And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Rep Tom Price’ Category

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.

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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

» House GOP’s Spending Record: So Far, So Good – Big Government.

Our newly elected Congressmen seem to have gotten the message from we the people and are busy finding and exposing a few of the huge pool of ineffective spending by our federal government.  The problem is the Old Dogs both Republican and Democrat.  It will be interesting to see which one wins this battle of wills.  the next month or two are important because  several spending bills,the budget and debate over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling are on the agenda.  If the new guys are to have a fighting chance they need your help: make those phone calls and send those emails.  (TIP:  Congressional staffers  reported that those blanket emailing where everyone uses the same wording have the least impact. So write your own email message.  It can be brief as: Do Not raise the Debt Ceiling., or   Do not bail out any cities or states with federal tax money.  In fact brief and to the point is better.   BB

House GOP’s Spending Record: So Far, So Good

by Robert Bluey

Republicans have controlled the House for little over a month, but so far the record is clear: The new GOP majority is living up to its promise to cut spending.

In the first four weeks of the 112th Congress, Republicans have passed legislation that cuts spending by $656 billion without a single spending increase.

The conservative Republican Study Committee’sMoney Monitor, (you might want to subscribe to this newsletter.  BB)  the only document tracking the cost of bills as they pass the House, has the data. It shows:

  • $541 billion in mandatory spending cuts.
  • $115 billion in authorized spending cuts (subject to appropriation).
  • $770 billion in tax cuts.

Those figures stand in stark contrast to the previous Congress, when the Democrat-controlled House enacted $682 billion of new spending in just the first four weeks.

Of course, Republicans face a high hurdle to enact many of their cuts with Democrats controlling the Senate and President Obama in the White House. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

The GOP’s cuts includerepeal of Obamacareand YouCut-related bills such as theStop the Over Printing Act and elimination of the presidential campaign fund.

Expect more next week when Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the RSC (Republican Study Committee),will offer several amendmentsto the fiscal 2011 continuing resolution. Conservatives maintain the GOP should cut a full $100 billion in non-security spending. The proposal released last weekby House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) includes $58 billion in discretionary spending, plus another $16 billion in security spending.

Since the Debt Ceiling debate is coming up very soon and the Old Dog Republicans, Democrats and Obama are all for raising the debt ceiling  the newbie Republicans in the House  are up against it here.  Passing this one bill would have taken care of the argument that the honor of the United States is at stake.  It is a simple law and perhaps that is the problem: it is too sane for our Congressmen to understand!

RSC Members Introduce Bill to Prevent a Default on the Debt

Washington, Jan 26

Led by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), RSC members have introduced H.R. 421, the Full Faith and Credit Act.  In the event the statutory debt ceiling is reached, this legislation would direct the United States Treasury to prevent a default by paying principal and interest due on debt held by the public before making any other payments.  The bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

“The ‘full faith and credit’ of the United States should not hang in the balance on every adjustment to the national debt limit,” said Rep. McClintock.  “States protect their credit by pledging first call on revenues to their debts and so should the federal government.  After all, before you can ‘provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty,’ you have to be able to finance them.”

“A pitiful scare tactic already being used by the Treasury Secretary in the debt ceiling debate is the threat of allowing the federal government to default on its obligations,” said Chairman Jordan.  “This is government mismanagement at its worst.  Secretary Geithner knows full well that he has the authority to prioritize federal spending so that default is not an option.  This bill will take Secretary Geithner’s disastrous scenario completely off the table.”

“America’s sterling credit rating is vital to our future prosperity,” said Rep. Foxx.  “This bill offers a simple safeguard to protect our credit and prevent a sovereign debt crisis.  It’s the sort of common sense solution that we can easily put in place without wading into the debate over raising the debt ceiling.”

“This important piece of legislation ensures America’s debt rating and the threat of default on our debt cannot be used as political weapons.  This bill will remind the markets and the world that America will never default on its debt while giving Congress time to have a meaningful, reasonable discussion about how to rein in out-of-control spending and prevent our country from sliding further into debt,” remarked Rep. Garrett.

There has finally been a survey made of Tea Party Patriots themselves asking what changes they want.    This needed to be done so the various groups can coordinate their efforts.  I am proud to say I am a Tea Party Patriot and for the most part agree with the majority on all the questions asked.  BB

Study of Tea Party Activists Reveals Motivations of Political Movement

by Publius “The Early Adopters” Report uncovers that most oppose a third party, many are new to politics

CHICAGO, — A new study released today reveals that Tea Party activists are motivated by feelings of responsibility to future generations and belief in America’s founding principles, but still struggle with questions of leadership and identity. The study conducted by Sam Adams Alliance, The Early Adopters: Reading the Tea Leaves, also reveals that Tea Party activists are a diverse group trying – often for the first time – to change the political landscape by holding elected officials more accountable. The results of the full report can be found at www.activistinsightsreport.com.

The Sam Adams report offers the first-ever insights into the Tea Party movement that include a survey sample made up entirely of recognized Tea Party activists.

“A lot of surveys have focused on the Tea Party movement, but they’ve been about what others think of them, and don’t reveal the motives of actual Tea Partiers,” said Sam Adams Alliance chairman Eric O’Keefe. “We decided to learn what the Tea Party leaders are up to the old fashioned way: We asked them.”

The findings confirm that a large number of Tea Party activists are politically involved for the first time. 47 percent of activists surveyed said that they were “uninvolved” or “rarely involved” in politics before their participation in Tea Party groups.

Three political issues stood out as being the most important to Tea Party activists. When asked which issues were “very important” to them, 92 percent said “budget,” 85 percent said

“economy,” and 80 percent said “defense.” No respondents listed social issues as an “important direction” for the movement.

Other findings of the study include:

86 percent oppose the formation of a third-party.
36 percent support a 2012 Sarah Palin Presidential candidacy.
81 percent have a website for their organization.
90 percent cited “to stand up for my beliefs” when characterizing their initial reason for involvement.
62 percent identified as Republicans, 28 percent as Independents, 10 percent as “Tea Party”

Full story here.

Passing on the Conservative Republican Study Committee Newsletter.  This is an information packed one.  BB

RSC Media Activity – Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.

RSC Legislative Activity – RSC members have made it a priority to introduce productive, conservative alternatives to the Democrats’ reckless agenda.

  • Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) has introduced H.R. 4653, the Accurate Accounting of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Act. This bill would force the federal government to acknowledge the cost to taxpayers of the continuing bailout of Fannie and Freddie.
  • Rep. Connie Mack (FL-14) has introduced H.Res. 1124, calling on Congress to approve the free trade agreements the U.S. has signed with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.

Outlook – Here is a preview of upcoming Democrat proposals to advance their big-government, anti-taxpayer agenda.

  • If Speaker Pelosi can corral the votes she needs, the House may consider the $15 billion “jobs” bill recently passed by the Senate. A number of House Democrats have balked at the legislation (hopefully because they realize it won’t actually do much to promote job creation).

  • In the wake of last week’s health care summit/photo-op, Democrats are currently strategizing on how to pass their government takeover of health care using the budget reconciliation process.

House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives last week.

  • Last week, the House passed H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. This bill would unconstitutionally create a separate, race-based government specifically for Native Hawaiians.
  • The House also passed H.R. 2701, the Intelligence Authorization Act, last Friday. The bill was pulled from the House floor on Thursday after Republicans discovered a provision slipped in by Democrats which would have created new criminal offenses targeted solely at our intelligence community interrogators. This very broad and vague language would have further crippled our already hog-tied interrogation capabilities had it not been removed from the bill. Interestingly, no Democrat was willing to publicly explain or justify the provision on the House floor.

RSC Reports

·       Each week, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue

RSC Update: Monday, December 21, 2009

From the Chairman

Early this morning, Senator Reid and his Democrat colleagues advanced their latest health care disaster with a dead-of-night vote on a bill larded up with handouts for certain Senators only to secure their votes. This is an atrocity that we must not take sitting down.

It might be Christmas time, but this big-government bill is not a gift the American people are looking for under the tree.  Instead of patient-centered reform, Democrats in Washington have delivered a bill that’s full of $518 billion in new taxes, $470 billion in rationing cuts for seniors on Medicare, and endless new bureaucratic structures that will get in between patients and their doctors.

You and I both know the American people reject this plan. It only passed because a handful of Senators secured special benefits for their states that the rest of us will be paying for. This is a true outrage, and one we must not tolerate.  This morning’s vote was a big hurdle for Democrats in Washington , but this is not a done deal. The American people can still throw up the stop sign on this devastating government takeover of health care. Don’t be silent in this critical moment.

Sincerely,

Congressman Tom Price

Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity – Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media.

Outlook – Here is a preview of upcoming Democrat proposals to advance their big-government, anti-taxpayer agenda.

  • The Senate continues to debate its government takeover of health care, with Democrat leaders signaling a desperate desire to pass a bill through the Senate before Christmas.

House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives last week.

  • Last week, the House passed H.R. 2847 (the $150 billion “Son of Stimulus”), H.R. 4314 (to increase the federal credit card limit by nearly $300 billion), and H.R. 3326 (the defense appropriations bill).

RSC Reports

  • The RSC has compiled a one page review of the state of federal finances at the end of the First Session of the 111th Congress.
  • Each week, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

###

House Republican Study Committee
Rep Tom Price, M.D., Chairman

Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Natalie Farr, Professional Staff
Emily Henehan, Professional Staff
Bruce “ Fez ” Miller, Professional Staff
Jonathan Day, Director of Member Services and Business Outreach
Alex Shively, Director of Conservative Coalitions
Brendan Buck, Communications Director
Brian Straessle, Deputy Communications Director
Curtis Rhyne, Staff Assistant

424 Cannon House Office Building
Washington , DC 20515
(202) 226-9717
http://rsc.price.house.gov
RSC on Facebook
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Some states made out like bandits as their Senator’s held out and  made backroom deals.

The Reid Amendment: Sweetheart Deals and Interstate Warfare

Christmas is coming early for a few lucky states including Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Vermont. But their good fortune will come at the expense of other states. Overall, the government health care plan is still alive and well in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) manager’s amendment released this  morning, hiding in the form of expanding Medicaid eligibility and inserting State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) rules into the Exchange.

First, the winning states. Nebraska and Hawaii are easily identifiable because the Reid amendment specifies their sweetheart deals by name. While all the other states will lose the extra federal financing for new Medicaid eligibles after 2017, full federal financing will continue for Nebraska. Hawaii gets funding for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments that it gave up years ago to expand Medicaid eligibility. Ironically, $18.5 billion in cuts to the DSH program in all the other states help finance the rest of the health care legislation.

Massachusetts and Vermont have already expanded Medicaid eligibility so they would not have benefited from new federal financing under the original legislation. The Reid amendment provides a fix for these states. The increased federal spending will not increase insurance coverage, it will only substitute federal funds for state funds.

Who are the losers? All the other states. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the Reid Amendment, total state funding for Medicaid and SCHIP will increase by $1 billion compared to the original legislation. Clearly if total state spending goes up and spending for a few favorite states goes down, then all the other states are picking up the tab.

New federal rules will punish states that would use the flexibility of current law to increase the share paid by with local governments for Medicaid. California and New York historically have shared the cost and administration of Medicaid with counties and municipalities. States that have not done so in the past will lose federal funds if they attempt to do so now.

States seeking demonstration projects (“waivers”) may find their paths blocked by new requirements to allow outside parties review applications. Senators are apparently unsure as to how new provisions will be viewed in the light of the Medicaid entitlement so a new provision to ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on “causes of action” has been added.

The Reid Amendment also raises new requirements on health plans participating in the Exchange. Using this authority, the Secretary can block any health plan from covering children that does not meet certain benefits and cost sharing provisions. Medicaid, of course, through the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) provisions provides the most generous benefit package available. It also includes new reporting requirements on health plans on pediatric quality measures. Herein lies the seeds of a future government plan—continued expansion of Medicaid and using Medicaid and SCHIP rules to drive private plans out of business.

Over the past few weeks, the debate on the Senate floor has reduced the health care reform debate from what the American people really want to a desperate defense along the lines, “it’s better than nothing and we will fix it later.” By pitting state against state, the Reid Amendment raises the backroom deal to an art form.

From the Heritage Foundation  A First Look at the Manager’s Amendment

The Senate Leadership is scheduling the first vote on their health care bill later today. A thorough critique and analysis of the 383 page manager’s amendment cannot possibly be done in the short time frame given by the Democratic leadership in the Senate. The race to push through the towering 2,000 page bill leaves little time for Senators, their staff, or voters to understand the breathtaking impact this legislation — that effects one-sixth of the U.S. economy — will have on the lives of every citizen.

In our brief review of the manager’s amendment, it is clear this amendment does nothing to alter the general policy direction of the underlying Senate bill, which accelerates the concentration of power that Washington will exercise over the financing and delivery of health care for over 300 million Americans. The underlying bill still includes individual and employer mandates, a massive and costly Medicaid expansion, highly prescriptive control over health care benefits and services, the reduction in access to Medicare services, and dozens of new taxes impacting Americans at all income levels.

Here are a few highlights from the manager’s amendment:

  • More federal rules and regulation over health care benefits and services. A one-size-fits-all system is incapable of appreciating the unique needs or personal choices of individuals and families and re-enforces the concentration of power over benefit and services to faceless bureaucrats and Washington politicians.
  • Federally-approved multi-state health plans. While technically not a public option, this scheme will have the same results. By giving unprecedented power and authority to the Director of Office of Personal Management, these multi-state plans will simply administer the government plan.
  • Insufficient segregation of taxpayer funds from abortion. Despite the inclusion of the Nelson amendment, when the federal government’s role over the financing and delivery of health care grows, as it does under this bill, a requirement to segregate premiums that cover abortion services would be merely cosmetic in practice.
  • New adjustments to the federal Medicaid payments to the states with special treatment for some states. New federal funds for the states only shifts the costs from state taxpayers to federal taxpayers and the sweet-heart deals for certain states, like Nebraska, only exacerbates state disparities.
  • Repeal of the Physician Payment Updates. The House and Senate continue to try to hide the true cost of these bills through budget gimmicks, creating the illusion that costly provisions (like the physician payment changes) are not applicable. But, in reality, these cuts will get “fixed” through other must-pass bills as they have every time before.
  • Sundry of new programs. The amendment leaves nothing behind. For instance, the bill includes new programs, such as funding to support pregnant and parenting teens and women.
  • New Taxes. The underlying bill already includes over a dozen new taxes, many of which apply to Americans at all income levels. This amendment adds yet another tax — an excise tax on tanning beds!

See topic cloud at bottom of page for specific topics.

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