A Healthy Debate

21Sep10

Market solution

Shocking news!

Price Of Health Reform: Insurers Ask Higher Rates Than Expected
September 19, 2010 | Hartford Courant

The reform requires health plans to include the following benefits starting Thursday, although some were already mandated by state law in Connecticut:

–Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.
–All new plans must cover preventive services, including mammograms and colonoscopies, without charging a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance.
–Insurers are prohibited from rescinding coverage for an error in an application or a technical mistake.
–Insurers must eliminate lifetime limits, the maximum dollar amount an insurer would pay for medical care of a particular person during his or her life; some now set limits such as $250,000 or $1 million.
–Similar to lifetime limits, the law also bans annual limits.
–Insurers cannot deny coverage to children under 19 for having pre-existing conditions.

Insurers say the cost of new benefits will increase prices more than 20 percent for certain plans. But federal government officials and consumer advocates are crying foul, saying reform should raise premiums only 1 percent or 2 percent.

Crazy you say? How about even crazier? Health insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust regulations. It is perfectly legal for competitors to get together and, well, you can see what they do.

Let us also remember that healthcare “reform” does not become fully effective for another four years but the mid term elections are only 6 weeks away.

Editor’s note: While this subject is not about our usual politics in Stratford, it does touch every single resident. In addition to increased mortgage/rent payments, we will all be confronted with a further reduction in income. Except for those who have no insurance because they were laid off and no longer receive COBRA subsidies and cannot afford any coverage.

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171 Responses to “A Healthy Debate”

  1. 1 sudds

    So let me get this straight…

    The Democrats made it so that Insurance companies are now REQUIRED to (a) cover more people, (b) provide more services, (c) not charge co-pays, and (d) take on the risk of not having lifetime caps…

    …and yet they didn’t think that said insurance companies were going to raise their rates???

    Seriously… could they have been any more ignorant???

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “So let me get this straight…”

    Somehow, I had a feeling you’d be the first one with a well thought out comment.

    A) More customers? Man, that sucks, huh?
    B) Really? Colonoscopies? Mammmograms? How much does colorectal cancer or breast cancer cost?
    C) Really? That $20-$30 copay justifies a 20% increase in premiums? For a rare exam?
    D) Taking a risk? Isn’t that what the insurance business does? And if you have more preventive measures, shouldn’t that risk go down?

  3. 3 jezebel282

    Before we get a little deeper into this debate (no Sudds, you will never be in charge of breast exams) I should also mention that we should become aware as consumers of what our actual medical care costs are.

    I recently spoke to my doctor (about an unrelated matter) he asked if I would like to come in for a flu shot. My answer was; I guess so. Then I said, ” How much do you charge for that?” It turns out that by the time I was charged for the “exam”, the injection and the actual vaccine it added up to $150 minus the co-pay, of course. CVS offers the flu shot for $29.95 PLUS a 10% off anything coupon. And they have a better magazine section.

    We have to become better shoppers.

  4. 4 sudds

    A) More customers? Man, that sucks, huh?

    FYI… adding a 22 year old to an existing family plan increases the coverage, but does NOT increase the premium. Did the brainiacs in Washington REALLY think that the insurance companies were NOT going to pass this cost along???

    B) Really? Colonoscopies? Mammmograms? How much does colorectal cancer or breast cancer cost?

    A lot… but how much is it going to cost for insurance companies to pay for millions of new exams/screenings/tests? Did the brainiacs in Washington REALLY think that the insurance companies were NOT going to pass this cost along???

    C) Really? That $20-$30 copay justifies a 20% increase in premiums? For a rare exam?

    Come on Jezzy… you KNOW you’re twisting the facts here! The 20% is not just for the extra exams! Why do you feel the need to twist the facts to suit your case? Of that’s right… because if you take the case as a whole then it’s hard to argue against the 20%, isn’t it???

    D) Taking a risk? Isn’t that what the insurance business does? And if you have more preventive measures, shouldn’t that risk go down?

    Long-term, yes. But over the next 12 months are all of these preventive measures going to (a) save them money or (b) cost them more in exam fees? Did the brainiacs in Washington REALLY think that the insurance companies were NOT going to pass this cost along???

    The bottom-line is that the staggered start of Obamacare is going to put a hurting on consumers over the next four years!!!

  5. 5 sudds

    “We have to become better shoppers.”

    Amen Sister(?)!!!!!

  6. 6 1george1

    Nobody likes to be told they have to do anything.

    Nobody pointed out that including everyone in a program,
    creates “ECONOMY to SCALE,” which should be cost effective.

    However dealing with the Government and Monopolies
    turns what should be the best solution for the USA
    into issues of: MISTRUST; ABUSE of AUTHORITY; likely failure.

    Public Education is a Government Monopoly.
    So are Social Security, F.I.C.A., Medicaid.
    So are Intelligence, Military and Legal Enforcement.

    Tea Party have basis to MISTRUST.
    Uninsured Baby Boomers and low income, have basis for needs!

    Disability can cost a middle class person / family their home and
    any hope for a decent retirement.

    It is complicated!

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “FYI… adding a 22 year old to an existing family plan increases the coverage,”

    Adding? 22 year olds don’t just appear out of nowhere. (“reappear” yes). It’s more like simply continuing coverage. Now, on the other hand, if a recent college graduate was able to find a job with medical coverage their premiums would be the lowest of all.

    “A lot… but how much is it going to cost for insurance companies to pay for millions of new exams/screenings/tests? Did the brainiacs in Washington REALLY think that the insurance companies were NOT going to pass this cost along???”

    My guess? About the same as they pay now. Do you know of anyone in a hurry to get their breasts crushed in a machine or have a video camera shoved up…never mind. It remains that the majority of people won’t be getting these exams unless there is some huge marketing campaign to convince people to go or suddenly every doctor insists on it.

    “because if you take the case as a whole then it’s hard to argue against the 20%, isn’t it???”
    Huh?

    “Long-term, yes. But over the next 12 months are all of these preventive measures going to (a) save them money or (b) cost them more in exam fees?”
    So…if it does save them money in the long term do you think we they will give us a refund if they raise the rates now?

    “The bottom-line is that the staggered start of Obamacare is going to put a hurting on consumers over the next four years!!!”

    The bottom line is that no cost numbers or projections call for these increases. Neither of us have any data whatsoever that these few regulations would justify a 20% increase in already ludicrous premiums. What IS obvious is that midterms are in 6 weeks.

  8. 8 portia1776

    I could write a long response on how Obamacare is unconstitutional and a slippery slope to tyranny (it is), or how it will destroy our imperfect, government-distorted but highly privately innovative health care system (it will), or the inevitable government rationing of care, beginning with Medicare, that will result in a higher rejection rate than any existing insurance company (as has happened with the failed Romneycare in Massachusetts), or about the anti-scientific nature of this ill-fated “reform” in that medicine is moving toward individualized care whereas Obamacare is implementing industrial era, one-size-fits-all mass protocols (but don’t take my word for it, see what congressional hearing-dodger Dr. Donald Berwick has to say: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CCMQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748703792704575367020548324914.html&ei=ndKYTJiWJYKC8gbrxaxL&usg=AFQjCNFiczA3OlWg-Cyifjdu8YnG91svXQ&sig2=eeNV_DdCFBkwZAQEwKCPrA ), or how preventative care and care in general will decrease in quality (notice President Obama has seldom if ever talked about improving quality and medical outcomes? A rare point of honesty, albeit by omission), or how middle and low income Americans will suffer most in a system of medical segregation, as the rich, including our political class, will simply opt-out of the “public option” and receive the best care, public or private (as has happened in Canada, Brazil, and most appalling in Cuba, where the unwashed masses tellingly need to bring syringes and blankets and food to hospital, while the party elite and foreigners, such as the sick people Michael Moore exploited for propaganda purposes, enjoy decent, but, by our standards, substandard care).

    Instead, let me offer the seven promises (actually, lies) of Obamacare, all of which at one point or another have been uttered by President Obama and Democratic supporters of this naked power grab masquerading as an atrocity (courtesy of Peter Suderman, for their explanations see: http://reason.com/archives/2010/09/09/seven-empty-promises-about ).

    “1. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
    2. It will put Medicare on better fiscal footing.
    3. It will cost around $900 billion.
    4. It won’t cut Medicare benefits.
    5. It will be paid for ‘mostly’ by shifting around money that we’re already spending.
    6. It will give consumers more access and greater choice.
    7. It will bring down the price of insurance.”

    Jez/Sudds:

    “‘We have to become better shoppers.’

    Amen Sister(?)!!!!!”

    I heartily seconded that. But will remind you that becoming a better shopper – taking responsibility for your medical decisions – is the exact opposite of Obamacare and mostly impossible in our current system (unless your doc refuses insurance or you’re going for lasik or another procedure not usually covered).

    Becoming a shopper would mean forcing private insurance companies to compete with each other – as car, life, and all other insurance companies currently do, for the consumers benefit (I imagine the following commercial in such a free-market health system: ‘fifteen minutes will save you fifteen thousand dollars on health insurance’). Our current system prevents this type of comparison shopping in the vast majority of cases. And Obamacare is making matters dramatically worse by erecting a massive, centralized sickness bureaucracy that will restrict choices and stifle innovation.

    I absolutely agree that what we need is real health reform, to remove government and the government-protected insurance cartels, that are at fault for most of the existing systems most pervasive problems.

    For instance, as Megan McArdle has written:

    “Most people agree that today’s FDA would not have approved aspirin; even penicillin, the miracle drug that helped dramatically extend the human lifespan when introduced in the early 1940s, is questionable. Allergic reactions to penicillin kill a higher percentage of its takers than Vioxx ever did, while the gastrointestinal bleeding produced by aspirin means it probably would have flunked while still in animal testing.”

    Putting the FDA to the side, what we should implement as soon as possible are reforms along the lines of what Whole Foods has shown to be effective: http://reason.tv/video/show/natural-food-fight (warning: the video includes interviews with union members opposed to individual liberty). I will also link below to an article in the Atlantic, written by a self-professed Democrat and businessperson, who thought seriously about the current systems flaws after the death of his father. His proposal would represent real reform, most of which I find agreeable.

    Interestingly the UK is decentralizing its government health care system, even though Dr. Berwick infamously likened their inappropriately named NICE (it’s not) to a “seductress.”

    One preemptive note: I have little faith in Republicans to do the right thing and repeal Obamacare outright before the damage is irreversible. Most I have heard either don’t understand its implications or actually support its premise, if only as a way to ban abortions (once government is in charge of your health care, no choice will be sacrosanct. Why are so many pro-choice people only pro-choice on one issue?)

    For a representative example of Republican ineptness: the candidate from the WWE recently spoke of the need to bend the cost curve of health care. Really? What percentage of GDP should health care be? Who should decide? She would presumably feel rather differently if President Obama was talking of bending the cost curve of entertainment spending.

  9. 9 1george1

    I found it interesting that Jimmy Carter will be blasting Ted Kennedy
    on 60 minutes related to Health Care programs.

    I do not believe the other shoe has dropped on Health Care.

    Sometimes creating a BAD PROGRAM can be used to create controversy to
    cause people to address an issue they otherwise ignore.

    The Middle Class are now feeling the pain of the permanent underclass.
    > Large privately held companies employing more than 100 people onsite
    have gotten pounded.
    > Small retail are pounded by big box.
    > Commercial are being squeezed by the economy and credit.
    > With lower disposeable income for consumers, spending decreases and
    it is 70 % of GDP / GNP.
    > Yes Businesses are sitting on a ton of CASH. However, are many of those
    the BIG OIL / WAR MANUFACTURERS / BIG BANKS / HEDGE FUNDS, who do
    care about the lower class, middle class, and everyday americans even less
    than Stratford’s Country Club crony capitalists / political patronage puppets,
    and kleptocratic esquirachy / narcopurveyors / insider traders/traitors.

    The excessively Rich are now more vulnerable to a computer attack as
    shown in the movies DIE HARD and BATMAN (Heath Ledger – Joker)
    > Relatively simple hacking has disrupted my work.

    Eli’s comin.
    Better hide your heart.

  10. 10 portia1776

    As promised, here is the link with description:

    “How American Health Care Killed My Father

    After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/7617/

    I also recommend the peerless Richard Epstein:
    “No, You Won’t Be Able to Keep Your Current Healthcare”

    And Virginia Postral for a personal and yet global perspective:

    “My Drug Problem

    The cancer drug Herceptin saved the author’s life. It also cost $60,000. Would health-care reform put it, and other expensive new drugs, out of reach?”

    On the GDP point I raised above, Postral writes:

    “The good thing about a decentralized, largely private system like ours is that health care constantly gets weighed against everything else in the economy. No single authority has to decide whether 15 percent or 20 percent or 25 percent is the “right” amount of GDP to spend on health care, just as no single authority has to decide how much to spend on food or clothing or entertainment. Different individuals and organizations can make different trade-offs. Centralized systems, by contrast, have one health budget. This treatment gets funded, and that one doesn’t.”

    The other good thing about a decentralized, largely private system is that it is the only one consistent with individual liberty, the Constitution, and maximizing choices as well as outcomes.

  11. 11 portia1776
  12. 12 1george1

    PORTIA:
    Your arguments have both merit and problems, due to human nature
    and “the devil in the details” nuances

    Cardinal Richelieu:
    “Give me 3 sentences a man wrote, and I can hang any man ….”

    Meaning?

    There are no perfect ideas or all encompassing solutions.
    Any program can be sabotaged and/or have holes in it.


    PORTIA – I have yet to view a single link of yours.
    I have checked out links by sudds and occasionally Jeze.

    Like you … I over post / over write / over argue.
    Less is sometimes more.

    Not one or two liners like several posters, but a few pointed (focused)
    paragraphs like Jeze tries to get me to do.
    (I write for multiple audiences and myself, not just bloggers – which is
    another difference between you and I.)

  13. 13 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I could write a long response ”

    Nah, not you. No way.

    One thing we probably agree on (OK, maybe not) is that businesses should not be the source of health insurance. It’s hard to think of a greater burden on any size business. It is certainly the least productive component of any business. No matter what a company does, there will be employees (and management) that will be dissatisfied with what they get for the money.

    The problem is that this particular topic boils down to a simple question; How far should we go, as a society, to save the life of Portia’s husband/wife? Maybe child? What kind of value do we place on a healthy human life?

    Car insurance is easy. You buy that BMW for $85,000 (someday) and you know as soon as you pull it in your garage it is now worth $70,000. You shop around for a policy that complies with state minimums. Done. You hope.
    Only so much can happen to a car. If you hurt someone or yourself, that is another story.

    Not so with people. We get terrible diseases and we suffer awful injuries. Ask any EMS volunteer. We also grow old and infirm very slowly.

    So while this discussion develops into free market decisions, money, profits and regulation it is important to remember that the clients are people, not cars. What is clear right now is that the current health insurance industry is not sustainable.

  14. 14 portia1776

    “Nah, not you. No way.” – LOL… I’m trying to economize!

    “One thing we probably agree on (OK, maybe not) is that businesses should not be the source of health insurance.” – Oh, no, we absolutely agree on this. I thought your previous post, using the example of Sikorsky (“Sikorksy makes helicopters. They should not be required to negotiate healthcare plans”), was brilliant. And I said so at the time: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/finreg/#comment-13824

    “The problem is that this particular topic boils down to a simple question; How far should we go, as a society, to save the life of Portia’s husband/wife? Maybe child? What kind of value do we place on a healthy human life?” – We disagree (maybe?) on this point. By “society” do you mean “we, as individuals” or “government,” and specifically the “national government”? I will reserve comment until I’m clear on what you mean.

    “What is clear right now is that the current health insurance industry is not sustainable.” – Again, I am in agreement on the premise just not the proposed “solution.” Our existing health care system, the result of numerous government interventions (FDR’s wage and price controls, the Eisenhower Cognress’ meddling with the tax code to favor businesses over individuals, Nixon’s creation of HMOs), is market distorting, anti-competitive, and illogical.

    Where we (probably?) part company is in my assessment that Obamacare does not only fail to fix existing problems (it actually makes them worse, much worse) and creates myriad new problems, but that, by design, it could do no better.

    No, don’t judge Obamacare by improved quality and outcomes – it will never match even our existing flawed system on those terms. Nor will it be “sustainable” to the overall economy. It just can’t be, unless Dr. Berwick gets his way and millions of Americans are denied the care they desperately need (people like this man, Colin Ross, 55, who was deemed expendable by British health bureaucrats. Luckily he lived to win his lawsuit and receive the expensive but life-saving drug he needed: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/2778184/Dying-cancer-patient-wins-High-Court-Revlimid-drug-challenge.html ).

    Obamacare care must be judged by its own metric: Does it expand national government power at the expense of individual liberty? I think the answer to that is readily apparent… mission accomplished.

  15. 15 portia1776

    Well, George, I’m sorry to read that you “have yet to view a single link of yours.” Try one sometime, you might like it. Moreover, while most of what I post to are articles and studies, there are a good number of video clips (documentaries, speeches, interviews), as well. While I have written more than a few thousand words all told, sometimes a moving picture can accentuate or bring home the point more profitably.

  16. 16 portia1776

    Jez,

    I missed this first time round, but it needs to be said that this post’s picture subtitle (“Market solution”) is just wonderful.

  17. 17 1george1

    I had a chance to speak with Mr. Moreau tonight.
    We agreed that:
    Portia is an excellent writer,
    I still lub Ron (as a person),
    and I am so full of myself.

    Some of my blogging is intentionally esoteric for personal reasons.

    Some of Portia’s writing is esoteric by virtue of being able to blend
    and properly apply abstruse and recondite vocabulary and concepts.

    However Portia turns his/her posts into flowing compositions, far
    beyond my capabilities.

    Portia has also bought out Jeze’s and Chris writing abilities, academic
    interests, and bigger picture socio-economic-political perspectives.

    Chris caught me on 2 different errors in sports, where I posted carelessly
    from memory.

    When Portia, Chris, Jeze, and I play nice, we bring unique mixes of
    perspectives about macro issues which I believe are based mostly on
    smoke and mirrors.

    Portia, like Chris I am interested in individual poster’s perspectives.

    Portia, we employ different mechanisms for similar 3rd party endorsement/explanations.
    You post “links” and “some excerpts” as examples to bolster your positions.
    I post mostly WIKIPEDIA excerpts or Internet definitions.
    Jeze and Chris copy the NY Times or their favorite authority.

    My main reasons for going outside of stratford was to point out to readers
    that about the affects of State and the Feds on Stratford.

    Once it is accepted that outsiders influence all of us, then my personal
    issues of USPS become “more” credible.

    I also realize there are some (many) people who feed off misery and think
    they are participating in a badstar ritual, of g-dless predator beliefs.

  18. 18 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I’m trying to economize!”

    Good idea! I’m not sure anybody has told you, but this is just a blog. You don’t get paid by the word. 😉

    By “society” do you mean “we, as individuals” or “government,” and specifically the “national government”?

    We as individuals. However, in this discussion I’m not sure you can differentiate between government and national government. I’m guessing a heart attack is pretty much the same if you’re in South Carolina or North Dakota.

    “Our existing health care system, the result of numerous government interventions (FDR’s wage and price controls, the Eisenhower Cognress’ meddling with the tax code to favor businesses over individuals, Nixon’s creation of HMOs), is market distorting, anti-competitive, and illogical.”
    And yet there is no blame for the distortions by the insurance/pharma companies?

    “Obamacare does not only fail to fix existing problems (it actually makes them worse, much worse) and creates myriad new problems, but that, by design, it could do no better.”
    Now you see, that is not helpful. “Obamacare”?
    It happens that my favorite comedy channels are CSPAN1 and CSPAN2. I actually watched the process of “debate” between my least favorite people; Max Baucus and Charles Grassley. From the very beginning this show was a barrel o’ laughs. They couldn’t bend over backwards far enough to please their lobbyists. The one thing they didn’t change was Congressional health plans.

    “Obamacare care must be judged by its own metric: Does it expand national government power at the expense of individual liberty?”
    Who cares? The real metric is whether or not we can stay healthy without losing our homes.
    Let’s just take one example that we should be familiar with. Two years ago (or was it three?) the BOE switched health plans from a traditional plan to an HSA (Health Savings Account) plan. It was touted by Ben Branyan and Irene Cornish as a money saving solution. (Never mind the broker was dating a BOE member). However, it did save some money. The first year. Then the BOE started eroding the benefits calling for greater and greater contributions. So much for the money saving part. This year the insurance company hit the BOE with an astonishing 64% increase.
    The “justification” was an actuary table showing less than a handful of people out of the thousand or so got really, really sick. Essentially, the shareholders of the insurance company didn’t make as much profit as they thought they would. The taxpayers (you and me) must cover that by seeing our property tax go up. How is that different than assigning all the risk to us rather than the shareholders who are in the business of risk?

    Now, here is a good thing about HSA accounts. You have to pay, with real money, all expenses up to whatever your deductible is ($3,000, $5,000, $10,000, etc) before the insurance picks up a dime. People who have an HSA account are exposed, probably for the first time, to the actual expenses of medical care.

    Another example: Your doctor prescribes Lipitor. You go to the drug store and hand them your scrip and pay the $15, $20, $30 copay and walk out. If you have an HSA account you pay full retail: $85+ for 30 pills. Your reaction is “WTF”? You learn quickly than any one of dozens of other statins would work just as well and cost $3.50 for 30 pills.

    The point here is that most people have no idea at all what their health care costs are. For people who still have a job and health insurance the cost is the copay. By hiding the actual retail costs, the insurance and pharma companies are subverting free market choices and competition.

    In any event, at the end of the discussion, I believe the solution will be some combination of government and private health care. Personally, I would like to see a government non-profit something that provided for basic coverage (what used to be called “Major Medical”) and supplemental insurance for everything else that an individual would want to pay for.

  19. 19 jezebel282

    George,

    “I post mostly WIKIPEDIA excerpts or Internet definitions.
    Jeze and Chris copy the NY Times or their favorite authority.”

    What’s wrong with the Old Gray Lady and the newspaper of record? If you pick up a history textbook you will see that more often than not the NY Times is cited as the primary source. I have yet to see Wikipedia cited as a primary source.

    “and I am so full of myself.”
    Really? Has anyone else ever said that or is Ron alone in that assessment?
    LOL!

  20. 20 1george1

    Jeze # 18 good post
    # 19 I figured you would enjoy reference to Ron’s view.

    Not that anyone else on this blog is full of him / her self? 😉

    Some of the past bloggers were especially nasty and cruel.
    Some people view other people as less than human.
    Some people have no consideration, nor empathy.

    History textbook > Wikipedia – Not time yet.

    WSJ + NYT + others have mixtures of FACT, FICTIONS, SPIN, etc.
    Most popular reading reinforces beliefs of editors and readers.

    Looked like a Commercial Jet doing a deep decent towards Airport.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the FAA coming into tonights meeting crashed,
    and it was pilot error?

    The safety area Bridgeport wants is filled with RAYBESTOS Asbestos.
    I can just see EPA digging it up for Consolidation and a HURRICANE
    hitting and spreading Asbestos through out Stratford and into Milford
    and/or Bridgeport.

    New virus STUXNET.
    Described as a virtual guided missle.
    STUXNET can wait and take control of computers like Nuclear Power Plant,
    Factories, Utilities, Banks, Government / Private computers.
    Maybe even take command of Nuclear Missle launch?

    Wait, didn’t I blog about the latest DIE HARD + BATMAN movies, computer
    software programs taking control of all CLOUD + MAIN FRAME memory and
    assets?

    It is not that our Intelligence Complex would allow anything BAD to happen
    to the American people, right?

  21. 21 1george1

    I do not wish anything bad on anyone.

  22. 22 1george1

    Editor’s note:
    While this subject is not about our usual politics in Stratford,
    it does touch every single resident. In addition to increased
    mortgage/rent payments, we will all be confronted with a
    further reduction in income. Except for those who have no
    insurance because they were laid off and no longer receive
    COBRA subsidies and cannot afford any coverage.

    GEORGE
    This is pretty much my reasoning about the effects of Fed + CT.
    decisions which affect the town of Stratford and citizens’ Taxes:
    ARMY = AVCO SAEP
    ARMY = SIKORSKY
    FAA = AIRPORT
    F & W = LBW
    DOT = Federal + State Highways and Roads
    EPA / DEP = Raymark, 24 Toxic dumpsites, 500 acres Toxic groundwater
    CONGRESS = GRANTS, STIMULUS FUNDS, CONTRACTS, FEMA, MANDATES (unfunded)
    CT Legislature = GRANTS 25 % BoE Funding, MANDATES (unfunded)
    SEC / FBI – Justice = PENSIONS
    FED / CT = Economic Development
    EEOC = AGE DISCRIMINATION + RACE DISCRIMINATION
    NLRB = UNION RELATIONS
    OSHA = SAFETY + HEALTH

  23. 23 jezebel282

    George,

    “This is pretty much my reasoning about the effects of Fed + CT.
    decisions which affect the town of Stratford and citizens’ Taxes”

    Too bad you’re not the editor, huh?

  24. 24 portia1776

    Jez,

    “You don’t get paid by the word.” – Oh, I get paid… just in a non-monetary sense 😉

    Society is “We as individuals.” – In that case, we are really not as far apart as it seemed earlier.

    “However, in this discussion I’m not sure you can differentiate between government and national government.” – Yes we can! (sorry, I’ve been waiting to say that). While a heart attack may be the same wherever it takes place, the government power to intervene is starkly different. Local and state governments may very well have been granted the power to play a role in health care delivery, while the national government, if we are to go by the Constitution, cannot and should not intervene for civilians; the VA system is another matter, of course.

    “And yet there is no blame for the distortions by the insurance/pharma companies?” – There is plenty of blame to go around! My point is that we didn’t get here overnight. There have been a series of legislative mistakes that have created the current mess. If we were to do real reform, those mistakes, which remain the law, must be undone.

    “Now you see, that is not helpful. ‘Obamacare’?” – You’re partly right. President Obama largely abdicated the responsibility of writing the legislation to “Progressives” in Congress and their favored special interests. Still, the responsibility for this abomination remains his, as Rommenycare remains Mitt Romney’s (no matter how much he wishes to distance himself from it).

    “Max Baucus and Charles Grassley.” – Bipartisan criticism… I like it!

    “…Congressional health plans.” – You really think they or their families are going to get in line with the rest of us for care? Speaker Pelosi won’t even fly on a commercial airplane! President Obama dodged the question on whether his wife and kids would be part of the so-called “public option.” But, then again, he opted his kids out of the crime scene that is the D.C. public school system (only 12% of 8th graders read at an 8th grade level). Unfortunately, President Obama, Democrats in Congress (save Sen. Lieberman), and the special interest unions decided to deny even a few low-income kids the same opportunities that the first kids have to get a good education at a private school by killing the Opportunity Scholarship Program. The D.C. school system is actually better funded than all the major private schools in the district and yet still fails miserably. So much for President Obama’s promise to put politics and ideology and pursue policies that work: http://www.reason.tv/video/show/777.html

    “Who cares?” – Well… this law is the first time that to be a citizen in good standing the national government is coercing you to purchase a product. That is a dangerous precedent and inimical to individual liberty.

    “The real metric is whether or not we can stay healthy without losing our homes.” – As I stated previously, I have yet to hear the argument that Obamacare will improve medical quality or outcomes. In short, what is the point of keeping your home if you don’t live to enjoy it?

    I find the BOE example unsurprising. State insurance markets are cartelized. If the BOE doesn’t like its current insurer’s 64% rate hike, where are they to go? Same thing with Aquarion, which is proposing a nearly 20% monthly hike in our water bills. Thanks to government intervention, these companies are in a position to make offers that we can’t refuse.

    “Essentially, the shareholders of the insurance company didn’t make as much profit as they thought they would.” – This is why I said “market distorting.” In a free market, the insurance companies would have to compete to offer better service and/or lower prices, to the benefit of individual consumers. As part and parcel of providing better service, the profit incentive would be aligned with keeping consumers healthy. In the current system, where the insurance companies are protected from competition and need not worry about individual consumers (they, after all, are delivered to them in large blocks – all BOE employees, all Sikorsky employees), market forces are prevented from improving quality and bringing down costs. In the case of public employees, the current system does, indeed, “assign[…] all the risk to us [taxpayers] rather than shareholders who are in the business of risk.” In other words, and as in so much else, our crony capitalist/corporate socialist system socializes risks and privatizes profits.

    “Now, here is a good thing about HSA accounts. You have to pay, with real money, all expenses up to whatever your deductible is ($3,000, $5,000, $10,000, etc) before the insurance picks up a dime. People who have an HSA account are exposed, probably for the first time, to the actual expenses of medical care.” – Exactly! Most docs don’t even know the costs, either.

    “You learn quickly than any one of dozens of other statins would work just as well and cost $3.50 for 30 pills.” – Right, again. Why? The individual consumer makes the choice for themselves. If they want to pay more for Lipitor, so be it. It does not cost anyone else money if they choose that or a less expensive but equally effective drug.

    “By hiding the actual retail costs, the insurance and pharma companies are subverting free market choices and competition.” – Absolutely!

    “I believe the solution will be some combination of government and private health care.” – A true solution will no doubt involve national government, primarily to tear down the legislative barriers to the free market and end other unhelpful interventions. I would also like to see “Major Medical” or catastrophic coverage offered nationwide, though I would prefer, no surprise, a marketplace where non-profit and for-profit options would compete. Everything else, as you rightly put it, should be paid for out-of-pocket or by “supplemental insurance… that an individual would want to pay for.”

  25. 25 portia1776

    Shocking, I know, but there is at least one Republican who can speak intelligently on what is and is not real health care reform: Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels. http://www.reason.tv/roughcut/show/governor-mitch-daniels-on-the

    In addition to the problems with Obamacare, Gov. Daniels talks about the Healthy Indiana Plan that his administration developed, which is designed to give low-income Indianans Personal Wellness and Responsibility HSAs.

  26. 26 1george1

    George,

    “This is pretty much my reasoning about the effects of Fed + CT.
    decisions which affect the town of Stratford and citizens’ Taxes”

    Too bad you’re not the editor, huh?


    Jeze,
    I have my reasons for NOT wanting to be the editor.

    The times you edited other people, except miron / fahan …
    count on two hands? 😉

  27. 27 jezebel282

    Portia,

    I had to read it a couple of times. I don’t recall ever seeing so many “Right!” and “absolutely’s” before.

    However (you knew it was coming) “But, then again, he opted his kids out of the crime scene that is the D.C. public school system” Can you tell me where Republican Congressmen send their kids? Or better yet, if there are any millionaires (Obama is a millionaire, you know) of either party that send their kids to DC Public Schools? And how might any program be worse than Bush’s No Child Left With a Dime program? It was a huge compilation of unfunded mandates generated by the Republican controlled government.

    Getting back to the point, it seems that major medical for all and supplemented by private insurance companies already exists. They call it “Medicare”.

  28. 28 1george1

    Portia,
    What do you know about European Health Care, as set up derived
    from the USA Marshall Plan?
    Isn’t it paid for by high Petro costs?
    If so, how do they subsidize or pay for individual’s heating?
    Or is that from Soviet Gas from the 30 year pipeline from E. Europe?
    Or is that covered by NUCLEAR ENERGY?

    Portia, how can you explain $ 80 barrel energy cost, when it peaked
    at $ 44 range in 1982 and $ 147 June 2008, but was $ 12.58 bbl Dec 1998?

    What happened to those OIL RICH fields in IRAQ that the USA occupied
    since 2003? Just curious?

    Jeze,
    You can thank me for giving Portia interesting subjects to expound upon?

    I would enjoy reading Portia’s opinions….
    I suspect I am not alone?

  29. 29 jezebel282

    George,

    “Jeze,
    You can thank me for giving Portia interesting subjects to expound upon?”

    Gee thanks, George. It looks like I’ll be moving a lot of posts.

  30. 30 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Can you tell me where Republican Congressmen send their kids? Or better yet, if there are any millionaires (Obama is a millionaire, you know) of either party that send their kids to DC Public Schools?” – No parent(s) in their right mind(s) would want their kids to go to DC public schools. The difference is that most Republicans and a growing number of Democrats aren’t hypocrites about it: yes, they send their kids to private schools but they don’t go around stealing scholarship money from poor kids. Some of the 1700 kids who were getting vouchers even attended the Sidwell Friends School, where the first kids are students.

    “And how might any program be worse than Bush’s No Child Left With a Dime program? It was a huge compilation of unfunded mandates generated by the Republican controlled government.” – At the risk of saying it again, I agree. President Bush and Senator Kennedy’s national educational makeover is terrible. The DC voucher program was not part of that and, in point of fact, was highly effective: “The program is wildly popular with parents and children—there are four applicants for every available slot—and a recent Department of Education study found that participants do significantly better than their public school peers. Indeed, after three years in private schools, students who entered the program at its inception were 19 months ahead in reading of applicants unlucky enough to still be trapped in D.C.’s public schools.

    Yet working with congressional Democrats and despite his pledge to put politics and ideology aside in education, the Obama administration has effectively killed the program through a backdoor legislative move. ‘[Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan will use only one test in what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars,” says the president. ‘It’s not whether it’s liberal or conservative, but whether it works.’

    That sort of doublespeak has left many Obama supporters not just puzzled but outraged. Certainly, Mercedes [a scholarship recipient featured in the video] is. ‘Out of everything else they can shut down or everything else they can advocate for, they want to take this one thing away?’ Adds her mother, Ingrid, ‘We voted for you, we walked, we went to the parade, we stood freezing. Why?…Can you get this tape over to Obama and have him answer our questions? Why, sir, why?’ (http://www.reason.tv/video/show/777.html).'”

    “Getting back to the point, it seems that major medical for all and supplemented by private insurance companies already exists. They call it ‘Medicare’.” – Medicare only pays for catastrophic coverage? Since when?

  31. 31 jezebel282

    Medicare Part A

  32. 32 portia1776

    George,

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-dark-side/#comment-14113

    (Can’t say I didn’t warn you)

  33. 33 sudds

    Does anyone else get the feeling that… if George and Portia were to breed… they’re offspring would actually be able to babble on even MORE than Mrs. Sudds?!?!?

    (which, until now, I thought was IMPOSSIBLE!!!)

  34. 34 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “babble on even MORE than Mrs. Sudds?!?!? ”

    What did you say Mrs. Sudds email address was? I though I might send her a link……

  35. 35 1george1

    Obama faults himself for not selling health law

    By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner,
    Associated Press Writer – Wed Sep 22, 9:40 pm ET
    FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Blaming himself for coolness to his health
    care overhaul, President Barack Obama is seeking to reintroduce
    the law to voters who don’t much like or understand it six months
    after he signed it.

    ……….

    A new Associated Press poll finds high levels of misunderstanding
    about what’s actually in the law, and more people opposed than
    in support. And with crucial midterm elections six weeks away,
    the only Democrats running ads about the historic legislation are
    the ones who voted “no.”

    …………

    Obama ruefully told his listeners, “Sometimes I fault myself for not
    being able to make the case more clearly to the country.”

    Still, he took on Republicans who want to repeal the law, daring
    them to tell that to a cancer patient covered by a new high-risk
    pool, or a parent whose child was able to get insurance despite
    a pre-existing health condition.

    “It makes sense in terms of politics and polls,” Obama said of the
    GOP position. “It doesn’t make sense in terms of actually making
    people’s lives better.”

    ————— GEORGE: yousaidit@ctpost #1

    Unaffordable and dictatorially mandated Obamacare?
    or
    F.E.M.A-esk failures Bushcheneynevercared?

    Yet USA Marshall Plan helped create universal Eurocare?

    Objective? Towards a “more perfect union?”

    ———— GEORGE: yousaidit@ctpost #2

    “Money never sleeps”
    With cocaine on 96% of $100 bills during Reagan years,
    how could money wind down for sleep?
    Engraving Ronald Reagan on $100 bills is fitting.

    “Flight Capitalism?”
    Adam Smith to be on Russian Kopeck and Chinese Yuan?

  36. 36 jezebel282

    George,

    “Obama faults himself for not selling health law”

    Was he involved?

    For some reason I remember the “debate” going something like this:

    Baucus: “We want to do this.”
    Grassley: “No”.
    Baucus: “Well, how about this?”
    Grassley: “No”.
    Baucus: “We could try it the other way.”
    Grassley: “No”.
    Baucus: “How about we give the insurance companies boatloads of money for nothing?”
    Grassley: “Maybe. But I’m still voting against it.”
    Baucus: “Why?”
    Grassley: “My ‘yes’ button doesn’t work. I’ll only vote ‘no” until a Republican president fixes it.”

  37. 37 1george1

    Jeze,

    That quote was from the e-article, quoting Obama himself. 8)

    It is not your fault wordpress does not show a way to differenciate
    bloggers’ positions vs. what has been copied and pasted. 😦

    Interesting “possible conversation” that you posted?
    I suspect you’ve had a lot of conversations like that? 😉

  38. 38 jezebel282

    George,

    “I suspect you’ve had a lot of conversations like that?”

    Only with Republicans.

  39. 39 sudds

    have at it folks…

    » Obamacare won’t decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare’s actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.

    » As written, Obamacare covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama’s promise that it wouldn’t. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view as immoral. Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may not survive the court challenge.

    » Obamacare won’t allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama’s estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.

    » Obamacare will increase insurance premiums — in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients’ children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare’s mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama’s only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.

    » Obamacare will force seasonal employers — especially the ski and amusement park industries — to pay huge fines, cut hours, or lay off employees.

    » Obamacare forces states to guarantee not only payment but also treatment for indigent Medicaid patients. With many doctors now refusing to take Medicaid (because they lose money doing so), cash-strapped states could be sued and ordered to increase reimbursement rates beyond their means.

    » Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the measure.

    » Obamacare allows the IRS to confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure Americans stay in line.

  40. 40 1george1

    I favor affordable Health Care and decent jobs for everyone who wants
    to and can work, to be able have those.

    Some people have circumstances where they can not work, including
    stay at home parents/grandparent or taking care of elderly or disability.

    There should be remedy for that as well, like family insurance.

    That is an oversimplified objective, I believe most can agree.
    However, the devil is in the details, and is far to complex for me to
    pretend I have all the answers, like so many public figures.

    I will stick to insulting nominal patriots, who are selfish criminals and/or
    traitors at national level.

    I will stick to pointing out local issues, which I believe are entrapments
    and grand theft of the public assets, with some proposed solutions that
    will not happen in my life time.

    Great interview of JACK MA. CEO China’s Alibaba, on Charlie Rose.
    Insightful, articulate, altruistic, pragmatic, if he is as he presented self!

  41. 41 sudds

    Starting today, insurers will be required to:

    [Sudds’ note: and people wonder why insurance premiums are going up???]

    * Keep you covered when you get sick: Simple mistakes or typos will no longer be grounds for insurance companies to cancel your insurance.
    * Cover kids with pre-existing conditions: Your kids can no longer be denied health coverage just because they have a pre-existing condition like hay fever, asthma, or previous sports injuries. This protection extends to all plans, except “grandfathered” plans in the individual market.
    * Allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan up to age 26: Even if their first few jobs don’t provide health benefits, your kids can still remain covered by your insurance.
    * Remove lifetime limits: You will no longer need to worry about your health insurer limiting the amount of coverage available through their plan if you face an expensive medical condition. This will help Americans who develop chronic conditions from taking drastic measures to avoid medical bankruptcy.
    * Phase out annual limits: Many plans include annual dollar limits on how much medical coverage can be obtained per year. On all non-“grandfathered” plans in the individual market, these limits will be phased out over the next three years.

    For any insurance plan that goes into effect after September 23, 2010, your insurance company must:

    * Pay for preventive care like mammograms and immunizations: Addressing problems before they start can help keep you healthier, and new insurance plans will now cover many preventative tests and immunizations without any copayment.
    * Give you a better appeals process for insurance claims: Now you’ll have a guaranteed and fair path to help you receive the benefits you paid for if insurance companies deny your claim.
    * Let you choose your own doctor: Health reform makes it clear that you can choose any available participating primary care provider as your provider, and any available participating pediatrician to be your child’s primary care provider.
    * Provide easier access to OB-GYN services: Women will no longer be required to have a referral from a primary care provider before seeking coverage for obstetrical or gynecological (OB-GYN) care from a participating OB-GYN specialist.>
    * Allow you to use the nearest emergency room without penalty: If an emergency arises while you’re away, you will no longer have to drive home to your in-network provider to receive in-network benefits.

  42. 42 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “have at it folks…”

    Umm…..sez who?

    You get this from the RNC website?

  43. 43 paradisegreen

    Suds, I see nothing wrong with any of that. I don’t understand the protests to this new healthcare plan. Obama ran on the promise to reform healthcare and the nation overwhelmingly voted for it. I don’t understand why people are bitching now. It’s what Americans wanted and everything in that bill is beneficial. The only thing missing is a cap on how much ins companies can increase premiums, but then, they pay for campaigns, so we can’t have that.

  44. 44 sudds

    “Suds”

    Umm… it’s SudDs

    “I see nothing wrong with any of that”

    Must be tough to see anything anything when you’re hugging a tree, huh??? 😛

    “Obama ran on the promise to reform healthcare and the nation overwhelmingly voted for it”

    53% is overwhelming to you??? Hmm… if I can get Rocki’s vote I might be at 53% in the Sudds home… “overwhelming” here I come!!!

    “I don’t understand why people are bitching now.”

    Could it possibly have to do with the fact that the part of your “53%” who voted for O-B only did so because he “wasn’t Bush”… and are now regretting it?!?!

    “It’s what Americans wanted”

    INCORRECT… 53% did NOT want Bush (even though I don’t recall him running)… a portion (and apparently a very small portion) of the 53% wanted healthcare reform.

    “everything in that bill is beneficial”

    Ummm… higher premium, same plan, worse service… how exactly am I benefiting?

    “The only thing missing is a cap on how much ins companies can increase premiums”

    Why don’t we just throw away this entire Capitalism idea and replace it with companies that are SUPPOSED to lose money??? Oh wait… we already have a government for that!!!

    “but then, they pay for campaigns, so we can’t have that”

    Seriously… you REALLY think that the Repub’s are the only ones on “the take”? You REALLY think that the Dem’s weren’t bought and paid for during the 2008 election??? Heck, even Warren Buffet was able to save his $5 Billion investment in Goldman Sachs by buying off Obama!!!

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The only part of your argument that makes sense is that you MIGHT actually live in Paradise Green!!! (although if you do, then I’m guessing that you’re OBVIOUSLY not one of my neighbors… they all seem like intelligent people)

  45. 45 1george1

    Obama ran on the promise to replace Bush – Cheney.

    80 % of American people would prefer to replace E V E R Y O N E.

    What is that sucking noise?
    Politicians inhaling to tell bigger lies.

    The Health Care debate is healthy.
    The plans and situations are soooooo bad, it needs public consensus.

    Factually most white Americans don’t care about Blacks.
    Jewish prefer Jewish
    Catholic prefer Catholic
    Protestant prefer Protestant
    Rich / Upper Middle class prefer their own
    Mason / Shriners / Seculars / Socialists perfer their own.

    EVERY GROUPS fights AMONG their OWN as well as others.

    The excesses have exposed the flaws in the system, while creating
    hardships for many people.

    Whether there will be peaceful change or violence, I do not know?
    Whether there will be a coup for dictatorial powers or more perfect
    union, I can not know.

    It is an increasingly visible American Problem!

  46. 46 sudds

    “Factually most white Americans don’t care about Blacks.
    Jewish prefer Jewish
    Catholic prefer Catholic”

    Sooooo… then can you please explain how I am (CATHOLIC) Godfather to the son of my JEWISH friend and his BLACK wife??? 😛

  47. 47 sudds

    “EVERY GROUPS fights AMONG their OWN as well as others.”

    Sooooo (#2)…. you’ve been to Holidays at my house before!?!?!?

  48. 48 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “although if you do, then I’m guessing that you’re OBVIOUSLY not one of my neighbors… they all seem like intelligent people”

    Tsk, tsk…. Attacking the writer are we?

    I think the point Paradise was making was that these minimum requirements should have been in every health plan anyway. Denying babies coverage? R U kidding me?
    It’s ok to deny coverage? Once you reach some arbitrary cap, you lose your home. Who thought of that kind of policy? No wait…let me guess.

    And I do recall, Obama ran on a health care reform platform the entire time. He didn’t get most of it through a bought-off Congress, but that’s what he ran on.

    If I am reading you correctly you would like to repeal health care because nothing was wrong in the first place, roll back spending to 2008, cancel the balance of the stimulus, make any sort of health coverage for abortion illegal and extend the tax cuts for the wealthy forever, if not lower them. While your at it, how about repealing all banking laws, disbanding the agriculture department (just boil those eggs longer), eliminate the FTC (what’s a little lead in toys if you don’t have kids?) and absolutely abolish any kind of assistance for anyone that’s not a campaign contributor.

  49. 49 portia1776

    End laissez-faire love! It’s bad for public health and morality, the economy, and the environment!

    The invisible hand of Cupid is clearly too liable to error… just ask Mrs. Sudds! All the “Progressive” and even many conservative experts agree: we have a sky-rocking divorce rate in this country that is unsustainable. Our overly explicit culture is degenerate and exploitative. Has anyone thought of the children? What about the planet? The indulgent and decadent lifestyles of Americans, measured by their carbon footprints, is causing Climate Change (all those pollution factories, which some naively still call “children,” don’t help). It is high time for government to intervene to ensure good matches, breeding, and rearing of the future workforce – one which will be much smaller, more efficient, and thus more “green.”

    Least the above is thought to be only hyperbole, consider the following editorial from the “Progressive” stalwart publication, then although less so now, The New Republic, circa 1916:

    “Laissez-faire as a policy of population leads straight to perdition, according to the writer [of a “an extremely able and cogent article on eugenics,” “Your Blood and Mine,” in the Unpopular Review] The defective element in our [meaning “white”] population amounts to four per cent of the whole: it overcrowds our jails and asylums, and inflicts upon us an actual cash burden in excess of the cost of our army. Imbecility breeds imbecility as certainly as white hens breed white chickens; and under laissez-faire imbecility is given full change to breed, and does so in fact at a rate far superior to that of able stocks. The burden is progressive… why is it that [this] does not stir the intelligent public to action? We may suggest that a socialized policy of population cannot be built upon a laissez-faire economic policy. So long as the state neglects its good blood, it will let its bad blood alone… When the state assumes the duty of giving a fair opportunity for development to every child, it will find unanimous support for a policy of extinction of stocks incapable of profiting from their privileges (http://books.google.com/books?id=blkCAAAAIAAJ&q=%22Laissez-faire+as+a+policy+of+population+leads%22&dq=%22Laissez-faire+as+a+policy+of+population+leads%22&hl=en&ei=S9WfTMimDsSblge0p_2_Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAQ).”

    More importantly, consider the philosophy underlying the above satire and painfully real quote. Government intervention in health care or the economy may not necessarily lead to the nationalization of love and the extermination of “undesirables.” The assumptions built-in to interventions that go beyond the proper constitutional role of our government, however, erode any principled reasons to leave those areas of life unmolested by the state. In point of fact, the polices TNR once championed have been translated into public policy by Americans (in the “Progressive era”) as well as many totalitarian regimes around the world.

  50. 50 portia1776

    To read more about the evils of lassiez-faire love (and unfettered fornication, and unregulated procreation) see: http://www.fairfieldweekly.com/news/commentary/freedom-to-fornicate

  51. 51 1george1

    SUDDS: Sooooo… then can you please explain how I am (CATHOLIC)
    Godfather to the son of my JEWISH friend and his BLACK wife???

    GEORGE:
    Sounds like my family … and circles of friends …

    60 Minutes tonight about the Ground Zero Mosque Developer,
    born in Methodist Hospital, son of Catholic mom and Egyptian
    Moslem father, who got the idea for the Moslem Community
    Center from the Jewish Community Center he was a member of.

    As he explained it, he is an American and New Yorker and that
    is the way it is in NY.

    I have been Published to the effect my idea of peace in the Mideast
    is to have the Holy Lands like NYC.
    Yes there are ghettos and/or concentrations of people of same
    race or ex-nationality, but they are increasingly mixed.

    There are smaller percentages of non whites in Fairfield, Westport,
    Weston, Easton, and other places than there are in North Stratford.

    Each religious group creates relatonships (good & bad) by attending
    the same church or temple.

    Secular social groups like elks, masons, rotarians ….

    Rich people over pay at country clubs, restaurants, Universities, in part
    not to mingle with people like us and in part to mingle with each other
    to plot ways to benefit themselves, sometimes (often?) based on OPM
    OPL and OPC. (OTHER PEOPLES’ Money, Labor, Children

    85 % of Stratford’s people of color live in 3 of 13, now 11, sections
    of Stratford, mostly based on economics, but often based on similar
    support systems where late 1800s, first half 1900s, Italians, Irish, Jews,
    Poles, Germans, and others were not welcomed to apply to apply.

    Police / Fire / others – have an them against us mentality

    Republicans and Democrats believe everything belongs to them and
    nothing to anyone else, sames as most people in government who
    think they have a divine right to impose their ideas on others.

  52. 52 portia1776

    Jez,

    “If I am reading you correctly you would like to repeal health care because nothing was wrong in the first place…” – While this straw man was not directed at me, I thought I might offer a magisterial policy resource:

    Cato’s http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/ a department-by-department guide (still in-progress) to reforming the national government, including principles that should guide the effort

  53. 53 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “While this straw man was not directed at me”

    Actually it wasn’t. (It’s not always about you, you know. 😉 ). I had just read the GOP “Pledge to America”. After overcoming my initial nausea, I couldn’t help myself.

    Speaking of Straw Men…Really? Buck v Bell? That’s what you’re going with? Should I bring up Dredd Scott? Can’t get more laissez-faire than that.

    We seem to be missing the point. So let me state it again. Health care costs have gone up, pick an adjective; exponentially, astronomically, shockingly, over the last twenty years. The cost to stay healthy is unsustainable. There are so many people that must choose between electricity and food or healthcare. They choose the former.

    The problem is how to make healthcare affordable to the most American citizens. The problem is not how to make sure everyone makes a profit although that would be nice. How do we make it so that an American child who gets injured or becomes sick can receive effective treatment? If we cannot agree that that is our goal, we will never agree on the method.

  54. 54 1george1

    The problem is how to make healthcare affordable to the most American citizens. The problem is not how to make sure everyone makes a profit although that would be nice. How do we make it so that an American child who gets injured or becomes sick can receive effective treatment? If we cannot agree that that is our goal, we will never agree on the method.

    I AGREE WITH JEZE’S STATED OBJECTIVE.
    I REALIZE THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH DIAMETRIC VESTED INTERESTS WHO MAKE
    A LOT OF MONEY PERPETUATING PROBLEMS. (like Stratford, but far worse)

    PORTIA: Downsizing Government? Please read CHARLIE REESE ORLANDO
    SENTINAL column, about the 545 people in government CAUSING all of
    the Problems:
    435 Cogress- 100 Senate – 9 Supreme Court – 1 Pres/VP

    Control the selection process which puts them in position to win the
    election or the appointment, and you control the country.
    (Yes 50 governors are also a Key)

    PORTIA + JEZE + CHRIS + MAYOR + PHIN + MIKE + OTHERS

    WHAT ARE THE KEYS to PINNOCCHIO POLITICS / POLITICIANS?
    1 – Money
    2 – Blocks of votes
    3 – Controlling the competition
    4 – controlling the issues + press

    COULD THESE BE SOURCES OF MONEY?
    1 – DRUGS – DEA + ATF & E
    2 – Legalized Gambling and vice
    3 – Weapons + Munnitions
    4 – Oil / Gas / Coal – wasteful energy policies to perpetuate high prices
    5 – Government, Corporate, Private workers & companies/departments

    Buy up STOCKS of PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES and you control the
    LOBBIES, don’t you?

    Use DRUGS to build a Judcial Empire, including rehab –

    Perpetuate Wars

    Perpetuate Crimes

    Glorify + systemetize Gambling and Vice

    Does anyone else out there start to see what happened since WW II,
    was planned?

  55. 55 cstratct

    Just curious, is this what constitutes a free-market:

    Blue Cross Blue Shield (http://www.bcbs.com/about/history/)

    *39 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies
    *Among the 20 largest employers in the U.S.
    *Healthcare coverage available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and in Puerto Rico
    *Nationwide, more than 90 percent of hospitals and 80 percent of physicians contract with BCBS companies – more than any other insurer

    *Provides coverage for nearly 100 million individuals
    *Covers one of every three Americans
    *Includes 39 Plans in 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico
    *Contracts with more hospitals and physicians than any other insurer
    *Sells insurance products to all sectors in the health insurance market”

    2007
    “Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association gains approval of its application for a Federal Savings Bank charter for the Blue Healthcare Bank, allowing the bank to provide healthcare-related banking services in all 50 states.”
    (http://www.bcbs.com/about/history/2000s.html)

    Since Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group already operate in many (if not all) of the same states as BCBS, how exactly does cross-state selling enhance competition and drive down prices? Shouldn’t the “competition” have driven down prices already? And with 90% of hospitals (80% of physicians) contracting with BCBS, what other company has the resources to (seriously) compete against BCBS?

    If the goal is making healthcare affordable to most Americans (I take issue with “most”-who gets left out?) how exactly does the market, or one predicated on the current players, make that happen?

    Shouldn’t the goal be making healthcare available to all Americans? Whether it be market driven or a quasi government-market solution, shouldn’t those in need of care get care, or should it be only those that can afford to enter the market?

    After all, what is liberty or happiness if you have no life with which to pursue those other inalienable rights?

  56. 56 portia1776

    Jez,

    “not providing solutions or even clarity of the problem.” – It may be shocking to learn but all the societal problems we face (poverty, health care, unemployment, a stagflating economy) were not invented yesterday. So why do you and Chris insist on acting like Presidents Bush and Obama are the first people in all of history to have to devise solutions to these problems? Why do you refuse to discuss what principles should guide them in making these decisions? I reiterate what Malcolm X said: “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”

    And boy have we. Presidents Bush and Obama have governed exactly as you wish. They have implemented protectionist and interventionist (i.e., anti-free market, anti-free trade) and unconstitutional “solutions” that were politically expedient. The results are now in and they’re not good, as I wrote above. Maybe you missed that President Obama has “lost or not created” 7.5 million jobs, a continuation of the Bush legacy (https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/finreg/#comment-14177 ).

    “And while arguments between Hamilton and Madison are entertaining they are almost irrelevant. Hamilton nor Madison had no vision…” – Some of these things were around back then, for example they had markets, the Revolutionary War was financed on credit, a Ponzi scheme by any other name is still a Ponzi scheme, and we could learn a think or two from the extreme “lengths campaign financing would go towards swaying votes” when the 1st Amendment was interpreted literally (i.e., no campaign finance laws restricting free speech), but let me not quibble.

    The effectual truth of what you’re saying is that the Constitution is irrelevant because the Founders didn’t have computers, the Internet, cars, and REITS? Perhaps not, but what they did possess is a fundamental understanding of the unchanging quality of human nature and the form of limited government conducive to protecting individual rights. So, I ask you again, state your principles. If the Constitution is irrelevant, or means whatever you want it to say, what is the proper role of government in our society?

    “Especially when you have 400 people out of 300 MILLION that have a net worth of the entire U.S deficit of $1.4 TRILLION” – You want to reduce so-called wealth inequality? Nationalize wealth so everyone can be poorer. That has worked so well… oh, right, it never has. Perhaps that is why Cuba is gradually liberalizing its economy. Read it in the NY Times!:

    “In perhaps the clearest sign yet that economic change is gathering pace in Cuba, the government plans to lay off more than half a million people from the public sector in the expectation that they will move into private businesses, Cuba’s labor federation said Monday….

    [Dictator Raul] Castro has often pledged to make Cuba’s centralized, Soviet-style economy more efficient and open up opportunities for people. The government has handed tens of thousands of acres of state-held farmland to private farmers and begun freeing up a market for agricultural supplies. It has loosened restrictions on cellphones and other electronics, and created a few areas for private business, allowing barbers’ shops to become cooperatives and giving more licenses to private taxi drivers.

    In its statement Monday, the Cuban Workers’ Central, the country’s only recognized labor federation, openly acknowledged the nation’s troubled economy, saying that changes were ‘necessary and could not be delayed.’

    ‘Cuba faces the urgency to advance economically,’ the statement said. ‘Our state cannot and should not continue supporting companies’ and other state entities, ‘with inflated payrolls, losses that damage the economy, which are counterproductive, generate bad habits and deform the workers’ conduct,’ the labor federation added.”

    In brief, even a blood-stained, military dictator understands that collectivist and interventionist polices (the kind Presidents Bush and Obama have advanced) do not work. Of course, Raul’s late life conversion is not ideological. He is still a socialist autocrat, human rights violator, and criminal. As in Chile, hopefully this small opening to economic liberty will lead to political liberty, as well.

    “These Tea-Party ravings and objections to everything only make the discussion more difficult.” – I am not part of the “Tea Party” but am sympathetic to any American, left or right, who is willing to contribute to the marketplace of ideas. If you don’t like their free speech, why don’t you express some of your own?

    I know its hard to admit but admission is the first step to recovery. So repeat after me: Democrats are in control of the White House, Congress, and the Senate. The largest caucus in Congress is the “Progressive” caucus, whose leading member is Speaker of the House and whose other members chair many of the most important committees. A handful of people waiving flags in the center of Stratford are irrelevant to the political process. Minority Republicans in both houses are similarly irrelevant. The President has passed most of his agenda in record time.

    “His entire fortune relies on the purchases of poor people.” – Are those poor people forced to shop at Wall Mart? Do they not shop there because it is in their self-interest to do so (i.e., low prices on some products frees-up money for more productive purposes of their choosing)?

    “The goal is to have a country where everyone who wants and qualifies for a job can get one.” – Good intentions seldom translate into good policies, e.g., the stimulus promised to create millions of jobs, instead millions more capable workers lost their jobs. How do we get to that goal if we a.) refuse to discuss what principles should guide decision making and b.) refuse to take into account efficacy, particularly based on centuries of human experience?

  57. 57 portia1776

    Chris,

    “Just curious, is this what constitutes a free-market” – Here’s a clue: when you have a group of companies that control the market with the approval of government there are several names for that (oligopoly, cartel) but free-market they are not.

    Why don’t you go read the short article or watch the clip I posted previously: http://reason.com/blog/2009/12/02/reasontv-how-to-fix-health-car It explains how our current system is not a free-market, why Obamacare makes it less free, and how a real free-market in health care would actually deliver the best quality of care at an affordable price.

    “Since Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group already operate in many (if not all) of the same states as BCBS, how exactly does cross-state selling enhance competition and drive down prices? Shouldn’t the ‘competition’ have driven down prices already? And with 90% of hospitals (80% of physicians) contracting with BCBS, what other company has the resources to (seriously) compete against BCBS?” – There is no such thing as a stupid question. In that spirit: what free-market? Where do you see competition? Did you miss where Jez wrote about the BoE? The health care insurance market is run by cartels. As with any cartel, the insurance company cartel is really good at maximizing their members profits. Why couldn’t the BoE just go somewhere else for coverage? Because the one or two other companies selling insurance in CT are not going to significantly undercut their cartel partner. In a free market, they can’t collude to control prices like this because consumers would be free to go elsewhere. Barriers to new companies entry into the market would not be prohibited by government. BCBS has a monopoly on hospitals and physicians via its affiliates only because of government. Free the market, and competitors will eat away at its power.

    “If the goal is making healthcare affordable to most Americans (I take issue with ‘most’-who gets left out?) how exactly does the market, or one predicated on the current players, make that happen?” – How does the free market provide us with plentiful and affordable food? No government bureaucrat is centrally planning what supermarkets have to offer. How does the free market provide us with millions of other products, as well? How does the free market create something as complex as an Ipod or seemingly simple as the pencil ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Gppi-O3a8 )?

    I take issue with you, following President Obama, leaving out “excellent quality care.” What is the point of having socialized medicine that sucks? The goal should be reforming the health care market according to sound free-market principles to ensure that all Americans have access to excellent quality and affordable health care. No one would be left out. In fact, essentially no one is left out now. “‘Of people currently classified as uninsured, a conservative estimate says about 45 percent of them would be able to get health insurance right now if they wanted it,’ says economist Glen Whitman. That estimate comes from a study headed by a Johns Hopkins University researcher, which separates those who could get insurance into one of two categories: Those who earn enough money to buy it, and those who qualify for existing government programs (http://reason.tv/video/show/get-some ).”

    “Shouldn’t the goal be making healthcare available to all Americans?” – Are you unaware that even illegal immigrants have access to health care in this country?

    “Whether it be market driven or a quasi government-market solution,” – It’s not a question of one or the other. We currently have a quasi government-market solution and it has serious problems.

    “shouldn’t those in need of care get care, or should it be only those that can afford to enter the market?” – Again, you are great are articulating banal sounding tidbits, but fail to understand what it is you are saying. How sad…

    Just because everyone can’t afford a Rolls Royce does not mean that no one should be able to buy one or that everyone can not find suitable transportation in their price range. The same is true of health care.

    “After all, what is liberty or happiness if you have no life with which to pursue those other inalienable rights?” – The Constitution says nothing about our right to food, something essential to life. Does that mean we’re all starving to death?

  58. 58 portia1776

    Sudds,

    Why so quite all of a sudden? I think you’ve been doing a fine job arguing the specifics of why ObamaCare is an unmitigated disaster in terms of actual cost (not to mention its stifling innovation, decreasing quality, and ensuring worse medical outcomes). Now Care to weigh in on why you principally oppose government intervention in health care? What role should government play in society?

    I’m curious….

  59. 59 portia1776

    Marx (Groucho not Karl) foretold the legacies of Presidents Bush and Obama:

    “Duck Soup, released in 1933, takes place in the fictional, bankrupt country of Freedonia (‘Land of the Spree, and the Home of the Knave’). On becoming its leader, Groucho’s character, Rufus T. Firefly, literally sings what a lot of politicians do but never admit: ‘The last man nearly ruined this place. He didn’t know what to do with it. If you think this country’s bad off now, just wait ‘til I get through with it.’ A mere trifle leads Freedonia and neighboring Sylvania to go to war, a clear spoof of the insanity of World War I. In Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx, Stefan Kanfer writes that the satirical depiction of Freedonia’s government didn’t sit well with Benito Mussolini, who banned the film in Italy (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/ideas-and-consequences/confessions-of-a-secret-marxist/ ).”

    Groucho also appropriately realized that “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, diagnosing it incorrectly and then applying the wrong remedies.”

  60. 60 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Sudds,
    Why so quite all of a sudden?”

    If you REALLY want Sudds to respond you have to convince him that you are a cute blonde with large breasts that suddenly came into possession of a case of beer.

    That should do it.

  61. 61 portia1776

    Jez,

    Well, I did post that Reason Mag video a while back that featured “bikini bandits” so opposed to free trade that they were smashing iPods, a product with parts and intellectual property from more than 20 countries (see for yourself and learn “Why America shouldn’t ‘Buy American'”: http://reason.com/blog/2009/07/21/reasontv-is-your-ipod-unpatrio ). And yet Sudds didn’t reply then, either.

    I meant “quiet,” btw.

  62. 62 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “And yet Sudds didn’t reply then, either. ”

    It is possible that Sudds is away on a business trip. Someone told me the saw him putting his clubs in the trunk of his car and…..

  63. 63 sudds

    “It is possible that Sudds is away on a business trip”

    WOW… I’m touched to know that I was missed!!! Nope… weekend away with Mrs. Sudds… the woman deserves at least that for being married to me for 10 years now!!!

    “I did post that Reason Mag video a while back that featured “bikini bandits””

    Sorry, but I sorta stopped reading your posts a few weeks ago! (although, I may have to find this particular link) 😆

    “If you REALLY want Sudds to respond you have to convince him that you are a cute blonde with large breasts that suddenly came into possession of a case of beer.”

    I’m not really a breast guy… but a nice derriere on the other hand… 😛

  64. 64 1george1

    The Constitution says nothing about our right to food,
    something essential to life.
    Does that mean we’re all starving to death?

    I suspect the following infers certain things, which evolved since 1780s:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to
    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-dark-side/#comment-14265

    Really, George? Pasting the full text? What’s next, the Yellow Pages?

  65. 65 1george1

    I CHERRY PICKED SENTENCES and CLAUSES sequentially, yet out of context.

    Just because a clause in one part of the document is not in another
    part of the document, MAY NOT mean there was NOT INTENT for the
    INTREPRETATION to be broader than narrowly read, nor as used by the
    politically Appointed JUDGES, by the POLITICALLY Appointed Executive,
    and Legislative ….

    What are the first 3 Letters of the preamble
    and the final 2 Amendments of the Bill of Rights?
    and the final Section of the Body of the Constitution?

  66. 66 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “but a nice derriere on the other hand…”
    I was under the impression that everyone called you a pain in the a** for another reason.

  67. 67 1george1

    Really, George? Pasting the full text? What’s next, the Yellow Pages?

    I CHERRY PICKED SENTENCES and CLAUSES sequentially, yet out of context.

    Just because a clause in one part of the document is not in another
    part of the document, MAY NOT mean there was NOT INTENT for the
    INTREPRETATION to be broader than narrowly read,

    —-

    Sudds,
    “but a nice derriere on the other hand…”
    Jeze – I was under the impression that everyone called you a pain
    in the a** for another reason.

    George – Was it Sudds or someone else who was always posting
    about an anal cavity?

    Some people prefer dogs to missionaries?
    (BIG OPENING ALERT)

  68. 68 1george1

    I encourage readers to google Jimmy McMillan.
    See / hear > video clip of his debate sound bites.

    Tue Oct 19, 11:16 am ET
    Jimmy McMillan stands out in N.Y. governor debate
    By Rachel Rose Hartman

    If you can win a debate on buzz alone, Jimmy McMillan of the
    Rent Is Too Damn High Party
    was the undisputed victor in Monday night’s New York gubernatorial debate.

    McMillan appeared alongside six of his competitors, displaying notable
    facial hair as well as black gloves. Throughout the forum, the candidate
    rattled off soundbites that are still reverberating Tuesday.

    “Listen! Someone’s … child’s stomach just growled!
    Did you hear it?”
    he shouted in his opening statement,
    before being cut off by the moderators
    and eliciting laughter from the audience.

    You can watch a clip of his appearance here, courtesy of ABC News:


    I do not know how to find / paste LINK

    McMillan has long been a fringe fixture in New York politics, running
    for mayor of New York City in 2005 and 2009.
    During the 2005 campaign he ran under the moniker
    “Prince Jimmy McMillan (a.k.a. Papa Smurf),”
    the Village Voice reported at the time.

    In 2000 he tried to qualify to run against Hillary Clinton for Senate
    but was bounced from the ballot, the newspaper said;

    in 1994, he walked across the state in a bid for the Democratic
    gubernatorial nomination, but was kicked out of the
    state convention for heckling former Gov. Mario Cuomo.
    (MY KINDA GUY!!)

    AND he did NUTTY things

  69. 69 cstratct

    “AND he did NUTTY things”

    You think?

    “Rent Is Too Damn High Candidate Doesn’t Pay Rent”

    “Along with the comedy, however, controversy has marked McMillan’s campaign efforts over the years. He’s been accused of posting anti-Semitic rhetoric on his website that blames Jewish landlords for the lack of affordable housing in Williamsburg.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39760158

    Do you really want to hitch your wagon to that “star”?

  70. 70 1george1

    Chris,

    I knew nothing about the RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH Candidate’s past.

    I just went with the blurb related to the internet clip.

    I agree with the sentiments that many people can not afford to live.
    LISTEN!!
    DID YOU HEAR THAT?
    THAT WAS THE SOUND OF A HUNGRY CHILD’S STOMACH GROWLING!

    That is what I agreed with …. along with some of his other bytes…

    Relative to your post, one does not have to be Jewish to be a slum lord.
    As I was growing up, Jewish was once considered to be THE ALLIES to
    BLACKS and the POOR. Jewish were often the only people to invest in
    rental housing, which has associated costs (taxes, repairs, etc)

    It is a damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, since there are many
    NON JEWISH who would just as soon have many people homeless.
    (60 MINUTES last week: almost 1000 San Diego homeless military vets)
    (People in the military are badly underpaid to raise a family)

    However, NO GROUP is MONOLYTHIC.

    I believe MARX + ENGELS were JEWISH.
    I believe MARX + ENGELS both pointed out there were JEWISH among the
    HIGH CAPITALISTS. But “not all Jews” were high capitalist (wrong term)

    England had been extremely hedgemonistic, anti -semetic, anti-catholic,
    and selectively anti-protestant.
    – Masonry is secular, materialistic, & philosopical/ideological
    – Capitalism is secular, materialistic, & philosopical/ideological
    – Communism is secular, materialistic, & philosopical/ideological
    – Socialism is secular, materialistic, & philosopical/ideological

    Secular is a counter point to Judeo – Christian – Catholic – Islamic – Hindu
    – Shinto – Pantheism – Confucism – or any aboriginal religion.

    However England was politically pragmatic, and found that while they were
    able to conquor 1/4 of the world’s KEY LAND MASSES and POPULATION, they
    opened doors to any and all peoples who benefitted their agenda.
    > The British East India company conquored a subcontinent, because they
    were able to offer a counter point to those RULERS trying to stiffle trade.

    The British Royalty traces itself to William the Conqueror or BASTARD.
    The NORMANS took over ALL the British Castles.
    The NORMAN Lords spoke French until the Hundred years War.
    After 1492, in the Mid 1500s, the modern English Language was created
    and called a Germanic Language, despite influence from French / Latin
    (greek-hebrew-aramaic-others)

    The Magna Carta enabled the Barons to become like the Mafia families to
    control their own fiefdoms, foreign and domestic.

    The North american french and english colonies were given land grants to
    the royal governors.

    NYC was founded by dutch and jewish. MD was Catholic. Different FUTURE
    States had different religious or national heritage groups

    William of Orange, was simply a new variety to be able to manipulate a
    different group of masses to maintain local political control along with
    the Masons, who were the Gentry, rather than just stone contractors.

    The US Constitution forbids royal titles. Yet would the wealth of families’
    primogenitor relatives and political territorial, simply disappear?
    – Many of the primogenitor’s non-primos melded into the Gentry.
    (google: US Presidents related to British Royalty – over 1/2)

    The US Constitution was not kind to indians, women, blacks, and people
    who did not own land. In many ways it is a form of the Magna Carta with
    exclusions into entering the political society

    The British had created Knighthood and ability to create titles for any
    and all cut throats and/or intellectuals that benefitted the FAGIN like
    basis for ROYALTIES and BRIBES to the UPPER CRUST control.

    The Constitution and Amendments allowed gradual ways to expand the
    exclusions from the political control.

    My grandfather was able to create a nice bakery business and was not
    selling the WASP economy, but to those was saw signs:
    IRISH need not apply
    JEWS need not apply
    ITALIANS need not apply
    POLES need not apply
    BLACKS need not apply
    SPANISH need not apply

    Read MLK Jr mountain top spead and he pointed out BLACKS had about
    the 7th most spending power in the world. BLACK could create their own
    economy and build a political base with economics and votes, not with
    violence.

    Various groups like jewish, catholic, protestant, mason, fraternities (S & B),
    royal families, social groups, have been able to do just that and build a
    decent life selling to not just their own group, but the general public.

    Yesterday – I had 39 in box emails.
    Most were from a former coworker who is proudly jewish.
    He is extremely anti-obama / pro military
    The emails range from funny to profound,
    sexy to picturesq
    highly political to wonderfully philosophical.
    I have posted some on the blog.
    I shared a few with sylvia (rest her soul)

    While we worked together, the boss had pit us against each other.
    Mark was an SOB to me.
    However I had worked for the boss before.
    The boss told me stuff about Mark, who was an excellent worker/salesman.

    When the boss double crossed Mark and cheated him on Commissions,
    I sided with Mark.
    As expected, the boss double crossed meand cheated me on Commissions,
    but wound up paying Mark a couple grand and me something less from the
    Labor Department, because I did and said the truth and the “right thing.”

    Based on some stuff that happened to me, I could have become antisemetic.

    However I recognize there are good and bad in each person and among
    every group. And I also recognized puppet masters manipulate people.

    So Chris … I knew nothing about the man’s anti-semetic past.
    Maybe he had legitimate reasons for feelings about certain people and
    not others, and could not recognize, nor articulate differnciation?

    Please do not parse my words and sentences, because simply criticizing
    someone who happens to be jewish, does not make one anti jewish.

    NOTE: Latin the word “SE” means self.
    MITE in English …. you get the point.

    NOTE: Spell NY TIME backwards use the word: The Times
    Magically thE TIMES
    becomes
    S E M I T E h t

    NOTE: see LEVI + ZION in … television > te LEVI ZION

    NOTE: see RA DEUS in Radio

    Associative psychology:

    There are many examples. both good and bad. both jewish and non jewish

  71. 71 cstratct

    Take a breath George.

    You started off your earlier post with this: “I encourage readers to google Jimmy McMillan.” You also called him “(MY KINDA GUY!!)” for heckling Cuomo at the 1994 convention.

    What I presented is some of what has surfaced with regard to this individual. That’s all. I’m not equating you with him or saying you agree with him. That’s for you to decide.

  72. 72 1george1

    Chris,

    when I wrote to google jimmy mcmillian, it was because I do not
    know how to create a LINK to the VIDEO CLIP on YAHOO.

    I did not google jimmy mcmillian, for other stuff.

    I placed a disclaimer that he did nutty stuff.

    The people who harrassed be were purportedly working with / for
    one Jerry Finkelstein, who strongly suggested in a MAHATTAN INC
    article that he replaced Carmine DeSapio as head of TAMMANY HALL.

    He claimed to be a FIXER with LINKS to NELSON ROCKEFELLER, MARIO
    CUOMO, RFK, and a ton of others.

    One son is Andrew Stein, who was head of NYC CITY COUNCIL and was
    using the exact same tactics MARIO CUOMO’S son is using to get elected
    governor, by “outing” some bad politicians. (a good thing)

    However, they just move out people ready to retire and move them to
    something better (Spitzer is making more money in TV than as governor)

    Mario Cuomo’s grandfather was Mafia.

    The Jerry Finkelstein article described him as a Damon Runyon like
    character, who lived on the edge of the underworld and manipulated
    Judicial Appointments, U. S. Attorney appointments, States’ attorneys,
    various LAW FIRMS, and had dealings with HOLLYWOOD and MAFIA.

    There was a very strong LINK to the 1987 Movie Wall Street, which I saw
    2 weeks before the October 1987 Stock Market crash, which was massive
    INSIDER TRADING and the first shoe to the SEPT 2008 Crash, relative to
    the massive transfer of USA wealth to OIL / WAR / other INSIDERS.

    Chris – there are things I know and experienced, that you do not know
    and would not likely believe.

    I know what I meant and it was strickly related to sound bytes of a
    character, who captured a moment and some truisms in a couple
    (not all) of his sound bytes in the debates.

    I doubt if anyone agrees with anyone’s entire philosophy?
    I suspect portia, you and others can separate and position him/herself
    from some of the people which he/she/you quotes.

    What I presented is some of what has surfaced with regard to these individuals.

    That’s all.

    I’m not equating you with them or saying you agree with them.

    That’s for you to decide.

  73. 73 1george1

    The stuff related to DICK / JIM Miron, Ganim / Rowland,
    and others are extremely analogous to the FIXER type of
    political cleansing:

    Jailing or catching people on misdemeanors.

    Letting them get away with massive and numerous felonies and
    / or treason.

  74. 74 1george1

    Observation and compliment – not insult to Chris

    Many people read different things into what I write.
    OK with me. I want people to think.

    Chris is articulate to express his differing opinions,
    sometimes in a way that causes people to react
    differently than the way something was intended.

    I like it / independent thinkers.
    I can identify with the willingness to challenge what
    was writen.

    I was really into sports, when I was younger.
    Chris has caught me on two errors in my sports post.
    A) He paid attention.
    B) He knew I was wrong.

    I never claimed infallibility.
    I am sure chris, jeze, mayor, phin, mike r, bollicks, kane, cyclops,
    or many other would not claim to be perfect or never wrong ….
    Well …. maybe Sudds or Portia …. 😉 (teasing)

    Here is sports trivia on NY Jets (names spelling may have errors)
    Remarkable collection of 16 former # 1 draft picks
    8 Offense – 8 Defense – Maybe pick up Merriman in near future release?

    OFFENSE
    RB – L TOMLINSON – CHARGERS
    QB – M SANCHEZ
    WR – B EDWARDS – BROWNS
    WR – S HOLMES
    TE – D KELLER
    OLT – D FURGUSON
    C – N MANGOLD
    ORT – D WOODY – PATS

    DEFENSE
    CB – D REVIS
    CB – K WILSON
    CB – A CROMARTIE – CHARGERS
    LB – C PACE – AZ
    LB – B THOMAS
    DE – S ELLIS
    DE – V GHOLSTON
    DE – T PRYCE – BALT

    Other # 1s past

    QB J NAMATH – HALL FAME
    RB J RIGGINS – HALL FAME
    WR J BARKUM
    WR A TOON
    OT MARVIN POWELL
    OT C WARD
    WR J JONES
    RB F MCNEIL
    QB K O’BRIEN
    TE J MITCHELL
    LB M JONES
    CB A GLENN
    TE K BRADY
    TE A BRECHT
    DE H DOUGLAS
    WR K JOHNSON
    DT D ROBERTSON
    WR S MOSS – REDSKIN Starter
    QB C PENNINGTON – NFL career pass % leader
    LB J ABRAHAM – FALCONS ALL PRO
    LB J FARRIOR – STEELERS ALL PRO
    LB J VILMA – SAINTS ALL PRO

    I was a JETS fan – I simply follow area teams.
    I was a Tony Dungy BUCS fan = best pirate boat in NFL

  75. 75 cstratct

    In an homage to Sudds, as things stand now I’m only right when my wife tells me I’m right! 🙂

  76. 76 sudds

    “In an homage to Sudds”

    Awwww… thanks buddy!!!

    PS… you are becoming a wise man young grasshopper!!! 😛

  77. 77 1george1

    My married friends tell me the secret to a happy marriage is 2 words:

    “YES DEAR.”

    The other day I spoke to an 80 year old retired REAL ESTATE AGENT,
    whose 2,000 sq ft home is in Lordship.

    Her taxes went up 35 %.

    From $ 26,000 to $ 35,000 ranges

    Neighbors went up 40 %.

    How is it some houses on Victoria Lawn went down
    or only went up a little?

    Jeze you live in Lordship.

    Are you one of the politically connected?

  78. 78 jezebel282

    George,

    “Jeze you live in Lordship.
    Are you one of the politically connected?”

    Me?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  79. 79 1george1

    Jeze
    I thought you would get a kick out of my post.

    You are plagarizing sudd’s only good line?
    HAHAHA…. 😉

    Interesting?
    > the police named (outted) bollicks, but not you?

    > doug o’meara “happened to choose” esq john williams,
    whose surrogate in my case vs. mossman was soooo good
    I had to try to go PRO SE.

    Many of the fire men / police strained relationships turned
    out to be pretextual.

    However, one n e v e r knows, and it is difficult to separate
    fact from fiction or the wheat from the chaff?

  80. 80 jezebel282

    George,

    “the police named (outted) bollicks, but not you?”

    The police? Hardly. It is only Loschiavo and Buturla. Contrary to their belief they are not police.

    They also named Officer Fressola too. Interesting how they attack anyone with an opinion. As far as me…beats me. No one, absolutely no one in any sort of official capacity has ever contacted me in any way about anything.

  81. 81 1george1

    It is only Loschiavo and Buturla.
    Contrary to their belief they are not police.

    SOME BODY has THEIR BACKS!!!
    Lot of stuff goin on that is not right ….

    It appears that Mayor Harkins has a better

    relationship with Mirons / Burturlas / Collier / Kelly

    than McNeil, O’Meara, Soto, Farmer, and Fressola?

  82. 82 jezebel282

    Portia,

    Given my OCD nature, I thought I would move this discussion here.

    I had honestly thought we had dealt with these issues before, but….

    “1.) Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs)….
    I dunno, you want an HSA? Call any CT insurance company they’ll be glad to hook you up.
    2.) Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits….
    Umm…they do. Congress just passed and Obama just signed the Small Business Act (over GOP objections) making healthcare deductible for small business owners and their families.
    3.) Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines….
    So that, like banks, insurance companies can move “operations” to States with little or no regulations or interest rate limits?
    4.)  Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover….
    Sure, if only insurance companies would cover those things themselves.
    5.) Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year…. [I’m not a fan of this one. The threat of law suits acts as a free-market check on service providers to do their jobs. There should, therefore, be no cap on damages. Should there be more protections against John Edwards-style ambulance chasers? Probably. But that is another issue].
    I agree with your comment in parenthesis. How else would an ambulance chasing lawyer like Miron make a living?
    6.) Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost….
    Agreed. Individuals have no idea what they are paying for now.
    7.) Enact Medicare reform…that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility [i.e., and as I’ve previously written: abolish it for those no where near retirement age. Continue to provide coverage as well as provide buyout options for current recipients. The same should be done with Social Security.].
    You fail to consider who gets Medicare coverage. If you are (well over) 65, you are in the highest liability group to begin with. There is no for profit enterprise that would touch you with a 10 or 11″ pole.
    8.) Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by [existing government programs]
    Agreed. But it sounds like government interference to me. 😉

    It remains that while your points may be successful in providing healthcare to affluent Americans and ensuring profits for Health Insurance companies, it does little to provide adequate healthcare to those least able to afford it. Even your last point only considers allowing for a voluntary deduction rather than a more effective tax credit.

  83. 83 phineast

    Jez- regarding number 5- the constant threat of “lawsuits” are what leads to over testing, over treatment and delayed treatment much of the time. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of CMA medicine-(cover my a..) doctors should be allowed to practice good medicine. Here is a reform that should go into place- attorney’s shouldn’t get compensated for healthcare lawsuits…..THEY should be mandated to provide it as a free service. Ok…we will let them declare 10% of their time as a deduction. If you take the attorney’s cash cow off the farm they won’t be so quick to take every frivolous case that walks through the door and only take the legit ones which should help with the malpractice rates, and reduce the over testing and delayed treatment time while still providing a watch dog over the medical profession.
    Added bonus? It would put ambulance chasers out of that line of work and force them to get a real job instead of being bloodsucking leeches. They are the crux of why health care is in such a mess. My opinion.

  84. 84 jezebel282

    Phin,

    “It would put ambulance chasers out of that line of work and force them to get a real job instead of being bloodsucking leeches.”

    I agree. But then they might become mayors or attempt to be State Senators.

    Your point, however, is well taken. Defensive medicine is extremely costly and has not been proven to eliminate mistakes. Any stay in a hospital would demonstrate that. Simple record sharing under HIPPA law is a dangerous legal balancing act. Sometimes you can’t even access your own records without a lawsuit.

    An acquaintance recently switched family doctors. The former doctor wanted to charge $0.45 per PAGE for a copy of 10+ years of medical records. The reason? Someday in the next 7 years this doctor might need the records to defend himself against a lawsuit that might never come. So this patient had to pay to provide this doctor with enough paper to cover his butt. Never mind the records wouldn’t exist at all without the patient which he billed for every visit. Outrageous.

  85. 85 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I had honestly thought we had dealt with these issues before” – Sort of. You were generally favorable towards this Whole Foods plan last time. I don’t think you ever got around to reading the Atlantic article (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/7617/), which, as stated then, you would probably like even more. I offered these points again to show that there are a number of good proposals that not only were excluded from Obamacare, they weren’t even considered.

    “Call any CT insurance company they’ll be glad to hook you up.” – How did that work out for the Board of Ed?

    “Umm…they do.” – The article was written months ago. Moreover, individuals are still not on an equal footing with businesses. Case in point: McDonald’s and other large corporations were just excused from requirements of ObamaCare by the administration.

    “So that, like banks, insurance companies can move ‘operations’ to States with little or no regulations” – The issue is breaking-up the insurance company state-wide monopolies and cartels. Their are two ways of accomplishing this. One option, ObamaCare, is to destroy the private market and effectively turn the remaining insurance providers into public utilities. The other option is to remove legal barriers that serve to protect corporate interests, exposing insurance companies to the sunshine of free-market competition. You pick…

    “Sure, if only insurance companies would cover those things themselves.” – Yeah right. The only way to ensure insurance companies cover those things is by empowering consumers in a free-market. In the collectivist, government-run alternative, political pressure is required to get government to cover those little things like life-saving medications.

    “I agree with your comment in parenthesis. How else would an ambulance chasing lawyer like Miron make a living?” – Miron, by his own admission, is a DUI-chaser.

    “Agreed. Individuals have no idea what they are paying for now.” – And why should they care when someone else is supposedly footing the bill? If you’re paying for Lasik out of pocket then you have an incentive to look for high quality at the lowest cost.

    “You fail to consider who gets Medicare coverage. If you are (well over) 65, you are in the highest liability group to begin with. There is no for profit enterprise that would touch you with a 10 or 11″ pole.” – Not too many life insurance companies provide affordable coverage for octogenarians, either. If you purchase when young and healthy, however, your coverage can last for a lifetime. Spreading the risk over such a long time frame would, as in life insurance, prove cost effective for providers.

    “Agreed. But it sounds like government interference to me. ;-)” LOL. You’re probably right. What if I want to give to some other worthy cause? We shouldn’t be fixing one problem (health insurance) by compound another (the byzantine tax code).

    “It remains that while your points may be successful in providing healthcare to affluent Americans and ensuring profits for Health Insurance companies, it does little to provide adequate healthcare to those least able to afford it.” – There are a few problems with this premise: you assume that ObamaCare will provide adequate health care to those least able to afford it. You gloss over that Medicare and Medicaid, which were supposed to do just that, has failed to do so. Moreover, you assume that the only purpose of health care reform should be providing for the least fortunate.

    My premise is dramatically different. I want to free and empower individual health care consumers to control their own destinies. The free-market policies outlined here and elsewhere would benefit everyone by sparking innovation, creating transparency, applying market pressures to bring down insurance premium costs as well as increase health care quality and outcomes (notice something President Obama almost never mentions; I wonder why). How you construe this to mean “ensuring profits for Health Insurance companies” or benefiting only “affluent Americans” is hard to fathom. A cursory look at who health insurance companies give campaign contributions to will show the error of your ways.

    Taking the President at his word, about 30 million American are uninsured. Does this mean that they do not have access to health care, no. Does this mean that their health will be negatively impacted, no (according to numerous studies). Does this mean they are too disadvantaged to afford insurance, no (studies show that millions already qualify for government programs but have not signed-up, others just don’t want insurance, and still others are wealthy and self-insure). In any case, 30 million Americans works out to about 10% of the population. So why would you pass a bill that interferes with the health insurance and quality of care that 90% of Americans are receiving, and generally approve of?

    As Peter Suderman noted above, Obamacare fails on all seven of its largest promises:

    “1. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
    2. It will put Medicare on better fiscal footing.
    3. It will cost around $900 billion.
    4. It won’t cut Medicare benefits.
    5. It will be paid for ‘mostly’ by shifting around money that we’re already spending.
    6. It will give consumers more access and greater choice.
    7. It will bring down the price of insurance.”

    The ball is in your court, as George said, to provide specifics. Or you can defend the alternative that happens to now be the law, Obamacare.

  86. 86 cstratct

    “A cursory look at who health insurance companies give campaign contributions to will show the error of your ways.” Let’s take a look:

    Health Services/HMOs since the 2000 election cycle:

    2000 – $8,577,154 – 60% (R) 40% (D)
    2002 – $8,232,435 – 67% (R) 33% (D)
    2004 – $7,898,689 – 58% (R) 42% (D)
    2006 – $8,300,359 – 61% (R) 39% (D)
    2008 – $14,392,639 – 39% (R) 61% (D)
    2010 – $9,447,515 – 41% (R) 59% (D)

    (Courtesy of opensecrets.org-http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/contrib.php?ind=H03&cycle=2010)

    Cumulative total since 2000: $56,848,791
    Republicans – $29,793,093 (52%)
    Democrats – $27,055,698 (48%)

    Perhaps you were referring to specific individuals instead of party. That information is available as well, but suffice it to say, the industry knows how to hedge it bets.

    Now, what innovation (besides stem cell research limitations erroneously based mostly on religious objections) is it exactly that is being stifled? Research and trials are occurring, and unless you’re talking about rushing drugs to market before the possible complications are known, what innovation are we missing out on? New models of paying for health insurance? People can choose from a variety of HSAs, MSAs, Cafeteria Plans, HMO’s, PPOs, HDHPs, etc. And I’m probably just scratching the surface.

    As for preventing insurance companies from competing across state lines, Blue Cross Blue Shield has coverage in all 50 states. Aetna provides benefits in all 50 states. Cigna operates around the world. Humana markets in all 50 states. UnitedHealth Group operates nationwide. These are just a few of the largest companies. Should BCBS of CT be competing against BCBS of PA?

    From Mother Jones “Health Insurance Across State Lines”:

    “The basic problem with this proposal, of course, is pretty simple. If you allow health insurance policies to be sold across state lines, states would start competing for insurance industry business by writing ever friendlier regulations. Eventually some small state will win this contest with an absurdly lax regulatory regime, and every insurance company in America will set up shop there. Essentially, the entire country would be forced to accept whatever pro-industry rules that, say, Wyoming decides to write for the rest of us. Do the citizens of all the other states really want to cede that power to Wyoming?

    As for car insurance, if you want to sell auto policies in California, you have to abide by California laws. Ditto for the other 49 states, regardless of where your company is actually located. So the comparison is bogus. Every state does have its own auto insurance regulations, just as they do in the health insurance arena.”

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/02/health-insurance-across-state-lines

    I suppose one option would be to have the federal government write the regulations . . .wait, no it’s not in the Constitution. Well, maybe it is in the Commerce Clause, but now we’ll argue about the interpretation of the clause and how the “progressives” have abandoned the Founder’s intent of the clause.

    If this is a state-regulated issue, then the competition is already in place because multiple companies are already operating in each state. If it is to be federally-regulated, then there is no need for “a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated” such as BCBS.

    To be clear Portia, this is NOT an attack. This is a counter-argument to some of the ideas that have become talking points that lack substance.

  87. 87 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I don’t think you ever got around to reading the Atlantic article”
    Actually, I did. In the past year I have become very familiar with healthcare around here. Everyone has their own experience. Luckily, mine have been pretty good. I haven’t had a single problem with Medicare, Tricare (yet another government run health care plan) and even Title 19.

    “How did that work out for the Board of Ed? ”
    I think it worked out much better for the broker. The plan itself is an expensive PITA. HSA’s are not all they are cracked up to be. But as you say, the contribution is tax deductible….if you live until April 15th.

    “Case in point: McDonald’s and other large corporations were just excused from requirements of ObamaCare by the administration.”
    Would you like a Congressman with that?

    “The issue is breaking-up the insurance company state-wide monopolies and cartels.”
    No. The issue is what I stated. Moving to States with little or no regulations. And then selling “coverage” everywhere.

    “The only way to ensure insurance companies cover those things is by empowering consumers in a free-market.”
    Or by law.

    “Miron, by his own admission, is a DUI-chaser.”
    Trust me, he’ll chase an ambulance too. He would just have to get someone to explain the complaint to him. Then he’ll subpoena everyone within a 20 mile radius of the incident and file useless motions to increase his billable hours.

    “And why should they care when someone else is supposedly footing the bill?”
    It is not an accident that insurance companies keep patients in the dark.

    “You gloss over that Medicare and Medicaid, which were supposed to do just that, has failed to do so.”
    Once again. Everyone has their own experience. In my capacity as POA, I have had no problems at all and have used it extensively. In fact, they have been lifesaving. I would even go so far as to say caring and compassionate.

    “A cursory look at who health insurance companies give campaign contributions to will show the error of your ways.”
    I’m not sure if we are disagreeing or agreeing here. I see no efficiencies or innovations in the insurance industry. I only see benefit to shareholders. Which is their primary mission. No problem. We could just as easily argue about the Pharma industry and how poorly they serve us. ( I hope you weren’t a GSK shareholder yesterday).

    “So why would you pass a bill that interferes with the health insurance and quality of care that 90% of Americans are receiving, and generally approve of?”
    Really? 90% of Americans approve their rates and the way their insurer works?

  88. 88 1george1

    2.) Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits….

    Umm…they do. Congress just passed and Obama just signed the Small
    Business Act (over GOP objections) making healthcare deductible for
    small business owners and their families.

    I LEARNED SUMPTIN from JEZE.

    —-

    3.) Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from
    competing across state lines….

    So that, like banks, insurance companies can move “operations” to
    States with little or no regulations or interest rate limits?

    GREAT POINT!
    I NEVER CONSIDERED in State = State Control
    multiple States = Federal Jurisdiction
    ACTUALLY States and Feds both can have Jurisdiction

    —-

    6.) Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what
    health-care treatments cost….

    Agreed. Individuals have no idea what they are paying for now.

    However, when the animals control the FARM, and the BARNYARD
    information is also controlled, transparency means what they want
    it to be.

    —-

    8.) Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make
    a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people
    who have no insurance and aren’t covered by
    [existing government programs]

    Agreed. But it sounds like government interference to me. 😉

    TOUCHE’

    I do believe the PORTIA would agree government does have roles
    to play……
    However, PORTIA “appears” to massively mistrust GOVERNMENT.
    However, PORTIA “appears” to massively overtrust the MARKET.
    However, PORTIA “appears” to understand both have corruption
    and competency issues.

    —-

    It remains that while your points may be successful in providing
    healthcare to affluent Americans and ensuring profits for Health
    Insurance companies, it does little to provide adequate healthcare
    to those least able to afford it. Even your last point only considers
    allowing for a voluntary deduction rather than a more effective
    tax credit.

    I KINDA SAID THE SAME THING. 😉

  89. 89 1george1

    EXCELLENT POSTS by
    JEZE, PORTIA, CHRIS, PHIN.

    My post directly above, only addressed JEZE’S counterpoints to PORTIA.

    I choose not to comment on the others, except they are excellent
    (and intereting) posts, as noted.

  90. 90 portia1776

    Chris,

    I thank you for posting statistics confirming what I have been saying all along about regulatory capture.

    Curious, don’t you think, how the health insurance industry manages to give a lopsided amount to the party in power?

    Two more curiosities: 1.) Obama received “more than the combined haul of every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan left office” in contributions from the health insurance industry, according to Tim Carney based on Center for Responsive Politics numbers. 2.) When it looked like Scott Brown may impede Obamacare (he didn’t), “an army of lobbyists for drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospitals” stepped forward to raise big bucks for Matha Coakley (see: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Coakley-in-trouble-Pharma-and-HMO-lobbyists-to-the-rescue-81067542.html#ixzz13d21qMWY ).

    The question you need to ask yourself is if ObamaCare is really good for consumers than why have so many entrenched special interests given so much to support (and now protect) its passage, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars?

    “Now, what innovation (besides stem cell research limitations erroneously based mostly on religious objections) is it exactly that is being stifled?… what innovation are we missing out on?”- Have you ever needed to take penicillin or aspirin, or derivatives of either? If the FDA had been around when those drugs were invented, neither would have been allowed onto the market. Tens of millions would have died as a result.

    Unfortunately, this is not just a problem of hindsight. Life-saving drugs and beneficial treatments are regularly delayed and denied by government bureaucrats, even to those who need them most.

    For example: Abigail Burroughs, a University of Virgina student, who died at age 21, after being denied access by the FDA to an experimental drug. Her John Hopkins University oncologist wanted to give it to her, based on promising preliminary trials and the fact that time for Abigail was running out. The drug has since won approval and is now part of standard care, but obviously too late for Abigail.

    As her father and the founder of the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs, Frank Burroughs, has said: “Every drug for cancer and other serious life-threatening illnesses that the Abigail Alliance has pushed for earlier access to in our eight-year history is now approved by the FDA! There is not one drug that we pushed for earlier access to that did not make it through the clinical trial process. Many lives could have been saved or extended, if there had been earlier access to these drugs!”

    In 2007, two of the Alliance’s board members took stock of the drugs the organization had sought to give sick patients earlier access to: “In sum, these 12 drugs — had they been available to people denied entry to clinical trials — might have helped more than one million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters live longer, better lives.”

    See: abigail-alliance.org

    Two more examples: “[Bruce] Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration would not allow it. One [FDA] bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower’s outraged response was: ‘Side effects—who cares? Every treatment I’ve had I’ve suffered from side effects. If I’m terminal, it should be my option to endure any side effects.’

    Dr. Alan Chow invented a retinal implant that helps some blind people see (optobionics.com). Demonstrating that took seven years and cost $50 million dollars of FDA-approved tests. But now the FDA wants still more tests. That third stage will take another three years and cost $100 million. But Chow doesn’t have $100 million. He can’t raise the money from investors because the implant only helps some blind people. Potential investors fear there are too few customers to justify their $100 million risk.

    So Stephen Lonegan, who has a degenerative eye disease that might be helped by the implant, can’t have it. Instead, he will go blind. The [FDA] bureaucrats say their restrictions are for his own safety. ‘There’s nothing safe about going blind,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow to make the decision myself (http://reason.com/archives/2010/02/25/whose-body-is-it ).’”

    The principle at stake in all these cases is what is the proper role of government in society. Or, as John Stossel asks: “Who owns you, and who should control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you can’t decide what medicines you will take?”

    “Should BCBS of CT be competing against BCBS of PA?” – Yes and anyone who wants to enter the market should be able to do so. Can they now? No. The fact that Aetna operates in all 50 states is meaningless when within those states the insurance market is cartelized. Why are you so determined to defined the health insurance cartels?

    I would be justified at this point to say you’re sounding an awful lot like a health insurance company shill but will refrain from doing so; your anti-free market arguments ably show whose side you are on in the debate between Big Business and individual consumers. How sad.

    “From Mother Jones ‘Health Insurance Across State Lines’ – Ha! You argue that there is “competition” and then refute yourself with this anti-choice article. Thanks for saving me the time!

    The article, btw, is hilarious because it is also self-refuting. After making a convoluted argument that, somehow, Wyoming or some other small state’s “absurdly lax regulatory regime” would set health insurance standards for the nation, it contradicts itself by noting how car insurance, which is sold across state lines, must comply with California and individual state regulations “regardless of where your company is actually located.” In other words, one state can’t set policy for all the others.

    If anything, California’s regulatory policies (e.g., pollution) have impacted many other states, regardless of the laxity of their regulatory policies.

    “I suppose one option would be to have the federal government write the regulations . . .wait, no it’s not in the Constitution.” – We have state governments for a reason. The closer power is to the people, the more responsive government is (Power to the People is the right idea).

    Additionally, the Founders wanted states to be free to try out new policies; to be laboratories for new ideas. If one State develops a good policy, other states would be smart in also adopting it. If one State develops a bad policy, other states would be smart to not follow in the same path. That was the evolutionary thought, anyway.

    And, yes, mandating everyone be forced to buy inferior health insurance is not in the Constitution. As for the Commerce Clause, what is so confusing about Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce… among the several States”?

    “competition is already in place because multiple companies are already operating in each state.” – Huh? First you argue there is “competition.” Then you say there isn’t. Now you say there is. All in the same post! How can you not grasp the elementary concept that competition alone does not make a free-market? Instead of querying me with the same confusion over and over again, why don’t you just do your own homework. Here, I’ll even provide a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market

    “To be clear Portia, this is NOT an attack. This is a counter-argument…” – I agree this is not an attack. This is not even a counter-argument. It’s more of a muddle.

  91. 91 portia1776

    George,

    “I do believe the PORTIA would agree government does have roles
    to play……” – Yes, I do, as stated many times before, provided the roles are constitutional. We agree on this, I believe.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to massively mistrust GOVERNMENT.” – Given the recent track record, who does? In general, though, I think a health distrust of those entrusted without sacred liberties and power over our very lives is natural and a great part of the American tradition.

    Even now there are some bright spots. I previously pointed out that I’m very supportive of President Obama’s excellent appointment to head FEMA, Craig Fugate. He is a civil servant in the best sense of the term (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/in-case-of-emergency/7604/ ).

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to massively overtrust the MARKET.” – Whether or not I trust the market is irrelevant. It is a reality. The laws of economics are no more revocable by government than the laws of physics. Any policy that denies this reality is destined to fail. My trust, or “overtrust,” is always in favor of individual civil and economic liberty. People may buy things I think are imprudent or say things that I vehemently disagree with, but I will never fail to stand up for their rights.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to understand both have corruption and competency issues.” – Agreed.

  92. 92 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I think a health distrust of those entrusted without sacred liberties and power over our very lives is natural and a great part of the American tradition.”

    Precisely! By the way, were you the guy with the joint standing next to me in RFK stadium back in 1971 when Mitchell arrested 10,000 of us for not liking Nixon?

    Sadly, those that we have grown to trust (the government, the media, our own doctors and corporations) have abandoned us. We are left with little tiny spaces that exist without profit (Like this site…sigh.) to be able to express our opinions without the influence of money or retribution.

  93. 93 1george1

    What I tried to do was to seek PORTIA to clarify positions related
    to trust / mistrust of government / business / alternatives , in part
    so I and others could BETTER UNDERSTAND PORTIA perspectives.

    My post was partially rhettorical, and I believed I understood where
    PORTIA would respond.

    Another reason was to get PORTIA to think about how PORTIA posts
    are perceived.

    PORTIA responded succinctly and clearly.

    Jeze, replied effectually agreeing with the theme and threw in the ususal
    wisecrack (which I often do as well)

    The prior PORTIA post had good insights and thought provoking points.

    PORTIA did not have to throw in MUDDLE and SMUGNESS related to not
    feeling Chris’s argument was STRONG in PORTIA’S perception, in my
    opinion.

    I think it is evident that Chris is trying to “play nice.”

    I believe PORTIA is capable of “playing nicer” to argue facts, circumstance,
    and opinions towards excellent arguments which educate readers.

    PORTIA’s comments are causing PORTIA losses in the likeability column
    and I believe are causing CHRIS to gain in that area by readers.
    The majority of readers do not post.
    Several readers have identified themselves to me and have given quiet
    feed back over the last couple years.

    PORTIA can have SUPERIOR:
    FACTS, CIRCUMSTANCES, VOCABULARY, WRITING STYLE, ARGUMENT,
    PRECEDENTS, APPROPRIATE supporting DOCUMENTS, and then lose
    the desired objective – because of the LIKE ABILITY FACTOR.

    If you have the LAW on your SIDE – pound the LAW
    If you have FACTS on your SIDE – pound the FACTS
    If you have LAW and FACT on your SIDE – pound the LAW and FACTS
    If you do NOT have LAW and FACT on your SIDE – pound the TABLE!
    (Nikita Krushchev @ the UN)

    PORTIA show be preponderantly capable of using FACTS, CIRCUMSTANCES,
    and LAW, without having to pound the other person’s presentation?

    PORTIA is capable of using STYLE and SUBSTANCE.

    CHRIS has been the closest one to trying to do that, and I believe has
    doe so more frequently than others, in my opinion.

    I have reduced the length of most of my posts, due to seeing PORTIA’S
    long posts, could not be responded to properly.
    PORTIA reduced post length too.

    JEZE has gone from INSANE anti-Miron MANIA, to many excellent, sharp,
    intelligent and informative posts.

    CHRIS is capable with arguing with both PORTIA and JEZE.

    PHIN and MAYOR 2013 chime in with less frequent posts, but usually with
    substance.

    KANE and CYCLOPS had inside information that were usually correct.

    SUDDS prefers to “just wise crack” instead of putting up intellectual
    opinions of substance.

    RON posts very short / repeatedly, with occasional real g e m s!
    Often I feel Ron is almost portraying himself as party loyalist who wants
    back on the RTC.

    Mike R vastly improved since original posts. Mike might play hookey on
    the golf course today?

    I miss FAHAN (pearly whites) ON TARGET, FOS (super-pretentious).

    Would love to have more Dave Mooney, Laura D, and Dem posts, but they
    choose either not to debate or ……?

    I loved it when Jimmy M would post. He stirred the pot.
    If it were not for the invective inspired (and deserved too often)

    I miss Phyllis, Star, and off course SYL.

    I am sure I missed some ..

  94. 94 ronmoreau

    George,

    ” RON posts very short / repeatedly, with occasional real g e m s!
    Often I feel Ron is almost portraying himself as party loyalist who wants
    back on the RTC.”

    I simply feel that the Stratford Democratic party leadership (for the last 20 years) has had nothing to offer Stratford.

  95. 95 1george1

    Ron,

    I agree with your feeling about the town DTC.

    However, I feel the RTC has done far more damage and has controlled
    the Town Council and BoE appointments which for the last 24 years
    have in my opinion robbed and beggared Stratford intenionally to force
    changes they desire, while bribing virtually everyone and using tax payer
    assets to effectively build their businesses.

  96. 96 ronmoreau

    George,

    “…RTC … has controlled
    the Town Council and BoE appointments which for the last 24 years.

    I appears to me that the Stratford electorate has agreed with my assessment of the Stratford Democatic party leadership.

  97. 97 sudds

    “SUDDS prefers to “just wise crack” instead of putting up intellectual
    opinions of substance.”

    WOW… that hurts Georgie-boy!!! 😦

    Have you not been paying attention to my numerous posts about the Shakespeare Theatre??? If people had listened to me 18+ months ago we’d probably be going to enjoy a show there tonight!!!

    Although… if anyone would like to go to the Shakespeare Theatre tonight… you can check out our new SUNDIAL!!! (woo-frickin-hoo)

  98. 98 sudds

    Ron,

    “I simply feel that the Stratford Democratic party leadership (for the last 20 years) has had nothing to offer Stratford.”

    Not for nothing, BUT… our taxes have gone up OVER 20% in the last 5-6 years.

    Can you please remind the group which party was in charge of the Council that approved those budgets/increases????

  99. 99 cstratct

    “Have you ever needed to take penicillin or aspirin, or derivatives of either? If the FDA had been around when those drugs were invented, neither would have been allowed onto the market. Tens of millions would have died as a result.”

    Now who doesn’t know history?

    The FDA was formed in 1906. “The discovery of penicillin is attributed to Scottish scientist and Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming in 1928.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penicillin) So the FDA appeared 20 years before the drug was first discovered (at least by some accounts), and most of the derivatives of that discovery are attributed to other countries. To save you the trouble, I know, this was during the Teddy Roosevelt Republican Progressive movement. But the fact remains that penicillin was discovered after the FDA was created. There is no evidence to indicate that the FDA had any hand in delaying penicillin from reaching the market.

    “You argue that there is “competition” and then refute yourself with this anti-choice article.”

    Perhaps you don’t recognize the absurdity of your “competition across state lines” argument. I’ll try to spell it out clearly for you: Within states there is already competition. Numerous insurance companies already compete with one another within states. The primary reason insurance companies would like people to believe the “selling insurance across state lines” argument is because the subsidiaries of these companies (like the “national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated” entities that comprise BCBS) must currently operate independently based on the laws of each state (local control). So exactly how do you “Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines” without abdicating state power to regulate the industry within each state? What this will do is allow BCBS to consolidate those 39 entities and allow the company to provide fewer options so as to streamline operations and maximize profit. Now I’m not arguing profit maximization is bad, but it would seem that the primary way to achieve that goal is to streamline options as much as possible so as not to support so many products. It doesn’t do anything to increase competition, since the competition within the states already exists.

    The point being made in the Mother Jones article is that the argument about selling across state lines is really a red herring. Selling across state lines doesn’t mean anything because these companies are already operating in all states. They just have to have independent entities to do so because the states are in charge of regulating the industry. Now if you’re arguing for greater federal involvement that’s another issue. Who is going to make whatever regulations are necessary for the industry if the states don’t do it and you don’t want the federal government involved? What regulations do you find appropriate? Who should be in charge of setting those regulations?

  100. 100 1george1

    Sudds,

    You have posted of your degree, yet where have your substantive
    suggestions been, relating to stratford issues or usa issues?

    Do you conceed that PORTIA, CHRIS, JEZE, PHIN, M2013 can argue
    better than you are capable of arguing?

    Do you conceed that PORTIA, CHRIS, JEZE, PHIN, M2013 can cite
    problems or propose solution SUPERIOR to your capabilities?

    Your YALE concept is not without merit and consideration.

    Personally, I prefer a taxable “for profit” entity to handle Shakespeare.

    Knock Catalano’s ideas, but at least he has worked towards getting
    the Theater open, and has passionately and coherently explained
    his ideas to have specific plans in place, with reasonable costs and
    relatively expeditious timetable.

    The TIME-x sundial is symbolic in a couple ways.

    1 – There is a CORPORATE entity which INVESTED in the THEATER.

    2 – There are religions and philosophies who believe Judeo-Catholic-
    Christianity-Masonry and other religions, rites, and philosophies were
    derivations of SUN worship.

    3 – It is a reminder there is a need for TIME TABLED expedited action.

    4 – It is a reminder of TIME past; TIME present; and TIME future.

    5 – “x” is the number 10 in roman numerals, and for many, it is a symbol
    of the 10 commandments, which many people believe were either given
    by G-D, or at the very least a reasonable set of rules to “play nice.”
    > combine “x” at the end of the word TIME for the name of the sponsor –
    T I M E x. and there is a touchstone to the Judeo – Christian ethos for
    which this U S A was supposedly created.

    Sudds, I offer you a challenge to articulate 3 ideas of things that you
    believe in and want to see in STRATFORD and 3 in the USA, with a
    serious intellectual basis and benefit to those things which you love
    and care about in town.
    Certainly you can include wise cracks.
    Can and or would you pose 3 serious considerations for each?
    Do not be bowed by criticism by anyone, you can expect them …

    But what does Sudds and any other reader, care most about?
    TAXES
    SERVICES
    QUALITY of LIFE
    SAFETY
    BEAUTY
    NATURE

    Oh I can not resist this, with advance apologies…..
    Oakland Raiders scored 59 points AGAINST whom?

    Hint: Their colors were Orange and Blue, like
    SF Giants (Orange)
    LA Dodgers (Blue)

    Orange = Ulster
    Blue = Blue Lodge

    Orange in Government is found on traffic lights, traffic signs, and
    in prisoner garb, among other places.

    Projected from a Federalist Papers:
    A problem of being in a secret society, is that you can actually be
    manipulated into supporting those people best positioned to hurt you.

    From the bibles:

    Do not worship false g-ds.
    Do not worship (en) graven images
    The Devil can quote scripture (and use iconic symbols)

  101. 101 1george1

    Sudds,
    I was composing while you posted about the party in charge
    the last 6 years. E X C E L L E N T. T R U E! What I posted, too.

    Chris,
    Interesting point about Penicillin and FDA.
    I had no idea about that or many things.

    The points about competition inside and beyond state lines is good.

    Yet, would you consider it likely or unlikely many people in the same
    industry very discreetly collaborate for pricing and profit reasons?

    I suspect each active writer would agree illegal price fixing is likely
    self interest, with virtually no real oversight, thanks to political
    appointees by party owned candid-ates, and lobby interests?

  102. 102 sudds

    George,

    You say that I don’t post my opinions, argue well enough, etc…

    But let me ask you this…

    Out of all of the postings that you have done on this blog… WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED??? You (and others) have spent HOURS (if not days) formulating these (unending) posts that have accomplished NOTHING!!!

    The fact that you folks are debating national healthcare on this blog… at level whereas you actually think something is going to be accomplished… is PATHETIC!!!

    Yes, what I say is often in jest (and usually to cause trouble/stir-the-pot/rock-the-boat), but that’s because I try to live in a world that is reality!!! And as such, I realize that I can post all I want on here… but just like with you folks… it will accomplish NOTHING!!!

    Stop drinking the Kool-Aid folks and go live your life!!!

  103. 103 1george1

    Ron > George
    “I appears to me that the Stratford electorate has agreed with
    my assessment of the Stratford Democatic party leadership.”

    George > Ron
    Are you happy with the results?

    Hypothetically what if Mirons / Burturlas et al were working with RTC?
    What if RTC + DTC were working with State and Feds for own benefit?

    EXAMPLES?
    > Burturlas firm has been paid an excess of $ 100,000 by town / boe
    since 1996, despite dominance of R controlling Council + BoE

    > Harkins appointments / carry overs:
    1 – Bishop was Democrat Assistent Town Attorney, when Kevin Kelly
    appointed the 6 dwarfs –
    (R) Florek + Cotter
    (D) Burturla + Bishop
    (UD) Foreman (T-berry) + Blando (related to DeCilio)

    2 – Miron + Harkins 3 main firms
    A) Bishop, Kelly, Jackson
    B) Burturla – Berchem
    C) Florek

    3 – Sue Collier – close friend hired by Jim Miron > promoted by Harkins

    4 – Police – John Burturla – hired by Jim Miron > backed by Harkins

    5 – PW McCarthy – hired by Jim Miron > backed by Harkins

    6 – Town Clerk Pawluk – hired by Jim Miron > backed by Harkins

    7 – Fire Chief / rank hired by Jim Miron > backed by Harkins

    Ron – even Jeze would be hard pressed to back your position about the
    Republican Town Committee being good for Stratford.

    Ron – which of two deadly poisons do you prefer?
    The obvious scum?
    The less obvious scum that does far more pain and damage over long time.

    If you want to argue about preference, would you conceed to trying to
    PLACE a SPIN on things, like those poeple you do not like – D O ?

  104. 104 cstratct

    George, I would consider it absolutely likely that corporations in the same industry manipulate pricing for profit reasons. I don’t know if they sit in a room together and collaborate, but I suppose you could call it an unintended conspiracy. The issue for me is that I don’t buy the argument that selling across state lines will result in any significant changes (to either price or competition) and may actually have the opposite effect by stifling the options available to consumers and allowing one state to dictate regulatory measures, unless the federal government is involved, in which case it would run afoul of Portia’s “get the federal government off our backs” position.

    I didn’t know the Penicllin/FDA information either. It just didn’t ring true to me so I looked it up. Making a statement like “If the FDA had been around when those drugs were invented, neither would have been allowed onto the market. Tens of millions would have died as a result,” is inflammatory, and one should at least have the facts to back it up. The reverse can be just as true. An entity like the FDA can assist in getting drugs to citizens in an expedited manner, whereas if each state had to act individually to secure large numbers of a vaccine or drug it might be complicated if 50 different states were all going at it at the same time.

    All this being said, I’m still in favor of limited government when it comes to individual rights. But sometimes the government has a role to play in keeping the playing field level between consumers and corporations.

  105. 105 1george1

    RON

    Are people of stratford happy with
    Being vastly over taxed?
    Seein jobs close, move out of town?
    Lost funding?

    Can you name anything done in stratford by the R,
    that was not lining allies pockets?

    Even WW II Memorial had DICK MIRON as SUPPLIER for STONE!

    Who got the STONE SUPPLY for the FIRE HOUSE, that cost over
    $ 7 million, when it was supposed to cost under $ 2 million?
    Was it “DEAD BEAT DICK?”

    Can anyone show there is a definable difference between D + R
    policies ? (PERSONALITIES ASIDE)

  106. 106 1george1

    These positions look remarkably similar

    from CHRIS:
    All this being said, I’m still in favor of limited government when it comes
    to individual rights. But sometimes the government has a role to play in
    keeping the playing field level between consumers and corporations.

    from PORTIA:
    “I do believe the PORTIA would agree government does have roles
    to play……” – Yes, I do, as stated many times before, provided the
    roles are constitutional. We agree on this, I believe.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to massively mistrust GOVERNMENT.”
    – Given the recent track record, who does? In general, though,
    I think a health distrust of those entrusted without sacred liberties
    and power over our very lives is natural and a great part of the
    American tradition.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to understand both have corruption
    and competency issues.” – Agreed.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to massively overtrust the MARKET.” –
    Whether or not I trust the market is irrelevant. It is a reality.

    The laws of economics are no more revocable by government than
    the laws of physics. Any policy that denies this reality is destined to fail.

    My trust, or “overtrust,” is always in favor of individual civil and
    economic liberty. (GEORGE = self interest? / enlightened or not!)

    People may buy things I think are imprudent or say things that I
    vehemently disagree with, but I will never fail to stand up for their
    rights.

    “However, PORTIA ‘appears’ to understand both have corruption and competency issues.” – Agreed.

  107. 107 ronmoreau

    George,

    “Ron – even Jeze would be hard pressed to back your position about the
    Republican Town Committee being good for Stratford.”

    And where is it I said the RTC being good for Stratford?

    It’s obvious to the most casual observer that there are elements in both parties that work together….

    I’m simply saying that the DTC leadership has nothing to offer Stratford.

  108. 108 portia1776

    Chris,

    “Now who doesn’t know history?” – Actually you don’t. The FDA of 1906 was not the FDA of succeeding years or the FDA of today. The scope of its regulatory powers were continually expanded until we arrived at the present.

    The point, which you’re entirely missing, is that if the FDA of the past had the same standards as today, penicillin and aspirin would probably have never been approved. As Meghan McCardle notes and I previously posted:

    “Most people agree that today’s FDA would not have approved aspirin; even penicillin, the miracle drug that helped dramatically extend the human lifespan when introduced in the early 1940s, is questionable. Allergic reactions to penicillin kill a higher percentage of its takers than Vioxx ever did, while the gastrointestinal bleeding produced by aspirin means it probably would have flunked while still in animal testing.”

    “There is no evidence to indicate that the FDA had any hand in delaying penicillin from reaching the market.” – Exactly because the FDA was not our modern FDA. You (and Jez) sometimes act as if America has only existed since the advent of the welfare state.

    What of the examples I provided of how the modern FDA is denying patients access to potentially beneficial treatments and procedures, including those who have no other options? Kindly explain why these people should continue to suffer and die for your (false sense) of collectivist “safety”?

    “Within states there is already competition.” – For the last time there is “competition” within the framework of statewide cartels, as the health insurance market is not a free-market.

    “So exactly how do you ‘Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines’ without abdicating state power to regulate the industry within each state?” – Needless to say, the “‘Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines” means getting rid of laws which prohibit free-market competition, not all laws.

    “The point being made in the Mother Jones article is that the argument about selling across state lines is really a red herring.” – Even though it contradicts itself and what you said earlier? If free-market competition is bad for health insurance, kindly explain why it’s not for car insurance? Or life insurance? Or literally millions of other products and services? The burden of proof is on you.

    Why do I feel that I would be better off talking to a red herring?

  109. 109 1george1

    Ron,
    Thank you for clarifying your position.
    That is the RON we know and LUB.

    PORTIA + CHRIS can argue merit / lack of – themselves

  110. 110 portia1776

    George,

    “These positions look remarkably similar” – That is ludicrous. Chris and my positions are not only dissimilar, they are diametrically opposed.

    “from CHRIS:
    All this being said, I’m still in favor of limited government when it comes
    to individual rights. But sometimes the government has a role to play in
    keeping the playing field level between consumers and corporations.” – I have challenged Chris repeatedly to state by what principle government should be limited: he can’t and won’t because he doesn’t support constitutionally limited government.

    I have challenged Chris repeatedly to state what individual rights are inalienable (i.e., those which government cannot, under any circumstances, violate): he can’t and won’t.

    Now, he talks about a government-imposed “level playing field.” The only level playing field possible or moral or cognizant of individual liberty is equality before the law. Anything else is a violation of individual civil and economic liberty. Chris supports the bailouts, the stimuli, ObamaCare (though he won’t defend it), etc… – all of which were unconstitutional and are weaken the rule of law in this country.

    Chris’ idea of a “level playing field” in practice is “equal want, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the partitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above. They never raise what is below: and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest (Edmund Burke, “Thoughts on Scarcity”).

  111. 111 ronmoreau

    George,

    “If you want to argue about preference, would you conceed to trying to
    PLACE a SPIN on things, like those poeple you do not like – D O ?”

    George you are the King of Spin. We have had this discussion before. Both the RTC and the DTC are the ones who give us the choices in the voting booth. The caliber of the people endorsed to run by the DTC, in the election on Tuesday, speaks for itself.
    The system is what it is. I choose to support Stratford Republicans for the same reason.(The caliber of their choices.) You choose to support ‘no one’. So ‘no one’,(your choice),will be elected to precipitate your vision of what Stratfords Government should be.
    If you can offer something better and get the support of the electorate go for it.

  112. 112 portia1776

    Chris,

    I would consider it absolutely likely that corporations in the same industry manipulate pricing for profit reasons.” – Yes, that is an apt description for the insurance industry cartels that you obstinately support like a good shill.

    “The issue for me is that I don’t buy the argument” – Really? First, the argument is not for “sale,” it’s freely available to those who have a modicum of economic understanding. Second, if free-market competition in the health insurance market is bad for consumers, kindly explain why it’s not for car insurance? Or life insurance? Or literally millions of other products and services? The burden of proof is on you.

    “is inflammatory” – To those who don’t know anything about the impact of the policies they support, probably. For more quick examples, try looking-up the EPA’s sordid history with MTBE and “super fund” sites.

    “and one should at least have the facts to back it up.” – As stated, you don’t believe in “truth” or “facts” (aside from your own or what the administration tells you is “necessary” to believe) so this entire argument is entirely pointless.

    “All this being said, I’m still in favor of limited government when it comes to individual rights. But sometimes the government has a role to play in keeping the playing field level between consumers and corporations.” – Roflmao!

  113. 113 portia1776

    Ron,

    “The system is what it is. I choose to support Stratford Republicans for the same reason.(The caliber of their choices.) You choose to support ‘no one’. So ‘no one’,(your choice),will be elected to precipitate your vision of what Stratfords Government should be.
    If you can offer something better and get the support of the electorate go for it.”

    – Agreed. Ditto on the national level.

  114. 114 sudds

    “I’m simply saying that the DTC leadership has nothing to offer Stratford.”

    Considering that the RTC leadership has jacked-up our taxes by about 25%… is this REALLY your best argument???

    Personally, I’d rather have my government do NOTHING, than have them raise my taxes 25% (and basically still do nothing)!!!

  115. 115 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “Out of all of the postings that you have done on this blog… WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED??? You (and others) have spent HOURS (if not days) formulating these (unending) posts that have accomplished NOTHING!!! ”

    Wow! For a blog that has accomplished “nothing” someone is sure using a lot of caps.

    But I will try to explain what has been accomplished: Citizens have been able to express their opinions (some better than others) about actual events and policies in Stratford. Other than letters to the editor which may or may not be printed or edited or perhaps speaking at a nearly empty public forum that Councilman only barely tolerate readers can come here and read opinions they might share or (gasp) write their own.

    As for what gets done…who knows? I would like to think that due to this blog Miron lost the last election by more than he would have. Maybe on Tuesday he will get a few less votes than he would have had this blog not existed.

    Maybe someone will get tired of the same two committees spewing forth less than adequate candidates and run for office.

    At the very least we have learned what “elide”, “eleemosynary” and “tautology” mean.

    There is nothing better I’d like than to have nothing to write about.

  116. 116 cstratct

    Portia,

    You love putting words in people’s mouths don’t you?

    Apparently your consistent insults and misrepresentations of my comments are the only ways you have found continue to browbeat and belittle me. It’s incredibly petty and reprehensible, but I suppose I have to consider the source.

    “The point, which you’re entirely missing, is that if the FDA of the past had the same standards as today, penicillin and aspirin would probably have never been approved.”

    You’re relying on hypothetical situations while arguing I don’t believe in facts? That’s absolutely hilarious. Yes, let’s do away with the FDA Portia, then we can do away with the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act which “was unable to get through the Congress of the United States for five years, but was rapidly enacted into law following the public outcry over the 1937 Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy, in which over 100 people died after using a drug formulated with a toxic, untested solvent. The only way that the FDA could even seize the product was due to a misbranding problem: an “Elixir” was defined as a medication dissolved in ethanol, not the diethylene glycol used in the Elixir Sulfanilamide.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Drug_Administration)

    You continually demand others meet your burden of proof but you have yet to tell us what specific regulations you support. You want “a critical mass of constitutionalists elected” but have yet to provide concrete examples of regulations you actually support, or at the very least believe are constitutional by your “classical liberal” standards. You’re fond of accusing me and others of not providing examples or proof, but you don’t want to abide by the rules you expect everyone else to adhere to.

    You really do display an unbelievable amount of arrogance, rigidity and myopia. Perhaps you want to fill us in on which laws meet your high and moral standards. After all, you stated that “The only level playing field possible or moral or cognizant of individual liberty is equality before the law.” So in your world what laws are moral or cognizant of individual liberty?

  117. 117 1george1

    GEO:
    “If you want to argue about preference, would you conceed to trying to
    PLACE a SPIN on things, like those poeple you do not like – D O ?”

    From RON
    George you are the King of Spin. We have had this discussion before.

    Both the RTC and the DTC are the ones who give us the choices in
    the voting booth.

    (GEO: You already knocked the RTC – SO … am I correct that you
    prefer a terrible choice to the WORST choice? Not intended as spin,
    but looking for your perspective)

    The caliber of the people endorsed to run by the DTC, in the election
    on Tuesday, speaks for itself.

    (AGREED)

    The system is what it is. I choose to support Stratford Republicans
    for the same reason.(The caliber of their choices.)

    You choose to support ‘no one’.

    (GEO: ONLY if NO ONE, happens to be the BEST CHOICE? There are
    candidates, who might get my vote?)

    So ‘no one’, (your choice), will be elected to precipitate your vision
    of what Stratfords Government should be.

    (GEO: a government which is least intrusive can be the best choice.
    If there were no Mayor/Manager, no Town Council, would we be worse
    of or even perhaps better off – I am mostly exaggerating. But if POLICE
    are MURDERERS, why have POLICE? )

    If you can offer something better and get the support of the electorate
    go for it.

    (I ran for office. I tired to get others to run. I went for it.)

    —-

    From PORTIA: related to Ron’s post

    – Agreed. Ditto on the national level.

    —-

    HERE SUDDS and I are in essential AGREEMENT. except maybe the RTC
    moved stratford backwards, with DTC leaders help (accessories?)

    “I’m simply saying that the DTC leadership has nothing to offer Stratford.”

    Considering that the RTC leadership has jacked-up our taxes by about 25%
    … is this REALLY your best argument???

    Personally, I’d rather have my government do NOTHING, than have them
    raise my taxes 25% (and basically still do nothing)!!!

    The disporportionate number of Local, State, and National Committees
    and Candidates and future political appointees are dregs and scum who
    I believe are fronts for Traitors and Criminals.

    Are there a majority of good Democrats, republicans, Independents,
    and people in bureaucracy, military, corporate world, and private
    sector – I believe they / we are a majority

    … but the system is broken (INTENTIONALLY) and needs an ENEMA!

  118. 118 1george1

    Jeze and Ron –
    Remember that week + where I was not on this blog,
    and neither was anyone else?

    Who is the straw, which stirs this blogsite drink?
    Who is the provacatuer, who gets bloggers to think?
    Who is the poster, who shows the political stink?
    Who connects the dots, to the missing link(s)?
    Who throws in allusion to even the kitchen sink?

    I know Jeze and Ron missed me, and I appreciated the concern … 😉

  119. 119 jezebel282

    George,

    “I know Jeze and Ron missed me, and I appreciated the concern”

    Oh god….

    Especially the modesty.

  120. 120 ronmoreau

    George,

    Thumbs up to you.

  121. 121 portia1776

    Chris,

    “You love putting words in people’s mouths don’t you?” – No, I don’t do that because it’s unsanitary! Also because you’re words say much more about your position than I ever could.

    “browbeat and belittle me.” – LOL! It’s hard to have sympathy for you, given that a.) it’s not my fault so much of what you write is fallacious and b.) you had no sympathy for anyone who was ACTUALLY browbeaten and belittled (and fired) by your boy, Jimmy Miron. Prove me wrong. Link to the post where you condemned our corrupt ex-mayor for persecuting a town employee or employees.

    “You’re relying on hypothetical situations while arguing I don’t believe in facts?” – First, be careful, George loves hypothetical situations.

    Second, you asked for a hypothetical, remember?: “what innovation are we missing out on?” Since that question is, by definition, unanswerable (I can’t possibly know what miracle drug has not yet been invited), the only fair way to answer the question is to apply current standards retrospectively to innovative drugs of the past. The logic behind this is that if innovative drugs of the past could not get approved by the FDA it stands to reason that new innovative drugs are not getting approved or not even being developed as a result of the chilling effect.

    If you don’t agree, kindly explain your reasoning as to why the FDA that pulls Vioxx would not have banned penicillin, which causes deadly allergic reactions at a much higher rate than Vioxx?

    My position on the FDA has been stated previously. It is principled and more nuanced than your solipsism ‘limited government = anarchy.’ There is no point repeating it now when you continue to dodge the real, not hypothetical, injustice created by the polices you advocate.

    What of the examples I provided of how the modern FDA is denying patients access to potentially beneficial treatments and procedures, including those who have no other options? Kindly explain why these people should continue to suffer and die for your (false sense) of collectivist “safety”?

    “Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy” – 100 people 70+ years ago died from behavior that they, of their own free if ill-informed volition, decided to undertake? That, in your mind, justifies government intervention to deny sick patients in 2010 the opportunity to try potentially beneficial treatments to restore their vision as well as prolong (or outright save) their lives? Your position is morally reprehensible on its face.

    What should have been the reaction to that tragedy? Criminal prosecution of the makers of the elixir and civil lawsuits from the bereaved families. An impartial judiciary is a constitutional and very necessary function of government.

    “but you have yet to tell us what specific regulations you support.” – Did you mean this to be self-descriptive, because, last I check, I am regularly putting forward specific policy proposals and discussing principles by which regulatory regimes should operate. Jez and George occasionally do, as well. Where, pray tell, are your ideas? Oh, right, whatever is deemed “pragmatic” and “necessary” right now by the administration. LOL.

    “classical liberal” – back to scare quotes? For goodness sake, just look the term up. Here, again, I’ll provide the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

    “but you don’t want to abide by the rules you expect everyone else to adhere to.” – I get it. You can’t actually argue with anything I’ve written so now you’re just going to make-up stuff in hopes that no one will notice. You also want everyone to think I don’t play nice because I expose the inconvenient truths of your positions.

    As John Lennon said after he and Yoko brilliantly demolished the favored “Progressive” “crisis” myth of the 70s, “overpopulation,” “Oh, I don’t care.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yRh5NNiFG0&feature=player_embedded

    Anyone who has read my posts or will do so is bound to see through this rather transparent smokescreen.

    “ arrogance, rigidity and myopia.” – Why are you personally attacking me? I have used adjectives to describe your arguments. With the exception of “chronic Mironite,” which you admitted was justified, I have stuck to your positions, not your person.

    From you’re perspective, “arrogance” makes sense. “Rigidity” and “myopia,” however, seem to have been chosen at random. A “rigid” person would not have the intellectual dexterity to consider multiple arguments and reevaluate their position in light of endless amounts of new data and changing circumstances. Someone with “myopia” is only able to see near and not far, which, in this context, would mean short-term as opposed to long-term perspectives. You’re the one living in the current “crisis.” I’m the one talking about policies that are good now and at all times: constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, the rule of law, free-trade, free-market economics. Which one of us is myopic, then?

    “So in your world what laws are moral or cognizant of individual liberty?” http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

  122. 122 portia1776

    George,

    “Who is the straw, which stirs this blogsite drink?
    Who is the provacatuer, who gets bloggers to think?
    Who is the poster, who shows the political stink?
    Who connects the dots, to the missing link(s)?
    Who throws in allusion to even the kitchen sink?”

    – I like it! You should write poetry more often (apologies to Jez).

  123. 123 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “What of the examples I provided of how the modern FDA is denying patients access to potentially beneficial treatments and procedures, including those who have no other options?”

    Trust me, I’m not trying get in between Christopher and you (I haven’t been suicidal for at least a week or two) but, how many potentially harmful drugs has the FDA prevented us from taking. There is hardly ever one side you know.

    “I like it! You should write poetry more often (apologies to Jez).”
    For Chrissakes! You’re encouraging him?

  124. 124 portia1776

    Jez,

    “There is hardly ever one side you know.” – There is only one side: the FDA and its supporters only want to talk about thalidomide and other drugs that bureaucrats prevented or delayed from being sold. I have offered the other side, the reality that these supposedly well-intentioned regulations have morally unacceptable consequences.

    As others have pointed out: When the FDA announces its approval for a drug that will save 10,000 lives a year, we should be asking how many lives were lost before the FDA approved it. 10 years (as is common) translates to 100,000 people who potentially suffered or died unnecessarily.

    “For Chrissakes! You’re encouraging him?” – I really liked it. The rhyme scheme worked, it was concise, and lucid.

  125. 125 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “10 years (as is common) translates to 100,000 people who potentially suffered or died unnecessarily.”
    Now, now…don’t avoid the question. How many people would have suffered or died from untested “wonder” drugs that were halted by the FDA?

  126. 126 1george1

    Ron,
    Thank you for the thumbs up.

    Just because I disagree on some points (often agreeing) does not
    mean I do not like you, and does not mean anything bad.

    I have learned things from you from the blog, especially related to
    Town Council stuff, as a former Councilman.

    You told me I connected some dots, for you.

    I post too long. You could post longer, cause I am sure you have
    positions and insights that could educate people.

    Portia
    Thank you for liking my limited poem.
    Maybe this site could become a poem home.

    I am not used to getting praise?
    Maybe I should ask Jeze for a raise?

    “I know Jeze and Ron missed me, and I appreciated the concern”
    Oh god…. Especially the modesty.

    We post back and forth in order to teach, preach, gripe, or learn,
    and often get replies most testy.

  127. 127 1george1

    “For Chrissakes! You’re encouraging him?”
    Give George a break? Encourage his whim.

    “– I really liked it. The rhyme scheme worked, it was concise, and lucid.”
    Portia/Jeze disagree on my silly rhymes, related to politics most putrid.

    “First, be careful, George loves hypothetical situations.”
    George’s hypotheticals are another way to view frustrations.

    I am regularly putting forward specific policy proposals and discussing
    principles by which regulatory regimes should operate.
    Jez and George occasionally do, as well.
    Where, pray tell, are your ideas?

    PROSE or PRO SE reply:

    George has raised issues and offered solutions:

    on this blog
    Town Council Meetings Public Forums
    Town Council Committees Meetings: FAC + PENSION + BUILDING NEEDS etc
    Board of Ed occasional meetings
    Public Hearings / Comment:
    – Budgets
    – Budget Work shops
    – FAA / Airport
    – DOT
    – RAYMARK
    – AVCO
    – SHAKESPEARE
    Letters to the Editor
    Mayoral Handouts
    Mayoral Debate shown and heard in person, on TV, and Radio

    PORTIA, I respect a HEALTHY EGO.

    ED HARGUS did more for this town than A N Y O N E.
    DIANE BUDA + ELEANOR BURKE were magnificent on REFERENDUMS
    MARCIA STEWART has been decades STEWART of the MARSHES.
    JEZE for a couple of YEARS has been ANALLY responsive to this SITE.
    PLAY WRITE was a breathe of fresh air / shooting STAR.
    BILL LINDBERG, Hank Ciecuk, Jim Mihaley, Jim Orlowe, Madeylyn Neupert,
    Sylvia Guberman, and a few others were responible and responsive citizens
    who have tried to expose the lies and benefit all of the Town.

    Chris was on the Arts Commission and proof that not everyone on these
    commissions were political yes men, where a percentage of people on the
    committees are there for civic concern rather than political hacks

    All have contributed far more ideas to benefit this town than you, with NO
    DISRESPECT INTENDED, to you AND I must qualify my comment that I do NOT
    know who you are and what you have contributed.

    MAYOR 2013 has a healthy opinion of his contributions to town.
    SUDDS claims, and I believe his POST to have cause much money raised
    for charity.

    My point is not to dimminish your contribution.
    It is to place in in perspective and context that YEAH you post solutions
    and your specialty related towards REGULATORY SPECIFICS, but there are
    others who have contributed equal to or superior to you.

    But I appreciate your support and your criticisms.
    I appreciate you input and opinions.

    Excuse me, for a minute, as I have to wipe a little of the politically correct
    brown, off my nose. 😉

  128. 128 cstratct

    “When the FDA announces its approval for a drug that will save 10,000 lives a year, we should be asking how many lives were lost before the FDA approved it.”

    So we’re just supposed to have faith that a company whose primary motivation is profit has adequately vetted and tested the drug in question, with no external analysis other then the company’s word and the free market? How long before the testing of those drugs happens within the free market with no advance testing for efficacy or safety? Why even have proper testing procedures or clinical trials? Let anyone create whatever drug they can and let the market decide what works. Oh wait, we had that system prior to the FDA. I think they called them snake oil salesmen.

    You can’t make the assumption that an approved drug would have saved “x” number of lives prior to approval because the entire testing and refining procedure for experimental drugs needs to play out in order to determine not only its benefits but also the potential harmful effects.

    By the way, I don’t want or need your sympathy. That wasn’t my purpose in making the statement. It was merely to show the absurdity of your statements when you continue to insult and belittle me yet think referring to you as arrogant, rigid and myopic is an “attack.”

    ““Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy” – 100 people 70+ years ago died from behavior that they, of their own free if ill-informed volition, decided to undertake? That, in your mind, justifies government intervention to deny sick patients in 2010 the opportunity to try potentially beneficial treatments to restore their vision as well as prolong (or outright save) their lives? Your position is morally reprehensible on its face.”

    Once again you miss the point. I believe the FDA has a role to play in making sure those “potentially beneficial treatments” are what they say they are. By your standards we should just let the companies put the drugs out on the free market and let the market decide. If too many people die or have adverse reactions, I guess that would mean the market has spoken. What’s an acceptable number of deaths or adverse reactions before a drug is actually removed from the market? Talk about morally reprehensible.

    “So in your world what laws are moral or cognizant of individual liberty?” http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    Of course your feeble response was just what I expected. The problem is that you didn’t cite any laws. We all agree that the Constitution is a governing document and that it spells out the framework and powers of the federal government. What you didn’t do is actually cite any laws you agree with that were created using the Constitutional powers granted to Congress or the Executive branch.

    Last paragraph of Article 1, Section 8: “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    Which specific laws do you support Portia?

  129. 129 portia1776

    Chris,

    What a squalid maneuver to answer this post to Jez while skipping over my last to yours.

    You can elide but can’t hide (thanks George): https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/a-healthy-debate/#comment-14705

    “So we’re just supposed to have faith that a company whose primary motivation is profit” – No, you’re the one with faith in politicians and bureaucrats to keep you “safe” from your own potentially bad decisions. Where I live, in the real world, one should “trust, but verify” (to quote Reagan) those wanting either your money or your vote. How? Independent ratings agencies. You know, the ones that already ensure the safety and efficacy of millions of products and services in this country and around the world. As for the profit motive: it generally provides an incentive to companies to sell good products that consumers will like and want to buy more of and a disincentive to sell defective or dangerous products because disgruntled customers, bad press, lawsuits and/or criminal prosecutions are not very profitable. Do those things still happen, yes. Do we have ways in which to address them, yes. Does the free-market minimize their occurrence, thankfully yes.

    “snake oil salesmen.” – Did the snake oil salesmen put a gun to your head and force you to buy his product? No. Individuals freely chose to be misled and had to deal with the consequences, which usually meant ingesting a product that didn’t do what it said it would but was otherwise harmless.

    To be clear, you’re acting the part of the snake oil salesmen here, selling you’re very own “ISM” (guess which one?) as this excellent cartoon from 1948 puts it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVh75ylAUXY&feature ):

    “‘Hurry, hurry, hurry – step right up folks. Here’s the answer to your problems. Dr. Utopia’s sensational new discovery, ‘ISM.’

    ‘ISM’ will cure any ailment of the body politic. It’s terrific. It’s tremendous. Once you swallow the contents of this bottle, you’ll have the bountiful benefit of higher wages, shorter hours, and security. Enormous profits, no strikes. Remember you’re the big boss. Government control, no worry about votes. Name your own salary. Bigger crops, lower costs. Why, ‘ISM’ even makes the weather perfect every day.

    And now then, because we are introducing this amazing item for the first time in this country, it isn’t going to cost you one cent. All you have to do is sign this little scrap of paper and you’ll get your bottle absolutely free.’

    I hereby turn over to ‘ISM’ Incorporated everything I have including my freedom and the freedom of my children, and my children’s children, in return for which, said ‘ISM’ promises to take care of me forever.'”

    Sounds an awful lot like the mindless, amorous “hope and change” of government control and central planning that you have absolute faith in, Chris.

    Or, as President Obama said when celebrating so many Democrats buying his “ISM” over Hillary’s: “…generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”

    “You can’t make the assumption” – The FDA regularly makes such assumptions. I’m just saying that if the FDA says that it approved drug X and it projects that drug X will save Y number of lives per year, we need to ask how many people suffered and died while drug x was stalled from getting to the market. I know, simple logic is not you’re strong suit.

    Is Dr. Alan Chow’s invention an assumption to your mind? Is the loss of Stephen Lonegan’s sight because the FDA says he doesn’t own his own body inconsequential to you? How many Abigail Burroughs “need” to be die for you and you’re “common good”?

    “By your standards we should just let the companies put the drugs out on the free market and let the market decide.” – Doctors and health consumers should be free to make these decisions. Since you’re arguing that they are incapable of making such important decisions, kindly explain why doctors should be “allowed” (by whom?) to prescribe individualized doses? Even worse, from your perspective, why should individuals be “allowed” to purchase over-the-counter drugs that they use to self-medicate? Obviously, these tasks can only be done by all-knowing bureaucrats and shouldn’t be left to the lumpenproletariat and bourgeoisie. LOL.

    “We all agree that the Constitution is a governing document and that it spells out the framework and powers of the federal government.” – LOL! No, you clearly don’t, just like Presidents Bush and Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Stark, Dodd, Blumenthal, Franks, and most people, Democrats and Republicans, in Washington. You have never recognized that the Constitution and Bill or Rights place LIMITS on government power.

    “Which specific laws do you support Portia?” – LOL! You’re kidding, right? You want me to go through the Federal register and name all the laws I support? Sorry, I’m just not that into this discussion to do so. If you’re so curious, paste the law and perhaps I’ll answer. Perhaps not at this point. Given that unlike some people I actually have clearly stated principles, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where I stand on the legality of many laws.

  130. 130 portia1776

    “How many people would have suffered or died from untested ‘wonder’ drugs that were halted by the FDA?” – I don’t support untested drugs. In any case, such a projection would be dependent upon an individual drug’s profile. So it is impossible to speak in the aggregate.

    What is knowable is that every drug the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs has asked the FDA to enable sick individuals – and only sick individuals – to try have gone on to ultimately win FDA approval. These drugs had already gone through vigorous rounds of testing demonstrating safety and efficacy before the Alliance asked for mercy access, but their please were rejected because the drugs had not reached the final stage of approval yet. The FDA’s denial of sick patients treatments that it knows are sound and potentially beneficial is immoral. That the FDA has gone on to approve all of these drugs after the sick patients have often died puts this government created atrocity in stark relief.

    What is also knowable is that people have complications and die from taking aspirin and penicillin – and that new drugs with less serious side effects profiles have been rejected/pulled from the market by the FDA. Given these facts, we can make a supposition that if current FDA standards applied when aspirin and penicillin – each a miracle drug – were invented, they probably wouldn’t have been approved. Only in this way can we weigh the cost/benefits of this type of regulation, and begin to see the “unseen” innovation cost, which hurts everyone.

    Needless to say all drugs, tested by the FDA or anyone else, have side effects, some of which are tragically unknowable until tried. The fundamental point is that individuals should ultimately decide what they will ingest. This doesn’t hurt anyone else so what’s the problem?

    To reiterate the example from above: “[Bruce] Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration would not allow it. One [FDA] bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower’s outraged response was: ‘Side effects—who cares? Every treatment I’ve had I’ve suffered from side effects. If I’m terminal, it should be my option to endure any side effects.’”

  131. 131 cstratct

    “Which specific laws do you support Portia?” – LOL! You’re kidding, right?

    No, I’m not. You have yet to name a specific law. You keep referring to the Constitution as the law you support. The Constitution provides the framework and powers granted the federal government. Those powers include, quite specifically, “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    “You have never recognized that the Constitution and Bill or Rights place LIMITS on government power.”

    Yes, I have. REPEATEDLY. I have never once stated that government power is unlimited, and I have talked about areas where I believe the government has overstepped it boundaries. You can continue to blatantly misrepresent my statements, but your lies don’t change the facts. If you can point to any comment on this website where I specifically stated that government power is unlimited, do it. Not you’re mistaken or twisted interpretation of something posted in response to a specific topic, but any statement where I indicated I support unlimited or unchecked government power. I’ll even give you a hint. You can’t.

    By your standards we should just let the companies put the drugs out on the free market and let the market decide.” – “Doctors and health consumers should be free to make these decisions. Since you’re arguing that they are incapable of making such important decisions, kindly explain why doctors should be “allowed” (by whom?) to prescribe individualized doses? Even worse, from your perspective, why should individuals be “allowed” to purchase over-the-counter drugs that they use to self-medicate?”

    Are you serious? Consumers are supposed to have knowledge of what is contained in a potentially untested drug and what the contraindications might be? And where did I say anything about OTC drugs? That’s right, I didn’t. But since YOU brought it up, those drugs were tested and proven safe and effective for people to use. We, as consumers, have a reasonable assumption that OTC drugs have undergone that testing process. If a far cry from taking a tylenol to knowing whether a statin will interact with a fibrate or any other manufactured drug.

    “Individuals freely chose to be misled and had to deal with the consequences, which usually meant ingesting a product that didn’t do what it said it would but was otherwise harmless.”

    LOL! This is just a ridiculous comment. Individuals didn’t choose to be misled. They were deliberately misled by those who sought out profit for themselves and knowingly committed fraud by misrepresenting their product. Wait that sounds familiar, where have we heard that before? Oh yes, Madoff, the banks, the investment companies, etc. Yeah, Madoff was harmless. After all he didn’t kill anybody, so what’s the harm?

  132. 132 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “The fundamental point is that individuals should ultimately decide what they will ingest. This doesn’t hurt anyone else so what’s the problem?”

    Usually your arguments are smooth and well thought out. That’s why this statement caused me to do a doubletake. It is unlike you.

    What’s the problem? The problem is that almost every single person (unless they happen to hold an advanced pharmacology degree) have no idea what these medications or their side effects do. It is not likely they ever will under any economy. Will that little white, green, red, pink, yellow pill cure you or kill you? In the end, we have to take someone’s word for it that it is safe and effective.

    For a time, the most prevalent malady in the U.S. (if you watch TV) was Restless Leg Syndrome. Now it is Dry Eyes and peeing too much…or too little..

    Whose word do you take? The person who makes a profit from getting you to take the pill or some other entity that has conducted double blind tests and tracked the population?

  133. 133 portia1776

    Chris,

    I’m done wasting my time responding to every one of your posts. I had done so as a duty, in the naive belief that you were genuinely curious about a different point of view but primarily for my own benefit, in order to learn by writing. But nothing is learned from correcting the same fallacies over and over again with someone who absurdly denies the very existence of truth (as if that position was a “fact”!). And no one benefits from being selectively misread. The last remaining weak rationale to continue to respond to your inquires was that each of your self-refuting posts is a case study into how certain political pathologies are detrimental to one’s faculties. Even that, however, has gotten tiresome.

    So go ahead, mawkishly declare yourself victorious. I don’t care. The record is clear for all to see which one of us was right (and understand that the truth/false paradigm exists); which one of us stood for individualism against collectivism, for the rule of law over the rule of men, for adults being treated as adults rather than life-long children and wards of the state, for reason over myth; which one of us dealt with the world as it is and not as an ideal that is to be imposed upon others by force; which one of us was intellectually honest as opposed to myopically Utopian; which one of us produly declared their moral and intellectual pedigree (classical liberalism and lassiez-faire capitalism) and which one sheepishly declaimed ideology or partisanship of any sort, too ashamed to admit the obvious; and which one of us was principled – opposing Mayor Miron and the Miron-style of politics whether it reared its ugly head in Stratford or Hartford or Washington – and who instead supported the power-hungry wannabe tyrants who want to micromanage so many aspects of our lives.

    No doubt George will intercede to be the peacemaker again. Maybe he’ll even give you another (undeserved) star for “effort.” No matter. Deep down you know the truth.

    With that, I bid you adieu.

  134. 134 portia1776

    Jez,

    I beginning to wonder about the plain meaning of words. I’m also becomming exasprated by the non-defense defense of what is indefensible government intervention that creates unnecessarily suffering and costs peoples lives.

    You have not undermined the premise that “individuals should ultimately decide what they will ingest.” Nor have you answered the question: since one individual taking a medication, in and of itself, does not hurt anyone else, what is the problem?

    What you have said in effect is that there is a knowledge deficit that hinders individuals making such decisions about their own bodies. But there is a knowledge deficit for doctors, too. That’s why there are specialists. And knowledge deficits exist in everything. By your standards, no one should do anything unless they are a well credential expert. Only the polymaths would have fun in Jez’s world.

    “In the end, we have to take someone’s word for it that it is safe and effective.” – Of course. The argument is not premised on everyone having an advanced degree in pharmacology. That is a point not worth making on your part. My contention is premised on individual liberty. You act as if that someone’s word has been handed down from on high. Just because “someone” says this medication or that procedure is the best, maybe even the only, treatment option does not mean we have to do what they say. Patients must ultimately choose for themselves based on the best available information as presented to them by their physician(s); they must accept or decline the treatment on offer. What do you have in mind for an alternative?

    What we have now is a system wherein doctors and patients are dis-empowered, at the expense of uncaring FDA bureaucrats.

    Put another way, kindly explain why you think the FDA knew better than Abigail Burroughs’ John Hopkins University oncologist on what was the best course of treatment for her. The doctor wanted her to try an experimental drug based on promising preliminary trials and the fact that time for Abigail was running out. The drug has since won approval and is now part of standard care, but obviously too late for Abigail.

    What would have been the harm in her taking that drug? Perhaps it wouldn’t have worked. Perhaps it would of had terrible side effects. Or, as the FDA itself acknowledges, perhaps it would have proven beneficial for her as it has before and since for so many others. Denying her the chance of even trying the drug was a guaranteed death sentence. Will someone man or woman-up and defend this action rather than mindlessly continue to argue for unlimited government as if that idea does not have deadly consequences? I think I’m owed a specific response on account of services rendered.

    “Whose word do you take? The person who makes a profit from getting you to take the pill or some other entity that has conducted double blind tests and tracked the population?” – As with everything else in life cavet emptor. No one is forcing you to ingest or purchase anything. The non-coercion principle is essential to individual liberty. If you decide to self-medicate, with over-the-counter medications or illicit drugs, you’re responsible for the consequences. If your doctor wants to proscribe a drug and you take it, again, you are responsible for the consequences. What do you have in mind for an alternative?

  135. 135 1george1

    polymath? elide?

    I thought I had a good vocabulary.

    Plainly on a pack of cigarettes, there is a health warning.
    People still smoke.

    Cigarettes contain poison.
    People still smoke.

    Smoke contains poison.
    Smokers are inconvienced including having to go outside to smoke.
    People still smoke.

    A friend quit HEROIN cold turkey decades ago.
    He can not quit smoking.
    He admits to being addicted.
    The government admits to addicting soldiers and other.

    As Obama said …
    The purpose of his youthful drug experiments included inhaling.
    At least that was more candid about inhaling, than WJ Clinton.
    I wonder if G W B will admit in his book about coCaine?
    – > Both the Cocaine he used
    – > and the Cocaine the RNC + DNC and allies imported

    Cocaine grown in Columbia? > let’s INVADE PANAMA!
    Saudi Pilots, trained in AFGANISTAN for 9/11? > let’s INVADE IRAQ (RA IQ)
    PT boat GULF TONKIN? > Bomb: N Vietnam, Loas, Cambodia

    Need Military exercize: INVADE GRENADA and (GUY) FAuLKlands

    Need excuse to get into WW I? > British sub sink Lusitania > credit Germans?

    Need excuse to get into WW I!? > Manipulate Japs into General Billy Mitchell
    1926 warning, but do it on Constitution ratification anniversary?

    Need excuse to seize Cuba & Philippines? > Blow up the MAINE

    Need excuse for CIVIL WAR? > Claim Fort Sumpter was attacked?

    Need excuse for REVOLUTION? > Claim disguised as indians dumped Tea?

    Need excuse for 1812? Claim U S. Seamen were “impressed” by Brits in the
    middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

    Yachtman JFK speedy, low draft PT BOAT … R U N O V E R by Jap
    destroyer in the Pacific Ocean.

    Two man crew sole survivor GHW Bush bailout in PACIFIC OCEAN and
    “happened” to be picked up by U. S. Subs?
    – where were the sharks of U.S.S. INDIANA, when they coulda done
    some good if they ate badstar bush?

    I do not:
    Smoke Tobacco
    Drink Alcohol
    Use controlled substances.

    Government and politicians made big money on those.
    When it became seen with cost benefit analysis, it was better to
    make things more expensive and cause less usage ……

    Same thing with War and Crime.

    My addiction is / was sugar.
    Salt to a lesser degree.
    It affects my weight and health.

    If I drank alcohol, I would likely be a drunk.
    So I choose not to drink.

    In an ideal world, we would know what we should and should not do,
    for what is best for us, and we would be able to TRUST BUSINESS and
    GOVERNMENT PEOPLE to tell/write the TRUTH, and do the right things.

    Portia … what is that quote … if men were angles …?

  136. 136 1george1

    I think this puts the above arguments of PORTIA, JEZE, CHRIS &
    OTHERS into context: from Fereralist # 51:

    If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
    If angels were to govern men,
    neither external nor internal controls on
    government (or business) would be necessary.

    GE OGRE does love his hypotheticals… 😉

  137. 137 1george1

    Above I mistyped Federal.

    Maybe it was a Freudian slip on my part?
    Maybe it related to human feral degenerations?

    Isn’t a maverick feral?

  138. 138 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Only the polymaths would have fun in Jez’s world.”
    LOL! I’ve been called a lot of things….

    “since one individual taking a medication, in and of itself, does not hurt anyone else, what is the problem?”
    Because, the the plain meaning of the words, the pharma companies do not manufacture them so that only person will be taking them without hurting anyone else. That day may come, but it won’t be next week.

    I am unclear about your objection to the FDA. I am not sure that your problem is with their mission to ensure that drugs are safe and effective or that they are necessarily evil just by being a government agency.

    “What we have now is a system wherein doctors and patients are dis-empowered, at the expense of uncaring FDA bureaucrats.”
    You mean as we are denied drugs by insurance companies? The FDA requires that all medications include warning, side effects, indications and contraindications. I sorta like that. (Yes, I read them). It’s usually another call to the doctor to ask about them, but what the hell, he already charged me $150 for scribbling on a pad.

    I have way more problems with the insurance company telling me that I can’t get the medication my doctor wants me to have and “try” something less expensive.

    “I think I’m owed a specific response on account of services rendered.”
    You get what you pay for on a blog, you know.
    But what if the drug killed her or she suffered? Even though she signed an iron clad release. Who you want to be the “bureaucrat” that decided to say “aww, just go ahead and take it.”

    “As with everything else in life cavet emptor. No one is forcing you to ingest or purchase anything.”
    Not quite, my friend. Medication is something you don’t have that much choice about. When you are prescribed Spiriva, Symbacort, albuterol, levothyroxine, HCTZ, Plavix, aspirin, pantapropazole, cozaar, lasix, megace, sotolol and others what choice do you really have?

    Sure, you can decide to take Ibuprofen or Sudafed. It might help a symptom or two and you’re on your own. But when you’re really sick, emptor doesn’t have the luxury of caveat.

  139. 139 1george1

    emptor doesn’t have the luxury of caveat.

    (good line)

    Another good line Jeze posted had to do with Sysphus.

    Yet looking through the Stratford Star, I found the exact same line,
    from Terry Backer.

    Jeze, normally You, Portia, Chris, Myself and others do not forget to
    give credit and do not plagarize ….. from … Terry … Backer ? 😉

    It is easy to forget to give proper credit. And/or belatedly.

    PW McCarthy got off a good line about “getting 8 agencies to coordinate
    on a NOTICE OF VIOLATION, was a bit like herding CATS.”

    It seems Sue Collier and the Democrats are desparate to BOND AN ADDED
    $ 5 to $ 7 million, which “MAY” be how they are funneling money to the
    PENSION PORTFOLIO payments?

    In my opinion, it is increasingly obvious:
    * Mirons need to create illusions of deniability;
    * Collier is way over her head;
    * Harkins is desparate to create illusions of transparency;
    * The Budget is in H U G E problems;
    * The Stratford UNIONS have been S E T U P for a HUMPTY DUMPTY;
    * The Feds are working with Bridgeport, at Stratford’s expense!

  140. 140 jezebel282

    George,

    “Yet looking through the Stratford Star, I found the exact same line,
    from Terry Backer.”

    When do you think I should be getting my royalty check from Backer?

  141. 141 1george1

    When do you think I should be getting my royalty check from Backer?

    I am unsure who should be paying whom, since the timing is so close
    and since Mr. Kovach often posts online, preparing for publication?

    In either case, I would not expect anyone to hold their breath.

    In Backer’s case, I strongly suspect he was fed the line, since Sysphus
    is a symbol of British S.I.S. and USA D.O.D. S.I.S.

    Both have access to projects Eschelon and H.A.A.R.P., and hypersonic
    suggestion capabilites. So does the N.S.C.

    —- WIKIPEDIA excerpt

    ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to
    describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network
    operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK–USA Security
    Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and
    the United States, known as AUSCANNZUKUS).
    It has also been described as the only software system which controls
    the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite
    trunk communications.

    ECHELON was reportedly created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the
    Cold War in the early 1960s,
    but since the end of the Cold War it is believed to search also for hints of terrorist plots, drug dealers’ plans, and political and diplomatic intelligence.

    JEZE – You have blogged of business and computer experience.
    PORTIA & CHRIS among others are capable of reading between the lines.

    — WIKIPEDIA excerpt

    H.A.A.R.P. > The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
    (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the
    US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and the
    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
    Its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential
    for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio
    communications and surveillance purposes (such as missile detection).
    As of 2008, HAARP had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded
    construction and operating costs. HAARP has also been blamed by
    conspiracy theorists for several natural disasters.

    MORE

  142. 142 portia1776

    Jez,

    Before addressing your new/old points, let me make an observation. These exchanges have involved me offering an assessment of the current system and proposing solutions while you and Chris have contented yourselves with snipping at those solutions.

    Curiously neither you nor Chris have cared to defend the current system or proposed solutions of your own. At least one of you (guess who) is capable of doing both, and I would welcome such additions to the marketplace of ideas.

    Even this silence, however, is telling. A non-defense defense of the current system combined with an attack on modern, pro-choice practical alternatives is an implicit endorsement of three propositions: 1.) individuals do not own their own bodies, 2.) there is no way to prove drug safety and efficacy than the current FDA status quo, and 3.) if untold innocent Americans like Abigail, Steven, and Bruce need to suffer, go blind, and die as a result of the FDA status quo, so be it.

    While you will almost certainly deny this, the denial will ring false.

    For example, in answer to my question “since one individual taking a medication, in and of itself, does not hurt anyone else, what is the problem?” you reply “the pharma companies do not manufacture them so that only person will be taking them without hurting anyone else.” You’re statement has no basis in reality. By your logic, if I get drunk (alcohol is a drug) and you don’t, we’ll both have hangovers in the morning?

    The pharma companies don’t manufacture drugs for a single person but each and every single patient who takes a drug does so of their own volition (or that of a legal guardian) after being advised to do so by a physician, who presumably is only getting out her pad because the patient has a condition that the drug was meant to treat. You make it sound like pharma supply drives demand rather than the other way around.

    “I am unclear about your objection to the FDA.” – While my objection is multifaceted (constitutional, moral, economic) for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that I am morally opposed to people like Stephen Longegan, who is going blind from a degenerative condition, being told by the FDA that he cannot freely decide to have a potentially sight restoring treatment. Obviously whether he can see or not effects no one more profoundly than himself. “‘There’s nothing safe about going blind,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow [the inventor of a revolutionary treatment] to make the decision myself.”

    “just by being a government agency” – Jez, for the last time, classical liberalism is not anarchism. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, et al., were classical liberals who founded a constitutional limited government, remember?

    “You mean as we are denied drugs by insurance companies?” – Guess you missed my take down of every health insurance company shill argument Chris could muster above. The health insurance industry loves to talk about competition, just so long as the government intervention is protecting them from the real thing. Now, with ObamaCare, they have mandatory customers, forced to pay whatever they charge. Who could ask for anything more?

    “The FDA requires that all medications include warning, side effects, indications and contraindications. I sorta like that.” – And without that mandate you believe medications would not include such things?

    Taking a medical product at random: vitamins are not FDA regulated and yet consumers in the vitamin free market demand and receive high-quality, safe and effective products: http://www.solgar.com/AboutSolgar/SolgarsGoldStandard.htm (If anyone from Solgar is reading this, please send endorsement check to Jez).

    “(Yes, I read them).” – Good. I was worried you were just taking everything the doc said without thinking.

    “I have way more problems with the insurance company” – I share your complaint. We have talked endlessly about improving the existing system. Given the reality as it is, however, the evidence shows that most insurance companies reject fewer claims than Medicare, and much fewer than RomneyCare. As for ObamaCare, hopefully we’ll never have to find out.

    An insurance company rejecting a claim is not equally as bad as the FDA’s rejection of compassionate access or its stifling effect on innovation for everyone. We should rightly be upset about both, but only the latter is negatively impacting millions of lives.There is also the little matter that the FDA is acting in our name and at our expense.

    “You get what you pay for on a blog, you know.” – I think I have been more than obliging in answering what others have asked of me. Some reciprocal respect is all I am asking for now.

    “But what if the drug killed her or she suffered? Even though she signed an iron clad release. Who you want to be the ‘bureaucrat’ that decided to say ‘aww, just go ahead and take it.’” – That’s the point. I don’t want a bureaucrat making that decision. Sound science should trump bureaucracy. Peer-reviewed research and early trials had shown the drug to have efficacy. Her oncologist wanted to give it a try, the FDA sighed, she died. Why do you support such an inhumane system?

    “Not quite, my friend. Medication is something you don’t have that much choice about.” – What?! I don’t care how ignorant or sick someone is, they can still ask for a second opinion or refuse treatment. I know an octogenarian, a WWII vet, who regularly flouts his doctor’s orders. Is he wrong to do so, probably, but who can know with any certainty? At this point, he’s probably outlived several of his doctors.

    What I’m saying is that patients must ultimately choose for themselves based on the best available information – not perfect knowledge, which is impossible – as presented to them by their physician(s); they must accept or decline the treatment on offer. You keep denying this but seem to forget to include anything close to a refutation.

    “what choice do you really have?” – They can say no and live (or die) with the consequences.

    “But when you’re really sick, emptor doesn’t have the luxury of caveat.” – Agreed but every patient is not really sick and those who are really sick need all the help they can get. Hence you should be opposing an FDA that denies sick patients compassionate access to medications, even if you’re not willing to consider a fully fledged alternative. I hope you can agree to at least that much. It’s much better to be morally and economically half-right than wholly-wicked.

    I’ll close by recommending a study “More Choices, Better Health: Free to Choose Experimental Drugs” by Barley J. Madden with a Preface by Vernon L. Smith, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics: http://www.abigail-alliance.org/docs/paralleltrack.pdf

    Professor Smith quickly dispels the anarchic smear and explains the critical stakes:

    “The issue is not, nor should it be, that there is no role for standards of quality and testing, but that such processes must not interfere arbitrarily with what are properly and legitimately decisions between physicians and patients based on individual circumstances.
    ….

    …the FDA’s one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme is flawed. It does not allow individuals to express their preferences for risk versus potential health improvement. Moreover, there is no feedback mechanism to evaluate the benefits versus costs of the hugely expensive and lengthy FDA clinical trials. The negative consequences to society of failing to modify this regulatory process will worsen as the pace of medical innovation accelerates.”

  143. 143 portia1776

    One quick tidbit from the study proper. Madden exposes the status quo as only quo fallacy:

    “We have grown accustomed to the FDA’s monopoly on market access to drugs. But prior to 1962, new drugs had to pass only safety trials to be legally marketed. Effectiveness was left to consumers and doctors to evaluate (http://www.abigail-alliance.org/docs/paralleltrack.pdf ).”

  144. 144 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Curiously neither you nor Chris have cared to defend the current system or proposed solutions of your own.”

    Are you no longer reading my posts? I have no idea who in the right mind would defend the current system except maybe Charles Grassley (R Iowa). I have proposed several times what I think, in my humble opinion, should be done. As usual, my solution is fairly simple (although simple does not mean “easy”).

    1. There is absolutely no reason businesses should carry the burden of healthcare. By this I mean most businesses. Why should Par Pool, Rotary Ski, Premier Graphics or any other SME become experts in healthcare?

    2. Lower the eligibility age for Medicare to birth.

    3. Deregulate health insurance companies completely.

    If you want government insurance, there it is. If you want private insurance (you can save $500 in 15 minutes!) there you go. End of problem.

    Either everyone will sign up for Medicare or no one will. It won’t take too long to find out which survives.

  145. 145 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Are you no longer reading my posts?” – Oh I do. I have looked in vain for your saying that individuals do own their own bodies; that there are alternative ways to the FDA to prove drug safety and efficacy; and, most importantly, that the suffering and death of untold innocents due to the FDA status quo is unacceptable. Please take this as an opportunity to set the record straight.

    The thing is whatever changes are made to the overall system, the FDA status quo is remarkable resilient to amelioration.

    One straightforward change “to create a new conditional approval system for drugs, biological products, and devices that is responsive to the needs of seriously ill patients,” H.R.4732 (the compassionate access act), introduced jointly by Congresswoman Diane Watson (D) and Senator Sam Brownback (R) back in 2005, has gone nowhere. For their respective press releases see: http://www.abigail-alliance.org/news.php

    As for JezCare, I wholeheartedly endorse points 1 and 3. I oppose 2 (but would find it more palatable if it was limited to catastrophic coverage), but even without modification your plan would have been better than ObamaCare.

  146. 146 1george1

    PORTIA – You post # 142, addendum # 143 is extraordinary.
    Mostly it includes information I was completely unaware of and has
    excellent arguments.

    I view the constant sniping at Chris’s abilities to comprehend and argue
    as gratuitous, unnecessary, and unworthy of your intellect.

    You did hit Jeze’s button and I felt Jeze posted a response I found to
    have heuristic qualites. (first time I used the word)

    From PORTIA:

    Curiously neither you nor Chris have cared to defend the current system
    or proposed solutions of your own. At least one of you (guess who) is
    capable of doing both, and I would welcome such additions to the
    marketplace of ideas.

    From GEORGE:

    I have read where B O T H CHRIS + JEZE have complained against B O T H
    the DEMOCRATRATIC and (more often) REPUBLICAN Status Quo.

    From my experience, Jeze does NOT offer specific suggestions for
    solutions, nearly as often a CHRIS, YOU, nor MYSELF.

    One of the exceptions are JEZE desire to get rid of MIRONS/ BURTURLAS
    / LOCSHIAVO and their allies, which increasingly includes KEY members
    of the HARKINS Administration.

    However, I love Jeze’s post:

    1. There is absolutely no reason businesses should carry the burden of healthcare. By this I mean most businesses.

    (In the 1950s-1960s there were profit margins and lower costs which
    allowed many companies to offer health insurance as a benefit)

    Why should Par Pool, Rotary Ski, Premier Graphics or any other SME
    become experts in healthcare?

    (That is why FREE ENTERPRISE Insurance Agents exist as shopping a
    couple different companies, will present COST, ADVANTAGES,
    FEATURES, BENEFITS, and a KILL SHEET, showing other plans short
    comings.)

    2. Lower the eligibility age for Medicare to birth.

    (Isn’t it that way in Cuba, Russia, China, East Europe, West Europe, Japan,
    and many other countries? I honestly do NOT know?)
    (Don’t Senate, Congress, Military, and Prisoners get free USA Healthcare?)

    3. Deregulate health insurance companies completely.

    (True FREE ENTERPRIZE – LAISSE FAIRE Capitalism)

    If you want government insurance, there it is. If you want private insurance
    (you can save $500 in 15 minutes!) there you go. End of problem.

    (Obamacare never explained economy to scale, nor that supplemental
    or alternative plans can exist, with some Tax Credits. Similar to people
    choosing to send their children to parochial or private school, while
    their taxes already pay for ability to go to PUBLIC SCHOOL.
    True FREE CHOICE, to pay extra, for something preferred.

    What is the antithesis of Obamacare? Bush-Cheneynevercared?

    Good job Jeze.
    Good job Portia.

    It is interesting that people in the USPS kept telling me that Senator Charles
    Grassly and Senator Wendell Ford of KY were so much in favor of whistle
    blowers. All smore and mirrors, when people pretend to be your friend and
    give you false advice, making matters worse!

    I have no idea who in the right mind would defend the current system except maybe Charles Grassley (R Iowa).

  147. 147 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I have looked in vain for your saying that individuals do own their own bodies; that there are alternative ways to the FDA to prove drug safety and efficacy; and, most importantly, that the suffering and death of untold innocents due to the FDA status quo is unacceptable.”

    Whew! And people say I’m OCD?

    Due to limited keyboard time lately, I’ve been trying avoid a lengthy bioethics debate. But, if you wish….

    Of course people own their own bodies. Everyone is entitled to accept or reject treatment. Just as everyone is entitled to find the nearest high altitude point and leap off or chamber a round and implant 1/2 ounce of lead into their brain. That does not imply that anyone has to help them although I do believe in assisted suicide.

    “there are alternative ways to the FDA to prove drug safety and efficacy”
    Probably. Although what they may be is above my pay grade.

    However, to follow your argument to it’s conclusion, if only the “free market” decided what was “safe & effective” how many people would waste valuable time taking useless and/or dangerous drugs until the market decided that maybe the profits were dropping because no one was left to sell them to?

    Personally, what I find particularly dangerous is the immense amount of money spent on DTC marketing. Is dry eye an epidemic in this country? Is there nobody that can control their bladder?
    An acquaintance from Denmark was recently visiting and one evening we were watching the network news. He was simply amazed at how sickly Americans were and the obvious fact that American men could not achieve an erection. (He attributed the condition to weak American beer and coffee).

    Could the FDA be more efficient? (Yes, it is rhetorical.) I suppose they could be more efficient like trying to get tech support from Microsoft.

    “As for JezCare, I wholeheartedly endorse points 1 and 3. I oppose 2 (but would find it more palatable if it was limited to catastrophic coverage), but even without modification your plan would have been better than ObamaCare.”
    As I said, it was a simple plan. I expect the lobbyist money to start rolling in any day now and am prepared to modify my plan (depending on how much each industry forks over).

  148. 148 1george1

    Jeze,
    I found your reply interesting, defining your positions.

    I was a little surprized you did not embrace # 2, except in your logical
    exception to the situation.

    – Now I wonder about specifics related to solving Stratford isses.
    I know, I know – this string is about healthcare.
    I will ask under pensions or dark side ….

  149. 149 jezebel282

    George,

    “I was a little surprized you did not embrace # 2”

    I was just unclear whether you supported it or not.

    By any measure I am sure that we all agree that whatever it is that our current U.S. healthcare system is, it is clearly broken.

  150. 150 1george1

    Jeze,

    We unequivicably agree the healthcare system is broken.

    One place we may disagree, is that I believe it was done intentionally.

    Reasons?

    1) Added profits for some

    2) Political reasons / ideology

    3) Help kill off older Americans – social security part solution

    4) Effect necessary change to include the excluded.
    Black and Spanish Americans and many others, like private sector
    contractors and many workers / business owners are hurting.

    Separate thought?

    Since AZ has the original LONDON BRIDGE and Vegas has sooo many
    replicas of famous places, I wonder if we should erect minitures
    statues of liberty along the Mexican Border?

    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips.
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    – PORTIA & RON liked my poetry.
    JEZE did not want me encouraged.

    – Interesting concept of this poetry.

  151. 151 cstratct

    “And no one benefits from being selectively misread. ”

    Hilarious statement coming from you given your consistent misrepresentations of my positions.

    ‘You want me to go through the Federal register and name all the laws I support? Sorry, I’m just not that into this discussion to do so. If you’re so curious, paste the law and perhaps I’ll answer.”

    Did I ask you to cite “all the laws” you support? No. Just a few would be helpful. I’ll even take you up on your challenge since you apparently didn’t like me pointing out that supporting the Constitution (which grants powers to the federal government) is actually different then stating which laws “shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    So I’ll start with some laws I support:

    Civil Rights Act of 1866 – I think this one is self-explanatory
    Fair Labor Standards Act – While I may not agree with every facet of this act (the time-and-a-half portion is arbitrary), I agree with the laws regarding child labor
    Hobbs Act – seems like a good idea to have laws against corruption and extortion
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Clean Water Act

    Here are some (not all) I oppose (just to show that I’m not the “unlimited government” proponent you continue to mistakenly claim):

    Patriot Act, DOMA, DADT, Communications Decency Act of 1996

    As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to how the courts apply these laws (although some like DOMA, Patriot Act and others are just flat out wrong).

    As for the FDA and drug issue specifically, if the free market had any incentive to regulate itself then perhaps the FDA would be unnecessary. However we know that’s not the case:

    Docs on Pharma Payroll Have Blemished Records, Limited Credentials

    “To vet the industry’s handpicked speakers, ProPublica created a comprehensive database that represents the most accessible accounting yet of payments to doctors. Compiled from disclosures by seven companies, the database covers $257.8 million in payouts since 2009 for speaking, consulting and other duties.

    A review of physician licensing records in the 15 most-populous states and three others found sanctions against more than 250 speakers (i.e. doctors), including some of the highest paid. Their misconduct included inappropriately prescribing drugs, providing poor care or having sex with patients. Some of the doctors had even lost their licenses.

    More than 40 have received FDA warnings for research misconduct, lost hospital privileges or been convicted of crimes. And at least 20 more have had two or more malpractice judgments or settlements. This accounting is by no means complete; many state regulators don’t post these actions on their web sites.”

    http://www.propublica.org/article/dollars-to-doctors-physician-disciplinary-records

  152. 152 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Of course people own their own bodies. Everyone is entitled to accept or reject treatment.” – Whew… glad you didn’t follow President Obama over the precipice (“From the discussions we had, it’s clear we are on the precipice of achievement that’s eluded Congresses, presidents for generations…”).

    I will skip over the assisted suicide line so we may continue.

    “Probably. Although what they may be is above my pay grade.” – You sell yourself short. I’m sure you know what happens before a new drug even gets to the FDA?

    “how many people would waste valuable time taking useless and/or dangerous drugs until the market decided that maybe the profits were dropping because no one was left to sell them to?” – In answer to my own question from above, there is a vibrant scientific community that peer-reviews every promising drug (and many which are not) before, during, and after it gets to the FDA.

    A pharma company is not going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on FDA trials (after having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on development) if they don’t have a reasonable expectation that the drug will win approval and be profitable thereafter. It still, however, often works out that, with the company loosing its investment as the drug is rejected or wins only an abrogated approval.

    Markets don’t decide anything; free markets reflect peoples choices. You take it as a given that in a free market for medicine, patients and doctors would want to “try” drugs that have not proven their safety and efficacy. This is just not plausible. Doctors are understandably risk averse because of liability it not good sense. Patients have a compelling interest as well: their own health.

    Think fast: if confronted with one glass labeled “milk” and another glass labeled “potassium cyanide,” and you don’t know what the latter is, which one would you drink?

    “Personally, what I find particularly dangerous is the immense amount of money spent on DTC marketing.” – Meaghan McCardle investigated pharma spending on “advertising” and found that their accounting was deceptive. In fact, a large portion of that money is going for patient samples.

    “Is dry eye an epidemic in this country? Is there nobody that can control their bladder?” – Apparently not. Their must be some efficacy to advertising these things. But I wouldn’t worry unless the conditions advertised are truly horrific. Then we’ll know that a sizable portion of the population (in your demographic!) must be afflicted.

    “He was simply amazed at how sickly Americans were” – It’s amazing what you can learn from unexpectedly from the nightly news. I once read about an American grad student in the Soviet Union who was watching the news with some friends he had made at university. There was a segment on poverty in America that was meant to show the evils of the capitalist system. Unfortunately for the communist propagandists, it had the opposite effect. Showing scenes of American “poverty,” the group of friends ruefully noted that the “poor” in America were living better than they were, as average citizens.

    “Could the FDA be more efficient? (Yes, it is rhetorical.)” – I will settle for human at this point. It is a crime that the compassionate access legislation has been stalled for 5 years. Shame on Congress!

    “I expect the lobbyist money to start rolling in any day now.” – LOL! Your plan only benefits consumers, and there’s clearly no money in that 😉

  153. 153 1george1

    “I expect the lobbyist money to start rolling in any day now.” – LOL!
    Your plan only benefits consumers, and there’s clearly no money in that.

    I think JEZE is likely to agree with PORTIA on the above.

  154. 154 portia1776

    George,

    “PORTIA – You post # 142, addendum # 143 is extraordinary. Mostly it includes information I was completely unaware of and has excellent arguments.”

    “Good job Jeze.
    Good job Portia.”

    Thanks, George. I do agree that Jez and my exchanges have been productive here.

    As to your claim of intentionality, I am unpersuaded. As Jez said the current system is broken. How it got that way, IMO, is a result of numerous little mistakes that in and of themselves might have been not terribly bad but in the aggregate have created systemic problems. For example, the growth of employer provided insurance. It was not FDR’s idea to create a system in which health insurance would primarily be tied to one’s job. This mistake, rather, was the unintended consequence of FDR’s wage and price controls. Employers could not attract workers with wage increases, so many began to offer benefits in lieu of cash. Some employers had offered such benefits before this, but it was only with wage and price controls that most comapnies would get into the health insurance market.

    If you want to talk about intentionality – rent-seeking, corruption, political decisions trumping good science – take a look at ObamaCare. Given the manifest failures of centralized planning – such that the UK is decentralizing the NHS – it is unconscionable that the this administration is knowingly heading in the “Progressive” faith-based direction, endangering all of our lives in the process.

  155. 155 portia1776

    Chris,

    Perhaps I was not clear enough in my last post to you. I have no intention of carrying on this “debate” unless there is reciprocity, meaning that you are willing to honestly consider viewpoints other than your own. What would this look like? If you expect me to answer your questions, don’t dodge mine.

    If you are truly interested in my response to this latest post, I will gladly oblige after you have answered each of my questions from above:

    What of the examples I provided of how the modern FDA is denying patients access to potentially beneficial treatments and procedures, including those who have no other options? Kindly explain why these people should continue to suffer and die for your (false sense) of collectivist “safety”?

    Put another way, kindly explain why you think the FDA knew better than Abigail Burroughs’ John Hopkins University oncologist on what was the best course of treatment for her. The doctor wanted her to try an experimental drug based on promising preliminary trials and the fact that time for Abigail was running out. The drug has since won approval and is now part of standard care, but obviously too late for Abigail.

    What would have been the harm in her taking that drug? Perhaps it wouldn’t have worked. Perhaps it would of had terrible side effects. Or, as the FDA itself acknowledges, perhaps it would have proven beneficial for her as it has before and since for so many others. Denying her the chance of even trying the drug was a guaranteed death sentence. Will someone man or woman-up and defend this action rather than mindlessly continue to argue for unlimited government as if that idea does not have deadly consequences?

    [Since you deny the FDA has any impact on medical innovation] kindly explain your reasoning as to why the FDA that pulls Vioxx would not have banned penicillin, which causes deadly allergic reactions at a much higher rate than Vioxx?

    [Your] non-defense defense of the current system combined with an attack on modern, pro-choice practical alternatives is an implicit endorsement of three propositions: 1.) individuals do not own their own bodies, 2.) there is no way to prove drug safety and efficacy than the current FDA status quo, and 3.) if untold innocent Americans like Abigail, Steven, and Bruce need to suffer, go blind, and die as a result of the FDA status quo, so be it.

    [Note: Jez has since repudiated his prior positions on 1 and 2, and I still hope will now do so for 3 too].

  156. 156 cstratct

    Portia,

    It will sound a bit redundant, but as Jezebel said, and I wholeheartedly agree, “of course people own their own bodies.” But that was never at issue, at least not for me. I never stated anything even remotely suggesting people don’t have the right to decide a course of treatment or drugs to ingest, my issue lies with determining the efficacy of drugs and treatments. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have the background or expertise to determine which, among various potential drugs and treatments, might be appropriate or potentially life-threatening given certain situations. And simply having the choice to decide whether to ingest something or start a course of treatment does not mean I can make an informed decision. I’m also not inclined to take a drug company’s word that a drug is safe or effective, especially given the fact that profits could easily come before safety or efficacy if profit is the bottom line. Without independent verification, I’m not going to simply accept a self-interested, profit-driven entity’s word that their product, designed primarily with profit in mind, is either safe or effective without an independent body verifying those findings.

    And the article I cited above simply validates the concern regarding self-interest when it comes to profits over safety. I’ll cite this quote again, “A review of physician licensing records in the 15 most-populous states and three others found sanctions against more than 250 speakers (i.e. doctors), including some of the highest paid. Their misconduct included inappropriately prescribing drugs, providing poor care or having sex with patients. Some of the doctors had even lost their licenses.”

    Doctors inappropriately prescribing drugs while receiving speaking fees from drug companies to talk about the “benefits” of a particular drug to other doctors. Would you at least agree that in those cases a self-interested doctor is putting his/her own interests ahead of the well-being of his/her patient? How does the system address such actions when many companies don’t provide payment information and/or states don’t report these actions by doctors? What is a patient to do when confronted with a situation like this? How would the patient even know that the doctor is doing this? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen this information posted in a doctor’s office.

    If there were an independent body (outside the confines of the FDA) that would be free of influence from drug companies, interest groups and all others who could test the efficacy and safety of drugs without government involvement, I’d support it. But who will be responsible for creating that organization, funding it and maintaining a watch-dog status to ensure that those outside interests aren’t influencing testing or reporting?

    As for point 3, for every Abigail, Steven and Bruce there are just as many stories of people being harmed by drugs that made it to market without proper testing or manipulated results and cost people their lives because someone presented false information. In an ideal world, Abigail, Steven and Bruce have access to the treatments/drugs they wish to try AND consumers are provided with information that is free of manipulation or spin.

    As for medical innovation, the FDA is not stopping companies from developing new therapies. The FDA should be there to provide impartial and non-politicized oversight to make sure that the research carried out is appropriate and the findings hold up to scientific scrutiny. Does the FDA function perfectly? Absolutely not. But until something better, be it governmental or non-governmental, comes along, I have concerns with the concept of leaving efficacy and safety in the hands of those whose only motive is profit. I don’t see the free market being a sufficient filter for gauging either the efficacy or safety of drugs/treatments, unless within that market there is an entity looking out for the consumer/patient.

  157. 157 1george1

    From PORTIA in quotes:

    “As to your claim of intentionality, I am unpersuaded.”

    NO PROBLEM. PART OF “MY CLAIM” of “INTENTIONALITY” IS BASED ON
    1 – PERSONAL EMPIRICS, PERCEPTIONS, AND INTUITIVES.

    2 – OBSERVATION and PROJECTING STEPS NECESSARY to BREAK the SYSTEM,
    NOT JUST HEALTHCARE.

    3 – RECONCILIATION of UNENLIGHTENED HUMAN NATURE and the types of
    PEOPLE attracted to POLITICS and POWER.

    4 – In part because I lack insight into your personality and those arguments
    which would persuade you, and seeing how you and Chris “unpersuaded”
    each other, I am unsure that I am capable of persuading you. Although you
    have been more receptive to many (certainly not all) positions I hold than to
    Chris or Jeze.
    To be C A N D I D, if I had not personally experienced things, and went
    into denial for years related to attacks from within the government, not
    only would I be hard pressed to believe me, but I would be more skeptical
    than my buddies Joe Pedoto and Mike R.
    There were certain things I simply could not come out and say.
    Believe it or not, I liked being attack by PEDOTO, because it allowed me to
    counter with the truth in a way that was honest and real.
    NO ONE likes being attacked!
    After initial anger. I quickly adopted turn the objections into opportunity.
    Am I still looking like a NUT?
    YEAH.
    Have I been able to credibly portray a sincere issue to protect others.
    IT DEPENDS on the INDIVIDUAL.
    Some people believe in KELLY or MIRON … There is no accounting for …

    PORTIA and CHRIS are arguing in almost different languages

    “As Jez said the current system is broken.”

    AGREED

    How it got that way, IMO, is a result of numerous little mistakes that in and of themselves might have been not terribly bad but in the aggregate have created systemic problems.

  158. 158 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “if confronted with one glass labeled “milk” and another glass labeled “potassium cyanide,” and you don’t know what the latter is, which one would you drink?”

    LOL!

    Only if you answer this one:

    If confronted with one glass labeled “milk” and another glass labeled “CynMilk with added Potassium!,” and you don’t know what the latter is, which one would you drink

  159. 159 1george1

    I have an idea about this one.

    However, I am likely the only one on the blog to admit this got
    past me, and is likely still over my head.

    > from the context, it looks like “potassium cyanide,”
    may be the same as “Cynmilk with added Potassium?”

    There is nothing on the internet about cynmilk.

    However googling Cyanides in Wikipedia got me close, but not a match to
    C Y N M I L K

    I know many things, including cigarettes, contain cyanide?

    – From Wikipedia:

    A cyanide is any chemical compound that contains the cyano group
    (C≡N), which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen
    atom. Inorganic cyanides are generally salts of the anion CN−.
    Of the many kinds of cyanide compounds, some are gases;
    others are solids or liquids.
    Those that can release the cyanide ion CN− are highly toxic.

    Think fast: if confronted with one glass labeled “milk” and another
    glass labeled “potassium cyanide,” and you don’t know what the
    latter is, which one would you drink?

  160. 160 jezebel282

    George!

    “However googling Cyanides in Wikipedia got me close, but not a match to
    C Y N M I L K”

    I MADE IT UP, OK?

    It makes as much sense as Restasis…..

  161. 161 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Only if you answer this one:

    If confronted with one glass labeled ‘milk’ and another glass labeled ‘CynMilk with added Potassium!,’ and you don’t know what the latter is, which one would you drink”

    LOL!

    Being skeptical of interventions – government, medical, or otherwise (why the added potassium?) – I would choose neither.

  162. 162 jezebel282

    Portia,

    (why the added potassium?)

    Potassium Cyanide is no good without the potassium.

    “Being skeptical of interventions – government, medical, or otherwise (why the added potassium?) – I would choose neither.”

    Really? You only drink unpasteurized milk?

  163. 163 portia1776

    Chris,

    George is quite right when he writes that “PORTIA and CHRIS are arguing in almost different languages.” Unfortunately, only one of us speaks both.

    That is not to say I don’t appreciate that you have, finally, addressed some of my points in detail. I may find your conclusions alternatively risible and objectionable but don’t question that they are sincerely felt.

    Let me deal with this post here and in a separate post go back to the one I have withheld comment on so far.

    “I wholeheartedly agree, ‘of course people own their own bodies.'” – Then you have a strange way of showing it: i.e., supporting a system that regularly denies sick patients compassionate access to potentially beneficial treatments.

    “I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have the background or expertise” – This is a rephrase of Jez’s argument about “a knowledge deficit that hinders individuals making such decisions about their own bodies. But there is a knowledge deficit for doctors, too. That’s why there are specialists. And knowledge deficits exist in everything. By your standards, no one should do anything unless they are a well credential expert. Only the polymaths would have fun in Jez’s world.”

    The existence of knowledge deficits deepens the argument in favor of patients, as the primary stakeholders in their own health, ultimately choosing for themselves based on the best available information as presented to them by their physician(s) whether to accept or decline the treatment on offer.

    “I’m also not inclined to take a drug company’s word” – When you say things like this the implication is that I hold differently. Nothing is further from the truth. In the free market we don’t take the companies word; consumers demand rigorous, third-party verification. Even in the FDA monopolized market of today, there is a vibrant scientific community that peer-reviews every promising drug (and many which are not) before, during, and after it gets to the FDA.

    “especially given the fact that profits could easily come before safety or efficacy if profit is the bottom line.” – Still don’t get incentives, huh? Companies don’t generate profits unless consumers purchase their products. In health care there is at least one additional wrinkle. The product doesn’t get purchased unless a doctor (and currently a third-party payer) sign-off on it. Even removing the third-party payer as I support doing except in catastrophic cases, we’re not talking about consumers proscribing themselves hip transplants. Either in the existing system or in a free market, profits cannot come at the expense of the safest and most efficacious course for a particular patient.

    “And simply having the choice to decide whether to ingest something or start a course of treatment does not mean I can make an informed decision.” – Who has more of an incentive to make an informed decision you, who will have to live with the consequences, or someone else?

    You continue to cling to this erroneous idea that individual choice is prefaced on the possession of perfect knowledge. It is not and could never be because perfect knowledge is impossible. What we’re then talking about is who has the greatest interest in your health: you or someone else. Sine you are the biggest stakeholder in your own health decisions, you have to take responsibility. There simply is no other way that is compatible with individual liberty.

    “Without independent verification,” – We had independent verification before the FDA. We have independent verification now even with the FDA. As I pointed out with vitamins, where there is currently a free market, quality producers like Solgar have their products independently verified. Consumers are free to choose betweenq quality, independently verified producers and those which are not. So were do you get this “without” from? Hint: not from the free market.

    “And the article I cited above simply validates the concern…” – Of course it does nothing of the sort. Your denial of human beings as self-interested is just as plausible as your rejection of the existence of truth. What the article says is that doctors are fallible; some are even susceptible to corruption (gasp!) In a socialist system their lack of the proletarian ethos would be a problem because the entire system is premised on people being good. In the free market, the existence of bad actors is understood as a fact of nature that must be checked and balanced by the rule of law, independent verification mechanisms, and empowered consumers.

    “Would you at least agree that in those cases a self-interested doctor is putting his/her own interests ahead of the well-being of his/her patient?” – I think a bad actor is not so much self-interested as self-destructive (to borrow Yarron Brook’s line). If the doctors mentioned endangered the well-being of their patients for personal gain, they are monsters as far as I am concerned, as our the companies that paid them — and both should be dealt with prosecuted and/or sued accordingly.

    “How does the system address such actions when many companies don’t provide payment information and/or states don’t report these actions by doctors?” – The existing system or a free market system? In a free market transparency is not a campaign slogan. Patients would demand this information or refuse the doctors’ service.

    “What is a patient to do when confronted with a situation like this?” – In a free market, choose a different doctor if the doctor is not forthcoming with this information. In the existing system, it is more complicated because consumer choice is often limited (in network, co pay). But, then again, the existing system is very far from a free market.

    “I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen this information posted in a doctor’s office.” – That is because we don’t have a free market in health care. If we did not only would this information be forthomcing but so would the price of procedures.

    Take a look at Solgar, at the providers of Lasik, at plastic surgeons’ offices. They are forthcoming with information because they have to be. As the engraved stone at the entrance of Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk reads: “Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.”

    “If there were an independent body (outside the confines of the FDA) that would be free of influence from drug companies, interest groups and all others who could test the efficacy and safety of drugs without government involvement, I’d support it.” – Glad to hear it. But I’m not talking about “an independent body.” I’m talking about several if not many, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs, doctors, and even hospitals. The more decentralized, the more independent, the more checks and balances, the better.

    “But who will be responsible for creating that organization, funding it and maintaining a watch-dog status to ensure that those outside interests aren’t influencing testing or reporting?” – First, you act as if the FDA is free from regulatory capture and the politicization of its decision-making; it’s not. Second, and as I’ve stated before, there are tens of thousands of private regulatory bodies that oversee literally millions of products everyday around the world.

    To take one of the more visible examples: Consumer Reports.

    “Consumer Reports offers:
    # Scientific tests and ratings of thousands of products every year.
    # More than 100 experts working in 7 major areas:

    * Appliances
    * Cars
    * Baby & Kids
    * Electronics
    * Foods
    * Health & Family
    * Recreation & Home Improvement

    # Information that empowers consumers to make the best purchasing decision.

    We are a non-profit organization that is supported by the subscriptions to our
    web site and magazine. To maintain our independence, we do not accept any
    outside advertising and any free test samples.”

    “As for point 3, for every Abigail, Steven and Bruce there are just as many” – No, I will not stand for you morally equating the FDA’s crimes with make-believe. These are real people and your response is to equivocate on behalf of the FDA? Pitiful. This statement also makes clear that your claim to “wholeheartedly agree, ‘of course people own their own bodies'” was false. Of course you do not. If you did, you would be outraged that people like Abigail, Steven, and Bruce are suffering and dying at the hands of bureaucrats who refuse to allow them to heed their phsyicans’ advice.

    “…stories of people being harmed by drugs that made it to market without proper testing or manipulated results” – So you’re admitting that your preferred guarantor of safety, the FDA, is incompetent, negligent, corrupt? That is supposed to make us feel better?

    “In an ideal world, Abigail, Steven and Bruce have access to the treatments/drugs they wish to try AND consumers are provided with information that is free of manipulation or spin.” – These are not mutually exclusive concepts. A free market recognizes individual self-ownership and empowers consumers at the expense of special interests.

    “As for medical innovation, the FDA is not stopping companies from developing new therapies.” – I have provided ample evidence that it is. You ignore the evidence but that doesn’t make it any less true. If you don’t agree, kindly explain your reasoning as to why the FDA that pulls Vioxx would not have banned penicillin, which causes deadly allergic reactions at a much higher rate than Vioxx?

    “Does the FDA function perfectly? Absolutely not.” LOL. I will settle for human at this point. It is a crime that the compassionate access legislation has been stalled for 5 years. Shame on anyone who supports the immoral status quo.

    “I have concerns with the concept of leaving efficacy and safety in the hands of those whose only motive is profit.” – I would too. Maybe that’s why I’m not proposing such a system. I advocate for a medical free market, in which profits, as in every free market, are earned by providing the highest quality care at lowest possible cost.

    “I don’t see the free market being a sufficient filter for gauging either the efficacy or safety of drugs/treatments, unless within that market there is an entity looking out for the consumer/patient.” – It would help if you knew what the free market is; if you understood human nature and the nature of incentives; and if you didn’t always associate self-interest and profits with evil – and government intervention with good.

    Quick illustration:
    There is no government monopoly that ensures that products meet the demanding criteria of Muslim and Jewish dietary laws or law the forces stores to make such products accessible. Yet literally every supermarket in the country carriers kosher products, and many carry halal products, as well. How can that be? And why should that be, given that even combined Jews and Muslims are well short of ten percent of the population – and then are concentrated in certain geographic areas. Moreover, how do Jews and Muslims know that these products are truly compliant with their respective dietary laws?

    Anyone wish to explain this seeming conundrum?

  164. 164 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Really? You only drink unpasteurized milk?” – Haha… I’m *skeptical* not necessarily *opposed* to intervention. I not only accept the truth of Louis Pasteur’s discovery, I usually get the ultra-pasteurized variety. Thanks to free-market capitalism there are a plethora of brands, varieties, and types of milk to choose from.

    On principle, I hasten to note, people should be able to drink unpasteurized milk or eat unpasteurized cheese if they so desire. I think they’re ill-advised but should nevertheless be free to choose.

    The FDA does disagrees. It’s all-knowing bureaucrats do not recognize your body as belonging to you. It believes only itself capable of knowing whats best for you. And so the FDA harasses the Amish, some of whom sell raw milk to hippies (and others):

    “’They came in the dark, shining bright flashlights while my family was asleep, keeping me from milking my cows, from my family, from breakfast with my family and from our morning devotions, and alarming my children enough so that the first question they asked my wife was, ‘Is Daddy going to jail?’’”

    That’s how Amish farmer Dan Allgyer described an early morning visit last week from two FDA agents, two U.S. Marshals, and a Pennsylvania state trooper. Apparently, investigating a single farmer for possibly trafficking raw milk across state lines requires a show of force….

    Allgyer received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration that read, ‘An investigation by the u.s. Food and Drug Administration has determined that you are causing to be delivered into interstate commerce, selling, or otherwise distributing raw milk in final package form for human consumption.’

    The letter does not list the evidence against Allgyer, nor does it name specific violations. In fact, the letter from the FDA says exactly the opposite: ‘This letter is not intended to provide an all-inclusive list of violations.’ Two paragraphs later, the letter instructs Allgyer to report within 15 days ‘the specific steps you have taken to correct the noted violations.’

    ‘Failure to make prompt corrections could result in regulatory action without further notice. Possible actions include seizure and injunction.’”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/26/raw-milk-crackdown/#ixzz145cdUnxd

  165. 165 portia1776

    Chris,

    My promised response:

    “supporting the Constitution (which grants powers to the federal government)” – Individuals grant the national government power, which is enumerated and circumscribed by the Constitution. You will notice that the power of government are few while the rights of individuals are many (indeed, unlimited).

    I should note at the onset that just because the constitutionality of a law is unclear or even non-existent does not mean I or others who raise such questions are necessarily “for” whatever the existing law is “against.”

    “Civil Rights Act of 1866” – Good, constitutional law; strengthens individual economic and civil liberties.

    So-called “Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938” – Bad, unconstitutional law; abrogates individual economic liberties. You’re right that time-and-a-half is arbitrary. What you’re missing is that so is a national minimum wage, which has government presuming to know what the minimum, nationwide, should be. $5 is just as good a number as $20 – and if $20 why not $100 as any hourly rate. The minimum wage is a complete success or a complete failure depending on your perspective.

    As Dr. Walter Williams wrote in April of this year:

    “On the U.S. mainland, overall teenage unemployment stands at a record 25 percent while adult unemployment hovers around 10 percent. Also at a record high is the 50 percent unemployment rate among black teenage males.

    One might ask why teen unemployment, particularly among blacks, is so much higher than adult unemployment. The answer is simple. One effect of a minimum-wage law is that of discrimination against the employment of less-preferred workers. Within the category of less-preferred workers are those with low skills. Teens are disproportionately represented among such workers and are therefore more adversely affected by minimum wages. Black teens are disproportionately represented among teens with low skills and therefore share a greater burden of minimum wages.

    One of the more insidious effects of the minimum wage is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination. In fact, minimum-wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere, as demonstrated by just a couple of examples.

    During South Africa’s apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa’s Wage Board said, ‘The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed.’ In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight. ‘If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed,’ they said, ‘the strike will not have been in vain.’

    Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.”

    Regarding the child labor provisions – presumably just a tack-on so opponents of the law could be smeared as favoring child exploitation – they were meaningless. Child labor was and always will be a parental responsibility; no law was necessary.

    “Hobbs Act –” Unclear, questionably constitutional law. Your description “seems like a good idea to have laws against corruption and extortion” gives the impression that no laws against government employee and union corruption and extortion existed prior to this law’s passage in 1951. They did, of course. The Hobbs Act deals with whether certain crimes that effect interstate commerce (as broadly interpreted until United States v. Lopez and still not narrowly enough) should be classified as federal offenses.

    “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” – Generally positive but still of questionable constitutionality due to its ambiguities. Justice Scalia famously invited a challenge after the Court found the law wanting in H. J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Company

    “Clean Water Act” – Generally positive but still of questionable constitutionality due to interference with intrastate activity. Believe it or not, it is unclear what “water” it actually applies to! CATO’s practical advise for the 105th Congress seems sound to me: “amend the Clean Water Act to devolve regulatory authority for intrastate discharges to state and local governments, replace command-and-control technology dictates with general facility performance standards for interstate discharges, and eliminate all federal funding for water and sewage treatment programs (http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-41.html ).”

    “I’m not the ‘unlimited government’ proponent” – You have yet to articulate what principles you hold to that would in any sense of the word limit government. Even here you prove my point.

    After saying that you (rightly) oppose “Patriot Act, DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act], DADT [Don’t ask, don’t tell], Communications Decency Act of 1996” we hear that “As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to how the courts apply these laws (although some like DOMA, Patriot Act and others are just flat out wrong).” Why is the obnoxiously named “Patriot” Act “just flat out wrong” while the obnoxiously named “Fair Labor Standards Act” is alright by you? Neither is by me. But, then again, I apply my principled worldview to every issue consistently.

    “As for the FDA and drug issue specifically, if the free market had any incentive to regulate itself then perhaps the FDA would be unnecessary.” – Apology accepted. I’m glad you’ve come over to the side of reason and support the curtailing of immoral and unconstitutional FDA activities since, as you know, empowered consumers in the free-market provide the incentive for profit-minded businesses, scientists, and researchers to produce miracle drugs for the benefit of everyone.

  166. 166 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “And so the FDA harasses the Amish, some of whom sell raw milk to hippies (and others):”

    Hippies? Raw milk direct shipped to their nursing homes?

    You did not mention how this raw milk was packaged and sold, by the way. Did the label say “Milk”, “Raw Milk” or “Unpasteurized Milk” or perhaps “Organic Natural Milk”? ( A favorite in the “Hippie” market)

  167. 167 1george1

    George!
    “However googling Cyanides in Wikipedia got me close, but not a match to
    C Y N M I L K” – – I MADE IT UP, OK? – – It makes as much sense as Restasis…..


    YA GOT ME: HOOK, LINE, & SINKER! 8) 😦


    PORTIA / others – NO time to view volumes, at this time.

  168. 168 1george1

    “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”
    – Generally positive but still of questionable constitutionality
    due to its ambiguities.

    “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”
    Great way to end most WAR & CRIME:

    Indict / sue Democratic and Republican political parties and their
    accessories in the UN.

    Every member of the JUDICIAL, EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE and major
    players of the Political Justice System and Military intelligence
    industrial complex profits from WAR and CRIME .

    BALZAK: “All great fortunes come from great crimes!”

  169. 169 cstratct

    Interesting to say the least:

    Repeal and Replace?

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/05/why-healthcare-reform-will-survive.html

    “The real reason insurers want the GOP leading Congress again is not to repeal “Obamacare,” but to try to gut some of the provisions of the law that protect consumers from the abuses of the industry, such as refusing to cover kids with preexisting conditions, canceling policyholders’ coverage when they get sick, and setting annual and lifetime limits on how much they’ll pay for medical care. Insurers also hate the provision that requires them to spend at least 80 percent of premium revenues on medical care, as well as the one that calls for eliminating the billions of dollars that the government has been overpaying them for years to participate in private Medicare plans. (Be on the lookout for a death panel–like fearmongering campaign to scare people into thinking, erroneously, that Granny and Pawpaw will lose their government health care if Congress doesn’t restore those “cuts” to Medicare.)”

    Wendell Potter is a senior analyst at The Center for Public Integrity. This piece is based on his book Deadly Spin, published this week by Bloomsbury Press.

  170. 170 1george1

    Nobody is even trying to hide their criminality …

  171. 171 1george1

    From SUDDS;
    George,

    You say that I don’t post my opinions, argue well enough, etc…
    But let me ask you this…

    Out of all of the postings that you have done on this blog…
    WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED???
    You (and others) have spent HOURS (if not days) formulating
    these (unending) posts that have accomplished NOTHING!!!

    GEORGE REPLY:
    Why watch reruns on TV, when I can engage others in commnications
    about how they feel about situations in town, the state, USA, or other
    things?
    Sudds in a bar, are you going to debate any of these issues?
    At the dinner table? At work?
    When you discuss ANYTHING, someone will interupt you and carry on
    trying to impose their position on you!
    Here, you can post as short (Ron) as you want, or (Portia / George / Chris)
    as long as you desire to post, without interuption.
    – I have learned how and what some people think, despite the fact most
    are of Replican ideology and thus have limited horizons. 😉

    Sudds, do you have PASSIONATE POSITIONS about TOWN or US issues?

    Who cares if nothing happens about what I would like to see?
    There are times I simply need a break during the work day.
    I can pound out some ideas and rid some frustrations and be reinvigorated!
    – I am not beating the wife or the dog (I have neither) or hurting anyone!

    SUDDS: The fact that you folks are debating national healthcare on this
    blog … at level whereas you actually think something is going to be
    accomplished… is PATHETIC!!!

    GEORGE: You miss the point of debating beliefs, where we learn from
    other people while trying to prove our position, which also helps us to
    examine … what do I believe?

    SUDD: Yes, what I say is often in jest
    (and usually to cause trouble/stir-the-pot/rock-the-boat),

    GEORGE: Likely why you voted for me, since I had NO HOPE of WINNING,
    YET in my efforts running for office, what were my objectives?
    to cause trouble/
    stir-the-pot/
    rock-the-boat/
    get out the truths, other wise would never be exposed/
    educate the voter – public/
    lay foundation for improvements/

    SUDDS: but that’s because I try to live in a world that is reality!!!

    GEORGE: Part of reality is fantasy. Recreation is a necessary part of life, to
    recharge the batteries and reinvigorate body, mind and soul.
    Part of the word recreation are “create” and “recreate.”
    This blog is recreation for me.
    I suspect the blog has “psychic gratfication” for JEZE and OTHERS.
    LIFE is BUSY.
    LIFE is MUNDANE.
    LIFE gets CONFINED.
    HERE … what you post is up to you.
    JEZE ceased erasing POSTS
    JEZE limits moving POSTS
    JEZE seems to have unwound a bit, and likely has given up a bit, like
    sooooo many others in town.
    A former UNION STEWARD told me, we can not stop management…
    All we can do, is help slow them down …

    Are you going to surrender your CONSTITUTIONAL, CRIMINAL, and CIVIL
    RIGHTS to creatures intent on stealing everything for themselves and
    imposing their desires and will on YOU … A L L of Y O U?

    SUDDS: And as such, I realize that I can post all I want on here…
    but just like with you folks… it will accomplish NOTHING!!!

    GEORGE: Just because I do not get credited for things, does not mean
    I accomplished nothing. No one would believe the discreet changes I
    have inputted upon, both beneficial and those that were perverted.

    SUDDS: Stop drinking the Kool-Aid folks and go live your life!!!

    GEORGE: The drinking the Kool-Aid mantra is oxymoronic.
    Most often, it is used by people who bought into the lies and main line
    Kool-Aid of circle jerk peers, whose idea of original thought is what they
    hear from FOX as opposed to NY Times for Democrats (not real Liberals)

    —-


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