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Saturday, March 20, 2010
Warning: Democrats' Plan Will NOT Protect Military Health Plans
If you are in the military, retired, a family member covered by military medical (or even someone who cares about the military) as determined as part of your pay while on active duty, be forewarned.
9.2 million military personnel, families and retirees don't deserve a back room deal?
"Although the health care legislation passed by the House explicitly exempted TRICARE from being affected, the Senate bill did not. Unfortunately, the parliamentary rules of of the reconciliation process did not allow for the inclusion of language that specifically protects these programs." -- Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO)
Background: On March 18, 2010, just days before the House votes on the Democrats’ government takeover of health care, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) announced he would introduce legislation to preemptively state that TRICARE and the Department of Defense non-appropriated fund (NAF) health plans meet all of the health care requirements currently under consideration by Congress for individual health insurance. TRICARE and the NAF health plans programs provide health coverage to members of the military and their families, military retirees and their families, and employees of U.S. military post/base exchanges. Chairman Skelton even stated he would also insert this legislative language into the national defense authorization bill, reiterating the threat the health care bill currently poses to military health plans. This is an explicit admission that the final Democrat health care bill does not protect these plans.
Military Protections Scrapped: The Senate-passed health care bill, which the House is expected to “deem” passed on March 21, 2010, omitted protections for military health plans that were included in the House bill. Specifically, the Senate language does not appear to give the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) health care system specific protection from interference by other government agencies administering the various authorities contained in the massive bill, as it pertains to “minimum essential coverage.” The minimum essential coverage language in the Senate bill does cover “the veterans health care program under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code,” but it is unclear whether that covers veterans’ survivors and dependents.
The final bill would leave it up to a bureaucrat at the Department of the Treasury to determine whether TRICARE meets the minimum standards under the Democrats’ individual health insurance mandate. If that bureaucrat decides against TRICARE, service members and their families would have to buy some other health coverage or pay a penalty.
In an effort to bolster support for the House health care takeover back in August 2009, the White House advertised that bill’s exemption for 9.2 million military personnel, families, and retirees covered under TRICARE and the military health plan. In August, the White House website stated that:
Health reform legislation that is being considered would enable those who are covered by TRICARE to meet the shared responsibility requirement for individuals to have insurance, thereby exempting such members of the uniformed services and dependants from being assessed penalties. If enacted, the President will ensure that this exemption is implemented aggressively.
Of course, the final health care bill does not include this promised exemption for military plans.
According to Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-CA), “We need to fix this problem immediately—before Congress passes and the President signs the legislation. By forgoing the traditional legislative process, Democrat leaders in Congress—and the President who is pushing for immediate passage of the bill—have reneged on assurances that the Senate legislation would be fixed in a conference committee. Our military personnel deserve to know they will continue to receive the same level of care they so rightly deserve.”
Veterans groups would seem to agree. Thomas Tradewell Sr., the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars stated that, “I remain worried because a free press and an even freer Internet continue to fuel speculation that both systems could be lost and/or absorbed into a larger national healthcare plan.”
Perverse Priorities: The Democrats’ government takeover of health care is chock-full of backroom deals for favored constituencies such as Louisiana, Connecticut, Nebraska and insurance companies. In their desperate headlong rush to pass a bill, however, Democrats have neglected to protect the integrity and independence of the DoD and VA health care systems and protect all of their health care beneficiaries. U.S. service members and veterans deserve better. Tags:military, US Congress, backroom deals, government healthcare, TRICARE To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
A list of important numbers relevant to Democrats’ Senate bill combined with the proposed reconciliation bill:
$1.2 trillion: The total cost of the bill between 2010 and 2020 (though the real costs do not start until 2014), including $940 billion in coverage subsidies, $144.2 billion in additional mandatory spending, $70 billion in discretionary spending in the Senate bill, and $41.6 billion in unrelated education spending.
$208 billion: The cost of a ten year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) to prevent reduction in Medicare physician payments. This cost is hidden because it was included in the earlier Democrat bill, but was dropped to provide a better cost estimate. It is expected to move separately and would bring the true cost of the takeover to $1.4 trillion.
$569.2 billion: Tax increases in the legislation, including $48.9 billion in new tax increases in the reconciliation bill alone.
$52 billion: The amount of new taxes on employers who cannot afford to pay their employees health care, imposed at a time when unemployment is 9.7 percent.
12: The number of new tax increases in the bill that violate President Obama’s pledge that, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”
46%: The percentage of families making less than $66,150 who will be forced to pay the individual mandate tax.
16,500: The estimated number of IRS auditors, agents and other employees that may be needed to collect the hundreds of billions in new taxes levied on the American people.
$20 billion: The estimated amount of money that the IRS and HHS will need for the cost of additional regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape over the next ten years. This spending is not included in CBO’s cost estimate of H.R. 4872.
$53 billion: The amount of revenue this bill raids from Social Security to appear as if it actually reduces the deficit.
$202.3 billion: The amount of money cut from the Medicare Advantage program for seniors to help offset the costs of a new entitlement.
$436 billion: The amount of federal subsidies in the bill that will go directly to insurance companies to provide health care in the exchange.
1 out of 22: The number of times the Senate has not somehow amended a reconciliation bill passed by the House, and thus required further House action.
63%: The percentage of physicians surveyed who feel that health reform is needed, but are opposed to this sweeping overhaul legislation.
$9 billion: The amount that the Ways and Means Committee estimated Medicare would spend annually after 25 years when it was passed in 1965. In reality, Medicare spent $67 billion in 1990, or seven times the initial cost estimate.
$1.55 trillion: The projected FY 2010 deficit—11 times the ten year “savings” Democrats claim the bill will produce by spending more than $1 trillion for this government takeover of health care. Tags:costs, government health care, government takeover, Democrats To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Dr. Sen. Tom Coburn Tosses Gauntlet at Dems: Take a Deal, You Pay the Price
Dr. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, warned members of the House of Representatives that Republican senators will watch carefully for any deals the White House or Democratic leaders make with members in exchange for their votes. Text of his comments follows the video.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: I want to send a couple of messages to my colleagues in the House.
If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think any nomination to a federal position isn't going to be held in the Senate, I've got news for you. It's going to be held.
Number two is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I've already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators that we will look at every appropriations bill, at every level, at every instance, and we will outline it by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote. So, if you think you can cut a deal now, and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn't going to happen. And be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House.
David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner remarked on Coburn's statement, "This is the Washington, D.C. equivalent of "I shall avenge unto the fourth generation and salt your family's plot of land with your blood." For once, some real change in D.C."
Bill Smith, Editor: Finally a Doctor that clearly understands preventative medicine. Sen. Coburn made it clear that wheeling and dealing for your vote will be hazardous to your future employment if you expect a Federal position. Tags:government healthcare, Senate Doctors, Senator, Tom Coburn, warning, Democrats To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
With the crucial House health care vote most likely coming in 72 hours, tell your member of Congress that if he or she votes YES on the health care takeover, you will vote NO on them in November.
We've got to make sure in these potential final hours before the House vote that every member of Congress knows that tens of thousands of folks back home will vote NO on the Congressman if he or she votes YES on taking away our health care rights.
Every single member of the House of Representatives is up for election this November. They need to know that if they ram this health care takeover through – with all the dirty deals, all the big spending and new debt, all the new government bureaucracy, all the parliamentary tricks – then Americans will vote them out in November.
ThisNovemberIsComing.com petition is the clearest way to send this vital message. Let's keep up the pressure! We are winning with the American people.
Tim Phillips President, Americans for Prosperity Tags:2010 Elections, AFP, health care, Representative, Tim Phillips, US HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Fact Checking Dems On Deficit Reduction Under Health Care
CBO Has Said That Long Term Projections Are “Not Meaningful” While Democrats Have Already Blown Through Their Most Optimistic Savings In Health Bill
REP. JOHN BOCCIERI (D-OH): “I Will Be Voting Yes For The Bill. Yes I Got A Deficit Reduction Of $1.2 Trillion In The Second Ten Years And $138 Billion In The First Ten Years.” (Rep. Boccieri, Press Conference, 3/19/10)
Claimed Deficit Reductions Completely Overwhelmed By Democrat Spending Spree
“The Government Ran Up The Largest Monthly Deficit In History In February, Keeping The Flood Of Red Ink On Track To Top Last Year's Record For The Full Year. The Treasury Department Said Wednesday That The February Deficit Totaled $220.9 Billion, 14 percent higher than the previous record set in February of last year.” (“Budget Deficit Sets Record In February,” AP, 3/10/10)
CBO: Estimates On Senate Bill Beyond 2019 “Not Meaningful,” Reconciliation Could Have “Zero” Impact
CBO:“The Incremental Effect Of Enacting The Reconciliation Bill (Over And Above The Effect Of Enacting H.R. 3590 By Itself)” Could Be “Zero.” “Although CBO does not generally provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year budget projection period, certain Congressional rules require some information about the budgetary impact of legislation in subsequent decades, and many Members have requested CBO’s analysis of the long-term budgetary impact of broad changes in the nation’s health care and health insurance systems. Therefore, CBO has developed a rough outlook for the decade following the 2010-2019 period … The incremental effect of enacting the reconciliation bill (over and above the effect of enacting H.R. 3590 by itself) would thus be to further reduce federal budget deficits in that decade, with a total effect that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.3-4) Tags:CBO, deficit, Fact Checking, health care, democratsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 19, 2010 - New Backroom Deals Plus Old Deals Remain in Health Bill - Most Americans Disgusted!
The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 1586, the FAA reauthorization bill. No votes are scheduled today. Yesterday, an amendment from Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) that would have established caps on discretionary spending failed to get the needed 60 votes for adoption. Following that vote, the Senate rejected an alternative spending cap amendment from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) which would have suspended the caps if Congress doesn’t enact the recommendations of the debt commission. Also rejected were an amendment from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) which would have established a point of order against earmarks in any year with a budget deficit, and an amendment to the McCain amendment from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) which would have established 10 years of non-security discretionary spending limits.
Disgusted, The Wall Street Journal editorializes this morning, “Has there ever been a political spectacle like the final throes of ObamaCare? We can't recall one outside of a banana republic . . . as Democrats try to assemble the partisan minimum of 216 House votes—if only for an hour or so at some point on Sunday—and no bribe is too costly, no deal too cynical, no last-minute rewrite too blatant.” Indeed, the new health care reconciliation bill unveiled by House Democrats yesterday features new backroom deals for certain states, while preserving many of the original distasteful deals from the Senate bill.
The AP reports, “Bye bye, Cornhusker Kickback. Hello, special treatment for Tennessee and North Dakota. Democrats unveiling revisions Thursday to their health care overhaul bill decided to kill the extra $100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska that has become a symbol of backdoor deal making. But the 153 pages of changes to the massive health care package include extra money for hospitals in Tennessee that serve large numbers of low-income patients. And though the bill would revamp the nation's student loan system to make the government the only lender, one bank — the state-owned Bank of North Dakota — would be allowed to continue making student loans.”
Appearing on Fox News’ Fox & Friends and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said that “it’s crunch time” for Democrats trying to twist enough arms to force a massive government takeover of health care through Congress. Boehner reiterated that if the American people stay engaged, we can win this fight and stop Washington Democrats’ 2,309-page health care bill “that’s only gotten worse” and will “kill job prospects in America.” Boehner called the controversial “Slaughter Solution” Democrats intend to use to pass the Senate health care bill without voting on it “an affront to every American” and a prime example of why the American people are “upset about the bill and the arrogance of power that’s going on here.” [video]
Roll Call, which first reported the North Dakota deal yesterday noted, “Republicans had already dubbed the provision the ‘Bismarck Bank Job.’” North Dakota is an interesting state to choose, given that the senior senator, Kent Conrad, is the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, key to the reconciliation process in the Senate, and the state’s lone House member, Earl Pomeroy, is one of the remaining undecided House Democrats.
The other new deal, as the AP noted, is for Tennessee: “Retiring Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., has fought for the funds for years to bring the state's aid up to par with the rest of the country, spokeswoman Emily Phelps said. She said their inclusion had nothing to do with his announcement Thursday that he will vote for the final health legislation after opposing an earlier version in November.” It doesn’t? The timing suggests it could be a Rocky Top Vote Swap.
And consider this deal. It appears that theObama Administration and Congressional Democrats have dipped to a new level to secure votes for their government takeover of health care-trying by using water as a political weapon to secure two votes for their bill. For years, California has experienced an artificial water shortage due to environmental lawsuits and liberals in Washington, DC, fundamentally changing the operation of water projects by diverting large amounts of fresh water. The result has been a government-imposed drought that has cost jobs and harmed agriculture.On March 17, 2010, the Department of Interior (DOI) announced that they were allowing new water supplies to flow through the Central Valley Project. The news was not scheduled for release for two more weeks, but DOI explained that the early announcement came at the behest of two House Democrats: Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA) and Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) who are reportedly undecided Democrat swing votes on the government takeover of health care.
They represent districts that have large agricultural interests which have been decimated by three years of regulatory drought in the region, which has had devastating economic effects. The Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats have turned a blind eye to the region's agony and staggering unemployment. If Reps. Cardoza (D-CA) and Costa (D-CA) negotiated their coveted health care votes in exchange for a small increase in water, "couldn't they have at least secured all of the water Central Valley residents deserve and need? Is only 25% of contracted water for a year in California in exchange for a nationwide 100% government takeover of health care really a good deal for their constituents?"
And while the infamous Cornhusker Kickback got the boot from the new bill, preserved are the Louisiana Purchase, the “U-Con,” where Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) secured $100 million for a Connecticut hospital, and the “Handout Montana,” where Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) included a provision that benefits just one town in Montana.
And of course, the rest of the bill is little better. It features even more Medicare cuts and even more tax hikes than before, to the tune of $520 billion and $560 billion respectively. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “Taking a bill that House Democrats are too embarrassed to vote on, adding more than $150 billion in new taxes and slashing $60 billion more from our seniors’ Medicare and keeping sweetheart deals may make some Washington Democrats ‘giddy,’ but it’s not reform.”
It’s little wonder that Americans are repulsed by this process and this legislation. A new Pew poll finds once again that most Americans oppose the Democrats’ health care bill, 48%, while only 38% support it. When asked for a once-word description of Congress, 86% had something negative to say. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from earlier this week found Congress has a dismal 17% approval rating. And a new Field Poll out of California (a state where 52% still approve of President Obama, while nationally, most disapprove, according to Gallup) shows 80% of people in the Golden State disapprove of how Congress is handling health care.
