Thursday, October 07, 2010

Huge exclusions for Gov’t-Run Health Care in AZ

But the one exclusion that is generating all the outrage is the refusal to transplant livers into carriers of Hep C. Hep C is of course the druggie's disease. As a former army man, I have no sympathy for self-inflicted injuries so I see no point in wasting rare organ donations on such people. Note that the virus universally recurs after transplantation. It is the many cutbacks on care for ordinary decent people that illustrate the dangers of government-run health insurance

Arizona's Medicaid agency will no longer cover some non-experimental organ transplants for its adult members, including liver transplants for patients with Hepatitis C, a move blasted as "a death sentence" by one patient advocacy group.

Medicaid is a federally subsidized, state-administered health-care program for low-income people. Some Medicaid benefits are mandated by the federal government, with states choosing to cover additional benefits.

The federal government spent $275.4 billion on Medicaid in fiscal 2010 and $451.1 billion on Medicare, for a total of $726.5 billion on these two government health-care programs, according to the Office of Management and Budget. By contrast, the federal government spent $692 billion on the U.S. Defense Department in fiscal 2010.

In a memo announcing a number of benefits changes for adults 21 and older, the state's Medicaid agency said it was responding to "significant fiscal challenges facing the State and substantial growth in the Medicaid population."

As of October 1, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System will no longer pay for liver transplants for patients with Hepatitis C; certain heart and bone marrow transplants; or lung and pancreas transplants.

In addition to eliminating most organ-transplant coverage, Arizona's Medicaid agency also is eliminating most dental care for adults as well as coverage of podiatrist services; insulin pumps; percussive vests; bone-anchored hearing aids; cochlear implants; orthotics; gastric bypass surgery; certain durable medical equipment; "well" medical checkups; some non-emergency medical transportation; microprocessor-controlled lower limbs and joints; and it is limiting outpatient physical therapy to 15 visits per contract year. (See list)

A group that advocates for viral hepatitis patients is outraged by the decision to "deprive" hepatitis C patients of liver-transplant coverage, calling the move "cruel" and "inhumane."



A large lurch to the Left among "Progressives"

A close look at the Saturday "One Nation" rally in Washington reveals something quite telling. It was a major gathering of the "progressive" left, highly billed, vigorously promoted. And it happened to include -- in fact, it warmly accepted -- the endorsement of Communist Party USA.

Expectedly, a bunch of the rally's endorsers carried the word "progress" or "progressive" in their title, from People’s Organization for Progress to Progressive Democrats of America. More still unhesitatingly describe themselves as progressive, from racial eugenicist Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood to Norman Lear's heirs at People for the American Way, plus the usual suspects from the "social justice" Religious Left. And then, too, there was CPUSA.

Why is this so remarkable? It's remarkable because historically, communist involvement at these rallies has been meticulously concealed, hidden from progressives, with the communists using the progressives as props -- as dupes. That the two sides here, on Saturday, happily accepted one another, proudly uniting, shows how far to the left progressives have moved, not to mention their unflagging confidence under the ascendancy of Obama-Pelosi-Reid.



The new black racism: "Polar Bear Hunting"

A trendy sport in our new post-racial America is called polar bear hunting:
What is 'polar bear hunting'?

It's a racist assault by blacks (mostly young men) on whites (mostly men of any age). Most often it involves more than one attacker on a lone victim, and usually from behind with no warning.

In the Champaign, Ill. area "the number of reports of beatings to white men in Champaign appear to be coming in quicker than police can even process them."

The most recent attack was this past Friday night on a lone man walking home after a high school football game.

One polar bear hunter denies there's anything racist about assaulting white people, and expresses concern that somebody could get hurt if Whitey pulls a gun.

Here's a list of national media reports on this alarming phenomenon:

There, that's all I could find after a quick search with Google News. The moral of the story can be summed up in two words: concealed carry.



Congress beats the trade-war drum

by Jeff Jacoby

THE POLICIES of the Chinese government make it possible for Americans to acquire a vast array of products at affordable prices. For that high crime and misdemeanor, the US House of Representatives voted last week to punish China.

The vote on H.R. 2378, which would authorize punitive tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States -- which includes everything from clothing, furniture, and toys to refrigerators, computers, and sporting goods -- was a lopsided 348 to 79. It was accompanied by equally unbalanced congressional rhetoric. "They cheat to steal our jobs," fumed Mike Rogers of Michigan, while California's Dana Rohrabacher denounced the Chinese as a "clique of gangsters."

From the Senate, where similar legislation is pending, came equally hostile words. "This suckers' game is never going to stop unless we call their bluff," seethed Charles Schumer of New York. There was trade-war drum-beating on the sidelines, too. The president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, cheered the "long-overdue" move against China's government, which he likened to "a schoolyard bully." Paul Krugman, writing in The New York Times, hailed the vote as evidence that US policymakers would no longer be so "incredibly, infuriatingly passive in the face of China's bad behavior."

But what exactly is so awful about selling good stuff cheap to tens of millions of US consumers?

China's communist regime is no paragon of enlightened governance. It criminalizes dissent, represses religious and ethnic minorities, and severely restricts the civil rights and political liberties of its citizens. Particularly brutal have been its occupation of Tibet and its vicious treatment of those who follow Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual movement. There is no shortage of legitimate and urgent reasons to condemn Beijing's behavior. Keeping the price of Chinese exports low isn't one of them.

China is accused by its protectionist foes of deliberately undervaluing its currency, the yuan (or renminbi), relative to the US dollar. That makes Chinese goods less expensive in the international market than they otherwise would be. No doubt that puts some US exporters at a competitive disadvantage. But it also means far greater purchasing power for innumerable US consumers and businesses. Experts can debate whether there is something unwarranted or "predatory" about China's currency manipulation (which, as The New York Times points out, the World Trade Organization does not define as illegal). But there is no doubt whatever that its beneficiaries are legion, as a visit to any Wal-Mart or Target will confirm. Because it makes so many goods so affordable to so many people, China's currency policy has been called "the greatest anti-poverty program in America." And Congress wants to go to war to shut it down?

The protectionists claim that forcing China to revalue the yuan would boost US manufacturers, adding as many as a million new jobs to American payrolls. That too is debatable. Economist Mark Perry argues that it is the breathtaking increase in US manufacturing productivity, not the value of Chinese currency, that is largely responsible for the disappearance of so many manufacturing jobs in recent years. Contrary to popular view, manufacturing in America is alive and well. The United States is far and away the world's leading manufacturing power, but it takes fewer workers to produce more output than ever.

Not many firms welcome tough competition, so it isn't hard to understand why US exporters who compete directly with Chinese firms want to see Congress rig the trade by slapping punitive tariffs on imports made in China. Their concern is with their bottom line; they aren't thinking about the millions of American households that would be forced to contend with higher prices.

But that doesn't mean Congress has to do their bidding.

Suppose Chinese firms were able to undersell their US competitors not because of Beijing's currency policy, but thanks to a technological breakthrough that dramatically reduced Chinese manufacturing expenses. Or suppose Americans were flocking to buy made-in-China goods because Oprah Winfrey, Glenn Beck, Pastor Rick Warren, and Lady Gaga were all urging their followers to do so. Or because an eccentric billionaire was offering a 25 percent rebate on the purchase of anything imported from China. US firms might fume, but no one would expect Congress to "retaliate" on their behalf by slapping steep new taxes on Chinese products. Why should the bottom line be any different if consumers choose to "buy Chinese" because Beijing holds down the value of its currency?

Affordable imports are a godsend, not grounds for a trade war. It is distressing that so many members of Congress have trouble understanding that. Perhaps a return to private life would help them figure it out.




Tax hikes to drive a second collapse?: "Congress left Washington without addressing the massive tax hikes that will come at the end of the year as the tax-rate reductions of 2001 and 2003 expire. Absent action on Capitol Hill, those increases will take $4 trillion out of the economy over the next ten years — and even if the lower tax bracket reductions get extended, $700 billion of capital will get redirected from the private sector to Washington. How will that impact economic growth in the US? Peter Ferrara argues that it will create not just a double-dip recession, but a second economic collapse — one worse than what we experienced in 2008.

A free press means free from government control: "A free press is a foundation of a free society. For any university president to argue against it would seem unusual. When it’s also the head of the Columbia School of Journalism, then people on both left and the right have reason to scratch their heads in bewilderment. Bollinger has called for federal funding of the media in a piece with the terrifying headline: ‘Journalism Needs Government Help.’ He advocates for the creation of an ‘American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters.’ And he wants government to pay for it. This is not just a bad idea, it’s a dangerous one.”

Stimulus: Government snooping in your trash: "Somebody could be snooping in your trash … and you’re paying for it! In a growing number of cities across the U.S., local governments are placing computer chips in recycling bins to collect data on refuse disposal, and then fining residents who don’t participate in recycling efforts and forcing others into educational programs meant to instill respect for the environment. In at least one city, Dayton, Ohio, this invasion of your privacy is paid for by federal ‘Stimulus’ funds.”

Zernike’s stupid outrage: "In a news report on October 2nd, 2010, titled ‘Movement of the Moment Looks to Long-Ago Texts,’ New York Times reporter Kate Zernike tells us that books like Frederick Bastiat’s The Law, from 1850, and F. A Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom from 1944, are selling like hotcakes among Tea Party members. OMG! How awful. Next we will be told that some people are studying Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, Smith, Locke, Marx and other authors of ‘long-ago’ texts in order to learn about political economy, ethics, social philosophy and such.”

We can’t afford the luxury of high-speed rail: "This past Tuesday, Amtrak proposed to spend more than $100 billion increasing the top speeds of trains in its Boston-to-Washington corridor from 150 to 220 miles per hour. In August, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood estimated that President Obama’s proposal to extend high-speed rail to other parts of the country will cost at least $500 billion. No one knows where this money will come from, but President Obama argues that we need to spend it because high-speed rail will have a ‘transformative effect’ on the American economy. In fact, all it will do is drag the economy down.”

Finance, TARP, and the Great Recession: "These days, we are hearing that TARP is ending, that it will cost less than expected, and that it worked. In an interview at the main event yesterday, Treasury Secretary Geithner says that by injecting capital into large banks, policy makers did something unpopular that would benefit the country. They took one for the team, so to speak. This may be the true narrative. But there are many unknowns.”

UK to overhaul welfare, child benefits: "Britain will cap payments to jobless families and scrap child benefits for high earners in a sweeping overhaul of the country’s welfare system, George Osborne, the Treasury chief, said yesterday. … Osborne said Britain’s coalition government would introduce a new welfare cap to make sure families in which both parents are unemployed do not receive more in benefits than an average family earns in wages. Osborne also announced parents who earn more than $70,000 per year will lose child benefit payments from 2013. Currently, all families are paid $32 a week for their eldest child and about $20 for other children.”

How to kill off a recovery: "One of the things which can be very difficult to get over to a certain type is this idea that fiscal or monetary stimulus are not the only things which can aid a recovery in a battered economy.It really isn’t that the State must do more: there is also the argument that in other areas the State must do less. For example, those streamers of red tape with which we festoon industry.”

If you like your health plan, you may lose it anyway: "Another major employer, 3M, has decided to ‘eventually stop offering its health insurance plan to retirees, citing the federal health overhaul as a factor.’ As Reason’s Peter Suderman notes, ‘despite the Obama administration’s repeated promises to the contrary, many people and employers will not, in fact, be able to stick with their current health care plans and arrangements.’”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


No comments: