You May As Well Try And Read It, Your Congresscritters Probably Won’t Bother

UPDATE:

Ruh roh, chicanery time, they really are desperate to jam this through without anyone getting to read it.

The Democrats’ 2,309-page reconciliation bill was released for public viewing Sunday and will begin the mark-up process in the Budget Committee Monday at 3pm. Contrary to the Democratic pledge to post the reconciliation measure 72 hours before consideration, the bill posted is a dummy — or a “shell” as Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) put it — an early version of the House bill that cleared key committees in 2009, thus making it eligible for the reconciliation process under budget rules. Once that bill clears the the committee it will be gutted and replaced with the closed-door “fixes” agreed upon by Congressional Democrats, and appended with an unrelated student loan bill.

*****

House Democrats release bill for Budget markup Monday

House Democrats on Sunday night set into motion what they hope will be the final steps on healthcare reform.

The House Budget Committee on Sunday evening released text that will serve as the base legislation for the changes the House will seek to the Senate bill this week.

Specifically, the Budget committee released a 2,309-page effort that had been previously recommended to the Education and Labor Committee and Ways and Means Committee last year.

The measure posted online does not include the substantive changes to the Senate healthcare bill that House Democrats will seek. Those changes will be offered during the markups in the Budget and Rules committees, which the budget panel hopes to begin on Monday afternoon.

The House is expected to approve the Senate’s healthcare bill along with the package of changes. The Senate would then be expected to approve the package of changes under budget reconciliation rules.

Because the bill will be considered under budget reconciliation rules in the Senate, GOP senators will not be able to filibuster the package and Democrats will not need 60 votes to move the legislation through the Seante.

A BILL
To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 202 of
the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2010.

Oh, sure, it’s 2300+ pages, but to make any real sense of it, you’re also going to need to refer to the United States Code a lot.

Oh yeah, you’re going to need to reference the 2400+ page Senate bill too.

Have fun! Pack a lunch.

See also:
Next Steps: How The Health Bill Could Move Forward
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Health Care This Week
Democrats look for consensus on final health overhaul package
A Big Week for Health Care Reform: What Could Happen Next?
Nancy Pelosi’s strategy for passing health-care reform
The House Health-Care Vote and the Constitution
John Campbell: ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over’ on health care

Remember, it’s still not too late to make your voice heard.

/Take Action!

The Swamp Is Still Full

Remember this?

Pelosi Says She Would Drain GOP ‘Swamp’

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is thinking 100 hours, time enough, she says, to begin to “drain the swamp” after more than a decade of Republican rule.

It’s four years later, how’s that “most honest, ethical Congress” working out?

Pelosi’s Choice: Rangel or the Swamp

Draining swamps is not so popular today. It’s bad ecology.

We could understand Nancy Pelosi’s defense of Charlie Rangel this way. It’s an issue of conservation. I’ve heard those San Francisco liberals love the environment. Forget promises to “drain the swamp” during the 2006 campaign. She wants to conserve her ally’s job.

Don’t get Pelosi wrong. Surely, if a powerful House member “has proven himself to be ethically unfit” we know “the burden” indeed “falls upon” his party to oust him. In such a case, party leaders would obviously ask: “Do they want to remove the ethical cloud that hangs over the Capitol?”

So Pelosi explained in October 2004. The subject was Tom DeLay. The House ethics committee had admonished the Republican majority leader. DeLay used the Federal Aviation Administration to track Democratic state rivals. He hosted a fundraiser with energy lobbyists while energy legislation was under consideration.

Pelosi argued: “We must stop the influence of special interests so that the people know that we are here for the people’s interests.”

After all, this is why we have institutions like the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service. Except, that is, for the namesake and the center. An oil drilling company (special interest) made a $1 million donation to Rangel’s center. The quid pro quo, allegedly, included legislative favors. The matter, like so much of Rangel’s world, is under investigation.

Rangel has one of the powerful jobs in government. The New York Democrat is chairman of the House Ways and Means committee. The committee has jurisdiction over all taxation. And that’s the rub. Rangel has a problem paying all his taxes.

The chairman failed to report more than a half million dollars in income. He later amended his financial disclosure forms. Perhaps it was a senior moment. The public servant simply forgot about his New Jersey real estate and a quarter million dollar account.

But perhaps he’s just corrupt. There are other investigations. Possibly still more absent taxes, this time regarding rental income and a Dominican villa. There’s the four rent-stabilized Harlem apartments used by Rangel, reportedly, well below market value. House lawmakers cannot accept gifts worth more than $50.

Rangel’s cloud grew still larger on Thursday. The House ethics committee ruled that Rangel violated Congressional rules by accepting Caribbean junkets.

Thank goodness for Pelosi’s past stands. Back in October 2004, the ethics committee had not yet acted on DeLay’s links to a more serious money laundering investigation. But Pelosi saw that as no excuse. The cloud was big enough. Action had to be taken on behalf of the “people’s interests.”

Certainly, Pelosi is not foolish enough to not apply a Democratic double standard. Well, you know how this story goes. In Washington, the cynics are rarely proven wrong.

Some Democratic lawmakers are calling for Rangel to step down. But not the House leader. She says slow down. Don’t jump to those conclusions. She told reporters Friday, “There’s obviously more to come and we’ll see what happens with that.”

INVESTIGATION INTO OFFICIALLY CONNECTED TRAVEL OF HOUSE
MEMBERS TO ATTEND THE CARIB NEWS FOUNDATION MULTI-NATIONAL
BUSINESS CONFERENCES IN 2007 AND 2008.

Volume 1 of the Report
Volume 2 of the Report
Volume 3 of the Report 

Statement of the Chair and Ranking Republican Member Regarding Its Report in the Matter of the Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conferences in 2007 and 2008

The Report further finds that Representative Charles B. Rangel violated the House gift rule by accepting payment or reimbursement for travel to the 2007 and 2008 conferences.

See also:
House Ethics Committee admonishes Rep. Rangel, D-N.Y.
Ethics Panel Says Rangel Had Info on Caribbean Trips
Ethics panel: Rangel was sent memos on trips
Panel Admonishes Rangel for Taking Trips as Gifts
Rangel won’t step aside after ethics slap
Rangel Unrepentant After Ethics Violation
More ethics problems for Rangel
Tax King Charlie’s crown is slipping
The Rangel swamp
Rangel fills political swamp faster than Pelosi can drain it
Pelosi Confronts Racial, Power Issues in Rangel Ethics Dilemma
Pelosi says Rangel didn’t break rules
Pelosi defends Rangel, again
Pelosi sticks with Rangel, notes ethics committee ‘did not take action’
Pelosi Focuses on Positive in Rangel Report
President Barack Obama abandons Rep. Charles Rangel against ethics charges
Charlie Rangel Ethics Violation RULING! *** Pelosi in a Jam *** “Shoe on the Other Foot”

And so, four years later, it appears the swamp is still filled to the brim, if not overflowing with Democrat corruption.

/someone needs to find Pelosi a bigger drain

You Didn’t Really Think It Was Going To Save Money, Did You?

CMS: House health bill will hike costs $289B

The House-approved healthcare overhaul would raise the costs of healthcare by $289 billion over the next 10 years, according to an analysis by the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

(READ THE FULL REPORT HERE)

The CMS report is a blow to the White House and House Democrats who have vowed that healthcare reform would curb the growth of healthcare spending. CMS’s analysis is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the cost estimate conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) because CMS did not review tax provisions, which help offset the price tag of the Democrats’ measure.

However, the CMS analysis clearly states that the House bill falls short in attaining a key goal of the Democrats’ effort to reform the nation’s healthcare system: “With the exception of the proposed reduction in Medicare… the provisions of H.R. 3962 would not have a significant impact on future healthcare cost growth rates.”

Republicans immediately seized on CMS’s conclusions.

The long-awaited report should serve as a “stark warning to every Republican, Democrat and Independent worried about the future of this nation,” Ways and Means Committee ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in a statement on Saturday.

Though House Republicans pressed to have this analysis completed before the lower chamber voted on the Democrats’ sweeping healthcare reform bill last week, it was not ready until late Friday. Chief CMS Actuary Richard Foster, who prepared the report, recently told The Hill that he and his staff had only a few days to review the bill before it was voted on.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) highlighted the report on Saturday in a written statement. “This report once again discredits Democrats’ assertions that their $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care will lower costs, and it confirms that this bill violates President Obama’s promise to ‘bend the cost curve.’ It’s now beyond dispute that their bill will raise costs, which is exactly what the American people don’t want.”

Republicans predicted that if the CMS numbers were available last Saturday when the House voted on the Democrats’ healthcare bill, the measure would not have passed.

“This report confirms what virtually every independent expert has been saying: Speaker Pelosi’s healthcare bill will increase costs, not decrease them. I hope my colleagues in the Senate heed CMS’ findings and refuse to rush ahead until any bill under consideration can be certified to actually reduce healthcare costs,” Camp said.

According to the 31-page report, the House-passed bill would increase costs, cut Medicare and expand Medicaid.

“In aggregate, we estimate that for calendar years 2010 through 2019 [national health expenditures] would increase by $289 billion,” the report notes.

See also:
Estimated Financial Effects of the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (H.R. 3962), as Passed by the House on November 7, 2009
CMS: House bill increases health care costs
Study suggests costs rise under health care bill
CMS Report On House Health Bill: Many More Insured Means More, Not Less, Spending
Report: Bill would reduce senior care
House health care bill costs more than previously believed
GOP leaps on study of rising health care costs
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

/then again, the Democrats really don’t care about how much it costs, all they care about is expanding and entrenching their political power

Be The First On Your Block To Gaze Into The Crystal Ball Of Health Care’s Future

House Committee Approves Health-Care Package

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Friday night approved a sweeping package of health-care measures, clearing a critical hurdle that sets the stage for a five-week battle for both Democrats and Republicans to define the legislation in voters’ minds before the full House votes next month.

The final pieces of an intense two-week negotiation came together Friday morning, when rank-and-file liberals on the committee struck a deal with conservative Democrats that could lead to larger subsidies for lower-income workers to pay for health insurance. The committee then approved its portion of the House’s health-care bill on a 31 to 28 vote, with five Democrats joining all 23 Republicans opposing the measure.

The committee’s vote on the bill was the last thing keeping the House from adjourning for its August recess.

While lawmakers return home to their districts, Democratic leaders in the House plan to spend the next month weaving together what three committees — Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor — have passed on health care, preparing the 1,000-page bill for a post-Labor Day vote.

See also:
House panel OKs sweeping health care bill
House Committee Approves Healthcare Bill
Key House committee passes health care bill
Final House Panel Approves Health Reform Bill
Obama hails action on healthcare bill
For Pelosi, Recess Means Selling Health Plan

So, what’s all this fuss about which your very life may hang in the balance? Well, here’s the latest published version, weighing in at 1017 pages. Hey, look at the bright side, just like Congress you have the entire month of August to read it. If you pace yourself at 50 pages per day, you’ll have plenty of time to scare yourself silly before Congress gets back and makes your nightmare a reality.

H.R.3200 America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

Oh wait, you wanted to see the final version of the bill, the one they’ll actually vote on, the one that’s already been marked up by three separate House committees? Well, um, the haven’t quite gotten around to publishing that version for us to read, let alone finished putting it together. Hell, the American public, not to mention the entire U.S. House of Representatives, will be lucky if they get five hours to read the final version of the bill before a final passage vote out of the House is taken. So, I suggest you get busy with this version, it’s the only version you’ll probably get to read, no pressure, it’s not like your life may depend on it.

Just remember, Obama says, “It is not government’s takeover of health care. It’s not a single-payer system like Canada. It’s just not. “

Really? I think he means, not yet.

If you, can’t get it in the front door, sneak it around back.

/hell of a way to run a country, eh?

Where’s The Fire?

Reformers’ Claims Just Don’t Add Up

Health Reform: Many extravagant claims have been made on behalf of the various health care “reforms” now emerging from Congress and the White House. But on closer inspection, virtually all prove to be false.

Yet even as many Americans start to have second thoughts about our government’s possible takeover of the health care system, Congress is rushing to make it happen.

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would radically change our current system and expand coverage for the uninsured. The action came a day after the head of the Congressional Budget Office said none of the plans under review would slow health care spending. None of them.

Still, lawmakers and the White House press on, relying on GOP weakness in the House and a new veto-proof majority in the Senate. They’re also relying on a lack of awareness that claims made on behalf of national health care may be mostly false. Among them:

• America has a health care crisis.

No, we don’t. Forty-seven million people lack insurance. Of the remaining 85% of the population, or 258 million people, polls show high satisfaction with the current coverage. Indeed, a 2006 poll by ABC News, the Kaiser Family Foundation and USA Today found 89% of Americans were happy with their own health care.

As for the estimated 47 million not covered by health insurance, 20 million can afford to buy it, according to a study by former CBO Director June O’Neill. Most of the other 27 million are single and under 35, with as many as a third illegal aliens.

When it’s all whittled down, as few as 12 million are unable to buy insurance — less than 4% of a population of 305 million. For this we need to nationalize 17% of our nation’s $14 trillion economy and change the current care that 89% like?

• Health care reform will save money.

Few of the plans now coming out of Congress will save anything, says the CBO’s current chief, Douglas Elmendorf. In fact, he says, they’ll lead to substantially higher costs in the future — costs that will be “unsustainable.”

As it is, estimates for reforming health care range from $1 trillion to $3.6 trillion. Much will be spent on subsidies to make a so-called public option more attractive to consumers than private plans.

To pay for it, the president has suggested about $600 billion in new taxes, meaning that $500 billion to $2.1 trillion in new health care spending over the next decade will be unfunded. This could push up the nation’s already soaring deficit, expected to reach $10 trillion through 2019 without health care reform. Massive new tax hikes will probably be needed to close the gap.

• Only the rich will pay for reform.

The 5.4% surtax on millionaires the president is pushing gets all the attention, but everyone down to $280,000 in income will pay more. Doesn’t that still leave out the middle class and poor? Sorry. Workers who decline to take part will pay a tax of up to 2% of earnings. And small-businesses must pony up 8% of their payrolls.

The poor and middle class must pay in other ways, without knowing it. The biggest hit will be on small businesses, which, due to new payroll taxes, will be less likely to hire workers. Today’s 9.5% jobless rate may become a permanent feature of our economy — just as it is in Europe, where nationalized health care is common.

• Government-run health care produces better results.

The biggest potential lie of all. America has the best health care in the world, and most Americans know it. Yet we hear that many “go without care” while in nationalized systems it is “guaranteed.”

U.S. life expectancy in 2006 was 78.1 years, ranking behind 30 other countries. So if our health care is so good, why don’t we live as long as everyone else?

Three reasons. One, our homicide rate is two to three times higher than other countries. Two, because we drive so much, we have a higher fatality rate on our roads — 14.24 fatalities per 100,000 people vs. 6.19 in Germany, 7.4 in France and 9.25 in Canada. Three, Americans eat far more than those in other nations, contributing to higher levels of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

These are diseases of wealth, not the fault of the health care system. A study by Robert Ohsfeldt of Texas A&M and John Schneider of the University of Iowa found that if you subtract our higher death rates from accidents and homicide, Americans actually live longer than people in other countries.

In countries with nationalized care, medical outcomes are often catastrophically worse. Take breast cancer. According to the Heritage Foundation, breast cancer mortality in Germany is 52% higher than in the U.S.; the U.K.’s rate is 88% higher. For prostate cancer, mortality is 604% higher in the U.K. and 457% higher in Norway. Colorectal cancer? Forty percent higher in the U.K.

But what about the health care paradise to our north? Americans have almost uniformly better outcomes and lower mortality rates than Canada, where breast cancer mortality is 9% higher, prostate cancer 184% higher and colon cancer 10% higher.

Then there are the waiting lists. With a population just under that of California, 830,000 Canadians are waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment. In England, the list is 1.8 million deep.

Universal health care, wrote Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute in her excellent book, “Top Ten Myths Of American Health Care,” will inevitably result in “higher taxes, forced premium payments, one-size-fits-all policies, long waiting lists, rationed care and limited access to cutting-edge medicine.”

Before you sign up, you might want to check with people in countries that have the kind of system the White House and Congress have in mind. Recent polls show that more than 70% of Germans, Australians, Britons, Canadians and New Zealanders think their systems need “complete rebuilding” or “fundamental change.”

• The poor lack care.

Many may lack insurance, but that doesn’t mean they lack care. The law says anyone who walks into a hospital emergency room must be treated. America has 37 million people in poverty, but Medicaid covers 55 million — at a cost of $350 billion a year.

Moreover, as many as 11 million of the uninsured qualify for programs for the indigent, including Medicaid and SCHIP. But for some reason, they don’t sign up. Are they likely to sign up for the “public option” when it’s made available?

See also:
Investors Business Daily
Congressional Budget Office
Heritage Foundation
House Ways And Means Committee
Kaiser Family Foundation
Pacific Research Institute

Just the facts ma’am. Make up your own mind. But remember, you only have TWO WEEKS TO DO SO OR THERE WILL BE CATACLYSMIC HEALTHCARE DISASTER!

Stay strong, fight back, hold your ground.

/in January 1945, the Germans were desperate to take Bastogne and the surrounding terrain, we won