Tag Archives: Obamacare

Saving the Union By Means That Might Actually Work

In light of the FCC ruling that turns the internet, one of the most wonderful examples of the free market being able to run and rule itself into another government mismanaged utility it is clear that there are not enough checks and balances.   Obama is issuing executive orders that have no relation to the law or sanity.

Did we forget we're conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

Did we forget we’re conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

And our options are limited.

Congress can only do so much without a President willing to sign laws. I mean you could argue that the Republicans should do more, but they’re kind of Constitutionally limited by what they can do. So unless you want them to become as unconstitutional in their actions as Barry, you have to accept that the next two years is pretty much just stopping new idiotic laws getting out of Congress and keeping things running until someone with a brain and conscience can get sworn in. Just face it you can have the Republicans follow the Constitution, or can have them get things done by being just as lawless as Obama…but you can’t have both.*

And yes I have hopes that the majority of Obama’s current BS will be stuck in courts for the next few years, but it has become clear that we have let the Presidency accumulate far, far too many powers over the years and this needs to be corrected.

And giving power back to Congress or the courts clearly isn’t going to be an effective answer right now either.

So that leaves us with the states.

Legislative Control

It would be hard to see a more ideal time to get an amendment passed.

But how to get power back to the states

Well, right now:

31 states have Republican Control of both houses of their state legislatures.

8 states have Republicans in control of one house of the state legislature.

That’s 39 states where Republicans have a foothold.

…And only 38 States are needed for a Constitutional Amendment…

So if we word this correctly we could get a Constitutional Amendment.

Now a lot of people have been suggesting a Constitutional Amendment Convention to cover a slew of issues. While there are a few other Amendments I would like, that’s a terrible idea. If you give them enough rope they’re either going to get tied in knots or hang themselves. No, we need something direct and simple. That they’re all going there with a single simple Amendment, to work on the specific language and then send it to the states to ratify. As simply as possible, to get done what we need done, and nothing more to make sure that it doesn’t get bogged down.
And what have the last six years shown us? That there need to be checks on poorly passed laws and Presidents running amok with executive action. So may I suggest the following language:

(1) A two-thirds vote of the states may veto any law passed by Congress and signed by the President. A law vetoed in this way may not have that veto overridden by Congress.

(2) Any executive order issued by the President or a regulation issued by the executive branch can be voided by a simple majority vote of the states.

(3) The Senate by a simple majority vote may void any executive order or regulation issued by the executive branch or any of it’s departments or agencies.

That simple language would actually give the avenue to overturn just about everything Obama has done. The only thing he would continue screwing up would be foreign policy…and that we can’t do much about (because you do not want to weaken future Presidents in that area). And it would be a great check against any future abuse by a President, regulatory agency or weak willed Congress (and it might get people to care more about local elections).  And it should be an easy sale to the state legislatures as it gives them more power.

So how do we actually get this to work?

Well first write a letter to your state legislators (find them here http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/) to call for a convention of the states to put forth this Amendment (or something like it) immediately. I would suggest flooding their email on a daily basis…and then share this article and try and convince everyone you know (no matter what state they live in).

*You could have them making a better case for their position, and I place this blame squarely on the shoulders of John Boehner. But the Republicans for dealing in reality and making the best of a terrible situation as a whole should not be yelled at with ignorant accusations of “traitor” or “RINO.”

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Filed under Constitution, Obama

Milton Friedman on the problems of government in medical care

This is a rather long lecture by Milton Friedman on the issues of government in medical care.  As it is so long I’m not going to write a lot, but you should watch it because, despite being over 3 decades old, every word is still very relevant.

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is useless, Health Care, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, Obama, Taxes, Tyranny

Finish it: Modern Society’s Infantile Obsession with Death And Why We Need to Give It Up

The Seventh Seal Death

He comes for us all.

You are going to die.

How did that sentence make you feel? When you think about it, the correct response is probably something along the lines “well, duh, no kidding”… after all, the whole human thing comes with that pesky you’re going to die thing. It’s all part and parcel of this mortal coil (I could go on but the clichés are already getting a little thick), but to reiterate you already knew that,

You are going to die.

However, I get the feeling that most of you didn’t have a completely rational response. Probably some small measure of revulsion, shock, or even, dare I say it, fear, came up while you read it.

Why do I bring this up? Well, mainly because I realized part of this whole healthcare thing is based on this absolute fear of death. So I feel for just a moment we should forget the numerous flaws Obamacare, or Hillarycare or the useless systems of Canada or Britain or any other godawful place where you wouldn’t want to receive medical treatment if you had a choice…no let’s ignore the economic flaws of these systems and focus on what drives the call for their creation and why that call is terrible.

What drives this call for more and more government control, for more universal healthcare, for constantly doing something in this field. It comes because we all seem to be afraid of coming down with something, and we all have no trust in the insurance companies to be there. But is this a legitimate fear? (And let’s just ignore that the reason why insurance was so bad was government interference in terms of HMO’s, Medicare and Medicaid). Are you likely to come down with something that will get you killed? Right now if you’re reading this, the statistics say that you should reach your 80′s. Now no offense here, but who really wants to live past their 80′s…yes we all know the occasional person in their 90′s who is still lively and active…. but let’s be honest they’re the exception not the rule…most people in their 90′s are in nursing homes or kept in that back guest room and are no exactly the best conversationalists. But the fact is that the odds are in your favor that you will not come down with something that will end your life while you are still able to live it.

