The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for July 23rd, 2009

Clinton Political Strategist: Obama’s Health Care Claims “Orwellian”

Posted by iusbvision on July 23, 2009

Political Strategist and best selling author Dick Morris:

RHETORIC V. REALITY: HEALTH CARE BY ORWELL

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published in the New York Post on July 23, 2009

President Obama’s rhetoric last night summoned the memory of “1984,” George Orwell’s novel of a nightmarish future — where the slogan of the rulers is “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.”

The president assures us that he will cut health-care spending. . .by adding $1 trillion to health-care spending.

He says that “health-care decisions will not be made by government”. . .while he sets up a new Federal Health Board to tell doctors what treatments they can offer and to whom and under what circumstances.

Obama told the media, “I will free doctors to make good health-care decisions”. . .by telling the physicians what to do.

When the president says he guarantees the “same coverage” to people who like their current health-insurance policies, he means that their current HMOs, insurers and doctors will be the ones to implement the protocols and instructions the government hands down to them — not that we’ll have our current freedom of decision-making.

When he blandly assures us that we will “stop paying for things that don’t make us healthier,” he really means that his Federal Health Board will overrule your doctor and stop him from using his own best judgment in your treatment.

The president will “get the politics out of health care” by putting it under government control.

Obama says that he will not “add to the deficit” to fund health care. But the bill reported out by Rep. Charlie Rangel’s Ways and Means Committee leaves $550 billion unfunded.

The president says that he’ll identify savings that will reduce the need for more taxes — even though the Congressional Budget Office refuses to say that his “savings” will actually work and warns that the bill will really be added to the deficit.

He repeatedly tells us that he’ll cut health-care spending. What he means is that he will cut doctors’ incomes and will turn down patients — particularly the elderly — when they seek medical care that his bureaucrats disapprove of.

And he ignores that cutting incomes in the medical field will reduce the number of doctors and force further rationing of care.

The president opines that he will replace the most “expensive care” with the “best care” by empowering government officials who have never met you to substitute their judgment for that of your doctor, who has examined you thoroughly.

When Obama laments that “14,000 people lose their insurance every day,” he is referring to the job losses that his own failed efforts to end the recession have permitted.

He warns that health-care costs are gobbling up money that employers should use to raise wages and worker pay — yet the plans he backs would require employers to pay 8 percent of their payroll as a tax or provide insurance to their workers.

The Obama plan highlights greater preventive care — but, at the same time, cuts medical incomes and so will cut the number of doctors who might provide it.

The stimulus package, in the Gospel According to Barack, was “designed” to work over the next two years. But at the time, he demanded immediate passage to “jump-start the economy” — something that clearly did not happen.

Medicare and Medicaid are “driving the deficit” even as he increased the amount of red ink by at least $800 billion in six months with little, if any, increase in the cost of either program.

He says he “expects” banks to repay their TARP money. In fact, they’re lining up around the block to do so — but the Treasury will only permit a handful of them to do so.

In summary, Obama’s health program will promote “lower cost and more choice” by increasing spending by $1 trillion, telling patients what care they’re permitted to have, and limiting their access to quality care.

Orwell’s heirs should sue for violation of copyright.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Democrats vote NO on applying their healthcare “public option” to themselves…

Posted by iusbvision on July 23, 2009

Wall Street Journal:

In the health debate, liberals sing Hari Krishnas to the “public option” — a new federal insurance program like Medicare — but if it’s good enough for the middle class, then surely it’s good enough for the political class too? As it happens, more than a few Democrats disagree.

On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Yet all Democrats — with the exceptions of acting chairman Chris Dodd, Barbara Mikulski and Ted Kennedy via proxy — voted nay.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

Governor Jindal on healthcare reform

Posted by iusbvision on July 23, 2009

The Governor has two pieces in the Wall Street Journal HERE and HERE with his vision for some possible cost saving solutions:

The Democrats disingenuously argue their reforms will not diminish the quality of our health care even as government involvement in the delivery of that health care increases massively. For all of us who have seen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to hurricanes, this contention is laughable on its face. When government bureaucracies drive the delivery of services—in this case inserting themselves between health-care providers and their patients—quality degradation will surely come.

Consumer choice guided by transparency. We need a system where individuals choose an integrated plan that adopts the best disease-management practices, as opposed to fragmented care. Pricing and outcomes data for all tests, treatments and procedures should be posted on the Internet. Portable electronic health-care records can reduce paperwork, duplication and errors, while also empowering consumers to seek the provider that best meets their needs.

•Aligned consumer interests. Consumers should be financially invested in better health decisions through health-savings accounts, lower premiums and reduced cost sharing. If they seek care in cost-effective settings, comply with medical regimens, preventative care, and lifestyles that reduce the likelihood of chronic disease, they should share in the savings.

•Medical lawsuit reform. The practice of defensive medicine costs an estimated $100 billion-plus each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which used a study by economists Daniel P. Kessler and Mark B. McClellan. No health reform is serious about reducing costs unless it reduces the costs of frivolous lawsuits.

•Insurance reform. Congress should establish simple guidelines to make policies more portable, with more coverage for pre-existing conditions. Reinsurance, high-risk pools, and other mechanisms can reduce the dangers of adverse risk selection and the incentive to avoid covering the sick. Individuals should also be able to keep insurance as they change jobs or states.

•Pooling for small businesses, the self-employed, and others. All consumers should have equal opportunity to buy the lowest-cost, highest-quality insurance available. Individuals should benefit from the economies of scale currently available to those working for large employers. They should be free to purchase their health coverage without tax penalty through their employer, church, union, etc.

•Refundable tax credits. Low-income working Americans without health insurance should get help in buying private coverage through a refundable tax credit. This is preferable to building a separate, government-run health-care plan.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Health Law | Leave a Comment »

Indiana’s Own Dave McIntosh: Vote no on Sotomayor

Posted by iusbvision on July 23, 2009

Wall Street Journal:

By DAVID MCINTOSH

As Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing began last week, many commentators predicted that she would portray herself as a moderate judge committed to judicial restraint. True to these expectations, Judge Sotomayor described her judicial philosophy as quite simple: “fidelity to the law.” Yet the judge’s history on the Second Circuit—not to mention her earlier speeches—suggest that she believes judges can go beyond the law to make policy decisions. For this reason, a vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor is almost certainly a vote in favor of restricting Second Amendment protections and property rights, upholding racial preferences, and providing unlimited abortion on demand.

During last week’s hearing, several senators sought to determine whether Judge Sotomayor supports the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. In particular, they asked whether this right should be enforced against state governments. Sen. Russ Feingold (D., Wis.) praised the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which it held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Mr. Feingold pressed Judge Sotomayor about her Second Circuit panel decision in Maloney v. Cuomo (2009), where she and her colleagues rejected the argument that the right to keep and bear arms should be enforced against the states, stating that “the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right.” That’s like saying you have the right to free speech in Washington, D.C., but not in Arkansas, Indiana or California.

In response to Mr. Feingold’s inquiry, Judge Sotomayor defended the Second Circuit’s decision in Maloney. She refused to acknowledge that her court could have enforced the right to bear arms against the states. Judge Sotomayor’s involvement in this decision does not bode well for a ruling in favor of Second Amendment rights if she is confirmed to the Court.

Judge Sotomayor also revealed a troubling approach to property rights in Didden v. Village of Port Chester (2006). Sitting on another Second Circuit panel, Judge Sotomayor voted to uphold the condemnation of the plaintiffs’ private property despite the obvious corruption surrounding the case. The plaintiffs’ only faced condemnation because they refused to pay off a politically connected developer. When they refused to pay, the city then condemned the land, declaring it for “public use.”

The court’s decision in Didden weakened protections for property owners even further than the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London (2005) and indicates that Judge Sotomayor would likely exercise a similar approach on the Supreme Court.

Senators should also be concerned by Judge Sotomayor’s support of racial hiring preferences. In the now famous Ricci v. DeStefano (2009) firefighter case, a Second Circuit panel of judges, including Judge Sotomayor, upheld the city’s decision to disregard the results of a promotion examination because too few racial minorities passed. On June 29, the Supreme Court overturned the Second Circuit’s ruling, a vote of no-confidence in Judge Sotomayor’s reasoning in Ricci.

In addition, from 1980-92 Judge Sotomayor served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a prominent legal defense and education group organized in part to support unlimited abortion rights. During this period, the fund filed briefs in several prominent abortion cases that expressed unqualified support for a woman’s right to obtain an abortion and opposition to any limits on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973). Judge Sotomayor’s willingness to play an active role in the fund’s activities is telling.

When you look at Judge Sotomayor’s long, activist legal career, it is hard to square with her new, modest claim of “fidelity to the law.” She herself has said the Supreme Court sets policy. On that standard, Republican and moderate Democratic senators—particularly those in red and purple states—should vote against confirming Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Mr. McIntosh, a former Republican congressman from Indiana, served as special assistant to President Reagan for domestic affairs and was a co-founder of the Federalist Society.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »