Posted tagged ‘health care’

Reuters: U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly rise

August 20, 2009

Unexpectedly? I guess it might be unexpected if you aren’t completely connected to reality. Anyeay, here’s what Reuters reported:

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 576,000 in the week ended August 15 from 561,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast new claims slipping to 550,000 last week from a previously reported 558,000.

The number of people collecting long-term unemployment benefits edged up 2,000 to 6.24 million in the week ended August 8, the latest week for which the data is available. However, the four-week moving average declined 2,500 to 6.27 million.

Wonder how many of the 2,500 decline are people who have exhausted their benefits but are still unemployed. Considering that we’ve wiped out all the jobs created in the 21st century, you can’t help but wonder.

allJobs

HotAir’s Ed Morrissey sums it up nicely:

Obama has a big problem.  The stimulus package has utterly failed to prevent unemployment from getting above the target line of 8%.  After some initial optimism about the economy, employers are once again shedding jobs and reducing costs, particularly as they see Obama’s expansive — and expensive — legislative agenda work through Congress.  At the time when Obama says, “Trust me to run health care,” voters are realizing that he couldn’t get the economy right while mortgaging the Treasury.  Maybe Obama should focus on fixing what he’s already broken before breaking something else.

Read the rest…

Social Security crunch coming fast

August 18, 2009

From MSN Money (emphasis added):

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By Bill Fleckenstein

The debate over health care has captured everyone’s attention, but it appears the next big government program that needs to be addressed will be Social Security. That’s the focus of the July 30 article “The next great bailout: Social Security” by Allan Sloan, Fortune’s senior editor at large.

Those who’ve been paying attention have long known there is no money in the Social Security Trust Fund — it’s all been spent. Thus, former Vice President Al Gore’s famous assessment that Social Security receipts should be placed in a “lockbox” was actually correct.  

Given that so few people really understand the Ponzi nature of the current Social Security financing scheme — created in 1983 by a commission chaired by none other than the world’s greatest serial blower of bubbles, Alan Greenspan — I decided to reprise Sloan’s article. (The Social Security problem is especially important because it likely will put additional pressure on the dollar and on bonds, and exacerbate the funding crisis down the road.)

The story begins: “In Washington these days, the only topics of discussion seem to be how many trillions to throw at health care and the recession, and whom on Wall Street to pillory next. But watch out. Lurking just below the surface is a bailout candidate that may soon emerge like the great white shark in ‘Jaws‘: Social Security.

Perhaps as early as this year, Social Security, at $680 billion the nation’s biggest social program, will be transformed from an operation that’s helped finance the rest of the government for 25 years into a cash drain that will need money from the Treasury. In other words, a bailout.

Continue reading…

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

August 17, 2009

Silly me. I almost dared to, ahem, hope yesterday that the Obama administration might really be backing away from a government-run health insurance option. It was a guarded hope at best because as Edmund Haislmaier pointed out a few weeks ago at The Foundry:

If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.

However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”

But today it appears to have been nothing but a mis-statement or a trial balloon. It figures. Washington hasn’t been listening to we the people for a long time. Why start now?

54% Say No to Obamacare

August 15, 2009

thumb_down5 Brand new Rasmussen Poll numbers:

54% say no health care reform passed by Congress this year would be the better than passing the House bill.

 

“Middle income voters, those who earn from $40,000 to $75,000 a year, are most strongly in favor of taking no action.

A plurality of voters under 30 say passage of the Congressional legislation is better. A majority of adults over 30 take the opposite view.

Just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan while 53% are opposed. Those who oppose the effort feel more strongly about it.

One reason that the President has been careful to distinguish between his idea of health care reform and a single payer system is that just 32% favor Single-Payer health care while 57% are opposed.

What will happen when Congress return to DC? Will the Democrats continue to insist that town hall demonstrators are “not representative” of the American people? Will they pass this monstrous bill anyway, in spite of majority opposition of the people, like they did with Bush’s TARP and Obama’s Stimulus? By the way, how well have those two mega-sized, mega-expensive programs worked out so far? Just sayin’.

Disinformation

August 14, 2009

Stimulus Spending Slows to a Trickle

August 14, 2009

000-0809232947Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey reports the following:

Two months ago, Barack Obama ordered his Cabinet to pick up the pace of stimulus spending after the public began losing confidence in its ability to generate an economic recovery.  With the unemployment rate heading to 9.5%, the need for Obama’s urgency was obvious.  So the federal government must really have turned on the cash spigots, right?  Wrong:

Stimulus bill spending has slowed to a trickle, despite President Obama’s June order to his Cabinet to speed it up.

The average stimulus spending per week has dropped severely, to just $4.2 billion over the past month from $9.7 billion during the prior four months. The government spent $2.9 billion in the week ending Aug. 7.

Taxpayer groups say the numbers show spending decisions are random and prove that the $787 billion stimulus program has had no effect on the economy.

“This is a typical bureaucracy. They don’t operate in an efficient way. They can’t operate in an efficient way and make an impact,” said Leslie Paige, media director for Citizens Against Government Waste.

When Casey Stengel managed the New York Mets in the team’s debut season — a team that had as many rookies, retreads, and screw-ups as the Obama Administration apparently does — he moaned, “Can’t anyone here play this game?”  It’s been six months for Team Obama, and they keep proving themselves inept at governance.  Instead of picking up the pace, they’ve cut the flow by two-thirds.

But by all means let’s put the government in charge of health care! What could possibly go wrong?

WHO Is Un-American?

August 10, 2009

myFishyNancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer wrote in a joint USA Today op-ed that “Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American” but they ought to mind their own back yard before casting aspersions on their neighbors.

As reported at Hot Air, a memo from SEIU Local 2001 dated August 6, 2009 states:

“Action: Opponents of reform are organizing counter-demonstrators to speak at this and several congressional town halls on the issue to defend the status quo. It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices.”

In St. Louis this past Friday, not just one, but two American citizens participating in what is supposed to be their representational form of government were assaulted by union thugs who were summoned to the town hall meeting by their “community organizers”.

And this past Saturday, Nancy Pelosi visited a clinic for the homeless in Denver. About 200 grassroots citizens who oppose the government takeover of healthcare were there to greet her with their homemade signs.

In addition, buses arrived carrying pro-Obamacare demonstrators. They had signs that were hot of the printing press, bullhorns and even a few day laborers who couldn’t even speak english.

This photo essay of Pelosi’s event is a must-see. A couple of samples:

“Here comes our community organizer with his bullhorn. For the next half hour or more, he will chant “FREE HEALTH CARE NOW”, “YES WE CAN” etc. with his horn directed at the faces of the health care dissenters.”

“This woman worked in tandem with the other organizer and blasted the same people from behind. These bullhorns are extremely powerful. I saw demonstrators repeatedly ask them to point their bullhorns away. This woman in particular responded by moving the bullhorn closer to a woman who complained of ear pain.”

Un-American indeed. People who live in glass houses…