Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Health Care, Law, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Regulation, Socialism, Taxes | Tags: It Was Always About Politics, The Horror Stories of ObamaCare, The Narrow Network Problem
President Obama is crowing about enrolling 8 million Americans in ObamaCare. The number seems to have no relation to reality. Nobody is enrolled until they have paid.
In Georgia, insurers received more than 220,000 applications for health coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s exchange as of the official deadline of March 31, according to state officials. The Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens says that premiums have been received for only 107,581 of those policies which cover 149,465 people. Half.
In California open enrollment is closed, many of the newly insured are finding they cannot find doctors, landing them in a state described as “medical homelessness.” One of the major claims was that ObamaCare would reduce the use of emergency rooms by the uninsured. Uh huh.
Kaiser says it will only get worse. Aging baby boomers increasingly need more care. The growing medical needs of that group are creating a huge burden for the existing health care workforce. The retirement of many doctors in the boomer cohort is compounding the problem. The federal government estimates the physician supply will increase by 7 percent in the next 10 years. The number of Americans over 65 will grow by about 36 percent. Medical students are avoiding primary care and are choosing specialties instead. 20 percent of Americans live in areas with an insufficient number of primary care physicians, 16 percent in areas with too few dentists and 30 percent in areas with a lack of mental health providers.
Well why can’t we have single-payer health care like, say, Sweden? Sweden is always raised as a rare example of a socialist country that works. But a closer look at its health care system tells a different story. Universal public health care means the average Swede with ‘high risk’ prostate cancer has to wait 220 days for treatment. The overall quality of their universal public health consistently ranks among the very best. That quality can be achieved by regulating treatments to follow specific diagnoses as well as standardizing procedures.
But Sweden’s problem is access to care. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index 2013, the average wait time from referral to start of treatment for ‘intermediary and high risk ‘ prostate cancer is 220 days. For lung cancer the wait between an appointment with a specialist and a decision about treatment is 37 days.
The waiting is what economists call “rationing,”— the delay or even failure to provide care due to government budgeting decisions. The number of people seeking care far outweighs the capabilities of providers— insurance in name but not in practice. This is the inevitable result of ObamaCare as well. That’s why there is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) who will decide what the federal government will pay for.
Stories of people in Sweden suffering stroke, heart failure and other serious medical conditions who were denied or unable to receive urgent care are frequently reported in the Swedish media. Recent examples include a one-month-old infant with cerebral hemorrhage for whom no ambulance was available, and an 80-year-old woman with suspected stroke who had to wait four hours for an ambulance. It’s the same deal in Britain’s NHS, which is so admired by the ObamaCare designers.
Here at home, a New York woman suffering from a neurological disease that has required four brain surgeries has been dropped by all of her doctors and denied medications because of her ObamaCare plan. Margaret Figueroa, 49, suffers from a disease that has her vomiting, she has lost 22 pounds and the pain is unbearable. The ObamaCare plan she purchased assured her that she was covered, but when she went to fill her prescriptions, her insurance card was denied. She cannot find a doctor who will see her. Her congressman,Rep Michael Grimm (R-NY) has intervened to help her obtain vital prescriptions. Grimm says he’s already received calls from at least a dozen Staten Island residents facing the same problem with ObamaCare’s “narrow networks”— extreme restrictions on doctor and hospital access imposed by ObamaCare.
The top cancer centers across the country are not available to those on ObamaCare. 38 percent of all ObamaCare plans only allow patients to pick from just 30% of the largest 20 hospitals in their area. The narrow network horror stories will only continue to grow, and the effects will be disastrous. But Obama is crowing about enrolling 8 million people.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Law, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Socialism, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Lawless Governmental Overreach, The Gibson Guitar Raid Revisited, Why is Business Not Hiring?
It was August of 2011, when armed federal agents raided Gibson Guitar’s Nashville headquarters, seizing wood, instruments and creating a national outcry over the high-profile persecution. Agents were supposedly working from a tip that Gibson had broken laws in India and Madagascar, two countries that supply Gibson with ebony and other scarce woods for its guitar frets.
Both India and Madagascar say that Gibson has done nothing wrong, and has complied with all their laws. Federal agents seized more then $1 million of Gibson’s property. The Department of Justice alleged that Gibson imported wood for its guitar frets in violation of the Lacey Act — a federal law that makes it a crime to import flora or fauna in violation of a foreign nation’s laws.
August 7, 2012: the Department of Justice announced yesterday that the Gibson Guitar Corporation had accepted a deferred prosecution agreement regarding the Department of Justice’s allegation that Gibson violated the Lacey Act. As a result, the Department of Justice will not charge Gibson with a crime (except for maybe a tax offense, left open) for “illegally importing ebony from Madagascar and ebony and rosewood from India” through a German intermediary from June 2008 through September 2009.” Gibson, in return, must pay a $300,000 fine, make a community service payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation” bulk up its internal procedures, and generally grovel whenever the government asks it to do anything related to this matter.
Heritage points out several features of the agreement worth mentioning:
First: The government acknowledges in the agreement that “certain questions and inconsistencies now exist regarding the tariff classification of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks pursuant to the Indian government’s Foreign Trade Policy.” In other words, the government acknowledges that the relevant law—not just our law, but a foreign nation’s law—is unclear. Ordinarily, that conclusion should lead the government to drop any charge that Gibson violated the law, especially the law of a foreign nation.
Second: The government’s case is no better regarding Madagascar. The agreement cites (1) “Madagascar Interministerial Order 16.030/2006,” and (2) some other equally well-known “laws”—all of which may have been written in a foreign language. The agreement alleges that Gibson received a translation (from whom is not stated) of the first whatever-it-is saying that “‘fingerboards’ are considered ‘finished’ under Madagascar law” and therefore may be exported. But, according to the government, “trip organizers”—who, for all we know, could have been Gibson’s trip companions “Greenpeace and other non-profit environmental groups”; the agreement does not say—informed Gibson that “under the organizers’ interpretation of [Madagascar’s] 2006 Interministerial Order, the harvest of ebony was illegal and that instrument part ‘blanks’ would be considered ‘unfinished’ and, therefore, considered illegal to export.” Put aside the obvious problems with government’s reliance on the opinion by the trip’s “organizers” of a foreign order written in a foreign tongue—Gibson was given conflicting views of the law. That should have ended the matter entirely. Remember: Gibson imported wood, not heroin.
Third: The press release is full of all of the chest-puffing that we are accustomed to see the federal government display: The government has enforced the law, prosecuted the wicked, protected the environment, cured the common cold, etc. But the government has made a federal case out of “fretboards” or “fingerboards.” …
Fourth: Gibson must pay the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $50,000 for its (or its designee’s) use for the environment. Really? Fines paid to the government go into the U.S. Treasury and belong to the public; the NFWF is a private organization. In essence, the taxpayers are subsidizing the NFWF.
Why does it matter that Congress is out of town? Why, because there are currently two bills before Congress that would have the result of repealing criminal provisions of the Lacey Act.
On the part of Gibson, they made a dollars-and-cents decision. An imperial administration can pretty much beat any poor sucker who gets in their crosshairs into submission.
Reading further on the case it suggests that the “tip” came from the Environmental Investigation Agency, a private group of activists who have appointed themselves to investigate and report “environmental crimes.”
Corporate CEOs pay attention to events like the Gibson Guitar Corporation raids. (There were actually two). This showed the Justice Department of the federal government going after a private corporation with a SWAT team, armed agents, who seized property and shut the Gibson factories down. Although Gibson was able to show that it was in full compliance with the law, they were nevertheless put out of business for a period of time, forced to pay a fine of $300,000, forfeit claims to about $262,000 worth of wood seized by federal agents and contribute $50,000 to a private foundation to promote conservation of “protected tree species.” Improper, illegal, federal government arrogant overreach because they could.
Everybody wonders why so many corporations are sitting on big chunks of cash and not hiring and expanding. They are streamlining, divesting whole departments, to run more efficiently with fewer people. I would submit that the Obama administration’s treatment of Gibson Guitar Corporation is a prime example of why companies large and small are not taking on more risk; why there are more lobbyists than ever.
Hiring a new worker is a risk. It takes months before they are fully pulling their weight. Expanding is a risk, the economy is not healthy. Introducing a new product is a risk. The Obama administration has made it clear that they don’t particularly like the private sector, they don’t appreciate capitalism, they feel free to sic federal agencies (IRS) (EPA)(BLM) on those who disagree, or give them trouble, or stand in their way. The Obama administration had no compunction about taking over the auto industry— and made a mess of it — which they still celebrate as a great accomplishment. You don’t take big risks when the climate is so uncertain, and that uncertainty can be laid directly in the lap of the Obama administration.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Media Bias, Health Care, Liberalism, Socialism, Democrat Corruption, Progressivism, Taxes, Law, Regulation | Tags: March 31st Deadline—Nevermind, If You Just Need More Time, Celebrating the 4th Anniversary
That March 31st deadline to sign up for ObamaCare—they didn’t really mean it—if you started signing up and just couldn’t get done, or if you can offer some valid excuse (anything at all) well, you can finish up sometime in April. The law is completely fluid until we have enough people signed up to make this thing work.
The White House and congressional Democrats are ramping up a coordinated effort to celebrate the fourth anniversary of ObamaCare. The White House has provided members of Congress with packets that detail state by state benefits of the law and what the cost of repeal would mean for constituents within their districts. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) has provided members with data and sample language for members to use on new Medicare drug savings data.
The president and other senior administration officials will mark the anniversary through efforts to highlight the individual stories of consumers who say their families have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.
White House staffers will tweet a series of six graphics highlighting the dumb ideas that guarantee that the program cannot work: eliminating lifetime limits, prohibiting denial because of pre-existing conditions, and mandate free birth control and free mammograms. The graphics feature an image of the president’s very own signature on the ObamaCare bill.
Many Democrats would prefer “single-payer” which means that you can go to a doctor who is a salaried employee of the state and not have to pay at the point of service. Liberals think that is the ultimate good. Everyone is dependent on the government, which is their ideal, and you just raise taxes enough to pay for it. This makes our ruling class proud that they are doing this wonderful charitable thing for the people, but they really don’t care much about what kind of care the people are getting, and they will just issue regulations and directives to reduce costs.
Liberals like the warm, fuzzy feelings of doing good for others. It is really good, isn’t it with free contraceptives. Women can have all the sex they want with no consequences. But you will notice that already, before it has really even begun, the cost of the thing means you can’t have keep your doctor, your local hospital may not be available, you may be sent to a nurse-practitioner instead of a doctor, and your insurance doesn’t cover anything outside of your local program, so if you travel to another town and have a heart attack, you’re out of luck. Planning a trip to Europe? You will have to find a separate policy to insure you for the trip. And people are already saying that they cannot afford the premiums. Wait till next year.
The Ruling Class plays hardball. They want ObamaCare. They want to gradually move it to a single-payer plan specifically to glorify themselves. They will fight repeal tooth and nail, and attempt to “reform” it enough to make it palatable, and they will try to scare people that any Republican plan will probably kill them.
ObamaCare fails basic math and basic economics. The National Health Service in Britain is so dire that it is killing people, particularly the old and helpless. The French hate their health care. The Canadians have long, long waits for service and many of the diagnostic machines we count on are either unavailable or there is too long a wait for a diagnosis. The federal government runs Veterans healthcare, and has made a mess of it.The backlog of requests for appointments grew so long that they just dumped the requests and pretended they didn’t exist. The Indian Health Service is reportedly dreadful. The Secretary of the Interior just denied a needed road so a community of Aleuts could get out to get health service because it might disrupt the shorebirds.
The Democrat’s “narrative” is that Republicans are merely out to sabotage ObamaCare because they object to the race of the president. When they start crying “racism” you can tell they know they are in trouble. Kevin Williamson has a column today on “Antithought” — the “use of language as an instrument for concealing or preventing thought.”There’s a lot of that going around, and we must be on our guard.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Liberalism, Progressivism, Socialism | Tags: Depend on The Government, The EPA Will Save the Economy, The Social Cost of Carbon
Our political elites’ agenda is power for itself. They believe they know the formula for spreading economic wealth, for engineering social happiness, and for legal and constitutional fairness. The future will be bright, we are assured by the Federal Register, and should ease anyone’s concerns over the direction of the U.S. economy.
Hundreds of new regulations guide the economy into doing the right thing. To assure that the regulations are appropriate, agencies are required to conduct cost-benefit analysis for any regulations estimated to cost more than $100 million. The hundreds of rules underway forecast tremendous growth for our sluggish economy.
Consider one such regulation, the Utility Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS), which applies to coal-fired plants. The rule was finalized by the EPA in 2011, and is estimated to cost the economy about $10 billion a year. The EPA claims the annual benefits from the rule will be between $37 billion to $90 billion — in other words, four to nine times higher than it’s costs.
The EPA says their benefits are not theoretical, but “monetized,” meaning they will show up eventually in higher gross domestic product. Our GDP is about $16 trillion, this rule should add as much as half a percent of growth to the economy.
Regulations do have costs as well. The EPA acknowledges the MATS rule will mean the loss of 200,000 jobs by 2015, and 23,000 megawatts of electricity production. It is just one of seven major rules that will eliminate between 544,000 jobs and 887,000 jobs and cause a 1.5 reduction in the nation’s electric generation capacity.
The economic benefits trump these losses with the economic benefits of lower carbon emissions resulting from MATS. They claim the value of carbon not entering the atmosphere is somewhere between $12.60 and $119 per ton. The EPA does not explain just how this works, but they are quite sure it does. It all comes from the “social cost of carbon” as developed by a panel of experts.
There are rules for microwaves, for cement manufacturing, for furnace fans. A single regulation for microwave ovens is said to produce benefits that are 35 times higher than its costs.
The benefits of regulation are derived primarily from the social cost of carbon, as it has been divined by a panel of experts. An interagency working group determined the price of carbon based on estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the future impact of carbon emissions.
Well, who can you trust if you can’t trust an interagency working group composed of political elites and presidential appointees? Just look at the list of working groups involved. You can tell right off that economic growth is just over the horizon. You can depend on the EPA.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Socialism | Tags: Political Propaganda, Promoting Class Warfare, The Democrats' Sheeple
Powerline posted a piece by John Hinderaker entitled: “Washington Post Falls for Left-Wing Fraud, Embarrasses Itself,” about the Koch Brothers being “the biggest lease holder in Canada”s oil sands.”
The Left is heavily invested in smearing the Koch brothers, and it’s important to understand why this is so. Gallup polls on political self-identification. Their 2014 poll shows the percentage of Democrats who self-identify as “liberal” has reached a new high of 23%. Thirty four percent self-identify as moderate, and 38% identify as “conservative.” That’s “conservative Democrats,” not Conservatives. It would be interesting to see what the difference is between conservative Democrats and Conservative Republicans, but that isn’t on offer.
Politically, the Left is heavily invested in the claim that the hated Republicans are “the party of the rich.” They deeply believe in class divisions and class warfare. Since they see themselves as the superior class, entitled to run the country, and see themselves in helping the poor by making them dependent on government. You only start hearing a lot about classes when the Democrats are in power.
If you need a shining example of “the rich” — who better than the Koch brothers who donate to Republicans, are billionaires, and make their money in petroleum that is destroying the planet because of global warming. If you doubt the effect upon the ‘sheeple’ of this example, see any article about the Koch brothers or even just prominent mention of them and in the comments you will find pure rage and hatred of the rich and capitalism personified by the Koch brothers, because they are rich.
If you look up Koch Industries in Wikipedia, you will find that it a multi-national corporation that is involved in many different things, and petroleum refining is only one part. Should you look a little deeper, you would find that they are Libertarians, not Republicans, and donate generously to all sorts of charities that benefit ordinary people.
Should you not focus on the Koch brothers, you might notice the vast number of billionaires who donate to Democrats, and the numbers of millionaires in Congress who have never done anything but politics, and if you noticed that — it might make it hard to call the Republicans “the party of the rich.”
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2014, Health Care, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Socialism, The United States | Tags: It's Not Even Good Insurance, Majority Leader Harry Reid, ObamaCare Failure
Harry Reid’s pathetic attempt to claim that everyone is lying about the failure of ObamaCare brands him irrevocably as a fool, a liar, and a failure as a Majority Leader.
