WOOF! Watchdogs of Our Freedom


In which WOOF reports all the news unfit to fake; est. on June 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm

In which WOOF’s editor in chief, Old Bugler, expresses his up-to-the-minute-if-frustratingly-excursive views on nothing but 100% guaranteed genuine news, mostly in      the annoyingly-officious third-person, as befits his station!                                      ________________________________________________

Healthcare Reform for Dummies (and for non-RINOs, too, of course)!

Byline: “Old Bugler”

Old Bugler is inclined to begin with an apology, inasmuch as this column is intended to deal with current issues, whereas healthcare, the topic at hand, has slipped into virtual nullibicity. This, of course, is due principally to the fact that the media have been for approximately two months now utterly distracted from the subject owing to their tireless search for Russians visiting chaos upon the commonweal, while colluding with President Trump toward a variety of unspecified ends—all of them, presumably, evil. And when their dedication in this regard flags, they find themselves in conniptions over the current budgetary proposals of OMB Director Mulvaney who now stands accused of attempted ethnic cleansing by Bishop Dwayne Royster of Philadelphia.

Indicating how fed up he is with minorities, Michael Mulvaney prepares to starve them into extinction with genocidally targeted budget cuts.

Readers inclined to think back only a few weeks will recall that before Donald Trump stood accused of genocidal mania on account of his proposed spending cuts, he was already branded a murderous pathalog owing to his support of that legislation unimaginatively dubbed the American Health Care Act, in which healthcare is split into two words, presumably to avoid the acronymic goofiness implicit in “AHA!” But that thought aside, Republicans in the House of Representatives made much ado of having passed the bill, even promenading to the White House where they posed for silly photos and gave the general impression that America’s medical well being was ensured, the depredations of Obamacare remedied, and the entire matter settled for at least the remainder of the century.

Speaker Ryan leads assorted House members in the pretense of having accomplished something epochal.

Old Bugler admits the current bill’s progress is well nigh inspirational by comparison to the GOP’s amazingly inept prior attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare–that effort consisting of a moronic hodgepodge of implausibly extravagant (and often diametrically purposed) modifications, augmentations, and hincty adjustments that had little time to draw substantial liberal ire before it was quashed by the predictable phalanx of lock-step Democrats in momentary concordance with an embattled cohort of conservative Republicans unafraid to call a turkey a turkey.

When victory threatens…

The execrable Reid offers his 5th or 6th version of how an exercise machine beat him bloody. Old Bugler hopes they’re all true.

Incredulous constituents wondered how on earth the controlling party in the House of Representatives managed to mire itself in such jury-rigged gobbledygook, when the obvious alternative was simply to repeal the (drolly appellated) Affordable Care Act. If practice makes perfect, repeal should have been a snap. Since taking control of the House in 2011, congressional Republicans voted no less than 50 times to dispense with Mr. Obama’s signature infelicity, only to be rebuffed on each occasion by the Democratic majority in the Senate, led by the reptilian Harry Reid, (a man so contemptible that his own exercise machine beat him up repeatedly).

Paul Ryan, sincerely just kidding.

Why, then, was the deliverance of the Senate into the hands of the GOP not capitalized on immediately by the Republican House? Why did Speaker Ryan seem suddenly incapable of reissuing the simple articles of repeal that enjoyed his unqualified and repeated support absent a kindred senate, but vanished from the scene the moment victory threatened? Alas, Old Bugler knows perfectly well why—as do the majority of his beloved readers.

Speaker Ryan’s terror of advancing a fresh effort at actual repeal—given the chilling conceivability that a Republican Senate might take it seriously–is woefully apparent. Somewhat unsurprisingly, it transpires than Paul Ryan was only kidding. There is no chance he will put his name to any fresh effort to repeal Obamacare in its totality— nor would more than a handful of House Republicans, the sizable majority of whom possess the intestinal fortitude of dormice. And this sad state of affairs ramifies from influences both insidious and overt.

The boys in the bubble…

Perfect! Too bad the elites don’t wear t-shirts!

Once inside the beltway bubble, even once-stalwart tea-party candidates rapidly lose their focus on matters of state and fall prey to the systemic habitudes of a congress too long dependent on social standing, wealth, elitist groupthink, patronage, and the good opinion of that bizarre troupe of comically ignorant, hubristically fatuous, far-left polemicists known as “the media.” Most conservatives call such Republicans RINOS, although WOOF prefers to call them CURS (Conservatives Until Re-elected). However called, they constitute the GOP establishment, which has nothing to do with authentic conservatism, and everything to do with currying favor with the party leadership, moving far enough left to garner compliments and screen time from the mainstream networks, and sabotaging any Republican upstart too embarrassingly fanatical to do likewise.

Graveyards are littered with the bones of Republicans who wouldn’t knuckle under to the GOP establishment.

McConnell, extra light.

This is why nothing resembling actual repeal will issue from Paul Ryan’s congress, or from Mitch McConnell’s senate. The GOP long ago learned to so intensely fear the press as to cower at the thought of its displeasure. This is why nobody really cuts the budget, defunds Planned Parenthood, calls miscreant Democratic politicians to muster, opposes the appointment of a radical judiciary, or insists on such foolishly arcane practices as ratifying treaties before they take effect.

John Boehner (left) and wind-up monkey toy with whom he often communes; Old Bugler is not making this up.

One need look no further than the sorry spectacle of former House Speaker John Boehner (who loudly considers Ted Cruz to be “Lucifer in the flesh” and Donald Trump to be a “complete disaster”) assuring attendees at a health-care conference that efforts to repeal Obamacare are “just happy talk.” With leaders like these, who needs Democrats?

The benign effects of liberal wrath

Why Republicans vote like Democrats–mutatis mutandis.

With Obamacare melting down spectacularly in so many ways at once, one might suppose its repeal would seem an attractive proposition, but House and Senate Republicans know that repeal will visit the full wrath of the leftist establishment on their heads. Pointing out that the full wrath of the Left was visited upon Donald Trump, who was elected president, or that when the same insensate media ranted against the GOP for daring—however briefly—to conscience a government shutdown in 2013, the result was substantial GOP election gains, invites slack-jawed incomprehension. Alas, in Washington D.C, nothing is perceived as actual beyond the sociopolitical matrix inside the Beltway. In other words, persuading Republicans to brave media criticism is no less difficult than persuading Pavlov’s dogs to resist drooling.

Nothing, therefore, so greatly informs the healthcare debate as fear; fear of human-wave attacks by histrionic talking heads filling America’s TV screens with delirious prognostications of mass death and social implosion should Obamacare be rescinded. Thus, Republicans preoccupy themselves with endless dickering over how this or that aspect of the Affordable Care Act can be modified, economically recalibrated, demographically refocused, or otherwise reformulated in order to give the impression of repeal while repealing nothing in any meaningful sense. The intent is to persuade the electorate that something not dissimilar to repeal is occurring, while leaving enough of Obamacare intact to mollify the media. Clearly this is a fool’s errand, and just as clearly, Ryan and McConnell are the right men for the job.

As we are prone to ask, “What would Jim Bowie do?”


But actual repeal and reform is easy, and not even oxymoronic if pursued properly. First, the GOP must confront a bitter reality, mainly that it will be assailed mercilessly by the establishment media and the Democratic Left, no matter how hard it tries to avoid a fight. The only realistic option to being slaughtered, therefore, is to fight.  

The main reasons the House bill is so hopelessly Byzantine, and that the Senate will only cause it to be more so while affecting to “fix” it—and that the entire matter will wind up in a conference committee where it will almost certainly lapse into a kind of cryogenic limbo– are threefold. First, the abandonment of mandated coverage for those with pre-existing conditions strikes terror into Republican hearts, and second, so does the vision of Americans confronting mountainous and unanticipated medical expenses resulting from some dire diagnosis that vaporizes their finances and leaves them homeless and destitute.

Obamacare creates a phantasm of security in the latter case, because, after spending grueling amounts of time and effort weeding through the infamous exchanges, more discerning applicants are likely to wind up with lower monthly premiums than might be levied outside the system (besides which, insurance companies bullied into the red by Obama’s insistence that they meet such irrational pricing goals are rapidly fleeing the markets). Also, while monthly premiums appear lower, the surprise is that out-of-pocket payments are typically required by service providers until patients reach their plans’ annual deductibles, which in many cases are simply unaffordable. As Clint Eastwood fatidically remarked back in 2010, “If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it’s free!”

Because it’s “mandated,” punk!

Don’t tell anyone!

Second, many Americans believe they are better off contracting, say, lymphoma, under Obamacare, than otherwise. This, of course, presumes that their lesser health issues haven’t already bankrupted them, because in most cases deductibles are equally astronomical whether the patient is terminal, or merely beset by gout. It also ignores the fact that once Obama’s long term goal of a single payer system is realized, patients with catastrophic diagnoses, especially if elderly and registered Republican, will be handed Vicodin and asked to die cheaply in the name of budgetary solvency.

Jonathan Gruber famously credited “the stupidity of the American voter” with helping him sell Obamacare.

Where pre-exiting conditions are concerned, Obamacare is ballyhooed as lifesaving, but the notion that uninsurable sufferers were dying in droves before President Obama interceded on their behalves is a myth. Before Obama butted in, applicants in all 50 states were offered help in conformity with Public Law 104-191.  Purchasers who maintained continuous coverage and complied with the requirements of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act retained the right to purchase individual insurance for pre-existing conditions with no exclusions. You can file this under, “Don’t tell anyone!”

Twenty-three million instant victims…. 

Finally, a third reason repeal turns congressional spines to jelly is the realization that 23 million Americans, according to the CBO, will become instantly uninsured should the present version of the AHCA become law—which, of course, it won’t. Accepting the CBO’s figure, at least for the moment, this automatically creates 23 million potential interviewees for the liberal media—a percentage of which, no matter how minute, is bound to consider itself aggrieved. Of this percentage, enough will be Black, elderly, female, and tearful, that the media blitz will be potent. But who are these 23 million who suddenly hover on the brink of destruction? Here in one lesson we may perceive the siren song of socialism. Americans have been laboring under the increasingly oppressive yoke of Obamacare only since 2010, and yet we are already persuaded that without it, millions will perish, uncared for and unnoticed, in the cruel streets.

Meeting of the Congressional Budget Office (file photo).

A majority of the 23 million Americans cited as “about to lose their insurance,” already have no insurance. Old Bugler is not making this up. They are uninsured Americans whom the CBO hypothesizes may become insured in years ahead under Obamacare, unless, of course, it goes away. When actual enrollment figures are used, only a few million lose existing coverage, a good many of whom currently have insurance only because they were bludgeoned into obtaining some despite not wanting it to begin with. Offered reasonable free-market alternatives many such individuals would simply transition to affordable plans even without the threat of fines (more recently transmogrified into “taxes” by the juridically whimsical John Roberts).

Toward this end, here is Old Bugler’s easy, inexpensive, nearly painless three-step method for resolving the healthcare issue.

Step one: Rescind all statewide provisions as to which insurers are permitted or disallowed within statewide jurisdictions. Permit all insurance companies to compete with all other insurance companies coast to coast and in the non-contiguous states. Ignore liberal cries that this means unbridled, unregulated predation by innumerable corporate profiteers. It’s what we call competition, and liberals hate it. Ignore also the cries from those who formerly brokered sweetheart deals with state-approved insurance corporations and their lobbyists. These regional legislators and influence peddlers will attempt to gain our sympathy by preaching federalism, and we must answer by championing an unfettered free market. Read More…

Step two: Repeal Obamacare in its entirety—nothing left to argue about, nothing left to celebrate, fear, laud, or anathematize—totally removed.  Enjoy the spectacle of Schumer and Pelosi competing to see whose predictions of mass death and unbridled social upheaval wax most dire.

A trace of crimson….

Your humble editor must now surprise and quite possibly disgust certain of his readers by adding that conservatives should, in the present circumstances, be willing to live with a trace of crimson—by which is meant: a remaining hint of socialism. The application of this unsavory gambit insofar as it slays the Obamacare leviathan is, for now at least, a necessary compromise. Hence:

Step three: Stipulate that at the outset of Obamacare’s repeal, the Federal government in cooperation with the 50 states and interested private insurers will indemnify all parties with pre-existing conditions or who confront sudden, catastrophic diagnoses, who wish to receive, but have not otherwise secured, coverage. Fears that this will result in obscene burdens to the federal exchequer are easily allayed. The expenses born by the government in such instances are slightly better than 5 percent of the current federal outlay, and a pittance in comparison to what a single-payer system would cost to cover everyone. And as insurers collapse under the weight of Obamacare, a single-payer (all Federal) system is where America is ineluctably bound unless the socialist impulse is brought to heel. Moreover, even the phlegmatic adjustments of Ryan’s American Health Care Act are projected by the CBO to reduce the deficit by $337 billion over the coming decade. Obviously, these savings will increase considerably if Obamacare is repealed in its entirety, leaving more than sufficient funds for the comparatively modest venture at hand.

Free enterprise can create a world in which the Aflac Duck is only one of many mascots pitching insurance deals at prices kept low by the invisible hand of the market place!

Insurance rates will tumble as commercial insurers are relieved of the burden of covering clients who are actuarially uninsurable. In this respect, Obamacare discriminated against healthy people, forcing them to obtain coverage on the exchanges at prices designed to provide slush-funding for the chronically ill, whose medical costs are ten times higher on average. Obviously, this will stop, just as a market freed to promote competition between medical insurers on a par with that already allotted automobile insurers will induce private enterprise to experiment with innovative group or pool-based solutions that may compete favorably, over time, with anything government can offer.

Progressive illness? Gotcha covered!

As the process evolves, government can yield more and more to the private sector. Meanwhile, insurers and/or states willing to bridge the gap between a high-risk customer’s contribution and the actual cost of insuring him can rely on infusions of taxpayer dollars made available through liberal (you should forgive the expression) annual appropriations from congress. Private efforts, e.g., to establish high-risk pools, have merit and should be encouraged, but federal monies should incentivize such innovation, at least for now. Rand Paul has simply called for adding these expenses to Medicaid. This too seems workable, but Old Bugler believes that the more the matter is either privatized, federalized, or shared between venues—the less likely it becomes that Americans will wake up to some future Obama denying coverage to anyone to the political right of, say, Whoopi Goldberg.

The SNOWFLAKE exclusions:

Some government funding, however, must be denied propaedeutically in the interest of thrift–to say nothing of sanity. To weed out a few of the conditions deemed legitimately “pre-existing” by proponents of utopian, unicorns-and-rainbows-style socialist healthcare planning, certain ailments no matter how politically correct, or appealing to certain voting demographics, must be exempted from consideration for government coverage. These include but are by no means limited to such concerns as:

• Acne
• Anxiety
• Alcoholism
• Baldness
• Erectile dysfunction
• Pregnancy avoidance (aka Women’s Reproductive Rights)
• Menstrual irregularities
• Obesity
• Seasonal Affective Disorder
• Transsexualism

Reverse agendification…

Fabius–you magnificent genius SOB, we read your book!

The wondrousness of Fabianist agendification works in this model as the reverse of what Mr. Obama and his neo-Leninist accomplices intended, not to mention the original Fabianists. As time elapses, free-market solutions will increasingly present themselves as preferable to government largesse. Federalism will reassert itself in healthy ways as states propose localized innovations—and the government, properly disciplined, will do all it can to promote the capitalization of these rising platforms without forsaking patients who continue to require federal assistance.

Ultimately, market forces, here and there incentivized by judicious applications of government funds, will suffice to streamline the endeavor. Insurance, for the vast number of Americans who seek and desire it, will be easier to obtain and far less expensive than even before Obamacare mangled our system, and this to no small extent because insurers relieved of the burden of compensating catastrophically or chronically ill patients will lower rates accordingly. Meanwhile, those unfortunates decreed by fate to occupy these actuarially problematic categories can rest assured of Government support–except, of course, for fat, dysthymic transsexuals with sleep apnea—they’re just going to have to buy themselves some insurance. Let’s face it, no plan is perfect. 



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