American Elephants

The Sad Truth About ObamaCare. by The Elephant's Child

When you are all excited about single-payer, government-run health care, as Democrats have been, wouldn’t the normal, intelligent thing be to look at other countries that have experienced one of the longest-running versions of the liberal-socialist dream?

British citizens who smoke, drink, or tip the scales because they’ve eaten too many fish and chips could soon be denied medical treatment for lifestyle-related illnesses.  It’s a system the United States will be forced to implement under Obama Care. (emphasis added)

Great Britain’s government-run health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), has long considered limiting coverage for people with illnesses deemed to be lifestyle-related.  In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the NHS’s guiding body, advised that smokers and obese people be refused health care.  Now HHS North Yorkshire and York is preventing certain operations for the obese or smokers because they say unhealthy lifestyles lower their chance of success.

The chair of the Royal College of General practitioners, told UK reporters, ‘These policies are being introduced because of financial constraints.’

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued new regulations last July, for the newly mandated electronic health records—that all Americans are required to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Obama signed in 2009—must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index, a measure of obesity.

The law also requires that these electronic health records be available—with appropriate security measures—on a national exchange. The new regulations are one of the first steps towards the government’s goal of universal adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014 as outlined in the 2009 economic stimulus law.

A person’s BMI score is used as a tool to screen for obesity or excessive body fat that could lead to other health problems. It does not measure body fat, and was never intended to be used as such a measure.

The regulations stipulate that electronic records be capable of sending public health data to state and federal health agencies such as HHS and CDC.

The Center for Disease Control calls American society “obesogenic”—meaning that American society itself promotes obesity.

I don’t believe that my health records are any of the federal government’s business.  I believe that these two stories are related.  Should ObamaCare not be repealed, the intrusion, the rationing, the denial of treatment will accelerate and multiply. They had to lie about the cost to get it passed. They took $500 billion out of Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals to help falsify the numbers.  The whole thing is a lie. It will not be free— it’s already driving costs up. It will not improve anyone’s health—it’s not intended to do that.  It is designed to redistribute the wealth—which won’t help anyone, and to make all Americans dependent on the Democrat party for their access to health care.

For Further Reading:

Cancer Patients told life-prolonging treatment is too expensive for NHS, The Scotsman

Patients dying because of NHS staff shortages, The Scotsman

NHS rationing is ‘necessary evil’ say doctors, The Scotsman

Elderly patients dying of thirst; Doctors forced to prescribe drinking water to keep the old alive, reveals devastating report on hospital care, Daily Mail

Mediscare: The Surprising Truth: ObamaCare already has seniors’ health care slated for draconian cuts. The Wall Street Journal

Texas Puts Out the Welcome Mat for Business. There’s A Lesson Here For Obama! by The Elephant's Child

The best state in the country for business is, according the nation’s CEOs—Texas.  And Texas just added another big welcome to their business-friendly climate.

In a unanimous vote last week, the Texas  Senate adopted “loser pays” tort-reform legislation, which says that a plaintiff must pay the winning party’s legal fees if their complaint is judged to be groundless. On Wednesday the Texas House agreed.  Governor Rick Perry, who has championed the legislation from the beginning signed it into law on Monday night.

Texas has become the best state in the union for job creation. Reforms in 2003 and 2005  rewrote class-action certification laws and product liability laws, as well as instituted malpractice reforms.

It is hardly surprising that the Texas Trial Lawyers Association lobbied aggressively against the law, spending more than $13 million to defeat Perry and other tort-reform Republicans in the 2010 election. Before the reforms were instituted in 2003 and 2005, Texas was an ambulance chaser’s paradise.  Lt. Gov David Dewhurst guided the measure through to a 31-0 vote in the Senate.

The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that tort litigation costs small businesses over $105 billion annually., and far from all of that is covered by insurance. After Governor Perry’s earlier reforms, the number of physicians applying to practice in Texas rose by 60 percent.  It would be interesting to see what percentage of those physicians came from Massachusetts.

New Republican Governors in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama all ran and won while proposing similar legal-reform issues.  All too often, businesses are assumed to have deep pockets, and have to face constant frivolous lawsuits. Note that “loser pays” tort-reform only takes effect when the complaint is judged to be groundless.

Many states, facing budget deficits, have looked to higher taxes, fees, and regulations to raise money from business. A recession is hard on businesses as well as ordinary people, and adding unnecessary costs to their operations means more lost jobs.

To battle our way back to a solvent economy, we need a little austerity; and some efforts by governments to create a climate friendly and welcoming for business.  Misguided stimulus, bailouts and subsidies do not create permanent jobs, nor does a government intent on regulating everything and anything.  Just this year, the federal government has issued more than 4,000 new regulations.

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