Debt, Jobs and Criticism—Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 19th, 2013

History 101

The Democrats used the Power of the Purse to oppose the Reagan Agenda wherever they Could

The left hated President Reagan.  They called him just a “B” movie actor.  With many references to Bedtime for Bonzo.   With the implication that Reagan was a chimpanzee.  He was called stupid.  Senile.  And they said he hated the poor.  The usual stuff when it comes to Democrats calling the opposition names.  But as about as demeaning as it gets.  For the Democrats hated Ronald Reagan with a passion.  They may have hated him even more than George W. Bush.  Another president they called stupid.  Even making similar chimpanzee references.

They fought Reagan tooth and nail.  The Democrats held the House and they used the power of the purse to oppose the Reagan agenda wherever they could.  So Reagan had to compromise on some things.  Especially tax hikes.  But for the most part he kept his word to the American people.  And maintained high approval ratings.  Making it harder for the Democrats to block all of the Reagan agenda.  Which just made the left hate him more.

It’s funny the short memories Democrats have.  For any criticism of President Obama is met with charges of racism.  And because of that few criticize him.  Because no one wants to be called a racist.  Giving President Obama a free pass for most if his presidency.  Something neither George W. Bush nor Ronald Reagan ever enjoyed.  Yet the left says the right says the most vile things about President Obama.  Unprecedented things.  Like calling him a liar when he lied during the State of the Union Address.  Which must be different from saying ‘Bush lied people died’ over and over again.

President Obama is on Pace to add more Debt than Ronald Reagan

Among the terrible things the left said Ronald Reagan was doing was running up the debt to unsustainable levels.  And he did run up the debt.  About 99.4% during his 8 years.  Or about 12.4% a year.  Much of that spending, though, was to reverse the damage Jimmy Carter did to national defense.  He had gutted defense spending so much (cancelling bombers and missile programs) that the Soviet Union thought for the first time that they could win a nuclear war against the United States.  At least with Jimmy Carter as president.  They actually started drafting nuclear first-strike plans to replace the deterrence of mutually assured destruction (MAD).  Anyway, that spending led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Allowing the U.S. to win the Cold War.  Giving Bill Clinton a huge peace dividend during his presidency.

Bill Clinton wanted to nationalize health care.  And it didn’t go over well.  His big spending liberal agenda got neutered at the midterm elections.  As he angered the people so much the Republicans won both the House and Senate.  Forcing Clinton to the center.  Dropping any thoughts of national health care.  With Republicans even forcing welfare reform on him.  The Republican Revolution kept spending down.  And the debt only grew 13.6% during Clinton’s 8 years.  Or about 1.7% a year.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks George W. Bush ramped up military spending.  For national security.  And two wars.  He also ramped up domestic spending.  Giving us Medicare Part D.  A program to subsidize the prescription drugs for Medicare recipients.  In the 8 years of the Bush presidency he added about 41.4% to the national debt.  About 5.2% a year.  Which sounded like a lot until President Obama came along.  A near trillion dollar stimulus bill that stimulated little.  Investments into failed solar power companies and electric car companies.  Automotive (i.e., union pension fund) bailouts.  In his 5 years in office Obama has raised the debt by 53.8%.  Or 10.8% each of his 5 years.  A little more than twice the rate of George W. Bush.  At this pace he will even add more debt than Ronald Reagan.  Adding up to 18.3% per year (over 8 years) if no one stops his spending.

Under President Obama the Gap between Black and White Unemployment grew Greater

President Obama said those ‘wise’ investments and higher taxes on those who could afford to pay a little more would generate economic activity.  His income redistribution would balance the playing field.  And raise the poor out of poverty.  While people everywhere celebrated the first black president.  For it would bring the races together.  This is why some on the right joked that President Obama was the messiah.  Because he was going to do all of that.  As well as make the ocean levels fall.  Black America especially loved the nation’s first black president.  As 95% of the black vote went to Obama in 2008.  Though the enthusiasm waned a bit in 2012.  As only 93% of the black vote went to Obama.  And how has black American done under the Obama economic policies.  Well, not as good as they did under the Bush economic policies (see archived data from Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age in the Employment Situation Archived News Releases by the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Unemplyment Rates by Race Age Sex 2003-2013 R2

The Great Recession officially ran from December 2007 to June 2009.  Which corresponds to the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama.  People often call the Great Recession the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Of course they say that primarily because the current economic recovery is the worst since that following the Great Depression.  And the reason for that is President Obama’s economic policies.

