And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform Summary’ Category

I imagine my Readers have been watching the circus going on in Washington as Obamacare does its predicted  nose dive  dropping  the  nasty  little factoids as it goes.   Everyday wqe learn another way this law will hurt Americans.  Here is just a couple more for you all to consider.

You may also want to check out some of the “Quick Hits” at the bottom of the page.  Like who is paying for all those “Obamaphones” being passed out all over the country?  How good is that CANADIAN company whom our government paid to build the Obamacare website and are paying to fix it now? BB

From Heritage:

How Obamacare Discourages Work and Marriage

While President Obama and his fellow liberals may have held the best of intentions while ramming Obamacare through Congress, the law’s policies are far from compassionate toward the uninsured and Americans with low and modest incomes.

In fact, the law perpetuates some of the country’s worst trends that trap people in poverty. It includes disincentives for individuals to marry and for Americans of low and modest incomes to work. Discouraging work and marriage will only perpetuate poverty and income inequality, not alleviate them.

Discouraging Work

The way Obamacare calculates federal premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies includes several “cliffs.” A person might qualify for a hefty subsidy at his current income, but if he gets a raise and makes a little more, that Obamacare subsidy disappears.

At these cliffs, individuals and families will actually benefit more by working less because additional earnings could cause them to lose thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Families facing these kinds of poverty traps may ask the obvious question: If I will lose so much in government benefits by earning additional income, why work?

Rather than encouraging hard work, initiative, and entrepreneurship, Obamacare instead undermines these essential American values.

Discouraging Marriage

Obamacare contains not one, but two penalties on marriage—one for families with low and moderate incomes and another for families with higher incomes. By continuing failed policies that undermine the institution of marriage, Obamacare will accelerate a root cause of income inequality in the United States.

Here’s an example. A 50-year-old non-smoker making $35,000 per year would qualify for a sizable insurance subsidy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s insurance subsidy calculator. The individual’s premium would be capped at 9.5 percent of income, resulting in an insurance subsidy of $2,065 paid by the federal government.

However, if this 50-year-old is married to another 50-year-old who also makes $35,000 per year, the couple would receive no insurance subsidy at all. This couple would incur a marriage penalty of $4,130 in one year—equal to the $2,065 that each individual could have received if they were not married.

As Urban Institute fellow Gene Steuerle has said: “Our tax and welfare system thus favors those who consider marriage an option—to be avoided when there are penalties and engaged when there are bonuses. The losers tend to be those who consider marriage to be sacred.”

Obamacare sends a clear message that reliance on government is preferable to these traditional American values—work and marriage.

Our health care policy should not be undermining these foundations of society. For a more commonsense approach to health care reform, check this out.

obamacare-alternative

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

A Conservative solution to our health care problems is what is needed now I have heard people say.  Well there has been this Conservative solution since before Obamacare was forced thru the Congress by the Democrats who were in control of both houses and the Presidency.  These same Democrats who refused to allow any  Republican input at all during the drafting of this bill.  the same Democrats who refused to be bothered reading the 2000+ page bill that they passed without one Republican vote for it. If you check back on this blog site you will see the Republican plans and proposals that were submitted in both the House and the Senate that were never allowed by the Democrat leaders to see the light of day.  They were trash canned.  What we got stuck with is a so-called  Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) that we are now finding out is not at all affordable  for  the few people who have been able to get a look  at  the available plans on a web site set up to show these plans to people and allow them to enroll in and purchase insurance.   There  were,  we are now being told,  all of 6 people in the entire country who managed to enroll in Obamacare and purchase an insurance policy the first day before the site crashed and burned.  The same web site that cost $6 billion  and three years to get up and running but isn’t running at all.  The web site that was built by a Canadian company  but is now being fixed by what the President assures us are experts, or this same Canadian company.  Funny I thought the “experts” on the Internet and building programs for the Internet would be the very Americans who built the Internet in the first place.  Guess none of these people had a friend in the White House.  Or maybe they were willing to take less time and cost less money to build a web site that  probably would have worked almost as well as the Internet they built in the first place.  Ya think??  But no “friend” in the WH gets no contract.

The following letter is from Jim DeMint who outlines the Republicans and Conservatives Healthcare Plan that is affordable and available and more important, Constitutional.  Please check it out.  BB

The Conservative Alternative to Obamacare11/01/13Dear friends,We’ve been very critical of Obamacare because it’s hurting Americans. But that has caused some to ask, “What’s your alternative?”

The truth is, we’ve always had alternatives, but our critics weren’t ready to listen. Now, the disastrous rollout of Obamacare has a lot of people asking for alternatives to government-run health care. And conservatives are ready.

demintmbthumb

With each passing day, it becomes clearer that Obamacare will not reduce premiums for average American families, bring down health care spending, or truly improve health care in this country. Instead, people are receiving notices from their insurance companies that their policies are being canceled or their premiums are skyrocketing.

At The Heritage Foundation, we are envisioning a health care system where you and your family come first.

What if you could choose and control your own health insurance? What if you could buy the insurance and health care services you want and need? What if your health insurance didn’t go away when you changed jobs?

The good news is, all of these things are possible. There can be life after Obamacare—and it doesn’t mean going back to the status quo that we had before. We can move ahead, taking the best health care system in the world and making it even better.

Our experts in the Center for Health Policy Studies have put together a new paper that explains how these conservative ideas work. It includes:

  • How we will help people with pre-existing conditions
  • How we will help you keep your health insurance when you change jobs
  • How we can lower costs and improve health care quality—no matter what your income is
  • How we can honor people’s faith and protect the right of conscience in health care

We are excited to share this set of commonsense solutions with you—not just because they are good public policy solutions, but because they bring hope. We have hope for life after Obamacare, and these policies would give you back control over your own health care.

Now that’s worth working toward. I hope you’ll join us.

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Jim DeMint

I and others have been trying to get the word out to people since the monster was passed by the Democrats that Obamacare will cost much more than the current cost of healthcare insurance but 51% of the voters didn’t listen.  Now the word is finally out and Heritage got the answers for us.  check out what you will pay for health care insurance by checking out the state you live in.  BB

The Heritage Foundation

Issue Brief on Health Care

Issue Brief #4068 | October 16, 2013

How Will You Fare in the Obamacare Exchanges?

By Drew Gonshorowski

 

There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, [the Department of Health and Human Services] has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.

—Douglas Holtz-Eakin
President, American Action Forum[1]

Enrollment in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges has proven to be a somewhat difficult process amidst technical glitches and delays. Aside from the issues associated with actually purchasing health care, once an individual gets a quote for health insurance on an exchange, is the premium higher or lower than before?

Our research finds that for many states, the insurance on health exchanges will cost more than existing insurance. This study illustrates that the general experience for individuals shopping on the exchange is that of increasing premiums from what was available to them prior to implementation of the exchanges. Many families and individuals will face this reality as they apply for coverage, and the implications of experiencing sticker shock are important to consider if enough people choose not to sign up for coverage for various reasons.

Methodology

The Heritage Health Insurance Microsimulation Model (HHIMM), in concordance with insurer data compiled by Mark Farrah and Associates, is used to create a snapshot of what it looks like to shop for insurance prior to exchange implementation. This data is used to build weighted average premiums within the rating areas, similar to the process described in the most recent release from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).[2]

First, we use expected age distribution in the individual market from the HHIMM. Next, we use census data for the county populations in order to scale up to the state level, creating something that is roughly comparable to the weighted averages presented by HHS.[3] This comparison is different from others in that, rather than comparing specific plans, it is designed to capture the difference in premium levels between the exchange and what could be acquired in the market.

This paper is meant to provide a necessary segue to HHS’s data summary, creating an apples-to-apples comparison of exchange data to what the costs are for individuals. Effectively, we have used the same methods that were employed to provide summary data on the exchange markets to prior insurance data in order to get the closest comparison.

Some state-based exchanges have data releases that are more limited than the 36 federal exchanges. For state exchanges, some premiums must be estimated. As is the case with all studies built to address the changes in exchange premiums, it is important to note that when more data becomes available, results could vary slightly.

This study considers the data as released by HHS. States with little data released are omitted from this study.[4]

Results

Individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges. It is true that in some states, the experience could be the opposite. This is because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection, as is the case of New York. Many states, however, double or nearly triple premiums for young adults. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont see some of the largest increases in premiums.[5]

How Will You Fare in the Obamacare Exchanges?

The Obama Administration is desperate for younger people to enroll to prevent an adverse selection death spiral. As pointed out by Sam Cappellanti at the American Action Forum, “The enrollment of these low cost young adults…is essential as they are required to subsidize the costs of insuring the elderly and chronically ill.”[6] However, young adults face a penalty for not enrolling that is projected to be far less than the insurance coverage they could receive.

Our findings confirm that younger populations see larger percentage increases in premiums. A state that exhibits this clearly is Vermont, where the increase for 27-year-olds is 144 percent and the increase for 50-year-olds is still 60 percent, but far less. All states exhibit this relationship.

Many individuals will experience sticker shock when shopping on the exchanges. It is clear that many policies and cross-subsidization within Obamacare will lead to upward shifts in premiums. These policies include the health insurance tax, essential health benefit and actuarial value regulations, less allowed age variability in premiums, community rating, and guaranteed issue.[7] However, real uncertainty, amidst a rocky start, surrounds what enrollment will look like in the exchanges.

Fantasy Savings

Obamacare will leave many people paying more for their health insurance. The healthcare.gov website is learning to crawl, with additional data trickling in. However, based on information already released by HHS, states, and insurance plans, the claims of savings on premiums for the average participant is a fantasy.

—Drew Gonshorowski is a Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.

————————-[1]Quoted in Avik Roy, “Double Down: Obamacare Will Increase Avg Individual Market Insurance Premiums by 99 Percent for Men, 62 Percent for Women,” Forbes, September 25, 2013,http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/25/double-down-obamacare-will-increase-avg-individual-market-insurance-premiums-by-99-for-men-62-for-women/ (accessed October 11, 2013).

[2]U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums for 2014,” September 2013,http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/ib_marketplace_premiums.cfm(accessed October 10, 2013).

[3]HHS’s main exchange dataset can be found here: https://www.healthcare.gov/health-plan-information/ (accessed October 10, 2013).

[4]Massachusetts and Hawaii are omitted. Minnesota, Kentucky, and Maryland have issued small releases.

[5]Virginia’s data likely has data entry errors. Omitting the entries that are likely incorrect suggests that Virginia’s likely premium increases are 115 percent for 27-year-olds, 65 percent for 50-year-olds, and 30 percent for a family of four.

[6]Sam Cappellanti, “Premium Increases for ‘Young Invincibles’ Under the ACA and the Impending Premium Spiral,” American Action Forum, October 2, 2013,http://americanactionforum.org/research/premium-increases-for-young-invincibles-under-the-aca-and-the-impending (accessed October 10, 2013).

