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Posts Tagged ‘health care’

The Constitution ends where the Wild Thing begins, or something.

February 17, 2012 1 comment

Who knew the pill could cause such a ruckus?  I’d be a little shocked at where we are in this debate, if it weren’t so typical.  For those of you that have been living under a rock for the past several days, Barry has decided to pick a fight with the Catholic Church.  Specifically, he thinks compelling Catholic employers, such as Catholic hospitals, to pay for contraceptives for their employees is in keeping with his promise to be the awesomest president EVER.  This wouldn’t be a problem, other than for the fact that the Catholic Church considers the use of contraceptives a sin, and therefore, is disgruntled by the feds forcing Catholics to pay for such items.  Commence public outrage.

Disclaimer: I am not a Catholic.  I don’t have any problem with people using contraceptives, and I don’t think an abortion is the best way to make sure Debbie can fit into her prom dress (too far?).  But I did watch part of a documentary on PBS about the constitution once, and I’m pretty sure the government can’t force you to do something that violates your religion.  Well, that’s assuming your religion doesn’t consist of smoking pot in your mom’s basement, but I digress.  In fact, “freedom of religion” is right up front, in the first amendment.  It’s even more important than being able to use your gun against that neighbor who never cleans up after his dog (you know the guy).

So why is this even an issue?  Why are my Youtubes all clogged up with sob stories from some law school student about how embarrassing it was to get to the counter and find out she actually had to pay for those pills?  Oh, that’s right.  The issue consists of sex, free stuff, and “crazy religious folk (who must be white. and old. and men.).”  In other words, it’s right in a liberal’s sweet spot.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked Issa before walking out of the hearing after the first panel. ‘I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?’

This statement was made yesterday, after a congressional hearing on contraceptives (must have been a slow day in Congress).  Ms. Maloney’s statement is convenient because it highlights the spin that the left is offering to disguise the aforementioned tomfoolery.  “This isn’t about religious liberty, it’s about a woman’s right to keep her uterus as dusty as possible, for as long as possible.  And this can only happen with Catholic-provided contraceptives.”   FYI: That’s a quote I made up while driving in my automobile.  Thus, you can attribute its hilarity to me.

As you’ve figured out by now, this isn’t about contraception.  It isn’t about women’s rights.  It isn’t even about feminism, or sexism, or some other “ism.”  It’s about the federal government compelling a religion to do something that is against its religion.  And no, it doesn’t matter that 98% of female Catholics use contraceptives.  All that means is 98% of female Catholics feel like ignoring the teachings of their church.

Barry’s effort to force Catholic employers to provide birth control to their employees is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.  And it’s not even close.  I’ll be interested to see who folds on this.  Does the Catholic Church have the courage of its convictions?  Or will our president create another constitutional crisis?  In other words, pass the popcorn.

How many waivers will it take before Obamacare considered failure?

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems everyone with any shwag is getting a waiver for Obamacare now-days.  What is a waiver from Obamacare you ask?  Well, in its effort to create awesome health care benefits out of pixie dust and rainbows, the new health care law compels  privately-owned insurance providers to give at least $2 million in annual benefits to insureds by 2013.  Well that sounds like a great idea!  Unlimited insurance benefits for all! 

It turns out that there’s a small problem with requiring companies to provide a certain level of coverage to all insureds though.  It’s called reality.  A company like McDonald’s, for example, provides some health benefits for its low-wage workers because the premiums aren’t terribly high…so it’s affordable.  Do you think $2 million a year is going to be affordable?  Probably not.  Hence the waivers.

The waivers allow health insurance plans to limit how much they will spend on a policy holder’s medical coverage for a given year. Under the new health care law, however, such annual limits are phased out by the year 2014. (Under HHS regulations, annual limits can be no less than $750,000 for 2011, no less than $1.25 million in 2012 and no less than $2 million in 2013.)

So far, 222 organizations have been granted waivers from having to comply with Obamacare.  The most recent: three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  No, this isn’t about unions per se.  Fact it, lots of large companies and charitable organizations have been issued waivers.  The purpose of this post is to simply inquire into whether Obamacare can be defined as a good thing if no one can afford to comply with it (I know, this question often vexes liberals)?

Let’s face it…the new health care law is an entitlement program whose purpose is to provide good healthcare, at a cheap cost, to those deemed most at risk.  Unfortunately, good healthcare at a cheap cost doesn’t exist in the real world.  So, what needs to happen?  Well, first, the big political donors need to be satiated.  Hence specifically exempting them from the law.  Second, those low-wage employees of the big political donors will need to be subsidized in some way by the government.  Why?  Because if Obamacare results in janitors not receiving the same annual insurance limits of everyone else, even the libs will admit failure.

You see, there is no such thing as a free lunch.  A company can’t survive by offering cadillac plans to everyone, and not charging appropriate premiums to everyone.  An insurance provider can’t afford to offer  insurance to someone with heart disease who smokes five packs a day, while only requiring the premium of a healthier person.  But the government doesn’t exist in the real world, and that’s why the end result of Obamacare will be a lack of private insurance providers offering benefits to everyone else. 

But that’s the point, isn’t it?

 

Honesty is the best policy. Unless you’re a communist

September 10, 2010 2 comments

No doubt about it…honesty is the best policy.  Thus, we should all give Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a healthy pat on the back after she said this:

‘Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,’ Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

While her honesty is refreshing, her message is not.  In fact, her message is something we could expect to hear in Cuba.  “Hey private insurance companies…if you criticize obamacare, I’ll make damn sure you go out of business faster than the other insurance companies.” 

And what is the insurance industry’s response to Ms. Sebelius’ outburst:

‘Health insurance premiums are increasing because of soaring prices for medical services, the impact of younger and healthier people dropping their insurance during the weak economy, and additional benefits required under the new law,’ said Karen Ignagni, president of the insurers’ trade group. ‘It’s a basic law of economics that additional benefits incur additional costs.’

Hold the phone!  More services cost more money?  What?  I’m not sure I understand.  In Obama-land, everyone will get all the state-of-the-art healthcare they want for free!  And while they’re getting their totally bad ass healthcare that’s free, they’ll also get to tickle a govt-issued leprechaun until he craps gold coins.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, these are the people who our president has selected to run our government.  They threaten private businesses that have the nerve to criticize the government, while at the same time, not understanding the concept of stuff=money.  Even my daughter knows that the Barbie with the makeup mirror and strawberry-scented poodle costs more than the Barbie a la carte.  This confusion is a prime example of why people who spend too much time in government become quite similar to those who have undergone a frontal labotomy.  Just sayin’

Even the Feds admit Obamacare will increase costs.

September 10, 2010 1 comment

That thud you hear is yet another obamacare fantasy falling to earth.  This time it comes with fancy charts, courtesy of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, via the Wall Street Journal:

 

What’s fun about about this thud is that it directly refutes the primary justification for Obamacare: to cut the rising costs of medical care.  Not only does it not cut costs, it’s projected to increase them!  And it isn’t just those with private insurance that it affects either.  As you can see, everyone’s costs will go up.  The only exception is medicare, and that’s only because the feds are going to under-reimburse doctors for their services (which sounds like a great way to secure quality care).  And keep in mind, this isn’t a Wall Street Journal study; it’s a federal government study. 

The dems are right about one thing: Obamacare will certainly go down in history. 

It’s our money dill-hole.

September 7, 2010 3 comments

 

Is this surprising?

Remember Peter Orszag?  You know…the director of the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget that skipped town after realizing that he was about as useful in fixing the economy as my six year old daughter?  Well, he’s now one of the New York Times‘ esteemed Contributing Columnists.  In his first Op-Ed, he argues that Congress should extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years, and then dump them all permanently.  In doing so, he presents the liberal position that has been thrown about for so long that it’s simply met with a shrug.  In short: at some point, we need to raise taxes because the government needs to buy stuff…because, as we all know, buying stuff is fun; especially when it’s someone else’s money.  I continue to find this logic absurd and worthy of endless ridicule.

I have to give Orszag credit on one issue that the “progressives” fail to acknowledge: ending the Bush tax cuts for anyone, even those evil rich people who have stolen all of their money from the rest of us without creating any jobs (that’s sarcasm for those of you who are new to this blog) would actually hurt an already crappy economy.  It’s his next points that cause me great consternation.

