[An Nahar] Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg joined more than 700 of the leading social network's employees to march in a euphoric the Socialist paradise of San Francisco ...where God struck dead Anton LaVey, home of the Sydney Ducks, ruled by Vigilance Committee from 1859 through 1867, reliably and volubly Democrat since 1964... gay Pride Parade that drew more than a million people.
Zuckerberg and others in the Facebook contingent used ink pads and rubber stamps to temporarily brand 'like' onto people's skin as the 250 official parade entries made their way through the heart of San Francisco on Sunday.
More than 1,500 photos from the parade were on display at Zuckerberg's Facebook page.
This is the third year that Facebook has taken part in the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade.
The typically festive event was infused with additional energy due to a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, on Friday.
Lots of 20th Century tyrants stuffed perfunctory ballot boxes. The other bookend to Jefferson's "consent of the governed" is Lincoln's recognition of giving one's "last full measure of devotion". I doubt many in this land are willing to do the latter for most vocal causes shoved in their faces. The governing caste just has to convince enough people by their actions that its not worth defending anymore. That last point was made in Moscow in my lifetime.
gaymarriage will be the law of the land by 2025.
Quite possibly, Lex. But like you, most people don't care one way or the other, so those willing to shout about it will win. One thing is certain, though -- those children not reared by a pair of committed, heterosexual genetic parents will statistically do less well. That they might do better than any other group of less than ideally-parented children is utterly beside the point.
[USNEWS] In what sounds like a science-fiction novel come to life, one scientist says he is close to being able to affix one person's head to another human body. I seen dat movie. It sucked.
Italian scientist Sergio Canavero believes he has come up with an outline to successfully complete the first human head transplant in history, which could lead to solutions for those suffering from muscular dystrophy or tetraplegics with widespread organ failure.
Head transplants have been attempted since the 1950s, when Russian scientist Vladimir Demikhov experimented with dogs. Twenty years later, American neurosurgeon Robert White conducted a successful head transplant by moving the head of one monkey to the body of another. The monkey lived for several days, but because White could not connect the two spinal cords, the monkey eventually died.
Canavero describes in a recent paper a step to connect donor and recipient spinal cords -- the one component that was missing from previous procedures because the technology to do so was not yet available.
"Tomorrow is today," Canavero said in an interview. "What was impossible can happen now."
But completing a head transplant is incredibly tedious, and the spinal cord fusion hasn't been tested.
Though the procedure's name suggests otherwise, the recipient would be receiving a new body, not a new head. Both the body-recipient and the body-donor's heads are severed before the recipient's is attached to a new body.
To be transplanted, the head would have to be cooled to between 55 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the two heads must be cut at exactly the same time and in the same operating room. Surgeons then have one hour to connect the head to the donor body, which is also cooled and placed under cardiac arrest.
[An Nahar] An earthquake Tuesday killed six children and left 14 others trapped when a mosque collapsed during a Koran reading session in Indonesia's Aceh province, bringing the confirmed corpse count from the disaster to 11.
The strong 6.1-magnitude quake left hundreds more injured as it rocked a region that was devastated by the quake-triggered tsunami of 2004.
The earthquake reduced houses in parts of Aceh to rubble, set off several landslides and badly damaged roads.
Rescuers were struggling late Tuesday to find the children still trapped after the mosque collapse in Blang Mancung village, Central Aceh district.
"Our search and rescue teams are struggling to evacuate an estimated 14 children still trapped under the rubble," Subhan Sahara, the head of the local disaster management agency, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"I hope they can be found alive but the chances are very slim," he added, explaining they were reading the Koran together when the quake struck.
Everywhere he went in Africa, President Barack Obama was competing with history. There was the heroic leadership of former South African President Nelson Mandela, whose deteriorating health has captured the world's attention; the legacy in Africa of Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, who created a widely praised program to fight HIV and AIDS on the continent; and never forget the history surrounding Obama himself, America's first black president and the son of a Kenyan man.
Against that backdrop, the initiatives Obama promoted on food security, improved health care and expanded access to electricity appeared to pale in comparison. "I know that millet and maize and fertilizer and arugula doesn't always make for sexy copy," Obama said during an event in Dakar, Senegal, last week. "If the American people knew the kind of work that was being done as a consequence of their generosity and their efforts, I think they'd be really proud." Is that the half who pay taxes, or should the takers be proud of sending my money there, too?
