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

Friday, August 21, 2009

Boucher Shows Up At Another Town Hall Meeting ...

...and says nothing:
Vocal Crowd Packs Health Care Forum In Abingdon
By Dana Wachter, Bristol Herald Courier

Abingdon, Va.—More than a thousand people packed the hall at the Higher Education Center in Abingdon Thursday morning, for a health care reform town hall meeting.

Some applause, but a chorus of boos welcomed Virginia’s Ninth District Congressman, Democrat Rick Boucher.

Groups from unions, and individuals listened to Rep. Boucher, and then representatives from local health care organizations speak about current health care options.

Boucher says he hasn’t decided how he will vote on the five awaiting bills in Congress, but that he isn’t convinced the so-called “public option” is the way.

He does think reform is necessary for millions of uninsured Americans, because now, the public pays for those uninsured patients.

“My sense is that it’d be more economically feasible for us to find a direct solution for everyone to have access to health insurance then to continue to bear these very high costs indirectly,“ said Rep. Boucher.

Perhaps the biggest concerns voiced by voters at the town hall is the prospect of a government take-over of health care, and the future debt for America. [link]
I get the impression that this Herald Courier reporter couldn't even figure out what Boucher was trying to say when he made the comment, "My sense is that it’d be more economically feasible for us to find a direct solution for everyone to have access to health insurance then to continue to bear these very high costs indirectly." She took it to mean Boucher wanted government to pay for the care of uninsured Americans, as opposed to the people paying for that care.

But who pays for the government that pays for those uninsured people?

Wouldn't it be better if Boucher didn't talk in riddles and simply came out and told us what he believes? And where he stands?

I have to wonder: Was anything accomplished by our Congressman scheduling the two town hall meetings that he did? Does anyone know what Boucher's intentions are?

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Thanks, by the way to the 1,200 people who showed up at the meeting, a majority of whom, it appears, wanted a piece of his ass. Keepin' the heat on. Good work.

The video:



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* I'm somewhat reluctant to pass final judgment based on the reporting of someone writing for the Bristol Herald Courier. But the quotes provided here coincide with those provided by the Roanoke Times the other day with relation to Boucher's Dublin town hall meeting. Quotes similar enough to lead one to believe that his intentions are to not take a stand and simply hide until vote time. Like he always has.

But this gives him every right to now say, "Look, I held two town hall meetings."

Whatever.


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The Kingsport Times News has coverage as well. Included is this quote from Boucher that you'll want to mull over:

"Ultimately, Boucher said reform needs to make health care affordable and not allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those who are already sick or rescind policies."

You think health care coverage is expensive now? Wait till Boucher and his buddies start covering ALL ailments and conditions suffered by every American, cradle to grave (and perhaps ten million non-Americans). He's going to make health care coverage affordable to boot? Had he been drinking?

A Prelude To ObamaCare

Government health care plans never work. Ask the good people of Tennessee. Ask the folks up in Massachusetts.

And now ask those in Maine:
No Maine Miracle Cure
Wall Street Journal editorial

Want a preview of ObamaCare in action? Sneak a look at what has happened in Maine. In 2003, the state to great fanfare enacted its own version of universal health care. Democratic Governor John Baldacci signed the plan into law with a bevy of familiar promises. By 2009, it would cover all of Maine's approximately 128,000 uninsured citizens. System-wide controls on hospital and physician costs would hold down insurance premiums. There would be no tax increases. The program was going to provide insurance for everyone and save businesses and patients money at the same time.

After five years, fiscal realities as brutal as the waves that crash along Maine's famous coastline have hit the insurance plan. The system that was supposed to save money has cost taxpayers $155 million and is still rising.

The program flew off track fast. At its peak in 2006, only about 15,000 people had enrolled in the DirigoChoice program. That number has dropped to below 10,000, according to the state's own reporting. About two-thirds of those who enrolled already had insurance, which they dropped in favor of the public option and its subsidies. Instead of 128,000 uninsured in the program today, the actual number is just 3,400. Despite the giant expansions in Maine's Medicaid program and the new, subsidized public choice option, the number of uninsured in the state today is only slightly lower that in 2004 when the program began.

Why did this happen? Among the biggest reasons is a severe adverse selection problem: The sickest, most expensive patients crowded into DirigoChoice, unbalancing its insurance pool and raising costs. That made it unattractive for healthier and lower-risk enrollees. And as a result, few low-income Mainers have been able to afford the premiums, even at subsidized rates.

This problem was exacerbated because since the early 1990s Maine has required insurers to adhere to community rating and guaranteed issue, which requires that insurers cover anyone who applies, regardless of their health condition and at a uniform premium. These rules—which are in the Obama plan—have relentlessly driven up insurance costs in Maine, especially for healthy people. [link]
Another failed attempt by government to insert itself into the health care delivery process. A costly and disastrous attempt.

Now Obama and his Democrats come along with another attempt.

Just how long are we going to put up with this?

On That Awful, Awful U.S. Health Care System

Life Expectancy on the Rise Across America

Quote of the Day

From Bill Whittle:
You know, the one thing that I learned from this last election is that if you have a young, hip, likable, historic candidate, and you promote him through CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and all the rest, not to mention stand-up and late night comedy, the entire music industry, university, high school and even elementary school teachers, just about every major movie and television star… and run against the oldest candidate in the history of the Republic, despised by the base of his own party, a man unwilling to take the fight to the only fields in which he can win, and representing the incumbent party responsible for two unpopular wars, a two-term President with historic disapproval ratings, in the middle of the “worst economy since the Depression…”

…Well, you put all of those forces in harness and you, sir, will attain 53% of the vote!

Just think about that for a second. Think about how many things have to go perfectly for Liberals to eke out a bare majority.

"The Cult of Iconography," Big Hollywood, August 20, 2009

And These Nitwits Are Making The Decisions

For the love of God:
Vilsack defends efforts on climate change
By Dan Piller, Des Moines Register

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack defended efforts by the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress to pass climate change legislation, saying: "I start from the proposition that climate change is real. I know some disagree."

"I wish I could take opponents of climate change legislation to Colorado," he said. "There the forests are dying because of climate change. People go there to be photographed in front of beautiful forests, which in a few years won't be there." [link]
The forests are dying because of climate change. Suppose this moron believes that? And if so, does that make our Secretary of Agriculture mentally incompetent?

Here's Something You Probably Didn't Know

A familiar slogan to some:

"We never leave a fellow Marine behind."*

Really? What happened to the Three Marines of Koh Tang Island?

May, 1975:
As a result, extraction of the forces was extremely chaotic. Days after the operation, it was later discovered that the Marines had left behind a three man machine gun team from the 2nd wave which had been assigned to protect the right flank of the constantly shrinking perimeter during the final evacuation. The members of this machine gun team were LCpl Joseph N. Hargrove (24), PFC Gary L. Hall (18), and Pvt Danny G. Marshall (18). Radio contact with the team was lost after they were ordered to evacuate on the last helicopter. Gunnery Sergeant McNemar and Captain James H. Davis made a final sweep of the beach before boarding the helicopter and were unable to locate them. A rescue operation was proposed, but was turned down because it was considered too dangerous, and that there was a lack of evidence that the machine gun team survived. Hargrove, Hall, and Marshall were subsequently declared Missing in Action and presumed dead.
I think we're better than this these days. I hope ...

* Sometimes it reads, "we never leave a fallen Marine behind."

This Ain't Good

I want to believe Obama's cheerleaders in the press. I want to believe that everything is getting better. But ...
Mounting joblessness fuels US housing crisis
By Saskia Scholtes, Financial Times

More than one in every eight homeowners with a mortgage was behind on home loan payments or in some stage of foreclosure at the end of the second quarter, as mounting unemployment aggravated the housing crisis, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

The percentage of loans that were in foreclosure or at least one payment past due rose to 13.16 per cent, the highest increase since the MBA began keeping records in 1972 and a jump of more than a percentage point since the first quarter.

Jay Brinkmann, chief economist at the MBA, said signs were growing that mortgage performance is being affected more by unemployment than by the structure of risky home loans, indicating a new stage in the foreclosure crisis that may not be easily addressed by government loan modification programmes. [link]
It appears that a whole mess of experts were suckered into believing the worst was over by the fact that Wall Street appeared to get its house in order in recent months. Besides the fact that that "order" may be very shallow and short-lived, there are pressures that are affecting stability that hadn't been given enough emphasis. Like the unemployment/foreclosure issue.

This recession may drag out longer than Obama's groupies had wanted.

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Think things aren't bad? One in four mortgages in Florida are in trouble. One in four.

How Disappointed ...

... the global warming crowd must be. This press release comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook, Cautions Public Not to Let Down Guard

According to its August Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA now expects a near- to below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, as the calming effects of El Niño continue to develop. But scientists say the season’s quiet start does not guarantee quiet times ahead. The season, which began June 1, is entering its historical peak period of August through October, when most storms form.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, now predicts a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a below-normal season, and a 10 percent probability of an above-normal season. Forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5). [link]
This isn't going to sit well with those "scientists" who predicted increased hurricane activity resulting from a warming planet. In fact, this is the third year in a row with normal or below-normal hurricane activity. Does this have anything to do with global cooling?

Where are those experts?

The West Gives Them The Rope ...

... they'll hang us all with:
Barack Obama leads condemnation of Scotland for freeing Lockerbie bomber
By James Kirkup, Auslan Cramb and Alex Spillius, London Telegraph

The US President’s criticism of the “mistake” added to a growing backlash against the Scottish decision to free the biggest mass murderer in British legal history on compassionate grounds.

Hours after the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh announced its decision to free him, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 atrocity, flew home to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli. [link]

A hero's welcome. A Muslim terrorist convicted of killing 270 innocent human beings. Set free by ignorant fools.

My God.

What You Should Know About ObamaCare

Except for number 14 (which involved killing old people because they're old, according to some), which I hear has been pulled from the House bill, this is accurate to the present:
25 Reasons to Oppose H.R. 3200 –
“Americaʼs Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”

1. Rationing and Denial of Care - Health plans authorized to impose restrictions on access to care according to “clinical appropriateness.” (Sec. 121)

2. Political Appointees Decide - A health benefit advisory committee (political appointees) will decide what kind of benefits (medical treatments/practitioners/drugs) are and are not essential. The Secretary of HHS will implement the decision by rule. (Sec 122)

3. Limited Choice of Insurance Plans - A new “Health Choices Commissioner” will rule over insurance options for all Americans, deciding what insurers are available. (Sec 142)

4. Free Care to Non-Citizens? - An anti-discrimination section appears to allow the freeprovision of medical treatment to non-U.S. citizens. (Sec 152)

5. Privacy Intrusions/National Patient ID Card - An electronic data system will be set up to access bank accounts for “real-time adjudication of claims” and to determine “whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility.” A “machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card” – a national patient identification & tracking card – may be used. (Sec 155)

6. End of Insurance Market - A government “Health Insurance Exchange” will be set up to establish federal control over the definition, amount, and type of insurance options available, and to eliminate a free and thriving market in health insurance. (Sec. 201)

7. Forced Enrollment in Medicaid - All Medicaid-eligible individuals will be
automatically enrolled in Medicaid. Individuals will be forced into Medicaid. (Sec 205)

8. New Government Entitlement Program for All - A “Public Health nsurance Option” will be established to eliminate private health insurance and to build a national Medicare for- all government health care plan. (Sec. 221)

9. Coercive Funding - Physicians will be coerced into participation. Only if they agree to remain Medicare providers, will they be eligible for higher payments for any patients they see in the Medicare-for-all “public health insurance option” plan. (Sec 223).

10. Employers and Employees Forced into System - Employers required to auto-enroll individuals into health insurance, unless the individual affirmatively opts out. Employers who refuse to offer health insurance will be taxed 2 - 8% on their payroll. The money will be deposited into the proposed Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund at the proposed Health Choices Administration. (Sec. 312-313)

11. Tax on Uncooperative Individuals - People who do not have or buy “acceptable coverage” (per government definition) must pay 2.5% of their income to the government …unless they are a nonresident alien or can prove a religious exemption. (Sec. 401)

12. Control over Physician Pay - Doctors seeing Medicaid patients will be paid the same rate regardless of specialty. In establishing payment, the Secretary will determine the value of the “time, mental effort, and professional judgment, technical skill and physical effort and stress due to risk” involved with each service given. (Sec 1121 – 1122)

13. Hospital Monopolies - Physicians providing services at specialty cancer hospitals may get paid less than physicians providing cancer care services at large general hospitals, regardless of patient preference, better care, or less exposure to disease for immuno-suppressed patients. (Sec 1145)

14. End of Life Counseling – Providers will be reimbursed for providing counseling on and directions for end-of-life decisions. HR 3200 includes suggestions for advanced directive orders, including specifics regarding intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has “serious cardiac or pulmonary problems.” (Sec. 1233)

15. Government Intrusion – A Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) will be established to use private medical records without patient or physician consent to conduct patient and physician surveillance and research “with respect to the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures….” (Sec 1401)

16. Government Surveillance Databases and Networks – the Center for CER will encourage the development and use of patient registries and “clinical effectiveness research data networks,” to better tap into and track patients and their doctors. (Sec 1401)

17. All Access to All Data - The Center for CER may secure private and other data on individuals “from any department or agency of the United States.” (Sec. 1401)

18. Hidden Taxes in Higher Premiums - The Center for CER will be funded through a new Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund, paid for through fees on private insurers—which are passed on to the insured in higher premiums. (Sec. 4375 - 4377)

19. Unconstitutional Access - To hunt for “fraud, waste and abuse” (no definitions), all private medical records can be made available to the U.S. Attorney General. (Sec 1651)

20. The End of True Insurance - Insurance plans must provide first-dollar coverage for preventive care services, prohibiting ownership of high-deductible policies. (Sec 1711)

21. “We’re the Government and We’re Here to Help You” - Home visits by government agents to train parents how to parent in a government-approved way. (Sec. 1904)

22. Training Bureaucrats - A Public Health Fund to build public health bureaucracy and train government bureaucrats will be set up at a cost of $88 Billion. (Sec. 2002)

23. Funding for Government Intrusion - A prevention and wellness trust fund will be established at a cost of $30.8 Billion to pester, monitor, intrude on and try to control individual behaviors, habits and lifestyles, including diet and exercise. (Sec 3111)

24. Medical Device Surveillance – A National Medical Device Registry will be established to track patients who have any type of medical device in or used on them. (Sec. 2521)

25. Tenth Amendment Violation – Overreach of limits on federal powers: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (U.S. Constitution)
I wonder why Congressman Boucher didn't go over these at his town hall meeting?

This list was compiled by Ms. Twila Brase in Minnesota, a leader in patient protections and person with extensive experience as a health care professional.