Friday, August 16, 2019

Some Answers Are Just That Simple

My only child, my son died 6 years ago-- a massive heart attack. He was only 34. Like his father he couldn't afford health care. We are killing our children America. Want to grow old all alone with no one to look after you like I am doing? Let America's health care system remain as it is. You'll die alone. And you'll deserve to die alone because you did nothing to change it.

Single payer is the only solution proven to work world over.

Share this post and vote for the candidate who is committed to single payer health care or be prepared to die alone.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

On what's happening in Indian controlled Kashmir, which doesn't seem important to American media

"India’s portion of the disputed Kashmir region, which is under a military lockdown after India removed its semiautonomous status last week, saw protests over the weekend as residents emerged from their homes in greater numbers for the first time in nearly a week.

...Nearly all communication links to the area remained blocked, including the internet and mobile and land-based telephone lines.

The Indian government put Jammu and Kashmir state directly under the central government early last week, permanently ending the measure of autonomy the state had enjoyed.

...Gatherings in public are illegal under the military clampdown.

The streets remained lined with a heavy military presence, frequent checkpoints and coiled concertina wire."


"...Mr Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party ended self rule in Kashmir for the first time since 1947 on Monday. He scrapped Article 35A that banned non-permanent residents of Kashmir from buying land and property or seeking employment in the state.

In a rare interview with western press by a BJP official, Ram Madhav, the party secretary, told The Sunday Telegraph the government was already looking to set-up special territories in Kashmir for returning Hindus, adding that all legal channels were now open.

“Someone who has the key for his home could claim it and if someone stalls him he could go to the police or the court to get his property back,” added Krishna Saagar Rao, Chief Spokesperson at the BJP, citing party ideology. He said that new powers giving greater control over the state through the national police force will make it safe for returning Hindus.

...In Pakistan, which maintains its claim to rule Kashmir in its entirety, Pervez Musharaf, the former president, accused Mr Modi of emulating Israeli policy by annexing land for resettlement, while Raja Farooq Haider Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, warned “there will be a great unrest in Kashmir, there will be killings in Kashmir” if mass Hindu migration caused demographic change.

“Establishing Hindu settlements is a nefarious act to change the fabric of Kashmir from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority,” said Mr Musharaf, the former President of Pakistan.

...Kashmiris living under the current lockdown told The Sunday Telegraph that tension was already high. Residents said the strict curfew meant they would be shot on sight if they left their homes, adding that many were starving as they are unable to access food and dying in the streets as they were refused access to hospitals.

Up to 500 people - including university professors, business leaders and political activists - have also allegedly been detained by the Indian authorities."

"Hundreds have been arrested since Monday, according to local media, in the wake of the decision by Modi's Hindu-nationalist government to downgrade the portion of Kashmir it administers from statehood to a territory, limit its decision-making power and eliminate its right to its own constitution.

...University professors, business leaders and activists are among the 560 people rounded up by authorities and taken to makeshift detention centres - some during midnight raids - in the cities of Srinagar, Baramulla and Gurez, the Press Trust of India and the Indian Express reported.

Thousands of paramilitary police on Thursday remained deployed in Kashmir's largest city, Srinagar, and schools were shut and roads and neighbourhoods barricaded to stop public demonstrations against the sweeping changes.

Since the announcement of the revocation of Article 370 by India's Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah, social media has been flooded with purported advertisements offering plots of lands for sale in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Article 370 was preventing Indians outside Jammu and Kashmir from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing education scholarships.

"This government claims that such a move was necessary for the full integration of the state and for its prosperity and development. But you see the mentality of the Indians, they are more interested in land than in the people of Kashmir," Syed Muntazir, a Kashmiri student at New Delhi-based Jamia Millia University, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday at a protest against the move in the Indian capital.

"Since yesterday, my friends from different parts of India and in the university have called to ask about the land rates in Srinagar, Anantnag and other parts of the region. They want me to tell them which is the best place to buy land."

Critics of the BJP have also accused it of changing the constitution to shift Jammu and Kashmir's demographics - it is currently majority Muslim - as well as to pander to its Hindu nationalist base, which has long demanded the right to own property in Kashmir."
Atmosphere of fear

By Aamir Peerzada, BBC News, Srinagar

By the time we woke up this morning, the internet was gone and we now have no mobile connectivity.

If people step out of their homes, they see paramilitary forces on every street. Almost every major road is shut - we are hearing that more troops are being deployed.

No-one knows what is happening in other parts of the state - we can't talk to anyone else.

People are concerned - they don't know what is happening, they don't know what is going to happen.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The "Right" To Borders

What gives the US or any other country the "right" to establish a border other than the "nation or "tribe's" ability to draw and enforce lines in the sand, tax, etc.... ?"

Does might make right?

How is it that someone who spent his or her life protecting and serving ALL THE PEOPLE, who swore an oath, can take the side of those who have, for hundreds of years, thousands even, used violence to "draw and enforce lines in the sand, tax, etc...." solely for profit?

Are laws not meant to protect everyone equally?

Are rights not granted by God? Or do we as Americans, bow to some king, government, or invisible state that decides who has rights and who doesn't?

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

And lest we forget:

"The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the LORD am your God."
— Leviticus 19:34

When you call them "illegal" are you talking about man's law or God's law?

Even though the Bible tells us to "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" it goes on to say "and to God the things that are God's."

Nowhere in your Bibles does it say children belong to Caesar. Children belong only to God.

National security?

History has shown us that borders and walls do nothing to protect national security. The Walls of Jericho came tumbling down. Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes rode over and around the Great Wall of China. Every wall ever built was eventually breached.

It's history, look it up.

Building walls only forces an enemy to take the time to become stronger before they attack. And in the meantime those who hide behind the wall become fat, lazy, and complacent. Think about it, America can't even maintain it's life blood, our Interstate Highway System, how well do you think a wall out in the desert will be maintained? In 20 years the wall will be scrap metal.

Borders were designed for taxation-- figure it out. Municipal, county, state, national, all borders exist to collect tax dollars from those who reside within. Cities, counties, states, and nations all argue and fight over borders in order to gain control of the largest numbers of taxpayers and tax dollars.
After all, when has any city, county, state, or nation ever said, "We don't want that land because we cannot afford to patrol it, protect it, maintain it, etc, etc?"

The answer: Never.

So what is the solution?

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
We have the money but instead of spending it to help people we chose to spend it on wars not for freedom but for profit.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"There is a presumption of innocence for all criminal investigations"

"The prosecutor must find evidence of guilt sufficient to sustain a prosecution.  This is well beyond probable cause; that just gets you a search warrant.  To actually sustain a prosecution you actually need something beyond a preponderance of evidence -- but exactly how far you must get beyond that point is a prosecutorial decision, mostly grounded in how much risk the department is willing to take of losing at trial.

Then the jury (or judge, if the accused so chooses) must find sufficient evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

There's a reason that if you get charged on a federal crime 99% of the time you're screwed; the prosecutors know these are the rules and they require well beyond "a preponderance of the evidence" before bringing a charge in the first place -- in no small part because the prestige and authority of their office rests primarily on only charging that which they are quite sure they can win convictions on.

There is not only no authority to "imply" guilt there is no authority to write a report implying same.

It's illegal to do so under the presumption that all persons have of innocence which, if rebutted by evidence, leads to a criminal charge.

You either charge a crime or you don't.

That's the beginning and end of the debate.

Mueller ...was forced to admit he could not cite a single regulation, law or practice within the DOJ for what he wrote in the second part of the report."
"Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a third-term congressman, became an instant star on the right for his aggressive questioning of Mueller.

