Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Is ObamaCare A “Free Gift” Trinket for the Masquerade Party?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

By Elois Zeanah

Like a masked Mardi Gras reveler on a lavishly decorated, dream-like float, President Obama takes his show to the streets this week to whoop up ObamaCare – again!  The public didn’t line the streets to catch free trinkets he was throwing the first time around. This time will be different, Obama says.  People just didn’t understand what prizes they would receive from this extravaganza that will cost nearly $1 trillion.   Obama feels certain he can drum up a crowd to join the uproarious party he and fellow congress members have ordered for their pleasure – this time! 

Remember when House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi screamed in delight about the surprises citizens would find inside the 2,000-plus page health care law – but they had to pass it before they could find out the wonderful gifts in store for them?   Well, the law passed and the public was finally able to break apart this piñata “gift package.”  But alas instead of gifts gushing forth that spur squeals of delight, IOUs rushed like a flood over heads of taxpayers, washing away all pretense of the faux show.

Who are these jesters that joke so?  Some are the hired actors by Obama and his Party leaders  to masquerade as fans.  Remember the buy-offs of congressmen?  Only with cash for votes in their pockets would these legislators put on disguises to join the Carnival as puppet performers.  Others are media members who “invested” in Obama and continue to prop him up to protect their “investment” in his ideology.

Will Obama succeed this time, six months after ObamaCare passed?   According to Rasmussen Reports, Gallup and CNN, between 56% and 61% of voters reject the set design and props of the Masquerade.  But Obama believes that once the public fully understand what free trinkets he’s throwing, the public will rally and line the streets, unlike last time, with trumpets of praise and merrymaking and forget that his health care reform threatens the best health care system in the world and whacks away at capitalism.  

 All it takes, Obama believes, is for voters to get the sweet taste of freebies that roll out this week and voters won’t care that ObamaCare raises not lowers health care costs as he promised; that punitive employer mandates, exploding spending estimates, fewer doctors, fewer jobs, and burdensome regulatory compliance will thwart the nation’s economic recovery not throttle it as he promised.[1]

Careful to remove all price tags from these so-called “free gifts”, Obama and his media clowns are as strangely silent as mimes about who pays for his $1 trillion takeover of the health care industry.  His health care trinkets aren’t free.  Many insurance holders will pay $5,000 to $9,000 a year more to make up for lost benefits.[2]   The very people ObamaCare was supposed to help – predominantly low-income households and minorities – will have trouble paying their medical bills.  This includes seniors and the disabled.  And according to a report published in April by the White House Medicare Office of the Actuary, “about 7.4 million people who would have been enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2017 will lose their coverage completely.  Those who are able to retain their coverage will lose significant benefits.”[3]

Most masquerades are humorous.  The only stand up comedy in the ObamaCare masquerade is that the very actors they hired took their money, then peeled off their disguises and departed the false show as quick as a thief to put distance between ObamaCare and their congressional races.   Now desperate to keep his congressional majority from whittling beyond control, Obama is now reaching out to churches to preach the deception of ObamaCare that he can’t sell.  Now that’s scary and it’s not funny!


[1] The Heritage Foundation:  “Six Months Closer to Repeal,” by Conn Carroll, September 23, 2010

[2][2] Wall Street Journal Editorial “How Seniors Will Pay for ObamaCare” by John C. Goodman,

[3] Ibid.

ObamaCare: Its Costs and Consequences

Monday, September 20th, 2010

By Elois Zeanah

Did you know that individuals will have to pay taxes on the value of their insurance starting in 2011?

  • Yes – Democrats have forced this new tax on us through ObamaCare!
  • The gross income of senior citizens will go up by the amount of insurance they have.
  • Also, W-2 tax forms sent by employers will be increased to show the value of whatever insurance they provide workers.
  • Think what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt for 2011.
  • Many Americans will move to a higher tax bracket.

How will ObamaCare hurt seniors and impact medical decisions?

  • Democrats will cut over $500 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare.
  • Democrats will interject government between patients and their doctors.
  • Government boards will decide what treatments would or would not be funded and a so-called “comparative effectiveness research commission” has the power to base health care on age.
  • Rationing of health care will occur:
  • Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sustein believes the age of a person should determine the level of care one receives.  He does not consider newborns to 40 and those 65 and older as productive citizens and believes these groups should be denied priority care.
  • Obama’s health adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel believes age and productivity should guide medical decisions and that allocation of medical service based on age is not discrimination.
  • Obama’s science czar John Holdren believes in compulsory abortion and sterilization.

