Betsy McCaughey from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 24 Jul 2016 05:37:51 -0700 Betsy McCaughey from Creators Syndicate e204bc32107eee8cab74d68515a5e41f Clinton Destroys Medicare for 07/20/2016 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Hillary Clinton is taking a sledgehammer to Medicare. In a move calculated to fire up the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledges to open Medicare to people 55 to 64, and make a "public option" insurance plan for all ages. The 65-and-overs are already having a hard time finding a doctor willing to accept Medicare's stingy payments. Clinton's proposals will suddenly invite in millions more patients competing for the same doctors. Seniors, brace yourselves for long waits to see a doctor.</p> <p>Medicare is stretched so thin to meet the needs of today's seniors that expanding enrollment is like inviting the neighborhood for dinner when you don't have enough to feed your own kids. </p> <p>Over a fifth of doctors currently are turning away new Medicare patients, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Clinton's scheme would add a massive segment of the population to Medicare's ranks. It's likely &#8212; a sudden 20 percent increase in patients knocking on doctors' doors for appointments. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 20, 2016</p> c68d0b2578eab08b8952eb88e83eb172 Sanctuary Hospitals: Who Pays the Bills? for 07/13/2016 Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Medical bills are pushing more Americans into severe financial distress, even if they have insurance. That's the grim news from a top medical journal. These bills force hundreds of thousands into bankruptcy each year. What's so galling is that while Americans struggle to pay their bills, freeloaders from other countries get the same care at no cost by gaming our generous open-door hospital policies. They take a flight to the U.S., go straight to an emergency room, and get pacemakers, chemotherapy and other expensive care, leaving U.S. taxpayers to foot their bills. </p> <p>Evan Levine, a cardiologist at a Bronx, New York, teaching hospital, recently treated a Trinidad resident who had learned his pacemaker battery was about to give out. He came to New York to avoid paying for cardiac care back home. Cost to him? Zero, aside from airfare.</p> <p>It's a common practice, according to a medical device salesman who services hospitals in the New York area. He gets calls for pacemakers destined for patients from South or Central America who fly in and take a bus directly to the hospital. The bill for one pacemaker patient can reach $96,000. John Q. Public gets stuck with it. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 13, 2016</p> 17f07747b25b54321f885fb6c34b71c6 Dem Platform Follies for 07/06/2016 Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Friday, the Democratic Party unveiled its 2016 national platform, promising to put "a middle-class life within the reach of more Americans." Unfortunately, the party's proposals will do the opposite. They will slow economic growth, prevent millions of people from advancing up the economic ladder and hold back their children, too.</p> <p>Democrats claim America's gravest problem is extreme inequality. That misses the target. Americans who are stuck on the bottom rungs of the ladder are justifiably angry. Not because the rich have more, but because the system seems rigged to prevent them from succeeding.</p> <p>The American dream promises that no matter how humbly you start, you should be able to work your way up and see your children go even higher. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 06, 2016</p> 1384dffff26de8b26ff9c7679abf61f3 The Plot Against Trump for 06/29/2016 Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The knives are out to sabotage Donald Trump's nomination, defying the wishes of the record number of Republican primary voters who chose him. </p> <p>Pols who backed losing candidate Ted Cruz are mounting a sour-grapes campaign to rig the Republican National Convention rules. Their goal is to deny Trump the nomination. Meanwhile, in Virginia, a state where Trump came in first in the primary, a lawsuit filed Friday by an anti-Trump pol claims he and fellow delegates should be free to ignore the voters and follow their own "conscience" when they choose a nominee at the Convention. </p> <p>Be prepared for more whining and skullduggery ahead, as an embittered minority of Republican insiders tries to derail Trump's unorthodox candidacy.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 29, 2016</p> a523ea2f0f311952dfab30c236493e69 Dems Destroy Medicare for 06/22/2016 Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Under the guise of "reform," President Obama is dismantling Medicare &#8212; dooming seniors to needless pain and disability and shortening their lives. </p> <p>The stakes are high, because Medicare and the access it allows to medical innovations have transformed aging. Before Medicare, older people languished in nursing homes or wheelchairs with crippling illnesses. Now, seniors dodge that fate, thanks to hip and knee replacements, cataract operations, heart procedures &#8212; all paid for by Medicare. </p> <p>Stunning findings just published in the American Journal of Public Health show that a man turning 65 can expect to live almost five years longer than his counterpart in 1970. Five years of extra life, and almost all of it in good health. What a priceless gift. <p>Updated: Wed Jun 22, 2016</p> b649d0e5afcaf707900f3bc94af8becc Zika's Nasty Facts for 06/15/2016 Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week, mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika start biting in Florida, the Gulf States, and Southern California. It's the "virus from hell," warns Peter Hotez, Dean of Baylor University's School of Tropical Medicine. He's urging women to delay getting pregnant. Hotez worries expectant mothers in these states are already being bitten, and next spring they'll "start giving birth to brain-damaged infants." Doctors are investigating whether infants &#8212; up to age 1 &#8212; also could be impaired by these mosquito bites because their brains are still developing</p> <p>Meanwhile, New Yorkers face a different threat: sexual transmission. It's unknown whether local mosquitoes will spread the virus. But even without mosquitoes biting, New York already has more than any other state. The virus is being brought here by immigrants and travelers exposed in infested areas like Puerto Rico, Brazil, Honduras and El Salvador. Their sex partners need to know the virus can survive in semen for six months or longer and also possibly spread through deep kissing.</p> <p>Dating tip: Ask to see his or her passport.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 15, 2016</p> 7dcc009a61087405153b9f7908b093b6 A Builder or a Blabber in the White House for 06/08/2016 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen gave a somber assessment of the current jobs market, throwing cold water on President Obama's election-year messaging. President Obama has been bragging that America has "the strongest" economy in the world. </p> <p>Right, and pigs can fly. GDP growth under Obama has averaged a stagnant 1.7 percent a year. Meanwhile, Ireland is growing at nearly 8 percent, and India at 7 percent. </p> <p>And the Obama economy isn't only a loser when compared with other countries. Compared with what Americans enjoyed for decades, this is "the worst economic-growth record of any president" since the Great Depression, says Stanford economist Michael Boskin. <p>Updated: Wed Jun 08, 2016</p> c2b1c5a39cedab0546101582c3fdec2f Germs Multiply While CDC Fiddles for 06/01/2016 Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Federal officials are predicting doom because a Pennsylvania woman became infected with a germ that can't be stopped by most antibiotics. "The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients," warned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden last week. You'd think the CDC was finally ready to get serious about drug-resistant infections. Think again. The CDC watched "super-bugs" spread across the nation, and dawdled. Centers for Denial and Confusion is more like it.</p> <p>The Pennsylvania woman's infection is resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. This is the first case, as far as we know, of an infection resistant to colistin in the U.S., but thousands of patients die every year from infections resistant to more commonly used antibiotics.</p> <p>As antibiotics lose their punch, medical care becomes riskier, especially in hospitals. Patients who need chemotherapy or surgery rely on antibiotics. Without them, even a routine procedure &#8212; bypass surgery or C-section &#8212; could turn deadly.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 01, 2016</p> f6af0daf2b41e509f619b7bb8f113e1f Obama's Deadly Globalism for 05/25/2016 Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Federal officials are warning that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus will start biting and infecting U.S. residents in the next month. Key trouble spots are southern Florida, Louisiana, Texas and southern California, but the risk could extend north to New York and San Francisco. The virus inflicts horrific brain damage on unborn children as well as neurological disorders in adults. The Obama administration's bungled response is increasing the danger. </p> <p>Americans are being told to "drain, dress and DEET," meaning drain water lingering in their yard, wear long pants and sleeves, and use bug repellent. In short, avoid mosquito bites. Imagine the health of your unborn child depending on that. </p> <p>That makes as much sense as "Duck and Cover" did in the 1950s to keep safe from a nuclear attack. <p>Updated: Wed May 25, 2016</p> 24a0e80eea38a3e4c0a36c9c362cb8f0 How the Clintons Cashed In for 05/18/2016 Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When Bill and Hillary Clinton moved out of the White House 15 years ago, they were "dead broke," said Hillary Clinton. Today, they're worth up to $150 million. A new documentary, "Clinton Cash," reveals how they went from broke to filthy rich, with an emphasis on filthy. </p> <p>The Clintons have made out like bandits compared with another political couple, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The McDonnells were convicted of accepting over $150,000 in gifts while in office from a businessman. The Clintons raked in seven hundred times that amount &#8212; $105 million &#8212; under the pretext of speaking fees while Hillary Clinton was in public office. Yet the McDonnells face time in the big house, while the Clintons are aiming for the White House</p> <p>"Clinton Cash" is based on a book by former Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer that has withstood a year of intense scrutiny by critics. It's fact, not fiction, and the facts are compelling. <p>Updated: Wed May 18, 2016</p> 4d632dcfe519406c7627f9138e0baf37 Medicare Cuts Killing Seniors for 05/11/2016 Wed, 11 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>President Obama's Medicare cuts are killing seniors. His health law changed Medicare, adding bonuses for hospitals that spend the least per senior. The result? Hundreds of hospitals are skimping on care to win bonuses. Seniors at these hospitals aren't getting the right antibiotic or other treatments they need. They're dying from pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure at higher rates than patients in other hospitals that provide more care. </p> <p>So much for Obama's promise that cutting Medicare wouldn't harm seniors. </p> <p>News of the deaths at low spending hospitals, reported in Health Affairs, comes just as GOP front-runner Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Medicare cuts are on the long list of policy disagreements between the two Republicans. Trump pledges not to cut Medicare. Ryan and GOP members of Congress are pushing to repeal Obamacare but want to keep Obama's Medicare cuts. Trump is right on this one.<p>Updated: Wed May 11, 2016</p> 5dde03ea26e63146d0ad4d3332eaa308 The Trump Campaign Shows Its Policy Chops for 05/04/2016 Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The rap on Donald Trump is he's all bluster. The New York Times says he's offering "incoherent mishmash." GOP rival Ted Cruz claims Trump has "no idea" how to fix the economy. Don't' believe it. The Trump campaign is putting forward proposals to fix problems facing the nation, from the long waits for medical care at the VA to the impending collapse of Obamacare. Check out Trump's economic plan, for starters. Unlike Hillary Clinton's radical anti-business agenda, Trump's plan would actually help unemployed Americans get back to work. </p> <p>Trump slashes the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, down from the current 40 percent, the highest rate in the industrialized world. Not all American companies pay that staggering rate, but even after deductions and accounting maneuvers, companies in the U.S. end up clobbered with taxes nearly twice the global average (24 percent). In Ireland, a magnet for tax-weary companies, the rate is only 12.5 percent and their economy is growing about three times as fast as ours. Conversely, Japan and Argentina are stuck in the doldrums along with the U.S., partly because of their high corporate tax rates.</p> <p>Trump also proposes a one-time 10 percent repatriation tax on profits U.S. companies made overseas and kept there to avoid the 40 percent rate. That bargain could lure back as much as $2.5 trillion in capital urgently needed here. <p>Updated: Wed May 04, 2016</p> 80f4ec808c5e4daeec7a6e3b5e8bcb28 Obama's Killer Economy for 04/27/2016 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Middle-aged people laid off and unable to find work are taking another way out. They're killing themselves. Suicide rates are soaring, according to federal data released last week. Especially in economically depressed states and job-starved regions like upstate New York. People in need of work are twice as likely to take their own lives as employed people, and people fired in their forties and fifties find it hardest to get hired again. </p> <p>That makes boosting economic growth a life and death issue. But you wouldn't know it listening to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. President Obama whitewashes reality, claiming the "American economy is pretty darn good right now." </p> <p>False. The Obama economy is stalled. It grew at a measly 0.7 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of this year. That's compared with the 3.5 percent rate the U.S. enjoyed for most of the 20th century. That's the growth needed to sustain employment and optimism.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 27, 2016</p> 1d09b3bfa8cc26dcba9afff1f1224f84 Obamacare's Teachable Moment for 04/20/2016 Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday, House Republicans promised a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare within a month. It's not a moment too soon. </p> <p>Obamacare is collapsing. UnitedHealth will abandon most Obamacare markets, it said Tuesday. Giant insurers such as Aetna and the BlueCross Blue Shield Association are next. They warned last week that losses trying to sell Obamacare plans are "unsustainable"&#8212; $3 billion a year, S&P says &#8212; and they'll either stop selling the plans or significantly raise premiums. That's a scary prospect. Even Hillary Clinton's campaign admits the cost of Obamacare plans is already "crushing."</p> <p>As for the GOP alternative, the devil will be in the details. But six years of Obamacare have taught the nation lessons that Republicans should not ignore. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 20, 2016</p> 972836c6cfbb064d746370b5757a71c3 Legal Plunder for 04/13/2016 Wed, 13 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you're employed, beware. An alarming attitude is sweeping the nation that your paycheck is fair game to fix any social problem. Left-wing legislators across the nation are mandating deductions from everyone's paycheck to fund paid family medical leave programs. The programs are used mostly by women to stay home with their newborns. Sounds warm and fuzzy, but looting your paycheck to fund it amounts to legal plunder. The left is using the law to take what you've earned and give the money to someone else. </p> <p>New York State lawmakers are savoring their 15 minutes of fame for passing the most "progressive" paid family leave law in the nation. "Reckless" is a more like it. The law empowers the state to deduct funds from every worker's paycheck to keep the new family leave program afloat. How big a payroll deduction? The law doesn't say. Each year, state officials will decide on a percentage deduction, and New Yorkers will see their paychecks shrink based on that decision. </p> <p>Descending to a new low in shoddy governance, New York lawmakers didn't crunch the numbers on the cost before voting to stick workers with the tab. Governor Andrew Cuomo guesses it will cost the average employee "roughly 70 cents a week the first year, and $1.40 a week by 2021." Experts say it could cost five times that much.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 13, 2016</p> 6522b87ebe057a952fd82093331105ad Government Dysfunction Costs Lives for 04/06/2016 Wed, 06 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Every year, more than half a million patients in the U.S. are unknowingly put at risk of contracting a superbug infection during a common medical procedure. A doctor threads a tube-like scope down your throat and into your digestive system to treat cancer and other problems. You assume the tube is clean. Think again.</p> <p>The scope's defective design allows bacteria to lurk within, even after rigorous cleaning between patients. The federal Food and Drug Administration has known about this problem since 2012, yet dawdled. Three months ago, the manufacturer of most of the scopes, Olympus, began recalling them. </p> <p>But numerous hospitals are still using them, and patients are still getting infected and dying &#8212; eight more infections and two more deaths according to last month's FDA data. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 06, 2016</p> 60062fa6a66cc638ff355761da41555a Clinton's Phony Health Care Fixes for 03/30/2016 Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Clinton campaign is finally owning up to what most Americans learned the hard way. The Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable. In fact, its costs are "crushing" people who have to buy health insurance. Hillary Clinton vows to fix the problem, but don't count on it. Clinton's remedies are bad medicine. Some are so preposterous she can't possibly believe they'd work. She could use a dose of truth serum.</p> <p>Six years in, President Obama still boasts that his health law saves people money, but Clinton sees that claptrap doesn't sell on the campaign trail. Voters know otherwise. This year, premiums for Obamacare plans soared 15 percent on average, and deductibles (what you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in) increased in 41 states. The average individual with a silver plan has to spend more than $3,000 before getting anything covered, while a bronze plan holder has to fork over nearly $6,000. That's insurance?</p> <p>No wonder many Americans are putting off seeing a doctor, despite having insurance.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 30, 2016</p> 5fe68ea02e2e15d03c30a137bf41e118 Deadbeat Island for 03/23/2016 Wed, 23 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you have a retirement fund or pension, or you're a taxpayer, get ready to have your pockets picked. The Obama administration wants Congress to enact a bankruptcy plan for Puerto Rico, forcing holders of Puerto Rican debt (including New York City pension funds) to settle for less than they're owed. Puerto Rico is over $70 billion in debt and already defaulting. House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised action by March 31, and the Supreme Court took up the issue on Tuesday.</p> <p>Federal law bars Puerto Rico from going bankrupt. If Congress rewrites the rules now retroactively, it will jolt municipal bond markets. Jittery lenders will demand higher interest from states and cities that need to borrow, whacking taxpayers who foot the bill. </p> <p>Bankruptcy's not the answer. Congress needs to show Puerto Rico some tough love by imposing a financial control board that will curb the island's profligate spending and cut its bloated government payroll. Puerto Rico's pols have flunked civics. The island is mired in cronyism and corruption. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., calls a control board a "colonial power grab." Nonsense. A control board turned around New York City in the 1970s and the District of Columbia in the 1990s, without resorting to bankruptcy. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 23, 2016</p> ca6700361df86ebfec48d796760fd215 Heads Must Roll at the CDC for 03/16/2016 Wed, 16 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Consumer Reports is sounding the alarm about a vicious infection raging through hospitals, even prestigious academic medical centers such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and Ohio's Cleveland Clinic. Clostridium difficile, or C. diff for short, sickens half a million people each year, and 29,000 of them die in less than 30 days. </p> <p>Worse, while the deaths mount, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps bungling the response. Sounds like the Veterans Administration &#8212; another dysfunctional government agency with blood on its hands. No heads are rolling at the VA, and likewise, no one is being held accountable at the CDC. That needs to change. </p> <p>The CDC botched Ebola, bungled measles and is already playing catch up on Zika. But its failure to stop C. diff is by far its costliest mistake. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 16, 2016</p> 491af7e226234ad9e00bc78ba44144ae Adios, Guantanamo for 03/09/2016 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>President Obama is heading to Cuba in two weeks, eager to unveil more travel and trade concessions to the country's Communist regime. But is he too eager to befriend Fidel and Raul Castro, no matter the price? Members of Congress fear the president will cave to Cuba's demand to hand over the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, introduced a bill on Thursday to bar such a giveaway. </p> <p>Of course, Royce's bill is likely to face a presidential veto. As a practical matter, the surest way to prevent the president from surrendering Guantanamo is to keep its military detention facility loaded with prisoners. The president can't relinquish it until it's empty. </p> <p>The U.S. has controlled the 45-square-mile property at the southeastern end of Cuba for over a century. When the Castro brothers seized power in 1959, they demanded Guantanamo back. They failed then, but they're trying again, exploiting the fact that the U.S. now has a president inclined to placate America's foes.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 09, 2016</p>