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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SNIPPETS

It was revealed earlier this week that war criminal and former Vice President DICK Cheney had suffered his fifth heart attack. Stress being a major contributor to heart attacks, I am not surprised that Cheney has had another one. One can only imagine the stress this man must be under every waking moment. After all, he and his cohort George W. Bush are indirectly responsible for the 3,000 deaths which occurred on 9/11, having been briefed on August 6, 2001, that Osama Bin Laden was planning some type of attack involving airplanes on our soil, and both having done nothing about this warning. And imagine the paranoia which has raised his blood pressure and terrorized him each day since! Consider, too, the stress and pangs of suppressed guilt that must be shooting through Cheney's veins knowing that he lied to get us into an unnecessary Iraq war which has now cost the lives of 4,000 of our soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. The aggravation he has undergone recently with a captured would-be underwear bomber singing like a canary with mounds of actionable intelligence as a result of normal interrogation methods rather than Cheney's preferred and now wholly discredited torture methods must be extreme, too. But the coup de grace in terms of stress must have happened when he heard former colleagues Colin Powell and Gen. David Petraeus shoot down his flimsy lie that President Obama is endangering the country by mishandling our "war on terror." Cheney's heart attack was described as "mild." But we all know once it finally dawns on him how badly he misjudged and misran our battle against Islamic fundamentalist extremism, how seriously his torture program damaged our Constitution and world standing, and how much innocent blood is really on his hands, Cheney's entire circulatory system will explode.



It will be interesting to see how congressional Republicans will conduct themselves in front of the C-SPAN cameras when they meet to discuss health care reform with President Obama tomorrow. Why? Because they don't want reform at all. They want to stall and eventually kill this legislation. Both that snide and mouthy House Minority "Leader" John Boehner and Senate Minority "Leader" Mitch McConnell are in no mood to compromise, and they instead want to rip up the existing, already-passed bills and start all over.But all they really want to do is attempt to weaken President Obama, the man they hate more than anything. First they're for transparency, then they're against having cameras present. First they're all for health care reform, then they're against it. These disgraceful saps, along with their conservative Republican buddies like Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, Pete Hoekstra, Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Richard Shelby, and all the rest of them, are attempting to stonewall our government to a grinding halt, simply to make the President look weak and ineffective so as to defeat him in two years. They have held up numerous judicial appointments without good reason; 290 bills await action but are languishing in an unneeded procedural-delay limbo, and they lie about and distort everything the President says or does. They hate government involvement in anything, so they are trying to strangle it to death for their own political advantage. In the process, these self-proclaimed "fiscal conservatives" are wasting everybody's time and millions of taxpayer dollars. Here's an idea: if these Republicans are truly against government waste, why don't they all just resign en masse and get the hell out? For if ever there was a perfect example of exorbitant government waste, it is surely today's totally unproductive congressional Republican caucus!

I saw CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the tube this morning, explaining why hospital costs are so out rageously high. We all know the score here:$25 packets of Kleenex, $800 biopsy needles, etc. Well, Dr. Gupta said something I found to be utterly unbelievable: that hospitals only get 4% of the amount they actually invoice for a product or service! His claim was that insurance companies and government negotiate away the rest and pay only about 4% of the amount invoiced. I found this figure to be rather suspicious, and I would love for any of you out there who may know the truth to lay it on me. Assuming for a moment that it IS true, then hospitals, just like doctors and technicians, are NOT the ones responsible for our ungodly high health care costs! Nope---sure, medical malpractice suits enter into the equation, but so do medical equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and - yep, you guessed it - INSURANCE COMPANIES! So, once again, they can point all the fingers they want, but insurance company greed is STILL one of the most major causes of our unnecessarily high health care costs!

17 comments:

Beach Bum said...

...that hospitals only get 4% of the amount they actually invoice for a product or service!

I'm biomed repair, not adminstration but that sounds about right from what we are told.

Lynne said...

Brilliant post, the only point I would argue is that your section on Cheney strongly implies he has a conscience and that his guilt is what is causing his heart problems. I would say it must be greasy fried food or something because I do not believe that man has a conscience.

mud_rake said...

Was that photo of Mitch McConnell taken when you recently visited Madame Tussauds Wax Museum?

Jack Jodell said...

Beach Bum,
Thanks for that info. Wow---the insurance companies and medical supply outfits like Medtronics and 3M must all be even greedier than I had supposed! :-(
---------------
Lynne,
Thanks for stopping by, and I think you are right. What's probably REALLY eating Cheney up is that so many have come forth with proof of what an out and out scoundrel he truly was and that will soil the mythical "legacy" he's attempting to spin! His book due out next year should be a real fairy tale or work of science fiction...
---------------
mud_rake,
Yeah---imagine going through life with an expression like his on your face like you just loaded your pants or something...

MadMike said...

I had endoscopy a couple of years ago. It was conducted in the hospital. My doctor charged $800 for the procedure. The hospital charged me $16,000 dollars. I was in there for all of three hours. Yes! America has the best health care in the world, for those who can afford it.

TRUTH 101 said...

In Cheney's twisted mind he thinks he did the right thing. Of course his loyalty was only to Halliburton and not to America at all.

Max's Dad said...

Cheney has a heart?

Jack Jodell said...

That's absolutely criminal, MadMike. By Dr. Gupta's reckoning, that means the insurance company only paid them $640.00. But they probably hiked your premium 10% two years in a row...
---------------
Truth101,
His loyalty is also only to himself, like most hard-ass conservatives of his nature.
---------------
Max's Dad,
I think they've been looking for it since his first attack at 37. But you and I know it's really that cold, pulsing metallic green kryptonite blob in the middle of his chest!

Anonymous said...

The PROFIT may only average 4%, but the amount they collect is more like 60% of their "suggested retail price". I state that as someone who has worked for a variety of private practices and major hospitals for decades. The Docs/hospitals know they have to accept a reduced amount from Medicare, and private insurers, in order to secure "provider contracts", so they start out asking for more than they need. In the rare case someone actually pays the bill themselves, they pay full boat to predatory care providers, and get the Medicare rate billed to them from benevolent providers.

Gupta sounds to me like he is a shill. "Numbers lie, Liars use numbers". You can configure costs, expenses, profits using and excluding whatever data you like. Look at Gov Pawlenty's budget that only accounts for inflation on the spending side, but not the revenue side.

-The "Other" JC

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you for that information, Anonymous.

Marc McDonald said...

You know, there was actually a day when Dick Cheney not only told the truth, but he made a lot of sense.
I guess even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.
This was shortly after the first Gulf War, when he was explaining the rationale to not go into Baghdad. He painted a grim scenario and indicated that the U.S. military could have been bogged down and suffered steep losses.
Just one of those Cheney moments that you'll never hear quoted at TownHall.com or the Drudge Report, or any of the other NeoNazi sites on the Web.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Marc. I had forgotten all about that. After all that has transpired over the past 9 years, that seems like something from prehistoric times, doesn't it?

TomCat said...

Jack, on your first there has to be a mistake. Before one has a heart attack they meed to have a preexisting condition that Cheney lacks.

Lisa G. said...

When is Cheney gonna have the 'big one' that finally kills him. Hopefully by then, they won't put a bio-mechanical heart in him.

Boner and Bitch - what a ginormous pair of assholes those two are!

TomCat said...

Hi Jack

I'm rushing through to let you know that I've moved Politics Plus to http://www.politicsplus.org/blog

You're in the new blogroll there. Would you please update me in yours?

Jack Jodell said...

Will do, TomCat, and thanks!

TomCat said...

Thank YOU!