 Do doctors/medical organizations support ObamaCare?[1]

Various physicians and medical organizations have publicly opposed this dangerous health care experiment. These include:

  •  Former presidents of the American Medical Association Dr. Donald Palmisano, MD, HC, FACS, and Dr. William G. Plested, III, MD, FACS to the Mayo Clinic,
  • The American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • The Medical Society of Delaware
  • The Medical Association of Georgia

If Republicans achieve a Congressional majority, what will they do?[2]

  • Republicans will repeal ObamaCare and its costs!  Republicans have a Senior Health Care Bill of Rights.  This includes:
  • Protect Medicare and not cut it as Democrats propose to do! 
  • Prohibit government from getting between seniors and their doctors. 
  • Outlaw any government effort to ration health care based on age.
  • Prevent government from interfering with end-of-life care discussions.
  • Ensure that seniors can keep their current coverage.
  • Protect veterans by preserving TRICARE For Life and other benefit                                    programs for military families.

WAYS TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE, CUT COSTS & REDUCE THE DEFICIT

STOP PAYING THE CROOKS

  • Reduce fraud in Medicare and Medicaid
  • Amend EMTLA to give free health care to indigent Citizens only
  • Pass TORT reform

Ø $800B/yr. wasted on fraud, defensive medicine, paperwork[3]

Ø These three MUST be done if costs are to be controlled 

GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE WAY

  • Allow interstate competition among insurance carriers
  • Eliminate government mandates of what insurance companies must cover
  • Find ways to make policies portable

“HANDS OFF MY HEALTH CARE” PRIVATE INITIATIVES

  • Electronic information-sharing (records, wikis, etc.)
  • Collaborative Care (e.g.:  Theda Care in Appleton, Wisconsin)
  • Incentivize good behavior (e.g.: Safeway:  obesity, exercise, smoking)

Ø   ALL can be accomplished WITHOUT government takeover 

Summary:  ObamaCare will hurt America’s seniors.  The Democrats’ health care plan, according to the CBO, will cost at least $1 trillion and still leave 36 million Americans uninsured. ObamaCare will add $239 billion to the federal deficit and raise taxes at least $800 billion.  ObamaCare is a massive intrusion into privates.


[1] Republican National Committee
[2] Republican National Committee
[3] Senator Tom Coburn, MD

HEALTH CARE VOTE SLAYS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Why the President and Progressive Democrats Welcome Perishing Congressional Majorities

Monday, March 15th, 2010

By Elois Zeanah

 Why would President Obama and House Speaker Pelosi pressure Dems to fall on their political swords for Obamacare?   This slays conventional wisdom.  After all, power belongs to the Party who controls the most votes.   Is it possible that Democrats can gain more power by taking over healthcare than by controlling Congress?  Consider:

President Obama bets all his political chips to forcibly persuade fellow Democrats to smother reelection chances and die a political death for a greater cause.  At Obama’s flank is Speaker Pelosi who whips her charges into battle:  Pay not attention to polls, she commands, but lay down your political future to pass Obamacare. 

 To show how incredulous the campaign has become, Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stalks a House Representative naked into a shower stall, and stabs a threatening finger into his exposed chest.  In addition to threats and intimidation, government largesse is used to bribe legislators who refuse to otherwise vote for a bill they know will significantly harm the nation’s economy and hurt the best health care system in the world.  Both the President and House Speaker have an unmistakable message:  The fight to take over healthcare is far more important than any person or any election. 

 Why is takeover of healthcare more important to Democrat political operatives than keeping House and Senate majorities?  Maybe it’s because the voters get it, and Democrats want to steal from voters their right to decide the future of their country.  Democrats are on the cusp of achieving a lifelong goal to seize new powers over the life, liberty and limb of every American and concentrate that power in the hands of government and a powerful president. 

 Obama and Pelosi thought they could trick voters.  Now they know they can’t.  Voters have seen through their smoky battle rhetoric.  Voters know that Obamacare will increase insurance costs, decrease quality of care, raise taxes, expand entitlements, and harm the economy. 

