American Elephants

Myths and Fables of Emergency Room Treatment by The Elephant's Child
September 22, 2013, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Taxes | Tags: , ,

This is a post from the archives, March 18, 2010. Seemed to go with the last post.

One of the prevalent myths out there is that the uninsured use emergency rooms for primary health care.  Once they have their own health insurance, they will have regular doctors.  Better care, costs will decline.  Unfortunately, it simply is not true.

Robert Samuelson writes in The Washington Post about “Obama’s illusions of cost control.”

One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving “universal health coverage.” The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the insured accounted for 83 percent of emergency-room visits, reflecting their share of the population. After Massachusetts adopted universal insurance, emergency-room use remained higher than the national average, an Urban Institute study found. More than two-fifths of visits represented non-emergencies. Of those, a majority of adult respondents to a survey said it was “more convenient” to go to the emergency room or they couldn’t “get [a doctor’s] appointment as soon as needed.” If universal coverage makes appointments harder to get, emergency-room use may increase.

Insuring the uninsured does not dramatically improve the nation’s health.  It results, according to the literature in modest health gains.  Claims that the uninsured suffer tens of thousands of premature deaths are open to question.

Obama based much of his Ohio health care speech on a woman who dropped her health insurance because of the cost.  She was then diagnosed with leukemia. Obama made much of her fear of an inability to find treatment and her fear that she would lose her home.  Yet she had already been accepted as a patient at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the great Medical Centers, and she was in no danger of losing her home and would get some of the finest care available.

Mr. Samuelson includes the following quotation:

“What we need from the next president is somebody who will not just tell you what they think you want to hear but will tell you what you need to hear.”

– Barack Obama, Feb. 27, 2008

Demagoguery Alert: Look At What Obama Said About Health Care in 2009 by The Elephant's Child

We often say that “hindsight is a wonderful thing”, which essentially means that if we knew yesterday what we know today with our increased knowledge, we wouldn’t have screwed up so badly. But hindsight should not be dismissed casually, it can be remarkably useful.

Today’s biggest issue is ObamaCare. The damage it is doing to the people, to the economy, to business, and to the medical profession is enormous,  and it doesn’t go into effect until the first of the month. People are horrified to find out that the cost of their health insurance is doubling or tripling.

Despite promises that everyone would have the same excellent insurance as members of Congress and government employees — members of Congress and their staffs squawked when they found out what was happening and have been excused from the unpleasantness of changing their insurance. In spite of a law that was passed to assure that members of Congress are governed by the laws they pass, Mr. Obama has exempted them from ObamaCare. Can’t have Congressmen ready to vote for defunding ObamaCare.

The debate is acrimonious. Telemundo, the only news outlet that dared to ask Obama a tough question pressed him this week about polls showing most American oppose ObamaCare. “Is everybody wrong?’ the host asked.

“Yes, they are,” Obama responded. The problem, he said, isn’t his law. It’s those evil Republicans who’ve spent “billions of dollars…misinforming people.”

This week the celebrated Cleveland Clinic announced plans to lay off as many as 3,000 workers “to prepare for healthcare reform.” Last week The Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in Connecticut cut dozens of jobs. Forty thousand members of the Longshoremen’s union severed their relationship with the AFL-CIO because of their support for ObamaCare. Family premiums have not gone down by $2,500 as Obama promised, they have gone up $2,976.

Workers cannot keep the health plans they like, as Obama promised. Obama has himself repealed, changed or delayed portions of the Affordable Care Act (which he cannot legally do) 19 times so far. None of that has anything to do with Republican “propaganda.” I even read today that Obama Care is more unpopular than the Iraq War.

Time for some hindsight:

Obama spoke to the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association, on June 15, 2009. Do note that the AMA does not represent all physicians. The speech was another wonderful example of sheer demagoguery. Phony statistics, unworkable ideas, false claims, and illusions. Obama claimed we were spending over $2 trillion a year and health care costs were in an out of control spiral. [Health care cost growth started down in 2006]. The rise in health care costs reflected new and very expensive technology, and new lifesaving drugs.

Obama  said that the reason reform hadn’t happened was the fierce opposition of “some interest groups and lobbyists” that have painted any effort for reform as an attempt to socialize medicine. You mean like the “Single Payer Health Care that every Democrat wants?”

He promised easing the pressure on business, creating “hundreds of thousands of jobs”, “increasing take-home pay,” and growing the economy by “switching from paper to an electronic system of record keeping.” That has so far cost the medical system millions with a result of more confusion, more errors in histories, and lost patient time as doctors spend more time at their computers than they do with patients.

He was sure that more preventive care would avoid illness and disease in the first place. More tests, more diagnostics? That’s what he said was costing too much. Cutting down on junk food and obesity [Michelle’s assignment] and the White House veggie garden.

We spend too much money on things that aren’t making people healthier, so he wants to determine what the correct care is and pay just for that — without the slightest acknowledgment that we are all individuals and there is no one size fits all in medicine.

One of the great new advances is the individualization of medicine — the potential of using your DNA to select the drugs that are specifically right for you. Obama believed the bureaucrats in Washington could determine from collecting all those computerized records just what the preferred treatment would be for the statistically best outcome. Well, these are collectivists — they don’t do individuals.

A recent study, for example, found that only half of all cardiac guidelines are based on scientific evidence — half. That means doctors may be doing a bypass operation when placing a stent is equally effective; or placing a stent when adjusting a patient’s drug and medical management is equally effective — all of which drives up costs without improving a patient’s health.

Look back at what Obama was saying in 2009. The speech to the American Medical Association is the most comprehensive., but he also spoke at an ABC “PRESCRIPTION FOR AMERICA” Town Hall on Health Care on June 24, 2009 in the East Room at the White House. Some of those things sounded plausible back when we hear them for the first time. Hindsight shines a different light on yesterday’s words, and the rot and corruption shows through.

Advice. by The Elephant's Child

Pigs images

I told them a thousand times if I told them once:
Stop fooling around, I said, with straw and sticks;
They won’t hold up; you’re taking an awful chance.
Brick is the stuff to build with, solid bricks.
You want to be impractical, go ahead.
But just remember, I told them; wait and see.
You’re making a big mistake. Awright, I said,
But when the wolf comes, don’t come running to me.

The funny thing is, they didn’t. There they sat,
One in his crummy yellow shack, and one
Under his roof of twigs, and the wolf ate
Them, hair and hide. Well, what is done is done.
But I’d been willing to help them, all along,
If only they’d once admitted they were wrong.

The Builders    By Sara Henderson Hay

A Little History: Lenin’s Rules For Radicals by The Elephant's Child


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin came to power promising land to Russia’s peasants; bread for Russia’s starving cities; and peace for Russia’s World War I weary soldiers. He was able to dispense with  those promises by advancing civil war from 1918 to 1921. He was able to justify his acts because of the crisis.

In place of rights and liberty, Lenin gave Russians propaganda, with bullying messages and the barrel of a gun to undermine Russia’s weak democracy and transform society fundamentally.

The Russian Revolution was laced with brutal propaganda intended, not to win people over with ideas, but to bludgeon them with repression, coercion and making examples. “The type of propaganda that the Bolsheviks carried out is absolutely central to our understanding of the regime they created,” wrote Peter Kenez in The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilization, 1917-1929.

The propaganda fell into six categories. You could call it Lenin’s Rules for Radicals.

  1. The Ends Justify the Means
    Lenin guaranteed a free press, but that lasted just two days, when he ordered opposition newspapers shut down. He promised to broaden land ownership, but promptly ended private property, destroying deeds before anyone could object. And the War weary soldiers were immediately impressed into the new Red Army, with families held hostage.
  2. First with the Most
    Lenin swiftly changed the meaning of words, disarming opponents. He won a membership issue in the Party Congress by only one vote, but promptly called his faction “Bolsheviks” or majoritarians, and his opponents “Menshiviks” or the minority.
    He dubbed the Bolsheviks “Reds” to signal an affinity with the French Revolution and his opponents “Whites” to associate them with the French Bourbon dynasty.
  3. Never Let a Crisis Go To Waste
    I think I heard that one before. Instead of persuading with words, Lenin simply closed other papers, leaving only the Bolshevik publications. This intensified the impact of the Bolshevik message.
  4. Demonization
    In denouncing opponents, Lenin was obsessive, virulent and personal, calling them “bloodsuckers,” “insects,” “spiders” “leeches” and “vampires. Then came “hoarders,”
    “wreckers,””saboteurs” and worst of all “Kulaks.”— the prosperous peasants he hated.
  5. Propaganda of Example
    Russians were mostly illiterate, and propaganda as a reign of terror was used to keep them in line. Public hangings and shootings served better than written material to force Russians into submission. “These swine have to be dealt with so that everyone will remember it for years.” Lenin wrote.
    Execution of the innocent was also used to impress the masses.Churches were targeted for destruction, sacred objects looted, priests shot.
  6. Blame Your Predecessor
    Socialism has the outstanding record of failing everywhere it has been tried. Lenin’s civil war cost 13 million lives, and his economic policies triggered the famine of 1921-1922. Everything was blamed on his predecessor — the Czar for all economic havoc.
    Eventually he had to backtrack on communism to hang on to power, but error was never admitted, and new horrors were yet to come.

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