Health Care Legislation Decoded
In Number 98 of The Penguin Post, there is a link that you may have followed. It takes you to a post containing this text:
…the House bill does not outright outlaw private individual health insurance, but it does effectively regulate it out of existence. The House bill does allow private insurance to be sold, but only “Exchange-participating health benefits plans.” In order to qualify as an “Exchange-participating health benefits plan,” all health insurance plans must conform to a slew of new regulations, including community rating and guaranteed issue. These will all send the cost of private individual health insurance skyrocketing. Furthermore, all these new regulations would not apply just to individual insurance plans, but to all insurance plans. So the House bill will also drive up the cost of your existing employer coverage as well. Until, of course, it becomes so expensive that your company makes the perfectly economical decision to dump you into the government plan. President Obama may not care to study how many people will lose their current health insurance if his plan becomes law, but like most Americans, we do. That is why we partnered with the Lewin Group to study how many Americans would be forced into the government “option” under the House health plan. Here is what we found:
Approximately 103 million people would be covered under the new public plan and, as a consequence, about 83.4 million people would lose their private insurance. This would represent a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.
About 88.1 million workers would see their current private, employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.
Yearly premiums for the typical American with private coverage could go up by as much as $460 per privately-insured person, as a result of increased cost-shifting stemming from a public plan modeled on Medicare.
The above quote includes a number of links not reproduced here, and the original has much more information on the Obamacare legislation. Obama himself, as is made clear, claims to be unaware of the content and intent of parts of this new law. And it is a fact that members of Congress have only recently passed economically seismic legislation when not a single one of them had read, let alone digested and debated, the texts.
The alert citizen knows that Obama can be unethically inconsistent in his pronouncements. When addressing the second amendment of the US constitution, the president has been all over the map, sometimes affirming and later opposing the same viewpoint. A compilation of his quotes on any given issue will likely reveal him to be blatantly self-contradictory, as you will see when you get to the Links section of this issue.
Obama’s avoidance of candor and consistency means he cannot be trusted. At present, for example, he is poised to dismantle his iron-clad promise not to increase taxes on those who earn less than $250,000 a year. And when he says flatly that folks who like their private health insurance will be able to keep it under his plan, he does not mention that you can’t keep an insurance policy if the insurance company pulls out of the market — which will happen because the legislation before Congress puts new restraints and requirements on insurers that will drive their costs up. It’s a plausibly deniable, sly, cynical, stealthy and unethical tactic to eliminate for-profit insurers, and it will work.
If the USA is to undertake a fundamental restructuring of a huge segment of its economy and customary practices, the change should be very carefully contemplated. For one thing, the performance of health care delivery systems in other nations — such as Canada and the United Kingdom — should be compared to the actual performance of the current US system (check it out!). And that’s just the beginning; carry on with your review of the facts with this video from one of the big US media.
The rush to change the laws and re-engineer the economy is a madcap adventure led by a deceitful Pied Piper. “…Obama insists (falsely) that under the Democrats’ plan those who like their current insurance will be able to keep it,” says this weblogger; read his post.
There is no health care emergency that must be dealt with immediately, though one must admit that existing federal programs such as the Veterans’ Administration (two books on the subject, Vets Under Siege from 2008, and War Comes Home from 2009) and medical care for Native Americans are in dire need of rescue. (More: for a detailed discussion of the basic economic facts surrounding socialized “single payer” health care, have a look at this web page.)
The message should be made as comprehensible as possible, lest the nation’s leaders fail to comprehend it:
Put your house in order first; then give us time to study and reflect — don’t try to stampede us, as if we were cattle; finally, abide by our decisions. We, not you, know best. Remember that you are our servants, not our masters, and take your position and responsibility more seriously.
Sotomayor Perjured Herself
The PenPo cautions its readers yet again about the credibility of The Washington Times, a newspaper owned and kept in operation by a man who claims to be Jesus Christ, and also happens to be a felon who was convicted in the USA of conspiracy and tax evasion and spent eighteen months in prison. OK, are you ready? This quote does not appear to indicate dishonest reporting or commentary:
The questions for which Judge Sotomayor’s answers are almost impossible to believe involved legal briefs on abortion cases that were filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund during the 12 years Judge Sotomayor sat on its board. During eight of those years, she served on the board’s litigation committee. Board minutes show that she was responsible for “reviewing and recommending a litigation program.” New York Times stories describe her as “frequently meeting with the legal staff to review the status of cases” and as “an involved and ardent supporter of their various legal efforts.”
