Archive for March, 2011

  • A Nation at a Critical Crossroads

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    I attended the National Republican Congressional Committee Annual meeting and dinner. Here’s what happened.

    The day started with Congressmen Paul Ryan, Ed Royce and Scott Garrett and the topics centered around balancing the budget and limiting the size of the government. Ryan emphasized that we have reached the “tipping point of our government” where one quarter of our GDP is spent by Washington for growing government — unparalleled since WWII. Freddie and Fannie should be privatized. Property values have yet to bottom out and and will go ever lower because of micromanagement of the private sector by an over-inflated government. It was government control of sub prime mortgages through Freddie and Fannie that burst the housing market bubble he contends.

    Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent a powerful message that we are a nation at a critical crossroads. Every single American must continue the fight as the country is spiraling downward. Fortunately, the House has voted to repeal Obamacare, stop Cap and Trade in it’s tracks and end net neutrality, which would get government into the business of regulating the internet. The negative force of The Obama Administration is so strong and so pervasive that we must continuously speak up and fight back.

    Buzz-worthy Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was the evening’s keynote speaker. He delivered a common sense approach to Government: Don’t run it as if you have money growing on trees, but rather return to fiscal conservatism. He  stated that he is not in politics for his own glory, but simply to do the job he was elected to do. Christie reminded everyone also that we have a big job ahead of us and we all had to be and continue being patriots and remind others to do the same — particularly for 2012. Our country, he reminded us, must have a free enterprise system, strong national defense and a to return to a strong economy.

    Christie said that the candidate for the presidency may be present at this dinner. I sincerely hope that he was talking about himself.

  • Pro-Obamacare Firebrand: NYC Might Need a Waiver

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    Rep. Anthony Weiner

    Rep. Anthony Weiner, one of Obamacare’s most outspoken proponents, said New York City may need a waiver from Obamacare compliance due to “the city’s special health care infrastructure”. Weiner is exploring a run for mayor of New York City.

    In his attempt to make the case that waivers show how flexible Obamacare is, Weiner added: “A lot of people who got waivers were … people who are our friends.”

    Read it in Politico.

  • The Rounds: Obamacare Birthday Edition

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    Rarely does a law receive so much attention on its first birthday as Obamacare. One year in and the debate over its merits and whether it should be repealed rages unabated.

    The Washington Examiner asks “What a difference a year makes.” In addition to being a big reason why the Democrats lost the house, the Examiner states that:

    Perhaps the most revealing change in the year past, however, is the reaction of the employers who face mandates under Obamacare that impose massive new costs and mountains of red tape. As a result, more than a thousand employers, including Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, labor unions and small businesses, have requested and received one-year waivers to buy them some time to figure out how to cope with Obamacare’s demands.

    Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson

    The Weekly Standard looks at how Obamacare is polling now versus a year ago when it was passed. Here’s a hint: It’s bad for Obamacare supporters. One example is a recent Bloomberg poll has repeal support at 52 percent (and the poll respondent mix is heavily skewed to Democrats!).

    In a touching piece in the Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson asks whether his daughter would have survived under Obamacare. His daughter was born with a serious heart defect and he thanks God he and his wife “had the freedom to seek out the most advanced surgical technique. The procedure that saved her, and has given her a chance at a full life, was available because America has a free-market system that has advanced medicine at a phenomenal pace.”

    The defects with the president’s health law are so serious and widespread that the administration has already granted over 1,000 waivers to protect businesses, labor unions and other organizations from its most onerous provisions. We need to recognize that the finest health-care system in the world is at risk—and repeal ObamaCare before it’s too late.

    Hear hear! Here’s hoping Obamacare don’t live to see birthday #2!

    Photo Credit: Mike Roemer

  • Obamacare: One Year In

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    Today marks the first anniversary of the passage of Obamacare. Each day since its passage, more is learned about the contents of this monstrosity. Remember when Nancy Pelosi boasted that once you read it you will like what’s in it? Well, more have read it and most do not like what is in it!