It’s long past time to scrap these awful bills and start over. It’s not too late for a few House Democrats to listen to their constituents and do the right thing. Tags:Barack Obama, deals, government healthcare, Rush Limbaugh, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
More Than $520 Billion Cut From Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Hospice, Home Health Programs, Medicare Advantage, And Much More…
OVER $150 BILLION IN CUTS TO HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, & HOSPICE
“Ensuring Medicare Sustainability… -156.6 [Billion Dollars].” “TITLE III—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care; Subtitle E—Ensuring Medicare Sustainability; 3401 Revision Of Certain Market Basket Updates And Incorporation Of Services Productivity Improvements Into Market Basket Updates That Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements (Effect Of Productivity Adjustment For Home Health Included In Estimate For Section 3131)… 2010-2019… -156.6 [Billion Dollars].” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.14)
“Home Health Care… -39.7 [Billion Dollars].” “TITLE III—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care; Subtitle B—Improving Medicare For Patients And Providers; Part III – Improving Payment Accuracy; 3131 Payment Adjustments For Home Health Care (Includes Effect Of Section 3401)… 2010-2019… -39.7 [Billion Dollars].”(CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.13)
OVER $20 BILLION IN REDUCED “MEDICARE PAYMENTS TO HOSPITALS THAT SERVE A LARGE NUMBER OF LOW-INCOME PATIENTS”
“Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments… -22.1 [Billion Dollars].”“TITLE III—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care; Subtitle B—Improving Medicare For Patients And Providers; Part III—Improving Payment Accuracy; 3133 Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments… 2010-2019… -22.1 [Billion Dollars].”(CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.13)
“The Health Care Budget Reconciliation Bill Appears To Have A Special Carve-Out For One Of Its Most Ardent Critics — Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Though The Measure Would Broadly Eliminate Government Subsidies To Banks That Offer Student Loans, The Bank Of North Dakota Will Continue To Receive Federal Assistance For Its Student Loan Program.”(“Conrad Appears To Get Special Carve-Out In Reconciliation Bill,” Roll Call, 3/18/10)
ROCKY TOP VOTE SWAP
Full Medicaid Disproportionate Share Payment (DSH) For Tennessee. “EXTENSION OF DSH ALLOTMENT.—Section 1923(f)(6)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4(f)(6)(A)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(v) ALLOTMENT FOR 2D, 3RD, AND 4TH QUARTERS OF FISCAL YEAR 2012 AND FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013.—Notwithstanding the table set forth in paragraph (2): "(I) 2D, 3RD, AND 4TH QUARTERS OF FISCAL YEAR 2012.—In the case of a State that has a DSH allotment of $0 for the 2d, 3rd, and 4th quarters of fiscal year 2012, the DSH allotment shall be $47,200,000 for such quarters. "(II) FISCAL YEAR 2013.—In the case of a State that has a DSH allotment of $0 for fiscal year 2013, the DSH allotment shall be $53,100,000 for such fiscal year.” (“Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To H.R. 4872,” 3/18/2010, P. 67)
“Obama's Plan Is Silent On Two Other High-Profile Legislative Deals In The Senate Bill. The First Provision Sends $300 Million In Additional Medicaid Funding To Louisiana And Was Widely Viewed As A Sweetener To Win Moderate Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's Vote Last Fall.”(“Deals Remain In Obama’s Plan,” Politico, 2/22/10)
“And Reid Already Has Established A Dangerous Precedent, By Dangling $300 Million In Medicaid Funding For Louisiana To Win Landrieu's Support For Bringing The Bill To The Senate Floor. Months Earlier, Reid Had Carved Out His Own Medicaid ExemptionFor Nevada. One addition he made to the Senate bill, an increase in the Medicare payroll tax for high earners, has raised concerns with Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine). Snowe, the only Republican who has been at least somewhat supportive of Democratic reform efforts, cited its potential to harm small businesses.” (“Reid's Recipe For Getting Health-Care Deal Done,” The Washington Post, 12/4/09)
$100,000,000 For “Health Care Facility” “At A Public Research University In The United States That Contains A State’s Sole Public Academic Medical And Dental School.” “(a) APPROPRIATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated, and there are appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services, $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2011, to be used for debt service on, or direct construction or renovation of, a health care facility that provides research, inpatient tertiary care, or outpatient clinical services. Such facility shall be affiliated with an academic health center at a public research university in the United States that contains a State’s sole public academic medical and dental school.” (Manager’s Amendment To H.R. 3590, Pg. 328)
“The Secretary Shall Establish A Pilot Program In Accordance With This Subsection To Provide Innovative Approaches To Furnishing Comprehensive, Coordinated, And Cost-Effective Care Under This Title To Individuals Described In Paragraph … [An Individual] Is An Environmental Exposure Affected Individual Described In Subsection (E)(2) Who Resides In Or Around The Geographic Area Subject To An Emergency Declaration Made As Of June 17, 2009.” "(A) PRIMARY PILOT PROGRAM.—The Secretary shall establish a pilot program in accordance with this subsection to provide innovative approaches to furnishing comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective care under this title to individuals described in paragraph (2)(A). … "(2) INDIVIDUAL DESCRIBED.—For purposes of paragraph (1), an individual described in this paragraph is an individual who enrolls in part B, submits to the Secretary an application to participate in the applicable pilot program under this subsection, and — "(A) is an environmental exposure affected individual described in subsection (e)(2) who resides in or around the geographic area subject to an emergency declaration made as of June 17, 2009." (Manager’s Amendment To H.R. 3590, Pg. 195-196)
“On June 17, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Issued A Public Health Emergency (PHE) Finding At The Libby Asbestos Superfund Site In Northwest Montana. Over The Past Several Years, Hundreds Of Cases Of Asbestos-Related Disease Have Been Documented In The Communities Of Libby And Nearby Troy.”(EPA Website, Accessed 12/19/09)
"America, We Can Win This Thing" - Let's Have a Debate!
Rep. Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to the Democrats’ latest plan for a government takeover of health care. Watch the video and see the text below:
"This is a remarkable moment in the life of our nation. After years of runaway federal spending, deficits, debt, borrowing, bailouts and takeovers, against the opposition of a clear majority of the American people, the Democrats in Congress and in this administration are prepared to ram through a $1 trillion government takeover of health care.
It’s just hard to believe. Ignoring the will of the American people, twisting the rules of the House and the Senate into a pretzel, we are headed for a showdown this weekend. But I got to tell you, I like our chances.
The reason House Democrats don't have the votes is because the American people know this is a government takeover of health care. Mandating that every American purchase health insurance whether they want it or need it or not, passing hundreds of billions of dollars in job-killing tax increases, providing public funding for abortions, and setting into motion government-run insurance that will cost millions to lose the insurance they have is a government takeover of health care.
Let’s have the debate. A minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority. America, we can win this fight." To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.com Tags:debate, government healthcare, Mike Pence, US House, AmericaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 18, 2010 - Desperate For Votes, Obama, Unions Pressure House Dems
Senate resumed consideration this morning of H.R. 1586, the FAA reauthorization bill. At 2 PM, the Senate will vote on an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) that would establish caps on discretionary spending. After that vote, the Senate will vote on an alternative spending cap amendment from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). Further votes on pending amendments to the bill are possible this afternoon.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 63-34 to waive all budget points of order against H.R. 2847, Democrats’ jobs bill, and then voted 68-29 to concur in the House amendment to the bill, clearing it for the president. Also yesterday the Senate voted 98-0 to confirm O. Rogeriee Thompson as a judge for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sources: CBO estimates health care bill at $940 billion Senate Minority Leader McConnell responded the reports of the Democrats being excited that the number came in under $1 Trillion, "“Democrats want to spend trillions of dollars on this bill in order to save $130 billion — one week after voting to add nearly that much to the deficit in a single vote. If Democrats are giddy about this CBO score, then they must get a kick out of higher taxes and Medicare cuts — because that’s what this bill will mean: even higher taxes and deeper Medicare cuts than the Senate bill."
Democrats in Congress are working overtime to try to generate the impression of momentum for their unpopular government takeover of health care. They’ve gone so far as to claim that Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) announcement yesterday that he will vote for the Senate-passed health care bill in the House is a sign of momentum. Of course, folks familiar with the political scene in Washington would know that Kucinich is a long-time supporter of government-run health care, and had simply been holding out because he wanted even more government control of the health care system in the bill.
Certainly, Democrats would not be desperate for Kucinich’s vote if they had the votes to pass the bill. As House Republican Leader John Boehner told reporters this morning, “It’s pretty clear to us that if they had the votes they’d have passed this bill in June or July last year when they wanted to. If they had the votes to pass this, they’d have passed it in September, October, November, December, January, February. And here we are in the middle of March, with a bill the American people know about, all the members know about, and they don’t have the votes.” Below is a video of a press conference after GOP bicameral press conference this morning was covered by all three major networks.
Democrats are pressing their rank-and-file so hard for votes, they now have the president telling House Democrats the fate of his presidency is on the line. According to Politico, “One caucus member told POLITICO that Obama won him over by “essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency” hinged on this week’s health reform vote in the House. . . . Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, “We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss.”
But that’s not the only pressure House Democrats are feeling. Politico also reports, “Democratic donors are letting wavering Democratic incumbents know that their wallets will slam shut with a ‘no’ vote. And big unions, like the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and Service Employees International Union, are shelling out $11 million to run ads and inundate battleground districts, letting Democrats know that they have as much to fear from labor as they do from Republicans. In some cases, labor and associated organizations have taken it one step further — threatening to bankroll primary challengers against conservative Democratic incumbents, including New York Rep. Mike McMahon, a firm ‘no’ vote, and Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln.”
Republicans are united in using every tool available to oppose this massive government takeover and are working overtime to remind House Democrats that the American people oppose this bill. Roll Call notes, “House and Senate Republicans for several weeks have quietly coordinated an intense, disciplined effort to defeat President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation, timed to scare Democrats just as they prepare for a final vote.” And Politico explains, “[T]he Senate is where Republicans have been plotting for months to sentence [the health care reform bill] to a painful procedural death. Republican aides have been mining the Senate’s arcane parliamentary rules for an attack that aims at striking elements both broad and narrow from the bill, weakening the measure and ultimately defeating it. Their goal is to force changes that leave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) without 51 votes to pass it, or at the very least, that drive it back to the House for a second vote that drags out the process and saps Democratic resolve.”
Democrats still don’t have the votes to pass the Senate health care bill in the House, and their extreme need for them is showcased in how heavily they’re relying on President Obama and union allies to pressure House Democrats, and how much they’re promoting Kucinich and CBO numbers. But rank-and-file Democrats are also being reminded every day by phone calls, emails, and office visits from their constituents that the American people don’t want this health care bill. Republicans in the House and Senate are united in reminding Democrats why this is the case and that the GOP will not allow Senate Democrats to guarantee passage of fixes House Democrats want to a deeply flawed bill. Tags:Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, government healthcare, Rush Limbaugh, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Moonbats Reacts to Obama Interview on Fox News & to Right Minded Commentary
ARRA Editor: The moonbats are out in force. The Obama troops are out to make us think that we misinterpreted what we saw and heard on the interview of President Barack Obama by Fox News' Bret Baier. Appears that the Obama love me or else machine has put out marching orders to spin the interview so people won't see what they saw or hear what they heard. Instead of Obama being "arrogant," "finger pointing," "rambling" and "avoiding," we are allegedly to see Baier as being "contentious," "combative"' and "defensive." Although not realty, this has always been the intended projection of reality by the Obama love me or else machine. For those not faint at heart (it is not kid safe), you can go right to the article by Andrew Zarowny and read the vitriol in the moonbats' comments. Andrew Zarowny, Right Pundits: Last night’s exclusive interview of President Obama on “Special Report with Bret Baier” has caused quite the stir amongst the Establishment Media and the ‘blog-a-sphere‘. Terms like, “Contentious”, Combative”, “Defensive”, “Spar”, and “Interrupt-a-thon” were used to describe the interaction between Obama and Baier as Baier posed real questions concerning the Democrat health care reform bill. Many of the more Left-leaning blogs were simply mad at the President merely for appearing on Fox News.
