Saturday, August 25, 2007

DNC vs Florida

Politico reported The Democratic Party has taken a swipe at the nation's fourth biggest state, stripping Florida of all of its '08 delegates as punishment for jumping the gun with its Jan. 29 primary. Florida's early date could force other states to move up and up to stay at the front of the pack.

Florida should respond by passing a law that says none of the states electorial votes can go to any party that will not seat its delegates.

Then the national parties should come up with a plan that allows the states to rotate so that 1/4 of the state have their primaries first one year, then go to the back of the list while another batch of states go first the next election, etc.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


NYT reported The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.
Good for him. Middle income families should be able to pay for their own insurance.
Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month-long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were aimed at returning the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.
Which is what it was supposed to be. Not a backdoor way to get us into a single payer insurance system like Canada has, where they can't afford neonatal services for babies
After learning of the new policy, some state officials said today that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met..... The poverty level for a family of four is $20,650 in annual income. New York now covers children in families with income up to 250 percent of the poverty level. The State Legislature has passed a bill that would raise the limit to 400 percent of the poverty level — $82,600 for a family of four — but the change is subject to federal approval.
Why should tax payers in the 49 other states pay the insurance bill for a New York family making $82,600.
California wants to increase its income limit to 300 percent of the poverty level, from 250 percent. Pennsylvania recently raised its limit to 300 percent, from 200 percent. New Jersey has had a limit of 350 percent for more than five years.
That is ridiculous
As on other issues like immigration, the White House is taking action on its own to advance policies that were not embraced by Congress.
A republican President taking action that is not embraced by a Democratic Congress? Maybe that is what the Founding Fathers planned for when they set up the checks and balances of our system.
.... In the letter sent to state health officials about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dennis G. Smith, the director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations, set a high standard for states that want to raise eligibility for the child health program above 250 percent of the poverty level. Before making such a change, Mr. Smith said, states must demonstrate that they have “enrolled at least 95 percent of children in the state below 200 percent of the federal poverty level” who are eligible for either Medicaid or the child health program. Deborah S. Bachrach, a deputy commissioner in the New York State Health Department, said, “No state in the nation has a participation rate of 95 percent.”
Then shouldn't you focus your attention on children that are really in poverty, rather than having the government pay for children in families earning $80K?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Born in the U.S.A.

Calgary Herald reported A rare set of identical quadruplets, born this week to a Calgary woman at a Montana hospital, are in good health and two of them were strong enough to be transported back here Thursday. The naturally conceived baby girls -- Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia -- were delivered by caesarean section Sunday in Great Falls, their weights ranging between two pounds, six ounces and two pounds, 15 ounces. Their mother, Calgarian Karen Jepp, was transferred to Benefis Hospital in Montana last week when she began showing signs of going into labour, and no Canadian hospital had enough neonatal intensive-care beds for all four babies.
Fortunately for the quads, the US does not have National Health Care. Yet.
Don Surber blogged I’m sure most Canadians like their health system. Just remember, though, that Canada’s backup system is in Montana. Americans spend 15% of their income on health care. That’s why Great Falls has enough neo-natal units to handle quadruple births — and a “universal health” nation doesn’t.

Kate blogged I thought today would be a good time to revisit my 2005 piece on zero-tier health care for newer readers to SDA. Saskatchewan spends $4 billion a year on health - 44% of the total provincial budget - on a population of under one million, and those dollars are increasingly directed to more centralized systems of delivery. While debate about "wait times" tends to revolve around diagnostics and scheduling of surgery (especially "elective" surgery such as knee and hip replacement), few consider the "wait time" facing the farmer in Val Marie with a crushed pelvis or severed artery.... Discussing the abysmal quality of care my mother received with a friend who works in the bureaucracy, I suggested that the imbalance might be partially restored through a holdback system, in which a percentage of wages or fees would be released only upon patient or family signoff - in the way that holdbacks are used in the construction industry to ensure the job is well and truly complete. She disagreed with the idea, for, as she correctedly argued, "Some people might withhold payment unfairly." To which I replied; "Welcome to the world the rest of us live in."

Merv blogged In a growing American city where the free market is allowed to work there would be no trouble getting hospital beds for a growing population. But, in Canada with rationed health care, you can't even get in for an emergency delivery of babies. Congratulations to the Jepps and boos for Canadian socialized medicine.

Kim Priestap blogged Question: where would have Mrs. Jepps given birth if America and her vastly more accessible health care system weren't available right next door? If the US goes to a universal health care system, we, too, will find ourselves with a government that has a limited amount of money to spend on health care and, therefore, limited space

Mark Steyn blogged Well, you can't expect a G7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal ICU coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote rural Montana. And let's face it, there's nothing an expectant mom likes more than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies.


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