Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Glenn Beck is the only one? Are you sure?

April 8, 2010

On his show yesterday, Glenn Beck talked about the boycotts by advertisers against him. It seems there are 200+ companies that are supposed to have pulled advertisemnts off of his show; and some are supposed to have pulled ads from Fox News altogether.

So, he’s the only one who’s stirring up the masses inciting them to do various things that are disrespectful to America. Things like waving the flag, peacefully protesting against healthcare reform, and dare I mention the worst of all–contacting your Congressman via e-mail, fax, phone call, or any means possible.

It seems to me that he has been targeted by people who disagree with him, because he seems to be their only focus.

What about Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow–heck, MSNBC in its entirety? There are too many examples to list. What about Anderson Cooper? One example would be when he repeatedly stated, “…they’ve got teabagging” on live TV. What about Katie Couric when she called healthcare opponents “ignorant”? What about Frank Rich of the New York Times who said everyone opposing healthcare is racist? What about Bill Maher who called all Americans “stupid”? What about Andrea Mitchell who said that “Americans don’t know what’s good for them” when talking about healthcare?

These are all statements made by people on television, but there is no outrage about how offensive these statements are. So, to the people boycotting Glenn Beck because he peddles “hate speech” and makes offensive statements, make certain that you also boycott all of these shows as well; because their statements would be considered highly offensive to a large group of people.

If not, shut up and get a thicker skin, because your rhetoric about hate speech is clearly motivated by political ideology and nothing more.

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Questioning Progressives?? How Dare I?

April 7, 2010

In an op-ed disguised as an article on the Huffington Post, Robert Creamer, a self-proclaimed progressive, lays out the reasons he thinks that Democrats will be able to maintain control of the government because of health care reform.

I decided to respond to them…

Because it’s passed into law, Democrats are now the ones who will be in a position to demand that Republicans keep their “hands off our health care.” And we can be very specific about provisions that go into effect right away. — OK. Please note that he did not mention any of the specific provisions for starters. By most reports, there are only three effects that will kick in this year– 1) Keep children on parents’ health insurance until age 26; 2) Closing the loophole prescription drug coverage for older Americans, and 3) Not denying children because of pre-existing conditions. Otherwise, the bill that had to be passed quickly will not provide insurance for most of  “the 32 million” until 2014.

Does Congressman Boehner really want to repeal the 35% tax credit that helps small business buy health care for their employees? — What Mr. Creamer forgets to mention is the rest of Section 1421 where it says that the credit would “the lesser” of the costs if 1) all of the employees who were covered by the employer’s group plan or 2) if all of the employees had  enrolled whether or not they actually did. This would also be for the prior tax year. Hmmm….what will happen to the small business who had the misfortune of expanding just prior to the passage of this bill? Simple, the tax credit would be nowhere near enough for the employer to absorb the costs. He also does not mention that the credit will be redcued based on the number of employees and average wages.

Does McConnell really want to repeal the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying benefits to children who have “pre-existing conditions?” — Aaahhh, the morality angle. Stating the obvious is the only thing healthcare supporters can do. Fine! Repeal this monstrosity and pass a simpler bill saying insurance companies can not deny children on the basis of pre-existing conditions. There problem solved without creating a massive new bureaucracy. Man, I think I deserve the Nobel Prize for Medicine for solving such a complex issue.

Does Steele really want to kick all the recent college grads off their parent’s health insurance policies?— No, but do progressives want to create a culture of underachievers? The only way this reform would work is for people to continue to be productive and thereby maintaining the tax base necessary to fund this monster. Where’s the incentive for these young adults? Or could this be a backdoor way to cover their political backsides because the unemployment rate is still high and will probably go higher once this goes into effect.

Does the Republican caucus really oppose closing the “donut hole” of coverage for senior citizen drug benefits — or forcing seniors to send back the 250 check they will get this summer as a down payment on making drugs more affordable?— Again, the morality angle, but in two parts no less. Close the “donut hole”, but do it without reinventing the wheel. (See my point about children and pre-existing conditions.) As for the $250 check, how long does that last? A month, maybe two… Let’s not forget the increased costs for businesses will be passed onto the consumer– in this case, the senior citizen.

Do Republicans want to side with the big insurance companies and eliminate the provision that will limit the amount of our premium dollars that insurance companies can spend on CEO pay, armies of bureaucrats who do nothing but deny claims, TV ads and limousines full of lobbyists?— So, the argument here is that we need the reinvent the entire wheel to reign in runaway insurance companies. Mr. Creamer does not mention that the health insurance industry was a willing participant at the start of this debate over a year ago. However, that was before they were considered the true “evil” behind this problem.

…the bill did not – as the Republicans claimed — cut their Medicare. In fact they will find that it has strengthened their Medicare – that the only thing cut was a subsidy to big private insurers. — OK, the $500 billion cut strengthens Medicare. So, the insurers get less money from the government as reimbursement for covering Medicare patients. Notice the costs of the treatment did not go down, just the reimbursement. So, that means the insurer is losing money on every single Medicare patient. What would happen if the costs of the treatment goes up? That’s right, the insurer would lose even more money. The logical conclusion being that all private insurers would eventually go out of business– leaving only the government. Obama has said that he is an advocate of the single-payer system. Google it!! The video is out there.

He then goes on to belittle the leadership of the Republican Party (McConnell, Boehner, and Steele) as being beholden to big business, Wall Street, the insurance industry, etc. He condemns the accumulation of wealth (especially by a few) as being the root of all evil and that it takes a courageous leader– i.e. Obama– to use the power of the government to level the playing field by taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor.

So, Mr. Creamer, what would be my incentive to be productive if the government will just give it to me because it’s the right thing to do? This whole healthcare debate is not about the morality of the issue. It’s about the economics of the issue which carried out to its logical conclusion would have everyone doing nothing to get something.

Sorry, but I’m not buying.

Is she talking about the Democrats?

April 7, 2010

“Unfortunately, scam artists and criminals may be using the passage of these historic reforms as an opportunity to confuse and defraud the public,” Sebelius wrote in a letter…

The Emergency Healthcare Army

April 2, 2010

According to Section 5210 of HR 3590, titled “Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps,” the force must be ready for “involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises.”- Source WorldNet Daily

So, the healthcare bill literally spends millions of dollars for people to act as an emergency health army. I thought the healthcare bill was supposed to make life better because people had access to good healthcare. If this is true; then why do we need a healthcare army?

Probably for the shortage of doctors…

Cost of Doing Business with Saul Alinsky

March 29, 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wondered if the Democrats were using Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals as their political playbook. Another rule Alinsky has is:

Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

Now that the healthcare bill is now law, several major companies have publicly spoken about the effect this law is going to have on their bottom line. Remember, the Democrats have repeatedly said this is going to control– if not bring down–costs. So, this law is supposed to be a good thing.

According to a WSJ article, this is what the new healthcare is going to cost the following companies:

  • AT&T- $1 billion dollars (No, that’s not a typo.)
  • John Deere- $150 million
  • Catepillar- $100 million
  • 3M- $90 million;
  • AK Steel, $31 million;
  • Valero Energy- up to $20 million

So, that would be a total of $1.391 billion dollars for just these six companies. Six, only six companies and it’s already that much. (I do think AT&T may be slightly exaggerated, but I’m not one of their corporate accountants. That means I’ll have to take them at their word.) Other companies will probably come out with a wide range of numbers in the not so distant future.

The Democrats, in typical Alinsky fashion, have some issues with these companies. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write, “…for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”

Premature and irresponsible? Seriously?

Premature, in simplest terms, means to be done too early. It would have been premature for these companies to state the costs of these healthcare changes when the bill had not been passed, much less finalized. Common sense should tell anyone that these companies were calculating costs for the past year. Waiting for the bill to be passed before announcing the costs is common sense– much less good business sense.

