Editorial: Democrats pushing for socialized health care

In a speech in Illinois this past week former President Obama called “Medicare for all” a “good new idea.”

He said, “It’s harder for young people to save for a rainy day, let alone retirement. So Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like a higher minimum wage, they’re running on good new ideas like Medicare for all, giving workers seats on corporate boards, reversing the most egregious corporate tax cuts to make sure college students graduate debt-free.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders actually has such a bill pending that would nationalize and socialize the U.S. health care system and claims he has 16 Democratic senators supporting it. Sanders has argued that the United States spends almost three times as much on health care per capita as the British, who have a socialized system.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said in August she supports an eventual move to a “Medicare-for-All” but that it is not immediately plausible.

“I applaud the concept, I understand what they’re trying to do at the end of the day, which is get us to the day where we have health care that everybody has and they can afford,” she said in an interview with the online news site The Nevada Independent. “And what it looks like, you can call it whatever you want, but we’ve got to take incremental steps along the way and bring everybody along.”

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller meanwhile is said to be leaning toward supporting a move by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who would take money spent under the Affordable Care Act and give it to states in the form of block grants.

As for Medicare for all, a recent George Mason University’s Mercatus Center study found Sanders’ plan would add $32.6 trillion to federal spending in its first 10 years and costs would steadily rise from there. Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

The proposal also would amount to a roughly 40 percent cut across the board in payments to doctors and hospitals, a devastating blow to the economy. With rural hospitals already going out of business, image how many more would have to close and how many doctors would retire or change professions.

As if the costs were not enough, that aforementioned British socialized health system earlier this year was forced to cancel 50,000 non-emergency surgeries due to hospital overcrowding. Emergency room waits were said to be as long as 12 hours.

You don’t have to pay as much for something you don’t get.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Obama calls for Medicare for all. (Getty Images pix)


There was plenty to criticize in Obama speech ending the ‘global war on terror’

In an earlier posting I remarked that Obama’s speech this past week at the National Defense University was basically a unilateral capitulation in the “global war on terror.”

In the 7,000-word speech he said “a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways,” and he outlined his plan to win the hearts and minds of people who wouldn’t mind cutting out our hearts. We’ve tried the hearts-and-mind strategy and it never ceases to fail.

But I was kind compared to Newt Gingrich, who called the speech “just stunningly, breathtakingly naïve.”

The former Speaker of the House added:

“He says at one point ‘wars have to end.’ Well, [Leon] Trotsky said, ‘you may not care about war, but war cares about you.’ I mean, right after you have somebody beheaded in London, you have a bomb go off in Boston, you have the Iranians … every day trying to penetrate our system with cyber, you have an Iranian nuclear program underway and the president announces cheerfully, ‘the war’s going to end because I’m not happy being a war president.’”

Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal called message delivered in the speech Obama’s “Retreat Doctrine:”

“It’s alluring to think that, merely by declaring an end to ‘continual warfare,’ we can end continual warfare; that we can define our problems as we’d like them to be, rather than take them as they are and have them define us in turn.

“Thus the operating assumption of Mr. Obama’s speech, and for that matter his entire presidency: Saying it makes it so.”

Obama at National Defense University capitulating.

Stephens also pointed out the absurdity of Obama’s claim that war has cost us “well over a trillion dollars … exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation-build at home,” when the federal government has spent $31.3 trillion since 2002. The war has hardly exploded our deficits. It is the lavish spending from Washington on all those stimulus programs, entitlements, ObamaCare, green energy and so much more that is the problem.

Even the Obama-friendly New York Times pointed out a few incongruities, including the fact this Nobel Peace Prize recipient has a “kill list.”

According to the piece by Peter Baker, Obama is trying to repair his legacy:

“He wanted to be known for healing the rift with the Muslim world, not raining down death from above.

“Over the past year, aides said, Mr. Obama spent more time on the subject than on any other national security issue, including the civil war in Syria. The speech he would eventually deliver at the National Defense University became what one aide called ‘a window into the presidential mind’ as Mr. Obama essentially thought out loud about the trade-offs he sees in confronting national security threats.”

The Times tale ends aptly with a quote from South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, “At the end of the day, this is the most tone-deaf president I ever could imagine, making such a speech at a time when our homeland is trying to be attacked literally every day.”

“But this war, like all wars, must end,” Obama said Thursday. The best way to end a war, like a fistfight, is to win. Just dropping your hands to your side is an invitation for trouble.

It reminds me of a really, really old Aggie joke — with Obama playing the role of the assistant coach from Texas A&M dispatched to Austin  to win the hearts and minds of the Longhorn’s coaching staff and discover the secret as to why the Longhorns kept beating the Aggies in football.

The assistant coach went straight to then coach Darrell Royal (that’s how old the joke is) and asks, “Why do you beat us every year?”

Royal replies, “Because Aggies are stupid.”

The coach asks, “What do you mean?”

“Allow me to demonstrate,” Royal answers and holds his hand up to a brick wall and says, “Hit my hand.”

When the coach obliges, Royal pulls his hand away.

Back at College Station, with his right hand in a cast, the assistant is asked by his head coach what Royal said. He replies, “He said Aggies are stupid.”

“What do you mean?”

“Allow me to demonstrate.” The assistant holds his left hand in front of his face and says, “Hit my hand.”

Ramirez cartoon today