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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Financial Reform? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Sourced from PBS Frontline, The Untouchables

OK, now that the inauguration is over and it’s time to see how many of the pie in the sky promises and premises actually get fulfilled over the next four years, it’s also a good time to look at some of them and try to assess their chances in a country that has basically become a right wing oligarchy in which most ideologies have converged at a point well to the right of what we used to call the center.  I suspect that the mere contention that there might have been some failures of the Obama Administration and the notion that there may be even more such failures in the offing will bring the usual howls of rage from those who truly believe he can do no wrong but it’s not going to alter the fact that those failures exist.

I suspect one of the biggest failures we’ll be seeing over the next four years is one of the same we saw during the past four… the failure to do a goddamned thing about the predations of the “too big to fail” financial sector that is bleeding this country dry daily.  We can talk all we want to about having passed a few minor Wall Street “reforms” but the simple fact is that Wall Street continues to be the leading factor in the decline of America, not only as a limited democracy, but as a representative republic, which so many are so wont to point out that it is when someone on the left laments about the losses the majority of us have had to endure.

As I sit here typing away to the four or five folks who may actually see what I’ve typed when it’s finally posted, not a single one of the Wall Street banks has been called to task for its role in the collapse of the economy.  Not a single CEO or even minor executive of any of the Wall Street financial institutions that brought the country to it’s knees has received even so much as a legal slap on the wrist.

This actually comes as no surprise to those who were able to look at those the president appointed to his cabinet four years ago and see the handwriting on the wall.  If you truly plan to do something about the economic stranglehold the big banks have on the country, you don’t appoint people from the big banks to be the guardians of the treasury.  It does NOT get any simpler than that.  Mr. Obama did so and sure enough, for four years virtually nothing got done.

Twenty, or even ten years ago I would have said that the American people are not stupid enough to have lived through what we’ve been going through for the past five years and not have known that this was no accident or a result of any mere “missteps” by those running the show but the result of deliberate fraud ( Jason Breslow ) perpetrated by outright criminals who knew exactly what they were doing.  But that doesn’t explain why  in the glaring light of hindsight huge numbers of heads haven’t rolled on Wall Street.  Everything needed…  means, motive and opportunity… was there in abundance and indeed the jails are full of people who were convicted on a lot less evidence than the federal regulators had in this instance.

But as of this writing, with the statute of limitations about to work it’s magic in protecting the guilty and allowing the innocent to suffer, regulators continue to mill around in total disarray and the fat cats at the big banks continue takeover of the country virtually without hindrance of any kind other than a few civil “penalties” consisting of mere “chump change” to most of these companies and that have done nothing to alleviate the suffering of the American people at the hands of the Wall Street parasites.

As of Jan. 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission had charged 153 entities or individuals in crisis-related cases, and won $2.68 billion in penalties. The largest penalty was a $550 million agreement with Goldman Sachs to settle claims it misled investors over a mortgage-related security called Abacus 2007-AC1. In its complaint, the SEC charged that Goldman never revealed that the hedge fund manager who created Abacus, John Paulson, was betting against the same mortgage bonds that made up the security. Though Goldman did not admit to the SEC’s allegations, it acknowledged that marketing material for Abacus “contained incomplete information.”

But government watchdogs are quick to remind that enforcement has focused mainly on civil penalties, rather than criminal charges against executives from any Wall Street firm. The government’s first criminal case, a nine-count indictment against two former Bear Stearns executives for securities, mail and wire fraud, ended in November 2009 with a not guilty verdict on all counts.

Ted Kaufman, who was appointed to fill the remaining two years of Joe Biden’s senate term explains why criminal prosecution of the criminals lining Wall street never became a priority for the Justice Department and Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, proves he’s just as adept at sidestepping through a minefield as any of them by explaining that Prosecutors are holding Wall Street to account for the financial crisis, but success should not be measured solely by the number of convictions to date.

Phil Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reveals that  Enforcement of Wall St. is “Woefully Broken”.

We were a 10-member commission appointed by the Congress of the United States. We were given a modest budget, ultimately just short to $10 million, with a very broad charge to look at the causes of the crisis that brought down our economy and caused so much devastation around this country. …

And also our charge was if we found potential violations of law, we were to refer those matters to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Which in this case would have been Mr., Breuer’s Criminal Division at DOJ and we’ve already seen that he’s just not all that into punishing billionaires for their excesses against the people he was supposedly appointed to serve.  In any event, he won’t be around to see the situation to its final disposition since he’s decided to step down from his position according to a WAPO story yesterday.  Taking a well earned rest after having virtually guaranteed… by his failure to act in a timely manner allowing the statute of limitations to become a major factor…that none of the perps would ever see the inside of a courtroom, let alone a jail cell.  I mean come on now, if they couldn’t put a single case together in four years, do we really think they’ll do it in one?

