Posts Tagged ‘employer’

Obama Lies About AARP Endorsement At Bogus Town Hall Event

August 12, 2009

Obama has told so many lies regarding health care that it is positively unreal.  But here’s yet another:

Rachel Martin and Jake Tapper report:

President Obama today suggested that the health care reform legislation for which he’s pushing has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Person.

“We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors,” the president said.

At another point he said: “Well, first of all, another myth that we’ve been hearing about is this notion that somehow we’re going to be cutting your Medicare benefits.  We are not.  AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?

The problem?

The AARP hasn’t endorsed any plan yet.

The country’s largest advocacy group for Americans over 50 issued a statement after the event saying, “While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.”

AARP is a lot less likely to be rushing in to endorse anything after getting their heads bit off by their own membership:

Last week, AARP officials speaking at a forum in Dallas walked out after several seniors interrupted the meeting with critical questions and comments.

Some AARP members say they are so outraged that they’ve taken to tearing up their membership cards and firing off heated letters to the organization’s CEO.

Recent polling by FOX News shows seniors, many of whom are on Medicare, don’t want a major overhaul — 93 percent rate their current coverage as good or excellent, and 56 percent say they oppose the creation of a government-run option for all Americans.

Other groups representing seniors say they aren’t surprised by the recent backlash.

“We get letters every single day from people that are very upset about this bill and about the AARP supporting it,” said Stuart Barton, president of the American Seniors Association. “So I don’t blame them for coming back and saying they are going to tear up their AARP cards.”

It’s understandable that many members would get the mistaken impression that AARP is backing the ObamaCare plan, given their frankly weaselly behavior as they waffled one way under White House pressure, and then waffled the other under their memberships’ pressure.  But they don’t have a massive White House staff to sort out the actual facts, and they aren’t expected to be held accountable the way the President of the United States of America is to be held accountable.

President Obama is supposed to tell the truth; not advance falsehoods.

Obama is trying to say, “Seniors don’t have to be worried because AARP wouldn’t endorse a plan that hurts seniors.”

And number one, even AARP’s own members clearly don’t accord AARP that much integrity and good will.  And number two, AARP HASN’T endorsed Obama’s plan.  So I guess we’re back to, “Seniors should be worried.”

An older woman at Arlen Spector’s town hall today said:

I’m sick of the lies.  I don’t like being lied to.  I don’t like being lied about.

But the Democrats just keep lying, and keep lying about the people who they’re lying to.

We get Obama attending a phony, controlled, choreographed town hall filled with plants even as his attack dogs demonize protesters as being “plants” and saying things like:

“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter”

when he is on record having said:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.”

and he is on the record as having said:

“The very first promise I made on this campaign was that as president I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office.”

It’s one thing for a president to say one thing, admit his mistake, tell the American people that he has changed his mind, and then specifically tell us what he will do and what he will now not accept.  But that’s not what our weasel-in-chief does; rather, he lies about what he’s in fact said without ruling the previously-said thing out.  Instead, concerned citizens are left to worry about whether the president was lying earlier, or whether he’s lying now.  An they have every reason to believe he’s lying now.

Obama said:

Well, the — I’ve seen some of those signs. (Laughter.)  Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here.  The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for “death panels” that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t — it’s too expensive to let her live anymore.  (Laughter.)  And there are various — there are some variations on this theme.

But, again, Obama just dismissively laughs off something that is actually quite serious.

Maybe he shouldn’t have told a woman regarding her aged but healthy mother:

“Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

He won’t pull the plug on grandma; he’ll just withhold lifesaving surgery and give her a pain pill.  It’s not active euthanasia – at least not yet; it’s passive euthanasia.  But grandma ends up just as dead.

During an October debate with John McCain, Obama said, regarding his foreign policy:

Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.”

So when we want to know what Obama wants in his foreign policy, we have to look at who he is associating with, and who he is surrounding himself with in the White House.  And Barack Obama has surrounded himself with some people who hold some pretty terrifying ideas concerning health care.

Obama has to explain why he appointed Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel as both his health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and as a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.  Emanuel has said JUST THIS YEAR:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

He explained:

Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.”

Dr. Emanuel has said:

Many commentators note that 27 to 30 percent of the Medicare budget is spent on the 5 percent of Medicare patients who die each year.

“Many have linked the effort to reduce the high cost of death with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide…. Decreasing availability and increasing expense in health care and the uncertain impact of managed care may intensify pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide” and “the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care.”

And he has said:

Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

Then there is Cass Sunstein, whom Barack Obama appointed to the position of Regulatory Czar.  Sunstein wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explained:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

Let us not forget Obama’s director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, who has openly advocated forced abortions and sterilizations as a population growth solution.  Seriously, is it a stretch that he likewise supports the passive euthanasia advocated by Emanuel and Sunstein to control population growth?

I am willing to entertain the notion that the final health care bill will not include “death panels.”  But, given the people Obama has appointed who are serving as architects of the health care legislation, he certainly shouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt.  Because these men whom Obama appointed have written some very frightening things that very much suggest a “death panel.”  Ezekiel,  Sunstein, and Holdren are just three very real Obama officials who have written some very real things that would entail the very real deaths of many very real American citizens.

And Obama’s mockingly laughing at “death panels” is not very funny given his appointments of Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein.  Mr. Obama, don’t you dare mock us for being afraid over the writings of men that you appointed.

