May 11, 2006

Ugly Consequences of Nationalized Medicine — Part 4 of 4

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:33 pm

Canadian docs are coming to the US.

Why? There’s plenty of opportunity here, and not so much in Canada (HT “” Interested-Participant):

The best bets for easing Ontario’s doctor shortage include wooing some of the 9,000 physicians trained in Canada but now working in the United States, says the new president of the Ontario Medical Association.

The provincial government has made “significant progress” by increasing medical school enrolment and other measures to increase the supply of doctors in the long run, but more needs to be done in the short term, said Dr. David Bach, who was elected this past weekend.

“It takes many years to increase our pool of new doctors,” noted Bach, a radiologist from London, Ont., who replaces the outspoken Dr. Greg Flynn as head of the association that represents the province’s more than 20,000 physicians.

The association estimates Ontario needs another 2,300 doctors to serve its growing and aging population.

Ontario’s doctor shortage — which has left roughly one in 10 people in the province without a family physician — is precarious because one in every five doctors is older than 60 and 11 per cent have already reached the traditional retirement age of 65, Bach said.

Nationalized health care leads to long waiting lines and rationing of care — even a reduction in the people available to provide that care.

No thanks.

Other posts:

  • Part 1 (April 9) — “An Inevitablility: Withholding of Care in ‘Hard’ Cases”
  • Part 2 — “The government, disguised as a hospital’s administration, can move you up or down the waiting list, depending on your political views and actions”
  • Part 3 — “To Save Money, They Define ‘Emergencies’ Down”

How Long Will It Take the Smithbots to Remove Their Illegal Campaign Signs?

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:42 pm

Like these?

Smith1 Smith2

Locations: Snider Road overpass, I-71 Northbound and Southbound sides, illegally hung in the overpass’s fence on either side. Note that in the second case, the sign-hanger was too lazy to take down the old sign’s frame and simply put up another when the old one blew away or was damaged.

Answer to the question of this post — Apparently at least as long as it has taken to remove these legal ones (and there are many, many more):

Smith3 Smith4

- Irwin Simpson Road, just west of Deerfield Shopping Center
- Columbia Road, Warren County, about 1 mile south of Kings Island, southbound side

UPDATE: While on the subject of campaign signs, the Blackwell-Raga folks don’t really plan to keep the signs they put out on the Friday before Primary Election Day up for the next six months, do they?

UPDATE 2: “Legal” is in quotes above because I believe there is a law stating how quickly after an election signs must be removed. I suspect that period is shorter than Day 9 after the election, which is where we are at the moment.

Ugly Consequences of Nationalized Medicine — Part 3 of 4

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:17 pm

To Save Money, They Define “Emergencies” Down.

“” Interested-Participant points to a UK Mirror article on Britain’s National Health Service advising people to stay away from hospital emergency rooms unless they are in a true medical emergency — and then identifies a whole lot of true emergencies that won’t get treated:

But documents seen by the Mirror show the “ailments” include serious heart problems, pneumonia, epilepsy, bleeding ulcers and even gangrene.

Health experts said lives will be lost because people with serious illnesses – often the poor and old – will be afraid to go to hospitals for emergency treatment.

Patient groups were stunned that Ministers want more people treated in the community when GPs’ surgeries and other facilities were already unable to cope. Pressure group Health Emergency said: “Savings like this could be at the expense of people’s lives.”

But Ministers said “unnecessary admissions” to A&E cost £1.3billion and it would be better for patients and the NHS if people were treated outside hospitals.

The 18 “ailments” listed in the documents and the amount they cost A&E departments include congestive heart failure, £211million’ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema, £253million’ pneumonia and flu, £158million’ angina, £134million’ epilepsy and convulsions, £77million’ and asthma, £64million.

Nationalized health care — it can literally kill you.

No thanks.

Other posts:

  • Part 1 (April 9) — “An Inevitability: Withholding of Care in ‘Hard’ Cases”
  • Part 2 — “The government, disguised as a hospital’s administration, can move you up or down the waiting list, depending on your political views and actions”
  • Part 4 — “Canadian docs are coming to the US”

Ugly Consequences of Nationalized Medicine — Part 2 of 4

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:10 am

The government, disguised as a hospital’s administration, can move you up or down the waiting list, depending on your political views and actions.

From Life News:

A British hospital is refusing to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate who was recently jailed because he mailed graphic abortion pictures to the hospital. Edward Atkinson, who is 74, mailed the graphic abortion pictures to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and some of its staff.

Now, QEH has decided that it will take him off of a waiting list for a hip replacement surgery. The hospital has also banned Atkinson from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.

QEH chief executive Ruth May, who testified against Atkinson in court which ultimately led to the jail sentence, told EDP News in the UK that, “We take such matters extremely seriously and because he continued to send extremely graphic material to us we exercised our right to decline treatment to him.”

But the decision is drawing criticism from pro-life groups and lawmakers.

Henry Bellingham, a member of Parliament from Norfolk, told EDP he would be meeting with hospital officials to discuss its decision.

Bellingham said Atkinson was “out of order” to send the graphic abortion pictures to the hospital but added that QEH’s reaction of withholding medical treatment was a wrong response.

“I don’t believe anyone should have treatment withdrawn, whatever they have done. Whatever the hospital may feel about him, everybody should be treated the same,” the MP said.

Meanwhile, the pro-life group LifeLeague issued a statement responding to the QEH decision.

“This is morality turned upside down,” the group said. “Regardless of one’s views on abortion, it is outrageous that the hospital should persecute him and strike him off the waiting list.”

If a hospital did this in the US, the patient would simply choose another hospital. Since waiting lists are brief to non-existent, the inconvenience to the patient in doing this would be minimal. The politcally-correct hospital would be out the money it would have received from the procedure, and might possibly reconsider its stance in that light.

No such constraints affect hospitals in nationalized healthcare systems. They can be as arbitrary as they wish, subject only to the whims of public pressure.

No thanks.

UPDATE: The Hospital is clearly digging in:

A British hospital that is refusing to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate is defending its decision because he kept sending the hospital graphic abortion pictures. Meanwhile, a member of Parliament says if the man apologies the hospital may reconsider its decision.

Edward Atkinson, who is 74, was recently jailed for two weeks for repeatedly sending graphic abortion pictures to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and some of its staff.

QEH responded by taking Atkinson off a waiting list for a hip surgery and banned him from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.

QEH chief executive Ruth May defended the decision in an interview with Lynn News.

“Our legal advisers were consulted and their opinion was that this man’s actions contravened the NHS Zero Tolerance policy in cases of abuse or unacceptable behavior towards our staff,” she said.

Puh-leeze. Even if it violates Zero Tolerance (which I don’t concede), withholding medical treatment is also “unacceptable behavior.” Imagine the outcry if medical treatment were withheld from prisoners, even violent ones.

UPDATE: Taranto reax at Best of the Web: “Why do the same people who don’t trust the government to spy on terrorists, lest dissenters get caught up in the web, so often also urge giving government control over our health care?”

Other posts:

  • Part 1 (April 9) — “An Inevitability: Withholding of Care in ‘Hard’ Cases”
  • Part 3 — “To Save Money, They Define ‘Emergencies’ Down”
  • Part 4 — “Canadian docs are coming to the US”

New S.O.B. Blogs

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 10:24 am

Welcome to Andy’s Angle and Lindsay’s Lessons from Ohio’s farm country in De Graff.

Andy had a great post on the May Day immigration protests and Lindsay ripped Ohio State University’s “Food Director” (don’t know the correct title) for being an egghead (that IS a correct description; go to the post for the details).


Worshipping a Fatted Pig — Do Our Senators Believe in Anything?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:50 am

What follows is not from Jonathan Swift or Scrappleface. If only it were so.

Ed Feulner in the Washington Times describes how the Senate plans to “compromise” with House Majority Leader John Boehner’s refusal to budge on the latest spending bill — Cut the important stuff so almost all of the pork stays in (HT Instapundit):

At risk is the $94.4 supplemental spending bill President Bush requested from Congress to provide $92 billion for hurricane relief and the troops in Iraq, and $2.4 billion for avian flu response. Despite his warning that anything more would be vetoed, several senators abused the legislation’s must-pass status to add $14 billion in wasteful pork-barrel goodies for influential constituents, labor unions and corporations.

….. Unable to control their colleagues, 35 senators signed a letter promising to support a veto, and the House of Representatives’ leadership announced it would refuse to accept any supplemental exceeding the $94.4 billion target. Despite these positive signs in favor of spending restraint, some in the Senate want to concoct a face-saving deal with the president to sustain these wasteful proposals. Their plan: Shortchange the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to preserve most of the pork.

….. As an aide to Sen. Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, described the plan, the conferees could avoid painful choices and still meet the president’s $94.4 billion limit by simply applying an across-the-board cut to the Senate version. With the Senate wanting $108.9 billion, an across-the-board cut of 13.2 percent would be required to bring the Senate’s plan into line with the president’s target.

….. To achieve this across-the-board cut to reduce the Senate’s proposal to the White House limit of $94.4 billion, the president’s proposals for the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts would have to be cut $9.6 billion, Katrina relief by $2.6 billion and avian flu response by $304 million. In turn, these “savings” could be redeployed to provide $608 million to facilitate a casino/condo-based redevelopment scheme in Mississippi, $3.4 billion in additional farm subsidies, $967 million for fisheries assistance, $516 million in unrelated highway aid, and even $17 million for AmeriCorps.

So preserving the 87% of the pork is more important than fully funding our troops in the War on Terror, Katrina relief, and deadly disease preparedness.

Oh, my, God — These people have totally lost their bearings.

How could these out-of-touch clowns even think about doing this? Is there a 12-step program for pork addiction anywhere?

I hope this comes up for a vote, because any Senator who supports applying across-the-board spending cuts to the President’s bill can forget about his or her Presidential ambitions. Any Senator who supports the across-the-board cuts and is up for re-election should become instantly vulnerable.

Dear Senators: If there are problematic items in the critical areas, specifcally identify and eliminate them, and spend even less than $94.2 billion (what a concept). And please — Don’t automatically assume that pork can come in if any waste in the critical areas goes out.

I’m assuming Majority Leader Boehner is, like virtually everyone in America outside the Senate’s chambers, more interested in accomplishing policy objectives than larding on pork, and will laugh this idea off the stage.


Boehner’s statement, which I just received in an e-mail, is good but not great:

“….. Now there’s been some trial balloon that has been floated that maybe we ought to have some across-the-board cut in all of these requests so that some of this additional spending, I’m sure well-intentioned and I’m sure well-meaning, can be found room for in this emergency supplemental spending bill.

“Now I think we need to put the emergency back in the emergency supplemental spending bill. This is for the War in Iraq to help our troops over there have what they need and to help those victims in the Gulf Coast in their efforts to see their recovery move ahead. It’s not for all the other wishes and wants that some members on the other side of the body would like to have. So with that, let’s put our troops first, let’s take care of the people who’ve been displaced from their homes, and then the other requests we can handle in the ordinary course of business.”

He’s being awfully kind to his senatorial colleagues, to a much greater degree than deserved, when he talks of “well-intentioned” and “well-meaning.” And the “ordinary course of business” ought to be “never.” But at least I don’t see Boehner budging.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (051106)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:47 am

Free Links:

  • Yesterday, The Fed raised interest rates againThis is why. Unfortunately for those with variable-rate loans, it’s a very good reason.
  • “” Conservative Culture just added co-blogger Daniel Mount, whose first post has a great untold insight from the late Tip O’Neill on why, against the pollsters’ predictions, Harry Truman was able to win the 1948 presidential election and the Democrats were able to take back Congress. I think one of the reasons will surprise most readers.
  • There’s a “Bit” of Irony in This:

    Warner Brothers is to start selling film downloads via the internet using the same technology once blamed for helping people swap illegal copies.

    The Hollywood studio has reached a deal with the web company Bit Torrent, which uses peer-to-peer technology to allow the quick distribution of large files.

    Warner says users will be able to buy downloads of films and TV shows on the same day they become available on DVD.

    Pricing for a feature film will be about the same as the DVD release.

    The cost of a television show could be as low as a dollar.

  • Feeling Lucky Today? If you’re in the US, where the economy has grown at an annual rate of almost 4% (second item at link) during the last three years, you should be. After all, you could be in the EU:

    EU lifts eurozone growth estimate

    The European Commission has pushed up its estimate for economic growth in the eurozone this year to 2.1% from 1.9%.

    Investment, sustained world growth and consumer demand in Germany will help to boost the economy of the 12-nation bloc, the commission predicts.

    It also said the economy of the EU as a whole would grow by 2.3% this year from 1.6% in 2005.

    But it warned that potential supply disruptions made volatile oil markets the EU’s “biggest near-term risk”.

    The economy of the eurozone grew by just 1.3% last year. However, although it is expected to speed up this year, eurozone growth is forecast to decline to 1.8% in 2007.

    Growth in the EU’s economy is also expected to slow next year to 2.2%.

    Wowie zowie, 2% plus a little. Sustained growth at that level here would be a political disaster for whatever party happened to be in control.

Positivity: Battle of the Bulge Memorial Dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

The Battle of the Bulge is called the Army’s greatest land battle. It is certainly one of its most important. The Arlington Memorial is the culmination of 61 years of work by veterans (HT Debbie Schlussel):