Category Archives: Healthcare

Free Spaying For Stalinists

Constitution, Feminism, Healthcare, Law, Private Property

“Free Spaying For Stalinists” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Today we celebrate the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776. Just how little is left, in 2014, of the Declaration’s unalienable rights was demonstrated by the Supreme Court’s ruling, in the case of the Secretary of Health And Human Services versus three faith-based, family owned businesses.

Having found a way to affirm the constitutionality of the unconstitutional Obamacare in the first place, a scurrilous SCOTUS, a branch in a tripartite tyranny, agreed to allow Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (arts-and-crafts), and Mardel (Christian books) a miniscule degree of freedom in the use of their property. The individuals who own and control these businesses had objected to paying for what they consider abortifacients. Instead of being compelled to cover 20 FDA-approved methods of contraception favored by their employees, the firms will be permitted to pay for only 16.

The obsequious are celebrating. The owners, the Hahn and Green families, were facing crippling fines of “$475 million per year for Hobby Lobby, $33 million per year for Conestoga, as well as $15 million per year for Mardel.” By dictate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), a refusal to pay for employees’ healthcare all together would have resulted in hefty penalties too.

The U.S. government—originally founded to uphold, not calibrate, the people’s leave-me-alone rights to life, liberty and property—had claimed that the free exercise of religion did not apply to for-profit corporations. The legal loadstar followed by government and Court alike is not the unequivocal Constitution—it instructs Congress to make no prohibition on the free exercise of religion—but rather the equivocating Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). …

Read the complete column, “Free Spaying For Stalinists”.

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The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)

Capitalism, Elections, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Hollywood, Military, Uncategorized, War

“The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has done some “conscious uncoupling” from reality. The term was disgorged by a celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, to announce a separation from her spouse. In the same breath, the actress bemoaned her gilded, glamorous life, and offended America’s military sacred cow by comparing the cyber-attacks she endures to the experience of war.

As heir to a political dynasty founded by a powerful man, Hillary has received millions of dollars to write books. Over the years, she and husband Bill Clinton have made hundreds of millions from both book deals and speaking engagements. Yet in a recent ABC interview, the former “First Housewife” complained about emerging from the White House not only “dead broke, but in debt”: “We had no money when we got there and we struggled to … piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.” …

… But on CNN, love is in the air. Viewers have expressed a belief that Hillary would restore the country to the Clinton years of peace and prosperity. Bill Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998, as well as a Sudanese pharmaceutical company that turned out to be the main manufacturer of medicines and vaccinations in Sudan. And he strafed the Serbs in 1999. Stateside, Bill butchered 76 men, women and children in Texas. Alas, so long as Hillary steers clear of another Waco, and confines her murderous sprees to killing far-away people from high above—few boots on the ground—her countrymen will consider her a peace-maker.

While prosperity during the Clinton years was due less to Clinton-economics than to Reaganomics and a Republican Congress not yet completely comatose—in fairness, Bill does grasp something about prosperity. “This is good work,” he famously said about Mitt Romney’s much-maligned work at Bain Capital. Hillary, conversely, has no economic acumen. “There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries,” she grumbled at the Clinton Global Initiative, in 2012. According to economist George Reisman’s cogent analysis—and contra Mrs. Clinton’s crushing ignorance—“a highly productive and provident one percent provides the standard of living of a largely ignorant and ungrateful ninety-nine percent.” As for Obama’s putsch for a North-Korean style health care: Instead of aborting it, Hillary will guarantee that Obamacare reaches full-term gestation.

Another wily fox called Bill (O’Reilly) has defended Mrs. Clinton’s riches as capitalism’s reward for hard work. Not quite. Hillary has accrued wealth by using the predatory political process to wield power over others. Although she has pudding for brains, Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, has made a living in the honest, productive, non-predatory and salutary ways of the free-market. Paltrow’s affluence, unlike Hillary’s, is a reward for assets she peddles to people who choose to purchase them. …

Read the complete column. “The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is now on WND.

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It’s Official: Obama Care To End Employer-Based Health Care

Business, Healthcare, Labor, Regulation

In “The Glories of Hussein’s Proctology,” I worried that, “Perhaps, like Michelle Malkin, I too will lose my coverage. It is not impossible that even a mammoth like Microsoft, whose chairman trumpets Big Government at every turn, will see the benefits to the bottom line of dropping spouses like myself.”

Our healthcare plan has since altered for the first time ever. The complete coverage we were previously afforded is now a high-deductible, cost-sharing plan with a health-savings account. It had already cost us over 2000 additional dollars in 2013.

A year has gone by, and the New York Times is pleased to bring tidings of these very developments, agreeing for the most with the researchers, S&P Capital IQ, that pushing people like me off coverage we like and want to keep, and onto the Idiot’s exchanges will make us gormless fools “more autonom[y] around [the] management of [our] own health care.”

The NYT is correct in that the third-payer system has turned the employer into “a social service agency.” The answer, however, is not more government, but a free-market in medicine where nothing comes between doctor and patient.


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UPDATED: Government Unleashes Weaponized Migrants (The Lot Of Legals)

Government, Healthcare, IMMIGRATION, libertarianism, Liberty, Objectivism, Paleolibertarianism

“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’” (May 1, 2009). However, the state, in the persons of the “Treason Lobby,” won’t even perform this basic obligation:

There’s a growing health concern with hundreds of illegal immigrants crossing over into southern Texas. Cabrera says agents are seeing illegal immigrants come over with contagious infections.
Detention centers and holding facilities have quarantined areas for those who come in sick. But Cabrera says the sick and healthy are separated only by caution tape.
“There’s been an outbreak of scabies that’s been going on for the past month,” Cabrera said.
Texas border resident Jorge Garcia says word about the contagious skin infection is getting around.
“Our Border Patrol agents check on us all the time and they told us about the outbreak of scabies,” Garcia said.
Cabrera says the sickness doesn’t stop at scabies.
“We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses,” Cabrera said.
Garcia believes the viruses are not confined to the detention center. Not long ago, a group of border-crossers came knocking on his door. … Cabrera doesn’t believe the federal government is doing enough. He says other Border Patrol agents have contracted scabies and he fears it will spread quickly.
“It’s contagious, we are transporting people to different parts of the state and different parts of the country,” Cabrera said.
“Just the fact we are exposed to it, and so is everyone here in south Texas, it’s a great concern to us,” Garcia said. (ABC)

For the correct, perspective, read about the “dazzling” Randian, Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq:

When Objectivists eulogized the dazzling Randian Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq., most downplayed her trenchant opposition to the unfettered flow of migrants across the 1,940-mile-long border with Mexico. To that end, the late Dr. Cosman “never hesitated to put her own time, money, and neck on the line for her beliefs,” even volunteering as a patrolwoman with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The quintessential “Renaissance woman,” Dr. Cosman was an expert aviator, health-care policy analyst, marksman, and musician. But on immigration, she sounded a bum note. …
Ms. Cosman’s study of “the effects of illegal immigration on the United States health-care system” culminated in the article “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine,” published, in 2005, by The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. It addressed the effects on the health system of the bleeding Southwestern border. …
That Mexico is Swine Flu Ground Zero has thrown Dr. Cosman’s work into sharp relief… not only are illegal aliens never asked about their immigration status, they go unexamined for contagious diseases, and are granted free health passes and free medical care in the event that they fall ill.
The influx of illegal aliens has serious hidden medical consequences, given that they often hail from backward and benighted regions, where “diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago” still rage.
Tuberculosis had largely disappeared from America “thanks to excellent hygiene and powerful modern drugs.” But a new Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, endemic to Mexico, has crossed into the United States. It kills 60 percent of those infected. “Each illegal with MDR-TB coughs and infects 10 to 30 people, who will not show symptoms immediately. Latent disease explodes later.” …
“Illegal Aliens and American Medicine”:
TB was virtually absent in Virginia until in 2002, when it spiked a 17 percent increase, but Prince William County, just south of Washington, D.C., had a much larger rise of 188 percent. Public health officials blamed immigrants. In 2001 the Indiana School of Medicine studied an outbreak of MDR-TB, and traced it to Mexican illegal aliens. The Queens, New York, health department attributed 81 percent of new TB cases in 2001 to immigrants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ascribed 42 percent of all new TB cases to foreign-born people who have up to eight times higher incidence. Apparently, 66 percent of all TB cases coming to America originate in Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam. …
Chagas disease is yet another disease that has been imported from Latin America and has infiltrated America’s blood supply. “Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs,” cautioned Dr. Cosman. “No cure exists. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected. After 10 to 20 years, up to 30 percent will die when their hearts or intestines, enlarged and weakened by Chagas, burst.”
Seven thousand cases of leprosy over the last 30 years may seem negligible, but “leprosy, a scourge in Biblical days and in medieval Europe,” had been eradicated in the US. Now it’s back. By the reluctant admission of the New York Times, it was brought over from Asia and Latin America. …

MORE.

UPDATE (6/9): THE LOT OF LEGALS. Uncle Sam thoroughly tested me, a legal resident. They know where I lived, age 16, and what antibodies course through my veins. I would think it’s important to ensure newcomers don’t “assault” locals with deadly diseases.


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Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch

Government, Healthcare, Military, Socialism, Taxation

“Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Why would a talented, dedicated cardiologist choose to be coffined in a medical gulag, weighed down by incompetents, his wages capped; his rewards incommensurate with his drive and dedication? He wouldn’t. Surprising as this seems to some, the best and brightest do not work for the state. Increasingly, government workers are carefully selected for the color of their complexion, for their sex and sexual or political orientation, not for their competence.

In a policy statement, the VA commissioner for Connecticut, a woman of course, crowed that applicants to her department are screened to ascertain “minimum qualifications.” “Maximum qualifications” are not required in this killer of a system. “Applicants who meet the essential level of preparation,” writes the woman, “are not excluded. The Human Resources Administrator must work to bring as many protected members into the system.” Her words. Once recruited, the needs of these precious, “protected-group members” are jealously guarded.

If “diversity” trumps talent in government hiring; so too is job security a legislated article of faith. In order to set in motion a termination or two—pursuant to public outrage over the scandal in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs facility, where as many as 40 gravely ill veterans died while waiting to be treated—Congress has had to convene to pass “The VA Accountability Bill.” In the unlikely event of a layoff, seniority is given priority over the quality of the worker. A good healthcare provider will be terminated before a tenured provider.

Layoffs are as scarce as hen’s teeth. A man has to commit mass murder before he is sacked. I wager that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan—the Jihadi who committed fratricide at Fort Hood—is still on the government’s payroll. Courtesy of The Immigration and Naturalization Service, the 9/11 assassins retained valid student visas, long after their demise. For his part, Hasan worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he terrified the patients entrusted to his care. By necessity, a private hospital (to the extent that such a thing still exists in post-Obamacare America) would have done its utmost to fire problematic personnel for fear of litigation.

It is becoming crystal clear that the rot pervades the “1,700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities” operated by the command-and-control federal government. “A common language of bureaucratic corruption” is how The Daily Beast described the routine exchanges between VA staff in several states, so far, in the course of conspiring to lie to the auditing VA inspector general, to “forge appointment records,” and to secrete away lists of soldiers who believed they were waiting for care, but were in fact waiting to die. …

Read the complete column. “Waiting To Die On the Government’s Watch” is now on WND.


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‘Keeping Track Of Which Countries The US Has Wrecked’

Healthcare, Iraq, Military, Republicans, War

On the radio, Friday, in the car, I heard Sean Hannity say that each Iraqi should have been made to pay America (which Hannity equates with the American government), in compensation for the blood our warriors shed in liberating those Iraqi ingrates.

Where does one start? How does a person’s worldview evolve to reflect the exact opposite of reality? Propaganda. You propagandize yourself as much as you propagandize others.

Mr. Hannity was suggesting a source of funds to compensate veterans for the indignities afflicted on them by Veterans Affairs Department.

Have Republicans not heard about privatization? Presumably, Mr. Hannity’s “patriotic” listeners find a suggestion of stealing from a poor people whose lives the US has destroyed way sexier than, say, privatizing that pit of perverse incentives that is the VA. It’s a socialized system much like Obama Care.

I suppose that, as Fred Reed says, “The world is full of countries, and it’s hard to keep track of which ones you’ve wrecked.”

And wreck Iraq we did. The truth is that, “More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain’s leading polling groups.” (See Reuters as well as “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey.”)

If personal stories are what you hanker after, here is the most excellent Arwa Damon’s report straight from the mouths of some sad, sad Iraqis:

Ten years on, one can easily look around Baghdad and see a veneer of normalcy. But nothing about Iraq or what it has been through is normal. The cloak of sorrow that hangs over the capital is more suffocating than ever, even if violence is slightly down.
“We’re not living,” one Iraqi colleague told me. “We’re just surviving.”
I think the ones who are good left, and only the bad people stayed here.
It’s as if the violence created a façade. People were so focused on staying alive they didn’t fully notice the corruption, suspicion and tribalism that had seeped into society and government. Now that attacks are down — and fewer Iraqis are killed every day — all that and more has risen to the surface.
Basma al-Khateeb and her two daughters, 22-year-old Sama and 14-year-old Zeina, are among the remnants of Baghdad’s elite — a family that could have left but chose to stay. Basma is an IT professional and well-known activist.
We’ve known Basma and her family for years — she is a regular guest on CNN — and have always marveled at their courage and determination, a love for country that trumped their desire to escape.
But even Basma is uttering what for her was unimaginable. “I lost hope six to seven months ago,” she said. “You don’t feel it’s home any more.
She paused, crushed by the weight of her own words. “Did I really say that?”
“Now the fear is different,” she explained. “You don’t know who is in the next car. They look at you as if you are different, your clothes, or even your gestures, your body language is different. We’re not comfortable being around the streets.”
“I think the people changed,” her daughter Sama added. “I think the ones who are good left, and only the bad people stayed here.”
It’s such an emotional, mentally complex notion that the family struggles to clearly define it — to be an alien in your own country.
“It’s a different culture, it’s a tribal culture. Before, there was no kind of culture that was dominant.”
Now there is. The streets feel hostile, and people continue to be wary of each other.
For the young, there is no room to mentally expand. For a professional like Sama, it’s either adopt the “principles” of corruption or find yourself unemployed.
“I had hope in the beginning and then I lost it,” she says. “It was like climbing the stairs and then there’s no end to it. You have to go down the stairs again. And that is depressing and very disappointing.
“This is no place for us. Because if I stay here, I have to be corrupt also, to live, to survive.”
In another time and place, Sama might have pursued her passion for the arts. She plays the piano beautifully. It’s a dream she plans to pursue far from her homeland.
As for Zeina, who has known nothing but war, she too wants to leave. Her first memory is of violence. Her defining moment of the last 10 years was a church bombing in 2010 in which her best friend was killed.
For their mother, this is the only home she has known. “I don’t want to have another home.”
But Basma wants something better for her daughters.
“In a certain time, at a certain point, it’s best for them to leave,” she says. “For study or work … for them to find out about themselves (and) be strong. They will not be strong here.”
Tragically, so many Iraqis I know echo those same sentiments. For the vast majority of them, the defining moments of the last 10 years are not of Saddam Hussein’s trial and execution, the drafting of the constitution or dipping their fingers in purple ink in the first elections.
It is the moment they last saw their loved one, gave them that last hug or kiss goodbye — not knowing it would turn out to be such a precious moment — before they were inexplicably, harshly torn away.


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