Archive for Socialism

Who’s Up for a Little Single-Payer News?

You haven’t eaten yet, have you? Good.

Just some headlines:

Mum who lost baby hits out at NHS staff shortages after two more newborns die at same hospital

One in 16 patients in NHS hospitals picks up infection, warns watchdog

Labour considers raising national insurance to fix £30bn NHS ‘black hole’

NHS bosses shut walk-in centres as A&E crisis deepens while desperate hospitals want to turn away patients

NHS faces strike threat as 500,000 healthcare staff to be balloted

‘I was accused of fraud, sexual impropriety and assault’: Whistleblower cardiologist details decade-long NHS bullying campaign after he exposed deadly hospital failings

All of which demands this be asked:

Who would now dare put their trust in the NHS?

Well, one person:

‘This time next year I won’t have a baby. I’ll be famous instead’: Four-months’ pregnant woman who had £4,800 boob job on NHS wants abortion so she can appear on Big Brother

These scandalous headlines come from the liberal and conservative press. They highlight some of the whopping lies Obama has spewed (bending the “cost curve”; universal coverage); they betray the folly of government-run health care being about health care rather than about government.

But the boob-job lady who wants to terminate her baby so that she can appear on Big Brother is the face of Socialized Medicine. She takes no responsibility for her actions—she’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the NHS. She takes silicon implants and returns an aborted fetus. And it’s all free, free, free! (If you call now, we’ll abort your twins for no extra cost!) She’s a monstrous extension of Sandra Fluke, who (as a 30-year-old, remember) wanted a Jesuit institution to cover birth control and abortifacients. It’s one thing to want that—it’s quite another to testify at a fake hearing to demand it.

All of these crushingly depressing headlines are as much a feature of socialized medicine as bed sores and MRSA epidemics.

In case you think I’m being unfair to Britain:

Sweden’s problem is access to care. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index 2013, Swedish patients suffer from inordinately long wait times to get an appointment with a doctor, specialist treatment or even emergency care. Wait times are Europe’s longest, and Swedes dependent on the public-health system have to wait months or even years for certain procedures, or are denied treatment.

For example, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare reports that as of 2013, the average wait time (from referral to start of treatment) for “intermediary and high risk” prostate cancer is 220 days. In the case of lung cancer, the wait between an appointment with a specialist and a treatment decision is 37 days.

This waiting is what economists call rationing—the delay or even failure to provide care due to government budgetary decisions. So the number of people seeking care far outweighs the capabilities of providers, translating into insurance in name but not in practice. This is likely to be a result of ObamaCare as well.

Look at it this way, maybe we’ll all look as hot as Swedes.

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Oh, That’s “Social Justice”!

I asked the other day what the hell the term meant, and concluded: “’social justice’ would seem to mean a vicious cycle of liberal nonsense”, in which a do-gooding government would stick its nose into the marketplace of labor and management for the benefit of the former and the detriment of the latter (that’s the justice part), only to see its heavy-handed, anti-capitalist efforts lead to layoffs and economic sclerosis.

I kinda talk that way sometimes.

But God bless Prager University (and Professor Jonah Goldberg) for taking a crack at the question too.

The video won’t play for me, but here are selections from the transcript:

Try this at your next party. Ask your guests to define the term Social Justice.

Since everyone on that side of the spectrum talks incessantly about social justice, they should be able to provide a good definition, right?

But ask ten liberals to tell you what they mean by social justice and you’ll get ten different answers.

That’s because Social Justice means anything its champions want it to mean.

“The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families — to bring economic justice to the workplace, and social justice to our nation.”

In short, “social justice” is code for good things no one needs to argue for — and no one dare be against.

This very much troubled the great economist Friedrich Hayek.

This is what he wrote in 1976, two years after winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

“I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice’.”

Pro or con, good or bad, it still has no concrete meaning (which is Goldberg’s point).

So what the hell does it mean?

Hayek understood that beneath the political opportunism and intellectual laziness of the term “social justice” was a pernicious philosophical claim, namely that freedom must be sacrificed in order to redistribute income.

Ultimately, “social justice” is about the state amassing ever increasing power in order to, do “good things.” What are good things?

