Posts Tagged ‘smoker’

Why preventive Obamacare raises, not lowers, costs

Obama says he’s going to give 49 million people who do not now have it health insurance and the nation’s bill for health care will go down. If you believe that, stop reading. You’re too dumb to comprehend the rest of this.

One way Obama says he is going to cut costs is to emphasize preventive medicine. Well that makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, we all know that a stitch in time saves nine.

Actually, it does not make sense if you think it through.

Charles Krauthammer is a conservative newspaper columnist and regular Fox News contributor. He’s also a licensed medical doctor and psychiatrist. He’s great. I just added him to my living national treasures list. He should have been there before.

When asked about preventive medicine on Fox News, Krauthammer said it was a good thing for a number of reasons but lower cost was most definitely not one of them.

I researched and wrote about preventive medicine in the second edition of my book Succeeding which came out in 2008. It relates to that book because being healthy helps you succeed and enables you to enjoy your success.

As far as cost is concerned, preventive medicine does not cost less. It costs more.

1. Preventive medicine costs more money to pay for additional medicine, exams, tests, vaccinations, health club membership, and safety devices.
2. Preventive medicine causes people to live longer which costs more because they receive more medical care, not to mention Social Security benefits, during their longer lives.
3. Living longer means you are more likely to die of a degenerative disease that requires prolonged intensive health care and hospitalization.

The cheapest health care for the government would be if everyone died suddenly of a heart attack after they stop earning taxable wages but before they started colleting Social Security. Like I said in the title, “You’ve had a good life, now drop dead.”

In Succeeding, I listed six categories of preventive medicine:

1. good health habits including:
• diet quality
• diet quantity
• exercise
• hygiene
2. regular physicals
3. getting recommended tests for detection of symptomless illnesses
4. recommended vaccinations
5.
safer activities and places where you spend time
6. promptly getting professional advice when you have symptoms

Obama sets the diet quality and quantity example with his consumption of arugula from Whole Foods and his Somali warlord physique. But he smokes cigarettes. Sound preventive medicine would ban tobacco products. If not, the people who use them should not be eligible for health insurance that I contribute money to. Call use of tobacco a pre-existing condition—stupidity—that either excludes the user from all public health care or at least from health care that relates to tobacco use.

Same thing applies to fat people and alcoholics or problem drinkers and illegal drug users.

Obama may set an example with regard to exercise. We occasionally see him playing pick-up basketball. But he needs to work out more systematically every other day—both cardio and weight training. Maybe he could lead an exercise TV program daily like the Richard Simmons in Chief.

As far as hygiene is concerned, we’re gonna need daily inspections.

Basically, since good health habits are the main thing in preventive medicine, Obama is going to have to enact a law that requires universal daily attendance at a weigh-in, inspection of your personal hygiene, a drug test, and calisthenics. Let’s call it reveille. There’s even music for it. It sounds like this. He can bring all sorts of R. Lee Ermey types out of retirement to supervise it.

Persons who benefit from universal health care but who are AWOL from daily reveille will have a warrant issued for their arrest.

Overweight persons will be required to report to a fat boot camp where their food intake will be restricted and they will be required to exercise.

These steps will cost more money than the current heath care system.

Mandatory regular physicals

Mandatory universal health care that emphasizes preventive medicine require mandatory physicals that are at least annual or more often for persons with certain risk factors. If you do not attend your scheduled physicals, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Mandatory tests

Similarly, according to your age and other risk factors, you will be required to get the tests recommended by the medical profession including sigmoidoscopies and breast exams. If you do not appear for your scheduled tests, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Mandatory vaccinations

Ditto. You will get your flu shots, DPT, etc. No exceptions. These shots will kill some of you but not getting them will kill more of you. You’ve had a good life.

Hazardous activities and places

All hazardous activities will be outlawed, like riding motorcycles. All places frequented by humans like homes, workplaces, and public areas will be inspected periodically for safety hazards. If you have a safety hazard and do not correct it promptly, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Regular dental care

Since dental care is part of your health and affects all of your health, daily brushing and flossing will be required and inspected for at reveille. Also, regular checkups will be mandatory and recommended dental therapies must be performed when recommended by your dentist. If you fail to take care of your teeth, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

All of the above will cost more than the current health care system.

False positives and negatives

The more tests you perform, the more false positive and false negative results you get. I lost half my thyroid gland to a false alarm benign lump that was discovered during my annual physical. False negatives cause you to ignore continuing symptoms that warrant a second or third opinion. In short, federally mandated mandatory preventive medicine will cause far more false test results and those, in turn, will waste more money.

A stitch in time saves nine

Preventive maintenance is usually wise because a stitch in time saves nine. One is cheaper than nine.

But preventive maintenance is not wise in some cases because sometimes the stitch only saves one or a half a stitch. You have to do a cost-benefit analysis and be careful not to cross the point of diminishing returns.

From a strict dollar standpoint, much health care given to older persons is not cost effective given their likely remaining life span. Other countries that have universal health care deny much of the health care given in the U.S. to seniors. Preventive medicine increases the percentage of people who live to become seniors.

The stitch-in-time advice does not apply to many health-care decisions. For example, preventive medicine can prevent or delay heart attacks. But everyone has to die of something. Preventive medicine that prevents heart attacks will almost certainly result in the person in question dying of a far more expensive disease, like cancer or Alzheimers, not to mention all the health care costs they will trigger for other things during their expanded-by-preventive-medicine life span.

Preventive medicine is wise policy, but not because it reduces medical care costs. It raises them. Furthermore, most preventive medicine relates to lifestyle choices and the government will not dare make effective efforts to change those choices.

Politician adultery

Former presidential candidate John Edwards recently was forced to admit he has been cheating on his wife. Bill Clinton famously did the same in the 1990s. As has John McCain.

The philandering Democrats (PhDs) have lately been using their infidelities as teaching moments. For example, when Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary—again and again and again—we learned that lying under oath does not matter if the subject is sex. Who knew?

Now John Edwards has pointed out that cheating on your wife who is dying of inoperable cancer does not matter—or matters less—if she is in remission. Who knew? We are still waiting to hear the logic behind that ethical standard.

I was previously appalled by the Edwards family’s decision to keep campaigning for president after Elizabeth was diagnosed with inoperable terminal cancer. They have small children. Why are they not spending all of her remaining time with each other and with their small children? Her explanation at the time her cancer was announced was, “This is what we do.” That was an idiotic “explanation.” Terminal cancer is not the flu. And what spouses and parents “do” is spend time with their families—especially when one of them is going to die in the near future.

Others have said doctors recommend that people with terminal cancer continue to go about their normal lives. Campaigning for president ain’t normal by any standard. To apply that advice to such a political campaign is mindless. A family with young children and a terminally-ill parent should be spending as much time as possible time together, not separately making speeches at rubber chicken political lunches and putting the kids in day care.

The philandering maverick syndrome (PMS) folks have also advanced our understanding of marital sexual ethics. We have now learned that John McCain frantically cheated on his wife who waited for him while he was in the Hanoi Hilton in spite of her having been injured in a car accident after he returned home and that he is excused from moral approbation for this behavior because they beat him up in North Vietnam. He was having sex with the woman now known as Cindy McCain when he was still married to his POW wife. That is why I refer to her as the potential “First Other Woman” in contrast to Hillary who was the “First Woman” and Laura Bush who is a “First Lady.” McCain’s membership in the notorious Tailhook Association had far more to do with his infidelity than his stay in the Hanoi Hilton.

To his credit, adulterer McCain takes responsibility for his infidelity which he calls “irresponsible.” It is only partisan apologists like Sean Hannity who argue that his Hanoi Hilton experience excuses his adultery. It does not. If it does, what other non-Straight-Talk-Express behavior undesirable in presidents can we expect?

Then there were Gary Hart and Teddy Kennedy. Hart ran for president in 1984 and 1988 and was the front runner in ’88, until he pulled out. Why? Because he got caught with Donna Rice, who was not his wife, sitting on his lap and leaving his apartment very early in the morning. Hart never admitted infidelity or apologized to his supporters. Ted Kennedy was trying to have an extramarital tryst with one of his campaign workers—Mary Jo Kopechne—but en route to a secluded parking spot, Kennedy accidentally drove his car into a channel. He escaped. Kopechne did not. She drowned. Kennedy did not report the accident. Instead, he went to his motel and called his lawyer. He subsequently ran for president, has been a senator since 1964, and generally is considered a hero of the Democrat party’s left wing.

Would someone explain to me why one extramarital affair ends the careers of guys like Edwards and Hart, but other guys like Clinton, McCain, and the Kennedys, who have multiple affairs including one episode that killed a woman, another that was alleged rape, yet they get a pass.

What about Obama? Should you vote for him because he is not an adulterer? Who knows whether he is or isn’t? Before August, 2008, everyone would have said that John Edwards was clean on that score. Plus, Obama has admitted cocaine use and alcohol abuse. He claims to have quit cocaine, but he admits to having trouble quitting smoking. I never used cocaine or tobacco but it is my understanding that cocaine is far harder to quit. And he says he used cocaine and alcohol because of anguish over his multi-racial identity. I would think the problems he would face as president of the U.S. would far exceed identity anguish. What are the chances that a guy who relied on alcohol and cocaine in the past for such trivial problems will feel entitled to do the same when he has the weight of the world on his shoulders?

Reportedly, about 40% of American men have cheated on their wives. It seems to me that we therefore can, and should, select our presidents from the other 60%. The same is true of cocaine users. Most have never done that so why not select our presidents from the drug-free group?

Adulterers predictably do not care for a no-adulterers policy. They point to FDR, JFK, and other presidential cheaters as evidence of the irrelevance of that behavior pattern. Actually, to draw sound conclusions, we would need a study of how adulterers and non-adulterers have performed in a wide variety of executive positions in larger numbers than the tiny database of presidents. Logically, it is a matter of trust. One would think trustworthiness was an important quality in someone who would have the 300 million citizens of the U.S. entrust their country to him.

Presidential candidates are, it appears to me, a bunch of sociopaths. A sociopath is someone who is all about himself and who sees others as simply sometimes useful animals or objects.

My state of California will vote Democrat no matter who that party nominates. My vote does not count here. If you live in a state where your vote might decide the election, and you believe that one of these scum bags is a lesser scum bag, vote for him. Otherwise, vote libertarian or some such to send a message to the major political parties that they need to do a lot better than the likes of John McCain and Barack Obama if they want normal Americans to participate.

The “fact” that you feel you “have to” vote for either McCain or Obama does not mean you need to be happy about it or that you have to say that your guy is a great guy. Do not cheapen yourself by pretending that the virtueless are virtuous or that the experienceless have experience. American has a couple million men and women better qualified to be president than McCain and Obama. Voting for either of these clowns is like having root canal done. Get it over with and spare us the explanations about why it was great.

John T. Reed

Obama on guns and religion

On 4/6/08 at a fund raiser in the San Francisco area, Obama said this.

Obama’s comments
My response
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years “the jobs?” What exactly does that mean? It sounds like he is referring to factories that went out of business because they could not compete with factories in other parts of the U.S. or the world or because technology made them obsolete. That’s life in the modern world. Are small town Pennsylvanians so stupid that they just sit there unemployed for 25 years without finding another line of work or moving to a place with more opportunities? I was born and raised in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia and in a rural town in Delaware, both near Pennsylvania. A lot of my relatives and acquaintances are Pennsylvanians. They seem the same as people in the rest of the country to me. I never thought of Pennsylvanians as different. Southerners? Yes. But not Pennsylvanians.
and nothing’s replaced them. So do something else. Move somewhere else. Are you guys as profoundly dumb as Obama is saying?
And they fell through the Clinton Administration Yeah, Barack, we know you’re running against Hillary Clinton and have to find something to bad mouth about her or her husband every 100 words.
and the Bush Administration That would be the administration of George Bush whom you wish you were running against so you pretend you are as often as possible.
and each successive Administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate Just like you have in Ohio and Pennsylvania
and they have not. Just as you are not not going to regenerate those communities if you become president.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter He was asked why they were not supporting him. Maybe because he sucks. He’s too left wing. Too anti-American. Too inexperienced. Etc. But he is saying that anyone who is against him has a psychiatric problem. They are bitter. They oppose him and support Hillary Clinton because they are bitter about how the Clintons treated them. Well, gee, Obama. That makes perfect sense.
they cling to guns More explanation of why they are not supporting him. They have reacted to losing their jobs by “clinging” to their guns—like a child clinging to his teddy bear? Has Obama only been visiting moron asylums in Pennsylvania? Or NRA chapter presidents?
or religion I instantly reacted to this comment the way many other pundits have: It is almost an exact replica of Communism founder Karl Marx’s statement that religion is the opiate of the masses. Wikipedia details it this way:

It was translated from the German original, "Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes" and is often referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses." The quote originates from the introduction of his 1843 work Contribution to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right which was subsequently released one year later in Marx’s own journal Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, a collaboration with Arnold Ruge.

Marx was famously an atheist as were his most prominent followers Lenin and Stalin and their Soviet government. I believe Obama, as well as McCain and Hillary, are all atheists. None showed any interest in religion before they decided to go into politics. Obama’s “clinging to religion” comment is certainly an atheist perspective. All three presidential candidates are sociopaths (no conscience about using others to satisfy their own needs or desires) which is hardly a Christian behavior pattern.

The standard pundit line on the professed religiousness of politicians is to “take them at their word.” You gotta be kidding me! As David Geffen said, “Everybody in politics lies.” The media certainly do not take politicians at their word on any other subject. Basically, religion, like race, is simply taboo.

The press should investigate the religiousness of prominent politicians who make their religiousness a prominent part of their argument for being elected—like Obama—the way insurance company investigators check up on those receiving disability payments. Truly disabled people, like truly religious people, do some things and refrain from doing other things. Religiousness also is revealed by what people say and refrain from saying. For one thing, truly religious people do not accuse other religious people of “clinging to” religion solely out of frustration with long-term unemployment. In San Francisco, closet atheist Obama thought he was in a private meeting with his fellow atheists. That’s why he revealed his own true beliefs.

Finally, what does Obama really know of rural white Pennsylvanians? I expect almost nothing. So who is he really talking about when he says religious people make that decision out of desperation? The middle class rural Pennsylvania whites? Or the ghetto-dwelling congregation at Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church? It sounds to me that it’s more likely he was describing the impoverished, church-going blacks on the South Side of Chicago when he spoke of desperate people who cling to religion.

or antipathy to people who aren’t like them Aha! He is saying that those who do not support him are non-black racist bigots. Certainly they could not have any good reason like not liking his experience, positions, or character.
or anti-immigrant sentiment And they hate his late Kenyan father, too. If you are a Pennsylvanian who does not support Obama, you must be a member of the Klan as well as the Know Nothings.
or anti-trade sentiment Wait a minute! Rural Pennsylvanians do not support Obama because they are anti-[foreign] trade and he is pro-trade? Gee, didn’t he just swear on a stack of Bibles in Ohio that he hated NAFTA? (while having one of his people secretly assure Canada that it was just a standard campaign lie)
as a way to explain their frustrations. Typical politician dishonest trick. He was asked why he was having trouble getting rural Pennsylvanians to vote for him. But in his answer he twists it suggesting that he was asked why rural white Pennsylvanians were frustrated. The question was why Obama has been frustrated in his efforts to get their votes, not why Pennsylvanians were frustrated. There was no premise in the question that anyone thought Pennsylvanians were frustrated.

Obama’s response to his private San Francisco comments being made public should give pause to the many who rave about how smart he is. He has said—unconvincingly—that he was misinterpreted. He said he only said what everyone knows is true—which pretty much is the opposite of the “I was misinterpreted” argument and makes the situation worse for him if anything. He tried to shrug it off as just another political game played by his opponents and the media. He has said “Shame on Hillary” for bringing it up and mocked her relationship to guns. In short, his response to being outted was ham fisted, dumb, an attempt to bluff his way through it, and transparently dishonest.

This incident is part of mounting evidence that Obama is some sort of caricature of a black power leftist. We have his wife’s statements, Jeremiah Wright’s on-going statements, the welcome given by Obama’s black supporters to Wright during his “victory tour,” the defiant statements of his Weatherman terrorist friend and associate Bill Ayers, his refusal to wear an American flag pin or put his hand over his heart for the national anthem/pledge of allegiance.

He looks like an extreme white America hater who is trying to infiltrate the Oval Office disguised as a color-blind mainstream American.

I remind readers that there are plenty of black Americans who have no such baggage: Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Vernon Jordan, Maya Angelou, all sorts of mainstream black columnists and talk show hosts and political leaders, various black journalists like Juan Williams. There is no reason to believe that Barack Obama is America’s last great black hope to be elected president. Colin Powell might have won had he run when people were urging him to a decade ago. We do not have to settle for this amazingly inexperienced, more and more apparent extremist to elect a black president.

