Friday, March 31, 2017

Ending Obamacare Is Easy: Just Ignore Congress | The American Spectator - by DONALD DEVINE

Executive orders from President Trump will do the trick.
All Democrats and an odd coalition of very moderate and very conservative Republican Congressmen in effect voted that Obamacare was preferable to Trump-Ryan health reform.
President Donald Trump was not pleased: “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode,” leaving it “totally the property of the Democrats.” When folks “get a 200 percent increase next year — or a 100 percent or 70 percent” surge that’s “their fault.”
But the media will blame him and the Republicans regardless, so what should the president do?
He was on the right track to ignore the dysfunctional Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, and let nature take its course on healthcare for a while. The House cannot fix it, so its leadership should back off from a planned second attempt next week.
The fact is the individual insurance that was the focus of the defeated House bill is a tiny part of health coverage. Medicaid, which was a part of the proposal, and Medicare insure almost forty percent of the population and a tenth or so are uninsured. But among the other half privately insured 88 percent are covered through their employer and only twelve percent by individual insurance. And, as with individual insurance, large employers who do not offer benefits that meet expensive Federal “minimum value and affordability standards” can be penalized.
After the individual Exchanges collapsed on day one, even President Barack Obama realized the better part of valor was to delay implementation of Obamacare for employer-provided private health insurance, and to defer the so-called Cadillac tax on generous high-benefit health insurance. President Obama further postponed the enforcement of penalties until 2017, leaving his successor president to handle complaints.
All those academic and journalist intellectuals, Democratic politicians, health lobbyists, and foundation experts — all extolling the benefits of Obamacare — and do not forget Congressmen with most of their premium paid by the taxpayer — are just now fully experiencing the joys of Obamacare. Indeed, most of the upper-middle class liberals who want Obamacare passionately for their more unfortunate brothers and sisters may not be so anxious for it themselves or for letting Obamacare’s Cadillac tax go into effect to further increase their health insurance burden.
Although almost completely ignored by the media and in the Congressional debates, the consequences of Obamacare for the employer market are just as dire as for the individual one. A 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that, without counting the majority of premium costs borne by the employer directly, premiums for individuals under employer insurance increased by 20 percent for a family to $5,277, with deductibles exploding an incredible 63 percent and deductibles of $1,000 or more increasing by 51 percent between 2011 and 2016, increasing the de facto cost to each one of $7,000 or more per year.
Now it is the elites’ turn to see what the country has been complaining about.
President Trump did reach out to Democrats, but they want the tax penalty as the stick that forces young, healthy people to sign up to balance the sick people who know they need insurance, providing some balance on costs. But the tax penalty is one of Obamacare’s most unpopular features. Enforcement of the penalty has been delayed by Democrats so far, and to defer to them President Trump would have to override President Obama’s own policy of delaying penalties, hardly possible politically. Without the young, premiums would certainly surge dramatically.
By simply continuing his predecessor’s policy of delaying enforcement, more and more health insurers will be forced to abandon an increasingly unprofitable business.
Even if he approved enforcement, the insurance companies still need the Obamacare cost-sharing subsidy payments that are at issue in the lawsuit filed by the House of Representatives against the executive branch, challenging its authority to make such payments. Could the president fight the House and his voters in the name of subsidizing big health insurers $7 to $10 billion a year? If he did he would lose all credibility with his base.
On the other hand, all Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price — who is now the defendant in the House suit — need do, is concede the House was correct legally, and the subsidy ends. Congress does not need to do a thing and Obamacare becomes unprofitable and expires.
The other possibility is for the president to again simply follow his predecessor and reform Obamacare through executive regulation alone — as President Obama did at least forty times. President Trump would need only three modifications.
First, a main sticking-point for conservatives has been overly permissive and expensive mandated benefits, especially for unproven types of preventive care. While these benefits are broadly listed in law, it is up to the HHS secretary to specify them. There is plenty of room to review and limit the number and type of specific requirements and their resulting expenses for both individual and employer plans, and Secretary Price would know just how to do it right.
Second, the most costly Obamacare provision was granting many above the poverty line access to the Medicaid entitlement. President Obama has already granted waivers allowing states flexibility under the program. Sec. Price could do the same, and much, much more. He has already revealed he would grant waivers to states that want to experiment more broadly. Such things as work requirements for the able-bodied, the less-poor paying premiums, and even leaving most regulation to the states are possible under such waivers.
Finally, President Obama has already granted broad waivers of individual tax penalties in “hardship” cases, including the harm of losing one’s old health insurance, which everyone has done by now. So, Sec. Price could simply rule that all Americans deserve hardship exemptions since they were promised they could keep their old insurance and in fact they could not. No one would be left penalized under Obamacare and all would be free to go in a different direction.
Indeed, President Trump signed an executive order in January directing HHS to minimize the regulatory burdens of Obamacare, to take steps to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay its rules.” All his administration needs to do is act.
Either nature takes its course and Obamacare explodes or through executive regulation it is radically redesigned. Either way a market would pretty much be left to develop under state regulation to work its way out of the present morass.
Imagine relying upon freedom? What a concept!
Donald Devine is a senior scholar at the Fund for American Studies, the author of America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition, and Constitution, and ran the nation’s largest employer health insurance plan under President Ronald Reagan as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management during the first Reagan term.

MSM sits on Evelyn Farkas story hoping their suppression will make it go away - By Judi McLeod

The mainstream media, including its alphabet television news networks, the New York Times and Washington Post are sitting this morning on the bombshell revelation that ex-Obama official Evelyn Farkas appears to have owned up in her own words to have participated in well-planned surveillance of the Trump team conducted by the Obama administration which buried their dirty work deep in the federal bureaucracy. Read The Swamp.
Farkas, who left her position as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia in the Obama White House in 2015, and who went on to join the Hillary Clinton rat pack campaign team, spoke openly about her personal knowledge of Obama national security officials rushing to preserve as much intelligence as they could before Trump took office and directed that information to Congress:
“I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” Farkas, who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said. (FoxNews March 29, 2017)
“Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.”

