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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
UPDATE: Controlling Health Care Costs
How many people do you know who think Barack Obama has the answers to providing health care in America? Or, for that matter, any politician?
Do they really know what should be done?
 
If they don’t, then how about the politicians in Canada, or Great Britain? Have they solved the problem in their societies? 
 
Some people believe they have. However, in England, where the private practice of medicine was outlawed when socialized medicine was first established there,
they were eventually forced to reverse the policy and permit the public to go outside the state system to obtain health care from private physicians. 
 
An October 22 article by columnist James H. Shott (in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph) notes the following problems with the health care system in Canada:
·        “Canada has fewer physicians, hospital beds and diagnostic imaging scanners, and performs fewer medical interventions than in America and Europe.”
·        “Canada has one of the lowest physician-to-population ratios in the developed world.
·        “A recent survey found that Canadians must wait an average of of about four and a half months for medically necessary elective procedures after referral from a general practitioner.”
·        “The wait for diagnostic imaging technologies like MRIs is more than two months on average.”
·        “Patients in Canada are likely to wait two months or more to see a specialist, six days or more to see a doctor when sick or needing care and four hours or more in the emergency room.”
·        “Due to the lengthy waits, about 40,000 Canadians leave the country for treatment elsewhere each year (like the U.S.)”
·        “Public drug plans covered only about a quarter of the new drugs approved for sale in Canada between 2004 and 2010.”
 
Schott concludes, “These realities serve to dismiss the mythical notion that a Canadian-style health care system is highly desirable.”
 
Unfortunately, with Obamacare, America is rapidly moving in the direction of England and Canada.
 
The cause is a devilishly simple principle that is present in all nationalized health care programs. 
That is, it’s free, or so low cost that it’s almost free. 
 
Economics 101 teaches that whenever something is free, the demand quickly becomes unlimited. 
The lower the price, the greater the demand. Give something away that people want and you can “sell” everything you have and more. 
 
However, the flip side of unlimited demand is a shortage of supply, which eventually leads to rationing.
 
That’s what has been wrong with nationalized health care in England, Canada, Germany, Japan and the former USSR, everywhere it has been tried.
 
If politicians do not really know what should be done to solve our health care problems why do we keep expecting them to come up with the answers?
 
What are the problems? Too many uninsured? Too high cost? Poor quality? Lack of availability? All of the above? Do you know, or think you know?
 
What have been the government’s (read politicians’) solutions to date?
 
With the advent of Obamacare, I submit that national health care (socialized medicine) is the health care policy that has now been adopted in this country.
And it is rapidly lowering the quality of the health care we are getting.
 
Talk to any doctor you trust and see if they don’t agree. Many doctors are retiring early because they are fed up with the government and insurance company bureaucrats telling
them how to practice medicine and how much they can charge for their services.There is a growing shortage of doctors, which at some point will turn critical.
 
But, you may say, “we don’t have socialized medicine in America!” No, perhaps not yet, but we’ve been headed that way for a while, and we seem to have been going further down
that path as the years progressed.
 
Obamacare is now attempting to replace the free market in health care with government control and has already resorted to the use of price controls, in addition to telling both doctors
and hospitals what procedures they can and cannot use to treat patients.
 
Price controls have never worked, ever, in any society at any time in history. They were tried as early as 301 A.D. by a Roman emperor, Diocletian (243-316 A,D.),
who implemented price controls under penalty of death. But, it still didn’t work, and it hasn’t worked since.
 
What price controls do is cause shortages, increased costs and disrupted markets.
 
With a national health care plan, at some point many hospitals will either be closed or services curtailed. That has been the pattern in every country that has nationalized health care.
Nonetheless, that seems to be where we are headed.
 
Like the proverbial frog being cooked in cold water, Americans have been gradually becoming aware that the quality of their health care is declining, even as costs are escalating. 
 
When they ultimately realize what has been happening, they will undoubtedly be led into believing government has the answers and demand more government control, regulation and
management. And, our politicians will be only too willing to oblige. 
 
Nationalized health care in America is now rapidly overtaking the free market, and we are all being cooked in the stew of government intervention. So, don’t be surprised at the type
of health care program we get as time progresses.
 
Whatever your own conclusions may be, remember one thing: our politicians won’t have to rely on whatever health care plan they establish for everyone else.
As usual, they will have their own, superior plan.
 
© 2013 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Posted at 23:35 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Again, Bah, Humbug!
Why do we allow a vocal minority to dictate how we are permitted to celebrate or even acknowledge some of our most cherished traditions? Specifically, at this time of the year, Christmas.
 
When you try to please everyone, you please no one. Putting it another way, when you try not to offend anyone, you are bound to offend almost everyone. And, that seems to be the situation
with Christmas.
 
I, for one, am sick of it. Not Christmas, but the people who attack our most cherished traditions.
 
And, where is the “silent majority?” Why aren’t more people standing up and telling the vocal minority on the Left to get lost.
 
Instead, we see major corporations, educators, the media and our so-called political leaders routinely capitulating to the forces of political correctness.
              
Once again we are being subjected to the never-ending onslaught of politically correct efforts to do away with another of America’s historical traditions. Led by the ACLU, the warriors of the Left,
who believe in nothing and want to prevent those who do believe in something from exercising their own rights. The ACLU has sued the U.S. Government to take God, Christmas or anything religious
out of all public displays.
 
The American Family Association reported that in 2012 the city of Richmond, Virginia agreed to rename their annual “Christmas” parade the “Dominion Holiday Parade,” at the insistence of its
corporate sponsor, Dominion, an energy company.
 
However, after receiving thousands of emails and hundreds of letters of protest, the city reversed its decision and voted to change the name to the “Dominion Christmas Parade.” My question is,
why couldn’t they have made that choice in the first place?
 
Following are some of the ways to celebrate the “Holiday” season that are currently considered acceptable:
-It’s OK to celebrate “The Holidays” in our public institutions, as long as they do not appear to advocate a particular religious belief, especially Christianity.
-It’s OK to wish people “Happy Holidays” but not “Merry Christmas.” By the way, what Holiday would it be if not Christmas? The last time I looked, the word was based on the name, Christ.
-It’s OK to celebrate Kwanza, an artificial, made-up tradition, in our schools.
-It’s OK to celebrate Witchcraft.
-It’s OK to acknowledge Muslim beliefs, but not Christian.
 
I could go on, and no doubt you could add more examples to the list, but my point in writing this is to express my resentment in general about the dispute over Christmas that has been taking place
in America in recent years and about the right of Americans to publicly celebrate their traditions.
 
It might help understand my perspective if you know a little something about my background:
-Start with the fact that I am Jewish, and I do not celebrate Christmas.
-Second, I grew up during the depression and World War II, a time when American values were clearly understood and openly supported by just about everyone.
-Third, I am well educated, was formerly a professional practitioner (as a CPA), and in the past 50 years I have owned and/or operated a number of businesses, my own as well as those of clients.
-Fourth, I have not had any formal religious training and do not attend religious services. I am what is referred to as a secular Jew, although I do believe in G-d.
-Finally, my wife is not Jewish.
 
So, given my background, why should I care about Christmas?
 
Because I appreciate the value of Christian moral teachings, that’s why.
 
Furthermore, I believe that freedom of speech (and expression) should include everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, not just a vocal anti-religious minority.
 
Our nation was founded largely by Christians, whose values and teachings provide much of the basis of our legal system and traditions. I grew up in that environment, and it never hurt me in any way.
 
As a matter of fact, I believe it was a good thing that Christian traditions and values were present in our schools, and I would like to see them return again.
 
Preventing people from openly expressing themselves, even under the guise of being fair and equitable, simply forces them underground. They may no longer say what’s on their minds, but that doesn’t
change their beliefs.
 
The result is a simmering hostility that’s likely to erupt one day in ways no one expects or wants. You can’t keep a lid on a pressure cooker forever.
 
If it becomes acceptable to prevent people from observing certain time honored traditions, such as Christmas, it can easily become equally acceptable to silence others when they speak out about such
issues as educating their children, the justice system and the death penalty, same sex marriage, gays in the military, universal health care, social security, taxation, or a host of other concerns they may have.
 
As noted earlier, I support Christian values. I grew up, was educated and worked in a society that had strong Christian influences, and in the eight plus decades of my life no one has ever tried to force
me to believe as they do.
 
So, my inclination when the few try to silence the majority is to tell them to shut up and get lost, which brings me back to Christmas.
 
Although I resent the actions of the politically correct minority who have attempted to prevent others from observing Christmas and apparently want to remove every last vestige of Christianity and
Christmas from public life, my wife and I do not observe the Holiday ourselves.
 
Unfortunately, however, the excessive commercialization of Christmas does trouble me. I’m not bothered that Christians want to celebrate the birth of Christ, and I don’t mind that their celebration
has been intricately woven into the fabric of our culture. In fact, I support both.
 
What I do mind is turning Christmas into nothing more than a marketing opportunity. It seems to get worse every year, and the venal displays of greed and avarice that are demonstrated by businesses
and consumers alike are very offensive to me. The latest outrage to my sensibilities is the “Black Friday” sales
 
© 2013 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Posted at 23:25 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



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