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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blind Leading The Blind

What does universal health care mean to local residents in Roanoke? Free stuff!
Supporters of public health option hold rally in Roanoke
By Sarah Bruyn Jones, Roanoke Times

Marnie Miller wasn't sure she supported having a public plan option included in health reform, but she knew she supported having the cost of health insurance lowered.

With that conviction, Miller joined a rally Thursday in Roanoke to ask Sen. Mark Warner to support a public plan as Congress considers how to restructure health insurance for the nation.

"I don't know much about the politics," Miller, of Roanoke, said. "But I don't have health care because of the high cost."

Neither Miller nor her five children have health insurance. When they are sick they go to the emergency room.

A registered nurse and a single parent, Miller said she earns too much for her children to qualify for health insurance through the state, but not enough to afford the high cost of insurance.

"It would be $1,000 a month," she said. [link]
Here's the kicker:
Like Miller, many of the approximately two dozen people gathered Thursday couldn't articulate the exact details of what a public option entails. Instead they talked about the outcomes they are interested in seeing, such as making insurance more affordable and eliminating the increased expense associated with having a pre-existing condition.
Pre-existing conditions. An extremely expensive proposition. One that Warner - being a Democrat - will be more than willing to provide for, when his boys take charge of the program.

It'll all come down to gifts. Awards. To favorite and/or vocal constituencies.

And with each mandate, the cost of health care will climb.

And we'll be right back where we are today with the expense of care going through the roof.

Unless the Marnie Millers of the world are told, at some point ... no.

Have you ever heard a Democrat say no when it comes to health care?

No.

Folks, there ain't enough money in the world ...

The Elderly Need Not Be Admitted For Treatment

The question about nationalized health care comes down to one of rationing. It invariably has to. It's the only way that Obama can control costs (even massive tax increases to pay for "universal care" do nothing to control costs).

So, the question(s) become: Who lives, Barack? Who dies? Who decides? Joe Biden?
In Retooled Health-Care System, Who Will Say No?
By Alec MacGillis, Washington Post Staff Writer

The question came from a Colorado neurologist. "Mr. President," he said at a recent forum, "what can you do to convince the American public that there actually are limits to what we can pay for with our American health-care system? And if there are going to be limits, who . . . is going to enforce the rules for a system like that?"

President Obama called it the "right question" -- then failed to answer it. This was not surprising: The query is emerging as the ultimate challenge in reining in health-care costs that now consume $2.5 trillion per year, or 16 percent of the economy. How will tough decisions be made about what to spend money on? In a country where "rationing" is a dirty word, who will say no?

Although Obama and his advisers have held up providers' spending patterns as the crux of the crisis, proposals in Washington go only so far in addressing the thorniest questions about who gets what care. Instead, cost-saving measures are focused on introducing a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, or on general cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals.

The bills being written would put new emphasis on evaluating treatments according to their "comparative effectiveness," or weighing the risks and benefits of different types of treatment for the same illness, but the bills stop short of incorporating cost-benefit analyses into the findings or of requiring that providers abide by conclusions.

The Democrats' caution has not kept Republicans from accusing them of embracing rationing. They raise the specter of the British agency, which goes by the acronym NICE, that decides whether that country's nationalized health-care system will pay for items such as costly cancer drugs that extend lives a few months on average.

"You're going to be saying to people, 'We're not going to care for you, because we've decided it's too expensive to care for you,' " said Robert E. Moffit of the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. [link]
The huge baby boom generation is now entering retirement. And the elderly require - far and away - most of the health care that is dispensed in this country. So the obvious solution that confronts the Obama administration when it begins to give his plan form and substance is to use cost-benefit analysis on old people like a club. Why focus on a ninety-year-old woman's breast cancer when treatment of a one-year-old's cleft palate is more statistically justifiable, knowing that in order to control health care costs, the government won't - can't - provide for both.

Frightening.

You give up on the present system - the best humankind has ever come up with - and this is what you have. Rationed care.

If you're over 80, this should scare you to death.

Oh, by the way, your sudden death works to plan. You saved society a bundle of money on your care, or lack thereof. So please die. Your government would appreciate it.

And what a society we are about to devolve into.

Okay, This Isn't Fair

I enjoy heaping criticism on our dear president as much as the next guy but we can sometimes take it too far. Take AssGate for example.

You've by now seen the photos of Barack Obama staring at the butt of a 16-year-old girl as she climbs steps next to him. An embarrassing photo, to be sure. In many states, he'd be locked up for it.

But let's be fair.

And fair is watching video footage of that moment in context. To my discerning eye, he never looked at her butt. He's not a pervert.

He can be criticized for many things but this ain't one of them.

That's my opinion.

Concentration Camp For NRA Members?

Look, I'm not a black helicopter kinda guy. I don't cotton to conspiracy theories.

