Friday, November 16, 2012

Prof. Stuart Altman, Universal Health Care Proponent, and Appointed by Gov. Patrick to head MA Oversight on Health Care Delivery – Objective: Control the Cost – Universal Health Care.

Image of Tea Party Protestors before the 2012 Election - they may have read the bill - Irony - image from Media Matters.

Dr. Stuart Altman has been appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to “lead the way for the nation” by instituting the Health Care Reform Act in Massachusetts . Altman explains his stance on and belief structure on Universal Health Care in two video’s below, and it is clear that he is a proponent of Universal Health Care, but that his views and stance on “progressive” history run counter to the current delivery system American’s enjoy. Currently, those with health insurance are given care, which are paid for through insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses. Those who are without health care insurance are not necessarily denied care, rather they are given care through state Medicaid programs. Those that fall through the “cracks” (i.e. Make enough money on paper to afford health care, but in reality cannot afford the premiums, so go without) are not addressed. (Those who pay the fee to the state because they are a) unable to afford the high premiums , and b) are mandated by the State to pay, which is a tad less than the actual costs of the Premium. This is primarily due to lack of competition in the state’s Health Insurance Providers, though no Progressive would admit that free enterprise would drive costs down, that has been proven true with the broader availability of Auto Insurance carriers in the state, reducing the costs of premiums!).

In the first video, Altman explains the plans to implement the new system of oversight based on economics first. The program places the onus on the provider to spend to a limit, therefore, as Professor Altman explains, some procedures that “may be a little useful, but are very expensive”, simply will not be performed.

Additionally, if the system is working as such where a patient is being denied care, because of the restrictions set in place by the state to control costs, then Altman’s logic is that the bureaucracy will be able to see this taking place, and alert the patient – assuming it’s not too late.

In the second video, the Professor speaks to the History of Health Care in the United States, which is not as good as the Health Care Delivery systems in other nations (this is the Professors Opinion – based on costs – obviously, not quality of care). In this video one learns that the Professor, who has written a book on the subject, believes that the unions were responsible for health care reform in the early part of his one hundred year walk through progressive history. He also lauds President Nixon for his liberal stance on healthcare reform, some of which are included in the Obama Health Plan. Altman worked for Nixon, Clinton, and Obama.

When asked why health care deliver in the United States was a mess, he replies that (paraphrasing) “American’s aren’t willing to commit to a single payer system”.

It is apparent that we most likely will not have a choice.

What happens when theses “oversight Committees” who are focused on cost containment, rather than both cost containment and delivery of quality health care, force a provider to contain costs through denying “expensive” tests and procedures which may be life saving (i.e. a little useful)? The residents of Massachusetts will find out sooner or later, and so will those states who have decided to implement the Health Care Act. Of note, the good professor apparently does not either address or perhaps is unaware, as the bill is rather lengthy, what happens to those persons who fall under the limit, or who’s “unions” are exempt from having to comply with the health care law? The balance of those who are in current private pay systems, or are going to be forced into a government system, will reap the rewards of cost-controlled health care. The videos should be watched in full, as this man is now in charge of the Massachusetts health care delivery systems. Death Panels? Cost over care most certainly will result in those who are denied an “expensive, but slightly useful procedure, meeting their demise. This premise is based on human objectivity and human error. If one were to be honest about why the costs of medicine is through the roof, one might want to take a look at the high costs of malpractice insurance providers must pay and the costs of burdensome government regulations. Those are the root, both brought on by government, yet ignored completely. There is no doubt that reform is necessary on several levels, but, if one fails to address the entire delivery system, then that system will fail. It is a question now of who will that system fail? The heavy bet is on the patient.

Video 1

Video 2

Power Politics and Universal Health Care

Interesting article from Kaiser Health News, regarding Nixon and Obama entitled: “Obama's Health Care Dilemma Evokes Memories Of 1974”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NYC Still Suffering – Power outages continue to Affect Elderly - National Outrage?

From CBS New YorkApparently, the trauma over “Sandy” continues for residents in New York – especially those living in a high-rise that still has zero power in – Manhattan. This travesty of the lack of attention to the suffering in NYC by the national press, who are still celebrating their recent victory – is beyond disgusting. Those residents trying to keep warm and healthy are the elderly.

Israel Defends Itself – Hamas Calls Rebuttal to Their Attacks Act of War – Muslim Brotherhood calls on Government to Cut Ties with Israel!

Maps depicting the Before and After Landscape of the 6 Day War - Apparently, not remembered by the aggressors against Israel - image

It was a matter of time before the Israeli Government had to do something to defend itself from the crazies surrounding the State of Israel – so they targeted and eliminated a Hamas Leader, prompting that group of terrorists to call the “assassination” an “Act of War”. (Jerusalem Post) After decades or more of Israel on the receiving end of rockets, and suicide bombers, those perpetrating the insanity cry foul when one of their own fails to “dodge a bullet”. One can expect them to run to the U.N. with skirts tucked between their legs, seeking formal denouncement of Israel. (Literal on both counts). One might have sympathy for the Palestinian people if their leaders didn’t bank billions, and keep their people in a state of abject poverty and continual war with a country they could easily get along with just peachy. The problem lies neither with the Israeli people nor its government, but with the never-ending quest to annihilate those non-believers by the crazed Palestinians. Israel has shown amazing restraint thus far, and one must anticipate that being a “punching” bag for so long may have unintended consequences of a reaction.

The usual suspects have weighed in from Iran to Syria however, the Obama administration has offered its support to Israel – and immediately – not weeks or months later. Perhaps the most ridiculous item to date from this conflict is the call from the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt’s leadership to break diplomatic ties with Israel The U.K Guardian reported on the call by the group that is currently running the country of Egypt. – The Irony.

Suffice it to say, that while these Islamist nations were so buy teaching children how to become Jihadist or suicide bombers, or both, they neglected to teach them the history of their relationship with Israel and the Six Day War. To simplify - The PLO was formed in 1963, and as a result of continual harassment by said group and surrounding “Arab” states, culminating in an attack on Jerusalem in June of 1967, the State of Israel fought back – indeed, in six days, the Israeli military (IDF) managed to conquer their neighbors, and increase the size of Israel.(

This underscores the stupidity of fanaticism. It is true that civilians on both sides suffer, however, if one could send a message to those who prefer suicide and annihilation of the Jewish State that it is simply not going to happen, and most likely they and their people will suffer, may go a lot further towards a peace process if those groups (from college professors to government officials worldwide) would be a little less outraged in their anti-Semitism and be honest with those people they are feeling so sorry for. It’s doubtful as the dummying down of the educational system has a cost, critical thinking is at an all time low – therefore the concept of actually playing by the rules, teaching one’s children not to blow themselves up in the name of Mullah Mouse, etc. etc., ad nauseum, then extending an olive branch, would go a long way towards –actual peace.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

White House Bombarded with Petitions to Secede – Is Secession Constitutional? – The Cases and Interpretation rest on Lincoln Address!

The Illustrated Republic of Texas - image: – see article from Tree of Mamre

State’s Petitions for Secession from the United States of America is nothing new, and the Secession of the Southern States and subsequent formation of an independent nation, as a Confederacy – and subsequent Civil War are part and parcel of history and myth. President Abraham Lincoln is lauded for his fight to free the slaves, yet little is known about the economic incentives that drove the battle between the States, nor the manner in which Lincoln shredded the Constitution, which today’s naysayers insist prevents Secession.

As of November 13th, 34 States had submitted Petitions to the White House to secede. The States now include: Nebraska, Ohio, West Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, South Dakota, Delaware, Nevada and Alaska. Colorado, Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan, New York, Oregon, New Jersey, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. (Greeley Gazette).

