Wednesday AM ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~
Hospitals Sue to Keep Healthcare 
Prices Secret
Arnold Ahlert
Lindsey Graham Tears Into scumbag/liar-Schiff's Impeachment Behavior: 'He Needs To Stop'
By Jack Davis 
{ } ~ Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Sunday castigated House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff as well as House Democrats’ tactics... in their headlong drive to impeach President Donald Trump. scumbag/liar-Schiff “needs to stop,” Graham said, claiming the Intelligence Committee  chairman’s actions are “dangerous” to the principle of separation of powers and damaging to the nation as whole. “The whole process is illegitimate in the House,” Graham said on the Fox News show “Sunday Morning Futures.”Graham, who has argued in the past that public testimony from the whistleblower  who began the series of events leading to the current impeachment inquiry was essential, said his concerns have widened. “It’s not just the whistleblower. You don’t want to create a situation where an anonymous person can start impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States,” Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. Secrecy and the refusal of the accepted right to confront an accuser have made the House’s actions a violation of common fairness, he said.“This is a joke of a process. It’s dangerous to the country,” he said. Graham said that the inquiry is political.“This is being driven by scumbag/liar-Schiff and scumbag liar-Nadler, liar-Pelosi. Partisan people,” Graham said, citing House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. scumbag liar-Jerrold Nadler of New York and House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi. If there is a Senate trial, Graham said, it will not be a long one. “I’m going to try to get this over as quickly as possible,” Graham said, adding that he would let House Democrats present their case, and absent any new information, he would be ready to vote, with all non-impeachment issues to be handled “though congressional oversight.”...
Democrats unveil impeachment articles, as 
White House slams 'baseless and partisan' effort
By Brooke Singman
{ } ~ House Democrats on Tuesday introduced two articles of impeachment against President Trump alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress regarding his interactions with Ukraine... touching off a rapid-fire sequence that could result in a momentous floor vote in a matter of days. “The framers of the Constitution prescribed a clear remedy for presidents who so violate their oath of office,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman scumbag liar-Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. "No one, not even the president, is above the law.” His office later posted text of the articles, which declare Trump's actions warrant impeachment, trial and removal from office. The White House swiftly hit back, accusing Democrats of using the Ukraine issue as an excuse for "this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also countered at a GOP press conference that Trump's actions are "absolutely" not impeachable. "Other countries admire us because we believe in the rule of law, we believe in due process. But not in liar-Nancy Pelosi's House when she became speaker," he said. The key Democratic committee leaders, along with House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., outlined their impeachment plans in a brief and pointed statement to the media early Tuesday morning, and left without taking questions. scumbag liar-Nadler previewed two articles "charging the president with high crimes and misdemeanors." He said the first is dedicated to "abuse of power," alleging the president has "exercised the powers of his office for his personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the public interest." scumba liar-Nadler said Trump put himself before country while endangering national security and America's democracy...
IG Report Confirms scumbagt/liar-Schiff FISA 
Memo Media Praised Was Riddled With Lies 
By Mollie Hemingway
{ } ~ The new inspector general report on FISA abuse settles the debate between Republicans and Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence... Both groups put out memos about the Department of Justice’s efforts to secure a warrant to wiretap Carter Page. At the time of their release, the media praised Democrat scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff and his memo and vilified Republican Devin Nunes and his memo. Nearly two years later, the inspector general’s report vindicates the Nunes memo while showing that the scumbag/liar-Schiff memo was riddled with lies and false statements. The memo from the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee reported: A salacious and unverified dossier formed an essential part of the application to secure a warrant against a Trump campaign affiliate named Carter Page. This application failed to reveal that the dossier was bought and paid for by scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee...  The application cited a Yahoo News article extensively. The story did not corroborate the dossier, and the FBI wrongly claimed Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was not a source for the story...Nellie Ohr, the wife of a high-ranking Justice Department official, also worked on behalf of the scumbag/liar-Clinton campaign effort. Her husband Bruce Ohr funneled her research into the Department of Justice. Although he admitted that Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” this and the Ohrs’ relationship with the scumbag/liar-Clinton campaign was concealed from the secret court that grants surveillance warrants...The dossier was “only minimally corroborated” and unverified, according to FBI officials. All of these things were found to be true by the Inspector General Michael Horowitz in his December 9 report. In fact, Horowitz detailed rampant abuse that went far beyond these four items. The Democratic minority on the committee, then led by Rep. scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff, put out a response memo with competing claims: FBI and DOJ officials did not omit material information from the FISA warrant...The DOJ “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”...In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information that corroborated Steele’s reporting....The Page FISA warrant allowed the FBI to collect “valuable intelligence.”...“Far from ‘omitting’ material facts about Steele, as the Majority claims, DOJ repeatedly informed the Court about Steele’s background, credibility, and potential bias.”...The FBI conducted a “rigorous process” to vet Steele’s allegations, and the Page FISA application explained the FBI’s reasonable basis for finding Steele credible....Steele’s prior reporting was used in “criminal proceedings.” Each of these claims were found by Horowitz to be false...   
Iran is building tunnels in Syria 
near Iraq border for weapons
{ } ~ Iran has begun excavating tunnels at its Imam Ali base in Syria near the Iraqi border that will be used to store and move weapons... according to new satellite images and a report from Fox News. The base has been under construction for more than a year and is a key part of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria linking Iran via Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. Syrian, regional Arabic media and Russian sources have accused Israel of airstrikes at or near the location going back to June 2018. The tunnels are estimated to be 130 meters long and wide enough to drive a car through. Image Sat International (ISI), which provided the satellite images and wrote a report, noted that at least one tunnel is being excavated and that the construction accelerated “a few weeks after the base was attacked for the first time,” on September 9, 2019. In the wake of that attack, an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps group attempted to fire rockets at Israel from near Damascus.  “The tunnel excavation began not only in spite of the compound airstrike, but even as a lesson learned from the mentioned attack,” ISI wrote. Fox News said it consulted with Western intelligence sources which reviewed the information. The US has recently linked Iranian-backed groups to at least nine attacks near areas with US bases over the last year. These have involved rockets. In addition, Iraq’s government has accused Israel of several attacks in July and August. And Qais Khazali, leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia that was sanctioned by the US last week, has threatened the US and Israel. A New York Times report last week said that Iran transferred short range ballistic missiles to Iraq. Iran is building the Imam Ali base near a new border crossing at Albukamal in Syria. The border was reopened at the end of September after many years when it was closed due to the war on ISIS. But Iran’s base is in the desert just over some sand dunes near the crossing. It is now linked to the crossing...  
Chile loses contact with military plane headed 
to Antarctica, 38 on board
By Greg Norman
{ } ~ Chile’s president says his country is making “every humanly possible effort” Tuesday to find a military plane carrying 38 that vanished shortly after taking off for Antarctica... Officials lost contact with the C-130 Hercules aircraft at 6:13 p.m. Monday, less than 90 minutes after the plane departed from the city of Punta Arenas for a Chilean base on the world’s southernmost continent. The plane likely would have run out of fuel around 12:40 a.m. Tuesday, the air force said, adding that a search is now ongoing in the “sector where communication with the aircraft was lost, in order to rescue potential survivors." “With the help of many, we are making every humanly possible effort in the search tasks of the plane,”  Sebastian Pinera, Chile’s president, said Tuesday after speaking with Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro.He added that his “thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 38 crew members and passengers” onboard the missing plane. The aircraft was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, and was heading to Antarctica to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base. Drake's Passage, where the plane disappeared, is infamous for severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and ferocious storms. But Chile’s air force said late Monday that the weather was good when the plane began its flight, or the mission would not have been carried out. Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Brigade told local media that a search was underway and a ship was in the general area where the plane should have been when contact was lost. Mosqueira said the aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact. No emergency signals had been activated, he said. He said the plane, whose pilot had extensive experience, had been scheduled to return Monday night.
NYC Muslim Patrol: Bullying, 
Gangster Tactics Reported
by ~ “Bullying” and “gangster-like” tactics have been reported by locals in New York areas where the Muslim Community Patrol & Services operates... These tactics are beginning to create a backlash against the self-described “civilian patrol organization” among local residents. The Muslim patrol gained international attention in the fall of 2018 after several of its patrol cars — which look like New York Police Department (NYPD) cars –were spotted in Brooklyn and Staten Island. The patrol originally said its purpose was to serve as a liaison between Muslims and the NYPD. But after two consecutive mosque shootings in New Zealand last March, where a gunman live-streamed his murder of 51 Muslims on Facebook, the patrol publicly altered its purpose. It now describes itself as a law enforcement organization, claiming its goal is to “protect members of the local community from escalating quality-of-life nuisance crimes.” It’s precisely that “law enforcement” definition that is now landing the Muslim patrol into hot water with New York City residents, particularly those living in the Brooklyn area of Bedford-Stuyvesant. “They are bullying people and getting out of their patrol cars looking like gangsters,” said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “The people in Bed-Stuy don’t want them there.” The Muslim patrol originally had a force of three patrol cars when it first formed in November 2018, but it now has seven cars on the streets of New York with the intention of purchasing 23 more cars in the near future. The Muslim patrol’s cars are nearly identical to NYPD patrol cars. Both use Ford Taurus’ and have similar decal schemes, colors and emblems...
Hospitals Sue to Keep Healthcare 
Prices Secret
Arnold Ahlert: Of all the insults to their collective intelligence and dignity Americans put up with, perhaps none is more infuriating than the quintessential Q&A that makes an utter mockery of the healthcare industry’s consumer-provider relationship. Question: How much does this procedure cost? Answer: What insurance do you have?

Applying the same “standard” to any other consumer-provider transaction reveals its bankruptcy. How much is that loaf of bread? What will it cost me to fix my car? To apply progressive-speak to the equation, what the healthcare industry wholly embraces is price “fluidity” more familiarly known as “why should you care, your insurance company is footing most of the bill?”

How about because the United States spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation in the world by a considerable margin?

Think price transparency would help? The Trump administration does. On Nov. 15, 2019, it announced that it would begin requiring hospitals to publicly disclose the discounted prices they negotiate with insurance companies. The rule would kick in beginning in 2021, as part of an administration effort to make the entire healthcare market more transparent. In addition, the administration is also proposing a rule that would require insurers to provide patients with advanced estimates of their out-of-pocket costs before they see a doctor or go to the hospital.

“For decades, hospitals, insurance companies, lobbyists and special interests have hidden prices from consumers, so they could drive up costs for you, and you had no idea what was happening,” President Trump stated that afternoon. “You’d get bills that were unbelievable and you’d have no idea why.”

Patients, he added, have “been ripped off for years.”

The reaction by a representative of the rip-off artists? “This is a very radical proposal,” said Tom Nickels, an executive vice president with the American Hospital Association, an industry trade group. Why? Because it would reveal industry “trade secrets,” as in which insurance companies, a.k.a. the middlemen, get preferential deals that other insurance companies — and patients themselves — don’t get.

Subsequently, a joint statement issued by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals revealed the just how far the rest of the rip-off artists were willing to go in their attempt to bamboozle the public:

Today’s rule mandating the public disclosure of privately negotiated rates between commercial health insurance companies and hospitals is a setback in efforts to provide patients with the most relevant information they need to make informed decisions about their care. Instead of helping patients know their out-of-pocket costs, this rule will introduce widespread confusion, [and] accelerate anticompetitive behavior among health insurers…

Got that? Price transparency will not only confuse the public, it’s anti-competitive.

Thus, it must be prevented. “The nation’s hospital groups sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over a new federal rule that would require them to disclose the discounted prices they give insurers for all sorts of procedures,” The New York Times reported last week. In the suit itself the plaintiffs insist there is “no actual statutory basis” for the requirement.

“America’s hospitals and health systems are committed to providing patients with the financial information they need to make informed decisions about their health care,” the suit adds. “That is the out-of-pocket amounts patients will be expected to pay for that care, recognizing that each patient’s circumstances will be differently affected by numerous variables in their health insurance coverage.”

That first sentence is an outright lie, because if it weren’t, they wouldn’t be suing in the first place. Moreover, what could be more germane to making informed decisions than knowing what something costs? And why should there be different prices for the same procedures, other than to accommodate the aforementioned middleman?

Because protecting the provider-middleman relationship is their highest priority.

Forbes Magazine Senior Contributor Adam Andrzejewski  illuminates why. An oversight report of the industry reveals that so-called “nonprofit” hospitals are raking Americans over the coals.

“We found that these hospitals add billions of dollars annually to their bottom line, lavishly compensate their CEOs, and spend millions of dollars, which are generated by patient fees, lobbying government to defend the status quo,” Andrzejewski reveals. “Last year, patients spent 1 out of every 7 U.S. healthcare dollars within these powerful networks.”

On what? “Collectively, $297.5 million in cash compensation flowed to the top paid executive at each of the 82 hospitals,” Andrzejewski adds. “We found payouts as high as $10 million, $18 million and even $21.6 million per CEO or other top-paid employee.”

It gets worse. Even after these exorbitant payouts, these “nonprofits” increased their collective bottom lines by nearly $40 billion between 2017 and 2018, from $164.1 billion to $203.2 billion. That represents a 23.6% growth, year-over-year, in net assets.

Equally revealing, these 82 hospitals spent $26.4 million on lobbying to maintain that contemptible status quo — one that has seen healthcare costs rise from 7% of GDP in 1970 to an estimated 20% of GDP today.

Incredibly, the suit not only alleges that the requirement to provide price transparency runs afoul of First Amendment protections “because it mandates speech in a manner that fails to directly advance a substantial government interest,” it asserts that providing the consumer with gross charges, payer-specific rates, minimum and maximum negotiated charges, and the amount the hospital is willing to accept in cash from a patient would create a file so large it “could easily crash most standard computer systems, and some members worry about the ability of their websites to function at all with such a large file.”

As columnist Don Surber wryly notes, the cafeterias in those same hospitals are required to disclose how many calories are contained in a meal, even as the prices of services critical to patient needs must remain a secret.

He also explains the real motive behind this lawsuit, writing, “These hospital oligarchs fear a price war fueled by posting prices will cut into that $40 billion a year in profits they make.”

What would that precipitate? “Once informed consumers correct the market by exercising free choice and stimulating competition, health-care prices will go down to where they belong,” asserts Marni Jameson Carey, executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors.

Moreover, decreasing healthcare costs will also precipitate a ripple effect. “As employers’ health-care costs go down, so will the costs of goods and services,” Carey adds. “Going out to dinner will cost less. That 6 to 8 percent a year increase in health premiums employers have been shelling out can start going toward raises and to more jobs. And maybe instead of spending one of every five dollars we earn on health care, we can spend more like one in ten.”

The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Here’s hoping the Court recognizes that price transparency, and the cost-reducing competition it would engender, is more important than the preservation of a self-serving, de facto cartel.

The health of millions of Americans — both physical and financial — depends on it.   ~The Patriot Post  

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