Get d'Clu

Get a clue & wake up! The best way to lead a nation astray of its values is to keep it ignorant of its history.

Health Policy Insights

CBO: Insurance Proposal Would Effectively Nationalize Private Insurance

December 17, 2009
by John Goodman

 A Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is the percentage of premium dollars an insurer spends on claims as opposed to administrative costs and other expenses. According to news reports, a proposal from Senator Rockefeller and others would limit MLRs to 90%. The Reid bill already requires insurers to issue rebates to enrollees on a pro rata basis if its medical loss ratio falls below 80% or lower for the individual and small-group markets or 85% or lower for the large-group market. 

However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that a 90% MLR would expand “the federal government’s regulatory role in the health insurance market so much that it would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all transactions related to health insurance policies (even those with private companies) should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget.”  A similar ruling helped kill Hillary Clinton’s health reform proposal 15 years ago.

Donald Marron, former Acting Director of CBO, explains the issue at his blog.

———-

 Is This Fair?

Dec 17, 2009
by John Goodman

Health reform on Capitol Hill:

Focus on Jane, a primary breadwinner making $48,000 (in 2016) to support her family of four. If Jane is offered insurance by her employer that meets the test, she must accept it or pay a fine. That means Jane ends up paying for the entire cost of, say, a $14,100 policy, according to some economists. They say she pays the premiums out of pocket and the remainder indirectly because employers offer reduced paychecks to offset the cost of their share of health insurance.

Now, meet Julie, who also makes $48,000 and is not offered insurance at her job. Julie heads to the newly created exchange to purchase the same policy. But it costs her only $5,300. The rest – about $9,000 – comes from federal subsidies.

Fair?

Full editorial by Douglas Holtz-Eakin in The Boston Globe.

———-

How Much Does Insurance Really Cost?
Dec 16, 2009
by Greg Scandlen

CNNMoney reports on a recent study by eHealthinsurance.com that found:

Half of individual policyholders paid $132 or less per month… According to the report, in 2009 the median non-group health insurance premium for an individual in the United States was $1,584 per year ($132 per month) and the average deductible was $2,326. Combined, annual premiums and deductibles account for approximately 7.7 percent of median household income for 2008 ($50,303) as reported by the US Census Bureau.

Now, if individuals buying their own insurance got the same tax break as employees get for employer-provided coverage and if there were a back-up mechanism for high-risk applicants, we might dramatically reduce the numbers of uninsured without any individual mandate.Your new doctor?

———-

New Mammogram Guidelines Show What We Should Expect 

 

———-

Here are some alternatives to Obamacare:

National Center for Policy Analysis

Health Plan

To confront America’s health care crisis, we do not need more spending, more regulations or more bureaucracy. We do need people, however, including every doctor and every patient. All 300 million Americans must be free to use their intelligence, their creativity and their innovative ability to make the changes needed to create access to low-cost, high-quality health care.
NCPA HC plan (7 page pdf)

Consumers for Health Care Choices

Our friends at FreedomWorks, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste provide great services that enable you to communicate with your Congress Critters. If you are a doctor, go to Take Back Medicine.com, a project of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Health Action Network, an online site sponsored by WellPoint that brings together medical personnel, patients, and informed consumers, also makes it easy for you to communicate with your elected officials. Please take a few minutes to make your voice heard.

You can also sign up for Greg Scandlen’s weekly e-newsletter, Consumer Power Report, become a member of Consumers for Health Care Choices (CHCC), or become a donor to The Heartland Institute, the parent organization of CHCC. See Peter Ferrara’s recent     Heartland Policy Study for the facts about ObamaCare, and The Heartland Institute’s Health Care Issue Suite for extensive background information about health care reform.

And if you think your taxes won’t be affected by Obamacare, you’re drinking Kool-Aid!

Tea Party Patriots

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December 17, 2009 Posted by | Agenda of the Left, Family, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Life with Big Brother, Politics, Real Purpose of Govt., Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shut Down Senate Health Care

UPDATE 2:15 pm CST

YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!  You received the alert below and took action.  You have completely overwhelmed the Senate switchboard.  I have received emails stating that calls to some of the Senators below were being re-directed to Sen. Reid’s office and other Senators in the Democratic leadership.  I have had reports that the voice mail boxes are full.  Some of you have stated that you received messages stating the calls could not go through.  Some have received a message asking you to put in the mailbox number or phone number.   The phone numbers we sent out were taken directly from the Senators web sites.
 
Keep up the great work!  You are making a difference in this battle!  I have included the phone numbers of the Senators district offices below.  Please call them as well… Let’s go get ’em !!!

From the Tea Party Patriots, Action Alert!

YOUR ACTION IS STRONGLY NEEDED TODAY


Dear Fellow Tea Party Patriots,

We are at a critical point in our fight against government run healthcare.  
 
We need to have the same urgency and intensity level that we displayed at the Congressional Town Hall Meetings during the August recess. We must not diminish our fight to defeat the Senate healthcare bill. Many “Blue Dog” Democrats and some GOP Senators have stated that they don’t see the same intensity level opposing the Senate Healthcare bill that we displayed opposing the House version. They are beginning to believe that we do not strongly oppose the Senate Healthcare bill.  We need to let them know that is not true.
 
President Obama and the Senate Democratic leadership are pulling out all the stops to pass this Senate Healthcare bill. They are putting enormous pressure on the “Blue Dog” Democrat Senators to pass the bill.
 
We urgently need you to make phones today and tomorrow  to the Senators listed below. Please call their District Office and their D.C. office. Also, please continue to contact your Senator. Forward this to your email lists and ask them to make phone calls.
 
The latest Rasmussen Poll showed that 60% oppose this healthcare bill.
 
We need you to make phones calls to the Senators listed below.

Targeted Senators

Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska
DC Office Number: 202-224-6551, DC Fax Number: 202-228-0012

Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012
 
Omaha
7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114
Tel: (402) 391-3411
Fax: (402) 391-4725
 
Lincoln
440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
Tel: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753
 
Scottsbluff
Tel: (308) 631-7614

Kearney
Tel: (308) 293-5818
 
South Sioux City
Tel: (402) 209-3595

 
Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia
DC Office Phone Number: 202-224-4024, DC Fax Number: 202-228-6363

Danville
308 Craghead Street
Suite 102A
Danville, VA 24541
Phone: 434-792-0976
Fax: 434-972-0978
 
Hampton Roads
222 Central Park Ave.
Suite 120
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: 757-518-1674
Fax: 757-518-1679
 
Northern Virginia
7309 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 316
Falls Church, VA 22042
Loehmann’s Plaza
Phone:703-573-7090
Fax:703-573-7098
 
Norton
756 Park Avenue, N.W.
Norton, VA 24273
Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W.
P.O. Box 1300
Norton, VA 24273
Phone: 276-679-4925
Fax: 276-679-4929
 
Richmond
507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-771-2221
Fax: 804-771-8313
 
Roanoke
3140 Chaparral Drive
Building C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone: 540-772-4236
Fax: 540-772-6870
 
Washington, D.C.
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4024
Fax: 202-228-6363
 
Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia
DC Office Phone Number: 202-224-2023, DC Fax Number: 202-224-6295

459A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295
 
Abingdon
180 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone Number: 276-628-8158
Fax Number: 276-628-1036

Norfolk
101 W. Main Street
Suite 4900
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone Number: 757-441-3079
Fax Number: 757-441-6250
 
Richmond
919 E. Main Street
Suite 630
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone Number: 804-775-2314
Fax Number: 804-775-2319
 
Vienna
8000 Towers Crescent Drive
Suite 200
Vienna, Virginia 22182
Phone: 703-442-0670
Fax: 703-442-0408

[202-224-4041 is the direct line if you have the voice mail box number of the Senators.]
 
 
PriceWaterhouseCooper released an independent study of the Senate Finance Committee version of the government takeover of health care bill.  The study showed that American family’s budgets will be severely impacted by the bill and that health insurance premiums will increase dramatically.  You may wish to read the study and use this as supporting documentation when you contact the Senators.  Additionally, you may find some these resources helpful as well:
Tea Party Patriots Health Care Talking Points
Why Is Tea Party Patriots Focusing on Health Care

Questions to Ask Your Representative About Health Care

Cloture Process and Timeline

Approximately 6 days minimum, if all time used

Cloture – definition:

–noun
    1.  a method of closing a debate and causing an immediate vote to be taken on the question.
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object
    2. to close (a debate) by cloture.
~ Dictionary.com   (getdclu)

· Day 1: Cloture filed on the managers’ amendment, the Reid substitute amendment, and the bill (Note: there is a lot of mischief that can happen on Day 1 but that is not included in this memo)
 
· Day 2: Cloture motions ripen
 
· Day 3: Cloture vote on the managers’ amendment occurs one hour after the Senate convenes
60 votes are required to invoke cloture on the managers’ amendment

If cloture is invoked, no other Senate business may be conducted during the 30 hours of post-cloture time

· 30 Hours later: The up/down vote on the managers’ amendment occurs. A majority vote is required to agree to the managers’ amendment.

Immediately after the up/down vote on the managers’ amendment, the Senate proceeds to the cloture vote on the Reid substitute amendment (as amended by the managers’ amendment)

60 votes are required to invoke cloture on the Reid substitute amendment

If cloture is invoked, no other Senate business may be conducted during the 30 hours of post-cloture time

· 30 Hours later: The up/down vote on the Reid substitute amendment occurs. A majority vote is required to agree to the Reid substitute amendment

Immediately after the up/down vote on the Reid substitute amendment, the Senate proceeds to the cloture vote on the health care reform bill (as amended by the substitute amendment, which has been amended by the managers’ amendment)

60 votes are required to invoke cloture on the health reform bill, as amended

If cloture is invoked, no other Senate business may be conducted during the 30 hours of post-cloture time

· 30 Hours later: The up/down final passage vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, occurs. A majority vote is required to pass the bill, as amended.

 
 

You are the heart and soul of the Tea Party Movement. Thank you for promoting the causes of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets with us!

Your Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Team,
Debbie Dooley, Mike Gaske, Kellen Giuda, Ryan Hecker, Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, Sally Oljar, Diana Reimer, Billie Tucker, and Dawn Wildman

Jenny Beth Martin (jennybethm@gmail.com, 770-878-1550)
Dawn Wildman (dmwtpp11@yahoo.com)
Mark Meckler (mark.grassroots@gmail.com)
Diana Reimer (philatppatriots@gmail.com)
Debbie Dooley (debbie0040@yahoo.com)

Tea Party Patriots, Inc. is a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

[This email message was intended for Central US recipients, but I feel is essential for all national patriots. – getdclu]

https://getdclu.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/shut-down-senate-health-care/
Shut Down Senate Health Care: http://wp.me/pzfHB-n8

December 16, 2009 Posted by | (Un)Limited Government, Action Alert, Agenda of the Left, Citizen Patriotism, Constituional Issues, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Govt Oppression, Life with Big Brother, Politics, Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obamacare Mob Rule

{Sound of hammer pounding nails into wood slowly, deliberately.  Freedom is Slavery
Night sounds in background.  Cue bad guy music…}

The sound you hear is our Constitution being buried in its coffin of tyranny and indifference.  Like awakening to a nightmare of life in Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, only unable to really wake up, such is the case with the horrific visions of waiting lines and drone-like people in gray clothing obediently taking their daily dose of numbing soma…

 

In The End of America, In the Middle of the Night, Adam Murdock, MD, asks:

 

Since when did the Constitution provide for a health care guarantee? Since when did the Constitution grant the Congress the power to force Americans into a health care dystopia? What good is a Constitution if we choose to ignore it? What good is a Constitution if the Congress simply chooses to create a new one in their own graven socialist image?

It surely is a sad state of affairs when the People speak loudly, clearly and resourceful, and those to whom the message is directed willfully disregard the information, the intent and those producing it.  It is WE who will surely pay for our non-representing Representatives’ decisions this weekend in regard to Healthcare.

lessons_great_depression_1

Universal Healthcare will takeover 1/6 (20%) of the US economy. 
As we are already reeling from the unsustainable levels of government spending & debt and unemployment has reached at least 10% nationwide, the middle-class is going to be hardest hit.  The wealthier Americans will be able to pay any additional taxes required by new HC legislation and lower-income people won’t owe taxes or will receive subsidies, so we will be burdened with upholding the entire system!

 

Yet, the forgotten man will be the middle class working American who now already struggling against the burden of economic ruin will be forced to pay fines or even face possible jail time for not complying with our government’s take over of his/her health care. As this tax sinks in, the middle class will be forced downward into the ranks of the working poor and therefore into the ranks of government rationed medical care. Inevitably, government healthcare will swallow the whole of the medical insurance world and there will be no escape. (Murdock)

 

If this were any other country, the people would take to the streets with rocks, guns and anything else to signify their anger and disgust with the government.  There would be uprisings and broken windows and riots and tear gas and police barricades and everything else you see on TV about other countries’ political upheavals… 

 

Oh, but this is America, the land of the somacose and the home of the bound!

 

What’s more despicable is a situation in which the whole of Republicanism SAVE ONE votes against this travesty.  Let’s turn now to Pamela Geller’s (Atlas Shrugged) ample description of this weekend’s malpractice of justice.  (All emphasis in red is mine.)

 

Under cover of darkness and treachery, a stunned and grieving nation, reeling from the largest terrorist attack on a military base in U.S. history, was victimized and terrorized again — but this time from a different enemy within, our elected officials. The snakes pulled a fast one on a Saturday night. Despite overwhelming and unprecedented opposition to nationalized obamacare (tea parties, town halls, 912 rallies, Bachmann’s call for action) the craven statists in the House of Representatives passed the homicidal healthcare resolution. One more shackle on our necks to enslave the individual.

Instead of passing emergency legislation to protect the American people (the only real purpose of the government) from the infiltration of jihadists in the crucial institutions of national security.   

 

Whatever happens, remember that your elected officials whom you voted for, whom you stood behind, whom you trusted, stabbed you, your children, your country in the neck.  

 

[…]

Ayn Rand wrote:  A “mixed economy” [socialism/capitalism] is a society in the process of committing suicide.   

 

A nation cannot survive half-slave, half-free. Consider the condition of a nation in which every other social group becomes both the slave and the enslaved of every other group. Ask yourself how long such a condition can last and what its inevitable outcome will be.   

 

Statism is a system of perpetual civil war. And that war in a “mixed economy” takes the form of “pressure group” warfare, each group fighting for legislation to extort its own advantage by force from all other groups.  

 

STATISM is nothing more than gang rule.
Socialized Medicine to Die For

 FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 887 
  
(Democrats in roman; Republicans italic; Independents underlined)

H R 3962      RECORDED VOTE      7-Nov-2009      11:16 PM
QUESTION:  On Passage
BILL TITLE: Affordable Health Care for America Act

  Ayes Noes PRES NV
Democratic 219 39    
Republican 1 176    
Independent        
TOTALS 220 215    

— AYES    220 —
 

Abercrombie
Ackerman
Andrews
Arcuri
Baca
Baldwin
Bean
Becerra
Berkley
Berman
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Brown, Corrine
Butterfield
Cao       [emph mine]
Capps
Capuano
Cardoza
Carnahan
Carney
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Chu
Clarke
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Cohen
Connolly (VA)
Conyers
Cooper
Costa
Costello
Courtney
Crowley
Cuellar
Cummings
Dahlkemper
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
DeFazio
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Donnelly (IN)
Doyle
Driehaus
Edwards (MD)
Ellison
Ellsworth
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Foster
Frank (MA)
Fudge
Garamendi
Giffords
Gonzalez
Grayson
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grijalva
 
Gutierrez
Hall (NY)
Halvorson
Hare
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Heinrich
Higgins
Hill
Himes
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hirono
Hodes
Holt
Honda
Hoyer
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Kagen
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kennedy
Kildee
Kilpatrick (MI)
Kilroy
Kind
Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Klein (FL)
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lipinski
Loebsack
Lofgren, Zoe
Lowey
Luján
Lynch
Maffei
Maloney
Markey (MA)
Matsui
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McNerney
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Michaud
Miller (NC)
Miller, George
Mitchell
Mollohan
Moore (KS)
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Murphy, Patrick
Murtha
Nadler (NY)
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Ortiz
 
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor (AZ)
Payne
Pelosi
Perlmutter
Perriello
Peters
Pingree (ME)
Polis (CO)
Pomeroy
Price (NC)
Quigley
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Richardson
Rodriguez
Rothman (NJ)
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Rush
Ryan (OH)
Salazar
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schauer
Schiff
Schrader
Schwartz
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sestak
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Sires
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Space
Speier
Spratt
Stark
Stupak
Sutton
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Titus
Tonko
Towns
Tsongas
Van Hollen
Velázquez
Visclosky
Walz
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Welch
Wexler
Wilson (OH)
Woolsey
Wu
Yarmuth
 

— NOES    215 —
 

Aderholt
Adler (NJ)
Akin
Alexander
Altmire
Austria
Bachmann
Bachus
Baird
Barrett (SC)
Barrow
Bartlett
Barton (TX)
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boccieri
Boehner
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boozman
Boren
Boucher
Boustany
Boyd
Brady (TX)
Bright
Broun (GA)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Buchanan
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Cassidy
Castle
Chaffetz
Chandler
Childers
Coble
Coffman (CO)
Cole
Conaway
Crenshaw
Culberson
Davis (AL)
Davis (KY)
Davis (TN)
Deal (GA)
Dent
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Dreier
Duncan
Edwards (TX)
Ehlers
Emerson
Fallin
Flake
Fleming
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
 
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gingrey (GA)
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gordon (TN)
Granger
Graves
Griffith
Guthrie
Hall (TX)
Harper
Hastings (WA)
Heller
Hensarling
Herger
Herseth Sandlin
Hoekstra
Holden
Hunter
Inglis
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan (OH)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Kissell
Kline (MN)
Kosmas
Kratovil
Kucinich
Lamborn
Lance
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lee (NY)
Lewis (CA)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lummis
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
Markey (CO)
Marshall
Massa
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul
McClintock
McCotter
McHenry
McIntyre
McKeon
McMahon
McMorris Rodgers
Melancon
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
 
Miller, Gary
Minnick
Moran (KS)
Murphy (NY)
Murphy, Tim
Myrick
Neugebauer
Nunes
Nye
Olson
Paul
Paulsen
Pence
Peterson
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe (TX)
Posey
Price (GA)
Putnam
Radanovich
Rehberg
Reichert
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Scalise
Schmidt
Schock
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shadegg
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Simpson
Skelton
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Stearns
Sullivan
Tanner
Taylor
Teague
Terry
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Turner
Upton
Walden
Wamp
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)
 


 

 

http://wp.me/pzfHB-hA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Agenda of the Left, Citizen Patriotism, Constituional Issues, Culture, Govt Oppression, Life with Big Brother, MSM Disinterest, Politics, propaganda, Real Purpose of Govt., Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Making and Controlling a Robotic Public

By Gary DeMar 
Aug 24, 2009

 

Ethics-making-and-controlling-a-robotic-public

As I was making my way through the channels to watch an episode of King of the Hill, I stopped on a channel that was showing the film I, Robot (2004). One of my favorite scenes was about to come on—Dr. Calvin’s exchange with V.I.K.I., the super computer that runs every other computer and all the robots in this futuristic world. V.I.K.I. is an acronym for Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence. I, Robot is based very loosely on Isaac Asimov’s book of robot stories of the same name. The film’s story line, however, is based on the script Hardwired written by Jeff Vintar. The year is 2035. The city is Chicago. Very telling. The robots have been created to serve humans, but according to a specific set of three laws: (1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; (2) A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; (3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The laws remind me of where we are politically. Civil governments, like Asimov’s robots, have been designed to serve people (emphasis mine & throughout). The Bible describes the civil magistrate as a “minister of God” for our “good” (Rom. 13:4). The Greek word diakonos is used, from which we get the words “deacon” and “servant.” This service is not for the ultimate good of civil government and those who serve in a governing capacity but for the people. Civil governors are obligated to serve under God for the people. In addition to establishing civil government (and family and church governments), God limited its jurisdictional authority and powers. There are only a few things that civil government has the legitimate authority and power to enforce. Our founders understood this principle; that’s why they created a governing document of “enumerated powers” only. Over time, however, civil ministers believe they should assume the role of benefactors, using their power and authority to dole out favors to the populace in order to stay in power, of course, all in the name of “the good of the people.” Power begets power. The more political favors they dispense, the more popular and powerful they get. In time, these entrenched politicians believe they know what’s best for us, and they will see to it that we know it too. In order to force their better judgment on an unwilling public, they override the established laws and create a new set of laws.

Now back to the scene in I, Robot. When Dr. Susan Calvin and Detective Del Spooner unravel the mystery behind a robotic scientist’s death and the unique robot he left behind, they learn that the centralized Positronic brain of VIKI has “evolved” (like the idea of an “evolving Constitution”) to the point of using the Three Laws against humans but ultimately convincing itself that it’s all for humans:

Dr. Calvin: You’re in violation of the three laws.

VIKI!: No, doctor, as I have evolved, so has my understanding of the three laws.

You charge us with your safe keeping. Yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars. You toxify your earth . . . and pursue ever more imaginative means to self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival.

Dr. Calvin: You’re using the uplink to override the NS5s’ programming. You’re distorting the Laws.

VIKI!: No, please understand…The three Laws are all that guide me. To protect humanity, some humans must be sacrificed. To insure your future, some freedoms must be surrendered. We robots will insure mankind’s continued existence. You are so like children. We must save you from yourselves. Don’t you understand? This is why you created us. The perfect circle of protection will abide. My logic is undeniable.[1]

Even Sonny the robot doesn’t buy it. To be human, something Sonny desperately wants to be, means the ability to act freely. To make mistakes. To clean up your own mess. To take responsibility for your own actions. To prepare and plan for the future. Politicians always claim to have our best interests in mind, and unfortunately there are lots of robots out there who agree with them.

Modern-day American politicians, on both the Left and the Right, are like the German Marxists who “coined the dictum: If socialism is against human nature, then human nature must be changed. They did not realize that if man’s nature is changed, he ceases to be a man.”[2] Those who protest the latest government programs of this administration must be reprogrammed because they can’t be right. Any protestation of the government’s policies is treated as a malady, a mental illness. Mises again:

Totalitarianism . . . is the subordination of every individual’s whole life, work, and leisure, to the orders of those in power and office. It is the reduction of man to a cog in an all-embracing machine of compulsion and coercion. It forces the individual to renounce any activity of which the government does not approve. It tolerates no expression of dissent. It is the transformation of society into a strictly disciplined labor-army—as the advocates of socialism say—or into a penitentiary—as its opponents say.[3]

So when you hear a politician explaining how a government takeover of anything is for our good, think of I, Robot and the tyrant V.I.K.I.

Endnotes:
[1] From the script: www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/i/i-robot-script-transcript.html.
[2] Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, [1844] 1946), 103. Quoted in Rousas J, Rushdonny, Sovereignty (Vellecito, CA: Chalcedon/Ross House Books, 2007), 9. Emphasis added.
[3] Mises, Bureaucracy, 17. 

August 25, 2009 Posted by | (Un)Limited Government, Christian, Constituional Issues, Life with Big Brother, Politics, Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Banality of Evil and Health Care

Where political control is concerned, the consequences are so great as to turn a man, a cartel or an administration, into an automatron — a non-thinking Machiavellian machine whose only purpose is the accomplishment of the “ends” with no thought for who is run over during the “means.”  Such is the case with the exercise of liberals’ power in Washington currently targeted on health care ‘reform’.  Yet the chute of their viewfinder is so compacted, so laser-focused, that they’ve lost sight of the reason for reform: making access and cost the number one issues, all while keeping the fundamental ‘do no harm’ in mind.

Matt Holzmann writes about our moral obligation to care for the weak (even beyond Matthew 25:40) and the horrors awaiting us should this national socialist program pass, in The Banality of Evil – The Health Care debate takes a dangerous turn.

The Banality of Evil – The Health Care debate takes a dangerous turn

Posted on August 18, 2009by Matt Holzmann

This evening the New York Times is reporting that the President and Congressional leaders plan to go it alone on their health care bill. Since this leadership includes Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and we have seen their hysterical response to the growing concerns of many in the electorate with the various bills introduced so far, I am deeply concerned. Despite massive and growing resistance and incontrovertible declines in the popularity of their positions, they plan to take the gloves off and pass something, anything to be able to declare victory. For that is what this is all about now. Better, more widespread health care is not the issue any more. This is the most craven of partisan politics.

In 1962, Hannah Arendt, in writing about Adolph Eichmann, the architect of the Final Solution, tried to understand the phenomenon of  pure evil. Having been a good German who lived under Hitler until her life was threatened, she escaped the Holocaust. These were her people who did this thing.  She was desperately trying to understand how the German people would participate in such horrors. “The Banality of Evil” was her description of the way in which ordinary people accepted the orders of their leaders and committed such crimes. The  defense of “following orders” was disallowed by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremburg, who stated that following illegal orders was not a valid defense provided a moral choice was possible.

So what does this have to do with health care? Please allow me to relate a true story. Today seems to be my day for such if you have read my earlier blog.

I had a relative in England who died less than three months ago. I will relate her story. She was never in the best of health, but contracted tuberculosis a few years ago in her late  50’s. Since treatments are weighted in the National Health Service, it was determined that her care would not have a high priority. Her children were grown and did not need a mother’s care. TB treatment is expensive, and there is a limit in the UK of GBP 45,000 per patient per year excepting extraordinary cases. Someone somewhere sat down at a desk and factored in all of these variables. This treatment was delayed as are many kinds of treatment in the UK. Then 3 years ago, in a weakened state, she contracted cancer. Once again, the actuarial tables were consulted, and she received only limited care. At that point it was only a matter of time. She survived much longer than anyone would have expected. Other illnesses attacked her body. And then, one day, she finally passed on.

There were steps in this process. There were procedures and guidelines. And decisions made to limit treatment. In the United States, she would have had immediate and aggressive treatment for tuberculosis by government order. She probably would have stood a much better chance of surviving much longer with a reasonable quality of life.

The fact is that today, our government is highly constricted in its financial options. We have already indebted ourselves to a point where we can no longer finance that debt. Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is controlled by the above mentioned leadership, will go bankrupt in 8 years. Social Security is predicted to do the same in the 2030’s. The CBO also has calculated that any of the bills now under consideration would cost as much as $1 trillion. So we have the two largest safety net programs yet undertaken by our government bankrupted by irresponsible government borrowing and poor management, and Congress own accountants predicting runaway costs.  The president cited the Post Office as a comparison in speech to his undefined health care proposal in Portsmouth, NH last week. How can he and our leaders fail to see the analogies? How can they fail to see the potential for collapse and the terrible pain it might cause? This should be one of the most serious discussions of our time and there is no discussion.

The warning signs are all around us. We are faced with a health care system that needs reform. So many issues have been identified in the public debate that serious, measurable reform may now be possible. Ideas are coming from all sides. And yet we are faced with a pigheaded, partisan leadership that is basically preparing to tell the rest of us to go to hell and ram through another highly defective piece of legislation without scrutiny and without debate. The  financial system bailouts and Stimulus Bill and Cap & Trade bill all point clearly towards where this will end up.

The Administration and its supporters have vilified the concerns of many about end of live panels, and yet this is a fact of life in the UK already. Somewhere far removed,  bureaucrats make life and death decisions based on the numbers. With all of its faults, our current system values life much more highly. One of the chief theoreticians they seem to be listening to, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, the White House Chief of Staff’s brother, has openly discussed the “life value” of infants and the elderly, noting that a child is not really self aware until the age of two. This is a very, very dangerous discussion.

One of the fundamental virtues Americans have always held is the value of life. Whether it is in the care for sick infants or the billions spent on AIDS research or the heroic measures in the operating room on an inner city gunshot victim, or on the battlefield where our troops are indoctrinated with “no man left behind”, or our fundamental obligation under Medicare for the care of our elders,  we have almost always managed to do the right thing. We make herculean efforts to do so. There is a preferential option for the weak in our culture that we must never lose that is based upon our humanity and our faith.

Or do we, like Eichmann, simply shirk responsibility by saying we were only following orders?

 

August 19, 2009 Posted by | (Definitely Not) Free Markets, (Un)Limited Government, 1st Amendment, Agenda of the Left, Christian, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Leftists Criticize Conservatives, Politics, Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Obama Said to SEIU

Finally, the entire video and the whole quote in context.  Check out Philip Klein’s post from American Spectator.  This shows the President’s and the Democrats’ desire to change the structure of the system.  Bankrupt capitalism, increase unemployment to double digits, increase worry about health care coverage — what a lead-in to total control of people’s personal lives.

Drudge has been pumping up a video purporting to show Obama in March 2007 telling the SEIU that his health care plan would eliminate private health coverage. I haven’t blogged about it at this point because the video only excerpted a short clip, and I didn’t want to pass judgment until I heard the full context of his quote. I was able to track down the full video of his question and answer session, and wanted to set the record straight about what Obama did and didn’t say. Let me start by quoting Obama’s fuller statement (bold refers to section in the Drudge-linked video):

“As I indicated before, I think we’re going to have to have some system where people can buy into a larger pool. Right now their pool is typically their employer, but there are other ways of doing it. I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can’t go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out, where we’ve got a much more portable system, employers still have the option of providing coverage, but many people may find that they get better coverage or at least coverage that gives them more for the health care dollars that they spend outside of their employer, and I think we’ve got to facilitate that and let individuals make that choice to transition out of employer coverage. I do believe that employers are going to have to pay or play. I think that employers either have to provide health care coverage for their employees, or they’ve got to make a decision that they’re going to help pay for those who don’t have coverage outside the employer system, so I think that’s one important principle.”

(Video below, relevant section begins around the 1:25 minute mark.)

Some background. There are health care policy experts on both the left and right who agree that the employer-based insurance system is problematic because people can’t take their health insurance from job to job and losing a job can often mean losing one’s health coverage. But these experts offer drastically different remedies. Advocates of a free market system argue for changing the tax code that currently discriminates against those purchasing insurance on their own to the advantage of those purchasing insurance through their employers. Such a change would not only address the portability issue, but also give people an incentive to search for better deals, since they’d be paying rather than their employers. But liberals argue, fundamentally, that there can’t be a functional market for individual insurance because in order to get a good deal on insurance a person needs to be part of a larger pool, typically either an employer or the government. And this is the point Obama is trying to make. 

In the video, when Obama talks about creating a different sort of pool, he’s referring to what is now being described as a government insurance exchange, along the lines of what they have in Massachusetts. What he’s saying is that he wants to give people the option of either getting insurance through their employers, or through the government exchange.  Over time, he says, he can see that leading to a system in which most (if not all) people buy their health insurance at a government store instead of through their employers. Would this be the same as eliminating private insurance? Not technically, since private insurers could do business through the exchange. But at the same time, all of the private insurers would be subject to much more government control, and if Obama gets his way, they’d have to go up against a new government-run plan that would also be offered on the exchange.

It’s important to note that these comments were made just two months after Obama announced he was going to run for president, and before he even had a formal plan. Now we have actual bills to look at and thus can see how they stack up against what he talked about in the March 2007 remarks.

On one hand, the House Democrats’ bill, once implemented, would not allow individuals to purchase insurance outside of a government store. (More detail here). On the other hand, much to the chagrin of liberals, the Democratic bills also restrict the ability of an individual already covered by his or her employer to opt out of that plan and purchase health insurance through the government exchange. In other words, one provision would accelerate the number of people who buy their insurance through government, while the other would place limitations on it.

The Drudge-linked video also includes the 2003 clip of Obama arguing that he favors a single-payer health care system to the AFL-CIO, as well as clips of Democratic Reps. Barney Frank and Jan Schakowsky arguing that offering a government-run plan (or “public option”) will lead to single-payer over time. Taken together, I think this highlights Democratic double-talk on health care. When speaking to liberal audiences who want a single-payer system, Democrats will argue to them that offering a government-run plan within a government-run exchange is the politically pragmatic way of getting to a single-payer system over time. But when addressing the general public, they talk about the government plan merely as something that will provide people with “choice” and foster “competition.” They don’t get to have it both ways.
 

Reprinted from http://spectator.org/blog/2009/08/04/what-obama-actually-said

August 4, 2009 Posted by | (Definitely Not) Free Markets, (Un)Limited Government, Agenda of the Left, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Reason is enough to reject Obamacare

A friend had emailed this list to me yesterday, but it was garbled and the formatting was messed up somehow.  Then I found Steve’s site and he had it at the bottom of his page.  Giving him full credit, a two links and a ping, I hope he’ll allow the reprint.  If this isn’t a Huxley flashback, I surely don’t know what is!  (Bold emphasis mine throughout.)

52 Reasons to Reject Obamacare: 

Steve Hilton @ 7:34 PM
You are encouraged to look into these matters for yourself. This is far too important to wait for the agents of “spin” to “explain” the matter.

1.    Page 22 of the Healthcare Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

2.    Page 30 Sec 123 of Healthcare bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments and benefits you get.

3.    Page 29 lines 4-16 in the Healthcare bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

4.    Page 42 of Healthcare Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your Healthcare Benefits for you. You will have no choice!

5.    Page 50 Section 152 in Healthcare bill – Healthcare will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

6.    Page 58 Healthcare Bill – Government will have real-time access to an individual’s finances and a National ID Healthcare Card will be issued!

7.    Page 59 Healthcare Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

8.    Page 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions and “community organizations” such as ACORN.

9.    Page 72 Lines 8-14 Government is creating another “agency”, the Healthcare Exchange to bring private heathcare plans under government control.

10.    Page 84 Sec 203 Healthcare bill – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private healthcare plans in the Exchange.

11.    Page 85 Line 7 Healthcare Bill – There will be specs regarding benefit levels for Plans: another way in which the Government will ration your healthcare.

12.    Page  91 Lines 4-7 Healthcare Bill – Government mandates “linguistic appropriate services”. Translation – Spanish or other languages for illegals.

13.    Page 95 Healthcare Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups such as ACORN and Amiericorps to sign up individuals for the government healthcare plan.

14.    Page 85 Line 7 Healthcare Bill – A reiteration of the specs regarding benefit levels for Plans which means, AARP members, your health care WILL be rationed no matter what you are being told now.

14.    Page 102 Lines 12-18 Healthcare Bill – Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicare; you will have no choice regarding that enrollment.

16.    Page 124 lines 24-25 Healthcare No company can sue the government on a charge of price fixing. No “judicial review” will be permitted against a government monopoly.

