Archive for July, 2011

  • The Rounds: Debt limits, Obamacare crushed our economic recovery, and more on IPAB

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    The debate over raising the debt limit is dominating the news cycle. With a deal near, The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot thinks Obama’s spending cuts aren’t what they appear to be:

    One of President Obama’s advantages in the debt-limit talks has been his ability to sound like a born-again spending cutter in public while the details of what he’s willing to accept remain secret. The reality is that the White House offer on spending reforms was much less than publicly advertised, and by the end it even included $136 billion in new spending proposals over 10 years.

    While spending is the major issue, our continued economic slump isn’t helping our nation’s fiscal matters. Obamacare is now a clear root cause of our economic woes. The Heritage Foundation has released a new study: Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed. Just as the economy was on the mend, Obamacare sank it again, the study says, pointing to statistics explaining the unemployment and growth challenges. The Weekly Standard also looks at Obamacare’s effects on the economy and refers to the Heritage study.

    Also in The Weekly Standard, Terry Eastland takes a close look at the legal basis for challenging Obamacare, and the prospects of SCOTUS finding it unconstitutional. There’s hope in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy:

    Notably, Kennedy’s opinion makes the point that “laws enacted in excess of delegated governmental power” are problematic if they “direct or control” the actions of individuals, for then their “liberty is at stake.” One can expect this and other portions of Bond will be quoted to the Court when it reviews Obamacare.

    [The Bond decision] provides reason to think that Kennedy will see the Obamacare mandate as a law too far—one that exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress, cuts into the authority of the states, and violates individual liberty.

    In Reason, Peter Suderman takes a look at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which I’ve discussed. Suderman explores why IPAB is already a mess, unconstitutional, and nearly impossible to repeal. The Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit claiming that IPAB is unconstitutional because, according to Diane Cohen of The Goldwater Institute, the organization filing the suit, “Congress cannot delegate away its legislative responsibilities under the Constitution.”

    Congress made repeal of IPAB very difficult as well by setting time limits on introducing repeal legislation and requiring a supermajority to pass it.

    Remember the story that President Obama told repeatedly during the 2008 campaign about how his mother spent her dying months battling with her insurance company because they claimed she suffered from a pre-existing condition? It turns out that the story was fabricated, and Michelle Malkin has the scoop.

    The state-level health insurance exchanges under Obamacare go into effect in 2014, and the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look. Should Republicans refuse to participate in creating exchanges as an act of civil disobedience?

    In an editorial, Investors.com looks at the prototype of Obamacare, former Governor Mitt Romney’s health insurance reform in Massachusetts. In addition to not achieving universal coverage, “…the cumulative cost of RomneyCare is nearly $8.6 billion. The promise of cost-containment has not only been broken, it’s been ripped asunder in spectacular fashion.”

  • Obama is not Sincere in Debt Limit Stand-off

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    There is no question that the bipartisan talks over raising the debt limit are disingenuous. The Democrats and their leaders – Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama – opposed the Republicans when they moved to raise the debt limit under President George W. Bush.

    Debt limit brinksmanship

    Now these same Democrats are indignant over the GOP’s efforts to bring some sanity to our spending addiction before raising the debt limit. And on the GOP side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to cede Congressional authority to President Obama and let him alone raise the debt limit is ridiculous.

    All of these countless hours spent by the “leadership” of both sides sitting at the White House have been a study in double-edge swords. We’re now in a no-win situation. Obama sees a way to trap Republicans and ruin their chances at the ballot box in November 2012.

    With someone like Obama sitting across the table offering disingenuous proposals, it’s understandable why Mitch McConnell wants to allow Obama to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval. He wants Obama to own the mess and the political blame for the continued erosion of our economy. If the GOP joins hands with the Democrats in raising the limit, they’ll share in the blame.

    But handing over more power to the executive branch may be politically advantageous in the short run, but it’s dangerous in the long run. As I mentioned last month, Obamacare is already loaded with unaccountable “Czars” in control of the decision-making process. This trend should not continue.

    I believe that raising the debt limit gives Obama more power to shove Obamacare and other programs like Cap & Trade down our throats. Obama may “own” the results of these moves and face the political fallout in 2012, but it’s a terrible pill for America to swallow.

    Earlier this week, my concern was not that we would default if no deal emerged by August 2. However, as this week has progressed and the mainstream media narrative has taken shape – with all of the threats of default and credit downgrades – we should be wary that a default is possible or made to occur, with blame doled out accordingly.

    All of the layers of networks, bureaucracies, and structures of Obamacare are like relentless vine choking American commerce and the economy. I don’t think Obama understands the true costs his own health overhaul is having on this country.

    It is imperative that a Republican wins the White House in 2012 so the malignancy of Obamacare can be fully repealed and excised. Until then, the Republicans must do everything they cannot to take the fall for well-maneuvered political strategies like Obama’s debt limit charade.

  • Obamacare Creating Shortages of MDs, Medications

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    The latest news still shows no signs that things are getting better. Unemployment sits at 9.2%, this month’s jobs report is absolutely dismal, gasoline prices remain high, and our national debt sits at $14.3 trillion and climbing. President Obama shows no interest in tackling these issues, but he is engaged in a steamy mid-July budget fight with Congressional Republicans over raising the debt limit. The deadline of August 2 is frighteningly close. If we fail to address deficit spending now, we risk seeing our wonderful country go the way of Greece, with rioting in the streets over austerity measures that make the current GOP proposals for spending cuts look tame by comparison.

    The one big Obama “accomplishment”, the systematic gutting of the world’s greatest healthcare system called Obamacare, continues to wreak havoc on doctors and patients alike.

    Avastin: No longer an option for breast cancer patients

    The latest evidence of where we’re heading is the issue over Avastin. The FDA has rejected Avastin, the newest and most effective anti-cancer treatment for advanced breast cancer cases. The FDA is following the lead of the United Kingdom, where Avastin was rejected for cost reasons. Patients who are relying on Avastin are up in arms. Where does this leave them?

    We have to look again at the provision of the Obamacare law that specifically addresses end of life care and how it is determined who receives cancer therapy. There are designated MDs now in hospitals that are writing end-of-life diagnoses and cancer treatments now are being determined for the younger more curable cancers. As a practicing RN I never thought that I would see the day when MDs made the determination as to whom is treated or not treated for their ailments. Thus goes the Avastin probability that it just might work or extend a person’s life!

    While Avastin may be disappearing as an option, medications in general are becoming increasingly scarce. We’re not just talking about specialized or boutique medications, but ordinary painkillers for post surgical pain, common diuretics, heart tonics, blood pressure treatments and anti-coagulants.

    Source: Associated Press

    Not too long ago, a patient could take their prescriptions to their neighborhood chain run pharmacy and leave the same day with their prescription filled. This is becoming a thing of the past as many patients face waiting periods of several days to have their prescriptions fully filled. Hospitals, rehabilitation and long-term care facilities are facing the same shortages for more than 200 types of medications. Family members are telling me that long-term care facilities are asking families to bring in their medications to the facility. The practice of taking your medications from your home into such a facility was once illegal (and most likely still is!).

    Emergency rooms are starting to feel the strain as well. The growing physician shortage is worsened by more MDs leaving their chosen field. As more people become eligible for Obamacare or the government-payer system Medicaid, this crisis will reach a boiling point. The citizens of this country who once had access to the most coveted and best healthcare in the world are being tested and they surely are not ready to accept the demise of our healthcare system in favor of Obamacare.