Cancer eating your ribcage? No problem! We’ll just 3D-print you a new one!

September 18, 2015

Pushing the boundaries

This is amazing:

A 3D-printed rib cage made of titanium has been implanted into a human for the first time, received by a man from Spain suffering from a cancerous tumor.

Surgeons at Salamanca University Hospital in Spain asked Anatomics, an Australian firm, to create the rib cage for the patient, who had part of his own removed after his cancerous tumor grew around his ribs and sternum, according to The Mirror U.K.

The design team customized the 3D rib cage using CT scans from the patient and a printer from the Australian national science agency CSIRO.

“The reason 3D printing was desired for making this implant was because it needed to be customized exactly to suit the patient,” Alex Kingsbury, additive manufacturing research leader at CSIRO said, according to The Mirror.

“No human body is the same, so therefore every implant is going to be different,” Kingsbury continued. “It would have been an incredibly complex piece to manufacture traditionally, and in fact, almost impossible.”

And yet human ingenuity once again makes the impossible possible. (Prophets of Doom for the Cult of Global Warming should take note.)

It’s been said the Internet “changed the world.” Well, 3D printing has the potential to be just as transformational in ways we haven’t even dreamed of, yet.

I wonder if this guy’s friends now call him “Terminator?”

via Jonah Goldberg

Green Fail: windfarms contaminate the water supply?

July 18, 2015
"Epic fail"

What could go wrong?

I don’t see what the problem is; since Human activity causes global warming, shouldn’t this be condign punishment for our sins against Gaea?

Campaigners in Scotland are calling for a full, independent investigation into allegations that wind farms are contaminating water supplies across large areas of Scotland.

They have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd calling for an immediate halt on all wind farm development north of the border until the government can guarantee safe drinking water for everyone.

The problem first came to light when residents living near Europe’s largest wind farm, the 215 turbine Whitelee farm in Ayrshire, began to suffer from diarrhoea and severe vomiting. Tipped off by an NHS report which mentioned that difficulties in treating the water supply may pose health risks, local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, started digging into the council’s water testing results.

She found that, between May 2010 and April 2013, high readings of E.coli and other coliform bacteria had been recorded. In addition, readings of the chemical trihalomethane (THM), linked to various cancers, still births and miscarriages, were way beyond safe limits.

Scottish Power, who run the wind farm, denied causing the pollution but admitted that they hadn’t warned residents that their water supplies may be contaminated.

In other words, “we couldn’t have caused this problem, but maybe we should have warned you.” Right. So we’ve gone from wind farms chopping up birds to poisoning the water supply. They’re not economically viable without public subsidy, they never meet their promised power generation or reliability, but, hey, they do give you diarrhea. And maybe kill your unborn child. All to fight catastrophic man-caused global warming, a problem that does not exist.

What on Earth are you complaining about?

Now, of course, nothing is proven yet, but I’ll wager dollars to donuts there’s more to this than the hysteria over fracking and earthquakes.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Thanks, Glenn!

Ebola: What is so hard about a travel ban?

October 16, 2014
Ebola virus

Ebola virus

Honestly, it seems like the most commonsense move in the world: If Ebola is rampant in West Africa, you bar incoming flights and passengers from that region until the disease is brought under control. After all, the disease was introduced into Houston Dallas by a man flying from West Africa. If he hadn’t been allowed in, there would be no people sick with Ebola in Houston Dallas, now.

But, that’s not how this White House operates. At a White House briefing yesterday after the President (finally) held a meeting on Ebola, press secretary the latest Mouth of Sauron, Josh Earnest, was asked about the possibility of imposing a travel ban. Here’s his response:

At today’s briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked why it was still OK to allow flights from the three West African countries that comprise Ebola ground zero — Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone — if it was risky for [nurse Amber] Vinson to hop on a commercial flight from Ohio.

“There’s a multilayered screening protocol that’s in place to ensure that individuals that may have symptoms consistent with Ebola are not even able to board planes in West Africa,” Earnest said.

A travel ban “is not on the table at this point.”

“Shutting down travel to that area of the world would prevent the expeditious flow of personnel and equipment into the region, and the only way for us to stop this outbreak and to eliminate any risk from Ebola to the American public is to stop this outbreak at the source,” Earnest said.

“So we are mobilizing significant resources to make sure that supplies and personnel can get to the affected region and start meeting the needs of the affected region so that we can stop the outbreak there. And that’s why, right now, the travel ban is not on the table.”

There’s a word to describe Earnest’s response that begins with “bull,” but this is a family show. First, the guy from Liberia carrying the disease showed no symptoms until after arriving in Dallas Houston, thus the “multi-layered” screening process Earnest mentions probably would not have caught him. Second nurse Vinson, who had been treating the infected Liberian, had a mild fever and was allowed to fly anyway, even after reporting herself to CDC. Who’s to say similar mistakes wouldn’t be made by far less sophisticated personnel in Dakar or Monrovia?

As for interfering with needed personnel and equipment reaching the affected countries, that is utter nonsense. Any necessary planes can be given the needed clearances easily, and procedures can be put in place for quarantining crew and disinfecting equipment. What a ban would stop is a casual traveler bringing the virus back with him — just as has already happened!

This is malfeasance in office that goes beyond incompetence and verges, in my non-legal opinion, on criminal negligence. And if Chief Executive Obama won’t take the necessary executive action , then Congress should haul its collective butt back to Washington and pass legislation that does impose a ban.

Really, this shouldn’t be hard.

PS: Be sure to read the whole article. Obama’s “statement” is a marvel of bureaucratic blather, verbal “jazz hands” meant to hide the fact that he has, again, done nothing about a potential crisis.

UPDATE: Edited because I placed “patient zero” in Houston instead of Dallas. Not sure which city would be more offended.

The Ebola Crisis and Medical Intelligence

October 4, 2014

Here’s an article on an intelligence agency I’ve never heard of: the National Center for Medical Intelligence. Yes, a US Government intel agency devoted to medical threats to the US military — and, in the latest crisis, to the US itself, I’m sure. And I’ve no doubt there are at least a half-dozen development teams in Hollywood writing pitches for the “NCMI TV series” even now.

The XX Committee

There’s now no denying that West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has become a global crisis. After months of downplaying the threat, Western governments are facing the painful fact that the situation is deteriorating fast. It’s now plain to see that the world is at the precipice of something genuinely awful, with official predictions of more than a million new infections by the new year. Given that the death rate among those infected with Ebola is roughly fifty percent — and a good deal higher in underdeveloped regions like West Africa — serious concern is warranted.

Now that a Liberian visitor has brought Ebola to American shores, the assurances of officials that the situation is “under control” are being viewed skeptically by many. Our self-reporting system for preventing diseases entering the United States has failed, and investigators are reaching out to a hundred or more travelers who might have been exposed to…

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Claim: Climate change may bring more kidney stones – but the Tasian et al. paper lacks proper controls

July 11, 2014

Global warming: is there nothing it cannot do?

Watts Up With That?

kidney_stonesFrom the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia  Something that I consider to be more than a stretch, and possibly conflated junk science, especially since I’ve suffered kidney stones myself and live in a place with summer temperatures that average well over 50°F. See my comments and citations of other papers at the end.

CHOP-led research finds link between hotter days, kidney stones in US adults and children

As daily temperatures increase, so does the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones. In a study that may both reflect and foretell a warming planet’s impact on human health, a research team found a link between hot days and kidney stones in 60,000 patients in several U.S. cities with varying climates.

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#Obamacare: Stage-4 cancer patient loses the insurance and doctors she liked

November 4, 2013


Edie Sundby is a Californian suffering from stage-4 gall bladder cancer. With a predicted survival rate of just two-percent on diagnosis, that she is alive at all is something of a miracle. And her survival is a tribute not only to her own resilience and determination, not only to the skill of he doctors at UCSD, Stanford, and in Houston, but also to the insurance company that has so far shelled out over a million dollars for her care, without once questioning or denying a treatment. In the midst of the awful situation in which she finds herself, Edie is very happy with her doctors and insurance.

And, thanks to Obamacare, she can’t keep them:

But in January, United Healthcare sent me a letter announcing that they were pulling out of the individual California market. The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October.

You would think it would be simple to find a health-exchange plan that allows me, living in San Diego, to continue to see my primary oncologist at Stanford University and my primary care doctors at the University of California, San Diego. Not so. UCSD has agreed to accept only one Covered California plan—a very restrictive Anthem EPO Plan. EPO stands for exclusive provider organization, which means the plan has a small network of doctors and facilities and no out-of-network coverage (as in a preferred-provider organization plan) except for emergencies. Stanford accepts an Anthem PPO plan but it is not available for purchase in San Diego (only Anthem HMO and EPO plans are available in San Diego).

So if I go with a health-exchange plan, I must choose between Stanford and UCSD. Stanford has kept me alive—but UCSD has provided emergency and local treatment support during wretched periods of this disease, and it is where my primary-care doctors are.

As I’ve said before, with the elderly and the very ill the trust relationship between physician, insurer, and patient is crucial, if only for the psychological state of the patient. That Ms. Sundby cannot keep the relationships she values isn’t just wrong, it’s cruel.

And it is very possibly endangering her life:

For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point.

This story appeared in the Wall Street Journal and has set the Internet ablaze since it first appeared last night. One would think the White House would rush to control the damage by finding some way to help Edie, maybe one of Obama’s infamous waivers.

Instead, the official Team Obama response is to attack Edie Sundby by essentially calling her a liar:

Pfeiffer is “Senior Adviser to the President for Strategy and Communications.”

Congratulations, Dan. We got the message.

RELATED: More sticker shock for people who’ve had their insurance canceled by Obamacare. Glenn Reynolds meditates on the hubris of technocrats and recommends a book Obama should have read. My blog-buddy ST has also written on this news.

PS: If you’re among those who are losing their coverage thanks to Obamacare and want a direction to aim your anger, remember one thing.

#Obamacare train wreck: thousands of elderly losing the doctors they like

October 25, 2013

“Obamacare rolls on”

Well, that’s not fair of me. Elderly, ill New Yorkers on the Medicare Advantage program actually have a choice: they can give up their doctor and take whomever their insurance will give them (whether they like that person or not); they can give up their insurance and pay for the doctor themselves; or they can try to find a plan their doctor is part of… and probably pay a lot more. Shockingly, many of these people are unhappy with their Brave New World:

The are 2.6 million elderly New Yorkers who receive Medicare, the public heath-insurance program for the elderly.

But one in three patients — nearly 900,000 — are enrolled in Advantage, Medicare HMOs run by private insurers.

Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz, who serves 30 patients under Medicare Advantage at his Brooklyn practice, said he was blindsided by UnitedHealthcare’s decision to give him the boot.

“A patient can’t see his doctor? What are they doing!” he asked.

They’re only doing what’s economically rational for the company, Doc, given the perverse incentives created by Obamacare.

And how do patients feel about this?

…Wilma Streicher, 76, was equally baffled. “Of course I want to keep Dr. Leibowitz. I don’t see why they want to push him out,” she said.

Patients of other doctors faced the same dire situation. Lung-cancer patient Jeannette Campregon, 79, received a letter from EmblemHealth saying that her internist, George Ruggiero, was terminated from her VIP High Option Medicare Advantage network.

Emblem notified her she could stay in her current plan and choose another doctor, pick a different plan to keep her doctor or call a customer-service rep for help.

“I’m going absolutely nuts,” said Campregon, who got conflicting information from three different service reps. “I don’t want to change my doctor!”

Ingrates and liars! Amanda Marcotte would demand they show a screenshot or it didn’t happen! They’re obviously under the delusion that the President said they could keep their doctor if they liked their doctor. How stupid, how…. Oh, wait:

In reality, this is no laughing matter. Anyone who’s had to deal with an elderly relative undergoing treatment knows just how important it is to the success of that treatment for that person to like and trust their doctor. More confidence, less stress, and a greater willingness to undergo what’s needed to get better. I can attest from painful personal experience how important the doctor-patient relationship is to these people, as I’m sure many of you can, too.

But now Obamacare is ripping all that up, in many cases threatening relationships built up over decades. And if it’s happening in New York, you can bet it’s happening across the nation, too.:

And here’s the devastating statistic you’ll see cited until the numbers change:

Over 500,000 individuals have seen their insurance policies cancelled in just 3 states. In all 50 states, only 476,000 applications have been “filed” in an exchange.

In short, Obamacare has caused more people to lose their health insurance than gain it so far.

Even if Obamacare were, by some miracle, repealed tomorrow, the carnage left in Obamacare’s wake is tremendous. Not just economically, vast though the disruption of the insurance markets has been, so far, but also on a very personal level, as we’ve seen in the Post article. And yet these are some of the very people Obama and his Pied Pipers claimed over and over would be helped by their new wonder-law.

What the Democrats have unleashed in their arrogance and hubris is unforgivable, and we can only hope voters make them pay a terrible price at the ballot box.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

June 4, 2012

What could go wrong?

Watts Up With That?

From the Canadian Medical Association Journal another one of those areas like the ridiculous attempts to green the military, where I think most people don’t give a rats patootie about whether they are getting “green care” or not. In the case of the military, we want an effective offense, one that effectively neutralizes or kills the enemy. In the case of surgical procedures, we want an effective offense, one that effectively neutralizes or kills the disease. I don’t need nor care for a twisty bulb, or green bio jet fuel, green packaging, or  whatever it might be in either situation. I want want is most effective.  They are concerned about medical waste, that’s fine, as we’ve seen with much of the green revolution, haste makes waste, so I hope hospitals don’t try to put political correctness before effectiveness.

Greening operating rooms benefit the bottom line and the environment


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Unspeakable barbarism

August 19, 2010

Severing a man’s spine because a 1,300-year old religious legal code demands it? Yeah, try to tell me they’re civilized:

Saudi court mulls verdict to cut defendant’s spine

A court in Saudi Arabia is seeking medical advice on whether it is possible to cut the spinal cord of a man as a punishment after he was indicted of causing paralysis to another man during a fight, a local daily reported on Thursday.

The court in the northwestern province of Tabuk has sent letters to hospitals in the kingdom asking them whether the punishment to cripple the defendant by severing his spine is medically possible, the Arabic language daily Okaz said.

The unidentified defendant hit Abdul Aziz Al Mutairi, another Saudi, with a cleaver during a fight more than two years ago and the trial has been delayed because Mutairi is insisting that his attacker suffer the same injury.

I guess it makes all the difference in the world that the court is asking first if the procedure is possible; after all, they only want to cripple him for life, not kill him.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch summarizes the justification under Sharia law:

It’s in the Qur’an: “We ordained therein for them: ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.’ But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.” — Qur’an 5:45

Read the rest to see why the argument that the Old Testament contains a similar argument is specious.

Okay, the guy who committed the offense is a maniac who deserves a long jail sentence for mayhem or aggravated assault, but crippling?

Mengele didn’t die in Brazil in 1979, he moved to Saudi Arabia.

Why do California unions hate children?

August 13, 2010

From Reason.TV, a short documentary about how unions blocked a bill in Sacramento that would have made an easily administered drug quickly available to children suffering from severe seizures:

I’m certainly no expert on the issue, but it’s hard for me to believe the unions’ objections outweigh the need for swift treatment of children in an emergency.

Medical care in the Worker’s Paradise

July 16, 2010

If there is a Hell, I think it must resemble North Korea:

North Korea’s healthcare is a horror, report says

North Korea’s healthcare system is unable to provide sterilized needles, clean water, food and medicine, and patients are forced to undergo agonizing surgery without anesthesia, Amnesty International reported Thursday.

The human rights group, citing World Health Organization statistics, found that North Korea spent under $1 per capita on healthcare, the lowest in the world. The global average was $716 per capita.

The collapse of the healthcare system compounds the misery of a population that is chronically malnourished and suffering from digestive problems caused by eating weeds, tree bark, roots, corn husks, cobs and other “substitute” foods.


Amnesty International interviewed 40 people who had escaped North Korea, most of them from 2004 to 2009. They told harrowing stories about their experiences in the medical system.

“I was screaming so much from the pain, I thought I was going to die. They had tied my hands and legs to prevent me from moving,” said a 56-year-old woman from Musan who had an appendectomy performed without anesthesia.

Emphasis added.

Many argue that we should provide humanitarian aid to relieve situations such as those described above. Laudable as those motives are, the logic is false. All aid does is preserve the criminal regime, as the rulers divert food and money to themselves and their favored lackeys, the common folk be damned. And by propping up the regime, we’re prolonging the suffering of the Korean people trapped in the North – the world’s largest prison camp.

And yet what is more moral: providing aid that preserves a nightmarish regime, or denying it in order to cause the regime’s downfall, which would have its own incalculable consequences? Is the risk of war on the Korean peninsula worth bringing about Pyongyang’s downfall (for I have no doubt that a determined Western effort could cause a collapse), or is the prospect of a war, which is likely to be short but very bloody and very destructive, so frightening that we’d rather leave the North Korean people in Hell?

I have no answer.

Forget the shoe-bomber and the pantybomber

January 31, 2010

The next attack by al Qaeda may come via the boob-bomber:

Terrorists ‘plan attack on Britain with bombs INSIDE their bodies’ to foil new airport scanners

Britain is facing a new Al Qaeda terror threat from suicide ‘body bombers’ with explosives surgically inserted inside them.

Until now, terrorists have attacked airlines, Underground trains and buses by secreting bombs in bags, shoes or underwear to avoid detection.

But an operation by MI5 has uncovered evidence that Al Qaeda is planning a new stage in its terror campaign by inserting ‘surgical bombs’ inside people for the first time.

Security services believe the move has been prompted by the recent introduction at airports of body scanners, which are designed to catch terrorists before they board flights.

It is understood MI5 became aware of the threat after observing increasingly vocal internet ‘chatter’ on Arab websites this year.

The warning comes in the wake of the failed attempt by London-educated Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up an airliner approaching Detroit on Christmas Day.

One security source said: ‘If the terrorists are talking about this, we need to be ready and do all we can to counter the threat.’

A leading source added that male bombers would have the explosive secreted near their appendix or in their buttocks, while females would have the material placed inside their breasts in the same way as figure-enhancing implants.

When you’re done laughing, bear in mind, as the article points out, it only takes a few ounces of PETN to blow a fatal whole in an airplane. And this is being planned to circumvent body scanners, which would find explosives hidden where the sun doesn’t shine.

This goes to show that a sole focus on the tactic or the device is wrong, because the enemy will always find a new (and bizarre) way to try to kill us. Until we target the jihadi himself, via profiling, we are exposing innocent people to grave risks.

(hat tip: Fausta)

RELATED: Maybe the boob-bombers will be entering the swimsuit competition?

Do Americans Care about British Soldiers?

August 18, 2009

As Michael Yon shows, the answer is a resounding yes:

A gunshot ripped through the darkness and a young British soldier fell dying on FOB Jackson.  I was just nearby talking on the satellite phone and saw the commotion.  The soldier was taken to the medical tent and a helicopter lifted him to the excellent trauma center at Camp Bastion.  That he made it to Camp Bastion alive dramatically improved his chances.  But his life teetered and was in danger of slipping away.  Making matters worse, the British medical system back in the United Kingdom did not possess the specialized gear needed to save his life.  Americans had the right gear in Germany, and so the British soldier was put into the American system.

British officers in his unit, 2 Rifles, wanted to track their man every step of the way, and to ensure that his family was informed and supported in this time of high stress.  Yet having their soldier suddenly in the American system caused a temporary glitch in communications with folks in Germany.  The British leadership in Sangin could have worked through the glitch within some hours, but that would have been hours wasted, and they wanted to know the status of their soldier now.  So a British officer in Sangin – thinking creatively –asked if I knew any shortcuts to open communications.  The right people were only an email away: Soldiers Angels.  And so within about two minutes, these fingers typed an email with this subject heading: CALLING ALL ANGELS.

Read the whole amazing story.

More on ObamaCare and individual insurance

July 23, 2009

I wrote earlier about what looked like a provision in the proposed health care reform bill to kill the private medical insurance market by banning the sale of new policies after the government plan comes into effect.  This was based on a  reading of the bill by the staff at Investor’s Business Daily. Others disagreed somewhat.

Philip Klein at American Spectator has taken a closer look at the bill and seems to have figured what’s really intended: it’s not that ObamaCare will ban new private insurance, it just bans the private market in insurance:

IBD followed up with a bit more nuanced editorial explaining that private insurers would still be able to offer individual insurance, but only through a new government-run exchange that would impose heavy regulations on participating insurers. At the prompting of our dilligent intern Molly O’Connor, I looked a bit further into the issue. This morning, I was able to independently confirm the IBD editorial with several Republican staffers on the Ways and Means committee. And if that doesn’t convince you, especially telling is a video clip (see below), in which Rep. Paul Ryan poses the question of individual private insurance to Cybele Bjorklund, who is the Democrats’ staff director on the Health Subcommittee that helped author the bill. While existing plans would be grandfathered in, Bjorklund responds that insurers “cannot create new policies outside of that window, outside of the exchange, but they can choose to operate in the exchange.”

In other words, private insurance may only be offered via a government-controlled market. And if the government provides the only market, it can also control the price and the breadth of offerings. It doesn’t have to own the insurance industry outright as long as that industry serves government ends, the essence of liberal fascist or corporatist economic policy.

It amazes me that the administration and the progressives in Congress insist on statist solutions straight out of the mid-20th century, which have been shown not to work as well as a free or mostly free market, when the tide of the world is still moving against collectivism.

Commanding the uncontrollable didn’t work for King Canute, either.

Connect the dots

June 24, 2009

Michelle Malkin writes today about the men behind the curtain of the grassroots movement toward socialized medicine:

If you believe the White House, there are 30 million Americans who
support a government health care takeover. But if you look at the
funding behind the Obamacare Astroturf campaign, it’s the same few
Leftist billionaires, union bosses, and partisan community organizers
pushing the socialized medicine agenda. Let’s connect the dots.

On Thursday, a national “grass-roots” coalition called “Health Care
for America Now (HCAN)” will march on Capitol Hill to demand universal
health care. The ground troops won’t have to march very far. HCAN, you
see, is no heartland network. It is headquartered at 1825 K Street in
Washington, D.C. – smack dab in the middle of Beltway lobby land.

Do read the whole thing. There are plenty of links to follow and, in the upcoming fight over health care, it's important to bear in mind Cicero's famous question: cui bono? Thinking

This just in

May 4, 2009

Arlen Specter is a swine.


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It is blasphemy to get sick

April 30, 2009

The Nation of Islam has forbidden its members to get swine flu. You hear that? Don’t you dare do it!

No, I am not kidding:

Saying it must strictly adhere to the rule that no pig shall pass their lips–or enter their bloodstream–Nation of Islam leaders today told members they should not contract the swine flu.

The NOI prohibits members from eating pork because it considers the pig to be an ‘unclean’ animal. It holds the same feeling toward the swine flu.

"The pig is a nasty foul beast and no man should eat of it," said Minister Bartholomew 298X, NOI chief of health and wellness for Mosque #458. "Nor shall he allow it to infect his white blood cells or his red blood cells or take residence in the holy places of his bowels."

The edict comes just two days after the U.S. government declared a public health emergency to respond to the flu, which has so far sickened people in Kansas, California, New York, and several other states.

"But you will notice that none of the afflicted are in the Nation of Islam," said Bartholomew 298X. "We adhere very strictly to our religion, unlike the devils who have contracted this foul disease."

"Holy places of the bowels"… I swear I can’t make this …er… "stuff" up. Laughing

Oh, and note the racist shot at the end. Nice.

(hat tip: Infidels Are Cool)


Tipping point?

March 18, 2009

I wrote before of being aghast at the Obama administration’s idea to make US military personnel buy private insurance to pay for treatment for combat wounds by the VA. I felt certain they’d realize how stupid and insulting this proposal is and would quietly drop it.

I was wrong.

The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization says he is “deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.

“It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, “This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘ to care for him who shall have borne the battle’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans!”

Liberals often protest that they respect and honor the military, that they “care for the troops,” and then they give us garbage like this? Let me put this as plainly as I can: the men and women who serve in our armed forces are volunteers. We ask them to defend our nation’s interests –and our very lives– at the risk of wounding, permanent disfigurement, and even death. And they freely agree to do just that. When they are injured in the course of that service, we owe them the best medical care the nation can provide, at the nation’s expense. This isn’t just a contractual obligation — it is a moral imperative. It is the only decent thing to do, and to even consider making wounded soldiers pay for their own care is obscene.

The Obama administration says they need to raise $540 million dollars and that this is a good way to do it. May I suggest to these geniuses that they could instead cut that much in pork-barrel spending from the stimulus bill alone, and still have plenty leftover for dog runs?

There’s growing discontent and doubt about the administration and its policies, even from its supporters, but it has yet to translate into active anger at Obama himself, who remains personally popular. This, however, could be the tipping point. Whatever people may feel about the wars we’re fighting, the military and its personnel are held in high regard by most Americans — far higher than Congress, for example. As a volunteer force in a democratic republic, Americans feel a sense of ownership over the military and concern for its members that isn’t found in authoritarian states. And they will not be happy with Obama’s slap in the face against their friends and relatives.

President Obama should be careful: a seemingly “little policy change” like this could be the catalyst that turns the public’s growing but still inchoate frustration into a burning anger directed at him and his party, costing them dearly at the ballot box.

LINKS: Fausta, Baseball Crank, AJ Strata, Sister Toldjah, & Ed Morrissey.

JUST WORDS: And here’s what the President himself had to say about caring for our veterans:

Guess this must be another of those seemingly endless Obama Promises(tm) that come with expiration dates. Angry

UPDATE: They’re laughing at you, Mr. President-Messiah

UPDATE II: Faced with bipartisan scorn and contempt, the administration has withdrawn the proposal. Ed Morrissey has the money quote:

If he respected veterans, he wouldn’t have proposed it in the first place.  All this shows is that Obama “respects” the potential for fumbling away any hope of re-election.


Edit 2/27/2012: Fixed a link that referred to the old Typepad site.

Thank you for your service. Now pay up.

March 12, 2009

It’s for news like this that the acronym "WTF??" was coined: the Obama administration is considering making wounded servicemen pay for their own medical care:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance. …

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”

“A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said.

That they’re even considering this makes me ask again, "WTF???" "Travesty." "Farce." "Insult." All these words come to mind in a rush.

But, in the end, I’m just speechless. Surprise


Obama’s health plans are based on false information

March 11, 2009

At Maggie’s Farm, Bruce Kesler presents a detailed examination of the top ten reasons given why we need nationalized healthcare NOW. Those reasons are…

  1. Comparing US Health Care To Other Developed Countries
  2. US Health Care Spending Is More Than We Can Afford
  3. Reform Overhaul Will Yield Major Savings
  4. Increased Evidence-Based Medicine And Health Information Technology Will Significantly Improve Care and Reduce Costs
  5. Present Administrative Costs And Insurer Profits Are Too High
  6. US Consumer Dissatisfaction Requires Drastic Health Care Changes
  7. Health Care Costs Are So High They Are A Major Cause Of Personal Bankruptcy
  8. The Number Of Uninsured Is So Large That Drastic Health Care Changes Are Necessary
  9. More Preventive Care Will Better Serve Consumers And Save Costs
  10. Health Care Consumers Are Being Served By Drastic Health Care Changes

Kesler then demolishes each one in detail. For example, take number five:

5. Present Administrative Costs And Insurer Profits Are Too High: The above Price Waterhouse analysis finds 86% of premiums being paid out for claims and an additional 5% for consumer services like prevention, wellness, care coordination, education, and information systems. Government compliance and reporting requirements cost another 6%. That leaves 3% for profits and reserves needed to generate added investments. Indeed, in 2008, Fortune Magazine’s compilation of industry profitability had health care insurance and managed care well behind some commonly assumed to have low profits such as railroads (12.4%). Discretionary entertainment (12.4%) is more profitable than necessary health insurance.

It’s long, but do read the whole thing. The effective nationalization of healthcare, which is one-sixth of the US economy, is one of the most transformative proposals made by the Obama administration and its progressive allies in Congress. It represents a radical reworking of medical care in the US, and not for the better. If we’re to convince people of this and prevent it from happening, we need to counter the progressives’ errors with facts.

Kesler’s post is a great start.

(via Sister Toldjah)