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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for January, 2011

The Doctor Fix

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Despite what happened in the last election –– the need to cut spending and decrease the deficit–– Senate Democrats and Republicans agreed on and passed, by a vote of 99-0, a one-year extension of the so-called “doctor fix” for Medicare. This just means higher deficits and more debt piled on future generations.
Since 2003, the sustainable growth rate (SGR)–– a formula devised to control increases in Medicare spending –– has dictated reimbursement cuts.  And every year, Congress has postponed those cuts. So, when the cuts were about to kick in on Jan. 1, Congress again voted to defer them for a year, at a cost of $15 billion!
However, in the “funny farm” called Washington DC, Congress found a way to pay for it by voting to reduce subsidies under ObamaCare in 2014. Thus, Congress will spend the money in 2011, but doesn’t worry about it since it will reduce subsidies four years from now.
But they really didn’t vote to reduce the subsidies. What they actually voted for was a mandate that those who get the subsidy incorrectly, because their incomes changed during the year (which would make them ineligible), will need to repay a larger portion of the subsidies that they shouldn’t have received in the first place.
So, four years from now, the government is to pay people money that it shouldn’t. Then those people will be required to repay part of this money. And Congress will use that repayment to repay the money it borrowed to spend in 2011 to avoid making cuts in a program that is trillions of dollars in debt. And, of course, ObamaCare might get repealed, right?

It’s clear –– the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. And we’re paying to keep them in charge.

Hooray for Stupidity

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson that the Affordable Care Act  (Obamacare) unconstitutionally imposed a requirement that everyone carry health insurance or be taxed for not doing so, has hopefully placed the law on legal life support with Republicans ready to “pull the plug.” Ultimately it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to either uphold the bill and put taxpayers in the equivalent of a persistent vegetative economic/medical state; or confirm the unconstitutionality of the mandate to cause its ultimate repeal.
If the health insurance mandate is struck down, the whole bill might be automatically repealed because of the “severability clause.” In most Senate and House bills, there is this clause which states that if one portion of the bill is found unconstitutional and removed, the rest of the bill can stand. In other words, if the insurance mandate goes down, ObamaCare is null and void. The lame brains who wrote ObamaCare (Obama didn’t write the bill and doesn’t even know what’s in it) forgot to put the clause in! Hurray for stupidity!
Even if the Supreme Court agrees with Judge Hudson and strikes down the law, few will notice any effect, because its major provisions, including the individual mandate, don’t appear for three years. That leaves time for newly-empowered Republicans to draft legislation that reflects the type of health care reform they have already proposed, based more on the free market and individual choice, rather than  top-down government mandates. For the next 2 years, President Obama is likely to veto any Republican plan. But congressional and presidential candidates in 2012 could make the issue central to their campaigns. The fight against ObamaCare isn’t going away. It has just begun.

A Modern Parable

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

The following was sent to me by my friend, Dr. Gerald Marks. It rings so true, that I wanted to share it .

Wednesday, November 24, 2022

“Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington.

Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,” Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another TofuTurkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats-which were monitored and controlled by the electric company-be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of live-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines-for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.” Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible,” said the Court’s eldest member, Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example,” she added.

Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were “just around the corner,” but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began. “Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

ObamaCare in a Nutshell

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

This is the best ever!!

Let me get this straight . . . .
We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care
plan we are forced to purchase and
fined if we don’t,
Which purportedly covers at least
ten million more people,
without adding a single new doctor,
but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
written by a committee whose chairman
says he doesn’t understand it,
passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but
exempted themselves from it,
and signed by a President who smokes,
with funding administered by a treasury chief who
didn’t pay his taxes,
for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any
benefits take effect,
by a government which has
already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,
all to be overseen by a surgeon general
who is obese,
and financed by a country that’s broke!!!!!
‘What the hell could
possibly go wrong?’

Hate Speech–––Democrat Style

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The media has vilified the Conservative Movement by indicating a cause-and-effect process involving political speech (the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, talk radio, and the Republican Party), which they tag as “incendiary”, and the Arizona massacre that occurred on 1/8/11.
So, here is a short summary of the “polite,” and “non-incendiary,” and “non-hateful” language of the Left:

During  President George W. Bush’s years:
1. Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee: “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.”
2. An editor of The New Republic wrote a piece called “The Case for Bush Hatred.” It began, “I hate President George W. Bush.”
3. Al Gore said that the Bush administration was “unleashing squadrons of digital brownshirts.”
4. Julian Bond said of the Bushies, “Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side.”
5. Keith Ellison compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire.
6. Garrison Keillor called Republicans “brownshirts in pinstripes.”
7. John Glenn said of Republican campaign rhetoric, “It’s the old Hitler business.”
8. When Governor Bush was delivering his 2000 convention speech, Craig Kilborn, a CBS talk-show host, showed him on the screen with the words “SNIPERS WANTED.”
9. In 2006, Bill Maher, spoke with John Kerry. He asked the senator what he had gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry told him he had taken her to Vermont. Maher said, “You could have gone to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.” (New Hampshire being an early primary state). Kerry replied, “Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.” ( Kerry joked in 1988, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George[H.W.] Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.”)
10. In 2006, the New York comptroller, Alan Hevesi, told graduating students at Queens College that his fellow Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer, would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”
11. A columnist in Britain’s Guardian, Charlie Brooker, wrote, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”
12. Betty Williams who won the Nobel Peace Prize, said, “I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence,’ because I don’t believe that I am non-violent. . . . Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.”
13. The novelist, Nicholson Baker wrote a novel about President Bush raising the question of assassinating him.
14. There was a TV movie in Britain dubbed a “fictional documentary” about the assassination of President Bush. (It was called Death of a President).

I guess that if the members of the Conservative movement wish to be tutored on hate speech, they know where the best teachers reside.

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved