Tag Archives: Leak

Understanding the effects of government-run health care

Previous health care posts

Before we see today’s post, here are some of my previous posts on health care.

Socialized medicine by the numbers

I was having a nice chat today with a friend about whether we should expect government-run health care to work as well as private health care. I asked to him to reflect on how incompetent government offices are for services like driver’s licenses, vehicle titles, immigration, postal services, etc. Then I asked him how satisfied he was shopping online from Amazo.com or in person at Wal-mart. A private seller in the free market needs to meet your needs better than other competitors, so you will get good service – because you have a free choice. But what happens when you have only one option?

Hot Air has a post by DirectorBlue that analyzes government-run health care.

Here are just a few of his numbers related to waiting times:

14: The percentage of all patients in Britain who wait more than one (1) year to receive treatment after a referral by a general practitioner. Half of all National Health Care patients in Britain wait between 18 and 52 weeks for treatment.

90: Number of days, on average, each Canadian patient must wait for an MRI under the Canadian government-run health care system.

750: The estimated number of people waiting in line (in the pouring rain) at Britain’s Bury Office attempting to register for dental care.

10,000: Number of Canadian breast cancer patients to file a class action lawsuit against Quebec’s hospitals because, on average, they were forced to wait 60 days to begin post-operative radiation treatments.

443,849: The number of British patients of the National Healthcare Service (NHS) who waited four or more weeks for inpatient admittance into a hospital (Excel file) in May of 2009 (more than 75% of all patients).

1,500,000: The number of Canadians who do not have — and cannot find — a general practitioner/primary care physician due to shortages in medical staff: “In Norwood, Ontario, 20/20 videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor… Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery ‘elective.’ …’The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live,’ she said.”

The article also discusses the costs of socialized medicine, patient outcomes, illegal immigrants, fraud, waste, etc.

Needless to say, this is a MUST-READ. Send it to all your friends!

Obamacare exposed: rationing for thee but not for me

Previous health care posts

We need to learn from what goes on in other countries.

The latest news

All communists are the same. They only want YOUR wealth to be redistributed, not theirs. In Obama’s socialist America, all the people are equal, but Obama is more equal than the others.

Check out this story from Hot Air. (H/T ECM)

President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.[“]

The video is here at RealClearPolitics.

Read the whole thing, and remember what single-payer health care means, more demand, less supply, waiting lists, rationing and denials of service. But only for you plebians – NOT for Obama and his family.

ACORN sues whistleblower for exposing their secrets

Let’s learn about ACORN

In case you don’t know anything about ACORN, Michelle Malkin can introduce this organization. (post dated June 20, 2008)

Excerpt:

The radical left-wing, government-subsidized group ACORN uses your tax dollars to engage in voter fraud, enrich itself as part of the mortgage counseling racket, and serve as an activist branch of the Democrat Party.

There’s more. Ashley Eiler e-mails about a new report: “The Consumers Rights League just released a collection of whistleblower documents from an ACORN staffer that raise some new concerns about how the organization has established policies for its housing counselors to use undocumented / under-the-table income for processing loan applications from low-income individuals. In addition to pushing these and other exotic loans, the documents reveal that ACORN has engaged in some apparently illegal activities by commingling government funds from its tax-exempt offshoot entities to fight political battles against corporate lenders. ”

Who has close ties to this suspicious group? Is it Dick Cheney?

Obama’s close relationship with ACORN

Michelle Malkin can tell you all about Obama’s close ties with ACORN. (post dated June 25, 2008)

Excerpt:

Who in Washington will fight to ensure that your money isn’t being spent on these radical activities?

Don’t bother asking Barack Obama. He cut his ideological teeth working with ACORN as a “community organizer” and legal representative. Naturally, ACORN’s political action committee has warmly endorsed his presidential candidacy. According to ACORN, Obama trained its Chicago members in leadership seminars; in turn, ACORN volunteers worked on his campaigns. Obama also sat on the boards of the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation, both of which poured money into ACORN’s coffers. ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who “best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about” — like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money.

