Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
"The growing sense now is that Obama is desperate -- for any kind of bill. What matters is checking the box next to "health care reform" and declaring some kind of victory.
Thus, the man who was going to remain above the political fray has revealed himself as pluperfectly political, ready to settle for the very kind of mandate (without the public option) that he opposed as a candidate challenging Hillary Clinton. Rather than inspiring confidence, he has inspired a groundswell of disapproval and a populist uprising that may allow Republicans to clean House come November."
But it's all about reducing costs, right? WellPoint looked into the data and did some regional comparisons. 25 year old in Milwaukee buying coverage on the individual market will see his costs increase by 178%, eight employee small business in Richmond VA costs will increase by 23%, 40 year old with 2 kids will see a 106% increase for family coverage. And as I have explored in previous postings, there is nothing in the bill that will actually reduce the costs of health care for Americans.
From a great article in today's Wall Street Journal:
"The tragedy is that Mr. Obama inherited a consensus that the health-care status quo needs serious reform, and a popular President might have crafted a durable compromise that blended the best ideas from both parties. A more honest and more thoughtful approach might have even done some good. But as Mr. Obama suggested, the Democratic old guard sees this plan as the culmination of 20th-century liberalism.
So instead we have this vast expansion of federal control. Never in our memory has so unpopular a bill been on the verge of passing Congress, never has social and economic legislation of this magnitude been forced through on a purely partisan vote, and never has a party exhibited more sheer political willfulness that is reckless even for Washington or had more warning about the consequences of its actions.
These 60 Democrats are creating a future of epic increases in spending, taxes and command-and-control regulation, in which bureaucracy trumps innovation and transfer payments are more important than private investment and individual decisions. In short, the Obama Democrats have chosen change nobody believes in—outside of themselves—and when it passes America will be paying for it for decades to come."
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
‘‘(3) Notwithstanding subsection (b) and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the Federal medical assistance percentage otherwise determined under subsection (b) with respect to all or any portion of a fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2017, for the State of Nebraska, with respect to amounts expended for newly eligible individuals described in subclause (VIII) of section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i), shall be determined as provided for under subsection (y)(1) (A) (notwithstanding the period provided for in such paragraph)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.
The Nevada Democrat’s deal was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations. He’s never been charged with wrongdoing – except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court.
Land deeds obtained by The Associated Press during a review of Reid’s business dealings show:
-The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas’ booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.
-In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn’t disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown’s company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.
-After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown’s company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator’s investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.
The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to Brown’s company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later.
Reid hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview."
The Democrats promised transparency. Now that we can see no only their actions but their motivations, what are we going to do about it?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Beginning on line 7, p. 118, section 1303 under “Voluntary Choice of Coverage of Abortion Services” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run health plan. Leader Reid’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions (line 13, p. 120).
What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run health plan. It’s right there beginning on line 11, page 122, section 1303, under “Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage.” The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account – and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.
Section 1303(a)(2)(C) describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run health plan and for those who are given an affordability credit to purchase insurance coverage that includes abortion through the Exchange. The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month.
From the Congressional Budget Office:
The Budgetary Impact of Enacting Both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962
Under current law, including the new rule, Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services will be reduced by about 21 percent in January 2010, and CBO estimates those payment rates will be reduced by about 2 percent annually for several subsequent years. H.R. 3961 would increase those payment rates by 1.2 percent in 2010 and restructure the SGR beginning in 2011. Those changes would result in significantly higher payment rates for physicians than those that would result under current law. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3961, by itself, would cost $210 billion over the 2010–2019 period.
H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, would establish a mandate for most legal residents of the United States to obtain health insurance, set up insurance “exchanges” through which certain individuals could receive federal subsidies toward the purchase of such insurance, and make numerous other changes in the health insurance system, in federal health care programs, and in the federal tax code. CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that enacting H.R. 3962, by itself, would reduce federal budget deficits by $109 billion over the 2010–2019 period through its effects on direct spending and revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962 would add $89 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period. That amount is about $12 billion less than the sum of the effects of enacting the bills separately. The $12 billion difference results from two types of interactions. The higher payment rates for physicians’ services under H.R. 3961 would increase the net cost of provisions in H.R. 3962 by about $3 billion. However, that difference would be more than offset by the effect of a change under H.R. 3962 in how payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans are set. That change would reduce the effect of the changes made by H.R. 3961 to Medicare’s payments for physicians’ services in the fee-for-service sector on payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans. As a result, the estimated increase in payments to Medicare Advantage plans would be $15 billion smaller if both bills were enacted than under H.R. 3961 alone.
The agency estimates that the two bills together would cost about $32 billion more in 2019 than H.R. 3962 alone and that the combination of the two bills would increase the budget deficit in 2019 by $23 billion relative to current law.Those increments would grow during the following decade. As stated in its October 29, 2009, letter to Congressman Charles B. Rangel, “CBO expects that [H.R. 3962] would slightly reduce federal budget deficits in that decade relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP [gross domestic product].” If both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962 were enacted, CBO expects that federal budget deficits during the decade following the 10-year budget window would increase relative to those projected under current law— with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.
Is it possible that Reid and and Pelosi "mis-stated" the facts in order to get health care approved?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
At this rate, it would have been cheaper to just box the money up and hand it out at the un-employment office.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
“His solutions are federalization of policy, spending way beyond anything we’ve seen in terms of deficit or debt levels, spending the country into bankruptcy. And what’s behind it is a philosophy that government knows best, a nanny-state mentality on domestic issues that will ultimately be corrosive to the other pillars of our country — to markets, private enterprise, individual responsibility, freedom and liberty.”…
Obama sold his healthcare proposal as a way to reduce costs and help the economy. “I think it’s going to go down as one of the biggest bait-and-switch acts in history, in the sense that the diagnosis of the problem for the healthcare delivery system in the country was supposed to be cost-containment. In other words, we need to make it more affordable for individuals and families, businesses, and governmental entities. But instead they are now focused substantially on expanding access.”…
“President Obama has governed in an extremely liberal way, and he hasn’t accomplished many major initiatives, but the few that he has have been almost exclusively partisan. That defies what he said during the campaign and doesn’t live up to that promise.” Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Minnesota
Thursday, October 22, 2009
“In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.
“Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.”
Former Vice President Dick Chaney, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
What’s included? First, Title 1 is based entirely on a concept which most Democrats seem to back… focusing on incentives for preventative medicine and healthier lifestyles. Title 2 deals with one of the great problems in health insurance, allowing for state based health care exchanges and federal incentives for multiple states to band together, crossing state lines, to offer more choices (Same concept that is currently being proposed in Minnesota by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty). And the state based exchanges would be charged with providing group rates to people across a multitude of circumstances to reduce rates.
Title 4 provides for supplemental health care assistance to low income families, along with both tax credits and advancement vouchers so they can purchase health insurance through these group plans. Limits are also placed on excessive premium charges by private insurance companies.
Next time you hear some White House mouth piece accusing others of misinformation, remember the Republican bills that have been buried by a Democratic Congress.
From Ronald Radosh:
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
No, not politically. Our local community conducted a grand opening of their new dog park. It had rained the night before, so things got a bit muddy. Especially the dogs. There were demonstrations of agility and flyball. Even a dog fashion show. I was surprised how many people and their pets showed up. A great day of people just getting together and enjoying some time outside.