Working On it

‘Modern liberalism has a single idea: hang on to everything they achieved in the past. They have nothing new to offer’-Charles Krauthammer

The man who made “change we can believe in” and “yes, we can” hallmarks of the 2008 presidential race is still searching for a catchy phrase to define his next campaign.

“We’re still working on it,” President Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters when asked about his slogan in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview.

“I think that’s a great question,” Obama said, grinning. “If those middle-schoolers have any suggestions, let me know.”  (Walters’ question had been written by a young American student and Obama admirer.)

Now that’s Change You Can Believe In!!! 🙂

“The president has responsibility for the green jobs programs where he made investments,” she said. “But the decisions that were made at Solyndra that ultimately led to their bankruptcy were those of the people who worked at Solyndra.” –DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

The $500 Million that Obama personally made sure they got even though people in the know predicted with amazing accuracy when they’d got bankrupt (within a year) means nothing. It wasn’t his money!

Margaret Thatcher once said that ‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’?

But they are working on it! 🙂

Estimates are that ObamaCare will succeed in insuring 32 million otherwise uninsured people. If economic studies are correct, once these folks are insured, they will try to double their consumption of health care. On top of that, ObamaCare does something that Massachusetts did not do. It will force the vast majority of people who already have insurance to switch to more generous coverage. For example, everyone will have to be covered for a long list of preventive care and diagnostic screenings, with no copay and no deductible. Once people have this extra coverage, they will be inclined to take advantage of it.

Get prepared, then, for a huge increase in the demand for care. The result will be growing waiting lines — at the doctors’ offices, at hospital emergency rooms, at the health clinics, etc.

In the early stages of Massachusetts’ health reform, Governor Romney told me what he expected to happen. Instead of uninsured patients going to hospital emergency rooms to get expensive care in inappropriate settings (all paid for by the rest of us), he said, insured patients will be getting less expensive care in the offices of primary care doctors.

Ah, but the best laid plans …. Turns out that more people are currently seeking care in hospital emergency rooms and at publicly funded community health centers than there were before the reform! As one academic study concluded, in Massachusetts you have the same people seeking the same care at the same places you had before. Health reform has mainly meant shuffling money around from one bureaucracy to another.

When health care is rationed by waiting, who gets care and who doesn’t? Here is the real surprise. Just as ObamaCare intends to do, Massachusetts set up health insurance exchanges where the uninsured could obtain insurance, in most cases with generous government subsidies. Yet the newly insured are the patients having the greatest difficulty obtaining access to care. According to one report:

• Only 56 percent of family doctors accept patients enrolled in Commonwealth Care (subsidized insurance sold in the “exchange”).

• Only 44 percent accept patients in Commonwealth Choice (unsubsidized insurance sold in the “exchange”).

• The fraction of internists who accept Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice is 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

In Massachusetts this is called “access to care.”
(John C Goodman)

But they are still working on it.

And he needs 4 more years! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

The Future of ObamaCare?

The Nationalized Health Care of Canada has stuck again.

This is ongoing and started earlier this week but Wisconsin took up the time.

If this doesn’t outrage you, you must be dead, or a Liberal.

But it’s coming to an ObamaCare near you…

London, Ontario Free Press: Jane Sims The London Free Press Moe Maraachli keeps the snapshots of his dying baby boy in an envelope in his jacket pocket.

He pulls out the photos of the son he’s about to lose, trying to  understand how a hospital, an Ontario health-related board assigned to  judge consent issues, and a London court could say he and his wife can’t  take Baby Joseph home to Windsor to die.

“I do my best for my baby. I do my best,” he said Thursday outside the London courthouse, tears in his eyes.

“This is killing, this is criminal . . . I’m sure this is murder.”

This Monday, on Family Day in Ontario, Joseph Maraachli, who’s in a  vegetative state from a neurodegenerative disease, will die after his  breathing tube is removed from his tiny body at a London hospital,  ending an ethical and legal dilemma that tried to balance unwanted  suffering with the needs of a child and his family.

“I lose my baby,” his father, 37, who came to Canada from Lebanon 11 years ago, said. “They take him from me.”

