Tag Archives: desease

Ralph R. Reiland “Very Scary Redistribution via Obamacare”

You’d think the central planners at the White House would go outside their small group of relatives for some top-notch expertise when they’re trying to revamp something as big and complex as one-sixth of the American economy.

When Bill Clinton sought to radically overhaul American health care, he made the mistake of putting Hillary in charge.

This time around, Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is on the Obama team as a special advisor on health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

What Hillary’s months of closed-door meetings produced was a top-down, command-and-control plan that put federal bureaucrats in charge of the decision-making and conduct of doctors, patients, employers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and state governments. To fund her Rube Goldberg scheme, Mrs. Clinton, with no experience in business or medicine, advocated a federal mandate that required employers to pick up the health insurance tab for all their employees.

Asked about the jobs and small businesses that the mandate would destroy, she said, “I can’t go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America.” She didn’t acknowledge that it was precisely her mandate that would cause the undercapitalization.

Her verdict for the small businesses that couldn’t afford to give full health care coverage to 100 percent of their employees? “Where I come from, free loaders and free riders get no respect.” The message was loud and clear: Go out of business if you can’t pay for my vision.

The result was a defeat for HillaryCare and Republicans picking up 52 House seats and eight Senate seats in the 1994 election, plus five more seats in the House and two in the Senate due to party-switching, giving Republicans control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.

The promise from today’s White House is that ObamaCare will somehow provide universal coverage while simultaneously increasing quality, decreasing costs and reducing federal deficits.

The writings of Obama health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel provide some insight into how our current crop of central planners might well be intending to accomplish these seemingly conflicting goals.

Last year in Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, Emanuel wrote that “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipsick’ cost controls, more for show and public relations than for true change.”

In other words, the billions in the House and Senate health reform bills for “infrastructure” pork, i.e., “wellness” by way of jungle gyms and walking paths, are just so much “lipstick.”



In her recent “Deadly Doctors: Obama Advisors Want to Ration Care” article, former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, reports on where Emanuel sees the real savings, citing an article he wrote last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, ‘as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others.’”

The “effects on others” is the key. He’s saying we’ve got to think more collectively and less about ourselves. “Emanuel,” writes McCaughey, “wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.”



If “social justice” demands more spending on the young and less on the old, Emanuel explains why this isn’t a case of discrimination: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.”



Granny, in short, should move on because she’s had her chance. “Social justice” requires that a costly individual be sacrificed for the collective.



An essay co-authored by Emanuel on the “just allocation of health care resources” in the Hasting Center Report, November-December 1996, provides some detail regarding who should be rationed out of the system, i.e., “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” 



We should die, in short, if we’re deemed by the authorities to be insufficiently participating.

Pelosi “I can not pass bill…without a public option”

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — House Speaker Nancy Peloci said legislation to revamp the U.S. health-care system won’t get through her chamber unless it creates a government-run insurance program to compete with the private industry.

“There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option,” the California Democrat said at a press conference in San Francisco yesterday.

Pelosi drew a line in the sand on one of the most contentious issues surrounding the health-care overhaul after Obama administration officials earlier suggested the White House might be willing to back away from the public option to win broader support. Republicans and even some Democrats have said the idea is a nonstarter in the Senate.

“The government-run plan would turn into a bureaucratic nightmare,” Senator Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, wrote in a USA Today opinion piece on Aug. 19. “In the finance committee, six of us leading the negotiations are working from the premise that there will not be a government-run plan.”

Enzi last night joined in a call with the five other senators in a group led by finance committee Chairman Max Baucus that’s trying to craft a health-care plan. The panel is the only one of five congressional panels with jurisdiction over health care that is attempting to find a bipartisan compromise.

They’ll Meet Again

“Our discussion included an increased emphasis on affordability and reducing costs, and our efforts moving forward will reflect that focus,” Baucus said in a statement last night after the telephone meeting. He said the six senators plan to convene again before coming back to Washington in September.

The group’s effort is getting more complicated as lawmakers face protests at home and as proposals such as the public option draw fire. Supporters say a government plan is the best way to bring down costs and insure more people; opponents say it would expand the role of government too much and undercut the market for companies such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.

Obama yesterday reiterated his support for the proposal.

