Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthcare Breakdown: Deliberate Malice or Clueless Bungling?

Is the current administration deliberately destroying our healthcare system or are the folks in charge clueless bunglers? Considering the lead-shield transparency of the current administration, it stands to reason that the American public will turn to gossip for a bit of insight. And who better to whisper in our ears than The Prowler, writing for The American Spectator?

According to The Prowler, when the White House got wind that AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, Verizon and other corporations were charging their books hundreds of millions of dollars (a billion dollars in the case of AT&T) in expenses caused by passage of ObamaCare, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett hit the phones "and attacked them for doing so." One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude." A White House staffer gave this view: "These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general. . . . It's BS."
The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover. 
"Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don't understand a thing about business, and that includes the President," says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. "My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn't understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn't know what was in the bill." [emphasis mine]
Next, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak decided to haul some of these "Republican CEOs" into Congressional hearings to investigate their "claims" that the new law "could adversely affect their company's ability to provide health insurance to their employees." Not "would affect," mind you, "could affect." As though the effect is some remote possibility.
Neither Waxman or Stupak -- who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill -- had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. "We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them," says  a staffer. "When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them.  They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn't understand what they were voting on." [emphasis mine]
The American people have been trying to explain this bill to Congress for more than a year, and the Democrats still don't have any idea what kind of hell they've delivered to us. Of course, that's the generous view.

For this, most Americans bear shame. We have allowed Henry Waxman of California to exercise the power of Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And we have allowed Bart Stupak of Michigan to be Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel.

We'd better pay a lot more attention to whom we give power over our laws lives, while we still have the chance.
Related posts:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Many Blacks Consider Themselves Part of the Tea Party?

Wax Lips, always a good read, presents an interesting analysis of the membership of the Tea Party, guaranteed to send shivers up the spines of Democrat politicians in Congress (if they had spines).

Recently, Althouse published some results of a Quinnipiac poll revealing the demographics of the Tea Party movement, as follows:
74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
5 percent are solidly independent;
45 percent are men;
55 percent are women;
88 percent are white;
77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.
Wax Lips has a politically astute aunt who commented on this poll thusly:
The report which accompanies the poll tells us that, “at this stage” the Tea Party movement is a “minority group” consisting “mainly” of white Republicans; a minority group, we are told, roughly the size of the African-American electorate. This fact, presented in a seemingly dismissive manner, is staggering. The African-American electorate is a highly sought after voting block which was, by all accounts, responsible for assuring Obama’s 2008 victory. That the Tea Party movement is a voting block of equal size deserves serious attention.

I am likewise amazed that the Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute so completely misses the significance of the demographics. Describing a movement in opposition to the current (Democratic) leadership in Washington as “mostly made up of people who consider themselves Republican” completely misses (deliberately hides?) the significance of the fact that one out of every five Tea Party participants is a Democrat.

Likewise, a movement which is “mainly white”, in a country where 77% of the population is, in fact, white, is hardly newsworthy. What *is* newsworthy, is that 6% of the participants in the Tea Party movement are black. Think about that. Blacks comprise a mere 1% of the Republican Party. One might expect, then, a movement made up “mainly” of Republicans to be, at best, 1% black. Yet, a full 6% of the Tea Party movement is black. That’s quite a difference.

In fact, looking at it from a different angle, blacks make up 12% of the total US population. It would be unrealistic to expect a full 12% of the Tea Party movement to be black, given that election results indicate nearly 95% of all black voters voted for Obama. This would lead us to expect 11.4% of the US population (that is, 95% of the black population) to be pro-Obama blacks, and a mere 0.6% of the total population to be blacks critical of the president and his policies. Yet, the number of black participants in the Tea Party movement, at 6%, turns out to be significantly larger than that. Larger, in fact, by a factor of 10. That is an amazing statistic, especially in light of the continuous efforts to describe the Tea Party movement as racist.
Excellent observations, Auntie. Let's see if I got this straight. Obama is losing support among blacks, a surprising number of whom are part of the Tea Party.

After reading Auntie's analysis, I went back to the Quinnipiac poll and checked out the results. My reading of the results under the category of "Race" is that 11% of people who consider themselves part of the Tea Party" are non-hispanic Blacks. That's a mighty close reflection of the percentage of Blacks in the total US population (12%). (Auntie, if I've gotten this wrong, please correct me!)

If either the 6% or 11% figure is anywhere near accurate, it's easy to see why the Democrats would go out of their way to portray the Tea Party movement as a collection of dangerous racist Whites perfectly capable of spitting on Black leaders. Democrats must be worryingly aware that the survival of their supremacy depends on discouraging as many Black people as possible from claiming their Conservative roots, and their smears on the Tea Party are also calculated to increase the pressure on Black Conservatives to keep their mouths shut. That won't be too easy. One problem with this charade is that it's been tried so often that nearly everyone in the country caught on to it long ago.

My prediction: It won't work nearly as well as the Democrats hope. Desperate measures seldom do, especially hollow ones. And what could be more hollow than protestations by Democrat Congressional fat cats that they care about the welfare of ordinary Americans struggling to hold things together in a failing economy?

Monday, March 29, 2010

More ObamaCare Fallout: It Gets Worse and Worse

Nancy Pelosi wanted us to wait until the ObamaCare bill was passed before we found out what was in it. Well, we're finding out.

Cases in point:

No Sheeples Here reported, "I spent the wee hours of last night trying to console my best friend." No Sheeples' friend has a son with Type I diabetes who requires dialysis as a result of his condition. In comes ObamaCare, out go much needed treatments for people requiring dialysis. (The geniuses in Congress also managed to forget about children with pre-existing conditions.) No Sheeples wrote, "My friend of thirty-two years is a strong woman who has great faith in God’s mercy, but last night she was inconsolable."

No wonder. As Carol of Carol's Closet points out,
"[I]f you or a loved one is dependent on dialysis to live, you can kiss it off.  What?  You'll die without dialysis?  Well, under ObamaCare, that's just too bad. 

The Bride of Rove has the whole sorry story.
The condensed version of Bride of Rove's explanation (but read the whole thing) is that today, many dialysis patients can live normal enough lives to hold down jobs. After January 1, 2011, a mere eight months from now, ObamaCare will deprive those people of much of their treatment, leaving them with only minimal care designed to keep them barely alive. It should not be necessary to point out that most "barely alive" patients do not stay "barely alive" for long.

That's why No Sheeples' friend is inconsolable. If you read the accounts of No Sheeples Here and Bride of Rove, you will be inconsolable too, unless, of course, you are one of the elected members of Congress who voted to pass ObamaCare despite the pleading of the American people. In that case, you will be standing on your feet applauding and cheering.

Over at Potluck, Obi's Sister reports that she has already seen a copay on a medication jump by 300%, with many more price hikes to come. That's a little something more for Democrat politicians to cheer about.

Bride of Rove, whose husband depends on dialysis, had some words of warning for the people of America:
This, my friends, is YOU in five years. . . . [W]hen money is tight or priorities are different, they drop you into the abyss.
Keep on laughing Democrats. Let everybody see who you really are.

Related posts:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Inspiring: Sarah Palin's Speech in Searchlight, Nevada

Via Sarah Palin's "poor man's teleprompter":

Starting the Week with a Prayer of Greeting: Hosanna

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

~ Matthew 21:9

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Whistle A Happy (Conservative) Tune

From Tom Smith at The Right Coast, by way of Cartago Delenda Est.
This latest Dem hysteria over the scariness of tea partiers is just beneath contempt.  Obviously nobody should do anything illegal, but, heck, you trample on people's basic rights in an area of intimate concern to them and put the financial survival of the nation at risk, and everybody is supposed to just lie down and be all polite about it?  What a bunch of cry-babies.  But dangerous crybabies.  They're making omelettes like crazy, breaking eggs by the gross, and when one of them squeaks, "I'm a little chick, please don't hurt me!" it's all, the right wing terrorists are on the loose!  Transparent, contemptible political theater and utter cluelessness about, you know, freedom.  People, as in the People, have every right to be angry, furious, shocked, appalled and disgusted by what Congress and our ambitious young prince have done.  And bringing the FBI into it?  Oh, the FBI is watching!  Everybody be careful that they not get too angry!  Or else who knows who might come knocking at 3 in the morning! It sure looks like a disgraceful attempt to intimidate those of us who don't like what the Dems have wrought, who hate it in fact, into silence.  Ironic, of course.  Somebody yelled at me!  Me!  Call the FBI!  And these are the people to whom we are handing over our own and our parents' and childrens' health care, and medical records, and our access to drugs and care.  What a f*ing nightmare.  The reaction of our masters to a little popular anger is a lot more chilling IMHO than a few rednecks gone wild, if even that has actually occurred, about which it seems there is considerable doubt.  (Lots today on instapundit about this.)  Well, the best advice as it often is is John Paul's:  Be not afraid.  Speak, protest, talk, yell, argue and don't be afraid.  Don't be afraid of being tarred with the slurs the social democrats and the press will sling (racist!  fascist! under-insurer!), don't be afraid of the FBI or the IRS, don't be afraid professors telling you the Constitution does allow the federal government to make you buy the insurance policy it wants you to have -- many of these professors don't even like the Constitution!  If they can't scare you, it's hard to beat you.  And if deep down, you are kind of afraid, as indeed you have some reason to be?  Just pretend that you're not.  That usually works well too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The ObamaCare War on Doctors: NJ Physicians Strike Back

The first legal challenge to ObamaCare by medical doctors has been filed in New Jersey by a group known as NJ Physicians. In their own words, the group took legal action "after finding that the vast majority of physicians in New Jersey strongly oppose the new Act and fear that it will make it more difficult for them to provide quality healthcare to their patients."

From the group's Web site:

NJ Physicians calls for a restructuring of the reimbursement system to recognize quality, efficiency and effectiveness.  It cites the Mayo Clinic’s recent announcement that it may no longer accept any Medicare patients because it is losing millions of dollars by treating them efficiently and effectively.

Leaving physicians with the choice between practicing efficiently and earning a living is not a solution to the problem. Without fixing the reimbursement system and providing meaningful tort reform to eliminate defensive medicine, costs will continue to rise, insurance premiums will continue to rise, and rather than improving access to healthcare, the Act may well have the opposite effect. Indeed, with passage of the Act, many physicians are already planning early retirement in the face of an already anticipated severe doctor shortage.

Given the current climate, it is highly unlikely that Congress will soon revisit healthcare reform unless the courts overturn the existing Act.  If the courts do overturn the Act, Congress will have another opportunity to pass real reform.  We believe that Congress has missed a critical opportunity to truly improve the healthcare delivery system, and that physicians and patients deserve another opportunity – hopefully with less partisan divide – to assure the continuation and improvement of the finest healthcare system the world has ever known. 
Members of this NJ Physicians "hope to bring physicians' concerns directly to the attention of the United States Supreme Court."

Good luck, Docs. You'll be waiting in a long line.
Related posts:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ObamaCare Sent Back To House: Now What?

Last night in the wee hours, Senate Republicans forced a change in the Senate ObamaCare bill approved by the House just days ago, thus sending the bill back to the House for another vote.

From the New York Daily News:
It was initially unclear how much of a problem this posed for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid further congressional votes on what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party.
A big problem, I hope. 
Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Republicans consulting with the Senate parliamentarian had found "two minor provisions" that violate Congress' budget rules. The provisions deal with Pell grants for low-income students.

Manley said those two provisions will be removed from the bill, and he expected the Senate to approve the measure and send it to the House. Manley said Senate leaders, after conversations with top House Democrats, expect the House to approve the revised measure.
"Minor" is in the eyes of the beholder. These "minor" problems are with the Gov't nationalization of the student-loan industry, which the Dems shoe-horned into the Senate ObamaCare bill. As the bill now stands, it is no longer legal for private banks to issue student loans.

Welcome to the Land of the Free, where you can't get a college loan without a stamp of approval from the Democrat Party.

Yesterday, the Senate voted for nine uninterrupted hours on 29 Republican amendments to the legislation, all of which were defeated by Democrats. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene this morning at 9:45.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Will Big Govt Do With Your Medical Records?

Conservatives wonder how Democrats can cower in fear that the government might overhear a phone conversation between a couple of terrorists, but feel perfectly comfortable about the government having direct access to everyone's medical records. In my little corner of Progressive Paradise, under George W. Bush following 9-11, the staff of the public library lived in highly publicized terror that the FBI might show up at the door and ask them who had borrowed books about how to construct truck bombs, and the library posted signs assuring book borrowers that the library would never tell the federal government what any user of that library had ever read. But today, seemingly the entire community dances in bliss that Obama's healthcare "reform" will give the government direct access to their computerized bank accounts. No signs posted anywhere promising protection from that intrusion.

As far as I can figure out, this double standard has something to do with the perceived halo that Democrats wear versus those pointy horns and red tridents that Republicans carry around. Democrats are trustworthy philanthropists, Republicans are, well, heartless scum. Something like that.

Thomas Sowell on the subject:
If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an executive order of the president, to do that.

With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?
Could it be?

Sowell continues:
Does anyone still remember the hundreds of confidential FBI files that were "accidentally" delivered to the White House during Bill Clinton's administration? 
Even before that, J. Edgar Hoover's extensive confidential FBI files on numerous Washington power holders made him someone who could not be fired by any president of the United States, much less by any attorney general, who was nominally his boss.
J. Edgar Hoover. Hmmm. Wasn't he the guy who collected a secret wiretap file a yard thick on Martin Luther King, Jr.?

And, of course, no Democrats would ever create a scandal to influence an election or offer a "bribe" to influence a vote. Nah.

Earth to Democrats. . . .  Earth to Democrats. . . .  Are you entirely certain that you will always want to agree with the administration in power? You'll never want to anger a local political chieftain. Ever?

You'll just love those potholes and those zoning decisions. Every single one. Yes. And those property taxes and school board mandates. And think how much more you'll love them when your neighbors are afraid to step forward and complain. Or they get a little nervous about voting the wrong way.

It goes without saying, of course, that neither you nor any member of your family will ever contract an embarrassing or compromising medical condition that you wouldn't want "accidentally" made public, say, on the Internet?

I know, I know. I'm just wearing a tin-foil hat. It can't happen here.

After all, as historian Arnold J. Toynbee once observed, “There is, of course, a thing called history, but history is something unpleasant that happens to other people. We are comfortably outside all of that I am sure.” (Toynbee quote courtesy of Mark Steyn via Pundit & Pundette).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ah Yes, I Remember It Well

Hat tip: How's That Obama Vote Working Out For You???


Shut Up

Political Junkie Mom is calling out yahoo "news" for its faux-elite criticism of "vocally disruptive" Republicans, you know, Republicans who don't shut up, even though the Dems wish they would. That reminded me of Andrew Klavan's piece on the eternal directive of liberals to conservatives, namely, "Shut Up" I've posted this before, but I think it's one of those videos that should be revisited from time to time, especially after one has recently been told by a Progressive to shut up. (I think that describes just about every American Conservative this week.)

And then there's this suggestion to not shut up on your Census form, from Power Line, via Mad Minerva:
Mark Krikorian observes: "Fully one-quarter of the space on this year's form is taken up with questions of race and ethnicity, which are clearly illegitimate and none of the government's business. . . .  Krikorian has set up a Facebook page inviting Americans to follow his example:
In 2010, the new CENSUS will be taken.
Last time, instead of listing my race, I listed me as "HUMAN."
This next year, I will be listing myself as "AMERICAN"... please Join ME!!
If you believe, as do I, that when America QUITS asking people what their COLOR, RACE, Ethnicity is, then we will all become a stronger Group: Americans.
Krikorian therefore suggests:
[W]e should answer Question 9 by checking the last option -- "Some other race" -- and writing in "American." It's a truthful answer but at the same time is a way for ordinary citizens to express their rejection of unconstitutional racial classification schemes. In fact, "American" was the plurality ancestry selection for respondents to the 2000 census in four states and several hundred counties.
So remember: Question 9 -- "Some other race" -- "American." Pass it on.
I don't know about you, but identifying myself as an American just makes me feel good

Monday, March 22, 2010

Govt Care For All Means a Shorter Life for You

Having taken stock of myself this morning following the passage of ObamaCare, I find that I have completed an internal shift from pulling my oars at battle speed to a more controlled advance that I hope will help sustain my effort for the much longer--and exceedingly more grueling--haul that America now faces.

Today I direct your attention to a post by Robert Wenzel at Economic Policy Journal, "How ObamaCare Will End Up with Bernie Madoff Types in Charge of Your Diagnosis and Treatment."
The real story about ObamaCare is that it will eventually result in a dramatic decline in the quality of healthcare in the United States. It will also kill creativity and innovation in the field of healthcare. The bill is driven by some very evil people in the Obama Administration. They are power freaks of the first degree, who want to control your life.

The lead power freaks, after Obama himself, are ethicist Ezekiel Emanuel and "nudger" Cass Sunstein.

Emanuel believes it is government who should decide who gets care, when and how much. Sunstein is the operative who knows that Emanuel's real plan would be rejected out of hand by the American people, so he has set up and designed ObamaCare so that it nudges America towards Emanuel's goals without most Americans realizing what is going on.

The end goal is a national healthcare program. It will lower the life expectancy of Americans. Eventually, the decline in expectancy will be dramatic.

The [free medical] industry will eventually become indoctrinated with true believers who don't think for themselves, but are good at following orders. They will also consider themselves as superior to their patients.
This shouldn't be much of a leap. Do-Gooder Leftists already know that if you don't want to offer the fruits of your labor to the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-loving government to distribute to someone you never met in exchange for votes instead of helping out members of your own family and neighborhood or trusting that distribution to your church or favorite charity, you (ignorant selfish beast) are beneath dirt.
In this circus atmosphere, there will be no cuts in total healthcare. Any savings in one area will be more than absorbed by lobbyists skillfully and shrewdly capturing the government healthcare agencies, for the products of their clients, whether or not we really need the products.
What? In other words the government will not treat tax revenues ostensibly collected for health care like a sacred trust? Health care reform will continue to be a sausage factory with real people being shoved into the grinder? The end worth any means--bribery, Constitution-shredding, for example--will not yet have been reached. There will be even more reasons to bribe and shred? Who could have guessed?
This is why ObamaCare has an "Independent" Medicare board that will submit recommendations to curb Medicare spending, if costs are rising faster than inflation. No question, they will climb faster under this mad design.
Once the Medicare board comes into play, the evil nudger will begin to play in his mad laboratory to eliminate competition and nudge the country towards national care. 
This, my friends, is going to be the health system that is being set up to diagnose and treat you.
Will Democrat voters' self-perceived orgy of ObamaCare charity produce the results that have been presented from the pulpit? Health for all, no questions asked?

Or is the road to hell really paved with good intentions?

Update: Just found this quote by Robert Wenzel I thought I must pass on: "government is spelled g-o-v-e-r-n-m-e-n-t, not g-o-d."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More About the War on America's Doctors

