Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Votes Against 'Public Option' Make Regulation of Health Insurance Premiums and Rates a Last Chance for Healthy, Competitive Market Under Reform,

Votes Against 'Public Option' Make Regulation of Health Insurance Premiums and Rates a Last Chance for Healthy, Competitive Market Under Reform, Says Consumer Watchdog

/PRNewswire/ -- The defeat of the so-called public insurance option in the Senate Finance Committee's version of health reform makes regulation of insurance premiums and copays even more critical, said Consumer Watchdog. If Americans are forced to buy private insurance policies under national health reform and nothing is done to regulate the prices of policies, consumers will remain trapped in a rising cost spiral enabled by insurers. Rate regulation is far from radical and is also good for the insurance industry, said the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group.

The nation's toughest regulation of other types of insurance, including auto and homeowner policies, has produced a healthier, more competitive and even more profitable insurance market in California than in other states.

A 2008 study by Robert Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America found that since California passed highly effective regulation of property and casualty insurance in 1998, the state's dysfunctional insurance market has transformed. It is now the nation's fourth most competitive, fewer drivers are thrown into high-risk pools and insurers' average profits, at 10.6%, are well above the national average. Yet consumers also saved $61.8 billion dollars on their premiums over the same period and California insurance prices went from the second most expensive in the nation in 1989 to 20th in 2005 for auto liability premiums.

(see the study at

Even medical malpractice insurance prices in California dropped sharply after the introduction of regulation, which appears far more effective in cost control than forbidding lawsuits against malpractice.

With health insurance rate regulation, insurers would have good reason to push for better, more effective and less wasteful health care, said Consumer Watchdog, just as auto insurers in California have backed tough auto and driver safety measures and home safety measures, as well as curbing fraud. Without regulation, insurers have no need to become more efficient.

"Mandatory insurance, as proposed in all the major bills in Congress, will turn government into a massive customer delivery system on behalf of a private industry," said Judy Dugan, research director of Consumer Watchdog. "Regulation is no more than a balancing force to this great benefit for insurance companies. For the Senate to brush off regulation as too much 'intervention' will leave millions of consumers dangling at the mercy of corporate sharks."

In a recent news report, former California Lieutenant Gov. and former Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi pinpointed the lack of cost controls without rate regulation. But Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, a key figure in developing the Senate's proposals on health reform, said of regulation:

"That would be a very substantial additional intervention in the marketplace. I just don't think the support would be there for that kind of a change."

(see the L.A. Times story at -2009sep24,0,2139648,full.story )

Consumer Watchdog said rate regulation is a far lighter intervention than requiring everyone to purchase health insurance, and is a familiar presence in the U.S. marketplace.

"The mystery of today's debate is that tough rate regulation is not being seriously considered," said Dugan. "Forcing Americans to buy private insurance is radical, but rate regulation is the opposite of radical. It results in both lower rates and a healthier marketplace."

Here are some of the key points of the 2008 Consumer Federation study of Proposition 103, the 1998 voter initiative that regulates property and casualty insurance:

*An important adjunct to the regulatory framework established by Proposition 103 is its mechanism for public scrutiny and participation in the process of reviewing and approving rates. Proposition 103 grants consumers the right to challenge improper rates and practices before the Department of Insurance as well as the courts.

*A key factor in reducing insurer costs and consumer rates for automobile insurance is the strong financial incentives that the law provides consumers to drive more safely.

*California profits outpaced national insurer profits:


1989 - 2005 Return on Net Worth

(First figure is California returns, second figure is national returns)

Personal Auto Liability 12.9% 7.5%
Personal Auto Physical Damage 15.8% 16.3%
Personal Auto Total 13.5% 9.9%
Homeowners 7.4% -1.2%
All Property/Casualty Lines 13.9% 6.5%

-- California is first among all states in holding down insurance
premiums, with a 12.9 percent increase compared to an average national
increase of 50 percent;

-- California is the fourth most competitive auto insurance market in the
nation; Completely unregulated Illinois ranks 44th.

Other regulations under Proposition 103 that would benefit consumers directly, if applied to health insurance, include:

-- Requirement that insurers be transparent about how rates are
-- Prohibition on pass-through of excessive costs including unjustifiable
expenses, fines, and excessive executive salaries;
-- Standards that test the assumptions insurers make in setting rates.

It is worth recalling, in response to Sen. Bingaman, that insurance companies warned in 1988 that insurance regulation would be "massive government intervention" and would sharply raise insurance rates.

The result, notes Consumer Watchdog, was the opposite. And regulation was good for the industry as well.

Political News You Can Use

Reid cancels October recess (to try and pass Obamacare...)

By Alexander Bolton
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has cancelled the Senate's Columbus Day recess so that lawmakers can focus on passing healthcare reform legislation during the week of Oct. 12.

Read more:

They are just determined to cram this down our throats whether we want it or not... I for one will remember when the next election rolls around, assuming we still have legal / fair elections and my vote matters... - cmc

County Commissioner Testifies at Ethics Hearing After Being Caught with Pot

It's short, there's a part in the video where it says basically, that the rest is boring... so you only need to get through the first minute or two... for more information.


- 5/23/09 Commissioner Robert Horgan pulled over by Fayette County, GA Sheriff's Deputy for expired license tag. Officer smells marijuana, subsequently Horgan admits to smoking pot while driving and agree to vehicle search. Pill bottle with marijuana (less than one ounce) found under driver's seat. Arrested for the pot, not drug tested or charged w/ DUI (or DWI depending on your state...)

- Next Commission meeting says he made a mistake, will continue as Commissioner.

- 2 local citizens file ethics complaint.
- Attorney from outside the county reviews and deems it allowable
- Group files recall action. Horgan's attorney fights, judge tosses because Horgan wasn't smoking while actually at work (more to it than that, just giving the gist...)

- Ethics complaint heard by panel of 3 attorneys from outside the county. Horgan found guilty of 2 of the three violations outlined in the complaint. He can be censured, fined and / or reprimanded by fellow commissioners

- He'll be arraigned on Monday, Oct. 5th for the possession charges.

More videos:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Isakson: Senate Needs to ‘Go Back to the Drawing Board’ on Health Care Reform

In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today criticized the health care reform proposal currently under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee and urged his colleagues to start the process over.

“There is common ground, but you've got to be willing to find it and so far that hasn't been the case. Ramming through something we can't read, we can't quantify and we can't score isn't the right way to go about this debate,” Isakson said. “This is too important for us to take a guess, too important for us to take a chance. It's imperative that Congress knows precisely what it's doing. We need to go back to the drawing board and have a bill we can read and a bill we can afford.”

In addition to criticizing the Democrats’ proposed tax increases and expansion of government into our health care, Isakson also said it’s difficult for the public to judge the merits of the Finance Committee plan when the Democrats refuse to make available the text of the legislation to members of Congress and the public.