“If we have a public option in there, that can help keep insurers honest,” he told a group of Democratic Party community organizers in Washington.

Continuing the push for his top domestic priority, Obama asked the activists who helped his 2008 campaign to organize neighbors to support the health-care effort and urged them not to “lose heart as we enter into probably our toughest fight.”

Ratings Fall

Obama’s approval ratings have fallen as the health-care debate has intensified in contentious town-hall meetings held by Democratic lawmakers across the U.S. Obama, who spoke at three town halls last week, told supporters their help is needed to correct misperceptions.

The president said he’s willing to work with Republicans, while adding “there are some people who for partisan reasons just want to see this go down.”

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released today found that half of Americans oppose changes to the health system based on what they know about the proposals, compared with 45 percent who support them. Still, when asked about whether they would support a government-run option, 52 percent of poll respondents said they would, compared with 46 percent who wouldn’t.

The fissures between the chambers and the parties raise the possibility that Democrats might try to use their majorities in the House and Senate to pass legislation on their own. In the Senate, that means they would likely have to use a process known as reconciliation, which is designed for budget issues and requires only a majority of votes for passage.

‘Never Stopped Talking’

“We’ve never stopped talking about reconciliation,” Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said in an interview. “It’s by far not the preferred option.”

Obama and top congressional Democrats say they favor a bipartisan approach yet have pledged to pass the legislation by the end of the year.

“We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill,” Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader HArry Reid, said on Aug. 19. “‘However, patience is not unlimited and we are determined to get something done this year.”

Senators have started conferring with their parliamentarian about potential problems with reconciliation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on a conference call today.

Finance Panel

The Senate finance panel is the only one still working on a plan. Three committees in the House and one in the Senate have approved their versions of the legislation on party-line votes.

Unlike those committees, the finance group is leaning against a mandate on employers to cover workers or pay a penalty. Instead of a public option, the senators on the panel are considering allowing the creation of nonprofit cooperatives with government seed money.

There’s also the question of how to pay for a plan that may cost $1 trillion over 10 years. House Democrats want to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans; the Senate negotiators are weighing a tax on the most-generous health plans.

“Something as big and important as health-care legislation should have broad-based support,” Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican negotiator, said Aug. 19. “So far, no one has developed that kind of support, either in Congress or at the White House. We should keep working.”

Besides Baucus, Grassley and Enzi, the Senate negotiators include Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine and Democrats Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.

House Changes

Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, today said House leaders are considering changes to their plan, including raising the threshold for a proposed surtax on the wealthy to those earning at least $500,000 a year from $350,000. He sounded a different note on the public option than Pelosi.

“I’m for a public option, but I’m also for passing a bill,” Hoyer said. “We believe the public option is a necessary, useful and very important aspect of this, but you know we’ll have to see because there are many important aspects of the bill.”

Pelosi yesterday said lawmakers have to pass a comprehensive bill rather than a watered-down compromise.

“Frankly, I don’t know when we’d do it if we don’t take that giant step now,” she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kristin Jensen in Washington at kjensen@bloomberg.net; Catherine Dodge in Washington at cdodge1@bloomberg.net

Obama “Republican conspiracy out to kill health reform”

President Obama took to the conservative airwaves Thursday to charge that Republican leaders are engaged in a vast right-wing conspiracy to kill health care reform in order to repeat the 1994 mid-term takeover of Congress, which followed the defeat of President Clinton’s reform plan.

“I think early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory, maybe we can have a replay of 1993, ’94, when Clinton came in, he failed on health care and then we won in the mid-term elections and we got the majority. And I think there are some folks who are taking a page out that playbook,” the president said.

Appearing on the Michael Smerconish radio show, Mr. Obama said he would “love to have more Republicans engaged and involved in this process,” but he vowed to win the battle, with or without support from the minority party in Congress.

“I guarantee you, Joe, we are going to get health care reform done,” he said to one caller. “I know there are a lot of people out there who’ve been handwringing, and folks in the press are following every little twist and turn of the legislative process, but having a big bill like this is always messy.”

Doctor Newson fired from Bay County Health Department because he was educating the public with sardonic warnings

Dr. Jason Newsom railed against burgers, french fries, fried chicken and sweet tea in his campaign to promote better eating in a part of the country known as the Redneck Riviera. He might still be leading the charge if he had only left the doughnuts alone.

