Hollywood’s Hysterical “Cancer Screening” Lie for Obama – Michelle Malkin – [page]

Hollywood’s Hysterical “Cancer Screening” Lie for Obama – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com.

Hollywood's Hysterical

The Hollywood Women for Obama Club wants you to vote with your “lady parts.” I want the women of America to vote with their lady smarts. The latest ad from a trio of Tinsel Town actresses spreads one of the stupidest lies about Mitt Romney this election cycle. Fantasyland needs a fact check.

According to starlets Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington, the GOP presidential ticket wants to “end” funding for “cancer screenings.” If you and your reproductive organs don’t vote for Obama, the doe-eyed celebrities ominously imply, people will DIE, DIE, DIE!

This scare-mongering falsehood has been repeated endlessly by Planned Parenthood and the Obama campaign itself. An official Obama for America ad released in August accuses Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, of backing measures to “allow employers to deny women access to cancer screenings.” It also is being used by demagogic Democrats in key Senate races (in Montana, for example).

This much is true: Romney and Ryan do indeed support ending all federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood’s billion-dollar empire. One-third of the budget of the nation’s largest abortion provider, which masquerades as a comprehensive health care provider, comes from government.

But here’s what the famous femmes don’t tell you: Planned Parenthood does not provide women with mammograms. PP’s “women’s health” mantle is a sham. An undercover investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast cancer screenings. “We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona admitted. Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., acknowledged: “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics.”

But don’t just take Live Action’s word for it. In June 2012, the Obama Health and Human Services Department responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. “Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request,” HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.

Got that? Fraudulent Hollywood harridans and their hero in the White House have been deliberately deceiving women into thinking that eliminating Planned Parenthood subsidies would mean a catastrophic end to affordable cancer screening services. But the abortion provider’s purported “referral services” to outside mammogram facilities are negligible — especially given the widespread availability of free and low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening services across the country supported by both private and public grants.

Wait, that’s not all. In the real world, it’s the Obama administration, not Republicans, who have actively presided over and promoted a drop in cancer screenings for both men and women over the past four years. You can thank Democratic crusaders for health care rationing in the White House. They want all the glory of championing socialized medicine, but cut and run from the consequences at election time.

Under Obamacare, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) will be empowered to determine which health care services are “medically appropriate.” For nearly three decades, the federal panel of primary care physicians and epidemiologists has issued nonbinding guidelines and A-F ratings of recommended medical procedures. But as Forbes columnist Dr. Paul Hsieh explains:

ObamaCare links insurance coverage of preventive medical services to their USPSTF rating. … (U)nder ObamaCare, Medicare payment decisions will become increasingly controlled by the new Independent Payment Advisory Board, explicitly created to reduce Medicare spending. … To reduce costs, many private insurers will likely drop coverage for “C” and “D” rated services. Hence under ObamaCare, the USPSTF guidelines will likely become the de facto standards for both government and private health insurance coverage.”

And that means dropping coverage for the very services Scar-Jo and her femme friends are accusing the GOP of threatening.

Note: The USPSTF is the same review panel that advised cutting back on routine ovarian cancer screenings last month, recommended fewer prostate cancer screening tests in May 2012, and proposed mammogram restrictions for women over age 50 in 2009.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic reported this summer that mammogram screenings for women in their 40s have declined nearly 6 percent since the Obama panel announced its decision in 2009. “Comparing mammography rates before and after publication of the new guidelines,” the Mayo Clinic wrote, “researchers found that the recommendations were associated with a 5.72 percent decrease in the mammography rate for women ages 40-49. Over a year, nearly 54,000 fewer mammograms were performed in this age group.”

It’s no surprise the Hollywood “cancer screening” horror ad script was written by left-wing actor/director Rob Reiner of “All in the Family” and Archie Bunker fame. These Obama-promoting meatheads and their hysterical handmaidens inhabit a manufactured world impervious to facts and fiscal realities.


BLAHOUS: Health care law cripples U.S. finances – Washington Times



BLAHOUS: Health care law cripples U.S. finances – Washington Times.

Most affordable outcome would be total repeal

By Chuck Blahous

One of the motivating principles underlying the passage of comprehensive health care reform was that it would substantially improve the federal fiscal outlook. But many are skeptical of claims that the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, will simultaneously extend the solvency of Medicare, provide subsidized health coverage to more than 30 million new people and yet somehow reduce federal deficits. They are right to be skeptical.

The legislation greatly exacerbates projected federal deficits and increases an already unsustainable federal commitment to health care spending. Many do not understand these harsh realities because traditional government accounting methods – while useful in many respects – often obscure significant costs. Comparing the health care law to prior law, rather than the “alternate baseline” used by government scorekeepers, gives a complete estimate of the legislation’s fiscal effects.

Based on analyses published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Medicare actuary, I project that relative to prior law, the legislation will add at least $1.15 trillion to net federal spending and more than $340 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years, and far more thereafter. This sobering outcome arises even if all goes relatively well – that is, if the law’s cost-saving provisions are all successfully implemented. If, instead, future Congresses act roughly consistent with historical precedent, the law will add more than $500 billion to federal deficits in the next 10 years – growing to $600 billion by 2021.

One of the key issues in understanding the law’s fiscal effects pertains to its use of Medicare savings. The law contains several provisions to slow the growth of Medicare costs, and under law, Medicare can spend the full proceeds of these savings. Government scorekeeping conventions, however, ignore this effect. Meanwhile, the law also establishes an expensive new health care benefits program to be financed with these same savings. Together, these provisions spend far more than the law saves and will substantially increase federal debt.

There also is significant risk that the law’s new programs will cost more than originally estimated. Take, for example, its new subsidized health exchanges. As currently designed, the subsidy levels would require low-income people to shoulder a rising share of their health care costs over time. The exchanges also are designed so that one low-income person will get a substantial direct federal subsidy when he buys insurance through the exchanges, but his equally low-income neighbor with employer-sponsored insurance will not. This could create substantial pressure on Congress to expand the subsidies later to address perceived inequities.

Similarly, many of the law’s cost-saving provisions may not produce all of the savings now projected. Already highly controversial is the law’s establishment of a new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to produce Medicare savings. These might be legislatively overridden, or IPAB itself eliminated. Furthermore, many of the law’s tax provisions are designed, like the current alternative minimum tax (AMT), to capture rising numbers of taxpayers over time. If Congress acts to forestall these tax increases, as it has with the AMT, revenues from these provisions will be far less than currently assumed.

None of this is to assert that these cost-saving provisions are necessarily the wrong policy choices, only that their proceeds cannot safely be spent until we are certain these savings have accrued.

Many have wondered how possible Supreme Court rulings on the law’s constitutionality might affect its finances. As the above analysis shows, the worst-case fiscal scenario would be to uphold the law in its entirety. Similarly, the best-case realistic scenario would be to strike down the law in its entirety. An even better hypothetical outcome from a financial perspective would be to uphold the law’s cost-saving provisions while striking down its coverage expansion, but no one expects this.

A more complicated situation would arise if the court strikes down the law’s insurance-purchase mandate but leaves its other provisions intact. CBO has estimated this would improve the federal fiscal impact by $282 billion over 10 years. This would ameliorate its fiscal damage but not by enough to turn the law into a net improvement. Such an outcome also would have severe adverse effects for consumers and insurers, increasing insurance premiums by 15 percent to 20 percent (according to CBO) if the law is not otherwise modified.

That comprehensive health care reform has made our untenable fiscal situation still worse represents a substantial failure of governance. To fulfill its original promise of bending down the federal health care cost curve, the vast majority of its subsidized coverage expansions would need to be repealed. Alternatively, aiming for a weaker standard in which the law is allowed to add to federal costs but not to deficits, roughly two-thirds of the law’s health exchange subsidies would need to be scaled back or other budgetary offsets found.

Whichever fiscal goal is pursued, it is imperative that corrections be enacted before the law is fully effective in 2014. History shows clearly that it is very difficult to contain the rising cost of a federal entitlement once individuals have grown dependent on it. Only by scaling back the new spending commitments made under the law will health care reform make the positive contribution to the federal fiscal outlook that experts across the ideological spectrum agree is required.

Chuck Blahous is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security. He is author of the center’s new study, “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act.”

BACHMANN: Ripping out Obamacare by the roots – Washington Times

US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) ad...

US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) addressing a Tea Party Express rally outside the Minnesota state legislature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BACHMANN: Ripping out Obamacare by the roots – Washington Times.

Tyranny disguised as health care reform endangers freedom

By Rep. Michele BachmannThe Washington Times

Three days after the second anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments about its constitutionality. As the author of the original bill to repeal Obamacare, I am convinced that no decision in recent history will have a more profound impact on our country. I do not make that assertion lightly, even in the shadow of other landmark cases.

If the Supreme Court chooses to affirm Obamacare, it will be an endorsement of the single largest expansion of government entitlements, government power and government social engineering in American history. No one should believe Obamacare is simply a bill to increase health care coverage. Instead, it is this president’s method of exacting social change on the fabric on our country. For this reason, I introduced a bill to repeal it minutes after its passage. Additionally, this is why the Supreme Court should find its mandate unconstitutional.

The Obama White House and campaign (sometimes one and the same) are fully aware of the significance of the decision and recently launched their own public-relations campaign to demonstrate public support for the bill. Yet the bill remains widely unpopular with the American public.

A new CNN poll found that 59 percent oppose the law. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll found that 72 percent think the individual mandate, the heart of the bill, requiring all Americans to purchase insurance or pay a fine, is unconstitutional. That belief is based on the American spirit, which burns in each one of us, that there is something wrong with the government requiring us to purchase goods or services – unprecedented in U.S. history. It was this violation of “spirit” that sparked the Tea Party movement’s strength and was the impetus for my founding of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus.

The bill already is having devastating effects on the economy, particularly in the area of job creation. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook Survey conducted in July 2011 noted that 33 percent of business owners identified the health care law as either the greatest or second-greatest obstacle to hiring new employees. By January 2012, another U.S. Chamber survey saw that number rise to 74 percent.

While the president promised more Americans would be covered, causing insurance premiums to decrease, just the opposite has been the case. The bill’s own architect, Jonathan Gruber, recently backtracked on the claim that premiums would fall and admitted that they will rise sharply as a result of the “reforms” in Obamacare. We were warned just a few days ago by the Congressional Budget Office that 20 million Americans may lose their employer-based health care coverage when Obamacare is fully implemented because employers would rather pay a fine than provide the level of expensive insurance mandated by Obamacare.

We are only beginning to scratch the surface of Obamacare. Never before has a piece of legislation empowered an unaccountable, unelected official, in this case the secretary of health and human services, to wield such enormous regulatory power. We have just recently seen the first evidence of the abuse of that power, including the mandating of coverage for the morning-after pill and rules forcing Roman Catholic institutions to provide coverage for contraceptives. This provides a window on how the effects of the bill will extend well beyond health care to become the biggest playground for the left in social engineering and recasting of American society.

Obamacare is the gateway to socialized medicine. There is no doubt that Obamacare will collapse the health insurance and medical system we have now and will lead to a single-payer, socialized system as millions lose their employer-provided insurance and millions more are unable to pay skyrocketing private insurance rates. The mechanisms to facilitate this are already in the law, such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will lead to a rationing of care because of deep cuts it is charged with making to Medicare. Board members begin their task $500 billion in the hole, as Obamacare removes that amount from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. This is but one way Obamacare will lead to the collapse of the greatest health care system in the world, killing quality care for all Americans.

But the heart of Obamacare is the individual mandate, the unconstitutional requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance, and that is the issue the Supreme Court will decide in the coming weeks. Never has the government made such a requirement. Obamacare isn’t about a right to health care. It is about the government telling you what you have to do or, more precisely, what you must purchase. Government should never infringe on personal liberty like this, as it opens a gateway to more egregious government abuses of power that border on tyranny.

That is why the court must kill Obamacare by cutting out its heart and killing its roots. If the individual mandate is found unconstitutional, the entire law is moot. What liberals have done through Obamacare is fan the flames of government tyranny and threaten the God-given liberty of every American. This is why Obamacare must be repealed, root and branch.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a Minnesota Republican.

WEST: Why Obamacare is bad for America’s health – Washington Times

WEST: Why Obamacare is bad for America’s health – Washington Times.

Expensive overreach could prove fatal if not struck down

By Rep. Allen B. WestThe Washington Times

On Monday, the Supreme Court will consider the legality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare. The high court will pore over Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to determine the true meaning behind the words, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common Defense and general welfare of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.” The 2012 Supreme Court must determine whether the Founders had any intention of mandating the behavior of private enterprises and individuals.

To me, the answer is obvious: absolutely not.

Our nation was founded on the Declaration of Independence. Freedom of choice and a free market are at the core of our nation’s soul. A governmental mandate for the behavior of individuals and private enterprises is anathema to what our founders intended. The prospect of having an unelected panel of bureaucrats determining fundamental decisions about our individual health care is perhaps the most personal and intimate intrusion into our lives. The concept of this absurd and dangerous law surely ranks with the grievances laid down 236 years ago.

In January 2011, Florida federal District Judge C. Roger Vinson ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional, stating: “Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States. If [the government] has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a transaction… it is not hyperbolic to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.” Today, this prediction is being attempted before our very eyes.

With Obamacare, insurance companies will be forced to provide contraceptive products free of charge. Why just contraception? Will the government next force insurance companies to provide surgical procedures free of charge? Where does it end? Perhaps supermarkets should be compelled to offer apples and carrots free of charge to ensure children have access to healthy food.

Beyond exerting oppressive control over individuals and private enterprises, Obamacare circumvents the foundation of our own legislative structure.

At the heart of the Affordable Care Act is the Independent Payment Advisory Panel (IPAB), made up of 15 unelected officials appointed by the president to reduce Medicare spending. The IPAB will be tasked with and given the authority to reduce costs to the government by, among other things, limiting reimbursements to doctors. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to recognize that this will lead to more physicians leaving the Medicare system, reducing access to care for our seniors and limiting available treatments.

But this isn’t the most frightening part. Any recommendations by the IPAB automatically become law. The only way around this unprecedented amount of power for Washington bureaucrats is an act of Congress, with a three-fifths supermajority in the Senate. In other words, the unelected IPAB, appointed by the president, essentially becomes its own shadow legislative branch.

The fundamental structure of our government, with three co-equal branches and a careful system of checks and balances, is being usurped. Our freedoms and liberties are being chipped away, bit by bit. Our country is being transformed step by incremental step into a centrally planned, stringently controlled bureaucratic nanny state, and what I find most frightening is that a portion of our populace willingly dons the shackles, and like lemmings, marches to our demise.

Perhaps some Americans are simply unaware of the exorbitant monetary cost of this governmental behemoth. The numbers don’t lie, and they are dangerous:

c $1.76 trillion from American taxpayers to pay for Obamacare over 10 years, nearly double the $940 billion forecast when the bill was signed into law (Congressional Budget Office). c $52 billion in new taxes on businesses as employers are forced to provide health insurance. (CBO). c $800,000 fewer U.S. jobs. (CBO). c $47 billion in new taxes on drug companies and medical device makers, costs that surely will be passed down to patients, particularly our senior citizens.

c Families earning more than $250,000 a year will see more taxes, as Obamacare adds a new tax to investment income, including capital gains, dividends, rental income and royalties.

c Insurance premiums are expected to increase 1.9 percent to 2.3 percent in 2014 and up to 3.7 percent by 2023 because Obamacare adds a premium tax on health insurers offering full coverage.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unworkable and destined to fail. One need only look back a few years ago to the last big government program with the word “affordable” in it. Barney Frank’s Affordable Housing Act managed, in less than a decade, to demolish the housing market, weaken financial institutions and wipe out the net worth of millions of Americans.

What makes anyone think government intervention in health care will be successful? Obamacare is unconstitutional, anti-constitutional and, most certainly, an awful piece of American policy. Let’s hope after next week’s Supreme Court decision it also becomes a short-lived piece of American history.

Rep. Allen B. West is a Florida Republican.

The Obamacare Hydra – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

The Obamacare Hydra – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

The Obamacare Hydra - Michelle Malkin - Townhall Conservative Columnists

The Hydra was a mythical swamp beast whose multiple heads grew back after being severed. Obamacare is a real Washington monster whose countless hidden bureaucracies keep sprouting forth even after they’re rooted out. As soon as combatants lop off one of the law’s unconstitutional agencies, another takes its place.

On Thursday, as the behemoth federal health care law marked its second anniversary, House Republicans repealed the infamous Independent Payment Advisory Board. The mother of all death panels, IPAB would have unprecedented authority over health care spending through a rogue board of 15 Medicare spending czars. The House repeal has a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving the Senate. But IPAB’s legality is being challenged in federal court by the conservative Arizona-based Goldwater Institute. And the more the public knows about these freedom-usurping, taxpayer-soaking institutions buried in the health care law the less they like it.

Seven House Democrats crossed the aisle to vote for the GOP majority rollback. Analysts on both sides of the political aisle have decried IPAB’s complete lack of accountability and insulation from judicial review. Critical decisions about public and private health insurance payment rates would be freed from the normal administrative rules process – public notice, public comment, public review — that governs every other federal commission in existence. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., summed up bipartisan opposition: “IPAB embodies the very thing Americans fear most about ObamaCare — unaccountable Washington bureaucrats meeting behind closed doors to make unilateral decisions that should be made by patients and their doctors.”

The problem with piecemeal repeal is that for every old IPAB, there’s a new, multibillion-dollar bureaucracy waiting in the Obamacare wings. Senate Republicans and fellow medical doctors Tom Coburn and John Barrasso point to a $10 billion entity called the “Innovation Center” that “would test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures under Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).”

According to a new Congressional Research Service analysis of this little known office to be operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there would be “no administrative or judicial review” of the director’s payment experiments. Coburn and Barrasso explain that “(t)his means that the administrator of CMS is the sole individual in the entire federal government with the power to decide whether or not models tested negatively impact seniors’ quality of care and meet the financial requirements spelled out in law.”

This “innovation” super-czar would be allowed to tinker behind closed doors — and then impose whatever experiments the “innovation center” chooses without any checks or balances on the methods or results. Moreover, at least two other sub-offices within CMS (subject to normal open meetings and open records rules) have already been tasked with researching payment and delivery models. Health care blogger Tevi Troy at NationalReview.com warns: “The ‘innovation’ center appears to be one more way in which the health-care law is going to interfere with the practice of medicine, and one that physicians should start paying more attention to.”

It’s not just physicians who need to pay attention. Every taxpayer has a stake. At the end of the month, this shadowy agency will start doling out $1 billion in grants to payment experiment groups and data-tracking system builders. Sounds like yet another pipeline for political payoffs and Chicago-style boodle that will result in less patient autonomy, fewer health care choices, more government intrusion and lower-quality care.

Final diagnosis: The Obamacare beast won’t die until it’s eradicated completely, root and branch.

KING & DEMINT: End Obamacare, don’t mend it – Washington Times

KING & DEMINT: End Obamacare, don’t mend it – Washington Times.

Americans must ensure Republicans don’t settle for partial repeal

By Rep. Steve King and Sen. Jim DeMint – The Washington Times

Every election, voters are told that this election is the most important of our lifetimes. In most elections, it’s not really true. In 2012, though, it probably is true, for one reason: Obamacare.

Two years after a Democratic Congress and President Obama foisted onto the American people an unpopular trillion-dollar takeover of American health care, we know that Obamacare is, in fact, even more unpopular than before and that it will cost almost $2 trillion.

The American people were told Obamacare would reduce health care costs, but premiums already are jumping. The American people were told they could keep their own coverage, but a new Congressional Budget Office report says millions will lose their current coverage every year.

Indeed, the final hurdle for Obamacare’s passage was Mr. Obama’s and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s scramble to convince religiously minded Democrats that religious liberty and individual conscience rights would be protected under their new law. The recent abortion-pill mandate shows those 11th-hour promises were false.

So, as should be the case about something as important as a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy, the final decision about Obamacare must be made by the American people at the ballot box. Already, voters voiced their disapproval in the historic 2010 elections, which sent many Obamacare supporters to the unemployment line.

This year, the November elections will either return to Washington a pro-Obamacare president and Congress or a pro-repeal president and Congress. They will have a mandate to enact the public’s will, one way or the other.

Conservatives should affirm these certitudes: First, legislating according to the consent of the governed is what our republic is all about. Second, Obamacare – contrary to Democrats’ expectations – has only grown more unpopular since it was passed, as its ugly details have emerged and offended. Third, Obamacare is not an indirect, gimmicky campaign issue but a direct, concrete, firable offense the president and Democrats in Congress committed against our will and in plain view.

Were the entire 2012 general election debate reduced to “candidates from this party will implement Obamacare and candidates from that party will repeal Obamacare,” that debate would do our nation credit and do great service to the electorate.

Unfortunately, the clarity of that choice may soon be muddied, not by Democrats desperate to hide from their record, but inexplicably, by Republicans pushing a vote on a bill to undo one part of Obamacare: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

IPAB is one of the most obnoxious parts of Obamacare: The unelected, unaccountable board of “experts” who effectively will be able to decide which patients can receive which treatments at what costs and from which doctors. The essence of Obamacare is government rationing of people’s access to medicine: IPAB bureaucrats are the rationers.

So we are as adamantly opposed to IPAB as we are to the rest of Obamacare – from the individual mandate to the abortion-pill requirement to the multitrillion-dollar price tag.

But IPAB is not distinct from Obamacare; it’s an inextricable part of the whole. As such, it should be repealed as part of the whole. The same holds true for attempts to surgically extract out the attack on religious freedom, the individual mandate and the financially unsustainable CLASS Act long-term care entitlement. Repealing little pieces of Obamacare here and there to render the cataclysmic merely disastrous undermines not only the essential causes of liberty and repeal, but the clarity of the choice the American people deserve.

The Democratic Party is the party of Obamacare. If Republicans, through their toying with Obamacare, present themselves to voters as the party of some of Obamacare, we will lose. We will deserve to lose. The blame for the coming decades of debt, dependence and decline will fall to us.

A vote to repeal only IPAB sends the message that we believe Obamacare is the patient and IPAB is the cancer that needs to be removed to save Obamacare. Our true patient is health care freedom, and Obamacare – not part of it, but all 2,000 pages – is the malignancy.

Given a choice between Obamacare as it is or full repeal, a majority of Americans and – if not now, very soon – a majority of Congress will choose full repeal. Therefore, that must be the only choice Republicans offer. Until Obamacare is fully repealed, the only health care votes Republicans should cast should be for full repeal of the unconstitutional takeover.

The idea that we can “fix” Obamacare is as fatal as the president’s conceit in contending that Obamacare would “fix” the health care system. We know what real reform looks like – people owning their own health plans; treatment decisions made privately between patients and their doctors; freedom to purchase health plans across state lines; and help for the poor, the elderly and the sick. It looks nothing like the monstrosity the president forced on us, and it looks nothing like the slightly less monstrous version partial repeals would leave us with.

The American people’s message to the Republican Party in 2010 should be the same message we send back to the people in 2012. When it comes to Obamacare, end it, don’t mend it.

Rep. Steve King is an Iowa Republican. Sen. Jim DeMint is a South Carolina Republican. Both have authored legislation to fully repeal Obamacare.

Republican Games as usual in Washington. – Tea Party Nation

Republican Games as usual in Washington. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

When the Tea Party swept Republicans into power in Washington in 2010, we not only expected policy changes but we expected change in the way they did business in Washington. 

 Has anything changed or is it the case of some things never change?

 Unfortunately some things never change. 

 John Boehner and Eric Cantor are an example of Republicans not changing and doing stupid things.  The latest example of this is the IPAB repeal bill.  IPAB is the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  It is the group that will determine payments to Doctors under Obamacare.  In other words, it is the foundation of the death panels. 

 Congressman Phil Roe introduced a bill to repeal the IPAB.  The bill had at least twenty Democrats who had signed on to support the bill and probably more would support the IPAB repeal.

 Enter Boehner and Cantor who decided it would be a good idea to add the Medical Malpractice Tort Reform bill to the IPAB bill.  Every Democrat, with the possible exception of one, fled the bill.

 According to one Capitol Hill source who spoke to TPN on the condition of anonymity, Republican Majority leader Cantor’s staff has been telling Republicans in Congress that they want to shove all of the Democrats off of the IPAB bill so it will fail in the Senate and Republicans can claim Democrats care more about Obamacare than they do about seniors. 

 Another source on Capitol Hill, again who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said this is going to lead to an embarrassing spectacle.  It will show Boehner and Cantor to be hypocrites on states rights; it will reward pro-Obamacare medical groups and will kill a golden chance to split the Democrats on IPAB.   In addition, they may well give the Supreme Court something known as legislative history, which is something the Court may consider in deciding whether or not Obamacare is constitutional.

 This disaster simply shows that the Republican leadership in Washington has not changed.  They have no commitment to change Washington.  They simply want to keep playing their political games.

 We have a great chance to take down a key part of Obamacare.   While total and immediate repeal would be preferable, if we can take apart the worst parts of it, then we are off to a good start.

 Unfortunately, as we have learned time and time again, the Republican leadership in Congress has been as much of an enemy as the liberal leadership. 

 On Monday afternoon, Congress will be coming back from recess.  We need to call our Representatives and tell them to take the Medical Malpractice bill (H.R. 5) off of the IPAB repeal bill.  Without the Medical Malpractice bill, IPAB will pass.  With it, it will die in the Senate. 

 If Obama vetoes the bill, then the Republicans still have the issue and if he signs it, we start to take Obamacare apart. 

 The last thing we need is Boehner and Cantor playing games that are more like the silly games we would see from someone running for sophomore class president, not legislators running the House of Representatives.

 Call your Representatives on Monday and tell them to oppose adding H.R. 5 to the IPAB repeal bill and let’s get part of Obamacare repealed.

John Boehner: The worst Speaker ever? – Tea Party Nation

John Boehner

John Boehner (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

John Boehner: The worst Speaker ever? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Is there any doubt that John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the House of Representatives ever?  Under his leadership, spending has gone up dramatically.  Instead of cutting spending as he was put in power to do, he has contributed to even more red ink.  Under his leadership, there has been no meaningful attempt to repeal Obamacare

 Now he is doing something else that only solidifies his position as the worst Speaker ever.

 What is it?

 John Boehner has decided to advance a Medical Malpractice bill to the floor of the House as a part of a deal to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  This Board is part of Obamacare and exists allegedly to cut the costs of Medicare.

 Medical Malpractice is not one of the sexy issues people get involved in such as spending.  A lot of conservatives take a look at the issue of Federal Medical Malpractice laws and say screw it; this only benefits the trial lawyers.


 The Med Mal bill that John Boehner is going to allow to go forward to the floor of the House effectively limits non-economic damages to $250,000 and limits attorney’s fees.

 Here is a quick question.

 Can someone show me in the Constitution where such a concept is allowed?

 The laws regarding Torts, lawsuits and attorneys’ fees are regulated by the States. In other words, the States govern all attorney licensing and fee regulation.  They have since 1789.   If you sue someone in Federal Court for a Tort, such as Medical Malpractice, the Federal Rules of Procedure may control the case, but the laws that govern the case are state laws enacted by the state legislature.

 If the Federal government can simply impose these laws on states, it has the net effect of erasing the states.  The Tenth Amendment will become null and void.

 As a practical matter, the primary beneficiary of this law is the American Medical Association.   You remember the AMA.  They were one of the leading voices behind Obamacare.   Why are the Republicans rewarding the AMA?

 The AMA is like John Boehner.  The AMA could not find the Constitution, if it knew where to look and even if it found the Constitution, it could not understand it. 

 The Med Mal legislation is as unconstitutional as Obamacare is.  Perhaps that is why the AMA likes it so much.

 If the Federal government can reach down and tell states how tort law must be handled, and tell lawyers what their fees can be, what will stop them from telling doctors what their fees can be? Or for that matter what about plumbers or any other occupation?

 If the Federal government can tell people in a profession how much they can charge, how much of a stretch is it before the Federal government starts regulating how many people can enter a profession?

 Sort of sounds like our old friend, the former U.S.S.R. doesn’t it?

 In short, this is a huge overreach by the federal government.

 Does anyone remember the text from the Declaration of Independence?  Among other things, the Declaration says, “He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”  This line could easily be written about the Federal Government today.

 So much of what the Congress and the Federal Government does is blatantly unconstitutional.  This is one more overreach.

 We must stop this Congress from reaching beyond the limits of the Constitution and imposing laws from Washington that our founding fathers never intended them to enact and never intended for them to have the power to enact.

 Call your Congressman this upcoming week and tell him or her that Federal Medical Malpractice is unconstitutional.  Tell them to follow the Constitution and vote against this bill that is as unconstitutional as Obamacare!

ORIENT: Is the payment board a death panel? – Washington Times


THE NATURAL (Photo credit: SS&SS)

ORIENT: Is the payment board a death panel? – Washington Times.

Denial of treatment will be curtains for uninformed patients

By Dr. Jane M. Orient – The Washington Times

The curtain seems to be rising on Act 2 in the saga of piecemeal repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The first part to fall was the financially unsustainable long-term care portion, the Class Act. The next target is the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Even the American Medical Association, which endorsed Obamacare, is calling for repeal of the advisory board, citing worries about “formulaic” payment cuts, lack of stakeholder opportunity for “meaningful dialogue” with Congress and potentially limited access to care. As usual, the AMA is focused on the money.

The AMA avoids strong words like “death,” “dictatorship,” “rationing” and “unconstitutional.” Its concern about the specifics of the Independent Payment Advisory Board is also a diversion from the basic principles and mechanisms already in place, in which the AMA is complicit and heavily invested.

The worst part about the Independent Payment Advisory Board is the absolute power that is vested in an unaccountable 15-member oligarchy. If there ever was an unconstitutional delegation of power, this would be it. But there is no point in investing years and millions of dollars in taking the board’s decisions to the Supreme Court. Congress has ruled out any review of its diktats, either administrative or judicial.

Congress has always had the power to restrict the jurisdiction of the courts, and this instance shows that it has not forgotten. Congressmen usually try to duck their obligation to abide by their oath to uphold the Constitution by pretending that the Constitution is not what the document says but what five Supreme Court justices ultimately rule.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon Democrat, when asked about the constitutionality of the individual health insurance mandate in Obamacare – for which he voted – said: “Well, um, I’m not a lawyer. … That’s why we have courts. Congress often passes laws that are of dubious or questionable constitutionality.”

Congress created the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and it can and must do away with it. That would set a good precedent for a lot of its other ruinous creations, but it wouldn’t rescue Americans from the prospect of death by Medicare rationing.

With the Independent Payment Advisory Board gone, there still would be the Medicare Payment Review Commission and Medicare’s elaborate system of price controls – diagnosis-related groups or hospitals and the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale for physicians. The AMA owns the codes that determine whether Medicare can pay for a procedure, and the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee determines how Medicare dollars shall be divided. The committee has a lot in common with the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Covert rationing is rampant even now, though largely undetected. Medicare patients can tell when their appointments are denied or delayed, but cannot learn so easily when they are denied access to care because doctors don’t tell them it exists.

Services that can’t be paid for will disappear.

The key, unasked question, which Congress, Medicare and the AMA are trying to duck, is whether Americans have the right to spend their own money to obtain necessary, lifesaving care, even if “covered” (but denied) by insurance. Or must they be at the mercy of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross or other insurer, the Independent Payment Advisory Board or its successor? May physicians find a way to provide care that their patients value and accept compensation, or must all medical dollars flow through government-approved gatekeepers?

Many Medicare officials, and the AMA, are acting as if their desired answer is no.

What makes the Independent Payment Advisory Board or its equivalent a death panel is not constraints on what Medicare may pay, but the ban on balance billing or private payment.

When Josef Stalin decided to starve Ukraine, he confiscated all the food and exported it to the West or destroyed it. He also made it a crime to buy, sell or exchange things for food. He had a lot of people shot, but the vast majority simply perished of deprivation – the ultimate consequence of socialism.

If Americans lose the liberty to provide for their own medical care, some will get “free” contraceptives, abortions, mental health screenings or whatever else the czars think they should have. Others will get the “red pill” or the “blue pill” on the way to their premature deaths.

Dr. Jane M. Orient is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Obamacare arguments: Time to start making them – Right Turn – The Washington Post

Obamacare arguments: Time to start making them – Right Turn – The Washington Post.

Yesterday, I noted that Obamacare’s unconstitutional malady — the individual mandate — may not be its biggest policy flaw. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, the unelected tribunal of 15 appointees who will determine reimbursement rates, is one, but by no means the only, pernicious part of the legislation. If Republicans are to win the battle over Obamacare, they would be wise to make two other policy arguments: 1) It creates new taxes on everything from medical devices to medication to flexible savings accounts (which many Americans now use to pay for insurance deductibles and other noninsured items); and 2) It worsens the business environment and adversely affects the labor market, especially for small businesses.

Americans for Tax Reform compiled a helpful list of the taxes in Obamacare, which total approximately $500 billion. These include a new 3.8 percent surtax on investment income that will push up the top marginal rate on dividends and capital gains (as the administration blames Wall Street and Republicans for the anemic recovery); a hike in the Medicare payroll tax; a tax on medical device manufacturers; and a new tax on drug companies. There are 20 separate taxes. Only if you believe insurance companies provide contraception for “free” would you think that these costs wouldn’t be passed onto consumers. Obamacare is a massive redistribution scheme in which huge taxes are extracted to subsidize health-care plans for a subset of the population. To achieve that, the government has to raise a whole bunch of revenue, and it certainly aims to do that.

A related and serious drawback in the Obamacare scheme is the impact on hiring and on small businesses. Last July, Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum testified before a House subcommittee on the impact on small businesses. The testimony is worth reading in full, but this portion is especially noteworthy:

Sadly, the new health-­care law is an assault on small business, beginning with the 3.8 percent Medicare tax on net investment income – a direct tax on many business owners. Of even greater concern is the law’s most celebrated feature – the mandate to cover full-­time employees with health insurance. For businesses with more than 50 workers, this means paying a penalty if any full-­time workers receive subsidized coverage.

The mandate creates a tremendous impediment to expansion. Suppose, for example, that a firm does not provide health benefits. Hiring one more worker to raise employment to 51 will trigger a penalty of $2,000 per worker multiplied by the entire workforce, after subtracting the first 30 workers. In this case the fine would be $42,000 to hire an additional worker. How many firms will choose not to expand?

Because Republicans have done a poor job of making policy arguments (in addition to the constitutional arguments) against Obamacare, I doubt many voters, who already are opposed to Obamacare in increasing numbers, know a fraction of what is in the bill. It is incumbent on Republicans to take them through these aspects of the bill and make the connection to the dismal economic outlook that many voters face.

When the GOP presidential and congressional candidates talk about Obamacare they ignore these aspects of the legislation at their peril. Outside the conservative base, commerce clause arguments and appeals to limited government may have limited traction. But telling voters that Obamacare brings a bevy of new taxes and new burdens on small businesses, along with a 15-person uber-medical decision-making board, should get their attention.

If nothing else, voters understand that their current insurance costs are going up, not down. According to President Obama, that wasn’t suppose to happen. The pie-in-the-sky promises that Obamacare was going to save us money, limit small-business costs and cut the deficit have proved to be false. And the president and those who voted for this monstrosity should be held accountable. To do that Republicans had better start making the case to the voters and stop relying on the Supreme Court to do the heavy lifting.