Tag: health care
Today was a long day. As a severely underemployed person, things are very tight around here. I spent the day working on some things that needed to be done, and straightening out some things that couldn’t be done before today. It’s a long story for another day.
I have a couple things I want to write about tonight. The first is about ObamaCare.
I bet you didn’t know there was a vote in the House Of Representatives yesterday involving ObamaCare. Yesterday was a day filled with news about the Deep Horizon oil spill and the speech delivered by The Failed One™ from the Oval Office (his first). It was perfect cover for the media to completely ignore the vote to repeal the individual mandate under ObamaCare.
House Republicans plan to force a vote as soon as today on a measure that would repeal the job-killing, unconstitutional ‘individual mandate’ at the heart of ObamaCare. This proposal, to be offered by House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI), will be offered as the Republican motion-to-recommit on H.R. 5486, the so-called Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010.
The vote failed 187-230. Twenty-one Democrats joined the Republicans in voting for the measure. Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), once again, was the sole Republican to vote with the Democrats against the Republican measure.
I can’t believe so many Democrats are still getting it wrong where ObamaCare is concerned and it’s amazing how much the media can still hide from us simply by diverting our attention.
The second subject I want to write about is the new AutoZone iPhone App. I don’t usually write about iPhone applications, but I have to applaud the developers of this one.
A few weeks ago I noticed my passenger side headlight was out. I don’t do too much night driving, so I didn’t think too much about it, until the evening of the Douglas County TEA Party. While driving home I realized how dark our country roads are with only one light, so I planned to stop and pick up a new headlight the next chance I got.
Well, as things normally go around here, I put it off in order to focus on other things like replacing the lawn mower battery, cleaning up some storage items, organizing my woodworking shop, practicing with some new photographic techniques, etc, etc, etc. You get the idea.
Two days ago, I noticed the new AutoZone app in the App Store so I figured I would download it and see what it was all about. I am a sucker for those FREE apps anyway.
Once I got the app installed I was able to add my truck to my list of vehicles, identify the store closest to my house (4 miles away), and within minutes I was able to see that they had my headlight in stock for $14.99 ($16.04 with tax).
I picked up the headlight and within minutes after returning home, I had replaced the headlight myself.
It’s pretty awesome that I could search their catalog, find my part, confirm it was in-stock at my local store, and know exactly how much I was going to spend, all from the comfort of my easy chair. Thanks AutoZone, for making an app that’s actually useful!
It’s nice to see some developers who get it right on the first try.
That’s it for this post. As I said before, it’s been a very long day and tomorrow looks to be even longer than today. Now I am going to kick back and play some Sudoku2Pro and relax.
One thing Rep. Gingrey mentioned at the town hall meeting was that ‘ObamaCare’ may have barred members of Congress from the federal employees health program.
Today, that same news broke all over the Internet.
“It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the research service said in an 8,100-word memorandum.
And even if current members of Congress can stay in the popular program for federal employees, that option will probably not be available to newly elected lawmakers, the report says.
Moreover, it says, the strictures of the new law will apply to staff members who work in the personal office of a member of Congress. But they may or may not apply to people who work on the staff of Congressional committees and in “leadership offices” like those of the House speaker and the Democratic and Republican leaders and whips in the two chambers.
It seems the Democratic leadership was in such a rush to pass the bill, none of them actually read the bill. If they did read the bill, they surely didn’t understand it, which worries me even more.
You see, the bill doesn’t establish a “start date” for this provision of the law, and therefore falls into a very well defined area of statutory interpretation.
Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.
This basically means that the law which bans members of Congress and their staff from the health benefit program they all love so much (and probably want to keep) took effect with the stroke of the President’s pens when he signed the health-care bill one letter at a time.
They did not read the bill. They did not understand the bill. The Democrats that voted for this bill deserve this, at the very least.
On another note, I am sure you heard that President Obama has vowed not to use nuclear weapons, no matter what. Well, not only will he not use nuclear weapons, but he informed those who may want to attack us that the government will not respond with aid after an attack.
The White House has warned state and local governments not to expect a “significant federal response” at the scene of a terrorist nuclear attack for 24 to 72 hours after the blast, according to a planning guide.
The chaos that would inevitably follow such a blast would make it difficult for the federal government to react quickly.
It will take them 72 hours to respond to a disaster like this? What do the victims of Hurricane Katrina think about this? Where’s Brownie when we need him?
Do you feel safe now?
Thank God it’s Friday. I’m going to relax tomorrow, that’s for sure. I need it.
Thirty-three states are out of money to fund unemployment and are must resort to borrowing money from the fed to keep benefits flowing.
With unemployment still at a severe high, a majority of states have drained their jobless benefit funds, forcing them to borrow billions from the federal government to help out-of-work Americans.
A total of 33 states and the Virgin Islands have depleted their funds and borrowed more than $38.7 billion to provide a safety net, according to a report released Thursday by the National Employment Law Project. Four others are at the brink of insolvency.
The U.S. Constitution provides for States rights, but what happens when those states owe billions to the federal government? Something tells me the line between right and wrong is going to be blurred for a very long time.
Bart Stupak, the alleged “pro-life” Democrat who sold his soul in the fight against the health-care bill is calling it quits.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who played a central role in the health reform fight as the leader of anti-abortion Democrats, announced Friday afternoon that he will not run for reelection, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Without Stupak on the ballot, the seat becomes an immediate pickup opportunity for Republicans.
At a press conference in his home district this afternoon, Stupak attributed the exertion of traveling back and forth from Washington to his sprawling Upper Peninsula district as a primary reason for his retirement but also said that he had completed much of what he aimed to do in Congress.
The truth is, he sold out, and his constituents know it. Pro-Life voters sent him to Washington and those same Pro-Life voters would have made sure he wasn’t going back regardless of his decision. He quit in the fight against the health-care bill, so it’s no wonder that he’s quitting again now.
The new START Treaty, which is supposed to curtail nuclear weapon proliferation, contains limits on conventional weapons.
Section 1251 of the fiscal year 2010 Defense Authorization Bill Congress warned President Barack Obama not to include any “limitations” on U.S. advanced conventional weapons in New START. Now that New START has been signed, the State Department is putting out fact sheets on the agreement. An April 8th fact sheet from the State Department is entitled: “Key Point: The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability.”
So it would appear that President Obama listened to Congress’s concern regarding limitations on conventional weapons system. Unfortunately, appearances deceive. Later in the same release, the following is stated: “Long-range conventional ballistic missiles would count under the Treaty’s limit [emphasis added] of 700 delivery vehicles, and their conventional warheads would count against the limit of 1550 warheads, because the treaty does not make a distinction between missiles that are armed with conventional weapons and those that are armed with nuclear weapons.”
There is no limit to the audacity of the current administration. President Obama announced just days ago that we would not retaliate for certain acts against our county, and now we know why. It’s because he’s going to make sure we don’t have any defenses left to retaliate with.
“For me… These are people’s lives… These are people’s children… I don’t worry about the Consitution on this to be honest… I care more about the people who are dying every day that don’t have health care…”
Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) does not worry about the Constitution. He does not care what the Constitution says because he cares more about the people who are dying every day that don’t have health care.
The Constitution is the law of the land, and the thought that people are dying every day “that don’t have health care” is a myth. I have never, in my entire life, heard of one person being turned away at an emergency room because they didn’t have insurance. My own brother-in-law had a heart attack, and once he recovered (in a hospital, without any health insurance) they worked with him to pay towards his bill. The cost of health insurance can be astronomical, but people don’t die in the United States because they “don’t have health care”.People die because of the cost of health care, not because they “don’t have it”.
Many more people will die, however, if politicians like Phil Hare keep ignoring the U.S. Constitution in the name of health-care.
Now that April Fool’s Day is almost over… Seriously. ObamaCare!?! Too bad it wasn’t just some cruel joke.
Just in time to snap you back to reality, take a look at this.
Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae says layoffs are imminent as a result of President Obama’s new student loan overhaul.
“This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600-person workforce by 2,500,” Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, said in a statement to Fox News.
Twenty-nine percent of the people who work for Sallie Mae are going to lose their jobs just because of the student loan overhaul.
What? Oh, you didn’t know? In the reconciliation package for the health-care bill, which was sent to the President for his signature, was a complete overhaul of the student loan process in the United States.
In addition to being the nation’s leading banker, insurance agent, mortgage company, and wall street investment firm, the United States government will now be the sole provider of student loans.
You wanted change America. You definitely got change America.
In the old days, when you had a student loan, you just kept paying and paying until it’s paid off. My wife had just finished paying off a student loan before we got married, but she paid it off. Now, with Obama Savings & Loan, students who pay for 20 years will have the balance written off at that time, unless they work in public service or for a non-profit, then the cutoff is 10 years.
So who do you think is going to pay for all those balances that get “written off”? That’s right. John Q. Taxpayer. The same John Q. Taxpayer who is already paying for bankswho keep their doors open for you, Wall Street investment firms who keep trading your stocks for you, insurance companies who keep insuring you, and mortgage companies who make sure you stay in your house.
I don’t know where President Obama got the idea, but John Q. Taxpayer is not as rich as he thinks he is.
On a side note, did you return your Census form? If you didn’t you might get a visit from a real life human being going door to door to get that information from you. Or not.
April 1 was Census Day – a day marked by events to remind people to return their census questionnaires. But some Census workers were abruptly dismissed from their part-time jobs on Census Day with no explanation.
In Northern Virginia, hundreds of Census workers were told on Thursday to turn in all materials, including partially completed enumeration assignments, because the Group Quarters Enumeration project was being canceled.
So much for those “awesome” unemployment numbers, huh? Just remember. Be patient.
Facing a public still wary of his massive health care overhaul, President Barack Obama urged Americans not to judge the nearly $1 trillion legislation he signed into law last week until the reforms take hold.
Many of the “reforms” don’t take effect until 2014, which is the very reason we were RUSHING the legislation in the first place, right?
It’s about time someone told this guy to take a hike.
Dozens of TEA Party organizations have denounced his candidacy as a fraud. He is not associated with any of those organizations in the state of Nevada, yet he is running as the “tea party candidate”.
My only guess is he’s into sipping tea from dainty little cups. If not, then he’s nothing more than a big fat liar.
Speaking of liars, did you know that the new health care bill will cost businesses billions of dollars in additional health care costs and result in the layoffs of more and more people as their employers become aware of the costs they will incur.
While 40 different states have some sort of legislation in the works to overturn ObamaCare, some people are still trying to convince us that the health care bill was passed for “good reasons”.
The mandate’s defenders say Congress is exercising its power to “regulate commerce…among the several states.” Yet a law that compels people to engage in an intrastate transaction plainly does not fit within the original understanding of the Commerce Clause, which was aimed at facilitating the interstate exchange of goods by removing internal trade barriers.
Of course, not everyone is drinking the kool-aid. In fact, roughly 70% of the American people are refusing to drink the kool-aid.
Yet this is the logic of the health insurance mandate, an unprecedented attempt to punish people for the offense of living in the United States without buying something the federal government thinks they should have. Don’t buy it.
Then again, if you are one of the 30% or so that is happy with the health-care bill, take a moment to bask in the knowledge that you are one with Fidel Castro.
We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government…
But even Fidel Castro doesn’t get it.
Cuba provides free health care and education to all its citizens, and heavily subsidizes food, housing, utilities and transportation, policies that have earned it global praise. The government has warned that some of those benefits are no longer sustainable given Cuba’s ever-struggling economy, though it has so far not made major changes.
In recent speeches, Raul Castro has singled out medicine as an area where the government needs to be spending less, but he has not elaborated.
Universal health care. Unsustainable costs. Imagine that. You wanted change, America. You got it.
The passage of the health-care bill signaled a change in our country. No longer are we the free people we were just a couple days ago.
Under this new plan you will be forced to carry health insurance or face a fine. You will be required to pay specific amounts for that health care. The amount you pay will be determined by the IRS based on your income. If you don’t purchase a government approved health-care plan, you will be fined and/or go to jail.
Never before in our country’s history have the American people been forced to purchase any product, be it food, clothing, insurance, or otherwise. Some people are using the “you are required to purchase auto insurance aren’t you” argument, but that doesn’t fly. Laws concerning auto insurance are state laws, not federal laws. Under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the federal government does not possess the authority to do this.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Health-care for everyone may sound good, but forced health-care insurance is unconstitutional at the very basic level in the Bill Of Rights.
There are a lot more issues with ObamaCare than the unconstitutionality of it, and I’ll discuss some of those over the coming week or so. For today, here are some more links about the bill.
Tomorrow is another day, and I am sure there will be 1,000 more reasons why ObamaCare will never be enacted.
Well, there you have it. 219 Democrats have made an all-out assault on our Constitution. As you know by now, the health-care bill has passed.
Since most of you still don’t know exactly what’s in the bill, why not review these 20 ways that ObamaCare will take away our freedoms. These are so important I am quoting the entire list here.
1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)
2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).
3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).
4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employees’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))
8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).
9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 50 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).
10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).
11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))
12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))
13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a county where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).
14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)
15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).
16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).
17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)
18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).
19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).
20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).
I am sick to my stomach thinking of everything that will transpire because of the passing of this bill.