Iraq was won. It took Obama to lose it.

By 337 Comments 5,894 views

obama mission accomplished

Howard Fineman, 2012

More to the point, politically, two of Obama’s leading strengths are foreign policy in general and his performance as commander-in-chief, according to the polls.

A quick perusal is enough to make the point. In the most recent national CBS/New York Times poll, Obama has a positive rating of 46-36 for his handling of “foreign policy,” his highest rating on any major issue or duty. A CNN recent poll gives the president a 52-36 lead over Romney on the question of who would be a better commander-in-chief. The CBS poll gives Obama a 30-13 lead over Romney on the question of which candidate voters have “very” strong confidence in to be commander-in-chief.

Obama’s lead on these topics reverse, at least for now, a generation’s worth of Democratic Party political weakness on defense and foreign policy — a crushing burden on the Democrats ever since George McGovern ran on an anti-war platform in 1972 and lost 49 states to Richard Nixon.

Al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Obama, 2011

‘We’re Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq’

November 1, 2012

President Barack Obama has described al Qaeda as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to White House transcripts.

This comes despite Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magarief, members of Congress, an administration spokesperson, and several press reports suggesting that al Qaeda played a role in the attack.

Joe Biden, 2010

“I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government,” said Biden.

“I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.

How inept is the Obama team?

Today

Mosul has fallen to Al Qaeda

Tikrit has fallen to Al Qaeda

Baghdad is falling to Al Qaeda.

Liberals constantly repeat the phrase “It happened on Bush’s watch.” Well, guess what. This is happening on Obama’s watch. It’s his. He owns it. He is making the sacrifice of more than 4,000 US soldiers meaningless. That’s more lives lost than on 9-11, and it’s solely because of ego, because of hubris, the consequences of trying to forge a legacy instead of respond appropriately to world events.

Two years ago I wrote that Obama tended to leave destruction in his wake.

Three years I warned of Obama building an Islamic Caliphate and the he was demanding that US taxpayers contribute.

Al Qaeda is not dead. Al Qaeda is not decimated. They control more territory than ever. Al Qaeda in Mali is armed with the best weapons thanks to Obama and controls much of Africa. Obama has sought to depose all the leaders, bad as they are, who kept a lid on Al Qaeda- Gaddafi, Mubarak and Assad.

As Glenn Reynolds might say, it’s all proceeding as I have foreseen.

Barack Obama suffers from terminal narcissism and commemorates every single notable event on the calendar by including himself in a tweet and this is no exception.

congrats to ISIS

The top image is courtesy of John Hinderaker. The bottom one is mine.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

337 Responses to “Iraq was won. It took Obama to lose it.”

  1. 301

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    When I worked at the Long Beach VA Med Ctr, circa 1979-87, the rules were that the VA would take care of non-service connected illnesses on a resource available basis. Service connected were, of course, first priority, but then any veteran (not means tested) could receive care, if resources were available. During that period, there were no major wars being fought and it was far enough out beyond the Vietnam era that there were few fresh cases. I worked on the cancer ward/service and probably 90% of our patients weren’t service connected, unless you consider the fact that the vast majority of our lung cancer patients (to the tune of more than 200 new cases per year) got hooked on smoking when they were in the service. Most of our service connected cancer patients didn’t have cancer as their service connected illness. For example, one of my patients was a paraplegic from a B-52 crash in Vietnam, but later developed lymphoma. So he was considered to be service connected, not with respect to the actual illness for which he received cancer treatment, but because he had a service connected disability, which gave him first priority for VA health care, even if the illness being treated wasn’t service connected.

    The VA eventually started trying to bill insurance companies, for veterans who had health insurance (and, yes, there were quite a few vets who had private health insurance, but still preferred VA care .., we had lawyers, engineers, and at least one MD).

    You can’t go by total number of vets to determine case load. Huge numbers of vets 10 years ago were still WWII vets. Now those (mostly non-service connected) vets have been replaced by (often service connected) Islamistan vets, which is what is straining the VA’s human resources (MDs and other professionals).

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  2. 302

    ilovebeeswarzone

    openid.aol.com/runnswim ( Larry Weinsenthal )
    HI,
    YES the years of the ISLAMITAN WAR, change radicaly the many injuries,
    which demanded a need to evolve for all the VETS HOSPITALS AND GET ALL NEEDED TO PROVIDE THE RIGHT CARE, THE ONE RESULTING IN A SURE HEALING,
    do you think it happened ? do you think the government increase the provisions to do what was needed?
    for adapting to new injuries, or stayed into the old war politic provision, which where minor on the whole,
    although very life threatening, also, but different, EASYER HEALING, AND NOT NEEDED AS MANY SUPPORT GADGETS WHICH WHERE CREATED BUT EXPANSIVE TO SUPPLYE THE MANY INJURED, DID THIS GOVERNMENT UNDERSTOOD THE NEED OF THE HOSPITALS FROM THE START OF THAT IEDS WAR ?
    i think they where more concerned about the unionize manpower to get their bonus very expansive also , TAKING PRIORITY TO THE VETERANS’S NEEDS,
    than CREATING MANY DELAY STILL AS WE SPEAK, FOR PROVIDING THE
    outmost care of the VETERANS coming by thousands from the war,
    which had no end except their own, because they where prevented to kill their enemies, who had all the right to injured and kill the AMERICANS WARRIORS, USING IEDS THEY FABRICATED, BY THOUSANDS AT THE TIMES,
    BYE

  3. 303

    ilovebeeswarzone

    yes there was agent orange sprayed in VIETNAM,
    why would he lie?
    he went to hell, he can have the benefits,
    you don”t eat EARTH IN YOUR OLD DAYS, no matter the SIZE OF LAND YOU OWN, WE DON’T PICK AND CHOOSE WITH THE WARRIORS, THEY DON’T PICK AND CHOOSE ON YOUR FREEDOM,
    THAT AGENT ORANGE WAS USED TO DEFOREST THE JUNGLE,
    WHERE THE ENEMY WHERE HIDDING.

  4. 305

    ilovebeeswarzone

    retire05
    yes, my error,OOPS
    SORRY,
    ARE YOU SURE THAT WE DIDN’T USE IT FOR THEM?
    THEY DON’T SEEM TO HAVE EYES LIKE US,
    BYE

  5. 309

    Redteam

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal): Larry, that pretty much fits the rules as I understood them. I know my neighbor gets a ton of VA care because he was in an auto accident while in military service, unrelated to that military service. Every time I’ve asked if I’m eligible, it’s the same answer, if I can’t get any care any other way. I’ve always had insurance and have medicare now, so I guess the answer will always be no.

  6. 310

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    Hi Redteam: Getting care in VAs is like a lot of things in govt — depends a lot on the particular bureaucrat with whom you are dealing, on your degree of persistence, unofficial local policies in place, etc. etc. In other words, more than a bit arbitrary and not always logical. That said, the VA hospital system has always been a great safety net for vets. Another thing to remember, should you know a deserving vet who’s down on his luck and getting the run around from the VA, is to call the local office of one’s congressman. This goes for Medicare, too. Typically, each congressman has a person on his/her staff who’s main job it is to help constituents getting the run around with health related issues from either Medicare or the VA.

    Since you’ve got Medicare, you’ve got about the best health insurance in the world. You don’t need to go through gate keepers. You can self-refer yourself to practically any specialist in the country (sure, there are a relative handful who don’t take new Medicare cases, but pretty much the best hospitals and doctors in the USA do participate in Medicare). When my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, I directed her to the thoracic surgeon who literally wrote the book on lung cancer, in New York City, then to whom I consider to be the best medical oncologist in Louisville, KY; then, when she developed a tricky lumbar spine metastasis, to the number one proton beam radiation facility in the world, in Loma Linda, CA. Likewise, when my father needed a 4 vessels coronary artery bypass, he went straight to a Baylor/DeBakey trained, highly experienced cardiac surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale. Then, when he needed an 80% gastrectomy for stomach cancer, he went straight to whom I consider the best surgical oncologist in the world, across the country, in Los Angeles. My Dad had both surgeries at age 90 and today, just short of 101 years old, he still swims every day and spends hours a day, day trading stocks online out of three different online brokerages. When he had a TIA last December, he went straight to the best geriatric neurologist in Florida.

