-- F.A. Hayak
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Insulated by the consequences of his behavior, Kennedy was also shielded from the consequences of his policies. He was the champion of busing who kept his own children far from the public schools; an advocate of publicly funded campaigns who bankrolled his political career with his family's shadowy financing; an icon of feminists who used women like Kleenex, serially harassed members of the opposite sex, and spent ten hours attempting to rescue his political career [by delaying the rescue of a] young women suffocating in an air pocket in his Oldsmobile; and the primary booster of socialized medicine who assembled a dream team of neurosurgeons to consult on his treatment for brain cancer. The proverbial limousine liberal was made real in Trustfund Ted.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Those protesters in those town-hall meetings have served notice that Mr. Obama's charismatic moment has passed. Once again, the belief in that American exception that set this nation apart from other lands is re-emerging. Health care is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it is an unease with the way the verdict of the 2008 election was read by those who prevailed. It shall be seen whether the man swept into office in the moment of national panic will adjust to the nation's recovery of its self-confidence.
Politics has always been a contest of values, and religion remains the chief source of those values. Our political discourse has long been cheapened by the canard that only conservatives try to use the state to impose a religiously informed moral vision, while liberals are guided by science, reason and logic as well as some secular conception of decency and compassion. No party has a monopoly on such resources, and it's about time we all recognized that.
Monday, August 17, 2009
"Viewed from every angle ... support the proposition that both historical and future increases in the health spending share are desirable. . . . [W]e believe it likely that maximizing social welfare in the United States will require the development of institutions that are consistent with spending 30 percent or more of GDP on health by the middle of the century." [my emphasis]
Sunday, August 16, 2009
"Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer promise free mammograms and diabetes screening for all. Not only will this make us healthier, they said, it will also save us money. Writing in USA Today, they claim that
Reform will also mean higher-quality care by promoting preventive care so health problems can be addressed before they become crises. This, too, will save money. We'll be a much healthier country if all patients can receive regular checkups and tests, such as mammograms and diabetes exams, without paying a dime out-of-pocket.
Later, Obama sprinkled his fairy dust on a Portsmouth townhall saying that prevention not only saves lives, but also saves money. The audience swooned. Slap the forehead. Doh! Brilliant!
"Think of it this way. Assume that a screening test for disease X costs $500 and finding it early averts $10,000 of costly treatment at a later stage. Are you saving money? Well, if one in 10 of those who are screened tests positive, society is saving $5,000. But if only one in 100 would get that disease, society is shelling out $40,000 more than it would without the preventive care.
That's a hypothetical case. What's the real-life actuality in the United States today? A study in the journal Circulation found that for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, "if all the recommended prevention activities were applied with 100 percent success," the prevention would cost almost 10 times as much as the savings, increasing the country's total medical bill by 162 percent. [CBO Directory Doug] Elmendorf additionally cites a definitive assessment in the New England Journal of Medicine that reviewed hundreds of studies on preventive care and found that more than 80 percent of preventive measures added to medical costs."
Read the whole article here.
Get it? Prevention increases medical costs, never reduces them or saves money.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- Truth: These is no text in the ObamaCare proposal that "permits" abortion. The proposed bill is completely silent on abortion.
- Truth: The Hyde amendment, which is widely understood to prohibit federal funding of abortion, only prohibits funding of abortions through Medicaid.
- Truth: The Stupak-Pitts amendment is a proposal to disallow ObamaCare funds to subsidize abortion. Stupak-Pitts was defeated in committee 31 nay, 27 yea.
- Truth: The Capps amendment, passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee, will allow the secretary of HHS to provide abortion coverage through the "public plan" AND requires that people on taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans in the federal exchange to have access to a plan that covers elective abortions.
...to my knowledge there is nothing that specifies abortion to be allowed--as a matter of fact federal funds cannot be used to provide for abortion--under the Hyde Amendment[*] that's been in place for a very long time."
- Physicians are motivated to remove tonsils because they make more money (CNN Video)
- Surgeons would rather receive $30K to $50K for amputating limbs of diabetics than the pittance they get for preventative care (CNN Video)
[Q] My mother had a pacemaker implanted when she was 99 and is still alive today at 105. Would ObamaCare take into consideration my mother's spirit, her joy of life?[Obama] The 1233 panel will be instituted to ensure that she and her doctor(s) know that an option exists that would save money if only she would just take a pain-killer.
My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President's chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."  Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which "produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated."
It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen ... should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner
I think the main thing is the Democrats said for many years the health-care problem is about the uninsured -- the 47 million or so. Setting aside the validity of that number, people [agreed] and they said, 'Well, I think I'm willing to help the uninsured.' "Suddenly, in this bill, they discover it's all about them. Everybody's being swept into it and people are going '"Whoa! Wait a minute. I'm pretty happy with my insurance. I don't want to go into a federal system."That is what's causing a lot of resistance to this bill.
- Most Americans (81%) seem to be satisfied with their own health-insurance.
- Most Americans agree that the health-care question is "How to provide health-care insurance for the 47 million uninsured."
- Of these Americans (the 81%) see ObamaCare as ultimately forcing them into a government option.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
- This section amends the Social Security Act
- The government has the power to determine what constitutes an "applicable [medical] condition."
- The government has the power to determine who is allowed readmission into a hospital.
- This determination will be made by statistics: when enough people have been discharged for the same condition, an individual may be readmitted.
- This is government rationing, pure, simple, and straight up.
I still don't quite understand why Obama can't bring hmself to say some variation of a) "There won't be rationing" or b) there won't be rationing under the Kinsley definition"Any treatment that I, the President, would get you will get," or c) "Medicare doesn't ration now and won't ration in the future, period. There will be no change in how Medicare decides what treatments to pay for. The goal is to get it to pay for more, not less." Read My Lipitor!** No New Rationing. . . .**Obama's answer to a questioner who had to "go through two different trials of other kinds of drugs" before being allowed by Medicaid to go back on brand name Lipitor (which he'd been taking for years) was basically that the outcome was good because "once it was determined that, in fact, you needed the brand name, you were able to get the brand name." Spoken like a lawyer! (So you had to fight for a few months or years? You won didn't you? Process costs don't count.)
...I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. . . . Who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama's aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land.
Check out this video taken at yesterday's town-hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
"Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us" -- Alecia Rumph, 26, waiting in line for a handout.
- Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
- Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
- Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
- Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
- Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
- Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
- Enact Medicare reform.
- Revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
ObamaCare would impose on all 50 states rules that have already proven to be failures in numerous states. Because these mandates would raise the cost of insurance, ObamaCare would then turn around and subsidize individuals to buy the insurance that the politicians made more expensive. Only in government could such irrationality be sold as "reform."
Monday, August 10, 2009
Of course this is not at all odd since the political Left does not inhabit the world of ideas but rather lives in a world of emotion. In such a world, the value of a policy is measured by how deeply one feels, not about its underlying principle. Reason is, and always has been, the enemy of the Left because reason does not identify with love or hate. Thus, a reasoned response to an emotionally-held conviction is almost always always viewed by the Left as a personal attack.
Bereft of ideas, many on the Left best advance their arguments by manufacturing imagined insults. For example, throughout the eight years of the Bush administration, more than a few Democrats concocted the complaint that Republicans called them unpatriotic. When challenged to cite a single Republican in Congress or the administration who made such an accusation, they could not. Ironically, many on the Left are manifestly unpatriotic as this slide show I've put together illustrates. The protestors pictured here are repulsive, vile human beings who, for eight years, were defended by Democrats in Congress as illustrating the highest form of patriotism. What is unforgiveable is the hypocrisy of elected representatives defending these people as exemplars of traditional American patriotism and attacking Grandma for asking a question of an elected representative in a loud voice.
Admiral Hyman Rickover once said "Weak minds think about people, mediocre minds think about events, great minds think about ideas". Pelosi et all are consumed by the people protesting Obamacare while the protestors are consumed by the American ideals of self-reliance and exceptionalism. What does this tell us about the ability of our congressional leadership to reflect deeply about, and lead from, the principles (ideas) to which America has historically looked?
Sunday, August 9, 2009
"It's going to mean reductions in hip replacements, knee replacements, bypass surgery, angioplasty; major procedures that have enabled this generation of the elderly to avoid disability, avoid deteriorating in nursing homes and lead active lives."
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
There is a certain irony in an administration denouncing ordinary Americans who get together to express what they believe and to confront authority -- when that administration is led by a man who began his career as a community organizer, whose job, as I understand it, is to take ordinary Americans, put 'em on a bus to City Hall in order to express what they believe...So, it's unbelievably hypocritical. And, of course, as we just heard, this only happens when you have a conservative protest. [When conservatives protest, orchestrated or otherwise] it's called a mob. If it's a liberal protest, it is called grassroots expressing themselves. Remember, just a year ago under the Bush administration, dissent was the highest form of patriotism. And today it is ... either organized anger, it's a facsimile of anger, it's unpatriotic, it's whatever.Look, there is a genuine revolt against the idea of remaking a [health-care] system when over 80 percent of Americans have health insurance. Five of six of those are happy with their health care, and four of five are happy with their health insurance.You have an administration arrogantly deciding it is going to tear it all up, start all over, and people are surprised that there are protests, and [claim them to be] manufactured? Of course it is spontaneous. [But If] people go together on a bus, that's also entirely legitimate, and it ought to be encouraged.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The Obama administration and Democrats in both House and Senate are contemplating imposing new taxes on the middle class. Also, don't forget that the the Bush tax cuts expire next year.
Don't bother hanging on to your wallet. There's nothing you can do about it.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Headline, Washington PostThe Secretary of Children Affairs has allocated $2.5 billion dollars to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour TV surveillance in their own homes. They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time, and eat proper meals.
The Children's Secretary set out £400 million to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.
They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.