Monthly Archives: August 2007

Downsize DC Conference Call – August 26, 2007

Downsize DC Conference Call – August 26, 2007

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The Un-insured

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Evangelize the Downsize DC message. Please forward this to others.::::::Quote of the Day:::::::

Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

::::::Subject: The Un-insured::::::Many people have asked: “What about people with no health insurance?” Or, “How many people die in America because they lack coverage?”::::::These are good questions. They were two of my main questions when I started researching this issue. ::::::The most commonly heard estimate for the number of Americans without health insurance is 45 million. That’s a whopping, scary number. Alas, it is also highly misleading. John Stossel of ABC News has used research by the U.S. Census Bureau to expose the deeper truth behind this scary number. It turns out that . . .

  • 37% of the un-insured live in households earning more than $50,000 a year (and 19% live in households earning more than $75,000). Can people at these income levels afford major medical insurance? Yes. Should they be subsidized by you and me? No. Subtract this group and the number of uninsured people drops to roughly 28 million.
  • 20% of the un-insured are non-citizens. Should you and I pay to insure them through a top-down federal monopoly? We think not. Subtract this group and the number of un-insured people drops to roughly 19 million.
  • 33% of the un-insured are already eligible for existing government programs. No new program is needed for people who are already covered by current programs. Subtract them and the number of uninsured people drops to roughly 4 million. This is much more likely to be the true size of the problem.

:::45 million vs. 4 million — that’s a huge difference! Now here’s the kicker . . .

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Special guest host on radio show today

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Subject: Today’s radio show with special guest host::::::Jim Babka is traveling on Downsize DC business. When last heard from he had survived a difficult trek through the Donner Pass, and was searching for decent food by the side of the road. ::::::Or on the road.::::::Or something like that. ::::::As a result, Jim’s radio show will feature a special guest host today . . .::::::Ed Brayton Superstar! (cue Andrew Lloyd Webber fanfare)

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DownsizeDC Conference Calls – August 12 and 19, 2007

DownsizeDC Conference Calls – August 12 and 19, 2007

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Death by Government

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Evangelize the Downsize DC message. Forward this to friends . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::

“One death is a tragedy. Six million is a statistic.”:::– attributed to Joseph Stalin

::::::Subject: Death by government::::::When real market prices are unavailable to balance supply and demand in the health care sector — when prices are set by government decree, or distorted by government funding — the consequence can be death.::::::It’s easy to miss this truth if we only focus on anecdotal personal testimony. Talk to people from Canada and the U.K. and you’re likely to hear glowing praise for their national health services. Alas, there are fundamental problems with this kind of testimony . . .

  • People living under national health services have little or nothing to compare them to.
  • Small medical problems, easily fixed, are far more common than those that are life threatening — thus, most personal testimony tells us little about how well major procedures are handled.
  • Patients that survive major medical problems in such systems tend to assume the system works.
  • While those who die because of the system’s failure are unavailable to testify.
  • This is the familiar economic problem of the “seen and the unseen” — the successes are seen, walking among us, while the failures lie buried, unseen and silent.

Michael Moore, in his film “Sicko,” makes dramatic use of horrifying anecdotes of failure in the American system. We say, “Good for him!” We too reject America’s current system, precisely because it is already half-way to the type of system Moore advocates. We applaud him for exposing the failures of America’s half-socialized system, but . . .::::::We must criticize him for not telling the whole story. If you watch another movie, “Dead Meat,” you’ll hear equally horrifying anecdotes about the fully socialized Canadian system, which is the kind of system Moore wants for America. Though Moore favors the French socialist system, future messages will show that there is really no fundamental difference between France and Canada. For now we just want to compare movie-anecdote to move-anecdote, and “Dead Meat” is about Canada . . .

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We Get Responses

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::Is our campaign for the Read the Bills Act getting results? We are certainly encouraged that Congress has taken some steps in our direction. Sen. Dianne Feinstein writes to a Downsizer:
:::
:::”Like you, I believe that it is important that Senators and Representatives have a full understanding of bills before they come to a vote. You may be interested to know that a provision was included in the ‘Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007’ (S. 1) that requires any bill containing earmarks to be available on the internet for at least 48 hours before it can be considered by the Senate. This bill also includes a provision requiring that conference reports be available on the internet for at least 48 hours for Members to review before they may be considered. I am an original cosponsor of S. 1, which passed the Senate on January 18, 2007 by a vote of 96-2, and support these provisions.”
:::
:::Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is also feeling the winds of change, saying that as President “he would post all non-emergency bills online for five days before he signed them into law, allowing Americans a chance to weigh in on the legislation.” Source: Yahoo 
:::
:::Fine idea, Senator! It looks like you borrowed our idea of posting bills for seven days before Congress votes on them. And that raises the question:

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All they hear

Spread the Downsize DC message. Forward this to friends . . .::::::Quote of the Day::::

“Influence: In politics, a visionary quo given in exchange for a substantial quid.”:::– from “The Devil’s Dictionary” by Ambrose Bierce

:::Subject: The drumbeat for a health-care monopoly::::::Have you noticed? Nearly every talking-head show on TV contains a plug for so-called universal health-care. Everyone, everywhere is being exposed to this message nearly every day.::::::Can you imagine, in such a climate, that we will not end up with some form of tax funded universal health care? ::::::If we do, you can be sure of two things . . .::::::1. The resulting policy will be sold as a visionary step forward:::2. The prices and terms of your health-care will be set behind closed doors::::::The so-called visionary quo will come in return for a substantial quid. The program will amount to the most massive system of corporate welfare yet devised. ::::::Here is an important question to consider: How should the prices be set for health-care procedures?

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Help from my brilliant audience

I’ve got some questions. Maybe you can help me by calling my one hour, Sunday radio show, the Downsize DC Conference Call at 1-800-259-9231.
:::
:::Why is it important to declare war instead of pass an authorization to use force? Candidate Ron Paul has insisted it’s important. But an observer on C-SPAN recently accused him of being a “demagogue” — the authorization of force was good enough.
:::
:::I disagree. I think I have some answers to this question.
:::
:::But I have another question for which I haven’t gotten satisfactory answers. Once the President is given either a declaration or an authorization, either one (keeping in mind that the latter is unconstitutional), is it an eternal power? Here’s what I mean: Bush has said he would veto any attempt by Congress to withdraw the troops. But this is a Congressional power! How can he do that?
:::
:::This is a smart audience. So if you have intelligent analysis to offer, please help me! In addition to calling 1-800-259-9231, you can email me at CALL at DOWNSIZEDC dot ORG (we write that out “long-hand” to stop spam harvesters from snagging this address).
:::
:::And you want to miss this episode! Depending on how busy our phones are, you’ll also hear . . .

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Have we tried yet?

Have we tried yet?

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Reviving American Health Care

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Evangelize the Downsize DC message. Share this Dispatch with concerned friends . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::

“Government cripples you, then hands you a crutch and says, ‘See, if it wasn’t for us, you couldn’t walk.’”

:::

— Harry Browne

::::::Subject: Reviving American Health Care::::::Step by step we are moving toward a system in which the federal government will pay for all health care, and regulate it from the top down. You will have no choice . . .

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