Yesterday, when I wrote my review of the interview for RightPundits, I gave Baier high marks for not allowing Obama to dodge the questions. The President did a poor job of explaining himself and the probability that the House will use the Slaughter Rule to ‘deem and pass’ Obamacare by voting on a completely different piece of legislation. He failed to justify the use of this tactic for such a wide ranging reform that will effect [sic affect] 1/6th of the nation’s economy.
One thing that has become abundantly clear over the past few weeks is that the Democrats are playing a shell game. The issue at hand should be whether the House will vote on and pass the Senate version. At least, that is how it should be if one wanted to follow the U.S. Constitution. Instead, we have Obama claiming to have his own bill, which nobody voted on in Congress, for the simple reason that it doesn’t exist! Sure, he put out an outline but that outline is different from either the House or Senate bills voted on last year, and has never been submitted to either wing of Congress as an actual piece of legislation.
Then, we have this ‘thing’ being worked on in the House right now. The idea being that the House will come up with a set of fixes for the Senate version and vote only on those fixes. We don’t even know what these fixes are yet, nor how they will effect previous scoring by the Congressional Budget Office as to how much it will cost? Let alone, if the CBO can make a rational estimate if the ‘fixer bill’ will actually save people money in the future when buying health insurance?
Given all of this as a backdrop, is it not reasonable for somebody with the opportunity to question President Obama on these issues to do so aggressively? Especially given the fact that the Administration and the Congressional Democrats are determined to be very aggressive in pushing this monstrosity through by this weekend? Once again, as in the case of the TARP bailouts and the Stimulus package, the rush is on. Instead of taking the time to do the thing right, it is seen that urgency to accomplish something is more important.
The Establishment Media has given Barack Obama a free ride since 2007. They did not properly vet him during the Democratic primaries in 2008. The other networks, along with newspapers and the like, have been playing softball with Obama as they lap-up cocktails at the White House’s Wednesday evening frolics and getting those tingles up their thighs whenever he speaks.
The entire health care reform debate and process has been a disaster from Day One for a very simple reason. Instead of following tried-and-true free market approaches for lowering costs through competition, we are being forced into a government power-grab, complete with mandates that will make anyone who will still be unable to afford the cost a criminal. Where are all those folks furious about the Patriot Act on this? Don’t they realize that a whole lot of people will eventually be jailed simply because they are too poor to buy the government mandated policies?
If I were Bret Baier, I would have asked Obama that question! Baier did do a great job yesterday, but plenty of unknowns were left unasked. America is going to wake up Sunday morning, and find out that we’ve been clipped, dipped and ripped once again by a White House and Congress that simply has not a single clue of what they are doing. The Media’s reaction to Baier and Fox News over the Obama health care interview will be nothing compared to the primal screams we’ll be hearing shortly from the citizens of our country. To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.comTags:Accuracy in Media, Barack Obama, Fox NewsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William Warren: Despite the mainstream media's attempts to downplay the national backlash against government-run health care, the word is out and the American people are clearly fed up with Barack Obama's endless attempts to force "ObamaCare" down their throats.
Most interesting of all, however, is how this public opinion is playing out on a local level in places such as Benson, Arizona; Butler, Pennsylvania; or Southhaven, Mississippi. While the Democrats might be busy making a big splash in Washington, D.C., the ripples are being felt in places like these and many others across the nation. And the “ripples” are quite significant.
A recent batch of polling data regarding individual House Democrats in crucial swing districts indicates just how outraged their constituents are — and it all hinges on ObamaCare. The polls, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research and commissioned by Americans for Limited Government, asked a sample of 400 voters in each district some very simple questions. The survey gauged voters’ overall views on health care reform, whether they would likely support a candidate who votes for health care reform, and whether they would likely support their specific Congressman should he or she vote for health care reform.
The results were overwhelmingly conclusive. In nearly every congressional district surveyed, voters made it clear that they do not support ObamaCare and will not vote for the incumbent Democrat should he or she vote in favor of ObamaCare. It’s almost insultingly obvious. Simply put, never before has a single national issue played such an influential local role in district after district.
First of all, consider Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota. Ever since he took office in 1993, this Democrat has handedly been reelected again and again, even getting 61.97 percent of the vote in 2008. Although a Republican hasn’t held the congressional seat since 1980, everything may be about to change. Rep. Pomeroy, who voted “yes” on ObamaCare, is in big trouble according to the ALG poll. 50% of his voters say they will be less likely to vote for him if he continues to support the bill, whereas only 42% would support him. Likewise, 59% of independents would likely vote against their candidate should he vote for ObamaCare. Also of note is that voters in his distinct decisively oppose the bill by about a 2.5 to 1 margin.
Another “yes” vote for ObamaCare is Congressman Harry Mitchell of Arizona’s 5th District—and his numbers are even worse than Pomeroy’s. According to the poll, 60% of voters said they would be less likely to vote for Representative Mitchell in November if he continues to vote in favor of Obamacare. As with Pomeroy’s, voters in his district oppose the health care bill by a 2.76 to 1 margin.
A third one worth mentioning is Bill Owens, the newly elected Democrat in New York’s 23rd district. Although slightly safer than the two aforementioned congressmen, Representative Owens is hurting his already slim reelection chances by supporting ObamaCare. He may have been able to eke out a win last November by winning over the independents, but according to the ALG poll, a majority of Independent, unaffiliated voters will likely vote against Rep. Owens if he votes for ObamaCare this week, or next. Also, his district opposes the legislation by a nearly 2 to 1 margin.
The full results of all 15 polls can be viewed here, including the polling. The lesson from these polls is rather simple: if any of these vulnerable Democrats want to survive politically, they must vote against ObamaCare. And they must do it proudly and decisively. It’s the only chance they’ve got.
Taking a halfhearted stand against the legislation won’t be enough. Voters are sick and tired and won’t accept any more excuses. Bold and decisive leadership—the kind of leadership that enthusiastically shouts “No!” to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid and “Yes!” to the people—is what they want.
One very immediate way these Democrats can begin to make amends today is by thwarting the so-called “Slaughter Solution”, a maneuver that would “deem” ObamaCare legislation into law and circumvent a traditional up or down vote. As ALG News has previously reported, such a maneuver is blatantly unconstitutional and is a desecration of the American system of representative government.
Rep. Parker Griffith (a former Democrat, ironically enough) has sponsored a resolution to stop the “Slaughter Solution” in its tracks and every vulnerable Democrat would be wise to join him. Voters are not merely outraged with ObamaCare in and of itself, but outraged with the process that Democrats have gone about in this legislative escapade. From this new “Slaughter Solution”, backroom bribes, secret deals, changing the rules or ignoring the rules, the process is equally as corrupt as the product itself.
For these vulnerable Democrats in these crucial swing districts, the choice they make this week will have career-altering ramifications come November. The dilemma is as simple as it is seismic: kill the bill or kill their careers. Even a Congressman should have enough common sense to make the right choice. Tags:Democrats, Louise Slaughter, Obamacare, Political Cartoons, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC Endorses Three Arkansas Republicans
Bill Smith, Editor: Fox News calls the Iraq Veterans for Congress Political Action Committee “The driving force behind a nationwide coalition of veterans vowing to shake up Capitol Hill.” The number of veterans in Congress have declined over the years - note the below bar graph:
As a result, Congress has over time lost touch with one of its primary Constitutionals mandates to provide oversight, funding and support for the US Military forces. Over recent years, Congress has turned to focused on expanding domestic programs and ignored much of the threat to American from other countries. This has precipitated numerous events and situations like the 9-11 attack on the United States, nations seeking to develop nuclear weapons with no fear of the consequences, modern day pirates raiding U.S. ships on the high seas and more. Leaders of Congress and its members have increasingly disparaged members and branches of the military and its commanding officers. Even today's Coast Guard has been moved under the Homeland Security Department and is presently being downsized when we have greater threats to our coastal cities and invasion of our coasts by terrorists and other.
The Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC, or IVC, is seeking to make a difference. IVC is a federally registered political action committee supporting the congressional campaigns of conservative Republican Iraq Veterans. They seek determined conservative Republican veterans to become a voice for our troops, military families, and hardworking patriotic Americans who believe that our country, our Constitution and our way of life are worth fighting for.
They began their first year of operation in 2008 and helped elect two rock-solid conservatives and battle-tested Iraq Veterans to be elected to Congress: Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA). They have continued their funding efforts and anticipate more victories in 2010.
IVC likes to target Liberal Democrats who are the biggest threat to America’s safety and security. And they have remained in constant contact with fellow Veterans across the country and looked for the best and strongest candidates for the most competitive and winnable races. Once endorsed, the PAC helps to fund the candidates.
Presently, Iraq Veterans for Congress, has endorsed and is supporting 35 Republican veterans candidates for the House of Representatives and 1 candidate for the US Senate for 2010. Out of the 35 people endorsed for Congress, three of the veterans are in Arkansas. Arkansas has the largest number of endorsed Veteran candidates and at present, is the only state with an endorsed candidate for US Senate. The endorsed candidates from Arkansas are:
U.S. Army Veteran
To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.comTags:2010 Elections, Conrad Reynolds, Iraq veteran, PAC, presidential candidates, Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, US Congress, US House, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Impacting Votes All the Way from the Arkansas Ozarks
If Celia can do It - so can you!
Celia of Mountain Home, Arkansas which is located in the heart of the Ozarks has been calling Congressional offices outside of her district over the pending votes in the House over the Obama, Reid, Pelosi national health care bill.
When she get through on her call, she is asked for her zip code. On answering the question, they hung up! And our tax dollars pay those rascals. After getting hung up on by an office in New York she adapted her reply. Below is her new response:
Q: What is your Zip Code? A:I am from the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and this concerns all of us no matter what state we live in.
One office staffer responded: You will not be able to vote for the congressman because you did not live in his district! Her reply:“No, but I can fund his opponent”
Wow - You Go Celia! Maxine would love you! Now what is your excuse for not calling all the undecided members of Congress, and all of your representatives of your state regardless of their present indicated vote -- especially and your own Representative.
If Celia can do It - so can you!
Tags:Arkansas, Mountain Home, nationalized health careTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 17, 2010 - New Poll: Increased Opposition To Health Care - Alleged Communist Will Vote for Healthcare
This morning the Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 2847, Democrats’ jobs bill. Then it voted 63-34 to waive all budget points of order against the bill and then voted 68-29 to concur in the House amendment to the bill. The bill contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. It would exempt businesses that hire the unemployed from paying the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax through December and give employers an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. The bill has been sent to the president.
The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 1586, the FAA reauthorization bill. Votes on pending amendments to the bill are possible this afternoon. Yesterday, the Senate voted 42-55 to reject an amendment to the FAA bill from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) which would have reauthorized the school voucher program for children in Washington, DC. Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 68-29 to table an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), which would have created a budget point of order against earmarks for the next year, and adopted an amendment from Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), which rescinds old unspent transportation earmarks, by a vote of 87-11.
This morning after getting some Air Force One time and having butt-chewing by fellow progressive socialist President Obama, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) held a press conference, waffled around and then said he will now vote for the president's health-care reform package. He must have received some special insights from Obama when he rode Air Force One; Does anyone else know what's in the "president's health-care reform package"?
What did anyone expect? Kucinich represents the extreme left of the Democrat Party and Obama most likely reminded Kucinich that he is Kuchinich's closest supporter relative to progressive socialism. Kucinich supported in his efforts by his British wife has been called a Communist by many. We previously reported on Dennis Kucinich marching with Anti-War Protestors who Sprayed Paint Graffiti on Capitol Steps. They were not arrested because "members of Congress who marched alongside them, including: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI)."
Maybe Kucinich was fascinated by the Obama fabricated figures (big lie) yesterday in Strongsville, Ohio. One of Obama's whoppers: "your employer, it's estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000%, which means they could give you a RAISE!" Rush Limbaugh had a field day with this one on his radio show yesterday taking on the president's statement:
Three thousand percent premiums are going to fall! Three thousand percent! Now, there were only 200 people that showed up yesterday. I don't know if that's all that were interested or that's just the number they could find that were not opposed to health care. But let's just look at some numbers here. Let's apply some numbers here to this 3,000% reduction in premiums. I'm just going to pick a random number here to use. Let's say the employer pays $4,000 in health care premiums for an employee. If his premium went down 100%, he would save $4,000, all right? If the premium went down 3,000%, that's a savings of $4,000 (100%) times 30. That equals $120,000, which means that if Obama's number is accurate here, that health care will allow employers to give people a raise because their premiums will go down 3,000%. That means the employer will make a $120,000 profit on each employee's health care insurance once Obamacare is passed. Now, you can buy a lot of unicorns for $120,000, and you can buy a lot of idiots for $120,000, but that's what he said. (doing impression) "Employer, eh, 3,000%! He could give you a raise." Well, they're not going to get any raise. This is bogus, 3,000%? The health care companies are going to be giving employers 120 grand per employee?
In the new NBC/WSJ poll released last night, more Americans think “Barack Obama’s health care plan” is a “bad idea,” 48%, the highest “bad” recorded in this poll, while only 36% think it’s a “good idea.” Further, 57% now disapprove of President Obama’s handling of health care, a new high, while only 41% approve. Interestingly, the change since the August NBC/WSJ has come all from people who said they were undecided at the time. In August, Obama had 41% approval (that’s unchanged), 47% disapproval and 12% said they weren’t sure. Since then, the disapproval number went up 10 points while the not sure number went down 10.
The Wall Street Journal notes, “The survey found that opinions have solidified around the health-care legislation, with 48% calling it a ‘bad idea’ and 36% viewing it as a ‘good idea’ when presented with a choice between those two. That gap is consistent with surveys dating to the fall. . . . The survey found that Mr. Obama’s job-approval rating of 48%—as opposed to the 47% who disapprove—has remained steady since its precipitous drop last summer, which coincided with rising public opposition to the health-care initiative. Where the health-care debate has been a drag for Mr. Obama’s numbers, it also has been an anchor for Congress, which now has an anemic 17% approval rating.”
There’s no credible way to spin these numbers: Americans have decisively turned against President Obama’s approach to health care reform.
Some of that is surely due to the steady stream of reports showing that the health care bill will not do what Democrats claim it will. Regarding, the previously identified claim by the president of a fall in premiums as much as 3000% , an Obama White House press spokesman later said the president misspoke [what the president misspoke?] and meant to say annual premiums would drop by $3,000.” Well that explanation doesn't help much. An AP fact check today explains, “Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say. If cost controls work as advertised, annual increases would level off with time. But don’t look for a rollback. Instead, the main reason premiums would be more affordable is that new government tax credits would help cover the cost for millions of people.” And the health care bill is stuff full of tax increases to pay for those subsidies. The AP story further reports, “‘There’s no question premiums are still going to keep going up,’ said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research clearinghouse on the health care system. ‘There are pieces of reform that will hopefully keep them from going up as fast. But it would be miraculous if premiums actually went down relative to where they are today.’” Even Sen. Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, has admitted that premiums will go up under the Democrats’ health care bill.
So with Americans overwhelmingly opposed to this health care bill, which is laced with special deals for lawmakers and features $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $500 billion in tax increases, growing outrage about the ever-more-convoluted process designed to avoid public opposition and scrutiny, and news that the bill simply won’t do what Democrat leaders claim it will, why would any rank-and-file House Democrat want to vote for it? Tags:Barack Obama, Denmark, government healthcare, Rush Limbaugh, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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