If the healthcare system in England is any indication of what the American healthcare system will become, then the American people should brace themselves. According to an analysis of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 47 million GP appointments in 2013 involved a wait of at least one week. That is an increase of seven million from 2012, indicating a trend that would mean that by 2015, 57 million appointments will involve an extended wait.
The U.K. Telegraph writes, “Senior doctors last night warned GPs were buckling under the demands of an aging population…. Experts said some patients were forced to wait even longer than a week, with delays of up to a month for appointments for some surgeries.”
Dr. Helen Stokes-Lampard of the Royal College of GPs has voiced concerns that as a result, some patients will likely be bypassed:
My biggest fear is that those who are most vulnerable and least assertive are getting overlooked. The patients who shout the loudest will get the urgent appointments, but many others are left waiting for far too long.
With doctors’ patient loads becoming heavy, patients are at risk. GPs admit that they are often forced to rush their consultations, and a recent poll reveals that eight out of 10 fear that they are missing serious illnesses because of their heavy workload.
“When I get to the end of a day and I’ve had 100 telephone consultations and seen 30 patients face to face,” admits Dr. Stokes-Lampard, “I hope and I pray that nothing serious has been missed — either because of the relentless pressure or because someone who needed an appointment couldn’t get one.”
The government is blaming the extended waits on the Labour Party’s past control, stating that doctors received generous pay raises while being freed of responsibility for out-of-hours care. But Labour asserts that the increase in waiting times results from the government’s decision to remove a target that promised patients a GP appointment within 48 hours.
The Telegraph reports:
The 48-hour rule was scrapped in June 2010, as part of Coalition efforts to dismantle a “target culture” in the NHS. It was among many waiting targets which had become contentious because of concerns that seriously ill patients were having care delayed because trivial cases had to be seen just as quickly.
Meanwhile, patients are bearing the burden. According to Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, the difficulties in seeing a GP are contributing to a crisis in accident and emergency departments.
Lengthy wait times are just one of many problems characterizing England’s healthcare system.
According to the Daily Mail, for example, “NHS hospitals are recruiting Spanish and Portuguese nurses in record numbers while British applicants are being refused because places on training courses have been slashed to cut costs.” More than 5,000 student nurse places, it writes, “have been axed since the General Election.” This has led to confusion over medication and treatments because of the inability to communicate between the nurses and patients.
A 2010 column by the Daily Telegraph warned, “Copying the NHS is the last thing the U.S. should do:”
In Britain, we have maintained a perverse ideological insistence on the principle that it is better to have rationed, centrally controlled, uniformly dispensed health care even if it is poorer in every sense — in terms of resources, productivity, and medical outcomes — than that in which individuals routinely contribute to the cost of their own care. The ban on what is called co-payment, or top-ups, is intended to ensure that no NHS patient will have access to better — or more — treatment than anyone else simply because he is wealthier. We prefer a uniformly mediocre standard of care to an “unfair” one in which the better-off may get different service.
This dogmatic self-denying ordinance against the supplementing of NHS provision by patients able and willing to pay has meant that no thought has been given to the role such a mechanism could play in raising revenue for the NHS as a whole.
And just as long waits are a reality in England, many critics of ObamaCare have warned that similar fates will befall Americans under the new healthcare law.
According to a study of appointments for commonly used specialty physicians in 15 major U.S. cities, conducted by physician staffing and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins, patients are already waiting an average of 18 days to schedule an appointment for a doctor.
“In the next two to three years, can we keep a bad situation from getting worse?” asked Travis Singleton, senior vice president at Merritt Hawkins, a subsidiary of AMN Healthcare. “Everything will tell you it’s going to get worse and not better.”
“Finding a physician who can see you today, or three weeks from today, can be a challenge, even in urban areas where there is a high ratio of physicians per population,” said Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins. “The demand for doctors is simply outstripping the supply.” In Boston, for example, the longest wait time to see a family physician or specialist was 45.5 days.
A report filed in the United States by emergency room doctors in January of this year revealed that individuals seeking urgent medical care could face longer wait times and other difficulties as demand increases under ObamaCare.
In its latest “report card,” the American College of Emergency Physicians said such reduced access earned the nation a “D+” — that’s down from the overall “C-” grade from the group’s last report in 2009, citing shortages and reduced hospital capacity that will make it more difficult to access emergency care.
The findings of that report are ironic given that proponents of ObamaCare had claimed that increasing the number of insured Americans would reduce pressure on hospital emergency rooms. But according to Jon Mark Hirshon, a researcher at the University of Maryland who helped oversee the group’s report card, the new healthcare law will result in many more people going to the emergency room for care, who formerly would have avoided it.
May 12, 2014
For years revenue-hungry states and local municipalities have salivated over the prospect of taxing the life out of the internet. Now a move by a small but dedicated minority in Congress may result in the scraping of the Internet Tax Freedom Act and usher in a new era of exorbitant taxation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-Oregon) call to action to stop Online Sales Tax and protect Internet freedom.
In a few months, the newspaper reports, “customers may begin receiving notices from their Internet providers that new taxes are on the way. Even though nearly everyone in Congress opposes slapping all of America’s heavy traditional telephone taxes on Internet access, a renewal of this successful policy is being held hostage by lobbyists for giant retailers.”
So persuasive is this minority, it has managed to convince both Democrats and Republicans that an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act – that has forbidden bit taxes, bandwidth taxes, and email taxes since 1998 – should be loosened up to allow 9,600 governments to shape rules for ecommerce. Specifically, states want additional authority to reach beyond their respective borders to collect sales taxes on items purchased online or they will pressure Congress to punish all Americans with new prohibitive taxes on all internet communication.
The Supreme Court decided in Quill v. North Dakota back in 1992 it is too great a burden to force a mail order merchant to collect taxes in states where it has no physical presence. Retailers interested in undercutting smaller and more agile competitors and their allies in state government want to skirt the decision and write new rules for interstate commerce.
A brave new world of taxation threatened destruction of small online business when the Marketplace Fairness Act was proposed. It will force online retailers to collect taxes for state and local government across the board. Considering the huge number of state, local and tribal governments in the United States, the burden imposed for the collection of taxes would be, to say the least, significant. As of April 24, the bill was pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
It now appears the internet will ultimately be burdened with taxation, an imposition that will undoubtedly result, as does all taxation, in squelching innovation, discouraging prosperity and narrowing consumer choice. As the economy continues its slow motion collapse, federal, state and local governments will desperately seek new venues for taxation and wealth confiscation. The internet, so far unmolested, and thus allowed the freedom to innovate and grow, appears to be the next juicy target for the statists.
This article was posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm
Latinos will fill the United States with Latino babies, Uruguayan president Jose Mujica told President Barack Obama in an Oval Office meeting Monday.
“You will have to become a bilingual country … because the strength of Latin women is admirable and they will fill this country with people who speak Spanish and Portuguese,” Mujica told Obama during a brief public exchange prior to their meeting.
Mujica’s remark is partly true — the Latino population will rapidly rise during the next few decades. For example, more Latinos babies than white babies are being born in California and Texas.
Progressives are working to help that demographic trend, because most Latinos vote Democratic. For example, progressives have united behind the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill, which would bump up immigration to 33 million people over the next decade.
The Latino population is now just over 50 million, including several million illegal immigrants.
However, the Latino birthrate has dropped even faster than the white birthrate since the real estate crash of 2007.
Obama did not respond to Mujica’s claim.
May 10th, 2014
There are very ‘good’ reasons why the House Democrats are making threats of boycotting the recently approved commission on the Benghazi attack. All of them know that President Obama and the Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton, did not properly discharge their duties during the attack.
“Unforeseen consequences” and “unpredictable twists and turns” had nothing to do with her failure to secure the compound or to send adequate security to protect it. Rather, she got every sort of warning from her own ambassador, the State Department, the CIA and the Defense Department. She just failed to act on them.”
Four Americans may have died needlessly including John Christopher Stevens, an American diplomat and lawyer who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya from June 2012 to September 12, 2012. His death was not only a humiliating defeat for the USA, it was a violent spectacle which most Americans do not understand how it could have happened.
Happen it did on Hillary Clinton’s watch, a prospective presidential candidate who just could become the Commander-in Chief. Her reaction to cross examination during the first Senate inquiry by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is perhaps the best evidence that something very wrong happened during that fateful evening of September 11, 2012. Her behavior does not seem to be demonstrative of a future leader of the US Armed Forces. The following YouTube video captures the heart of her testimony which will surely come back to haunt her for years to come.
Anyone watching this video can easily see the dissembling and evasion by which Secretary Clinton answered the questions put forth to her. Many of her former Senate colleagues were mortified by her conduct in light of the seriousness of the investigation. The Republican side is now fully aware that evidence exists which will incriminate Ms. Clinton in the mishandling of the whole affair. And that the ensuing cover-up is always what does the most political damage.
The Benghazi debacle is much more serious than the media has reported.
Time does have a way of revealing the truth of the matter, and the slow drip of Benghazi revelations will only increase until the midterm elections. Because Ms. Clinton has not come clean since the very beginning, she now sits in a very awkward and vulnerable position. How so?
Any political pundit would objectively observe that Ms. Clinton, based on all the information that is available in the public domain, appears to be guilty of criminal neglect in her capacity of Secretary of State. That verdict is based on the fact that the predicament was allowed to occur in the first place. Simply put, a US Ambassador’s many solicitations for protection were ignored by his boss in DC.
“When you read the various pieces and bits of information she received in the weeks and months prior to the attack, it is hard to see how they could have been any more blunt or explicit in warning of the likelihood of future terror attacks in Benghazi.”
And that is the best case scenario for Secretary Clinton. The worst case is where she and her office ignored every plea for help up to and including the night of the attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya. Someone going even so far as to order available units to stand down makes this situation even worse.
Of course, the cover-up is where things have really gotten messy for Secretary Clinton. Which is why her Republican inquisitors are so determined to get to the bottom of things. They can only tolerate so much obfuscation, non-compliance and irresponsible behavior on the part of the White House before the American people start to call them on it. The longer this whole sordid affair drags on, the worse it’s going to be for everyone involved in the Obama Adminstration, especially Hillary Clinton.
Benghazi Hearing Promises to be Clinton’s Political Waterloo
As an aspiring presidential nominee, candidate Clinton will necessarily be held up to a much higher standard than she has been in her previous roles. Her stint at State is the only one she can point to as demonstrating her abilities to handle foreign affairs. In light of President Obama’s string of foreign affair fiascos, she will be hard-pressed to bring the necessary gravitas to the role of president in this particular regard.
Even for diehard Democrats, there is the distinct sentiment that Ms Clinton is not up to the task. Her responses to so many challenges, both personal and political, over the years reveal a woman who is often petty, vindictive and unaccountable. Truly, her place in the White House is as an ex First Lady who gave it her best.
“For Clinton now to say that she did the best she could on the basis of “imperfect information” and to blame the tragic outcome on “unforeseen consequences and unpredictable twists and turns” is such an act of distortion of the record that it takes one’s breath away.”
Ms. Clinton ought to look at the Benghazi hearing as an opportunity to listen to the many reasons she should not even consider running for president. Undoubtedly, she will hear things that will embarrass her and her office at State. Truly, so many things happened that should not have under her watch. Just as many things did not occur in Benghazi that should have for the protection of four Americans who died.
Things have made much worse by the White House response.
Subsequent attempts to acquire pertinent correspondence from the White House about the Benghazi attack and US Government response have been met with continual stonewalling and denial. The Press Secretary has lost all credibility with the both the Press Corp and the public. The key players have only acted in a way which would lead those investigating this serious matter that a full scale cover-up has been operative since day one.
At the end of the day, both Secretary Clinton and President Obama will be held directly responsible for this cover-up, as well as the obvious negligence up to and including the attacks. Each ought to be held accountable for their actions by the Congress and the Mainstream Media (MSM). Unfortunately the MSM has both supported Secretary Clinton’s narrative and enabled her reprehensible conduct at every turn.
However, with the midterm elections around the corner pointing to a GOP landslide, the political chessboard is about to be rearranged in a way that will not bode well for Candidate Clinton. The US electorate is not so clueless that they would elect a nominee who has baggage of this serious nature. Truly, the whole Benghazi affair does not reflect well on anyone in the Obama Administration, especially the Secretary of State.
The question remains: Does Hillary Clinton understand that the powers that be are using the Benghazi Commission to send her a message? Perhaps she will get it before her first answers are rendered before a congressional inquiry that promises to be bigger and badder than Watergate. How do you spell C O V E R – U P ?
Benghazigate — here we come!
While the United States has warned against buying Chinese routers due to surveillance concerns, a new book about the Edward Snowden revelations states America has been intercepting and tinkering with routers intended for foreign customers.
According to Glenn Greenwald – one of the journalists entrusted with Snowden’s leaked documents – the National Security Agency has been implanting devices into routers headed overseas since at least 2010.
In an extract from Greenwald’s new book, titled “No Place to Hide,” the journalist states the NSA “routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.”
Once the agency gets its hands on these products, it embeds devices that are linked to the NSA’s own system, giving officials access to foreign networks and information from all the users connected to that network.
“In one recent case, after several months a beacon implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA covert infrastructure,” a 2010 NSA report states, according to Greenwald. “This call back provided us access to further exploit the device and survey the network.”
The revelation comes after US officials and lawmakers spent years criticizing Chinese telecommunications companies like ZTE and Huawei for potentially looking to sell their products to Americans while collecting data for the Chinese government.
In 2012, a report by the House Intelligence Committee stated the companies “may be violating United States laws” and have “not followed United States legal obligations or international standards of business behavior”.
Although no evidence was uncovered to back up the allegations, the committee still pushed American companies to reject products from ZTE and Huawei.
“Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or Huawei for equipment or services,” the committee stated.
“US network providers and systems developers are strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects. Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”
The news also comes less than two months after it was revealed that the NSA spied on Huawei, as well as the China’s Trade Ministry, banks, companies, and top political officials. As RT reported in March, the campaign against Huawei took place a few years before lawmakers urged American companies to stay away from Chinese products, and was intended to explore potential links to China’s cyber warfare units.
Whether or not it discovered any evidence for this, however, remains unknown.
According to Greenwald, it is “quite possible” that Chinese companies are tampering with their products in order to install surveillance technology, but it wouldn’t be any different from what the US is doing on its own.
Eric Cantor suffered a stunning and embarrassing loss this weekend. No he didn’t lose his seat, but with 30 days to go before the primary, that now becomes a very open question. The conservatives are on the warpath and may be about to count coup with Eric Cantor.
What happened this weekend and why is it so important?
On Saturday, the 7th District Republican Convention was held. Cantor represents Virginia’s 7th District and this is his powerbase.
These conventions are often boring affairs. The only business is usually electing a District Chairman. Since the District Chairman, Eric Cantor’s hand picked crony, was running for reelection, there would be two items of business. First was the election of a temporary chairman, then the election of the actual chairman.
Cantor’s forces wasted no time in trying to run the opposition off. His campaign had secured all of the conference rooms in the hotel so challenger, conservative economic professor Dave Brat, had to hold his reception at a Honey Baked Ham store across the street. Cantor’s forces spent a lot of money on advertising to get their man reelected and even paid for tour buses to bring in supporters from distant parts of the district.
When the nominations began for a temporary chairman, Cantor’s candidate was nominated then the District Chairman, who was running for reelection, ruled the anti-Cantor candidate for temporary chair was ineligible for election. He cited a new rule that no one seemed to know about.
After that, the newly elected temporary chairman moved for a vote on the rules for the convention. While he announced that the rules had been provided to everyone, amazingly enough, the anti-Cantor delegates did not have copies of those rules. The anti-Cantor delegates protested, but the “super secret” rules were rammed through. Then came the main event – the voting for the District Chairman.
While the votes were being counted, Dave Brat and Eric Cantor each were given an opportunity to address the convention. Brat went first and pointed out to great cheers that Eric Cantor lied about him and Cantor refused to debate him. Then Cantor got on the stage. He was all but booed off the stage. As he spoke, people booed loudly and there were chants of “Liar” and “Debate.”
That was a foretelling of things to come. When the votes came back, Eric Cantor’s handpicked choice to be the District Chairman had been defeated by the Tea Party/Grassroots insurgent challenger.
This defeat for Cantor is both embarrassing and damaging. The District Chair is a very powerful position within the district, controlling the party apparatus.
But, this defeat is even more telling for Cantor.
In Virginia’s 7th District, with the primary that will be held on June 10th, Cantor’s race is the top race. That means there will be low general interest. There is no Democrat challenger, so there is no Democrat primary.
Cantor could not even get out enough votes to win at a Republican Convention that was rigged to be in his favor. Cantor is carpet-bombing the district with false and negative advertising and this may be backfiring.
With the grassroots against him, it will be a test of who can get out the vote. The added wild card is the Democrats. How many of them will cross over just to help take out the House Majority Leader?
That would be an embarrassing defeat for Cantor, who is now regarded as the most powerful Republican in Virginia with Republicans holding none of the statewide offices.
Dave Brat is an amazing Constitutional conservative who deserves your support.