Senate votes to “rein in” EPA’s regulation of carbon emissions

The above headline is a bit misleading, but, so too, are 12 Democrat, and one Republican senators. Let me explain. Read more

More “comforting” words from Dr. Berwick

I’ve done a few posts about Dr. Donald Berwick, the man appointed by Obama to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Now, thanks to an article by Daniel Henninger in today’s Wall Street Journal, we learn more about the “good doctor’s” view of our future under Obamacare…and, it isn’t pretty.

Here are a few of the comments made by Dr. Berwick.

I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.

I suppose that is a good philosophy if you are one of the “leaders”, but, as none of us are, that statement seems a bit problematical.

And then we have,

It may therefore be necessary to set a legislative target for the growth of spending at 1.5 percentage points below currently projected increases and to grant the federal government the authority to reduce updates in Medicare fees if the target is exceeded.


A progressive policy regime will control and rationalize financing—control supply.

At least we now understand how Obamacare plans to cut $500 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.

And finally,

Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy.

Take the time to read the entire article as I have only quoted some of the “highlights”.

Perhaps now you understand why the president had to appoint Dr. Berwick “in the dark of night” bypassing the typical Senate confirmation hearing process.  These views would have outraged most Americans had they become public, thus placing any member of the Senate voting to confirm Dr. Berwick in a more uncomfortable position than they already are, and, further eroding what little support for Obamacare still exists.

And, perhaps now you know why Senator Max Baucus (D. Mt.) was critical of this the dark of night appointment, saying,

Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee — and answered.

But, to Obama, the Constitution seems to be a pesky inconvenience, unless he wishes it to be otherwise…see: Arizona.

Perish the thought that the American public might actually hear these views, contact their Senators and ask them to say no to this terrible appointment.  Oh wait, I forgot, we’re to stupid to make decisions…that is for the leaders.

Max Baucus reveals Democrat hidden healthcare agenda – spread the wealth around

Heard this just moments ago on Hugh Hewitt’s show, one of the most intelligent on radio today. I can’t say this surprises me at all. They told us they want to control us. They have told us taxing capital is just the cost of the new America.


Then again, the One told us way back when Joe the Plumber confronted Obamanation head on.


Oh yeah … and then on Meet The Press.


The truth can now come out. As we have been saying for months this bill has little to do with health … and everything to do with wealth. If they were truly concerned about health they would not put the benefits out 4 years. There would not be holes on pre-exisitng conditions, and children’s health coverage, and likely others yet to be uncovered.

These Democrats need to be thrown out, All of them. None can be trusted. They hide their agenda and only reveal themselves when caught off guard. It’s hard to keep the mask up, but they always tell you who they are. Always. Period.

I will post later on the meaning of wealth and why Democrats just don’t get it. But for now understand wealth is not bad, it is good. It provides capital, jobs and prosperity. No, the distribution of wealth is never even, but the prosperity it spreads reaches well into every income group. Democrats think they can engineer it’s distribution. They cannot. All they do is consume capital and in the process drain the well and discourage the entrepreneurial activity it creates. Economics, as we have seen, is not their forte. But it will be their downfall.

Hey, follow Jim on Twitter!

Baucus Update: I was not drunk

OK, fine. Whatever you say. Senator Max Baucus has finally come forward with an attack on his attackers who wondered, as did I, if booze was responsible for his bizarre behavior on the Senate floor last week. Bauchus called the whole thing outrageous.

“When his friend of 30 years Ted Kennedy, with whom he had fought so hard to provide health care to children, was being used as a cheap foil to oppose health care reform, Senator Baucus gave a passionate defense. Unfortunately, those who want to kill any meaningful reform, turned it into an unfounded, untrue personal smear internet rumor.

Thanks Max. But you still didn’t explain this. I mean, could you just tell us why you seemed so incoherent?


As usual, AP at Hot Air has a great take:

Mellow out, really. After a month filled with stories about this tool giving his girlfriend pay raises and trying to have her named a U.S. Attorney, getting liquored up on the floor would be the least of his sins. Exit question: Is MSNBC siding with conservatives on this one?Watch the clip from his speech that they chose to illustrate this story and tell me they aren’t.

As one of my listeners said last week … doesn’t this whole thing just make you long for the days when Ted and Chris would come back to the Senate after one of those 3 martini lunches.

Plus this from Instapundit:

If I were trying to convince people of my sobriety, I probably wouldn’t invoke my 30-year friendship with Ted Kennedy as part of my argument . . . .

Speaking of which, Foster Brooks has issued a statement too.

A spokesman for Foster Brooks released the following statement:

“When his friend of 30 years Dean Martin, with whom he had fought so hard to provide entertainment to the people, was being used as a cheap foil to oppose hour-long comedy variety shows, Foster Brooks gave a passionate defense. Unfortunately, those who want to kill any meaningful entertainment, turned it into an unfounded, untrue personal smear internet rumor.


Another Chapter in the Most Ethical Congress EVAH!

We’ve seen self-aggrandizement, we’ve seen bribery, we’ve seen tax evasion, we’ve seen banking scandals…  Now we can add nepotism to the mix.

“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus was romantically involved with a former staffer when he recommended her earlier this year to become the next U.S. attorney for Montana, a spokesman said.

The Montana Democrat and his former state director Melodee Hanes began their relationship in the summer of 2008 after Baucus separated from his wife, Ty Matsdorf said in a statement Friday night, confirming a report in Roll Call.

Baucus nominated Hanes for the U.S. attorney post in March. But she later withdrew, saying she had been presented with other opportunities she couldn’t pass up.”

The hits just keep on coming…

Now, to be fair, I should include Senator Baucus’ “explanation”…

“Matsdorf said Baucus’ relationship with his girlfriend had nothing to do with his decision to nominate her.

“Senator Baucus recommended each of the three candidates based solely on qualifications, and merit, knowing whichever one the White House selected would serve Montana well,” Matsdorf said.

The spokesman said Baucus and Hanes decided during the nomination process that she should withdraw her name because the couple wanted to live together in Washington.”

In the immortal words of the Marx brothers, “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes???

Baucus health care bill includes pay-offs to senators

You can call them bribes if you’d like. Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) health care bill is filled with pay-offs, bribes and graft to other senators just to get his mark up (it’s not in legislative format yet) proposal through the Senate Committee on Finance. This post details those bribes and provides the full text of the mark up.

Read more

Democrats admit: You can’t afford our health care! Update: Video, Senator Schumer agrees

Wait just a dog gone minute. I thought the Democrats were going to provide “quality affordable health care for all.” Now we discover not only will the health care plan in the senate still leave millions uninsured … but it’s not affordable either?

A family of four headed by a 45-year-old making $63,000 a year is in the middle of the middle class. But that family would pay $7,110 to buy its own health insurance under the plan from the committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

The family would get a tax credit of $3,970 to help pay for a policy worth $11,080. But the balance due — $7,110 — is real money. Maybe it’s less than the rent, but it’s probably more than a car loan payment.

Kaiser’s calculator doesn’t take into account co-payments and deductibles that could add hundreds of dollars, even several thousand, to a family’s total medical expenses. A Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates total expenses could average 20 percent of income for some families by 2016.

You can’t say Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe didn’t warn us, eh? Just how much will this affordable health insurance cost middle class Americans? Fasten your seat belt.

The legislation provides the most generous subsidies to those at or near the poverty line, about $22,000 for a family of four. That’s where the problem is concentrated because about three-fourths of the uninsured are in households making less than twice the poverty level.

But as income rises, the subsidies taper off.

For a family of four making $45,000, federal subsidies would pick up 71 percent of the premium under the Baucus plan, according to the Kaiser calculator.

For a family with an income of $63,000, the subsidies would only cover 36 percent of the premium.

A family making $90,000 would get no help.

Update: Here’s video of Charles Schumer confirming the whole deal … Schumer says the only thing Washington must determine is do we burden middle America now … or later. Now that’s what I call choice!


It’s a tax. Period. A big fat tax from a bunch of big fat overpaid and overindulged thieves. Government mandates, coverage for pre-existing conditions, price controls, plus free health care for the poor … it all adds up to a very expensive program and once again … it’s the little guy who pays. The average worker, the average family will be facing a whopping tax increase of up to 20%.

It was supposed to be different. Congressman Chris Murphy told my audience it would be “better” insurance. Well it turns out we were right after all. It’s too expensive, too burdensome and will do nothing to make our lives better and still leave 2 million uninsured. It is … a tax on the middle class. They are all a bunch of lying weasels. Period. They do not have a clue about what they are doing

Socialism, what socialism? Welcome to Hope and Changey’s brave new world.

Just for kicks … here’s the young President one more time.


Medicare Advantage under siege

The one said you could keep your insurance if you like it. The SOS blew that one out the water months ago here, and here, and here … Now we find the promise doesn’t even apply to folks who supplement benefits with private insurance on Medicare Advantage programs.

If you watch nothing else today watch these two videos at Hot Air. Medicare Advantage is indeed in jeopardy if the Baucus bill goes through as is.

This is important for another reason. As the SOS points out in her post The Baucus Gag Order… Humana was correct in warning its customers about the Baucus bill’s affect on Medicare Advantage. Instead HHS and Humana are simply trying to cover a bad plan by stifling free speech. The Constitution is under assault I fear.

The Baucus $13 billion annual folly

I posted recently about the Baucus Obamacare bill, and noted that, unlike the other bills floating around Congress, this one doesn’t have the word “affordable” in its title. Based upon what follows, the absence of the word “affordable” is more than understandable.

I was under the impression that President Obama felt that the costs of health insurance and health care were rising to the level where the federal government needed to step in and and immediately reverse this trend.  Apparently Senator Baucus (D. Mt.) didn’t get the memo.  Here is what his bill calls for:

An annual “fee” of $2.3 billion is imposed on manufacturers and importers of prescription drugs. (page 217)

An annual “fee” of $4 billion is imposed on manufacturers and importers of medical devices.  ( page 218)  As pointed out by the Wall Street Journal,

While there are some exemptions, such as tongue depressors and eyeglasses, most of the devices tax will fall on hundreds of thousands of products that are basic components of modern medicine. Some are routine—surgical equipment, diabetes testing supplies—while others are cutting-edge technologies, like replacement joints, pacemakers, stents, and MRI and CT scanners.

An annual fee of $6 billion is imposed on insurers, including some insurers which are currently tax exempt. (page 220)  These fees are in addition to the $20 billion in “contributions” the insurers must cough up between 2013 and 2015 to “stabilize premiums” for those enrolled in the state exchanges. (page 12)

And, an annual fee of $750 million is imposed on clinical laboratories. (page 221)

Since none of these fees (per the markup) are tax deductible, guess who will be paying all of them?  You will.

But, there is more.  All of these fees begin in 2010.  Because the exact date in 2010 these fees are owed has not yet been set, beginning on January 1, 2010, (if not sooner) all of these industries will have to raise prices enough to cover not only the fees owed in 2010, but also to begin to cover some, if not all of the fees owed in 2011…an overall health care price increase of something close to $26.2 billion in 2010 alone.  This gives brand new meaning to the term “sticker shock”, and, is the reason this bill will henceforth be known as the “Baucus Unaffordable Health Care Bill”.