“I don’t lose my baby like God take him. They take him. They want to take him.”

“It was basically our family’s word versus the medical system’s  world,” said his aunt, Samar Nader, who’s sure she saw Joseph respond to  her this week when she touched his head.

“I think in medicine, they’re just looking at the world from a black and white point of view.”

“The family understands the child and for us to witness his death on Monday . . . I don’t know,” she said.

An emotional Superior Court Justice Helen Rady, who called it  “heartbreaking” and “such a sad and difficult case”, decided Thursday  not to allow the family’s appeal of a decision last month by Ontario’s  Consent and Capacity Board to have the child’s breathing tube removed  and put in place a do-not-resuscitate order and palliative care.

The baby’s father and mother, Sana Nader, 35, wanted the same  treatment for Joseph as was given to their daughter before she died,  eight years ago at 18 months – give Joseph a tracheotomy and  ventilation, and allow them to take him home to die what they would be a  peaceful death.

But Joseph’s doctors say while a tracheotomy – an incision is made in  a patient’s airway, to help breathing – may prolong the baby’s life,  it’s futile in this case and would likely cause much discomfort. It  would certainly also increase the risk of infection and pneumonia, they  argue.

“The medical officials would not want this little boy to suffer,” Rady said.

When born in January 2010, Joseph, now 13 months, was a beautiful, normal baby.

But five months later he started having seizures like his sister. By June, he couldn’t swallow.

In October, he stopped breathing while travelling with his parents.  He was taken to an Ingersoll hospital, then rushed to the London Health  Sciences Centre’s pediatric critical care unit where he’s been ever  since.

His father has stayed in London to be with his son.

His mother is in London every weekend and returns to Windsor to look after the couple’s other son, Ali.

Joseph’s on a ventilator and fed through a tube. He’s in what the  doctors call “a persistent vegetative state.” The doctors say he’s blind  and deaf.

He’s missing all five brain stem reflexes considered necessary for  life – gag, cough, eye movement, pupil and cornea responses. His brain  deterioration is irreversible.

A team of doctors, including a world-renowned pediatric expert from  Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, has examined Joseph and agrees  he’s dying of the same progressive neurodegenerative disease that  claimed his sister.

Joseph’s doctor told the adjudication board that doctors  “reluctantly” gave the couple’s daughter a tracheotomy. Since then,  doctors have learned “substantially” more about the procedure and  determined it isn’t right for Joseph.

The board agreed with Joseph’s attending doctor that the baby has “no hope or chance of ever recovering.”

“While we feel a great deal of empathy for the parents, we held that  their view was not in any way realistic,” the board said, adding  Joseph’s parents “were blinded by their obvious love” for their child.

The State Board knows better!!!  Sound ObamaCare-ish? Yes!

Obamacare establishes the Independent Payment Advisory Board, whose stated responsibility is to develop proposals to reduce the growth of Medicare spending.
His parents fear Joseph will choke to death once the tube is removed.  They say he responds to their touch and wanted the board to see him in  hospital before deciding.

Rady said it’s unclear what the board would have seen had its members  agreed. And she noted that while Joseph’s head and body have grown, it  doesn’t mean the medical assessments are wrong.

The case digs deeply into the delicate balance of life versus. suffering.

Ethicist Margaret Somerville, of McGill University’s Centre for  Medicine, Ethics and Law, said the case is “a judgment where the parents  are giving priority to the prolongation of life and the doctor is  giving priority to the quality of that life.”

“I’m sure there’s no doubt in this case that this child has a very  poor quality of life, but we do know that health care professionals  judge quality of life much lower than people themselves do.”

Somerville said such quality-of-life decisions are delicate and often  at odds. What needs to be examined is why the family doesn’t agree with  the decision and if their reasons are acceptable, she said.

The board had ordered Joseph’s breathing tube be removed Friday, but Rady said that wasn’t sensitive to the family’s need.

Instead, she ordered they comply by Monday – a statutory holiday in  Ontario, to celebrate family – “to afford the whole family adequate time  to say their good-byes.”

Rady’s voice broke when she addressed the family. “I hope that in time you’ll find peace,” she said.

Joseph’s father wasn’t satisfied. “It’s not help,” he said later.

His lawyer, Geoff Snow, said he understands Rady’s decision but  added, “the loss of a child in any circumstances is tragic and it’s  unfortunate that there’s not more than could have been done.”

Lawyer Julie Zamprogna Balles, who acted for the doctor, said Rady’s decision was “well-reasoned and compassionate.”

While the case had “very sad and unfortunate circumstances,” everyone  involved, she said, have “focused on Little Joseph’s best interests.”

But a grieving Moe Maraachli said there’s “no humanity” in Canada. He expressed a desire to die himself.

“I stay with him until the last moments and hopefully I go with him,” he said.

THE ETHICAL ISSUE

Whether to provide medical intervention to prolong the life of a dying child who’s in a persistent vegetative state.

THE LEGAL ISSUE

Whether to allow an appeal of a decision by an Ontario health-based  board that adjudicates consent issues, to take the child off life  support.

****

LONDON, Ont. – A father who has been battling to stop a London, Ont.,  hospital from removing his terminally ill son from a ventilator stood  his ground Monday and defied a court order requiring him to give  consent.

Moe Maraachli says he and his wife Sana Nader are happy  the breathing tube keeping their 13-month old son Joseph alive has not  yet been removed.

But their fight to get the boy a tracheotomy so they can take him home to die isn’t over.

“I’m  very excited because my son doesn’t remove his tube today,” said  Maraachli, who has been sleeping at the hospital since Friday.

“All my family is happy. We are happy. We feel it’s really Family Day today.”

The Windsor, Ont., couple has been fighting for months against doctors at Victoria Hospital in London  who say their son should be removed from life support because he will  not recover from the rare neurological condition that has left him in a  vegetative state.

The family fears Joseph will suffer a painful  death if the ventilator is removed, and prefers that a tracheotomy be  performed so they can take him home to live his remaining days  surrounded by people who love him.

The couple’s 18-month-old  daughter died almost nine years ago from a similar medical condition.  She had a tracheotomy and lived at home for six months before she died,  said Maraachli.

But, last Thursday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady ordered the couple to agree to take Joseph off the ventilator by 10 a.m. Monday.

The judge was upholding a decision already made by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board.

Because  the London hospital could not get consent to remove the breathing tube  from Joseph’s parents or other family members, it has the right to seek  consent from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, said Mark  Handelman, Maraachli’s lawyer.

But Maraachli is hoping his son Joseph will be transferred to Michigan’s Children’s Hospital in Detroit.

Joseph  has been treated there before under the Ontario Provincial Health  Insurance Plan and the family feels they would have another chance at  persuading doctors to perform a tracheotomy if he returns there.

The couple’s friends recently contacted the U.S. hospital about a transfer and the London Health Sciences Centre, which Victoria Hospital falls under, was asked to send Joseph’s medical records there on Sunday.

The London hospital sent Joseph’s medical chart by courier to Detroit on Monday, said spokeswoman Laurie Gould.

“At this point in time we have not received any request for transfer,” said Gould.

If a transfer request is made, Gould said her hospital would contact the public guardian and “wait for their direction.”

The London hospital would not need permission from the public guardian to transfer Joseph to Michigan, said Handelman.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, called the baby Joseph case sad and tragic.

Schadenberg questioned why doctors, not parents, should have the final say over their baby’s care.

“Is it right that the doctor has now so much power?” asked Schadenberg.

“I think the balance of power has shifted in Ontario too far, and I’m getting very concerned about who has the right to decide.”

Gould said the case is certainly “emotionally charged.”

The  hospital has received calls and emails from the public, some offering  prayers for the baby, who’s been at the hospital since October, she  said.

As cars honked their horns, a couple of dozen people holding  signs and photos of the baby held a vigil outside the hospital Monday  morning, an hour before the baby was to be removed from the ventilator.

Maraachli’s  sister-in-law Samar Nader said the family is “relieved and thankful”  for all the support they’ve received from the public.

“It’s true  that miracles do happen and I would never have expected for my nephew to  live past 10 o’clock without the people’s help,” she said.

****

(CNN) — A Canadian family fighting to keep their 13-month-old son on a breathing tube says they have been denied a request to have him transferred to a hospital in Michigan.

Moe and Sana Maraachli refused to sign consent when Canadian health officials determined their son Joseph, who suffers from a progressive degenerative neurological disease and was in a persistent vegetative state, should be removed from life support. Joseph is being treated at the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.

The Maraachlis reached out to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit in hopes of having their son transferred there for continued care.

Family spokesperson Sam Sansalone said the hospital initially agreed to accept the transfer. He said he has since received an email indicating the request has been denied.

Sansalone forwarded an email from the Detroit hospital that he said explains that after a review of Joseph’s records by neurological and intensive care physicians, “we cannot offer Joseph anything that he has not been provided already during his current admission by his current clinical care team … transfer to our facility will not provide him or the family any benefit.”

Vickie Winn, a spokesperson from the Children’s Hospital, confirmed Joseph is not a patient at the hospital but could not offer further comment, citing patient privacy laws.

Sansalone said the family is pursuing at least three other hospitals in other states.

The family says the hospital has it wrong and that their son is not in a persistent vegetative state. Sansalone said they have noted experiences where the baby has responded to being tickled and has jolted when he felt discomfort with examinations or the feeding tubes. They say these are signs he might still have brain function.

However, Canadian health officials disagree. On February 17, they decided Joseph should be removed from life support. The family was given until February 21 to say their goodbyes and sign the consent, but they have yet to do so.

The Maraachlis are seeking a second opinion from what they consider to be an objective source that can review the more than 1,000 pages of Joseph’s medical records and provide a better assessment of their son’s treatment options.

If he is beyond hope, they want him to be able to receive a tracheotomy, where he can be transferred home and die in the care of family instead of in a hospital.

Experts say even if the family is granted this request, caring for a child in this condition is an arduous task.

Dr. David Casarett, director of research and evaluation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wissahickon Hospice, says patients at home with tracheotomies need monitoring to make sure the airway is clear of secretions, the skin is clean and dry and someone can make sure the incision at the tracheotomy site does not get infected.

“A child’s care would be much more complex if a home ventilator is required, since the parents would need to manage the ventilator with the help of a nurse and respiratory therapist,” he said.

Suzanne Vitadamo, spokesperson for the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and Terri’s sister, issued the following statement:

“It is unacceptable for Canadian Health Allocation Officials and/or the Canadian Government to make decisions for Joseph that will end his life and deny the wishes of his loving parents.

“Every patient, regardless of age, has a right to proper and dignified health care. It is frightening to once again see government usurp the God-given rights of parents to love and care for their child at home, especially when the child is dying.”

We are from the Government and we are here to help you, control you, and make decisions for you.

Rejoice!

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Greed

I went to the movies yesterday. I saw “I Want Your Money” http://www.iwantyourmoney.net/

Every American should see this movie.

I Want Your Money Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

But admittedly, it will make Liberals and Progressives explode, it has some harsh words for Republicans especially after 2003 when they did become Democrats and how we can’t afford that again.

But the big one that I thought was really fascinating was: Greed.

The Liberals have made this their center post for most of my life and they especially have made it the big focus now that they stand on the precipice of not having it like they did or not at all.

What is Greed?

And one of the questions raised in the documentary,” Name me one society that is not based on greed?”

That’s a more profound question than it looks because if you’re truly honest with yourself and with others you already know the real answer.

None.

It doesn’t exist.

So using “greed” as a political weapon is dishonest at best.

The liberals and the progressives are greedy. There just greedy with your money.

They are greedy for their own power.

And their class warfare against “the rich” is just using your greed to further theirs.

“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].” (attributed to many people).

And we’ve run out of money period. But yet, Obama and crew still want to spend even more. They don’t know any other way.

Greed is a pernicious thing.

We all do it.

I do it.

Getting “something for free” is a form of greed because nothing tangible is ever free.

Just yesterday I saw a new version of the Andy Griffith Health Care pimp-me commercial talking about all the “free” stuff that Medicare patients were going to get under ObamaCare.

That’s disingenuous at best, and a lie at worst.

1) If Doctors stop taking Medicare patients then you’re screwed. And they are.

2) the “free” service has to be paid by someone. That someone being you. it’s called the premium. That shared risk pool money you pay for insurance.

So they are being greedy with your money.

And Medicare is going to be cut by $500 Billion (at least according to the bill), especially Medicare Advantage.

Do Democrats tout that one? Of Course not!

And then the Democrats go after “the rich” and make you envious of them.

That’s a form of greed. Because you lust after their money. You covet their money. The money they’ve earned and you haven’t.

Mind you, Democrats have plenty of “rich” people backing them and plenty of  Unions that are International entities (AFL-CIO and SEIU just to name 2) and could get money from foreign sources.

But they aren’t going to mention it.

And neither will the Ministry of Truth Media.

Why would they. They are playing on your emotions. They are manipulating you. Why point out their duplicity. 🙂

Welfare is greedy.

You’re being paid by other people’s labor.

So, name me a society free of greed.

It doesn’t exist.

So when the Democrats trot out class warfare and  proclaim piously how they are for the working man and the poor against “the rich” and the”greedy” laugh in their both of their two faces!!

Just this weekend: “They’re fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election, they are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across the country.”-President Obama

And Democrats aren’t?

What about his front groups like Moveon.Org (Foreign Billionaire George Soros), The SEIU, The AFL-CIO, The UAW, Media Matters, and on and on and on??

What of their nothing but negative ads??

And where is the “fair” media. The “journalists”??

They are in bed with Obama. Incestuously so.

Have  you seen any of this out of Katie Couric? Or Brian Williams? Or Diane Sawyer?

No. And you won’t either.

“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat-cat bankers on Wall Street,” President Barack Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes.” He also has decried the “arrogance and greed” and “excess greed, excess compensation” of America’s business executives.

Top Democrats like Obama constantly denounce private avarice. But when the fat cats are feds, not financiers, they go silent. To leading Democrats, government greed is good.

Just as Wall Street and corporate America relentlessly pursue profits, Congress and federal bureaucrats possess a ravenous hunger for trillions of tax dollars to fuel lavish spending schemes, underwrite gluttonous public salaries and benefits, and seize increasing power.

These days, the wallets of many American taxpayers feel like helium balloons. Yet Washington always wants more.

A post-election, Democrat-led, lame-duck congressional session may tax “the rich” ― specifically, individuals who earn north of $200,000 annually and married couples who make above $250,000.

If so, top tax rates would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Remember: These disgusting plutocrats are expected to pay higher taxes and simultaneously hire the unemployed.

Furthermore, the capital gains tax could jump from 15 percent to 20 percent (rising to 23.8 percent in 2013, thanks to ObamaCare), and the dividends tax could soar from 15 percent to 39.6 percent. This also would snatch growth capital from the productive sector.

The Death Tax now dead could be resurrected at 55 percent on estates exceeding $1 million. If key Democrats prevail, they would slam this sickly economy with at least $678 billion in higher taxes, the National Taxpayers Union estimates.

Meanwhile, as Americans miss mortgage payments, shutter businesses and abandon their dreams, it’s happy hour for government employees. What reformist Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey properly calls “shared sacrifice” means something completely different in Washington: The American people sacrifice, and the feds share in the proceeds.

As the Heritage Foundation calculates, between December 2007 (the start of the Great Recession) and July 2010, private-sector employment shrank by 7,837,000 positions, or 6.8 percent.

However, federal civilian employment grew by 198,000 positions, or 10 percent, not counting temporary Census workers. In 2009, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, private-sector salaries and benefits averaged $61,051.

The federal-civilian figure? $123,049 ― more than double. Also, the Office of Personnel Management found that between December 2007 and June 2009, the number of federal employees earning at least $170,000 zoomed 93 percent.

As if devouring your money were not enough, Washington also sticks its collective snout everywhere. The feds have ordered New York City to change 250,900 street signs from ALL CAPS to caps and lower case, supposedly because “BROADWAY” is tougher to read than “Broadway.”

Rather than invite D.C. to SHOVE IT, Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled over and appropriated $27.6 million to obey Washington’s latest edict. This sum could pay 219 rookie cops their $41,975 starting salaries for three years. (Deroy Murdock in Korea Times)

But the Democrats aren’t “greedy”. 🙂

It’s only Republicans and non-Democrats who are “greedy” for both money and power. 🙂

Don’t believe me? Just ask them…

Unbending the Curve

Since the Latino Activist and The Illegals are focused on Armegeddon and the Nazi Holocaust because Illegal mean Illegal.

I want to focus on a real Armageddon coming down the pike, ObamaCare.

IBD:  An analysis from an objective source — Medicare’s actuary — says ObamaCare will increase costs and relies on projected savings that may be unrealistic. Now isn’t that a surprise?

The Obama administration has been trying hard to find good news in a new report by government experts on the outlook for the health care economy, now at 17% of GDP and continuing to climb.

To HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the analysis confirms that “the Affordable Health Care Act will cover more Americans and strengthen Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse.”

More neutral observers will notice that the administration no longer talks about “bending the cost curve” in health care. The analysis released last week by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary tells why. It looks ahead 10 years and reaches two conclusions about the new health care overhaul: More people will be covered, and costs will continue to soar. The cost curve is unbending still.

But since costs wasn’t why The Democrats passed ObamaCare to begin with…

Chief Actuary Richard Foster pegs ObamaCare’s added costs (that is, beyond what was projected without the overhaul in effect) at $311 billion over 10 years. That’s just under 1% of overall expected health care spending, and administration officials are calling that sum a small price to pay for adding 34 million Americans to public or private insurance rolls.

But the president had set a goal of extending coverage without adding any new cost. More to the point, the problem of runaway costs that plagued the pre-overhaul health care system has not been solved. As Foster points out, much of what ObamaCare proposes to reduce the nation’s health tab, especially in Medicare, is politically unrealistic.

The overhaul projects a net decrease in projected Medicare spending (more accurately, a reduction in future spending increases) of more than $400 billion. But Congress has talked this way before and has been notably timid about pulling the trigger.

Under a 1997 law, for instance, a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians was supposed to go into effect on April 1. But Congress two weeks later put the cut on hold as part of a bill to extend unemployment benefits. As usual, mobilized doctors and frightened seniors got their way.

This pattern of avoiding politically difficult spending cuts has been going on pretty much since the start of Medicare. ObamaCare promises that this behavior will somehow change. That would be a miracle, and actuaries tend to stick with more mundane probabilities.
And like any good actuary would be, Foster is unimpressed with the cost-reduction side of the ObamaCare equation. He says “the long-term viability of the Medicare … reduction is doubtful.”

Nothing in Foster’s report should come as a surprise, since it was clear from an early stage in the health care debate that the Democratic Party had one overriding goal — universal coverage or something close to it — with cost-reduction secondary.

The cost-cutting promises served mainly to obscure the actual price tag of the overhaul in future taxes and deficits. They were a means to the end of extending insurance, and to that degree they worked — as politics. But as policy they are empty promises.

Foster’s study is further evidence of how badly ObamaCare missed the point. All along, high cost has been the fundamental problem with American health care; the lack of universal coverage was only one symptom. To put it another way, the problem of coverage would have been solved long ago, largely by the private sector, if the medical tab in the U.S. were more like that in other advanced nations.

At 17% of GDP and rising, the nation’s health care economy is a case study in how to structure incentives, price signals (if any) and buying power to maximize inflation. Those who receive services hardly ever pay for them directly, and prices are rarely revealed, much less advertised.

Providers long ago learned the power of lobbying to keep the money rolling in and to defeat any attempts at fiscal restraint. What was billed as “reform,” in other words, actually reformed nothing.

But gave the government the in-road to taking it over completely, which was the plan all along…

And while the full effects of ObamaCare might not be felt until Tax Day 2014, the promise of free health care to millions of Americans will begin to prove hollow long before then.

Already Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., says the public option might not be dead if insurance companies do not offer competitive rates within the exchanges. And Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has revived a proposal that gives the secretary of health and human services the power to review premiums and block any rate increase bound to be “unreasonable.”

