The Coming of ObamaCare Ethics

Just when you thought Obamacare and  Contraceptives were fun…

All student health care plans covering female college students in the United States must include coverage for free voluntary sterilization surgery, the Department of Health and Human Services announced late Friday afternoon.

Women of college age who do not attend school will also get free sterilization coverage whether they are insured through an employer, their parents, or some form of government-subsidized plan.

“In a study of the cost-effectiveness of specific contraceptive methods, all contraceptive methods were found to be more cost-effective than no method, and the most cost-effective methods were long-acting contraceptives that do not rely on user compliance,” said the Institute of Medicine report on its mandate recommendations.(CNS)

Say Just say “yes” to Sterilization, and No to “Just say no” abstinence!

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception,” HHS Secretary Sebelius has said in the past.

The prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics has just given us a sneak-peek into what ObamaCare will surely be mandating in the not-too-distant future.

The Journal published an article this month seeking to mainstream the view that infanticide is a health-improving measure.  Calling it “after-birth abortion,” two philosophers argue that killing a newborn should be a purely elective decision of parents who believe the baby would be a burden or would negatively impact their family’s well being. (life News)

So, they way to cover cost of Obamacare is to have less people in the system!!

For the past several years, the medical profession has been undergoing a disturbing transformation. The process was begun by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to control exploding Medicare costs, and was accelerated by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. As a surgeon in practice for over 30 years, I have witnessed this transformation firsthand. I fear that my profession will soon abandon its traditional code of ethics and adopt one more suited to veterinarians.

For centuries, my predecessors and I have been inculcated with what has come to be called the “Hippocratic Ethic.” This tradition holds that I am ethically required to use the best of my knowledge to recommend to my patient what I consider to be in my patient’s best interests—without regard to the interests of the third-party payer, or the government, or anyone else.

But gradually the medical profession has been forced to give up this approach for what I like to call a “veterinary ethic,” one that places the interests of the payer (or owner) ahead of the patient. For example, when a pet owner is told by a veterinarian that the pet has a very serious medical condition requiring extremely costly surgery or other therapy, the veterinarian presents the pet’s owner with one or more options—from attempt at cure, to palliation, to euthanasia—with the associated costs, and then follows the wishes of the owner.

In a few years, almost all doctors will be employees of hospitals and will be ordered to practice medicine according to federally prescribed guidelines—guidelines that put the best interests of the state ahead of the interests of individual patients.

Several factors in combination are bringing this ethical approach to my profession.

Since the mid-1980s, Medicare has imposed price controls on health care providers. Over the years, in order to accommodate increasing Medicare utilization, physician payments have steadily dropped.

Meanwhile, the regulatory burden on physicians has increased. In the last few years, CMS required all providers to adopt electronic health records or face economic sanctions from Medicare. It is the ultimate goal that every health care provider, including pharmacies, will have electronic databases that will be accessible to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In 2009, as part of the so-called stimulus bill, the Federal Commission for the Coordination of Comparative Effectiveness Research (FCCCER) was created. Its mission is to collect the data culled from all electronic health records and make recommendations regarding the comparative effectiveness of drugs, procedures, and therapies. In rendering advice, the FCCCER will essentially answer the following question: What is the most cost-effective way of allocating a fixed amount of resources among a population of roughly 310 million people?

With this same question in mind, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a committee that reports to HHS, concluded in 2009 that mammogram screenings should not be recommended to women under age 50. This caused an uproar among both private health care providers and breast cancer advocacy groups, and the task force soon backed down. Similarly, in the fall of 2011, the task force recommended the abandonment of certain routine prostate cancer screenings. Once again, health care providers and cancer advocacy groups protested, and the task force rescinded its recommendation.

In 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act established an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Beginning in 2014, the 15 presidential appointees on this board will determine what therapies, procedures, tests, and medications will be covered by Medicare, using advice provided by the FCCCER. Such determinations will then be used to design the coverage packages for the non-Medicare insurance offered through the government–run exchanges. The decisions of the IPAB are not subject to Congressional oversight or judicial review.

