American Elephants

The EPA Has Overstepped its Bounds, and It’s Being Called On It. by The Elephant's Child
March 1, 2010, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Taxes | Tags: ,

Eight senior Senate  Democrats believe that Congress — rather than a governmental agency — should decide whether carbon should be regulated. Policy changes that would mean huge consequences for society are supposed to be made by our duly elected representatives.

Congress has abdicated much of its law and regulation-making duties to unaccountable bureaucrats and agencies in recent years.  Congressmen were elected to make  regulations themselves,  to debate the wording and meaning of mandates in open discussion.  And, after passage,  to be responsible for the consequences of those regulations at the ballot box.

It’s, of course, much more pleasant to allow the vast army of government bureaucracies to issue regulations as they please and thus to shift the blame.

In this case, the coal-state Senators — led by Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, let EPA Chief Lisa Jackson know that using the clean-air laws written in the 1970s to impose carbon limits that Congress refuses to pass, isn’t going to work.

A bill is pending in the Senate that would strip the green bureaucracy of this “endangerment” authority.  Mr. Rockefeller is drafting legislation to suspend EPA regulation for the foreseeable future.  Last week a House resolution was introduced that would veto the EPA’s ruling.  There are also lawsuits filed that challenge the EPA findings that depend on discredited IPCC analysis.

Ms. Jackson revealed that according to the ruling that the EPA wants to invoke, regulation would be mandated at 250 tons which would hit farms, schools, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses.

Unless Congress stops it, the EPA intends to punish taxpayers, utilities and industry without their consent, in a move that would be immensely destructive for the economy, for jobs, and for taxpayers — to regulate a benign gas that is one of the building blocks of life.  The only intent can be greater control of the economy, for there is no scientific purpose whatsoever.

And Now It’s Price Controls! Doesn’t Anyone Ever Pay Attention to the Evidence? by The Elephant's Child

Massachusetts Health Care was put in place in 2006, and it was to be the prototype for ObamaCare.  It has been instructive, and we all should pay attention.  “Universal coverage” has run up all sorts of bills, and they are now coming due.  The developing cost crisis began almost at once.

Average Massachusetts insurance premiums are now the highest in the nation.  They have climbed at an annual rate of 30% in the individual market.  The costs for small business have increased by 5.8%.  Health spending per capita is now 27% higher than the national average, and the growth rate is faster.

Last month Democrat Governor Deval Patrick proposed hard price controls across almost all of the state’s health care.  Regulators already have the power to cap insurance premiums, which the governor is activating.  He also filed a bill that would give regulators the power to control the rates for hospitals, physician groups and some specialty practices.

For fiscal 2010 taxpayer costs are already $47 million over budget.  As in Washington, politicians attempt to blame insurers.  The real culprit is the state’s insurance regulation.  On average insurers pay $1.12 in benefits for every $1 in premiums.  Making sure that everyone was insured was expected to lower medical costs by cutting back on emergency room visits.  But emergency room visits have increased instead.  State regulations  have mandated that insurance coverage be more generous than the rest of the country.  The average deductible is 28% lower than the  U.S. average, and benefits are more generous with less cost-sharing — thus patients are even more unaware of the actual cost of care.

Massachusetts health care with so many medical schools and high-quality specialists is one of the world’s most envied.

The  Wall Street Journal notes of Gov. Patrick’s price controls:

The goal is to engineer a cheaper system through brute force so government can pay for health care for all. What inevitably suffers is the quality of care for individual patients. Thirty states imposed hospital rate setting in the 1970s and 1980s. Except for Maryland, every one of them eventually eliminated it—including Massachusetts, in 1991—partly because it didn’t control costs.  And partly because it killed people. A 1988 study in the Journal of New England Medicine found that the states with the most stringent rate-setting had mortality rates 6% to 10% higher than those that didn’t.

All of this is merely a preview of what the entire country will face if Democrats succeed with their plan to pound ObamaCare into law in anything like its current form. Massachusetts is teaching the country a valuable lesson in how not to reform health care, if only anyone would pay attention.

Newsweek: There’s Nothing Wrong with Democrat Leadership — Americans are Just Greedy, Selfish, Fat, Lazy and Stupid! by American Elephant
March 1, 2010, 12:00 am
Filed under: Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: ,

Yes, that’s really what they said, and yes, that’s really what liberals think. The entire article is an exercise in sloppy thinking, ignorance and dishonesty.  Mr. Thomas would have you believe, for example, that our national debt to China is due to your credit card purchases at the mall. For a group that ostensibly abhors torture, “progressives” certainly love to torture logic to death!

(h/t Hot Air)

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