Posts Tagged ‘government takeover of health care’
If Democrats don’t pass health care “reform” by March 26, then the two-week Easter recess could end up looking a lot like last August, when the American electorate made it abundantly clear that they did not favor a government takeover of health care. At least that is the intent of some Republicans, according to this story in the Washington Examiner.
“If health care doesn’t get done by Easter,” says Republican Rep. John Shadegg, “then we need to make Easter look like last August.”
The Democrats continue to push the narrative of inevitability, but even that is wearing thin, given that they have been pushing that narrative since last April. One thing for certain: never have the American people been offered such a stark difference in philosophy over the role of government than what the Democrats are trying to ram through Congress in comparison to what the Republicans would offer as solutions.
The question is whether the moderate Democrats will listen to the American people or Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi has hit new heights in craziness. Her definition of legislative debate is to pass a bill, then learn what it does. She actually believes that the Democrat health care bill needs to pass, so then the American people can find out what is in it.
Call it the “trust me, you don’t need to know what’s in this bill until after it passes” factor.
“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
So legislation shouldn’t be debated, because that can be, you know, really confusing… foggy, so to speak.
So Nancy is there to clear up the fog. Isn’t that nice of her?
The Democrat Dictionary version of transparency: read the bill after it passes.
UPDATE: Thanks to a friend of mine who posted it on Facebook, we have a clip of Pelosi’s quote.
Sometimes even I can be shocked by the hubris of Washington, D.C. politicians. It takes a lot, given that I have worked in the town in one way or another for the last 16 years. This quote from Nancy Pelosi about the health care reform issue even leaves me shaking my head.
“They’ve had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint.”
No, Madame Speaker, a bill cannot be bipartisan if it receives the votes of only one party.
Even if you bought her line that it’s bipartisan because “Republicans have left their imprint,” you would be hard pressed to see what imprint that might be. The truth is that there was no imprint on the House bill passed last November. The only imprint that was something that Pelosi did not want was the language banning federal funding of abortion. That was an amendment drafted by Democrat Bart Stupak. That was Democrat Bart Stupak.
This is how Democrat’s define issues. Call it the “Democrat Dictionary.” Speaker Pelosi can maintain her delusional belief that the health care bill is bipartisan, but in doing so she greatly enhances the chances that “Speaker” will be dropped from her title after the elections in November.
OK. So Congressman Mitchell hasn’t actually announced he is retiring, but his yes vote on the House Democrat bill to advance government run health care will ensure that he is not in Congress in 2011 because he is either going to announce retirement, or face a major backlash for this vote.
Mitchell represents a seat that has a Republican registration advantage of double digits over Democrat registration. In fact, there are more registered Independents than Democrats.
By voting yes, Mitchell voted to cut Medicare by more than $500 billion, voted to increase taxes by more than $700 billion, voted to require every American to buy government-forced insurance, voted to created more than 150 new government bureaucracies, voted to created a new government board that will instruct doctors on what procedures and tests they can use on patients, voted to exempt health care companies governed by ERISA from damages from lawsuits if their denial of care leads to injury or death and voted to create a government insurance program that will drive private care out of the market place.
The impact of this bill on the economy will be severe. Why in the world does Harry Mitchell think it is a good idea to pass punitive tax increases on average Americans, and create government run insurance that will kill jobs in the private sector one day after we learn that national unemployment is at 10.2 percent?
Mitchell is out of touch with his constituency, and come January 2011, he’ll be out of office.
November 3, 2009 will go down as the day that began the end of the Democrat stranglehold on Washington, D.C. If the huge win by McDonnell in the Virginia Governors race, and the solid win by Christie in the New Jersey Governor’s race say anything, it’s that Obama’s focus on a government takeover of health care, at the expense of doing anything of actual benefit to create jobs, will cost the Democrats the majority in the U.S. House.
Watch for the jobs report that comes out on November 6. It is likely to show unemployment at a full 10 percent. This will put the nail in the coffin of Obama’s claims that a stimulus bill was needed to keep unemployment below eight percent, and send the Democrats into the 2010 elections sucking wind.
And yet they still don’t get it. Speaker Pelosi is going to force a vote on a government takeover of healthcare on the House floor this weekend, and the arms she breaks to get to 218 votes will be dozens of House Democrats that will not be back in 2011. It’s clear that she is willing to lose seats to pass government run healthcare, but the risk she runs is that she will lose the majority.
And they think they have it all figured out…
Well, I know we’re in the middle of this health care debate. And I know the big drug companies have all of a sudden become Beelzebub. And I don’t know if there’s a way to balance this out, or work it out, but I like them getting rich. I like them motivated by greed. I love the fact that almost all the innovative drugs come out of this country because in other countries, they’re not motivated by greed because the government has gotten involved to such a point where there’s no entrepreneurship as it pertains to the companies. And I know these guys are greedy.
Like, it’s a weird thing. Like, if you sell cars and you’re greedy, that’s fine. And if you sell real estate and you’re greedy, that’s fine. But if you do something with drugs and you’re greedy, then you’re horrible. And my thing is like, look, AIDS is not a death sentence anymore because these guys are greedy. And I know no one likes it, but I like them greedy. I like them competing. . . .
And the second we tell you you can’t get filthy rich off of this stuff is the second they go, ‘You know what, eh, I’m not gonna put so much into R and D.’ . . .
Overall, when the dust settles, here’s what I want: I want the greediest guys in the world trying to cure cancer. I want the greediest guys in the world trying to make a car that goes 200 miles on a gallon . . . so it’ll get done.
Very well put. Government run health care destroys innovation – which is why more than 80% of the medical innovation and drug innovation comes from the United States.
The President hoped to revive his health care proposal in a speech before a joint session of Congress last night. He failed.
One of the problems Obama has is that he has stretched the truth so much in this debate that the American people no longer take his words at face value. He remains enamored with himself, and seems to be baffled by the lack of trust the American people. I predict that as polling is released by weeks end, we will see that support for him on health care will continue to slip.
Below is a fascinating treatment of his speech by AP.
FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge
Calvin Woodward And Erica Werner
September 9, 2009
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation’s health care system without adding “one dime” to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.
The president’s speech to Congress contained a variety of oversimplifications and omissions in laying out what he wants to do about health insurance.
A look at some of Obama’s claims and how they square with the facts or the fuller story:
OBAMA: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period.”
THE FACTS: Though there’s no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they’re ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.
House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn’t have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts.
Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this “doc fix” from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn’t have to be paid for because they decided it doesn’t have to be paid for.
The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn’t have to be counted again.
That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf had this to say in July: “We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”
OBAMA: “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.”
THE FACTS: That’s correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they’d be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.
In the past Obama repeatedly said, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” Now he’s stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan “requires” any change.
OBAMA: “The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” One congressman, South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, shouted “You lie!” from his seat in the House chamber when Obama made this assertion. Wilson later apologized.
THE FACTS: The facts back up Obama. The House version of the health care bill explicitly prohibits spending any federal money to help illegal immigrants get health care coverage. Illegal immigrants could buy private health insurance, as many do now, but wouldn’t get tax subsidies to help them. Still, Republicans say there are not sufficient citizenship verification requirements to ensure illegal immigrants are excluded from benefits they are not due.
OBAMA: “Don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut. … That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.”
THE FACTS: Obama and congressional Democrats want to pay for their health care plans in part by reducing Medicare payments to providers by more than $500 billion over 10 years. The cuts would largely hit hospitals and Medicare Advantage, the part of the Medicare program operated through private insurance companies.
Although wasteful spending in Medicare is widely acknowledged, many experts believe some seniors almost certainly would see reduced benefits from the cuts. That’s particularly true for the 25 percent of Medicare users covered through Medicare Advantage.
Supporters contend that providers could absorb the cuts by improving how they operate and wouldn’t have to reduce benefits or pass along costs. But there’s certainly no guarantee they wouldn’t.
OBAMA: Requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies “makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”
THE FACTS: Studies have shown that much preventive care — particularly tests like the ones Obama mentions — actually costs money instead of saving it. That’s because detecting acute diseases like breast cancer in their early stages involves testing many people who would never end up developing the disease. The costs of a large number of tests, even if they’re relatively cheap, will outweigh the costs of caring for the minority of people who would have ended up getting sick without the testing.
The Congressional Budget Office wrote in August: “The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.”
That doesn’t mean preventive care doesn’t make sense or save lives. It just doesn’t save money.
OBAMA: “If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage.”
THE FACTS: It’s not just a matter of being able to get coverage. Most people would have to get coverage under the law, if his plan is adopted.
In his speech, Obama endorsed mandatory coverage for individuals, an approach he did not embrace as a candidate.
He proposed during the campaign — as he does now — that larger businesses be required to offer insurance to workers or else pay into a fund. But he rejected the idea of requiring individuals to obtain insurance. He said people would get insurance without being forced to do so by the law, if coverage were made affordable. And he repeatedly criticized his Democratic primary rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for proposing to mandate coverage.
“To force people to get health insurance, you’ve got to have a very harsh penalty,” he said in a February 2008 debate.
Now, he says, “individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.”
He proposes a hardship waiver, exempting from the requirement those who cannot afford coverage despite increased federal aid.
OBAMA: “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”
THE FACTS: Obama time and again has referred to the number of uninsured as 46 million, a figure based on year-old Census data. The new number is based on an analysis by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, which concluded that about two-thirds of Americans without insurance are poor or near poor. “These individuals are less likely to be offered employer-sponsored coverage or to be able to afford to purchase their own coverage,” the report said. By using the new figure, Obama avoids criticism that he is including individuals, particularly healthy young people, who choose not to obtain health insurance.
These are the kinds of things that make people very nervous about the Obama administration.
The White House launched a coordinated effort Tuesday to combat what it calls a “viral whisper campaign” to torpedo health care reform.
Its playbook: the same one Barack Obama’s campaign used in 2008 to shoot down rumors and questions about his citizenship, faith and patriotism.
The new offensive started early Tuesday morning when the White House posted a video response to a hodgepodge of clips on the Drudge Report that portrayed President Obama as favoring the elimination of private insurance. On the White House blog, Obama’s director of new media, Macon Phillips, asked supporters to send in leads for debunking chain e-mails or anything else that “seems fishy.”
So now the Obama administration wants us to tattle on each other for being critical of his plans for a government takeover of health care. And they think we’re crazy?
The National Taxpayers Union has a great web video that explains the myth of what Obama says versus what is actually in the bill (HR 3200) passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last Friday night.
This is what we call cognitive dissonance.
Arlen Specter went through what is likely only the first of hundreds of town halls that will be conducted throughout the August Congressional Recess that should send a wake up call to Members of Congress: Just say no to government run health care – in whatever form it may take.
Specter had a special guest with him at a town hall on Sunday – HHS Chief Kathleen Sebelius. It didn’t go well. As a former staffer who planned and carried out town halls, this is a nightmare.
Congressman Lloyd Dogget (TX) also got an earful, just trying to get to his car after a recent appearance.
This demonstrates a major weakness for the Democrats as they try to rush through a government takeover of health care. There is no doubt that when they get back to Washington after Labor Day, Members of the House and Senate are going to be comparing notes about the how fired up Americans are about this issue.
The question is whether or not they will listen. If they don’t, it’s going to be a watershed year for Republicans in 2010.