Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. - Mark Twain

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Krugman Consumes His Own Tail

Paul Krugman has written a bizarre op-ed in opposition to the GOP Medicare plan.  Let’s have some fun with it.

Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.

It’s acceptable to call them consumers and providers because that’s what they are.  The only reason this language strikes Krugman as odd is because he, like many liberals, has becomes used to thinking of healthcare as a “right”—something akin to Freedom of Speech. But any time there is a voluntary exchange of services, the relationship is one of consumer to provider.  There’s nothing repulsive or sinister about this.  Teachers, fireman, cops, doctors, clergy—none of these people work for free.  All of them provide services that we consume.

Note also that Krugman is engaging in the “I’m On Your Side” tactic.  He praises the doctor-patient relationship as something sacred.  But, as we will see, he does this on the way to severing and controlling that bond.

We have to do something about health care costs, which means that we have to find a way to start saying no. In particular, given continuing medical innovation, we can’t maintain a system in which Medicare essentially pays for anything a doctor recommends. And that’s especially true when that blank-check approach is combined with a system that gives doctors and hospitals — who aren’t saints — a strong financial incentive to engage in excessive care.

I agree.  One way we can do this is to put more responsibility on the consumers who have shown the ability to make complex and difficult decisions about homes, cars, schooling, computers and other supposedly opaque disciplines.  We could, for example, adopt David Goldhill’s proposal of moving back to a major medical system where the first few thousand dollars of healthcare—the most discretionary part—is controlled by the consumer and either the employers or the government provide a voucher for a $5000 deductible.  It’s difficult to imagine such a system now because we’ve gotten so used to first dollar coverage.  But that’s what we used to have when our healthcare spending wasn’t so out of line.  That’s what we have in non-insured regions like lasik surgery or fertility treatments, where price guarantees are normal.

Alternatively, we could move toward something like the Australian system.  In Australia, there is a socialized insurance system that provides basic care and pays a basic fee.  If you’re poor, you can go to lower-tier hospitals that accept those fees.  If you have more money, you can buy additional insurance or pay out of your own pocket to get better care.  But the key is that you pay the bills and are then reimbursed.  So the consumer is decidedly in the loop.  (My understanding of the Aussie system is based on talking to my wife and her family; blame any errors on them.)

So certainly Krugman, an economist, is going to suggest something along ... oh.

Hence the advisory board, whose creation was mandated by last year’s health reform. The board, composed of health-care experts, would be given a target rate of growth in Medicare spending. To keep spending at or below this target, the board would submit “fast-track” recommendations for cost control that would go into effect automatically unless overruled by Congress.

Dr. Krugman, please send a nice package of whatever it is your smoking to my house.  Have you been watching the budget debate?  We endured weeks of rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the cutting of unspent budget authority.  Do you think Congress is going to stand up to seniors and tell them they can’t get care?  Even assuming this board makes some tough choices—do you really think Congress will let unpopular ones stand?

We don’t even need to ask these questions—we’ve already seen what will happen.  When PPACA was being debated, a study came out claiming routine mammography should start at 50, not 40.  Congress immediately moved to prevent this from being acted on, whether the result was valid or not. Their previous mandate on unproven CAD technology led to a huge surge in this expensive procedure. One of the reasons Republicans want insurance sold across state lines is that state governments have become incredibly pliable in mandating coverage, including “alternative medicine”.  During the PPACA debate, several senators tried to get alternative medicine like therapeutic touch and prayer therapy into the bill (these being fringe guys like um, ... the 2004 Democratic nominee for President).  Any government board is going to be controlled by special interests (who are solidly behind the idea) and overridden by a spineless Congress.

Where is this sudden surge of political courage going to come from?  This seems like an inverse of the “starve the beast” theory.  I’ll call it “gorge the beast”.  The idea is to let government healthcare spending get so out of control that Congress will have to act.

Now, what House Republicans propose is that the government simply push the problem of rising health care costs on to seniors; that is, that we replace Medicare with vouchers that can be applied to private insurance, and that we count on seniors and insurance companies to work it out somehow. This, they claim, would be superior to expert review because it would open health care to the wonders of “consumer choice.”

Notice the two-step here.  Krugman has spent his time running down consumer-controlled healthcare.  But now he’s running down a very different proposal on privatizing Medicare.  These are not the same things, unfortunately.