But still isn’t it natural to fear death?

No. Why would you fear something you know is coming? You know that prayer, “God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” This is the ultimate thing you cannot change. Accept it.

But most don’t accept it. How do I know this? Well look at how many people set up shrines on the side of roads where family members died. How many parents become nothing but obsessed with their dead children, even to the exclusion of their living children. There are probably few things worse than to out live your own child, but I seriously doubt that you honor your child’s life by effectively ending your own. And back to those roadside shrines. I have seen them where they will put up new pictures, flowers, toys and other monuments on a WEEKLY basis. Good lord! We are talking about possibly thousands of dollars a year being spent on someone who isn’t even around any more. And this is not at a grave sight; it’s at the sight of the person’s death…talk about morbid. This is somehow not what I would call moving from grief to acceptance; it’s more like digging a trench hole fortification in grief and never leaving. And when you do that, the pursuit of happiness no longer has any meaning and thus life has no meaning–it isn’t the healthy version of “You need to fear death” from the Dark Knight Rising where they really meant you need to love living, this is hating living and only loving breathing. And make no mistake there is a difference.

And then there is the rest of society. Look at the box office. When was the last time you saw a decent Romantic Comedy? Might take you a moment to find one. When was the last time you saw a zombie movie come out? Every month? Horror movies, a genre that has never produced more than a handful of movies that could be labeled as anything but crap.

But doesn’t a fear of death, and what may or may not lie beyond, motivate us to live our lives? Carpe Diem. Seize the Day! Eat, Drink, and Be Merry for tomorrow we die! It’s a nice idea…but when did focusing on the negative ever get anyone anywhere. Again these ideas are your need to make the MOST of something, not fear the inevitable.

Lets look at what really happens when you’re obsessed with death.

When you think only about death and the fact that it might come any minute you think short term. You don’t plan, you don’t save, and you don’t expect anything because you might die any minute. Just look at any Democratic plan for this kind of short term thinking. In other words you have lost hope. People who supposedly “live in the moment” aren’t living in the moment, they’re trying to get every last thrill in before what they assume is a rather quick end. They see life as only a series of a few short thrills, a rather insignificant number of experiences to be experienced before the end; life as only a “bucket list” to be checked off and then there is nothing else.

Fountain_tree_of_life

Just accept it, you’re going to die. Make most of the time you have and don’t worry about the fact that it will end.

Now let me ask you a question. Once I ask it you will know rationally which is the correct answer, but ask yourself if you look forward to life this way? The question is, if you had before you your own personal and extensive bucket list of all the things you would want to do and were given an option between the bucket list and then death or a reasonably loving marriage, good kids, and a reasonably fulfilling career for a lifetime that was at least 80 years, which would you take? Rationally we would say we would take the longer more meaningful life because rationally we know a whole lot of good experiences are better than a few great experiences. We know that one dive out of a plane, one sight of a famous painting, one moment standing at a famous monument will not compare to years of happiness, even if those years never quite reach the momentary high of those single moments.

However, because we have no hope that we can attain that lasting true happiness, because we are afraid that death can come any moment we don’t strive for it. We make our lives a series of meaningless moments that may in of themselves constitute a momentary high, but sadly have a sum total of zero (or less).

I’m not saying that this society is nothing but a society of base hedonists (although we are close), but how many people are stuck doing a job they hate and don’t take the risks necessary to better themselves to do better. How many of us view the thing we look forward to all week is our favorite show on TV and not our friends. …. Or how many in this country are wiling to vote for the person who promises the quickest fix with the most immediate gratification over a politician who has real plans? Long-term thinking is a reflection of hope. Now does that mean someone who thinks long term should just live by themself and never engage in any of those short-term pleasures? No. Any full life has a balance of experiences.

Now you may criticize me as a hypocrite. Don’t you practice that Buddhist meditation of envisioning your death? Aren’t you focused on death more so than the rest of us? Yes to the first, no to the second. The Buddhists teach to constantly meditate on your death not to be focused on death, but to prepare your mind for the inevitable so it won’t be too shocked by the crossing over and thus will be able to make it back here as quickly as possible. …Again long-term thinking coupled with an obsession with the quality life.

But how does this obsession with death relate to politics? Only too directly. What do you think drives this call for healthcare? Think we’re talking about insurance? Something that isn’t needed for the vast majority of humanity. Yeah we all use our dental insurance on a yearly basis, and if we have glasses we use the Vision insurance…but the medical insurance. I mean honestly now, most of us can go years without going to see a doctor if we take care of ourselves. But that’s not what the argument is over, the argument is over health care, at least from the side of the people advocating for it centers around when we need a doctor not as a precautionary checkup but when we’re dying and need massive medical care! Again why we should all prefer to live, why should the thought of death push us to action? It’s going to happen to all of us. But some of these ways to die are terrible and painful! The cry goes. To which I respond so are the treatments that cost massive amounts of money (that’s partly why this is going to be so expensive) often painful in of themselves, and only buy you a few months, maybe a couple of useless years. I very much believe in fighting to live every last moment you can. But fighting for three more months in a hospitable bed isn’t life; it’s fear of death. Or worse you now see people fighting to keep brain dead husks on life support (possibly tying a soul to a useless body for years because they fear the idea of death so much…but please tell me of a better description of hell than being tied to a body you can nothing with for years perhaps decades? That certainly has nothing to do with the respecting the sanctity of life.) Nothing anything a liberal has argued in calling for universal healthcare is about the improvement of the quality of life, it’s about delaying death for as long as possible. (Because in fact basic economics tells us this will make healthcare far more inefficient and thus ruin the average person’s access to medical treatment).

