Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

  • Zero Hour for Obamacare

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    Today marks perhaps one of the most historic and important dates in the history of our government.

    The long-awaited Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the insurance mandate contained within Obamacare – the one that forces every American citizen to purchase health insurance –has finally arrived.

    A well-known and publicized fact is that Obamacare, with all its whacky and unrealistic provisions, will now cost roughly $17 billion. As this number keeps rising, it may cost many times that number by the time it is fully implemented. From my perspective as a health care professional and small business entrepreneur, I have written extensively about the damage Obamacare is doing.

    Jay Carney doesn't want to talk about Obamacare

    The facts and fears of Obamacare seem to have no end as more and more people – and Members of Congress – become more familiar with “what’s in the bill”. Successful efforts by Republicans in the House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare, spurred on by Rep. Michele Bachmann, were DOA in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

    Since then, Obamacare has continued to attract more commentary and analysis from concerned professionals in the medical community. Medicare-aged citizens, young people tuning into their future and the general public have become concerned that Obamacare was a dreadful mistake. Public opinion polls now show a majority of Americans support the repeal of Obamacare.

    An overriding fear of many is that this monster of a bill represents the single largest power grab in the history of the U.S. It has implications for nearly every area of our lives – taxation, real estate ownership, small business, privacy, and our own health and well-being. As Obamacare continues to reveal its true nature, outrage grows over how this bill was forced upon all of us without Members of Congress even taking the time to read it.

    Politically speaking, even though the Supreme Court is evaluating only one aspect of Obamacare – the individual mandate – it is clear that the implications of this decision will have a greater impact on how our government operates in the future. A 5-4 decision striking down the mandate will give a green light to the GOP to again move to repeal the whole law. A GOP victory in November giving them control of both the House and Senate will pave the way.

    The men and women who will decide our fate

    On the other hand, other SCOTUS scenarios are being tossed around town. One has SCOTUS affirming the constitutionality of Obamacare by a 7-2 margin with conservatives on the bench finding some way to join with the liberals. I don’t believe this will happen, but if it does, it will mark the end of constitutional government. We will no longer enjoy a free society, as the government will have free reign to mandate upon the citizenry anything they felt was best for us. This would be a political, social and economic nightmare.

    What if Obamacare is affirmed by the Supreme Court, but by a narrower 5-4 margin? It would still lead to a dangerous outcome for the future of our country as a free society, but would raise the stakes even further for November’s presidential election.

    As Obama gets his reelection campaign in gear, its clear Obamacare isn’t an issue he’s anxious to run on. White House spokesman Jay Carney has gotten rather adept at dancing around the issue when pressed by reporters. Obama may be unsuccessful in handling Obamacare during this election season no matter how it turns out. If Obamacare is struck down, he loses. If it is affirmed, America loses.

    “This is the most important election of our lifetime” is a cliché we hear ad nauseam every four years. But with Obamacare and the unprecedented powers it confers upon our government at hand, this cliché has unfortunately become a sobering reality.

  • Time to rally around Romney

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    The race for the GOP nomination has been long, rocky, interesting and perhaps an exercise that will strengthen the campaign skills of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the general election.

    But it clearly needs to end. The Gingrich and Santorum campaigns have now been reduced to juvenile games that only serve to weaken the GOP’s chances for victory in November. Both campaigns passed out Etch-a-Sketch toys at Romney’s event in Maryland – a desperate exercise in an attempt to revive their campaigns.

    Rep. Sean Duffy (WI), RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Ron Johnson (WI)

    It won’t work. Santorum is now 300 delegates behind Romney, and Gingrich doesn’t stand a chance at the nomination. In his attempt to capitalize on Romney’s “Etch-a-Sketch moment”, Santorum went so far as to imply that Obama would be a better choice over Romney in November.

    It would be wise for both Gingrich and Santorum to realize their chances at the nomination have vanished and get behind Romney as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey have done. There’s too much at stake in this election – from the economy to repealing Obamacare – to let this campaign drag on and drag down the GOP in November.

    This week I attended an event for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who was celebrating his birthday. Priebus asked that I continue my fundraising efforts to unseat Obama as well as speaking out about how Obamacare is wrecking our once great health care system.

    Happy to oblige.

  • The GOP Beat Goes On

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    Rick Santorum’s recent sweep of Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado left many pundits scratching their heads. Once again, the polls and momentum were pointing to Romney after his wins in Florida and Nevada, and many were speculating that once again the path to the nomination was clear. With Santorum’s surprise surge, this sense of inevitability around Romney has been shattered while exposing the weaknesses many in the GOP base find with him. Santorum has even replaced Gingrich as the leading “non-Romney”.

    Santorum is riding a wave of momentum

    I have to yield to the “architect”, Karl Rove, who has, in my opinion, the best breakdown on the race so far. Rove believes that Gingrich and Paul will not drop out and will drag their baggage to the convention in Tampa. With some wind at his back, Santorum still has a huge hill to climb but is in the best position to mount a formidable challenge to Romney. Santorum is jumping ahead to Texas and will employ the same strategy that worked in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota where he made 22 campaign stops. Compare this to the three stops Romney made.

