Capitalism in January becomes socialism in April

April 27, 2013 at 8:55 am | Posted in crooks & liars, government spending, hypocrisy, political | Leave a comment
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Socialism – It’s been hiding for a long time…

March 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Posted in health care, irony, Obama, political commentary, political rants | Leave a comment
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…you just can’t see the forest for the trees.  Take our present health care system, for example.  Aside from greed, do you know what else has driven the health care costs to epic heights?  It is because those of us that have the ability to pay are subsidizing those who can’t.  As more and more people use emergency room facilities, because they cannot be refused treatment if they are not able to pay, the more costs rise for the rest of us.  So it is through higher and higher health care costs we are subsidizing the poor.  Isn’t that really the kind of socialism some of you are afraid of if we were to have a public option or single payer plan?

What about your police, fire, and military protection?  We all put our money in a pool (our taxes) to pay for those services.  The poor, who don’t pay any taxes, still have the same benefits and protections from those services as those who pay, do they not?

In education, especially private schools, financial aid and scholarships often come from money paid by those most able to afford the high tuition.  As you can see, no matter where you look there is a form of socialism within our capitalist system, yet it is thrown around as such a dirty, ugly word.

What is so wrong with the haves helping the have-nots?  Has greed and materialism created a society of people who have the attitude; I got mine, too bad too sad for you if you can’t get yours?  Caring about the less fortunate would benefit our society as a whole but people are just too freaking stupid to get it!  These same folks are usually of the good Christian ilk.  Calling one’s self a Christian isn’t the same as being a Christian.  I know many of my fellow atheists who lead  more Christian lives than the so-called Christians.

I’m going to veer slightly off topic here.  In regard to the new health care bill that will make buying  health insurance mandatory, there is a good reason for doing it.  It sounds scary to people, but since the bill will put an end to the health  insurance industry’s practice denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions this measure is necessary to be fair to the insurers (yes I hate the thought of that one as much as anyone since they have been screwing us for years) if the mandatory clause were left out, many people would not buy insurance until they got sick.  It would be kind of like waiting until your house has burned down to buy home owner’s insurance.

Robin Hood

December 29, 2009 at 6:35 am | Posted in corporate bullys, crooks & liars, economy, humor, PhotoShop Fun, Republicans | 1 Comment
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Check out Humor Blogs

Socialism – What’s so Bad About it?

October 7, 2009 at 2:18 am | Posted in crooks & liars, government, health care, Obama, political, stupidity | 8 Comments
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Quick everyone there’s a fight on the playground.  That’s kind of what it feels like with the ongoing  discourse on my last posts:  A Child’s Prayer and Tea Party..

Even though the posts were not directly related to health care reform that is what the ongoing debate, mostly between Phil and Michael, has become.

Phil made a point that I have heard many times; that those without money or health insurance can go to the emergency room.  Do these people NOT understand routine health care is not the purpose of emergency rooms?  The word emergency should be their first clue.  ERs used in this way are driving up the costs of actual emergency treatment and the cause of having to wait six or more hours to be seen by an ER doctor.

This morning I read an OP-ED by Nicholas D. Kristof who outlined a very sad scenario that should not and would not exist if the health care industry had not gotten so out of control.  David Waddington needed a kidney transplant due to a genetic disorder.  The best match would be one of his two sons.  Unfortunately the doctor advised against the sons being tested as a match because they had a fifty percent chance of developing the same disorder and the testing would reveal this fact, making them un-insurable under our present health care system.

Many of our legislators, media pundits, and citizens seem to be suffering from cranial rectal inversion…wouldn’t it be great if a cure, for this condition, was discovered and it was accessible to all those suffering from it.  The symptoms are the inability to understand, interpret, and relate reality without wildly absurd distortion so pathetic it’s funny.  I know, it’s not nice to laugh at the handicapped but with some of the crazy statements being made by those suffering from CRI, it is hard not to.

In the following article, How Other Nations beat the US on health care, by T.R. Reid he outlines systems that are in place in other countries.

As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we’ve overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world.

All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they’ve found ways to cover everybody — and still spend far less than we do.

I’ve traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as “socialist,” we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

1. It’s all socialized medicine out there.

Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others — for instance, Canada and Taiwan — rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries — including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland — provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.

In some ways, health care is less “socialized” overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet’s purest examples of government-run health care.

2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation’s 200 private health insurance plans — a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn’t like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

In France and Japan, you don’t get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as “in-network” lists of doctors or “pre-authorization” for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment — and insurance has to pay. Canadians have their choice of providers.

As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations — Germany, Britain, Austria — outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don’t bother to make an appointment.

3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise — private-sector, for-profit health insurance — is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient.

U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing.

France’s health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada’s universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On averag, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate.

They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a “preexisting condition” — precisely the people most likely to need the insurers’ service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims.

If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer’s “rescission department” digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive.

Foreign health-insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can’t cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital, usually within tight time limits. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

The key difference is that foreign health-insurance plans exist only to pay people’s medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

U.S. system has elements of all

In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them.

For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model; we’ve blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has “the finest health care” in the world. We don’t.

In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

Given our remarkable medical assets — the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research — the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.

T.R. Reid, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.”

Oh the Hypocrisy! Let’s Compare Notes

October 24, 2008 at 7:08 am | Posted in elections, hypocrisy, political campaigns, political rants, rants | 1 Comment
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Obama, according to the McCain and Palin crowd, is a terrorist because he had some professional associations with a man who was accused but not convicted (granted due to a technicality) of terrorist activities when Obama was eight years old.  Other prominent public figures, including republicans also had the same association with Ayers as Obama.  None of that matters, right?

McCain used to pal around with G. Gordon Liddy who is a convicted felon.  McCain was an adult and fully aware of Liddy’s activities.

How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy’s home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator’s campaigns–including $1,000 this year.

Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as “an old friend,” and McCain sounded like one. “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of your family,” he gushed. “It’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.”

Obama has been associated with Acorn a bad thing?

McCain has been associated with Acorn, not a bad thing?  Don’t believe it, google it.  Here’s just one to get you started,  McCain Attending an Acorn Rally.

McCain was one of the Keating 5.  Here’s an excerpt, read the full article at the preceding link.

John McCain admitted to intentionally filing false income tax returns to defraud the IRS by not claiming thousands of dollars in gifts McCain and his family received from Charles Keating and Keating’s company. Years later, when the IRS noticed Keating’s company had written off the gifts to McCain as business expenses, McCain fessed up and admitted filing false returns and made a “donation” to the U.S. Treasury to cover the amount he defrauded American tax payers. (Committing tax fraud is one of the least offensive things John McCain has done over his career, but this article just focuses on his role in the Keating Five, and the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal of the late 1980’s-early 1990’s). McCain also leaked information about the Keating Five to the press multiple times in an effort to appear above the other Senators in the scandal. A 1989 Phoenix New Times article summed it up best with their title – McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five.

Sarah Palin smirks smugly as she insinuates Obama is a terrorist, a socialist (a word I don’t think she knows the definition of), and anti-American, as people in the crowd yell “kill him” among other things.  What does it say about her character that she allowed this to go on?  Palin might believe that Obama is a socialist but a psychologist friend of mine believe Pallin is a sociopath.  See the similarity in the two words?

Obama has not stooped to the level of calling Palin anti-American even though she’s married to a guy who has said he hates America and belongs to a group who wants Alaska to secede from the United States.  Nor has he called Palin anti-American for attending and speaking at meetings with her husband.

Palin is under investigation in her home state, and has been accused of all sorts of misconduct and abuses while in office.

Yet all I hear is bad stuff about Obama and Biden and how wonderful McCain Palin are.  What are we a nation of nitwits?  I can only hope it’s like the moral majority that turned out to only be louder than the rest but not really a majority.

This has gotten to be such nasty business that like the airlines, polling places are going to have to provide barf bags with each ballot.

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