Obamacare, RINOs, The Freedom Caucus, and Broken Promises

Well, it’s been a fun week in politics. Democrats are in a decidedly celebratory mood. Republicans, however, are all over the map. Some are furious that the Freedom Caucus stood in the way of “incremental progress”. Others (in my opinion, those of us that “get it”) are relieved that Ryan’s bill, which somehow managed to be even worse than Obamacare (quite an accomplishment) was declared DOA. Some that were happy to see the bill fail, are still trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his support ( and let’s just admit it- bullying tactics) for Ryan’s boondoggle. Still others (raising my hand in this category also) aren’t cutting Trump any slack.

Here you have it- a Congressional week in pictures:

We’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare!

Ryan’s bill is offered…

Freedom Caucus Responds, Part one:

Freedom Caucus Responds, Part two:

RINO’s and Trump demand Congress back this bill or be stuck with Obamacare…

So, the Freedom Caucus Says:

But, why was the Freedom Caucus so stubborn? To understand that, you need to understand how Obamacare works.

One of the main goals of Obamacare was to ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions would be covered by insurance. Of course, that sounds wonderful.  But immediately you are faced with the question of how to force insurance companies to agree to take on customers that they already know they are going to lose big $$$ on.

There is only one answer- you must force the insurance companies to insure these people. But this demand creates another problem. If insurance companies are forced to cover those with pre-existing conditions, they’ll just charge a bazillion dollars for the policies. So, we’d still be in the same boat. These people would have “access” to coverage, but not the financial ability to purchase it.

To fix this problem, Obamacare included what is called the community rating system. The community rating system forces insurance companies to charge everyone basically the same price for insurance (with very little leeway).

Do you see what problem this causes? If insurance companies are forced to insure everyone for roughly the same price, pre-existing conditions or not, why would anyone bother to buy insurance at all until you need to use it?

This would inevitably lead to what is called the “death spiral”. Most people don’t purchase insurance until they need to use it, so premiums have to rise to astronomical levels for insurance companies to remain solvent. Eventually, all insurance companies would fail.

Enter Obamacare’s individual mandate which levies a hefty penalty tax to people who don’t purchase insurance. The plan was to avoid the death spiral by forcing people to join the insurance pool, which would theoretically keep premium prices at an acceptable level.

The problem is- it didn’t work. Even with the government literally forcing people (to the best of their ability) into the insurance pool- they still didn’t get enough healthy people “into the pool” to pick up the financial slack. Insurance companies are failing left and right. Huge amounts of people are experiencing premium increases so large and policies that are so worthless that they can no longer afford to be insured. As Nathan Keeble puts in in his article for fee.org, “…government interventions necessitate more and more interventions to fix the problems they create.”

As you can see, just the elementary aspects of the bill we have discussed are so intertwined that if you remove one element, the whole shebang falls apart. It’s like a really complicated clock with a million gears, that has always kept horrible time (but at least you still know maybe what day it is), however when you open it to see what’s wrong, all the tiny parts explode into a useless mess. You could try to have an expert fix it. But why bother since it was crap to begin with?

So, what did Ryan put on the table to fix this debacle? Well, Ryan’s bill kept the requirements for pre-existing conditions and community ratings, but did away with the features that were necessary to fund the boondoggle in the first place- the mandate. To offset this devastating loss of funds, he inserted the 30% mandatory penalty that individuals have to pay to purchase insurance if they have previously been uninsured for a long period of time.

Obviously, if the individual mandate was insufficient to fund Obamacare in the first place, this little penalty would be like trying to put out a fire by spitting on it.

But that didn’t keep Trump and the RINO’s from claiming that this was the “first step” in a progressive repeal processs. Give me a break! The only thing this bill would have accomplished is a still failing health care system- this time with a Republican stamp on it.

