Thursday, March 11, 2010

11 March, 2010

ObamaCare Means a Two-Tier Health Care System

As is true in all socialist countries, there will be one standard of health care for you and me — and then a higher standard for the ruling class

The most important amendment Republicans must propose for Obama’s Medi-Grab bill is a very easy one: "Resolved: that all federal and state employees must enroll in ObamaCare, without exception. Any violation of this amendment will be punishable by a fine, imprisonment, and/or loss of federal or state employment. Enforcement of this provision will be overseen by a popularly elected commission, whose proceedings will be open to the public via the worldwide web."

“All federal and state employees” includes every member of Congress and the executive branch — those who currently have the finest medical insurance available in the country today (courtesy of you and me).

This is the key test for the Medi-Grab bill. Any member of Congress who votes against it reveals his or her true stand on America’s founding principles. Anyone who votes for it shows that he or she actually gets it. There are many terrifying parts of this Medi-Grab bill, but this is the simplest litmus test. It’s so simple that everyone in the country can understand it. It’s do-or-die in terms of the integrity and honesty of the takeover of one-sixth of the economy that Obama is so determined to drive through Congress.

Socialist regimes reveal their true nature by the special treatment they give to their permanent ruling class; they deny such treatment for ordinary schlubs like you and me. The worst corruption in socialist regimes flows from that simple two-caste system. In Europe, the ruling class hardly bothers with elections any more. The same people just turn over in their lifelong careers, or they just stay in the tenured bureaucracy.

The so-called European Parliament is elected by the voters, all right, but it does not have the power to legislate — or even to investigate the all-powerful EU bureaucracy, which is unelected. The European Parliament is therefore an elaborate front. In typical fashion, the EU has a special term for that: the “democracy deficit.” It is regrettable, to be sure. Only trouble is, nobody does anything about it, and they won’t because the dual caste system is the key power grab whereby all sovereign power in European nations is now flowing into the EU — like so much water draining out of a bathtub.

Obama’s medical takeover bill is a monstrosity in many ways, but the biggest danger comes from the separate treatment it reserves for the ruling left compared to us ordinary folks. Obama’s Medi-Grab will force ordinary people into a medico-legal corral. But it exempts members of the ruling left, and by creating a political monopoly over medical care, it ensures that we must all go begging, hat in hand, to the bureaucracy for our very survival.

If Obama wins, Europe is our future. In Britain, Gordon Brown does not go to his local NHS clinic to get substandard medical care, nor does he go to the scandalously dirty hospitals in the Midlands. In Brussels, the European Union bureaucrats would just sneer at medical care for ordinary folks. They get nothing but the best. That hypocrisy is all over the American ruling left as it is emerging today: Obama and Al Gore both attended special upper-class schools from early on in life. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar. They are special, these well-born rulers, not like you and me.

Real power in Europe now flows from the Brussels bureaucracy, which issues a mighty and endless tide of top-down decrees for regular folks to obey. EU decrees cannot be overturned by the voters, because the judiciary is just another appointed arm of the EU bureaucracy. They cannot be resisted, on pain of very real bureaucratic penalties. The left controls the media (like the BBC) as well as the schools. The European Parliament is therefore a sort of Hollywood movie set: the real power holders don’t bother with elections, and the elected Members of Parliament have no power. Simple, clean, tyrannical. This is not an accident. It’s the key to the way they operate. That is Obama’s goal.

When a blog reporter (the only honest kind of reporter today) challenged Rep. Fortney (Pete) Stark in his office on a YouTube video, Mr. Stark’s first question was: “What college did you go to?” The congressman simply resorted to insults when the reporter answered: “the University of Puerto Rico.” Notice Pete Stark’s standard: it’s not what you know, but whether you went to an elite college. Stark never answered the basic economics question, needless to say. In his mind, he didn’t need to. Behold, the ruling class of America.

The American left adores Europe. But Europe today is bowing down to another permanent aristocracy, not much different from the 19th century version. The results are plainly visible in the shoddy and unhygienic conditions at the National Health Service hospitals and clinics in the UK, compared to the special treatment given to the political class. They are visible in the long waiting lists for life-saving cancer and cardiac operations — for ordinary folks, that is. This is what the “death panels” (presided over by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in Britain) are about: they reserve expensive treatments for the politically powerful and well-connected. Expensive treatments for ordinary folks are not considered to be “cost-effective.” As Robert Reich has said so clearly about these critical treatments, “It’s too expensive … so we’re going to let you die.”

That’s because there’s only so much money in the national medical kitty, and it is distributed according to your high-quality life expectancy. If you are severely depressed, suffer from a disabling illness, or are just old, your life is worth that much less. The young (who need little care) are allocated more of the nation’s medical kitty, because they have greater life expectancy at a higher quality of life — at least according to the health bureaucrats. Down Syndrome fetuses are aborted, according to the same logic, at the very beginning of life. You see, Down Syndrome kids may live a long time, but they don’t have high-quality lives. So they just abort them.

