by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann at Townhall.com
While Obama has been at great pains to make a show of avoiding taxes on the middle class to pay for his health care changes, his proposed increase in Medicaid eligibility will have a huge impact on the 39 states whose income cutoffs for the program are below those required in the new federal legislation.
All states except for Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin (plus the District of Colombia) will have to raise their eligibility for Medicaid under the Senate health care bill. And they will have to pay for part of the cost. Under the House bill, with a higher Medicaid eligibility standard, Massachusetts and Vermont would also have to pay more.
The magnitude of the new Medicaid spending required by Obamacare is such as to transform the nature of state finances. A large part of the reason that some states, particularly in the South, have been able to avoid higher taxes is because they have chosen to keep down the Medicaid eligibility level.
The hardest hit states would be Texas ($2.8 billion in extra state spending), Pennsylvania ($1.5 billion), California ($1.4 billion) and Florida ($909 million). Who knows if Florida could avoid imposing an income tax if it has to meet so high an unfunded mandate?
In many of the states represented by swing senators in the health care debate, the required increases in state spending are likely to be quite high. In Arkansas, where swing Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln live, the increased state spending required under the Obamacare bill would come to $402 million (not counting the federal share), about a 10 percent increase in state spending. In Louisiana, where Marie Landrieu has sold her vote in return for more Medicaid funding, the increase would come to $432 million (a 5 percent hike in state spending), more than wiping out the extra funds she got in return for her vote. In Indiana, where moderate Evan Bayh is senator, spending would go up by $586 million, a hike of 4 percent. In Ben Nelson’s Nebraska, the additional state spending required under the bill would be $81 million, a 2 percent increase. The Obamacare bill would cost North Dakota, home of Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, $14 million, and in South Dakota, represented by moderate Democrat Tim Johnson, Medicaid spending would have to rise by $33 million.
The Medicaid expansion provisions of the Senate bill are complex. In the first year of the program (2013), states must enroll anyone who earns less than 133 percent of the poverty level in their programs. For a family of four, the national average poverty level in 2009 is $22,000 a year. So any family that size that makes less than $29,000 would be eligible for Medicaid. Many states, particularly in the South, actually have Medicaid cutoffs that are below the poverty level. Arkansas, for example, cuts off its Medicaid eligibility at only 17 percent of the poverty level, and in Louisiana, it goes up to only 26 percent. For these states, the spending increase required by the new bill is huge.
That’s correct! President Obama’s administration has wriggled itself out of the corner it found itself trapped in and has found a way to channel taxpayer funds to the group that perpetrates voter fraud across the country and, even worse, has consistently shown itself willing to support illegal activities such as child prostitution, human trafficking, tax evasion and more!
From the ultra-left leaning New York Times:
The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group.
But, why would we expect any more from Attorney General Eric Holder? We should have known this was coming. The same Justice Department that we need to provide Constitutional rights to brutal terrorists who were captured by our military on a foreign battlefield has determined the Legislative branch of our government really has no authority whatsoever.
If Obama wants to fund ACORN, he’ll fund the group of sleazebags and to Hell with Congress!
It seems Obama’s lawyers believe the Constitution protects the criminal activities in which ACORN routinely engages. Again from the Times’ article:
Moreover, he [Justice Department Attorney David Barron] argued, requiring the government to cancel contracts with a specifically named entity — “including even in cases where performance has already been completed but payment has not been rendered” — would raise constitutional concerns best avoided by interpreting the law differently.
Hearing these clowns claim the Constitution as the basis of their argument almost makes one ill. I guess this is one of the “negative liberties” our President believes our founders provided us with–the obligation to pay entities friendly to the Executive branch even after the Legislative branch cuts them off. Of course, hardworking Americans should be getting used to this type of Chicago-style politics emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The American taxpayer has felt the sting of President Obama’s knife in the back time and time again. So it’s really no surprise that he would steal from us once again to pay off his friends at ACORN.
As you pay your taxes this holiday season, smile and think about where that money will be going–to that corrupt bunch of criminals who support and promote voter fraud, human trafficking, child prostitution, and more vile, disgusting, illegal activities–even though government funding of this criminal organization is illegal!
Received via email claiming the author is one Harold Estes, 23-year US Navy veteran who enlisted in 1934. Snopes.com says the claim is thus far unconfirmed, but regardless who wrote it, it effectively communicates the concerns many of us have with the behavior of our President this year.
Dear President Obama,
My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.
I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.
One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.
So here goes.
I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.
I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.