Yet Judge Sotomayor told Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, that she “never reviewed those [abortion] briefs.” Because of the available board minutes and the New York Times story, that claim seems highly suspicious. Yet senators did not press her further on the issue.
Yes, the Washington Times has an axe to grind, and no, you can’t believe everything you read in the papers. But….
A Career Change May Be In Order
There’s something sort of comforting about a town meeting, isn’t there? It’s an affirmation of democracy. It reassures everybody that the government really is “of the people, by the people.”
Unless, of course, you are a federal senator or representative who is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of constituents who know you did not even read the astronomically expensive legislation you recently voted for.
It’s worse if they know that you intend to be just as incompetent and dishonest with the next vote — when you saddle the people with an alien system of health care and legislate private health insurance into a death trap.
Those voters also found out that there is no federal health care that works halfway well, darn them! They know the VA is badly broken, and they know that government care of Native Americans is a disgrace. So they have to wonder why the entire nation should be plunged into the snake pit.
Those pesky constituents of yours also know that if you want to predict the performance of Obama’s socialized medicine, the two most relevant examples to look at, Canada and the United Kingdom, are both failures. They know that survival rates and quality of care in those two developed, English-speaking nations are poor compared to results obtained by the current US system.
The dratted voters know too much. They know your legislation will strangle the private insurance companies, so it won’t be necessary to make their products illegal.
For everybody, it will be the feds or…go overseas for health care, including insurance. Bangkok, already a center of medical tourism, will love it when this legislation goes into effect.
Maybe you should put your ego on a leash and practice divorce law.
Palin: Hated On The Left And On The Right
A commentator tries to fathom the mystery:
Given the excitement Sarah Palin has generated it isn’t a surprise that liberals hate her, but the amount of venom that has been sent her way is astounding.
Even after the GOP lost the election, the all-out assault on Sarah Palin and her family continued. (Snip) Liberals correctly identified Sarah Palin as the biggest danger to them in the entire Republican Party and they’re doing everything they can to eliminate that threat.
But why would the right have it in for Palin? The excessively vicious attacks on Palin from some quarters on the right make people scratch their heads….
An unspoken assumption was made by many conservatives: Palin is like me and the real problem that Palin’s enemies on the right have with her is that they’re snobs and they don’t accept common people like me in their leadership. … that assessment is probably correct more often than not.
Careful readers of the PenPo will recall that this newsletter never endorsed Palin, her ideas, or her running-mate. Rather the items published here dealing with Palin have mainly expressed outrage at the abuse of her by the bicoastal elite’s culture warriors.
Palin smoked out the rascals and served as a means for the PenPo to illustrate the wide gap between social classes in the USA. She has made it easier for everyone to see that the belief in the USA’s virtually classless society is a naive fantasy.
Recall, please, this from PenPo 68:
…the person — such as Sarah Palin — can be mocked for being able to dress an elk, but her values and lifestyle are not spoken of as if they defined a distinct, definable and easily identifiable subclass.
When, however, the smug, advantaged social pioneers wish to explain (rather than simply snicker at) the misbehavior of a successful person who hews to the “traditional” values of flyover country, the battle lines are more candidly and clearly drawn. Suddenly a massive third-rate USA snaps into clear focus, and its procrustean cohesion is blamed for arresting the development of the targeted personage. (Palin is a Yahoo because her husband has this snow thingy and zips around on it, while she behaves oddly toward her kids and talks funny.) This is a revealing phenomenon in social taxonomy and politics; the unintentional admissions it conveys and the attitudes it bares are genuinely shocking. Consider, for example, this quote taken from an essay on the cultural condescension of the “progressive” (or liberal, or leftist) social stratum:
…everything about these people — where they reside, what they believe, how they live, work, recreate, talk, and think — is in irredeemably bad taste. To embark on a conversation with one of them, based on straight-faced openness to the possibility of learning something interesting or important, would be like choosing to vacation in Wichita instead of Tuscany. (Emphasis added.)
The implications of this cultural gap are profound. They can be observed only if the observer is willing to deal candidly with his own denial.
Rational Folks Need To Understand The Sheer Dogmatic Intransigence Of These Ideologues
Glenn Greenwald writes about corporate control of news media as if he were shocked and outraged by censorship per se. Why would he be surprised? Ideological censorship is common, as this newsletter and its predecessor have been pointing out for years, and Greenwald, a very political animal, is an insider who knows how it works.
But does he consider it troublesome, or acknowledge it, or even see it? For him, censorship and manipulation of the news are bad only when they are practiced by his political opposites, or reflect corporate interests. The routine collectivist propagandizing of the voters with fake facts, empty slogans, distortions and endless repetition of mindless drivel is not on Greenwald’s radar.
