Seems the proggies received the same memo (see my previous two posts).
Residents in Washington state already have “access to affordable health care” via free and low cost clinics. In my search of seven counties throughout Washington (out of 39 total counties) I came across 159 clinics. That fact won’t stop the TDS-infected governor from implementing another bureaucratic/big government program.
As reported by MyNorthwest.com: Governor Jay Inslee introduced Cascade Care Tuesday morning, a plan to provide a state-run healthcare system akin to “Medicare for all.”
“We believe it is a just thing to do for all of our citizens to have access to affordable health care,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday. “…Today I am pleased to announce that we will be proposing a public option in the State of Washington, to take yet another significant step in the goal of universal coverage in the State of Washington.”
Inslee announced his proposal flanked by a variety of lawmakers at the King County Downtown Seattle Public Health Clinic Tuesday morning. He was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Rep. Eileen Cody, State Sen. David Frockt, State Senator Karen Keiser, and the state’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
According to Inslee, the proposed Cascade Care bill will direct the state’s healthcare authority to provide coverage across Washington by contracting with one or more healthcare carriers. That coverage will begin in 2021.
That coverage will be available to anyone in the individual market. It will also set reimbursement rates consistent with Medicare. Using the service will be voluntary and patients will spend no more than 10 percent of their income on premiums.
Officials said Tuesday that it will cost the state $500,000 to set up the new system and accept bids from carriers. Costs beyond that weren’t specified.
Sen. Keiser noted that Washington once had an “incredibly popular” basic healthcare program between the late 1980s until the Great Recession. Implementing the Affordable Care Act eventually became a priority instead of restarting that program. “We have done this before, and we can do it again,” she said. “….Now it’s time to come back to the public option and include it in our array of healthcare services.”
Inslee, and other lawmakers present, pointed a finger of blame at the Trump administration, saying that it has worked to remove healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Inslee said that there are 14 counties in the state that are on the verge of losing healthcare coverage altogether.
“We are on the knife’s edge,” Inslee said. “And we need to give a solid foundation of support to every county and every citizen in the State of Washington because that is a moral imperative.”
The governor also noted the work that has already been done to provide healthcare in Washington over the past few years, primarily through the state’s exchange: More than 800,000 Washingtonians have gained access to healthcare; Provided coverage to 30,000 cancer survivors in the state; and Provided 90,000 people with substance abuse treatment.
“But we need to take the next step,” Inslee said. “That’s why I’m glad we have put the dollars in my proposed budget that will allow us to set up this public option in the State of Washington.”
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
The proposed New York Health Act (NYHA), which would establish universal health care for everyone in the state, including undocumentedimmigrants illegal aliens, would require the state’s tax revenue to increase by about 156 percent by 2022, according to a study by the RAND Corp. But it also found state spending on total health care under NYHA would be slightly lower – about 3 percent – by 2031 than under the current system.
“Pass it and then figure out how to fund it,” Nixon said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who Nixon is challenging in the Democratic primary next week, has said it should be up to the federal government to pass a universal health care system. During a debate between the two candidates last month, Cuomo said the NYHA was good “in theory,” but would cost more than New York’s annual budget to implement it “in the long-term,” according to the Albany Times Union.
Nixon, on the other hand, has said a single-payer system will save the state and New Yorkers money overall.
There is widespread disagreement over how much it would cost to implement a single-payer health care system. Supporters say it would cut excessive administrative costs compared to those incurred by private insurers. But critics, including most Republicans, warn the savings would be less dramatic than expected – and the system would cost too much.
Joe White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, has estimated that with single-payer“costs and taxes will rise, or patient access will be severely diminished – turning America’s medical system into a third-world product.”
The Medicare-for-all bill proposed earlier this year by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was estimated to cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years by a Mercatus Center at George Mason University study.
The term “single-payer health care” denotes only one entity bears the financial responsibility of health care – the government. Under this system, the government would be solely responsible for covering health care costs.
“The basic idea of single-payer is to cover everybody with a single government program, and that program would basically cover all the doctors and hospitals,” Dr. Adam Gaffney, an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Fox News.
