Category Archives: Politics

TAXI!!

This morning, I got this email from Lyft, a company with whom I have an account that I have had for over a year but never actively used:

lyft

Let’s disassemble that, shall we?

“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be.”
And there was me thinking that you created Lyft to make money. How altruistic of you. And what’s with the “community” talk? I thought you were a business.

“…diverse…”
We already have enough diversity. How about some unity?

“…inclusive…”
Inclusive of whom? Inclusive of illegals who have no business being here? Inclusive of Islamic Jihadists who want us converted or dead? Inclusive of Muslim Moderates who resolve their confusion and turmoil by shooting up scores of homosexuals in a club? Tell me more about this “inclusivity” thing; I’m not sure I understand.

“…and safe.”
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” America is not, and was never intended to be, a safe space.

“This weekend, Trump closed the country’s borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin.”
You obviously haven’t read the executive order. It does no such thing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Immediately upon receipt of the report… the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.
  • After the 60-day period… expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.
  • “…the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”

As you can see, it is by no means a blanket ban; it is an invitation for other nations to either help us, or be counted among the enemy. It is a “put-up-or-shut-up” challenge. But let’s continue:

  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.
  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.
  • Notwithstanding the temporary suspension… the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

AS you can see, there are specifically crafted exceptions. Nothing to see here folks, move along. Now back to the good people at Lyft…

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values.”
And accepting mass immigration from nations who hate us is not exactly smart. Oh, and “our nation’s core” values are binding on American Citizens and Legal Residents and no one else.

“We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
That’s nice. And there is that lovely word “Community” again. Even nicer. But where were you when Hillary was calling me and half of the country “a basket of deplorables“? Where was your “Community Spirit” then? Were you standing firmly then? No, all we heard from you lot was *crickets*.

“We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends.”
There is your favorite word again. You’re not a social club, you are a business. Start acting like one.

“We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other – and together, continue proving the power of community.”
You really love that word, don’t you? Can’t you come up with at least one synonym for “Community“?

There is a fine line between loyal opposition and insurrection. When a person does that, it is called protest, and is the right of any individual. When a publicly-traded corporation does it, it looks a lot like treason.

What you do with your personal share of the profits is entirely up to you (as long as you don’t donate money to the wrong causes). Whether your company gets any of that money from me is up to me.

The Blame Game

Or: Why your side lost

I take no pleasure in gloating, but yet again, I forecasted the outcome of the election several months out. A month before the election I listed the reasons as to why I could not vote for Hillary.

As I said before, the biggest losers have been the media. How did they manage to get it so wrong? They did not see this one coming because they put their faith in polls instead of the American people. I can’t say that I blame them; it is difficult to see see Main Street USA from Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, but it was obvious to me.

Six weeks on, we have only seen more of the same. Bill Clinton, who went up three notches in my estimation when he said that Obamacare was “the craziest thing in the world“, went three notches back down again when he blamed the election result on “Angry white men“; these are presumably the same “Angry white men” who handed the house majority to the Republicans in 1994. So deeply do they believe in their ideology that it never occurred to them that any sane person would rationally disagree with them. Even now, with the writing on the wall, they are still in denial.

hillarys-fake-news

Hillary, and the Democratic party in general, have blamed the election on everything else. But this is not the case. There is a simple reason that the Democrats lost.

They fielded a poor candidate.

This is nothing new; the Republicans fielded poor candidates in 2008 and 2012, and lost. The Democrats fielded a poor Candidate in 2006 and lost.

Elections are not won, they are lost

I have already articulated why I could not vote for Hillary; nobody has yet shown up to refute my arguments. I rest my case.

Twitter has jumped the shark

Or: Oh, how the mighty have fallen

I have been a big fan of twitter for many years. I have sent nearly 1400 tweets since I joined the site more than seven years ago. Unlike FakesBook, Twitter had transparency and was completely public.

Was

For the last few years, however, something has become increasingly rotten in the State of Denmark. I have started to see more and more “censorship”, for lack of a better word. It all came to a head a few months ago when Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, apparently for mean things that his followers said (??).

When Donald Trump won the election, I thought that things would improve at “Big Bird”. I was mistaken. Recently I read a story titled “Twitter Initiates Mass Purge Of Prominent Alt-Right Accounts Following Trump Victory

The real problem is that Twitter’s grievance/abuse standards are applied arbitrarily and unilaterally, which reeks of Political Correctness and Editorializing. Nothing says it better than the following graphic – sorry about the bad language, kids; grown-ups say bad words sometimes.

twitter-bias2

Image from Twitter. Oh, the Irony…

There is still time to right the ship, so to speak, and to return to the days of *real* tolerance and free speech (including the bits that you don’t like), but given that the leadership and management hasn’t changed, that is not likely.

The writing is on the wall, if you pardon the pun; Twitter’s stock price is not doing well. It occurs to me that once the good folks at “Big Bird” see the tweet containing this story I may well be next for the chopping block. That’s OK. In fact, I would be honored, and it would just prove my point. I have I have already started an account with a competing service called GAB.AI. See you there.

Twitter, wise up, or go out of business. Your Choice

Whiners and Losers

Or: When History repeats itself

Or: One week on…

Well, it’s finally over… unless you are one of the “By-hook-or-by-crook” protesters who think that Hillary has some kind of divine right to be President. But for the rest of us, including the vast majority of Democrat supporters, Donald-Trump is our president-elect. That got me thinking about who won, and who lost.

Extremists will try to paint Hillary’s defeat as a loss for Women. This is simply not true, except in their minds; a lot of black people think that President Obama let them down. But he never promised black people special treatment, nor should he. The president is *everyone’s* president – or is supposed to be. So women who expected Hillary to “do something for us” are likely to be similarly disillusioned. The same folks who accuse Trump of sexism fail to notice that KellyAnne Conway, was the first female winning campaign manager in history. If that isn’t a victory for women, what is?

The biggest winner – after the unsinkable Mister Trump – has been Scott Adams. I have been reading his predictions for nearly a year, and he has been making them for longer than that:

  • 8/5/2015: “I’m watching the Donald Trump campaign for president with the same amount of amusement as everyone else. The only difference is that I think he has a legitimate shot at becoming president”
  • 8/13/2015: “I’m going to predict he will be our next president. I think he will move to the center on social issues (already happening) and win against Clinton in a tight election.”
  • 8/28/15: Media gives Trump 2% change of winning the nomination “based on historical patterns, solid data, and sound reasoning”. Scott says Trump “would win the general election by a large margin” and gives a 98% chance of winning.
  • 9/12/2015: Scott Adams predicts a Kanye West presidency (you heard it here first).
  • 10/23/15: Scott Adams predicts a Trump landslide and forecasts media embarrassment. “The Huffington Post moved Trump to the entertainment section and sealed their reputation as a useless wart on society… If Trump wins the presidency, every pollster and every pundit (except me) is wrong to the point of irrelevancy.”
  • 11/19/2015: The media says Trump and Carson’s odds < 10%
  • 12/29/2015: “One way is if Clinton’s health or legal issues rise to the point of being disqualifying, and Trump persuades us to think about those things more than we think about anything else. Once you imagine there is one candidate in the race who is eligible and one who might not survive the term, or might be in jail, you start to imagine it as a one-person race. And you will. That’s how you get a landslide.” Spooky

…and those are just the posts from last year.

Another winner is… men. Time after time I have found men reluctant to discuss their political preferences until I boldly speak my mind and say “I’m voting for Trump”. Only then will they speak out, comfortable that no-one will castigate them for having the “wrong” opinion. Gentleman, the coast is clear; you can come out now. If Trump can say it, so can you.

There have been many losers. The sheer amount of raw emotion among Hillary’s mostly-female supporters when it finally dawned on them that she was not going to win was telling. Grief, drama, tears, trauma… and that was just the (few) men in the room; many of the women were having full-on meltdowns, of not outright breakdowns. Do you remember Republican supporters weeping and wailing uncontrollably when they got their hats handed to them in 2008? Me neither. That’s because it never happened.

And it didn’t end there; a week later, there are still demonstrations going on.

The biggest loser has been… the media. ABC (Always Broadcasting Crap), NBC (Nothing But Crap), CNN (Clinton News Network) and CBS (Continuously Broadcasting… um… Stuff) have consistently stumped for Hillary at every opportunity, with the notable exception of Fox news, which has remained studiously neutral – except for Megyn Kelly, who was, I suspect, furious at the Donald for pointing out that she got her job because of her looks. While politically incorrect, this seems reasonable: smart and pretty beats smart alone every time, and as I am fond of saying, “there are no ugly women in TV-land”. One talking head on CNN even admitted their clear bias on national TV.

The elephant in the room is that What is most alarming is that the media is bending over backwards to avoid stating the obvious: “We screwed up. Horribly”. But rather than admitting their clear and obvious bias, they are trying to blame everyone and everything else.

As far as I am concerned, the 2016 election is the coming-of-age and ascendancy of the Internet…

…and the beginning of the end and the proof of the irrelevancy of the “Lamestream Media”.

To My Progressive Friends

The political shenanigans of the past year have shown us both the dark side of human nature and the dirty side of politics.

I have listened to the name-calling, vituperation and insults, both to my chosen candidate, and to those who chose to follow him. You have called me Deplorable, Racist, Misogynist, Homophobic, Bigoted… and that’s just the epithets hurled at us in public.

I did not respond to those insults. There is no effective way to do that; denial that you are a racist just makes you look more like a racist. Sometimes the best defence is to smile, tip your hat and go on your merry way.

The race is over. And once again, I successfully forecasted the result. To the surprise of everyone who took the polls and the media seriously, your candidate lost. That’s democracy; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

The real question, and the one that nobody is asking, is “How could the media have gotten this so very wrong?” With all of their resources, polls, think-tanks, and focus groups, they utterly failed to see it coming. Media bias has been obvious and self-evident to me, concentrating on his alleged sexual misconduct while downplaying bribery, corruption, and potentially, treason.

This is Brexit all over again, complete with the howls of anguish from those who found themselves, as a great man once put it, “on the wrong side of history”.

I know just how you feel. Eight years ago, I greeted the election of Barack, Hussain Obama with this message. I did not vote for him. I did not vote at all. I did not share his philosophy. I did not believe in his policies (particularly Obamacare, oh how right I was…). but I was willing to get behind the new president and wish him the best success. Because he was the duly elected president, and I respected the office, even if I did not respect the man.

Now it’s your turn

The Price of Freedom

or: The Politics of Fear

Last week I wrote about Brexit, that I opined that Britain should leave the EU, and that they probably wouldn’t.

I have never been so delighted to be so wrong. Britain delivered a shocker verdict, and the vote says LEAVE.

Waah!

The initial fallout can be summoned up in one word: Waah! Calls for a recount abound, including petitions and protests. It appears that some people were so convinced of the rectitude of their cause and the moral superiority of the “Remain” vote that they didn’t bother to vote at all, and now they want a do-over.

Too late.

The votes have been cast and counted, and the johnny-come-latelies do not deserve a do-over. Democracy does not work that way. If you can’t be bothered to vote, you don’t get to bleat about the results when they don’t go your way.

This battle has been fought between Globalists and. Nationalists.

Globalists believe in all that “one world” stuff, and think that everyone should look after everyone else. They want to see a European Superstate without borders; one people, one nation, one language, one currency. They believe in the rights of the collective, that we are all one big happy family, and that we are all our brother’s — or sister’s, let’s not be sexist here — keeper. They usually collectivists, are often Trade Unionists, socialists, and in extreme cases, communists. In generally, they believe that anyone who disagrees with them is wrong, and must be silenced, censored, isolated or removed.

On the other side are the nationalists; they believe in competition, in the rights of the individual. They believe that good fences make good neighbors — that people can agree to disagree — and that while it is good to help others, one’s first duty is to tend to one’s own. They tend to believe in the rights of the individual over the rights of the state.

The most extreme case of this is the United States of America, which, coincidentally, has the distinction of being the most spectacularly successful nation in the history of the world.

The reason that I thought that the vote would go “remain” was that I believed that Britain had gone globalist. I was wrong. Older and wiser heads have prevailed, and there were enough of them to make a difference.

One thing that I have noticed is that people have voted along generational lines. The vast majority of younger folks are “Remain” voters. This is hardy surprising; Britain has been in the EU since 1973, so anyone under 40 years old has no memory of an independent Britain. In other words, they don’t know any better. And yet they are the ones who assume that those same elders who voted to remain must be mentally or morally deficient. I call this…

The “you must be stupid” defense: I have noticed that some people — mostly of the leftist persuasion — tend to assume that anyone who disagrees with them are stupid. This is particularly true when it comes to gun control; people who want weapons to protect themselves against bad guys are often portrayed as retarded rednecks. Some of the most sane and well-balanced people I know carry concealed weapons and have done so for many years. So it is with Brexit; those in the “Remain” camp — including, unfortunately, most of the media — seem to assume that those who voted to leave are mentally incompetent. This is particularly egregious in the case of the media, who really should know better, but then I suppose Freedom of the Press really is confined to those who own one; we have always been at war with Oceania.

We disagree, so you must be wrong

This attitude has permeated all the way up to the highest level; in the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker turned to Nigel Farage and asked “Why are you here?“. That is cheap rhetoric which only goes to prove that Democrats don’t really like Democracy, particularly when it disagrees with their own entrenched values.  But as the old saying goes, it is impossible to make someone believe in something if their paycheck depends upon them not believing it.

The Problem with Scotland

Scotland is in a particularly precarious position. A couple of years ago they narrowly voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. But they also voted in favor of remaining in Europe. From what I have seen in the news, Scotland is something of an Economic basket case, as not only do they want to remain in Europe, but they also want Britain to pay the bill — a clear case of wanting to have their cake and eat somebody else’s.

So where does this leave Britain?

The results of the referendum do not actually change anything. All they do is give the Government a clear idea of what the voters want. Nothing changes until Article 50 has been invoked, at which point Britain has two years to negotiate terms with the nations that form the European Union before they leave. At the end of those two years, they are out of the EU, ready or not.

In the meantime, the Swiss (who seem to be experts in getting the benefits of Europe without actually being part of it), have gotten it all beautifully in perspectiveSwitzerland gets itMeanwhile in the Fatherland, Germany seems hell-bent on making an example of Britain. This has, of course, happened before, and which just goes to show who is really in charge of Europe.

Will Britain be better off? I am not sure, and I don’t think it is relevant. What matters to me is the difference between dying on your feet and living on your knees.

I close with a quote from one Briton (Winston Churchill) to a German (Adolf Hitler)

You do your worst, and we will do our best

Why Trump Will Win

Politics

Having lived in this country for over twenty years, I have had ample opportunities to observe the political process. I have called the last four presidential elections correctly, on the very sensible grounds that elections are not won, they are lost.

  • Romney lost in 2012 because he was not offering anything new, while Obama was promising all that hopey-changey stuff.
  • McCain lost in 2008 because he could not prove that he wasn’t George W. Bush — and the country was sick of George W. Bush.
  • Kerry lost in 2004 because there was sufficient doubt about his ability to lead.
  • Gore lost in 2000 because… well… Clinton.

If you had asked me three months ago whom I was supporting, I would told you that my head was Rooting for Rand (Paul), my heart was Backing Ben (Carson) and my goolies (as they call them in England) were Deciding for Donald (Trump). Now that the other two are no longer in the running, all three are unanimous; Donald J Trump will be the next president of the USA. There are only three things that will prevent this happening:

  1. The Republican Party
  2. An Assassin’s bullet
  3. Both of the above

The Conservative establishment hates Donald Trump, because he is a force that they cannot control, threaten, bribe or browbeat. But if they use bureaucratic chicanery to disqualify him as they did to Ron Paul in the last election cycle, not only will they lose the election to Hillary Clinton, but it will be, to all intents and purposes, the end of the Republican Party. As for the assassin’s bullet, it is even money that his own party would be behind it, should such a thing happen. Conspicuously absent from the list is one Hillary Rodham Clinton. If it comes down to a Trump vs Clinton battle, Trump will win. I have spoken.

What I find amazing and amusing is the reasons that people come up with to oppose Trump.

  • He said mean things about women“. True. In 1993, when he was going through one of the messiest divorces in history, he said mean things about women. Hardly surprising — men who are being publicly divorce-raped in court are understandably bitter. How many of us can say that we have said nothing main in the last twenty-three years?
  • He came from money“. True, but irrelevant. Yes, his family lent him millions of dollars to get started, and he turned those millions into billions. That is no mean feat.
  • He said that Rosie O’Donell has a face like a dog“. She does. Next question?
  • He said that Megyn Kelly got her job because of her looks“. Sounds about right. When you are a female media figure, smart and pretty beats smart hands-down every time. Oh the irony — tell one women she succeeded because of her looks, women get mad. Tell another one that she succeeded in spite of them, women get mad. Some folks are never happy,
  • He’s a failure; he went bankrupt X times“. No, his businesses went bankrupt. He has never been personally bankrupt. And he has bounced back, which is the true mark of a winner. If he is a failure, he is in good company — so are Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison. If anything, this is a searing indictment of corporate bankruptcy laws, but one can hardly fault Trump for taking advantage of them.
  • “He’s not a true conservative! He’s a joke!” They said that before about one Ronald Reagan. He turned out OK.

I often hear people say “I heard that Trump said so-and-so”, but when you ask them if they saw him say those words… No. Hearsay. Remember, this one has lies circulated by his own party, so eager are the republican party to discredit him.

So… what do we know about Donald J. Trump?

  • He has been married three times: 12 years (Ivana) 6 years (Marla) and 11 years-and-counting (Melania). Two of these women were foreigners. Guess which one was the American?. No wonder so many American women hate Trump; he is living proof that there are men out there who are out of their league — and women never like to hear that.
  • He has never been accused of being unfaithful to any of his wives, nor has he fathered any children outside of marriage.
  • His children have turned out to be normal and well-adjusted. Did someone say “family values“?
  • He employs thousands of people in a global business empire. Not one current or former employee has ever come forward to say anything bad about him.
  • If elected, he will be the first president in twenty-four years to have sons. Obama had two daughters, so did GWB, Clinton had one daughter. The last president with sons was Bush41. Ironically, one of those sons would go on to become Bush43.
  • Trump used to be a Democrat, now he is (nominally) a Republican. This is no big deal. As the old joke goes: “What’s the difference between a Progressive and a Conservative? About twenty years“. I too was a progressive in my younger years. Then I found out how the world actually worked, and now I think that liberalism/socialism/regressive-ism is just the same old socialist “wouldn’t-it-be-wonderful-if” lie wearing new clothes.
  • He has made only two election promises: fix immigration — not the president’s job, but neither side of Congress wants to grasp that nettle — and sort out trade — which *is* the president’s job.

Whether  you love him or loathe him, Trump has shown himself to be a man of high moral standards and principles; a man acquainted with the use and wielding of power without becoming compromised or corrupted. that takes character and integrity. The real question that we should be asking ourselves is not “Do I like him?” but “Is he the best man for the job“. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his greatness.

What do I like about Trump?

  • He never backs down, never apologizes, never surrenders. That is a positively Churchillian quality which apparently engenders admiration in many men and hatred in many women.
  • He doesn’t care what others think.
  • He is not afraid of being wrong.
  • He is respected by a generation of men who have been browbeaten and feminized by a generation of “strong, independent wimminz”.
  • He is not, contrary to popular opinion, stupid. You don’t become a billionaire by accident.

There is a huge “silent majority” who haven’t voted in ages, they are afraid to confess to admiring him, but will enthusiastically vote for him on election day. I will be one of them.

Personally, I think that he is the most-qualified candidate for the job in living memory. And I think he will won by a landslide.

And the media, yet again, won’t see it coming.

Time’s up. You were wrong.

Ten years ago, Al Gore warned us that “We’ve got ten years left to save the planet from a scorching“.

Time’s up Al. You were wrong. Ready to apologize?

I thought not.

The Smell of Desperation

I recently had occasion to rent a car at a nearby car rental establishment. I noticed something in a corner of the contract that I had never seen before:

20150807_142152

When I asked about this, I was told that this was new; they were instructed that if the customer had recently arrived by plane, they would have to charge them an airport tax, as if they had rented the car at the airport location. Since it is the state, not the rental company, that profits from these taxes, we can safely assume that this was the Government’s doing.

The logic behind this “new tax” is tenuous indeed. I had always thought that Airport taxes were charged at airport locations, and whether or not you just got off a plane was irrelevant. Apparently I was mistaken. So by this logic, if I drive to the airport and rent a car there, I should not have to pay airport taxes, since I did not just get off a plane. Somehow, I doubt that I would get out of paying that tax.

You can almost smell the State’s desperation to find some new untapped stream of revenue. I can just imagine some bright spark in Frankfort probably said something like “Hey, sometimes people fly in and rent cars elsewhere to get out of paying airport tax! We need to do something about this!“. Oh no you don’t: Last time I looked, tax avoidance was not the same as tax evasion, and it was completely legal.

So this is not an extension of an existing tax, this is a new tax – and one that the prospective purchaser can avoid paying by simply initialing “True“.

Given that this it a tax that can be easily avoided by lying, I wonder how much additional revenue it will generate?

Affordable?

Where ObamaCare went wrong.

The Affordable Care Act — or ObamaCare, as I prefer to call it, giving credit where credit is due — is a wonderful panoply of the entertaining, the frustrating and annoying to me.

  • Entertaining, as it is quite amusing watching a bunch of politicians trying to implement socialized medicine and ending up with a curious hodge-podge of Marxism, Capitalism and Corporatism.
  • Frustrating, because I have personally experienced the costs of a piece of legislation that was so complicated that we had to pass it to find out what was in it (thanks Nancy!).
  • Annoying because I work — indirectly — in the Healthcare industry, and have seen and have had to deal with the direct knock-on effects and consequences that have resulted from the introduction of this legislation.
What they did:
  • Insurance for everybody! At some point somebody decided that Health Insurance was a fundamental Human Right, and that we should all have Health Insurance. Pity the 90% of the people on this planet have never heard this.
  • That’s an order! The Supreme Court has bought into this flummery to the degree that they ruled that it was a crime to refuse Health Insurance if it was offered to you.
  • Expand Medicaid! Free coverage for the poor! Sounds good, but who’s going to pay for this? More on that later.
  • Abolish Pre-existing conditions: Depending on who you ask, this was either one of the few good things that came out of the Affordable Care Act or an affront to Free-Market Capitalism. Until now, insurance companies could refuse to insure you if you had a pre-existing condition.
  • Abolish annual and lifetime caps. Nobody wants unlimited liability and exposure, and Insurance Companies are no exception. A Heart Transplant costs millions… and nobody wants to pay for that.
Unintended Consequences:
  • The words: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” will go down in history as one of the great presidential lies of all times, along with “Read my lips, no more taxes“, “I am not a crook“, and “I did not have sex with that woman“.
  • The first consequence of Obamacare was that premiums went up significantly. So much so that my employers dropped the HMO and PPO options that they had been offering, leaving only the High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) — the cheapest option for them, and the most expensive for those of us who are not young and healthy. The good news is that I now pay about 20% less for health insurance. The bad news is that I am on the hook for the first $10,000 of expenses, Since I have a dependent who has severe allergies and Asthma, I am about $6000 a year worse off than before. Thanks for the pay cut, your Obama-ness.
  • Only the largest groups get a good deal: My employers are not a large company, so they get a crappy deal from the Insurance Companies. Big organizations like Federal and State Government, Home Depot and Wal-Mart can use their size to get a better deal.
  • Doctors don’t get paid. Under HMO/PPO, the patient pays a Co-Pay. Under HDHP, the entire bill goes to the insurance company where it is “adjusted” and then gets passed on to the customer… who ignores it for several months. Medical bills are now at the back of the line to get paid after just about everything else.
  • Insurance companies won’t to answer the phone: “All of our agents are busy at the moment”, “call volume is exceptionally high at the moment”, and “We can’t come to the phone right now” all mean the same thing WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH EMPLOYEES.When even your local pharmacist is getting having their time wasted by the IVR run-around, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
What they should have done:
  • Removed or phased out the incentive that enabled employers to offer Health Insurance.
  • Added tax breaks for individuals who purchase private health insurance. or added the incentive to private buyers.
  • Favorable tax treatment to Health Care Professionals who provide free services.
  • Made *all* medical expenses tax-deductible, and abolish that stupid AGI requirement.
  • Removed all sweetheart in-network deals for Insurance companies – the original idea behind the HMO was that the insurance companies paid top dollar so that the uninsured could get free or low-cost treatment. This lasted until the Insurance companies realized that there was money left on the table that they could grab.
  • Broken the AMA-induced doctor shortage by introducing government-backed training for doctors and/or allowing Nurse Practitioners and Midwives to practice medicine in limited situations without a Doctor present.
  • Introduced menu pricing or allowed patients to negotiate prices directly, with governmental oversight in place when this is not possible.
  • Reduced our reliance on Employer-provided Health Insurance: Employer Health Insurance first became popular during the Carter years; with a wage freeze in place, employers scrambled for a way to keep their best employees, and this was one of the “perks” that they came up with. There is no definitive reason why Health insurance has to be the province of employers!
  • Divided healthcare into acute care (private) and chronic care (public) components, let the private sector handle the former and the Government handle the latter.
  • Prohibited conflict-of-interest situations like Insurance companies involving themselves in providing (cheap) medical care.
  • Required that Insurance Companies answered the phone. Not sure if there is any practical way to do this.

Of course, none of these things were going to happen, since they all result in a cost to the Government, the Health Insurance companies, or the Doctors.

And we can’t have that now, can we?