Unemployment was lower for everyone under Bush.  On average the unemployment rate for white/black men, women and 16-19 year olds under Bush was 4.2%/9.3%, 4.0%/8.2% and 14.7%/31.1%, respectively.  Under President Obama these numbers jumped to 7.8%/15.7%, 6.7%/12.2% and 21.8%/40.3%.  Which should give black America cause for concern.  For under President Obama the gap between black and white unemployment grew greater.  The gap between black and white men went from 5.1 to 7.9.  An increase of 55.6%.  The gap between black and white women went from 4.2 to 5.5.  An increase of 32.9%.  And the gap between black and white 16 to 19 year olds went from 16.5 to 18.5.  An increase of 12.7%.  So whatever President Obama is doing it isn’t helping America find work.  Especially black America.

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The NHS tells Doctors and Hospitals to get by on less while giving more Free Health Care to Foreigners

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 14th, 2012

Week in Review

The NHS must cut about £5 billion a year to save £15 billion to £20 billion by 2014.  So the pressure is on the health service to pinch every penny.  Ration every service to those who only really need them.  And disapprove services that people don’t absolutely need.  Unless, of course, they’re foreigners who don’t pay any taxes to fund the NHS.  Who can get whatever they want free (see Open door for health tourism: NHS bosses say doctors must treat all foreigners to protect their human rights… but GPs can still turn away BRITONS living too far from surgeries by Sophie Borland posted 10/12/2012 on the Daily Mail).

Health tourists must be given free treatment by GPs because it is their human right, say NHS bosses.

New guidelines tell doctors across England they must register any foreign patient who asks for care otherwise it would be ‘discriminatory’.

These include asylum seekers, overseas students or tourists coming for a short holiday. Once registered, they will be entitled to the same NHS care as all other patients and can receive free blood tests, jabs and – in some cases – free prescription drugs.

In fact, the new rules will give overseas patients more rights than those living in the UK who can be turned away from surgeries if they live a few yards outside its catchment area.

There are also fears the ruling will make it even harder for local patients to get an appointment.

Already half of patients cannot get an appointment with their doctor within 48 hours, according to the Government’s own figures…

One GP, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘I am not sure the British taxpayer should be paying for the world’s health treatment for free.’

Mr Skidmore has obtained figures showing that health tourists currently owe the NHS £40million in unpaid medical bills.

Dr Vijayakar Abrol, a GP who practises in Edgbaston, Birmingham, said: ‘The guidance is not worth the paper it is written on. We do not have endless resources. Why should we give these patients – be they from India, Canada, the US or Eastern Europe – free treatment?

‘We cannot go to those countries and get free treatment ourselves.’

Because it’s their human right.  According to the NHS.  Even though technically speaking health care isn’t a right.  For true rights have no cost to others.  Such as the right to free speech.  The right to believe in any faith.  These things people can do without someone else having to pay their way.  Not the same with health care.  As other people are paying for other people.  In other words, this right (health care) compels others to act against their will.  Spending their hard-earned pay not on their families but on the families of others.

How about that?  Half of all people who pay for the NHS can’t get an appointment with their doctor within 48 hours.  But foreigners can get free health care whenever they want.  This was one of the arguments they used to pass Obamacare in the United States.  They said we’re already paying for people who don’t pay for their health insurance as they fill our emergency rooms.  While they deny those emergency room resources to those who do pay for their own health care costs.  So we might as well force everyone to buy health insurance (until we can nationalize health care completely).  But even nationalizing health care won’t remove the problem of people getting health care for free.  Because if it did the NHS wouldn’t be spending £40 million ($64.3 million) on free health care for foreigners.  While at the same time trying to cut NHS spending by £20 billion ($32.2 billion) by 2014.

Something to look forward to under Obamacare.  Giving everything to everyone.  Even if they don’t pay.  Which will, of course, lead to cost cutting, longer waits, rationing and denials of health care treatment.  As they are in the NHS.  Unless you’re a foreigner who doesn’t pay into the system.

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The NHS prefers Midwives delivering Babies at Home while Hillary Clinton prefers Expensive Hospital Stays for Childbirth

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 3rd, 2012

Week in Review

The Clinton administration tried to nationalize health care with Hillary Clinton designing the system.  In secret.  Which didn’t go over well with the people.  They didn’t trust her or what she was going to do to their quality health care.  And rejected her and her health care plans within a year.  Before anything was ever passed into law.

The Obama administration was able to do what the Clintons could not.  Buy off enough Congress people to pass Obamacare.  All the while during this process to nationalize health care both Clinton and Obama attacked the private system.  The greed of doctors, hospitals, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies.  President Obama even saying perhaps Granny should take a pill to manage her pain while she dies instead of wasting money to try and save her life.  And despite this hatred towards the health care industry here’s Secretary Clinton in the Obama administration pledging aid for maternal health everywhere.  To allow them to have the same kind of expensive hospital stay Secretary Clinton enjoyed when she had her baby (see U.S., Norway pledge $150 million for maternal health by Arshad Mohammed posted 6/2/2012 on Reuters).

Recalling the 1980 birth of her daughter, Chelsea, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mused about how she would have felt had she not had a healthcare facility with skilled doctors and nurses and the equipment and expertise to handle emergencies.

Interesting.  How she wants everyone to have an expensive hospital birth just like she had.  While in perhaps the best know national health care system in the world, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), a health care system they would so love to see Obamacare evolve into, encourages women to give birth at home with a midwife.  Because child birth is not a life threatening disease and rarely requires hospitalization (see Midwives in push for more homebirths by Cathy O’Leary posted 6/2/2012 on The West Australian).

Homebirth supporters want to convince WA women and GPs that most pregnancies do not need a doctor to manage them, let alone an obstetrician.

They say WA women have among the highest rates of caesareans and medical interventions in the world and women are conditioned to see childbirth as an operation before a stay in a hotel-type hospital…

Childbirth educator Pip Wynn Owen said WA was way behind Britain where midwives handled most births and doctors took only risky cases.

“Doctors have done a good job of selling caesareans as normal and they like doing low-risk births, because that’s their bread and butter, when they should be concentrating on abnormal pregnancies,” she said.

“In WA, many women have private health insurance so they’re encouraged to choose a hotel-type hospital with their own doctor and private room…”

Private practice midwife Liza Kennedy said she was gobsmacked at the medicalisation of birth in WA when she moved from Britain five years ago. “There is a lot of sinister fear around birth perpetuated by the medical profession so women give away their power very readily,” she said. “Homebirth is made out to be odd when it’s the gold standard in terms of continuity of care and gives huge satisfaction.”

Pam Hogarth-Gray, 32, chose a homebirth for Sequoia five months ago after having her older children in hospital.

“It was amazing. I recovered in five minutes and felt like Wonder Woman,” she said. “I was glowing on a natural high and still am.

It would appear that childbirth in a hospital is more about the revenue than the birthing.  And yet the cost-conscious architects of Obamacare not only want American women to have their babies during expensive hospital stays.  They want to pay for women everywhere in the world to have their babies during expensive hospital stays. 

Giving birth isn’t a disease.  It’s painful.  And rather unpleasant.  And often is accompanied by an inadvertent bowel movement.  But it is a natural thing.  Much like breastfeeding.  Which liberals want to have mothers everywhere to do as much in public as possible instead of using high-tech formula.  But they draw the line on childbirth.  Because that is too complex not to do surrounded by machines and doctors and nurses.  Which I find amusing.  For one of my grandfathers delivered a child or two while my grandmother was sitting on the toilet at home.  Go back a couple of hundred years and all children were born at home.  Because there were no hospitals.  Which was the norm for some 200,000 years of our existence on this planet.  And here we are.  Our forefathers having successfully delivered babies at home for all those years to propagate the species.  To give us time to invent the expensive hospital stay.  After fire, farming and irrigation.  And a few other things more critical for our survival.

Perhaps the reason why Secretary Clinton wants women to have babies in hospitals is because she tends to look at pregnancy as a disease.  It would explain their aggressive policies on abortions and birth control.  To minimize the suffering from this unfortunate disease that can be brought about from having a good time.  For as those on the Left say these are women’s health issues.  And interfering with them is tantamount to resurrecting the plague.   Of course some 200,000 years of history would disagree with that.

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The International Fight against Universal Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 16th, 2011

The Most Effective Cost Control Mechanism is Market Forces

They keep saying that they’re not trying to nationalize our health care.  In fact, Obama promised that if you liked your doctor you could keep your doctor with the new Obamacare.  Of course, that decision won’t be entirely yours.  For your doctor may choose to drop you.  And if they keeping cutting Medicare doctor reimbursements, doctors will finally say enough is enough.  I’m outta here.  No more Medicare patients.  Which could force you to find another doctor.  Even though Obama promised that wouldn’t happen.

There’s a lot of talk about controlling costs in Medicare.  And there’s only one way to that with the current system.  You pay doctors less.  Which they are always trying to do.  Is that fair?  Put yourself in their position.  Would you keep seeing patients?  After doing what so few other people do (go to college, medical school, serve an internship and a residency after racking up huge student loan debt that has to be paid back at the same time you have to pay ever rising medical malpractice insurance premiums leaving you with little money to enjoy the first decade or so of your new medical career)?  Because some government bureaucrat says you’ve earned enough money?  All the while no government restrictions are placed on public sector pay and benefits?  To add the ultimate insult to injury, a lot of those same bureaucrats telling doctors that they’ve earned enough money and should be happy with what the government deems is appropriate will no doubt make more than the doctor.  With far less training.  And far less responsibility.  Which just ain’t right.

They like to blame the doctors for the runaway costs.  But they’re not the lone scapegoat.  They also blame the pharmaceutical companies.  The hospitals.  And, of course, the great ‘big bad’ in the health care industry, the insurance companies.  Whose costs keep going up.  Greater than the rate of inflation.  So the runaway costs in the health care system must be their fault.  Because they’re greedy.  It can’t have anything to do with the system we force them into.  Where third party payments shut out all market forces (the person receiving the service isn’t paying the bill), thus eliminating the only effective cost control mechanism.  And introduces government.  Making health care a public good.  Where non-health care government bureaucrats determine fair pricing, supply and demand.  And you know where that will lead to.  To the here and now.

Labour fights against Market Forces for the NHS in the UK

Government bureaucrats don’t like privatization.  Or market forces.  They’d rather manage things.  Because they’re smarter.  Narcissistic.   And they covet that money and power.  They want all those tax dollars funding health care to go through their fingers.  And having people dependent on them for their health care makes that a whole lot easier.  So when conservatives try to introduce effective cost mechanisms, liberals push back.  In the US.  In Canada.  And in the UK (see NHS bill to ‘substantively’ change, says Oliver Letwin posted 4/16/2011 on the BBC).

Labour wants the plans for the NHS in England, which encourage more private sector competition, to be scrapped.

Under the shake-up, GPs are also to be given control of much of the NHS budget.

To cut costs, reduce wait times and improve quality of the NHS, the UK is trying to decentralize the NHS.  Give more decision-making authority to the general practitioners (GPs) in the local communities.  Letting the local health care providers in the communities they serve determine how to best spend the NHS money.  Which, of course, is anathema to Big Government liberals.  Such as Labour in the UK.

Liberals fight against Market Forces for the CHA in Canada

Wherever you find national health care, you’ll find bitter partisan debate over the money paying for that health care.  Except in Cuba.  Or North Korea.  Luckily, for them, there are no opposition parties.  And no one complains about anything.  For they know better.  But Canada has a national funded health care system.  And opposition parties.  Which can get pretty nasty when they’re trailing in the polls (see Liberals drop gloves with attack ad on Harper’s ‘secret’ health agenda by John Ibbitson posted 4/16/2011 in The Globe and Mail).

Conservatives are reacting with fury to a Liberal attack ad that accuses them of harbouring a secret agenda to cut health care funding if they obtain a majority government.

“The Liberal ad uses some of the dirtiest tricks in the book — including twisting words out of context and deliberately altering dates to make old words appear recent,” Tory campaign manager Jenni Byrne wrote to party supporters in reaction to the new attack ad.

In America, the go-to strategy is to threaten Medicare.  In the UK it’s the NHS.  In Canada, it’s the Canada Health Act (CHA).  The reason is, of course, the sheer size of this budget item.  If you’re trying to cut a budget deficit, that’s where you do it.  Cuts elsewhere just won’t be big enough to matter.  And everyone knows it.

If Mr. Harper is given “absolute power,” the ad warns, he plans to cut $11-billion from the federal budget. “Where would Harper’s cuts leave your family’s health?” the narrator asks.

“The stakes are too high. Vote Liberal.”

So you threaten certain death for you and your family should the opposition get elected.  While all the time promising yourself to cut the deficit.  Which, of course, you won’t.  For it will require cuts in health care funding.  And you’re not going to do that.  For there will be another election.  Eventually.  Sure, it makes you a hypocrite.  But a hypocrite with a job.

The Conservatives do plan to cut government spending as part of their own plan to balance the budget, but they promise to do so without reducing transfers to provinces, including health transfers.

It is true that the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien cut funding for health care in the 1990s as part of its efforts to eliminate the federal deficit. Once the budget was balanced, the Paul Martin government signed a ten-year accord to increase funding by six per cent a year. The Conservatives, when they came to power, honoured that commitment, and pledge to continue the arrangement, as does Mr. Ignatieff.

Anyone living near the Canadian-US border only knows too well the consequences of painful health care cuts.  When doctors and nurses get pay cuts, they scoot across the border for higher paying jobs in the US.  Which makes Canadians’ long waits for health care even longer.  This is the ultimate consequence of national health care.  Cost problems you solve by rationing services.  Whether in the UK.  Canada.  Or the USA.