I’ve personally attended a European lecture given by an utterly arrogant chief of an acute care unit. He explained his criteria for pulling the plug on unconscious patients at a major European university hospital. His answer was: budget. His ward was budgeted to keep people on life support for a maximum of two weeks. After that, it’s “goodbye, Sally” — we need your bed for another case. That is what Obama has in store for us. Unless you are Obama or Hillary, of course. It’s the value of our lives versus theirs, and we won’t have a voice in that decision.

Not after ObamaCare passes.


At least the States are aware of economic reality

At the heart of President Obama’s drive to rein in health costs is a proposal for federal review and regulation of health insurance premiums, with a new agency empowered to block excessive rate increases. State officials are leery of the proposal, which raises a host of questions: How would Congress define “excessive”? How would the new federal power relate to state insurance regulation?

The proposal has great political appeal. But experts see a serious potential problem: Federal officials will focus on holding down premiums while state officials focus on the solvency of insurers, the ultimate consumer protection.

Economists say that holding down premiums does not necessarily hold down the cost of care, which reflects the prices charged by doctors and hospitals and the volume of services.

State officials worry that they would be left to police the solvency of health insurance companies while federal officials pressured insurers to reduce premiums, as Mr. Obama has done in recent days. “You can’t separate the underlying solvency of companies from the rates they charge,” said Sean Dilweg, the insurance commissioner in Wisconsin. “The federal proposal would be a huge pre-emption of decisions that states have made over their history.”

Mary Beth Senkewicz, a deputy insurance commissioner in Florida, said, “If you divorce rate-setting from financial oversight, that’s a fundamental flaw. Premiums must be reasonable in relation to the benefits,” Ms. Senkewicz said. “That becomes a fairly complex analysis.”

Insurance commissioners said they fully supported efforts to expand coverage and rein in health costs. But they said it would be risky to hold down premiums before costs were under control. And they do not expect the federal legislation to drive down costs anytime soon.

Sandy Praeger of Kansas, one of several insurance commissioners who met with Mr. Obama at the White House last week, said: “From a consumer protection standpoint, the most important thing we do is ensure the solvency of companies. We would strenuously resist not having the ability to approve rates or having the commissioners’ oversight of rates overturned.” “You are not necessarily helping the consumer if you keep rates artificially low,” Ms. Praeger said. “What’s worse for the consumer: having a premium increase or having to pay the full amount of a medical expense because the company is out of business?”

More here

For Key Democrats, Health Care Becomes Ego Trip

In the entire health care debate, among all the competing lawmakers, politicians, experts and pundits, there's just one person who has seen things from both sides of the political aisle. That is Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama, who was elected as a Democrat in 2008 and was part of the House Democratic caucus until last Dec. 22, when he switched sides to become a Republican. (Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter doesn't count, because he switched parties in April 2009, before the current health care debate got underway.)

Given Griffith's unique perspective -- he is also a doctor, with 30 years' experience as an oncologist -- perhaps he has some insight into why the White House and his former Democratic allies in Congress continue to press forward on a national health care bill despite widespread public opposition.

It's gotten personal, Griffith says. "You have personalities who have bet the farm, bet their reputations, on shoving a health care bill through the Congress. It's no longer about health care reform. It's all about ego now. The president's ego. Nancy Pelosi's ego. This is about personalities, saving face, and it has very little to do with what's good for the American people."

Conflicts driven by personal feelings can lead to self-destructive outcomes. Ask Griffith whether Speaker Pelosi, his old leader, would accept losing Democratic control of the House as the price for passing the health care bill, and he answers quickly. "Oh yeah. This is a trophy for the speaker, it's a trophy for several committee chairs, and it's a trophy for the president." It does not seem to matter that if Democrats lose the House, the speaker will no longer be speaker, the chairmen will no longer be chairmen, and the president will be significantly weakened.

As Griffith sees his former colleagues, Democratic leaders have become so consumed with the idea of achieving the historical goal of a national health care system that they are able to explain away the scores of opinion polls over the last six months that show people solidly opposed to the Democratic proposal.

The polls are wrong, they say. Or the polls are contradictory. Or the polls actually show that people love the health care plan. And even if the polls are right, and people hate the plan, real leaders don't govern by following the polls. So just pass the bill.

That's easy for Democrats like Pelosi, who occupy safe seats. Not so for dozens of moderate House Democrats whose votes are required for passage, but who face likely defeat for it. "I don't think there are that many moderate or conservative Democrats who want to be sacrificial representatives," says Griffith.

Just for the record, the RealClearPolitics average of polls on the Democratic health care plan shows 51 percent opposed and 40 percent in favor. A similar compilation of surveys by shows the gap at 51 percent to 43 percent. There have been more opponents than supporters of the plan since last July, when Democrats first began to unveil concrete health care proposals.

Can Democrats really ignore the polls all the way to the end? Yes, but it gets a little harder with each passing day. George W. Bush couldn't ignore public opinion when he wanted to remake Social Security and pass comprehensive immigration reform. Faced with broad opposition, Bush ultimately gave up.

And now Democratic leaders are showing signs of weakness. Why would they suddenly express interest, even feigned interest, in Republican ideas they derided for months? Why would they invite GOP lawmakers to a high-profile discussion of health care? Because they don't have the votes to pass the bill. "If they had the votes, we wouldn't have had the summit," said Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn recently, referring to the day-long White House health care confab on Feb. 25.

That's a change from the heady days of last year, when Democrats, as Griffith says, "never really wanted anyone else's input" on health care. When a Republican offered a suggestion, "There was a polite smile and a comment like, 'That's very interesting, and we'll take a look,'" Griffith recalls. Of course, they never did. Now, they make a big show of listening.

But it's too late to make the fundamental changes that would be required to improve the bill. It's too late to change public opinion. It's too late to reassure nervous lawmakers. The Democratic leadership has made the decision to push the bill to the very end, and so they will.

It's personal.


Insurers: Obama's scapegoat

President Barack Obama obviously has no qualms about slandering people or industries that interfere with his agenda. In the same creepy manner he defamed the Cambridge Police Department without benefit of the facts, he is scapegoating the insurance companies based on his distorted version of facts.

In the past week, he has ratcheted up his war on insurance companies, who, he apparently figures, must be destroyed if he is to accomplish his Utopian dream of socialized health care. He made them the focus of his wrath again, in his umpteenth health care speech, Monday in Philadelphia. Even the White House blog, in a post titled "Moving Forward to Put the American People Ahead of Insurance Companies," frames this debate as between insurance companies and the people.

Who is Obama to be smearing health insurance companies for allegedly bankrupting people to increase their profits when his policy agenda is already bankrupting America to increase government power? As the late Milton Friedman asked the clueless leftist Phil Donahue, "Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?" It's not the insurance industry versus the American people; it is Obama's socialist leviathan versus the American people, with the insurance companies as necessary collateral damage.

Is it fair to accuse the insurance companies of arbitrariness when they refuse to cover what their contracts don't require them to cover? And isn't Obama implying that if the government were to take full control over health care, there would be no denial of coverage? We don't have to wait for his plan to take effect to know that's false. Everyone, including Obama, is aware of Medicare's denying or reducing reimbursements so drastically that an increasing number of doctors are refusing Medicare patients. Does he call that arbitrary?

In addition, whether or not you bristle at those suggesting Obamacare would usher in death panels, you are in fantasyland if you think Obamacare doesn't contemplate increased rationing -- by the government. The Democrats' plans involve the formation of an administrative board, which would make determinations on what kind of coverage the government would pay for and, perhaps, even allow.

What's the difference between that and an insurance company's denying coverage? Well, it's worse for the government to do it, actually. The government's coverage decisions would be dictated not by a private and at least somewhat consensual contract, but by the fiat of a largely unaccountable bureaucrat whose authority would be derived from powers delegated to him by whatever administrative bodies Congress might outsource to do its dirty work. The bureaucrat's charge would not be to infuse compassion in his decision, but to coldly cut costs. Read the Democratic bills!

Though I don't belong to the "Obama is a genius" school, I know he's smart enough to realize that insurance company profits are but a fraction of rising health care costs and that it's grossly misleading to make insurers the primary villains. This is simply Chicago politics writ large in a last-gasp effort to enslave us with government health care.

Obama is also dishonest in portraying his still-unwritten plan as middle-of-the-road between the extreme position of those who want socialized medicine and the extreme position of those who want to relax all regulations on the health insurance industry and just pass reforms in "baby steps."

First, he is intentionally mischaracterizing the Republicans' position. They don't advocate baby steps, but a series of market reforms that would not entail restructuring the entire system under government control.

Nor do they want to relax all regulations on insurance companies. They do want to remove some of the coverage mandates, not for the purpose of helping insurers, but to benefit consumers, who ultimately would have to bear the costs of elective procedures for others. Republicans also want to relax arbitrary laws preventing consumers from buying across state lines.

Further, Obama is misrepresenting his own plan as centrist and a composite of Democratic and Republican ideas. It is the last thing from centrist. His plan contemplates -- and would eventuate in -- full-blown government control, which is also deliberate and which he's on record advocating.

He has rejected outright all Republican ideas except for tort reform and "fraud and abuse." But he is just pretending to support tort reform with some meaningless smoke and mirrors. As for fraud and abuse, it's revealing that he would credit Republicans with a franchise on the concept, but his lip service promise to curb it is just more cynical sophistry. He already has a track record on this with his stimulus plan. Enough said.

Everything about this unprecedented federal power grab stinks, not least of which are the highhanded, unconstitutional and otherwise illegal methods Obama is explicitly advocating to pass this monstrosity over the informed will of the American people. We must pray he fails.


NHS doctors thought pregnancy was gout!

No scans, of course. They cost money

STUNNED Belinda Waite became a mum for the first time — just THREE hours after doctors discovered she was pregnant. The 21-year-old had been in and out of hospital for nine months after being told she was suffering from a severe case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gout. It was only after she was admitted to hospital in agony that medics realised she was expecting.

They told Belinda she was around three months pregnant and sent her back home to Bampton, Devon, just before midnight. But at 2.30am the following morning baby daughter Louise arrived weighing a healthy 8lb 14oz to the amazement of Belinda and partner Wayne Boyles, 28.

Wayne's mum Sylvia helped with the unexpected arrival and hairdresser Belinda said she had "not been feeling right" for eight months. She said: "I can't believe I was pregnant all this time - you'd have thought the doctors would have noticed something like that. "I think Wayne was even more shocked than me because we had no idea, but she is a beautiful baby and we're really happy. "I did feel like something was moving inside me as the months went on. "But I never considered I was pregnant - and it doesn't seem to have crossed the doctors' minds. "It was obviously a huge shock for us all but you have to get on with these things - and we are all really enjoying it."

Belinda gave birth after she was taken to Tiverton Hospital at 10pm on February 6 suffering with pains throughout her body. Doctors announced she was around three months pregnant and sent her home. Belinda said: "I was really shocked. They told me to get some rest and make an appointment with the doctors the following Monday. "Three hours later, Louise was born. I don't think Wayne could believe it was happening. "We hardly had time to think about it; no one believed us when we told them we suddenly had a child. "You read about these stories in magazines, but you never think they happen to real people - and I certainly never thought it would happen to me."

Belinda said Louise was perfectly healthy despite her being very active through her pregnancy. She said: "I went on rollercoasters at Alton Towers, on water slides in Spain, I probably ate all the wrong foods. Luckily I do not smoke and I stopped drinking alcohol as it made me feel sick." The hospital, run by NHS Devon, was unavailable for comment.


NHS hospital ignores clear suicide danger -- even after warning

A woman leapt to her death hours after her father begged a psychiatric unit not to release her. Graham Nye warned them: 'If she goes back to her flat she will throw herself off the balcony.' Just seven hours later his chilling prediction came true when Victoria jumped from her 13th-floor flat.

Mr Nye is now demanding to know why his daughter - who had a history of suicide attempts - was allowed out of the unit at the Royal South Hampshire Hospital. The NHS trust has launched an independent investigation.

Mr Nye, 55, has told how his daughter had suffered for eight years with mental illness. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago but, after reacting badly to medication, experts told her they believed she was suffering from a personality disorder, which required separate treatment.

Miss Nye, 22, admitted herself to the unit in an attempt to turn her life around. But after a fortnight of treatment, Mr Nye claimed, she was told by psychiatrists that she 'could not be helped', despite a family doctor telling them she was in need of urgent care. She phoned her father around 5pm on March 3 to say she was being sent home. Within the hour he had called doctors asking them not to release her. He says he was told his comments would be shared with doctors. At 12.40am the next day Miss Nye's body was discovered by neighbours outside the tower block where she lived in Southampton.

Mr Nye, a freelance television producer, said: 'She said they told her they could not help her. She took this to mean that although she had something wrong with her she could not be helped. 'I have no doubt she killed herself because she felt there was no help for her.'

Dr Huw Stone, Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust's medical director, said: 'In any serious incident we always carry out a thorough investigation into all aspects of the patient's care.'

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, said: 'We find it unforgivable that people in distress can be discharged from hospital before they are ready to leave.'


1 comment:

MickeyWhite said...

Prescription Drug Benefit.
The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Beginning in 2006, prescription coverage would be available to seniors through private insurers for a monthly premium estimated at $35. There would be a $250 annual deductible, then 75 percent of drug costs up to $2,250 would be reimbursed. Drug costs greater than $2,250 would not be covered until out-ofpocket expenses exceeded $3,600, after which 95 percent of drug costs would be reimbursed. Low-income recipients would receive more subsidies than other seniors by paying lower premiums, having smaller deductibles, and making lower co-payments for each prescription. The total cost of the new prescription drug benefit would be limited to the $400 billion that Congress had budgeted earlier this year for the first 10 years of this new entitlement program. The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on November 22, 2003 by a vote of 220 to 215 (Roll Call 669).
Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR this bill.

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :