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05 July 2013

Comments

Bill Tozer

Another study here Dr. Rebane.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/07/04/study-longtime-marijuana-smokers-lack-motivation-reward-seeking-behavior/

While the sample is small and not irrefutable, it brings up something I like, i.e., dopamine. Its what makes you happy and feel good. The quickest way for the brain to produce and release dopamine is laughter.

This study caught my interest because dopamine produced by the brain (or not produced) is usually a topic concerning heroin addicts and alcoholics. Alcohol is certainly a drug by any chemical definition and criteria. Drug users have been known to spend up all the dopamine in their "bank" and having the brain's production of dopamine depleted, they seek (crave) an increasing quantity of drugs to make them feel good. Thus the vicious cycle of seeking to feel good when the brain's ability to produce dopamine has been hindered and more and more drugs are needed to bring them out of their funk and feel ok again. Just to feel ok.

The only reason I mention this is because I have long suspected that some long term marijuana users would not/could not live without their supply of herb as they have somehow become incapable of feeling average without their "non-addictive marijuana".

Yes, pot has no known lethal dosage in the chemical criteria of a drug. Many may scoff at my gut feeling. But having low amounts of dopamine in your system is not living "naturally high." Its just another substance used to chase that feeling of the first time.

Not every person having a nice glass of fine wine at a French restaurant will go out and become raging maniacs howling at the moon, painting the town and exhibiting violent tendencies. Not every long term pot smoker dreads the day when their stash runs out. Some can take it or leave it. The dopamine study is more akin to "real" drug users, not the "non addictive types" who smoke pot day after day, year after year. The study mentioned the brain's diminished ability to produce dopamine is more pronounced when a young person smoked pot in their early to mid teens. Food for thought.

fish

Explain to me why we care about weed (or the consumption of other drugs as well) at all. If someone smokes themself into catatonia how is that my problem?

I'm far more concerned about the proprietors opening statement regarding the thuggish police state that has developed in an attempt to "solve" the problem.

Barry Pruett

Thank you George. The more information that I read on this topic the better. Like you, I struggle with this issue a little bit.

George Rebane

What caught my eye in this finding is the potential for mass mental debilitation that such a 'benign' drug can cause if the research holds out. For years I have been on a tear about the internal assaults on America that can end our grand experiment in self-governance. Systemic unemployment due to a number of causes is a biggie - poor education and accelerating technology being prime. Bad socio-political ideology being sufficient to do the job all by itself - cultural breakdown and collectivism are the meta-causes.

If mass psychoses are to be promulgated by legal means, then I think legalizing marijuana should also be discussed on that basis because it affects us all (as do the other factors just listed). To me it's a complex problem with no easy answer.

fish

The rate of marijuana use has been fairly steady with most users indulging when young for the purposes of experimentation and growing out of it without significant ill effect. There will always be exceptions.

Our experiment in self government seems to be winding down for reasons far more pernicious than pot.

I'm generally in favor of reducing the states police power wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Todd Juvinall

Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power. Then they legalized dope and now you never hear much from or about them. Anyone have a Dutch update?

fish

Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power.

Not all it's cracked up to be Todd.

Gerry Fedor

Our Sheriff has lied on numerous occasion trying to tell everyone about how his office has had sooooo many problems and that the MMJ crowd is the basis for his problems, when in reality it not actually true.

I would like for people to look at the following (below), to use your brain and look at what I presented here, and then let me know what you think, as did our Sheriff, the President of the California Sheriff's Association lie, and is this the behavior we should accept / expect from him?

That's the question I want the answer to:

Below is the issue I was speaking about, as well as a picture of the subject property that led to the creation of the Nevada Counties overly restrictive Medical Marijuana ordinance.

Please look at the following CBS video of the grow on that was on Annie Drive in Alta Sierra and the actual site photo of this property (which is attached) (the approximate address is @16036 Annie Drive, Alta Sierra, CA. This picture is attached and below PG&E high tension lines on the hillside, which are faintly shown in this picture - in case you want to use Google Earth for a historic perspective of the layout of this site):

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/09/26/pot-grow-near-grass-valley-school-concerns-neighbors/

http://cbssacramento.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/grow.jpg?w=420

http://cbssacramento.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/grow2.jpg?w=420

If you look at the pictures in this news report (as provided by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Keith Royal) that were used in this story. You'll see these pictures they show a large un-cloaked greenhouses on flat land, while this site is directly under the PG&E lines and is on a 45% hillside (every 100′ you go forward you go up 45′ in elevation).

These pictures are a complete fabrication, as even the reporters could not find this purported “huge grow”. This story was perpetuated by Mr. Donald Bessee, and continues to be the basis for his stories about how the medical marijuana patients were the basis for these so called "issues". The reporter in this new story could not see this "huge grow", because it never existed, but Mr. Bessee continues to use this as fodder for his perspective.

This site on Annie drive was the basis that was used to generate the current Nevada County “ordinance”, but this is one of many, many discrepancies, that look like the law enforcement community fabricated this issue from a very small problem.

Were there problems?

Absolutely yes, but these issues could have, and should have easily been handled by the Law Enforcement community while not making the issue of truly sick people from being able to get the material they need.

This news report, as well as the pictures prove that there was no “massive grow” at the Annie location (the Sheriff provided pictures have 90+ plants), in fact there were @20 grow bags (none of which are shown) and @50% of these small plants (less than 3′ in height) and 10 of these plants were destroyed by a neighbor.

There are even questions about the supposed pictures as one member on the Alta Sierra Property Owners Board, went up to this grow and spoke with the patient there was there, and this patient said that he saw Mr. Bessee post the signs (while taking pictures) and then he removed them after the pictures were taken.

Then the Sheriff told the Boars of Supervisors members that his office was receiving 30-50 phone calls per day, and if you consider that there are 214 days in an average "grow" season this would then be 6,500-10,400 calls per year (and if you consider that the Sheriff’s office receives 102,000 calls per year you, and I, can understand why the Board of Supervisors would vote for this de-facto ban.

The problem is that these records were requested by the Nevada County chapter of the ASA using an Freedom Of Information request and the Sheriff said “we did not write them down….”

REALLY?

I worked in law enforcement before (when I was in High School as a explorer) and we were required to write down everything that happened on a daily basis and there are laws that also require this.

You expect for the public to believe that you didn't write them down, especially when this law enforcement official is the President of the California Sheriff's association....

The year following we heard that the Nevada County Sheriff's Department received about 300 calls (and when another Freedom Of Information request was filed) the ASA group got 157 redacted copies. These stories seem to have no basis in reality.....

It's also a concern that our Sheriff tells the community leader that we had 6,500-10,400 complaints one year, yet the next we had 157 documented cases. Why such a difference? Statistically something is very wrong here......

Recently the Sheriff stated that the Sheriff’s department got 100 calls (this was at the May 11th meeting at the Board of Supervisors Chambers) yet no one puts a plants into the ground before the 1st week of June as Cannabis will go into flower, and not make any usable product if planted before June 1st.

The Sheriff has been asked to explain these discrepancies, but so far he just sits there trying to make up more stories about nothing that has any bearing on his previous fabrications.......

Gerry Fedor

The other issue I have is that our Sheriff's department, and county has spent well over $1.5 million dollars (our both your and my money on this issue) and what have we gotten for our money?

A major lawsuit, and now a expensive ballot measure because this new ordinance is a outright ban, based upon nothing more than lies.

The Sheriff said that our county would become a grower paradise, when he knows that this too is another lie in the long list on this subject.

I urge everyone to sign the ballot measure so we can fix this lie, as if you want to speak about marijuana and it's health concerns look at the YouTube film "what if cannabis cured cancer" and then make a informed and educated comment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jWWVtS2gEg

Paul Emery

George

Dr Wilkinson writes “and to society in general to consider all the facts, risks, and potential benefits before we embark on this drastic social experiment” of legalizing marijuana. “If the end of Prohibition offers any historical precedence, once marijuana is legalized it will be all but impossible to undo.”

To that end do you have any problem with that "experiment" occurring on a State level or do you consider it to be a function of the Federal government? Where do you stand on States Rights in California which has voted to legalize Masrijuana for medical purposes.

I agree that marijuana use should not be legal for children and teenagers much like alcohol.

George Rebane

PaulE 129pm - I always favor the lowest level that makes operational sense. Here the state level should be sufficient. And if one state does a good job in conducting its "drastic social experiment" in a transparent manner, taking good data, and giving a reasoned basis for any subsequent public policy, then other states may stand on its shoulders and/or modify their experiments accordingly. I think the Founders had such processes in mind in the grand scheme of things when they gave us our Republic.

Paul Emery

So George you honor then the process by which 16 states and DC have passed legislation legalizing medical and in Colorado recreational Marijuana. Of course this is contrary to Federal law. In your view what should the role of the Federal Government be in this matter?

Paul Emery

Oh yes links

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

George Rebane

PaulE 339pm - I don't know, maybe nothing outside of its current function of interdicting marijuana and other drug smuggling across US borders. I presume we're talking about a future wherein the feds retract all federal laws affecting the use of marijuana inside US borders, leaving that determination and necessary enforcements to the several states. This would entail revision of DEA, FBI, BATF, ... functions and necessary adjustments of budgets.

How would you approach this kind of realignment?

fish

This would entail revision of DEA, FBI, BATF, ... functions and necessary adjustments of budgets.

What a wonderful opportunity to eliminate (although since it seems all but impossible to kill a federal program "vastly reduce" might be the best we could hope for) an "alphabet" agency.

Bill Tozer

Fish: Don't hold your breath. Think it was Reagen who said the closest thing to eternal life on Earth is a government bureaucracy in Washington DC. Heck, we still have a Bureau of Dams in Washington DC that hasn't built a dam in 50 years. Seemed like a good idea during the New Deal.

Concerning the long term effects of smoking Mary Jane, it is rather hard to determine even to the trained eye whether it is psychosis or dependency. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps the answer will never be fully explained, so we should happy to settle for that nice neat word "schizophrenia". I can live with that.

Ben Emery

George,
I hate to be a broken record here but you are putting forward the false issue of it being social. It is not, it is political. Politics makes for strange bedfellows when we have two completely corrupted political parties running the government for 150 to 200 years.

The biggest opponents of legalization is the pharmaceutical, alcohol, and private prison industries. Also legalization would take a huge selective enforcement tool out of the CIA and FBI hands in controlling the poor regions of the US. How do you keep poor people down, create prohibition making people criminals at the same time creating a huge illegal underground market where large sums of capital can be made.
CIA and Drug Running
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rFWDHQcIG8

Paul Emery

George

Obama pledged that he would not bring in the feds as long as State laws were being complied with. He said to Barbara Walters "
“It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” he said, because “we’ve got bigger fish to fry"

What BS. According to reason.com Obama is far worse than Bush in pursuing Medical Marijuana violators.

AS long as the Attorney General is chief spokesperson for the hookum and bookum incarnation industry there will be little relief from federal intrusion. Our good sheriff loves to lap up the federal bucks when they dangle grants and cash from the Feds. So much for being a "constitutional sheriff." Also property seizers are a cash cow for local and federal jurisdictions under Rico Laws.

Marijuana is a major cash crop for law enforcement so they have no interest in reforming the law.

Three years ago 200 hundred regional cops swooped down on a cultivator in North San Juan and ended up with just three convictions.

I'm with Tom McClintock on this one. He co-sponsered H.R. 5326 that would would, “prohibit any funds made available to the Department of Justice from being used to prevent the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, or the District of Columbia, from implementing programs authorized by those laws.”

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2012/may/09/house_representatives_votes_down

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/09/bipartisan-amendment-seeks-to-halt-obamas-medical-marijuana-raids/

Michael Anderson

Paul and fish, great comments. Pot deregulation in the states, and their consequent promulgation of states rights, is clearly making the Obama administration uncomfortable and I am not exactly sure why.

Regarding the new study cited by George, it's clear that we are finally looking into this drug with more scrutiny but I don't this particular study proves that MJ is an outlier in creating mental illness; it has been long established that drug abuse of all kinds causes mental health issues for certain subsets of users.

Singling out pot, while new according this study, is yesterday's lettuce to anyone who really understands the War on Drugs vs. drug abuse being a medical problem that can't be solved by criminal justice agencies.

Ken Jones

The legalization of marijuana is starting to take place in the US. WA and CO have adopted this policy; many states allow patients to use for medicinal purposes. But marijuana has issues like similar substances such as nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, street drugs. These substances and food can and will be abused by some of the users/consumers. There are adverse medical side affects with all these substances.
The bottom line is simple "The dose makes the poison".

For Todd: "Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power. Then they legalized dope and now you never hear much from or about them. Anyone have a Dutch update?"

Yes the Netherlands never legalized drugs. Todd you are mistaken again. Some drugs are tolerated but not legal. Big difference.

http://www.holland.com/us/tourism/article/dutch-drug-policy.htm

Currently there is a move in the Netherlands to be more restrictive and less condoning in regards to the policy concerning drug use.

"The Netherlands has begun rolling-out restrictions on the sale of cannabis to foreigners, as part of attempts to deter drug tourism.

Dutch News reports that from today, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from the country's licensed coffee shops will have to register for a special membership card called a 'weed pass' or 'wietpas'. The card will only be available to residents of the Netherlands."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120501/dutch-cannabis-coffee-shops-begin-closing-doors-tourists

Ken Jones


Tried to post this once with no luck. Once more.

The legalization of marijuana is starting to take place in the US. WA and CO have adopted this policy; many states allow patients to use for medicinal purposes. But marijuana has issues like similar substances such as nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, street drugs. These substances and food can and will be abused by some of the users/consumers. There are adverse medical side affects with all these substances.
The bottom line is simple "The dose makes the poison".

For Todd: "Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power. Then they legalized dope and now you never hear much from or about them. Anyone have a Dutch update?"

Yes the Netherlands never legalized drugs. Todd you are mistaken again. Some drugs are tolerated but not legal. Big difference.

holland.com/us/tourism/article/dutch-drug-policy.htm

Currently there is a move in the Netherlands to be more restrictive and less condoning in regards to the policy concerning drug use.

"The Netherlands has begun rolling-out restrictions on the sale of cannabis to foreigners, as part of attempts to deter drug tourism.

Dutch News reports that from today, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from the country's licensed coffee shops will have to register for a special membership card called a 'weed pass' or 'wietpas'. The card will only be available to residents of the Netherlands."

globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120501/dutch-cannabis-coffee-shops-begin-closing-doors-tourists

Ken Jones

Third time trying to post:

The legalization of marijuana is starting to take place in the US. WA and CO have adopted this policy; many states allow patients to use for medicinal purposes. But marijuana has issues like similar substances such as nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, street drugs. These substances and food can and will be abused by some of the users/consumers. There are adverse medical side affects with all these substances.
The bottom line is simple "The dose makes the poison".

For Todd: "Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power. Then they legalized dope and now you never hear much from or about them. Anyone have a Dutch update?"

Yes the Netherlands never legalized drugs. Todd you are mistaken again. Some drugs are tolerated but not legal. Big difference.

holland (dot) com /us/tourism/article/dutch-drug-policy

Currently there is a move in the Netherlands to be more restrictive and less condoning in regards to the policy concerning drug use.

"The Netherlands has begun rolling-out restrictions on the sale of cannabis to foreigners, as part of attempts to deter drug tourism.

Dutch News reports that from today, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from the country's licensed coffee shops will have to register for a special membership card called a 'weed pass' or 'wietpas'. The card will only be available to residents of the Netherlands."

globalpost (dot)com dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120501/dutch-cannabis-coffee-shops-begin-closing-doors-tourists

Ken Jones

The legalization of marijuana is starting to take place in the US. WA and CO have adopted this policy; many states allow patients to use for medicinal purposes. But marijuana has issues like similar substances such as nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, street drugs. These substances and food can and will be abused by some of the users/consumers. There are adverse medical side affects with all these substances.
The bottom line is simple "The dose makes the poison".

For Todd: "Some of my direct ancestors were Dutch. They used to be a world power. Then they legalized dope and now you never hear much from or about them. Anyone have a Dutch update?"

Yes the Netherlands never legalized drugs. Todd you are mistaken again. Some drugs are tolerated but not legal. Big difference.

http://holland.com/us/tourism/article/dutch-drug-policy.htm

Currently there is a move in the Netherlands to be more restrictive and less condoning in regards to the policy concerning drug use.

"The Netherlands has begun rolling-out restrictions on the sale of cannabis to foreigners, as part of attempts to deter drug tourism.

Dutch News reports that from today, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from the country's licensed coffee shops will have to register for a special membership card called a 'weed pass' or 'wietpas'. The card will only be available to residents of the Netherlands."

http://globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120501/dutch-cannabis-coffee-shops-begin-closing-doors-tourists

Todd Juvinall

Thanks Ken, you absolutely made my point forme. Your links show the danger of drugs is now being reigned in by the poster child country for dopers.

Paul Emery

Todd

What is your view of States Rights in this matter?

Ken Jones

No Todd your point was the Netherlands legalized "dope". They never did. You can never admit when you are wrong. Further there is no evidence that the tolerance policy made drug use worse in the Netherlands. There was evidence that it did create a "drug tourism" for people outside the Netherlands to visit to partake. Do you feel the same way about alcohol and tobacco Todd? Or do those drugs get a pass?

Paul Emery

George

Back to your original topic about the effects of MJ consumptions on the mentally ill. Based on your link to Dr Samuel Wilkinson's study it is really inconclusive but certainly worth inquiry. It is known that schizophrenia manifests itself in teens around the age of 17 because it is a degenerative disease that takes years to develop. I am firmly opposed to marijuana use by teenagers because of the way affects brain development. Interestingly noted is that states with legal medical marijuana availability show declining use by teenagers in general.. There is a 10% decline in use by those states between 2000-2006. California ranked 32nd in the State in 2006 for example behind such states as Wyoming and Minnesota that have vigorous anti pot enforcement policies.


Some states do show a hike in teen use after legalization however especially Maine and Montana.

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=001557

Ben Emery

The perfect example is Portugal of drug decriminalization. Legalization makes it marketable, which opens up a who new can of worms.

Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago And The Results Are Staggering

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/portugal-drug-policy-decriminalization-works-2012-7#ixzz2YUlWs5y0

Paul Emery

Ben

thanks Ben for finding this.

This is a staggering detail from the article "more than half of America's federal inmates are in prison on drug convictions"

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/portugal-drug-policy-decriminalization-works-2012-7#ixzz2YUqE5guU

Ben Emery

The biggest drug dealers just got a get out of jail free card from our corporate Supreme Court. The Obama administration argued on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry against consumers in the case

Karen Bartlett vs. Mutual Pharmaceutical Company

Once our eyes are open to this fascist/ corporatist state we are living under it becomes apparent it is pervasive in every decision coming out of our capitals at the state and federal levels.

Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits
http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/supreme-court-rules-drug-companies-exempt-from-lawsuits/

Ben Emery

Addition to 08 July 2013 at 07:56 PM

Could this be part of Obama's back room deal during the health care reform?

Or

Could Obama or Biden or anybody or everybody have dirt on them via the NSA, FBI, Verizon, AT&T, ect... spying programs and they are being held hostage if they want to stay in office?

Gregory

Ben, once again you got it wrong. Here's the plain language summary from the scotusblog:
"PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY: Companies that make generic drugs have to sell the same product and use the same label as the original “branded” drug approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The issue in this case is whether someone who is injured by the side effects of a generic drug can sue the manufacturer on the ground that that the generic drug, taking account of its label, is unreasonably dangerous. In this case, the label in question did not mention the side effect that caused the injury (which took the form of third-degree burns on much of the plaintiff’s body). The answer is that the plaintiff cannot sue the manufacturer. Because the FDA has approved the product and the label, the state court cannot impose damages for harm from using the product."

In short, the generic manufacturer didn't design the drug or specify the instructions. You can't sue them for a making a good copy of the approved drug and if that changed, goodbye affordable generics.

Ben Emery

Greg,
My take on it is from a lawyer who has argued and won against big pharma in the past, sorry to burst your feel good moment of proving I am wrong. But again you have watched Law & Order for years so that must mean your interpretations of the decision are better than a lawyer who deals in this specific legal area. Rarely are my positions on Supreme Court decisions, Climate Change, Economics, and so on my own. They are shaped by reading and listening to professionals from their respected fields. You are a master of all trades and a laborer of none, in your own mind.

Gregory

Ben, you apparently were following a personal injury attorney. I quoted a Columbia Law school professor writing at the SCOTUSblog and that was far different than your proclamation that the "Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits".

Ben Emery

Greg,
My guess in all of your infinite wisdom you have a problem seeing the big picture because you are so full of intricate details of every complex issue that faces our nation, state, and local communities. Over all we are seeing a big shift in the pharmaceutical industry and the Supreme Court along with both political parties are making sure the new emerging generic giants will be unaccountable by the people.

Medicare Part D has forced the biggest consumer of pharmaceuticals to pay retail prices without negotiation. Made it illegal for Medicare to purchase pharmaceuticals outside the US. 2003 http://oversight-archive.waxman.house.gov/story.asp?ID=2115

The US is one of only two developed nation where pharmaceutical industry can use direct to consumer advertising. 1997 http://academia.edu/278465/Chronology_of_Direct-to-Consumer_Advertising_Regulation_in_the_United_States

The Obama administration cut a deal with the pharmaceutical industry pre health care reform debate. 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insure.html?_r=0

Earlier this year Big Pharma got their pay to delay capabilities challenged.
http://www.uspirg.org/news/usp/big-pharmas-pay-delay-deals-take-hit


Big pharmaceuticals are selling less drugs to Americans with patents but are intertwined with the generic industry as well in many cases.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/05/09/drug-giants-are-selling-many-fewer-pills/


Last and not least the FDA among other government positions are filled with lobbyists from Big Pharma and vice versa. http://www.anh-usa.org/fda-huge-conflicts-of-interest-with-big-pharma/

Lobbyists in 2012 who have previously held government jobs*

Pharmaceuticals - Trade Associations

95 out of 146 PhRMA lobbyists
58 out of 86 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) lobbyists
4 out of 10 Generic Pharmaceutical Association lobbyists

Pharmaceuticals - Companies

59 out of 79 Roche Holdings lobbyists
54 out of 74 Pfizer Inc lobbyists
45 out of 58 Eli Lilly & Co lobbyists
33 out of 56 Abbott Laboratories lobbyists
33 out of 42 Merck & Co lobbyists
32 out of 55 Novartis AG lobbyists
27 out of 49 Johnson & Johnson lobbyists
24 out of 35 GlaxoSmithKline lobbyists
19 out of 27 Sanofi lobbyists
14 out of 18 Bristol-Myers Squibb lobbyists
10 out of 16 Gilead Sciences lobbyists
10 out of 18 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries lobbyists


Ben Emery

Greg,
I had a long cited comment but once again it didn't post after it appeared to do so. You have a lack of ability to see the big picture on many issues. It appears you didn't follow the link I gave in hast to prove me wrong. If you have gone to the link you would have seen "Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits" is the title of the piece.

The biggest problem is the revolving doors between public and private industry that leads to capture of our government reps and agencies.

Lobbyists in 2012 who have previously held government jobs*

Pharmaceuticals - Trade Associations

95 out of 146 PhRMA lobbyists
58 out of 86 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) lobbyists
4 out of 10 Generic Pharmaceutical Association lobbyists

Pharmaceuticals - Companies

59 out of 79 Roche Holdings lobbyists
54 out of 74 Pfizer Inc lobbyists
45 out of 58 Eli Lilly & Co lobbyists
33 out of 56 Abbott Laboratories lobbyists
33 out of 42 Merck & Co lobbyists
32 out of 55 Novartis AG lobbyists
27 out of 49 Johnson & Johnson lobbyists
24 out of 35 GlaxoSmithKline lobbyists
19 out of 27 Sanofi lobbyists
14 out of 18 Bristol-Myers Squibb lobbyists
10 out of 16 Gilead Sciences lobbyists
10 out of 18 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries lobbyists

-US is one of only two nations that are allowed direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising 1997

-Medicare Part D forces Medicare to purchase drugs at non negotiated retailed prices and the bill was passed with very controversial procedures. It also makes purchasing pharmaceuticals outside US. 2003

-Obama administration made back room deals with pharmaceutical industries before the health care debate began in 2009

-Obama care forces 30 million more people onto the roles of private health insurance industries that send patients to doctors that attended pharmaceutical financed AMA medical schools.

-Big Pharma is selling less patented drugs while generics are becoming the majority of drugs sold in the US

-Big Pharma had their ability to pay to delay generics challenged earlier this year

-Now the Karen Bartlett vs. Mutual Pharmaceutical Company decision give generic manufacturers immunity to lawsuit, which by the way are becoming more and more subsidiaries of big pharma.

Can you see how the new corporate friendly system is being set up?

Bill Tozer

Paul brings up some good points and questions. Seems to me that we are Libertarians on different issues. States rights are ok for pot and the Supreme Court ruled recently upholding states rights for same sex marriage. So, some of us are all for states rights on one issue and want the Feds to step in on other issues. Don't tread on me when it hits close to home.

Some quote the Commerce Clause and if anything good will come out of ObamaCare, it is the Supreme Court finally put some limits on the Commence Clause (the far reaching tentacles of Our Great White Father in Washington).

Guess we all pick and choose whether we want states rights or the US Government to have the final say when the rubber meets the road. I prefer the States' Rights to trump an overreaching Federal Government each and every time as per the Law of the Land.

Heck, there are some states today where I wonder why people don't revolt against a overburdening state government with laws and regs coming down the pike every day. Usually its the same old story: they be turning over every rock looking for money, the money in people's pockets.

Take Washington State, a place where I lived for a few years. The people voted down a massive increase in DMV fees. Like it was going to go up 10 fold. So, what to they do? If you buy a used car for a grand, it does not matter. The DMV will charge you their assessed value of the car, which is higher than Kelly Blue Book. Yet, when you hit 62 years old, your property tax decreases. If you live longer, your property taxes decrease more. Each state does what it does, which is fine by me. But Washington is going radical green, which means all references to "penmanship" and the word "freshmen" are being stricken from text books because those words are sexist. Yes, they legalized pot for recreational purposes, but the devil is in the details. Like is it a no-no transporting pot and having more than a little bit. States rights is is what makes up our Republic.

Michael Anderson

I support states rights regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, health care implementation, and drug law.

I guess where we differ, Mr. Tozer, is that you would have a single state's ass-backwardness trump another state's legislation that was pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage, building PPACA exchanges, and enacting drug decriminalization laws.

If Kansas were to pass a law stating that all scarecrows had to be in black face, I would support their right to be racist pigfuckers to my dying day. But I would also insist that under federal law, black face scarecrows would only be mandated in Kansas, and that other states who liked their scare crows to be less racist, the feds would honor that predilection as well.

In other words, gay marriage that is recognized in California is afforded the same federal benefits of all marriage. There is no harm to Kansas since they will not be recognizing gay marriage within their borders.

The beauty of the 10th Amendment is that it allows states to experiment with progressive or repressive laws, and the people can then vote with their feet. But federal law must honor each state's iterations, as long it conforms with certain constitutional basics.

Bill Tozer

Mr. Anderson, I don't think we disagree. Even in progressive Colorado, I can stroll down the street carrying a gun. To each his own. I totally agree with your last paragraph above. Totally agree.

Just because I oppose 99% of abortions on moral grounds, I ain't clamoring for the feds to step in. Besides, the Supreme Court has already sided with the right to kill crowd. We must value life so I also agree that wholesale discrimination against blacks in housing and employment had to be addressed at the Federal level on Constitutional grounds. Putting down folk based on skin color does not value life. The problem did not simply go away in the Old South. Ironically, the high school in Little Rock set the national record for the 440 relay a few years later.

Possessing a joint once got you 2 years in Nevada and some did 20 years in Texas for a little bit of pot. In Oregon you were told to put it out. Each state has their laws reflecting the will or the locals. And in some states (like Washington), each county has its own property tax laws. An each city has its open container laws. The great experiment. BTW, Kansas does not seem to make the news much anymore.

Ben Emery

Greg,
"Ben, you apparently were following a personal injury attorney." I am guessing that is supposed to be an insult that I am following a sleazy ambulance chaser.

Here is his bio

Mike Papantonio is the President of The National Trial Lawyer Association, and a senior partner of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A., one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in America, having handled thousands of cases throughout the nation including Pharmaceutical Drug Litigation, Asbestos, Breast Implants, Factory Farming, Securities Fraud, the Florida Tobacco Litigation, and other mass tort cases. “Pap” has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate malfeasance.

Papantonio is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. Papantonio is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates; the American Association for Justice (formerly the ATLA); the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; and the Florida Justice Association (formerly the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), where he served on the Board of Directors for five years.

Papantonio is listed in the publications, Best Lawyers in America and Leading American Attorney.

In 1998, Papantonio teamed with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Hudson Riverkeepers, and Water Keeper Alliance, to establish a Riverkeepers program in Northwest Florida, known as the Emerald Coastkeepers, Inc., a full-time organization that serves the community as a public advocate for the waterways of Northwest Florida. Coastkeepers and Riverkeepers are reputable for their willingness to take polluters to court. In 2001, Papantonio filed two lawsuits against polluters, which lead to a $70 million settlement. In 2007, as lead trial counsel in the environmental class action case of Perrine v. Dupont, Papantonio received a jury verdict award for a West Virginia community with an estimated value in excess of $380 million.

In 2008, Papantonio was selected by the Public Justice Foundation as a finalist for its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

In 2011, Papantonio was awarded the Perry Nichols Award, the highest honor given by the Florida Justice Association. The award recognizes individuals who fight valiantly and with distinction for justice throughout their lives.

In 2012, Papantonio became President of the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Papantonio has authored and co-authored instructional articles on handling complex litigation for trial lawyers. He is the founder of the cutting edge continuing legal education seminar organization, Mass Torts Made Perfect, which has and continues to train thousands of lawyers in how to better their legal practice. The organization has hosted speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, James Carville, Johnnie Cochran, Bob Woodward, Elliot Spitzer, Jack Kemp, Al Sharpton, Arianna Huffington, Dick Morris, Paul Begala, and Dan Rather.

Ben Emery

I guess it is not going to stick so I will break this up into two comments

Greg,
I had a long cited comment but once again it didn't post after it appeared to do so. You have a lack of ability to see the big picture on many issues. It appears you didn't follow the link I gave in haste to prove me wrong. If you have gone to the link you would have seen "Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits" is the title of the piece.

The biggest problem is the revolving doors between public and private industry that leads to capture of our government reps and agencies.

Lobbyists in 2012 who have previously held government jobs

Pharmaceuticals - Trade Associations
95 out of 146 PhRMA lobbyists
58 out of 86 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) lobbyists
4 out of 10 Generic Pharmaceutical Association lobbyists
Pharmaceuticals - Companies
59 out of 79 Roche Holdings lobbyists
54 out of 74 Pfizer Inc lobbyists
45 out of 58 Eli Lilly & Co lobbyists
33 out of 56 Abbott Laboratories lobbyists
33 out of 42 Merck & Co lobbyists
32 out of 55 Novartis AG lobbyists
27 out of 49 Johnson & Johnson lobbyists
24 out of 35 GlaxoSmithKline lobbyists
19 out of 27 Sanofi lobbyists
14 out of 18 Bristol-Myers Squibb lobbyists
10 out of 16 Gilead Sciences lobbyists
10 out of 18 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries lobbyists

Ben Emery

Greg,

-US is one of only two nations that are allowed direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising 1997

-Medicare Part D forces Medicare to purchase drugs at non negotiated retailed prices and the bill was passed with very controversial procedures. It also makes purchasing pharmaceuticals outside US. 2003

-Obama administration made back room deals with pharmaceutical industries before the health care debate began in 2009

-Obama care forces 30 million more people onto the roles of private health insurance industries that send patients to doctors that attended pharmaceutical financed AMA medical schools.

-Big Pharma is selling less patented drugs while generics are becoming the majority of drugs sold in the US

-Big Pharma had their ability to pay to delay generics challenged earlier this year

-Now the Karen Bartlett vs. Mutual Pharmaceutical Company decision give generic manufacturers immunity to lawsuit, which by the way are becoming more and more subsidiaries of big pharma.

Can you see how the new corporate friendly system is being set up?

George Rebane

BenE 839am++ - From the spam bucket I fished out and published all what appeared as the non-redundant comments. Thanks for the heads up.

Paul Emery

Bill

As a fledgling Libertarian I am looking at States Rights much more seriously than a few years ago. I have yet to come up with the rules of the road on that matter. Much of it will be market place driven. For example a company looking for a home base will likely locate in a state with marriage rights for gays because of the talented work force that will likely be available that would otherwise go elsewhere if they are looking for a job.

Ben

A very good friend of mine is raising two boys with Cystic Fibrosis. There has been dramatic developments with new drugs that offer remarkable improvements in lifespan and quality of life but, guess what, it costs $60,000 per year for treatment. Obviously the tab is picked up by the government since no one can afford that on their own and the insurance companies obviously won't insure anyone with that condition. Yet another example of the need for single payer national health care. If indeed we are our brothers keeper we should all share in the health costs of those unfortunate ones so afflicted.

I have a difficult time leaving this up to individual states. If California had universal health care for example and Nevada didn't guess what would happen? All those with serious health problems would move to California thus creating an unfair burden in that State. This to me is a good reason to have some kind of universal health care.

Bill

My best friend was arrested in Georgia in 1969 for living in a house that was busted for pot. All they found was one joint yet they convicted all residents. He did 6 months of hard time in State prison and had to quit college and was never able to return because he had a felony on his record and couldn't get a student loan or a decent job or family support. Obviously things are better today but the untold thousands who suffered such a fate are a testament of the times that many in law enforcement would like us to return to.

Gregory

Ben, you are forgetting one of the primary laws of government... "When legislation controls what gets bought and gets sold, the first things to get bought and sold are legislators", as good a quote from PJ O'Rourke as I can muster from memory. The basic movement of regulators being populated from the ranks of the regulated dates back to the 19th century and is nothing new. You might try reading Friedman's "Free to Choose", I recall him covering that well.


What you and Paul are both missing is that all those expensive drugs are able to be developed in the regulatory climate we have only because of profits able to be earned. It's more likely that, under that single payer system, such drugs will be rationed only to those for whom the maximum benefits can be expected. Or forbidden entirely as bot being cost effective.

Back to your last hallucinatory drug story, you can't have it both ways. Generic drugs are comparatively inexpensive because when the patents expire, any company able to do a credible job of manufacturing and distributing them is able to do so. It is a boon to society as a whole for this to happen, and requiring them to make exact copies, including labeling, is part of the deal. Letting the to be sued into oblivion for doing just that is a formula to return to the old days of no price competition on older medications.

Paul Emery

Gregory

The "profits able to be earned" come from taxpayers pure and simple. What other options do you see in this matter? No insurance company will touch those people and it's impossible to pay out of pocket for such things. I'm open to ideas but I see none from this forum.

Gregory

Paul, the problem of risk pools is yet another unanticipated side effect of 'fringe benefits' being untaxed back when WWII wage and price controls were untaxable and remaining so, thus beginning the long march towards employer based health insurance forced by Federal tax law. Reform risk pools and make all health care benefits taxable, and the individual healthcare insurance market will again exist and the prepaid healthcare pretending to be insurance, like the approved Obamacare plans, will wane.

If you don't want drug companies to make the profits needed to develop new and wondrous drugs, they won't develop them and we can spend the money saved on nicer gravesites or vacations. If you can't afford them, the alternatives that would be faced without the drug existing will remain. Generally, the companies that make the things do make them available at reduced prices for many, but if they make it too easy the folks who can afford full freight will want a deal, too... There is no free lunch, someone pays, one way or the other.

The answer isn't federally socialized medical care, cradle to grave. It won't be that great insurance that legislators and public employees get. At the moment, overpayments by individuals with insurance subsidize folks relying on medicare and medicaid that make underpayments. Kill the profits goose and the golden eggs cease.

Paul Emery

Gregory

Nice outline but you offer no solution except to continue the current system of overpayment by existing insured to subsidize those that cannot afford it. Perhaps there is no solution and people will just die who cannot afford it. Social Darwinism for sure. The question is where will the drug companies make the profits needed to develop new drugs? Who do you suggest can afford the "full freight" you describe?

George Rebane

PaulE 347pm - appending Gregory's excellent discourse, what social policies do you see rescinding the eternal law of them that's got will also get? The richer will always have advantages. And thinking that pure and simple profits always come from the taxpayer is a fairly deep reach into communist doctrine. (Don't circle the government subsidizes businesses barn again; I'm also against government subsidies to big corporations.)

You have to come back to the cold fact that enforced equality, in whatever dimension of society, means loss of liberty and lower benefits. Contrary to socialist dogma, you cannot levitate yourself by yanking on your bootstraps, even if you pass a law to do so.

Paul Emery

So George it's Social Darwinism then. Survival of he fittest,in this example the richest. In the case of my friends then without government assistance their options available would be limited and their life shortened. I'm not making his up, these are real people.

It's not enforced equality George it's basic human decency that we take care of the sick and weak. In the case of modern medical miracle treatments if they are only available to the wealthy where does that puts us as a culture to let sick people die when there are options to improve their health that can't be used.

Here's a definition of Social Darwinism

"A theory arising in the late nineteenth century that the laws of evolution, which Charles Darwin had observed in nature, also apply to society. Social Darwinists argued that social progress resulted from conflicts in which the fittest or best adapted individuals, or entire societies, would prevail. It gave rise to the slogan “survival of the fittest.”


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/social+darwinism


George Rebane

PaulE 615pm - The theory may have arisen in the late 1800s, but the behavior has been part of human behavior for millenia. People strive harder, most often for the benefit of all, when they feel that they can differentially benefit their their kin and themselves. If the rewards of such labors are removed or significantly diminished, all of society will suffer much more.

Paul Emery

Okay George then what is the moral justification of government subsidized medical research if the end product is only available to the privileged?

Also does your view of this also include education and housing for example?

George Rebane

PaulE 643pm - Paul, this barn looks familiar. I don't recall supporting government subsidized research for anything but national security and other constitutional prescriptions that one may be able to dig out. In any case, the end products have always been available to all over time.

If government subsidizes pharma research to the point of taking out all risk, well then the market would instantly show it in low prices for all from the gitgo. Anyone charging higher prices would be out of luck on the next round of subsidy proposals. But apparently government insists on subsidizing to maintain control and then piles on market risk through regulations, tax codes, and tort laws. The socialists don't understand any of this. Go figger.

The feds shouldn't be in the education and housing business. Their record there is atrocious.

Gregory

Paul, if you think a system can or should be designed to insure someone with money can't get more expensive medical care than someone without money, I think you are deluding yourself.

Everyone dies eventually; about half of your lifetime medical expenses are incurred trying to delay the inevitable outcome of your last illness. The key to reducing lifetime expenditures is to not fight Death when death will not be deterred. Do we do it by choice using our own assets, or do we do it by a bureaucratic 'death panel' that writes dispassionate rules that determines what the hoi polloi live and die by, with exceptions for the well connected?

Paul Emery

Gregory

I understand your position. In this case Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that without treatment usually ends in death before teenage years. With treatment life can be extended to the 40's on average and possibly beyond that with new treatments that I have referred to. There is no way anyone except the extremely wealthy can afford to pay for treatment out of pocket and those with the condition are not insurable. So in your view should we just let them die? The only option is some form of government assistance. Do you have any ideas about how to approach this and similar diseases?

Paul Emery

George

We subside research all the time for all kinds of things through public supported Universities. Do you propose we eliminate that? What regulations do you feel are appropriate for approval of new medical drugs and procedures?

I was not thinking specifically of federal subsidy for education or housing but tax payer support in general through local, State and Federal taxes.

George Rebane

PaulE 851pm++ - Support housing and education through local initiatives (taxes and charities) if that is what the people in the region decide.

Why take the profit motive out of developing life saving drugs? Would they be created with equal fervor when the reward is weekly wages from the government?

Paul Emery

George

You seem to neglect the fact that drugs and treatments that cost $60,000 a year or more can only be paid for through government programs. That is likely recognized by the developers from the beginning since insurance will not cover those patients and, as I said, virtually no one can afford such treatments out of pocket. Do you see any other options?

You refer to a "region" for support housing and education. Would that be at the County and City level? How do you see the State involved in this?

By the way, thanks for the respectful conversation on this matter.

Michael Anderson

GG asked: "Do we do it by choice using our own assets, or do we do it by a bureaucratic 'death panel' that writes dispassionate rules that determines what the hoi polloi live and die by, with exceptions for the well connected?"

Great question, and it speaks directly to the heart of the matter. What single payer offers is a certain level of care that everyone accepts. If you want more coverage, and you can afford it, you are more than welcome to pay for that additional coverage.

Single payers asserts that for very basic needs, everyone is covered. This is an economically sound policy because it precludes people from using the ER for simple tests and procedures. It's like the gas tax; everyone pays in and the roads are nice.

What we have now is a system where a small subset of people (of which I am an angry and outspoken member) subsidizing those who have great gov't plans, or use the ER for their primary care.

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

Bill Tozer

I have moved mountains to take care of, support and enrich my loved ones. Guess that is survival of the fittest in a way. The person that can think quick on his feet and use his/her brains to outsmart, out think, and outmaneuver his/her competition in the market place/workplace is today's survival of the fitness poster child. Don't matter if you can't throw a spear at your prey or if you are near sighted or are loonier than a hoot owl. The ability to adapt in a changing world (weekly if necessary) makes today's champions.

Hello my friend Mr. Ben. Noticed you omitted the Waltons from the list of big bad Pharma. Don't the folksy Walton Clan from the precious Little House on the Prairie fame also own Wal-Greens?

Ben, the fastest growing segment of drug addiction is woman 40 years of age and older popping pills. Also, true for men. The largest group of overdoses is now woman over 40 on prescription meds. They go running to the shelter of their mother's little helper.

I say we should outlaw scripts and those legal little pills that come in a variety of sizes and colors. They are killing people!!! Ban them now. Its them evil Waltons up to no good again. This time they are exploiting workers then knocking them off when they ask for a penny raise. Ban pills. Save us from ourselves. Save the down trodden.

Gerry Fedor

I have to wonder why CABPRO has not stepped up on the MMJ issue, as isn't this a property right for people to grow their own medicine, or should CABPRO remove the PRO (Property Owners Rights) from their moniker?

Is this is a question we should be asking their leadership, or are they just interested in a very small "Non-consequential" of property rights?

Ben Emery

George,
Out of everything you said this is what stood out for me
"You have to come back to the cold fact that enforced equality, in whatever dimension of society, means loss of liberty and lower benefits."

We have very different ideas on the meaning of equality and liberty. More than ever the way we perceive the world is the biggest obstacle to us seeing what we all agree on coming to fruition.

Ben Emery

Bill,
I don't know what you are talking about with the Walton comment. The evil Walton family doesn't own Walgreens. I am sure Walmart has put many local pharmacies out of business though. Forcing once business owners who invested their profits, time, and energy into the local community into becoming an employee of the giant wealth sucking retailer.

Giant Wealth Sucking Retailer- Every time people who work in the community where they live shop at the Arkansas based store they send their energy, time, and wealth out of their community thus sucking the life out of the community. Can't afford parks, schools, fix the potholes, and so on. To bring back to health care, the worst part of it the pay is so low at Walmart a huge chunk of their employees are encouraged to go onto to government social programs. In essence we are subsidizing Walmart's wages and benefits to its employees.

The store located in Porterville, CA about the population of Nevada County they Walmart received $14 million. One of the most profitable companies on the planet getting $14 million in subsides in a relatively small community. How is this correct.

http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org/subsidy_report.html?sub=U2FsdGVkX1*NRLSCk2KRrZmdFMzwzOle

Unfortunately the cite doesn't have Montrose, Colorado. I watched how first Walmart and then Super Walmart devastated Main St in that town. I was in my early 20's and had never heard of Walmart. I shopped there because that is where most people in Telluride went because it was the first thing we came to on our 70 plus mile shopping trip. That is when I started to see how bigger/ inexpensive comes with a very big cost. By the time I was 30 I was boycotting the store and encouraged anyone with a sense of community to do the same.

George Rebane

BenE 645am - We do indeed Ben. I have been writing about this difference for seven years. Glad you agree. The question is what do we do now as a nation when such a schism of reality exists?

PaulE 1048pm - Yes, as has long been pointed out in these pages, the government has guaranteed us a mangled market, not the 'free market' that some wish and others rail against. Can we both agree that government should not be subsidizing drug development? And that they should be supporting legal reform in tort laws that boost such development costs through the roof. But in the final analysis, does everyone have the right to a life that has an unlimited draw on their neighbors' wallet?

The 'region' refers to whatever jurisdictions each state sets up at various levels. But we should puzzle on your former question of people just moving to states that have the biggest giveaways. For openers, states can impose length of residency requirements for receiving certain benefits. And, of course, there is always the option not to get overly enthusiastic about all the giveaways (wealth transfers).

Ben Emery

George,
Look to the past to see what has worked best for the most people and try to adapt to modern circumstances is the way to move forward. I suspect that this difference in world views will follow us to even the most blatant examples.


Here is an excerpt from FDR in 1936.
"That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy - from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that they governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they restricted the worship of God; that they put the average man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the mercenaries of dynastic power; that they regimented the people.

And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776."

George Rebane

BenE 911am - "Look to the past to see ..." Great advice Ben, have given it myself. But that doesn't help us join our understanding of things. The people whose viewpoints we may represent to some extent don't even agree on the definition of simple words and common notions (one reason for my including a Glossary in RR).

Gregory

"That is likely recognized by the developers from the beginning since insurance will not cover those patients and, as I said, virtually no one can afford such treatments out of pocket."

Paul, I think you'll find if you have insurance when the condition is discovered, most insurance will cover it. No, if you don't have insurance and then try to buy it after a child is diagnosed with a terrible disease, they won't bite. They aren't charities. At Roulette, you don't place a bet on Red when you see the ball is glued in place on a Black or Green, and the insurance companies are the House.

The problem remains risk pools and portability, and both are solvable with market oriented solutions.

To the mad as hell and won't take it anymore Mike, Obamacare should be making you even madder as hell, but you keep accepting the law as it was sold, not as it is.

Paul Emery

So Gregory, George what options are there for those who have children born with that type of condition other than government assistance? Can you point me to any system anywhere in the world that has developed such a system or is it theoretical at this point. The golden age of capitalism in the 19th century just let people die. Are you saying the repurcussions of government assisted health care is worse than letting people die a natural death if they can't affork healthcare? Many questions.

George Rebane

PaulE 509pm - Following up on Greg's 1050am, I think the onus is on the wrong foot (to mix metaphors). You are asking those who are on the paying side to solve all the problems that you folks on the receiving side consider to be the minimum requirements for your welfare utopia. We will beggar the economy and create a situation many times worse than now if your nostrums of unlimited taxes/premiums/fees for those who can pay to take care of the ever increasing fraction of those who cannot or will not. Nowhere is it written that everyone has an equal draw on my wallet. For those for whom this is still too obtuse let me spell it out.

THE POORER WILL ALWAYS SUFFER AT HIGHER RATES AND GREATER INTENSITIES THAN THE RICHER, THERE IS **NOTHING** SUSTAINABLE THAT CAN BE DONE TO CHANGE THIS TRUTH, AND EVERY ATTEMPT TO DO SO BY FORCE WILL BEGGAR SOCIETY TO A UNIFORMLY HIGH LEVEL OF MISERY. IT WAS EVER THUS.

The only way that the poor can be lifted is the way that they have already been lifted, by increasing the overall wealth of society so that more benefits will (seatbelt fastened?) trickle down to the have-nots. This has given our poor levels of income and care unimagined previously and still not available in the overwhelming part of the world.

Paul Emery

George

I an not talking about a welfare utopia but extending the lives of sick children. The reality of what you propose is disturbing and depressing. The family I know and the children involved are real. If you had it your way they would likely be dead by now because they receive medical assistance from the government that has extended their lives and quality of life.

George Rebane

PaulE 638pm - The people I am talking about are also real, and they number in the millions. And the death rates of poor countries will go way above the anecdotal rates cited to start comprehensive social programs. You are proposing an unlimited draw on other wage earners income; that will not work as I have vainly attempted to explain to you. If you would put some sort of limit on the resources you want redistribute, then we could talk some sense in how best to do it. But none of you and your co-thinkers ever want to do that.

Ben Emery

George,
Why do you suspect that conservatives are the only ones who pay into the system?

"I think the onus is on the wrong foot (to mix metaphors). You are asking those who are on the paying side to solve all the problems that you folks on the receiving side consider to be the minimum requirements for your welfare utopia."

As a society we all have things in common and our government is the big one and as a humane decent society we need to respect all people, even the poor, need access to health care from time to time. If a person is flying in first class and is coughed on by someone in steerage/ economy who has TB it doesn't matter what kind of insurance program they belong. Disease much like bombs doesn't discriminate.

I have never seen numbers that show any other nation has as much debt as the US when it comes to health care and yet every citizen of these nations have access to health care.

Compare International Medical Bills
http://www.npr.org/2008/07/02/110997469/compare-international-medical-bills

George Rebane

BenE 811pm - never made the claim about conservatives. But I will bet the ranch that more liberals than conservatives are on the tit. And there is no way to get them off.

I'm not ready to recircle the sustainable healthcare system barn. Just read my old comments.

Ben Emery

George,
I would take that bet in a heart beat. In my family and wife side it is a big majority of conservatives on the dole. Just about every statistic I have seen on the subject suggests the opposite of your position.

Here is one on the state level for a quick reference.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/26/blog-posting/red-state-socialism-graphic-says-gop-leaning-state/

Ben Emery

I guess you're correct, you didn't make the claim conservative but I read into it the Romney 47% statement and many of your previous statements towards various issues to lead me to that conclusion.

George Rebane

BenE 921pm - An extremely surprising report, especially given that the overwhelming numbers of welfare recipients are in the blue states - e.g. one of three in California alone. What might skew the statistics is that the blue states have the big cities packed with both welfare recipients and businesses that hire workers and themselves pay taxes. Farm and livestock states send lower valued commodities to factories and plants that make finished products and are located elsewhere - Iowa exports corn by the car load, the Kellog Company is located in Michigan.
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/compare_state_welfare_spend

Ben Emery

George,
I will tell you a personal story because that is what I do. My mom parents were two left wing radicals in New York during the late 20'- 60's. My grandfather was a union organizer for steelworkers in his middle age to senior years. He worked on bridges before he lost his sight, he worked on the Golden Gate Bridge. My grandmother worked for the city of New York.

My dad's family have been ranchers and farmers for over a century. My grandfather and Great Uncle were bronco busters in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Jose area. My second family that I lived with basically every summer for at least a month of my childhood are fruit farmers. They moved to Yuba City from Santa Clara in the early 60's and some of my other relatives moved to Live Oak and Grass Valley.

Sometime during my life my mom called my very Reagan republican relatives on their use of subsides as welfare. They were pissed. She then followed it up with asking how they justified filing for unemployment when they didn't need it. They didn't talk to her for many many months. They would harvest their crops in mid summer and would go work in the cannery just long enough to collect unemployment and they would stop working. I am assuming it was Sun Sweet and they needed workers during the harvest and they had a early crops so it worked out well. They justified it by saying they would be stupid to not take advantage of it when they were eligible. My mom's responded but you don't need it. My mom grew up very poor in some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York and Pittsburgh.

My dad grew up very poor in Monterey and San Jose. Rural poor is very different than urban poor.

Don't get me wrong I consider my relatives like my second parents and I love them very very much. They are both very political as my mom is and are vocal about it. Maybe you read my moms other voices on the red scare and Joseph McCarthy. She had intimate experiences with it with friends and her parents. My grandfather was arrested, beaten, and followed for years. This is why your idea of liberty and freedom is much different than my own since I have studied the history of labor and understand what the Capitalists/ Industrialists/ Royalists did to workers and those who tried to organize unions and still do today. My relatives and I have had some great long conversations about politics and these conversations have shown me that we agree on a whole lot more than we are led to believe by the Republican/ Democratic parties and the media. Only until 2010 when I ran for public office did it really sink in that I wasn't a secret Democrat. We are agreeing on politics more than ever since we got rid of the partisan bs we are trained to have against one another.

So the point of my story is that to my mom and her radical parents social programs are for when you need them not for when you can qualify for them. They other is conservatives just as liberals can exploit a program but the number of people who do such things has to be in the low teens or less. Why do people exploit such programs? I am not sure but what I am sure of my relatives are good decent human beings as are my parents and siblings who definitely fall a long way on the left side of the aisle.

Bill Tozer

Paul, sad news about your friend and his family. The law says that come Jan 1, they, you, me all have to get health insurance.

A family of 4 making 50k a year will get a subsidy of a bit over 6k, or 500 clams a month. Unfortunately, United Health is the second big insurer that has pulled out of the individual health insurance market in California. Too much overhead to track individuals and not profitable. Individual and small tiny businesses only make up 7% of the California health insurance market anyway, which means the cost to buy health insurance out of an individual's own pocket is going up. Going up for the younger people as well, right when they can least afford it. That's the law. Hope your friend finds the means.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 10 July 2013 at 09:36 PM

I think you might be surprised at the distribution of what you call "welfare recipients" in California, and the nation at large. The California Legislative Analysts Office did a report several years back identifying the 'donor' counties versus the 'recipient' counties in California of tax monies. (I am looking for the study so I can cite specifically and link and will when I can find it) The surprising result was that it was the blue counties, predominantly coastal and urban, pay more and receive less in California than the red counties, predominantly inland and rural, by a factor of about 1.4:1. Although urban counties had a higher number of Calworks recipients rural counties had a higher per capita number of welfare recipients. Another problem is how we define "welfare recipients". Is welfare only Calworks and AFDC, or is it also farm subsidies, transportation subsidies, energy subsidies, tax breaks, incentives, and public works? Every study I have seen shows that 'red' states are beneficiaries of more expanded 'benefits' than 'blue' states are. Frankly I don't necessarily think there is anything inherently wrong with that, it is a function of being part of a national and global economic system. But don't you find it ironic that as you put it 'businesses that hire workers and themselves pay taxes' are located in blue areas?

Ben Emery

Steve,
I think we have an incentive problem in our nation not because we are a welfare state but rather we incentivize greed and so called easy money. Why does capital get taxed at a lower rate than labor? The misguided incentives are at the top not the bottom, which has led to the greatest inequality in 80 years.

Like you pointed out I don't hold a grudge against "red" counties or states because they receive more tax dollars. I believe we are the United States of America and we are all in this boat together. I have a huge problem with our defense/ offense budget that uses more tax dollars than the rest of the world combined. I have a problem with the Monsanto's, Walmarts, Exxon's and the big banks getting subsidized or bailed out when they don't need it any longer.

A hand up not a hand out

stevenfrisch

Yeah, I think what I was pointing out Ben is that a tax subsidy or incentive is no different than welfare is. We agree with each other [big surprise].

The trick is to make rational choices about what we want to subsidize or incentivize. I would agree with George that we should be trying to reduce subsidies and incentives and get the private marketplace to act as the rational actor it should be. The problem is we disagree about how to get there. George identifies 'welfare recipients' as the problem, but the reality is many of those recipients would be adding to economic and social cost somewhere else if they were not on welfare under the current system. They would be in our emergency rooms, on our street corners, and in our prisons, and we would pay more to deal with the problem of poverty than we do now. The answer is creating wealth and distributing wealth more equitably across a broader cross section of society. Instead that wealth is going to defense contractors, banks, and corporate shareholders who are sucking on the tit, as George put it, and calling it 'good business'.

When I say we need to 'internalize the externalities', I mean we need to build the social cost into doing business and create and spread more wealth to a larger number of people. I am completely unashamed of that statement because that is what capitalism is supposed to do.

Todd Juvinall

California is a good example of what happens when the left gets an upper hand. Our little county used to be a hotbed of jobs and we had busy bees doing timber harvesting and before that mining, then housing . Same for most of the Sierra Counties. Then the left began there quest to lockup the forests and everything in them through laws and regulations. Spotted Owls, salamanders and now mercury hysteria have wrecked the jobs and forced many people to go begging.One only needs t see the flight of the young families to understand this. The coastal cities have been lucky with ocean views and silicon chips. The coast has been a draw for the rich since ancient times. So here in our State we have poor ag immigrants populating the inner part and the rich libs on the coast. Kinda odd since the libs say they are for the little guy. What a lie eh?

George Rebane

BenE 1045pm - Thank you for sharing more of your background. It paints a consistent picture with the ideology through which you have interpreted events and given prescriptions. You have now allowed to see how deep the roots of your beliefs are. (It is a reason why I contribute to My Story on RR.) Again, thank you.

BenE & SteveF - My 936pm aside, yes it is always an incentive problem and matters not whether you are a zek in the gulag, a gangbanger's mother in South Central, or a banker on Wall Street. An oft repeated truth on RR is 'A good part of capitalism is that it games the system; unfortunately the bad of capitalism is also that it games the system.' Our Founders tried to leave us an enduring system of governance that recognized that truth. We have turned that system on its head.

And yes, wealth re/distribution is where it all winds up. (I always shock my conservative audiences with that pronouncement.) This will be even more true tomorrow than it is today because technology has created huge asymmetries in the abilities of people to sell their labor and garner wealth. Today these asymmetries can be reduced only by war (wholesale destruction of infrastructures and populations) or genomics (the modern version of eugenics). Neither of them are palatable public policy considerations.

While we wait for fate or the Singularity (which also maps into fate) to decide, I have suggested that we consider wealth redistribution through a socio-economic environment that supports non-profit public service corporations.

Brad Croul

I did not read any of the comments above, so do not know if I am repeating anything previously mentioned. That said, the quote, “medical research shows a clear link between marijuana and mental illness.”, could be taken in a couple of ways (chicken or egg). The "Reefer Madness" establishment would say that marijuana will make you crazy. But, could it also be that people who are ill are medicating with marijuana (or alcohol, or whatever) to relieve symptoms?

(From the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),... "study shows mental illness associated with heavy cannabis use
Ap​ril 2, 2013 - People with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who studied U.S. data."

http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/news_releases_media_advisories_and_backgrounders/current_year/Pages/CAMH-study-shows-mental-illness-associated-with-heavy-cannabis-use-.aspx

Paul Emery

"You are proposing an unlimited draw on other wage earners income; that will not work as I have vainly attempted to explain to you."

Posted by: George Rebane | 10 July 2013 at 07:48 PM

National health care systems are much more efficient than what we he have today or Obamacare. As long as we pay 17% of our GDP for poor and incomplete health care your statement may be accurate. Most countries that have national health care are in the 7-9% range. What you are saying is that we are better off letting them die, my friends children being an example, than to subsidize health care for those who cannot buy insurance because it is NOT AVAILABLE to them and, in this case, they cannot afford the $120,000 per year, in their case, to keep them healthy.

George, perhaps abortion is the most efficient way to deal with this issue. If a soon to be born is diagnosed with a genitic disease, for example, why not just wack um if the family can't afford the medical treatment.

George, do you know anybody that can afford out of pocket medical expenses of $120,000 per year? Of course children are born to young parents who quite likely don't have jobs yet that offer encompassing insurance.

I think birth screening is the best way to protect the interests of the taxpayers that don't want to contribute to national heath care for the needy.

Paul Emery

George

It's also interesting that you believe that the government should not contribute to any research projects except military and national security projects. Coincidentally didn't that kind of subsided research contribute to your prosperity?

George Rebane

PaulE 438pm - Did I just witness a limit of 9% of GDP being put on socialized healthcare?

Re your 448pm - You have a jaundiced, albeit common to liberals, definition of government 'subsidy'. National security is a constitutional mandate for government which is free to do its own R&D, and even manufacturing. But as screwed up as civil service and servants are, they would be putting the country at an unacceptable risk in doing that wholesale. This has been known for over two centuries. So they put out RFPs (in the Commerce Business Daily) for someone to do their work for them. I was among those who answered that call for about twenty years. And country benefited from that in more ways than you know.

That kind of response is different from 1) the government assuming non-constitutional functions which then must be funded (subsidized), or 2) the government funding (subsidizing) other non-constitutional projects that are proposed by NGOs and other non-government types on their own initiative - i.e. to fulfill a non-anticipated need.

But since one can also argue the benefits of some extra-constitutional government funded projects, this distinction is a bit difficult for everyone to grasp.

Paul Emery

George

Where does farm subsidies come into this picture. Are they unconstitutional in your view?

9% limit of GDP? Sure if it includes some form of universal coverage that other countries have provided. If they can do it why can't we?

Ben Emery

George,

"You have a jaundiced, albeit common to liberals, definition of government 'subsidy'. National security is a constitutional mandate for government which is free to do its own R&D, and even manufacturing. "

I encourage you to go read Article I Section VIII US Constitution and the conservative killing "general welfare" clause. Also Alexander Hamilton's Report On Manufacturing that was implemented in 1790's and stayed in place until the 1980's. It outlines how subsides should be funded and allocated as well as securing American manufacturing and national debt against foreign powers. Today our tariffs are so low they couldn't fund the sanitary supplies for the federal government.

Gregory

Paul, the insurance was available to the parents of those boys before they were born (not that it's ever a great health deal if not a tax free employee group benefit, thanks to lousy Federal tax policies), just as there is collision insurance available to you for your car *before* you get into the accident. After the accident, it's called the repair bill, not insurance.

What they need after the fact with the medical bills being far more than what they can afford is charity, not insurance, and I wouldn't argue against that from a number of places, including the manufacturers of the drugs they'd sure like to have.

Were the boys twins, and the first indication that CF was a danger to the couple?

There's a reason Mrs. Liam Neeson died in Canada and Princess Diana died in France of injuries that would have been survivable in the US. Those vaunted national healthcare systems have made choices that keep their costs down and people do die as a result. There are also horror stories of people's woes due to the rationing of care by waiting lists in national systems. Canada has the safety valve for the wealthy(er) able to cross into the US if they don't want to wait for a Canadian oncologist or cardiologist to fit them in, and while I do have low income friends who have gone to Mexico for inexpensive dental work, given the results, I wouldn't recommend it.

For the solution to our carbon woes and healthcare, I have two words... Soylent Biodiesel.

Paul Emery

So Gregory are you saying that couples should have health insurance before they have children? That would limit childbirth to the well employed or government workers. Do you know if health insurance automatically covers new births?

Paul Emery

Gregory

There is a major difference between car and health insurance and that is car insurance is available for everyone albeit for escalating costs for higher risk drivers. That can't be said for health insurance if you have any pre condition or risk.

Ben Emery

Greg,
Your two anecdotal examples or how ever many you can find like them doesn't even come close to the 45,000 people a year in the US who die because they cannot afford to go to the doctor.

Our problem in the US it's hard to create an efficient productive program when around 50% of the legislatures are constantly trying to undermine the program to make profits for private industry.

Todd Juvinall

Reading the concerns of the two Emery's on health insurance make me want to go hug a bunny.

Bill Tozer

Ben, perhaps 50% of the legislatures and states are not "constantly trying to undermine the program to make profits for private industry." Maybe, just maybe, they just don't like the program and don't like the details and maybe, just maybe, they oppose for being an up and coming train wreck going to a village near you.

Greg: Princess Di was alive before she was dead.

Ben Emery

Bill,
I wish I could agree with you but the Republican Party has gone insane and just about everything they are doing at this point in time is to undermine the Democratic Party. They are doing this because the writing is on the wall for the present day Republican Party and the only way they can survive without a total reformation is by showing how horrible their friends from across the aisle are in governing.

Medicare Part C and D are perfect examples.

Ben Emery

This is bull shyte to the tenth degree. Only in America will you find fundraisers like this one.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151530634363601&set=a.196176108600.125352.196170158600&type=1&theater

Gregory

"So Gregory are you saying that couples should have health insurance before they have children?"

Paul, only if the couple is on a middle class rung of the ladder and wants to remain middle class even after the development of an expensive illness or injury, may the Prophet Zarquon forbid. If they're poor and don't mind staying that way, no problem.

Gregory

"Your two anecdotal examples or how ever many you can find like them doesn't even come close to the 45,000 people a year in the US who die because they cannot afford to go to the doctor."

Bull.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/02/oregon-study-medicaid-had-no-significant-effect-on-health-outcomes-vs-being-uninsured/

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