Category Archives: Health Care

That Second Hand Smoke Thing? Yeah, it Was BS

From Reason:

Several years ago I was talking to an epidemiologist who is skeptical of the idea that smokers pose a mortal threat to people in their vicinity. Although he supported workplace smoking bans, he was frustrated by the willingness of so many anti-tobacco activists and public health officials to overlook or minimize the weakness of the scientific case that secondhand smoke causes fatal illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease. He wondered when it would be possible to have a calm, rational discussion of the issue, one in which skeptics would not be automatically dismissed as tools of the tobacco industry. I suggested that such a conversation might take place once smoking bans became ubiquitous, at which point the political stakes would be lower. Judging from a recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, headlined “No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer,” that conversation may have begun.

The article describes a large prospective study that “confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke.” The study tracked more than 76,000 women, 901 of whom eventually developed lung cancer. Although “the incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in current smokers and four times higher in former smokers than in never-smokers,” says the JNCI article, there was no statistically significant association between reported exposure to secondhand smoke and subsequent development of lung cancer…

This is what I knew from the get-go: it was always nonsense to think that second hand smoke was a huge killer – or even a risk, at all.  Certainly no more of a risk than going outside on a smoggy day in Los Angeles and just breathing.  The amount of tobacco smoke a person would inhale via second hand smoke – even if they lived with a smoker – would be so tiny as to be inconsequential as a health risk. Remember, even for very heavy smokers, not all of them get lung cancer – smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it isn’t a 1 for 1 thing.  If you smoke, it doesn’t mean that smoking will kill you.

Hopefully this will open up a debate – and get us away from the idiot idea that smoking is some sort of massively hideous thing which needs to be banned.  Smoking is just a thing you can do – like eating cheeseburgers or having a coke.  Not the healthiest choice.  Not something any doctor would recommend, but it is something to do – for pleasure.  You know, to enjoy life.  Probably be better if all of us smokers ditched the cigarettes and switched over to pipes as we’d probably end up smoking far less (and mostly smoking much higher quality tobacco), but its still just one of the pleasures of life that someone may engage in.  And like all things in life, there is a risk involved.  Of course, the rule is, “eat right, exercise, die anyway”.  Main thing to remember about life is that no one gets out of it alive.  At some point certain, in a more or less painful manner, we will all exit this world.  And if before I go I can have a smoke, that’ll make it more pleasant than going, as I must, without a smoke.

Obama’s Obamacare Mandate Delay

So, let’s momentarily forget the fact Obama’s “fix” for Obamacare is essentially exempting folks from it for a year, I’d like to point out a tweet from Senator Harry Reid:

According to Harry Reid, this move by Obama (the legality of which is questionable) is “working to fix and improve” Obamacare.

Really? Last month, when Republicans offered the exact same proposal as a compromise to end the shutdown, Obama and Reid refused, and chose not to negotiate.

Change in Our Health Plans… We Won’t Forget

“If you like your plan, you can keep it,” Obama said, oh, so many times. You know, it never ceases to amaze me how someone so deceitful can get away with it so many time, and yet so many (including, I’m sure, the liberals who read this blog) just make excuses for him, as if turning a blind eye makes it any better.

So, there have been a few numbers thrown out there regarding how many people are not going to be able to keep the insurance plans they liked. One analysis (via the liberal news outlet McClatchy) suggests the number is as high as 52 million.

It seems like this is the moment where the liberal media is less able to spin the truth. Because, let’s face it, no matter what the spin, if you lose your insurance because of Obamacare, that’s a very real way Obama has not only lied to you, but also negatively impacted your life in a direct, measurable way.

A few weeks ago, my health insurance provider released their Obamacare-approved plans—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—and the cheapest one they have is not only $2000+/year more than my current plan, but the coverage is worse. An even higher deductible and higher out-of-pocket maximum. So, it’s not even like I lost my current plan and got something better. I lost my current plan and got royally screwed.

There are many others who are having similar experiences. So, it’s hardly a shock that Obama’s approval ratings are sliding. The reality of Obamacare just isn’t the same bundle of wonderful that was pitched to the public. Granted, many of us knew Obamacare was going to be a disaster, but we didn’t vote for Obama anyway.

I’m hopeful that those who voted for Obama, and, let’s be honest, the Democratic Party, will remember this betrayal of trust next November and again in 2016. Even though people forget a lot of things by the time they vote (see 150 Reasons Why Barack Obama is the Worst President in History for a rather thorough list of things Obama voters forgot about when they voted) but it will hard to forget the higher premiums they’ll be paying because of Obama’s crowning achievement.

House GOP Grows a Backbone?

Maybe:

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday that the chamber will pass a resolution this week to continue funding the government but to deny any funds to implement President Obama’s new health care law.

“The law is a train wreck. The president has protected American big business. It’s time to protect American families from this unworkable law,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said at a press conference Wednesday morning…

Obama, naturally, has said he’ll reject any bill which defunds ObamaCare.  This, as you might expect, has frightened the RINOs who have been told by the Democrats and the MSM that the shutdown of the government during the 1990′s destroyed the GOP for a generation…except for the fact that the GOP post-shut down managed to hold on to their House and Senate majorities and elected Bush President in 2000.  If we get “crushed” like that because we shut down the government over ObamaCare, then I’m all for it.  It looked for a long time like the House leadership would cave to RINO fears – but, I guess someone on Boehner’s staff decided to step an inch outside the Beltway and discovered (doubtless much to his surprise) that ObamaCare is hideously unpopular with the American people and especially with the GOP base.

This isn’t a gray area – it is a stark fact of life.  ObamaCare is a train wreck and everyone outside the White House and MSNBC can see it’s a train wreck.  People don’t want it.  They might not be sold on a free market solution to ObamaCare; they may, indeed, eventually opt for a very government-run health care system…but ObamaCare is a disaster that people have already seen too much of.  It has to go.  Only Obama’s pride and stupidity prevents him from just saying, “now that we’ve seen the complexities of health care reform, it is time for us to change the law in light of recent experience”.  If he did that, he’d probably wind up with 80% of what he wants…but, as I said: stupid and proud.

I’m just glad we’re fighting a bit…more drift like we’ve had the past 6 months and 2014 could end up a disaster for us.  Fight and win…and, heck, even if you fight and lose its better than “chicken out” and lose.

ObamaCare Train Wreck Update

Three bits of ObamaCare news today:

Half of all ObamaCare statutory deadlines have been missed.

Forever 21 is cutting the hours of some of their employees to 29.5 per week to avoid ObamaCare mandates.  These people were advised yesterday, August 18th, that their health benefits will terminate as of August 31st.

More than 100,000 New Jersey residents in a program for low-cost health insurance will lose their coverage because their plan doesn’t cover all the whistles and bells mandated by ObamaCare.  They’ll be lucky if their replacement plans only cost twice as much.

Did you vote for Obama?  Then be ashamed.  This is just a horrible thing…and it is horrible because Obama and leading Democrats cobbled together a pile of legislation and passed it without reading it or thinking through the consequences.

The Case for Health Care

The recent delay of the employer mandate is a just another indication that the legislative behemoth that is Obamacare, is overly cumbersome, not well thought out, and simply the wrong approach to what ails our health care system. A recent Examiner editorial properly pointed out the archaic approach that Obamacare really is – a heavily bureaucratic system in a digital age that will be, and already is, slow on implementation and ineffective in delivery. Even Obama’s biggest supporters, the unions, are finding this out and they are not happy. Unions are worried that the law will push employers to reduce many workers hours to part time, which is happening, and simply drop coverage for others who will then be subsidized by the new exchanges. And speaking of exchanges, the announcement of the delay of the employer mandate will now potentially expand the enrollment of the exchanges, which will explode expected costs, and of course all of this will be done on the honor system, since no verification will be required, which is a potential for enormous fraud. Add to this, the possible immigration reform which will exempt the newly minted citizens from the mandate, and add millions of low skilled workers to an already over supplied market and you have a recipe for huge unemployment in a category of wage earners who are in desperate need of relief.

I think we can also agree that health care insurance is not actually health care. For that you need a doctor, and a recent report paints a grim picture on the future of that practice. Why on earth would we turn a very highly skilled practice into essentially a minimum wage job? Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates are low, and with the lack of any tort reform in the bill, malpractice insurance continues to put the squeeze on doctors resulting in many of them leaving, or planning on retiring early. And remember death panels? Well, we’ve already seen that, haven’t we? Amazingly, this little girl had to go to court to receive her transplant. Let’s add to this rising premiums – my premium rose by 20% in June and included in the letter informing me of this was the possibility of “future rate adjustments”. I guarantee you those adjustments wont be reductions. Obamacare is a train wreck, but the good news is, we can stop it before it kills all of us, and we should.

What’s the answer? In my opinion, a blend of private and public healthcare, with the public option being administered at the state level. Start by block granting Medicaid to the states and allowing them to administer care and payment disbursements, so the program is administered to a smaller number of people resulting in more effective and humane treatment, and doctors realize their pay in a shorter period of time. Secondly, set up a program for “pre existing” conditions and “catastrophic care” plans. People in these two categories represent a minority of patients, and with state programs funded by additional taxes to private plans and possibly other fee based programs, these programs can be funded. Additionally, we need to means test, reduce some benefits and raise the eligibility age. Higher income people (the evil rich) should either not be eligible, or receive limited benefits, and this goes for Social Security in my opinion as well, which will make more funds available for those who truly need it. On the private side, allow insurance companies to compete for everyone’s business in every state, and drop the coverage requirements. Why am I paying for psychiatric care when I don’t need it, or want it? (Of course some would argue that). Free enterprise and competition is an amazing mechanism and has an uncanny ability to find a need in the marketplace and fill it, which will happen and at lower costs.

Revisited: The Rationing Has Already Started and obAMATEUR-CARE Is Not in Full Swing Yet….

We told you so……

It was estimated that 9-25 million people with pre-existing conditions were not insured.

The “high risk pools” set up under 2010 obAMATEUR-care law will be closed to new applicants by March 2nd (some states by Sunday) because funding is running low.

A sign of things to come…. We have seen this in Europe, especially in England, but warnings went unheeded to the pResident and Democrats hell bent on 1/7th of the nations wealth.

What will happen next?

Update: Following are the smear attacks by Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman on Republicans and Sarah Palin:

  • August 13, 2009 “Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course.”
  • August 20, 2009 “It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will “pull the plug on grandma,” and two days later the White House declares that it’s still committed to working with him.”
  • February 25, 2010 “So what did we learn from the summit? What I took away was the arrogance that the success of things like the death-panel smear has obviously engendered in Republican politicians. At this point they obviously believe that they can blandly make utterly misleading assertions, saying things that can be easily refuted, and pay no price. And they may well be right.”
  • August 30, 2009“Moderate Republicans, the sort of people with whom one might have been able to negotiate a health care deal, have either been driven out of the party or intimidated into silence. Whom are Democrats supposed to reach out to, when Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was supposed to be the linchpin of any deal, helped feed the “death panel” lies?”
  • October 4, 2009 “The Republican campaign against health care reform, by contrast, has shown no such consistency. For the main G.O.P. line of attack is the claim — based mainly on lies about death panels and so on — that reform will undermine Medicare. And this line of attack is utterly at odds both with the party’s traditions and with what conservatives claim to believe.”
  • March 21, 2010: “Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/krugman-death-panels-palin/2010/11/14/id/377013#ixzz2MEa6Iss9

The New York Times columnist, economist and political advisor said that within less than 20 years the US will need to raise taxes and ration healthcare to deal with rising costs under Obamacare and yes, he said “death panels.”

Turns out to be true!! Krugman confirms RATIONING AND DEATH PANELS!

So, what’s next?

Oh yeah the ultimate goal:  Single payer system totally in the hands of the government – total control of 1/7th of the economy.  It works so well with Medicare and the VA!

 

Dystopia–In His Own Words.

Just prior to the 2008 elections, Barack Obama boldly stated,

“We are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” (October 30, 2008)

Many among my conservative friends took that to be so much fluff; pretty much liberal boilerplate consistent with his whole “Hope and Change” campaign message.  Given, however, Obama’s background, cutting his teeth with the radical leftists/communists of his day (i.e., Frank Marshall Davis, Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) I believe I was one of the relative few that took him at his word.  Unlike most of America, conservatives such as myself and others who actually took the time to vet Obama, knew that background and worldview mattered, and that Obama’s past gave more than a glimpse of how he intended to govern in the present.

When Obama uttered those words, “.. fundamentally transform AmericaI knew he meant it. It was Obama himself who stated (emphases added),

“As radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least, as it’s been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative libertiesSays what the States can’t do to you; says what the Federal Government can’t do to you, but doesn’t state what the Federal government or State Government must do on your behalf.”  (Barack Obama, June 18, 2001).

There is no question that Barack Obama was unhappy with his perception of unequal distribution of wealth that America so unfairly championed, and that he wanted to transform this nation into something more ‘equitable’ in his eyes.  The question was how, and to what extent.  Just how does one “fundamentally”  transform a nation whose very basis for existence is freedom, itself?  The only feasible answer is to transform that already-free nation, into a nation with fewer freedoms.  Given Dinesh D’Souza’s brilliant insights as to Obama’s worldview engendered by his past, one knew that Obama’s absolute contempt for what he saw as America’s unequal distribution of wealth would result in his promoting policies that would necessarily stifle economic growth.   Obama’s America would no longer be one of unbridled economic opportunity; rather, America would be a nation of egalitarian outcomes, regardless of effort; to coin a phrase, to each, according to his needs; from each, according to his means.  

As a means of bringing about this transformation, America could no longer be a free nation.  No where as free, at least, as it was at the time of he assumed his presidency.  Liberties would need to be forsaken to bring about his vision of utopia.  The free market system would need to be reined in, and done so in no small measure.   Obama would have four years, eight at most, to make this happen.  This transformation would need to be done quickly, and in a big way.

Enter Obamacare, America’s first stop on its train ride to Utopia. Against the wishes of 60-70 percent of Americans, and without the vetting of congressional legislators who rammed through the legislation, the United States Federal Government took control of a full one-seventh of the American economy, which had the net effect of driving up the cost of health care for all involved,  taking away freedom of choice, relegating freedom of conscience incompatible with the party line to irrelevancy, while at the same time having the no-doubt intended effect of casting a chilling pall on America’s ability to sustain economic growth and prosperity.  For those who wish to argue regarding this latter point, how better to right the wrongs of the perceived injustice of unequally-distributed wealth than to stifle the engine that creates such wealth?

As I’ve said, Obamacare is but stop one on America’s train ride to Obama’s Dystopia.  Obama’s seeming assault on everything traditional America has held dear for centuries appears to have taken on epidemic proportions.  Remember- Obama only has three and three-quarter years left.  Those who haven’t yet felt the pinch of his “transformations,” most likely have not yet realized that they, too, have been pinched.   Obama’s willing media accomplices can only cover for him for so long before a critical mass of Americans, admittedly as dull as many of them are, will start to put two-and-two together and finally determine that the hopey-changey unicorn jockey they voted for may actually have had something to do with the plight in which they suddenly find themselves.

Then what?

When the critical mass of Americans finally wake up one morning, to find that they have been played as chumps, they are liable to get a bit–shall we say, testy. When this inevitability finally does come home to roost, The TEA party protests that grew out of Rick Santelli’s historic February, 2009 rant will no doubt look like a series of school pep assemblies.   Such civil unrest would certainly be difficult to quell, and will no doubt be yet another bump in the tracks on the way to Obama’s Dystopian dream.

What to do, what do do? You can’t just sick the military after the troublemakers. Well, you could, I suppose, but then you risk pissing off your fellow travelers who have had a history of contempt for men and women in uniform.

What to do??

Since, at least philosophy- and policy-wise, one can take Obama at his word, one may get a clue as to Obama’s plans by again, studying his own non-TelePrompter inspired rhetoric:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.  We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.”   -Barack Obama, July, 2008.

Yeah- remember that phrase?  Neither did a lot of other people.  Like the rest of Obama’s sordid past and rhetoric that if brought to the light of day would have rendered his election impossible, The media (true to their sycophantic nature) pretty much glossed over that little tidbit.  A powerful Civilian security force. Remind you of anyone?

So when you see articles like this, or like this, or like this, and then think, aww–Leo–take off that tinfoil hat!  You’re just blowing smoke.  That would never really happen here.  There’s no way.

Just remember.  I didn’t put those words into Barack Obama’s mouth.

He did.

With a Measure of Disgust…

Oath of Office
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” -Oath of office for Congress.

Just words– without one iota of consideration as to what those words mean.

I’m just getting more and more nauseated every time I think of this whole damned bunch of traitors, liars, opportunists, and career criminals.

I’ve lost every iota of optimism and faith in government.

They are no longer public servants, placed in a position of trust.

They–the lot of them– are self-serving, egotistical leeches who are in it for no one but themselves.

The inmates have taken over the asylum.

God have mercy on our nation, and please, drain the swamp, once and for all.

I’m so disgusted.

How to End the Argument Over Birth Control

From the Wall Street Journal via Hot Air:

…As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.

Let’s ask the question: Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

So at present we have an odd situation. Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription. Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so…

That is Bobby Jindal.  Have I mentioned that he’s smarter than the next 100 Republicans?  And also smarter than the next 1,000 Democrats?  Just make birth control an over-the-counter medication.  Personally, of course, I think the whole concept of “birth control” to be the most idiotic of twaddle – but its not for me to decide for anyone else whether they want to participate in it.  And if we make it over-the-counter then its like going to buy Nyquil when you’ve got a cold…just go buy it.  And as Jindal points out, if we make it over-the-counter the massive competition for market share which will result will drive down the cost of birth control to the point where if you can’t afford it then its likely because you blew all your money on drugs or gambling.  This takes it entirely out of the debate – no need to mandate it for religious institutions; no need to worry if a woman working at a religious institution should get coverage because any working woman will be easily able to afford it entirely on her own, without the risk of forcing religious people to participate in what some believe to be an evil.  Problem solved.

Now, of course, our liberals won’t sit still for this – and they’ll naturally start to demand that abortion be covered by all insurance plans, but that is a fight we can win as America is becoming increasingly pro-life.   But, meanwhile, by applying our free market principals as well as our demand for individual liberty and freedom of conscience, we can totally destroy this argument which did so much to fuel the Democrats absurd claims of a “war against women” this year.