Well whatever the champions of social justice decide this week.

But first, last and always it is the cause of economic redistribution.

Well, “Professor” Goldberg, that’s what you say, you reactionary killjoy. Maybe it means flowers and butterflies to other people.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

That is precisely how a UN report on Social Justice defines the term:

“Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth.

Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

I repeat: “Strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

And it gets worse.

The UN report goes on to insist that: “Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.”

Translation: if you believe truth and justice are concepts independent of the agenda of the forces of progress as defined by the left, you are an enemy of social justice.

Yet again, if you scratch a liberal, you find a fascist underneath. (And probably need a tetanus shot.)

The self-declared champions of social justice believe the state must remedy and can remedy all perceived wrongs.

Anyone who disagrees is an enemy of what is good and right.

And the state must therefore coerce them to do what is socially just.

And that, as Hayek prophesized, is no longer a free society.

It is, rather, ObAmerica.

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Simple Truths

The Fed has pumped so much money into the economy, yet the economy is still… the economy.

What gives?

In her first Congressional appearance as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen cheered Wall Street with her promise to continue the easy-money policies of predecessor Ben Bernanke. But Judy Shelton warns in our pages that “when the low-grade fever of perpetual inflation becomes a full-blown economic malady—when the next financial bubble bursts with horrible consequences for the real economy—average Americans will pay the biggest price.”

While Ms. Yellen’s Senate testimony today is likely to attract more media attention, we’d say this week’s most important speech from the Federal Reserve system came last night in Texas. Before a gathering of financial executives, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher quantified how much money the central bank has been pumping into the economy. Mr. Fisher said that total reserves of depository institutions “have ballooned from a precrisis level of $43 billion to $2.5 trillion.” He added that “the amount of money lying fallow in the banking system is 60 times greater now than it was at year-end 2007. One is hard pressed to argue that there is insufficient money available for businesses to put people back to work.”

“It is my firm belief,” he continued, ” that the fault in our economy lies not in monetary policy but in a feckless federal government that simply cannot get its fiscal and regulatory policy geared so as to encourage business to take the copious amount of money we at the Fed have created and put it to work creating jobs and growing our economy. Fiscal policy is not only ‘not an ally of U.S. growth,’ it is its enemy. If the fiscal and regulatory authorities that you elect and put into office to craft taxes, spending and regulations do not focus their efforts on providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment rather than bicker with each other for partisan purposes, our economy will continue to fall short and the middle-income worker will continue being victimized, no matter how much money the Fed prints.”

Game. Set. Match.

This is why I don’t believe the US is a completely lost cause; why our best days are behind us. Federal government policy is completely at odds with “providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment” or “creating jobs and growing our economy”. This administration wouldn’t know how to grow the economy if you held a gun to its head (metaphorically speaking, of course). Candidate Obama didn’t want to create wealth, he told Joe the Plumber, he wanted to spread it.

On that, and that alone, he has kept his promise. But if the dry rot hasn’t penetrated too deep, the house divided may still be saved. Put another way, if my faith is in capitalism, that faith has not been shaken. What we have had lately is crony socialism, quite a different thing.

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Whose ObamaCare is it, Anyway?

The one that is so onerous, so unworkable (so Constitutional, bitches!), that its very namesake has to undo it piece by piece—or the one that is to be celebrated for being so onerous, so unworkable?

No one’s calling this Constitutional:

‘ObamaCare” is useful shorthand for the Affordable Care Act not least because the law increasingly means whatever President Obama says it does on any given day. His latest lawless rewrite arrived on Monday as the White House decided to delay the law’s employer mandate for another year and in some cases maybe forever.

ObamaCare requires businesses with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty, but last summer the Treasury offered a year-long delay until 2015 despite having no statutory authorization. Like the individual mandate, the employer decree is central to ObamaCare’s claim of universal coverage, but employers said the new labor costs—and the onerous reporting and tax-enforcement rules—would damage job creation and the economy.

[T]he new delay arrives amid a furious debate about jobs after a damning Congressional Budget Office report last week, only this time with liberals celebrating ObamaCare’s supposed benefits to the job market.

