Search
Archives
Categories

Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Tuesday night, Jason Lewis won his primary against Darlene Miller and John Howe. Saying that this was expected is understatement. Lewis now heads into the general election against the DFL’s Angie Craig. The DCCC is already spinning Lewis as a rigid ideologue from hell.

Whatever.

Craig’s only hope of winning this election is to make the focus on Jason Lewis. The minute that this becomes a fight between Angie Craig’s progressive agenda and Lewis’ ideas for creating jobs and protecting us from terrorists, this race is over.

Nowhere on Ms. Craig’s issue page, which has a heading of “My Priorities”, does it talk about protecting against terrorist attacks, though it mentions “Slowing the Pace of Climate Change.”

When Ms. Craig talks about veterans care, she’s all about describing the problem:

We owe so much to the brave men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the armed forces. When they come home from their service, they deserve access to every benefit and opportunity they’ve earned. However, so often our veterans are faced with long wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and service-related health problems that aren’t fairly compensated.

A 2014 internal audit by the VA found that more than 120,000 veterans waited at least 90 days for healthcare appointments or never received appointments at all. And as of January 2016, over 82,000 veterans were still waiting for the VA to evaluate their claims for service-connected disability compensation more than 125 days after filing.

Nowhere in that word soup is an identifiable solution. I’m not interested in another cookie-cutter politician that can identify problems but can’t identify solutions.

Jason Lewis is into solving problems. He’s also a principled Constitution-first citizen. It’s time to elect Jason Lewis.

When Gov. Dayton spoke at the Democratic National Convention, he issued a threat. He essentially said that, under Hillary Clinton, the government would seize control of insurance companies, saying “It’s time we decided once and for all that the purpose of health insurance is to give Americans the health care they need at prices they can afford, not to pad the profits of corporate America. If they won’t do it, we will, and Hillary Clinton will lead the charge.”

First, the thought that the ACA, aka Obamacare, is making health care more affordable is BS. Tell that to the people who have fewer options, higher premiums and skyrocketing deductibles. In Minnesota, Obamacare actually ruined a good system.’

Further, it’s worrisome that government, not people, should have the right to tell companies how much is the right amount of profit for their companies. This is what happens when elitists and collectivists run government. They think that they know best so they should set prices, not the people.

Third, Gov. Dayton talked out of both sides of his mouth when he said “Thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, we’ve made a lot of progress getting people covered. But for too many families, out-of-pocket costs are still too high.” Which is it, Gov. Dayton? You can’t say that we’re making progress when “out-of-pocket costs” are skyrocketing out of control.

When insurance companies are opting out of the ACA’s individual markets because their costs are high, that isn’t making progress. That’s going backwards. Going backwards, though, is something that Gov. Dayton is used to. Watch Gov. Dayton’s speech here:

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

During his speech to the delegates attending the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden was at his BSing best. At one point in his speech, Biden attacked Donald Trump, saying “lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he’s most proud of having made famous, ‘you’re fired,’. How can there be pleasure in saying ‘you’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break!” That’s when Biden deployed “his own well-used tagline: “That’s a bunch of malarkey!”

In another part of the speech, Biden praised Hillary, saying “Everybody knows she is smart. Everybody knows she is tough. But I know what she is passionate about. I know Hillary. Hillary understands. Hillary gets it.”

When Biden praised President Obama, he went way overboard, saying that President Barack Obama was “the embodiment of honor, resolve and character, one of the finest presidents we have ever had.” What a bunch of malarkey.

First, if Hillary is so smart, why did she expose her emails to Chinese, Iranian and Russian hackers? If Hillary’s so smart, why did Russia experience a revival after Ronald Reagan killed it? Why did the Muslim Brotherhood take control of Egypt? If Hillary’s so smart, how did Christopher Stevens not get the security he needed?

Next, saying that President Obama is “one of the finest presidents we’ve ever had” isn’t just dishonest. It’s verifiably false on issue after issue. Obamacare was supposedly President Obama’s “signature accomplishment.” Today, Americans were forced out of policies that they were satisfied with and into policies with ever-increasing premiums and skyrocketing deductibles.

President Obama’s stimulus didn’t revive the economy. It’s been the most anemic economy since WWII. In June, 2012, the workforce participation rate was at a 30-year low of 64.3%. Four years later, the labor force participation rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 62.6 percent, near its 38-year low.

In terms of keeping Americans safe, President Obama is a failure. Police officers are getting assassinated, thanks in large part to President Obama’s unwillingness to call out #BlackLivesMatter activists and Al Sharpton for the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ hoax. In terms of preventing terrorist attacks and terrorist attacks increasing thanks in large part to President Obama’s unseriousness in destroying ISIS, he’s failed the US and the world.

If that’s the resume of “one of the finest presidents we have ever had”, I’ve got something to say to Vice President Biden: that’s a bunch of malarkey.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , . , , , ,

When I first read this article by Alpha News, it caught my attention for all the wrong reasons. Before we get into the specifics of Alpha News’ article, it’s important to know that the person who has been criticized by various Muslim organizations, including the Central Minnesota chapter of CAIR MN, asked Alpha News to not use his real name. Alpha News agreed, causing them to refer to the person getting criticized as Kevin Johnson. Additionally, it’s important to know that Johnson is a licensed physician.

Johnson put together a presentation titled Shari’ah 101, which he presented in January of 2016. Shortly after giving his presentation, Johnson’s work at CentraCare was terminated. One of the things from Johnson’s presentation was Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. Follow this link to read the entire document. It’s part of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Library.

This is Dr. Johnson’s letter explaining what happened to him:

It’s important that people know what Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam says. Here’s what it says:

ARTICLE 24:

All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.

It’s equally important to know what Article 22 says:

ARTICLE 22:

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

1. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.

(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

(d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.

In other words, all rights are tied to whether people speak ill of the Prophet or whether they speak well of the Prophet. The key principle to take from one of Islam’s foundational documents on human rights is that human rights aren’t extended to people who don’t accept the Prophet’s teachings.

The key point to take from this ‘human rights document’ is that it doesn’t square with the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Specifically, it doesn’t square with the First Amendment. Finally, the key point to take away from Kevin Johnson’s story is that he was terminated by CentraCare less than a week after he’d given this presentation.

Never forget Dr. Johnson’s final admonition:

CentraCare has decided to value political deference to Islam over patient access to health care. That should frighten everyone.

That’s political cowardice on CentraCare’s part.

Hillary Clinton has started using the gender card so often that I wonder if she thinks that the only qualification she needs to be the next president is being a female. The truth is that the biggest thing Mrs. Clinton is missing is a heart. This past weekend, Mrs. Clinton agreed to a softball interview with Rachel Maddow. Let’s just say that Mrs. Clinton managed to piss off an entire group of people. This time, she shot her mouth off about the VA hospital system. According to S.E. Cupp’s article, things got ugly pretty quick.

It started when Ms. Maddow asked about the VA scandal. That’s when Mrs. Clinton said “You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans and, overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment.” Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, she was just getting started. Next, she said “Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from Republicans in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.”

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. It isn’t surprising that Hillary blamed the VA scandal on Republicans. That’s a reflex with her. What’s disappointing is that she deflected blame away from the corrupt administrators who gave themselves bonuses while veterans died while waiting to get treatment. No amount of money would’ve fixed that. In fact, more money might’ve made the problem worse.

Ms. Cupp then asks a pair of important questions:

When did it become politically permissible to either ignore or accept the systematic negligence of our servicemen and women? And then blame the other political party for pointing it out?

Hillary Clinton doesn’t care about people outside her inner circle of friends. Think about this:

  1. Will Hillary fight for a single mother’s right to defend her family in the crime-infested neighborhoods of her hometown of Chicago?
  2. Will Hillary fight for veterans to get timely medical treatments from some of the nastiest medical conditions?
  3. Will Hillary fight for unemployed construction workers who want to build the Keystone XL Pipeline?

We know the answer to those questions. The answer isn’t no. It’s hell no.

This is a presidential campaign. I know that the candidates will play hardball. That’s fine. Presidential politics is a contact sport. What’s beyond the pale, though, is saying that 300,000 veterans dying without getting treatment is the fault of partisan politics.

That’s as disgusting as Hillary saying that she takes “full responsibility” for Benghazi in one sentence, then insisting that she neither approved or rejected any of Christopher Stevens’ requests for additional security.

Hillary Clinton’s worldview is shaped by a visceral hatred of Republicans. This article highlights Hillary’s hatred of Republicans by quoting her as telling Rachel Maddow that “the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have. They try to create a downward spiral, don’t fund it to the extent that it needs to be funded, because they want it to fail, so then we can argue for privatization.”

Wow.

That’s a glimpse into the stunning dishonesty of Hillary Clinton. The VA scandal wasn’t caused by underfunding of the system. The VA scandal is about corrupt bureaucrats that didn’t deliver medical care to veterans while paying themselves huge bonuses. Further, there was bipartisan support in the House and Senate to give veterans the option of getting treatment at private clinics or hospitals. It was so bipartisan that Bernie Sanders attended the bill-signing ceremony. If Rachel Maddow and Hillary Clinton think that Bernie Sanders is interested in privatizing government, then they need to be institutionalized, preferably to a VA facility.

Let’s hear Hillary explain this away:

An inspector general’s report last year found that veterans in Phoenix waited 115 days on average for an initial doctor’s appointment, while official data claimed that the average wait was only 24 days.

The IG’s report showed that this didn’t just happen in Phoenix, either. It happened all across the nation, which means the corruption has metastasized to the point of being inoperable.

Hillary should admit that.

Gov. Dayton’s latest diatribe is telling because of what he didn’t complain about. According to the article, “Gov. Mark Dayton is criticizing Republicans’ call to abolish MNsure as a way to counter hefty health insurance hikes.”

Nowhere in his hissy fit did Gov. Dayton or Lt. Gov. Smith complain about health insurance premiums being to expensive for Minnesota families to afford. Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith haven’t complained that deductibles are high or that the ACA’s mandated coverages are driving up the price of insurance premiums.

While it’s true that abolishing MNsure wouldn’t drive down insurance premiums, it would eliminate a cost from the budget. The last I looked, that should be a priority for the legislature and the governor.

If taxpayers are paying for something and not getting much out of it, then that should be a prime target for elimination. If Gov. Dayton and the DFL insists on keeping MNsure around while taxpayers pay huge premium increases, that’ll tell Minnesotans that they’re more worried about their ideology than they’re worried about Minnesota families.

Good luck for the DFL if that’s the hill they’re willing to fight for. They’ll need it.

Earlier this week, I wrote this post about Greta van Susteren’s prediction of the King v. Burwell ruling. She predicted that the Supreme Court would rule against continuing the subsidies because the plain language is clear that only people who bought insurance through exchanges established by the state were eligible for subsidies. Let’s assume for the sake of this discussion that that’s what happens.

Then what?

Republicans fear that they’ll get blamed for the collapse of Obamacare. They shouldn’t. They should rejoice that the Supreme Court has struck down the heart of Obamacare. After a minute of rejoicing, they should then announce that they’re submitting a bill that includes the following features:

  1. The policies that people liked but couldn’t keep will again be considered QHPs, aka Qualified Health Plans.
  2. States would be given the option of either a) staying with Obamacare as it’s currently written, b) crafting their own version of a health care exchange or c) creating a hybrid that combines the best features that aren’t part of Obamacare with the best features of Obamacare.
  3. The new GOP bill would temporarily extend the subsidies 120 days so that states and the federal government can put something to replace Obamacare with.

Just saying that people can return to buying the policies that they were forced out of by Obamacare is reason for celebrating. Remember how upset people were when they got kicked off their policies that they liked? I do. They weren’t upset. They were furious and/or worried sick. Some saw it as a matter of life or death … because it was:

Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

It’s time to parade victims of Obamacare in front of the cameras. Let’s start with Edie Littlefield Sundby, who sarcastically wrote that she had the “privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.” Next, let’s put Jim Hoft in front of the camera to tell his story about how his supposedly substandard policy saved his life.

President Obama will undoubtedly tell Congress that he won’t re-litigate the ACA. The RNC should start the ads described earlier in this post the minute President Obama essentially says it’s his way or the highway. Here’s what the first ad should say:

NARRATOR: President Obama says he won’t re-litigate the Affordable Care Act.
EDIE LITTLEFIELD-SUNDBY: Where do I go to get my old policy that I loved dearly and that literally saved my life? President Obama, will you really stand in the way of me getting my old policy back? Sign the Republicans’ bill that would let me buy my old policy again.

That ad alone would get Democrats wobbly. Even if President Obama would veto the bill, how many Democrats in the House and Senate that are up for re-election would vote to sustain President Obama’s veto?

It’s time that Republicans grew a pair. They’re playing 3 aces like a pair of deuces.

During Tuesday night’s Off the Record segment, Greta van Susteren made a rare prediction:

Here’s what she said:

GRETA: First, some Law 101. When 2 parties dispute a statute, here Obamacare, the Court must first decide who’s right. The Court first looks at the plain wording of the statute. If it’s plain, that’s the end of it. The Court rules on the plain words. If the wording, however, is somehow confusing or ambiguous, the Court then goes beyond the words to decide the case. What did the lawmakers intend when they wrote the confusing language? So now, the Obamacare statute and the words. It says “people are eligible for subsidies if they obtained health coverage quote ‘through an exchange established by the state.'” Now that’s plain. To get a subsidy, you have to be in one of the states that set up an exchange, not in the other 34 states that rely on the federal exchange. So I think the Supreme Court will rule against Obama.

Tons of ink has been used to talk about the Republicans’ dilemma if the Supreme Court rules that the IRS can’t give subsidies to people who bought insurance through HealthCare.gov. I’m not often critical of Republicans but I’m upset with them this time. Republicans have a bunch of ideas that, if put together in a piece of legislation, would be a significant improvement over Obamacare. Sen. Bill Cassidy put a plan together, which is the topic of this article:

Cassidy’s bill proposes a way forward following the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, which is expected by the end of June. The case will decide whether the majority of health exchanges, which are run by the federal government, are legally allowed to provide subsidies.

Cassidy, a doctor who unseated Mary Landrieu (D., La.) last November, narrowly focused his bill to be a response to a ruling in favor of Burwell, which would take away subsidies in states that are operated by the federal exchange. Only 13 states operate their own health insurance marketplaces, since the $205 million Hawaii exchange announced it would fold and be taken over by the federal government.

The Patient Freedom Act would give states the option of keeping Obamacare by establishing a state-based exchange, or using existing funding to provide tax credits to create Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for the uninsured, averaging $1,500 per person.

“We are trying to give the state an option other than setting up an Obamacare exchange,” Cassidy said. “The president, I’m sure, will make it easy [to set up a state exchange], because he wants his law to take root,” he said. “If we don’t have a better plan, it will take root.”

If states chose Cassidy’s option, they could do away with various mandates under Obamacare, including the individual and employer mandates and requirements for minimum essential coverage. The legislation would also equalize tax treatment, and require health providers to publish cash prices for services reimbursed from an HSA.

While there are certain to be parts of Sen. Cassidy’s bill that we don’t like, this bill should get a committee hearing. Amendments should’ve been offered to improve the bill. That would prove that Republicans are interested in solving problems, not just complaining about problems.

The American people know the complaints. They’ve made those complaints themselves. What Americans insist upon is a solution. Republicans should get behind this legislation ASAP. Committee hearings should start next week. If a Republican senator who’s running for president starts complaining or grandstanding, Mitch McConnell should highlight that senator’s grandstanding and tell them that it’s this legislation. Period. If they won’t be team players, Senate leadership should make it known that they’ll blow up that senator’s presidential campaign.

This isn’t a situation for political gamesmanship. It’s a situation that demands leadership and solutions. The American people deserve that much.

Finally, a group of ideas isn’t a solution. They’re a collection of theories. It’s time for Republicans to put on their big boy pants and provide solutions. Carpe diem.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

This story has been bouncing around the internet all week. The progressive left has attempted to use the story to tar Scott Walker. First, here’s what Gov. Walker said:

We signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.

Naturally, the abortion industry (and that’s just what it is) is outraged:

Walker’s comments drew criticism from pro abortion rights groups. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called his remarks “appalling” and said, “Women are very clear that forced government ultrasounds are not ‘cool.'”

First, it isn’t surprising that one of the leaders in the abortion industry is upset. Wisconsin’s law is probably reducing the number of abortions in that state. That means Planned Parenthood’s income has probably dropped. Couple that with the fact that Gov. Walker dried up funding to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s government funding and it isn’t a stretch to think that Gov. Walker is Public Enemy No. 1 in Planned Parenthood’s eyes. Frankly, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Gov. Walker would occupy the top 5 slots on Planned Parenthood’s Public Enemies list.

This statement is from the Guttmacher Institute:

“Since routine ultrasound is not considered medically necessary as a component of first-trimester abortion, the requirements appear to be a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion,” researchers at the Guttmacher Institute wrote.

The Catholic Education Resource Center responded with this statement:

“The manipulation of language has long been one of the hallmarks of the pro-choice position,” according to an argument on the Catholic Education Resource Center website. “But with ultrasound, words no longer matter so much: The abstract melts into the concrete and the personal. This powerful emotional appeal will continue to grow as 3-D ultrasound enters the mainstream.”

The truth is that Planned Parenthood is upset that this technology is eating into their revenues. Anybody that thinks that Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice USA or NOW cares about anything more than the income from performing abortion procedures is kidding themselves.

These abortionists care mostly about their income and their industry.

Congratulations to Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin legislature for writing and passing the ultrasound legislation and for defunding Planned Parenthood. They’re true pro-life heroes.