“Consumer-based” medicine has been a bust everywhere it has been tried. To take the most directly relevant example, Medicare Advantage, which was originally called Medicare + Choice, was supposed to save money; it ended up costing substantially more than traditional Medicare. America has the most “consumer-driven” health care system in the advanced world. It also has by far the highest costs yet provides a quality of care no better than far cheaper systems in other countries.

You know, it must be nice to be a Nobel Prize Winner.  It apparently means you never have to bother with facts anymore and can just pull things out of your ass.

Because this is pulled out of Krugman’s ass.  RAND has studied consumer-controlled healthcare and shown considerable savings, a result that has held up under some scrutiny.  And we are most decisively not the most “consumer-driven” healthcare system in the world.  According to the OECD’s 2008 data, out of pocket spending accounts for 12.1% of healthcare spending in the US. That’s less than Switzerland (30.8), Sweden (15.6), Japan (14.6 in 2007), Australia (18% in 2007), Canada (14.7% in 2007) and just about every country except France (7.1%).  Decisions might be consumer controlled; spending is not.  And any economist—any economist not talking out of his ass that is—can tell you what happens when consumers have no restrictions on spending other people’s money. The Kaiser Foundation has specifically identified the decline in patient responsibility (from 40 to 10%) as one of the reason for rising healthcare costs.

Medical care, after all, is an area in which crucial decisions — life and death decisions — must be made. Yet making such decisions intelligently requires a vast amount of specialized knowledge. Furthermore, those decisions often must be made under conditions in which the patient is incapacitated, under severe stress, or needs action immediately, with no time for discussion, let alone comparison shopping.

This is a straw man made of red herrings.  Under consumer-controlled plans, no one would be comparison shopping when they are incapacitated, under sever stress or need action immediately.  Such situations would be well into the insurance-controlled regime.  Additionally, the idea that healthcare spending is “involuntary” or that patients are incapable of making difficult choices is ridiculous and arrogant.  Two thirds of healthcare spending occurs in non-emergency situations.  Patients make decisions about healthcare every God-damned day, including about the most expensive and wasteful of care—end of life management. Medical procedures, by law, have to be explained to the patient who then has to be told of his prospects and alternatives.  They almost always do everything the provider says.  But is that, at least in part, because they’re not paying the bills?

The idea that all this can be reduced to money — that doctors are just “providers” selling services to health care “consumers” — is, well, sickening. And the prevalence of this kind of language is a sign that something has gone very wrong not just with this discussion, but with our society’s values.

No.  This is reality.  It’s not repulsive to describe patients and doctors and consumers and providers.  That’s precisely what they are.  We’ve just forgotten because of our diseased system.  All economic transactions—all movements of goods and services—take place between consumers and providers.  Describing that relationship as “sickening” is like the describing the Law of Gravity as “sickening”.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/23/11 at 07:03 AM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romneycare shows future for Obamacare

And the future looks like it portends shitty quality and access of care, at much higher prices for all the peasants and fools.

Taxpayers now spend $2.5 billion more on our state’s health care budget. The direct cost of Romneycare has gone from less than $100 million a year to at least $400 million — and even that number is suspect. But we do know we’ve spent more than $35 million in a single year on health services for illegal immigrants, and tens of millions more on illegal, unallowable or outright bogus claims. If you want to know why Romneycare’s costs keep rising, check out this simple statistic from the Patrick administration: In 2006, 85 percent of the insured in Massachusetts got their coverage through private group coverage at work. Today that’s down to 79 percent. Meanwhile the percentage on the MassHealth dole has doubled, and more than 150,000 people are now subsidized through Commonwealth Care. Romneycare supporters like Brandeis University health policy professor Stuart Altman brag that “the basic reason for the reform was to extend coverage, and on this, we have done amazingly well.” But that’s only if you use the phrase “extend coverage” to mean “the government forced you to buy your own insurance.”

Higher costs, rampant abuse by locals & illegals, bigger annual state budget deficits, and from people that are actually subjected to Romneycare that I know, this all comes with reduced access – longer wait times caused likely from the government’s need to ration - and lower quality to boot. Of course, those that still support Romneycare, and Obamacare as well for sure, will tell you that it’s the people’s right to get free healthcare!

Those of us that know better understand there is no right to healthcare, this isn’t free, and in general we all lose when we try to do stupid shit like this, because universal “free” healthcare not only forces the bureaucrats running the show – if you go by the people you meet in other government functions they will be uncaring and mad with their own power, making insurance company employees look like angels - to ration and lower the quality of care to keep their ballooning costs down, but seems to hinge on forcing everyone to pay into a system that sucks and they would rather avoid. Well in the case of who pays and is subjected to the shitty care, the politicians in MA as the ones in DC have exempted them and many of their key constituencies – the ones that donate big time- from such requirements the rest of us peasants will have to deal with.

Don’t worry, Obamacare will be the one government bureaucracy that will reverse the trend and actually do more good for less. Obama, the donkeys, and the CBO – working of one of the most blatantly rigged scores delivered by proponents ever - said so! Pay up suckas!

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/12/11 at 08:52 AM in Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, April 11, 2011

This is why the demcorats have been so resistive to cuts

Not because they think that these cuts will hurt anyone, well maybe their power and base, or because these cuts are bad for the American people or economy, but because it’s the government’s money anyway and they want more of it. From the start the left’s strategy has been to spend so ridiculously much money they don’t have, under whatever stupid excuse they could use to sell this idiotic plan to the people, that the only way to make up the difference was to force tax hikes on everyone. And if you doubt that’s the plan, just read the story.

President Barack Obama will lay out his plan for reducing the nation’s deficit Wednesday, belatedly entering a fight over the nation’s long-term financial future. But in addition to suggesting cuts—the current focus of debate—the White House looks set to aim its firepower on a more divisive topic: taxes. In a speech Wednesday, Mr. Obama will propose cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, and changes to Social Security, a discussion he has largely left to Democrats and Republicans in Congress. He also will call for tax increases for people making over $250,000 a year, a proposal contained in his 2012 budget, and changing parts of the tax code he thinks benefit the wealthy.

If the government confiscated all the money from the rich they could finance this charade for maybe a year. This is about the left’s plan to go after small businesses and people trying to get rich, and to thus force them to deal with whatever the powerbrokers want from them before they get the loopholes needed to stop paying the graft passed. As Obamacare and everything else in the last 2 years have proved, the left’s strategy is to straddle us all with as many ridiculous taxes or costs as they can, then give their friends and cash cows exceptions. The suckers pay morem, the ones connected to the left enhance the left’s power to avoid paying. This is more of the same in the works. The corruptocrats believe it’s their money, and they want it NOW!

The left is pretending to need hike taxes to “protect” the middle class. What a pile of shit. This is sure to force people to move their wealth into shelters and away from the grubby hands of the crooks in DC, but then again, the crooks are fine with that too. They are more interested in a large beholden class that depends on them for subsistence, than they are in actually fixing either the debt/deficit situation or the economy. With the left it is always about increasing its power and thus government, first, second, and always. Tax cuts and smaller government are anathema to them. Don’t buy this umpteenth attempt to screw us all over as anything but.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/11/11 at 09:02 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Much ado about nothing..

Many out there on the web are going bananas about the recent Daily Caller revelation about CBS and the WaPo receiving big cash from Obamacare slush funding, and insinuating that this definitely should have been pointed out as a conflict of interest by them considering their support for it and all the positive reporting that has consistently ignore the fact this boondoggle has been sold using a lot of smoke & mirrors to pretend it will cut the deficit or improve healthcare.

Let’s quickly rehash some of thehealthcare facts they have gotten wrong. Obamacare portends to reduce the defect over the next 10 years by some $120 billion through an accounting trick that forced the CBO to come up with those numbers. If you tax people for a decade but then only offer them services for the last 5 years of that, and then pretend you can control that cost as well, you can make it look like you saved the $120 billion. But those of us that understand Obamacare will not suddenly stop offering health services for the first five years of the next decade but collect the same taxes realize the fact it will then add trillions of new debt obligations! Then you have the whole problem of throwing in some 30 million new people that will have to be paid for, and the fact that gutting Medicare – under the guise of cleaning up waste amongst all the ludicrous lies that are part & parcel of this fairy tale - and transferring that cash to Obamacare isn’t going to do much other than make it harder to follow which bureaucracy is screwing us over. In short, this thing is likely to be the final dagger the collectivist seem to want to shove into the heart of this county’s economy, likely to bring it down, and nothing more.

But I have been over this all already, am tired of repeating it, and enough Americans understand that this plan is plain bullshit, and it remains unpopular. Now we finally even have congress starting to defunding most of it, thank the lord. So let’s get back to this revelation that SeeBs and WaPo are raking in a considerable chunk of change, taxpayer dollars allocated to Obamacare, not mentioning they are doing so until caught, while reporting positively on Obamacare, and the furor it seems to be causing. Come on! These shills for the donkey machine would have done the same even if they had not been lucky enough to score some tax payer money anyway. It’s not like the WaPo or SeeBS would suddenly have come out against Obamacare, considering how beholden they are to the collectivists and their agenda, you know. At worst, what we have here is some icing on the cake from either SeeBS’s and WaPo’s perspective, and that’s about all. So what if they are getting paid to do the hack reporting job they would normally do for free? 

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/06/11 at 11:16 AM in Deep Thoughts   Elections   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, PPACA

It’s now been one year since Obamacare was foisted on the American public.  What have we got to show for it?  Besides declining popularity, legal troubles and the failure of the uninsured to take advantage of it, here are the big problems:

3.  The budgeting problems are even worse than I thought I argued at the time that the spending cuts were not sustainably structured, but I didn’t predict just how difficult they would prove to sustain.  Already, Congress is resorting to ever-more-desperate health care budget gimmicks, like dipping into the health insurance subsidies in future years in order to pay for higher Medicare physician reimbursements.  A month or so after it passed, a healthcare reporter of my acquaintance said that he thought that Congress had pretty much used up every conceivable pay-for in order to pass PPACA, and history is so far proving him right: having exhausted their pay-fors, they’ve now started cannibalizing ObamaCare itself.  And it’s three years to go before we actually set the Rube Goldberg machine into motion.

4. Unintended consequences have started kicking in As the Official Blog Spouse points out, the administration is granting waivers to virtually anyone who asks, presumably because they think that absent the waivers, people would be losing their insurance.  And not without good reason--thanks to the rules making it illegal to exclude children with pre-existing conditions, insurers have now stopped selling child-only policies in 34 states.  Both the government of Massachusetts and the administration are eagerly exploring the option of simply commanding insurance companies to sell policies at the price they would like to pay, a tactic that doesn’t really have a great track record in modern industrial economies.

I would also add, purely on anecdotal data, that insurance has gotten more expensive in the last year.  But I’d be interested in seeing some hard number on it.

The defenders are arguing that Obamacare will become really popular in 2014 when the massive subsidies start kicking in.  Of course, by 2014, the accounting gimmicks that made this bill appear to reduce the deficit will have evaporated and we’ll be staring down the barrel of hundreds of billions in new debt (which, no doubt, will be blamed on the on the Republicans).

Unfortunately, the bill is attaching itself to the healthcare system, thank to almost all the governors, including Republican ones, accepting money and setting up exchanges to run the system.  By the time the full impact of this bill is felt, it may be too late to do anything about it.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/22/11 at 06:13 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Latest Obamacare Wrinkles

Two new stories today.

First, the HHS is granting another one of their healthcare waivers.  This time, they are granting it to ... the entire fucking state of Maine:

The federal government Tuesday granted Maine a waiver of a key provision in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, citing the likelihood that enforcement could destabilize the state’s market for individual health insurance.

The U.S. Health and Human Services department said in a letter it would waive the requirement that insurers spend 80 cents to 85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care and quality improvement. Instead, the letter said, the state could maintain its 65 percent standard for three years, with the caveat that HHS intends to review the figures after two years.

The decision makes Maine the first state to receive a waiver of the requirement. Similar requests are pending from Kentucky, Nevada and New Hampshire.

The 80-85% figure was one that Congress pulled mostly out of their ass.  It has nothing to do with any realistic evaluation of the health insurance industry (or of federal programs, which falsely claim absurdly low administrative costs).

But it gets better.  Several friends in medicine have been complaining about people getting doctor’s appointments to get prescriptions for OTC medicine like Tylenol.  Why?  Because some congressional staffer slipped in a provision that eliminated reimbursements from flexible spending accounts for OTC medicine.  So people who use lots of OTC meds—e.g., any household with more than zero children or adults over the age of 30—is going to the doctor and spending more healthcare money to get pointless prescriptions.  Correction: they’re spending more of their insurer’s money—to them it’s only a $10 copay.

Bainbridge:

1. This is the sort of thing that happens when you have a massive bill, which nobody has a chance to read and evaluate front to back before it is passed. Instead, you get small groups working on little pieces and if they miss something you get screwed. This is precisely why major legislation needs to be posted on the internet several days before the vote.

2. I’ve always believed that health care reform requires consumers to make choices about how they spend their money. The flexible-spending accounts have the potential to do just that. But the rules of the game ought to be designed to encourage people to make decisions that lower health care costs, not to impose new ones.

