POLITICAL: How to fix Obama / SCOTUS — care!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

FROM WSJ

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No Easy Cure 
Congress has begun the work of replacing the Affordable Care Act, and that means lawmakers will soon face the thorny dilemma that confronts every effort to overhaul health insurance: Sick people are expensive to cover, and someone has to pay. The 2010 health law forced insurers to sell coverage to anyone, at the same price, regardless of their risk of incurring big claims. That provision was popular. Not so were rules requiring nearly everyone to have insurance, and higher premiums for healthy people to subsidize the costs of the sick. If policyholders don’t pick up the tab, who will? The available options all have downsides. Mr. Trump and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill pledged this week to move swiftly to not only repeal but also replace the Affordable Care Act, but it will be a difficult promise to keep.

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From DOWNSIZE DC 

https://downsizedc.org/blog/preview-proposals-replace-obamacare

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Proposal #1: Restore natural prices and make them visible to patients. This will enable consumer control, foster competition, increase supply, and reduce costs.
Proposal #2: Repeal Obamacare in its entirety before considering legislation to replace it.
Proposal #3: Politicians should make all sickness and wellness expenditures tax deductible, including insurance premiums and preventive measures, such as supplements and fitness clubs.
Proposal #4: Revive true health insurance (and make it affordable too) by removing all the expensive mandates imposed by Obamacare and the states.
Proposal #5: Outlaw monopolistic “certificates of need.”
Proposal #6: End punitive damages that enrich lawyers with no compensating health benefit.
Proposal #7: Make the FDA advisory, not dictatorial.
Proposal #8: Restrict the FDA to certifying safety only.
Proposal #9: End the FDA’s power to regulate generic drug factories.
Proposal #10: Limit pharmaceutical patent protection to the recovery of research costs.
Proposal #11: Remove redundant licensing requirements.
Proposal #12: Incentivize the frugal use of medical services by creating the equivalent of Medicaid and Medicare HSAs.
Proposal #13: Increase co-pays for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Proposal #14: Reduce doctor visits by ending the need for prescriptions.
Proposal #15: The State should stop defining dietary guidelines.
Proposal #16: Create an exchange for pro-bono services and voluntary funding.
Proposal #17: Provide a 100% tax credit to anyone who pays for an indigent person’s healthcare expenses.
Proposal #18: Make Medicare a safety net rather than a dragnet.
Proposal #19: Make indigent access to the tax-funded safety net contingent on a history of personal responsibility.
Proposal #20: Create a schedule to devolve Medicare and Medicaid to the states or localities.

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Unwind the effects of World War 2 wage and price controls — that’s how “benefits” got tied to “employment” in the first place.

Gooferment created the problem; get them out of the way is the solution.

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HEALTH: Smallpox And Columbian Exchange

Friday, January 13, 2017

http://listverse.com/2016/12/06/10-weird-ways-disease-altered-the-world/

Smallpox And Columbian Exchange

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Smallpox can be spread by bodily fluids or objects that have been contaminated. To date, it is the only disease that has been eradicated.

In the 1500s, during the Columbian Exchange between Europe and the New World, smallpox devastated Native inhabitants, killing up to 90 percent of the population. This disease was also used as a method for biological warfare by European explorers who were colonizing the Americas. Native populations had no built up immunity to the diseases that Europeans brought over and were torn apart by the virus. Entire civilizations were wiped out, taking with them cultures, forms of art, and languages that are now lost forever.

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I focused on the “only disease that has been eradicated”.

That’s an interesting assertion.

What about polio?

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HEALTH: Eat 1 ounce of nuts every day

Thursday, January 12, 2017

http://nutritionfacts.org/2017/01/10/benefits-of-nuts-for-stroke-prevention/ 

Home > Dr. Greger’s Medical Nutrition Blog > 
Benefits of Nuts for Stroke Prevention
Written by: Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on January 10th, 2017

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In the PREDIMED study, from the Spanish “PREvencio ́n con DIeta MEDiterranea,” a whopping 7,447 patients were randomized into three groups. These were folks at high risk for a heart attack, about half were obese, diabetic and most had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but they had not yet had their first heart attack or stroke. A third were told to eat a Mediterranean diet and given a free quart of extra virgin olive oil every week. The second group were told to eat a Mediterranean diet and given a half pound of free nuts every week, and the last third were told to follow the American Heart Association guidelines and reduce their fat intake. No portion control or exercise advice was given, and they were followed for about five years. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Same with dying from a heart attack or stroke or from any cause—but, those in the olive oil and especially the nut group had significantly fewer strokes. All three groups were eating stroke-promoting diets; some people in all three groups had  strokes after eating these diets for years, and so ideally we’d choose diets that can stop or reverse the disease process, but the diet with added extra virgin olive oil caused about a third fewer strokes, and adding nuts seemed to cut their stroke risk nearly in half. If this worked as well in the general population, in the U.S. alone that would mean preventing 89,000 strokes a year. That’s would be like ten strokes an hour around the clock prevented simply by adding half an ounce of nuts to one’s daily diet.

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BOTTOM LINE: Eat 1 ounce of nuts every day.
 
Seems like a simple Rx.
 
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Same with dying from a heart attack or stroke or from any cause—but, those in the olive oil and especially the nut group had significantly fewer strokes. All three groups were eating stroke-promoting diets; some people in all three groups had  strokes after eating these diets for years, and so ideally we’d choose diets that can stop or reverse the disease process, but the diet with added extra virgin olive oil caused about a third fewer strokes, and adding nuts seemed to cut their stroke risk nearly in half. If this worked as well in the general population, in the U.S. alone that would mean preventing 89,000 strokes a year. That’s would be like ten strokes an hour around the clock prevented simply by adding half an ounce of nuts to one’s daily diet.

 

How to Ride an Escalator: China Says You’re Doing It Wrong

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

http://www.wsj.com/articles/rising-risk-china-reconsiders-stand-right-walk-left-on-escalators-1484029173

Interesting I never walk on the escalators. Maybe China could keep right on even day aanf left on odd ones laff!


POLITICAL: Asset Forfeiture IS Extortion!

Monday, January 9, 2017

https://reason.com/blog/2017/01/05/inside-mississippis-asset-forfeiture-ext

Inside Mississippi’s Asset Forfeiture Extortion Racket
State narcotics police seized $4 million in cash—as well as couches, comics, and 18-wheelers—through asset forfeiture in 2015.
C.J. Ciaramella | Jan. 5, 2017 10:00 am

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“We’re completely in the dark on how pervasive the practice really is,” says Blake Feldman, an advocacy coordinator at the Mississippi ACLU. “Pretty much the default mindset is nobody should be overseeing any law enforcement. A big concern will be if the required tracking and reporting is going to be enforced, or if it will be a shallow gesture.”

In recent years, there has been bipartisan momentum in states across the U.S. to roll back civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to seize property without convicting or even charging the owner with a crime. Mississippi is no different. According to an April poll of Mississippi voters conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, 88 percent of voters oppose civil forfeiture, including 89 percent of Republican voters.

Reason reached current Hinds County Attorney Claire Baker to ask about the couch seizure, as well as the debate in the state over asset forfeiture.

“There’s been a move to crack down on forfeitures, and I get that,” Baker says. “Mississippi law is wide open as far as forfeiture goes.”

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There has to be reform.

If we eliminate the “(pseudo) War on (some) Drugs”, a lot of this non-sense will stop.

Even before that happens, the forfeiture law needs to change dramatically. 

(1) Nothing is taken without a conviction.

(2) The Gooferment’s claim can’t be taken on face value.

(3) The actual owners, like parents, shouldn’t be penalized for something some one else does.

Argh!

It’s all about “revenue collection”; not solving or preventing “crimes” against real victims.

Obvious, the police and judicial complex are over-funded.

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RANT: Thanks, EZ-PASS for the … …

Friday, January 6, 2017

Thanks, EZ-PASS for the … …

… … ! ! 1 !! A!! MMMM!!! text message to alert me to the fact my account had been “replenished”.

Way to be “Customer Focused”.

Argh!

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MONEY: Socialism’s achilles heel

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

https://reason.com/archives/2016/11/28/the-secret-dangerous-world-of

The Secret, Dangerous World of Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining
How cryptocurrency is turning socialism against itself
Jim Epstein from the January 2017 issue

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Four years ago, Alberto’s career prospects were bleak. The 23-year-old Venezuelan had just graduated from college with a degree in computer science, but his nation’s economy was already shredded by 13 years of socialism.

“There were job opportunities, but they paid like $20 a month, and we were used to traveling and buying things from abroad so we couldn’t settle for that,” his friend Luis recalls. Alberto and Luis—whose names have been changed for their own safety—teamed up to start a clothing business, but the venture floundered.

Then Alberto discovered bitcoin mining.

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But the main factor driving Venezuelans to take up bitcoin mining is a price control put in place by the socialist government: Electricity is virtually free.

Bitcoin mining requires a lot of computer processing power, which in turn requires a lot of electricity. In most of the world, utility bills eat into the cost of mining. In places where energy prices are high, it can even be a losing proposition. But in Venezuela, the government has turned bitcoin mining into something akin to owning a home mint.

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Guess the Gooferment there never figure this one out!

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