WSJ: "Small Firms See Pain in Health Law"
|Harry Reid is a picture of insanity. |
But don't focus on this guy or you
will miss what is really important.
Reid is an Obama distraction toy.
Harry, show us your medical records!
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and began consideration of S. 3326, the Burma Sanctions and African Growth and Opportunity Act bill.
This morning, following his move to prevent all amendments to the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the bill by a vote of 52-46. The Senate then rejected an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to change the offsets to S. 3326 by a vote of 40-58. Following the vote, the Senate agreed to pass the bill by unanimous consent.
The Senate then took up the nomination of Gershwin A. Drain to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. A vote on his nomination is scheduled for 1:50 PM.
The House reconvened at 9:00 AM and received a message from the Senate that they had passed H.R. 1369, H.R. 3276, H.R. 3412, H.R. 3501, H.R. 3772, H.R. 1560, S. 1409, and S.J. Res. 49. The Senate agreed to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1905. The bills now go to the president for signature. The above is mentioned to evidence that Congress does get things done even if the process is slow and hopefully deliberate.
Yesterday, the House passed the following bills:
H.R. 4365 (414-6) — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to make clear that accounts in the Thrift Savings Fund are subject to certain Federal tax levies."
H.R. 8 (256-171) — "To extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and for other purposes."
By voice vote:
H.R. 1171 — "To reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act."
H.R. 1550 — "To establish programs in the Department of Justice and in the Department of Homeland Security to help States that have high rates of homicide and other violent crime, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1950 — "To enact title 54, United States Code, "National Park System", as positive law."
H.R. 2446 — "To clarify the treatment of homeowner warranties under current law, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3120 — "To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require accreditation of certain educational institutions for purposes of a nonimmigrant student visa, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3158 — "To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule with respect to certain farms."
H.R. 3187 — "To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes Foundation."
H.R. 3706 — "To create the Office of Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3796 — "To reauthorize certain programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006."
H.R. 4073 — "To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County, Colorado, originally granted to the Mt. Manitou Park and Incline Railway Company pursuant to the Act of March 3, 1875."
H.R. 4104 — "To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
H.R. 4273 — "To clarify that compliance with an emergency order under section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act may not be considered a violation of any Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4362 — "To provide effective criminal prosecutions for certain identity thefts, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5797 — "To amend title 46, United States Code, with respect to Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6029 — "To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for increased penalties for foreign and economic espionage, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6062 — "To reauthorize the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program through fiscal year 2017."
H.R. 6063 — "To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to child pornography and child exploitation offenses."
H.R. 897 — "To provide authority and sanction for the granting and issuance of programs for residential and commuter toll, user fee and fare discounts by States, municipalities, other localities, and all related agencies and departments, and for other purposes."
S. 270 — "To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal land to Deschutes County, Oregon."
S. 271 — "To require the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a property conveyance with the city of Wallowa, Oregon, and for other purposes."
S. 300 — "To prevent abuse of Government charge cards."
S. 3363 — "To provide for the use of National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center Commemorative Coin surcharges, and for other purposes."
Yesterday, ARRA News reported on the bipartisan sponsorship of a bill introduced in the House "To Help Lower Medicare Costs By Keeping Seniors Healthy." "Recognizing the need for innovative and cost-effective solutions to deal with the growing cost of Medicare, U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tim Griffin (R-AR), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), today introduced legislation that experts say could save Medicare billions by helping American seniors get and stay healthy."
In a must-read op-ed today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell makes the case for another Senate vote on repealing Obamacare following June’s Supreme Court decision, noting that Democrats have now blocked such a vote three separate times.
McConnell writes, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s hairsplitting decision to uphold Obamacare, Republicans in Congress have redoubled our efforts to get this monstrosity off the books. If the court won’t do it, we must. The rationale for such a vote is obvious. When Obamacare first passed, no one knew what its full impact would be. Even Nancy Pelosi famously said we’d have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.
“Now that we’ve had some time to study its consequences, Democrats should stand up and be counted. Does it get a passing or a failing grade? That’s all Republicans are calling for. Senate Democrats refuse. Just this week, Senate Democrats decided to spend an entire day talking about parts of Obamacare that poll well, but they refused to spend 15 minutes being caught on camera voting to uphold the entire law.
“It marked the third time since the court’s decision that Senate Democrats have blocked a repeal vote, even as the Republican-led House of Representatives has already passed a bill declaring its support for repeal. As Majority Leader Harry Reid recently put it, Democrats ‘do what [they] can to protect the President.’”
He notes, “This week, we learned Obamacare will also exacerbate a shortage of doctors nationwide. One would think lawmakers would welcome a chance to reevaluate their original votes in light of reports like this. Sadly, the Democrats who worked so hard to pass Obamacare are now afraid to reaffirm — or repudiate it — with a vote.”
Today, The Wall Street Journal adds another reason for repeal. The WSJ reports, “Randall Tabor, who owns two Quiznos sandwich restaurants in Virginia Beach, Va., once aspired to triple the number of outlets he owns. But after the federal health-care overhaul passed in 2010, Mr. Tabor says, he shelved those plans. The law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance to employees by 2014 or pay a penalty. Mr. Tabor, who employs 36 people at his two Quiznos shops and another restaurant, wants to stay small so he doesn't trigger the requirement.”
The Journal explains, “Restaurants and retailers face some of the toughest changes now that the Supreme Court has kept the [health care] overhaul in place. These industries historically are among the least likely to provide insurance to workers. Many franchisees of big chains hover around the threshold at which they will be required to start insuring workers or pay the penalty. With high turnover and a large percentage of part-time and seasonal workers, restaurant and retail operators must juggle several variables in figuring out whether they will cross the threshold. McDonald's Corp. Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen told analysts last week that the law will add between $10,000 and $30,000 in added annual costs to each of the 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S., 89% of which are franchisee-owned.”
The consequences of Obamacare for small business owners and their employees are apparent: “‘I don't have the profit margin to pay for it,’ says Mr. Tabor, who doesn't offer health benefits to his Quiznos workers. Some restaurant owners who offer limited health-benefit plans say they will drop them and pay penalties rather than provide the more expensive insurance required under the law. . . . John Motta, who owns 10 Dunkin' Donuts in New Hampshire and 10 in Virginia, said he offers workers a choice of two insurance plans and pays half the premiums. He is weighing whether to drop coverage but said the cost of the penalty could put him out of business in Virginia, where his stores are struggling. Other franchisees are looking at ways to avoid the requirement by cutting workers' schedules so they work fewer than 30 hours a week—the law's definition of a part-time worker—since only full-time workers are counted toward the insurance coverage requirement.”
As Leader McConnell writes, “[Democrats are] simply too afraid to cross the president, and they’re afraid to show the voters who sent them here that they continue to support this terrible law despite everything we’ve learned about it. All Senate Republicans are asking for is a chance to show the American people how we feel about this law now that we’ve had a chance to look at its effects. What could possibly be wrong with that? Pass or fail? It’s a vote the American people want. It’s a vote they deserve.”
Tags: Harry Reid, democrats, block vote, WSJ, Small Businesses, feel pain, Obamacare, US House, US Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!