Monday, December 16, 2013

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND LIES

Some amusing images regarding ObamaCare, as the law has come to be known.
 
This first one was more relevant a few weeks ago, as people are (finally) able to access the site, although the geniuses who built it seem to have neglected the payment mechanism.
 
 

And let us not forget who to assign blame to in the months to come-they both insisted that the buck stops with them!



This one truly cracked me up...



....but this one is actually a little frightening...


We deserve what we get-Obama sold us a health care paradise with lots of free perks and lower costs, and shame on us-we drank the Kool Aid.

In 2014 we'll start paying the piper...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

'TIS THE SEASON

12 DAYS OF OBAMACARE on Huckabee


Unrelated to the above video-why do athiests celebrate Christmas?

Do you think they don't know that the name of the holidays begins with "Christ?"

Or do they not know there are large blocks of people who believe that Christ was related to God?

Or are they hypocrites who just want presents?

I'm just sayin-I would think that if you were committed to not believing in God, you'd boycott the Christmas holiday.

Maybe athiests don't know that "Santa Claus" is short hand for Saint Nicholas...


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ARE AMERICANS TOO DUMB TO LIVE? EPISODE SIX (PRESIDENTIAL EDITION)


Here's an economy discussion from an individual who has never worked in business, but only the government sector.

“It was Adam Smith, the father of free-market economics, who once said, “They who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged.”  And for those of you who don’t speak old-English -- (laughter) -- let me translate.  It means if you work hard, you should make a decent living.  (Applause.)  If you work hard, you should be able to support a family.

Now, we all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage.  Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers -- businesses will be less likely to hire them.  But there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.

Others argue that if we raise the minimum wage, companies will just pass those costs on to consumers. 

But a growing chorus of businesses, small and large, argue differently. “

-Barack Obama, December 4, 2013
For this post, I am willing to concede that no solid evidence exists to prove that a higher minimum wage costs jobs.
I hear arguments going both ways, but do not recall many McDonalds or WalMarts shutting their doors when the minimum wage has been raised in the past.
Of course, smaller businesses certainly may have done so, and unless they were record stores, I may not have noticed.
It is the President's second point, about the "chorus of business" who claim that they will not pass their costs on to their customers, that this post is focused on.
Setting aside the lawsuits from the shareholders of these benevolent companies that give away their profits, let me ask our Resident Kenyan one question.
Would the masterminds at the helm of these businesses be the same geniuses who needed government bailouts recently?
You see, Mr. Obama, if a business fails to pass its costs on to its customers, it finds itself in the situation of having expenses that exceed its revenue.
Kind of like if your mortgage was more than four times your weekly salary.
That is not a good position for a business to find itself in. Unlike the Federal government (the ONLY business you are familiar with), when a REAL business spends more than it takes in, it can't just print money and sell debt to China and leave a whole lot of debt for future generations to worry about.
It actually has to come up with a business plan.
And banks frown on lending money to business people who are too stupid to cover their costs.
And even a non-profit who has expenses higher than revenue will find itself in a situation known as bankruptcy.
Or for the President, who obviously is not the sharpest tool in the shed, think of them as OUT OF BUSINESS.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BLOGGER ERROR? (A Cry For Help)

Anyone know what this error message means?

ERROR: Possible problem with your *.gwt.xml module file.
The compile time user.agent file (gecko1_8)does not match the run
time user.agent file (ie9). Expect more errors.


I started getting it yesterday, but only on blogger.com.

I was going to blame the ObamaCare website....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

CAMELOT REVISITED




Both Susan at I THINK THEREFORE I YAM and CW at  TILTING AT WINDMILLS posted yesterday about the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, and I left very similar comments on their blogs.

I liked some of the thoughts I'd left on their comments sections  enough that I decided to paraphrase them here. I am also lifting a little of the JFK text from their posts because I am too lazy to go research it when they already did all the hard work.

Those who are old enough to remember the day JFK was shot remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news, and the images of that day seared into their memories.



I was too young to remember JFK- I would have just turned two when he was shot, a year younger than John John was when he saluted the casket in this famous photograph.

I was schooled in Catholic schools where JFK was revered almost as a saint. All I ever heard from the nuns was that he was the best president who ever sat in the oval office.

When I was older, I studied his presidency in some detail, and it did not live up to the hype (in my opinion).

A lot of questionable decisions (can you say Cuban Missile Crisis or Bay of Pigs?), and some luck, but no question a regrettable and tragic ending-I wish we lived in a world where people did not shoot other people they disagree with.

Was there a conspiracy? I do not know enough to comment. But there is no question that this was the ideal candidate to usher in the age of television and politics. Some of the quotes attributed to him are quite remarkable.



JFK seemed to be open-minded to both liberal and conservative ideas, something that the politicians of my adult life do not understand.

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

His most famous quote, also called for Americans to exercise personal responsibility and accountability rather than looking to their federal government for a safety net.




One of his actions (while I oppose it from a Constitutional viewpoint-taxpayers should not have been billed for it) was quite inspirational.



Before an American had been in space, John F. Kennedy challenged America to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

And America delivered.

I used to use this as an example of a "stretch" goal to my staff (a performance objective that is possible but may not be achievable in the near term)..

Setting aside my issues of constitutionality, this is quite an achievement. Americans striving for something, working towards a goal.

What has America strived for since?




Low-calorie Twinkies?



Hatchbacks on our SUV's that automatically adjust in height so they do not get scratched by the garage door (which is also automatic)?



Thinner iPads?

JFK had vision that inspired people-and that is a rare quality in the candidates that seem to make it through our political process.

You can't even say Obama inspired people when you recall all those teary eyes at his first inauguration.

HE did not inspire those people-any successfully black candidate would have sufficed.  

There is a funny story that Susan recounts about JFK's Berlin wall speech where the media later claimed that he'd made a linguistic faux pas by declaring to the German people Ich bin ein Berliner.

He was intending to say, "I am a Berliner," but unbeknownst to JFK, a Berliner happens to be a type of jelly donut made in Berlin, so the medial reported that he'd said "I am a jelly donut." 

Decades later it was revealed that according to multiple evaluations of the speech by Germans, the way he said it actually indicated, "I am one with the people of Berlin," which is exactly what he wanted to say.

And which is exactly how the Germans received it.

None of the ridicule leveled at him ever came from the Germans-which should have been a clue.

But even if JFK had made a grammar error, it doesn't matter.

Maybe the nuns at my school were right to revere JFK after all, even if it was for the wrong reason (they did because he was Catholic).

Because who doesn't love a jelly donut?

Friday, November 22, 2013

YOU KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO PLAY IT....



With his approval rating in the toilet, his Obamacare legacy crumbling and his minions deserting him, our fearless commander-in-chief enlisted Oprah Winfrey to play the only card left in his hand.

The race card.





In Britain to promote her film "The Butler," Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC last week. Not surprisingly, she promoted her movie about race relations in the White House with comments about race relations and the White House.

The BBC's Will Gompertz asked: "Has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he's faced and some of the reporting he's received is because he's an African American?"

Who gave Gompertz his questions-Winfrey's PR team? 


Winfrey responded: "Has it ever crossed my mind? … Probably it's crossed my mind more times than it's crossed your mind. Just the level of disrespect. When the senator yelled out, 'You're a liar' — remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he's African American."

Here's a clip of the interview:


I have never liked Oprah Winfrey. I hate her as an actress, I thought her show was fluff, and I have always felt she (like many black celebrities) looks for racist motives in order to sensationalize whatever agenda she is furthering.

Wasn't her performance here Oscar-worthy? The feigned insult, the faked anger...bravo!

