It’s Time To Pick Up The Phone

I’m afraid you’re going to have wait one more night before I start my review of the Senate health care bill. I had a busy day today, an image group meeting tonight, and I just haven’t had time to finish reading the bill. Did you get a chance to read it?

I should be far enough along in the bill by tomorrow to begin my review. Word has it that the vote to proceed, or cloture vote, will be held around 8pm on Saturday evening. It’s time to contact your senators and tell them that a vote for cloture is a vote for the bill, plain and simple.

It’s not difficult to see the difference between liberals and conservatives in the Senate, even on Twitter, take these two tweets for example:

While the rest of us debate health care reform, and most of us (yes the majority of Americans are against this version of health care reform) fight to make sure this bill is not passed into law, Democrats like Claire McCaskill (D-MO) seem to be obsessed with Sarah Palin.

It seems to me that Senate Democrats are using smoke screens and diversions in an attempt to keep you, yes you, and everyone else from learning what’s really in the bill, or even when the bill will be voted on.

Keep in mind that Harry Reid is already up to his old dirty tricks, and this newest version of the bill contains a required monthly fee to fund abortions to those who seek them.

That’s it for tonight, I have some reading to do.

Two Thousand Seventy Four Pages

Scary Harry Reid released the brand new Senate health care reform bill. I’ve added it to the source document list to the left, and I will begin reading it sometime tomorrow. According to early reports, the bill will cost $849 billion over 10 years, and will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over that same 10 years.

$127 billion dollars sounds like an awful lot, except it’s not. Not really. The federal deficit for October 2009 alone, was $176 billion. Think about it. The Senate version of health care reform will reduce the deficit by $1.058 billion per month for 10 years. If we have more months like October 2009, the deficit will still rise by more than $174 billion every month.

The next time you hear someone brag about this bill “reducing the deficit” just slap them in the face with the facts and watch the blood drain from their face.

The Senate health care bill is being introduced as an amendment, in the form of a substitution, for House Resolution 3590. HR 3590 had absolutely nothing to do with health care before this substitution.

Early reports indicate that this substitute HR3590 contains a 40% excise tax on health care plans which are in excess of $8,500, an additional 0.5% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $106,800, and additional fees for manufacturers of certain drugs and medical devices. The bill also raises taxes by $370 billion over 10 years, and it doesn’t stop there. The Senate health care reform bill allows for taxpayer-funded abortions through the public health insurance plan and the health insurance “exchange”.

In short, the Senate bill will raise premiums, raise taxes, and cut benefits. You can read the Congressional Budget Office score of the bill (PDF), for more information on the costs of this version of health care reform but remember one thing. The bill they scored for this report (HR 3590) will not be the same bill (therefore their score of the bill will no longer be valid) once it passes. It is sure to “evolve” before any final vote comes to the Senate floor.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I will begin my review of the substitute to HR3590 tomorrow evening. Until then, get reading. Don’t make me do it alone.

HR3962 : Division D

So far, the contents of HR3962 have been absolutely insane. From the transition to the single payer system and federally funded abortions to the tight regulation of neighborhood obesity, restaurant menus, and vending machines, it’s been quite a ride.

This final section, Division D, pertains to Indian Health Care Improvement, but just wait until you see some of the items Nancy Pelosi and the gang feel will improve Indian health.

Section 3101 of HR3962 amends the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. In addition to numerous other sections, it also amends section 301, by stating,

Congress finds the following:

(1) The provision of sanitation facilities is primarily a health consideration and function.

(2) Indian people suffer an inordinately high incidence of disease, injury, and illness directly at attributable to the absence or inadequacy of sanitation facilities.

The bill states “sanitation facilities” several times in this section, and Congress reaffirms the primary responsibility and authority of the Service to provide the necessary sanitation facilities and services, yet they never really state which sanitation systems will be further regulated, and there is no mention about the authority of the local tribes that will be affected by this legislation. What if they have existing standards, infrastructure and systems? Shouldn’t they have some say about how these facilities will be serviced and monitored? Is clean drinking water part of the plan for these “sanitation facilities”?

In the previous post we saw the return of involuntary servitude and discrimination so it only makes sense that “Indian Health Care Improvement” would involve the taking of Indian land… again… right?

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and all other agencies and departments of the United States are authorized to transfer, at no cost, land and improvements to the Service for the provision of health care services. The Secretary is authorized to accept such land and improvements for such purposes.

Something tells me this isn’t going to go over well either. Health care services or not, they may take offense to the fact that the Secretary of Health and Human Services now has the right to take any land he/she wants as long as she justifies it in the name of improved health care.

This section continues to erode tribal sovereignty by assigning control of any and all grants and/or contracts between Tries and any health care, education, disease prevention, wild life preservation, land preservation, land purchases, and anything else covered by the Snyder Act.

Under authority of the Act of November 2, 1921 (25 U.S.C. 13) (commonly known as the ‘Snyder Act’), the Secretary, acting through the Service, shall enter into contracts with, or make grants to, urban Indian organizations to assist such organizations in the establishment and administration, within Urban Centers, of programs which meet the requirements set forth in this title. Subject to section 506, the Secretary, acting through the Service, shall include such conditions as the Secretary considers necessary to effect the purpose of this title in any contract into which the Secretary enters with, or in any grant the Secretary makes to, any urban Indian organization pursuant to this title.

For more information on this blatant encroachment of tribal sovereignty, make sure you read all of the pages from 1805 through 1877.

The bill authorizes the Secretary to decide what constitutes mental illness for the Indian community.

The purposes of this section are as follows:

(1) To authorize and direct the Secretary, acting through the Service, to develop a comprehensive behavioral health prevention and treatment program which emphasizes collaboration among alcohol and substance abuse, social services, and mental health programs.

(2) To provide information, direction, and guidance relating to mental illness and dysfunction and self-destructive behavior, including child abuse and family violence, to those Federal, tribal, State, and local agencies responsible for programs in Indian communities in areas of health care, education, social services, child and family welfare, alcohol and substance abuse, law enforcement, and judicial services.

and also provides for the conversion of existing hospital beds (for medical treatment) to be used in psychiatric wards as needed.

Mental Health Care Need Assessment- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2009, the Secretary, acting through the Service, shall make an assessment of the need for inpatient mental health care among Indians and the availability and cost of inpatient mental health facilities which can meet such need. In making such assessment, the Secretary shall consider the possible conversion of existing, underused Service hospital beds into psychiatric units to meet such need.

Why would American Indians need more psychiatric beds anyway? Does the government know something we don’t or are they preparing for something bigger? When it comes to HR3962, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.

The bill makes reference to treatment programs specifically for women,

The Secretary, consistent with section 701, may make grants to Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and urban Indian organizations to develop and implement a comprehensive behavioral health program of prevention, intervention, treatment, and relapse prevention services that specifically addresses the cultural, historical, social, and child care needs of Indian women, regardless of age.

funding for a Fetal Alcohol Disorder Task Force,

The Secretary shall establish a task force to be known as the Fetal Alcohol Disorder Task Force to advise the Secretary in carrying out subsection (b).

and the establishment of a Native American Health and Wellness Foundation.

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary shall establish, under the laws of the District of Columbia and in accordance with this title, the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation.

And with that, I wrap up my quick summary of House Resolution 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act.

Make sure you read the pertinent parts of this bill. It was a much tougher read than the previous bill, which I think was intentional on the part of Nancy Pelosi and the gang. Almost every provision of HR3962 makes an amendment to some other legislation or act which is already in place, so learning the true intention of many sections was quite painstaking.

I shudder to think what the final Senate version of the bill will look like, if we’re ever allowed to see it, and once the two are merged, it’s going to be completely ridiculous, I am sure.

That’s it for tonight, I’m going to sleep now.

HR3962 : Division A : Part One

As you know by now, Nancy Pelosi announced the release of HR 3962 : Affordable Health Care for America Act on Thursday of last week.

I took a quick glance at it that afternoon, and mentioned that I would be looking at the bill over the weekend. You will be happy to know that I have spent the better part of my weekend reading through the bill and making notes.

The summary of this bill won’t be quite as detailed as the one I did for HR 3200, but I will cover as much as I can before tomorrow night. I’ve heard rumors that the House will begin debate on the bill this week, and I want to get through as much of the bill as I can so you know what to talk about when you call your Representatives about HR 3962.

While the word rationing does not appear in the text of the bill, Title I, Section 101, authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to monitor the costs of covering the “high-risk pool” of citizens, and to adjust benefits, premiums and such to offset the expenses of treating them. It even goes so far as to establish waiting lists for those in this “pool”.

If the Secretary estimates for any fiscal year that the aggregate amounts available for payment of expenses of the high-risk pool will be less than the amount of the expenses, the Secretary shall make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums, or establishing waiting lists.

Twenty-five pages into the bill and they’ve already established the authorization for rationing your health care. Remember my review of HR 3200 and my examples, including those who are elderly with cancer, those who have AIDS/HIV, or those who have lifelong diseases like Parkinsons? It’s only a matter of time before their coverage dries up completely now.

