The End

Well, it is the end and The moment has been Prepared for.

My Prediction: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder today helped the Left disband The Constitution of The US to be replaced by the Orwellian Diversity, Fairness, and Inclusion Contract on America.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Saturday afternoon. He was 79.

Scalia passed away in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Marfa, Texas. Foul play is not suspected.

But the Foul stench of Sith Lord Obama is going to smell up the place for generations.

But Paul Ryan and The Republican will stop him….Really? If that’s our only hope then we need help, serious help.

No, it’s campaign season, and Hillary Clinton is fired up. Unfortunately, she’s fired up about who should nominate a judge to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Harry Reid and his coalition, which very likely includes the president himself, are urging President Obama to put up a nominee as soon as possible, while Mitch McConnell and crew maintain that the next president should make the decision.

Clinton has weighed in, and, as usual, the “progressive who gets things done” takes a shot at conservatives.

Mind you, she NOTHING BUT PARTISAN Herself.

Talk about NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE!!  I’m surprised they haven’t got a nominee already (hence the Holder allusion at the beginning of this blog) for entirely partisan reasons.

And we all know how much the Left respects The Constitution. 🙂

It’s certainly no surprise that the No. 1 trending topic in the United States tonight is #Scalia, but why is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas trending just a couple of steps behind?

The Liberals are on Death Watch. They are praying as hard as their non-secular hearts can go for all the Conservatives to just DIE!

Leftists, ever tolerant, loving assholes that they are, want him to die this weekend too.

— Amy Curtis (@moderncomments)

They have your best interests and the interests of The Founding Fathers and the Constitution at their core. 🙂

Their care and compassion overflow this Valentine’s Day with Love. 🙂

The love of Death to your enemies.

This is going to sound cold, but one down, one to go. Uncle Ruckkus (Clarence Thomas) needs to go next. Then our country can start healing.

— George freeman (@Numbers28)

Spread the Love. Here Comes Big Brother to give you Bear Hug. After all, The Constitution and Conservatives are the evil that must be exterminated for real compassion, caring and sensitivity to take over.:)

Now we just need the Grim Reaper to take out Clarence Thomas and Mitch McConnell and there’ll be #DancingInTheStreets! 😃👍

— Rosetta_GhoSTONED ;D (@RedRoseQueen1)

So a moment of silence for the end. She was a grand country, but the rot is nearly complete.

Conservatives will be hunted down and “re-educated”.

The End is nigh.

(if you’re expecting the Establish Republicans or Paul Ryan to save you…Why?)

United We Fall

A “Healthcare Workers for Obamacare” sign hangs torn in a parking lot in New York on Oct. 31, 2012.  AP

President Obama repeatedly promised that his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, would reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.

ObamaCare: United Healthcare’s surprise warning that it may scrap participation in federal health care exchanges is more than bad news for consumer choice. It’s a broader sign of an unsustainable system.

The nation’s largest health insurance provider surprised the markets Thursday by saying losses from its 550,000 individual ObamaCare exchange enrollments were sharply cutting its bottom line. That’s notable because ObamaCare exchange participation only forms a small slice of the $105 billion company by market capitalization.

Yet it was enough to make the giant company and all the value it creates throughout its many operations suffer enough to trigger, as IBD market reporter Jed Graham wrote, “a surge of red ink.”

The company forecast $425 million less revenue in the fourth quarter and cut its full-year 2015 earnings-per-share forecast to $6 from $6.25-$6.35.

Not surprisingly, its stock fell 5.6% by the close of trading Thursday, and other health care and hospital companies such as Aetna, Anthem, Tenet, Cigna, Humana and HCA took similar hits.

“We see no data pointing to improvement,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Helmsley said on a conference call. Patients, he explained, were using their plans more than the company had anticipated and, worse still, were dropping coverage when they got well.

Bad as that is for company profits, it’s a predictable outcome given the structure of the law and what it permits.

What Helmsley described was a company caught up in the classic “death spiral” that IBD and reputable economists have been warning about: Insurance policy sales going in the main to the sickest patients who use the most health care services, while the high prices of the larded-up government-mandated packages continue to drive off younger, healthier consumers.

DOH!  It’s not like it was predictable or anything… 🙂

In short, the ObamaCare master plan of having young and healthy consumers subsidize the oldest, sickest patients isn’t working as the White House’s central planners and self-proclaimed experts claimed.

<<chuckle>>

Not that the ideologically rigid Obama and The Democrats will care. They will continue to hammer on it until you give in to government control of who lives and who dies and the Insurance companies go bankrupt leaving only the government left.

That’s Democrat “compassion” for ya… 🙂

What’s striking here is that UnitedHealth is no tiny startup ship with a narrow margin of error riding the big ObamaCare regulatory waves. It’s the biggest of the big, a conglomerate that’s the product of the consolidation of the industry — Anthem and Cigna, UnitedHealth and HCA, HCA and private investors — that was supposed to enable the sector to absorb the blow of higher costs of insuring more customers and still continue to do well.

That’s not happening.

What’s more, UnitedHealth was in the ObamaCare exchanges for only a year, during a window of time when the government was supposed to cushion insurers against losses in the ObamaCare transition. The cushion ends next year, leaving companies on their own.

(Insert “Jaws” theme music here) 🙂

Will smaller health care companies really be able to make a profit in an atmosphere that even UnitedHealth found impossible to sustain a profit in? There’s plenty of reason to wonder, as the markets did Thursday. (IBD)

“We cannot sustain these losses,” CEO Stephen Hemsley said in an investor call Thursday morning. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Several nonprofit insurance cooperatives that were supposed to compete for customers on the exchanges have folded. Meanwhile, some big publicly traded insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana, say they are enrolling fewer people than expected or even losing money.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that the industry lost a total of $2.5 billion, or $163 per customer, in the individual market.

Insurance companies have had trouble attracting healthy customers to the exchanges to purchase their insurance products, many of which have deductibles of thousands of dollars.

The industry’s troubles are reflected in the insurance products being offered on the exchanges during the current enrollment period, reports The Wall Street Journal:

“For these plans, which will take effect in 2016, many insurers have raised premiums in order to cover the medical costs of enrollees, which have run higher than many companies originally projected, fueling this year’s losses. Insurers have also shifted to offering more limited choices of health-care providers”

Still, no other big insurer has signaled its intention to leave the exchanges. (NPR)

YET. But it will come. But don’t worry Obama and The Democrats are from the Government and they are here to help you! 🙂

The average premium for medium-benefit plans offered to 40-year-old non-smokers will rise 10.1% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

The Secret Pork

Then Speaker of The House Pelosi: “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Now that someone is opening this can of compressed worms, the stink bugs are escaping too.

Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees.  At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.

It’s a waiver slush fund BUILT INTO the Law. Gee, now that’s confidence in your legislation.

Unless, of course, the ultimate goal was not “to insure everyone”. 🙂

The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIO — the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.  CCIO, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.  The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 — shortly after Obamacare was passed — and ending on January 1, 2014, as the system of national health care exchanges was scheduled to go into effect.

The idea was to subsidize unions, states, and companies that had made commitments to provide health insurance for workers who retired early —  between the ages of 55 and 64, before they were eligible for Medicare. According to a new report prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services, “People in the early retiree age group…often face difficulties obtaining insurance in the individual market because of age or chronic conditions that make coverage unaffordable or inaccessible.”  As a result, fewer and fewer organizations have been offering coverage to early retirees; the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program was designed to subsidize such coverage until the creation of Obamacare’s health-care exchanges.

The program began making payouts on June 1, 2010.  Between that date and the end of 2010, it paid out about $535 million dollars.  But according to the new report, the rate of spending has since increased dramatically, to about $1.3 billion just for the first two and a half months of this year. At that rate, it could burn through the entire $5 billion appropriation as early as 2012.

Where is the money going?  According to the new report, the biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086.  Other big recipients include AT&T, which received $140,022,949, and Verizon, which received $91,702,538.  General Electric, in the news recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year, received $36,607,818.  General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

The program also paid large sums of money to state governments.  The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118; the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267; the Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127; and the state of New York received $47,869,044.  Other states received lesser but still substantial sums.

But payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the auto workers union, which received more than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined.  Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters.

And Unions make the the majority of people getting the over 1,000 waivers from ObamaCare.

The UAW, which ended up with a majority share of Chrysler (and much of GM) stock after it went bankrupt – they were paid before bond and shareholders – made out like bandits but The Democrats felt the need to pork them anyhow.

