Monthly Archives: March 2010

ZERO FUND OBAMACARE at DickMorris.com

ZERO FUND OBAMACARE

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

03.30.2010

We don’t have to wait until we have a Republican in the White House to rid this nation of the shackles of Obamacare. We can do it next year if we win simple majorities in one or both houses of Congress.The Obama health care bill was an authorization measure which established a program and set down its parameters. But authorization bills are not appropriations. Each year the Congress must act on appropriations for each department and agency in the government. If no funds are appropriated, nothing can be spent.So if Republicans take the House where appropriations have to originate – and especially if they also take the Senate – they will have the capacity to zero fund Obamacare, appropriating not a dime for it in their spending bills. Indeed, they can and should include a specific amendment to their appropriations bills banning the expenditure of any of the funds on Obama’s health care program.In the wake of the passage of the health care bill, states are filing lawsuits and talk of repeal is in the air. Both are useful efforts. But litigation takes time and the key challenge – to the constitutionality of the requirement that everybody buy insurance – cannot even begin until it takes effect in 2014. And repeal will obviously be impossible as long as Obama wields the veto from his Oval Office. It would be impossible mathematically for the Republicans to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate and unlikely in the House, so an override is out of the question. Repeal will have to wait until 2013, after Obama’s defeat in 2012.But zero funding can happen immediately after the Republicans take Congress. All this makes the elections of 2010 critical. If we can stop this bill from getting off the ground, it will be possible to repeal it when we take over the White House. But if the Democrats keep their majorities, the program will be so entrenched by the time we defeat Obama that its repeal would be unlikely.

via ZERO FUND OBAMACARE at DickMorris.com.

The Associated Press: Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

By CARLA K. JOHNSON (AP) – 17 hours ago

CHICAGO — Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans — a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.

Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That’s when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase.

The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.

via The Associated Press: Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults.

Damn the Evidence, Full Speed Ahead?

Damn the Evidence, Full Speed Ahead? [Victor Davis Hanson]

The strangest thing about Obama’s gargantuan, trillion-dollar-plus new health-care entitlement is the timing.

Not only are we running $1.7 trillion annual deficits and scheduled to nearly double the $11 trillion debt in only eight years — and watching the logical end to an entitlement state in Greece’s implosion — but we are witnessing the meltdown of almost every government-run program imaginable: Medicare is broke; the Postal Service is insolvent and cutting back Saturday service (but probably not a commensurate one-sixth of their budget); and now Social Security spends more than it takes in.

So is this frenzied effort to expand government, widen entitlements, raise taxes, and borrow more money some sort of nihilistic urge to achieve a universal, cradle-to-grave, redistributionist entitlement state at about the same time the entire system goes bankrupt?

Constant campaigning, photo-ops, fluff interviews, adulatory essays in the corrupt media — all this can give a one or two point plus in the polls. But the reasons the bumps are transitory and followed by net losses after a week or two is that the public now realizes we are broke. When Obama announces yet another give-away or entitlement, the public equates that with spending more money we have just borrowed, and suspects that this can no more go on than can the spree of the giddy shopper who maxes out a dozen credit cards, oozing wealth and confidence, before the tab comes in and financial destruction follows.

Obama’s Health Care Promises Reach Their Expiration Date Early – Jim Geraghty

Monday, March 29, 2010

BARACK OBAMA

Obama’s Health Care Promises Reach Their Expiration Date Early

Two revealing comments from Aetna CEO Ron Williams in an interview with BusinessWeek out now:

Will insurance premiums go up?

The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year.

The President said that this bill would not have any impact on people who already had coverage, that it was about the uninsured, that there would be no change. Will this legislation change the coverage of people who are already paying for it?

My perception is, yes, things will change. You might not have a plan that includes the exact same doctors. You might have plans that have richer benefits, and therefore you’re going to pay more for benefits you may or may not want. It would have been a better message to say, we’re going to make certain you maintain your eligibility.

Higher premiums, and your plan may change, even if you like it as it is. Basically, the health care bill is set to deliver the exact opposite of what President Obama promised.

Everybody, sing along! “All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.”

via Obama’s Health Care Promises Reach Their Expiration Date Early – Jim Geraghty.

Obama in Rude Denial

By on 3.29.10 @ 6:09AM

IT’S ALL A GOP PLOT
The White House political and legislative operations were said to be livid with the announcement by several large U.S. companies that they were taking multi-million or as much as a billion dollar charges because of the new health-care law, the issue was front-and-center with key lawmakers. By last Friday, AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., and AK Steel Holding Corp. had all announced that they were taking the one-time charges on their first-quarter balance sheets. More companies were expected to make similar announcements this week.

“These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general,” says a White House legislative affairs staffer. “Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative websites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It’s BS.”

On Friday White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett were calling the CEOs and Washington office heads of the companies that took the financial hits and attacked them for doing so. One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and “downright rude.”

The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover.

“Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don’t understand a thing about business, and that includes the President,” says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. “My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn’t understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn’t know what was in the bill.”

It isn’t just the President who didn’t understand his own proposal.  Late Friday, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel, announced that they would hold hearings in late April to investigate “claims by Caterpillar, Verizon, and Deere that provisions in the new health care reform law could adversely affect their company’s ability to provide health insurance to their employees.”

Neither Waxman or Stupak — who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill — had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. “We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them,” says  a staffer. “When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them.  They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn’t understand what they were voting on.”

NOT WHAT THEY EXPECTED
So much for President Obama’s promises to build better relations with America’s friends and allies overseas. Just 15 months into his administration, Obama has managed to alienate most of the major European allies, this time having a State Department functionary announcing in Brussels that U.S.-EU summits will no longer be held annually, and only when there are particular issues to be decided.

State Department officials, some of whom were holdovers from the Bush Administration, say the reasoning for the U.S. to end the annual summits, which had been held since 1991, was in part due to Obama and his team’s feeling ” slighted” by European leaders and their staffs, such as French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both of whom have come away less than impressed with Obama’s style and substance.

During Obama’s much heralded European visits last year, he and his team were met with lukewarm enthusiasm by his fellow leaders. Obama responded by, as host last November, meeting with his counterparts for only three hours and sending Vice President Joe Biden to spend the rest of the time in the summit, including the official lunch. Other than a 15-minute meeting in the morning with Merkel (which on the schedule was supposed to be a half-hour), the summit meeting, Obama had an almost open schedule on that day, with only a late-afternoon meeting with Sen. Blanche Lincoln on the agenda.

Then in February Obama announced that he would not attend a U.S.-EU Summit in Madrid, Spain, scheduled to take place in May, thus ensuring the meeting would be canceled.

The Obama Administration got off to a rocky start diplomatically when it embarrassed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown by giving him official White House presents — U.S. formatted DVDs that could not played in Great Britain due to different formatting, for example — that created the impression Obama didn’t seem to care much for Brown.  He later, in meeting Queen Elizabeth II gave her an iPod, loaded with podcasts of his major speeches.

“People may not have liked some of the Bush Administration’s style, but at least President Bush came to meetings and was gracious,” says a current State Department staffer. ” I won’t say that the Europeans are missing Bush, but they feel that President Obama just doesn’t care about the ‘special relationship’ that has existed between American and Europe. He’s made it worse, not better.”

Charles Krauthammer – Obamacare’s next trick: the VAT – washingtonpost.com

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 26, 2010; A25

As the night follows the day, VAT follows health-care reform.

With the passage of Obamacare, creating a vast new middle-class entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind near-universal in Europe is inevitable.

We are now $8 trillion in debt. The Congressional Budget Office projects that $12 trillion will be added over the next decade. Obamacare, when stripped of its budgetary gimmicks — the unfunded $200 billion-plus “doctor fix,” the double counting of Medicare cuts, the 10-6 sleight-of-hand (counting 10 years of revenue and only six years of outflows) — is at minimum a $2 trillion new entitlement.

It will vastly increase the debt. But even if it were revenue-neutral, Obamacare preempts and appropriates for itself the best and easiest means of reducing the existing deficit. Obamacare’s $500 billion of cuts in Medicare and $600 billion in tax hikes are no longer available for deficit reduction. They are siphoned off for the new entitlement of insuring the uninsured.

This is fiscally disastrous because, as President Obama himself explained last year in unveiling his grand transformational policies, our unsustainable fiscal path requires control of entitlement spending, the most ruinous of which is out-of-control health-care costs.

Obamacare was sold on the premise that, as Nancy Pelosi put it, “health-care reform is entitlement reform. Our budget cannot take this upward spiral of cost.” But the bill enacted on Tuesday accelerates the spiral: It radically expands Medicaid (adding 15 million recipients/dependents) and shamelessly raids Medicare by spending on a new entitlement the $500 billion in cuts and the yield from the Medicare tax hikes.

Obama knows that the debt bomb is looming, that Moody’s is warning that the Treasury’s AAA rating is in jeopardy, that we are headed for a run on the dollar and/or hyperinflation if nothing is done.

Hence his deficit-reduction commission. It will report (surprise!) after the November elections.

What will it recommend? What can it recommend? Sure, Social Security can be trimmed by raising the retirement age, introducing means testing and changing the indexing formula from wage growth to price inflation.

But this won’t be nearly enough. As Obama has repeatedly insisted, the real money is in health-care costs — which are locked in place by the new Obamacare mandates.

That’s where the value-added tax comes in. For the politician, it has the virtue of expediency: People are used to sales taxes, and this one produces a river of revenue. Every 1 percent of VAT would yield up to $1 trillion a decade (depending on what you exclude — if you exempt food, for example, the yield would be more like $900 billion).

It’s the ultimate cash cow. Obama will need it. By introducing universal health care, he has pulled off the largest expansion of the welfare state in four decades. And the most expensive. Which is why all of the European Union has the VAT. Huge VATs. Germany: 19 percent. France and Italy: 20 percent. Most of Scandinavia: 25 percent.

American liberals have long complained that ours is the only advanced industrial country without universal health care. Well, now we shall have it. And as we approach European levels of entitlements, we will need European levels of taxation.

Obama set out to be a consequential president, on the order of Ronald Reagan. With the VAT, Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism. Liberals have long complained that Reagan’s strategy was to starve the (governmental) beast in order to shrink it: First, cut taxes — then ultimately you have to reduce government spending.

Obama’s strategy is exactly the opposite: Expand the beast and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation. Now that, with the institution of universal health care, we are becoming the full entitlement state, the beast will have to be fed.

And the VAT is the only trough in creation large enough.

As a substitute for the income tax, the VAT would be a splendid idea. Taxing consumption makes infinitely more sense than taxing work. But to feed the liberal social-democratic project, the VAT must be added on top of the income tax.

Ultimately, even that won’t be enough. As the population ages and health care becomes increasingly expensive, the only way to avoid fiscal ruin (as Britain, for example, has discovered) is health-care rationing.

It will take a while to break the American populace to that idea. In the meantime, get ready for the VAT. Or start fighting it.

RealClearPolitics – Video – O’Reilly: Fears Over Loss of Freedom “Justified”

RealClearPolitics – Video – O’Reilly: Fears Over Loss of Freedom “Justified”.

“The controversy today is over freedom. The anti-Obama folks think the federal government wants to tell us what to do. The pro-Obama people want to correct what they see as unfairness in America.  Freedom is the crucial issue.  The NY Times is celebrating Obama-care and urging the President to keep going.  The NY Times wants the feds to take over in the areas of education, energy and banking.  Many Americans fear this will become a top-down society with the government telling citizens what to do.  The IRS will increase its power by monitoring what kind of health insurance you have.  If you don’t have any, you’ll be fined.  Your health records will be transferred to the federal government.  Do you wants bureaucrats knowing about your medical history.  The IRS tracking your insurance expenditures?  President Obama wants to impose his version of social justice.  He wants to consolidate power in Washington.  The President’s vision will be defeated.  Traditionally, Americans value individual freedom.  The feds have to regulate Wall St. criminals and predatory corporations.  The left in America wants a nanny state.  They don’t want to use persuasion.  They want to use force.

Bill O’Reilly

This has gotta tell you something!!!

Cuban leader applauds US health-care reform bill

Dubious endorsement? Cuban leader endorses US health care reform, says it’s about time

Paul Haven, Associated Press Writer, On Thursday March 25, 2010, 12:39 pm EDT

HAVANA (AP) — It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

“We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government,” Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president’s hand against lobbyists and “mercenaries.”

But the Cuban leader also used the lengthy piece to criticize the American president for his lack of leadership on climate change and immigration reform, and for his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, among many other things.

And he said it was remarkable that the most powerful country on earth took more than two centuries from its founding to approve something as basic as health benefits for all.

“It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence … the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago,” Castro wrote.

The longtime Cuban leader — who ceded power to his brother Raul in 2008 — has continued to pronounce his thoughts on world issues though frequent essays, titled “Reflections,” which are published in state newspapers.

Cuba provides free health care and education to all its citizens, and heavily subsidizes food, housing, utilities and transportation, policies that have earned it global praise. The government has warned that some of those benefits are no longer sustainable given Cuba’s ever-struggling economy, though it has so far not made major changes.

In recent speeches, Raul Castro has singled out medicine as an area where the government needs to be spending less, but he has not elaborated.

While Fidel Castro was initially positive about Obama, his essays have become increasingly hostile in recent months as relations between Cuba and the United States have soured. Washington has been increasingly alarmed by Cuba’s treatment of political dissidents — one of whom died in February after a long hunger strike.

Cuba was irate over the island’s inclusion earlier this year on a list of countries Washington considers to be state sponsors of terrorism. Tensions have also risen following the arrest in December of a U.S. government contractor that Havana accuses of spying.

In Thursday’s essay, Castro called Obama a “fanatic believer in capitalist imperialism” but also praised him as “unquestionably intelligent.”

“I hope that the stupid things he sometimes says about Cuba don’t cloud over that intelligence,” he says.

Obama’s Empty Health Care Victory

March 24, 2010

By J.R. Dunn

One major fantasy of American liberalism is the illusion that they get the last word. That the debate is over when they say it is. That their actions are irreversible, that their decisions and conclusions have both the firmness and the weight of the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Eightfold Way combined, and that nothing in the human universe can ever reverse them once made. We have heard this concerning abortion, concerning climate change, and now, concerning health-care “reform.”

This is exactly the way that Roe v. Wade was unveiled in 1973 — both Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun, the tag team that put that one over, declared that there would be no controversy whatsoever and that a tidy round of state lawmaking would tie up the final loose ends. The actual conflagration that greeted the decision, and which continues to this day, left them and the liberal elite they represented utterly dumbfounded.
All this reveals a profound misunderstanding of human nature, an almost childlike conviction that what the book says goes, that the rules are sacrosanct, and that if you’re in a position to make those rules — as American liberals like to think they are — then the common people simply have to do things your way.
That’s how it’s supposed to work with ObamaCare. Now that Congress has spoken, and the law is on the books, we’re supposed to line up and silently take our orders. Forget the chicanery, the sleazy side deals; forget the simple lack of constitutional legitimacy of the thing. It’s on the books now, so we have to obey. So says seventy years of modern liberalism.
Needless to say, nothing of the sort is going to happen. This battle has only started. Obama has his bill? Indeed he does — but along with it, he also has:
  • Well over half the populace infuriated by the bill and the methods used to push it through. (Poll numbers range from the mid-50s to the lower 60s, depending on how the questions are worded. The latest CNN poll puts opposition at 59%.)
  • Thirty-seven states considering laws forbidding the federal government from ordering their citizens to purchase health insurance. (Idaho has already passed such a provision.)
  • A raft of lawsuit filings,beginning yesterday, attacking the bill on virtually every level from funding to the “reconciliation” process. (What a misnomer that is!) Many are based on very substantial grounds, and some have an excellent chance before the bench.
  • A lengthy and convoluted series of actions that must be taken, beginning now, to assure that the provisions of the bill go into effect without breaking the budgetary barriers and revealing ObamaCare’s actual costs. Many are as controversial and unpopular as the bill itself. Chief among these is cutting Medicare benefits, which must be done sometime in the next few months. Need I say more?
  • Obama’s personal and party poll numbers falling through the floor, as the Democrats shed not only the voters attracted by Obama in 2008, but those who had drifted in the over eight years of the Bush presidency. Independents, Reagan Democrats, liberal Republicans, floaters…all gone. As of this Monday, CNN puts Obama’s disapproval rate at 51%. We’ll see what seats the Dems can carry with the combined Move On/ACORN vote. (Well, it seems that they can forget about the ACORN part too.   You see how this works?)
It will get worse. The liberals have guaranteed as much with their shifty procedural methods along with such cute little schticks as delaying actual implementation until 2013 while beginning most new taxes after the November election. And the weight will fall on Obama himself. He owns the thing. It was his bill, it was his insistence that it go through, and it has his name on it. So the Messiah is going to be fighting this battle for the rest of his term. Nothing short of a massive attack on the United States is going to change that. First come the November elections. Then the Supreme Court case. Then the guerrilla war in Congress, with the new kids elected solely on the basis of rolling back Obama’s attempt to hijack the economy entering office in January 2011. And throughout it all, the continuous, everyday acts of defiance and contempt by the little platoons, the people who actually make up this country.
What does that leave Obama? Absolutely nothing. He will have no more opportunities. His hands will be full. He will be spending every last minute defending his major achievement, which he sees as his legacy. He will have time for nothing else. While he is otherwise involved, his crew of Chicago gangsters and career political hustlers will be roaming around cutting their own deals and making their own arrangements, further crippling his efforts and infuriating the public. Mark Steyn has suggested that the goal of ObamaCare is to institutionalize the left as America’s base political culture. Instead, Obama appears to be bringing it to ruination.
Harry Blackmun was the man who actually wrote the extremely flawed — in truth, legally empty — Roe decision. He spent the rest of his career defending it. He never accomplished anything else, never put his name on another notable decision, never became associated with any worthy legal doctrine. He deteriorated at last into an isolated, querulous figure, obsessed with Roe v. Wade and his role in seeing it into law. All to achieve no more than to permanently intertwine his name with the legal decision that came closer than any action since the Civil War to rending the country in twain.
So it will be with Obama. That’s what he has to look forward to, on a much wider stage and in a much shorter compass of time. It may well be that future historians will refer to his term as the short presidency — effectively brought to an end at his own initiative only fourteen months after it began. It remains up to us to make it so.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker, and will edit the forthcoming Military Thinker website.

McDonnell to Sign Law Protecting Virginia from Gov’t Healthcare – HUMAN EVENTS

I really hope all the people who support this bill will still be happy in January.

With one stroke of the pen, we now will have changed the whole financial structure of the Health Insurance Industry.

Before this mess was signed into law, 55% of premiums go to care reimbursement, 45% goes to admin costs.

To break it down even further, 10% overall goes to the cash reserve funds (mandated by fed & state regs) in case of catastrophic costs. If you do not hold to these figures, then you are put on the ‘possibly unsustainable’ list. And then audited every year to make sure you are in compliance.

So, the final tally is:

55% Reimbursement

35% Admin (also used to pay for compliance, taxes, fees, advertising, salaries, etc. Only 2-3% of this percentage is profit)

10% emergency reserves

Now, the new split is 85/15. By law.

So in case you missed it, now the reimbursement rate will be 85% of premiums. This will also have to pay out for the now-covered pre-existing conditions.

15% will be for admin costs. This will also have to cover all of the new 40% tax on premiums that the company will have to pay.

Since the company cannot raise rates until the first of the year to cover these additional costs this year, expect your premiums to go up between 200-300%.

Do not expect your rates to go down, either. All of these mandates must be paid for by someone.

That someone will be the person, company, or corporation that buys the policies.

Apparently, the government can now tell people what insurance they must buy, when to buy it, and what coverage they must have.

Right now, (with no pre-existing conditions) a policy that has a small co-pay, $5 mil cap on benefits per person, drug coverage, hospitalization, vision, and hearing, costs (on industry average) $10,000 per year for a family of four.

Just ask yourself one question: Who in their right mind will pay upwards of $30,000 per year for a basic family policy?

via McDonnell to Sign Law Protecting Virginia from Gov’t Healthcare – HUMAN EVENTS.

Angela – Aetna employee