Category Archives: Government

US Has Over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 Are Private For-Profit Institution

America, Capitalism, Free Markets, Government, Healthcare

If you imagined America has a free market in medicine, read “Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”:

The country has over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 or so are private for-profit institutions; the rest are non-profit or government-run. The lack of an overt profit motive has done little to rein in prices, however. Hospital costs have risen at an annual rate of close to 5%, compared with below 1% for drug prices. … Nor has a charitable mission dampened the ambition of bosses at big hospital chains; seven-figure salaries are not unheard of at those with revenues exceeding $500m a year. They have also been on an acquisition binge. The number of deals has jumped from around 55 a year between 2002 and 2009 to 90 or more these days. Since 2018 non-profit hospitals have been the acquirers in three-quarters of the transactions.

How do government-run or subsidized hospitals engage in the capitalistic act of mergers?  They do so on the backs of taxpayers. Profits are privatized; losses are socialized. This is the stuff of cronyism.

Free market medicine we do not have. Before Coronavirus, Trump was looking to reform the nation’s hospitals.

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“Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”

* Image courtesy The Economist.

The Response To Date To Coronavirus In America: Just The Facts, Ma’am

America, Asia, China, Communism, Critique, Globalism, Government, Healthcare

“By March 1st, when South Korea had run 100,000 tests for the virus, America—which saw its first case on January 23rd—had run fewer than 500.
… a single undiagnosed case can, in principle, give rise to more than 3,000 cases six weeks later.”

Like it or not, The Economist is the gold standard of news gathering; of data analysis. But I guess, my own mind disdains a partisan approach to truth, which is patent in the approach to all things in the USA, coronavirus too.

Writes the Economist:

… in America the response to date has been a shambolic missed opportunity. Shockingly, the worst American bungling has more in common with the catastrophic early stages of the Chinese epidemic—when officials minimised risks and punished truth-tellers, thus letting the disease spread much further and faster than it might have—than with the country’s later co-ordinated control efforts. …

Take America. On February 25th Larry Kudlow, chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump, told reporters that “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but it’s pretty close to airtight.” As he spoke a cluster of cases at a care facility in Washington state was showing that America’s public-health agencies had been caught flat footed. Test kits made available by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were faulty; restrictions were limiting tests in other settings. By March 1st, when South Korea had run 100,000 tests for the virus, America—which saw its first case on January 23rd—had run fewer than 500. …

… “Test and you shall find,” says Gabriel Leung of the University of Hong Kong, who was also on the WHO team. “You either test and find it early, and do something about it, or the body bags are going to pile up,” he adds. …

… In South Korea, by contrast, the government is being forthright and formidably transparent, allowing Koreans to trace their possible brushes with the disease. As well as briefing the press thoroughly twice a day, and texting reporters details of every death, the government puts online a detailed record of each new patient’s movements over previous days and weeks …

China is now making 116m face masks a day, 12 times the production a month ago, with 1.7m of them the high-performance sort that health-care workers need when faced with patients coughing and sneezing. A General Motors joint venture in south-western China is making both its own disposable face masks and face-mask-making machinery for the many other companies doing the same. There are no precise figures for the production of tests, but the number carried out suggests that it, too, has soared.

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I wonder when production will be brought home, for future posterity and prosperity—ILANA MERCER

 

* Image courtesy of The Mirror.

 

Tucker: Opportunity To Contain Coronavirus Via Testing, Quarantine & Border Closings: MISSED!

China, Democrats, Globalism, Government, Healthcare, Homeland Security, Republicans

Tucker the Great nails left and right for coronavirus callousness. But, other than his warning over the US’s complete dependence on China, the operative words in Tucker’s monologue of 3/9/020 are these, paraphrased:

The opportunity to contain coronavirus through widespread testing, individual quarantines and blocking of the borders: MISSED! There are too many cases in the US now.

In other words, the very role of government—defending the country against an invasion of sorts—was botched.

As I wrote in 2009’s “The Swine (AKA The State) Are AWOL”: “Whether they are armed with bombs or bacteria, stopping weaponized individuals from harming others—intentionally or unintentionally–falls perfectly within the purview of the ‘night-watchman state of classical-liberal theory.”

Said Tucker:

“People you trust—probably voted for—have spent weeks minimizing what is a very serious problem. It’s partisan politics. Calm down. It’s just like the flu, they tell you.”

Wrong, warns the only honest man on TV. “The Chinese coronavirus is a major event. It will affect your life. And it’s definitely not the flu.”

And: One hundred people are dying daily in Italy from the virus. Since it takes six days for the number of coronavirus cases to double, it’ll likely be but a few weeks before the US is where Italy is now.

NEW COLUMN: America Has A Con Woman In Congress, But Where’s The Law?

Crime, Democrats, Ethics, Government, IMMIGRATION, Law

NEW COLUMN is at Townhall.com. Here is an excerpt from “America Has A Con-woman In Congress, But Where’s The Law?“:

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, which Americans are meant to trust with matters of life and death, is unable—or unwilling—to confirm whether Representative Ilhan Omar perpetrated fraud by marrying her brother, Ahmed Elmi, to enable him to obtain the coveted Green Card, thus granting him permanent-resident status in the U.S., and a path to citizenship. But the agency is said to be “investigating.”

Conversely, the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, had little difficulty gathering a critical mass of facts, enough to conclude that, in 2009, Omar did indeed secretly wed said sibling. The newspaper, and anyone else suggesting the same, has yet to be sued by Omar. Could the story be true?

As it happens, a Somali community leader has also outed Ilhan Omar as an outlaw. Abdihaikm Osman Nur contends that the Somali-born representative from Minnesota “had indeed married her brother.” So reported Tucker Carlson, a Fox News anchor.

Despite “a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia,” which complicates an investigation and a definitive determination, the British tabloid dug up the requisite information that the FBI has yet to release. The young man whom Omar is alleged to have married certainly bears a remarkable resemblance to the congresswoman. They’re both … pretty (although Elmi looks happier and a lot more festive).

It was in August of 2016 that Mr. Nur, aforementioned, seconded the story first published by Scott Johnson, of the Powerline blog: Omar had married her sibling, ostensibly to allow him to stay in the U.S.  As the Daily Mail had relayed, Mr. Nur took issue with Omar’s alleged marriage-cum-immigration fraud. It would appear that the British tabloid was more vested in the truth, as this patriotic Somali told it, than was the FBI.

To date, these are the facts on the fraud alleged to have been committed by a member of the U.S congress. Yet nobody is likely to do more than mutter at the striking absence of scruples in Ilhan Omar. For not only does she appear to flout the law, but she also offends sensibilities: Omar had first married Ahmed Hirsi, father of her children, in 2002. Bigamy and incest (even if the relationship is unconsummated) are cultural taboos.

Contrast Omar’s treatment in the U.S. with the manner in which the Dutch government treated a lesser form of immigration fraud committed by another Somali, Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  …

… THE REST of “America Has A Con Woman In Congress, But Where’s The Law?” can be read at Townhall.com