Archive for July 2009

Seven More Bank Failures This Week

July 26, 2009

bank_07According to the FDIC’s Failed Bank List, seven more banks failed this week bringing the total for this year to an astounding sixty-four.

That makes more than twice as many as last year (26) and more than 21 times as many as in 2007 when just three banks failed.

And just think – it’s only July. We still have just over five months left to go in 2009. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that 100 or more banks could fail this year. Doesn’t look like green shoots from here.

Stop Obamacare Now

July 26, 2009

Picture-5

(Via Campaign For Liberty)

Stop Obamacare Now!
By David McKalip, M.D.

Congress is foolishly basing its health system reform proposals on the same approach used in Massachusetts. The state has failed to achieve “universal coverage” with about 200,000 (2.6%) of their state still uninsured. In fact, most of the newly insured were covered by receiving heavily subsidized insurance from the state — not due to the mandate to buy private insurance out of pocket. Due to budget overruns, they recently voted to remove coverage from 30,000 legal aliens for a $130 million savings and last year released others who couldn’t afford costly coverage from the mandate. Health care costs are rising much faster than nationally with spending up by 23 percent. Insurance premiums have increased 10-12 percent per year, nearly double the national average. The state is facing $1.5 billion this year in health spending and now is considering cost control programs that will limit care doctors provide to patients. There are too few providers for the increased demand – due to price fixing of doctor pay for decades by the federal government. Thus patients are waiting long periods to see doctors — especially in primary care. Congressional proposals to fix this included allowing nurse practitioners to be designated primary care “providers”, negating the years of training doctors receive and discouraging more doctors from entering the profession to compete against nurses for the same business.

Fortunately there are good Congressional proposals to address these problems and to allow American to escape from the government’s medical cage. Congressman Ron Paul has authored HR 2630, the “Protect Patients and Physician’s Privacy Act”. The bill states that all individuals shall have the ability to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic system for maintaining health care information. He also is offering HR 2629 the “Coercion is Not Health Care Act'” which forbids the Federal Government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, and from conditioning participation in any federal program, or receipt of any federal benefit, on the purchase of health insurance.

Read the rest

Congressman Paul himself was in Michigan yesterday at a private reception for conservatives. He was speaking about Obama’s “monstrous” health care reform plans.

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has a frank prescription for the health care plan making its way through Congress: Scrap it.

“I think it’s monstrous,” Paul said.

“I don’t think it will improve medical care in this country. I think it’s very, very costly and we don’t have any money. And they don’t have any way of paying for it.”

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Obama Tax Promises

July 26, 2009

Did anybody actually believe those promises in the first place? Seriously?

The Great Divider

July 17, 2009

obama-whatsthatA new Rasmussen poll indicates that only 35% of Americans are still in favor of creating a government health insurance company to compete with private insurers.

50% of those polled are opposed to the idea with 15% undecided.

Mr. President, are you listening?

Health Care Reform Visualizations

July 17, 2009

Health Care Reform Cost Visualization

 

Obama Health Reform and Wait Times Visualization (In Lego!)

Ron Paul on Health Care, The Fed, and the Economy

July 16, 2009

 

Yahoo! Ron Paul. The Congressman was interviewed by Yahoo!’s TechTicker on several subjects. Here are three of them.

Healthcare Is “Not a Right” and Obama’s Plan Will Cost Way Beyond $1T, Ron Paul Says

 Ron Paul: The American People Demand Transparency! Audit the Fed!

How a “Very Pessimistic” Ron Paul Would Fix the Economy

CBO Says Reform Will Increase – Not Decrease – Federal Health Care Spending

July 16, 2009

In the relentless stream of bad news about health care “reform”, this comes in from The Washington Post (emphasis mine): 

CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats’ Health Reform Measures
Director Says Proposed Changes Would Increase Health Care Spending

 Instead of saving the federal government from fiscal catastrophe, the health reform measures being drafted by congressional Democrats would increase rather than reduce public spending on health care, potentially worsening an already bleak budget outlook, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this morning.

 Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”

 “On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs.”

 Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have said repeatedly that reining in the skyrocketing growth in spending on government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare is their top priority, the reform measures put forth so far would not fulfill their pledge to “bend the cost curve” downward, Elmendorf said. Instead, he said, “The curve is being raised.”

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More Sickening Information About Government Health Care

July 16, 2009

This was posted by Mike Tennant on The LRC Blog today (emphasis mine):

A Shot in the Arm, Whether You Like It or Not

Among the countless horrors our Dear Leader wants to visit upon us with his health care “reform” bill is this: ”grants to states to improve immunization coverage of children, adolescents, and adults through the use of evidence-based interventions. States may use funds to implement interventions that are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, such as reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or home visits.”

“The bill lists eight specific ways that states may use federal grant money to carry out immunization-promoting ‘interventions.’ Method ‘E’ calls for ‘home visits’ which can include ‘provision of immunizations.’”

In other words, whether you want your kids (or yourself) to receive certain vaccines, the state can forcibly administer them in your home.

Anyone think that Big Pharma won’t back this bill 100 percent?

Talk about government intrusion in our lives. This is really going too far.

Who owns your body? You? Or the government? Think carefully. Your answer may be more than rhetorical in the end.

National Debt Road Trip

July 16, 2009

How do the Obama deficits compare with past presidents? And how did the national debt get so big anyway.

Given the huge spending agenda Obama is still working on, this video is going to have to be updated to replace his sport bike with a rocket ship. And show it falling off a cliff on the edge of California.

 

Health Care Reform Is Making Me Sick

July 16, 2009

o-laughThe House of Representatives passed their health reform bill and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed a $600 billion version today – a version that will require individuals to get health insurance and require employers to contribute to the cost as well.

And what if an individual does not buy a health insurance plan? For about 8 million of us, it means we will pay a new tax of 2.5% – and still not have health insurance.

Keith Hennessey lays it out:

As expected, the House bill would mandate that individuals and families have or buy health insurance.

But what if they don’t buy it?

Then Section 401 kicks in.  Any individual (or family) that does not have health insurance would have to pay a new tax, roughly equal to the smaller of 2.5% of your income or the cost of a health insurance plan. …

I assume the bill authors would respond, “But why wouldn’t you want insurance?  After all, we’re subsidizing it for everyone up to 400% of the poverty line.”

That is true.  But if you’re a single person with income of $44,000 or higher, then you’re above 400% of the poverty line.  You would not be subsidized, but would face the punitive tax if you didn’t get health insurance.  This bill leaves an important gap between the subsidies and the cost of health insurance.  CBO says that for about eight million people, that gap is too big to close, and they would get stuck paying higher taxes and still without health insurance.

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Wondering where your income falls in terms of the federal poverty line? The numbers are on the Health and Human Services web site. Here is the chart for the 48 contiguous states and DC:

Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010
For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,740 for each additional person.

You can do your own math. With figures as ridiculously low as those, even multiplying the appropriate number by 4 isn’t going to give you an income that would have you living in the lap of luxury.

But if you do happen to be among the so-called wealthy with an income of $250K or more, you may end up paying even more – a 5.4% “surtax” whether you have your own health insurance or not. Interestingly, the “surtax” would be mostly charged to… doctors.

Good plan there – make the doctors angry about having to pay a big new tax and then force them to take on a boatload of new patients. What could go wrong?

Yet all of this for “reform” would enroll less than 5% of Americans and will very likely surpass the $1 trillion price tag currently attached to it according to the Congressional Budget Office.

On a preliminary basis … the proposal’s provisions affecting health insurance coverage would result in a net increase in federal deficits of $1,042 billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2019,” the report said, citing additional expenses for Medicaid and other federal subsidies. One Democratic aide said the bill would add up to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. But the CBO estimate showed that even if the price tag holds to $1 trillion, more than 80 percent of the costs will hit in the last five years. This indicates that after 2019, taxpayers could be hit with a rising tidal wave of health care expenses resulting from the shift in health care coverage from the private to public sector. 

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So, what will health care “reform” look like? According to House Republicans, it will look like this:

But this is a crisis and we can’t do nothing, right, Mr. President? We need to get this thing going before the end of the year!

So buck up, America. Hey, it’s for your own good. Don’t you want top-quality health care like military women get from the VA, like wounded soldiers get from Walter Reed or like Indian Health Services?

Then again, on second thought, no. Universal health care just isn’t worth our freedom.

 

More links on this topic – if you’re feeling up to it:

Health care reform still has a long way to go before passage
Committee: Health care overhaul a yes
Concern grows that healthcare overhaul won’t cut costs
House Democrats would have us believe that the rich can pay for it all
9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous
Small Business Faces Big Bite
What if Obamacare Fails?