A 38-year-old former Army doctor who served in Iraq, Newsom returned home to Panama City a few years ago to run the Bay County Health Department and launched a one-man war on obesity by posting sardonic warnings on an electronic sign outside:

“Sweet Tea (equals) Liquid Sugar.”

“Hamburger (equals) Spare Tire.”

“French Fries (equals) Thunder Thighs.”

He also called out KFC by name to make people think twice about fried chicken.

Then he parodied “America Runs on Dunkin’,” the doughnut chain’s slogan, with: “America Dies on Dunkin’.”

Some power players in the Gulf Coast tourist town decided they had had their fill.

A county commissioner who owns a doughnut shop and two lawyers who own a new Dunkin’ Donuts on Panama City Beach turned against him, along with some of his own employees, Newsom says. After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses at the Florida Health Department made him remove the anti-fried dough rants and eventually forced him to resign, he says.

“I picked on doughnuts because those things are ubiquitous in this county. Everywhere I went, there were two dozen doughnuts on the back table. At church, there were always doughnuts on the back table at Sunday school. It is social expectation thing,” says Newsom, a lean 6-foot, 167-pounder in a county where 39 percent of all adults were overweight in 2007 and one in four was considered obese.

Newsom was hired by the state Health Department to direct the county agency. His $140,000-a-year salary is paid jointly by the state and the county. His job primarily involves educating the public about health issues — swine flu, AIDS and the like — but he also decided to address the dangers of glazed, sprinkled and jelly-filled treats.

He angered staff members by barring doughnuts from department meetings and announcing he would throw the fat-laden sweets away if he saw them in the break room. He also banned candy bars in the vending machines, putting in peanuts instead.

In May, lawyers Bo Rivard and Michael Duncan, co-owners of a new Dunkin’ Donuts, asked Newsom to take down the “America Dies on Dunkin'” message. Newsom already had run other anti-doughnut warnings, including “Doughnuts (equals) Diabetes,” and “Dunkin’ Donuts (equals) Death.”

The businessmen had the backing of County Commissioner Mike Thomas, who owns a diner and a doughnut shop. Thomas called for Newsom’s ouster, saying the doctor shouldn’t have named businesses on the message board.

“I think he was somewhat of a zealot,” Thomas says. “I don’t have a problem with him pushing an agenda, it’s the way he did it. People borrowed money to go into business and they are being attacked by the government.”

A short time after Newsom’s meeting with Rivard and Duncan, Newsom says, his bosses at the state Health Department told him that his leadership wasn’t wanted and that he could be fired or resign. He chose to resign May 8 but has reapplied for the job.

“I have never been known for my subtlety. I don’t have a knack for it. I speak the truth to people and just assume that that my data and purpose are so real and true that everyone will see the value of what I’m doing,” says Newsom, who now works at a prison, doing exams of inmates.

Rivard and Duncan did not return numerous calls to their offices.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is pleased that the signs have been removed,” Andrew Mastrangelo, a spokesman for Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts said in an e-mail.

The Florida Health Department has refused to talk about Newsom since he is considered a job applicant. “We will be happy to talk to you after the position has been filled,” department spokeswoman Susan Smith said in an e-mail.

Newsom is hoping to get his job back so that he can resume his campaign against overeating.

“My method was a little provocative and controversial,” he says, “but there wasn’t a person in Bay County who wasn’t talking about health and healthy eating.”

Article written by Melissa Nelson at the Associated Press.

PETA crosses the line…again!

PETA's new billboard in Jacksonville, FL

PETA's new billboard in Jacksonville, FL

PETA’s latest marketing campaign shows a heavy set women’s back with a slogan of “Save the Whales,  Lose the blubber: Go Vegetarian”…

Let me count the many reasons why this may be offensive…for starters, I don’t think school yard meanness is a way to grab attention in helping anyone! 

I know PETA is all about getting attention and being over the top with their tactics.  But being judgmental in such a mean way is offensive.

Yes, we know being overweight has negative effects with your health, esteem and life style.  We get it! 

If PETA wants to help these women, how about showing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?….

Congressman Barney Frank blows a gasket at Town Hall Meeting

Congressman Eric Cantor discusses Health Care Reform Bill