However, these are petitions that are signed by Citizens of the States in Question, and, although an answer from the White House is allegedly required upon attainment of 25,000 signatures, it is doubtful they carry more weight than a protest. That protest however, is economic in purpose and the ends to the means is noting disapproval of a job not well done by the President and the Federal Government in general. It is a peaceful protest in scope, requiring nothing more than an internet connection. That said it does carry weight in certain states that have asserted their rights under the Second Amendment, which is the first step towards actual secession.

There were, at last count, 20 states that had drafted, and filed legislation asserting these rights. Although Rick Perry the Governor of the State of Texas has ”dimissed the petitions for secession (Austin Statesman), the Governor was the first to sign and certify Texas’ Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. Rick Perry, of all individuals in the State of Texas understands the rights of States (DMS). In fact up to 20 of these “United States”, have suggested their sovereignty, in 2009. That would be the first step in a process that would lead to a break between the State and Federal Government allowed under the 10th amendment.

But what of the Constitution? That’s interesting as there is no specific mention or suggestion in the actual document that does not allow for a State to secede should they so choose. The courts have weighed in, of course, and noted it is “not constitutional”, yet the citing from a recent (2002) case in Alaska, where a ballot initiative was struck down by the State’s AG, suggests that what these judges have based their “constitutional opinion” upon, is a letter or address from none other than Abraham Lincoln.

Refer to the treatment on the case here: at FindLaw:

The constitutionality of secession was “intensely debated and ․ unresolved” until the end of the Civil War.17 As President Abraham Lincoln stated in his first inaugural address, “A disruption of the Federal Union heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.” 18  President Lincoln tried to persuade the country to reject threats of secession from southern states, arguing that “no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union,-that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void,” 19 and that “the Union of these States is perpetual.” 20  While a state's ability to secede was an unsettled question before the end of the Civil War, subsequent United States Supreme Court opinions have concluded that secession is clearly unconstitutional, and Lincoln's belief in a perpetual Union is reflected in what we have described as “a plenitude of Supreme Court cases holding as completely null” the acts of secession by Confederate states.21  In Texas v. White, an opinion issued just after the Civil War, the United States Supreme Court stated:

The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.   When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation.   All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State.   The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact;  it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body.   And it was final.   The union between Texas and other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States.   There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.

This is the law to which we Alaskans bound ourselves at the moment we achieved statehood.   We recognized in Kohlhaas I:  “When the forty-nine-star flag was first raised at Juneau, we Alaskans committed ourselves to that indestructible Union, for good or ill, in perpetuity.” 23  We concluded that because “[s]ecession is clearly unconstitutional” 24 and “[b]ecause the initiative [sought] a clearly unconstitutional end, the lieutenant governor correctly declined to certify it.”

Nowhere in the above decision and background footnotes on the decision in the Kohlhasss case, suggests that there is a provision written into the Constitution, rather, it is the address of Abraham Lincoln to which those justices refer, and an interpretation by justices of the provisions, rather than an actual article, which suggest the States may never leave. Apparently, these justices gave little heed to the 10th amendment and States’ rights to Sovereignty.

How reasonable is Secession? It really depends on how much the State in question is dependent upon the Federal Government? At this point in the nation’s economic history, one would suggest it may be the other way around (as it was with Lincoln) whereby the Federal Government needs these States more than the States need the Federal Government. Those that fear “Civil War” might wonder how on earth that might be accomplished – given the Presidents propensity to weigh decisions requiring military action and/or strongly worded statements for weeks if not months! More over it is this opinion that the State’s do have the right under the 10th Amendment, and there are no specific directions within the document to restrain a State from leaving the Union.

The expenses incurred, from the printing of money, the care of the citizens, the defense of the newly formed State (or for lack of a better word, and stemming from the document preceding the Constitution), or Confederacy of States, would not be worth the headache. The Petitions however, are worth this as a protest given the “Fiscal Cliff” and a media, that many believe, is less than forthcoming when it comes to this Administration.

