Challenge the media. Challenge your friends. Challenge the congress-critters. And yes, challenge yourself. We’ve pointed out specific sections of current health care legislation that will make things worse for Americans. We’ve given you the page numbers. We’ve told you exactly what it means and what it will do. Why don’t the statists (lefties) point out sections that will make things better? Read more
Several weeks ago I wrote two posts dealing with the constitutionality of Obamacare based upon the remarks of Mr. Hoyer (D. Md.) and Ms. Pelosi (D. Ca.). Mr. Hoyer insisted that the mandate that all have insurance was clearly constitutional based upon Congress’s power to tax, while Ms. Pelosi insisted the mandate was constitutional based upon Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
Now that it’s passed out of “Finance” (with the help of Maine’s Olympia Snowe), you will be outraged about what follows, unless, of course, you live in Nevada, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Several Senators have made sure that the Obamacare rules are different there.
The Baucus Unaffordable Health Care Bill proposes to cover many of the uninsureds by having them insured by Medicaid. The only problem is that the states pay a large percentage of the cost of Medicaid, and thus, this bill would stick states with some $37 billion in costs at a time when most states are having difficulty balancing their budgets. Senator Harry Reid (D.NV.), who will be fighting for his political life next November, decided that it would be unfair to shift these costs to his state. So, under his changes to the bill, the federal government would pay all of Nevada’s increased Medicare costs for the next five years. Thus, fewer angry voters.
Then we have the tax on the “Cadillac” insurance plans, designed to make sure that those who can afford the best insurance, pay for those who can’t. Under the Baucus bill, if the value of your employer provided insurance plan exceeds $21,000, you will pay a tax of 40% on any value in excess of $21,000. However, thanks to Senator Schumer (D.N.Y.), this so called “Cadillac” insurance plan is merely a Volkswagen in his home state of New York. There will be no tax in New York until the value of the plan exceeds $25,000.
Then we have the $2.3 billion annual tax on pharmaceuticals, many of which are located in New Jersey. This tax was supposed to go into the Medicare Trust Fund. But, enter, Senator Bob Menendez (D. N.J.)…he negotiated a $1 billion tax credit, but, to show he is a hard-liner, the tax credit only applies to companies investing in R&D. Huh…don’t they all?
And finally, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D. Mich.) and John Kerry (D.Ma.) were able to include a $5 billion reinsurance program for unions that is designed to lower the medical costs of union members. I can only assume that Senators Stabenow and Kerry didn’t get the memo…the Baucus bill is being sold to Americans as something that will “lower medical costs”. Or, do they know something they are not telling us?
As the Wall Street Journal points out,
Most senators are saving up their special state demands for when the bill hits the Senate floor. At that point, we’ll get an even better idea of how much health-care change Democrats truly believe in.
Anyone want to guess what the final tab will be?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is probably the best health care act ever passed by Congress, and President Obama wants to kill it. If you are employed, and your employer provides health insurance, read on, but, you will not like what you read. Read more
After much fan-fare (and bridge burning), Arlen Specter received a rude awakening after being feted by the media for his change of party. Roll Call reports:
“Despite promises from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) would retain his seniority after switching parties, Specter will be put at the end of the seniority line on all his committees but one under a resolution approved on the floor late Tuesday.
Under the modified organizing resolution, Specter will not keep his committee seniority on any of the five committees that he serves on and will be the junior Democrat on all but one — the chamber’s Special Committee on Aging. On that committee, he will be next to last in seniority.
As a result, Specter — who as a Republican was ranking member on the Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, as well as ranking member of the panel’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education — will now rank behind all the other Democrats, at least until the end of this Congress.”
You’d think a lawyer like Specter would have thought to get Reid’s promises in writing…
This shabby treatment reminds me of fate of any number of individuals whose front-running habits brought them to an unfortunate end. Likewise, those who cross the political aisle are rarely rewarded for their “bravery,” especially when their epiphany occurs while down 15% in the primary polls.
On the other side of the coin, Specter looks primed to cause at least some of the same aggravation to his new friends as he did the Republicans, offering his support to Norm Coleman in the currently disputed election in Minnesota.
The WAPO’s The Fix has a good time-line of events. As Democratic party insiders put it:
“His actions over this past week have done nothing to curry favors with either party,” said Penny Lee, a former senior adviser to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and now a Democratic consultant. “He needs to show some willingness to be a Democrat.”
Another Democratic strategist who follows Senate races closely was more blunt about the damage Specter has done to himself over the last week. “Do you think that any right-minded local Democratic elected official is going to stick his neck out for Arlen?” the source asked rhetorically. “Or any member of the Democratic Senate caucus?”
An excellent question… I wonder if it crossed Arlen’s mind?
Of all the stupid idiotic things this guy says and gets away with … this was perhaps the highlight of the Sunday Morning Talk shows and, may I say, assures me of another great year on the show.
David Gregory pins Harry Reid down on his ‘o6 comment, “the war is lost.” This little weasel put out soldiers in danger by throwing in the towel. And now he compares himself to General Petraeus.