Friday, July 17, 2009

NASA: Your Tax Dollars at Work

I have always been a bit of a NASA nerd. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, like many others. I wept when the Challenger exploded. I dreamed of going to "Space Camp". Sadly, when I grew up, I came to realize that it is a miracle that the bureaucratic government bozos at NASA can launch Microsoft Windows, much less a spacecraft.

This week gave us our greatest glimpse in years into their mind-numbing incompetence. First they grounded the entire Shuttle fleet after the liquid fuel tank shed foam once again, once again damaging the orbiter. The jury is out on how damaged, exactly.

Then, on the 40th anniversary of the much-celebrated moon landing, they admitted (to the nearly audible "AHA!" of conspiracy theorists worldwide) that they had "lost" or even perhaps "recorded over" what were the previously-unreleased and reportedly the best film evidence of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

I am undecided about this issue. I must admit, though, that it looks a bit suspicious after this week's revelations. Great job, NASA. If this is the best that our government's "best and brightest" can do, it heralds disaster for health care.

I'm running out of room in my "Government Incompetence" file, but maybe I can stuff this one in there.


The socialist health care advocates have scored perhaps their greatest victory. They have reduced the once proud members of America's once noble medical profession to self-serving cannibalism.

The American Medical Association has endorsed the House health care reform bill; they were placated by promises not to cut the wages of specialists in order to increase the wages of primary care doctors.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has endorsed the House bill; I have no idea why they would have done so, unless they are banking on improvements in their bottom line once the rolls of the uninsured are artificially shrunk. Another possibility is that they were simply too chronically sleep-deprived to actually read what the bill says.

Most personally devastating, the American Academy of Family Practice has also endorsed the bill. I shouldn't be surprised - the AAFP has been leaning progressively socialist for the past few years, and I guess have finally succumbed to the perpetual brow-beating about health care entitlement being the new civil rights fight of our time or something.

So the AMA gambles that specialists will be able to defeat primary care, the AAFP gambles that the government will give us a largely symbolic recognition of the things we've done for years without being reimbursed by them, and ObGyn gambles that being reimbursed a pittance for the relatively small number of uninsured people they see will be worth losing money on the majority who are currently insured. The growing rift between our specialties is now official. Just as they planned, the government has broken our backs by pitting us against each other. We can't all be winners, of course. And experience suggests that we'll all lose.

These groups have now dug their own graves. Instead of serving as the lone voices of reason in the struggle to save the doctor-patient relationship, these groups have instead thrown their support behind a 1000+ page bill that ensures that none of us will ever be free to practice real medicine again. Now we will be nothing more than unwitting tools of the socialist left, as they buy votes with our labors.

This bill makes buying or selling private insurance illegal. Once it's in place, our income and ability to practice medicine the right way will be at the mercy of the same intellectual giants who have responded to a lack of money by printing more worthless money, have doggedly refused to slow the largest cause of expensive health care - uncontrolled frivolous litigation - and openly admit that the new public "option" will be based on the same flawed Medicare model that has largely contributed to this whole mess in the first place.

Well done, guys. It will actually be sardonically hilarious to watch as the realization sets in that *gasp* Nancy Pelosi can't be trusted. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.