Well, the Court agreed with me that you can’t regulate inactivity. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but this is the Supreme Court after all. Yep, the Obamacare ruling came down by the Supremes today, and everyone is either super-excited, forlorn, or unsure. You can put me somewhere between forlorn and unsure. The ruling stinks because it maintains legislation that will join Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as a giant blackhole of entitlement suck that we literally can’t pay for. It will also result in rising premiums and less care, while having no impact on rising healthcare costs. And “conservative” justice John Roberts joined the lefty minority to bring the law home. All of those things are bad.
But there are some potential goodies in there too (hence the lengthly dissent of the libs on what should have been considered a victory). First, the individual mandate failed under the Commerce Clause. Why is this important? Because it shows Congress can’t regulate whatever the hell it wants by simply arguing it involves “interstate commerce.” It also proves that I was right about it being an unprecedented overreach by Congress by trying to include inactivity in something that can be regulated. And I like being right. Yes, I know, it still passed constitutional muster under Congress’s taxing authority. That’s true. And the benefit to that is it gives the Republicans a HUGE talking point with an election coming up.
Uh, no George, it’s not a tax increase. I’m serious. George, don’t you know who I am? Seriously, it’s NOT A TAX.
Oh, wait, sorry. It is, ah, a tax. And it’s going to be frickin’ HUGE. And you know who it’s going to disproportionately impact? That’s right. The middle class. Why? Because high-rollers like me already have health insurance, and while it’s only going to get more expensive under this lovely bill, I can probably still afford it. But what about the middle class? They either need to pay the increasing premiums, or get
penalized taxed. So the Prez is a big liar and the voters he needs are going to be most impacted by his lie.
What’s another positive? Well, maybe it will keep me from having to hear about all the “politicians in robes” from the left, since the Chief Justice decided to play for the other team on what is probably the biggest decision the Roberts Court will ever make. You know what you never see? One of the four libs switching sides. Just kidding. We’ll all be hearing about Citizens United in about 10 minutes.
So what have we learned? We learned that the Commerce Clause doesn’t allow for the regulation of inactivity…which those of us who took English class in high school already knew. We learned that the Supreme Court will identify something as a tax, even if the law’s proponent specifically argues that it’s a penalty. We learned that the Chief Justice is more worried about how his court is perceived by the media than he is about actually making good decisions. And finally, we learned that the President is a huge liar, who rammed through the largest tax increase in history while telling everyone it wasn’t a tax increase.
So I ended up spending a majority of my Memorial Day in the Emergency Room of my local hospital, after an unfortunate accident involving a pink flamingo lawn ornament and a spork. While I sat there, watching re-runs of Deadliest Catch for approximately four hours, I came to recognize a few things about my surroundings. First, there were a lot of people sitting in the Emergency Room with me. Second, only about 10% of them appeared to be in any great danger of dying in the next 24-48 hours.
Accompanying me on my trip to the hospital was my loving wife. Now, you may accuse me of unnecessarily burdening her with having to sit in the Emergency Room during her Memorial Day. Not so. I had previously promised her that I would get her away from the kids as a Mother’s Day gift. Mission accomplished. Also, I needed her to hold the spork. As we sat there together, I commented to her that none of these people seemed to be experiencing an “emergency.” She nodded in agreement. In fact, most of the people there seemed to be having a fabulous time. They were talking and laughing and some were even barbequing, all while watching their children run around. My wife, bless her optimistic heart, advised me that just because I couldn’t see an ailment doesn’t mean one didn’t exist. For example, maybe the young girl running around without any shoes on and a bloody band-aid hanging from her big toe was actually bleeding internally. I agreed that it was possible. But it seemed unlikely that all of the aforementioned 90% were suffering from an invisible malady.
I had a better suggestion. I concluded that most of these people were not, in fact, suffering from an emergency. I’d even say that most of the people just needed to go home, pop a Xanax, and take a nap. Heck, some of the people were probably there simply to enjoy free air-conditioning and the Discovery Channel.
And then it dawned on me: this is a huge problem with our healthcare system. Contrary to the belief of the woman waiting for her Valtrex re-fill, the Emergency Room is not a replacement for a primary care physician. An Emergency Room costs a lot more to operate than a primary care physician. An Emergency Room is for people actually in the middle of an emergency, as opposed to those suffering from indigestion due to having one too many tacos. Unfortunately, instead of identifying those without actual emergencies, and giving them the number for “Hypochondriacs Anonymous,” hospitals have simply caved to the demands of the
The ER I was visiting had two separate sections, for two separate patients, with two separate groups of doctors: a family practice physician wing and a “crap his eyes are bleeding” wing. There shouldn’t be a family practice physician wing. The family practice people only hinder the “crap his eyes are bleeding” people. Appointments should be made with the family practice physician ahead of time. Of course, the problem is the people utilizing the ER as a family practice either don’t have their own doctor or they feel too entitled to make an appointment. Oh, and our system doesn’t require them to.
Instead, we allow anybody who feels the need to clog up our emergency rooms to do so. And in addition to the clogging, you have the significant group of people that won’t even be paying their bill. Instead, I’ll be picking up the tab. So not only do I have to be delayed by a line of people with runny noses, I have to pay for the doctor who gets to tell them they have runny noses.
America’s health care is the best in the world. The way in which it is delivered is not. What’s the fix? Well, it involves a combination of changing medical insurance and getting rid of the deadbeats. For example, people should be compelled to keep their non-emergency at home, and call their doctor for an appointment. If they still want to bring their non-emergency in, then they have to pay a significant fee on the spot. Now, I’m not telling everyone to pay that fee on the spot. Obviously if little Billy lost an arm in a freak snow-blowing accident he should get immediate care and worry about bill later. But if Billy only has a 102 degree temp that is controlled by over the counter meds, Billy’s mom better be paying up front.
Of course, the entire healthcare debate emanates from the nonsensical belief that healthcare is a right that no one should have to pay for and doctors and nurses constitute the only profession known to mankind that should provide their services for free. In fact, that’s the whole reason why people use the ER as a primary care physician. The ER has to treat you, regardless of how minor your issue is, even if you can’t pay for it. A better option is to spin a wheel upon your arrival, and if you hit a whammy, your condition is not considered an emergency and you have to either go home or pay up front. Not only would it be more efficient, it would add to the intrigue of spending the day at the ER.
Paul Ryan actually has a plan to save Medicare. And he explains it on the interwebs with colorful graphs.
Everybody seems to realize that Medicare is driving our economy into the ground long-term. Few seem to have the guts to tackle it though. Paul Ryan has taken up the mantle of being the only adult in the room, and has actually provided a detailed plan that works. Except he’s losing the messaging battle. The Dems have convinced America that Ryan’s plan amounts to throwing granny off of a cliff. It doesn’t though…in fact, it doesn’t affect Medicare benefits to anyone 55 or over at all.
The problem with Ryan’s plan: it involves too many numbers. As such, Americans are falling asleep, only to be awakened to the sound of lefties yelling about grand-dad being left to die alone in the dark somewhere…while surrounded by lots of laughing-and evil-oil executives. Fortunately, Ryan has realized the nature of Americans, and created a video with handy graphics. I’ve embedded it below. After you’ve watched it, and reviewed your copious notes, you can educate your parents and grandparents.
Two recent articles have popped up in the news these past couple of days about fat people and the government’s continuing effort to try and educate them on the reasons they’re fat. The articles also reveal the government’s continued effort to both waste my money and annoy me at the same time. The most alarming part of the articles, however, is the obvious implication for religious folks.
Yesterday, the LA Times provided everyone with yet another example of the FDA having way too much time on its hands.
The nation’s cinema operators are fuming about proposed federal rules that could require them to disclose the calories in their concession food — including popcorn, a highly profitable item for theater chains.
Uh oh, now everyone is going to find out that their giant popcorn covered with salt and that liquid butter stuff is unhealthy. Honestly, does anyone think popcorn isn’t bad for your health? Anyone? Hello?
‘If a movie theater is going to be serving people with 1,000-calorie tubs of popcorn, the least they could do is tell people about it,’ said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center [for Science in the Public Interest]. ‘Just because you happen to be doing something else while you’re eating doesn’t mean that those 1,000 calories won’t stop going to your waistline.’
No. The only reason you would need to tell someone that they’re eating 1,000 calories is if there’s also a sign that says, “of course it’s low in calories. it’s made from corn.” And then it would be better to simply remove the sign.
Oh, and what does “Happen to be doing something else” mean? Unless we’re talking about one of those theaters in the not-so-nice part of town, I’m pretty sure that the “something else” is limited to using your other hand to raise the Icee to your mouth, and then put it down again; and no one thinks that activity is going to keep those 1,000 calories from going to their waist. Right? Is this country really full of that many stupid people? (Obviously a rhetorical question. Afterall, some guy did actually convince a jury of his peers that he was completely unaware that inhaling smoke into his lungs for decades, while coughing, was a bad idea).
By the way, did you catch the insane profits movie theaters make on their popcorn?
‘We sell a bucket of popcorn for about $6. Our cost in that $6 bucket of popcorn is about 15 cents or 20 cents. So if that cost doubles, it doesn’t really hurt me that much.’
Holy crap! Liberals should stop whining about monopolies in the oil industry, and start whining about monopolies in the movie theater popcorn industry.
Even more disturbing than the stupid calorie disclosure, however, is the government’s new-found obsession with fat people, and the effect it just might have on the religious folks out there.
[A]n unusual new study has found that people who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to battle obesity by middle age.
Don’t panic (yet). Scientists don’t know why religious people are more likely to add a spare tire (or two). But they have their suspicions:
‘We don’t know why frequent religious participation is associated with development of obesity,’ said Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. ‘It’s possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity.’
Stinkin’ happiness. It looks like those cookies during fellowship are training our minds to associate happiness with eating high calorie treats. Jeez, I wonder how much government funding that study received? In any event, the reasoning seems a little less than air-tight. However, I do have a message to all of my brothers and sisters: watch out, because the government is coming for your ham buns.
Whenever something bad happens, it elicits all kinds of responses. In the case of the butcher of Philadelphia, most of the response has been disgust. There are always some, though, that are so severely tone deaf, that complete lunacy ensues. Take lefty feminist Carol King (no, not that Carole King), for example. Her response to Dr. Kermit Gosnell: Gee, I sure hope this doesn’t impact the right of women to have more abortions.
The fact is that existing laws limiting access to abortion created this horror. This is what happens when we deprive women of affordable and accessible reproductive health care. When we force poor women who want to terminate unwanted pregnancies to wait until they can raise enough money to pay for a legal procedure, we force their abortions later in the pregnancy. And we force them into the hands of disreputable clinics. Of course, that’s the goal of these restrictions – they want to make it as difficult and challenging for these women as they can. This is what happens when we marginalize women’s health.
Reading the foregoing paragraph made me wonder if I’d just been kicked in the head by a donkey. There are so many things wrong (morally wrong that is) with Ms. King’s statements that I’m feeling a little woozy.
This is what happens when we deprive women of affordable and accessible reproductive health care.
I’m sorry, what? How much do condoms cost? Ever been to a Planned Parenthood? They hand birth control out like it’s candy. How about your local public school? Simply put, it’s difficult to conceive of making “reproductive health care” any more affordable and accessible than it currently is. Oh yeah, one could always try not having sex. That’s free.
When we force poor women who want to terminate unwanted pregnancies to wait until they can raise enough money to pay for a legal procedure, we force their abortions later in the pregnancy.
I wasn’t aware that we were “forcing” women to do anything with respect to abortion. A woman doesn’t have to have an abortion. She doesn’t even have to get pregnant. And I’m not going to apologize for lacking one little bit of sympathy for anyone trying to terminate an “unwanted” pregnancy. It’s pretty easy to not get pregnant.
Now, this is the moment when my mother gives me one of those “not everything’s black and white” or “walk a mile in her shoes” nonsense. Maybe on a different day. But not today. Not after reading this liberal, feminist drivel about a mass murderer being the natural result of not providing federal funding for abortions. Carol King, and those like her, lower the collective I.Q. of this nation while, ironically, giving women everywhere a bad name.
And she left her best for last.
We are watching the disintegration of a fundamental right–the right to choose whether and when to become mothers.
You should read that again, because that’s where we are in this conversation. To the Carol King’s of the world, pregnancy has become similar to the common cold; an inconvenience that is simply acquired. Newsflash: every woman has the right to choose whether and when to become mothers. It’s called life-planning. And it’s free.
It seems everyone with any shwag is getting a waiver for Obamacare now-days. What is a waiver from Obamacare you ask? Well, in its effort to create awesome health care benefits out of pixie dust and rainbows, the new health care law compels privately-owned insurance providers to give at least $2 million in annual benefits to insureds by 2013. Well that sounds like a great idea! Unlimited insurance benefits for all!
It turns out that there’s a small problem with requiring companies to provide a certain level of coverage to all insureds though. It’s called reality. A company like McDonald’s, for example, provides some health benefits for its low-wage workers because the premiums aren’t terribly high…so it’s affordable. Do you think $2 million a year is going to be affordable? Probably not. Hence the waivers.
The waivers allow health insurance plans to limit how much they will spend on a policy holder’s medical coverage for a given year. Under the new health care law, however, such annual limits are phased out by the year 2014. (Under HHS regulations, annual limits can be no less than $750,000 for 2011, no less than $1.25 million in 2012 and no less than $2 million in 2013.)
So far, 222 organizations have been granted waivers from having to comply with Obamacare. The most recent: three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). No, this isn’t about unions per se. Fact it, lots of large companies and charitable organizations have been issued waivers. The purpose of this post is to simply inquire into whether Obamacare can be defined as a good thing if no one can afford to comply with it (I know, this question often vexes liberals)?
Let’s face it…the new health care law is an entitlement program whose purpose is to provide good healthcare, at a cheap cost, to those deemed most at risk. Unfortunately, good healthcare at a cheap cost doesn’t exist in the real world. So, what needs to happen? Well, first, the big political donors need to be satiated. Hence specifically exempting them from the law. Second, those low-wage employees of the big political donors will need to be subsidized in some way by the government. Why? Because if Obamacare results in janitors not receiving the same annual insurance limits of everyone else, even the libs will admit failure.
You see, there is no such thing as a free lunch. A company can’t survive by offering cadillac plans to everyone, and not charging appropriate premiums to everyone. An insurance provider can’t afford to offer insurance to someone with heart disease who smokes five packs a day, while only requiring the premium of a healthier person. But the government doesn’t exist in the real world, and that’s why the end result of Obamacare will be a lack of private insurance providers offering benefits to everyone else.
But that’s the point, isn’t it?
‘Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,’ Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.
While her honesty is refreshing, her message is not. In fact, her message is something we could expect to hear in Cuba. “Hey private insurance companies…if you criticize obamacare, I’ll make damn sure you go out of business faster than the other insurance companies.”
And what is the insurance industry’s response to Ms. Sebelius’ outburst:
‘Health insurance premiums are increasing because of soaring prices for medical services, the impact of younger and healthier people dropping their insurance during the weak economy, and additional benefits required under the new law,’ said Karen Ignagni, president of the insurers’ trade group. ‘It’s a basic law of economics that additional benefits incur additional costs.’
Hold the phone! More services cost more money? What? I’m not sure I understand. In Obama-land, everyone will get all the state-of-the-art healthcare they want for free! And while they’re getting their totally bad ass healthcare that’s free, they’ll also get to tickle a govt-issued leprechaun until he craps gold coins.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, these are the people who our president has selected to run our government. They threaten private businesses that have the nerve to criticize the government, while at the same time, not understanding the concept of stuff=money. Even my daughter knows that the Barbie with the makeup mirror and strawberry-scented poodle costs more than the Barbie a la carte. This confusion is a prime example of why people who spend too much time in government become quite similar to those who have undergone a frontal labotomy. Just sayin’