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Economic/Healthcare FAIL

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 9, July 2009 by chockblock

For some reason, single payer, universal health care socialized medicine seems to be en vogue with our new administration and our state run independent media. But if the government takes over health care what does that mean? Surely the government will be able to do better right?

Finally, critics say that because of its breadth and national reach, the public plan will be able to collect and analyze patient information on a large scale to discover the best ways to improve care. The public plan might even allow clinicians who form accountable-care organizations to keep a portion of the savings they generate.
–Robert Riech Why the Critics of a Public Option for Health Care Are Wrong

Not so fast. Most Medicaid and Medicare already collect stats on their use. In New Mexico, the mental health system (Medicaid Salude) took over when private insurance companies bowed out. They left due to rising costs. New Mexico Medicaid found that “universal mental health care” was so expensive that they turned over day to day operations back over to private HMO’s (shocka!) to keep costs down.

Reich again:

Critics say the public option is really a Trojan horse for a government takeover of all of health insurance. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an option. No one has to choose it. Individuals and families will merely be invited to compare costs and outcomes. Presumably they will choose the public plan only if it offers them and their families the best deal — more and better health care for less.

Well, in my experience, whether it private health insurance or public, the accountants rule. Doctors, nurses and drug companies don’t make most of the decisions to deny care. Sure their are a few scrooges with medical degrees out there, but 90% of the time they want to treat you or give you the drugs you need. Big pharma needs you to buy it’s drugs to support their reseach efforts. Docs and nurses want to treat you.

No the biggest boogy man is the MBA or administrator who decides that you’re too expensive.
The answer is always no. It’s easier to deny care than to supply it at any cost.

Hospice is one option, but we do need take account of the cost — you know, I hate to say it, the cost-benefit of some of the things we do. And either we can do it directly, or we can do it by bundling the payments and let the delivery system deal with it. So it’s a combination of the delivery system dealing with it, or, and/or providing more information for people to make the right decisions, both for themselves and for the care.–Professor Stuart Altman of Brandeis University Via HotAir.com

Gee, does that remind you of anything?

So the elderly cost to much. No new drugs cause the ones we have are “cheaper”. I remember
the Medicaid forms had a 2″ x 2″ square where client’s goals (the treatment plan) and problems (things that would mess up that plan) were supposed to be written down. Mind you, these would take up to 4-5 pages in the doctor’s notes, but the HMO wanted us to jot it down in a square about the size of a single sheet of toilet paper.

As to the idea that government has more resources for research, yes but (and this is a big but) the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are not slacking off either. When I used to work in mental health, the drug companies and hospitals collected reams of data from my bosses. Hospitals that are run for profit want to maximise profit and drive down costs. Those that cut corners risk being sued into the ground. Lawyers love repoing doc’s BWM’s.

Costly mistakes and duplication do not magically disappear when government enters the arena. Remember what I said about New Mexico and Medicaid? Amtrack is a classic example of the government subsidizing a dinosaur. Instead of rail traffic improving, the government alternative is dying (we all pay for amtrack even if we don’t ride it).

A big chuck of the costs are in the administration of the health care system.

Supporters of the for-profit, free market health care system contend that the high level of administrative costs cited by advocates of publicly funded care arise out of the substantial level of government regulation that exists in the United States health care sector.[79] According to a study by the Cato Institute this regulation provides benefits in the amount of $170 billion but costs the public up to $340 billion.[79]– Wikipedia

Even private insurance gets stuck:

But private insurers, who strongly oppose public options, say the concept of a “level playing field” is a myth.

“Government today underpays for Medicare and Medicaid services. The only way hospitals can stay in business is to charge private insurers 130 percent of costs to offset the underpayments for government programs,” says Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry’s lobby.
A hot button in healthcare reform: US role as insurance provider CSmonitor.com

Medicare vs. Private Insurance (via HotAir.com)

[O]n a per-person basis Medicare’s administrative costs are actually higher than those of private insurance–this despite the fact that private insurance companies do incur several categories of costs that do not apply to Medicare.

Pointing this out is sufficiently dangerous to the Left that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman attacked Book’s study — or, more accurately, attacked the Heritage Foundation, as ad hominem is twice as good coming from someone who used to advise Enron. Unfortunately for Krugman, the NYT allows comments, thus allowing Book to embarrass Krugman on his own site.

