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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Problem With Health Care 'Reform'

As illustrated by the Roanoke Times editorial this morning, entitled "Republican obstructionism."

The problems, as they see them:

· "Health spending is increasing at unsustainable rates."

· "The current system of employer-provided coverage leads to multiple problems."

· "Most Americans know that a single major illness could wipe them out financially."

We could certainly argue about just how pressing these problems are. And we have.

But to the point, what are the solutions to these problems that the Roanoke Times proposes?

"Reform."

That's it.

Nothing more.

Is it any wonder that the vast majority of Americans have decided that they'd rather keep what they've got rather than sign on to ill-defined, nebulous "reform"?

A Warning From The Liberal Washington Post

To the just-as-liberal Barack Obama:

Stop dicking around!
The new deficit numbers make it even more urgent that any health-care reform not only be fully paid for and certifiably budget-neutral in the eyes of independent analysts such as the CBO but also promise meaningful reductions in the cost growth of health care. So far, none of the plans under discussion measure up. The time is fast approaching for the president and Congress to face that reality, too.
"Bad News Budget," August 26, 2009

And They Wonder ...

... why Americans fear the thought of "death panels":
The government 'Death Book'
Washington Times editorial

The Obama administration claims that a health care takeover by government won't restrict access to care. Everybody will get more care for less money, the president has said. Of course, something has to give. One likely target for rationing will be care in the later stages of life. Bureaucratic disregard for the value of all life is insinuated in a government manual known as "the Death Book."

The Death Book is a nickname given to an advice manual published by the Department of Veterans Affairs that instructs veterans "how to prepare a personalized living will." Officially titled, "Your Life, Your Choices," the book fosters dark thoughts about a difficult life somehow being less of a life.

On Page 21, the Death Book poses questions to veterans to which they are to answer whether life would be "difficult, but acceptable," "worth living, but just barely" or "not worth living." The scenarios include: "I can no longer walk but get around in a wheelchair," "I can no longer contribute to my family's well-being," "I live in a nursing home," "I can no longer control my bladder," "I am a severe financial burden on my family," "I cannot seem to 'shake the blues' " and "I rely on a kidney dialysis machine to keep me alive."

The most positive answer allowable is "difficult, but acceptable." Every situation is phrased in the most negative terms. If veterans check any of the "not worth living" boxes, they are asked if this means they "would rather die than be kept alive." Further along, the book asks, "If you checked 'worth living, but just barely' for more than one factor, would a combination of these factors make your life 'not worth living?' If so, which factors?"

There is no attempt to ask people, "What would it take for you to want to live?" Instead, the booklet focuses on wanting to die.

Concern about rationing has been particularly acute among the elderly for good reason. The Death Book shows government's perverse interest in the end of life rather than its extension. [link]
Your government is currently nudging veterans - presumably - into ending their lives if they feel their lives aren't worth living.

Is it a stretch to assume that that same government will give the 40 million elderly citizens of this country more than a gentle nudge toward death's door when ObamaCare kicks in and the need for health care "savings" becomes paramount?

The Death Book is in use today. Can Death Panels be far behind?

Call them crazy, but ...

I Thought Maybe I Was Missing Something ...

... when I read the news that a union thug had been appointed to head the Federal Reserve in New York. A union man, I asked myself? Is he qualified to be making decisions for America's critical financial sector?

The short answer: NO.
The Real Fed News
Investor's Business Daily editorial

The renomination of Fed chief Ben Bernanke to a second term came as no big surprise. The same can't be said for the naming of a union activist as head of the New York Federal Reserve.

Denis Hughes, president of the AFL-CIO in New York, has served as interim head of the New York Fed board since May. His ascent to one of the world's most important financial posts is another troubling sign of this administration's too-tight embrace of organized labor.

But the naming of Hughes as the top banker at the New York Fed is the real news. And it's quite astounding.

He has no significant finance experience. Nor does his educational background — "Brother Hughes," as the AFL-CIO's Web site calls him, has a B.S. degree from the Harry Van Arsdale School of Labor Studies at Empire State College — reassure us.

Of greater concern is his career as a bought-and-paid-for union official and political operative. The New York Fed chairmanship is hardly a place for a person whose entire career has been spent fighting and strong-arming the very people he'll now be regulating.

As American Thinker editor Ed Lasky put it, Hughes is someone "who may be more schooled in extracting concessions from corporate America than the intricacies of high finance." [link]
Far be it from me to belittle anyone with a Bachelor's degree from Empire State College (is there really such a place?), but the chairman of the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve has a BS degree from Empire State College? A degree in "labor studies"? That's it?

Has Obama lost his mind?

Your Senator, Fighting For You

First he decided to make convicted murderers' and rapists' rights his signature issue. Now Senator James Webb has moved onto the international scene. He's into Myanmarans' rights.

Thank God there's nothing important going on in his constituents' lives that requires even a moment of his attention.

Quote of the Day

From Ed Morrissey:
Instead of clucking their tongues at how Americans buy into ObamaCare myths, perhaps the media might start looking at how the American people have begun to see through the myth of ObamaCare. The polling suggests that the scales have begun to fall to the roadside.
"Yahoo misses as ‘Mythbusters’," Hot Air, August 25, 2009

Reaping The Whirlwind

Obama stirred up a hornet's nest when he decided to go on a CIA witch hunt a couple of days ago and try to divert attention away from his floundering administration.

This is one of the more mild reactions to his transparent political ploy:
King on Holder: 'You wonder which side they’re on'
By Ben Smith, Politico

A "furious" Rep. Peter King, the hawkish, maverick Long Island Republican, blasted a "disgraceful" Eric Holder for opening an investigation of CIA interrogators and chided his own party for what he described as a weak response to the move in an interview just now with POLITICO.

"It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on," he said of the attorney general's move, which he described as a "declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense."

"It’s a total breach of faith, and either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration," said King, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

King, channeling both the sense of outrage and of political opportunity felt in parts of the GOP, defended in detail the interrogation practices — threats to kill a detainee's family, and or to kill a detainee with a power drill — detailed in a CIA inspector general report released yesterday.

"You're talking about threatening to kill a guy, threatening to attack his family, threatening to use an electric drill on him — but never doing it," King said. "You have that on the one hand — and on the other you have the [interrogator's] attempt to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed."

"When Holder was talking about being 'shocked' [before the report's release], I thought they were going to have cutting guys' fingers off or something — or that they actually used the power drill," he said. [link]

Nope. The interrogators did none of that. They (the bastards) intimidated those poor terrorists (the ones who have vowed to slaughter our children and grandchildren). Intimidation, if you ask the slimeballs at the Washington Post and New York Times - and now at the Justice Department - is now on par with slicing off fingers, removing eyes, electric shock, etc.

Even use of the word "BOO!" is beyond the pale.

Idiots? You decide.

Reprehensible? Without doubt.

- - -

Laugher of the day. From the editorialists at the New York Times:

The interrogations are certainly worthy of criminal investigation. The report describes objectionable and cruel practices well beyond waterboarding. They included threatening a detainee’s family members with sexual assault and threatening to kill another’s children; the staging of mock executions; and repeatedly blocking a prisoner’s carotid artery until he began to faint.

Threatening ... threatening ... and staging ...

Oh, the humanity!

This Is What The Democrats Want For You

Look into this world today and see the ObamaCare of the future:
Babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets
By Jenny Hope and Nick Mcdermott, London Daily Mail

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.

Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

* 63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;
* 117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;
* 115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;
* 399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.

Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.

One woman gave birth in a lift while being transferred to a labour ward from A&E while another gave birth in a corridor, said East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Others said women had to give birth on the wards - rather than in their own maternity room - because the delivery suites were full.

Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply - up 20 per cent in some areas. [link]
Liberals in this country will scoff at the notion that this could happen in the USA. Why? Well, because ...

Or they will choose to completely ignore the potential risks that ObamaCare brings because they prefer instead to focus on "reform" in whatever form it takes. Beyond reform? More reform!

But understand this: The whole reason for Obama and his ilk wanting to "reform" our health care system is to drive costs down. And there is only one way - in the real world - to do it. See the story above. Care has to be rationed.

If that's what you want, support Obama.

But if you don't want your daughter forced to give birth in a filthy bathroom in a hospital basement, fight these people with every fiber in your being.

The choice is yours.

This Is Typical Of The Mainstream Press

Remember the hullabaloo that broke out several years ago over the CBS News "report" aired by Dan Rather that charged George Bush with having joined the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid service in Vietnam? A charge backed up with (obviously forged) documents? A "report" that cost Rather and his producer, Mary Mapes, their jobs?

Well, according to Bernard Goldberg, Mapes knew all along that Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam in the 60's and was turned down because he didn't have the requisite flight hours. A bit of information that would have blown Mapes' story to Hades. Information that she kept to herself. So as to get Bush.

"CBS News. Experience You Can Trust."

We Work Hard, We Play Hard

What? You weren't able to make it to the beach last week?

Toooooo baaaaad.

That's Chase, by the way, reeling in the line (at sunset). He caught a 16" shark the evening before this photo was taken. It was carefully released back into the ocean.

Photo taken at Topsail Island, North Carolina, August 20, 2009

I Think I'd Be Watching My Back, Barry

How long do you suppose it will take for Harry Reid and his ilk to turn against the war in Afghanistan?

With news like this, I give them ninety days, max:

"Four U.S. servicemen were killed by a roadside bomb elsewhere in the south, NATO and the U.S. military said, making 2009 the deadliest year for the growing contingent of foreign troops in eight years of war."

By then, they'll be whining that our troops need to be pulled out and sent to ...

... Okinawa.

Déjà vu all over again.

We Now Know

Much was made (by the ACLU, the media, and other leftist organizations) about the Justice Department release of documents outlining the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush administration.

In response, Dick Cheney asked for the CIA to release then-classified documents that proved the efficacy of those interrogations. The White House went silent.

Until now.

The documents have been released.

Dick Cheney follows up with this:
The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.
"Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security."

Amen to that, brutha.

Ted Kennedy Is Dead

And They Say WE'RE Being Ridiculous

So I'm driving down the highway yesterday, listening to the radio, and on came "The Osgood File," a brief commentary (patterned after Paul Harvey's legendary work, I'm guessing). You've probably heard it. It lasts for a minute or two and touches on the news of the day, with a comment from the narrator (Charles Osgood once hosted the segment but now some guy named Dave Ross does it).

I've noticed over time that this Dave Ross is a liberal of the standard media mold. It probably got him the gig, or at least didn't get him boycotted from the effort. So he's liberal. That's fine. It's his show.

But hold that thought for a moment.

Yesterday's piece was on Michael Jackson's death and the news that it was determined to be a homicide. Ross explained that Jackson's doctor had been found to have given him enough anesthesia to choke a horse and said doctor was likely facing serious punishment. Ross made the point that the doctor was certainly culpable in Jacko's death, but so was Jackson, a point of view that I maintain as well.

But ol' Dave couldn't simply leave it at that. Listen to how he ends the narrative (transcript courtesy of Westwood One):
Michael Jackson was one of those Americans who liked his health care plan --- and decided to keep it. That health care plan was Dr. Conrad Murray and his supply of sedatives.

According to the documents just released, Dr. Murray had been treating Jackson for insomnia for six weeks --- putting him to sleep with 50 milligrams of propofol, administered through an IV drip.

CBS News Correspondent Sanda Hughes:

"Proprofol is a powerful anesthetic drug that should only be used in a hospital setting." (:05)

Instead of a sleeping pill, he was getting a drug normally used to knock out a patient before major surgery. In fact, Dr. Murray himself was worried enough that on June 25th, he tried to replace the propofol with something safer.

At 1:30 a.m., with Jackson still unable to sleep, he gave him 10 milligrams of Valium. At 2 a.m., he injected two milligrams of lorazepam. At 3 a.m., two milligrams of midazolam, and then repeated the doses at 5 a.m. --- and at 7:30 a.m.

Michael Jackson still couldn't sleep and begged for what he called his "milk" --- the one thing he knew would work.

And so, at 10:40 --- ten hours after that first Valium --- Dr. Murray dripped 25 milligrams of milky white propofol into his bloodstream, and stepped out of the room.

And that, according to CBS News Legal Analyst Trent Copeland, was about the dumbest thing Conrad Murray could have done:

"That may be very likely criminal behavior that rises to the level of being second-degree murder, because it's so reckless and indifferent." (:07)

And yet, he was only doing what his patient demanded --- and in a way, what you hear many Americans demanding: providing privately-funded health care, unfettered by government regulation of any kind.

The Osgood File. Dave Ross on the CBS Radio Network. [my emphasis]
I almost put my car into the ditch. What in God's name does Michael Jackson's doctor shooting the man up with drugs have to do with privately-funded health care, "unfettered by government regulation of any kind"?

Is that a stretch or what?

And they call US ridiculous ...

- - -

For what it's worth, Dave, Jackson's health care was "fettered" by government regulation. Regulation that was ignored by his doctor. The doctor's actions having (allegedly) broken all kinds of laws.

Perhaps your story says more about the ability of the government to regulate bad behavior than about privately-funded health care. Eh?