Massachusetts:  Blueprint for Obamacare

We have Obamacare now.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  There’s a popular movement to repeal it.  After it was snuck through Congress.  By the time people learned what was in it (long after Congress voted it into law), the majority of the population didn’t want it.  It’s a big reason why the Republicans won back the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections.  For the people felt betrayed by their representatives.  So they fired a bunch of them.  Except Nancy Pelosi.  Who the good people of San Francisco reelected with like 80% of the vote even though her national approval numbers as Speaker of the House were closer to 10%.  Which makes it clear that the San Francisco district she represents is an anomaly in the American fabric.  Where the people think against the national grain, so to speak.  But I digress.

Anyway, before Obamacare there was Massachusetts.  And their little experiment in universal health care.  Which now covers every man, woman and child.  Well, almost.  Only 98% are covered.  That other 2% are the state’s Republicans.  I’m kidding, of course.  I don’t know who that 2% is.  Except that they must be the most unlucky sons of bitches ever to live in Massachusetts.  To live in a state where everyone gets free health care and they still get bupkis.  Imagine how that would make you feel.

But even there, in that universal health care utopia, they have a problem.    They gave health care to everyone (except that unlucky 2%, the poor bastards) but they never figured out how to pay for it (see Massachusetts, pioneer of universal health care, now may try new approach to costs by Amy Goldstein posted 4/15/2011 on The Washington Post).

Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D) is trying to “shove,” as he put it, the health-care system here into a new era of cost control. He is proposing a new way of paying for care that would try to propel changes in the way it is delivered. It would give lump payments to teams of doctors responsible for almost all the care of a group of patients, with bonuses for saving money and dispensing high-caliber services that keep people healthy.

Interesting.  Sort of going the route of the GPs in the UK.  Decentralizing the health care system.  After they just centralized it.

Massachusetts in 2006 created a health insurance exchange, a requirement that most residents carry coverage and subsidies to help them pay for it — central elements now in the federal law. As a result, 98 percent of the residents here are now insured, the highest rate in the nation. But the state’s first round of health-care changes devoted far less attention to medical costs.

“We did access first,” said state Senate President Therese Murray (D). “Now we have to figure out how we afford that.”

Oops.  No doubt during the debate for universal care the opponents said something like, “Are you out of your minds?  You have any idea what something like that will cost?”  Which, of course, the proponents replied, “Don’t worry about it.  We have a plan.”  And that plan was apparently to get the law passed first then figure out how to pay for it.

Fee-for-service medicine “is a primary contributor to escalating costs and pervasive problems of uneven quality,” the commission unanimously concluded in 2009.

Despite the consensus, huge questions loom: Who should be part of the new medical teams? How would the idea work for most doctors who practice alone or in small groups? How much clout should the state wield to blunt the ability of powerful local health systems to drive up costs? And, importantly, how heavy a hand should the government use to compel change?

Fee for service is NOT the problem.  It’s never the problem.  If I want to hire a contractor to build a deck in my backyard, I’ll ask some contractors to quote their fee to build a deck.  If the prices are $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 for identical services, guess who I’m going to hire.  Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say that each of these prices are fair prices for each of these contractors because of their cost structure (e.g., one may have his office on the beach and pays ten times as much in property tax as the others and therefore has to charge more). 

Now in a system where the government steps in to make prices fair, let’s see what happens.  Say a bureaucrat gets three quotes and determines the fair price is $10,000 (the average of the three).  So the contractor who quoted $15,000 now has to build decks at $10,000 and lose money, eventually going out of business.  The contractor that quoted $5,000 will get rich making over a 100% profit on each deck.  And me?  I’ll end up paying twice as much as I had to for the deck.  This is what happens when you don’t let the market set prices.  You get a mess.

In the pressure-cooker of medical costs in the United States, Massachusetts offers a particularly vivid example. The spending per person on health care is 15 percent higher than the national average — even taking into account the comparatively high wages here and outsize role of medical research and training. The move to near-universal coverage, state figures show, accounts for a sliver of recent increases in insurance premiums, which have soared above inflation. The main reason has been a rapid escalation in prices.

“The growth is outstripping every single measure of society’s ability to keep up,” said Glen Shor, executive director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, which runs the insurance exchange.

So much for the theory of an insurance exchange being the panacea Obama claimed it would be.  For whenever has a bureaucracy been cost efficient?  Never.  It’s impossible.  You can’t manage an economy and do better than market forces.  It’s never happened yet in human history.  So why do some people (i.e., Big Government liberals) still think they can do a better job?  Oh, but we must remove filthy, nasty profits from health care.  This ‘public good’ deserves better.  It deserves the tender love of a caring government bureaucracy.  Not some evil corporation trying to maximize profits.  Of course, look at what happens when these corporations do just that.  Stuff we like and want to buy is plentiful and inexpensive.  But God forbid if we do that to health care.

Some doctors are embracing the new way of working. David C. Pickul is the medical director of the physicians group affiliated with Lowell General Hospital, in an economically bruised community about 30 miles northwest of Boston. The group is in the third year of a five-year “alternative quality” contract with Blue Cross involving a hub of 70 primary care doctors and a looser group of 200 specialists who are responsible for 20,000 HMO patients. The team now has a financial incentive, Pickul said, to track down patients when it is time for their mammograms or for eye exams for those with diabetes. Under Blue Cross’s quality rating, Lowell has soared the past two years.

Blue Cross is not alone. At Partners HealthCare, the famous Boston-based medical system that dominates health care here, Massachusetts General Hospital has been conducting a Medicare experiment in which nurses are assigned to coordinate care for about 2,500 older patients with multiple ailments. The experiment, which began five years ago, so far has reduced hospital re-admissions by one-fifth and cut medical spending by 7 percent.

“Frankly, the market has already . . . responded,” said Gary Gottlieb, Partners’ president and chief executive. “There is enough momentum for us to do this without instrumental regulation” by the state.

The governor and some other officials disagree. The need to lower costs, they say, is urgent enough that the government should step in, and they have been laying groundwork.

Financial incentive?  Isn’t that another word for profit?  And this pursuit of profits has done what?  Improved patient quality?  Reduced hospital readmissions by one-fifth?  And cut medical spending by 7 percent?  Amazing what will happen when you let the market respond.  What a success story.  But they want to do what?  Step in?  To lower costs?  After the market lowered costs already by 7 percent?  You got to be kidding me.  Whatever happened to if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?

And Alice Coombs, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, is especially concerned about physicians who work alone or in small groups, older physicians who might choose to retire rather than switch or new doctors who might leave for other states.

And how do you solve that problem?  With compulsory medical service.  Which universal health care coverage gives you.  If you worry about doctors opting out of a new cost-contained system, you make it impossible to opt out.  You simply nationalize health care.  Letting the doctors know, yeah, they may be miserable and unhappy with the new system, but you’ll be just as miserable and unhappy where ever you go.  So why move out of state?  For any where you go, we’ll be there.  Understand?  So just keep curing the people and stop your bitching. 

Sure will make all that medical school, internship and residency worth it, won’t it?

The Song Remains the Same

Liberals everywhere want to expand the size of government.  And a national health care is the holy grail of government expansion.  But everywhere it’s tried the same thing happens.  Cost and wait times increase.  Quality decreases.  And services are rationed.  Most people (especially liberals) want to blame the greed of those who work in health care.  So they come up with new ways to manage and control costs.  Which inevitably adds yet more layers of bureaucracy.  Which benefits liberal governments.  At the expense of the taxpayer.  And patients’ health.

But nothing they try works.  Costs keep going up.  For good reason.  Because the problem is not the greed of the health care people.  It’s the health care system.  There are no market forces in it.  Which is the most efficient cost control mechanism.  Of course, admitting this is an admission that Big Government has failed.  And liberals can’t have that.  So they fight.  Demonize.  And scapegoat. And try to scare the bejesus out of everyone by saying conservatives want to cut health care funding so they can kill your family.

Whatever the name, whatever the country, the song remains the same.  Conservatives will try to cut deficits by reforming the biggest budget item.  And liberals will fight them every step of the way.  Ultimately giving us a health care system with greater costs, longer wait times, lower quality and rationed care.  As demonstrated everywhere in countries with a national health care system.

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Broke and Inefficient: Medicare, Social Security, Liberalism and (soon to be) Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 15th, 2010

The Washington Post Thinks President Obama can be Great.  If he Quits being President.

The Washington Post says the American people have rejected President Obama and his policies.  But they still think he’s the bee’s knees.  The great man can still be great.  If he quits (see Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012 by Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell posted 11/14/2010 on The Washington Post).

Obama himself once said to Diane Sawyer: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” He now has the chance to deliver on that idea.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke repeatedly of his desire to end the red-state-blue-state divisions in America and to change the way Washington works. This was a central reason he was elected; such aspirations struck a deep chord with the polarized electorate.

But that’s not the reason the people elected him.  They simply didn’t know any better.  No one knew anything about him.  He had no track record.  No experience.  A barren resume.  Questionable associations with radicals.  And he went to church run by a racist and anti-American pastor. 

The liberal mainstream media simply failed to vet this candidate.  And now that he has governed as one would expect with such a past, the people have rejected him at the 2010 midterm elections.  As they would have during the campaign.  Had the media vetted him like they vet Republican candidates.  But they didn’t.  Because they were already in love with him.

Should the president do that, he – and the country – would face virtually no bad outcomes. The worst-case scenario for Obama? In January 2013, he walks away from the White House having been transformative in two ways: as the first black president, yes, but also as a man who governed in a manner unmatched by any modern leader. He will have reconciled the nation, continued the economic recovery, gained a measure of control over the fiscal problems that threaten our future, and forged critical solutions to our international challenges. He will, at last, be the figure globally he has sought to be, and will almost certainly leave a better regarded president than he is today. History will look upon him kindly – and so will the public.

No.  They won’t.  President Obama wasn’t succumbing to pressure from his liberal base.  He wanted to remake America into a quasi-socialist state like those social democracies in Europe.  The American people don’t.  Hence the 2010 midterm election results. 

More Obamacare Waivers to Companies that can’t Afford Obamacare

Obama lied during the 2008 presidential campaign.  He said he was a centrist.  He said he didn’t want to nationalize health care.  Well, after winning he said elections have consequences.  There would be no reaching across the aisle.  It would be his way.  Because the Republicans lost.  And what did he want more than anything else?  A Big Government takeover of health care. 

And he lied again.  He said they would provide health care to more people and bring total costs down.  Well, Obamacare forced private insurers to provide more benefits.  So, of course, they raised their premiums.  Some dropped children-only policies because Obamacare basically made those pure unfunded welfare.  And McDonald’s asked for, and got, waivers for their min-med plans.  As did others.  Why?  Because Obamacare increased the cost of those plans so much that they would have dropped health insurance for their employees without the waivers. 

Obamacare is forcing higher costs on others, too.  To date the government has issued another 111 waivers (see Approved Applications for Waiver of the Annual Limits Requirements of the PHS Act Section 2711 as of November 1, 2010 from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website).  And because the unions didn’t get the public option to offload their health care burdens, a lot of them want out of Obamacare.  They can’t afford it.  And if they can’t, you know others without big legal staffs who have no idea what’s coming can’t afford it either.

Medicare:  Broke and Inefficient

Besides out of control costs what can we expect with government managed health care?  Well, I guess we can look at government managed health care we have now.  Medicare.  And what’s it like working in that government run system (see Doctors brace for possible big Medicare pay cuts by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, posted 11/13/2010 on Yahoo! News)?

“My frustration level is at a nine or 10 right now,” said Wagner, who practices in San Antonio. “I am exceptionally exhausted with these annual and biannual threats to cut my reimbursement by drastic amounts. As a business person, I can’t budget at all because I have no idea how much money is going to come in. Medicine is a business. Private practice is a business.”

Yeah, well, she’s probably just another greedy doctor.

Last summer, when Congress missed the deadline for an extension, Wagner had to tap her line of credit to pay the salaries of her nurses and office staff. Medicare is only a fraction of her practice, but the cancer surgeon said private insurance companies also held up payments waiting to see what would happen. “I didn’t get a check in the mail for almost a month,” she said.

Well, maybe not.

Social Security:  Broke and Inefficient

How about Social Security?  Sure, that’s been flirting with bankruptcy for like forever.  But it works, doesn’t it?  On the benefit side?  Providing a swift and life-saving safety net for those most at risk?  Yeah, pull the other (see Social Security judges facing more violent threats by Sam Hananel, Associated Press, posted 11/14/2010).

Judges who hear Social Security disability cases are facing a growing number of violent threats from claimants angry over being denied benefits or frustrated at lengthy delays in processing claims.

And how long are they waiting?

Nearly 2 million people are waiting to find out if they qualify for benefits, with many having to wait more than two years to see their first payment.

Wow.  Even renewing your driver’s license is less painful than that.

Obamacare:  Soon to Become Broke and Inefficient

And this is what President Obama wants to give us.  He wants to take over health care and make it like Medicare and Social Security.  Chronically on the verge of bankruptcy.  And grossly inefficient. 

The social democracies of Europe are imploding under their own weights.  People are rioting.  Cities are burning.  And while they desperately try to reverse direction, Obama is dragging a reluctant America in the other direction while whistling a happy tune.  And unless history is a product of our liberal public school system, there’s no way in hell it will look kindly on the man that so greatly damaged America.

It’s not the partisanship causing the trouble in Washington.  It’s an ideology.  Liberalism.  Which is broke and inefficient.  It’s time to get rid of it.  And a good place to start would be to repeal Obamacare.  If he did that, perhaps history would look kindly on him.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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As Usual, the Democrats are Trying to Deceive the Voters to Get Reelected

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 24th, 2010

Yes, I Voted for Obamacare.  But I’m Really a Reagan Democrat.

America is a center-right country.  That’s why liberals don’t run as liberals during elections.  They lie.  And deceive.  They morph into something the people actually want.  Which isn’t who they are.  They move to the center.  They sound like conservatives.  Even invoke Ronald Reagan’s name during the election.  The leftist of liberals are all Reagan Democrats at election time.  Once the polls close, though, they go right back to castigating Reagan and his policies.  And scold us that we can’t return to the failed policies of the past.

Bill Clinton ran as a New Democrat.  But once in office he governed so far to the left that he lost both houses of Congresses at the midterm elections.  Barack Obama, too.  Well, is about to.  Lose super majorities in the House and the Senate.  Why?  Because he campaigned as a centrist.  And has governed as the most liberal president to date.

Obama did not run on the platform of nationalizing our health care.  But that’s the path we’re on.   Obamacare is forcing insurance companies to raise their premiums to comply, setting the stage for further attacks against these greedy corporations.  Some are dropping children-only policies because of the mandate to insure those with preexisting conditions.  With that mandate, no parent will spend money for insurance until their child needs health care.  Obamacare is full of such legislation that has but one purpose.  To kill the private health insurance industry.  To make way for the public option.  And, eventually, nationalize health care.  But he didn’t campaign that way.  Because the voting public clearly didn’t want this.

Don’t Look at My Liberal Legislative Accomplishments.  I’m Actually Against Everything I Voted For.

You see, liberals cannot be honest during campaigns.  They can’t say that their economic policies will make the recession worse.  And prolong it.  Which they have.  They can’t say they are going to raise everyone’s taxes.  Which they will after their commission reports after the election.  They will say that there is no choice but to raise taxes on everyone to reign in the out of control deficit spending.  And they can’t say that we will lose our doctors or the health insurance we like and want to keep under Obamacare.  Which we will.  They can’t be honest about these things and still win elections.  So they lie.  And they deceive.

And now here we are.  At the midterm elections.  If you have been following the campaigns across the country, you’ve no doubt noticed something.  Or, rather, noticed something that’s not there.  That is conspicuous by its absence.   Obama and his Democrat controlled Congress passed an enormous amount of liberal legislation in not quite two years.  And nary a Democrat is running on their impressive liberal legislative accomplishments.  In fact, some are now campaigning against their own legislative record.  Why?  Because they governed against the will of their constituents.  And it’s election time.  So now it’s time, once again, to lie.  To deceive.  And they found a new game this year.  Thanks to the Tea Party.

Oh, these people hate the Tea Party.  They came up with that pejorative ‘tea bagger’ to describe these people.  They did everything they could to mock and belittle these people.  Because these people scare them.  They’re educated.  They understand the issues.  And they know who these liberals are and see through all their lies.  So what’s the logical thing for these liberals to do during this election season?  Why, support Tea Party 3rd party candidates. 

Hello, I’m Devious.  Democrat Candidate for Office.  And I want to Deceive You

The Democrats are heading for a shellacking this November.  They’re desperate.  Especially poor old Harry Reid.  The consummate professional being beaten by some Tea Party hack.  Well, that’s how the Left views it.  So they’re turning up the devious this election.  The following quote comes from an article by Jim Rutenberg published 10/22/2010 at The New York Times on line (see Democrats Back Third Parties to Siphon Votes).

Democrats are working behind the scenes in a number of tight races to bolster long-shot third-party candidates who have platforms at odds with the Democratic agenda but hold the promise of siphoning Republican votes.

And, you’ve guessed it, these 3rd party candidates are balloted as ‘Tea Party’ candidates.  They’re competing against the Democrat candidate.  And the Tea Party endorsed Republican candidate.  That’s right, the actual Tea Party, the grassroots movement with that name, doesn’t endorse these ‘Tea Party’ candidates.

Democrat operatives are actually calling people, identifying themselves as registered Republicans, to promote these 3rd party candidates.  They’re trying to deceive registered Republicans into voting for the more conservative ‘Tea Party’ candidate in lieu of the ‘liberal’ Republican candidate.  If they deceive enough registered Republicans with this trick, they may just be able to Ross Perot their election (Perot was the 3rd party candidate that swept Bill Clinton into office).

Whether they do or not it sure says a lot about the Left.  They just can’t win elections honestly.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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