The president at times seemed to be trying to will the traveling press corps and the American public back home to grasp the importance of the ventures. He took jabs at the U.S. media for only covering poverty or war in Africa and made a rare on-the-record appearance before reporters on Air Force One to give an extra boost to his program for reducing hunger. Don't you people love him anymore? You tellin' me the thrill is gone?
The president's frustration underscored the challenges he faced during his three-country trip, which wrapped up Tuesday in Tanzania. While his Africa policies have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people on the continent, he lacks a signature initiative like Bush's anti-AIDS program, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. [PEPFAR] But with deep family ties to the continent and inevitable comparisons to Mandela's racial barrier-breaking, the expectations for him among Africans remain exceedingly high. Yeah. Obama breaking down the barriers. Sure. Dudes with clubs at polling places come to mind.
"Your success is our success. Your failure, whether you like it or not, is our failure," Archbishop Desmond Tutu told Obama during his weekend stop in South Africa. But it's not racial unless a white dud - or dudette - says that.
Despite his policy differences with Bush, Obama courageously and heroically repeatedly praised the former president's work combating HIV and AIDS, while also reminding audiences that his administration has increased the number of people benefitting from the PEPFAR program. During a news conference in Tanzania, Obama said Bush deserved "enormous credit" for saving lives in Africa and called PEPFAR one of the former president's "crowning achievements." While also saying Obama made it better.
Obama also announced during the trip an ambitious new venture, dubbed "Power Africa," aimed at doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. In an effort to try to shore up the sustainability of the programs, Obama focused on pressing African leaders to make government reforms and stem corruption. "Sustainable" usually means "green", or wind-or-solar-powered. My irony meter is twitching...
It's a component of his Africa policy inspired in part by his father, who abandoned his son when he returned to Kenya when Obama was a young child, only to butt heads with higher-ranking government officials over patronage schemes that eventually cost him his job. My poor irony meter just vaporized.
A Saudi man and a woman have died from the MERS virus, raising the death toll from the SARS-like infection in the kingdom to 36, the health ministry said on Wednesday. Three others infected with the same virus, two in Eastern Province and one in Riyadh, have been treated, the ministry said on its website.
Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering from fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. But it differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure. Ramadan begins in about a week.
The Hajj begins in mid Oct.
While most of the cases have been concentrated in Saudi Arabia, the MERS virus has also spread to neighboring Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Cases have also been found in France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain, although most of these patients had been transferred for care from the Middle East or had travelled to the Middle East and become ill after they returned, the World Health Organisation said.
the 80% male infection stat may be based on the fact that males get out of the house more and are thus exposed to bat dung dust or whatever
Posted by: lord garth ||
07/03/2013 18:22 Comments ||
It's believed there is an unknown animal vector between bats and people, but the only other mammal known to carry the virus are pigs and not many of them in SA. Also Arabs are not big on pets.
A more likely scenario IMO, is a low virulence strain is widespread and just produces cold like symptoms. This strain occasionally mutates into a high virulence strain. Whether the high virulence strain can spread P2P is unknown.
[Bangla Daily Star] The Washington Times yesterday confirmed publishing an article by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... on January 30, which called upon western leaders to save the country's democracy by putting pressure on the government.
The confirmation came hard on the heels of Khaleda's denial in parliament on June 29 of sending any write-up to the US newspaper.
Contacted by The Daily Star yesterday, The Washington Times Executive Editor David S Jackson in an email said his newspaper did carry an article by Khaleda titled "ZIA: The thankless role in saving democracy in Bangladesh."
"The article that appeared in The Washington Times [The thankless role in saving democracy in Bangladesh] was submitted to us by Mark Pursey, a London-based intermediary acting on behalf of Begum Khaleda Zia," Jackson wrote to this correspondent.
He added: "We have been in touch with Mr. Pursey both before and after the publication of the article and we are confident in its authenticity."
Mark Pursey is Founding Managing Partner of a UK-based communications consultancy firm, BTP Advisers.
Asked to comment on Khaleda's denial, BNP Vice Chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury last night said, "What she [Khaleda Zia] said on the floor of the parliament.....that's the situation."