The fear of death causes nothing but stupid decisions. And this culture needs to get over it.

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Filed under Death, Health Care, People Are Stupid

Why Obamacare is terrible on every level.

Obamacare regs

So those 11 million words are what you have to comply with.

I was recently asked why Obamacare is so bad…

Where to start?

 Let’s start at the Constitutional Level.

Obamacare requires that every person in America buys insurance.  This was done because without doing it every insurance provider in the nation would begin losing almost immediately and rather than lose money they would just go Atlas Shrugged on us and close shop…but by having everyone on insurance they at least still make a small profit, but only because you’ve forced millions of people who don’t need insurance onto insurance (but even then only by making everyone pay increased premiums).

The problem with this is that the Constitution gives the government no power to force people to buy something (in fact forcing people to do something against their will is expressly prohibited in the 5th Amendment’s protection of private property, and 13th Amendment).  They enforce this mandate by penalizing you if you don’t buy insurance.  Again, no Constitutional authority to do this.

Now the Supreme Court and Obamacare got around this by saying this penalty isn’t a fine, it’s a tax (the strangest tax in history, but still a tax). The problem with this is Constitutionally taxes have to originate in House of Representatives and Obamacare originated in the Senate.

So either it’s forcing you to buy something, and is unconstitutional, or it’s a tax in which case the bill was not passed in a constitutional manner.

Either way it’s unconstitutional.

Then let’s go to the idea of rights.  

The entire basis for this law is that you have a right to health care.   

This is silly.  Traditionally rights have been considered things that you are born with or you would have even if there was no civilization around.  If you’re alone on an island you still have the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.  In society no one has the right to take these away from you, which is why these are called negative rights—you have them and no one can negate them.  Even if someone has the power to do so no one has the ethical, moral, or political basis to take away by force your negative rights.  Ethical government is based on the idea that, being a part of society, you give up a very small amount (not so small these days) of your rights to protect the vast majority of them.  At least in the ideal.

The right to health care is what’s called a positive right.  The idea that you have a right to certain things that you would not have without others, that you have not and cannot provide for yourself, and that others are required to provide for you. Health care is one of these.  The idea that you have a right to living wage, whether you earn it or not. 

Now, personally I don’t think there has ever been a good argument for positive rights, but the bigger problem is that positive rights always infringe upon negative rights.  If you have the right to a living wage, then others must provide, and thus must have their property taken away, to provide your living wage.  Thus you have no right to property if you have the right to a living wage.  If you have a right to health care, then doctors and nurses must treat you or any medical issue (not only life threatening ones, hospitals and doctors were required to treat life threatening issues by law even before Obamacare) whether you can pay or not.  This means a doctor cannot choose to not take you as a patient.  Thus the right to healthcare means doctors do not have freedom of choice and thus do not have the right to liberty…I believe that’s called slavery.  Now you think this may be an extreme example, but whenever positive rights have become laws you see fewer protection of negative rights without exception throughout history.

Then we have the pragmatic problems with Obamacare. 

Obamacare creates massive amounts of regulation (11 million words of regulations ).  This encourages more doctors to leave the system, and more highly qualified potential doctors and other medical professionals to not get into it ().  It slows research, it reduces the amounts of medical equipment that can be used.  It raises prices.

Also when something is free or perceived as free, as in the case of Obamacare, you always get people wanting more of it.

This will cause more people to go to the doctor (remember there will be fewer of them) for more minor issues.  This will cause longer lines and less efficient care, thus treatment quality will go down, and mortality rates will go up.  This can be seen in any country with socialized medicine where you see such things as gout go months without treatment (whereas it is almost always immediately caught here) or where due to the wait, limb amputation as a result a diabetes is vastly more common under systems like Obamacare than it has been in the preObamacare American system. (These are just two examples.  Every disease gets worse under socialized medicine).

Fraud, due to increased bureaucracy, will also increase.  You will end up paying for this through increased premiums and taxes.  

obama-care-chart

Welcome to Obamacare…can you find your way to a doctor…or will you just fall into the pit of Despair?

You will also have the problem of price control boards.   Now, we have always had these in one form or another (but they got really annoying after the government created the dreaded HMO…that’s right the biggest thing people hated in healthcare before Obamacare was also a government created debacle).   You buy a certain level of insurance and the insurance company says that due to the level you have bought we will pay X amount of dollars, but no more.  This becomes an issue with experimental treatment and long-term problems like cancer.  The insurance will pay for your pain meds, as they are required to by your policy, but they will not pay for expensive chemo and radiation (not because they’re heartless but because they would go broke if they paid for everyone who didn’t pay the premiums for that level of care). If you want more coverage, you can always buy more.  The problem with Obamacare is that government price control boards are going into place and will say what you can and can’t have for treatment, if you are in the government exchanges.  The difference here is if an insurance company denied to pay, you could always pay out of pocket, under Obamacare the price control board’s decision is final (if try to pay out of pocket you are again subject to fines, and rationing will have made these procedures already more expensive which makes already expensive procedures astronomically unreachable, so it’s the same thing as making them illegal).  This is why they have earned the moniker “death panels” because if they deny your claim, you die…if the insurance company denied you, you still had other options and it was up to you if you wanted to spend your life savings on buying those extra few months. 

The unfortunate effect will be that as medical prices rise, what is covered by the price control boards will contract drastically.  Thus even more things will become deadly.

Not to mention with the above fact that people are more likely to go to the doctor, which means even if they aren’t sick they’re more likely to go to a waiting room where someone is sick and catch something.  And remember antibiotics are slowly becoming worthless.  Yeah that bodes well. 

There are a lot of other ways it will ruin the medical profession, but I think you get the point.

Finally the economic reasons why it’s bad.

 Ignoring the fact that higher death rates may have some negative economic effects…it’s just bad in every way for the economy.

Obamacare requires businesses with a certain number of employees to buy insurance at a certain level for their employees.

As premiums rise, as I stated above, this means it becomes more and more expensive to hire an employee. If you earn $45,000 plus benefits right now, it actually costs your employer around $60,000 between salary, benefits, and social security to employee you. As premiums rise so does the cost of employing each person.

Whether businesses care about their employees or not, they first have to stay in business.  They are hesitant to hire new people as new hires also cost money for training and you usually aren’t getting the full effect of the employee for a few months until they get into a rhythm with the system of your company.  So you’re taking a loss with each new employee even before Obamacare.  The raised premiums then mean with each new employee will have to provide more for the company to be worth their total cost.  Thus you tend to fire the lower performers because you’re not getting your money’s worth. So fewer people hired, more people fired.  Also since you have to provide fewer benefits for part time workers than full time, you are more likely to hire people only part time.  We have seen all of this over the last few years.

Small businesses are hurt too because a small business can only grow to a certain size before it has to provide benefits.  So when it reaches that point, a business can either not grow, which hurts economic growth, or suddenly provide full medical coverage…and no small business at that size can afford to make that immediate jump in the cost of each employee.  Again we have slowly seen the effects this has on the economy.

This leads to overall negative ripple effects in prosperity, take home pay, innovation, research…it creates a bad economy all around.

And we’re already seeing all of this on a massive scale. 

So to sum up, it’s unconstitutional, it’s unethical, it’s leads to bad medicine, and it leads to a terrible economy.  

What makes it worse is that actually less government (removing the restrictions on research, removing the restrictions on insurance companies crossing state lines, a thousand other small things) could actually improve medicine, medical costs, and the economy.  And Republicans have proposed these numerous times despite the media saying they have no idea of what to replace Obamacare with.

Anything anyone wants clarified?

Obamaapocalypsocareageddongate

And, sadly, this is an understatement of how bad things are going to get under this law.

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Filed under Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Welfare

Health Care is Not A Right

So Republicans in typical fashion are trying to shoot themselves in the foot with their “Defund Obamacare push”  (hint the liberals want the GOP to win on this one so they don’t have to have Obamacare hanging around their necks in 2014 and 2016, so they can keep the White House and take back Congress just long enough to make sure no one can ever take Obamacare out…if you want to get rid of Obamacare, really, really get rid of it, you need to make people see, and unfortunately feel, the misery they voted for. The point here is to get rid of the idea that government is the answer, not just a temporary reprieve on one horrific law.  The Defund Obamacare group is looking to win the battle, possibly at the cost of losing the war).   But while this is going on, Democrats are spending billions just to advertise Obamacare (if a law is so bad you have to advertise it, that should tell you something).  And to top it all off, a couple days ago Obama made his one of his typically brain less statements.  “Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”

Why do I bring all of these different groups up in the same paragraph? Because they’re all idiots. They are all predicated on the idea that the government has to do something (less idiotic for the Republicans, but they seem to have given up the idea of full repeal, the only real answer, because they seem to acknowledge the lie that government needs to provide something). At best this belief is idiotic. At worst it’s just plain evil. (On another side note evil people are very rare, but evil ideas are all too common, and morons have a long history of latching onto evil ideas with the best of intentions. So please understand I’m not calling the people supporting Obamacare evil–unless their name is Harry/Nancy/Barrack/Michelle–merely their idea is). Why is it stupid/evil? Well, let me be as clear as I can possibly be:

YOU DO NOT HAVE A !@#$%^& RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE!!!!

Like the right to property, and the right to pursue happiness, you have the right to earn a living and to use that money as you see fit, perhaps by buying healthcare or healthcare insurance, but you have no natural right to healthcare.

Sorry, Barry, but just because you want something, it’s not a right.

I know I am about to repeat things that I have said before, but I feel I need to. I feel everyone needs to until this country learns that rights are not entitlements, rights are not things given to you but opportunities to be taken care of, and to exercise your rights does not require the acts, intentions, or contribution of anyone else.

A natural right as conceived of in the theory of natural rights and in the Declaration of Independence is something you would have without the presence of government or even society. It’s what does Robinson Crusoe have when he’s on the island before he decides to violate Friday’s natural right to freedom. Well, if you find yourself trapped in a bad episode of “Lost” you have the right to life, liberty, property, and to pursue happiness. A lot of what the original Bill of Rights includes is also there (speech, religion, assembly, arms, and self-incrimination) but notice that if you’re on an island by yourself you don’t have medical care. You have the right to take care of yourself, but islands in the middle of nowhere are not staffed with hospitals and doctors just waiting for you to get sick. So it’s certainly not a natural right.

But we don’t live on an island in the middle of nowhere. The upside to this is that we don’t have to engage in a philosophical war with a black cloud; the downside to this is that we do have to deal with other people. And while most people are rational and good intentioned, there are the random people who don’t respect your rights and try to take what isn’t theirs. Because of these random few who ruin everything, and because, we want complex things that we can’t do without laws and someone being in charge (like roads) we turn to the necessary evil of government. Now good government is a skill and it took us a while to realize that limits need to be put on it because just following the guy who can kill you or the guy with the best bullshit may not have been the best choice in the beginning, even though it’s what historically happened. So we had to come up with a whole new set of rights (quartering, due process, equality under the law). But notice all these other rights limit what the government does. Nowhere have you been given anything. You were either born with your rights, some of which you gave away to ensure protection against stupid people violating your rights, and other “rights” were restrictions placed on the government on top of which your natural rights were completely off-limits. But still no right has been given to you that you already didn’t have. And again, you didn’t have the right to health care if you were stuck in the state of nature.

The right to healthcare is a ridiculous, idiotic and borderline evil idea called a “positive right.” A negative right means something that no one has the right to take away from you–like your life, your liberty, or your property. Those are things you’re entitled to, thus no one has any right to reduce your rights to them. A positive right on the other hand means something that you have a right to expect to be given to you. If you’re reading that last sentence a few times because it seems to make no sense, good, that means you’re sane. Healthcare is a positive right. It is the idea that just because I showed up you have to give me healthcare. Just because you’re alive other people have to give something to you? Well I know that really egocentric people act like this, but to actually portray this as a theory of government is insane. And while virtues of love and charity say that ethically we should give people more than they may deserve, it doesn’t work in the opposite way where you have the right to demand people give you more than you serve—that’s not ethics it’s also insanity.

But more than insane it’s wrong. You can’t give a piece of property or a service without taking it from someone else–i.e. theft or slavery. Now while I believe the capitalist system isn’t a zero-sum game that always creates more and more, theoretically having no limit to how much wealth it can create, the kind of property transfer that the government deals in is a zero-sum for whatever moment it exists in. The government stealing things and giving it to others, transferring wealth from one person to another, not only harms the ability to create more wealth, but given government inefficiency, it actually creates less wealth (especially given the government’s addiction to spending money it doesn’t have). The government can’t just give people drugs without stealing it from drugs companies…if it pays for those drugs then it can only do that by stealing hard earned wealth from the taxpayers. Either way it’s theft. A person can’t be guaranteed healthcare without doctors being forced to treat them. After all either the doctors are paid (and if the government’s involved it’s paid with stolen taxpayer money) or simply forced to work as a slave. And you’ll find most doctors will not want to work in that system which will cause the greatest healthcare system in the world, the US, to become one of the worst when all the doctors leave or simply retire.

But some idiots (Alan Colmes to name one) say that the government has a right to help the people under the actual Constitution. They quote Article I Section 8:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general
Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be
uniform throughout the United States;”

And then they point to the part that says “General welfare” , isn’t providing healthcare promoting the general welfare? Well one that would first depend on the government being able to do anything well, which it can’t, but more importantly it is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning of “general welfare.” Even if you took the most liberal meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written the term general welfare does not mean helping people like our current meaning of welfare–it means providing improvements to the whole of the country that affects everyone (roads, bridges, communication systems, in other words – infrastructure). The key is the word general. It needs to be something that can be used by everyone. I can’t take your doctor prescribed drugs after you’ve taken them, so there is nothing general about a system that helps individuals. (And don’t even give me that bullshit about their being able to provide for society if they were healthy…if they were providing for society they would have a job with which they could afford healthcare).

The government isn’t there to protect you from yourself or from nature. It’s there to protect you from other idiots. Your bad living habits and your genetic disposition toward a disease, while unfortunate, is not the government’s responsibility. But given that the government has stolen and inefficiently used the money that people who might have been able to charitably donate to your healthcare, the government is not only destroying their rights it’s destroying their ability to help you.

The government destroys all it touches–it can’t help it, it’s its nature. Especially when it tries to give you things you don’t have a right to. And you don’t have a right to healthcare!

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics

10 Suggestions to Improve Healthcare After Obamacare is Killed

Rep. Paul Ryan budget proposal

The Path to Prosperity is still the first step we need to take to getting back to sanity. It may not have everything conservatives and libertarians want, but it is the first real step in right direction in a long time.

So this week started out with Paul Ryan stating that he is still planning on the complete repeal of Obamacare. And from what he said before his keynote speech at CPAC…I’m laying even odds that he starts a chorus of “Do You Hear the People Sing” and leads a march to build a barricade around the White House.

But it’s good to know that the crusade to end what is perhaps the worst bill in memory (it’s hard to say it’s the worst bill of all time when you have to compare it to the terrible socialist bills of FDR and LBJ’s presidencies)…still this bill is pretty close to being the straw that broke the camel’s back for this country and it must go before we can fix all the other monstrosities.

But liberals, being the whiny brainless sort that they are will whine “but medical costs are too high. But people have a right to insurance. But people have a right to  healthcare!”
Ignoring the simple fact that healthcare isn’t a right by any stretch of the imagination and that if you need healthcare, get a job and earn it, let’s deal with their claim that medical costs are too high.

I would agree medical costs are too high. But, like a bad doctor, liberals want to treat the symptom not the disease. Healthcare costs too much, throw money at it; that should cut the costs.

Conservatives however, like to determine the causes of high costs, which is the disease and treat that. So what are the causes of high costs (hint, it’s not the private sector)?

(Everything that will follow will assume that Obamacare has been justly killed because there is nothing in the bill that should be saved).

So what are the three main costs to medical care: Insurance, doctor’s/hospital bills, and drug costs?

So how do we cut insurance costs?

Suggestion #1
Tort Reform. Tort Reform. Tort Reform.
Every state that has instituted tort reform has seen medical costs drop, the number of doctors increase, the number of unnecessary procedures drop like a rock and even the number of deaths drop. If the federal government and every state were to institute real and sweeping tort reform you would see every single thing you buy drop in price, but you would probably see the biggest increase in the quality of medicine.

Suggestion #2

We allow insurance companies to cross state lines. Right now all insurance companies are banned from selling insurance across state lines. Look at any insurance card you have. Farmer’s Insurance of California. Blue Cross of Arizona. There may be a national corporation, but it owns 50 separate corporations in 50 different states. That’s a lot of overhead. It also stifles competition. A smaller company can’t expand beyond its own state because it can’t afford to set up a whole infrastructure to have a multi-state operation. This limits competition, and as anyone knows the less competition the higher the prices. If we remove the federal block against insurance crossing state lines you will see drops in every form of insurance you have: medical, car, house.

Just those two things would easily drop the cost of health insurance to probably 90% of its pre-Obamacare costs, perhaps more.

But why stop there? Doctor’s bills themselves also contribute to a large portion of the costs. So what can we do there?

Well a lot of the initial costs come from the fact that when doctors start their career they are laden with college and med school debt. Obscene levels of debt. So let’s fix that.

Suggestion #3
The reason why college costs are so high is because the federal government subsidizes them at outrageous prices. Subsidies always increase costs. Always! So cut all tuition subsidies and grants. Within a year you will see college costs drop. Now this won’t have an immediate effect as the doctors without massive debt will be years away from entering the market, but long term this will not only solve part of our medical problem but our massive college debt problem.

But part of the reason why doctors charge so much is because they know that Medicare and Medicaid aren’t going to pay them their full billing price, so to stay in business this has a threefold fix.

Suggestion #4
Adopt the Ryan Plan which will allow more competition in Medicare and Medicaid, which will both ensure doctors get better payment AND lower the cost to the taxpayer for these costs.

Suggestion #5
In a second step we need to move as much of Medicare and Medicaid costs to the states as possible. While the private sector does better when done on large scale, government and bureaucracy work in the exact opposite manner. The closer any government program is to the people the more efficient and the lower the cost. Lower costs means that Medicaid and Medicare will be able to get closer to pay 100% of doctors’ asking prices for their services (not to mention more doctors taking Medicare and Medicaid patients) which means they will be able to drop their prices for the rest of us and still make a tidy profit for their practice.

Suggestion #6
Increase the penalties for Medicaid and Medicare fraud. We’re talking about nearly $500 Billion in fraud every year. $500,000,000,000.00! I’ll let that number wash over you for a second. That’s one of the main reasons why Medicaid and Medicare can’t afford to pay full price to doctors. Now while I generally don’t believe the government should criminalize more things or come up with even stronger punishments, fraud is something even the most libertarian government must prosecute and fraud against the government doubly so. Penalties and enforcement need to be much stronger. If there’s $500 Billion in fraud it means the risk is much, much lower than the reward. Much lower. If we have to get a little Draconian, so be it, we need to make it very clear that the risk is now worth the reward.

Now the cost of drugs is also an issue. So how do we lower the costs of drugs (and liberals throwing money all willy-nilly at research never works).

However there are things we can do.

Suggestion #7
Allow drug patents to start when the FDA approves the drug. Right now a drug patent (20 years) begins when the drug is patented. So when a drug takes 10-15 years to get FDA approval. This means that the company only has 5-10 years to recoup all of the cost of not only research for that drug, but of all the other drugs that failed. So they have to recoup all of their investment for all R&D in only 5 years. And you wonder why the cost is so high. If we started the 20 year clock when the FDA grants approval they would have more time to recoup costs and thus would not need to charge as much.

Suggestion #8
Reform the FDA. Right now the FDA prevents human testing of experimental drugs on willing patients with terminal diseases….because the drug might kill them. You know if I have a terminal disease the last thing I care about is if a drug will kill me, because I know for a fact the disease will. A lot of medical costs are in cancer treatment; to allow willing patients to try experimental drugs could not only rapidly speed up research (thus cutting costs to a fraction of their current levels) but actually find some cures and real treatments to one of the biggest costs in the medical industry.

And then there are some other things we could do that could help medical care. Nanny’s in the government like to talk to us a lot about eating healthier which is odd since government programs are designed to make sure we don’t eat healthier.

Suggestion #9
End all government subsidies, tariffs, and controls for agriculture. We pay people to grow tobacco, we pay them to grow sugar, we pay them to leave ground fallow. We even pay people to grow corn only to be turned into fuel (ironically it takes over a gallon of fuel to produce a gallon of corn ethanol…that’s efficient.) When you subsidize something you get more of it. And you wonder why it’s hard to get healthy food. Yes, ending subsidies and tariffs on sugar would initially drop the price of sugar, but it would also result in less being produced which would again raise the price. It would also leave more ground for producing the fruits and vegetables we’re not getting right now because fresh food is so overpriced.

Suggestion # 10
And while we’re at it, if we want people to eat healthier maybe we could stop regulations on food. Stop sending SWAT teams at raw milk distributors, stop fining people for having their own gardens of fresh food, stop preventing the Amish from taking fresh food across state lines. You know little things like that.

Special Idea #11 Fluoridation
Now I usually hate talking about fluoridation. Why? Because so many wacko conspiracy theorist nuts think it’s some grand government conspiracy to control people. It’s not. It was, as with most government actions, a well meaning but idiotic plan. Let’s put fluoride in the water to strengthen their teeth (we can’t trust people with their own hygiene). Yeah let’s put a substance in the water that causes lower IQ’s, higher cancer rates and drastically lowers the thyroid gland (which might have something to do with obesity). What could possibly go wrong? You know between the expansion of the dental industry, better access to toothpaste, and personal responsibility I think our teeth are fine. Let’s stop fluoridating water.

Special Idea #12 

Walmart and other such stores apparently want to get into the healthcare business.  I say let them.  They want to open small clinics.  Honestly what they’re proposing will basically act as a triage center.  They will tell all the people with just a cough to just get Sudafed, treat the small wounds, and thus clean up the real traffic at urgent care and the ER.  This will almost certainly cut down costs from needless tests.

Notice something about this. With the exception of #6, involving the prosecution of criminals (a proper function of government), each and every one of these calls for less government not more. Why? Because government and regulation are what is causing so many problems.

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Long Term Thinking, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics

Ramblings from Conservative Cathy – Help! help I may be dying or maybe not! Or worse, I live in California!….

I just ran into a “California Advance Health Care Directive”and although with research I have found out

In a choice between California red tape and Obamacare Death Panels…I’m afraid I’m safer with the Death Panels.

that this has been around since 2000 I just found out that hospitals must hand this out to any patient coming into the hospital or ER regardless of why they are there or whether they are actually able to fill it out.  (There’s nothing as annoying as filling out paperwork after you been intubated…well, maybe dealing with California bureaucracy).

Basically this is a serious subject but I want to deal with the particular form in my sarcastic humorous way.   This form apparently must be accompanied with a signed statement about whether you already have a DNR (do not resuscitate), do you have it on you and do not want one.  Sounds exactly like what California or government would produce – now keep in mind that many people enter a hospital in a non-communicative or responsive manner so then a doctor has to sign a form that states he tried to offer to the patient but they could not understand (again huh?).

Now I want you to keep in mind that if you enter the hospital and have a DNR but do not have it with you then you will be given all the appropriate medical services.  Actually I believe that without specific instructions by the patient and tons of documentation that you will be given all that anyway as they do not want to be sued.

Now let’s just think about this last part – do you really have this information on file will all hospitals near everywhere you go?  Do you have this info on file with every doctor you see and every person you know and do they all carry it on their person just in case?  Now that you have answered those questions with an affirmative YES – if you were brought into the ER under a true trauma do you think everyone is going to stop everything until we have confirmed all this information and made sure it is accurate and legal?  Probably not, unless the doctors are in agreement with a DNR order.  Because litigation probably trumps all that when it comes to medical care or maybe it is because doctors are in the business of saving lives – I wonder.

Now for fun lets deal with some of the individual pages and wording in this form because it really does get funnier.  And to think these people are responsible for anything in the world is really scary.

On page 2 they let you know as I stated above that you need to share this form with all your doctors, nurses, social workers (does everyone have one of these?), family and friends along with your health care agent (someone who you pick to make decisions for you – probably better give them a legal medical power of attorney but if it is signed prior to 2000 in CA it is no longer legal and you need a new one).  So hopefully you have a lot of copies of this 3 part (12page)  document to pass out and hopefully everyone carries it on them at all times (including you).  And apparently all of these people on this list can help you fill out the form (really?), so that is whom you should take questions to.

Now this is important as you will see – if your health care choices are not listed then write them on a “piece of paper” and keep it with the forms – sounds legal to me.

