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January 11, 2008



Many treatments for breast cancer are experimental.


A cynical person would suggest the CIGNA decision was profit-based. Of course, we know they were only trying to follow their own rules. The upshot of 'the waiting game' is that time runs out for many. "Unproven medical benefit"? What stone-age, leech-based physicians housed at CIGNA made that generous decision?

"The debate about U.S. health care concerns questions of access, efficiency, and quality purchased by the high sums spent. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000 ranked the U.S. health care system first in both responsiveness and expenditure, but 37th in overall performance and 72nd by overall level of health (among 191 member nations included in the study).[8][9] The WHO study has been criticized by conservative commentators because "fairness in financial contribution" was used as an assessment factor, marking down countries with high per-capita private or fee-paying health treatment.[10] The CIA World Factbook ranked the United States 41st in the world for lowest infant mortality rate[11] and 45th for highest total life expectancy.[12] The National Health Interview Survey, released annually by the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics reported that approximately 66% of survey respondents said they were in "excellent" or "very good" health in 2006.[13] A recent study found that between 1997 and 2003, preventable deaths declined more slowly in the United States than in 18 other industrialized nations.[14]" WIKI


Uh, leeches are good, maggots, too. And the only stone unturned may have been the tombstone. Cleo, I love you, but you're an idiot.


"but you're an idiot"

Praise from Caesar........


"Many treatments for breast cancer are experimental."

I hear 'bleeding' is a new innovation.

Crew v1.0

This was saved on a "wayback" web site that I stumbled onto. I can certainly identify with the conclusions expressed. It operates as a literal wayback experience, bringing me back to when I had at least a measure of interest in and respect for Sen. Edwards. Can any one out there verify if it is accurate, or merely a snarky satire? Of course, John Edwards is known to have been a fairly huge hawk in fall, 2002, but I am specifically asking if the press release below is accurate in every respect. Muchisimas gracias.

Senator Edwards Calls for Overthrow of Iraqi Dictator

WASHINGTON–Senator John Edwards on Thursday called for the ouster of Saddam Hussein. A member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Edwards said Iraq has defied the United Nations and represents a grave threat to the United States and its allies.”The time has come for decisive action. With our allies, we must do whatever is necessary to guard against the threat posed by an Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction and under the thumb of Saddam Hussein,” Senator Edwards said.

“The United States must lead an international effort to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein and to assure that Iraq fulfills its obligations to the international community,” he added.

“If, however, the United Nations Security Council is prevented from supporting this effort, then we must act with as many allies as possible to ensure that Iraq meets its obligations to existing Security Council resolutions.”

The first anniversary of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, he said, is a reminder that Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction would wreak havoc if Saddam Hussein let them fall into the hands of terrorists. “The terrorist threat against America is all too clear. Thousands of terrorist operatives around the world would pay anything to get their hands on Saddam’s arsenal, and there is every reason to believe that Saddam would turn his weapons over to these terrorists. No one can doubt that if the terrorists of September 11 had had weapons of mass destruction, they would have used them. On September 12, 2002, we can hardly ignore the terrorist threat and the serious danger that Saddam would allow his arsenal to be used in aid of terror.”

Senator Edwards said the case for removing Saddam Hussein needs to be made openly to the American people, to the Congress, which has an obligation to be part of the process, and to the United Nations and our allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “The Bush administration must make a full-court press to rally global support, much like the impressive effort President Bush’s father made to rally the first international coalition against Saddam in the fall of 1990. If they do, I believe they will succeed,” he said.

An American-led alliance against Saddam Hussein also must be prepared to provide security in Iraq after he is deposed. “We must be prepared to deal with the consequences of success,” he said. The Bush administration “must not make the same mistakes in post-Saddam Iraq that they are making in post-Taliban Afghanistan, where they have been dangerously slow in making the real commitment necessary to help democracy take root,” he said.

Edwards.Senate.Gov 9/12/02


"Uh, leeches are good, maggots too, "

Don't encourage Septic,she'll eat anything.


Reuters new headline.

Ex-CIA spy who exposed agents dies in Cuba(with governor who wanted to be President) GBU Editor

Yes, I always thought LGF was the same as FDL.

Edwards probably thought bombing starving Iraqis because it's good for Bill and Kofi's oil deals was okay too.

Patrick R. Sullivan

From the WSJ article:

On the whole, the U.S. also performs more transplants per capita, giving patients better odds of getting new organs. Doctors here do far more partial liver transplants from living, related donors, but also more cadaveric transplants (where the organ comes from a deceased donor). In 2002 -- a year comparative data is available -- U.S. doctors performed 18.5 liver transplants per one million Americans. This is significantly more than in the U.K. or in single-payer France, which performed 4.6 per million citizens, or in Canada, which performed 10 per million.

What about the differences in outcomes between ours and single-payer systems, an issue Mr. Edwards hasn't directly addressed? One recent study found that patients' five-year mortality after transplants for acute liver failure, the type from which Ms. Sarkisyan presumably suffered, was about 5% higher in the U.K. and Irleand than the U.S. The same study also found that in the period right after surgery, death rates were as much as 27% higher in the U.K. and Ireland than in the U.S., although differences in longer-term outcomes equilibrated once patients survived the first year of their transplant.

These findings aren't confined to transplanted livers. A study in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation compared statistics on heart transplants over the mid 1990s. It found patients were more likely to receive hearts in the U.S., even when they were older and sicker. The rate was 8.8 transplants per one million people, compared to 5.4 in the U.K. Over the same period, about 15% of patients died while waiting for new hearts in the U.K. compared to 12% in the U.S. In 2006, there were 28,931 transplants of all organ types in the U.S., 96.8 transplants for every one million Americans. There were 2,999 total organ transplants in the U.K., 49.5 transplants for every one million British citizens.



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, and ranked nations on how they did.

They called such deaths an important way to gauge the performance of a country's health care system.

Nolte said the large number of Americans who lack any type of health insurance -- about 47 million people in a country of about 300 million, according to U.S. government estimates -- probably was a key factor in the poor showing of the United States compared to other industrialized nations in the study.



"...Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee...tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented..."

I'm curious as to why some academics in London would even be concerned about health care policy in the US. What does Dr. McKee's CV say...


My work is closely linked to policy, both through long term links with major funders and also through the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, of which I am one of four research directors. This brings together the School, the London School of Economics, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Open Society Institute and the governments of Belgium, Finland, Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the Veneto region of Italy...


My work also links to policy through membership of various advisory boards, including the Open Society Institute (OSI)...


Institute of Medicine Calls for Universal Health Insurance by 2010

by John S. James

Summary: On January 14, 2004 the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for the U.S. to implement universal health care by 2010. Currently 43,000,000 Americans are uninsured, and lack of health insurance causes 18,000 unnecessary deaths each year in the U.S. Eighty percent of the uninsured are members of working families -- but a quarter of U.S. workers are not offered health insurance at all, and few Americans can afford to buy the expensive individual policies. These and dozens of other facts in the new report will help anyone who is making a case for change. [2004-01-15]


On January 14 the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a Congressionally chartered but independent organization created in 1970 "to serve as adviser to the nation to improve health," released a report and fact sheets asking the president and Congress to act so that everyone living in the U.S. has health insurance by 2010. The report assembles facts we all can use to make the case that the current system must and can be changed. For example:

* Uninsured children and adults are sicker and die more often, as cancer and other diseases are diagnosed too late. Uninsured persons injured in an automobile accident get less services in hospitals and have a 37% higher death rate than those with health coverage. Lack of health insurance causes 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the U.S. Currently, 43,000,000 Americans are uninsured.

* The cost of the employee's share of health insurance increased 350% (in constant dollars) from 1977 to 1998, while the median income only increased 17%.

* Four out of five uninsured Americans are members of working families. A quarter of U.S. workers are not offered health insurance at all by their employer. If they buy their own policy it usually costs much more than the same insurance purchased by a group, especially if they have a chronic health condition. If they do not have insurance and get sick, they usually have to pay much more for the same medical services, since insurance companies can negotiate discounts with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and others.

* Four out of five without health insurance in the U.S. are U.S. citizens -- although immigrants are more likely than others to be uninsured.

* Of the 7.8 million uninsured children in the U.S. today, half are actually eligible for insurance under SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) or Medicaid. Often they are kept out by complex enrollment or re-enrollment procedures.

* It would almost certainly cost less to provide insurance to everyone than to continue the current system. The cost of covering all the uninsured has been estimated as between 3% and 5.6% of total U.S. healthcare cost.

* The U.S. spends more per person on health care than any other nation -- 14% of gross its domestic product -- but is 25th in male life expectancy and 19th in female life expectancy among 29 developed countries.

The report recommends five key principles for evaluating health insurance -- that it be universal, continuous, affordable to individuals and families, affordable and sustainable for society, and should "enhance health and well-being by promoting access to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable." It does not recommend a particular reform strategy, but evaluates four of them, including single payer, on how well they meet these recommendations.

"Imagine what the country would be like if everyone had coverage -- people would be financially able to have a health problem checked in a timely manner, to obtain preventive and primary care, and to receive necessary. appropriate and effective health services. Families would have security in knowing that they had some protection against medical bills undermining their financial stability. Key community providers and health care institutions could provide care to those who need it without jeopardizing their financial stability."

The new report, Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations, is the last of a series of six IOM reports "that offers the most comprehensive examination to date of the consequences of lack of health insurance on individuals, their families, communities, and the whole society." Copies of all six are available at: http://www.iom.edu/report.asp?id=17632 or through: http://www.iom.edu


A Need to Transform the U.S. Health Care System: Improving Access, Quality, and Efficiency

October 3, 2005 | Volume 21

Compiled by Anne Gauthier, M.S., and Michelle Serber

* view citation
* e-mail this page


To see a slide show with an overview of the chartbook, click on the graphic below. Note that the show will open in a separate window; you might not be able to see the slides if you have a pop-up blocker active.

need to transform image

The need for fundamental transformation of the U.S. health care system has become increasingly apparent. Research reveals a fragmented system fraught with waste and inefficiency. Among industrialized nations, the United States spends well over twice the per capita average. High spending, however, has not translated into better health: Americans do not live as long as citizens of several other industrialized countries, and disparities are pervasive, with widespread differences in access to care based on insurance status, income, race, and ethnicity.