Proof positive that 100 percent of the mainstream media ignored what should be the most important story of the year, in transparent attempts to suppress it, comes from the Google list below.
(Video at link below)
Only Twenty-two news outlets—all of them Conservative—reported on the Farkas story. 
At press time, a Polish news outlet (Interia) appears as number 7 on the list and a Vietnamese one, (Báo Đấu thầu) appears as the list’s number 9.
The Obama administration was spying on Donald Trump while he was still a candidate in attempts to guarantee Hillary Clinton’s presidential election victory.
Too sad for words for American readers, television viewers and radio listeners, that the MSM couldn’t give a damn.

The Fall of Donald Trump (and Why It Ain’t Happening) - By J. Robert Smith

The buzzards are out. These are a subspecies, Bueto Nevertrump vulpinus. The carcass of healthcare reform has them circling. No, actually, they believe it’s the carcass of Donald Trump’s presidency. Repeal and replace dies, so the automatics kick in. “Trump’s failed. He was never up to the job. His presidency hangs by a thread!” And the variation: “It’s good Trump failed, ‘cause Paul Ryan’s bill was a vehicle for socialized medicine. Trump’s an unscrupulous lib. He’s a pretender, and now there’s more proof!”  
Not proof, mind you, of House GOP incompetence. Not proof of a weak speaker and flabby leadership team. Cut ‘em slack. House Republicans only had seven years to figure out healthcare reform and get their act together. The failure belongs to Trump, and shows that his presidency is beginning to unravel… 40-odd days into his administration. The next three years and 325 days are just epilogue.
Reports of Trump’s political death aren’t just exaggerated. They’re absurd. It’s sky-high wishful thinking. So is the cliché that Trump’s itching to go left. It doesn’t stack up against the facts. For those who pegged Trump as a charlatan from the get-go, it’s a never-ending quest for validation. They just can’t be wrong. They’re always doubling down.   
If Trump’s first 40-plus days in the White House are any indication, he has a real crack at making an historic presidency. He could rechart the nation’s course for a generation -- in ways that advance liberty and prosperity.
The GOP’s healthcare measure was plenty flawed. Trump does have his fingerprints on it. But that’s hardly evidence of Trump super-secretly hankering for government-run healthcare. It points more to Trump wanting a win. Had the bill passed the House, it had a long and uncertain ride ahead of it. Senate Republicans would mark it up or offer their own version. Democrats would have their say. Then there would be a conference committee.  
Instead, the House GOP’s healthcare bill tanked. Is that fatal to Trump and the GOP? Not if Trump and congressional Republicans agree on better legislation and a smarter approach. Trump needs the win, and so do congressional Republicans. Voters won’t hold Republicans accountable in next year’s midterms for failing to repeal and replace? Goofy. They gave undivided government to the GOP to fulfill their promises.    
Speaking of promises, let’s get back to Trump’s fledging presidency. Peering through the fog of political war, we see excellent starts and ample successes for the president in his early days. All on the record.
Despite 24/7 assaults from Democrats, the mainstream media, celebs, and spoiled brats who took to the streets, Trump’s racking up Ws. Where to begin?
In the teeth of Democrats’ obstruction, the president’s assembling a cabinet of accomplished men and women. Overall, the cabinet profiles as conservative. He nominated a prudent jurist, Neil Gorsuch, to replace the late, great Justice Scalia. Gorsuch should be confirmed if Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans do their jobs. The president will have other chances to nominate justices (SCOTUS and federal benches). Expect those nominees to be cut from Gorsuch’s cloth. Confirmations mean an originalist tilt to the Supreme Court for years.       
The president has aggressively used his pen to deep-six many of Obama’s most ruinous executive orders. Notably, in the areas of illegals, energy, and climate. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is putting sanctuary cities on notice: no federal funds if your city harbors illegals in defiance of the law. The Homeland Security Department has sought proposals for border wall construction. The president seeks to bulk up the U.S. Border Patrol and ICE. The liberal Ninth Circuit can’t block Trump’s travel ban indefinitely. Extreme vetting will happen.    
The Keystone Pipeline will be constructed. The coal industry’s shackles are being smashed. The president has consistently stated his goal: U.S. energy independence. He’s only begun to free up the nation’s energy industries. Achieving energy independence has outsized economic benefits, but, more so, it has critical national security advantages. The country should never again be held hostage by OPEC or the equivalent.
Trump’s executive orders are peeling back Obama’s climate change regs. He proposes to make “sweeping cuts” to the EPA. His EPA director, Scott Pruitt, is a tough, no-bones reformer. Pruitt aims to depoliticize the EPA’s mission.  
The president is committed to boosting military spending. After years of neglect and downsizing, the U.S. Navy is up for revitalization. The PRC’s claim to, and ongoing militarization of, the East and South China Seas (international waters), menaces commercial shipping that transits those waters. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars annually in cargo. Much of that commerce is American.    
Trump is stepping up efforts to defeat ISIS. He’s not just trying to drone ISIS to death. He’s inserting two companies from 82nd Airborne to help win battlesagainst ISIS in Iraq.  
The president has warned the treacherous North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that aggression or nuclear attack against the South or regional allies or the U.S. will be met with a deadly U.S. response. Rex Tillerson has pressed the Chinese to exert more influence over the North Koreans.    
The president is designating his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a smart-as-a-whip business mind, to fundamentally reform the federal government. Trump wants smaller, leaner, and less intrusive government. As an entrepreneur, Trump’s had to grapple with miles of red tape and meddlesome bureaucrats. A major government overhaul isn’t sexy, but matters greatly to the economy and liberty.
Those are just brushstrokes. Trump’s efforts have been prodigious in a short time. Tax cuts and reform will be huge in the coming weeks.
That’s not to gainsay the importance of repeal and replace. Healthcare reform is a marquee issue, and it has to get done the right way. Though sobered when Ryan pulled the bill, Trump hasn’t let the failure stop him. He’s pressing on with other critical business. He has moved on while working behind the scenes to make the next go at healthcare reform a success. We’ll see how that transpires.  
The president is a businessman, not a movement anything. That and Trump’s history bugs #NeverTrump conservatives. Short of Trump being immersed in water at a Heritage Foundation fount and born again, these conservatives will continue to find fault with the president. Even then, they’d say Trump was faking it. So be it.
Trump’s actions as president are revealing him to be a practical conservative. That doesn’t mean he’ll satisfy conservatives on every issue. Yet, in the early going, the president is keeping his promises. The herculean task of moving the nation away Obama’s leftism is underway. Underway, that is, to those willing to drop their biases and look.

How Obama's White House weaponized media against Trump | TheHill

Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Adam Schiff have both castigated Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for his handling of the inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  They should think twice.  The issue that has recently seized Nunes is of vital importance to anyone who cares about fundamental civil liberties.
The trail that Nunes is following will inevitably lead back to a particularly significant leak.  On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that “according to a senior U.S. government official, (General Mike) Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29.”
From Nunes’s statements, it’s clear that he suspects that this information came from NSA intercepts of Kislyak’s phone.  An Obama official, probably in the White House, “unmasked” Flynn’s name and passed it on to Ignatius.

Regardless of how the government collected on Flynn, the leak was a felony and a violation of his civil rights.  But it was also a severe breach of the public trust. When I worked as an NSC staffer in the White House, 2005-2007, I read dozens of NSA surveillance reports every day. On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect.  
The leaking of Flynn’s name was part of what can only be described as a White House campaign to hype the Russian threat and, at the same time, to depict Trump as Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate.  On Dec. 29, Obama announced sanctions against Russia as retribution for its hacking activities.  From that date until Trump’s inauguration, the White House aggressively pumped into the media two streams of information: one about Russian hacking; the other about Trump’s Russia connection. In the hands of sympathetic reporters, the two streams blended into one.  
A report that appeared the day after Obama announced the sanctions shows how.  On Dec. 30, the Washington Post reported on a Russian effort to penetrate the electricity grid by hacking into a Vermont utility, Burlington Electric Department.  After noting the breach, the reporters offered a senior administration official to speculate on the Russians’ motives.  Did they seek to crash the system, or just to probe it?  
This infrastructure hack, the story continued, was part of a broader hacking campaign that included intervention in the election.  The story then moved to Trump: “He…has spoken highly of Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite President Obama’s suggestion that the approval for hacking came from the highest levels of the Kremlin.”
The national media mimicked the Post’s reporting.  But there was a problem: the hack never happened.  It was a false alarm — triggered, it eventually became clear, by Obama’s hype.
On Dec. 29, the DHS and FBI published a report on Russian hacking, which showed the telltale signs of having been rushed to publication.  “At every level this report is a failure,” said cyber security expert Robert M. Lee. “It didn’t do what it set out to do, and it didn’t provide useful data. They’re handing out bad information.”
Especially damaging were the hundreds of Internet addresses, supposedly linked to Russian hacking, that the report contained.  The FBI and DHS urged network administrators to load the addresses into their system defenses.  Some of the addresses, however, belong to platforms that are widely used by the public, including Yahoo servers.  At Burlington Electric, an unsuspecting network administrator dutifully loaded the addresses into the monitoring system of the utility’s network.  When an employee checked his email, it registered on the system as if Russian hackers were trying to break in.
While the White House was hyping the Russia threat, elements of the press showed a sudden interest in the infamous Steele dossier, which claimed that Russian intelligence services had caught Trump in Moscow in highly compromising situations.  The dossier was opposition research paid for by Trump’s political opponents, and it had circulated for months among reporters covering the election.  Because it was based on anonymous sources and entirely unverifiable, however, no reputable news organization had dared to touch it.  
With a little help from the Obama White House, the dossier became fair game for reporters.  A government leak let it be known that the intelligence community had briefed Trump on the dossier.  If the president-elect was discussing it with his intelligence briefers, so the reasoning went, perhaps there was something to it after all.
By turning the dossier into hard news, that leak weaponized malicious gossip. The same is true of the Flynn-Kislyak leak.  Ignatius used the leak to deepen speculation about collusion between Putin and Trump: “What did Flynn say (to Kislyak),” Ignatius asked, “and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” The mere fact that Flynn’s conversations were being monitored deepened his appearance of guilt.  If he was innocent, why was the government monitoring him?
It should not have been.  He had the right to talk to in private — even to a Russian ambassador.  Regardless of what one thinks about him or Trump or Putin, this leak should concern anyone who believes that we must erect a firewall between the national security state and our domestic politics.  The system that allowed it to happen must be reformed.  At stake is a core principle of our democracy: that elected representatives control the government, and not vice versa.
Michael Doran is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., specializing in Middle East security issues. In the administration of President George W. Bush, Doran served in the White House as a senior director in the National Security Council. Follow him on Twitter at@Doranimated.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


It's always impossible to repeal laws that require Ann to pay for greedy people, because the greedy run out on the streets wailing that the Republicans are murdering them.

Obamacare is uniquely awful because the free stuff isn't paid for through income taxes: It's paid for through MY health insurance premiums. This is unfortunate because I wanted to buy health insurance.

Perhaps you're not aware -- SINCE YOU EXEMPTED YOURSELVES FROM OBAMACARE, CONGRESS -- but buying or selling health insurance is illegal in America.

Right now, there's no free market because insurance is insanely regulated not only by Obamacare, but also by the most corrupt organizations in America: state insurance commissions. (I'm talking to you, New York!)

Federal and state laws make it illegal to sell health insurance that doesn't cover a laughable array of supposedly vital services based on bureaucrats' medical opinions of which providers have the best lobbyists.

As a result, it's illegal to sell health insurance that covers any of the medical problems I'd like to insure against. Why can't the GOP keep Obamacare for the greedy -- but make it legal for Ann to buy health insurance?

This is how it works today:

ME: I'm perfectly healthy, but I'd like to buy health insurance for heart disease, broken bones, cancer, and everything else that a normal person would ever need, but no more.

INSURANCE COMPANY: That will be $700 a month, the deductible is $35,000, no decent hospital will take it, and you have to pay for doctor's visits yourself. But your plan covers shrinks, infertility treatments, sex change operations, autism spectrum disorder treatment, drug rehab and 67 other things you will never need.

INSURANCE COMPANY UNDER ANN'S PLAN: That will be $50 a month, the deductible is $1,000, you can see any doctor you'd like, and you have full coverage for any important medical problems you could conceivably have in a million years.

Mine is a two-step plan (and you don't have to do the second step, so it's really a one-step plan).

STEP 1: Congress doesn't repeal Obamacare! Instead, Congress passes a law, pursuant to its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, that says: "In America, it shall be legal to sell health insurance on the free market. This law supersedes all other laws, taxes, mandates, coverage requirements, regulations or prohibitions, state or federal.”

The end. Love, Ann.

There will be no whining single mothers storming Congress with their pre-printed placards. People who want to stay on Obamacare can. No one is taking away anything. They can still have health insurance with free pony rides. It just won't be paid for with Ann's premiums anymore, because Ann will now be allowed to buy health insurance on the free market.

Americans will be free to choose among a variety of health insurance plans offered by willing sellers, competing with one another to provide the best plans at the lowest price. A nationwide market in health insurance will drive down costs and improve access -- just like everything else we buy here in America!

Within a year, most Americans will be buying health insurance on the free market (and half of the rest will be illegal aliens). We'll have TV ads with cute little geckos hawking amazing plans and young couples bragging about their broad coverage and great prices from this or that insurance company.

The Obamacare plans will still have the "essential benefits" (free pony rides) that are so important to NPR's Mara Liasson, but the free market plans will have whatever plans consumers agree to buy and insurance companies agree to sell -- again, just like every other product we buy here in America.

Some free market plans will offer all the "essential benefits" mandated by Obamacare, but the difference will be: Instead of forcing me to pay a premium that covers Mara Liasson's special needs, she'll have to pay for that coverage herself.

I won't be compelled to buy health insurance that covers everyone else's gambling addiction, drug rehab, pregnancies, marital counseling, social workers, contact lenses and rotten kids -- simply to have insurance for what doctors call "serious medical problems.”

Then, we'll see how many people really need free health care.

Until the welfare program is decoupled from the insurance market, nothing will work. Otherwise, it's like forcing grocery stores to pay for everyone to have a house. A carton of milk would suddenly cost $10,000.

That's what Obamacare did to health insurance. Paul Ryan's solution was to cut taxes on businesses -- and make the milk watery. But he still wouldn't allow milk to be sold on the free market.

Democrats will be in the position of blocking American companies from selling a product that people want to buy. How will they explain that to voters?

Perhaps Democrats will come out and admit that they need to fund health insurance for the poor by forcing middle-class Americans to pay for it through their insurance premiums -- because otherwise, they'd have to raise taxes, and they want to keep their Wall Street buddies' income taxes low.

Good luck with that!

STEP 2: Next year, Congress formulates a better way of delivering health care to the welfare cases, which will be much easier since there will be a LOT fewer of them.

No actual money-making business is going to survive by taking the welfare cases -- the ones that will cover illegal aliens and Mara Liasson's talk therapy -- so the greedy will get government plans.

But by then, only a minority of Americans will be on the "free" plans. (Incidentally, this will be a huge money-saver -- if anyone cares about the federal budget.) Eighty percent of Americans will already have good health plans sold to them by insurance companies competing for their business.

With cheap plans available, a lot of the greedy will go ahead and buy a free market plan. Who wants to stand in line at the DMV to see a doctor when your neighbors have great health care plans for $50 a month?

We will have separated the truly unfortunate from the loudmouthed bullies who simply enjoy forcing other people to pay for their shrinks and aromatherapy.

And if the Democrats vote against a sane method of delivering health care to the welfare cases, who cares? We have lots of wasteful government programs -- take it out of Lockheed Martin's contract. But at least the government won't be depriving the rest of us of a crucial product just because we are middle class and the Democrats hate us.

There's your health care bill, GOP!



The Hindenburg catastrophe last week of Paul Ryan’s effort to replace Obamacare is a marvelous opportunity for the House Freedom Caucus – the folks who submarined RINOcare – to offer actual Health Freedom as replacement for the Democrats’ Health Fascism.
Recall the House Pubs voted to repeal Obamacare 61 times – all without a bill of their own to radically improve healthcare for all Americans.  Then Ryan comes up with a mess that makes things worse.
Thus the Freedom Caucus can now offer real free market medicine – offer the freedom to be healthy instead of being enslaved to the government for your health.
It is critical to start by understanding  that Obamacare is fascist.
First, the “health care crisis” in America that Obamacare claims it is solving hasn’t got anything to do with health care.  There is a big difference between an excuse and a purpose.
The issue of health care is the excuse for the crisis.  The purpose, like that of its predecessors – the Poverty Crisis, the Drug Crisis, the Energy Crisis, the Environmental Crisis (which morphed into the Global Warming-Climate Change Crisis) – is to be a rationale for the expansion of governmental power.
For all of these alleged crises, their promoters offered one and only one type of solution:  vast government programs at taxpayers’ expense.  None ever offered free market solutions, or were used to increase individual freedom, rather than diminish it.
Second, Obamacare is a program of health fascism.  It is not socialist.  It is fascist.
Socialism is government seizure of ownership of private businesses, i.e., nationalization. Fascism is government seizure of control of private businesses, i.e., thoroughgoing bureaucratic regulation of business which retains only a Potemkin-like façade of private ownership. Fascism is the authoritarian imposition of raw, naked government power – guns and prisons – to control people’s economic lives.
Obamacare does not nationalize the U.S. health care system, and make all doctors, nurses, and medical technicians government employees.  It simply puts a gun in their faces and orders them to do as they are told or they face fines and/or imprisonment.  This is fascism.
Third, the true alternative to health fascism is free market health care.  Real free market medicine – not phony-crony corporatist medicine where Big Government colludes with Big Medicine, Big Insurance, and Big Pharma to restrict competition.  Such anti-capitalist corporatism is a fundamental component of a fascist system.
Fourth, there are three basic propositions of Health Freedom legislation:
1. Health Care is so incredibly expensive in America because of government intervention into the medical marketplace.
2. Health care costs can only be radically reduced by an equally radical reduction of government regulations and subsidies.
3. Just as health care costs will be radically reduced, both the availability and the quality of health care will be radically increased by such a reduction of government intervention.
Given this, here are:
Ten Specific Legislative Means By Which Health Freedom Can Be Achieved

One: Open Enrollments in Medical Schools.
How many times have you sought medical care and your doctor turned out to be from Bangladesh?  He or she may be quite competent, but nonetheless, there is a critical shortage of American medical practitioners, which Obamacare is grossly exacerbating.
The American Medical Association (AMA) colludes with State Medical Boards throughout the 50 states to severely limit the number of medical and nursing schools, class size, number of teachers, and number of admitted students.
Each year, tens of thousands of qualified students are unable to get into medical or nursing school because of these artificial restrictions.  There are an estimated 10 to 20 qualified applicants for every vacancy available in U.S. medical schools. Despite a chronic shortage of nurses, most nursing schools have a two to three year waiting period for admittance.
An instructive question to ask in this regard is:  Why is there no shortage of chiropractors?
The answer is that chiropractors do not have a medieval guild which has the political power to restrict entry into their profession.  Chiropractor colleges accept virtually all qualified applicants. Those who can’t complete the curriculum or pass the licensing exams are weeded out.  The number of chiropractors is controlled by the market — not by a medieval guild like the AMA.
Health freedom legislation would terminate the AMA’s monopoly over the medical profession, allow open enrollment at current medical schools, and the construction of as many new medical schools as the market will bear.
Licensing and testing must, of course, remain strict and reliable.  But as the number of physicians and nurses rises, competition between them for patients will concomitantly increase, and thus their fees and salaries will go down with the law of supply and demand.
This also applies to the cost of a medical education in the first place:  it will decrease as the number of students and new schools increases.
Further, health freedom legislation would end the AMA’s guildification of medical practices.
Most things done by doctors can be done by physicians’ assistants, most things done by them can in turn be done by registered nurses, and them in turn by nurse practitioners.  You don’t need a Ferrari racing mechanic to fix a Toyota.  You need free market medicine with several layers of medical practitioners.

Two: Reduce Hospital Administrative Costs
For an average stay in a hospital, fifty to seventy-five percent of the charges are due to administrative costs.
The primary cause of exorbitant administrative hospital costs is the requirements of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (“Joint Commission” or JCHAO), a collusion of bureaucratic health care organizations and government regulators.  JCAHO imposes such a morass of regulations that hospital administrators must focus their efforts on “compliance” with JCAHO requirements, rather than on the welfare of their patients.
Further, not every patient needs to stay in a tertiary-care hi-tech hospital, replete with MRI and CT scanners, with a capability for coronary by-pass and heart transplant surgery.  Some patients merely need a few days of IV antibiotics and rehydration, along with TLC observation.  This could be provided by a small low-tech hospital or overnight clinic.
But the JCAHO requirements, which set the standards of hospital compliance, do not differentiate between large and small hospitals.  All must meet the same excessive criteria necessitating huge administrative costs, making low-tech hospitals economically impossible.
For example, computer system/recording needs are not the same for small vs. large hospitals, yet ObamaCare forces all, big or small, to buy big expensive systems.
Health Freedom legislation would eliminate “one-size-fits-all” JCAHO hospital compliance standards, allowing the operation of “low-tech” small hospitals with minimal administrative overhead.

Three: Eliminate State Mandates and Regulatory Barriers on Health Insurance
One primary reason for the high cost of health insurance today is the monumental number of required benefits health insurance policies must provide imposed by state regulators.  Today there are over one thousand mandates on everything from hairpieces to marriage counseling.  As a result, insurers are legally prohibited from supplying low-cost basic health insurance.
Health Freedom Legislation would allow insurers to offer low-cost, basic health insurance policies with no state mandated benefits whatever.
Such legislation, according to a number of studies, would reduce health insurance policy cost by twenty percent or more.  Needless to say, Obamacare nationalizes the problem and makes it far worse – requiring, e.g., that all policies must include abortion coverage.
Another major cause of high health insurance costs is the regulatory barriers inhibiting small businesses from forming risk pools.  Two-thirds of all employed but uninsured workers are either self-employed or work for firms with fewer than 100 employees, and cannot afford individual or small group policies.
Health Freedom Legislation would eliminate all regulatory barriers such as business commonality and geographic proximity requirements to small businesses from freely combining into common insurance risk pools.  It would further allow non-business organizations – churches, unions, or any group of people formed for whatever reason – to form similar pools for their members.
Such “small market” reform would make health insurance dramatically more affordable to millions of Americans.  Such reform will be bitterly opposed by the large major insurance companies, because it would result in competition from deregulated small insurance companies.  This opposition must be disregarded.

Four: Give Health Care Providers A Tax Credit For Charity Work
One of the major sources of the “health care crisis” necessitating Obamacare, its advocates say, is the tens of millions of uninsured Americans who cannot afford medical care.  They are regarded by the medical industry as “non-payers” to be “turfed” to the county hospital and receive minimal treatment.
The quality of their medical care would be very different if they were looked upon not as a liability, but as a tax credit.
Health Freedom legislation would allow health care providers — physicians, nurses, medical technicians, pharmacies, and hospitals — to deduct from their personal or corporate income taxes an appreciable amount of the income they would have derived if their charity patients paid the normal fees.
Such legislation would result in physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers fighting among themselves to provide free (to charity patients), tax deductible (to them) health care.
Such an incentive to provide free care would dramatically reduce Medicaid and Medicare costs — more than compensating for loss of income tax revenues.  The ultimate savings to the taxpayers would be astronomical.

Five:  Restore the 100% Deductibility of Health Care Expenses
Throughout most of this century, individuals were not taxed on the money they spent on health care.  When Congress eliminated the tax deductibility of most medical expenses, it made medical care and health insurance prohibitively expensive for individuals to pay for on their own.
As a result, employer-provided health care and insurance – the costs of which corporations can deduct and does not count as income to the employee – is the only option for workers.  For them, their choice is restricted to whatever plan(s) the employer offers, and they lose their coverage once they quit or are fired.  For those millions of workers who can’t get employer-provided insurance, they simply must do without.
The solution is 100% deducibility for medical expenses.  One Congressman consulted for this report estimates that “this one simple reform will enable as many as 15 million Americans who cannot now afford it to gain access to healthcare and health insurance.”
This measure would greatly expand the health insurance risk pool, enabling insurers to offer more options and coverages while reducing premiums.  Further, the Congressman observes, it would “dramatically increase marketplace competition for healthcare and health insurance, as perhaps 100 million more people enter the market to shop for the best among all available services and insurance plans.”
Health Freedom legislation would broaden the category of deductible medical expenses to include alternative and preventive health care.  Traditional establishment medicine is limited primarily to medication, surgery, and medical devices.  It should more properly be called “disease care.” Genuine health care would have its primary focus on prevention of illness and health maintenance, and subsequent focus upon intervention to restore health.
Alternative therapies as acupuncture, nutritional and herbal supplementation, EDTA chelation, and applied kinesiology have this primary focus.  Surely, the absolute best way to reduce health care costs is for people not to get sick in the first place.
Health Freedom legislation would grant 100% tax deductibility to individual tax payers for all healthcare expenses, including health insurance, and medical, pharmaceutical, and alternative/preventative expenses.  It would further encourage insurers to include alternative/preventative therapies in their coverage.
Health Freedom Legislation would also create tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs, or Medical IRAs), allowing individuals to set aside tax-free up to $3,000 per year for medical expenses.
In addition, Health Freedom Legislation would make health insurance portable, through minor changes in existing COBRA legislation, by allowing workers between jobs to pay (tax-deductible) premiums directly to the insurer.
Many employees feel trapped in their jobs today because they cannot afford to lose their employer-provided medical coverage.  These proposals would liberate them to seek their own coverage, give them the option of taking their coverage with them after they leave their job, and provide them with tax incentives for life-long savings for their health care needs.

Six: Reduce Malpractice Insurance Costs
Malpractice insurance costs are a major source of higher health care expenses. The insurance premiums have skyrocketed due to multi-million dollar awards made for “pain and suffering,” which are orders of magnitude beyond the plaintiff’s medical expenses.
Health Freedom legislation would eliminate “pain and suffering” malpractice settlements; limit malpractice settlements to all costs of the patient’s malpractice-related medical bills; and limit payment to patient attorneys to normal fees, prohibiting attorney commissions of a substantial percentage of the total settlement.
This legislation would cause a drastic reduction of malpractice premiums, enabling doctors and other health care providers to lower fees.  (Remember that the increase in competition via proposal #1 above gives the incentive to do so.)
In addition, physicians should be legally enabled to forego buying malpractice insurance at all, supplanting it with:  legally-binding liability waivers and agreements with their patients to purchase their own malpractice insurance.  If the physician performed malpractice, the patient’s own insurance company would pay him.

Seven:  Repeal the Kefauver Amendment
Prior to 1962, for a pharmaceutical company to gain FDA approval for a new drug, it had to prove that the drug was safe.  But in the wake of the Thalidomide scare, the Kefauver Amendment was passed, requiring that a new drug, to gain FDA approval, must be proven not only safe but effective in curing or ameliorating a specific disease.
Proving a drug’s safety is not that difficult or costly.  It is proving its effectivity that is primarily responsible for the current situation:  it now costs an average of over $800 million, takes up to twelve years and requires an average of 40,000 pages of documentation to get one new drug approved by the FDA.
The primarily public concern should, appropriately, be with the safety of given medication.  But the individual patient, in consultation with his doctor or health professional, should be the judge of whether the medication is working out or not.
Health Freedom legislation would repeal the Kefauver Amendment, making proof of a drug’s safety only requirement for FDA approval.
No legislative act could more contribute to reducing pharmaceutical costs than this.
Further, the Kefauver Amendment is the primary bottleneck in the flow of medicinal progress. It creates an enormous logjam delaying for years getting new drugs on the market which could have been saying countless lives during those years.  It creates such impossible expenses and regulatory disincentives that many promising drugs are never developed at all.
Thus, no single legislative act could save more lives and contribute more to the health of Americans that the repeal of the Kefauver Amendment.
Realize, though, that the phony-crony corporatists of Big Pharma will fanatically oppose this.  Reduced costs of drug approval opens the door to competition.

Eight: Allow Truthful Health Claims for Nutritional Supplements
If there is one legislative act that could compete with the repeal of the Kefauver Amendment in saving lives and reducing health care costs, it is this.
The evidence that such nutrients as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium can radically reduce the incidence of heart disease and cancer – the two diseases which cause more deaths and are responsible for more health care spending than anything else – is simply overwhelming.
Yet the FDA has — let it be stated candidly — a perverse bias against nutritional supplements. The “knife-and-fork” mythology prevails:   that “you can get all the nutrients you need from a well-balanced diet.”  Getting three grams of Vitamin C daily (the optimal amount for reducing risk of heart disease and cancer) from oranges would require eating sixty oranges a day – and be far more expensive than taking one or two capsules. (Not to mention the diabetes risk from so much sugar in the oranges.)
The FDA enforces this bias by threatening a nutrient manufacturer who supplies information about the health value of his products with prosecution if he does so without FDA’s express approval.  No matter how truthful and supported by scientific evidence are the health claims, the FDA will attempt to fine or imprison the manufacturer for making an “unapproved health claim.”
This policy is such an egregiously clear violation of the First Amendment protection of free speech that in January 1999, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court in Pearson v. Shalala determined that FDA regulations regarding unapproved health claims for certain nutrients was a violation of the First Amendment.
The FDA’s implementation of the ruling has been slow and obstructive ever since. Thus to this day it has managed to prevent widespread dissemination through nutritional advertising of how 400 i.u. of E and 2,000 mgs. of C per day via supplements can reduce one’s chances of heart disease or cancer by over 40% — which would save hundreds of thousands of lives and save billions of dollars in health care costs each year.
This is just one example with two nutrients.  The savings in lives and money applied to all nutrients is far greater.
Health Freedom legislation would, therefore, force the FDA to abide by Pearson v. Shalala, and  prohibit the FDA from threatening any nutritional or medicinal manufacturer or supplier for making an “unapproved health claim” if that claim is truthful and non-misleading.
The FDA’s latest attack on the nutrition industry is to require the same “good manufacturing practices” (GMP) requirements as for pharmaceutical companies.  The purpose is to make it too expensive to produce supplements.  The solution is to replace GMPs entirely with purity standards.  All that should matter is the purity of the supplement or pharmaceutical, however that purity is achieved.

Nine:  Remove Government Restrictions Regarding the Importation of Foreign Drugs.
While not widely known, it is currently legal for an individual to import a “reasonable” amount (e.g., a three-month supply) of a medication for personal use.  Yet it remains illegal to promote or profit from such importation.
Most Americans are consequently unaware of their drug importation rights and do not know how to obtain medication overseas.  Further, those who do are frequently harassed by the Postal service, DEA, FDA, and Customs.
Health Freedom legislation would allow the promotion of and profit from importation of foreign pharmaceuticals.  It is important to note that most medications sold in the U.S. are sold overseas for pennies on the dollar over the U.S. price.  These medications are manufactured by foreign divisions of the same companies that make them here in the U.S.
Quite often, in fact, many medications sold in the U.S. are actually re-labeled foreign-manufactured drugs.

Ten: Allow the Purchase of Non-Controlled Medications Without Prescriptions
An American visiting a pharmacy overseas, say in Europe, for the first time, is astounded to discover that the medications he needs cost a fraction of their U.S. cost – and that he can purchase them over the counter without a prescription.  Medications requiring a doctor’s prescription is the exception, not the rule, in most countries in the world.
The incidence of adverse drug reactions is no higher in these countries than in the U.S.  Nor is medication abuse.  What is different is that in America, you must schedule an appointment with a doctor, take the time to see him, pay him $40 to $75 for an office visit, so that you can get a prescription.
And because you can only get the medication needed by prescription, the pharmaceutical company may charge much more money for it.  Over-the-counter medications usually cost much less than prescription medications.
Health Freedom legislation would allow all non-controlled, non-addictive medications to be purchased over the counter without a prescription.
Dramatically reducing unnecessary doctor visits, and reducing prescriptions prices to over-the-counter price, would greatly contribute to lowering health care costs.
*Government programs and regulations are not the solution to health care problems.  They are the cause of the problems in the first place.
*Only by offering a genuine alternative to Obamacare can the threat it poses to America’s health care system be removed.
*Only by offering genuine free market solutions can America’s health care system be improved and be made affordable.
It is carpe diem time for President Trump, the Freedom Caucus, and Republicans.  The Ryancare Debacle is giving them a priceless opportunity to live up to their professed free market principles and provide an alternative that really will work as opposed to the Democrat Disaster.
The choice must be made clear:  Health Freedom that can succeed as advocated by Republicans, or Phony-Crony Corporatist Health Fascism that is now a proven pathetic failure advocated by Democrats.
The choice and the issue really is and must be between freedom and fascism.

Second Foundation: Empire Crumbling - By Jim Quinn

In Part One of this article, I analyzed the similarities of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to Strauss & Howe’s Fourth Turning, trying to assess how Donald Trump’s ascension to power fits into the theories put forth by those authors. In Part Two of this article, I compared and contrasted Donald Trump’s rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov’s masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order. Despite the forlorn hope Donald Trump or some other savior can reverse our course, decades of missteps, dreadful decisions, ineffectual leadership, and unconcealed treachery have paved a path to destruction for the American Empire.
American Empire Crumbling

“Mr. Advocate, the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen with the ears of psychohistory, and you will hear the creaking.” – Isaac AsimovFoundation
“Now any dogma, based primarily on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user.” – Isaac AsimovFoundation
The elitist ruling class gathers at Davos and their secretive Bilderberg meetings to plot the course of the world, divvying up the vast wealth plundered through their globalization schemes, and developing the newest propaganda narrative to keep the global masses confused, distracted, and powerless to fight back. Despite their wealth and power, an epic level of hubris is always their undoing.

The normal people have begun to fight back but, like the rotten tree trunk Galactic Empire, the “mighty” American Empire, forged from the debris of two world wars, awaits the storm blast which will expose its true level of rot. The American Empire is crumbling under the weight of military overreach; the burden of unpayable debts; currency debasement; cultural decay; civic degeneration; diversity and deviancy trumping common culture and normality; pervasive corruption at every level of government; and the failure of shortsighted leaders to deal with the real problems.
You can hear the creaking as the winds of this Fourth Turning winter howl through the branches of this dying empire. Trump may have forced the Deep State Second Foundation to reveal itself as they seek to destroy him, but the relentless decline of the American Empire continues unabated. Tinkering around the edges of a healthcare system designed to benefit mega-corporations and the Deep State will do nothing to reverse or even delay the decline.
Slowing the growth of government when the national debt is already $20 trillion and headed to $30 trillion within the next decade won’t cure the rot in our tree trunk. Completely ignoring the $200 trillion of unfunded welfare state liabilities helps accelerate the inevitable collapse of this empire. Cutting taxes while expanding the war making machine known as the military industrial complex does nothing to reverse what is already in motion.
In addition to the absolutely quantifiable reasons why the American Empire will collapse, there are demographic, cultural, and societal trends which will contribute dramatically to the fall. The rapidly aging populace, with 10,000 Americans per day turning 65 years old, is the driving force towards national bankruptcy, as this inexorable demographic tsunami sweeps over the fraying fabric of welfare state promises.
The onslaught of illegal immigrants and purposeful execution of a plan by the effete liberal elite to weaken our common American culture through the insertion of Muslim refugees into our communities is undermining the shared values which built the country. The immigrants who built this country assimilated, learned the language, worked hard and adopted our common culture. The hordes invading America at this time hate our values and refuse to assimilate. This Soros-funded effort to create diversity havoc throughout the world is part of the globalization one world order plan.

As Europe disintegrates under the unrelenting wave of violent refugees creating upheaval, chaos, and spreading religious zealotry through viciousness, the next target is the mighty American Empire. Fighting in the streets between the normal law abiding Trump supporters and the Soros-funded, draped in black, flag burning, social justice warrior criminals has begun. Widespread societal strife is just around the corner.
When the next financial crisis, created by the Deep State to further their plans, destroys the remaining wealth of the barely surviving middle class, all hell will break loose in the streets. The 86% of the country occupied by the red state, gun owning, Trump supporters will openly go to war against the condescending, left wing, violence provoking blue state liberals. Blood will be spilled in copious amounts. It always does during Fourth Turnings.
Will Trump’s reign resemble the reign of The Mule? The Mule’s conquest was astonishingly fast. He defeated the Foundation and established the Union of Worlds after only five years. The unpredictability of his arrival and rare mental talents befuddled the Foundation. Then he inexplicably paused in his campaign of conquests. Instead, he launched repeated expeditions in search of the Second Foundation. The mysterious Second Foundation inhibits The Mule from further conquest as he is consumed with finding their location and paralyzed with fear they can defeat his mental powers.
The Second Foundation comes briefly out of hiding to face the threat of The Mule. It is revealed to be an assemblage of the most intelligent humans in the galaxy, descendants of Seldon’s psychohistorians. Using the force of its strongest minds, the Second Foundation ultimately wears down the Mule. They succeed in defeating the Mule, transforming him into a relatively harmless individual, lacking ambition, and no

 longer a threat to the Seldon Plan. His destructive posture is adjusted to a benign one. He returns to rule over his kingdom peacefully for the rest of his life, without any further thought of conquering the Second Foundation.
Trump has had an astonishingly fast rise to power. He went from frivolous reality TV star to the most powerful leader on earth in the space of two years. With his clownish exploits and rhetoric, he rose to power through being underestimated every step of the way – infuriating his many enemies who miscalculated his level of political savvy and persuasion skills. Unless he is overthrown by the Deep State or killed, he will be able to put his imprint on the nation for at least four years and possibly eight.
His first two months in power will likely reflect his entire presidency. The Washington establishment and sinister Deep State players will attempt to thwart Trump’s every move. They have already impeded his immigration controls and attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare while using their illegal surveillance state techniques to undermine his administration.
The Second Foundation, through unyielding pressure and generating fear of the unknown into the mind of The Mule, was able to undermine his plans of conquest and turn him into a non-disruptive, toothless, non-threatening, passive figurehead. As Trump’s best-laid plans are obstructed, agenda foiled, and legislation hindered, will his enthusiasm for governance wane?
The surveillance agencies who are supposed to act on his behalf are clearly trying to subvert his presidency. Leaks and fake news designed to sabotage the credibility of Trump and his administration will continue. Will the fear of retribution from mysterious surveillance state operatives convince Trump to fall into line and become a submissive lackey, no longer making waves for the Deep State?
I have no illusions Trump is some sort of savior who will reverse decades of political corruption, currency debasement, financial market rigging, global military missteps, cultural decay, pervasive entitlement mindset, and out of control espionage operatives. At best, he willThe Fourth Turning: An...William Strauss, Neil ...Best Price: $7.72Buy New $9.81 slow some aspects of the decline over a short time frame. More likely, he will provoke his enemies to such an extent the decline will be accelerated due to civil and/or global war breaking out. The oncoming financial collapse will further push the country toward the brink. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And the when is closer than most people imagine.
The seeds of destruction for the American Empire were planted as Ben Franklin departed the Constitutional Convention two hundred and thirty years ago responding to a question from Mrs. Powell that they had given the people a republic if they could keep it. The seeds were slow to take root, but the transition from republic to democracy insured long-term decline as the people voted for more benefits, paid for by their fellow citizens and financed by debt.
With the secretive creation of the privately owned Federal Reserve in 1913, the debasement of our currency was begun. The true birth of the American Empire occurred with the surrender of Germany & Japan at the conclusion of World War II. As the only major power not in physical and economic shambles, America dominated the world until its hubris kicked in during the late 1960s with the birth of the welfare/warfare state financed by debt. Closure of the gold window in 1971 sealed our fate.
We’ve crossed our Rubicon with the preservation and expansion of empire bankrupting the nation. We just refuse to admit it. It’s already a done deal. The default is baked in the cake. It’s happened to the Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Dutch, British, and many other civilizations throughout history. The path to destruction is always the same because the actions of humans in large numbers are entirely predictable. The American Empire has exploited all of the productive people, leaving nothing left to invest in the future. Investment by corporate America today constitutes greedy CEOs buying back their stock to boost earnings per share and share price in order to earn multi-million dollar bonuses.
The globalization scam was the last dying gasp to exploit the dwindling resources of the planet and the people. There is nothing left to fund the bread and circuses keeping the ignorant masses distracted, amused, and fed. The monetary machinations of the Federal Reserve have reached their limit. Economic crisis is inevitable before this Fourth Turning runs its course.
The economic meltdown will likely result in the final breakup of the American empire. The best-laid plans of Deep State billionaire intellectuals will be for naught. The law of large numbers will win again. All empires eventually die, and life will go on unless the psychopaths controlling this country blow the planet up rather than relinquish their wealth and power. Is history already written or do we as individuals have a say?
“Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or in the past—never on yourselves.” – Isaac AsimovFoundation
“But Empire building also bears the seeds of its own destruction. The closer a state comes to the ultimate goal of world domination and one-world government, the less reason is there to maintain its internal liberalism and do instead what all states are inclined to do anyway, i.e., to crack down and increase their exploitation of whatever productive people are still left.
Consequently, with no additional tributaries available and domestic productivity stagnating or falling, the Empire’s internal policies of bread and circuses can no longer be maintained. Economic crisis hits, and an impending economic meltdown will stimulate decentralizing tendencies, separatist and secessionist movements, and lead to the break-up of Empire. We have seen this happen with Great Britain, and we are seeing it now, with the US and its Empire apparently on its last leg.” – Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Reprinted from The Burning Platform.