Libertarian News and Comments for 11 JUN 2015, #15-23B: Abuse by Government-Affiliated Institutions

By Nathan Barton

The world is filled with abuse, and too much of that is allowed, encouraged, and perpetrated by a wide variety of institutions.  Many of these ARE government institutions, and many more are enabled by governments, including government rules and regulations that create opportunity for exploitation of all sorts of people, including financial and actual physical abuse.  Here are some examples from recent news stories.

Highway robbery by… doctors and nurses?  According to Fox News, many US hospitals have 1,000% price-markups. “Even the astronomical price markups that consumers regularly pay for, say, wine in restaurants pale beside those in some U.S. hospitals: The price for procedures is often 10 times the cost, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs. Of the 50 hospitals with the highest markups, 49 are for-profit, including 25 owned by Community Health Systems. Community Health and other for-profits did not respond to requests for explain their markups, but in the past hospitals have said list prices, as shown on a ‘chargemaster,’ are irrelevant, since ‘no one pays those.’ In fact, out-of-network patients and the uninsured are often charged list prices, said Dr. Renee Hsia of the University of California at San Francisco, who has studied hospital charges but was not involved in this research.”

I can tell you that I know, from family experience, that the “list prices” are often charged and sometimes people are foolish enough (or lack the information necessary to negotiate) to pay them.  This study makes me feel much better about having a hospital “write off” 90% of a bill charged to a relative, or more (especially for “services” that she did not want).  Like other revelations regarding the way the uninformed and naïve are abused by key institutions, this stinks.  It is government and the health care laws and regulations that make this sort of thing possible.

Mama’s Note: Don’t let the idea of “non-profit” hospitals fool you either. These jacked up “charges” are used to determine how much they “lose” by serving those unable to pay. Much of that is “reimbursed” by government programs. You can read all about it by following The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, which is leading the way to free market medicine. They don’t take Medicare, or any other “insurance.” Their prices are the lowest in the country, and almost anywhere else.

Another example of abuse by various institutions is found in a report obtained by the Associated Press. “Members of a U.N. peacekeeping mission engaged in ‘transactional sex’ with more than 225 Haitian women who said they needed it for things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly underreported in such missions… The draft by the Office of Internal Oversight Services looks at the way U.N. peacekeeping, which has about 125,000 people in some of the world’s most troubled areas, deals with the persistent problem of sexual abuse and exploitation.” Or rather, doesn’t deal with it and enables it.  Like too many American cops, these “peacekeepers” get away, often literally, with murder.  Their sexual abuse of women, girls, and even children, frankly, deserves death.  Haiti is just the tip of the iceberg: there are thousands of examples from the various “peacekeeping” forces in Africa, and even in Southern Europe going back decades more can be found.  And behind the UN offices and commands are Western states (like the FedGov) financing and organizing the institutions that do this.

William Grigg, at LewRockwell.com, discusses another example of this institutional abuse, resulting in the death of two people whom cops had no reason to kill, in an execution style slaying by a cop, at the end of a long incident of abuse. “Only Blue Lives Matter” seems to go without saying these days, whether we are talking blue-hat UN “peacekeepers” or American street cops.  The Guardian reports that American police kill more people in days than cops in many countries kill in years. And those are just the killing that the Ami cops report (voluntarily) to the FedGov, and that the FedGov counts.  How many are really dying?  And for what excuses?

Are we nearing the beginning of the end for Assad?  The Guardian reports that rebel forces (not the Caliphate) have seized a major, sprawling military base in a lightning assault, marking the latest in a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad’s increasingly embattled forces, rebels and activists said. … The western-backed rebel alliance (the Southern Front) led the dawn assault on the army base in the southern Daraa province, known as Brigade 52, said Ahmad al-Masalmeh, an opposition activist in Daraa. It is the biggest Syrian military base in the province and lies near a major highway running from Jordan to the capital Damascus. He said the rebels also captured the nearby village of Mleiha al-Sharqiyeh.” Western meddling has led to amazing agony for the people of Syria, who are little more than pawns of the various factions, and killed with impunity by all of them.

Of course, the Caliphate is having its own successes, such as this one in Libya.  The Roanoke Times-World reports that “peace talks” in Libya are “endangered” as the Caliphate group advances.  “U.N.-brokered negotiations aimed at stemming Libya’s collapse into a failed state threatened to fall apart after the country’s internationally recognized parliament on Tuesday dropped out of the talks in protest over a plan that would mean sharing power with its rivals. The wrangling over the U.N. draft plan came as militants from the North African nation’s Islamic State affiliate seized new territory, inching closer to a major city and oil terminals, virtually Libya’s sole source of state revenues.”

Now, this doesn’t bother me very much since the current Libyan regime is as illegitimate and immoral as Gadhaffi’s ever was, and for them to be starved can’t help but aid liberty in the long-run.  But in the meantime, the people of Libya, like those of Syria and the Fifty States, suffer and die.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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