THE OBVIOUS LESSONS OF THE VA SCANDAL

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest VA scandal and suggest a way to end the long history of atrocities committed by the Veterans Medical Healthcare System:

My father was a veteran of World War II, and thus eligible to receive medical treatment at the VA hospital that operated a few miles from our house. He used it exactly once. His experience with what the Veterans Administration calls “health care” was so awful that he claimed to be more in fear of his life within the walls of that VA facility than he had ever been while on active duty in Europe.

The recent revelations about veterans left for dead on secret waiting lists merely constitute the latest in a long series of scandals involving the atrocious care patients receive at VA hospitals:

To provide just a few examples, veterans have gone missing from their rooms and been later found dead of exposure on hospital grounds, they have been exposed en masse to the HIV virus due to the use of unsterilized instruments, and some have even contracted Legionnaires’ Disease after being rash enough to drink the water at a VA facility.

But these are just symptoms. To read about the actual disease and its cure, click here.

IRAQ VET CONTINUES BATTLE AGAINST OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss this Thursday’s hearing of Sissel v. HHS by the U.S. District Court of Appeals:

A year ago I compared decorated veteran Matt Sissel to Horatius, a Roman soldier said to have single-handedly defended a bridgehead against an invasion force intent on imposing a tyrannical regime on the free republic. Sissel is the plaintiff in a constitutional challenge to Obamacare due to be heard this Thursday by the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals. And, as the Horatius analogy suggests, he may be the last man standing between us and the legions of Beltway politicians who wish to subject us to the soft despotism of the bureaucratic state.

This is different from other lawsuits that have been in the news. This is the only remaining lawsuit that has any chance of actually killing Obamacare.

Neither the Hobby Lobby challenge to the egregious HHS contraception mandate nor the various lawsuits challenging the IRS decision to funnel tax credits and subsidies through ineligible federal insurance exchanges have this potential. Even if the government loses all of those cases, the much-despised “reform” law will continue to bedevil us. On the other hand, if Matt Sissel prevails against the administration’s lawyers, Obamacare is history.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

‘OBAMACARE IS WORKING!’

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest whopper being peddled by the President and his accomplices in the “news” media:

Last Thursday, the president announced the Obamacare debate over for the second time this month … ‘The repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working.’

If you feel that President Obama is protesting a bit too much, you are not alone:

Public opinion surveys consistently show that most Americans still oppose Obamacare. Moreover, a growing number of Americans believe the president to be a habitual liar. Only 15 percent believe that our president tells the truth all of the time.

Unfortunately for the health of the republic, this tiny minority evidently includes the reporters of the legacy news media.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

MEET SYLVIA BURWELL, THE TITANIC’S NEW CAPTAIN

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss some interesting features of Sylvia Burwell’s background that the legacy media have failed to report:

The establishment media have made much of Burwell’s long career in government, pointing out that it goes back to the 1990s when she served under President Clinton in various capacities, including Deputy Chief of Staff. None of these reports, however, mentions the most bizarre feature of her tenure in that administration.

And what would that be?

On the night that White House Counsel Vince Foster committed suicide during one of the myriad scandals that defined the Clinton presidency, Burwell (then Sylvia Mathews) rummaged through the dead man’s garbage, presumably to make sure that it contained no documents implicating the President or Mrs. Clinton, one of Foster’s law partners.

And, more recently:

NBC News, in a story that somehow slipped past the editors, reports the following: ‘A single person shut down the entire U.S. government … Not a congressman, but an unelected woman named Sylvia Burwell who … sent the email that initiated the process that has closed national parks.’ This eventually led to the refusal by park rangers to allow WWII veterans into their own memorial.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

NO, THE OBAMACARE DEBATE ISN’T OVER

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss our President’s delusional belief that all further argument about the future of his “signature domestic achievement” would be pointless:

Last Tuesday, our President swaggered into the Rose Garden to announce that 7.1 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges … ‘The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’

Well, not quite

The problem with this claim is that no one with a basic grasp of arithmetic believes Obama’s enrollment figures, only about a quarter of the electorate supports his ‘reform’ law, and it is still the target of multiple lawsuits challenging its constitutionality.

Even if the President’s enrollment figures passed the laugh test, and the public actually liked the law, the Obamacare debate would continue in the courts where it will slowly be dismantled.

This is precisely what happened to McCain-Feingold. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHY THE OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT FIGURES DON’T PASS THE LAUGH TEST

The White House has announced that 7.1 million people have signed up for health insurance under the ironically-titled “Affordable Care Act.” The LA Times reports that 9.5 million of these were previously uninsured. Er … what’s wrong with this figure? David Hogberg provides the explanation:

That included not only the 3.1 million young adults who are covered by their parents’ plans but also about 2 million on the exchanges and 4.5 million on Medicaid.

First, no one with an sense believes these exchange and Medicaid numbers. And, as Hogberg explains, the quoted number of kids covered under the slacker mandate is also highly questionable:

The Census Bureau shows that from 2009, the year before the slacker mandate began, to 2012 the number of uninsured 18-24-year-olds declined by about 976,000. But not all of those went onto their parents’ insurance. For that age group, Medicaid enrollment grew 271,000 and employer-based coverage increased 447,000 during that same period. That would mean that those newly insured by joining their parents’ coverage were at most 258,000.

This revelation demonstrates that the Obama administration and its media toadies are striving to give new meaning to “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” To read the rest of Hogberg’s column, click here.

OBAMACARE: THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY?

In today’s American Spectator, I suggest putting Obamacare out of its misery. It’s the only humane thing to do.

I recently came across a good analogy for Obamacare in a book about the Crimean War. The “reform” law is like a mortally wounded horse thrashing and bleeding on a 19th century battlefield. Every cavalryman of that period understood precisely what had to be done in that situation.

Sadly, neither the President nor his HHS bureaucrats can make that claim where Obamacare is concerned.

They have done everything they can think of, both legal and illegal, to get the beast on its feet. And they keep telling the public that a few more bandages and stitches will put it in fine fettle. The Galen Institute, which has been keeping a running tally, reports that the number of such remedies has now reached 38.

It isn’t working. A new AP poll shows that public support for Obamacare has hit a new low of 26 percent. Even the uninsured hate it.

For Obamacare, there are two choices: Let it die a slow and painful death, like McCain-Feingold, or put it quickly out of its misery.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

UNINSURED: OBAMACARE IS UNAFFORDABLE

In today’s American Spectator, I explain why only 10 percent of the uninsured have enrolled in Obamacare.

A new survey confirms that the ‘Affordable Care Act’ has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, ‘Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one.’

Why so few?

According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability. Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, ‘I could not afford to pay the premium.’

The plight of the uninsured was a major selling point for the passage of Obamacare, and the law’s advocates claimed the lack of insurance was killing more people annually than automobile accidents.

So, why isn’t the dog food selling? The uninsured problem was always a hoax. To read the rest of the column, click here.

ANOTHER ILLEGAL OBAMACARE EDICT?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Obama’s latest attempt to save the Democrats from the consequences of his “signature domestic achievement.”

President Obama is planning to break the law, once again, in an effort to protect vulnerable Democrats in the Senate. According to news reports, ‘the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum coverage requirements.’ In the absence of this “directive,” health insurance companies would have to cancel millions of health policies just a few weeks before November’s congressional elections.

Obama’s edict would theoretically forestall, until after those crucial midterms, a tsunami of voter outrage that would inevitably drown the reelection prospects of many Democrats.

It’s not clear, however, that another delay of this Obamacare provision will save the Democrats. The people who vote in midterm elections are, on average, more sophisticated than the voters who participate in presidential elections. The percentage of voters who remember Obama’s past deceptions will be much higher in November than it was in 2012.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

DRUG RATIONING FOR SENIORS BEGINS

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss an under-reported and ominous proposal by the Beltway bureaucrats who run Medicare:

Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list.

What kinds of drugs? Immunosuppressant drugs used in transplant patients, antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines.

Yes, you read that correctly. These are drugs used to facilitate organ transplants and treat patients suffering with mental illness. CMS represents this as a cost-saving measure. But the amount of money these changes will save is virtually nothing by Medicare standards.

But rationing is as much about control as it is about money. To read the rest of the column, click here.