American Elephants

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Takes On Chris Matthews! by The Elephant's Child

You don’t want to take on Congressman Paul Ryan.  He knows what he’s talking about, and he has the answers at the tip of his tongue.  He knows his math and economics, and he understands the federal budget. His Road Map is a serious attempt to rein in the spending and put the entitlements on a sustainable path.  And he can explain every step.

Chris Matthews is a passionate activist for his beliefs, but even he recognizes that spending is a huge problem, and here he seems to recognize that the Obama administration is heading down a dangerous road.  He has the typical liberal doubts that ordinary people can understand such complicated problems.  From what I hear every day,  I think ordinary people may have a better understanding than the beltway crowd.

Small Business Doesn’t Much Like ObamaCare Either! by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are debating the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  They particularly want to end any tax cuts that went to “the rich,” for they have been yapping about “tax cuts for the rich” for the last ten years.

This theme sounds good, and is a favorite populist sound bite.  What Democrats refuse to grasp, because they need that sound bite,  is that many of those who are defined as “the rich” are small business owners who file as individuals. If you own a business, even though you may employ many people, there are advantages to filing as an individual rather than incorporating.

Democrats are anxious to blame the Bush tax cuts, and the War in Iraq for the financial crisis.  “The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit,” they say. ” Capital gains tax cuts do not pay for themselves,” they say.  “Raising taxes is the best way to raise revenue,” they say.  “The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits,” they say. No!  No!  Sorry! And just plain wrong!

The economy usually responds strongly to tax cuts.  Capital gains tax revenues doubled following the 2003 tax cut.  Higher tax revenues correlate with economic growth, not tax rates.  Pro-growth tax cuts support incentives for productive behavior.

Obama has already put in place all sorts of taxes and mandates that will make doing business harder, especially for small businesses, whether in ObamaCare or the Financial Reform bill or in new energy requirements and costs.  The uncertainty about what taxes will be raised, how new government bills will affect them when applied, and what rules will make their activities more difficult has business sitting on their hands and not hiring.  Obama has no one to blame but himself for the dismal unemployment scene, but he continues to blame Bush, and thus solves nothing, nothing at all.

As If ObamaCare Isn’t Bad Enough, Now They Want to Make it Worse! by The Elephant's Child

If you remember, when ObamaCare was passed in the back rooms of the House and Senate to excited cheers from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, there were noisy grumblings from the far left.  “Where is the Public Option?” they cried.  Last week, the House attempted to remedy that.  After all, the left must retain the votes of the far left, their base.  This would seem to be an effort to regain a modicum of far-left enthusiasm.  H.R. 5808 was introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee to add a “public option” to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The PPACA already lays the groundwork for a vigorous public option. The unnecessary new law would allow the Office of Personnel Management — which already manages the federal employees’ health plans — to administer plans in the exchanges.  Theoretically these plans would be offered by private insurers but run by unelected government officials.

Benefits, premiums and medical-loss ratios for plans would be set by OPM.  There is nothing to stop the agency from modeling the plans after a public option.  There are no requirements for solvency in the OPM plans, so they would probably require taxpayer bailouts.  The public plan is claimed to increase competition and choice among insurers.  It wouldn’t accomplish either.

Here is a glimpse of Your New Health Care System.  This is what the Liberals have in mind to control your health care.

It has been over a hundred days since the president signed ObamaCare into law.  Democrats are hoping that you will forget the secretive and partisan way they passed it, or won’t learn what it contains, or will decide that you like it after all.

They’re also hoping that the law’s “early benefits” that come into effect this year — the requirement that insurance plans cover “children” up to age 26 on their parents’ policies by this September — will sway voters  before November.  The adult “children” may appreciate it, I doubt if the parents do.  Unfortunately, millions of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans will begin to get notice in the mail this fall about losing their coverage.  By 2019 the average cut in Medicare benefits will reach $800 per Medicare Advantage beneficiary per year.

In Britain, the National Health Service, beloved by Dr. Donald Berwick, is facing the most radical reorganization since it’s beginnings in 1948.

Currently, how and where patients are treated, and by whom, is largely determined by decisions made by 150 entities known as primary care trusts — all of which would be abolished under the plan, with some of those choices going to patients.

A remarkable idea, that patients should have some say about their own care.

Opponents are squawking like mad.  The vast bureaucracy of NHS represents thousands of labor union and bureaucratic jobs — and a major reason for the failure of the system.  Again, note the chart linked above.  A lecturer in politics at the University of Exeter wondered how the government would be able to “give patients more choice — a promise that seems to require a degree of administrative oversight — while cutting so many managers from the system?”

This is the problem.  Liberals always think that things would be better managed by wise, well-educated, compassionate  people like themselves. People who are sure that meeting for a few days in back rooms and scrabbling together some two-thousand pages of mandates will make medical care better than what is determined by a patient and his doctor.

The patient, who knows what hurts and the doctor who knows what will fix it. You need, they say, an unelected bureaucrat in Washington DC to tell the doctor what he may do, and how much time he might spend with you, and what tests he may order, and what records he must keep, and what details of your health he must report to the government, and what reimbursement he will receive.

If you don’t want a Washington bureaucrat, like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank deciding if you can have the knee replacement that you need, or whether you should just continue to take pain pills,  you might want to keep that in mind in November.

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