…For excellent background on Obama and ACORN, see Stanley Kurtz’s NR piece here, plus City Journal pieces here and here. Also here and here.

This article has some startling numbers on ACORN’s operations.

How is ACORN funded?

ACORN is funded by taxpayer money, and Obama’s porkulus bill included 4.19 billion dollars for his former employer. (post dated January 26, 2009)

Excerpt:

House GOP leader John Boehner’s office reports that the left-wing voter fraud/illegal alien/housing entitlement racketeers at ACORN “could get billions” more in federal taxpayer funding from the Democrats’ stimulus bill.

Remember, these guys are accused of voter fraud, and they are being asked by Obama to go door-to-door to assist with the US census. I’m sure they will not use that opportunity to commit more voter fraud. Not at all.

ACORN sues whistleblower

Remember that whistleblower that I mentioned earlier? Michelle has the latest news.

Excerpt:

The White House is on a witch hunt against inspectors general who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

And now, taxpayer-subsidized ACORN affiliate Project Vote — where President Obama cut his teeth as a community organizer and learned Leftist intimidation tactics up close and personal — is going after whistleblower Anita MonCrief and an anonymous “John Doe” defendant for posting invaluable documents that reveal the money-shuffling racket.

Obama. ACORN. Project Vote. Corrupt birds of a feather bully together.

The scoop: Project Vote has filed a federal lawsuit against MonCrief for blogging about her experience and knowledge of the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization’s partisan and political activities, including coordination with the Obama campaign. Project Vote seeks compensatory damages and exemplary damages “of at least $5 million” and all costs and attorney’s fees on trumped-up charges of “trademark infringement” and publication of “trade secrets.”

Should we be surprised that the left is willing to bully and intimidate people for exposing them?

ACORN was instrumental in causing the current recession by suing banks so that they would be forced to make loans to people who would never be able to pay the money back. Remember, Democrats caused this recession and Republicans tried to stop them.

CRISIS! Evaluating the leaked Democrat health care bill

Keith Hennessey is the go-to guy for analyzing economic policies. He takes a look at the leaked draft of the health care bill that I blogged about before. He lists 15 things you need to know about the draft bill.

Below I’ve listed a few of the scariest parts.

Mandatory coverage

The Kennedy-Dodd bill would create an individual mandate requiring you to buy a “qualified” health insurance plan, as defined by the government.  If you don’t have “qualified” health insurance for a given month, you will pay a new Federal tax.  Incredibly, the amount and structure of this new tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and Health and Human Services (HHS), whose only guidance is “to establish the minimum practicable amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage (as so defined).”  The new Medical Advisory Council (see #3D) could exempt classes of people from this new tax.  To avoid this tax, you would have to report your health insurance information for each month of the prior year to the Secretary of HHS, along with “any such other information as the Secretary may prescribe.”

Employer mandate

The bill would also create an employer mandate.  Employers would have to offer insurance to their employees.  Employers would have to pay at least a certain percentage (TBD) of the premium, and at least a certain dollar amount (TBD).  Any employer that did not would pay a new tax.  Again, the amount and structure of the tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and HHS.

Mandatory services that I don’t use

A qualified plan would have to cover “essential health benefits,” as defined by a new Medical Advisory Council (MAC), appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services… The MAC would have to include items and services in at least the following categories:  ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and new born care, medical and surgical, mental health, prescription drugs, rehab and lab services, preventive/wellness services, pediatric services, and anything else the MAC thought appropriate.

That’s just redistribution of wealth for elective services, right there. I wonder whether support for contraceptives and abortion would also be required.

Premiums not related to lifestyle risks

Health insurance plans could not charge higher premiums for risky behaviors:  “Such rate shall not vary by health status-related factors, … or any other factor not described in paragraph (1).”  Smokers, drinkers, drug users, and those in terrible physical shape would all have their premiums subsidized by the healthy.