From the Anchoress:
"Meanwhile, I wanted to share this, with a Hat Tip to Deacon Greg Kandra. He posted an excerpt from Cardinal Seans thoughtful musings on healthcare, and then tipped me off to this comment from one of his readers -although I have seen it on several sites, today, so I am not sure where it originated- which I am reprinting in full, because it is sane and sensible:"
I have been a doctor for 19 years. 4 years in the Army and 15 years in private practice. I belong to a doctor owned group of approx 350 doctors in a multi-specialty practice. We employ 4000 people. In addition to being touted as one of the very best clinics in the nation (Acclaim Award winners) we have donated over a million dollars to the local city in grants, scholarships and charity. Regularly voted as top places to work by our employees. US healthcare at its very best. I am very proud of what we do and we provide tremendous care and value to our patients.
We seek to maintain a 3-5% profit margin annually. We operate in the very precarious business model of enormous volume, low margin. As any business owner knows, this is high-risk-low-margin of error model. Consequently any small changes to cash flow vectors, mandates widespread internal policy and practice corrections. Tiny changes = massive consequences.
As many people may know, Medicare and Medicaid, the current government paid ‘insurer’ – pays approximately 70% of the cost of care. ie its more expensive for doctors to care for these patients than we get reimbursed for. Say you are a contractor. Imagine the government mandating a significant number of your jobs whereby your out of pocket costs are ~ 30% + greater than your income. That is Medicare and Medicaid. In perspective, our group alone, year 2008 lost ~$12 million caring for our government patients. This is despite taking over 1 1/2 years to help move our fee-for-service traditional Medicare patients over to Medicare Advantage plans, which are privatized versions of Medicare that reimburse better…still not covering costs…but lessen our losses significantly.
Many people ask, why do private health insurance premiums continue to escalate? The liberals want you to believe its a combination of profiteering and waste. When in fact its due mainly to two other processes. The first is obvious: every year it costs more to care for patients and premiums are trying to keep up with this rising cost. But secondly, and less often discussed, is that every year private delivery systems lose more and more money caring for our government patients. Someone has to make up for these losses in order for your hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies, group practices to remain solvent and profitable. Every year these delivery systems open their books to the private healthcare insurers – and the insurers must – they must in order for the entire system at large to stay functional, increase the amount they pay out to cover these losses. If they dont, both the delivery systems and the insurers die. So to keep the boat afloat, the payouts by private insurers MUST increase to subsidize the ever increasing losses doctors incur by taking care of our government patients. So, in a way, you could say that your increasing premiums are a tax that you are paying to cover the losses that are Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a clear and inarguable private subsidation of government cost. Enough said on that.
So to really feel the consequence and full impact of Obamacare, one must simply see the economic dominos. Most people can see how this bill will rapidly reduce private insurance plans and rapidly expand government plan patients. And take whatever number that is being reported, and multiply that by 3. That has been the experience in both Mass and Hawaii. Both government plans were overwhelmed with the enrollees as they significantly underestimated the government migration.
Ok, so now- how can anyone not see the obvious outcome? Government patients = significant loss of profitability. Initially the private insurers will do their best to continue to subsidize this loss, and there will be a huge escalation of premiums. But within a few months this will be unsustainable. Its a cycle that cannot be stopped. Higher premiums = higher recidivism to government plans = higher premiums etc. Within months, every single hospital, every single doctor office, clinic, nursing home, pharmacy – every delivery system reliant on private insurers will no longer be profitable. ie they will go bankrupt. These will most certainly be the headlines to come: Hospital XYZ shockingly announces bankruptcy; Hospitals can no longer remain open; Clinics across the country file for bankruptcy; Loss of Pharmacy access shocks the Nation; Doctors going bankrupt en masse creating healthcare delivery and access to care crises; Where can you go to get care?; Loss of access reported Nationwide
Yes a crises. A crises of access due to widespread business failure. You will not be able to get care for as long as it takes for the government to devise their emergency bailout package and as long as it takes for those insufficient dollars to try and get those doors back open again. But it will be too late, and it will be too expensive. There is absolutely no way that our government can capitalize our entire healthcare system. Try as they might, only a percentage of what we have now will ultimately survive. And those that do survive will be a shell of what they once were. The conditions will be frightening, and the consequences will be dire. The degree of disarray will be unimaginable and the underlap in access to care will be gaping.
I will not expand this discussion to predict what this means to our economy at large because I am not an economist. But anyone can be close to predicting what I am suggesting. Factors such as loss of work hours due to illnesses not treated, pressure on all the other private business models; let alone the out and out loss of enormous capital via the bankruptcy of this entire healthcare industry can clearly be the death nail to our country and imo is a clear and present threat to our very sovereignty. This can make the housing collapse look like a speed bump. This will be massive and rapid and lethal and complete.
I am not certain why this very obvious outcome has not been openly discussed more often – ie the rapid and massive bankruptcy of all of your health care providers and their delivery systems. But this is the inevitable outcome should this bill ever become law and implemented.
Thanks for reading. Please ping, copy and email your friends and try and get this word out. I know it’s a very late hour – but I do think the implementation is not an inevitability as multiple lawsuits may keep it on hold for a while – so public opinion will still be vital for many more months to come.
Unbelievable times. Please do your part and email and make the phone calls. This plea comes an honest and heartfelt love of our country and its citizens, and an honest and heartfelt love of my profession, avocation and the welfare of my patients.
Related post: Slaughterhouse for American Medicine: It's War on Doctors

Benjamin Franklin's Request for Prayers at the Constitutional Convention

July 28, 1787
Mr. President
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What Comes After ObamaCare: Mentioning the Unmentionable

The British political columnist, Gerald Warner, yesterday offered an across-the-Pond view of Obama's political future that most Americans aren't quite ready to say out loud:
The presiding spirit behind the squalid manoeuvres of Pelosi and Reid is Barack Obama. He is the President and commander-in-chief. The buck stops, etc. So, in the event that the President signed this healthcare legislation, consciously evading Clause 1, section 7 of the Founding Fathers’ protective document for American freedom, and it were then struck down by the Supreme Court, a question arises: could Obama then face impeachment? Think about it. An Exocet is always a tiny speck on the far horizon at first, but it is amazing how quickly it arrives at its target.
I had to look up the word Exocet. My online dictionary identifies it as the trademarked name of a French-made guided anti-ship missile, literally, a "flying fish."

Just days ago, in the House Rules Committee, a tiny speck of a politician infamously unveiled her own microbe-brained attack on the Constitution of the United States. It took a couple of days for a nation of free people, squinting from afar into clandestine negotiations, to ascertain that Slaughter's "deem and pass" is indeed a Demon Pass. Yesterday, the tiny speck loomed somewhat larger as Jeffrey T. Kuhner in the Washington Times asked the question on this side of the Pond: "Impeach the president?":
The Slaughter Solution would replace the rule of law with arbitrary one-party rule. It violates the entire basis of our constitutional government - meeting the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors." If it's enacted, Republicans should campaign for the November elections not only on repealing Obamacare, but on removing Mr. Obama and his gang of leftist thugs from office. 
It is time Americans drew a line in the sand. Mr. Obama crosses it at his peril.
True. But much, much worse--infinitely worse--Mr. Obama crosses it at the peril of the American people.

Hat tip: Obi's Sister, Never Underestimate the Motivation of Extremely P-O'd Americans. Also, "Kuhner's Impeach the President?"

UPDATE: Keep people posted on ObamaCare developments today and tomorrow at THIS THREAD at Potluck. 

UPDATE: Demon Pass is dead. For now. Better pound a stake through its heart and pour salt on its grave.

