Tag Archives: health

Why implementing Obamacare’s Insurance Exchanges is NOT a good idea

You may have heard about the Republican governors who aren’t participating in the implementation of Obamacare. There are now six of them, with Rick Scott (Florida), Scott Walker (Wisconsin) and most recently Rick Perry (Texas) receiving the most attention.

The Main Stream Media outlets are, as usual, spouting one identical narrative on this, and it goes something like: “Can you believe those stupid Republican governors who hate people and want them to get sick, and die, and then pay more for their insurance, and now they won’t put Obamacare in their states, but we won’t tolerate non-compliance, because they’re stupid, and evil, …and also stupid…….!

(***If you can do that all on one breath, it sounds more accurate.)

Thus, if your only news source was CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, you have no idea why anyone (let alone a Governor) would be fighting this wonderful gift bestowed on us by the Dems.

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Kudos to BLACK METTLE blog, who tipped us to a full-throated, well-reasoned argument against implementing Obamacare in those states. After reading it, one could argue that even states which like the law might consider following suit.

Written by Michael Tennant at The New American:

The PPACA (aka “Obamacare“) requires states to establish insurance exchanges on which individuals who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance can shop for the plan that best meets their needs at a price they can afford. If a state fails to establish an exchange, the federal government will do so.
Southern Methodist University law professor Tom Mayo questioned (Texas Governor Rick) Perry’s decision to forego setting up an exchange, telling KXAS-TV that Perry is therefore “inviting the federal government to come in and do it for us.”
“I don’t see how that protects state sovereignty,” he added.

However, as Perry pointed out in his letter:

“The PPACA does not truly allow states to create and operate their own exchanges. Instead, it gives the federal government the final say as to which insurance plans can operate in a so-called “state” exchange, what benefits those plans must provide, and what price controls and cost limits will apply. It leaves many questions to be answered later through federal “future rulemaking.” In short, it essentially treats the states like subcontractors through which the federal government can control the insurance markets and pursue federal priorities rather than those of the individual states.”

Indeed, the existing regulations for creating exchanges, contained in a final rule issued by HHS in March, are incredibly detailed and complex, according to Nicole Kaeding, state policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity:

“The 644-page rule included the word “must” over 1,000 times and “require” more than 320 times. The rule gets so specific as to dictate what items a state must include on its exchange website and how its call center must operate. Under the regulation, any state hoping to create an exchange must first apply to HHS using its “exchange blueprint” template. Secretary Sebelius has sole authority to approve or deny the application. Additionally, any “significant change” must also be approved by the secretary.

The rule itself says that the “minimum functions [outlined in the rule] … are a floor, not a ceiling.” Proponents … argue that if a state doesn’t create an exchange, the federal government will. Under these thousands of pages of regulations and frameworks established by HHS, there is no distinction between the two. States only have the option to further concentrate control in the hands of bureaucrats, not keep it where it belongs: between patients and doctors.”

Moreover, Kaeding observes, because “Congress did not provide tax subsidies to aid individuals’ purchases in federal exchanges … businesses in states that do create state exchanges will face higher fines than businesses in states that do not.”
In other words, states have nothing to gain and everything to lose by establishing exchanges. Perry is therefore right to reject them.

….So, these crazy governors aren’t so crazy after all.

Obamacare is going to be a contentious issue for the remainder of this campaign and, if it survives, for years to come. It wasn’t popular when it was passed, and it’s even less so now. Actually, folks are even pessimistic about its economic impact, with a recent Gallup poll saying Americans are more likely to say (Obamacare) will hurt the national economy (46%) rather than help it (37%).

Hope and Change, baby.

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I’ll leave you with a brief word on all this from Governor Perry. He may never be Mr. Eloquence, but I’d prefer someone to govern well rather than speak well. And even though he flamed out during the Primaries, by all accounts he’s a good man and a very good governor.

Shocker: You DON’T need a half gallon of Water each day

For many years now, water has been one of the most profitable markets in the beverage industry. However, that enviable perch may be in danger if this new study is true.

From MSNBC.com:

If you can’t stomach the thought of guzzling down eight glasses of water every single day, here’s some good news: You’re off the hook, more health experts are saying.

A new editorial in an Australian public health journal is the latest to bust the widely-repeated health myth we need to guzzle 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounce glasses, of water each day just to stave off dehydration. Actually, we get enough fluids to keep our bodies adequately hydrated from the foods we eat and the beverages we drink — even from caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea.

Turns out, the whole “eight glasses a day” thing “really is no longer the recommendation; the recommendation is drinking to thirst,” explains Madelyn Fernstrom, a board-certified nutrition specialist and TODAY’s diet and nutrition editor.

Drink when you’re thirsty! What a novel idea.

I’ve never consumed eight 8-ounce glasses of water in a day, possibly ever. My logic is pretty simple: how many of us have observed our co-workers going through water like they just spent the last 6 months in the Mojave? They don’t seem to be any healthier than WE are.

Or someone who always eats their half-a-dozen donuts and a bag of chips with a tall glass of water, ’cause that evens things out?

Puh-lease….

Like the study says, I only drink water when I’m thirsty. So far I haven’t been rushed to the ER due to dehydration; so far, so good, I say.

Please note that the authors of this study included coffee in their list. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I have long maintained that I like water as much as the next guy: I simply prefer it heated, and poured over coffee beans. Looks like my coffee habit now makes me a health nut. Who knew?

More from MSNBC.com:

Last summer, a paper published in the British Medical Journal grabbed headlines when it called the myth “nonsense” — thoroughly debunked nonsense,” for that matter, citing reports in 2002 and 2006 that couldn’t find any “clear evidence from drinking increased amounts of water.”

Yet the myth sticks around, likely because people have made a lot of money off the idea that we’re all on the precipice of dehydration. (And we’re definitely not — government research on more than 15,000 people in 50 states show that over three years, the average American ingested 75 ounces of water a day, Carroll points out.)

“(B)ottled water and the entire health culture around drinking more water have been very lucrative,” Vreeman explains. “Certainly, your body needs fluids and water is a healthy choice to meet those fluid needs, but many of us spend a lot of money, effort and guilt on forcing ourselves to drink more water than we really need.”

The primary beneficiary of this fascination with drinking water all day long has been the bottled water industry, and so they will likely be the ones who’ll try to debunk the debunking, or just ignore this study altogether. You have to hand it to them: the bottled water industry has possibly the best PR team ever. How else do you explain charging confiscatory rates for something that falls, free, from the sky? They’ve even convinced consumers to have developed loyalty to different brands of bottled water, which is stunning to me. Brand loyalty to WATER?

These guys are scary good.

Of course, when you can come up with a commercial as memorable as this one was, as far as I’m concerned, you deserve your success:

Obamacare: the Video!

Leave it to the bright boys over at Alliance Defense Fund: they pack a bunch of info into two short minutes.

Watch the video; know the facts; speak up against this tax on our conscience.

Obamacare: The Un-affordable Healthcare Act

Time for a quick refresher, for those that haven’t been following along.

Back in 2009-2010, Obamacare had 2 big selling points:

  1. It would provide coverage for everyone (later revised down to “pretty much” everyone), and
  2. It would SAVE MONEY.

Obamacare would fix all of our ills, we were told. It was repeatedly touted as THE solution for savings in healthcare, ad nauseam.

I can’t stress enough: Obama himself repeated this time and again.

Whoops….:

President Obama’s national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released (on March 13, 2012) by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.

What a surprise: it’s doubled and it hasn’t even really kicked in yet. Which means that the costs are just getting started.

Am I concerned? Yes. Worried? You bet. Terrified? ………Not yet.

There are solutions aplenty which don’t require the shredding of our Constitution, and one example is happening before our eyes.

From the Wall Street Journal online:

In 1993, Augusta (Mainepassed coverage laws that resemble those that ObamaCare is about to impose nationwide: Insurers could only vary premiums within narrow bands regardless of age or health status, a regulation known as community rating. Four of Maine’s five insurers in the individual market stopped offering coverage and fled, and the state entered an insurance “death spiral” in which premiums don’t cover underlying medical costs. That leads to higher premiums, consumers dropping coverage as a result, and still higher premiums in turn.

Then the 2010 electoral wave carried in Republican Governor Paul LePage and a GOP legislature, and they took modest steps to deregulate the insurance market. Insurers are now allowed to sell policies for premiums that range from 3 to 1 on the basis of age, rather than the prior 1.5 to 1, and to offer incentives or discounts for consumers to choose high-value providers.

The state also created a reinsurance fund that taxes all health plans by $4 a month. If someone ends up requiring extremely expensive care, the fund picks up some of the costs, which means insurers can better manage their future liabilities and pass the savings on to individuals.

The returns are now rolling in for the new coverage that can be offered starting on July 1, and premiums are falling by as much as 69% for Maine’s dominant insurer, Anthem.

And the lesson to be learned from this?

“Maine learned the hard way that the most heavily regulated insurance markets are the most expensive. But the more ominous lesson out of Vacationland is for the 33 states that had the wit never to make the Maine-ObamaCare mistake. They’re the ones that are about to see premiums spike under the Affordable Care Act—perhaps by as much as 69%, and likely by far more.”

Our voices will be huge in this battle, boys n’ girls. The election this year will have so many factors at risk (judicial appointments, Obamacare, economy, defense, etc.,..) that I struggle to list even a fraction of them. Just remember that WE have the responsibility to act, to educate our neighbors and become a hub of knowledge for our peers.

We will determine the direction of our country: “forward” over the cliff, or do we demonstrate true progress:

“But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be.  And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. 

If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” — C.S. Lewis

With their Fingers in their Ears

Did ya ever have a discussion with someone who ignored your side completely? Where you were each explaining why you felt a certain way and the other person, for whatever reason, seemed to not even acknowledge what you said and never answered your concerns? Basically, they listened sorta like this:

Well, I’ve got a real world example of this that didn’t get much, if any, press.

And it needs to.

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Recently, Kathleen Sebelius was invited to speak at the Georgetown’s School for Public Policy. Seeing as Georgetown is ostensibly a Catholic university, and when you take into account Sebelius’ role in implementing Obamacare as HHS Secretary, you may be able to understand why some folks were a bit miffed at her appearance.

However, the super-smart cognoscenti on the Left immediately castigated us: “you over-religious types are getting worked up into a lather for nothing, dontcha know”!

Consider this opinion from Chris Matthews, from MSNBC:

“….And now a word about Secretary Sebelius. It could be argued  that this one person has done more to reduce the number of unwanted  pregnancies than anyone in our country. She’s behind the policy of  requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. Making birth  control free, which is what she has done, will do more to reduce  unwanted pregnancies than anything I can imagine.

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Rather than protesting what she’s doing, pro-lifers and pro-choicers might think about giving her a  little credit, or at least let her speak.”

Ummm, ..what? Hey, Chris, did you just say, “Making birth  control free, which is what she has done, will do more to reduce  unwanted pregnancies than anything I can imagine“? Really, Chris? So, all we need to do is to give stuff away “free” from the government (or under a government mandate) and all will be better? Really? Why am I having a hard time buying that? Has it worked for food stamps, Chris? Housing? Or anything else that we give away for “free”?

Moreover, access to contraception is not an issue in this country. That’s like saying we need to have government intervention to increase public access to chocolate. Far from the way it used to be years ago, many forms of contraception have no age restriction and they’re available in more stores than I can count. Condoms are handed out, for free, in public schools and you can get almost any form of contraception at every secular women’s health center in the country.

Chris, the reason the folks didn’t want Sec. Sebelius to speak at a Catholic college was that she, along with President Perfect, is forcing Catholics to go against the teachings of their faith, to basically endorse a sin. It is a religious freedom issue, not a contraception issue, you twit!

The guidelines issued by the HRSA mandating coverage for contraceptives includes the following: “All Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.” By definition, this will include abortifacient drugs. Most forms of contraception are not in line with Catholic teaching. That same teaching dictates such items (especially the abortifacient drugs) run counter to our faith, and it is not within the purview of the US Government to say otherwise. Catholics can agree or disagree with the Church’s teaching, but that is a religious matter, not a governmental one.

And yet, the liberal pundits and Obamacare apologists will continue to frame it as ONLY a contraception issue, while refusing to even entertain the real reason that has animated millions of people across the country: that it’s about Religious Freedom.  Truly, it’s as if they have signs & cue cards for whenever they’re confronted with an argument that runs counter to their liberal orthodoxy: