The Feds Go Prepping in Healthcare

My, this must be the morning for the odd to crop up on my desk.  Here’s a note in the Federal Register today that says:

Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers

This proposed rule would establish national emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they adequately plan for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. It would also ensure that these providers and suppliers are adequately prepared to meet the needs of patients, residents, clients, and participants during disasters and emergency situations.

We are proposing emergency preparedness requirements that 17 provider and supplier types must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Since existing Medicare and Medicaid requirements vary across the types of providers and suppliers, we are also proposing variations in these requirements. These variations are based on existing statutory and regulatory policies and differing needs of each provider or supplier type and the individuals to whom they provide health care services. Despite these variations, our proposed regulations would provide generally consistent emergency preparedness requirements, enhance patient safety during emergencies for persons served by Medicare- and Medicaid-participating facilities, and establish a more coordinated and defined response to natural and man-made disasters.

All of which gets us to an interesting question (my favorite one of all):  Why?

Oh, sure it’s possible that this is just good public policy and all.  But down in the guts, there’s this feeling that something else is going on.  It could be masked under the terms “disaster and emergency situations” but what exactly is the reason?

imageThat remains to be seen:  Earth Changes, Economic Collapse, or Mass Terrorism by some of those 10’s of thousands of OTMs – Other Than Mexicans – who have been sneaking over the treasonously leaky southern border for decades is another bet.

In fact, as early as this 2005 Congressional Research Service Report, we can find data that suggests that the annual rate of “infiltration” was nearly 120,000 persons per year.  Not counting Mexicans!

It doesn’t take very much imagination to figure that when militant Islamists in places like Yemen are training their people to blow-up on command, that it would be simple to plan mass casualties in the US if a large enough cadre of under-cover illegals could be smuggled in.

Well, guess what?

I’ll be poking around for additional data for you, but this is a mighty damn curious thing for government to do:  Get all worked up over prepping.

Why now?  What’s the threat that is not revealed?   Simple questions; evasive answers.

Markets: Santa’s Day Off

Whatever has been in the pipe being passed around on Wall St. seems to have burned out, but only for a few days since we will be under some downside pressure selling now, through the end of the year.  Under current rules, I’m told that execution days are all you need for tax loss selling, but check with your accounting folks for details. I did mine weeks back.  I sit in cash while we get a bit of year end selling maybe.

Still, with a three day settlement, looks to me like that could put a damper on early market action today.

Our best guess would be a day or three (until the first of January) and then back into the parabolic rise which we expect to end badly in early 2014.

More after this:

Chicago:  Bike Tax

Ill winds from the blowhards of Windy City politics as the issue there is who should pay for bikeways.  So the city in its limited wisdom is looking at a $25/annual fee to ride a bike.

This kind of thing has been cooked up before, and fortunately it has been largely scuttled.  But in a country where most people are already paying tax rates in the vicinity of 25-45%, WTF comes with that tax load?

Even a moderate income family will be in the 25% federal income tax bracket.  Which might be OK, but no, it gets worse.  Much worse.

There’s another 9% in many states in sales taxes, and if not from sales taxes, then maybe you live in a state with a state income tax? 

OK, now since Chief Justice Roberts has said so, Obamacare is a tax, too, so throw that in.

Go to a sporting event and you can pay what amounts to the sports fan tax.  Fuel the car and look at the federal tax on that.  Screw jobs at every turn…

Still adding?  What about property tax?  A tax just to hang on to land you bought.  Even if you have crummy fire and police services.  Pay or your “silent partner” will foreclose, backed up by a SWAT Team if necessary. 

If we’re going to go down this “user tax” road, why not charge higher property taxes in poor parts of town?  After all, isn’t that where the crime is?  Oh, no, that would be labeled as racist or whatever. 

But fair is fair:  If you’re gong to allocate for one one user class, then by God do it for all.

And let’s start a petition to tax politicians at a special rate:  A 50% political hack tax.

Land of Double Standards

Oh, don’tcha love it?  The Washington Times reports “Feds charge white man with hate crime in first ‘knockout’ prosecution.”  Cool….

But wait!  Are they going to charge all the black perps equally?  I mean that’d be equality under the law, right?

Or,. once again, has the liberalista agenda/smear campaign against genuine (across the board) equality kicked in?

Wanna make a bet?

I am  all about equality…the real (no-agenda).total equality.  But this story this morning, well, it has the odor of selective enforcement, so we’ll be watching to see if non-white perps also get charged with hate crimes.

But somewhere in here you might get a sense of what my money’s on…real equality is good policy, it’s just not good for politics.

The Daily Bomber

Yes, if you were worried that the world would suddenly come to its senses overnight, not to worry.  In fact, we should start a whole new website that would be named: The Daily Bomber.

Blowing Up Egypt

Violence – as predicted – was sure to follow the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood – and sure enough, there’s a fine outbreak underway there now.

We have a shirt tail relative who’s going their for a visit shortly and the only question we could think of, upon hearing this, was “Can’t you ‘effing read?”

Blowing Up Lebanon

Pieces of the country’s former finance minister are now all over the place along with aides..

Blowing up Afghanistan

Car bomb.  Been done before.

Blowing up Somalia

Remote controlled one near a restaurant.  Also been done many times.

Blowing Up India

Bike bomber.  (We award this one extra points for novelty.)

Blowing Up China

Gas explosion. Accident.

Blowing Up Scotland

Explosion in Port Glasgow. Meth?

Blowing Up Missouri

Meth lab suspected.

I’m telling you, it could become a hit, stand-alone, website!  The Daily Bomber!

The Daily K

As much significant news as there may seem to be in the world, we continue to live in awe of the Kardashian press machine upon reading this morning’s headline: “Kourtney Kardashian is uncharacteristically dressed down as….”

This, my friend (people reading stuff like this in lieu of real news, or taking personal action to make calls, wake up friends, protest excessive government, and fight the cause for a reasonable world….well, it’s just not working out, is it?

3D Without Glasses

Is almost here. 

And, no, it won’t be free.