Friday, March 19, 2010

222 Democrats for Demon Pass: America Will Not Forget

Roll of Shame: Names of Democrats Who Voted to Slaughter the Constitution

Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Brown, Corrine
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Connolly (VA)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis (TN)
Donnelly (IN)
Edwards (MD)
Edwards (TX)
Frank (MA)
Gordon (TN)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Hall (NY)
Hastings (FL)
Jackson (IL)
Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Kilpatrick (MI)
Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Klein (FL)
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Lewis (GA)
Markey (CO)
Markey (MA)
McCarthy (NY)
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Miller (NC)
Miller, George
Moore (KS)
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Murphy (NY)
Murphy, Patrick
Nadler (NY)
Neal (MA)
Pastor (AZ)
Pingree (ME)
Polis (CO)
Price (NC)
Rothman (NJ)
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Smith (WA)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Van Hollen
Wasserman Schultz
Wilson (OH)

Related posts:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Legal Foundation Prepares Lawsuit Over Slaughter House Rule

The Landmark Legal Foundation and its president, Mark R. Levin, conservative radio host and author, have published a draft complaint naming as defendants Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, Eric Holder, and Kathleen Sebelius. According to Levin, the lawsuit "will be filed in federal court the moment the House" uses "the so-called 'deem and pass,' 'self-executing,' or 'Slaughter Rule' to enact H.R. 3590, the legislative version of President Obama’s healthcare proposal that has been previously approved by the Senate."

From the draft Claim for Relief:
20.  Two branches of the United States Government have and presently are intending to transgress the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, rendering the liberty of United States citizens at stake. Clinton, 524 U.S. at 450 (Kennedy, J., concurring).
Read the entire document at Landmark's Draft Complaint.

H/t: Michelle Malkin.

Cross posted at Potluck.
Related posts:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Slaughterhouse for American Medicine: It's War on Doctors

The New England Journal of Medicine says that nearly half of America's family doctors and internists feel that ObamaCare will force them out of medicine--or make them wish that they could get out.

Nearly three-quarters of doctors in all specialties have gotten that message. Nearly half of the surveyed doctors think that the decline in physician supply will be dramatic.

One quarter are already thinking about early retirement if ObamaCare passes (or is deemed passed, or whatever).

One fifth will try to leave medicine even if they are not near retirement age.

And among those not contemplating leaving medicine altogether, many think they will have to close their private practices and work exclusively through hospitals. Surgeons and OB-GYNs who remain in business, in private practice or otherwise, are worried about the expected serious decline in the availability of anesthesia and anesthesiologists.

Some key findings of the published survey:
  • 46.3% of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

  • 72% of physicians feel that a public option would have a negative impact on physician supply, with 45% feeling it will “decline or worsen dramatically” and 27% predicting it will “decline or worsen somewhat.

  • 24% of physicians think they will try to retire early if a public option is implemented.

  • 21% of physicians would try to leave medicine if a public option is implemented, even if not near retirement age at the time.

  • 36% of physicians would not recommend medicine as a career, regardless of health reform.

  • 27% would recommend medicine as a career but not if health reform passes.

  • 41% of physicians feel that income and practice revenue will “decline or worsen dramatically” with a public option.
Source:“Physician Survey: Health Reform’s Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care,” The Medicus Firm,
Call, call, call. Today's the day to do it. 
Related posts:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ACORN Pulls Support for Anyone Voting No on ObamaCare

This past weekend, New York State's Working Families Party got together to formally decide that they will not endorse any members of Congress who vote No on ObamaCare.

That's no surprise, especially considering that Obama's political director, Patrick Gaspard, worked with ACORN to set up the Working Families Party in New York. Before working for Obama, Gaspard was a registered lobbyist for SEIU. But not getting the Party's endorsement in New York State is a pretty big deal. Democrat candidates rely on the Working Families Party for votes and deep (not necessarily legal) discounts on campaign expenses. According to New York State law, any votes for a Working Families Party candidate get counted as votes for the Democrat candidate. Pretty slick, eh?

According to Elizabeth Benjamin at New York Daily News, ACORN claims to have "provided the margin of victory for Democratic congressional candidates five times since 2002: Tim Bishop (2002), Brian Higgins (2004), Eric Massa (2008), Bill Owens, and [Scott] Murphy (2009)."
Inside the Party, Benjamin reports, tempers are running high. One Party faction wants to run challengers against anyone who votes No on ObamaCare.  
The WFP has run insurgent candidates against Democratic incumbents before, successfully winning five [New York] City Council races that fell into that category last fall.
At least six New York House votes are believed to be in play at the moment. But the members coming under the most pressure are two who voted "no" last time around: Rep. Mike McMahon (NY-13) and Rep. Scott Murphy (NY-20). Both are currently on the fence.

McMahon got a personal visit last week from SEIU 32BJ's Mike Fishman, who made it clear that labor will not at all be happy if the freshman Democrat casts another "no" vote.

Murphy was presented on Sunday with 7,000 signatures gathered by the WFP urging him to support the bill. 
I wonder how many times Mickey Mouse signed that petition.

As Monroe Rising pointed out, knowing that a candidate has vexed ACORN sounds like a pretty good incentive to give the guy a vote. And a call.

Just so you know. . . .

Contact Mike McMahon (Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn) here. Washington phone: (202) 225-3371; local phone: (718) 351-1062.

Contact Scott Murphy (Lake Placid, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Hudson, Rhinebeck, Delhi, Walton) here to respond to Murphy's Health Care Survey. Washington phone: (202) 225-5614; local phone: (518) 581-8247.


Other phones to melt:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Buffalo and Rochester Are Demanding Martial Law? I'm Not Buying It

Trying to figure out what's going on in the House of Representatives these days is like being sucked into a black hole and spit out on a planet designed by Franz Kafka and Groucho Marx.

It's hard to tell how painful it is because it's so absurd.

The Democrats might have enough votes to pass ObamaCare.  Or . . . they might not.

On the other hand, they might do an end run around the Constitution and just order America to purchase gov't health care or go to jail. No vote needed.

The following cannot be republished enough. From the Washington Examiner: (via Pundit and Pundette)
Would House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democratic leaders try to cram the Senate version of Obamacare through the House without actually having a recorded vote on the bill?
Not only is the answer yes, they would, they have figured out a way to do it, according to National Journal's Congress Daily:
House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill, the chairwoman said Tuesday.
There's a big problem with this proposal. It's not Constitutional. The Constitution of the United States specifically mandates that Congress actually has to vote on bills.

Going on record with votes for this bill (as the Constitution requires) would be a big problem for Democrats because the majority of voters in this country despise this bill.

Mark Levin on the matter:
Here we have the President of the United States and Congressional leaders actually talking about the possibility of a brazen and open violation of one of the most fundamental aspects of our Constitution and Republic! How we actually make laws!
This is a crucial lesson for those of you who... aren't sure what your beliefs are, or if you have any beliefs. Or aren't sure if you even care. We have an effort underway by the one of the most powerful chairmen in Congress, the woman who heads the Rules Committee, ...openly discussing gutting Congress. Gutting Congress.

And if this is done, this is about as close to martial law as you'll ever get... So Louise Slaughter, a Representative from New York, is discussing, in essence, martial law. Now I can tell you, if they pursue this process, and try to impose this kind of a law, without actually passing a statute, that I will be in a race -- with scores of others -- to the courthouse to stop this.
Louise Slaughter, who wants to upgrade that old-fashioned idea of passing legislation by voting on it, is--I am heartbroken to admit--a New York Congresswoman representing Buffalo and Rochester (28th Congressional District), where she is a media darling and local bloggers go crazy over her cute Kentucky accent. She's also an ACORN darling, having run on ACORN's Working Families Party ticket.

The Buffalo News admires her "persistence" in getting the state some stimulus money to fund a little section of high-speed rail. She may have persistence, but she is not exactly a world-class pork trader, at least when it comes to the public good. Even by selling out the Constitution of the United States, a high-stakes trade, Slaughter's high-speed rail proposal came in 10th out of 11 proposals. The Buffalo News went out of its way to praise her for raking in $151 million; for the same purpose, California got $2.3 billion and Florida got $1.25 billion.
And--I kid you not--The Buffalo News loved Slaughter's "quote of the day"  at Obama's Health Reform Summit, her statement in defense of the Buffalo woman who wore her deceased sister's false teeth. In its coverage, the News noted only positive reactions to her comments, such as: "Thank God for Louise Slaughter."

Thank God? Louise Slaughter's proposal is also about the slaughter of the innocents: everybody in the country will be required to pay for abortions, like it or not.

Interestingly, neither the Buffalo press nor the Rochester press has found the ink to print a single word about what is now being called "the Slaughter solution" or the "Slaughter slight-of-hand," the one undeniably historic episode that already assures that Louise Slaughter's name will be recorded, infamously, in the history books.

This is a map of Slaughter's congressional district, which includes parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Orleans Counties. From Slaughter's Web site (which, by the way, completely ignores the Slaughter "Solution"):
Parts of Buffalo and Rochester, the second and third largest cities in New York, are joined by all or part of Appleton, Barker, Brighton, Burt, East Rochester, Fairport, Grand Island, Greece, Hamlin, Hilton, Holley, Irondequoit, Kendall, Kent, Lewiston, Lyndonville, Model City, Morton, Newfane, Niagara Falls, Olcott, Penfield, Perinton, Ransomville, Sanborn, Stella Niagara, City of Tonawanda, Town of Tonawanda, Waterport, Wilson, and Youngstown to make up the 28th Congressional District.
If you are a patriot living in Slaughter's district, you owe it to yourself, your children, and the rest of the country to raise a big fuss about Slaughter's Slight of Hand. Do it now. The clock is ticking.

Numbers to call listed in these posts:
I'd like to offer special thanks to Pundit and Pundette for keeping readers informed about Slaughter's travesty and providing excellent links on the subject. Make sure to visit there to learn more.

Related post: Hurting? Wait Until ObamaCare Stops Paying for Anesthesia

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    What? It's Finally Okay to Say "God" in California Schools?

    Back in 2002, Michael Newdow, a Sacramento, California athiest, challenged the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance because it contains the words, "under God." References to God, Newdow claimed, infringed on his religious beliefs. A 9th Circuit panel of the Federal Appeals Court agreed with Newdow, and declared the Pledge "a profession of a religious belief, namely, a belief in monotheism," and thus unconstitutional.

    The panel's decision barred 9.6 million children in 10 states from "teacher-led recitation" of the Pledge. It also flew in the face of many previous judicial rulings supporting the Pledge, leading to public outrage over judicial activism.

    That was then. Fast forward through a serious of appeals and challenges to this past Thursday, when the same 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court ruled in favor of a defense of the Pledge by 50 members of Congress, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice. This time the Court, with 2 out of 3 different members than in 2002, saw things differently:
    The Pledge is one of allegiance to our Republic, not of allegiance to God or to any religion. Furthermore, Congress’ ostensible and predominant purpose when it enacted and amended the Pledge over time was patriotic, not religious.


