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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Single-payer is the goal, no matter what they say

They’re lying through their teeth when they say their goal isn’t a single-payer system like Canada’s and Great Britain’s!

Their goal is to eliminate the private health insurance market. Not for the good of the people, but to control the people.

Don’t believe it?  Watch what they were saying not so long ago.

Ask yourself this question, where are the most economically depressed areas in the country? The major metropolitan areas that have been run by left wing liberals for decades have the highest crime rates and the highest poverty rates of anywhere in the country. All the promises liberals have made to these constituencies have never come to fruition!

Why on Earth would you believe their pie-in-the-sky promises on health care?

They took over Amtrak and said it would be profitable again within 3 years. Almost 40 years later, it’s still billions in the red.

The post office loses billions every year.

The VA health care system attempts to steer vets to throw in the towel and decide life isn’t worth living. This government-run health care system is well known for the substandard care it provides.

According to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), approximately 1/3 of all the files in the custody of the government are lost.

Again I ask, is this who you want tasked with “fixing” the health care system. Do you trust these same bureaucrats to keep costs down?

I don’t.

And I certainly don’t believe their lies, because they’ve wanted a single payer system for a long time!

September 15, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Examining the Evidence on Health Care Reform

OPINION: August 24, 2009

By Congressman John Carter

There was an old country judge that had the highest criminal conviction rate in the state. When a reporter from the state capital came down investigate this judicial phenomenon, the judge explained that he simply instructed the jury to listen very carefully to what the prosecutor had to say, then make their decision. The reporter cried indignantly, “don’t you also tell them to listen to the defense?” The judge replied, “well, I used to, but it just confused ‘em.”

20 years as a Texas judge taught me a few things about listening to both sides of an argument. In most cases, both sides truly think they’re right. Then they start presenting arguments and evidence to try to prove their case. Naturally, neither side will present anything remotely supportive of their opponent, even if they know it’s true. So as a judge, you sit there and weigh the evidence presented by all with a grain of salt, knowing that either side is capable of stretching the limits of veracity and withholding relevant information if not in their favor.

That’s precisely the kind of case that all Americans are having to judge right now concerning the healthcare reform proposals being pushed by Democrats in Washington.

We hear it everyday in the press – the President says anybody who likes their current health insurance will get to keep it, while opponents say all private health insurance will be gone by 2013. Democrats in the House say their plans will control rising healthcare costs, while opponents say it will drive costs even higher. Opponents say the new system will eventually start denying care to elderly, and encourage euthanasia, while supporters say it won’t.

Who’s right? With our very lives at stake, along with 19% of our gross domestic product, being wrong could be deadly for us personally as well as our free market economy.

Let’s examine the evidence together. In looking at the both sides of this case, let’s leave out the emotion and political rhetoric, and try to look at just the facts on each major point.

To begin, we can only examine the bill passed by Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in late August, HR 3200. That will not be the final bill, if there is a final bill. The current House version would first be voted on by the entire House, where changes would be made, then reconciled with whatever the Senate passes, changed again, then brought to a final vote in both Chambers. But this Committee version is all we have in writing, so that’s what we must judge.

  1. Can You Keep Your Current Health Plan?

    The bill contains no provision that would specifically abolish any health plan. But it would require all individuals and employers to purchase health plans approved by a new federal agency starting in 4 years, or pay a heavy tax penalty. It is not enough to require a health plan be purchased – it must be a federally approved plan to avoid paying an 8% payroll penalty by employers or a 2% income tax penalty by individuals. The bill allows the new federal agency to set any requirements they like on what constitutes an “approved” plan. Whether a current individual plan could survive and be approved by this new bureaucracy is suspect, as is whether an employer will continue to offer any current plan under these circumstances.
    Verdict: PROBABLY Not

  2. Will This Help Control Health Care Costs?

    This issue is one of the most clear. After extensive research, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is currently overseen by the Democrat majority, officially reported to Congress that not only would it not hold down health costs, it would push them even higher than doing nothing. The number one problem with American health care is high cost, and this bill would make it worse.
    Verdict: No

  3. Does The Bill Encourage Denial of Care and Euthanasia for the Elderly?

    There is no language specifically calling for denial of care or euthanasia. But language was added requiring Medicare to pay for “end of life counseling” that will include educating senior citizens on the option of pre-authorizing the cessation of life-sustaining care, and in states which allow physician-assisted suicide, education on that option as well. President Obama has made repeated references to avoiding costly treatments for elderly patients, and other nations that have adopted this same style health system do in fact limit medical treatments and encourage euthanasia for elderly patients. These facts, coupled with the creation of a new federal agency that will unilaterally determine what benefits are included in “approved” health plans AFTER the bill passes, is heavy evidence that the bill may encourage denial of care and euthanasia. But in this issue there is even more – a proverbial “smoking gun.” The very advocacy groups like the now-defunct Hemlock Society that have historically lobbied for legalized suicide were instrumental in adding the “end-of-life” counseling section to the legislation.
    Verdict: Yes

  4. Does the Bill Use Federal Funds to Pay for Abortions?

    There is nothing specific in the bill to fund abortions. However, the yet unspecified new rules for all “approved” health plans – rules that will be written by Obama Administration appointees AFTER the bill passes – could include abortion coverage. Over concerns on this issue, an amendment prohibiting abortion funding was submitted in the House, and subsequently voted down by Democrat members of the Committee. This provides substantial evidence that the new federal health plan rules could require abortion coverage by all health plans in the country, while the final decision remains unknown.
    Verdict: Likely

  5. Is This the Beginning of Single-Payer Healthcare?

    Like most issues concerning this bill, there is no specific provision that would mandate single-payer socialized medicine and the shutdown of private sector healthcare. But as early as 2003 then-Senator Barack Obama was advocating single-payer healthcare publicly, and has recently stated along with key House Democrats that this bill would lead eventually to single-payer healthcare, over a period of 10-20 years. All of these comments are on tape and available to the public.
    Verdict: Likely Over Time

  6. Will the Bill Increase the Federal Deficit and Federal Taxes?

    No argument here from either side. The bill will cost $1.28 trillion in the first 10 years according to CBO, and raise taxes $818 billion on those who cannot afford to buy insurance, not counting surcharges on small business income.
    Verdict: Yes

  7. Will the Bill Cost American Jobs?

    No argument here either. The Obama Administration’s own White House Council of Economic Advisors has estimated 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if the bill passes, as employers who cannot afford health insurance or the 8% payroll tax penalty will have to fire their employees, move overseas, or go out of business.
    Verdict: Yes

There are many more issues to this bill than seven, but in my opinion the answers to just these are enough to reach a final judgment on HR 3200: NO.

HR 3200 is fatally flawed, does not provide the health reforms we truly do need in this country, and should be buried. It is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have examined since being elected to the House. It would destroy the finest quality health care system in the world, undermine the free market, throw Americans out of work, and violate the moral principles of the majority of this country in the process.

Examining all the evidence is not just important in determining action on legislation, but in writing that legislation to begin with. Like the story of the old judge who only listened to one side of a case, this bill was written without any consideration of opinions from anyone other than the liberal Democrat faithful, with a resulting faulty outcome.

We can do better. We don’t need the federal government to take over the healthcare industry, we just need some commonsense bipartisan reforms.

First, we are already in bipartisan agreement to make affordable health insurance available to folks with pre-existing health conditions who are presently barred from buying a health plan.

We can let small businesses and organizations join together to purchase group insurance at the same affordable rates as big business, allowing more small employers to offer coverage.

We can remove restrictions on buying health insurance across state lines, letting families in prohibitively high-cost states purchase affordable plans in other states.

To pass these reforms will require a simple concession from the Democrat majority. That is to agree to work with Republicans in a bipartisan effort, and listen to both sides of the case before reaching a verdict.

U.S. Rep. John Carter (TX31)
Secretary, House Republican Conference

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obamacare: The House Bill and Obama’s Lies (Part 5)

Rationing & Gov’t Access to Your Money

This bill is so huge, and so bad, sometimes it’s hard to decide where to start. But today we’ll take a look at how the government will be authorized to access your bank accounts any time you seek medical services and to extract what they decide is your financial responsibility at the time services are rendered. As usual, the President and his cronies believe if they lie to you with a straight face you’ll believe them and support this government intrusion into your life. Then it will be too late.

Beginning on page 57 of the bill, under the heading sec. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTION, we find the following:

‘‘(2) GOALS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.—The goals for standards under paragraph (1) are that such standards shall—

‘‘(A) be unique with no conflicting or redundant standards;
(B) be authoritative, permitting no additions or constraints for electronic transactions, including companion guides;
‘‘(C) be comprehensive, efficient and robust, requiring minimal augmentation by paper transactions or clarification by further communications;
‘‘(D) enable the real-time (or near real time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card;
‘‘(E) enable, where feasible, near real-time adjudication of claims;

*emphasis mine

Now we don’t know about you, but whenever the government is trying to help us and this great bill that’s going to do all these wonderful things for us promises Big Brother will have “authoritative” powers over us, that’s troublesome.  We mean, if this bill is so benign and so wonderful, it seems lawmakers could count on its beneficiaries voluntarily embracing it, abiding by it.  There’s no imaginable reason why a bill that would truly benefit everyone would need to establish “authoritative” powers over those it purports to “help.”

In the above passage though, paragraph (D) is the really dangerous stipulation.

This bill is being sold by the President’s team as free health care for all.  According to him and his cronies, once his system is in place, all anyone will have to do is walk into any medical facility seeking treatment and, in this most wonderful world of all worlds, and receive the best treatment from the best doctors working in the best system in the best country in the best world in the best universe.  Peaches and cream, cookies and milk, and all the best things you can imagine.  Right?


If this plan is so wonderful, and we’ll be able to walk in and get “free” healthcare everywhere, why does the government even need to determine an “individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service”?  Wouldn’t we all be eligible for all services with all physicians at all facilities?  And then of course there’s the issue of the National Health Card, sort of all-in-one card that can access virtually all necessary information to determine your financial responsibility and your qualifications to determine when, where, and by whom you can receive health care services.  Now how exactly do you think one card can provide such a plethora of information?

The answer’s really pretty obvious.

To determine your financial responsibility, the card can simply access IRS records and determine your income and tax liability for the previous year.  Of course, to determine your eligibility the card would pull data from the electronic medical records system Obama has often spoken of.  He always states the purpose of this database will be to streamline record keeping and save money.  But, hey!  If it serves an additional purpose that’s more bang for the buck.

So here we see the electronic record system may well be designed more to make it easy for the government to determine your eligibility for services than saving money.  Unless…wait a minute…could it really be?  Doesn’t this sound like the electronic records may now be used to limit your access to health care?

Folks, that’s rationing.  Plain and simple.  Don’t let this forked-tongue President fool you any longer!

But there’s even more.  A little more reading in the bill brings us to page 59, where buried in a paragraph titled “(4)Requirements for Specific Standards” (still with regards to financial and administrative transactions) we find the following little gem.

‘‘(C) enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice;

So we have an electronic records database and a machine-readable National Health Card so the government will be able to ration our care and immediately collect electronic automated payments to cover the free health care services we receive.  And exactly how can this supercard collect our payment on the spot, for our rationed health care?

By directly accessing your bank account!  That’s the only way this can work!  Regardless how many times President Obama lies to you and says his system won’t have access to your bank account, regardless how many times he lies and says rationing won’t result from his plan, that’s what this bill says!

There is no reason to support HR 3200.  That is, unless you want rationed care and government control over your bank account to pay for your free health care.

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obamacare: The House Bill and Obama’s Lies (Part 4)

Today we’ll take a look at what the Democratic authors of the bill benignly titled Subtitle G–Early Investments beginning on page 53.  In just two pages of the monstrous bill, section 161, titled Ensuring Value and Lower Premiums, provides one of the many death blows to the private insurance industry hidden in HR 3200.

Section 161 mandates the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] set the minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) for all health insurance plans.  Specifically, on page 54,

‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the small or large group market shall provide that for any plan year in which the coverage has a medical loss ratio below a level specified by the Secretary, the issuer shall provide in a manner specified by the Secretary for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio.

First, let’s be clear about what an MLR is.  This is the percentage of premiums collected that is spent directly on providing medical services to policyholders.  For example, if you pay $1000 for your health insurance policy and the insurance company pays out $500 in your claims during the policy year, your policy has a 50% MLR for that year.  That’s an example of the MLR on an individual policy.  It works similarly on a group plan, but the MLR isn’t calculated on specific policyholders within the group, but for the entire group.  So that if an issuer of a group policy that collects $100,000 in premiums for the policy year pays out $50,000 in claims for the group, the MLR for that group is 50%.

So the text of the bill we saw above basically mandates that every private insurance policy issuer must pay a minimum percentage of its collected premiums for medical treatment of its patients in each and every year. In effect, what this does is cap the profit an insurance company can make on a policy or group in any given year.  This may not sound so bad to some who’ve bought into the Democratic demagoguery of the health insurance industry, but let me explain why this is simply another means to eventually do away with private insurance altogether and force everyone into a government-run, single-payer system.

First, anyone who’s ever been in business for themselves knows there are good years and bad years.  In the good years, when everything seems to click, you may make a nice profit.  The next year, you can bring in the same amount of revenue, but everything else may go terribly wrong.  Depending on the business you’re in you may be plagued by equipment breakdowns, lawsuits, product recalls, accidents, or any number of mishaps or market quirks.  In these years, the same amount of revenue that previously resulted in a good profit may not keep you out of the red.  It’s the same in the insurance business.

Let’s say I pay $1000 per year for an individual health plan.  For simplicity let’s say the health insurance company’s administrative costs run 10% of revenue.  So basically, as long as they don’t have to pay out more than $900 in claims on my policy, they’ve made a profit.  Most years, they won’t pay out anywhere near that.  But then one year an accident or a major illness occurs and the company could be out thousands of dollars.  So to make money by selling me an insurance policy, the company has to average taking in more than they spend on my medical bills over several years.  This can’t happen under HR 3200.

The bill mandates that every policy or group suffer a minimum MLR each year.  That means in those good years when policyholders don’t have as many claims as expected, rebates will be issued to bring the MLR up to its government mandated level.  (What was that Obama said about government wouldn’t be controlling health care?)  It’s important to note that nowhere in this bill is there language to allow insurance companies to collect additional premiums in policy years where claims exceed expectations.  Nor is there language to allow those companies to offset one year’s losses with a good year’s gains.  So your insurance company can’t recoup a bad year’s losses in a good year.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this is going to make it virtually impossible for private insurance companies to make a profit over time.  Especially when one considers other mandates in the bill that don’t allow for denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, behavior, or anything else, we see that no private company can survive under these regulations.

President Obama has repeatedly claimed this bill won’t result in a single-payer system (after he said that’s what he’s after), he continues to promise you’ll be able to keep your current private coverage if you desire, but these are all lies.  He knows full well this plan will eventually kill the private health insurance industry.  He doesn’t believe that 10 or 20 years from now you’ll still be enjoying the same coverage you have today.  He is well aware that within a few years we’ll all be forced to patronize the single-payer system he and his cronies have longed for.

Our President and his Democratic allies in Congress are lying to you when they tell you any different.

Now I’ll turn myself in as a dissident for publishing this article to save some left-wing Socialist Obamanot the trouble.

