It's full steam ahead for
help fight the media
|chived in this
category in the order of discovery. Click button under image for
|Rasmussen Reports -- 61% say it’s time for Congress to drop
Sixty-one percent (61%) of U.S. voters
say Congress should drop health care reform and focus on more
immediate ways to improve the economy and create jobs.
percent (59%) say given the country’s current economic situation, Obama
should wait on health care reform until the economy improves.
Fox News -- Obama
pledges he won't "walk away" from ObamaCare.
On Friday, Obama
pledged not to "walk away" from health care reform, telling a crowd in
the Cleveland suburbs that he's still committed to driving down health
care costs despite the crippling effect his party's loss in the
Massachusetts Senate election had on the Democrats' bill.
strongly defended the unpopular actions he has taken against banks and
insurers and the nationalization of automakers. Such measures have
fueled anger across the country about growing government intervention
and ballooning deficits to help Wall Street while many throughout the
country remain jobless and struggling.
Update: The global banking industry was
thrown into turmoil on Thursday after Obama, responding to his bogus
"public rage" over the financial crisis -- which he created -- the rage
and the crisis, both -- proposed the most far-reaching overhaul of Wall
Street since the 1930s.
|NewsMax.com is reporting that after insisting for a year that
failure was not an option, Barack Obama is now acknowledging his
healthcare overhaul may die in Congress.
His tone at a Democratic
National Committee fundraiser Thursday night verged at times on
defeatist. Even while saying he still wanted to get the job done,
Obama bowed to new political realities. Democrats no longer
command a filibuster-proof Senate majority, and voters and lawmakers are
far more concerned with jobs and the economy than with enacting sweeping
and expensive changes to the health system.
"I think it's very
important for us to have a methodical, open process over the next
several weeks, and then let's go ahead and make a decision," Obama said
"And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're
not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the
options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to
whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," Obama
said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be
elections coming up and they'll be able to make a determination and
register their concerns one way or the other during election time."
here . . .
|GOP Says, "No Thanks," To Obama
says House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement
late Saturday in response to Obama's Friday invite to a bipartisan
Health Care Summit at the White House.
Boehner and other
Republican leaders are complaining that the event is simply political
gamesmanship and that Obama is planning to have a health care deal
finalized before anyone even sits down at the meeting, which is
scheduled to take place on Feb. 25.
Here's Boehner's statement:
A productive bipartisan discussion should
begin with a clean sheet of paper. We now know that instead of
starting the 'bipartisan' health care 'summit' on Feb. 25 with a
clean sheet of paper, the president and his party intend to arrive
with a new bill written behind closed doors exclusively by Democrats
-- a backroom deal that will transform one-sixth of our nation's
economy and affect every family and small business in America.
They will then engage a largely handpicked audience in a televised
'dialogue' according to a script they have largely pre-determined.
They will do this as a precursor to embarking on a legislative
course that Democratic congressional aides acknowledge has also been
pre-determined -- a partisan course that relies on parliamentary
tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and engineer a
pre-determined outcome. It doesn't sound much like
bipartisanship to me.
|Playing Freedom Cheap
if eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, incessant distractions are
the way that politicians take away our freedoms, in order to enhance
their own power and longevity in office. Dire alarms and heady
crusades are among the many distractions of our attention from the ever
increasing ways that government finds to take away more of our money and
more of our freedom.
Magicians have long known that distracting
an audience is the key to creating the illusion of magic. It is
also the key to political magic.
Alarms ranging from
"overpopulation" to "global warming" and crusades ranging from
"affordable housing" to "universal health care" have been among the
distractions of political magicians. But few distractions have had
such a long and impressive political track record as getting people to
resent and, if necessary, hate other people.
The most politically
effective totalitarian systems have gotten people to give up their own
freedom in order to vent their resentment or hatred at other people --
under Communism, the capitalists; under Nazis, the Jews.
extremist Islamic regimes today, hatred is directed at the infidels in
general and the "great Satan," the United States, in particular.
There some people have been induced to give up not only their freedom
but even their lives, in order to strike a blow against those they have
been taught to hate.
We have not yet reached these levels of
hostility, but those who are taking away our freedoms, bit by bit, on
the installment plan, have been incessantly supplying us with people to
One of the most audacious attempts to take away our
freedom to live our lives as we see fit has been the so-called "health
care reform" bills that were being rushed through Congress before either
the public or the members of Congress themselves had a chance to
discover all that was in it.
For this, we were taught to resent
doctors, insurance companies and even people with "Cadillac health
insurance plans," who were to be singled out for special taxes.
Meanwhile, our freedom to make our own medical decisions -- on which
life and death can depend -- was to be quietly taken from us and
transferred to our betters in Washington.
Only the recent
Massachusetts election results have put that on hold.
dangerous power toward which we are moving, bit by bit, on the
installment plan, is the power of politicians to tell people what their
incomes can and cannot be. Here the resentment is being directed
against "the rich."
The distracting phrases here include
"obscene" wealth and "unconscionable" profits. But, if we stop and
think about it -- which politicians don’t expect us to -- what is
obscene about wealth? Wouldn’t we consider it great if every human
being on earth had a billion dollars and lived in a place that could
rival the Taj Mahal?
Poverty is obscene. It is poverty that
needs to be reduced -- and increasing a country’s productivity has done
that far more widely than redistributing income by targeting "the rich."
You can see the agenda behind the rhetoric when profits are called
"unconscionable" but taxes never are, even when taxes take more than
half of what someone has earned, or add much more to the prices we have
to pay than profits do.
The assumption that what A pays B is any
business of C is an assumption that means a dangerous power being
transferred to politicians to tell us all what incomes we can and cannot
receive. It will not apply to everyone all at once. Like the
income tax, which at first applied only to the truly rich, and then
slowly but steadily moved down the income scale to hit the rest of us,
the power to say what incomes people can be allowed to make will
inevitably move down the income scale to make us all dependents and
supplicants of politicians.
The phrase "public servants" is
increasingly misleading. They are well on their way to becoming
public masters -- like aptly named White House "czars." The more
they can get us all to resent those they designate, the more they can
distract us from their increasing control of our own lives -- but only
if we sell our freedom cheap. We can sell our birthright and not
even get the mess of pottage.
|Obama Flip-Flops on His Own Record
that's how Byron York
headlines his own shrewd observation: Obama can't keep his story
straight when it comes to evaluating his own legislative record:
In his speech at a Denver fundraiser
yesterday, Obama repeated what has become a key talking point for
Democrats -- that the Senate "doesn't get
anything done" and the reason for that is that some
Republicans, who "don't believe in government," are happy to block
the administration's initiatives because blocking government
initiatives is "consistent with their philosophy." ... It's a
charge you'll no doubt hear more in the coming campaign. But
it's a striking flip-flop from Obama's earlier statements in which
he praised Congress' ability to get things done. As a matter
of fact, at a DNC fundraiser in California last October, Obama said
his administration and Congress had accomplished so much that, "If
we stopped today, this legislative session would have been one of
the most productive in a generation."
Byron notes, too, that the White House web site
includes a long list of the administration's legislative achievements.
How to reconcile the contradiction?
The fact is, when you hear the president and
Democrats in Congress complain about not being able to get anything
done, or about Washington being broken, they're talking about one
thing: their inability to pass a national health care reform bill.
Congress can do, and is doing, lots of things -- just not sprawling,
omnibus "comprehensive" bills that are unpopular with the American
people. (The same can be said for cap-and-trade legislation,
now dead in the Senate.) If you put aside enormous bills that
would re-order the American economy in ways the public does not
want, Congress can do things just fine.
