Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Somebody Had To Pay For All That ‘Free’ Stuff Obama Stuck Into ObamaCare; Turns Out It’s Companies And Their Workers

August 28, 2012

Sandra Fluke.  Remember her?  She’ll be a prime-time speaker at the Democratic National Convention.  Just to remind you about her, she was the liberal activist who got into Georgetown Law School – a Catholic institution – just so she could sue them.  As a Georgetown law school graduate, if she’s just AVERAGE, she’ll earn $165,000 a year her very first year out of school.  But she expects you to pay for her birth control, the cost of which she lied about (falsely claiming what cost $9 a month would cost $3,000 – unless you consider condoms which she could have got for free).

The Democrat Party is the party of elitists, liars and entitlements.  So why not have lying elitist future 1 percenter Sandra Fluke come to the Democrat Convention to talk about more entitlements?

Obama and the Democrat Party love to pretend they’re Santa Clause and give away lots of “free” stuff.  By “free stuff” I mean they like to force private companies to give things away that actually cost them a lot of money.

And pathologically stupid people, a.k.a. Democrats, just LOVE the free stuff.  Because they don’t have to pay for it and frankly since they don’t have to pay for it they really don’t care who DOES pay for it.

Now, increasingly, of course, Democrats are freeloading slackers who don’t have jobs.  The Democrat Party today is the Party of the Occupy Movement.  But it turns out that the money to pay for all of this “free stuff” that Obama has given away to try to get reelected is coming right out of businesses that do most of the hiring in this country.  And more to the point, it is coming out of employees who work at those companies.

Just remember, dishonest Democrats and their Liar-in-Chief swore up and down that their ObamaCare would bring costs DOWN.  They lied, because at their cockroach cores they are lying liars:

Rising insurance costs crimping companies’ plans
By Jonathan D. Epstein
Updated: August 26, 2012, 6:52 PM

Western New York’s three big health insurers are again seeking to jack up rates by significant amounts in some cases – and some employers are taking desperate measures as a result.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is asking for double-digit hikes for most plans, while Independent Health Association and Univera Healthcare are seeking increases of mostly less than 10 percent.

The price hikes, detailed in the carriers’ filings with the state Department of Financial Services, mark another year in which premiums are rising much faster than the rate of inflation or household income.

That adds to the burden on households and businesses already straining from past increases. And it shows that, at least so far, the efforts by insurers, employers and medical providers to control the spiraling costs are having limited effect.

“The train wreck continues. It’s unfortunate, but it seems that whatever products the carriers develop, whatever wellness programs they put together, it just doesn’t seem like they can get a lot of answers that people are looking for,” said Gregory D. Leifer, director of life and employee benefits at brokerage firm Scott Danahy Naylon.

“It’s pretty much the same old story from year to year,” said Howard N. Silverstein, CEO of Choice Employee Benefits Group LLC in Williamsville. “The community-based products just are obviously a burden to many of the employers.”

That’s forcing many to make tough decisions, such as dropping or reducing coverage, or shifting entirely to newer plans with high deductibles and cost-sharing that puts much more of the burden on employees. Traditional HMOs or similar plans, with low co-pays, are becoming dinosaurs.

Some companies are slowing or delaying hiring to control health care costs.

“If they’re really looking to reduce their expenses, they’re going into these plans where there’s unfortunately more of an out-of-pocket cost to the employee or consumer,” said Nick Siradas, account manager for small groups at Lawley Insurance.

The new rates are not final yet. Under state law, the insurers’ rate requests are still subject to review by the state, which can approve them, reduce them or reject them. Last year, the state trimmed many rate hike requests across the state, though not so much for Western New York’s three carriers.

Consumers and business owners are writing to regulators to protest what they see as unreasonable hikes, and demand the state block them:

“I know of no one that is receiving these kinds of rate increases in their pay,” wrote one consumer. “I strongly encourage [you] to not consider any rate increase at this time.”

“This is ridiculous and is creating such a hardship not only on me but my employees and my payroll,” another wrote. “New York State cannot allow this … This is unconscionable.”

Meanwhile, carriers, businesses and consumers await the promised benefits of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.  While some provisions have taken effect – such as expanded benefits for dependents until age 26 – they are more likely to drive up health care costs, not lower them, because they expand coverage.

The health insurance exchanges are supposed to help with expenses by bringing an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans into the system, so costs can be spread over a larger base with more competition.

But those provisions don’t kick in until 2014, and the details remain vague. So businesses are guessing about the impact, and many are skeptical the exchanges will yield desired results.

“They’re really not optimistic,” Silverstein said. “They’re in fear of these exchanges.”

“A lot of my clients are taking a wait-and-see attitude,” Siradas said. “Until the exchanges are in place, we won’t know what they’re going to do.”

Ron Alsheimer learned the rates for his company’s BlueCross BlueShield plans could go up 12 percent, after a similar hike this year. The premium for family coverage for Traditional Blue is now $3,700 a month.

Already, that’s crimped any plans for growing his company, Buffalo-based commercial real estate developer Plaza Group, which has 11 employees. Between health and workers compensation insurance, the costs of adding staff are prohibitive. “I wouldn’t consider hiring anybody else now, anybody who would need health insurance. It just isn’t worth it,” he said.

He turned to Buffalo-based HR Benefit Advisors to find a less expensive provider for the half-dozen employees that get coverage. “I’ve had enough. It’s just lunacy,” he said. “I want him to look into something that’s going to put a cap on this nonsense.”

[…]

Absolutely everything this wicked president promised has been a total lie.

We’ve ALL paid for Obama’s “free stuff.”  The median household income under Obama has been so godawful that Obama has actually cost the average family nearly DOUBLE than the “Great Recession” did.  During the recession, which officially lasted from June 2007 to June 2009, household incomes fell by 2.6%.  But since then, under Obama’s “recovery,” household incomes have plummeted 4.8%.

We need a president who will quit making bogus promises and start delivering results.  And history has proven that that president is definitely NOT Barack Obama.

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Scalia ‘Benchslaps’ ObamaCare Mouthpiece: ‘Those Cases Dealt With Commerce; THIS Case Is Aimed At People Who AREN’T Participating In Commerce (people without insurance)’

March 29, 2012

You have to imagine it: the left thought and thought and thought about their ObamaCare date with the Supreme Court.  In their little feral minds they had all the witty one-liners that simply stumped the conservative judges.  Sadly for them, reality happened.  And all of their fabulous arguments turned out to be a giant, stinking load of crap which blew up in their faces the moment the justices started asking questions.

The funny thing is that most of the questions that have them so stumped and panicked were the same questions that conservatives were asking all along.  Only the left somehow never bothered to have an honest argument with us about the inherent fascism of ObamaCare.  So even though they could have listened to us and maybe actually prepared some kind of response, they were left wildly unprepared.

I’ve found that again and again in my exchanges with liberals on this blog.  It’s like I can make the same point five times and even count each time I make that same point and they just pretend I didn’t make it so they can keep living in their freaky little world of circular reasoning.

And I also found this same phenomenon to be the case when I was in seminary.  In several of my exegesis courses, students were required to choose commentaries from two separate lists – one basically conservative evangelical, and the other liberal – and write our papers specifically taking into account arguments made by both schools of thought.  What I found in every single case was that the conservative evangelicals painstakingly reproduced the arguments of their liberal counterparts and attempted to show why their own argument was the correct one over against the liberals’ arguments; whereas the liberals either entirely ignored (most of the time) or presented a dismissive straw-man of the conservative evangelical commentators.

I took a couple of courses from William Lane Craig – a brilliant scholar who became famous for his debates with top atheists.  Dr. Craig was a gracious man who would have his lunch at a table with students so he could share his time and knowledge with students who greatly valued both.  I asked Bill Craig about his debates, and he told me that he painstakingly studied up on the works of his opponents, whereas he often had the idea that they simply showed up completely ignorant of his own writings.  And he routinely mopped the floor with them.

I still remember a particular debate between Craig and Oxford chemist Peter Atkins.  In one exchange toward the end of the debate, Craig provided a statement of what a now very harried Atkins had said.  Atkins arrogantly literally said, “Those aren’t my words.  My words are much too sophisticated, much too erudite…”  And a frankly appalled Bill Craig said, “I was reading a direct quote.”  And Atkins’ jaw slammed shut.  You should also understand that Craig’s argument dealt with the numerous scientific and logical facts that demonstrated that the universe was created by an intelligent designer; Atkins’ argument centered on pure metaphysical speculation that there are myriad alternate realities and that the fact that our reality would appear to have been the product of design was merely by sheer random chance.  The entire debate was thus a remarkable turnaround in which the philosopher-theologian (Craig) relied on science and facts and the “scientist” (Atkins) relied on purely-faith-based speculation.

All of that to point out that Verelli simply didn’t have answers to questions that he should have known for a good two years were coming because it is the remarkable tendency of the left to refuse to engage in anything other than rhetoric and demagoguery.  And even the left widely recognized that Verelli was wildly unprepared to face the conservatives.

You can see the mind of the left spinning the wheel as they go from the above-mentioned panic to telling themselves that they WANT to lose the ObamaCare decision because being a bunch of Constitution-violating fascists will actually be GOOD for them in November.  Even Harry Reid is amazingly on the “Supreme-Court-striking-down-ObamaCare-would-be-good-for-Democrats” bandwagon.  Again, these are people whose souls swim in rhetoric rather than reality such that all they have is naked ideology.

Justice Scalia’s point is a commonsense repetition of Justice Kennedy’s basic question: “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”  Or, can you force citizens to purchase something just so you can regulate them?

The people most under assault by this law are those who HAVEN’T purchased insurance.  The ObamaCare mandate is all about forcing people to purchase insurance just so liberals can then dictate what insurance they must purchase.

Audio: Scalia lectures Verrilli on enumerated powers
posted at 8:30 pm on March 27, 2012 by Allahpundit

The guy who uploaded this to YouTube calls it a “benchslap.” It’s loads of fun, and the point about limited powers will sound familiar. The key part comes early when Scalia jumps in to challenge Verrilli’s citation of Court precedent. Those cases dealt with commerce, he says; in this case, the legislation is aimed at people who aren’t participating in commerce, i.e. people without insurance. That’s a gut-punch to the left since, once you make that move conceptually, the Commerce Clause defense of the statute is hanging by a thread. You can follow his thinking over the rest of the clip from there. If it’s not commerce, then Congress has no power to regulate it, and if Congress has no power to regulate it, then the Tenth Amendment says this is a matter for the states. And to think, a few days ago, Democrats thought they might be able to use Scalia’s Raich opinion to swing him over to their side.

Roberts was a bit more equivocal in today’s arguments but read Philip Klein’s analysis of the rhetoric he used in his comments from the bench. There were an awful lot of phrases in there suggesting he was arguing from belief against the statute, not merely as a devil’s advocate to probe the lawyers’ arguments. Meanwhile, over at SCOTUSblog, Kevin Russell looks at Roberts’s and Alito’s questioning and wonders, “Is Kennedy the only possible fifth vote for the government?” His conclusion: Yep, pretty much. Exit question: C’mon, a Reagan appointee’s not really going to be the fifth vote for the ObamaCare mandate, is he? Good lord.

The Obama regime already appears to be preparing for defeat, given that they are already talking down the Supreme Court as a biased body, which leaves you asking: does that mean if ObamaCare WINS in court the American people should just disregard the verdict as “biased”?

During the Court’s hearing oral arguments I heard over and over again – even from Ruth Bader Ginsburg – that the “conservative” thing to do would be to keep the law.  Because only the same liberals who would utterly clueless about the questions they would be getting from conservative justices actualy understand “conservatism,” you see.  And so of course liberals have to tell us what we should think to be good conservatives the same way they constantly have to tell their own zombie-followers what to think.

The liberals’ “logic” is actually rather funny: if liberals vote like liberals it’s perfectly fine; but if conservatives vote according to conservative principles it’s “biased.”  Nobody would think the four liberals ruling as goose-step-marching liberals is biased, of course.

Meanwhile, Injustice Elena Kagan continues to sit in “judgment” of ObamaCare in spite of the fact that she chearleaded its passage and appointed the lawyer who would defend it (Hint: that’s not “biased” either).

Health Care Reality In Obama’s Hype Hope And Change Era

June 19, 2010

“Yes we can!  Yes we can!” Well, unless you mean we can keep seeing our doctor, as Obama repeatedly promised.  Then it’s, “No, you can’t!  No, you can’t!”

Doctor’s Office Closes Up Shop Without Warning
By AMANDA RAUS
Updated 12:15 AM EDT, Sat, Jun 19, 2010

Laura Wojcik‘s little girl, Elizabeth, is due Saturday. So imagine her surprise when she learned she’d have to find another doctor for the delivery and find one in just one day.

“I was pretty upset because I love going here and everything. They’re good doctors, and then I had to change,” said Wojcik.
A doctor from the Norwich OB-GYN Group will be on call this weekend, but inside the office, the waiting room is empty, and there are no doctors in the exam rooms. The office stopped taking patients Thursday when it decided it could no longer meet the financial demands of running the practice.

“We’ve had a reduction in reimbursement from the state-funded insurances, because the budget situation, things had slowed down, so April, May were very slow, and June continued to be slow,” said Bernadette Grecki, the practice administrator.
Add to that the payments from the largest state-funded insurance provider wouldn’t be arriving till July, and the office says it had no choice but to close.
“It was too much for the doctor. He realized he couldn’t keep funding the practice,” said Grecki.
The group says it is working with other OB-GYN’s in the area to accommodate patients, and the files of pregnant patients who are at 32 weeks or more have already been transferred to Backus Hospital, so doctors will be prepared when the women go into labor.
“We’ll be able to provide them the care that they need, being able to take a look at their medical history, assess any special needs they may have,” said Keith Fontaine, Chief Communications Officer at Backus Hospital.
Even though the office isn’t seeing patients, it will be open for the next three months with staff available to answer any patient questions, give referrals and to make sure patients have access to their records.

I saw the words, “because the budget situation,” and I couldn’t help but think of this:

The 1974 Budget and Impoundment Act requires Congress to pass a budget resolution by May 15 of each year. Congress hasn’t done so yet in 2010. But that isn’t so unusual. Delays are common.

They are usually the result of interparty or intercameral disputes. But this year is different. Congressional Democrats aren’t simply delaying, they’re deliberately refusing to offer a budget until after the November elections. They’re simply choosing to ignore the law.

“Budget situation”?  WHAT BUDGET?!?!?!?

Democrats are running around Congress like the bandits in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre saying, “Budget?  We don’t need no stinking budget!” And of course, like bandits, not needing a budget just allows them to steal more and more of the taxpayers’ money from generations yet uncollected.

In the age of Obama, in the age of pseudo “hope and change,” budgets are irrelevant.  They are practical realities in an era in which neither “practical” nor “reality” have anything to do with anything.

We could talk about where the rubber meets the road.  Only there’s no rubber, and there’s no road.  Just a bunch of meaningless rhetoric and empty demagoguery.

It’s all pretty much just about “Just words” now.  And how dare anyone think that the facts should get in the way of all of Obama’s oratorical gibberish.

Laura Wojick’s situation of suddenly realizing she doesn’t have a doctor just when she needs one most is not a random coincidence.  It is part of a very real pattern of ObamaCare:

You’re losing your plan
ObamaCare’s true face emerges

By SCOTT GOTTLIEB
Posted: June 14, 2010

Late last week saw the first leaks of the administration’s draft regulations for implementing the ObamaCare law — and everything is playing out just as the critics warned.

The 3,000-odd pages of legislation left most of the really important (and controversial) policy decisions to the regulations that government agencies were told to issue once the bill passed. Now that those regs are starting to take shape, it’s clear that the Obama team is using its new power to exert tight control over the payment and delivery of all formerly “private” health insurance.

The ObamaCare law references the Secretary of Health and Human Services almost 2,200 times and uses the phrase “the secretary shall” more than 725. Each reference requires HHS to set new rules on medical care, giving control to an existing federal office or one of 160 new agencies that the bill created.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (who was once the Kansas state-insurance commissioner) has taken to these tasks with zeal. In some circles, she’s now known as the nation’s “insurance regulator in chief.”

She’s starting off by applying new regs to health plans offered by large employers — even though these costly rules were supposedly only going to apply to plans sold in the state insurance “exchanges” that don’t get created until 2014. This twist is spelled out in an 83-page draft of a new regulation that leaked late last week.

Bottom line: Sebelius means to dictate what your insurance plan must look like almost from day one, no matter how you get your coverage.

Indeed, the draft regs envision more than half of all policies having to change within three years — an unmistakable break with President’s Obama’s oft-repeated promise, “If people like their insurance, they will be able to keep it.”

Yet that may be the least of the broken promises.

Ultimately, these rules force consumers to buy one of just four health policies — which vary mostly only by trading off higher co-payments for lower premiums, while offering essentially the same actual benefits. In arguing for passage of the law, ObamaCare’s defenders claimed the rules were aimed at health plans sold in the “exchanges.”  Oops: Now Sebelius is applying them to employer plans.  Eventually, this would force all but the very wealthiest Americans into a single government-designed insurance scheme.

This is far from the only area where Secretary Sebelius is exploiting the law’s fuzzy language to tighten her control over the private insurance market.  In recent weeks, she has said that the new law gives her authority to review and even set the rates on health policies sold in private markets, a role previously left to state insurance regulators.

The ObamaCare bills were written to paper over an intellectual divide between White House economists and HHS policy wonks. Some economists wanted genuine competition to take root in the new federally managed insurance “exchanges.” The HHS crew favored a one-sized government plan with tight federal regulation over benefits.

The law itself didn’t explicitly side with either school — but it did leave the writing of the implementing regs to those same HHS wonks. Unfortunately, those more moderate White House economists are now leaving the administration, including the rumored departure of widely admired businessman and health-care expert Robert Kocher.

Washington insiders refer to this HHS team as “true believers” — a group of earnest, left-leaning activists who’ve long favored a single nationalized health plan. They are massaging the law’s vagueness to give themselves the tight federal control over health care that will bring their vision into practice.

Critics warned that the Obama bill meant a federal takeover of health care, with Washington bureaucrats making core decisions about medical care. With ObamaCare taking shape, that’s exactly what consumers are getting.  Saying “we told you so” is no consolation to those who took the president at his word.

Scott Gottlieb, a physician and American Enterprise Institute fellow, was a senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is partner in a firm that invests in health-care companies.

What else can I say but, “I told you so”???  Nobody would believe that the effect of the bill was inherently socialist; nobody would believe that the bill would be filled with death panels (160 death panels, in point of fact).

