It’s a fact that Americans have serious health problems caused by their diets. Excessive consumption of fat, sugar, and processed foods is a leading cause of obesity, diabetes, and related illnesses. The question is what to do about it.
Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet lately? According to the Food and Drug Administration, that is precisely where you should find them. Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA didn’t approve, it sent the company a letter declaring, “Your walnut products are drugs” — and “new drugs” at that — and, therefore, “they may not legally be marketed … in the United States without an approved new drug application.” The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.
Just 12 days after 49 congressmen requested an official inquiry into the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (left) with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ObamaCare) during her tenure as U.S. Solicitor General, the House Judiciary Committee has complied. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a July 6 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for “relevant documents and witness interviews in order to properly understand” Kagan’s role with regard to the legislation itself and related litigation.
Did Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, in her Senate confirmation hearings, tell the truth with regard to her involvement in formulating a defense of ObamaCare while serving as President Barack Obama’s Solicitor General? Furthermore, was she involved in it to such an extent that federal law demands that she recuse herself from any ObamaCare-related cases that come before the Supreme Court? Forty-nine members of Congress want to know.
The Obama administration has called off plans to conduct a “mystery shopper” survey of doctors’ offices to determine whether prospective patients with government health insurance have a more difficult time getting appointments than those with private insurance. This is, as the New York Times put it, “an abrupt reversal” from an administration that just two days earlier had “staunchly defended the survey as a way to measure access to primary care, and insisted that it posed no threat to privacy.”
Anyone who believes ObamaCare will mean lower healthcare costs and higher-quality healthcare has only to look to the state that has been suffering under the prototype for ObamaCare for the past five years to be disabused of such notions. Massachusetts’ healthcare costs far exceed those of other states; and now Bay State legislators and Gov. Deval Patrick (D) are resorting to the age-old, destined-to-fail approach to high costs: price controls. The result, of course, will be a shortage of quality healthcare.
Physician, steel thyself: The next person who calls your office seeking an appointment may just be a spy for the federal government.
Among the many miracles ObamaCare was supposed to have wrought were reduced federal healthcare spending and lower federal deficits. Although those claims have long been suspect, the latest revelation ought to debunk them once and for all: “Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of” the healthcare law, according to the Associated Press.
Medicare presents an enormous unfunded liability — $24.6 trillion, according to its trustees — to the U.S. government and, by extension, to U.S. taxpayers, who will have to pony up their hard-earned income to pay for the government’s promises of free healthcare for senior citizens. A reasonable person might give serious consideration to radically altering, if not abolishing, the program to reduce its long-term, clearly unsustainable cost.
Sen. Bernard Sanders was obviously correct when he stated recently that the citizens of his home state of Vermont believe healthcare is a right. At least enough of them believe it to convince their state legislature and governor to make socialized medicine the law of the land.