Greenwald’s position in the orthodox media pantheon is exemplified by his ridicule-laden but unconvincing debunking of “wingnut” weblogs. “Moonbat” weblogs did not get similar scrutiny from him. So much for fairness.
But the most interesting aspect of Greenwald’s story is solid evidence that he is an ideologue who ignores proof that he is wrong, clings to his polar ideology, and sneers at demonstrable facts. This is probably best exemplified by his relationship to Mad Mary Mapes, the obsessive Bush-hater and gullible left-wing ideologue (do click on this link for a good look at this indefatigable zealot).
The “moonbats” are still saying the proof of forgery was not proof at all, and that some 1970s typewriter — never specified or produced for a conclusive demonstration, of course — could have typed the Killian memos. This claim requires a belief that Bill Gates told his people to design Word so that it precisely mimicked the results of an obscure, now-forgotten model of typewriter, and mimicked that machine so well that no expert could distinguish the output of the new word processor from that of the chimerical typewriter. It’s a stunning requirement, absurd beyond all reckoning.
That’s probably why Mad Mary and The Dan always totally avoid the fact of the exact fit between Microsoft Word for Windows and the Killian text, along with the insoluble problem of the superscript “th” (follow the links on the Little Green Footballs weblog). Mad Mary calls all this “peripheral issues.” She then bleats that her forged memos have been verified by other documents. That led to the hilarious summation of her fantasies as a claim that the memos are “fake, but accurate.” This is Greenwald’s crowd.
Greenwald’s political stance is nothing if not predictable. He’s thrown in with the conspiracy nuts who lecture everybody about “the Israel lobby,” and is accordingly suspect if one is sniffing out ethnic/religious bigotry. He’s also a fervent believer in the total non-existence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (which mysteriously vanished over the many months between US demands that they be inspected and the invasion of Iraq, imagine that!).
If there’s a message here, it’s that when you go to a True Believer for guidance, you are likely to be told some untruths.
Finally there is the full significance, the crucial meaning, of Greenwald’s position. His example makes plain that there is a hard core of “progressive” ideologues for whom facts simply do not matter. The ideology behind Mad Mary’s five year quest for something to bring G. W. Bush down and the dogma that is Greenwald’s value system is uncompromising, detached from reality, and evangelical. This is fanaticism: while Mad Mary and Greenwald admit that the Killian documents cannot be authenticated, they ignore the truth that the memos have been conclusively proved to be fakes.
This means there is no arguing with the stereotypical “progressive.” He won’t hear reason, though he may allow you to provide it (his censorious nature can make it hard for you to communicate). He won’t come to logical conclusions if they refute his views. In every sense of the word, the perfectly “progressive” political animal is a perfect fanatic.
This newsletter has nothing to say to such people. The PenPo is for folks who are capable of exercising their intellect with at least a modicum of prudence and rationality. They are open to new information and willing to adapt to unfolding truths.
That is a bit sad, for it implies the death of communication with members of the dogmatic bicoastal elites. A hardening of views is seldom helpful. This newsletter can only note that the “progressives” refuse to face facts, and thereby disqualify themselves as participants in the debate. Carrying on a discourse that cannot be productive is not a task for a person of principle.
People are so used to hearing junk like this from the media that they don’t think there is anything wrong with it.
Good ol’ Joe is making a name for himself, and his quotes are being collected and put on display. The distillation and laying-up of his confabulations should merit neither notice nor comment. But then he is the Veep. Obama’s safeguard against assassination?
Do you think this is dangerous? The poster is the unfettered expression of opinion through graphic art, an activity that was encouraged by “progressives” until recently. Now it’s heretical, and the artist should be in fetters. Hey! That’s not progress — it’s the atavistic impulse of a tyrant. Tyrants always fear and hate Liberty. (Almost forgot: they are also hypocrites, like E. O. H., though many of them are not harebrained, too.)
At last, voices of wisdom ring out in the Obamacare debate. Whew!
So the TV networks are beginning to chafe at being treated as volunteers, or indentured servants…yet just who, pray tell, is responsible for having created the impression that Big Video Media will lick The One’s boots on command?
Well, Pilgrims, life does have its nasty moments, doesn’t it? Such as when your sexy sweetheart tells you she’s fallen for an itinerant tinker twice her age. What to do? Fortunately just deserts can be dispensed, and the PenPo is happy to suggest this one. You are welcome.
Slow to anger, still a bit shocked by the alien extremism, puzzled by the Newsweek cover proclaiming “We are all socialists now”…theResistance is growing.
This news item describes a variety of special pleading — reminding of the boy who murdered his parents and begged for judicial leniency because he was an orphan.
1. You saw the link in PenPo 99 to Betsy McCaughey’s website on Obama’s proposals for health care. Her comments on YouTube are a good introduction to the subject, but it’s audio with irrelevant photos, so ignore the video aspect (the video was made by a True Believer who was trying way too hard.) And the content? Says a weblogger: “We have fought wars over far less than what Obama et al are trying to do to this country.” Yes, some of this material is shocking.
2. Meanwhile the White House is saying that this video puts words in Obama’s mouth, misrepresents the facts, lies and cannot be trusted. Watch it and decide for yourself: can this compilation of brief quotes possibly be deceitful, or is it an accurate sample of the many times Obama promoted “single-payer” health care?
3. Now watch the White House’s response to the above video. It’s probable that everyone will have a slightly different way of squaring Obama’s words from speech A with Obama’s words from speech B, and with the information in the item above, “Health Care Legislation Decoded,” but the truth can be discerned. Where it is and what it is are for you to decide. — PS: This file will help you; it’s a list of the new legal obligations the proposed legislation would impose.
It appears the USA is going to host a hiss-and-spit contest in which left and right accuse each other of “mob violence.” It’s incredibly silly, because nobody stages a better riot than the muscular left (trashed stores, lots of broken windows, arson, total chaos in the streets — great stuff), while the wimpy right holds protests mothers with babes in arms can safely attend (yawn). But each side scandalizes, simply scandalizes the other with its misbehavior. This newsletter finds the lefties much more entertaining, as these two sites demonstrate — fun(love that caterwauling babe in the first video) and then yet more fun. Of course no video evidence will change anybody’s mind about anything. Each side is blind to its sins and horrified by the other’s peccadillos.
Have you ever heard of Wendy Murphy? Probably not. She’s involved in the “Gatesgate” mess (in which a black Harvard professor was arrested, in spite of the fact that he’s a buddy of Obama) and the Duke “rape” case/scandal of recent memory. She’s a caution.
What is the nation coming to? They had the police there, for crying out loud, and people still presumed to express disapproval ofgovernment officials’ pronouncements! That could never happen in a properly ordered, progressive society, such as the People’s Democratic Republic of, er, ah…(cough)….
Here’s a list of one hundred one websites that offer help of all sorts. You will find several worth bookmarking.
What would a PenPo be without an AGW item? Er, unh, not clear on that…so here are two of them: number one and then number two. Note, by the way, that number two tells us that uncertainty about the truth of claims about climate, belief that AGW is not taking place, and a questioning attitude toward the pronouncements of government bureaucrats are considered “psychological” phenomena. Wrong. Those are all issues of fact, verification, and science. Taking a position on them is not a sign or symptom of psychological problems; refusing to understand is.
Oops. How about a third AGW item? It’s cool.
This guy thinks feminism is “illogical, unnecessary and evil.” His views wouldn’t matter if he were a nobody, but he’s a prof at the London School of Economics, so have a look. And note the snotty, patronizing remark made by a female critic of his. Maybe this guy is on to something.
Illegal aliens in the USA and crime levels: this article proves nothing, but it is evidence of something that is easy to understand. Too easy? Maybe.
No, free speech is not alive and well in Canada, but some people are trying to resuscitate it.
“What do you think? … All right, enough is enough! Now shut the hell up!”
Good grief, the things a sociopath can do with a telephone, Skype, and a computer! An engrossing report leaves the reader puzzling over the evil that seems inborn in some wretched individuals.
From the PenPo’s The Little People are Revolting file comes this gem: “No matter what happens we are going to enact healthcare reform by the end of the year.” That’s the reliable Senator Charles Schumer talking. He also loves the “fairness doctrine.”
Academia will never, never live this down.
From The Archive
The following items appeared in The Terrapin Gazette of the seventh of November, 2005.
Junk Science In The Service Of The Horrible Harridan Hordes
We knew it would happen sooner or later: science has just proved that “normal” men are merely organisms in an arrested state of the development of mental retardation. The male stands exposed as failed homo non compos mentis.
It has long been suggested that autistic behaviour is an exaggeration of male habits such as making lists.
But Cambridge Autism Research Centre researchers say the actual development of the autistic brain also exaggerates what happens in male brains.
Thus spake the BBC.
Thanks, we needed that.
Ever since the excesses of feminism disrupted legal, social and economic patterns in the West, we have wondered what the next blow would be. After all, modern feminism was maliciously ferocious from the first. We recall reading in a book titled Reweaving The Web Of Life that males must be reduced to and maintained at ten percent of the population of humanity. Males, you see, cause all the problems.
Now comes the news of this scientific breakthrough. It begins with the claim that we have a typically male “habit” of making lists.
What IS this? Our rational attempt to organize data so they can be used and not overlooked is pathogenic and diagnostic of arrested retardation? Where do they GET this junk science, anyway? Are taxpayers underwriting madmen who do their research by torchlight in the dungeons of medieval castles?
Well, whatever charlatans and educated fools cooked it up, it is pernicious drivel, and what follows it is ten times worse. The next claim is that if not for a stroke of pure good luck, our masculinity would have proceeded to its natural conclusion, producing a socially inept and intellectually crippled individual — the male who has tragically realized his full potential, and thereby fallen apart. But of course.
Ah, yes, the complete male as pathetic failure. What a comforting theme, and so consonant with feminist cant. We recall also the words of anthropologist M. F. Ashley Montagu, who derided the male sex chromosome as miniscule when compared to the female chromosome (this in his quixotic essay, The Natural Superiority of Women). As if the TV show Father Knows Best were somehow not sufficiently anti-male to put men in their place.
And as if men, once in their place, could then be located by females. After all, to find a place, you have to be able to read a map.
Speaking Of Rank Insanity, It’s Time For A Refresher And Update
You know that mad cow disease (BSE) and the way it is reported in the press is a favorite theme of The Terrapin Gazette. We return to it today, beginning with a (typically male) list of facts you already know but may have forgotten, and then with some new information.
1. BSE and its human equivalent, NVC-JD, are caused by chemicals, not organisms; these are deformed proteins called prions (PREE-ons). They attack the central nervous system.
2. NVC-JD is found in areas where cannibalism is practiced, and in populations that eat beef contaminated with prions. There is no treatment and no cure. No one knows how many humans are already intoxicated with prions (“infected” is the wrong word, as prions are not bacteria or viruses), and the period between intoxication and development of symptoms can be as long as two decades. There is trouble ahead, no matter what is done today.
3. BSE is transmitted when bovines (cows and steers and bulls, to those of you who live outside Flyover Country) eat other bovines, which is why cattle feed made of ground up cattle is a terrible idea (but cheap, and therefore attractive). BSE arises spontaneously in cattle, being much more common in older animals than in younger ones. Accordingly, it can never be eradicated, though its transmission within and between herds could theoretically be prevented.
Here’s new information, gleaned from an article by James Ironside, professor of medicine at the National Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease Surveillance Unit, School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh (printed in The Nation, Bangkok newspaper, 24 September 2005, page 8A):
…several million BSE-infected cattle are likely to have entered the human food chain between 1980 and 1996. It is estimated that most of the UK population was exposed to BSE through diet at this time.
(There has been an) increasing number of NV-CJD cases in Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the US.
…the results of studies of the transmission of BSE and NVC-JD in mice, (show that) in many cases (the prion) does not result in death from clinical disease, but instead can produce an asymptomatic “carrier state,” in which the disease has not yet manifested itself.
(Researchers) recently identified two cases of human-to-human transmission of NVC-JD infection (sic) through transfusions of particular types of red blood cells. …. These cases have major implications for blood safety everywhere, implying additional restriction on eligibility for blood donation and on the processing and handling of blood….
…the average age of the patients in the UK has not increased significantly over the past ten years. If the epidemic were in decline, it might be anticipated that the average age of patients would increase….
…the cases identified so far may be only the tip of the iceberg….
Secondary transmission by blood transfusion or surgical instruments might result in NVC-JD becoming endemic in the UK population. This would prove impossible to eradicate in the absence of improved means of cleaning and decontaminating surgical instruments and a specific test — preferably based on a blood assay — to screen asymptomatic carriers.
Note: standard sterilization of surgical instruments aims to kill organisms, not remove all traces of the chemicals on the instruments.
Do You Love Horror Stories?
Every fan of scary movies knows that nothing will freeze the blood in your veins faster than the NY Times’s fell editorial policy. It’s sure to give even the most jaded lover of terror tales some delightful shivers and heart-stopping shocks.
So, if you are a horror show junkie, pack your portable defibrilator and go here, and click on those links.
We hope you find your trip though the Knickerbocker House of Hateful and Malicious Abuse of Journalistic Privilege suitably appalling!