Isakson also criticized Democrats for rejecting efforts to reduce frivolous medical lawsuits, which drive up costs and force doctors to order wasteful tests and treatments to cover liabilities. The Finance Committee proposal calls for only a non-binding ‘Sense of the Senate’ on medical liability.

On July 15, Isakson voted against the health care reform legislation that passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on a 13-to-10 vote. Isakson argued the legislation would cost more than $1 trillion, would put the federal government in an unfair competition with private health insurers and managed care providers and would place a massive financial burden on Georgia and other states to pay for a proposed expansion of Medicaid.

Isakson is a co-sponsor of S.1099, Patients' Choice Act of 2009, which seeks to strengthen the relationship between the patient and the doctor by using choice and competition, rather than rationing and restrictions, to contain costs and ensure affordable health care for all Americans.
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Today Is a Critical Day in Health Care Reform for Pro-Life America'

/PRNewswire/ -- Today is a critical day in the health care reform battle as the U.S. Senate Finance Committee considers several pro-life amendments filed by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch that would prevent government funding for abortion and assisted suicide, and preserve current conscience laws for health care workers and providers.

A recent Rasmussen poll showed only 13 percent of Americans wanting taxpayer-funded abortions in health care reform. Despite this, Minnesota Democratic Sen. Max Baucus's bill, which is now undergoing mark-up, currently requires the government to spend $6 billion establishing co-ops that could cover abortion. The bill would also enable individuals to receive refundable, advanceable tax credits to purchase health insurance that covers abortion, and require at least one plan in each premium rating area to cover abortion.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life said, "Today is a critical day in health care reform for pro-life America. All amendments that have had explicit language banning abortion funding and coverage have been defeated in Congress despite rhetorical assurances from President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid that abortion will not be in health care reform. With the upcoming vote on the pro-life amendments today, the Senate has another golden opportunity today to show pro-life America that abortion will be explicitly excluded from health care reform."

Dr. Yoest recently met with the White House on the issue of abortion in health care.

Here are the pro-life amendments being considered for a vote tomorrow (for a more detailed explanation, please go to view this downloadable chart):

-- Hatch Amdt. #C14 (355): Prohibits authorized or appropriated federal
funds under this bill from being used for elective abortions and plans
that cover such abortions.
-- Hatch Amdt. #C13 (354): Protects the rights of conscience of health
care entities (individuals or organizations), preventing
discrimination against those who do not provide, pay for, provide
coverage of, or refer for abortions.
-- Hatch Amdt. #C12 (353): Prohibits federal funds under this bill from
being used to pay for assisted suicide and offers conscience
protections to providers or plans refusing to offer assisted suicide


Without an explicit, proactive exclusion of abortion from the health care bills, the courts and administrative agencies will impose an abortion mandate, just as they did with Medicaid (the Hyde Amendment must be included in the LHHS Appropriations Bill each year to prevent federal funding of abortion under Medicaid; however, the Hyde Amendment would not apply to this health care reform). But, so far, every single pro-life amendment proposed to prevent abortion funding and coverage in the health care reform bills in Congress has been defeated.

Mary Harned, Staff Counsel to Americans United for Life asks: "If pro-abortion members of Congress do not intend for the health care reform bills to fund and mandate abortion coverage, then why did they vote against all amendments that would have included explicit language excluding abortion funding and coverage?"

The following pro-life amendments explicitly excluding abortion in the health care bills were defeated:

U.S. Senate

-- Sen. Mike Enzi's (R-Wyo.) amendments that would have prevented
taxpayer funding of abortion and would prevent abortion clinics from
being eligible for federally qualified health center grants;
-- Sen. Orin Hatch's (R-Utah) amendments that would have prevented
tax-funded abortions unless the life of the mother is endangered or
unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (making the Hyde
Amendment permanent);
-- Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) amendments that would have ensured no
abortion mandates, prevented abortion clinics from being eligible for
federally qualified health center grants, prevented the invalidation
of state laws that regulate abortion, codified the Hyde/Weldon
conscience protection law, and ensured that Americans have
professional ethicists informing any Government-funded medical
decisions; and
-- Sen. Pat Roberts' (R-Kansas) amendment which would have prevented the
invalidation of state laws regulating abortion.

U.S. House of Representatives

In the Education and Labor Committee:

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Rep. Souder)
(failed 19-29).

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Rep. Souder)
(failed 19-29).

In the Ways and Means Committee:

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Rep. Johnson)
(failed 18-23).

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Rep. Cantor)
(failed 19-22).

In the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Reps. Pitts,
Stupak, and Blunt) (failed 29-30).

-- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Reps. Stupak and
Pitts) (failed 27-31).

Political News You Can Use

Monday, September 28, 2009

The dead end kids

Young, unemployed and facing tough future
The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. -- meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.
And worse, without a clear economic recovery plan aimed at creating entry-level jobs, the odds of many of these young adults -- aged 16 to 24, excluding students -- getting a job and moving out of their parents' houses are long. Young workers have been among the hardest hit during the current recession -- in which a total of 9.5 million jobs have been lost.

Max's Mad Mandate

The Baucus health bill will break 50 state budgets via Medicaid.
The more we inspect Max Baucus's health-care bill, the worse it looks. Today's howler: One reason it allegedly "pays for itself" over 10 years is because it would break all 50 state budgets by permanently expanding Medicaid, the joint state-federal program for the poor.

Democrats want to use Medicaid to cover everyone up to at least 133% of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 for a family of four. Starting in 2014, Mr. Baucus plans to spend $287 billion through 2019—or about one-third of ObamaCare's total spending—to add some 11 million new people to the Medicaid rolls.

Continue reading on the Wall Street Journal:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

YGC Radio Welcomes Author Kevin Jackson

Friday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m.

YGC Radio Welcomes Author Kevin Jackson "Creator of "The Black Sphere" and author of "The Big Black Lie"


YGC Radio Welcomes John Bambenek" on Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm.
Nick says, "Please make sure to invite your friends. This is ONLINE! No need to drive. Sit back at the comfort of your PC and enjoy. Also, it will be available for archive at iTunes!".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Millions of Uninsured Americans Need Healthcare Reform

/PRNewswire/ -- Following is an op-ed by Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell, director of Community Voices:

The uproar at this summer's raucous town hall meetings, Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst in Congress and the endless debate over whether some opposition to healthcare reform is racially-tinged are a major disservice to the millions of Americans who need healthcare reform.

Rep. Wilson doesn't worry about costs if a member of his family falls ill; he is covered. The majority of the people screaming and waving signs at town hall meetings don't worry either. They are covered. Their family members walk into a doctor's office or hospital emergency room, flash insurance cards and receive the best treatment available.

But who has been speaking on behalf of the 46 million uninsured Americans? When they get sick, there are real consequences. Do they pay the mortgage or the hospital bill? Do they buy food or save to pay for the tests that may prolong a family member's life?

These are issues that deserve attention from our lawmakers and policymakers, not red herrings like "death panels" and purported coverage for illegal immigrants. It's disheartening that public officials elected to serve their constituents have the audacity to play political football with something as crucial as healthcare reform. Our nation will have a serious discussion on healthcare reform only when the politicians put their constituents ahead of their desire to maneuver for political gains. What's so disturbing is that many opponents of healthcare reform, and most assuredly many public officials, are aware of the data showing how quickly healthcare costs are rising out of control and damaging our society.

The reality is that our safety-net systems are crumbling under the cost of caring for people who are uninsured or underinsured. The working poor simply have no or limited options for providing healthcare for themselves and their families. This predicament devastates communities of color, where more than seven million African Americans are without coverage. This is not a contrived problem; rising healthcare costs are a real crisis.

So why, suddenly, must healthcare reform legislation become a budget-reduction bill?

Instead of focusing on how to obtain the best coverage possible for millions of people without insurance, the debate in Congress has been transformed into a referendum on which plan can save government the most money. This is not how it should be. When Congress was allocating billions of dollars for the war in Iraq, the focus was on how to win the war, not on how much taxpayer money could be saved.

Right now, the nation needs its leaders, President Obama and the Congress to focus on the best plan for the people, regardless of the cost. There has been much debate over whether there should be a "public option" allowing the government to offer insurance. The public option should be considered not based on its cost, but its merit. It should be included if it can offer additional competition in the marketplace and drive down the premiums charged for other insurance plans. Now is not the time for ideological battles over government-run programs, now is the time for finding and implementing programs that work, be they government, private or hybrids. The nation needs programs that reduce the cost of insurance to consumers and cover the uninsured.

This over emphasis on costs has led to some ridiculous proposals that would ultimately be bad public policy if enacted.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), for instance, has a plan mandating that all Americans purchase health insurance. Because his plan has no public option, struggling middle-class families would be forced to buy health insurance at rates likely to be difficult for them to pay.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released data further reinforcing why real healthcare reform must be enacted. Already, healthcare coverage for the average American family costs $13,375 a year, and health insurance premiums increased 138 percent over the last 10 years. At that rate, many families will suffer financial hardships.

Yet, largely because of the diversionary issues used to cloud the debate, the public doesn't focus on the fact that we all pay a price when healthcare costs skyrocket. The businesses that pay the healthcare coverage for 160 million Americans must either deduct more money from employee wages or raise the price of their products or services, or in some cases, do both.

Healthcare in America is a train racing toward derailment.

When lawmakers consider the cost of a plan, they need to also consider the pain and higher cost caused by their inaction. They need to hear the voices of the 46 million people who are uninsured. They need to hear from the people with soaring medical bills.

And they need to remember that if the town hall meetings had been populated with people without insurance, they would wave signs, saying, "Help Me."

Political News You Can Use

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cato Inst.: The Individual Mandate is a Tax (Michael F. Cannon)

Obama, United Nations, Israel News Round Up

Bolton: Obama Speech Puts Israel on 'Chopping Block'
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said President Barack Obama's address to the U.N. was "unprecedented" and "unpresidential" as he sought to distance himself from the previous administration.

In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly immediately following Obama’s speech, Kelly cited Obama's statement that Iran and North Korea must be "held accountable" and “the world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise and that treaties will be enforced. We must insist that the future does not belong to fear."

Kelly asked: "Does that advance the ball?"

Obama Criticizes Israel In First U.N. Speech
Sen. Schumer Takes Issue, Calls President's New Policy "Counter Productive"; Jewish Groups Mobilize
It was President Barack Obama's maiden speech, one intended to seek a new era of global cooperation, but it was not without controversy. Obama shrugged off the go-it-alone brand of diplomacy espoused by former President George W. Bush and called on world nations to join him in solving global crises. But his harsh demands on Israel touched off a furor. "We continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israel settlements," Obama said.

Cantor: Obama not ‘true friend’ of Israel
September 23, 2009
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The only Jewish Republican in Congress said President Obama does not seem to be a "true friend" of Israel.
In an interview with Politico, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he was opposed to Obama's "disproportionate focus" on a settlement freeze instead of dealing with the "existential threat" to Israel from Iran.

Obama calls to 'End the Occupation'
( United States President Barack Obama issued a stinging condemnation of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. The U.S. “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” Obama announced.
Using unusually harsh terminology, Obama called to "end the occupation that began in 1967" - referring to Israel's control of Judea and Samaria.

Israel's left, right both mock Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas summit as farce
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's critics on the left and right criticized his tripartite summit on Tuesday in New York with U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

Israel satisfied despite lacklustre Obama meeting

Israel plays down Mideast breakthrough hopes at Obama summit

Former Ambassador: Obama Clipping Israel's Wings
Follow Israel news on and . ( Yoram Ettinger, the former Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, charged Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama is holding the Netanyahu-Abbas-Obama summit in order to continue “clipping the wings of the State of Israel.”

Community News You Can Use
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Open Letter to Congress on Long Term Care Insurance and Health Care Reform

/PRNewswire/ -- As the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) resumes work this week on the health care reform bill, The National LTC Network urges Congress to consider two ideas.

First, include an above-the-line deduction for long term care (LTC) insurance premiums. Although the current version of the SFC bill allows long-term care insurance to be included in Section 125 plans (aka "cafeteria plans"), Network President and CEO Terry Truesdell comments, "While we applaud this new tax incentive, we urge Congress to offer an above-the-line deduction for LTC insurance premiums. Many employees don't have Section 125 plans. If they do, they lose the plan once they retire. I believe that an above-the-line deduction could open the floodgates, encouraging citizens to purchase this important insurance and lessen the burden on government programs when they need care."

Second, at least one current version of a health care reform bill includes a government long-term care insurance program. The inspiration for the proposed bill is CLASS ("Community Living Assistance Services and Support"), a bill first proposed in 2007.

"Since the decision of how to pay for future long-term care is so important, we want to make sure that citizens understand both the pluses and minuses of any new government program," says Truesdell.

The Network urges Congress to include a "black-box" buyer warning on program materials if a CLASS-type program is adopted. Suggested wording:

-- You are not eligible for any benefits for the first 5 years after
-- Your premium will increase if the government decides that additional
money is needed to pay current and projected future claims.
-- Since the average cost of LTC nationally is $18.50/hour/licensed home
health aide, $94/day/assisted living facility, and
$183/day/semi-private nursing home room, even with this program, you
could be responsible for a significant part of your care costs.
-- While some private LTCi policies (known as "Partnership") can protect
your assets if you need to go on Medicaid, this government program
does not.
-- You may want to supplement this plan, or replace it with, private
long-term care insurance.

Political News You Can Use

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CPPR to Sen. Snowe: Vote No on PO

(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the release of the Senate Finance Committee’s new America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights (CPPR) is urging Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to oppose any plan to implement a public option health insurance plan that limits patient choice and interferes with the patient-physician relationship. In addition, the Coalition is warning Sen. Snowe to be wary of the Committee’s consideration of both co-ops and triggers, because either could ultimately lead to a public option program.

Maine’s senior senator is being pressured on this issue from all sides. MSNBC reports Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is hinting that Sen. Snowe could cast the deciding vote on reform. And, according to Politico, Sen. Snowe may hold the key to President Obama’s health care agenda. In light of this important role the senator will play in the continuing reform debate – and in support of her prior health care reform efforts – coalition spokesman and former president of the American Medical Association (AMA) Dr. Donald J. Palmisano states:

“Senator Snowe has done a great job of making sure that patients in Maine and throughout the rest of the country have received the kind of care America is known for, the world’s best. She must continue that great work by siding with patients and voting against any attempt to introduce a government-run public health plan that will stifle America’s dynamic health care system. We are also concerned about co-ops and triggers because they could lead to a public option down the not-too-distant road.

“As the Senate begins to debate the new health care bill, it is essential that the best interest of patients remains their top priority. If a public option plan is imposed, not only will patients face higher costs and lower quality care, but the American health care system will have to cope with more government red-tape and less innovative breakthroughs. I am confident that these are not the kind of changes that Senator Snowe has worked her whole life to achieve.”

Political News You Can Use

Friday, September 18, 2009

Statement From Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, Chairman, Doctors for Medical Liability Reform on Senator Baucus' Health Care Reform Proposal

/PRNewswire/ -- In response to the release of the health care reform plan by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, DMLR Chairman Stuart L. Weinstein, M.D. issued the following statement:

"The plan released by Senator Baucus is inadequate in addressing the serious problems caused by medical lawsuit abuse. President Obama, Republicans and Democrats in the Congress, health care policy experts, opinion leaders, and patients all across the country agree that medical liability reform is needed to lower costs and reduce the practice of defensive medicine. Unfortunately, Senator Baucus chose to ignore their important views.

"Baucus' plan does nothing more than ask for a 'Sense of the Senate' stating that state demonstration projects should be considered. This is unacceptable.

"While voluntary state demonstration projects may be a step in the right direction, the Senate's mere expression of support is not enough -- they must be formalized and codified into law. Even so, state demonstration projects alone will not do enough to lower health care costs and reduce the practice of defensive medicine. We need comprehensive federal medical liability reforms like those that have proven to be successful in states like California and Texas.

"On behalf of Doctors for Medical Liability Reform and Protect Patients Now, I urge the Senate to include effective medical liability reforms in any health care bill it passes. Now is the chance for our nation's leaders from both parties in Congress to step forward to stop medical lawsuit abuse once and for all."

Political News You Can Use

Massive Inflation Has Already Arrived in the U.S.

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Inflation Association today released the following statement to its members:

"On March 5th with the U.S. Dollar Index at a multiyear high of 89, we wrote an article entitled, "The World is Awashed with Dollars" and said, "It's a real shame that those who lost most of their money in the stock market and Real Estate bubbles, and are now finally selling out after these markets have already collapsed, are positioning themselves to get wiped out all over again through massive inflation."

On March 26th we wrote another article entitled, "Don't Be Last Person Out of the Dollar" and said, "They (the politicians in Washington) will soon learn that you can't reinflate a bubble as Americans start to wake up and begin pouring their Dollars into real, hard assets like Gold and Silver."

Since then, the U.S. Dollar Index has fallen practically straight down to a new 52-week low of 76, while gold has risen to a new 18-month high of $1,025.80 per ounce and silver has risen to a new 13-month high of $17.63 per ounce. Meanwhile, several of our gold and silver stock suggestions have gained over 100%.

Ben Bernanke said this week that the recession is "very likely over." Yes, the recession may be over in nominal terms, but massive inflation has just begun and prices of stocks and real estate will continue to plummet when valued in real money, gold and silver. You can't just print your way out of a recession without increasing production. Sure, if you print enough money prices of stocks and real estate will rise when priced in dollars, but that won't mean a thing when it costs $10,000 to fill your refrigerator with food.

We are very happy that Peter Schiff announced on Thursday that he is officially a candidate for U.S. Senate in the State of Connecticut. We are big supporters of Peter Schiff with two of our co-founders each donating $2,400 to his Senate campaign. We are extremely pleased to be hearing from countless NIA members who have also contributed to the campaign. Unfortunately, even if Peter Schiff is elected and is able to help persuade Washington to reverse course immediately, it may still be too late to prevent hyperinflation. Every day that goes by with interest rates at 0%, tremendous damage is being done to our economy that we may never recover from.

China is now beginning to sell yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong while encouraging their citizens on state-run television to invest in silver. These moves are quietly positioning China to move away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency. When this day comes, all hell will break loose.

In the weeks ahead, we will be launching a new feature on our web site called NIAnswers. It will be a fully interactive section for you to submit to us your questions about the economy and inflation, and search through previous questions and answers that will be categorized in a database. We need to educate America as to how we will feel the pain of the government's trillions of dollars in wasteful spending so that at the next major tea party protest, we have hundreds of people holding inflation related signs. If Obama's supporters became aware of what happened in Zimbabwe when Robert Mugabe implemented the same policies that Obama and Bernanke are implementing here, they would see the light and jump to our side."

Political News You Can Use

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where is President Obama's Health Care 'Plan'?

/PRNewswire/ -- Last week, President Obama spoke at length about what he called "my plan" before a joint session of Congress. Since that time, he has talked about "my plan" quite a bit over the last several days. By our count he has mentioned the "plan":

-- 28 times at the joint session of Congress on Sept. 9
-- 6 times at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Sept. 10
-- 15 times at his Minnesota health care rally on Sept. 12
-- 8 times speaking with members of the AFL-CIO on Sept. 15

But exactly where is President Obama's actual plan? The House and Senate have introduced at least four Democrat health care proposals - at least two versions of H.R.3200, the Senate HELP Committee's bill, and the recently released Baucus proposal. All of these are real plans - hundreds of pages long - that may be enacted into law. Obama's "plan," so far as we can tell, is three pages of bullet points on the website.

When are these bullet points going to be translated into an actual piece of legislation? Obama swears that his proposal will not raise taxes on the middle class or drive Americans out of their current insurance arrangement. Yet every one of the Democrats' actual plans contain precisely those things Obama says he would never allow. He has not said he would veto those bills.

"If there is an Obama plan it is as transparent as a Cheney cabinet meeting," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Until Barack Obama comes forward with an actual piece of legislation or endorses a specific bill now being debated in Congress, his 'plan' is entirely notional."

"Obama has referred repeatedly in his speeches to union bosses and to the Congress to his 'plan.' But we have asked to see it and are told it is as real as the Emperor's New Clothes. Only he can see it."

Norquist concluded: "A real plan can be debated. It can be criticized. It can be improved. It can be praised in parts or in whole. Imaginary plans are an insult to the American people. Or perhaps it is as real as a unicorn. Or is it written down somewhere but kept secret because it is so frightening to real voters, the elderly and those with insurance that it cannot be shown in public - yet."

Political News You Can Use

Blog and article round up. Soros, Jimmy Carter, ACORN, Healthcare, etc.

I'm mad at Obama, and I'm no racist (Brent Budowsky)
Jimmy Carter is right and Jimmy is very wrong. There is some racism in America, but the overwhelming majority of opposition to President Barack Obama has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with people feeling they suffered from a rip-off recession and now suffer in a rip-off recovery.

GOP should stick to values in the immigration debate (Rep. Lamar Smith)
Some people say that Republicans have made mistakes when it comes to Hispanic voters. They point out that Hispanics are a growing part of the population, and assert that GOP opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants is driving Hispanics away.

McCain: Baucus bill just like previous ones
2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain (Ariz.) is the latest Republican to dump on the Finance Committee's release Wednesday of a healthcare reform bill, saying the legislation is little different from the version passed in July by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that he opposed.

ACORN Offers Sex Smuggling Advice?
New footage surfaces purporting to show ACORN worker offering advice on smuggling girls for prostitution VIDEO

Here's one of interest:

I read last night that Reid sent a negative press release out to his home state... and at the same time sent out a positive one to the national press. I gather the positive statement / release is on The Atlantic if anyone wants to see if it's still there.

Harry Reid Doesn't Like Baucus Bill Either
posted by Bluegrass Pundit at Bluegrass Pundit - 2 hours ago
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is already demanding changes to Senator Baucus bipartisan partisan health care reform bill. Reid said, "Let me be very clear, I will not bring a health insurance reform b...

Hannity: Brand New ACORN Video San Diego
posted by Bluegrass Pundit at Bluegrass Pundit - 2 hours ago
In this video, a man offers to help the couple posing as a pimp and prostitute smuggle underage girls into the US for a prostitution ring. Andrew Breitbart and Hannah Giles are on Hannity with an exclusive...

Liberal Critic of Online Mudslinging Slings Mud Online at Conservative Protestors
posted by Lisa Graas at Mommy - 7 hours ago
Garance Franke-Ruta, who writes on politics and the web for the Washington Post, provides the latest eye-roller for Americans fed up with the leftist media formerly known as the "mainstream media". (Send s...

Senator Baucus Undermines President Obama's Abortion Funding Claim
posted by Fayette Front at Good Government - 11 hours ago
Today U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced a detailed summary of his "America's Health Future Act of 2009" that will be marked-up in the Senate Financial Services Committee next week. The Baucus legisla...

Rep. Maxine Waters: Probe Protesters at rallies for racist thoughts
posted by Bluegrass Pundit at Bluegrass Pundit - 11 hours ago
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wants the media to be "all over those rallies and the marches with the birthers and the teabaggers." She is concerned protesters are "very strange" because they don't support...

Great Moments in Race Relations … by Democrats
posted by Dr. Dave at Feed Your ADHD - 17 hours ago
With all this talk of racist marches on Washington and racist comments made during presidential speeches and racist outcry over the pResident’s policies, we really should look at the facts. We all know tha...

ObamaCare will Nullify Much of the Bill of Rights!
posted by (Longstreet) at Faultline USA - 1 day ago
ObamaCare will Nullify Much of the Bill of Rights! The Largest Transfer of Power from the American People to the Government in America’s History! A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet Over the past few mo...

THREE CHEERS FOR JOHN CARTER (R-TX): nails the 111th Congress for what it is … “House of Hypocrisy”
posted by Editor at The News Factor ... an informative online Conservative news magazine - 1 day ago
The 111th Congress could go down in American history as the “House of Hypocrisy” after Democrats today followed months of ignoring potentially criminal tax evasion by U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner a...

Video: The Healthcare Costs of Illegal Aliens
posted by Nifty Nick at Notoriously Conservative - 1 day ago
This is one freaking hospital. There are 5,764 hospitals in the United States. What is the total cost to the taxpayer? From CNS News: The cost of treating illegal aliens amounts to nearly $11 billion a...

Senate Finance Committee Cuts Home Medical Equipment in Reform Package

/PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) issued his recommendations for healthcare reform in his long-awaited "Chairman's mark" version of the bill. The 220-page bill contains several provisions that affect home medical equipment, ranging from power wheelchairs to anti-fraud measures. The bill does not include specific cuts to oxygen payment rates, but the American Association for Homecare believes that the threat of cuts remains.

"While we favor the goals of health care reform and aggressive measures to reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, the cuts proposed for home medical equipment and related services are unwarranted and disproportionate," said Tyler J. Wilson, President of the Association. "We don't believe the cuts will produce either savings or better care for seniors in the long run."

The draft bill includes billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, including reductions to the home medical equipment sector that will reduce access to care for seniors. These cuts come on the heels of several years of Medicare reimbursement reductions for homecare, and they will hurt small businesses. The home medical equipment and service sector is one of the smallest and slowest-growing sectors in Medicare according to National Health Expenditures data from the federal government.

Among the cuts and negative impacts detailed in the draft Senate legislation:

Competitive Acquisition Program Expansion. The Chairman's mark would expand the number of areas to be included in Round Two of the bidding program for durable medical equipment from 79 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas to 100.

First-Month Purchase Option for Power Wheelchairs. The mark would maintain the first-month purchase option for complex power wheelchairs but eliminate the option for standard power wheelchairs. Nearly all beneficiaries elect the purchase option because they suffer from long-term, debilitating conditions that require customized equipment to meet their specific needs. Removing a beneficiary's right to choose the first-month purchase will create access-to-care problems as the provider will not be able to secure the financing to cover the costs of the power wheelchair over a 13-month period, especially given the current financial environment.

Excise Tax on Manufacturers and Importers of Medical Devices. The Chairman's mark would require an annual tax on manufacturers and importers of medical devices that are categorized as Class II or Class III devices offered for sale in the United States, costing device manufacturers approximately $29.9 billion over ten years.

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Family Research Council: Senator Baucus Undermines President Obama's Abortion Funding Claim

/PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced a detailed summary of his "America's Health Future Act of 2009" that will be marked-up in the Senate Financial Services Committee next week.

The Baucus legislation explicitly includes abortion and would subsidize health plans that cover all elective abortions and moves well beyond the status quo of preventing federal funds from paying for abortion or subsidizing plans that covers abortion as is prevented under current laws governing Medicaid, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan and the State Children's Health Insurance Plan. On Friday morning at the Values Voter Summit, this issue will be discussed in greater detail during a congressional panel discussion.

Responding, Tony Perkins said:

"Senator Baucus' new health care bill puts to rest the President's claim that 'abortion is not included' in the Senate health care bill. The Baucus plan includes abortion, pure and simple. Like the Capps abortion amendment in the House bill, the Baucus plan would subsidize health plans that cover elective abortions but with tax credits. The accounting used in the bill is a matter of smoke and mirrors, since elective abortion is authorized for health plans receiving government subsidies.

"The Baucus bill goes even farther by mandating that there be at least one health plan in each region across the country which covers elective abortions. Such a government mandate of abortion-covered plans in each state exchange and subsidizing such plans does little to prevent 'federal funding of abortion' as President Obama said last week. Moreover, the Baucus bill would spend $6 billion to establish health care co-ops and this funding could be used for elective abortion because it is not subject to the Hyde Amendment appropriations provision.

"If President Obama is serious about preventing funding for abortion in health care reform, he should immediately support adoption of Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak's amendment to exclude abortion from all health care reform legislation. Democrat Senator Bob Casey voted for such an amendment in the Senate Health Committee.

"It's time for President Obama to stop the smoke and mirrors on abortion and health care and straightforwardly tell Congress to permanently exclude abortion coverage."

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Teamsters Oppose Baucus Plan to Tax Health Insurance Companies

/PRNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said the proposal to impose a 35 percent tax on insurers for individual health insurance plans worth more than $8,000 is unfair and unnecessary.

The proposal, introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, would also levy the 35 percent tax for family plans worth $21,000.

"We're pleased that Sen. Baucus stopped short of taxing American workers directly, but we fear that ultimately they will pay the price in higher-cost insurance," Hoffa said. "Middle-class wage earners cannot afford to pay more for health insurance than they already do. We much prefer the House plan, which would pay for expanded coverage by imposing a surcharge on those who can afford it - the wealthiest Americans."

"We will fight to convince the conference committee to drop this excise tax," he said.

Hoffa said the proposal misses the point that many plans are expensive because insurers have too much market power, not because they offer more health care than cheaper plans.

Hoffa also said the plan includes some laudable proposals, and he welcomed the progress toward insurance-market reform that is so urgently needed.

"We're pleased that the plan eliminates lifetime limits on coverage," Hoffa said. "But we're disappointed that it doesn't include a requirement that employers provide coverage for their employees."

"We do applaud his efforts to expand Medicaid to cover anyone with income less than 133 percent of the poverty level, including childless adults," Hoffa said.

Hoffa said the Teamsters support the House plan and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plan.

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Opinion: AFSCME President McEntee: "Finance Committee Health Care Bill is Deeply Flawed"

/PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees:

"The Senate Finance Committee health care bill is deeply flawed. It does not come close to meeting the needs of America's working families. Nor does it meet the standards President Obama laid out in his address last week to Congress. There is no employer mandate, no public option, no help for retirees. The bill weakens state insurance regulations and taxes health plans that provide benefits for many middle class families. This bill fails to provide good, affordable coverage and does not protect families from medical bankruptcy. It is unacceptable. We call upon members of the Finance Committee to fix this bill."

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poll Shows Liberals Opposed to Extending Taxpayer Funded Healthcare to Illegal Immigrants

/PRNewswire/ -- According to a nationwide poll of 600 self-identified liberals and progressives, a majority of liberals oppose extending taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegal immigrants. The poll revealed that although liberals support a universal plan and agree with the President's handling of healthcare reform, many express concern that current proposals would extend healthcare coverage to illegal aliens and result in increased costs. The poll was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC, on September 3, 2009.

Key findings of the poll revealed:
-- Fifty-three percent reported opposition to providing healthcare to
undocumented aliens.
-- Forty-six percent felt that current proposals would likely provide
coverage to illegal immigrants.
-- Forty-eight percent of liberals and progressives felt that providing
healthcare to undocumented immigrants would likely lead to increased
healthcare costs.
-- With regard to the President's handling of healthcare reform, the poll
revealed that sixty- seven percent of self-identified liberals approve
of the President's actions. Seventy-five percent were in support of a
public healthcare plan administered by the federal government and
forty-nine percent felt the President's plan would result in better
overall quality of healthcare services.

"The results of this poll demonstrate that illegal immigration and healthcare are issues that concern all Americans, regardless of political affiliation," says Leah Durant, Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration Reform. "Although liberals favor extending healthcare to America's poorest citizens and legal residents, without entitlement provisions Americans will be asked to shoulder an ever increasing burden for the world's uninsured. It's time to create a new progressive narrative around healthcare that is balanced and fair, and results in policies that are economically sound."

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama --- A Charming Liar?

President Barack Obama is a charming liar. That assertion was made by a liberal talk show host on Air America, a far left-wing radio station. Where is the caterwauling about racism or a lack of “civility” from Democrats and liberals in the mainstream media or else where? When ardent Obama supporters start calling him a liar, it’s a sure sign that the wool has been pulled off of the Obama wolf.

In a laughable attempt to keep the Obama fig leaf of truthfulness in place, Democrats and their media allies are now castigating Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina for spontaneously and truthfully calling Obama a liar during Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress. There was no such hand wringing when Democrats booed President George W. Bush when he addressed Congress. Ignored is the fact that Obama during his speech trashed as liars average Americans, Republican leaders and all who do not agree with Obama’s radical government-run, rationed health care agenda. Lost in the media coverage is the fact that laughter erupted in Congress during Obama’s speech when he readily admitted that details of his healthcare plan still need to be worked out. Sadly, Obama’s duplicitous speech was an insulting campaign ploy to further deceive Americans and divide our nation.

From the moment he stepped onto the national stage to campaign for the presidency, Obama has consistently lied to the American people in order to convince us to trust him with our economic and national security. Since becoming our president, he has betrayed that trust.

During his first eight months in office, Obama has exhibited his admiration for dictators and disdain for our allies. He offended the Queen of England and bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. He praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega, kissed Socialist Hugo Chavez on the cheek and endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia. He sided with Hugo Chavez and Communist Fidel Castro against Honduras, a country that followed its constitution and stopped its president from illegally turning himself into that country’s dictator. Obama announced that he would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions, while they're building their nuclear weapons.

Obama displayed a blatant lack of concern for what is in the best interest of America when he circled the globe and publicly apologized for America's world leadership. He told the Mexican president that Americans are responsible for the violence in Mexico. He announced a cut in funding for our new missile defense system the day after an ICBM was launched by North Korea. He released information on U.S. intelligence gathering despite contrary urgings of his own CIA director and the four prior CIA directors. He ordered that the word "terrorism" be stricken from our discourse and replaced with the innocuous words "man made disasters." He appointed a Homeland Security Chief who identified military veterans and abortion opponents as "dangers to the nation." In a scary bid to increase the political power of the Democratic Party, Obama politicized the census by moving it out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House.

His dogged determination to turn our country into a failed socialist nation was in full evidence when Obama nationalized General Motors and Chrysler. He gave to the unions control over the two giant automobile manufacturers, while freezing out retired investors and allocating billions of taxpayer dollars to this socialist power grab. As a further slap in our economic face, he expanded the corporate bailouts, including giving billions to AIG without pre-conditions. Then, to add insult to injury, Obama doubled our national debt with his out-of-control spending.

Obama is spending so brazenly because he is counting on Americans being lulled into complacency by the time of the 2010 elections. By design, the bulk of the "stimulus" funds will be spent, just in time, to spur a false recovery. The "recovery" will be hailed as proof of Obama's wisdom by the liberal media. It will not matter that the so-called recovery will not be real, or that it won't last – as long as Obama and liberal Democrats stay in control of our government.

Demonstrating his willingness to operate without regard for our laws, Obama fired two inspector generals (IG’s) who were investigating illegal activities by Obama cronies. Obama fired the IG’s even though, by law, inspector generals are authorized to conduct investigations without interference from government officials. Blatantly, Obama refused to prosecute Black Panthers caught on video intimidating voters at a polling place in Philadelphia during the 2008 election. Further, Obama filled his cabinet with five people who have cheated on their taxes, and two of his other nominees withdrew after they were exposed as tax cheats.

The lack of any check on Obama’s power, due to a veto-proof Democrat-controlled Congress and a lap dog liberal media, has caused Obama to boldly assert his radical agenda and surround himself with a stable of over 30 advisors called “Czars”. These unaccountable Obama-appointees are beholden only to Obama. They are not unanswerable to Congress or the American people, as was intended by our Constitution which requires congressional confirmation hearings and oversight of political appointees. Among those Czars are Communists, Marxists and other characters with troubling backgrounds and questionable credentials who should not be allowed anywhere near the White House. Gone is media outrage over abuse of power or an imperial presidency, as well as any angst about the shredding of our Constitution.

Truly disturbing is White House advisor Mark Lloyd, the “Diversity” Czar at the FCC, who was inspired by Marxist Saul Alinsky. He is pushing a “confrontational movement” designed to give a dominant role to public broadcasting and silence voices in alternative and conservative media outlets.

Most troubling of Obama’s unaccountable appointees is the recently resigned “Green Job” Czar Van Jones, a self-described Communist. Van Jones indicated his belief that America deserved to be attacked on September 11th and signed a petition that claimed the attacks were orchestrated by our own government. He stated in a video that white environmentalists deliberately steer poisons into minority communities. Just as chilling is Jones’ desire to destroy our free enterprise system and replace it with Marxist-inspired socialism. Van Jones made it into the White House because Obama shares Jones’ radical views, as is demonstrated by Obama’s past associations with Marxists and anti-American characters, such as unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and black theologian Rev. Jeremiah Wright who spewed out anti-America rhetoric.

The Marxism embraced by Lloyd, Jones and Obama is anchored on the strong-armed tactics of tyrants. A prime ploy is scapegoating the rich and all “enemies” of the ruling regime. The latest Obama administration’s “enemy” is the insurance industry.

Other Marxist methods include controlling the media, exploiting ethnic hatreds and demonizing the opposition, as has been done to average Americans protesting Obama’s disastrous public option, rationed-health care scheme. Obama and his supporters scoffed at parents and called them racist for not wanting their children indoctrinated by Obama with his K-12 speech.

Obama’s talking about the value of education was not the problem. What rankled citizens was the lesson plan from the Department of Education – before it was changed under pressure from the public – that required children to write papers about how to help Obama achieve his radical agenda.

The article “Another Failed Presidency” by Geoffrey P. Hunt explains how and why Obama considers himself to be a Third World Socialist, like his Kenyan biological father, the inspiration for Obama’s book “Dreams From My Father”. Hunt opines that Obama’s determined adherence to failed socialism is why he is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Woodrow Wilson.

Charles Krauthammer in his article “Obama, the Mortal” recounts how Obama in his first address to Congress gave the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president. Krauthammer demonstrates how Obama is laboring under the mistaken belief that his election imbued him with the kind of “banana-republic plebiscite” to enlarge state power and increase our national debt with massive spending. Obama’s actions to implement his socialist vision for America inspired a powerful outburst of public outrage at tea parties and town hall meetings, legitimate anger that Obama and his minions derided as mob-like and “racist”. Krauthammer points out that while Obama was castigating protesting Americans, Obama’s administration was “cutting backroom deals with every manner of special interest – from drug companies to auto unions to doctors – in which favors worth billions were quietly and opaquely exchanged”.

“The Death Book for Veterans - Ex-soldiers don't need to be told they're a burden to society” by Jim Towey provides a chilling look into how government bureaucrats at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are using cost containment analysis to systematically deny health care to our veterans. ObamaCare will put our entire nation on the slippery slope to the “death panel” end-of-life decisions being made now at the VA.Author Larry Elder wrote the following on Carl Polizzi’s Patriot Post blog.

"What does it take for some to wake up? When Obama publicly asserts that some corporations, including 'Big Oil' and medical insurance companies, make 'obscene profits' (they don't compared with many other industries) and that his 'compensation czar' will look into executive compensation, what does that tell you?

“When he argues that medical insurance companies need a 'public option' (before public opinion forced him to back away from it) to keep them 'honest,' what does that say?

“When he arrogantly claims that fighting 'global warming' and tackling the 'health care crisis' are not just moral imperatives but also necessary to keep our economy robust (?!), what does that show?

“Voters last year elected a left-wing former 'community organizer' with one of the Senate's most liberal voting records. He seeks to take the country -- over the growing resistance of even those who voted for him -- to an idealized world of government-guaranteed equality of outcomes.
“He wants a government-guaranteed 'level playing field' of wealth redistribution via taxing those deemed to have too much.

“Obama's goals are open, blatant and confidently asserted, backed by a filibuster-proof, supermajority, Democratic-controlled Congress.

“There is no Big Secret, no subterfuge, no bait-and-switch. This is who and what he is."
Larry Elder is correct. During the 2008 election the liberal media helped Obama hide who he really is from the voting public. Then, when Obama took the oath of office as president, he vowed to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We now find that Obama and his appointed Czars have formed a sinister, shadowy government of domestic enemies against whom we have no defense.

Obama’s ultimate insult is that he has no remorse.

By Frances Rice

Frances Rice, a retired lawyer and Army Lieutenant Colonel, is chairman of the National Black Republican Association and may be contacted at:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New FRC Study: Estate Tax Repeal Will Increase Jobs, Grow the Economy, and Boost Government Revenue

/PRNewswire/ -- Today Family Research Council and the American Family Business Foundation released an important new report analyzing the effects of the estate (or "Death" tax) on jobs, government revenues, and economic growth.

The report, "Repealing Death Tax Will Create Jobs and Boost Economy," combines two recent analyses of the death tax by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Congressional Budget Office director, and Stephen J. Entin, president and executive director of the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (IRET).

"The Death Tax kills jobs, family prosperity and necessary federal revenues," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "It is regressive, punitive taxation at its worst, and shows how Washington's impulse to redistribute wealth only produces less growth and greater economic inequity. Put simply, the Death Tax needs to die."

The new report provides compelling documentation for why the death tax should be eliminated or, at the very least, not be raised. Among the reports' findings:

-- Eliminating the Death Tax could create over 1.5 million jobs for
family and small business workers.
-- An increase in the Death Tax rates to 55 percent with only a $1
million exemption would eliminate 500,000 jobs.
-- The distortion the Death Tax causes with respect to other tax
collection methods results in a net revenue decrease for the federal
government. Government could bring in nearly twice the revenue with no
death tax at all.
-- Ending the Death Tax would add $119 billion to GDP. Allowing the rates
to revert to 2001 law, 55 percent with only a $1 million exemption,
would reduce GDP by $183 billion.
-- Ending the Death Tax would boost workers' income by $79 billion.
-- The Death Tax targets America's main economic engine -- small
businesses. Small businesses have been responsible for 60 to 80
percent of all net new jobs in the last decade.
-- Large publicly traded corporations pay no Death Tax at all. Thus,
family businesses undergo repeated trauma as they are passed from one
generation of employers to the next, while their publicly traded
competitors gain a strong competitive advantage.

Political News You Can Use

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ACLA Opposes Proposed LabTax

/PRNewswire/ -- "Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' (D-MT) plan to impose $750 million in taxes on clinical laboratory testing services -- on top of other cuts -- translates into a disproportionate cut for laboratories, will damage efforts to enhance prevention and wellness, and raise health care costs," according to Alan Mertz, President of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA). The proposed fee was included in the health reform "framework" released by the Senate Finance Committee Chairman.

Mertz said, "The tax unfairly targets the clinical laboratory industry among providers, which includes about 40 thousand labs providing a myriad of critical health services to patients across the nation. When the $750 million in new fees are added to other cuts in the proposal, America's clinical labs could be facing cuts several times that of other providers."

"New fees will place an unnecessary access hurdle for laboratory services," added Mertz. "Clinical laboratory services are integral to realizing a key goal of health care reform -- building a new framework to enhance prevention and wellness." Laboratory tests provide critical information on which sound medical decisions can be made. It is estimated that 70% of all medical decisions are based on laboratory testing.

ACLA supports the goals of health reform and understands that everyone has to give to help achieve those goals. The laboratory community has demonstrated that support and willingness to do its fair share by agreeing to a reduction in future annual updates. However, ACLA strenuously objects to being singled out for additional cuts or taxes that are far beyond those taken by other providers.

Mertz concluded by saying that Medicare spending for laboratory tests has not kept pace with inflation. "Overall, Medicare payment amounts for clinical laboratory services have been reduced by about 40 percent in real, inflation-adjusted terms between 1984 and 2004," he said. "Congress has acted to completely eliminate the annual update for clinical labs in 10 of the last 12 years. Since 2000, laboratories have received the smallest cumulative update of any provider in Part B of Medicare, only 5.6% compared to 12% for physicians and 34% for hospitals."

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New Report to President and Congress Addresses 'Serious Oversights' in National Health Care Debate

/PRNewswire/ -- A report commissioned by The Physicians Foundation, a national health care organization that represents the interests of physicians, raises new questions about the role of socioeconomic determinants as they relate to access, quality, and cost of medical care in the United States. The report, prepared by a team of noted physicians and economists headed by Richard "Buz" Cooper, MD, Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, was sent to the President and Congress today in order to contribute to the national health care debate.

The report, entitled "Physicians and their Practices under Health Care Reform," highlights several important concerns that the report's authors believe have been left out of the health care discussion, including: the growing problem of physician shortages, the changes in physicians' practices that will be necessary in a reformed health care system, and the pervasive effects of poverty and other social determinants which impact variation in access, quality and cost of care.

The full report can be viewed at

"In preparing this report, our goal was to create a realistic, common-sense framework that will assist legislators in crafting policy in ways that address the needs of both doctors and patients and that lead to a stronger and more cost-effective health care system," said Dr. Cooper. "It's clear that without adequate numbers of physicians, the health care system cannot function effectively; without adequate attention to the structure of physician practices, the system cannot function efficiently; and without adequate attention to the pervasive social determinants of health, it cannot function economically."

"We are at a rare moment in history when important decisions are being made that will impact doctors, their patients and the entire health care delivery system for many years to come, if not forever," said Lou Goodman, PhD, President of The Physicians Foundation. "The Physicians Foundation commissioned this report in order to bring new perspectives to the discussions of health care reform. We believe that the report will add richness to the policy discussions as they resume this fall."

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Shadow Government: What Obama Doesn't Want You To Know About His Czars" Book Set For Mid-September Release from National Republican Trust PAC

/PRNewswire/ -- The founders of the National Republican Trust PAC (NRTP), Scott Wheeler and Peter Leitner, are set to release a powerful expose on Barack Obama's unelected shadow government. The book, "Shadow Government: What Obama Doesn't Want You To Know About His Czars," scheduled for release in mid-September is available for order at Several thousand copies have been pre-ordered by the public.

Wheeler and Leitner take readers into the world of Obama's powerful elite, tapped to run the government without standing before the United States Senate for confirmation, as members of any president's cabinet are required to do by the Constitution. "Shadow Government" exposes the radical agenda of the Obama power elite, and why he has handed them power and authority and bypassed the Senate confirmation process.

Many of Obama's 35 "czars" might never survive even the current Democrat majority Senate scrutiny or obtain security clearance.

-- Adolfo Carrion, former Bronx Borough President with a history of
taking bribes and putting the interests of his donors above those of
the community was named Director of Urban Affairs by Obama.
-- Ron Bloom, labor leader, is at the helm of the unprecedented
government interference into the private sector. With no real
experience in the auto industry, Bloom is the successor of the even
less qualified Steven Rattner, who left his post amidst an SEC
investigation into his private equity firm. Bloom is a former
investment banker who made his name working with the United
Steelworkers union.
-- Van Jones, a self-avowed communist, was appointed Special Advisor for
Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on
Environmental Quality (Green Jobs Czar).
-- Kevin Jennings was appointed to be Safe Schools Czar. Jennings has
actively promoted homosexuality in elementary schools, middle schools,
high schools and on college campuses and has distributed graphic
material to children as a way to support his crusade.
-- Carol Browner, Obama's Energy Czar, was listed as a commissioner in
Socialist International, the worldwide organization of social
democratic, socialist and labour parties.

Contributions to The National Republican Trust PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. No corporate funds are accepted.

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