Admin costs will only skyrocket as the government moves in. The democrats see that they are losing this one like they lost HillaryCare. They tried to sell us on how “unhappy” the American public is with our health care system. Wikipedia again:

According to a Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health in 2003, 86.9% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their health care services, compared to 83.2% of Canadians.[80] In the same study, 93.6% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their physician services, compared to 91.5% of Canadians (according to the study authors, that difference was not statistically significant).

Yet the left wants taxes, red tape and rationing. They even want to tax health bennies (someting Pres. Obama drummed Sen. McCain on back in 2008). Option? Riech gets it wrong, many on the left want you to sign up for gov’ment health care or be penalized if you do not. (H/T ace)

There could be a tax penalty for those with adequate financial resources who don’t elect to get insurance, according to the outline…

Worse still, even if you opt in, the government will make it impossible to opt out. Why? Money. To keep the system solvent, you can’t have the unwashed masses paying out of their own pocket. In the name of efficiency, the government will bully any hospital or private insurance (assuming any are left) to weighs the costs of treatment against the relative value of the person getting treated. The downside is that the terminallyill and elderly get the shaft.

…Basically, the government will tell some people that they’re just not worth the effort to treat, and will send them to hospice to die instead. And thanks to what will eventually be a nationalization of the health-care industry, just as in Canada and “England”, there won’t be any private options left, either
Hotair.com

Which goes back to the youtube video of the “expert” professor above.

Why all the fuss? The common argument is the “better” health care avaible in Canada. Far from being a guide, Canada is not a model:

Ho believes, however, that there are also inefficiencies in the Canadian system. In her own work on hip fracture, she found that Canadian hospitals held patients for longer periods because there was no incentive to discharge them. “These patients are easier to take care of,” she explains, “and that helps [hospital administrators] justify their budget…. I think there is room for economic incentives [in the Canadian system].”

“Personally,” Ho adds, “my view is that the Canadian system is good for Canada and the American system is good for America. Neither side should switch, because the systems are a function of the population—the Canadian population believes much more in maintaining social safety nets.
We’re Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.SciAm.com

So all aboard the failroad. We get taxes, more red tape and health care administrators with all the empathy of the Nazi’s T-4 program. Change we don’t need.

failroad

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Chew on this: Iran, Iran so far away… (UPDATED)

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17, June 2009 by chockblock

Iran burns, elections are rigged and the President springs into action:

  1. Ace of Spades takes our leadership to task, and so does Powerline, over the administration’s reluctance to lead during this crisis.
  2. The MSM is shut out by Iran’s corrupt regime. So much for old media (Wired/CNN)
  3. The revolution is on twitter and in the streets. (Wired)
  4. The battlespills onto cyberspace. (wired)
  5. Thousands of Mousavi Supporters March in Iran”, video of Iranian militia firing on civilian crowds. *WARNING* CONTAINS VIOLENT FOOTAGE, BE ADVISED (LFG)
  6. CNN gets raked over the coals for not covering the Iran situation early.(CNET)
  7. Guards fire on crowds (Gatewaypundit, WARNING: VIDEO OF GUNFIRE ON CIVILIANS), LFG as more here and here.
  8. NY Times columnist gets pOwned by reality, has to retreat from leftist fantasy land. (Newsbusters)
  9. US asleep at the switch? (Patterico)
  10. Time magazine looks into the election.
  11. The President reacts to the violence in Iran days after it started
  12. Oppositon leader Vows to “Pay any cost” CNN finally jumps on the story.
  13. President Bush Obama plays golf during this crisis, watch his drive! (HT: Doubleplusundead)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP (if you have twitter) hat Tip from the Jawa Report:

The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through Twitter.

1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.

2. Hashtags, the only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.

3. Keep you bull$hit filter up! Security forces are now setting up twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters. Please don’t retweet impetuosly, try to confirm information with reliable sources before retweeting. The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.

4. Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.

5. Don’t blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don’t publicise their name or location on a website. These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks but don’t signpost them to the security forces. People are dying there, for real, please keep that in mind…

Chew On This: Old books, Government in Action and some Liquid

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 9, June 2009 by chockblock

Tasty Links and the 60th Anniversary of 1984:

  1. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell upheld by the US Supreme Court. (CNN)
  2. Six Shriners hospitals may close (CNN)
  3. Two US journalists get 12 years in a North Korean Prison, “smart diplomacy” at work. (FoxNews)
  4. Steven Colbert is in Iraq. Truthiness in action. (Fox News)
  5. Gov’t officals back off and quit harassing a pastor. He is now allowed to hold bible study classes in his home. (SondraK)
  6. Oh Noes! The Treasury Bond Market is taking a beating Jammiewearing fool breaks down the T-Bill beatdown. (CNBC, Jammiewearingfool)
  7. Famous Fakes Waronplagiarism.org
  8. Why Detroit is such a mess. (The Economist)
  9. Even the Fed is scared of the ballooning debt. (Powerline)
  10. The Chrysler sale to Fiat may be fishy. At least a Supreme Court Justice thinks so. (Newsbusters & Ace O’ Spades)
  11. For a long tome written back in the 1930’s, Rand’s book sure is popular today. (Dr. Helen)
  12. Speaking of popular books, Orwell’s 1984 is also becoming popular.(Michelle Malkin)
  13. Little Green Footballs with two overlooked stories: while Obama Worship approaches critical mass, Lebanon’s Pro-Western Parties are winning elections, but our Obamedia won’t report it!
  14. New Scientist explains why curve balls are so hard to hit.
  15. A-1 Skyraider vs. MiG-17, prop plane vs. jet. CMDR Salamander shows why American courage beats Commie’s every time.
  16. Health Insurance Companies want you to smoke (Sci-Am)
  17. According to CNN, Iranians wat peace with the US. I’ll believe it when I see fewer missiles pointed at the free world.

And now some liquid:

War and Peace: When the Give Peace a Chance Left Meets Reality

Posted in guns, politcs, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7, May 2009 by chockblock

It seems that the Pacific ocean is becoming a very nasty neighborhood. The Chinese are building up their navy and air force. They used to be a laughingstock, now their forces have many nations worried.

Vietnamese defense officials visit US carrier
09:27′ 23/04/2009 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Officials of the Vietnamese Defence Ministry on April 22 paid a first-ever visit to a US aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), one of the biggest US Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, which anchored in East Sea international waters around 250 miles to the south of Vietnam’s Con Dao Island….

That’s not from some western wire service, that is a quote from Vietnamese state media. The Paracel and Spratly island chains are contested by Vietnam and China. Both island chains are next to the borders of both nations. Both island chains may be rich in natural resources (oil). When it comes to their borders Russia and China don’t fool around. So some 30 years after the Vietnam War, officials from Hanoi visit and American warship.
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Change or Else III: The Media Strikes BACK!

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 20, April 2009 by chockblock

Via Patterico.com:

I’m sick of people knocking embarrassing videos off YouTube with bogus copyright violation claims.

The latest culprit is CNN, a network that was recently embarrassed by a video of reporter Susan Roesgen cutting off tea-party protestors in Chicago, and assailing them with silly liberal talking points. The blog Founding Bloggers showed up on scene and caught her in further arguments with angry citizens who noted her biased coverage. I posted the Founding Bloggers video on Thursday.

At CNN, Frank Sesno scolded Fox News and defended that “reporters” performance. However that’s not enough, CNN has to bring on the lawsuits to keep this embarrassment under wraps.

Patterico fires back:

“In the meantime, I encourage every reader with a YouTube account to upload this video to YouTube. I encourage every blogger reading this to embed this same video to your own site.

We have to stop these thugs from reading fair use out of the law whenever they’re embarrassed.”

Only the people can hold the media machine to the fire.

This aint no Peace III…

Posted in rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 11, July 2008 by chockblock

Well, well CNN’s Jack Cafferty proceeds to urinate on U.S. service personnel. First he leads with:

The Iraqi government is finally making its voice heard, and it’s not the message the White House was hoping for.

Baghdad is saying there will be no security deal with the U.S. unless it includes a timetable for withdrawing our troops from their country.
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