Particularly problematic is the large number of individuals lacking ready access to health services. Over a third of the population is uninsured, unstably insured, or underinsured. With health care costs on the rise, affordability is a key concern for many working families. Gaps in insurance coverage and high out-of-pocket spending hinder patients' access to care and lead to skipped medical tests, treatments, and follow-up appointments. In turn, these access problems produce preventable pain, suffering, and death—as well as more expensive care.

There are also significant issues with the safety and quality of care. As many as 98,000 deaths result annually from medical errors, and U.S. adults receive only 55 percent of recommended care. Inefficiencies, such as duplication and use of unnecessary services, are costly and compromise the quality of care. High administrative costs in health insurance and health care delivery are also problems.

Each chartbook section further illustrates the need to improve coverage, quality, and efficiency. The charts presented paint a stark picture of a health system in need of reform. Clearly, moving the nation toward a high performance health system will require collaboration. That is why The Commonwealth Fund has formed the Commission on a High Performance Health System: to identify public and private strategies, policies, and practices that would lead to improvements in the delivery and financing of health care for all Americans.


sorry. the above was from the Commonwealth Fund


A summary or abstract and then a link to the main article would suffice.


Martin McKee
Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Research Director at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. I manage a large research programme on health and health policy in the former Soviet Union.

He has a website.I don't know if he is a Doctor or a Phd.

That would mean understanding the article.She may be our mook,but she is still a mook.


They keep banging that drum. How much money could be made if healthcare in the US is nationalized (and unionized)?

Here is an executive summary of the study that cleo mentions. Curious, healthcare got worse during the Bush Administration...depending of the definition of “amenable mortality”.

Anyway I thought that over the last few years that fewer people have been dieing.

Edwards trying one of his channeling tricks-all for a third place finish in the Democrat race.

Other Tom

"What stone-age, leech-based physicians housed at CIGNA made that generous decision?"

Because the decision was unpleasant for Cleo, the person who made it was necessarily stone-age and leech-based, and of course had he been more "generous" he would have given the go-ahead. Never mind that in doing so he would have deprived someone else on the waiting list--someone for whom the procedure offered a better chance of success--of a liver, and thus condemned that other, unknown person to death.

I find Dr. Gottlieb's facts far more persuasive than those adduced by Cleo and the inimitable WHO. By the way, beware at all times of "infant mortality" statistics, as there are a lot of places where you have to survive for a while or you don't get counted, and others (Cuba) where an infant who dies may very well not be counted at all.

Canada has a single-payer system. Yet Canadians flock to the US for transplant operations (and for CT scans and MRI's, for the matter of that). Ever hear of anyone going to Canada for a transplant.

What Cleo, and the figures over which he swoons, don't account for is the reality that organs for transplant are a scarce resource that has to be allocated according to some equitable system. I like the one here better than any I have heard of.


I am shocked that foundations and ngo's would be hitting the gas about the uninsured, lack of access, or cost of treatment and propose that the only solution would be a government run healthcare system. Let me take a look at the calander...oh, its 298 days til the election.


Health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, 2001

Country % of GDP
United States 13.9
Switzerland 10.9
Germany 10.7
Canada 9.7
France 9.5
Greece 9.4
Portugal 9.2
Iceland 9.2
Belgium 9.0
Australia* 8.9
Netherlands 8.9
Sweden 8.7
Denmark 8.6
Italy 8.4
Norway 8.3
New Zealand 8.2
Austria 7.7
Japan* 7.6
United Kingdom 7.6
Spain 7.5
Czech Republic 7.3
Finland 7.0
Hungary 6.8
Mexico 6.6
Ireland 6.5
Poland 6.3
Korea* 5.9
Slovak 5.7
Luxembourg 5.6

* 2000
This table can also be found at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/55/16308844.xls.

Not the most up to date figures but illuminating.
What is not taken into account is the proportion of public and private expenditure.Nor is there any indication of the numbers of users of each system.It also omits to give a figure for actual GDP.


Also wouldn't the situation as described in the WSJ piece make it that instead of someone at Cigna [or UCLA, they had a say in all of this] that it would be some federal government agency.

Hope they could at least keep up with the phone bill so they could take that call.

Rick Ballard

European health care certqainly has a long tradition effective treatment. Very effective treatment.


Health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, 2001

There is evidence that as people become wealthier, they choose to spend more of their income on health care. So the list is not too surprising. Also, systems that use rationing underprice their care, and don't account for the cost of people's waiting time, or for the relative quality. People are also willing to pay more for better quality.

Other Tom

I hereby claim the prize for the delivery of the happiest news of the day--indeed, of the calendar year:

"Sidney Blumenthal plays hardball. A longtime confidante and adviser to the Clintons, he has zealously defended them through any number of scandal investigations. Along the way, Blumenthal has shown an affinity for the sharp counterattack. When a group of Arkansas state troopers in the early 1990s began leveling charges that Bill Clinton had strayed in his marriage, Blumenthal shot back--penning an article in The New Yorker accusing the troopers of a litany of their own transgressions, including attempted fraud, marital infidelity and drunken driving.

"Now, Blumenthal himself faces charges of driving drunk. Blumenthal, an unpaid senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was arrested in Nashua on the eve of the New Hampshire primary and charged with aggravated DWI, according two members of the Nashua police force.

