When you want the bottom line on health care reform, to whom do you turn? If you're anything like me, you make a beeline for the website of Concerned Women for America to hear world renowned public policy expert Janice Shaw Crouse discuss…what's that? Her claim to fame is a book called The Strength of a Godly Woman and having taught a summer school course at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas? I know that is supposed to make me less apt to consider her an expert on health care, but I'm an open minded person who prefers to read her ideas and let the argument speak for itself – especially when the speaker has been feted numerous times by organizations such as the Abstinence Clearinghouse and the Center for Decency. You know, someone who really knows the ins and outs of health care, Congress, and public policy in general. As usual, Intellectual Chernobyl is on the ball, bringing us "What You Get With Free Health Care." I'll tell you what you get with Janice Shaw Crouse columns – you get enough awesome to kill an adult brontosaurus. Be careful…

Most of the arguments supporting the health care reform bill just passed by the Democrats in Congress were myths. These myths were exposed as early as 2008 in a book by Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.

Sally Pipes? THE Sally Pipes? Of THE Pacific Research Institute? Well holy shit. Let me offer a partial list of people and organizations who are more credible on health care related issues:

American Medical Association
Kaiser Family Foundation
The Brookings Institute
Catholic Charities
American Hospital Association
American Miniature Mule and Donkey Association
Cloud Appreciation Society
The starting lineup of the 1994 Hartford Whalers
The Marshall Tucker Band
That Japanese guy who eats all the hot dogs
Jim Varney
Former KC Royals slugger Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni
Shining Path
Todd Bridges
Carlos the Jackal
AeroForceOne – the Official Aerosmith Fan Club
John Hinckley
The average wino or local Council of Winos

Her funny little book skewers everything we’ve heard via the ObamaCare demagoguery. Others, since then, have been equally devastating to the arguments used to ram through ObamaCare.

"I'd cite some examples or perhaps offer links, but I am intellectually dishonest and not sure how to hyperlink something."

In fact, the so-called miracles sold by today’s health care hucksters are about as real as those sold by the shysters of old.

And who doesn't remember the shysters of old? I sure do. There was Hymie, Knuckles, Snacks O'Brady, Toothpick, Frankie the Wop, Legs, Reacharound… Man, those were shysters. That was back when shystering meant something. Today with free agency and the YouTubes, kids just get into shystering for the money and exposure. Pickles McGillicuddy is rolling over in his pressed-board coffin. He was a gamer. He knew what it meant to shyster.

However, most Americans see through the political spin, and they are not buying the snake oil. Vision is much clearer outside the Beltway.

Outside the Beltway? Why, that's where Real Americans live!

Further, as John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things.” This week, four different polls (Quinnnipiac, Bloomberg, CNN and CBS) show the same result: less than 40 percent of Americans approve of the health care bill that the President just signed.

Hmm. Might want to update that, shooter.

Numerous states are concerned about the way ObamaCare infringes on individual rights.

Yeah, those lawsuits are definitely going to work. I hear the Montana Freemen also have grave concerns about their individual rights being curtailed. If someone expresses an opinion, it automatically becomes valid.

In addition, there are significant constitutional questions about requiring citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Many state attorneys general are noting that ObamaCare is the first time Americans would be forced to buy a good or service.

Wait, the title of the piece includes the phrase "Free Health Care." Did you write that before or after you started complaining about how everyone has to buy it? Also, there is little precedent for Congressional authority to make these kinds of individual economic decisions. Medicare, Social Security, taxes, etc…all voluntary.

All of that didn’t matter to those determined to see their utopian ideology enacted into legislation. Congressional Democrats, disregarding the will of the people and dressing their action in high-sounding rhetoric, rammed through Congress their unpopular and disastrous plan for “transforming” America into a Cuban, British, Canadian or French image.

Ooh! I know this one! "What are four countries with a higher life expectancy than the United States, Alex?"

One of the prime arguments used to sell ObamaCare was that it would reverse the financial crisis and save the country a gazillion dollars — with benefits beginning in its first year. Sadly, somebody’s arm got twisted to produce Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures — nicely timed for the House vote — to supposedly back up the Democrats’ arguments.

This stands in stark contrast to their earlier estimates of the cost of the Iraq War and the economic growth that would follow the Bush tax cuts. Jesus Christ were those accurate. So accurate that they are currently being used to calibrate the Large Hadron Collider.

Nobody seemed to understand that the CBO figures were just estimates.

Wait, you mean they can't see ten years into the future? My faith in the prescience of the Congressional Budget Office is forever damaged.

They add, “Given the central role of medical technology in cost growth, reducing or slowing spending over the long term would probably require decreasing the pace of adopting new treatments and procedures or limiting the breadth of their application.” How’s that for dispelling the claims that quality will remain high, rationing won’t happen, and technology will continue to expand while costs go down?

Well, it doesn't have anything to do with the first two red herrings. As for the third, I'm not sure if there's any fat that can be cut from the current research & development landscape. I mean, with the continuous need for newer and better big dick pills, hair growth treatments, varicose vein removal techniques, and drugs to treat the scourge of insufficient eyelashes, innovation can barely keep up with our problems as is.

(boring, repetitive paragraph excised for space)

Everybody wants affordable, accessible, and high-quality health care; there are proposals on the table for changes that would make significant improvements in those aspects of U.S. health care.

Oh man. This is going to be awesome. I wonder what such proposals would entail? Single payer? Tighter regulations?

Those proposals would unleash free market competition, improve quality, and lower costs for health care in the same way that it has done for other national industries and businesses.

Deregulation improves all industries, like airlines, banks, cable television…the prices went down, and holy balls did the quality improve!

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that American health care is very efficient, with only six percent of the premiums going to administrative costs and fully 86 percent covering the actual costs of care.

Wow! A full 86% of our premiums go to the bloated costs of care. At least among people who have insurance. But the system is still pretty damn efficient for the rest of us. There is no doubt that the health care industry is extremely efficient in processing the uninsured.

But cost control is not the purpose of ObamaCare.

What was your first clue? Mine was when they said that the purpose was to insure everyone, with the cost reductions purely secondary.

ObamaCare is all about redistributing wealth and putting a vast segment of the economy under bureaucratic control.

Some estimates of health care spending run as high as 20 percent of the U.S. economy by 2016.

Well if someone made these estimates, surely they're credible! I estimate that health care spending will be -5% of the economy by 2016. I estimate that Janice Shaw Crouse's body is 46% partially hydrogenated corn oil. I estimate that 12% of the people who started reading her column attempted suicide before reaching the end.

Under ObamaCare, Uncle Sam becomes Santa Claus. But sooner or later, the bills come in and all those “gifts” turn out to be pretty expensive after all.

Wow, that's some metaphor you've got there. When Barack Obama becomes the Chupacabra, those goats aren't going to look so happy after all!

Right now, the U.S. has the “world’s best cancer survival rates” — Sally Pipes reported

Michael Richards
Omar Bongo
Norman Schwarzkopf
The surviving members of the Warren Commission
The Harlem Globetrotters
Dog the Bounty Hunter
Captain Phil Harris (R.I.P.)
Art Bell
Bizarre from D-12
Alger Hiss
The Kraken
Ron Popeil
The original cast of Small Wonder

that Americans “have a better survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common cancers” — a fact most appreciated by those victims and their families who benefit from the expensive drugs that result from years-long research and clinical trials.

Since there's clearly no way for drug companies to make money under the new system I guess they'll stop doing clinical trials. But cancer survival rates are nice. How about we compare those to rates of developing cancer in the first goddamn place. Uh oh. America's health care system ain't quite #1 there.

Most Americans are personally satisfied with their own private health insurance coverage

Yes, most Americans who have private health insurance coverage are "personally satisfied" with it relative to the alternative of not having health insurance. Brilliant. Tell us more, Professor Kickass.

and appreciate the medical advances that save lives and provide miracle cures.

Is this based on any kind of data or is JSC just making things up here? This does not look like any poll question I've ever seen. "Do you appreciate medical advances that save lives?" "Do you support miracle cures?" "Do you like happiness?"

Others, too, depend upon American health care. Tens of thousands of foreigners come to the United States for treatments not available or rationed in their home countries.

Take that, Burkina Faso! In your face, Guatemala! Suck on this, Vietnam! Our health care system is better than yours! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Most Americans are also aware and appreciate the fact that government-funded programs already provide for those Americans who are truly poor.


Hospitals are not allowed to refuse treatment to those without insurance.

Yes, this is a good example of a government-funded program to provide for the truly poor. Except they receive an enormous bill and collection agencies will hound them until they die in an effort to liquidate their assets to settle the debt. And it's not like the rest of us pay for every service rendered to an uninsured person. No, that money comes from Santa.

Medicare, Medicaid, and other special programs for children, veterans, and specific population groups provide care for those with special needs.

"These things that conservatives have spent decades trying to dismantle do much to provide for the young, the old, and the indigent. But now we are huge proponents of these things that we suddenly realize are quite popular. Yes, Mitch McConnell tried several times to pass the Fuck All the Old People, Kids, and Indigent bill. We regret that unfortunate incident and look forward to many years of scaring old people about Democrats taking away their Medicare."

Nobody claims that these government-run programs provide the quality of care that those with private insurance enjoy. In fact, the false promise of something for nothing — the utopian scheme of everybody having top-quality health care coverage and it not costing anybody any more than they are currently paying — is the biggest myth of all.

I'm confused. Are we all being Forced to buy insurance or is health care now free? JSC is recklessly flopping back and forth between the two. It is as though the area between these two very different concepts is lined with a dessert buffet.

Sally Pipes quoted P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.”

Wow, three Sally Pipes references in one column. This brings the total number of references in print to Sally Pipes and her think-tank that she runs out of the utility closet of a Sizzler in Barstow, CA to…three. But we all learned a valuable lesson here: the government is wrong to force you to buy something, because once everyone is forced to buy something then it will be free. And then we're really fucked.

Well said, Janice. Well said.

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  • Love it! Thanks for the Royals reference, by the way.

    And you should also know that the Japanese hotdog guy is Takeru Kobayashi (like the lawyer played by Pete Postlethwaite in "The Usual Suspects") but he has recently been dethroned as the competitive eating world champion by Joey Chestnut, from the good ol' US of A. USA! USA! USA!

  • That awesome health care must be why all of us up in Canada are flodding across the border to get treatment and buy drugs.

    Release the Kraken!

  • and for those who don't know, "flodding" is a combination of flowing and plodding.

    It's all that damned poutine we eat…

  • Very nice! And I'm impressed by your ability to recall all those shysters of old! I had forgotten a few of them…

  • Crazy for Urban Planning says:

    New question: who buys crap like that column? On the Huffington Post today I saw the 20 highest rated programs on cable news, and the top 15 are from the Fox Noose Channel. Why is the market so big for regurgitated crap repeated all day long? I think its boring and inaccurate – why do people enjoy this type of stuff?

  • "And who doesn't remember the shysters of old? I sure do. There was Hymie, Knuckles, Snacks O'Brady, Toothpick, Frankie the Wop, Legs, Reacharound

  • Crazy, that's a good question. When I've gotten into arguments with conservatives about Fox News, I've noticed they routinely make a couple of contradictory arguments. On the one hand, they compare Hannity and Beck and the like to Olbermann and Maddow, saying that the latter are just as biased as the former. On the other hand, they gleefully point out that the conservative programs get better ratings than the liberal programs. But that, to me, just indicates that liberals don't seem to have as much of an appetite for the regurgitated crap that preaches to the choir and reinforces our preexisting beliefs. There just seems to be more of a market for that shit among conservatives.

  • And a star is born! I look forward to Ms. Crouse joining the esteemed cast of The Atlantic, where she will alternate articles with Our Megan. I would guess that she will be the healthcare-and-nutritious-recipes counterpart to Ms. McArdle's economics beat.

  • The thing about that " less than 40 percent of Americans approve of the health care bill that the President just signed" line that Repubs keep using is that it doesn't count people who said that the health care bill as signed didn't go FAR ENOUGH with its reforms. In other words, it attempts to count against health care reform people who believe that we need MORE reform!


  • Crazy for Urban Planning says:

    I agree Brandon – I've watched Olberman and Meadow in the past – but I can't possibly sit down and watch them every single day. Life must be more meaningful than that.

  • The bittersweet tears of impotent rage are such a refreshing balm after eight years of being on the other side of this.

    I say bittersweet because she's bitter, and it's so, so sweet.

  • Sally C Pipes indeed! Rather obvious reference, don't you think?

    Clearly, this is a Communist Sleeper Cell activated with a phone call from Donald Pleasance.

    I can prove it. If you take every fifth letter in her column, modify it into sophisticated Republican code, like ig-pay atin-lay, anagramize her name (Chaoses Caw Injure, or Cocaine Jaw Rushes), note that "C" is street slang for cocaine, that it causes a Rush, that a Crow's (Caw) Jaw can Injure, convert to numbers using today's Sudoku, multiply the result by the ratio of the orbits of Mars to Venus, and you before you know it get "mile to go before I sleep".

    Somebody reactivate Charles Bronson, stat!

  • Pipes quotes, hell! There's a second generation quote from the totally awesome P.J. Fucking O'Rourke: That born-rich boy turned funny man, son of a Buick dealer back in my old home town, Weekly Standard correpondent, cancer victim, author of EAT THE RICH, and general non-egalitarian MoFo elitist, whose political life-line went Republican-Maoist-Republican.

    Though the best thing he ever did was the National Lampoon High School yearbook parody (In all honesty, pretty damned funny, and a bit on the raunchy side, thank moloch) when HE makes a pronouncement, that is when you know the writing is on the wall. Health care reform is going to Fucking KILL us.

    Oh, boy, are we fucked now.

  • Great job, Ed. And nice reference to the Cloud Appreciation Society – always fighting the tyranny of blue sky thinking.

  • When I read things like this, it always reminds me of when I was at university in 1980. This UC Berkeley undergraduate, reeling from the shock of Reagan's victory, said to me, "I can't understand how he won; nobody I know voted for him!"

    Unlike our subject here, he was nineteen years old.

  • Working Ron Popeil into this post just upgraded it from great blogging to fine writing. Kudos, sir.

  • Awesome. FJMs always kill, but this –

    "Pickles McGillicuddy is rolling over in his pressed-board coffin. He was a gamer. He knew what it meant to shyster."

    and the list (AeroForceOne!) made this column something special. Kudos, sir.

  • I like the list of "experts" at the beginning. Unfortunately anyone can call themselves the "(something vague and generic) institute" without too much risk or difficulty.

  • Your nice blog is certainly worth a read if anyone comes across it. Im lucky i did so because now Ive got an entire new view of the. I didnt realise until this issue was so important thus universal. You definitely use it in perspective for me personally, thanks for the fantatic information and facts.

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  • Emmitt Lazarus says:

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