Archive for the 'Health care' Category

08
Feb
10

What a difference a simple majority makes: The (at least) two faces of Paul Krugman

Above is the face of Paul Krugman people see on TV in the New York Times, but the man has (at least) two. Depending upon which party is in power, he is of two faces on the filibuster.  Just see the examples below. (Brought to our attention by a friend.)

Here he is on March 29, 2005:

“But the big step by extremists will be an attempt to eliminate the filibuster, so that the courts can be packed with judges less committed to upholding the law than Mr. Greer.”

And here he is yesterday:

“Senators themselves should recognize this fact and push through changes in those rules, including eliminating or at least limiting the filibuster. This is something they could and should do, by majority vote, on the first day of the next Senate session.”

The only thing that has changed between then and now is which party controls the Senate and by how much, specifically the election of Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts.

I would ask how Krugman can look at anyone with a straight face, but he probably has a third face for just that occasion.

24
Mar
09

Government regulation gone…well, the way it always goes, mad.

What is it about the bureaucrat that makes them think they know best how to run anything, let along everything?  It isn’t history because they haven’t been able to successfully manage anything without a staggering amount of waste, fraud and abuse.  But as our President seeks to move health care into the web of bureaucrat control, take a look at what another, much small bureaucracy has brought the bar business.  After watching this ask yourself whether or not you think the mentality that created this insanity on a statewide level could effectively run every American’s health care on a national level…then think about moving to Canada if they try.

24
Mar
09

A reader writes…the joys of socialized medicine.

Anything can look good on paper, even socialized medicine.  But unless all you get is a paper cut, there are huge problems when government controls anything, especially health care.  This post if from a read – Thanks Kurt.

dmv-health-care

This is what you get when the govt. “provides” health care. They truly get to play God. I was in the U.K. over the last week and was following this story. The parents wanted their child to live. But since the govt. picks up the tab they wanted to shut off the child’s life support and they won. My feeling is since it was going to cost a lot of money and their was little chance the child would be a “contributing” (taxpaying) member of society then the govt. doesn’t need to pay. Before everyone signs on for “free” health care they should understand what that means. The choice is not yours to make, then, it is the government’s.

01
Aug
08

Douchebag of the Week: The Oregon Health Plan.

Douchebag of the Week!It was a close race this week with Barack Obama almost going back to back thanks to his race card politics because, let’s face it, accusing pretty much everyone who opposes you of being a racist is pretty freaking douchey.  But no, this week saw a late entrant into the fray walk away with the award: the Oregon Health Plan.

The Oregon Health Plan is socialized medicine for the poor in Oregon, a very left-wing state.  Why would a health plan for the poor with Douchebag of the Week?  Because, just like every socialized health plan system (Canada, Great Briton, Medicare, Obama’s plan) when the government sets the agenda, determines what will and won’t be covered, people suffer needlessly while bureaucrats cash their checks for acting like mindless robots.

The latest victim of socialized medicine is Barbara Wagner who suffers from lung cancer.  She’d beaten it once but, as is too often the case, the cancer returned.  As a victim of, er, recipient of socialize medicine from Oregon, she was told that she was pretty much SOL.  There was a drug out there for her type of cancer now that would slow its growth and prolong her life, and who knows, there may well be another, better treatment that could save it developed while she was being treated.  Only problem is the Oregon Health Plan doesn’t allow that.  Terminal cancer, no matter how slow-growing, is still terminal.  The state sees no benefit if treating someone who is going to die, and no benefit is code for cost saving measures because “free” medicine always costs more than the kind people have to pay for.  Barbara was screwed.

The state was kind enough to inform her via letter that they would provide her with drugs to make her suffering less painful, keep her doped up while she waited to die, and that they would also pay for her to commit suicide with the help of a doctor, just not cover the drug that could prolong and improve the quality of her life.  That’s so sweet, isn’t it?

If Obama wins and liberals get the socialized system they want, the one citizens with the means in those countries they use as examples flee to seek treatment here if they have the means, expect to become familiar with letters featuring language like this:

Treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of this disease, is not a covered benefit of the Oregon Health Plan,” said the unsigned letter Wagner received…

It’s essentially this, “It costs too much to save or prolong your life and we’d rather build bike paths and regulate business than pay for it, but thanks for playing and good luck!”  This is all too typical in a socialized system.

Think this is just an isolated case?  Ask Randy Stroup who found out the OHP wouldn’t pay for the chemo for is prostate cancer.  Tell him he’s an isolated case.  Bet you’re half right, he feels isolated as hell.

And what of these great examples of socialism liberals hold up as something to aspire to?  Over in England there is the story of Trizka Litton who needed a simpler hernia operation, something done daily in this country on an out-patient basis (you’d run risk of waiting longer for an oil change here than a hernia operation).  Well, thanks to rationing, Trizka had to wait 7 months!  Actually, she had waited 7 months and had enough waiting, the pain to great to continue to wait, that she mixed up a batch of fake blood and claimed she vomited it up to get emergency surgery.

Then there’s the Canadian health care system, also called Medicare, where until a few years ago it was illegal to pay for something out of pocket if it was covered by their socialized system just to make it fair.  That way people who could afford it couldn’t go to a doctor and get cuts in line for their treatment.  It’s a fair system, everyone suffers equally.  Thankfully that law was overturned and Canadians are now free to buy treatment on their own and escape socialized hell.  This has caused outrage among the leftists to our north, seem they prefer a system where a rising tide sinks all boats better.

These are just a few examples of the failures of socialized medicine, there are many more out that you can easily find.  But you won’t find them all, and it won’t be for a lack of looking.  The most egregious ones result in death, not many dead people can complain, and since their families were kept in the dark about the treatments the doctors weren’t allowed to consider, they know no better either.

The Oregon Health Plan is a cautionary tale for all Americans tempted by they allure of “free” health care for all, or free anything for all; it simply doesn’t work, it’s not “free” and in most cases ends up cost a lot more in more ways than you can imagine.

It is for the plight of Randy Stroup, Barbara Wagner and who knows how many others out there that the Oregon Heath Plan is this week’s Douchebag of the Week.

On a positive note, the evil drug company (don’t you read the papers or listen to Democrats talk about “Big Pharma?) that makes the cancer treatment Barbara needs has stepped up and is giving it to her for free.  Those evil bastards!  Hopefully another company will be just as “evil” to Randy before it’s too late.

08
May
08

A Case for McCain’s health plan.

Michael Cannon of the Cato institute travels over to the conservative world of National Review and comments on the McCain Health Care Plan, saying his plan is “not perfect”. Coming from Cato, that’s the best praise you may ever see. Which in political reality means McCain has a pretty good plan.

Cannon runs through the plan’s main features quickly, pointing out the best piece is breaking the link between working for someone and having health insurance. Allowing individuals to cover themselves in a cost effective manner should help reinforce America’s entrepreneurial spirit.

He takes some time to point out that once semi-relevant Elizabeth Edwards is completely wrong in all of her diagnostics of health insurance plans, and how she’s wrong.

The moral of the story is McCain has a plan that libertarians can grudgingly accept, and satisfies many conservative ideologies. It’s not perfect, but at least McCain offers a step in the right direction.

21
Apr
08

Sleazy Attack on Health Savings Accounts.

HSA's are freedom, and liberals don't like freedom.

Statist politicians want people to depend on government for health care, which is why the left is reflexively opposed to vehicles, such as health savings accounts, that allow people to control their own health care dollars and make their own health care decisions. In an effort to make HSAs less attractive, the Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee have concocted a new set of regulations. This is typical inside-the-beltway shenanigans.

The sleazy part of the story is that a private company is lobbying for the provision since it would make money enforcing the regulation.

The Wall Street Journal opines on the unseemly alliance of statist ideology and special-interest deal making:

This week, the House passed legislation that included a provision to require every HSA transaction be reviewed and verified as a legitimate medical expense. Democrats say this is to ensure that consumers are using their tax-free withdrawals for a knee replacement, rather than a new iPod. In reality it adds a layer of bureaucracy that could sharply reduce the appeal and cost savings of HSAs. A key player here is Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, whose main purpose in politics is to give the U.S. a government-run health-care system. He is a known opponent of HSAs – once comparing them to “weapons of mass destruction” – because they introduce more individual choice into the health-care marketplace. Pushing for the provision was a company called Evolution Benefits, which has patented a system for the substantiation of health-care expenses.

Read the whole thing and be outraged!

13
Mar
08

“Universal” health care plans of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are, like the Irish plan, universally bad.

The joys of socializm.

Liberals have co-oped the term “universal” in terms of health care to mean socialized medicine without having to actually say “socialized,” since Americans do not support socialism, so they say universal.  Well, everyone wants universal health insurance, because that means everyone has health insurance. When a Democrats talks about universal care the natural reaction is to grab your wallet before they do, naturally.  But you should also worry about your health.

There really is no simpler way to say this than just to say it; when government controls your health care, government controls your life.  Bureaucrats choose who lives and dies, not directly, but by the regulations they write and the restrictions they impose on doctors. 

Government also controls your life by how much money they are willing to spend, let’s face, there is a limited supply. 

A prime example of a health care bureaucracy gone bad (as if there’s any other way they go) can be found in this story from the Irish Times.  Most people don’t realize the significant, life-threatening drawbacks of having the government in charge of what you can and cannot get from your doctor (which, by the way, will always lead to what you can and cannot do because it is deemed “unhealthy”), they focus on the horror stories of private insurance companies totally screwing over people, which they do, just not very often. 

Things that are routine in this country are rare elsewhere, and unless you’ve lived overseas, or really talked to someone who has had a life-threatening disease, you won’t know the truth.  Michael Moore sure as hell isn’t going to tell you because it doesn’t fit his agenda of making the US look bad while making him even wealthier.

Ireland, just like all socialized medicine countries, has waiting times for medical services because, well, to save money, the government controls and rations things.  That means less machines, an inability to run tests in a timely manner, etc., just think of everything lefties say about HMOs and multiply it by 10. 

Now imagine you’re in a system like that, seemingly free (though you’re paying for it through significantly higher taxes), and your doctor thinks you might have cancer.  Terrifying, but tests need to be run to be sure, and before you can start treatment. 

Now imagine having to wait a year and a half to get those tests. 

That’s what’s happening in Ireland.

“PUBLIC PATIENTS can be waiting up to a year and a half for crucial tests to determine if they are suffering from conditions such as bowel cancer, according to new figures.”

There is a reason there is a growing trend toward private hospitals and insurance in socialized countries.

The Health Service Executive said hospitals were working closely with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to cut waiting times. It also said waiting lists were being checked to see if those who were named as waiting longest still in fact required a colonoscopy.

“If the procedure is still required, then patients can be assessed for eligibility for NTPF,” it said. The NTPF can buy treatment in private hospitals for public patients on a waiting list for more than three months.

“If the procedure is still required…”?  That means if they haven’t died yet from our incompetence and one-size-fits-all approach. 

Clinton and Obama have similar goals for our country, a system where everyone is treated the same – poorly.  We need a plan that raises the level of everyone’s care, not one that lowers everyone to the same level of poor care.




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