Monday, March 2, 2015

Myth: Republicans Are Not Offering Alternatives To Obamacare.

Source: FreedomWorks

1. Health care decisions should be made between patients and their doctors – the government should never have a say. Nothing is more personal and particular to an individual than their health. Every person is different, with different needs, different preferences, and different responses to treatment. Doctors are trained to take these individual differences into account, and many develop lasting relationships with their patients. Any efforts to reform the health care system must allow patients and their doctors to maintain absolute control of health care decisions.

2. Increasing access is about more than having an insurance policy. We need lower costs and higher quality care. Markets are superior to top-down control because only the price system allows businesses and consumers to adjust their behavior in real-time as conditions change. Companies have to respond to the demands of their customers, and customers dissatisfied with a company’s practices can take their business elsewhere in search of a better deal. Having an insurance policy is meaningless if you can’t afford the deductible, or if 3 you can’t see a doctor. Meaningful health care reform must focus on creating the right incentives for competition, innovation, and adaptability—all of which drive down costs and increase quality of care.

3. Tax policy shouldn’t favor individuals or companies with regard to purchasing health insurance. Current policy provides tax benefits for companies that spend money on health insurance plans for their employees. Individuals, however, do not share the same benefit. Granting individuals the same tax treatment as corporations would be a meaningful step towards creating insurance plans that are designed for people instead of businesses. This policy will also help shield workers who change jobs.

4. Regulation of private health insurance should be done by the states, not federal government. ObamaCare eliminates a state’s ability to compete within the health care marketplace by imposing a onesize-fits-all mandate on insurance companies across the country. The result of this has been dropped policies, increased costs, and reduced services. Patient–centered health care reform must restore states’ abilities to control insurance regulations within their own borders, allowing states to adopt policies that work best for their citizens.

5. Medicare should allow seniors an array of plan options, and an opportunity to opt out if they choose. No matter their age, we believe everyone deserves health care choices. Currently, seniors are offered one option – Medicare. This type of planning crowds out private alternatives that could provide better care. Worse, Medicare penalizes seniors who want to opt out – effectively trapping most in the program. Seniors should be allowed to opt out of Medicare if they choose. Government should allow private companies to offer a variety of plans that will ensure that seniors can get better quality care at prices they can afford.

6. Medicaid should move towards a state-controlled model where the states have flexibility to innovate and find ways to deliver better quality care with their Medicaid dollars. ObamaCare makes a concerted effort to drive millions of Americans into Medicaid—some of whom were forced in after their private health insurance was cancelled. However, because Medicaid payments to doctors are so low, patients face longer wait times for appointments—if they find a doctor who will even take Medicaid at all. In the few states that have been granted even limited ability to introduce patient-centered reforms to their Medicaid programs, the results have been promising. Giving Medicaid fully over to the states will lead to more responsible spending, tailored to the diverse needs of individual states, and will increase low-income patients’ access to and quality of care. Since state legislatures are closer to the people they represent, they will always be better stewards of tax dollars than the federal government.

7. Patients should be incentivized to save and spend their own money (tax-free) on health care through health savings accounts. This would encourage price transparency from health care providers, foster price competition, and lower costs. People are more responsible with their own money than with other peoples’ money. The current health insurance model prevents patients from ever seeing the true cost of the medical services they consume. Someone else is paying the bills, so there’s no incentive to shop around for the best price. As a result, there’s little reason for doctors to advertise their prices and compete with one another, since most patients are more or less indifferent to the actual costs of care paid by insurance companies. Health savings accounts (HSAs) offer a solution to this problem. By having a tax-free account available for health care spending, patients will be sensitive to high prices and seek the best deal for their money. HSAs also motivate health care providers to be more transparent in their pricing, and to compete with one another to provide the best care for the lowest cost.