"Sgt. Mike Masella, one of the arresting officers, said the movements of a Buick caught his eye. 'I observed all his erratic driving,' Masella said. 'When I first noticed him it was at an intersection. He abruptly stopped. That caught my eye … He was drifting in his lane.' Masella followed the car, a rental, for a mile and a half, and clocked its speed at 70mph in a 30mph zone--more than twice the legal limit. Masella pulled the car over at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning. Blumenthal told the officer he was returning to his hotel from a restaurant in Manchester. After declining to take a Breathalyzer, Masella says, Blumenthal failed a field sobriety test. Blumenthal was handcuffed, booked, had his fingerprints taken and was held for four hours--standard operating procedure in such arrests in New Hampshire--before posting bail and being released. (He will be arraigned later this month.) Because the car was moving at excessive speeds, Blumenthal was given the more serious charge of 'aggravated' DWI--which carries a mandatory sentence of at least three days behind bars. 'He’s charged with a serious crime,' says Nashua Police Capt. Peter Segal, who will oversee the case as it moves toward a court date."

Seriously--does one even dare hope for stuff like this to happen to guys like Sid?

Other Tom

Cleo needs a serious reality check. To be uninsured does not mean you "do not have access to health care." It means that if you seek it, you must--horror of horrors!--pay for it yourself. Millions upon millions of Americans elect to self-insure: they would prefer to spend the money they would spend on insurance premiums on other things; this is particularly true of young people. Why do you think the major Dem proposal requires that you purchase insurance--or else! The government will damn sure tell you how to spend your money; it knows best.

Other Tom

Jimmyk, I think it's actually the reverse: systems that underprice their care must use rationing, by definition (assuming a free-market price mechanism). Price controls cause rationing, in every instance I am aware of throughout history. And who is going to do the rationing?

And if John Edwards "takes that power away" from insurers, to whom is he going to give it? Does he contend that the insurers have any power they were not given by contract? Does he acknowledge that without the insurance companies, he could not have built the largest mansion in North Carolina?


It means that if you seek it, you must--horror of horrors!--pay for it yourself.

Not necessarily, just check with your local county hospital. Lots and lots of free or reduced pay care rendered, no one that has an acute condition is turned away. And your and my tax dollars, lots of them, go to support these institutions. What happens to them when we all have mandatory coverage? Good point, theoretically they should not need the tax subsidy any longer. Wanna bet a tax reduction actually would happen?


I hear 'bleeding' is a new innovation. Repetitious and redundant. We are referring this repetitious redundancy to the departments of repetition and redundancy departments.



It is saying that italico is spam...stupid typepad


Tried to fix it immediately, the stupid spam filter locked me out and sent the comment ( two italics closures ) to TM for REVIEW!

hit and run

Other Tom:
Seriously--does one even dare hope for stuff like this to happen to guys like Sid?

I checked the smoking gun just to make sure. No mug shots available.


Sid Vicious got popped for aggravated dwi


Op -- too late.


, "the person who made it was necessarily stone-age and leech-based, and of course had he been more "generous" he would have given the go-ahead. Never mind that in doing so he would have deprived someone else on the waiting list-"

CIGNA is the administrator of the Organ Bank?

You miss the point. Although the Administrator of the Employers Healthcare Trust (CIGNA) is using the rules dictated by the employer, they are given discretion to exercise medical oversight.


Jimmyk, I think it's actually the reverse

Of course, I didn't mean to suggest the direction of causation, just the association. The point is that the expenditure figures for those rationing countries understate the true economic cost.

Other Tom

Cleo, you're the one who misses the point: a decision to give this young woman a transplant would deprive someone else of it, regardless who made that decision. Here, it was made in accordance with the terms of a contract to which the woman and her employers were parties. There is no evidence that a different result would have been reached by anyone other than John Edwards who, thankfully, will never have the authority to make such decisions.

GMax, I'm aware of the cost-shifting that takes place because ER's are forbidden to turn patients away even if they are unable to pay. But you don't get liver transplants, or any other major surgeries, or any elective surgeries at all, at an ER.

I'm very much aware of the implications of all of this. Two years ago my wife had serious liver disease and was placed on the transpant list. Her insurer at the time was the California Major Risk Medical Program, which had an annual ceiling of $75,000 in benefits. Had the transplant been necessary (roughly $250K just for the operation and immediate follow-up, and a like sum for ongoing monitoring and care), we would have had to sell our house and much else to do it. But we would have done it, and neither of would have wasted a single breath whining about it. Neither of us saw it as the duty of the government or any other person to take care of us. We had provided for ourselves as best we could, and it would have been enough, although it would have affected our lives a great deal.

Other Tom

Got it, JimmyK. And what is the economic cost of the people in Canada and the UK who die on waiting lists for procedures they could get in the US in the twinkling of an eye? Hard to measure....but at least they're all treated equally, right?


I believe that if John Edwards is elected there won't be any disease. Period.

Rick Ballard

Why is it hard to measure? The decision to repair or scrap is based upon an estimate of the value of the work unit's potential production after successful repair. The decision is even easier for units that have been fully depreciated or which are obsolete.

It's actually extraordinarily easy to measure. Listening to the whining of the work units might be a little tough but the doctors get over it. That is, if they want to remain useful and productive.


'Congress comes back from recess and appoints a committee(recess appointments).' The new farm bill is interesting. The government is going to leverage real estate purchases for land preservation, lease for preservation, biomass production and farming. Merrill Lynch lost money, is broke; if they go, we all go.

I predict rejection.

There is also this google thing and you can compare tires to taxes or sugar to cotton:


Lucifer gave humans disease that's why he wouldn't stop using humans and the work unit thing is done everyday because of Lucifer.


* It would almost certainly cost less to provide insurance to everyone than to continue the current system.

Would it be too much to ask why?


" What happens to them when we all have mandatory coverage? Good point, theoretically they should not need the tax subsidy any longer. Wanna bet a tax reduction actually would happen?"

Take it from me it won't.Here the tax,National Insurance as it is called,is stilll levied even if one has private insurance.Secondly,it is not a hypothecated tax so it gets raided by Chancellors of the Exchequer from time to time when they need some change.Essentially it is a Ponzi scheme,current income going straight to current expenditure.
Here is the interesting bit,because all treatment is in the gift of the state,the state decides what kind and what level of healthcare the individual gets.This is then tweaked by Regional Health Authorities,packed with placemen of the central government.They decide what type of treatment that will be funded from their overall budget.This results in "Post Code lotteries" where depending on where one lives dictates what treatment one receives.
Needless to say this multi-tiered administration increases costs drastically.


Mr Ballard,
You might like to see the figure for MRSA mortality These are derived from the death certificates so they are probably inaccurate.There is considerable evidence that hospital staff put other contributing cause on the death certificate,much more administratively simple,don't you know?
You will note that under the glorious socialist government MRSA fatalities have grown inexorably.Now that is progress!


I believe that if John Edwards is elected there won't be any disease. Period. Posted by: clarice |January 11, 2008 at 11:22 PM Nor will we have to worry about paralysis from grievous injury. We'll walk again. Or, maybe there won't be any injuries at all. Sell Johnson & Johnson short. Vote Edwards for a booboo-free world!

Other Tom

And Edwards, along with "taking that power away" from the insurance companies, will of course have the power to create as many livers as he thinks are necessary.


"I believe that if John Edwards is elected there won't be any disease."

There certainly won't be any dandruff with Universal Haircare.

Rick Ballard

Mr Uk,

Here in the colonies we do our best to emulate EU health care but, as you can see, we're still a bit clumsy at it. Stroger Hospital in Chicago is running the same route under Democrat control and remains open. Killer King and Stroger should be the poster children for "free" medical care - cradle to early grave.



I'm worried that nationalization of healthcare would sound like a good deal to a large swath of voters and give the election to the Red Witch or Obama. I don't think that they will make the same mistakes that they did in 1993-4. And I'm sure that cutting military spending and eliminating all those unseemly post 9/11 reforms to the intelligence services would go to the top of where the money could be found-just like the magical deficit reduction of the late 1990's.

Look at the S-Chip proposal-the Dem's in Congress with a Dem President couldn't help themselves. If the nattering nabobs thought spending and policy was bad with an R Congress and Bush Presidency, just wait until Rangel is re-writing the tax code and McDermott is re-writing healthcare.


I think conservatives are doing a terrible job explaining to the electorate why increased govt spending on healthcare is a bad idea.


Mr Ballard,
We also have galloping through our "Envy of the World" NHS.
Fortunately most of us will avoid this by considerately freezing to death in the coming Carbon Terror.


Just take them on a guided tour through the NHS,they will soon learn that politics and medicine do not mix.


Just, but no one is doing that,PUK. It is cold comfort, I suppose, but the thought that Agee's life was considerably shortened by Castro care makes me feel slightly better about it.


Was it ever really PROVEN, I mean the rock-solid type of proof you folks insist on, that Agee got agents killed? (Since the rational discussion on healthcare is apparently done).


A big problem arguing against central plan systems is that when they fail their failure is easily attributed to application of suboptimal plan rather than problems with the concept.

UK, Canada, and Cuba have crummy plans and obviously any well meaning dimorat would apply their ample common sense to the situation and achieve instant success simply by using the proper plan.


Boris--one could say that about Communism generally, couldn't you..It didn't work in Slobovia because....

Semantic--I don't know the answer to that. Does one avoid the charge of "treason" simply by showing that although you seriously disrupted our intelligence service's work and caused our allies abroad to be arrested or worse no one proved in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt that no one died as a result of what you did?



Treason? He broke his oath. Is that what did it?

Rick Ballard


It's certainly a possibility but Commissar Hussein clipped Commissar Red Witch pretty good with the "mandate" rebuttal. Mandated coverage is pretty unappealing to the freeriders and to those making a rational decision to go uncovered due to age and good health.

I think that we're back to sifting the muddle and I wish I could find a thumbsucker I read concerning a prog's surprise in finding that the NEA focus on "acceptance, diviersity and tolerance" had a result that was centripetal rather than centrifugal. Perhaps breaking the melting pot wasn't the brightest idea ever to occur to the progs?

Have you looked at the splits on the new SUSA Fl poll? The collapse in support for Red Witch among Boomers is fascinating. I wonder which way Silky's supporters will go when he folds.


The excuse of socialism/communism has always been that it failed because of an insufficient application of socialism/communism.

Rick Ballard

The Iraqi parliament meets another benchmark. Ten down, eight to go and this one was one of the toughest.


Just, but no one is doing that,PUK.

