Rumors, Relevance, Recalculations, & Reform

Have you ever wondered just how hypocritical Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is? I’ll have a post tomorrow night showing just how narrow minded and nasty Nanny State Nancy can really be. (Yes, that was a teaser).

Thought #1

So the rumor I heard was true. The Baucus Plan, aka SB 1796, aka “America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009” was released today. I have a link for it over in the sidebar, and I am searching for an HTML version to post on the page.

The bill weighs in at 1,502 pages and if you watch the video from Thought #3 you will see why the bill will transform from the released version almost immediately. Word has it that the House and the Senate want to wrap up the debate over Health Care Reform and shove it down our throats within the next couple weeks.

I guess I better get to reading this bill huh?

Thought #2

On September 14, 2006, he said,

We need a new policy – the one the president promised when we went into Afghanistan in the first place. Where NATO allies have pledged troops and assistance to Afghanistan, they must follow through. But the United States must lead by example by sending in at least five thousand additional American troops. More elite Special Forces troops, the best counter-insurgency units in the world; more civil affairs forces; and more experienced intelligence units. More predator drones to find the enemy, more helicopters to allow rapid deployments to confront them, and more heavy combat equipment to make sure we can crush the terrorists.

Now, on October 18, 2009, he says,

I don’t see how President Obama can make a decision about the committing of our additional forces or even the further fulfillment of our mission that’s here today without an adequate government in place or knowledge about what that government’s going to be.

Counting the numbers of troops is not going to define our success here.

Not that you needed a reminder nor an example of how Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has made himself irrelevant when it comes to American politics.

Thought #3

Harry Reid and the Chamber of Secrets.

Thought #4

The other day I asked How Much Is Your Job Worth? It turns out, my numbers were pretty low.

In my post I quoted CNN, which was my first mistake, and it turns out that jobs created by the stimulus do not cost the American Taxpayer $71,500 each. They actually cost us $526,610 each. I won’t make that mistake again.

With $16 billion in federal contracts awarded, each job created in the past seven months cost $526,610. These federal jobs are directly paid for with taxpayer dollars and, as such, do not reflect growth in the real private-sector economy. If the cost per government job remains the same, the $787 “stimulus” could possibly produce 208,000 jobs in eight months-compared to the 263,000 jobs lost in the month of September alone.

Thought #5

If any of the Health Care Reform bills pass both houses, land on the President’s desk, and are signed into law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius will be instrumental in shaping the implementation of that reform and she alone will be responsible for creating a level playing field between any government plan and private insurance companies.

Here she is talking in 2007 about health care reform. See if you can figure out how “level” that “playing field” is going to be with a single payer system.

The Senate Finance Committee Is A Joke

With yesterday’s passage of the “Baucus Plan”, the Senate Finance Committee confirmed something we all (well most of us) have known all along.

The call for “Health care reform” in the United States amounts to nothing more than a massive middle-class tax hike. Take these inconvenient truths into account:

To avoid the fate of the House bill and achieve a veneer of fiscal sensibility, the Senate did three things: It omitted inconvenient truths, it promised that future Congresses will make tough choices to slow entitlement spending, and it dropped the hammer on the middle class.

The only way they could get this “plan” through committee was to leave out all of the details, promising that those details will be filled in, in the future. Since when do we create fill in the blank legislation? I know Mad-Libs are popular, but who knew that the U.S. Senate depended on them?

One inconvenient truth is the fact that Congress will not allow doctors to suffer a 24% cut in their Medicare reimbursements. Senate Democrats chose to ignore this reality and rely on the promise of a cut to make their bill add up. Taking note of this fact pushes the total cost of the bill well over $1 trillion and destroys any pretense of budget balance.

This one simple truth makes it impossible for President Obama to sign the final legislation. Remember, he said he would not sign any health care legislation that added to the federal deficit. They’re going to be pretty hard pressed to fund a $1 trillion health plan without touching the deficit.

Oh, and remember when President Obama promised there would be no new taxes for anyone making less than $200,000?

Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.

But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Whoops. That’s gotta hurt. It’s amazing to watch Congress go through all these motions when it’s clear they have no intention of actually reforming health care in the first place. Did you know the CBO has estimated that by 2019, the “Baucus Plan” would leave approximately 25 million people without health insurance?

Like I said, this is less about health care reform and more about authorizing higher taxes on those who can least afford it. If they really want to reform health care why not make medicare/medicaid available to everyone who needs it? Wouldn’t that guarantee coverage for everyone?