These few people represent multitudes. It is poor quality health insurance. You can’t travel. It’s too expensive now and the cost is going up dramatically next year.
ObamaCare is on life-support; the patient is comatose and brain dead. The family just won’t admit it.
Filed under: Communism, Europe, Foreign Policy, History, Military, Politics, Russia, Socialism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Eastern Europe Again, The Essential History, Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands"
Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin is the essential history to current events. We tend to think of World War II as “the good war,” celebrated in movies and fading memory. It was good in the sense that it was a war waged against true evil, but it was a desperate war in which the whole world was threatened. But we tend to forget the Cold War, a time when kids hid under their desks, and people built fallout shelters. Before World War II even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.
Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.
Timothy Snyder has done a series of articles for the New York Review of Books about the current crisis. Worth your time: “Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine,” “Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda,” and “Crimea: Putin vs. Reality.“
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, History, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Socialism | Tags: Administration's Goal Exposed, Politics Trumps Vets, World War II Honor Flights
National Review Online did a little investigation, and public records show that the Department of the Interior knew beforehand that two ‘honor flights’ of aging World War II veterans would be visiting the World War II Memorial when the partial government shutdown began on October 1, but decided to barricade the open air site anyway.
This was a clear political effort to make the public angry about the partial government shutdown. The World War II Memorial is an open-air memorial, and the National Park Service had to go to the effort of erecting barriers and adding guards to prevent the old veterans from visiting the memorial. A remarkably nasty ploy. The honor flights raise private money to pay the expenses of veterans to see the national memorial erected in their honor. Sort of a last chance thing, for the youngest vets from that war are 87. The visit is a pretty big deal.
The internal e-mails show that the National Park Service was worried, with some justification, about the potential public reaction. The administration was not prepared for the reaction of the veterans, nor for the public reaction to attempts to close all National Parks, and memorials.
National Review’s piece includes e-mails and clear evidence of the administration’s intent. You can read the whole thing here.
What this episode shows, once again, is the totalitarian temptation of the Left. Politics trumps people every time. People are to be manipulated, used. The goal is power and winning, and that need will always trump ordinary people. Enrolling people in government controlled health care which can be morphed into single-payer, is far more important than any cancer patient getting their life-saving meds, more important than access to the special hospital. Winning, power, and progress towards the shining goal will always trump humanity.
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, National Security, Politics, Russia, Socialism, The United States | Tags: Intellectual Error, The Human Condition, Utopia's Champions
From the preface to Jean François Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a post-Soviet Era, by Anthony Daniels:
[L]iberal democracy is not an ideology in the sense that Marxism or any other form of utopian political thought is an ideology; liberal democracy does not hold out the hope of a denouement of history in which all human contradictions are resolved, no conflicts can arise and everyone is ceaselessly—and one might almost add remorselessly—happy. It assumes that conflicts, difficulties, problems and dissatisfactions are inescapable characteristics of the human condition, and that the best that can be hoped for is compromise without slaughter, bringing with it some faint hope, though not the certainty of progress. There is no blueprint. …
Intellectuals, the justification for whose existence is that they have a superior understanding of the world to that of non-intellectuals, find it hard to accept that all understanding of empirical matters is partial, temporary, subject to revision and doubtful; and that any political system that does not take this into account will end up imposing lies (and worse) upon whole populations. There have been times and places in history, perhaps, when to impose a prori schema on society has not been utterly disastrous; but Europe in the twentieth century was decidedly not one of them.
But intellectuals not only want to think well of themselves; they want to be important. The attraction of ideology is that it offers a simple principle, or a few simple principles, by which to understand the world; and of course, it offers the prospect of power to those who know and wield those principles with the greatest facility. It seems to me likely that inside every Marxist Western intellectual there has been a Stalin trying to get out.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Law, Liberalism, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Socialism, The United States | Tags: Abide by the Constitution, Preserve Liberty, The Scary Tea Party
Andrew Kohut is founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center. He served as president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. Pew is a very liberal organization.
He says: “The recent polarization of American politics has been far more obvious on the right than the left. The emergence of the tea party movement and its influence in Congress has brought to the fore political values that are more conservative than the average voter.”
Democrats have been unusually frightened by the Tea Party. They are unaccustomed to Republicans carrying signs and flags and demonstrating. Demanding that the Constitution be followed and honored. Republicans don’t normally do that sort of thing, so they must be radical rightists. “Radical Right”is a term that immediately calls up the epithet “racist” from Democrats because the Republicans are obviously the party of, um, abolition, freeing the slaves, making sure that blacks are treated as citizens and given the right to vote, desegregating the schools, and passing the civil rights bill. Democrats are the party of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Segregation, the “Solid South,” the Dixiecrats, Bull Connor, poll taxes, lynching, and burning crosses, so naturally they call everyone else “racist.” They’ve even gone so far as to try to convince blacks that Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat.
The Tea Party is remarkably scary. They gather together with flags with snakes on them, and sing and have a good time and clean up every scrap of litter after themselves. Scary!
Mr. Kohut continues: “Polarization is not a one-way street. While Republicans have become more conservative, Democrats have grown more liberal. The Pew Research Center’s values surveys, spanning 1987 to 2012, show that Democrats as a whole have moved to the left in recent years. They are much more socially liberal than they were even a decade ago, more supportive of an activist government, more in favor of increased regulation of business. Under the more centrist Obama administration, the leftward movement of Democratic voters has been of limited political consequence.” (Isn’t it wonderful how completely oblivious Liberals can be?) How could anyone suggest that the Obama administration is “centrist?”
Only 34 percent of Democrats called themselves liberal, compared with 63 percent identifying as moderate or conservative. In contrast, conservatives are a clear majority (67 percent) in the GOP while self-described moderate and liberal Republicans make up just 32 percent of the party. This might ensure that Democrats will not be come identified as an extremist party like the GOP.
First, in-depth Pew Research surveys find that many liberals are cynical about achievement. Most don’t agree with the statement that “people can get ahead if they work hard,” and relatively few fully agree that they admire people who have become rich through hard work.
Second, liberals give low priority to dealing with the budget deficit, a major concern for much of the electorate, and they are the only political segment that expresses majority support for paying higher prices for the sake of the environment.
Third, liberals are also significantly to the left of the rest of the Democratic Party on social issues. Unlike other Democrats, few liberals say prayer is an important part of their lives, most strongly favor same-sex marriage, nearly all support abortion rights, and a majority support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
And fourth, on foreign policy, most liberals reject the idea that the best way to ensure peace is through military strength; unlike other Democrats, a majority would find it acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the United States.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Progressivism, Regulation, Socialism | Tags: Majority Leader Harry Reid, Explaining ACA Failure, The People's Stories
The Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Harry Reid, is one of the most corrupt politicians in the country. He has used earmarks and influence to enrich himself and his family. He seems to have reached the point where he will announce anything he can think of to attack Republicans. Remember his nutty claim during the 2012 presidential claim that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any taxes.
Now he’s back with an hysterical rant against those who criticize the Democrat’s signature legislation:
Across the country Americans who were once denied insurance because they suffered for something like cancer or as simple as acne have been able to buy affordable health insurance they could afford and could trust. Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.
Every “horror story” about ObamaCare is a lie? Five million people have lost their existing coverage and they are all liars?
The leukemia patient whose insurance policy was canceled could die without her medication. Mr. President, that’s an ad being paid for by two billionaire brothers. It’s absolutely false.
Harry Reid is obsessed with the Koch brothers. Billionaires are supposed to be Democrats, belong to George Soros’ Democracy Alliance and give money to Democrat campaigns, not to curing cancer.
The problem is that Republicans have the gall to use a favorite tactic of the Democrats against them. The Republicans are using “anecdotes” or stories of people who have been hurt by ObamaCare to explain the failures of ObamaCare.
Edie Littlefield Sundby, the stage-four cancer patient who lost her team of physicians, parents who can’t take their sick kids to the hospitals at which they were formerly treated. It is clear that ObamaCare is poorly devised, that Obama’s promises of keeping your insurance and keeping your doctors, and paying $2,500 less were all pure hooey, and that the vast number of Americans who receive their health care through their employers are being gulled until “after the election.”
As they usually do, Democrats were interested in getting people signed up, dependent on government for their health care, and in income redistribution. There is clearly little interest in the law about the actual health of the American people. Read the whole thing, for the response of Americans.
The “anecdotes” that Democrats used at the time to try to drum up enthusiasm for their plan — that our health care cost too much (costs had been declining for several years); the uninsured could not get insurance (the uninsured didn’t want insurance, and apparently still don’t); all the folks with pre-existing conditions (That seems to be the only anecdote to which they are still clinging) were not exactly true.
All the warnings about cost and incentives and unexpected consequences went unheeded. The Democrat politicians who drummed this stuff up have never done anything but politics, but locked in the back rooms of Congress they were sure that they could order one-sixth of the American economy, and it would all be ever so wonderful. Well, hubris. They’ve made a mess of it, but they will not give up. It has passed unworkable, descended into uncaring, and more horrors will be revealed as we get past Obama’s illegal executive revisions. They will attempt to revise it into a single-payer plan, which is what they really wanted all the time.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Environment, Progressivism, Regulation, Socialism | Tags: Overzealous Regulation, The EPA Strikes Again, Wood-Burnimg Stoves & Fireplace Inserts
The EPA is at it again. Having little to do that is useful, the EPA has gone after “fine particles” under the theory that anything in the air should be removed. A while back they were talking about regulating farm dust, but were essentially laughed out of town. Now they have turned to wood-burning stoves and fireplace inserts in the United States.
About 12 percent of American homes use wood stoves for heat. They are more common in rural areas. Again, the EPA is attempting to reduce “particle pollution” with new rules. Instead of limiting fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 micrograms. That’s equivalent to a person smoking 3 to 4 cigarettes in a small confined space. The draconian EPA regulations will be spread out beginning in March and the rest in five to eight years. Stoves currently in use will not be affected yet, but getting them repaired will become more difficult.
Fireplaces are not yet included, but are being looked at. They are part of future research. Environmental zealots recognize no boundaries for their zealotry and control. Consider barbecues and fire pits. Forced air furnaces will also face drastic cuts and are headed for extinction over the next five years unless they can meet near-impossible limits to their emissions.
The EPA is in pursuit of pure air. They are generous about making up statistics about how many people will die if exposed to a certain “pollutant.” Asthma has been one of their favorites. Physicians don’t know what causes asthma, so the EPA feels free to list statistical numbers of future asthma deaths.
Regulations like these are forced through with fake lawsuits through a corrupt scheme known as “sue and settle.” This allows the EPA more freedom in advancing harsh regulations on the public. According to Senator David Vitter (R-LA) this is how it works:
A far-left environmental group sues a federal department or agency, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claiming that the government is not satisfying its regulatory obligations. Then, after the group and the EPA plan and discuss the matter – without the involvement of any others, including affected business, landowners, and state and local governments – they draft a settlement agreement committing the agency to regulate a certain sector of the economy or type of private property. All that’s left is to get the presiding judge to bless their friendly agreement.
There’s even a bonus prize in this scheme. Because such a settlement is counted as a “win” for the environmental group plaintiff, that suing group is awarded all of its costs and attorney’s fees, creating a revolving fund for its continuing activity, courtesy of our wallets.
Thus the left, including the Obama Administration, advances its aggressive environmental agenda. No need for messy Congressional hearings or opposing arguments.
During the first term of the Obama Administration, the EPA entered into more than 60 “sue and settle” agreements with environmental allies, including 34 lawsuits by the Sierra Club, 20 by WildEarth Guardians and 9 from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
One of the most successful on the EPA’s part, and most damaging to states are the “regional haze requirements under the Clean Air Act,” which are costing states hundreds of millions of dollars. Other regulations imposed by “sue and settle” chicanery are regulations on power plants, refineries, mining operations, cement plants, chemical manufacturers, and anything to do with coal.
The aim of the EPA seems to be control and power. Environmental zealots range from those who want no one messing up their enjoyment of the outdoors to those who would prefer to turn the earth back to a more pristine age, preferably without annoying humans.
(h/t: The Independent Sentinel)