Cap-and-trade bill as written will rewrite the American dream – home ownership and provide heavy tax burdens for generations. Provisions within the largest tax increase in the country’s history will change the way you buy and sell a home, use energy and shop for goods and services.
A new government bureaucracy created within the bill will force homeowners who wish to sell their homes to retrofit their houses to be “environmentally-friendly.” The costs would fall to the homeowners possibly injuring an already fragile real estate marketplace.
Potential replacement items required would range from eco-friendly hot-water heaters to windows. The homes in California have already seen values fall through the floor and homeowners see no way to recoup the expensive upgrades the state and federal government would require.
Also included in the massive 1,500-page bill is water rationing. The federal government has set up a shower manager. One website selling a shower manager calls the gadget the “Shower Nazi.” Located in section 217 of the bill and the Shower Nazi units puts a three-to five-minute limit on showers.
Controlling other aspects of your life will be seen in the mandatory 20 percent wind/solar consumption to start; this would definitely lead to energy rationing if there was not enough wind turbines and solar panels in place.
Proponents of the bill say Waxman/Markey will help consumers use less energy because costs would be too expensive to use water and electricity. The end result say the Democrats is reduced energy use equals reduced cost monthly costs.
However, according to the Heritage Foundation by 2012, the average taxpayer will see an additional increase of $436 per year and the number will eventually hit $1,241 a year plus 2.5 million in U.S. job loses.
Heritage also contends that consumers will pay hidden taxes in grocery, gas and anything manufactured because business owners will simply pass the added cost onto taxpayers.
The farming community will also pay a hefty price with cap-and-trade. They will virtually be wiped out of the food export business because their “field to market” cost will no longer be competitive with foreign countries.
As with any increase in costs the low-income families would be hit the hardest; however the government insists it will offer rebates to those hurt the most, which translates into another tax for the middleclass to pay for those rebates.
When the consumer thinks of energy they think electricity and oil consumption. This legislation will do nothing to curb our foreign-oil disease.
“Instead of reducing dependency on overseas energy suppliers, Americans would be more dependant than ever,” says Clayton Mahaffey an analyst at Redchip Co. in Florida. “They’ll be searching the globe for refined products that don’t carry the same level of carbon costs.”
Experts from the American Petroleum Institute also agree that one in six refineries would be closed by 2020 leading us towards problems similar in Iran, tons of oil, but no refineries – gas rationing.
Adding to skyrocketing energy and fuel costs, the API estimate that carbon permits would add 77 cent per gallon to the cost of gasoline.
This cost alone will slam commuters, air travelers and trucking companies. Again, ordinary Americans would eventually feel the brunt of the rising energy costs.
There are rumors floating around Washington, says Congressman Tom Campbell R-Calif that the White House offered 9-figure pork projects to entice Democrats to vote yes on the cap-and-trade bill.
The bottom line is the American dream would be placed on hold.
MIT states American families will see a $3,000 increase per year in energy taxes – all for a 2/10ths of one degree reduction in temperatures in the next 100 years.
According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analyst Center, CDIAC, if the country wants to curtail carbon dioxide the country should be building nuclear and hydroelectric plants. “They are cheaper, carbon-neutral and 100 percent domestically sourced.”
Cap and trade legislation translates into 17 percent of the U.S. economy and health care takes up 16 percent of the economy. Worse, Washington D.C. runs the auto industry and some financial sectors as well. Where does it end?
Ed Royce, a seventh-term congressman from Orange County, CA. says, “The power grabs and political maneuvering can be as ugly as the city is impressive.”
The mammoth 1,500 page cap-and-trade bill passed quietly in Congress on Friday amidst the talk of health care and the death of a pseudo-pop star. Most members of the 111th Congress never read the bill which includes the largest tax increase in American history.
Once the Senate takes up the bill after the summer break, staffers are expected to unearth regulations that could place a stranglehold on all U.S. businesses causing massive new taxes.
Speaker on the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. scrapped together just enough votes (219-212) to get the cap-and-trade legislation to the Senate. Speaker Pelosi set herself up on this bill as the creator of “jobs, jobs, jobs.” This bill won’t allow the placement of solar panels in California’s Mojave Desert or wind turbines in the waters off the Kennedy compound.
Republicans quietly let the Democrats have this so-called victory. Looking forward to the 2010 elections, the Republican Party will be able to enlighten the public on the woes of the Waxman/Markey global warming bill.
Proponents of the bill need to look no further than Spain, where the cap-and trade concept has sent unemployment to the 20 percent mark and with every one “green job” created, they have lost 2.2 jobs. Not exactly a success story.
Another aspect that no one is talking about is the fact that Pelosi, Markey and Al Gore are positioned to make a lot of money through investments of at least $50 thousand or more in companies whose stock is worth nothing now, but will increase dramatically if cap-and-trade is passed in the Senate and signed by President Obama.
Gore is positioned to become the first global-warming billionaire. He owns multiple companies that would track carbon footprints of businesses.
The real losers here are the American people. This huge bill would tax everyone in the country and in known by insiders as the “light switch tax.” The President himself has admitted the “electricity and energy costs would necessarily skyrocket.”
In an attempt to back stop portions of the bill, Republicans tried and failed, to add three amendments: a suspension of the bill if gas hits $5 per gallon, suspend the bill if electricity prices rose more than 10 percent and suspend the bill if unemployment jumped past the 15 percent mark. All were turned down in the Democratic-written bill.
The core of the legislation is meant to play to the environmentalist lobby who has been trying for years to slow down global warming. However, the Waxman/Markey bill doesn’t get the stamp of approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, or Green Peace.
The winners of this legislation would be companies like, AIG, Goldman Sachs and GE, all stand to make billions by buying, selling and trading carbon derivatives. All these companies have been in the center of the recent financial meltdown which has sent the economy crashing.
The mood in Washington D.C. this week was spirited. According to Darrell Issa, R-Calif, most Republicans didn’t like cap-and-trade. He also admitted he talked to some Democrats who avoided the White House’s luau picnic this week, in order to avoid President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
“They didn’t want to be ushered into a back room and pressured to vote on cap-and trade,” Issa said.
The reduction of CO2 emissions, which is the goal of this bill, will most likely fail to happen due to the fact that India and China will continue to sit on the sidelines. Many environmentalists contend that without the world’s participation, the U.S.’s reduction will amount to little to no change.
Getting back to the jobs issue, House Minority leader, Mitch McConnell-R-Kentucky said, “I don’t think sending rising electricity costs is a good idea. It is only increasing the business of living in America. It is a job killer.”
He continued to say, “Putting clamps on an economy when China and India are not is wrong.”
San Diego – Entertaining the troops in Afghanistan proved to be an eye-opening experience for professional volleyball players.
“The Fourth of July will definitely have more meaning this year,” says Matt Olson, a San Diego native and professional AVP beach volleyball player. Olson was one of four players invited by the United Service Organization, USO, to play volleyball and sign autographs for the troops stationed in Afghanistan.
The Middle East Journey was an eight-day crash course in military procedures and 100- degree temperatures in the desert.
“The troops were very gracious and appreciative. They were completely different than what I had envisioned,” Olson said. “I didn’t know what to expect and what I found to be true was awesome and reassuring.”
Olson who read previous news stories about the troops was under the impression that they were are all from the mid-west and high school dropouts; “That couldn’t be farther from the truth,” according to Olson. “They were articulate and well-educated.”
The four AVP players who made the Afghanistan June 1-10th trip were Matt Olson, Jeff Nygaard, Ryan Mariano and Brooke Hanson. Their journey began in as Sayliyah air base in Qatar. This is the gateway base where U.S. troops on break seek rest and relaxation from the daily 18-hour-a-day grind of the war zone.