You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:
” We’re no longer a Christian nation”
” America is arrogant” – (Your wife even announced to the world,”America is mean-spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)
I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.
After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”
Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.
I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.
Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.
Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue. You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.
And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts, who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.
One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.
You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.
And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.
Harold B. Estes
Thank God for real patriots like Mr. Estes who guaranteed we inherited the freedoms he was born to. Now it’s our turn to do the same for future generations.
Today is the day set aside to give thanks for all the wonderful blessings we enjoy. So here are some of the things I’m thankful for:
- A forgiving God who sent His Son to die for our sins so that we may receive eternal life
- My lovely wife, two beautiful daughters, and all of my extended family.
- My friends and coworkers. (Even those of you who are liberal!)
- Being born free in the greatest country in all the world.
- Everyone in America who is standing up to preserve the freedoms given us by God, and secured by previous generations of Americans.
- A home that keeps my family warm and dry.
- A good job that keeps food on the table and clothes on our backs.
For these things and more, I thank the One true God and His Son, Jesus Christ!
Was it too much to hope for that the GOP might actually have learned a lesson from the disastrous turn of events in New York’s 23rd Congressional District earlier this month? After the NRCC blew nearly a million dollars on a RINO candidate who, in the end, dropped out and endorsed her Democratic rival, you’d think leaders of the Republican Party would realize victory isn’t assured in 2010 because a candidate has an “R” beside his name. And maybe they have.
One might even expect GOP heavyweights to recognize the grassroots’ aversion to candidates too deeply entrenched in the political establishment, especially when their adherence to conservative principles is in question. But even if they can’t take quite that big a step at the moment, the essential lesson from NY-23 is the national party needs to step aside and let the grassroots determine their nominee. But does that mean they can’t offer any help until a candidate is chosen?
In Arkansas, a state where Democratic Senator Mark Pryor didn’t even face a Republican challenger last year, there are already seven announced Republican candidates running for Democrat Blanche Lincoln’s Senate seat in 2010. Only two hold political office, while the others come from a variety of backgrounds–farming, business, medicine, and military–but have never run for office. This may be the most contested Republican primary for national office in Arkansas’ history.
After Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) promise that the National Republican Senatorial Committee “will not spend money in a contested primary,” conservatives in the state probably assumed the national GOP hierarchy would stand aside and let Arkansans decide who would stand against Lincoln next November. But some are wondering if Cornyn and his colleagues at the top of the GOP food chain are already working to anoint a candidate in the crowded field.
Cornyn, along with Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), David Vitter (R-LA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) held an NRSC fundraiser last week for Arkansas State Senator Gilbert Baker in Washington and there are shouts from every corner that this reeks of the Scozzafava scenario in New York. But Amber Wilkerson Marchand, spokeswoman for the NRSC says, “Baker had asked to have the fundraiser at the committee’s headquarters in Washington, and that the group would allow other candidates to have events there if they asked.”
Though we’ve been unable to reach all of Baker’s opponents, we did reach Arkansas Tea Party, Inc. founder and 2010 GOP Senate candidate Tom Cox. When asked if the committee had offered to host a similar event for his campaign he stated, “I can’t speak for the other candidates, but they [NRSC] made that offer to me.” So it doesn’t appear they plan to anoint Baker in the Arkansas race.
It looks like the NRSC might have learned from their congressional counterpart’s costly error last month that sent Democrat Bill Owens to the US House. They’re simply helping candidates raise much needed cash to unseat Lincoln.
Relax folks. No crisis here.
by Jillian Bandes at Townhall.com
Who might be the next victim of Obamacare? Gun owners.
Government health care reform “will most likely dump your gun-related health data into a government database…that can preclude you from owning firearms,” said Gun Owners of America, in an email notification to their members, shortly before the health care debate on Saturday. GOA said that diagnoses such as post-traumatic stress disorders or other mental illnesses could be a reason the government uses to charge you more for health insurance under the public plan, or as part of co-op regulations.
Larry Pratt, executive director of GOA, said the chances of Uncle Sam using his power to regulate health care based on gun ownership was even better because Kathleen Sebelius is the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that would be in charge of specific health care regulations and their enforcement. Sebelius has a long anti-gun history, responsible for vetoes of concealed carry bills in Kansas.
“Gun owners are likely to be in there with fat people,” said Pratt.
It wouldn’t be the first time gun ownership has been tied to health regulation. GOA claims that over 150,000 vets with post-traumatic stress disorder are currently on a list that prohibits gun purchases. But Obamacare would expand government health care to millions of additional Americans.
Calls to Sebelius’ office were not returned, though a member of her press office laughed out loud when questioned about the prospect of health care being tied to gun ownership, saying, “that’s crazy.”
But Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, said such regulations were quite possible. The problem stems from government’s overriding cost-benefit assessments and their take on health issues.
Okay. El presidente is getting a little carried away with this idea of bowing to royalty!
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu at IsraelNationalNews.com
(IsraelNN.com) U.S. President Barack Obama continues to “reach out to Muslims” by appointing them to key security posts amid charges he wrongly ignored internal Muslim terror. One recent appointee was harshly criticized for appearing on a British-based television station whose host is a member of a radical Muslim group.
His “reaching out Muslims” speech in Cairo last June has been followed by action, the latest being this past week’s swearing-in of a Muslim rights advocate to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, shortly after the Fort Hood massacre. HSAC members are involved in expertise on national security.
The new member is Syrian-born Kareem Shora, who was the national executive director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination (ADC), which previously has called on the United States to stop providing Israel with weapons because of alleged “atrocities” against Arabs. Her background for her new security post is having been a legal counsel and advocate for Muslim civil rights.
She also has been a frequent guest on the pro-Hamas al-Jazeera satellite network.
Shora, who has been described as a “devout Muslim, joins another devout member of the faith, Arif Alikhan, who was appointed as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development in the Department of Homeland Security. His qualifications for the job were listed as having been in charge of public safety in Los Angeles during his term of deputy mayor. One of his actions was to remove the plan that tracked Muslims in the city who were suspected of terrorist activities.
Americans have been jolted by several lethal attacks and confrontations with Muslims over the past year, including a plot to attack synagogues and down U.S. military aircraft, the manufacture of bombs, an alleged attempt to explode a Texas skyscraper, a plot to blow up malls in Boston, and last month’s Fort Hood massacre by a Muslim psychiatrist who was an officer in the army.
A desire to avoid the appearance of labeling all Muslims as terrorists lunged out from the shadows last month after President Obama faced criticism for not taking seriously the threat of Muslim terrorism within American society as well as in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Several months ago, President Obama appointed Dalia Mogahed, a “devout Muslim,” to his Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She quickly came under fire for appearing in a telephone interview on a London-based Muslim television station, whose host is a member of an extreme Islamic group.
She said was unaware of the affiliations of her host, whose program included questions and comments favoring the implementation of Islamic Law (“sharia”).
Mogahed explained that she did not hang up the phone in the middle of the interview because “I assumed that very few people would watch this show but that doing something more dramatic would bring more attention.”
In the current issue of Newsweek, columnist Jacob Weisberg, citing former Secretary of State Colin Powell, wrote that “Obama’s [Muslim] heritage feeds a broader suspicion that he is too casual about the threat from America’s Islamist enemies.”
The journalist added, “With the massacre in Texas, Obama now confronts something that George W. Bush did not face in the years after September 11—not just a major act of domestic terrorism, but one struck from inside our security apparatus…. America does not face a threat from the perversion of faith in general. We face a threat from the perversion of one faith in particular.”
by Star Parker at Townhall.com
At a time when our country is sick, it shouldn’t surprise that one our sickest places is our nation’s capital.
The poverty rate of Washington, DC, almost 20 percent, is one of the highest in the nation. Its child poverty rate is the nation’s highest..
DC’s public school system, with a graduation rate of less than 50 percent, is one of the worst in the country.
According to DC’s HIV/AIDS office, three percent of the local population has HIV or AIDS. The Administrator of this office notes that this HIV/AIDS incidence is “…higher than West Africa…on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya.” And the principal way that HIV is transmitted continues to be through male homosexual activity.
Amidst this dismal picture, the DC City Council, perhaps on the theory that serving up another glass of wine is the way to help a drunk, is scheduled to vote on December 1 to legalize same sex marriage in America’s capital city.
Looking at realities in Washington, DC should make clear why George Washington said “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
But the America that our first president had in mind was very different from the vision of our DC government officials.
George Washington’s America was one in which the point of freedom is to allow Man to rise to what he can become. To do this, the greatest challenge he faces is conquering himself. To rise above his baser instincts, to rise above the many temptations that lead him astray. And to achieve this end, as Washington said, “religion and morality are indispensible supports.”
In left wing America, of which the DC government is a poster child, freedom means to indulge every instinct that the tradition and religion of George Washington would have us overcome.
Where does it lead? Well, look at DC.