Well, which is it? Either ObamaCare is ushering in a worker’s paradise, in which case by the White House’s own logic exempting businesses from its ministrations is harming employees. Or else the mandate really is leading business to cut back on hiring, hours and shifting workers to part-time as the evidence in the real economy suggests.

The Left now dismisses employment as “job lock”. Never mind that 92,000,000 Americans are “job-locked-out”, now and probably forever, Democrats see work as a form of indentured servitude. How can they celebrate falling unemployment when each person who lands a job (the J-word) must leave his poetic and artistic ambitions behind? (Can someone slip the collected works of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams into Nancy Pelosi’s hands? Or a Charles Ives CD?)

Changing an unambiguous statutory mandate requires the approval of Congress, but then this President has often decided the law is whatever he says it is. His Administration’s cavalier notions about law enforcement are especially notable here for their bias for corporations over people. The White House has refused to suspend the individual insurance mandate, despite the harm caused to millions who are losing their previous coverage.

We are left to wonder whether they are truly making this up as they go along—just lurching from crisis to crisis—or whether this catastrophic cluster[bleep] of a law (law?) serves a greater plan. Completely socialized medicine is one possible goal: running the private sector out of the health sector by changing the rules willy-nilly, until the only question is how much money is bled out, not profit gained. Certainly that is the effect of Obama’s policies (policies?), if not the intent.

But didn’t the Democrats just tell us their true intent? You don’t need a job to validate yourself, you need health care, subsidized by the government. People who work care about taxes; people who are subsidized by the government say raise ‘em high. People who work tend to see the virtue of small government; people who are subsidized by the government are…subsidized by the government. People who work might vote Republican; people who are subsidized by the government wouldn’t vote Republican if ordered to by Uday Hussein.

Never mind that the economics don’t add up—the Koch Bros. can’t support everybody—if it wins elections (as it did in ’08 and ’12), what is there left to discuss?

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We’re All Argentine Now

Ha, what a bunch of losers!

Argentines have grown used to food shortages and strict foreign exchange controls, but could running out of ketchup be the final straw? On Monday, McDonald’s Argentina apologised to customers citing a shortage problem for the lack of ketchup but that didn’t stop angry customers from using social media to vent their frustration- with some arguing the situation reflects the dire state of the Argentine economy under President Cristina Kirchner.

Jimena Blanco, senior Latin America analyst at Maplecroft, told The Independent: “The problem varies from week to week, product to product, but it’s largely related to Argentina’s foreign exchange controls.”

“In this case, it appears that the sachets are packaged in Chile,” she added. “McDonald’s Argentina may have the cash to pay for it in pesos – it’s the lack of access to dollars that’s usually a problem for Argentine companies.”

…Last year, Argentina saw shortages of basic products such as wheat, corn, tomatoes and cooking oil. Now it can add Ketchup to the list.

Collectivist kooks. Socialist saps. Nationalized nitwits.

Oh wait…

The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday.

It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000, and that 2.5 million workers would be lost by 2024. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate.

Although the CBO projects that total employment and compensation will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the healthcare law.

The CBO is not saying employers will fire millions of workers because of the law.

It instead found that the healthcare law will create disincentives for people to work and that this in turn will cut into the labor supply, hurt the economy, lower tax collection and cause higher deficits.

Some people will leave the workforce or reduce their hours in response to lower wages because of the healthcare law, while others will leave or reduce their hours because they have insurance coverage and do not need to work full time to keep it, the CBO said.

“Disincentives to work”: not necessarily a bad thing. Work can kill (see below).

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One Promise He Aims to Keep

The promise:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody and that’s what Jim is talking about when he says, ‘Everybody in. Nobody out.’ A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”

“This is a two trillion dollar part of our economy and it is my belief that it’s not just politically but economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place–a universal healthcare system signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further to make it more rational…”

“By the way, Canada did not start immediately with a single payer system. They had a similar transition step.”

The promise kept:

Moody’s announced Thursday it was downgrading its outlook for health insurers from stable to negative based on uncertainty related to ObamaCare.

“While we’ve had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk said in a statement. “The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.”

The Obama administration has implemented a string of unilateral changes and delays to the healthcare law that has drawn complaints from insurers.

Such as:

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program.

He said that so far, Obamacare has just shifted people who were insured in the individual market to the public exchanges where they could get a better deal on a subsidy for coverage. “We see only 11 percent of the population is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn’t really eat into the uninsured population.”

For Obamacare to work better, it needs more flexibility and choice of insurance programs, Bertolini said. “We need to make it a lot more simpler for people. There needs to be more choice. When you get more choice, you make it more of a market and you get more people in the program.”

It’s not hard to make Obama out to be the charlatan and ignoramus that he is. Anyone can do it (we do it). Just turn on your computer.

PS: File under Scenes From the Front Lines of Socialized Medicine (aka single-payer):

Pensioners with cancer are being written off as too old to treat, campaigners said yesterday.

They cited figures showing survival rates for British patients aged 75 and over are among the worst in Europe.

At least Britain’s death panels are NICE!

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The Mouse That Roared

The title refers to a movie (based on a novel) in which the Grand Duchy of Fenwick (whence comes our formal name, Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan) declares war on the United States. Expecting certain and immediate defeat, the Duchy expects to receive generous American largesse, a la the Marshall Plan. Defeat will never have been so profitable.

Barack Obama: the louse that roared.

With a record 20 percent of households on food stamps, former Florida Rep. Allen West says it’s time to stop saying President Barack Obama’s policies are failing.

They may be performing exactly as intended, he says.

West, a Republican, said he recently reread the Cloward-Piven strategy, proposed by two sociologists and political activists in 1966. The purpose of the strategy, offered to Democrats at the time, was to overload the welfare system so that people could be given “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”

Obama’s economic policies may be intended to do something similar, West hinted during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

“We’re seeing an incredible growth of the welfare nanny state; we’re seeing the poverty rolls explode; we’re seeing the food stamp rolls explode; we’re seeing more dependency on government largesse and programs,” he said. “We’re seeing a desperation and a despondency out there that’s being created by this administration.”

Other Republicans have said Obama’s Affordable Care Act is intended not to work properly, but rather to fail so a single-payer, government-run system can be installed.

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Mission Accomplished

As President Obama starts his sixth year in office, his job ratings remain near record lows and more voters think his policies have hurt rather than helped the economy. And even as voters continue to hold mostly negative views on the economy and the direction of the country, a new Fox News poll finds they see some improvement.

A third of voters say they like both Obama and his policies — a dramatic drop from 47 percent who felt that way in October 2012. In addition, 62 percent now say they dislike the president’s policies, up from 51 percent the month before his re-election.

The recession ended less than six months into his term; we’ve enjoyed four and a half years of recovery; things seem no better, even if the unemployment rate has fallen steadily; Obama won reelection. I’m sorry, where has he failed?

Ninety-two million Americans aren’t working; one-fifth of families are on food stamps; the “47 percent” is probably now closer to 52 percent; private health care is kaput; our once-great nation has been turned into a population of paupers. In baseball that’s what you call a five-tool player.

Or just a tool.

PS: Like I was saying.

While the administration publicly expresses full confidence in its health care law, privately it fears one part of the system is so flawed it could bankrupt insurance companies and cripple ObamaCare itself.

All going according to plan:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody….

A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”

“[I]t’s not just politically but economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place–a universal healthcare system signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further to make it more rational…”

“By the way, Canada did not start immediately with a single payer system. They had a similar transition step.”

The George Washington of USA-SSR.

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Rush Limbaugh, Right Again

Rush Limbaugh took a bit of heat a few weeks ago for daring to correct the Pope on economic theory. Capitalism, not socialism, not even charity, lifted the most people out of poverty, Rush averred.

Somebody—a lot of somebodies—owe Rush an apology:

More than one in five people live in extreme poverty globally, according to a new report, though China’s continued economic growth has improved the lives of millions.

The poverty rate in the world’s most populous country fell by nearly three-quarters in the last six years, from 26% in 2007 to 7% by 2012, the report by Gallup, a U.S.-based research company, said.

Such a trend is attributed to the economic reforms within the country in the last couple of decades.

Reform from what to what, CNN? No reply.

These substantial strides by China meant overall poverty across the globe was halved from 40% to 20% within two decades, according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have the highest levels of poverty, with the majority of the population in the region — 54% — living under extreme poverty. The statistics in Liberia and Burundi are even more dire, with 90% of the population classed in this category.

I’m not saying you want to be China, Africa, but there’s nothing stopping you.

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[Belch] #Gettalking

I’ve got my pajamas on (with the handy trap door in the back!); I’m drinking hot chockie (spiked with Grey Goose).

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I’m ready to talk health insurance:

Last night, the Obama administration announced two big changes to Obamacare, for people who have seen their individual-market insurance plans canceled this year: They won’t have to comply with the individual mandate, meaning they can go without insurance and not pay the not-insubstantial fine (1 percent of their income, basically); and if they do want insurance, they can buy a “catastrophic” plan on the exchanges, which is cheaper than any of the other plans available.

1. The way it treats the uninsured is unfair and potentially politically unsustainable.

Now that the law’s requirements have been significantly weakened for people who did have insurance in 2013, it’s going to be hard to stand by them for people who didn’t.

More simply, of course, people whose plans have been canceled will now simply be able to go without insurance, period, at no cost.

2. The way it treats almost everyone else is unfair: The exchanges have been open for three months now, and plenty of Americans have committed to buy plans that were either more expensive than they want or that they didn’t want in the first place. If people whose individual-market plans have been canceled knew this was going to happen, they could have waited to buy a catastrophic plan, or bought one on the non-exchange market, or gone without insurance entirely.

3. Adverse selection: The people who had their plans canceled now have something called a “hardship exemption” for 2014, which grants them a number of exceptions from Obamacare rules (they’re also given to people in various other instances of distress, though it’s not clear how many people are getting them).

This means people who might otherwise buy insurance — say, middle-aged people with potentially looming health problems — can go without it, and if a serious health-care problem comes up, they can just enroll in the exchanges.

3. More adverse selection: The catastrophic plans that the Obama administration will now let anyone with a canceled plan enroll in this year were originally set up for anyone under the age of 30, and for anyone who gets a hardship exemption. Now, they’ll see an influx of people who had their plans canceled, a group that insurers don’t actually know much about — and for whom they haven’t set their premiums.

I’m thinking of opening a vein. Even the writer can’t keep his numbers straight—that’s two 3s by my count. There are three more objections—or is it two?—if you can stand it. Suddenly, these “substandard” plans, by “bad apple” insurers, made illegal under ObamaSuck, are kosher again.

We are a nation that calls 911 when McDonald’s runs out of McNuggets—who thinks we can keep this [bleep] straight? The writer can’t, Obama can’t, insurance companies can’t—they’ve turned our annual physical into a body cavity search conducted by the IRS.

Which is the point. The law changes more often than I do my underwear (see image above). It’s no way to run a business.

Which is the point.

A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Be patient, liebchen. This is worth waiting for:

THE NHS should not be treated as a “national religion” while millions of patients receive a “wholly unsatisfactory” service from GPs and hospitals, the official regulator has warned.

David Prior, the chairman of the Care Quality Commission, said the health service had been allowed to reach the brink of crisis because it was “too powerful” to be criticised.

He said parts of the NHS were “out of control” because honest debate about the weaknesses of the health service was not tolerated.

“It became too powerful to criticise,” he said. “When things were going wrong people didn’t say anything. If you criticised the NHS – the attitude was how dare you?

Mr Prior suggested that the “target culture” imposed by Labour a decade ago fundamentally damaged the culture of the NHS, creating a “chillingly defensive” operation in which the truth was often sacrificed.

“The whole culture of the NHS became so focused on targets that it obscured what real quality was about,” he said. “The voice of the patient wasn’t in those targets.”

Under the cover of governmental busybodyness, the leftist party mandated changes that left “folks” worse off than they were before. Sound familiar?

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Good News, Bad News

Obamacare.suk still sucks. And that’s the good news:

Insurance companies and health officials analyzing insurance applications submitted through HealthCare.gov are reportedly still grappling with significant online enrollment errors despite the Obama administration’s push in November to improve the glitch-ridden website.

Thousands of applicants from the federally-run ObamaCare website have received inaccurate assignments to Medicaid or to the private marketplace, or have received incorrect denials, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday, citing unidentified officials.

In one case, an Illinois health official said that legal immigrants who aren’t yet eligible for Medicaid were nevertheless told they would be enrolled in the program. The state requires five years of residence to join assistance programs for low-income people.

Some consumers seeking coverage may be required to delete accounts and start over now that some glitches have been repaired, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

If at first you don’t succeed…

But how’s this for a kick in the huevos?

Meanwhile, HHS Kathleen Sebelius visited Miami Friday to tout a Spanish-language version of the federal health insurance website, which got a “soft launch” over the weekend to tease out any lurking glitches.

Online Spanish-language signups were initially delayed because of problems with the main website, HealthCare.gov. Sebelius said CuidadoDeSalud.gov is up and running, and that bilingual call centers can answer questions for anyone having trouble with the website.

So, about two and a half months after the gringos got their website (piece of mierda it may be), the Latinos get theirs. Is that some kind of mocking of the mañana mentality, or are they privileged to have been spared the tremendo lío that is CuidadoDeSalud.blow.

What’s the bad news, BTL?

Please, come into my office:

[S]omewhere between one-third and one-half of primary-care physicians already are restricting the number of new Medicare patients they will see. Many are dropping out of the program entirely. After losing hundreds of millions of dollars treating Medicare patients, the Mayo Clinic’s general-care facility in Glendale, Ariz., stopped taking new Medicare patients in 2009. In Texas, doctors are in open revolt against Medicare, with hundreds dumping the program completely over the past few years.

[D]raft the doctors, conscripting them into accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients, and those patients with new Obamacare policies that inevitably will end up looking a lot like Medicaid. Kathleen Murphy, a Democratic candidate for the Virginia state house, proposed exactly that during a recent candidates’ forum. Hers is the voice of the future. And it is not without precedent: In Canada, it was long illegal for doctors to accept payment for services that patients would otherwise receive for “free” (there’s no such thing as free health care) under the country’s national health-care system, though in reality that law was only half-heartedly enforced.

As radical as conscription seems, it is logically consistent with the Democrats’ approach to health-care “reform” going back to the Johnson administration, an approach that treats patients and doctors alike as villeins to be apportioned by the lords in Washington. The main obstacle to reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending is the fact that physicians have a choice about whether to participate in the programs. In the long run, the fact that physicians have a choice about whom they see and where they practice is the most significant challenge to the full implementation of Obamacare. The logical thing — politically and economically — is to eliminate that choice. You don’t have to formally nationalize the health-care industry; you just nationalize 40 percent of each physician’s practice and call it his “fair share.”

Can you seriously “force” doctors into practicing without their consent?

Are you new around here?

Doctors, like all licensed professionals, are utterly at the mercy of the state.

Senator Warren’s totalitarian analysis — that the government has a claim on your property in the present and future because it exerted a claim on the property of others in the past — is entirely applicable here: Ambulances move on public roads, the government supports medical research, etc. You didn’t build that. So here’s your federally mandated portion of money-losing Medicare and Medicaid patients. They won’t call it conscription; they’ll call it shared sacrifice.

They already have:

Krauthammer criticized the way the administration has been ordering about—or strongly encouraging— insurance companies to do things, as if they were “wholly owned subsidiaries.”

“What you have here is what a lot of us have predicted years ago; the insurers, under the best scenario under Obamacare, have as much independence as the utilities,” he said.

Again and again we ask ourselves: is this guy an incompetent boob or a cunning Marxist? It is tempting to have a laugh by saying “both”. But I don’t think even he could be this imbecilic. Duplicitous and cold-blooded, yes; dumb-assed, no. Rahm Emanuel told us crises were too good to waste. What we didn’t see was that crises could be man-made. And that is what they have done. By ruining the health insurance marketplace, by sowing anxiety, even panic, they have made themselves the only agency of rescue. The entire health care system—from insurance to the practice of medicine—has been nationalized while we slept. And most of us still haven’t woken up to it.

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That Insurance Company? You Didn’t Build That

Now that “If you like your health plan…” has joined the pantheon of audacious lies, it can proudly hold hands with “the check’s in the mail”:

Another Obamacare deadline was pushed back on Thursday and now the White House is asking insurers to accept late payments and still give individuals coverage in the interim.

The Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline for individuals who want to be covered on the first of the year to Dec. 31 from Dec. 23.

HHS is asking insurers to accept payments through this extended date and give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium while still offering coverage starting on Jan. 1

The announcement comes a day after the administration announced 364,682 Americans had selected an insurance plan on the marketplaces since Oct.1. far below initial enrollment forecasts. The number includes people who may or may not had yet paid their monthly premium. It’s standard practice in the insurance industry to only consider a person as covered once he or she has paid the first month’s premium.

Yet again, the government finally confesses what the rest of us already knew:

The latest pushback also comes after a glitch that was confirmed last week by CMS, that the back-end mechanism that allows the government to pay insurers for subsidized and cost-sharing plans had not yet been built. Insurance companies will have to bill the government for these premium tax credits, and the government has announced it will act in a timely manner.

“The government has announced it will act in a timely manner”: boy, if that isn’t another lie for the ages. Here’s a translation:

“This screws insurers,” [Feymen] says. “I don’t know any insurer that can get coverage ready to go in one day.”

Don’t act surprised. Feature, not bug.

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Good Jobs at Good Wages

0-for-2.

We’ve let the “rosy” economic numbers marinate for a few days. Kind of like the old joke the punchline of which is “coffee break’s over, everyone back on your heads!”

Coffee break’s over:

But here’s your trouble:

1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.

2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.

3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).

4. More than 4 million Americans remain out of work for 27 weeks or longer.

5. Overall, according to the Hamilton Project Jobs Gap calculator, it will take another five years to return to 2007 employment levels even at the improved job creation pace of the past four months.

The Left isn’t very happy, either:

That’s because so many of the new jobs that get created in the U.S. today are lousy and don’t offer a real path into the middle class.

So, for example, retail and restaurant jobs again grew rapidly last month, with some 40,000 new positions created in these sectors. But as we all know — and as Demos has documented — many of these jobs pay barely over poverty wages and don’t come with benefits. Transportation and warehousing were other bright spots in job growth, with 30,000 new jobs in those areas last month. So it’s a shame that warehouse work is so poorly paid these days, with Amazon and other big shippers creating a new kind of sweatshop.

If you want to get a clear look at the jobs America’s economy produces, one of the best places to go is the Social Security Administration, which tracks earnings by all workers. Their most recent data shows that 53 percent of Americans workers earn less than $30,000 a year. Forty percent of American workers earn less than $20,000 a year.

Let me stop and repeat that statistic: 40 percent of all U.S. workers earn less than $20k a year.

One solution to this situation is to create an economy and education system that generates more good jobs for a work force with better skills. Another solution is to raise wages for low-skilled jobs, which is what the recent wave of labor strikes has been all about.

The U.S. has to pursue both solutions, and others, if we want to create a decent society.

Five years into ObamAmerica, and they’re still bitching about what a terrible people we are. They may be right, but for the wrong reasons. What they seem to hate is a result of Obama, not in spite of Obama. (Fox Butterfield, is that you?)

Rather than blame Amazon for providing the only jobs going, why not be grateful? Exactly how much should “warehouse work” pay? Amazon can run a website, sell a product (thousands of them), deliver them as promised—soon, by drone, within hours. Can government do anything like that? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos even saved the beloved organ of the Washington establishment, the Washington Post. Explain to me how he’s the villain?

“One solution to this situation is to create an economy and education system that generates more good jobs for a work force with better skills.”

D’oh! Why didn’t we think of that?

If by those ingenious suggestions they mean letting the private sector find its way toward profit, and letting families choose the best schools for their kids, I’m on board. But the left doesn’t trust the private, the individual. It’s all about the collective to them. Which is why we are where we are.

Fox Butterfield, is that you?

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