Thursday, May 29, 2014

Health Care Reform - When does it start? When does the hemorrhaging end?


Here in the United States we already pay far more per capita for health care than any other country in the world yet our health care system ranks far down the list in terms of quality of care.  Doesn't that seem odd to you?

For the past six years our political system has ground to a halt because of the partisan bickering between political parties over Obamacare.

And the many candidates running for the House and Senate in this year's midterm elections are all over the place in terms of whether they support Obamacare, want to fix Obamacare or want to dump Obamacare.

Obamacare is really called the Affordable Care Act and there is nothing affordable about it.  In terms of the health care industry, the cost of nothing has gone down but the premiums, profits, bonuses and kickbacks have sure gone up.

If we were really interested in hearing the truth the story would be a whole lot different. You see, Obamacare did nothing to fix the health care system, it only extended an already broken system to the millions of Americans who are uninsured.

The truth is far more brutal than worrying about the consequences of Obamacare.  The truth consists of the following:

Nothing is being done in Washington to improve the quality of health care service.

Nothing is being done in Washington to reduce the criminally high cost of health care.

Nothing is being done in Washington to stop the unnecessary and excessive amount of patient testing to determine the cause of health problems, many of which are never confirmed.

Nothing is being done in Washington to stop the millions of dollars in kickbacks to doctors for prescribing their drugs for patient treatment.

Nothing is being done in Washington to stop the corrupt influence of hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by the current health care system to legally bribe our politicians through campaign contributions.

Nothing is being done in Washington to stop the insurance companies from denying coverage for many types of health care treatment that could drastically lower the cost through alternative health techniques.

Nothing is being done in Washington to stop the FDA, our federal regulatory agency, from favoring applications for New Drug Approval from super rich pharmaceutical companies over a host of low cost and time proven techniques to improve health that are being kept off the American market.

Nothing is being done to stop the runaway cost of court litigation relating to medical malpractice and class action health cases.

In the meantime billions of dollars are being wasted every year paying for the nonsense we call health care.  If we need more proof of the incompetence of our health care providers and corrupt nature of our health care system just look at the Veterans Administration scandal that is just beginning to unfold.

The Obama Administration claims to have done more to reform the health care system than any president since George Washington (that is a joke), at least it wants to be given such credit, yet for six long years the very people Obama sent to war have been cheated, lied to, ignored and killed by the very same saviors of health care, the Obama administration.

What is the logic in that?  We can  reduce the cost of health care by killing off those who were sent to risk their lives fighting for our country?  America needs to wake up.  Our federal government, all of it, is under the control of the White House, not just the parts that seem to work.

If our federal government knew how to provide better health care then why did thousands of veterans get cheated for the past six years.  Thanks in large part to the health care and related industries Obama spent over $2 billion to get elected two times.

It seems to me the only health care insurance that works in America was the investment by the health care providers, big pharmaceutical corporations, Wall Street, big banks, the insurance industry, the trial lawyers and financial institutions of $2 billion in the Obama campaign because they are the only ones financially benefiting from the health care fraud and abuse sanctioned by the Obama Administration and Congress.

People have got to wake up, demand more from their elected officials, throw out those who protect the status quo and encourage those with no strings attached to find ways to make it work.  In short, people deserve a return on their investment in so called democracy and holding all those responsible for our broken system accountable is the first step.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rock Star Pope Francis takes his people's pilgrimage to Holy Land


From the speech of Pope Francis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the second and final day of his visit to the Holy Land. He reiterated messages of fraternity, mutual respect and tolerance

President Peres welcomes Pope Francis. Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO
Pope Francis arrived in Israel and implored its leaders to leave no stone unturned in their quest for peace

The Pope with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO
POPE Francis has denounced arms dealers and appealed for an urgent end to the Syrian civil war as he began his three-day trip to the Middle East.

Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO

By William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Published: May 26

JERUSALEM — Proving himself to be a shrewd diplomat, Pope Francis on Monday reached out to Jewish Israelis by kissing the hands of elderly Holocaust survivors at a memorial, praying at the holiest Jewish site in Jerusalem — the Western Wall — and later placing a wreath at the grave of the founder of Zionism.

Meeting the Chief Rabbis of Israel at Heichal Shlomo. Photo: Haim Zach, GPO
And at the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the pontiff added an unplanned stop at an Israeli monument to commemorate the civilian and military victims of terror attacks.

Photo: Haim Zach, GPO

The pope’s unscheduled trip to the terror victims memorial was added by the Vatican after Israeli authorities privately complained about the pontiff’s photo op Sunday at a controversial security barrier in Bethlehem separating Israel and the West Bank, according to an account from a Western diplomat in Jerusalem.

The new pope, 15 months into his job, demonstrated a canny ability to calm emotions in a region beset by religious and political frictions on a three-day trip to the Holy Land that ended Monday. The pontiff had said his visit would be “strictly religious,” but it was not.

The Pope lands in Jerusalem. Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO
The Pope with Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo: Mark Nyman, GPO

Francis on Sunday secured a promise from Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet with him at the Vatican next month to pray together and talk peace.  While his efforts may lead to nothing, Francis at least has gotten the two sides to start talking again after Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s negotiations collapsed in a round of bitter recriminations in April.

. The Pope at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
Asked what the three men might discuss, a Vatican spokesman said: “The pope does not have a political agenda and does not have a proposal for diplomatic dialogue. This is not his mission. This is not what he desires.”

The Pope at the Dome of the Rock. Photo: Haim Zach, GPO

In a marathon schedule that saw the 77-year-old pontiff attend more than 30 events in 55 hours, the pope seemed willing to acknowledge the often-conflicting narratives of suffering from both Israelis and Palestinians.

At the Western Wall. Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO
He also was a gracious guest in Jordan, showering Jordan’s ruling monarch, King Abdullah II, himself a direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad, with praise for his people’s generosity. There are about 600,000 registered Syrian refugees and 250,000 Iraqis who live in Jordan after fleeing war and chaos in their homelands.

At the memorial for victims of terror. Photo: Avi Ohayon
Meeting Holocaust survivors. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
On Sunday, the pontiff prayed in Bethlehem at a section of the high cement wall that recently had been spray-painted with graffiti reading “Free Palestine” and comparing Bethlehem, surrounded by barriers on three sides in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw during the reign of the Nazis.

The photograph of the pope at the wall was published widely in news reports and social media around the world, and Vatican and Israeli officials acknowledged that Netanyahu was troubled by the stop.

God Bless the People of the Ukraine for Taking Care of Themselves


Friday, February 28, 2014

Maybe it's time to leave the Ukraine to the Ukrainians

Three months ago I wrote the above story and there has been nothing but chaos in the Ukraine since as Russia, the European Union, NATO and the USA have undertaken a battle of wits, sanctions, threats, land grabs and political posturing that left the people of the Ukraine in dire straights.

Sunday, May 25, the people of the Ukraine finally took control of their own destiny by holding an election under very difficult circumstances and may just have taught all those trying to tell them what to do that the people of the Ukraine can take care of themselves if we just leave them alone.

I salute the people of the Ukraine and the rest of the world should learn more about them and their long battle for independence that included invasions by Hitler and Stalin, millions of deaths, survival within the Soviet Union and from outside terrorists, anarchists or whatever you want to call them.  All the while the Ukraine remains the breadbasket for the world and the conduit for Russia natural gas to fuel Europe.

Here is a report on the election from the CBC (Canadian) News Network and the results, well stock markets throughout Europe are up today.  When the people with money are happy that means things may be good for awhile and when people can speak for themselves that is even better.

CBC News Canada

Exit polls suggested candy tycoon Petro Poroshenko won Ukraine's presidential election in the first round Sunday, a ballot that took place amid weeks of fighting in eastern regions where pro-Russia separatists have seized government buildings and battled government troops.

The rebels had vowed to block the ballot in the east and less than 20 per cent of the polling stations were open there. But nationwide, about 60 per cent of the electorate turned out, the central elections commission said.

Poroshenko, viewing the exit polls as definitive evidence of victory, said his first steps as president would be to visit the eastern industrial region of Donbass — home to Ukraine's coal mines — and "put an end to war, chaos, crime and bring peace to the Ukrainian land."

Long lines of voters snaked around polling stations in Kyiv, the pro-Western capital, but heavily armed pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine intimidated locals by smashing ballot boxes, shutting down polling centres and issuing threats.

Putin vowed to recognize new leader
The exit poll for Sunday's election, conducted by three respected Ukrainian survey agencies, found the 48-year-old candy tycoon Poroshenko getting 55.9 per cent of the vote.

After the polls closed, Poroshenko appeared on a stage beside former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, who at one point last year was leading in national polls for president. He later decided to support Poroshenko and run for Kyiv mayor instead. Results of that race were not available Sunday, but Poroshenko told journalists that their own private survey showed Klitschko winning the race.