Irresponsible, again in simplest terms, is a careless action or a lack of personal ownership. (Never mind that I find it hilarious that a Washington politician is lecturing anyone about irresponsibility.) Any publicly company traded has a responsibility to its shareholders to identify any change that will affect the business either positively or negatively. The company also has a responsibility to determine the benefit or severity of that change. So, it would seem to me, these companies have acted responsibly by telling their shareholders what the cost and impact of the new healthcare law will be.

Since these companies had the audacity to do this, Henry Waxman is going to have these companies testify in Congress on April 21, because their judgement “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”

One second…need to stop laughing before I continue. OK,  that’s better.

“Bring down costs”— On what planet??? Common sense logic should tell you that insuring additional people will costs money. That’s how it works! Using my own healthcare costs ($2400/year) as an example, it would costs approximately $77 billion a year to insure 32 million people. That is basic and simple math. It is NOT a partisan viewpoint.

“Independent analyses”— Pray tell, whose? The CBO’s??? The Congressional Budget Office has so many limitations and constraints they have to work within that their accounting practices bear no semblance of reality. However, in the real world where companies like AT&T are, they have to keep accurate books so they can make a profit. Failure to do so, e.g. Enron, tend to have corporate executives spending a lot of quality time in prison.

However, the Democrats intend to have a hearing where they will humiliate the companies for speaking out against the healthcare bill and the mainstream media will be there to act as cheerleader. The companies are being responsible stewards and they are going to be burned at the stake for it.

Alinsky would be proud.

The Socialist Agenda

March 26, 2010

According to Dictionary.com, socialism is:

Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

According to Marxist theory, socialism is an intermediate stage betweem capitalism and communism characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

So, the question I have is this. Do you think that Obama has a socialist agenda based on this definition? Let’s cite a few facts.

The healthcare bill is an attempt by the federal government to provide insurance coverage for all Americans if you were to only listen to the news reports. However, if you were to read the actual bill itself, the government is mandating insurance coverage, setting minimum standards for coverage and quality of care, dictating types of research that must be conducted, and ensuring access to end-of-life care. (…tell grandma whether to get the treatment or take a pill…)

The automotive industry was the benficiary of a huge bailout. The U.S. government is now the current owner of approximately 60% of General Motors.  They forced out one CEO and installed another one in his place. So, not  only does the government own the company; they hired the new CEO. They also provided backing for warranties offered by both GM and Chrysler. They also determined GM was too big to fail while Chrysler was too small to survive.

According to a New York Times article written in 1999.  The housing industry takeover was initiated by the Clinton administration in an attempt to expand home ownership. According to Franklin Raines, ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions…”Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required…” So, this was clearly initated by the Clinton administration. Now, the Obama administration now proposes taking on these loans, on behalf of people who truly didn’t qualify in the first place, according to an Associated Press article.

FYI- The Bush administration attempted to correct the problem, but did not have enough control over Congress to stem Democrat opposition. It started in 2001 when the Bush administration warned that the “…financial trouble of a large GSE (such as Fannie and Freddie) could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.”  In 2003, the Bush administration asked Congress to enact legislation to provide supervision over Fannie and Freddie. Barney Frank (D-MA) responded by saying, “these two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis … The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” Thomas Carper (D-DE) stated that the GSEs did not need to be reformed saying,  “…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  The Bush administration repeatedly asked Congress to pass reform legislation which the Democrats opposed, led by Barney Frank, until July 2008. 

This can easily be construed as a means for individuals to shirk their own personal responsibilities and to increase their reliance on the federal government. If these people did not qualify for a mortgage, why would the government force Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) to extend financing to these people? Why would the government clean up the mess left by people who should have known better than to purchase something they could not afford?

The Democrats also took over the student loan industry by including provisions within the healthcare bill. Now, any college student needing a loan to go to college will have to get that loan from the Department of Education. The banks have now been removed as “the middlemen” so millions of students can afford to go to college.”