If you want a healthcare agent it cannot be your doctor (as they would never look out for your best interests) unless they are a family member.  I am sure your doctor does not want to be your agent anyway as there is some legal responsibility here but otherwise Huh??

On page 3 – “ If you are too sick to make your own decisions, your doctors will ask your closet family members to make decisions for you” really – without a legal form – I don’t think so – they will provide the responsible necessary care – I think.  Also “If you want your agent to be someone other than family, you must write his or her name on this form” – I think you have to write anyone’s name on the form as you cannot just choose “family” as your option – how would a doctor decide between disputing members (better write that out on that piece of paper)?

On page 6 is where that piece of paper is really going to come in handy.

“My life is only worth living if I can” now there are choices to put an X by:

·      talk to family or friends (piece of paper right now because if you have no family or friends and are able to communicate you might want to clarify this line)

·      This one is my favorite –  wake up from a coma (of course but that piece of paper might come in handy in determining a time line for this hopeful event)

·      Feed, bathe, or take care of myself (I guess those death panels are already starting because I always thought that paralysis was not a reason to let someone die)

·      Be free from pain (now that is a very subjective statement – a piece of paper might be helpful in stating that if you can still function with pain killers versus vegetable state with pain killers might be a better way to determine but another one might be is the pain forever or only for a period (seems a little early to make a decision just based on being free from pain – I think I need more information – please)…also what level of pain are we talking about…if I come in a with stubbed toe but check this box are they going to kill me?

·      Live without being hooked up to machines – well an IV drip is a machine so I think we might need that piece of paper again to be a little more specific.  And I don’t think anyone but your Doctor is going to be helpful with most of these specifics unless all your family and friends are medical doctors also.

·      My second favorite – and this is the last one on all questions – “I am not sure” – based on the phraseology offered, I wouldn’t be sure either but I don’t think that is what they are referring to – so back into the doctors lap – who would have guessed.

Page 7 is about life support and what treatments can be used.  There is this phrase “little hope of getting better” – again a very subjective statement – does it mean that I will die (thought we all were going to do that anyway – is there like a time line involved – better get that piece of paper)

When it goes into the allowed treatments you had better have someone with some medical experience help you as I do not think all of these are considered “life support”.

CPR = well yeah – they would not be doing it if life was not in the balance or slipping away – I think that piece of paper and quality/length of life might be pertinent here

Dialysis – gee you could get a transplant or something so is the death panel again suggesting that dying is a viable alternative – or is your current life expectancy a factor in this decision?

Breathing Machine – a good call but that piece of paper again as is this long term or short term?

Feeding Tube – gosh I hope so if I am unable to consume food – keep in mind that if you are unable to consume food that you will starve to death so I think some other things might be pertinent to this one also – gosh I guess we now have several pieces of paper.

Blood transfusion – really is that all you need to live – unless this is a religious decision I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want that – but oh well.

Medicine – really I love this very vague term – why wouldn’t you want medicine – I guess we had better talk to a pharmacist also and fill out a whole bunch of pieces of paper on this one – so does he need copies of this form also???

Other treatments – ?? Guess you better spend some time with your Doctor/medical school and lots of pieces of paper

Page 8 – I’m very curious about something on this page – there is a question about whether you want an autopsy and one of them is “I want an autopsy if there are questions about my death”.  I want to know if you check no autopsy and you were murdered are they no longer allowed to autopsy your body???  The other question I have is if you request an autopsy when normally one is not done – who pays for it?

Also on this page is this statement – “What should your doctors know about how you want your body to be treated after you die?”  Let’s see, doctors work on you and then call your death – do you think they really are doing anything else to your body – they leave the area you are in and go work on someone else or go home – I am not really an expert in all the religions but exactly what is this referring to?  Because really do you think that most doctors (unless maybe if they are family/friends) really care about your body after you die?  My God you are dead and have left your body – why would they care??  What am I missing here???

Page 10 is where you and witnesses sign.  You need two witnesses and one of them cannot be related to you in any manner but they need to know you and they can not inherit anything from you and they can not work for the hospital.  So let’s see if you are entering the hospital ER and this form is given to you, what are the odds that you are also accompanied by this friend (but not too close as they can not receive anything from you when you die) to witness your signing – I guess you all should be better prepared.  Your only other option is having it witnessed by a Notary – gosh do they now need to be employed 24/7 by hospitals??

I really do not see where this form has alleviated any potential legal problems for the medical field.  I just think it is silly when government does things like this – The DNR forms and power of attorney that they have had for decades did this much so how have they helped but they have now made it cost money that this form now must be given to everyone (even when it is not currently applicable).  Silly Silly

Everyone better check out their own state and see what’s happening there regarding these issues…or this could just be another symptom of why if you’re placing a bet between Greece and California going down first, safe money says Greece will outlive the Golden State.

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, Health Care, People Are Stupid

Obamacare vs. Romneycare

A bit simplistic, and I wouldn’t have focused on some of these…but I like it (all the citations are here)…I do like the state’s rights issue at the end.

And while I’m not thrilled with Romneycare (especially for those 8 sections that Romney vetoed but were overturned) it is clearly not Obamacare….and I don’t have to live in Massachusetts.

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Filed under Election 2012, Health Care, Mitt Romney, Obama, politics