Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Stridor" in Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings character "Stridor" is known for his high-pitched expiratory wheezes. What a dangerous fellow he is.


[YouTube]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Involuntary Medical Servitude

To claim that any government plan now proposed could give people more choices requires that the listener ignore the fact that a vast destruction of options has already occurred and that one's choice is limited to what is left.

Insurance companies are not the villains. No insurance company today has the power to limit the availability of care. An insurance policy for healthcare is a contract between an individual and the policyholder to provide payment for care. It cannot ration care. The coverage and types of policies available today are limited by government requirements, not by the free market.

Over at the Mises Institute.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Decreasing Costs through Tort Reform

If Obama were truly serious about decreasing healthcare costs, he would enact tort reform overnight.

Unfortunately, he is not. And he will not.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Liberal Health Reformers versus Conservative Health Reformers

Why is "health care reform" equated with socialization of medicine? If I am against socialism, does that mean that I am an opponent health care reform?

Why has the vocabulary of debate been so narrowed that the phrase "health care reform" is equated with a single radical proposal developed by the Obama Administration?

Health care reform can be many things.

  • It can mean reforming Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the perversion of markets that they cause.
  • It can mean reforming and eliminating the tax benefits of health insurance provided by employers which has resulted in the absurd obligation of health insurance being tied to a particular employer.
  • It can mean reforming and eliminating price-fixing by the federal government which has resulted in cost shifting onto private insurers.
  • It can mean returning to a system where individuals more closely realize the costs of treatment, thus reducing moral hazard.
  • It can mean legalizing medical underwriting so that individuals who engage in risky behavior and poor habits more directly realize the costs of their personal actions.
  • It can mean decreasing the burden on inefficient government bureaucracy, allowing individuals and employers to have more income, and more money to spend taking care of themselves and providing for the health of their families.

Health reform can be many things, and there are right ways and wrong ways of going about it.

Why do some claim that socialism and big government are the only options for reform?

I am a proponent of health care reform. I just do not believe that socialism is the answer.

Amputations for Profit

According to Obama, surgeons are paid $30,000-$50,000 for a single amputation.
"If a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's 30,000, 40, $50,000 immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. But why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation? Right? That will save us money."
From the American College of Surgeons:
“Surgeons are not paid $30,000 to $50,000 to amputate a diabetic’s foot. Medicare pays a surgeon, on average, from $541.72 to $708.71 for one of two procedures involving a foot amputation.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rationing, according to White House Adviser Dr. Emmanuel

From a paper by Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, adviser to President Obama.
Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge. We evaluate eight simple allocation principles that can be classified into four categories: treating people equally, favouring the worst-off maximising total benefits, and promoting and rewarding social usefulness. No single principle is sufficient to incorporate all morally relevant considerations and therefore individual principles must be combined into multi-principle allocation systems. We evaluate three systems: the United Network for Organ Sharing points systems, quality-adjusted life-years, and disability-adjusted life-years.
We recommend an alternative system—the complete lives system—which prioritises younger people who have not yet lived a complete life, and also incorporates prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value principles.

Dr. Obama: The New Face of Clinical Decision-Making

Does this week's Time Magazine cover insidiously mock Dr. Obama's absurd desire to decide clinical matters for patients with special consideration for what is best for the federal government, or does it daftly intimate Time magazine's illogical support for such a ridiculous plan to ration healthcare via government bureaucracy?




August 10, 2009.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Please Report Any Criticism of Healthcare Reform!

From the White House.
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.
If there has been any criticism of President Obama's healthcare reform, even from this very blog, please email the White House directly.

Your efforts will ensure that only a single, unified voice is heard so that the reform process can proceed without caution.

It is extremely important that there is no debate in such a critical issue as the upheaval of our $2.4 trillion healthcare system.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is Home Ownership a Right?

Is home ownership a right?

Is an Ivy League college education a right?

Is air conditioning a right?

Is winter heating a right?

Is a 4-door-sedan a right?

Is a pediatrician's medical service a right?

Is an appendectomy a right?

Is having a job a right?

Is making $20/hour a right?

Is a paid 2 week vacation a right?

Is a retirement account a right?



At what point is it right to take someone else's property to secure any of the above?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Obamacare's Future and Cash for Clunkers

The "Cash For Clunkers" program, with a budget of $1 billion, exhausted its funds 13 times faster than expected. It went bankrupt last week, yet was expected to last until November.

Limited budget. Limited supply. Massively-unexpected demand.

Massive shortages.

Rationing.

This is the future of healthcare in America under Obama's Public Option.

If the government can not handle a $1 billion program, how can it handle a $2.4 trillion segment of the economy?

Saying one thing, doing something else