In Hinderaker's view, there is something a bit
sinister about the petulance with which Democratic leaders bewail their
inability to compel their own members to vote for legislation that is
massively unpopular with the American people. This is, after all, a
|Obama's Bipartisan Flim-Flammery
|The Washington Examiner
reminds us that two weeks ago, Obama challenged Republican
congressional leaders to join him in a nationally televised summit to
discuss their respective proposals for health care reform.
Republicans publicly wondered if Obama's proposal represented a
refreshing new attempt by him to display genuine bipartisanship and
whether they should trust him to come to the summit with a truly open
mind. We now know the answer to both questions is a resounding
Yesterday, Obama unveiled a "new" health care proposal.
It costs an eye-popping $950 billion (that's the White House's rosy
estimate), and represents nothing more than a warmed-over version of the
2,500-plus-page ObamaCare proposals passed last year by the Senate and
House. Like its predecessors, this newest version features
government price fixing of the rates health insurance companies can
charge. It includes a sweetheart deal to protect unions' expensive
health care plans from taxation imposed on nonunion health plans.
And worst of all, it still forces all Americans to fork over a hefty
chunk of their income for a government-approved health insurance
product, under penalty of heavy fines or imprisonment.
the White House pay for this monstrosity? The Congressional Budget
Office says there is insufficient detail available for it to estimate
the new plan's cost to the federal government. But according to
Americans for Tax Reform, the bill represents a net federal tax increase
of $629 billion, much of which will be paid by Americans earning less
than $250,000, thus violating Obama's campaign pledge. Further,
many of the new taxes seem specially targeted to choke off economic
growth. In particular, the bill includes a 2.9 percent Medicare
tax on all unearned income.
To gain passage of his proposal,
Obama has joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi in an arcane legislative magic act known as "budget
reconciliation." Only 51 Senate votes -- not the usual 60 required
to pass major legislation -- are required to approve a reconciliation
measure in the Senate, and a simple majority of 218 in the House.
Reconciliation is supposed to be for tying up loose ends -- for
technical, budget-balancing measures. But Democrats want to use it
to put a government bureaucrat between patients and their doctors.
This, despite the recent Gallup poll that, like so many other recent
polls, shows a strong majority of Americans want Congress to go back to
square one on health care reform and start over. Obama talks
bipartisanship, but his proposal and his actions this week make clear
that he and congressional Democrats are running a Washington con game
and hoping the American people won't figure out they're the mark, yet
again, until it's too late.
|Obama Is Wasting No
reporting that Obama will sign the just-passed health care reform
bill this morning, Democratic sources are saying.
The bill, which
passed the Senate in December and was OK'd by the House of
Representatives on Sunday -- in both cases without a single Republican
"yes" vote -- will extend insurance coverage to 32 million currently
uninsured Americans, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
A companion bill to fine tune the reforms that also passed the House
on Sunday will be taken up by the Senate this week and faces fierce
Republican opposition, although it will not be subject to a filibuster.
The bill before Obama will require individuals to purchase insurance
from private insurance companies, and provide subsidies for those who
cannot afford it on their own.
Meanwhile, the guy that
made Obama possible, John McCain,
is swearing to fight ObamaCare,
saying that repercussions will occur, "at the polls and in the
|When Pigs Fly
|As the Senate grinds through
20 hours of debate on the health care reconciliation bill, Sen. Charles
Grassley, R-Iowa, Tuesday night
offered an amendment that would require the president,
vice-president, members of Congress, political appointees and
congressional staff to get their federal health benefits through the
soon-to-be-created health insurance exchanges.
currently gets insurance through a system overseen by the Office of
Management and Budget and under the health care bill signed into law
today, some of the congressional staff would have to sign up for
insurance through the exchanges. But some would be exempted.
Politico filed a story Tuesday night pointing out that leadership and
committee staff are exempt from having to use the exchanges. This
has caused a bit of an uproar on Capitol Hill, with Republicans accusing
top Democratic staff of writing a health care law that's not good enough
for them to participate in.
"President Obama has publicly
advertised that his reforms would give members of the public the same
coverage available to Members of Congress," reads a GOP summary of the
Grassley measure. "This amendment would ensure that he, his
successors, and all his appointed political officials would also have
the same coverage members of the public enrolled in the Exchange
|The editors at the
believe Obama's nationalization of health care is bad enough on its
own, but the plan's implementation will require drastic measures that
are just as troubling to those who value freedom. Of particular
concern is the bill's expansion of the Internal Revenue Service.
A report released last week by House Ways and Means Committee
Republicans estimated that the dreaded agency's ranks would swell by
16,500. The newly sworn agents would be charged with ensuring the
public's obedience to Obama's health care directives. The IRS also
would enjoy the enhanced powers and budgetary authority required for
monitoring the health care status of 300 million Americans on a
month-to-month basis. The total cost of the effort is likely to
exceed $10 billion.
The investigations will gradually ramp up
until 2016, when the individual mandate tax kicks in fully. After
that, if the O Force wins a second term, the unprecedented levy will
fall upon citizens who fail to purchase health care coverage acceptable
to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. IRS agents would conduct the audits
and impose a fine of either $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income -- whichever
is greater -- on disobedient households. According to
Congressional Budget Office figures, this tax will generate $17 billion
Of course, not everyone will pay. The Democrats
carved out exemptions for two of its favorite constituencies: illegal
aliens and imprisoned criminals. Only law-abiding citizens will
face the wrath of the IRS -- a wrath that can be substantial.
Consider the case of Aaron Zeff, owner of Harv's Metro Car Wash in
Sacramento, Calif. Mr. Zeff paid his taxes on time and did everything he
was supposed to do. Nonetheless, a team of IRS agents descended on
his business earlier this month. "They were deadly serious, very
aggressive, very condescending," Mr. Zeff said in describing the
incident to the Sacramento Bee. His crime? Mr. Zeff
reportedly owed 4 cents on his taxes in 2006.
That's the type of
overzealous enforcement and lousy customer service we can look forward
to as IRS agents are handed more power to terrorize law-abiding
Americans. Obama's plan moves us in the wrong direction. We
need to dismantle, not expand, the most hated agency of the federal
government. Fundamental tax reform and repeal of ObamaCare would
go a long way toward restoring American freedoms.
|Negative Impact Of
ObamaCare Already Kicking In
that 48 hours had not even passed after Congress approved ObamaCare
before the negative impact of its provisions began kicking in.
Remember, the so-called 'benefits' of the program will not begin until
2014. But the fees, taxes, and other surcharges that are essential
to the plan go into effect immediately. This has led to some
disturbing consequences just within the last 24 hours.
Denninger via WRSA
From the forum:
"So I just got a call
from my health insurance provider. My family rates are going
up $200/month ... $2400/year per employee effective April 1st.
Didn't take long after signing to get this s**t going.
much for the 'my plan will save Americans $2500/year in Healthcare
F***ing liar in chief."
This is not the only troubling development as a
consequence of ObamaCare.
here . . .
|Americans Want To Repeal
|John Hinderaker has
written elsewhere that we should wait at least a week or two before
paying attention to polls on ObamaCare, but
this one is too remarkable to pass up: Rasmussen finds that 55
percent of voters want ObamaCare repealed.
extraordinary. Has the public ever greeted passage of a major
piece of legislation with this much disgust? I can't imagine that
it has. And so far, at least, there is no sign that mere passage
of the bill will cause voters to look more favorably on it.
occurs to me that there is precedent for this sort of widespread
negative reaction, not to legislation, but to Supreme Court decisions.
The Supreme Court has on occasion issued liberal edicts that have been
widely denounced and have been viewed unfavorably by substantial
majorities of the population. This doesn't normally happen with
legislation, for obvious reasons. But in the case of ObamaCare, a
great many voters view the legislation as an edict handed down from on
high in defiance of the will of the majority; a law that is illegitimate
because of the extreme partisanship and legislative trickery that
enabled its passage. It thus engenders public outrage much like
certain Supreme Court decisions that have been seen as undemocratic
edicts imposed by out-of-touch elites.
If that analogy is right,
the public's outrage is likely to persist for a long time.
|The AP is
it was not the endorsement Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress
were looking for.
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on
Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and
a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the
United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved
"We consider health reform to have been an important
battle and a success of his (Obama's) government," Castro wrote in an
essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the
president's hand against lobbyists and "mercenaries."
reading here . . .
Supreme Court To Strike Down ObamaCare
|Barack Obama is one of the
worst occupants of the Oval Office ever, in terms of respecting
constitutional limitations on government, and the states suing the
federal government over healthcare reform "have a pretty strong case"
and are likely to prevail, according to author and judicial analyst
Andrew P. Napolitano.
Napolitano says Obama's healthcare reforms
amount to "commandeering" the state legislatures for federal purposes,
which the Supreme Court has forbidden as unconstitutional.
Constitution does not authorize the Congress to regulate the state
governments," Napolitano says.
"Nevertheless, in this piece of
legislation, the Congress has told the state governments that they must
modify their regulation of certain areas of healthcare, they must
surrender their regulation of other areas of healthcare, and they must
spend state taxpayer-generated dollars in a way that the Congress wants
"That's called commandeering the legislature," he says.
"That's the Congress taking away the discretion of the legislature with
respect to regulation, and spending taxpayer dollars. That's
prohibited in a couple of Supreme Court cases. So on that
argument, the attorneys general have a pretty strong case and I think
they will prevail.”
"The Supreme Court has ruled that in areas of
human behavior that are not delegated to the Congress in the
Constitution, and that have been traditionally regulated by the states,
the Congress can't simply move in there," Napolitano says. "And
the states for 230 years have had near exclusive regulation over the
delivery of healthcare. The states license hospitals. The
states license medications. The states license healthcare
providers whether they're doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. The
feds have had nothing to do with it.
"The Congress can't simply
wake up one day and decide that it wants to regulate this. I
predict that the Supreme Court will invalidate major portions of what
the president just signed into law…"
"I believe we have a one
party system in this country, called the big-government party,"
Napolitano says. "There is a Republican branch that likes war and
deficits and assaulting civil liberties. There is a Democratic
branch that likes welfare and taxes and assaulting commercial liberties.
"President Obama obviously is squarely within the Democratic
branch. The president who had the least fidelity to the
Constitution was Abraham Lincoln, who waged war on half the country,
even though there's obviously no authority for that, a war that killed
nearly 700,000 people. President Obama is close to that end of
lacking fidelity to the Constitution. He wants to outdo his hero
For those who oppose healthcare, the Fox legal expert says,
the bad news is that many of the legal challenges to healthcare reform
will have to wait until 2014, when the changes become fully operational.
Until then, there would be no legal case that individuals had been
actually harmed by the law. Moreover, Napolitano says it takes an
average of four years for a case to work its way through the various
federal courts the final hearing that's expected to come before the
"You're talking about 2018, which is eight years
from now, before it is likely the Supreme Court will hear this," he
here to read the other issues that Napolitano addressed during a
wide-ranging interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella . . .
|Obama Loses Argument -- Wins Dirty
says the revisionist history writers were busy last week. The
health care law was "sweeping" and "historic." Pelosi was the
"most powerful speaker in history," and Obama had cemented his place as
"one of the most consequential presidents." The press, in short,
echoed Vice President Biden's view on the importance of the legislation.
This narrative is fantasy. We are asked to believe that
the Democrats achieved a glorious victory when they were able to squeak
to passage with only four votes to spare. If Bart Stupak and his
colleagues had not sacrificed their consciences and gotten on board,
then the speaker would have been impotent and the president a failure?
To quote Vice President Biden again, "If we were unable to move the ball
on this issue . . . we would have been done, absolutely done."
To declare such a close contest -- during which Obama was reduced to
begging Democratic members to save his butt -- to be a triumph is
reminiscent of Pyrrhus of Epirus. He fought and defeated Rome, but
at such a cost in casualties that upon hearing of his success, he said,
"One more such victory and I shall return to Epirus alone."
fact, though the Democrats achieved a narrow victory by passing their
health care behemoth, they lost the argument. Despite some 58
speeches, vigorous press cheerleading, and more than a year of ceaseless
lobbying, Obama, his administration, and the Democrats were never
able to convince a majority of the American people to believe in a fairy
tale. Voters were never persuaded that the government that brought
us a $107 trillion unfunded liability in the Medicare and Social
Security programs was going to provide subsidized coverage to 32 million
uninsured; create 4 million new jobs; produce, as Pelosi put it, "a
healthier America through prevention, wellness, and innovation;" make
insurance more affordable for the middle class; and "save the taxpayers
No, the reality that the compliant press was
eager to obscure in the days following the vote was that the Democrats
had abandoned any effort to persuade the American people and had chosen
to bulldoze their way to victory with old-fashioned vote buying, harsh
threats, and political hard ball. That can purchase (narrow)
success, but it doesn't signify a political breakthrough, far less an
historic realignment. Contrast the partisan victory Obama was able
to eke out with Ronald Reagan's economic program. With the House
of Representatives controlled by the other party 244-191 in 1981, Reagan
was able to persuade enough voters to call their representatives that
his budget (including tax cuts) passed by a vote of 253-176.
Aware that their bankruptcy-inviting "triumph" was based on brute force
rather than popular appeal, the Democrats adopted a smear-the-opposition
tactic. Thus the well-prepared stunt of having several members of
the Congressional Black Congress walk above ground to the Capitol on the
evening of the vote, rather than through the underground tunnels.
Their route took them past a noisy crowd of tea party protesters.
Two members later claimed that they had run a gauntlet of ugly racial
slurs. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said, "I haven't heard anything
like this in 40, 45 years. Since the march to Selma, really."
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., claimed that he was spat upon, and Rep.
Barney Frank, D-Mass., claimed to have endured anti-gay epithets.
Headlines were assured.
Only the Frank story is confirmed by any
contemporaneous outside source. A Politico reporter claims to have
heard the word. Such slurs are obviously despicable and were
immediately condemned as such by leading Republicans. But while
the press went purple over one jerk's shouted insult to Frank, leading
members of the Democratic Party and the press (to repeat myself)
blatantly slur the tea party movement as "tea baggers" on a daily basis
and the press regard it all as a great "in" joke.
As for the
claims of the CBC members, one cannot vouch for an entire crowd of
thousands of protesters, but no video that captured the moment (and
there are several) picked up any racial slurs, just angry boos and
chants of "kill the bill." As for Cleaver's incident, it was
captured on video. He passed a man who had cupped his hands and
was shouting as Cleaver passed by. Some spittle seems to have
sprayed. It could not have been pleasant, but it's a world away
from being intentionally spat upon.
The Democrats have their
narrative and such is their influence with the press that they can
circulate it widely: Virtuous liberals enact far-reaching benevolent
legislation in the face of violent, racist, homophobic opposition.
Their fans at MSNBC and The New York Times may even buy it. But
for most of us, it's the boy who cried "racist" once too often.
|Happy Dependence Day
says it seems to be in the bag now. I try to be a sunny
the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it's hard to overestimate
the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is
in the bill is an intermediate stage: As the graph posted earlier shows,
the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers
will no longer be free to be "insurers" in any meaningful sense of that
term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that's clear we'll be on the
fast track to Obama's desired destination of single payer as a fait
If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in
office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in
history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of
themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well,
the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the
Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it
can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now,
governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the
citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I
wrote in National Review recently, there's plenty of evidence to support
that from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.
