Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kind of a test

This from the Guardian on being snarky:

The sixth principle of snark: the hobbyhorse principle. Reduce all human complexity to caricature. Then repeat the caricature. Genuine seriousness, when it turns up (say, in a man like Al Gore), disgusts snarky writers - they refashion it into stiffness or pretension. The mystery of personality bores them into silence.
Is this post considered a snark by merely repeating the above?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Call it the grass-is-greener syndrome: the French have their own problems that show there's no such thing as a free lunch — or a free doctor's visit

Health care in France is often held up as a model the U.S. might follow
writes Investor's Business Daily.
Yet the French have their own problems that show there's no such thing as a free lunch — or a free doctor's visit.
The IBD (which also features editorials on the demonization of drugmakers — "members of Congress … think they can impose whatever costs they want on an industry, with no real-world impact" — and on Ted Kennedy's death) goes on to quote Guy Sorman's City Journal story. (Be sure to also check out Bojidar Marinov's "checkup"…)
Call it the grass-is-greener syndrome. Advocates of national health care, acknowledging the flaws in ObamaCare yet despising the current U.S. system that has the best medicines, the best medical equipment and the shortest waiting lists, have turned their eyes lovingly to places like France.

As City Journal contributing editor Guy Sorman notes, the French would also love to have the low-cost, high-service system some Americans gush about. Unfortunately, they don't. France's system isn't that cheap and is financed by high taxes on labor that have heavy economic consequences.

… Regardless of the cost, does the French system produce better outcomes? Not always. Infant mortality rates are often cited as a reason socialized medicine and single-payer systems are better than what we have here. But according to Dr. Linda Halderman, a policy adviser in the California State Senate, these comparisons are bogus.

…[Furthermore] France reimburses its doctors at a far lower rate than U.S. physicians would accept.

As David Gratzer, a physician and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote in the summer 2007 issue of City Journal: "In France, the supply of doctors is so limited that during an August 2003 heat wave — when many doctors were on vacation and hospitals were stretched beyond capacity — 15,000 elderly citizens died."

After the tragedy, the French parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly.

It's hard to imagine that happening here, where hospitals have enough air-conditioned beds and doctors that aren't on vacation.

Fact is, most Americans like their health care. There are ways to provide expanded coverage at lower cost, such as pushing individually owned health savings accounts, malpractice reform and allowing insurance to be bought across state lines.

We needn't be forced to sacrifice quality for cost. Nor do we need to look to the French for a better solution. They don't have one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What the American enamored with French health care doesn’t realize is that the French, too, would love to have such a perfect health system

Recently in the New York Times, mystery writer Sara Paretsky published “Le Treatment,” the story of how she took her husband, suffering from chest pains during their vacation in France, to a local hospital, where he was treated without delay. … Paretsky expresses one minor reservation about what she sees as a nearly perfect health-care system: the hospital staff’s behavior was more bureaucratic than cheerful. She concludes, however, that this is a small price to pay for excellent health care at an unbeatable price: “I might put up with a lot of ugly bureaucrats for that.”
Thus writes Frenchman Guy Sorman (merci à Pat Patterson) who was subsequently interviewed by Radio America's Greg Corombos.
What she doesn’t realize is that the French, too, would love to have such a system. Paretsky’s adventure is a parable based on a false assumption: that health care can be public, reliable, and free. It may indeed seem free, or close to free, for an American tourist receiving treatment in an emergency; as a French taxpayer, however, I paid a heavy price for Paretsky’s husband’s treatment. And you, my American reader, did too.
Read why "French national health insurance is also subsidized by American patients."
…In the end, who paid for Paretsky’s husband’s nearly free ride in a French hospital? French workers and taxpayers; American patients; and the young, unqualified, and out-of-work French unable to find jobs because of the unemployment that national health insurance engenders. There is no such thing, anywhere, as a perfect health-insurance system. It’s always a trade-off among competing goods, and the choices to be made are ultimately political ones. Americans commenting on health-care reform should try to make the costs and consequences of these choices transparent, rather than resorting to misleading morality plays.
Update — Four years later (!), Fausta writes:
And, what a lot of Americans who require medical treatment while traveling in Europe don't realize is that the US group insurance companies get billed through the nose for that treatment. 
I know because I had to authorize those payments back when I worked in insurance.

Peace Out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

They just don't like it up 'em

The surest path to baffling the statists and governmentalists among us is to simply tell them, "I am really not interested in your help":

Incompetence and Disorganization have never been this Dull Either

Remember the adulation that leftist had just a few months back, upon winning the White House that the “Republican Party was disappearing”? Ever in love with the vanquishment, if not torture and mass slaughter of anyone who disagrees with them, they took a great pleasure in the idea of living on a planet of people who nodded their heads to every thought they had, including their ideas about nature-defying “aspirational economic calculations,” or some other specious crap that has never works.

Well, they were wrong. Conservatives did not disappear at all. All it took was to have lefties open their mouths and aspirate to make this happen – even before they successfully legislate anything or manage to prop up an ideologically compliant potential dictator.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now Taking Place in the U.S.: Mass Arrests, Mass Incarcerations Without Trial, Forced Confessions, Forced Separation of Children From Their Parents…

On August 11, 2009, Stephen Baskerville spoke in Amsterdam at the 5th World Congress of Families.

Carle Zimmerman emphasized an inverse relationship between the strength of the family and the strength of the state. In other words, he argued that as the state increases in power, the family weakens; and as the state loses power — when the state becomes weak, for whatever reason — the family becomes stronger…

It’s Still not as Important as Fighting the War Against Tooth Decay

A supremely sarcastic glow-ball warming guilt-trip victim gets tripped up - by a Russian dude, just being himself.

Aber sie is dennoch arm aber sexy, peeps. Muchas gracias to Hermann-observing Clarsonimus Maximus, a sort of James Tiberius Kirk of the Berlin clandestine observation post, for the clue-in.