No… there’s simply no way you can call this anything but a failure on the part of our government unless you want to admit that they were and are in collusion with the vultures and parasites who are willing to destroy an entire way of life solely to line their own pockets (a supposition I have not problem with).  There will be no real reform and there will be no return to what most of us oldsters consider “normalcy” as long as these “too big to fail” companies remain in existence and the “too big to jail” people running them are not only free to walk the street but to continue their depredations unhindered by even a slap on the wrist.  As long as they can continue to make instant millionaires of our politicians… ;;cough;; Mitch McConnell ::cough::… the rest of us are well and truly boned.

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Progressives_The New Right Of Center “Left”

AS one neither left nor right, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, one of the things I’ve found most disheartening about this last few years and the solidification of my transition from a well right of center Republican to a left of center Independent/Populist is the manner on which the two major parties have managed to agree on one thing… that actual liberals are worthy of nothing but scorn.  The fact that many so called progressive democrats are just as quick to react with snide derision to anything put forth by what they refer to in their politer moments as  “the professional left”  has been a hallmark of this country’s general slide to the right over the past three decades.

What we used to call the “moderate” right has now become the left and there’s no room… nor tolerance… left for the few true liberals in the country and reactions to anything they have to say are just as nasty and hateful coming from those who like to refer to themselves the “left” as they are coming from those the “left” like to call right wing nut jobs.

One of the things that amazes me most during this ongoing transition… probably because it’s simply the most current example… is the willingness of so many people who identify themselves as progressive… or even liberal… to accept and even embrace reductions in benefits to Social Security benefits for the country’s elderly poor.  Many Democrats… including the President of the United States… are hell bound to get the door open for Social Security “reform”… ostensibly as a means of helping to appease the almighty bow down and kiss its ass god of the deficit.  The difference between “left” and the “right” has been and remains only a difference in the manner in which the changes to SS benefits are introduced with the “right” assuming it’s usual “bludgeon the poor to death outright” position and the “left” opting for its equally usual but more insidious approach by instituting a small change here and there and claiming it has no real impact and that those affected… along with those of the “professional left”… are just overreacting to a little “harmless tinkering”.

The latest attempt to start modifying Social Security, the one being touted by an awful lot of progressives who apparently have bigger fish to fry is the chained CPI method of determining cost of living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security recipients.  Some of the 140 character profundities being offered up on Twitter by that network’s leading “Progressive” lights in regard to the subject have put the RWs to shame in terms of vitriol and bile and indeed many progressives are making or enhancing greatly their Twitter “rep” by spending a hell of a lot more time  bashing “EMOs” and “PROGs”  than they do right wingers and the Tea Party.  All it’s really shown me is that while the right remains ever willing to push me in front of a speeding train, today’s “left” is simply more in favor of the lull me into a false sense of security and then slip me a mickey and tie me to the fricking tracks approach,

Chained CPI is onerous as well as odorous on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin.  If nothing else, it’s a “door opener”,  It sets a precedent that leaves the program wide open and vulnerable by telling the junkies and pimps and whores in our congress that it’s OK to beat up on those least able to fight back and who have nobody left to stand for them.  Give in once and there will be another half dozen or dozen “adjustments” next year and two dozen the year after that until the ultimate goal has been attained and Wall Street has its hands on the trust fund and all those billions of bucks worth of T-bills.  You either stand firm or you sell out.  There is no middle ground or room for compromise when you’re dealing with mindless, soulless bloodsucking parasites.

As for the proposal itself, perhaps the most blatant bovine excrement being pushed by those Progressives who see nothing wrong with reducing grandma’s (or grandpa’s) ability to buy groceries is that it will have little or no effect on the situation and that we’re allowing ourselves to be panicked by a few bleeding heart liberal alarmists… or EMOs… and overreacting to what is actually nothing more than a “minor adjustment” in bookkeeping or accounting procedures and designed only to streamline the procedures a little, thereby saving the taxpayers money, blah, blah, blah.

This is bullshit, people.  In the first place, we all know that Social Security hasn’t got a goddamned thing to do with the deficit and that any discussion of  any changes in terms of “saving taxpayer money” or contributing to deficit reduction already has us wading waist deep in bullshit before we ever leave the gate.  Nobody with the IQ of a chimp or above ever bought that line and any congresspimp still pushing it is either full of crap or an outright crook and the notion that he or she is both together doesn’t push any envelopes.

And as far as raising the bullshit level with claims about it being harmless or having no real impact, let’s understand one thing from the get go… if there wasn’t something in it for someone it wouldn’t even be being considered and in order for someone to get something from it in our current version of a free market system someone else has to give something up and we all know who that’s going to be, whether we want to admit it or not.  If you read something by some Progressive pundit touting CCPI because it supposedly has little or no impact ask yourself why, if it has little or no impact, he or she gives a shit one way or the other.

Dave Dayen, FDL:

Let’s just make clear what chained CPI is all about. The idea here is that you should not measure the cost of living simply based on the consumer price index, and then raise the costs accordingly with the rise in prices. Instead, economists say, you have to account for the substitution effect in response to price shifts. When someone cannot afford steak, maybe they buy more chicken, the theory goes. By “chaining” the CPI to account for the substitution effect, you’re really shrinking the inflation in the index, because you’re assuming that the individual will spend less by changing their lifestyle. As a result, cost of living adjustments based on a chained CPI will rise more slowly that COLAs based on an unchained one.

On top of this, you have to understand that there are different kinds of consumer price indexes based on the prices of different baskets of goods. The current CPI for Social Security is the CPI-W, which measures goods purchased by basically middle-class urban wage earners. There’s also a CPI-U, which measures goods purchased by ALL urban wage earners. Those pushing for chained CPI want to move to C-CPI-U. Both the different index and the chaining will result in a smaller cost of living adjustment. And this compounds over time, so that older people get hit harder by the benefit cut. There’s also no accounting for the lifetime income of the beneficiary in the move to chained CPI – it’s an indiscriminate benefit cut.

Mr. Dayen does a good job of shooting down the contention that there is no cut or that if there is, it’s inconsequential but in pointing out what the proponents of chained CPI leave out of their own arguments, he makes a rather glaring omission himself.  The ability of Wall Street and the gods of the  financial sector to react quickly and sharply to any perceived change in consumerist habits that might affect maximum ROI.

Put quite simply and using his own analogy, if the price of beef goes up and I switch to chicken, the Wall Street controlled food industry will immediately notice that fact and the price of chicken will simultaneously rise to either equal or exceed the price of beef and by the time the next COLA time rolls around it won’t be making a pinch of monkey shot’s worth of difference what I’m eating, the actual costs of feeding myself will have risen by an X amount (any actual increase in the cost of food items) while any COLA I might get will be based on a purely mythical Y factor based on a difference between the prices of chicken and beef that no longer exists and that hasn’t since my last COLA.

Perhaps Mr. Dayen and those more prominent TwitterPundits on the left tend to overlook this little tidbit because there are no government financed commissions or studies that would tend to support the fact that in our system, “free market” simply means that none of the indices really mean jack shit and that Wall Street and Wall Street alone ultimately controls what it costs the rest of us to live in this country today and its only criteria in exercising that control is increased income for the corporations and enhanced ROI for the professional and institutional shareholders.

And I suspect the reason that the Democratic party and what some of us still insist on referring to as the left would even consider supporting changes to Social Security as a means of providing solace and substance to the one percent is that these supposedly left wing groups are predominately made up of people who benefit from Wall Street’s manipulation of our economy to some degree and who aren’t about to overlook the enormous windfall that would befall the financial sector if it got it’s claws into Social Security.

In a Free market NeoCapitalist system, those who benefit from the immense conglomeration of intricate Ponzi schemes that make up what we refer to collectively as Wall Street are extremely unlikely to be swayed by the plight of the who ultimately pay the price when such a system topples over from it’s own topheaviness as we saw happen in 2007-08.

It’s pretty goddamned simple. If you support ANY cuts to already inadequate benefits for Social Security recipients because someone has convinced you that it will “save” or “strengthen” the program, then you’ve lost all claim to being concerned about the plight of the elderly poor.  The people running this country have no concern for saving or strengthening anything but their own bank accounts.and they don’t do that by doing a flipping thing for you or me.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Pastor Chuck & The Fact Check Fail

I don’t usually go back two years for articles or blog entries to excerpt but I came across one while cleaning out some of my archives that caught my eye simply because… over two and a half years after it first appeared, I’m still hearing the same lame assed  and hugely debunked talking points from the right in regard to health care that this dude was spitting up then.

