Category: Health Care

The Follies Begin

Last night, the Senate passed a budget resolution. This budget included the first step in repealing Obamacare: setting the situation so that key parts can be repealed by reconciliation. Contra the Left, this did not repeal any part of Obamacare; it set the stage for repeal.

The budget has significant issues, mainly in that it adds $9 trillion in debt over the next ten years, with no significant cuts to spending or entitles and no tax increases or changes. That’s just the baseline right now. If Trump is serious about enacting a giant tax cut when he gets into office, we could be staring down $20 trillion in debt over the next decade, a budget hole that makes Obama and Bush look like models of fiscal rectitude.

As for the Obamacare repeal, I am against a naked repeal of the bill without a replacement in place. Simply repealing the law would throw insurance markets into chaos, throw at least 20 million people off of insurance and roil a sixth of our economy. Indeed, a number of people — including hospitals, insurance companies and state governors — are lining up against a naked repeal for just this reason.

The model I prefer is repeal and replace, enacting a new healthcare reform act. There are several proposals out there but the problem here is getting it passed as one bill. Democrats will oppose and while Obamacare can be repealed with a simple majority, a new bill can not be enacted without a supermajority.

That brings us to the current strategy which is called “repeal and delay”. The idea is that the GOP would repeal Obamacare now, sunsetting it in two years. That would give them two years to come up with a replacement and put Democrats in the position of either supporting the GOP bill or letting Obamacare die.

It’s also one of the most reckless things I can imagine.

Look, we’ve been here before. We have seen Congress enact laws to try to force future Congresses to make tough choices. And it always been a disaster. Because there is no reason to think that future Congress will be any bolder or smarter than present Congress. So we enact tax cuts hoping to “starve the beast” — a trick akin to eating a huge slice of cake to try to force yourself to go the gym. And deficits explode because Congress decides massive debt is politically easier than spending cuts. We enact a sequester thinking that such a dumb way of cutting spending will force Congress to do it more wisely. And the sequester is enacted anyway because choices are hard. “Repeal and delay” is simply shoving 20 million people out of an airplane with a vague promise that you’ll get a parachute to them at some stage.

Trump appears opposed to “repeal and delay” as do many key members of Congress. But they can only delay so long as we are already seeing the beginning of a death spiral in individual insurance markets. This is a problem I have been shouting about ever since Obamacare passed: the GOP needed an alternative. Not a bunch of conflicting vague plans, but an actual plan that the entire caucus had agreed to.

My prediction? I think Trump isn’t so dumb as to think “repeal and delay” is a great idea. I suspect what will happen is that the GOP will pass a series of fixes to Obamacare to gradually repeal and replace it with a sounder and more market-oriented system (step one: allow insurance to be sold across state lines). And as long as it gets rebranded “Trumpcare”, I expected the President to go along with it.

Update: There’s a great tweetstorm from Justin Amash — rapidly becoming one of my favorite members of Congress — about why he voted against the bill.

To read it, click on the date at the bottom of the tweet and then scroll down through the points he makes.

$9 Trillion in debt! WHO YOU GONNA BLAME?

Read the title of my post as a spoof on the whole Ghostbusters song – the good one from back then, not the idiotic PC reboot that Hollywood douched us with last year – because it is appropriate. The other day another old democrat crone was asked for an explanation of why the country accumulated $9 trillion plus dollars in debt with absolutely nothing to show for it (a lot of vote buying there and Hillary still lost), and Pelosi, in her grandeur, blamed Boosh. I am starting to think Boosh might be some kind of inhumane super fiend, because the guy can do everything impossible.

Let’s all sign it, baby: If the left is called out on something bad, who ya gonna blame? “George BOOSH”! Catchy…

Here we go:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blamed former President George W. Bush and the Republicans on Friday for the more than $9 trillion that has been added to the national debt under President Obama’s watch.

Pelosi argued that under Obama, the annual budget deficit, which contributes to the national debt, has been reduced dramatically, and said that without Obama’s work, the national debt would be even higher. She also mostly blamed Bush for not paying for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That same old tired trope again. Obama was great for the economy! Boosh’s Wars! This crap has to be because Pelosi knows for a fact that it was Boosh that bombed the twin towers. She must also think (or want everyone to believe) that it was Boosh whom unilaterally decided to invade Iraq. Thusly, poor godsend Obama struggled to end those evil wars, by losing them, and only managed to start conflicts all over the place – because of Boosh’s mind control, according to Pelosi (or was that all because of the evil Noble Peace Prize whispering in his ear?) – destabilizing the ME and the world in the process, had to spend all that money. It could never be that congress, mostly when it was totally controlled by democrats, felt obligated – probably because of Boosh’s evil super powers, again – to spend trillions more than the broken economy the democrats left us with after their social justice home-loan lending schemes imploded, so they could engage in buying votes, enriching special interests, and fattening donkey campaign coffers.

“When President Obama stood on the steps on the Capitol eight years from next week, the [budget] deficit was $1.4 trillion — one year deficit,” she said. “It’s reduced by 70 percent in his administration. Much of the increase in the national debt that has occurred from this time still springs from two unpaid-for wars, cost that we owe our veterans following that, giveaways that they gave to the pharmaceutical industry, and the high-end tax cuts that have carried forward without any job production. Absent the work of President Obama, this national debt would be even higher.”

Pelosi has some gall. Let me point out that $1.4 trillion dollar deficit was done by the congress she ran after the 2006 election, which remind everyone overrode evil Boosh to spend that money. Those of us that understand who decides how tax payer money gets spent, and who can sign for it or veto it, that is, if they can avoid that congressional override. Based on her own words, we are left basically connecting her accusations of that money being given to fat cats, with her. But somehow it still is Boosh’s fault they did that. Then you got this:

Pelosi noted the work done by former President Bill Clinton to balance the budget or leave a surplus.

You mean the work done by Newt Gingrich, thrice before it stuck? Gingrich dragged the smarter Clinton kicking and screaming away from the leftward turn his people and that crime syndicate capo he married for political convenience had been driving us for the first 2 years of his administration, and dismantled a lot of the horribly costly and wasteful welfare state. I wonder how that expensive welfare state fared under Obama, and if that coupled with the depressing and miserable Obama economy might have more to do with?

And then we have the other shoe about to drop: Obamacare. A monster that is poised to bankrupt America, if it is not slain soon. I bet Pelosi would like us to believe that was also Boosh’s fault even though not a single republican voted for this monstrosity and Boosh was on his ranch in Texas clearing brush. This is the Obama legacy, but the tools want you to believe someone else is responsible for 8 years of amateur hour.

Lets all sing it now: If you are a democrat, and you get called out on being crooks, who ya gonna blame? “George BOOSH”! If someone points out, you fucked America over good, who ya gonna blame? “George BOOSH”!

Catchy indeed. That Boosh guy is the most powerful villain in human history I tell you..

It won’t go away

And while the DNC operatives with bylines are trying their best to ignore the reality, we are forced to use foreign sources to again point out that Hillary got away with a huge number of crimes because Obama would have gone down with her. From the article:

It appears US President Barack Obama lied to the US public when he said that he found out about Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal on the news, with new leaked emails from Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta seemingly contradicting Obama’s version of events.

Included the 18th batch of the Podesta Emails, released by WikiLeaks, is a March 7, 2015 email sent by Clinton spokesperson Josh Schwerin to communications director Jennifer Palmieri, press secretary Nick Merrill and others, referring to comments Obama made about the Clinton email scandal.

No, it doesn’t appear to be the case that Obama lied: Obama lied. His presidency, after promising transparency never seen before, has been about one where they have foisted lie after the lie on the American people. If you were still wondering why Hillary was running for the office of POTUS instead of making license plates in an orange jumpsuit, then you now have the obvious answer: Obama made sure she walked because he would have gone down with her.

Crooks the lot of them. They have destroyed our economy, wrecked healthcare, pissed away trillions buying votes with one government scam after the other, abused the office, destabilized the world and made it a far more dangerous place – the usual suspects will of course love you to buy their lies that was done by someone else I will not mention despite the fact that our Nobel Peace Prize winner now has 5 concurrent wars going onwrecked the relationship with America’s allies while kissing up to its enemies, with little or no success to change their hatred and hostility towards us or their abuses of that trust, ground our military into the dirt, and emboldened some of the most frightening and dangerous actors on the planet to challenge stability. The man has been a complete failure. And he was aided in doing all this crap by Clinton, whom now wants to double down on the same policies and go even further than Obama. But our election remains about people with little credibility saying Trump saying bad things to women!

Go figure…

It’s confirmed! Obamacare ‘s real purpose was…

So, those of us that pointed out Obamacare was designed from the start to fail, so the collectivist scumbags could force an unwanted single-payer system on us, and that they would do so in a way that would allow them to blame others for this horrible monstrosity that became law on a party-line vote, have been vindicated:

An email leaked by WikiLeaks Tuesday appears to suggest that Hillary Clinton wants the Affordable Care Act to fail — presumably as a pretense for implementing single-payer, government-controlled health care.

In a chain between Clinton and her senior policy adviser Ann O’Leary titled “Memo on Cadillac Tax for HRC,” Clinton said she’s open to changing her position on the Cadillac Tax — but that the Republican plan to repeal it must pass.

“Given the politics now w bipartisan support including Schumer, I’ll support repeal w ‘sense of the Senate’ that revenues would have to be found,” Clinton wrote. “I’d be open to a range of options to do that. But we have to be careful that the R version passes which begins the unraveling of the ACA,” she continued.

There is no “presuming” that they want failure so they could implement an generally despised single-payer system: that has been the objective from the start. This is how the left gets things people would never accept otherwise: create a catastrophe, then demand they be given even more power so they can be the ones allowed to fix it. Remember the housing crisis and financial markets collapse? More of the same.

Controlling healthcare, currently 1/6 of the US economy, and having the power to make life and death decisions, is incredibly appealing to the people that see the power in government control of institutions that can be used to keep the sheep in line. If it is not obvious to you that once government controls healthcare it will be used as a tool to quiet or control political enemies, just look at the IRS and DOJ scandals.

This must be what they meant when they made the ludicrous claim Obamacare would make healthcare affordable

So the WaPo is running an article titled “Obama administration may use obscure fund to pay billions to ACA insurers” which basically tries to make the criminals in the WH look like heroes, because they have found a way to circumvent congress and the will of the plebes:

The Obama administration is maneuvering to pay health insurers billions of dollars the government owes under the Affordable Care Act, through a move that could circumvent Congress and help shore up the president’s signature legislative achievement before he leaves office.

Justice Department officials have privately told several health plans suing over the unpaid money that they are eager to negotiate a broad settlement, which could end up offering payments to about 175 health plans selling coverage on ACA marketplaces, according to insurance executives and lawyers familiar with the talks.

The payments most likely would draw from an obscure Treasury Department fund intended to cover federal legal claims, the executives and lawyers said. This approach would get around a recent congressional ban on the use of Health and Human Services money to pay the insurers.

I mean, why not? Aren’t these the same people that paid off Iran and lied about what they were doing to convince people that had stopped Iran from pursuing a nuke and missiles to get them on target, only for us to find out Iran is going right ahead with more of the same and now also grabs US citizens as hostages, because these morons will pay ransom money to avoid us finding out we were had? Isn’t this the same administration that told the FBI to let that criminal Clinton break the law and commit acts that should have resulted in her inability to ever hold any kind of security clearance as well as spend time in an orange jump suit making license plates, because if they had gone after her Obama would have gone down too for knowing this was happening and then lying about not knowing? It was this administration that has set new records for law breaking and abrogation of powers to the executive after the lot of them spend 8 years whining about evil Boosh and promising they would fix everything and also be totally transparent about it?

The lesson here is a simple one: never trust the left. They are liars, crooks, and will always do whatever it takes, because to them the end justifies the means. Nothing should frighten you more than some credentialed collectivist twit telling you they are doing something to help you. What they are doing is to help themselves, and you are sure to be fucked over in the process, sooner than later. Guaranteed.

The Public Option Returneth

With the collapse of the Obamacare exchange markets imminent, the Left Wing is calling for the return of the “public option”. The public option would be a single-payer system run by the government that would “compete” with private insurance, supposedly without subsidies to make things fair. According to the Left Wing, this is “only way” to return competition to the Obamacare exchanges, many of which have shrunk down to a single insurer.

It’s all lies. They know it’s all lies. That entire paragraph above can be exploded with two words: state lines.

For years, the Republicans have advocated that health insurance be sold across state lines, rather than within fifty restricted markets. The reason is very simple: in many states, there is no competition for insurance. In Alabama, for example, Blue Cross is a virtual monopoly, controlling 90% of the private insurance market. Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines would allow at least the big insurers and preferably dozens to compete in every market in America. It would destroy the virtual monopoly many insurance companies enjoy. It would not be a silver bullet — establishing networks of doctors and hospitals is arduous. But it would help.

Democrats have opposed this, claiming that it would cause a “race to the bottom” as employers sought the worst insurance possible. Apart from the bald cynicism, this is hysterical bullshit. We already have established federal guidelines for minimal insurance standards.

But the public option talk exposes several lies at once. The Democrats claim that the public option would not be subsidized. But the public option has a built in subsidy which is … the ability to be sold across state lines. And I would expect other non-subsidy subsidies to follow suit: forcing doctors to accept it; hiding administrative costs in other parts of the government (as Medicare does); exemption from federal and state regulations that drive up the cost of private insurance.

Obamacare was Stage One of moving us toward a single payer healthcare system. Obama said as much himself. The public option is simply Stage Two. If the Democrats wants single payer, then they should advocate for single payer. I’ll oppose them, but at least that would be honest. The public options is simply an attempt to sneak single payer in through the back door.

That was the plan from the start

For those that don’t get it, the people that foisted the Obamacare monstrosity on us see this as a feature, not a problem:

When Aetna Inc. announced that it would withdraw from three-quarters of the states where it offers Affordable Care Act exchange plans, the move wasn’t entirely unexpected: The company had signaled its woes early this month.

But the decision by one of the nation’s largest health insurers AET, -0.20% to withdraw from 11 of 15 state exchanges follows similar moves by UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -0.38%, the largest U.S. health insurer, and Humana Inc. HUM, +0.00% , another large health insurer.

The string of bad news marks a tidal shift for the ACA. Where insurers, including Aetna, had once planned on exchange expansions next year, many are instead curtailing their coverage.

Aetna’s pared-down 2017 exchange participation “raises further questions about the long-term viability of the ACA marketplaces,” said Susquehanna analyst Chris Rigg.

Aetna explained the decision as a way to “limit our financial exposure moving forward,” after pretax losses of $200 million in the second quarter and losses totaling $430 million on individual products since January 2014. The company did not specify what portion of the losses was attributable to individual public plan offerings.

The company criticized the ACA’s “inadequate” risk-adjustment mechanism, which is meant to limit insurers’ losses as they start covering sicker individuals. It’s a common criticism from health insurers, which have long said that the risk-pool program isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, though others say big insurance companies should instead change their model to keep costs down.

You know what? Even though I have investments in Aetna funds, I can’t say I feel sorry for them. They were stupid enough to buy the lies the crooked democrats told them, and this is on them. There is no way to make a system that allows people to not join and pay until they have a serious condition – and the penalty never comes to the level of pain one faces buying this shit because of the over regulation of this product – work financially. Why the fuck would someone young not opt for the penalty and only sign up whenever the shit hits the fan later in life, huh? And Aetna should have remembered this, but they bought the nonsense and figured they would somehow make it work. Idiot the lot of them.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that all this hand wringing, now that Obamacare is doing exactly what those of us had pointed out it was designed to do when we saw it being put together, is bullshit. Obamacare was designed from the start to destroy the American healthcare system. All that talk about cost reduction or containment, helping people out, and especially making things better while allowing those of us that were happy to keep what we had, was just that: talk. The plan the left has been running with is single payer healthcare controlled by an all powerful government from the start, and this monstrosity was put together to facilitate that while fucking over the people that would otherwise never accept the single payer idea until the system had fallen apart.

I bet that this is what accountability under Obamacare looks like too..

If there is one thing our government has gotten absolutely awesome at during Obama’s tenure, it is one agency offering criminals in another cover. In an example that should leave every idiot that has made the case that health insurance companies are evil an unaccountable with that look idiots have when they are caught humping their dogs, we find out that nobody at the VA paid for either abuses or mismanagement. It is the age of big government after all:

Two Department of Veterans Affairs administrators in Phoenix who were suspended at the outset of a crisis over delayed patient care will return to work Monday, 19 months after they were put on paid leave and given termination notices.

Lance Robinson, associate director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, will be assigned as a strategic planner at the VA’s southwest regional office in Gilbert, known as VISN 18, according to spokeswoman Jean Schaefer. Brad Curry, the system’s chief of Health Administration Services, will serve as a health systems specialist.

The two men have been focal points in a controversy over the VA’s perceived failure to hold leaders accountable for mismanagement and misconduct that caused a breakdown in care for veterans in Arizona and nationwide.

In recent weeks, members of Congress assailed the VA and interrogated Undersecretary David Shulkin at an Arizona field hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, demanding to know why no action has been taken.

Under questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Shulkin testified that the VA has been unable to complete internal investigations of the two men because the U.S. Attorney’s Office prevented interviews with key witnesses amid a criminal investigation.

But in a letter this week to the committee chairman, Robinson’s attorney, Julia Perkins, said Shulkin’s testimony was inaccurate. Perkins said federal prosecutors turned down a criminal referral months ago, and her client has been through more than 12 hours of internal VA interviews. She said VA bosses realize they cannot make a legal case to fire Robinson.

Shulkin and other officials at VA headquarters have refused to comment on those assertions.

McCain said Friday he was not aware Robinson and Curry were returning to work until informed by The Arizona Republic.

I guess they are all above the law, because the law, of course, is for the little people! We need Hillary in charge. That will certainly change this sordid shit, right? Have no doubt that this is exactly the future of government controlled healthcare. The people in charge will only face justice when they piss off the democrat cabal (like the godfather in Chicago), and the service will suck ass. But SJW can all virtue signal because now we have healthcare for all. That the quality of that healthcare will be far lower than anything we have today and cost far more, will not factor in.

Science, baby!

I have often wondered why a simple solution, kind of like this one, was never thought of. From the article;

Imagine being able to go to the doctor and having any plaque that had built up in your arteries removed in an afternoon.

It sounds pretty high-tech, but researchers have come up with a conceptual device that could do just that – possibly saving lives in the process.

The technology is still just an idea for now, but the video above shows how it might work. Let’s hope someone decides to develop this one further.

Follow the link, and look at the video. For all its complexity and wonder, the human body is nothing but another machine, albeit a biological one, and it doesn’t seem to be too far fetched to think that some common real world solutions that apply to mechanical machines couldn’t be adapted for our bodies.

I remember when I was doing work on my EE masters degree, shiz, more than 20 years ago, when I actually worked with a professor that went on to use the then new and emerging MRI technology to implement an idea I had brought up in class after talking to a couple of friends in the medical field: use an MRI machine to create a 3-D image of a human, and then, use VR to let doctors do test operations or analysis before doing actual invasive work. I recently read an article that this was now a capability being marketed to the real world.

Now if we could just come up with something that would allow us to find those poor people infected by the collectivist mental disorder and cure them of that horrible affliction.