    The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded and for which we continue to strive: one Nation under God—the Founding Fathers’ belief that the people of this nation are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; indivisible—although we have individual states, they are united in one Republic; with liberty—the government cannot take away the people’s inalienable rights; and justice for all—everyone in America is entitled to ‘equal justice under the law’ (as is inscribed above the main entrance to our Supreme Court). (Full decision available here.)
    In a separate ruling, the Court gave a constitutional thumbs up to use of the National Motto, "In God We Trust," as a ceremonial and patriotic phrase.

    What is going on in California? Only last week a Federal Judge in that state ruled that it is constitutional for a math teacher to display in his classroom patriotic banners that mention the word "God," even if his political views are "unpopular."

    Related post: Federal Judge Rules Against Hostility to U.S. Religious Heritage in Classroom

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Tracking the National Debt

    Last year at about this time, I started tracking the weekly rise in America's national public indebtedness: what you and I owe as a result of government spending, purportedly on our behalf.

    Every Friday, I compared the national debt to that of the previous Friday, to see how much more in the hole our country had gotten, and then I converted that amount to something tangible.

    For example, last year in the seven days between March 6 and March 13 (one year ago today), the U.S. National debt grew by $36 billion. To pay back that one week's debt, all American banks would have had to give the U.S. Treasury every dime that they collected--for an entire year--when somebody in America overdrew their bank account.

    Somehow, that didn't sound too bad, maybe because I'm careful about my accounts. But in some weeks, the new debt was much more alarming. To repay a mere two weeks of debt in July ($113 billion), the nation's farmers would have had to donate to the U.S. Treasury an entire year's revenue from their agricultural exports. Yep. Every dollar earned in an entire year by exporting those amber waves of grain and those California and Florida fruits and vegetables would have been just about enough to pay back just two weeks of new national debt. Even the computer giant Microsoft didn't earn enough in all of 2008 to pay back just one week's new debt in May of 2009. 

    One week the U.S. debt grew by $107 billion. To cover it, the nation's employers would have had to divert every dollar that they put into traditional pension plans--for an entire year--to the Treasury Department. Every dollar.

    In two weeks in July, we borrowed every cent the federal government spent for a year on green jobs and transportation, research included. 

    When our national debt hit $12 trillion, I stopped keeping track. But I can tell you one thing: the U.S. Treasury certainly does not have the $2.3 trillion that Obama's health-care overhaul will cost. It's going to have to come out of people's hides.

    From time to time I like to mention that only about half of adult Americans actually pay income taxes. There is no way that Congress is going to be able to squeeze enough money out of this population to keep us afloat.

    Everybody is going to end up paying, in hundreds of new ways. And each new way is going to be a loss of freedom and opportunity. And health.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    What If ObamaCare Were A Sick Patient in Canada?

    Obama wants ObamaCare up on its feet and ready for signature by March 18th, a mere 6 days away. [Update: Obama has just extended his "deadline" by 3 days to March 21.] But what if ObamaCare were not subject to the tender mercies of Congress, but instead were a Canadian patient waiting for cardiac bypass surgery?

    Let's see. In that case, the president could expect to see ObamaCare wheeled into the operating room on May 22, 65 days from now (if it were still alive).

    But let us say, for the sake of argument, that the Nanny State bill had, well, breast cancer. Average expected surgery date in Toronto: August 27.

    Perhaps ObamaCare, like Nancy Pelosi keeps telling us, is not as sick as all that: it's merely been limping along. In Ontario, it could expect that knee replacement on December 28th, just in time to watch crowds celebrate the arrival of 2011.

    Tell Congress you don't want to be forced to wait for health care.

    Data source: Canadian Ministry of Heath and Long Term Care. Via theblogprof.

    Related post:

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    More NY Reps Wavering on ObamaCare: Numbers to Call

    Yesterday I started listing the recent public positions (and phone numbers) of New York State's potential swing voters on the Senate ObamaCare bill.

    Here are two more:

    Dan Maffei (NY-25, Syracuse, Dewitt, most of Wayne County) was an enthusiastic supporter of the House bill, but now his intentions are not as clear. According to, Maffei, a first-term Congressman, "has publicly opposed the Senate bill because of the tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans."

    The League of Women Voters is running a TV ad asking voters to encourage Maffei to Vote No. The League is running a similar ad for Mike Arcuri (NY-24).

    Dan Maffei's Phone: Washington (202) 225-3701; Local (315) 423-5657

    John Hall (NY-19, Peekskill, Stony Point, Mount Kisco, Port Jervis, Beacon, Arlington), another enthusiastic supporter of the House bill, is a word mincer. According to Hall: 
    • Basic Medicare will not be affected (Don't worry about those Medicare Advantage cuts, or cuts for hospitals and doctors). 
    • Only the richest Americans will pay (Not you)
    • Rationing of care is not explicitly in the bill (Socialized medicine? Never heard of it).
    Hall's basic message on ObamaCare, as far as I can tell: Shut up, voters, and go back to sleep.

    Despite Hall's strong support for ObamaCare, Dick Morris has pegged him as a possible No vote for the Senate ObamaCare bill.

    Somebody must be calling. Why not you?

    John Hall's Phone: Washington (202) 225-5441; Local (845) 225-3641 x49371

    Related posts: