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The Expansionist
Monday, June 15, 2009
 
Missing the Point. Doctors who oppose a universal national healthcare plan make no sense. They claim that one reason healthcare costs are so high is that they practice "defensive medicine", ordering what may be unnecessary tests to prevent patients from later claiming, during medical-malpractice lawsuits, that they didn't do enuf. They want limits on malpractice awards. President Obama opposes such limits. Hold on, everybody. Just stop for a moment and THINK.
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If everyone has free healthcare under a single-payer system, why would there be huge awards in malpractice lawsuits? The main expense that victims of medical errors sue for is long-term medical care. But if that is all covered by a National Health Service (by any name, e.g., "Healthy America"), what else would people sue for? Vindication? How much of an award does that warrant? Surely Congress could put limits on awards for "pain and suffering" if a national healthcare system pays the costs of medical care to alleviate the pain portion.
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If you think about it, then, you realize that a single-payer healthcare system could drastically reduce the number of malpractice lawsuits and the resulting massive outlays for court awards, lawyers, and malpractice insurance. We could also largely eliminate "defensive medicine", and hundreds of thousands of unnecessary tests, with all their costs, not least to patients who have to put up with being poked and prodded, and then having to wait and worry until results are in.
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So we would drastically reduce malpractice insurance rates, malpractice awards, legal fees, and unnecessary costs and anxiety from tests of dubious medical value. How much would those savings amount to? If malpractice insurance is held up as a major concern by doctors, and malpractice lawsuits and awards are reduced to trivial levels by a national single-payer healthcare system paid from general revenues, reduced payments to doctors from a national system would end up being equal to higher payments today, once malpractice costs are factored in, or even higher than payments now!
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Moreover, I have seen stories that there are parts of this country where exorbitant malpractice insurance rates have forced some doctors to drop out of entire medical areas, such as obstetrics and gynecology, to the point that people have to travel dozens of miles to find an obstetrician. That too would end with the reduction to trivia of malpractice as a destructive force in medicine.
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Forbid Oil Speculation. Gasoline prices have gone up sharply in recent weeks, and everyone in media knows, and has said, that the bulk of the increase has resulted not from demand but from speculation by investors in oil. If that is true, the United States, or, even better, United Nations should simply FORBID speculation in oil, and let the legitimate forces of supply and demand — and not speculation in any measure — determine the price of oil and all oil products.
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More Lies About "Global Warming". NBC Nitely News today attempted to explain away why so much of the United States is much colder than usual, while dismissing thoughts that this constitutes disproof to any 'degree' of the "global warming" cataclysm we are supposed to change everything in our lives to stave off. In that report, the claim was made that temperatures in the Boston-to-Washington corridor have been 4 degrees 'cooler' than normal. Oh? I live in Newark, NJ, which is just about dead center in that corridor, and our temperatures have been as much as 13 degrees 'colder' than normal, with day after day of rain at some point in the day. The only way an "average" is maintained closer than 10 degrees colder than normal is by figuring in a very few days of much higher than average temperatures. But when 13 days are severely subnormal and 2 days are starkly above normal, the resulting average falsifies the reality that we are much colder than normal most of the time. We are also much wetter in much of the Nation, and the United States is a significant chunk of the total land area of this planet, over 3.7 million square miles. So not only are we not about to burn up, but we are also not facing a planetary desert.
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AOL today(if suspiciously briefly) hilited a story about a glacier in Argentina that is growing.
Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier is one of only a few ice fields worldwide that have withstood rising global temperatures.

Nourished by Andean snowmelt, the glacier constantly grows even as it spawns icebergs the size of apartment buildings into a frigid lake, maintaining a nearly perfect equilibrium since measurements began more than a century ago.
Note the wording in that AP story: "withstood rising global temperatures". Global warming is real. It's just not global, meaning everywhere!
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In the matter of "global warming", as of AIDS, if the data and the theory conflict, we are to discard the data and retain the theory. That's not the way science, or logic, is supposed to work.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,312 — for Israel.)



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