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

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You're Missing Something

The Roanoke Times this morning attacks my argument that ObamaCare will necessarily bring about the rationing of health care.

Well, no. That's not quite true. The boys there say we're already rationing care, so what's the big deal?
Beware of 'ration' scare tactics
editorial

Don't be fooled. Our system already rations care. Those who can afford it and those who, by happenstance of good geography, live near an abundance of specialists receive fine care. Those who can't afford it, like the 46 million uninsured Americans* and millions more of underinsured, have rationed care. So, too, do those living in rural or underserved areas where health care resources are scarce and the wait long.

Even those of us with company-provided health insurance often engage in battles with insurance companies that wish to ration the care our doctors order. And most Americans are just a pink slip away from severing our ties to affordable health care. [link]
A few points:

1) It's true that health care today is rationed, most notably by insurance companies. That's why they're despised, right? You attempt to have services performed and your insurance company cites in its policy (which is made clear up front, if you were to inquire) as reason for rejection of payment. Indeed, that's a form of rationing.

But the government has, over the years, circumvented that process, has become the arbiter-at-the-point-of-a-gun, and increasingly mandates that which health insurance companies must cover. Thus the runaway costs.

2) It's true that poor people have their care rationed because of their inability to pay for services. But (a) that's a great reason to not be poor and (b) they receive adequate care for free anyway. Ask anyone who works in an emergency room.

3) You don't like the way your insurance provider rations its coverage? Get a different provider.

"What? That would require that I change employers. I can't do that."

Then you have no complaint. The decision is yours. You accept the way your provider rations.

4) The most important take-away from this editorial:

"'The choice isn't between rationing and not rationing,' New York Times business columnist David Leanhardt wrote last month. 'It's between rationing well and rationing badly.' Make no mistake, we ration badly."

Perhaps. Though it is rationed more effectively than any other system on the planet, if one considers the end result and not the equality of dispensation.

But the point that I made regarding the future of America's health care delivery system - the best ever devised by humankind - that rationing is a necessary part of our future, is a point that is avoided - oddly - by those who wrote the editorial.

"We already ration, so shut up" is not a viable argument.

What is the government going to do to control costs? That is, after all, Obama's number one priority in coming up with his plan, right? Those runaway costs?

There can be only one answer. He'll ration care.

Badly.

5) You at least have some option available to you today if you don't like the way your provider rations your coverage. See above. When the government is the only provider, what options are available to you? The government plan or death. Or a new home in the Caymans.

"It's between rationing well and rationing badly." Think what you will about the way health care is rationed today. But if it's bad now, as Canada and Britain have irrefutably proved, it'll be a lot worse when some hourly government bureaucrat in some building in Washington decides your fate.

- - -

* I'm getting really annoyed at people who toss out that 46 million figure like it means something. The vast majority of those 46 million uninsured are either wealthy enough to own coverage but choose not to, or are uninsured but will soon have coverage (they're between jobs, for example), or they're illegal immigrants. The remainder all have coverage - in the emergency room - for free. It ain't perfect. A problem? Only if you want it to be.

It Becomes Clear

A Roanoke Times columnist who thinks violence will sweep through Virginia restaurants that serve alcohol if patrons are allowed by law to carry concealed weapons inside, despite the fact that 36 other states make such allowances without incident, also thinks that Virginia's concealed-carry permitting process is too weak:
Through the Norfolk-based Concealed Carry Institute, you can now meet Virginia's "competence" qualification for a concealed carry permit with a $39.95, one-hour online course, provided you can pass a 20-question true-or-false and multiple choice quiz at the end.

(If you fail, you're provided the correct answers and you get to retake the test for free).

I took the course Monday, passed that quiz and earned my certificate -- even though I've never touched a handgun in my life.

It is completely nuts that Virginia law would deem me competent enough with a handgun to get a concealed carry permit. [link]

What exactly is this guy frightened of?

The unknown.

"I've never touched a handgun in my life."

Now we understand.

Where Would You Invest YOUR Money?

George Will makes a pretty good argument that you'd be foolish to invest it in the USA:

Let's guess: Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring? Or will the investor look at, say, India. It is the least urbanized major country -- 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas, 50 percent on farms -- so the modernizing and productivity-enhancing movement from the countryside to the city is in its infancy. This nation of 1.2 billion people has a savings rate of 25 to 30 percent, and fewer than 20 million credit cards. Which nation, India or the United States, is apt to have the higher economic growth over the next decade?

Yet while government diminishes America's comparative advantages, liberals are clamoring for . . . higher taxes.
"Higher Taxes, Anyone?" Washington Post, July 12, 2009

Uh, Let's Change The Subject

What do you do when your favorite politician is fast becoming the most reviled and ridiculed man in the country? When all his plans and aspirations for this once-great nation are crashing to the ground? When everything he's done has gone terribly wrong?

Well, if you print the Washington Post ...

... you change the subject!

Today's headlines:

Probe of Alleged Torture [Under Bush] Weighed

and ...

Democrats May Investigate Secret [Cheney] Program

Hilarious.

Transparent. Piteous. Hilarious.

Quote of the Day

Deroy Murdock:
As "cap-and-trade" advocates tie their knickers in knots over so-called global warming, Mother Nature refuses to cooperate. Earth's temperatures continue a chill that began 11 years ago. As global cooling accelerates, global warmists kick, scream and push their pet theory -- just like little children who cover their ears and stomp their feet when older children tell them not to bother waiting up for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

"There has been no significant global warming since 1995, no warming since 1998, and global cooling for the past few years," former U.S. Senate Environment Committee spokesman Marc Morano writes at ClimateDepot.com. Citing metrics gathered by Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Mr. Morano adds: "The latest global averaged satellite temperature data for June 2009 reveal yet another drop in Earth's temperature. ... Despite his dire warnings, the Earth has cooled 0.74 degrees F since former Vice President Al Gore released 'An Inconvenient Truth' in 2006."

So, to defeat so-called global warming, there is no need for the $864 billion Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, the Kyoto Protocols, elaborate new regulations or U.N. guidelines. Instead, let the cold times roll. [link]
It would do us well to remember the fact that this is what Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) and his ilk in Washington are basing their efforts to destroy the coal industry on with their crushing cap-and-trade tax. A theory that is - with each passing day - proving to be a seriously flawed theory.

Mourn its passing.

But file its memory for future use. Election day will be here soon.

Obama Flounders

As his poll numbers plunge, Barack Obama gets desperate. And shrill. And more than a bit buffoonish.

I'm not even believing this:
Obama Says Economic Stimulus Plan Worked as Intended
By Edwin Chen, Bloomberg

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his $787 billion stimulus bill “has worked as intended” as he pushed back against Republican criticism that his recovery program has failed to rescue the economy.

“It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession,” Obama, who is traveling today in Ghana, said in his weekly Saturday radio and Web address. “It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and business.”

Obama spoke after stocks fell for a fourth week on concern that an economic recovery will be delayed. A government report last week showed that employers cut 467,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, the highest since 1983.

Obama, in his speech, said the stimulus program is helping state governments save jobs. Were it not for the program, the president said, “state deficits would be nearly twice as large as they are now, resulting in tens of thousands of additional layoffs -- layoffs that would affect police officers, teachers, and firefighters.” [link]
This is beyond ludicrous.

Go back and read what Obama said in January about his stimulus plan and what it was intended to do. It wasn't about state governments saving jobs. It wasn't about state deficits. It wasn't about government employees getting laid off. It wasn't about extending unemployment insurance.

Here's a snippet revealing what it was supposed to be about:
"The jobs we create will be in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries. And they'll be the kind of jobs that don't just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to lead the world in the long term." In addition, "90 percent of the jobs produced would be in the private sector, including hundreds of thousands in construction and manufacturing."
Now he paints a completely different picture. It's now about government jobs and bolstering insurance pools. Because his plan has done nothing. Nothing except drive up the national debt.

He's grasping. And it's not pretty.

I think he'd do well to apologize and give us our money back.

Back To The Drawing Board

Darn! It now seems certain that those uncomfortable, grotesque and not-very-utilitarian electric cars aren't good for the environment either.

What's a green person to do?

The sad news:
Not So Fast With Those Electric Cars
Investor's Business Daily editorial

A government report says reliance on electric cars will do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may merely shift our dependence on foreign sources from one set of dictators to another.

It's a beautiful theory — highways full of electric cars emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants after being plugged into an outlet in our garages overnight. The problem, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, is that the effort may only shift the problem somewhere else.

"If you are using coal-fired power plants, and half the country's electricity comes from coal-powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?" asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report itself notes: "Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy."

The GAO report says a plug-in compact car, if recharged at an outlet drawing its power from coal, provides a carbon dioxide savings of only 4% to 5%. If the feeling of saving the environment from driving an electric car causes people to drive more, that small amount of savings vanishes entirely.

Then there's a whole new problem of disposing of a new generation of batteries using lithium. [link]
So environmentalists are driving around in those ugly little tin cans for no good reason. Except to feel good about themselves.

Well, here's to self-esteem.

How Warm Is The Planet Getting?

Warm enough for Long Island, New York to have set an all-time record this month.

Er, ... on second reading it appears that that was a record cold temperature. Sorry.
Temperature of 64 sets chilly record for LI
Newsday Staff

A record chill - in July.

Thanks to a high of only 64, Thursday was the coldest July 9 since the National Weather Service began keeping records at Long Island MacArthur Airport in 1984.

The old record for the day's lowest high was set in 1984, when a high of 76 was reached.

More records may be broken or tied early Friday because a low of 56 is forecast. The record low for July 10 is 56. [link]
Expect some goofball "scientist" to blame the record cold on global warming anyway.