    I believe that with Santorum getting an early start in Texas he will succeed in earning significant exposure towards winning the state’s rich delegate count. A lack of deep organization and funds compared to Romney’s war chest still represents Santorum’s major disadvantages. But Santorum is finding ways to succeed without.

    The GOP base and the public are still not sure about any GOP candidate. It’s still only February, and a brokered convention, the first in All in all, the public is not sure about any GOP candidate–and we are only in February. A brokered convention – something that hasn’t happened in modern times – remains unlikely but cannot be counted out.

    The sad reality now is that Obama has no one opposing him while he builds a monster organization. He has more than a billion dollars in his coffers and has a convention headquarters of more than 50,000 square feet. His campaign’s use of technology and social media will certainly eclipse their impressive efforts of 2008.

    While his poll numbers, the unemployment rate and the economy are still dismal, Obama overshadows them by thumbing his nose at Catholics over the abortion and contraception controversy. Obama is turning a deaf ear on his Democratic party, but his machine is getting in place while the GOP waffles. Don’t doubt for a second that Obama will resort to any tactics to be re-elected this year!

  • Where Have All of the Doctors Gone?

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    Now well into 2012, we are starting to see the vast changes in Medicare takingshape and it’s not pretty.  Expect the doctor shortage crisis that’s been picking up steam in America to come to a boil in a couple of years.

    Beginning in 2013, doctors and hospitals treating individual patients will be held accountable for “rehospitalizations” within 30 days and face penalties if they have high 30-day readmission rates. The reason behind this move is that readmissions are costly to Medicare and the public. Watch for even more doctors and health care facilities to turn away older patients out of fear their readmission rates will spike.

    Beginning this year, Medicare reimbursement rates will be cut yet again, further slashing into the income MDs make along with the incentive to take on older patients. Couple that with rising liability insurance premiums, office space rental fees and salaries for qualified office personnel. Note too that Medicare does not cover for state of the art medical equipment. Private insurance reimbursements aren’t enough to bridge the gab while more and moreof our population is aging.

    The Great MD Squeeze is fully underway.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Newt is Running out of Steam

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    The flavor of the day (month?) continues in the GOP race for the nomination.

    One thing’s for sure: No one can say that this race is dull. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was obviously resurrected because of his sharp-tongued response to CNN’s John King in the South Carolina debate, which played a significant factor in his big victory in the state. This caused a near panic in the Romney camp and Republicans across the country.

    The battle between Mitt and Newt has thrown conventional theories and pundit models out the window. The polls are erratic because the voters are erratic as they move from one candidate to another with unusual frequency. They do not know whom they can trust and have emerged as a flighty and unpredictable group.

    By all measures of political scrutiny and facts Romney should win in Florida. He has the campaign organization. He has the money advantage. He has the advantage of thousands of mail-in ballots already cast.

    However, even though Romney is gaining back some ground in the polls today and had a strong performance against Gingrich in last night’s debate, this race has proved anything can happen. The Florida primary is a week away, and a week is an eternity in this erratic political game.

    I predicted a Romney victory in South Carolina and was way off. But I sense that Newt’s second resurgence is running out of steam.

  • Cliffhanger in South Carolina

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    Newt Gingrich once again finds himself in the right place at the right time — this time in South Carolina. Mitt Romney has struggled with questions over his taxes and offshore bank accounts while losing bragging rights over winning Iowa. Rick Perry threw in the towel, along with his support for Gingrich. And polls now show the primary in South Carolina tomorrow — the first in the South — is a toss-up.

    Marianne Gingrich delivers a January surprise for Newt

    Newt’s newfound momentum doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a matter of time before he will self destruct — and it may already be underway. Yesterday’s string of events, including the bombshell interview with Newt’s ex-wife, haven’t been factored into the polls and we will unlikely know how they’ll affect the results prior to tomorrow evening.

    Good timing for Marianne Gingrich, but unfortunate timing for Newt. After all, this is the South Carolina primary tomorrow, and its heavily evangelical and social conservative constituencies may sour on the former Speaker after digesting Marianne’s charges just as they began turning to him. Is this still someone they can get behind?

    Newt has moved into a slight lead over Romney in the polls, but not significant enough to assure a win. I predict that Romney will eek out victory in South Carolina. As far as Newt goes, he does not deserve to win a single primary.

  • American Doctors in Crisis, Many Going Broke

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    I have written often about crisis doctors are facing with the challenges government policies are presenting for them.

    Now CNN Money has a new article out about how doctors across America are going broke, and we need look no further than Obamacare and the related changes in Medicare to know why.

    The article quotes Dr. William Pentz, a cardiologist in Philadelphia:

    …recent steep 35% to 40% cuts in Medicare reimbursements for key cardiovascular services, such as stress tests and echocardiograms, have taken a substantial toll on revenue.

    These cuts have destabilized private cardiology practices,” he said. “A third of our patients are on Medicare. So these Medicare cuts are by far the biggest factor. Private insurers follow Medicare rates. So those reimbursements are going down as well.

    This crisis isn’t limited to cardiologists. We know that many doctors have quit seeing Medicare patients entirely, and more are sure to follow. Many health facilities, including hospitals and hospices will fail. Further Medicare cuts will total $575 billion over the next decade and 7.5 million people will lose their Medicare Advantage plans and be forced into paying higher premiums for fewer benefits.

    America’s once superb healthcare system is crumbling before our eyes. Reversing this trend must begin with a change in leadership at the top in 2012 and the repeal of Obamacare. President Obama and his allies in socializing our healthcare system cannot be allowed to continue pushing forward. We’re seeing the results of their handiwork already.

  • Dismal Economy, Lack of Clue is Obama’s Problem

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    I arranged to have my family to join me for a Christmas celebration at a West Virginia ski resort. We have so much to be thankful for and we all enjoyed our time together. At this most wonderful resort were employees working in all departments offering not only first class service but they were real down to earth nice people. I was frequently reminded that the employees were ever so grateful for a thank you, a monetary tip, and especially that they were employed.

    The new "community center"

    The employees came from surrounding states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and of course West Virginia. Many shared with me that they “did not think things could get as bad as they are”. Too many in their communities were not only unemployed, they were living in homeless shelters and being fed by churches in their communities. They previously had good jobs in the various manufacturing, retail and service sectors but now lack the resources needed to look for real jobs. One remarked that she had heard her parents talk about the Great Depression in the 1930’s and that they could not believe that this was happening to her friends and family members.

    Focused on more pressing matters

    I stopped to think about this and I was saddened. We hear about the perils of the extraordinarily high unemployment rates across the country and that there are no jobs being created. For many, these are just statistics, but for folks like I met over the holidays, our economic situation is nothing short of a catastrophe.

    We see no attempt by this administration to change this situation and create an environment for economic recovery and job creation. Nearly four years later, the economy is only mustering very weak signs of recovery while our president, who hasn’t held a real job, takes yet another lengthy vacation in Hawaii. Was this his tenth or eleventh vacation of the year?

    Recently-departed GOP candidate Herman Cain said in an interview last night that he will continue to get the message out about the failure of Obama to effectively and sincerely lead us to recovery. While many point to Obama’s low 42% approval rating as a weakness, Cain points out that this means 42% of Americans are clueless as to how bad the president is. Good point.

    The dismal economy is a major threat to Obama in the election. That he still doesn’t have a clue over what to do about it is an even bigger one.

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    Unemployment office image: Grand Rapids Press

  • A New Year, Another Shake-up in the GOP Race

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    This past year has been an unusual year to say the least! A new Rassmussen Poll shows that Republicans have a 47% to 39% to defeat Obama this year. But which candidate? The latter part of 2011 was inundated by debates and more debates and seemingly every candidate has had their day in the limelight. It reminds me of famous ice cream shoppes with their flavor of the day! Always changing from one non-Mitt to another.

    Consolidating

    And change it does. Since  my last post we witnessed Gingrich fall far from the top with Ron Paul and Mitt Romney battling it out on a daily basis over 1 or 2 points. And coming up from the rear in the past few days is Rick Santorum who had entirely been written off two weeks ago.

    Romney took Iowa, but with Santorum right behind him by only eight votes. I expect we’ll have a smaller field of candidates by the primary in New Hampshire (Perry and Bachmann are likely out). Romney is obviously strong in the Granite State, but this race has proven that anything can happen. What ever the outcome, I expect this race to continue evolving with more surprises to come.

    Surging

    The question today is “does Iowa matter?” Probably less so had Ron Paul or Rick Santorum won, as they would have struggled to translate that victory in to more victories in other states. Romney can take his Iowa win to New Hampshire and fuel some potential momentum.

    I still hear talk of Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump waiting to see how things turn out, although Christie has been campaigning for Romney and may be setting himself up as his running mate.

    On to New Hampshire and South Carolina!

  • How Bad is Newt?

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    A typical blog post from me might be titled “How Bad is Obama”? And I have written quite a lot about our current president in the past. Over the past several weeks, while launching a new business, I have stayed abreast of the GOP race for the White House. Republicans must win the White House in 2012 if our country is going to survive. While all of the contenders have been worthy of watching, I do not believe that Gingrich is the person that can make this happen.

    Newt comes up from the back

    This past May Gingrich “stepped in it” shortly after announcing his candidacy. In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory on Meet The Press, he labeled Paul Ryan’s healthcare plan “right wing social engineering”. By the end of that week the GOP’s self-proclaimed “ideas guy” was barely on the charts. I didn’t think Newt could ever bounce back, and neither did the pundit class.

    Surprise surprise! Here we are in December and Gingrich is the clear front-runner just a couple weeks before the Iowa Caucus. This unlikely resurgence is the result of Mitt Romney’s lackluster complacency, Rick Perry’s brain freezes, and Herman Cain’s personal dalliances (which, I should note, pale in comparison to those in the Oval Office in the late 90’s).

    There can be no doubt that Gingrich is on a roll. The American public is now more convinced than ever that America is going in the wrong direction and Newt is using the right lingo, knows how to maneuver through the political maze, and has the luck of being at the right place at the right time.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

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