Congress’ Health Care Oversight May Hurt Their Own Coverage?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Has a group ever more richly deserved this irony? From NRO:

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members. For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

Does indeed beg the question.

This health care bill is going to be a noose around the necks of Democrats.



Legislators Legislate. It’s What They Do.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

When I send a patient for a surgical consult, I expect a surgical answer. A surgeon does surgery. It’s what they do. They cut and fix and see the world through the lens of a scalpel. It’s not right or wrong. It just is. You don’t go to a surgeon to sue a business partner or balance your books or invest your money. You don’t go to a surgeon to give you nutritional advice or to solve your relationship trouble. You go to a surgeon for surgery.

I bring up this analogy to explain Congress.

Legislators legislate. They make laws. Their constituents see problems that need solutions. Someone says, “There ought to be a law” and they make a law. Legislators legislate. It’s what they do.

In a sense, there is no “small government” Congressman because their whole purpose is to make laws. And laws, by definition, proscribe behavior. Making laws makes the government bigger and more power and more invasive in your life. This is why they are hated.

Laws, by definition, create lawbreakers. That is, until their is a law on the books, it’s not a crime to do fill-in-the-blank. Because America is drowning in laws, we’re also drowning in criminals. The government, if it were so motivated, has enough legal ammunition to put every American behind bars for something.

So when we hear Representative Paul Ryan praise a Democrat for good parts of the legislation, imagine a surgeon praising another surgeon for his “fine work”.

These guys love to make laws. They love the haggling. They love the collegiality. They love sparring. They LOVE the process. It’s fun to them. It’s like a game.

To some, it IS a game.

Who wins? Who loses? Who bested who? Who out-jousted Representative so-and-so on which morning show. It almost doesn’t matter what the law is about, really. It’s that it’s so damn cool to make a law. And even better, everyone has to do what I say. This is soooo awesome.

When talking to a surgeon friend of mine, he was lamenting the hours and the Medicaid fee reimbursement. I gloated about my free weekends, good hours and happy patients. He said,”But I get to cut.”

So for all the belly-aching you hear from Congressmen, they get to make laws. And laws make your life more constrained, more controlled and less yours. That’s the way it goes.

For fellow Americans expecting salvation from a certain party or group, keep in mind that in order to have the freedom and lack of invasive laws, Congressmen will have to work against their essential nature–making laws. Repealing laws is not a high priority with Congress, if you’ll notice.

Philosophically, they’re belief in the greatness of the individual and the force of that belief will have to outweigh their very human’s bent: to impose their will on someone else. Most of us don’t have the power bend others to our will. Congress has that power. And the power is heady stuff. That’s why there is so many big government Republicans. They wouldn’t be working in government if they didn’t think government was super fantastically great.

All legislators are not to be trusted. Their role is antithetical to freedom. It just is. That’s why there are checks and balances and separation of power, etc. That’s why there are elections.

With legislators spending all their time in Washington, D.C. (Nancy Pelosi loves it that way), they are distant from their constituents, their districts and their states. Their brains marinate in the D.C. power juice and they forget why they’re in DC. Or rather, their mission shifts to pleasing their party masters, big donors, lobbyists, etc. Those people pay the bills, after all.

The only solution is to stick on a Congress person like your life depends on it because these days, it actually does depend on it. And that’s the ultimate problem.

Eventually, the laws get more and more personal, until every aspect of your life is run by the guy who just received your vote.

Vote carefully.



Obamacare Won’t Be Repealed, But It Will Make Americans Hate Democrats

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

My not-so-cheery thoughts on Obamacare from over at Pajamas Media:

Meanwhile, Americans are stuck with what the Democrats have wrought. And much as they hate the policy rape, they’ll come to identify with their captors soon enough.

Why? It’s human nature.

First, no one will allow Congress to repeal a law that would take away health care “for the children.” Not even the toughest Republican wants to have that conversation with a crying constituent. So it won’t happen. So all the talk of “repeal it” is hopeful hokum.

Second, there are Medicare cuts in the bill. The country is going down the economic crapper and cannot afford the current Medicare and Medicaid obligations, so the cuts and the bill stay.

Third, when people pay huge taxes and then get nothing for it, they know the taxes won’t go away so they complain about the product. That’s what will happen here.

Now, this bill will change everyone’s life for the worse, so there’s that happy thought. Happy? Well, American citizens from young to old will curse the Democrats.

The young people will be furious because when they voted for Obama with unicorn dreams, they didn’t imagine having to actually pay for health care with money that could be used to buy beer. Dude just harshed their mellow.

Old people will be angry because if there is one group of people who hold on to their entitlements with boney, clingy fingers, it’s old people. So with the new health care bill, they get more free drugs but they have to pay for so much else. They won’t be happy.

Small business owners will be more disheartened. We’re in a recession, remember? Yeah, these companies are barely holding on during these tough times, trying to not fire people or lay them off. Now, they have to add health care costs. Guess what? There will suddenly be many more companies with 49 employees. Are you in a company of 60 people where health insurance isn’t provided? Uh-oh. Watch out.

Doctors will stop taking Medicare and Medicaid patients. I already don’t. In protest, doctors across America will simply refuse to accept any government plan. Chaos will ensue. Old people will be hit hardest.

So yes, people are ticked off. Irate even. The Democrats don’t care and the American people are helpless to do anything except pour money into Republican candidates.

And that brings us to the Republicans. Reversing this travesty depends on them. These are the guys bandying about immigration reform and who routinely get lost in the weeds. Will the rage the American people are displaying help them keep their focus? Maybe.

It’s distressing putting my hope in any politician’s will to act nobly. It’s not in the job description. Politicians, even the fresh, green, idealistic politicians who will be elected in November, get polluted almost immediately. They start listening to “advisers” and the more seasoned pros. They start doing what legislators do: make laws. And laws, by definition, impinge on rights. That’s the way it works.

So no, I don’t believe health care will go away. I believe it will divide us, create chaos, and turn the conversation away from big dreams and freedom to provincial “my piece of the pie” talk.

Health care “reform” makes America small. That’s just the way Democrats like it.

Please don’t think I feel totally hopeless. I don’t. The bill can be gutted and dismantled. But can it be repealed? Doubtful. Is the fight over? No.

But this bill irrevocably changed America, there’s no denying it. And it changes America for the worse.

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Guest Post: Chairman Steele’s Words On Health Care & Texas

Monday, March 22nd, 2010


This weekend, Americans across the country watched in disbelief as Nancy Pelosi ignored the U.S. Constitution and brazenly exploited the legislative process to ram a government health care takeover through Congress.  Speaker Pelosi’s use of a parliamentary tactics in order to pass a partisan piece of legislation that effects one-sixth of our nation’s economy is nothing short of reprehensible – she must be stopped.

Speaker Pelosi feels she has the authority to do whatever she feels regardless of the consequences for workers and families.  We saw this first hand Sunday as she forced a government health care takeover through Congress with reckless abandon.   Even worse, most members of the Democrat caucus – including several Texas Democrats – were more than willing to ignore their own constituents and support her liberal agenda.

Pelosi used these deceptive tactics in hopes that the American people wouldn’t be watching closely enough to notice the simple truth.  This government health care takeover will increase taxes, raise premiums and cut Medicare benefits to seniors.  Not to mention the trillion dollars she is adding to the federal deficit – a debt that Americans will be paying off for decades to come.

Nancy Pelosi promised to lead the most open and honest Congress in our history, yet she hardly seems to be living up to her word.  Speaker Pelosi used sweetheart deals and arm-twisting tactics in order to garner enough votes to pass this despicable piece of legislation.

Our nation needs leaders who will truly act in an open and honest manner and Speaker Pelosi hardly fits the bill.   She has repeatedly treated the American people with the utmost contempt and Nancy Pelosi MUST be fired.  We need Americans to speak out against this injustice and I am asking for your help to make sure Nancy Pelosi knows that her radical leftist agenda is not welcome in our Congress.

I need you to pledge your support to help fire her and every Democrat who aided her in pursuing this shameful agenda.  The best way to send this message is to give these Democrats the boot and help Republicans regain the majority in the United States House of Representatives.  The voice of the people was ignored on health care as Democrats across the country voted against their constituents, but with your help we will make certain to return the favor and vote against the Democrats this November.

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Obamacare: Go, confront the problem! Fight! Win! — Edna Mode, The Incredibles

Friday, March 19th, 2010

And also, to mix my metaphors: There’s no crying in baseball.

The Democrats want you to believe it’s all over. And really, if they didn’t suck so bad, they’d have the votes. But this vote and their philosophy and their means and their actions DO suck that bad and so, still, after all these months, DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES.

If they had the votes, health care would be firmly in the hands of the government right now.

But it’s not. And until it is, it’s not over.

This whole situation reminds me of a scene from The Incredibles. It’s not a perfect analogy, for sure.

However, it is good enough. Now, imagine the American people as Elastagirl–they are afraid that they’re about to lose everything they hold dear. Their freedom, their lives, and America itself.

What America needs is an Edna Mode:

EDNA: Pull-yourself-together! “What will you do?” Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!

So Americans need to remind Congress what America is and remember who THEY are….

The flip side of freedom is responsibility. Americans cannot continue to sit around and whine about the leadership we have. We have to go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!

Health care reform ain’t over. And even when it’s over, it ain’t over.

This post dedicated to Dan Riehl: The Right’s Edna Mode.

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Up To 700,000 Lose Jobs Due To Health Care Reform

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Health care reform will be a disaster for Americans. We already know this. What we are having trouble quantifying is HOW bad health care reform will be for the country.

Americans for Tax Reform the Beacon Hill Institute share a study using the assumptions of the CBO and Center for American Progress and the results are stunning. From ATR’s website:

From the Executive Summary:

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has urged passage of the massive health reform plan moving through Congress as a way to create up to 400,000 jobs. Speaker Pelosi bases her claim on a report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) in which the Center estimates that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would create 250,000 to 400,000 jobs per year over 10 years.

This estimate by CAP amounts to a hurried effort to add academic heft to the claim that national health care reform offers a collateral benefit in the form of an economic “stimulus.” It turns out, however, that its methodology, stripped of unsupportable claims about savings in health care costs, shows just the opposite of what CAP intended. PPACA is a job killer, not a job creator.

The result is a loss of between 119,000 and 698,000 jobs between enactment of the bill this year and 2019.

There is much more data at the link.

Far from being the job creator the left would like to imagine this bill being, the legislation is going to kill jobs overall.

And as extensive as this study is, it doesn’t include the losses, specifically from doctors leaving the profession.

A commenter on my site asked how this bill would affect innovation and growth in the American economy. He said this:

If a bill were passed, it would not create new and talented doctors.
It would not create more medical teachers, or degree-granting
institutions. These professions are already at or near full
employment. If the government did go through the effort of increasing
the number of doctors over a period of years, what professions do you
suppose would people not enter, and what would society lack? One
isn’t likely to be a practicing physician and invent an ipod and
design a water treatment plant and write software, etc. In a sense,
for the federal government to favor one profession with grants,
subsidies, etc., is to punish another.

Well, the problem here, again, is that with the government monkeying with business, the results are likely to be incentive based. That is, if doctors get reimbursed less, but work harder, but have more security, the person seeking this job will change. Ditto health related research and development, etc.

Where will incentives lay with health care reform? Well, government workers will increase to try to lower costs from the private sector.

And the incentives in private industry, during a time of economic stress, will be to cut workers. Workers will cost businesses more money, so head count will become increasingly important.

I can see many tiny businesses being set up, to keep the number of employees/business smaller. Also, more workers will be contract workers because businesses won’t want to take on the liability.

All in all, though, this bill will not help business. It will stifle business. It will make it harder to do business.

I’m guessing that 700,000 jobs lost is being generous. I suspect far more workers will lose employment.

More at HotAir.com



NYT: Millions Spent To Sway Democrats. You Don’t Say? Actually, You DON’T Say

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Is it any wonder Americans hate with a pure, enraged hate, the politics of Washington, D.C.? What a disgusting town.

The New York Times reports the obvious, yet again:

The yearlong legislative fight over health care is drawing to a frenzied close as a multimillion-dollar wave of advertising that rivals the ferocity of a presidential campaign takes aim at about 40 House Democrats whose votes will help determine the fate of President Obama’s top domestic priority.

Oh, wait. What’s that? The article is about advertising being spent to sway those on the fence about the health care reform bill? That’s bad?

There aren’t even words to describe my contempt for this purposeful misdirecting piece of garbage cloaked as news.

If Jeff Zelany and the New York times cared about money in politics, they’d investigate the money that the Democrats are throwing around to bribe their fellow Democrats to vote for a piece of legislation that no one wants besides the New York Times editorial board.

What nonsense!

I went to the article figuring they’d be talking about the avarice disguised as sausage-making and they’re taking time to talk about advocacy advertisements and the millions being spent on a bill no one wants?

The outrage should be focused where the American people are focusing: on the nasty pit-vipered swamps of D.C. But no. Focus everywhere else. Blame the American people and advocacy groups for trying to influence this fetid process.

The president’s traipsing through the jobless midwest? Worthless. The Congress Democrats bickering and buying-off and banning Republicans from the process? Worthless. The Press, like the New York Times, spewing empty drivel when Americans know the truth? Worthless.

Push ’em all into the Potomac and start over. We’d be better off.

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