Why is the risk of losing majorities in the House and Senate worth it?  Takeover of health care will give President Obama the structure and the power to use his czars and other appointees to make sweeping regulations to go around congress and the constitution and to control individual lives in ways thought unthinkable.

OBAMANOMICS VS AMERICANOMICS: Can Obama Change?

Monday, March 8th, 2010

By Elois Zeanah

Ah, the blessings of free enterprise!  Once again innovation American style sprints its Olympic mettle over sluggish disincentives of taxation, regulation and government takeovers when it comes to cleaning up environment pollution and creating green jobs. 
     To build a great green machine in America, Obamanomics would destroy American enterprise and jobs through proposed cap-and-trade taxes.  Americanomics, on the other hand, allows innovators to take risks and fund their own ideas with their own money to solve environmental problems and create jobs.  Take the latest discovery of how to use the environmental pollution byproduct of coal-burning plants to “make coal the cleanest, cheapest energy source by turning its carbon-dioxide emissions into bricks to build” houses.[1]  This invention promises clean technology and new jobs. 
      Obamonomics would use big government to bully and close down coal-burning plants, force Americans to import more foreign energy and pay more for it.  Americanomics allows inventors to risk their own capital to wean America off foreign energy sources, capitalize American natural resources and keep jobs in America.
      President Obama needs to use this example and others to lead our nation out of the recession and stop bullying free markets.  Can Obama change?  Or is ideology more important?  So far his track record to fix what ails America, including destroying the best health care system in the world, suggests the latter. 


[1] “Dreaming the possible dream” by Columnist Thomas Friedman, March 8, 2010

MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT: Can You Hear Us Now?

Monday, September 21st, 2009

 By Elois Zeanah

 President Obama continues to blitz the airwaves.  My message is not breaking through,  the President of the United States complains. 

 Mr. President, the problem is not that we aren’t hearing you; it’s that you’re not hearing us!  Let’s see if we can clear communications over this land-line.

 When asked about why your message is not resonating, you say:  The opposition has made a decision.  They are just not going to support anything, for political reasons.

 Mr. President, concern that you’re wrecking health care for 97% of Americans to subsidize insurance for 3%  more Americans is not political.  Pardon me, but it’s irrational!   The realization that you over-exaggerate the number of “uninsured Americans” makes us cynical.  Our concern that your “reform” is a calculation to grab more power and more of our money to spread around is not political.  How many times have Republicans, Independents and Democrats explained that we ran your numbers?  They don’t add up.   In case our message did not get through, here’s a rundown of your numbers:

#1 UNMET PROMISE:  PROPOSED BILLS DO NOT COVER EVERYONE

 The 47 million “uninsured Americans” is a fabrication.  The number is closer to 10-16 million.  A close analysis of the same Census Bureau data you used reveals:

  • Millions of citizens covered by Medicaid and S-CHIP were undercounted.
  • Millions who have access to Medicaid and S-CHIP but choose not to take it until they are sick were counted as “uninsured”. 
  • Millions who earn $70,000 and over and can afford insurance were included as “uninsured”.
  • Millions of illegal aliens were counted as “uninsured Americans”.

 The real number of “uninsured Americans” is about 3% of the total population.  Opposition is not political!  Your proposal seems reckless.  Further, analyses show that despite spending over a trillion dollars in start-up costs, the House and Senate bills would still leave about 16 million Americans uninsured.  So promise number one that everyone will be covered is not met.  

 Do I hear static, sir?

#2 UNMET PROMISE:  PROPOSED BILLS DO NOT LOWER COSTS

 Then there’s that troublesome little issue of affordability.  Your premise that you must overhaul the health care system to curb unsustainable costs so that everyone can afford insurance seems to have fizzled. 

 Mr. President, concern that your own Congressional Budget Office says your plan will not lower insurance costs and the assessment by the non-partisan Heritage Foundation that private coverage for the typical American could go up as much as $460 per year due to new price controls set in the legislation – well, somehow our confidence crumbles.  This is not political.  It’s grave concern that Americans will pay more for less, have less choice and less competition, and be burdened by more onerous taxes and deeper deficits.

