Tuesday, November 30, 2010

House Republicans are looking to repeal the healthcare reform law and replace it… without interrupting two popular parts

House Republicans are looking to repeal the healthcare reform law and replace it with one of their own early next year without interrupting two popular parts the administration has already begun to implement.

They include a mandate that bars discrimination of pre-existing conditions and a stipulation that allows young people to remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

Incoming Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday that they would do this by passing a GOP healthcare bill at the same time as repeal efforts are underway.

Speaking to more than 100 students at American University, Cantor said, "What you will see us do is to push for repeal of the healthcare bill, and at the same time, contemporaneously, submit our replacement bill, that has in it the provisions [barring discrimination due to pre-existing conditions and offering young people affordable care options]."

Cantor stressed that while he supports full repeal of the current law, Republicans share some of the same goals as Democrats, although they propose different ways of achieving them.

"We too don't want to accept any insurance company's denial of someone and coverage for that person because he or she may have pre-existing condition," Cantor said, addressing a young woman in the audience who noted that she had a pre-existing health condition.

"And likewise we want to make sure that someone of your age has the ability to access affordable care, whether it's under your parents plan or elsewhere," Cantor added.

The Virginia lawmaker, who appeared at the event with Majority Whip-designate Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and soon-to-be Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said that Republicans have taken "the positions that adequately address those problems but done it in a way that we can preserve what's good about our system without bankrupting this country."

The House is expected to pass such a measure, though it is not expected to move much in the Democratic-led Senate.

By Christina Wilkie - 11/30/10 08:31 AM ET  -  The Hill

Friday, November 26, 2010


Senate Bill S.510 Makes it Illegal to Grow, Share, Trade or Sell Homegrown Food.  It also makes it illegal to store or share seeds~

$1.6 Billion and 18,000 additional government employees for S.510, the Food Safety bill, are up for a vote in the Senate any time within the next 60 days. S.510 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation thus far.

Since 2008, the Obama administration has increased the FDA budget by 135% to an astounding $4.03 Billion and yet Senators want to add another $1.6 Billion and double the number of employees. Why? Is our government trying to institute fascist control over our nation’s food supply? You decide.

“If accepted, [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health Whistleblower.

The US already has an over-funded government agency responsible for food safety. One must ask themselves why this new legislation (S.510) is needed. It doesn’t take a mental giant to understand what’s going on.

Let me be direct; Americans do not want the “transformation” that this government intends. Reference: “The Obama administration is proposing to increase funding for … the agency’s effort to “transform” the way it regulates food and medical products” and FDA Requests $4.03 Billion to “Transform” Food Safety System, Invest in Medical Product Safety, Regulatory Science.

Perhaps this video will provide a better understanding of what the Obama administration is attempting to do:


Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioN0ehlyyXI

In 2007, the FDA Commissioner stated that the FDA Mission is as follows:

FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety and high quality of more than a trillion dollars worth of products that are critical for the survival and well-being of all Americans — products that include some 80 percent of the United States food supply, all human health care products, electronic products that emit radiation, animal drugs and feed, and cosmetics.”

The only way to determine whether food is safe is to test it, right? I didn’t see any test equipment in the hands of the government employees raiding that store, did you? Does the FDA Mission specify that the government has a right to conduct armed raids on food producers or stores?

These types of raids are happening now, so imagine what will happen if S.510 passes.

I urge you to contact all Senators and tell them to VOTE NO on S.510.

By: AJ at NoisyRoom

Update: Government Moves on Food Supply

Link to Bill:   S.510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

Video:  Monsanto Will Own All Seed


Monsanto Battle Continues After Suing Midwest Farmers for Saving Seeds

The End of Cheap Food… The Food Shock of 2011

Dumbing Down Society Part I:  Foods, Beverages and Meds

Would You Vote for a Food Bill Monsanto Supports?

Senate Bill S510 Makes It Illegal to Grow, Share, Trade or Sell Homegrown Food

Dumbing Down Society Part 1:  Foods, Beverages, and Meds (Media and Education)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dumbing Down Society Part I: Foods, Beverages and Meds

It will only get worse with the passing of S.510  -Contact your Senator(s) and insist they vote NO!!

Link to:  S.510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

“If accepted, [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health Whistleblower.

Dumbing Down Society I:  Foods, Beverages and Meds

By Vigilant | Originally Posted June 28th, 2010 |  Vigilant Reports |

Is there a deliberate effort by the government to dumb down the masses? The statement is hard to prove but there exists a great amount of data proving that the ruling elite not only tolerates, but effectively introduces policies that have a detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of the population. This series of articles looks at the many ways the modern man is being dumbed down. Part I looks at the poisons found in everyday foods, beverages and medications.

The theme of dumbing-down and dehumanizing the masses are often discussed in articles on The Vigilant Citizen. The presence of those concepts in popular culture are, however, only the outward and symbolic expression of the profound transformation happening in our society. Scientific data has been proving for years that governments around the world are tolerating the selling of many products which have a direct and negative effect on cognitive and physical health. As we will see in this article many everyday products cause brain damage, impaired judgment and even a lower IQ.

Is a dumber population something that is desired by the elite? Hitler once said “How fortunate for the leaders that men do not think.” An educated population knows its rights, understands the issues and takes action when it does not approve of what is going on. Judging by the incredible amount of data available on the subject, it seems that the elite want the exact opposite: an unhealthy, frightened, confused and sedated population. We will look at the effects of medication, pesticides, fluoride and aspartame on the human body and how those products are being pushed by people from inside the power structure.

Prescription Drug Abuse

America has witnessed during the last decades a staggering rise of drugs being prescribed  to treat all kinds of problems. Children are particularly affected by this phenomenon. Since the 1990′s, an ever-rising proportion of American children are being diagnosed with “illnesses” such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and are prescribed mind-altering drugs, such as Ritalin.

The DEA has become alarmed by the tremendous increase in the prescribing of these drugs in recent years. Since 1990, prescriptions for methylphenidate have increased by 500 percent, while prescriptions for amphetamine for the same purpose have increased 400 percent. Now we see a situation in which from seven to ten percent of the nation’s boys are on these drugs at some point as well as a rising percentage of girls.
- Source

Today, children who show too much energy, character or strength are being willfully sedated with powerful drugs which directly affect the way their brains function. Are we going in the right direction here?

Even if ADD is not a clearly defined and documented disorder – it causes NO observable biological effects whatsoever – children are still being diagnosed with the illness in great numbers. This raises important ethical questions.

“Pediatricians as well as ethicists have also voiced their concerns in usage of these stimulants. In an article published in the New York Times, they have questioned the appropriateness of medicating children without a clear diagnosis in hopes that they do better in school. They also asked whether the drugs should be given to adults failing in their careers or are procrastinators. They question the worthy of this method.

This concern have also been voiced out in the January 2005 issue of Pediatrics in which the large discrepancies between pediatricians’ practice patterns and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for the assessment and treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was bought forth. The article also stated that because the medical community didn’t come to a consensus on how to diagnose ADD/ADHD, they should not be making extensive decisions as to how to treat individuals who have been diagnosed with the disorder.”

The usage of Ritalin at a young age breaks the psychological threshold people maintain towards the usage of prescription pills, which makes those children more likely to consume psychotropic drugs later in their lives. We should not be surprised to witness a dramatic increase of consumption of antidepressants in the years to come. The trend is already beginning:

“In its study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in visits to doctors and hospitals in 2005. Of those, 118 million were for antidepressants.

The use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs — those that affect brain chemistry — has skyrocketed over the last decade. Adult use of antidepressants almost tripled between the periods 1988-1994 and 1999-2000. Between 1995 and 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the use of these drugs rose 48 percent, the CDC reported.”   - Elizabeth Cohen, CNN

The use of prescription pills might be of a great help for specific and properly diagnosed cases. The pharmaceutical industry however, which has many “friends” in the highest levels of government, is pushing for the widespread use of psychiatric drugs within the public. Since 2002, a great number of pills claiming to fix all kinds of mental conditions have been marketed to the public, but many of those pills were approved for sale without proper research for side effects. Even worse: the side effects might have been known but hidden to the public. Below is a list of warnings issued on commonly sold psychiatric drugs. Some of those side effects are actually frightening as a pill should not be able to have that much power over the human brain. Think about it: Some drugs are subject to warnings because they can cause you to … commit suicide?


March 22: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Prozac-like antidepressants (called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs) could cause “anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia [severe restlessness], hypomania [abnormal excitement] and mania [psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur].”

June: The Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian equivalent of the FDA, reported that the latest antipsychotic drugs could increase the risk of diabetes.

June: The FDA ordered that the packaging for the stimulant Adderall include a warning about sudden cardiovascular deaths, especially in children with underlying heart disease.

October 15: The FDA ordered its strongest “black box” label for antidepressants warning they could cause suicidal thoughts and actions in under those under 18 years old.

October 21: The New Zealand Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee recommended that older and newer antidepressants not be administered to patients less than 18 years of age because of the risk of suicide.

December 17: The FDA required packaging for the “ADHD” drug, Strattera, to advise that “Severe liver damage may progress to liver failure resulting in death or the need for a liver transplant in a small percentage of patients.”


February 9: Health Canada, the Canadian counterpart of the FDA, suspended marketing of Adderall XR (Extended Release, given once a day) due to reports of 20 sudden unexplained deaths (14 in children) and 12 strokes (2 in children).

April 11: The FDA warned that antipsychotic drug use in elderly patients could increase the risk of death.

June 28: The FDA announced its intention to make labeling changes to Concerta and other Ritalin products to include the side effects: “visual hallucinations, suicidal ideation [ideas], psychotic behavior, as well as aggression or violent behavior.”

June 30: The FDA warned that the antidepressant Cymbalta could increase suicidal thinking or behavior in pediatric patients taking it.  It also warned about the potential increased risk of suicidal behavior in adults taking antidepressants.

August: The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration found a relationship between antidepressants and suicidality, akathisia (severe restlessness), agitation, nervousness and anxiety in adults.  Similar symptoms could occur during withdrawal from the drugs, it determined.

August 19: The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products warned against child antidepressant use, stating that the drugs caused suicide attempts and thoughts, aggression, hostility, aggression, oppositional behavior and anger.

September 26: The Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco (Italian Drug Agency, equivalent to the FDA) warned against use of older (tricyclic) antidepressants in people under 18 years old.  It also determined the drugs were associated with heart attacks in people of any age.

September 29: The FDA ordered that labeling for the “ADHD” drug Strattera include a boxed warning about the increased risk of suicidal thinking in children and adolescents taking it.

October 17: The FDA warned that the antidepressant Cymbalta could cause liver damage.

October 24: The FDA withdrew the stimulant Cylert from the market because of the risk of liver toxicity and failure.

November: The FDA warned that the antidepressant Effexor could cause homicidal thoughts.


February 9: The FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee urged that the strongest “black box” warning be issued for stimulants, because they may cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

February 20: British authorities warned that Strattera was associated with seizures and potentially lengthening period of the time between heartbeats.

March 22: An FDA advisory panel heard evidence of almost 1,000 reports of kids experiencing psychosis or mania while taking stimulants.

May 3: FDA adverse drug reaction reports linked antipsychotic drugs to 45 child deaths and 1,300 serious adverse reactions, such as convulsions and low white blood cell count.

May 12: The manufacturer of Paxil warned that the antidepressant increases the risk of suicide in adults.

May 26: Health Canada issued new warnings of rare heart risks for all drugs prescribed for “ADHD,” including the risk of sudden death.

June 2: An FDA study determined that the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, might cause pituitary tumors. The pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, secretes hormones that promote growth, and regulates body functions.  Antipsychotics may increase prolactin, a hormone in the pituitary gland, and this increase has been linked to cancer.  Risperdal was found to increase prolactin levels more frequently than in other antipsychotics.

July 19: The FDA said antidepressant packaging should carry warnings that they may cause a fatal lung condition in newborns whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.  Migraine sufferers also need to be warned that combining migraine drugs with SSRIs could result in a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome.

Food Poisoning

The modern man ingests in his lifetime an incredible amount of chemicals, artificial flavors and additives. Although there is growing awareness regarding healthy eating, there is also a lot of misinformation and disinformation.

At the present time, a single company – Monsanto – produces roughly 95% of all soybeans and 80% of all corn in the US. Considering this, the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beefstew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s patented genes. There are numerous documents and films exposing Monsanto’s strong-arming of the agricultural industry, so I won’t expand on that issue. It is however important to note that a virtual monopoly currently exists in the food industry and there’s a unhealthy link between Monsanto and the American government: Many people who have passed laws in the fields of food, drugs and agriculture were also, at some point on the payroll of Monsanto. In other words, the elite decides which foods are sold to you.

Public officials formerly employed by Monsanto:

  • Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.|J. E. M. AG SUPPLY, INC. V. PIONEER HI-BREDINTERNATIONAL, INC. which found that “newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.” This case benefited all companies which profit from genetically modified crops, of which Monsanto is one of the largest.
  • Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before he left to work for a law firm on gaining FDA approval of Monsanto’s artificial growth hormone in the 1980s. Taylor then became deputy commissioner of the FDA from 1991 to 1994. Taylor was later re-appointed to the FDA in August 2009 by President Barack Obama.
  • Dr. Michael A. Friedman was a deputy commissioner of the FDA before he was hired as a senior vice president of Monsanto.
  • Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995 – 2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.
  • Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was chairman and chief executive officer of G. D. Searle & Co., which Monsanto purchased in 1985. Rumsfeld personally made at least $12 million USD from the transaction.

Many laws (approved by ex-Monsanto employees) have facilitated the introduction and the consumption of genetically engineered foods by the public.

“According to current statistics, 45% of corn and 85% of soybeans in the United States is genetically engineered (GE). Estimates of 70-75% of processed foods found at our local supermarkets are believed to contain GE ingredients.

