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Archive for August, 2009

Why Is The US Not Looking At The Best Health Care Options?

Posted by Casey on August 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 05:  A nurse adjusts hi...
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This debate has been going on long enough now.  For those of us following the debate closely, and have read HR 3200, we know that health care reform is less about reform and more about government control and power.

Everyone is picking apart the health care systems of England, France, and Canada.  Those are the systems most in line with the proposed US changes.  Though HR 3200 is far more broad and gives far more power to the federal government than that of the aforementioned countries.

For me … the worst part of this whole thing is how people who support HR 3200 haven’t read it, and are literally supporting completely dismantling our health care for a new system of benefits that haven’t been revealed to us yet.  If HR 3200 passes, we won’t know what the benefits, coverage, individual cost/responsibility are until a panel of people we didn’t vote for gets together and decides what they’ll cover, and how much money they’ll spend on it.

How can you support a change in your benefits without knowing what those benefits are?  Would you blindly buy a private insurance plan that way, or would you research the benefits, covered procedures, co-pays, and deductibles?

Oh, and by the way, it is not a public “option” plan.  Page 16 makes it very clear you will only get to keep your private insurance as it is written at the time HR 3200 goes into effect.  You will NEVER be allowed to change your coverage … EVER!  If you do, you will automatically default to the federal health plan, and you will never be allowed to leave it again.  Whether you want that plan or not.

The government will also decide if your private insurance (should you keep it) is adequate.  If it isn’t … the federal government will fine you annually on your taxes for the full average cost of a plan they deem adequate.  So you’ll pay for your insurance … then pay for insurance you should have had.  There is nothing in HR 3200 that says what private insurance plan would be sufficient to avoid the annual fine.  There is also nothing in HR 3200 to prevent the government from arbitrarily saying your plan is inadequate.  This leaves open the possibility of the government fining you repeatedly until you finally opt into the federal plan.  The bill has no protection against this.

With all of that said … why are we looking at a system similar to Britain, France, or Canada.  All have major, well documented flaws.  They also yield too much liberty to the government than most Americans are willing to give.

All three countries have problems with rationing care … the US doesn’t.  You can, and will, be treated in the emergency room any time you want, or need, treatment in the US.  A fact that gets ignored in this debate.  There is no denying that this method can bankrupt you, but so what … you’ll be alive.

The US also has a much higher survivability rate when you get sick than the other countries.  Especially for cancer.

cancer

Read the full report here.

This report here highlights in more detail the superior care Americans get compared to Canadians and Europeans.

It is a fact that we get better care when we are sick. That doesn’t mean they get bad care. After all, they do have access to modern medicine.

There’s also been a lot attributed to life expectancy in the US and those countries. Some attribute this to better preemptive care. Most in the medical field I’ve spoken with seem to understand that our lower life expectancy is more correlated to our way of life than preventive care. Especially since it is easier for an American to see a doctor while sick. We eat too much, drink too much, work too much, we sleep very little, take less vacation time, and don’t monitor our diet nearly as well as those countries. Americans also tend to be more thrill seeking than our counterparts.

In spite of all that, our life expectancy in this country just increased.  It increased because of a decline in death rates in almost all the leading causes of death according to the CDC … all without government help.  Oh yeah, life expectancy did the same thing in 2005 in the US.

Since our health and life expectancy are consistently improving … why change things?

Simply put … there are problems, and the system can be better.  Our government simply has chosen to not focus on those things, and instead opted to change everything.

Since Britain, France and Canada aren’t the best places to copy, according to the overwhelming amount of evidence, who is?

According to surveys of citizens in other countries, that I’ve Googled, about their health care … the Netherlands seems to beat everyone.  They have the highest percentage of population satisfied with their care, and the lowest percent who want a complete overhaul.

So what’s their system like?

Essentially, it’s private with a federal safety net.  I’ve heard a local talk show host here in Vegas, Casey Hendrickson, advocate a similar plan on his show.  Though he’s never mentioned the Netherlands, and his plan isn’t exactly like this.  I don’t know where he got his ideas from, but it got me thinking.

Source:

It is now mandatory for everyone to have at least a base level of insurance (basisverzekering) or run the risk of a warning and fines. However, you are free to choose your own health insurer (zorgvezekeraar) and change companies once a year.

A Dutch insurance company cannot refuse to cover for you for the basic package, regardless of your age or state of health. The standard basic package is pretty much the same from all providers except that costs may vary. If your income is under a fixed minimum level, you can apply for a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag) from the tax authorities (belastingdienst).

That’s just an overview. You can visit the link to get the coverage levels.

Right off the bat we have a system of health care in the Netherlands that would be far more accepted by Americans than what is being proposed now. Let’s look at that basic coverage everyone has to have.

Basic insurance
The basic insurance covers general medical care (visits to the huisarts, for example), hospital stays, dental care for up to age 22, prescription medicine, and various appliances. Costs start at approximately EUR 100 a month. The government keep tweaking this package.

You will need extra cover for extensive dental treatment, physiotherapy or anything else the government considers to be your own responsibility, and it is in these additional areas where companies compete. You can change the extras each year.

In other words … you can’t be denied for basic coverage, and it all costs about the same. If you want extra coverage … the free market is available for you to shop around. There’s also ways for you to tweak your deductible in favor of lower premiums.

There are some problems with the Dutch system though. You are limited in who you can choose as a doctor. They must be nearby. So you can’t visit a doctor if their office is not within 10 minutes of your home. You can choose any doctor in your area, but you are limited to that area. The same is true of a pharmacy which could be problem if you need a prescription, and you are at work or on vacation.

Overall though … it would be pretty acceptable to most Americans, and would likely sail through Congress.  It also eliminates the three primary complaints in the US:

  • Can’t get covered because of preexisting conditions
  • Insurer drops coverage when sick due to costs
  • Cost of prescription drugs

The other complaint about health care in the US is that it is not affordable. That’s bularky, and everyone knows it. How many people claim health insurance is not affordable, but have credit card, or car payments? They didn’t make insurance a priority. Another idea I got from Mr. Hendrickson by the way.

The Dutch system would force you to budget for insurance first so you wouldn’t have the option of buying gadgets and trinkets before insurance. Tah da! Insurance is now affordable!

Ok, so the Dutch system is pretty good, but is there a system that’s better?

How about Singapore’s health care system?

Right about now, some of you are stunned. Who the hell talks about Singapore during a heath care debate? Hear me out before you make your mind up. Americans will love this system.

First, you should know that Singapore’s health system was ranked first in an international comparison study. The World Health Organization ranked it 6th. So why haven’t you heard about it? Good question.

Singapore spends a third of what the US does on health care (GDP), but has better health indicators. Which may still have to do with lifestyle in the US vs Singapore.

So what’s their system like?

Source:

  • There are mandatory health savings accounts: “Individuals pre-save for medical expenses through mandatory deductions from their paychecks and employer contributions… Only approved categories of medical treatment can be paid for by deducting one’s Medisave account, for oneself, grandparents, parents, spouse or children: consultations with private practitioners for minor ailments must be paid from out-of-pocket cash…”
  • “The private healthcare system competes with the public healthcare, which helps contain prices in both directions. Private medical insurance is also available.”
  • Private healthcare providers are required to publish price lists to encourage comparison shopping.
  • The government pays for “basic healthcare services… subject to tight expenditure control.” Bottom line: The government pays 80% of “basic public healthcare services.”
  • Government plays a big role with contagious disease, and adds some paternalism on top: “Preventing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tobacco-related illnesses by ensuring good health conditions takes a high priority.”
  • The government provides optional low-cost catatrophic health insurance, plus a safety net “subject to stringent means-testing.”
  • Almost all care is subject to significant co-pays.

For those of you who haven’t read HR 3200 you probably think this sounds a lot like what the Democrats are proposing.  You’re wrong.

Their system is an actual partnership between public and private insurance.  The government mandates that you have a health savings account so you can pay your co-pay, and deductible.  Since there is actual cash being used to pay bills, the doctors don’t have to increase rates to cover those who haven’t paid.  The HSA funds are tax free as long as used for medical purposes.

You can also get private insurance to have access to better benefits than provided by the government, and go to private hospitals which are more comfortable from what I’ve read.  However, you can get low cost catostrophic insurance from the government as a backup plan in case you come down with a serious illness.

The government insurance is strictly regulated, and funded.  If there is no money left over … you’re S.O.L.  Good thing they mandate you have a HSA huh?

Basically, the government of Singapore requires you to save for you medical bills (like the US does for retirement), and encourages you to use the private sector for insurance because the government doesn’t cover everything.  However, they provide a catastrophic safety net for their citizens.

It should be noted that Singapore’s system is said to be a “very difficult system to replicate in many other countries” by Watson Wyatt (a global consulting firm).

While Singapore’s system would likely face more resistance than the Netherlands model … it would be more accepted by Americans than HR 3200.

Since neither system is perfect, but both address the few flaws the current US system has, why not create a hybrid?

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Posted in Government, Hard-Hitting Journalism, Medical, obama, Politics, Truth | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

1 Million Brits Abused By Health Care

Posted by Casey on August 27, 2009

Remember the British woman that was turned away from the hospital while in labor twice, or that nearly half of Britain’s maternity units turned women away while in labor, or that 4000 British women were forced to give birth in hallways or toilets because they were turned away?

I could go on, but you get the point.

Now a report has been released in Britain showing that 1 million patients received “cruel and neglectful” care.

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care – was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases.

Just ignore that 1,200 people dying because of substandard care bit. Move along now.

The Patients Association said one hospital had threatened it with legal action if it chose to publish the material.

Pamela Goddard, a piano teacher from Bletchingley, in Surrey, was 82 and suffering with cancer but was left in her own excrement and her condition deteriorated due to her bed sores.

Florence Weston, from Sedgley in the West Midlands, died aged 85 and had to remain without food or water for several days as her hip operation was repeated cancelled.

It should be noted that, like in this country, this organization has no proof it was a million patients. They are extrapolating the evidence they have, and applying it to the whole population. There’s a very real chance they are wrong.

One of the British officials critical of this report said it highlighted only 2% of people who thought their care was unacceptable. I have been unable to find a poll not conducted by the British government who duplicates that number. Like the US and Canada, Britain seems to have roughly 50% of the population who is happy.

If we all have roughly the same number of people satisfied with their health care … why change?

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Breaking: Ted Kennedy Dead

Posted by Casey on August 25, 2009

{{w|Ted Kennedy}}, Senator from Massachusetts.
Image via Wikipedia

Ted Kennedy reported just passed away a few minutes ago.

Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy brother who was left to head the family’s political dynasty after his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, has died at age 77.

Known as the “liberal lion of the Senate,” Kennedy championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights in his storied career.

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UPDATE: Added New Link To The Comprehensive Link List Disproving Man-Made Global Warming

Posted by Casey on August 24, 2009

We’ve just added another link proving man-made global warming is a farce.  This new link is even more amazing in that some continue to say that global warming exists even though all data shows global temperatures declining the last three years.

Some even say that man-made global warming will come back.  Thereby admitting it has left.

When you need funding though …

To check out the updated links … read “The Comprehensive Link List Disproving Man-Made Global Warming”

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Posted in Al Gore, Carbon Credits, Conspiracy, Environment, Global Warming, Greenies, Hypocrisy, Idiots, Science, Truth | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on UPDATE: Added New Link To The Comprehensive Link List Disproving Man-Made Global Warming

La Raza Gets Violent At Town Hall

Posted by Casey on August 24, 2009

Good stuff is about 3 minutes in.

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Posted in Conspiracy, Hate, immigration, Mexico, Minuteman Project, Outrage, Racism, Truth | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Video: Marine Ripping Democrat At Town Hall

Posted by Casey on August 24, 2009

This is a very popular video on Facebook right now, and it should be.  This happened at a town hall with Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA).

For the record … Baird did, in fact, say town hallers were behaving like nazis.

Instead of appearing in person, where “extremists” would have “the chance to shout and make YouTube videos,” Baird said Wednesday, he’s holding what he calls “telephone town halls” instead.

Baird said he’s using the new system because he fears his political opponents may be planning “an ambush” to disrupt his meetings, using methods Baird compared to Nazism.

“What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics,” Baird, D-Vancouver, said in a phone interview. “I mean that very seriously.”

I guess he forgot what “mean that very seriously” means. In the video he tells the Marine he never called them brown shirts (1:07). The quote above makes it clear he did make that statement.

He did apologize though. Right before he backtracked off of his disastrous decision to only hold tele-town halls (ala Harry Reid).

Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) apologized yesterday for accusing town hall protesters of “brown shirt tactics” and comparing them to a “lynch mob.”

Baird, who originally decided against holding town hall meetings because of expected protests, now says he’ll schedule some forums during the August recess.

“Frankly, I have had concerns about how we can have constructive dialogue and, unfortunately, in response to some of the things we’ve been seeing across the nation I have said some things myself that I regret,” Baird said, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

“I want to express that regret directly and announce that we will be holding a series of five town halls so people can express their opinions and ask questions.”

Baird made headlines last week by comparing town hall protesters to Nazi guards.

“What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics,” Baird told the Columbian. “I mean that very seriously.”

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Media Completely Manufactures Outrage Over Michelle Obama’s Shorts

Posted by Casey on August 20, 2009

Michelle-Obama-ShortsThe MSM has perfected manufacturing stories, and their ability is on full display right now with the totally fake story of “outrage” at Michelle Obama wearing shorts.

The biggest piece of irony here is that one of their own, Newsweek, is the one taking out the trash.

Michelle Obama wore shorts to visit the Grand Canyon. Have you heard? Everyone is up in arms—if by “everyone” you mean no one, or rather a large, shadow-y group of no ones.

According to the Today show, “some” are calling her fashion choice inappropriate—but the article quotes only those who support the look or, in the case of Washington Post fashion writer Robin Gihven, those who are “ambivalent” about bare legs for an August hiking trip in Arizona.

The Examiner declares Obama beautiful, then bemoans the fact that “some members of the media and the public” are upset. Who are those members of the media and the public? We don’t know—the article then goes on to endorse Obama and rebuke the nameless attackers.

Apparently, this all stems from a Google trend when the pictures surfaced. Then the Today show decided to create some water cooler gossip. They even packaged it for sale with Matt Lauer’s C grade acting, which was akin to him giving himself a brain aneurysm trying to understand why people would be upset. Nice touch Matt, but you’ve been exposed as a fraud.

This lie, like so many others, is working though. People actually believe that there are people upset about the shorts. Even though there is no evidence of such. One only has to read the comments at the bottom of the Newsweek article debunking this as nonsense.

Posted By: karmabites (August 20, 2009 at 8:25 AM)

People, she was on vacation in 100 degree weather, you want her to wear a linen suit??? She is a normal human and she has the right to wear what she wants when she wants and you see the way she dresses for important occasions. Wearing shorts is no big deal, makes her more like everyone else. Geez! Get a life and worry more about what this country needs to be strong!

Posted By: karmabites (August 20, 2009 at 8:50 AM)

It wasn’t an official trip they were on vacation! and I quote “And she most definitely does not need our permission to wear shorts.”

So Newsweek devotes two pages to debunking this story as a lie by a two bit morning show, and the people commenting didn’t take the 60 seconds to read it. Thus, the lie spreads.

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Is This It? Is Obamacare Dead?

Posted by Casey on August 16, 2009

All it takes is a little effort by citizens and for congressional representatives to actually read the legislation they are supposed to vote on. Suddenly, everyone gets a little nervous.

Fox:

Momentum behind a new government-run health care plan appeared to slow considerably Sunday, as a lead Democratic negotiator called the option a “wasted effort” and President Obama’s health secretary suggested the White House is ready to accept a health care reform package without it.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of six negotiators trying to hammer out a bipartisan compromise measure on the Senate Finance Committee, told “FOX News Sunday” that the so-called public option simply does not have the votes to pass.

“The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been,” he said. “So to continue to chase that rabbit I think is just a wasted effort.”

I don’t know about in other communities, but here in Vegas we have a couple of local talk show hosts who’ve been all over this before anyone else. For a couple months now Heather Kydd and Casey Hendrickson have been going over the provisions in the bill, and offering free copies of the bill to their listeners so they can read it themselves. They were the first I heard actually read the bill, and pick it apart.

Truth is there are three types of people involved in the health care debate right now. There are those that say anything would be better than what we have … they have no clue what’s going on. That’s an age old statement made by people who lack a substantive argument so they issue a broad, nonsensical statement.

Then there are those who simply attack any type of reform with insults, anger, and conspiracy theory. These are the few that are giving townhallers a bad name by being belligerent, and refusing to listen to anything. Some of the anger is justified when you have a politician lying to you, but they should be respectful towards their fellow citizens who support the health care bill. After all, if someone supports it … chances are they haven’t read it.

Finally, there’s the rest of us. Most people identify that there needs to be some reforms to the current system. However, you don’t destroy the who system when most people are happy with it, and you are just trying to provide coverage for less than 1% of the US population that needs insurance but doesn’t have it. Yes, we are only talking about less than 1% of people that can’t get insurance right now who want it. You don’t destroy a whole system for such a small segment of the population. You make reforms to help that segment. Logical people understand this.

We also understand that allowing the government to decide at the end of the year if we had proper health coverage is very dangerous. Especially when we will be fined for not having what the government deems proper coverage. They haven’t told us what would be considered proper yet.

This bill did nothing but establish penalties for us and private businesses based on arbitrary government requirements that have yet to be established. It also simply provided the government with the authority to set standards in the future. Which is why those who support it usually haven’t read it. It doesn’t tell anyone what coverage or benefits you’ll get … how can you support a bill that does little but advocate government penalties on you?

This never was about reform. It was only about an unconstitutional power grab. If they wanted to fix the problems with health care in this country … they could have. For much cheaper, and with little opposition. They didn’t choose that route.

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If The Government Sends You A Survey, You’d Better Answer It … Or Else

Posted by Casey on August 6, 2009

census handheld
Image by mmahaffie via Flickr

There is a second survey from the Census Bureau that is far more intrusive. If you consider not answering any of the questions … think again.

Source:

Three million Americans are being forced to answer intrusive questions about their private lives under threat of home visits and fines by the government in the guise of The American Community Survey.

The survey, which is sent to 3 million random homes each year, is in addition to the census but demands far more invasive information from citizens, such as how many times they have been married, if they have a toilet that flushes, and how much is left outstanding on their mortgage.

According to one North Texas resident, “The questionnaire also wants answers about where she works, how much money she makes, and what time she leaves for work each day – the hour and minute! “I thought it was intrusive. I don’t have a high regard for the federal government collecting this information anyway,” the woman told CBS 11 News. “You don’t know what they’re going to do with it.”

“Why do they need to know this? They don’t, in my opinion,” the woman said, before further stating that she thinks the personal questions are un-American. “Do they really need to know if we have a mortgage and whether this house is free and clear? That’s intrusive.”

The U.S. Census Bureau claims the survey helps them “determine where to locate services and allocate resources.”

If the person refuses to respond to the the survey or merely skips one question, then the Census Bureau promises that they will be fined and harassed until they do, a process that includes telephone calls and home visits.

However, it’s all hot air as no one has ever been charged with a crime for refusing to answer the ACS survey, and indeed several members of Congress have denounced the invasive questions as a violation of the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

It is a blatant violation of the 5th Amendment, but the government won’t ever let a little, insignificant thing like the US Constitution get in the way of data mining.

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Obama Advisor Urged “Zero Net Growth Population”

Posted by Casey on August 6, 2009

The greenies have been saying such things for a while now, and last week Oregon State University also said you should have less kids because they destroy the planet. The zero population crowd simply proves how hateful greenies are.

Now we are learning that another zero population advocate is advising President Obama as we speak. No, there’s nothing unsettling about this at all.

Source:

A top White House adviser to President Barack Obama argued that mankind eventually must face up to the need for a “world of zero net physical growth” and “population limitation” in an essay he co-authored that was included in a 1995 book on environmentally “sustainable” economic activity published by the World Bank.

John P. Holdren, who is now director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, co-authored the essay with Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford. Ehrlich has been a well-known population control advocate since he authored the 1968 bestseller, “The Population Bomb,” in which he advocated zero population growth. At the time the 1995 essay was published, Holdren was a professor at the University of California.

The essay—“The Meaning of Sustainability: Biogeophysical Aspects”—was published in the first chapter of “Defining and Measuring Sustainability: The Biogeophysical Foundations,” a book published in 1995 by the World Bank. The book is available as a PDF on the World Bank’s Web site.

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