Op/Ed: Don’t Buy What They Are Selling

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Buying and selling is in the news lately with President “at some point you’ve made enough money", “climate change is urgent and growing” Obama’s well-publicized imminent purchase of a 7,000 square foot, $14.85 million estate in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard.

The former POTUS’ new digs, a sprawling estate on what is considered the playground of the rich and famous, you can bet is guaranteed to survive the rising seas of climate change. Our current politicians are also on the hunt for buyers.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Middle East, Iran/Saudis, Epstein’s Bedfellows, Felicity Huffman, Eddie Money/Ric Ocasek, 2020


Sales Pitch Number One: A medical care crisis is afoot and only the government can save you. Yes, there is a crisis of rising prices and premiums after the government started meddling in the medical care market. Once health insurance became popular, by 1963 906 insurance companies wrote health and accident insurance, with 42 offering exclusively health insurance.

Now we have five companies that have cornered the health insurance market. Additionally, politically powerful hospitals continue to merge and gobble up physicians’ practices leading to up to 70 percent higher prices in geographic areas with minimal competition.

Premiums and out-of-pocket costs steeply rose after the passage of the Affordable Care Act and show no sign of going back down. In 2018, according to eHealth, the average cost of health insurance premiums was $440 for individuals and $1,168 for families – almost double the cost in 2014. The deductibles (the amount of money that you have to pay out-of-pocket before health insurance starts paying for your covered benefits) similarly rose to $4,328 for individuals and $8,352 for families.


Op/Ed: Russia, Racists, and Ridiculousness


Sales Pitch Number Two: The government-to-the rescue plan is fair and free. Now that we have had debates and the Iowa State Fair, we’ve heard enough to know that Medicare-for-All is neither free nor fair. There is a good political reason the House and Senate Medicare-for-All bills fail to provide a financing mechanism. We would have a collective national heart attack after seeing the price tag.

In 2016, the federal government spent more than $1.2 trillion on Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Total national health expenditures by all government levels and private entities were $3.3 trillion. A 2018 Mercatus Center analysis concluded that Medicare-for-All conservatively would add $32.6 to $38.8 trillion to federal expenditures during its first 10 years.

The government predicts that in 2026 the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust fund will be depleted and total national health expenditures will be $5.7 trillion. The federal government collected about $100 billion in Medicare premiums and a total of $3.32 trillion in taxes last year. Given the projected expenditures and no cost-sharing or premiums, new ways to perform mass wallet biopsies on the populace will emerge. The simplest tool, as Senator Sanders has suggested, is to raise payroll taxes on everyone.

Moreover, with the elimination of private insurance, when the money runs out and care is rationed, only the wealthy will be able to pay for care outside of the government system. Is that fair?

Upping the ante, Senator Sanders wants to pay off some Americans’ current medical debt by taxing Americans with no medical debt. Under his proposal, only people unable to pay their medical debt would be granted relief. Those keeping up with their payments would have to continue to pay. What does “unable” mean? If they are living below the poverty level, they have Medicaid. Is it the working poor? Or is it people who failed to prioritize their medical bills over Starbucks and take-out food? Hardly fair.


Op/Ed: Medicare For Bernie and The Absentee Father


Sales Pitch Number Three: If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, Politifact’s lie of the year. Essentially, the promise was that government would not interfere in the practice of medicine. But both state and federal government wants the final say-so in our medical care. For example, the California assembly passed a bill requiring the state Department of Public Health to review and potentially reject medical vaccine exemptions written by doctors who have granted five or more in a year.

No exceptions for doctors specializing in neurological or immunological diseases. Nationally, in order for Medicare to pay claims, physicians will be required to complete a computerized algorithm and certify that they have done so before ordering certain imaging like MRIs and CT scans. A computer will now determine whether the order is “appropriate.” Medical care by government robots will supplant individualized care – the heart of the patient-physician relationship. Who cares if the patient has a missed or delayed diagnosis?


Op/Ed: Why Nothing Permanently Sticks to Teflon Donald


As the government tries to trap physicians and patients in its restrictive bubble, independent physicians are pursuing avenues for increased choice in medical care and insurance products. Above all, we will never put the needs of the state ahead of the needs of the patient.

 

Bio: Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School.  Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law.  She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. She lives in Oakland, Ca.

Haute Tease

  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Balks on Benghazi; Petraeus Testifies Before House Intelligence Committee

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the first press conference since President Obama won re-election, against Republican Presidential challenger Mitt Romney, he faced a firing squad of reporters over the handling of the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

     
  • Celeb Photos: Sony Pictures Classics Hosts Exclusive Annual Pre-Academy Awards® Dinner Party

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sony Pictures Classics fêted its 2015 Academy Awards® nominees and 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees and winners at its annual Pre-Oscar® dinner party at STK Steakhouse in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 21st.

     
  • Slenderman Tween Found Incompetent to Stand Trial; Legal Commentary By Whitey Bulger Defense Attorney Hank Brennan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Morgan Geyser, 12, known as one half of the Slenderman Killers, who stabbed a twelve year old friend 19 times, has been found incompetent to stand trial for her participation in the crimes that shocked this tiny Wisconsin city.

     
  • Stan & Ollie Review - A Shining, Nostalgic, Sentimental Portrait of Early Hollywood Stars

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stan & Ollie, from Sony Picture Classics, present the story of Golden Age comedic stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as they embark on a post war European tour hoping to reignite the Hollywood success they once enjoyed.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Commutes Sentences; Colombian President; Assad/Aleppo; Trump Debacle; Hurricane Matthew; Oldchella

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, who has spoken of his upcoming pardons, commuted the sentences of 102 drug offenders, primarily convicted of possession and distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, with the release dates for the felons beginning February 2017 and continuing over the next eighteen months.

     
  • From CANNES: Wonder Woman And Monster Filmmaker Patty Jenkins To Receive The 2018 Women In Motion Award

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Patty Jenkins is a writer and director, best known for directing Warner Bros. Wonder Woman, her debut Oscar-winning feature Monster and helming the pilot and finale episode of AMC's The Killing. She began her career in painting after studying at Cooper Union.  

  • Beltway Insider: Immigration Breakdown; Ferguson; Ebola Vaccine; Obama Children Targeted; Stop VAW Day

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama reluctantly accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the second Senior Cabinet official to give notice, as the White House begins the transition into the final quarter of the Obama presidency.

     
  • Please Stand By Review – Unexpectedly Charming, Uplifting, A Trekki Fan Finds Hope and Courage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Please Stand By, from Magnolia Pictures, presents the story of an functional autistic girl obsessed with Star Trek who decides to enter the script writing contest and her journey to make the deadline despite her beliefs of limitation.

     
  • Money News: DOW Suffers Triple Digit Loss; London, Hong Kong Close Down; Nikkei, France, Rally

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, unable to shake the Bear possibilities, suffered massive triple digit losses pulling the NASDAQ, the S&P 500, down as the top three world market indicators took a hit marking a down turn in investment confidence.

     
  • Terry Shaughnessy Drops News Music; Black Pudding List Tour Dates; Skellums’ Cast of Characters Arrives Mid-September

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Liverpool: synonymous with the British Invasion adds Terry Shaugnessy, who's single 'Volcano' is gaining worldwide attention and global airplay, to the list with a voice and songwriting skills akin to Neil Finn and Ryan Adams, he could be next.  

  • Auto, Yacht, Jets: Luxury Car Maintenance - A How To Guide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ownership of a luxury vehicle is meant to send a distinctive, definitive and impressive statement, the symbol of refinement, of elegance, of luxury class sophistication, high end style, of making it, the master of their universe.  

  • A Different Kind of Force – Policing Mental Illness

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Across the United States, the responsibility of handling domestic issues with mentally ill citizens has largely fallen into the domain of the criminal justice system. More than half of all prisoners are believed to be mentally ill.

     
  • Wild Card Review – House Wins in This Vegas Action Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Wild Card, a Las Vegas action adventure, from Lionsgate, brings to the screen a high octane, supercharged, testosterone fueled, hand-to-hand, fast moving muscle thriller complete with high rollers, lady luck, gambler’s frenzy and a mini mob war.

     
  • Money News: Bull Market Continues; DOW, Ten Most Watched Markets Close Up; Hackers Hit Dow

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average rallied, as did the top ten watched markets with all managing to sustain strong showings, staving off the bear, and maintaining the Bull Run as solid gains were reported across the board.