At this point, I thought it might be a good idea to take some Tylenol, while I still have access to it. Based on these first pages, this is going to be an interesting read.

Title II, Section 202 will phase out private health insurance coverage by 2013. This section states,

Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.

Can you say hello single payer health care? Seriously. At first I thought this bill was a “Punk’d” prank played by Nancy Pelosi on the House Republicans, but as I read more, I realized this really is our nightmare and if we don’t do something about it, it will come true.

Things get very controversial, and sad, Subtitle C, Section 222 authorizes the use of federal funding for abortions. Yes, the bill actually mentions the word abortion, and they make it blatantly clear that this public health care bill (in it’s current form) will remove all roadblocks of federally funded abortions.

(3) COVERAGE UNDER PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION- The public health insurance option shall provide coverage for services described in paragraph (4)(B). Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing for or prohibiting coverage of services described in paragraph (4)(A).

(4) ABORTION SERVICES-

(A) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS PROHIBITED- The services described in this subparagraph are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is not permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.

(B) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED- The services described in this subparagraph are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.

Subtitle C, Section 223, establishes the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, much like HR 3200. The HBAC will be authorized to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.

So basically, the Surgeon General, nine Presidential appointees, nine people appointed by the Comptroller General and up to eight Federal employees will be deciding which benefits will be offered, which benefits are essential, and which benefits will be offered with which plans.

Say hello to the RATION BOARD.

We were told early on in the public discussion about HR 3200 that the bill did not include anything to do with end-of-life care, death panels, or any mention of assisted suicide. Then someone decided they would remove that section. You know, the section they say was never there (even though we have copies of it in HR 3200). Well, guess what? It’s back.

While they make several references stating that the section does not promote suicide, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing. They also go to great lengths to state that the section shall not presume the withdrawal of treatment. Yet, Subtitle D, Section 240 states,

Nothing in this section shall be construed –

(1) to require an individual to complete an advanced directive or a physician’s order for life sustaining treatment or other end-of-life planning document;

(2) to require an individual to consent to restrictions on the amount, duration, or scope of medical benefits otherwise covered under a qualified health benefits plan

In other words, even though nothing in that section will promote suicide, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing, we as individuals will not be required to complete an advanced directive, our physicians won’t be required to fulfill an order for life sustaining treatment or end-of-life planning, and we’ll have no say when they begin restricting the amount of medicine and treatment we receive in our “end of life” stage.

Subtitle F, Section 258 brings up the topic of abortion again. At the top of page 147 we learn,

IN GENERAL- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding

(A) conscience protection;

(B) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and

(C) discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.

Read that highlighted part again. Doesn’t this potentially open the door for federally funding organizations such as Planned Parenthood and others which promote (and offer) abortion services?

This section makes sure that nothing in the act shall be construed to have any effect on current laws, and does not explicitly ban funding, it in effect authorizes the federal funding of abortion under the soon to be debated public option.

Subtitle B, Section 321 establishes the “Public Health Insurance Option”. Nanny State Nancy Pelosi spent the better part of last week trying to re-brand the public option into the “consumer option” but the only way to genuinely describe this plan is to call it the “government option”.

For years beginning with Y1, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ‘Secretary’) shall provide for the offering of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan (in this division referred to as the ‘public health insurance option’) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of affordable, high quality coverage throughout the United States in accordance with this subtitle. In designing the option, the Secretary’s primary responsibility is to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to care.

Remember now, the Secretary of Health and Human Services primary responsibility will be to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to care, but we learned on page 25 that the same Secretary will also be authorized to cut services (compromise quality) and create waiting lists (cut off access to care), anytime he/she feels it is appropriate. Do you feel like we are running in circles here?

Section 330 permits members of Congress to enroll in the new public option. Like any sane member of Congress is going to turn away from their existing plan to take this option. If they are going to support this thing, they should be required, not permitted, to be covered by the same plan we are.

In Subtitle C, Section 345 we welcome back the income verification section which is quite similar to what we saw in HR 3200, and again, there is no mention of how an individuals information will be verified, only their income. 250 pages into the bill and we still haven’t addressed the coverage for millions of illegal immigrants.

Program Integrity; Income Verification Procedures-

(1) PROGRAM INTEGRITY- The Commissioner shall take such steps as may be appropriate to ensure the accuracy of determinations and redeterminations under this subtitle.

(2) INCOME VERIFICATION-

(A) IN GENERAL- Upon an initial application of an individual for an affordability credit under this subtitle (or in applying section 342(b)) or upon an application for a change in the affordability credit based upon a significant change in modified adjusted gross income described in subsection (c)

(1)–

(i) the Commissioner shall request from the Secretary of the Treasury the disclosure to the Commissioner of such information as may be permitted to verify the information contained in such application; and

(ii) the Commissioner shall use the information so disclosed to verify such information.

(B) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES- The Commissioner shall establish procedures for the verification of income for purposes of this subtitle if no income tax return is available for the most recent completed tax year.

As I mentioned after my first glance at the bill, Title IV, Subtitle B, Section 413 imposes a mandatory tax on employers who do not meet the “minimum employer contribution”, by charging them up to 8% of the employee’s average wages paid by the employer.

Title V, Subtitle A, Section 501 makes amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, by implementing the 2.5% tax (yes, they reference this penalty as a tax) on those who do not possess “acceptable health care coverage” and Section 511 adds an additional $100 per day fee (per employee) for employers who fail to satisfy the health coverage participation requirements.

Let’s say you make $100,000 per year. If you do not have insurance through your employer, your employer will be paying as much as $8,000 per year as a penalty for not offering you insurance. If this continues for 100 days, they will pay an additional $10,000. Then, on top of that you will be paying an additional $2,500 per year for not possessing acceptable health care coverage. Remember, these are just the penalties, not the actual cost of health care coverage for you. One individual. Hold on though, it doesn’t stop there.

Section 512 goes on to add yet another “tax” on firms who elect not to offer, or cannot afford to offer, coverage. This Employer Excise Tax (yes, again they define this penalty as another tax) will amount to another 8% of the employee’s average wages.

So, if you, the person I just mentioned above, work for a small firm, or you own your own small firm, you will be paying an additional $8,000 “excise tax”. At this point, as a self-employed individual, you will have paid $28,500 out of pocket in additional taxes thanks to HR 3962.

So in review, under HR 3962, if you make $100,000 per year in wages, you could be paying an additional $28,500 in taxes before you even begin to calculate your income taxes, self-employment taxes, or any other taxes and fees that will be thrown at you.

According to what we’ve covered so far, that $28,500 will buy you the right to have your health care rationed, the transformation to a single payer health care system, special end-of-life care, and even more taxes which I’ll discuss in my next post. Your contribution will also help cover the health care costs of millions of illegal immigrants and women who choose to obtain abortions.

For those of you keeping track and reading along (cough) this brings us to page 316.

More to follow…

HR 3962: My First Glance

Just when you thought the health care debate couldn’t get any more confusing…

Earlier today, Speaker of the House, Nanny State Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) introduced the “Affordable Health Care for America Act“, or House Resolution 3962.

HR3962 is a whopping 1,990 pages and with the estimated cost of nearly $900 billion, it amounts to roughly $2.4 million per word.

I read on Politico that the word ‘doctor’ does not appear in the bill, so I checked myself, and they are correct. The only two reference to ‘doctoral degrees’ are in reference to marriage family therapists and mental health counselors. Interesting yes?

When Nancy Pelosi and the gang introduced the new public health care bill including the “public” option in a public place, the announcement was closed to the public.

 
So much for Nancy Pelosi’s promise, huh?

This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.

Not including the two times it appears in the table of contents, the word ‘abortion’ appears in the bill 23 times, and yes, the bill explicitly allows federal funding of abortions through the public option as well as private insurance plans.

The term “death panel” did not make it into this version of health care reform but the section relating to end-of-life care remains in the bill.

HR3962 imposes 13, yes thirteen, new taxes. From the American’s For Tax Reform website:

Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000). Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.

Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted.

Cap on FSAs (Page 325): FSAs would face an annual cap of $2500 (currently uncapped).

Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326): Non-qualified distributions from HSAs would face an additional tax of 20 percent (current law is 10 percent). This disadvantages HSAs relative to other tax-free accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, 529 plans, etc.)

Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.

Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336): Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly). MAGI adds back in the itemized deduction for margin loan interest. This would raise the top marginal tax rate in 2011 from 39.6 percent under current law to 45 percent—a new effective top rate.

Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339): Imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.5 percent of the wholesale price. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344): Requires that 1099-MISC forms be issued to corporations as well as persons for trade or business payments. Current law limits to just persons for small business compliance complexity reasons. Also expands reporting to exchanges of property.

Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345): Delays for nine years the worldwide allocation of interest, a corporate tax relief provision from the American Jobs Creation Act

Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346): Increases taxes on U.S. employers with overseas operations looking to avoid double taxation of earnings.

Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349): Empowers the IRS to disallow a perfectly legal tax deduction or other tax relief merely because the IRS deems that the motive of the taxpayer was not primarily business-related.

Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357): Publicly-traded partnerships and corporations with annual gross receipts in excess of $100 million have raised standards on penalties. If there is a tax underpayment by these taxpayers, they must be able to prove that the estimated tax paid would have more likely than not been sufficient to cover final tax liability.

In addition to imposing all those nice luxurious new taxes, HR3962 will also require federal regulation of vending machines. Yes, vending machines. In Section 2572, on pages 151-1516, the bill states,

(viii) VENDING MACHINES.—In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that —

(I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not other wise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and

(II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.

There is no word if cameras will be installed, or if social security numbers will be required in order to make a purchase. With the level of federal government intrustion into our lives, it only makes sense to think this is what they have in mind, eventually. The government has to receive some kind of record about the people who are eating the unhealthy food from those machines, because they need to know when to start rationing your health care if you do.

Oh shut up, you know it’s coming.

The Congressional Budget Office puts the initial cost of this version of health care reform at $1.055 trillion. Of course, this is above and beyond the self-imposed limit put in place by President Obama, but we all know he hasn’t been to stringent about rules and keeping his word anyway, so I’m sure that’s just a rhetorical number.

This past summer millions of Americans raised their voices in opposition to government run health care. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats did not get the message. An overwhelming number of Americans want health care reform but they want reform that lowers the cost of health care and makes it more available. They don’t want health care reform that will raise taxes, raise health care costs, add to our national debt, place additional financial burdens on their family, parents, children, and their own small businesses.

I’ll be posting more about this bill over the next couple days. It’s a given that they want to begin debate on this bill next week, and there is no way I can cover all 1,990 pages over the weekend, but I will do my best to cover as much as possible before the debate begins.

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Public, Pots, Pelosi, & PussyFooting

Everyone’s feeling better around here, with the exception of the middle child. He’s always the last to get the crud as it makes its way through the house, but he’s also the quickest to recover too, so he should be back up to speed about the same time as everyone else.

I’ve got a lot on my plate again this week, but it’s nothing I can’t handle or I am going to complain about. Here are my thoughts for tonight.

Thought #1

Not even votes for the “government option”?

The House Dem leadership has conducted its preliminary whip count and has tallied up less than 200 likely Yes votes in support of a health care reform bill with a robust public option, well short of the 218 needed for passage, according to an internal whip count document I’ve obtained.

We’ll see. I still think they are going to attempt to ram it through, regardless of the government option or other amendments.

Thought #2

President Obama has unveiled yet another “plan” which further erodes capitalism in the United States.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp would have authority to unwind large firms whose failure could threaten the overall economy, said the TV business news channel.

“Resolution authority,” or empowering the government to deal with large troubled firms that are not banks, is crucial to reforming financial regulation, lawmakers and Obama have said for months since last year’s severe financial crisis.

Since when should any “authority” in the United States posess the power to “unwind” large firms? The free market does that when the company dies. Each time he puts his fingers in the pot he adds ingredients that are sure to spoil the whole thing.

Thought #3

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t like to be asked questions about the Constitution, unless they are serious.

When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Yes, she’s serious. In other words she had no idea. She doesn’t want you to have any idea either.

Thought #4

Speaking of Nanny State Nancy, it seems someone from the House of Representatives was researching some information yesterday.

Someone using the Internet from within the walls of the House of Representatives did a Google search for “nobel peace prize” and “consent of congress”.

I don’t know if I should be proud that a House member is using my site as reference for information on a very important piece of the U.S. Constitution, or scared that a House member had to resort to Google and my site to find otu what the U.S. Consitution says.

Either way, I am glad they stopped by because at least I know someone is doing something up there on the Hill. If they’re researching information I’m glad I could help.

Thought #5

It seems President Obama wasn’t talking about any health care bill when he spoke to the joint session of Congress.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) told CNSNews.com that President Barack Obama told him in a telephone conversation that when he said in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress that “under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” he was not talking about the actual bill drafted in the House but about the president’s own health care plan—which has never been written.

“I don’t know if it is a game of semantics or what,” Stupak said of Obama’s nationally televised declaration to Congress that the health-care plan will not allow federal funding of abortion.

Ooooh. The health care plan which has never been written. Wait. Doesn’t that apply to many different pieces of non-legislation which the Senate and House will be voting on soon?

Thought #6

The war in Afghanistan is President Obama’s war now. Because he has pussy footed around and hesitated in following General McChrystal’s recommendation for more troops, more of our service members have died.

While Obama continues to dither, American lives continue to be lost. As 8 more American troops were killed in two separate bomb attacks today in southern Afghanistan, this officially makes October 2009 the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since the start of the Afghan war in 2001.

Thanks Mr. President, it’s all on you now.