8. The abuses of the medical malpractice system must be addressed at the state level. Most people now recognize that the medical malpractice system is broken. Doctors are forced to pay astronomical premiums for malpractice insurance, and are incentivized to order unnecessary tests and drugs out of fear of being sued for negligence. The inherent risk of the field has been taken by too many courts as a consequence of bad doctors, when in most instances this is simply not the case. The result is high prices and a misallocation of medical resources resulting from “defensive medicine.” The medical malpractice system must be reformed, but changes need to be implemented at the state level. A blanket policy from the federal government would violate the right of states to regulate their own tort law.

9. Accommodate individuals with pre-existing conditions at the state level. The population that ObamaCare was supposed to take care of—those most in need of assistance—are individuals with chronic health conditions that require constant (and expensive) maintenance care. These individuals make up only a small fraction of our population, but were used to justify a wholesale change in every single patient’s insurance. While a federal solution would interfere with the states’ ability to manage their own insurance markets, states can set up systems as they see fit – whether through high-risk or risk-transfer pools (or other policy means), to ensure that patients with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance.

10. ObamaCare must be dismantled entirely – there is nothing about the Affordable Care Act that encourages either freedom or affordability in health care. Opinion polls show that the law has been consistently unpopular with the American people. Despite all these problems, there are still those who argue that the Affordable Care Act can be salvaged, that it can be fixed. Wrong. There is nothing about ObamaCare that increases choice, fosters competition, lowers prices, or improves the quality of medical care. Additionally, it violates individual rights by compelling people to buy a product they don’t want.

Leadership Vacuum

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Washingon's Liberal News Media - An Embedded Extension Of The Obama White House

ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, National Security Adviser.

CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.

ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married to former Whitehouse Press Secretary Jay Carney.

ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary 

ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood.

CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to former Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides

Monday, February 23, 2015

Aging In A Painting

Aging in a Painting

Electric Car Taxpayer Sham In The Making?

Wall Street Journal February 12, 2015

Elon Musk isn’t known for modesty, and this week the Tesla Motors CEO laid out his ambition to grow 50% a year and deliver a stock valuation in 10 years of $700 billion—the current valuation of Apple, the world’s most valuable company. So why does Tesla, which is already valued at about $27 billion, still need so much taxpayer welfare?
Mr. Musk this week played down a $108 million loss in Tesla’s fiscal fourth quarter, which he attributed to one-time manufacturing inefficiencies, a strong dollar and lower than expected deliveries. Tesla said delivering some “cars was physically impossible due to a combination of customers being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems (with actual ships).” Tesla shares fell 4.66% Thursday on the news.
The world loves an optimist, and fast-growing start-ups often lose money as they focus on capital investment. What makes Tesla different is that the bottom line would have been much worse without $86 million in profits from the sale of government emissions credits. A Barclays analyst told the Journal that the fourth-quarter results were “heavily supported” by the credits.
Because it produces only electric cars, Tesla receives excess “credits” for complying with federal fuel-efficiency standards and state zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandates, notably in California. Tesla can then hawk its surplus credits to auto makers that fail to meet the government rules. Last year Tesla made a roughly $150 million killing from selling ZEV credits. That’s up from $130 million in 2013, $32 million in 2012, and $3 million in 2011. All told in 2014 Tesla sold about $216 million in credits, equal to about 7% of its auto sales.
Those government subsidies come on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit for each electric car sale and state rebates. Nevada and California have also bestowed upward of $1.5 billion in tax breaks on Tesla.
A Tesla earnings report last year predicted that revenue from credits would “remain low in the future relative to our automotive sales” though it would “pursue opportunities to monetize ZEV credits.” Such opportunities will abound as California’s ZEV and federal fuel-efficiency mandates grow more stringent. More states are also adopting electric-car mandates.
Capitalism needs visionaries, but its reputation suffers when companies worth billions soak middle-class taxpayers for profits. Turn off the taxpayer tap, Mr. Musk. It would earn you more friends for the long haul.

Electric Cars - An Extraordinarlily Bad Idea

Forbes Louis Woodhill

President Obama has announced a goal of having one million electric cars on American roads by 2015.  The administration has allocated $2.4 billion in “stimulus” money to subsidize production of them, along with the batteries and other components that they use.
Unfortunately, electric cars are about to do a barrier crash into economic reality, and all the airbags in the world won’t be able to save them.  The taxpayers’ $2.4 billion is destined to join Obama’s $535 million investment in solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra at the bottom of the crony-capitalism “stimulus” rat hole.
The Nissan Leaf is the first mass-produced “battery electric vehicle” (BEV).  It uses state-of-the-art lithium batteries.  Despite this, the Leaf makes no sense at all.  It costs much more than($28,550 vs. $17,250) a comparable Nissan Versa, but it is much less capable.  The Leaf accelerates more slowly than a Versa and has only about 25% of the range.
At $0.11/KWH for electricity and $4.00/gallon for gasoline, you would have to drive the Leaf 164,000 miles to recover its additional purchase cost.  Counting interest, the miles to payback is 197,000 miles.  Because it is almost impossible to drive a Leaf more than 60 miles a day, the payback with interest would take more than nine years.
However, cost is not the biggest problem with BEVs.
On Wednesday, Jan. 26 a major snowstorm hit Washington D.C.  Ten-mile homeward commutes took four hours.  If there had been a million electric cars on American roads at the time, every single one of them in the DC area would have ended up stranded on the side of the road, dead.  And, before they ran out of power, their drivers would have been forced to turn off the heat and the headlights in a desperate effort to eek out a few more miles of range.
This illustrates the biggest drawback of BEVs, which is not range, but refueling time.  A few minutes spent at a gas station will give a conventional car 300 to 400 miles of range.  In contrast, it takes 20 hours to completely recharge a Nissan Leaf from 110V house current.  An extra-cost 240V charger shortens this time to 8 hours.  There are expensive 480V chargers that can cut this time to 4 hours, but Nissan cautions that using them very often will shorten the life of the car’s batteries.
No doubt some conventional cars ran out of gas while trapped in the massive traffic jams that occurred in and around the nation’s capital the night of January 26.  However, a two-gallon can of gasoline can get a stalled conventional car moving again in a few minutes.  In contrast, every dead BEV would have had to be loaded on flatbed tow truck and taken somewhere for many hours of recharging before it could be driven again.
The short and highly variable range of a BEV, coupled with its very long recharging time, creates the phenomenon of “range anxiety”.  The car takes over your life.  You are forced to plan every trip carefully, and to forgo impromptu errands in order to conserve precious electrons.  And, when you are driving your BEV, you are constantly studying the readouts worrying about whether you are going to make it through the day.
Reviews of the Leaf are filled with accounts of drivers turning off the A/C in the summer and the heat in the winter.  Some drivers even decided that they couldn’t risk charging their cell phones, using the radio, or turning on the windshield wipers.
Between subsidies and fuel economy mandates, the federal government may be able to force auto companies to manufacture 1,000,000 electric cars by 2015.  However, it won’t be able to force people to buy them.  As the economics and operating characteristics of BEVs become more widely understood, interest in BEVs will wane.
What is truly tragic about all of this is that there is an alternative for powering cars that makes far more sense than electricity.  It is compressed natural gas (CNG).
Thanks to new “fracking” technology, natural gas is cheap and abundant in the U.S.  On an energy content basis, wholesale natural gas is almost 80% cheaper than wholesale gasoline right now.  And, it is possible to build CNG vehicles that do not provoke “range anxiety.”
The Honda Civic GX, which is a vehicle that was adapted for CNG rather than designed from the ground up to use it, will be available in all 50 states for the 2012 model year.  The Civic GX has a range of 200 to 250 miles, and takes only a little longer to refuel than a gasoline-powered car.
It would be possible to design a CNG car that has a much longer range than a Civic GX, and that could also burn gasoline when CNG was not available.  Such a vehicle would be much cheaper to build than a Chevy Volt, and it would have better performance characteristics.
2015 Review US News & World Report:
The 2015 Nissan Leaf ranks 22 out of 42 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Leaf, as well as reliability and safety data..
The Leaf can travel 84 miles on a fully charged battery, and some critics note that the Leaf’s driving range may limit its appeal to some shoppers.
The 2015 Nissan Leaf possesses everything necessary to placate environmentalists, technophiles and any forward-thinking consumers looking to cut back on high fuel bills." 
If you have an unpredictable driving schedule, travel more than 100 miles per day or live in a residence without 220-volt power support, better options are the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in or Ford C-Max Energi. These plug-in hybrids can travel hundreds of miles thanks to their onboard gasoline engines."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What Income Level Defines The "Rich"? Do They Pay Their:"Fair:" Share?

Leadership Vacuum: Rise Of ISIS - Same As Rise Of Hitler's 3rd Reich 80 Years Ago Today!!! Nobody Wanted To Believe

Excerpts By Thomas Sowell 'Happy Talk'
It was painfully ironic to hear Ms. Rice tell us that the danger we face today is not as serious as the dangers we faced in World War II.
Anyone who has actually studied the period that led up to World War II knows that the Western democracies followed feckless policies remarkably similar to those that we are following today. And anyone who studies that war itself knows that the West came dangerously close to losing it before finally getting their act together and turning things around.
In a nuclear age, we may not have time to let reality finally sink in on our leaders and wake up the public to the dangers.
There was lots of "happy talk" in the West while Hitler was building up his Nazi war machine during the 1930s, as the Western intelligentsia were urging the democracies to disarm.
The dangers of Hitler's sudden rise to power in Germany during the early 1930s were played down, and even ridiculed, by politicians, journalists and the intelligentsia in both Britain and France.
A temporary political setback for the Nazis in 1933 was hailed by a French newspaper as "the piteous end of Hitlerism" and a British newspaper said even earlier that Hitler was "done for." Prominent British intellectual Harold Laski opined that Hitler was "a cheap conspirator rather than an inspired revolutionary, the creature of circumstances rather than the maker of destiny."
In other words, Hitler and the Nazis were the "junior varsity" of their day, in the eyes of the know-it-alls.
Even after Hitler consolidated his political power in Germany, imposed a dictatorship and began building up a massive war machine, the Western democracies continued to believe that they could reach a peaceful understanding with him.
There was euphoria in the West when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from a conference in Munich, waving an agreement signed by Hitler, and declaring that it meant "peace for our time." Our time turned out to be less than one year before the biggest and most ghastly war in history broke out in 1939.
Today, when people can graduate from even our most prestigious colleges and universities utterly ignorant of history, many people -- even in high places -- have no idea how close the Western democracies came to losing World War II.
For the first three years of that war, the West lost battle after battle in both Europe and Asia. France collapsed and surrendered after just six weeks of fighting, and few expected the British to survive the blitzkrieg Hitler unleashed on them from the air. Americans were defeated by the Japanese in the Philippines and, as prisoners of war, faced the horrors of the infamous Bataan death march.
When the British finally won the battle of El Alamein in North Africa in November 1942, this was their first victory, more than three years after Britain entered the war.
A nuclear war is not likely to last three years, so there is unlikely to be time enough to recover from years of glib, foolish words and catastrophic decisions.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What A Difference A Generation Can Make

Like It Used to Be:

How It Is Today



Friday, February 20, 2015

WVA Rail Car Disaster Makes Case For Keystone Pipeline February 18, 2015

Three million gallons of Bakken crude burning in rural West Virginia after an oil train derails in a snowstorm ought to underscore the environmental safety of replacing rail cars with the Keystone XL pipeline.
One of the reasons President Obama says he'll veto the Keystone pipeline bill that, as a result of last November's GOP electoral gusher, has found its way to his desk is that it will only carry Canadian crude to foreign markets and is not worth jeopardizing the environment.
Two things are wrong with that argument.
The first is that Keystone XL will also bring Bakken crude to the American market, accelerating the oil boom from fracking in the shale formation centered on North Dakota. This will make North America energy independent and the rest of the world less dependent on Middle Eastern oil, a matter of no small significance.
Second, as the State Department's multiple reviews point out, the Keystone XL pipeline itself poses no serious risk to the environment, no more than the tens of thousands of miles of pipeline that already crisscross the U.S., including one from Canada, all operating quite safely.
As the Heritage Foundation notes, an earlier approval by Hillary Clinton's State Department concluded: "The pipeline posed minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish and wildlife, and creates few greenhouse-gas emissions. Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety-standard requirements created by the State Department and the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration."
The State Department has also concluded that by not building Keystone we will accomplish nothing environmentally, since the crude will still be extracted from Alberta's oil sands and simply shipped by another route, as Canada is already planning to do.
So even if Obama vetoes the Keystone XL bill and the veto is not overridden, both Bakken and Canadian crude will find their way to market.
The only thing the president would accomplish would be to, er, derail a pipeline that would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day to our Gulf Coast refineries and directly create 20,000 truly shovel-ready jobs.
The train that derailed about 30 miles outside of Charleston, W.Va., was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota. In addition to the explosions and fire, at least one tanker found its way into a nearby Kanawha River tributary. Two water treatment plants had to be closed. Hundreds of families were evacuated, but property damage was minimal thanks to the relatively remote location of the derailment.
As more oil flows out of North Dakota, more of these accidents and potential catastrophes will happen. Two days before the West Virginia wreck, 29 cars of a 100-car Canadian National Railway train carrying Bakken crude derailed about 50 miles south of Timmins, Ontario, spilling oil and catching fire.
A little more than a year ago, Casselton, N.D., had a near-brush with tragedy after a train of tank cars carrying crude oil derailed, resulting in fiery explosions and a call from the town's mayor for a re-examination of how such fuel is transported across the United States.
Rail shipments of crude have increased from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to more than 435,000 in 2013, driven largely by the Bakken boom. Limited pipeline capacity in the region forces more than 70% of the crude to be shipped to the refineries by rail, increasing the dangers.
There doesn't seem too much of a debate that pipelines are safer than rail shipments. The right-leaning Manhattan Institute says trains spill 33 times more oil than pipelines, while the left-leaning Brookings Institution says the evidence that railroads are far less safe than pipelines is "overwhelming."
So is the evidence of the economic need for the Keystone XL pipeline. Sign the bill, Mr. President.

Global Warming; Skeptics Better Informed on The "Science" Than The Proponents February 18, 2015

Global warming alarmists are fond of saying they have science on their side, while global warming skeptics are anti-science. So who actually knows more about climate science? You guessed it.
The difference isn't huge, but the findings of a study show that global warming skeptics score better on climate science questions than those who believe man is causing the planet to warm through the combustion of fossil fuels.
A paper that will appear in the journal Advances in Political Psychology says that, on average, skeptics got 4.5 questions right while the followers of the faith averaged four correct answers. This doesn't mean skeptics are more informed; it just means they're not poorly informed, which is what alarmists want us all to believe.
The paper was written by Yale Law School professor Dan Kahan, not a skeptic looking for a particular outcome. He quizzed about 2,000 people with nine questions, asking about such issues as melting North Pole ice and skin cancer risk in a supposedly warming world.
Some warm-mongers won't like what Kahan found. They like to ridicule those who don't buy into the popular narrative, portraying them as unscientific rubes. Or as Kahan told Fox News, the believers are often "screaming" in skeptics' faces and telling them that they and everyone they identify with "rejects science."
He followed that Wednesday with a blog post saying "I don't think it is useful at all to characterize as 'anti-science' the 50% of U.S. general population who, using exactly the same forms of reasoning as those who conclude that best evidence supports belief in AGW, conclude that the best evidence doesn't support it."
The skeptic in us marvels that the publication of Kahan's study comes about the same time as the postponement of a fossil fuel protest at his school. Seems it was too cold and snowy for members of Fossil Free Yale to leave the comfort of their homes — homes, by the way, that are almost certainly warmed by fossil fuel.
The alarmists tell us that global warming is, well, not actually warming but "climate change," and it will bring the extreme weather we've seen this winter.
We get the rebranding effort. When reality refuted the notion that man was warming the planet, when the cold and snow never stopped, and as winter kept coming each year, something had to be done or the movement was finished.
So it marches on, though with a limp and stripped of its claim that skeptics think the Earth is flat.