Monday, August 24, 2009

ILLUSIONS ABOUT HEALTHCARE COSTS

From a cyber friend.
Illusions about healthcare costs --

For many years the government has acted to increase the cost of healthcare; to punish people who pay for their own healthcare; and to additionally punish people who pay a fee for a specific service (known as a fee-for-service patient, hereafter "FFS patient").

1) The government mandated that hospitals GIVE AWAY a substantial percentage (ten percent) of their bed space to the poor, but the government did not pay for it. This forced hospitals to "cost shift" the burden onto everyone else. This was an invisible taxation system. (Note: Politicians then cynically bragged to voters that they had "given" healthcare and "not raised taxes.")

2) The government mandated that emergency rooms GIVE AWAY healthcare to anyone who came through the door, regardless of inability (or unwillingness) to pay (even millionaires could get free healthcare). But the government did not pay for it. This forced emergency rooms to "cost shift" the burden onto everyone else. This was an invisible taxation system. (Note: Once again, politicians cynically bragged to voters that they had "given" healthcare and "not raised taxes.")

3) The government mandated that doctors be reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid patients at a fraction of the usual cost. But the government did not pay for it. This forced doctors to "cost shift" the burden onto everyone else. This was an invisible taxation system. (Note: Yet again, politicians cynically bragged to voters that they had "given" healthcare and "not raised taxes.")

4) The government mandated that insurance companies cover additional services (such as treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, psychiatry, marital counseling, and much, much more) -- additional insurance coverage that most people do not want. Given a free choice, most people would not want coverage for all these things. If insurance costs too much, a reasonable person would choose somewhat less insurance -- but this is precisely the choice the government punishes or forbids. (Note: Again, politicians cynically bragged that they had "given" additional coverage and "not raised taxes". For most people, the cost was hidden because employers paid it, so it was effectively invisible to the public.)

5) The government mandated the IRS that personal healthcare costs would NOT be tax deductible. This punished people who directly paid for their own healthcare, because they had to pay with AFTER-tax dollars. Whereas, when people purchase their healthcare through their employer, it is paid with BEFORE-tax dollars. [Note: This schism in the tax system caused most people to "willingly" (wink, wink) turn-over control of their healthcare to their employer and the insurance company. People had lost nearly all say in how their own healthcare dollars are spent.]

6) Bureaucrats will tell you that everyone is "charged the same price for the same service" -- however, in most cases the insurance companies actually pay 25% to 35% of what the FFS patient must pay. This unfairness is due to the way the government has written the laws, and again, it punishes people who directly pay for their own healthcare.

(7) "Insurance" is an inherently expensive way to purchase healthcare. An analogy will help: Suppose there is a Dining Club, where everyone eats wherever they want (at different locations, say), and splits the cost. Would you join the Dining Club? Nearly everyone would answer "No!", because the other participants would soon be ordering the most expensive meals, so you would soon be pleading that "gatekeepers" be hired (at extra cost!) "in order to keep the cost down." The gatekeepers would then be deciding what food you could and couldn't receive. Health insurance operates like that, except with healthcare, people never "get full". When someone else pays, the demand for healthcare is infinite. People generally do not care about costs when a third-party pays the bill. For example: How long to stay in the hospital? Call an ambulance versus have a friend drive? Countless decisions are answered more cost-effectively when you personally save money by making the decision yourself. Health insurance disconnects people from effectively reducing their costs. In this way, health insurance inherently increases costs due to: (a) the increasing demand for service when a third-party pays, and (b) the added cost of bureaucracy. Ironically, "the increased spending on healthcare" is largely due to the government pressing more people into health "insurance."

8) Another major reason for the rising cost is medical malpractice insurance, which for many doctors dwarfs their own salary. The extra cost is like paying for a second doctor (a 'second doctor' who does nothing). However, when people directly pay a fee-for-service, they have limited rights to sue. For example, if the FFS patient does not choose some tests, then the doctor cannot be sued for not "giving" the tests. The doctor need only say, "The patientchose not to take the test," and the legal case is finished. Under the circumstances, the patient is taking-on the risk, and therefore ought not have to pay a substantial portion of the medical malpractice insurance. The FFS patient ought be given a substantial discount on the price, since the FFS patient (not the doctor or the insurance company) is assuming the risk. Once again, the government has acted to prevent any such discount for the FFS patient. The FFS patient must pay an extravagant fee, much of which goes to medical malpractice insurance that she legally cannot benefit from. [NOTE: Democrats have consistently prevented reasonable medical malpractice tort reform. They have cynically used it to increase the cost of healthcare and bankrupt what is left of the free-market healthcare system. After Democrats have installed single-payer socialized medicine -- and destroyed the quality of healthcare (and locked us in) -- then, and only then, they will change medical malpractice law to prevent us from suing the government for the many instances of government-caused medical malpractice. That happens in all countries with single-payer medicine.]

9) The government mandated that health insurance companies cannot operate across state lines (unlike other industries!). This needlessly raises the business costs for health insurance companies (and those costs are passed on to you), and it prevents you from having more choices in your health insurance.

10) Ordinarily, a patient would price shop for a lower-price doctor, but the government puts obstacles in the way: (a) The government mandated thatdoctors could not advertise their prices, even on the walls of their own offices. In addition, (b) the government has acted to ensure that doctors will generally all tend to receive the same fee for the same service (see below) -- so there is little reason to shop for a lower price.

11) A few years ago, the government lifted the anti-trust laws against the health insurance companies -- thereby allowing them to collude in secret to set the prices paid to doctors, hospitals, etc. In effect, the various insurance companies began to behave like a single-payer system. This substantially reduced competition between different insurance plans, so these now look more and more alike. Such secret price-fixing collusion between companies is ordinarily illegal. [Note: This is how Democrats will eventually "reduce" the cost of healthcare. They will say to doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and medical researchers, "WE, the single-payer system, have decided to give you, say, a fourth of what you could earn in a free-market with fair competition, and if you don't like it, Get Out!!!" This will cause destruction to the healthcare industry. But unfortunately, much of the public will not object, so long as they believe they are getting healthcare at other people's expense. That is what happens in countries with single-payer systems.]

12) The problem of "pre-existing conditions" would have been largely solved if you owned your own healthcare policy, which would then travel with you from job-to-job, like your home or car insurance. This solution was punished by the government because (as stated above) you would have to pay with AFTER-tax dollars. (Note: Democrat politicians steadfastly refused to eliminate this punishment. Once again, your choosing and owning an individual health insurance policy was punished.)

13) When insurance is purchased through an employer the person is obviously sufficiently good health to be employed. However, under the current system, the very same employed personwho purchases insurance individually is put into an insurance risk pool with people who are un-employed (many of whom are unemployed precisely because they are unhealthy), and therefore this self-same person must pay higher insurance premiums. This peculiar disparity is yet another way the government has acted to especially punish people who do not purchase their insurance through an employer.

Those are verifiable facts; not opinions.
The Democrat party has routinely acted: (A) to INCREASE the cost of healthcare; (B) to ensure that more people could NOT AFFORD healthcare (without having to be subsidized); (C) to substantially reduce or eliminate personal choice in how our own healthcare dollars are spent on our own healthcare; (D) to punish people who directly pay for their own healthcare (especially the FFS patient, the lower-middle-class, and people who do not get health insurance through their employer); and (E) to obscure the causes from public view. Then they blamed "doctors and insurance companies" for these problems. It is deeply dishonest.

Democrats are now attempting a rapid-fire jam-down, before the public has time to see through the illusions. This systematic process -- of punishingpeople who seek to control how their own money is spent on their own healthcare -- is the central issue in the healthcare debate. (Note: If the poor werethe issue, then the government would need only raise our taxes to pay for the poor.)

The solutions will become clearer, if we simply eliminate the illusions.

-- Walter ReMine

OBAMA APPOINTS AL QAEDA SYMPATHZER TO OVERSEE 9/11 OBSERVANCE!


Matthew Vadum, writing in today's American Spectator, blows the cover off Barack Obama's plans to hijack the observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by turning it over to the radical leftist Lennox Yearwood of the politically well-connected Hip Hop Caucus.

This news has been hiding in plain sight, but got lost in the battle this month over nationalized health care, so Vadum has done a great service by bringing this to our attention.


Vadum's piece has been picked up by Michelle Malkin and Gateway Pundit.

This article is intended to fill in some big pieces of the picture about what this means. Such as Yearwood calling the war on al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to 9/11, "immoral" (Huffington Post, March 20, 2009) and the Air Force accusing the reservist (a 2nd Lt.) of being a threat to national security.

Yearwood is a Marxist who works closely with other leftist terrorist supporting groups including the ANSWER Coalition, and Code Pink.

Yearwood and his anti-American allies have been working to bring about America's defeat in the war on terror. They have used the war to propagandize their broader leftist agenda. To that end, they have cynically allied themselves with Muslim terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism against America.

Obama's White House is no stranger to this crowd. One of Obama's top fundraisers and donors was Code Pink co-founder and Osama bin Laden sympathizer Jodie Evans. (The mainstream media steadfastly refused to investigate Obama's ties to Evans during last year's campaign.)

Vadum ends his article with this rhetorical observation: "At no time does anyone explain why this National Day of Service has to be held -- of all the 365 days in a year -- on Sept. 11."

The answer is found in the anti-American, terrorist sympathizing ideology of Barack Obama and his leftist base. Turning the observation of 9/11 over to the anti-American left is akin to turning over the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to the Ku Klux Klan.

Yearwood has formed a group called Greening the Block whose policies echo the 'no blood for oil' mantra used by the anti-American left to undermine America's effort to win the war on terror. Here's a video from October 27, 2007 of Yearwood speaking at a 'No War, No Warming' rally led by Code Pink at the U.S. Capitol. Yearwood accuses the U.S. of waging war "to steal the oil from the Middle East" (isn't that what bin Laden says?)

The annointing of Lennox Yearwood is a signal to our enemies that Obama sides with them and not America on September 11. Cloaking this in green propaganda and community service is a cynical ploy to undermine America on the home front. We're a long way from the country we were on September 12, 2001. God help our troops on the battlefield.

More background on Lennox Yearwood:

Yearwood's bio from his blog at the ACLU:

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is the President of the Hip Hop Caucus. In 2004 he was the co-creator of the Vote Or Die! campaign with P. Diddy, and served as Russell Simmons’ Political and Grassroots Director. He was also the Executive Director of Hip Hop Voices a program of Voices for Working Families at AFL-CIO. Rev. Yearwood is a nationally recognized activist and community organizer, known in particular for organizing for justice in response to Hurricane Katrina and for his fierce opposition to the war in Iraq.

Yearwood is represented by the liberal Democrat front group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government. CREW .

Yearwood also serves on the board of Progressive Democrats of America:Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. For more information, see: http://pdamerica.org . Jodie Evans is also a leader of PDA.

Yearwood is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (he did not serve in Iraq). He was a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force Reserve.

In the face of political pressure, the Air Force backed down on kicking him out of the reserve for conduct "clearly inconsistent with the interest of national security."

Monday, August 17, 2009

OBAMA'S DEAR DIARY

Exclusive: A Page from Barack Obama’s Diary – Thanks A Lot, America, For Ruining My Day!
Pam Meister
Dear Diary,

I thought being President would be a lot more fun. I figured the people who elected me would always love me, no matter how many fakes or flagrant fouls I tried on them (that’s phat basketball lingo, in case you didn’t know). I figured they were so tired of Bush and the Republicans that they would welcome any kind of change – even the radical change that is near and dear to my heart.

Apparently, Diary, there are more bitter clingers in America than I realized. Some frumpy housewife told my man Arlen that a “sleeping giant” had been awakened. What is this, a Rip van Winkle story? Who is this Katy Abram anyway? Who on earth did she think she was, treating my newest acolyte like a public servant? Fortunately, my lapdogs my pals the diligent truth-finders in the media picked her apart more thoroughly than a Thanksgiving turkey. She won’t be so quick to voice her opinion outside of her own home again. And in ObamAmerica, that’s as it should be.

Things were going so well. My make America servile to my interests stimulus bill passed, even though it’ll hurt the economy more than it will help. I’ve also been successful in packing the White House with czars beholden only to me, and not the Senate, as outlined in that moldy old piece of paper called the Constitution.

But now I’m really mad because I have to make a concession in order to get the health care bill passed. It’s the best part of the bill – well, from the little I’ve had time read between visits abroad and campaign stops town hall meetings to talk down to speak with the American people. The public option will have to be scrapped – for now. The public option is what gave the bill its true teeth – darn that Karl Rove for figuring out that it's a bait-and-switch tactic meant to reassure people that my goals are less radical than they are. My goal is a single-payer, government-run health-care system. I’ve made my intentions clear well before now, but that was before anyone was paying attention besides my hardcore supporters in the unions and such.

Maybe I should have had Michelle’s input on this, considering her experience in dumping poor patients without private insurance onto other health facilities and getting away with it. Maybe her ability to beat the snot out of anyone who even says “boo” to her has something to do with it. I know I don’t say “boo,” and I occupy the most powerful office in the world!

You know, though, that things aren’t going your way when even the kooks in San Francisco are turning against your best-laid plans. That Nancy Pelosi has some explaining to do if she expects to remain in my good books. I’ve been allowing her and Harry Reid to pretty much do whatever they want, which allows me to have fun playing golf and bowing down to my moral superiors. Now it looks like I’ll have to make some decisions, something I’ve managed to avoid all these years. Who would have thought that only eight months into my presidency I’d actually have to work?

So you can understand why my fellow citizens Americans are cheesing me off at the moment. My carefully laid plans are going all to heck. George Soros won’t be too nice about it the next time we chat about how things are going.

Well, Diary, I’m going to sign off now. Big Brother is on television. I love that show – nothing like knowing someone is watching you every moment, ready to pounce if you make a wrong move. It’s how I envision ObamAmerica one day. Sure, I’ve met with a setback, but I’m a patient man. I know that the socialism I’ve been dreaming about all these years – with me at the helm – is just around the corner.

Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.

Previous diary entries:

My Day with My New BFF – Hugo Ch├ívez
Apologizing Sure Is Exhausting!Can I Just Eat My Ice Cream?
No, I Won’t Show Them My Birth Certificate!
Let’s Put Away the Flags Already!
Hail to the Ogler in Chief!
Paging Dr. Obama
Healthcare Is All About Me, and Don’t You Forget It!
Let’s Crack Open a Beer and Start the Healing
Who Do Americans Think They Are?
All I Wanted for my Birthday Was Total Submission – Was That Too Much to Ask?
Making My List and Checking It Twice...If You’re Naughty, Watch Out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NO LONGER BOUND BY RULE OF LAW

Adding to Obama's declaration that as an equal branch of the government he is FREE to selectively inplement those parts of laws with which he agrees, now...

JANET NAPOLITANO DECLARES EX POST FACTO LAW

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NO LONGER BOUND BY RULE OF LAW



http://jaghunters.blogspot.com/

http://www.newspapertree.com/news/4143-napolitano-our-shared-challenges-have-evolved



“We are not going to sit by at the Department of Homeland Security and wait for change in the laws…we can reform what we’re doing as we wait for reform in the law, and that is exactly what is going on.”

JAG HUNTER here:

OBAMA-SOETORO’S HOMELAND SECURITY’S JANET NAPOLITANO DISCLOSED YESTERDAY SHE HAS TAKEN LAWS REGARDING GUNS, DRUGS, IMMIGRATION AND MUCH MORE INTO HER OWN HANDS COOPERATING WITH– AMONG OTHERS–OBAMA-SOETORO’S DRUG CZAR AND FEDERAL MEXICAN TROOPS!