Are they serious – yes, talk to friends in Texas who are Independent in nature, or any other state and they are convinced that secession is “doable” Buy property in Texas, as a hedge, or pick a state where the legislature and Governor have declared Sovereignty. It may be a hedge against inflation, or should one wish to take sides, a home “abroad”, or in the very least, an investment. Consider that this election was close, and this election was based on ideology rather than any other issue. Consider that 48% of the citizens of these United States were convinced the direction of the nation was wrong. It’s 2001 all over again, and instead of those insisting they have Bush Derangement Syndrome and must take three weeks off, or go to France – these disgruntled or fearful, individuals are seeking to stay closer to home.

No kidding, this blogger now has property in Texas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top Slots Open in January Obama Administration – Massachusetts two Candidates – Deval Patrick and John F. Kerry - Open’s Speculation as to Special Elections

Senator John Kerry & Governor Deval Patrick - Potential spots open in Obama Administration Photo: democratic underground.

Immediately following the election several key officials in the Obama administration have decided to call it quits. This is not unusual in the grander scheme of things, as administrations go into a second term, there are usually those who give one term and go back to the private sector or, head to Iowa. In this case there are several openings that suggest certain Massachusetts Politico’s may be ripe for the positions. The number one slot leaving is Hillary Clinton, the Sectary of State - this was first announced through the Weekly Standard, and the suggestion is that MA. Senator John F. Kerry would be a candidate for the slot. It is no secret in Massachusetts that Kerry has wanted the slot since 2008 –and, as a surrogate for the President throughout the reelection process, he may have an in (if they can forgive the performance in Denver, with Kerry as coach). On Clinton herself, the New York Times is now setting the stage for a 2016 run in what can only be called a fluff piece. Clinton would make a fine choice, all the way around, however, one speculates that she may be too tired at that point. In addition she would have to run against a yet again, energized Conservative base, and depending upon the candidate (say a Marco Rubio – who has already set foot in Iowa), it may be a tough road.

Another leaving the administration is Eric Holder, and although Janet Napolitano’s “name” is being floated, it may be the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, who get’s that job. Patrick who is a long-time associate of the President and was mentored by chief strategist, David Axelrod, would be a find fit for the position.

Others that are leaving, so far, according to the Washington Post, Defense, Secretary Leon Panetta and White House Senor Advisor David Plouffe

The first two mentioned are of great interest for several reassign. John Kerry has wanted the job, and is just as qualified as anyone else in the Obama administration. This would leave a seat open in the Senate for a multitude of individuals in the Bay State that may aptly fill the bill (more on that).

The second is the office of Attorney General, again, the nations “top cop” would be a great fit for the Governor of Massachusetts. He’s weighed in on many a case and has a mind-set similar to the President. This would set up a second special election in MA to fill the Governors seat.

There are several names being floated as replacements in Massachusetts should this occur, the first that comes to mind is former Senator Scott Brown who was narrowly defeated by Elizabeth Warren – Brown, the most bipartisan senator of the past two years (given his short term) would counteract that very partisan Warren, and at least bring some sense of sanity to the process. As to the Governor’s office: Bill Weld has reportedly moved back to the state, and Charles Baker who had run a tight campaign against the Patrick, who won by one point, with the help of Democrat turned conveniently independent, Tim Cahill , would also fit that bill.

Of course, if the above mentioned are seriously considering running for either of these “projected” vacant seats”, then one might also anticipate, especially in Weld and Brown’s case, sudden invitations by the White house to be Ambassadors of Name a Country out of the way. Of course, that job has a short life expectancy these days. It’s always fun to speculate, but the thoughts that Massachusetts would find some of its key politico’s either in an administration or back in the saddle campaigning for a top slot representing the Bay State, does bring out what all political judies relish: another election!

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