Archive for September 10th, 2009

Obey the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8 (New International Version)

“We Don’t Need Another Post Office” by Grover Norquist

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Last fall Barack Obama campaigned promising change. Many Americans wanted change. They wanted to change Washington. But Obama meant something very different. He wanted to use Washington to change America. Having the government take over hospitals, doctors, health insurance and life and death decisions is not what most Americans thought they were voting for.

President Obama began his presidency with very high approval ratings. But as Americans watched him take over the banks with bailouts, and take over the car companies with bailouts and spend almost a trillion dollars for a –stimulus spending package of expensive earmarks and sign a budget with another trillion in new spending– with some nine trillion dollars now to be added to the national debt–the idea of having government take over health care began to look less and less wise.

When Obama said “reform” he clearly meant “take over.” Reform the auto companies. Reform the banking system. Obama would use our tax dollars so he could buy and control whole industries.

When Americans began questioning what Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were doing they found themselves insulted by the politicians who didn’t like the rabble asking pesky questions. Barack Obama doesn’t like his inferiors asking questions like–will the Democrat Congressmen who vote for a public option on health care actually live with that public option–or is the public option just for little people?

President Obama was brutally honest when he said the government run public option would be like the Post Office. We have, Obama pointed out, a government run post office and privately run UPS and FedEx. Therefore you have choice. Sort of. The federal government taxes UPS and FedEx. The government-run post office does not pay federal or state corporate income taxes or local property taxes. FedEx and UPS do. And it is against the law for you to try and send a first class letter through anyone other than the post office. Well if the government option can tax its competitors and can pass laws to create a monopoly–how is this real choice?

Obama also has a problem because many Americans have friends or relatives with some experience with government run health care in Canada or Britain where the government rations care by making citizens wait to see a doctor, take a test or use a CAT scan or MRI. In Britain, one waits an average of 70 days for cataract surgery, 68 days for bypass surgery, 99 days for hernia repair (ouch), 113 days for tonsillectomy. Median wait times in Canada from general practitioner to seeing a specialist is 9.4 weeks for gynecology. It is on average another 7 weeks between seeing the specialist and getting treatment.

Would the U.S. government ration health care if they ran the health care system? Well, president Obama has already given us the answer. The post office, his model for a public health care system, is losing money (Interesting question how a monopoly loses money). What is the post office response to losing money? Becoming more efficient? No. They will ration post office care by closing on Saturdays. Years ago they rationed by ending twice daily delivery of the mail. Now when you get sick, the government may be closed on Saturdays. Rationing. No fun if you are sick.

Obama promised that health care reform would reduce your insurance costs. And give insurance coverage to 49 million folks with no insurance. Sounded good. Sounded painless. If you were happy with your insurance nothing would change. But now we learn that the government needs one, two or maybe three trillion dollars to give us this new lower-costing health care. If it costs less, what are all the trillions of higher taxes going towards? And now that we read the fine print, we find that there are four general tax hikes in the House of Representatives health care bill. Not just taxes on the rich but on those making less than $250,000 a year, a blatant violation of Obama’s central campaign promise not to raise …”any formof taxes on these families. And new regulations will prevent 30 million American families with flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts from purchasing over the counter medicines. And Medicare will be raided by taking away choices for seniors. You and I are going to pay through the nose for this experiment.

All this pain for what?

For the past eight years Democrats have been voting against and filibustering two important reforms that would help all Americans. First, allowing you to buy your health insurance from any of the 50 states. Right now you are stuck buying insurance from businesses in your state, often with expensive mandates pushed on you by the state legislators and lobbyists for special interests This reform alone, known as the Shadegg bill, would drop the cost of health care an average of 15%. Not bad. Democrats have spent years opposing this fix.

Second, we need to reform tort law–stop the trial lawyer billionaires from suing your doctor and hospital to push up the costs of your health care. Obama, Reid and Pelosi owe the trial lawyer billionaires a great deal. They cannot say no to them. So no reform there. Some suggest that such reforms would save billions in legal fees but also tens of billions in lower costs of so called “defensive medicine” forced by the trial lawyers.

And lastly, Republicans are putting forward legislation that would require all hospitals to post their actual prices for operations on the Internet so we can shop around–like we do with everything else in life. That would generate real price competition that does not exist in today– highly regulated health care.

Health care is too expensive in America. That is because it is taxed, regulated and sued too much. We need less government in between us and our doctors. Fewer parasitical trial lawyers and more competition free from government created monopolies.

One government run post office is already too many.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform and author of the book “Leave us Alone: Getting the Government’sHands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives.”

Original Link.

Pelosi Not Budging on ‘Public Option’

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Same song from the most liberal Democrat in the House. I doubt she ever takes a reality break and realizes that the majority of the people in this country are not in agreement with her.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is increasingly standing alone among top congressional Democrats in her unwavering insistence on a government-run health insurance plan.

On all sides of her, other Democratic leaders — including President Obama — are casting the so-called “public option” as important but not essential, as conservatives assail it and moderate Democrats steadily back away from it.

But even as fellow Democrats float alternatives, Pelosi is not budging.

“I believe that a public option will be essential to our passing a bill in the House of Representatives,” the California Democrat said Tuesday. “Right now, we will have a public option in our bill.”

Her insistence on the controversial component comes as hopes for it dim on the Senate side. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Wednesday that a government-run insurance plan “cannot” pass the full Senate. In the Senate Finance Committee, the only relevant committee that has not yet approved its version of health care reform, Chairman Baucus is pitching a system of non-profit cooperatives.

Independent Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, Conn., told FOX News he hopes Obama can convince Pelosi to tone her rhetoric down.

“It will stop health care reform this year, and that would be a loss for everybody,” said Lieberman, who opposes the public option.

Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein said Pelosi is merely trying to represent the views of the liberal wing of the House and stake out a firm negotiating position in order to get the best deal possible for those members. Liberal members like Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., in recent days have bellowed about the absolute need for a public option.

“To use a street term, she’s trying to represent,” Gerstein said of Pelosi.

Some progressives have threatened to derail a bill with no public option, but Gerstein said even Pelosi realizes that she and the liberal wing may have to compromise in the end. He said the conflicting statements of other top Democrats reflect the “divisions within the Democratic family.”

Most notably, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is openly contradicting Pelosi.

Hoyer said Tuesday he could vote for a package that doesn’t include a government-run plan.

“I believe the public option is an option. An option. An alternative. A choice,” he said.

Original Link.

Ahead of Obama Speech, Baucus Says ‘Public Option’ Cannot Pass Senate

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Don’t think for a moment this fact will stop the Dems from trying to force government run health insurance down our throats.

Hours before President Obama was set to deliver a make-or-break speech on health care reform, a top Senate negotiator conceded the government-run insurance program so dear to the president’s supporters cannot pass the Senate.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who was trying to hammer out the details of a bipartisan compromise Wednesday with five other senators, announced that he would be moving ahead with or without Republican support.

But he made clear that the so-called “public option” would not be part of any deal with his name on it.

“The public option cannot pass the Senate,” Baucus said. “I could be wrong, but it’s my belief that the public option cannot pass.”

Obama, who will address a joint session of Congress at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, has indicated he wants a public option and will press for it in his address, a senior adviser said. The senior official fought back against the perception that August was a tough month for Obama’s health care agenda, but said the president did lose ground politically before the recess and can start regaining it Wednesday night.

Obama, though, so far has not said he will demand a public option. He also has not said he will veto a package that omits a government-run health insurance program.

Baucus’ assessment Wednesday afternoon is the latest blow to die-hard supporters of a government plan.

Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has so far favored a system of non-profit cooperatives as an alternative to the “public option.” A draft plan he outlined Tuesday included the co-ops. Baucus also said Wednesday that a so-called “trigger,” which would keep a government plan on reserve in case private insurers don’t meet certain benchmarks, has not been part of talks — though many analysts consider a trigger a possible compromise.

The four partisan bills that have passed out of committee in the House and Senate include a public option.

Original Link.

Quote of the Day – Obama’s “Vast” Experience in D.C.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

“We’ve seen Washington at its best and at its worst.”
-President Obama in Health Care Message to House and Senate, September 9, 2009

When did you have the opportunity to see Washington at it’s best and worse, Mr. Obama? Did that happen during your 142 days in the Senate, sometime between when you were sworn in as a Junior Senator and when you announced your bid for the presidency? When did you gain this “vast” experience in Washington politics?
Being “The One”, perhaps your days are different than ours. Maybe you are clairvoyant and were able to “absorb” more in the less than half a year you served, than the mere mortals who have occupied that chamber for years.
I doubt it though. I think once again, we get to see your ego shinning through. It’s an ugly creature, your ego. It really should slither back under the rock where you nurtured it, never to see the light of day again. But you are Obama, and your ego is as necessary to your continued existence as breathing, so we can all rest assured that we will continue to see it make regular appearances, your constant companion.

Obama Signals New Phase in Health Care Debate

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I think Obama is lying (again), but we’ll have to see…

President Obama opened a fresh round of debate on health care reform Wednesday night, urging Congress to stop “bickering” and approve a package that will expand and improve coverage for millions of Americans.

But in between the jawboning were signs that he’s willing to deal — and his ability to do so and to convince congressional allies to do the same is considered critical in the uphill effort ahead to round up enough votes to move a bill toward his desk.

The president’s address to a joint session of Congress was widely seen as a chance to recharge the push for health care reform following a rocky recess. To keep that charge alive, he and his top advisers signaled Wednesday they will try to follow up the speech by bridging key differences in Congress — a daunting task.

“We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it,” Obama said Wednesday night, declaring that “we will meet history’s test.”

In order to do so, Obama appears to be trying hard to avoid the unsuccessful path taken by former President Clinton, who tried to strong-arm critics into supporting his plan.

Obama often was combative in his speech, telling die-hard opponents that he will not bother with them. But he also was at times conciliatory, offering backing to a key GOP demand and showing wiggle room on what is arguably the most controversial element of reform — a government-run health insurance plan.

Even as Obama re-stated his support for the so-called “public option,” he urged liberal Democrats to consider alternatives.

“It’s worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I’ve proposed tonight. But its impact shouldn’t be exaggerated — by the left, the right, or the media. It is only one part of my plan, and shouldn’t be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles,” Obama said. “To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage available for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end — and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal.”

Obama said he would “not back down” on the principle that the government should provide an option for Americans who can’t find affordable coverage. But he said proposals like nonprofit cooperatives or a mechanism that would keep a public option on reserve in areas where insurance companies are not providing affordable plans are “constructive ideas worth exploring.”

The stance is sure to upset some liberal Democrats. It also continued to rankle Republicans who wanted Obama to take the option off the table completely.

“The president had a chance, tonight, to take the government-run health care off the table. Unfortunately, he didn’t do it,” Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., said in the GOP response.

Boustany, a heart surgeon, said the public wanted Obama to tell Democratic leaders in Congress that, “it’s time to start over on a common-sense, bipartisan plan focused on lowering the cost of health care while improving quality.”

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., told FOX News that he found the speech “partisan” and full of “hyperbole.”

But Obama’s revised message may be aimed more at moderate Democrats who are posing hurdles to passage in both the House and Senate — as well as a small handful of Republicans who could potentially be swayed to leap across the aisle without major concessions.

Just hours before the address, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met with a group of 16 moderate Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill, some of whom oppose the so-called “public option.” Their support for a bill is critical.

Obama sought middle ground elsewhere. Outlining what he said was a $900 billion plan, he also expressed potential support for some version of medical malpractice reform, something Republicans have long demanded.

In a passage that drew repeated applause, Obama said he’s directed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to “move forward” on an initiative to start “demonstration projects” in certain states.

“I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I’ve talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs,” Obama said.

Obama also backed a health insurance mandate Wednesday, saying Americans should be required to get health insurance just as they are required to get auto insurance — it was an idea he opposed during the presidential campaign.

“Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part,” the president said.

The president spoke a day after lawmakers returned from a rocky summer recess during which constituents flooded town hall meetings to voice their concerns about the bills on the table. Four partisan bills have passed out of committee in the House and Senate, and the only bill that has had bipartisan input is still stuck in the Senate Finance Committee.

In the face of public discontent, sagging poll numbers and stiff Republican opposition, Obama was trying to invigorate the push for reform — even as he feels resistance from some members of his own party.

He also used the address to very publicly rebuke those he claims are stonewalling the process for political reasons.

“We’ve seen Washington at its best and at its worst. We have seen many in this chamber work tirelessly for the better part of this year to offer thoughtful ideas about how to achieve reform,” Obama said. “But what we have also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have toward their own government. Instead of honest debate, we’ve seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise.”

He said to Republicans, “My door is always open,” but assailed the “bogus claims” he says his critics have pushed.

“But know this — I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than to improve it. I won’t stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are,” Obama said.

Original Link.