Napolitano’s words:

“…you cannot segregate the Southwest border from the rest of our nation, nor can we segregate our efforts on the Southwest border from the efforts and the partnership we must have with Mexico…

“…let me talk about our integrated strategy and our integrated paradigm for border security that relies on addressing border security along with interior enforcement, along with a counternarcotics strategy and a streamlined process for citizenship…

“…smuggling organizations are transnational by nature. And so because they are transnational, this effort has received the highest level of attention in the Obama Administration.

“…for really the first time, our countries are treating this issue of the drug cartels and border-related violence as a shared problem.

“…we are working to impede the supply of guns and cash going into Mexico, and the government of Mexico is committing not just civilian but active duty military and federal police to suppress the drug cartels.

“We’ve doubled the number of agents that ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] has assigned to the border enforcement security teams, which include American, Mexican, state, local, tribal law enforcement agents working together to crack down on smuggling. We have tripled the number of DHS intelligence analysts working on the Southwest border.

“We have doubled the number of DHS agents collaborating on looking for and apprehending violent criminal aliens, and we have, as you know, ramped up southbound inspections to search for illegal weapons and cash, adding mobile X-ray machines, license plate readers, more Border Patrol agents, and K-9 detection teams to that effort. For the first time we have begun inspecting all southbound rail shipments into Mexico.

“…the government of Mexico has created for the first time a customs service to focus on border security…It is exchanging in real time law enforcement information to enable us in real time to better track the movements of wanted fugitives…”

“This goes well beyond what has been done in the past by their government or ours…

“We are preparing now to deploy new technology. You’ve heard of the SBInet…

“We will enforce this law smartly and intelligently, and if and when, and I believe it is when the law changes, we will be prepared to enforce that law as well.

“…what happens at the border affects Kansas City. What happens in Kansas City affects the border…The demand is primarily for drugs, and you’ve heard or will hear from our drug czar and our plans to reduce that demand.

“I asked a group of law enforcement this morning at breakfast about 287(g). Nobody had really heard of it, but it has caused an enormous uproar in the press across the country. So let me be very clear what 287(g) is and how we are going to use it. 287(g) is a program, a law that was instituted during the Clinton Administration, that gives state and local law enforcement the ability to enforce immigration laws...the basic agreements have been rewritten and reprioritized to focus on using them in jails and prisons…those revised agreements are now in the field and we are looking forward to continuing the 287(g).

“So partnerships with Mexico, more partnerships with state and local law enforcement as we look at how things are linked together…

“ICE has recently announced a new set of steps to make sure that detention facilities are safe and sound. Indeed, we will be actually stopping sending some of the apprendees to some of the centers…we will continue to work to improve detention overall to make sure the American people have confidence…

“Within the Department of Homeland Security we have Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS is part of us…[IMMIGRATION] pathways are being streamlined…we have been asked to look at reforming the laws that exist.

“We are not going to sit by at the Department of Homeland Security and wait for change in the laws…we can reform what we’re doing as we wait for reform in the law, and that is exactly what is going on.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

HUGE DEAF EARS ON OBA-HUSSEIN-KHOMEINI'S HEAD WILL IGN0RE REALITY TO CUDDLE UP TO TEH MULLAHS


As a CIA spy, I saw in Iran what the West cannot ignore
We must defend freedom in Iran soon – or deal with nuclear-armed fanatics later.

By Reza Kahlili


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Los Angeles - Today the West must make one of the most important decisions of our era. Will we defend what remains of democracy and freedom in Iran, or will we succumb to Tehran's murderous government?

It's a question that goes to the heart of our own security. Iran is a thugocracy of Islamic mullahs, and it will soon have nuclear arms. Any misconception about the intentions of fanatics with nuclear bombs will have grave consequences.

I know because I spent years alongside them as a CIA spy working under cover in Iran's Revolutionary Guards starting in the 1980s.

The Guards Corps was set up as a check on the regular Army and to serve and secure the Islamic revolution. Thirty years of Western appeasement hasn't stopped them from terrorizing the West – or Iranians. Today, with Tehran's leaders caught in a power struggle over the June 12 election and the legitimacy of the regime, the Guards, led by zealots, are calling the shots.

The Guards – and the hardliner clerics they protect – are vulnerable, however. This summer's grass-roots uprising has put them on the defensive. A strong Western hand now could tip the balance.

We don't have a moment to lose. If we can't upend the Guards now, how can we do so once they have nuclear bombs?

Washington could lead the way by refusing to recognize President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who earlier today took the oath of office for his second, four-year term. Instead, the United States should demand the freedom – and the freedom of speech – for all who've been arrested and tortured in recent weeks. And we should toughen sanctions to include cutting off Iran's gasoline supplies.

The people of Iran are desperate for a show of support from the West. By standing with them, we can uphold our duty to defend democracy and take a stand for the security of the free world.

Such a stand would mark a radical policy change. For the past 30 years, the West has tried very hard to appease Iran's mullahs.

In the 1980s, I helped make known a secret pact between Iranian mullahs and some European governments. Thirsty for Iranian oil, the Europeans gave the go-ahead to Iranian agents to assassinate opposition members abroad without interference, as long as European citizens were not at risk. Hundreds of dissidents were gunned down.

The US has also been guilty of trying to appease the mullahs. Almost every administration after the 1979 Iranian Revolution has tried in vain to create better relations through back channels. Yet those efforts haven't stopped Iran's rulers from arming terrorists, taking hostages, and suppressing their own people.

The brutal killing of Iranians by their leaders that we're seeing today is nothing new. Ruling clerics have been killing political opponents, along with their families and friends, for 30 years – but inside prison walls.

I've been inside those walls and I've seen teenage girls who were raped before execution so they were no longer virgins and therefore, according to their Islamic beliefs, couldn't go to heaven. I've seen hundreds hung on cranes. I've seen women and men lined up in front of firing squads after being severely tortured; their families would be forced to pay for the cost of the bullets. Western officials were quite aware that this was happening, but they let their thirst for oil blind them.

Today, however, the screams of Iranians young and old calling for democracy and freedom cannot be ignored. The post-election uprising has started the countdown of the end of the thugocracy in Iran. This is the desire of the Iranian people. It should be our desire, too.

So far, the West has kept fairly quiet about Iran's unrest. President Obama and others say they don't want to give credence to Tehran's claims of a Western conspiracy behind the protests. And by not ruffling the regime's feathers, they hope to negotiate improved ties and resolve the nuclear impasse.

But how do you negotiate with a government composed of terrorists?

Right now, the Revolutionary Guards have near-complete control of Iran. This terrorist organization is expanding its power throughout the Middle East. Its ultimate goal is to bring the demise of the West.

With the help of North Korea, the Guards are working on long-range ballistic missiles in tests that are concealed by their space project.

The Guards have also accelerated their production of Sejil, solid fuel missiles, and are working nonstop to improve the range of those missiles. Today they can strike Tel Aviv, Riyadh, US bases in Iraq, and the US Navy's Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. Their goal is to be able to target all of Europe.

The Guards are also working on their nuclear bomb project in facilities unknown to the West.

Iran's defense minister, Mostafa Najjar, who oversees the development of missile and nuclear technology, was in charge of the Revolutionary Guards forces in Lebanon that facilitated the attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241 US servicemen.

The current deputy defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who oversees the distribution of arms and missiles to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, was the commander of the Guards' elite Quds Forces and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards in charge of the terrorist activities outside of Iran.

Mr. Vahidi is currently on Interpol's Most Wanted List for the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994 that killed 85 and injured more than 100.

Many Iranian officials have Interpol arrest warrants, and even supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been recognized in courts as one who has ordered such acts.

Fanatic radicals such as these are incompatible with a free Iran. This is the best opportunity in 30 years to change course and stop succumbing to thugs. Will we seize it?

"Reza Kahlili" is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is writing a book about his life and experiences as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MANDATORY BROWN SHIRT BILL - FULL DETAILS

Long bill details and good comments to see how Obama has already passed an initial 250,000 force of brainwashed Hitlerlike Brown Shirt force to report to him and snitch.