But… But… But Obama said the border was secure!

**Posted by Phineas

You probably remember Obama’s recent trip to Texas in which, during a speech in El Paso, he mocked, derided, and demagogued the legitimate concerns of those worried about the security of our southern border. He went so far as to claim his administration had done more than any before it to meet those concerns:

But over the last two years, thanks to the outstanding work of Janet [Napolitano] and Alan [Bersin] and everybody who’s down here working at the border, we’ve answered those concerns. Under their leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible. They wanted more agents at the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history.

So, see? There’s nothing to be concerned about. The border is safe! And pay no attention to those drug-cartel outposts inside Arizona:

Hiking through rough Arizona desert terrain a few miles north of the Mexican border recently with a group of armed DEA agents, we were approached by a lone U.S. Border Patrol agent. He warned we should be careful up ahead, because two people believed to be spotters for a Mexican drug cartel had just been seen running down a ridge to elude U.S. authorities.

By now, agents told us, the men were probably hunkered down in a cave or crevice to wait out the patrol. But just to be safe, the DEA agents spread out to cover more ground as they moved forward again, watching closely for the suspected Mexican surveillance team likely sent by drug traffickers to spy on American law enforcement officials on their own soil.

Making our way slowly to the rugged hilltops about a mile away, we came across several caves carved out of the rock by wind and rain. On the floor of one of them, we saw clear evidence that a surveillance team had been camping out. Two blankets were spread out next to a pair of shoes. Nearby were boxes of food, tarps, water jugs, toothpaste and a portable stove, on top of which was a pan with fresh cooking oil still in it.

Agents also found radio chargers and car batteries used to power communications gear. They told NBC producer-photographer Al Henkel and me that Mexican surveillance teams will work in these mountains for 30 to 60 days at a time.

“They locate themselves up on these ridgelines, up in caves, hidey holes, ‘spider holes’ we call them,” said DEA agent Todd Scott. He and the agents wondered if this particular “spider hole” was home to the two men just seen running away.

The report goes on to estimate there are 200-300 spotters operating in Arizona as far north as Phoenix and using military-grade gear to track US law enforcement movements and talk to each other in a sophisticated operation. Here’s a video report:

But, don’t worry; the border is safe.

Obama said so.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Your future under Obamacare: longer waits, less efficient treatment

**Posted by Phineas

One of the contentions of those opposing the effective nationalization of our healthcare system has been that the quality of care will necessarily decline as the government finds itself forced to introduce rationing to control costs. ObamaCare’s supporters reply with the only rejoinder they’ve got: “nuh-uh.”

The reason they’re left with nothing but denial as an argument is that the empirical evidence is against them. Back in 2009, reporter Jon Stossel discussed effective rationing via long wait times (1) in the Canadian single-payer system. This weekend, the left-wing Guardian newspaper brings us more evidence of rationing via waiting in Britain’s National Health Service:

NHS budget squeeze to blame for longer waiting times, say doctors
Latest performance data reveal number of English patients waiting more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in last year

Doctors are blaming financial pressures on the NHS for an increase in the number of patients who are not being treated within the 18 weeks that the government recommends (2).

New NHS performance data reveal that the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

In March this year, 34,639 people, or 11% of the total, waited more than that time to receive inpatient treatment, compared with 27,534, or 8.3%, in March 2010 – an increase of 26% – Department of Health statistics show.

Similarly, in March this year some 11,243 patients who underwent treatment had waited for more than six months, compared with 7,841 in the same month in 2010 – a 43% rise.

Pro-socialized medicine (3) advocates can claim all they want that “it will be different here” or “we just need to make some adjustments,” but the truth is that the same will inevitably happen here: political pressure to save money will force the government to ration care via slower service and denial of care (4).

And this is why it is crucial to keep up the pressure to repeal ObamaCare, whether in one fell swoop or by “repeal by a thousand cuts.”

It’s bad policy, it’s bad medicine, and it’s got to go.

(1) Unless, of course, you’re an important government official who can jet off to the US for needed care whenever you want.

(2) 18 weeks is “recommended?” I can go to a doc tomorrow and, if I need a referral, I can see a specialist within 1-3 days. And the NHS is supposed to be an improvement over what we have now?

(3) Which is the desired end-state of ObamaCare, regardless of what they say in public. Just ask Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

(4) Hmm… Kind of sounds like “death panels.”Nah. Only a chillbilly dummy would suggest something so stupid. Couldn’t ever happen.

via Dan Mitchell

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)