More prosaically, it's
also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that
middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global
military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an
imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying.
But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the
post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just
as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to
announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big
government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's
enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.
Longer wait times,
fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt,
the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to
look on the bright side . . .
|Robbing Peter To Pay Paul's Health Care
|The Washington Times
contends that ObamaCare is a socialist law designed to take money
from some Americans and use it to benefit others. The health care
bill signed into law by Obama is full of hidden time bombs. One
costly provision buried in the lengthy reconciliation bill at the last
minute has taxpayers covering long-term at-home care for the elderly.
Through the so-called Community Living Assistance Services and Support
Act (CLASS Act), Americans will find between $150 and $250 taken
out of their paychecks each month to cover this program nobody knew
Democrats claim this isn't a controversial
program, but if they really believed that, they wouldn't have had to
sneak the provision into the reconciliation bill. But it was snuck
in the reconciliation bill only two days before the House vote.
Even some Democrats warned about the financial impact of the home-care
program. Before the idea was dropped last year because of stiff
opposition, Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat who is chairman of
the Senate Budget Committee, called the program a Ponzi scheme that
would produce massive deficits in the future. A letter released at
that time by Mr. Conrad and Democratic Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of
Louisiana, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson
of Nebraska and Mark Warner of Virginia warned: "While the goals of the
CLASS Act are laudable -- finding a way to provide long-term care
insurance to individuals -- the effects of including this legislation in
the merged Senate bill would not be fiscally responsible for several
The senators were particularly concerned that the
Congressional Budget Office numbers missed the real costs of the
program. The CBO is instructed only to consider the fiscal impact over
the next 10 years, but the way the scheme is set up, people must pay the
additional taxes for at least five years to become eligible. So
for the first five years we only see revenue. After that, the
taxpayers are eligible only gradually. They must then become old
enough to require home health care, so expenditures will occur in the
distant future. In other words, we see taxes with no expenditures
upfront, but huge expenditures picking up after the CBO's 10-year
evaluation window passes.
The budget concerns of a handful of
Democratic senators kept the program out of the earlier version of the
health care bill, which passed the Senate before Christmas. If the
provision hadn't been removed, Democrats wouldn't have obtained the 60
votes needed to break the filibuster. Only by jamming it into the
Senate reconciliation bill in March were they able to get it passed with
the bare minimum 51 votes.
Ironically, the reconciliation
procedure, requiring only a simple majority, was originally designed to
help reduce the deficit. It certainly was not meant for
circumventing normal procedures and throwing in last-minute budgetary
Democrats might not consider $109 billion in taxes
over the program's first 10 years to be controversial. But taking
$150 to $250 out of each monthly paycheck will cause problems for
millions of Americans. This is yet another example of Mr. Obama
breaking his promise not to raise taxes on those making less than
$250,000 per year. It's not what we consider a very classy act.
|Sebelius Says, "We Don't Know How Much It's
Going To Cost"
says the fact that Democrats spent nearly a trillion
dollars on a
failed stimulus bill means nothing. The fact that they
no jobs means nothing. This group of looters and crooks rammed
through their nationalized health care bill and now admit that they have
no idea how much their "high risk pools" will cost the country.
Unreal. And, now they want to nationalize banks, energy and open
the borders to illegal immigrants.
How's that for hope and
Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded
in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve
Obama's aim of expanding health insurance -- adding 34 million to the
But the analysis also found that the law falls
short of Obama's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising
projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase
could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and
unsustainable, the report warned.
It's a worrisome assessment for
|ObamaCare Costs To Skyrocket
says government releases new numbers on ObamaCare showing that costs
This really is criminal -- now that ObamaCare has
been rammed into law we get to see just how much we were lied to by the
radical left and the state-run media.
The federal government
released a new report on the cost of ObamaCare and the results are
troubling. The report comes from actuaries from Medicare and
Medicaid. Medical costs will skyrocket rising $389 billion 10 years.
14 million will lose employer-based coverage. Millions will be
left without insurance. And millions more will be may be dumped
into the already overwhelmed Medicaid system. 4 million American
families will be hit with tax penalties under this new law.
course, these were ALL things that democrats and Obama assured us would
told America in
March, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in
Now we know.
|ObamaCare Will Be A Total Disaster
says that a new report
issued by Obama's own experts has confirmed that everything
Democrats told us about their economy-killing, debt-exploding, illegal
health care takeover was wrong.
Just as conservatives had warned,
ObamaCare will actually increase costs while forcing millions of seniors
off Medicare and severely limiting access to care -- the findings:
• Roughly 14
million people will lose their employer coverage by 2019 as
companies terminate employee coverage (the fines are cheaper) and
force workers onto Medicaid. -- What was that about being able
to keep your existing coverage?
The cost "reductions" will not be "fully achievable" because
millions will be forced onto Medicare, even as it is being
completely gutted. -- But, weren't Republicans just
Crushing new fees and taxes on medical device makers will (in
addition to killing innovation) "be passed through to health
consumers" via higher prices and premiums on drugs and medical
devices. -- Welcome to "the change we need."
• Funding for the national
high-risk pool will be exhausted by 2012, resulting in substantial
premium increases to sustain the program, which will "limit further
participation." -- So much for "bending down the cost curve."
• Forcing millions of people
onto Medicaid when most doctors already won't accept it will be
"difficult" for the program to endure. -- But, isn't ObamaCare
supposed to improve access?
As companies pass on the costs of $87 billion in penalties
between 2014-2019 to consumers, everything will become more
expensive and we will lose even more jobs. -- But, didn't
Democrats repeatedly tell us this would be good for the economy?
• It will drive15% of medical
care providers who take Medicare Part A out of business. --
Again, how will reducing care (this doesn't even include the 45% of
doctors who said they would consider leaving the profession if this
insanity passed) while adding millions of patients improve access?
• Severe Medicare cuts would
drive roughly 50% of seniors out of the wildly popular Medicare
Advantage program. -- Again, contrary to everything we were
What do you know? Tea Partiers really
are better at reading Obama's legislation than the news media -- or
|Obama Covered Up HHS Report
says I can't say I'm surprised, but I didn't know the deceptions
surrounding ObamaCare went quite this far, to the point of smothering a
government report. From
The economic report released last week by
Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack
Obama's health care "reform" law would actually increase the cost of
health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted
to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week
before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS
sources, who added that Sebelius's staff refused to review the
document before the vote was taken.
"The reason we were given
was that they did not want to influence the vote," says an HHS
source. "Which is actually the point of having a review like
this, you would think."
|An Unmitigated Disaster
|Janice Shaw Crouse says Americans are learning
that ObamaCare will pile on insurmountable debt and cause government to
encroach on every area of our lives. ObamaCare is, as Yuval Levin
said, an "unmitigated disaster -- for our health care system, for our
fiscal future, and for any notion of limited government." And the
more we learn about the specific provisions, the more we discover that
the bill does not reflect our values -- faith, family and freedom -- nor
does it strengthen those principles that are the foundation of a great
Each day while Democrats are criss-crossing the country
to declare that ObamaCare is not a government takeover of health care, a
new government expert releases figures indicating that ObamaCare is
going to be outrageously expensive and won't do what Obama promised it
would. Now they tell us!
