Saturday, June 18, 2011

Libertarian Links

Obama overruled own lawyers to continue war in Libyia: "President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations. [...]Presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and to act in a manner that is contrary to its advice, but it is extraordinarily rare for that to happen. [...]Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. supported Ms. Krass’s [the anti-war] view, officials said."

SEC signs $550M lease! Truly astonishing!: Thankfully, the money to fund the 900,000 square foot lease was shot down in the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget that passed earlier this year. However, the SEC still jumped the gun back in July 2010 by signing the 900,000 square foot lease at the taxpayers expense to the tune of $550 million dollars in lease obligations.

Insurance and money: "Multiple studies have been performed to answer the question: Does drug X improve cardiovascular outcomes compared to drug Y alone after a patient has had a major cardiovascular event or a stroke? The answer, unequivocally, is yes. By how much? The answer is a few percentage points, give or take.[2] Does it eliminate the risk all together? The answer, unequivocally, is no. It should also be noted that drug X in addition to drug Y confers a minor increase in the risk of having a major bleeding event. So the question is: How many people, in the appropriate clinical setting, knowing this information, would buy drug X for $140 per month? Probably not nearly as many who take it now for nothing or for a small copay."

Jimmy Carter's op-ed against the drug war
: "But about three-quarters of new admissions to state prisons are for nonviolent crimes. And the single greatest cause of prison population growth has been the war on drugs, with the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses increasing more than twelvefold since 1980."

North Carolina's effort to replace its Medicaid claims system is now two years behind schedule and more than $200 million over the original budget.

NC: "The legislature has given final approval to a bill that will allow formerly incarcerated people to earn a certificate that enables them to apply for professional licenses that convicted felons had been prohibited from getting.  [...]Former offenders have about a 50 percent chance of returning to prison within three years of their release, according to the state's sentencing commission, costing taxpayers about $27,000 per inmate a year."

Medicaid: "The New York Times reported today on a study in which researchers called doctor’s offices to schedule appointments for children with conditions like “diabetes, seizures, uncontrolled asthma, a broken bone or severe depression.” When the researchers said the children were covered by private insurance, all but 11 percent got an appointment. When they said the children were covered by Medicaid, two-thirds didn’t get an appointment."
Washington state already has a "death panel": "Melinda Woods, whose son has diabetes, said many who attended were stunned that committee members "knew nothing about type 1 diabetes. And they're making this huge, important decision that affects all these people. It was mind-boggling." [...]The seven doctors, a nurse, a chiropractor, a naturopath and a speech therapist who make up the committee are, by design, not experts in the technologies they review."
What are ACO's (for health care) and why are they bad: "For nearly five decades, Medicare regulations have financially penalized doctors who coordinate care. [...]"Here's a flash for the policy wonks pushing ACOs," writes industry expert Robert Laszewski. "They only work if the provider gets paid less for the same patient population. Why would they be dumb enough to voluntarily accept that outcome?" The Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and 93 percent of multi-specialty physician groups are not that dumb.  In what the Associated Press called an "unusual rebuke," they and other providers that President Obama has hailed as models for his ACO program have refused to participate in it."

That's why, notes LEAP, fully 75 percent of Americans and 69 percent of police chiefs agree that the drug war has failed.

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