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2009 August 04 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Why Is Health Care So Expensive?

Well, they have to make enough money to pay their fines.

Via Cookie Jill at skippy’s you arrive at Government Dirt which has a list of the Top 20 Largest Cases of Companies Caught For Committing Fraud Against the Government.

The settlements, understand that these are the ones that got caught, range from $900 million for number 1 down to $152 million for number 20. The fun part of this list is that there is only one state fraud case, Bank of America caught acting badly in California to the tune of $187.5 million, and that is also the only case that does not involve a health care provider or pharmaceutical company.

When the health care reform was being discussed, the people who were guaranteed access were this collection of criminals. If they were people instead of corporations they would be in prison, not in the White House and Congressional meeting rooms.

August 4, 2009   6 Comments

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

The last two days a number of people have noted how slow the ‘Net seems to be. Part of the problem might be the recent spike in comment spamming. I’ve been deleting hundreds of them recently which is transparent to readers but a PITA.

This crap burns up bandwidth for no purpose, as they won’t get a link.

If you have a comment go missing, you may have used one of “bad words” which are generally pharmaceuticals, or a perverse Japanese cartoon form. I normally check for spam errors, but the last two days there have been dozens of pages of this crap, so I just hit the delete all button.

Sorry if you got caught in this mess, but life is too short to even scan this drivel.

August 4, 2009   2 Comments

Short Hits

Happy Birthday to Helen Thomas, who is 89 today. Ms Thomas is one of a dying breed, a reporter who actually asks real questions and calls out lies.

Someone else, who might have been born in Louisiana, could also have a birthday today, but you can’t be sure. [How do they reconcile this controversy with the claim that life begins at conception?]

Who you gonna call? The Big Dog if you need something done. Bill Clinton dropped by North Korea, and the two correspondents of Current TV are pardoned. The process is known as diplomacy, but the Republicans will complain that he only got sent because of his wife. [hint: Plame] Of course, it might be that Bill used the same procedure during his administration and asked Jimmy Carter to stop by North Korea, which was also a success.

August 4, 2009   2 Comments

It Is To Laff’!

Atrios highlighted this nonsense.

Arthur Laffer on CNN:

If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government.

This is THE Arthur Laffer of the “Laffer Curve”, the most famous cocktail napkin in US politics. This is the brain power behind “supply side economics”, the foundation of RepubliCon policy since the administration of Reagan.

First off, let me say that he obviously is unaware that the DMV is a function of state government, and, therefore, comes in a minimum of 50 different flavors. In Florida you generally deal with the state on drivers’ licenses, normally by mail. The license plates are issued by the individual counties, and in Okaloosa County I can walk a block to the local office, mail in the renewal, or click on the ‘Net site.

Would anyone dislike that experience more than trying to get Kaiser Permanente to pay when the EMTs take you to the “wrong hospital”?

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August 4, 2009   16 Comments


So I’m trying to drum up some enthusiasm for Medicare-for-All and I keep running into the same stupidity. If you are local and got into Jeff Miller’s [the local Congresscritter] conference call, you heard it.

You have people who are on Medicare saying they don’t want “the government” involved in making medical decisions, because medical decisions shouldn’t be made by “government bureaucrats”, and ignoring the inconsistency in that statement, they go on to say that government programs shouldn’t pay for abortions.

The last time I checked, abortion was a medical procedure, and doctors and patients should be making those decisions, not Congress.

So, I have learned that people don’t seem to understand that Medicare is a government health insurance program, and that bureaucrats shouldn’t be involved in making medical decisions, unless some people don’t like the decision that some people might make.

The justification for the abortion ban is that people shouldn’t have to pay for procedures they are opposed to. Excuse me, but I don’t approve of abstinence only sex education, the Office of Faith-based initiatives, the Osprey, and a lot of other things, but somehow I didn’t get to make that choice. This is an insurance policy, just like auto insurance. I pay my premiums but don’t get to say I don’t want the company to insure gas-guzzling SUVs, even though some of the money I pay may be used to fix them after rollovers.

August 4, 2009   6 Comments