The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for August 24th, 2009

Who Made Your Protest Sign?

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Who is the real protester and who is the “astroturf”….and guess which side advertises on Craigs List to HIRE protesters?

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Health Law, Journalism Is Dead, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

Newt Gingrich: Democrats use Sopranos-style tactics in health care

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Henry Waxman is making America’s health insurance companies an offer they can’t refuse.

Like a mafia underboss trying to face down a rival crime family, the powerful California Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has resorted to ugly intimidation tactics with opponents of government-run health care.

In the spirit of Joe McCarthy, earlier this week, Waxman and House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, D-MI, sent a letter to 52 of the nation’s largest health insurance companies that contained a not-so-veiled threat.

Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman

Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman

Waxman and Stupak’s letter demanded detailed information from health insurance companies about executive pay, corporate conferences and retreats, and other business practices.

For any employees or officers making more than $500,000 a year in the past six years, the congressmen are demanding details on salaries, bonuses, pensions and other compensation.

They’re asking for a list of conferences and retreats that are paid for by insurance companies. They’re also insisting that insurance companies disclose the identity of all board members and their compensation.

According to the letter, all this information must be provided by Sept. 14 as part of an investigation of “executive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry.”

Imagine that. An investigation of health insurance compensation launched by two powerful Democratic House Committee Chairmen in the midst of a coordinated campaign to vilify health insurance companies.

As far as intimidation tactics go, this latest move by Waxman and Stupak makes the White House’s effort to “flag” online political opponents look small time.

Waxman and Stupak are attempting to use raw political power to silence their opponents, plain and simple. If that’s not the case, why single out one sector of healthcare and not others, like physician groups, hospitals, and drug companies? Could it be because many of these groups have publicly supported the emerging Democratic legislation?

The problem for Democrats is that making health insurance companies the cartoon villains of heath care reform is a sign of desperation, not strength.

President Obama and his congressional allies have insisted for months that government health insurance is necessary, not to lay the groundwork for a single payer system, but to provide healthy competition for insurance companies.”To keep them honest,” in the president’s words.

But the more they talk down private health insurance in order to talk up government health insurance, the more the public distrusts government health insurance.

The latest NBC news poll found that 47 percent of Americans now oppose the government health insurance plan while just 43 percent support it. That’s a reversal of opinion from last month’s poll, in which 46 percent supported the government plan and 44 percent were opposed.

Americans have a lot to be dissatisfied with when it comes to private health insurance, but we’re not buying the argument that “competition” from government run health insurance will fix things.

If the White House is so interested in creating competition, why not give health care consumers real choices of better plans by creating a national health insurance market?

Today, there are more than 1,300 health insurance companies in America divided among 50 different state markets with 50 different sets of regulation of what level of coverage private health insurance plans must offer in each state.

Consumers are currently prohibited from buying less expensive health insurance policies issued by a private health insurer in another state. Creating a nationwide health insurance market in which individuals or groups can choose better and less expensive coverage from another state would create real competition and force private insurers in each state to create better products, improve service and lower prices.

Americans know the public option is declining rapidly in support, and Waxman and Stupak know that we know it. That’s why they’ve resorted to Sopranos-style tactics with health insurance companies.

For them, private insurance companies aren’t legitimate options for Americans seeking higher quality, lower cost health care. They’re poll-tested straw men in a desperate campaign to create government run health care.

Maybe that’s why Americans view their health insurance companies more favorably than their congressmen.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has published 19 books, including 10 fiction and nonfiction best-sellers. He is the founder of the Center for Health Transformation and chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future.

Posted in 2012, Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Government Gone Wild, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

VIDEO: Newt Gingrich on End of Life Planning II

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Newt is spot on with his point about the amendments that the Democrats shot down. Democrats tell us that the language that is clear in it’s language and logical context doesn’t say what it says it says. When Republicans finally said, “Ok well if it doesn’t mean rationing then lets just add language to say that it can never be construed to allow rationing” and “If it doesnt mean pushing people towards euthanasia lets include language to say specifically that it doesn’t mean that” the Democrats voted NO. To see a list of those amendments please go HERE.

As published in the New York Times
August 19, 2009

To the Editor:

Paul Krugman asserted that I have changed my position on end-of-life medical care (“Republican Death Trip,” column, Aug. 14). I have always been a vocal proponent of proper end-of-life planning — and an equally vocal opponent of government intervention in the most sacred of moments.

Gundersen Lutheran Health System in Wisconsin gets it right. Ninety-plus percent of patients complete advance directives with their doctors, nurses and families. Gundersen offers this because it is good for patients, not because of a government directive.

Patient satisfaction is among the highest in the country because its model is compassionate, dignified and individually centered. It does not push individuals to forgo care, nor does it make decisions on their behalf. I know this personally because my wife’s father was a patient at Gundersen until his death in 2006.

When you combine the new federal powers in the emerging House legislation with the crushing Medicare debt of the future, especially with 20 percent of costs spent in the last two months of life, government rationing is a question of when, not if.

–Newt Gingrich

Posted in Chuck Norton, Culture War, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Palin: No health reform is serious without bogus lawsuit reform

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

 
 
President Obama’s health care “reform” plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind — change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families’ health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.

We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs and quality of patient care.

palin-silhouetteAs Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, “I feel your pain.”

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he’ll need to reform the economic structures in medicine—especially programs like Medicare.” [1] Two examples of these “economic structures” are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as “high health care costs”) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:

”The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs.

Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeons—as well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeons—are sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage?” [2]

Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that “found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications.” Dr. Weinstein writes:

“If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine.

Excessive litigation and waste in the nation’s current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium.” [3]

You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obama’s plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.

palin woodsSo I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want health care reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?

Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a “55 percent decline” after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the “loser pays” rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving “expert” testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.
If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

– Sarah Palin

[1] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204409904574350370729883030.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
[2] See http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/nov08/managing7.asp
[3] Id.
[4] See http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/new_laws_and_med_mal_damage_caps_devastate_plaintiff_and_defense_firms_alik/print/
[5] See http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/Tort-reform-must-be-part-of-health-care-reform-8096175.html

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »

House Health Reform Bill is out of Education and Labor Committee

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

1018 pages. Out of the education and labor committee with changes.

http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

Posted in Chuck Norton, Health Law | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Adams on Health Care, Hypocrisy, and Heckler’s Veto

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Rarely do we re-post an entire article or column. One of these exceptions to that rule is when an  important First Amendment message is included and excerpting the column lessens the impact of the First Amendment message. While Dr. Adams’ note is about health care reform, it also tackles a serious First Amendment issue, the “heckler’s veto” and also covers some of the techniques used to shut people up.

Dr. Mike Adams:

Hello Barry (info@barackobama.com):

I want to express my deep disappointment with your continued refusal to address my questions about the new health care reform bill currently being pushed through Congress. A few days ago, I sent you several dozen questions about the bill. You did not answer a single one of them. Instead, you keep sending me form emails.

I’ve cut and pasted your last form email below with some comments in between key paragraphs. I hope you’ll not ignore this response in the same way you have ignored my previous questions.

Friend —

Members of Congress have been home for just a few days, and they’re already facing increased pressure from insurance companies, special interests, and partisan attack organizations that are spending millions to block health insurance reform.

Barry, how much money are you spending to advance health insurance reform? And, would you characterize these emails you are sending as coming from an “attack organization”? I assume that http://www.BarackObama.com is an organization. And, in every email you send, you attack those of us who oppose your agenda. Were you elected to serve the people or to attack people who resist your attempts to pass legislation they oppose? I can’t imagine how you think you will persuade me by sending me these condescending emails.

These groups are using scare tactics and spreading smears about the President’s plan for reform, trying to incite constituents into lashing out at their representatives and disrupting their events.

A couple of months ago, I was interrupted by a group of socialists who shouted me down on a university campus. Two people were arrested. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been shouted down by socialists. So, I find it humorous that socialists are now demanding that public discourse take the form of polite tearoom chatter. You never seemed concerned with these tactics until you seized control of the government. I guess you could call your detractors “community disorganizers.” Welcome to the world of political hard ball.

The goal of these disruptions is for a few people to get a lot of media attention and hijack the entire public discourse. If they succeed, all Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — will continue to struggle under the broken status quo.

It’s up to us to show Congress that those loudly opposing reform are a tiny minority being stirred up by special interests, and that a huge majority strongly supports enacting real health insurance reform in 2009.

Barry, this is simply untrue. The day you sent this email the polls indicated that opposition to the health care bill clearly exceeded 50%. Thus, you fundamentally misunderstand your role as a public servant. It isn’t your duty to force the people to accept change they do not want. You are supposed to, within the limits of the constitution, give them change they want.

There is a grain of truth in your email. You state that those who are “loudly opposing reform are a tiny minority.” The majority of those who are opposing reform are doing so calmly and rationally. But others in your party (and administration) are portraying us as angry mobs. And this is actually starting to make people angry. Soon, those “loudly opposing reform” will be a large majority. And, when that happens, there will not be enough people to snitch on them. In other words, you are beginning to lose control, Mr. President. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Your representative, Mike McIntyre, has been fighting hard for real health insurance reform. Can you call the local office in Lumberton? Let the person who answers know that you’re a constituent. Then tell them: “Thanks for working to enact real health insurance reform this year. Voters like me support your efforts.”

Yes, I can call Mike McIntyre. In fact, I already have. I asked him to vote against your health care bill because you refused to answer my questions and because you seem to know very little about the bill before the U.S. Congress.

According to our records, you live in North Carolina’s 7th congressional district. Please call: Rep. Mike McIntyre at 910-735-0610.

I’m glad you’re keeping records on me, Barry. I’m sending this information out to my email list, which consists of several hundred thousand gun-toting anti-communists. We’ll all give Mr. McIntyre a polite call during the next few days. In fact, we’ll make sure his staff does nothing but answer the phone all week long.

In the meantime, feel free to add me to your secret White House database of political dissidents. As a proponent of individual freedom, I’m proud to be your enemy.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Ted Nugent on the right to life and the right to defend it

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Warning: Far left control freaks may have blood shoot from their eyes after watching this clip.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Firearms | Leave a Comment »

Africa wants $67 BILLION a year in global warming funds (your money).

Posted by iusbvision on August 24, 2009

Yet another example of what we have been saying since day one. Global warming hysteria would be used as an excuse to tax carbon dioxide, because almost every kind of economic activity produces or uses CO2. It would be used to tax and redistribute wealth around the world.  The fact that the Earth has been cooling since 1998 means nothing to those who want this tax.

For 67 Billion a year would you say that you believed that man made global warming is a “crisis”?

Reuters:

By Tsegaye Tadesse

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 24 (Reuters) – African leaders will ask rich nations for $67 billion per year to mitigate the impact of global warming on the world’s poorest continent, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Monday.

Ten leaders are holding talks at African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital to try to agree a common stance ahead of a U.N. summit on climate change in Copenhagen in December.

Experts say Africa contributes little to the pollution blamed for warming, but is likely to be hit hardest by the droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels forecast if climate change is not checked.

The draft resolution, which must still be approved by the 10 leaders, called for rich countries to pay $67 billion annually to counter the impact of global warming in Africa.

Posted in Alarmism, Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 3 Comments »