Difficult logic

Joel Comm, an opponent of the ill-advised health care “reform” being shoved down America’s throat, tweeted this argument:

Only a corrupt government would shove through legislation that the majority of Americans are opposed to

I think it’s politically stupid for them to do this, and I share the sentiment, but ultimately you can’t rule by polls (or Poles).

What if a government was trying to pass legislation that was good for America, but the majority of Americans opposed it for, say, racist or immoral reasons? Would it then be wrong for the government to pass it despite public opposition? There’s a mechanism called “elections” that’s supposed to take care of bad government. (Whether these “election” things do their job is another argument.)

I do believe this is more about control than health care. It’s been that way since Bismarck. Those in favor of government-dominated health care even admit it:

Whoever provides medical care or pays the costs of illness stands to gain the gratitude and good will of the sick and their families. The prospect of these good-will returns to investment in health care creates a powerful motive for governments and other institutions to intervene in the economics of medicine. Political leaders since Bismarck seeking to strengthen the state or to advance their own or their party’s interests have used insurance against the costs of sickness as a means of turning benevolence to power. Similarly, employers often furnish medical care to recruit new workers and instill loyalty to the firm. Unions and fraternal societies have used the same means to strengthen solidarity. On more narrowly commercial grounds, insurance companies also gain advantage from serving as middlemen. To be the intermediary in the costs of sickness is a strategic role that confers social and political as well as strictly economic gains.” — Paul Starr in The Social Transformation of Social Medicine, 1982.

Starr is a Princeton U professor of sociology and public affairs who advised Hillary Clinton during her effort to implement universal health care.

Health care vote on ‘Sabbath’?

Rep. Steve King of Iowa and talker Glenn Beck are upset the health care vote apparently will take place on Sunday, which King calls the “Sabbath.”

“They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God,” King said on Beck’s radio program Thursday, the Hill reports.

Beck chimed in, “Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity, that is a — this is an affront to God.”

Yeah, well, not really. The Sabbath is the seventh day. Nowhere in the Bible–although Beck’s a Mormon, meaning he has extra scripture–does it say the first day is the Sabbath. And not all Christians observe a pre-Easter season called “Lent.” And if the people calling for this Sunday session aren’t believers, then why should they care, anyway? So of all the procedural objections, this is perhaps the lamest conservatives have come up with. They would have gotten more sympathy by pointing out that the session will conflict with NCAA basketball tournament games.

Dem leadership: Fewer children, less spending

Rep. John Stupak, a Democratic pro-lifer, is telling National Review Online that Democratic leadership in the House has sank to new lows when it comes to abortion and health care.

What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”

So if money for abortion is included in the health care bill, that means fewer people will eventually need health care, thus lowering costs later.

If this is an accurate reflection of what House Dems are telling Stupak, then it’s the most chillingly cynical takes on this issue I’ve yet heard. “Kill them and then we’ll save money down the road.” This reveals that what this is about for Democrats is not helping people, but taking power.

The amazing Obama flight from reality

George Orwell would have been in awe of Barack Obama, who tops his previous doublespeak every time he opens his mouth.

Obama will unveil his health care legislative plan this afternoon. His remarks are breathtaking in their contempt for the intelligence of the average American.

I don’t believe we should give government bureaucrats or insurance company bureaucrats more control over health care in America.

Yet this is exactly what the Democratic health care legislation will do on both counts.

I believe it’s time to give the American people more control over their own health insurance.

Yet your legislation will take away that control in an unprecedented way.

I don’t believe we can afford to leave life-and-death decisions about health care to the discretion of insurance company executives alone.

Note the word “alone.” Need to extend that power to government bureaucrats.

I believe that doctors and nurses like the ones in this room should be free to decide what’s best for their patients.

They may be the only ones left after government starts determining health care costs and drives the rest of the medical profession out of the profession or overseas.

The proposal I’ve put forward gives Americans more control over their health care by holding insurance companies more accountable.

It makes them partners with the government, which is showing itself in this action to be completely unaccountable to the American people.

It builds on the current system where most Americans get their health insurance from their employer.

Which is one of the problems. Third-party payment shields the consumer patient from the real cost of their medical care.

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

Unless your employer, which is what this new plan is supposedly built on, drops that plan.

 If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

Unless your doctor leaves the profession or shutters his/her practice due to lack of proper compensation. Or unless a government plan or government-approved plan doesn’t want to send patients to that doctor.

