. Poverty in Our Cities.

          City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level

          1. Detroit , MI
          32.5%

          2. Buffalo , NY
          29.9%

          3. Cincinnati , OH
          27.8%

          4. Cleveland , OH
          27.0%

          5. Miami , FL
          26.9%

          5. St. Louis , MO
          26.8%

          7. El Paso , TX
          26.4%

          8. Milwaukee , WI
          26.2%

          9. Philadelphia , PA
          25.1%

          10. Newark , NJ
          24.2%

          U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007
          What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

          Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;

          Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954;

          Cincinnati , OH (3rd)…since 1984;

          Cleveland , OH (4th)…since 1989;

          Miami , FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;

          St. Louis , MO (6th)….since 1949;

          El Paso , TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;

          Milwaukee , WI (8th)…since 1908;

          Philadelphia , PA (9th)…since 1952;

          Newark , NJ (10th)…since 1907.

          Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

          • “Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’”

            So your arguments for deregulation (the reasonable kind like G.Bush initiated with tax deductions and no regulation over the banking industry) was what, something innovative? It’s what brought this mess on — keep doing that. Great idea.

        • G says: Welcome to the welfare state that government has produced.

          CS says: Thanks. I’m mostly fine with it. Would like to see national health insurance, though.

          G says: It’s those that have the money to invest in business that produces jobs, take that away, take away the jobs too.

          CS says: Yes, and Chennai India should thank them for bring those jobs there.

          G says: been there, found a new job, I call it effort.

          CS says: Well, I’ve been there once (weekend job-I was working 7 days a week). It hasn’t come back yet (weekends) … just not enough jobs here for weekend work for all.

          G says: Correct, and add Pelosi and all the other left wingers who started throwing the race card, first I might add.

          CS says: I agree.

          G says: The top ten cities with the highest rate of poverty have been politically ruled by Democrats for decades, maybe the poor should learn from there mistakes (I’ll post details of this shortly).

          CS says: Yes, and while you’re at it, look at the stats for the country. We’re in a financial crisis because of 8 consecutive years of Republican rule. Checkmate.

          G says: try moving to a place where there is work, and quit living off my tax dollars.

          CS says: I guess there just aren’t enough places where jobs are plentiful for the 9.8% of Americans (a low ball figure, no doubt) to find work. So thanks for the advice, but it’s really not very useful.

          Peace my friend!

          Yes, Peace it is.

          • CS said:

            CS says: Yes, and while you’re at it, look at the stats for the country. We’re in a financial crisis because of 8 consecutive years of Republican rule. Checkmate.

            G says: please watch the truth above.

            CS says:

            CS says: I guess there just aren’t enough places where jobs are plentiful for the 9.8% of Americans (a low ball figure, no doubt) to find work. So thanks for the advice, but it’s really not very useful.

            G says: At this moment, I would agree that times are tough. But times weren’t this way on ’06, ’07. My question here would be to ask for an excuse of the stats from then?

            CS says:

            CS says: Yes, and Chennai India should thank them for bring those jobs there.

            G says: thanks to high corporate tax rates, our government at their finest.

            Cheers!

            G!

            • Lets add some more to my position. I can do this for awhile. This Fannie CEO speech was in ’05, when the Dems killed the bill have regulated fannie and freddie.

              • Buddy, I’m not going to defend the Dems. They’re no better than the Reps, but I will defend regulation (which apparently you do also using it to prove your point).

                Thanks.

            • Since Fox don’t work for you, here’s one from Bloomberg.com.

              http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

              Yes,I do play a mean game of chess!

              G!

              • And I thank you again. Regulation is the way to go!

              • Charlie, I’ve never said I was against regulation within our current form of government. Sometimes there is too little, and sometimes far too much.

                I’m not a fan of “W”, but he can be blamed for what we are dealing with today. With that in mind, I also want much smaller government, or none at for a period of time so we can regroup and eliminate the corruption that fills our nations leaders. We arn’t all that far apart, just want different roads to go to the same place!

                Thanks for the great comments!

                G!

              • below

  24. As I promised this morning, I had saved a news video that contains Obama talking to AARP. What he says is that he wants the government to tell people and their doctors what the best treatment for a given ailment is. Listen for yourself, and decide if the “death panel” scare has any validity.

    http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=011008&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=7604725&referralPlaylistId=a9594f0389e4ea58938175cbd26195fbedd640ad&maven_referrer=staf

    G!

    • Hey G

      If that’s not dictating, then what is. Yea, like the government knows what’s best for you instead of your doctor. He’s full of B.S.

  25. So, comparative effectiveness research and appropriateness are what is used to justify the “Death Panels”?

    Does anyone understand what this really means? Collecting data on what treatments are used and their effectiveness in treating certain conditions…

    Example: Lower Back Pain

    Possible treatments:

    1. Rest & medication
    2. Rest, medication, physical therapy
    3. Surgery, medication, physical therapy

    Comparative effectiveness research might show that:

    #1 is best for minor pain and someone who is not real active.
    #2 is best for minor/moderate pain and someone who is moderately active.
    #3 is best for moderate/sever pain and/or someone who is very active.

    Age can also play into this – the elderly can have a hard time recovering from surgery but benefit greatly from physical therapy. The young just need one day of rest.

    It reduces costs and improves outcomes, and is already done by private insurers who’s motive is profit, not your health.

    Can someone define what a “Death Panel” is, and how it would function?

    • Hey Todd

      I pulled my Lombard disc out 2 years ago, went to a chiropractor, didn’t do one bit of good. Didn’t do anything but rub my lower back, put me on some machine, charged me a fortune and was still hurting. Called my nephew who is a doctor, he checked me out, prescribed an anti inflammatory, went down in a week. My pulled disc also affected my whole left leg, hurt like hell, took 9 months to get fully better. I am fairly active, but still have to watch it and not over do it. That’s what caused it to go out in the first place. I was 56 years old when I did that, I will be 58 next month. Am I considered old?

      Judy

      • Judy, You are only old if that is the way you see yourself. Back injuries are very common, I had two commpression fractures in my T12-L1 vertabraes when I was 37. You are what you feel your are!

        G!

        • Well Does it matter if some days you feel old, and some days you don’t? Getting up in years, and the body doesn’t respond like it did 20 years ago, you might think it does, but you know it when it doesn’t.

          Hope you’re doing good today.

          Judy

      • Judy,

        Am I considered old?

        Absolutely not!

        This is actually a very good example. Comparative effectiveness research and appropriateness might have established that for your Lombard disc injury, #1. Rest & medication are the best treatment, and you could have avoided the cost of the chiropractor visits.

        It’s not all bad!

    • Hi Todd!

      I’ll take a stab at this. Hypathetically, a 65 year old female has plaque builup in a main artery to the heart, which is blocking 45% of said artery. Doctor says surgery, to cleanout the artery and put in a stent (very common surgery today). Surgery costs 15,000 bucks.

      A panel of beurocrats in D.C. review this. They determine that a far less expensive pill can fix the problem in 85% of tested patients. The doctor has no choice but to give the pill. The 65 year old female falls within the 15% that the pill does not work on, problem gets worse, female has massive heartattack and dies 5 months later. Beurocrats have a new nickname!

      G!

      • Hey G

        Okay, that’s all well and good, but that didn’t answer my question.

      • G-Man,

        A panel of beurocrats in D.C. review this.

        This is where the issue is getting mixed up. There won’t be a panel of beurocrats in D.C. that review individual cases and determine treatment.

        The panel of beurocrats in D.C. will use comparative effectiveness research and appropriateness to determine what the best treatments are for certain conditions for certain people.

        I understand your example, and the pill may not work for everyone. But surgery also has risks, and she could die on the operating table. At least with the pill, she had 5 more months… 😉

  26. Charlie, Had an oops moment, meant to say that “w” can’t be blamed for this mess entirely.

  27. These are the guys who will run your health care

    Criminalizing Everyone
    October 6th, 2009

    Maniac fascism.

    Via: Washington Times:

    “You don’t need to know. You can’t know.” That’s what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.

    The agents who spent half a day ransacking Mrs. Norris’ longtime home in Spring, Texas, answered no questions while they emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.

    The six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with – get this- the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Kathy and George Norris lived under the specter of a covert government investigation for almost six months before the government unsealed a secret indictment and revealed why the Fish and Wildlife Service had treated their family home as if it were a training base for suspected terrorists. Orchids.

    That’s right. Orchids.

    By March 2004, federal prosecutors were well on their way to turning 66-year-old retiree George Norris into an inmate in a federal penitentiary – based on his home-based business of cultivating, importing and selling orchids.

    Mrs. Norris testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime this summer. The hearing’s topic: the rapid and dangerous expansion of federal criminal law, an expansion that is often unprincipled and highly partisan.

    Chairman Robert C. Scott, Virginia Democrat, and ranking member Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, conducted a truly bipartisan hearing (a D.C. rarity this year).

    These two leaders have begun giving voice to the increasing number of experts who worry about “overcriminalization.” Astronomical numbers of federal criminal laws lack specifics, can apply to almost anyone and fail to protect innocents by requiring substantial proof that an accused person acted with actual criminal intent.

    Mr. Norris ended up spending almost two years in prison because he didn’t have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported. The orchids were all legal – but Mr. Norris and the overseas shippers who had packaged the flowers had failed to properly navigate the many, often irrational, paperwork requirements the U.S. imposed when it implemented an arcane international treaty’s new restrictions on trade in flowers and other flora.

    The judge who sentenced Mr. Norris had some advice for him and his wife: “Life sometimes presents us with lemons.” Their job was, yes, to “turn lemons into lemonade.”

    • HI BF

      I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous to take someone in just for cultivating flowers. And, on top of it, for 2 years, while 1000’s of real criminals are out there doing God knows what.

  28. Good Night to everyone, time to sing off, computer’s tired.

    Night All

    Judy

  29. There’s an article in a weekly paper in my area about a local hospital/clinic network and what it’s computerized medical records are doing. The article isn’t online, so I can’t link too it.

    A few of the highlights:

    * As part of a Medicare study to track the effectiveness of computerized medical records, they saved $48 million in 3 years. Of the 10 hospitals in the study, they saved the most and ranked the highest in “outcomes”.

    * Every night their system looks for patients that might be ‘at risk’ – have missed a prescription or follow-up visit – and sends out notices to doctors and patients.

    * Because medical records are online, they can be referenced from any clinic in their network, avoiding duplicate tests, listing past treatments, etc. This reduces costs, avoids errors, and speeds up correct treatments. It also avoids prescription drug interactions and unnecessary communications between Doctors and Pharmacy to get the right combination of prescriptions.

    * The historical data is now used to determine appropriate treatments for patients. A patient’s history and condition is entered, and the system looks for similar cases in the past with the best outcome, and gives the doctor a list of the best possible treatments, references, etc. (comparative effectiveness research and appropriateness)

    * The hospital avoided having to do an expansion because they moved the old paper records off-site, freeing up over 50,000 sq ft of floor space that could now be used for offices, etc.

    * They save $4.50/clinic visit and $10/ER visit – the cost of retrieving, updating, and refilling the paper records for each patient.

    * This system is relatively new and all these saving and improvements are just the tip of the iceberg.

    I did a search and found a NY Times article from the past:

    http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/patients/?page=cattails_2005_sepoct_paperless

    This is the kind of cost savings and improvement in healthcare the electronic records can provide. But it’s expensive to develop, and this hospital/clinic is hoping to sell the system to recover some of it’s development costs and improve care at other healthcare facilities. There is money in the ARRA (Obama’s “spendulas” bill) for this.

  30. whitehorn says:

    Well i been on medicare for over 3 years paid in 98;00 a month and so far medicare hasnt done nothing for me and i have no choice its taken out of my ss payment that i paid into all my life and still paying id get better service if i was illigal liveing here they pay nothing into it and get better monthly checks then i do so you tell me

  31. webknight18 says:

    Check out this conversation, definitely heated: Should Illegal Immigrants Have the Right to Public Health Care? Conservatives vs Obama. – What do you think? http://budurl.com/pubhealthcare

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