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Oh, the tangled web we weave...

Fiona He gave birth to her second child, a boy, on Jan. 24, 2015, at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California. The staff was friendly, the delivery uncomplicated, and the baby healthy. He, a citizen of China, left the hospital confident she had made the right decision to come to America to have her baby.

She’d arrived in November as a customer of USA Happy Baby, one of an increasing number of agencies that bring pregnant Chinese women to the States. Like most of them, Happy Baby is a deluxe service that ushers the women through the visa process and cares for them before and after delivery.

Uh huh.

Except that none of the "clients" clearly and truthfully disclose that the purpose of their "visit" is to come to the United States for the express purpose of having an "anchor baby."

And while the article sort-of mentions this, the fact of the matter is that any lie or deceptive device put forward to obtain a visa to enter the United States is a criminal offense -- an offense that ought to be prosecuted as a crime and that should result in the fruits of that action being unavailable.

“We didn’t hurt anyone. We just found an easy way to stay here to give birth. Is that wrong?”

Oh really?  So lying isn't a crime?  See, this is the issue -- not only do these folks come through Vegas (typically) to reduce the risk of being closely questioned (most people coming to Vegas from China are doing so to gamble) but in addition one of the questions asked is indeed the purpose of your visit when you enter the United States; failing to tell the truth is in fact a crime.

“Some people say these families are taking advantage of a loophole,” says Emily Callan, an immigration attorney in Virginia who’s written about birthright citizenship. “If it was a loophole you could close it, but changing the 14th Amendment would be drastic. This isn’t a loophole or a technicality. It’s an unintended consequence.”

It's not a loophole nor a legal "gray area" if you enter the United States claiming to be here for the purpose of tourism or gambling while your true intent is to give birth here and create an "anchor baby."

That's a criminal offense.

Bloomberg and others skirt this because as soon as you go there the solution to this problem is simple -- cut that crap out and prosecute everyone involved, including most-particularly the "agencies" that have as their stock in trade suborning perjury!

So...... where are the prosecutors -- and handcuffs?

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Ready to throw the entire Congressional clown-car brigade and President out yet?

No?

You actually sort of like one or both?

Well good, then I hope you're willing to consent to this:

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact.

In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products. Moda Health, the largest insurer on the Oregon health exchange, seeks an average boost of around 25%.

So... about that so-called "affordable care".....

smiley

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Think about the premise here...

In the late 1990s, you could have taken what hospitals charged to administer inpatient chemotherapy and bought a Ford Escort econobox. Today, average chemo charges (not even counting the price of the anti-cancer drugs) are enough to pay for a Lexus GX sport-utility vehicle, government data show.

Hospital prices have risen nearly three times as much as overall inflation since Ronald Reagan was president. Health payers have tried HMOs, accountable care organizations and other innovations to control them, with little effect.

A small benefits consulting firm called ELAP Services is causing commotion by suggesting an alternative: Refuse to pay. When hospitals send invoices with charges that seem to bear no relationship to their costs, the Pennsylvania firm tells its clients (generally medium-sized employers) to just say no.

In other words, refuse to pay -- and instead take an amount that the firm comes up with as "reasonable", stick "paid in full" on the check, and send that in.

Now you'd think this would instantly result in the firm in question getting sued -- repeatedly.  But it doesn't, at least as far as this article says.

Why not?

Might it be because if such a case went to court then as part of discovery someone would get to lay out, in court, a pretty good argument that the billing practices of the hospital amounts to rank violations of both state consumer protection and federal Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman or even Racketeering law?

I think it indeed just might.... so where are the prosecutors?

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Hmmm....

Meet Ahmed Mohammed. He might be the most expensive hot dog vendor in New York, especially if he thinks you're a tourist.

NBC 4 New York cameras recently captured him trying to charge a man named David $15 for a hot dog and a pretzel near the World Trade Center.

What he does is charge you based on who he thinks you are and what you can pay.  He also doesn't tell you in advance what the charge will be.

The hospital down the street does this every day.  In fact virtually every single doctor and hospital in the country does this; they do not post prices, they figure out what to charge you after you've consumed the service or good, and what they charge has no bearing on the actual good or service delivered -- people are often charged 10 or 100x as much as someone else for the same thing!

NY's Consumer Protection people are after Mohammed despite the fact that Mohammed appears to be willing to negotiate a price with you if you ask him first before you accept the hot dog.  Most hospitals and doctors won't even give you a price if you ask.

Just a short distance away and all over NY the exact same practice for goods and services that are far more important to life than a street-vendor's hot dog is not only common it is nearly universal.

Can someone explain why NY's Consumer Protection jackals haven't shut down every doctor and hospital in the city?

I'm waiting for your answer you corrupt pieces of crap......

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Yeah...

Six of the biggest names in finance have agreed to pay nearly $6 billion dollars in penalties, with five pleading guilty to criminal charges over long-running manipulation of key financial markets.

The Justice Department announced the massive settlement Wednesday, its latest in a series of deals to bring to a close probes of financial manipulation of everything from benchmark interest rates to top currency exchanges.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the latest settlement brings to an end a manipulation scheme of “breathtaking flagrancy,” in which traders conspired to artificially alter currency exchange markets to obtain illicit profits.

Right.

So they stole billions (more like hundreds of billions) over the years, organized behavior in the theft (that would commonly be called Racketeering!) and they will pay a fine that amounts to a small percentage of what they stole.

Nobody will go to prison as a result of this (admitted) criminal conduct and worse, none of the institutions will be broken up, lose their corporate charters or even be barred from one line of business.

An analog would be if I was to engage in a string of bank robberies with hundreds of other people, we steal a million dollars between us over a period of several years before we are eventually caught and when caught none of us go to prison or have any of the legal disabilities that a felony conviction normally brings applied to us; we are instead fined $50,000 and allowed to go on our way.

Does anyone think this is something we as a people can stand for and have any sort of "market" or, for that matter, that we can consider our government "legitimate" when it engages in this sort of odious crap?

I think not.

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