From there the players were fully outfitted in “personnel body armor and helmets,” to be worn at all times while traveling inside the war zone. “Even though we had to wear the 40-pound gear, we felt safe through out our time in Afghanistan,” Olson said.
Typical days started before dawn and ended well-after midnight as the troops usually played volleyball until 2 a.m. Chow time was also much different than expected the players said. “We were treated to “surf & turf” one night and barbeque lobster another.”
The three main bases in Afghanistan are Kandahar, Gardez and Bagram. The group was ferried between the bases in C-130 cargo planes and Chinook helicopters that traveled in pairs. The military personnel were “battle ready” at all times.
“The coolest thing I did during one of the flights was hanging off the back of the Chinook helicopter and shoot a machine gun into the bare hillside,” Olson explained. “It was like a big boys club.”
Another flight Olson will never forget is the famous corkscrew landing. “The pilot puts the airplane’s nose down and corkscrews all the way to the runway in order to avoid being shot down, it was crazy.”
Once on the ground at the bases, the AVP players were given a VIP tour by the base commander who explained the duties of the base. Then the players were free to eat and play volleyball with the military personnel.
Each base had volleyball courts set up and a number of the Army personnel played on a daily basis. The AVP players played six on six in tennis shoes because the “sand” was more like “dirt.”
While the players were out mingling with the troops they were able to visit a base hospital and talk with some wounded soldiers. They were also lucky enough to be a part of a Purple Heart ceremony. “It was pretty intense,” Olson said.
“The guys in the hospital were amazing and all they wanted to do was get back to their units as soon as possible,” Olson explained. “The soldiers all wanted to be there and were anxious for us to go home and tell everyone that they were doing good things in Afghanistan. The Afghan people want us here.”
Indeed, the soldiers are fighting for the freedom of the Afghan people as well as ensuring that Americans are able to enjoy their hot dogs, cold beers and BBQ on the Fourth of July.
Washington D.C. has a lot on the menu this week. A White House infomercial on ABC, a vote on Cap & Trade on Friday and today immigration reform discussions begin.
The health care and energy tax issues demand more than a few days of study. The bills themselves are hundreds of pages long and no one in the House or Senate has read them in their entirety.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Chairman of the Immigration subcommittee said “When the President asks me if congress can pass comprehensive immigration reform, I will smile and say ‘yes we can.’”
Proponents say this is straight out of a stump speech and that the issue would most likely stay on the back burner.
“Whether it’s taking over our health care or a national energy tax, somebody is going to suggest we do immigration reform,” said John Boehner, R-OH house minority leader. “How much is enough?”
The Senate leader, Harry Reid, D-NV said, “We are busy with health care and energy right now.”
However, the White House is hosting a meeting with congressional leaders to begin the lawmaking-side of immigration.
A pro-reform group, Reform Immigration for America said, “Our immigration system is hurting our economy, American families and all American workers think comprehensive immigration reform is the solution.”
They continue to say that the President supports reform, but only congress has the power to act. That comes as good news to Congressman Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. and leader of the Immigration Reform Caucus. “The White House has left us out so far.”
The Reform Immigration for America group claims if you legalize the workers here it will benefit all workers by allowing those undocumented workers the ability to join unions and increase wages and rights for all.
Those on the other side believe this would glut the employment market which is already ebbing toward the double-digit mark nationally and well-passed in some states.
A program popular with many employers continues to grow, E-Verify. The Department of Homeland Security notes the program has verified 5.5 million workers so far this year, approximately 200,000 per week.
These numbers are on par to double last years’ employee checks. Leaving the question, why has President Obama postponed the successful program until September 8th of this year?
Advocates say this Social Security number verification system is the first step to positive immigration crack downs. Plus E-Verify is cost effective and user friendly.
Bilbray put it simply, “It works!”
President Obama grilled on health care at his latest press conference
San Diego – The honeymoon with the press may be coming to an end. The president was grilled by White House reporters on health care, human rights and energy. He was put on the defensive by slipping poll numbers, a worsening economy and tough rhetoric on his overly-ambitious health care and cap and trade plans. The chickens are now coming home to roost at the White House.
According to Bill Burton, White House deputy press secretary, Obama set out today to change the tone to get the health care and cap and trade plans moving forward.
This comes at a time when the president’s health care plan is running into trouble on Capitol Hill. According to a Washington Post/ABC poll 90 percent of Americans are worried about his administrations continued deficit spending.
“Unless we act to fix what’s broken in our current system, everyone’s health care will be in jeopardy. One in every five dollars we earn will be spent on health care,” Obama said.
President Obama went on to explain that health care spending is unsustainable and unacceptable – “reform is not a luxury.”
During the nearly hour-long press conference the president hammered away at the issues.
“This is legislation that must and will be paid for. We will find money through savings and inefficiencies,” the president explained. “Reform will also bring down the skyrocketing costs.”
The sticky issue within the proposed legislation seems to be the “public plan.” This particular point is a deal breaker with the current private insurance companies as well as doctors.
“The government should only be involved in thoughtful regulation of the industry,” says Dr. Gary Gonsalves. “The government should be able to regulate much like the utility companies.”
If the American people need to see a picture of government-run health care they can look no further than the Veteran’s Affairs program, says Gonsalves. “The thought of a public option even scares my liberal doctor friends away.”
However, the president couldn’t disagree more saying that the public plan is an important tool that can be used to discipline insurance companies. “I know that this issue will cause healthy debate,” Obama tersely said and quickly moved on to another reporter.
The questions continued to swirl back to the public plan issue. Reporters continued to point, out it was logical that businesses would switch to the government plan to save money.
The White House press corps did something they usually don’t do – they didn’t let the president off the hook. Jack Tapper of ABC called out the president on his promise to Americans that; “If they like their insurance company they can keep it.”
This forced the president to dance around the question. “Without reform people will have to change insurance companies anyways,” Obama claimed.
This flies in the face of the previous statements that Americans could keep their insurance plans if they want to, Tapper insisted. Experts state this portion of the bill could affect 100 million Americans currently insured with private health plans.
The nation’s health insurance providers and physicians believe that a public plan would level the playing field by making the rules and garnering the ability to run a business without having to maintain a profit margin.
Obama contends that a public plan, if it gains popularity, will force private insurers to stand up a take notice. “Maybe they will have to start using cost-saving technology that the government will use to be more competitive,” he said.
The bottom line is the health care debate is in its earliest stages and Congress has yet to bring a bill forward for the people to read.
While the White House favors a public plan, the president did acknowledge that there were legitimate concerns about the public plan eating off the public trough.
“However, if the public plan is structured to collect premiums and provide good services, then private companies should be able to compete,” Obama contended.
Doctors think regulated health insurance companies could reward healthy behavior, keep down premiums and do away with pre-existing conditions to keep the government out of this issue.
With the unemployment numbers percolating near the 10 percent figure, health care is sure to be front and center most of the summer. Whether or not reform takes place will depend on how much political capitol the president still maintains.
What is a czar? A wily leader that became famous in Russian government. Ivan the Terrible famously crowned himself a “Czar” in the mid-1500s. At the end of his tenure, Ivan the Terrible was shot by his own government.
Then of course, there was Czar Nicholas II, who was taken into custody along with his family in 1917 after poorly ruling the Russian people. However, by 1918 the Russians began fearing retribution for Nicholas II and the new government shot and killed the Czar’s entire family, including his children, and a few servants for good measure.
The dictionary describes a czar as;
1. An Emperor or king
2. An Autocratic ruler or leader
3. Any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field
What’s next in the world of czars? Just in time for the upcoming holiday season is the “Czar Obama Russian Nesting Doll 5pc. 5” tall and available in a limited edition.” This is no joke; the Golden Cockerel has been in business since 1993 and is offering the Obama on a Russian nesting doll, dressed in Russian folk costume.
Fast forward to the present, Obama has currently appointed more than 20 czars. Apparently the cabinet members are not able to multitask because the president feels he needs more detailed advice.
What most people do not know is that a czar is appointed by the president, answers only to the president and is not accountable to either the Judicial or Legislative part of the government. If they are trotted out to Congress to testify, they will be able to invoke executive privilege and remain silent.
Many of Obama’s freshly-minted czars are managing multi-billion dollar budgets with no oversight. The taxpayer must trust that the czar and the president are looking out for their interests responsibly.
Here is a sampling of President Obama’s current czar list; drug czar, border czar, urban czar, regulatory czar, stimulus-accountability czar, TARP czar, faith czar, infotech czar, non-proliferation czar, Terrorism czar, Guantanamo-closure czar, Iran czar, Middle East czar, Afghanistan czar, Pakistan czar, bank-bailout czar, car czar, cyber-security czar, Great Lakes czar, health-care reform czar and finally a Special Master for Compensation Czar or pay czar.
Which brings up the question, how much do these czars make? That you would have to ask the White House and so far they are not letting anyone in on the taxpayer cost.
Many experts believe that the Obama Czar conundrum will not solve any of America’s problems, but that the czars only add another cumbersome layer to an already overly-slow bureaucrat process.
Some in Washington like Senator John McCain-R AZ says; “Obama has more czars than the Romanovs.” They ruled Russia for more than three centuries.
While it’s anyone’s guess as to how the czars will actually workout in the Obama administration, one thing is for sure- it never seems to end well for the czars.
For more information about the Obama Nesting Doll head to http://www.goldencockerel.com
In a short speech at the Esperanza National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., the president spoke about the abundance of challenges America faces, including the hot button issue of immigration.
“We are a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and non-believers,” President Obama opened with in his 10-minute speech to the Hispanic-American group.
The president wasted no time getting into the immigration problem this country currently faces.
“We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants and I’m committed to pass comprehensive immigration reform as President of the United States,” he announced. “The American people believe in immigration, but they also don’t want those who come in violation of the law.”
The audience went silent.
The president then went on to express that his administration would not tolerate employers who “exploited undocumented workers to drive down wages.”
Has the president heard of E-Verify? This program will solve the legality and exploitation problem by assuring workers are paid at least the state’s minimum wage rate. Perhaps one of Obama’s cabinet members, say Janet Napolitano the head of Department of Homeland Security, could urge the president to sign E-Verify instead of putting it off four different times since January.
At the prayer breakfast Obama went on to say, “We have to clarify the status of millions here illegally, many have put down roots. They should pay a penalty, pay taxes, learn English and go to the back of the line.”
This sounds a lot like amnesty. Amnesty is something the American people strongly oppose as evidenced in 2006 when former President Bush and John McCain tried to push it on the American people.
The president then assured the Esperanza audience that his way was the “fair, practical and promising way forward.”
The audience erupted with applause. Amnesty, what a surprise.
What Obama failed to recognize is the cost of state and federal public services as a result of an amnesty rush? Maybe if those in the shadows sign a document as they head to the back of the line stating they would not accept any public assistance while they’re in line and take the citizenship test in English, the American people would applaud.
The reality of 100 percent coverage with health care is unsustainable. Imagine a small round table set to serve a family of four, but a last minute rush forces the table to serve four more people. Service and food portions would be rationed to all those at the table.
The current plans on the table cost in excess of $1 trillion, while only adding 16 million to the health care rolls. That’s a hefty bill.
President Obama’s health care plan wants to insure all Americas, but the reality of this “perfect world” scenario is we would be asking our over-worked doctors and nurses to provide more services with the same amount of providers and facilities.
The White House option does not mention any additional building and schooling of specialized health-care workers to take care of the rush that is likely to ensue if all were to be covered.
Another point worth mentioning is the amount of people who are not U.S. citizens in this country seeking benefits. When do Americans receive priority over non-citizens in health care?
The Congressional Budget Office, the gold standard, bi-partisan watch-dog, number cruncher says the scope of the White House plans won’t be cost effective.
In a letter to the Senate Budget Committee, the CBO says, “In one study, hospitals provided about $35 billion in uncompensated care nationwide in 2008 – less that 2 percent of national health expenditures and the estimates are much smaller for other providers.”
The CBO also contends “that large reductions in health care spending will not actually be achieved without fundamental changing in the financing and delivery of health care.
In the same letter the CBO emphasizes that even if a reform package is achieved, “a budget neutrality during its first 10 years and budget savings in the long run would not be guaranteed- even if the package included initial steps toward transforming the delivery and financing of health care that could gain momentum over time.”
That being said it seems fair to think that a key area to start with when tackling the health care mess is reform from within the industry. Currently Medicare and Medicaid are fraught with fraud. Let’s start there, hire a “Number Cruncher Czar” and follow the money.
Next, it has been said time and time again that if they want to fix the excessive patient testing issue- “tort reform.” Doctors across the country admit they administer more tests than necessary to cover themselves from potential lawsuits. Let’s set up a new “Medical Lawsuit Czar.”
And finally, the country needs to confront the illegal immigration problem. The anchor babies born in California alone have been responsible for decimating the education system and clogging the health clinics. Where’s the “Border Czar?”
So far the health care plans thrown out there by the President Obama and Dodd/Kennedy are short on details. The CBO has found the reports incomplete and estimate a cost of at least $1.5 trillion, yes trillion, for just about 1/6th of the plan.
Senator Chris Dodd-D Conn explained, “We left several sections open because they’re controversial.” He then went on to say that his committee should have this bill ready to move on by the end of next week. Again, lightning speed for a bill that will cost the taxpayers more than a trillion dollars.
Senator Judd Gregg R-N.H. and Senate Budget Committee summed up best, “The plans being offered have a lot of warts.”
Maybe we should have a “Friendly Frog” Czar too.
San Diego – Even though E-Verify has been postponed until September of this year, one California company heeded the government’s warning and put all their employees through the verification process.
A Vernon, California food processing and packaging company, Overhill Farms, Inc. fired 260 workers who had given the company fraudulent Social Security numbers. The company found in a recent Internal Revenue Services audit that approximately 260 employees’ social security numbers were invalid.
Company spokesperson and board member, Alex Auerbach said, “The IRS initiated the investigation and that they (the company) had to comply with the order. We asked these employees to correct any errors within 60 days.”
According to Auerbach, the Overhill Farm management team offered to meet with any employee to provide assistance and only 17 responded. All of the 17 acknowledged that they had provided false information to the company.
Once the decision was made to let go the unverifiable employees, Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Mexicana Latinoamericana charged the company with racism.
This prompted 75 of the Local 770 union people to protest outside the company headquarters in Vernon, charging the company “is allegedly using discrepancies in Social Security numbers as an excuse to fire higher-paid full-time workers and replace them with cheaper part-time workers, who do not enjoy benefits under the collective bargaining agreement,” union workers said.
Auerbach finds this charge ridiculous. The company found that if they continued with the undocumented-workers employment, the company and the employees would have been subject to significant criminal and civil penalties.
On top of that Overhill Farms used the current part-time pool of employees to replace the fired workers. The company employs more than 1,000 workers and all of those workers have been put through the E-Verify screening process ensuring they are in this country legally, according to Auerbach.
The protestors also claimed that the employees terminated were Hispanic and female. However, Auerbach said they replaced the workers with “a majority of Hispanic and female workers,” essentially nullifying the argument.
“We believe the protests and false accusations are calculated solely to coerce the company to ignore the law, which of course we cannot and will not do,” he finished.
San Diego – In an effort to quell fears of a government-run health care plan, President Obama addressed the American Medical Association who represents more than 800,000 of the nation’s doctors.
