Monday, October 07, 2013

Obamacare attempts to transfer healthcare resources from whites to  blacks

If Obamacare did anything to expand the number of doctors, hospitals and nurses, blacks could be benefited without reducing services to whites. But the controls and regulations show every likelihood of REDUCING the numbers of doctors and nurses.  So what will actually happen?  EDs will close; doctors will impose "no new patients" rules;  British-style waiting lists will emerge; Costs will rise for all; and blacks will have LESS access to healthcare.  So the optimism below is amusing.  Perhaps the writer thinks that Obama can repeal the law of supply and demand.  The implosion will be amusing to watch and the Donks won't be able to shrug off responsibility for it  -- JR

The verdict was in even before the first enrollee inked their signature October 1 on a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act. The law is an unmitigated triumph for the millions of uninsured in America. The triumph is even greater for African-Americans. The checklist of pluses is well-known. More than 7 million African-Americans will now have access to a health plan, there will be subsidies for low-income persons to offset the costs, a half million children will be covered under their parent's plans, millions of dollars will be allocated for research and testing, the establishment of more than 1000 new health care facilities in many rural and urban communities, the National Health Service Corps workforce will be tripled and more than 4 million elderly and disabled African-Americans covered under Medicare will have no cost access to health care preventive services. The triumph is even greater because of the grim figures on the health care crisis that has been a national disgrace for so long for African-Americans

The dismal figures have repeatedly told why. Blacks make up a wildly disproportionate number of the estimated 50 million Americans with absolutely no access to affordable or any health care. The majority of black uninsured are far more likely than the one in four whites who are uninsured to experience problems getting treatment at a hospital or clinic. This has had devastating health and public policy consequences. According to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer higher rates of catastrophic illness and disease, and are much less likely to obtain basic drugs, tests, preventive screenings and surgeries. They are more likely to recover slower from illness, and they die much younger.

Studies have found that when blacks do receive treatment, the care they receive is more likely to be substandard to that of whites. Reports indicate that even when blacks are enrolled in high quality health plans, the racial gap in the care and quality of medical treatment still remains low. Meanwhile, private insurers have routinely cherry picked the healthiest and most financially secure patients in order to bloat profits and hold down costs. American medical providers spend twice as much per patient than providers in countries with universal health care, and they provide lower quality for the grossly inflated dollars. Patients pay more in higher insurance premiums, co-payments, fees and other hidden health costs.

It's been a perfect storm mix of politics, race, and ignorance and fear that has driven the GOP's mania to dump Obamacare. It's included every slander, lie, and false flag, countless votes and threats to defund the Act and a crude attempt at blackmail to shut down the whole government over it. Some claim that this is big government intrusiveness since it allegedly whipsawed Americans into buying insurance and that it was too costly, too overburdening on businesses, and supposedly too unpopular with a majority of Americans.

The race part is two-fold. One it was proposed by President Obama, and anything, that's any program or initiative that's been proposed by him by him for every moment of the five years he's been in the White House has been the trigger for GOP knee jerk opposition. The other part is the great fear of GOP health care reform opponents and the health care industry lobby which includes private insurers, and for a time pharmaceuticals and major medical practitioners was that they'd have to treat millions of uninsured, unprofitable, largely unhealthy blacks. That would be a direct threat to their massive profits. The pharmaceuticals eventually dropped their opposition only after getting assurances that they would not have to cut costs of drugs to make way for more generics and drug competition from Canada and that the millions of newly insured recipients will be drug purchasers.

The Act is not totally out of the woods. House Republicans have already gotten their way on one point and that's to delay for one year requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty. They will play for time and push their inept demand for a one year delay. After the provisions kick in, they will latch onto to too every real or imagined mishap or negative experience with a business owner, provider, or recipient to scream loudly that the Act is a bust and must be scrapped. GOP ultra-conservatives will continue to assault the Act with their favorite attack weapon and that it is big government run amok at the expense of the health of Americans.

Their ploys will not succeed in scuttling the Act. Too many millions will have been helped, even saved by it, for that. And millions of them are African-Americans. Obamacare is a triumph that can't be taken away.



Obama to usurp Constitutional power from Congress

According to sources in Congress and the White House, Barack Obama is preparing to usurp the Constitutional power of Congress to control the purse strings of the federal government. The Obama plan entails using the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to bypass Congress on the upcoming debt ceiling debate and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress.

On Thursday Mark Levin cited several Congressional sources who have told him that Obama has no intention of negotiating with Congress on the debt, which is just under $17 trillion, the highest in U.S. history. When unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare are added in, the real debt is over $125 trillion -- a figure so astronomically high that the country has no hope of ever paying it back. Uncontrolled spending has led the nation to this point.

According to Levin, Congressional sources say that Obama does not want any limits on his spending ability, in spite of the fact that the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to control spending. Further, the use of the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress has never been done before. Thus, such an act would be an entirely new "interpretation" of the 14th Amendment and would raise a plethora of Constitutional issues concerning separation of powers.

The 14th Amendment is written in several main sections, one of which deals with debts incurred by the federal government. Nowhere does the Amendment give a president the power to raise the debt ceiling. Nowhere does the Amendment mandate that overall federal spending be increased at the whim of a president, or anyone else in government, not even Congress.

The only mandate contained in the 14th Amendment regarding the national debt is that if the government runs out of money, the interest and principal on Treasury Notes, Bills, and Bonds, must be paid first before money is spent on anything else.

This means, simply, that the federal government must first make payments on the national debt before it funds anything else. Nothing is stated concerning raising the debt ceiling and borrowing more money, and certainly not spending more money in the middle of a debt crisis.

Thus, the use of the 14th Amendment to excuse such actions on Obama's part would be illegal and an impeachable offense. Yet he is being urged, according to Levin, to break the law by advisers inside and outside of government, such as Bill Clinton, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi, liberal law professors, and members of liberal think tanks.

It is also safe to assume that he is being urged to break the law by George Soros, given that the last time this subject was raised a couple of years ago, it was Soros who encouraged Obama to bypass Congress entirely, set the Constitution aside, and do whatever he wants.

Levin maintains that this would create a Constitutional crisis of historic proportions, one that could lead the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.



Tackling leftist anti-Semitism

Success of Jews and Israel poses life-threatening challenge to worldview of leftist intellectuals

Most Jews are baffled by the reaction of leftist commentators to events in the Middle East. There is relatively little outcry when Syrians butcher Syrians, no outcry when Iraqis murder Iraqis, whereas any Palestinian finger grazed by an Israeli bullet invites immediate outbursts of wholehearted indignation. The cognitive dissonance of leftist elites has reached such proportions, that many Jews have decided that perhaps anti-Semitism plays a role in generalized hostility towards Israel.

Claiming that criticism of Israel is a manifestation of anti-Semitic feelings is a risky business. After all, many Israel-bashers are deeply enamored of Jewish thinkers like Marx, Trotsky and Walter Benjamin and count as allies Jewish figures like Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe. Thus, can we still classify their attitude as anti-Semitic? Or does one do a disservice to the Jewish people by labeling leftist foes of Israel the same way one would genocidal Nazis?

In order to address this issue one must recall that Nazi anti-Semitism was far more than an aesthetic aversion towards stereotypical Jewish facial features. Nazism loathed the values which the Torah and the Jewish tradition embodied, namely – justice, compassion and love for the destitute and the stranger. It is no coincidence that those driven by the belief that the weak should serve the strong, saw in the Jewish ethos an intellectual and ethical threat of the highest order. Thus, one could say that the racial anti-Semitism of the Nazis was merely a pretext for a far more deeply-embedded spiritual and ethical anti-Semitism.

In our day and age the threat posed by rightwing anti-Semitism has been supplanted by the spiritual anti-Semitism of the left. In fact, the social success of Jewish minorities in the Western world, together with the astonishing economic and scientific achievements of the State of Israel is unbearable for leftists. The reason for this is simple: This reality shatters the cultural romanticism and social worldview of the left. If second- and third-generation North Africans of Jewish descent successfully integrate in European society while their Muslim peers populate urban ghettoes, it becomes hard to claim that racism, welfare-spending cuts and capitalist alienation are to blame for some of the most pressing social problems of the Western world.

Likewise if Israel as a democratic free-market economy vaunts impressive human development figures while its neighbors are mired in poverty and strife, it becomes hard to persuade people that Western political and economic institutions are to blame for the region’s problems. It is thus evident that Jews and Israel pose a life-threatening challenge to the worldview of leftist intellectuals. This threat can only be countered by highlighting with disproportionate diligence every abuse and injustice committed by Jewish Israelis, since doing so is critical to the intellectual credibility of the left.

In order to reduce leftist antipathy to Israel it does not help to flaunt the Jewish state’s economic and technological achievements. Doing so only exacerbates leftists’ conviction that Israel is the spoilt child of the West. Instead, Israel should showcase selective strengths such as the few kibbutzim where communal property has flourished and highlight happy Arab-Jewish gay couples living in Tel Aviv.

In addition, in order to reassure intellectuals that Israel is another excellent example of how free-markets threaten the well-being of society, Israel should publicize domestic problems like pollution, poverty, alcoholism and drug-use. This approach is more likely to win over leftist hearts than boasting about achievements in the fields of high-tech and business.

Unless Jews realize that leftist anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment is a phenomenon with far deeper roots than the presence of checkpoints near Ramallah or Hebron, they will misdiagnose the disease and the therapy needed to treat it.



Rent controls and the Bombay tragedy

There's a growing number of calls for rent controls here in the UK. This really isn't all that sensible an idea for as has been pointed out before:

"Swedish economist and socialist Assar Lindbeck commented years ago that, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

As Mark Perry goes on to point out this has implications for that most recent disaster in Mumbai, when an apartment block collapsed in the night, killing scores:

"Mumbai’s buildings department is known for its corruption, and bribing inspectors and other government officials is considered part of the normal cost of doing business. One result is that many buildings are visibly crumbling. Another problem is rent-control rules that allow tenants to live in apartments for a few dollars a month and even pass those rights on to their descendants, giving landlords little incentive to invest in building maintenance. The city requires extensive approvals for even minor repairs, a process so cumbersome that repairs are often either delayed or done illegally and without consultation from engineers."

Rent controls are exactly like any other form of price control. If you set the price above the market price, as we've been doing with farming for decades, then we'll get a glut. If we set the price below that market price (as has always been true of rent controls, always, everywhere) then we'll get a shortage. And that shortage will come about in two ways. Less new building than otherwise will take place and extant building will not be maintained leading to appalling tragedies like this one.

There is of course the vague possibility that the government might stumble across a rent price which doesn't cause either shortage and decay, nor a surplus, but at that point said rent controlled price would be exactly the same as the market price so why bother?

The real question we should be asking those who advocate rent control is, well, so why is it that you want to reduce the quantity and quality of housing in the UK?



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