Is Obama elitist?

As a result of the above comments, Obama has been accused of being elitist. A reporter said that a search for “Snobama” (Snob + Obama) on Google got 4,000 hits after the guns/religion remarks.

He denies it. He cites his late mother’s eligibility for food stamps as proof that he is not now a snob or elitist. He claims he was raised by a single mother.

My mom was eligible for food stamps, but she never got them because she said she would be embarrassed to use them. But I have still been accused, arguably correctly, as being an elitist.

The poverty of one’s mom decades ago does not preclude being elitist now. Indeed, the poverty of one’s mom decades ago is irrelevant to whether a person is an elitist or snob, which I have also been accused of.

Why am I willing to admit being an elitist? I went to elite West Point, elite army Ranger School, joined the elite 82nd Airborne Division, and volunteered for the elite green berets (Special Forces) before graduating from elite Harvard Business School. I am also honest and not a politician, two characteristics Obama has never had to contend with.

Raised by a single mom—but only for one year

Obama’s claims that he was raised by a single mother are more false than true. His mother was married on 2/2/61—six months before he was born and continuing until he was about two when his father abandoned him and his mother. The divorce took place in 1965 when Obama was four. When Obama was five years old, she married an Indonesian guy. So she was a single mother for one year when he was around five years old. From then on he was raised by his remarried mother and then by his married grandparents. I have seen no evidence that his grandparents were impoverished.

Arugula?

Last July, Obama had another elitist moment. He was trying to show sympathy for farmers in Iowa and said,

Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?

First, Whole Foods is a store for elitist, natural, organic hippies—the sort of people mocked by the Larry Groce song Junk Food Junkie. For Chrissakes, Obama smokes cigarettes. How concerned can he be about eating healthy foods? Maybe he gets his tobacco products at Whole Nicotine.

And what the hell is arugula? It ain’t poke salad. It ain’t collard greens—a vegetable that was apparently talked about at a session of “How to be Black” that Obama missed. Suffice it to say it is not one of the vegetables your mom told you to eat when you were a kid. It is an elitist, natural, organic, hippy vegetable, the kind of thing you would expect them to sell at Whole Foods. The kind of thing you would expect them to serve in restaurants around Cambridge, MA, home of Harvard Law School, the alma mater of Obama and his wife.

In short, having a food stamp mom did not prevent Obama from becoming a nouveau elitist. Indeed, as with his nouveau noir blackness, his nouveau elitism proves the old saying,

Recent converts are the most zealous.

Obama is not a black elitist. He is a BLACK ELITIST. He has worked hard at becoming both black and elite—which is a difficult trick because the two groups are generally considered to be mutually exclusive, not to mention additional difficulties caused by his white mother, Indonesian step-father, and being raised by his white mom and white grandparents. Basically, he is having trouble keeping his story straight as a result of being a more or less white guy trying to pretend to be black and a middle class child trying to keep up with the rich Joneses at Punahou, Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard, then trying to seem middle class again after he has been making millions of dollars per year. Sir Walter Scott anticipated Obama when he said,

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.

Elite education

Certainly his undergraduate alma mater, Ivy League, Manhattan-located, Columbia University—also the alma mater of my son Dan (’03)—has been described as an elite school zillions of times by thousands of different people. And his other alma mater, and the one he shares with his wife—Harvard Law School—has been described as elite even more times by even more people. (My wife and I are Harvard MBAs.) His high school alma mater, The Punahou School, has also been described as elite thousands of times by thousands of people. In fact, Obama has never been in any kind of school other than elite since he attended public elementary school in Indonesia. (His first two years of college were at Occidental which ranks 36th among liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings.)

Even the geographic locations of his schools are elite, respectively: Honolulu, Hawai’i; Pasadena, California; Manhattan, New York; and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Obama did not get drafted into any of these schools. He eagerly sought admission to each, apparently playing his race card for all it was worth to gain admission and a diploma. Why? He wanted to be elite. Apparently, he missed the session of “How to pretend you are middle class so you can get middle class people to vote for you” lecture at the Harvard Law School Future Politicians of America club meeting. (It covered stuff like shopping at 99¢ stores, how to drink a shot in a beer, preparation of macaroni and cheese, use of Hamburger Helper in the kitchen, how to choose a suit at Sears, where to get red cellophane to cover your broken tail light, and so on.)