Bloviator In Chief

Hoo boy.

Obama’s 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman’s claim of being ‘over-taxed’

Even by President Obama’s loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.

Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package.

“We are over-taxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.

Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer – more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).

. . .

Even Obama seemed to recognize that he had gone on too long. He apologized — in keeping with the spirit of the moment, not once, but twice. “Boy, that was a long answer. I’m sorry,” he said, drawing nervous laughter that sounded somewhat like relief as he wrapped up.

But, he said: “I hope I answered your question.”

See also:
Obama’s 17 Minute, 14 Second Answer on Higher Taxes and Health Care
The great elaborator: Obama gives 17-minute answer to health-care query in N.C.
Obama’s 17-minute answer
Obama’s answer was rather loquacious
Obama Fights Adversity With Verbosity
Defensive much? Obama gives rambling, incoherrent 17 minute response to concern about being ‘overtaxed’
President Obama takes 17 minutes to answer a question

Let’s see, Obama takes 17 minutes to not answer a simple question, Alan Grayson is threatening doctors, Henry Waxman is threatening major U.S. corporations, and, a week into this new entitlement fiasco, most Americans still think Obamacare sucks.

/yeah, I see nothing but smooth sailing for Democrats going forward

Got Health Care?

/we are so [expletive deleted]

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!

Not Yet

/Michael Ramirez

Dem House vote-counter lacks health care votes now

The House’s chief Democratic headcounter said Sunday he hadn’t rounded up enough votes to pass President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul heading into a make-or-break week, even as the White House’s top political adviser said he was “absolutely confident” in its prospects.

The administration gave signs of retreating on demands that senators jettison special home-state deals sought by individual lawmakers that have angered the public.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs predicted House passage this week, before Obama travels to Asia, a trip he postponed to push for the bill.

“This is the week where we will have this important vote,” Gibbs said. “I do think this is the climactic week for health care reform.”

Political strategist David Axelrod said Democrats will persuade enough lawmakers to vote “yes.” The House GOP leader, Ohio Rep. John Boehner, took up the challenge, acknowledging Republicans alone can’t stop the measure, but pledging to do “everything we can to make it difficult for them, if not impossible, to pass the bill.” Republicans believe they may get help from Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns.

Axelrod said it will be a struggle, taking aim at insurance industry lobbyists who “have landed on Capitol Hill like locusts” and Republicans who see being on the losing side of the vote as a political victory.

“I am absolutely confident that we are going to be successful. I believe that there is a sense of urgency on the part of members of Congress,” given recent news about insurance plan rate increases, Axelrod said.

A dose of reality came from Rep. James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and main vote counter. “No, we don’t have them as of this morning, but we’ve been working this thing all weekend,” said Clyburn, D-S.C.

See also:
UPDATE 1-US House Democrat says still short on health votes
House Dem whip: We don’t have the votes yet
Health Care Bill Held Up by Uncertainty, Mistrust
Axelrod: Health Care Effort Is ‘A Struggle’
Boehner determined to kill Dem health care bill
Axelrod Says Health Bill to Pass, Boehner Skeptical (Update4)
Health Care Bill ‘Still a Jump Ball,’ White House Official Says
Thousands rally at State Capitol to kill health care bill
Why Health Bill Makes No Sense

/keep up the pressure

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

A Smart Rat Jumps The Sinking Ship

With Obama’s approval rating at a new low, well under 50%, Congressional job approval under 30%, the generic Congressional ballot favoring Republians, and most Americans against the Democrat Obamacare plan for socialized medicine, Parker Griffith has seen the light, smelled the coffee, and jumped from the sinking Democrat ship. Smart move.

Democratic congressman defects to the GOP

Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican on Tuesday, a startling defection from the majority party in the House that underscores the difficulties facing Democrats in midterm elections next year.

Mr. Griffith, a 67-year-old radiation oncologist, blasted the Democratic leaderships’ health care overhaul, saying the bill is bad for doctors and patients.

“I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy and drives us further and further into debt,” said the freshman lawmaker form a conservative-leaning district in northern Alabama that includes his hometown of Huntsville.

Mr. Griffith often sided with Republicans on major votes, and his switch does little to deflate House Democrats’ overwhelming majority. But his unusual decision to join the minority party sent a strong message to Democratic leaders.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said Mr. Griffith had betrayed his Democratic colleagues and demanded that Mr. Griffith return campaign funds.

“Mr. Griffith, failing to honor our commitment to him, has a duty and responsibility to return to Democratic members and the DCCC the financial resources that were invested in him,” Mr. Van Hollen said. “His constituents will hold him accountable for failing to keep his commitments.”

Mr. Griffith’s party switch follows retirement announcement from several moderate House Democrats, fueling expectations that Republicans will pick up a significant number of seats in the midterm elections. Democrats maintain a 79-seat majority, 257 to 178. But several polls show a strong majority of Americans disapprove of the Democratic-led Congress’ performance. A Gallup Poll released last week found that 69 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ performance.

Republicans welcomed Mr. Griffith, who was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and said his conversion reflected a disconnect between Democrats and most Americans.

“From the massive stimulus bill that wasted billions of dollars and failed to create jobs, to a job-killing cap-and-trade energy tax, to a government takeover of health care – the Democrat majority has pursued an agenda far outside the mainstream,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican.

“Democrats are beginning to realize what most Americans did months ago,” he said, “that their priorities are not in line with what Americans want right now, which is job growth, economic security, a safe and secure nation and a fiscally sane Congress that doesn’t spend money that it doesn’t have.”

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said Mr. Griffith’s decision should send a “deafening message” to President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, that their “agenda of borrowing, spending, bailouts and takeovers is being rejected by the American people.”

See also:
House Democrat announces switch to GOP
Rep. Griffith of Alabama leaves Democrats for Republicans
Ala. Dem defects to GOP over health care, policy
Parker Griffith’s departure forewarns Dems
Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith becomes a Republican — and a straw in the wind?
Democratic Representative Griffith to Switch Parties
Parker Griffith, Democratic Representative, Switches Parties to GOP
Griffith Switches Party
A Democrat Defects
Voters speak out on Griffith’s decision to switch political parties
Congressman Parker Griffith : Home
Parker Griffith

It’s extremely rare and takes guts for a politician to switch from the majority to the minority party, it almost exclusively happens the other way around in the form of cynical political opportunism. As a physician, Griffith isn’t stupid, he can see the writing on the wall and the damage Obama and the Democrats are doing to this country, which is making the American public increasingly angry and frustrated.

/the 2010 elections won’t be kind to Democrats, especially since they seem to be hell bent on galloping down the massive deficit spending, expanding socialist government path

And The Loser Is . . . The American People

The last Democrat Senator has literally been bribed and his vote bought and paid for. Harry Reid has the 60 votes he needs to screw the American people who, by the way, are rapidly souring on this travesty.

Nelson Accused of Selling Vote on Health Bill for Nebraska Pay-Off

What started as Sen. Ben Nelson’s personal stand against covering abortion with taxpayer money translated, somehow, into millions of dollars in federal aid for his home state.

The Nebraska Democrat, following weeks of negotiations with his caucus, finally agreed to back the Senate’s health care reform bill this weekend after Democratic leaders made a series of concessions. Nelson’s support gives Democrats the 60 votes they need to overcome a filibuster, barring any last-minute defections.

But critics by Sunday were heavily questioning Nelson’s motivations, given that the abortion restrictions he sought and won did not satisfy several major anti-abortion lawmakers and groups and that it took a major federal payoff to his state to seal the deal.

Critics were calling it the “cornhusker kickback” and the “Nebraska windfall,” lobbing accusations of political deal-making at Nelson.

“It’s pretty obvious votes have been bought,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said.

And if anyone tries to tell you that passing this monstrosity is budget neutral, will lower health care costs, will save money, won’t add to the national debt, or will “bend the cost curve” down, well, they’re just flat out lying.

CBO: Real 10-Year Cost of Senate Bill Still $2.5 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office’s score is in for the final Senate health bill, and it’s amazing how little Americans would get for so much.

The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years. But that’s not what the CBO says. Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone. But less than 2 percent of those “10-year costs” would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion — for insurance coverage expansions alone. Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill’s full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion — according to the CBO.

In those real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), Americans would have to pay over $1 trillion in additional taxes, over $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare (over $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage alone) and spent on Obamacare, and deficits would rise by over $200 billion. They would rise, that is, unless Congress follows through on the bill’s pledge to cut doctors’ payments under Medicare by 21 percent next year and never raise them back up — which would reduce doctors’ enthusiasm for seeing Medicare patients dramatically.

And what would Americans get in return for this staggering sum? Well, the CBO says that health care premiums would rise, and the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product spent on health care would rise from 17 percent today to 21 percent by the end of 2019. Nationwide health care costs would be $234 billion higher than under current law. How’s that for “reform”?

See also:
H. R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Manager’s Amendment
Nelson vote triggers firestorm
An Unholy Compromise
House Dems cool to Nelson compromise
Senate Democrats seek to seal health care overhaul
McCain: GOP can’t stop health care

So, barring a miracle, there’s not much left at this point that can stop this deficit busting citizen suppository from becoming law. Bend over American taxpayer and get ready to pay more to wait longer for less health care. Remember, for Democrats, this isn’t even about health care reform, it’s about expanding the size and scope of the Federal government and making more Americans dependent on it. Because a dependent voter is a Democrat voter.

/beginning in 2010, get ready to clean House and start to repeal the socialist bull[expletive deleted]