    You just don’t have this degree of independent flexibility to go virtually anywhere to get the “best” care with any other insurance plan (this is, by the way, why you want TRADITIONAL MEDICARE and NOT so called “Medicare Advantage,” which has greatly restricted provider networks and gatekeepers). Traditional Medicare is terrific health insurance, with regard to cost effectiveness, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes.

    – Larry

  7. 311

    Redteam

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal):

    Since you’ve got Medicare, you’ve got about the best health insurance in the world.

    Even tho many might disagree with you, I don’t. I agree that Medicare is terrific. I’m not sure why some doctors refuse new patients because when I get my Dr bills, they charge the going rate, the going rate is approved and between Medicare and Supplemental, they get paid all they are charging. That’s not true of hospital charges, for some reason hospitals seem to jack up charges astronomically but still get paid the going rate, which usually seems to the low side to me, but not for everyone. I think the higher charges by hospitals are just so they can charge regular insurance companies a higher rate. I have never had a problem going to the doctor I choose.

  8. 312

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    P.S. I do brag on my nearly 101 year old Dad from time to time, and a few people (like BEES) are kind enough to ask me how he’s doing.

    Here’s a short video clip of him in action, singing an a capella duet at the wedding of one of his granddaughters, last October, in Pasadena CA (the guy introducing my Dad is my brother, father of the bride — my niece):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftb_Ryfiwbo

    He sang a couple of songs a capella at the wedding of my older daughter, in Denver, just 3 weeks ago. I’m going to post this to youtube also.

    – Larry

  9. 313

    retire05

    Larry

    Since you’ve got Medicare, you’ve got about the best health insurance in the world

    That’s why the AMA reported it has the worst record of claim denials of any health insurance provider in the nation, right?

    . You don’t need to go through gate keepers. You can self-refer yourself to practically any specialist in the country

    Never had to go through gate keepers and could self-refer to any specialist in the country under my UHC health care plan. Perhaps your insurance requires gate keepers (they can do that when California limits the open market).

    (sure, there are a relative handful who don’t take new Medicare cases, but pretty much the best hospitals and doctors in the USA do participate in Medicare).

    52% of all primary care physicians in Texas refuse to take Medicare (according to the Houston Physician’s Journal) but I guess in your world, that’s a relative handful.

    Traditional Medicare is terrific health insurance, with regard to cost effectiveness, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes.

    Ummm, let me see; “cost effectiveness” Cost to who? The patient, or Medicare? When Medicare sets the reimbursement rates for doctors, hospitals, clinics and labs, they can be cost effective. But I seem to remember how Obama touted that medical costs would DECREASE under Obamacare. You’re a doctor, Larry. Have you reduced your fee schedule? Have you lowered your charges to accommodate Obamacare? Did you decide you want to earn less money for what you do?

    And aren’t patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes due to the medical treatment provided, not the insurer? Seems to me you want to give Medicare the credit for that, not the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, lab techs, et al, that actually provide the medical care.

    Best open heart surgeon going? Bill Kessler, who actually trained under Dr. Michael DeBakey, not just went to Baylor (which he did). Earned his way through med school working off-shore oil rigs and operates in Red Wing work boots.

  10. 314

    ilovebeeswarzone

    openid.aol.com/runnswim ( Larry Weisenthal )
    IT’S SUPER, what a brain, for you to follow up on,
    i guess you”re on the same track of longevity, A GIFT OF GOD GIVEN FREE ,
    NO STRINGS ATTACH,
    thank you for sharing with us,
    101 YEARS TO SING MEMORIES, IS UNIQUE, AS YOU KNOW,
    BEST WISHES TO YOUR DAUGHTERS, THEY NOW KNOW OF THE GENETIC TREE GRANTING THEM THE LONGEVITY, I WISH THEM AS YOU AND ALL YOUR LOVING FAMILY,
    THANK’S TO YOUR FATHER, FOR SHARING A SONG I LIKE ALSO,
    WHAT WOULD WE BE WITHOUT MEMORIES?

  11. 315

    Redteam

    @retire05:

    52% of all primary care physicians in Texas refuse to take Medicare (according to the Houston Physician’s Journal) but I guess in your world, that’s a relative handful.

    Retire, do you have an opinion as to why that’s true? Some people imply that it’s because they don’t pay the doctors enough, but in my case, the doctor gets the full amount that he charges, whether it’s medicare or not. I gave some numbers on that here recently. The hospitals do not get all they charge and in the case of some surgeons, they don’t get the full charge of ‘in hospital’ charges. All office visits in my case are paid in full.

  12. 316

    ilovebeeswarzone

    ABOUT IRAK, is in it strange that the ISISS began their march and beheaded people
    right after the 5 terrorist leaders where release,
    did anyone notice?

  13. 317

    retire05

    @Redteam:

    My primary care physician is in a small town. He charges $60.00 for a routine office visit. He showed me how Medicare pays out. Of that $60.00, he gets 80% of $48.22 or reimbursement of $38.58. Slightly over 64% of his charges. And this is a doctor that doesn’t book every 10 minutes but rather devotes a lot of time to his patients.

    Would you work for 64% of your wage?

    Also, Medicare has different R & C (reasonable and customary) fees depending on the area. If my doctor was in Austin, he would get the entire $60.00 simply by billing what Medicare considers R & C in Austin.

    You should get a Medicare statement that shows what the doctor/hospital charges, and what Medicare considers R & C and what they paid.

  14. 318

    Redteam

    @retire05: Your doctor is getting the shaft. Mine gets paid over $100 for an office visit. I put the numbers up recently, but am not at home now so don’t have access to them. How much does your supplemental insurance pay him in addition to the medicare payment? If I can find those numbers that I posted, I’ll post them again, but I have never been able to get the search function to work on comments on this site, so it’s no help. Wonder why he charges so little for the office visit?

  15. 321

    Redteam

    @retire05:

    I pay the balance

    Very interesting. Does he bill you for the ‘balance’? Because if he agrees to accept Medicare, he agrees to accept what they are willing to pay (plus insurance) and is not supposed to charge you the difference. It’s interesting to me that my personal care phys charges 106 and medicare pays him 81.44 and they only pay your Dr 48.22 for the same service. Also that your insur co is only paying about 10 bucks whereas mine is paying about 20

    This is in a small town of about 10,000 in La.

  16. 322

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Redteam
    changing subject for a second
    hope you have seen the movie : ICE STATION ZEBRA,
    it made me think that you would enjoy it,
    TURNER MOVIES
    BYE

  17. 323

    retire05

    @Redteam:

    @retire05: 83
    Here are 3 office visits.
    Personal care Phy. 106.00 Medicare paid 81 .44 medigap ins paid 20.36 total paid: 101.80
    Cardiologist: $147.00 medicare paid: 79.79 insur paid: 20.36 total paid: 100.15
    Urologist: $90.00 medicare paid 55.03 insur paid 13.75 total paid 68.78

    Very interesting. Does he bill you for the ‘balance’? Because if he agrees to accept Medicare, he agrees to accept what they are willing to pay (plus insurance) and is not supposed to charge you the difference. It’s interesting to me that my personal care phys charges 106 and medicare pays him 81.44 and they only pay your Dr 48.22 for the same service. Also that your insur co is only paying about 10 bucks whereas mine is paying about 20

    This is in a small town of about 10,000 in La.

    Ok, let’s take your first example:

    Personal care Phy. 106.00 Medicare paid 81 .44 medigap ins paid 20.36 total paid: 101.80

    The Medicare payment of $81.44 was 80% of what Medicare considers, for that area, R & C (reasonable and customary) which works out to an allowable charge of $101.80. Your Medigap insurance picked up the 20% that Medicare deducted.

    Cardiologist: $147.00 medicare paid: 79.79 insur paid: 20.36 total paid: 100.15

    Cardiologist: $147.00 medicare paid: 79.79 insur paid: 20.36 total paid: 100.15

    Medicare, again, paid 80% of what they considered R & C which was $99.74, you Medigap insurance seems to have a higher R & C so they paid enough to bring the total to $100.15 which is 41 cents over the R & C of Medicare.

    Urologist: $90.00 medicare paid 55.03 insur paid 13.75 total paid 68.78

    Again, Medicare paid 80% of what would have been their R & C ($68.78) and Medigap picked up the other 20%

    Medicare, regionally, sets fee rates and pay 80% of those fees, based on their R & C rates.

    As to doctors, hospitals, et al, being required to accept Medicare payment only, and not being able to bill the patient for the balance, that is not correct. If you look at your Medicare statement, handled in my area by CGS Administrators, LLC out of Nashville, there will be four columns which are:

    Item/Service Approves (yes or no)
    Amount provider charged (fees billed by doctor/hospital, etc)
    Medicare Approved Amount (what Medicare considers R & C)
    Amount Medicare paid (generally 80% oof the Approved Amount)
    Maximum you may be billed (the other 20%)

    If your doctor has not agreed to the Medicare R & C fees, you will be responsible for the balance that is not covered by Medicare. My doctor, having such low fees to begin with, has not contracted with Medicare, and no longer accepts Medicare/Medicaid patients. He’s one of the 52% of primary care physicians in Texas that refuse to do so, the 52% that Larry considers a “relative handful”. Seniors who move to Texas, understanding there is no state income tax, are often finding they have to travel long distances (75 miles or more) to find a primary care doctor who will accept Medicare.

    The argument put out by Obama and the Democrats was that Obamacare would lower medical costs. There is not one thing in Obamacare that actually lowers the cost of medical care. It only lowers the cost the insured have to pay for health care insurance in the event the insured is eligible for a subsidy. Medical care provides have done nothing to lower their fees for the simple reason that those fees are generally paid by independent health insurance policies. So once again, Medicare is simply a way to redistribute wealth by refusing to pay the commanded fee by the doctor and putting the burden on private insurers.

    But here is a little known fact: while insurance companies may agree to pay 80% of your charges, once you go on Medicare, by Congress decree, insurance companies are only required to pay the other 20% of Medicare’s R & C. That is why so many practioners do not accept Medicare. They are taking a hit on their fees.

    Oh, and my doctor is in a town of 4,600. All new Medicare patients now have to drive to Austin (75 miles, at least) to find a primary care physician who will accept Medicare. As I said, Medicare also has regional R & C rates.

  18. 324

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    Hi Retire (#313). The guy who did my Dad’s 4 vessel beating heart bypass was actually trained by DeBakey, himself, at Baylor. Just a clarification.

    What I said were “best doctors/hospitals.” Do the docs at Baylor and MDA take Medicare? How about UT Southwestern; UT San Antonio, and the other hospitals in TX that would be nationally recognized as “the best?” Overall, something like 91% of all MDs take Medicare. The last time I checked, I have my choice of something like 315 primary care docs who are Medicare participants within a 15 mile radius of where I live. And most large population insurance plans do have gatekeepers. Not Medicare. Would your health insurance policy allow you to go to the Cleveland Clinic or NYU or the Mayo Clinic or Stanford or the U of Chicago? With your own self referral? No questions asked? Just curious.

    And “best insurance” is from the patient’s point of view, not the doctors. Best insurance isn’t that which pays the doctors the most money. If you got rid of Medicare, what would happen to seniors? Whatever plan you replaced it with would cost more, provide less comprehensive/universal coverage, would result in more personal health care bankruptcies, and on and on. Why is it that the repeal of Medicare isn’t on the Tea Party platform? It’s because any politician who even dreamed about it would never get elected dog catcher. It’s where ObamaCare will be, some day, only it will be an evolutionary process. I’ve got one kid who just graduated from med school and another who’s just starting her 2nd year. Expectations are different for this generation of MDs. They go into medicine for the right reasons, and not because they want to be in the 1%. Medicine is the same great job, all over the world, in totally socialized England as much as in the high priced, formerly high paid USA. We need people in medicine who want to be doctors, more than they want to be capitalists.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  19. 325

    retire05

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal):

    Do the docs at Baylor and MDA take Medicare? How about UT Southwestern; UT San Antonio, and the other hospitals in TX that would be nationally recognized as “the best?” Overall, something like 91% of all MDs take Medicare.

    Do the docs at Baylor and MDA take Medicare? How about UT Southwestern; UT San Antonio, and the other hospitals in TX that would be nationally recognized as “the best?” Overall, something like 91% of all MDs take Medicare.

    I have never used those hospitals, but I would assume they do take Medicare as they are not private hospitals, but owned by the university systems in Texas, including MDA which is attached to UT.

    If you got rid of Medicare, what would happen to seniors?

    Medicare, an unconstitutional system designed for the redistribution of wealth, would have to be phased out gradually. It could be done.

    Whatever plan you replaced it with would cost more, provide less comprehensive/universal coverage, would result in more personal health care bankruptcies, and on and on.

    You don’t know that. You assume that based on your left leaning political bent. The free market always allows for cost saving through competition. There also should be cafeteria plans (you know, like your cafeteria Catholicism) so that women over 50 are not covered for pre-natal care and birth control, and men are not covered for pap smears.

    Why is it that the repeal of Medicare isn’t on the Tea Party platform? It’s because any politician who even dreamed about it would never get elected dog catcher. It’s where ObamaCare will be, some day, only it will be an evolutionary process.

    You should ask the big players in the Tea Party, not me. As to Obamacare evolving into something like Medicare, God help us if it does. But it won’t. It will continue to increase in cost, reduce (ration) services, and is nothing more than another redistribution of wealth that you seem to support but obviously, not with your own money.

    I’ve got one kid who just graduated from med school and another who’s just starting her 2nd year. Expectations are different for this generation of MDs. They go into medicine for the right reasons, and not because they want to be in the 1%.

    So what you are saying is that YOUR generation went into medicine in able to be part of the 1%? I would assume that includes you, so your competence as a physician would be on my radar. Or are you telling us that you make less than $367,000 in income a year?

  20. 326

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    Hi Retire:

    You don’t know that. You assume that based on your left leaning political bent. The free market always allows for cost saving through competition.

    Health care doesn’t follow free market principles. It never has. It never will. That’s because, only in health care, the sellers (doctors) make the most important/expensive purchase decisions on behalf of the buyers (patients). Your doc tells you you need an operation, 95% of the time you’ll end up getting the operation.

    I’ve used the example of PSA testing for prostate cancer. Let’s say that I’m a 60 something year old man and I want Viagra. I go to see my urologist, who gives me the Rx, but also recommends a PSA test. Well, here are the stats, if I say “yes” (as 99% of men do, in this situation):

    Screen 1,500 men with PSA test. Costs $

    Comes back elevated in about 350. The urologist then tells you that you might have prostate cancer, so you need a total of 10 trans-rectal needle biopsies to find out. What are you going to say … no? When he’s telling you that you might have CANCER!? So you undergo this not at all painless, not at all without risk procedure. Which costs $$$

    Result, about 55 men (out of the original 1,500) are found to have prostate cancer. Your urologist then tells you that your have CANCER!! You need to have your prostate whacked out. What are you going to say? Cost $$$$$

    So you lose your prostate and you also lose your ability of have sex and you also need a diaper to manage your urinary incontinence.

    For what result? How many of those 1,500 men that you screened are cured as a result of going through this whole exercise? A grand total of ONE! That’s because prostate cancer comes in two flavors: live with it and die of it. Live with it disease doesn’t need a radical prostatectomy. Die of it disease isn’t helped by a prostatectomy (the disease has already spread by the time the PSA is elevated).

    Now, if you told men that you need a PSA test, and if you get the test, they’ll be a Russian roulette chance that you’ll end up with 10 trans-rectal needle biopsies and if you get the needle biopsies there’s a Russian roulette chance that you’ll get your prostate whacked out and if you get your prostate whacked out there is a one in 55 chance that this will save your life, but an 85% chance that you’ll end up impotent or incontinent or both, how many men would have the PSA test in the first place? I’ve never had the test and I never will.

    The point is, doctors, under the current health care system, have an enormous economic incentive to treat. They have no economic incentive to counsel and explain. And the average patient has no competence whatsoever to be a capitalist consumer of health care. The patient is at the mercy of the doctor and health care system, all of which have an economic incentive to offer treatment and to offer the most expensive treatment available.

    So the rules of capitalist economics don’t apply to health care. Which is why Medicare does the best job for the patient at the lowest cost with the greatest consumer satisfaction and, by far, the greatest choice in the best doctors and the best hospitals.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  21. 327

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    Hey Flopping Aces: My reply to Retire (#325) went to spam, ostensibly because it contained the word V–gra. Can someone please fish it out? Thanks! – Larry

  22. 328

    Redteam

    @retire05:

    If your doctor has not agreed to the Medicare R & C fees, you will be responsible for the balance that is not covered by Medicare.

    I would think that if the Dr has agreed to take Medicare, that meant he would take what they pay, but I’m not completely familiar of all the in’s and outs of Medicare but I sure don’t think that the amount your Dr is charging is a reasonable amount and the 106 my dr is charging is more in line. Most Drs in my town and area take medicare, I haven’t heard of any that don’t. I agree with Larry that Medicare is a great system and works well, in my case. Obamacare is a total disaster and will only go down hill from here. Australia’s system is a little akin to medicare, but no one there likes it and it is very, very expensive and only gets more so each year. (I am familiar with their health care system) The problem there is that there is no real alternative and there is no incentive to contain costs.
    Retire, I agree with your comments regarding Larry saying:

    Expectations are different for this generation of MDs. They go into medicine for the right reasons, and not because they want to be in the 1%.

    That does imply that Larry went into medicine for all the wrong reasons, just to make money and be in the 1%. My dr does a large amount of volunteer work and I think is in medicine for the right reasons, he does seem to be very concerned about the welfare of his patients.

    If medicare were the only system for everyone in the US, it would be a total disaster, costs would be out the roof and quality of care would likely be dismal. Medicare is already very expensive. It costs, for me and my wife, $7416 per year, and remember that’s for two retired persons that paid into medicare since the day it was born. If medicare were not subsidized by the government and young workers, if wouldn’t exist. If that were the system for All Americans, 7416 would only be a dream, the costs would be much higher, care more rare, euthanasia more prevalent and deductibles out of the roof. There can be good medical insurance systems but not if they are run by the government.

  23. 331

    openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal)

    Hi Retire and Red: Up until now, the discussion was worthwhile. I would ask you, as a personal courtesy, not to attack me on a personal level. Attack my arguments, data, whatever. But don’t attack me — personally and/or professionally. O.K.? Unless I should ever attack either of you on a personal or professional level, which I really try my best not to do. Thanks. – Larry

  24. 334

    ilovebeeswarzone

    I remember MATA HARLEY SAYING A LOT OF GOOD THING ABOUT WHAT LARRY DOES,
    she said he is the best cancer healing doctor she could ever know,
    So, with so many cancers in the population, LARRY MUST BE QUITE BUSY,
    between his research and active medecine,

  25. 335

    retire05

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal):

    I would ask you, as a personal courtesy, not to attack me on a personal level.

    A reasonable request, providing you are aware that when you inject your personal information, and your family (i.e. father/children) into the debate, you have reduced the debate to a personal level.

    You also said this:

    The point is, doctors, under the current health care system, have an enormous economic incentive to treat. They have no economic incentive to counsel and explain. And the average patient has no competence whatsoever to be a capitalist consumer of health care. The patient is at the mercy of the doctor and health care system, all of which have an economic incentive to offer treatment and to offer the most expensive treatment available.

    That is quite a generalization of all doctors, don’t you think? And you claim that doctors do not council and explain. I don’t find that to be true. Also, a patient has the responsibility to ask questions (patients not asking questions one of the major complaints of doctors) and to seek a second opinion for any major medical treatment. The doctor is only one side of the equasion and to accuse doctors, as a whole, for not informing their patients as they should, well, frankly, I find that a cheap shot.

    Patients have the responsibility to learn as much about their medical treatment as possible. They should at least research it as much as they do when they purchase a car or truck. But because of our system, including Medicare, where patients have no responsibility for their own health care, mainly because they have no real financial responsibility, we find doctors like Kermit Gosnell are allowed to practice when they should be jailed.

    I find you to be a bit jaded, Larry. You make doctors sound like used car salesmen.

  26. 336

    Redteam

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim (Larry Weisenthal): Thanks a lot for that info on prostate cancer. I’ve been taking a PSA for years and it’s always very low (no indication) but have had an enlarged prostate (take medicine for that) for years. I’ve already decided, that at my age (74) if I were to be told there was a chance I had prostate cancer, that I likely wouldn’t do anything about it. Seems as if that would be your advice. When my doctor is prescribing, I do always tell him I want generic if possible and we do discuss costs.

  27. 337

    Redteam

    The future looks bleak for Obamacare and the insurance industry in Louisiana. I suspect it will be the same for most other states also. Here is part of an interesting writeup on the situation, read the entire story here. http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/9569068-123/guest-oped-louisianas-obamacare-future

    Louisiana, buckle up. Over the next few months, you’ll learn how much your health insurance premiums will go up for next year. The early evidence isn’t good — the percentage increase could be in the double digits.

    But that’s nothing compared with what you’ll face in 2017. In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as “Obamacare” — will likely play out in Louisiana over the next few years. The diagnosis isn’t good.

    First, the short version. In two years, the ACA’s structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, Louisianians will likely leave the insurance market in droves. They’ll have little choice — they won’t be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won’t keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the state’s uninsured by 41 percent.

    This isn’t baseless speculation. I reached this conclusion by using a peer-reviewed economic model published in several health journals. It was funded by both private and government sources, including the Department of Health and Human Services, and has been cited by multiple Supreme Court justices in ACA-related rulings.

    But why won’t this happen until 2017? Because that’s the year when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect and certain temporary provisions begin to sunset. The changes will affect all plans sold for 2017 and beyond.

    Two big changes will occur that year: Insurance companies no longer will have access to ACA’s “reinsurance” and “risk corridor” programs. The first item currently allows insurers to bill the government for the most expensive patients; the second one guarantees that the industry’s losses will be subsidized by you. When these two programs end, the insurance industry won’t have access to taxpayer money.

    That leaves Louisianians to pick up the tab. Without taxpayer money, insurers in the state will increase plan premiums to cover the sudden shortfall. They’ll have no other choice — the other option is to go out of business.

    You might not have a choice, either. The data predicts the average premium for a bronze family plan in Louisiana may jump from $11,907 to $15,465 in the next decade — an increase of 30 percent. Undoubtedly, this will be far too expensive for many people. No insurance may be the only financially sound option.

    This will cause a chain reaction in the insurance market. As people leave the exchanges, insurers will have fewer customers who can shoulder health care costs. Thus, for 2018, they’ll have to raise prices again — which will only cause more people to leave. This cycle could repeat itself indefinitely.

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