Friday, October 23, 2009

Health Insurance, Fox News, and the Pay Czar

Susan Crabtree reports that "Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.

Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs [as in Senator Chris Dodd, among others].
For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty. Issa’s spokesman said the Democrats readily acknowledged to Republicans that they changed the locks in retaliation to the videotape of the Democrats’ absence from the business meeting even though committee rules allow meetings to be taped".
House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government health care program that is better known than the public option. Well, isn't that just a great idea? The government which has run Medicare into near bankruptcy wishes to provide care to 30 million more citizens...
Mike Barone clearly describes the current health care mess concerning the insurance companies - and the reason the White House reacts as it does. He wrote: "The health insurance companies were on board, too. Until, that is, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus presented his bill requiring them to cover anyone who applies but exacting only small fines from healthy individuals who decide not to buy insurance until they get sick. Since this looked like a quick road to bankruptcy, the health insurers' lobby commissioned a study that pointed out, correctly I think, that the Baucus bill would increase the cost of insurance to those who already have it.
So the health insurers have been denounced by White House spokesmen and Democratic congressional leaders as foul fiends and gougers of working families. Prominent Democrats have been talking about revoking insurance companies' exemption from the antitrust laws (granted so that small firms would have access to data needed to compete with the giants). Translated into Chicagoese: Nice little insurance company you got there. Too bad if something happened to it.
The same treatment is being given to Fox News, which according to White House spokesmen, "is not a news organization." "Other news organizations, like yours," Obama consigliere David Axelrod told ABC News, "ought not to treat them that way."
Maybe Obama thought everyone in Washington would be his great friend. Having encountered un-Chicago-like dissent and disagreement, he has responded with classic Chicago brass knuckles. We'll see how far this kind of thuggery gets him".

From Mark Tapscott: [In a meeting with several doctors groups, the doctors were told] If the doctors would drop their demand for medical malpractice lawsuit reforms and support Obamacare, Reid would quickly move the $247 billion bill to spare them from scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement.

And if the doctors refuse?"Without the freeze, doctors would see their Medicare payments drop by 21 percent next year and by 40 percent by 2016," according to the Hill. Cuts of that magnitude would force many doctors to stop treating Medicare patients, and push others to retire early or stop practicing medicine entirely.

That makes the headline of today by Robert Pear even more interesting: Democrats lost a big test vote on health care legislation on Wednesday as the Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, needed 60 votes to proceed. He won only 47. And he could not blame Republicans. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with Republicans.


"Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control" so stated White House Communications Director Anita Dunn. [Yet another Obama minion has fully described her usefulness to this Administration..... Ms. Dunn made the statement back in January while a participant at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development conference in the Dominican Republic.
She was describing the "program" they used during the election campaign of Obama....
Yes, this is the same Anita Dunn who pronounced to a graduating class of high school students that Mao is one of her favorite philosophers, the Mao who murdered 70 million people. Since a high school education is not what it once was, I wonder if the students actually know the dark side of Mao, as Dunn quoted him as saying, "You fight your war, I'll fight mine". His philosophy was successful, but the full story should have been told. As it stands, those students must think that she admires all about Mao.
And from New Zealand: The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found. Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialize in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living. [Can government intervention be far behind?]

The Washington Times reports: The White House has told Congress it will reject calls for many of President Obama's policy czars to testify before Congress - a decision senators said goes against the president's promises of transparency and openness and treads on Congress' constitutional mandate to investigate the administration's actions.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said White House counsel Greg Craig told her in a meeting Wednesday that they will not make available any of the czars who work in the White House and don't have to go through Senate confirmation. She said he was "murky" on whether other czars outside of the White House would be allowed to come before Congress.

Miss Collins said that doesn't make sense when some of those czars are actually making policy or negotiating on behalf of Mr. Obama.

"I think Congress should be able to call the president's climate czar, Carol Browner, the energy and environment czar, to ask her about the negotiations she conducted with the automobile industry that led to very significant policy changes with regard to emissions standards," Miss Collins said at a hearing Thursday that examined the proliferation of czars.

In a letter last week to Miss Collins, though, Mr. Craig explained that the White House is not trying to circumvent Congress.

"We recognize that it is theoretically possible that a president could create new positions that inhibit transparency or undermine congressional oversight. That is simply not the case, however, in the current administration," Mr. Craig wrote.


News Alert!

As I reported earlier: an aide to Sen. Harry Reid said that current debates may be irrelevant because an entirely different version might be inserted into an unrelated House tax bill, HR 1586. That’s the measure that levies a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to executives of firms that receive bailout money. Among other things, this could be a way of getting around the constitutional requirement that all tax bills originate in the House.

Now we learn that hidden in the bill is the wording that the government can step in to dictate salaries and taxes for ANY American company which "poses a threat" to the financial health of America.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Government Shenanigans

Ben Shapiro writes, in part: Obama's belief in America's unexceptionalism -- his view that America's government, not her people, is the formative force in her values; his view that the American people bear the stain of racial, sexual and military guilt; his view that America must abandon her scrupulous adherence to equality of opportunity in favor of equality of result, traditional morals in favor of alternative ethics, and liberty of enterprise in favor of redistributionism -- that set of beliefs is antithetical to what makes America great.
Anita Dunn, the White House spokesperson actually put in charge, salary and all, of watching Fox News all day long, had a bad day recently, as reported by Glenn Beck. After accusing Fox News of unfair reporting, a watchdog found out that Anita happens to be a fan of Chairman Mao -- who happens to be a fan of killing tens of millions of people. Glenn plays the audio of Anita as she talks to a class of graduating high school students about her 'favorite political philosopher' and the life lessons they can take from him. [After the exposure of her admiration of Mao, Anita has tried to make us believe that she was using irony in her speech. Watch the UTube video to come to your own conclusion. She, by the way, is the spouse of one of Obama's lawyers.... Anita has been unwilling or unable to call Glenn's red phone to point out just what she thinks is a lie].

From Terry Jeffrey: The most revelatory passage in the so-called "plain English" version of the health care bill that the Senate Finance Committee approved on Tuesday (without ever drafting the actual legislative language) says that in the future Americans will be offered the convenience of getting their health insurance at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This is no joke. If this bill becomes law, it will be the duty of the U.S. secretary of health and human services or the state governments overseeing federally mandated health-insurance exchanges to ensure that you can get your health insurance at the DMV.

You will also be able to get it at Social Security offices, hospitals, schools and "other offices" the government will name later.


Jillian Bandes points out that: Members of Congress can choose from five different health care plans, while forcing the rest of us onto their government plan, and have access to both the VIP Bethesda Naval Hospital and a reserved spot Ward 72 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, an elite division usually reserved for military members. Their everyday medical concerns can be taken care of at a doctors office located inside of Congress. Their premiums are the same as those of insurance plans with half the benefits, and the plans last til their Medicare begins.


Dick Morris informs us that :If your household income is $66,000 a year, slightly above the national average, Obama’s health care bill will require you to spend 12 percent of your income -- about $8,000 a year or almost $700 a month -- to buy health insurance before you get any federal subsidy.

Even those making less will have to reach deep into their meager resources to satisfy Obama’s statutory requirement. Families scraping by on only $44,0000 a year will have to pay 7 percent of their income (about $3,000) on insurance. Even those making just $33,000 will have to ante up 4.5 percent of their income (about $1,500) for health insurance. Even those making just $33,000 will have to ante up 4.5 percent of their income (about $1,500) for health insurance. The required payments reach so far down the scale that those who are living at the federal poverty level of $22,000 will have to shell out 2 percent of their totally inadequate incomes ($440) for insurance. That Obama is charging premiums to those living at or on the border of poverty is absolutely incredible!