The prospect of bureaucrats having more power to make more decisions over more vital aspects of peoples’ lives is frightening.  It should not be glossed over.  Obama and Democrats assuring us that they won’t accept any plan that creates a deficit when the plan they left behind in August creates another trillion dollars in deficits (and probably many times that, given the CBO’s tendency to massively underestimate costs) is frightening.  And nonchalant promises don’t hold any water.  Assuring Americans that a “public option” won’t push people into government care when the bill in fact does the exact opposite is immoral.

And Democrat politicians who casually dismiss these issues and others are the reason for all the anger.  People are realizing that there lives may literally be at stake – and they are in absolutely no mood to be played with.

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Obama Health Care Plan Would Send Costs Soaring, Cost Jobs

September 16, 2008

John McCain’s health insurance plan would probably not significantly lower the number of uninsured in the country, and it is possible under his plan that insurers could re-locate to states with less onerous health care mandates, say experts.

But the same experts claim that Barack Obama’s plan “would require new, large, and rapidly growing federal subsidies that are unlikely to be sustainable, fiscally or politically” and that “job losses or pay cuts would result” from his plan.

I don’t know about you.  But I like option A a lot better than option Barack.

But Barack Obama supporters will probably argue that this objective comparison of health care plans fails to consider the fairy dust that Obama would sprinkle over his plan that would make all its pitfalls magically go away.

Economists take critical view of health plans

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer Tue Sep 16, 12:12 AM ET

WASHINGTON – John McCain’s health plan won’t lower the ranks of the uninsured. Barack Obama’s fails to curb the soaring cost of health care, meaning initial gains in helping more people buy health insurance would eventually be undermined.

That’s the assessment of health care economists who critiqued the plans of the two presidential candidates.

The critiques, published in the journal Health Affairs on Tuesday, reflect fundamental disagreements over how to improve access to health coverage. They also sound warnings about what could go wrong with each candidate’s plan.

McCain would dramatically reshape the way millions of people get health insurance. The Republican would do away with income tax breaks for health insurance obtained through the work place, instead treating the payments as taxable wages.

In exchange, he would give people a $2,500 tax credit for individuals who buy health insurance and a $5,000 tax credit for families that do so.

The tax credit could help people buy insurance through their employer. Many would also use it buy coverage directly from insurers in the individual market. They could select from insurers licensed in any state. With more competition, costs would fall and quality would increase, McCain reasons.

Analysts writing in the journal warned against that approach.

They said employers would be less likely to offer coverage if they knew their workers could get it elsewhere. In all, the authors projected that 20 million people would lose their employer-sponsored insurance under McCain’s plan, while 21 million people would gain coverage through the individual market — little more than a wash.

And as monthly insurance premiums rise and the tax break stays the same, even that gain would erode.

Another concern is that insurers would gravitate to states with less onerous coverage requirements. For example, 29 states insist insurers in the individual and small group market cover cervical cancer screenings. They could locate in states without such requirements.

Obama wants the government to subsidize the cost of health coverage for millions who otherwise would have trouble affording it on their own.

The Democrat would set up a kind of government-run shopping mall that would negotiate prices and benefits with private insurers. One choice would be a government-run plan. No participating company could turn someone away because of pre-existing cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Nor would someone have to pay a higher monthly premium based on those conditions.

The government would subsidize the cost for many who buy coverage through this exchange. But analysts say using third parties to subsidize the cost of a product exacerbates health inflation. Consumers and providers act as if any service that might yield some value should be covered. After all, it’s largely somebody else who is picking up the tab.

“Any major expansion of coverage will be costly, and the Obama promise of affordability would require new, large, and rapidly growing federal subsidies that are unlikely to be sustainable, fiscally or politically,” said the authors.

Obama would also require all but small businesses to make a “meaningful” payment for health coverage of their workers or contribute a percentage of payroll toward the cost of the public plan offered through the exchange. The authors said that either way, job losses or pay cuts would result.

The journal subjected the plans to a sort of devil’s advocate analysis. Once the unsolicited review of McCain’s plan was reviewed and accepted, the journal sought out economists who would take a similarly tough look at the Obama plan. The reviewers of the Obama plan included Gail Wilensky, an unpaid adviser to the McCain campaign.

Personally, I would like to see a health care plan that provided businesses with tax incentives to provide coverage for employees and their families, and have health coverage that could not be cut off if a worker lost his job (provided he or she continued to pay the same premiums as the employer had paid).  In other words, just because you are no longer working for a particular employer does not mean you should lose your medical coverage.

In my view, the two biggest problems with health care are 1) soaring costs and 2) transferability.

Socialized medicine has failed everywhere it’s been tried, and the larger the population, the more horrendous the failure.  It invariably results in long waits and rationing of care.  But the privatized system we have now – which historically depends upon employers to pick up the tab – fails to provide suitable controls to limit the skyrocketing costs (i.e., since you are not paying for your own health care, there is no incentive to keep the costs of your health care down).

John McCain’s plan imperfectly tries to deal with these two fundamental problems with our current system by attempting to sever the unhealthy relationship between employees, employers, and health care.  But even though it is ultimately inadequate, it is a FAR cry better than the Obama plan which would send costs soaring and result in a loss of jobs as employers are forced to cut costs.