As the Times Union reported, the NYHA has continuously been introduced by Democrats in the state Assembly every year since 1992 but has been unsuccessful in the Senate.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
But, but…I thought Obamacare was suppose to reduce the cost of health care?
From Sacramento Bee: California’s government would set prices for hospital stays, doctor visits and other health care services under legislation introduced Monday, vastly remaking the industry in a bid to lower health care costs.
The proposal, which drew swift opposition from the health care industry, comes amid a fierce debate in California as activists on the left push aggressively for a system that would provide government-funded insurance for everyone in the state. Across the country, rising health care costs have put the industry, lawmaker and employers and consumers at odds.
The proposal in California would affect private health plans, including those offered by employers and purchased by individuals. A nine-member commission appointed by the governor and legislative leaders would set prices for everything from a physical exam to an allergy test to heart bypass surgery. No other state has such a requirement.
“If we do not act now, I’m concerned that health care prices will become unsustainable,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra, a freshman Democrat from San Jose who wrote the legislation, said in a news conference in Sacramento.
The measure faces an uphill battle in the Legislature, where lawmakers are generally cautious about making drastic changes to the health care system and are already juggling a wide range of ambitious proposals. The proposal is backed by influential unions including the Service Employees International Union, Unite Here and the Teamsters. The unions are frustrated that health care costs are gobbling an increasing share of employee compensation.
“Every dollar that we spend on rising health care prices is a dollar that comes out of a worker’s pocket,” said Sara Flocks, policy coordinator for the California Labor Federation, a union coalition. “This is something that is eating up our wages and it is increasing income inequality. This is a fundamental question of fairness.”
Health care providers say price controls would encourage doctors to move out of state or retire, making it harder for people to see a physician when they’re sick, and force hospitals to lay off staff or, in some cases, close their doors.
The California Medical Association, which represents physicians, called the proposal “radical” and warned that it would reduce choices for consumers. “No state in America has ever attempted such an unproven policy of inflexible, government-managed price caps across every health care service,” Dr. Theodore Mazer, the CMA president, said in a statement.
Under Kalra’s bill, prices would be tied to Medicare’s rate for a particular service or procedure, with that price as a floor. There would be a process for doctors or hospitals to argue that their unique circumstances warrant payments higher than the state’s standard rate.
Paying hospitals 125 percent of Medicare’s rate would cut $18 billion in revenue and force them to trim nurses and other support staff, said Dietmar Grellman, senior vice president of the California Hospital Association. Private insurers make up for the low payments from government-funded health care, which doesn’t cover the full cost of care, he said.
“That’s why their bill is such an empty promise,” Grellman said. “They take money out of the system with rate regulation, but then they don’t address the huge gaping hole that’s created by Medicare and Medicaid.”
In recent decades health care spending has risen faster than inflation and wages while employers and health plans have shifted more of the costs onto consumers through higher premiums, deductibles and copays. Americans spend more per capita on health care than other developed countries.
Meanwhile, a wave of consolidation by hospitals, physician groups and insurance companies has given industry players more power to demand higher rates.
From CNN Money: California signed up an estimated 450,000 people under Medicaid expansion who may not have been eligible for coverage, according to a report by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ chief watchdog.
In a Feb. 21 report, the HHS’ inspector general estimated that California spent $738.2 million on 366,078 expansion beneficiaries who were ineligible. It spent an additional $416.5 million for 79,055 expansion enrollees who were “potentially” ineligible, auditors found. Auditors said nearly 90% of the $1.15 billion in questionable payments involved federal money, while the rest came from the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. They examined a six-month period from Oct. 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, when Medicaid payments of $6.2 billion were made related to 1.9 million newly eligible enrollees.
There were limitations to the California review, however. The audit extrapolated from a sample of 150 beneficiaries. The authors reported a 90% confidence level in their results — whereas 95% would be more common. That meant that the number of those ineligible could have been as low as 260,000 or as high as 630,000.
“If HHS has a strong reason to believe that California is systematically making enrollment errors, it would be helpful to show that in a more robust analysis,” said Ben Ippolito, a health care economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “The federal government should ensure that states are being good stewards of federal money.”
Nonetheless, the audit highlighted weaknesses in California’s Medicaid program, the largest in the nation with 13.4 million enrollees and an annual budget topping $100 billion, counting federal and state money. Medicaid covers one in three Californians. The inspector general found deficiencies in the state’s computer system for verifying eligibility and discovered errors by caseworkers. The Medicaid payments cited in the report covered people in the state’s fee-for-service system, managed-care plans, drug treatment programs and those receiving mental health services.
California’s Department of Health Care Services, which runs Medi-Cal, said in a statement that it agreed with nearly all of the auditors’ recommendations and that the agency “has taken steps to address all of the findings.”
In a written response to the inspector general, California officials said several computer upgrades were made after the audit period and before publication of the report that should improve the accuracy of eligibility decisions.
Among the 150 expansion enrollees analyzed in detail, 75%, or 112, were deemed eligible for the Medicaid program in California. Auditors discovered a variety of problems with the other 38 enrollees.
During the audit period, 12 enrollees in the sample group had incomes above 138% of the federal poverty line, making them ineligible financially for public assistance, according to the report.
In other instances, beneficiaries were already enrolled in Medicare, the federal health insurance for people 65 and older or who have severe disabilities, and did not qualify for Medi-Cal. Onewoman indicated she didn’t want Medi-Cal but was enrolled anyway.
In 2014, the state struggled to clear a massive backlog of Medi-Cal applications, which reached about 900,000 at one point. Many people complained about being mistakenly rejected for coverage, or their applications were lost in the state or county computer systems. California was one of 31 states to expand Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The health law established a higher federal reimbursement for these newly eligible patients, primarily low-income adults without children. After expansion started in 2014, the HHS inspector general’s office began reviewing whether states were determining eligibility correctly and spending taxpayer dollars appropriately.
Read the rest of the story here.
Must suck to be so bitter.
From Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton‘s frustrations with Bernie Sanders spill out onto the pages of her forthcoming book, What Happened, as she gripes about his campaign tactics and the fact that he was never truly a Democrat. ‘Because we agreed on so much, Bernie couldn’t make an argument against me in this area on policy, so he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character,’ Clinton writes, according to a page tweeted out by journalist and CauseWired founder Tom Watson.
The Vermont senator, Clinton charged, laid the foundation for Donald Trump‘s ‘Crooked Hillary’ charge against her, and didn’t have the future of the Democratic Party in mind during his run. ‘Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,’ Clinton recalled.
During the primary, Sanders would often hint that Clinton was corrupt because of financial donations she took from Wall Street and other large companies. ‘When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution he couldn’t come up with anything,’ Clinton noted. ‘Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign,’ she said. Clinton wondered aloud if Sanders even cared, as he considered himself a Democratic Socialist, and not a Democrat, and thought about running for president as an independent.
‘I don’t know if that bothered Bernie or not,’ she said. ‘He certainly shared my horror at the thought of Donald Trump becoming president, and I appreciated that he campaigned for me in the general election.’ ‘But he isn’t a Democrat – that’s not a smear, that’s what he says,’ Clinton continued.’
‘He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party,’ she noted.
Clinton said Sanders was right that the Democratic Party needed to pay more attention to working families. And she also pointed out that there’s a ‘danger’ in spending too much time fundraising, though blamed it on the country’s ‘insane campaign finance system.’
Clinton also gave credit to Sanders for bringing a lot of young people into the political process.
‘But I think he was fundamentally wrong about the Democratic Party – the party that brought us Social Security under Roosevelt; Medicare and Medicaid under Johnson; peace between Israel and Egypt under Carter; broad-based prosperity and a balanced budget under Clinton; and rescued the auto industry, passed health care reform and imposed tough new rules on Wall Street under Obama,’ Clinton noted. ‘I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too,’ Clinton said.
Read the rest of the story here.
Because corporate mergers are what Americans are truly worried about. Good luck with that platform demorats!
From MSN: Democrats rolled out a new economic platform Monday in hopes of winning over President Donald Trump‘s populist base with promises to take on big businesses, lower the cost of prescription drugs and create jobs. The campaign — “A Better Deal” — is intended as a counterpunch to the president’s frequent criticism of the lackluster recovery and stagnant wages under President Barack Obama and Trump’s vow to restore the economy to 3 percent annual growth. Democrats are also searching for ways to reconnect with working-class voters whose deep frustration with their own economic prospects helped drive their support for Trump.
“It is an ambitious economic agenda that represents a renewed Democratic commitment to the hard-working men and women across the United States who have been left out and left behind for too long,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. Among Democrats’ top agenda items is greater scrutiny of corporate mergers, including tougher standards that incorporate consumer privacy, product quality and the impact on wages and jobs. Democrats are also seeking post-merger reviews and greater enforcement authority.
Those responsibilities would be carried out by a new competition advocate that Democrats have nicknamed the “Trust Buster.” One of the deals that could be targeted is AT&T (T)’s $85 billion bid for Time Warner (TWX), which is awaiting regulatory approval. Other sectors that could wind up in the crosshairs include the beer industry, airlines and eyeglasses.
“We will revisit our antitrust laws to ensure that the economic freedom of all Americans — consumers, workers and small businesses — come before big corporations that are getting even bigger,” the document read.
Prescription Drug Prices: The plan would revamp Medicare by allowing the program known as “Part D” to negotiate prices directly with drugmakers.
“It is ridiculous that Big Pharma has controlled Washington for so long and has refused to even budge on the notion that we ought to negotiate for lower prices,” Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said in a YouTube video outlining the platform. The campaign would also expand apprenticeship and vocational programs, as well as establish a tax credit for companies that provide on-the-job training. Additional pieces of the broader proposal will be unveiled in the coming months, such as addressing the cost of higher education, infrastructure investment and creating a national family leave program. In addition to Pelosi, top Democrats Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren are slated to outline the campaign later Monday, laying the groundwork for the party’s message in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. The rollout takes place in Clarke County, Virginia, part of a congressional district that Democrats have long fought to turn blue. It is represented in the House by Republican Barbara Comstock and won by Trump in November.
However, Democrats do not directly mention Trump in their strategy documents, though the campaign’s title clearly references the president’s signature book, “The Art of the Deal.” Resistance to the Trump administration has energized the party’s base, but Democrats are hoping to complement that with a more optimistic vision of the nation’s economic potential.
“In the last two elections, Democrats, including in the Senate, failed to articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class and those working hard to get there,” Schumer wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times. “We also failed to communicate our values to show that we were on the side of working people, not the special interests. We will not repeat the same mistake.”
Going as planned.
From Fox News: The Obama administration is trying to calm the panic over soaring ObamaCare premiums by pointing to subsidies many will receive to offset the cost — but analysts and GOP lawmakers counter that those subsidies nevertheless will stick taxpayers with a rising bill.
With enrollment set to begin Nov. 1, the administration announced Monday that premiums are set rise an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market. Some states, such as Arizona, will see premiums jump by as much as 116 percent.
Department of Health and Human Services officials are stressing that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will insulate most customers from sticker shock. But the rising cost of subsidies, which already totals tens of billions a year, would be passed on to the taxpayer.
“Taxpayers are already in for a lot,” Tom Miller, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told FoxNews.com. “The cost doesn’t go away, it just goes into someone else’s pocket.”
In a March report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that subsidies given to enrollees in 2016 would amount to $43 billion in 2016, and predicted the cost would rise to $106 billion by 2026. It also said that over 10 years, ObamaCare provisions would reduce the deficit thanks to tax provisions and cuts to Medicare. That was before the latest announcement by the administration. It’s unclear how exactly the looming premium hikes will affect that picture, though Republicans are now seeking new estimates. Analysts say it’s safe to assume taxpayer costs will rise. Miller noted that HHS reported an average subsidy of $291 per month in 2016. A 25 percent increase in premiums would theoretically translate into an extra $73 per month, or about $870 a year per person. “If you assume conservatively that there’s 10 million people getting subsidies, that’s an extra $8.5 billion in extra costs taxpayers are getting hit by going into next year,” he said.
Other experts warned this is likely to continue as long as premiums keep rising. “Its real simple, premiums are going up and up, and subsidies are going to go up with them,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a former CBO director, told FoxNews.com.
