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Renege and Rename Fails; a Deplorable Alternative

Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) which was supposed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare did this earlier today. It’s hard to find an objective, non-political analysis of the bill, so, we will make do with what Wikipedia said.

The act would allow states to continue to enroll persons in the ACA Medicaid expansion through January 1, 2020, and would disallow further enrollment after that date. The AHCA will include age-based tax credits for those who earn less than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. The bill would require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. The AHCA uses a standard of ‘continuous coverage’, defined by a 63-day coverage gap, where an individual who currently has insurance and is changing insurers will not pay a higher rate with their new insurer. Individuals who wish to buy insurance but are outside of the coverage gap will pay a 30 percent premium surcharge for one year and then return to standard rates. Both healthy and the sick are required to pay the surcharge.

IMHO, none of that sounds like an appeal of Obamacare.

The Republicans were proud that the bill would have replaced Centrally-Planned Medicaid with bloc grants to the states; which is a good idea on its own, but does nothing to address the cost drivers in Obamacare that have led to soaring premiums, outrageous deductibles, and rising expenses that have been called the Obamacare “Death Spiral.”

Moderate Republicans — who, contrary to left-wing propaganda make up the majority of the Republican caucus (only 30 of 237 congressional Republicans belong to the conservative Freedom Caucus) — balked at repealing the parts of Obamacare that were “popular,” i.e. the subsidies, the requirement for insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and the expansion of Medicaid in 31 states. (Supposedly, Medicaid subsidies for the expansion were to be phased out after a few years, but everyone knew this was a lie/budget gimmick to hide the cost.)

The requirement that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions is a huge cost driver. It’s essentially saying that you can wreck your car, buy car insurance the next day, and have the insurance company buy you a new car.

The bill also did not address another significant cost-driver, the Essential Health Benefits part of Obamacare. This is the part wherein a bureaucrat at the Department of Health and Human Services forces me to buy a policy covering mastectomies, mammograms, maternity care, drug rehab, and sex reassignments even though I will never have any need of those things.

All right, then. So… according to the moderates and the Idiocracy we *have* to have expanded MedicAid coverage and we *have* to cover the pre-existing conditions of people who were too f–king irresponsible to buy health insurance.

OK, let me offer a Deplorable Proposal to solve that problem. 1. Everybody with a pre-existing conditions gets to go into Medicaid. #2. The Medicaid tax is tripled to cover all of those people and the people covered under the original expansion because, according to John Kasich, that’s what Jesus wanted us to do.

Yeah, I’m calling for a tax increase. No kidding. No fooling around. I’m serious.

If you’re going to virtue signal about how damn much you care about the poor, put some of your own damn skin in the game for once.

If we’re going to continue with this stupid idea that people have no personal responsibility for their own health care, then let’s go balls-to-the-wall, baby.

Capitalism Works

Posted by V the K at 6:52 am - March 10, 2017.
Filed under: Health & medical

With Ryan’s Republicans introducing an Obamacare Repeal and Replace Retool and Rename bill, it’s useful to remember what Republicans have forgotten: The free market works when you let it work.

Art Villa found out, after one too many boating accidents, that he needed a total knee replacement, he began asking around to see how much it would cost. The hospital near his home in Helena, Mont., would charge $40,000 for the procedure, he says. But that didn’t include the anesthesiologist’s fee, physical therapy or a stay at a rehabilitation center afterward. A 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield study found that one hospital in Dallas billed $16,772 for a knee replacement while another in the same area charged $61,585.

It was in the midst of this confounding research that Villa, who’s 68, heard about the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, whose business model is different from that of most hospitals. There, the all-inclusive price for every operation is listed on the website.

The Surgery Center would charge $19,000 for his whole-knee replacement, a discount of nearly 50% on what Villa expected to be charged at his local hospital [Actually, that’s more than 50%. 19K is less than half of 40K – V]. And that price would include everything from airfare to the organization’s only facility, in Oklahoma City, to medications and physical therapy.

Isn’t it amazing. When you cut out the layers and layers of bureaucracy (either at private insurance companies or in the Government), the cost of medical procedures drops by over fifty percent.

Now, if only someone could convince Donald Trump and the GOP Establishment of this.

I could never get my head around the idea of why so many people think it’s morally wrong to expect people to be responsible for their own health care.

Is This Normal?

Posted by V the K at 6:39 am - February 17, 2017.
Filed under: Health & medical,HIV/AIDS

A dude in the Netherlands has contracted HIV despite being on PReP.

During his first seven months in the study he averaged 56 anal sex partners per month and about 30 episodes of condomless sex a month. He averaged 16 days per month when he did have condomless sex and on those days averaged 3.7 partners.

“This PrEP user came to the study saying he had no doubt he would acquire HIV unless he went on PrEP,” said Dr Hoornenborg. “He was highly educated and knew exactly what the risks were but did not feel he was able to change his sexual risk pattern, so took action by applying for the study.”

He did have ‘chemsex’ and took mephedrone, GHB/GBL, ketamine, cocaine and amphetamine, and admitted to injecting ketamine twice but insisted he used sterile needles. He had two episodes of rectal gonorrhoea and one of rectal chlamydia in his first seven months on PreP.

OK, I’ll admit to being a little naive, but 56 partners a month? Is that a typical score in some segments of ‘The Community?’ Not to be a prude, but it seems like a lot to me. It also seems like it wouldn’t leave a lot of time for much else in your life if you’re doing so much… that.

Polar Penis??

Posted by V the K at 9:44 am - December 12, 2016.
Filed under: Health & medical

Maybe I have to cross “Visit Antarctica” off my bucket list.

Antarctic adventurer Alex Brazier knew he was going to feel the cold – but it’s unlikely that he expected his nether regions would bear the brunt of it.

But two weeks into a three-month 1,100 mile trek, the explorer is suffering from a condition known as ‘ Polar Penis’ – making it very cold, painful and swollen.

I understand that you can also get this condition after hooking up with Ann Coulter.

1 in 4 British Men Think They Have Menstrual Cycles

Posted by V the K at 3:54 pm - November 19, 2015.
Filed under: Health & medical

Do you still think the Progressive Left isn’t feminizing the Culture?

As part of a study of 2,412 people (50pc men and 50pc women), male participants were asked if they frequently suffered the same common side effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that women experience during their menstrual cycle, including tiredness, cramps and increased sensitivity.

And whilst 26 per cent of men revealed that they did experience these feelings on a regular basis, perhaps a more shocking statistic is that 58pc of their female partners believed them.

I believe the politically correct thing to do is to indulge their delusions and provide them with tampons, pints of ice cream, and reruns of HBO’s ‘Girls.’

FDA to Change Policy; Allow Gays to Donate Blood

Posted by V the K at 9:16 am - May 15, 2015.
Filed under: Health & medical

Since 1983, FDA policy has prohibited taking blood from sexually active gay men in order to protect the blood supply from HIV contamination. The Obama Administration is recommending lifting this ban.

Is this wise? I’m not sure I have all the evidence at hand to support a conclusion, although it seems an odd change to be making at a time when infection rates for HIV and other STD’s are rising in homosexual populations. If you had to, would you guess that this change in policy is because A.) Rigorous scientific examination of the subject has determined that this policy change will result in a safer and more adequate blood supply or B.) Political Correctness?

The FDA recommends keeping restrictions in place for gay sex workers, people who have tested positive for the HIV, people who’ve been treated for syphilis and gonorrhea, and needle-drug users. The Human Rights Campaign, natch, objects to keeping these restrictions in place, saying they “stigmatize gay and bisexual men.”

EbolaCare: The golden oldies

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:53 pm - October 16, 2014.
Filed under: Health & medical,Obama Arrogance,Obama Prevarications

Barack H. Obama, putting down the Bush administration for allegedly being unprepared for the avian flu:

Via Patterico.

UPDATE: Powerline points out Obama’s political desperation. He recently said this:

I actually believe that capitalism is the greatest force for prosperity and opportunity the world has ever known. And I believe in private enterprise — not government, but innovators and risk-takers and makers and doers — driving job creation.

It’s not that Obama is lying – there’s nothing new, in Obama lying about his own beliefs. It’s that he’s now lying to pretend some sort of admiration for capitalism. How are the mighty fallen! Remember him saying in better times how we’ve got to “spread the wealth around”? And wanting to tell business owners, “You didn’t build that!”

If you live long enough, you’ll see everything

Apple, Facebook will pay for female employees to freeze their eggs:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc and Facebook Inc will help pay for female employees to freeze their eggs…

From January, Apple will pay both full- and part-time employees up to $20,000 for procedure and storage costs for female employees to freeze their eggs.

“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments,” Apple said in a statement.

I’m pretty sure that Apple already covered its employees’ *medical fertility problems*. (If that’s mistaken, please correct me in the comments.) Something else must be new here. What is it?

Could it be, a benefit for egg-freezing as a pure career move? Let’s see:

“We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”

NBC News reported on Tuesday that Facebook recently began covering egg-freezing for non-medical reasons…

Egg freezing is a pricey but increasingly popular option for women. It enables women to delay child bearing…

A sign of the times. Now that Facebook/Apple woman can freeze her eggs at 30, work years of 80 hour weeks, and then at 50 when she’s pulling 300K a year (and naturally infertile), pay a surrogate to do that other part of her life for her – you know, having kids from her eggs.

Honestly, I see nothing wrong with it – if she’s doing it all with her own money. The issue I see here is, Apple and Facebook are choosing to engage in a form of discrimination against their employees who don’t make (or shall we say, don’t need to make) that particular, optional choice.

Remember, the money comes from somewhere: the overall “employee comp” budget. Rather than pay tens of thousands of dollars for a hugely *optional* procedure for a special category of employee, why would Facebook/Apple not raise all employees’ bonuses by (say) a thousand dollars? That would empower far more women (and men, and transgenders) and be much more fair.

The free market will (or should) ultimately decide if Apple and Facebook have done the right thing here. In the meantime, some people appear not to grasp that freezing your eggs – purely as a career move – is optional:

“Egg freezing gives women more control,” said Jennifer Tye, marketing lead for Glow, a mobile application aimed at helping women avoid pregnancy or conceive.

“When I turned 30, I had this notion that my biological clock was ticking, but I didn’t know what my options were,” said Tye.

Really? At 30, she didn’t know what her options were? I hope she was misquoted; if not, it’s mind-boggling stupidity.

The Obama Regime Is Also Handling the Ebola Outbreak Incompetently

Just like everything else…

Cue the Ebola Outbreak Theme Music… (I hear this in my head during every Ebola news story).

The CDC is now tracking at least 100 people who came into contact with the Ebola patient now being treated in Dallas. (BTW: Some influential African-American thought-leaders are claiming Ebola was genetically engineered to kill black people.)

Also, the Enterovirus that was almost certainly brought into this country by the illegal “Dreamers” Obama welcomed over the border has been traced to as many as 10 deaths. While another strain with polio-like complications has paralyzed dozens of American children.

The Obama Administration’s response has been to retain open borders with countries in which there are Ebola outbreaks with no travel restrictions.

BTW: Back in 2005, President Bush recommended tough measures to prevent pandemics in the event of outbreaks of serious diseases like Ebola and Enterovirus68. In 2010, Obama discarded all of those recommendations.

Political Correctness uber alles.

Update: The “Smahtest Preezident Evah!” can’t even pronounce the word “Ebola” properly.

Update (from Jeff): A Missouri doctor raises the alarm, saying the CDC is “sugar-coating” the true risk from Ebola, thus “lying”.

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Socialized Health Care Working Out Just Fine at the VA

The Veteran’s Administration — cited by leftists as an ideal paradigm of Socialized Health Care — is in the midst of a scandal that is largely being ignored by the MFM because it would make President Obama, and indeed the entire enterprise of Government run health care look bad.

