Check The Amendments That Went Down To Defeat In The Senate
Finance Committee Underscoring That This Is A Death Care Bill – Obama Gives
Doctors Financial Incentives For Rationing – Doctors Will Be Drafted Under
Public Option - Obama To Destroy Jobs For The Poor In Appalachia - Russia To Peek At U.S. Nuke Sites, So Much For Our National Security –
Obama Doesn’t Want the Economy To Come Back
Don't let anyone con you
that rationing is not included in Obama's death care bills! Obama believes in
financial incentives for rationing with the elderly feeling the brunt of
his cold-hearted policy! Below is proof that rationing is
alive and well while babies in the womb will not be so fortunate! - Gary L.
Subject: LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report 10/14/09 #4727
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 19:46:28 -0400
Pro-Life News Report
October 14, 2009
Senate Committee Votes for Fifth Health Care Bill Promoting Tax-Funded
• Pro-Life Group Pans Baucus Bill, Launches New Ad on Abortion and Health Care
• Majority of Americans Oppose Pro-Abortion Health Care Reform as Senate Votes
• New Stem Cell Research Bill Could Promote Human Cloning, Destroying Embryos
Senate Committee Votes for
Fifth Health Care Bill Promoting Tax-Funded Abortions
(LifeNews.com) -- The Senate Finance Committee voted 14-9 today to send the fifth
version of health care reform legislation to the floor of a chamber of
Congress. The Baucus bill, named for the chairman of the panel who is its main
sponsor, would fund abortions with massive subsidies. Lawmakers voted mostly
along party lines with pro-abortion Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe
of Maine joining the committee's pro-abortion Democrats to pass the bill. After
rejecting pro-life amendments last week that would have ensured the Baucus
health care bill does not fund abortions and to protect the conscience rights
of medical professionals, pro-life groups urged opposition to the bill. On a
13-10 vote, the Senate Finance Committee rejected an
amendment from Sen. Orrin Hatch that would have the bill conform to current
federal law prohibiting direct abortion funding. The panel also rejected a second
pro-life amendment that would have offered protection for medical workers
who don't want to participate in or refer for abortions. A third amendment to stop rationing
also went down in defeat. The finance panel is the last of five Congressional
committees -- two in the Senate and three in the House -- to approve different
health care bills. Full story at LifeNews.com
Panel Rejects Amdt to Cut Abortion Funding From Baucus Health Care Bill
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2009
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Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A Senate committee
today voted against a critical amendment that would remove the massive abortion
subsidies present in the Baucus health care bill. On a 13-10 vote, the Senate
Finance Committee rejected amendments from Sen. Orrin Hatch that would have the
bill conform to current federal law prohibiting direct abortion funding.
Hatch amendment 355 would make it so the Baucus bill "prohibits authorized
or appropriated federal funds under this Mark from being used for elective
abortions and plans that cover such abortions."
otherwise party-line vote saw pro-abortion Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe side with Democrats against it and Sen. Kent Conrad
of Noth Dakota join Republicans in supporting it.
"All I'm asking -- my gosh -- is for specific
language in the bill that prohibits federal dollars from being used to fund
abortions," Hatch said.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
described Hatch's amendment to prohibit abortion funding as "insulting"
debate, Sen. Max Baucus, the author of the health care bill the panel has under
consideration, claimed his measure follows the federal Hyde amendment that has
prohibited virtually all direct federal abortion funding since the 1970s.
"The mark makes it clear that no federal funds will be used for abortion. None. None. It's very clear,"
However, the Baucus bill
opens the door
to massive abortion funding.
According to National
Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson, "The bill contains
provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private
insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion."
addition, the Baucus bill requires that a specific charge must be included in
the premiums paid by those who enroll in such subsidized plans, of at least '$1
per enrollee, per month,' which amounts to a surcharge specifically for
elective abortions," he said.
Baucus bill provides $6 billion in federal funds for the establishment of
health insurance cooperatives, without any limitation on the use of these funds
to pay for abortions or to subsidize plans that pay for elective
abortions," he continued.
To fix these problems, pro-life senators Orrin Hatch of Utah
and Mike Enzi of Wyoming
had proposed a
handful of amendments. They address abortion funding, state laws and the
conscience rights of pro-life medical professionals who do not want to be
forced to perform or refer for abortions.
pro-life groups are also supporting amendments to fix the
rationing components found in the Baucus health care "reform"
Contact members of the Senate Finance Committee and express your disappointment
that the Hatch amendments were defeated. You can find members of the panel
here. http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/committee.htm Related
National Right to Life - http://www.NRLC.org
Committee Defeats Amendment to Stop Financial Incentive for Rationing
by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2009
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(LifeNews.com) -- Members of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday not only
turned back an amendment to stop abortion funding, but they defeated an
amendment to stop rationing as well. They rejected, on a party-line vote, an
amendment to eliminate the rationing components of the Baucus health care bill.
Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, brought the amendment out of a
concern, shared by pro-life groups, that one provision of the measure penalizes
Medicare doctors who provide higher levels of medical treatment to senior
Kyl and Senator Pat Roberts, a pro-life Kansas Republican, sponsored
amendment would have removed a provision that establishes that, for at least
five years, Medicare physicians who authorize treatments for their patients
that wind up in the top 10% of per capita cost for a year will lose 5% of their
total Medicare reimbursements for that year.
advocates say the provision means that all doctors treating older people will
constantly be driven to try to order the least expensive tests and treatments
for fear that they will be caught in that top 10%.
night’s vote in the Senate Finance Committee should put America’s senior citizens on
alert," medical ethics attorney Burke Balch of National Right to Life,
told LifeNews.com today. "If death spiral provision actually becomes law,
their Medicare providers will start a race to the bottom to avoid being captured
in the top ten percent."
Americans who rely on Medicare would be faced with fewer and less-effective
treatment options. This is among the most insidious provisions for rationing in
any of the health care bills before Congress," he continued.
the provision, on pages 80-81 of the "Chairman’s Mark," drives all
doctors treating older people to try to order fewer and less effective tests
and treatments for fear that they will be caught in that top 10%.
noteworthy that this feature operates independently of any considerations of
efficiency, or waste - if you
authorize enough treatment for your patients, however necessary and appropriate
it may be, you are in danger of being one of the 1 in 10 doctors who will be
penalized each year," Balch said.
it creates a moving target - by definition, there will ALWAYS be a top 10%, no
matter how far down the total amount of money spent on Medicare is
driven," he continued.
all of the Democrats on the panel voted against the amendment,
Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota
did so for budgetary reasons.
during the debate that he shared the concerns of pro-life groups and Senators Kyl and Roberts.
try to put my feet in the shoes of a doctor, I don't know how you separate out
overutilization that is really overutilization," he said. "There is
no way of knowing when you go through the year, what you are going to do at the
end of the year."
that the provision could come back to "haunt us" in a few years.
David O'Steen, the executive director of the National Right to
Life Committee, previously warned pro-life advocates about the provision in the
provision creates a cruel death spiral. By financially penalizing Medicare
providers, the Baucus bill sets up the cruelest and most effective way to
ensure that doctors are forced to ration care for their senior citizen
patients,” he said.
a game of musical chairs, in which there is always one chair less than the
number of players – so no matter how fast the contestants run, someone will
always be the loser when the music stops,” O’Steen
O'Steen says the incentive the provision creates is purely
cost-driven, without any balancing of benefit and that it will create a constant
sense of uncertainty in doctors, since none can know in advance precisely what
the cutoff for a given year will be -- resulting in still more pressure to
limit treatment and diagnostic tests to the bare minimum.
sites:National Right to Life
Group Pans Baucus Bill, Launches New Ad on Abortion and Health Care
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The national pro-life
group Americans United for Life is panning the passage of the Baucus health
care bill, the fifth piece of so-called reform legislation that promotes
abortion. AUL is also preparing to launch tomorrow a new online ad that focuses
on health care and abortion funding. A Senate committee passed the Baucus
bill today on a largely partisan vote. Charmaine Yoest, the president of AUL, told LifeNews.com that the
panel "joined the four other committees with jurisdiction over health care
reform in reporting out a bill that does not include explicit language
excluding abortion funding and coverage." "In fact, the Baucus bill
explicitly includes abortion funding and coverage," she said.
"History has shown that unless legislation relating to health care reform
includes language that expressly excludes abortion, courts and administrative
agencies will interpret the legislation as including abortion." Full story at
Majority of Americans Oppose Pro-Abortion Health Care Reform as Senate Votes
(LifeNews.com) -- As a Senate committee votes today on what is the fifth
pro-abortion health care "reform bill," a new poll shows a majority
of Americans are still opposed. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to
approve the Baucus health care bill, which allows massive abortion funding.
Although polling data has shown some movement in favor of the pro-abortion
health care legislation pending in Congress, a new Rasmussen poll released
today reveals opposition is holding steady. Just 44 percent of voters
nationwide favor the health care reform bills, none of which contain limits
like the Hyde amendment on abortion funding. That is down two percent from the
46 percent level of support Rasmussen showed earlier this month. The latest
Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds 50 percent of Americans are
opposed to the government-run health care plans. Currently, 23% strongly favor
the legislative effort and 39% are strongly opposed, and intensity has favored
opponents throughout the debate. Full story at LifeNews.com
New Stem Cell Research
Bill Could Promote Human Cloning, Destroying Embryos
(LifeNews.com) -- President Barack Obama issued an executive
order this year to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research
that destroys human life. Now that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued the
guidelines to implement that decision, a pro-cloning member of Congress
wants to open the door further. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, will
soon introduce the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009. DeGette, as the
Washington Post did in a supportive weekend editorial, will likely tout the
legislation as a was to codify, or make as permanent
law, Obama's decision. That means a future pro-life president would not be able
to undo the decision with another executive order. But, DeGette's measure will
likely go further and "enhance" or promote human cloning and the
destruction of human embryos. DeGette introduced a similar bill earlier this year that
would allow NIH to invest in other kinds of research -- perhaps including
so-called "therapeutic cloning," which is human
cloning done for dubious research purposes. Otherwise known as somatic
cell nuclear transfer, it is the kind of human cloning in which scientists
purposefully create days-old human embryos -- unique
human beings -- for the sole purpose of killing them for research. Full story at
professionals are on the frontlines of battle in life issues. From abortion
to assisted suicide and euthanasia and all issues in between we are
challenged in the workplace to defend our beliefs and risk our employment.
Association of Pro-life Nurses has been here for nurses since the
beginning of this battle. Join with us in our efforts to protect those voices
Spokesman Falsely Claims Hyde Amendment Stops Abortion in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
October 7, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs
mislead reporters today during his afternoon press briefing with a false claim
that the Hyde amendment would prohibit taxpayer-funding of abortions in the
Congressional health care bills. However, the long-standing law does not apply
to the legislation.
CNS News reporter Fred
Lucas asked Gibbs, the top spokesman for President Barack Obama,
about a letter the Catholic bishops recently sent Congress pointing out that
each of the current health care bills includes abortion subsidies.
"In a letter to
senators last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that, I'm
quoting, 'So far the health-reform bills considered in committee, including the
new Senate Finance Committee bill, have not met the president's challenge of barring
the use of federal dollars for abortion,'" Lucas said. "Is that
Gibbs replied, "Well,
I don't want to get me into trouble at church, but I would mention there's a
law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion. That isn't going to
be changed in these health care bills."
"There have been
several amendments that would explicitly bar [federal funding for] abortions
that were rejected," Lucas responded.
Gibbs replied, "Again,
there's a fairly well-documented federal law that prevents it."
However, the fairly
well-documented federal law is the Hyde amendment and it only applies to the
Medicaid program that provides health care funds for poor Americans.
Douglas Johnson, the
legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee called any
attempt to paint the Hyde Amendment as a way to limit abortion funding in the
health care bills a false portrayal.
"This is a dodge. The
Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but merely a 'limitation amendment' that
is patched on to the annual appropriations bill for Health and Human
Services," Johnson says.
"H.R. 3200 directly
appropriates massive subsidies for premiums and cost-sharing that would not
flow through the HHS appropriations bill and thus would not be subject to the
Hyde Amendment, even in the short term," he previously told LifeNews.com.
Also, should abortion
advocates in Congress successfully overturn the Hyde amendment someday, its
protections would fail even if it did cover the health care bills, Johnson
"Thus, the only way to
prevent H.R. 3200 from resulting in massive federal subsidies for elective
abortion is to add Hyde-type language to the bill itself, just as Congress did
when it created the SCHIP program in 1997," Johnson concludes.
"Unless such an amendment is adopted, a vote for H.R. 3200 is a vote for
tax-subsidized abortion on demand."
Johnson has said the same
thing about the Senate health care bills, including the Kennedy and Baucus
So what law would guide
abortion funding in these new health care programs?
The Capps Amendment, which
a House committee added to HR 3200 this summer, would set forth the guidelines
that Johnson says allow expansive abortion funding. http://www.lifenews.com/nat5306.html
"Under the Capps
Amendment, the Obama Administration would be explicitly authorized to pay for
all abortions, from day one, under the big new 'public option' program,"
he tells LifeNews.com. "This means that a person would not be allowed to
enroll in the new government plan unless he or she is willing to pay an
additional premium to cover the cost of elective abortions -- in effect, an
"Indeed, the Capps
Amendment explicitly requires that the federal official who runs the program
must calculate the total cost of abortions and increase the premium for all
enrollees enough to pay for them," he adds.
specifies that this surcharge cannot be less than $12 per enrollee per year,
but the amendment does not set an upper limit. Again, this premium specifically
for elective abortions is not optional," he adds.
"Thus, under the
Obama-backed bill, a federal agency would be writing checks to abortionists to
pay for elective abortions, with funds drawn on a federal Treasury
account," Johnson concludes. "This is 'government funding of
abortion,' pure and simple."
"A vote for H.R. 3200
is indeed a vote for government funding of abortion on a huge scale," he
Related web sites:
National Right to Life - http://www.NRLC.org
Documentation - http://www.nrlc.org/AHC/Index.html
Date: Tue, 13 Oct
2009 16:18:54 -0400
Subject: Heath Care Alert: Baucus Bill Passed!
Trick or Treatment? ObamaCare is getting closer to becoming a reality, and it
is just as scary now as when we first unmasked this massive takeover of our
health care system.
Today, the Senate
Finance Committee passed its "conceptual" version of health care
reform 14-9 with Senator Olympia Snowe (Maine), the only
Included in Senator Max
Baucus' (D-Montana) bill:
is language in the Baucus bill to "guard" against comparative
effectiveness, but it will not protect the sick, disabled or elderly.
("Comparative effectiveness" is a scheme to set up a bureaucracy to
decide what treatments will be covered, and who can get treated.) The bill
still has provisions that provide financial incentives to ration treatment.
Health care should not be reformed on the backs of the most vulnerable among
a dramatic departure from current law, which prohibits federal funds from
being used for abortions except for rape, incest or the life of the mother, the Baucus bill will ensure that federal
funds will be used to cover abortion. It creates an accounting scheme that
permits taxpayer subsidies to go to private health plans that include
abortion by designating private dollars as those spent on abortions and
public dollars as non-abortion dollars.
Baucus bill requires individuals to purchase "government-approved"
insurance or face harsh penalties or even jail time. As we have seen in Massachusetts, which
already has individual mandates, insurance plans are often more expensive
than many Americans can afford. Lower and middle-class Americans with
adequate insurance will be fined if government agents decide their health
plans don't satisfy government mandates. It also means that we could be
forced to buy "government approved" insurance plans that fund
objectionable medical procedures.
will increase taxes on the middle class. While the Congressional Budget
Office has indicated that the bill would reduce the deficit by $81 billion
over its first ten years, this is not absolute because they did not have full
legislative language to determine the bill's impact. Non-partisan experts
from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office have
admitted that the Baucus bill would raise taxes on those with incomes of
under $250,000, while cutting seniors' Medicare Advantage benefits in half.
According to the
Heritage Foundation, "Leaders in the House and Senate have a plan to
pass President Barack Obama's sweeping health care plan by Thanksgiving
without any significant participation by the American public."
Senators Harry Reid
(D-Nevada), Max Baucus, Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and White House officials
are now mashing the monster Health Education Labor and Pensions and Finance
bills together. Then Senator Reid will move to proceed to H.R. 1586,
regarding AIG bonuses, or some other completely different House tax measure
and substitute in a health care bill that Americans will not even get to
review. This bill may then pass the Senate. If it passes the Senate, the
House could pass it without any changes to ensure the bill goes directly to
Senator Reid, House
Speaker Pelosi and President Obama have orchestrated the whole process to
exclude us. We need your help now! Please call your Senators at 202-224-3121
today and tell them to oppose any health care legislation that excludes the
voices of millions of Americans. This smoke and mirrors façade is good for a
haunted house but not for our health!
Concerned Women for America
Concerned Women for America
Legislative Action Committee
1015 Fifteenth St. N.W., Suite 1100
Phone: (202) 488-7000
Fax: (202) 488-0806
is what the White House wants to do to the poor in Appalachia,
i.e., DESTROY their jobs! This so sad! We had
all better wake up to what Obama is doing to our country, and do everything
that we can by speaking out to ensure that Obama's political goals are
not reached; else, America is finished! - Gary L. Morella
11:03 PM Oct 13, 2009
Voices Ring Out Regarding Mountaintop Mining
What may have been the biggest battle yet over mountaintop
mining grew loud and strong throughout the coalfields and beyond Tuesday
Posted: 10:26 PM Oct 13, 2009
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ)
-- What may have been the biggest battle yet over mountaintop mining grew loud
and strong throughout the coalfields and beyond Tuesday night.
The issue is a federal proposal to change the
permitting process for surface mining. The fight is the environment versus the
economy, with many forecasting doom if any change is made.
Pro surface mining folks
say any change in what is now a streamlined process to get a permit will
destroy coal mining in Appalachia. Those who
support a tougher permitting process say our streams and our land will die
A few thousand mostly pro-coal folks filled the Pikeville Expo Center,
where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it wanted to hear from the public
before deciding on an Obama Administration proposal to include more stream and
land impact checks in granting permits to mine coal above ground.
The loud and united crowd cheered speakers
one-by-one who basically said -- if the Corps bans, suspends or modifies the
current permitting system -- jobs and prosperity in the coalfields will just
These hearings are underway in several states. The
Corps said it will not make a decision on surface mining permits until it
listens to all points of view. That decision may not come for several months.
Posted by: Anonymous on Oct 14, 2009 at
Something that everyone needs to remember when
discussing the NWP 21 is the fact that banning these hollowfills
will ban ALL mining, not just mountaintop removal. Underground mining
operations use hollowfills just like contour mining
and mountaintop removal operations. If there are no NWP 21's issued, then there
are no coal mines period. We need to wake up and look towards our future. The
forces behind this ban are wanting to ban ALL mining
rather than just mountaintop removal.
Posted by: Anonymous on Oct 14, 2009 at
I stand up beside the coal miners. And I also agree, there needs to be stiffer laws against damaging water
supplies to the surrounding communities. I think there should be a common
ground for all, and let these miners keep their jobs. If they shut down coal
mines, it causes a ripple effect, not only will it affect coal jobs, it will effect every business in the smaller communities that depend
on these miners' business. Plus you have bigger businesses that depend on the
coal mines for parts, equipment, mechanics, etc. It will ruin this state.We do not have the means for any other alternative
energy to over ride the coal, to heat our homes this winter. Someone is moving
way too fast, and we will be the ones who suffer. Our grandfather, and great
grandfathers were coal miners, some poeple, its in the family, and thats all
we know. Why pick on just coal, when the timber companies are stripping our
mountains too, for more developement, whether it be for commercial or residential.
Posted by: melissa on Oct 13, 2009 at
the ones against mountain top remover are so wrong, what
there doing is going to cost a lot of people their jobs if take away coal you
have nothing here, how do you think you people get your electric. coal makes our day, tree huggers go away!!!
This article is linked on Governor Palin's Facebook page:
A respected medical specialist has carefully reviewed the
healthcare reform bill in the U.S. House, and he declares that it would
amount to a virtual "draft" of doctors into the government's
"public option" health insurance program.
Dr. Russell Blaylock, a renowned neurosurgeon, book author and editor of the
Blaylock Wellness Report published by Newsmax, also
warns that "death panels" could lead to the rationing of medical
care to the elderly and a "violation of the Hippocratic Oath."
Read the full article here.
In related news, Senator Olympia Snowe (RINO - Maine) voted for the Baucus
health care bill -- that's actually not a bill --
in the Senate Finance Committee vote today. The "bill" passed in 14-9 vote.
And Glenn Reynolds says, "Think of
them as 'life' panels, because they’ll decide if you get to live!"
in response to yesterday's news about possible
health care rationing in Massachusetts.
Will be 'Drafted' Under Public Option
Monday, October 12, 2009 6:47 PM
By: Jim Meyers
A respected medical specialist has carefully reviewed the healthcare reform
bill in the U.S. House, and he declares that it would amount to a virtual
"draft" of doctors into the government's
"public option" health insurance program.
Russell Blaylock, a renowned neurosurgeon, book author and editor of the
Blaylock Wellness Report published by Newsmax,
also warns that "death panels" could lead to the rationing of
medical care to the elderly and a "violation of the Hippocratic
See Video: Dr. Russell Blaylock discusses the threats to quality medical
care under Obamacare - Click Here Now
In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Dr. Blaylock
points to other ominous provisions in the bill, HR 3200, which he says
· Severely discourage the
readmission of patients to a hospital after they have been treated, and
punish doctors and hospitals if they do readmit them.
Require medical practitioners to document their dealings to the
extent that they won't have enough time to adequately treat their patients.
· Jeopardize the
confidentiality of patients' medical records, including psychiatric
The Senate's version of healthcare reform is slated to be voted on by the
Finance Committee on Tuesday. But the House bill has already been approved
by several committees and is sure to play a major role in any conference by
the House and Senate to reconcile the bills those bodies pass.
Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella
noted that under the House bill, physicians would be drafted into the
public option, a provision Dr. Blaylock has
earlier called "conscription."
This bill "is virtually a draft because it says all physicians are
automatically in the public option unless they opt out, and the opt out mechanism will be later determined by the
Secretary of Health and Human Services," Dr. Blaylock said.
"Well, we don't know how difficult it will be for physicians to opt
out. Will there be penalties, fines, taxes, etc.? Because that's all left
up to the Secretary."
He added on that score: "One of the things that concerns
the legal minds of this country is that any bill that contains arbitrary
language can be interpreted after it's passed any way they want to. And in
this bill, virtually every page gives arbitrary powers to the Secretary of
Health and Human Services."
Blaylock warned that under the House bill, hospital readmissions will be
"One of the things they targeted to save money was to punish hospitals
and physicians if they readmit a patient within a month of them being
treated in an emergency room," he said.
"The effect of that is going to be that doctors are not going to want
to treat these patients, hospitals are not going to want to treat these
patients. It's going to cost hospitals a considerable amount of money as
well as the physicians in fines if a patient comes back readmitted.
"Now the people who are going to be readmitted are people with chronic
illnesses, the elderly, the disabled. Those are
the people who are going to have complications occur within that month
period. And why should hospitals and physicians be
punished for that?
"They're not going to want to treat these patients. They're going to
want to refer them quickly to another facility. And that's one of the
biggest problems we have, patients being bounced around."
Martella asked about a controversial provision in
the bill for so-called end of life counseling, which critics have charged
would set up "death panels."
"This caused a lot of controversy, on so-called death panels and
whether this advanced healthcare planning was actually required," Dr.
"But it says very specifically on pages 424 through 428 that these
sessions will be part of the normal medical practice. Therefore it's not
"So every patient of a certain age will have to undergo this
counseling. And further, in really frightening language, this bill
[stipulates] that the people doing the counseling will be specially trained
and approved by the federal government. They'll supply films, brochures,
pamphlets — the data the patients are being exposed to.
"If you look at a lot of this literature now, what it says is that
these patients will be encouraged to end their life early rather than take
extraordinary medical treatments.
"For instance, if you're 65, 70 years old and you have congestive
heart failure, in their view you really should make the decision that you
don't want any further treatment, that it would be best for you and your
"And if you couch it that way you can convince a lot of patients
through guilt that they really shouldn't be spending the money that it's
going to cost their family as well as the country at large. So this is a
very dangerous precedent. This is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath...
"But then the health czar, Ezekiel Emanuel, has said that physicians
are too obsessed with this Hippocratic Oath. And if you read his papers on
this subject, he clearly states that the elderly should just make the
decision that they don't want any further treatment and go ahead and meet
"The Hastings Center that he writes for, and that he's on the advisory
panel for, clearly [states] that patients need to just reject any kind of
extraordinary healthcare, or just ordinary healthcare, and accept that
they're going to die. To me that is under the definition of a death panel.
"If you look at the socialist countries, for instance National
Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union,
they had very similar policies. They just didn't treat these people."
Dr. Blaylock is also concerned about the huge amount of paperwork the bill
would require from medical practitioners.
"Those of us who have practiced medicine for a lot of years know that
in the last 15 years, progressively, there's been
so many requirements for the reporting of virtually everything," he
"This bill expands it enormously, so that physicians are not going to
have time to do patient care to the extent that they should. They're not
going to be able to follow up on their post-graduation education or attend
seminars, because they're going to spend time documenting everything.
"They have to document any interaction with any federal bureaucracy or
any other entity that they contract with. They have to determine whether
there's a fraud risk. They're fined if fraud is found later, even though
they're just referring a patient to an outpatient facility. They have to do
quality assessments continuously.
"Now that's going to cause doctors to spend enormous amounts of time
documenting all this and I don't see how they can even do it. The paperwork
is absolutely enormous."
Martella asked if that record-keeping would
encroach on doctor-patient confidentiality.
"Certainly. Whether you use patient code, patient names, all that is
to be determined later. None of that is spelled out in this bill. So it has
the potential, particularly in regard to the financial records that have to
be supplied, of putting at risk your financial data, your medical data, if
you've seen a psychiatrist, if you've had any kind of infectious disease
that you don't want anyone to know about."
Under the bill, "all this information is available to a lot of eyes at
every level and all sorts of bureaucracies, and it can leak out."
See Video: Dr. Russell Blaylock discusses the threats to quality medical
care under Obamacare - Click Here Now
allow Russia to count
American weapons, in most
intrusive inspection progam U.S. has ever accepted
Russia and the United States have tentatively agreed to a
weapons inspection program that would allow Russians to visit nuclear sites
to count missiles and warheads.
The plan, which Fox News has learned was agreed to in principle during
negotiations, would constitute the most intrusive weapons inspection program
has ever accepted.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said publicly Tuesday that the two
nations have made "considerable" progress toward reaching agreement
on a new strategic arms treaty.
The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires in December and
negotiators have been racing to reach agreement on a successor.
Clinton said the U.S. would be as transparent as
"We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or
Russian government asks is answered," she said, calling missile defense
"another area for deep cooperation between our countries."
On another critical issue, Lavrov declared that it
would be counterproductive to threaten Iran
with more sanctions over its nuclear program -- as he resisted efforts by Clinton to win agreement for tougher measures should Iran
fail to prove its program is peaceful.
Clinton visited Moscow
on her first trip since becoming America's
top diplomat, in an effort to gauge Moscow's
willingness to join the U.S.
in imposing sanctions.
Clinton said the U.S.
agreed it was important to pursue diplomacy with Iran.
"At the same time that we are very vigorously pursuing this track, we
are aware that we might not be as successful as we need to be, so we have
always looked at the potential of sanctions in the event we are not
successful and cannot assure ourselves and others that Iran has decided not
to pursue nuclear weapons," she said at a joint news conference.
insists it has the right to a full domestic nuclear enrichment program and
maintains it is only for peaceful purposes, such as energy production.
President Obama -- who visited Russia in July -- has vowed to
"reset" U.S.-Russia relations. On Tuesday, Clinton apologized for missing that meeting
because of a broken elbow.
"But now both my elbow and our relationships are reset and we're moving
forward, which I greatly welcome," she said.
She was to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Quickly to the phones, to Port Huron,
Michigan. Mike, I'm glad
you called, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. And let me say real quick:
It is an honor. I'm a trucker, and when I can't get you, I listen to
other radio stations, and they all envy you. I tell them the reason
they don't have your audience and the respect that you have is because their
message is not what the majority of America wants to hear. And
that quickly being said, like I said I am a trucker, and the economy, any
signs of recovery, we would know it. Right now should be our busiest
time of the year, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, school started
back up. We are not getting frieght. And the
truckers ain't truckin',
there ain't nothing
moving. The only thing that doesn't move without a truck is Wall Street
and that's a hoax by itself.
RUSH: Well, there's a
reason why Wall Street's got some action and you just nailed it. Wall
Street right now is the only place where there's a real economy going
on. That's the wrong way to put it. The real economy is not worth
investing in right now. There aren't any. It's 10% unemployment.
The real economy... People are putting their money into municipal bonds right
now and in equities -- and gold, by the way; big time into gold. But
people are not investing in Main Street. Remember the
liberals old lament, "Well, what's good for Wall Street is not good for Main Street"? That's never been more true than it is now. I'm not berating people
putting money in Wall Street, the markets at work hear, but what you're
telling us is what you're telling us: You ain't
trucking. You got no freight.
CALLER: I tell you, you go to any truck stop and you just is he how many truck are sitting there, and you talk to
any driver. If there was anything out there -- it's like my wife says --
we're on the front line. If there was any sign of a recovery, we would
RUSH: Yeah. Amen that.
CALLER: (laughs) And like I said --
RUSH: The idea, the idea that there can be a recovery with no job creation is
just absurd. "Recovery" is what? Commerce taking place!
Seventy-five, 80% of the economy is consumerism. Consumption out there!
People buying stuff. And for people to buy stuff, it has to be on the
shelf in the stores. And how does it get there? Guys like Mike
and his truckers over the road, trains, in some cases airplanes. Yeah,
there's a three-year lag time for jobs. Well, how in the hell...? This
is just pure baloney designed to make the Obama administration look
benevolence and good and successful and so forth, when it's all
senseless. It all defies logic.
Now, here is a telling story within the story. This is a Reuters story, and it was published today. "U.S.
Home Rescue Plan Delaying, Not Solving Crisis." There's a telling story
within this story. After describing the macro-failure of Obama's bill
that claimed to help people who can't afford their home to keep their home,
this Reuters story tells the story of an individual that tried to get help from
our president and got slapped down. It's a teachable moment.
"Within weeks of taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama rode to the
rescue of homeowners resigned to financial ruin. Obama, grappling with
the worst U.S.
housing crisis since the Great Depression, pledged to help as many as 9
million families keep their homes by reworking their mortgages."
Yes, he made that pledge. He didn't live up to it. He
failed. "Eight months later, the plan is plagued by delays, red
tape and, some critics say, a reluctance by banks to
do their part. Just 17 percent of eligible borrowers have had their loans
modified and monthly payments cut. Hardly any have been given a cut in the
amount they owe on homes which are now worth less. That means many
successful applicants are left with loans that they still will not be able to
afford in the long run. So instead of resolving the housing crisis that
pushed the U.S. economy
into recession, America
may be prolonging it and, in the process, stunting the global
recovery." So how is that hope and change
working for you?
We're on the verge, we got the media breathlessly watching the Senate Finance
Committee vote on nationalizing health care, and we've got a story today on
how a simple little program failed! Remember how they botched cash for
clunkers and delayed any genuine recovery in the auto industry. Now
we've got this little program that had all these wonderful intentions. Why,
to help poor people whose houses had been destroyed, value-wise, with the
plunge in the economy! "Wow, we don't want to foreclose on
them," Obama said. "We want to find a way to have them keep their
homes." Just 17% have had their loans modified. Instead of
resolving the housing crisis, America
may be prolonging it by not just letting the market work. The market
will take care of this, but if you phony...
It's like the poor people in Michigan.
Okay, give 'em whatever they're going to get from
$15 million in stimulus. But that's eventually going to dry up.
And then what do they do? They need work. They need jobs, a
steady source of income that results from their work. Okay, so pass out
some help for a mortgage. But it's going to end someday. You
can't pay everybody's mortgage forever, and then what do these people do?
So we're just delaying the inevitable -- and in the process of the delay,
we're making the whole problem worse and we're deepening it, because we are
delaying the market correction which will automatically happen if you just
get out of the way and let it. But these are central planners.
They know better than you. They know what kind of car you ought to
drive. They know what kind of health insurance you ought to have.
They know what kind of doctor you ought to see. They know what tests you
ought to get and what tests you shouldn't get! They know everything. They
know which vaccine you should take. They know everything better than
you do, and they get their hands on these things and they screw it up every
time. They have screwed up the Great Society. They screwed up the
War on Poverty. Poverty has won! It's time to declare a
winner. Poverty is winning and it's getting worse, after how many
trillions that have been spent on it?
RUSH: Here's Mary in West Palm Beach,
Florida. Great to have
you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Just fine. Thank you.
CALLER: Okay, I talked with the screener, and what we've got here is a
money supply, a frozen money supply. I'm an economist, and you're
absolutely right, everything you said, and you can't have an end to this
recession with an increasing unemployment or if it's staying high with
continued foreclosures, increasing bankruptcies, increasing your small
business, and the other thing would be that our companies, the major
companies have been working gimmicks out there using a government tax cut to
show a positive flow. It's not much but it's enough to make everybody
go, "Oh, fantastic."
RUSH: Wait, wait. What company is showing positive growth?
CALLER: Oh, gosh, it was on the other day, and they were showing how it
had used the government tax cut to have a positive spin on their numbers, and
I can't tell you the name of it. It was in the morning show and we just
don't have the money. You need money -- the velocity of money has to
keep turning over and over, and we have stagnated it
and it's frozen. Any time government is involved the multiplier effect
kicks in and the government decreases the money supply. If the
government is involved in handing out money you can kiss it good-bye.
You need it in your small businesses, you need it in your banks loaning
money, and it's not happening.
RUSH: All of what she says is true, and the point about money being
frozen, not turning over, changing hands and so forth, one of the reasons is
the money supply is way up, but there's less and less of it circulating in
the private sector. It's all in the hands of government, and it's being spend by them. There was a story in the
Wall Street Journal, I think it was in yesterday's stack, I didn't have a
chance to get to it, but I remember enough of it. The Wall Street
Journal was very happy that the Obama administration's finally figuring out
here that the job situation is serious. And the Obama administration
has floated something that they were talking about during the campaign and
then shortly after President Obama was inaugurated, and it's this. A
$3,000 tax credit or cut for every employee hired. Now, it's good that
the administration is starting to float around the idea of tax cuts, and, you
know, I don't want to sit here and besmirch tax cuts, but this is not why
people hire people. They hire people 'cause they have work that needs
to be done.
To say that somebody's
going to go out and spend whatever it's going to cost to hire somebody, plus
the benefit package, health care, and all that, for $3,000 tax break?
When sales are down? It just isn't going to happen. If you're gonna cut taxes, cut their income tax! Don't get
tax credit stuff. Cut their income, corporate tax, small business tax,
whatever it is, reduce the cost of doing business that is slapped on them by
the government. Now, the Obama administration is not going to do this
because they don't want that kind of independence and freedom and
liberty. What they want, at the end of the day, is if enough businesses
take this deal, to be able to say, Obama created jobs, Obama created jobs,
came up with this big deal, give every business three grand essentially for
every new hire.
That's like a Band-Aid. It's not addressing the problem. And the
Wall Street Journal piece on this goes on and on and on in greater detail
about what ought to be done with businesses and hiring and so forth.
And clearly what needs to happen is there needs to be an atmosphere, there
needs to be a climate, if you will, of growth, opportunity, in the
market. People need to feel confident that they can invest in their
business, hire new people or do whatever. And right now they just don't
have it. People in business are not stupid. They know what the
cost of doing business is. They can see what's coming down the pike
with health care. They can see cap and trade coming at them. They
can see new income taxes coming when the Bush tax cuts sunset. Folks,
we're in the crosshairs, and every gun the government has is aimed at us.
Well, the State-Controlled Media is just over the top here, folks. They
can't believe it. News flash, news alert, "Republican Olympia Snowe has announced that she will vote for the Baucus
bill," surprise, surprise, oh, goody goody goody. This is the same Republican, Olympia Snowe, who says the party left her, that she didn't leave
the Republican Party, that she is a fiscal conservative. Olympia Snowe is a predictable joke. She has voted for all
of Obama's big spending radical agenda. If the Republicans had any intelligence
not only would they vote "no" on the Baucus bill, they wouldn't
even show up for the vote. The Republicans have no business helping
this thing get passed, the Republicans have no business politically, I mean it's death for them to have any role whatsoever in this
health care bill being passed. They ought to not even show up. I
mean the committee had a bunch of meetings, Baucus committee, didn't even
tell the Republicans the meetings were taking place, they ought not even show
up and vote, even if they're going to vote "no," don't show up,
don't get anywhere near this.
Greetings and welcome back, Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network and the Limbaugh
Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.
I want to explain something I explained last week when I was talking to you
about how the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, scored the Baucus bill and
proclaimed, "Hey, it's actually going to reduce the deficit."
I explained this in great detail last week, and now the commentators on the chat
shows have finally, once again, caught up with me and explained it themselves
in the past couple of nights. There are two factors here. The
first is that there was no legislation. There was no bill. Baucus
had not completed the writing of the actual legislation that he submitted to
the CBO. What he submitted to them was a draft, and he had numbers and
gimmicks in it designed to produce this exact result. The CBO even said
in their analysis that this is all subject to great change because they were
dealing only with estimates. The hard numbers were not in the draft
that they scored. So after Baucus got the favorable CBO report, then he
went back to work and started writing the exact bill. And Obama has not
come out and said that he supports it 100%. But it doesn't
matter. This is the framework for all of the little,
bitty tiny radical things they're going to add into this each and every
legislative session, after they get this big shell done.
Now, the trick, in addition to presenting the CBO with a draft and not real
legislation, the trick in the Baucus structure of the thing was this.
The plan does not get implemented until 2013. Now, remember, the CBO
forecasts ten years out on these things. The plan doesn't get
implemented until 2013. But the taxes, the increase in taxes and the
increased charges for health care will happen immediately. And this is
something I want all of you to know. The tax increases that you're
hearing about on health plans, insurance plans that started $8,000, go up to $21,000,
those taxes will happen when Obama signs the bill. So in theory, even
though there's 10% unemployment, in theory they think they've got a great new
source of revenue that's going to be coming in, with these new taxes that are
going to be placed on health insurance plans. Even from your
employer. Taxing benefits is essentially what this is, and that will
happen immediately. But the spending doesn't start for four years,
2013, after Obama theoretically gets reelected and therefore will not have to
face the revolt that's sure to happen from people because he will already
have won reelection. This is the theme.
So if the taxes and the new charges are implemented immediately and are in
place for three years, and the plan doesn't get implemented for three years,
well, of course they can say that it will produce a surplus in ten years
because you'll have ten years of taxes and seven years of the new health care
plan. I think all that's bogus anyway. I think the costs are
going to skyrocket. There's no way that this is going to be revenue
neutral. There is no way that it's not going to raise the
deficit. There's no way it's going to come in under budget. I
mean all of this is just absurd and they are playing games and
gimmicks. Nobody's going to read the bill. Shut up and
vote. What about $400 billion in Medicare? Shut up and
vote. What about all the new tax increases on the health plan?
Shut up and vote. Well, what about all the end-of-life decisions that
some government panel is going to be making? Shut up and vote.
Did the Founding Fathers read the Constitution before the -- shut up and
vote. Did the Founding Fathers read the Declaration of Independence
before they -- shut up and vote.
That's the new mantra at the United States Congress, in the House and the
Senate: shut up and vote. Don't read it; don't ask any questions; just
shut up and vote. The Republicans in the Senate on this Finance
Committee, the Baucus committee, ought to be nowhere near when this vote
happens. If they do show up, they should vote "no." Snowe is going to vote yes. "Oh, wonderful, Olympia Snowe, we've got a bipartisanship, Mr. Limbaugh, we have
bipartisanship and this means that Obama cannot be totally blamed.
Obama can't be totally blamed because now there's bipartisanship, Mr.
Limbaugh. This is how Congress is supposed to work. This is how
the wonderful nature of the US
government is supposed to work, Mr. Limbaugh." This voice, by the
way, is the voice of the New Castrati, those who have lost all manhood, gonads,
guts, and courage throughout our culture and our political system.
"That's right, Mr. Limbaugh, but it's necessary for the civility to
return to the American political marketplace, Mr. Limbaugh, because now
there's bipartisanship. Olympia Snowe is voting
with Obama." Yeah, bipartisanship, got
one Republican vote on the committee.
Senator Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat, Arkansas,
phony moderate, phony Blue Dog from Arkansas,
a state that McCain won with 60%, is talking like she's a "yes"
vote. In the end she's a Democrat hack who is in Obama's back
pocket. Take the word Blue Dog out of it because at the end of the day
they're still Democrats. At the end of the day the Republicans do not
have the votes to stop this. The Republicans are not the obstacle to
anything getting done here. It's a shame that they aren't. It's a
shame that this whole thing is happening. This is a disaster. We
are in the midst of a manmade disaster, the Barack Obama presidency.
This economy is a purposeful wreck, it is getting worse, there's no end in
sight. The very people who thought that he was going to reverse
circumstances that made their lives bad or poor, the very people who thought
that they were going to start getting theirs, the very people who thought that
we're going to get rid of all the arguments and the partisanship, the little
guy, the little guy who is always the supposed to beneficiary of liberal
Democrat policies is getting creamed. Fifty-two
percent unemployment among young people.
RUSH: The media
is going nuts. Chyron graphics:
"Awaiting Senate Finance Committee vote on
health care bill!" (panting) As though nobody knows what's going
to happen? What? Olympia Snowe is gonna vote with the Democrats. Are there going to
be some Democrat defections? You have Bill Nelson of Florida. He's another phony moderate
out there. He looks like he's voting to kill Medicare and slash health
care to senior seasons today as well, which is what we're all going to be
voting on. Kill Medicare and slash health care for senior
citizens. That's the essence of the Baucus bill. There can be no
RUSH: Port Charlotte, Florida, this is Bob. Welcome to the
program, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Afternoon, Rush. Pleasure to talk to you. I'm so
furious with Olympia Snowe today I could
RUSH: I want to help out here. I can understand the temptation to
get mad, but why waste the energy when you knew what she was going to do in
the first place?
CALLER: Well, I would like to encourage every Republican to send money
to defeat this woman the next time she's up for reelection, be it the
Republican primary or the general election, because I'm sick of a Republican
stabbing the party in the back at every opportunity. She was only one
of three Republicans to vote for that stupid stimulus bill, which has
stimulated anything but the national debt. She sat on that committee
for two months watched every reasonable amendment defeated on a party line
vote, watched every attempt at transparency defeated, watched every attempt
to get a final scoring by CBO on this bill before it was passed defeated.
But yet she's still going to vote for it? I'm sick of it, Rush. I
don't need a Republican like that in the party.
RUSH: Join the club. I mean, look, my brother, this is why I have
been beseeching people to forget this moderate direction the Republican Party
wants to go. It's going to take us right to the direction of Olympia Snowe.
CALLER: I mean what if the situation was the opposite, we have 60
Republicans in the Senate and there were 40 Democrats, she would be the lone
Republican to mess things up.
RUSH: Nope. Nope. Not the lone, not the lone, not the lone,
not the lone. McCain --
CALLER: Well, maybe McCain.
RUSH: If that were the case they would feel guilty about our
majority. Hey, Lindsey Graham's already gone south on cap and trade.
RUSH: Lindsey Graham's out there talking about the new friendship he's
got with John Kerry on this.
CALLER: She was only one of three Republicans to vote for the stimulus.
CALLER: And that didn't teach her anything. Where are the jobs, Olympia? Show me
RUSH: Well, what she cares about every six years is
voters in Maine, not voters in Florida.
CALLER: Well, that's another whole story, Maine. What's wrong with those
people? That was a part of the country that created the American
RUSH: I'll tell you what it's time for,
Goldwater had it right, let's saw the state off and let it float out to sea.
CALLER: I don't know. They need to look up their heritage, the
people of Maine,
and look at the effect that they had on the American Revolution, you know,
and go back to their roots because somewhere along the way they've lost their
RUSH: You're preaching to the choir here, my brother.
RUSH: You're preaching to the choir, and there are millions, millions
more Americans with you than you possibly know. We just don't have
enough votes in Congress right now to stop any of this. That's the
problem. It's up to us.
Charles in Ft. Lauderdale,
two calls from Florida
in a row, great to have you here, Charles.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Fine, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Yeah, I was calling with the interpretation of the New York
Times, their mind-set on what it means to reduce health care costs from their
point of view.
RUSH: What is your interpretation?
CALLER: Well, my interpretation is that this is going -- the increase
in taxes, which you and I would call tax and spend, is going to reduce the
health care costs for the government.
RUSH: Are you supporting that?
CALLER: Certainly not. To me it's a horrible thing but you said
your head was exploding because you read what you said were contradictory
statements, that taxes were going to go up --
RUSH: I think we lost him. I never got my arms around this guy's
point. Was he talking about something I said in the first hour?
Well, it was the New York Times story where they said costs are going to go
down and go up, or they contradicted themselves within two paragraphs. We're
going to spend more but costs were going to go down was what they said.
I don't know how anybody with one half a brain -- I can get by with it, but I
don't know how anybody with just half a brain can ever believe that the cost
of anything the government's involved in is going to go down. Look at
all the times that McCain's Commerce Committee, "Well, cable guys are
ripping people off out there, we're going to have legislation here that's
going to reduce cable --" have your cable charges gone down, ever?
Yeah, if you drop some service. The idea that, okay, we're going to
raise taxes and that's going to make the government spend less? The theory
from the New York Times is the government has its own stash of money here,
has it automatically, which it does because they have a printing press, and
then the government's going to tax us more, which will give the government
even more money, so the government outlays will theoretically be less.
That's the point they're trying to make. It's as convoluted and
nonsensical and ignorant economically as anything that you would see in a
junior high school economic paper.
RUSH: Ah, the Senate Finance Committee has passed the health care bill. Big
news, 14-9. Big whoop. Big surprise. On to fascism, folks
What Are Liberals’ Broken Promises on Health Care Reform?
There will be transparency in the law-making
process. For the past month, the Senate Finance Committee has been
debating health care. But, much to the surprise of many Americans, they
haven’t been debating an actual bill. They have been debating and amending
a 262-page description of health care reform. It’s essentially a summary of
what liberals want the bill to look like, and no member of the Committee,
or the public, has seen actual legislation. The legislation will likely not
be available until the bill is debated on the floor.
2) The bill won't add a dime to the
deficit. Since the Senate bill is yet to be written, there
are no official cost estimates. However, initial estimates of a description
of the bill (which is what the Finance Committee has been debating) by the
Congressional Budget Office indicate the gross cost will be $829 billion.
Independent analysis by The Lewin Group, a highly
respected health care policy and management consulting firm, expects the
House bill to run a $39 billion deficit in the first decade, and a $1
trillion deficit in the second decade.
3) If you like the coverage you
have you can keep it. Liberals in Congress continue to
demand the inclusion of a public plan, a new government run health plan to
“compete” against private health insurance plans. The Lewin
Group calculated the impact the House bill’s public plan would have on
existing health insurance coverage. It found with a public plan:
56 percent of Americans with employer-based coverage
would lose their current coverage with the addition of a public plan.
Of the estimated 172.5 million people with private
health insurance, there would be a decline of 83.4 million people with
34 percent of the uninsured in America would still lack
4) The bill won't cut
benefits for seniors. It is impossible to cut payments to
Medicare Advantage plans without cutting benefits. The Congressional Budget
Office director testified that Medicare benefits will be cut, meaning
seniors' private options for their health care needs are at risk.
5) The bill won't raise taxes on those earning less
than $250,000. Provisions in the House and Senate bill
would lead to a tax increase regardless of income. In fact, of the folks
hit by the House’s plans steep tax hikes, more than half fall in the bottom
60 percent of the income scale. Small
businesses and low-income workers would be especially hit. In the
Senate Finance Committee, amendments were offered that would have protected
those below $250,000, and each one failed.
6) It will save American families
$2500 a year. There has been no analysis to show that these
bills would deliver these promised savings. In fact, mandates in the
current bills would have the opposite effect, forcing many individuals to
pay more money out-of-pocket, and compelling
businesses to reduce wages, salaries, and job opportunities.
7) The government plan won't cover
abortions or illegal immigrants. Amendments were offered in the House and Senate
Committee mark-ups to clarify that abortion services would not be included
and to ensure proper identification of citizenship were used in determining
eligibility. Each of these amendments failed.
It is impossible to assess key promises
made by President Obama and congressional leaders on whether these bills will
rein in costs for families.
Right to Know Fix Health Care Policy
October 9, 2009
Congress's Health Care Reform Bills: The
All five of the congressional committees charged with
drafting health care legislation have completed their plans. The
congressional leadership will soon consolidate these measures into single
pieces of legislation for their respective bodies, and floor votes in both
the House and Senate are expected soon.
What is yet unknown is the true cost of these
bills. Given the rapid evolution of these measures, the Congressional
Budget Office (CBO)--Congress's official scorekeeper--has yet to issue a
complete and final cost estimate.
Without such critical information, of course, it is impossible to assess
key promises made by President Obama and congressional leaders on whether
these bills will rein in costs for families, businesses, and government;
not add a "dime to the deficit"; and not raise taxes on those
making less than $250,000 a year.
The Role of the Congressional Budget Office
The main role of the CBO is to estimate (or "score") the budget
costs of proposed legislation. It provides estimates of policy impacts that
are related to the budget, decides
whether proposed policies would affect federal government spending or
revenues, and determines whether proposed legislation would
impose mandates on either state or local governments or the private sector.
Upon request, the CBO can--and often does--provide supplemental information
beyond the scope of its basic cost estimates.
Although the CBO provides many services for Congress, it does not encourage
or discourage particular policy actions. The CBO's
role is limited to ensuring that Congress has the best possible
information--on budget impacts and related factors--to make policy
CBO scores are generally made public. Equally important, however, are the
confidential, behind-the-scenes estimates that the CBO prepares for staff
and Members during the process of developing legislation. While the massive
House and Senate health bills were being drafted, many CBO estimates were
likely developed and delivered behind the scenes to the majority staff on
the relevant committees.
During the national debate over the Clinton
health plan in 1994, the CBO published a comprehensive analysis of the
President's proposal, including the financial impact, its budgetary
treatment, the economic effects, and a detailed discussion of other key
In the current debate, the CBO has so far provided only partial and
preliminary scores for some of the draft proposals, focusing almost
exclusively on the budgetary impact and issues related to federal health
But before lawmakers move further toward passing health care legislation,
Congress and the American public need more information on its cost and as
well as its economic impact.
The Senate HELP Bill
On June 15, the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation
(JCT) issued a preliminary analysis of the major coverage provisions in the
draft Affordable Health Choices Act, more commonly known as the
The initial CBO score caused sticker shock across the country, even among
liberal congressional supporters.
The CBO concluded that the bill would add about $1.3 trillion in new
federal spending over 10 years while increasing the federal deficit by
roughly $1 trillion. At the time, the CBO cautioned that its estimates did
not "represent a formal or complete cost estimate for the draft
legislation." In addition to other caveats, the score focused solely
on certain coverage provisions included in Title I of the draft, and the
analysis was based on only discussions with committee staff and not a
"full assessment of the legislative language that was released by the
As a result, the early CBO score did not include the cost of core
components of the proposal, such as the massive federal Medicaid expansion.
That provision alone would add several hundred billion dollars to the price
tag of the plan.
In July, Senate Democrats released updated legislation, along with another
preliminary CBO score of the draft proposal.
The CBO then estimated that the bill would cost roughly $600 billion over 10
years, significantly lower than the previous score, primarily due to
reductions in the size and scope of the subsidies offered in the
legislation. But, like the previous CBO score, the updated estimate
included only six years of full implementation and still excluded
the roughly $500 billion cost of a federal Medicaid expansion.
In a Senate hearing, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf testified that the Senate
HELP bill would likely "add substantially to the long-term spending
burden for health care on the federal government."
Despite the CBO's assessment, Senators passed the
legislation out of committee, leaving the question of how to pay for
legislation to the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over
Medicare, Medicaid, and tax policy.
The House Tri-Committee Bill
On July 14, the CBO and JCT completed a preliminary analysis
of the coverage provisions included in the America's Affordable Health
Choices Act (H.R. 3200). According to the analysis--which was also not
based on actual legislative language--the House proposal would add more
than $1.5 trillion in new federal spending over the next 10 years and would
increase the federal deficit by about $1 trillion.
The JCT then estimated that other tax provisions in the House bill would
raise an additional $580 billion in revenues, mostly due to the
"surtax" imposed on certain individuals and small businesses
under the plan.
On July 17, the CBO and JCT released a subsequent analysis finding that the
bill would still increase the federal deficit by $239 billion in the first
10 years alone.
The estimate represented the net effect of the $1.042 trillion cost of the
coverage provisions in the bill, the $219 billion in offsetting cuts in
spending and other savings coming mainly from Medicare,
and the $583 billion in new revenues raised primarily from the surtax
The CBO cited several reasons why the proposal would not "bend the
cost curve" down and health care costs would likely continue to grow
rapidly. A clarifying letter issued by CBO concluded that "relative to
current law, the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in
federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget
The Baucus Bill
On September 16, the CBO and JCT released a
"preliminary assessment" of the Senate Finance Committee
proposal. This initial score, like all the others to date, was not final or
The estimates were based on specifications provided by committee staff, not
the actual chairman's mark or the revisions later made to it, let alone
full legislative text.
In its preliminary score, the CBO estimated that the Baucus proposal would
cost $856 billion over 10 years. These costs would have been offset in part
by revenues from an excise tax on high premium insurance plans and
penalties paid by uninsured individuals and employers whose workers obtain
a subsidy. Other budget savings were expected to come from cuts to Medicare
Advantage and reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals and
other health care providers.
Altogether, the CBO found the proposal could result in a net reduction in
the federal deficit of $49 billion over 10 years. Through a qualitative
assessment, the CBO also suggested that outside the traditional 10-year
budget window, the net effect of the bill would probably be "continued
reduction in federal budget deficits."
However, a major problem with the CBO score of the Baucus proposal is that
the legislation would provide for only a one-year waiver of the reductions
in Medicare payments to physicians that would otherwise automatically take
effect under the "sustainable growth rate formula" in current
law. Because the legislation is drafted in this manner, CBO is forced to
assume that in future years Congress will allow those payment cuts to take
effect, despite the fact that every year Congress intervenes to prevent
that from happening.
The result is that CBO estimates that the new spending in the legislation
will be offset in future years by substantial savings from lower Medicare
payments to doctors. As former assistant CBO director Joseph Antos has warned, the estimates are assuming
unrealistic actions taken by Congress in future years. In fact, says Antos, the bill is likely to add at least $270 billion
to the federal deficit in the first 10 years.
The latest estimate of the amended Baucus bill, released by the CBO on
October 7, pegged the cost of the plan at roughly $900 billion over the
next 10 years.
While the CBO score found that the bill would reduce the deficit by $81
billion over the same 10-year window, the CBO and JCT analysis was still
preliminary because the amended proposal "has not yet been embodied in
legislative language." And, as with the earlier version of the bill,
serious concerns remain as to whether the predicted savings are realistic.
Although the CBO suggested that the Baucus bill would potentially lead to
continued reductions in the federal deficit, its assessment ends by saying
that "those estimates are all subject to substantial
Americans' Right to Know
President Obama and congressional leaders who support his health reform
agenda have pledged to pass health care legislation that reins in the
growth in health care costs, does not add a dime to the deficit, and is
fully paid for without raising taxes on those making less than $250,000 a
year. Therefore, it is not enough for Congress to simply show that any
spending increases are offset by spending reductions or revenue increases
elsewhere. Congress must also take account of the trajectory of national
health expenditures, both public and private, and how it might change under
When the CBO completes its official estimates of the impact of Congress's
health care legislation, it will likely be based on a merged product of
proposals in both the House and Senate. The cost of the legislation will
almost certainly become a major focal point of the debate. Beyond looking
at the budgetary impact of the plan, the CBO should take a closer look at
both the short-term and long-term impact of the legislation. With a final
cost estimate in hand, the American people should also have a comprehensive
assessment of the economic effects of the reform proposals--similar to the
one produced by the CBO during the Clinton era--before any legislation
moves forward to passage. Only then will Congress and the American people
know whether the President and congressional leaders are likely to deliver
on their many high-profile promises.
Greg D'Angelo is Policy
Analyst in the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Donald B. Marron, "Understanding CBO Health Cost
Estimates," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2298, July 15,
2009, at http://www.heritage.org
Budget Office, "An Analysis of the Administration's Health
Proposal," February 1994, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/48xx/doc4882/
doc07.pdf (October 7, 2009).
Office, "The Budgetary Treatment of Proposals to Change the Nation's
Health Insurance System," May 27, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/102xx/doc10243/05-27-healthInsurance
Proposals.pdf (October 9, 2009). See also Congressional Budget
Office, "Health Care Reform and the Federal Budget," June 16,
2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/103xx/doc10311/06-16-HealthReformAndFederal
Budget.pdf (October 9, 2009).
Office, "Preliminary Analysis of Major Provisions Related to Health
Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Health Choices Act," June 15,
2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/103xx/doc10310/06-15
-HealthChoicesAct.pdf (October 7, 2009).
Budget Office, "A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee's Health
Insurance Coverage Provisions," July 2, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10431/07-02-HELPltr.pdf
(October 9, 2009).
Budget Office, "Supplemental Information on Potential Effects of the
Affordable Health Choices Act," September 10, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/105xx/doc10553/09-10-Response_to_Enzi_for_
Web.pdf (October 9, 2009). See also Congressional Budget Office,
"Likely Effects of Substantially Expanding Eligibility for
Medicaid," July 7, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10445/07-07-2009-ExpandingMedicaid.pdf
(October 9, 2009).
director, Congressional Budget Office, testimony before the Committee on
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S. Senate, July 8, 2009.
Budget Office, "Preliminary Analysis of the Insurance Coverage
Specifications Provided by the House Tri-Committee Group," July 14,
2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10430/House_
Tri-Committee-Rangel.pdf (October 9,
Joint Committee on
Taxation, "Estimated Effects of the Revenue Provisions of H.R. 3200,
the 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,'" JCX-31-09,
July 14, 2009, at http://www.jct.gov/publications.html
?func=startdown&id=3570 (October 9, 2009); "Estimated
Effects of the Chairman's Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to the
Revenue Provisions of H.R. 3200, the 'America's Affordable Health Choices
Act of 2009,' Scheduled for Markup by the Committee on Ways and Means on
July 16, 2009," JCX-33-09, July 16, 2009, at http://www.jct.gov/publications
(October 9, 2009).
Budget Office, "Preliminary Analysis of America's Affordable Health
Choices Act of 2009," July 17, 2009, at http://www.cbo
.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10464/hr3200.pdf (October 9, 2009).
For an initial
analysis of the Medicare provisions see Congressional Budget Office,
"Preliminary Estimate of the Effects on Direct Spending and Revenues
of Division B, Titles I-VII and Section 1872, of the House Tri-Committee
Health Reform Discussion Draft," July 8, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10446/PreliminaryEstimate
DivisionB.pdf (October 9, 2009).
Budget Office, "Additional Information Regarding the Effects of Specifications
in the America's Affordable Health Choices Act Pertaining to Health
Insurance Coverage," July 26, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10400/07-26-InfoOnTriComm
Proposal.pdf (October 9, 2009).
Budget Office, "Preliminary Analysis of Specifications for the
Chairman's Mark of the America's
Healthy Future Act," September 16, 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/105xx/doc10572/09-16-Proposal_SFC_
Chairman.pdf (October 9, 2009). See also Joint Committee on
Taxation, "Estimated Revenue Effects of the Revenue Provisions
Contained in the Chairman's Mark of the 'America's Healthy Future Act of
2009,' Scheduled for Markup by the Committee on Finance on September 22,
2009," September 16, 2009, at http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LEG%202009/091609
%20JCT_Analysis.pdf (October 9, 2009).
"The Cost of Health Reform," American Enterprise Institute, at http://www.aei.org/press/100030
(October 9, 2009).
Budget Office, "Preliminary Analysis of Specifications for the
Chairman's Mark of the America's
Healthy Future Act, As Amended," Letter to the Honorable Max Baucus,
October 7, 2009, at http://www.cbo.
Click here for the complete text
of Senator Baucus’ (D-MT) health proposal, entitled America’s Healthy Future Act.
Click here for amendments to
the Baucus proposal that may be under consideration during the Senate Finance
Committee markup process.
September 16, 2009 CBO Analysis of Baucus
September 22, 2009 CBO Analysis of Baucus
September 22, 2009 Letter to Senator Grassley (R-IA)
September 24, 2009 Scoring Implications of
Modifications to the Chairman’s Mark.
October 11, 2009 America’s Health Insurance Plans
report on the potential impact the Baucus proposal could have on
the cost of private health coverage (conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers
These stories are unbelievable, and
indicative of the inmates running the asylum!
N.Y. Eagle Scout, 17,
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in his car
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