Monday, August 31, 2009

The FBI Is The New CIA: Where Is The Public Outrage?

For President Obama, The War On Terror Is Now Over. Excuse me. For President Obama "violent extremism," "overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters" is no longer of concern (politically correct verbiage).


How else can one explain the fact that the CIA has been replaced by the FBI when it comes to interrogating those that may want to do harm to the United States, our interests and our allies. President Obama, in caving to the left has basically opened us up to attack through what will be an inability to gain potentially vital information from captives. Additionally we have the fact that most of our interrogation techniques have been exposed to the light of day, compromising national security even further.

(Wall Street Journal) "...To supervise future interrogations, the administration is creating something called a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group. Interrogation techniques will be limited to those in the Army Field Manual or that are "non coercive," which suggests more constrained than a big-city police department. Authority is being moved from the CIA to the FBI.

This means that the class of person who blows up skyscrapers, American embassies or the USS Cole would spend less time under a bare light bulb than a domestic robbery suspect...."

Where Is The Public Outrage?


For the sake of the country, we had better hope that Al-Qaeda, Hammas and all other organizations who have the goal of doing us harm have a newly formed liberal base. Hopefully this base will insist on the end the terrorists ability to perpetrate atrocities, much as our liberal left is crippling our ability to fight back.

If not, we will now be fighting a fight with these terrorists with both hands that are holding viable and time tested interrogation techniques tied behind our backs.

How short is the memory of the left? Have they forgotten the smoldering of Ground Zero? The attack on the Cole? The attacks on our embassies in Africa? Have they forgotten that we have to be right stopping attacks 100% of the time while the terrorists only have to be right once? Do they think that the terrorists have decided to let bygones be bygones and that they will redirect focus and their attention on something or someone else?

Do they not know that those who want to kill and destroy us are simple lying in wait, aware of the short memory of Americans? The left is acting in the name of political expediency and a vendetta against the Bush administration which is in no way in the country's, or the the worlds, best interests.

Is national security foremost on President Obama's mind? Is he trying to protect the nation in the best way possible? Does he want to win in Afghanistan? Are we playing to win or to lose? The President of Change is beginning to remind me very much of Bill Clinton minus the infidelity. Playing to the polls and constituencies versus doing what is in the best interest of the country.

Speak Up America!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Does AARP Really Represent The Elderly, Or Another Agenda?

As A Newly Minted Fifty Year Old, They Don't Speak For Me

The stated goal of AARP is "to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, leading positive social change and delivering value to members through information, advocacy and service." I have always known that AARP is left of center, but just how left? Watching their ads on T.V. and reading their copy, apparently it is far.

Members dues go towards paying the $500,000+ salary of CEO A. Barry Rand, and as the leader of the organization standing as a proxy for the message of elders who might otherwise not have a voice in the argument, I would like to know how they can definitively state that the information included in the video below is fact. This video, created and distributed by AARP, insists the Obama plan will not result in rationed care for the only constituency AARP has. How can they be so sure when experts around the country insist that it will?

My guess is that they, like most of our political representatives, have not read the legislation in its entirety or completely thought through the ramifications of a one payer system for its membership.

Do they really represent elderly people, or any others in the 50+ demographic? I don't think so!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chappaquiddick Anecdote From NPR and American University Radio

Ed Klein Tells An Anecdote About Ted Kennedy's Famous Sense Of Humor

Ed Klein of Newsweek, a friend of Senator Kennedy, while being interviewed by Katty Kay on The Diane Rehm Show, told the story of how Ted Kennedy used to love to tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and would ask others if they had any they could tell him. My condolences certainly go out to the Kennedy family, but this is an unbelievable statement.

The Left Has Discovered What The Right Has Known All Along

Obama's Words Are Only Words: The Standard Bearer For Change Is Really Just Another Politician After All Speaking Out Of Both Sides Of His Mouth

Be careful what you wish for or who you believe in. President Obama was treated as the messiah during the campaign, embraced by those on the left blindly as the non-Bush alternative. His past was ignored. His questionable and sketchy acquantances and friends glossed over as being a product of the "right-wing propaganda machine". His incredibly light resume was not even a factor in the liberal decision making process.

No, what drew left America in was this charasmatic man, the first black man with a viable chance to take over the most powerful position in the world. His promises on the campaign trail were large, his speech flowery and flawlessly delivered. For the left and far left, the now President Obama was a political dream come true. But things are not always as they seem, and this supposed icon of liberal ideals has apparently succumbed to what was always apparent. He is all about political expediency.

Below are three of the articles that I have written in the past posing this very question. Was it really about CHANGE, or just about the ELECTION:

Well, it now appears that his very own base, those who love him for the reason of being not George Bush, have begun to question whether his words are merely words, or if they have true meaning. I am afraid they are going to be disappointed by the answer they ultimately find. Here is an example of the opinion of one of his fans then, and the doubts now:

(LA Times) Anne Lamotte: "...We did not know exactly how you would proceed to restore our beloved Constitution. It seemed beyond redemption, like my kitchen floor did briefly last week after my dog, Bodhi, accidentally ate 24 corn bread muffins. You said you would push back your sleeves and begin, that it would take all of us working harder than we ever had before, but that you would lead. While acknowledging the financial and moral devastation of the last eight years, you said you would start by giving your people healthcare. You would do battle with the conservatives and insurance companies. You said in your beautiful way many times that this was the overarching moral and spiritual issue of our times, and we understood this to mean that you took this to be your Selma, your Little Rock.

I hate to sound like a betrayed 7-year-old, but you said. And we believed you. Now you seem to have abandoned the dream. That is why moderates and liberals and progressives like myself all seem a little tense this summer. It is time to call your spirit back. We will be here to help when you get back from vacation. We want to help you get over the disappointment of Mr. Grassley's cold shoulder, of Mr. Enzi blowing you off, even that nice Olympia Snowe standing you up. We can and will take to the streets again, march and hold peaceful rallies, go door to door, donate to any causes that will help get out the truth of what a public option would mean. But we need you to shake off the dust of the journey and remember the promises of Dr. King, and we need you to lead us toward what is no longer so distant a shore.

Do it for Teddy Kennedy, boss. Do it for the other Kennedys too, for Dr. King, for Big Mama, for the poorest kids you met on the trail, the kids who go to emergency rooms for their healthcare, do it for their mothers and for Michelle. Just do it..."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What Is The Difference Between The IAEA And The U.N.?

I Believe The Answer Is Nothing

Originally created in 1957 as "Atoms for Peace" under the umbrella of the United Nations, this organization has the mighty task of stopping, reducing, or at least minimizing, the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. If they find something that isn't kosher, what exactly is the level of punitive action that they take? Does this organization have any bite in these critical times, or does it carry the same swagger as the United Nations Security Council.

(IAEA) "The IAEA Statute specifies a number of actions, discretionary or obligatory, in cases of a breach of a safeguards agreement: alerting the international community (the Board of Governors of the IAEA, all Member States of the IAEA, the United Nations Security Council, the General Assembly of the United Nations); curtailing any IAEA assistance being provided to the State concerned; and suspending the privileges and rights the State derived from IAEA membership.

Once alerted, the international community may wish to take additional measures seen as necessary to induce a State to comply with its undertakings."

Sounds like toothless rhetoric to me, and of little worry to a rogue state bent on attaining nuclear weapons. More of a nuisance and tool to be manipulated.

Iran Playing The Placating Game

Ahead of talks that are soon to be held by certain members of the world community to discuss sanctions against Iran for its' nuclear weapons ambitions, Iran, playing a cat and mouse game, has apparently slowed the expansion of its' nuclear program. This is the expected result from a U.N. inspectors report expected to be released today.

For anyone with the capacity for thought, this is a ruse designed by Iran to buy itself time. A decoy to give some governments the ability to sit back and not have to think about a response. Decision by omission and not by commission is still a decision, albeit not the correct one.

(Reuters) "..Western leaders suspect the Islamic Republic is stealthily pursuing nuclear weapons capability via enrichment of uranium.

Iran denies this, saying it is refining uranium only for electricity so it can export more oil. But it has no nuclear power plants to use the low-enriched material it is stockpiling.

To help win over Russia and China, Western powers want the IAEA to release with the report a classified summary of its inquiry into Western intelligence reports alleging Iran illicitly studied how to design a nuclear bomb, diplomats said.

A diplomat close to the IAEA said this was being considered, after a year of Iranian stonewalling that has stalled the inquiry, with Tehran dismissing the intelligence material as forgeries.

But the IAEA has no evidence showing undeniably that Iran has a bomb agenda, he said, and IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei was loath to publish the summary for fear it could be used for political ends and make the agency look biased against Iran..."

It is exactly this type of anemic oversight and cowardice by the IAEA that has the effect of putting all of the world in jeopardy.

IAEA Vienna Conference September 14th

This brings us to the IAEA Conference to be held in Vienna on September 14. At this meeting the NAM, or Non-Aligned Movement, is seeking to add an item to the agenda that appears to be directly aimed at Israel and the United States. The item is as follows:

A generally worded statement prohibiting an attack on any nuclear installation around the world.

Will this stop those countries who know of the existence of a nuclear weapons capability, or a soon to be attained nuclear weapons capability, from taking it out? Absolutely not! But for the two countries who will have that obligation (under the assumption no others would step up), any document proposed by Iran and signed by others in the world would be one more P.R. piece of trash. The world needs to wake up and realize that time is ticking away and that once Iran achieves the ability to weaponize uranium, the genie, as they say, cannot be put back into the bottle.

And it will not only be Israel and the United States that will be targets. A true line in the sand has to be drawn, and that line will not be drawn by either the IAEA or the U.N. It is up to the world community to man up, and not wait for the other guy (meaning the U.S. and Israel) to take care of things while they hide behind their mothers skirts with cover from some document they sign. The United States has been, and will continue to be the worlds policeman, but it is time for the rest of the world to step up as well.

The likelihood is actually that the U.S., under President Obama will work the diplomatic and negotiation route to death (hopefully just a cliche and not an eventuality) before we would ever consider a military strike. Israel, through necessity, will operate unilaterally, bi-laterally or any other way to preserve its' existence and insure no nukes in Iran.

The same nuclear weapons capability that the world nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, cannot be sure exists.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Might Government Intrusion Into Our Lives Look Like?

Was George Orwell Just Off By A Few Years?

This hopefully tongue in cheek video is a dramatization of what total government intervention in our lives might look like someday. 1984 is 25 years behind us, but Big Brother may still be out there in the form of total Democrat control in Washington. If you don't like what you see or hear, remember that we all have the ability to make our voices heard, starting with the proposed socialization of health care.

The scary part about this is that it's probably not too far away from being reality, providing Obama has his way with socialized medicine, and digitizing medical records.

Want to know how to order a pizza in 2012? Click the link and see.

Turn up the volume, listen closely and watch the pointer!

Agree With What I Say, And I Will Call You A Patriot

Disagree, and you are Un-American. Or Worse!

Telling Statements By Pelosi and Baird

Apparently, according to the Democrat leadership, the American right to free speech only concerns the total agreement with their positions. As long as the questions are softball, you are as American as apple pie. Dissent, and you are utilizing "Brown Shirt" tactics. The following video clip is of a marine at a Townhall meeting held by Congressman Baird. He is a disabled veteran having served his country while many others, including Congressman Baird, have not.

(Phoenix Libertarian Examiner) "According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the recent wave of town hall protesters are nothing but “un-American.” Referring to the activism of such “un-American” Americans, Congressman Brian Baird (D.-Washington) described the dissenters’ methods with the following quote: “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics.” “I mean that very seriously.”...

Hey Gordon Brown: Cat Got Your Tongue?

The Silence From The Prime Minister (other than complaining about the revelry during the reception in Libya) Is Akin To The Tacit Approval Of The Release Of This Murderer. The Question Is Why?

Has The Memory Of 270 Innocents Been Besmirched By A Governments Desire For Oil And Gas Deals?

Here we have yet one more picture of a national leader cozying up to a terrorist in the name of trade. At a time in history when the moral compass of individuals and society seems to be lost within an extremely large electro-magnetic field, the apparent, although as of yet unconfirmed complicity by Gordon Brown in the release of terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, placing money and trade over moral decency and the memory of these innocent lives, is astounding.

The Cover-up Is Always Worse Than The Crime

Where has Gordon Brown been on this event? Where are his thoughts, commentary, opinion or denials of having had a dirty hand in the act of releasing this terrorist to live out his life based on humanitarian considerations? As a British Prime Minister of Scottish decent, does this event not warrant comment on one side or the other? Of course it does. This absence can only lead one to believe that there is much more to the story than what meets the eye.

If history has taught us nothing else, the cover-up of facts is always worse than the crime. It is the cover-up or lies that ends political careers in disgrace, although Bill Clinton was one glaring exception to this rule. The truth will always out, even if it is a little later than sooner. Gordon Brown should know this, man up and come clean now while there is still some opportunity to explain his position. Even if it is more than likely to late to save his office.

Where have we as a society gone when a terrorist who has been convicted of the crime of murdering 270 people is not only released from prison, but flown home to a heros welcome? Where is the consideration of the "humanitarian" treatment for the families of those killed, having gotten no closure for the death of their loved ones, and then being forced to watch as the murderer is released from prison, brought home to a party? Where is the justice?

The Moral Decline of Society

It is not a difficult segue to go from this event to a discussion of the moral decline within society. Devaluation of human life, apparently in the name of trade, is only one glaring example. We see other examples around us every day and even more dangerous ones overseas. This is a topic that will be examined another time, but we only have to look at the moral and ultimate decline and disappearance of other great society's in history to recognize the dangerous nature of this trend for the United States and the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tom Daschle: Don't Ever Let "Tax Problems" Stand In Your Way

The Obama Pledge Banning Lobbyists From Access

The same apparently does not apply to a Special Policy Advisor which is the role that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has assumed for Alston and Bird, a lobbyist firm with many health care clients. Manure by any other name still smells like.... manure.

This is the CHANGE that we have been delivered by President Obama. A reprieve from Washington business as usual right? Transparency in the government is to be the rule, correct? What a load of crap.

In what can only be termed a classic Washington story that we have seen over and over again, Tom Daschle, forced to pull his nomination for Heath Secretary in the Obama Administration due to "tax troubles", aka tax evasion, fines and potential jail time for you and me, still has the ear of the President (Oval Office visit Friday), meets with White House staff and has access to other Administration personnel while his firm is representing clients in the HMO, hospital and drug industries.

All because he goes by the name of Special Policy Advisor and not the lobbyist that he is. Where is the outrage from the media in the fact that not only do lobbyists have access, but access to the Oval Office and the President?

A Birds Eye View Of Washington Business As Usual

(Washington Post) "...Since returning to the private sector, Daschle has served a dual role on health care. He has informally advised high-ranking administration officials, including senior aide Pete Rouse and health-care reform czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, who took over half of the job Obama created for Daschle. On television shows, in speeches and at symposiums, he has been a vocal advocate for a universal coverage plan that includes the public insurance option.

But Daschle is also working closely with lobbyists, through his job at the Alston and Bird law firm, as an adviser to United Health Group, one of the nation's largest insurance companies. The insurance industry opposes the public option.

White House aides said that Daschle's corporate work does not present a conflict of interest and that Obama counts the former Senate leader as a confidant. "The president knows and expects that, when he asks Senator Daschle a question, that he's getting the opinion of Senator Daschle and not anybody else," press secretary Robert Gibbs said..."

And Gibbs said it with a straight face.

Urine or You're Out

Personally Responsibility For All

The following short story was written by someone unknown (at least to me), and it raises an extremely interesting point in terms of the level of personal responsibility that we as a country require from those receiving public assistance. Should it not rise to the minimum level of that required for the employed who pay a portion of their income to maintain these programs? Read and consider:

> Like most folks in
> this country, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay
> my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees
> fit. In order to get that paycheck. In my case, I am required
> to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem).
> What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my
> taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine
> test.

U is for Urine Tests

> So, here is my
> Question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test
> to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it
> for them?

> Please understand,
> I have no problem with helping people get back on their
> feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping
> someone sitting on their butt - doing drugs, while I work. .
> . . Can you imagine how much money each state would save if
> people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance
> check?

> I guess we could
> title that program, 'Urine or You're
> Out'.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Return Of A Steel Symbol Of Strength

A 58 ton, 36 foot symbol of American strength and resolve

Removed from the rubble of the World Trade Center site and maintained in a hangar at Kennedy Airport, this beam is being returned to Ground Zero today to take its' honored place at the site of the 9/11 Museum. It is covered with memorials honoring some of those who perished in the worst terrorist attack ever to occur on United States soil.

This return stands as a sign to those around the world that the United States will never cower or back down, and that we will always defend and defend strongly our society and way of life against any and all ideologies bent on trying to destroy us. The return of this beam offers us the opportunity to remember those innocent people that died in the attacks by simply going to work or by getting on a plane, and all of those responders who gave their lives trying to save them.

As the Jewish people have said in reference to the Holocaust Never Forget, Never Again

We typically have very short memories. That cannot be allowed to happen in this instance. That day in 2001 remains etched in my memory as the day Kennedy was assassinated remains in the memories of those a few years older than me.

Those who want to destroy us do not ever forget. They are out there, lying in wait for the opportunity to present itself to attack again. We in America are back in our routines, while the children in some countries are being brainwashed with the idea that becoming a suicide bomber would be the highest privilege. We can not become soft or let our guards down.

We need to stay strong and look at the symbol being returned to its origin as an inspiration to never allow an event like 9/11 to ever happen again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are The Obama Health Care Projections As Good As The Obama Budget Deficit Projections?

Some Medical Statistics

As a follow-up to my article on Wednesday, August 19, The Health Care Debate With An 18-Day Gap, these are some of the facts and statistics that go into making the case that our current health care system, for all of its faults, is head and shoulders above those socialized health care systems in countries such as the U.K. and Canada (thanks to Brian Buglino).

President Obama can go on the stump as much as he wants to push his plan, but as the announcement Friday that the projected budget deficit will be $9 trillion instead of $7 trillion goes to show, his words are merely words.

At the end of the day all of his forecasts and promises are a carefully crafted smoke and mirrors routine, and those seniors he promises today will not face rationed care all of a sudden will when the government ultimately proves unable to manage this plan, and tells the American people that sacrifices will have to be made somewhere (of course no sacrifices will be made by our politicians who will be covered by their own plan). It is all illusion, much like the picture below. What do you see?

I really like optical illusions

What do I see? The crooked and curved words and phrases of Obama that will prove to be his undoing when the mid-term elections roll around.

Medical products, research and development

The United States is the leader in medical innovation. In 2004, the health care industry spent three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research.[10]Companies provide medical products such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In 2006, the United States accounted for three quarters of the world’s biotechnology revenues and 82% of world R&D spending in biotechnology. [8][9]. The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research, mostly privately funded. As of 2003, the NIH was responsible for 28%—about $28 billion—of the total biomedical research funding spent annually in the U.S., with most of the rest coming from industry.[21] The amount of financing by private industry has increased 102% from 1994 to 2003.[21] Governmental research institutes such as the NIH tend to play a more prominent role funding basic research.

The top five U.S. hospitals carry out more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other country. Between 1975 and 2008, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to U.S. residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined. In 29 of the 34 years between 1975 and 2008, a scientist living in the U.S. either won or shared in the prize.[22

[8] ^ a b c Stats from 2007 Europ.Fed.of Pharm.Indust.and Assoc. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from [1]

[9] ^ a b c Retrieved June 17, 2009

[10] ^ a b Groves, Trish (February 2008). "Stronger European Medical Research". British Medical Journal 336: 341–342.

[21]. ^ a b Medical Research Spending Doubled Over Past Decade, Neil Osterweil, MedPage Today, September 20, 2005.

[22] ^ Here’s a Second Opinion,, March 24, 2009

However, the revenues generated from these high healthcare costs have encouraged substantial investment: the United States is the leader in biotechnology, spending three times more per-capita in research and development than its nearest competitor, Europe.[7][8][9] In addition, the U.S. produces more new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and affiliated biotechnology than any other country, or the Western European nations combined.[7][8][9][10]

[7] ^ a b c "2008 Annual Report" (pdf). PHRMA. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.

[8] ^ a b c Stats from 2007 Europ.Fed.of Pharm.Indust.and Assoc. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from [1]

[9] ^ a b c Retrieved June 17, 2009

[10] ^ a b Groves, Trish (February 2008). "Stronger European Medical Research". British Medical Journal 336: 341–342. doi:10.1136/bmj.39489.505208.80. PMID 18276671


The United States spends more on technology than Canada. In a 2004 study on medical imaging in Canada,[80] it was found that Canada had 4.6 MRI scanners per million population while the U.S. had 19.5 per million. Canada's 10.3 CT scanners per million also ranked behind the U.S., which had 29.5 per million.[81]

[80] ^ "CIHI report shows increase in MRI and CT scanners, up more than 75% in the last decade." Medical Imaging in Canada, 2004.

[81] ^ Press release: CIHI Report shows increase in MRI and CT scanners, up more than 75% in the last decade

Health care regulatory costs

The health care industry is likely to be the most heavily regulated industry in the United States.[158] A study published by the Cato Institute suggests that this regulation provides benefits in the amount of $170 billion but costs the public up to $340 billion.[158] The study concluded that the majority of the cost differential arises frommedical malpractice, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, and facilities regulations. Part of the cost is attributed to regulatory requirements that prevent technicians without medical degrees from performing treatment and diagnostic procedures that carry little risk.[159]

[158] ^ a b Christopher J. Conover (4-10-2004). "Health Care Regulation: A $169 Billion Hidden Tax" (PDF). Cato Policy Analysis 527: 1–32.

[159] ^ Sue A. Blevins (15-12-1995). "The Medical Monopoly: Protecting Consumers Or Limiting Competition?". Cato Policy Analysis 246.

In the U.S., direct government funding of health care is limited to Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which cover eligible senior citizens, the very poor, disabled persons, and children. The federal government also runs the Veterans Administration, which provides care to veterans, their families, and survivors through medical centers and clinics.

One study estimates that about 25 percent of the uninsured in the U.S. are eligible for these programs but remain unenrolled; however, extending coverage to all who are eligible remains a fiscal and political challenge.[22]

About a third of the uninsured are in households earning more than $50,000 annually.

[22] ^ a b "Characteristics of the Uninsured: Who is Eligible for Public Coverage and Who Needs Help Affording Coverage?" (PDF). Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.

A 2003 survey of hospital administrators conducted in Canada, the U.S., and three other countries found dissatisfaction with both the U.S. and Canadian systems. For example, 21% of Canadian hospital administrators, but less than 1% of American administrators, said that it would take over three weeks to do a biopsy for possible breast cancer on a 50-year-old woman; 50% of Canadian administrators versus none of their American counterparts said that it would take over six months for a 65-year-old to undergo a routine hip replacement surgery.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the President and CEO of University Health Network, Toronto, said that Michael Moore's film Sicko "exaggerated the performance of the Canadian health system — there is no doubt that too many patients still stay in our emergency departments waiting for admission to scarce hospital beds. There is "no question" that the lower cost has come at the cost of "restriction of supply with sub-optimal access to services," said Bell.

Medical professionals

Some of the extra money spent in the United States goes to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, all of whom receive higher compensation than their counterparts north of the border. According to health data collected by the OECD, average income for physicians in the United States in 1996 was nearly twice that for physicians in Canada.[65]

The causes of these differences are complex. Factors such as higher cost of living in the United States, lower private cost of medical training in Canada, and high costs of medical malpractice insurance in the United States, contribute to the differences.[citation needed] Which entities exercise market power in each country also influences the differences in compensation. Canadian billing rates for each procedure are set through negotiations between the provincial governments and the physicians' organizations.[citation needed] In the U.S., physicians have greater freedom to set rates according to the local market. Anti-trust regulations prohibit the formation of uniform rates for procedures. Actual compensation to medical professionals in the U.S. is also highly influenced by the discounted rates that publicly funded insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, and major health insurance companies, are able to negotiate through the exercise of their market power.[

[65] ^ Health Care Systems: An International Comparison. Strategic Policy and Research Intergovernmental Affairs, May 2001.

Malpractice litigation

In Canada the total cost of settlements, legal fees, and insurance comes to $4 per person each year, but in the United States it is $16.[85]

[85] ^ a b c d Anderson GF, Hussey PS, Frogner BK, Waters HR (2005). "Health spending in the United States and the rest of the industrialized world". Health affairs (Project Hope) 24 (4): 903–14.doi:10.1377/hlthaff.24.4.903. PMID 16136632.

Health Care Outcomes

In the World Health Organization's ratings of health care system performance among 191 member nations published in 2000, Canada ranked 30th and the U.S. 37th, while the overall health of Canadians was ranked 35th and Americans 72nd.[8][90] However, the WHO's methodologies, which attempted to measure how efficiently health systems translate expenditure into health, generated broad debate and criticism.[91]

Researchers caution against inferring health care quality from some health statistics. June O'Neill and Dave O'Neill point out that " expectancy and infant mortality are both poor measures of the efficacy of a health care system because they are influenced by many factors that are unrelated to the quality and accessibility of medical care".[92]

Canadians are, overall, statistically healthier than Americans and show lower rates of many diseases such as various forms of cancer. On the other hand, evidence suggests that with respect to some illnesses (such as breast cancer), those who do get sick have a higher rate of cure in the U.S. than in Canada.[93]

Some of the difference in outcomes may also be related to lifestyle choices. The OECD found that Americans have slightly higher rates of smoking and alcohol consumption than do Canadians[94] as well as significantly higher rates of obesity.[96] A joint US-Canadian study found slightly higher smoking rates among Canadians.[97] Another study found that Americans have higher rates not only of obesity, but also of other health risk factors and chronic conditions, including physical inactivity, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[16]

[91] ^ Deber, Raisa, "Why Did the World Health Organization Rate Canada's Health System as 30th? Some Thoughts on League Tables", Longwoods Review 2 (1). Retrieved on 2008-01-09.

[92] ^ O'Neill, J., O'Neill, D. M., "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S.", National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper 13429, September 2007.

[93] ^ a b c Hussey PS, Anderson GF, Osborn R, et al. (2004). "How does the quality of care compare in five countries?". Health affairs (Project Hope) 23 (3): 89–99. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.23.3.89. PMID 15160806.

[94] ^ a b c "OECD in Figures 2006-2007" (PDF). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved on 2007-06-21.

[95] ^ Commonwealth Fund Study

[96]^ Adult obesity in Canada: Measured height and weight

[97] ^ The Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH). CDC - National Center for Health Statistics.

[16]^ a b c d "Access to Care, Health Status, and Health Disparities in the United States and Canada: Results of a Cross-National Population-Based Survey". American Journal of Public Health 96 (7). 07 2006. Retrieved on 2007-07-02.

Life expectancy can be affected by factors other than health care. For example, the United States was listed as 37th for life expectancy and 41st in low birth weight.However, if fatal injuries (from suicide, homicide, and other non-health care related injuries) are excluded, then the United States ranks first in the adjusted "natural" life expectancy.[96][97] Similarly, the proportion of low birth weight babies may be affected by factors other than health care. Teen motherhood (a primary cause of low birth weight) is three times higher than Canada. If Canada had the same number of teen pregnancies as the United States, their low birth weight numbers would likely be higher.[98][99][100]

[96] ^ "Natural Life Expectancy in the United States," Political Calculations, September 13, 2007

[97] ^ Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider, [October 17, 2006 "How Does the U.S. Health-Care System Compare to Systems in Other Countries?,"] presentation given at an American Enterprise Instituteconference on October 17, 2006

[98] ^ "Health Care System Grudge Match: Canada vs. U.S.," Healthcare Economist, October 2, 2007

[99] ^ June E. O'Neill and Dave M. O'Neill, (2008), "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S.," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, Vol. 10: Iss. 1 (Frontiers in Health Policy Research), Article 3.

[100] ^ June E. O'Neill and Dave M. O'Neill, (2007) "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S.," NBER working paper #13429

Heart attacks in the 1990s

1. A study in the journal Circulation found that Canadian patients whose histories were followed from 1990 to 1993 had a 17% higher risk of dying from heart attacks than did U.S. patients. The five-year mortality rate was 21.4% among the Canadian study participants and 19.6% among U.S. participants. The authors attributed this to the greater use of invasive procedures in the U.S., and in the organization of the Canadian health care system, in which specialized procedures are only available in central hospitals. Almost a third (30%) of American heart attack patients received an angioplasty, versus11% of Canadians, and more than 13% of Americans had bypass surgery, compared with 4% in Canada.[98]

[98] ^ U.S. Tops Canada in Post-Heart Attack Care; More Aggressive Care May Explain Americans Survival Edge, WebMD Medical News, Sept. 20, 2004

Politics of Health

In the US, President Bill Clinton attempted a significant restructuring of health care, but the effort collapsed under public pressure against it. The 2000 U.S. election saw prescription drugs become a central issue, although the system did not fundamentally change. In the 2004 U.S. election health care proved to be an important issue to some voters, though not a primary one.

More radical solutions in both countries have come from the sub-national level. In 2006, Massachusetts adopted a plan that intends to vastly reduce the number of uninsured. It requires everyone to buy insurance and subsidizes insurance costs for lower income people on a sliding scale. The Massachusetts program is now (2009) near bankruptcy and considering terminating coverage for certain populations. In Canada, it is oil-rich Alberta under the conservative government of Ralph Klein that is seen to experiment most with increasing the role of the private sector in health care. Measures have included the introduction of private clinics that are allowed to bill patients for some of the cost of a procedure. After the 2005 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the Quebec government cannot prevent people from paying for private insurance for healthcare procedures covered under medicare, private healthcare in Quebec began to grow rapidly. Quebec now has the highest number of private clinics delivering publicly funded care as well as whole hospitals and emergency wards that have opted out of the public system.[citation needed]

Private care

The Canada Health Act of 1984 "does not directly bar private delivery or private insurance for publicly insured services," but provides financial disincentives for doing so. "Although there are laws prohibiting or curtailing private health care in some provinces, they can be changed," according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.[123] Governments attempt to control health care costs by being the sole purchasers and thus they do not allow private patients to bid up prices.[citation needed] Those with non-emergency illnesses such as cancer cannot pay out of pocket for time-sensitive surgeries and must wait their turn on waiting lists. According to the Canadian Supreme Court in its 2005 ruling in Chaoulli v. Quebec, waiting list delays "increase the patient’s risk of mortality or the risk that his or her injuries will become irreparable."[124] The ruling found that a Quebec provincial ban on private health insurance was unlawful, because it was contrary

[123] ^ Steinbrook R (April 2006). "Private health care in Canada". The New England journal of medicine 354 (16): 1661–4. doi:10.1056/NEJMp068064. PMID 16625005.

[124] ^ Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General), (2005). S.C.R. 791, 2005 SCC 35

[125] ^ Kraus, Clifford (2006-02-26). "As Canada's Slow-Motion Public Health System Falters, Private Medical Care Is Surging.". New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.

[126] ^ Chaoulli, J. A Seismic Shift: How Canada's Supreme Court Sparked a Patients' Rights Revolution. Cato Institute. Policy Analysis no. 568. May 8, 2006.

What is Avastin?

Avastin is one of a new group of cancer drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. It's usually given along with chemotherapy. Avastin is mostly given to people who have advanced bowel cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body), advanced breast cancer and advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Although Avastin is licensed and can be prescribed in the UK, it has not been approved for use by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE gives advice on which new drugs or treatments should be available on the NHS. As a result, Avastin may not be widely available on the NHS.

Often, new life saving drugs and technology developed in the United States are unavailable in other countries with socialized medicine due to the high costs associated with new medicines. Patients are denied access to these new treatments and must travel to the U.S. for critical healthcare.