Ratcliffe argued that Mueller and his team had placed an unfair “inverted burden of proof” on the president in relation to obstruction of justice — in essence, demanding that Trump should prove his innocence, rather than being entitled to the presumption of it."
"May 6, 2019; Mueller Rewrites Jurisprudence – Guilty Until Proven Innocent
By Brian C. Joondeph

American jurisprudence is based on the presumption of innocence -- in other words, innocent until proven guilty. The accused remains innocent unless and until the prosecution can convince a judge or jury that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Exoneration is not part of this equation for it represents the exact opposite principle, namely guilty until proven innocent. This is an impossible standard as it requires proving a negative. How does one prove that he or she didn’t commit a crime? How does one prove that Elvis or JFK aren’t still alive, conspiracy theories aside? Exoneration is an impossible standard and turns the American judicial system upside down.

This is just what Special Counsel Robert Mueller did in his final report on Russian collusion...

White House Special Counsel to the President, Emmett Flood, laid it all out in a recent letter to Attorney General Barr. The purpose of the letter was a rebuttal, an on-the-record response to the Mueller report.

Flood began by saying that the Mueller report “Suffers from an extraordinary legal defect. It quite deliberately fails to comply with the requirements of governing law.”  This is a roundabout way of saying the report is illegal.

Flood went on in his four-page letter to the obstruction component, which as an aside was not the original intention of the special counsel. Remember Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s letter from May 2017 appointing a special counsel? In that letter, Rosenstein tasked Mueller with investigating, “Any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

That was the collusion component and definitively addressed in part one of Mueller’s report. Interestingly, as we are learning now, there was no basis to investigate Russian collusion in the first place. The premise of Trump campaign surrogates conspiring with Russians was all a set-up, based on “spies” inserted into the Trump campaign as begrudgingly reported recently by the NY Times.

Or as Byron York reported, “There are indications that special counsel prosecutors mostly knew by the end of 2017, and certainly by a few months later, that the evidence would not establish that conspiracy or coordination had taken place.”

This entire investigatory spectacle could have ended well over a year ago with a “no collusion” verdict, allowing the President to function without the cloud of Mueller and predicted indictments shadowing Trump’s every move and decision.

How might foreign leaders have been more amenable to working with the Trump administration knowing Trump wasn’t a Russian agent, as asserted repeatedly by high ranking Obama justice and intelligence officials claiming just that on cable news shows? Would the midterm elections have turned out differently? Would dozens of Republican members of Congress not have retired if they knew for certain that the leader of their party wasn’t a traitor, as they were hearing daily on the news?

Instead Mueller and his team pivoted to obstruction, and without Whitaker, then Barr, telling Mueller to wrap things up, the investigation would have dragged on for up to six more years, an albatross hanging around the neck of the Trump administration, in essence nullifying a presidential election.

This alone violated two constitutional amendments. The President lost his Fourth Amendment protections regarding “probable cause.” If the entire collusion premise was based on a phony unverified dossier and spies inserted into the Trump campaign to entrap George Papadopoulos, there was no “probable cause” to investigate collusion.

Then there is the Sixth Amendment, which provides a trial “without unnecessary delay,” not an endless one-sided investigation. There is also the “right to an impartial jury,” in this case the media acting as jury, reporting daily on the investigation, including material leaked to the media from investigators, with media coverage being 90-plus percent negative toward the President.

Finally, there is the presumption of innocence. As Emmett Flood explained,

What prosecutors are supposed to do is complete an investigation and then either ask the grand jury to return an indictment or decline to charge the case. When prosecutors decline to charge. they make that decision not because they have “conclusively determin[ed] that no criminal conduct occurred,” but rather because they do not believe that the investigated conduct constitutes a crime for which all the elements can be proven to the satisfaction of jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors simply are not in the business of establishing innocence. any more than they are in the business of "exonerating" investigated persons. In the American justice system, innocence is presumed; there is never any need for prosecutors to “conclusively determine” it. Nor is there any place for such a determination. Our country would be a very different (and very dangerous) place if prosecutors applied the SCO standard and citizens were obliged to prove “conclusively . . . that no criminal conduct occurred.”

Boom! The entire second part of the Muller report has turned American jurisprudence upside down. Mueller’s job was to investigate and either find the evidence to bring obstruction charges against Trump or not. If no charges, then the accused is presumed innocent. Exoneration is not part of the equation.

