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?