Many Americans were outraged after
ObamaCare passed when a report from the Office of the Actuary of
Medicare indicated that the costs of the bill would increase rather than
cut the costs of health care in the United States. In an April 23
appearance before the House Appropriations Committee, Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared that nobody really knows
what ObamaCare will cost. Ed Morrissey, the prominent blogger on
Hot Air, called the $5 billion appropriated for ObamaCare just a
"spit-balling number," because "no one has the faintest clue how much
money will actually get spent on this program." There is clear
evidence, however, from the Congressional Budget Office that the average
fine for those three million middle-class Americans who are expected to
pay a penalty for not having health insurance will amount to more than
$1,000 per person. The report estimates that the government will
collect about $4 billion per year in fines from 2017 to 2019.
addition to questions about cost, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll
reveals that over half of Americans are confused about what the law
means (55 percent) and what impact it will have on them (56 percent).
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), ranking Republican on the Budget Committee
and a leader in explaining Obamanomics, believes that the nation is at a
"tipping point" and could be on a "very dangerous" path toward a social
welfare state. He says ObamaCare "has $2 trillion in higher taxes,
doubles the debt in five years, triples the debt in 10 years," and
consists of the "largest entitlement" expansion in 35 years where the
"majority of Americans are more dependent upon the government than they
are themselves." More than 70 percent, Ryan claims, will get more
benefits from the government than they pay for in taxes -- making
3-out-of-10 families either supplement or supply the income for the
other seven families.
Numerous polls indicate that the public's
trust in government is at an "historic low." The Pew Research
Center reported that only 22 percent of Americans trust government
today. A Quinnipiac poll notes that Obama's approval rating is
down to 44 percent, and Congress's approval is 25 percent. Daniel
Henninger, of the Wall Street Journal, said, "The American people have
issued a no-confidence vote in government." Henninger thinks that
the distrust is because, with almost universal access to the Internet,
the "veil was ripped from the true cost of government" so that everyone
could see how much spending -- $9 trillion -- was out of control.
ObamaCare contains $670 billion in tax increases. For the
middle class, there are at least 14 different tax increases signed into
law that target taxpayers making less than $250,000 per year. In
Massachusetts, a state that enacted health care reforms similar to the
national plan, more than a half-dozen lawsuits were filed to stop
double-digit premium increases. The Boston Globe warned that
ObamaCare could result in similar lawsuits at the federal level.
Indeed, Richard Epstein, a constitutional lawyer writing in the Wall
Street Journal, stated that regulated public utilities have a right to a
"risk-adjusted rate of return on their invested capital." Others
are predicting federal lawsuits where courts will slap down "efforts to
control by fiat the price of the insurance" that Americans are legally
mandated to buy. Attorneys general in more than a dozen states are
working to challenge the legal mandate in federal court as
Finally, officials are owning up to what most
Americans already knew. ObamaCare means higher costs and lower
quality; ObamaCare means rationing and higher taxes -- including a Value
Added Tax (VAT). It means mandating and penalties. Obama and
his progressive colleagues on the Hill jettisoned the world's best
health care system for the dubious honor of having achieved "health care
reform." Now, in addition to figuring out how to pay for the
trillion dollar government takeover of health care, we have to untangle
the budgetary gimmicks, bureaucratic mess, and disastrous financial
crisis that the nation faces as a result.
|$115 Billion Accounting Error
|David Hogberg says you'd better sit down,
because you are in for a "shock" -- ObamaCare will cost more than
The Congressional Budget Office today
released an analysis of discretionary spending in the law, and found
that those costs will "probably exceed" $115 billion over 10 years.
At a stroke, that erases almost all of ObamaCare’s $143 billion in
budget savings based off rushed, incomplete CBO projections given just
before the decisive House vote in March.
Of course, that original
forecast also assumed politically poisonous Medicare cuts and numerous
other budget tricks. But, continuing to set those issues aside, the CBO
suggests even its surplus forecast may prove ephemeral.
estimate includes the costs of administering the law by the IRS and the
Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the cost of "future
appropriations for a variety of grant and other program spending for
which the act identifies the specific funding levels it envisions for
one or more years."
Yet there are other programs for which "no
specific funding levels are identified in the legislation," and the CBO
couldn’t estimate the cost of those. The smart money says those
costs will exceed $28 billion.
here . . .
Related: 56% of American voters want the Democrat’s ObamaCare
Related: Even supporters are shocked by its sweeping implications
that reach into every corner of our lives and society.
|ObamaCare Repeal Support Rises To 63%
says Democrats may be celebrating holding a seat in a Pennsylvania
district by eight points with a 2-1 registration advantage, but a new
Rasmussen poll shows that as whistling past the graveyard. Support
for repealing ObamaCare has risen by seven points in the last week,
hitting its highest level ever at 63%. Opposition to the idea of
repeal dropped seven points, for a total of a fourteen-point swing in
Support for repeal of the new national
health care plan has jumped to its highest level ever. A new
Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of U.S.
voters now favor repeal of the plan passed by congressional
Democrats and signed into law by President Obama in March.
Prior to today, weekly polling had shown support for repeal ranging
from 54% to 58%.
Currently, just 32% oppose repeal.
The White House has attempted to front-load the
rollout of ObamaCare with its most
popular elements in an attempt to change the narrative. Not only
has that effort completely failed, it also leaves Barack Obama and Nancy
Pelosi with little ammunition left with which to fight in the upcoming
general election. Despite their bravado, Democrat Mark Critz won
PA-12 by running against ObamaCare, not in support of it, in a
momentarily successful triangulation against a tough Republican
challenge from Tim Burns -- one that will be repeated in November.
Not only has support grown for repeal overall, it has also grown
broadly in the electorate. Majorities of both men (65%) and women
(62%) want ObamaCare repealed. Majorities in every age demographic
want it repealed as well, including a shocking 70% of 18-29 year-old
voters, which normally form the base of Barack Obama’s age-demographic
support. That includes a 47% plurality that strongly supports
repeal, suggesting that younger voters have finally realized that
ObamaCare uses them to subsidize insurance premiums of older Americans.
In other demographics, the news is equally bad. Only the
lowest income earners don’t want repeal, and that’s just by eight
points, 40/48. Solid majorities support repeal in every other
income bracket, and "strongly supports" doesn’t get below 48% in any of
them. Seventy-two percent of independents want it repealed, and
even 36% of Democrats support repeal -- 17% of them strongly.
more people discover about ObamaCare, the more they want an end to it.
What does it say about the chances of Democrats in the midterms when
support for their one legislative accomplishment (32%) gets outstripped
by the number of Democrats who want it reversed (36%)? I’d expect
to hear a lot about the Lily Ledbetter Act in October, because thanks to
their singular focus on the ObamaCare hobby horse, Democrats have
nothing else on which to run.
|Proof! Destruction Planned For
Private Insurance Interests
|Aaron Klein says a socialist organization with
close ties to Barack Obama has outlined a plan to turn ObamaCare into a
government-run system that will ultimately eliminate private insurance
ObamaCare "should create millions of new stakeholders
in a health-care system governed by democratically established rules
rather than by the fiats of private insurers," wrote Frank Llewellyn,
national director of Democratic Socialists of America.
in the latest issue of the socialist Democratic Left magazine, Llewellyn
said "progressives" must use ObamaCare legislation "to build support for
the elimination of private insurers."
Llewellyn called for a
public information campaign regarding ObamaCare and socialized medicine.
"DSAers (Democratic Socialists of America
members) in every state and city," he said, "should be prepared to
rebut distortions with letters to the editor and op-eds that talk
about what socialism really is – and what true social democratic
public provision would look like, particularly when health care is
the paradigmatic public good that markets, let alone for profit
oligopolies, simply cannot justly and affordably supply."
He recommended removing Democratic lawmakers who
oppose single-payer and socialized health care.
"Progressives must now work to ensure that
some conservative Democrats who did not support the final bill will
be punished with primaries or even third-party challenges."
Llewellyn argued the passage of Obama's
health-care bill opens the door for other progressive policies, such as
immigration reform, anti-corporate measures and an end to the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
here . . .
|Obama Picks A Socialist For His Socialized Medicine
|CNSNews.com says Obama's unconfirmed recess
appointee to run Medicare advocates rationing, redistribution of wealth.
Obama today circumvented the Senate confirmation process by granting
a recess appointment to Dr. Donald Berwick to be director of the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that runs
Medicare and Medicaid.
Berwick, a professor at Harvard Medical
School and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (a think
tank), has expressed his disdain for free-market medicine and his "love"
for Great Britain’s government-run health-care system, while advocating
health-care rationing and using the health-care system to redistribute
The directorship of CMS normally requires confirmation by
the Senate, which currently has a 59-member majority of Obama’s party
(counting Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who caucuses
with Senate Democrats).
Berwick is known for his staunch defense
of Great Britain’s government-run National Health System (NHS) -- which
he has hailed as a model for the world -- and his penchant for comparing
the U.S. health-care system unfavorably to the British system.
Dr. Berwick argued that redistribution of wealth is an absolutely
necessary component in any just health-care system and that the British
had made the right decision in nationalizing their system.
here . . .
The top 10 things Obama doesn't want you to know
about Donald Berwick.
|Health Coverage For Life
says Donald Berwick, recess-appointed by Obama to head Medicare and
Medicaid, is a well-known advocate of health care rationing and admirer
of Britain's National Health Service. Rising health costs and
limited resources "require decisions about who will have access to care
and the extent of their coverage," Berwick wrote in 1999. Last
year, he said, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care
-- the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open." Of
the NHS, Berwick says simply, "I love it," adding that it is "one of the
great human health care endeavors on earth."
As it turns out,
Berwick himself does not have to deal with the anxieties created by
limited access to care and the extent of coverage. In a special
benefit conferred on him by the board of directors of the Institute for
Health Care Improvement, a nonprofit health care charitable organization
he created and which he served as chief executive officer, Berwick and
his wife will have health coverage "from retirement until death."
The provision is deep inside a 2009 audit report on the nonprofit's
finances. On page 17 of that document, there is a paragraph
headlined "Post Retirement Health Benefits":
During fiscal year 2003, the Institute
created a postretirement health benefit plan for its Chief Executive
Officer (CEO). It provides the CEO and his spouse medical insurance
from retirement until death. The present value of the estimated cost
of this benefit is approximately $120,000, which is being accrued
over the CEO's estimated remaining service period. The amount
expensed by the Institute for the years ended 2009 and 2008 related
to this liability was approximately $12,000 and $17,000,
respectively. At 2009 and 2008, approximately $84,000 and $72,000,
respectively, was included in accounts payable and accrued expenses.
Berwick was the CEO in question; under the
provision, he and his wife will be covered for the rest of their lives
-- a benefit that was on top of the $2.3 million in compensation the
nonprofit gave Berwick in 2008, the $637,006 in compensation he received
in 2007, and the $585,008 he received in 2006.
Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has
been asking questions about the Institute's finances.
Specifically, Grassley wanted to know more about the millions of dollars
in grants and contributions to the organization: where did that money
come from? Given the zillions of dollars that changed hands during
the debate over Obamacare, it was a reasonable question.
was a question the White House did not want to answer. Not long
after Grassley inquired about the Institute's donors, the White House
decided to bypass Senate confirmation for Berwick. Obama's recess
appointment means that Berwick will not have to answer Grassley's, or
anyone else's, questions.
Now comes word that Berwick enjoys his
nonprofit's generosity in the form of health care coverage for life.
That undoubtedly would also have been a topic of questioning had Berwick
gone through the normal course of Senate confirmation. But the
recess appointment avoided all that.
|Let The Death Panels Commence
|Peter Heck says that on Friday, August 7, 2009,
Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page: "The Democrats promise that a
government healthcare system will reduce the cost of healthcare, but
[it] will not...it will simply refuse to pay the cost. The America I
know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down
Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his
bureaucrats can decide...whether they are worthy of healthcare. Such a
system is downright evil."
The response of Democrats and the
media to Palin's assertion can only be described as outrage. Howard Dean
went on ABC and called it "totally erroneous," concluding, "She just
made that up." Even David Brooks, the closest thing to a conservative
the New York Times can bring themselves to hire, proclaimed on Meet the
Press, "That's crazy...the crazies are attacking the plan because it'll
cut off granny, and that -- that's simply not true. That simply is not
going to happen."
And even last week, Newsweek magazine ranked
the idea that there would be bureaucratic boards making life-and-death
decisions for people as one of the "Dumb Things Americans Believe."
The only problem for Dean, Brooks, Newsweek and the whole lot is
that it now appears that under ObamaCare there ARE bureaucratic boards
making life-and-death decisions for people.
. . .
|Obama's War On America's Seniors
|Peter Ferrara says senior citizens probably
provided less support for Obama in the 2008 election than any other
voter bloc. That reflects the wisdom of age. But for Obama,
apparently it's payback time, because he is conducting a comprehensive
economic assault on America's senior citizens.
First He Trashed
A Democrat campaign theme this fall is that those scary
Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it. But that is not
possible, because Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats
have already done that, in ObamaCare.
The Chief Actuary for
Medicare has publicly reported that the Medicare payment rates for the
doctors and hospitals serving seniors will be cut by 30% over the next 3
years. By 2019, those Medicare payment rates will be lower than
under Medicaid, which leaves the poor often unable to find doctors and
hospitals willing to serve them. Medicare's Chief Actuary reports
that ultimately under ObamaCare Medicare payment rates will be only
one-third of what will be paid by private insurance and only half of
what is paid by Medicaid. Good luck to Grandma in finding a doctor
If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep him,
Obama promised in trying to sell ObamaCare to the nation. But the
question under Medicare now, after ObamaCare, is whether your doctor
will be willing to keep you.
Last month's Annual Report of the
Medicare Board of Trustees revealed that ObamaCare's total cuts to
Medicare run to over $1 trillion over the first 10 years of full
implementation, and to nearly $5 trillion over the first 20 years.
These are cuts for seniors who are already retired!
by the end of the Trustees' Report projection period, Medicare Part A is
cut by 60%. Medicare Part B is cut by 43%. Translation: this
means the end of Medicare as we know it.
here . . .
|ObamaCare Is Even Worse Than Critics
|The Washington Examiner
says that six months ago, Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rammed ObamaCare down the throats of an
unwilling American public. Half a year removed from the
unprecedented legislative chicanery and backroom dealing that
characterized the bill's passage, we know much more about the bill than
we did then. A few of the revelations:
• ObamaCare won't decrease health care
costs for the government. According to Medicare's actuary, it
will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for
privately funded health care.
• As written, ObamaCare
covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama's promise that it
wouldn't. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for
a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view
as immoral. Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human
Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these
will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may
not survive the court challenge.
• ObamaCare won't
allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they
have and like. By Obama's estimates, as many as 69 percent of
employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large
businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more
• ObamaCare will increase insurance
premiums -- in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly
forced to cover clients' children until age 26, have little choice
but to raise premiums, and they attribute to ObamaCare's mandates a
1 to 9 percent increase. Obama's only method of preventing
massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.
• ObamaCare will force seasonal employers -- especially the
ski and amusement park industries -- to pay huge fines, cut hours,
or lay off employees.
• ObamaCare forces states to
guarantee not only payment but also treatment for indigent Medicaid
patients. With many doctors now refusing to take Medicaid
(because they lose money doing so), cash-strapped states could be
sued and ordered to increase reimbursement rates beyond their means.
