Category Archives: Healthcare

Politifact derails The DCCC’s MediScare Express

The DCCC is attempting to convince their loyal base that the evil Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, are attempting to end Medicare. They have sent out emails directing their followers to their brand new Medicare Action Center web site complete with talking points, key facts, letter templates, canvassing kits, and a schedule of upcoming Republican townhall meetings and encouragement to “Tell Republican Members of Congress to keep their hands off the Medicare benefits”.

We have already discussed the Democrats lie that despite enrolling 10,000 new baby boomers into the program the Democrats claim they can magically maintain the Medicare program as is with no reform. Now the main stream media may finally may be starting to report the truth. The St. Petersburg Times Politifact has given the DCCC a FALSE rating on their claim that Republicans and specifically Representative Robert Hurt R-VA5 voted to end Medicare and raise health care costs by voting for the House Republican budget and a Pants on Fire rating for its claim that “Seniors will have to find $12,500 for health care because Republicans voted to end Medicare.”

Politifact stated that the DCCC knows their claims are false but their incredible desire to scare seniors outweighs the need to be truthful and the DCCC is extremely misleading, kind of like Wiener’s desire to stay in office outweighs the need to be truthful. I guess it’s a Democrat thing.


Tim Kaine – Woefully ignorant or deceptively dishonest?

Tim Kaine, the Democrat U.S. Senate candidate, was in Hanover County when P. Henry and I had the opportunity to discuss the merits of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the former Virginia Governor and DNC Chair. We fully expected that Kaine, with his extensive background and high level connections would be a formidable advocate for the Presidents flagship legislation, instead he came across at best as woefully ignorant and at worst deceptively dishonest.

P. Henry asked the former Richmond Mayor, “if the Affordable Care Act is so affordable why are so many people opting out”, referring to the 1400 waivers from Obamacare that have been issued, including McDonalds and numerous unions. Kaine responded by acknowledging there have been some waivers that the real story is that 7 million companies are taking advantage of the Small Business tax credit provided for by the ACA.Kaine made this claim three times during the interview, the last time after I asked for clarification at the end of the interview. The credit is intended to offset some of the cost of providing health insurance to employees of very small businesses that employ low wage employees, a business must have fewer than 25 full-time workers or the equivalent (the hours worked by part-timers count), pay an average annual wage of less than $50,000 and cover at least half the cost of health insurance premiums for their workers.The credit is phased with credits reduced proportionately for firms with average wages over $25,000.

Kaine’s claim that 7 million businesses were taking advantage of the credit didn’t sound right so we at DTN decided to conduct a fact check and this is what we learned.

1. The IRS sent postcards to 4 million businesses they estimated to be eligible for some level of credit. CNN- Money

2. More than 4 million (4,015,300) small businesses will be eligible to receive a tax credit for the purchase of employee health insurance in 2010. – Families USA and Small Business Majority Study

3. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council conducted a poll that showed only 7% of eligible businesses were taking advantage of the credit citing it was too small or complex to bother. – Wall Street Journal

4. Due to the strict criteria, many small businesses can’t take advantage of a tax credit designed to reduce the cost of providing health insurance – Bloomberg Business Week 

It appears that even if every small business eligible for the tax credit was taking advantage of it, Governor Kaine’s 7 million business claim is blatantly false.

Governor Kaine then went on to claim that another positive attribute of the ACA is that now 26 million American kids aged 21 – 26 can stay on their family policies that otherwise would not have been able to without the new law. He went on to say, “So you know an awful lot of kids don’t have their own health insurance yet, through a job or something. So the fact that that means 26 million kids stay on.” Again, we questioned this 26 million figure and this is what we learned.

1.Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 2.37 million young adults will be affected by the new law, out of which 1.83 million are currently uninsured. – NCSL

I don’t think we need to go any farther than that, the HHS as Timmy calls them, has definitively determined that Kaine’s claim that 26 million 21 – 26 year olds have health care insurance who would not, if not for ACA, is blatantly, ridiculously, and incontrovertibly false. 


Is the IPAB the Democrats “Final Solution” ?

The Democrats have been voracious in their attacks on the House Republicans budget plan, especially on the specific proposal to reform and save Medicare. When challenged as to their proposal, Nancy Pelosi responded, “We have a plan. It’s called Medicare.” She then elaborated saying, “We gave the blueprint for how we strengthen Medicare in the Affordable Care Act.”

While the ACA does address an increased focus on eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, the largest impact from the legislation will be realized through the IPAB or Independent Payment Advisory Board; a 15 member group of unelected bureaucrats with significant authority over Medicare payment rates. Beginning in 2014, in any year in which the Medicare per capita growth rate exceeded a target growth rate, the IPAB would be required to recommend Medicare spending reductions.  Their recommendations would become law unless Congress passed an alternative proposal that achieved the same level of budgetary savings. Subject to some limitations—hospitals, for example, would be exempt until 2020—the IPAB could recommend spending reductions affecting Medicare providers and suppliers, as well as Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans.

Since the other components in the ACA do nothing to bend the health care cost curve down, the actions of this board will most likely result the following;

1.)     Reduced provider reimbursements and the resulting reduction in the number of physicians willing to accept Medicare patients.

2.)    A reduction in coverage of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals including a mandate to the use of a mandatory generic, as well as perhaps a therapeutic substitution policy, in all Medicare services, while demanding more rebates from Rx manufacturers for their brand name drugs in order for them to participate in the Medicare program. This will make approval of coverage of new procedures and technologies significantly less likely.

3.)     Rationing, the IPAB will most likely also utilize rationing to achieve the cost control target as it is the most direct way to get at the problem of cost overruns that they are mandated to control.  

In summary, the Democrats “final solution” for saving Medicare is to preserve the program by denying or reducing the ability for beneficiaries to have access to health Care.


Dr. Donald Berwick thinks the government should make health care choices for us

The Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dr. Donald Berwick, recently appeared on CSPAN’s Newsmakers program and claimed that claims of a government takeover of health care is a myth, the government just wants to make choices for us, for our own good. Kudos to Julian Pecquet from the Hill and Noam Levey of the LA Times for asking some pretty objective questions and not the usual main stream media softball questions.


Marco Rubio Delivers The Undeniable Truth

The freshman Senator penned an op-ed for the Miami Herald and produced this video version, it speaks for itself.


The People are Way Ahead of the Political Class

Conventional wisdom has long told us that meaningful Medicare reform is the third rail of politics. So when Paul Ryan proposed the Republican budget containing serious and well thought out and effective reforms of Medicare, it is no surprise that it made headlines and launched a tsunami of criticism from the left.The dispicable ads, including the granny off the cliff posted on this site earlier this week are unfortunate but not unexpected.

What is surprising is that after an overwhelming victory in the house the House Republican Budget started receiving some less than enthusiastic support by establishment types like Mitch McConnell and of course the full assault by the dinosaur Newt Gingrich which he has since issued a retraction and instructed the American people do disregard the statement, I’m not exactly sure how that works but I’ll save that for another post.

We have the old guard, even when faced with the collapse of medicare with this decade, afraid to act while Paul Ryan, who represents the future of the Republican party, boldly proposed and is aggressively advocating for real Medicare reform which will give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers, while the Democratic plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors. These career politicians are conditioned to avoid tough choices and kick the can down the road even when we have come to the end of the road.

The American people do understand that the status quo is no longer an option and they have known it for some time now. The major impetus of the tea party movement was the recognition that this country is in a huge hole and the only two solutions being proposed were digging deeper or kicking the can down the road.

The American people understand that adding four billion dollars a day to our debt is unsustainable. The American people understand that without significant spending cuts and reform of our entitlement programs our debt will continue to explode and destroy our economy. The American people understand that with 10,000 baby boomers a day becoming eligible for Medicare and Social Security, those programs are unsustainable without serious reform.  

With so much on the line this is no time for timidity, Paul Ryan is willing to lead and if the Republican leadership is to take the Senate and the White House in 2012 they should follow Mr. Ryan’s lead.


Virginia vs. Obamacare Appeal Argued In Richmond

AFP President Tim Phillips and Tito Munoz lead a rally of  Cuccinelli supporters next to the courthouse in Richmond

A three judge panel from The Eastern Circuit Federal Court of Appeals heard arguments today on two Obamacare lawsuits. Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sebelius and Liberty University vs. Geithner arguments were heard this morning by two Obama (James A. Wynn, Jr and Andre M. Davis) and one Clinton (Diana Gribbon Motz) appointees.  The Obama administration dispatched acting solicitor general Neal Kumar Katyal to argue both cases on its behalf. Matthew Staver argued for Liberty University and state solicitor general E. Duncan Getchell, Jr. argued for Virginia. 

The panel chose to focus on the merit of the case with Staver and primarily focused on the question of Virginia’s standing to file suit with Getchell. The panel challenged whether Getchell believed the Healthcare Freedom Act, a law passed by a bipartisan General Assembly which prohibits the individual health insurance mandate created standing. Getchell reluctantly agreed that this was indeed his premise but because he didn’t want to harm the position of the plaintiffs in the Florida lawsuit, also believed that the Commonwealth very likely maintained standing without it.

Staver, left with the heavy lifting in arguing the merit of the challenge on the unconstitutionality of the mandate was up to the task. The judges were intent on the question of whether or not opting to not purchase government approved healthcare insurance is an activity. They referenced Wickard and Raiche repeatedly to which the Liberty counselor countered that Wickard did not apply since the federal government did not mandate that Wickard grow or eat wheat. As for the “activity” argument, Staver was brilliant in his response when Judge Davis asked if there should be some judicial formula to define activity.

I think it is critical to having some kind of definable end or understanding of the reach of the commerce clause. If you remove activity as a requirement or as a significant component, then there would be no definable limits on the commerce clause. It would turn the federal government into a police power intruding on to the individual activities of the states and there would literally be no reach or end or limit to what congress could do under Article I.

In any event and regardless of the eventual decision, this is just another mile post on the way to the Supreme Court but it is interesting to hear this liberal panel let their presuppositions leak through like Judge Wynn’s tear jerking hypothetical about four uninsured twenty-something young men from Virginia on a road trip to Maryland have a horrible accident and incur huge medical bills on their way to complete recoveries which not only justifies the necessity of Obamacare but declares that the necessary and proper clause and not the commerce clause may deem it constitutional, he claims that it is unquestionably necessary and the only question is whether or not it is proper.

You can hear the arguments here


Tim Kaine for Senate, Part II

I’ve called Tim Kaine, Democratic Senate candidate from Virgina and former DNC Chair, Obama’s lap dog in the past.

NRSC calls him Cheerleader-in-Chief. Either way, the man must be defeated.


The Gov’t Giveth and the Gov’t Taketh Away

Steve Wynn was lamenting the deteriorating lifestyle of his employees on Cavuto last night. Healthcare costs due to Obamacare, combined with a shrinking dollar are hurting the little people Obama pretends to care about.

Between rising fuel costs, which are the direct result of Obama and the Democrats energy policy, and the rising cost of bare essentials, people are really feeling the squeeze being put on them by their Federal Government.

The Consumer Price Index shows and inflation rate of 182% since 1982 and prices rose 2.1% for the first quarter of 2011. That’s an 8.4% annual rate!

Question is, are people who are hurt by Obamanomics smart enough to recognize cause and effect while they’re in the polling place?

57% Disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy and his overall numbers are not good for an incumbent.
Note on this poll, this is just a random sample of adults, not likely voters, so I’d take the Presidential electoral polls with a large grain of salt.

I guess that’s why Obama is frantically raising money and campaigning like crazy.

Not that he ever stopped campaigning in the first place. The permanent campaign could hurt him though.

Stop bullsh1tting us and GET TO WORK, you bum!


Is The Panderer in Chief Smarter Than A 4th Grader?

While Republicans have publicly declared that they are willing to risk losing an election in order to save our nation, Mr. Obama has decided to sacrifice our nation in a blatent attempt to pander his way to a second term. After ignoring his own debt commissions recomendations in his 2012 budget and then calling for yet another debt reduction committee, the community organizer, has made clear that he plans to focus on miniscule domestic cuts limited to waste, fraud, and abuse, large cuts to defense ( odd, since this is actually one of the enumerated federal powers).At the same time he plans to spend more on unions, seniors, and other special interests and increase taxes on the wealthy to balance the budget.

The president at one point clearly and accurately defines the defecit problem;

Now, if we don’t close this deficit, now that the economy has begun to grow again, if we keep on spending more than we take in, it’s going to cause serious damage to our economy. Companies might be less likely to set up shop here in the United States of America. It could end up costing you more to take out a loan for a home or for a car, because if people keep on having to finance America’s debt, at a certain point they’re going to start charging higher interest rates. We won’t be able to afford investments in education or clean energy, or all the things that we care about because we know it’ll help drive our economy and create jobs.

Apparently, he is not retaining what he reads off the teleprompter and he fails to realize that serious cuts cannot wait until after the election as he outlined his impotent plan to reduce our debt.

So what my plan does is it starts with combing the budget for savings wherever we can find it. [skip] I’m not going to quit until we’ve found every single dime of waste and misspent money. We don’t have enough money to waste it right now.[skip] But finding savings in our domestic spending only gets you so far. We’re also going to have to find savings in places like the defense budget.[skip] So we’ve begun to cut those out. And Secretary Gates has found a lot of waste like that and has been able to save us $400 billion so far. I believe we can do that again. Four hundred billion dollars — even in Washington, that’s real money.[skip]And we’ve also got to end tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans

I should add the president also cites impending savings from Obamacare, but nobody seriously believes that this legislation (which double counts the $480 million medicare cuts) will reduce our deficit so I left it out to spare him from further ridicule. His refusal to seriously cut spending recently prompted the S & P outlook downgrade to negative. The notion that he can continue to invest spend to pander his way to the White House and make up for it by taxing the rich is laughable.

I believe that people who have been really blessed in this society like me and have a very, very, very good income can afford to pay a little bit more — nothing crazy, just go back to the rates that existed when Bill Clinton was President. That wasn’t that long ago — (applause) — that that’s a fair thing to do, especially if it makes sure that seniors are still getting their Medicare and kids are still going to Head Start. Why wouldn’t I want to make that sacrifice?

Reverting back to the Clinton taxrates would add $100 Billion revenue. When you consider that Obama’s annual deficit is 1.6 trillion any 4th grader can see the numbers do not add up!


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