Category Archives: Medicine

Trump and Healthcare, by Scott Adams

This may look like Scott Adams trying to make the lemon of the Obamacare fiasco into lemonade, but he’s probably got it right. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Today we are witnessing one of the most important events in political history. But you probably can’t see it because the news is talking about healthcare, and how Ryan and Trump totally failed to get enough votes.

The real story is happening in parallel with the healthcare story, and that’s what renders it invisible. Something enormous is happening that has nothing to do with anything you are seeing in the news. In fact, you’ll probably read it here for the first time.

I’m dragging this out to see if you can guess the big news before I tell you. It is something I predicted would happen. It is something the country needs MORE than healthcare. It was, until yesterday, perceived as the biggest problem in the United States, if not the entire world.

And that problem almost totally went away yesterday. The smell might linger, but the problem has ended. We should be celebrating, but instead we will be yammering about healthcare.

Do you know what problem just got solved? It’s invisible for now, but later everyone will be able to see it.

Don’t see it?

Okay, I’ll just tell you.

With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme. Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

To continue reading: Trump and Healthcare

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Humor: Medicare Part G?

From zerohedge.com, source unknown:

Given today’s vote fiasco, this seemed highly appropriate…

If you are an older senior citizen and can no longer take care of yourself and need Long-Term Care, but the government says there is no Nursing Home care available for you, what do you do?

You may opt for Medicare Part G.

The plan gives anyone 75 or older a gun (Part G) and one bullet.
You may then shoot one worthless politician.
This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the health care you need.
Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or heart? They are all covered!
As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now!

And, who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you they can’t afford for you to go into a nursing home. And you will get rid of a useless politician while you are at it.

And now, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any more income taxes!

Is this a great country or what?

Now that you have solved your senior Long-Term Care problem, enjoy the rest of your week!

How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It, by Alice Salles

You may have heard this before from SLL. When government regulates an industry at the behest of sundry do-gooders, the regulated industry has every incentive to capture the regulatory apparatus. For the do-gooders, they are off to their next crusade. From Alice Salles at theantimedia.org:

Government’s meddling in the healthcare business has been disastrous from the get-go.

Since 1910, when Republican William Taft gave in to the American Medical Association’s lobbying efforts, most administrations have passed new healthcare regulations. With each new law or set of new regulations, restrictions on the healthcare market went further, until at some point in the 1980s, people began to notice the cost of healthcare had skyrocketed.

This is not an accident. It’s by design.

As regulators allowed special interests to help design policy, everything from medical education to drugs became dominated by virtual monopolies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed if not for government’s notion that intervening in people’s lives is part of their job.

But how did costs go up, and why didn’t this happen overnight?

It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon restricted the supply of hospitals by requiring institutions to provide a certificate-of-need.

Just a couple years later, in 1974, the president also strengthened unions for hospital workers by boosting pension protections, which raise the cost for both those who run hospitals and taxpayers in cases of institutions that rely on government subsidies. This move also helped force doctors who once owned and ran their own hospitals to merge into provider monopolies. These, in turn, are often only able to keep their doors open with the help of government subsidies.

This artificial restriction on healthcare access had yet another harsh consequence: overworked doctors.

But they weren’t the first to feel the consequences hit home. As the number of hospitals and clinics became further restricted and the healthcare industry became obsessed with simple compliance, patients were the first to feel abandoned.

To continue reading: How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It

Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0? by Ron Paul

Ron Paul is not enthusiastic about the Republicans’ proposed replacement of Obamacare. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

This Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a Republican bill that supposedly repeals Obamacare. However, the bill retains Obamacare’s most destructive features.

That is not to say this legislation is entirely without merit. For example, the bill expands the amount individuals can contribute to a health savings account (HSA). HSAs allow individuals to save money tax-free to pay for routine medical expenses. By restoring individuals’ control over healthcare dollars, HSAs remove the distortions introduced in the healthcare market by government policies encouraging over-reliance on third-party payers.

The legislation also contains other positive tax changes, such a provision allowing individuals to use healthcare tax credits to purchase a “catastrophic-only” insurance policy. Ideally, health insurance should only cover major or catastrophic health events. No one expects their auto insurance to cover routine oil changes, so why should they expect health insurance to cover routine checkups?

Unfortunately the bill’s positive aspects are more than outweighed by its failure to repeal Obamacare’s regulations and price controls. Like all price controls, Obamacare distorts the signals that a freely functioning marketplace sends to consumers and producers, thus guaranteeing chaos in the marketplace. The result of this chaos is higher prices, reduced supply, and lowered quality.

Two particularly insidious Obamacare regulations are guaranteed issue and community ratings. As the name suggests, guaranteed issue forces health insurance companies to issue a health insurance policy to anyone who applies for coverage. Community ratings forces health insurance companies to charge an obese couch potato and a physically-fit jogger similar premiums. This forces the jogger to subsidize the couch potato’s unhealthy lifestyle.

To continue reading: Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0?

A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast, by James Howard Kunstler

Between the brouhaha over Deep State surveillance of Trump, the debt ceiling, and repealing and replacing Obamacare, the president has some “challenges.” From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Well, of course they bugged Trump Tower. Why wouldn’t they? Trump’s big blunder du jour is that he tweeted “wiretapped,” like some hapless sap out of a 1950s I Was a Spy for the FBI movie. (I know people who still say “ice box,” too.) So he left himself — or rather poor Sean Spicer — open for a week of legalistic pettifogging by reporters acting as litigators for the Deep State’s intel corps.

Anyway, Wikileaks “Vault 7” document release earlier in the month made it clear that US intel has the ability to cover and confuse the tracks of any entity —including especially US intel itself — that ventures to penetrate any supposedly private or secure realm. And, by the way, that probably settles the matter of who “they” are. Whatever statutory restraints once existed against CIA spying on American citizens is long gone by the boards.

You might suppose, too, that the combined forces of Hillary and Obama, along with the still-entrenched Democratic establishment, would have tried through late 2016 to stop The Menace of Trump at all costs. Somebody had done them dirty in funneling the DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks, and it was imperative to fight back — especially with FBI director James Comey (a Republican, after all), going all rogue on Mrs. Clinton. Hence, the manufactured Russia-did-it story that has gotten more mileage than any political hallucination since Senator Joe McCarthy, at his height of influence, played the newspapers like a whole orchestra of flugelhorns.

It’s hard to see how Trump might ever established the truth of this matter. One of the strange features of these internecine wars is that the Department of Justice — as far as we know — isn’t deposing scores of operations people from the myriad agencies under the NSA umbrella to establish who’s been doing what. Anyway, there’s enough loose scuttlebutt around Washington that Trump might have a pretty good idea of who at the various agencies hates his guts, and is working against him, and one wonders why he doesn’t just fire a bunch of them. Perhaps that’s yet to come.

To continue reading: A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast

Hi, GOP: You Are Terrible and Obamacare Jr. Stinks, by Kurt Schlichter

Ann Coulter still has the best Obamacare repeal and replace proposal: repeal Obamacare, let the free market provide medical care and medical insurance, and have the government provide a voucher to anyone who can’t afford the resulting market solution, which will be much cheaper than Obamacare. From Kurt Schlichter on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

When Paul Ryan and his congressional clown car of alleged conservatives surprised us by just sort of dropping Obamacare Jr. on us, I wasn’t surprised to see them trip all over their Guccis during the utterly inept roll out. These nimrods couldn’t effectively communicate to Elizabeth Warren with smoke signals. But even I was shocked at how transcendently crappy their proposed Obamacare replacement is. Let me put it this way: the only thing that steaming pile of failure would be good for is as the key prop in a very specialized, niche German porno film.

Seriously, how many times do we have to tell you? Obamacare must die. Kill it dead – with fire!

When are you going to get it through your wonk spheres that we don’t want a government-led health care system that leaves the people who infest D.C. in charge? We don’t need a “plan” because 85 percent of us already have a plan – it’s called “Taking responsibility for supporting ourselves and our families like damn adults.”

Yeah, we really mean it when we say we want Obamacare gone. DOA. Kaput. Call it over to the mob boss’s house under the pretense that it’s going to be made, then shoot it through the face so its mother can’t give it an open coffin at the funeral.

Are you feelin’ us now?

To continue reading: Hi, GOP: You Are Terrible and Obamacare Jr. Stinks

“It’s A Train Wreck”: Conservative Groups Revolt Against GOP Healthcare Plan, by Tyler Durden

Who knows what will come from the Washington sausage factory known as Obamacare Repeal and Replace? A lot of people don’t like Paul Ryan and company’s first try. They say it’s the wurst (pun intended). From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As discussed earlier, the Obamacare repeal and replace effort, derisively called by some either “Obamacare Lite”, “RyanCare”, “ObamaCare 2.0″, and even Trumpcare”. is running into major hurdles as prominent consevative groups threaten to derail Trump’s broader economic agenda.

While The Trump administration on Tuesday formally backed the House GOP’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, early hurdles emerged after tea partiers Rand Paul and Mike Lee both said that the proposed plan will not pass because it is too similar to the original healthcare law, while GOP senator Roy Blunt said that the plan as it stands may not be able to get the support needed to pass the Senate. “What I don’t like is, it may not be a plan that gets a majority votes and let’s us move on. Because, we can’t stay where we are with the plan we’ve got now,” Blunt said on KMBZ, as first reported by CNN.

The two are just the tip of the iceberg.

As The Hill writes, outside conservative groups on Tuesday blasted House Republicans’ newly unveiled healthcare proposal, saying it doesn’t live up to the GOP’s promise of fully repealing ObamaCare. Here are some of the more prominent objectors:

The Club for Growth dubbed the proposal “RyanCare” and threatened to record names of Republicans who vote for the bill unless it includes significant changes.

To continue reading: “It’s A Train Wreck”: Conservative Groups Revolt Against GOP Healthcare Plan