Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Obama is losing the PR war on health care

Friday, July 10th, 2009

This column in the NY Post by an Obama supporter misses the point but does show he is in trouble.

When asked to choose the best reason to support health-care reform, 34 percent chose “it will provide stable health coverage that can’t be taken away.” Only 12 percent chose “pay less in premiums,” and 7 percent chose “it will grow the economy.” Eighteen percent said that “health care is a moral right.”

The survey found that “42 percent of people who are currently covered changed coverage at least once in the last five years. For 57 percent of them, this change was involuntary. Among those who are currently covered, 38 percent said they are worried that they will lose coverage over the next five years.”

But that’s not what he is doing. He is telling people he will cut costs by rationing.

Obama’s central message so far has focused on the promise of lower costs for health coverage and more accessibility. But the poll (conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group) suggests that these aren’t the most potent issues.

In fact, a mere 29 percent of respondents agreed with the promise that their premiums would go down as a consequence of reform. And regarding “accessibility,” only 9 percent said that in the last five years they were without coverage all or most of the time.

Moreover, when asked, “Who do you think will benefit most from reform?” a whopping 60 percent chose “other people, but not [me].”

The majority of the country may have been dumb enough to elect him but they’re not this dumb. Mickey Kaus says It’s Obama’s own fault for raising the issue of cost and then getting into the whole issue of “effectiveness research.”

WaPo’s Alec MacGillis notes that Obama’s health care reformers
are clearly spooked by the notion that they could be accused of denying, for example, hip surgery to an 80-year-old.
If so, they largely have themselves to blame. They brought it up! It wasn’t the Republicans who billed health care reform as a cost saving, budget-balancing measure that would start to deny payments for treatments deemed “ineffective,” or (as one acolyte put it) when “a person’s life, or health, is not worth the price.” And to think when they heard that people started to worry about rationing! Fancy that.

The subject has now become rationing and that is not a debate they want to have with Canada next door publishing horror stories every week.

Total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, fell from 17.9 weeks in 2004 back to the 17.7 weeks last seen in 2003.

So, you want to wait 17 weeks to see a GP. What do you suppose the wait will be for a hip replacement ? Well, the average for all orthopedic surgery is 38 weeks and that includes minor procedures like wrist ganglion that I treat with a heavy book or aspiration.

The median wait for a CT scan across Canada was 4.8 weeks. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia had the shortest wait for CT scans (4 weeks), while the longest wait occurred in Manitoba (8 weeks). The median wait for an MRI across Canada was 10.1 weeks. Patients in Ontario experienced the shortest wait for an MRI (7.8 weeks), while Newfoundland residents waited longest (20 weeks). The median wait for ultrasound was 3.9 weeks across Canada. Alberta and Ontario displayed the shortest wait for ultrasound (2 weeks), while Prince Edward Island and Manitoba exhibited the longest ultrasound waiting time (10 weeks).

The other subject that is not being mentioned is the fact that no one is going into general surgery anymore. That’s an exaggeration but the number of people completing general surgery residencies has not increased in 20 years and many of them go into subspecialties with better lifestyles. There were fewer surgeons being certified by the American Board of Surgery in 2008 than in 1981. The type of “reform” that Obama has in mind, with steep reductions in compensation for specialists, will cause a crash in the number of surgeons, just as has happened in Canada.

If you don’t believe that, ask Natasha Richardson.

Obama’s record

Friday, February 29th, 2008

One criticism of Obama is that his portfolio is mighty thin. He has no record. Well, he actually does and and here it is. Pretty interesting.

It’s a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what’s interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Why was that ? In 2002, the Democrats took over the Illinois legislature, not because of Bush as the reporter says, but because the Republican governor got caught selling drivers’ licenses to truckers with bad driving records. A disastrous truck accident splashed the whole story across the newspapers and the Democrats took over in the next election.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James “Pate” Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama’s. He became Obama’s ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

“I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,” State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. “Barack didn’t have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

I don’t know if the Republican was really “race baiting,” or the comments were really “racist,” but the rest sounds pretty accurate. Obama is an artificial candidate and this explains how they did it. The last empty suit we elected president was Warren G Harding. And, by the way, that reporter is a lefty or he would not have lied about why the Democrats took over the Illinois legislature in 2002.

And then there is his adviser on the middle east.


He has another adviser, who may actually end up in his cabinet if he is elected. In 2002, she recommended that we invade Israel !

what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing—or investing, I think, more than sacrificing—billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line.

That sure sounds like an invasion to me. When asked about it later, she attempted to disavow the quote.

Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. “Even I don’t understand it,” she says. And also: “This makes no sense to me.” And furthermore: “The quote seems so weird.” She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it’s hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant.

I really wonder if he can keep the balls in the air until November.

UPDATE: Power resigned last week, allegedly because she called Hillary a “monster.” Actually, even the Washington Post agrees that it was because of her BBC interview in which she disavowed many of Obama’s policy pronouncements, like immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She may say some crazy things but she knows that most of what he is saying is just not realistic. The Goolsby affair, for example, has many lefties with their knickers in a twist. Everybody knows these advisors are trying to save Obama from himself.

Better screwed than rude

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Mark Steyn, as usual, has a pithy view of the cultural collapse of Europe. More Eurabia.

More on Canada’s troubles

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

A few weeks ago, I commented on the assault on free speech in Canada. Now, an Australian journalist has put it better than I ever could. There seems to be a mild death wish on the part of Western Civilization. I worry about it.

Canada seems to be giving in to the barbarians

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

UPDATE: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has struck another blow for unfreedom of speech. The offending words?

I don’t care if it’s a religious thing or not, if you don’t want to follow our rules, even if it is taking off your scarf thing for one lousy picture, then stay out of my effing country!

Canada has a legal system more closely attuned to that of England than ours. The recent actions by militant Muslims to suppress any criticism have found sympathetic hearing in Canada. I previously posted about such an action in Britain. Now the campaign spreads to Canada. Mark Steyn seems to have had it right and is even becoming an example of the attempts to suppress dissent. The most recent outrage is a father murdering his daughter because she wished to wear western dress. To the Toronto Star, however, it is a ” violent dispute[s] between a 16-year-old girl in Mississauga and her father over her desire to show her hair and live a “normal” lifestyle” which ” raises questions about tensions between parents and children in the Muslim community.” I don’t ordinarily call murder a “tension.” but what do I know ? Here is more from a Canadian who shows that some of them are worried about freedom. Not enough, it seems.

Saudi terrorists

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

The Saudis have discovered a new tactic to harass those who study terrorism. A book on the financing of terrorism was stopped using British libel laws. Not many Americans realize that Britain has no First Amendment, no freedom of speech. The British press has always been free in expressing criticism of their own government but criticizing anyone else is fraught with risk, especially if they are rich, or have rich friends. Now Canada has become another venue for these harassing suits. The Saudi billionaire has the wherewithal to overwhelm those who are required to defend themselves. Now, cowardice similar to that of Oxford University Press, is spreading. The Saudis are no friends of ours. The relationship is purely self interest. They sell us oil and we help the royal family to keep the angry population at bay. We should no more expect friendship from them than we would expect it from a pimp who offers to sell us his sister.