August 15, 2009

WHAT A DIFFERENT WORLD WE LIVE IN...

A section at the end of the book Showdown:

The president should remind Americans that for over a century, the country somehow managed to survice without government regulatory oversight. It wasn't until 1887 that the first independent regulatory commission -- the Interstate Commerce Commission -- was established.

Congress authorized monies to extend the Cumberland Road, a roadway that ran from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, West Virginia. James Monroe, our nation's fifth president, used the only veto of his presidency to defeat the congressional bill, arguing that the road's extension should not be done by the federal government but by the states it passed through—present-day Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
[...]
Franklin Pierce, our fourteenth president, in 1854 vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding that to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

President Grover Cleveland, our twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, in 1887, said when vetoing an appropriation to help drought-stricken counties in Texas, "I feel obligated to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriate of public funds...I find no warrant for such appropriation in the Constitution."

We've come a long way, baby...

And what high hopes Larry Elder had for President Bush.  Would that he had been the man Elder hoped he was.

Posted by: Sarah at 01:17 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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August 13, 2009

A FACTOR OF THIRTY

Pres Obama said this during a health care speech:

If a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

Apparently Medicare only reimburses around $1000 for an amputation, not $30,000.

I want to take something Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report and run with it a little.  He said:

Well, when the president is off, in talking about the fee for an amputation, by a factor of at least thirty, he's got trouble and it makes people worry about all his other so-called facts.  Remember, he's been selling here a free lunch; he says the way I'm going to solve the problem is prevention.  We're gonna put a lot of money in prevention and it's gonna save a lot of money overall.

Krauthammer then goes on to discuss a CBO letter quoting studies that said that preventative medicine actually costs more in the long run, since you're screening far more people who won't end up with whatever disease you're looking for.  The CBO says that all those pittances added up for everyone to get screened for diabetes end up costing more than the couple of feet you have to amputate.

But I want to run in a different direction.  Krauthammer got me going.  The president keeps saying that we're going to save money through preventative medicine.  But he thinks he's comparing "a pittance" to $30,000.  So yeah, that makes it sound like we'll save a ton of money if we can get doctors to prevent having to amputate feet.  Think of how many people we could get in for a simple preventative appointment with their doctor for $30,000!  But if it really costs between $500 and $1000 for an amputation, then that's far fewer preventative appointments for the cost of one amputation.

My question is, Does Pres Obama even know that?  I mean, where did he get this $30,000 figure, which he presents so authoritatively?  And does he know how much smaller the figure really is?

Is he being deceptive or just ignorant?

If he's deceptive, that's despicable.  But I think he's just ignorant.  I think he really believes that, at a reimbursement cost of "a pittance," he can help many more Americans by preventing amputations or tonsilectomies or whatever else he thinks greedy doctors are doing just to make extra money.

But that means he actually thinks that doctors see someone with diabetes and think, "Man, if I just bide my time and fatty here loses his foot, then I can buy a new jet ski!"

I just find it worrisome that Pres Obama thinks we're going to save all this money with his new health care plan because he's overestimating how much we currently spend by a factor of thirty!

Posted by: Sarah at 07:06 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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August 07, 2009

THERE IS NO MATH THAT CAN MAKE THIS WORK

Obama vs Mathematics:

But President Obama promised that he would raise taxes only on those in “rich” households.

That’s where the arithmetic gets especially interesting. Funding the new health-care plan on the backs of households making $200,000 or more per year would require permanently increasing their annual total tax payments by about 50 percent. So, for example, a household that currently pays $50,000 in federal income taxes would need to pay another $25,000. Remember, however, that Social Security and Medicare already face enormous shortfalls. Shoring up these programs — another Obama campaign promise — would require collecting 328 percent more tax revenue from the rich. No, we didn’t forget a decimal point: That is three hundred and twenty-eight percent.

Most households making between $200,000 and $500,000 per year would not have enough money to pay their federal, state, and local tax bills, much less eat. Rich households in California or New York would not be able to pay their tax bills regardless of their incomes. And a family of four living in a low-tax state (South Dakota) would need to gross almost $900,000 per year to have enough income left over to reach the poverty line. In fact, there is no mathematical configuration of taxes on the current rich alone — including additional levies on the “super-rich” making more than $1 million per year — that is compatible with putting the nation’s entitlement programs and the new health-care plan on a sustainable course.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:23 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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