Meanwhile, in an effort to control costs now, CMS has developed practice guidelines and protocols for physicians to follow. Committees of health care academics and statisticians developed these guidelines, using data from large population samples.

These protocols govern the therapeutic decisions made by the health care practitioner—right down to the pre-operative antibiotics a surgeon may order. Despite the fact that several recent peer-reviewed studies concluded that the protocols have had no positive effect—in fact, one study showed post-op skin infections increased since the protocols were instituted—CMS imposes financial penalties on hospitals that fail to get protocol compliance from their medical staff.

Medical students and residents are now being trained to follow federally-derived protocols and guidelines as a normal part of medical practice. As a result, this new generation of doctors will be less inclined to challenge the recommendations of federal task forces and agencies. Some academics also worry that “teaching to the protocol” might discourage independent thinking and the use of intuitive knowledge, two traits essential to the practice of good medicine.

In addition, decreased reimbursements and increased regulatory demands on physicians have led many to sell their practices to hospitals. The New England Journal of Medicine* estimates that 50 percent of the nation’s doctors are now hospital employees. As private medical practice becomes more economically untenable, look for the overwhelming majority of doctors to become salaried hospital employees—many working in shifts—in the next few years. Virtually every doctor now graduating a residency program is taking a position as a salaried hospital employee.

Ten thousand people will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years, placing an even greater fiscal burden on the Medicare program.

One way CMS is trying to deal with this is by penalizing hospitals and doctors who treat patients with resistant problems. Effective this year, any patient readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge for the same or a related problem will be treated by the hospital without compensation. The plan is to implement the same policy with respect to the original treating physician in the near future.

To help deal with this more definitively, an old concept with a new name is being promoted and encouraged by the Affordable Care Act: the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The ACO harkens back to the infamous HMO capitation system of the early 1990s over which the population rebelled.

In a nutshell, hospitals, clinics, and health care providers have been given incentives to organize into teams that will get assigned groups of 5,000 or more Medicare patients. They will be expected to follow practice guidelines and protocols approved by Medicare. If they achieve certain goals established by Medicare with respect to cost, length of hospital stay, re-admissions, or other “core measures,” they will get to share a portion of Medicare’s savings. If the reverse happens, they will face economic penalties.

Private insurance companies are currently setting up the non-Medicare version of the ACO. These will be sold in the federally subsidized exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act. In this model, there are no fee-for-service payments to providers. Instead, an ACO is given a lump sum, or “bundled” payment for the entire care for a large group of insurance beneficiaries. The ACOs are expected to follow the same Medicare-approved practice protocols, but all of the financial risks are assumed by the ACOs. If the ACOs keep costs down, the team of providers and hospitals reap the financial reward: a surplus from the lump sum payment. If they lose money, the providers and hospitals eat the loss.

In both the Medicare and non-Medicare varieties of the ACO, cost control and compliance with centrally-planned practice guidelines are the primary goal. The hospital and provider networks will live or die by these objectives.

When almost all health care providers are salaried employees of hospitals, hospitals might then be able to get ACOs to work better than their ancestor HMOs. The hospital administrators will have more control over their medical staff. If doctors don’t follow the protocols and guidelines, and desired outcomes are not reached, hospitals can replace the “problem” doctors.

So where does all this place the medical profession with respect to its ethical credo? In a few years, almost all doctors will be employees of hospitals and will be ordered to practice medicine according to federally prescribed guidelines—guidelines that put the best interests of the state ahead of the interests of individual patients.

When the physician’s primary obligation is to satisfy the wishes of the payer—ultimately the wishes of the state—how can patients be truly confident in their doctors’ decisions?

I submit that it all boils down to a question of professional ethics.

The medical profession must decide—and soon—which ethical doctrine to follow: Are doctors to be agents of their patients or agents of the state? All of us should dread the latter choice—because we will all be patients some day.

Jeffrey Singer practices general surgery in Phoenix, Arizona, writes for Arizona Medicine, the journal of the Arizona Medical Association (Goldwater Institute)

Obama Memo on the Obamacare Case at the Supreme Court:

WHERE’S MY RECOVERY?

Today, over 4 years since the recession started, there are still almost 24 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. That includes 5.6 million who are long-term unemployed for 27 weeks, or more than 6 months, the highest since the Great Depression. The number of Americans employed part-time for economic reasons was still 8.1 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says, “These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”

Another 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. The BLS says, “These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

African Americans have been suffering an outright depression under Obama, with unemployment today, 51 months after the recession started, still over 14%. Black unemployment has been over 14% for Obama’s entire term in office. Black teenage unemployment today is still nearly 35%, where it has persisted for Obama’s entire term as well.

Hispanics have also been suffering a depression under Obama, with unemployment today still in double digits at nearly 11%, where it has also persisted for Obama’s entire term. Over one fourth of Hispanic youths remain unemployed today, which also has persisted for years.

The Census Bureau reported last September that more Americans are in poverty today than at any time in the entire 51 year history of Census tracking poverty. Americans dependent on food stamps are at an all time high as well. White House spokesman Jay Carney recently tried to blame the Republicans for that, saying that it was their policies of deregulation that caused the recession. But actually it was liberal policies of overregulation forcing the looting of the banks for subprime loans under threat of discrimination suits that caused the recession. See, e.g. Paul Sperry, The Great American Bank Robbery.

Moreover, it was Obama’s responsibility to foster a timely, robust recovery restoring traditional American prosperity. Where is that? The absence of that is because Obama doesn’t believe in traditional American anything. (American Spectator)

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has released a new document entitled “Terrorism Awareness and Prevention”. The paper is aimed at raising awareness on how New Jersey residents can help combat terrorism, including tips on how to spot signs of suspicious activities and behaviors.

So what are these suspicious behaviors? “Look for signs of nervousness in the people you come in contact with.” This includes “exaggerated yawning when in a conversation,” “repetitive touching of face,” “increased breathing rate,””unusual perspiration,” “excessive fidgeting,””trembling” and “goose bumps.” Though some might say these are all completely natural body reactions, the document says otherwise.

While pacing around and being jumpy is also listed as a potential indicator of malicious intent, standing still in a rigid posture also fits the bill of terrorist intent. So what should you do to avoid getting flagged as a potential enemy of the state? Stand still, or gesture profusely? In reality, there’s probably not much you can do.

You’re just toast.

Hot dogs. Bison Wellington. Baby back ribs.

President Barack Obama is roaming all over the culinary map this week.

The president made a lunchtime detour to a barbeque and ribs joint Thursday on his way back to the White House after a speech about energy policy.

The president came away from Texas Ribs & BBQ with a takeout bag containing 2 slabs of baby back ribs and a brisket sandwich with fries.

Earlier in the week, Obama downed a hotdog at an NCAA basketball game in Ohio. And on Wednesday, he dined on bison at a fancy state dinner.

So “Let’s Move”!! 🙂

ANOTHER TSA UPDATE

Passengers at airports can now avoid TSA pat downs, long lines and can carry liquids on board by paying $100.

However, the TSA’s new fast track ‘Precheck’ screening is likely to rile the family of a wheel-chair bound toddler who was recently subjected to invasive security checks.

Unlike the background check passengers in the scheme, who will be able to skip screening, the three-year-old was stopped at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

‘We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist,’ TSA Administrator John Pistole told the Journal.

And a Three year old in a wheelchair is definitely a candidate for that 1 in a Billion!
So you just have to bribe them a $100 bucks! Gee…
FAST & FURIOUS

Breitbart.com has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Holder was addressing the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.

“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

Liberal leopards don’t change their spots.
Now don’t you feel better about Obamacare, The TSA, Security and The Economy! 🙂
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Hmmm…

In light of new information emerging about the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious (read here about ATF targeting FBI informants), we thought revisiting this video ain’t a bad idea.

Back in April of 2009, President Obama alluded in a question and answer session to the notion of “gun tracing” in Mexico . . . leading many to conclude that he may have known more than he’s ever admitted about Operation Fast & Furious and long before he says he knew anything.  You be the judge . . .

Hmmmm….

The Wisdom of Samuel L Jackson (He ain’t no Jedi…)

Barack Obama‘s politics meant nothing to Samuel L. Jackson because the “Pulp Fiction” star only voted for the president for one reason and one reason only … because he’s black. 