Many conservatives are even worse: they’d make the tax cuts permanent for the likes of Warren Buffett, even though he’d prefer they didn’t. Making all the tax cuts permanent would expand the deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next decade.

Ah Warren Buffett…how I disdain you.  You of statements like (and I’m paraphasing here), “it’s not fair that my secretary pays more in taxes than I do.”  Look Warren, I know you like to look at the man in the mirror every morning and wax poetic about how gracious that person is, but you’re the one drinking fifty year old scotch out of a golden goblet.  In other words, if your secretary is paying more taxes then you, then stop paying your lawyers and accountants to find ways to shelter your money…or stop paying your secretary so much.   Plus, if you really want to pay more in taxes, feel free to write the IRS a check…I’m certain it won’t be sent back.

But I digress.  My point is this: the only way tax cuts could increase the deficit is if the government DOESN’T CUT ITS OWN SPENDING.  See, the government isn’t entitled to whatever amount of revenue it wants so that it can do rad stuff like give grants to scientists to prove cats hate showering with naked people or to prove global warming exists by cherry picking climate stats.

Orczag continues,

Let’s look at the facts. The projected deficit for 2015 is 4 percent to 5 percent of G.D.P., depending on whose assumptions you use. A sustainable level is more like 3 percent or lower. So we need deficit reduction of 1 percent to 2 percent of G.D.P., or about $200 billion to $400 billion a year by 2015. These figures are uncertain, but they’re the best we have (and they may well turn out to be too optimistic).

These are only “facts” if you’re Nostradamus.  In other words, you need to know what the budget will be in 2015.  Since there is no budget for 2015, you’re simply assuming it will be more or less the same as it is now.  Why not assume that the government will decrease its spending in 2015? 

The federal government, and those employed by it, decided long ago that they were entitled to whatever amount of taxes they decided were appropriate and that they found to be politically palatable.  It began with FDR and his New Deal and Social Security and continued largely unabated through Johnson’s Great Society.  Each time the American people were told the government needs more money for the betterment of society; except society never asked for it.  So now we have Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…and Obamacare.  Liberal entitlement programs forced down America’s collective throat that amount to little more than theft.

Orszag asserts that Social Security needs reform…no kidding.  Will it get the reform it needs?  Well, being that the reform it needs is to, at the very least, allow Americans the opportunity to opt out of it and invest their money themselves, it’s  not likely.  How about Medicare and Medicaid?  Orszag asserts that Obamacare has resulted in substantial savings to both programs.  Considering the net effect of Obamacare will be to increase government spending, simply moving money from column A to column B and calling it savings seems a bit dubious, yes?

Simply put, our government has marched us slowly towards more and more taxes in the name of social progress.  Now we’re told we can’t “afford” to keep more of our own money.  Well, to that I say: I’m pretty sure we can.  Plus, Warren’s willing to pay more.

I Can’t Think Up A Witty Title.

September 3, 2010 1 comment

Well, it’s September.  I haven’t posted in a while because there’s been nothing going on.  August was hot.  Congress wasn’t in session.  The Tigers’ season has been over for a while now.  And I’ve been waiting for football to start.

But NOW, we’re officially into football and election season.  WOO-HOO!  While I could talk about football forever, this is not a football blog, and I’m not starting one now.  This is primarily a political blog, and it’s a political time of year.  And I can’t remember an election cycle that has been potentially more important than this one.  Let’s review:

The economy still sucks.  In fact, it’s worse then it was the last time I posted.  Unemployment is up to 9.6%; we’ve lost another 54,000 jobs; and Christina Romer, one of Barry’s chief economic “experts” who is leaving the administration, has recently let all of us know that they’ve had absolutely no idea what they’ve been doing re: the economy.

She had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be. She still doesn’t understand exactly why it was so bad. The response to the collapse was inadequate. And she doesn’t have much of an idea about how to fix things.

That’s disheartening…and also completely obvious.  Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has taken to authoring op-eds in the USA Today to try and convince America that the Democrat’s handling of the economy doesn’t resemble a monkey with a rubic’s cube. 

The Recovery Act saved millions of American jobs — keeping health care providers in hospitals, teachers in classrooms, and police and firefighters on the beat. But the benefits weren’t just in the public sector. During the past eight months, the economy has averaged 95,000 new private sector jobs.

While I’d love to see her support for that last sentence, it doesn’t really matter.  Unemployment will continue to go up until new jobs exceed 120,000/month (population increase).  More importantly, there is no doubt that the economy is slowly getting worse.  

The “summer of recovery” is followed by the “autumn of reality.”  Let’s face it: if the Dems had any idea what to do about the economy, they would have done it by now.

B.O. has recently begun getting rid of the “drove it into a ditch” meme, and replaced it with “it’s taken us 10 years to get into this mess, so it’s unreasonable to think we could get out of the mess in 18 months” nonsense.  Did it take us 10 years to get into this?  I don’t know.  I suppose one could reasonably argue it took one year, or even thirty-three years (the Community Reinvestment Act, which gave birth to the housing boom and bust, was enacted in 1977).  I also don’t care how long it took us to get here.  What I do care about is what is the current Administration doing about it?  Well, it’s been 18 months and the answer is: spent a lot of money for nothing.  Things haven’t improved, and the Dems are out of ideas.

So what should be done?  Well, first and foremost, vote against the Dems in November.  I know, I know…you don’t like the republicans either!  O.k.  Then go vote for the Green Party and pat yourself on the back for being “principled.”  After that you can have your juice box and sandwich with the crusts cut off and take a nap.  For the rest of us adults, we’ll choose a candidate with a chance of winning. 

Simply put, there is job-creating capital out there waiting to be invested.  It’s not being invested because no one has any idea what’s coming from this administration.  For example, if you were a business owner with money, would you be spending it to reinvest or hire new employees if you thought your taxes were going to go up in January?  Of course not.  Doing something as simple as throwing the Dems out of the House would improve the fragile psyche of the economy.

But simply voting Republican isn’t enough.  Pressure needs to be applied to those we vote for to do things like extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone.  Other taxes need to be cut…payroll and capital gains, for example.  Enact legislation which gives people the option to opt out of the slush fund that is Social Security.  Limit Medicare to those that need it; not simply those that are old enough to get it.  Significantly amend Obamacare and gut Fannie and Freddie. 

Until we get the economy back on-track, nothing else matters.  And there’s a lot going on that needs to be addressed beyond the economy…like why we’re ignoring Iran’s getting all nuclear and stuff.

It’s September…the kids are back in school, I get to drink new seasonal beer, and I get to watch football.  More important, however, is the election coming up.  We need to vote the Dems out…and then get ready for 2012, when we can vote out the guy who looks silly riding his bike.  And don’t worry…I’ll be posting a lot more than I did in August in an effort to get you through these tough times.

First time unemployment up…again.

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Barry (while riding his unicorn):
‘But here’s what I can tell you: After 18 months, I have never been more confident that our nation is headed in the right direction.’

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.

Sigh.  I’ve come to the rather grim conclusion that the economy won’t improve until we rid ourselves of this charlatan.  Why?  Contrary to B.O.’s assertions, it isn’t because of how deep the ditch was.  It’s because no one with a business has any confidence in any of his decisions on the economy.  The same goes for Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, Harry Reid, etc. 

We’re not headed in the right direction.  In fact, I’m not sure we’re headed in any direction.  What is the president/Congress doing to create jobs?  Can anyone tell me?  So far, we’ve had several different deficit-driving stimulus packages, which only propped up state governments, or hired more government employees, or paid some pension funds.  None of that did anything to improve the economy, and anyone with an eighth grade education knew that it wouldn’t before it was attempted. 

What else?  We’ve passed healthcare legislation which the government admits won’t control costs, and is directly responsible for current premiums going up.  The new financial regulation law will significantly increase the size of the federal government, and impact just about every financial transaction that anybody takes part in.  Oh, and it does nothing to deal with HUD, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, all of which caused the housing bubble and started the domino effect of economic collapse.

Our economy isn’t in a malaise.  It isn’t stuck.  And there are no green shoots.  It’s simply waiting.  Waiting for the anti-business, anti-private property, pro-big government liberals to lose their control over the direction of this country.  Unfortunately, while it waits, more small businesses shut their doors, more big businesses downsize, and more people lose their jobs. 

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