 #3 UNMET PROMISE:  AMERICANS CAN’T KEEP INSURANCE

 And all that talk about how you will make sure that every American who likes their insurance and doctors can keep them?  Well, Mr. President, that isn’t true either, is it now?  The non-partisan Lewin Group reports that almost 50% of private insurance holders will lose their coverage and be shifted to the public plan.  That’s just to start.  How many more of us will fall like dominoes behind those?

 And, oh, Mr. President, there’s that thorny issue about Americans being able to choose a plan like Congress.  Remember what you said at a town hall meeting on August 11th?  You stated, “That’s what the health exchange is all about, is that you – just like a member of Congress – can go and choose the plan that’s right for you.” 

 That warms our heart.  But when I checked, your plan for typical Americans is nothing like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that only you, Members of Congress and federal employees get.   Mr. President, surely you wouldn’t mislead us.  Did you know that the FEHBP system has no government-run public option competing with private plans

 Is that stuttering or static on your end, Mr. President?

#4 UNMET PROMISE:  WE CAN’T TRUST GOVERNMENT MORE

 Mr. President, Americans want true health care reform.  We have a problem.  Americans pay 18% GNP for health care while most other advanced countries pay 10% and have a longer life expectancy.  Yet medical costs in the U.S. continue to rise rapidly.  Something must be done.  But before we give up the best health care system in the world, we have a few questions:

 Why should we trust a president and bureaucrats, who have never had to meet a payroll, more than we trust free market enterprise?

 Why should we trust a president and bureaucrats to takeover the health care system when fraud in government health care programs runs 15% and fraud in the private sector is 1%? 

 Why should Americans trust a president and bureaucrats to keep the private sector honest when government will not hold itself accountable?  For example:

  • Social Security is a great program, but Congress couldn’t keep its hands off our trust fund.  Congress has stolen over $11 trillion from our Social Security trust fund and now seniors are scared about its future. 
  • Medicare is another program that works well, but once again Congress couldn’t keep its hands off our money and Medicare now has $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities.  
     
  • Government has been unable to stop the estimated $224 billion in fraud every year in Medicare and Medicaid.  Criminals live high-faluting lifestyles while seniors worry that Medicare may go bankrupt. 

 Mr. President, if you’re sincere about cleaning up the fraud mess, why are you waiting?

 There are so many other examples of how the President and Congress have been unwilling to use current laws on the books and their oversight authority to rein in abuses in government and in the private sector.  Instead, government declares emergencies and uses our tax dollars for bailouts for private industries that use the same accounting gimmickry that government uses.  This does not breed trust.

 Bottom line, Mr. President, why should Americans trust you and unaccountable bureaucrats with one-sixth of our economy when you haven’t proven that you are trustworthy? 

 I’m listening for your answer, Mr. President.  What’s that?  How this line been disconnected?

A DUELING DUO: Obama as Senator Versus Obama as President

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

By Elois Zeanah

The President has been trying hard to convince the American public that passing his health care reform is urgent because doing nothing will sink our economy farther. It’s an emergency!  (Just as passing TARP was an emergency, as was the Stimulus Bill, as was bailing out Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac, and banks, and GM.  As is passing the Cap-and-Trade energy tax!  Everything that Obama wants, he must have now!) 

Yet sitting as a U.S. Senator, health care reform was not so important.  Senator Barack Obama helped other Democrats defeat meaningful proposals to reform health care that would have gone far to solve pressing problems that now only government, he says, can fix through a government takeover and $2 trillion.  For example:

  • Tax Reform to Give Individuals and Families the Same Tax Benefits as Employers

One reason for rising insurance rates, the tax “exclusion” law is caused by government.   Current tax laws prohibit employees or individuals as a whole to receive tax benefits when they purchase health insurance.  Only employers are eligible for this tax write-off. This tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance is a huge, but hidden, tax subsidy of over $246 billion every year.[1] 

 To level the playing field and allow Americans who do not get insurance through their employers to deduct their health care costs, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered Resolution 70 on March 13, 2008 to fix this unfair tax “exclusion”.  Senator Obama voted against this Resolution, which failed by a vote of 45-51.

  • Government Regulations Prohibit Cross-State Competition Among Insurance Carries

Another reason for rising insurance rates is that patients cannot shop across state lines.  We can go across state lines to buy cheaper booze and to get better retail bargains, and we can shop on the Internet to compare prices to get the best deal; but the government will not let insurance companies compete across state lines.  This lack of competition hurts consumers. 

To get rid of this government restraint to competition and to allow patients to shop for the best insurance product, Senator DeMint (R-SC) introduced H.R. 976 on August 2, 2007.  Senator Obama helped defeat this health care reform, which failed by a vote of 37-62.

  • Obama Consistently Opposed Health Care Reforms as a Senator

Obama voted “NO” on many other health care reforms:[2]

  • “NO”  on allowing Americans to use their own Health Savings Accounts (HAS) to purchase health insurance (H.R. 2 offered by Sen. Ensign, R-NV) on January 25, 2007, which failed by a vote of 47-48.
  • “NO” on minimizing the erosion of health coverage (Senate Amendment 2537 to Senate Amendment 2530 to H.R. 976 introduced by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ) on August 2,2007, which failed by a vote of 37-62. 
  • “NO” to expand health care access and reduce costs through the creation of small business health plans and through modernization of the health insurance marketplace on May 11, 2006, which failed by a vote of 55-32.
  • “NO” to save taxpayer money by requiring individuals who are eligible for both SCHIP and employer-sponsored coverage to use the latter first (Senate Amendment 2596 to Senate Amendment 2530 to H.R. 976 offered by Senator Vitter, R-LA) on August 2, 2007,  which failed by a vote of 35-64.
  • “NO” on requiring illegal immigrants seeking “Z Visas” to maintain a minimum level of health coverage to save taxpayers and hospitals money in uncompensated costs (Senate 1348 introduced by Senator DeMint, R-SC) on June 6, 2007 which failed by a vote of 43-55.

Despite these “NO” votes for needed health care reform over years, the President now blames Republican opponents of his pan.  He states:

 Republicans are “content to perpetuate the status quo, [and] are, in fact, fighting reform on behalf of powerful special interests.” 

Sorry, Mr. President, but such blatant hypocrisy doesn’t help the mojo and your behavioral scientist’s mind-control manipulation.  Nor do your proposals to reform health care that expand government and deficits but don’t solve root problems.  In fact your “emergency” proposals are bad medicine for our ailing economy. 


[1] Joint Committee on Taxation, “Tax Expenditures for Health Care,” July 30, 2008. 

[2] http://demint.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Jim’sJournal.Detail&Blog_ID=9e16166

EXPANDING HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENTS IS BAD MEDICINE AND WILL WORSEN HEALTH CARE: Could it Crash the Private Sector?

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

By Elois Zeanah

Independent analysts and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the watchdog of Congress, have for years repeatedly warned that federal and state budgets will collide with taxpayers’ ability to pay the rapidly rising costs of health care entitlement programs.  Yet not only did Obama vote against reform bills as a Senator, his unsustainable proposals as President accelerate the pace toward collision. 

 The notion by Obama that he can expand Medicare and Medicaid and give all Americans affordable health care is quickly dispelled by highly respected GAO analysts.  Obama’s plan to broaden the pool of these two programs will not alleviate but aggravate the current fiscal crisis.

 THE FISCAL NIGHTMARE

“The official projections for current entitlements show that the American people will be confronted with a series of unpleasant options: savage benefit cuts, massive tax increases, or a combination of both.  Heritage Foundation analysts, among many others, have amply documented the long-term economic catastrophe that lies ahead without comprehensive entitlement reform.[1]

GAO:   76% of every $1 will go to Health Care and Debt Interest

GAO has candidly told Congress:

  • “Just ten years from now in this simulation that is based on historical trends and recent policy preferences, 76 percent of every dollar of federal revenue will be spent on retirees and their health are providers, health care providers for the poor, and our bond holders.  This leaves little room for other priorities, such as national defense and investment in infrastructure and alternative energy sources, and threatens the government’s fiscal ability to respond to emergencies, both natural and manmade.”[2]
  • “The GAO estimates that it would take a 39 percent increase in revenue, or a 37 percent decrease in non-interest spending, to close the federal fiscal gap.”[3]
  • “Further, the GAO points directly to health care spending as the major cause of the fiscal gap: “Rapidly rising health care costs are not simply a federal budget problem; they are our nation’s number-one long-term fiscal challenge.[4]

President Obama uses these dire warnings to make his case to Americans.  Yet, interestingly, his plan does exactly the opposite of what economic experts tell us reform must do:  Cut health care entitlement expenses!  Obama ignores these warnings and instead of cutting Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, Obama expands these three health care programs in the name of reform and magnifies problems as a consequence.  His proposals will not only lead to more expensive programs and greater deficits but higher taxes at both the federal and state levels.

Government Health Care Costs Will Force States to Raise Taxes

  • GAO’s warnings include that “Health care costs, principally Medicaid costs,[5] even at current levels will force states to raise revenue or reduce spending by 7.6 percent every year in order to close the fiscal gap faced by state and local governments.”
  • “It is ironic that just as Senator Baucus and others propose to add millions of additional beneficiaries to the fiscally troubled Medicaid program, Congress is on the threshold of passing a temporary increase in the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), the federal Medicaid match, in order to provide urgent economic relief to states.”[6]

WILL OBAMA CAUSE PRIVATE HEALTH CARE TO CRASH TO GET CONTROL OF HEALTH CARE?

“Adding more people to Medicaid when states cannot even afford their current programs makes no sense – unless the real object is to crash the program in order to force the states to support a single-payer system, under which the federal government would take over the entire health care system.  Congress’s own analysts have demonstrated that the current path for Medicare and Medicaid is unsustainable.”[7]

  • “The Obama and Baucus proposals…directly undermine the historic accomplishments of the 1990s welfare reform, which was designed to get Americans off of dependence on government programs.  Indeed, expanding the private health insurance pool and spreading risk over a larger population would help to stabilize health insurance premiums and slow the growth in health care costs.”[8]
  • “The President and Senator Baucus would also undertake a major expansion of existing government health care programs and entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).”
  • “Medicaid is already unsustainable for states and is already threatening state budgets”
  • “Expanding Medicaid discriminates against low-income families and provides limited access to health care.”

“EXPANDING MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND INCURRING NEW LIABILITIES IS, TO PUT IT MILDLY, UNWISE

“Congress, in launching a recent series of massive bailouts, an unprecedented splurge in federal spending, has just created a record deficit of $1.6 trillion.  At the same time, Congress has avoided the tough but vital decision about how to pay for the massive entitlement obligations that have already been incurred in Medicare and Social Security, let alone how to finance new ones.

  • Medicare’s unfunded liabilities stand at $38 trillion currently.  “Medicaid’s long-term unfunded liability will be even greater than Medicare’s because Medicaid is funded entirely through general funds on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no trust funds or dedicated payroll tax available for its use.
  • “Given the unsustainable cost of the current programs and the utter failure of Congress to address these issues, it is hard to imagine how Congress would plan to finance additional entitlement costs.  The current approach on Capitol Hill is to avoid such accountability.”[9]

 


[1][1][1] Ibid.  (See Heritage entitlement spending charts, “Entitlement Spending Will More than Double by 2050,” “Entitlements Alone Will Eclipse Historical Tax Levels by 2052,” and “Mandatory Spending Consumes Growing Share of Total Spending,” at http://www.heritage org.  See also: U.S. Government Accountability Office, “The Nation’s Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: September 2008 Update, GAO-09-94R, at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0994r.pdf (Feb. 6, 2009), and “State and Local Fiscal Challenges: Rising Health Care Costs Drive Long-Term and Immediate Pressures, GAO-09-21-OT, Nov. 19, 2008, at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0921t.pdf (Feb. 9, 2008)

[2] U.S. Government Accountability Office, “The Nation’s Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: September 2008 Update, p. 2.

[3] Ibid., p. 10

[4] Ibid., p. 8

[5] Ibid., p. 5

[6] The Heritage Foundation: “Note to Congress: Expanding Health Care Entitlements is Bad Policy,”, by Dennis G. Smith, Feb. 12, 2009

[7] Ibid.

[8] The Heritage Foundation: “Note to Congress: Expanding Health Care Entitlements is Bad Policy,” by Dennis G. Smith, Fe. 12, 2009

[9] The Heritage Foundation, “Note to Congress: Expanding Health Care Entitlements is Bad Policy,” by Dennis G. Smith, February 12, 2009

OBAMA’S CALL TO MINISTERS: Are Ministers Answering the Call from the President OR from God?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

By Elois Zeanah

Since President Obama’s conference call to faith-based groups in mid-August 2009 to urge their support for government-controlled health care, I’ve heard ministers speak about our “responsibility” to make health care insurance a “right”.   

Health Care For Children 

One minister centered his comments on children who are uninsured.  He stated (incorrectly) that too many children in America go “unprotected” when the Bible tells us to take care of them.  Apparently, he is unaware that every child from a poor family has access to Medicaid and S-CHIP, and every person, adult or child, is treated at a hospital even when they cannot pay. 

Health Care For Illegal Immigrants 

Another minister opined that we should look at the health care issue biblically.  She used the parable of the Good Samaritan to make the case that illegal immigrants should be included in the health care plan and should receive tax-subsidized or free health care.  “What does it mean for us today to love our sick or uninsured neighbor as ourselves?” she asked.  

 I would ask in return if Jesus was referring to individuals as neighbors or to governments?  I can’t see how that parable can be interpreted that people should look to the government to take care of their needs and their neighbors’.  I would also ask if Christians have a biblical duty to obey laws and expect others to do the same?  Didn’t Jesus charge citizens to Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”?   While most people are aware that it is unlawful to enter the United States without permission, most people are unaware of another law that prohibits anyone from aiding and abeting illegal immigrants.  Christians should obey laws.
 

Do Christians Have a Moral Obligation to Push for Comprehensive Health Care For All? 

One minister pointed Christians to Old and New Testament scriptures where God and Jesus are continually referred to as “healers”.  Citing Isaiah 57:18:  “I have seen their ways, but I will heal them,” and Luke 14:4:  “So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away”, the minister asked:  “Can we Christians do any less?”   1 John 3:17 tells us:  ‘How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?’  From this perspective, do people of faith not have a moral responsibility to encourage our elected officials to pass comprehensive health care?”  The minister obviously feels Christians are obligated to support proposed comprehensive health care, and to answer the President’s call. 

Guilt Trip as Bully Club

Just as President Obama reached out to persuade faith leaders to use their influence to get their “flock” to back his health care proposal, politicians too often apply the guilt trip like a tourniquet to any issue that doesn’t have public support to persuade Americans to do something they don’t believe is right. I believe Christians have a moral obligation to follow their conscience and to fight injustices in our culture, which spring eternally from our government. 

Ministers, if they are going to preach on health care reform, should study what’s in the health care reform bill, who it will hurt as well as help, and what impacts (intended as well as unintended) will be on various groups, including the poor, as well as what freedoms and liberties granted by our Constitution will be sacrificed to serve a political agenda.  Only then can faith leaders know if they are being shepherds or sheep, and whether they’re following man or God.

HB3200 VIOLATES YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY: The Good News is that it Expands Business for the IRS and the “Repo Man” and Creates New Jobs

Friday, August 28th, 2009

By Elois Zeanah

BEWARE:  Government can grab your bank account, your car, even put a lien on your home.  You thought an IRS audit was as scary as it gets?  It will no longer be just your tax filing that the roving eyes of the IRS can access.  It’s your bank accounts, both checking and savings; it’s the worth of your house and how much the government can take if a lien is needed to pay the government for your share of health care.  The government can even seize your car. 

Ah, yes, the “Repo Man” will have a new client:  The U.S. Government, dear ol’ Uncle Sam himself.  After all, these economic times scream for ways to create jobs, and the health care bill could boost the economy big time.  Repossession companies will no longer have to look to just banks, auto dealerships and loan agencies for work.   Big Government rides to the rescue again.  If ObamaCare (or maybe it will now be called KennedyCare) passes, you will be forced to buy insurance one way or another.  The IRS and the “Repo Man” will collect every last dime you owe government to take care of you.  You may hide from other debtors but there’s no hiding from the government.    

Privacy is Passé Under HB3200 

If you think your rights to privacy are protected by the U.S. Constitution, my advice is:  “Get over it!”  Here’s how government plans to take your liberties and invade your privacy.  (This is just a few ways; more will be revealed in future articles.) 

Financial and Health Records can be Viewed by Thousands of Bureaucrats  

  • Section 431(a):  “The IRS must divulge taxpayer identity information, including the filing status, the modified adjusted gross income, the number of dependents, and ‘other information prescribed by’ regulation.  That information will be provided to the new Health Choices Commissioner and state health programs and used to determine who qualifies for ‘affordability credits.’”[1]
  • Section 245(b)(2)(A):  “The IRS must divulge tax return details – there’s no specified limit on what’s available or unavailable – to the Health Choices Commissioner.  The purpose is to verify “affordability credits.”[2]
  • Section 1801(a):  “The Social Security Administration can obtain tax return data on anyone who may be eligible for a ‘low-income prescription drug subsidy’ but has not applied for it.”[3]  They’ll check to see whether you qualify by getting your tax data.

Thousands of government employees can assess your records.  “The privacy of your health records will be only as good as the most nosy, most dishonest and most malcontented federal employee….So say good-bye to privacy from the federal government.  It was fun while it lasted for 233 years.”[4]   

And, by the way, remember that $700 billion Stimulus Bill that was rushed through before the public or the people who voted on it could read it?  This “emergency” bill “mandated the ‘utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014,’ but included only limited privacy protections.”[5]  

It’s logical, is it not, that the government needs to overrun your liberties and your individual privacy to make sure that you’re not frauding the government out of it’s just due to provide you health care?  The only way to know you’re not abusing your new entitlement to health care is to protect society from you. 

The Electronic Privacy Information Center opposes this invasion into our personal lives and violation of our right to privacy.  Marc Rotenberg writes:  “We would oppose section 431(a) of the bill because it violates the intent of the Privacy Act which generally requires agencies to obtain information directly from individuals and not from other agencies.”   Should you get your Members of Congress onboard as well?  Or does it really matter who knows the most intimate details of our financial and health records?  After all, Uncle Sam loves us all so very much, he wants to take good care of us; and that means we have to give up something to Uncle Sam in return so he can control our affairs.


[1] “Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data – Taking Liberties,” by Declain McCullagh, CBS News, August 26, 2009

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.  Quote from Tom Giovanetti, Institute for Policy Innovation (a free-market think-tank).

[5] Ibid.

ILLEGAL ALIENS: Can Non-Citizens Receive Health Care Under HB3200 OR Is This Claim Uninformed Rabble?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

By Elois Zeanah

Illegal aliens can receive benefits under the proposed bill.  The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the “research arm” for the United States Congress, issued a report titled “Treatment of Noncitizens in H.R. 3200 that confirms: 

 

 

  • “H.R. 3200 does not prevent non-citizens, whether they’re present in the U.S. legally or illegally, permanently or temporarily – from receiving health care benefits under the proposed plan.
  • Illegal aliens can also receive taxpayer subsidies for their health care – whether they choose government insurance or private insurance.
  • Loopholes in the bill are so gaping that even Mexican and Canadian citizens could participate in the health insurance exchange.

The CRS specifically cited the absence in the bill requiring that immigrants be “verified” as in the country legally before receiving health care insurance.  Because the language is so ambiguous, the CRS concluded that the Health Choices Commissioner would decide who was eligible under the plan.  This bureaucrat will, of course, interpret the vague wording according to the wishes of those who appointed him. 

What is the Intent of the President and Congress? 

“These loopholes were deliberate and intended to extend benefits to illegal aliens, while allowing Members of Congress to deny those facts to the American people,” stated Dan Stein, President of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform).

 

  • An amendment to the House Ways & Means Committee bill to bar illegal aliens from enrolling in the proposed public option or receiving the “affordable credits” toward private insurance was voted down.  The amendment by Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) to apply the same eligibility verification procedures that are now used for Medicaid to prove citizenship was voted down on a party-line vote.  This system is the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system.
  • Amnesty groups have expressed pleasure at the wording and have stated that the bill allows illegal aliens to receive health care benefits.

Fact or Uniformed Rabble? 

Stein stated:  “For the past month, irate citizens, concerned that their tax dollars will be used to fund health care for illegal aliens, have been unfairly portrayed as uninformed rabble by their elected representatives and a host of media organizations.  It’s time for the politicians to close the loopholes, and for the media establishment to acknowledge that they got it wrong.” 

The Congressional “research arm” has spoken:  Illegal aliens can receive benefits under the bill.   Citizens, once again, have proven they aren’t duped by ambiguous language that gives the President, Congress, and the media deniability, and by attempts of politicians to blatantly mislead U.S. citizens of their intent!