Tag Archives: healthcare reform

Biden Unhinged in VP Debate, while Ryan exuded self-control

 

Last night’s Vice Presidential debate did put more pressure on Vice President Biden, who was tasked with delivering the same old progressive talking points about taxes, foreign policy, abortion, and health care – albeit with a little more spiritedness.  However, the pervasive grinning, smiling, and interrupting came off as egregiously arrogant and condescending.  Biden conveyed a “I’m gonna kill that kid” demeanor with his impatience and exuded the same entitled disposition that plagued President Obama in his first debate with Gov. Romney.  You don’t get bonus points for being the incumbent – or at least you shouldn’t.

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post wrote last night that:

…Biden’s aggressive performance is a sure winner for him (and the president) within the Democratic base. But, it felt to us like he went a little bit overboard and, at times, bordered on bullying Ryan.  Biden’s derisive smiles and laughs while Ryan tried to answer questions weren’t great optics for the vice president and his repeated interruptions won’t make those who think politics should be more civil happy. Biden’s agenda was clear during the debate: he was set on erasing the passive performance of Obama last week. That he did, but in so doing it felt like he went a bit overboard.

However, while Cillizza admitted that the Vice President acted like a ‘tool,’ that commentary was tempered since he also rated Biden’s last fifteen minutes in the debate as a win. Guy Benson cited The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan in his post on Townhall this morning reiterating Biden’s obstreperous demeanor.

Another way to say it is the old man tried to patronize the kid and the kid stood his ground. The old man pushed, and the kid pushed back. Last week Mr. Obama was weirdly passive. Last night Mr. Biden was weirdly aggressive, if that is the right word for someone who grimaces, laughs derisively, interrupts, hectors, rolls his eyes, browbeats and attempts to bully. He meant to dominate, to seem strong and no-nonsense. Sometimes he did—he had his moments. But he was also disrespectful and full of bluster. “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy!” he snapped at one point. It was an echo of Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, in 1988. But Mr. Quayle, who had compared himself to Kennedy, had invited the insult. Mr. Ryan had not. It came from nowhere.Did Mr. Biden look good? No, he looked mean and second-rate. He meant to undercut Mr. Ryan, but he undercut himself. His grimaces and laughter were reminiscent of Al Gore’s sighs in 2000—theatrical, off-putting and in the end self-indicting. Mr. Ryan was generally earnest, fluid, somewhat wonky, confident. He occasionally teetered on the edge of glibness and sometimes fell off.

[…]

[Furthermore,] CNN’s Gloria Borger and NBC’s David Gregory both said Biden was condescending.

When you interrupt your opponent 82-96 times throughout the debate, you certainly deserve this criticism.

Paul Ryan, like Romney, had command of the facts that demonstrated how the Obama/Biden ticket had policies that are anathema to American business.  He showed that the Obama administration have no plans to deal with the looming fiscal crisis we face.  For all the left-wing agitation over the Ryan budget, it received more votes in Congress than Obama’s alternative and is empirical evidence that Republicans have a plan.  Obama’s secret weapon to pay down our debt and deficit still centers on raising taxes on the job creating and investing class. As Congressman Ryan said, if these individuals were taxed at 100%, it would only fund government for 98 days.  We would still have a $300 billion dollar deficit.  As many in the conservative movement have noted, increasing taxes on an incrementally shrinking base of  taxable recipients, while not reforming our welfare state, is the flawed logic of leaping a chasm in two bounds.

On taxes, Biden hurled ‘malarkey of his own.  As Human Events’ David Harsanyi wrote on October 12,  Biden “continually swatted away claims that small business would be hit by President Obama’s tax hikes, even though an Internal Revenue Service recently found that Bush-era tax rates would mean around 1 million companies would be hit with new taxes.There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending,’ Mr. Ryan said, attacking the central promise of a second term – tax hikes. ‘Watch out middle class, the tax bill is coming to you.”

However, Biden pivoted by invoking the middle class and defended the 47% of Americans ,who don’t pay any federal income taxes, who have been labeled as freeloaders.  Everyone knew this jab was coming, but when Biden said “it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy [Mitt Romney] who says 47% of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives,” he forgets that there is some truth to Romney’s remarks.  American liberalism is centered on destroying responsibility and filling that void with the government.  You saw this when the Obama administration called unemployment benefits and food stamps a form of economic stimulus, instead of viewing it as a temporary solution to keep economically hard hit Americans from becoming destitute.

Concerning health care reform, Harsanyi wrote that “Biden also claimed falsely asserted that the Obama Administration had not raised taxes on the middle class, when in fact there are over a dozen middle class hike in Obamacare alone. Relying on a single left-wing study, Biden continued to make the Obama campaign’s case that Romney’s tax reform plan was mathematically impossible, despite the fact that other studies find that it’s feasible. And Ryan laid out the job numbers in proper perspective – as stagnant.”

On the 15% of Americans living in poverty and the 23 million struggling to find employment, the vice president asserts that the Obama administration will focus on “leveling the playing field.”  Again, showing that American liberalism has radically shifted away from emphasizing equality of opportunity and towards equality of outcome.   In doing so, we must sacrifice more freedom to achieve that goal. This is an aspect progressives omit when they, for example, push for the expansion of social programs, which they feel enhances the public good.  By the way, the Dependency Index has increased 23% under President Obama – which is a whopping 67 million Americans who are sustained by at least one federal program.

On foreign policy, the vice president was again mistaken.  Regarding Syria, the vice president feels that Assad will fall.  However, with Iran flying over Iraqi airspace with impunity with supplies to keep Assad in power – that’s a presumptuous statement.  Assad’s army is still strong and there is a chance he can survive this insurrection, which we should stay out of at all costs.  Although, if the Obama administration wanted to ensure such an outcome, they shouldn’t have pulled out of Iraq.  Iraq doesn’t have the capability to protect its skies since we provided for their air defense.  Yet, we shouldn’t be surprised by Biden’s foreign policy inaccuracies.  He, after all, advocated to partition Iraq into three semi-autonomous countries along racial lines that would be “held together by a central government.”  It was an Iraqi version of the Articles of Confederation and we know how that turned out.

On Benghazi, some are saying Biden has damaged the administration irrevocably.  Instead of saying it was a terrorist attack, Biden decided to throw the State Department and the intelligence community under the bus. Oh – and did I mention that he lied about the need for security. He said last night “We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there.”

Well, Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy magazine wrote yesterday that:

In fact, two security officials who worked for the State Department in Libya at the time testified Thursday that they repeatedly requested more security and two State Department officials admitted they had denied those requests.

“All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, testified. “In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST extension.’ I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway.”

Nordstrom was so critical of the State Department’s reluctance to respond to his calls for more security that he said, “For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.”

Concerning the intelligence community, Bryan Preston at PJ Media’s Tatler posted early this morning that Biden’s insinuation that:

…the Benghazi assault resulted from a protest because that’s what the intelligence community told them. It’s possible that the presidentially-appointed head of the CIA, Gen David Petraeus, blamed the assault on a video. Petraeus was quoted on Sept 13 doing just that in a briefing to Congress. But by that point it was already evident that the assault was a pre-planned terrorist attack and the administration had begun its pushback against that view. The question is, did the larger intelligence community agree with Petraeus?

In a word, no.

Flashback to Sept 26: The US knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack within the first 24 hours.

Flashback to Sept 28: The US listened in as Benghazi attackers bragged to al Qaeda.

Flashback to October 3: The Obama administration had been told Benghazi was a terrorist attack within hours.

Flashback to October 10: The State Department says that it never thought Benghazi resulted from a protest over a movie.

[…]

By calling out both State (on the security) and intelligence (on the video) during the debate, Biden did two things. He expanded the cover-up to now include himself, in front of the entire nation.

Concerning Iran, nixing a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in New York – or with any other world leader for that matter – speaks volumes on how seriously this administration thinks about America’s image abroad.  It’s a second tier concern.  It’s not like Obama skipped out to be on The View – oh wait.  I’ll just leave it at that.

I think were Paul Ryan made his strongest points dealt with the social issues.  Concerning contraception and the HHS mandate, the vice president was fact checked today by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in this statement.

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.” [Vice President Joe Biden]

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

The bishops are right.  Furthermore, some colleges, like Franciscan University have dropped their coverage rather than submit to the unconstitutional assault on religious freedom led by the Obama administration.  However, it may be a cost saving move in the long run as Ben Domenech, Transom editor and research fellow for the Heartland Institute, wrote back in May – “the mandate is currently slated to be an annual tax penalty of $2,000 for every full-time employee (or equivalent) beyond the first 30 workers. For some organizations, this will be a high price to pay. But they may find it worth it to retain their right to exercise their religious beliefs. And given the rising premium costs under Obama’s law–according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, premiums for a family policy exceeded $15,000 a year in 2011, increasing an average of $1,300 from 2010–this might actually make fiscal sense, too.”

On abortion, the debate took a more ordered and somber tone. Ryan told a poignant story concerning his daughter Liza and where he and his wife, Janna, first saw her heartbeat when she was seven weeks old.  He reiterated his belief that life begins at conception and how a Romney/Ryan administration would oppose abortion, except when in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.  Ryan also detailed the Obama administration’s war on religious liberty.

The vice president, on the other hand, walked a waffled line on abortion.  He accepted the church’s notion that life begins at conception, but stated that he does not wish to impose that view on others in this country.  He made the silly claim about the HHS mandate, as mentioned above, and basically said he was a pro-choice, pro-lifer on the subject.

In total, last night the vice president, as a man who ran for the highest political office twice before, came off as cantankerous and grossly unpresidential.  His schoolyard bullying persona was immensely off putting and immature.  Did he miss the early bird special at the Old Country Buffet or a nap?  His incessant need to interrupt Ryan, since he probably knows that Obama record is atrocious, may have delighted the left since it made up for Obama’s flaccid debate performance, but the impatience showed that he too didn’t want to be there.  Although, once you get Joe’s mouth running, one must begin praying that nothing ridiculous slips out.  In the end, grandpa and his facial expressions throughout the night read ‘how dare this kid challenge me.’  It’s an election, Joe.

As for Ryan, he had some faults minor faults as well. While I felt his composure and knowledge of the facts were positives that added to the narrative that, not only is the Republican ticket more serious about the economy, they have a better understanding of it.  However, Ryan should have pushed against Joe much more aggressively due to Biden being afflicted with diarrhea of the mouth.

In all, it was a slight victory for Ryan.  I only say that because all Joe Biden had to do was not come off as soporific, lazy, or disengaged like Obama.  Surely, the threshold for Biden was at shoe level.  For Ryan, all he had to do was not look out of his league on the national stage.  If some sort of event were to make a Mitt Romney unable to execute executive function, I would feel comfortable having the poised and presidential Paul Ryan to fill that role, instead of grumpy uncle Joe.  When George Will slammed some of the more opportunistic Republican candidates at the start of the 2012 race, he stated that their involvement in this election would produce a nominee”much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.

I think “careless, delusional, egomaniacal, and spotlight-chasing” are rather appropriate terms to characterize Joe Biden, who shouldn’t be anywhere near the nuclear football.

ICYMI:

Supreme Court shocks life into Obamacare challenge

The emperor wears no clothes. The bloom is off the rose. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Pardon the barrage of stale metaphors, but it’s difficult to put into words the utter pasting Mitt Romney put on Barack Obama last week.

Pat Buchanan called Romney’s “the finest debate performance” in 52 years “with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan’s demolition of Jimmy Carter in 1980.”

Indeed, when all of CNN and MSNBC – to include Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow – hysterically admit that President Obama got smoked; he got smoked. Bad.

Liberal blogger and Obama sycophant Andrew Sullivan captured the universally shared “progressive” panic as the brutal mismatch came to a close: “How is Obama’s closing statement so f—ing sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.”

For those of us who have long recognized the messianic myth that is Barack Hussein Obama, the debate was especially gratifying.

The world had fallen prey to a cartoonish hoax. This media-crafted Iron Man has proven a mere mortal, a tin man, an international embarrassment.

The jig is up.

In just 90 minutes, Mitt Romney stripped away the Iron Man costume and exposed, naked beneath, a man more closely resembling Robert Downey Jr.

Recall the image, so often seen, of a young Robert, head downcast in shame, standing before the judge to rationalize why, yet again, he’d screwed up magnificently. Last Wednesday was Barack’s turn.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Robert Downey Jr. – I’m glad he turned his life around. But he’s an actor. He reads his lines. He’s not Iron Man. And he’s not qualified to be president.

Neither is Barack Obama.

And so, lost with no teleprompter binky, and, thus, suffering a debate trouncing unparalleled in history, it would seem that the president’s not so good, very bad week couldn’t get worse.

It got worse.

Just two days prior, the U.S. Supreme Court revived hope – long thought dead – that Obamacare, the president’s signature achievement, might yet be ruled unconstitutional. The High Court shocked the legal community by opening its new term with an order giving the Obama Justice Department just 30 days to respond to Liberty Counsel’s petition for rehearing. Liberty Counsel filed the petition on behalf of Liberty University and two private individuals.

An appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act, or AIA, barred the court from addressing the merits in Liberty Univ., Inc. v. Geithner, which challenged the individual mandate (Section 1501) and the employer insurance mandate (Section 1513) of Obamacare.

In addition to the constitutional arguments that Congress lacked authority to pass the law, the suit also raised the Free Exercise of religion claim because of the forced taxpayer funding of abortion.

You may recall that the first day of oral argument was dedicated to the AIA, the issue that Liberty University’s case placed before the High Court. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the AIA does not apply to Obamacare. Therefore, Liberty Counsel asked the Court to grant the petition (because Liberty University prevailed on the AIA claim), vacate the Court of Appeals ruling and remand (send back) the case to the Court of Appeals to consider the Free Exercise claim and the employer mandate, neither of which were decided by the High Court.

Long story short: If the Supreme Court ultimately hears the case on appeal – which is highly possible as the claims are unique – and rules that the employer mandate and Free Exercise claims are legit, Obamacare dies on the vine. It’s effectively overturned. It’s like a shiny new Chevy Volt without the exploding battery. It goes nowhere fast and is towed to the junkyard of really, really stupid ideas.

This means, among other things, that people who value human life won’t be made complicit in abortion homicide on the taxpayer dime.

“Obamacare is the biggest funding of abortion in American history,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law. “Under the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, Obamacare will, for the first time, require employers and individuals to directly fund abortion.

“This abortion mandate collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience. I am very pleased with the Court’s decision today,” concluded Staver.

During the debate, Mitt Romney took Obama to task over Obamacare: “I just don’t know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the – at the kitchen table and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs.”

Obama was left stuttering and stammering – sheepishly defending his grossly unaffordable, wholly unsustainable and wildly unpopular Obamacare monstrosity.

I was left encouraged.

Whether by legislative repeal, or through Liberty Counsel’s ongoing case, freedom-loving America should be confident. This freakish Frankenstein monster will, God willing, be soon laid to rest beneath the cold, clammy earth from which Democrats dug it up.

Obama’s shovel-ready debate performance was the groundbreaking.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)  

Romney Destroys Obama in First Debate, Left-wingers Go Nuts

Romney took Obama to school Wednesday night

We all got a shot of life Wednesday night from Mitt Romney.  I received a lot of flak, and some insults, for my previous post castigating Romney for lacking joie de vivre, but he came out swinging and left the president looking for his teleprompter.  While some posted polls in the comment section to show Romney’s campaign wasn’t in trouble since we’re in a dead heat – we should all be thanking Obama’s poor economic policies for that buffer. Regardless, Romney was prepared for battle, while the president was utterly unprepared and began to ramble towards the end of the debate.

Romney was animated.  He was, as Steve Schmidt put it, “clear, cogent, and concise.”  He also delivered his remarks in a tone we haven’t heard before. It displayed a sense of confidence that is a critical quality for the position Obama currently occupies.  In all, it was polished and presidential.  One could easily see Mitt Romney in the Oval Office with his cool delivery that seemed to make the president very uncomfortable.  However, detractors will say that he’s had plenty of debate preparation concerning the grueling Republican primaries, although I’m not sure how being prepared can be construed as a negative.  After all, the president called his own debate preparation a “drag.”  Even though it was made with facetious overtones, it conveyed a sense of arrogance and unseriousness that has been one of the main criticisms hurled at the president.  He assumed he would get bonus points for being the leader of the free world and he was grossly and ignominiously mistaken after his first bout with Romney.

Concerning Romney, I think it was for the first time that we saw him begin to understand what it means to be a conservative.  The comparing and contrasting between private markets and government-oriented programs within the health care market was a good example.  The notion that states are the “laboratories for democracy” was one of my favorite lines of the night.  However, when the question about the role of government was asked – Romney successfully channeled his inner Madison and reiterated that the role of the state is to”promote and protect the principles” outlined in the constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  Furthermore, he stated that our rights come from our creator, not from government.  Our founders, especially Madison, believed that rights preceded government and drafted a constitution to embed those rights so that other may not take them away.  Adhering to that notion is a  ”severely” conservative affirmation.

While the president may have had a brief moment of exuding his presidential attributes with Medicare, he was often dominated by the litany of facts thrown at him by Romney highlighting the economic pain his presidency has inflicted upon the nation.  The right hooks Romney delivered on jobs, the economy, and the crony capitalism connected to green energy rendered Obama’s statement on corporate welfare for oil companies moot.  Furthermore, Obama seemed to sabotage his own efforts to scare seniors with the false narrative that Romney wants to destroy Medicare.  He agreed that Romney’s reforms to our entitlement programs aren’t that much different from his policies.

As a result, the president gave Romney the death stare midway through the debate.  There’s no doubt that the stare, coupled with the puckered up lips, were indicators that Romney got under Obama’s skin.  In an ironic twist, Obama seems to have become John McCain concerning the feelings of indignation towards those who dare to have opposing views on the issues.  For Obama, Romney disagreeing with him isn’t just wrong – it’s somehow reprehensible.

However, there are still some conservative critics, who agree that Romney crushed the president, but ceded policy ground.  Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner posted a buzzkill column on October 3 reiterating the:

…two reasons why for conservatives to keep their exuberance in check. In past elections, it isn’t uncommon for the rusty incumbent to come off lousy in the opening debate. This was the case when Walter Mondale won the first 1984 debate against Ronald Reagan and John Kerry won the first debate against George W. Bush. In both cases, the incumbents recovered in the subsequent debates, and ended up winning the election.

Another reason for caution is that Romney, as part of his efforts to disarm Obama’s criticisms, made a number of policy concessions that could box him in and make it more difficult for him to govern as a limited government conservative if elected. At various times during the debate Romney said that he wasn’t interested in cutting taxes, particularly on the wealthy; that he would cover individuals with pre-existing conditions; that he wouldn’t touch Medicare and Social Security over the next decade and would be willing to give more money to seniors for prescription drugs; and that he’d be open to hiring more teachers. Should he be elected president, all of the major fights – repealing Obamacare, overhauling the tax code and reforming entitlements – will trigger a massive campaign by liberals to portray him as trying to hurt the poor to the benefit of the rich. If he is so willing to concede policy points during the campaign, will he fight for limited government as president?

However, as Joel Pollack wrote on Breitbart, “on health care–which might have been Romney’s weakest issue–Romney argued for the repeal of Obamacare as the best Tea Partier might have done, attacking the board that the law sets up to ration care as a cost control mechanism. The best that Obama could do was remind voters–as if they did not already know–that Romney had passed a health insurance law in Massachusetts. He had to concede one of the best arguments Romney offered–that Obamacare has actually increased the cost of insurance so far.”

Furthermore, if you go to Mitt Romney’s campaign site, coupled with his support for the Ryan budget, you can see that not only will taxes be lowered for everyone – he’ll eliminate the death tax and push for tax reform.  However, the deductions he’ll eliminate has been a rather nebulous subject. Lastly, with an active and vocal Tea Party contingent in Congress – Mitt, if elected, would have to operate as a small government conservative since (a) he owes us and (b) nothing would get done with Democrats and Tea Partiers forming an unintentional coalition to block his agenda.  Democrats obstructing because he’s Mitt Romney and tea partiers obstructing because it doesn’t cut enough spending, reform the welfare state enough, or does enough to pay down the national debt.  Politics sometimes makes strange bedfellows.  Lastly, the reaffirmation to uphold the principles of the constitution is a tacit agreement that Romney would adhere to the Madisonian ideals of limited government.  If he’s elected president and becomes squishy – he should be prepared for a primary challenge, despite the historical ramifications of such an action.

However, while Republicans rejoiced, Democrats must have felt like the world was ending.  It brought on reactions of disbelief and abject anger from MSNBC.  Chris Matthews, Obama’s number one fan, was quite agitated during MSNBC’s post-debate coverage.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn’t. It didn’t mention all the key fighting points of this campaign. […] I don’t know what he was doing out there, he had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.

Romney on the other hand, came in with a campaign, he had a plan. He was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive. He was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. He was going to relish the evening, enjoying it. Nothing to do with the words he spoke.

Here’s my question for Obama. I know he says he doesn’t watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don’t know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight–about Social Security.

Listen to the stuff he got away with. He said, you know, emergency room–the latest thing we got from Romney because he said so was you know what I want to do with people when they’re poor? Shove them in the emergency room. Why didn’t Obama say that? Why didn’t he say that?

You talk about Social Security and Medicare people, they’re part of your 47 percent, you want to drop them from the list of eligible Americans. You don’t have any care for these people. What are you talking about? We’ve got it on tape, Governor! We’ve got it on tape what you think of these people! Don’t come out here and pretend you care about old people because you met somebody at some campaign event, you’ve written off 47 percent of the country before you even started!

Where was Obama tonight?! He should watch, well not just Hardball, Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O’Donnell]. He would learn something about this debate.

There’s a hot debate going on in this country and you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having this debate. We have our knives out, we go after the people on the facts, what was he doing tonight?! He went in there disarmed, he was like, ‘oh wait, an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing and I don’t even look at this guy.’

Whereas Romney — I love the split-screen — staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. ‘I’m coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You’ve got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I’m going to ignore him.’

What was Romney doing? He was winning. […] If he does five more of these nights, forget it. […]

Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we’re watching, it’s like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff.

Ed Schultz’s blood pressure went through the roof lamenting how he was “stunned” that Obama was “off his game.”  I think liberals are finally coming to the realization that President Obama isn’t a good debater and lost almost every battle with Hillary Clinton back in the ’08 primaries.  Allahpundit posted about the mayhem from Twitter concerning the president’s debate performance.

Michael Moore tweeted:

Lastly, Bill Maher commented on Obama’s utter lack of direction during the debate with this:

Yes, liberals were in shock and awe concerning how bad the president, the best thing since the resurrection of Christ, performed, but that’s not to say it’ll be the same the next time Obama and Romney duke it out.  However, I’m confident that Romney won’t be the push over that some in the media were conveying before Wednesday night’s smackdown.

Mitt surely stepped up his game during the debate and I found myself enthused for the first time, in a long time, since Romney began his campaign for the presidency last year.  However, I admit that I backed Perry before his epic meltdown.  Nevertheless, Romney has shaken off the criticism that he’s robotic and proved to his skeptics that he’s passionate, hungry, and ready to lead this nation towards economic prosperity.  Mitt is definitely here.

ICYMI:

Originally posted on Hot Air.

Voices Without A Vote

These are the voices of our future.

Their future hangs in the balance.

They can’t vote. But you can.

Liberty is never more than one generation from extinction. And they are that generation!

YouTube Description:

The teenagers who speak in this video belong to http://www.im2moro.org. These young people realize that if they don’t stand up and speak out for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness today, they will be living in a very different America tomorrow.

Paul Ryan’s Defense Of 2008-2009 Votes

One of the big questions since Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as is running mate is whether it would bring in small government conservatives and libertarians on the Romney bandwagon. Ryan is well-liked by people due to his “Roadmap For America’s Future” and his 2009 verbal destruction of Obamacare to the President’s face.

There are still a few questions regarding Ryan’s voting record in the House. He supported TARP, the auto bailout and the taxes on AIG bonuses. He also supported the NDAA and the PATRIOT Act. These are things conservatives and libertarians don’t support because they expand government power and ended up supporting crony capitalism.

Ryan’s defense of the some of these votes are very interesting. In a 2010 interview with The Daily Caller, Ryan points out voted against the original auto bailout because he didn’t want them to get the money. His reasoning for eventually voting for the bailout was because it was limited money at $17.4 billion.  As Ryan put it, he was concerned it would become a “slush fund” with no limit if it were connected to TARP. It’s a strange reason, considering that Ryan eventually voted for TARP, however he deserves a bit a credit for his original no vote.

The vote Ryan probably regrets the most, is the one to put a tax on the AIG bonuses. It’s a key example of politicians reacting to a situation, instead of responding to it.  Ryan himself admits he was angry and made a “snap judgement” on the bill. He makes a good point at saying TARP was becoming a new avenue of crony capitalism. This has been pointed out several times in Peter Schweizer’s book, “Throw Them All Out,” which everyone should read. It’s nice Ryan says he made a mistake, even if hindsight is 20/20.

The decision to vote for TARP is one of the most interesting, and logical, defenses out there.  Ryan says it was to keep an even bigger government agenda from sweeping the nation, as well as, preventing a Depression. His key worry was to keep from happening, “a complete evisceration of the free market system we have…” This argument is actually something not many politicians have used.

In fact, it sounds a bit like the justification behind the Louisiana Purchase.

According to Harlow Unger’s book on President James Monroe called “The Last Founding Father,” President Thomas Jefferson wanted Monroe to tell the Spanish and French what American traders believe about New Orleans and Louisiana. As Jefferson said, “They have a natural…right to trade freely through the Mississippi,” and authorized $9 million to buy New Orleans. Congress authorized only $2 million. Monroe ended up paying $15 million.

Jefferson wasn’t sure whether to approve the purchase because he believed it violated the Constitution. As Unger writes, he apparently had problems the Constitution, “did not grant the government authority to acquire foreign territory…” Jefferson decided to approve the measure because Napoleon was going to back out of the sale.

Ryan’s defense of the TARP bill sounds a bit Jefferson’s defense of the Louisiana Purchase. Both sacrificed their constitutional beliefs to make sure something worse didn’t happen. In Jefferson’s case it was losing out on Louisiana and New Orleans and possibly never getting a shot at it again. In Ryan’s case, it sounds he was worried about another New Deal coming which would have increased the government even more.

It’s not an argument most of the Tea Party would agree with, but Ryan does a better job at saying why TARP should have been passed than John Boehner does.

Someone should ask Ryan about his votes for the PATRIOT Act and the NDAA. This type of information is important and we need to hear why Ryan did what he did.

To steal a line from Dan McLaughlin, Paul Ryan is a good pick for Mitt Romney because, while he’s not a complete Tea Party pick, he does hold more Tea Party values than Chris Christie. He’s also got a defined budget which isn’t perfect, but better than what the Democrats have. Which is nothing.

83% Docs Considering Leaving Field

A recent survey by the Doctor Patient Medical Association suggests that 83% of current physicians are considering leaving the field. DPMA Survey Results

This week on Varney and Company Dr. Marc Siegel discussed these results with Stuart Varney.

Not all doctors will leave the practice; many cannot afford to but the strong results indicate most physicians are very concerned with the future of health care. The decrease in pay for Medicaid and even Medicare patients is already causing many physicians to stop taking these government plans. President Obama uses the decreased payments as a positive to tell citizens that Obamacare is not costing them money. Yet, many patients are already feeling the pinch as they find it more and more difficult to locate a health care provider, in their area, who takes their insurance. While some say doctors need to become more efficient, buck-up and take the lower reimbursement rates many physicians say they are having to reduce staffing and some are closing their offices due to these cuts.

While doctors in practice may not retire incentive to join will certainly be impacted. Do we want our best and brightest to choose another vocation due to the complex regulations placed by Obamacare?

The upcoming election gives voters the opportunity to change the direction of health care in the United States. We can make it better.

 

Is This Any Way To Govern?

Profits for Government Motors, the crown jewel of White House efforts to portray their venture capital investment efforts in a successful light, dropped 41 percent in the second quarter.  Using GM as a staple of his never ending re-election campaign efforts, the current Oval Office occupant has consistently crowed from the stump about how the GM bailout was part of his master plan to save or create jobs.

Never mind that the government-managed bankruptcy violated hundreds of years of precedent by stealing equity from secured investors and redistributing it to the United Auto Workers, staunch “progressive” Democratic supporters.  Forget that a majority of the auto dealerships that were closed as a result of “progressive” business mismanagement were owned by Conservative Republican small business owners.

Speaking of business, jobless claims rose again.  For the week ended July 28th, initial jobless claims increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000.  In a now familiar pattern that has persisted since the current administration assumed stewardship over the economy, July 21 week ended claims were revised upwards from the initially reported 353,000 to 357,000.

According to the White House and their “progressive” co-operatives, underperforming jobless numbers would vastly improve if only those selfish small business owners would “pay their fair share”.  Never mind that small businesses are under assault from government mandated regulatory obligations imposed by unaccountable bureaucracies.  Big government “progressive” control freaks will never comprehend how small businesses are far less likely to hire new workers when a disproportionate amount of their limited funds are tied up in accounting and legal fees forced upon them by regulatory dictates.

Not surprisingly, poor economic reports caused stocks on Wall Street to drop, with the Dow and S&P averages showing the biggest single-day drops since late June.  Reports showed both the Dow and S&P down by nearly one percent.

But not to worry, a growing “progressive” big government has determined that for America the best way to solve all of these economic problems is to have said “progressive” big government take over one sixth of the economy by seizing control of the national healthcare system.  A tax that “progressives” refuse to call a tax imposed on “free” individual American citizens for refusing to comply with a “progressive” big government mandate to buy a commodity will be enforced by an IRS that has paid out billions of dollars in fraudulent refunds.  In a report issued on Thursday, the IRS inspector general said that identity thieves are filing bogus returns and could collect $21 billion over the next five years.

Having the government in control of their healthcare system should be of minor concern to American voters.  With trillions of dollars being tossed around more freely than Frisbees on a French Riviera beach, knowledge that 7,000 healthcare providers already paid over $6 billion by Medicaid not paying federal taxes to the tune of nearly $800 million should be considered nothing more than a small accounting error.  What’s a mere $800 million among friends?

It isn’t like partisan politics could interfere with making sound judgments.

That is unless “progressives” are making those decisions.

Early in his presidential campaign back in July 2007, then candidate Barrack Hussein Obama said: “The least employers can do when they’re anticipating layoffs is to let workers know they’re going to be out of a job and a paycheck with enough time to plan for their future.”  Of course, now that having certain key employers do exactly that would threaten his re-election aspirations, he is against it.

Since passage of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, employers with one hundred or more workers are required to give employees a sixty day notice of pending mass layoffs or plant closings.  With the jobs of up to one million U.S. defense contractor workers threatened by looming budget cuts at the Defense Department, those contractors should be sending layoff notices to their workers just a few days before the upcoming Nov. 6 election.  The administration said that those federal contractors do not need to warn their employees about pending mass layoffs or plant closings because the budget cuts slated to begin Jan. 2 are “still speculative.”

Can you say John Kerry?  He was for it before he was against it too, right?

But Americans really should not sweat the small stuff.  Should it matter that thanks to business hostile policies of “progressive” politicians, those self-imagined self-appointed members of the intellectual elite, the American economy is crumbling before their eyes?  After all, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to make statements like: “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom”?

Think about it.  What difference will the state of the economy make if a nuclear armed Iran starts a nuclear world war that annihilates the entire planet?

Is there any truth to the rumor that George Soros is speculating untold billions of his ill-gotten gains on cockroach futures?

Is this the way Americans wants their country governed?

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/is-this-any-way-to-govern/

Obamacare Costs $1.9 Trillion AND Still Leaves 30 Million Uninsured

I need to know how many quality years this patient has left STAT

Since the 5-4 decision to uphold Obamacare as constitutional through the taxing authority of Congress, the CBO gave their final grade. .  But it’s not biggie.  This entire overhaul is “deficit neutral” and will save money in the long run.  That’s what the Left try to sell us.  Even Joe Six Pack knows that something can’t be deficit neutral when you spend over a $1 trillion dollars on a new entitlement program.  As Jeffrey Anderson of The Weekly Standard wrote on July 27:

So, what — besides less liberty — would Americans get for their $1,930,000,000,000 and change?  Well, the CBO now says that Obamacare would cause between 4 and 6 million Americans to lose their employer-sponsored insurance, writing, “Between 4 million and 6 million fewer people are estimated to have coverage through an employer, compared with coverage in the absence of the [Affordable Care Act].”

Moreover, the CBO and/or the Medicare chief actuary have previously said that Obamacare would raise health insurance premiums, would raise overall U.S. health costs, would raise taxes on Americans and on American businesses, and would siphon something approaching $1 trillion (from 2014 through 2023) out of Medicare.  In the process (according to the Medicare chief actuary), Obamacare would reduce reimbursement rates for Medicare providers to the point where they’d be lower even than the notoriously low reimbursement rates paid to Medicaid providers — therefore jeopardizing seniors’ access to care.  Oh, and Obamacare would also establish the unelected and largely unaccountable 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to institute further Medicare cuts.

Lastly, one of the most intrusive pieces of legislation will still leave 30 million uninsured a decade from now.

However, we shouldn’t be surprised. The CBO reported back in March that 20 million could lose their coverage as a result of Obama’s health care takeover.  Heritage’s Mike Brownfield cited this report on March 16 in The Foundry:

In one of the CBO’s reported scenarios20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits, and 49 million more Americans could become dependent on government-sponsored health care. And it won’t come cheaply for American taxpayers. Projecting through 2022, Obamacare could cost as much as $2.134 trillion, and individual and employer mandate penalties could hit $221 billion.

Then there’s the issue of the unconstitutional individual mandate that forces Americans to buy government dictated health insurance or pay a penalty, as well as the anti-conscience mandate that religious employers, including schools, hospitals, and charities, must provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraception despite the fact that such services totally contradict many of these groups’ core religious beliefs.

Under Obamacare, costs will go up, people will lose the coverage they have, and quality of care will decline. Individuals and businesses will face penalties, seniors will feel the effects of Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, doctors will suffer from increased regulation and lower government reimbursement for services, taxpayers will face new taxes, jobs will be lost, millions of Americans will remain uninsured and stuck in overcrowded emergency rooms, religious institutions and the faithful will suffer the loss of their religious liberties, and future generations will pay the costs.

While the cost of this bill is astronomical, the scary number for me is 49 million.  An additional 49 million Americans dependent on government run health care services, which coupled with the 67 million Americans already receiving funds from at least one federal program, is a staggering 116 million people who need Washington to survive.  If you don’t believe the political left is pushing a pernicious dependency agenda, you’re insane.  Obamacare is a cornerstone in their lust to make everyone dependent on government since a federal program is considered, by liberals, to be an inherent good and an equalizer in outcomes.  Note that opportunity has become a fossilized term in the lexicon of the far left.

However, since Obamacare is the largest tax increase in history, especially for middle class families, let’s see what we all owe Uncle Sam and the consequences we will have to endure in the coming years compliments of Alyene Senger.

 

  • 20 million. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that as many as 20 million Americans could no longer have their current employer-based health coverage by 2019; others predict it could be as high as 35 million.
  • 85 million. The Office of the Actuary at CMS estimates that, by 2020, Medicaid enrollment will increase from 54 million in 2010 to 85 million, pushing America closer to government-run health care.
  • 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Individuals earning over $44,680 a year and families earning over $92,200 a year are not eligible for any federal subsidies to help purchase coverage under Obamacare.
  • $1 trillion. Based on an updated CBO score, Obamacare imposes 18 new taxes or penalties totaling over $1 trillion from 2013 to 2022 that will directly or indirectly impact families, including those earning below $250,000.
  • 8.1.2012. Starting August 1, Obamacare forces many employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to offer abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.
  • $1.683 trillion. Obamacare expects to spend over one-and-a-half trillion dollars between 2012 and 2022 on its coverage expansion provisions alone, according to the CBO.
  • 30 million. Updated CBO estimates show that despite spending over a trillion dollars, Obamacare will leave 30 million Americans uninsured in 2021.
  • $716 billion. Although Medicare faces $37 trillion in unfunded obligations, Obamacare takes $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for non-Medicare coverage provisions, according to CBO’s latest update.
  • 15. The number of unelected officials that will be in charge of cutting Medicare payments for millions of seniors under the Independent Payment Advisory Board in Obamacare.
  • 50.8 percent. The majority of Americans continue to support repeal. The Real Clear Politics Average from March 10, 2012, to July 28, 2012, shows that voters support repeal by an 8-point margin.

Repeal needs to be the primary initiative for a, God willing, Romney administration with the help of a Republican Congress.  No time to debate with squishy Republicans.  The Obama administration has raised the Dependency Index by 23% in two years.  That’s where the 67 million new dependents come from.

In addition, almost half the nation doesn’t pay income taxes.  We’re dealing with a larger proportion of a dependent demographic that’s subsidized by a smaller and smaller tax base. A tax base that the political left feels it can squeeze more revenue out of and still maintain its social welfare commitments, which, as George Will astutely noted, is the flawed logic of trying to leap a chasm in two bounds. To complicate matters, the president holds a deep antipathy towards small business owners and the wealthy, who are also known as the job creating and investing class.  A class that pays 70% of all the income taxes filed. They’re the ones who keep the dependents alive and will  pay for this new entitlement program nobody wants, but will keep the Democratic base of freeloaders pacified. With the cost of $1.9 trillion dollars and about the same number of uninsured as we have right now a decade out, it’s just another episode highlighting the failure of big government policies.

Before the Dawn

A national poll showing a 59/35 percent disapproval rating demonstrates how declining confidence in American economic performance has led business owners to turn on the White House.  With the Oval Office insisting that the country cannot afford to continue the current tax rates for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000, aka the Bush tax cuts for the rich, it is not surprising that investor confidence is lagging.  Evidence indicates that the White House and their “progressive” allies have been repeatedly assailing small business owners, not “standing behind them” as their campaign rhetoric now insists.

Attacks originating from the White House such as the “You didn’t build that” remark are certainly not instilling confidence among entrepreneurs.  2010 Census figures reveal that from 2008-2010 200,000 small businesses shut their doors.  Three million jobs were lost when those companies closed up shop.

Americans cut spending as U.S. economic growth from April through June slowed to a crawl at an annual rate of 1.5 percent.  The slowdown indicates that the economy may be stalling three years into a sluggish, mostly jobless recovery that began when the last recession technically ended.

A growth rate of 2 percent or less does nothing to lower unemployment rates, which remained stuck at 8.2 percent last month.  According to most economic experts, growth is not expected to increase much in the second half of 2012, spurring fears of another recession.  Few economists believe the U.S. economy will strengthen anytime soon.

A less than glowing corporate earnings report, continued financial troubles in Europe and a looming budget crisis in the U.S. are all expected to contribute to further reductions in business investment and contribute to a possible economic downturn.

Drawing upon his business experience, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has plans to restore jobs in America within the private sector.  He is in favor of increased domestic energy production, a policy that will stimulate economic growth and reduce energy costs for all Americans.  Romney also favors taking a stronger stance towards China on matters of trade and currency manipulation.  He has repeatedly pledged to repeal and replace obamatax, also known by the misnomer: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; a reversal of that policy will disperse the clouds of doubt and uncertainty currently inhibiting job creation, business growth and capital investment.

With a successful businessman in the White House and a legislature composed of business friendly Representatives and Senators, prospects for an American economic recovery will brighten immediately.  Investors in America and especially Europe, where socialist tax assaults continue, will once again be inclined and incentivized to invest in America.

If you are one of the millions of American workers who have suffered long term unemployment or underemployment as a result of the failed “progressive” economic policies of the current administration and its “progressive” cohorts take heart, the first rays of the new dawn are just over the horizon.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/before-the-dawn/

He Said, She Said with Demetrius & Stacy

 

 When: Wed, July 25, 10PM EST/7PM Pacific

Where: He Said, She Said on Blog Talk Radio

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cdnews/2012/05/31/he-said-she-said

What: Have you ever wondered what Black Conservatives think about the political issues of today? Well wonder no more, “He Said, She Said” with Demetrius and Stacy. brings you an inner peek into the mind of the conservative, bold, full strength, and unfiltered.

Tonight: Special guests: Ben Howe, Creative Director at Mister Smith Media and Contributor to RedState.com. Twitter: @BenHowe and Kira Davis, Actress, blogger and host of “The Dark Side with Kira Davis” on Conservative Daily News. Twitter: @kiradavis422

ObamaCare: More Taxes, Less Medicare

Today, RepublicanSenate.gov published the highlights of the CBO’s updated report on the costs of Obamacare. Over one trillion dollars will be sucked out of the American economy to fill a massive feeding trough for government bureaucracies.

 CBO: $1.05 Trillion In New Taxes

“Penalty Payments by Uninsured Individuals … Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-55 [billion dollars].”
“Penalty Payments by Employers… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-106 [billion dollars].”
“Excise Tax on High-Premium Insurance Plans… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-111 [billion dollars].”
“Associated Effects of Coverage Provisions on Tax Revenues… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-216 [billion dollars].”
“Fees on Certain Manufacturers and Insurers… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-165 [billion dollars].”
“Additional Hospital Insurance Tax… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-318 [billion dollars].”
“Other Revenue Provisions… Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-87 [billion dollars].”

Total: 1.05 trillion dollars  (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Speaker Boehner, Table 2, 7/24/12)

 

CBO: ‘$716 Billion’ In Medicare Cuts

CBO: “As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act, as passed by the House of Representatives on July 11, 2012. … Many of the other provisions that would be repealed by enacting H.R. 6079 affect spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. … an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period.” (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Speaker Boehner, P.1 & 13, 7/24/12)

 

President Obama Promised: ‘I Will Protect Medicare’

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “So don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut … that will not happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.” (President Obama, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 9/9/09)

The CBO actually produced two reports: one detailing the perilous costs of Obamacare and another that details the impact should the House effort to repeal Obamacare succeed.

The Obamacare report stated that “CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of $1,168 billion over the 2012–2022″. This is the bill the President worked so hard to keep under one trillion dollars? What will it cost when they review it next year?

