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« on: February 27, 2017, 07:55:08 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 2-27-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 27, 2017


    The wrong “Best Picture” announcement at the Oscars was a double mistake.
    Thomas Perez beats out Keith Ellison to be the radical leftist leading the DNC.
    Real health care reform starts with undoing the current pricing secrecy.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“Do not conceive that fine Clothes make fine Men, any more than fine feathers make fine Birds.” —George Washington (1783)


The Academy Gets It Wrong — Twice1

By Mark Alexander

I know you were shocked — S-H-O-C-K-E-D — to learn that an outstanding film based on a true story of unprecedented heroics and faith lost its top Oscar nomination to a movie about gay black folks enslaved on urban poverty plantations2.

The heroics and faith film, “Hacksaw Ridge,” is based on the incredible tale of Desmond Doss, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for arguably the most significant acts of bravery of any award recipient in history. It was rightly among the small list of films nominated in the top three categories — Best Picture, Director and Actor, but of course, it lost all three. However, it did receive two obscure secondary editing awards.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway errantly announced that “La La Land” won Best Picture, a gaffe being heralded as the worst in Academy Awards history3 — unless you consider most of the other awards given in this and previous years. Once all the celebrity La La Land hugs and kisses were done, the hosts corrected their error, announcing that “Moonlight4,” which The New York Times described as “a movie about growing up poor, black and gay,” won best film. Moreover, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win a trophy for his supporting role in that big screen screed.

Fact is, the Academy got it wrong twice — “Hacksaw Ridge” should have swept the awards. If you would like to read about Desmond Doss, whom I knew personally as a neighbor for many years, I invite you to read my column5 on the incredible life story of this most heroic of genuine heroes.

Why the DNC Chose Perez as New Chief6

The new chair of the Democratic National Committee will be Barack Obama’s former labor secretary Tom Perez. In what proved to be a tight vote, Perez beat out Keith Ellison7, the former Nation of Islam member and representative from Minnesota. While the mainstream media portrayed Perez’s election as evidence that Democrats are seeking to moderate their current hard-left stance, the reality is that both candidates are committed lefties.

Perez was one of the most leftist members of Barack Obama’s cabinet and a radical and relentless ideologue. For example, he has long touted the “disparate-impact theory” — a blatantly racist method for economic control. The Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro explained, “He essentially operationalized Eric Holder’s radicalization of the Department of Justice.” And Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “Perez has shown a glaring inability to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of ‘equal justice under law.’”

In the end, the primary reason Democrats chose Perez rather than Ellison may have more to do with a strategy to oppose Donald Trump specifically over the issue of immigration. Perez, who is Hispanic, has a long history of pushing for legal acceptance of illegal immigration. He is an open-borders proponent, is strongly opposed to voter ID laws and has consistently pushed for greater expansion of government programs designed to support illegal aliens. Democrats would love nothing more than to create another solid voting block out of Hispanics like they currently have with blacks. Redefining immigration appears to be their recipe.

Finally, Perez left no doubt as to whether or not Democrats will seek to moderate and work with Trump. Perez declared in his acceptance speech, “We will be able to say that the Democratic Party led the resistance and made sure this was a one-term president.” For his part, Trump offered a cheeky congratulation, tweeting, “I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!”

Top Headlines8

    Conservatives in the Trump era: 15 takeaways from CPAC. (The Daily Signal9)

    Trump signs executive order to help remove “job-killing regulations.” (ABC News10)

    New EPA administrator emphasizes federalism, Rule of Law. (The Daily Signal11)

    Trump address to Congress will focus on tax cuts, health plan. (MarketWatch12)

    Despite the hysteria, Trump is trending less authoritarian than Obama. (National Review13)

    Audit: Social Security admin redistributed $1 BILLION of your taxes to Individuals with no SSI number. (Social Security Administration14)

    More deep state trouble: Obama loyalists suspected of “sabotage” with leak of travel ban report. (The Washington Times15)

    Trump declines to attend White House Correspondent Dinner. (The Hollywood Reporter16)

    Convicted felon Jesse Jackson Jr., former congressman, collects $138K annually from government. (Washington Free Beacon17)

    A gender-confused18 female wrestler, using testosterone to transition to male, wins Texas girls state championship. (Reuters19)

    Policy: The immigration number that ignores citizens' interests. (Bloomberg View20)

    Policy: The future of the two-state solution. (Capital Research Center21)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report22.

REAL Health Care Reform23

“The biggest problem in health care is that there is no pricing at all.”

By Arnold Ahlert

On Friday, Politico released24 a draft25 of the GOP proposals to take down ObamaCare. They include eliminating the individual mandate, income-based premium subsidies, and all of the law’s taxes. In addition, Medicare spending would be lowered and states would be given money for high risk pools aimed at covering pre-existing conditions. All of the details regarding the plan’s cost will be influenced by CBO findings and the effect on the federal deficit. Yet if Republicans are serious about creating a so-called “patient centered” plan, it might be extremely useful to heed the words of Florida attorney and former Florida hospital president, Steven I. Weissman. “The biggest problem in health care is that there is no pricing at all,” Weissman explains. “It is not a coincidence that the only product or service permitted to be sold in the U.S. without legitimate pricing is the one which has imposed tremendous financial hardship.”

Last week, Fox News' Tucker Carlson interviewed26 Weissman to find out why. The first question he asked and the answer he received was enlightening — and infuriating. “Is there a connection between the amount of money spent on lobbying on health care, and the dysfunction in the health care system?” Carlson asked.

“Absolutely,” Weissman answered. “You can call me a cynic, but the health care industry spends more on lobbying than the oil and gas industries, defense industries and aerospace industries combined.”

Weissman is on the money, so to speak. According to OpenSecrets.org, the total amount of money spent on lobbying for defense, aerospace, and oil and gas is $317 million.

Health care lobbying? A whopping $509.5 million.

As a result, Weissman insists the politicians in Washington, DC, are working to solve the health care problem on the wrong end of the equation. “Repeal ObamaCare, replace ObamaCare, amend ObamaCare and all of the plans are based on the false ideas that we have an insurance problem in the United States, when what we really have … is a health care billing problem, a medical price problem,” he insists.

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The Patriot Post Digest 2-27-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
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Weissman highlights an absurdity to which millions of Americans have resigned themselves. “You ask the price of any service, you can’t get a straight answer,” the doctor explains. “The only answer you’ll ever get is ‘what insurance do you have?’”

Again, Weissman is correct. As the New York Times reveals27, Americans know how to get price comparisons for any number of products or services. But when it comes to health care, “Prices vary tremendously. And there is no established relationship with quality.”

Tremendously is somewhat of an understatement. One analysis showed the cost of a mammography28 can be anywhere between $128 and $700, while MRI scans can vary by a factor of four. And even when patients are motivated to find the best prices for a procedure or service, they often can’t.

Consumer Reports explains29 why. “The contracted prices that health plans negotiate with providers in their networks have little or nothing to do with the actual quality of services provided and everything to do with the relative bargaining power of the providers.”

As a result, providers with “a lot of market clout” can charge far higher prices, consumers are often unable to find out how much elective surgery will cost, even when they have high deductibles, and people who go out of network whether by accident or design can be saddled with enormous bills insurance companies aren’t obligated to pay. And because prices are unobtainable, the industry can gouge patients when they are most vulnerable — with an unexpected visit to an emergency room being the most egregious example.

What’s behind this calculated chaos? “Under the current system with ObamaCare, health insurers have been incentivized to pay more out for medical care,” Weissman reveals. “Because under the current law, the only way an insurance company can increase their premiums — and profits — is to pay more out for the underlying medical services. They’re required to pay out 80% of the premiums they collect for actual health care services.”

Thus the disturbing reality, Weissman concludes, is that many patients seeking low prices are better off “pretending they don’t have insurance” when they visit the doctor.

Two developments herald genuine change. First, some health care providers aren’t waiting30 for Congress to address the issue. Keith Smith’s Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) has a website with an outline of the human body, where a patient can click on a particular body part and a menu of surgical procedures appears. Click on a procedure and you get the price SCO charges for it, with anesthesia included.

The real world results are dramatic. The same procedure for which SCO charges $3,600 cost $40,000 at a Georgia hospital — until the potential patient told his doctor he would go to SCO. At that point, the hospital dropped its cost by 90% to $4,000.

Americans should remember that kind of competition when Congress gets back to talking about allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines to increase premium price competition. That latter is almost irrelevant as long as insurance companies are incentivized to gouge the public.

Unfortunately, Republicans may continue allowing insurance companies unfettered power. Former House Speaker John Boehner insists31 they will, but maybe that’s because he’s working for health care lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs.

After seven years of trying to repeal ObamaCare, it’s time Republicans started working for the American people. A bill with transparent health care industry pricing is an essential element in upending the current status quo — one that existed long before the enactment of ObamaCare. So is one other essential ingredient that virtually guarantees a viable bill: a requirement that every member of Congress use the very same health care policies they enact for us.

Nothing says “patient centered” better than that.


    CPAC and Trump, Then and Now32 — He skipped it last year, but was the triumphant leader this year.
    Trump Talks Nukes33 — He emphasizes the need for U.S. capabilities to be the world’s best.
    Chris Cuomo’s Transgender Meltdown34 — The CNN host takes to Twitter to teach intolerance.


    John C. Goodman: Identity Politics: Up From the GRAVE35
    Peggy Noonan: Washington Still Reels From the Quake of 201636
    Burt Prelutsky: The Barbarians Among Us37

For more, visit Right Opinion38.


John Goodman: “America is a divided nation, we are told. But what divides us? … To understand Democrats, remember that our ancestors lived in tribes that fought with other tribes over food, territory and resources. Loyalty to a group and identification with the group were essential to success. Today, those characteristics are in our genes. That’s why the strongest political force in the world has traditionally been nationalism. Identity politics is the new nationalism. Think about the Women’s Marches, the protesters at Donald Trump rallies, and the angry mobs currently besieging the Republicans at town hall meetings. Think about all the posters, signs, and messages plastered on tee shirts, hats, and banners. Did you ever see a sign saying ‘I’m for Free Trade’? How about ‘Viva NAFTA’? Or ‘Hooray for TTP’? How about ‘Open the Borders’ or ‘Let Everybody In’? Did you see any signs addressing any other issue that Donald Trump campaigned on? Veterans' health? Corporate taxes? Crime on the streets? No? Welcome to the world of identity politics, which I am going to describe by the acronym GRAVE: Grievance, Retaliation, Action, Validation and Empathy.”


The Gipper: “There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

For the record: “I think [Trump] could be the greatest president in history.” —Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

They’ve got a long way to go: “The Democrats are the party of opportunity and inclusion. We are going to communicate our message, whether it’s through lawsuits like the state attorneys general did to stop the Muslim ban, [or] whether it’s through actions … at the polls.” —newly elected DNC chairman Tom Perez

Braying Jackass: “We do need background checks on guns. We do need to address the fact that people are getting murdered across this country and none of these murders seem to bother the NRA.” —DNC chief runner-up Keith Ellison

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “If every person watching this show … if every one of you took a minute to reach out to someone you disagree with, someone you like and have a positive, considerate conversation — not as liberals and conservatives, but as Americans — we could make America great again.” —Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars

Village Idiots: “I am an immigrant, just like many of you. I am a proud Latino immigrant here in the United States. … There are many people who do not want us to be here, and who want to create a wall in order to separate us. But you know what? This is also our country. Let me repeat this: OUR country, not theirs. It is our country. And we are not going to leave. … We are not going to sit down. We will not shut up. And we will not leave. That is what we are going to do.” —Jorge Ramos

And last: “Donald Trump is such a terrifying fascist dictator that literally no one fears speaking out against him on literally any platform.” —Sonny Bunch

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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