I agree that Rep. Joe Wilson should not have shouted "You lie!" (whether or not it was a lie) at the president during his healthcare address to Congress. 



Show me the evidence that Wilson was motivated by racism.

You cannot.

Why?

It is simply nonexistent.

However, a lack of evidence hasn't stopped countless liberals, editorial boards, pundits and stand-up comics, not to mention administration officials, from propagating the idea that Obama's problems boil down to the irrational bigotry of his opponents.



For example, when Kathleen Sebelius told the NAACP that the same people who opposed the Civil Rights Act and anti-lynching laws were opposing Obamacare, that was obviously based on a scientific study she had made of the Obamacare opposition, because liberals would never lie if it suits them, right?

Sadly, though, this administration cannot even sling mud competently (or build web sites, establish border security, forge birth certificates, bring troops home, balance budgets, rebuild an economy or implement effective health care reform).

In the early 90's, when President Clinton tried to transform health care, conservatives were just as opposed to it. 

How interesting that then, conservatives were not considered racist. 



Or anti-Redneck.

I am curious, though-what was the motivation for the bile thrown at Bush for eight years?

Yep, GW was a cracker, but he was shown PLENTY of disrespect by these liberal asswholes who pretend to be above mudslinging. 

I see-when it's a WHITE president, you can question his performance, but if you question the performance of a BLACK president, you're a racist.

For the record, I do not consider myself a racist.

I do think that an incompetent Marxist got elected president. Twice.

And his performance proves he's not too good at the job.

Are there racists in Washington?









Possibly.

But characterizing opposition to a failing bill that was steamrolled into law, and where the incumbent president has refused to consider any modification suggested by the opposing party, as racism, is a heck of a leap.





But you know what is NOT a leap, Oprah, you ignorant slut (to borrow a phrase from Dan Aykroyd)?

Blindly supporting everything someone says or does simply because he IS black?

THAT'S RACIST!




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

THOSE DARN CONSERVATIVES!



 
President Barack Obama blamed Republicans on Tuesday for contributing to the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare insurance plan and said it will be hard to “rebrand” Obamacare after his administration fixes a website used to sign up for the program.

 “We should have anticipated that that would create a rockier rollout,” Obama told a Wall Street Journal conference.
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said.

Later this week, I'll be posting about the administration being so beat down on health care reform that they're playing the race card again, but I had to put this up.

This is the most desperation I have seen by a president since the latter days of the Carter administration.
 
Can any Obama supporter provide any proof that it was the GOP who kept telling Kenya's favorite son to ignore the fifty kajillion or so warnings about the website not being ready?
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA'S CAJONES?

What has happened to people in America?

Are we really all this thin-skinned and politically correct?

First, a steroid-infused behemoth checked himself into a hospital for emotional anxiety and whined to the NFL about being bullied (see my post HERE), and now it appears that all 1.354 billion people in The People's Republic of China have declared war on Jimmy Kimmel.

Last month, for a segment on the juvenility of the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, host Jimmy Kimmel convened a panel of first graders, one of whom offered the above advice as the best way out of our debt to China.

Kimmel laughed uncomfortably, said “That’s an interesting idea,” and moved on.

That statement was a small part of the skit, and it was obviously a joke.

Poor taste, for sure, but a JOKE.

This clip shows the offending statement, but not the whole skit, so you do not get a feel for how small a part of the skit it was-this was not a skit about bashing the Chinese.

But after the segment aired, the show began to receive complaints from Chinese-American groups. ABC apologized first, then Kimmel himself, and the segment has been removed from the website and yanked from future broadcasts.





But the backlash continues.
A petition on WeThePeople.org calling for an “investigation” of the show reached the 100,000-signature threshold needed to trigger a White House response. A
nd last week, multiple protests were held in numerous U.S. cities, with some signs comparing Kimmel to a comedian of the 1930's, Adolf Hitler.
Can I stop here?

Jimmy Kimmel is NOT a Nazi.

Jimmy Kimmel is not Hitler.

To portray Jimmy Kimmel as either a Nazi or Hitler as such is simply wrong-and quite frankly, in my opinion FAR WORSE than the statement he made that started this mess.

He didn't write the skit. He didn't say the line (he did repeat it). And it was in jest.

The people portraying him as Adolf Hitler are not making a joke.

They are serious.

And if I were to point a finger, which country, China or the United States, has had more violations of human rights over the past few decades?

I'm just saying...

On November 12 on CNN, an Asian-American accounting professor (see-you simply can't trust those accountants*) said she did not feel Kimmel's MULTIPLE apologies were real apologies.

She also said she feared that Americans were going to treat the Chinese the way they treated the Japanese during World War II (relocating them and incarcerating them).

If this woman was not obviously Asian I would have assumed she was Jonathan Martin's sister.

Really? Can someone explain to me how she goes from a bad joke on a late night TV show to fearing that she'll be sent away to a camp?

Next she'll say Kimmel's skit bullied her.

Jeremy Blum, a writer for the South China Morning Post, thinks the backlash has gone too far, and was now operating out of “mob mentality.”

“As angry groups of Chinese Americans continue to wage war over a matter that’s now more than a month old, I can only wonder if this commotion is truly worth it,” Blum wrote.

Blum noted that the bit had no intention of attacking Chinese people, but was meant to lampoon the American government, and that Kimmel’s response—which many say was worse than the six-year-old’s statement, as Kimmel should have known better—was less than met the eye.

Thank you, Mr. Blum for being a voice of reason.

What more do these protestors want?

Is firing Kimmel really enough?

Perhaps he should be made to personally pay back the US debt to China.

Not enough?

Obviously, the only way to achieve justice now is to kill Jimmy Kimmel. And it should be televised on his own show**!



But that event, although it would make for good television, might be considered extreme and will probably not be sanctioned by the FCC, let alone the politically correct Muslim Kenyan socialist ass who sits in the Oval Office.

So maybe these people need to develop a thicker skin. After all, he did not say this to THEM! How many of them ACTUALLY WERE WATCHING?

And if you were watching, why not turn off the idiot box and go to sleep?

These protestors are looking for drama and looking for attention.

I'd like to recommend to any Chinese Americans who really fear that this skit is an indication of  a resurgence of Nazi politics and an indication of the camps to come, that there is a place where they can move where I guarantee that there will be no persecution of them for being of Chinese origin.

It's called China***!

I am not jingoistic.

I'd rather see you all take a deep breath, accept this for a joke made in poor judgment, and move on.

But if you insist on creating drama, blocking traffic with senseless protests, making Hitler comparisons and whining about detention camps that were shut down almost seventy years ago, all because of a JOKE...

...well I'll be happy to help you pack.


*before you start comparing me to Hitler, I am an accountant, so I get to make accounting jokes with impunity

**ABC may have actually considered this to boost ratings

***ditto on the Hitler comparisons here-one of my in-laws is a Chinese-American, and while I have not asked her, I will bet she hasn't lost much sleep over the whole affair. Now having a member of the family of Chinese origin may not entitle me to make jokes about moving to China without impunity, so feel free to boycott this blog and all of its sponsors.

Friday, November 15, 2013

OBAMA'S LEGACY CRUMBLING?




In a display of backpedaling that would have earned him a spot in the Tour de France, President Barack Obama yesterday asked health insurance companies to allow individuals whose current plans have been canceled due to the Affordable Care Act to renew them for a year.

Obama’s concession after months of refusing to bend comes as a small but growing number of congressional Democrats joined the Republican chorus that legislation is needed to preserve the policies being eliminated.

"Insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," Obama said. "This fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people. Doing more would require work with Congress."

And we can’t have the President working with Congress, can we?

Obama's health care reform law has been under siege since its faulty rollout on Oct. 1. HealthCare.gov, the online portal for health insurance shopping in more than 30 states, hasn't reliably worked during the first month and early enrollment figures came in well below expectations.




 In the meantime, millions of consumers have been notified that their insurance policies don't meet the health care law's standards and will be discontinued next year, in violation of Obama's vow that his law would allow people to keep their current coverage.

"That's on me," Obama said. "We fumbled the rollout on this health care law."

Ya think?

Under the policy Obama announced Thursday, health insurance companies will be permitted to extend current policies, even though they don't comply with Affordable Care Act standards for benefits and financial protections, for their customers into next year. Insurers won't be allowed to enroll new customers into these extended policies, Obama said.

This proposed solution could be problematic for health insurance companies that have already eliminated the current plans from their books of business and would have to recreate them.

With less than a month and a half to do it.

With two major holiday weeks occurring during that month and a half.

And I seem to recall some people liking to take time off during November and December.

Health insurance companies ultimately will be responsible for deciding whether to carry out Obama's new policy, which puts the onus on them. "The Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan," Obama said.




Let’s pause here and reflect.

Our favorite Kenyan national sees his legacy implemented and become a cluster-f#@k one day one.

He waits 45 days to wave the white flag and admit he screwed this up.

And he lays the burden of fixing his mistakes on the insurance companies he was trying to put out of business in the first place.

And it’s up to the insurance companies, who have been cast as the villain in this debate from DAY ONE, to save the day.

But if they decide not to try to accomplish this or simply cannot in 45 days (several of them holidays) , Obama says you can’t blame his pet project?

Excuse my French, but bull-fucking-shit!

But wait-there’s more!

Enabling a portion of the health insurance market to stay outside of the health insurance exchanges could cause higher premiums for those using the new marketplaces.

 If healthier people with lower medical expenses avoid the exchanges and purchase policies with less generous benefits, the exchanges would attract a relatively older and sicker population, the health insurance industry has warned.

So what those zany guys like Rand Paul were saying in an effort to “sabotage” health care reform is COMING TO PASS JUST LIKE THEY WARNED.




Obama’s mistake?

He cannot recruit good people.

His minions can’t force birth certificates, they can’t draft legislation, they can’t build websites, they can’t even write very good speeches.




But America’s Messiah vowed to press ahead with implementing his law, and reiterated that the health insurance market needs reforming to guarantee stable health insurance coverage. "I make no apologies for us taking this on," he said. "Because somebody sooner or later had to do it."

Yeah, but somebody else might not have had his head up his arse!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

HEALTH CARE: WHY DOES IT HURT (OUR BUDGET)?

While I am very much against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it has become know, I still give Mr. Obama credit, as I did with the Clintons, for at least trying to do something about the barriers that impede access to health care in the US.

While I have heard different opinions on plans in other nations (I worked with a French national for several months who could not say anything good about the plan in gay Paris, but had a recent exchange of comments on the Tossing It Out blog with a lady from Canada who loves her plan), I am against a Federal plan simply because that is not one of the powers delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution.

I also think that the debate is focused on giving Americans insurance, and insurance clouds the issue.
 
Insurance is a transfer of risk.
 
We drive cars, we acknowledge we may be liable if we cause an accident, so we buy insurance to indemnify ourselves from that liability.
 
We buy iPads, we acknowledge that we may drop them, so we buy insurance to cover that loss (I don't actually-those point of sale plans are incredibly profitable for insurers-unless you have a history of breaking stuff, don't let them scare you into it).
 
We need health care, we acknowledge that we may be so sick that the cost will be catastrophic, so we buy insurance to cover those costs.

The Obama solution, and the Clinton solution before that was predicated on two assumptions that I disagree with.

(1) Everyone is entitled to health insurance
(2) Health insurance is an employer's responsibility

I would posit that health care is an individual's responsibility, and while I would disagree that everyone is entitled to health care, I think that should be the discussion.

Because the sooner we get past the insurance discussion, the sooner we can talk about the true problem with health care in America.

It costs too much.


Our health care system is famous for its excessive costs, with drugs costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and costly heroic care efforts at the end of life.
I have been one of many who put these extraordinary services forth as an explanation for our $2.7 trillion annual health care bill, but it turns out that the high price tag of ordinary services may be the bigger driver.

I read in a series of articles on medical costs about a recent colonoscopy at a surgical center on Long Island, where a gastroenterologist assisted by an anesthesiologist and a nurse performed the routine cancer screening procedure in less than an hour, and billed $6,385.
That is fairly typical: in Keene, N.H.,a colonoscopy was billed at $7,563.56, a Chappaqua, N.Y. screening generated $9,142.84 in bills, and in Durham, N.C., the charges came to $19,438, which included a polyp removal. While insurers negotiated down the price, the final tab for each test was more than $3,500.
In many other developed countries, a basic colonoscopy costs just a few hundred dollars and certainly well under $1,000. That chasm in price helps explain why the United States is the world leader in medical spending, even though numerous studies have concluded that Americans do not get better care.
Colonoscopies offer an interesting study, as they have become the most expensive screening test that healthy Americans routinely undergo.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that more than 10 million people get them each year, adding up to more than $10 billion in annual costs.
Largely an office procedure when widespread screening was first recommended, colonoscopies have moved into surgery centers.
Outpatient surgery facilities were created as a step down from costly hospital care. I worked for an insurance company that owns a large group medical practice, seeing more than 150,000 patients annually in more than 20 locations in a major metropolitan area.

In the 1980's, we added these outpatient facilities to keep our patients out of costlier inpatient settings (we were also the insurer at risk on most of our patients). 
 A funny thing happened. In the 1990's, with a lot of capacity in our outpatient surgery facilities, we realized we could use them to generate revenue.
And all  across the healthcare industry, outpatient surgery centers became a lucrative step up from doctors’ examining rooms. Colonoscopies, for example, are now billed like a quasi operation.
The high price paid for colonoscopies results not from top-notch patient care, according to interviews with health care experts and economists, but from business plans seeking to maximize revenue; haggling between hospitals and insurers that have no relation to the actual costs of performing the procedure; and lobbying, marketing and turf battles among specialists that increase patient fees.
While several cheaper and less invasive tests to screen for colon cancer are recommended as equally effective by the federal government’s expert panel on preventive care,  and are commonly used in other countries, colonoscopy has become the go-to procedure in the United States.
 “We’ve defaulted to by far the most expensive option, without much if any data to support it,” said Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
If the American health care system were a true market, the increased volume of colonoscopies — numbers rose 50 percent from 2003 to 2009 for those with commercial insurance — might have brought down the costs because of economies of scale and more competition.
 Instead, it became a new business opportunity
When popularized in the 1980s, outpatient surgical centers were hailed as a cost-saving innovation because they cut down on expensive hospital stays for minor operations like knee arthroscopy. But the cost savings have been offset as procedures once done in a doctor's office have filled up the centers, and bills have multiplied.
Hospitals, drug companies, device makers, physicians and other providers can benefit by charging inflated prices, favoring the most costly treatment options and curbing competition that could give patients more, and cheaper, choices.
The United States spends about 18 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, nearly twice as much as most other developed countries. The Congressional Budget Office has said that if medical costs continue to grow unabated, “total spending on health care would eventually account for all of the country’s economic output.” The CBO identified federal spending on government health programs as a primary cause of long-term budget deficits.
While the rise in health care spending in the United States has slowed in the past four years — to about 4 percent annually from about 8 percent — it is still expected to rise faster than the gross domestic product. Aging baby boomers and tens of millions of patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act are likely to add to the burden.
The amounts that employees and employer collectively pay in premiums would be more than sufficient to cover a family’s medical needs in most other countries. Many Americans have habits or traits that arguably could put the nation at the low end of the medical cost spectrum. Patients in the United States make fewer doctors’ visits and have fewer hospital stays than citizens of many other developed countries. The American population is younger and has fewer smokers than those in most other developed countries. Pushing costs in the other direction, though, is that the United States has relatively high rates of obesity and limited access to routine care for the poor.
A major factor behind the high costs is that the United States, unique among industrialized nations, does not generally regulate or intervene in medical pricing, aside from setting payment rates for Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs for older people and the poor. Many other countries deliver health care on a fee-for-service basis but they set rates as if health care were a public utility or negotiate fees with providers and insurers nationwide, for example.

Consumers (the patients) do not see prices until after a service is provided. There is little available data to help consumers shop for price, and since patients with insurance (normally) pay a tiny fraction of the bill, there is little incentive for the consumer to try to lower costs.
Even doctors often do not know the costs of the tests and procedures they prescribe. When Dr. Michael Collins, an internist in East Hartford, Conn., called the hospital that he is affiliated with to price lab tests and a colonoscopy, he could not get an answer. “It’s impossible for me to think about cost,” he said. “If you go to the supermarket and there are no prices, how can you make intelligent decisions?”
Instead, payments are often determined in countless negotiations between a doctor, hospital or pharmacy, and an insurer, with the result often depending on their relative negotiating power. Insurers have limited incentive to bargain forcefully, since they can raise premiums to cover costs.
As a result, Americans pay more for almost every interaction with the health care system.
Our utility companies have to get their rates approved.

Maybe instead of focusing on how give everyone insurance, a better strategy might be to look at actually controlling costs.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SEBELIUS UNDER FIRE

In an exchange with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas., Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated Wednesday that it was possible convicted felons could be hired as ObamaCare ‘navigators,’ giving them access to personal information like Social Security numbers and addresses of anyone signing up for the program.

Sebelius made the admission during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, the second time in a week she was on Capitol Hill, forced to defend the problem-plagued ObamaCare website.
“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check,” Cornyn asked her.

“That is true,” Sebelius answered. “States could add in additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.”
Cornyn pressed, “So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?”

Sebelius answered, “This is possible.”





The last time Sebelius testified before a House committee, she fell on the sword, personally apologizing for the failures.
“Hold me accountable for the debacle,” she said. “I’m responsible.”

Lawmakers from both parties have harshly criticized the health insurance exchange website rollout and her agency’s lack of foresight about the massive problems.
 

 
Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts called for her resignation. He spoke at length during the hearing, expressing his disappointment at the lack of information provided to Congress throughout the website’s development – including some warnings of problems ahead by government investigators.

“In short, Madam Secretary, I believe you were given advice, counsel and warning from experts inside your agency and out that the health care exchanges were not going to be ready. Furthermore, I believe to protect the administration, you chose to ignore these warnings, and as a result, you have put our entire health care system and one-sixth of our economy in jeopardy.”

“You have said America should hold you for — accountable, which is why today, Madam Secretary, I repeat my request for you to resign,” he said.


 
 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the abrupt retirement of the chief information officer, in the first high-level departure since the botched HealthCare.gov launch last month.

In my opinion, the computer glitches should not be the focus.

In the past, I’d have said the focus should be the constitutionality of the bill, but quite frankly, today’s admission concerns me.




The idea that my employer is required by the federal government to perform background checks on all employees who handle personal health information (we subcontract with Medicare health plans), but the federal government does not impose the same requirement on their own employees is one I find very alarming.
With identity theft as rampant as it is, we're not going to screen who we allow to access our citizen's personal information?
Doesn't that seem a little short-sighted?
Can't this administration do anything right the first time?

PATRIOTISM


Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

RON PAUL ON LIBERTY

I've posted a lot recently about how the second amendment is there to protect the people from the government.

I like how Ron Paul says it.




“Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. 

When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. 

America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. 

Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.”


― Ron Paul