Posted in American Exceptionalism, American Independence, American Presidents, big government, Economic Issues, Free Society, government incompetence, Government Spending, Government Stimulus, Job loss, Leadership, Liberty, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Panic Has Led to Government “Cures” That Are Worse than the Disease, History Shows – Foundation for Economic Education

Smoot-Hawley and the New Deal are hardly the only examples of government actions making a panic worse.

Thomas Sowell recounts several instances in which governments turned small problems into major ones by using blunt force—often price controls—to respond to public panic about rising costs of a given commodity.

One of the more famous examples of this is the gasoline crisis of the 1970s, which started when the federal government took a small problem (temporary high costs of gasoline) and turned it into a big one (a national shortage).

As Sowell explains, however, there was not an actual scarcity of gasoline. There was nearly as much gas sold in 1972 as the previous year (95 percent, to be precise).

Similar examples kind be found throughout history, from the grain shortages in Ancient Rome brought about by Diocletian’s “Edict on Maximum Prices” to the mortgage crisis in 2007.

It is no coincidence that crises—foreign wars, terrorist attacks, and economic depressions—have often resulted in vast encroachments of freedom and even given rise to tyrants (from Napoleon to Lenin and beyond). In his book Crisis and Leviathan, the historian and economist Robert Higgs explains how throughout history, crises have been used to expand the administrative state, often by allowing “temporary” measures to be left in place after a crisis has abated (think federal tax withholding during World War II).

Like an economic panic, pandemics incite mass fear, which can lead to flawed and irrational decision making.

https://fee.org/articles/panic-has-led-to-government-cures-that-are-worse-than-the-disease-history-shows/

Posted in American Presidents, big government, Education, Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Without Free Speech, All Speech Becomes Government Speech – Foundation for Economic Education

By Barry Brownstein

A new survey conducted in the United States by the Campaign for Free Speech found 51 percent of Americans agreed with this statement: “The First Amendment goes too far in allowing hate speech in modern America and should be updated to reflect the cultural norms of today.” 48 percent thought, and a majority of millennials agreed, “hate speech” should be outlawed. An astonishing 54 percent of millennials thought jail time should be the consequence penalty for hate speech. Hate speech was not defined in the survey.

In a future democratic socialist administration mired in economic collapse, is it a stretch to predict that protection of free speech will continue to wane making criticism of government policies verboten?

If disagreement over the number of genders can’t be tolerated, surely disagreements on a debt jubilee or a wealth tax wouldn’t be tolerated either.

https://fee.org/articles/without-free-speech-all-speech-becomes-government-speech/

Posted in American Presidents, Disease Prevention, Education, FDA, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Nutrition, outcomes, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Prevention, Quality, Uncategorized

Watch “How the Government Made You Fat” on YouTube

Or AKA…

Stay in Your Lane:  Why the government should not parent the citizenry.

Posted in Access to healthcare, advance-pricing, American Presidents, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Government Regulations, Healthcare financing, Influence peddling, Medical Costs, News From Washington, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Uncategorized

Hospitals pledge to fight Trump admin price transparency plan in court | Healthcare Dive

The old aphorism is true, leopards don’t change their spots!

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For these three entities that oppose the new HHS price transparency rules, and for many others to be sure, there is no incentive to hold down healthcare care costs. In fact, the incentives of the current system of healthcare financing are such that it’s in their favor for prices to always go up.

In all cases, whether it be a percentage of claim cost, percentage of premium or percent of discount margin, these same price-hiding crony pals continue to benefit financially when the price of medical care rises.

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospitals-pledge-to-fight-trump-admin-price-transparency-plan-in-court/567474/

Posted in American Presidents, Economic Issues, Free Society, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, third-party payments

17 Facts on the Reunification of Germany – Foundation for Economic Education

“For decades, German families had been separated from one another between East Germany and West Germany. Post-World War II, the East German government—the German Democratic Republic (GDR)—constructed this physical barrier to define their territory separately from the government of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The main distinguishing characteristic between the two governments? A generalized sense of freedom and liberty versus socialism and oppression.

The Berlin Wall served the GDR’s main purpose: “to permanently close off access to the West.” Between 1949 and 1961, West Germany provided East Germans with a pathway toward democracy and capitalism.”

https://fee.org/articles/17-facts-on-the-reunification-of-germany/

Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Exceptionalism, American Presidents, Dependency, Economic Issues, Entitlements, Free Society, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Healthcare financing, Independent Physicians, Liberty, Medical Costs, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

Propaganda, Pandering, and Politics – AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD

“It sounds so virtuous to insist that “healthcare is a right.” Thus, if you do not believe medical care should be free, you are not a moral person.

This technique echoes Aldous Huxley’s view that “the propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that the other set is human.” (Of course, bearing arms is a constitutional right, but guns are not given away for free. Indeed, gunowners are thought by some to be horrible people).

Free medical care for all is short, simple, and seductive.

The promise: Medical services are free.

Reality: Government may deny the request for prior authorization for your treatment, or ration treatments for older folks, such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery.

In the government health system 307,000 Veterans might have died waiting for medical care.

The promise: Drugs are free.

Reality: The medication your physician thinks is best for you is not on the government’s formulary.

The promise: There are no out-of-pocket costs.

Reality: Private health insurance is abolished, leaving no consumer choice.

The promise: It’s free!

Reality: Your taxes will be raised to heights unknown.

“Free” is America’s new verbal Potemkin village of health care, where Susie gets a free birth if she survives her abortion, free medical care for life, and even free food. All Susie has to do for herself is breathe.

This is a panderer’s view of America. In fact, we are a country of individuals who want to govern their own lives and of physicians who want the freedom to properly care for their patients.”

Source: Propaganda, Pandering, and Politics – AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Posted in Access to healthcare, Accountable Care Organizations, American Presidents, big government, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Economic Issues, Electronic Health Records, Health Insurance, Medical Costs, medical inflation, Medicare, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

How Medicare Ruined American Healthcare | Medpage Today

Regarding the King-Anderson bill, the forerunner of Medicare, touted by JFK which eventually was defeated in the Senate…

“Edward Annis, MD, spoke eloquently to an empty Garden and to one of the biggest TV audiences of the times.

He explained directly to viewers: “This is not health care insurance … It will put government smack into your hospitals … deciding who gets in, who gets out, what they get, and what they don’t get. … This King-Anderson Bill is a cruel hoax and a delusion. … It will stand between the patient and his doctor. And it will serve as a forerunner of a different system of medicine for all Americans.”

In the late 1990s I asked Dr. Annis what was in the King-Anderson Bill that enabled him to predict in 1962 the insolvency of Medicare and the coming government takeover of healthcare. He replied with a smile, “Cost-plus financing. It was a license to steal.”

Indeed, Medicare ushered in unbridled spending for two decades before approaching insolvency.

But, as predicted by Dr. Annis, the system became insolvent by the early nineties… Hospitals and many providers became addicted to the easy money and abused the system. Why not? Cost-plus meant guaranteed profit.

Faced with Medicare insolvency, the insurance lobby persuaded Hillary Clinton to have secret meetings, without physician input.

Though Hillarycare never became law, the effort brought a sea change. Patients could no longer choose their doctor. Insurance companies now owned the patients. Participation in HMOs rose from 10% to 50%. Your doctor could no longer refer you to the best hospital or consultants if they were “out of network.” The doctor-patient bond had been successfully severed.

Medicare does not mandate who gets into hospitals, but it forces patients to get out by paying for only a limited number of days.

For the past two decades, hospitals have aggressively been buying up medical practices. The goal is to establish accountable care organizations (ACOs). Private practitioners are being elbowed out slowly but surely. General practitioners (GPs) cannot admit a patient to the hospital without “hospitalists” taking over. Hospital surgeons cannot refer to private surgeons, etc. Even the concierge model will be wiped out.

The Medicare approach to ACOs requires three things: 1) electronic medical records, 2) a “Quality Care Protocol,” and 3) a “Protocol for the Elimination of Non-Compliant Physicians.”

This is the ideal rationing system.

The computer will eventually dictate all allowed testing and treatments according to a “quality,” or more likely “cheapest way to do it,” protocol. Providers will ration according to the computer or they will fall into the “protocol for elimination of non-compliant physicians.”

In the new system, no one has a doctor. Doctors have a shift. The doctor you see on the morning shift has absolutely no responsibility for you when his/her shift is over or on a day off. A nurse practitioner takes the patient history and physical, further fractionating care. A system like this requires that all doctors are created equal. They are not.

Politicians and bean counters have never understood healthcare delivery. It was used and abused as a political tool.

No one listened to the warning of Dr. Annis. The AMA is often demonized by historians for opposition to Medicare, but it understood healthcare delivery and the destructive nature of cost-plus financing. I blossomed in the Golden Age of Medicine and bear witness to the fall.

Source: How Medicare Ruined American Healthcare | Medpage Today