Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Condensations from Here and There

President-elect Obama has said that he would promote "wind farms" as one way to create more jobs. This idea is consistent with popular wisdom about wind energy and, therefore, sounded good while Mr. Obama was in the Senate and during his Presidential campaign.

The problem for Mr. Obama now is that this popular wisdom is wrong. Contrary to reports issued by various wind energy advocates, "wind farms" provide few energy, environmental, or economic benefits and create very few jobs - far fewer than could be achieved if the money were used for other investments. Also, wind energy has adverse impacts that advocates like to ignore.

The wind industry, its lobbyists, and other wind advocates have, for more than a decade, greatly overstated the environmental, energy and economic benefits of wind energy and understated or ignored the very high true cost of electricity from wind energy as well as its adverse environmental, ecological, economic, scenic and property value impacts. With assistance from DOE and NREL (using tax dollars), the industry has misled the public, media, and government officials. They have secured federal and state policies, tax breaks and subsidies that have:

Shifted billions of dollars in tax burden and other costs from "wind farm" owners to ordinary taxpayers and electric customers, and misdirected billions in capital investment dollars to energy projects ("wind farms") that produce very little electricity - which electricity is low in value because it is intermittent, volatile, unreliable with little of it, if any, available on hot weekday afternoons in July and August when electricity is most needed and has high value.

During the last 4 years, the facts about wind energy's true costs and benefits have begun to emerge, even in the media, but they have yet to be understood by most government officials who continue to parrot wind energy advocates.

America’s health care sector is wasteful and inefficient. Americans spend twice the amount that other advanced nations spend on medical care, yet we’re not noticeably healthier. Researchers estimate that one third of U.S. medical spending produces nothing at all — that’s about $700 billion wasted per year.

The "Church of Universal Coverage" is telling us that national health insurance will stimulate economic growth.

It also doesn’t seem to square with the facts. If anything, the economy appears to grow faster when Congress rejects universal coverage.

After Congress defeated President Harry Truman’s proposal for national health insurance in 1949, the nation enjoyed four years of robust economic growth.

The defeat of the Clinton Health Security Act in 1994 was followed by six years of robust economic growth.

The largest step Congress has taken toward universal coverage was when it launched Medicare and Medicaid in 1966. Real economic growth averaged 5.7 percent in the four years prior to 1966, but only 2.7 percent in the four years that followed.

Today’s "USA Today" tells the story of “Phyllis Smith, a 60-year-old uninsured seamstress in Yantis, Texas, [who] goes without medications for high blood pressure and diabetes because she can’t afford a visit to her doctor to get her prescriptions refilled.” The article quotes Smith:

"With the condition this world is in right now, [Barack Obama] has his hands full…. Whether I get my high-blood-pressure medicine is not going to be high on his priority list."

Sort of argues against giving some distant ruler that much control over your life, doesn’t it?

And who knows? Were those distant rulers not doing so much to make health insurance more expensive, perhaps Smith wouldn’t be uninsured.

Were they not doing so much to make routine care so expensive, perhaps Smith could afford that doctor’s visit, or have a nurse practitioner adjust her prescription.
Were they not doing so much to make prescription drugs more expensive, perhaps Smith could better afford her medications too.

Investor’s Business Daily reports on two Congressional Budget Office reports released yesterday. Both were launched and largely completed under the tenure of then-CBO director Peter Orszag, who has since been tapped to direct President-elect Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget.

Before becoming Barack Obama’s budget chief, Peter Orszag gave his future boss an indirect warning Thursday that health care reform will be neither cheap nor easy.

“(The first report) shows that many of the things that Obama and Congressional Democrats think will save costs, such as preventive care and information technology, won’t really save much money,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “It also shows that covering the uninsured will cost a lot of money.”

Better preventive care and health IT would save Medicare $850 million and $22 billion, respectively, over 10 years. Over that time, Medicare is expected to cost $6.7 trillion….

“If you read between the lines, [Orszag is] saying that health care reform will be a blood bath, not quick and easy,” said Cannon.

Cannon went on to say in "USA Today" that all the forces who previously were agaisnt health care reform, forces such as National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Service Employees International Union, and a left-leaning advocacy group, Families USA, "want to be at the table because they don’t want to be on the menu,” Cannon says of the interest groups. “Sooner or later, someone is going to be on the menu. You can’t do comprehensive reform without goring someone’s ox.”

If Obama's administration pulls off this trillion dollar socialistic debacle, it won't only be people like Phyllis Smith who lose out. The socialist health machine in Canada leaves out many people, people who must "line up" on the calendar to get basic and comprehensive care. Those who want surgery to fix such things as a previously broken nose, or limbs that work but were disfigured by such diseases as polio, may have them reclassified as "elective surgery" or "cosmetic surgery," and sent to the back of the line.
The back of the line will be the only place left when American doctors begin leaving for places that don't tell them how to do their jobs, and how much to charge. Time was when that place was America, and Canadian doctors fled here.

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2008 by Curtis Edward Clark and Naturalist Academy Publishing ®



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