Is the government takeover only limited to these areas? According to Nancy Pelosi, now that healthcare has passed “…there’ll be more legislation to follow.”

So, what is next industry that needs to be taken over by the government? The widely accepted answer is Wall Street needs to be subjected to government oversight and regulation to ensure this financial crisis does not happen again. The House of Representatives has already passed this act. The bill would create a new agency dedicated to consumer protection, establish a council of regulators to police the financial landscape for systemic risks, install oversight of the vast derivatives market and give the government power to wind down large, troubled firms whose collapse could endanger the entire financial system.

So, as you can see, the process has already begun. The question becomes– Where will it end?

NASA Caught Paying Sky-High Prices for Snacks

March 25, 2010

WASHINGTON — The nation’s space agency paid the out-of-this-world price of $66 a person a day for bagels, cookies and juice at a conference, a new report found.  The subject of the NASA conference? It was a training session for its procurement officials, the people who do the buying with taxpayer money.

And we’re supposed to think the government can spend 938 billion to insure 32 million additional Americans and actually save us money. You make the call.

Criminals too???

March 25, 2010

According to Representative James Clyburn, healthcare opponents are criminals for aiding terrorism. I thought only conservatives– i.e. “the white right”– were capable of such unspeakable name calling.

I thought that I would share a few more gems from the “left” so to keep the playing field level.

In no particular order:
“Un-American”- Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer
Implied reference to Nazis- Nancy Pelosi
Implied reference to the Ku Klux Klan- Rep. John Dingell
Using the same ideology that led Timothy McVeigh to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City- Rep. Brian Baird
“Racists”- President Carter
“Sabotaging Democracy”- Harry Reid
“Good TV”- Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary
“Fear(ful) and Ignorant”- Katie Couric & the New York Times
“Lizard brain part of this country” and “Nuts”- Keith Olbermann
And finally, drumroll please, “rude”- President Barack Obama

10 Facts about Health Care

March 24, 2010

There was an article in the St. Petersburg Times where they list ten facts about healthcare. I decided to check their facts against the Senate healthcare bill itself. Here is my response to them. (I’ll add #2 and 7 when I have time. 2074 pages would take a long time to read, and I have a life.)

__________

#1 is so pathetically sad it’s not even funny. Isn’t a “takeover” the entire point of this bill? Doctors may not become government employees like they are in Britain, but the entire system (insurers, hospitals, doctors, and individuals) would be accountable to the government or face penalties of varying amounts. So, not only is the government managing and enforcing involvement in the system; it is also setting minimum standards for coverage, quality of care, and the development of alternative therapies (wonder why– could it be for costs reasons?). And to quote “the annointed one”, it will also provide information (through your doctor) concerning the likelihood that a health care treatment will result in disability. — How many seniors go against the advice of their doctors? “…tell grandma if she should seek treatment or take a pill…” (Google Obama + ABC + healthcare on the videos page.)
 
#3 is also wrong. It is not an individual mandate, but a shared responsibility payment where it states that an individual who fails to maintain minimum coverage will have a penalty imposed upon them.
 
#4, on the surface, is irrelevant and contradictory. If the individual would have to pay a fine for not having insurance, who would care about the employer? (But I digress…)
Employers with more than 50 full-time employees (30 hours or more) would be required to offer insurance or pay a fine. (Do notice that I listed an example of what it means to be a full-time employee. There are several other examples detailing how any business could circumvent this requirement, including firing people.) Also, realize that employers who do not meet this requirement would force employees to buy insurance through the government exchange and therefore lose control over what types of insurance they could get. Not to also mention, what do you think would happen if it would be cheaper for a business to pay a fine than offer insurance? (Which would probably apply to large employers)
 
#5 is wrong as well. Federal subsidies will be provided for people making less than $88K/year. People making more than that will see increases in their premiums on somewhat of a sliding scale
#6 is subject to interpretation. Providing insurance coverage to 32 million, at government expense, will cut costs. That ia obviuosly a political statement if there ever was one. There is no logical explanation for this. Conservative estimates have the deficit increasing by at least a half a trillion dollars, somewhat similar to Medicare costs which is, oh yeah, run by the federal government.
 