• ObamaCare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance
burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS
1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more
than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal
Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our
senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when
they passed the measure.
• ObamaCare allows the IRS to
confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a
qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents
to make sure Americans stay in line.
If you wonder why so many American voters are
angry, and no longer give Obama the benefit of the doubt on a variety of
issues, you need look no further than ObamaCare, whose birthday gift to
America might just be a GOP congressional majority.
|Barack Obama: Welfare King
|For the three or four Democrats who are
actually defending their health care bill, they are essentially saying:
"My fellow Americans, since you
elected me to office I have put millions of our fellow citizens on
welfare. And if you re-elect me, I promise to get even more on
the public dole."
ObamaCare is supposed to help about 32 million
uninsured Americans get health coverage. Half of those will get it
through Medicaid, a means-tested entitlement program. Merrill Matthews
says Medicaid is welfare. Democrats want to put 16 million more
Americans on the welfare rolls through Medicaid -- and they think that’s
a good thing! And it’s not just future welfare recipients. For the
12-month period from December 2008 to December 2009, Medicaid added 3.7
million new enrollees, the largest jump since the program’s earliest
days, according to the Associated Press’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, and I
expect we could see an even bigger jump by December of this year.
Now, it isn’t really fair to blame Obama for the Medicaid jump his
first year in office. That’s the residual from the recession he
inherited. But had Obama’s numerous -- albeit worthless -- efforts to
stimulate the economy by pumping in trillions of dollars worked, we
should have seen a growing economy by now. Indeed, compared to past
recoveries, we should be in the middle of an economic boom. That boom
would have employers hiring again and providing more people with
employer-based coverage, taking millions off Medicaid rolls. Obama must
accept some blame for that failure.
Of course, Medicaid is only
one of the roughly 70 means-tested welfare programs. There’s the
cash-grant program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF), the food stamp program, housing assistance, and many more. And
those are all experiencing record applications. But Medicaid is by far
the biggest, and it can be a "gateway" to other welfare programs. To be
sure, those programs can be very important to the poor; but growing the
welfare rolls as part of the administration’s policy, whether its food
stamps or Medicaid, is destructive. Working Americans, even those with
low incomes, want to be self-sufficient. They may need a little help
here and there, but most of them don’t want to be on welfare. Yet
that’s the administration’s goal under ObamaCare.
trying since the hugely successful -- at least until recently -- welfare
reform legislation of 1996 to get people off welfare and back to work.
The Heritage Foundation reports, "Between 1996 and 2009 over 2.8 million
families left the welfare rolls. In addition, the child poverty rate
dropped and in particular the black child poverty rate hit historic
Then Obama arrived in Washington. His stimulus bill
returned to the old pre-reform approach that gives states bonuses for
expanding welfare rolls. And Heritage says, "President Obama’s FY 2011
budget request would increase total welfare spending to $953 billion, a
42 percent increase over welfare spending in FY 2008." When the
government creates economic incentives to expand welfare, don’t be
surprised if the welfare rolls grow, in bad times or in good. Forget
the old notion of the "welfare queen." What we have is a Welfare King
whose policies, both directly and indirectly, encourage a growing
Now, someone might reasonably argue, these
are people who have lost their coverage, or never had it to begin with.
Maybe it’s welfare, but at least it’s coverage. Yes, Medicaid is
coverage, but it’s terrible coverage. It’s increasingly difficult to
find a doctor who will even see a new Medicaid patient. Medicaid pays
roughly 70% of what Medicare pays, and Medicare pays significantly less
than what private coverage pays. The result is that many doctors aren’t
taking new Medicaid patients, if they see any. The Center for Studying
Health System Change reports that only 40.2% of physicians are accepting
new Medicaid patients, while 28% turn away all of them. And every
survey expects that spread to widen significantly as ObamaCare is
If the goal is to get people covered, Obama could
have done so without a huge expansion of a welfare entitlement program.
ObamaCare expands Medicaid to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL)
and includes subsidies for families making incomes up to 400% of FPL.
That’s $88,000 for a family of four today, and it will be even higher
when the subsidies go into effect in 2014. Alternatively, the
legislation could have made a sliding-scale subsidy available to anyone
up to, say, 200% of FPL. The family could take the subsidy and go out
and buy its own coverage, or buy into the state’s plan for teachers and
state employees. If family members wanted to stay in the state’s
current Medicaid program, they could, but if they wanted out of Medicaid
and in private insurance, they could do that instead.
words, Democrats could have expanded health coverage without expanding
Medicaid. The fact that the Welfare King was determined to put millions
of people in a government-run health insurance welfare program tells us
a lot about his underlying motives -- and our future.
|Virginia Attorney General Compares Obama To
King George III
says Virginia’s fiery attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, who argued
against the constitutionality of the health care law in federal court
this week, has a new line: Obama is worse than King George III, the
English king in power when Americans declared independence in 1776.
Cuccinelli said Monday that at no other time in American history had
a government forced citizens to purchase a product and gotten away with
it, even the British King that sparked the American Revolution.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in April contains
a provision that requires citizens to buy health insurance.
Virginia’s lawsuit argues that the mandate is beyond the powers of the
federal government, as defined in the Constitution. (A
Massachusetts state measure, championed by former governor and
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, requires everyone in the
state to have insurance.)
In 1774, the American colonists signed
onto a document that notified King George III that Americans would
boycott British goods until the so-called "Intolerable Acts" were
lifted. Speaking like a history professor, Cuccinelli told the
story of how American colonists boycotted British products in response
to the Acts more than 200 years ago.
"The King’s own lawyer, his
solicitor general, advised him that the boycott was legal under British
law and that Americans could not be forced to buy British goods,"
Cuccinelli said. "Yet in 2010 we have a Congress and a president
that have enacted a law that compels Americans for the first time in
history under the guise of regulating commerce, that they must buy a
private product even when the King of England and the parliament that we
rebelled against acknowledged that they should not have the authority to
compel us to do that when we were their subjects."
administration has countered that Congress has the power to mandate
health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The battle over the mandate is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
|IBD Editorials says the more we know about
ObamaCare, the more we find out it wasn't designed to cut costs but to
eventually eliminate private insurance coverage and create a
Provisions of the Democrats' health care
overhaul started to become law only a month ago, yet the list of
companies dropping medical benefits for their employers is piling up.
Mega-firms such as AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere and Verizon are among
those that are either considering ending coverage for their employees or
have already chosen to do so.
It's not just the big companies
eliminating benefits, either. Smaller employers are doing the
same. Larry M. Elkin, president of Palisades Hudson Financial
Group, wrote Thursday in the Business Insider: "For 15 years, I have
taken pride in paying the full cost of health insurance for every
full-time Palisades Hudson employee who wanted it. This month
marks the last time I will do that."
Elkin said that every one of
his employees has the option of staying on the company plan. But
those who choose that route "will have to pay the entire cost -- ranging
from $574 to $683 per month -- themselves, through payroll deductions."
And where will those who don't opt for staying on the company plan
go? Maybe they end up leaning on the government along with the 46
million or so other uninsured Americans the Democrats are trying to
cover. Elkin is not acting out of spite because he doesn't like
the Democrats. He's acting rationally, as any good businessman
He knew in March, before the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act was passed, that it "is likely to make health
coverage anything but affordable for those who actually pay the bills"
and that he would have to make changes for his 20 employees.
here . . .
|ObamaCare Will Drive People From The
|Matt Cover says Congressional Budget Office
(CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf said the most significant economic
effect of Barack Obama’s health care reform package will be to drive
people out of the job market.
"For the economy outside the health sector,
the most significant impact of the legislation will be through the
labor market," Elmendorf said on Oct. 22. "We estimated that
the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the
economy by roughly half a percent, primarily by reducing the amount
that people choose to work."
Elmendorf made the remarks at a conference
sponsored by the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and
Economics at the University of Southern California.
that people would choose not to work because they could subsist on the
generous federal insurance subsidies and Medicaid payments contained in
the health care overhaul.
"Some provisions of the legislation
will discourage people from working more hours or entering the
workforce, and other provisions will encourage them to work more," he
said, adding that "[t]he net reduction in the supply of labor is largely
attributable to the substantial expansion of Medicaid and the provision
of subsidies through the new insurance exchanges."
analysis of the health care law’s economic impact seems to support House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) seemingly off-the-cuff remark in May
when she said that because of the subsidies in the health care bill,
people could quit their regular jobs and pursue their artistic dreams
because the government would now provide for their health care.
"We see it as an entrepreneurial bill," Pelosi said on May 14, "a bill
that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or
whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill,
your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care."
here . . .
|Death Squad Already Appointed
Before It's News
that buried 600 pages deep in the stimulus bill was
some language authorizing $1.1 billion to create "death squads" to
be appointed. Obama has already appointed 15 rationing board
chiefs who will determine who lives and dies under ObamaCare.
The diabolical rationing board is called the Federal
Coordinating Council for Comparable Effectiveness Research. Sounds
benign but watch this [very long]
to see what they really are all about.
This information is coming from a Dr. Dave Janda, a medical
doctor who testified before Congress. He was speaking at a rally for
a Dr. Rob Steele, a conservative from Michigan.
|The Washington Times
says Americans are heading to the polls to reject socialized
November 2nd is the nation's referendum on ObamaCare.
No other issue has so polarized the public and shed light on the policy
failings of the left. The midterm elections represent the last,
best hope for millions of Americans who don't want to see the health
care law's most onerous provisions ever take effect.
Obama's veto power increases the difficulty of a complete repeal,
Republican control of the House -- and perhaps the Senate -- certainly
would deflate Obama's Democratic dreams. The Internal Revenue
Service, for example, needs an estimated $10 billion to raise a
well-equipped army of agents 16,500 strong to implement the individual
health care mandate penalties. The congressional power of the
purse is sufficient to send that agency into retreat.
has been the most-heard cry on the campaign trail this season.
Erstwhile ObamaCare devotees have traded their hope-and-change banners
for the white flag, ducking the issue and refusing to list votes in
favor of ObamaCare among their accomplishments. Rory Reid,
Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Nevada and son of endangered
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the health care bill his father
pushed through the Senate is riddled with problems. "There is
potential for it to put significant pressure on states because Medicaid
rates could go up significantly," Reid the Younger admitted in a debate.
West Virginia governor and Democratic Senate nominee Joe Manchin
went from enthusiastically endorsing ObamaCare in the spring to
conceding the scheme needs to be overhauled. "There's a lot wrong
in that bill that West Virginians and myself don't agree with," Mr.
Manchin told The Washington Times' Kerry Picket. His about-face
stopped short of a full repeal, however. "It doesn't have to be
totally repealed unless you totally try to fix it," he said.
Perhaps the most comprehensive critique can be found in "Fresh
Medicine," a new book by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
In a year in which he isn't even running for re-election, Bredesen pulls
few punches. "Congress and the Obama administration have just
added over 30 million people into an obsolete and broken system and done
little to address the underlying problems; in multiple ways, they've
made them worse," he wrote. "Worse" is an understatement.
Lower quality health care, higher costs, more complexity and more
regulations would be ObamaCare's legacy.
The American people have
a chance to stop it from happening. Just as the drubbing of
congressional Democrats in 1994 in the wake of the Clinton gun ban has
kept overt gun-control measures out of the national spotlight, the 2010
drubbing could kill the desire for health care nationalization once and
for all. Already, 71 percent of voters in Missouri have approved a
ballot measure that will block implementation of ObamaCare at the state
level. Big votes tomorrow on similar constitutional amendments in
Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma will make it clear once and for all that
ObamaCare is not long for this world.
|ObamaCare Loses In Court
|The Wall Street Journal
says that only a few months ago, the White House and its allies on
the legal left dismissed the constitutional challenges to ObamaCare as
frivolous, futile and politically motivated. So much for that.
Yesterday, a federal district court judge in Virginia ruled that the
health law breaches the Constitution's limits on government power.
In a careful 42-page ruling, Judge Henry Hudson declared that
ObamaCare's core enforcement mechanism known as the individual mandate
-- the regulation that requires everyone to purchase health insurance or
else pay a penalty -- exceeds Congress's authority to regulate the lives
"The unchecked expansion of congressional power to
the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision [the
individual mandate] would invite unbridled exercise of federal police
powers," Judge Hudson writes. "At its core, this dispute is not
simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a
scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it's about an
individual's right to choose to participate."
So the issue is
joined, and no doubt with historic consequences for American liberty.
For most of the last century, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the
Constitution's Commerce Clause as so elastic as to allow any regulation
desired by a Congressional majority. Only with the William
Rehnquist Court did the Justices begin to rediscover that the Commerce
Clause has some limits, as in the Lopez (1995) and Morrison (2000)
The courts up through the Supremes will now decide if
government can order individuals to buy a private product or be
penalized for not doing so. If government can punish citizens for
in essence doing nothing, then what is left of the core Constitutional
principle of limited and enumerated government powers?
Hudson's opinion is particularly valuable because it dispatches the
White House's carousel of rationalizations for its unprecedented
intrusions. The Justice Department argued that the mandate is
justified by the Commerce Clause because the decision not to purchase
insurance has a substantial effect on interstate commerce because
everybody needs medical care eventually. And if not that, then
it's permissible under the broader taxing power for the general welfare;
and if not that, then it's viable under the Necessary and Proper clause;
and if not that, well, it's needed to make the overall regulatory scheme
But as Judge Hudson argues, the nut of the case is the
Commerce Clause. Justice can't now claim that the mandate is
"really" a tax when the bill itself imposes what it calls a "penalty"
for failing to buy insurance and says the power to impose the mandate is
vested in interstate commerce. Recall that Obama went on national
television during the ObamaCare debate to angrily assert that the
mandate "is absolutely not a tax increase."
Hudson says that no court has ever "extended Commerce Clause powers to
compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by
purchasing a commodity in the private market."
attacking Judge Hudson because he was appointed by George W. Bush, but
his ruling is relatively narrow. He didn't strike down the rest of
ObamaCare even though it lacked a severability clause, and he didn't
enjoin the law's implementation pending appeal. His opinion also
doesn't touch Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's long-shot claim
that his state's "health freedom" law can nullify an act of Congress. In
fact, federal laws that are constitutional are supreme under the 10th
Yesterday liberals were crowing that even if the
mandate is eventually declared illegal, it's no big deal because the
rest of ObamaCare's new system would remain intact. Yet they've
argued for years that the mandate is essential to health reform, because
the mandate is at the heart of the regulatory machine. ObamaCare
without a mandate would mean individuals wouldn't have to pay into a
system until they were sick, driving up costs even faster and ruining
what's left of health insurance markets.
While Judge Hudson's
ruling is the first to declare part of the law unconstitutional, more
than 20 state attorneys general and the National Federation of
Independent Business are also suing in Florida. Oral arguments
will be heard on Thursday in that case, which we think is the strongest
constitutional challenge to the law.
As the Virginia case shows,
ObamaCare really does stretch the Commerce Clause to the breaking point.
The core issue is whether the federal government can order individuals
to do anything the political class decides it wants them to do.
The stakes couldn't be higher for our constitutional order.
Copyright Beckwith 2010
All right reserved