The first four lambs have been born. MALES. Damnit. And, instead of producing twins, the last two ewes to lamb have produced singles. Big, strong, healthy singles, but singles nonetheless. D’OH! Instead of two $100 lambs, I’ll be selling only one.
The very existence of one of the new lambs is rather miraculous. His momma is 14, a doddering old age for a ewe. She was doing pretty well considering her advanced age until she had a barnyard accident and cut her knees into the joints which got infected. Then, while recovering from that, she contracted a near fatal case of bluetongue virus and wasted away to skin and bones. She has not regained much weight and her walk is a painful shuffle. I had hoped that her final lamb would be a female. So much for hope.
I heard another ewe out there calling. I better check for new or lost lambs!
Compared to the baseline wave (conducted in June 2009), medical directors report a significantly higher awareness of the ESRD bundle and have become decidedly more negative about the impact to patient outcomes. Close to three-quarters of the respondents now expect bundling to have a “negative” impact on patient outcomes, compared to 43% in June. An area of particular concern for the research participants is the inclusion of oral medications (phosphate binders and cinacalcet) in the proposed rule, which was released in September.
Almost half of the respondents indicated active or planned pilot programs to evaluate the impact of various clinical strategies under the new payment system. A majority of respondents anticipate a decrease in the use of ESAs through a shift to subcutaneous dosing, potentially lower hemoglobin targets and dose limitations in select patients. In bone and mineral metabolism, more than half of the medical directors suggest that a shift to calcitriol (from Abbott’s Zemplar and Genzyme’s Hectorol) is likely and a major offset to Amgen’s Sensipar is projected. And although an increase in the use of calcium based phosphate binders was deemed to be “not in the best interest of the patient” by a majority of medical directors, future market share projections indicate increased use of these agents in place of more expensive, non-calcium agents such as Genzyme’s Renagel/Renvela and Shire’s Fosrenol.
The third wave of this research will be fielded following the release of the final rule which is expected in the next few months.
Commentary from somebody who has a loved one on dialysis:
Did you get that? What the doctors have established as the best care for ESRD? They can’t give you that under Obamacare and they have been figuring out the minimum they can do on what they will have now that will keep you alive – barely. This is important for you to understand. This is real. It is happening right now under Obamacare. Am I reaching you yet?
What this is, is people who have been forced into Medicare by machinations designed to help the poor and unless they can pay for the treatment on their own without the assistance of insurance, because private insurers won’t cover it, because the government covers it … they are now subject to rationing. Was that clear enough? I can never tell. This is your future.
I don’t expect you to give a rat’s ass about people with a disease you’ve never heard of, getting ‘free” treatments when – if poor – they would probably be dead, so beggars can’t be choosers. I expect you to understand that the way this works is the way Obamacare will work and while it’s admirable to care for the poor, the people who are average, middle class workers are sucked under and their options are stripped from them. And. At the whim of the government. They are looking at a modern zombieland with no way to save themselves from the budget cuts. Their treatments will be cut from the more expensive drugs and care that keeps them active and productive, to just barely enough to keep them breathing and there is not a damned thing they can do about it unless they are rich.
This, my friends, is YOU in five years. Never has a Medicare cut demonstrated more clearly that the government, when given the power of life and death over people, will begin by allowing you to live – and thanks a lot for that, btw – and then when money is tight or priorities are different, they drop you into the abyss. You’re ability to find your own way – all avenues you might have used to save yourself are cut away because the private sector cannot compete, and WILL not complete with the US Government.
Starting in 2011, your life will be in danger from the Federal Government if you require dialysis.
From Mordecai Noah at GCP:
The 2010 Health Care Act is almost too massive to comprehend. Before I hit the lowlights, a review of what’s coming at the end of this year is in order (the expiration of the “Bush” tax cuts):
The 35% marginal income tax bracket moves to 39.6, and the 33% bracket moves to 36%. The 10% and 25% rate brackets disappear entirely (so much for the tax increases only affecting the “rich”). The 15% maximum tax rate on qualified dividends disappears; dividends will be taxed at your highest marginal tax rate beginning in 2011 (and it might be higher than you think beginning in 2013). The 15% is also gone for long term capital gains. (See IRC Section 1 for all changes to tax rates.) The alternative minimum tax “fix” (joke that it was) disappears (IRC Section 55). (If you live in a high tax income tax state, pay lots of real estate taxes , have lots of kids or have lots of unreimbursed employee business expenses, guess what? It’s more than possible that your marginal tax rate will increase.) The marriage penalty “fix” goes away (IRC Section 1). The phase-out of the phase-out of itemized deductions (IRC Section 68) and personal exemptions (IRC Section 151; Public Law 107-16, Section 901) goes away if you’re a “high income” taxpayer.
Now for more bad news: Beginning in 2013, there’s a new .9% tax on wages and self-employment income over a certain threshhold. If you’re single and make over $200,000 a year, your taxes will go up. If you’re married and you make over $250,000 a year, your taxes will go up (IRC Section 3101). (Think it won’t affect you because you’re not “rich”?; think again.)
In addition to the new wage/self-employment tax, there’s a 3.8% additional tax on net investment income (IRC Section 1411). That’s right; every dollar you earn in investment income above the threshholds mentioned in the preceeding paragraph will be taxed at your highest marginal rate AND at 3.8%.
Still think there’s no penalty in the Health Care Act for you? (And if you think that, you’re obviously ignorant of the tax status of who’s employing you.) The Act adds Section 4191 to the Internal Revenue Code: Beginning in 2013, there’s a 2.3% excise tax (think sales tax as this cost will be passed on to you) on medical devices. Exceptions include glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and “common medical devices” (whatever that means).
Oh, and by the way, illegal aliens are exempt from the penalties that take effect in 2014 for failure to purchase health insurance (IRC Section 5000A(d)(3)). (More on the rest of the deadbeats who get health insurance free of charge in a future post.) Of course, that doesn’t mean that they still can’t avail themselves of emergency room care (it’s federal law — U.S. Code Section 1395dd — that they can’t be turned away), and stick American taxpayers with the bill.
Think the government is interested in having stable families? Not so much. It will probably be most financially advantageous to you to divorce and cohabitate, particularly if combining incomes will push you into a higher tax bracket, or if one partner’s income is low while the other’s is higher. The lower income may qualify for benefits/get insurance for a reduced rate.
From the Miami Herald:
In December 2008, Chief Chadwick Wagner called a press conference to say deceased drifter Ottis Toole — long suspected but never prosecuted — killed Adam. Adam’s parents believed it and Broward prosecutors said Toole was the only valid suspect. Case closed.
But had authorities fully explored Dahmer’s time in South Florida, they would have found more evidence implicating him than Toole, The Miami Herald found.
The evidence includes two additional witnesses who said they saw him at the mall with Adam that day, another who placed Dahmer at the scene of an eerily similar abduction attempt two weeks earlier, and people who said he had access to a van fitting an early description of the getaway vehicle.
The 29-year-old murder remains among the most vexing unsolved crimes in America, and no one can say with certainty that Dahmer — or any of the other myriad suspects to drift through the case — snatched the child.
Yet by focusing so heavily on Toole despite layers of contradictions in his long twisted tale, Hollywood police may well have missed leads pointing to Dahmer, according to fresh interviews and a review of thousands of documents.
Did Jeffrey Dahmer do it? Probably. He was there. He had access to a blue van. Eyewitnesses said the man that they saw snatch Adam was not Ottis Toole. The decapitation fits with his later victims. Is there any way to tell for sure? No.
Oooops. Guess companies can’t play fast and loose with the truth like the government can.
From Karl at The Market Ticker:
Nor does the damage stop with AT&T, Deere and Caterpillar. One of New Hampshire’s papers reported that the ski resorts in the state may have to pay as much as one billion in fines, because they hire a large number of seasonal workers without offering health benefits. Either these firms will have to increase prices or reduce costs, which means hiring fewer workers (and poorer service for customers.) Either way, this isn’t “helping the economy.”
Mr. Waxman cites “independent analysis” that claim no material change. They obviously didn’t talk to Towers Watson, a benefits consulting firm, that says the impact could be as much as a $14 billion loss in corporate profits. (I think they’re missing a zero over the next 20 years, but even so $14 billion isn’t zero – and it certainly isn’t a profit INCREASE.)
I said from the beginning that this bill would not decrease costs, it would dramatically raise them. That it was a bill that would ultimately result in an increase in taxes now, and that you’d get improved health care effectively never.
Read the rest of “So the Government Doesn’t Like Consequences” at the Market Ticker, who is far more eloquent on this than I am.
Read Victor Davis Hansen’s “Giddy About Remaking America“. A good read.
Obama is not my President. He’s my enemy.
Congress, the Senate, and the President have bribed, lied, and cheated their way into passing a bill that is massively unpopular and expect Americans to just lie back and take it. Bwahahahahaha! Seriously, they really do. They seem to think that they live in a place where passivity is a way of life, the populace will tamely hand over their funds, and the rest of the states will be happy to devolve to a place where they, too, can aspire to be as bankrupt as Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. They’re going to help the unemployment problem by hiring 16,000 New IRS workers because by gawd THAT will keep us in line!
Well, I suppose that would work if Americans as a whole weren’t at least 10 times smarter than the political class. But we are. We aren’t going to follow tax “laws” enforced by government goons that we see as unfair, particularly when the freakin’ head of the Treasury didn’t pay his on a salary most of us could only dream of. That goes for most the Obama appointees, advisors, and Democratic politicians.
Screw up the system, folks. After all, they’re trying to screw you.