    The list of those who don’t like it continues to grow. Just look at the list of companies and organizations that have secured waivers exempting them from compliance. Waivers are coming out of the woodwork because citizens are now aware that it isn’t what it was cracked up to be. Budget conscious people now believe that Obamacare is so unreasonable that this is going to cost us all a lot more to insure everyone.

    Court challenges to Obamacare cannot get to the Supreme Court fast enough. If the Supreme Court does not overturn Obamacare, Democrats are going to do everything in their power to put this on the back burner as candidate Obama ratchets up his 2012 Campaign.

    I just wrote about Newt Gingrich’s prediction that Obamacare will be repealed in 2013. It will, but only if Republicans win the Senate, keep the House Leadership, and take the oval office in 2012. The only potential candidate I see right now that has the leadership and courage to beat Obama in 2012 and tackle this issue head on is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

    One year in, and Obamacare continues to reveal its insidiousness. We must keep up the pressure to repeal it and defund it or we face a reality where Obamacare becomes increasingly entrenched as it’s implementation phases take root.

  • Gingrich Predicts Obamacare Repeal

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    Former Speaker of the House and possible GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich predicted Obamacare’s repeal at a panel discussion sponsored by his group Center for Health Transformation.

    “I don’t see how they force the House to pass appropriations this year to implement the bill,” Gingrich said, calling any public defense of the bill by the administration “a pretty losing political proposition for the president.” “He can block them from repeal, but I don’t think he can coerce them into funding.”

    “The administration is running around trying to defend the indefensible, and I just think at some point that psychologically starts to break down,” he said. “The best you’re going to get is a real mess from the standpoint of the left, and the worst you’re going to get is total repeal.”

    Let’s hope he’s right.
    Read the full article at Fox News Politics Blog.
  • Medicine does not have the label of Democrat or Republican

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    Obamacare is slowly but surely infiltrating our healthcare system. While Obamacare strictly looks at what is wrong with our healthcare system — there is much about our current system that is very good.

    Looking at President Obama’s record the past two months, Obamacare is not our only woe. We have a president that is not engaged. We have a federal financial mess, soaring gasoline prices and mounting problems overseas, including the unchecked carnage in Libya and a weak response to the nuclear crisis in Japan that may be leading to global financial panics. President Obama does not take any of this seriously since it doesn’t appear to have the recreation of golf or basketball attached to it.

    So the time has come for a new chapter of healthcare reform with new Legislation. Lets totally de-fund and repeal Obamacare and start over. A better version would be operated entirely under a free enterprise framework. No downgraded care-only improved systems. The Commonwealth of Virginia has just laid out a plan for Registered Nurses to be more empowered to achieve positive health outcomes in thy Community. Everyone should have some access to healthcare, and we have that right now as no one is turned down. Every one is treated without giving up Medicare to a large third entitlement.

    Healthcare coverage should be portable and pre-existing conditions shouldn’t prevent persons from acquiring coverage.  As a Registered Nurse and successful entrepreneur, my recommendation to the many lawmakers that I will personally see during the next two weeks is to dump Obamacare and go back to the drawing board as the Commonwealth of Virginia is doing and design a framework with policies that will benefit “good medicine”.

  • Sign the Petition to Reform Medical Liability

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    Medical liability reform is finally back on the legislative agenda on Capitol Hill and it’s time for our voices to be heard! H.R. 5, the HEALTH Act, is making its way through the maze of procedures on Capitol Hill. The bill was passed recently by the House Judiciary Committee. Next up is the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    If your congressman is on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, you can call, e-mail, or tweet to urge them to support H.R. 5 as it was introduced. Encourage your friends to do the same by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

    Protect Patients Now has the tools for you to contact your Representative. Click Here.

  • Rep. Bachmann’s Petition to Defund

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    Rep. Michele Bachmann points out that billions have already been appropriated to fund Obamacare, sidestepping the traditional appropriations process. Unless Congress acts to undo this, Obamacare will automatically get the initial funding it needs. She has launched a petition calling on Congress to act to undo this funding end-around.

    You can Sign the Petition Here.

  • The Rounds: Vinson’s Agitation, Obama’s “Olive Branch”, and a “Scary” Defense

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    Faced with multiple lawsuits from states challenging Obamacare, President Obama has offered them options:

    “If your state can create a plan that covers as many people as affordably and comprehensively as the Affordable Care Act does – without increasing the deficit – you can implement that plan,”

    The Wall Street Journal calls this “olive branch” a mirage.

    In Massachusetts, a state that has been the testing ground for Obamacare with it’s version, Romneycare, The Boston Globe points to skyrocketing health care costs, where premiums have gone up 25-30% year over year.

    If Massachusetts is the model, then national health care reform is ultimately doomed.

    On the legal front, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson, who you recall found Obamacare unconstitutional and voided the entire act claiming the individual mandate is unseverable, is becoming impatient with the Obama Administration’s lack of a timely reaction. After delay, Obama asked for a “clarification,” prompting Vinson to “chastise” the administration for stalling.  He wrote:

    “It was not expected that they would effectively ignore the order and declaratory judgment for 2 1/2 weeks, continue to implement the act, and only then file a belated motion to ‘clarify'”.

    The National Review has more on Vinson’s “clarification”.

    More on the legal front: Rich Lowry points us to “the scariest defense of Obamacare” yet, Judge Gladys Kessler’s assertion that the charge that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it attempts to regulate “non-activity” is wrong because choosing not to engage in commerce is a “mental activity” and therefore fair game. Lowry points that even Obamacare’s most strident defenders didn’t think this one up.

    The sophists in Eric Holder’s Justice Department must be embarrassed that they didn’t themselves dredge up this killer rejoinder.

    The Wall Street Journal has a nice round-up themselves on the mess of Obamacare and the mayhem that’s resulting.

    Finally, The Hill reports that the total number of Obamacare waivers exceeds 1,000. If it’s so great, why do so many companies need waivers?

  • The New Entitlement and the Future of Medicare

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    I am a practicing Home Health Nurse. Nearly every day patients ask me what I think is going to happen to Medicare. Many of my patients are over 65. I also have a cadre of doctors and nurses I communicate with on a regular basis, and they too ask my opinion on the future of Medicare. Many of my MD friends have already made their decisions about Medicare and have begun to scale back on treating Medicare patients because they cannot financially sustain their practices in the face of current reimbursement levels. And they know that further cuts in reimbursement rates are around the corner.

    Medicare is in trouble. Most of us are aware of that. How can an already struggling entitlement withstand pending flood of baby boomers that threatens to swamp the Medicare system over the next 10-15 years. It has been calculated that Medicare Parts A & B will run out of money.

    Now lets look at Obamacare — or The Patient Protection and Affordable Act (PPACA) as it’s officially (and ironically) called. I have read this bill three times, and I draw attention to two areas: Fund transfers and minimum standards for coverage. Passed last March, Obamacare sets a minimum standard for health care coverage and creates a mandate for most US residents to obtain health insurance. This provision is currently being challenged by many states and cannot get to the Supreme Court quickly enough to have it overturned and deemed unconstitutional.

    The provision is based on the assumption that everyone needs to be insured. This is where the fund transfers will kick in. By 2014 the PPACA and its amendments provides for the establishment of “Insurance Exchanges” through which individuals and families that otherwise can not afford insurance premiunms will be able to receive Federal subsidies to reduce the cost of purchasing the insurance coverage. Thus, a new entitlement has been created. Or you can think of it as simply a massive expansion of Medicaid.

    Where will the major transfer of funds come from to pay for what I call “The Third Entilement”?  The new entitlement expands the eligibility of Medicaid by amending Medicare ‘s Part A and Part  B to reduce the growth of spending. In a nutshell, transfers of funds from Medicare Part A & B will be used to fund new and existing grant programs. This will wipe out Medicare.

    If you need more reasons to support the repeal of Obamacare, check out “Ten Reasons to Repeal Obamacare“.

    Cartoon Credit: Lloyd Marcus

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