Obama Says You’re Gonna Get A Trillion Dollar Health Care Bill Whether You Like It Or Not

Is Obama deaf? 61% of Americans want Congress to scrap their current health care bills and start over. So what’s Obama’s plan? To cram a variation of the current legislation down your collective throats, I’m the Great Obama, suck on it bitches!

The President’s Proposal

/Michael Ramirez

Patient Is Showing No Improvement

The president has unveiled a reform plan of his own ahead of Thursday’s bipartisan summit. But it’s no better than the lousy Democratic proposals that Americans have already dismissed.

The Obama plan appears to be based on the bills that were passed last year in the House and in the pre-Scott Brown Senate. While it leaves out the public option that was included in the House legislation, it adds a wrinkle that’s just as harmful: price controls on insurance premiums.

Americans aren’t going to want this rancid stew of legislative arrogance any more than they wanted the bills that were rammed through Congress. Our own polling shows that 34% strongly oppose Congress’ overhaul plans while only 24% strongly support.

When the “strongly oppose” and “somewhat oppose” responses are combined, the poll shows 45% are against the Democrats’ proposals. Independents oppose the plans 51% to 34%.

While the administration’s proposal might get some initial support because it regulates insurance costs, the public will recognize the rest of the plan as something it’s seen and rejected.

It seems the White House is cynically using the new wrinkle to take advantage of the anger toward insurance companies. The good news is that wrinkle should smooth out once opponents explain why restrictions on premium increases will leave the public with less coverage, as insurers will have no choice but to ration benefits.

The opponents — hopefully every Republican holding elected office — could start by repeatedly pointing out that Larry Summers, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, not a GOP operative, said: “Price and exchange controls inevitably create harmful economic distortions. Both the distortions and the economic damage get worse with time.”

The opposition should also ceaselessly tell the public that the ultimate consequence of premium caps on health insurance — if not the ultimate goal of the Democrats — is the collapse of the industry.

Private firms will leave the market when government restrictions make it unreasonably hard to make a profit. That will happen when the caps are combined with the inevitable federal mandates outlining the wide array of conditions that insurers must pay for and the rules that govern how coverage is sold.

New York has bitter experience with coverage rules. Since the early 1990s the state has forced insurers to provide insurance to people who are already sick and required them to set premiums at the same rate for all customers despite differences in age and health.

New York’s market hasn’t yet crumbled, but only because insurers have been able to increase premiums. New York now has, at roughly $9,000 a year on average, the highest rates in the country.

Soaring premiums can’t happen in a regime in which they are capped. When caps are added to mandates, insurers have nowhere to go but out of the health insurance business.

“We are sort of a case study of what not do,” says Mark Scherzer, identified in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times as “a consumer attorney who helped lead the fight for New York’s changes in the early 1990s.”

We see nothing in the Obama proposal that makes it more acceptable than what the Democrats have already put up.

• It won’t cut costs. Its $950 billion price tag for 10 years is even higher than the federal estimates, which were insanely optimistic, for the bills that have already been passed.

• It won’t insure all the uninsured. The White House says it will cover 31 million Americans who are without coverage. That still leaves as many as 15 million or 16 million without medical insurance.

• It won’t increase Americans’ control of their health care. It will require people to buy insurance and force businesses that don’t insure their employees to provide coverage. That’s more government.

• It’s not what the people want. By more than a 2-1 margin, our IBD/TIPP poll found, Americans want Congress to start fresh with a new blueprint, not rehash what they’ve clearly rejected.

No amount of we-know-what’s-best, force-it-on-an-unwilling-public arrogance can change these facts. Yet the Democrat machine, confident its ideas are so strong that they can repeal the laws of economics, refuses to end its offensive against the people.

We are far beyond the point at which we can admire their tenacity while disagreeing with their solutions.

What we need is a clean, quick kill of a plan — an Obama course that would drive our health care system into an abyss from which it would never escape.

See also:
Obama stays on offense with health-care proposal
Obama offers new health-care reform proposal
Obama posts health blueprint
Facing headwinds, Obama offers health deal
Obama Renews Health Push
ObamaCare at Ramming Speed
Obama Rejects Advice to Shrink Health Proposal
Obama may be key part of this health care plan
Obama’s health care bill revision seeks compromise
CBO says Obama’s health plan not detailed enough to score
CBO Blog: No Cost Estimate of Obama Health Plan This Week
Plan sweetened for GOP baffles CBO
Obama’s healthcare plan gets chilly GOP reception
Can Obama Bypass Republicans on Health?
White House Sets the Table to Use ‘Reconciliation’ Rules to Finish Health Care Reform
Will Obama Health Care Plan Pass Via Reconciliation?
Charting a Course Around Filibusters
Health care has one last chance
Are the Dems really that clueless about health care?

What happened to Obama’s promise to focus on American’s top priority, jobs? Apparently, that lasted all of about a week and now it’s back to socialized health care reform, a plan already soundly rejected by the vast majority of the American public.

/Obama and the Democrats must have an insatiable political death wish, they’re going to get absolutely creamed in the 2010 midterm elections

And In The Senate Corner . . . Weighing In At 2074 Pages . . . The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

From behind the closed doors of Harry Reid’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Put on your hip waders, this jabberwocky assault on American health care is longer than the first four Harry Potter books combined, only without the magic or entertainment value.

Senate Health Bill Is Outlined by Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outlined for Democrats Wednesday a ten-year $849 billion bill that would overhaul the nation’s health-care system and extend insurance to 31 million Americans without coverage.

The legislation represents the Nevada Democrat’s first attempt to build consensus among Senate Democratic liberals and centrists, as well as the two independents allied with the party.

A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide said the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill, after it is implemented, would ensure that 94% of those living in the U.S., not counting unauthorized immigrants, have insurance coverage. CBO has previously estimated that about 83% of Americans now have insurance.

The aide said the CBO estimated that the Senate measure would reduce the federal budget deficit by $127 billion over the next decade, and by $650 billion over the second ten years of the program. In part, the bill achieves that reduction through new taxes on Medicare and high-value insurance plans.

The 10-year price tag comes in below the $900 billion limit set by the White House and below the $1.055 trillion cost of the health-overhaul passed by the House earlier this month.

The $849 billion figure and the prospect of deficit reduction cheered Democrats. But the figures aren’t likely to win over Republicans, who say the bill adds costly new benefits for some Americans when the federal budget deficit is reaching new heights.

“We’re going to do everything we can to defeat this monstrosity,” said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.).

Among other things, the Senate legislation would create a new government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, while allowing states the option not to participate. That is a nod to centrists worried about the federal government’s growing footprint in the private sector.

The bill would also create government subsidies to help individuals and families comply with a mandate to buy insurance, and would sharply expand Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

Mr. Reid’s decision to unveil a bill sets the stage for a pivotal vote, perhaps Friday or Saturday, that will determine whether the Senate can formally open debate on the bill. Mr. Reid, who met Wednesday with Vice President Joseph Biden, has voiced optimism that he can secure the votes needed to overcome Republican opposition and move to the debate. But with the outcome uncertain, the coming vote looms large as the first of several over the next month that will test Mr. Reid’s ability to hold together liberals and centrists.

See also:
Senate Democrats introduce $849 billion healthcare reform bill
Reid Unveils Senate Healthcare Bill
Senate Democrats’ Health Care Bill Will Cost $849 Billion
Senate’s health care bill cost: $849 billion
Senate health bottom line: $849 billion overhaul
Senate healthcare bill hits Obama cost target
Reid bill would cost $849B, expand coverage to 31 million people, aide says
Senate Health Plan Seeks to Add Coverage to 31 Million
$849 billion health bill sets up historic debate
Johnson, Thune On Senate Health Care Reform
New Senate Healthcare Reform Bill Features Public Option With Opt-Out
US Senate health plan includes public option-senator
Senate Health Care Bill: $370+ Billion Tax Hike
2,074-page health bill includes surgery, payroll tax hike
Stupak Abortion Measure Stopped…for the Moment
Senate Democrats backing down on tough anti-abortion measure
Senator: Pro-Life Side Lacks Votes to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care
Stupak: I have votes to defeat health bill
DeGette says Stupak won’t have the votes to keep his amendment
Senate, House Democratic health bills compared
In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act

/here we go, pass the popcorn

In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act

From behind the closed doors of Nancy Pelosi’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Affordable Health Care for America Act

If you start now and read several hundred pages a day, you might be able to get through it by the time they start to debate it on the House floor next week. As with all these bills, written in legislative gibberish that would make a challenging read for a lawyer, pack a lunch and leave a trail of bread crumbs.

Oh look, PBS has already posted a summary of the bill only a few hours after it was unveiled. I wonder who they got that from, Pelosi and the Democrats? PBS staffers certainly haven’t had time to read the bill for themselves yet.

Bill Summary: Affordable Health Care for America Act

House Democrats on Thursday unveiled the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The 1,990-page legislation is a combination of bills passed by three House committees earlier this year. Key tenets include:

· New regulations | New insurance industry regulations would prohibit insurers from rejecting customers based on pre-existing conditions. The regulations would also prohibit annual or lifetime caps on benefits.

· Insurance exchange | The bill would set up a new national health insurance exchange, a marketplace where individuals who do not have employer-sponsored insurance would be able to shop for plans. The exchange would also be open to small businesses, and more would be able to join each year. Companies with 25 or fewer employees would be able to join in 2013, companies with 50 or fewer employees could join in 2014, and companies with fewer than 100 employees could join by 2015.

· Public insurance option | The health insurance exchange would include a government-run public plan. Federal officials would negotiate payment rates with doctors and hospitals that accept the plan.

· Employer mandate | Employers with annual payrolls greater than $500,000 would be required to either provide health insurance for their employees, or contribute 8 percent of their payroll to a federal fund to help subsidize employees who purchase coverage through the exchange. Employers with payrolls less than $500,000 would be exempt from the mandate.

· Individual mandate | Individuals will be required to purchase health insurance, or pay a penalty fee. Some people would be eligible to apply for a hardship waiver.

· Medicaid expansion | Medicaid would be expanded to cover everyone whose income is below 150 percent of the poverty line, or about $33,000 per year for a family of four.

· Affordability subsidies | People who earn between 150 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for subsidies on a sliding scale to purchase insurance through the exchange. Those subsidies would ensure that people who make 150 percent of the poverty level would not have to pay more than 3 percent of their income in premiums, while those who make 400 percent of the poverty level could pay up to 12 percent of their income in premiums.

· Out-of-pocket expenses caps | New regulations would cap yearly out-of-pocket medical expenses for individuals at $5,000 and families at $10,000. Those who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level would have lower caps, on a sliding scale.

· Tax surcharge | The bill would help pay for itself by imposing a 5.4 percent tax surcharge on individuals earning more than $500,000 per year and families earning more than $1 million.

· End-of-life counseling | The bill retains a controversial provision that allows Medicare to pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling

Oh yeah, and did you catch the part where Pelosi said that the House bill would cost less than $900 billion? Would it surprise anyone to know that she’s lying her ass off through her Botox induced permagrin teeth?

CBO: House Bill Costs $1.055 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the House Democrats’ health care bill. The headline number — likely to be widely cited in media accounts — is that the bill costs $894 billion over 10 years. But in reality, the CBO says that the gross cost of the bill will be $1.055 trillion. The $894 billion number reflects the taxes being paid by individuals who don’t have insurance and employers who don’t provide insurance.

In addition, the bill relies on some of the same budgetary gimmicks as the Senate Finance Committee’s bill. Once again, we see that the Democrats backload the spending provisions into the final six years of the CBO’s 10 year budget window to make it appear cheaper. Specifically, the CBO says the bill’s gross spending will be $60 billion in the first four years, and $995 billion in the next six years (or 94 percent of the total).

Also, while the CBO says that the bill will reduce deficits by $104 billion over 10 years and keep reducing the deficit (albiet slightly) beyond that, it cautions that these estimates assume that proposed budget cuts will actually get enacted by future members of Congress. “These longer-term projections assume that the provisions of H.R. 3962 are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation,” the CBO director Douglas Elmendorf wrote. “The long-term budgetary impact of H.R. 3962 could be quite different if those provisions generating savings were ultimately changed or not fully implemented.”

The CBO estimate doesn’t include the more than $200 billion it will cost to prevent scheduled cuts to doctors’ payments under Medicare, which Democrats intend to pass through separate legislation.

The bill would also add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls, costing states an additional $34 billion over 10 years.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the CBO report doesn’t say anything about whether the bill actually bends the health care cost curve. To be clear, while it estimates — with caveats — that the bill will reduce deficits, that isn’t the same thing as reducing national health care expenditures, which is how people derive all those statistics about how high of a percentage of GDP we spend on health care compared with other countries. If you hike taxes high enough, you can get the CBO to say it reduces deficits on paper, but that’s a lot different from bringing down the actual costs of health care to our nation.

Wait a minute, it’s not just Pelosi who’s lying about the 2000 page path to socialized medicine . . .

See also:
House Democrats announce health-care bill
Statement from President Obama on the Affordable Health Care for America Act
House health bill clocks in at 1,990 pages
House Dems unveil health care bill
House Democrats unveil healthcare legislation including public option
House Dems announce health bill
Pelosi Unveils House Health Care Bill
House takes another step on healthcare reform
Details on health care bills in House, Senate
A 1,990-Page Medical Monstrosity
It’s alive! End-of-life counseling in health bill
Clyburn: ‘Cadillac tax’ in healthcare would violate Obama’s pledge
House Healthcare Bill Longer Than ‘War and Peace’
Democrats’ Unhealthy Reform Plans
1502 Pages Of Senate Deficit Deepening, Health Care Razing Gibberish

Of course, this monsterous sham has to be passed by the House and then Reid has to come out from behing his closed office doors and unveil the Senate’s gigantic mockery of health care “reform”, which will have to be passed by the Senate. Next, Pelosi and Reid will have to take the ~4000 pages of both bills behind closed conference doors, to conjure the final bloated shamockery bill, that’ll need to pass both houses of Congress.

/hopefully, there’s still enough hoops to jump through and divisions between Democrat factions that, somewhere along the line, they’ll come up short on needed votes and the entire national debt boosting travesty will collapse under it’s own socialist weight

Not The Change We Were Hoping For

Slowly but surely, the American people are starting to figure out that Obama’s policies are not what he promised nd not what the electorate thought they were voting for.

President Barack Obama’s poll numbers start to wilt

Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and ability to control spending has caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest levels since he took office, according to a spate of recent polls, a sign of political weakness that comes just as he most needs leverage on Capitol Hill.

The good news for Obama is that his approval ratings — 57 percent in a Gallup tracking poll over the weekend — remain comfortably high by historical standards for presidents.

But the trend lines among a variety of polls over the past several days are unmistakable: Independents and even some Republicans who once viewed him sympathetically are becoming skeptical, and many people of all stripes are anxious about economic and fiscal trends.

Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 60 percent on other occasions, according to Gallup, but though those slumps lasted only a day, this one appears to be more persistent.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 33% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -1. Today is the second straight day the President’s rating has been below zero (see trends).

See also:
Confidence in Stimulus Plan Ebbs, Poll Finds
Public Wary of Deficit, Economic Intervention
39% Now Blame Bad Economy on Obama’s Policies
Health Care Will End Obama’s Honeymoon
How Obama could lose health fight

This is not what America voted for.

gr2009032100104

/it’s no longer funny or acceptable

Ramming Speed!

National Health Care With 51 Votes

Late last week President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders agreed to use “budget reconciliation” if necessary to jam a massive health-care bill through Congress.

Most Americans probably greeted this news with the glazed eyes and yawns that should rightfully accompany any discussion of “the federal budget process” longer than 30 seconds. But this decision is a deeply troublesome attempt to circumvent the normal and customary workings of American democracy.

It’s a radical departure from congressional precedent, in which budget rules have been designed and used to reduce deficits, not expand the size of government. And it promises bitter divisiveness under an administration that has made repeated promises to reach across the partisan divide.

Reconciliation was established in 1974 as a procedure to make modest adjustments to mandatory spending such as farm programs, student loans and Medicare that were already well established in law. Over the past 35 years, it has been used only 22 times — and three of those bills were vetoed. There are good reasons it has been used so rarely.

The annual congressional budget resolution is simply an outline of federal spending anticipated for the coming fiscal year. It doesn’t appropriate any funds or carry the force of law, and as a practical matter only two parts of the resolution have any meaningful effect on the spending bills and other legislation that move through Congress during the remainder of the year.

First, the resolution sets limits for discretionary spending and allows procedural points of order to be raised later in the year against spending bills that exceed these caps. Second, the budget resolution may include a “reconciliation” figure. This is, effectively, a dollar amount assigned to a congressional committee, with instructions to produce legislation that decreases projected spending by the specified amount.

The power of a reconciliation bill is this: Senate rules allow only 20 hours of debate and then passage with a simple majority of 51 votes. This represents a lightning strike in the normal deliberative time-frame of the Senate. The historic precedent of open debate, and the requirement of 60 votes to close debate, are completely short-circuited.

Budget reconciliation was never intended to push through dramatic and expansive new programs. It was created as a way to help a reluctant Congress curb spending, reduce deficits, and cut the debt. Moreover, changes made under reconciliation expire after five or 10 years, depending on the budget. This is clearly not the appropriate process for implementing significant new policies.

See also:
Barrier to health care vote looks poised to fall
Deal may mean fast-track treatment for health care overhaul
Hatch, GOP leaders fight reconciliation
Obama Pressing for Budget With Reconciliation Language To Be Passed by 100-Day Mark
THE BUDGET RECONCILIATION PROCESS

Yes boys and girls, you’re about to eat the Democrat dream version of socialized medicine, whether you like it or not, with zero Republican input.

/and because of the outcome of the last two elections, there’s not a damn thing Republicans can do to stop it