This guy just doesn’t get it, and I’m beginning to think he never has.

A response to ‘Beelzabubba’s’ post

A response to my post “The law of unintended health care consequences” was so interesting, I wanted to re-post it and give my response in that fresh post:

Law of Unintended Consequences? Is that like when someone who opposes universal health cares gets tossed out by a money-grubbing insurance company? Or their wingnut co-op plan goes belly up? And they find themselves crying to the gubmint to help them? That’s called irony.

No, the law of unintended consequences is when you think you’re doing something that will result in benefits, but don’t or can’t anticipate other results that are not beneficial. Kind of like introducing animals to a region where they have no natural predators. They tend to get out of control, such as the European sparrow or Japanese beetles. Another such example was Legionnaires’ disease. An “improved” venting system was put in place in a hotel that hosted an American Legion conference, and the participants ended up getting sick because of a bacillus that became harmful when spread in water droplets. (Look under “Mystery solved” here.)

As for “money-grubbing insurance companies,” while I don’t like health insurance companies, they are far, far down on the list of industrial profits, number 86, to be exact. Here’s a link.

The entire insurance business would be a lot better off without mandates, as well. Plus, most people who are insured likely won’t get “tossed out” because they’re insured through their employer. Those deals typically can’t exclude based on pre-existing conditions.

I’m not sure which “wingnut co-op plan” you’re talking about. If it’s Samaritan Ministries, which I work for and am a proud member of, that “wingnut co-op plan” has been in business for 15 years and represents 14,000 households. There are two other health care sharing plans as well: MediShare and Christian Healthcare Newsletter. Samaritan alone shares about $3 million a month in medical needs. We are growing at a rapid pace, as well, as Christians strive to get out from under health insurance and government dependence.

Your argument, also, is based on something that hasn’t happened. We haven’t gone bellyup. And if we did, the “gubmint” would be the last institution I’d appeal to for help for my family. First I would look to our extended family for help, then to the church. I do not plan on accepting any Social Security payments or Medicare when I retire, even though I have been paying into it my whole working life. I don’t think it would be right for me to take money that was exacted from another person under threat of imprisonment.

Here’s how Obamacare will work

  • Require health insurers to accept all applicants regardless of health at time of application or in past.
  • Require all people to have insurance.
  • All people, except those with the guts to tell the government to get lost, will get health insurance.
  • The premiums under these conditions would naturally go up, but …
  • President Obama’s health insurance price regulatory panel will control prices.
  • Insurers won’t be able to make a profit. (Surprise!)
  • Insurers will go out of business or be subsidized by the government.
  • Ultimately, all health insurance will go through the government, which will have total control over what procedures and care will be paid for.
  • Single-payer accomplished, Cap’n.

Oops!

Flacking for President Barack Obama’s “new” health care plan, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters assembled for yesterday’s press briefing: “The president posted ideas of his on the White House website today. We hope Republicans will post their ideas either on their website, or we’d be happy to post them on ours, so that the American people could come to one location and find out the parameters of what will largely be discussed on Thursday.” And this might have been a small bit of successful Obama administration gamesmanship on health care and transparency in government except for one small problem: reality. Not only do House Republicans already have their own health care plan, not only is it already available online, but the White House’s own website already links to it!

From here.

Obama admits Dems’ health care reform would be a disaster

Barack Obama said this Tuesday after meeting with Democratic senators urging them to pass health care reform legislation as crafted by Democrats:

“From the discussions we had, it’s clear we are on the precipice of achievement that’s eluded Congresses, presidents for generations — an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American,” Obama said.

Really? That’s a stunning admission by the president. It’s good to see that he’s being honest, though.

The definition of precipice, according to Websters New World Dictionary, Fourth Edition, the official dictionary of The Associated Press, is

1. A vertical, almost vertical, or overhanging rock face; steep cliff.

2. A greatly hazardous situation, verging on disaster.

Perhaps the Teleprompter of the United States meant to say that we are nearing the summit of an achievement that’s eluded Congresses and presidents “for generations” (what? since 1994 when Hillarycare failed?). Maybe he just got his mountain climbing metaphors mixed up. The man’s probably still mentally exhausted from his 4,000-word speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all Americans for himself.

But the fact remains that he said that the health care bill whose passage he was urging would leave us in “a greatly hazardous situation, verging on disaster.”

He’s absolutely right.

For once, I can say I agree 100 percent with Barack Obama.

Frank Schaeffer’s Newspeak

Click here to see an interview by Rachel Maddow of Frank Schaeffer, former conservative and son of the great evangelical teacher Francis Schaeffer. He makes some legitimate points about unnecessary rowdiness at town halls about health care, as well as descriptions of the Obama administration as Nazis or Obama himself as Hitler. (It’s legitimate, however, that parallels are drawn between the Obama admin and fascist ideology; read Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.”)

However, he unfortunately also says that all of this demagoguery will lead to violence on the part of conservatives. Unfortunate because the violence has come not from the right, but from the left. Here is one example.

Dr. Steven Knope transcript, Part 2: ‘Health insurance is not synonymous with health care’

In my interview on Tuesday with Dr. Steven Knope, a concierge medicine pioneer, I asked what he thought about the movement in Washington to impose health care reforms.

His answer:

If you’re talking politics, let’s get it on the table: We’re talking about socialization of the entire country, whether that’s the auto industry, the banks, massive stimulus spending and omnibus bills and TARP. These guys are not playing by the rules, they’re certainly not following the Constitution of the United States. If they decide to put some of these fee-for-noncovered-services concierge practices in their sights, they could make life difficult for certain concierge doctors. It’s just going to depend on how tough these doctors are, how willing they are to fight as to whether or not the administration can get everybody in lockstep with this socialized medicine model. I’ll tell you that it will not happen in my practice. I have several constitutional lawyers in my practice who have already agreed to take this to the Supreme Court if necessary. I will personally never return to a hamster wheel practice again. I will leave the country before I do that. Trust me: I take care of people from Canada who fly to see me. I’ve taken care of people in the English system. My patients have had disasters while traveling in New Zealand. There is nothing — nothing — good about big government managing medicine. It just doesn’t work.

Health insurance is not synonymous  with health care. There’s nothing synonymous about it. If you look at this experiment in Massachusetts, which was very interesting, everybody in the state of Massachusetts has now been mandated to carry health insurance [MM: Although members of health care need sharing ministries have been exempted]. What they’ve rapidly found now is that there aren’t enough primary care doctors to actually see the patients. Now there’s a year and a half wait to see an internist. The ERs are still overflowing now with people who have insurance but don’t have a doctor.  (President Barack) Obama and (U.S. Rep. Nancy) Pelosi and all of these folks who think that you simply insure people and now everyone gets health care are sorely mistaken. This is no more well-conceived and thought out than was the stimulus bill that nobody read. At some point, intelligent people have to stand up on both sides of the aisle and say, ‘Look, I know what you want and I know the kind of utopian values you profess to have, but if the numbers don’t work, then why don’t you explain to me why you think this program is going to work? If Medicare and Medicaid are already scheduled for bankruptcy and we’re already insuring 30 million people on that program, then how are you going to insure and take care of 300 million?’ The numbers don’t work. It’s analogous, when I listen to this politically correct speak, it’s really analogous to dealing with one of your teenage children. ‘Daddy I want it now.’ You say, ‘Look, we live in a real world with a budget. You can’t get a BMW at age 16. It’s not going to happen.’ ‘But I deserve it. My friends have one.’ ‘I understand, but that’s not the reality. The numbers don’t work.’

I’m not hearing even liberal publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Huffington Post for that matter come out and say, ‘Look, these are the numbers of the Obama health care plan and this is why it will work and this is what conservatives don’t understand about it.’ I don’t hear any substantive discussion like that where people are saying, ‘This is why it will work. Let me convince you. You don’t understand.’ It’s this moralistic, utopian, ‘It’s a right, it has to be there, write the check and we’ll figure out later how we get the money into the account.’ It’s just absolutely without any rational thought at all. Not that I’m passionate about this. (Laughs.)

You look at this, you see Boehner standing there, John Boehner, standing there on the floor of Congress, and he drops this 1,100-page stimulus package that he got 11 hours earlier and said, ‘Nobody in this entire Congress has read this bill and we have just spent over a trillion dollars with interest.’ Bam! The thing hits the floor. And if that were not enough then here we are 120 days into this saying, ‘Now we need to do the same thing in health care. We just need to rush this through.’ It’s absolutely irrational.