In the wake of a “stealth regulation” end-run where the medicare guru (Dr. Berwick, who was recess-appointed in July 2010, thus bypassing Senate confirmation) approved end-of-life consultation payments in spite of it having been pulled from the Obamacare legislation I commented on that and now another thoughtful piece appears that bears consideration: Continue reading “Death Panels Revisited – WSJ.com”
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.
Could it be, possibly, that Congress really screwed themselves, themselves, in the health insurance bill? Not to be mean … well, at least not unfairly so … one can only hope. Notice the categories into which I slot this piece.
In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.
For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.
The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?
Like lemmings into the sea…. Read it next time!
Excellent WSJ article on (a) increasing corporate analyses of the effects of “ObamaCare” on companies (and ultimately YOUR pocketbook), and (b) Congressional anger at corporate America reporting those effects, as required by SEC regulations.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”
Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”
In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet. (emphasis added)
via The ObamaCare Writedowns – WSJ.com. (Accessed 3/28/2010)
Where have we seen suppression of dissent before?
That line is taken from, among other sources I’m sure, the back of a favorite BMW motorcycle sweatshirt. As an aside, my VERY favorite shirt reads “I didn’t know BMW made cars until I passed one.” But I digress.
The journey is important in many endeavors. No matter how worthy the destination, how you get there matters. It’s true in love, war, economics, motorcycle touring and, also, in passing major legislation.
Assume for arguments sake (I know, but try) that health care reform is needed and further that the already passed Senate bill is a good one (I know, just hang with me …). Even if that were true, the way “they” are getting there is awful. In fact it’s horrible. A total bastardization of the legislative system is taking place and it threatens to trample on the Constitution from several directions. See, e.g., my earlier piece Healthcare bill: Reform the reformation by amending the Senate bill the House didn’t pass. Huh?
Regardless of whether the House passes a bill (or a “Rule”) this weekend, or not, the world and history will long remember what was done. Woe unto “us” the perversion by “them” of procedures that have served this nation well, the literal bribing of a representative with his brother’s judgeship (which especially piques me), and a mere ride on Air Force One to bribe (or browbeat) another:
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Maybe that’s why President Obama decided to do more than call Dennis Kucinich to change his mind on health care. He invited him aboard Air Force One to chat about it. Maybe it was an abduction. Whatever it was Congressman Kucinich left Air Force One a different man than when he boarded.
via What Changed Dennis Kucinich’s Mind? – Glenn Beck – FOXNews.com. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,589590,00.html accessed 3/17/2010).
Process matters. Process is the journey. Don’t forget it.
The most important legislation I can imagine hangs in the balance. I won’t lobby here for up or down, but here are links to tell you whom you need to contact. You can email your own Congressman but will have to phone others, and I do think even out of district calls make a difference. At the top of this page is a drop-down box from which to find any Rep. That takes you to their page and you’ll find phone numbers and email links (on some).
For the latest breakdown of where your Congressional representative stands on Obama Care (click on link below)
For a detailed survey/tracking of House Democrats’ positions on health care reform legislation (click on link below)
Via Where Your Representative Stands on Obama Care – The Sean Hannity Show. (http://www.hannity.com/pages/where-your-representative-stands-on-obama-care accessed 3/16/2010)