But tell me what's going on here and tell me this doesn't make one think of those detention camps that then-President Roosevelt set up to imprison Japanese-Americans in the early 40's:
Political opposition is not a hate crime
Washington Examiner editorial

[L]egislation quietly making its way through Congress would give the White House power to categorize political opponents as hate groups and even send Americans to detention centers on abandoned military bases.

Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states' rights, or a host of other issues.

Another Hastings bill (HR 645) authorizes $360 million in 2009 and 2010 to set up "not fewer than six national emergency centers on military installations" capable of housing "a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster." But Section 2 (b) 4 allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to use the camps "to meet other appropriate needs" - none of which are specified. This is the kind of blank check that Congress should never, ever sign.

It's not paranoid to be extremely wary of legislation that would give two unelected government officials power to legally declare someone a "domestic terrorist" and send them to a government-run camp. [link]
The tendency is to pooh pooh this sort of thing and dismiss it as wild speculation.

If only there weren't precedent though. If only the United States government hadn't done this before. Yesterday it was "slant-eyed yellow bastards," tomorrow "redneck gun nuts."

I can see it coming ...

Another Fine Mess

What happens when the president of the United States nominates someone to the lofty - and permanent - position of Supreme Court justice and that person is demonstrably - and woefully - lacking in the skills necessary to succeed at the job?

Well, if you're Harriet Miers, who was nominated by Bush, you're driven into the hinterlands in disgrace before the opportunity affords itself.

But what if the nominee proves to be a poor choice because she's a total lightweight but has a sterling résumé and is put forth by a Democratic president?

I wish I knew the answer to that one, because that's where we are today:
Sotomayor Enters Confirmation Process with Miers-Like Numbers
Now! Hampshire

Sonia Sotomayor will begin her confirmation hearings next week with some of the highest levels of public opposition of any Supreme Court nominee in the last two decades, according to a new poll by the CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation.

n fact, only one nominee had a higher level of opposition: Harriet Miers, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Miers later withdrew her nomination under questions about her qualifications from both the political left and right.

Forty-seven percent of respondents to the poll say they would like to see the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor versus forty-percent who say they would not. In the final CNN poll taken before Miers withdrew her nomination, forty-three percent of respondents said the Senate should oppose her confirmation.

No other recent nominee, not even Robert Bork, whose own nomination under President Ronald Reagan was scuttled, faced public opposition this severe. [link]
Sotomayor will be confirmed because Obama holds all the cards. And the process isn't a popularity contest. It's all about legal expertise. Whether real or trumped up.

But this episode gives government another black eye. Unnecessarily so. Obama could have nominated a host of (liberal) jurists who were well-qualified for the gig. Instead he chose a Puerto Rican female ... who had a nice résumé. Thus we don't end up with the best and brightest. We end up with ... Sonia Sotomayor.

Such the pity.

This Doesn't Bode Well

It seems Obama is taking his party - at breakneck speed - into the dumper:
Voters Trust GOP More than Democrats on Eight of 10 Key Issues
Rasmussen Reports

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues, including, for the second straight month, the top issue of the economy. They've also narrowed the gap on the remaining two issues, the traditionally Democratic strong suits of health care and education.

Most voters (52%) now trust Republicans more on the issue of taxes, also the highest level found in over two years. Only 36% trust Democrats more on taxes. A survey conducted at the end of June found that 39% of voters now expect their taxes to go up under Obama, the highest level of concern measured to date.

On national security, Republicans hold a 49% to 40% lead over Democrats. That’s down from a 15-point lead last month. [link]

It looks like Mr. Hope & Change is at least achieving half his promise. How the times they are a'changin'.

America Clamors For ObamaCare

Or not ...
Only four show up for health care rally
By NEMS Daily Journal

Tupelo - A health care rally drew only four people to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's office Thursday.

Sponsored by MoveOn, a national public policy advocacy organization, the rally was intended to support expanded health care for the poor.

Organizer James Hull said 100 e-mail invitations were sent but wasn't surprised by the turnout.

Hull said the location had nothing to do with Wicker personally. [link]
In the poorest state in the nation, no less.

So How Warm Is The Planet Getting?

So warm that New Zealand had its coldest month of May ever recorded:
May the coldest on record, Niwa figures show
By Matt Stewart, Wairarapa Times-Age

Niwa [New Zealand's National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research] senior climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said May "broke records from one end of the country to the other - it was the coldest May on record", and there was nothing much to toast in the South Wairarapa wine village, which registered 69 percent of normal sunshine hours for May - the lowest figure for the town since records began.

June didn't fare much better as Ngawi racked up a record low topping the mercury at just 6.6C on June 16 - the lowest daily maximum temperature on the books. [link]
Odd how the cap-and-trade proponents aren't talking about global warming anymore.

Or maybe it's not odd at all.

But if it's not about climate, why are they going through the gyrations?