Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Morality of Decision Making in Healthcare

VALS conf talk: Morality of Decision Making in Healthcare

So You Want Affordable Care? Common Sense from a Practicing Physician

Vecchio Policy Paper on Healthcare Reform Ideas for Colorado

62. Karl Marx vs. Samuel Adams

We’ve talked about how Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements don’t cover our costs as physicians for seeing patients, and how the Independent Payment Advisory Board will be decreasing these payments even more.  That means that it will COST doctors to keep seeing these patients.  And when states increase the number of Medicaid patients thru Obamacare,  that means that doctors will be paying more and more money to care for people.  Now that Obamacare truly is the law of the land, it’s time to discuss what this administration is saying to physicians.  They are saying that patients have a RIGHT to make us PAY to take care of them.  They are saying that it’s OK to force doctors to practice against their free will.


Karl Marx, in his Communist Manifesto, proposed a system wherein resources would be distributed “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.  In other words, those who have the ability to make goods or money should have it taken from them and given to those who need it.  Contrast this with the words of one of our founding fathers, Samuel Adams (and I’ll paraphrase):  “If ye love government handouts more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”  Which quote do you think represents what America should be?


Obamacare is also saying to taxpayers that it is OK for the government to force us to pay for the healthcare of others.  We will have no choice but to pay additional money that we have worked hard to earn, so that people who choose not to work can have the same healthcare choices that we have.  I’m not talking about those who are truly needy here.  I’m talking about those who have chosen to be dependent on others.  From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  I don’t know about you, but no one has a RIGHT to my skill, knowledge or money.  Not my patients, not my neighbors, and not you, Mr. President.


Come Jan. 1, 2014, when the healthcare law goes into full effect, I as a physician will have a very difficult decision to make.  Do I bow down to the Obamacare Manifesto, or do I stand with Samuel Adams and the “animating contest of freedom”?  Which will YOU choose? 

61. Legislation I’d Like to Propose

Even though Republicans lost the Senate and White House, I believe that they could score some major points with the 2014 and 2016 voters if they’d propose some much needed legislation.  Of course, it will never go further than the House, but it’d put Democrats in the Senate on the record for refusing to take it to a vote.


First, pass a bill that prohibits Congress from passing any law that does not apply to all members of Congress.  Actually, I think this should be a Constitutional Amendment.


Next, pass a true Balanced Budget Amendment.


Next, pass a bill requiring Term Limits.  This is what the founding fathers envisioned:  that citizens would serve in office for a few years, then step aside for others to do so.  No more career politicians holding Congressional seats for 40 years.  I think this should also be a Constitutional Amendment.


Next, pass a bill that prohibits Congress from using its taxing authority to force Americans to do or purchase something.  I’m not sure if this can be done, but give it a try.


Now, pass a bill that prohibits the United Nations from imposing laws on Americans that violate our Constitution.  Just for the record. 


Now, pass a bill prohibiting earmarks.  How about a bill that requires new legislation to focus on only one issue at a time instead of bills containing completely unrelated provisions.


There should also be a bill that requires 30 days of review and analysis for every 50 pages of legislation.  No more “let’s pass it so we can see what’s in it”.  The Congressional Research Service should post an explanation of proposed legislation in lay terms so Americans can understand what their representatives are getting them into.


I think all of these bills would be enthusiastically supported by the American people.  And when these bills are passed by the House, stage a massive marketing campaign so the American people can see who’s really on their side…and who isn’t.

60. What Republicans Need to Do for the Next Four Years

Now that the 2012 election is over, there are a few things I’d like to see the Republicans do over the next four years.


First, stop compromising with socialism!  “Reaching across the aisle sounds magnanimous”, but all it does is allow the progressives to move closer and closer to a socialized America.  You are in office to protect our Constitution—so do it.


Next, start defending capitalism instead of apologizing for it.  You have allowed the Democrats to stigmatize those of us who have achieved the American Dream thru hard work for far too long. 


Next, GET LOUD!  The progressives control the media, the White House, the Senate, and perhaps soon, the Supreme Court.  The voice of taxpaying Americans will never be heard without your participation.  We carried the message for you to get elected, now it’s your turn.  Republicans reaped the benefits of the Grassroots movements, now stand up and join with us in the ongoing battle for freedom.


Next, EXPOSE the Democrats and the mainstream media for what they are and for what they really want:  they want to destroy the very essence of what America stands for—Freedom, personal responsibility and property rights.  Use the social media.  Hire a bunch of third graders if you don’t know how to do it, but get it done.


Next, DEFINE YOURSELVES for a change!  Republicans have been on the defensive for every election.  You’ve been so preoccupied with attacking the Tea Party and each other that you’ve lost sight of the real issues:  our Constitution and national security.


One more thing:  stop talking to each other and the pundits and try talking to the PEOPLE for a change!


Lastly, try putting your country ahead of yourselves.  We did not send you to Washington or the state capital so you could become wealthy and powerful, or have a lifetime career in politics.  You say you love America—it’s time to prove it.

59. The Demise of “Thanks”

Friends of ours in South Dakota had a son who was severely injured in a rodeo accident.  The family had to go to a different state for surgery and rehabilitation treatment for several weeks.  When it was time to harvest their crops farmers throughout their community drove their combines and tractors to the family’s farm and worked thru the night to see that their friend’s crop was brought in.  Our friends didn’t demand that their neighbors help them and the government didn’t force anyone to do all that extra work.  Our friends were touched and grateful, and they personally thanked their neighbors for their generosity.


There are several groups of healthcare workers from the US that travel to other countries to perform procedures on children and adults that aren’t otherwise available to them.  These workers donate their time and money to these patients, no one is forcing them to do it; there are no government mandates. 


Why do people donate their precious time and hard-earned money?  Because there is a certain sense of fulfillment, of self-worth, of accomplishment when we are able to help someone in need.  One of the unique blessings of being a physician is the warm connection that comes from helping a patient during a difficult time; and having them sincerely thank you.  It is the interplay of giving and showing thanks that makes charity such a symbiotic experience.

 Think about this when you hear about increasing welfare programs, Obamaphones, advertisements for food stamps, and the class warfare of the haves and have-nots.  When the government acts as the middleman between giver and recipient, there is no charity, no volunteering, no connection, no sense of fulfillment, and there is definitely no “thank you”.  Instead, there is manipulation, entitlement and fraud; taxes instead of donations; coercion replaces empathy; government replaces humanity.  I wonder how our country would be if everyone receiving a government check had to stand face-to-face with a taxpayer and say “Thank You”.

58. My Brother’s Keeper

The Progressive Movement loves to quote the Bible when they are promoting socialized healthcare:  “we are our brother’s keeper”.  Well, it’s not surprising that they wanted to eliminate “God” from their Democrat platform, when they don’t seem to be able to quote the Bible accurately.  For clarification:  In Genesis, Cain kills his brother Abel out of jealousy.  When God asks Cain where his brother is, Cain replies, “How should I know?  Am I my brother’s keeper?”  


So from this smartalec comment, we now have an entire political movement meant to hold Americans hostage to the notion that we are responsible for the welfare of our fellow human beings.  And somehow, the government is supposed to be the great  arbiter of “fairness”, the modern-day Robin Hood, who justifiably takes from the greedy, self-serving workers, and gives to the poor, less fortunate, non-workers.  Let’s say it out loud for once—most of the “fortunate” in our country, got there, not by Luck, but by education and hard work.  And many, if not most, of the “less fortunate” in our country, have made poor choices that have rendered them “in need”.  They are not so much “less fortunate” as they are less motivated to be responsible for themselves.  Wow—not a politically correct thing to say, huh?  Who do I think I am?  Well, I’m someone who has spent the last 27 years working with the “less fortunate” in the healthcare system.  I’ve seen patients claiming to be unable to work, on “disability”, that drive to the clinic in a nice car, walk in wearing nice leather boots and coats, with acrylic nails, hair extensions, even breast implants.  We see patients in the ER with expensive gold chains, tattoos, multiple body piercings, and diamonds imbedded in their gold teeth, but who won’t pay their bill.  Some patients are “disabled” only because they are morbidly obese, so much so that they are unable to walk. 


The notion of Personal Responsibility is not politically profitable, but it is what the Bible really teaches:  that reward will come from hard work.  What are not commonly quoted are the many passages of the Bible that tell us not to be careless by lending or giving money to irresponsible and lazy people!  Unless we recognize the need for personal responsibility in our society, we will be destroyed by the demands of those who claim our property in the name of a God that they themselves don’t believe in.

It is beyond time to stand up for what the Bible really teaches.


57. American Dreams

Did you know that there almost wasn’t a first Thanksgiving?  The Pilgrims that we celebrate in our schools every year, actually nearly starved to death—because of socialism.  I wasn’t taught that in grade school—I’ll bet you weren’t either.  Apparently, the Pilgrims set up a collective farming system in 1620 after arriving in the New World.  No one owned their own land, all worked common ground, and no one was allowed to own their own crops.  As a result, individuals were not motivated to work harder than anyone else when they would receive no more for their efforts than anyone else; and so all worked according to the laziest of them, and they nearly died of starvation as a result. 


In 1623, the Pilgrims decided to try allotting parcels of land to individuals to farm.  Whatever they grew themselves, they got to keep.  Not surprisingly, the people were more motivated, all family members participated in the farming, and the harvest was bountiful.  The threat of starvation was alleviated by the institution of what our children are now taught is greedy and self-serving---private property rights.  It’s unbelievable to me that the Progressive Movement (that is, Obama and the Democrats) still, 400 years later, try to convince us that socialism can actually work.


America has been the land of opportunity for the oppressed throughout the world.  People don’t risk their lives to come here because of the welfare system, or nationalized healthcare—they come because here, in America, they have the chance to own their acheivements, to control their destinies, to make goals for themselves and their children.  The Progressive Movement represents the oppression that these immigrants fled.  They see what is happening in our country and they know exactly what it means and who is behind it.  They’ve watched as their own countries fell under the spell of the Utopian Ideal; only to find that, very quickly, that ideal was only beneficial to the elite ruling class—the Barack Obama’s, Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s.  They saw their relatives die prematurely because of socialized medicine, they watched as the government took over industries and private lands.  They endured crippling taxes and food shortages.  And then they risked all they had to escape it, because there was actually a country to escape to.  Where will WE go when America becomes a socialist country?  Today, please vote Barack Obama and the Progressive Democrats out of office!  Let’s keep our American Dream alive—for America…and the world.

56. The American Way

Hurricane Sandy lived up to its predictions.  New York, New Jersey, and areas throughout the mid-Atlantic have been devastated by the combination of northeastern snow and hurricane.  My heart goes out to all those affected and their families.  One of the greatest aspects of American society is her ability to respond to disaster.  Remember the tsunami in Thailand?  The earthquake in Haiti?  9/11?  Americans donated millions of dollars in private aid, their own money.  Hundreds of Americans travelled to help with relief efforts.  These were individuals who donated their time and money to make a difference in the lives of those in need.  As a people, we Americans have an amazing capacity for love and charity, a capacity that Democrats somehow think can only come from government.  They believe that only government, through taxation and bureaucracy, can distribute charity—like some great Robin Hood…taking from the greedy rich and giving to the downtrodden of the earth.  Unfortunately, whatever goes to the government first gets filtered through layers of agencies, to distribute as best benefits their agenda.  What this storm, and other natural disasters, should teach us is how much more efficient and meaningful it is to us a people to be able to give of our own free will, to those who will use the money to directly help those in need, in ways that will be most effective.  98% or so of what the Salvation Army takes in in private donations is used to directly help those in need.  It’s impossible to even calculate what tiny amount of what government takes in from taxes will ever go to really help individuals.   Imagine how much more good could be done if private charities like the Salvation Army had the billions of dollars we give to the government each year!  Milton Freidman said it well:  individuals spend their money more efficiently than other people spending their money; the least efficient is when government spends our money.  What if we paid 10% less in taxes to our wasteful government, and instead gave that 10% to private charities, or churches,  hospitals, or needy individuals directly?  That’s billions of dollars!  Imagine what could be accomplished!


We don’t need government to take care of our citizens in need.  They’ve been taking our money for decades and our needy are no better off.  We need government to let us keep more of our money so WE can take care of our citizens in need.  On Tuesday, let’s vote Obama and his corrupt Democrats out of office.  Then let’s get to work really solving the problems of our country… the American way. 

55. The Tao of Yogi

When I was a kid I remember seeing TV specials of Yosemite National Park.  They’d show pictures of bears walking up to visitors in their cars, and the visitors would be feeding the bears Cheetos and pork rinds and everyone was smiling and excited to be interacting with nature.  Isn’t that nice, helping all those bears get fattened up for the winter?  Well, Guess what happened over the next several years:  the bears got pretty fond of Cheetos and pork rinds, so they stopped foraging for berries in the woods.  They’d hang around campsites and cars, hotels and dumpsters looking for food.  Then the park rangers started telling people not to feed the bears anymore because it was interrupting their natural diet, and the bears weren’t supposed to live on Cheetos and pork rinds.  So the park put bear-proof locks on the dumpsters and had campers put their food in lockers at the campsites.  Well, the bears by then must have figured they were entitled to Cheetos and pork rinds, so they started ripping cars and tents open and breaking into houses, even attacking people, looking for Cheetos and pork rinds.  Good heavens, what’s happened to those cute, fuzzy bears??  So now, park rangers are  killing bears that intrude into areas where there are Cheetos and pork rinds.  On a recent trip to Yosemite, there were flyers and signs posted all over saying “Don’t feed the bears!  Feeding kills bears!”  The flyers went on to extoll the virtues of the bears foraging for themselves in the wild, and how humans shouldn’t interfere in their ecosystem. 


So, I have a question—If the park rangers can figure out that it’s bad for humans to interfere with the bears’ ecosystem by getting them hooked on Cheetos and pork rinds, why can’t our government understand that they are destroying the natural instinct for humans to interact in our free-enterprise system by putting them on welfare and endless unemployment benefits.  If bears learn that begging for handouts from tourists is easier than foraging for berries in the woods, why can’t society see that welfare and unemployment only serve to prevent Americans from providing for themselves.  Locking our citizens into lives of dependency on government destroys their opportunity to succeed. 


So next time you see riots in Greece by citizens protesting government austerity measures, think about Yogi the bear and what my husband calls the Occupy Jellystone Movement.


54. It’s One or the Other

Like it or not, we have a 2-party political system in this country.  Some countries divide up votes and representation among several competing political parties, and occasionally we’ll have Independents or Libertarians in the Congress, but it’s time to face the fact:  it’s either Republican or Democrat when it comes to control in our government.  I really like many Libertarian ideas, and there are parts of the Republican platform that I wish weren’t there.  Too bad.  Boo Hoo.  Get over it.


The issue this election can be, in my opinion, defined very simply:  either we vote to continue the path of government control over our lives through the Progressive Movement that President Obama and the Democrats represent; or we choose to take back responsibility for our lives and governance.  Gov. Romney was not my first choice for President, but I know in my heart that the way to freedom in America is NOT thru Obama and the Democrats.  I am willing to risk voting for Mitt Romney, and trust that he and Paul Ryan will work to stop America’s decline into socialism.  Over time, we should work to identify more citizens with integrity that will lead based on this country’s founding principles.  But if we are going to change the course of our country it must begin with this election and we have got to get the Democrats out of power to do it.  In order for them to be out of power, Republicans must take over the majority of the seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and they have to win the Presidency. That is the only way that legislation can be passed to stop Obamacare, Agenda 21, and the indoctrination of our country into socialism.  And the ONLY way to do that, like it or not, is to vote for Republicans.


If you think that it’s more virtuous to hold to your principles as a Libertarian and cast your vote for Gary Johnson, well guess what—you just voted for Barack Obama and the Democrats.  If you just can’t bring yourself to vote for Mitt Romney or your Republican candidate and choose to not vote at all, guess what—you just voted for Barack Obama and the Democrats.  So unless you WANT to vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats, just this once at least, vote for Mitt Romney and the Republicans.  That’s it, that’s the way it is, ain’t no other way, hold your nose if you must… get over it… I’m just sayin’…

52. Review of Real Reform Ideas

Obamacare needs to be completely repealed.  Period.  Just because someone likes the idea of a 26 year old kid being included on the parents’ healthcare plan—at the cost of other Americans by the way—is NOT justification for imposing the rest of this heinous law on the entire country.  Get rid of it—ALL of it.  Start over.


First, respect the 10th Amendment and let states decide what reforms will work best for them.  It is silly to think that a bunch of bureaucrats at the federal level can come up with a plan that will work for everyone.  Any government program works best for the people when it is closest to those people, as local as possible.  Next, get government out of the way and let the market system operate through competition and consumer choice.  Put decisions back in the hands of the patients and their doctors. 


Post prices for healthcare services so patients can compare and choose for themselves what they will and won’t have.  Allow patients to save money tax free for medical expenses and encourage employers to help them, like with a 401k.  Separate insurance plans from the workplace so patients can keep their plans when they change employers or quit working.  This will alleviate most of the problems with pre-existing conditions. If patients have continuous insurance and only change carriers, they shouldn’t be penalized for pre-existing conditions.


Eliminate state health insurance mandates and let patients choose what coverages they want to pay for.  Change the organization of risk pools, so people can share risk with larger groups, maybe even nationally.  Keep premium costs low for young, healthy people so they will be able to afford the premiums. 


Get the government out of the health insurance business by privatizing Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration healthcare systems.  Get rid of all of the ridiculous unnecessary government regulations and coding requirements that only serve to increase healthcare costs for everyone.  Some regulation is needed, but only a small fraction of what we now have.  And finally…Reform our medical malpractice system so that patients get compensated for real damage due to negligence, but doctors aren’t held hostage by greedy lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits that cost everyone.  WE CAN DO THIS FOLKS!!  JUST GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR WAY!!

51. Review of Obamacare

So now we know that under Obamacare everyone will NOT have health insurance, in fact, even more folks may be left without insurance.  Healthcare costs will NOT be lower; they will actually be higher.  We will ALL be paying more taxes, many of which will fall on the low and middle classes.  Employers will face new taxes and regulations, and their healthcare costs will be much higher.  This will cost thousands, if not millions of jobs.  Doctors and other healthcare providers will face higher costs due to skyrocketing regulations, and doctors will either sell their practices to hospital groups, or they will close their doors entirely.  Patients will have fewer choices and less control over their own health and lives due to rationing of care and government control over their healthcare decisions.  Insurance premiums will go up and access to quality healthcare will go down.  Medicare patients will have a harder time finding a provider to take care of them, and they will lose the option of Medicare Advantage.  The number of Medicaid patients will skyrocket and they will have very long wait times to see a physician.  The cost of medical devices and pharmaceuticals will increase, and the costs of many other goods will increase as well due to new taxes on these businesses.


The Obama administration is violating our Freedom of Religion by requiring everyone to pay for abortion and contraception coverage.  This is NOT about freedom of choice—this is about our Constitutional freedoms being ignored by a Progressive Movement that believes that they should have the authority to change our Constitution as they see fit—“a living Constitution” they call it.


And now, If the government wants us to buy something, the Supreme Court has  declared that they can force us to buy it just by taxing us until we comply.  Justice Roberts and the liberal court justices decided this was OK.  Another example of their idea of a “living Constitution”.


We are at a precipice, my fellow Americans.  Either we stop the Progressives in the Democrat Party now, or we free-fall into socialism.  It has been 100 years in the making, and it will not stop with Obamacare—but that IS, I believe, the point of no return. Remember, when the government controls your healthcare, it controls YOU.


53. Our Last Chance

The Progressive movement has been working diligently and in stealth for over 100 years in this country to turn America away from its Constitution, and toward a socialist “New World Order”.  Think about it:  The United Nations—a group of countries that mostly hate us, meeting in a building that we pay for, preventing us from protecting ourselves from our enemies;  trying to take over our Bill of Rights and our sovereignty as a nation through Agenda 21.  And Barack Obama and the Progressive Movement love it.


Our schools, through liberal government agencies and union influence, are indoctrinating our children by teaching “social justice” rather than true American History; “fairness” rather than founding Constitutional principles and property rights. Our medical students are taught to make healthcare decisions based on “the good of society as a whole” rather than on the good of the individual patient. Our President takes pride in “the life of Julia”—a fictitious, but only too real, woman who lives by the grace of government handouts thru every stage of her dependent life.  We’ve watched the staged “Occupy Movement”, wherein Americans who work hard to achieve success through great ideas and capitalism, who provide millions of jobs for other Americans, are vilified as greedy and evil. Our children are taught that anything “green” is good—except money. That something given by the government is better than something earned by the individual.  And guess what—they are believing it. 


Over the years, Americans have been talked into letting the government plan for their retirement through Social Security and Medicare.  And now that these programs are failing, senior citizens are frightened about their futures. If there are problems, we don’t look to ourselves to solve them, we look to government.  We have a capital full of politicians that are swollen with power, no longer servants of the people.   Make no mistake folks—we have allowed all of this to happen.  And only WE have the power to make it stop.   But we may only have one more chance.  If Barack Obama is re-elected, we may never be able to control our  government--ever again.


The generation of Americans that lived through the Great Depression and 2 World Wars has been called “The Greatest Generation”.  I agreed with that label…until now.  I believe that THIS generation of adults has the potential to stop the Progressive Democrat Movement and save the very essence of what America stands for.  If we can do that, starting with this election, WE will, in my opinion, be… “The Greatest Generation”.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

50. What You Can Do

50. What You Can Do         


One of our founders, Samuel Adams, said:  “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”   For several weeks now you have hopefully been listening to me opine about Obamacare and how this healthcare law would affect Americans, and how it threatens the very basis of our Constitution.  Mr. Don Crawford, President of Crawford Broadcasting, wanted to sponsor these commentaries because he understood how important it was to educate American voters at this crucial time in our country’s history.  Now, it’s your turn!


With great knowledge, comes great responsibility.  I urge each and every one of you to spread your knowledge about Obamacare to your family, friends and neighbors.  Don’t be afraid!  I have given over 100 talks on this subject, to many different audiences, and believe me:  everyone wants to know about Obamacare!  Even if they think it might be a good idea based on what they’ve heard from the media and the Obama administration, when they learn the truth, they are astounded.  I’ve even met self-confessed diehard liberals that do not like this law!  Remember that this law will affect every single American, and in my opinion, in mostly negative ways.


So, where to start?  First, the written version of my commentaries are posted on the Crawford Broadcasting website via the home page.  In addition, I now have a website that includes these commentaries, as well as my YouTube video series and a single page flyer that you can pass out to your friends and neighbors called “The Truth about PPACA/Obamacare”.  The video series and this flyer are purely educational—just real facts about the law that many Americans will find interesting and illuminating.  Consider posting a video, a commentary, or the flyer on your facebook page; or distribute the link to my website to your facebook friends.  You don’t have to have all the answers, and you don’t have to be an expert on Obamacare!  Just send them the information and let the dialogue begin!  Give people the facts and let them make their choices.  If you get stuck, just contact me thru Crawford Broadcasting or my website:  jqvecchio.blogspot.com.  Don’t expect others to do this work for you!  You can be the key to the outcome of this election!  As a great friend of mine said:  “It’s time to find the George Washington in all of us!” the governance of any other.”

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

49. The Constitution is Our Protector

49.  The Constitution is Our Protector


In 1776 the American colonies made a list of complaints about their king not respecting their laws; not allowing them to have a say in their own governance; making them pay too much in taxes; creating bureaucracies that harassed and burdened them;  exposing them to “dangers of invasion”; and “fundamentally altering” their forms of government.  This document was the Declaration of Independence.  These men risked their lives and fortunes to fight for the opportunity to start a new country; one whose own citizens could determine how they would be treated, protected and governed.  They researched centuries of literature and governments “in Order to form a more perfect Union”, establish a system of justice, provide for the protection of the country and its citizens, allow for personal freedom and individual rights.  This research resulted in the Constitution of the United States. Three branches of government (Legislative, Judicial and Executive) were established in order to provide “Checks and Balances”, so that no one entity could gain too much control. 


Let’s see how that’s going…

*We now have elected representatives that spend their entire careers as politicians.  You get “access” to your representatives by making donations to their re-election campaigns.  They use legislation to buy votes.  This was never intended by our founders.  Elected officials were meant to serve for a time then go back to private life, allowing others to then serve:  hence “Government by the people”. 

*Congress and the President pass laws that violate the Consititution that they have sworn to uphold.

*Our President will not enforce our country’s legal borders as required by our Constitution.

*We have government agencies that are not part of the legislative branch of government, but they are making “laws” that affect we the citizens on a daily basis; rules that “harass and burden”. 

*We have a President who is using Executive Orders to bypass Congress and the Legislative process outlined in our Constitution.


The Constitution is our Protector.  It was established to protect “we the people” from a government gone awry.   The Declaration of Independence asserts that it is the duty of the citizens to get rid of a government that no longer provides for their protection.  That time has come.  Barack Obama and his Progressive Democrats must go.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

48. Thank you Justice Roberts!

48.  Thank you Justice Roberts!


When the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare came down, the country was dumb-struck.  The political analysts and constitutional lawyers were in a tizzy trying to decide what it meant and how to think about it.  Many defended his decision as a brilliant long-term strategy; most declared it an indefensible case of judicial activism.  Here’s what I think:  If Roberts had ruled the Individual Mandate unconstitutional and agreed that the entire Obamacare law be struck down, I am convinced that Americans would have gone back to sleep, politically speaking.  If he had ruled the Individual Mandate constitutional under the Commerce Clause, we’d have lost untold freedom as Americans and most would never have understood what happened.  But Americans DO know what a TAX is!  And they now understand that they can’t rely on the Supreme Court to save them from Obamacare anymore.   I have a series of YouTube videos on the internet explaining Obamacare.  The number of people watching those videos quadrupled in the 2 months after the Supreme Court decision.  I used to give talks to groups of 20-30 folks, now the groups are 100 or more.  Americans are getting involved in the political process like never before!   If Justice Roberts hadn’t ruled the way he did, I don’t think any of this would be happening.


One of Justice Roberts’ decisions was applauded by all who oppose Obamacare:  he ruled that the federal government couldn’t force states to expand Medicaid enrollment.  As of last August, only 11 states had decided to expand Medicaid as required by Obamacare.  Other states are hesitating, or refusing to expand due to the millions or even billions of dollars it will costs their taxpaying residents.  If states refuse to expand their Medicaid roles, Obamacare will not work, and millions more Americans will be unable to afford the Obamacare insurance policies, and be left without insurance.


Of course, we are now left with that pesky “tax” ruling that says Congress can force us to buy things we don’t want, merely by taxing us until we comply.  The way I see it, if we can get Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, one of the first laws they should pass can say that Congress CANNOT use its taxing powers to force Americans to buy anything.  That’s why we have 3 branches of government folks!  And in the future, let’s be more careful about who we put into office.   Justice Roberts said that too—and he was right!

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

47. Life after Obamacare

47.  Life after Obamacare


So let’s say Republicans win the House, the Senate and the Presidency, and they’ve held to their word and repealed Obamacare.  What now?


Well, first let’s think about what repeal might mean?  The law may be gone, but Obama and his team have had 2 ½ years to enact many parts of it—agencies, departments, grant programs, panels, commissions, rules and regulations that took effect as early as September 2010.  What happens to those?  In January 2011, the newly Republican-controlled House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare “as if it had never been passed”.   Even then, it would have been difficult to figure out what needed to be reversed, and IF it could be.  Once a government program is in place, it is very difficult to get rid of it.  One agency is intertwined with another, which in turn depends on employees in another agency, and so forth.  It’s like picking a burr out of a cotton ball.  That said, I’m more than willing to do whatever it takes to destroy all remnants of this heinous beast!


Now, when it comes to addressing legislation for real market-based healthcare reform, Congress needs to, first and foremost, recognize and respect the 10th Amendment to the Constitution—Whatever powers are not expressly granted to the federal government by the Constitution, are hereby granted to the states and the people.  Healthcare, remember, is not one of the powers granted to the federal government.  In spite of that, over the years, the fed has been granted power over Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital system.


So, in my opinion, Congress should clearly outline what is and isn’t their responsibility when it comes to healthcare:  they get Medicare and the VA; the individual states and We the People get the rest.  I suggest that we privatize Medicare insurance coverage as outlined in the Ryan-Wyden plan; and we privatize healthcare for our ex-military and veterans.  We let the states decide whether they want to have government-run healthcare or regulated free-market systems or a little of each.  Congress and the President should get rid of the multitude of unnecessary regulations that burden healthcare providers, businesses, and technology companies.  Allow the sale of insurance across state lines and nationally; and oh yeah--make a law prohibiting the federal government from forcing citizens to purchase health insurance.  Thank You, Justice Roberts!

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

46. How to Repeal Obamacare?

46.  How to Repeal Obamacare?


So we’ve talked about how laws are typically made, and how the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010 abused that process in order to make Obamacare the “Law of the Land”.  Not too many laws of this magnitude have ever been repealed.  So how do we get rid of it? 


The typical way to repeal this law would be for the House to vote to repeal, requiring a simple majority vote.  There will likely be enough Republicans elected to the House to accomplish this, and there may even be some Democrats that will vote to repeal.


Next, we need 60 Senators to vote to repeal.  Unfortunately, there is only a slim chance that enough Republicans will be elected to reach this number, since only 1/3 of the Senate seats are up for election this year.  It is possible, but doubtful, that Democrat Senators will vote to repeal.


Finally, and absolutely mandatory, is the election of a Republican President, since Obama will definitely veto any attempt to repeal and there will certainly not be enough Senators to override a Presidential veto.


So what if Republicans only win 51 Senate seats??  How about using the same tactics to repeal this law that were used to pass it??  Sounds fair to me!  Unfortunately, there are Republican congressmen that may not agree to do that.  On the other hand, the Supreme Court decision that the Individual Mandate is a TAX, not a penalty, should allow the Reconciliation Rule to be used, which only requires 51 votes.  But there are Republican leaders that claim they have to have a budget in place before they can use that rule.  Really??  The Senate hasn’t approved a budget for over 3 years!  There was no budget when the Democrats used that rule to pass Obamacare!   What gives??


This is where We the People come in!  If we put Republicans in office to repeal Obamacare, it is their duty to represent their constituents and do their job!!  How dare they balk at repairing the injustice the Democrats have done to our legislative system?  We need to remind them that they work for us!  And we will need to keep reminding them when it comes to ideas for real reform!  It’s time to put We the People back into the legislative process!! 

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

45. How Obamacare Became the “Law of the Land”

45.  How Obamacare Became the “Law of the Land”


So how did Obamacare become a law.  It’s actually pretty interesting.  If you recall, the Democrats in the House weren’t able to pass their version of a Healthcare law.  Because all revenue bills have to originate in the House of Representatives, the Senate found a bill that met those qualifications: HR3590, a military housing bill.  They took out essentially all of the wording of it, and turned it into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.  It gets better.


The Senate at that time had 60 Democrats, just enough to pass Obamacare.  After the bill passed the Senate tho, Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy died.  In his place, Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown.  That meant that, if the House made any changes to the bill, the Senate wouldn’t have the necessary number of votes to pass the corrected bill, since they knew no Republicans would vote for Obamacare.  So they made a deal with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives:  the House would pass the Senate bill without any changes, IF the Senate agreed to pass a separate bill by the House that made changes to the Senate version of Obamacare.  This second bill was called the Reconciliation Act of 2010.  It made a bunch of detail changes, and added some things.  So the House passed PPACA, the Senate bill, as well as their Reconciliation Act.  So now PPACA was ready for the President to sign, but the Senate still needed to pass the Reconciliation Act from the House.  Confused yet?


Now, remember that the Senate only had 59 votes to pass the Reconciliation Act since Republican Scott Brown replaced Democrat Ted Kennedy.  In order to pass the Reconciliation Act, therefore, the Democrats in the Senate decided to change the rules.  They declared that they could use the “Reconciliation Rule”—this is a different “reconciliation” than the House bill now.  This rule was only used for budget item approval, so that budget items could be passed with only 51 votes in the Senate, not the usual 60.  This rule was never intended to be used for legislation of the magnitude of Obamacare.  Too bad… they used it anyway.  So then both of the “Acts” passed both houses of Congress and were then signed by President Obama.  All done by Democrats without a single Republican vote in favor of it.  To quote Democrat Rep. Alcee Hastings of the House Rules Committee during the bill process:  “We’re making up the rules as we go along”.  They certainly couldn’t have made this law without it.  How do you feel about that?       

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

44. How Laws are Made

44.  How Laws are Made


Hopefully, if you’ve been listening to my commentaries, you’re ready to get rid of Obamacare.  But how does that work?  How are laws made and repealed?


First, whatever party wins control of the House or Senate gets to be in charge of all of the various committees in Congress.  That’s absolutely key. The committee chairs get to decide what bill proposals will be heard in the committees and what will actually be voted on.  Without this crucial step, no bill can become law.  Just because a bill passes one of the 2 houses of Congress does not mean that it is, or ever will be, a law.  That’s why nothing has happened in the Senate for the past 2 years:  the Democrats control the Senate committees, so, even though the House passes a bill, the Democrats running the Senate will not allow Republican-supported bills to even be voted on.  So none of them has a chance to become actual law. 


Now, each new Congress that comes in every 2 years gets to make up their own rules about how they will pass laws.  They are supposed to abide by the Constitution of course, but the Democrat-controlled Congress that passed Obamacare pushed the limits of that flexibility to the max.  We’ll talk about that tomorrow.   Typically, any bill that involves raising money, or taxing citizens, has to originate in the House of Representatives.  If it passes the House, and the Senate passes it, it goes to the President to be signed into law.  If the Senate makes changes to the bill, then passes it with those changes, it then goes on to a Conference Committee: this consists of members of both parties in both houses of Congress.  Here the wording of the law is reviewed and corrected as needed.  After the Conference Committee, it goes back to the House to be voted on again, and if passed, it goes to the Senate for a vote.  If it passes that, it goes to the President to be signed into law.  Obamacare did not go thru these typical steps—almost none of them!  In addition, not a single Republican voted for this law!  That has never happened for a law of this magnitude.  Even Social Security and Medicare had bi-partisan support.


So that’s how laws are supposed to be made in our country, according to our Constitution. Tomorrow, we’ll see how this process was abused to force Obamacare on We the People.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

43. Romneycare Update

43.  Romneycare Update


Commonwealth Care in Massachusetts, also called “RomneyCare” was passed by a Democrat-controlled state legislature.  According to Galen Institute, then Gov. Mitt Romney tried to make several changes in the law to increase free-market involvement, and he opposed the Individual Mandate, but was overridden by the Democrats in his state.


Since Romneycare was passed, healthcare costs have skyrocketed.  Massachusetts now has the highest per capita healthcare costs in the country.  So what are the Democrats in the state legislature doing now to control these costs?  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal last August, “all Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and providers must now register with a new state bureaucracy” in order to get keep their licenses to practice medicine.  These providers will have to do extensive reporting on things like their financial status, compliance with “quality measures”, market share, etc.  In addition, now get this:  “no registered provider is allowed to make any material change to its operations or governance structure”.  That means that the state will have control over how  providers runs their own businesses.  If a doctor is ordering too many tests, or spending too much on patient care, the state will force them to submit a “performance improvement plan” that then has to be approved by the commission.  Oh, and it gets worse!   Doctors that don’t comply with the commission’s requirements can be fined $500,000.   Apparently, the “left” in Massachusetts was upset that the government wouldn’t have MORE control over providers!!   I have a request—will the last doctor to leave Massachusetts please turn out the lights?


Consider now that the Democrat law called Romneycare was the template in many ways for the Democrat law, Obamacare.  Obamacare already ties provider reimbursement to compliance with “quality measures” that government bureaucrats will develop, and it organizes providers into Accountable Care Organizations that will tell doctors how much care they can give their patients. 


Democrats aren’t interested in quality patient care—they are only interested in having total control over our healthcare system…1/6 of our economy.  The only way to stop them is to vote them out of office!   A Republican House, Senate and President is the only chance we have to get rid of this agenda.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

42. WHO study2

42.  WHO study2


We’ve been discussing the often-quoted WHO study that ranked the US 37th among 191 countries in healthcare.  This study became the reason that Democrats insisted that America needed Obamacare.  


The overall level of healthcare ranking was determined by using the criteria we talked about yesterday:  life expectancy, financial fairness, and distribution of healthcare and responsiveness… and then taking into account things like literacy and overall healthcare expenditures.  Well, consider that the US has a huge problem with malpractice.  Congressman and physician Tom Price from Georgia estimates that 25% of healthcare expenses in the US are due to defensive medicine—tests and treatments that aren’t necessarily needed, but that doctors order to protect themselves from malpractice lawyers.  That makes our healthcare that much more expensive.  So that makes us rank lower.


The WHO also used literacy rates, to decide what countries provided the best healthcare.  So the US scored lower overall partly because of our failing education system!  


It’s funny that nowhere in the WHO rankings was patient behavior considered.  Smoking, diet, sexually transmitted disease…none of these were considered.  The US was also penalized for all of the money we spend on keeping premature infants alive; and for expensive cardiac bypass operations or dialysis that save lives and keep our friends and family members active for years.  Many of the countries that ranked higher don’t even try to save these people, some leave premature babies to die.


So the WHO study penalizes the US for giving patients state of the art technology and treatments, beautiful healthcare facilities and flight-for-life.  They especially don’t like the idea that we give our citizens CHOICES, and that the US free-market allows people the ability to become wealthy enough to take advantage of those choices.  Socialism preaches “fairness” and “equality”.  What they mean is that they want to eliminate exceptionalism and opportunity for excellence.  Think about this the next time you hear Barrack Obama preaching about “fairness”.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)