“The cost of health care is a threat to the economy… and is unsustainable for doctors,” the President Obama said during the speech. “If we don’t fix health care America may go the way of G.M.”
Those are strong words from the president. After listening to the president’s speech one doctor found many things to agree with. However, the deal breaker for him was the push for a government-run health care plan.
“We can definitely save money within the industry. For example, the government can do away with the $177 billion it spends on Medicare Advantage and save $75 billion with generic drugs like Canada does,” said Dr. Gary Gonsalves a doctor in the San Diego area.
“What we can’t give in on is the notion of a government-run health plan because I am convinced this is the first step to socialized medicine,” he said.
Gonsalves believes the way to reform the health care industry may be by regulating the insurance companies similar to the utility companies. “I don’t want the government to take all their profits, but they can set prices and encourage insurance companies to offer reasonable or lower-cost plans.”
Other tax advocacy groups point out the government is already running small scale “single-payer” systems. “These programs like the Veteran’s Administration are abject failures,” says Leslie Eastman of Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition LLC.
“We believe when government competes against business, government sets the rules and undercuts private enterprise. Ultimately, this results in a government monopoly,” Eastman said.
Another point that So Cal Tax Revolt Coalition makes is the free-market success of LASIK eye surgery and breast enhancements. “These complicated procedures have become more cost efficient, effective and prevalent in the past few years,” she said. “The main reason is because customers pay for them directly and need to shop around.”
Obama repeated his mantra that none of this can move forward without the medical profession turning to electronic record keeping and investing in preventative care.
Doctor Gonsalves agrees that the free-market is imperative in moving forward. Another sticky point is where the money for the estimated $1 to $2 trillion plan will come from.
The White House contends it’s already set aside a $635 billion ‘down payment’ in the budget and that this money will not add to the federal deficit. However, according to new White House estimates, the U.S. government is borrowing 50 cents on every dollar it spends. That equates to deficit spending.
Not exactly what the Obama administration promised in the speech to the AMA. He did acknowledge that taxing the “rich” to the tune of $300 billion could be on the table. This tax is similar to the one John McCain offered in his health care reform during the presidential elections.
McCain ran into steep criticism from the Democratic Party which now seems to embrace the health-care tax possibility. This tax would squarely land on the middle class as it would make health insurance deductions taxable. The Obama administration has said it doesn’t want to do that, yet the proposal remains on the table.
Senator Chris Dodd-D Conn said that, “Lawmakers should look at the $313 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid through the next 10 years.”
The president also proposed cuts in hospitalization costs. The White House Budget Director Peter M. Orszag said, “Payments to hospitals will be reduced to try and encourage them to work more productively and efficiently.”
What the president doesn’t take into account is in states saddled with millions of illegals, cutting care could put them out of business, according to Gonsalves. On this point the president also spoke about hospital readmission within 30 days.
“If the administration tries to go after this, hospitals will just have to keep patients longer in the first place adding to costs, not alleviating costs,” Gonsalves said.
Another contentious point was about ‘Tort’ reform. Doctors want the cost of their malpractice insurance lowered and “caps” put on lawsuits as a way to save on health care premiums, however, the President Obama, a lawyer himself, wouldn’t budge on that front.
Most people agree that some type of reform has to occur, but what and where need to be hammered out. Many doctors want reform, they just question the speed to which the president is trying to throw things together.
“I can say I agreed with a lot of what the president said today, but he won’t get any doctor support on any type of public government-run insurance,” Gonsalves continued.
For this reason, Gonsalves has started PEGASUSS, Physicians Encouraging Greater Accountability to Stop Unsustainable Socialized Solutions. “I hope to unite physicians to oppose national health care and promote free-market solutions.”
Explaining his motivation behind organizing such a group Gonsalves said, “As physicians we took an oath to relieve suffering and improve the quality of healthcare for our patients. Our ability to follow through on that promise is being seriously threatened by those in Washington who hope to nationalize healthcare by summer’s end.”
Most Americans just want the government to slow down and do it right.