Sunday Open Thread || April 20, 2014

by Keith Koffler on April 20, 2014, 8:58 am

 

 

 

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Happy Easter!

by Keith Koffler on April 19, 2014, 9:29 pm

My best wishes to everyone who is celebrating the holiday. May this day bring joy and blessings to all of you. Happy Easter.

Keith

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It’s Saturday Golf

by Keith Koffler on April 19, 2014, 1:46 pm

President Obama is playing golf today at Joint Base Andrews, strolling the fairways with a typical crew consisting of White House aides Marvin Nicholson and Joe Paulsen and Marvin’s brother Walter.

It’s already Obama’s tenth round of the year and the 167th of his presidency.

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Obama’s Latest Obamacare Lie

by Keith Koffler on April 19, 2014, 10:27 am

The Obamacare deceptions are coming so hard and so fast that it’s hard to keep track. In fact, White House Dossier recently hired an accountant to help keep track of them. And now I have to pay her overtime.

Obama selfie girlsWhy lie to us? You’re the president. Let your aides lie about this stuff. That’s what they’re paid for. You’re supposed to be president of all of us and someone we can trust.

I don’t just attribute the lying to rank dishonestly, although certainly, rank dishonesty is most of what’s going on. But Obama also wants this law to work so much – it’s all he’s got as a legacy – that I think he wants to believe some of the things he says.

Presidents have an amazing ability to deceive themselves. I’ve seen it time and again, with ones I’ve covered and others I didn’t. The stakes are so high, they’ve just gotta believe they’re doing the right thing.

Anyway, here’s the latest nonsense, ladled out at Obama’s press conference Thursday:

In the decade before the Affordable Care Act, employer-based insurance rose almost 8 percent a year.  Last year, it grew at half that rate.  Under this law, real Medicare costs per person have nearly stopped growing . . . .

So those savings add up to more money that families can spend at businesses, more money that businesses can spend hiring new workers.

I went to a conservative think tank to get the real story about this, to understand what was actually happening. I know, call me biased. I should be using more objective sources of information.

The think tank, which goes by the name New York Times, reported the following today:

The pace of health spending growth started falling in the mid-2000s and reached historical lows over the last five years. The recession counts for much or even most of the decline, economists think, as workers lost their jobs and their health coverage, and budget-conscious families chose to reduce their out-of-pocket spending.

Much or most of the decline? Caused by Obama’s lousy economy? OMG. Maybe Obama is saying Obamacare is causing the lousy economy, which is in turn causing the deceleration of health cost increases.

Note, of course, Obama’s careful, lawyerly garbage. Under this law, Medicare spending has declined, he said. If we were in a court of law, he might be able to claim that he was merely stipulating that the decline in the rate of spending and the Obamacare law happened contemporaneously. But in the real world, he’s clearly trying to make you think Obamacare caused the decline.

According to the he NYTs think tank, “changes made by government” account for only a portion of what else may have caused the rate of health spending to decline:

But at the same time, structural changes to how health care gets delivered and paid for — changes made by the government, insurers, doctors and hospitals — also helped hold spending down. Many insurers, for example, began charging much higher co-pays and deductibles, spurring their enrollees to use less care.

Did Obamacare cause insurers to start charging higher co-pays? Well, okay, maybe insurers’ FEAR of Obamacare and declining profit margins spurred some innovative thinking.

But now, according to this right-wing think tank, health care costs have begun surging, something Obama conveniently left out of his propaganda Thursday!

A surge of insurance enrollment related to rising employment and President Obama’s health care law has likely meant a surge of spending on health care, leaving policy experts wondering whether the government and private businesses can control spending as the economy gets stronger and millions more Americans gain coverage.

“Following several years of decline, 2013 was striking for the increased use by patients of all parts of the U.S. health care system,” Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, said in a statement.

Now, health experts said, two big trends are pushing health spending back up again. “Expanded coverage is happening simultaneously with the petering out of the recession’s dampening effect,” said Charles Roehrig, the director of the Center for Sustainable Health Spending at the Altarum Institute. “It’s going to be hard to demonstrate how much is due to expanded coverage, versus just the economy recovering.”

Wha wha wha . . . whoa whoa whoa waiiiit a second here. Obamacare is one of the key factors CAUSING the increase in health spending? CAUSING it? What happened to all this crap about bending the cost curve?

Obama has to know health care costs are headed back up, and that increased demand fostered by Obamacare is part of what’s causing it. Unless he has really incompetent economic advisors. Okay, I know he has really incompetent economic advisors – noticed GDP growth the last five years?- but that’s not what’s going on here.

What’s going on is deception and lying. By the president. Too bad for us.

UPDATE: President Obama called in with this response:

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No, It Doesn’t Work in Sweden

by Keith Koffler on April 18, 2014, 5:39 pm

No doubt you’ve had an argument with one of your liberal friends about Obamacare or some other bit of Socialism, and they proclaim, Well it works in Sweden! . . . or some other place in enlightened Europe.

Well, it doesn’t work in Sweden. Socialism doesn’t work anywhere. It can’t work. Oh, it can work for a while, quite nicely in fact, until, as Margaret Thatcher once noted, you run out of other people’s money.

Because you can’t design and command human behavior. Because God gave us free will, and the capacity for avarice, as well as for love and compassion. If He wanted someone else to take care of ourselves and others for us, He would have created government instead of resting on the seventh day.

Actually, it would have taken Him longer than a day.

The Wall Street Journal today has an article by Swedish professor Per Bylund describing the miracle of socialized Swedish health care and the inevitable future of Obamacare, about which President Obama thinks he may now rest his case.

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.

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.

Free markets allow companies and entrepreneurs to respond to demand by offering people what they want and need at a better price.

The Affordable Care Act does the opposite by centralizing health care, minimizing or prohibiting differentiation in pricing and offerings, and mandating consumers to purchase insurance. It effectively overrides the market and the signals it sends about supply and demand.

Stories of people in Sweden suffering stroke, heart failure and other serious medical conditions who were denied or unable to receive urgent care are frequently reported in Swedish media. Recent examples include a one-month-old infant with cerebral hemorrhage for whom no ambulance was made available, and an 80-year-old woman with suspected stroke who had to wait four hours for an ambulance.

Never has a statement so true been so ridiculed as Sarah Palin’s remark about Death Panels. What the idiots who think she is an idiot didn’t understand is that she was speaking metaphorically. She meant that ultimately, rationing health care kills us, and that someone will have to decide what health care to give and when to give it.

The Death Panels are coming for you. Or your children or grandchildren. Those like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the rest of our wealthy, ruling class liberals will simply pay doctors directly and get health care when they need it.

As for the rest of us, well, when we attempt to make an appointment, the phrase “die trying” is going to have a whole new meaning.

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Live Stream || White House Briefing – April 18, 2014

by Keith Koffler on April 18, 2014, 1:05 pm

The briefing has concluded.

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Are You Hypnotized Yet?

by Keith Koffler on April 18, 2014, 12:34 pm

You are being hypnotized. Hypnotized by White House communications specialists into thinking the debate over the Affordable Care Act is finished.

Of course, with the rationing just beginning, the employer mandate not even started yet, and costs and prices just starting to escalate, the conversation is just getting underway. But if your President Obama or a Democrat trying to get reelected, such conversation is bad for business.

Using a classic propaganda technique, the White House is trying to convince you through repetition that it’s “time to move on,” hoping to make the continuing criticism seem like superfluous nitpicking by extremist opponents.

Look at how many times the president made the point in the course of a half hour press conference Thursday. Watch the watch as it swings back and forth:

This thing is working

They still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.

I think we can agree that it’s well past time to move on as a country.

The point is the repeal debate is and should be over.

The Affordable Care Act is working.

The American people don’t want us spending the next two and a half years refighting the settled political battles of the last five years.

This is working for a lot of people

And my hope is, is that we start moving beyond that.

The American people would much rather see us talk about jobs

We need to move on to something else.

What I intend to talk about is what the American people are interested in hearing.

If Republicans want to spend all their time talking about repealing a law that’s working, that’s their business.

The larger issue about whether we can move past the polarization and sort of the bitter political debates between Democrats and Republicans

It’s working for a lot of folks

How about us focusing on some things that the American people really care about?

We need to move on and focus on other things that are really important to the American people right now

The Republican National Committee has its own good propagandists and they understand what the White House is up to. That’s why they produced this after Obama had finished speaking. Smart move.

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The Fox in the White House

April 18, 2014

No, not that one. A real one. Have a look. www.simplesharebuttons.comDon’t forget to share 010

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The Obama Morning News || April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014

Obama to Dems: Defend my law . . . Politico What’s next for Obamacare? . . . The Hill Record disapproval for Obama on economy . . . Newsmax Issa demands answers on census change . . . Examiner CBO: Obama budget raises taxes $1.4T . . . Bloomberg Poll: Half think Obama sicced IRS […]

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Quote of the Day || April 18, 2014

April 17, 2014

“And people are going to love Obamacare even more once they find out the Death Panels require a two thirds majority” – Joe Biden A note from our attorneys: This is not a real quote www.simplesharebuttons.comDon’t forget to share 09

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Obama Schedule || Friday, August 18,2014

April 17, 2014

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 10:45 am || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew 11:35 am || Meets with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion 2:00 am || Presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team All times U.S. Eastern Live stream of White House briefing […]

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Obama’s ACA Victory Dance Includes Big Spins

April 17, 2014

President Obama took the the lectern of the White House briefing room Thursday afternoon to try to continue convincing Americans that the war over Obamacare, which is just beginning, is over. He did so using deceptive statistics and glaring omissions that are typical of his truth-shading approach. The president announced that the number of those […]

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Live Stream || White House Briefing – April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

The event, which turned out to be a brief Obama press conference, is over. www.simplesharebuttons.comDon’t forget to share 06

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Obama’s Phony Immigration Outreach

April 17, 2014

Now let me ask you something. Let’s say I’m trying to get you to do something. And I say to you, this will haunt you until it gets solved. And then I say, you need to have a little courage and will power. And then I add, I hope you’ll do the right thing. Are […]

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