Are Medical Insurance/Big-Pharma Company Profits… Evil?

R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”

This comes via ChEMBL-og:

Came across a link on Google+ to a post to a Forbes article (via Greg Landrum) and thought I would post a link here. It’s a simple economic analysis of the costs of Large Pharma drug discovery. Very simple, money in vs. drugs out. There is however a lot of complexity behind the numbers, for example – quite a few of the drugs will have been licensed in, the transaction costs for these in-licensing events have probably been factored in, but what about all the other burnt capital in the biotech companies that supplied the in-licensed compounds – this will inflate the numbers further. Of course the majority of these costs are incurred on the failed projects, the wrong targets, the wrong compounds, or the wrong trials.

To put the AstraZeneca number of $11.8 billion per drug in some national context (equivalent to £7.5 billion) – this is almost 17 years of the entire BBRSC budget (£445 million in 2011), or only two drugs from the entire investment portfolio of the mighty assets of the Wellcome Trust (~£14 billion in 2011) – that’s right, not two drugs from their annual research budget, but two drugs by shutting down the investment fund and putting it all into drug discovery and development (at Astra Zeneca ROI levels).

Scary numbers, eh? Are public funding agencies up to the task? Do we really know what to do differently? There’s also a POST on the same Forbes article on the In THE PIPELINE BLOG.

(An updated Forbes article is HERE)

Some Objections to the AHCA via Facebook (w/Responses)

I will first post a serious challenge/worry that the MSM (mainstream media) will be using as “special cases.” BUT FIRST, why is this not a good way to write law? That is, write law using special cases. Being that I am “conservative” and lean towards this bias, I will use some examples from these similar thinking people. The first zeroes in on a separate issue, but in regards to writing laws, it is the same:

…Proponents of gay marriage fail utterly to comprehend the idea that laws are made with society, not the individual, in mind. That is why they also fail to grasp the idea that law is predicated upon averages, not outliers. Interestingly, both libertarians and progressives suffer from this lack of understanding…

…But more often they try to undermine the link between marriage and childrearing by pointing to outliers—marriages in which couples choose not to have children or cannot have them because at least one partner happens to be infertile. But this argument only reveals the weakness of the progressive understanding of the law. Put simply, rules that are justified by the average case cannot be undermined by the exceptional case, otherwise known as the outlier. Thus the old maxim, “Hard cases make bad law.”…

Mike S. Adams, Letters To A Young Progressive (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2013), 81, 82.

The following two media files are the same analogy of car insurance explained by Dennis Prager, but two different times:

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

With the above in mind, here is my first response via Facebook to a thoughtful post:

This is a thoughtful and understandable challenge by a single mother who is on a fixed income… she asks a question about her child with a malady and what the change in “pre-existing” is according to the current bill (remember, it will go through the senate, then most probably “conference,” reconciliation [by this time the CBO will have gone through the bill then — which will be tweaked from the one we are speaking to currently], and then be re-voted on)…

…here is her concern:

✦ My child’s digestive and respiratory issues caused by her being born prematurely and her grief depression caused by her farther dying when she was 5 are all considered pre-existing. As a single mother on a fixed income, her health care is an issue I do get very excited about!

With the AHCA, and the future fixes, premiums will fall dramatically. If you are caught without insurance for 63-days, you will pay about 30% more, but again, the overall payment will be much lower. Due to Obama-Care imploding (the latest example out of the many is Iowa having zero insurance coverage options, in other words, if you are a single mother on a fixed income in many states, you have zero options.

This was and is untenable. One of the GOP’s goals is to allow cross state competition for insurance groups that will increase pool sizes and lower costs dramatically. This has been illegal. Also, tort reform would be the single most beneficial thing that could be done… This is hard because injury lawyers are the first or second largest donors to the Democrat Party, so until we get enough conservative and other Republican’s to take this part of the issue seriously, the Democrats will continue to stand in the way of effective ways to lower your cost and increase your coverage options.

ADDENDUM 1
Just to add to make what I said clear (wanting clarity to reign). If you have not had insurance for 63-days — and AFTER this point you get an illness, this is when “pre-existing” kicks in. You see, I run a warehouse, and while the owner (a close friend) could afford the rise in his premiums, and I had insurance through my wife, the responsible young man who made $12 bucks an hour had insurance through Blue Cross on his own, lost his insurance because of Obama-Care. When he could find a policy again, it was more expensive. Two years after this it was more than twice as expensive as he was paying before O-Care. And he made the least in the warehouse. Why was it so expensive? His plane included pregnancy tests, Pap smear, mammogram, etc.

This way, through this legislation, the premiums should drop (esp. through more free market options in the future), but the cost won’t be a burden to poorer responsible people who have health insurance.

I just wanted clarify the above, as, I feel for you. Your concern is real! The call at the end of this interview is similar to your case (via my YouTube upload):

ADDENDUM 2
Sorry, one last thing, and this is to help you get through the weeds of Main Stream Media and all the other sources you will come across — yes, even me. The best non-partisan summary is this:

➤ States may opt-out of requiring premiums to be the same for all people of the same age, so while individuals with pre-existing conditions must be offered health insurance there is no limit on the cost of that insurance. A new $8 billion fund would help lower premiums for these individuals.

So even with the “ding” against “pre-existing” cases, there is money set aside for people just like you… if your state chooses to participate. BTW, this is called Federalism light… it is more Constitutional than the previous plan. Something we should all be moving towards.

The above Kellyanne Conway Tweeting of a WASHINGTON POST OP-ED by Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

Hearing late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional monologue this week about his son’s condition and his family’s experience in the moments after his birth, I had a flashback to the day my son was born and we learned he had Down syndrome.

My husband and I had a lot of questions about Cole’s future. Whether he’d have health care shouldn’t have had to be one of them. When you’re facing years of doctor’s appointments, you want to know that having a preexisting condition, such as an extra 21st chromosome or a heart defect, won’t prevent you or your loved ones from accessing the care you need.

Protections for children such as Cole Rodgers and Billy Kimmel have long existed, as they should. And despite what people are saying, House Republicans aren’t seeking to strip these protections — or anyone’s protections — away.

[….]

To me, protecting people with preexisting conditions isn’t just good policy — it’s a personal mission.

All across the country, families like mine have real concerns about the future of health care, and they are why we’re focusing on results and working on these reforms. Obamacare is wrong for America. It has failed, and it’s only getting worse — making health care more expensive and less accessible. To stand by and do nothing would be irresponsible. The AHCA is a monumental step forward that trusts the American people — not the federal government — to make the best decisions for themselves and their families….

She does state elsewhere that for two years premiums will still rise, but that this is a “PART 1” of a three-part “fix,” and from all I have read, they will not rise nearly as fast as under O-Care.

OTHER NATIONS OFFER HEALTH-CARE…

…EXCEPT THE FASCIST GOP…

Here is another challenge, albeit not so thoughtful:

  • The United States Government is stupid… every civilized nation on the globe offers citizens health care…this country can’t and won’t because of greed and big business! Fuck Trump and the fascist GOP!

Just a quick note… Hitler’s Germany offered single-payer health care… speaking of “fascists.” Here is my FB response, I will add something a bit later:

Canada, the UK, Norway, etc., Are all moving toward free-market health-care as their single payer systems fail… I have read quite a few books on this over the years (a classic I recommend is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System”) dealing with the issue, it is a bit more complicated than your “erudite” synopsis. For instance, to exemplify my point a bit, here is some commentary by the guy who is the founder of the Canadian model of health care, which the UK also used for their model:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

But that is why most insurance companies backed O-Care to begin with, as a way to weed out competition. Private practices could not compete, other option (that allowed for groups of private citizens to form their own catastrophic care groups became illegal), etc… So greed plays a part, but not the way you think. Here are a couple of short examples of Econ 101 to make my point on my site: BAM! WHAT IS CRONY CAPITALISM


Here Is My Addition Here On My Site

SCANDINAVIAN SOCIALISM


One can read and listen/watch all the media on my main post about “

Economics 101

In an excellent Bloomberg article entitled, “Booming Sweden’s Free-Market Solution,” the myth is dismantled in toto by Anders Aslund. Here is a snippet:

…From 1970 until 1989, taxes rose exorbitantly, killing private initiative, while entitlements became excessive. Laws were often altered and became unpredictable. As a consequence, Sweden endured two decades of low growth. In 1991-93, the country suffered a severe crash in real estate and banking that reduced GDP by 6 percent. Public spending had surged to 71.7 percent of GDP in 1993, and the budget deficit reached 11 percent of GDP.

TURNING POINT
The combination of the crisis and the non-socialist government under Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994 broke the trend and turned the country around. In 1994, the Social Democrats returned to power and stayed until 2006. Instead of revoking the changes, they completed the fiscal tightening. In 2006, a non-socialist government returned, and Finance Minister Anders Borg, with his trademark ponytail and earring, has led further reforms. Sweden successfully weathered the global financial crisis that started in 2008, and the Financial Times named Borg Europe’s best finance minister last year.

Before 2009, Sweden had a budget surplus, and it has one again. For the past two years, economic growth has been 4 percent on average, and the current-account surplus was 6.7 percent in 2011. The only concerns are the depressed demand for exports caused by the current euro crisis and an unemployment rate that is about 7.5 percent.

Sweden’s traditional scourge is taxes, which used to be the highest in the world. The current government has cut them every year and abolished wealth taxes. Inheritance and gift taxes are also gone. Until 1990, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 90 percent. Today, it is 56.5 percent. That is still one of the world’s highest, after Belgium’s 59.4 and there is strong public support for a cut to 50 percent.

The 26 percent tax on corporate profits may seem reasonable from an American perspective, but Swedish business leaders want to reduce it to 20 percent. Tax competition is fierce in some parts of Europe. Most East European countries, for example, have slashed corporate taxes to 15-19 percent….

[….]

A Challenge Directed At Me

In conversation about an audio upload to my YouTube Channel of Dennis Prager discussing Bernie Sanders, I was challenged with this:

  • Sweden is not a Nato member so how does the US pay for Sweden defense? Pointing at Whittle and saying “because he say they do” won’t cut it.

To which I responded with a quote from an International Business Times article:

Finland is joining military exercises with other Scandinavian countries, as well as several members of NATO, in late May, Finnish media report. The maneuvers called Arctic Challenge will span 12 days, starting May 25, and include nine countries and close to 100 planes. The drills, over Sweden and northern Norway, come amid increased tensions between Russia and its Baltic and Nordic neighbors.

Sweden and Switzerland, which like Finland are not members of NATO, are expected to join the exercise, along with NATO members Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Finland plans to send 16 F-18 Hornet fighter jets, while the other countries will supply Gripen “multirole” fighters, F-16s, Eurofighters and Jet Falcons, as well as transports and tankers, Russian news agency Sputnik reported. The Norwegian armed forces said the purpose of the Arctic Challenge exercise is to “learn to coordinate efforts in complicated flight operations conducted in cooperation with NATO.”

Russia has ramped up military activity along its borders with northern Europe, causing consternation in several Baltic and Nordic countries and pre-emptive actions to head off — or prepare for — a possible military crisis. Latvia, which reported a Russian submarine near its coast in mid-March, is beefing up security on its eastern border, while Finland recently began a letter campaign notifying some 900,000 reservists of their duties in a potential crisis. Sweden also intercepted four Russian planes flying over the Baltic Sea in March with their radios off. Russian jets have been intercepted in other instances while flying in European international airspace….

I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:

  • FOI is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in the areas of defence and security. We have 1,000 highly skilled employees with various backgrounds. At FOI, you will find everything from physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists, mathematicians and philosophers to lawyers, economists and IT technicians…. The Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration are our main customers. However, we also accept assignments from civil authorities and industry. Our clients from the defence sector place very high demands on advanced research, which also benefits other customers.

Here is the info from the old article via WIKI:

Initially after the end of World War II, Sweden quietly pursued an aggressive independent nuclear weapons program involving plutonium production and nuclear secrets acquisition from all nuclear powers, until the 1960s, when it was abandoned as cost-prohibitive. During the Cold War Sweden appeared to maintain a dual approach to thermonuclear weapons. Publicly, the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were purportedly kept with the U.S. It was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality policy, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. Later research has shown that every publicly available war-game training, included the scenario that Sweden was under attack from the Soviets, and would rely on NATO forces for defence. The fact that it was not permissible to mention this aloud eventually led to the Swedish armed forces becoming highly misbalanced. For example, a strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, while an ability to strike at inland staging areas was almost completely absent.

In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed outside the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The submarines had to be very close to the Swedish coast to hit their intended targets though. As a consequence of this, in 1960, the same year that the submarines were first deployed, the U.S. provided Sweden with a military security guarantee. The U.S. promised to provide military force in aid of Sweden in case of Soviet aggression. This guarantee was kept from the Swedish public until 1994, when a Swedish research commission found evidence for it. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.

…READ IT ALL…


End Of Addition For This Posting


REPUBLICAN’S EXEMPTED THEMSELVES FROM THE BILL

After a friend posted something asbout the house passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), his own flesh and blood… his mother… wrote:

American Health Care Act (AHCA),

  • If their legislation is so great why did they vote themselves exempt from it? Good enough for us – not ok for them🤔

I respond,

Yes, this is a great example of misinformation via the MSM [the Left]. But the reason that separated the two is explained well in this article…. BUT BEFORE THAT EXCERPT, which is more in-depth, let’s go barney style first:

NYT CORRESPONDENT FALSELY REPORTS HOUSE MEMBERS VOTED TO EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM GOP HEALTH CARE BILL

A New York Times correspondent falsely reported Thursday on Twitter that members of the House of Representatives unanimously voted to exempt themselves from the Republican health care bill.

A day earlier, reporters noticed that a provision in the American Health Care Act would exempt lawmakers and their staff from losing some of the repealed Obamacare provisions. In response to the criticism, House leadership announced they would vote separately on the issue.

The House voted 429-0 to pass a bill rectifying the mistake, preventing lawmakers from being exempted. But the New York Times‘ chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, apparently misunderstood the vote…..

(WASHINGTON FREE BEACON)

OKAY, now that the short synopsis is done, let us get into the weeds for those interested in how BIG GOVERNMENT works.

This comes from BUSINESS INSIDER:

HERE’S WHY CONGRESS EXEMPTED ITSELF FROM THE NEW HEALTHCARE BILL

Last week, Vox dug into the Republican healthcare bill and found a provision that would exempt Congress and its staff from many of the bill’s effects.

This provision was bad “optics,” as they say in Washington.

But instead of taking it out — like you would usually do with a provision you aren’t wedded to and can’t defend politically — the House passed the American Health Care Act with the exemption intact after first passing a separate bill that would repeal the exemption that would be created by the AHCA if both bills became law.

There’s a reason for this mess, and it’s not about Republicans in Congress not wanting to be subject to their law.

It’s about Senate procedure.

Republicans are attempting to pass the AHCA through a process called reconciliation. This process, created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, allows the Senate to pass certain bills relating to the federal budget with just a simple majority. There is no need to get 60 votes — and, in this case, some Democratic support — as there is for other legislation.

A variety of complex rules govern what matters may and may not be considered through reconciliation.

One of those is that reconciliation must be conducted pursuant to reconciliation instructions passed by both chambers of Congress. That happened earlier this year — Congress sent reconciliation instructions to two Senate committees (finance; and health, education, labor, and pensions) that were designed to allow those committees to write bills making changes to healthcare policy.

The problem, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget explains, is that Congress’ healthcare is governed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and that committee was not sent any reconciliation instructions.

Therefore, if a reconciliation bill makes changes to the way Congress gets its healthcare, it might become subject to a 60-vote threshold because it addresses a matter that is supposed to be the purview of a committee that doesn’t get to participate in reconciliation this year.

(BUSINESS INSIDER)

Here I add some information I came across a day later:

ADDENDUM 1
And also from FACTCHECK.ORG, there was this updated insight that confirms the above:

….Indeed, Republican Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona proposed a stand-alone bill to strike the exemption of Congress from state waiver provisions should the AHCA be enacted into law. From the House floor, McSally said that “due to very arcane Senate procedural rules within the budget reconciliation process,” the MacArthur amendment “does not and cannot apply to members of Congress.”

“I believe that any law we pass [that] applies to our constituents must also apply equally to members of Congress,” McSally said. “Individuals who are stewards of public trust must abide by the rules that they make.”

McSally’s bill passed on May 4 by a 429-0 vote. Unlike a reconciliation bill, the McSally bill would require 60 votes in the Senate to pass.

So there are now two bills that the House sent to the Senate. The AHCA — for esoteric procedural reasons — would exempt members of Congress and their staffs from state waiver provisions. But then there’s a bill that would strike that exemption if the AHCA becomes law. Clearly, based on the unanimous vote for the McSally bill, there is bipartisan agreement that a health care law Congress passes should apply in the same way to members of Congress.

NOW, to the last, and the worst of them all… and I will link to the many articles refuting it with a couple commentaries from a few.

RAPE AS A PREEXISTING CONDITION

It is the — yes crazy — understanding that RAPE is a pre-existing condition. Dumb! [<<< my commentary]. Here is the first “non-partisan” [left-leaning] POLITIFACT notes this claim is… WAIT FOR IT

~ MOSTLY FALSE! ~

And the WASHINGTON POST gives it their MAXIMUM debunking rating of FOUR PINOCCHIOS

I know… crazy huh? Someone told my wife — roughly this:

  • “I hope you never get raped… because that is a pre-existing condition.”

I sent her this post from the not Trump friendly REASON.ORG website… to which yesterday the last article makes clear their bottom line:

If Democrats and progressives would just stick to actual details of the AHCA, they would still have plenty of material to make Republicans look bad (and the same goes for traffic-thirsty bloggers). But once again, that’s not enough for them. In their zeal to portray Donald Trump and the current GOP as worse than Nazis, the actual details of the bill don’t matter—and if that terrifies a ton of sexual-assault survivors and terrorizes American women in the process, so be it.

Since yesterday the article has been updated substantially, which I will post a portion of:

Update | May 6, 11:30 a.m.: Since I posted this, several other media outlets have investigated the rape-as-preexisting-condition claims and come to similar conclusions as mine. Politifact declared the claim “mostly false,” and The Washington Post—which yesterday morning published an op-ed yesterday perpetuating the rape claim—ran a Fact Checker column today giving it Four Pinnochios. “The notion that AHCA classifies rape or sexual assault as a preexisting condition, or that survivors would be denied coverage, is false,” wrote the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee. In addition, “almost all states (at least 45 to 48) have their own laws protecting survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

“It takes several leaps of imagination to assume that survivors of rape and sexual assault will face higher premiums as a result of conditions relating to their abuse,” Lee continues.

A person would need to be in the individual or small-group market (most Americans under 65 are on employer-provided plans), in a state that sought waivers, and in one of two to five states that did not prohibit insurance-company discrimination against survivors of sexual abuse.

In other words, this claim relies on so many factors — including unknown decisions by a handful of states and insurance companies — that this talking point becomes almost meaningless.

We always say at The Fact Checker that the more complicated the topic, the more susceptible it is to spin. Both media coverage and hyperbole among advocates are at fault for creating a misleading representation of the House GOP health bill. We wavered between Three and Four Pinocchios, but the out-of-control rhetoric and the numerous assumptions pushed us to Four Pinocchios.

[….]

Pre-Existing Sub

What is also sad is that people do not read the bill outside it being put into political talking points outside the media or their organizations. I have already noted the following above:

The best non-partisan summary is this:

➤ States may opt-out of requiring premiums to be the same for all people of the same age, so while individuals with pre-existing conditions must be offered health insurance there is no limit on the cost of that insurance. A new $8 billion fund would help lower premiums for these individuals.

But here is more of a response to the broader challenge at hand:

Myth #2: People with pre-existing conditions will lose their coverage or pay more.

In fact, people who have health insurance and want to make changes to their coverage during open enrollment or after a qualifying life event (birth of a child, job loss, marriage, death, divorce, move, etc.) cannot be charged more for health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

That said, if someone went uninsured and waited until they got sick to enroll in a health insurance plan, the MacArthur amendment to the AHCAgives states the authority to try to prevent that from happening.

One of the things a state could do, under this amendment, would be to allow insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions more money for their health insurance, if they’ve been uninsured for an extended period of time.

Those higher charges can last a maximum of one year. 

The AHCA also provides $138 billion to help states cover the high cost of caring for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

(eHealth)

One of the authors of the AHCA has a congenetital heart issue, he says this in an op-ed:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that I voted for and passed in the House does just that:

  • It establishes a healthcare system built upon free-market and consumer-driven principles that will revive competition, increasing quality, drive down costs, and expand coverage.
  • Cuts $1 trillion in burdensome ObamaCare taxes.
  • Congressional members and staff are not exempt from the AHCA. The McSally Amendment made sure this legislation applies equally to everyone.
  • THOSE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS CANNOT BE DENIED COVERAGE. I HAVE A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION WITH MY CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT, AND I UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO MAINTAIN COVERAGE FOR OTHERS.
  • Low-income Americans are not losing coverage and will still receive coverage under Medicaid.

(THE HILL)

And finally, here are a repition of what is above, but for good measure:

1. The Upton Amendment: The Upton Amendment, named after Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mi.), adds another $8 billion on top of the aforementioned $100 billion to cover high-risk patients with chronic and/or pre-existing conditions. This amendment was put in place to help satisfy more moderate-leaning Republicans who felt the AHCA took too much away from their constituents.

Here is the final explanation to be clear:

….As the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities puts it, without community rating, “Insurers could increase premiums by unlimited amounts for people with a history of cancer, hypertension, asthma, depression, or other conditions.”

Likewise, lifting the essential health benefits requirement would allow insurers to offer plans that don’t cover chemotherapy, maternity care, prescription drugs, or other expensive treatments.

In other words, insurers could effectively turn away the sick by refusing to sell policies that cover the services they need at any price, much less an affordable one.

These concerns are wildly overstated.

First, the only people supposedly at risk of being denied affordable coverage by these waivers are the 7 percent of Americans who buy coverage in the individual insurance market.

Insurers have long been banned from discriminating against the sick in the employer-sponsored market, where a little less than 160 million Americans get their coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions who get their coverage from Medicare, Medicaid, or another government program have nothing to worry about, either.

Second, the House-passed American Health Care Act would only allow insurers to base premiums on the health status of an applicant if that person went without coverage for 63 days or more the previous year. Those in waiver states who maintain continuous coverage could not be medically underwritten — and so would be protected from egregious premium hikes.

Further, pre-existing conditions are far less common than Rep. Pallone and his fellow travelers claim. A 2010 congressional investigation found that, pre-Obamacare, insurers denied just one in seven applicants in the individual market because of a pre-existing condition.

That means that about 1 percent of the total non-elderly population has a health problem serious enough to even need those pre-existing condition protections.

Even if we add the entire uninsured population to the individual market and assume the same denial rate, the share of non-elderly people declined coverage because of pre-existing conditions would be less than 3 percent. That estimate is almost certainly high, as a number of the uninsured are probably eligible for coverage elsewhere, whether through work or a government program.

For this small share of the population that could potentially be priced out of the individual market because of pre-existing conditions, the AHCA includes several additional layers of protection. The House bill seeds a Patient and State Stability Fund with $130 billion over ten years to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for these folks.

A last-minute amendment to the AHCA provides an additional $8 billion over five years specifically earmarked to help those with pre-existing conditions in waiver states who let their insurance coverage lapse for more 63 days or more pay their premiums. Insurers can consider these folks’ health status when determining premiums — but only for one year. After that, they’d pay the standard rate for their age.

Many waiver states will choose to direct at least part of that $138 billion toward high-risk pools — programs that offer subsidized coverage to those rendered uninsurable because of a serious medical condition.

By removing these most costly patients from standard risk pools, high-risk pools would help keep premiums down throughout the insurance market — and ensure that younger, healthier patients have affordable coverage options.

The AHCA has plenty of flaws. But it’s dishonest to argue that it abandons individuals with pre-existing conditions.

(FORBES)

LINKS

Here are some other sources:

  • Liberal Media Claims Trumpcare Makes Rape A Pre-Existing Condition, It Doesn’t (Young Conservatives);
  • FAKE NEWS: No, The Republican Health Care Bill Didn’t Just Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition (DAILY WIRE);
  • No. Rape Is Not A ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ Under The Republican Health Care Bill (CHICKS ON THE RIGHT);
  • No, Rape is Not a Pre-Existing Condition Under GOP Health Bill: Hysterical allegation vastly misstates impact of partial Obamacare repeal passed by House (POLIZETTE);
  • When the GOP Isn’t Murdering People, It’s Exploiting Rape Victims (NATIONAL REVIEW);
  • Just Stop: No, the AHCA Does Not Make Rape a Pre-Existing Condition (VICTORY GIRLS);
  • NY Mag Falsely Claims Rape Is a Pre-Existing Condition In AHCA (NEWSBUSTERS).

“Father” of Canadian Health Care Admits its a Failure

See Also:

Claude Castonguay, the father of the Canadian Health Care system, and a model adopted by the NHS in Britain, has said his model is failing:

Just yesterday, I wrote about how unpopular the British healthcare system has become. Today comes news that the man largely responsible for Canada’s conversion to a single-payer health care system has admitted the system’s failure:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

As more and more nations throughout the world seek to infuse more private, market-based solutions into their government-controlled healthcare systems, for some reason lefties in this country want to make the same mistake that countries like Canada made decades ago…

(CR Online)

One person eventually wrote a book about their experience, noting in a CITY JOURNAL article:

was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.

My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks….

One of David Gratzer’s books opened my eyes to what was going on up in Canada and gave me ammunition to respond to silly liberal emotive arguments. The book is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.” But, many people believe the Michael Moore’s of the World:

Two Myths I Commonly Hear About Dogs From Dog Lovers (Updated)

I know facts can be the killjoy to personal feelings and beliefs… trust me, I know. However, here and now I wish to tread on the “good feelings” one gets from the belief in silly things heard of but never checked out. Often this deals with things like political positions and religious beliefs… but here I wade into the pet-owner world.

Firstly I wish to deal with a myth I just recently heard that dogs saliva heal your wounds well. This is a myth! Here for instance is some great veterinary info on the topic… and after reading it I may actually shoo dogs away from doing this:

DOG SALIVA GOOD FOR HUMANS

It’s not likely that your dog will pass on any illnesses to you through its saliva. Many of the bacteria in your dog’s saliva is specific to canines, and won’t harm you. However, it’s a good idea to discourage licking to reduce any chances of becoming sick from germs. Here are some myths about dog saliva and their associated facts.

Myths About Dog Saliva

Because dog saliva contains a special enzyme which promotes healing of the dog’s wound, some pet owners think it will have the same effect on their own cuts. The enzymes in your dogs saliva only work on the wounds of dogs. Allowing your dog to lick your cuts could lead to infection from any germs the dog may have in its mouth.

Facts About Dog Saliva

One potential health risk associated with being licked by your dog is the transmission of roundworms. These intestinal parasites are commonly found in kittens and puppies and are passed through licking. Symptoms of roundworm are coughing, a fever and headaches. Of course if your dog has been given deworming medication, and is tested on a regular basis, your risk of contracting roundworm is slim. Leptospirosis, salmonella and E. coli are other illnesses that can be transmitted by your dog’s saliva; ….

One site even goes as far as to warn that “People with weakened immune systems and young children probably should not have direct contact with dog or cat saliva.” So, strike that ol’ wives tale, bottom line is this:

Some people believe that the dogs’ saliva can heal the wounds as well. It is absolutely wrong. Dogs are different specie with diverse specifications. Their saliva is useful for them and but not for humans….

  • One dog saliva myth is that it’s beneficial both for dog wounds and human wounds. There is a bit of truth in this belief, but putting dog saliva on a human wound can result in any number of problems. The bacteria in the saliva may infect a human’s skin and prove to be harmful for the human. (DogsHealth.com)

HYPOALLERGENIC DOGS

Okay, let us move onto “hypoallergenic dogs.” This is another myth born from my wife going into sneezing/stuffy nose fits at a co-workers house with poodles. She mentioned that her dogs are “hypoaalergenic.” I too thought this was a breed that would in the least cut down on my wife’s reaction to the dog. Upon further study, I was wrong. Here is the Globe and Mail comments on a recent study:

Forget about that labradoodle: A new report suggests household allergens are no lower in homes that keep hypoallergenic dogs versus hairier, dander-heavy breeds.

“We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen,” senior author Christine Cole Johnson said in a release.

“Exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development. But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study,” said Dr. Johnson, who chairs the Department of Public Health Sciences at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital.

(Globe & Mail)

And this from HuffPo, via Dr. Karen Becker (Proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian):

A 2011 study published in The American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy reveals the amount of dog allergens found in households with dogs does not vary depending on the breed. In other words, families with so called “hypoallergenic” dogs are living with the same level of allergens in their homes as people who own non-hypoallergenic canines.

Study researchers measured the level of the most common dog allergen, Canis familiaris 1, or Can f 1, found in the homes of 173 families that owned one dog. Out of the 173 samples, only 10 had less than measurable amounts of Can f 1. No matter what type of dog was in the home, there was no significant difference in the level of allergens measured.

No One Knows How the Myth of Allergy-Free Dogs Got Started

“I have no idea where this whole concept came from. It’s been around a long time, and maybe people associated it with shedding. I think it’s just a legend,” says Dr. Christine Cole Johnson, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and senior author of the study.

The scientists who conducted the study discovered 60 of 161 recognized breeds were named as hypoallergenic on various Internet websites. However, there is no official list of hypoallergenic breeds, though the American Kennel Club (AKC) does suggest 11 canine candidates for people with allergies. The kennel club only suggests certain breeds might be beneficial for allergy sufferers — it doesn’t recommend or endorse any specific breed.

(HuffPo)

Bottom Line:

  • No matter how they did their comparisons, the scientists found no statistically significant differences in the levels of Can f 1 in dust samples in those 163 homes. (National Institutes of Health)

So these two oft repeated statements of fact by many are merely wives tales passed on by those that love animals so much that their critical thinking skills are suspended. And while I think the video below is cute as hell… is someone asked me the following: “My dog licks my babies in the face, should I make him/her stop?”

BEST ANSWER:

There are several thousand cases of children going blind from hookworm infections that are passed to their eyes from dogs every year. [Cats too!] Children can also be infected with hookworms from dogs licking them in the face if the dog is infected. The most common bacterial infection that causes GI upset in humans resides in dogs’ mouths.

We actually have a brochure at work that we give to parents about infection that can be passed from dogs to children via dogs’ mouths, and before we started giving out the brochure, we actually had a client whose daughter got hookworms from their dog.

If it were me, I’d make the dog stop liking the child’s face and train it to lick other places (or to just not lick at all…)

Hope this helped!

(See more at THE DAILY PUPPY)

Dental Care in Europe Compared to America (Health-Care Mantras)

I have to get an implant to my #8 tooth… well, I could get a bridge, but that would ruin the teeth surrounding the removed #8 tooth. This procedure will take about 7-8-months (bone graft, healing, stud insert, healing, tooth) and cost me almost $4,000 dollars. An acquaintance my wife and I know said we should go to Europe to have the procedure done to save money. So I am taking this opportunity to explain why the American dental plans and payment options are still superior to the National Health Care options of Europe.

Some use to plane for vacations around such surgical options. Obviously I cannot afford either a ticket or being in Europe for the 7-months for all the steps to be completed. But there are other reasons behind this no longer being an option:

A few years back, the “hottest” trend in medical tourism was bargain-priced dental treatments in Eastern Europe—notably the Czech Republic and Hungary. But that was when the dollar was stronger; now that it’s really weak; those prices no longer look so good.

Instead, most focus has shifted to Latin America and Asia where, according to reports, medical and dental practitioners operate modern, well-equipped clinics and centers, many of which are attached to or affiliated with resort and hotel complexes. I checked the websites for several Asian and Latin American dental complexes that cater to American visitors, and found typical prices for dental services around $350 to $500 for a crown, $700 to $1,000 for a full denture, and $2,000 to $3,000 for an implant. Those prices are about half of what I pay locally.

(source)

$3,000 down south of America is not too far off from my $3,800 I will pay here. But in Europe, the NHS [for instance in the UK] typically settles on the cheaper of the options, which is filling down the teeth on either side of the affected area and making a bridge. Not to mention the cost of a plane ticket!

All treatment that is, in your dentist’s opinion, clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means the NHS provides any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain, including:

  • dentures
  • crowns
  • bridges

Dental implants and orthodontic treatment, such as braces, are available on the NHS, but only if there’s a medical need for the treatment.

(source)

Why the “settling” for the cheaper option? The Guardian newspaper answers this us for us, and it goes a long way to explain the end-result of the reality of what are called “death-panels” here in the States:

Waiting times for treatment and the rationing of care have worsened and will get worse still because of the NHS‘s £20bn savings drive, health service bosses have warned.

Seven in 10 chief executives and chairs of hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups and other NHS care providers fear that the length of time patients have to wait for treatment and their ability to obtain it will be hit hard in the coming year.

A report by the NHS Confederation says half of health service bosses think the two politically vital areas of NHS provision have already been affected over the last year as the service has sought to make £20bn of “efficiency savings” demanded by Whitehall.

A survey of leaders of 185 NHS organisations shows that 64% also believe that patients’ experience of the NHS will suffer, while 27% expect the availability of particular treatments or drugs will be hit and 16% fear patient safety will be compromised.

This gloomy view of the NHS’s prospects is compounded by 62% describing the financial situation confronting them as “very serious” (40%) or “the worst I have ever experienced” (22%).

Gloomy indeed. In one chat-room in the United Kingdom we see some exchanges about a dental emergency:

  • My poor boy was assaulted on Wednesday, leaving him with a broken nose and his front tooth was knocked clean out His other front tooth is also badly damaged and needs root canal work to save it. The dentist said they can make him a little plate or he could have a bridge. The other option would be an implant but at a cost of £2000 and not until he is 21 (he’s 15). She said that implants are extremely hard to get on the NHS.

One practicing dentist in the UK responded:

  • He would have no chance of getting an implant on the NHS I’m afraid. On the plus side, you’ve got 6 yrs to save up. Adhesive (Maryland) bridges are a very good alternative though, and I have many patients that have been happy with these long-term.

Another person chimed in:

  • Be aware that if he was assaulted you may be able to put in a claim for criminal injuries compensation for him. This takes a long time to come through and will not pay for an implant but will go a way towards the cost. Ask when he makes statement to police. Only cancer patients, thosecongenitally (born without) missing 6 teeth or more , or major trauma patients may get implants. I’m afraid your son won’t qualify.

(source) Hidden waiting lists seem to be one way government health-care deals with controlling costs. Recently in our country this has come to light with the VA, and is not foreign to other European countries (Scotland, England, Canada, UK, etc.).

 In yet another chat room this question was asked:

  • i am 26years old and my teeth are in a bit of a state my canine teeth have not moved into place and there is not enough space for one to move in place. i am on income support and i have been ill since i was a teenager . 

The two top responses are these:

  1. nhs dentists are only obliged to maintain your oral health. anything else they can quote u private that’s if ur dental surgeon has orthodontic skill and your mouth is kept immaculately clean .so unfortunately u’ll have to start saving.
  2. Hi you CAN get braces on the NHS considering how bad your teeth are and if you are willing to wait 1-2 years to get seen. There is a waiting list for adult ortho on the NHS and its very difficult to get on the list but its worth a try…..see you dentist! Failing that you will have to pay roughly £2000 for them as income support does not make you exempt.       

Another answer to a similar question is found on a blog dealing with dental issues:

  • Hi no unfortunately implants and cosmetic treatments are not covered by the NHS just as boob jobs are rarely given on the NHS etc. You would probably need to go private and if you want implants your talking £2000 a tooth! ask your dentist what you can do as you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth.

I think there is a misconception here about health-care abroad, and those that tout such systems as superior to our health care system. Many procedures here can be done for close to the same cost, without years of waiting, and often times, much more reliably performed. Why? Because unlike government positions, the American dentist relies on the free market. The free-market makes the dentist accountable to the customer and can be run out of business if doing a sub-par job. It is near impossible to hold government programs to any standard that truly threatens it “integrity.”

Saturated Fats Unrelated To Bad Health (Bacon v. Bread)

Here is a portion of the Wall Street Journal article by Nina Teicholz, entitled: “The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

“Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries. For many diet-conscious Americans, it is simply second nature to opt for chicken over sirloin, canola oil over butter.

The new study’s conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.

Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.

[….]

One consequence is that in cutting back on fats, we are now eating a lot more carbohydrates—at least 25% more since the early 1970s. Consumption of saturated fat, meanwhile, has dropped by 11%, according to the best available government data. Translation: Instead of meat, eggs and cheese, we’re eating more pasta, grains, fruit and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Even seemingly healthy low-fat foods, such as yogurt, are stealth carb-delivery systems, since removing the fat often requires the addition of fillers to make up for lost texture—and these are usually carbohydrate-based.

The problem is that carbohydrates break down into glucose, which causes the body to release insulin—a hormone that is fantastically efficient at storing fat. Meanwhile, fructose, the main sugar in fruit, causes the liver to generate triglycerides and other lipids in the blood that are altogether bad news. Excessive carbohydrates lead not only to obesity but also, over time, to Type 2 diabetes and, very likely, heart disease.

The real surprise is that, according to the best science to date, people put themselves at higher risk for these conditions no matter what kind of carbohydrates they eat. Yes, even unrefined carbs. Too much whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast and whole-grain pasta for dinner, with fruit snacks in between, add up to a less healthy diet than one of eggs and bacon, followed by fish. The reality is that fat doesn’t make you fat or diabetic. Scientific investigations going back to the 1950s suggest that actually, carbs do.

The second big unintended consequence of our shift away from animal fats is that we’re now consuming more vegetable oils. Butter and lard had long been staples of the American pantry until Crisco, introduced in 1911, became the first vegetable-based fat to win wide acceptance in U.S. kitchens. Then came margarines made from vegetable oil and then just plain vegetable oil in bottles.

All of these got a boost from the American Heart Association—which Procter & Gamble, the maker of Crisco oil, coincidentally helped launch as a national organization. In 1948, P&G made the AHA the beneficiary of the popular “Walking Man” radio contest, which the company sponsored. The show raised $1.7 million for the group and transformed it (according to the AHA’s official history) from a small, underfunded professional society into the powerhouse that it remains today.

After the AHA advised the public to eat less saturated fat and switch to vegetable oils for a “healthy heart” in 1961, Americans changed their diets. Now these oils represent 7% to 8% of all calories in our diet, up from nearly zero in 1900, the biggest increase in consumption of any type of food over the past century.

This shift seemed like a good idea at the time, but it brought many potential health problems in its wake. In those early clinical trials, people on diets high in vegetable oil were found to suffer higher rates not only of cancer but also of gallstones. And, strikingly, they were more likely to die from violent accidents and suicides. Alarmed by these findings, the National Institutes of Health convened researchers several times in the early 1980s to try to explain these “side effects,” but they couldn’t. (Experts now speculate that certain psychological problems might be related to changes in brain chemistry caused by diet, such as fatty-acid imbalances or the depletion of cholesterol.)

We’ve also known since the 1940s that when heated, vegetable oils create oxidation products that, in experiments on animals, lead to cirrhosis of the liver and early death. For these reasons, some midcentury chemists warned against the consumption of these oils, but their concerns were allayed by a chemical fix: Oils could be rendered more stable through a process called hydrogenation, which used a catalyst to turn them from oils into solids.

From the 1950s on, these hardened oils became the backbone of the entire food industry, used in cakes, cookies, chips, breads, frostings, fillings, and frozen and fried food. Unfortunately, hydrogenation also produced trans fats, which since the 1970s have been suspected of interfering with basic cellular functioning and were recently condemned by the Food and Drug Administration for their ability to raise our levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Yet paradoxically, the drive to get rid of trans fats has led some restaurants and food manufacturers to return to using regular liquid oils—with the same long-standing oxidation problems. These dangers are especially acute in restaurant fryers, where the oils are heated to high temperatures over long periods.

The past decade of research on these oxidation products has produced a sizable body of evidence showing their dramatic inflammatory and oxidative effects, which implicates them in heart disease and other illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Other newly discovered potential toxins in vegetable oils, called monochloropropane diols and glycidol esters, are now causing concern among health authorities in Europe.

In short, the track record of vegetable oils is highly worrisome—and not remotely what Americans bargained for when they gave up butter and lard.

Cutting back on saturated fat has had especially harmful consequences for women, who, due to hormonal differences, contract heart disease later in life and in a way that is distinct from men. If anything, high total cholesterol levels in women over 50 were found early on to be associated with longer life. This counterintuitive result was first discovered by the famous Framingham study on heart-disease risk factors in 1971 and has since been confirmed by other research….

…read it all…

More info on the history of this myth via Tom Naughton (I will recommend another video byDr. Mercola):

John Cisna, a teacher, ate only McDonald’s to teach his class how to choose low caloric meals and how to embrace healthy choices, even at Mickey D’s.

The Government warned us strongly that we shouldn’t drink whole milk… but now that’s proving to be untrue. What else do they lie about?

Horrific Myths That Cause Rape and Murder of Innocence ~ `Girl crawls out of grave after being raped, buried alive`

Editor’s note: These story contains graphic descriptions

I just wish to point out the authorities refused to investigate… can anyone say I-S-L-A-M? Via the New York Post:

A 13-year-old girl has dug herself out of a muddy grave after being raped by two men who then buried her alive in Pakistan.

The teen was abducted from her local village in the Punjab province while she was walking to Koran lessons.

Her father Siddique Mughal told police his daughter had been taken, but they refused to cooperate, Outlook India reported.

The men took the young girl to an isolated place and raped her and then buried her alive as they believed she died during the brutal attack.

But the girl managed to dig her way out the muddy grave and caught the attention of passers-by who helped her to a local medical center.

After local police refused to investigate, the Lahore High Court Chief Justice’s Complaint Cell formally directed them to arrest the girl’s attackers and complete a report on the incident without delay.

A sessions judge for the local Toba Tek Singh region has also been asked to look into the matter.

Child rape remains a problem in Pakistan where local activist group Sahil said cultural myths persist such as HIV positive men believing they can be cured through sex with a virgin.

Statistic show cases of child rape have risen from 668 in 2002 to 2,788 last year, according to the International Business Times.

Other stories from the Middle-East that should outrage you, via The Blaze:

…. A 3-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia was reportedly raped by a group of men. After taking turns violating the toddler, the men dumped her near a hospital where she was classified in serious condition, the website Emirates 24/7 reported.

Though the attack reportedly occurred last month, police revealed the incident only this past Monday, saying they had arrested three suspects along with two women in connection with the attack.

Doctors at a hospital in Jeddah say the girl is still in a coma and fighting for her life, Gulf News reported.

“She has been raped violently by some men. She was found crying of excruciating pain as her body was full of bruises and her sensitive parts were ruptured,” hospital manager Mohammed Ali told the Saudi Arabia oulet Okaz, as reported by the English-language Emirates 24/7.

Ali said the girl’s clothes were torn and she was bleeding from the vagina.

[….]

Earlier this month, a Saudi preacher convicted of torturing his 5-year-old daughter with a cane and cables and beating her to death in 2011 was sentenced to eight years in prison and 600 lashes after paying blood money to the family of the girl’s mother. The killing was reportedly motivated by the father’s suspicions about the girl’s virginity.

Earlier this year, another Saudi cleric called on parents to dress their female babies in a burka, to reduce their chance of being molested.

Corn, Bad Health, and Government Regulation ~ Econ 101 via Loyola University

From video description:


“How Food Regulations Make Us Less Healthy” by @LearnLiberty

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Why do we consume so much high fructose corn syrup? Why does America suffer from an obesity epidemic? And why are fruits and vegetables so expensive? Professor Dan D’Amico of Loyola University argues that special interests and government policy are at least partly to blame. According to Professor D’Amico, rent seeking and regulations — such as “organic” certification — results in lower costs for less healthy foods and higher costs for nutritional foods. When corn farmers dedicate their time and money to extracting exorbitant government subsidies, corn becomes cheaper, and more people demand it. When regulations mandate special certification in order to vend organic foods, smaller farmers cannot afford to cut through the red tape, putting them out of business, decreasing competition, and raising prices on healthy foods.

So why don’t we stop this madness? Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs of course! The cost to the individual consumer of these subsidies is so small and the price impact so marginal, that it isn’t worth it for people to organize and petition government. Until we can solve this collective action problem, we’re going to be consuming a lot more high fructose corn syrup.

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From video description:


Coke is made with corn syrup, not real sugar. Why is this? According to Professor Diana Thomas, part of the reason is because government policies artificially raise the price of sugar.

Although these government policies actually cost Americans approximately $3 billion each year, the laws remain. The law benefits one group of people (farmers) at the expense of another group (consumers). But because the cost to each American is so small, average Americans don’t have an incentive to combat the lobbying groups who fight to keep the laws in place.

This phenomenon is known as “dispersed costs and concentrated benefits,” and it applies in many cases when laws are passed that benefit a small group of citizens. Prof. Thomas says the only way to prevent or end this practice is to limit what government can do.

Learn More:

A defense of farm subsidies, by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System: http://lrnlbty.co/TdO6iS

Introduction to public choice, including the concept of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs: http://lrnlbty.co/SbNc57

An article focusing on the health and environmental impacts of American corn/sugar policies: http://lrnlbty.co/UFHUNA

A detailed piece on the allocation of agricultural subsidies to various plants: http://lrnlbty.co/TO0RNt

A timeline of the economic controls put on sugar from 1789 to 2011: http://lrnlbty.co/WtaHep

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Ph.D. Nutritionists Stephen Sinatra and Jonny Bowden Talk about Myths of Medicine in Regards to Cholesterol

Video Description:

Many myths surround what causes heart disease/heart-attacks, and here to break through some of them are Dr.’s Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra. In this frank discussion about their book, “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will,” you will learn how many of the cholesterol lowering drugs do more harm and have not been proven to lower harmful cholesterol at all.

This book combined with watching the presentation of Fat Head ([http://tinyurl.com/b2qnp9j] and other seminars by its author [http://www.fathead-movie.com/]) will fill in some blanks of missing or bad information in this debate.

New York Ban on Sodas ~ S.E. Cupp Leads Discussion @Real News

If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.

[….]

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

A Sliding Scale of Concern and Money Making/Legislating Opportunities! How To Check Your Health

When you walk through a grocery store and gaze upon all the damning headlines of America and American’s, obesity is one to critique a bit:

BMI does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. Nor does it distinguish between lean body mass and fat mass. As a result, some people, such as heavily muscled athletes, may have a high BMI even though they don’t have a high percentage of body fat. In others, such as elderly people, BMI may appear normal even though muscle has been lost with aging.  Take for example, basketball player Michael Jordan: ”When he was in his prime, his BMI was 27-29, classifying him as overweight, yet his waist size was less than 30,” says Michael Roizen, MD.

See “How Accurate Is Body Mass Index, or BMI?

And again:

The primary reason why over 60% of Americans are “overweight” has nothing to do with fast food, cars, or television; it is not because Americans are eating too much and exercising too little; nor is it because of any “fat” gene within us; nor is it because of any clear evidence linking body weight to health. The reason why a majority of Americans are overweight is because a handful of scientists and government health officials, many with significant ties to drug companies, have arbitrarily designated “overweight” and “obese” at very low levels. These thresholds have little to do with any scientific evidence about weight and health and a lot to do with the pecuniary interests of academic researchers, government agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry. [According to the Body Mass Index — BMI] George W. Bush or Michael Jordan [in his prime] are “overweight” or Arnold Schwarzenegger is “obese,” (which they are according to our current standards), it is not because of their poor fitness or their precarious health. It is because the very people who are defining these terms stand to gain by setting a very low threshold for determining what overweight and obese should be.

See the article entitled, “The Curious Politics of Defining People by Their Weight