Saturday, November 29, 2014

Decline in Care Due to Obamacare

When frustrated Americans point to the failures of Obamacare, liberal operatives and journalists point to the increase in healthcare enrollments of poor people. What they don't tell you is that these new, low-income enrollees are placed on Medicaid and can't find a doctor who takes Medicaid patients.  They look for healthcare, but can't find it.

They also don't tell you that, except for the rich, everyone else is also suffering:

Gallup: Peak Number Of Americans Delaying Medical Care Over Costs

One in three Americans has put off seeking medical treatment in 2014 due to high costs, according to Gallup — the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

Thirty-three percent of Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or their families because of the costs they’d have to pay, according to the survey. Obamacare, of course, had promised that it would help make health care more affordable for everyone, but the number of people who can’t afford a trip to the doctor has actually risen three points since 2013, before most Obamacare provisions took effect.

The hardest-hit: the middle-class. Americans with an annual household income of between $30,000 and $75,000 began delaying medical care over costs more in 2014, up to 38 percent in 2014 from 33 percent last year; among households that earn above $75,000, 28 percent delayed care this year, compared to just 17 percent last year.

The lowest-income section, some of whom can take part in Medicaid and who are more likely to qualify for significant premium and cost-sharing subsidies on an Obamacare exchange, are less likely to delay care this year. Now, 35 percent of those who earn under $30,000 a year are putting off seeking medical care, down from 43 percent last year.

It’s a remarkable shift: after Obamacare’s redistribution of wealth, the middle class is actually delaying medical care due to high costs at a higher rate than the poorest section of the country, which is highly subsidized by taxpayers.

The growing problem could have serious consequences for the middle-class. Twice as many people (22 percent) have delayed treatment for serious illnesses than than for smaller problems (11 percent).

Part of the problem is an ongoing shift towards higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, while health insurance premiums continue to rise all the same. The trend, which existed to some extent before Obamacare, increased in intensity with the onset of the health-care law.

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Another Lie About Ebola?

Another lie about ebola may be developing.  There is a large body of evidence that temperature-monitoring accomplishes nothing in preventing ebola-carriers from entering the USA and spreading the disease.  Indeed, neither Thomas Duncan nor Dr. Craig Spencer showed an abnormal temperature when they entered the country.

These scientific studies show that airport Ebola screenings are largely ineffective

Washington Post 11/3/14 (excerpt)

"The Department of Homeland Security last week imposed new travel restrictions for anyone arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, requiring those passengers to come through one of five major U.S. airports in Atlanta, Chicago, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

Those travelers now have to submit to temperature checks and questioning. But scientific studies published by the National Institutes of Health have shown that similar protocols were largely ineffective during an outbreak of Swine Flu in 2009, as Government Executive pointed out in an article last week.

Indeed, temperature checks didn’t work for Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from Ebola this month after arriving in Dallas. Duncan did not have a fever when he landed in Texas on Sept. 28, and he said he had not been in contact with Ebola patients in his native country, although that later proved to be a false statement."

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Political Correctness and Ebola

 I don't think I have ever been so angry as I was when the Director of the CDC admitted publicly that the real reason for no travel ban was to protect "the fledgling economies" of the ebola-affected, West African states - angry at him, angry at Obama, and especially angry at liberal friends who helped put this incompetent, dangerous fool, racist and liar into the White House.  Mexico can refuse the docking of a cruise ship that MIGHT contain an infected passenger, but citizens of the United States are denied the protection of a travel ban because of liberal commitment to "political correctness".

Americans are shaken by government’s inability to function.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The End of Columbus Day

Long ago I solved the mystery of why liberals supported such foolishness like open borders, political correctness, multiculturalism and the end of Columbus Day. I learned that their world view was that we citizens of the USA had such a wonderful country because we had stolen resources from all the rest of the world. It was up to liberals to right these wrongs by sharing our wealth, celebrating other cultures while destroying our own – and, in general, cutting us down to size. To be sure, there is a fair amount of self-hatred in their thinking, but they have some outdated facts on their side.

Like most developed countries, like Great Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Spain, there was a time when might made right, colonialism was God's work, and slavery (which still exists in some countries) was an accepted practice. We were more successful than most, but the problem is: those days are gone forever, and this is still a very dangerous world.

As I ponder the strange reactions by the Obama Administration to the dual crises of an ebola epidemic possibly developing in our country and the rise of ISIS, a powerful force dedicated to destroying America and all things smacking of enlightened western culture, I ask myself, “Is this liberal world view and self-hatred at work here also?”.

Are we supposed to share the sufferings of the third world because of our past sins? What other explanation is there for the nonsense being put forth as to why travel from the ebola-stricken countries has not been shut down? Why has the response to the threat from ISIS been so lame and so late? Is it from a view that they should be left to work things out – even at the expense of a future confrontation with an enemy of barbarian death-cultists armed with nuclear weapons?

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Saturday, October 04, 2014

You Can Help Stop Ebola

I just emailed my two senators asking them to urge President Obama to stop all flights and all nationals from ebola-stricken countries from entering the United States. He already has the authority.  I am urging my readers to send similar messages to their Congressmen. Here's why: Immediately after the President assured us that our medical system was set up to handle any such cases, facts and events again proved him wrong (like with the IRS, ISIS, Fast and Furious, 'you can keep your doctor', open immigration of children, Benghazi, leaving a force in Iraq, etc., etc., etc.). The first case in Texas was completely mishandled by medical personnel, and the patient was sent home to infect hundreds of others. CDC leakers are also telling us that we cannot contain a major outbreak, and that almost no medical facilities even have the special haz-mat suits needed to handle such patients.

The argument is being made that no professionals will want to go into those West African countries to help them deal with ebola if they cannot get back out. This is a ridiculous argument. We can certainly track those individuals, and our military, who have already been committed to this fight, can certainly get them out.

Another scary thing is that some Central American countries from which all these thousands of illegals, mostly children, flooded our borders this summer have about the same conditions of sanitation in which dreadful diseases originate and spread – and our President invited them to come.

This is a time for action to protect America and for the lying and spinning to stop.


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Friday, October 03, 2014

Bush vs. Obama on Islamic Fascists

Bush: “I Know The Nature of the Enemy.”

By Aaron Goldstein on 10.2.14 American Spectator

In an interview with Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends today, former President George W. Bush did something he has seldom done since leaving office - comment on Iraq.

Kilmeade drew Bush's attention to comments he made in July 2007 in which he warned against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too soon. Bush argued at the time that doing so would allow terrorists (namely al Qaeda) to establish a safe haven in Iraq which would lead to mass killings and result in the return of U.S. troops to Iraq. Substitute ISIS for al Qaeda and Bush's warnings have unfortunately come to pass.

When asked how he knew this would come about, Bush replied, "I know the nature of the enemy."
This sums up the difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now one can certainly Bush legitimately criticize Bush not only for his prosecution of the War in Iraq, but even if we should have gone in there in the first place. Hell, even I found myself posing that question.

Nevertheless, Bush understands human nature in a way that Obama never will. Obama honestly believes reaching out to the Muslim world, apologizing for America's actions, withdrawing from Iraq and saying that America was not and never would be at war with Islam would change things. He really believed his words would slow the rise of the oceans. Well, as I wrote in one my Obama poems, "The Pyramids do not look at you with wonder".

While it is fair to take Bush to task for calling Islam "a religion of peace", he also acknowledged there is "evil" and "evil-doers" in the world. Bush would later use the term "Islamic fascists".

President Obama would never utilize such language. Come to think of it, the only time Obama used the term "war on terror" was to declare that it was over. Far from it.

Killing Osama bin Laden, while symbolic and significant to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, wasn't going to end the civilizational struggle against Islamic fascism. Now it is possible that we could triumph over Islamic fascism (provided that we once again have a President who is prepared to acknowledge such things). Should that comes to pass, evil will be put on retreat and perhaps even a lengthy retreat. But so long as their are humans there remains a capacity for evil, religious or otherwise.

It was coming to this understanding that as much as anything else made me declare myself a conservative in the months following September 11, 2001. When Bush said today he knew the nature of the enemy in Iraq it served as a reminder of what made me come to this understanding.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Obama ISIS Plan Is Nonsense

 Washington’s Ruling Class Is Fooling Itself About The Islamic State

Angelo M. Codevilla The Federalist Sept 19, 2014

Washington's foolish approaches to the Islamic State will not destroy
 them or discourage others from following in their footsteps.

The American people’s reaction to Muslim thugs of the “Islamic State” ritually knifing off the heads of people who look like you and me boils down to “let’s destroy these bastards”—which is common sense. But our ruling class, from President Obama on the Left to The Wall Street Journal on the Right, take the public’s pressure to do this as another occasion for further indulging their longtime preferences, prejudices, and proclivities for half-measures in foreign affairs—the very things that have invited people from all over the planet to join hunting season on Americans.

This indulgence so overwhelms our ruling class’s perception of reality that the recipes put forth by its several wings, little different from one another, are identical in the one essential respect: none of them involve any plans which, if carried out, would destroy the Islamic State, kill large numbers of the cut-throats, and discourage others from following in their footsteps. Hence, like the George W. Bush’s “war on terror” and for the same reasons, this exercise of our ruling class’s wisdom in foreign affairs will decrease respect for us while invigorating our enemies.

The WSJ’s recommendations, like the Obama administration’s projected activities, are all about discrete measures—some air strikes, some arming of local forces, etc. But they abstract from the fundamental reality of any and all activities: He who wills any end must will the means to achieve it. As in Bush’s war, as is the custom in Washington nowadays, our ruling class’s several sectors decide what actions they feel comfortable undertaking about any given problem, while avoiding reasonable judgment about whether these actions will actually fix the problem. This is the very definition of irresponsibility. But they call it “strategy.”

Irresponsibly Avoiding Debate

Our Constitution prescribes that war happens subsequent to votes by elected representatives. By debate and vote, presumably they reconcile the war’s ends with the means to be employed. But to reconcile ends and means is to banish illusions and pretenses. Yet because these are what our ruling class lives by, leaders of both parties have joined to preclude such debates and votes. They granted congressional funding for the one part of Obama’s venture with regard to the IS that required it—arming some of the Sunni rebels against Syria’s Assad regime—while avoiding votes on what precisely that or any other part of the venture means. This is textbook irresponsibility.

To reconcile ends and means is to banish illusions and pretenses.

Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a Marine veteran, objected: “We need to crush ISIS and not work on arming more Islamic radicals. Just what would arming these people accomplish?” To prevent massive numbers of Republican congressmen from joining this common-sense question, the House Armed Services Committee’s bill requires the administration to  answer it in a report to Congress some time in the future, but not now. The fact that the administration and the leaders of both parties—the ruling class—did not make reasoned answers to the key questions the primary premise of their request suggests not so much that they are hiding these answers from others as much as that they themselves have not addressed the questions.

In the Senate, the ruling class avoided any vote at all by placing the money for arming the Sunni rebels into the Continuing Resolution for keeping the government open. This device, which reduces the senators’ choice to funding everything the the ruling class wants or “shutting down the government,” has become the principal way by which the ruling class dispenses with the Constitution.

Experience Says We’re Crazy

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)’s common-sense objection to arming the Sunni rebels might as well have been voiced by any ordinary citizen for all the effect it had: “Our past experience, after 13 years, everything that we have tried to do has not proven to be beneficial, not proven at all. So what makes you think it’s going to be different this time? What makes you think we can ask a group of Islamists to agree with Americans to fight another group of Islamists, as barbaric as they may be?”

The WSJ notwithstanding, while the ‘moderates’ will take U.S. money and arms, no amount of ‘vetting’ will or can cause them to fight the IS for us.

The answer is that our ruling class does not think, as much as it indulges its imagination and believes its own spin. A prime example of which is the Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial of September 17. Never mind that the Islamic State’s Sunni subjects welcome the ritual beheaders who rule over them because these are Sunni as well. “The brutality,” writes the WSJ, “has created conditions similar to those that preceded the Sunni Awakening in Iraq in 2007—the revolt by ordinary Sunnis and their tribal leaders in Anbar province against al Qaeda.” This follows the Bush administration’s spin concerning the so-called “surge.” In fact however, Iraq’s Sunnis sought America’s protection in 2007 not against any other Sunnis but against the Shia death squads that had begun massacring them in large numbers.

According to the same fantasy, conducting air strikes today against the IS in former Iraq and Syria would encourage its Sunni-Wahabi fighters to defect to the ranks of U.S.-supported “moderate” Sunnis. This neglects not only that the flow of fighters in the region has always gone only in one direction—away from the less pure and less brutal to the purer and most brutal Islamists. It also neglects the incommensurability of the two sets of fighters’ objectives. The “moderates” are mostly Syrians interested in governing Syria, while the Islamic State’s fighters are led by Saddam’s Iraqi cadre, have fighters from all over the world, and have pan-Islamic objectives. Joe Manchin is right. The WSJ notwithstanding, while the “moderates” will take U.S. money and arms, no amount of “vetting” will or can cause them to fight the IS for us.

While Obama limits himself to unexplained confidence that Sunni Arab states will join in fighting the IS, the Journal supposes to know why they have not done so yet, and why instead they have been helping the jihadis: because our aid to the right Sunnis in 2012 and 2013 was “microscopic and half hearted.” This was the aid being brokered by the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and cut off by mortar shells expertly aimed by we know not whom. But the WSJ knows who’s to blame for the Sunni Arabs’ failure to meet the ruling class’s expectations: “Some Conservatives.”

Get Your Heads Out of The Sand

Like the Bush administration, Obama and the Journal are grasping at what they imagine to be a vast reservoir of inherently moderate Sunni peoples and governments. Just show them how pro-Sunni America really is, and this vast moderate wave will submerge the terrorist threat to America. Thus the Journal writes that we dare not just make war on the IS that makes war on us. No. “Sunnis will not support the campaign against Islamic State if they think our air strikes are intended to help the regime in Damascus and its Shiite allies in Beirut and Tehran.” You see, the real game lies in making nice to Sunnis.

Believing in the saving power of a ‘moderate Sunni’ wave is as politically correct though patently silly as believing in global warming after years of record cold.

Obama has made clear that he envisages a very limited, tightly targeted air campaign against the IS. It goes without saying that this cannot possibly hurt it severely. But, were the U.S. government somehow to mount a serious air campaign, nevertheless the inescapable fact remains that the IS can be finished off only on the ground. But how? By whom? Obama stays away from the question. The Journal, however answers: “the Kurds, the parts of the Iraqi military that aren’t dominated by Iran’s militias, and the moderate Sunnis in Syria and Iraq.”

This is beyond dumb. Believing in the saving power of a “moderate Sunni” wave is as politically correct though patently silly as believing in global warming after years of record cold. All know that the Kurds will fight only for Kurdistan. The Iraqi army has proved beyond doubt that, as a fighting force, it exists only insofar as it is composed of Shiite militias. But our inward-looking, bipartisan ruling class refuses to deal with reality. War consists of massive killing that dispirits the survivors. Yet our ruling class refuses to consider how many of what categories of people will have to be killed in order to end this war with the peace we want. War does not tolerate solipsism.

Yet again, consensus within the ruling class is setting America on course to demonstrate impotence.  Its preferences, prejudices, and proclivities guarantee that the Islamic State and those among us whom it inspires will be a growing problem as months and years pass. Harsh consequences will follow until a political vehicle for the expression of the American people’s common sense comes into being.

Angelo M. Codevilla is a fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace, Hoover Institution Press, 2014.

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