3. It’s sort of appalling that this huge change came because one Senate staffer told an anecdote about how he would buy Prilosec instead of a prescription alternative.

It’s increasingly clear that the Democrats did not do anything approaching due diligence in passing one of the most massive bills in American history.  The 1099 provision (still not removed), the waivers, the underused coverage pools, almost canceling their own insurance—these are not things that happen to people who legislate carefully.  The Democrats were so desperate to pass something, anything that they just shoved this unholy, clinking, clanking, clattering collection of colligenous junk through.

It can’t be repealed with Obama in office, and probably not without 60 Republicans in the Senate, which is unlikely to ever happen.  What the GOP needs to do is start from scratch, design their own bill and start working it through.  Paragraph 1 section 1 should read: “Take the PPACA behind a barn and hit it with an axe.”

(Or maybe “lock it up in Harley’s farmhouse”.)

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/10/11 at 10:35 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Free to Choose … Socialism

I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard of this:

Jennifer Haberkorn reports that President Obama’s move to allow states flexibility in spending health care funds is the “most significant change” since the law was enacted, and a potential gesture toward critics.

But a source on a White House conference call with liberal allies this morning says the Administration is presenting it to Democrats as an opportunity to offer more expansive health care plans than the one Congress passed.

Health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter stressed on the off-record call that the rule change would allow states to implement single-payer health care plans—as Vermont seeks to—and true government-run plans, like Connecticut’s Sustinet.

The source on the call summarizes the officials’ point—which is not one the Administration has sought to make publically—as casting the new “flexibility” language as an opportunity to try more progressive, not less expansive, approaches on the state level.

The Administration is disputing the report of the call, saying they are open to any plans, citing Utah’s health exchange.  I suspect the truth is that the Administration is telling their allies that, while they’ll consider any plan, single payer and public option plans will get the fast-track to approval.  Their non-denial denial doesn’t impress me.

Let’s remember what government-run healthcare plans ential.  Two stories from this week perfectly illustrate why this call makes people nervous:

First, the GAO is reporting that Medicare wastes $48 billion a year in improper payments—that’s four times the evil profits of the evil private insurance companies.  Liberals like to talk about how “efficient” Medicare is.  But as I’ve pointed out, that efficiency comes from borrowing infrastructure, utilizing private insurers’ assets and allowing a stunning amount of fraud. To erase that fraud, Medicare would have to spend 10-20 as much on fraud investigation as they currently do.  But if they did that, the program wouldn’t seem so efficient.  (And speaking of efficiency, read this story about how it took a personal intervention by Obama to get the HHS to let Utah go electronic on its Medicaid paperwork.)

Second, Britain’s HHS is now looking, again, into cut services for fatties and smokers. Remember that because obese people and smokers die young, they tend to save the NHS money in the long run.  Moreover, smokers and fat people already are punished with sin taxes that ostensibly go to pay for said government services.  In the end, this is simply using the power of government for social engineering.  Sure, it’s fat smokers.  But keep in mind what such a precedent would mean in this country.  The Left is throwing a fit over Republican plans to defund Planned Parenthood.  Do you really want to give them the power to defund any OB-Gyn who runs afoul of their agenda?  Returning to the topic at hand—if Obama can fast-track socialize medical plans through the HHS, what’s to prevent his Republican successor from blocking said plans outright?

Last year, Politifact branded as the “Lie of the Year” the claim that Obamacare was a government take-over of healthcare.  While the might have been literally correct, the lie was figuratively true.  Obamacare has put the foot in the door.  As Jim quoted from Lee the other day, don’t worry about what this guy is going to do with his new-found power.  Worry about what the next guy and the next guy and the next guy are going to do.  Ask yourself—do you want a President—of either party—to have effective veto power over healthcare reform?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/03/11 at 10:31 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, February 07, 2011

Things that make you go hmmmmm?

YUCK! What caught my attention was this however:

According to a police report, the 28-year-old victim was shopping with her daughter in the store’s cereal aisle when she was approached by Garcia, who worked in the store’s dairy department. After accepting Garcia’s offer of a yogurt sample, the woman immediately thought the sample tasted “gross and disgusting” and, cops reported, “said it tasted like ‘semen.’”

Emphasis mine. She must have gotten around even if she didn’t like the taste. Reminds me of the blond in one of my many classes from way back when which asked the professor why if semen was glocose based it tasted salty. Obama when reached for comment said there was a provision in the new Government Healthcare takeover thinggy to deal with just this situation or something.

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/07/11 at 03:04 PM in Decline of Western Civilization   Fun and Humor   Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, January 31, 2011

DOH! Well, not really.

Those of us that knew better expected this to happen.

(Reuters) - A federal judge in Florida struck down President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare overhaul as unconstitutional on Monday in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the reform law’s so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void,” he wrote, “This has been a difficult decision to reach and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications.” Referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Vinson sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring the Obama healthcare reform unconstitutional.

“Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution,” Vinson, who was appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, ruled.

Really? Congress must remain within the limits of what the Constitution tells it is allowed to do? How novel an idea! These democrats don’t care much for the constitution unless they can use it as an excuse to expand the power of government and take over 1/5th of the US economy is just too rich a bounty to let pass. Their response?

The Obama administration said it would appeal Vinson’s ruling and believed it would prevail on a highly politicized issue likely to end up at the Supreme Court. “We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling today and continue to believe—as other federal courts have found—that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional,” Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said.

That means they intend to force the judicial branch to ignore the constitution and wholesale invent another new “right” that you won’t find in the Constitution, and as usual it benefits the statists over the people, at the expense of their freedoms and all for a false security that will evaporate if these crooks ever get their way. And they are pulling out all the stops:

“This lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by those who want to raise taxes on small businesses, increase prescription prices for seniors and allow insurance companies to once again deny sick children medical care,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

“Healthcare reform is the law of the land and, now that Americans see its benefits, a majority of them oppose Republicans’ dangerous plans to repeal a law that put patients in control of their own healthcare,” he said.

The CHILRUN! If you don’t want government to control healthcare you hate children, the poor, seniors, puppy dogs, and are a shill for insurance companies. The same companies that the left helped create this fooked system where our costs are out of control in BTW. No Harry, this lawsuit was an attempt to stop government from owning us as if we were its serfs. And the only Americans that like this plan seem to be the ones that don’t have to be covered by it or the usual group that thinks they are entitled to everything at other people’s expense. Pfeh to both of them. The usual suspects in the MSM won’t tell yout judge is right BTW, but he is.

UPDATE: This is just to good to be true. Hope it was entered into the record. I expect a “What’s the memaning of these words” lawyerese defense like the whole Clinton “What’s the meaning of IS” moment. The beast can only live if they force us all to purchase insurance. Without that power, they are doomed.

UPDATE 2: Not surprised at all. In fact I suspected these morons would end up acting like total tools once the law bitchslapped this thing silly:

Liberal pundits who have consulted liberal law professors about liberals’ great achievement—ObamaCare—are pronouncing the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson to be much to do about nothing. The ruling is. . . um. . . thinking of a case liberals hate. . . um. . . just like Bush v. Gore ! (Except it has nothing to do with the Equal Protection Clause or any other aspect of that case.) It is, we are told, “curious,” “odd,” or “unconventional.”

These are complaints, not legal arguments. And they suggest that the left was totally unprepared for the constitutional attack on their beloved handiwork. After all, the recent mocking by the left of conservatives’ reverence for the Constitution suggests they are mystified that a 200-year old document could get in the way of their historic achievement. They are truly nonplussed, and so they vamp, not with reasoned analysis but with an outpouring of adjectives.

Liberals are particularly perturbed by Judge Vinson’s ruling on severability, the determination as to whether the individual mandate is so central to the law as to make the law unrecognizable and unenforceable without it. But here, the left has only the administration and the Democratic Congress to blame. From the opinion (the defendants are the Obama officials):

Having determined that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, and cannot be saved by application of the Necessary and Proper Clause, the next question is whether it is severable from the remainder of the Act. In considering this issue, I note that the defendants have acknowledged that the individual mandate and the Act’s health insurance reforms, including the guaranteed issue and community rating, will rise or fall together as these reforms “cannot be severed from the [individual mandate].”

Oops. Not some crazy judge, but the administration was the source of the notion that the individual mandate can’t be severed from the rest of the law.

Emphasis mine. Obama’s team defended this idiotic mandate to force people to buy insurance on the ground that it was integral and not to be separated from the rest. Now the libs are claiming the judge is CRAZY! for keeping them to their word in his opinion that the entire law is thus bad. Can’t have it both ways libs. If you had not been playing asshat, you would have known this shit wasn’t going to fly. I guess now they will have to rely on a Rham Emmanuel maneuver where some corrupt court gives them a chance. Me, I bet this gets three strikes all the way up to the SCOTUS unless we have some activist judge inventing shit as the left always does.

UPDATE 3: More bad news for the left after this ruling. It seems the NYT and the WaPo are trying hard to pretend this isn’t so, but they are basically pulling shit out of their arse according to the facts as they exist.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/31/11 at 04:33 PM in Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blame it on the rain!

Start from the premise that the people that wrote this article seem to be seriously concerned with the daunting task of pointing out there are problems, but then in a way that doesn’t make everyone realize the problems are so huge and ingrained that they make the whole exercise, if not outright futile, destructive, and you can see that the real victims here are the American tax payers.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/27/11 at 08:16 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, January 24, 2011

My obligatory SOTU address post

Fist off is the issue of jobs and the abysmal economy the MSM has been telling us for the last 2 years was just weeks away from turning the corner now that the demcorats are in charge. The democrat answer to job creation, while they have been a lot more careful in their language and intent recently after not caring much about job creation, has not really changed much, and remains another trillion dollar plus Keynesian government handout to special interests, just like the first one. That one, which when it was passed had a bigger price tag than the cost of the Iraq war up to that time, as we all now know, was loaded with pork for the democrat special interests, lobbyists, operatives, and campaign coffers, and if you can get past the bullshit to defend it failed miserably even according to liberal asshats, worked so well! That government spending doesn’t create jobs was explained to them, but they don’t care. And this song and dance isn’t going to change. The left remains married to the concept that government creates jobs despite the proof to the contrary, to our detriment.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/24/11 at 10:49 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine   War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiving the Flag

Suderman on the waivers being granted to certain companies from Obamacare provisions:

The Obama administration has implicitly admitted that some sections are flawed and unworkable by issuing at least 222 waivers allowing certain companies and unions to get out of some of the law’s requirements on a temporary basis. You can portray the waivers as a way for the administration to offer some regulatory flexibility, but they carry a clear subtext: The law, as written, expects too much. The requirements, at least for now, are too great.

At the same time, the waivers also potentially give the administration some flexibility of their own—flexibility to play favorites, that is. That’s because the process involved in obtaining a waiver is as clear as mud. As Hoover Institution research fellow (and Reason contributor) David R. Henderson explained in an NCPA brief last October, “the petitioning process is ill-defined, and there is no legal standard at all for granting the waivers themselves. Asking for such waivers is a crapshoot, dependent on the whims of bureaucrats.”

Many of these waivers have been granted to unions or very large corporations like McDonald’s that play politics well.  In short, whether Obamacare bankrupts your company is entirely dependent on the whim of the Administration.  They have made this process totally opaque—even companies applying for waiver have no idea what the criteria are.

I’ve blogged about this before and the larger point remains.  If it weren’t waivers, it would be something.  No matter how you slice it, influence would be being peddled.  PJ O’Rourke famously said that when you legislate buying and selling, the first things to be bought are legislators.  When you have the government determining what health insurance policies are or not acceptable, you inherently politicize the process.

The Republicans had their symbolic repeal of Obamacare this week.  Fuck that.  They need to be doing real things to blunt the impact of Obamacare.  The Democrats are amenable to repealing the 1099 provision.  This should be done immediately.  The Democrats haven’t said anything about the waivers, however.  And they need to be put into the position of defending an opaque, arbitrary and thoroughly politicized process that is affecting our economy on the levels of billions of dollars.

Update: You simply have to read Mankiw’s destruction of the notion that healthcare reform “saves” us money.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/21/11 at 02:34 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some Obamacare facts.

The next time some libtard tells you Obamacare was necessary ebcause the system was so broke that millions couldn’t get care, remmeber these facts: We are slated to spend $1 trillion or more (my bet is a lot more), have created more than 150 regulatory agencies, are causing millions of people to change the coverage they now have and like for something worse, and are bankrupting the country, so something like 8000 people out of 310 million can get care. Statistically that amounts to lunacy. We are pissing away $1 trillion plus dollars, screwing everyone with coverage over, and in general creating such a massive bureaucracy that this thing is sure to be a failure, to serve what amounts to a statistical error, a fraction of a fraction of a percentage, of people. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just create a special plan for them and allocated a billion dollars to help them out? Cheaper for sure too.

