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Obamacars and Obamacare

Tuesday, June 2, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

At least with Government Motors, American consumers will be given a choice: They don’t have to buy the socialist cars, and can shop Ford, Toyota or any other non-federal government owned brand if they don’t want to contribute to the collectivization of the American economy. GM’s precipitous decline in the past six months should make it easy for President Obama to at least claim some success in the early months. In North America, GM’s second quarter production for ’09 is estimated to be 390,000 vehicles (172,000 cars and 218,000 trucks.) That’s down 53% from a year ago when GM North America built 834,000 vehicles.

If Obamacars cannot make a come back from these exceedingly low production numbers it will be because of a country-wide rejection of the very idea of a government owned car company. The fascinating figures to watch will be the comparative recoveries of Ford and Toyota versus GM. All three have suffered the effects of the panic, and as the panic subsides, all three should recover at roughly the same rate. If GM lags, expect the feds to find some way of plugging the gap as with fleet sales to itself. Given that the president is deep enough into the minutia of running GM to pick its headquarters location, be assured that he will be pulling whatever federal government strings need pulled to assure his seizure of the car company doesn’t result in collapse before 2012.

All of which is a preview of the coming attraction that is Obamacare. The president wants a radical restructuring of healthcare, one that will centralize much more power over our lives in the federal government. Here, however, there is no bankruptcy court to shortcut the existing interests of doctors, patients and shareholders. The president will have to persuade Congress to participate in the socialization of American medicine via the “government option” he and the Pelosi/Reid leadership team are pushing. Opponents of the rationing scheme that will see federal bureaucrats in charge of standards and levels of care ought to demand that before we turn over the operation of hospitals, clinics and labs to the president, we ought to see how his car company fares.

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A Free Screening of “U.N. Me” June 8

Monday, June 1, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I screened this documentary earlier this year, and it is a wonderful, eye-opening look at the U.N.

If you are anywhere near Orange County, California, you can attend a free screening in Orange, CA June 8 at 7:30 PM if you RSVP here.

“Guardian of Zion”

Monday, June 1, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Center for Security Policy’s Caroline Glick delivered this acceptance speech when she received the Ingeborg Rennert Foundation’s 2009 Guardian of Zion Award in Jerusalem this week.

More On Obamacare and the Rush to Rationing

Monday, June 1, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From Dr. S. in PA:

Hugh,

I read the email you posted from Dr. L and had to echo his comments. I’m a urologist in Pennsylvania in a four man group. One is retiring soon, at age 64. I have 2 partners in their 50’s, and I’m in my late 30’s. My partners in their 50’s constantly refer to their desire to retire early. I like to think right now I’m going to practice as long as I can.

However, there seems to be a growing recognition among everyone that I speak to that the “goose that laid the golden egg” is dead already. Very few urologists locally are doing well financially. The unreimbursed costs related to such as prior authrorizations, electronic medical records, massive amounts of phone calls/prescription requests are eating away at our bottom line. Our income is at lower levels now than 10 years ago, and the burden of practice is increasing yearly.

Not one physician over 50 I’ve spoken to thinks medical practice (not income) is as satisfying as it used to be. And most I’ve come across will admit if asked that they wouldn’t recommend it as a profession to their children.

And, with the new emphasis with limiting work hours for residents, most new MD’s will admit that participating in family life and developing personal interests take precedence over the identity of being a hardworking, hard-driving productive physician.

I fear for the future of my profession. Physicians have been squeezed for so long that we’re just sick as hell. And we won’t take it forever.

Doctors who see what is coming are welcome to write me at hugh@hughhewitt.com. Please let me know if you would prefer that I only use your initial, but I need identifying information to confirm that you are who you say you are.

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