Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category.

Repeal and Replace

Though it’s been ages.. AGES… since we’ve blogged, we (or maybe it’s just me) still feel as strongly that the healthcare bill needs to be repealed and replaced as. soon. as. possible. November can’t come soon enough, though now I’m a little worried that Republicans feel like it’s already a fait accompli and therefore almost useless to fight against it any longer. That would be a terrible, disastrous choice for their campaigns. And oh yeah, for the economy and for healthcare in general.

May we remind the good congressmen and women that the healthcare bill was passed late in the dark of a winter’s night, and only after Ms. Pelosi twisted so many arms the Indian burn was felt all the way to Michigan, and was so uncomfortable it caused sudden and unexpected resignations across the fruited plain. This means, people DON’T LIKE IT. (Republicans, if they’re smart, will capitalize on this.)

And then businesses did what businesses are legally bound to do — their accountants wrote down the massive charges the companies would take. And Democrats, many of whom are absolutely clueless about business, complained that companies were only publicizing their charges because they are all against Obama.

But why should we repeal the whole thing? Continue reading ‘Repeal and Replace’ »

Gibbs says health-care will become law this week

So sayeth the prophet of Obama.

44 – Gibbs says health-care will become law this week, but House Democrats still short of votes

And the arrogance of this administration continues apace.

What worries me is that many Democrats who are not Obama/Pelosi/Reid just DON’T care about the political fallout of this thing. Many have announced they won’t be seeking reelection this year — so essentially they can do whatever they want between now and November. And we’ll thank them for their sacrifice later, or something.

Let us be clear once more — health care is NOT a right. It is NOT.  Neither is wealth, shelter, or frankly, friendship.  The “progressive” push has been to eliminate the view of natural rights on which this country, like it or not, was founded. The U.S. was not founded by members of  the Frankfort School or Hegelianism or the other REALLY BAD ideas that came out of Germany in the last part of the nineteenth century.

The founders did not all agree with one another, and obviously there are academic debates about how Christian they were, or if they were, or how centralized they felt the government needed to be. But they did all believe that as a republic, we had to be a moral country, or we would fail. They all agreed that there are “certain inalienable rights” — healthcare was not listed.

I mention our founders because I do believe that the arrogance of this administration is at least reminding many people of our founding principles, and there may in fact be a rebellion against this “revolution” that the true-blue Obama voters believed they were ushering in.

Too Little Too Late

Inevitable, we suppose. Ben Nelson has asked that the provision in the healthcare bill that would have exempted Nebraska from new Medicaid costs be removed.

Meanwhile, he is booed in Pizza Hut in Nebraska.  He seems to misunderstand their anger.

What Passes in the Night

It’s not pretty, what is currently going down in Washington, DC. And I’m not talking about the snowstorm or even  Sen. Coburn’s remarks about Sen. Byrd, which has Dana Milibank in a tizzy of disgruntlement. (Why, by the way, is it unseemly for Sen. Coburn to say he hopes – devoutly – that the Dems won’t have enough members to pass the bill tomorrow, while it’s okay for Dems to drag a sick man from his bed to pass something four days before Christmas that not even a majority of Americans WANT? )

Does anyone — ANYONE — really know what is in the bill? And if  you do, HOW could you in good conscience vote for it? As James Taranto noted last week in the Wall Street Journal, even socialist Bernie Sanders was (at least at one time) opposed to it because it is simply not socialist enough.

But here’s this, from Yuval Levin on the Corner:

The CBO assessment of the bill tells the appalling story. We are going to raise taxes by half a trillion dollars over the next ten years, increase spending by more than a trillion dollars, cut Medicare by $470 billion but use that money to fund a new entitlement rather than to fix Medicare itself, bend the health care cost curve up rather than down, insert layers of bureaucracy between doctors and patients, and compel and subsidize universal participation in a failed system of health insurance rather than reform or improve it.

Again, we must wonder WHY Democrats are in such a panic? I mean, don’t they believe they have a mandate from the people? If so, what are they so worried about? Maybe it’s because what the bill will really do and who it will affect is leaking out. See this Sunday evening Wall Street Journal editorial:

Never in our memory has so unpopular a bill been on the verge of passing Congress, never has social and economic legislation of this magnitude been forced through on a purely partisan vote, and never has a party exhibited more sheer political willfulness that is reckless even for Washington or had more warning about the consequences of its actions.

Democrats say that Republicans have no alternatives. That is, of course, hogwash. How about making more minor adjustments to current insurance coverage so that it is portable, available across state lines, gives the same tax benefits to individuals as companies receive, and still ensures coverage for those with preexisting conditions? I HAVE in fact read many ideas from conservatives and Republicans that espouse just this route, and give details on how this could be done, at FAR less cost to taxpayers and patients alike.

Let’s hope the House members want to go home to a HAPPY holiday, and not one where their tax-paying constituents will be openly rioting.

This is the price we must pay so that white liberals could soothe their racial guilt? I feel sick. Guess I should call my doctor before another layer of bureaucracy wants to know WHY.

Tear this (Healthcare) Wall Down!

Celebrations are kicking off in Berlin in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  And this should be celebrated. The Berlin Wall was a symbol, and a potent one, of the lack of freedom and choice in communist Europe. When it fell, it proved that there is indeed a beautiful power in hope –  when that hope is for freedom from tyranny.

And this brings us to healthcare, and the passage last night in the House of the most “sweeping overhaul” of healthcare in our nation…ever.

Here’s a simple analogy. You have a yard that is 85% green and growing, but 15%  is in the shade and doesn’t get the water or sunlight it needs. To fix this, you tear up the entire yard with a bulldozer. And so there is no grass and nothing grows. Only Uncle Sam can plant the seeds now. And the seeds he will plant will be dictated by what’s politically useful and popular, not by what people need or, heaven forbid, want.

Rep. Paul Ryan put it well: “Does this bill mean the government will take over running health care? Yes. But what’s worse, this bill replaces the American idea with a European-style social welfare state.”

Socialism, friends is bad. If you’re under 25, you might just know this in theory. But it is bad. It seems like a good idea at the time, because it means you’ve appointed a middle man.  You’ve “done something” to help, but all you’ve done is passed the buck. You don’t have to take care of anyone. Someone else — Uncle Sam (or his appointed and unelected bureaucracy)– will do it.  When we take the choice and, frankly, burden away from individuals to help or serve other individuals, we have done something dangerous to the fabric of who we are as human beings. We have fed our most selfish whims. We have become something less than human. We are like those who stand by while someone is robbed and cheated, and hold up our hands and say “not my problem” and point to the government.

If you believe  that the best way to ensure everyone has access to healthcare is by making it the law (requiring all but the smallest employers to provide healthcare or pay an 8% fine), jobs will be fewer, and  good healthcare hard to come by. Pharmaceutical innovations will wither. And instead, research funding will be handed out like defense contracts are now, and pulled at whim depending on who is in office. And people will die or be crippled because of it.

It is a testament to our humanity if we wish to help others. We should help our brothers and sisters. We should care for them when they are sick. But this is the role of family and friends. Or if we don’t have those, others who we pay to help us.  And if we have no money, friends, or family — private charity.  And if you think private charities are like char houses, start your own or band with others to do the same.  And there would be more charity if people who had money were free to use it to fund what they wish — churches, local community centers, etc. The point is — it’s not someone else’s job to help someone. It’s YOUR job. The government will be happy to do your job for you for now. But, like Faust,  you will pay in the end.

Comfort can be taken by those of us who cherish freedom and liberty in that the bill passed on a narrow margin — 5 votes.  Would have been 4 had Rep.  Cao of Louisiana not crumbled. But may this socialist healthcare “wall” against freedom and innovation crumble before it’s even had a chance to be built.

Liars look to the left

So here’s a great photo of the moment Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You Lie!” to Obama. Nancy seems shocked — SHOCKED!

Probably not as memorable a moment as some of our friends may think. Hopefully not. They may ask terse questions of the Prime Minister in Parliament, but we do not have that tradition here, and the office of the President does deserve respect. But the sentiment was no doubt echoed at other moments during the speech in living rooms across America.

And perhaps Obama can start respecting Congress (and us!) by not wasting our time with more boilerplate speeches.

Who Will Be the Decider?

That is the essential question of this healthcare debate.

Everyone agrees that the healthcare system in its current incarnation is not perfect. Anyone who has had to deal with an insurance company rejecting a claim, or forcing a certain hospital over another, or who has looked with horror at the cost of an MRI (or some prescription drugs), and been grateful that they have insurance, understands this. The problem, however, is not the revolving 40 million uninsured (if you have an appendicitis, you will get treatment in an ER. You will not, unlike this woman, have to call your insurance company to see if you can get an ambulance while you are in major pain. )

The problem is one of out-of-control costs promoted by trial lawyers, government meddling in the market, and lack of choice. Clearly, more meddling from the government — and on a MASSIVE scale  — is not the answer.

That is, it’s clear to people who understand that regular human beings are able to make decisions for themselves.  Yes, even decisions about whether or not to carry health insurance, and how much. The problem for many uninsured is that the COSTS of private insurance are too high, and they are often unaware that they can even GET private insurance if they aren’t employed. There are ways in the free market to communicate about health insurance programs, and bring costs down without spending trillions of taxpayer dollars (not to mention risking all the many problems of government advisory committees checking on your health and habits).

We need more choice, not less. And one of those choices should not be the federal government, which cannot even attempt to stimulate the economy without putting us into major debt, thus killing all chance of real stimulus. A government “option” would not be an option at all, and would indirectly force other options out of business.

So who will decide whether this passes? Let us hope it is people, through their elected representatives, as God and the Constitution intended, rather than the ghost of Ted Kennedy.

McCain’s health care plan a threat to employer plans?

McCain’s healthcare plan a threat to employer plans?

Umm…I sorta hope so.

There’s a great unknown about Sen. John McCain’s health plan: How many employers would drop insurance coverage for their workers because of his tax policies?

Of course, would this mean there would be more money in the payroll? Yes, a LOT more money, and then hey, maybe we could, like, privatize the healthcare market a little and introduce some direct payment and uncover hidden costs. Let’s just let taxpayers have the same tax breaks companies get now, and see what happens.

Do some (maybe most) people  like that there is a middle man in the form of their employer? Probably many do, but then I think they should have to pay more for that convenience. And perhaps eventually there wouldn’t be such a need for convenience if free markets drove efficiency reforms in the healthcare marketplace.

We’re dreamers here!