Guaranteed issue and renewal

All health insurance would be required to have guaranteed issue and renewal, modified community rating, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime or annual limits on benefits, and family policies would have to cover “children” up to age 26.

…Guaranteed issue and renewal combined with modified community rating would dramatically increase premiums for the overwhelming majority of those Americans who now have private health insurance.  New Jersey is the best example of health insurance mandates gone wild.  In the name of protecting their citizens, premiums are extremely high to cover the cross-subsidization of those who are uninsurable.

Massive wealth redistribution, especially to Democrats

People from 150% of poverty up to 500% (!!) would get their health insurance subsidized (on a sliding scale).  If this were in effect in 2009, a family of four with income of $110,000 would get a small subsidy.  The bill does not indicate the source of funds to finance these subsidies.

…People in high cost areas (e.g., New York City, Boston, South Florida, Chicago, Los Angeles) would get much bigger subsidies than those in low cost areas (e.g., much of the rest of the country, especially in rural areas).  The subsidies are calculated as a percentage of the “reference premium,” which is determined based on the cost of plans sold in that particular geographic area.

Hennessey then goes on to explain all of the implications of his 15 points. READ IT ALL.

BONUS

Verum Serum has 2 posts up where they examine:

Comparing patient outcomes for cancer treatment in the USA vs Europe

Related chart:

Cancer mortality rates
Cancer mortality rates

AND:

Obama’s plan to pass the health care bill unilaterally, under a bi-partisan smokescreen

They have a plan to bypass the likely Republican filibuster. It’s a done deal.

Is waterboarding really torture? Does it enhance our national security?

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial by Representative Pete Hoekstra, regarding Barack Obama’s decision to inform our enemies about the details of the interrogation techniques we would be using against them to protect America:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.”

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

I previously wrote about how Obama had opened the door to prosecutions of those who, from the bottom to the top, defended the United States from terrorist threats. Even if no one is convicted, this witch-hunt undermines our vigilance, and will create incentives that will make our counter-terrorism personnel hesitate in the performance of their duty to defend us.

But now I want to ask a different question. Is waterboarding really torture? Take a look at this MSNBC video linked at Hot Air, featuring a debate between an ignorant, unqualified, left-wing journalist and Liz Cheney.

And here is some of the transcript from Hotline:

O’DONNELL: Well Liz, we’ll get to that argument in a minute, about do the means justify the ends. Whether torture justifies…

L. CHENEY: Well, it wasn’t torture, Norah, so that’s not the right way to lay out the argument.

O’DONNELL: OK.

L. CHENEY: Everything done in this program, as has been laid out and described before, are tactics that our own people go through in SEER training and that our own people have gone through for many years. So it’s really – does a fundamental disservice to those professionals who are conducting this very effective program and to those people who approved the program in order to keep this nation safe and prevent attacks through the program to call it torture.

O’DONNELL: Liz, the CIA, on its own after 2005, stopped waterboarding on its own. The U.S. prosecuted people for waterboarding after World War II.
So to suggest there’s a consensus out there that waterboarding is not torture is not in fact accurate.

L. CHENEY: No, I think it is accurate. There were three people who were waterboarded. And two of those people are people who gave us incredibly important and useful information, information that saved American lives after they were waterboarded. Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.

And I would just refer your viewers to the really important op-ed piece that Mike Hayden and Attorney General Mukasey wrote laying out why this program worked, why it was effective and what damage has now been done to our national security by releasing the tactics of this program

The impression I get is that the left-wingers in the Democrat party and the mainstream media is more concerned about the rights of terrorists than protecting American lives. They have a right to hold and express those opinions – it’s a free country. But should we really reward them by voting for them or watching their silly biased television broadcasts?

RELATED: Hot Air notes that a new Rasmussen poll finds that 58% think Obama endangered national security.