Remember “Change”? Change is now OFFICIALLY, notarized, in a court of law – under the Obama bus.
Before our discussion of Obama on the Road To Ruin, and the latest healthcare travesty buried in the rush-rush “stimulus” scam (our initial reaction to the Geithner bailout scheme is HERE, in the bolded paragraph), we wanted to inform Hopium addled addicts that Obama has informed a United States District Court that “Change” is under the bus. “Change”, like “stimulus” has no meaning.
“Is there anything material that has happened” that might have caused the Justice Department to shift its views, asked Judge Mary M. Schroeder, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter, coyly referring to the recent election.
“No, your honor,” Mr. Letter replied. “The change in administration has no bearing?” she asked.
“No, your honor,” he said once more.
Dimocrats who want a “truth commission” to investigate George W. Bush should add Obama as a target of their “truth commission”. Anthony Romero of the American Civil Liberties Union informs his Hopium addled friends:
“This is not change,” he said in a statement. “This is definitely more of the same. Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama’s Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue. If this is a harbinger of things to come, it will be a long and arduous road to give us back an America we can be proud of again.”
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First, Do No Harm
Doctors have a rule that is a good rule for all of us: First, Do No Harm.
The Obama flim-flam “stimulus” scam is in fact designed to bail out Dimocrats in the 2010 elections and it violates the Do No Harm rule.
A shock to us was the rational Associated Press article regarding Obama’s latest bamboozlement tour:
He’s projecting job creation numbers that may be impossible to verify and glossing over some ethical problems that bedeviled his team. [snip]
Nothing so bold, or specific, as that now-discarded bridge project is contained in the stimulus package. That’s not to say the package steers clear of waste or parochial interests. Obama played to such interests Monday, speaking at one point as if he’d come to fill potholes.
The Associated Press’ fact check of Obama:
OBAMA: “I know that there are a lot of folks out there who’ve been saying, ‘Oh, this is pork, and this is money that’s going to be wasted,’ and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. … There aren’t individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill.”
THE FACTS: There are no “earmarks,” as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork – tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.
For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill., $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other “priority procurements” by the Coast Guard.
Obama told his Elkhart audience that Indiana will benefit from work on “roads like U.S. 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on.” He added: “And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart.”
U.S. 31 is a north-south highway serving South Bend, 15 miles from Elkhart in the northern part of the state.
Obama did not admit that the “vetting” process worked – Obama crimelords get the jobs:
OBAMA: “I’ve appointed hundreds of people, all of whom are outstanding Americans who are doing a great job. There are a couple who had problems before they came into my administration, in terms of their taxes. … I made a mistake … I don’t want to send the signal that there are two sets of rules.”
He added: “Everybody will acknowledge that we have set up the highest standard ever for lobbyists not working in the administration.”
THE FACTS: Two of his appointees, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services and Nancy Killefer as his chief compliance officer, dropped out after reports they had not paid a portion of their taxes.
Obama previously acknowledged he “screwed up” in making it seem to Americans that there is one set of tax compliance rules for VIPs and another set for everyone else. Yet his choice for treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, hung in and achieved the post despite having belatedly paid $34,000 to the IRS, an agency Geithner now oversees.
That could leave the perception that there is one set of rules for Geithner and another set for everyone else.
On lobbyists, Obama has in fact established tough new rules barring them from working for his administration. But the ban is not absolute.
William J. Lynn III, tapped to be the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. William Corr, chosen as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, has lobbied as an anti-tobacco advocate. And Geithner’s choice for chief of staff, Mark Patterson, is an ex-lobbyist from Goldman Sachs.
The bogus claims on job creation:
OBAMA: “The plan that we’ve put forward will save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years.”
THE FACTS: Job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.
Beyond that, it’s unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it’s clear when jobs are abolished, there’s no economic gauge that tracks job preservation.
Obama was asked about Joe Biden’s bleak assessment of success regarding the flim-flam “stimulus” scam. Obama laughed off court jester Biden and refused to answer the substance of the question last night.
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The Flim-Flam Rush-Rush
Flim-flam scam artists always rush their victims into unwise decisions. In the old days flim-flam scams were under the jurisdiction of the Police Department’s Bunko Squad or Racket Squad.
Whether selling bogus pharmaceuticals, on-line Nigerian inheritance schemes, checks cashing scams on the elderly, “Paper Moon” type Bible salesmen, – flim-flam artists depend on the rush-rush.
Obama is a flim-flam scam artist. The Obama flim-flam “stimulus” scam depends on the rush-rush get it done quickly and don’t read the fine print principle of all flim-flams.
We have little use for Betsy McCaughey, who lied about the Hillary health care plan and helped, along with Dimocrats, to destroy the proposal. But today McCaughey notes that in the rush-rush “stimulus” scam there are many buried unknowns that need to be investigated – and not in rush-rush pell mell fashion.
Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.
Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).
The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.
But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.” [snip]
Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.
The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.
Few if any discussion of any of these medical provisions have been held. The Chicago razzle dazzle ’em precludes examination of these provisions before votes are held. According to the usually unreliable McCaughey the elderly will be hurt badly:
Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.
Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).
The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.
McCaughey is not someone to be trusted. But she has a valid point in saying “this bill needs more scrutiny”.
Our comments section recently had a discussion of some of the issues McCaughey raised. We anticipated the Hillary Clinton respect for privacy of medical records and the Obama/Daschle disrespect for medical records privacy.
Information on Hillary, Health care and privacy of records:
The following information is presented chronologically.
In May 2004, Clinton introduced the Safeguarding Americans From Exporting Identification Data Act (SAFE-ID Act), S. 2471.
In September 2004, she introduced the Patients’ Privacy Protection Act of 2004, S. 2827, saying, in part:
“Mr. President, today, I rise to introduce the Patients’ Privacy Protection Act, legislation that will close a loophole in the Federal Rules of Evidence and ensure that every American’s medical records remain confidential. [snip]
I began exploring this issue when I learned that Attorney General John Ashcroft had subpoenaed the confidential medical records from thousands of women around the country to defend the first-ever Federal abortion ban in Federal court. The fact that the women in question were not a party to the lawsuits did not deter him.
Such a deliberate intrusion into people’s medical privacy record is deeply disturbing. Americans deserve full confidence that the government is not looking into their medical records. Without such an assurance, how will Americans trust their doctors? What procedures, discussions, and diagnoses will they avoid for fear that these records could shame them or adversely impact their future if unearthed?
At issue in this bill is what a reasonable person should expect when they walk into a doctor’s office. That person expects that what they say to her doctor stays with her doctor. Only because of that confidence are people able to be honest. And only through that honesty are people able to obtain the healthcare they need.
The right to private medical records is an issue that, in rhetoric at least, has broad support on both sides of the partisan divide. In fact, it was President Bush himself who, as recently as 2001 during a statement on the Medical Privacy Rule said, “I believe that we must protect both vital health care services and the right of every American to have confidence that his or her personal medical records will remain private.”
Even Attorney General Ashcroft has made strong statements in support of the privacy of medical records. Back in 1998, in a press release put out by his Senate office in which he is referred to as a “consistent champion of privacy rights,” then-Senator Ashcroft says “We should guarantee that the federal government does not undermine an individual’s fundamental right to privacy ….. Without privacy protections in place, people may be discouraged from seeking help or taking advantage of the access to health care.”
I agree. But unlike Attorney General Ashcroft, I believe preserving patient privacy entails more than issuing a press release. Patient privacy doesn’t end when it conflicts with a political agenda, no matter how deeply felt that conviction. [snip]
The Patient Privacy Protection Act of 2004 is very simple. It states that a patient’s medical records and any communication about their medical history are confidential unless a judge determines that the public interest in those records being made public significantly outweighs the patient’s privilege. In the cases where a judge orders the records to be disclosed, the court shall, to the extent practicable, eliminate any and all personally identifiably information.
In February 2005, Clinton supported the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2005, S. 306. She said, in part:
Each vaunted scientific breakthrough brings with it new challenges to our health system and this legislation will help maximize advancing technology’s benefits while protecting Americans from the use of genetic information as a tool for discrimination. With this bill, we can help patients access the latest advances in science without sacrificing their personal privacy.
In April 2005, Clinton re- introduced the Safeguarding Americans from Exporting Identification Data (SAFE ID) Act, S. 810. From a press release:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Edward J. Markey announced that they would introduce the Safeguarding Americans from Exporting Identification Data (SAFE ID) Act in the United States Senate and House today, legislation that would protect the privacy of consumers’ most sensitive personal information. This legislation would close gaps in U.S. privacy laws that leave consumers vulnerable when American businesses and healthcare organizations send accounting and medical information overseas for processing, often without consumers’ knowledge. As Americans prepare to file their taxes, Senator Clinton and Representative Markey underscored the urgent need to make sure that personal information is safeguarded.
“The growing trend of processing sensitive personal information like medical tests and tax returns overseas makes it even harder for consumers to protect themselves against misuse of their personal information.
Clinton’s best-known statement on privacy was her speech on privacy at the American Constitution Society on July 16, 2006. A transcript of the entire speech is available on her web site. The following is the section of her talk that specifically addressed medical privacy:
We also face a critical balancing act in the area of health privacy. Patients’ lives may depend on sharing their most intimate information. Our ability to control costs and improve the quality of healthcare certainly depends on moving away from paper-based medicine to information superhighway medicine.
I’ve worked with Newt Gingrich on this, and when Newt and I agree, you know something unusual is happening.
Newt likes to say, when it comes to medicine, “paper kills,” and he’s absolutely right. But if we can’t assure Americans that their information is safe, we won’t be able to move forward on health information technology that I believe will save lives, improve care, and reduce error rates.
We had no federal protections for health information at all, until the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – also known as HIPAA, a different kind of acronym – was enacted under the Clinton Administration. HIPAA provided important protections of patients’ often most private information – their medical information. HIPAA provides a baseline, but the business of healthcare is changing fast, and information technology is changing even faster. Consumers are getting care and risking their information in ways nobody could have foreseen years ago; and frankly, this administration’s indifference towards HIPAA and enforcement has made even the protections we have utterly inadequate.
Now, HIPAA is not without practical challenges – there is still confusion about the rules for releasing information to relatives for example. We are still trying to strike the right balance between promoting research into diseases and protecting an individual’s information. We need to build on the base HIPAA provides by improving enforcement and making sure we have one set of high standards for everyone who deals with health information.
Hillary Clinton has fought for privacy rights for medical records.
Barack Obama thinks “Change”, “Stimulus”, and “Privacy” have no meaning.