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you still believe Obama,

then watch this video. Now Obama claims he doesn’t support a single-payer health care system. He claims you’ll be able to keep your current coverage if you like it. He claims Obamacare won’t run private insurers out of business. But...

The President’s own words, those of Dr. Jacob Hacker, and those of Rep. Jan Schakowsky tell the true story. Obamacare is a plan to destroy the private insurance industry and put the entire health care industry under government control.

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obamacare: The House Bill and Obama’s Lies (Part 3)

Let’s start on page 30, section 123 of HR 3200 today. Here’s where we see, in spite of Democrats’ lies to the contrary, we will see rationing of health care.

From the bill:

There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.

Notice this panel will be made up of medical and other experts. Reading a little further, we find the President will appoint 9 members who aren’t federal employees, the comptroller will do likewise, and the President will appoint up to 8 more who are federal employees. The surgeon general will chair the committee.

What’s really interesting is the last part of that sentence though. That the committee will “recommend covered benefits…” tells me this committee of so-called experts, made up of everything from union thugs to community organizers to physicians is going to determine what procedures are covered and for whom! This is where the rationing comes in folks. Don’t think it won’t.

In light of this, I believe we should refer to the committee as the Health Care Rationing Committee instead of the more benevolent name assigned in the bill.

Of course, the Health Care Rationing Committee will need an enforcement arm to carry out its edicts. So on page 40 we find the bill creates the Health Choices Administration to be headed by the Health Choices Commissioner, who will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Section 142 on page 42 lays out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioner.

This all-powerful bureaucrat is tasked with establishing standards for Qualified Health Benefits Plans. (Recall yesterday we discussed Qualified Health Benefits Plans when we discovered Obama is lying about your ability to keep your current coverage.) Enforcing these standards will also fall to the Commissioner and he’ll be required to enlist the help of state insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

The Commissioner will also be in charge of the new Health Insurance Exchange and the “affordability credits” which we’ll discuss at length in another article. Perhaps the most interesting find in this section is the following on page 42, lines 19-21:

ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS.—Such additional functions as may be specified in this division.

This bill leaves an opening for the Commissioner to be handed broad, as yet unnamed powers by the President at a later date! Why on Earth would Congress want to vote on a bill that isn’t yet complete. Because that’s what this line implies. We haven’t taken the time to think this through and determine exactly what powers the Commissioner will need, so we’re going to include a clause that will allow the President to give him whatever powers he feels necessary.

This is an open invitation for tyranny and abuse! If, at a later date, it’s determined the Commissioner needs expanded powers, these should be debated and voted on by Congress. Not granted by the President, at his whim.

On page 43, things become more worrisome as the Commissioner’s duties are expanded to conduct audits of qualified plan providers. Random audits are authorized, along with targeted audits based on complaints filed with the Administration. The worst part of this section is the requirement that private insurers reimburse the government for the cost of such audits. So these private insurers are going to be forced to compete with a government funded plan, and the same outfit that runs their competition will be able to charge them for auditing them. Any time, as often as they wish.

How long do you think private companies can survive under such restraints? I’m all for audits to catch and punish fraud in government programs, but these audits are designed to push private insurers out of business in order to completely convert the US health care system into a single payer system where the public option is the only option.

Without a doubt, there will be rationing. HR 3200 not only leaves the door open, but creates an outline for it to occur. And, here’s more evidence of what we found yesterday. The coverage you like, that Obama promises you can keep, is on its way out. There’s absolutely no way it can survive long-term under the onerous restrictions and requirements this bill will place on private insurance companies. Contrary to what the President says, the goal is a single-payer system.

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , | Leave a comment

So you think you’ll like Obamacare?

This guy probably did too…but then he fell ill.  Unfortunately for him, he’s already living with Obamacare, Canada-style.  Take a look and see how well this system really works and what we have to look forward to if it ever passes.

Think again if you’re a supporter of the the President’s health care plan!

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Health Care, Obama | , , , , , | Leave a comment