Too true, clarice.
If you read the comments on the left blogs that advocate universal health care, you quickly see they believe the government will provide them healthcare that is cheaper to pay for through taxes, free when they get the care, and unlimited as to scope and procedure.


"they believe the government will provide them healthcare that is cheaper to pay for through taxes, free when they get the care, and unlimited as to scope and procedure."

Which will always end up being rationed.Health care will reflect the shibboleths of the liberal middle classes.Smokers,drinkers the obese verboten.Drug addicts and AIDS exempt because ,hey it might be them or their kids.In vitro fertilisation as long as you can push your Zimmer frame,because after all there are careers and mortgages to think of.


Cleo, prune your position better. The pivotal issue in health care was pinned down by P. J. O'Rourke, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free."

Socialists ignore historical experience that centralized control is worse than that which it attempts to cure.

Please turn your intellect towards solving the real problem of providing affordable health care to all who need it... and stop talking old bromides that history has shown are bound to fail.


Oh, and I'll raise a glass to Sid's well-deserved misfortune, too!

Other Tom

Cleo, nothing was ever "proven" about Agee's getting agents killed, because rather than face the evidence in a court of law he fled the country.

He was, in all probablility, an entirely innocent man, right?

Boy, do you ever come to the defense of some strange ideas and strange people.


I do wish I knew how to explain all this better to the muddled masses.


"Boy, do you ever come to the defense of some strange ideas and strange people."

Every so often she chews through her bonds and gets out of the cellar.


In this campaign season, with charges and counter charges flying back and forth over who is or is not liberal or conservative, hears a review of Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism, which may help clarify these issue.

It may also be the proper season to express thanks that blogger's in the US don't suffer this fate.

Other Tom

Cleo, here's Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution on the subject of treason:

"Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

To answer your question, merely violating an oath won't do it, and you know quite well that no one here has suggested that it does. No one disputes that Agee identified, by name, numerous undercover agents of the CIA--actual, undercover agents in the field--and MI6 reported that his disclosures had resulted in the deaths of two Dutch agents. He readily acknowledged the active assistance of the Communist Party in carrying out his activities.

So you tell us whether he committed treason. And if you don't believe he did, I'm certain you must have taken forceful exception to the claims of your moonbat colleagues that Libby, Cheney and God-knows-who-else had done so by truthfully asserting that Valerie Plame, who worked at Langley, had recommended her husband for an overseas trip for which he was not required to sign a confidentiality agreement, and about which he wrote freely in the New York Times.


Hugh Hewitt links to an MP3 of an interview of Rick Santorum, trashing McCain on the Mark Levin show. According to Hewitt:

this conservative stalwart explain how John McCain was a decisive factor in holding down the size of the Bush tax cuts, how he cast the decisive vote against ANWR, how he stymied Senate Republicans on issue after issue after issue (Santorum was in leadership -- he should know) and why he would cause a huge rift in the Republican Party.

More Santorum On McCain

Other Tom

Boris, you're absolutely right. I recall how the New York Times prescribed the solution of the Soviet Union's growing economic problems as just some badly-needed fine-tuning--modest revisions to the then-current five-year plans and the like.

You see, it was silly of the planners to call for the production of 550,000 6-millimeter bolts in 1985 when only 510,000 hexagonal nuts were going to be produced. Back to the drawing board, massage the numbers a bit, sit back and watch the future--it works!

Other Tom

Of course, the conservative stalwart Santorum is now an ex-Senator. His views are welcome, but his vote on the next Supreme Court nominee will count the same as mine.


"So you tell us whether he committed treason. And if you don't believe he did, I'm certain you must have taken forceful exception to the claims of your moonbat colleagues that Libby"


It's interesting that you mention Libby.

Agee was not blameless, but is Treason
the venue of whistle-blowers, in general?
Or is loyalty to the temporary occupant of the WH the intent of the Rule of Law and the Constitution?

Black Ops and interference in foreign politics in the 60's and 70's added weight
to controls on Intel Collection through FISA. Were they not?


Under socialism/communism,the numbers are an end in themselves,fulfilling the plan,reaching targets is all that is required.
Here the government decrees that NHS waiting lists be shorter.Easy,if you ring the doctor for an appointment you are told to ring after 8:30am the following day to see if they can fit you in.Magic waiting list gone.Similarly hospitals are cramming in more simple operations to the detriment of more time consuming ones.Magic a larger turnover.
Wherever central planning is involved the meaning goes out of any enterprise.


And certainly Joe Blstpflk in his cubicle is in a better position to determine the style, color and sizes of shoe production than the market. Really, you guys who oppose central planning are thick.


Also, if by chance no one uses a product any more, the important thing is to keep the employees there employed. No creative destruction for us central planners..what we want is stasis--nice, simple, comfortable stasis.

Rick Ballard

"I do wish I knew how to explain all this better to the muddled masses."

I don't think there's a mass involved. There's definitely a muddle but it's boundaries are perhaps best described by its embrace of tolerance as currently taught in schools with rigid zero-tolerance policies.

Cartoons work best but look at the failure of the SCHIP Slacker Family cartoon. They didn't come within a hundred miles of the necessary level of empathy/sympathy required to ram through the giveaway. This is going to be an extraordinarily tricky election due to the incoherence of the muddle. At the moment there just isn't any apparent "glue" holding them together.


"Magic waiting list gone"

Doesn't the same argument y'all make in this thread apply?

"To be uninsured does not mean you "do not have access to health care." It means that if you seek it, you must--horror of horrors!--pay for it yourself. Millions upon millions of Americans elect to self-insure:" OT

Just shell out for Premium, rapid-fire, Brie and Port in the waiting room healthcare


Other Tome, it gets much, much worse than that. Yes, sadly, Santorum no longer gets a vote on Supreme Court nominees. Nor would a President McCain have a vote. I suppose that's the good news, because the really bad news is that a President McCain would have the power to nominate justices to the Supreme Court--justices who might well agree with him on, for example, 1st Amendment speech issues. Based on past performance that amply illustrates his vindictive personality, there is no reason to expect that a President McCain would not take specific issues into account in making nominations. Do not expect a Scalia, Thomas, Alito or Roberts from a President McCain. As I said before, if I thought McCain could get even one such principled jurist onto the Court I would be far less troubled than I am by his candidacy.


Woops! Tom, not Tome.


Semantic, I believe a big part of the trouble is traceable to the first health insurance programs--which were full health benefits with no deductibles given to unionized workers to get around wage controls. We all know our house and car insurance doesn't cover routine maintenance but have become inured to the notion that health insurance should.

If we all went to major medical with reasonably high deductables, I promise the cost of insurance would go down. If we limited recovery in malpractice cases , I promise health care costs would go down. If legislatures and legislators would stop demanding the inclusion of procedures which risk assessment models indicate are not worth inclusion, I promise our health care costs would go down.


"Just shell out for Premium, rapid-fire, Brie and Port in the waiting room healthcare"

Shame on you Septic,all that cholesterol and alcohol,you will be getting a visit from the Health Police.

You would rather a bureaucrat sitting in an office dictate when and where you get treatment?

I think if Clarice can get this through your skull she will have a model for the muddle.


Other Tom, your point is well taken that Rick Santorum is now just an ordinary citizen, with the same one vote as you. However, I hope you would listen to the clip of Levin's interview of Santorum.

It is not so much revealing as it is a reminder to many of us who watched C-Span during a lot of the events recounted by Santorum/Levin and how strongly McCain battled against his fellow Senators and their constituencies.

It is one thing to say I will vote for McCain if he is the last man standing, but it is something else to support him now, while others are still standing and need our support to overtake him. I just cannot support McCain. His track record is a long and ugly one.



Cost controls have become the concomitant
unreality of the notion 'full coverage' which implies there is no cost.

Insurance has always had the intent of providing the average Joe with protection from catastrohic events. It became an entitlement to free health care modeled after the Union
contracts you cite. But when doctors become more preoccupied with business than with patient health, the curative
role disappears.

HMO's instituted some measure of control. But now we have policies which have all the disadvantages of HMO piled onto the disadvantages of PPO. Too much noodling about cost creates the scenario wherein we have so many unnecessary deaths in the US.


"Shame on you Septic,all that cholesterol and alcohol,you will be getting a visit from the Health Police."

It's a lot healthier than that consumed by the redundant protoplasm entertaining a fast food outlet on every corner. See "Europeans and Cholestrol".


OT, but I love the smell of scheudenfraude in the morning

devil spawn.Max Blumenthal on Hitchens

I know MSNBC has him on because he says outrageous things. However in fact he is a pompous ass who does not know what the hell he is talking about. He is also well known for being an out of control drunk -- is that the kind of person you want on MSNBC?

HA - Is Sideny the kind of person that should be in the White House?


Max is his son,employed at Media Matters --no?


"It's a lot healthier than that consumed by the redundant protoplasm entertaining a fast food outlet on every corner. See "Europeans and Cholestrol"."

How does one entertain a fast food outlet,tell it a joke ,sing it a song?

Surely you are not blaming poor old Ronald McDonald again?

There has always been fast food in Europe,down through centuries there have been establishments selling the equivalent of fast food.There have always been street vendors. Strangely this applies to most of the countries on the planet,and we are all still here.
It is only in the new faithless age have we become afraid of dying of what we eat.


The only way I would vote McCain in the primary, is if the only other choices were Huckster and Ru Paul.



I don't know where he is employed, Salon?, but it's still so karmic-ally lovely.


his huff bio

Max Blumenthal is a Nation Institute Fellow whose work regularly appears in the Nation. A winner of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Award, he is also a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America. His book, "Gomorrah: Inside the Republican Land of Sin," will be published by Nation/Basic books in July 2007.

"There has always been fast food in Europe,down through centuries there have been establishments selling the equivalent of fast food.There have always been street vendors."

It's changing. See why.

From todays NYT (health)

. ''Only between 1970 and 1980 did French values increase to those in Britain,'' the authors noted, adding that since only about 1 percent of men die of heart disease before age 50, it takes decades of exposure to a high-fat diet to exact this toll.

Though the new British report is the most thorough analysis of this ''time-lag hypothesis,'' it has been put forward before as an explanation for French diet and health. Dr. Marion Nestle, chairwoman of the department of nutrition at New York University, noted several years ago that it was not until 1985 that French consumption of fat caught up to that of Americans.

In an interview, Dr. Nestle said, ''There's been a steady increase in fat consumption in France over the last 20 years as the French diet has become more Americanized.'' She noted that the French were now eating more meat and fast foods, snacking more, eating fewer regular relaxed meals, exercising less and drinking less wine than in the past. And, predictably, they are getting fatter.

Other Tom

" is Treason the venue of whistle-blowers, in general? Or is loyalty to the temporary occupant of the WH the intent of the Rule of Law and the Constitution?"

First, Cleo, I have to confess to finding the passage I have quoted above very nearly incomprehensible. Are you suggesting that treason must be the one or the other, and if so, why? But to take the questions on their face, and in order: (1) Of course not. Was Benedict Arnold a whistle-blower? The Rosenbergs? Alger Hiss? Aaron Burr? (2) Again, of course not--everyone, whether loyal to the current occupant of the White House at a given time or not, is subject to the same laws and the same Constitution. Ask John Erlichman. Ask Scooter Libby. Ask Webb Hubbell. Ask Henry Cisneros. Ask Bill Clinton. But what does any of that have to do with treason?

"Just shell out for Premium, rapid-fire, Brie and Port in the waiting room healthcare." Once more, what in God's name does this passage mean--indeed, does it mean anything at all? Those who self-insure don't have to shell out for anything they don't want to shell out for, and as an alternative they can always elect to insure themselves instead. And if you contend that there are those who "can't afford" health insurance, I'm sure you'll agree that we cannot include in that group anyone who owns a plasma TV, two automobiles, a hot tub or gold chains, right? Or do you want me to pay for the health insurance premiums of such people? And if so, should I also pay for their food? Their shoes? Their BarcaLounger?

Other Tom

"Too much noodling about cost creates the scenario wherein we have so many unnecessary deaths in the US." They don't lack for unnecessary deaths in the UK and Canada, either--all those poor folks who have to get on the waiting list for a heart bypass, or an appendectomy, or a gall bladder operation, and who die while they're waiting. And brother, you talk about "noodling about cost!"

What is the correct amount of noodling about cost? I don't know of anyone who wants "too much" of it. Should we simply disregard costs altogether, and spend whatever resources are necessary in order to prolong every single life for as long as possible? And if not, is the noodling something you'd like done by the government? If so, why? What's your favorite instance of government noodling about costs in other areas?



Wow. Let's break it down..............

"is Treason the venue of whistle-blowers, in general?"

IOW; are whistle-blowers to be labeled treasonous, based upon upon whose ox is gored?

shorter; Is there an arbitrary rule for 'treason'?

As for the self-insured question;

There are health insurance policies for the well-to-do which offers Rolls Royce care from the best and most expensive specialists. I don't know of anyone foolish enough to self insure on a private basis by choice. Companies who have 500 or more employees are foolish NOT to self-insure, paying benefits through Trust fund established for that purpose.


Semanticleo apparently wanted to give the "Employee of the Year" award to Phillip Agee for his, as she called it, "whistle blowing".

This, among other choice items, is what he did:

Oleg Kalugin, former head of the KGB’s Counterintelligence Directorate, states that in 1973 Philip Agee approached the KGB's resident in Mexico City and offered what Kalugin called a "treasure trove of information." But the KGB was too suspicious to accept his offer.

Whistle blowing to the Soviets? That's odd.

Kalugin added that:

“ Agee then went to the Cubans, who welcomed him with open arms...The Cubans shared Agee's information with us. But as I sat in my office in Moscow reading reports about the growing revelations coming from Agee, I cursed our officers for turning away such a prize

Agee didn't just provide a list of CIA operatives, he gave information about sources and methods that the Agency used.

Apologists for this traitor should be ashamed of themselves.

If they knew what shame meant.


Semantic..never let it be said that I question the research, but I believe the passage you quoted has a whiff of Lysenko to it. If I had to suggest reasons why urbanized Westerners are getting fatter it'd be the automobile and crime.People used to have to expend far more energy getting about until we all had cars. And we used to walk about a great deal more in cities when it wasn't life threatening to do so. Ditto with kids on whose spreading girth is often blamed on cheetos and tv when the answer is that they've become couch potatoes because they are f*()ing afraid to go outside and play what with everyone being so soliticitous of the mentally ill, homeless, crack addicted, multiple offenders, etc. that we leave them roam our* neighborhoods.
Our* of course is a figure of speech, people like Soros who fund the ACLU which does so much in this regard and the judges who rule their way do not live in neighborhoods of kids so afraid to play outside that they are turning into tubs of fat.


Septic ,
Have you been spending time with Jacques Chirac,France isn't all of Europe.
I cannot but help think of those wonderfully healthy French food like foi gras and full fat brie.

The Cholesterol Terror is directly linked to the manufacture of Statins,those wonderful drugs which reduce cholesterol but have such interesting side effects.
You have to understand that many of the medical profession are pushers for "Big Pharma".


Oh, PUK, you'll be so happy to learn the Labour party now wants to enfranchise kids--How long before Posh is the nest PM>
Telegraph:"The voting age could be lowered to 16 to encourage young people to get involved in politics, Harriet Harman has suggested. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the deputy leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the House of Commons, warned that drastic action was needed to tackle a crisis in Britain's democracy caused by low turnout among younger voters."


**neXt PM****


Advanced technology, as well as the auto, contribute to obeesity. (computers, video games, tv, etc.) BTW, Reuters labled Agee a whistleblower as well.

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