Archive for December 3rd, 2011

Below is a recent Facebook exchange about ObamaCare. For purposes of discretion, the actual names used in the exchange have been changed to Commenter 1, Commenter 2, and I.M. Kane.

I.M. Kane  

Commenter 1:

To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs.

Older people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get back home.

I started to cry when I thought of most of you.

Then it dawned on me … oh, heck… I’ll see you on the bus!

I.M. Kane:

Unfortunately the following story’s not a laughing matter “‘Neurosurgeon’ Discloses ObamaCare Plan to ‘Pull the Plug on Granny.'”


Commenter 1:

I know, right … that’s pretty scary … interestingly though Obama and his family and Congress members and their families will never suffer the way we will. Nobody will pull the plug on them!

Commenter 2:

Oh come on, no one’s gonna pull plugs, and seniors and the elderly will have Obama care as well. It’s a start…theUSis long overdue for universal healthcare. People are dying because of the greedy insurance companies, not because of healthcare reform. It actually has already really helped some who did not have insurance, couldn’t get it…many with cancer. Now they will be covered.

It really is time that the big corporations stopped running the country. Insurance companies are one of those “big corporations”…and I think colleges are going in that direction…it needs to be stopped.

I.M. Kane:

ObamaCare provisions really don’t start to kick until 2014, so I’m not sure how it has already helped cancer patients who didn’t have insurance. The truth is ObamaCare has already hurt people with cancer. FDA recently revoked its authorization of Avastin for treating breast cancer, a drug that has improved the quality of life and extended the life of Stage 4 cancer patients.

ObamaCare empowers the federal government to dictate how doctors treat their patients, and it will mean less care for seniors because it cuts Medicare so severely that some hospitals will stop taking Medicare, which means their fate is left up to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) a group of 15 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.

We already have examples of how well government-run health care works in theUnited Kingdom and Canada. And it doesn’t work. The quality of care goes down and people suffer and die needlessly. People with enough money in Canad aand the UK come here when they need treatment for a life threatening condition.

Obamacare will lead to lower quality health care, skyrocketing costs, repressed innovation, and rationing. It’s inevitable because its socialized medicine. Nothing in life is free; everything comes with a cost. The quality of healthcare will remain good for the elite five percent, but for everyone else, the politicians and bureaucrats will decide who lives and who dies.

You’re like the Wall Street protesters, fearing big corporations instead of big government. Big government leads to totalitarianism and “beneficent” dictators the likes of Hilter, Stalin, and Mao who butcher millions for the cause of making a better omelet.

People like you who promote big government don’t believe in personal freedom, individual liberty, and private property. Life is not so much live and let live; it’s life according to the dictates of politicians and bureaucrats. Do as I say, never as I do.

I.M. Kane

Commenter 1:  

Very sad about the Avistin. I just don’t know what right someone feels they have to deny someone else the right to do whatever it takes to live. As long as people understand the risks of certain medications and treatments then they should be able to elect to use certain medications that “may possibly” kill them – for a terminal person what difference does it make??? If they want to take the medication on the chance that it “may” help them – then they should be permitted to take it – WITHOUT government (Obama care) interference. I find it extremely hard to believe that if someone in big government’s only chance “might” be a controversial drug that they would not want it!

BTW … I don’t think anyone is promoting (or dishing) big government … I think we are simply stating where we believe the problem lies … I am not socialist, not democrat … and no longer republican … I am simply totally dismayed …

I.M. Kane:

Anyone who endorses or supports ObamaCare is promoting big government because ObamaCare embodies big government. If the Supreme Court does not rule it unconstitutional, the government would be granted almost unlimited power over the American people and will be able to completely control their lives.

The federal government would not only be able to force Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance or pay penalties up to 2.5 percent of their income if they don’t buy it, but government would be able to mandate what people eat (unapproved foods would be penalized), what type of house they live in (homes that use more energy would be penalized), or the kind of vehicle they drive (vehicles not deemed environmental friendly would be penalized). There would be no limits to governmental authority.

Never before has a federal law mandated Americans must buy something, but if ObamaCare is not overturned, the federal government would be able to do just that. It not only forces private citizens to purchase health insurance, but it also funds abortions and buys Viagra for sex offenders. ObamaCare is an assault on our basic rights and freedoms; it is the most unconstitutional law passed since the 1930’s, when the courts struck down several of FDR’s unconstitutional laws.

ObamaCare would create a socialist two-tier health care system, one for the elite ruling class and one for ordinary citizens, i.e., the masses. While millions of hardworking Americans will struggle to meet the health care cost increases due to provisions in ObamaCare, the elite ruling class will continue to enjoy the best health care in the country at taxpayer expense. Over a thousand unions, companies, and organizations have already received waivers to avoid the costly, destructive consequences of Obamacare for their members and employees.

In this nation’s history, Congress has never forced Americans to engage in commerce. Freedom demands that people be held responsible for their own actions. Unlimited government power takes away that freedom and the people’s power to live their lives the way they want.

The choice before the American people is whether or not they will have a constitutional government or a totalitarian one.

“Tyranny is our foe whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilized, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat.”—Winston Churchill

I.M. Kane

Commenter 2:

First, yes Obama did already put somethings into effect: such as those who have pre existing illnesses can no longer be denied insurance, and that’s why so many lives are now being saved (see the one example on my wall). Second, Cutting medicare and Medicaid are distinct from Obama care. One bill has little if nothing to do with the other. Third, Obama or Obama care did not dictate what the FDA does. That is also separate. Many drugs are pulled with new research by the FDA…and then insurances will not cover those meds. No insurance covers medications not approved (if they did, think of ht eliability suits they’d have on their hands)..so that has nothing to do with Obama care either. I just wish people who discussed this would have at least read 100 pages of the documents!”

And this statement “We already have examples of how well government-run health care works in the United Kingdomand Canada. And it doesn’t work. The quality of care goes down and people suffer and die needlessly. People with enough money in Canadaand the UKcome here when they need treatment for a life threatening condition.” Is simply false and sounds like brain washing. I have loads of friends from Europe, Canada, and Australia and Britain….they LOVE the health care there and are getting what they need (some with cancer…one just found she is free of it now and really loved the docs, hospitals, speed of service, etc). These people are not wealthy…medical care in these countries is good, some much better than ours…what rank are we now with infant mortality, longevity…etc. And we are somewhere near 30th in the world for math or science….so of course healthcare would take an edge in countries that are educating better as well….Look up the statistics.”

And as far as the govt taking over our lives…what planet are you living on? That will never happen. The government has the responsibility to support it’s citizens in certain ways. It’s funny…you wouldn’t want to see government education de-funded, but you don’t want medical care?! And, by the way..that is what Medicaid and medicare are….I don’t see the government taking over our lives because our children must go to school and because we must pay in to medicare, social security if we work, etc……Have any of you even studied socialism to discuss it intelligently…I am just saying…..We do not live in a democracy. We live in a capitalistic republic (and that’s saying it nicely). I’d like to get back to a democracy….doubt that will ever happen as so many just think it is fine to have corporations (such as huge insurance companies) own us!”

I.M. Kane:

I make it a point never to engage fools in their folly, but to correct the record I must make an exception this time. I know that ObamaCare has forced insurance companies to offer policies that cover people with preexisting conditions and family policies that cover adult children up to 26 years of age, which by the way has accelerated health care costs dramatically and will continue to do so, something your Ruler and proponents of ObamaCare promised wouldn’t happen. The real name for ObamaCare is the Affordable Care Act. How ironic is that?

It’s a fact that Obamacare’s universal coverage mandate that forces people onto Medicaid or other government-designed health care plans doesn’t happen until 2014, which is when most of ObamaCare takes effect. This major portion of ObamaCare is what I was referring to when I wrote “ObamaCare provisions really don’t start to kick until 2014.”

Medicare and Medicaid are not distinct from ObamaCare. ObamaCare will expand Medicaid and cut a half-trillion dollars over the next ten years mostly from Medicare payment reductions to doctors, hospitals, and health plans such as Medicare Advantage.

ObamaCare also caps future Medicare spending, which is the purpose of ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The Board’s 15 bureaucrats will cap spending by reducing the reimbursement rates to primary care physicians and specialists who participate in Medicare. The Board also will cut reimbursements in the Medicare drug benefit. See “Bye-Bye, Medicare! (As You Know It).”

ObamaCare’s mandate to “bend the health care cost curve down” influenced FDA’s decision to revoke its approval of the expensive, life-extending drug Avastin. Instead of banning the drug outright, FDA denies Medicare and private insurance coverage for the drug but keeps it on the market for those who can afford to pay for it. In other words, cost controls have now been successfully introduced into FDA’s drug approval process. The stage is set for rationing to begin. 

According to you, my assertion that government-run health care systems in Canada and the United Kingdom don’t work is not only false, but you go on to associate it with those who have been brain washed. And for proof you offer your “loads of friends from Europe, Canada, and Australia and Britain.” I don’t know how many friends constitute a load, but I do know a load of bull shit when I hear it.

You offer anecdotes for proof, so I will offer the following newspaper accounts to support my claims:  From the UK the Daily Mail reports “Exposed: Shocking neglect of the elderly on wards of shame,” “Up to 1,200 needless deaths, patients abused, staff bullied to meet targets… yet a secret inquiry into failing hospital says no one’s to blame,” “The babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets,” “Man collapses with ruptured appendix… three weeks after NHS doctors ‘took it out’“; and the UK Telegraph reports “Axe falls on NHS services,” “Sentenced to death on the NHS,” and “‘Cruel and neglectful’ care of one million NHS patients exposed.”

For additional information concerning the failure of socialized medicine, see “Socialized Failure Dissecting health-care data from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere” and “Deciding who lives and who dies – Part I.”

You reference lower rankings in longevity and high infant mortality rates to suggest that America’s health care system is somewhat inferior to other developed countries that have socialized medicine or heavy government intervention. Your statistics are misleading. They compare the heterogeneous population of the United States with the homogeneous populations of European countries.

Life expectancy differs greatly between racial and ethnic groups and from state to state, which reflects lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and smoking. Infant mortality also differs across racial and ethnic lines and from state to state for reasons that have little to do with health care. For example, Utah compares favorably with almost any developed country, but the high minority population in Texas makes the comparison unfavorable.

For a more accurate comparison of health care systems, it makes sense to look at diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension to which medical science can make a real difference. The largest international study to date found that the five-year survival rate for all types of cancer among both men and women was higher in the U.S. than in Europe. It also found a steeper increase in blood pressure with advancing age in Europe as well as 60 percent higher prevalence of hypertension. And U.S. spinal-cord-injury patients had fewer health- and disability-related problems than their Canadian and British counterparts.

One reason Americahas such a low ranking in infant mortality compared to other modern nations has to do with preterm delivery (delivering before 37 weeks). Low birth weight infants are not counted statistically as “live births” in many countries reporting low infant mortality rates. For example, Canada, Germany, and Austria do not count a premature baby weighing <500g as a living child. But the U.S. does count such low birth weight babies as live births. The mortality rate of “unsalvageable” babies outside of the U.S. is extraordinarily high; up to 869 per 1,000 in the first month of life alone. This skews U.S. infant mortality statistics.

BTW, I have studied socialism, fascism, and communism; and I often discuss it intelligently with rational, reasonable people. Also we do not live in a capitalistic republic; we live in a democratic republic. The Founders never intended the US to be a democracy; they saw democracy as mob rule. Compare and contrast the American Revolution of 1776 with the French Revolution of 1789 to understand the philosophical differences between the ideas of negative and positive liberty.

Your collectivist notions belong in Europe. So please join your loads of friends there and leave America to those of us who love and cherish the principles upon which the Founding Fathers built this great nation. 

I.M. Kane and this exchange has ended.

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