In an interview with Ebony magazine, Jackson explained, “I voted for Barack because he was black. ‘Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them … That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me.”

Jackson then went on to drop the N-word several times when discussing Obama, telling the mag, “When it comes down to it, they wouldn’t have elected a [bleep]. Because, what’s a [bleep]? A [bleep] is scary. Obama ain’t scary at all. [Bleeps] don’t have beers at the White House. [Bleeps] don’t let some white dude, while you in the middle of a speech, call [him] a liar. A [bleep] would have stopped the meeting right there and said, ‘Who the [bleep] said that?’ I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years, ‘cuz he ain’t gotta worry about getting re-elected.” (TMZ)

But if you disagree with a Liberal you’re a racist. 🙂

Hmmm….

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Late last week, the White House tried claimed to “compromise” on the new ObamaCare requirement that all employers provide insurance with free birth control coverage, including religious employers. The compromise actually wasn’t a compromise at all, yet the White House is shutting down debate on the issue and saying it’s a done deal.

President Barack Obama and his deputies are using the demeaning language of disease and green-eyeshade accounting to establish free birth control as a government-backed right, and also to downgrade the value of human lives, say social conservatives.

“They’re claiming that children are like a disease and increase health costs,” said former Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright.

Unborn children, however, “are humans beings and that’s what Obama and the abortion crowd refuse to recognize,” she told The Daily Caller.

The Catholic Church’s opposition to the new Obama administration regulations is heavily influenced by its ideological and religious support for human life, and its twinned opposition to birth control, including contraception, and abortion.

That ideological point was prominently displayed in the Feb. 10 response to Obama’s announcement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen — to cover sterilization and contraception … [but] pregnancy is not a disease,” said the response.

Obama’s unsympathetic language was showcased in his Feb. 10 announcement that he would require health insurance companies to offer free birth-control services to the employees of religious groups, despite the congregations’ constitutional protection from state regulation.

“It’s a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one … [and] preventive care should include coverage of contraceptive services such as birth control,” the president said in brief remarks in the White House press room.

Even when Obama championed the claim that women have a moral right to use birth control, he talked about biological health, not of moral freedom. “Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health,” he said.

Except that he passed a law MANDATING their “pro-choice”  “pro-Control”–it was called ObamaCare.

MANDATING Freedom of Choice…Hmmm….

White House officials also justified the far-reaching policy by saying it would cost nothing, and therefore would impose no real burden on religious organizations.

Cost Nothing? Boy he really has no idea how capitalism works does he…Hmmm…

“Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services,” said a White House statement released Feb. 10.

But if you’re oppose to birth control to begin with, Like the Catholic Church…well, screw you… Hmmm…

Making Insurance Companies pay for something without any recourse is “free”.
Hmmm…

The Catholic Church’s advocates have reserved their strongest condemnation, however, for the White House’s description of pregnancy as a disease.

The administration believes “pregnancy is some sort of health care anomaly… [and] to be pregnant is some sort of illness,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C. They believe, he said, that they “must prevent that illness. … A pregnancy becomes the problem.”

“Kids aren’t commodities — they’re humans beings and that’s what Obama and the abortion crowd refuse to recognize,” added Wright, who is now advocating for socially conservative policies at the United Nations.

But they are political footballs…Hmm…

Now, after the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as, frankly, the more cynical desire on the part of some to make this into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not going to be an option, that we needed to move this faster.  So last week, I directed the Department of Health and Human Services to speed up the process that had already been envisioned.  We weren’t going to spend a year doing this; we’re going to spend a week or two doing this.

Not to be too cynical about this, but Obama last spoke with those Catholic officials months ago regarding his mandate.  And no one at the White House bothered to contact them when it came time to offer this “accommodation,” as the bishops made clear on Friday after the Obama administration announced it.  That sounds a lot like a cynical desire to punt a political football rather than figuring out exactly why the church objected to it in the first place.  And that failure looks like the product of a cynical desire to impose the same mandate while making it look like a compromise.

Following the announced “accommodations” from the White House for religious organizations whose beliefs preclude them from offering birth control, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, had some tough words for President Obama.

According to Land, the adjustment in the mandate requiring all employers — including religious organizations — to provide birth control is “a distinction without a difference.”

“My initial reaction is: How dumb does he think we are?” Land wondered in an interview with The Daily Caller. “Does he think when he puts lip stick on a pig, that we don’t understand that it is still a pig?”

Yes, he does. Because that’s they way the Liberal mind works. Someone objects to your idea so you just change the wording or the word and suddenly a totally new idea and if object to that it’s just because you’re “obstructionist”.

Perfect Example: Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change etc.

Next up: Deficit Reduction (aka spending more than we have but spending less of the more than before) is good. And if you’re against it you’re just an “obstructionist”

The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.

The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary reason for the government’s annual deficits and mushrooming debt. In 2000, federal and state governments spent about 37 cents on the safety net from every dollar they collected in revenue, according to a New York Times analysis. A decade later, after one Medicare expansion, two recessions and three rounds of tax cuts, spending on the safety net consumed nearly 66 cents of every dollar of revenue.

The recent recession increased dependence on government, and stronger economic growth would reduce demand for programs like unemployment benefits. But the long-term trend is clear. Over the next 25 years, as the population ages and medical costs climb, the budget office projects that benefits programs will grow faster than any other part of government, driving the federal debt to dangerous heights.

Americans are divided about the way forward. Seventy percent of respondents to a recent New York Times poll said the government should raise taxes. Fifty-six percent supported cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Forty-four percent favored both.

But now Obama wants to cut the Deficit (not the debt) so that he’ll promise to have less and less deficits (money we don’t have) every year for the next 4 years.

He’ll have it down to 1/2 trillion in deficits by the time he leaves.

Making it 7 years in a row!

And this is an improvement, and if you don’t want to go for it you’re an “obstructionist” who just wants to protect the “rich” (the same people giving him $38,500 a person).

Hmmm…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

Let The Cronies March In…

More Crony Favoritism By Obama:

Another Millionaire (1%er) and “evil” profit-monger has gotten a contract to produce something that is not needed, except by his companies profits and Obama Campaign War Chest.

If you’re going to kick back to Obama, you’re always an approved business. Ain’t that right, comrade? 🙂

$443 Million dollars this time.

Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor. (he was 52nd in the world in 2010 according to Forbes)

More like the .01%!! 🙂

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a “sole-source” procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation’s biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government’s specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews.

Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox.

If there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure.

Siga’s drug, an antiviral pill called ST-246, would be used to treat people who were diagnosed with smallpox too late for the vaccine to help. Yet the new drug cannot be tested for effectiveness in people because of ethical constraints — and no one knows whether animal testing could prove it would work in humans.

The government’s pursuit of Siga’s product raises the question: Should the U.S. buy an unproven drug for such a nebulous threat?

No. But party politics, cronyism, and Obama’s Re-Coronation War Chest are more important than any force on Earth anyhow, aren’t they?

As much as Obama can funnel to his “friends” and they can funnel back to him. The “rich” and Corporate CEO’s are only evil and worth demogogueing if they aren’t in the Obama Inner Circle.

You have to look after your “rich” apparatchiks while demonizing the “rich” overall for your class warfare strategy. Making two sides so you can play both of them.

“We’ve got a vaccine that I hope we never have to use — how much more do we need?” said Dr. Donald A. “D.A.” Henderson, the epidemiologist who led the global eradication of smallpox for the World Health Organization and later helped organize U.S. biodefense efforts under President George W. Bush. “The bottom line is, we’ve got a limited amount of money.”

SINCE WHEN HAS THAT EVER STOPPED OUR DEAR LEADER?  NEVER!

Dr. Thomas M. Mack, an epidemiologist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, battled smallpox outbreaks in Pakistan and has advised the Food and Drug Administration on the virus. He called the plan to stockpile Siga’s drug “a waste of time and a waste of money.”

But smallpox isn’t the purpose. Kickbacks to donors and kickbacks to his campaign coffers is. Besides, it’s taxpayer money, it’s free and it easy!

Besides, we can always blame it on someone else!! 🙂

The Obama administration official who has overseen the buying of Siga’s drug says she is trying to strengthen the nation’s preparedness. Dr. Nicole Lurie, a presidential appointee who heads biodefense planning at Health and Human Services, cited a 2004 finding by the Bush administration that there was a “material threat” smallpox could be used as a biological weapon.
See, when it fails or makes them look bad, IT WAS BUSH’s IDEA! So it’s his Fault!! 🙂

A Liberal just can’t go wrong on anything, no matter what it is, when they can blame Bush for it! 🙂
Smallpox is one of 12 pathogens for which such determinations have been made.

“I don’t put probabilities around anything in terms of imminent or not,” said Lurie, a physician whose experience in public health includes government service and work with the Rand Corp. “Because what I can tell you is, in the two-plus years I’ve been in this job, it’s the unexpected that always happens.”

Negotiations over the price of the drug and Siga’s profit margin were contentious.

I thought profit was evil and unfair. Don’t let the Occupiers know… 🙂

In an internal memo in March, Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS’ biodefense preparedness unit, said Siga’s projected profit at that point was 180%, which he called “outrageous.”

In an email earlier the same day, a department colleague told Hatchett that no government contracting officer “would sign a 3 digit profit percentage.”

In April, after Siga’s chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, complained in writing about the department’s “approach to profit,” Lurie assured him that the “most senior procurement official” would be taking over the negotiations.

“I trust this will be satisfactory to you,” Lurie wrote Rose in a letter.

Profit is good when it benefits Socialist Politicians. Profit is bad when it benefits Socialist Politicians.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.

And is there anyone better at it than Obama and his apparatchiks? 🙂

National Debt today: 14.986 Trillion. 🙂

Put Down that Burger, Fatso!

FOOD POLICE UPDATE

The federal government has a growing interest in the eating habits of Americans for the same reason it has an interest in tobacco consumption, said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The reason is money, because three-quarters of medical-spending is driven by chronic diseases, such as obesity and tobacco-related diseases, she said.

Sebelius’ comments came at the tail-end of Tuesday’s White House press conference where officials showcased nine new photos that must be carried on cigarette packs. Officials used a survey of 18,000 people to find the images that would have the most distressing impact on groups of smokers, including young smokers and mothers of young kids.

“We want teenagers to understand smoking is gross, not cool,” said the HHS chief. If the public becomes desensitized to the distressing pictures, they’ll be replaced by new pictures, she said.

The regulations are justified, she said, because tobacco causes 443,000 premature deaths, and creates “$200 billion a year in health costs that we clearly could spend better elsewhere,” she said.

But the press questions shifted to food labels when a reporter pressed officials about new food-labeling standards being promoted by the government.

The standards are part of a much larger push by medical professionals to regulate the food sector. The medical professionals, led by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have allied with professional advocacy groups, such as Center for Science in the Public Interest, and with leading Democratic politicians, to blame the food-sector for increasing obesity rates in the American population, and especially among African-Americans.

People like to eat the increasing amount of cheap food produced by the food industry, and the rate of obesity has climbed steadily. In turn, obesity has spiked government and private health-care costs, because fat people are more prone to expensive diseases such as heart-failure and diabetes.

Federal health-care bills have risen in step, partly because of obesity’s costs, but also because many medical-professionals and Democrats want the federal government to fund a growing portion of the nation’s health-care spending.

These political interests reinforce each other. Health-care professionals say their expertise can reduce the federal government’s health-care costs, and politicians say they need professional expertise to curb the growing cost of expanding federal health-care programs.

First Lady Michelle Obama, for example, has accelerated the process by simultaneously supporting the Obamacare expansion of government spending, while also establishing her ‘Let’s Move’ anti-obesity campaign. The professional campaign is aimed chiefly at African-Americans, and urges parents and children to exercise more and to eat carefully.

In April, the FDA published a new set of rules requiring restaurants to show the calories in each menu item, and the Federal Trade Commission released a set of guidelines for food that is marketed to children. These steps were mandated by the 2009 Obamacare health-sector law.

When asked if the government would extend tobacco-style regulations to food deemed fattening, Sebelius told the reporters that the federal guidelines are only voluntary.

In the same press conference, Margaret Hamburg, the FDA’s chief, added that “we need to work with industry to provide consumers … with the best possible information about nutrition and health so that we can all make good choices in terms of promoting and protecting health.”

“The food industry recognizes there are ways they can improve,” said Hamburg. “We certainly have a vested interest in that as a public health agency, and we want to work with them on that.”

“When the combined voice of the four most important regulatory agencies for [your industry] speak, it is hard for companies to ignore those guidelines, even if you feel they are unwarranted or unfounded,” said McBride. “Industry shares Ms. Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and we will continue to work with government stakeholders towards that goal,” he said.

Sebelius deflected questions about whether food officials would mandate distressing pictures on food they consider unhealthy.  (For Now)

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: Well, again, I think tobacco is unique. It is a product that is the number one cause of preventable death. We know that there are strategies that can be very effective, because they’ve been in place. We also know that we’ve been stalled in this country. So I think this effort about tobacco regulation, efforts around tobacco cessation, has been decades-old and is something that is a unique situation.

Having said that, I do think that there are going to be ongoing discussions — as you look at the underlying health care costs, where we spend 75 cents of every health care dollar treating chronic disease — what are the areas, if you want to lower health costs and have a healthier country, that you can focus on? Certainly, tobacco and obesity become two of the major underlying causes. So the work around obesity and healthier, more nutritious eating, more exercise will continue to be I think an ongoing focus.

I think this is some space that is going to continue to have a robust conversation, because, again, it has a lot to do with underlying health costs and overall health of our nation. (Aka ObamaCare) 🙂

But as she stepped off the podium, Sebelius finally threw an answer back to the reporter who had asked if distressing images would be mandated for fattening foods. “Just lots of celery stalks and broccoli,” she said. (Townhall.com)

So put down that cookie Fatso!!

And that Microwave Dinner, EVIL!

The Food Police are Coming For you Tubby!

Mama Government does not approve.

The government knows better.

Tony the Tiger, some NASCAR drivers and cookie-selling Girl Scouts will be out of a job unless grocery manufacturers agree to reinvent a vast array of their products to satisfy the Obama administration’s food police.

Either retool the recipes to contain certain levels of sugar, sodium and fats, or no more advertising and marketing to tots and teenagers, say several federal regulatory agencies.

The same goes for restaurants.

It’s not just the usual suspected foods that are being targeted, such a thin mint cookies sold by scouts or M&Ms and Snickers, which sponsor cars in the Sprint Cup, but pretty much everything on a restaurant menu.

Although the intent of the guidelines is to combat childhood obesity, foods that are low in calories, fat, and some considered healthy foods, are also targets, including hot breakfast cereals such as oatmeal, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, yogurt, wheat bread, bagels, diet drinks, fruit juice, tea, bottled water, milk and sherbet.

Food industries are in an uproar over the proposal written by the Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The most disturbing aspect of this interagency working group is, after it imposes multibillions of dollars in restrictions on the food industry, there is no evidence of any impact on the scourge of childhood obesity,” said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers.

The “Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulation Efforts” says it is voluntary, but industry officials say the intent is clear:  Do it, or else.

“When regulators strongly suggest a course of action, it’s treated as a rule, not a suggestion,” said Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.  “Industry tends to heed these suggestions from our regulators, and this administration has made it clear they are willing to regulate if we don’t implement their proposal.”

It’s not just the food industry that will be impacted.  Hundreds of television shows that depend on the advertising revenue, such as the Nickelodeon Channel, ESPN, and programs including “American Idol” will be affected, critics of the proposal say—at a cost of $5.8 trillion in marketing expenditures that support up to 20 million American jobs.

If the food is not reformulated, no more ads or promotions on TV, radio, in print, on websites, as well as other digital advertising such as e-mail and text messaging, packaging, and point-of-purchase displays and other in-store marketing tools; product placement in movies, videos, video games, contests, sweepstakes, character licensing and toy branding; sponsorship of events including sport teams and individual athletes; and, philanthropic activity tied to branding opportunities.

That includes softball teams that are sponsored by food companies and school reading programs sponsored by restaurants.

“The Interagency working group recommends that the food industry, through voluntary self-regulatory efforts, make significant improvements in the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children and adolescents ages 2 to 17 years,” the proposal says.

“By the year 2016, all food products within the categories most heavily marketed directly to children should meet two basic nutrition principles.  Such foods should be formulated to … make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight.”

The foods most heavily marketed directly to children and adolescents fall into 10 categories: “breakfast cereals, snack foods, candy, dairy products, baked goods, carbonated beverages, fruit juice and non-carbonated beverages, prepared foods and meals, frozen and chilled desserts, and restaurant foods.”

Beth Johnson, a dietician for Food Directions in Maryland, said many of the foods targeted in this proposal are the same foods approved by the federal government for the WIC nutrition program for women, infants and children.

“This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” Johnson said.  “It’s not going to do anything to help with obesity.  These are decisions I want to make for my kids.  These should not be government decisions.” (Human Events)

But it will make a bunch of Liberals “feel good” that they have “done something” to save kids from evil capitalists trying to make them fat! 🙂

Rejoice!  The Government is here to save you and your Kids from YOU!

They’rrre Grrrreattt! 🙂

Cartoon

Cartoon

The Secret Pork

Then Speaker of The House Pelosi: “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Now that someone is opening this can of compressed worms, the stink bugs are escaping too.

Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees.  At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.

It’s a waiver slush fund BUILT INTO the Law. Gee, now that’s confidence in your legislation.

Unless, of course, the ultimate goal was not “to insure everyone”. 🙂

The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIO — the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.  CCIO, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.  The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 — shortly after Obamacare was passed — and ending on January 1, 2014, as the system of national health care exchanges was scheduled to go into effect.

The idea was to subsidize unions, states, and companies that had made commitments to provide health insurance for workers who retired early —  between the ages of 55 and 64, before they were eligible for Medicare. According to a new report prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services, “People in the early retiree age group…often face difficulties obtaining insurance in the individual market because of age or chronic conditions that make coverage unaffordable or inaccessible.”  As a result, fewer and fewer organizations have been offering coverage to early retirees; the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program was designed to subsidize such coverage until the creation of Obamacare’s health-care exchanges.

The program began making payouts on June 1, 2010.  Between that date and the end of 2010, it paid out about $535 million dollars.  But according to the new report, the rate of spending has since increased dramatically, to about $1.3 billion just for the first two and a half months of this year. At that rate, it could burn through the entire $5 billion appropriation as early as 2012.

Where is the money going?  According to the new report, the biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086.  Other big recipients include AT&T, which received $140,022,949, and Verizon, which received $91,702,538.  General Electric, in the news recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year, received $36,607,818.  General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

The program also paid large sums of money to state governments.  The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118; the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267; the Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127; and the state of New York received $47,869,044.  Other states received lesser but still substantial sums.

But payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the auto workers union, which received more than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined.  Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters.

And Unions make the the majority of people getting the over 1,000 waivers from ObamaCare.

The UAW, which ended up with a majority share of Chrysler (and much of GM) stock after it went bankrupt – they were paid before bond and shareholders – made out like bandits but The Democrats felt the need to pork them anyhow.

But don’t worry, there’s nothing corrupt going on, that dead fish smell is just your imagination. 😦

Republican investigators count the early-retiree program among those that would never have become law had Democrats allowed more scrutiny of Obamacare at the time it was pushed through the House and Senate.  Since then, Republicans have kept an eye on the program but were not able to pry any information out of the administration until after the GOP won control of the House last November.  Now, finally, they are learning what’s going on.

It comes back to the question: If this law was so fantastic, why all the waivers, cons,pork, and Machiavellian maneuvers to avoid it for your political apparatchiks??

Hmm…. Maybe they they knew that Obamacare, the epitome of socialism, and the redistribution of wealth, does not and cannot work.  It never has and it never will.  This is why they cheat the system.

But since they already have a sense of “entitlement” to everyone else’s money and craving for power that is insatiable I suppose we should expect nothing less.

Now that’s “Winning the Future”. 🙂

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”–George Orwell