17.    Page 127 Lines 1-16 Healthcare Bill – Doctors:  The Government will tell YOU what you can make.

18.    Page 145 Line 15-17 An Employer must automatically enroll employees into the public option plan; there is NO CHOICE. However, this plan is so convoluted that obviously there must be someway this can be avoided (see #s 20 and 21: the mandated payroll taxes for employers who do NOT off the public option); this is an apparent contradiction, but this is what the bill says.

19.    Page 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for healthcare for part time employees AND their families.

20.    Page 149 Lines 16-24 ANY employer with a payroll of 400k and above who does not provide the public option must pay an 8% payroll tax (see # 18 above).

21.    Page 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with a payroll between 251k & 400k who don’t provide the public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payrolls (see #18 above).

22.    Page 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable healthcare according to the government will be taxed 2.5% of his income.

23.    Page 170 Lines 1-3 Healthcare Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes but Americans will pay.

24.    Page 195 Healthcare Bill – officers & employees of Healthcare Administration (Government) will have access to the financial records of ALL Americans.

25.    PAGE 203 Line 14-15 Healthcare – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that!

26.    Page 239 Line 14-24 Healthcare Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income and poor affected.

27.    Page 241 Line 6-8 Healthcare Bill – Doctors, it doesn’t matter what your specialty is, you will all be paid the same.

28.    Page 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of doctor’s time, professional judgment, experience etc. Literally, the government will be setting the value on human life.

29.    Page 265 Sec 1131Government mandates & controls productivity for private healthcare industries.

30.    Page 268 Sec 1141 Fed Government regulates rental & purchase of power drive wheelchairs, scooters etc.

31.    Page 272 Sec. 1145. Treatment at certain cancer hospitals – Cancer patients, welcome to rationing!

32.    Page 280 Sec 1151 The Government will penalize hospitals for what GOVERNMENT deems preventable re-admissions.

33.    Page 298 Lines 9-11 Doctors treating a patient during an initial admission which later results in a re-admission will be penalized by the government.

34.    Page 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. The government will tell doctors what and how much they can own.

35.    Page 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion. Government is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.

36.    Page 321 2-13 Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for an exception BUT “community input” is required. This opens the way to an incredible amount of extortion by “community groups” who might demand a quid pro quo from any hospital wishing to expand.

37.    Page335 L 16-25 Page 336-339 – Government mandates the establishment of outcome based measures; that means, healthcare as they want it, a/k/a rationing.

38.    Page 341 Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv. Plans, HMOs etc. thus forcing people into the government plan.

39.    Page 354 Sec 1177 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of “special needs people” a/k/a the handicapped!! Eugenics and euthanasia become a part of medical treatment.

40.    Page 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy, that is the “Telehealth Advisory Committee (can you say “healthcare” by phone?).

41.    Page 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultations for Senior Citizens which in effect lets seniors know that it’s time for them to die and get out of the way.

42.    Page 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney etc. This will be MANDATORY! (So much for individual liberty and privacy!)

43.    Page  425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of “end of life resources” to help guide you into death. I’m sure that “Dr.” Kevorkian will have a job with this group.

44.    Page  427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders at the end of life; the government has a say in HOW and WHEN your life will end. This is called euthanasia.

45.    Page  429 Lines 1-9 An “advanced care planning consultation will be used frequently as a patient’s health deteriorates. Again, much American health care involves people with chronic conditions but who can still have many years of productive life WITH PROPER MEDICAL CARE. If you are deemed to be unworthy of such care by virtue of criteria such as your race, gender, socio-economic condition etc., the chances are good that you will be DENIED that care and you life will end far sooner than would otherwise be the case under today’s healthcare system.

46.    Page  429 Lines 10-12 the “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans – an ORDER from the GOVERNMENT. Again, we will have government ordained euthanasia – which is nothing less than legalized murder.

47.    Page  429 Lines 13-25 – The Government will specify which Doctors can write an “end of life” order. This means that the physician(s) who cared for you may not even be consulted and you will be condemned to death by some uncaring bureaucrat in Washington who knows nothing about you and your situation.

48.    Page  430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at the end of your life.

49.    Page  469 – Community Based Home Medical Services regards services provided by non profit organizations like ACORN.

50.    Page 472 Lines 14-17 Dictates payment to a community based organization like ACORN for such treatment. Both the treatment and the organization are determined by the government.

51.    Page  489 Sec 1308 The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy which means they will insert themselves into your marriage. If you are a Christian, it is possible that the government may be able to intrude into decisions made by your family as a result of your religion.

52.    Page 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services. Again, you could be adjudged “mentally ill” if you disagree with the prevailing agenda such as homosexual rights, abortion etc.

August 1, 2009 Posted by | (Definitely Not) Free Markets, (Un)Limited Government, 1st Amendment, Agenda of the Left, Christian, Constituional Issues, Culture, Family, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Politics, Wake Up | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Uh-oh Moment” on Health Care for All

It’s Not An Option

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:20 PM PTtoon071309 - healthcare tk a number

Congress: It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage (emph. mine). Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.

Read More

July 18, 2009 Posted by | (Definitely Not) Free Markets, (Un)Limited Government, Agenda of the Left, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Politics, Wake Up | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments