Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama

Red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He stepped down from Mount Olympus at the Democrat National Convention.

Television news anchors felt tingles running up their legs.

Oprah cried.

MSNBC called him God-like.

Lewis Farrakhan called him the Messiah.

Colonel Gaddafi suggested the “Son of Africa” should be President for Life.

Some think he will replace their kitchen and pay their rent.

And now, New Jersey children are taught to think of Barack Hussein Obama when they hear the words of a children’s Bible School song:

Red, yellow, black or white
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Here are the complete lyrics and a link to the video of New Jersey children singing the song in a public school.

Video of Elementary School Children Singing "Mm, mmm, mm!"

Lyrics Taught in a New Jersey Elementary School
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

My stomach churns. Never before have I felt physically sick over any political event; angry, yes; disappointed, yes; afraid for my country, yes; physically sick, no!

Something is seriously wrong with people who buy into this stuff.

Few political leaders in recorded history have claimed to be God. Some Roman emperors made the claim. The emperors of Japan claimed descent from their primary Gods. But not even Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, or Mao made that claim. Kings and queens in Europe claimed they ruled by Divine right but they didn’t claim God-ship. Emperors of China claimed to rule with the favor of Heaven but they knew the favor could be withdrawn.

Iran’s mullahs say they for speak for God but, as far as I know, not even North Korea’s Kim Jung Il claims to BE God.

Obama and his supporters have created a cult that seems to literally worship him. And this in the United States of America whose ambassadors refused to bow to kings; whose flag is not dipped in deference to royalty.

Who are these people?

Are they the people who burned in Waco?

Are they the ones who drank Jim Jones’ Kool Aid?

Are they Moonies in linen robes selling flowers on street corners?

Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Who ARE these people?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Land of the Free & the Home of the Brave

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Francis Scott Key wrote these words referring to a specific banner flying over a specific fort that was then under bombardment by the British Navy with whom we were at war.

Today there many thousands of star spangled banners flying all over this great land. But the question is still a good one.

Does that star spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The banner waves – but is the land free?

Does a Constitution still limit the powers of government? Are we citizens or are we subjects? Do we own property or does the government allow us to hold it? Are we responsible for our own lives or is the government responsible for us?

Are the powers of the federal government limited and enumerated or are they whatever Congress and the Supreme Court say they are? Are powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution reserved to the States and to the People?

The banner waves – but does it yet wave over the home of the brave?

Will we stir ourselves to restore limited Constitutional government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Are we willing enough – brave enough – to do what is necessary?

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Links to Other Posts in the Special Report: Liberty is Radical

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ObamaCare: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Ignored – Part 5

This series on ObamaCare (as embodied by the July 14th, 2009 version of H.R.3200) has been overtaken by events. President Obama in his speech before Congress on 9/9/2009 asserted a willingness to make changes to “his plan”. He reiterated many portions of H.R.3200 but indicated a reluctant willingness to make changes to get a bill that can pass.

As a result, I will curtail my analysis of H.R.3200 and instead discuss reforms that could improve health care and health insurance for some without screwing it up for everyone else; Reforms in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath, “First, do no harm.”

The Ignored
1. Increasing Supply: - If between 10,000,000 and 50,000,000 people not currently insured become insured after some fashion, the demand for health care will increase. Yes, they already get health care thru hospital emergency rooms, but their consumption of health care will increase after they are insured. That’s the point of giving them insurance coverage in the first place.

Regardless of the form taken, the eventual health care reforms will cause rationing unless the supply of health care is increased. Prices will go up or waiting times will lengthen.

What it needful is an intentional opening up of medical schools of all types and encouragement for people to go into medical fields.

Identification of best practices and assistance in communicating them throughout the medical community will also help increase the net supply by making existing capacity more productive

2. Tort Reform: - Putting caps on civil malpractice judgments will not only reduce the direct costs of health care providers by reducing their liability insurance premiums. It will also increase available medical capacity by reducing the amount of unnecessary “defensive medicine”.

Tort reform does not mean eliminating malpractice suits. It does mean eliminating or capping punitive judgments over and above actual damages. Wronged patients must be compensated for their real damages including lost wages, but a malpractice suit should not be equivalent to winning the lottery.

3. Increase Health Insurance Competition: - Positively authorizing interstate commerce in health insurance will immediately create a market of between 1,000 and 1,500 health insurers competing against each other in all 50 states. Today, individual state regulations require insurers to be licensed by the state of the insured. They also require certain unique sets of coverage in each state. For these reasons most state health insurance markets have only 5 to 25 licensed health insurance competitors.

Increasing competition from 25 companies to 1,000 companies will assure real competition, real price pressure, and real productivity improvements. Increasing competition by one “public option” competitor will have little effect as competition (not counting the effects of the proposed tax incentives that would encourage employers to drop private health insurance plans in favor of paying an 8% additional payroll tax).

Still more ignored but actually useful reforms remain for future posts.

Links to Other Topics in the Special Report: Universal Health Care

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ObamaCare: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Ignored – Part 4

In Part 1 of this series I listed things in the house version of ObamaCare (H.R.3200) that I think are conceptually good and also some conceptually bad. Parts 2 & 3 highlighted parts of H.R.3200 that are downright ugly. Part 4 extends the list of the ugly.

The Ugly - Continued
8. Squeezing Hospitals: - Section 1103 requires acute care hospitals, nursing facilities, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, hospice facilities, and psychiatric hospitals to reduce costs annually based on a nation-wide business productivity improvement index. This will motivate these providers to cut corners, reduce services, reduce capital investment (to reduce depreciation expense) and tempt them to reduce the quality of health care overall.

9. Limitation on Physicians’ Services to those Covered in a Fee Schedule: - Section 1121 limits the services for which physicians will be paid by Medicare to a list of specific approved services that are to be detailed on a Physicians Fee Schedule. This is yet another method of preventing doctors from using their own judgment in recommended treatment options to you – the patient.

10. Establishment of Limits on the Rate of Increase in Payments for Services: - Section 1121 establishes a target growth rate in the payment of services. The target will be calculated in a manner that cannot be determined by reading the H.R.3200 but the target will be used to limit payments to providers so that the overall rate of increase in the aggregate payments will rise at a rate less than or equal to the target rate. This will further squeeze payments to doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers forcing them to reduce costs, services provided, and quality of care.

11. “There Shall be NO Administrative or Judicial Review”: - Six times in H.R.3200 groups of decisions to be made by new government agencies established by H.R.3200 are removed from ANY form of review. They will not be subject to review by the courts nor will any administrative body be established to review these decisions – they are absolute.

12. Limitation on Hospital Expansion: - Section 1156 limits, and in some cases prohibits, the expansion in the number of hospital operating rooms, procedure rooms, and beds. The rules applying to these limitations cannot be determined by reading H.R.3200. The effect of such limitations is inevitable rationing by bureaucratic command or by lengthy waits for service.

There’s still more ugly to report in future posts.

Links to Other Topics in the Special Report: Universal Health Care

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ObamaCare: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Ignored – Part 3

In Part 1 of this series I listed things in the house version of ObamaCare (H.R.3200) that I think are conceptually worthwhile and also some conceptually bad. Part 2 highlighted parts of H.R.3200 that are downright ugly. Part 3 adds to the downright ugly list.

The Ugly - Continued

4. Health Choices Administration: - Section 203 requires the Health Choices Administration to “specify the benefits to be made available under Exchange-participating health benefits plans”.

5. Coercion of Employers: - Section 313 requires additional payroll taxes of 8% of payroll on employers that do not provide qualified health insurance (QHBP). This tax is to be paid to the Health Choices Administration.

6. Advanced Care Planning Consultation: - Section 1233 requires “advance care planning consultations” if the patient has not had such a consultation with a health care practitioner in the past five years. “Advance care planning consultations” include

“An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such supports that are available …”

7. Patient Decision Aids: - Section 1236 establishes a demonstration project in which health care providers “shall routinely schedule Medicare beneficiaries for a counseling visit after the viewing of such a patient decision aid … and to assist the beneficiary in thinking through how
their preferences and concerns relate to their medical care”.

Patient Decision Aid is defined as “an educational tool (such as the Internet, a video, or a pamphlet) that helps the patients (or, if appropriate, the family caregiver of the patient) understand and communicate their beliefs and preferences related to their treatment options, and to decide with their health care provider what treatments are best for them based on their treatment options, scientific evidence, circumstances, beliefs, and preferences.”

Shared Decision Making is defined as “a collaborative process between patient and clinician that engages the patient in decision making, provides patients with nformation about trade-offs among treatment options, and facilitates the incorporation of patient preferences and values into the medical plan.

The wording of this section seems harmless but it is mandated, the results are to be recorded and submitted to a government agency - the Health Choices Administration, and the overarching purpose is to reduce the cost of health care. This adds up to a conceptually useful tool that is likely to used as a weapon to convince, cajole, and shame Medicare patients into “taking a pill instead of having the operation” in President Obama’s words.

There’s still more ugly to report in future posts.

Links to Other Topics in the Special Report: Universal Health Care