 

This President has broken so many laws and has twisted so many of our Constitutional liberties to his advantage and no one yet has stopped him.  Those of you who know me know  I am not a racist ( at age 19 I volunteered to travel into southern states on my summer vacations to help Blacks register to vote.  From 1959 thru 1961 I did this.)  That said I hope you understand that it is not race that has brought me to this conclusion:  The only reason Barack Obama has not been impeached is because he is our first Black President.  This man is a traitor to America!  Every thing he has done has been a calculated move to destroy our country, our Constitution and our way of life.   Now he is using the most horrendously unpopular and destructive piece of legislation ever passed thru our legislature to manipulate our laws in his drive to destroy the United States.  Please take note and continue to fight against this.

Insurance companies in the wake of Obamacare have increased their prices!  In fact many have stopped selling their insurance in some states with liberal governments (like California) and/or stopped selling insurance to certain groups of people  due  to Obamacare  mandates and rulings.  Remember the 2000 page law has now given the pencil pushers in Washington, the people no one has elected and whom due to federal unions no on , not even Congress can fire are now writing the rules for this law.  It is now up to 25,000 , yes twenty five thousand pages of “rules”.  A  stack of paper  7 feet high of rules and regulations!

The following article is just a small listing of the things that Obamacare and Obama have done or is trying to do to change America. Knowledge is power. BB

Obamacare’s Dirty Dozen Implementation Failures

07/08/2013

Last week, the Obama Administration attempted to spin its announcement of a one-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate as an effort to implement the law “in a careful, thoughtful manner.” Don’t be fooled.  (Ask yourself just why Obama is doing this.  You better believe it is not to help the small businesses or the people.  It has to do with keeping the mobs quiet during the 2014 elections!  BB)  Even Democrats have admitted the law has turned into a massive “train wreck,” with delays, glitches, and problems aplenty. Here are a dozen more Obamacare implementation failures.

1. The CLASS Act: ABANDONED, THEN REPEALED

One Democrat famously called this new long-term care entitlement “a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of”—and so it proved. In the fall of 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted CLASS could not be implemented in a fiscally sound manner—and Congress eventually repealed the program outright.

2. Exchanges: MISSED DEADLINES

Most states resisted Obamacare’s call to create insurance exchanges, choosing to let Washington create a federally run exchange instead. However, a Government Accountability Office report released last month noted that “critical” activities to create a federal exchange have not been completed, and the missed deadlines “suggest a potential for challenges going forward.”

3. HHS mandate: DELAYED; UNDER LEGAL CHALLENGE

Last year, the Administration announced a partial delay for Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate. However, many employers have filed legal actions against the mandate, which forces them to fund products they find morally objectionable or pay massive fines.

>>> Get the latest on Hobby Lobby’s case against the HHS mandate

4. Small business plan choice: DELAYED

The Administration announced in April that workers will not be able to choose plans from different health insurers in the small business exchanges next year—a delay that liberal blogger Joe Klein called “a really bad sign” of “Obamacare incompetence.”

5. Child-only plans: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

drafting error in Obamacare has actually led to less access to care for children with pre-existing conditions. A 2011 report found that in 17 states, insurers are no longer selling child-only health insurance plans, because they fear that individuals will apply for coverage only after being diagnosed with a costly illness.

6. Basic health plan: DELAYED

This government-run plan for states, created as part of Obamacare, has also been delayed, prompting one Democrat to criticize the Administration for failing to “live up” to the law and implement it as written.

7. High-risk pools: UNDERPERFORMING; FUNDING LOW

This program for individuals with pre-existing conditions faced higher costs and lower enrollment than advertised. Though it was originally projected to cover up to 700,000 individuals, only about 110,000 have enrolled—yet the Administration had to halt new enrollment and take other radical measures to prevent the $5 billion program from running out of money.

8. Early retiree reinsurance: BROKE

The $5 billion in funding for this program was intended to last until 2014—but the program’s money ran out in 2011, two years ahead of schedule.

9. Waivers: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

After the law passed, HHS discovered that some of its new mandates would raise costs so much that employerswould drop coverage rather than face skyrocketing premiums. Instead, the Administration announced a series of temporary waivers—and more than half the recipients of those waivers were members of union health insurance plans.

10. Co-ops: DEFUNDED

Congress blocked additional funding to this Obamacare program in January, and with good reason: In one case, a new health insurance co-op was called “fatally flawed” by Vermont’s state insurance commissioner.

11. “Employee free choice”: REPEALED

This provision, which would have allowed certain workers to use contributions from their employers to buy exchange health plans, was repealed in April 2011, as businesses considered it too complex and unworkable.

12. Medicaid expansion: REJECTED BY MANY STATES

Last year, the Supreme Court made Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion optional for states, ruling that Obamacare as written engaged in “economic dragooning” that puts “a gun to the head of states.” Many states are resistingObamacare’s call to expand Medicaid, knowing that expansion will saddle them with additional, unsustainable costs.

As these examples demonstrate, it’s not just the employer mandate that’s flawed—it’s the entire law. Recognizing these myriad, massive failures, Congress should hold the line and refuse to spend a single dime on Obamacare implementation.

Dear Readers, now even the unions are against Obamacare because they have found that it causes not only lost hours as employers cut employees below the 30 hour a week so as not to have to give them health benefits, but it also is causing a loss as jobs as employers cut workers altogether and automate.  Who knew those damned employers would be so smart as to find ways around the money grab by the unions and the government??!!?

But before you get to excited about the union bosses finally getting smart too read the following article to see what they are now asking the tax payers to cough up for their members exclusively.  BB

Even Unions Are Turning on Obamacare

07/16/2013

It’s not every day that union bosses sound like policy experts at The Heritage Foundation.

But the beginning of the Obamacare letter from the heads of three major unions—the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and UNITE-HERE—to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is eerily similar to our experts’ writings.

The unions, of course, were heavy supporters of Obamacare, but even they can’t deny its effects now.

“When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act, you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them,” they wrote. “Sadly, that promise is under threat.”

It gets worse:

The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios: First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.

We couldn’t agree more. In fact, not only did Heritage experts predict these outcomes, but the non-partisan Medicare actuary also concluded the law would raise health costs by hundreds of billions of dollars. The Congressional Budget Office noted that Obamacare’s employer mandate “will probably cause some employers to respond by hiring fewer low-wage workers.”

Naturally, it’s on the question of solutions that we diverge from the unions.

The union leaders’ “solution” to these problems involves yet more government spending. They want to make union-run health plans eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies—subsidies that were supposed to go to people with no health coverage. In other words, increase taxpayer spending even more because of the consequences of bigger government.

If ever there were an argument to defund Obamacare in its entirety—to do away with both the spending and the costly regulations—it’s this one. The union letter accuses Obamacare of “shattering” hard-earned benefits and destroying the foundation of the middle class. In short, “We have a problem.”

The many ways liberal leaders keep marching forward, insisting nothing’s wrong, are becoming laughable. Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that “Obamacare has been wonderful for America.” And despite the Obama Administration’s multiple implementation failures, the Health and Human Services Department just released a video yesterday proclaiming that Obamacare is “on schedule.”

Even the law’s strongest supporters aren’t buying it any more.

The Chicago gang in the White House at at it again with this move to put off the employer mandate until after the 2014 elections.  You see when employers are forced to give expensive coverage to their full time employees they will do one of two things: 1) cut the employees hours back so they are part time employees or 2) pay the fine to the government which costs much less than the insurance premiums and force their employees to go into the government sponsored so-called “exchanges”  which is just another way of saying Medicare or Medicaid.  Which ever it won’t be good for We the People I promise you.  Insurance rates are going sky high over this abomination that the Democrats and Obama have  pushed onto the American people.  The following articles from Heritage Outlook are interesting reading and explain very well what is ahead for the American public.

Also some more information on how the Immigration Bill passed in the Democrat Senate and now in the Republican House is playing at home while the Congress is on recess.   I can tell you the American public does not like the Senate bill and want the borders secured FIRST.  The Senate bill doesn’t do this.  It does make some funds available to secure the border but then it gives the President and the National Security Secretary Napolitano the option of saying just exactly when the border is secure so that amnesty can begin.  Well guess what People, these two already think the border is already secure!

Note:  Remember when you click on one of the names of authors below to page down to the articles they have written for all the they have written on the subject so that you have all the information you need.   I have featured some of these aerticles as individual blog p[osts but it helps you to see all of them if you have a particular interest in the subjects.  BB

Heritage Hotsheet

Experts on the Day’s Hottest News

Contact An Expert
MEDIA INFORMATION LINE:
Phone: (202) 675-1761 | Email: Broadcast Services

Items for Monday, July 8, 2013

How employer mandate delay wreaks havoc with Obamacare
Washington Examiner

Chris Jacobs
Nina Owcharenko
Alyene Senger

Fireworks back home over immigration reform
McClatchy

Derrick Morgan
James Carafano

Could have seen this one coming:  Chicago and Detroit both Obama strongholds are using Obamacare to help bail them out of their fiscal woes by using Obamacare exchanges to dump theri public sector employeees into the Obamacare exchanges and off of their gold plated health care policies.  Look for more big cities to do the same and dump their profligate spending off on the federal  tax payers to bail them out.  Ironically the public employees of these cities don’t care for what their leaders are planning and just may be the instrument that will finally put an end to Obamacare.  Wouldn’t that be just dandy.  The very unions who put and kept this abomination in office to turn against him and his signature piece of destruction of the American way of life!

Washington has always been a city filled with crooks but never to the extent it has now risen to under Barack Obama with his Chicago style governing.  At this point with any other President doing what Obama has done to our  laws and Constitution  the President would have been thrown out of office by election if not impeached, but  the first Black President and his entire administration and departments have a pass for any thing he wants done.  I hope We the People come to our senses before too much more damage is done.  Obama and his Chicago gangland thugs are responsible for all the scandals now hitting Washington.  and People stay tuned because the Pandora’s Box has just been opened and there are many more to come!   The following article explains just one more.  BB

The Obamacare Big City Bailout

July 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

Newscom

Newscom

Bloomberg reports this week on the latest Obamacare trend sweeping across the country: Cities and states may soon attempt to unload unsustainable health costs on the federal government by dumping employees and retirees onto exchanges.

Both Chicago and Detroit have explored using the exchanges to reduce massive budget shortfalls, and it could set an example for others. Bloomberg quotes one expert from the Rockefeller Institute of Government: “We can expect other cities to pick up on this.… I expect [employee dumping] to mushroom.”

The incentives for cities—or even states—to dump their workers onto exchanges are significant. Bloomberg notes that reducing retiree health costs could save Detroit approximately $150 million per year—at a time when the city faces a $386 million budget deficit and $17 billion in long-term debt.

Of course, these budgetary maneuvers aren’t really “savings”—they merely represent a shift of unsustainable costs from cities and states onto the backs of federal taxpayers. If more individuals than expected—particularly retirees, who are likely to be older and sicker than the population as a whole—require federal exchange subsidies, the cost of Obamacare could rise by trillions. And if cities and even states set an example by dumping their health care obligations on the federal government, private-sector employers could well follow suit.

The spokesman for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called the city’s retiree health system “fiscally unsustainable,” but merely shifting that responsibility to Washington may be about as effective as moving deck chairs on a budgetary Titanic.

Meanwhile, like other Americans losing their coverage due to Obamacare, retirees themselves appear none too keen on getting dumped onto the exchanges. Bloomberg quotes one retired Detroit police officer expressing his outrage:

Imagine if they said tomorrow your Social Security, your Medicare is going away and you’re going on Obamacare.… How would you feel?

Many Americans may soon find out.

I sincerely hope my readers have been watching FOXNEWS and the revelations coming out about our current government.  Not that some of what is happening hasn’t been done before but this President  has made making the United States a police state a major goal of his administration and I am sooo happy the stuff has finally hit the fan.  I especially enjoy the outrage of my sister-in-law who voted for him because “Romney hates poor people!”.  Obama so loves poor people that he wants to gather them all under his benevolent arms and tell them exactly what to wear, eat, speak and especially vote.  And to ensure that they do all these things as he directs he puts his dogs on them when they refuse to listen to papa.   Do read the following article to bring yourself up to date on the agency that will implement and control Obamacare and is now under the gun for doing their part to make sure that Obama was elected in 2012.  BB

 

The IRS and Obamacare, by the Numbers

06/05/2013

Chilling new details emerged yesterday about the IRS targeting scandal, as representatives from six conservative groups testified before Congress about the scrutiny and demands they faced from Obama administration bureaucrats.

Yesterday’s testimony reminded us once again why Washington bureaucrats cannot be trusted, and why Americans should be so concerned about the new powers granted to the IRS as a result of Obamacare.

These powers are so vast, in fact, they’re difficult to put into words. So instead, we decided to give you the numbers:

18New taxes in Obamacare, including 12 that directly violate then-Senator Barack Obama’s “firm pledge” to those making under $250,000 per year that he would not “raise any of your taxes.”

47—New provisions Obamacare charges the IRS with implementing, according to the Government Accountability Office.

$695Tax for not buying “government-approved” health insurance the IRS will be charged with enforcing on all Americans.

1,954—Full-time bureaucrats the IRS wants to devote to Obamacare implementation and enforcement in the upcoming fiscal year.

60,000,000—Medical records the IRS has been charged with improperly seizing, raising concerns about whether the agency can handle the personal health insurance information all Americans will be required to submit to the IRS.

$439,584,000—The IRS’s request for new spending on Obamacare implementation in the upcoming fiscal year; the request did not specify how much of those funds the IRS will spend on the “Cupid shuffle.”

6,100,000,000—Man-hours Americans already devote to tax compliance, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, a burden that will rise significantly thanks to Obamacare.

$1,000,000,000,000—New revenue raised by Obamacare in its first 10 years alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office, sums that will only rise in future decades.

If ever there were an argument as to why Obamacare should be repealed and defunded, these numbers—coupled with the IRS revelations of recent weeks—tell the tale.

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<p><b>Quick Hits:</b></p>
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<ul>
<li>One of the witnesses at yesterday’s IRS hearing was Kevin Kookogey, a <a href=Heritage Action Sentinel. His organization, Linchpins of Liberty, was asked to turn over the names of students whom it trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been getting wind of this for some time but never in detail so just sat on it waiting for a more official notice.  Heritage Foundation doesn’t report on rumors so here it is Dear Readers just what we tax payers have grown to expect from our government.  At this time I can only refer you to a statement by Thomas Jefferson.  (And for you purest I also included the source of Jefferson’s quote :)  since the last time I used a quote I  got all kinds of comments refuting the source I had given).

AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 356 (1955).

A related idea was later expressed by Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac in a speech to the French national assembly, January 16, 1793: “L’arbre de la liberté… croît lorsqu’il est arrosé du sang de toute espèce de tyrans (The tree of liberty grows only when watered by the blood of tyrants),” Archives Parliamentaires de 1787 à 1860, vol. 57, p. 368 (1900).

And much earlier Tertullian had said: “Plures efficimur quotiens metimur a vobis; semen est sanguis Christianorum (We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed),” Apology, trans. T. R. Glover, pp. 226–27 (1931).

NOW READ WHAT CONGRESS IS UP TO!   Sincerely, BB

 

Now Congress Wants to Exempt Itself from Obamacare

April 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

 

Newscom

Newscom

No argument for Obamacare’s repeal can top the simple fact that Members of Congress do not want it to apply to them.

Today’s Politico reports that the House and Senate congressional leadership—both Democrats and Republicans working in cahoots with Obama Administration officials—have been secretly negotiating for months trying to find a way to exempt Members of Congress and their staffs from being forced into Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges.

Beginning on January 1, 2014, these exchanges, to be run by the federal government or the states (under federal rules) will offer federally “qualified” insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Ordinary Americans must either sign up or face a tax penalty. Senator Max Baucus (D–MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has now famously described the Obama’s Administration’s implementation of this process as an oncoming “train wreck,” and Henry Chao, an Administration official involved with the implementation of the law, just hopes that Americans can avoid a “third-world experience.”

According to the Politico story, there are two major reasons why Members of Congress want to exempt themselves and their staffs from the terms and conditions of the law:

  1. They fear higher health care costs. Congressional leaders fear that being forced into the Obamacare exchanges will result in higher health care costs for themselves and their families and their aides. “The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer—in this case the federal government.” This is also true for millions of ordinary Americans. They could also lose their employer-based coverage, and they could also face higher costs. Also contrary to the President’s promises, independent analystsexpect health insurance premiums to rise sharply, particularly for younger workers and their families.
  2. They fear the impact on Capitol Hill employment. “There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a ‘brain drain’ on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.” Given the insane spending and record deficits, it’s hard to imagine how a Capitol Hill “brain drain” could produce even worse government. But ordinary Americans who run businesses are also faced with anxieties, particularly whether they will be able to hire or retain valued employees or reduce full-time workers to part-time employees in order to avoid Obamacare’s mandatory costs.

For veteran Capitol Hill watchers, shenanigans behind closed doors to enable Congress and its staffers to escape Obamacare come as no surprise. After all, the national health care law was fashioned through repulsive backroom dealing (the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” etc.) that set a record for arrogance and contempt of popular opinion. Favored businesses and unions got special exemptions (more than 1,200 waivers) from Obamacare’s insurance rules. So consider today’s Politico revelation just marquee for a rerun of a tiresome old movie: one set of rules for Congress and another set of rules for the rest of us.

If Congress quietly wants to exempt itself from Obamacare, that’s great—so long as it includes the rest of us in that midnight amendment.

(Remember Dear Reader that Obama has already exempted the labor unions and other cronies so why not themselves?!!~  these people are beyond repulsive IMO.  The Tea Party is revving up for the 2014 election with the theme to throw them all out and get decent people in Congress.  Unfortunately we stuck with Obama regardless of how many laws he breaks or how many impeachable offenses he commits because there is no way the first American Black President will be impeached.  But we can damned well change Congress! and put more sane conservative people in who will uphold our constitutional rights and govern as our country should be governed.  This means first repealing Obamacare, then Dodd-Frank and that is just a start of what needs done in Washington.  Things a decent and sincere  Copngressman or woman will do.  Sincerely, BB)

 

 

The budgets  from the Republican House (Ryan budget),  the Democrats in the Senate and Obama won’t pass so the country will again for the fourth year continue to operate on “continuing resolutions”.  The law of the country requires that Congress pass a budget but for 4 years the Senate has refused to even offer up a budget let alone pass the one offered by either the President (NOT ONE VOTE FOR ANT OBAMA BUDGET EVEN FROM A DEMOCRAT!) or the budget offered by and passed by the Republicans in the House.

Sooooo, here we have the Senate Democrats  “continuing resolution” and if all the tears hadn’t been rung out of me in November when We the People re-elected Obama to the Presidency then I would probably find myself crying again. Surely not all of these people are evil and certainly they are not all stupid, so what in the world is happening in the Democrat Senators minds?!?

The following article from The Heritage Foundation explains  very well some of the more egregious  proposed spending.  I hope when you read this you get on the hone to your Congressman or woman be he/she Democrat or Republican and demand some sanity in Washington.  BB

Heritage Experts’ Reaction to Senate Continuing Resolution

Todd Thurman

March 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Newscom

The massive spending bill, or continuing resolution, released by the Senate this week continues spending on programs which are inappropriate or wasteful and fails to adopt good policies in many areas. Here’s a rundown of some of the worst offenders in the Senate bill:

Obamacare. The CR fails to stop the massive spending in Obamacare. Obamacare obligates an estimated $1.2 trillion for subsidies to individuals for purchasing coverage through the government exchanges and $638 billion for states agreeing to expand their Medicaid programs. Congress should eliminate the exchange subsidies and the enhanced federal match for the Medicaid expansion. Stopping these provisions would save the federal government more than $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years. Nor does it take steps to defund implementation of Obamacare.

 (Already the regulations governing how Obamacare is implemented is 7 feet tall and only about 1/40 of the bill is covered by these regulations.  Just the application to qualify for Obamacare is 15 pages long!  BB)

—Nina Owcharenko, Director, Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow

Inadequate Defense Funding Levels. The detailed defense appropriations provisions in the House-adopted appropriations bill (H.R. 933), and now its Senate companion legislation, provide inadequate overall funding levels for defense, in part because they will continue to apply the reduction in defense spending for the current fiscal year required by sequestration. Nevertheless, the defense provisions continue wasteful spending practices. These defense appropriations provisions were agreed to by House and Senate appropriators earlier, and therefore the wasteful practices were also preserved in the Senate version of the same legislation.

The Heritage Foundation has identified at least $70 billion in annual savings within the Department of Defense through a combination of military health care and retirement reform, hiring freezes, expanding performance-based logistics, and reforming the acquisition process.

Clearly, this is money that could be kept within the defense budget and put into more militarily useful programs, such as improving space technology for use in missile defense or developing new classes of nuclear weapons delivery systems. The more productive approach to funding an effective military posture for the U.S. would be for Congress to return to the regular budgetary order, set aside sequestration, adopt higher defense appropriations that are applied in a more disciplined fashion and look to restrain federal spending growth in the areas of foreign aid, domestic discretionary programs, and entitlements.

(The world has never been so dangerous as it is today.  Iran is on the verge of getting nuclear weapons and working very aggressively on their missile delivery program.  North Korea already has nuclear weapons and now may very well have a missile able to hit the West Coast.  So what does the President and the Democrats want to do?  cut our defense programs!  BB)

—Baker Spring, F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy

Head Start. Increasing Head Start funding is the antithesis of good early childhood education policy. The Senate CR provides $33.5 million in new funding for one of the most ineffective federal education programs in existence today: Head Start. While the new funding is earmarked for the Obama Administration’s plan to make the worst-performing Head Start centers re-compete for funds, it represents new spending on a program the federal government has deemed totally ineffective at meeting the needs of poor children.

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released itslong-overdue evaluation of Head Start. The agency’s scientifically rigorous evaluation of more than 5,000 Head Start children from the time they entered the program through third grade revealed that the $8 billion per year federal program had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants. On a few measures, access to Head Start had negative effects on children.

In addition to the evidence presented by HHS of Head Start’s ineffectiveness, in 2010 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported widespread fraud at Head Start centers. GAO sent undercover investigators into Head Start centers in various states, and in half they found fraudulent activity, such as Head Start employees counseling families to underreport their income in order to appear eligible for services.

Since 1965, taxpayers have expended some $180 billion on Head Start yet have not received a return on that “investment.” And now, in the wake of an objective report by HHS demonstrating that Head Start is failing the poor children it was designed to serve, the Senate CR would increase spending and eschew any suggestion of eliminating or reforming the Great Society relic.

Head Start should be eliminated. At a minimum, it should be reformed to allow states to make their Head Start dollars portable, following low-income children to a private preschool provider of choice, instead of relegating them to underperforming Head Start centers.

—Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education

Energy. The Senate CR continues to fund a failed energy policy that empowers Washington bureaucrats instead of American families and businesses. Though it does cut some programs minimally, it does the equivalent of removing a used napkin from a full trash can. There’s much more waste that needs to be removed. For example, section 1203 reduces Department of Energy (DOE) funding by $44 million when more than $5.3 billion could be cut. The $44 million is equivalent to 0.8 percent of what should be cut.

Perhaps most egregious is the meager $11 million cut from the $1.8 billion request for Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In total, the DOE budget funds applied-research programs on conventional fuels, renewable energy sources, and nuclear energy that the private sector should be undertaking. American families and business are far better equipped than government to determine what types of energy technologies work for them. Eliminating these programs alone would save $3 billion in taxpayer money and help to return energy choice back to Americans.

Though the bill cuts $10 million from nuclear energy spending, based on the 2013 request, it would still fund over $150 million for nuclear waste disposal and management programs. None of this funding would go toward Yucca Mountain, the waste repository mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended. Given the complete lack of any nuclear waste disposal or management policy by the Administration and its insistence on terminating the Yucca project, there is little justification for this spending. Instead, Congress should provide $40 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to finish its review of the DOE’s Yucca Mountain permit application.

(The United States sits on the largest pool of   CLEAN natural gas in the world and we have the means to get to this energy source but it does not fall into the category of solar, wind or water.  natural gas is a fossil fuel!  BAD!!!  The United States also has the largest pool of oil available within our borders.  Obama likes to say that we are pumping more oil today than at any time in our history.  this is true but it is BEING PUMPED OFF OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND NOT FROM GOVERNMENT OWNED LANDS.  AND THE GOVERNMENT IS BUYING UP PROPERTY LIKE NEVER BEFORE TO PUT MORE LAND UNDER IT’S CONTROL!   bb)

—Jack Spencer, Senior Research Fellow, Nuclear Energy, and Nick Loris, Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Unlike the budget passed by the House, the Senate bill seeks to restore government spending to fund the failed CPSC product safety database. CPSC decision making with respect to the database has previously been called “arbitrary and capricious” by the courts.

Since it was implemented in 2011, manufacturers have shown that the CPSC database is seriously flawed. The database allows the public to submit unproven claims of harm with the CPSC and gives manufacturers only 10 days to challenge these claims; however, the CPSC itself has final authority to publish reports of such claims, even if they are disproved by the manufacturer. The accuracy of the CPSC reports is thus seriously questionable, and is a one-stop shop for tort lawyers seeking new clients or seeking “evidence” for their current lawsuits.

Furthermore, last October, in Company Doe v. Inez Tenenbaum, a federal court in Maryland overturned a decision of the CPSC to publish a report as “arbitrary and capricious,” because the CPSC report was “misleading and fail[ed] to relate[] to the [manufacturer’s] product in any way.” Indeed, the CPSC database is a concrete example of government waste: It is a shame that the Senate bill seeks to restore government spending to publishing misleading claims that damage business growth and likely lead to additional frivolous lawsuits.

 

(What this means for you and me is that companies will refuse to put new products on the market that may save a life!  BB)

—Andrew Kloster, Legal Fellow

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $77.2 billion. The recommendation continues record-high food stamp benefits. Food stamp spending has approximately doubled since President Obama came to office. It is one of the largest and fastest growing federal welfare programs. The federal government operates 80 federal welfare programs at a cost of nearly $1 trillion a year. Over 10 of these provide food assistance.

Food stamp spending should be rolled back to pre-recession levels. Able-bodied adults without dependents who receive food stamp benefits should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving benefits.

—Rachel Sheffield, Research Associate

Job Corps: $30 million added to the funding level already provided under sequestration. This program should be terminated, because a scientifically rigorous impact evaluation of Job Corps participants were less likely to obtain high school degrees, were no more likely to attend or complete college, and earned only $0.22 more in hourly wages than non-participants. Further, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General estimates each Job Corps participant who is successfully placed into any job costs taxpayers $76,574.  (Why don’t we just give every one who applies for one of these job training programs $20,000.  and send them home to sit on their asses for another 6 months?  This would be a whole lot cheaper in the long run!  BB)

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants: $416.5 million. VAWA grantsshould be terminated, because these services should be funded locally. Using federal agencies to fund the routine operations of domestic violence programs that state and local governments could provide is a misuse of federal resources and a distraction from concerns that are truly the province of the federal government.

(This one just makes me cringe and cry and be sick!  BB)

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) grants: $1.1 billion. OJP grants should be terminated, because these grants assign functions to the federal government that fall within the expertise, jurisdiction, and constitutional responsibilities of state and local governments. Further, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants ($392 million) within OJP have been used to place criminals on the street without posting bail.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP): $279.5 million. OJJDP grants should be terminated, because these grants fund juvenile justice and prevention programs that fall under the unique responsibilities of state and local governments. Further, there is little evidence that these grants are effective at preventing delinquency.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): $225.5 million. COPS grantsshould be terminated, because these grants assign functions to the federal government that fall within the expertise, jurisdiction, and constitutional responsibilities of state and local governments. Further COPS grants were used tosupplant local funds and had little to no effect on reducing crime.

FEMA Fire Grants: $675 million. Fire grants should be terminated. Fire grants, which subsidize the routine operations of local fire departments, are ineffective at reducing fire-related deaths and injuries of firefighters and civilians. Fire grants incorrectly encourage local fire departments to become increasingly dependent on federal funding.

David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis

Postal Service Saturday delivery: $2 billion. The Senate CR continues—by omission—the prior year’s ban on using the Postal Service’s small appropriation to reduce service levels, effectively mandating Saturday service. This, along with other such congressional restriction, limits the Postal Service’s ability to reduce costs and increases the risk of massive federal subsidies in the near future.  (Yes, the Post Master CAN NOT  make decisions that would make the Post Office more efficient because of Congress!  BB)

—James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy

NASA Manned Spacecraft: $1.2 billion. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is the new manned spacecraft NASA is developing for exploration of the Moon and Mars and for other purposes. Manned space flight is vastly more expensive than robotic exploration and is largely a public relations showcase for NASA to market itself to the American people. NASA’s budget should be pared back to a tight focus on cost-effective projects to advance its core missions.

(This is one I disagree with.  The United States and Americans have  benefited much from inventions made and perfected by the space program.  I won’t go into the many, many inventions because you can google them for yourself.  The space program should not be cut.   And, another reason is the brain drain because these NASA scientists needing jobs will go to Russia, china and other countries; do we really want this?   BB )

—J. D. Foster, Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy

National Science Foundation (NSF): $221 million. The bill would increase funding for NSF by $221 million, compared to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 enacted level, putting the total funding amount to $7.25 billion. Yet NSF has spent large amounts on research projects that are clearly not federal priorities ($325,000 for a “Robosquirrel” study; $516,000 creating a video game simulating prom week; and $350,000 for a study on how golfers should imagine a bigger hole when playing). Basic research is important, but given that NSF funding is diverted to inappropriate projects, it becomes wasteful. Budget reductions may help encourage more prudence.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): $71 million. Some of NIH’s funding goes to projects that seem inappropriate, such as $550,000 to acquire evidence that heavy drinking in a person’s 30s can lead to feelings of immaturity, while in their 20s it would not.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC): $358 million. This program should be terminated, because these services should be funded locally. The money is oftendiverted instead of going to poor people needing legal services, and there is a long history of waste and abuse of these funds by executives at the LSC.

Transportation. The bill would increase funding for highway programs and transit formula grants to match the levels authorized in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), current surface transportation law. It also funds a $4 million Transit Safety office that was authorized in MAP-21. By funding this new office and the transit formula grants, the bill would continue diversions of limited Highway Trust Fund (HTF) user fees to transit, which is a demonstrated local—not a federal—priority.

Transit serves truly local needs and is predominantly concentrated in just six cities.Congress should end such diversions from the HTF, because they come at the expense of highway and bridge maintenance and expansion projects and do not demonstrably improve mobility and safety.

—Emily Goff,  Research Associate

Housing and Urban Development Public Operating Fund: $562 million. The bill restores money from an FY 2012 cut to previous levels for a total 2013 funding request of $3.962 billion. The fund pays local public housing authorities annual subsidies for such things as maintenance, management, insurance and energy costs. These should be the responsibility of local jurisdictions.

—David C. John, Senior Research Fellow

This man has so much to say and makes just entirely tooo much sense!  Our problems are indeed great but the answers are relatively simple if we but had the guts and intelligence to take  our medicine after all these years of living high on the hog on a credit card from China and other countries we are now indebted to.  BB

VIDEO: Dr. Ben Carson Speaks Truth to Power at National Prayer Breakfast

Josh Shepherd  (CLICK  NAME OF AUTHOR TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE VIDEO)

February 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Yesterday, world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson presented the keynote address at the 61st Annual National Prayer Breakfast. With President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other national leaders in attendance, Dr. Carson spoke plainly about the great challenges America faces today: “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.”

“One of our big problems right now is our deficit,” Dr. Carson states. “Our national debt, 16 and a half trillion dollars—you think that’s not a lot of money? Counting one number per second, you know how long it would take to count to one trillion—507,000 years.”

Dr. Carson continued:

I don’t like to bring up problems without coming up with solutions… What about our taxation system? It is so complex, there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and tittle. That doesn’t make any sense.

What we need to do is come up with something that’s simple. The inherently fair principle is proportionality: you make 10 billion dollars, you put in a billion. You make 10 dollars, you put in one. Of course, you have to get rid of the loopholes.

Some people say, ‘That’s not fair! It’s doesn’t hurt the guy who made 10 billion dollars.’ Where does it say you have to hurt that guy? He just put a billion dollars into the pot!

Similar to Dr. Carson’s ideas, The Heritage Foundation has proposed a new flat taxas part of the landmark reform plan Saving the American Dream.

Growing up in dire poverty, Dr. Carson tells of taking responsibility for his own decisions thanks to “a mother who believed in me, who would never allow herself to be a victim no matter what happened—she never made excuses, and she never accepted excuses from us.”

Carson says his mother paved the way for a better life by insisting he and his brother read rather than watch television:

After awhile, I actually began to enjoying reading those books. I read about people of great accomplishment.

As I read those stories, I began to see a connecting thread: the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. You make decisions, and you decide how much energy you put behind those decisions. At that point I didn’t hate poverty anymore, because I knew it was only temporary: I could change that.

Dr. Ben Carson, whose life was dramatized in the 2009 film Gifted Hands, recently authored the book America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great with his wife Candy.

An annual event in Washington, D.C., the National Prayer Breakfast presents “a call to spiritual mobilization” to Congress and “leaders in our nation who carry great burdens.” As keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson follows in the footsteps of author Eric Metaxas who in 2012 delivered a speech equally as challenging to national leaders.

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