Peanut Butter 2387

What if purchasing medical products and services were like buying peanut butter? Grocery stores have several brands and varieties: smooth, chunky, old-fashioned, natural, organic, no added sugar, reduced fat, no-stir, and pre-mixed with jelly with clearly marked prices ranging from $1.75 for the store’s generic brand to $7 for the over-priced Yuppie brand. After carefully examining the labels, our shopper chose a 16-ounce, $5 jar of no-added-sugar peanut butter. She paid the cashier $5 for the peanut butter and went home.

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s2smodern

Hoaxes and scams have been dominating the news lately. We have a marginally known actor faking a hate crime supposedly to raise his Hollywood profile. His attempt to claw his way to the middle could have resulted in race riots, injury, and death. His punishment? All charges dropped.

The scandal about Hollywood and other elites buying their children’s way into top-rated universities really hit home. I remember when I had tutored some recent Vietnamese immigrants for a debate contest to win a scholarship for college. I could only hope that their hard work was rewarded and not wiped away by special favors bestowed on the “haves.”

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s2smodern

The new Medicare for All bill (H.R. 1384) has come and hopefully will go the way of the pet rock. Everybody now knows the basics: the government will take care of all medical, dental, vision, pharmacy, and long-term care services with no out-of-pocket expenses. The bill prohibits parallel private insurance, and has the glaring absence of a financing mechanism.

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s2smodern

The unveiling of the ballyhooed House of Representatives Medicare for All Act of 2019 bill will be met with chants of “equal healthcare for all!” While the country will be forced into a government-run program, the limousine liberals and champagne socialists will keep their array of medical care choices — whether on or off the record.

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s2smodern

New York’s Catholic Democratic Governor had the World Trade Center in lights to celebrate its abortion-on-demand-until-the-day-of-birth law. This law was framed as empowering women through guaranteeing “Reproductive Health.” Women in New York must be really powerful since New York’s abortion rate is twice the national average. This and eight other similar state laws were largely ignored as merely codifying Roe v Wade. But the state of Virginia’s Democratic pediatrician governor’s ghoulish advocacy for abortion until delivery of the infant was jaw-dropping as he explained that killing the infant after birth was allowed.

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s2smodern

I ran into a 20-something fellow wearing a T-shirt that said “I love being black.” I had a wave of fond nostalgia remembering how my mother began our outings with “I’m free, black, and 21 – let’s do it!”

What happened to that great attitude? We have allowed it to be hijacked by the likes of race baiters and charlatans. It remains an embarrassment that Al Sharpton was able to parlay a giant provable lie into hosting a TV show. It seems the media’s flavor of the day is anyone who is black, female or new to this country. Worse yet, white males are painted as evil for the sake of political gain with no qualms about the negative effect on social and race relations. (Beware: the white male-hating circle will ultimately engulf strong black men who support their families.)

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s2smodern

My new year’s resolution is to expose the hypocrisy of the morally superior politicians whose election strategy was to pretend they cared about crafting policies in the country’s best interest.

Take “the wall” on our southern border. Ignoring the opinion of the border patrol agents (51 percent of whom are Hispanic) that it would “without a doubt” be a helpful tool, Nancy Pelosi and her people claimed it would be ineffective in stopping everybody. That’s like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopping its flu vaccination campaign because the vaccine is only 40-60 percent effective.

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s2smodern

Paris is in flames over a fuel tax increase that would pile 30 cents onto the $7.06 per gallon price paid by citizens whose average monthly salary is $2,753.This burdensome “carbon tax” on the middle class is intended to help meet Europe’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thereby halt global warming or climate change. It appears that the 21st century French Revolution has begun. This time, Brussels is sending in tanks to protect the new elite and its agenda.

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s2smodern

After the election, sappy statements on social media exhort us to bow down in praise that the first minority this or the first woman that was elected and how this means we have catapulted our nation out of the Neanderthal era. Funny how no one mentions Young Kim’s victory – but she is not a Democrat so it does not count. It’s funny how no one cheered women of color when Condoleeza Rice was secretary of state. Instead she was called an Aunt Jemima and a house nigga’ in a nationally syndicated cartoon.

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s2smodern

Healthcare is the political football of the midterm elections. But unlike the game of football, there are no rules. And the goal is to win – not for the benefit of the team (the voters) but to gain status and power. Politicians are looking for a sound bite that catapults them into the spotlight. Spartacus was a dud. People like free stuff. Let’s try Medicare-for-All! Of course, the ads won’t mention that taxes will be doubled and private health insurance is essentially outlawed.

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s2smodern

Our legislators have been at their worst over the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. What a shameful display: condescending, arrogant show-boating senators questioning him in a manner reminiscent of the Grand Inquisitor. The only things missing from this B-grade movie were the rubber hoses and interrogation lights. Some of us remember that you could count on one hand the “nay” votes for the confirmations of ACLU attorney Ruth Bader Ginsberg and known conservative Antonin Scalia.

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s2smodern

During the Supreme Court oral arguments in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to purchase health insurance, people laughed when the late Justice Scalia asked whether the government could make you buy broccoli. Never happen? The laughable has become reality. A California bill awaiting the governor’s signature forbids restaurants from serving any beverage other than water or unflavored milk with kiddie meals. As of yet, the meal’s purchasers, unlike the restaurant, won’t be fined for ordering another beverage for their child.

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s2smodern

In the original Mission: Impossible series, against all odds, through brilliant strategizing the good guys thwart stealth communist plots to undermine democracies. In trying to provide affordable, quality, personalized medical care, independent physicians face seemingly insurmountable obstacles: digging out from under piles of electronic paperwork, breaking free of third-party red tape, dodging hospital buyouts, and shielding patients from data mining and privacy intrusions.

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s2smodern

The days of trusting your legislators to have your best interests at heart are in the rear view mirror. Apparently, their main interest is parroting the buzzwords of the moment to get elected and then being too busy banking lobbying money to listen to the voters. Our legislators have become spectators who wait for the perfect moment to pounce on their political “enemy” and then go on cable news shows to boast about it.

The “us against them” attitude, punctuated by hyperbolic, apocalyptic rhetoric closes the door to finding solutions. Our interests would be better served by having town hall meetings where voters could state their concerns, air their differences, and learn what legislators are doing about their issues. Caution: meetings at 9 a.m. on Wednesday when paid activists are guaranteed to outflank the working general public are prohibited.

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s2smodern

People used to know who their doctor was. His name and phone number were on the wall or the refrigerator next to the telephone. He was there for you and could manage most of your problems.

When I was about 13, my mom took me to our pediatrician for belly pain. He was on his way out the door, but he stopped to take care of me. He diagnosed appendicitis based on history and physical examination. He called his favorite surgeon (“Billy,” a Tucson legend), who came from the golf course to meet me in the emergency room. Within hours, my red-hot appendix was in a jar. My parents paid the hospital bill ($150—10 days’ pay for a construction laborer) as I was discharged a few days later.

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s2smodern

According to the Oath of Hippocrates, physicians have the duty to advise their patients according to the best of their ability and judgment. In In most cases, most physicians recommend vaccination, believing that for a particular patient, the benefit exceeds the risk. Patients or their parents, however, have the right to decline to follow their doctor’s advice.

But with vaccination, government restricts this right. Every time there is a measles outbreak somewhere there is an outcry to restrict vaccine exemptions, to protect the public—and, just coincidentally, vaccine manufacturers.

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s2smodern
Mike Scruggs