Archive for ‘health care’

July 30, 2009

Will Dems Euthanize ObamaCare?

“The term ‘fiscally conservative Democrat’ is an oxymoron,” says Monique Stuart, who has a point. The Blue Dogs are the Oxymoron Caucus, but they are important enough to Nancy Pelosi that they were able to delay the ObamaCare onslaught:

A group of fiscally conservative House Democrats announced Wednesday they had reached a deal with the chamber’s Democratic leaders on a bill that would revamp the nation’s health care system.
Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, speaking for four of the Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that the agreement called for the panel to begin debating the bill later in the day, but for the full House not to vote until after the August recess.
Ross and the Blue Dogs had threatened to derail the bill in the committee because of concerns that it costs too much and fails to address systemic problems in the nation’s ailing health care industry. It was not immediately clear Wednesday if other Blue Dogs beyond the four represented by Ross would agree to the deal he announced.

More at The Hill, Roll Call and Politico, which scores it a victory Democrats for committee chairman Henry Waxman. True, the compromise allows the bill to move forward, but it is in some sense a small victory for opponents of socialized medicine.

It would have been a big victory if the Blue Dogs had told Waxman to shove the bill up his oversized nostrils. However, delay is delay, and slowing down this monstrosity buys more time to organize opposition, as the American Spectator‘s Philip Klein notes:

But by delaying the full House vote until September, it means that there will still be time for Blue Dogs to change their mind on the final bill if they take a lot of heat from their constituents during August recess.

In trying to rush this mess through Congress in July, the Democrats were making a very cynical move. Almost nobody pays attention to politics during the summer, so if Obama could ram a bill through before the August recess, it would be a fait accompli before most Americans had a clue what it was all about.

Today in Washington, I talked to a conservative communications strategist who pointed out the Democratic strategy: Forcing opponents to fight health care and card-check and Waxman-Markey all at the same time. It’s a tough fight, and the Aug. 22 Recess Rally is a chance for everyone to help.

Advertisements
July 29, 2009

Oh, no! Save America from thedreaded ‘bipartisan consensus’!

Two of the scariest words in the English language:

An emerging consensus among a bipartisan group of senators is poised to shift the dynamic in the congressional debate over health-care reform and could lead to a final product . . .

Every Republican vote for such legislation is a nail in the coffin of the GOP. If your state has a Republican senator, you must tell them that if they vote in favor of this “deal” — in committee, in procedurals, in the final roll call — it is a deal-breaker, a betrayal of the Reagan legacy.

Michelle Malkin has details of a planned “Recess Rally” Aug. 22 to speak out against this “bipartisan consensus” monstrosity.

KILL THE BILL!

July 26, 2009

Romney, Health Care, Federalism

by Smitty (h/t Powerline)

Fox has a story about the Massachusetts health care plan being a political sea anchor for Mitt Romney:

Massachusetts is struggling to keep the state’s groundbreaking coverage program running. Against a massive budget shortfall, lawmakers are planning to cut about 30,000 legal, taxpaying immigrants out of the system, which requires nearly everyone in the state to have health insurance coverage.

Whalen said the state health care plan did not have a sufficient revenue stream from the start, and that Romney could face sharp criticism for that from fiscal conservatives in a 2012 Republican primary.

“He’s highly vulnerable on this,” he said.

But Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and candidate to be Republican National Committee chairman, said the Democratic “regime” in Massachusetts is to blame since the Legislature changed the plan that Romney originally put on the table. Romney vetoed a number of those changes when he was governor, but the General Assembly overrode him.

Judson Berger and Molly Line, who contributed the story, need to be taken to task for missing the forest while staring at the tree: the Massachusetts plan is how it is supposed to work.

  • A state taking care of her citizens is the Constitutional model.
  • A state legislature making tweaks to fit the local tastes is more responsive and responsible (for better or worse).
  • A socialized program forced to work within actual tax receipts Just Makes Sense.
  • The Massachusetts border being a bulkhead against scatalogical management crapflooding the neighboring states with moronic policy and debt.
  • Keeping the Federal government out of the picture both honors the 10th Amendment and leaves open delegating a useful oversight function to the Fed.

Let’s have a debate about health care, and consider very carefully the health of the system itself. Federal entitlements are a Progressive train wreck; it is unclear how running a few more cars of money down the rails and into the heap helps anyone but those managing the rails.

