27 July 2007

Unchecked Bandits

Being in congress is rough; tax-free income, expense account, staff at your disposal and pension & benefits without peer. Hell, you can even kill someone and walk away.

The trouble for you and me, who are paying the bills, comes from the fact that since most of the clowns start running for reelection from day one, there's really no time to learn anything about anything. So, intellectually blindfilded and racing the clock, they will swing the bat HARD at the legislative piƱata and, no matter how flawed the information from which they work, back up their ill-advised votes with the full force of the federal government.

The star witness was Donna Smith, whose story was featured in the movie — including her trip to Havana to seek the supposedly superior medical treatment available in Cuba. She was surrounded at the hearing by a bevy of nurses in brightly colored "Sicko" T-shirts, who applauded her testimony enthusiastically. The hearing quickly developed into a cheerleading session for single-payer health care — over which the subcommittee has no jurisdiction.

The study's central findings were that 54½ percent of all bankruptcies have a "medical cause" and 46.2 percent of all bankruptcies have a "major medical cause." Even if this were true, bankruptcy law already provides adequate safeguards for the special problems posed by medical bankruptcies, as one of us (Mr. Zywicki) testified at the hearing. But it is not true. And the only way to make such a claim is to gerrymander the definition of medical bankruptcies to generate the desired results — true junk social science.

For example, the study classifies uncontrolled gambling, drug or alcohol addiction, and the birth or adoption of a child as "a medical cause." There are indeed situations in which a researcher may legitimately classify those conditions as "medical," but a study used to prove Americans are going bankrupt as a result of crushing medical debt is not one of them.

A father who has gambled away his family's mortgage payment is not the victim of crushing medical bills.
They hold hearings and act concerned and shovel our money into the furnace and then fly home to brag about it. It there any wonder why congress' approval ratings are lower than the president's?

Read is all.

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