Tree video

Told 'ya it was a bad idea...

by MICHELLE MALKIN October 23, 2015 12:00 AM @MICHELLEMALKIN Hey, who’s up for a stiff dose of “See, I told you so?” For the past several years, medical professionals have warned that the federal electronic-medical-records mandate — buried in the trillion-dollar Obama stimulus of 2009 — would do more harm than good. Their diagnosis, unfortunately, is on the nose. The Quack-in-Chief peddled his tech-centric elixir as a cost-saving miracle. “This will cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests,” he crowed at the time. In theory, of course, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, which many private health-care providers had already adopted before the Healer of All Things took office. But in the clumsy, power-grabbing hands of Washington bureaucrats, Obama’s one-size-fits-all EMR regulations have morphed into what one expert called “health-care information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers.” 

RELATED: Thousands of Obamacare Enrollees Lose Their Plans, Again I reported in 2012 how my own primary-care physician quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the meddlesome EMR burden. Untold numbers of docs across the country have done the same. In 2013, health-care analysts at the RAND Corporation admitted that their cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year were vastly inflated. In 2014, RAND researchers interviewed doctors who spotlighted “important negative effects” of the EMR mandate on “their professional lives and, in some troubling ways, on patient care. They described poor EHR usability that did not match clinical workflows, time-consuming data entry, interference with face-to-face patient care, and overwhelming numbers of electronic messages and alerts.” And the hits keep coming.

Robert Wachter, author of the recently published The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, chronicled the damage he’s witnessed: “Physicians retiring early. Small practices bankrupted by up-front expenses or locked into ineffective systems by the prohibitive cost of switching. Hours consumed by onerous data entry unrelated to patient care. Workflow disruptions. And above all, massive intrusions on our patient relationships.” RELATED: The Simple Way to Repeal Obamacare The American Medical Association, which foolishly backed Obamacare, is now balking at top-down government intrusion into its profession. Better late than never. The group launched a campaign called “Break the Red Tape” this summer to pressure D.C. to pause the new medical-record rules as an estimated 250,000 physicians face fines totaling $200 million a year for failing to comply with “meaningful use” EMR requirements. In Massachusetts last month, physicians decried the failure to achieve true “interoperability” between EMR systems despite a $30 billion federal investment through the Obama stimulus. Dr. Dennis Dimitri, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, noted at a rancor-filled town hall that the mandate has “added significant time to the daily life of most physicians in their practices,” WBUR reported. “It has not necessarily lived up to expectations in terms of its ability to provide cues to physicians to make sure that necessary treatments are not being missed. It has certainly not been able to swiftly disseminate information from one clinical setting to another.”

RELATED: Conservatives: Stop Enabling Obamacare That’s in no small part due to the cronyism embedded in the federal stimulus “incentives” — a massive chunk of which the White House doled out to behemoth EMR company Epic Systems, headed by Obama crony Judith Faulkner. As I’ve noted repeatedly in this column the past three years, Epic continues to be plagued by both industry and provider complaints about the failure of its creaky, closed-end system and exorbitant fee structure to enable the very kind of interoperability the Obama EMR mandate was supposed to ensure.

 ​Now, even left-wing Mother Jones magazine reports this week that “instead of ushering in a new age of secure and easily accessible medical files, Epic has helped create a fragmented system that leaves doctors unable to trade information across practices or hospitals. That hurts patients who can’t be assured that their records — drug allergies, test results, X-rays — will be available to the doctors who need to see them. This is especially important for patients with lengthy and complicated health histories.” The Obama White House has responded by doubling down on its destructive EMR rules that punish both patients and providers. Congress must intervene. Representative Steve King (R., Iowa), introduced a bill Thursday to repeal the draconian penalties “so that providers can get back to the business they are uniquely trained to do — utilizing their skills and knowledge to heal the sick and support the continued vitality of the healthy.” Prescription: Butt out, Washington. Primum non nocere. — Michelle Malkin is author of the book Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. Her e-mail address is Copyright © 2015

Read more at:


What was the real reason that the administration was all hellbent on getting all your medical records recorded electronically?

Just wait for some bureaucrat to look through your medical records, your tax records, and whatever else they want to find out about you.  Not possible?  Just ask Congressman Chaffetz about that.

And hackers?

Oh my...

No, Your Medical Records Are Not Private

Many Americans think the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects their medical privacy, but federal bureaucrats issue thousands of subpoenas every year without prior judicial approval to get around the law.
“If you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy against government in your medical care, then where does it exist at all? If that’s not private, then what is?” Adam Bates, a criminal justice policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Congress passed HIPAA in 1996 with a promise that it would clamp down on waste, fraud and abuse in the health care industry and safeguard patient privacy. But HIPAA allows federal bureaucrats to get patient records merely by issuing administrative subpoenas, or civil investigative demands.
These bureaucratic edicts bypass the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that a judge must give prior approval before government can search or take an individual’s property. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice (DOJ) thus have access to any records they believe to be “relevant” in cases of alleged health care fraud.
“The subpoenas are so broad that they almost always will include patient records,” David Douglass, a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton law firm which represents health care providers also told TheDCNF.
The DOJ issued 2,102 administrative subpoenas in 2001 over suspected health care offenses, according to a 2002 DOJ report. That doesn’t include subpoenas issued by other agencies, like the HHS IG. Nobody knows how many administrative subpoenas are issued annually now because the 2002 report was the last time an official count was done.
But lawyers representing medical care providers constantly deal with administrative subpoenas.
“I do think it raises constitutional challenges,” said Robert Rhoad to TheDCNF. Rhoad is a former Navy JAG Corps lawyer who’s now a partner at Crowell & Moring law firm.
Federal officials in most cases can also share records, including patient records, with whistleblowers, called relators, and their lawyers, whether or not the government ultimately decides to pursue criminal charges or a civil lawsuit.
“Everybody’s got horror stories for what happens when the relators get into their stuff,” said Jonathan Diesenhaus, a former DOJ senior trial lawyer who now represents health care companies as a partner with the Hogan Lovells law firm, to TheDCNF. “It becomes an avenue for abuse.”
Congress passed HIPAA amid reports of increasing Medicare fraud, but the legislation also provided for first time ever specific authorization for judgeless administrative subpoenas to be used in criminal law enforcement pursuits.
“Mentioning privacy, the Justice Department can get medical records, patient bills,” Diesenhaus said. “Just like an administrative subpoena, these civil investigative demands fall into the federal program oversight exception to the HIPAA statue.”
“So, patient records protections that apply and require courts to say ‘yes, you can look at those records’ in other contexts, and that imposed significant penalties for even government people who released them, those rules don’t apply with the IG or if the Department of Justice asks for patient records,” Diesenhaus said.
Federal officials use patient records to determine whether a health care provider, drug company or patient gamed the system, “and there is no judicial oversight,” Diesenhaus said.
“But I would imagine people don’t understand in this world of heightened sensitivity to privacy issues — I don’t know that people understand that these government agencies when looking into billing fraud get raw medical records and raw billing records and look and see what the diagnosis is,” Diesenhaus said.
Spokesmen for DOJ and the HHS IG did not respond to TheDCNF requests for comment.
Health care lawyers said judgeless subpoenas in health care investigations became more prevalent after passage of the 2009 Fraud Enforcement And Recovery Act, which amends the False Claims Act — the main law allowing for fraud recovery. The 2009 law extended the authority to issue administrative subpoenas from the attorneygGeneral to 93 U.S. attorneys.
Four years later, in 2012, the DOJ announced its largest ever four-year recovery rate under the False Claims Act — $13.3 billion.
“With respect to civil investigative demands and administrative subpoenas, there has been a sharp uptick in the issuance of those in the last few years,” Rhoad said.
Administrative subpoenas have all but replaced the grand jury, Douglass said.
“When this administrative subpoena power was granted, it became more common for the government to issue administrative subpoenas than grand jury subpoenas,” Douglass said. “So the administrative subpoena is a much lower (legal) bar to issue and the government has much broader authority to use it.”
A federal judge recently ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration can access patient records after a medical office in Dallas challenged DEA’s demands.
Most businesses don’t challenge subpoenas in court. The success rate isn’t great for the few that do. “Part of it is you want to show you’re cooperative and don’t have anything to hide,” Rhoad said.
Administrative subpoenas are tough to fight, as Congress has issued agencies broad authority through the years. Courts historically are deferential to the government, the 2002 DOJ report said.
“I absolutely think companies capitulate rather than fight,” said Douglass.
Companies also have to take into account an agency’s authority to retaliate in the future.
“The thing is that the government, and HHS in particular, they hold a lot of administrative remedies in their pocket that they can exercise relatively freely,” Rhoad said. “And if you’re a health care provider, the death penalty for you is to be excluded from federal health care programs.”
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Seven Years Out - and I am doing OK...

Doctor yesterday said that I am OK... just need another bone survey to make sure that all is well.

So - what did I do today?


Now I need a nap...


Oh, the horror...

Dad Joke SurvivorsBeware of dad jokes this Father's Day…
Posted by Nickelodeon on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why I like Ted Cruz...


By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) Ranking Member Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

Introductory Remarks:

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.

The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.

For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.

That would be wrong—and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.

Report No. 4: The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power

Governing by Executive Fiat
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.

3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.

4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.

5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay.

7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.

8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.

9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.

10. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and then lied about the White House’s involvement.

11 Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.

12. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.

13. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.

14. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.

15. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.

16. Delayed the individual mandate for two years.

17. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare. Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.

18. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.

19. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.

20. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.

21. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.

22. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.

23. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.

24. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).
25. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.

26. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.

27. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.

28. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.

29. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.

30. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”

Executive Nominees and Personnel
31. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess. Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.

32. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.

33. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.

34. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.

Free Speech and Privacy
35. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.

36. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.

37. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.

38. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.

39. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.

40. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.

41. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.

Other Lawless Acts
42. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”

43. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.

44. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.

45. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.

46. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.

47. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.

48. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.

49. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.

50. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.

Other Abuses of Power
51. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee… who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.

52. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.

53. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”

54. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.

55. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.

56. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.

57. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.

58. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.

59. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.

60. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.

61. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.

62. Nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues —to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.

63. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.

64. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).

65. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.

66. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.

67. Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.

68. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.

69. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.

70. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.

71. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.

72. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.

73. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.

74. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.

75. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.

76. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).


The original report, complete with hotlinked source footnotes to support Cruz’s claims, can be viewed here.

- See more at:

So - everything you learned about cholesterol is wrong?

The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.
The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.
The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.
The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.
The new view on cholesterol in food does not reverse warnings about high levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease. Moreover, some experts warned that people with particular health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich diets.
While Americans may be accustomed to conflicting dietary advice, the change on cholesterol comes from the influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group that provides the scientific basis for the “Dietary Guidelines.” That federal publication has broad effects on the American diet, helping to determine the content of school lunches, affecting how food manufacturers advertise their wares, and serving as the foundation for reams of diet advice.
The panel laid out the cholesterol decision in December, at its last meeting before it writes a report that will serve as the basis for the next version of the guidelines. A video of the meeting was later posted online and a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings said the cholesterol finding would make it to the group’s final report, which is due within weeks.
After Marian Neuhouser, chair of the relevant subcommittee, announced the decision to the panel at the December meeting, one panelist appeared to bridle.
“So we’re not making a [cholesterol] recommendation?” panel member Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University professor, said at the meeting as if trying to absorb the thought. “Okay ... Bummer.”
Members of the panel, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, said they would not comment until the publication of their report, which will be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.
While those agencies could ignore the committee’s recommendations, major deviations are not common, experts said.
Five years ago, “I don’t think the Dietary Guidelines diverged from the committee’s report,” said Naomi K. Fukagawa, a University of Vermont professor who served as the committee’s vice chair in 2010. Fukagawa said she supports the change on cholesterol.
Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, also called the turnaround on cholesterol a “reasonable move.”
“There’s been a shift of thinking,” he said.
But the change on dietary cholesterol also shows how the complexity of nutrition science and the lack of definitive research can contribute to confusion for Americans who, while seeking guidance on what to eat, often find themselves afloat in conflicting advice.
Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the United States at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits -- per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent -- and harmed egg farmers.
Yet even today, after more than a century of scientific inquiry, scientists are divided.
Some nutritionists said lifting the cholesterol warning is long overdue, noting that the United States is out-of-step with other countries, where diet guidelines do not single out cholesterol. Others support maintaining a warning.
The forthcoming version of the Dietary Guidelines -- the document is revised every five years -- is expected to navigate myriad similar controversies. Among them: salt, red meat, sugar, saturated fats and the latest darling of food-makers, Omega-3s.
As with cholesterol, the dietary panel’s advice on these issues will be used by the federal bureaucrats to draft the new guidelines, which offer Americans clear instructions -- and sometimes very specific, down-to-the-milligram prescriptions. But such precision can mask sometimes tumultuous debates about nutrition.
“Almost every single nutrient imaginable has peer reviewed publications associating it with almost any outcome,” John P.A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and statistics at Stanford and one of the harshest critics of nutritional science, has written. “In this literature of epidemic proportions, how many results are correct?”
Now comes the shift on cholesterol.

It is just the new religion to them...

The 8 Stages of Scam

What I have to say here reflects upon the course of this great fallacy. The cholesterol scam bears a strong relationship to the anthropogenic global warming scam.1) it is propagated by scientists on a non-scientific mission.
2) it is believed because it plausibly explains an observation (increasing global temperature [for a time], increasing heart attacks from smoking in the 1950s and 60s). It taps into large anxieties about too much wealth, too much happiness, in western societies. There must be sin somewhere, and the public is ready to flog itself in the cause of a secularized idea of God, uh, I mean Good.
3) the causal relationship is weaker than first supposed; the research is found to be sloppy, the facts have been fudged, subsequent studies do not fully support the original claims, nevertheless the orthodoxy is promulgated all the more harshly for being doubted.
4) by now, powerful economic and ideological interests have taken hold. They supply an ongoing source of funds and opinion to ensure the perpetuation of the alarm: in the case of cholesterol, the margarine industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical establishment, and in the case of AGW, the tribe of bureaucrats and leftists who seek to control markets, whose god of Marxism had failed, and who needed a new god (Gaia) to justify their rule.
5) The skeptics who have patiently argued on the basis of facts that the science of each phenomenon was weak, are ostracized by the opinion establishments of medicine and global warming. Cranks, but the cranks are right and the orthodox priests and Levites are wrong.
6) Eventually, after fifty or sixty years, the subject of discussion just changes. In the case of cholesterol, the evidence gets weaker and weaker, and the problems caused by too much sugar consumption (obesity, diabetes), caused in part by people not eating enough fats and meats, reaches a stage where it can no longer be ignored.
7) the retreat of the orthodoxy is covered by a smokescreen of fresh concerns for some other catastrophe. No admissions of error or apologies for wrecked careers and following bad science are ever issued. Time flows on, bringing neither knowledge nor greater understanding of the role of folly in human affairs.
8) stages 6 and 7 have been reached in the cholesterol cycle; they are beginning in the anthropogenic global warming scam. Fifty years from now, there will still be clanking windmills in the North Sea, but whether they will be still linked to a power grid is less likely, and whether anyone will pay attention is doubtful. The lobbies that keep them there, however, will still exist.
Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 27, 2015 1:26 AM

Always follow the money...

Just an  easy way to fleece the gullible...


Failing Obamacare Co-Ops Offer Lavish Executive Pay — And May Violate the Law [VIDEO]

Taxpayer-funded Obamacare health insurance co-op’s may be running afoul of the law by giving extravagant paychecks to their top executives, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
More than a million Americans have enrolled in the 23 non-profit Obamacare co-ops since they began in 2011. The co-ops were intended to be consumer-operated non-profits focused on delivering healthcare to the working poor and others needing health insurance.
Eighteen of the 23 co-ops paid their top executives prodigious salaries ranging from $263,000 to $587,000, according to 2013 IRS tax filings.
The high take-home pay for the “nonprofit” executives appears to violate both federal law and Obamacare rules prohibiting “excessive executive compensation.”
The co-ops were originally funded in 2011 with $2 billion under Obamacare in an experiment to provide tax-paid competition to private sector health insurance providers.
Most of the Obamacare co-op executives are paid more than members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, U.S. cabinet secretaries and the governors of all 50 states.
Fears about excessive compensation were raised in 2011 by a key Obamacare co-op advisory board which set rules for the untested co-ops.
At a March 24, 2011, Washington, D.C. meeting, advisory board members openly agonized about the possibility of “unjust enrichment” by unscrupulous founders who sought to capture millions of dollars at the presumably “non-profit” cooperatives. They could not agree, however, on regulatory language to prohibit it.
TheDCNF probe found that their fears were justified.
The six-figure co-op salaries are two to four times higher than the $135,000 median executive healthcare pay reported in an October 2014 nonprofit CEO compensation study published by Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is a nonpartisan group that tracks philanthropic and charitable organizations.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the federally funded co-ops, warned them in December 2011 that federal law bars the use of tax funds “to cover excessive executive compensation.”
Aaron Albright, a CMS spokesman, told TheDCNF that “the use of federal CO-OP loan funds is prohibited from, among other restrictions, providing excessive executive compensation.”
Albright did not define “excessive” compensation but he suggested that CMS approved the high salaries because his centers “review employment agreements for top executives of co-ops for compliance with the loan agreement.”
A section of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 established limits for federal contractor executive compensation at $487,000. At least five co-op executives were paid above those limits, including South Carolina, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts and Louisiana.
The co-ops were also required by CMS to conduct surveys to “reflect the market rate for a similar position in your area.” Despite the government’s directive, however, only half of the co-ops conducted a review, according to their IRS forms.
The high co-op salaries also appear to conflict with President Obama’s personal campaign against high executive pay, which included his 2009 appointment of a “compensation czar” to investigate executive salaries at private companies.
Taxpayer advocates contacted by TheDCNF were outraged by the generous pay, especially in light of the perilous financial conditions that have many of the co-ops facing doubtful futures.
“I think it’s pretty shocking that they’re making that much money and what’s even worse is that most of these co-ops are failing,” said Elizabeth Wright, health and science director for Citizens Against Government Waste, a conservative non-profit advocacy group that has exposed wasteful federal spending since 1984.
Wright pointed to the collapse in December 2014 of the Iowa-based Co-Opportunity Health as a prime example of Obamacare co-op mismanagement. Co-Opportunity received $177 million in federal start-up loans before state regulators took it over and declared it in “hazardous” condition.
Before its collapse, David Lyons, Co-Opportunity’s president and CEO received $261,000 in compensation. Stephen Ringlee, Co-Opportunity’s CFO, received $257,000, despite having failed in several previous startups. Clifford Gold, its COO, took in $288,00.
Their pay was seven times the income for individual workers in Iowa, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“This is really, really shocking, especially when you see how abysmally these co-ops are performing,” said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute and a critic of Obamacare.
“What they have done is the worst of both worlds. Their organizations are failing and they’re paying CEO’s exorbitant salaries that are completely in contrast with the concept the co-ops were supposed to stand for,” Turner said.
Wright said it appears the co-ops have turned the familiar private-sector principle of “pay-for-performance” on its head in determining executive compensation: “They seem to be more careful managing their salaries than they are running the organizations they’re running.”
“As a president of a non-profit, you need to be a lot more fiscally responsible and fiscally cognizant of what you’re doing, and not just seeing it as a landing pad for a high paying salary,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, another conservative non-profit advocacy group that analyses government spending and programs.
The top paid co-op executive was Thomas Policelli, CEO of Massachusetts’ Minuteman Health. He was awarded $587,000 in 2013, according to the co-op’s tax return. Minuteman was also among worst performing Obamacare co-ops, reporting only 1,700 enrollees at the end of 2014.
Minuteman’s cash-burn rate was 53 percent, with a net operating loss of $21 million last year, according to an analysis by Galen’s Turner and Thomas Miller, a senior health fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
In nearby Connecticut, HealthyCT paid Kenneth Lalime $352,000. The co-op reported total enrollment of only 7,966 and suffered operating losses of $28 million. Standard & Poor’s estimated its cash-burn rate at 61 percent.
Maryland’s Evergreen Health Cooperative’s Peter Beilenson was paid $263,000. His co-op enrolled only 2,129 customers versus 72,000 for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and compiled a net operating loss of $15 million last year. Evergreen’s burn rate was 125 percent of its capital through the first three quarters of 2014, according to S&P.
Jerry Burgess, president and CEO of South Carolina’s Consumers Choice Health Insurance Company, got the second highest compensation at $490,000.
Under his leadership, the co-op had a $10 million net operating loss last year. It exhausted half of its federally funded cash-on-hand by the third quarter of 2014, according to A.M. Best, an insurance rating firm.
Burgess’s pay is 14 times the average worker income of $34,266 in South Carolina, according to U.S. Census data.
Ralph Prows earned $355,000 as CEO of Oregon’s Health Co-op. The co-op ended up enrolling only 869 people. Prows resigned earlier this year.
David Young, CFO of Tennessee’s Community Health Alliance, received $280,000 in 2013, seven times the average worker’s take home pay of $37,678.
Community Health also suffered the largest deficit of all the health co-ops, spending 314% of its allotted federal revenue in a single year, according to S&P. The Tennessee co-op received $73 million in loan money under Obamacare.
Nevada health co-op has another problem in addition to sky-high salaries, nepotism. Nevada Health CO-OP is top-heavy with members of the long-troubled UNITE HERE union, which represents casino workers in the state and has been accused of corruption by other union officials.
Tom Zumtobell, the co-op’s CEO, received $414,000 in 2013. He is a former UNITE Here vice president and lives in Reno, 450 miles from the co-op’s Las Vegas headquarters. Kathy Silver received $377,000 as the co-op’s treasurer. Silver is the former board president of the local UNITE HERE chapter.
Bobbette Bond, the co-op’s secretary, hauled in $222,000. She was UNITE HERE’s chief lobbyist. Her husband is Donald “D” Taylor, UNITE HERE’s national president and a director of the co-op.
The Nevada co-op lost $20 million last year and burned through 92 percent of its Obamacare funding in the first three quarters of 2014, according to S&P.
Douglas Smith is CEO of Utah’s Arches Mutual Insurance Company co-op. He received $320,000, nine times the state’s average salary of $32,601. His co-op had a burn rate of 74 percent in the first three quarters of 2014 and operating losses of more than $31 million.
Montana’s Jerry Dworak was paid $306,000 in largely rural Montana where the average income is $37,370. Dworak’s salary was eight times the average income in the state.
Health Connection’s CEO Mark Epstein got $296,000 while running up $9 million in operating losses last year. The New Mexico co-op also burned through 42 percent of its funding, according to S&P.
Kentucky’s co-op has been hailed as a success story, enrolling nearly 67,000 people, which is 82 percent of all private enrollees in the state’s Obamacare exchange.
Its burn rate, however, was 53 percent and it had the highest operating losses in the entire nation, at $127 million. Jania Miller, Kentucky’s CEO, got $307,000 in compensation, nine times the average take home pay for a worker there of $35,041.
The only state to show a net profit in 2014 was tiny Maine. Its CEO, Kevin Lewis, was paid $264,000.
Although Maine is known for expensive summer homes, its year-round population earns only $39,481 per worker. That means Lewis earned nine times the average worker’s income.
The National Alliance of State Health CO-OP’s, the industry’s trade association, did not respond to multiple DCNF requests for comment. Nine of the association’s 20 board members were among the highest paid CEOs.

Faster Please...

Long article, but a new way to defeat cancer is always welcome news...


Marker placing...

This is all I know, but...

Federal agents arrested 2 men late Thursday in a terrorism related investigation centered in Southern California.

One of the men was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and the other was detained somewhere in Orange County, according to an official with the FBI.

Both men were set to appear in court Friday afternoon in Orange County, and the nature of the allegations were expected to be unsealed earlier in the day.

The investigation was conducted by members of the local Joint Terrorism Task Force or JTTF, that’s been responsible for recent arrests and prosecutions in the last few years of sympathizers who made attempts to join terror groups overseas.

-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles)

Read more:

...I wonder if there is a UCI connection?


New blood tests may transform cancer care; more people get liquid biopsies to guide treatment - 5/11/2015 2:07:09 AM | Newser

New blood tests may transform cancer care; more people get liquid biopsies to guide treatment - 5/11/2015 2:07:09 AM | Newser

Faster please...

New blood tests may transform cancer care; more people get liquid biopsies to guide treatment

New blood tests, liquid biopsies, may transform cancer care

A new type of blood test is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing some patients the surgical and needle biopsies long needed to guide their care.
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The test detected Carole Linderman's breast cancer recurrence months before it normally would have been found. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The test detected Carole Linderman's breast cancer recurrence...   (Associated Press)
Patient Carole Linderman speaks to Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. A new type of blood test, the liquid biopsy, is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing many patients the surgical and needle...
Patient Carole Linderman speaks to Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. A new type of blood...   (Associated Press)
Patient Carole Linderman smiles during an interview before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy, at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Had this test not been available, we may not have known I had cancer on my spine until symptoms showed up, which may...
Patient Carole Linderman smiles during an interview before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy, at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. "Had this test not been...   (Associated Press)
Patient Carole Linderman hugs Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Had this test not been available, we may not have known I had cancer on my spine until symptoms showed...
Patient Carole Linderman hugs Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli before her blood is drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015....   (Associated Press)
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Many studies suggest that liquid biopsy results largely mirror those from tissue ones, and sometimes find more mutations. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Many studies suggest that liquid biopsy...   (Associated Press)
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The promise of liquid biopsies is that they can be done periodically to monitor care. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The promise of liquid biopsies is that...   (Associated Press)
Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli, oncologist and director of the Breast Care Center, speaks during an interview at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. With a tissue biopsy, our treatments lag behind and they're still based on limited information, Cristofanilli says. With a liquid biopsy, the power of...
Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli, oncologist and director of the Breast Care Center, speaks during an interview at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. With a tissue biopsy,...   (Associated Press)
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The tests, called liquid biopsies, capture cancer cells or DNA that tumors shed into the blood, instead of taking tissue from the tumor itself. A lot is still unknown about the value of these tests, but many doctors think they are a big advance that could make personalized medicine possible for far more people.
They give the first noninvasive way to repeatedly sample a cancer so doctors can profile its genes, target drugs to mutations, tell quickly whether treatment is working, and adjust it as the cancer evolves.
Two years ago, these tests were rarely used except in research. Now, several are sold, more than a dozen are in development, and some doctors are using them in routine care.
Gurpaul Bedi had one for colon cancer that spread to his lungs. About 10 percent of patients with metastatic colon cancer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center now get liquid biopsies.
"I think it's wonderful," said Bedi, who lives in Atlanta and goes to Houston for his care. "A lung biopsy, many doctors told me, is not easy."
In Philadelphia, a liquid biopsy detected Carole Linderman's breast cancer recurrence months before it normally would have been found.
"Had this test not been available, we may not have known I had cancer on my spine until symptoms showed up," which may have been too late for good treatment, she said.
The huge potential for these tests is clear. The problem: There are no big, definitive studies to show they help patients, how accurate they are, which type is best or who should get them and when.
Still, patients do better when drugs are matched to their tumors, and liquid biopsies may give a practical way to do that more often.
"I'm really excited about all of this," said Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, a University of California, San Diego cancer specialist. "I spent most of my life giving drugs that were useless to people" because there was no good way to tell who would benefit or quickly tell when one wasn't working, she said. "This is so much better."
The tests are mostly used when a tissue biopsy can't easily be done, when the cancer's original site isn't known, or when drugs have stopped working and doctors are unsure what to try next, said Dr. Scott Kopetz, a colon cancer specialist at MD Anderson. The tests are catching on "faster than I anticipated," he said.
At Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University, Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli has used them on about 120 breast cancer patients, including two dozen like Linderman with a high risk of recurrence.
A tissue biopsy typically samples one section of a tumor, and tumors can vary widely, with different genes and hormones active in different parts, he said. Also, cancer that has spread often differs from the original site, and tumors change rapidly in response to treatment.
With a tissue biopsy, "our treatments lag behind and they're still based on limited information," Cristofanilli said. With a liquid biopsy, "the power of this test has been to really find out how the disease changes, even in a short period of time."
Early versions looked for whole tumor cells in blood. Newer ones look for free-floating cancer DNA, enabling gene profiling to see what mutations drive the cancer. Kopetz and Cristofanilli use one from Guardant Health Inc. of Redwood City, California, that has been sold in the U.S. since June 2014 and in parts of Europe and Asia.
Many companies are working on similar tests including Sequenom, a San Diego biotech that already sells one for prenatal screening, using fetal DNA in maternal blood. Many companies tried prenatal screening with fetal cells but it didn't work, said chief science officer Dirk van den Boom. "Cell-free DNA really was the breakthrough" that enabled wide use, and the same could happen with these cancer tests, he said.
Whether liquid biopsies will be cost-effective is unknown. Guardant's test costs $5,400; some insurers cover it for certain types of patients. Gene profiling from a tissue biopsy costs about the same. The promise of liquid biopsies is that they can be done periodically to monitor care, but more tests means more cost.
They may save other costs, though. A traditional lung biopsy is thousands of dollars. Money could be saved by skipping cancer drugs that ultimately don't work; many cost $10,000 to $15,000 a month.
With cell-free DNA tests, even doctors in rural areas can offer precision medicine because they can ship a blood sample to a lab. "We think that's the future," said Dr. Charles Baum, a former Pfizer cancer drug chief who now heads Mirati Therapeutics, a San Diego biotech company developing gene-targeting drugs
Many studies suggest that liquid biopsy results largely mirror those from tissue ones, and sometimes find more mutations. A study Kopetz presented in April at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting found the blood tests detected cancer mutations in the vast majority of 105 colorectal cancer patients. For 37 percent of them, doctors thought a drug could target a mutation that was found.
Still, no big studies show that liquid biopsies give better care or extend lives. Without that proof, how much they will be used by doctors and covered by insurers remains to be seen.
A San Diego company, Trovagene, is working on an even faster, easier liquid biopsy — a test to detect tumor DNA in urine. One scenario: a patient collects a urine sample every day for a week after starting a new drug and ships them to a lab.
"In as little as three to five days, you can observe dramatic changes" that suggest a response to treatment, said Trovagene's chief executive, Antonius Schuh.
Work on this test is still very early.
Ultimately, liquid biopsies might offer a way to screen for cancer besides the mammograms, colonoscopies and other methods used now. That raises even more questions, including when to call something "cancer" and whether it needs treatment if there are only abnormal cells in the blood.
"Why does there have to be a tumor? The tumor is the symptom. The disease is the DNA," Schuh said.
Marilynn Marchione can be followed at