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Let’s Blow It Up

 

In a recent comment, Ricochet member @DonG wrote, “The drug industry in the US is a giant racket enabled by a corrupted regulatory system.” After over 20 years of working in medicine, and doing occasional part-time work for pharmaceutical companies in the cardiovascular field, I find that statement to be precise and accurate. Fascism is an explosive word, almost like Nazi. But this is, precisely, fascism. It’s not socialism. Our government does not want to own the means of production; it just wants to control it. Regulate the heck out of it, get private industry to do what you want, then tax the crap out of it to fund a welfare state huge enough to buy sufficient votes to get you re-elected. It’s simple, really. It’s too bad that the term “fascism” is widely viewed as a pejorative because it’s a perfect description of much of our government.

To get back to Don’s point regarding the pharmaceutical industry: This is what excessive regulation creates. You destroy everybody, except for the few corporations enormous or well-connected (usually the same thing) enough that they can withstand the regulatory pressure with top-flight, very expensive legal departments. Then you control and profit from those few. You can’t control 1,000 drug companies, but you can control six of them; maybe eight. Note that this type of evolutionary pressure selects out those who are good at government, not those who are good at creating new drugs. As is true in every industry.

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Forcing Doctors to Perform Abortions

 

There’s an interesting piece from Wesley Smith at NR today:

The medical and bioethics establishments and the international abortion lobby want to drive pro-life and Hippocratic Oath–believing doctors, midwives, and nurses out of medicine. One authoritarian tactic is to obliterate “medical conscience,” e.g., the civil right to refuse participation in legal medical procedures to which one has a religious or moral objection.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America celebrate a positive July economic report, as unemployment drops to 3.9 percent and the economy adds 157,000 jobs. They also criticize The New York Times for hiring reporter Sarah Jeong, who made racist comments about white people. And they break down reporter Bill Scher’s unappealing offer for Never-Trump Republicans to join the Democratic Party, as long as they accept that their policies will not win.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America watch in amusement as Democrats invent ridiculous arguments against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn) statement that President Donald Trump “would be a monarch if Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice.” They also worry about America’s fertility rate falling to a 42-year low and the factors contributing to the decline, such as low marriage rates and the prevalence of birth control. And they are happy to see Netflix cancel the show of the Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.

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Financial Responsibility and Insurance Fraud; or, Reason 5,423 Why Health Insurance Is A Mess

 

For those unfortunate enough to be “covered”* by an ACA insurance plan, paying cash at an out-of-network practice, apparently, constitutes an act of fraud. Never mind that a thousand financial-planning websites advocate exactly this practice. No, it’s fraud. Evil. Contemptible. Horrible. Hideous. A family member of mine learned this great, undeniable truth recently, after she […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America break down Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that red-state Democrats remain neutral on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They also cannot believe that some Democrats are seriously considering the idea of almost doubling the federal budget to pay for Sen. Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all program. And they cannot find any examples of malfeasance in the Boston Globe story about the TSA’s passenger-monitoring program that tracks people who sweat too much and urinate too often.

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FiveThirtyEight’s Anti-Catholic Hit Piece

 

FiveThirtyEight ran a piece criticizing the prevalence of Catholic hospitals in rural communities with only one hospital in town. This scenario, to the authors, poses a dire situation: “What happens when you need or want a standard medical service, but the hospital won’t provide it?”

Their formulation of the situation sounds dire — as if religious hospitals and priests deny standard medical care. But when you dig into their evidence, you find it’s nothing more than the “dreadful situation” posed by the Obamacare lawsuit Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, it’s all about abortion, contraception, and family planning. FiveThirtyEight does throw in end-of-life care to differentiate themselves.

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Question – How does “concierge” medicine work (with a supplemental rant against a particularly idiotic provision of “Obamacare”)

 

I believe some Ricochetti practice “concierge” medicine (outside the medical insurance system), and others may be cash-paying patients. What does a person who has signed up with a particular doctor for regular medical care on a cash or subscription model do about paying for major not-regular medical care and hospitalization? More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a laugh out of Nevada Sen. Dean Heller’s attack ad, in which he exposes Democratic Senate challenger Jacky Rosen for lying about owning a business that never existed. They also call for Senate Republicans to act on hundreds of bills that the House of Representatives has passed but lie dormant in the upper chamber. And they think it’s time for a widespread rebuke of Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy show where he impersonates a disabled veteran.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate President Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. They also reflect on what could have been had Trump nominated Catholic, conservative, mother-of-seven Judge Amy Coney Barrett. And they dismiss the single-source claim of NBC Reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell that Kennedy negotiated his replacement to be Kavanaugh before he stepped down. They also highlight the volatile protesters, who appeared with signs to reject any candidate that Trump selected and who forced Fox News Host Shannon Bream to cancel her show outside the Supreme Court.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America review Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 30 years on the Supreme Court and anticipate President Trump’s second opportunity to nominate a justice to the nation’s highest court. They then laugh at the hysterics of Chuck Schumer and other Democrats following Kennedy’s retirement. They also look at a report that suggests both Democrats and Republicans tend to stereotype the other side and are wildly inaccurate.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America hail the Supreme Court’s ruling that non-members of public sector unions do not have to pay dues. They also shudder as liberal protesters get up close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. And they’re not going to miss New York Rep. Joe Crowley after his stunning defeat in a New York congressional primary, but the woman who defeated Crowley is an avowed socialist who wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement and pass single-payer health care.

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Jim and Greg are both on vacation this week. They will be back June 25th. There will new episodes with guest hosts Thursday and Friday of this week. Today, please enjoy an encore presentation of the Three Martini Lunch.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up only good martinis today, although the last one comes with a twist. They cheer Congress and President Trump for enacting “Right to Try” legislation, allowing terminally ill patients to undergo promising treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They also get a lot of enjoyment out of the excerpt from an upcoming HBO documentary that shows Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes truly speechless after Donald Trump was declared the winner on Election Night 2016. And just two days after ABC fired Roseanne Barr for her horrible tweet about Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Bee puts the left on the spot after using a vile word to describe Ivanka Trump.

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Three-Parent Babies: A Slippery Slope?

 

First, the term “three-parent babies” is a misnomer; it refers to a fertility technique that originally was proposed to deal with dysfunctional mitochondria which are inside most human cells. These mutations can lead to a number of incurable and often fatal diseases that are passed on to the baby. This describes the process:

Scientists remove the nucleus from an egg of the mother-to-be. They then insert it into a donor egg, extracted from a woman who has perfectly healthy mitochondria. (First, they have to strip that healthy egg of its nucleus.)

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Another Promise Kept: POTUS Signs VA Mission Act

 

President Trump accomplished several things with this ceremony: promise keeping, serving veterans, and reforming healthcare. The first two were obvious and significant, the third was indirect and rhetorical.

From C-SPAN:

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that outspoken liberal Rep. Keith Ellison is leaving the House of Representatives to run for statewide office in Minnesota, a venture they sincerely hope ends in failure. They also lament that Medicare and Social Security are getting closer to insolvency and neither lawmakers nor most Americans seem all that concerned about it. They also highlight yet another lie perpetrated by the Obama administration in getting the Iran nuclear deal done, this time allowing Iran access to U.S. banks while adamantly telling lawmakers it would not do so.

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