The most eye roll inducing thing I’ve seen since the bill’s failure, is Trump denying his campaign promises regarding the full repeal of Obamacare:


I’ve seen lots of theories from conservatives regarding why Trump would push this bill ranging from “he just really needs this resolved to move on to tax reform” all the way to “he was allowing Ryan to hang himself from his own noose.” Obviously, not getting all the saved $$$ from health care reform poses a real issue for his plans for tax reform. Of course, only time will tell. But in the meantime, Trump continues to vilify himself via Twitter:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

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5:23 AM – 24 Mar 2017

Don’t get me wrong, in my opinion, Trump was the only choice in this election and I’d vote for him again under the same circumstances. With that being said, I’m not cutting him any slack either.

Trump has guts, I’ll give him that, but I don’t know if any human being has the guts or the ability to do what actually needs to be done when it comes to health care because so many people are convinced that a completely “fair” system exists if only the selfish “over privileged” Americans would just step up and fund it. Of course, they list various foreign countries as proof that it can be done. But if these same individuals would take the time to research these countries to see what they do to make universal health care possible, they would realize that these countries pay a whole heck of a lot for that health care- it just comes in other forms. If you’d like to borrow my research on Denmark to get an idea what I’m talking about, you can check out my blog post, The US Could Learn a Thing or Two From Denmark.

Sadly, as has become the norm, most of these individual’s want all the “benefits” with none of the cost. The “something for nothing” generation.

The U.S. Could Learn a Thing or Two From Denmark


We’ve all heard it- how much better Denmark is than the US on oh so many levels. I mean, take it from the Occupy Democrats meme below: Denmark has free healthcare, college,  and childcare. To make matters worse those lucky Danes have a whopping $20/hr minimum wage and only have to work 33 hours a week. The conclusion- the US has got to be doing it wrong. So please, by all means lets learn about how awesome Denmark’s system is!! Are you ready!! I’m so excited!!

Let’s start with that free college. It’s free, but Danes do not get the same freedom of choice when it comes to what subject they want to study. Their choices are limited to what fields the Ministry of Education think that Denmark needs more graduates in. Want to be a writer? A teacher? You better hope the Minister of Education sees a need for more of those.

Now on to minimum wage. Actually, Denmark doesn’t  have a “national” minimum wage, but we won’t split hairs. Due to union and other agreements they have an “effective” minimum wage of 110 DKK/hr (Danish Krone). The current exchange rate is 1 DKK= .15 USD. So, that’s $16.50 an hour- not $20, but still beats the heck out of the US minimum wage, right? Not so fast.

Denmark has a progressive tax structure, but the 2016 personal income tax rate listed on tradingeconomics.com is a whopping 55.8%. Talk about a chunk out of that paycheck! To add insult to injury, when you go shopping in Denmark, be ready to add a hefty 25% to your purchase (no matter what you’re buying) in the form of Denmark’s VAT tax. Want to buy a car? Get ready to shell out a 105% tax on your vehicle (up to a value of 82,800 DKK or $12,420 USD) and 180% tax on any value exceeding that 82,800 DKK mark- according to pwc Worldwide Tax Summaries. What did you pay for your last vehicle?

Do you want to own a TV, phone, or computer in Denmark? Be ready to fork over an additional 20% tax. Once you have your TV, phone, or computer you’ll probably want to be able to use it, right? Well then, you’re going to have to come up with extra cash to pay for your “licens” fee, which is the fee that you pay because you now have the ability (it doesn’t matter if you’ll actually tune in or not) to pick up the Denmark Radio signal. That amounts to 205 DKK per month.

For an eye opening glimpse into the financials of an actual Dane- H. Roland J. has been so nice as to share his for one month in 2015 in his blog post, Denmark- The Paradise of Fools.

    • He has a monthly salary of 25,000 DKK or about $3,750 USD.
    • Then comes the first portion of his personal tax at 8%.
      • That amounts to 2,000 DKK or $300 USD leaving him with 23,000 DKK or $3,450 USD
    • He then subtracts his “bundfradrag” or “bottom deduction”, which for him for 2015 came out to 3,433 DKK per month of non-taxed income (besides the 8% it was already taxed). Let’s subtract that amount to put into his pocket and see what he has left to pay more taxes with- 19,567 DKK or $2935.05 USD.
    • His county tax was 24.9% leaving him with- 14,694.81 DKK or $2,204.22 USD
    • Time out!! If he, at this point, made more than 37,000 DKK per month, he would be subject to an additional 15% “topskat” tax. He doesn’t, so let’s continue.
    • He now pays a 4% “health tax”- leaving 13,784.32 DKK or $2,116.05 USD
    • This adds up to, in this man’s tax bracket, an income tax rate of 44%.
    • So, now he has 13,784.32 DKK or $2,116.05 USD left- before living expenses of course.
      • I already mentioned that when paying bills, they also must add in the 25% sales tax. He paid his bills with the “disposable” income that was not taxed (3,433 DKK) and ended up with 10.34 DKK or $1.55 USD left over.
    • This guy doesn’t want to pay for TV or phone so if you couldn’t live without those, you’d have even more to pony up.
    • He then pays the “afgift” or extra tax on all utilities. He uses his power bill to illustrate how that works:
      • His power bill was 994.64 DKK for a 3 month period, ($149.20 USD) in which he used 358 Kilowatt hours.-Charges from the electric company were 111.06 DKK plus 30 DKK for membership plus sales tax comes to 176.33 DKK ( $26.45 USD)
      • The electric company charges .37 DKK per kilowatt hour, but the state imposes an “electricity transportation afgift” at .21 DKK per kilowatt hour (almost as much as the electric company charges for the electricity!) making his electric afgift 80.89 DKK for the period.
      • THEN, the Denmark government adds a sales tax of 20% onto the afgift! So a government tax on a government tax, for those who are keeping tabs.
      • SO- of the 994.64 DKK he paid for electricity, only 141.06 DKK went to the actual electric company and the bloated 853.58 DKK went to the government!

Sorry, but so far, the words “Awesome Deal!” are NOT what is coming to my mind when I take a good look at Denmark. Regardless, I know there are many people out there saying, “But they get free healthcare and that makes it ALL worth it!!” Well, in case you haven’t noticed- that health care AIN’T “free”. This healthcare better be awesome! Is it?

One interesting fact to note is that in addition to the “free” government health care provided, Danes have the option of purchasing separate “private” insurance- sort of makes you wonder why this is even needed if the government health care is “all that”. Two additional facts: in Denmark your doctor must refer you to a specialist or you don’t see one and your doctor must refer you to the hospital or you don’t go. An American expat who now lives in Denmark explains her experience with the Danish health care system in her blog post, Free-Health Care in Denmark- My First Hand Experience. Her article is definitely NOT a Denmark health care bashing article, but actually just an honest recounting of her personal experience, which has been both good and bad.

She explains from the outset that health care is a straight up 8% line item deduction of gross pay. Denmark’s “free” health care option does not cover physicals, vision or dental care, and only partially covers mental health services if the government covers it at all. Danes pay full price for prescriptions until a personal threshold is reached after which they are progressively discounted. She notes that, “In nearly six years, I’ve never had my total yearly prescription cost in Denmark come in below that of my $10-$20 US co-pay.” (You can tell she hasn’t lived in the US for a while- I’d kill for a $10 co-pay!!) She has actually crunched the numbers and admits that she pays roughly 6 times as much for her “free” health care in Denmark than she did for her employer sponsored plan in the US.

She then admits that her initial experience with Denmark’s heath care was abysmal. Her doctor was absolutely horrible and misdiagnosed her twice. The last diagnosis could have ended up causing her “irreversible damage” had she not moved and had access to a better doctor. Of course, she is currently very happy with her new doctor so she has changed her mind about the quality of Denmark’s health care. She also notes that Danes have the opportunity to purchase private insurance (which I mentioned earlier) and that this insurance allows you to “jump queue” if you need to see a specialist with a long waiting list or need access to mental health services. This of course implies that, those who pay more, get to “cut line” in front of those who receive the “free” health care when it comes to seeing a specialist. Hmmm…

By the way, in Denmark there is no such thing as a malpractice suit. As of 1992, Danes cannot sue a doctor for malpractice. You’ll be hard pressed to find any article on this topic that gives anything other than a glowing account(like this one, How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety) of how this is revolutionizing health care by being in the best interest of both doctors and patients, but I’m skeptical and I’ll tell you why. First, instead of taking your case before a jury of your peers, you must submit a claim to “medical and legal experts” for review. These “experts” review your claim based on two criteria:

  1. The “specialist rule”: How did the treatment you received compare to care an experienced specialist would provide? If it wasn’t equal, you are entitled to compensation.
  2. “Fairness rule”: If you experienced a severe medical event that occurs less than 2% of the time, you are eligible for a “reward.”

#1 strikes me as extremely subjective and I suppose according to #2 if you aren’t a medical anomaly you’re out of luck. Sounds totally “fair”. But worry not! If you aren’t happy with the decision you can appeal- to a seven member board of doctors, patient representatives, an attorney, and two representatives of the Danish health care system. I’m sure it’s not as susceptible to corruption as it seems…

If we’re going to follow Denmark’s cue, Forbes points out that we’re going to need to let up on our business regulations and decentralize our government. Wait, Democrats are not for either of those things! US businesses migrate overseas every opportunity they get, but the Danes apparently realize that they can’t support their “entitlements” without making Denmark business friendly- so they do. Denmark businesses are far less regulated than US businesses.

Denmark’s government is less centralized than the US government. For example, Denmark taxes are astronomical, but only 3.76% of income taxes are national. The large portion of income tax comes in at the community level. So the taxes they are paying benefit their communities rather than being directed through Washington like ours.

This is all well and good, but some people out there are still saying this is all worth it if the poor are better off in Denmark. Are they? The poorest 10% in the US have adjusted incomes almost exactly the same as the poorest 10% of Danes. The poor in Denmark do not enjoy any higher standard of living than the poor in the US. However, the rich in Denmark definitely aren’t as rich as the rich in the US. But Denmark’s poverty rate is lower, you say!! Did you know that the US is the only country in the world that calculates poverty before benefits are received? (Debt.org)Unless you take this into account you are comparing apples and oranges.

We’ve gone through all of this, and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Denmark only has a population of 5.7 million compared to the US’s population of 325.8 million. To say that the Denmark government operates on a smaller scale is the understatement of the century.

So, the next time someone tells you that the US needs to learn from Denmark, you can ask- what lessons specifically? Denmark’s crushing 55% income tax rate, whopping 25% VAT tax, taxes on utilities, taxes on the taxes on their utilities, monthly license fees for TV, computer, and phones? No covered dental or vision benefits and limited mental health benefits? Paying full price for prescriptions up to their government imposed “deductibles”? No legal recourse for medical malpractice? Lack of educational free will? Or perhaps they are referring to Denmark’s decentralized government and their relaxed business regulation?

Evidence for Darwin’s “Descent of Man”: Mountain or Molehill?

If you were to ask any individual, of any education level, if science does in fact have fossil evidence of Darwin’s “descent of man” (evolution from ape to modern day man) he/she would doubtless respond that indeed they do (or believe that they do). Any high school or college biology textbook will have a section devoted to this evidence in which you will read the names of our proposed ancestors: Australopithecus, Ramapithecus, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Neanderthal, and Cro-Magnon Man to name a few. Anytime anthropologists uncover another ancestral candidate much ado is made and everyone is bound to hear about it from one news outlet or another. The problem is, when each candidate is eventually struck from the “family tree”, no updates or revisions are passed along- leaving those of us not “in the know” to believe that evolution has quite a mountain of evidence on its side. But is the evidence for Darwin’s “Descent of Man” truly a mountain, or more of a molehill? Let’s take a look and see.

First of all, you should be aware that the physical amount of evidence is not what you are led to believe. From Charles Scott Kimball’s The Truth About Cavemen: “In 1982 Dr. Lyall Watson stated: ‘The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all of the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin!’” This might come as a surprise to you if you are assuming that we actually have a somewhat complete skeleton of ANY of our “ancestors”. Most are identified by a very few bones- mostly jaw bones and teeth. In my humble opinion these are pretty big conclusions to come to based on such skimpy evidence. Let’s look at the most famous candidates one by one.

Australopithecus was discovered in Africa in 1924 by Raymond Dart. This is why most evolutionists believe Africa to be the “cradle of civilization”. Many specimens have been found, but by far the most famous and most complete skeleton (40% complete) has been dubbed “Lucy.” Lucy was discovered in 1973. The problem is that they come in many varying sizes and builds, so they are all classified under different names. Because many of the Australopithecus finds have been determined to be nonhuman, it has been suggested that they are actually NOT a separate species, but rather male and female examples of the same ape. In 2015, one of Lucy’s vertebrae was found to actually belong to a baboon. Whoops!

While we’re at it, just a quick note about these “reconstructions”. Boyce Rensberger, writing in Science Digest in 1981, explains them this way: “Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist’s conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there . . . Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips or ears. Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it . . . Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture. The guesswork approach often leads to errors.”

Take the case of the famous “Lucy” for example. In the picture below, the center image is a mold of Lucy’s potential face (remember the fleshy parts of the face are just guesses) . The images to the right and left are different artists representations of what Lucy could have looked like based on the same face mold. Notice the artist has complete control over whether Lucy looks like just another ape or decidedly more “human” (far left) based on the distribution of facial hair (which is ALL guesswork).

So there you have it. These pictures aren’t worth the paper they’re drawn on and likely look precious little like the creature whose bones they are based on.

Ramapithecus is touted as the oldest hominid. It was identified based on a few teeth and some bone fragments that appear similar to human bones. From these few bones, some textbooks boast pictures of what a Ramapithecus “would have” looked like. Apparently, he is envisioned as a little less “apey” than his ancestors, but definitely not very “humaney” yet. I mean- think early evolutionary human. They got all that, from a few teeth and jaw fragments…

Java Man was discovered in 1891 by Eugene Dubois and was identified by one tooth, a piece of a skull bone, and a thighbone. Nevermind that the thighbone wasn’t actually found until a year later and 50 feet from where the other two bones were found. No big deal, because Dubois insisted they belonged together. When Dubois couldn’t get agreement from the scientific community of his day, he buried the bones under his house in a suitcase for 23 years before he finally brought them out again. (What!?!) Before his death in 1923, Dubois confessed that Java Man was actually a giant gibbon. Unfortunately, he is still in textbooks and museums labeled as Homo erectus.

Java Man’s cousin, Peking Man was discovered in 1928. 40 skulls of Peking Man were unearthed from a single cave amid campfire ashes and stone tools leading discoverers to obvious conclusions about Peking Man’s abilities. Unfortunately, what wasn’t disclosed about this discovery is that only skulls and no other body parts were unearthed. To make matters worse, every single skull had been smashed so that the brain could be removed and eaten. Also, seven skeletons of modern men were found at the very same site! This deleted information leads one to come up with all together different conclusions. Like Kimball’s for instance, “ Peking Man was the victim of a feast, and the fire and tools were not used by Peking Man but on Peking Man…The most plausible answer is that “Peking Man” was just another ape like “Java Man” and “Solo Man,” killed and eaten by true men.”

Piltdown Man was discovered in 1911 by Charles Dawson and was deemed to be in the neighborhood of 500,000 years old. In the 1950’s, when dating methods had improved (dating methods are still extremely problematic, but that discussion is outside the scope of this article), Piltdown Man was found to be only about 620 years old. Subsequently, his teeth were found to belong to an ape- Dawson (or someone else) had filed them to disguise them. In 1982, the jawbone was discovered to belong to an orangutan. The bones had also been stained to give the appearance of old age. So, Piltdown man was a 40 year long hoax.

The discovery of a single tooth in Nebraska in 1922 gave rise to the famous Nebraska Man. This tooth was actually entered as evidence in the famous Scopes Trial in which the ACLU sought to usher in the teaching of evolution in science class. Evolutionists of the day scoffed at the “naive, mentally inferior” Creationists who considered a single tooth to be insufficient evidence of evolution. A mere two years after the trial, when a complete skeleton was unearthed with identical teeth, they were found to belong to none other than a fossilized peccary- also known as a wild pig.

Rhodesian man is considered the African counterpart of Heidelberg Man who anthropologists generally agree are an intermediate stage between Homo erectus and modern men. One detail that somehow isn’t widely discussed, is the fact that the Rhodesian Man skull found at Broken Hill quarry (in Zambia) actually has a bullet hole in it. Kimball writes, “The skull has a small round hole in the left temple, with none of the radial cracks around it that an arrowhead or spear would have produced. The right side of the skull is shattered, having been blown apart from the inside. A German forensics expert in Berlin has testified that only a high-speed projectile, like a rifle shot, could have done this kind of damage.” So, two options: either Rhodesian man is not as old as he has been dated to be and was actually shot in the 18th or 19th century (he was found buried 60 feet deep) OR prehistoric people had guns. Either way, evolutionists don’t like what Rhodesian man brings to the table- so they just disregard the information that doesn’t align with their theories. Convenient.

Rhodesian Man Skull Reconstruction picture from Kimball’s article

Ever since Neanderthal Man came on the scene in 1856, he has been considered our slumped, not-so-bright predecessor. Research has since determined that the original Neanderthal skeleton, “Old Man of La Chappelle,” was actually crippled by arthritis, which accounts for the stooped posture. Based on other Neanderthal fossils, it has been determined that Neanderthal’s harsh features may have had more to do with the environment he lived in (an Ice Age) and the health problems that arise due to this fact such as poor diet, and rickets. Other finds have also revealed that he was in fact more intelligent than originally given credit for- the Neanderthal brain is actually a little larger than ours. Presently, scientists no longer consider Neanderthal Man to be a separate species, but instead a distinct race within the human species.

Neanderthal man has also been diagnosed with “acromegaly” (an overactive pituitary gland). Interestingly, this condition causes ordinary men to develop an “apelike appearance” due to the fact that the bones begin to grow again after maturity leading to a “thickening” since the bones cannot grow longer. Other physical characteristics of acromegaly sufferers are large extremities and drooping shoulders. This disease is also hereditary. This is significant because if Neanderthal Man lived in small isolated groups where inbreeding was practiced it would have resulted in a predominantly ape-man looking family group in the fossil record. Kimball notes a recent example of this illness in wrestler Maurice Tillet, pictured below. Imagine what conclusions evolutionary scientists would come to if his skeleton were to be fossilized and unearthed in generations to come. Incidently, Tiller’s face was the inspiration for Shrek’s appearance.

That leaves us with Cro-Magnon Man. I like what Kimball says regarding this evolutionary piece of the puzzle, “ Cro-Magnon was the same height as us and had a brain the same size, and one child’s book has a chapter on Cro-Magnons entitled ‘People Like Us,’ only to say on the next page that they were not simply like us- they were us. There is no point in making this character the missing link if the only differences between him and us are cultural ones.”

Of course, we currently have Homo antecessor that scientists date from 1.2 million to 800,000 years ago and who scientists consider the latest common ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals. According to Wikipedia, “As a complete skull has yet to be unearthed, only fourteen fragments and lower jaw bones exist, these scholars point to the fact, that ‘most of the known H. antecessor specimens represent children’ as ‘most of the features tying H. antecessor to modern people were found in juveniles, whose bodies and physical features change as they grow up and go through puberty. It’s possible that H. antecessor adults didn’t really look much like H. sapiens at all.’” So, yeah, from 14 bone fragments we now have this picture of what Homo antecessor “probably” looked like:

I forgot to mention that H. antecessor was cannibalistic. Yikes. Anyhow- let’s give it 40 years and see how this “missing link” gets debunked.