And that article above dovetails with another bit of info from Investor’s Business Daily:

Administration: 51% Of Companies’ Health Plans Won’t Pass Muster
By Sean Higgins and David Hogberg
Fri., June 11, 2010 5:05 PM ET

Internal White House documents reveal that 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage by 2013 due to ObamaCare. That numbers soars to 66% for small-business employers.

The documents — product of a joint project of the Labor Department, the Health and Human Services Department and the IRS — examine the effects new regulations would have on existing, or “grandfathered,” employer-based health care plans. […]

According to the report, by 2013 51% of all employers — 66% of small employers (3-99 employees) and 45% of large employers — would have to relinquish current coverage.  In a worst-case scenario, 69% of firms would lose their grandfathered status.

This could pose a serious threat to President Obama’s claim that if you like your coverage, you’d get to keep it.

Hint: if Obama’s lips are moving, he’s lying.  If the Obama administration says anything about anything, it’s lying.  The only time these people wouldn’t be lying is if they said, “We’re lying.”

You voted stupidly, Americans.  And now you’re going to increasingly start paying dearly for it.

Democrats Flat-Out LYING About ObamaCare

April 9, 2010

If your lies don’t work, tell bigger lies.  That seems to be the Democrats’ playbook:

Rep. Wasserman Schultz Insists Health Care Law Doesn’t Require Individuals to Buy Insurance

Wednesday, April 07, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.) is insisting that the new health care law she voted for last month does not mandate that individuals buy health insurance, despite language in the law that plainly says otherwise.

At an April 5 town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale (see video below), a constituent asked Wasserman Shultz where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. She responded that the new health care law did not require individuals to buy health insurance.

In a written statement to CNSNews.com on Wednesday, her press secretary, Jonathan Beeton, said it was true that the health care law did not mandate that individuals buy health insurance and that Wasserman Schultz stood by her assertion at the townhall meeting.

“We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance,” Wasserman Schultz said at the townhall meeting. […]

The actual law she voted for says otherwise. It contains a requirement that each person have health insurance, and assesses a penalty if they do not.

The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, the nation’s tax law, adding a section entitled, “Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage,” section 5000A.

“Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter: ‘‘CHAPTER 48—MAINTENANCE OF MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE ‘‘Sec. 5000A. Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage.”

Contrary to Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s claim, this section of the law requires that every individual certify to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they have a government-approved level of health insurance coverage.

“REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month,” the law reads.

Individuals who fail to compy with this “requirement” are assessed a “shared responsibility payment”–a fine collected by the IRS.

“SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT.— ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013…there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection (c).”

That penalty will be no more than $750 per person who does not have health insurance, up to a maximum of $2,250 per household or two percent of household income, whichever is greater.

The law does not create additional tax filing statuses–like the current married or single-filing status–nor does it mandate that not having insurance would place an individual in a different tax bracket, as the mortgage and child deductions can.

“INCLUSION WITH RETURN.—Any penalty imposed by this section with respect to any month shall be included with a taxpayer’s return under chapter 1 for the taxable year which includes such month,” says the new law.

This is a terrible bill.  It is quite literally evil.  And the Democrats have no other choice than to lie about it.

When people wake to their sobering senses, they will find they have been led by the nose and duped by lies.  Tragically, it will probably be too late by then to repeal this ObamaCare monstrosity.

Obama Allows Muslims To Opt Out Of ObamaCare; Christians Still Screwed

March 31, 2010

Interesting factoids on the Hussein-in-Chief’s ObamaCare opt-outs:

If you are Muslim you can opt out of the Obamacare health care reform laws with no penalties
March 26, 2010
Phoenix Small Business Management Examiner
by Gil Guigna

Isn’t this nice. If you are of the Muslim religion, you don’t have to give all the new Obamacare healthcare reform regulations and penalties another thought. Because the concept of being compelled to participate in such a healthcare program offends Islamic sensibilities, Muslims are specifically exempt.

As a matter of fact if you are Amish, American Indian or a Chistian Scientist you do not need to participate or pay the taxes associated with healthcare reform. That means not having to be forced to buy healthcare insurance, not paying the taxes or the penalties if you don’t get it. Nice!

Here is what the regulations say:

EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.

—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:

In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a
member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian,
or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.”

Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274

There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is “haraam”, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. More…

This means that if you are Christian and abortion is against your religion tough luck.

If you are Jewish tough luck as well.

We wonder why these certain groups get a free ride. We also wonder why the largest religious block in North and South America the Christians are discriminated against like this. Very odd indeed.

There is a lot of food for thought here and a lot of ways to object to this healthcare bill isn’t there.

So I could get out of this terrible ObamaCare boondoggle if I declared myself a Muslim?  Doesn’t that just figure with this guy?

Well, that’s not going to happen.  But I’m not sure not going to willingly accept Obama’s version of the Mark of the Beast, either.

Wonder how many more “Muslims” there will be as this asinine program starts to implode?

Maybe I’ll declare myself as Amish.  That doesn’t sound so bad.

‘You Can Measure America’s Bottom Line By Looking At Caterpillar’s’ – And Obama Just Torpedoed It

March 26, 2010

Just over a year ago on February 12, Barack Obama spoke to Caterpillar employees at the plant in East Peoria, Illinois, and said the following:

“So what’s happening at this company tells us a larger story about what’s happening with our nation’s economy — because, in many ways, you can measure America’s bottom line by looking at Caterpillar’s bottom line.”

In that address, Obama provided us with a barometer, a measure, a way to know whether legislation is good or bad in microcosm.

And judging by Obama’s VERY OWN STANDARD, his health care legislation is absolutely terrible:

John Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon Announce Rise in Health-Care Costs After Obamacare Passage
BY Mary Katharine Ham
March 25, 2010 10:02 AM

If Verizon weren’t in the mix, I’d be tempted to say this was a rural dudes with heavy machinery tax.

Farm equipment maker Deere & Co (DE.N) expects after-tax expenses to rise by $150 million this year as a result of the healthcare reform law President Barack Obama signed this week.

Most of the higher expense will come in Deere’s second quarter, the company said on Thursday. The expense was not included in the company’s earlier 2010 forecast, which called for net income of about $1.3 billion.

Earlier this week, Caterpillar announced it would take a $100 million hit:

The charge is expected to be a one-time cost, but Caterpillar has argued that higher taxes and other potential cost increases related to insurance coverage mandates in the legislation will hinder the company’s recovery this year after a 75% plunge in income during 2009.

“From our point of view, a tax increase like this cannot come at a worse time,” said Jim Dugan, a Caterpillar spokesman.

Although the tax doesn’t take effect until 2011, the company said it is required to recognize the impact in the period in which the law was signed. Industry analysts estimated the charge at about 13 cents a share.

That ought to do wonders for the construction sector.

The National Review got its hands on an e-mail from Verizon to employees:

…due to the varying effective dates included in the legislation, we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short-term. These cost increases are primarily driven by two provisions.

The first is a provision that affects the Medicare Part D subsidy for prescription drug coverage. Because Verizon offers retiree prescription drug coverage today, the government provides a 28 percent subsidy to help offset the financial burden of offering that coverage. The subsidy was intended to help employers continue to offer prescription drug coverage for retirees so that these retirees would not have to use the Government Medicare Part D program. However, changes affecting the Part D subsidy will make it less valuable to employers, like Verizon, and as a result, may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.

Let’s take a closer look at Caterpillar and what they say about ObamaCare, since Obama himself said what affected Caterpillar would affect the country as a whole:

Dow Jones Newswires | Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.

In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.” Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it’s particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.

The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.

We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar. “We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year.”

Business executives have long complained that the options offered for covering 32 million uninsured Americans would result in higher insurance costs for those employers that already provide coverage. Opponents have stepped up their attacks in recent days as the House moves closer toward a vote on the Senate version of the health-care legislation.

A letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed by more than 130 economists predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring more workers and would cause reduced hours and wages for those already employed.

Caterpillar noted that the company supports efforts to increase the quality and the value of health care for patients as well as lower costs for employer-sponsored insurance coverage.

“Unfortunately, neither the current legislation in the House and Senate, nor the president’s proposal, meets these goals,” the letter said.

It’s bad.  It’s really, really bad.  ObamaCare won’t create jobs.  It will kill them.

Obama said it himself: “You can measure America’s bottom line by looking at Caterpillar’s bottom line.”  And thanks to ObamaCare, Caterpillar’s bottom line pretty much stinks on ice.  Along with many other companies such as John Deere and Verizon.

That’s why we have an impending reality of hundreds of thousands of jobs lost due to ObamaDeath:

In a study prepared for the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, the Beacon Hill Institute found that the current proposal before Congress to reform the nation’s health care system will destroy up to 700,000 jobs over a ten-year period.  The study uses a more realistic baseline from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to refute the claim made by the Center for American Progress that PPACA will create up to 400,000 jobs per year over the coming decade.

Rep. John Dingell, known as “the dean of the House” given the fact that his tenure in the House of Representatives extends to 1955, when he inherited the seat from his father, gave us the REAL reason for ObamaCare:

“The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people

It certainly wasn’t to build a strong economy or create jobs.  Businesses are going to be too busy ducking and covering and paying taxes and complying with costly new regulations to worry about expanding.  And every new hire will be a fiscal millstone around the necks of employers who will have to pay increasingly high taxes on every employee to satisfy ObamaCare.

The 159 new federal agencies that will be created, and the 16,500 IRS agents who will be poking into your lives to ensure compliance with those 159 agencies, don’t come cheap.

It’s becoming apparent that the “death panels” are for businesses every bit as much as they will ultimately be for senior citizens who will die due to medical neglect when their health care resources get rationed.

States Working To Protect Citizens From ObamaCare

March 15, 2010

Why is it that Americans overwhelmingly now believe that the federal government is a threat to citizens’ rights???

Washington (CNN) — A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

If ObamaCare is so wonderful and so popular as the Democrats claim, then why is it that the most Democrat state in the nation voted for a Republican who promised to be the 41st vote blocking the ObamaCare boondoggle, and why is it that nearly 70% of the states are trying to protect themselves from it’s abuses of citizens’ rights?

Va OKs 1st bill banning mandated health coverage
By BOB LEWIS (AP)

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s General Assembly is the first in the nation to approve legislation that bucks any attempt by President Barack Obama and Congress to implement the national health care overhaul in states like Virginia.

Without debate, the House of Delegates voted 80-17 Wednesday to accept Senate amendments to a bill that supporters say preserves Virginia’s prerogatives as a state.

Thirty-four other legislatures have filed or proposed similar measures rejecting health insurance mandates.

But Virginia’s legislature, scheduled to adjourn Saturday, is the first to finish work on a bill. The measure goes to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who plans to sign it.

The measures are advancing nationally as Republicans capitalize on voter discontent over Democratic-backed federal health care reform efforts in Congress.

The Democrats are going to make it a federal crime to live and breathe without buying their health insurance, like mobsters who break your windows and destroy your store if you don’t buy their “insurance.”

It is amazing.  Democrats in Congress and the Obama White House have spent a full year trying to push a massively expensive bill that will destroy our health care system even as states feverishly work to protect themselves from that very same ObamaCare.

States realize that the accounting gimmicks that deceitfully produce a “deficit neutral” bill end up creating the mother of all unfunded mandates for the states to pay.  That means vastly higher state taxes and fees for you.

There’s also a fair chance that you may lose the insurance plan you have as you are shoved into the inferior care provided by Medicaid.  ObamaCare promises to “nudge” approximately one in five Americans who presently aren’t in the Medicaid system into that system (see also here).

For the record, Medicaid is the system for individuals and families with low income and resources.  It is not the best quality care, and it is certainly not the care that the Congress that is forcing this monstrosity down our throats will have.  Republicans offered 11 amendments that would have required Congress to enroll themselves and their families in the plan they were trying to force on everyone else.  The Democrats voted every single one of them down.

Democrat politicians believe they’re better than everyone else.  Their children are better than your children.  Their attitude toward you as regards ObamaCare is “Let them eat dirt.”

Their families are going to continue to get the very best of care, while you and your family find yourselves getting shoved into a health care system designed for the poorest Americans.

The Democrats are playing every imaginable game with the Constitution and the political process to shove this 2,700 page boondoggle down the country’s collective throat.  It looks like the only thing that will protect Americans from the worst White House and Congress in our national history will be the states.

Massachusetts Senate Candidate Martha Coakley’s Vote ALREADY Bought And Paid For

January 12, 2010

Is it Massachusetts or Massachusettes?  No matter.  Not as long as all those pharmaceutical and insurance industry lobbyists spell Martha Coakley’s name right on all those fat checks they’re writing to buy her election.

The line of the evening during last night’s debate as reported by Politico:

David Gergen pressed Scott Brown on health care and the Kennedy legacy last night, producing a memorable exchange:”With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedy seat and it’s not the Democrat’s seat — it’s the people’s seat,” Brown says.

But that’s not true at all if Brown’s opponent wins.

If Martha Coakley wins, it will be PhRMA’s seat.  It will be Pfizer’s, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s, Astra-Zenaca’s, Blue Cross’, United Health’s, and numerous other pharmaceutical and insurance company’s seat.

This campaign has taken an amazing turn, particularly in the utter incomprehension of Democrats that the American people have genuinely turned against them.

The greatest signal of disconnect may have happened last night, when Democrat candidate Martha Coakley went to Washington to attend a fund raiser with more than 50% of the guest list coming from big Pharma (PhRMA).

Here is a video compendium of Barack Obama from 8 separate occasions saying he would make health care negotiations public by televising them on C-SPAN:

And here is Barack Obama from one of those 8 promises:

“we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so the people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

And the man and the party that made that promise have instead buried their health care boondoggle into total secrecy to hide the bribes and corruption going on.

John McCain’s heated exchange with Democrat Senator Max Baucus nakedly reveals the reality as to which party “is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies”:

Mr. McCAIN. My response is, I don’t know what deal has been cut in Senator Reid’s office, as the deal was cut with the pharmaceutical companies and the deal was cut with the AMA and the deal was cut with the hospital association. But I know what the effect is. I know what the effect is. The bill would slice $55 billion—-

Mr. BAUCUS. This is not on my time because he is going to filibuster over there.

Mr. McCAIN. The House bill would slice $55 billion over 10 years for projected Medicare spending on home health services while the Senate bill would take $43 billion. I know that. But I don’t know the details of the deal that was cut over where the white smoke comes out. I don’t know what the deal was. I know what the deal was with PhRMA. I know what the deal was with PhRMA. They told them they would oppose drug reimportation from Canada, and they told PhRMA they would not allow competition for Medicare patients.

So I don’t know the deal that was cut that bought them, but I know deals have been going on, and I know they are unsavory. I know people, such as the lady who was just referred to, Bertha Milliard, are not too interested in seeing their home health care cut.

Mr. BAUCUS. If the Senator will yield, with time being equally divided on both sides for this colloquy.

Mr. McCAIN. I don’t know what the deal was—-

Mr. BAUCUS. I can tell the Senator the deal. I am going to tell the Senator the deal.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona has the floor.

Mr. McCAIN. I don’t know what the deal was, but we will find out, just like the deals that were cut with all of these other organizations.

Mr. BAUCUS. I will tell the Senator what the deal was.

Mr. McCAIN. This place is full of lobbyists. I can’t walk through the hallway without bumping into one of their lobbyists. If the Senator keeps interrupting, he is violating the rules of the Senate. He needs to learn the rules of the Senate.

Did someone say lobbyists?  Did someone talk about pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyists being thick as fleas, and Democrats cutting one deal after another with them?

Well, last night a lot of these lobbyists quit flocking around the hallways of the Capital and instead flocked around Martha Coakley to shower her with campaign money.

Martha Coakley promises you, the American people, that if you trust her with the power and prestige of the United States Senate, she will be one more politician in the pockets of those lobbyists:

Coakley in trouble? Pharma and HMO lobbyists to the rescue

By: Timothy P. Carney
Examiner Columnist
01/09/10 1:55 PM EST

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley speaks during a news conference at her campaign headquarters in Charlestown, Mass. Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

With Democrat Martha Coakley in trouble in the Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat, Democrats could lose vote No. 60 for President Obama’s health-care bill. In response, an army of lobbyists for drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospitals has teamed up to throw a high-dollar Capitol Hill fundraiser for Coakley next Tuesday night. The invitation is here.

Of the 22 names on the host committee–meaning they raised $10,000 or more for Coakley–17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO. Oh, and of course, there’s also the political action commitee for Boston Scientific Corporation.

All the leading drug companies have lobbyists on Coakley’s host committee: Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, and more. On the insurance side of things, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health all are represented on the host committee.

Those HMOs (like Aetna) or drug companies who don’t have lobbyists in Coakley’s top tier of fundraisers? They’re covered, because the host committee includes four lobbyists representing the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), two representing America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and one representing the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

So think of these top donors to health-care reform’s 60th vote next time President Obama claims that he’s battling the special interests in this battle. The army listed below is on Obama’s side, and these clients will all benefit from “reform.”

Here are some of Coakley fundraiser hosts with some of their current health care clients:

  • Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
  • Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
  • Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
  • Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
  • Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
  • David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
  • Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
  • Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
  • Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
  • Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
  • Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.

If Coakley pulls it out, this is the crowd that will have brought her here. If health-care reform passes, this is the crew that will have won.

This amounts to the most naked and most shameless chutzpah I have ever seen.

If Martha Coakley is elected to Senate, it will be total and abject mockery of everything that Obama promised the American people.

Just to further demonstrate what a total scam Martha Coakley’s bought-and-paid-for candidacy is, she ran the usual liberal attack ad after the debate last night –

– which MISSPELLED THE STATE FOR WHICH SHE WAS RUNNING TO SUPPOSEDLY SERVE.

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – An advertisement for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s senatorial campaign misspelled the name of the state Monday night.

After a three-person debate Monday night, an attack ad on Republican state Sen. Scott Brown paid for by the state’s Democratic Party spelled it “Massachusettes.”

The ad was “authorized by Martha Coakley for Senate and approved by Martha Coakley.”

“The punchlines write themselves: Before you represent a state in the Senate, shouldn’t you learn how to spell its name?” Jim Geraghty wrote for National Review Online.

We don’t know for sure who owns Martha Coakley, or who pays for her smear ads, but we know they aren’t from the state of Massachusetts.  They’re from some state called “Massachusettes,” where pathologically dishonest demagogues promise bogus utopias, but produce disaster.

If you are a Democrat and you are not ashamed of your party, I have nothing but contempt for you.

House Democrats Pass Worst Bill Ever To Destroy U.S. Health Care, Economy

November 8, 2009

Congratulations, America.  This is what you’ve “won”:

NOVEMBER 1, 2009

The Worst Bill Ever
Epic new spending and taxes, pricier insurance, rationed care, dishonest accounting: The Pelosi health bill has it all.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told fellow Democrats that she’s prepared to lose seats in 2010 if that’s what it takes to pass ObamaCare, and little wonder. The health bill she unwrapped last Thursday, which President Obama hailed as a “critical milestone,” may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.

In a rational political world, this 1,990-page runaway train would have been derailed months ago. With spending and debt already at record peacetime levels, the bill creates a new and probably unrepealable middle-class entitlement that is designed to expand over time. Taxes will need to rise precipitously, even as ObamaCare so dramatically expands government control of health care that eventually all medicine will be rationed via politics.

Yet at this point, Democrats have dumped any pretense of genuine bipartisan “reform” and moved into the realm of pure power politics as they race against the unpopularity of their own agenda. The goal is to ram through whatever income-redistribution scheme they can claim to be “universal coverage.” The result will be destructive on every level—for the health-care system, for the country’s fiscal condition, and ultimately for American freedom and prosperity.

The spending surge. The Congressional Budget Office figures the House program will cost $1.055 trillion over a decade, which while far above the $829 billion net cost that Mrs. Pelosi fed to credulous reporters is still a low-ball estimate.  Most of the money goes into government-run “exchanges” where people earning between 150% and 400% of the poverty level—that is, up to about $96,000 for a family of four in 2016—could buy coverage at heavily subsidized rates, tied to income. The government would pay for 93% of insurance costs for a family making $42,000, 72% for another making $78,000, and so forth.

At least at first, these benefits would be offered only to those whose employers don’t provide insurance or work for small businesses with 100 or fewer workers. The taxpayer costs would be far higher if not for this “firewall”—which is sure to cave in when people see the deal their neighbors are getting on “free” health care. Mrs. Pelosi knows this, like everyone else in Washington.

Even so, the House disguises hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs with budget gimmicks. It “pays for” about six years of program with a decade of revenue, with the heaviest costs concentrated in the second five years. The House also pretends Medicare payments to doctors will be cut by 21.5% next year and deeper after that, “saving” about $250 billion. ObamaCare will be lucky to cost under $2 trillion over 10 years; it will grow more after that.

Expanding Medicaid, gutting private Medicare. All this is particularly reckless given the unfunded liabilities of Medicare—now north of $37 trillion over 75 years. Mrs. Pelosi wants to steal $426 billion from future Medicare spending to “pay for” universal coverage. While Medicare’s price controls on doctors and hospitals are certain to be tightened, the only cut that is a sure thing in practice is gutting Medicare Advantage to the tune of $170 billion. Democrats loathe this program because it gives one of out five seniors private insurance options.

As for Medicaid, the House will expand eligibility to everyone below 150% of the poverty level, meaning that some 15 million new people will be added to the rolls as private insurance gets crowded out at a cost of $425 billion. A decade from now more than a quarter of the population will be on a program originally intended for poor women, children and the disabled.

Even though the House will assume 91% of the “matching rate” for this joint state-federal program—up from today’s 57%—governors would still be forced to take on $34 billion in new burdens when budgets from Albany to Sacramento are in fiscal collapse. Washington’s budget will collapse too, if anything like the House bill passes.

European levels of taxation. All told, the House favors $572 billion in new taxes, mostly by imposing a 5.4-percentage-point “surcharge” on joint filers earning over $1 million, $500,000 for singles. This tax will raise the top marginal rate to 45% in 2011 from 39.6% when the Bush tax cuts expire—not counting state income taxes and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. The burden will mostly fall on the small businesses that have organized as Subchapter S or limited liability corporations, since the truly wealthy won’t have any difficulty sheltering their incomes.

This surtax could hit ever more earners because, like the alternative minimum tax, it isn’t indexed for inflation. Yet it still won’t be nearly enough. Even if Congress had confiscated 100% of the taxable income of people earning over $500,000 in the boom year of 2006, it would have only raised $1.3 trillion. When Democrats end up soaking the middle class, perhaps via the European-style value-added tax that Mrs. Pelosi has endorsed, they’ll claim the deficits that they created made them do it.

Under another new tax, businesses would have to surrender 8% of their payroll to government if they don’t offer insurance or pay at least 72.5% of their workers’ premiums, which eat into wages. Such “play or pay” taxes always become “pay or pay” and will rise over time, with severe consequences for hiring, job creation and ultimately growth
. While the U.S. already has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, Democrats are on the way to creating a high structural unemployment rate, much as Europe has done by expanding its welfare states.

Meanwhile, a tax equal to 2.5% of adjusted gross income will also be imposed on some 18 million people who CBO expects still won’t buy insurance in 2019. Democrats could make this penalty even higher, but that is politically unacceptable, or they could make the subsidies even higher, but that would expose the (already ludicrous) illusion that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.

The insurance takeover. A new “health choices commissioner” will decide what counts as “essential benefits,” which all insurers will have to offer as first-dollar coverage. Private insurers will also be told how much they are allowed to charge even as they will have to offer coverage at virtually the same price to anyone who applies, regardless of health status or medical history.

The cost of insurance, naturally, will skyrocket. The insurer WellPoint estimates based on its own market data that some premiums in the individual market will triple under these new burdens. The same is likely to prove true for the employer-sponsored plans that provide private coverage to about 177 million people today. Over time, the new mandates will apply to all contracts, including for the large businesses currently given a safe harbor from bureaucratic tampering under a 1974 law called Erisa.

The political incentive will always be for government to expand benefits and reduce cost-sharing, trampling any chance of giving individuals financial incentives to economize on care. Essentially, all insurers will become government contractors, in the business of fulfilling political demands: There will be no such thing as “private” health insurance.
***

All of this is intentional, even if it isn’t explicitly acknowledged. The overriding liberal ambition is to finish the work began decades ago as the Great Society of converting health care into a government responsibility. Mr. Obama’s own Medicare actuaries estimate that the federal share of U.S. health dollars will quickly climb beyond 60% from 46% today. One reason Mrs. Pelosi has fought so ferociously against her own Blue Dog colleagues to include at least a scaled-back “public option” entitlement program is so that the architecture is in place for future Congresses to expand this share even further.

As Congress’s balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can’t regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.

Mr. Obama rode into office on a wave of “change,” but we doubt most voters realized that the change Democrats had in mind was making health care even more expensive and rigid than the status quo. Critics will say we are exaggerating, but we believe it is no stretch to say that Mrs. Pelosi’s handiwork ranks with the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act as among the worst bills Congress has ever seriously contemplated.

In 2008, America voted for national suicide, whether they understood it or not.  While it is increasingly obvious that Americans are rethinking their suicide pact with the Democrat Party, and beginning to change their minds, Democrats are nevertheless racing ahead to finish the job of destroying the country while they still can.

Think Cloward-Piven.  The Democrats believe that they are creating a “win we win, lose we win” stratagem.  If by some increasingly unlikely miracle our massive unprecedented debt-financed spending doesn’t cause the entire economic structure to implode, Democrats will be in a position to claim credit for their “success.”  If, far more likely, the economy self-destructs under the weight of the mind-boggling debts and economic hamstringing foisted upon us by the liberal agenda, Democrats are counting upon the fact that hungry, desperate, panicking people will turn to massive government structures to feed them and help them from the very problems that massive government structures caused in the first place.

Ten Things You Should Know About The Government Healthcare Takeover

November 1, 2009

Whether you support it or not, whether you know anything about it or not, the Democrats’ plan will have dramatic and sweeping impact over our lives.

The thing that frightens me the most is the word “shall.”  It occurs 3,425 times in the Democrats’ H.R. 3692.  That means there are three thousand, four hundred and twenty-five times that the government forces you to do something whether you want to do it or not.

That said, here’s a list of ten facts you should know:

  1. RAISES TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a range of tax increases on families with income below $250,000, breaking a promise made by President Obama.  Tax increases on middle class families include: an individual mandate tax of up to 2.5 percent of income for taxpayers earning as little as $9,350; repeal of a tax break on medicine purchased with funds from an HSA (health savings account); limits to tax relief through FSAs (flexible spending accounts); taxes on medical devices that will inevitably be passed on to consumers; and a new tax on all insurance policies.
  2. MASSIVE CUTS TO MEDICARE BENEFITS FOR SENIORS. Despite grave warnings from CBO, FactCheck.org, and the independent Lewin Group that cuts to Medicare of the magnitude included in Speaker Pelosi’s bill would have a negative impact on seniors’ benefits and choices, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill stays the course and cuts Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.
  3. NO PROTECTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to exempt small businesses from the steep eight percent ‘pay or play’ employer mandate.  The facts tell a different story.  Using Census data compiled by the Small Business Administration, this so-called ‘exemption’ hammers small employers with only, on average, 17 or more employees to new taxes and mandates.  The outfits affected employ 70 percent of all small business employees, or 42.3 million workers.  Adding to the assault on small businesses, the bill does not index the small business “exemption” amounts, meaning more and more small businesses will be ensnared by this job-killing employer mandate each year.
  4. INCREASES THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE. Imposing a new $2 billion tax on insurance policies will be passed on to patients in the form of higher premiums.  Changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will, according to estimates by CBO, will raise Medicare Part B premiums by $25 billion and Part D premiums by 20 percent.  And imposing an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for the bill’s Medicaid expansion will shift the burden of this expansion on state taxpayers who may experience tax increases to cover the cost.
  5. USES GIMMICKS TO HIDE BUDGET-BUSTING COST, PILES UP DEBT ON FUTURE GENERATIONS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to be deficit neutral, but uses budget gimmickry to hide its massive total cost.  Working families across America know they cannot simply decide that a bill they get in the mail doesn’t exist, but that’s exactly what congressional Democrats are doing.  In order to meet the President’s ‘target’ spending total of $900 billion, Democrats have simply swept costly provisions under the rug, including the $245 billion ‘doc fix.’
  6. IMPOSES JOB-KILLING EMPLOYER MANDATES. Additional taxes on employers and new government mandates that dictate acceptable insurance will place new and crushing burdens on employers.  These are burdens that will ultimately fall squarely on the backs of workers in the form of reduced wages, fewer hours or lost employment. CBO agrees that “[e]mployees largely bear the cost of… play-or-pay fees in the form of lower wages.”  According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, an employer mandate of this magnitude will disproportionately impact small businesses, triggering up to 1.6 million lost jobs.  Two-thirds of those jobs would be shed by small businesses.
  7. TILTS THE PLAYING FIELD IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT-RUN INSURANCE COMPANY. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill promises not to give the government-run plan advantages over private insurers in the market, but the opposite is true.  The bill provides billions in start-up funding for the government-run plan, and while it requires the plan to repay the money over time it does not require the plan to pay interest on this “loan.”  This interest-free, taxpayer-subsidized loan is potentially worth millions of dollars and tilts the playing field in favor of the government-run plan.
  8. THREATENS CASH-STRAPPED STATES WITH UNFUNDED MANDATES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill swells the number of Americans on the government rolls by expanding Medicaid eligibility.  Medicaid is financed through a federal-state partnership, but the bill dumps nearly ten percent of the mandated expansion included in the bill onto the states.  States, already struggling with fiscal constraints, would be left on the hook for billions of dollars due to this unfunded mandate.
  9. CREATES A NEW MONSTROSITY IN THE TAX CODE. Starting in 2011, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a 5.4 percent tax on adjusted gross income above $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for married couples.  Yet, the dollar amounts for which the tax kicks in are not indexed for inflation.  We’ve seen this horror film before: the Alternative Minimum Tax, another Frankenstein’s monster of the tax code, also wasn’t indexed for inflation and now affects millions of middle class families with incomes below the Democrat’s surtax.
  10. MISSES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CURTAIL JUNK LAWSUITS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill misses a critical opportunity to rein in junk lawsuits and costly defensive medicine.  The bill includes only a voluntary grant program to deal with the medical liability crisis instead of including real reform, which would produce tens of billions of dollars in savings, improve efficiency in our health care system and reduce costs for patients and providers.

BONUS: Republicans have offered better solutions to lower health care costs and expand access to quality, affordable coverage at a price our nation can afford.  Learn more by visiting healthcare.gop.gov.

Courtesy House Republican Leader John Boehner