The Federalist concept of delegating exactly the amount of power necessary to Washington, DC, and no more grows increasingly wise over time. Yet we’re on the verge of having voted that away.

I care not fig #1 whether Mitt Romney, or Sarah Palin, or Mike Huckabee, or Tim Pawlenty, or Bobbie Jindal, or, *gasp* Ron Paul, or even a freshly-conscious Colin Powell (!) fronts the basic, simple, obvious, transparent, clean, sustainable principles of Federalism inherent in the Constitution.

If Mitt Romney segues from a state governor with some experience in health care implementation to a Federalist warrior bent on restoring state’s rights, and implementing the Federalism Amendment, he’s got my support.

Conversely, and I don’t think it likely, but if Sarah Palin runs a Long Haired Barack campaign, replete with personality cult and paper-thin promises that just moves the country infinitesimally closer to tyranny, then she’s lost me. I think the New England, Noonan-approved, Progressive elite could be replaced with a button marked ‘Yawn’. We must esteem principle over personality, or we’ve lost the intellectual battle before even suiting up for combat.

I’d like to thank every American attending Tea Party protests. The fact that so many brave souls are out there, spelling errors on their signs and all, returns “We the People” to hard reality from the memory hole. Posts like this one seem less historical romanticism and wishful thinking and more possible, thanks to those Just Folks.

July 25, 2009

I must be an idiot

by Smitty

Brent Baker at Newsbusters has one of those Katie Couric quotes that doesn’t make sense. Lots of stuff in life doesn’t make sense, for example, Debye Length. Sometimes you hit one of those intellectual speed bumps and think: “Maybe I’m missing something crucial here.” Newsbusters:

ABC, CBS and NBC all led Friday night with President Obama’s decision to appear in the White House press room to backtrack on the fury he inflamed by presuming “stupidity” by the police in the Professor Henry Gates alleged “racial profiling” incident, but only Katie Couric trumpeted Obama’s appearance in the White House briefing room — which the CBS Evening News ran for an uninterrupted four solid minutes — as “extraordinary” and “really unprecedented,” before she pouted over how “the timing could not be worse. Just as he was pushing so hard for health care reform and having some pretty serious setbacks.”

Does anyone have instight into Couric’s mind, to grasp by what logic she would think that this non-command of basic leadership from the POTUS (praise in public, admonish in private) on display in Crowley-quiddick matters in the health care debate?

Flip that around. Some of the most expensive, society-shaking legislation ever typed and scat-flung about by our 535 Congressmonkeys is going to be threatened, by something unrelated that the POTUS said?

I don’t get it. You can take the cynical view that Crowley-quiddick is simply a device to distract attention from the steaming, unconstitutional loaf that is the health care reform legislation. Why that doesn’t make sense is that, when the legislative effort itself is capsizing,

expending approval ratings in a moronic statement seems tactical, at best. Is the thinking that this somehow buys support amongst the hardcore believers, by painting the POTUS as victim? “He tried, real, real hard, but stuff just happened.”

If there is anything that the White House learns from this, the words “Above the Fray” should be first. Coming after precedents of attacking conservative radio personalities by name, one is un-hopeful of any change.

Update:
Related attempts to apply logic to emotion courtesy of Dan Enoch, at POWIP.

Update II:
Crowley and Gates are relatives? (h/t Political Castaway)

July 24, 2009

VIDEO – Rep. John Fleming (R-LA): ‘Hey, How About We Get Members of Congress on the Same Lousy Plan They’re Trying to Shove Down Your Throat?’

From Washington News Observer:

July 24, 2009

Best. Column. Evah!

Never underestimate the power of Rule 2:

Last week, I called the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to press [“science czar” John] Holdren on his views about forced abortions and mass sterilizations; his purported disavowal of Ecoscience, the 1977 book he co-authored with population control zealots Paul and Anne Ehrlich; and his continued embrace of forced-abortion advocate and eugenics guru Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist.
After investigative bloggers and this column reprinted extensive excerpts from Ecoscience, which mused openly about putting sterilants in the water supply to make women infertile and engineering society by taking away babies from undesirables and subjecting them to government-mandated abortions, the White House issued a statement from Holdren last week denying he embraced those proposals. The Ehrlichs challenged critics to read their and Holdren’s more recent research and works. . . .
In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.
In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown’s work. . . .

Read the whole thing. This is a healthy competition among columnists that should be encouraged. Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn have linked me from their sites in the past, but they ain’t been linking me lately. Despite the lack of recent linkage, however, Ann Coulter’s take on the “health care crisis” is brilliant:

Insurance plans that force everyone in the plan to pay for everyone else’s Viagra and anti-anxiety pills are already completely unfair to people who rarely go to the doctor. It’s like being forced to share gas bills with a long-haul trucker or a restaurant bill with Michael Moore. On the other hand, it’s a great deal for any lonely hypochondriacs in the plan.

Read the whole thing, because she’s exactly right. I hate going to the doctor. I hate taking medicine. If my aortic valve blows out tomorrow, don’t mourn this as “tragic” or “senseless.” Such a mercifully sudden departure from this vale of tears would to me be infinitely preferable to the ordeal of filing out an insurance form and spending 15 minutes in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, to say nothing of idling around a drugstore while I wait for the pharmacist to fill my prescription.

Think about this: The percentage of your life spent leafing through a three-week-old copy of Newsweek in a doctor’s waiting room — is that really “life” at all? We’re all gonna die some day, but some of us actually try to live first. And that otherwise healthy idiot who chooses to waste his life shuttling back and forth between MRI screenings, cardiac stress tests, colonoscopy appointments and the Rite Aid prescription counter isn’t practicing “preventive medicine.” He’s just running up the bill at someone else’s expense, like when I go to a Reason happy hour and tell the bartender to put everything on Matt Welch’s tab.

Have you ever known one of those “lonely hypochondriacs” of whom Coulter speaks? Talk about your persuasive arguments for euthanasia! Feeble neurasthenics who run to the doctor every time they get an ache or pain should be sent directly to the Soylent Green factory.

Honestly, I knew America was doomed when they announced that Medicare would pay for Viagra. Oh, just great: The Federal Bureau of Boners.

Patriots died of frostbite at Valley Forge so that we could tax nurses to pay for their geriatric patients to get aroused. Ask the staff at the “retirement center” about the septuagenarian whose idea of a joke is to take his little blue pill and hit the nurse-call button.

Nurse: “Is there a problem?”
Patient: (Exposing himself) “Yes, ma’am, I had this sudden swelling . . .”

But why bring John McCain into this? My point was that health care is not a right, no matter what Ted Kennedy says. “Health care as a right, not a privilege,” says Ted. (Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.)

My real point, however, is this: Ann Coulter should link me more often. But did I really need to say that?

UPDATE: Speaking of The Rules, how about ObamaCare bashing from a sexy redhead in her underwear? Say what you will about Rule 5, if sexy chicks can save us from socialized medicine . . . well, it’s a sacrifice we’ll have to make. Freedom is never free!

July 23, 2009

The basic problem with ObamaCare . . .

. . . or, rather, with all proposals for increased government involvement in health care, is what I call The National Endowment Fallacy.

Back in the 1990s, during the fights over National Endowment for the Arts funding for Robert Mapplethorpe and other arguably obscene artists, the unasked question was, “Why do we need the NEA?”

What are the premises of the arguments for the existence of the NEA? Why not end this debate over which artists should or should not receive NEA grants and, instead, elimate the NEA altogether?”

The NEA didn’t even exist prior to 1965, which means that the United States managed to survive without federally funded art for 189 years. But did the lack of federal funding mean there was no art?

Of course not. Yet if you criticize the NEA, you will be accused of being anti-art, as if “federally funded art” and “art” were coterminous categories and, without federal funding, art would cease to be produced.

Similarly, if you listen to Obama or other liberals discuss health care, you will soon discover that they have smuggled into the argument the hidden premise that no one can receive health care without health insurance. Therefore, the 40-odd-million “uninsured” represent a crisis, and government is the only solution to this crisis (or to anything else liberals consider to be a crisis).

Thus, the argument involves a false dilemma: Either the federal government must take action — involving expenditure of tax dollars and various coercive regulations — or else there will be no health care, at least for the “uninsured” who constitute the canary-in-the-coal-mine of the liberal argument against private-sector provision of health care.

Government is already massively involved in health care — not merely via Medicare and Medicaid, but also by numerous federal regulations — so then all that we are currently arguing about is whether government should become even more involved.

Remember that Medicare and Medicaid, like the NEA, didn’t even exist until 1965, so it isn’t as if government provision of health care were an absolute necessity. Our nation existed and flourished for many, many years prior to any significant federal involvement in health care.

Why, then, in 2009, are we being lectured that “doing nothing is not an option”? That there are problems in the system, any reasonable person would grant. But is the only alternative to “doing nothing” a massively expensive Rube Goldberg contraption like what is now being debated in Congress? Must we either endorse doing this or be labeled advocates of “doing nothing”?

Am I anti-health? If I criticize the federal food stamps program, am I anti-food? Or, rather, pro-hunger?

What we have here is not so much a failure of health care, but a failure of logic. And I resent being lectured by people who always base their arguments in such fallacies and false premises.

July 22, 2009

Hey, has anybody ever noticed thatChris Matthews is a moron?

The TV in my office is an old 13″ portable and the only cable news channel I can get is MSNBC. So I’m sitting here working on an article for the American Spectator (subscribe now) and the TV’s on MSNBC, where they’re doing the preview for President Obama’s health-care press conference.

The panel is Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews. First of all, one notices in their discussion is an absolute absence of balance or objectivity. The fundamental premises, unspoken but clearly shared by all the participants, is that health care “reform” is necessary, that something must be done, that what the president has proposed is generally the kind of “reform” needed, and that therefore the only thing to be debated is, “How can the president get Congress to agree to his proposal?”

In other words, it is an entirely false debate. And, just before they went to a commercial break, Matthews said something extraordinarily stupid, even for him:

Something must be done about health care, he said, “or this society’s not going to hold together.”

Eh?

Of course, we all remember the tragic HMO riots of 1999, the deadly terrorist attacks by the pharmaceutical lobby, the ongoing carnage in urban America caused by rival gangs of health-insurance lobbyists. The prospect of more such violent turmoil is surely what Matthews had in mind.

Keith Olbermann is an evil maniac, but at least he is not as consistently jaw-dropping stupid as Matthews.

UPDATE: Regarding the press conference, Jim Geraghty has a “Straw Man Bingo” card from the Senate Republicans, and notes some of the routine rhetorical tropes of Obama-ese:

“We inherited these problems”; “the alternative is to do nothing”; “Let me be clear”; “Can’t get distracted by . . .”; and finally, “As you know, I’ve consistently said,” usually used when announcing a change in position.

He left out “I get letters . . .” And for some reason, all of these letters are from people tragically and unjustly suffering because Obama can’t get what Obama wants.

UPDATE II: I’m listening to Obama answering questions in this news conference and thinking, “Take away his Teleprompter, and you take away his magic.” He just did an example of “the red pill and the blue pill,” which are equally effective but of different prices, but which the current health-system does not “incentivize” the thrifty choice.

Right. We all know how federal control incentivizes thrift!

July 22, 2009

Cato Institute rolls out ad againstObamaCare: ‘Your New Doctor?’

Just got the news via e-mail:

Cato is launching a massive ad campaign that will run in major papers across the country that voices strong concerns about the Democrats’ health care reform proposal. We have a new site for the campaign to spread the word about stopping government takeover of the health care system. We are also running radio ads that are playing in major cities across the country.

Newspaper ad (PDF). Radio ad:

Here’s the Web page where you can learn more, and bloggers can get widgets to embed on your site.

July 22, 2009

ObamaCare: Health Rationing for Americans, Not for Illegal Aliens

Michelle Malkin’s new column:

Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America — except those who break our immigration laws. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from using the so-called “public health insurance option.” Every Democrat on the panel voted against the measure. . . .
At a time when Democratic leaders are pushing rationed care in a world of limited resources, Americans might wonder where the call for shared sacrifice is from illegal immigrant patients like those in Los Angeles getting free liver and kidney transplants at UCLA Medical Center. “I’m just mad,” illegal alien Jose Lopez told the Los Angeles Times last year after receiving two taxpayer-subsidized liver transplants while impatiently awaiting approval for state health insurance.
Now, multiply that sense of entitlement by 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants. Welcome to the open-borders Obamacare nightmare.

Read the whole thing. And let me remind you that Michelle Malkin is author of the new blockbuster Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies, also known as Best. Book. Evah! (With apologies to any of my friends who forgot to thank me for “invaluable writerly advice” in their books.)