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 Court Watch The Morning Flap: June 21, 2012The United States Supreme Court is under watch for imminent decisions on the constitutionality of ObamaCare – the Affordable Care Act and the Arizona Immigration Law among other cases

These are my links for June 20th through June 21st:

  • The Private Cost of Public Queues- The measurement of health care waiting times, or the examination of the absolute delay Canadians must endure in order to receive medically necessary care, is only one way of looking at the burden of waiting for health care. We can also calculate the privately borne cost of waiting: the value of the time that is lost while waiting for treatment. One way of estimating the privately borne cost of waiting for care in Canada was originally developed by Steven Globerman and Lorna Hoye (1990). They calculated the cost of waiting by estimating the amount of time that could not be used productively by a patient while waiting for treatment.The estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada for patients who were in the queue in 2011, according to calculations based on the methodology produced by Globerman and Hoye, was $1.08 billion—an average of about $1,144 for each of the estimated 941,321 Canadians waiting for treatment in 2011. Alternatively, that cost works out to roughly $10,399 for each individual among the 11.0% of patients in the queue who were suffering considerable hardship while waiting for care.
  • How Long Do Canadians Wait for Healthcare?- According to a new study by Canada’s Fraser Institute, surgical waitlists are costing the nation about $1 billion each year in lost productivity. The average Canadian can now expect to wait 9.5 weeks for treatment with a medical specialist, this number up from 9.3 weeks last year.While most stories report on the personal pain of waiting for care, Fraser’s new report “The Private Cost of Public Queues,” breaks ground in assigning a specific monetary value to the Canadian economy’s loss each year due to the rationing in its single-payer healthcare system.Based on a 2011 Statistics Canada finding, the study makes the assumption that 11% of patients “were adversely affected by their wait for non-emergency surgery.” Dividing the cost individually, health rationing for Canada’s 941,321 patients seeking specialized surgery came out to $3,500 per patient in lost wage hours.
  • Romney Campaign Said to Ask Scott to Downplay Job Gains- Mitt Romney ’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama,according to two people familiar with the matter.Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia , Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.Scott should follow the advice of the Romney campaign and it won’t undermine his own message, said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida.

    “This is one of those situations where you could have it both ways and there’s enough truth in it that it would resonate,” Stipanovich said. “It would be better if everybody was singing from the same hymnal.”

    New Poll Romney’s campaign is eager to sell its economy message in Florida, one of the most competitive electoral battlegrounds, where the past three presidential races were decided by 5 percentage points or less. Obama leads Romney, 46 percent to 42 percent, in a Quinnipiac University poll released today, a shift from May when the Republican was in the lead, 47 percent to 41 percent.

  • Murdered Border Agent’s Family Says President Obama ‘Compounding This Tragedy’ with Executive Privilege Assertion- The family of slain U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed with guns tied to the Fast and Furious program, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon accusing President Obama of compounding their family tragedy by invoking executive privilege.President Obama invoked executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to release documents sought by House Republican investigating the secret law enforcement program, wherein weapons smugglers were permitted to buy guns so law enforcement could trace them to drug cartels. Law enforcement lost track of hundreds of the guns, which began showing up at crime scenes, most tragically in December 2010, where Terry was killed.
  • Fast And Furious: Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing- As a strong defender of executive power (when properly exercised) and executive privilege (when properly invoked), I am concerned when claims of executive power or privilege are abused for any reason—especially if they are invoked to shield potential wrongdoing. In addition to shielding the wrongdoing, it jeopardizes the very executive power that the President is entrusted with when Congress and the courts react—as they did in the post-Watergate era—to the abuse of power.The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is rightfully investigating the Fast and Furious debacle, in which the Administration allowed thousands of guns to flow across the Mexican border, resulting in the death of one U.S. border patrol agent and at least 200 Mexican citizens—according to the Mexican attorney general. The most glaring violation of executive power in that investigation prior to today was the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to turn over 1,300 pages of documents subpoenaed by the committee without even an assertion of executive privilege. Attorney General Eric Holder simply refused on his own initiative in a blatant act of stonewalling.
  • Those Fast and Furious documents must be dynamite- My friend Bill Otis was a Justice Department lawyer for many years. He spent a good portion of those years as a prosecutor. He also served as an attorney in the White House Counsel’s shop, so he knows all about dealing with unpleasant congressional inventigations and demands for documents.In short, Bill is extremely very well positioned to comment knowledgably on the dispute between Rep. Issa’s Committee and Eric Holder, and on the White House’s decision to assert executive privilege. Here is what Bill had to say:Even with his fawning press, [Presdient Obama] will pay a price for this one. He knows this, meaning that the documents now to be withheld must be dynamite. They have to show either that Holder knew what was going on with Fast and Furious and approved it, or that he directly committed perjury in his Congressional testimony, or both. I just can’t see any other explanation for such a risky move.Wasn’t the Washington Post just covering big time the 40th anniversary of Watergate? I wonder how much coverage this one will get.
  • Obama weaves Fast and Furious fight into his re-election narrative- President Obama escalated a battle between his administration and the Republican House over Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday in ways that could benefit his reelection campaign.By asserting executive privilege over “Fast and Furious” documents sought by the House GOP, Obama inserted himself directly into the fight between Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman. He also made it easier to run against not only Mitt Romney, but a Republican House he hopes to portray as divisive and overly extreme.
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Comments on Politics, the Dental World and Much More – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-21
  • The Morning Flap: June 20, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: June 20, 2012
  • House panel recommends Holder contempt citation – CNN.com – Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: June 20, 2012 – The Morning Drill: June 20, 2012
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