The Department for Health and Human Services, when asked for comment by FoxNews.com, noted that the law’s coverage provisions are set to cost 28 percent less in 2019 than the CBO originally projected, amounting to about $49 billion less than originally predicted when the law was signed in 2010. A spokesman also said the same office predicted that repealing the law would increase the deficit by approximately $350 billion over 10 years.
Holtz-Eakin urged caution on the administration’s analysis. “It’s been a mixed pattern, because the enrollments haven’t been what they expected so it hasn’t been as big of an impact financially,” he said. “The bad news is that spending per person is much higher than anticipated due to subsidy increases because of premium hikes.” One of the biggest ObamaCare costs to taxpayers has been absorbed into the Medicaid budget, paid for by both state and federal governments. As a sweetener to get states to go along with the plan, the federal government offered to pick up the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133 percent of the poverty line. That siphoned low income — and expensive – customers away from ObamaCare exchanges, seemingly contributing to its current solvency. But that cost – in the hundreds of billions — also is borne by taxpayers.
The CBO projected in 2013 that, in part due to ObamaCare, federal Medicaid spending would more than double over the next 10 years, topping $554 billion by 2023. State governments pay another $160 billion toward Medicaid. “Volume has been greater in Medicaid, and per person costs have been much higher than expected,” Edmund Haislmaier, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told FoxNews.com.
Sensing a spike in taxpayer costs, the Republican-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce has written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanding how much taxpayer money will be spent subsidizing the cost of rising premiums.
“While the Administration continues to focus on premium ‘affordability,’ it ignores the undeniable fact that federal taxpayers are subsidizing these premium increases through tax credits,” the letter from Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., says. “The Committee is concerned that the federal taxpayer continues to bear the burden of subsidizing the growing cost of health care insurance.”
The committee is demanding estimates of the amount of money spent covering rising premiums by Nov. 7.
Transgenders are people who identify with a gender other than their biological sex that, according to transgenders, they were “assigned” at birth.
The cover for the June 9, 2014 issue of Time magazine, sporting a pic of transgender “Orange Is the New Black” actor Laverne Cox, proclaims:
The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier
When I first saw the Time cover, I was quite baffled. Don’t transgenders in the United States already have the same civil rights as the rest of us? What civil rights are denied to transgenders? Are they excluded from the guarantees and protections of the U.S. Constitution?
Another view of the she-man Cox
How naïve of me.
In her Time cover story, Katy Steinmetz writes that transgenders “are emerging from the margins to fight for an equal place in society” and that “trans people live in a world largely built on a fixed and binary definition of gender. In many places, they are unwelcome in the men’s bathroom and the women’s. The effect is a constant reminder that they don’t belong.”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
It turns out transgenders’ “next civil rights frontier” is all about money, i.e., money from yourpocket into theirs.
On May 30, 2014, Obama the POS ended a 33-year ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgery.
Washington Post reporter Ariana Cha calls the lifting of the 1981 ban “a major victory for transgender rights and a decision that is likely to put pressure on more insurers to provide coverage for such services.”
Gosh, silly me! I never knew it’s a civil “right” not only to have a “gender reassignment” surgery, but to have other people pay for chopping off one’s penis and gouging out a wound as a pretend vagina.
The May 30 ruling by a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) board was in response to a lawsuit filed last year by the ACLU, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, on behalf of Denee Mallon, 74, a transgender woman and army veteran from Albuquerque.
Obama administration officials originally had sought to overturn the ban in 2013, but the attempt prompted a backlash among social conservatives and religious groups who oppose taxpayer funding for such procedures. Now, HHS says medical studies published over the past three decades showed that the grounds for exclusion of coverage are “not reasonable” anymore and lifted the ban.
Although Medicare coverage is only for people 65 and older, and the transgender population makes up only about 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, private insurance plans often take their cues from Medicare on what should be considered a medically necessary covered treatment. As a result, the ruling is likely to open up more options for transgender individuals.
The ruling does not (yet) apply to Medicaid, the health program administered by states for low-income individuals and families.
Even before the federal government’s lifting of the ban, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont already affirmed the idea that transition care for transgender individuals should be considered an essential part of medical coverage. In February, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said the city would recognize gender dysphoria as a medical condition — effectively forcing insurers to cover gender-reassignment surgery.
Jamison Green, president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a nonprofit “educational” group that works with doctors, said that while the March 30th ruling was a step in the right direction in ending discrimination in insurance coverage, there is still more work to be done. He explained, for example, that some transgender men have had trouble getting coverage for mammograms or hysterectomies when they developed fibroids or even cancer.
All of which means the cost of the “gender reassignment” surgery is just the beginning because of a myriad of post-surgery “upkeep,” like life-time hormonal treatments that, no doubt, will also be paid for by Medicare and private medical insurers.
Seated on the right is the transgender named Amanda Lepore. Born Armand Lepore and genetically a male, 46-year-old Lepore is a transgender model, “nightlife and fashion icon, performance artist and recording artist.”
Lepore said “her” sex change from male to female at age 19 was the most painful procedure “she’s” had done: “It didn’t hurt when I got it done at the hospital. But they give you a dilator as part of the healing process, which you have to keep in for extended periods of time to stretch the vaginal opening. It felt like a knife. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced.”
In an interview with a fawning reporter for the online magazine XoJane, one of the top 10 “lifestyle” websites for women, Lepore enumerated her post-op upkeep, including:
Three breast augmentations “over the years” to acquire “that Jessica Rabbit thing.”
Getting her bottom ribs broken for a smaller waist.
Dermatology and plastic surgery (look at “her” lips!) with a Dr. Warfel.
Rophynol “once in a while” because it’s “painful to have sex.” Rophynol, popularly known as a date rape drug, is a powerful benzodiazepine, ± 10-fold more potent than Valium, which is illegal in the US but is used elsewhere as a hypnotic and in anesthesia. Lepore explains [Language Warning!]: “I wasn’t a pig or anything where I would be fucking every five minutes, but once in a while there would be a guy that I couldn’t resist — and I would take a rohypnol and it would work! But since then I’ve learned to dilate and stretch my pussy and I know how to have really good sex. Oh yeah. Premarin vaginal cream. It’s a whole process. Like I said, it was really painful for me to have sex, especially if the guy was really well endowed, so a transsexual friend of mine said that when you get up in the morning, use a numbing cream and then put a small dildo in your pussy in a girdle! And then have breakfast and clean your house and whatever, and then you stretch it with a bigger one and then use Premarin vaginal cream. This all makes the pussy walls stretch like a natural woman’s.”
Beneath the façade, the life of a post-op transgender is a life of ingesting never-ending very-powerful hormones and painkillers, the side effects of which are not publicized.
And although the surgery is called “gender reassignment,” in truth the surgery does no such thing. After all the torturous body mutilations — excising the penis or breasts; gouging a pretend-vagina that must be “dilated” until the wound eventually scars over; shaving off the Adam’s Apple — the transgender’s body is still genetically and chromosomally what God had made.
That is why psychiatrist Joseph Berger, M.D., board certified as a specialist by both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, has stated there is no scientific basis for transgender.
In a statement against the Canadian federal government’s Bill C-279 (popularly known as the “bathroom bill”) giving special protection to transgenders, Dr. Berger stated that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a “transgendered” person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity” used in the bill are at the very least ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of objective scientific fact.
“I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it,” Dr. Berger said in his statement. “Words and phrases, such as ‘the inner space,’ are used that have no objective scientific basis. There seems to me to be no medical or scientific reason to grant any special rights or considerations to people who are unhappy with the sex they were born into, or to people who wish to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex. The so-called ‘confusion’ about their sexuality that a teenager or adult has is purely psychological. As a psychiatrist, I see no reason for people who identify themselves in these ways to have any rights or privileges different from everyone else in Canada.”
In other words, transgenderism is a psychological, not biological, disorder, which would explain why gender dysphoria (aka gender identity disorder) fluctuates over time.
Toronto specialist Ken Zucker, who opposes the use of sex change therapies, claims that only about 12% of boys and girls with gender dysphoria will still have persistent dysphoria as adults.
This fact alone should lead even the most committed supporters of early intervention to err strongly on the side of caution.
You’ve seen those ubiquitous ads on TV of a seemingly good-hearted store that promised elderly and disabled Americans a motorized scooter FOR FREE! Because, the ad assures its viewers, Medicare will pay for it!!!!
I’ve seen those ads too, and had wondered how the Scooter Store could be so 100% confident that ANYONE who wanted a scooter was assured one — FOR FREE!
To quote the eminently sensible Judge Judy: “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”
When was the last time you’ve seen a Scooter Store commercial? At least many months, if not a year or two.
Here’s why . . . .
Founded in 1991 by Doug and Susanna Harrison, the privately-owned Scooter Store is headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, and serve 48 states. It is the largest supplier of mobility vehicles in the United States.
In February 2013 the company Store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ceased all cash sales to the public, after a raid by more than 150 FBI agents and local cops for Medicare-Medicaid fraud of as much as $108 million.
During its heyday, the Scooter Store had employed more than 2,400 people and was New Braunfels’ largest private employer. On September 13, 2013, the company entered liquidation and terminated its remaining 370 employees. Effective October 26, the Scooter Store lost its federal contract with Medicare eliminating the ability to sell assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. So the company’s board of directors made the decision to essentially liquidate the business.
Medicare has accounted for about three-quarters of the Scooter Store’s business, a company representative told a U.S. Senate committee last year. But an independent auditor found The Scooter Store had received between $46.8 million and $87.7 million in Medicare overpayments.
The company is accused by the Justice Department of harassing doctors with constant phone calls and surgery visits in order to wear them down to prescribe scooters to patients who do not need them.
A damning exposé by CBS This Morning in January alleged that the company over-billed Medicare by $108 million between 2009-2012.
Former Scooter Store employee Brian Setzer told CBS that company’s main goal was to use pressure to get doctors to prescribe their vehicles. Setzer described the company’s policy was to “Bulldoze and get them to get the paperwork done.” He said his bosses would order him to annoy doctors into prescribing the scooters: “I’d get a call, ‘Well, can you go in to get him to do this? Could you get him to do this.’ I couldn’t feel right in my heart to do that.”
Here’s the extent of Scooter Store’s scam:
The company had a specialized department devoted togetting the scooters for patients who had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare.
About 80% of all claims for scooters were found to be medically unnecessary.
61% of claims that were approved should not have been, totaling $95 million.
What Medicare paid the Scooter Store was FOUR TIMES the average amount spent by suppliers for standard power wheelchairs.
The federal government taxpayers spent $723 million for the scooters in Medicare reimbursements for 2009 alone.
Doug and Susanna Harrison are the the ‘faces’ behind The Scooter Store. They founded The Scooter Store and were personally responsible for its operations, policies and procedures – until they jumped ship in 2012. […]
They spent years greasing the palms of politicians. Through The Scooter Store, they gave $86,273 to federal politicians and were a top source of funds for 19 members of Congress. Since 2007, they have given $473,000 to politicians.
They also spent nearly $4 million on lobbying since 2004 trying to kill laws to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. […]
After being charged with fraud, the company said it would only repay $20 million of the $88 million defrauded from Medicare. They actually had the audacity to file a lawsuit against the government (really all of us as consumers) for not approving their claims.
Doug and Susanna must be held accountable. They continue to live the life of luxury. People must be held accountable for fraud, not a company which has no soul or conscience… and now, no assets. […]
Doug Harrison is quoted as saying he’s proud what he and the Scooter Store did. During March 2012, he jumped ship just before the company began to implode and the majority of its employees suddenly lost their livelihood and creditors lost their money. He also left the city of New Brunfels high and dry after they gave into pressure from him to relocate the company. They provided massive tax incentives to stay, which they are now unlikely to ever recoup.
People, Not Companies Must Be Held Accountable For Stealing From Medicare.‘We the people’ are out a great deal of money. In my opinion, the Harrisons must be brought to trial and made an example of if we are to curb fraud of our health care system. Since no bankers were ever tried, this is sadly, unlikely.