Other GE foods are canola, papayas, radicchio, potatoes, rice, squash or zucchini, cantaloupe, sugar beets, flax, tomatoes, and oilseed rape. One non-food crop that is commonly GE is cotton. The GE hormone recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or Prosilac) was one of the first GE products allowed to enter the nation’s food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Monsanto’s rBGH in 1993.”
- Anna M. Salanti, Genetically Engineered Foods

Although it is yet impossible to determine the long-term effects of genetically engineered foods on the human body, some facts have already been established. GE foods contain less nutrients and, most importantly, they are “chemical-friendly”.

“One of the features of GE foods is their ability to withstand unlimited application of chemicals, including pesticides. Bromoxynil and glyphosate have been associated with developmental disorders in fetuses, tumors, carcinomas, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Studies indicate that Monsanto’s recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) causes treated cows to produce milk with an increased second hormone, IGF-1. This hormone is associated with human cancers. Recommendations by the Congressional watchdog agency, Government Accounting Office (GAO), recommended that rBGH not be approved. The European Union, Canada, and others have banned it. The UN has also refused to certify that using rBGH is safe.”
– Ibid

Genetic modifications engineered by Monsanto makes their products bigger and more aesthetically pleasing. Another, less discussed “improvement” is the plants’ ability to withstand nearly unlimited amounts of Roundupbrand pesticides. This encourages farmers to use that brand of pesticides which is produced by … Monsanto.

Studies on Roundup link the powerful pesticide and herbicide to many health problems such as:

  • Increased risks of the cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Miscarriages
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (the real one)


Another source of harmful chemicals is found in the modern man’s water supplies and soft drinks.  As of 2002, the CDC statistics show that almost 60% of the U.S. population receives fluoridated water through the taps in their homes. The official reason for the presence of fluoride in our tap water? It prevents tooth decay. Ok … really? Is this mildly important benefit worth the consuming of great amounts of this substance by the population? Some studies even denied the dental benefits of fluorided water.

“Scientists now believe that the main protective action from fluoride does not come from ingesting the chemical, with the teeth absorbing it from inside the body, but from direct absorption through topical application to teeth. This means swallowing water is a far less effective way to fight cavities than brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.”
- Source

So why is fluoride still found in tap water? Here are some quick facts about fluoridation chemicals:

  • they were once used as pesticides
  • they are registered as “poisonous” under the 1972 Poisons Act, in the same group of toxins as arsenic, mercury and paraquat
  • fluoride is scientifically classed as more toxic than lead, but there is about 20 times more fluoride than lead in tap water

Toxicity of fluoride compared to other poisons

Many studies have been conducted on the effects of fluoride on the human body and some notable adverse effects have been noted: it changes bone structure and strength, impairs the immune system and it was linked to some cancers. Another alarming consequence of fluoridation is its effects on brain functions:

“In 1995, neurotoxicologist and former Director of toxicology at Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, Dr. Phyllis Mullenix published research showing that fluoride built up in the brains of animals when exposed to moderate levels. Damage to the brain occured and the behavior patterns of the animals was adversely effected. Offspring of pregnant animals receiving relatively low doses of fluoride showed permanent effects to the brain which were seen as hyperactivity (ADD-like symptoms). Young animals and adult animals given fluoride experienced the opposite effect — hypoactivity or sluggishness. The toxic effects of fluoride on the central nervous system was subsequently confirmed by previously-classified government research. Two new epidemiological studies which tend to confirm fluoride’s neurotoxic effects on the brain have shown that children exposed to higher levels of fluoride had lower IQs.”
- Source

A lesser known, but extremely important side effect of fluoride is the calcification of the pineal gland.

Up until the 1990s, no research had ever been conducted to determine the impact of fluoride on the pineal gland – a small gland located between the two hemispheres of the brain that regulates the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the onset of puberty and helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals.

It is now known – thanks to the meticulous research of Dr. Jennifer Luke from the University of Surrey in England – that the pineal gland is the primary target of fluoride accumulation within the body.

The soft tissue of the adult pineal gland contains more fluoride than any other soft tissue in the body – a level of fluoride (~300 ppm) capable of inhibiting enzymes.

The pineal gland also contains hard tissue (hyroxyapatite crystals), and this hard tissue accumulates more fluoride (up to 21,000 ppm) than any other hard tissue in the body (e.g. teeth and bone).

- Source

Other than regulating vital hormones, the pineal gland is known to serve an esoteric function. It is known by mystic groups as the “third eye” and has been considered by many cultures to be part of the brain responsible for spiritual enlightenment and the “link to the divine”. Is enlightenment out of bounds for the modern man?

“In the human brain there is a tiny gland called the pineal body, which is the sacred eye of the ancients, and corresponds to the third eye of the Cyclops. Little is known concerning the function of the pineal body, which Descartes suggested (more wisely than he knew) might be the abode of the spirit of man.”
– Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages


Aspartame is an artificial sweetner used in “sugar-free” products such as diet sodas and chewing gum. Since its discovery in 1965, Aspartame caused great controversy regarding its health risks – primarily causing brain tumors – and was denied its application to be sold to the public by the FDA. Searle, the company attempting to market Aspartame then appointed Donald Rumsfeld as CEO in 1977 … and things changed drastically. In a short period of time, Aspartame could be found in over 5,000 products.

“Donald Rumsfeld was on President Reagan’s transition team and the day after he took office he appointed an FDA Commissioner who would approve aspartame. The FDA set up a Board of Inquiry of the best scientists they had to offer who said aspartame is not safe and causes brain tumors, and the petition for approval is hereby revoked. The new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, over-ruled that Board of Inquiry and then went to work for the PR Agency of the manufacturer, Burson-Marstellar, rumored at $1000.00 a day, and has refused to talk to the press ever since.”
- Source

Years after its approval by the FDA, leading scientists still urge the organization to ban this product.

“Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuoscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA’s own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer and violated the Delaney Amendment which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause Cancer. Detailed information on this can be found in the Bressler Report (FDA report on Searle).”
- Ibid

In 1995, the FDA was forced to release, under the Freedom of Information act, a list of ninety-two symptoms caused by aspartame reported by thousands of victims:

Those symptoms are however only the tip of the iceberg. Aspartame has been linked to severe illnesses and long term health issues.

“According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue and depression. Further dangers highlighted is that aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol. The resulting chronic methanol poisoning affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, constitutes one third of the aspartame molecule and is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic.”
- Ibid

In Conclusion

If the main message of this website has been to this point “watch what enters your mind”, the main message of this article is “watch what enters your body.” The consumption of the products stated above will probably not cause an immediate and noticeable effect. But, after many years of ingesting those substances, one’s thoughts become increasingly clouded and foggy, the ability to concentrate becomes hindered and judgment becomes impaired. In other words, the once sharp mind becomes dull. What happens when a population is heavily sedated and poisoned on a daily basis? It becomes numb, zombie-like and docile. Instead of asking important questions and seeking a higher truth, the dumbed-down mass simply accomplishes its daily tasks and absorbs whatever the media tells them.  Is this what the elite is looking to create?

There is, however, a silver lining here. Many of the negative effects of the substances described above are reversible. And YOU are the one who decides what enters your body. This article provides a brief overview of dangers lurking for the unaware consumer, but tons of information is available on which to base enlightened decisions. Your body is a temple. Will you allow it to be desecrated?


The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America
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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

healthy thanksgiving tips dinner

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!!

(HealthCastle.com) Do you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories? It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

If you are a guest of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at dinner time.
  • Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
  • Turkey - go skinless: choose your 4-oz turkey portion skinless to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Save your appetite for the side dishes and desserts.
  • Side Dishes - watch your portion size: go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: high fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal . For instance, mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk; green bean casseroles are often prepared with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions; candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in to a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.
  • Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink calorie-free water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

If you are the honorable chef of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ingredients. Learn about the 5 easy steps to recipe substitutions or see table below.
  • Leftover Turkey? Instead of turkey sandwiches, use the leftover turkey to make a pot of soup with fresh chunky vegetables.
  • Experiment with new recipes: we did a search on Google and found numerous delicious yet healthy low-fat contemporary Thanksgiving recipes. Experiment!
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Substitution Tips

Recipe calls for...    Substitution Sugestions


1 whole egg…    2 egg whites

sour cream…   low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream

milk…  skim or 1% milk

ice cream…  frozen yogurt

heavy cream (not for whipping)…   1:1 ratio of flour whisked into non fat milk (e.g. 1 cup of flour + 1 cup of non fat milk)

whipped cream…  chilled evaporated skim milk or other low fat whipped products such as Nutriwhip

cheese…  low-fat cheese (please note: non-fat cheese does not melt well if use in cooking or baking)

butter…  light butter

cream of mushroom…  fat-free cream of mushroom

Wishing you all a safe happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dr. Blaylock: Body Scanners More Dangerous Than Feds Admit

Dr. Blaylock: Body Scanners More Dangerous Than Feds Admit

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 9:58 AM  -  By Dr. Russell Blaylock

Dr. Russell Blaylock is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, lecturer, and editor of The Blaylock Wellness Report.

The growing outrage over the Transportation Security Administration’s new policy of backscatter scanning of airline passengers and “enhanced pat-downs” brings to mind these wise words from President Ronald Reagan: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.’”

So, what is all the concern really about — will these radiation scanners increase your risk of cancer or other diseases? A group of scientists and professors from the University of California at San Francisco voiced their concern to Obama’s science and technology adviser John Holdren in a well-stated letter back in April.

The group included experts in radiation biology, biophysics, and imaging, who expressed “serious concerns” about the “dangerously high” dose of radiation to the skin.

Radiation increases cancer risk by damaging the DNA and various components within the cells. Much of the damage is caused by high concentrations of free radicals generated by the radiation. Most scientists think that the most damaging radiation types are those that have high penetration, such as gamma-rays, but in fact, some of the most damaging radiation barely penetrates the skin.

One of the main concerns is that most of the energy from the airport scanners is concentrated on the surface of the skin and a few millimeters into the skin. Some very radiation-sensitive tissues are close to the skin — such as the testes, eyes, and circulating blood cells in the skin.

This is why defenders using such analogies as the dose being “1,000-times less than a chest X-ray” and “far less than what passengers are exposed to in-flight” are deceptive. Radiation damage depends on the volume of tissue exposed. Chest X-rays and gamma-radiation from outer space is diffused over the entire body so that the dose to the skin is extremely small. Of note, outer space radiation does increase cancer rates in passengers, pilots, and flight attendants.

We also know that certain groups of people are at a much higher risk than others. These include babies, small children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with impaired immunity (those with HIV infection, cancer patients, people with immune deficiency diseases, and people with abnormal DNA repair mechanism, just to name a few).

As we grow older, our DNA accumulates a considerable amount of unrepaired damage, and under such circumstances even low doses of radiation can trigger the development of skin cancers, including the deadly melanoma. I would also be concerned about exposing the eyes, since this could increase one’s risk of developing cataracts.

About 5 percent of the population have undiagnosed abnormal DNA repair mechanism. When exposed to radiation, this can put them at a cancer risk hundreds of times greater than normal people.

It also has been determined that when skin is next to certain metals, such as gold, the radiation dose is magnified 100-fold higher. What if you have a mole next to your gold jewelry? Will the radiation convert it to a melanoma? Deficiencies in certain vitamins can dramatically increase your sensitivity to radiation carcinogenesis, as can certain prescription medications.

As for the assurances we have been given by such organization as the American College of Radiology, we must keep in mind that they assured us that the CT scans were safe and that the radiation was equal to one chest X-ray. Forty years later we learn that the dose is extremely high, it is thought to have caused cancer in a significant number of people, and the dose is actually equal to 1,000 chest X-rays.

Based on these assurances, tens of thousands of children have been exposed to radiation doses from CT scanners, which will ruin the children's lives. I have two friends who were high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency scientists, and they assure me that in government safety agencies, politics most often override the scientists’ real concerns about such issues.

This government shares House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view when she urged passage of the Obamacare bill sight unseen — “Let’s just pass the bill, and we will find out what is in it later.”

When the real effects of these scanners on health become known, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and the rest of the gang who insist the scanners are safe will be long gone.

© 2010 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Dog's Warning to America

For those Americans chomping at the bit to have Big Brother administer healthcare, it might be wise to consider this: "If Target isn't safe, nobody is."

Target was the famous pooch that saved the lives of 50 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The dog "helped scare a suicide bomber who showed up at a base wearing 25 lbs of explosives, barking at and biting the terrorist. Target was hailed a hero... treated by medics as though she was a soldier."

Target survived IED explosions and the Taliban.  However, surviving a local government employee was an insurmountable challenge even a canine war heroine couldn't win.  Target was mistakenly euthanized.

Although the guilty employee is on administrative leave after unintentionally putting Target to sleep, unfortunately the dog that managed to make it to America from war-torn Afghanistan won't be returning home from doggy heaven any time soon.

Ruth Stalter, director of the Animal Care and Control Center explained: "When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow. Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures."

Dare I say  - too late!

Before going into the story of Target's untimely end, it's important to note Pinal County's Animal Care and Control is a Division of the Health and Human Services Department, a county agency that "protects the health and welfare of Pinal County citizens."  In other words, the animal shelter is government-run on the county level. 

Based on ordinances, the division enforces regulations and provisions, "humanely" cares for animals, and provides "proactive and ongoing public education and information to the residents." Above all, the organization prides itself on always adhering to "professional standards in all aspects of public relations and animal management." 

Tell that one to the dog's owner Sgt Terry Young and his devastated four year-old son.

Sgt Young said: "'I just can't believe that something like this would happen to such a good dog." Target escaped from Young's yard, and although the sergeant tried desperately to find her a concerned neighbor had already called the shelter.   Poor Target fell into the hands of the enemy, disguised as a friendly government worker, with a Phenobarbital-filled needle and a bottom line.

After tracking down the missing dog, Sgt. Young tried to reclaim his pet only to find the shelter was closed until Monday.  You know the old adage - "Don't get sick on the weekend... there's nobody on staff," especially if the hospital is workers are on the government payroll.