The broad outline of the scandal is like this. Bureaucrats at the VA medical center in Phoenix, Arizona allowed 40 patients to die while awaiting treatment. The bureaucrats kept a secret waiting list to cover up delays while a fake list was maintained for official purposes. Over 1,600 patients were kept waiting, some for over a year to get an appointment with a doctor. Hospitals in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado apparently were doing the same thing. And apparently, the VA was also denying treatment and tests to patients to save money.

Meanwhile VA Bureaucrats spent $5oo Million on office makeovers and redecorating. Priorities, don’tcha know.

The Obama Administration has no interest in investigating the scandal. What a surprise.

So, the leftists were right; the VA is a paradigm for Government-run health care. Bureaucrats provide shoddy treatment while feathering their own nests, then they lie about it, and there is no accountability.

Anything the Government runs is going to be run primarily for the benefit of the bureaucracy; be it health care, welfare, or public education. Conservatives understand this.

Leftists just find a way to blame the Koch Brothers. (Not kidding, they actually did this.)

Maybe Obamacare Really *Is* Working

Posted by V the K at 7:57 am - April 23, 2014.
Filed under: Health & medical

Obamacare is working,” says the Preezy, and perhaps he is right.

If Obamacare was intended to cause millions of people to lose their health plans, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to cause millions of people to have their work hours cut, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to deny people access to top cancer treatment centers, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to make health insurance much more expensive, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to force people to spend more money for inferior coverage, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to give convicted criminals access to people’s personal and financial information, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to limit people’s choices of doctors and hospitals, it is working.

If Obamacare was intended to drive doctors out of business, it is working.

In Alabama, two dozen widow women have lost their health insurance due to Obamacare regulations. Which obviously must have been the intended result if, as the President says, “This thing is working.”

 

In Which We Discusss the Pharmaceutical Prevention of HIV Transmission

Commenter Throbert, who speaks Latin and Russian (I know this), suggested we ought to discuss this Truvada/PrEP thing. So… let’s discuss, won’t you?

Truvada was developed by evil capitalist pharmaceutical companies as a treatment for HIV; but if taken daily, it can reduce the risk of HIV infection among people having unprotected sex by 90%. The treatment costs over a thousand dollars a month. And, of course, a number of people think … much like Sandy Fluke’s party favors … the Government should pay for it, or force insurance companies to force those who don’t engage in unprotected secks to pay for it?

If you’re a Democrat/Progressive the answer is simple: “[Expletive] Yeah! The Government should pay for that/Force other people to pay for that!” Because Democrat/Progressives believe the Government should fund almost everything… the exceptions being the military and the Border Patrol. And if you disagree… you hate gay people and want to outlaw gay sex. Not only should PrEP be funded, but Christians should be forced by law to provide catering services to bathhouse orgies.

People thoughtful enough not to be Progressive Democrats may see more somewhat more complexity to the issue. One issue being the fact that everybody in the civilized world has known how to not get infected with HIV since 1984. If folks had universally adhered to the HIV-prevention guidance we’ve known about for thirty years, AIDS would be as rare (in the first world anyway) as an honest politician or an accurately predictive Global Warming model.

Even proponents of the drug admit that it’s not exactly… medically necessary.

“For folks who are having a significant amount of unprotected sex, it’s a slam dunk — not only giving them protective medicine, but engaging them in testing, a whole package of regular health care,” he said.

i.e. We’re not curing cancer here, we are talking about subsidizing a promiscuous lifestyle choice. It’s one thing to make that choice, quite a different thing to demand that others subsidize it.

“Personal responsibility for one’s actions has simply been thrown out the window in a community in which we are too often concerned about stigma and moral judgment,” he wrote. “We dare not speak against the reckless behavior of others because we wring our hands over the omnipresent worry that we will shame one another.”

Yup.

Harassment, censorship and disease

Some quick links.

Thanks to reader Peter H, for about half the items!

“It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonald’s”

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:16 pm - March 8, 2014.
Filed under: Amazing Stories,Food,Health & medical,Social Issues

I do NOT recommend this guy‘s diet, but he claims to have lost 56 lbs and counting, eating all McDonald’s – all the time.

Get regular exercise and honestly limit your calorie intake, and you will moderate your weight…it’s math. (Or science; take your pick.)

STD Rates Increasing; Leftists Blame “Homophobia”

Posted by V the K at 4:32 pm - January 10, 2014.
Filed under: Health & medical

Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S., mostly in men who have sex with men, a trend the government said is linked to inadequate testing among people stymied by homophobia and limited access to health care.

What does Homophobia have to do with being sexually irresponsible and spreading diseases? Nothing, really, but it does excuse the Democrat left constituency from personal responsibility for bad behavior while villainizing people who don’t support the social left agenda.”

And since the social left has been using every tool in its arsenal… entertainment media, news media, public school indoctrination, and heavy-handed Government… to normalize and celebrate homosexuality for the last twenty years or more; isn’t it admitting failure to claim that homophobia exists?

New York Times Notices that Bareback Sex is a Thing

The New York Times has noticed that bareback sex is a thing gay people are doing, which is breaking news from about the mid-1990’s when (according to Wikipedia) gay publications like The Advocate first took note of the phenomenon of gay men having unprotected sex and, in some cases, deliberately seeking HIV infection.

Anyway, the Times, perhaps after failing to find a celebrity to comment on the issue, goes to the next best source for information on epidemiology and behavioral psychology… an English professor from SUNY-Buffalo. Who provides this analysis:

What I learned in my research is that gay men are pursuing bareback sex not just for the thrill of it, but also as a way to experience intimacy, vulnerability and connection. Emotional connection may be symbolized in the idea that something tangible is being exchanged. A desire for connection outweighs adherence to the rules of disease prevention.

And some guys are apparently getting intimate, tangible, emotional connections 10-20 times a night in bathhouses.

It also seems that the readers of the NY Times, based on the comments, are in complete denial that this phenomenon exists, and think the author is just making it up to attack the gay community. Liberals choose to blame the recent dramatic increases in HIV infection rates on “the stigma attached to HIV.” Um, excuse me, but don’t stigmas usually make people avoid those things to which stigmas are attached?

In the real world, stigmatizing a behavior results in less of it: Which is why people don’t use the N-word in public any more and smoking has declined as a social activity. When the social stigma is removed … as with HIV infection and teenage pregnancy … you get more of those things.

Bareback sex has major health complications vis-a-vis the transmission of HIV and other STDs that contribute to the high cost of health care. Make you wonder why Bloomberg didn’t try to outlaw it. Hooking up for raw sex with strangers is at least as dangerous as a Big Gulp. Probably.

Just Eat the Damn Turkeys

Posted by V the K at 12:45 pm - November 26, 2013.
Filed under: Health & medical,Thanksgiving

About that childish Turkey Pardoning Ritual I was so “cranky,” about; apparently, there’s actually a White House website devoted to the controversial issue of Great National Importance: Turkey Pardoning. Your President is asking you to choose your favorite turkey; much like a Democrat Primary. [Also, like a Democrat-run election, the actual voting is meaningless and the outcome is fixed.]

Twitchy suggests the site could serve as a model for the Obamacare Death Panels. The Health Care Czar could put up pictures of senior citizens, and everyone could vote on who gets life-saving surgery, and who is a worthless societal parasite who gets lethal doses of painkillers. Organ donations could be decided as well. It wouldn’t apply to abortions or sex-reassignments, though. Those are entitlements. Democratic majority rule would decide who is entitled to finite health care resources.

Or, we could revert to my quaint idea of everybody being responsible for their own health care.

 

 

Tales of the Obama Economy: Do-it-yourself and make-your-own

Lately I’ve noticed more and more posts from people on Facebook about how to do a, b, or c yourself or to make your own x, y, or z.  It could be that my personal social network overlaps more with the “crunchy” demographic which shops at the local food co-op and Whole Foods, but it could be a larger social trend.  I think it is a little of both, but I’m curious to see if other GayPatriot readers have noticed the same thing.

In the past three years or so, I’ve started learning to make many more kinds of things for myself than I had in the past.  Most of the stuff I make for myself has been foods that I used to buy at the store, and the transition originally occurred because I wanted to have a healthier diet.    I was a tolerable cook before, but I depended on lots of store-bought staples.  But the more I’ve learned to do for myself, the more I’ve wanted to learn how to do, as well.  I’d say that while I was originally motivated by a concern for health, as time has gone on, I’ve also been motivated by the increased sense of independence in learning how to make things I used to buy, by the ability to control my own ingredients, and by the opportunity to be able to make better quality foods than I would have bought in the past and still have a cost savings.

Although I started with food, I’ve also made some of my own household cleaning products, and I’ve considered making my own personal care items, as well.   I have a friend who makes and sells her own deodorant and is thinking of making other products, as well. But there’s no need to stop there.  When television stations switched from analog to digital broadcasting, I built my own digital TV antenna using coat hangers and a 1×4 using plans I had found online.

One of my favorite websites to browse in the last few years has been Ana-White.com which contains hundreds of build-your-own plans for furniture.  The site, which is maintained by a self-described “homemaker” in Alaska, was originally called “Knock Off Wood” because it started with home-built knock-offs of items found at stores and in catalogs.  I’ve not attempted building any furniture yet, but I would like to try doing so at some point in time.

I haven’t taken the time to research this topic yet in depth, but it’s my belief that part of what we’re seeing with this trend is a reaction to the Obama economy.  As people worry more about their finances, frugality and independence become more important–at least for a certain segment of the population.  During the Great Depression, these kinds of household arts were quite common, partly out of necessity and frugality, but also partly because the population wasn’t quite as urbanized.   Store-bought items were  both a rarity and a luxury.  I don’t see it as a coincidence that make-your-own and do-it-yourself projects are proliferating these days, much as they did during the Depression years.

What do other people think?  Have you noticed this trend, as well?  Have you made such changes personally?  Are there items that you used to buy at the store that you’ve started making for yourself?

The Dietary Delusion

Over the past few weeks, I have awakened to hear snippets of stories such as this one on NPR about “the obesity epidemic.”  The stories are all part of a series reporting on a recent poll undertaken by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.  The poll looked at the attitudes and the self-reported actions of parents towards the ways their children ate and about their children’s activity levels.

Among the key findings of the survey highlighted in the NPR reports have been these two points:

  • “Recent public opinion polls show that most American adults think obesity is a serious problem for society, but most parents in the poll here are not concerned their own children will become overweight as adults.”
  • “In most cases, parents don’t seem to believe that the way their child ate on a given day is likely to make them gain unhealthy weight.”

The NPR story linked above blames a psychological factor known as “optimism bias,” and says that parents may think they are doing the right things, but really they are just poorly informed and/or deluding themselves.

Since this is an ongoing series on NPR, one can expect it to culminate with an interview with Michelle Obama or someone behind her “Let’s Move” campaign, or with a series of suggestions for more government action, or calls for more spending on government nutrition programs, or possibly with all of the above.

What hasn’t occurred to the geniuses at NPR, though, is that perhaps the parents really have been listening to the advice coming from the government and the media for the past twenty five years and they really do think they are doing the right things, but the advice is flawed.

Ronald Reagan famously remarked that “the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”   In recent years, Gary Taubes has become the best-known of those who have challenged the nutritional and dietary orthodoxy which has been promoting a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.  Writing in Newsweek last spring, he explained that:  “The problem is, the solutions this multi-level campaign promotes are the same ones that have been used to fight obesity for a century—and they just haven’t worked.”

(more…)

Americans, Your Doctors Have A Message For You

From major newspapers across the country today.

 

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)