07/23/17

U.S. Health Care Is World’s Best, Regardless of What The Left Says

By: Miguel A. Faria | Accuracy in Media

This is the second in a three-part series.

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the content and tone of the political rhetoric leftist propagandists use to criticize the proposed GOP health care plans vis-à-vis ObamaCare. In part 2, we will describe the propaganda efforts used by progressives to cite dubious statistics to tar and misrepresent the U.S. health care system.

A recent commentary illustrates this propaganda. An article in The British Medical Journal entitled, “Medical error — the third leading cause of death in the U.S,” compares our “broken system” to those of other industrialized nations that purportedly are cheaper and better.

The Journal article cited by the author, in fact, had a significant caveat. “Medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death,” the article stated. The statement about medical error is “only an estimate by two researchers,” and “better reporting” is needed. Indeed, let’s begin with the British themselves.

British officials are so proud of their National Health Service they are willing to concoct figures, not only to praise their system, but also to lie about the fact they ration health care by queues and waiting lists, restrictions to specialists and access to life-saving medical treatments, and even outright denial of medical care to the elderly.

The Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis has pointed out that although the NHS claims, “British patients deaths or serious injuries due to medical errors is 11,000 cases a year,” the reality is quite different. As early as 2009, the House of Commons Health Select Committee reported, “thousands of NHS mistakes are covered up and that a better estimate is that 72,000 patients die each year.”

So much for medical errors in the U.S., which indeed occur, but at least are more objectively and accurately reported. Hidden in the statistics is the fact not only are the poor and disabled properly and promptly treated in the U.S., but the elderly are aggressively treated. In the U.S., potentially life-saving treatments, which carry risks for complications, are administered to patients seeking them in consultation with their physicians. These increase the chances for untoward reactions that are then reported as “medical errors” by medical and eagerly critical public health researchers.

Truth be told, Americans want the best health care money can buy and that prolongs life as long as possible – sometimes to excess. This reached the point that some progressive academicians have even proposed to restrict access to medical care at a certain age — proposals that have not been acceptable to the general population.

When comparing U.S. health care to those of the social democracies of Western Europe and other industrialized nations, proponents of socialized medicine (i.e., single payer system) argue about lower costs and alleged better medical care “in other industrialized nations.” In a recent article, Dr. David Stolinsky succinctly encapsulates the argument:

“We are told that despite all the money we spend on health care, America does not rank with the best in regard to infant and maternal mortality or in life expectancy. In fact, the difference is minimal. Life expectancy at birth for the European Union is 78.67 years, while that for the U.S. is 78.11 years ? only six months shorter.”

Progressive academicians and other proponents of socialized medicine neglect to mention the our mortality statistics also are affected by dramatic increases in fatal drug abuse and epidemic proportions of black-on-black crime.

Dr. Stolinsky asks:  “So what is killing Americans before the age of 60? Americans are. The No.1 cause of death for African-American males from the ages of 15 to 34 is homicide. Faster ambulance response and more trauma centers may reduce this figure somewhat. But clearly, this is not a problem of health care.”

Another problem is illegal immigration and providing necessary care to those coming from across the southern border. Dr. Stolinsky writes: “If women come across the border eight months pregnant, never having seen a doctor, is the fetal and maternal mortality a problem of health care? If pregnant and nursing mothers drink alcohol or use illegal drugs, can doctors solve the problem?”

Europeans are just now experiencing legal and illegal immigration on a large scale. Let’s wait and see new data and projecting statistics from Germany and Italy — that is, if officials are honest and release authentic data.

Although we could have used data from Los Angeles or Chicago, the drug and crime capitals of the United States, Dr. Stolinsky chose to use data from the District of Columbia in Washington, DC, to illustrate the problems of the inner cities. (It should be noted these three metropolitan areas are located in states or districts with the strictest gun control laws in the United States.) After describing the toll that crime, life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis and AIDS, as well as drug abuse have taken in the inner cities, Dr. Stolinsky writes:

“If you doubt this, check out the life expectancy and the rates of infant and maternal mortality in the various states. Compare the best figures with those from the District of Columbia, which is similar to other inner cities. For example, the maternal mortality rate for DC is 34.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared with 2.7 in Massachusetts. The infant mortality rate in DC is 14.1 per 1,000 live births, compared with 4.5 in Utah. The life expectancy in DC is 72.0 years, compared with 80.0 years in Hawaii.”

In short, these statistics provide ample reason for why U.S. mortality rates do not surpass the Europeans.

Admittedly, as evinced by Dr. Stolinsky’s aforementioned statistics, the U.S. has its share of social problems because of our generosity in bestowing benefits, lenient immigration policy and permissive criminal justice system. But those are not problems with our medical care system.

If the U.S. health care system is so “broken,” as claimed by leftist propagandists, why do so many foreign dignitaries and private citizens still come to the U.S. seeking medical treatment? Why do Canadians, who have a fully socialized health care system, go south of the border to receive medical care in the U.S.? Why are an astounding 60 percent of Nobel Prizes in Medicine or Physiology won by American medical scientists? Why are cancer survival rates in the U.S. so much higher than in the rest of the world? Obviously, these questions answer themselves.

Certainly, there are problems in the U.S. health care system — for example, medical care delivery and prescription drugs are too expensive. The underlying cause of the problem is government involvement in health care. In a subsequent column, we will discuss how the free market has been perverted by government interference and further contravene other false claims promulgated by proponents of socialized medicine.

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Miguel A. Faria, M.D. is a retired clinical professor of neurosurgery and long time medical editor. He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is http://www.haciendapub.com.

07/23/17

Politico Writer’s Beef with Trump: He’s Too Fat to be President. Seriously…

By: Jon Street | Accuracy in Media

Liberal television host and author Touré Neblett seized on a Politico article published Tuesday. The 2,500-word Politico article focused not on anything policy related, but instead centered entirely around President Donald Trump’s weight.

“Politico says Trumpy is the least athletic president in decades which is a nice & polite way of saying he’s a fat slob like Jabba the Hut,” Neblett tweeted Wednesday.

Yes, you read that right. Of all the issues facing the country right now, Ben Strauss, the author of the piece, elected to weigh in on Trump’s physical fitness to be president. What’s worse, Neblett used the story to basically fat shame the president, which liberals usually oppose.

The Left’s obsession with Trump’s “fitness” is nothing new, but usually it is his mental capability to carry out his constitutional duties that gets called into question.  In this particular Politico article, Strauss takes the mental fitness argument a step further.

“Is the President fit?” Strauss asked in the first part of the Politico headline. He doesn’t seek an objective answer. Instead, in the next sentence, Strauss unilaterally declares Trump as the “least athletic president in generations.” Straus goes on to explain “why it matters” — or at least why Strauss thinks it matters.

Strauss writes: “In the modern history of American presidents, no occupant of the Oval Office has evinced less interest in his own health. He does not smoke or drink, but his fast-food, red meat-heavy diet, his aversion to exercise and a tendency to gorge on television for hours at a time put him at odds with his predecessors.”

Forget for just a second that former President Barack Obama smoked cigarettes for the better part of his first term in office, despite former First Lady Michelle Obama constantly railing against the damaging effects that smoking can have on one’s body. Strauss instead went on to shame the octogenarian president for looking and acting like the majority of senior Americans.

“By any measure, America’s president is overweight, and medical experts say it could be affecting his health and his job,” Strauss wrote. Strauss doesn’t mention Trump is the oldest man ever to assume the nation’s highest office.

Strauss continued by pointing out how Trump “deviated” from his prepared remarks during a state visit to Saudi Arabia, which the White House said was because he was “exhausted.” Given his age and the timing and pace of the trip, this seems fair.

But not for Strauss, who insisted the White House official’s response was “not an excuse the Bull Moose would have made,” referring to former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was an avid outdoorsman.”Teddy Roosevelt went on legendary ‘rough, cross-country walks’ in D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and was once punched in the eye by a sparring partner half his age,” Strauss wrote. “John F. Kennedy projected an image of youthful vitality even as he secretly took painkillers for his bad back and other ailments”

“Gerald Ford was lampooned as a clumsy oaf on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but he was a champion football player in college. George W. Bush, an avid mountain biker, ran 7-minute miles on his regular 5k workouts,” Strauss wrote. “Even Bill Clinton lumbered along on regular jogs to atone for his Big Mac habit.”

Strauss did acknowledge that Trump often hits the links at his golf properties, but he criticized the president for riding a golf cart. Never mind the security advantages of riding, as opposed to walking.

It also should be noted the criticism of Trump’s fitness habits comes from the same people who criticize him for golfing too much. Regardless of what one may say about the frequency of Trump’s golf outings, his swing is impressive for someone who is 71 years old.

Contrast that with the swing of Obama, who is two decades younger and also, in this clip, appears to be riding a card just as Trump does. Obama’s golf swing.

Like Republicans in general, the president is in a no-win situation. The media will grasp at anything to portray Trump as unfit to be president.

Criticizing a 71-year-old man who keeps his schedule for not being physically active and trying to fat-shame him because he likes hamburgers is petty, unconstructive and sadly indicative of a left wing media that still cannot accept that this particular 71-year-old came out of nowhere, thumbed his nose at conventional Washington and became the leader of the free world.

America has bigger, more important issues to worry about than the president’s weight. The sooner Strauss and others just accept that Trump was elected president, the quicker we can address the real challenges.

07/23/17

State Department Says No One Cares Anymore About Hillary’s Stupid Emails

By: Brian McNicoll | Accuracy in Media

Nate Silver undertook an interesting what-if project this week with a story on what would things be like if Hillary Clinton had been elected president.

Merrick Garland is on the Supreme Court, and Neil Gorsuch is not. Brian Fallon is the press secretary, and Sean Spicer is not. It is Hillary Clinton under investigation for ties to Russia, and not Donald Trump. Huma Abedin is the White House chief of staff.

Hillary feuds with the press. Her approval numbers at the six-month mark are lower than any president since the 1930s. She is more a caretaker than an implementer of bold new ideas. Congress went Republican, so her agenda goes nowhere. Most of what could be done through executive action was done by Barack Obama. And the press continues to hound her to show progress on something … anything.

Her answer, frustrating to her as well as the American people, is that we haven’t made major mistakes. We haven’t pulled out of the Paris climate accords or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and our foreign policy “has largely been a continuation of Barack Obama’s.”

Silver says Clinton struck a deal with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – he would get Garland confirmed, and she would allow him input on cabinet officials. This is how we got Joe Lieberman as Attorney General and Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior.

It’s an interesting thought exercise, but some of it doesn’t ring true. Silver swallows whole the liberal theory that Trump would be disruptive and refuse to accept electoral results. In truth, he would be back to running his businesses and too busy to care within days.

Silver says Trump’s recalcitrance would contribute to a “national skepticism about Clinton.” There’s been a national skepticism about Hillary Clinton for 30 years.

And he says Republicans would be investigating Hillary’s email problems and considering articles of impeachment this very day if she had been elected. It’s hard to say if Republicans in Congress would be investigating the emails at this point if Hillary had won. But it’s not hard to say – because it is unarguably true – that we are not investigating her emails now.

A federal court has ordered the State Department to turn over 100,000 emails as part of the settlement of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. But according to Circa, the State Department argued at a hearing Thursday that it could not process the 100,000 emails because of a lack of manpower caused by a “hiring freeze” and said it switched to other projects because of the public’s lack of interest in the subject.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, the group that filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, said some of these emails are among those Clinton “failed to disclose” to the government when she served as secretary of state.

Last week, Judicial Watch released 448 pages of State Department documents from Abedin that it said showed preferential treatment to major donors to the Clinton Foundation and various campaigns. These included six email exchanges totaling 439 emails that Clinton had not turned over to the State Department previously. This further puts the lie to her statement that as far as she knew, she had turned over all her emails to the State Department.

The FBI gave the State Department a disk with 7,000 new emails on it that belong to Abedin and were taken from the laptop she shared with her husband, convicted child molester Anthony Weiner. But even those 7,000 can’t be released because, according to Fitton, State Department and Justice Department lawyers are “claiming they have to appraise them, whether they are personal or government, and then sift through what can be shared publicly.”

The court ordered the State Department to process documents at the rate of 500 pages per month, which means it will take until 2020 for most of the information to become public, Fitton said.

Trump has said repeatedly – he tweetstormed on this as recently as a month ago – that the Justice Department should get her emails and make them public. But his own Justice Department attorneys essentially conceded they were slow-rolling the project because of “diminished public interest.”

One insider told Circa, “There are still holdovers within the departments that don’t want to see these emails released, so slow-rolling these requests makes perfect sense. If the president wants these emails released, then he will have to demand that the agencies abide.”

Not for nothing does Silver speculate that upwards of 40 percent of voters – and more than 70 percent of Republicans – would want Hillary impeached given the circumstances. There is widespread distrust of her, her poll numbers are worse than Trump’s, and even she has admitted the trust issues created by the email scandals hurt her at the polls.

But in the view of the State Department, knowing what the former secretary of state was doing elsewhere in the world to shore up her chances of being elected here – what promises were made, what funds collected, etc. – is not of sufficient public interest to invest a few resources and finish the job?

Talk about your alternative universes.

07/23/17

Weekly Featured Profile – Dwight Welch

KeyWiki.org

Dwight Welch, is the Pastor at United Church of Norman, UCC, Oklahoma and is also an Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma City Community College.

Welch studied Theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis as a MDiv. student with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He also serves as a student pastor at First Christian in Sheridan, Indiana and did graduate work in philosophy while serving as a campus minister at University Christian Ministries at Southern Illinois University.

Dwight Welch is also a committed Marxist with a “progressive theological reflection on the relationship of God and the good in life.”

While studying in Indiana, Welch attended the Socialist Party USA National Convention, held at the Gateway Hilton, St. Louis, Missouri, October 19-21, 2007.

In 2009, Dwight Welch served as Secretary to the Central Indiana Democratic Socialists of America.

Today Dwight Welch is an active member of the newly founded Oklahoma City Democratic Socialists.

(Dwight Welch|more…)