Shamsher, now on a visit to Thailand, declined to comment further on the issue, which has already stirred a huge political debate in the country.
The January 30 byline write-up, which appeared in the opinion section of The Washington Times, drew huge public attention. At the bottom of the article, Khaleda was identified as former prime minister and current leader of opposition.
There was a reference to GSP in one part of the article.
"They [the US authorities] also must explain to Ms. Hasina that general preferences for trade will be withdrawn if those who support workers' rights and have political views opposed to those of the prime minister are not now allowed to express their beliefs," the article read.
But two days after the US suspended the GSP facility for Bangladesh, Khaleda denied having sent any write-up to the US daily.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums.. , who was in the House during Khaleda's statement of denial on June 29, showed a copy of the article.
But Khaleda went on saying: "It's not written by me."
[LATIMES] The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., is leaving California's individual health insurance market, the second major company to exit in advance of major changes under the Affordable Care Act.
UnitedHealth said it had notified state regulators that it would leave the state's individual market at year-end and force about 8,000 customers to find new coverage. Last month, Aetna Inc., the nation's third-largest health insurer, made a similar move affecting about 50,000 existing policyholders.
Both companies will keep a major presence in California, focusing instead on large and small employers.
The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013, concludes Section 1513.
That is strange and unusual phrasing. Weasel-word sleight of hand. It does not say "shall take effect on January 1, 2014." Nor does it specify to *which* months after Dec. 31, 2013 the amendments shall apply. Perhaps the first and sixth months, or the seventeenth and all subsequent months. Or perhaps every other month, or only months falling within a leap year.
A creative lawyer might argue that the start date is clearly left to the discretion of the executive, with a good chance of winning. Seems to me this wiggle room was intentionally built in, because the drafters knew it would be impossible to implement it all on such a short timeline.
So long, parasites. Here's hoping you go out of business in EVERY state, not just CA.
UnitedHealth = poster child for sh!tty corporate governance, corrupt practices and predatory pricing. They and their pals' greed and corruption are the biggest reason that insurance rates in CA have soared 170% over the last decade.
The ACA's going to stop this insanity, thank God.
CA's ACA exchanges are not only delivering affordable and high-quality plans - FINALLY - but it's about to get even better for us. There will be a ballot inititiative in 2014 that will finally rein in the for-profit health insurance mafia and subject them to normal insurance regulation of the kind that has kept auto and home insurance rates at a reasonable level in CA for a quarter century. Details here: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76246802/
In his SEC settlement, the CEO of UnitedHealth, with the connivance of a corrupt board of directors packed with ex-politicians, admitted to stealing half a BILLION dollars ($468m to be exact). The company also settled with the AMA and with plan members to pay back $350m it ripped off from them by overbilling. Separately UnitedHealth was convicted of ripping off providers in NY state. The SEC is continuing to investigate the company, its board and disgraced former CEO Bill McGuire for other securities law violations.
And the cherry on the cake: CEO McGuire was given by his corrupt board a golden parachute equaling -get this - $1.1 BILLION. Yes, that's billion with a B.
This is the picture of the sick, rotten, ridiculously wasteful for-profit health insurance "system" (racket is more like it) that the ACA will finally, thank God, do away with. Good riddance.
Again, the for-profit health insurance racket has tripled our rates since 2000.
Meanwhile, effective insurance regulation in other areas has kept auto and property insurance rates at reasonable, affordable levels - for EVERYONE in California, not just a privileged few who have access to heavily-subsidized golden plans.
The solution is simple, obvious and well-established in every other major industrialized democracy: eliminate for-profit health insurance.
Private insurance options are fine - so long as they're non-profit entities that are tightly regulated to eliminate the possibility of colossal, multiple-billion dollar sinkholes of corruption like UnitedHealth.
Steve - do you work for UnitedHealth? Why on earth would any patient or doctor defend these vultures?
UH's reasons for bashing healthcare reform are obvious.
But the opposition of so many ordinary Americans to the move away from our absurdly wasteful, ruinously expensive and casually cruel botch job of a non-system can only be explained by Americans' ignorance of other systems.
Clue: they all tightly restrict or eliminate altogether the PROFIT element in private insurance plans.
This is what UnitedHealth and the other predatory for-profit insurers cannot accept. Why anyone would cheer them on is beyond reason.
So, Lex, taxpayer subsidized health insurance is better somehow? What happens when there a're not enough taxpayers?
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
07/03/2013 10:20 Comments ||
Net or Gross? I mean, do they at least break even, or who will replace them will balance right there on that knife edge? I bow to the expert which will also explain why such cannibals had not been properly dealt with state-wise already, and then why is your failure to deal with such a easily solved problem now suddenly a multi-billion federal problem. Need help from Kansas, sound like kinda a loser.
And the cherry on the cake: CEO McGuire was given by his corrupt board a golden parachute equaling -get this - $1.1 BILLION. Yes, that's billion with a B.
Smell the envy.
And it's the worst, most fecal smelling envy of them all - that envy which pretends to be "concern for social justice" or "fairness" when it's just garden-variety envy.
Ugh. Pass the gas mask.
Posted by: no mo uro ||
07/03/2013 10:36 Comments ||
Um, Deacon? You do realize that our current kloodge of a non-system is heavily "taxpayer-supported", don't you?
Here's Republican healthcare analyst Avik Roy on our *existing* taxpayer-supported system:
"Take healthcare... most Republican voters have high-quality health insurance, coverage that is heavily subsidized by the government through the tax code (employer-sponsored insurance, $300 billion a year) or the Social Security Act (Medicare, $700 billion a year). "
In order to eliminate cartels you need Competition.
Competition needs profits to attract innovative new entrants.
If you want a producer-captured, expensive and shoddy system of treatment rationing where you're a cost to the system and therefore minimised then go the other way.
The irony is that the government regulations and taxation policies provided most of the impetus for the current system.
Back in the day when marginal tax rates were pushing 90% for individuals employers had no way to pay for performance so they added "benefits" in lieu of $. The government allowed the gaming of the tax system by making employer paid health-insurance non-taxable for the employee.
Hey presto, the birth of employer paid health care and the demise of actually paying your doctor and shopping as an invested consumer. The downward spiral has been going for more than 60 years.
Now you can't buy the amount of healthcare that you think you want and spend your own money on it.
People like Lex and so many others don't understand the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism, aka corporatism, aka fascism.
The Stasi infiltrated almost every aspect of GDR life. In the mid-1980s, a network of IMs began growing in both German states; by the time East Germany collapsed in 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 employees and 173,081 informants. About one of every 63 East Germans collaborated with the Stasi. By at least one estimate, the Stasi maintained greater surveillance over its own people than any secret police force in history. The Stasi employed one full-time agent for every 166 East Germans. The ratios swelled when informers were factored in: counting part-time informers, the Stasi had one informer per 6.5 people. By comparison, the Gestapo employed one secret policeman per 2,000 people. This comparison led Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal to call the Stasi even more oppressive than the Gestapo. Additionally, Stasi agents infiltrated and undermined West Germany's government and spy agencies.
The Stasi motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei" (Shield and Sword of the Party), that is the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Several Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after 1990.
Close, Alan C. but no cigar. The genesis of the tax deductibility of health insurance was ruling by the War Labor Board during WWII that such expenses were not subject to wage and price controls. It became a way to give people raises that were otherwise forbidden. Thank FDR. Again.
More shilling for the for-profit health insurance mafia.
Our current system is a Frankenstein kloodged from at least five different elements - gov't-run a la the NHS (the VA system), gov't-paid directly via the SS Act (Medicare), giv't-subsidized via the tax code, directly paid by individuals, and indirectly paid by everyone (the cost of caring for 40m uninsured).
Only the fourth element has anything in common with your fantasy of insurance without government intervention - and there too, we see massive indirect intervention to set rate limits.
Healthcare in the 21st century cannot be delivered effectively or efficiently without massive government intervention. Healthcare is not a normal good. There's never going to be real price transparency and price elasticity to the consumer for most procedures (imagine shopping around for a specialist to treat your heart attack).
There will ALWAYS be heavy state intervention to regulate pricing, care, delivery of all sorts.
The only question is whether those regulations and interventions will result in the best coverage at lowest cost to the citizenry - the ENTIRE citizenry, not just those lucky enough to have access to the trillion dollars in annual subsidies that underwrite care for those on Medicare or private employer plans.
The European systems have fiund a way to balance puic and private olans so as to provide BETTER overall outcomes at FAR LOWER COST than our Franken-kloodge system dies. In France, Germany, Seutzerland, Sweden etc, people supplement their govt-provided insurance with private insurance plans paid out of their own pockets. Here's the deal: all of those countries force the private insurers to be NON-PROFIT COMPANIES.
That's the missing element here, and the cause of most of our system's absurd amount of waste and corruption, as well as its unforgivable cruelties.
The European systems have fiund a way to balance puic and private olans so as to provide BETTER overall outcomes at FAR LOWER COST than our Franken-kloodge system dies.
Right there I can tell you that you are full of shit.
1,200 starved to death in England alone because the nurses were "too busy" to feed them. Canadians come to the US because their waiting times for care are too long and they can't wait.
No... the European model is filled with inefficiencies, waste, corruption and is a far.. far.. FAR cry from offering better care at a lower cost.
As for our sad insurance state. We haven't had real competition in the free market with health insurance for DECADES. Government involvement and regulations have driven up private cost and combined with price fixing by said government, red tape and just outright corruption have made health insurance pretty much unaffordable for most people that don't get it through their work.
We have tried government involvement for a fix. It only made things worse for everyone and clinging to the idiotic and childish belief that the government can fix everything is not helpful for anyone.
Lex seems to think that non-profit insurers would be a solution. Non-profits are notorious offenders when it comes to over-compensation of their executives and staff.
What's needed is competition and the ability to buy out-of-state plans. What's needed is to enforce our criminal codes. What's needed is to add industry regulation forcing publication of each organization's pricing, with no discounts or kickbacks. And suitable regulation and pools to handle pre-existing conditions.
What's not needed is a government takeover of the payment process, with further corruption and inefficiency. What's not needed is further insulation of the providers from market forces.
Once the government takes over, we have another situation where the provider can't regulate itself. And it's very hard to rescind the arrangement, as we see with OCare.
Wait, that's a question, more government and more red tape will create better value? Next we will have to wonder whether turning the batteries around in a flashlight will such darkness out of the room.
I have a paper sitting right fn' here from my insurance provider - a provider which has been sending out obamacare is super! letters for the last three rate increases. It says, due to the increases in rates, I have been grandfathered into my previously agreed rates, but if I change my policy in any way, I get the new ramrod prices, so sorry about that.
And I'm out here where Sebilius got things fixed, see. The head of your single party multiple storefront self regulating ideal tried to boodle $30million on the way out of my great State. I am quite happy with my current State government, but also know that is subject to elections.
So what you are suggesting, is that right now all the right people are in place. To ensure that, those positions must be froze. That includes those in government; is that what you are suggesting?
You really are adept at deflection, aren't you, Lex? The truth is that it is the wealth and not any crime that bothers you.
But then, you're just way smarter and more well informed and more moral and ethical than us subhumans, aren't you?
I'm sure you comfort yourself with the thought that some day soon the government will belong entirely to people who think exactly as you do, and then you can cleanse away those subhumans on the center right once and for all, and get yourYear-Zero paradise for the rest of eternity.
Remember the words of St. Alinsky, mocking and disenfranchising us, and dehumanizing us, those are the first steps.....
Posted by: no mo uro ||
07/03/2013 13:41 Comments ||
It is the worst kind of creationism, like dwarves will spring from the rocks and diligently work the books for free.
Sebilius was so busy tanking that the former governor did not fill the responsibility to submit a budget, and when it came time to pay she tried to use other accounts by circumventing the Kansas Congress.
I like making money. I can pay my employees, pay my house, my insurance..insurance I have now be indentured to pay for 25 year olds who still sit at the kiddie's table and play with the mashed potaters. How about I get to keep my money and then I can hire these children and train them up.
In fact, maybe you need me to handle your health issues.
They're not going to allow tort reform until the rest of us have to hit our head on the floor three times while kowtowing. It's part of their way of blackmailing us into signing even more stuff away.
If one is not covered by employer health insurance, the insurance mandated by the ACA would have to be bought from the individual health insurance market, which is what UnitedHealth group is wanting NOT to offer. Lex's heavy ranting about UnitedHEalth's behavior merely supports the fact that UnitedHealth acts as a rational actor, refusing to sacrifice itself to Lex's agenda. Lex conveniently forgets that the ACA also MANDATES that pre-existing conditions be covered. UnitedHealth did the numbers and came to the conclusion NOW that True FreeMarketers came to before the act was passed: this would increase expenses that would have to be balanced by premium increases. The higher the premiums, the bigger the incentive to pay the penalty (or is it a tax?), since that is a fixed amount deliberately set by POLITICIANS, not ACTUARIES, to reduce voter blow-back. No premiums, higher expenses, and no incentives for people to buy individual health insurance.
Pile on top of that additional expenses added on by POLITICIANS for POLITICAL reasons (aka birth control), and one should see that any company thinking they will
UnitedHealth refused Lex's demand to be sheared, and he's popping a blood vessel. Scream Louder Lex: The MAGIC of your words WILL turn the tide!
I should remind people that the current Insurance Industry collectively celebrated passage of the ACA, believing that the law abiding sheeple of the United States would obey the law and buy health insurance. Heck, shares ROSE on the stock market in that sector.
What's different NOW is that Holder's on-again-off-again I'll-enforce-this-law-but-not-THAT-one-against-THIS-person-not-THAT-person has created a populace with a i'll-obey-THIS-law-but-not-THAT-one attitude.
Is that hypocritical? No: BECAUSE the powers of the US government derive from the powers of the governed, if the US Government believes it has the power to selectively enforce or disobey laws, then it must admit that those powers reside in the people as well.
"Pile on top of that additional expenses added on by POLITICIANS for POLITICAL reasons (aka birth control), and one should see that any company thinking they will"
Argh. forgot to finish that thought: Pile on top of that additional expenses added on by POLITICIANS for POLITICAL reasons (aka birth control), and one should see that any company thinking they will make money, much less break even, under such a program deserve the clipping that Lex desires them to SUFFER so he may be satisfied.
You mention politicians. UnitedHealth, like so much of our rapacious for-profit health sector, is a favored golden landing pad for ex-pols of both parties (iirc, Tom Kean (R) of NJ and Donna Shalala (D) ex-HHS are both current or former board members).
The current system is a sinkhole of waste, abuse, and cruel treatment of sick people. Yeah, the system that's supposed to take care of the sick is the one that preys upon them, creating adverse selection nightmares by means of bulkshit notions like "pre-existing conditions."
The current system is broken and is bankrupting the nation. There are any number of European models that would be a huge improvement on it, both in terms of overall solvency, quality of care, and equality of access.
Fortunately, the fools, thieves and shills who defend it are wasting their breath, because it's finished. Good riddance. Oh, and UnitedHealth's days are numbered. F---these parasites.
swksvo - welcome to single payer. This btw is why sone 20-25% of the public did not support the ACA: because it isn't going far enough toward the only rational model, which is the largest possible risk pool with the lowest administrative cost.
Single payer (supplemented by private, optional, NON-PROFIT insurance plans) is far and away the PRO-BUSINESS solution.
The simple fact is that sooner or later, hopefully sooner, we will put a stake through all the for-profit insurers and decouple health care entirely from employment.
It's not the employer's responsibility, and employer-sponsored plans should not receive any subsidy at all. It's a public responsibility that should be provided to everyone and paid for by everyone, via generalized taxes like a VAT.
Imagine the boost to American competitiveness and productivity if your company and every other US company did not have to compete with this ridiculous monkey on your back. Join us: the sooner we move from the half-measure of ACA to a rational single-payer system, the better for the nation.
Were you talking about the need to drive private insurers out of business (and probably, in the process, both increasing costs for the policyholders and/or worsening health care) back when the ACA was under discussion? Did you write Congresspeople to say "Don't bother, it's not Single-Payer, and will make things worse in the short term?" Do you even realize that driving up costs/driving companies out of business is making things worse?
Why should we believe you about your Final Goal of Driving Down Costs when everything your side has done thus far has been to increase costs by adding more administrative layers?
A major part of the problem is that 'health care' is three things conflated into one.
1. Catastrophic health insurance, i.e. major medical. Coverage for expenses over, say, 50K. This is real insurance. Everyone should be required to have this. If they can't afford it, see below. For *unexpected* disasters. New knees don't count.
2. Health cost pooling. This is entirely optional. Everyone has health costs, and whether you share them is up to you. If you think yours are higher than average, do you really expect others to pick up the difference? How about a pool to reshingle your roof? Interesting, but required? And everyone has a different opinion about the quality of shingles and how often it needs to be done. Same with knees, lose some weight instead. Or buy a cane.
3. Health care welfare. Yes, there should be a safety net. I'm willing to contribute. But, no knees. Get a damn cane. And no bypass surgery when you're already dying from cancer. The nation clearly can't afford two new knees for everyone or new hearts for 85 year olds who can't fork out for one.
Beavis - with the benefit of your superior training, perhaps you can explain to us all how it is that our Frankenstein keloid he of multiple systems manages to be superior to single payor + supplemental, optional non-profit private insurance when those plans
- are far more efficient than and spend a fraction, in % terms, of our kloodgy non-system that's easily the most wasteful in the advanced world;
- are not only more efficient but alsoore effective, delivering better health outcomes across all categories but a handful of extremely rare, high-end treatments;
- far more equitable and inclusive than our casually cruel system in which private, profit-maximizing companies create armies of chipmunks whose job consists of figuring out ways to deny people benefits and also screw doctors and hospitals.
Give us the benefit of your expertise. How does that work? Why is our system such an abject failure compared to all the major advanced industrial countries' systems?
#37 Shipman: completely favor tort reform. Move us toward a continental model. German, Swiss, French, Swedish: any if these would be a vast improvement on the broken mess we now have, the one that's bankrupting the nation and ruining hundreds of thousands of American families.
Why any pro-business fiscal conservative would favor this current mess is mind-boggling.
The problem is mostly on the medical provider side, not so much the payer side. The single payer will just work out a convenient arrangement between the payer and the providers, and knees will continue to cost 70K, instead of a reasonable 10K, as would hold if market forces prevailed (if you will accept that premise).
Sorry lex, but you didn't deny that the ACA provided a wedge for bureaucrats to dictate mandates that increase the costs to private insurers. The cause of the demise of private insurance companies is not natural, but artificially created (incidentally, by the same people who will "run" "single payer"). A lot of people foresaw this, but it was denied because buy-in from the insurance companies was needed to pass ACA.
And there is no such thing as Single payer. You yourself admit that additional taxes will have to be raised to cover the "extras" that the Politicians can't take back, and to cover EVERYONE. The productive will "pay". What you want is actually "Single Disburser": the government making decisions with money they TOOK from people who were smart enough to make it. It is EASY to TAKE money if you have the guns and the power, much less easy to MAKE it.
Speaking for this pro-business fiscal conservative, I hardly favor the current mess.
OCare, and your solutions, will make it worse, IMHO. The answer lies in appropriately regulated free markets.
And, yes, executive compensation packages are excessive across the board. That's an issue that can be solved with tax policy, here and in the EU. It's the consumer tech products companies that are making 15% net regularly, not the health care organizations.
Single payor only works for the young healthy, it really sucks for the sick. Compare survival rates on breast, colon and prostate cancer. Check wait times for hip and knees. Sorry Lex but I've forgotten more about health care models than you'll ever know.
[FOXNEWS] A new study released ahead of the Fourth of July holiday sheds more light on the tangle of paperwork facing America's veterans -- showing they're up against as many as 613 forms across 18 agencies as they seek services. The study by the American Action Forum also found the paperwork -- in part the result of roughly 31 million Veterans Affairs claims alone each year -- takes federal employees roughly 43.3 million hours to process.
Oh, joy, just think what Obamacare will bring to the rest of America. Let everyone enjoy the game of federal bureaucracy. Maybe someone can make a RPG or MMOG to prep people for the hundreds of hours they're going to spend 'playing the game'.
What are you smoking, Procopius? The exchanges are state, not federal. The process is quick, simple and affordable. It's the OPPOSITE of the ridiculously convoluted, capricious and predatory private insurance system we have now.
Was going to just comment that the VA hospitals are a national disgrace, but the troll offers an opening to make a larger point.
Bleeteth the Left:
Corporations = bad
Government = good
Well, they are both just people. The main difference is that corporations have to persuade you to buy something. Governments just force you. I don't get why some people prefer to be forced, but it's clear that they do. Willing and eager to be caged and fed. I pity them.
Yes, the corporate health insurance companies that for years denied insurance entirely to my family and a million or so other Americans were giving me "choice." Riiiight.
Okay Lex, I can see where you're coming from now. I don't blame you for your hostility to the present system at all. I assume no private company was willing to pick up your liability? That's a bitch, been there. It's difficult making an insurance company pick up a liability, it looks bad on the books. One way one around that is rationing. Another way is a universal levy. But I suspect you know this. Care to let us in on wtf happened?
Sounds like your established local regulators are not very good at their job, but I'm sure they will excel at a larger, more complicated mission this time for sure you betchya.
And the shilling against what is called a heavily subsidized industry, well how true that is aside, then they would have to at least pretend to make a profit. Government doesn't have to do that.
To add to lblis, there is also a culture involved in those entities. And it seems that rather than let the fat and old dinosaurs fail and be replaced by younger and more energetic mammals, these politicians give bailouts and prevent start-ups. So that means government is the problem, and since supposedly your government is by your consent, its you and your people who are failing to regulate the regulators.
Since you fail to regulate the regulators, you would rather have the regulators regulate themselves?
I don't smoke unlike, apparently you. I deal with history. The government has had amble opportunity to make an efficient workable system from the VA to Medicare. The answer to failing to accomplish that is to go even bigger. That you have sold your soul for promises for access to other people's resources doesn't mean the rest of us have to.
[Pak Daily Times] HANGU: The police have recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition during various raids in different areas of the city and tossed in the calaboose Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! 31 proclaimed offenders wanted in various cases of heinous nature. Talking to journalists on Tuesday, District Police Officer (DPO) Sajjad Khan said the operations were conducted in Sarkanda, Bakto, Kando Kelly, Mero Bak Banda, Lakhti Banda, Spin Khawary, Warasta, Duaba and Thall areas that led to recovery of 35 Kalashnikovs, 27 rifles, 29 guns, 71 pistols, two HMG, seven RPGs, three hand grenades and 4322 cartridges from the possession of outlaws. The DPO said 23 kilograms hashish was also seized. During the cleanup operation, he said 31 proclaimed offenders including five faceless myrmidons and 190 suspects were arrested.
[Al Ahram] The Jordanian government said on Tuesday that it had blocked 254 unlicensed news websites, 16 of them in the previous two days, using powers under a 2012 law criticised as a threat to freedom of expression.
Fayez Shawabkeh, head of the Press and Publication Department said: "16 local news websites were blocked in the past two days after carefully examining their situation.
"This brings the total number of sites the PPD blocked recently to 254, while 111 sites have obtained licences."
On June 3, authorities said they would block nearly 300 out of 400 local news websites "for failing to obtain the necessary licensing," under last year's controversial legislation.
The law gave the government powers to regulate "electronic publications," requiring them to register with the PPD and obtain a licence.
It stipulates that the chief editors of news websites must be members of the Jordan Press Association, giving the government the right to censor content and hold journalists liable for comments posted on webpages.
The PPD has insisted "the decision does not seek to restrict freedoms," and that "the objective is to organise the work of these websites."
"I call on all local news websites to correct their status in line with the law. Operating outside the law, which we will continue to apply, will not be in their interest," Shawabkeh warned.
Journalists accuse the government of seeking to control who can publish news.
One of the sites blocked in the past two days is 7iber, Arabic for "ink".
Its editor, Lina Ejeilat, told AFP 7iber was an interactive website that published reports and features from contributors, and said it should not be covered by the legialation.
"We are a blog and definitely not a news website," she said.
Shawabkeh disagreed, saying that "7iber is registered at the trade and industry ministry as a news website and posts news and political analyses about Jordan, which means that the law applies to it."
The PPD's decision drew renewed criticism of Jordan from international human rights ...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you... watchdogs, as well as from journalists, activists and the main opposition group, the Moslem Brüderbund, who saw it as an attempt to impose censorship.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.