Now that Americans have a new health care law in place, details are emerging that will require more fixes.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) provisions in California Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) unpopular health care reform bill will provide rapists and sex offenders with taxpayer-funded erectile dysfunction drugs.
“The Congressional Research Service confirmed in a memo that rapists and sex offenders may get federally subsidized Viagra and other sexual-performance enhancing drugs under the recently passed health care reform law — information that Republicans charge will haunt Democrats in upcoming elections… According to the CRS, under existing rules there are no prohibitions against providing erectile dysfunction drugs to rapists, pedophiles or other types of sex offenders,” as reported by John Stanton of Roll Call.
The National Republican Committee exposed Boxer’s vote to provide convicted sex offenders with taxpayer-funded erectile dysfunction drugs, calling her vote “disgusting, disturbing and revolting.”
“Barbara Boxer had every chance to stop this disgusting and disturbing provision, but she opted instead to make Californians foot the bill for this repulsive part of the Democrats’ far-left agenda,” said NRSC spokeswoman Amber Marchand.
“During a time when unemployment in California is at 12.5 percent, there’s no doubt that Senator Boxer will be forced to explain why she voted to provide convicted child molesters and rapists with taxpayer-subsidized sex drugs,” she said.
Apparently, Senator Boxer decided not to convey this part of the health care bill when she appeared on CNN’s Larry King show with Chelsea King’s parents promising to enact tougher sexual predator laws.
Chelsea King was abducted, raped and murdered by a 30-year old repeat sexual predator in San Diego. Once the truth was uncovered Chelsea’s parents discovered there were several missed opportunities to put the rapist/murderer who allegedly killed their daughter back in prison.
Senator Boxer’s office failed to return phone calls regarding this important public safety matter.
Democratic Commerce Committee chair, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and former health care holdout, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) have ordered large businesses who say their health care costs will increase under Obamacare, to appear in front of the committee and prove their claims.
As the details of the health care costs trickle out, large companies like AT&T, Verizon, John Deere and Caterpillar began the process of alerting their shareholders of billions in added health care expenses that will affect their bottom line.
This small group of CEOs has been summoned by Democrats to appear in front of a Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on April 21, 2010. Democratic lawmakers are demanding these corporate CEOs gather their health care documents from this year and prove their “analysis related to the projected impact of health care reform.”
The business leaders are also expected to produce any emails or documents related to the impact of health care they circulated throughout their corporate hierarchy.
The inquisition into added health care costs came as a stunning revelation once the President signed the partisan legislation into law.
According to the Commerce Committee, “these assertions appear to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”
Each CEO received a letter from Waxman requesting the documents and their presence in Washington D.C. after the Easter recess.
The letter reads in part; “After the President signed the health care reform bill into law, your company announced that provisions in the law could adversely affect your ability to provide health insurance. AT&T stated in its March 26,2010, filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it intends to take a charge of approximately $1 billion in the first quarter of 2010.”
Many CEOs have implied companies may be forced to reevaluate its health care packages for retirees. Waxman further contends the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), costs were supposed to decrease, not increase costs as AT&T reports.
However AT&T stands by their claim and says they are filing the change in bottom line profits with the Securities and Exchange Commission because laws on the books require large companies inform investors of changes that directly affect the balance sheet.
A Business Week article reports “Companies like AT&T, that have large employee bases, are going to have higher health-care costs and, therefore, lower earnings unless they can negotiate something or offer less to their employees,” said Chris Larsen, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in New York.
The fact that Congress has demanded CEOs who informed their shareholders of the upcoming changes to appear in front of committees is viewed as another form of intimidating businesses to go along with the Obama Administration health package.
According to a recent Bloomberg Poll, only four in 10 Americans support the new health care legislation Obama signed into law last week. These numbers prove that Democrats have an uphill battle ahead of them as the details of the health care plan continue to see the light of day.
save California from financial ruin, 12 Republican Representatives in California are asking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Attorney General Jerry Brown to join other states with lawsuits based on Constitutional merits.
Several states attorneys’ general filed lawsuits challenging the federal governments ability to mandate health care insurance and force states to pick up the tab.
Congressional members in California are concerned the new law will add too many financial burdens to the state in a time of deep recession. Lawmakers also contend the federal government will short-change individual states and it would only be a matter of time before state governments would have to enact steep tax increases to pay for the millions of new health care participants.
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce and force citizens to buy health insurance. He contends that the bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance.
In addition to the pending lawsuits, bills and resolutions have been introduced in 36 state legislatures seeking to limit various aspects of the health care reform plan through laws or state constitutional amendments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“When the Democratic majority in Congress passed their health care bill, they ignored the simple fact that forcing every American to buy health insurance, even if they don’t want to do so, might very well undermine the constitutional rights of Americans,” Congressman Hunter said.
“Of course, we can’t predict the outcome of challenges on this basis, but there is a very good chance the mandate, as well as the legislation itself, is determined unconstitutional. Congress has never before mandated that individuals buy a specific product, so anyone who suggests that the legislation is standing on solid precedent is wrong. But regardless, the federal government has always left these types of decisions to states,” he explained.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, 55 percent of the voters want the Republicans to repeal the health care bill, while 42 percent say leave it alone. These numbers combined with the lackluster Presidential approval rating in the mid-40s prompted the Commander in Chief to hit the road and campaign in favor of the new health care legislation.
Companies like John Deere and Caterpillar (where Obama made a pitch to employees that health care will help their business) have predicted their health care costs will increase by as much as $100 million under the Democrats new health care bonanza, this will force large manufacturing companies to shed jobs – not add to the payroll. These companies insist the new plan bends the costs of health care up, not down as hoped.
The California Representatives wrote a joint letter to impress upon the Governor and Attorney General that President Obama’s new health care bill could be an “unconstitutional overreach of authority that severely undermines the individual liberty of every American.”
“We need health care reform, but not at the expense of the Constitution. The president must remember that the Constitution comes before politics, and all we are asking is for California to address this in the courts,” said Congressman Bilbray (R-CA).
The federal government will now require all individuals to purchase health insurance or face substantial financial penalties; something many proponents argue is within the purview of the commerce clause.
However, “contrary to this interpretation, we believe such a mandate and coinciding penalties for non-compliance are unconstitutional on the basis that even the broadest interpretation of the commerce clause would not confer on Congress the authority to force individual citizens to purchase health insurance,” the letter reads.
The California delegation points to Virginia and Idaho that has enacted state laws to protect their constituents from any federal mandate and as more details are uncovered by lawmakers other states are weighing their options when considering similar lawsuits.
“We hope you will offer your support for this effort and provide the necessary leadership to help bring a measure forward,” the Congressmen said.
The health care beef with most Americans lies in the constitutionality of the federal government forcing citizens to purchase a service. The Congressmen and the Supreme Court have acknowledged limits when it comes to interstate activities.
However there are also several financial issues to consider when the Health and Human Services Department begins the arduous task of implementing the massive health care program.
Californians’ can expect to pay $2-3 billion annually for the various health care related expenditures as well as growing the state Medicaid program. Currently, California is operating with a $20 billion budget deficit and this new entitlement program is sure to create a wider budget gap.
In an effort to gain support, the President has embarked on his “sell the health care package to the American people” tour and he has taken jabs at the Republican Party along the way by mocking the Armageddon that would happen if health care became law.
“So after I signed the bill I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or cracks opening around the earth,” Obama said. “Turns out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall. People still had their doctors.”
Most question why the President has to go on the road to sell a bill if it is so popular with Americans? “He has to sell legislation because it is so unpopular.”
The California Congressmen that signed the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown were; Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Tom Campbell (R-CA), Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA), Wally Herger (R-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Graham told Democrats, if you force health care on the American people you can kiss immigration reform goodbye.
“If the healthcare bill goes through this weekend, that will, in my view, pretty much kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year,” Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said late Friday.
Senator Graham put it all on the line for Latinos. Late backroom deals have led to speculation that President Obama promised Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), the author of the Congress immigration bill, his word that if he changed his vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ the immigration reform legislation would move to the top of the lawmaking list.
Graham’s statement about moving forward on immigration concerns those on the left, as there are currently no other Republicans willing to step in work with Democrats. Insiders say that immigration reform is a dead issue without some form of bipartisanship.
Battered Republicans are staging their final stand by demanding Democrats actually stand in the House and cast their vote the old fashion way by saying ‘yeah or nay’ on Sunday. Although Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still threatening to “deem the bill passed” which would prevent members of the House from an actual vote.
Taking immigration reform off the table is just the latest tactic Republicans are using to stop Obama care from becoming the law of the land.
Graham has spent months working with Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to draft an immigration bill. The two Senators met with President Obama last week, presenting a three-page blueprint for immigration reform.
“If the Republicans want to be responsible for killing immigration reform, they are going to send an unmistakable signal to the Latino community that they don’t care about them. And the Republican Party will have to take their chances at the polls in November and in 2012,” Eliseo Medina, a union representative who is working with the White House on immigration changes.
However, Republicans say the trillion dollar health care plan racked with new taxes and regulation will all but ensure a sweep in the House and the Senate in November.
In a clear warning to legislators, Tea Party groups, protested on a Tuesday afternoon in front of Democrat offices around the country, telling representatives – vote on health care at your own peril.
Approximately 100 people attended the ‘Operation Urgent Care’ rally in front of Democrat Susan Davis’ (D-CA) San Diego office. It was an amazing, warm day in San Diego; there were a number of handmade signs displaying their discontent with the massive health care reform bill Democrats are trying to eek through both Houses.
Many members protesting are registered Democrats. But, Leslie Eastman a co-founder of Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition suggested rally goers are suppose to “leave party affiliations at the door.”
“Many people went specifically to talk to representative Stupak and the other 12 members opposing the abortion language,” said Dawn Wildman also a co-founder of Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition. “We wanted to express our total support and that we had their back no matter what the party affiliation. It went well.”
Different rally participants came to Davis’ office with themes, but ultimately their message was the same, stop, slow down and start over.
Clarice Hurst used the Constitution to remind “Congresswoman Davis that she operates only with the consent of the governed.”
Victor Adams took umbrage with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) condemnation of Tea Party participants as Nazis, “even though she has now changed her tune, I won’t ever forget the insult to me as an American.” His daughter Sarah joined him; she recently graduated the University of California at San Diego with a degree in communication and is concerned about jobs. “Obama indicated jobs was his new focus. With unemployment near 10 percent and more than 12 percent in California, the president should be allowing the congress to work on creating jobs,” she explained.
A Tea Party staple in San Diego is the ever so intrepid, Alvin, he was making sure protesters signed the largest item on display — an enlargement of the U.S. Constitution.
SoCal-Tax Revolt Coalition wants the U.S. Congress “to honor the spirit of the document during passage of the bills. I should think the Coffee Peeps want to follow Constitutional parameters as well. They should be cool with the homage to one of our founding documents,” Eastman concluded.
Also in attendance at the midday rally was Congressional hopeful, Mason Weaver. “I consider myself the only Conservative in the race. It is important for the folks to realize that the smoke and mirrors in Washington will not change if they don’t make the right vote,” Weaver said.
While event organizer did not invite the congressional candidate, Wildman said she didn’t mind candidates showing up and talking to the rally participants. “For the most part they are willing to listen to the voter’s concerns and open up the dialog process and that is a good thing.”
On the minds of most attendees is health care. “I have grave concerns as to where our country is headed and I have extremely grave concerns about health care,” said Janet Oliver a resident of San Diego.
Oliver admits it was the health care issue that spurned her to get involved with the Tea Party movement. “Don’t get me wrong. We need health care reform, but they need to be made in incremental steps using free-market solutions. We can’t continue on this path, we are destroying America.”
A few miles up the road in Vista, another tea party group sponsored a “red alert” rally and approximately 100 people attended that event as well.
The police department closed down a lane of traffic for the Tea Party members, which allowed them more space to protest.
“The police were real cooperative and supportive of our right to protest the out of control government,” says Carol, a San Diego resident. “The reception we got from cars passing by was 95 percent positive, however we did get a few middle fingers.”
Several of the protesters stated that this was their first Tea Party rally and felt the decisions facing lawmakers in Washington D.C. was worth taking the time off work.
All these rallies are leading up to big events being scheduled on April 15 throughout America. After attending rallies all year, one thing is clear, the folks are mad and they want lawmakers to know Tea Party folks are not going anywhere.
Speaker Pelosi asked fellow Democrats to fall on the sword, take one for the team or vote against their values to force a 2,700-page health care legislation bill onto the American citizens that simply doesn’t believe a faltering economy can handle another trillion-dollar entitlement program.
President Obama claimed he heard the voters in his State of the Union speech in January. He promised his administration would pivot to jobs and the economy. In fact, not only has the President failed to live up to his speech, but also his administration plans to focus on the health care topic for the next two to three months.
The recent economic indicators show the country in fact is headed for a double-dip recession. The housing market posted lower than expected sales, the recent positive bounce in unemployment didn’t last, more jobs have disappeared and consumer-spending confidence has dipped again.
Skyrocketing deficits and continued government spending increases have voters on edge. Most understand that they have to live within a budget and cut back when they do not have the money.
The credit card era is over and it’s time to pay the piper. If America doesn’t want to falter to China than it’s time to start thinking about the hard decisions that need to be made in Washington D.C. and belt up for a bumpy ride.
The changes Americans need to make are not easy and there will be a lot of painful cuts that need to be made to ensure our world dominance, but most are ready. If that means pensions need to be trimmed, federal employees salaries need to be more in line with the national average or Social Security needs to be – so be it.
America’s children and grandchildren shouldn’t be saddled with years of reckless spending in the form of unsustainable deficits.
This isn’t the time to trade in values or simply take one for the team, it’s time is for Ms. Pelosi to step aside and let true leaders take the podium and keep the country from the cliff that is on the fast-approaching horizon.
In an interview with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Politico reported the Reid offered a vigorous defense of the last minute deals cut by fellow Democratic lawmakers, “It doesn’t speak well of the Senators who didn’t secure such deals.”
This rhetoric set off many Washington insiders who gave away the store to ensure a health care bill passage before Christmas. In the words of the President, this was a Christmas present for the American people. Some gift, the taxpayer will be paying the increased taxes and premiums hardly a gift from the government ; tax credits would have suited most taxpayers just fine.
“As part of the deal to win Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D- Neb) support, the federal government will fund Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients. It’s a provision worth about $45 million over the first decade,” said Chris Frates, in “Ben Nelson’s Medicaid deal, in Politico.
Other states that fared well are Connecticut where Chris Dodd (D-Conn) earmarked the construction of a new university hospital. Senator Bernie Sanders (D- VT) was much more excited about the health care bill after it included an earmark worth $10 billion for community health centers.
It’s clear that the debate leading to the Senate discussion on health care would be fraught with pork as Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LO) set the standard with a $300 million paycheck to fund the state’s Medicaid tab.
“Harry Reid threw Barbara Boxer (D- CA) and her Democrat colleagues under the bus just as quickly as Boxer threw Californians under the bus when she voted for Reid’s health care bill in the dead of night. Not only is Boxer preparing to vote for a bill that will lead to higher taxes, cuts to Medicare, and higher premiums for families, but she is rubber-stamping a series of sweetheart deals for other states that will be paid for at the expense of Californians,” says Amber Wilkerson Marchand, NRSC Press Secretary.
“While it’s not often that we can say we agree with Harry Reid, he does have a point; Barbara Boxer’s failed leadership on health care does not ‘speak well’ of her at all, and we’re confident that voters in California will reject Boxer’s ineffectiveness on Election Day next November.”
Boxer will face either Chuck DeVore, a conservative or Carly Fiorina a moderate Republican in the November election.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
The recently released medical report that caused a stir within American women regarding mammograms, could cost approximately 11,500 lives due to abstinence of the tests used to screen for deadly breast cancers.
The report stated women in the 40-49 age groups do not need to be tested on a yearly basis because a small number of misdiagnosis could cause panic until the correct diagnosis is made. In these cases it takes more tests and about a month to correct the mistake.
This is a tough sell for women. “I would rather live for a month thinking I have breast cancer than waiting until it’s too late and I die from breast cancer,” says Cindy Harris a 40-year-old nurse. “The tests, in my opinion, save lives, and are worth the cost. Period.”
However, this yearly test could cost or save the federal government millions of dollars per year. Medical literature basically states that mammogram screening for women 40-49 will save the life of one woman in every 1,900 screened.
There are 21.9 million women in that age group which means approximately 11,500 women will die of breast cancer that could have lived longer if the cancer was detected at its earliest stages.
Bureaucrats in Washington may think that is an acceptable ratio, but most women don’t think it’s worth the risk. Also, Doctors polled about the mammogram debate said they would pay to have their wives and mothers continue getting the breast cancer screening.
This just may be the best argument against the 2,000 page health care reform and the rationing that will surely follow a government take over.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
California Medical Association, the states’ largest doctors group, is the latest organization to jump ship from the $2.5 trillion Senate health care reform bill currently under debate in Washington. They cite, “it (health care reform) would increase local health care costs and restrict access of care for the elderly and low-income patients.”
The large price-tag attached to the health care reform legislation and lack of new jobs has soured the majority of Americans who would like to see the White House concentrate on job creation. The polls tell the tale of an unpopular health care package. Rasmussen Polls show the margin widening for those who do not favor this legislation – 36 percent favor what Washington is offering, while 59 percent do not want this bill.
However, this hasn’t stopped California Senator Barbara Boxer-D from her unwavering support of the largest entitlement program in U.S. history.
“In her rush to pass a massive $2.5 trillion government health care bill, Barbara Boxer has ignored the grim economic reality in her state,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand. “Given her inaction on the most pressing concern facing California voters, it’s no wonder Boxer’s popularity lags so far behind Dianne Feinstein’s.”
According to a report from the Washington Post, the health care reform package contains unfunded mandates that would cost California about $8 billion annually. This is something California cannot withstand says Kim Belshe, California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. “We cannot afford the $100s of millions or billions in new costs on the state.”
President Obama has promised he will not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year, yet according to Dick Morris Reports, Obama’s health care legislation will require state governors to raise taxes to pay for augmented health care costs. Shifting the burden onto the states is a very sneaky way to take cover when reelection season approaches.
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A severe recession, double-digit unemployment, record foreclosures and $12 trillion debt doesn’t paint a very rosy picture about the country’s future; Americans across the country are working harder and longer to meet their monthly budget – not Washington D.C.
As Washington prepares for a rare weekend vote, American’s are bracing for the surprises that are sure to pop out of the massive 2,000 page health care reform bill.
An issue sure to take center stage is the payroll tax increase. According to reports, the Senate legislation includes $376 billion in new taxes. These taxes are expected to trickle down to every American.
Experts agree that raising payroll taxes will dampen any new hiring and curtail business expansion, the result will have the opposite effect the American people are looking for.
Page nine of the Senate health care bill discusses the public option. While there may be different ideas as to the viability of the public option, one thing is certain, it in theory is supposed to offer lower-cost health insurance to those who have trouble obtaining insurance.
The Senate’s version of public-option will actually cost more than similar plans offered by companies such as Blue Cross/Shield, again not what the beltway promised Democrat voters during the Presidential campaign.
The Administration also floated a trial balloon this week regarding guidelines for women’s mammograms. They used a government panel within the Health and Human Services Department as the lapdog and the net result was outraged women crying this was only the beginning of government rationing.
The ‘Doctor fix’ which amounts to $210 billion in payment to physicians has been kicked out of the health care bill because the cost would send this legislation past the trillion dollar mark. This in turn will tack on billions to an already out-of-control federal deficit.
Another key point to keep in mind is that union leaders are supporting this plan, not only with purple shirts, but greenbacks. Millions of dollars have been spent to support Obamacare.
Leading the health care charge is Service Employees International Union’s Andy Stern. Unionization of the health care workers is at the top of his wish list and it looks like Santa may deliver this to him as Stern has topped the White House visitor list with 23 visits to the Oval Office.
However, unions cost money. The Heritage Foundation estimates the boost in health care union money would add up to $27 billion in the first year. They also project the total cost for out years 2013-2018 will be in the neighborhood of $192 billion.
The cost of the bill isn’t solely targeted to tax increases or decreased benefits. On page 432, Senate Leader Harry Reid-D NV offers a bribe to Senator Mary Landrieu-D of LA in the form of tax relief for her state. A $100 million tax-relief bribe.
Even more troubling is the real cost of the health care bill over the 10-year period will be $2.5 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
No doubt the mega bill holds many more surprises for Americans; the question remains will the Senate surprise the President on Saturday night with a no vote?
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner