A Few Questions About Obamacare

Here is a basic question I do not know the answer to about Obamacare.

Everyone in the US, including the homeless and illegal aliens gets all the healthcare they need right now. In fact, in San Diego the homeless with chronic alcohol, drug and diabetes account for 17% of all ambulance and paramedic charges although they represent only a fraction of 1% of the population.

“Frequent emergency service users represent eight-hundredths of a percent of San Diego’s population, but they account for more than 17% of paramedic and ambulance calls in the city.”

“According to the city medical director’s office,  1,136 frequent emergency service users in San Diego are on pace to use emergency medical services at least six times this year and generate more than $20 million in ambulance and paramedic charges.”

http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2012/4/4/san-diego-seeks-ways-to-manage-frequent-users-of-emergency-services

“Angelo Solis is a chronic alcoholic in his late 60s who was homeless for many years in Solano County, California. Solis frequently passed out drunk in public, and police brought him to the hospital emergency room. There, doctors often admitted him to treat his multiple chronic health problems and so he could detoxify safely….because he slept outside and couldn’t properly care for his diabetes or heart disease.

In three years, Solis racked up nearly $1 million in medical charges – paid for by taxpayers.” http://www.reportingonhealth.org/resources/lessons/million-dollar-homeless-patient.

In Reno, “Million Dollar Murray” was featured in New Yorker Magazine a few years ago, because he too ran up millions of dollars in homeless healthcare, and those people exist in every community.

So, if the “Frequent User” (Also called “Frequent Fliers” by medical professionals) indigent can get health care, other than giving them “cards” that make them feel better (as if they care), and the government(s) still picks up the bill through a subsidized card, exactly why are we messing with a working system? (Other than building a lot of  huge government bureaucracies?)

If a homeless Frequent User gets a Bronze Card with a $5,000 deductible, is he/she going to pay the deductible? Will the government send newly minted IRS Agents to collect?

They say that Illegal Aliens will not get Obamacare, but that doesn’t mean they cannot STILL go to the same Emergency Rooms they use today and get the same follow-on care.

The Fresno Bee reported the case of one Marco Antonio Fuentes, who ran up a million dollar medical bill in a local hospital with 12 surgeries in a single year! O.K. under Obamaccae he will not get a card, but he will still get the required surgeries.

http://www.calhospital.org/daily-news/daily-news-55

I’ll admit to being thoroughly confused. Other than giving an insurance card to every person without one, what have we accomplished? No more Doctors, no more hospitals, not one new scanner, or one new Nurse….

Just run the printing presses and print the damn cards by the millions for free distribution to the millions without cards, but do not make an additional gazillion rules and regulations.

Rube Goldberg would smile at this contraption. It’s like building a block-long machine to open a bottle of beer — it may or may not work, but to what end?

 

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Daniel Patrick Moynahan, a man of great intelligence, was so concerned with Global Warming while acting as US Representative to the United Nations, that in a September, 1969 memo to Richard Nixon, he wrote a prediction that by the year 2000, NYC and D.C. Would disappear:

“This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit,” he wrote. “This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/03/moynihan-nixon-global-warming_n_634526.html

No need to remark about Al Gore and his prediction that Article ice would have disappeared by 2013, but my point was that politicians (not scientists) but politicians (and their acolytes) make scary predictions for purely political reasons.

Have we learned anything since the 1969 Moynihan memo? Yes we learned not to make our predictions so short-ranged that they can be checked before we die! There will always be books that catalog the errors of well-known people, such as the CEO of IBM (Thomas Watson) who said there was “a world market for perhaps five computers,” but Mann need not worry.

He is but a footnote. Still he understands the error of making the horizon too close.

As someone who wrote the first Navy Artificial Intelligence program (it was mostly artificial and had little intelligence I.e. Inference Engine), I too have little confidence in predictive analysis from models. It is true that given enough time, and a Feedback Program, predictions get better but in this case time is measured in decades, even centuries or millennia, but non-scientists (politicians) make predictions based on initial analysis for political reasons.

Some scientists agree for career enhancement, or grant money, but we fail every year to get NEAR predicting hurricanes in the gulf, and then presume to predict earth’s temperature changes.

Species megalomania writ on a grand scale. Too many variables, similar to predicting a single. humans future, five years out.

Scientists understand, but those with political ambitions know that scaring the population has political benefit. The pretense gets harder to explain.

Shhh…Libraries Are DEAD!

If you are lonely, just dare to write something, ANYTHING, that can even remotely be construed as making even the slightest critique of a library. I am in a continuing Blog-duel with those who are so proud of the massive Downtown Library, just opening in San Diego.

Libraries, librarians and library users will phone you, mail you and blog that you are a foul miscreant who beats your dog, throws your cat, hates your mother and attacks the most sacrosanct place in society — a library.

You can write CRITICISM  of a church, just not of a library! Mothers of America United will sharpen their nails and attack, while their male auxiliary will tut — tut that you are at least a Philistine.  Chiropractors believe an illness begins in the spine, and Cardio-Vascular believe almost everything is related to their profession. Every major league baseball player probably believes their sport is superior and that their stadiums should be tax supported.

Libraries are the Opera Houses of the 1870s — many towns had one, were proud to have one — even if no one understood the Libretto. In 100 years are less, libraries will be called Book Museums, and books will be displayed among the media of the past — stone, Papyrus, 8-Track, CDs…

Information continues. Media does not.

They are fighting a rear-guard battle because technology is irreversible. Libraries are dying, but reading is not, and library defenders mistakenly see a 100% correlation that does not exist. They also see a similar correlation between books and knowledge, and both books and libraries and taxpayer money.

None of that is real. It is purely emotional.

Prostituting The English Language

One standard reply from Progressives about the “Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA)” is that the president was elected, and that poll is the only one that counts, since he ran on the subject.

(I don’t recall Democrats saying that since Bush was re-elected while in Iraq and Afghanistan, that his re-election meant that the subject of Iraq and Afghanistan was moot.)

Obama was elected because the Republicans (of which I am not numbered) elected the next in line, as they always do, instead of new blood.

That does not excuse Obamacare, which EVERY poll shows id unpopular.

Am I happy with the current situation? Well, it works, has for generations, and does not need tinkering. The poor get served, and there are federal, state subsidies, and yes, Insurance companies also kick in and the wealthy pay more for insurance. Exactly as it still will be, but without the taint of welfare — to make the poor feel better about their taking charity.

It is much like Food Stamps, called an EBT Card in California and referred to as CalFresh to remove the stigma of welfare, is STILL welfare, much as paying “Earned Income Tax Credit” for income NOT earned, and taxes NOT paid is STILL  welfare.

You can give away live scorpions in a bottle from the back of a truck if people think of it as “FREE.” It is the scourge of this culture that governments, ALL GOVERNMENTS, have prostituted the language so that charity and welfare are covered by innocuous verbiage, so the populace feels good and no longer feel the shame of charity from whence they would otherwise wish to escape.

So “Food Stamps” become “CalFresh” and you can apply on-line instead of standing in line with derelicts at the Welfare Office; and you can get that complete prostitution of the English language, “Earned Income Tax Credit” which is NOT earned, and is a credit on Taxes NOT paid! That old saw about the Holy Roman Empire, which I was taught was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire, has been replaced by the term “Earned Income Tax Credit.”

It is, like the ACA, not affordable (unless subsidized by the taxpayers, sub rosa), nor does it provide Care It provides insurance. But so long as it is FREE with no cost to the taxpayer (the government pays for it all :-), the people will say, as they do in Canada, “Three Cheers.” They also said that in Greece, until the reckoning.

There will be a reckoning.

(Now, where are the scorpions in the bottle? Bring on the scorpions!)

It is still charity, but with government paying the subsidy, we can pretend that the government pays for it and it costs the taxpayer nothing!

Prestidigitation!

Feel good legislation.

Bad Decisions Lead To Income Gaps

There is increased interest in the “Income Gap.”

In the case of recent events, government pumping has made stock prices rise, un-naturally, and that has fed high income earners, but that is not the long-run problem.

The long-range income gap is caused by inequality in brain-power (which is natural and unchangeable), and poor decisions (which can be modified).

The result of the above is either greater or less education, and education is the key to income. Some people can’t get more education because their brains cannot comprehend complex concepts, but those are relatively few people.

Most people who do not get education do so because they hate school, and think an offer of $10 an hour offers them the potential for a future and it certainly beats more education, in their minds. This is simply a bad decision.

The last part is making bad decisions regarding careers. A university study showed that the lifetime average income of a social worker was $35,000 while that of petroleum engineer was $112,000. There are worthless degrees that may make a student feel good, but they don’t provide a good living for a family.

Bad decisions result in poor income, It is visible in most families.

Blow It Up! (Metaphorically, of Course)

Unions are increasingly unhappy with Obamacare. National unions are playing the role of Donna Frye in blowing a whistle on her progressive ally, Filner, because he was WRONG.

Similarly, unions are condemning Obamacare, and like the Filner operations, some libs continue to blindly support the wrong while others are able to know when something is just WRONG.

Now, admittedly, Obamacare is not ALL wrong, but there is enough wrong that it need to be re-done, without the Cornhuskers Kickback, the Gator Aid, the Louisiana Purchase and BILLIONS to buy Bernie Sanders vote.

It’s time for liberals to get right with unions and the majority of the American People.

I stand with Ted Cruz on this issue I am tired of going along to get along Republicans, and that has been the default position of Republican leadership for decades. For many years, until the Republicans finally won some elections, so long as the leadership got to play golf at Washington Country Clubs, and preferred parking at Washington National Airport.

When the Republicans FINALLY won the Senate, they simply did not know how how to act as winners they continued to defer to the Democrats.

Enough! If Ted Cruz blows up the Senate (metaphorically), more power to him.

An Incompetent Presidency, Writ Large

The Washington Post notes that there is a gap between the military and President Obama.

(Duh)

The gap has been caused by a number of things, including the fact that the president failed to negotiate a 15,000 man force to remain in Iraq, leaving the country to possibly, (probably) make thousands of American lives to be spent in vain.

According to the WaPo, the president only consults with a small group of trusted advisers, without military input as to the efficacy of action, then shifts gears constantly. As one quoted source said:

 Guys thought Bush had his stuff together, said Gibbons-Neff, 25, the president of the veterans association at Georgetown University. If he was making a good call or a bad call, he was at least making a call.

Waffling, of course is the methodology of lawyers, which Obama is, and it is the “on the one hand…and on the other hand…” syndrome.

The action/inaction on Syria is certainly an example. If the threat had been successful in getting the Syrians to turn over their chemical weapons, that would be a win, but…

What actually happened was that the threat caused Putin to get the Syrians to negotiate  a slow walking, perhaps, maybe turn over their chemical weapons, and grants Putin a stage from which he can crawl back from obscurity. Russia, has been a crumbling nation, partially rescued by an influx of oil and natural gas and trying to regain its international footing.

President Obama gave Putin a foothold.

I suspect that was inadvertent, but it makes sense for an administration that has given us Fast and Furious and Benghazi. This administration is simply incompetent.

Incompetent results can be similar to venal results but I doubt that in this case.

The president is simply over his head.

The only difference now is that even partisan Democrats are starting to realize that.