Instead Mueller used, as Flood described as an “inverted-proof-standard” with so-called exoneration as a “political statement.”  Meaning Mueller did not do his job. “The inverted burden of proof knowingly embedded in the conclusion shows that the Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors.”

It’s now blatantly obvious that the purpose of the obstruction portion of the report was to provide a “roadmap to impeachment” for Congress. Mueller did an investigation using resources and powers that Nadler and Schiff don’t have within their committees. Basically, Mueller did their homework for them and handed them a completed assignment.

Impeachment is a political remedy and the obstruction case is all laid out for them should they choose to pursue it, which is a political decision for Democrats. Given the recent news of the blockbuster economy and Trump’s approval numbers, Democrats can cry obstruction all they want, but for impeachment they will be playing a pair of kings against Trump holding a straight flush.

Mueller’s legacy, besides coming up empty, is inverting the presumption of innocence. Aside from, as Flood described, “causing immense and continuing interference with the function of the Executive Branch”, this is setting a dangerous precedent.

Justice Kavanaugh was presumed guilty with demands that he prove his innocence. Nick Sandmann was also presumed guilty by partisan media outlets eager to push a particular narrative. Fortunately, justice prevailed. Kavanaugh is on the high court and several media organizations are facing nine-figure lawsuits over their deliberate deceptive reporting of Sandmann.

Trump too will have his day as Team Barr and declassifications open the curtain on this entire sordid mess. And if the wrong doers are not severely punished and publicly shamed, the big loser is American jurisprudence. The opposite of “innocent until proven guilty” is the KGB and the Stasi. Is that the kind of power we want our justice system wielding?

Image credit: Donkey Hotey (croppped)

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

American jurisprudence is based on the presumption of innocence -- in other words, innocent until proven guilty. The accused remains innocent unless and until the prosecution can convince a judge or jury that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Exoneration is not part of this equation for it represents the exact opposite principle, namely guilty until proven innocent. This is an impossible standard as it requires proving a negative. How does one prove that he or she didn’t commit a crime? How does one prove that Elvis or JFK aren’t still alive, conspiracy theories aside? Exoneration is an impossible standard and turns the American judicial system upside down.

This is just what Special Counsel Robert Mueller did in his final report on Russian collusion.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Is The Smokeable Hemp Debate Just A Bunch Of Smoke?

Perhaps you have read or seen recent media reports stating that various law enforcement agencies want to make it illegal to drive while using smokeable hemp, a form of Cannabis that does not contain THC and is legal in North Carolina?

Users of Smokeable Hemp use it as a cheaper alternative to CDB for pain relief and health benefits.

North Carolina farmers are very concerned about the possible ban because hemp has the potential to become a very lucrative crop for them.

Law enforcement agencies are asking for the ban because they claim they are unable to tell the difference between Hemp and marijuana.... But is that true?

A Google search using the words marijuana breathalyzer turns up a number of companies that claim to already sell devices that officers can use at traffic stops to test for marijuana and several other companies that claim such products will be on the market very soon. Are these claims real? I don't know but if I were a con man there are lots of folks I'd attempt to con before I started trying to con cops.

Then there's this: If you are caught in possession of marijuana, even if you are not driving, how do the police determine that what you have is actually marijuana and not hemp... or parsley? Just looking and smelling isn't going to stand up in court. I mean the smell might have come from the Boy Smells Purple Kush Scented Candles sold by Nordstrom or the his and her favorite Marijuana Perfume by Kolmaz.

Get real, People, court convictions require real evidence and making something illegal just because law enforcement is difficult does not make it right. Could it be someone in the CDB manufacturing business doesn't want to compete with cheaper Smokeable Hemp. Before you brand me a conspiracy theorist keep in mind that Hemp and Marijuana were first made illegal because of efforts by competing industries.

From WRAL in Raleigh: Perhaps this is the real reason they want to make Smokeable Hemp illegal:

"If this bill passes without the ban, we will put 800 of our law enforcement dogs and their handlers out of business," Dixon said."

Cops trying to protect other cops with no concern about the health of those persons who have managed to better their lives by treating illnesses with the best product available to them at the lowest possible cost. Yep, same old story, competing industries who don't give a damn about anyone other than themselves.

Show me a police department anywhere in the State of North Carolina that wouldn't hire more officers if they could, dogs or not. And do these dogs serve no purpose than to sniff drugs?

Will a dog's nose stand up in court or does the marijuana the dog finds also have to be tested by some scientific process? Sure the dog's nose meets probable cause but can a conviction be based solely on a dog's nose? I mean the smell might have come from the Boy Smells Purple Kush Scented Candles sold by Nordstrom or the his and her favorite Marijuana Perfume by Kolmaz. Can a dog tell the difference? To confirm my suspisions I contacted retired DEA Special Agent Fred Gregory who lives here in Greensboro and sent him the following e-mail:

"As a DEA agent did you ever have to confirm the THC content or strain of  marijuana to prove it was in-fact marijuana and not industrial help?
It seems to me that even though both are/were illegal, as marijuana is a Schedule I drug and Hemp is not a Schedule I drug that any good attorney could use the failure to produce test results as an easy means to get a case thrown out of court.


Fred replied the next day:


All DEA seizures or purchases of marijuana are submitted to one of the DEA labs where chemists conduct tests on the substance and  send the reporting  office a written report. In most cases the defense would accept the chemist's findings. Once in  while some a-hole attorney would require the chemist to come to court and testify. I think our chemists were exceptionally well trained and experienced enough to distinguish the two .

Actually, I think in the 7 years I was Agent-In-Charge of DEA Greensboro ( Middle and Western Federal judicial Districts) that we only brought only one marijuana case to Federal court and that was a 1200 pound hashish seizure. 



I think I've made my case that a dog's nose will not stand up in court and therefore the argument that putting drug sniffing dogs out of work is reason enough to make Smokeable Hemp illegal. As for the handlers, perhaps they could be reassigned to the much bigger problem of distracted driving.

And perhaps the SBI and FBI need to be looking into the possibility that manufacturers of CDB and Big Pharma are pushing to make Smokeable Hemp illegal? Yep, it's a conspiracy theory but quite often conspiracies turn out to be real. Don't you think we should know before new legislation is passed?

Share with everyone you know including your elected representatives to find out.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Acts of cowardice by Greensboro's News and Record and its editorial page editor Allen Johnson

Sunday, April 21, 2019; "Allen Johnson's deafening silence on N.C. Treasurer Folwell's plan to increase transparency and lower healthcare costs"

State Treasurer Dale Folwell is trying to keep North Carolina’s State Health Plan
projected to run out of money in 2023, solvent,
while Greensboro and North Carolina's media don't bother to actually investigate
and editorial page editors like Allen Johnson sit on the sidelines.

The State Health Plan Board of Trustees unanimously approved Folwells plan,
yet our corporate, for profit 'news industry' won't provide any numbers
or show examples of how the health industry is ripping off North Carolinians.

A starting teacher or trooper has to work one week out of every work month 
just to afford the family premium for health care.  

The current plan is unsustainable.  

The increased money we get is 4 percent a year 
and our health care costs are going up more than that 
and our prescription drugs are double digit.

Dale Folwell

Folwell says state auditors “do not have access to the contracts and cannot verify that the State Health Plan is receiving the proper contractual discounts."  A public records request his office made for medical procedure price lists from UNC Health Care provided only reams of redacted pages, and people like Allen Johnson won't speak up on the issue.

Allen Johnson let Cone Health run an opinion piece on keeping the con in place by the CEO, but has yet to write anything himself on the subject.

Allen Johnson let Cone Health CEO Terry Akins, who made more than $1.7 million in 2017, cite a "$26 million a year to our bottom line" potential annual loss for a 'non-profit' which "reported $110.4 million in "excess revenue," which is akin to profit for a for-profit organization" according to the News and Record.

The News and Record's Taft Wireback asked NC Treasurer Dale Folwell where the $26 million number came from, but not Cone CEO Terry Akins, who Wireback reported "Cone Health's CEO also said in an internal email that the Clear Pricing Project would cost the hospital an additional $26 million."

The state treasurer’s cuts — $26 million a year to our bottom line
...would reduce our yearly operating margin by nearly half. 

That means Cone Health would have almost 50 percent fewer dollars to invest in facilities,
employees and services that keep you healthy and well.

Cone Health CEO Terry Akins
Allowed to lie to the public by Greensboro's News and Record
Opinion Page Column, Feb 17, 2019 
Allowed to run by Allen Johnson, who has yet to chime in on the issue

Sunday, July 14, 2019; News and Record's "Cone Health, state remain at odds over new State Health Plan" with no investigative reporting on health care pricing

WFMY reported Folwell saying "Cone Health says the state health plan makes up only 5% of their revenue but they claim that it will cost them 50% of their profit."

"Those two numbers just don't add up," he added.

Carolina Journal reported "The State Health Plan’s actuary says Folwell’s changes would avoid $486 million in extra health plan costs through fiscal year 2021-22, and an extra $1.1 billion in unfunded liabilities. The General Assembly’s actuary puts the additional claims costs at $534 million, and pegs new unfunded liabilities at $1 billion", but the News and Record and our 'mainstream' local and state media can't bring themselves to informing the public about actually useful information

The medical industry is chock full of thieves, which includes local physicians and providers who play dumb about skyrocketing costs.

How many families did Cone Health force into bankruptcy last year?

Our media and government let the healthcare industry fleece consumers.

Our 'leaders' barred drug re-importation from Canada at the expense of ordinary Americans and Warren Buffet's News and Record etc... let them without much of a peep as the advertising money rushed in.

The scene from Lake Jeannette:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


You know, I've long supported BJ Barnes, voting for him time and time again right up to and including his last election which he lost because he went over the top politically. And in his most recent Facebook post you can see how he will make up any lie that suits his agenda.

I have never supported Bill or Hillary Clinton

I don't even know who Mr Barnes is running against but it is apparent he is willing to tell any lie necessary to become Mayor of Stokesdale, North Carolina.

He goes on to lie again:

You see, I voted for Ross Perot-- twice. I hated Bill Clinton when he was Governor of Arkansas and I was having to deal with what I believed was the most crooked law enforcement agency in the nation-- the Arkansas DOT-- on a weekly basis while working as a long haul trucker. And I despised Hillary just as badly.

And now BJ Barnes ASSumes that because I'm not a supporter of President Trump that I must be a supporter of the Clintons. Well go ahead and search my Facebook page and see for yourself where I have ever supported the Clintons.

Honesty above ideology is what I live by. There was a time when I thought BJ Barnes lived that way too.

Update: July 17, 2019 9:41 AM It appears that Mr Barnes has deleted or hidden my comments in an attempt to hide his lies:

If BJ Barnes were already elected to Mayor of Summerfield it would be illegal for him to delete such comments. Is this an example of how he plans to run Summerfield, in secret, behind closed doors, and in fear of criticism, striking out at people for nothing more than asking simple questions, then hiding the evidence of his actions.

This one will never go away Mr Barnes. Not only are you a liar but politically you are a coward.

Why Local Leaders Always Fail At Economic Development

The fact is: attracting big businesses to any city is a fallacy. At least, the kinds of big businesses that don't simply pull up stakes and move every few years or keep demanding ransom in the form of incentives. So attracting big businesses is off the table, a total waste of time and money.

A fiscal conservative policy would be to help create the kinds of small businesses that have the potential to someday become big businesses.

For example: Look at Proctor and Gamble. Sure, P&G has plants in Greensboro but every few years P&G demands new incentives to stay. But P&G never threatens to leave their home town in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rarely does a business leave home even if it becomes world wide.

General Electric still maintains a plant in Schenectady, New York, where it was founded despite moving its headquarters to NYC.

The best thing we can do is keep out of town big businesses away and change our focus to help grow small businesses that will someday become industry giants.

But those kinds of businesses won't be downtown, they won't be restaurants, microbreweries, real estate development, night clubs, hotels, or any of the BS our current morons downtown continue to fund.

Learn it, know it, and spread the word if you plan to change our city.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

News and Record's "Cone Health, state remain at odds over new State Health Plan" with no investigative reporting on health care pricing

"Casual observers might have been surprised by the anger and vitriol in a recent email from a Cone Health official to leaders of the State Health Plan.

But Cone Assistant Director of Finance Frank Kauder’s impassioned diatribe was just the most extreme salvo in a long-simmering feud pitting North Carolina’s major health care systems against state Treasurer Dale Folwell, the health plan’s supervisory board and those who speak for thousands of state employees.

“Your plan to cut payments to hospitals could possibly be the most moronic idea I have ever seen come out of our state government,” Kauder said in his blunt critique that closed by urging the recipients to “burn in hell you sorry (SOBs).”

Backed by the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Folwell has been trying since last year to clarify in precise, contractual terms what health care systems can charge for each of the various conditions and ailments they treat.

For example?

Nothing by the News and Record's lead investigative reporter

The aim is to bring down costs overall and make sure that plan members know in advance what various treatments likely will cost them.

For example?

Why not pick something Cone Health refuses to clarify?

Provide an example of what Cone Health does clarify.

Folwell said ...what hospitals and other health-care providers are charging the State Health Plan for their services must be lowered significantly in a “transparent” format with pricing that everyone can understand.

“These days, people don’t consume health care. It consumes them,” Folwell said.

...“We’ve been asking since 2011 for transparency,” said Ardis Watkins, director of government relations for the state employees association. “We’ve seen state audit after state audit saying, ‘You need to know what you’re paying.’”

“The system is not broken. It was designed that way,” Watkins said of the current pricing regime. “But we are not tolerating the way the system is designed any more.”

Why didn't Taft Wireback note Cone Health CEO Terry Akins 
made more than $1.7 million in 2017?

..."It’s great that university and other state employees occasionally get pay raises, he said. But if the cost of their health care rises dramatically, the value of any increase declines proportionately", And for those employees who have seen little or no salary growth in recent years, “you have a situation where you’re actually going backward”...
Ed Cone is on the Cone Health Board Of Trustees

What's your defense of non-transparency Ed?
"It's [Clear Pricing Project] been looked at, in 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

This has been looked at for 30 years. 

And it's the reason why the state health plan 
is one of the most insolvent in the United States."

North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell 

"Cone Health's CEO also said in an internal email that the Clear Pricing Project would cost the hospital an additional $26 million. We asked the treasurer where that number came from.

Cone reported Nov. 28 that net patient revenue was up 7.7% to $1.78 billion for fiscal 2018.

It reported $110.4 million in "excess revenue," 
which is akin to profit for a for-profit organization.

Greensboro's News and Record

He says he has no idea where that number came from. He went on to say that Cone Health says the state health plan makes up only 5% of their revenue but they claim that it will cost them 50% of their profit.

"Those two numbers just don't add up," he added.
2/17/14; A conversation between Ed Cone and George Hartzman on Obamacare etc...

3/18/14; Words I intend to deliver to Greensboro's City Council this evening on Medicaid expansion in North Carolina
Other notable Cone Health Board Of Trustees;

J. Edward Kitchen

David F. Leeper

M. Lee McAllister

Carole Simms

These folks don't want their customers knowing 
how much Cone Health charges for services
before services are provided.

It's a mandatory part of the role to be a board member
of an organization which fleeces it's patients.

Notable Cone Health Foundation Board Of Trustees;

Tom Cone
Ott, Cone & Redpath, PA

Ross Harris
Executive Director, NC Institute of Political Leadership

Rev. Chesley "Ches" Kennedy
Director of Development University of North Carolina at Greensboro
College of Arts and Sciences

Afrique Kilimanjaro
Newspaper Editor, The Carolina Peacemaker

Robert Pompey, Jr.
Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

How many lawsuits has Cone Health filed against patients over the last five years?

How many lives ruined?

Cone Health CEO Terry Akins made more than $1.7 million in 2017.

Cone Health 2017 990;
"Cone's facilities, doctors could be out-of-network for state employees starting Jan. 1 after the health-care system rejects new reimbursement plan

Cone Health said Monday it will not sign a contract for the State Health Plan's new reimbursement program, meaning Cone's facilities and doctors could be out-of-network for state employees starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Cone is the first Triad health-care system to reject the Clear Pricing Project contract championed by state Treasurer Dale Folwell.

Folwell launched in October his attempt to move the SHP to a government pricing model tied to Medicare reimbursement rates, which typically are lower than hospitals currently receive for services.

...Cone reported Nov. 28 that net patient revenue was up 7.7% to $1.78 billion for fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30. It reported $110.4 million in "excess revenue," which is akin to profit for a for-profit organization.
Allen Johnson's deafening silence on N.C. Treasurer Folwell's plan to increase transparency and lower healthcare costs

Cone Health is a Racket;

How many families did Cone Health force into bankruptcy last year?

Cone Health's success at stealing from patients and bankrupting families within our local overpriced healthcare monopoly

Our healthcare system is a legal theft racket supported by our nation's media industry

What Warren Buffett's outlets won't report; "Colombia Fears U.S. May Reject Peace Plan To Protect Pharma Profits"

The Healthcare Industry is a legal racket

A few tidbits on Social Security and Medicare and our nation's other "non-discretionary" social spending too many are relying on

Greensboro City Council succumbs to extortion by UnitedHealthcare

America is getting Ripped Off on Healthcare

From Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to an reader; A 425% increase in health care insurance premium for 2018

Excerpts from my 3/26/2014 Yes Weekly Article; "On Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina" ACA, Obamacare, CBO, SGR and the Doc Fix

Dear Greensboro's Andrew Brod, On the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Obamacare) and Deficit Projections, of which Dr. Brod was Incorrect

"...according to the Congressional Budget Office, the ACA as a whole, including Medicaid expansion, will slightly reduce the deficit during the next 10 years, precisely because it includes various taxes and fees. Expanding Medicaid might mean bigger government, but not a bigger deficit.

Andrew Brod
March 28, 2014

3/19/14; Dr. Andrew Brod, my deadline for this article is Monday morning at 10am.

I believe you are not telling the truth. If you would like to provide proof that you are not, please do so, otherwise the following should be published in Yes Weekly next Wednesday;

"On March 21, 2014, the Obama administration's stated "the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit, saving over $200 billion over 10 years".

In online debates at Council Member Tony Wilkins' Facebook page and Ed Cone's blog before and after the council debate, UNCG Senior Research Fellow Dr. Andrew Brod stated "It's silly to say that the ACA is "mathematically unsustainable." The best math we have on this are projections by the CBO [Congressional Budget Office], indicate that the ACA is quite sustainable. The CBO projects that the ACA will (slightly) reduce the federal deficit” and "the ACA will reduce the federal deficit over time, precisely because "how we pay for it" has already been nailed down in the law."

Directly contradicting the Obama administration and Dr. Brod's assertions, Table B-1 of a February, 2014 report by the CBO entitled "Effects on the Deficit of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act" says the Net Cost of Coverage Provisions to the federal government is projected to be $1.487 Trillion between 2015 and 2024."

Guilford County's 10 largest employers
Aug 26, 2018 

2. Cone Health

Employees: 9,287

Leadership: Terry Akin, CEO; F.D. Hornaday III, board chairman

Integrated not-for-profit network of health care providers serving Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Alamance, Randolph, Caswell and surrounding counties. ... Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the state’s seventh best hospital in 2018-19. ... Has more than 12,000 employees, 1,300 physicians and 1,200 volunteers across the region. ... Its network comprises more than 100 locations, including six hospitals, three ambulatory care centers, three outpatient surgery centers and three urgent care centers. ... Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, a 517-bed teaching hospital and referral center in Greensboro, is the flagship. ... Opened in 1953.