rationing

Obama Advisor Donald Berwick Freely Admits Socialist Agenda: "We Must, MUST Redistribute Wealth!"

The video below is making the rounds, primarily because the man speaking in it, Donald Berwick, President Barack Obama's choice to head the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid, said to a crowd of true believers in Britain that socialized medicine is the way to go. People speak from the heart when with fellow ideologues, so there is no misunderstanding here, and when one is so infamously outspoken, it's near impossible for the president not to know this man's philosophy. So, what does that tell you? Exactly! (See David Limbaugh.) But his adamant insistence that health care "by definition" means, "we must, must redistribute wealth!" has obfuscated his three other extraordinarily extremist statements — no easy feat in a sound bite a little more than two minutes long:

1. "tough choices and planning supply" (a government planning supply = rationing); 

2. "darkness of private enterprise" (a definitive condemnation of free markets and choice, and an embrace of government control over commerce); and

3. "single route of finance" (an unapologetic plea for "single payer" or government-run health care).

Combined with the president's own words ("spread the wealth around" and "I do think at some point you've made enough money," among an inexhaustibly list), it no longer is a question of the president's philosophy, and not even of whether what to expect of him (he told us he wanted to "fundamentally transform America," while giving lip service to centrism).

Rather, it's a matter of himself and his government, admitting it clearly and plainly, and why he thinks government control of industry is preferable to the system of free commerce that created the highest standard of living and largest economy known to man. (Nancy Pelosi's lame rationalization is a symptom, not a cause, so to speak, and doesn't come close.) After all, the Soviet Union would be thriving still today if the government-run system was equal or superior to the "darkness of private enterprise" (a shameful remark that slaps at the core of American ingenuity that has given so much to the world).

Not that the president is alone in this. Even Republicans, with the rare exception of some such as Newt Gingrich, won't call it what it is (see Bobby Eberle). But, in the meantime, here is Mr. Berwick, praising socialist Britain and slamming America for the evil that it is.

Donald Berwick at home in England while hammering America the awful.

Virginia News Stand: September 28, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Overdrive And Life

We're in statewide overdrive, with all three races for statewide office (as expected) going full bore. The week that ended so badly for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds got worse over the weekend as he publicly ducked a nationally televised appearance with Republican candidate Bob McDonnell on Fox News Sunday. Moderator Chris Wallace twice noted that Deeds was invited several times and each time refused. This is on top of the debate he ducked last week at Virginia Union University. Additionally, reliably liberal Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams piled on Deeds for not securing former Governor Doug Wilder's endorsement and wonders how much of the black vote will turn out for him. Ouch!

Meanwhile, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb is quoted in the first article in the News section. It's a piece in the Washington Post comparing the candidates' records on social issues.

Nationally, religion and life issues are in the news. One poll finds a dramatic increase in non-religiously affiliated Americans, while a the Alliance Defense Fund reminds the government to stay out of the pulpit. The pro-life issue is back in the news, as the National Right To Life Committee shows how health care "reform" will lead to rationing. In addition, some pro-lifers are concerned about the administration's double standard, and the intimidation they feel, after a murder of an pro-life activist in Michigan.

News:

* How They Voted on God, Guns And Gays (Washington Post)

McDonnell: Plan would boost transportation, avoid education cuts (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell hopes to appeal to Va.'s black voters (Washington Times)

Candidates tout successes as Sept. nears end (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tax fight erupts in Va. governor's race (Washington Times)

Plans for Va.'s economy long on ideas, not details (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Obama proving to be mixed blessing for Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds pledges to walk tight fiscal line (Washington Times)

Candidate's Wife Pans Attacks (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Attorney general race heats up (Charlottesville Daily Progress) 

Landes demands Marrow clarify (Waynesboro News-Virginian)

Fairfax Schools Drop Out Of PTA (Washington Post)

Commentary:

Deeds dropped ball with Wilder (Michael Paul Williams/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Video:

Deeds Ducks McDonnell (again) and Wallace (:46) (Fox News Sunday/YouTube.com)

 

Who has ever heard of a politician passing up free air time? Chris Wallace can't figure it out either.

National:

Dramatic increase in Americans declaring no religions (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Getting the gov't out of the pulpit (OneNewsNow.com)

Fear grows among pro-life activists (OneNewsNow.com)

Funding — a major factor in viable healthcare reform (OneNewsNow.com)

Republican says Dems ignoring health care concerns (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

It's Switzerland, Stupid

In the debate over health care "reform," liberals point to models in England, Canada and other socialist countries as systems we should emulate, despite their abject failures and rationing. The next time a liberal tells you the Euros do it better, agree. Then add, "if you mean Switzerland." Switzerland?

Yes. It just so happens Switzerland has, perhaps, the best consumer driven approach to the health care marketplace. There are spots of consumer driven health care percolating here, such as "doc-in-box" services and clinics at chains such as Wal-Mart and CVS, which drive down prices for non-emergency care. But Switzerland is where it's at, according to Regina Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, no less, and author of Who Killed Health Care? (and this Washington Post piece).

She was the featured speaker today at the Tuesday Morning Group monthly meeting in Richmond. Here's how it works there, in a nutshell:

There is a government mandate: All citizens must buy health care coverage, because neither the government nor employers provide any! The result is massive competition and more than 80 insurance companies in that small nation. (What is the U.S. down to? Six, not including the government?) Even nuns in the mountains have formed insurance companies.

The policies have high deductibles so people are not tempted to use their insurance when you have an earache. People are forced to more cost effectively spend on their health care. This creates competition for services, just like any other trade, such as computers, phones, restaurants or clothes: Health care providers line up to provide the best service possible, or a niche service that's needed, at the best cost possible to win customers. Because customers pay out of their own pocket, there's no haggling by insurance companies and government to determine a price in which doctors must settle for their service. Instead, doctors set their own prices and if patients don't like it, they go to someone else. Insurance is used for what it is really intended — serious illness or injury.

The result is health care costs are 5 percent lower in Switzerland than here and takes up only 11 percent of GDP, while it accounts for 17 percent here. Not only that, insurance companies rebate you half your money if you stay healthy. They also create reinsurance pools among themselves to minimize risk.

But if the Obama administration doesn't want to look to the one European country that does it right — better, in fact than we do it now — maybe he'll stop apologizing for America long enough to look to a country we supposedly had to apologize to. Dr. Herzlinger pointed to an experiment in South Africa, of all places, where an insurance company paid clients to stay healthy. It motivated them to eat right, live a better lifestyle and exercise. The result is that the percentage of certain illnesses are lower in the RSA than in the USA.

One last observation by Dr. Herzlinger: If you think outsourcing of certain jobs is bad now, wait until socialized medicine is approved by Congress and the Obama administration. She predicts jobs and services will get exported to India, Singapore, Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina.