Rationale to ration

Medical Welfare Programs Look To Price Another Year Of Life

Medicaid and other medical welfare entitlement programs have created expectations that are bigger than the resources available to meet them. As a result, some welfare bureaucracies are looking to ration expensive drugs through a controversial method designed to put a price on the value of a human life.

If a beneficiary of a social welfare program needs a particular drug whose price exceeds a predetermined value of a “quality-adjusted life year” for the individual, under this method, that person would not get the drug. It is already in use in Great Britain’s single-payer health care system and in other nations. Some in the U.S. think it should be used here, too.

When the government pays for something, it gives bureaucrats a taxpayer-based rationale to refuse to pay for it.

See the Green New Deal fantasy: It’s a list of things, including electricity, gasoline, home heating, land use, product design, hourly wages, preferred occupation, food choice, and, yes, health care; all of which will be rationed or regulated. Why? In order to implement their view of “social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality

Is it any wonder GND proponents support “some are more equal than others” thugs like Venezuela’s Maduro and Cuba’s Castro?

Germ theory denialism

99% of the anti-vaxxers in and near Portland, Oregon will call you a “science denier” if you suggest CAGW is debatable in any way. Simultaneously, they choose to risk the death of their children from measles.  Never mind the danger to others of providing many more disease vectors.

State of emergency declared in US measles outbreak

This is a serious disease we had eliminated in the United States 20 years ago, until these morons decided to believe the germ theory of disease didn’t apply to them; while inviting thousands of poor people from third-world countries to live among them without medical exams.

Apparently, there’s no victim-identity group for “children who haven’t had measles vaccinations.” Odd, since there is one for “sex-transitioning 10 year olds.”

Perhaps the fact that measles is a very serious disease when contracted by an adult male contributes to the disdain for vaccination among these Rousseauian wannabes.

Welcome to the Party, Mr. President

Mr. President, I am thrilled you have noticed the Tea Party movement. I know the day after nearly a million people attended Tea Parties across the nation Mr. Gibbs said you hadn’t noticed.

But, yesterday, in St. Louis, you said:

“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”

Mr. President, you do have a habit of attacking straw men. We definitely agree – I and think I speak for most of those demonstrating on April 15th – that a serious conversation is needed about all your grandiose plans. We wish we thought you weren’t serious, and we’re seeing now that you understand we are serious. Heck, even a serious soliloquy on your part would have been appreciated, so an invitation to dialog is a wonderful thing. I’ll start.

We need to start our serious conversation by recognizing that we cannot afford to add over $600 billion to spending on health care, as you, Mr. President have proposed. Your good intentions to save money this way are naive, and can only work through rationing. We should take a lesson from other countries where health care is “paid for” by the government and is, perforce, universally rationed. You never mention that when you speak of the “investment.”

I agree we must abandon the failed policy of employer subsidized health care ushered in during WWII. General Motors, for one excellent example, offered health care to its workers because the government let them deduct it, and because GM needed some way to attract and keep talented employees under federal wage and price controls. Government fecklessness was the beginning of this mess, and the beginning of the end for GM. We’ve learned nothing from the 3 obvious lessons above, or at least you haven’t. Offering government health care to fix this decades long corporatist problem will just make it worse.

Government already controls over half of all health care expenditures in this country, and that, and the accompanying regulations, are the biggest barriers to the competition that would help reduce costs. If you are successful in taking over health care it will become the single largest reason for doctors to quit being doctors – already an issue.

It is true that even with such massive government intervention there are entrepreneurs proving costs can be dramatically lowered. You propose to stop such innovation and replace it with scarcity managed by bureaucrats.

As to intentions, let’s take the instance of the increase in tobacco tax that is intended to fund SCHIP, children’s health care. This is a good intention, but the tax disproportionately affects lower income people and it will increase the cost of health care in direct proportion to the improvement in health of the people who live longer because they quit smoking. Better to let them pay for the cigarettes and for the health care entirely on their own.

To fix Social Security we must acknowledge that the general government has been lying and stealing, conducting a ponzi scheme, for decades, and that the reason Social Security is already insolvent is because government could not control its greed. Any private enterprise would be fearful of prosecution under RICO. Even in the face of this fact, your predecessor gave us the largest single entitlements increase in our history. You promise to quadruple his error.

You want to fix education by federalizing it and dumping in more money. By that measure Washington, D.C. should already have the most successful public education system in the United States. It is difficult to grant you the benefit of the doubt here due to your direct involvement in failed experiments in Chicago. To fix education we must turn it back to the States and allow experimentation, in vivid contrast to the recent shameful actions of your administration in canceling a successful vouchers program in Washington, D.C..

Addressing our energy future by doubling down on failed subsidization policies is simply perpetuating the corporate welfare scheme both your predecessors ran on behalf of the ethanol pirates. We should be encouraging private industry to build nuclear plants, and we should do so by repealing unnecessary regulation – which will also save the general government money. We should encourage windmills and solar in the same way, by getting out of the way. If they can’t make their way, so be it.

I must say I am happy to hear you’d like to have a serious conversation with the Tea Party movement, because I am really worried there won’t be any debate in Congress. As I’m sure you know the Senate Democrats voted yesterday, alone, to pass the outline of your $3.4 trillion budget. They are threatening to invoke reconciliation, which, as I’m certain you know from your many years as Senator, reduces the final vote required to pass a bill to a simple majority and limits debate to 20 hours. Even Senator Byrd finds this outrageous when it involves a budget bill. When that bill involves well over $3 trillion, any serious person must wonder if you even have a clue what that means.

I am disappointed that the world’s greatest deliberative body will probably have very little time in which to debate the implications of your unprecedented increase in spending and the effect your policies are likely to have on the quality of health care, the cost of energy, job creation, and the further mediocritization of American education your Faustian bargain with the NEA necessitates. If your plans for massive additional intrusion into the lives of American citizens by the general government come to fruition it will damage this country severely, perhaps irreparably. And that will hurt the whole world.

Mr. President, I heard you say you would prefer not to be forced by circumstances to be in the banking or automobile businesses and that you don’t want to expand government. Like many things you say this is quite clever and partially true, but it hides the real point. Why, indeed, would you be satisfied with ownership of a moribund automobile industry and the boring business of finance? After all, these things are small potatoes compared to the health care and energy industries, and are minuscule compared to future dividends promised by the federalization of the indoctrination industry. Sadly, your ambitions are not nearly so small as General Motors or Bank of America.

So, let me know, I’ll be there for a substantive discussion at your convenience. Maybe we can even touch on the concept of minority rights if you have time.

"Conservative"

They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means.
Canadians prefer Obama over own leaders: poll

A new poll suggests Canadians would prefer to vote for Barack Obama rather than cast a ballot for their own political leaders, ……Obama appealed to people across Canada’s political spectrum, with 24 per cent of conservative-minded voters choosing him and 28 per cent of liberal thinkers.

Umm…. the self-definition of “conservative” seems to be beyond the comprehension of 24% of 41% of the 1,000 Canadians polled. That’s 98 people and a bit, or under 10% of the sample, well within the margin of thinking error for those educated in North American public schools after 1970. We shouldn’t make too much of it. Canada’s political spectrum is somewhat narrower, in any case.

The poll did produce some other interesting stats:

When it came to health care, 45 per cent of Americans felt Canada had a superior system, while 42 per cent thought the United States should stick with its own.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of Canadians, 91 per cent, felt that Canada’s health care system was better than the United States.

This is as it should be for Canadians. Majorities of Canadians, or at least overwhelming pluralities, vote as if their health care is “free.” It is a point of national pride that Canada has superior health care. This belief is a necessary contributor to the maintenance of a certain sense of moral superiority. You may have to wait a year for back surgery, or many months for an MRI, or fly to some small town in Montana for a risky birth, but at least it’s better than being in the U.S. where so many are “uninsured,” even if they know it in advance. Propaganda scare stories about health care in the United States are a feature of Canada’s political campaigns.

OTOH, positive propaganda about the Canadian Health Caretel is standard fare from liberal American politicians. Overall, I take some encouragement from the fact that 42% of Americans prefer their system. I mean, 30% of Americans probably believe Cuba has health care superior to the U.S. after watching Sicko, but very few people in either Canada or the U.S. are likely to have seen Canada’s The Barbarian Invasions. 60% of Americans probably think Canadian health care is actually “free,” the same 60% who think speculators are the cause of high gasoline prices.

I do think Strategic Counsel’s Peter Donolo has a point regarding polarization:

“In general, I think on a lot of issues the United States are a more polarized society,” said Donolo.

Another way to phrase it is that a larger number of Americans are more politically involved and there is more public policy considered open to debate. In the United States there are actually enough people who believe in free speech and self defense that the government is not able to run roughshod over these rights.

But Donolo’s next point is, well, indicative of confusion and/or bias.

“When you look at the number of how many hardcore conservatives there are in the U.S., it’s a pretty significant number.”

10 percent of Americans describe themselves as “very conservative” according to the poll. The percent of Canadians describing themselves as “very liberal” is 12. So, especially considering that 1,000 random Canadians are not the first source you’d cite for a definition of “conservative,” where are the hardcore ideologues more prominent? Perhaps the lack of polarization makes for fuzzy philosophy.

Canadians ranked leaders from a list drawn from both countries in this order:

* Barack Obama: 26 per cent
* Stephen Harper: 21 per cent
* Hillary Clinton: 16 per cent
* Jack Layton: 9 per cent
* Gilles Duceppe: 6 per cent
* Stephane Dion: 5 per cent
* John McCain: 3 per cent

Americans, of course, were not asked a similar question because they would recognize (at most) only 3 of the 7 names. However, once familiarized with the Canadian politicians, I’d bet Americans would prefer Stephen Harper over Barack Obama.

From an American perspective Harper is center-left, like John McCain, but without the baggage. Harper would also have an “international man of mystery” appeal. Unlike Obama he does not have campaign managers who regularly have Che Guevara icons hanging on the walls of their office. He probably doesn’t have any friends who bombed public buildings in the 60’s. I seriously doubt his pastor ever damned Canada. While I realize some of these things attract Canadians merely because they trash America, it’s just not the same as if Canada had been the target. Which, if Canadians were voting for Obama, it would have to be.

So, what’s not to like about Stephen Harper?

Well, maybe that isn’t the right question. Maybe the question is, is the man going to be the leader of the world’s only super power, or is he going to lead Canada?

I mean no slight to Canada, but it is what it is. The leadership of Canada and the leadership of the United States certainly share a common bond. However, there is a vast difference in circumstance. That difference is why Canadians don’t get to choose American presidents. It’s why I think their opinions might actually change if they had the opportunity to take responsibility for that choice.

So, here’s a win-win. I am very happy today to offer Barack Obama in trade for 3 pounds of Canadian bacon and a case of Creemore. AND, IF YOU ACT NOW, I’ll throw in Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan – FREE!! They, or someone like them, will be coming with Barack in any case.

Call the program NAFDuh; North American FREE Demagogues unity heuristic.