#8- This one depends on how you define poor. The bill defines it ass people who are below the poverty line. The bill states people with an income no more than 133% of the poverty line would be covered. It also states that parents of children enrolled in Medicaid would also be eligible without mention of income limits. It also says that any state could expand coverage to include anyone they deem appropriate. It also says that states must submit a report, disaggregated by population, including children, parents, nonpregnant childless adults, disabled individuals, elderly individuals, and such other categories or sub-categories of individuals eligible for medical assistance under the State plan or under a waiver of the plan as the Secretary may require. So, it seems that anyone who qualifies for medical assistance would qualify for Medicaid.
 
#9 violates the Hyde Amendment which says that federal funds can not be used to fund abortions. Since federal subsidies will be used to purchase insurance, that would make it in violation of the Hyde Amendment. This is why Stupak (D-MI) opposed the bill until he caved. (Don’t forget the executive order the “annointed one” is about to sign.)
 
#10 is interesting because it is so vague and open-ended. The immigrant’s status seems to play into determining eligibilty for healthcare with a social security number being the only stated form of identification. This means that if the immigrant can document that they are a “citizen”; then they would be eligible. I can tell you that the primary way illegals enter the country is through the use of falsified documents. It also states that an employer shall not rescind coverage with respect to an enrollee once the enrollee is covered. So, if the illegal is covered; then they can keep that coverage. Also, each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the individual or group market in a State must accept every employer and individual in the State that applies for such coverage. So, while it may not mention giving illegals coverage outright, I can see numerous ways for an illegal to circumvent the law, including, but not limited to, simply showing up at an emergency room in need of medical attention since it is illegal for a hospital to deny treatment.
 
__________
 
Another tidbit…
 
So, you can keep your current insurance– are you sure? A quote from the bill—
 
 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), coverage of eligible individuals under a high risk pool in a State shall terminate on January 1, 2014. The Secretary shall develop procedures to provide for the transition of eligible individuals enrolled in health insurance coverage offered through a high risk pool established under this section into qualified health plans offered through an Exchange.

So, if you’re considered “high-risk”; I guess that means you will be on the government insurance plan as of 2014.

 
 
 
 

Healthcare reform for all Americans??

March 23, 2010

In making his sales pitch for health care reform, “the annointed one” said that it would benefit all Americans. However, he failed to mention that he would be exempt. There was no mention that members of Congress would be exempt. When pressed, several members of Congress said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that they shouldn’t be made to take it.  Also, there is the deal “the annointed one” made with the unions to exempt them from this as well.

Now, it seems that even the staffers who work for these people are exempt from buying healthcare from the government as well.

“…on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.”— Source: The New Ledger

Then the supporters of this have the nerve to insist that everyone should be on board with this because it would benefit all Americans. Pelosi said, right before the vote on the bill, that this “would release the entreprenurial spirit” of Americans and “would allow them to pursue their dreams” without the overriding concern of providing healthcare for themselves and their families.

If this is the case; then why so many exemptions? Why isn’t everyone, and I mean everyone, forced to get their healthcare from the same spot? Especially since it would release the “entreprenurial spirit of all Americans.”

And to say that the opponents of healthcare is politicizing the issue. If you read the relevant text (p. 156 of the linked PDF),  an average American would think that members of Congress would have to take the same healthcare as the rest of us. Don’t be fooled! It was written that way, but look again. Notice the following:

“Notwithstanding any other provison of law, after the effective date of this subtitle”  

Two questions– When is the effective date of this subtitle? If I were to venture a guess, it would be far enough in the future that the furor over this insanity would have died down.  If this is good for all Americans, why would they need to put in a qualifier? All they would have to do to exempt themselves from this is to pass another bill.

Again, I ask why? Could it be because Congress does not want anyone to make that choice for them?

If you would like to read the text of H.R. 3590, click here.