But don’t worry, there’s nothing corrupt going on, that dead fish smell is just your imagination. 😦

Republican investigators count the early-retiree program among those that would never have become law had Democrats allowed more scrutiny of Obamacare at the time it was pushed through the House and Senate.  Since then, Republicans have kept an eye on the program but were not able to pry any information out of the administration until after the GOP won control of the House last November.  Now, finally, they are learning what’s going on.

It comes back to the question: If this law was so fantastic, why all the waivers, cons,pork, and Machiavellian maneuvers to avoid it for your political apparatchiks??

Hmm…. Maybe they they knew that Obamacare, the epitome of socialism, and the redistribution of wealth, does not and cannot work.  It never has and it never will.  This is why they cheat the system.

But since they already have a sense of “entitlement” to everyone else’s money and craving for power that is insatiable I suppose we should expect nothing less.

Now that’s “Winning the Future”. 🙂

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”–George Orwell

Happy Birthday ObamaCare

Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. Six months old today and raising the cost of medical care, restricting patient options and causing employers to drop workers three years before even being fully implemented.

Congratulations!!

Steve Kelly

Take Minnesotan Gail C., who hoped to offset a monthly premium increase by raising her deductible. Instead, her insurer advised that such a change would not comply with ObamaCare provisions. She could make the adjustment but would no longer have guaranteed rates and could face penalties for exercising what used to be her freedom of choice.

When Conservatives for Patients’ Rights launched in February 2009, we called for patient-centered, free-market health care reform based on Four Pillars — choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility. Instead, ObamaCare removes choice from patients and doctors, strangles market competition, provides no accountability from government and relegates personal responsibility — and control — to the ash heap of history.

Worse, it includes purchase mandates forcing individuals to buy health care — and employers to provide it — or face stiff fines.

Citing constitutional and statutory grounds, 43 states have now either joined Florida’s lawsuit to oppose ObamaCare, instituted their own legal challenges, filed legislation against coverage mandates or have citizen initiatives in play.

As far back as June 2009, national polls showed that Americans opposed key provisions by more than 55%. A poll taken by CNN hours before the March 2010 vote found that the majority of Americans did not support the bill. Sixty-two percent felt it would increase health care costs, and 70% thought it would swell the deficit. They were right.

The will of the people remains clear. An August poll by the liberal-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation found that 48% of independent voters held unfavorable views, and a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 61% of likely voters and 74% of “mainstream” voters openly favor repeal. With $500 billion in Medicare cuts heading to states and $600 billion in taxes and penalties aimed at consumers and businesses, Americans know that ObamaCare is a train wreck.

Government actuaries are predicting that health care costs could soon rise 20%, faster than if government had done nothing. A Congressional Budget Office analysis released just before the March vote indicated that premiums could double in six years.

Americans don’t need a 14-digit calculator to predict what happens when insurers must immediately take all comers to coverage — even those who got sick yesterday — without higher premiums. Restrictions make private coverage unsustainable. Which, of course, was always the endgame of ObamaCare.

As midterm elections approach, voters’ aversion to ObamaCare is apparent. Many House and Senate Members who voted for the plan are preparing for pink slips. In Arkansas, 64% opposed the “yea” vote of incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln, and 61% approved the “nea” of GOP Rep. John Boozman, who is challenging her. Boozman leads Lincoln by 17 points.

While many incumbents lost to primary challengers, the 34 House Democrats who voted against ObamaCare survived. And it’s impossible to find pro-ObamaCare references in any campaign advertising.

More significant than actual election results, these prevailing political trends demonstrate the resurgent will of the American people. All is not lost; that which has been done can be undone.

In early 2009, CPR met with the editorial board of a major national newspaper. After hearing our Four Pillars and mission to oppose government control of health care and the public option in particular, board members said we were wasting time and money as the debate would be over and government health care passed within 90 days.

Fifteen months later, ObamaCare barely passed, and only when conservative Democrats caved to leadership pressure and the offer of tantalizing political goodies. And it passed without the public option, previously considered a given. Such miscalculations show political elites to be fundamentally at odds with values like choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility.

The people were right last March and are still right today. Because groups like Conservatives for Patients’ Rights embraced real, constructive reform, ObamaCare was passed over the objections of a public educated on its details and the consequences for American health care. Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have needed to pass it to know what was in it, but America didn’t.

The people didn’t want it then, don’t want it now and have always had the power to go back. They want patient-centered reforms that lower cost and expand choice without government control. And they want Obama-Care repealed. Americans will not cease efforts to that end, and no elected official is safe until it’s done. In this republic, the will of the people ultimately prevails. (IBD)

There is ample evidence to show that ObamaCare will cost jobs, raise health care costs and saddle future generations with crippling debt.

But don’t you dare blame the increases in premiums and costs on Obamacare!

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth, or in this case a Jackass (Donkey).

HHS Secretary Sebelius has already threatened them, but now Sen. Max “I never read the bill” Baucus (and Senate Health Care Bill author) is threatening them.

NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Two Democratic U.S. senators are demanding more transparency about premium increases from health insurers and warning them against blaming higher rates on a newly passed reform law. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller of West Virginia said they sent a letter to the five largest health insurers by enrollment registering their concerns over increases for next year.

“I want health insurance companies to be transparent and honest when increasing premiums  (You First. :))— and health care reform is simply not to blame,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

“Health plans will continue to do everything they can to implement the new law in a way that minimizes disruption and keeps coverage as affordable as possible for individuals, families and employers,” Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans organization, said in a statement. “Political attacks won’t do anything to make coverage more affordable for working families and small businesses that are struggling in a slow economy,” Zirkelbach said.

But Politicial attacks is all the Democrats now how to do. Especially 40 days from an election it’s all they know how to do.

“Health insurers should be transparent about the assumptions they use to arrive at their premium increases,” the senators wrote. “If an insurer thinks it can blame the enactment of the Affordable Care Act for its rising premiums, it is surely mistaken.”

Don’t blame the actual cause, because that’s not politically advantageous to us. So we want you to lie, just like we do and sugar coat it, suck it up, and give them the Orwellian Bovine Fecal Matter that we have been shoveling in their direction for 2 years.

Or at the very least shut up and do as you are told.

Health Czarina and Grand Vizier, the Great and Powerful OZ Says so or else we will bring about our terrible wrath upon you! 🙂

You wouldn’t want to be on their Enemies List now would you? 🙂

ObamaCare gives Ms. Sebelius’s regulators the power to define “unreasonable” premium hikes, which will mean whatever they decide it will mean later this fall. She promised to keep a list of insurers “with a record of unjustified rate increases” and then to bar them from ObamaCare’s subsidized “exchanges” when they come on line in 2014. In other words, insurers must accept price controls now or face the retribution of a de facto ban on selling their products to consumers four years from now.

This is nasty stuff and an obvious attempt to shift political blame for rising insurance costs before the election. It’s also an early sign of life under ObamaCare, when all health-care decisions are political and the bureaucrats decide who can charge how much for a service or product.

Democrats built this system and they now own it politically. The least they could do is take credit for its consequences. (WSJ)

Senator Max Baucus recently admitted that he never read the Obamacare legislation.  But that hasn’t stopped him from trying to re-write it after the fact, asserting that Congress intended to give people even less choice of private health plans than described in the bill!

This overreach should encourage states that are trying to block Obamacare: It’s going to be even worse than we initially thought.

Obamacare reduces choice of health plans by giving government the power to control the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) – the amount of dollars an insurer spends on medical care divided by the total premiums. Under Obamacare, policies that cover large businesses will have to achieve an MLR of 85 percent, while those for small businesses and individuals will have to achieve an MLR of 80 percent. This sounds simple but leaves many issues unresolved.

An important one is the treatment of taxes: Taxes are not medical care, but nor are they under health plans’ control. So, Obamacare excludes taxes from total costs used to calculate the MLR. Senator Baucus leads a group of senators who now assert that what they meant to pass was a bill that exempted some taxes from health plans’ MLR calculations, but not corporate income taxes.

If it prevails, Baucus’ flawed notion will lead to an immediate reduction of choice of health plans.  Suppose two insurers of the same size compete in a region’s large-group market. They earn premiums of $1 million each. They each spend $850,000 on medical claims, thereby achieving an MLR of 85 percent. One insurer is for-profit, earning a profit of 4 percent ($40,000), and pays combined federal and state corporate income tax of 45 percent ($18,000). Its MLR automatically shrinks to 83.5 percent and Obamacare shuts it down.

Even without Baucus’ newly invented interpretation, the MLR is deadly for increasingly popular consumer-directed plans. Suppose a traditional policy costs $4,000 and spends $3,400 on patient care, for an MLR of 85.00. With the consumer-directed policy, the patient controls $800 more of the medical spending than with the traditional policy, through a higher deductible, and his premium goes down by $800. In this case the MLR goes down to 81.25 ($2,600/$3,200). There is no real difference, but the accounting looks worse, and Obamacare shuts it down. (In fact, consumer-driven plans have lower total costs than in this simple example, because cutting out the middleman and giving more health dollars to patients to control themselves motivates them to get better value for money.)

MLRs are also irrelevant because the insured and their employers tend to choose health plans based on other criteria—likely invisible to politicians and bureaucrats. Plans with relatively low MLRs have increased market share in the last few years.

There is no doubt: Obamacare will severely reduce Americans’ choice of health plans. Fortunately, states are using a number of tools to resist Obamacare, until it is repealed. To impose its anti-choice regulations, the federal law relies on state-based “exchanges” that would choose health insurance for their citizens.

Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, has signed an executive order forbidding state bureaucrats from even applying for federal grants to set up an “exchange” to limit people’s choice of health plan. As Obamacare deploys its regulatory regime, other governors are likely to follow his lead.

So Happy Birthday to the worst political stink bomb in American History.

Covering Their Fannie (and Freddie)

Keep in Mind that the Financial Reform Bill, which is now in some trouble, is written largely by Sen. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. The people who brought you the subprime mess to begin with their insistence on subprime mortgages for people who couldn’t even afford those.

But we were discriminating against the poor!

Oh No! We can’t have that!

Everyone must be equal! 🙂

Subprime Scandal: Missing from stories about finance reform is what Democrats left out of it: a fix for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which continue to bleed billions.

Nor has it been explained why the two mortgage giants at the heart of the housing crisis were excluded. A little research, however, provides answers. Many of the Senate and House conferees who assembled the final overhaul bill are among the biggest recipients of cash from Fannie and Freddie, which over the years have been plagued by Democrat cronyism and corruption.

Some of the Hill’s biggest protectors of the toxic twins and their market-distorting “affordable housing” mission landed key positions as conferees on the panel that wrote the final draft of the bank reform legislation. For example, conference committee leaders Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., respectively raked in more than $133,000 and $40,000 in donations from Fannie and Freddie, Federal Election Commission records show.

The two lawmakers, in turn, have been the congressional chartered companies’ staunchest defenders. Leading up to the housing meltdown, Dodd insisted time and again — despite growing evidence to the contrary — that Fannie and Freddie were “fundamentally strong” and “in good shape.”

Frank maintained that “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis.” “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies,” Frank griped, “the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

To satisfy such politically mandated lending goals, Washington-based Fannie and Freddie loaded up on subprime and other high-risk home loans. Their exposure was greater than all the major Wall Street players combined. And now they’re insolvent, with taxpayers potentially on the hook for as much as $1 trillion.

Already Fannie and Freddie’s $160 billion government bailout has topped that spent on AIG, Citigroup and other Democrat poster boys of the crisis, making their rescue the mother of all bailouts.

We can’t think of two entities more deserving of overhaul. Yet the Dodd-Frank Act doesn’t even try to reform them. This means nothing will change except the size of government’s hand in the economy. By not addressing Fannie and Freddie, economist Brian Wesbury noted “the government is taking no blame for the subprime crisis and is demanding more power over the U.S. financial system.”

Several other conferees instrumental in keeping Fannie and Freddie exempt from the new financial rules also show up among the top beneficiaries of Fannie and Freddie campaign cash (see table).

President Obama and top aide Rahm Emanuel also ranked among top recipients of Fannie and Freddie gifts when they were in Congress. From the White House, they lobbied Congress for a financial overhaul and got 90% of what they asked — including a pass for Fannie and Freddie, where Emanuel once served as director.

Their private piggy bank for “social justice” — which they used to provide high-risk loans that otherwise were out of reach for constituents — remains safe from promised “sweeping reform.”

In the ultimate insult, the two lawmakers most deserving of blame for the financial crisis carry the name of the legislation that supposedly will deliver us from financial crisis. The villains are, according to the media, the white knights riding in to save us from the havoc they caused. A more sinister script could not have been written. (IBD)

Unless you’re an elitist Democrat who has complete contempt for “the people” and are only out there to push your agenda and nothing else.

But don’t worry, we’re from the government and we are here to help you!! 🙂

UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: A PREVIEW

Anyone wanting a preview of Obama-Care need just focus on Massachusetts, the state that provided the blueprint for Obama’s plan. It makes a great case for making haste in repealing ObamaCare.

In Massachusetts, health care prices are out of control, emergency rooms are overcrowded, the government is at war with itself and private insurers are running in the red, refusing to enter critical markets on the government’s unrealistic terms.

The party line now is that the Bay State’s reform was not about cost control but rather expanding access to care. The program’s backers claim that the price spiral they find themselves in was expected, anticipated, even if they didn’t actually have a plan for it.

That’s a revisionist’s tale. In early 2006, the plan’s backers — led by then Republican Gov. Mitt Romney — adamantly asserted that his plan would in fact control costs, provide universal coverage and improve the quality of care. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because Obama’s team borrowed the marketing scripts.)

Disinterested outsiders predicted that both prices and total costs would most likely increase under the government-dominated system, since massive new demand, reimbursed at the lowest prices, would be forced on a fixed supply. They were shouted down by insiders vested in getting the reform passed.

Guess who was right? 🙂

Three years prior to reform, insurance premiums for employers were increasing 3.7% more slowly in Massachusetts than in the rest of the country.  Today, the opposite is true.  Prices in Massachusetts are increasing 5.7% more than in other states. In Boston, prices for employer-provided family plans are increasing 8.2% faster than in other large metropolitan areas.

“Because the plan’s main components are the same as those of the new health reform law,” the study’s authors note, “the effects of the plan provide a window onto the country’s future.”

But it’s “fair”. 🙂

******

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION & BORDER SECURITY

While President Obama was meeting at the White House with The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Hispanic activists, he sent a Power Point presentation that said virtually nothing to Gov. Brewer.

Now he’s going to make a Campaign Speech tonight on it.

I know I’m excited! 😦

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama hopes to rally new momentum behind the push for an immigration overhaul by explaining why he thinks a comprehensive approach is the only way to fix what he and others say is a system badly in need of repair.

(aka Sen. Jon Kyl’s “hostage” comment) Do it my way, that benefits me or not at all.

Obama was laying out his rationale in a {Campaign} speech Thursday, his first as president on the issue.

Obama wasn’t expected to announce any new proposals or policy changes. But feeling pressure from a range of supporters, he was aiming to jump-start the effort he had promised to make a priority in his first year and which advocates had hoped would be completed by now.

aka “Amnesty”.

The speech follows up on back-to-back meetings Obama had with advocates and lawmakers at the White House this week.

Gov. Brewer got 20 minutes crammed into the schedule at the last minute and then a Power Point presentation nearly a month later. 😦

Obama has said a comprehensive solution means “accountability for everybody” — from the U.S. government meeting its obligation to secure the border, to businesses facing the consequences of knowingly employing illegal immigrants, to those who enter the country illegally owning up to their actions before they can begin the process of becoming citizens.

Has anyone told Labor Secretary Hilda Solis who a week ago put out a PSA saying if your Illegal and being treated or paid unfairly to giver her a call and The US Dept. of Labor would help you out??

Recent developments on immigration influenced his decision to give a speech, White House officials say, most notably Arizona’s enactment of a tough anti-immigrant law and protests across the country against it.

“He thought this was a good time to talk plainly with the American people about his views on immigration,” spokesman Bill Burton said.

Talk Plainly, Obama? Now that’s a novel idea.

Is he even capable of that?

NO.

Oh, and there’s that pesky LAWSUIT against SB1070. You know the one where we are “racists” and “misguided”. 😦

So this is a campaign ploy.

As everything else is.

He looks tough.

He panders to his base.

The Ministry of Truth slobber all over him.

Liberal go all mushy.

Then nothing happens.

But it looks good.

And he wants “to do something”. Or at least look and sound like it.

Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing!  (Richard III)


Just Plain Silly

Massachusetts, The Socialist Commonwealth, has many new Liberal ideas starting out there.

There auto insurance is so heavily regulated they have a lot less competition going on in that state. BTW, did you know you have the option to buy coverage to have it apply out-of-state!

See part 5: This option provides coverage for accidents beyond Massachusetts to anywhere in the United States, its territories or possessions, or Canada.

http://www.mypolicy.com/insurance-personal/automobile-12parts.htm

Universal Health care started there in 2007 and was bankrupt by 2009, but that doesn’t deter anyone.

So here is an editorial from The Daily Caller that stuck my fancy.

If you’re planning to spend the next New Year’s Day in Concord, Massachusetts, don’t get caught nursing your annual hangover with a plastic bottle of cool spring water — you might be breaking the law.

The city of Concord passed a law in April banning all bottled water in plastic containers, effective January 1, 2011. Supporters of the law say ridding the town of bottled water is a first step toward a cleaner planet. Never mind that plastic water bottles only account less than one percent of landfill space. Who are we to let facts get in the way of a good regulation?

In commemoration of the successful campaign to rid Concord of bottled H20, we decided to take a look at a few of the other laws that have come out of the Bay State, a land full of people who clearly think they are incapable of making personal decisions on their own accord.

1. A January 2010 law mandates that all children in Massachusetts daycare centers must brush their teeth after lunch — or else.

It is against the law for daycare providers to not help children brush their teeth after meals. While parents can opt out (either on libertarian principle or family tradition if they’re from some parts of Alabama), they can rest easy knowing that state bureaucrats are looking out for their children’s pearly whites. Heck, the state even provides toothpaste, brushes and holders! What? No floss?! There oughta be a law…

2. It is illegal in Massachusetts to deface a milk carton.

From what we can gather, there was once a rogue band of underground milkmen roaming the New England countryside defacing poor innocent milk cartons with giant Sharpie pens.  The horror! The mayhem! The curdling! Well, the state put an end to that, slapping a $10 fine on anyone who dared to vandalize a container of 2 percent.

3. It is illegal in Dudley, Massachusetts to own more than three cats without government permission.

Here’s to you, Dudley, for finding a way to push that nice lady with kitty litter in her hair and all those pussycats even further into desperate reclusion.  Residents of the town decided to impose a $100-per-day fine for owning too many cats after someone living next to the town cat lady complained about the felines ruining his yard. The cat lady promptly put her home up for sale, packed her 15 cats, and never looked back. Success!

4. Children in Attleboro, Massachusetts are forbidden from playing “tag” or other running games during playtime.

Heaven forbid an American child loses all that self-esteem his teachers worked so hard to build over the years. (Remember, everyone’s a winner!) A school in Massachusetts made national headlines in 2006 for issuing playground rules that restricted children from playing “chasing” games like tag and touch football because they were “dangerous” and “exclusionary.” In a rousing match of phone tag, a spokesman for the school refused to confirm or deny to The Daily Caller that tag is  still allowed today. Guess that means we’re it.

5. A Massachusetts fisherman was fined for saving a whale caught in his net.

As Clare Boothe Luce once quipped, no good deed goes unpunished. A U.S. District Court fined fisherman Robert J. Eldridge $500 after he untangled a whale from his nets and set the giant sea mammal free. What he should have done, the court told him, was call state authorities and wait for them do it. Never mind that the whale may have suffocated if they didn’t arrive in time. But hey, Eldridge should consider himself lucky: He could have faced a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail. That’ll teach him.

Honorable Mention: Group in Cambridge calls for a ban on all meat on Mondays.

The Cambridge Climate Congress, established to make recommendations for climate laws for the People’s Republic of Cambridge, recently proposed a ban on all meat sales once a week to curb the “climate emergency.” (It didn’t pass.) As the logic goes, meat comes from cows, and cows emit gas (farts) that heats up the planet. Let’s take a moment to thank the selfless citizens of Cambridge for making a good faith effort to rid the world of climate change and those smelly bovine backsides.
So what new hot liberal trend to run your life for you will be coming to a town near you, or even yours.

Let’s Wait and see. 🙂

ObamaCare’s Near Future?

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery.

It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation. Official figures show that senior citizens will make up 25 percent of the population by 2036.

“There’s got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years,” said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

“We can’t continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

“At some stage we’re going to hit a breaking point.”

MIRROR IMAGE DEBATE

In some ways the Canadian debate is the mirror image of discussions going on in the United States.

Canada, fretting over budget strains, wants to prune its system, while the United States, worrying about an army of uninsured, aims to create a state-backed safety net.

Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded system, which covers all “medically necessary” hospital and physician care and curbs the role of private medicine. It ate up about 40 percent of provincial budgets, or some C$183 billion ($174 billion) last year.

Spending has been rising 6 percent a year under a deal that added C$41.3 billion of federal funding over 10 years.

But that deal ends in 2013, and the federal government is unlikely to be as generous in future, especially for one-off projects.

“As Ottawa looks to repair its budget balance … one could see these one-time allocations to specific health projects might be curtailed,” said Mary Webb, senior economist at Scotia Capital.

Brian Golden, a professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, said provinces are weighing new sources of funding, including “means-testing” and moving toward evidence-based and pay-for-performance models.

“Why are we paying more or the same for cataract surgery when it costs substantially less today than it did 10 years ago? There’s going to be a finer look at what we’re paying for and, more importantly, what we’re getting for it,” he said.

Other problems include trying to control independently set salaries for top hospital executives and doctors and rein in spiraling costs for new medical technologies and drugs.

Ontario says healthcare could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years, if all these costs are left unchecked.

“Our objective is to preserve the quality healthcare system we have and indeed to enhance it. But there are difficult decisions ahead and we will continue to make them,” Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told Reuters.

The province has introduced legislation that ties hospital chief executive pay with the quality of patient care and says it wants to put more physicians on salary to save money.

In a report released last week, TD Bank said Ontario should consider other proposals to help cut costs, including scaling back drug coverage for affluent seniors and paying doctors according to quality and efficiency of care.

WINNERS AND LOSERS

The losers could be drug companies and pharmacies, both of which are getting increasingly nervous.

“Many of the advances in healthcare and life expectancy are due to the pharmaceutical industry so we should never demonize them,” said U of T’s Golden. “We need to ensure that they maintain a profitable business but our ability to make it very very profitable is constrained right now.”

Scotia Capital’s Webb said one cost-saving idea may be to make patients aware of how much it costs each time they visit a healthcare professional. “(The public) will use the services more wisely if they know how much it’s costing,” she said.

“If it’s absolutely free with no information on the cost and the information of an alternative that would be have been more practical, then how can we expect the public to wisely use the service?”

But change may come slowly. Universal healthcare is central to Canada’s national identity, and decisions are made as much on politics as economics.

“It’s an area that Canadians don’t want to see touched,” said TD’s Burleton. “Essentially it boils down the wishes of the population. But I think, from an economist’s standpoint, we point to the fact that sometimes Canadians in the short term may not realize the cost.” ($1=$1.05 Canadian). (Reuters)

TORONTO – Canadians with lower incomes have a higher chance of suffering heart attacks, according to a new report.

The poor also have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, smoking and other cardiac risk factors, the Canadian Institute for Health Information says in a study released Thursday. But heart attack patients receive the same quality of care regardless of their socio-economic status.

The report, Health indicators 2010, says that 67,000 Canadians were hospitalized for a heart attack in 2008-09.

Breaking down the population into five income levels, the study found that Canadians living in less affluent neighbourhoods were 37% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those in more affluent areas.

Heart attack patients from richer neighbourhoods were 7% more likely to get a revascularization procedure, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery, than those from lower-income areas.

“Identifying and measuring disparities in our health care system can help identify areas of potential concern and where to focus improvement efforts,” Indra Pulcins, director of indicators and performance measurement at CIHI, said.

“It is reassuring to see that in our universal system, the quality of care is similar for all heart attack patients. However, important gaps in heart health still exist between socio-economic groups, as well as between geographic regions in Canada. Addressing these gaps could help improve the health of the population.”

“Regions with higher heart attack rates also tend to have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, smoking and other cardiac risk factors.” Addressing those issues could lower the number of heart attacks and result in cost savings.

If all socio-economic groups had the same heart attack rate in 2008-09 as those from richer neighbourhoods, the hospitalization rate would have gone down by 16%, or the equivalent of 10,400 heart attacks.

That would have represented an estimated savings in hospital costs of $100 million.(Chealth)

So just make everyone the same and everything will be fine.

No one will be rich and no one will be poor, at least no one worth talking about. 🙂

The Future of ObamaCare?

Well, considering Medicare is already basically bankrupt and Social Security is too.

And now Obama wants to run Health Care.

His bureaucrats want to to decide who lives and who dies and will control your life for you.

Yeah, I do think it is.

EDMONTON – Alberta’s New Democrats say government cuts to long-term care have begun hitting home and hurting the most vulnerable.

Party leader Brian Mason says the government needs to publicly account for what’s being done to ensure the cuts are carried out fairly and humanely.

Mason was referring to a three per cent cut to long-term care funding brought in Premier Ed Stelmach’s Conservative government last fall to deal with a spiralling budget deficit.

Mason says recently leaked documents from some nursing homes show that they’re laying off staff or not filling positions.

But don’t worry, We are from the Government and we are hear to run your life for you! 😦

Whether you like it or not!