American Elephants


About Survey Results: by The Elephant's Child

A clip from “Yes, Minister” that does a fine job of explaining just how polling works. Funny.



Climate is Always Changing! Skip the Hysteria. by The Elephant's Child

Richard Lindzen is one of our most esteemed climate scientists, and he has a new essay posted at the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.

For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.

Do read the whole essay, it’s worth your time, or bookmark it and read it this weekend.  Clear information.  No Hype.



What are the Real Reasons Behind ObamaCare? by The Elephant's Child

The reasons why we needed the world’s best health care system to endure massive reform have been elusive.  First it was 50 million uninsured, but when those numbers were examined, they didn’t hold up to even casual scrutiny.  They settled on 36 million, but that is probably a guesstimate.  Then they emphasized people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t get insurance.

That was one of the very first things enacted into force — the opportunity for those with pre-existing conditions to sign up.  They were expecting around 300,000, but only 8,000 have signed up.  And of course that wasn’t the reason behind ObamaCare at all.

The long-time goal of Liberals has been single-payer nationalized health care.  All of President Obama’s health care advisors — Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Tom Daschle, Peter Orzag, and others  — were all great admirers of Britain’s National Health Service.  The NHS was founded in 1948, and as the House moves to repeal ObamaCare, Britain plans to take a scalpel to its National Health Service, opening it up to competition and letting doctors and patients call the shots. Most other nationalized health care systems are looking for ways to create more competition and more freedom, including our neighbors to the North.

British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to get rid of “top-down, command-and-control bureaucracy and targets” and said that the NHS would not be exempt from those reforms. NHS has become the third rail of British politics.  And that is the reason for ObamaCare.  Once people become convinced there is such a thing as a free lunch, they become dependent on it, even if it is not free.

It is not free.  If you believe that ObamaCare can absorb 36 million people while at the same time making health care cost less, I recommend some study in elementary logic. Already, your premiums for insurance have probably gone up sharply.

According to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Baby Boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day.  The peak year of the Baby Boom does not come until 2024. That’s a lot of new patients on Medicare and Medicaid who are going to have a hard time finding a doctor.

The doctor shortage began in 1996 when Congress capped the number of new doctors that Medicare would pay to train, a practice that continues today.  Only about 10% of hospitals nationwide are teaching hospitals, and they depend on Medicare funds to pay about two-thirds of the cost of doctor training.  Costs include resident’s salaries, malpractice insurance, equipment, and the extra time that teaching procedures add to patient care.

The President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has proposed slashing Medicare funding for training physicians by another $60 billion  through 2020.  Nearly a third of doctors in the country, around 250,000, are over the age of 55.  By 2020, they plan to retire, and according to doctors’ associations large numbers plan to retire sooner to escape the strictures of ObamaCare.

To keep pace with the need, America would need to train an additional 6,000 to 8,000 doctors a year for the next 20 years. Right now, we train roughly 16,000 doctors a year. If we opened up the number of training slots, it still takes seven to 10 years for the new doctors to be ready to see patients.  (Four years of medical school, three years of residency, and additional specialty training).

It sounds really good to propose that everyone have health insurance just alike — a real right to health care — then you can feel really good about what you are doing for all the folks out there.  No special treatment for the rich, no turning away people who can’t pay. That sounds so fair and it means real equality, doesn’t it?

So why, if it is all so desirable, do the Democrats who are so enthusiastic about ObamaCare, excuse themselves from ever participating? No ObamaCare for them.  No wonder 60% of Americans want it repealed.




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