Keep that in mind when you read this drivel from the HHS. They are full of shit, and this is a totally politically motivated hit job. Their ridiculous claim that some 129 million people are affected doesn’t bear out when you look at the real numbers. Let me repeat it again: 8000 out of 310 million Americans have conditions that caused them not to qualify for insurance. That’s approximately 2.5806 e-5 % of the people. That’s not even a blip. Obamacare is a rip off.

Update: This is a good beginning. As Hal points out in the comments, this thing is going to cost us way too much money, and is a given to lower quality and access. Lets kill it dead, and then get some real reform that stopst the madness.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/19/11 at 03:23 PM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let’s hit the “RESET” button on the government healthcare takeover

At a time when the House is finally looking to get together and take action on rolling back Obamacare, a horrible piece of legislation that despite the lies from the usual shills pushing for it will drastically curtail consumer options and healthcare quality,
and once you look past the massive gimmickry to have the CBO claim this behemoth would save money, looks to tack trillion in new debt to our already bloated government, it behooves us to see that yet another one of the countries that has such a system is admitting it doesn’t work and talking about major reform.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday waded into terrain where past British governments have foundered, promising fundamental changes to the country’s expensive and over-stressed public health care system. Cameron said the reforms would cut red tape and improve treatment, but critics claim they will cause chaos and could lead to backdoor privatization of the much-criticized but widely popular National Health Service.

Oh my, privatization! Doesn’t matter that “free healthcare” is neither free nor of quality, what matters is that it not be privatized care. Nothing works as it should, and the country is being bled dry, but don’t you dare do anything to fix it that basically admits government can’t do this effectively or efficiently, and that the people are better off with a system that is not mismanaged and pathetic, and get government out of healthcare.

The House takes up debate of Obamacare on Wednesday. We have a chance to reset this government takeover of healthcare and replace it with some real reform that will actually benefit consumers and not the power hungry politicians of a certain party. Reid has promised to hold the Senate hostage, but there are many demcorats there that face re-election battles in 2 years, in both houses, that are already thinking this thing is a career killer. This whole thing is still wide open, and if the American people are lucky, we end up getting rid of this odious monster and actually getting something that improves our healthcare and really reduces costs. Neither of which Obamacare does if you ignore the gimmickry and look at the reality on the ground of what it portends to actually accomplish.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/17/11 at 10:49 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let’s get back to rolling back Obamacare.

Now that the distraction of the whole unfortunate and despicable Arizona killings, the subsequent MSM and leftosphere’s even more disgusting and opportunist immediate factless reaction, and the following beat down based on facts, logic, and reason that it finally incited from everyone that was not a collectivist Tea Party/Sarah Palin hating moron, is finally dying down, let’s get to something else: Obamacare and the fact it must die.  It now looks like half of the states in this Union are going to court to end this mess, and that’s music to my ears. I hope even more join up to kill this travesty.

If it is allowed to be implemented, Obamacare will eventually do deep and irreparable harm to our nation’s budget deficit. But while Obamacare is more of a long-term threat to fiscal health at the federal level, it is a clear and present danger to the states. Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) will receive it through Medicaid.

While Obamacare will pay for all of the benefit expansion for the first three years of the law, and 90% of it after that, Obamacare never pays for any of the state administrative costs for adding those 18 million Americans to their welfare rolls. That amounts to billions in unfunded federal mandates for states to absorb. That is why 33 Republican governors signed a letter to the White House and Congress making an emphatic appeal that Obamacare’s Medicaid provisions be repealed.

Make sure you read that again (emphasis mine):

While Obamacare will pay for all of the benefit expansion for the first three years of the law, and 90% of it after that, Obamacare never pays for any of the state administrative costs for adding those 18 million Americans to their welfare rolls. That amounts to billions in unfunded federal mandates for states to absorb.

Remember things like that the next time some factually challenged, KOS talking point spouting, liberal twit tells you Obamacare will save money or, brings up the even more ludicrous notion that without Obamacare the deficit will be larger. If you understand the gimmickry used to have the CBO give them the dubious claim that this government takeover of healthcare would somehow save us $132 billion during the first decade, and now are armed with these facts about the unfunded costs passed on to the states, you shouldn’t have any problems tearing this thing apart.

Let us hope Congress stops grandstanding about taking away more of our first our second rights, to protect us from ourselves of course, and actually goes to work rolling this horrible thing back ASAP.

Posted by AlexinCT on 01/13/11 at 11:35 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2008   Election 2010   Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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