The second report discusses the impact of repealing PPACA (aka Obamacare). In it, the CBO estimates that the repeal of PPACA through the enactment of H.R. 6079 “The Repeal of Obamacare Act” “would reduce direct spending by $890 billion”.

The CBO does attempt to illustrate that the repeal bill would increase deficits by $109 Billion over ten years. Their math is based on the fact that over $1 trillion in job killing taxes would also be repealed forcing the government to cut spending instead of continuing to drain the American economy of the capital it produced and requires to grow.

These reports were issued by the “non-partisan Congressional Budget Office” that has been reported to be stacked with Obama-friendly staff just prior to this analysis. How different would the numbers be if reviewed by a truly independent review board?

Why Repealing Obamacare Is Not Enough

A recent step in the right direction happened on July the 11th. The house of representatives voted for a full repeal of Obamacare, 244 yeas to 185 nays. Of course the liberal media cried foul, they thought even taking a vote on repealing Obamacare was a giant waste of taxpayer money. Bob Schieffer, of CBS’ Face the Nation, lamented how the house was wasting so much money on a repeal vote. This concern he showed is interesting, because the house has been sending legislation to the senate since the Tea Party takeover of the house in 2010. So far, there has not even been so much as a preliminary vote in committee on any of those bills, however I haven’t seen or heard any news coverage of the senate doing nothing, or wasting taxpayer money. There’s not been any lamenting or hand wringing of any sort over a do nothing senate.

While voting to repeal Obamacare is a commendable and noble thing to do, this is merely not enough. Read more

A Simple Replacement for ObamaCare

The obvious solution to the health care problem is self-insurance. The Obama Tax is designed to effect those who are young, healthy, and can afford insurance. Who makes the decision about what someone else can afford? But that is beside the point. The point is that if one is young and healthy and can afford insurance, then one can probably afford to pay their medical bills, and in fact they probably DO pay their medical bills. Under the Affordable Care Act they will be punished for being responsible.

The folks running up the tab at emergency rooms are people who are young, healthy and CAN’T afford health insurance, but don’t yet qualify for medicaid.

If we really want what we say we want, patient centered affordable health care, driven by market forces there is a very simple solution; self-insurance.

Average lifetime medical cost per person was roughly $360,000 in 2004 according to a report by Health Services Research. If one were contribute $266.00 per month into a modified Health Savings Account, even at a modest 3% return, they would have enough money to cover their lifetime medical expenses. That is less than the cost of an average insurance plan these days.

Certain areas of the health care arena are already driven by market forces. Those areas are for elective procedures that most insurance doesn’t cover.

A good example is Lasik eye surgery. This is a technique for correcting vision via laser surgery. Lasik is not covered by most insurance, since it is an elective surgery. When it first became available, it cost on average between $2,000.00 and $3,000.00 per eye. Today the cost is about half.

Why the price drop on a highly skilled high tech procedure? Market forces. Most insurance companies don’t cover this procedure, so the customer must pay for for it out of their own pocket. As more physicians have become proficient in the operation (increase in supply) the price has gone down (to meet demand).

A study of any elective procedure which is in demand, but not covered by insurance, will show similar cost reductions.

The easiest way to reduce medical costs is to get rid of insurance altogether. The insurance companies won’t like it, and government fiat may not be the way to go here, but if everyone was invested in a medical savings account that they had control of, was tax free, and could be used for any health related expenses, not only would everyone have coverage, but they would put downward pressure on the cost of entire health care sector. The account would accumulate year after year, so that when the money was really needed later in life, it would be there. There should also be a provision that whatever is left in the account after the owner expires becomes part of the decedent’s estate, thereby providing incentive to leave some money in the account. It could also be used to defray burial expenses. Since everyone is paying for their own healthcare out of their own pocket as it were, they would tend to take better care of themselves. Everyone would have skin in the game. Therefore this type of system provides an inherent incentive toward better health.

A program could be structured so that one savings account could cover a family, in the same way insurance does now. This eliminates the removal of children under 26 argument. It also eliminates the pre-existing condition argument, since the money from one’s health savings account could be used for any health-related costs, including prescription drugs and other medical devices.

For the truly incapable, some system for funding their Health Savings Account could be worked with a refundable tax credit. Those who are at or below the current income level for medicaid insurance could have an amount equal to the requisite contribution credited directly into their health savings account, with a sliding scale up to 150% of that income level. As for employers who currently pay for some or all of their employee’s health insurance premiums, they could use pre-tax dollars to contribute to the employee’s account.

Medicare would need to be left in place for anyone at or above the age of fifty-five, but for those younger, a refund of the amount they paid into the medicare system could be credited to their savings account.

As for catastrophic occurrences, the insurance companies could offer low cost, very high deductible plans, those formerly referred to as major medical plans, to cover high cost, unexpected illnesses. More importantly, though, it should be possible to make a charitable contribution to someone else’s health savings account to help them defray the cost of an expensive unexpected illness. If we are our brother’s keeper, we should be able to be so without government intervention.

The question is one of belief. Do we believe as the founders of this nation did, that the individual is wise enough to make his or her own decisions and provide for his or her own needs, or do we believe that the citizens of this great nation need the government to make all their decisions for them, that they do not have the intelligence or wherewithal to care for themselves? If we believe the latter, then the Affordable Care Act is perfect. If, however we believe the former, that liberty is worth having and that the fruits of our labor should be our own to decide what to do with, then perhaps a health care program such as the one laid out above is the way to go.

Affordable Health Care Act—What Are States Doing?

The country remains divided on whether the Affordable Health Care Act is good for states; whether it will cost more (or less); and whether the states will implement the Medicaid provisions as ruled by the Supreme Court.

Interestingly, some think states that are most against the Act will benefit the most. “Red states have, in general, done less than blue states to cover their residents, so they’re going to get a sweeter deal under the terms of the Affordable Care Act,” said Ezra Klein, a blogger for The Washington Post.

The federal government currently pays 57 percent of Medicaid costs, meaning the Affordable Care Act offer [100% for the first few years, then reduced to 90% federal payment] is “an incredibly, astonishingly, unbelievably good deal” for those states, Klein said.

So what are states doing? Many are still reviewing the law, the Supreme Court ruling, and their options. Here is a quick review of nine states across the country who made the news this week:

California

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed: “I have always supported the need for comprehensive health reform. However, for healthcare reform to succeed, states must either have the flexibility to live within the revenues that are available to them or the federal resources to fully fund its mandates.”

The big cost to the state will be for a generous expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid.

Because California can’t even afford its current Medi-Cal program, it has been cutting back on poor people’s care in recent years. The 2012 state budget passed last month included more than $1 billion in cuts to Medi-Cal and other health programs.

Still, the Brown administration is moving toward the act’s implementation. In fact, it already has begun covering 280,000 people. “This is a very great day,” state Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley declared. “We are in the full-go mode here.”

As George Skelton of the Capitol Journal writes, “But it’s another state cost that no one is considering how to pay for — not nearly as extravagant as the mostly unfunded bullet train, but the same basic idea: meritorious, but moneyless.”

Texas

Gov. Perry: Texas Will Not Expand Medicaid or Implement Health Benefit Exchange.

“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Gov. Perry said. “I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.

From Governor Perry’s Webpage: “Gov. Perry has frequently called for the allocation of Medicaid funding in block grants so each state can tailor the program to specifically serve the needs of its unique challenges. As a common sense alternative, Gov. Perry has conveyed a vision to transform Medicaid into a system that reinforces individual responsibility, eliminates fragmentation and duplication, controls costs and focuses on quality health outcomes. This would include establishing reasonable benefits, personal accountability, and limits on services in Medicaid. It would also allow co-pays or cost sharing that apply to all Medicaid eligible groups – not just optional Medicaid populations – and tailor benefits to needs of the individual rather than a blanket entitlement.

Gov. Perry has consistently rejected federal funding when strings are attached that impose long-term financial burdens on Texans, or cede state control of state issues to the federal government. In 2009, Texas rejected Washington funding for the state’s Unemployment Insurance program because it would have required the state to vastly expand the number of workers entitled to draw unemployment benefits, leading to higher UI taxes later.”

Florida

In an editorial to the Washington Times Florida Governor Rick Scott writes:

“I think everyone agrees there are far too many who want health insurance and can’t get it. But the truth is, the real problem isn’t with health insurance. The underlying cause is the rapidly increasing cost of health care.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s stunning pronouncement on Obamacare, all 50 governors face two big decisions:

1. Do we let the federal government impose a massive Medicaid expansion on us?
2. Do we establish a state insurance exchange or let the federal government come in and run it?

My answer is simple. No. We just can’t afford it.

Medicaid is the fastest-growing part of our state budget. And unlike the federal government, which isn’t required to balance its budget, we could only pay for expanding Medicaid by increasing taxes or cutting from other parts of the budget. Expanding Medicaid puts other vital government functions, such as education, public safety and infrastructure, at risk. That is not something I am willing to do.”

Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker released a statement last week, “Wisconsin will not take any action to implement ObamaCare I am hopeful that political changes in Washington D.C. later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.”

Walker indicated over the weekend that he will wait until after the November election before announcing whether Wisconsin will participate in the health care exchange program. Walker has shown no signs that he is interested in implementing the Affordable Care Act and has returned a grant from the federal government intended to help get the exchanges off the ground.

Louisiana & Virginia

“We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal said during a conference call with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “We’re committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare.”

“Here in Louisiana we have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we’re not implementing the exchanges. We don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana. We’re going to do what we can to fight it.”

On the same conference call on Friday, McDonnell, said he would evaluate the options for Virginia. “We don’t even know exactly what that federal exchange would look like so there’s still some uncertainty at this point as to what the right course is, and in the next days and weeks we’re going to be evaluating the case as well as the options for Virginia,” McDonnell said.

Maine

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address Saturday to further his long-running criticisms of the federal Affordable Care Act and explain why he is delaying its implementation in Maine.

LePage said his administration would resist implementing the Affordable Care Act, particularly an expansion of Medicaid, because of debt Maine already has on the books — including $500 million due to the state’s hospitals — and what he characterized as a welfare program that is already too generous.

“Our welfare costs are among the highest in the nation as a result of some of the lowest eligibility requirements. Maine has increased its spending by more than a billion dollars during the last decade because of expanded welfare programs,” said LePage “We cannot afford our current programs, so to require Maine to expand coverage even more is fiscally irresponsible.”

Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law HB5007, which allows the Cook County Health and Hospitals System to immediately increase Medicaid eligibility for 100,000 county patients and pay for it through increased federal funding. The money will allow the counties to continue treating needy people  who have not been on the Medicaid roles but now to be reimbursed through a direct federal waiver.

Oklahoma

“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the (act), Governor Fallin believes it is her responsibility to thoroughly and thoughtfully review the state of Oklahoma’s options regarding the future of both Medicaid and the creation of a health insurance exchange,” Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said. “Her priority is not to make a decision soon; it is to make the right decision. The governor will continue to review how the state of Oklahoma can best meet the health care needs of its citizens.”

It appears many states’ budgets will dictate their actions and many will wait until the November election before making any further commitments.

Don’t Be Stupid, It’s Still the Economy

The United States Supreme Court has ruled.  The obama”care”tax is Constitutional.

Of course, that depends on what your definition of tax is.

Institutionalized “progressive” leftists in the “mainstream” media have mockingly praised the majority opinion of swing vote Chief Justice Roberts.  Conservatives have expressed scorn for Roberts over the decision.  How long will it be before there are calls to water board Roberts until he confesses to committing high crimes and misdemeanors, to be locked away indefinitely without trial in Guantanamo Bay?

Several weeks ago, Mitt Romney said: “It’s still the economy, and we’re not stupid.”  Then, after the Supreme Court handed his campaign a trillion pound sledgehammer with which to beat obama in the presidential race, Romney adviser Eric “Etch-A-Sketch” Fehrnstrom agreed with the obama administration on national television that the individual mandate in obama”care”tax is not a tax.

Cue the flashback of John McCain’s refusal to use Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, Tony Rezko, Frank Marshall Davis and the highly questionable character of obama and his associations as a campaign issue in 2008.

Can you say pretty stupid?

In response, Conservatives demand that if Romney refuses to fight against the obama”care”tax he should quit the race.  Romney can no longer engage in that fight.  Romney’s campaign has managed to completely mishandle a gift handed to them on a silver platter by the Supreme Court.

That being said, there will be time to discuss the relative merits and pitfalls of the obama”care”tax ruling and Romney’s reaction after the election.  The mistakes of Roberts and Fehrnstrom have been made.  It is time to move on to what really matters to American voters.  The strategy must now be for the GOP presidential candidate to switch focus from the obama”care”tax controversy to America’s tepid economic recovery.

Recent official figures show that the U.S. economy grew by 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, less than the 2.2 percent originally reported.  According to the annual report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this year’s growth forecast for the U.S. economy has been lowered to 2 percent.  The IMF also lowered its forecast for 2013 from 2.4 percent to 2.25 percent.  It also warned of the fiscal cliff known as taxmageddon, the $4 trillion tax increases and defense spending cuts that are due at the end of 2012.

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth rate in the first three months was slower than originally announced.  This news was accompanied by a downward revision in consumer spending.  After-tax corporate profits experienced their biggest fall since the last three months of 2008.

Meanwhile, U.S. employment rose only slightly in April.  The Labor Department reported claims for jobless benefits were higher last week, suggesting a slowdown in job creation

US retail sales fell for the second straight month in May, indicating that growth in the economy is still sluggish.  According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales fell by 0.2 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly three years.  The manufacturing activity index fell from 53.5 percent to 49.7 percent, the lowest reading since July 2009.  Readings below 50 indicate contraction.

The Federal Reserve cut its forecast for 2012 growth to between 1.9 percent and 2.4 percent. That’s half a percentage point lower than April’s estimate.

With facts and figures like these, it is time for the GOP to go aggressively back on the offensive against the failed economic policies of the current administration.  That the economy is tanking and employment prospects remain grim need not be explained to voters living that reality.

Give no quarter to the “progressive” campaign.  Do not let them off the mat.  While they are down, kick them as hard and as long as possible.  Rest assured, given half a chance, “progressives” kick with glee…without hesitation.

The survival of America and the principles upon which it was founded are facing an existential threat.  Don’t be stupid.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dont-be-stupid-its-still-the-economy/

« Older Entries Recent Entries »