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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Misión Imposible

91 comments:

  1. The insightful economic analysis comes at 8:40 where it is said they are taking what is known as a haircut.

    Greece, Spain, all my life they have been in one mess or another. What's new?

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  2. Here we go again

    LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Spanish and Italian bond yields continued to rise on Thursday, as the broader European equity market declined. Yields on 10-year Spanish government bonds added 5 basis to 5.71%, the highest level since December last year, when the European Central Bank conducted its first three-year long-term refinance operation, LTRO. On Wednesday, Spanish yields surged as much as 24 basis points. The IBEX 35 index XX:IBEX -1.14% gave up 0.7% to 7,609.60 Thursday. Yields on 10-year Italian government bonds IT:10YR_ITA +2.16% jumped 11 basis points to 5.4%, while the FTSE MIB index XX:FTSEMIB -1.56% lost 0.8% to 15,109.55.

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  3. We are in a very tenuous period in the recovery cycle. Housing has never recovered and the last thing we need is rising oil prices, inflation and an economic recovery derailed by another self-inflicted wound in the ME.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Egypt just fired a GRAD rocket at a resort in Israel.

      A GRAD rocket came from Egypt, doesn't mean Egypt fired it. Because that would be an act of war. Idiot.

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    3. Talk about idiots...

      it WAS an act of war....

      and it came from Egypt...

      Egypt is responsible for all ROCKETS fired from it's land..

      BTQ, i dont know about you, but i dont KNOW anyone that has a PERSONAL supply of GRAD rockets, maybe you do?

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    4. Cant have it both ways Ms T, Zena, Teresita, Wasp.. (actually did for years until you outed yourself as a liar and a fraud)

      A GRAD Rocket was fired from Egypt into a resort town in Israel.

      EGYPT is responsible. If they do not want a war, they need to apoligize, make restitution and arrest and imprison those responsible.

      IF Egypt plays the historic proxy games they used to play in Gaza (pre 1967) by allowing arabs to attack Israel from it's lands and deny any responsibility? They will get a hot war.

      In fact Israel has warned the Egyptians of just that fact.

      Those of us that actually know the history of the area understand the 2 faced game the Egyptians are playing, as they played this game MANY times before, including the creation of the PLO in 1966.

      Let's remember the Arafat (the egyptian) attack the Israeli water carrier pipe in 1966 BEFORE the west bank, gaza and jerusalem or settlements ever were an issue...

      Egypt has a history of using proxies, even last year 5 Israel civilians were murdered on a bus on a highway bordering the sinai and the "terrorists" fled back across the egyptian border only to be engaged by the IDF, only the terrorists killed were 5 egyptian solders DEFENDING the terrorists...

      now, Ms T, pull your lame head out of your ass and stop wasting our taxpayer money and actually go to work

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    5. Deuce: We are in a very tenuous period in the recovery cycle. Housing has never recovered and the last thing we need is rising oil prices, inflation and an economic recovery derailed by another self-inflicted wound in the ME.

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people fired last week totaled 357,000. Those fired workers said they don't know how they are going to be able to look for jobs now as gas prices are so fucking high compared to when Bush was in office and gas was only $ 1.69 on Jan 20 2009.

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  4. Our Free Trade Agreements have helped us. Plus, we have some low hanging fruit that we're starting to pick. We're slowly transitioning the fleet to more fuel-efficient autos, and we've already added ten percent biofuels to our gasoline.

    Of course, the lowest hanging peaches are the ill-begotten wars in the mideast. Iraq is "off" the payroll, and Afghanistan is getting ready to take a pay cut.

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  5. The basic promise of the Eurozone was "come into the Euro, and you can live as well as the highly productive, expert manufacturing Germans."

    Well, of course, that was nonsense; but they made a go of it for awhile. Now, reality is up to bat, and it's not looking pretty.

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  6. If the Spaniards had their own currency (which would probably sell about 2:1 to the German Mark) the country would be overflowing with tourists from Germany, England, Sweden, and the rest of the world, and their factories would be humming producing goods for export (primarily, to Latin America.)

    As it is, they're "fenced in." They can't play to their strengths, and their weaknesses are magnified.

    It's just plain dumb to try to fight Mother (human) Nature.

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  7. There has been a lot of talk, recently, about those people in the ER Waiting Rooms. Well, as someone who has actually spent a lot of time there, let me give my impression.

    I would say that over fifty percent of those people are uninsured, and have a Chronic, but curable, Condition, and are spending the better part of a day, there, to get a prescription for approx. 4 days of painkillers.

    It's a very inefficient way to run a railroad.

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  8. Should the rich be entitled to better health care? Should a rich kid with lukemia get treatment while a poor kid with lukemia be left to die?

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    1. that is the way Canada rolls...

      all the rich go to America to buy the care they need...

      the poor in Canada? Just die off...

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  9. Limbaugh Inadvertently Endorses Government Health Care System (Mar 9, 2010):

    Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh — who has been one of health care reform’s most vociferous opponents— warned his loyal troop of "ditto heads" that if health care passes, he’ll leave the country for Costa Rica.

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  10. This is where you have to be careful, Ash, because to some extent you're misrepresenting the system.

    Once a "Truly Emergent" Condition is diagnosed, the American Healthcare System will treat it. Now, admittedly, the "rich" may be able to obtain "marginally better" treatment, but that is Not, necessarily, a given.

    Our system falls down in the treatment of those conditions that are serious (and, in many cases, ones that will eventually become life-threatening,) but not, at the that time, Emergent.

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  12. How are you using the term "Emergent" rufus? As in "Emergency" or "coming into view"?

    The insured get vastly different treatment options than the uninsured do they not (assuming the uninsured are not rich and thus can't pay for treatment out of pocket)?

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  13. When a patient enters one of our Emergency Rooms complaining of, let's say, abdominal pain they will, by law, be seen. A very Expensive battery of tests will be run, and a highly-educated Doctor will examine the tests, and the patient.

    Then, nine out of ten times, the Doctor will, fully well aware that the patient has no money, and will Not be able to afford the services of a Specialist, explain what the patient already knows, that he/she needs to purchase the services of a "Specialist," and get the chronic condition treated. Then the Doctor, or Nurse Practitioner will write a prescription for four, or five days supply of Vicodin, or Percocet.

    In approx 5 days the entire kabuki dance, complete with expensive battery of tests, is repeated. Month in - Month out. Year in - Year out. Until, finally, the level of "Emergency" has been reached that warrants "Treatment."

    Oh, and it ain't "free." Someone Pays.

    Like I said, "It's a hell of a way to run a railroad."

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  14. I would say that it's not at all unusual for you and I to get billed, over the course of time, $500,000.00 for a condition that could have been treated, initially, for $30,000.00

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  15. Why should anyone work at all if someone else is going to provide all the free stuff?

    We can all golf and sail all year like Ash!


    Listen to Rufus rattle on! -
    Once a "Truly Emergent" Condition is diagnosed, the American Healthcare System will treat it. Now, admittedly, the "rich" may be able to obtain "marginally better" treatment, but that is Not, necessarily, a given.

    :):):)

    Makes me feel "healthy, wealthy and wise" just to be able to get up in the morning and read such profundity.



    And then our golfer/sailor seeks to clarify some of the terms of the philosophical discussion...


    How are you using the term "Emergent" rufus? As in "Emergency" or "coming into view"?
    !
    !
    !



    :)

    Great!

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  16. That's why I fervently believe that the Healthcare Reform passed by Obama, and the Dems, would not/will not be nearly as expensive as some are claiming.

    Keeping in mind that we're already insuring the young, and the elderly, and providing very, very, very, very expensive "bad" healthcare to the rest.

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  17. Everyone doesn't get a check from the government to Not Plant crops on their inherited fields, bob.

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  18. "Nevertheless, with more than 45 million Americans uninsured and many more underinsured, with more than 65 million Americans living in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas, and with many communities lacking sufficient specialty-care services, the existing safety net is simply inadequate — and is continuing to deteriorate (see The Demise of a Dialysis Clinic in Atlanta). Many of its components are of insufficient scale to meet the ongoing need, and nonentitlement programs that are nevertheless part of the safety net are often unavailable, uncoordinated, or transient. Health care providers increasingly refuse to care for patients who are covered by safety-net programs because they consider the reimbursement levels too low."

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0910597


    In short the poor (uninsured) get vastly different medical service than the rich (insured).

    In the health care debate a good starting point is the answer to the question "Does a kid born into a poor family deserve lessar medical care than a kid born into a rich family?" or Should a rich person get better care than a poor person?

    Yah, there are problems with the railroad and applying the profit motive to health care problems doesn't provide a lot of good answers.

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  19. I wouldn't be so quick to throw out the baby with the bathwater, Ash. Most of the great Medical advancements do come from the good ol' "profit-oriented" United States.

    Not all that many from Canada.

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    1. If I was in Canuckistan I'd still be waiting for my mastectomy, if not dead.

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    2. Stop the lies already you are not even a woman...

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Not only does it lie it doesn't have a fucking clue what they are talking about.

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    5. ash, I guess you were in some hash bar in canada when the truth so to speak hit the fan..

      wasp? is Ms T, is zena, is teresita and is not a lesbian, never had cancer nor is even a woman,

      just a complete faked online persona...

      a complete fraud

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    6. oh I am quite aware of Wasp's history. Still, Wasp doesn't have a clue how long the wait times are in Canada for Mastectomy's. Wait times are an issue in Canada and there are easily available listings of how long wait times are and if Wasp cared to do any research on the matter Wasp would find that there is no way "If I was in Canuckistan I'd still be waiting for my mastectomy, if not dead."

      That statement isn't even remotely close to true.

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    7. I misunderstood your comment...

      Ms T fabricates answers on a regular basis without any real connection to truth or facts.

      I didnt understand your pov on the issue.

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  20. I reiterate, Children, and Old People get excellent care in the United States. As do Veterans. Where we fall down is young people with Chronic Conditions, and people with pre-existing conditions.

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    1. Access to health insurance and preventive services are part of the reason for socioeconomic health disparities (McGinnis, Williams-Russo, & Knickman, 2002).

      Those with low SES often experience barriers to obtaining mental health services, including lack of or limited access to mental health care, child care and transportation (McGrath, Keita, Strickland, & Russo, 1990).

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    2. You sure pulled those out your ass, Ash, or your golf bag, and they mean, really, nothing at all.

      I've always felt, ahem, that socioeconomic health disparities are part of the reason for lack of access to health insurance and preventive services.

      But I don't want to make a big argument out of it.

      What I really think is, if there aren't enough docs somebody is going to get fucked somewhere along the line and the stress should be placed on creating a lot of good docs and facilities, but I've said it a hundred times already.

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    3. Rufus: Where we fall down is young people with Chronic Conditions, and people with pre-existing conditions.

      If we mint a 15 trillion dollar coin, we can solve our debt problem. If we borrow 200 billion dollars from China and give it to black people as slavery reparations, racism will be a thing of the past. If we print a bunch of money and give it to people with pre-existing conditions, all our health-care woes will disappear.

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  21. Also, we have that 2nd quintile, the "working poor," Many (most?) of which have some sort of little "cheapie" policy through their work that will just about cover one emergency room visit per year.

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  22. Canada has produced many medical acheivements but this isn't about a pissing match.

    The profit motive has produced many a good medical thing, I won't deny that. It also has a ... corrupting influence. For example, researchers pursuing profit look to treating stuff loads of folk have and the higher the margin per treatment the better thus low cost solutions aren't always pursued and diseases that afflict a small minority of people don't get much attention.

    Another problem with the profit motive is that individuals seeking a medical solution to a problem they have rarely 'price shop'.

    As a buisness man I charge what the market will bear - that is the name of the game, make as many bucks as you can. That is not a solution to what ails the US medical system.

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  23. There are No "easy" answers. Democracee is hard.

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  24. Democracy is particularly hard in the US where you have an overabundance of "checks and balances" which gave birth to what may be the nullified Obamacare that, in general, simply heaps more demand on the system without addressing the problems of supply and the cost of supply.

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  25. on their inherited fields

    Point of honor, point of honor -- I actually BOUGHT what I have from the family corp. and my aunt.


    Did you actually pay anything for the land you are squatting on there in Mississippi, Rufus, that your ancestors stole from the Solutreans?

    And, for the privilege of being half red do you get any casino dividends from the Tribe?

    Miss T, Catholic Woman, whatever, has said something true. If she does have cancer, she might well be dead by now if she had been in Canada.

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  26. Most of the great Medical advancements do come from the good ol' "profit-oriented" United States.

    Medical advancements being distinct from the healthcare delivery system, which is where the problem is.

    Speaking of messes (OK I was watching an early morning rerun of Planes, Trains and Automobiles), the pharmaceutical industry is its own little mafia fiefdom. (Speaking of drugs, I recommend the miniseries Traffik from 1989, not the Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones movie.)

    Democracee is hard.

    Normally I smile when you say that but corruption is even harder. Since when did we forget how to prosecute and convict the lawbreakers?? The medical delivery system is misaligned by conflicting incentives but my guess is that overt corruption is the worse problem. In the case of healthcare, it *is* the waste, fraud and abuse.

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  27. without addressing the problems of supply and the cost of supply.

    Not true. There are something like 30-plus provisions in the ACA that address cost containment, the most significant of which are the Pay for Performance programs (as well as the competitive insurance provider exchanges). Needless to say, a sizable proportion of the medical community objects to what they view as encroachment on their turf.

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  28. Yea, but I did say "in general". Do you think the provisions will adequately address the spiralling costs of US health care? My limited knowledge of the bill suggests it won't.

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  29. When o when is RufusCare going to kick in and we'll all be able to buy coke, crack and H at the pharmacy when we are 18 and won't care whether we are dead or alive, like Whitney dead stunned in the tub in a foot of water?

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  30. Newest voice analysis indicates Zimmerman said "fucking goons rather than "fucking coons" a slur on goons everywhere but too late to save the life of the poor old white guy who just had his brains beat out with a hammer by two blacks youths in Florida.

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  31. .

    Deuce pointed out that his views had evolved on a number of issues over the past few years. I find mine have also evolved (Doug might say devolved)over the past decade as I have noted how things actually work rather than the way I had always assumed they worked.

    Healthcare is one where my views have probably changed the most. I was against Obamacare from the beginning because it was set up to lose, it was based on lies, and because IMO it was an intermediary step to a single payer system and all the horror stories we have heard about them. Obamacare was sold on lies: universal coverage, cost containment, no diminishing of services. On its face, the equation is illogical.

    [Of course, there is the constitutionality which is another issue all together.]

    Those who think Obamacare will provide significant cost savings are fooling themselves. I could go into a further explanation but the list of reasons is long and we have discussed them a number of times before.

    Those who think there won't be a diminishment in services are likewise naive. Now some may, or have, argued that this might be a good thing. As I recall, it was the head of the WHO back in the 70's that argued that DDT should be banned, and one of the reasons he offered was that malaria killed off people in Africa which in turn helped mitigate the effects of the coming 'population explosion'. However, putting aside the moral issues, services, especially for the elderly, will be cut under Obamacare.

    As for universal coverage, that will probably depend on what comes out of SCOTUS.

    All that being said, Obamacare is 100% better than what Paul Ryan and the GOP offer. Ryan talks about cutting deficits but there is no cutting in his proposed budget. The GOP is not worried about the debt. They are worried about the size of government. Without government involvement healthcare costs in this country (for most people) will continue to escalate, that is, for those who have healthcare.

    Right now I feel there will be no solution to the escalating healthcare costs in this country, at least, not in the forseeable future. The reasons are obvious (to me), and they are mostly political. The Dems and the GOP have diametrically opposed visions of how healthcare in this country should be managed. The Dems want a single payer system; Obamacare is merely an intermediate step on the way. The GOP wants the government completely out of healthcare. The two parties seem unable or unwilling to bridge the gap.

    Purely private managed healthcare, Obamacare, or a single payer system (sorry Doug), I could go for any one of them if I thought they would actually work. None of them will. That is, none of them will work, without a radical new approach by government. Healthcare represents 1/6 of our GDP. It will soon represent 1/5. The US government is the largest purchaser of healthcare, drugs, and services in the country yet it refuses to negotiate with the healthcare industry or big pharma in any meaningful way. Until it does, healthcare costs will continue to escalate at double or triple the general rate of inflation. And that is unsustainable.

    .

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    1. Since every dollar spent is a dollar earned by someone, what would be wrong if 50% of our GNP was spent on health care rather than on throw away crap from China?

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  32. You haven't said anything except nothing works and haven't suggested what would.

    The only thing you seem able to think of is "a radical new approach by government."

    Christ.

    What might that be?

    I have suggested pouring money into creating more doctors and clinics.

    At least I have made a suggestion.

    I can't see that you have said one damn thing there.

    Go back to horoscopes, you are good at that.

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    1. .

      Not sure if its the reading ability or the comprehension you lack, bobbo.

      What I suggested is that the government 'really' negotiate with the health care industry and big pharma. They don't do it right now. Example: Big Pharma bought Obama off with a 'promise' to cut $80 billion as part of Obamacare. What wasn't in the agreement was any kind of base line or a process to track those savings. From what I can see it was a hand shake and a wink. In return, Obama promised not to have the government 'negotiate' with the drug companies on prices. Even if the drug companies actually came up with some savings, how long do you think it would take them to recoup those savings and more given that they have no controls on the prices they charge?

      And before you blame it on Obamacare, realize that it was the GOP that is most resistant to negotiations on price with private corporations. Take a look at Bush's drug plan and how it was financed (or not financed if you like).

      On healthcare, there has been a provision in Medicare for many years called the Doc-Fix where the amount paid to doctors for specific services is reduced each year based on targeted efficiencies. (This is the same thing private industry does all the time. There is nothing radical about it.) But the AMA and the doctors are an important interest group, so Congress (both Dems and GOP) have for years been delaying the cuts without doing away with them (which would kick up the debt on paper and make it clear the game they are running). The cuts are included in the budgets but only a fool would believe we will ever see them.

      But then, you have made a suggestion, "pouring money into creating more doctors and clinics". I'm sorry, but while more doctors and clinics may be nice, I don't see how it addresses the issues of the uninsured, declining services for certain classes of people, or cost control given there is no pricing mechanism to control those costs.

      I'm doing this from memory, but as I recall since Obamacare was passed general inflation has gone up on average 1-2% per year. In the same time frame, healthcare costs have gone up around 8% a year. How far ahead of the game do you think the healthcare industry will be ahead of the game by 2014 when most of Obamacare is implemented.

      Half my family works in the healthcare industry, doctors, nurses, pharma sales, etc. I've seen how it works. Without controls healthcare costs will continue out of control.

      .

      .

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  33. Whose money are you proposing to pour into all those doctors and clinics Bob? It seems you'd like to jack up taxes and funnel the money to the medical people with no cost controls. Seems awfully foolish on the face of it.

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  34. What does 'negotiate with big pharma in a meaningful way' mean?

    I can't see it actually means anything when you get down to it. You still have big pharma to negotiate with.

    Perhaps allowing companies to bring drugs to the market without so intense scrutiny as we have now might help, but there is always the memory of thalidimide etc.

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    1. .

      What it means is "negotiating with big pharma in a meaningful way".

      We constantly hear about how much the drug companies pay on reasearch and how it helps all of us. What we don't hear is that they spend as much or more on marketing. I could go into examples but why don't you try to look it up yourself. I'll give you one example to start you in the right direction. My sister is a big wig in the healthcare industry. She takes four or five trips a year (excellent hotels, airfare, per diem stipends, etc.) at the pharma companies expense to attend seminars where the companies push new drugs.

      Unless their customers (including the government) negotiate in a meaningful way (for the Idaho farmer, that translates into 'tough negotiations') to control costs, you have a cost-plus system and end up with the same bloated costs we can expect from military contractors.

      As far as cutting regulations for bringing drugs to market, there may be something to that; but then that gets back to ethics and the role of government in protecting the public. Remember thalidomide.

      .

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  35. Replies
    1. oh, well, that'll solve the problems!

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  36. MattB. wrote: Seems the SC is all about taking personal liberties and transferring them to Corporations lately.

    Yet it's ObamaCare that has the mandate for private citizens to be compelled to buy insurance from corporate providers. Go figure.

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  37. HERE is a dispute just made for Ash.

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  38. The wink and the kick re Bush's drug plan is that he "gifted" it to the Democrats in exchange for their support of his military "engagements" in the ME. The degree to which that allegation is true becomes rather marginal when looking at the lobby money which is dominated by Pharma - almost a third bigger than their no. 2 competitor, Insurance (the biggest of which is BCBS.)

    Here is the link.

    As everyone knows. Resolution of healthcare delivery is a test of this country's institutional polity to "course correct" away from the muck of crony capitalism toward a more civic version of government.

    Democracy ain't easy, but it ain't all that hard either.

    The most vulnerable group will be lower income seniors - with or without ACA. I have moved in the opposite direction - from opposing ACA to moderately supporting it. (I think some possibly limited pay-for-performance programs, coupled with prevention and criminal prosecution would decelerate the cost curve - or bend it, as they say.) My preference at this point is one of two paths: keep the mandate, but highly regulate the providers, creating something like a quasi-private-public partnership (many utilities are organized on this business structure) - or, alternatively, hope that SCOTUS throws out the mandate and pressure Congress to replace it with a Medicaid option.

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  39. I've been sitting here doing some really deep thinking.

    Since I'm getting to be of the culling age, why should I be enthusiastic about paying for a program that is going to cull me out?

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  40. Why, as one coming of culling age, do I find myself reluctant to fund the system that is going to cull me?

    Am I unpatriotic?

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  41. Why, as one coming of culling age, do I find myself reluctant to fund the system that is going to cull me?

    Am I unpatriotic?

    I am keeping my private insurance, by the way.

    You are not going to cull me without a fight. It is something only I have the right to do.

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  42. Replies
    1. bobo said

      But if you’re an illegal you can come and go as you please. And don’t worry about reporting any income or paying taxes. And help yourself to free government programs.

      US citizens have no such luck.

      Let’s take our country back from this insanity! Join the Council of Conservative Citizens today!

      http://www.cofcc.org

      Delete
  43. How is ObamaCare going to affect research like THIS?

    Dash Dhanak, who leads the epigenetics research group at GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s biggest drug companies, described to the meeting his efforts to develop a substance that will inhibit the activity of an enzyme called EZH2.

    The devil's workshop, according to Quirk, (((((BIG PHARMA)))))

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    1. .

      The devil's workshop, according to Quirk, (((((BIG PHARMA)))))



      Merely stating my opinion, bobbo.

      But you could be right. Of course, I'm sure you realize that the chances of me being wrong are awfully low, but still, I'm not omniscient.

      So tell me this. If it's not a scam on the part of (((((BIG PHARMA))))),

      1. Why does the US on average pay double for major drugs what other industialized countries do?

      2. The drug companies say that the other countries control their costs so someone has to pay for all research and development. They say this give the US consumer an advantage because we have access to the latest drugs. But if this is so,

      a. Aren't the drug companies able to write off those R&D costs just like every other company in the US does? And if that is true, why are these guys talking about their high R&D costs?

      b. And what is this about the access we Americans have? You were just complaining about regulations and the time it takes to bring these drugs to market here in the US.

      c. Is it fair for the US to bear all these costs while the rest of the world rides free?

      3. You worry about research. Will it affect finding a cure for cancer? As pointed out above, if they can write off the costs of their R&D, why should it affect their programs. For those companies working on cancer cures, finding a cure would be nirvana. Why would they stop?

      4. Are the drug companies hurting? The last numbers I recall, which were a few years back (2008?), the top 15 global companies had an annual profit approaching $800 billion. Not too shabby.

      But you obviously have a different opinion. Convince me or at least point out where I'm wrong. Inquiring minds want to know. If you have to think about the answers or WIKI is giving you trouble, I'd suggest you go to CofCC websites and have the boys there provide you with some ammo.


      .

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  44. So, let's see.

    The Devil Big Phara might find a Cure For Cancer.

    But we will have passed ObamaCare, and the decision as to whether or not someone, say, over 50, has 'the quality of life' to be allowed to take the drug is up to a group of unelected 'folks'.

    :(

    Only those from inner Mississippi could be talked into buying such a scheme.

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  45. Yep, Bob, the Democratic Party just can't wait to start killing off members of the largest, most dependable voting bloc in the country.

    Bob, has it never occurred to you that you're an idiot?

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  46. It has indeed but then I compared myself to you two and decided I wasn't.

    I thot to myself, self, is it a good idea, like Ruf says, to sell coke, crack and H to those over 18 at the local pharmacy?

    Then I thot, naw, that's insane.
    Only an obvious fool would advocate something like that.

    And I thot, only a fool like Rufus could possibly blab on like he does about religion, and only from a totally illiterate background.

    Deuce, you do have more brains than Rufus, and are more subtle in your prejudices, I will say that you are certainly no obvious fool, and I imagine very accomplished in your field.

    I can't recall you've actually said what you think of ObamaCare, though I'd be surprised you'd be for it.

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  47. I may be wrong about this, it might be something else, but I trace Deuce's anti-semitism to an extremely juvenile reading of parts of the New Testiment, considering a couple of the totally errant off the wall readings of parts of it he has referenced a couple times, perhaps a hold over from an early Catholic education still to this day improperly erased and improved.

    WiO might be onto something with his we are all assholes, just each in our own way.

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    2. I don’t care any more about the New Testament than I do about the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is all myth and legend to me. They are both historic curiosities. If you need to look to ancient literature to put meaning into your life, start with Mithraism. It is almost 4000 years old and may seem curiously familiar to you.

      Today when you have no other argument you flash the race card. It is a short cut to thought.

      Sensible argument is mostly wasted on you.

      For the record: The worst racist comments ever written on this blog were written by you and deleted by Whit and me. Those comments pale in comparison to your obsession and outrageous personal revelations. Do your own introspection. As to Wio, you are the only one of the few who takes him seriously.

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    3. Bob: I may be wrong about this, it might be something else, but I trace Deuce's anti-semitism to an extremely juvenile reading of parts of the New Testiment...

      You and WiO need to buy a clue. Being anti-welfare for Israel is not being anti-Jew. Even Bibi says Israel needs to wean off the sow's tit eventually.

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    4. .

      I take WiO seriously and I agree with him on about 80-90% of what he says. I disagree with him mainly on some of the 'history' he comes up with and on the wisdom of some of the actions he suggests the US take in the ME.

      Gag asked me if there was anyone in the world I like. I responded "most people". That's true of this blog also. Despite that, I argue with everyone here. I look for areas of disagreement just to keep the conversation interesting. It's much more interesting than sitting around saying 'ditto' to all the things you agree on.

      I even followed Ruf here from Kudlow's just to keep the arguments going. But I still like the old coot (and agree with him on most things.) The same applies to WiO and even Bob (although he does come up with some pretty silly stuff at times like his latest fixation on Catholics.)

      .

      .

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    5. wasp says:

      You and WiO need to buy a clue. Being anti-welfare for Israel is not being anti-Jew. Even Bibi says Israel needs to wean off the sow's tit eventually.


      Your pov about jews, israel, zionism, judaism is hardly limited to "anti-welfare"

      HUNDREDS of your posts are anti-semitic. A discussion about reducing aid to Israel is hardly a reason to call you an anti-semetic cunt, no the reason you are an anti-semetic is clear and well documented.

      Even your labeling the military aid Israel gets as "welfare" shows your bias. One standard for Israel, no standards for anyone else.

      No ms t, zena, teresita, wasp, your being an anti-semitic troll has NOTHING to do with the wish to reduce aid to Israel.

      Just like your comment a few days ago about the USS Liberty was an example of your Israel hatred exposed raw...

      Now once again I tell you, you anti-semitic troll, shove it up your ass....

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    6. it is long past time for our political "leaders" in Washington to start dealing honestly with Iran and stop kowtowing to Israel and its AIPAC lobbyists. Iran is not a threat to the US and does not remotely justify the kind of belligerent talk and actions which our Government is currently directing toward Iran. Stop the war-mongering and start addressing the real problems which ordinary Americans are confronting here and now. Asshole.

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  48. My original post vanished. My best reconstruction is below.

    I have gone from opposing single-payer in general, ACA in particular, to moderately supporting the Obama bill. With or without ACA, low income seniors are and will remain the most vulnerable demographic.

    The Bush Prescription legislation was passed with a wink and a kick in return for Democratic support of his administration's military "engagements in the ME. The degree of truth in what has become dogma among many on the modern Right is of marginal relevance when one considers the lobby distribution by industry. Pharma is at the top, spending almost a third more than the no. 2 competitor, which is insurance, with BCBS at the top.

    Here is the link.

    Crony capitalism crippled the institutional polity in this country. A little larceny never hurt anybody, but we're way beyond that. Choose your own favorite visual for excess.

    USA has a strong institutional structure that can be salvaged with some tweaks (term limits) and some fresh blood on the inside. Maybe Marco Rubio is our savior. Maybe not. What is more likely is that the next generation of Washingtonians will be *slightly* better - across the board. One can make a cultural argument that humanity is improving in some sense. (I'm also conditionally supportive of shifting some power back to the states but that too has problems.)

    What I like about the "democracy ain't easy" statement is the deeper and fairly profound assertion that humanity will be at each other's throats for some considerable distance into whatever is left of our future. It's what we do. There will be no perfect and no final solution for anything. Democracy isn't a spreadsheet app. The perfect being the enemy of the good etc.

    Getting back to the action plan, I am convinced that the absolute best thing Washington can do to "course correct" is overhaul the tax code. The trickle-down along multiple vectors would be incalculable. I'm not sure this group can do it but prioritizing tax code reform and following through with implementation would unleash the "animal spirits" in a way that would make the Chinese spit in their tea cups.

    Healthcare is not insoluble but it is does qualify as "high maintenance" to use that elegant phrase of endearment.

    I would like to see one of two paths take hold. If SCOTUS upholds the mandate, then the healthcare provider enterprises should be highly regulated using an architecture similar to the quasi-private-public models of many utilities.

    Alternatively, if the mandate is struck down, then Medicaid should be offered as an option, along with competitive insurance "exchanges" to bring some market-forced cost control into the private healthcare providers (the latter is already part of the current ACA.)

    Both approaches should emphasize prevention, which is more important than I initially thought, particularly in controlling obesity-related chronic disease (also part of the current ACA which I initially scorned), and criminal prosecution. There will never be a perfect or permanent solution for fraud but proper emphasis can make that particular career choice more unattractive.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is well thought out and I will post it tomorrow.

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  49. No, this is something different. It is an act of "preterstupidity" and serves as further evidence that BHO possesses a learning disability.

    Obama Is Dumb As A Stump

    And, I am compelled to add, against my better self, it is why Ruf likes the guy so much. Same wave length.

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  50. Give me a break deuce.

    Lincoln is the worst President in American history.

    Only you could say that.

    It's like you pine for the days of slavery.

    It's only a guess, but I bet you were actually born in Virginia.

    Am I right?

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  51. Lincoln was the worst President in American history.

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    1. I'm thinking either Carter or Obummer. They're a photo-finish for worst.

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  52. President Obama flashed the Vulcan salute with Lt. Uhura, or at least the actress who played her, Nichelle Nichols.

    Nichols posted a photo of her and Obama doing the iconic hand gesture from "Star Trek" in the Oval Office from a recent visit.


    Shit, he's blown his cover. Now he'll *never* convince Bob-al-Harb he isn't an alien...

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  53. Sick Rantorum has to win 85% of the remaining delegates to catch up to the Mormon. As long as Newt and Paul remain in, they are taking some of the protest delegates too.

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  54. This is the last I'll say today because I'm getting ticked off.

    Maybe this is the difference between us deuce -

    This cracker would have been for the war to free the nigs, while you Mr. White Man would have been against fighting to free Mr. Black Man, giving the rationale that it would 'go away' someday all of its own.

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  55. Bob: This cracker would have been for the war to free the nigs, while you Mr. White Man would have been against fighting to free Mr. Black Man, giving the rationale that it would 'go away' someday all of its own.

    I don't care about slaves, we were fighting to maintain the monopoly on interstate force that was reserved to the Federals. Without that monopoly we didn't have a country, just a balkanized clusterfuck.

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  56. Slavery was business. It could have been ended with business. Every other country in the Americas ended slavery without their leaders getting their own citizens killed by the hundreds of thousand. Was Lincoln the dumbest, the least competent or was he deranged? I don’t know but he could not accomplish what every other president in the Americas managed to do. If you think he was great, have at it. Had I been alive during the Civil War, I would not have been wearing a blue uniform. Had I had an opportunity to kill Sherman , I would have.

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  57. That was an exceptionally well-said comment, Anon. I enjoy your perspective.

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  58. All those seventeen, and eighteen yr old boys weren't fighting "for" slavery, or "against" slavery. They were just fighting for the home folks, depending on where "home" was.

    Had I been eighteen at the time, I'm sure I would have done the same.

    Had I been fifty-five at the time, I would have probably lit out for Oregon.

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