Category Archives: Healthcare

Justice John Roberts Cements Position … On The DC Party Circuit

Healthcare, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Law, The Courts

Did you expect anything different from Justice John G. Roberts Jr.? Why? This is the chief of the country’s legal politburo of proctologists, who had previously rewritten Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and then proceeded to provide the fifth vote to uphold the individual mandate undergirding the law, thereby undeniably and obscenely extending Congress’s taxing power.

What did this “conservative” jurist do NOW? Reports Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUS Blog:

… a divided Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that subsidies to help lower-income Americans buy health insurance will remain available in all fifty states.

That, the Court concluded by a six-to-three vote, was what Congress intended when it passed the sweeping overhaul of the health insurance market five years ago. If the subsidies are not available across the nation, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote for the majority, that would bring about “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

Had the ruling in King v. Burwell gone the other way, to eliminate subsidies in thirty-four states, at least 6.4 million Americans likely would have almost immediately lost the insurance coverage that many of them have for the first time. And, given the way Congress wrote an interlocking law, the cascading effect of the loss of subsidies for so many probably would have collapsed the whole arrangement — a point that Roberts embraced in foreseeing the potential for a “death spiral” for the ACA.

The Chief Justice’s twenty-one-page opinion was an often technical interpretation of many arcane provisions of the ACA, but it was clear that the outcome had been driven in considerable part because the majority had accepted the centrality of the subsidy scheme to the law as a whole, and had found persuasive the dire predictions of the impact of sharply paring down that scheme.

The decision closely tracked most of the arguments that the Obama administration had made in defending the nationwide availability of subsidies, in the form of tax credits. …

MORE.

“A Romp Down Memory Lane With Justice Roberts” will show that Roberts has always been about the moves. With his affirmation of the right of the state to compel the individual into a purchase, Justice Roberts moved into the DC party circuit. Roberts’ smooth moves, today, on behalf of The Powers will cement his position on this circuit.


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Dr. Mehmet Oz Vs. Mainstream Medicine

Ethics, Free Markets, Healthcare

So he often advocates what a Vox.com writer terms derisively “simple tricks and natural remedies.” (Come to think about it, isn’t good health about some very simple things?) But has Dr. Mehmet Oz ever killed anyone with his friendly advice or during cardiac and thoracic surgery? Members of the medical establishment certainly have with their Food and Drug Administration approved remedies and interventions, their phony food pyramid, not to mention the many bans and shortages the FDA creates.

I don’t watch Dr. Oz’s show, but in the odd segment I’ve seen, he appears genuine, humble, likeable; someone who loves people (especially the ladies) and does his best to make them happier and healthier. He also makes a bundle in the process. Wicked, I know. At least so the medical establishment thinks. Via CNN:

Earlier this week, a group of 10 physicians from across the country emailed a letter to Columbia University expressing disapproval that Oz is on the faculty. The email sent to Columbia’s faculty dean for Health Sciences and Medicine, Dr. Lee Goldman, said the group is “surprised and dismayed” that Oz is on faculty and that he holds a senior administrative position. Oz is vice chair of the Department of Surgery, at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The email was sent by Dr. Henry Miller, a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. It was signed by nine other physicians from across the country, none of whom are affiliated with Columbia. They accuse Oz of, what they call, “manifesting an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.”

Dr. Richard Green, the associate chief of cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgery at New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center disagrees:

Oz has achieved some of the greatest scientific accomplishments of his career at Columbia. While a resident there, he was the four-time winner of the prestigious Blakemore research prize, which goes to the most outstanding surgery resident. He now holds 11 patents for inventing methods and devices involved in heart surgeries and transplants. This includes helping to research and develop the left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, which helps keep people alive while they’re awaiting a heart transplant. Oz had a hand in turning the hospital’s LVAD program into one of the biggest and most active in the world.

Dr. Green greeted me in a beige hospital hallway, a compact man with worn skin and white hair, dressed in blue scrubs. In his office, which was decorated with family pictures, diplomas, and medical textbooks, he alternately praised and defended his colleague. He said the following things about Oz: “He’s a brilliant mind.” “He’s a very charming person.” “He has great energy.” “He’s uniformly respected and admired here.” “Maybe he should be president. I would vote for him.” “He’s a talent. He’s multidirectional.” “As for the other doctors who are on TV, I don’t put them in [Oz’s] league. Not even close.”

Green also suggested that the leveling off we’re seeing in obesity rates in the US may be thanks to the awareness Oz has raised about the importance of eating more healthfully and exercising.

MORE.


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Britain’s Best Bitch Flouts ‘The Tyranny Of Nice’*

Britain, Celebrity, Feminism, Healthcare, Political Correctness, Pop-Culture

Katie Hopkins: “I’m a woman of my convictions, I’ll say what I like and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen.” “I went to a convent. The sisters there said to never use the word nice, because it’s the worst word in the English language. I tend to agree.”

So do I.

Britain’s best bitch has gotten into trouble with the PC brigade in the US, too, for quipping that singer “Kelly Clarkson does look a bit like she ate her backing singers,” and that, during pregnancy, when “she took [up] eating for two … she decided to eat for 10.” And, “If you can’t find the fun in that, then more pity on you.”

“That’s not bullying,” laughed Hopkins at the Access Hollywood dumbfounded (and dumb) duo,”That’s a great line.”

Agreed (maybe not great, but certainly funny).

Hopkins added that “it’s her responsibility as a woman to tell others to get off their [vast] asses and stop costing her money (through the UK’s NHS, the socialized healthcare system, where, as with Obamacare, the healthy subsidize the unhealthy).

Viva Katie Hopkins for flouting “the tyranny of nice” (also a book by Kathy Shaidle).


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The Congressional Budget Oafs SOP

Debt, Economy, Healthcare

“Obamacare’s A Marketplace In The Same Way The Knockout Game Is A Game” offered this assessment of the modus operandi of the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs):

[Like] the pundits who bestow them with the “non-partisan” adjectival, the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs), protect the status-quo. This federal agency is as “independent” as the country’s columnists, who might as well register as lobbyists for the RNC or DNC respectively.
Typically, the CBO will first confirm government predictions of the great savings that will accrue due to this or the other wastrel, welfare program. Later, when it’s safer, they adjust their statistical sleight of hand.
Yes, getting reliable data out of the CBO is like frisking a wet seal.

Zero Care will impose $1 trillion in tax increases and $2 trillion in subsidies. Yet, the CBOafs initially scored the program positively. Only a day ago, not untypically, the CBOafs were touting the increasing (alleged) affordability of the Affordable Care Act (not for me). Right away, the CBOafs then pivot to warn of the “Heightening Risk of Fiscal Crisis.” Via Breitbart.com:

CBO Director Douglas Elmdorf testified that debt will exceed 100% of GDP within 25 years and continue to rise, a “trend that could not be sustained” and would eventually heighten “the risk of a fiscal crisis” before the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“Although the deficits in our baseline projections remain roughly stable as a percentage of GDP through 2018, as I noted, they rise after that. The deficit in 2025 is projected to be $1.1 trillion, or 4% of GDP, and cumulative deficits over the 2016 to 2025 period are projected to total $7.6 trillion. We expect that federal debt held by the public will amount to 74% of GDP at the end of this fiscal year, more than twice what it was at the end of 2007, and higher than in any year since 1950. By 2025, in our baseline projections, federal debt rises to nearly 79% of GDP. When CBO last issued long-term budget projections in the summer, we projected that, under current law, debt would exceed 100 percent of GDP 25 years from now, and would continue on an upward trajectory thereafter. That trend that could not be sustained. Such large and growing federal debt would have serious negative consequences, including increasing federal spending for interest payments, restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually heightening the risk of a fiscal crisis” he stated.

According to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the CBO, the revised economic projections “do not materially change” predictions that debt will exceed 100% of GDP in 25 years and “CBO’s current projection of debt as a percentage of GDP in 2024 is quite close to that used as the starting point for the projections in The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook [where the CBO also predicted that debt will be 100% of GDP in 25 years.]”


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Minion Takes The Fall For Materminds Of ObamaCare

Healthcare, Regulation, Republicans

Everything Congress does is a charade. Grubby hired hand Jonathan Gruber—an academic unburdened by a scholarly mind, who was commissioned to push ObamaCare with econometrics and Arguments from Authority—is being crisscrossed by a Congress that intends to do nothing to nullify this law.

It’s hard to tell who’s the bigger cad in the formulaic farce, J-Grub or the Congress conglomerate, as represented by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, told Gruber:

“You made a series of troubling statements that were not only an insult to the American people, but revealed a pattern of intentional misleading [of] the public about the true impact and nature of ObamaCare.”
Gruber has come under fire for claiming ObamaCare’s authors took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter.”

The nub of the matter: J-Grub was fired from his fraud-pushing, lucrative, tax-funded consulting gigs. The Master Planners have not been dismissed, neither will they.

What we’re observing is a minion—Dr. Grubber—falling on his sword, thus serving to distract a nation with a short-attention span and zero retention from the real culprits: Barack Obama, his sleigh-of-hand Senate and Republicans who’ve failed to stop funding for the Affordable Care healthcare juggernaut.

Issa’s mild reprimand of J-Grub is the extent of the action against this oppressive law: “So you’re a smart man who said some … really stupid things.”


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Gruber Or Curveball?

BAB's A List, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Iraq, Republicans

By Myron Pauli

Ann Coulter, columnist and perpetual Republican apologist, recently wrote an article [1] contrasting “health care expert” Jonathan Gruber with the row over memos leading the US to War with Iraq. Much as I loathe appearing to be defending Obama against Republicans, Ann is very much wrong in exonerating Republican fabrications vs. Democratic ones.

Let me start with Gruber. However arrogant he is and however much his comic book [2] dumbs down health care complexities to sell this to the American voting booboisie—he embodies precisely what politics is about. Koch, Soros, Rockefeller, Adelson, and Bloomberg spend millions on largely retarded 30 second spots like “Smith is a corrupt pedophile who hates whites, blacks, men, women, gays, old folks, Hispanics, Asians and dogs … ” because they work. Politics is the art of dumbing down and dumb usually wins when repeated often enough.

I also have no intrinsic objection to a Ph.D. “expert” economist making money consulting on health care. In fact, if health insurance were deregulated, there would arguably be a market for consultants to help consumers decide between Missouri Aetna, Pennsylvania Kaiser, Idaho Blue Cross, etc. – with various deductible, co-pay, premiums, maximums, waiting periods, PPO’s, HMO’s, HSA’s, ad nauseum to choose from. If Congress cannot read a 2900 page bill, do you expect the average small business owner or truck driver to sort through all the fine print of competing insurance? In fact, there is a market for insurance agents, travel agents, stockbrokers, hedge fund operators, and career consultants who make money off their expertise on complex matters. My objection is only to Gruber seeking his living by using coercion of the taxpayers, rather than in the private sector. Because health care decisions are both complex and personal, they should be the responsibility of free citizens [3].

But if Gruber was peddling semi-socialized Romneycare and Obamacare to the quasi-ignorant masses, what does one say about an Iraqi Shiite conman named Curveball [4] – a failed engineering student, embezzler, and taxi driver who was put up by friends of neocon hero Chalabi to fabricate ludicrous tales of WMD threats to the $70 billion a year American “intelligence community.” This “intelligence community” passed on these fabrications to be amplified repeatedly with leaks confirming rumors confirming “intelligence” on “Iraqi WMD.”

The price of Curveball has so far been $2 trillion of a wasteful war, destabilization of the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and millions of people driven into exile. The Republicans and Democrats could (but most likely will not) permit free markets in health care (but will probably not do it) and thus Obamacare could be a temporary change in raising or lowering premiums, co-pays, deductibles and paperwork. The damage of a Gruber could be a temporary blip. On the other hand, how do you put the Middle East back together after a decade of destruction and destabilization?

The commonality between the Grubers and the Curveballs is that both involve national coercion – the former to get everyone behind coercive health care mandates and the latter used to commit the nation to an endless series of wars. Welfare State and Warfare State are both part of an ever expanding government and ever expanding debt.

As for Republicans vs. Democrats, you have two rival gangs vying for the levers of power without ever reducing either the welfare state or the warfare state. At best, they can both express hypocritical shock that the other side would “lie to the American people.” And the American people go along with the “good cop/bad cop” deception as if in the interrogation room of a Law and Order episode. To reduce critical thinking to arguments of the relative merits of Gruber’s vs. Curveball’s deception is merely to go along with the larger partisan deception.

Gruber and Curveball are just able to make a buck along the way from willing government customers. In physics, a thermodynamic quantity called entropy (related to disorder) always increases. Similarly, as Jefferson noted, “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

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[1] http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2014/11/19/isnt-jonathan-gruber-worse-than-the-downing-street-memo-n1921260
[2] http://video.mit.edu/watch/mit-economist-gruber-clarifies-health-care-law-in-a-comic-book-11139/
[3] http://barelyablog.com/only-a-sicko-trusts-the-state-with-his-health/
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball_%28informant%29

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Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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