Thursday, June 25, 2009

Healthcare...the first of many posts

First, let me say that if Mark Sanford doesn’t resign as Governor, then the people of South Carolina must come together and demand that he resign. Not only did he violate the trust of his family and his constituents, but he also abandoned his responsibility as chief executive. You can’t just disappear for a few days without word, without notifying someone of how to contact you. Had there been some sort of disaster that required the Governor’s response, what would have happened? That is dereliction of duty and Sanford must resign as a result.

The other day I happened to catch Michael Moore’s “Sicko” on cable. Luckily, I didn’t spend any money on this nonsense. This film is one of the most dishonest, deeply deceiving propaganda flicks ever produced and since Obama is pledging to reconstruct our healthcare system I figure it’s time for this post.

I think the number of uninsured is somewhere around 47 million. The problem with that number is in the details, which also brings up the problem of covering them all. Statistics show that about 25% of the uninsured are illegal immigrants. Another 25% are people who already qualify for some form of government insurance but have not taken the time or the effort to apply for it. And yet another 25% are people who make over $50K a year. So, that really puts things into perspective. Do we really have a problem with lack of health insurance coverage?

I guess it depends on your ideology. Should the US taxpayer be responsible for paying for the medical care of illegal immigrants? I say no, even though we already pay for it when free care is given at your local ER. Regardless, advertising it would be a bad idea. There is no better reason to break the law and come to America illegally than to get free medical care.

And what about those who make over $50K. I think if you paid a visit to their homes you would find things that don’t fit the description of “necessity”. How many flat screen TVs would you find? How many satellite dishes, or cable boxes? How many riding lawnmowers? How many SUVs? The point is, we tend to view healthcare as a right that should be provided by the government and not a responsibility for us to provide for ourselves. We purchase luxury items without thinking twice, but cringe at the idea of paying $500 a month for health insurance. Call me insensitive or whatever, but the bottom line is that most people who make over $50K can afford health insurance but simply choose not to. It’s that simple.

And what of those who already qualify for gov’t aid? This brings the real motives of the pro-universal coverage folks into light. You see, if they were truly concerned about getting people healthcare then they would focus more effort on educating and enrolling these people who can already get healthcare from the government. It would be less difficult and certainly less expensive since the money has already been allocated. But that’s not the case. The universal coverage folks don’t really care about insuring the uninsured as much as they care about controlling as many people as they can. If you depend on the gov’t for healthcare, then you have sold those who provide it your vote. Dependence begets servitude.

Obama wants to change to a pay-for-performance model for doctors. In short, we get paid for quality of care rather than quantity, which tells me Obama knows absolutely nothing about healthcare. Outcomes depend on patient compliance. If I see a diabetic, I can follow the standard of care and maximize that person’s treatment but it will be completely fruitless if that person doesn’t do what I say, and under Obama’s plan I will be paid less because of it. This will create a system where patients who are non-compliant won’t be able to find any doctors willing to see them, and then we’re back to square one. Bad idea, Mr President. Perhaps you should actually consult with some doctors before you advance your plans to fix the healthcare system.

And let me address one statistic that Moore and the rest of the universal-coverage loons love to parrot. The US spends 17% of GDP on healthcare and ranks 50th in the world in life-expectancy. They love this statistic. For some reason they believe that the amount of money spent is directly related to life expectancy, and any discrepancy in these numbers suggests a deficiency in healthcare quality. In their eyes, the more money we spend should translate into a longer life expectancy, and that’s the rationale behind the need for universal coverage. This is preposterous.

It wouldn’t matter if we spent 100% of our GDP on healthcare, we’d still have a poor life expectancy. Why? Well (for lack of better terms) Americans, in general, have a tendency to be fat, lazy, tobacco-addicted, drunken whores. We overindulge in things that are bad for us. Our diets are terrible, we don’t exercise, we play too many video games, spend too much time on facebook, drink too much alcohol, smoke too many cigarettes and have too much sex with lots of different people. This leads to disease, which ultimately leads to death. Giving us all universal coverage will do little to change that. That’s why some third world countries who spend less on healthcare have higher life expectancies, because they aren’t filled with fat, lazy, tobacco-addicted, drunken whores. We have a poor life expectancy because we have trouble controlling our vices. Simple as that.

A more pertinent statistic would be obesity rates, which tend to be inversely related to life expectancy and directly related to healthcare expenditure. The higher the obesity rate, the lower the life expectancy and (because of disease caused by obesity) the more money is spent on healthcare. But don’t count on the universal coverage loons to parrot that one…especially not Michael Moore.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unrelated but equally disturbing

Here is a brief timeline:

Sept 18, 2008 – Illinois Senator Dick Durbin was present in a closed meeting between Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and key Congressional leaders. In this meeting, Paulson and Bernanke asked Congressional leaders to devise legislation aimed at helping troubled banks

Sept 19, 2008 – Durbin dumps his stocks and mutual funds into the open market at a total of $115,000. He then used a portion of that money to invest in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Within a few weeks, his total investment into Buffet’s company was nearly $100,000.

I seem to remember Martha Stewart going to jail for something similar.

Iran supposedly re-elected Ahmedinejad as predicted and, surprise, there are serious questions regarding the election process. As a result, many Iranians are now engaged in protests against the regime. Those protestors were recently engaged by the Revolutionary Guard and seven people were killed. As of this post, President Obama has yet to issue a statement supporting a peaceful democratic process, has yet to say anything in support of those who are protesting for a fair and transparent election process.

This is unfortunate. Obama says he doesn’t want the US to appear as though we are “meddling” in the affairs of other countries. How ridiculous? The US has always stood for liberty and democracy, even and especially when such a stance – in the eyes of some - amounted to “meddling”. Iran is a nation under tyranny. We have an obligation as human beings to speak out against it. Supporting those who demand fair and transparent democracy is not meddling, it’s simply the right thing to do. If other countries don’t like it, then those countries aren’t on the side of liberty. Nobody’s asking Obama to send in troops, but a statement supporting the protestors would be nice. He is the leader of the free world and is therefore obligated to support those who support liberty. The message he sends is that you’re on your own if you want liberty in Iran.

When Chinese students took a stand for democracy in 1989, George Bush was quick to voice his support. He even called for sanctions when the Chinese military steamrolled the protestors. Obama is wrong…terribly wrong.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Iranian elections and illegal poker money

Today, the people of Iran will select their president. Ahmedinejad is running for re-election and apparently the election experts tell us that the race will be close. Yeah, right. I just heard someone on the radio talking about this. He was formerly with the Israeli foreign ministry and was able to shed some light on Iran’s election process.

When the people in Iran vote they don’t have a ballot like we would think. There are no circles to fill in, or holes to punch, or fancy electronic machines that help through the entire process. No, the people in Iran have to go into the polling station and write down the name of the candidate, fill-in-the-blank style, whom they want to vote for. The problem is that 20% of Iran’s citizenry is illiterate. So the government provides election volunteers to “help” these people cast their vote. They ask the voter who they want to vote for and then write that person’s name down on the paper – or so it seems.

And somehow we’re supposed to believe that this will be a fair election, and that when Ahmedinejad wins he will have been legitimately elected?

And since I’m writing about government corruption, I think it’s appropriate to include this link regarding the federal government’s recent action to freeze winnings from online poker sites. The fed has ordered banks to stop paying winnings to private citizens, and since these banks are effectively owned by the government they must comply with the order. This is not company money, it does not belong to the individual website, it belongs to individual people – and it was obtained legally. I thought the Constitution forbade the seizure of private property without due process, but then again when has the Constitution ever stopped the government from fulfilling its own agenda? Once again, liberty has suffered a little bit more. Perhaps the next step will be voting with fill-in-the-blank ballots.