Actuary Richard Foster, Medicare’s independent economic expert testified before the House Budget Committee on 1/26/11. He said ObamaCare ….”probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it.” Thus, two of the central promises President Barack Obama has made about his healthcare law appear to be quite empty.
Archive for January, 2011
Republicans in almost a dozen states are fighting ObamaCare by “introducing measures based on “nullification,” Thomas Jefferson’s late 18th-century doctrine that held that states had the ultimate say in constitutional matters. GOP lawmakers introduced such a measure in the Idaho House, and Alabama, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming are also contemplating the same action. However, it is certain that the constitutionality of nullification will be challenged. Stay tuned.
Guess what? Over 700 companies have gotten waivers from ObamaCare ––– because they weren’t able to conform to the health bill’s onerous regulations and would have needed to drop health benefits for their employees. Hey ––– if ObamaCare is so great (“You won’t lose your health insurance if you like it,” a phrase repeated often by the president) –––why are these waivers happening ? Oh, well. More ObamaCare follies. Stay Tuned.
Encouraged by their successful vote to repeal ObamaCare, House Republicans are making plans for a massive, $2.5 trillion cut in federal spending over the next 10 years.
The House plan is contained in the Spending Reduction Act of 2011.It would reset non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels, affecting everything from state stimulus money, to foreign aid, scientific research, education, transportation, to federal involvement in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and over 100 other federal programs.
“Whether Americans realize it or not, we are all running together in a race against time. Unless Washington takes swift action to cut spending, we will chain our children to debt and rob them of the opportunity to reach for the American Dream,” asserted Sen. Jim DeMint( R-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan(R-Ohio), and Rep. Scott Garrett(R-N.J.) in an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner.
Senator DeMint said he will introduce a companion bill in the Senate similar to the House Bill.
Representative Jordan, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, unveiled the budget-austerity package at a meeting held at the D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, said that the RSC proposals will come up for an up-or-down vote on the floor of the House.
“I applaud the Republican Study Committee for proposing cuts in federal spending, and I look forward to the discussion on reducing spending that our country so desperately needs to have,” Cantor said.
“As promised, we will have an open process when it comes to spending bills. I look forward to these cuts and others being brought to the floor for an up-or-down vote during consideration of the continuing resolution [for funding the federal government], and I support that effort,” Cantor added.
The committee’s proposals include:
1. Automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers will be eliminated for the next five years.
2. The civilian workforce will be cut by 15% through attrition.
3. All stimulus funding not already spent will be “clawed back” and eliminated.
4. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be eliminated, saving $445 million per year.
5. Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will be eliminated, saving over $320 million annually.
6. $1.56 billion will be saved by eliminating all federal support for Amtrak.
7. Sixty-eight duplicative education programs will be eliminated, saving $1.3 billion annually.
8. $1 billion will be gained by requiring the collection of the unpaid taxes of federal employees.
9. $Nine hundred million will be saved by eliminating funds for the administrative cost of setting up Obamacare.
Democrats are already complaining, saying that these “ruthless proposals” will cost jobs and endanger the fragile economic recovery. But, warnings from bond-rating agencies about the soundness of U.S. debt, especially in the municipal bond market, will allow Republicans to make the case that the greater danger lies in failing to address the national debt that has ex[ploded from $8.6 trillion to $14 trillion since Democrats took over the House of Representatives in January 2007. And many Republicans, despite the expected heavy political opposition, are optimistic that the tea-party movement will help them accomplish these initial efforts, and more down the road, to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington.
One can only hope that they are successful.
One of the first parts of ObamaCare– special health plans devoted to those with pre-existing conditions — has attracted only a fraction of the predicted consumers, causing the Obama administration and states to enhance their strategies to motivate people to buy these new plans. Since these insurance products became available in the late summer and early fall, the medical bills so far are, in at least a few states, much higher than anticipated. This raised the question of whether $5 billion that Congress has alloted to the program would run out even if relatively few people join. According to the Washington Post, “State-level directors of the plans” say “the insurance premiums are unaffordable for some who need the coverage — and that some would-be customers are skittish about the plans’ stability as federal lawsuits and Congressional Republicans are trying to overturn the entire law.”