Nevertheless, on Monday Sgt. Young attempted to retrieve Target, "only to find out she was dead." County officials say the "employee mistakenly took the dog out of its pen ... and euthanized it."

A teary Sgt Young told a local TV station: "My four year-old son just can't understand what is going on with Target and keeps asking me to get the poison out of her and bring her home. They don't want her to go be with God yet."

Target the Heroine Dog's Post-mortem message to America: Once Obamacare kicks in, be wary of smiling bureaucrats touting professional standards in all aspects of health care management, because the government fix may include an inept health care worker sending any one of us on a premature one-way trip, even though it isn't our time "to go be with God yet."

Author's content: www.jeannie-ology.com  -  Cross-posted at:  Just One More Pet

2 of 3 animals who enter the Shelter System Never leave alive :-( "You can judge a society by how it treats its animals!" ...Mahatma Gandhi

Join the #NoKillNation & support a National Pet Abuse Registry with stronger legal support. No more needless killing & abuse!!


Former Worker Speaking Out After Hero Dog Is Accidentally put to Sleep

Tails of Love

War Dog Remembered Years Later

Glenn Beck – Teen punks murder American Hero’s Dog

Adopting a Four-Legged Veteran

Krugman:  Death Panels, VAT Will Fix Debt Crisis

Approved Applications for Waiver of the Annual Limits Requirements of the PHS Act Section 2711 as of November 1, 2010  -  Check out all the Unions

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act vote “imminent”: Would outlaw gardening and saving seeds"




Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

(The article below from Natural News.  If you care at all about the foundation of liberty, namely the right to property and the food you may grow on it for your own use, read this article and act now!  The Senate is on the verge of passing this bill this week.)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger  -  Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called "the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America." It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer's markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don't comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.

"It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God." - Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower (http://shivchopra.com/?page_id=2)

This tyrannical law puts all food production (yes, even food produced in your own garden) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Yep -- the very same people running the TSA and its naked body scanner / passenger groping programs.

This law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a "smuggler") for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmer's market.

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimentarius.

It would criminalize seed saving (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20...), turning backyard gardeners who save heirloomseeds into common criminals. This is obviously designed to give corporations like Monsanto a monopoly over seeds.
It would create an unreasonable paperwork burden that would put small food producers out of business, resulting in more power over the food supply shifting to large multinational corporations.
I encourage you to read more about this dangerous bill at the Food Freedom blog on Wordpress:http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20...
Watch this excellent video on NaturalNews.TV which explains S.510 in more detail:

Take action now or lose your right to grow your own food

Sign this petition at Citizens for Health:

Do it today! This is really important.

In addition, the Cornucopia Institute recently sent out an urgent call-to-action email containing the following information: (http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/11/a...)

How to protest Senate Bill 510
1) Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner.
2) Click on your Senator's name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator's office: 202-224-3121.
3) Once connected ask to speak to the legislative staff person responsible for agriculture. If they are unavailable leave a voice mail message. Be sure to include your name and phone number.
Give them this message in support of the "Tester Amendment" which would exempt small farms from S.510:

"I am a constituent of Senator___________. I ask that he/she support the Tester Amendment to the food safety bill. The Tester Amendment will exempt the safest, small, owner-operator farms and food facilities and farmers who direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants. Food safety legislation should not create inappropriate and costly regulatory barriers to family farms and the growing healthy food movement in the drive to crack down on corporate bad actors. Please support the Tester Amendment and market opportunities for small and mid-sized family farms, and small food processing facilities."

You may also wish to explain that you oppose the Food Safety Modernization Act in its entirety, and it is a destructive, freedom-crushing law that will destroy the future of food in America.

Remember, America has already lost control over its money supply to the Federal Reserve (nearly a hundred years ago). America has lost its health due to the medical industry and its profit-from-sickness agenda. Now we may lose our right to grow our own food and save our own seeds if Senate Bill 510 passes.

This is a dangerous, tyrannical law that would thrust the American people into an age of darkness and malnutrition. It would criminalize many of the very people growing our food and turn food production into yet another corporate monopoly.

Please take the time right now to contact your U.S. Senator and voice your strong opposition to this bill.

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rogue States - The revolt against ObamaCare

Peter Suderman from the October 2010 issue

At the tail end of December 2009, as negotiations on the final Senate version of the health care overhaul were being completed, David Paterson, the Democratic governor of New York, held a joint press conference with independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which they declared their unified opposition to ObamaCare. The legislation, they warned, would cost the state $1 billion, threaten the continued operation of many hospitals and nursing homes, and force the city to close 100 clinics. Bloomberg told the New York Daily News the law was “a disgrace.” A bitter Paterson groused that he felt like his state was being “punished.”

State politicians from the GOP were no less upset. A few days earlier, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, president of the Republican Governors Association, had chided the Senate for “poor policy” and warned that the bill’s unfunded mandates “would necessarily cause states to raise taxes or cut vital services like education and law enforcement.”

Three months later, the fiscal punishment that both Paterson and Barbour feared was signed into law. Thanks to the unexpected election of GOP upstart Scott Brown to Teddy Kennedy’s old seat in the Senate, which left Democrats for the first time during the Obama administration without a filibuster-proof majority in the upper body—and thus without the ability to pass a revised version of the bill—the House chose to swallow hard and pass the Senate legislation unchanged, making only limited modifications in a follow-up reconciliation bill.

Much of the language that passed into law was never intended to be final; it was more like beta software. Most of the important elements the authors had intended to include were there, but not always in the final intended form. And the code was still crawling with bugs, particularly on the level of implementation: at the states.

But Democrats had heard the call of history, as their Progressive leadership saw the opportunity to promote their agenda toward Socialism. Passing any bill—even a creaky, obviously flawed beta version—was better, party leaders decided, than declaring defeat so tantalizingly close to the finish line. And so, on March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama stepped up to a White House podium to memorialize the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

As he did, Vice President Joe Biden leaned over and whispered, near a still-hot microphone, “This is a big fucking deal.” As with all the best political gaffes, Biden’s slip of the tongue revealed the truth. ObamaCare dramatically increases state Medicaid burdens at a time when local budgets are in deep crisis, asks states to participate in a woefully underfunded bridge insurance program, and pushes state governments to set up complex health care “exchanges” that must be designed and run according to the administration’s standards—standards it has yet to define and can change at whim. The law is a big deal in every way, and the first institutions to absorb the shock are state governments. That’s why so many have already begun to resist.

Risky Business

In the middle of 2009, as congressional Democrats began to dig in on ObamaCare, they ran into a cost problem—or, more precisely, a political problem caused by estimated costs. Early drafts of the legislation had racked up Congressional Budget Office scores well north of $1 trillion, and the unheard-of price tag provoked an immediate backlash. By September, President Obama was promising the legislation would come in at “around $900 billion.”

In order to meet that promise, the law’s authors loaded the bill with budgeting gimmicks that made its first-decade top-line cost appear lower. (See “The Lie of Fiscal Responsibility,” June 2010.) One of those gimmicks was to delay the bulk of the law’s new benefits—and thus the bulk of its spending—until 2014. That meant the CBO’s traditional 10-year score, which covered 2010–19, accounted for only six years of spending.

It also meant that three and a half years would pass before the new, broad-based insurance subsidies kicked in and key new regulations took effect. That three-and-a-half-year gap translates into a three-and-a-half-year political nightmare for members of Congress intent on proving that the law is bringing immediate benefits to their constituents. Legislators therefore told states to immediately establish a network of new high-risk pools—state-run insurance options for those who might otherwise have trouble getting insurance due to various risk factors. Invariably, these pools will be populated by the least healthy, and thus the most expensive to insure. Yet ObamaCare also requires these pools to charge standard market rates, meaning they will require significant public subsidies. And the law provides just $5 billion in such funding.

In June, Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, told The New York Times that the $5 billion will run dry as early as 2011. A report from the union-automaker-backed National Institute for Health Care Reform and the Center for Studying Health System Change*, a non-partisan health care organization that conducts original health care research, projects that as many as 7 million individuals will qualify for the new plan. According to that report, there is enough funding to cover only about 200,000 of those people, or less than 3 percent. As a result, the center concluded, the program “could leave hundreds of thousands of potential participants with serious medical problems unable to obtain coverage.”

ObamaCare leaves states on the hook for the rest of the tab. On a conference call in early May, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reportedly tried to reassure state officials that they wouldn’t be stuck with the bill. But the HHS has yet to say where the extra money will come from. Against this grim backdrop, 21 states have refused to operate the new insurance pools, leaving their setup and operation to the federal government instead.

In part, states are balking at the idea of being micromanaged by the feds, telling Washington to do the job itself if it can’t butt out of the process. In the words of Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a nonprofit health care research organization that advocates free-market solutions, “You basically have the states running something in which the federal government is telling them what to run.” The rebellion is also a reaction to the complexity and difficulty of the job. As William A. Hazel Jr., Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources, told The Washington Post in May, building a high-risk pool is “an enormously complicated undertaking.”

But to judge from the letters state officials have sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the biggest complaint is cost. In one letter, Georgia State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine wrote, “I am concerned that the high risk pool program will ultimately become the financialresponsibility of Georgians in the form of an unfunded mandate.” Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell wrote that his state would not participate because the money allocated to fund the program in his state would be used up in just 22 months.

With its high-risk “bridge” pools, Obama-Care has indeed created a bridge—to nowhere.

Washington’s Way

The administration’s bridge program may be rickety and unfinished, but it’s only a temporary concern. Eventually 2014 will roll around, and by that point the high-risk pools will no longer be the focus, because states will have been pushed to design and erect exchanges—complexhealth insurance marketplaces through which individuals can purchase subsidized coverage.

In the fight over ObamaCare, Democrats failed to pass an explicitly government-run insuranceoption. But with the exchanges, they’ve done the next best thing by creating what is effectively a network of herding pens for insurers. Rather than run the insurance plans directly, states will corral all of their insurance providers into a government-run, highly regulated marketplace, telling plan providers what to do and how to do it.

But insurers won’t be the only ones subject to government marching orders. Although the exchanges will be operated at the state level, state governments won’t really be in charge. Starting in 2014, HHS will have the authority to determine, via regulations that govern the exchanges, the minimumhealth insurance requirements for most medical services and providers as well as cost-sharing details.

With greater power comes greater bureaucracy. According to a June report in The Washington Post, HHS will have to hire hundreds of additional staffers to shoulder its new responsibilities. The department needs brainpower as well as manpower: As it stands, the administration doesn’t have the necessary expertise to carry out its new duties. Edmund Haislmaier, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, points out that HHS “doesn’t know how to do any of this. The federalgovernment doesn’t have any experience running insurance regulations.” Prior to the passage of ObamaCare, that job was left largely to the states, who were given the freedom to regulate—or not—at their discretion. But no more. Essentially, explains the Galen Institute’s Turner, the law forces states to become contractors to the federal government. “States will not be able to do it their way,” she says. “They’ll have to do it Washington’s way.”

But what is Washington’s way? As it stands, no one seems to know. When it comes to exchange design, “the state of play right now is confusion,” says Michael Cannon, the director of health policystudies at the libertarian Cato Institute. One reason for that confusion is that HHS has already been slow to make rules, missing several early deadlines. Nor is the agency’s track record likely to improve any time soon. In June, Michael Leavitt, HHS secretary under George W. Bush, told ABC News that “the average rule takes 18 months, which means that there are many of those that take two or three years to do, because they have controversy or they require integration with some other rulemaking process.” By June, HHS had already missed multiple early implementation deadlines. Given the volume, complexity, and controversial nature of the new system, it’s a good bet that many of the regulations will continue to be established at a slower pace than planned.

Still, there are clues to what the exchanges will require. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will eventually get health insurance through the exchanges, including 8 million who will be shifted out of their current private insurance plans. Many of those insurance purchases will be subsidized based on income. Doling out a new set of subsidies on that scale will require a massive new means-testing infrastructure. According to James Capretta, who served in the second Bush administration as the top budget official for health care, Social Security, education, and welfare programs, “the expectation is that these exchanges are able to do real-time income tests on people.”

Verifying eligibility for these subsidies means developing a rapid-response welfare apparatus that has the ability to instantly create detailed, accurate applicant profiles. “These exchanges will have to verify someone’s eligibility for the exchange,” says the Cato Institute’s Cannon. “They’ll have to verify family size and income. They’ll also have to determine if this person is a smoker. And they’ll have to determine where they live, exactly.”

Fast, accurate income verification presents a particularly serious difficulty. For one thing, ObamaCare requires subsidies to be based on family income, not individual income. So the process will have to include multiple family income streams, which means the government will have to check spousal salaries when determining eligibility. Tax returns are the most obvious verification method, but tax returns reveal only what someone made last year. They don’t reflect the mid-year shifts that ObamaCare was intended to address, such as job losses that mean people can no longer obtain insurance through their employers and are newly eligible for subsidies. Yet states will have to create systems to account for such changes. “States are supposed to have data systems in place that can figure out this person’s income and if they’re qualified for federal subsidies and then apply that federal subsidy quickly to the plan of their choosing,” Capretta says. “That is a monumental undertaking. I don’t think anyone has any earthly idea how this is going to happen.”

ObamaCare’s defenders might point to Massachusetts as a model, noting that the Bay State has run a similar insurance exchange since 2006. But Capretta argues that the challenge under the federal system is far greater than anything faced by designers in Boston. For one thing, he notes, the number of people in the Massachusetts exchange is “teeny tiny”—only about 163,000, according to the health policy–focused Kaiser Family Foundation—compared to the millions who are expected to be enrolled nationwide. Furthermore, Massachusetts has relatively few small employers. “Any state that has a huge number of small employers and individual entrepreneurs and small businesses,” Capretta says, is “going to have floods of people into these exchanges.”

In the long run, the biggest potential problem is that the CBO may have underestimated the number of people who will enroll in the exchanges. “CBO says 24 million,” Capretta says. “But it could be three times that.” And, he predicts, “it will almost certainly expand over time.”

The Ever-Growing Burden

One thing guaranteed to expand over time is the Medicaid burden on states. The program, which relies on a combination of state and federal funds to provide bargain-basement health insurance to the poor, already represents a big share of state budgets: In 2009, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, it accounted for 21 percent of total state spending.

Federal funds are matched to state spending, with exact amounts varying by jurisdiction. Prior to the passage of ObamaCare, many states were already struggling to pay their share, even before the recent recession began. In 2003, 23 states faced Medicaid funding shortfalls, and 18 fell short in 2004. In 2008 average state enrollment in Medicaid grew 50 percent faster than expected, and two-thirds of states cut or froze the program’s provider payments. Next year, 30 states are expected to face Medicaid-related shortfalls.

Because federal funding has been pegged to state dollars, cuts—much less large-scale reforms —have been almost impossible. What politician wants to give up two dollars of constituent benefits—especially health benefits—to achieve one dollar in budget cuts?

A massive medical overhaul may have been an opportunity to address Medicaid’s structural problems. Yet rather than reform the struggling program, ObamaCare’s authors decided to double down on it. Starting in 2014, all states will have to expand Medicaid eligibility, allowing into the program any individual who makes less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line. That’s 16 million new enrollees, or half of the total number of newly insured, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. The largest group will be nonelderly, nondisabled adults without dependent children.

To cajole state lawmakers into expanding a program that was already straining their budgets, ObamaCare’s authors offered them a classic salesman’s deal: no money down and no payments for the first three years. From 2014 through 2016, the federal government will pick up the full cost of the mandatory coverage expansion. For the four years afterward, states will pick up a rising share of the tab, leveling off at 10 percent in 2020. It’s essentially a federal-match teaser rate, designed to grease the wheels for political acceptance by delaying the pain.

Given the fact that even in the long term the federal government will still be covering 90 percent of the total bill, you might think the states would welcome an easy cash infusion. But the burden of Medicaid is already so high, and state budgets—most of which are constrained by balanced budget requirements and thus cannot rely on deficit spending—are in such dismal shape, that any additional expenses represent a significant fiscal burden. Florida, for example, is already spending $18 billion a year on Medicaid. ObamaCare will add another $1 billion to the tab by 2019. In Arizona the program is seen as fiscally toxic. Monica Coury, a senior staffer at the Arizona bureaucracy that oversees the state’s Medicaid program, told The Wall Street Journal in July: “We have federal partners talking about expansion of this program. And at the state level, we’re looking at a program that we can’t sustain.” Overall, paying for the added benefits will cost states $21.5 billion by 2020.

Moreover, like so many sales pitches, this one comes with hidden costs; the initial “free” years aren’t actually free. For starters, the law prohibits states from tightening Medicaid eligibility requirements—a typical way to save money during a budget crunch. ObamaCare also fails to cover the administrative costs associated with implementing and running the Medicaid expansion. Heritage’s Haislmaier and his colleague Brian Blase estimate that the extra overhead alone will add nearly $12 billion to the total tab between 2014 and 2020, putting the total additional state burden up to $33.5 billion over the next decade.

Nor does the law cover the cost of expanding coverage to those who qualified for Medicaid prior to 2014 but failed to sign up. Nationwide, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates, nearly 11 million individuals are currently eligible for Medicaid but aren’t enrolled. Many of those individuals are likely to claim their new benefits thanks to what health care experts call the “woodwork effect,” in which people who were hiding out from the previous system suddenly appear when new goodies get added. Most benefit programs fail to capture all eligible individuals, but the greater the benefits offered, the more people show up to take them. And given that individuals who remain uninsured face a yearly penalty, the incentive to collect will likely be stronger than usual.

The law also creates the potential for significant future fiscal headaches by funding temporary pay boosts for doctors who see Medicaid patients. In 2013 and 2014, the law jacks up Medicaid reimbursement rates, which typically run far lower than what health care providers normally charge, to match Medicare rates. But temporary funding is rarely temporary, especially when it comes to health care, where both state and federal politicians, not to mention health care providers, are loathe to accept even long-planned cuts. Each year since 2003, for example, Congress has declined to allow legally mandated cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments, choosing to hike spending “temporarily” instead. And in June, several states launched a panicked last-minute lobbying spree when Congress threatened to end a temporary boost in Medicaid funding provided by last year’s stimulus bill. In many states, then, it’s likely that ObamaCare’s two-year Medicaid reimbursement hike will become an ongoing unfunded mandate.

Medicaid Dropouts?

In response to the bill’s passage, twenty states, led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, have filed suit against ObamaCare, charging that both its individual insurance mandate and its mountain-sized Medicaid burden are unconstitutional. And Virginia, which prior to Obama-Care’s passage put a law on its books banning health insurance purchase requirements—one of ObamaCare’s key provisions—has filed a separate suit. If successful, the lawsuits could effectively dismantle ObamaCare, but nearly all constitutional scholars, even those supportive of the states, believe the challenges face long odds.

Another option might be for states to ignore federal insurance market guidelines and develop noncompliant exchanges. The idea would be to set up an insurance market that meets local needs, disregarding Washington’s rules, then dare the administration to tinker with an effective locally designed exchange. Doing so, argue Haislmaier and Blase, would “make it politically more difficult for federal officials to implement provisions of the new federal legislation…that will drive up premiums and reduce coverage choices.”

The problem with this plan is that setting up an effective exchange isn’t as easy as it sounds. Massachusetts built an exchange in 2006. But since then, the state has had to deal with constant premium hikes, provider shortages, and legal battles between insurers and state officials. And even if a state built a better system, there’s no guarantee that the administration wouldn’t simply force state officials to comply with the federal regs. In the end, the existence of a government-designed insurance infrastructure, even one crafted to local specifications, makes it significantly easier for the federal government to assert control.

At any rate, neither of those responses would pay off for years. In the meantime, states will have to consider their own bottom lines. Given the heavy burden that ObamaCare places on many states’ finances, some policy experts now believe that the best way to protect budgets may be to drop out of Medicaid entirely. This step would not only rid states of the duty to expand Medicaid; it would free them from what is now their biggest single budgetary obligation.

Politically, this may be a tough sell, but legally there’s little to stop a state from killing the program. Despite the perception that Medicaid is an established part of the entitlement firmament, the program is technically voluntary. Any state willing to give up the federal contribution could close down its program. And thanks to ObamaCare, if a state dropped out after 2014, its poor residents wouldn’t lose access to health coverage; instead, low-income individuals would qualify for subsidized health insurance through the new exchanges, which would still be set up even if a state stopped participating in Medicaid. Indeed, such a system may prove more beneficial for the poor. Medicaid recipients have some of the worst health outcomes in the country; their cancer survival rates, for example, are no better than those of the uninsured. And because of the program’s low reimbursement rates, many health care providers won’t take Medicaid patients. Subsidized private insurance could expand health care options for low-income individuals, improving their health outcomes. That makes it difficult to argue that dropping out of Medicaid would hurt the poor.

State budgets would almost certainly be healthier if they did, at least when judged as independent entities. According to a 2009 report coauthored by Heritage’s Haislmaier and former Medicaid chief Dennis Smith, the collective savings would add up to $725 billion by 2019, based on extrapolations from historical Medicaid spending data. California would save $13.7 billion in the first year alone. Indeed, nearly every state would benefit: By Haislmaier’s most recent estimates, which rely on a combination of Census data and estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administrates Medicaid, 40 states and the District of Columbia would be better off shifting their Medicaid recipients off of their books and onto subsidized federal insurance rolls.

“A lot of states might find this very attractive,” says John Goodman, a frequent contributor to the journal Health Affairs and the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Texas-based free market think tank. “They get to get rid of a program that was going to cost them lots of money.” But he cautions that if every state did it, the total taxpayer burden associated with ObamaCare would increase significantly, perhaps even double.

It’s not much of a choice, but it’s one that state governments will soon have to make. As both liberal and conservative governors around the country are realizing, ObamaCare is a bigger deal than even Joe Biden imagined.

Peter Suderman (peter.suderman@reason.com) is an associate editor at reason.

*Editor's Note: This article originally identified the Center for Studying Health System Change as the Center for Studying Health Care Change. The article has also been updated to clarify that the National Institute for Health Care Reform and the Center for Studying Health System Change issued a single report.


Repeal and Replace

After reading the two articles above it becomes even more evident that ObamaCare must go. We must continue fighting in the courts and  defunding it in Congress until it can be repealed in its entirety and we can begin a ‘National Discussion’ for real healthcare reform for the good of the people and the country, instead of the Progressive Agenda and the Insurance companies.

If we can repeal the mandate for everyone to have to buy insurance or pay a fee, plus defund the portions they can through Congress… ObamaCare will implode and start falling apart…  THITW

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Repeal and Replace?

Not so fast. An insurance-company defector explains why the most controversial provision of the health-care law will survive.

Healthcare--How Obamacare will affect you/ congress

Conservatives who voted for congressional candidates because they pledged to repeal and replace the health-care-reform law are in for a rude awakening. Once those newly elected members of Congress have a little talk with the insurance industry’s lobbyists and executives, they will back off from that pledge. They will go through the motions, of course. They’ll hold hearings and take to the floor of both Houses to rail against the new law, and they’ll probably even introduce a bill to repeal it with much fanfare—but it will all be for show. That’s because health insurers, one of Republican candidates’ biggest and most reliable benefactors—the industry contributed three times as much money to Republicans as to Democrats since January—can’t survive without it.

Despite all the attacks on “Obamacare,” the new law props up the employer-based system that insurers and large corporations benefit from so greatly. It also guarantees that private insurers will get billions of dollars in new revenue. And the insurers won’t have to share a penny of that windfall with a government-run public option the president once said was necessary “to keep insurers honest.”

I know what the insurers are thinking because, not long ago, I was on their side. I am sorry to admit it, but over nearly two decades I had a hand in planning the industry’s PR and public-policy strategies to either kill or shape any health-care reform proposal that might hinder profits. I was part of the strategic-communications team that planned and carried out the successful attack on the Clinton plan in the 1990s as well as the one that killed the patients’ bill of rights a few years later. I left my job handling communications for Cigna in 2008 because I didn’t have the stomach to be part of yet another spin campaign to cheat Americans out of the reform they needed.

For months before I left my job, I worked closely with my counterparts at the other big insurers to develop the list of must-haves our well-connected army of lobbyists would take to Capitol Hill when lawmakers began drafting reform legislation. Despite their public statements to the contrary, insurance companies really liked much of what was in both House and Senate versions of the bill—big chunks of which they actually wrote behind the scenes—especially the requirement that all Americans buy insurance if they’re not eligible for an existing public program like Medic-aid or Medicare.

During the reform debate, the industry’s deception-based PR strategy had two active fronts. One was a highly visible charm offensive designed to create an image of the industry as an advocate for reform and a good-faith partner with the president and lawmakers in achieving it. The second was a secret fearmongering campaign using shadowy “AstroTurf” groups and business and political allies as shills to disseminate misinformation and lies—like the one about the creation of “death panels”—with the sole intent of killing any reform that might hurt the bottom line.

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Although I was ashamed of many of the things I did during my career, I didn’t plan to speak out about the industry’s devious practices until I saw Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, tell President Obama at the end of his March 2009 White House Forum on Health Reform, “You have our commitment to play, to contribute, and to help pass health-care reform this year.” Then I knew the industry’s disingenuous charm offensive had begun. Soon after that I read that, Aetna chairman and CEO Ron Williams, the driving force behind the industry’s effort to get the individual mandate enacted, had met with the president half a dozen times. I knew Williams was trying to persuade the president to drop his insistence on the public option and to embrace the individual mandate. Sure enough, Williams got his wish.

It is ironic, of course, that the requirement to purchase insurance has become the centerpiece of Republicans’ condemnation of the new law and their court challenge of its constitutionality. Insurers have no reason to worry, however, because they fare very well when the Republicans are in charge. Their profits soared—as did the number of Americans who are uninsured and underinsured—during the Bush years and Republican control of Congress.

The real reason insurers want the GOP leading Congress again is not to repeal “Obamacare,” but to try to gut some of the provisions of the law that protect consumers from the abuses of the industry, such as refusing to cover kids with preexisting conditions, canceling policyholders’ coverage when they get sick, and setting annual and lifetime limits on how much they’ll pay for medical care. Insurers also hate the provision that requires them to spend at least 80 percent of premium revenues on medical care, as well as the one that calls for eliminating the billions of dollars that the government has been overpaying them for years to participate in private Medicare plans. (Be on the lookout for a death panel–like fearmongering campaign to scare people into thinking, erroneously, that Granny and Pawpaw will lose their government health care if Congress doesn’t restore those “cuts” to Medicare.)

Insurers are not waiting for all their new members of Congress to be sworn in to get what they want. They and their big-business allies are already pressuring the Obama administration to waive or delay the implementation of provisions they don’t like, all the while working behind the scenes not only to protect the individual mandate but to have the government enforce it with much greater gusto. The one thing the industry didn’t like about the mandate provision was that the penalties for not buying their overpriced products won’t inflict nearly enough financial pain.

Retiring Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who once had been a part of the repeal-and-replace brigade, provoked the wrath of conservative pundits shortly before the midterm elections when he said, in a moment of unguarded candor, that repealing the law was not realistic. Instead, he said, the GOP should focus on “retooling” it. You can be certain that insurance-industry lobbyists will be helping their newly expanded congressional caucus determine what needs retooling. As my former Cigna colleague Bill Hoagland, the company’s top lobbyist, told the As-sociated Press a few days ago: “If you ended up repealing [the individual mandate], the whole thing blows up. It doesn’t work. The cost would explode.” In other words, feel free to repeal those pesky consumer protections, but keep your hands off our mandate.

Potter is a senior analyst at The Center for Public Integrity. This piece is based on his book Deadly Spin, published this week by Bloomsbury Press.

Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans


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