One of those arguments I keep hearing in regard to Universal single payer healthy care in this country is that there simply would not be enough physicians and other skilled professionals to handle the massive increase in case loads that would result in any system of say, Medicare for all.  Really, I would expect nothing else from the thoroughly coddled and taken care of gutless cowards who make up the Republican caucus in our congress.  These are after all, people who don’t think that mere serfs and other commoners should have any health care at all  if they can’t afford the massive costs of private health insurance that provide the billions in profits to the insurance companies and dividends to their institutional shareholders.

What I wanted to know back then… and still do… was where this massive increase in  patient load per provider was supposed to be coming from?  Had there been some massive increase in population when I wasn’t looking?  Because I’ll tell you right now, the conditions these folks are talking about had been with us for at least ten years when this discussion was just reaching the strident stage which for RWs means early on.

I’ve been on Medicare/Medicaid since 2003 and I’ve lived with assembly line medicine every one of those nine years.  These contentions , as put forth from both sides of the radically narrowing political spectrum differ only in the manner in which they are presented and while the left is (generally) more reticent in the manner in which they express the viewpoint, once all the semantic and rhetorical layers are peeled away, they are indeed the same viewpoint.  .

Here’s a snip from a July 16, 2010 blog entry by Pastor Chuck Baldwin,an ultra right wing Tea Party preacher/radio commentator/pundit/demagogue who is apparently making tons of money as a religious version of Rush Limbaugh, liberally mixing healthy doses of politics and hate into his religion and who in two short paragraphs, put the viewpoint of the rabid right on healthcare in a perspective we all could understand readily:

The negative effects of Obamacare are already starting to take effect. Across the country, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of physicians are making preparations to retire. I would be willing to predict that the vast majority of physicians who are financially able to retire will do so before 2014 (the year Obamacare officially takes full effect). And who can blame them? Not me.

Think of it: under Obamacare, physicians will be told to increase their patient load by at least one-third, or maybe even half. Imagine a physician with a government-mandated patient load of maybe 5,000 or 6,000 people (or even more than that). Imagine some federal bureaucrat demanding that the physician spend not more than, say, 4 minutes with each patient.

OK, back to the present where hindsight rules.  Of course hundreds of thousands of doctors didn’t retire… in fact we have no idea how many doctors have retired in the past two years but I suspect i t misses being “tens of thousands” by a dab and of course we have no idea why they retired.  I suspect most of them had just reached that age when it seems to be the thing to do and that it didn’t have a damned thing to do with the president but that’s just my personal opinion.

There are so many levels at which Preacher Baldwin’s statements and the statements of others like him over the past two and a half years were and still are utterly f**ed up but the main problem with his rhetoric is that… as is usually the case with these putrid profundities being offered from the pusillanimous pricks in the right wing’s fundamentalist pulpits is that was not a shred of evidence to back up a single word in what he was saying and those two paragraphs.  Indeed the entire blog post from which the excerpts were  taken… were nothing but the maunderings of a man bent on pushing as many buttons as he possibly can on the for the ignorant Teabots who are his core audience and he gives the whole thing away with the very first sentence in paragraph #1 which is really all you need in order to know that this is simply one more regurgitation of the same old right wing bullshit talking points we’ve been  hearing since the Reagan days at least..

He starts with the obligatory RW demonization of the president which is signaled by the code word “Obamacare”, because he knows that the quickest way to get his audience pumped up and running on a combination of adrenalin and hate over something is to simply tie President Obama’s name to it. Then, in the same sentence he attempts to create some sense of urgency with “already starting to take effect”.  So now he’s got the setup all done and next comes the totally hyperbolic statement that forms the basis of any support for his contention that Obamacare is a bad thing.   “Across the country, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of physicians are making preparations to retire”.

Now I don’t know about the rest of you  but my own immediate response was, “Now just how in the &^%$ would you know that tens of thousands of doctors (maybe hundreds of thousands) are going to retire, let alone their reasons for doing so?”.  But then you stop and think… Wow, what a masterpiece! the whole statement is simply so ludicrous as to be laughable and yet so perfectly crafted to invoke frenzy in the ignorant cretins who make up the Tea Party’s base

Anyone capable of reasoning beyond the level of a rock would immediately see this statement for what it is, namely pure hype with no empirical evidence or data that would support it.  It comes directly from off the top of Pastor Chuck’s head or… in the vernacular of today, straight out of his ass… and is served raw to his target audience with no garnishment… like empirical evidence or linked data of any kind that would lend support to what he’s claiming.  The only thing I see as a glimmer of actual information to be gleaned here is that Pastor Chuck surely knows his audience.

But putting aside all else, I for one… and I’m only one of a multitude… don’t have to Imagine someone “demanding that the physician spend not more than, say, 4 minutes with each patient”,   because I’ve been living with exactly that kind of health care ever since I was medically retired from the fire service and forced to go on Social Security and Medicare to survive.  There’s a hell of a lot Chuck and the good folks to his left obviously don’t know about how medical services are dispensed to the poor and lower class working stiffs in this country or they would have hooked up by now with the simple fact is that the day envisioned by Chuck and his ilk in which medical clinics are run on an assembly line basis and doctors and other care providers are limited to as little as 4 minutes with each patient is already here, having arrived virtually unnoticed or at least unheralded by those who haven’t had to deal with it.  I’m going to assume that group includes most, if not all, of those who are dissing universal single payer as some kind of utopian pipe dream because “there wouldn’t be enough doctors to go around”.

Once you’re trapped in our system of privatized public healthcare you learn very quickly that number one, there is no way out of it except to die and number two, you likely going to arrive at number one a whole lot quicker than you would have imagined in the days when you were still a productive member of society and making lots of money for the insurance companies.  What you are now is merely a vessel by which our government transfers Medicare/Medicaid dollars to Wall Street.

One of the biggest fallacies about healthcare in this country is that MC/MA recipients have some kind of options going for them that gives them the same control as to where and from whom they receive care as the folks with private insurance have..  Not so, grasshopper.

Sure. most of us on Medicare/Medicaid are nominally free to choose our own physicians and facilities, but as always anytime the government grants a privilege that should be a basic right, the key word there is “nominally”. Yeah yeah sure, we’re free to choose our own doctors.  And… guess what?   If said doctors’ fees are more than the reimbursement schedules for MC/MA and we lack the wherewithal to pay the difference then said doctors are just as free to tell us to  to go attempt aerial intercourse with a rapidly revolving pastry (I’m feeling rather literate tonight and that’s my literate version of go take a flying &^%$ at a rolling donut.

Though medical professionals and the media might choose to word it differently, the fact is that we can only choose from doctors that will accept MC/MA recipients, usually at a clinic or other facility founded especially for that purpose and one that relies on sheer volume to offset the “reduced levels of return” due to controlled reimbursements from MC/MA.   Doesn’t matter if it’s a for profit organization or a tax exempt 501c “non profit”, whoever’s running that clinic is going to make more money by providing less care to more people than by the opposite.

Using my own case as an example, right after I was forced to retire and had to go on SSDI and Medicare, I went through the humiliating ordeal of calling to make an appointment with the same doctor I had been going to for over twenty years and being told basically that now that I was a pauper, Dr. Soandso would now longer be seeing me as a patient and that I should probably contact one of the “public” (as in “for ordinary commoners”) clinics that would accept MC/MA as full reimbursement for services because I obviously couldn’t afford to pay the difference out of my own pocket in the form of copays..

The problem with referring someone to public health services that is that since the Reagan as governor days there have pretty much been no “public” health services, here in California and, from what I’m reading and hearing, very few other places in the country are offering direct publicly provided health care services these days.  Most states and local jurisdictions have opted to contract out their health care services, using their Medicaid and other public health grants to pay private companies or non-profit (tax exempts) to provide the actual services.

In the case of the private corporations, this has meant the same old “seen ‘em so often they’re perfectly predictable” results we’ve seen in every other instance of privatization of a public service, the subordination of actual levels of care to the profits and dividends of the corporations and institutional shareholders.  In the case of the non-profits, a case can conceivably be made for it actually being a matter of not enough people or hours in the day to see all of the people who require varying levels of treatment with varying degrees of urgency but it all boils down to the fact that it’s numbers, not care that are the ultimate agenda in the “greates health care system in the world”..

Opting for the lesser of two evils and not wanting to contribute any more than absolutely necessary to the wallets and portfolios of corporate parasites I finally wound up hooked up with a clinic operated by Family Healthcare Network a local non-profit organization. If you ever want to see the ultimate shining example of assembly line medicine, just hang around my clinic for a while. I consider myself damned lucky to get Chuck’s four minutes as my allotted time with my primary provider.  If any organization ever epitomized the concept of Medical Assembly lines, believe me it’s FHCN.

As a patient with a long history of heart attacks and a stroke or two thrown in for good measure, suffering from advanced congestive heart failure and acute COPD, I can tell you right now that four minutes doesn’t cut it and that there is very little actual treatment going on in that place.  I went for almost four years without ever being referred to a cardiac, pulmonary or vascular specialist.  I was never referred for any type of diagnostics nor was there any kind of preventive treatment or even advice offered and I can remember several times following my doctor down the hall on his way to his next appointment trying to get answers to questions I had and knowing damned well there was nowhere else I could go.

Last year, he left (for another assembly line facility) and the clinic assigned me to a new primary care physician, a young lady from India who… not used to the “wham bam next patient” style of medicine available to the lower working classes in this country…  immediately set about getting me fixed up and the first order of business for her was getting to know me well enough to form a viable diagnosis.  In other words, spending more than the allotted 4 or 5 minutes with me.

First thing out of the box, she referred me to a cardiac/vascular specialist who took one look and  immediately scheduled an angiogram.  I was already so far gone that I coded during the procedure and only the fact that I was in a hospital surrounded by skilled medical personnel saved my ass.  Over the next few months I underwent numerous tests and diagnostic procedures that turned up long term problems I didn’t even know I had and for the past year I’ve been treated for every one of them.  To say that I’m alive today because of this young lady would in no manner be an overstatement… but you know and I now that’s too good to last.  If she’s spending that much time actually caring for her patients that means she’s seeing fewer patients and we can’t have that in a health care system, now can we?.

That young doctor’s gone now after a run-in with the clinic administrators because she refused to compromise treatment in favor of numbers.  So, I once again find myself with no primary care provider and the prospect of having to resign myself to deal with a doctor or other provider who doesn’t have the time to actually treat me.  That’s a fact of life for millions of Americans already, whether Pastor Chuck Baldwin and his ilk or any of the well intentioned but “pragmatic” folks on the left care to acknowledge it or not.  As always I’m no expert on anything but I do know first hand what I go through on a day to day basis.

If we enacted universal single payer healthcare tomorrow, there would be absolutely no change in the situation as far as levels of service to the majority of patients are concerned and this whole “not enough doctors” routine becomes just another straw man set up and subscribed to mostly by people with an agenda.  The people who would actually BE that increased case load are already out here and already going without adequate care as Wall Street and the congress run their little health care racket and those making the assertions that we can’t have universal health care in this country when some form of it works in every other developed country in the world  offer nothing in the way of solutions for what they see as the problem and indeed, even the best intentioned of them can suggest nothing but to kick the can down the road and deal with it later.  In the meantime, thousands of people like me die needlessly from lack of adequate health care in spite of the fact that they supposedly have access to it..

One last little rant here is in regard to this whole “America has the best health care system in the world” thing that people like Pastor Chuck have going.    Here’s some more of Pastor Chuck’s exquisite demagoguery:

With all its faults, America’s health care system is the finest in the world. Why else would rich people in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and elsewhere come to the US when the medical chips are really down? Socialized medicine doesn’t work for them and it won’t work for the United States.

Sorry Chuck, but first off, we ranked #37 in the world in terms of the criteria used by the World Health Organization and other agencies and organizations charged with developing and maintaining this kind of data as recently as 2009 and all three of the countries you named actually rank ahead of us.  The ONLY thing in regard to health care in which we rank #1 in is the amount we pay for it.  I’m always a tad surprised at the number of folks who by bullshit by the truckload from fertilizer peddlers like yourself but I’m actually more interested right now in the purely anecdotal “evidence” you use to support your claim that we’re #1.

What Chuck fails to mention in this little jewel of demagoguery and jingoism is that even if there were some smidgen of truth in his claim and that a few people did  come hereon occasion for some form of specialized treatment they couldn’t get at home,  it would only the folks who can afford to come to America and pay the high price who would get the levels of service he pretends to think all Americans get.   The poor and the average working classes obviously don’t come here for their treatment.  Hell why would they, even if they could?  The only thing they’d be doing is seeking health care from a system that ranks below their own and paying more for it than they would at home.

My final question is when the hell do we start doing something besides sitting around explaining to the powerless people doing the dying that “while  it would be nice if they could get the same level health care that those with the power have, it’s just not possible under the present circumstances”?  Seems to me that all this talk should include at least some preliminary discussions as to what can be done about starting to change the circumstances.  Otherwise it’s just more flipping can kicking and there are far too damned many of us out here who can’t afford to wait to see how far down the road that can winds up.  Just stop with the telling me why it can’t be done and start looking for ways to do it.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Uncategorized