America’s primary care system is already under stress. Low reimbursement rates, bureaucratic paperwork and long hours are driving family physicians out of medicine and pushing new doctors into specialized practices. Half a century ago, one in two doctors practiced general medicine. Today, 7 in 10 specialize.

And the gap is growing. A mere 1 in 12 medical-school graduates now head to family medicine. In 2009, the American Academy of Family Physicians warned that we’d be short 40,000 family doctors in a decade, if present trends continued. Today, medical schools produce one primary care doctor for every two who are needed.

ObamaCare will add strain to an already burdened system. The new bill seeks to increase the load on family doctors while holding the line on costs by putting price controls on government insurance plans. In due course, price controls on private plans will be inevitable.

We saw them come into effect on April 1 in Massachusetts, when the state Division of Insurance rejected 235 of 274 premium increases proposed by insurers for individuals and small businesses. The rate increases — ranging from 8% to 32% — were deemed excessive.

The combination of increased coverage and emphasis on primary care, experts say, will increase demand for primary care docs by as much as 29%, or 44,000 doctors, over the next 15 years.

But just as demand is increasing, doctors are making plans to exit. A 2009 survey by medical recruiters Merritt Hawkins found that 10% of respondents were planning to leave medicine within three years.

Another poll of physicians conducted in 2009 by Investor’s Business Daily found that 45% of doctors would consider early retirement if ObamaCare passed.

So higher demand and lower supply equals what exactly? 🙂

Paging Dr Fine…

Let me tell you what happened to me on this last Monday. My blog was very late that day because I was at an Urgent Care center. I got there at 11am.

I was taken into exam room at 1pm.

Doctor came in at 1:45pm

I was out the door by 2:30pm because it was a lot serious in the end that I thought it was.

But what I am focusing on is that an “Urgent Care” facility had this long wait because they were short staffed for doctors I heard. They only had 2.

And waiting room full of people.

Then I started to hear about doctor shortages and the Health Care reforms that will short Doctors on their payments and making no less bureaucratic than it is now. Probably even more so.

I have already said one of the real reforms need is Tort Reform, where the doctor doesn’t run unnecessary and expensive test just to be pararnoid that if they don’t run it somewhere down the line they’ll be sued for not running them

This drives up the costs.

Then I ran across this article about Canada’s health care and the long wait times due to doctor-patient ratios.

The Hill: After more than a decade of public healthcare with mandatory coverage, so many Canadian doctors have left the practice and so many young people have entered other fields that Canada ranks 26th of 28 developed nations in its ratio of physicians to population. Once, Canada ranked among the leaders in the number of physicians, but that was before government health care drove doctors out of the practice in droves.

The fundamental fact is that we cannot cover 36 million new patients without more doctors and nurses, much less with the declining census of medical professionals the Canadian experience points to. A recent survey of doctors by the Pew Institute found that 45 percent of all practicing doctors would consider retiring or closing their practices if the Obama healthcare bill passes. This scarcity of medical personnel heightens the likelihood of draconian rationing, lengthy waiting lists and lower-quality medical care for all of us, particularly for the elderly.

This physician shortage leads to massive and never-ending waiting lists. In 1993, for example, there was an average wait of 9.3 weeks from the time a patient got a referral from a general practitioner to the time he could see a specialist. By 1997, the wait was up to 11.7 weeks. Now it’s 17.3 weeks — over four months just to see a specialist!

In Canada, unions control the entire healthcare process. In Manitoba, for example, there is an eight-month wait for colonoscopies, yet the unions do not permit weekend or evening procedures, thereby extending the waiting lists. The unions are doing to health care in Canada what they have done to education in America: stifling creativity, reinforcing bureaucracy and extending waiting times.

Because of these long waits for colonoscopies, there is now a 25 percent higher incidence of colon cancer in Canada than in the United States. And because the leading drugs that we routinely use to treat the malady in the U.S. are banned in Canada because of their high cost, 41 percent of Canadians who get the cancer die of it, compared with only 32 percent in the United States. Overall, the cancer death rate in Canada runs 16 percent higher than in the United States. Cancer does not wait for waiting lists to clear.

The proposed $400 billion cut in Medicare raises the probability that more and more of those doctors who do practice will refuse to accept Medicare patients, aggravating the doctor shortage among the elderly, the population that needs them the most.

Utopia awaits! 🙂

UK Telegraph 4/2009: “We’re not producing enough primary care physicians,” Mr. Obama said at one forum. “The costs of medical education are so high that people feel that they’ve got to specialize.” New doctors typically owe more than $140,000 in loans when they graduate.

And paying them less, and leaving malpractice insurance and paranoia of law suits, not to mention a Bureaucrat in Washington making decisions for them, sure sounds like a good career path to me. 🙂

Miriam Harmatz, a lawyer in Miami, said: “My longtime primary care doctor left the practice of medicine five years ago because she could not make ends meet. The same thing happened a year later. Since then,many of the doctors I tried to see would not take my insurance because the payments were so low.”

So that where the so-called “doctor fix” comes in. You bribe them with an “off the books” bribe of $250 million dollars so that it’s not counted in the 1 trillion plus accounting legerdemain that both houses of Congress are engaged it.

If we don’t count it, it won’t count. Magically disappearing debt!

Simple, right? 🙂

Democrats plan to make ObamaCare “deficit-neutral” by moving nearly a quarter-trillion dollars off the books, one of the great fiscal deceptions of the century.

In January, doctors fees are scheduled to fall by 21.5%, and 40% over the next five years. That would force many doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients, so Congress intervenes every year and temporarily overrides the cuts.

But now they are going to cut as much as $500 million from Medicare to pay for the new Albatross on the block. But to do that means even more cuts, so very likely, less Doctors to treat you.

So we have the fix of the century. And it doesn’t count. 🙂

And it’s not their fault. 🙂

Self-interest is more important than principles.

Hill: The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs.

WSJ: The American Medical Association’s asking price for supporting ObamaCare is scrapping the SGR (Created in 1997, the SGR slashes Medicare reimbursements if costs rise too steeply, as they always do).

So now Democrats are simply going to “untether” this spending on doctors from ObamaCare, hiding even more of its true costs. At a meeting on the Hill last week, Mr. Reid and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made the quid pro quo explicit, telling the AMA and about a dozen specialty societies that in return for this dispensation they expect them to back ObamaCare, no questions asked.

The AMA does support Obama. As does AARP.

The Hill: The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP — which supposedly represents them — will make more money.

Feel those bus tires on your back yet? Or are the knife wounds getting in the way? 🙂

It turns out the AMA is a cheap date. President J. James Rohack now looks ready to embrace whatever else Democrats offer up, even though the new bill only delays the SGR cuts for 10 years instead of doing away with the formula permanently. Never mind that the AMA’s other legislative priority—tort reform—is dead on arrival. ObamaCare is stocked with other provisions that punish doctors, such as a Medicare commission tasked with cutting spending but barred from raising the eligibility age or reducing benefits. In practice, this means it will only be allowed to crank down Medicare’s price controls on providers.

This doctor maneuver is such a cleverly dishonest solution to their many contradictory promises that we’re surprised Democrats didn’t think of it sooner.

So these endorsements are not freely given, but bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its program at any cost.

Evil Capitalism Alert: When the supply goes down and the demand goes up– What happens to the price? 🙂

Ironically, just a little more than a decade ago, there was a doctor surplus. In 1996, a committee of the Institute of Medicine warned that the United States had a surfeit of doctors caused by foreign-trained physicians coming here to work and recommended freezing med-school class sizes and limiting first-year residency positions. A year later, Slate ran an article on an alternative strategy for reducing the number of doctors approved by the federal Health Care Financing Administration. Under the Graduate Medical Education Demonstration Project, 41 teaching hospitals received $400 million in exchange for not training between 20 percent and 25 percent of the medical residents they would otherwise have trained over the next six years.

According to some estimates, the demand for doctors will rise to between 1.09 million and 1.17 million by 2020—many tens of thousands more than we’ll actually have.

So, Paging Dr Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!

“Sorry they can’t see you”

You’ll just have wait for Dr. Gov-Cheap N. Easy.

How does February sound? 🙂