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Obama’s Rx for HealthCare- Forget the Elderly!

May 4, 2009



mo_1April 29 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care.

The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.

“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”

Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.

“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”

Obama promised during his presidential campaign that a health-care overhaul would be a top priority, and he said at a Missouri town hall meeting today that he hopes Congress will pass health-care legislation this year.

The issue has been divisive, and finding an answer that will keep costs down while extending coverage to the estimated 46 million Americans without health insurance has eluded past presidents.

‘Ruthless Pragmatism’

Obama also said his economic advisers aren’t constrained by ideology or connections to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. “What I’ve been constantly searching for is a ruthless pragmatism when it comes to economic policy,” he said, in the interview.

Obama also pointed to Canada as an example of a country that has effectively regulated commercial and investment banking without requiring legal separation of those activities.

When it comes to something like investment banking versus commercial banking, the experience in a country like Canada would indicate that good, strong regulation that focuses less on the legal form of the institution and more on the functions that they’re carrying out is probably the right approach to take.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at

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Also, because of the downturn in the Economy, Brian Williams quietly announced on Tonight’s Evening News, there will be NCL (no cost of living raises) for Social Security recipients for the next TWO YEARS!

  1. notscarednews permalink
    May 4, 2009 8:15 pm

    The police department has a machine that can read and manipulate the way you think. They are violating peoples rights with it right now in Austin, TX. Read more about it at

  2. charlesclarknovels permalink
    May 5, 2009 4:57 pm

    Yes, REALLY. A large number of health care providers are going to have to give up “a piece of the pie” and they are going to scream all the way. There is a staggering number of unnecessary procedures, services, and benefits every day that could be abandoned and not adversely effect the health of the people in this country–irregardless of their age.

    As long as there is an incentive to provide more; and if providing more unecessarily increases the cost (as it does every year), and the premiums and deductibles are incresed to offset the cost, we will continue to have the costliest health care and the poorest outcome among the industrialized nations on the planet. As long as there is a continuation of the present system, we will neither ever reduce costs nor increase quality.

    How do I know? I am a medical director for a large hospital system in Corpus Christi, Texas and every day I see examples of gross abuse, and I am sure it is nationwide.

    So, you say: “If you are so smart, tell us what can be done.” Simple answer: follow the examples of other countries who have lower costs and better outcomes. For a starter, get rid of the lobbyists for the special interest organizations; you know who they are.

    Charles Clark

  3. May 5, 2009 6:16 pm

    Dr. Clark, I don’t think Michelle Obama had the Health Care providers and Lobbyests in mind as you suggested, when she made that statement.

    If you refer back to the initial paragrah in the post, I believe she was talking about the elderly who may or may not be eligible for treatment if certain eligibility requirements are not met under the new guidelines proposed by the Obama Administration.

  4. charlesclarknovels permalink
    May 5, 2009 8:05 pm

    I see you are right. Thanks for your right-track observation. I know this health care issue can be resolved, but so often it seems that nobody listens.

    Charles Clark

  5. May 6, 2009 9:56 pm

    Dr Clark,

    I would like hearing your opinion on the latest post at the top of the page posted by

  6. tpt/ny permalink
    June 3, 2009 7:12 am

    Sadly, this is all “believable” for “Life Under BO”!

  7. Tabula rasta permalink
    August 3, 2009 3:05 pm

    The ObamaCare Song, sung to the tune of Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound by Hank Williams Jr. performed by one of our brave G.Is. in Basra, Iraq @ . . .

    A financial model similar to Canada’s would probably work here, but if Republican Congressman Phil Grahm hadn’t snuck a provision into a must-pass bill on Christmas eve night, we would still have a firewall between commercial & investment banks.

    The Glass-Steegle Act had performed that function very well since it was enacted after the Great Depression.

    But naked-short sellers, speculators, & that ilk had a field-day w/o any oversight from the S.E.C.
    Former Republican’t Congressman Christopher Cox was installed by the Bu$h administration as head of the S.E.C.

    But instead of “looking over” the transactions on Wall St. as the chief regulator that his job description entailed, he “overlooked” the bogus dealings that occured in the commodities mkts, et cetera, etc…

    Dark mkts. were also created in London & Dubai
    by a US company to further ease all of the bogus B.S. that occured on Bu$h’s watch.

    57% of all US companies payed no taxes whatsoever.

    As for ObamaCare denying medical proceedures for the elderly, it’s nothing but a pusilanimous scare tactic being used by the Republicans & their bretheren, the D.I.N.O. Republi”canines” who are more interested in the health of the conglomeratized BigInsurance corporations, than they are interested in the health of the American people.

    “The preservation of health is a duty.
    Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.” – Herbert Spencer
    Search for Wendell Potter’s whistle-blowing comments about healthcare insurance.

  8. August 7, 2009 6:24 pm

    Dr Clark, here is something more in the way of Health Care News:

    “Rockefeller patterns a healthcare ‘reform’ bill on the Federal Reserve”

    (ht/ Jerry Mazza)

    Online Journal Associate Editor

    Jun 1, 2009

    Things are getting stranger and stranger in D.C. and the promise of change now definitely looks like the same old game with Medicare: invite the HMOs in to brainstorm cuts in services to people who need them most.

    Behind this is a new bill submitted on May 20 by Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV (D, W.VA.), chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. It authorizes the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC, created in 1997) to go even further and set lists of approved treatment standards and actually have enforcement powers over methods of healthcare delivery and reimbursement. You just think about that for a minute.

    This time “The MedPAC Reform Act” is calling for MedPAC to be made up of “independent experts” as an “executive agency modeled after the Federal Reserve.” Is that because the Fed has done such an incredibly super job of throwing our money after banks and other dinosauric corporations like AIG?

    Do we need still another shark tank of “experts” with vested interests and little transparency over their actions, spending your money as they will, and as fast as they print it. Yes, just as the Federal Reserve serves private financial interests, so too the new health care reimbursement agency will serve the HMOs, demanding their (your) blood money. This is the opposite of what Obama promised in his “Change” campaign.

    But then, politicians as we all know will and do say anything to get elected. Reality is another thing. And Rockefeller claims that an enhanced, empowered MedPAC would not be, and get this, subject to the “whims of Congress.” Excuse me? Jay said this and more about his bill in a recent interview with Washington Post healthcare writer, Ceci Connolly. He added, “To truly achieve transformative health care reform, we need to separate the special interests from the decision makers.” Think about that for a while.

    He added “We must take Congress out of its current role [representing the people?] . . . It is inefficient and ineffective; we are not health-care experts, and being a deliberative body means that we cannot keep pace with the rapidly transforming health-care marketplace.” Congress is not made up of all arms experts yet they appropriate billions every year to the Department of Defense. When we leave it to the generals to do on their own buying pell-mell, we end up with them in bed with big defense corporations, creating multi-billion dollar white elephants that don’t fly, i.e, incredible waste.

    In fact, in the true tradition of the Rockefeller family and their treasonous involvement and leadership in the Bilderberg Group, Jay Rockefeller is trying to circumvent the duly elected legislative body of the people to make side deals with private corporations, utilizing MedPAC’s “experts,” and hence have more money to pour down the corporations’ ever dollar-hungry gullets, not to mention the bankrupt banks’ maws.

    The very idea of setting up an “independent” national commission to declare what doctors and hospitals can and cannot do is odious — a step totally in the wrong direction for both the right and left sides of the Obama/Baucus health-care “reform” discussion. It is made to order to keep the money flowing right down the drain of the financial cadre behind the HMOs.

    Until now, the very idea of this flagrantly “special interest” bill has not been permitted in the United States. Unfortunately, the model for it comes express-direct from Britain and is called the “National Institute for Clinical Excellence,” or NICE, more appropriately “Nazi-Inspired Citizen Eradication”. NICE was set up 11 years ago and passes on what medications, treatments, and services cannot be allowed to be given in the health-care system. It can easily become the “euthanasia express,” with its “Kevorkians,” excuse me, “experts” deciding who lives and who dies and when.

    There is a distinctly inhuman, illegal feeling about this bill. But then Rockefeller’s latest bill is one of dozens that have been filed recently in Congress, each with various slants, but all consistent with the un-American, Nazi-medicine edge.

    They will all be detailed soon in Obama/Baucus/Grassley’s “comprehensive health care reform” act in June. For instance, a version that was filed last week in the Senate called the “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act,” was to help citizens decide when to reduce expensive treatments in their “end-of-life” experiences. Can you believe it? It is again sponsored by Jay Rockefeller, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), and others. This is not science fiction, folks. These geeks (vultures/saboteurs- my emphassis) are for real. They just sound like they’re from another planet.

    In fact, Rockefeller personally desires backing the principle of providing health care for all, especially kids, so they can practice these little tricks on everyone. He would also like to have Medicare open to enrolling people 55 years old and up, to get the “experts” hands on them earlier. But the caveat, my dears, is that he wants his NICE agency patterned on Britain’s model to “service them.”

    NICE will decide when and how to cut care for the enrollees so that the HMO systems get their pound of flesh, yours or mine, and more. My advice, beloved fellow citizens, old, middle-aged and young, is to be careful of this Rockefeller, this elitist playing Democratic senator and his bunch. And be careful of all who offer your healthcare up as a honey-pot for the healthcare and Big Pharma bears — just like the Federal Reserve does with taxpayer money for the banks.

    As to Obama, he couldn’t care less. He just wants to cut a couple of trillion from his first term expenditures, the monies he’s already given away to the banks, so that he has more to spend next time around. Stay tuned. More to come!


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