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Posts Tagged ‘The White House’

Obamacare: Politicians lie to cover bad legislation

In Economy, Health, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, Uncategorized on November 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

DIH LOGOHow ever the White House and the Democrats want to spin it, President Obama lied about the Affordable Care Act – and he wasn’t the only one. But it’s “his” plan and legacy that are on trial now.

Denying that he ever said the line is ridiculous and just makes liberals look worse. It has been fact-checked repeatedly even by liberal news media. The first appearance of the empty promises came at a town hall on August 15, 2009 when the President said, “I just want to be completely clear about this; I keep on saying this but somehow folks aren’t listening — if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. Nobody is going to force you to leave your health care plan.”

Less than a year later, he said essentially the same thing at a speech on March 25, 2010 in Iowa City, Iowa. Speaking of those who were skeptical and cynical of his health reform President Obama said, “They’ll have to finally acknowledge this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you.” If you’re curious, none of this is out of context and full texts for these speeches are available at the White House website.

Without beating a dead horse, this is thoroughly inaccurate or, as the Democrats would say about a Republican president, he lied. There is no caveat stated in any of these remarks related to grandfather provisions or referring to existing medical plans that must meet some set standard required by the new law. It says, very clearly, no one would lose their existing coverage.

In a live address July 25th, President Obama urged Americans to pressure congressional leaders to move toward a compromise. (AP Photo)

So how can anyone say he did not lie about it? Making excuses for lying politicians – on either side of the aisle – does not an honest man make. It’s no secret I’ve never really been a fan of this president, nor the last one either for that matter. But regardless of your loyalties, to deny that he misled the public is just feigning ignorance. He didn’t misspeak or stumble on his phrasing, and leaving out a vital piece of information is a lie by omission, so Dems need to stop trying to defend it.

The Affordable Care Act is a badly written piece of legislation that was pushed through to meet a political agenda rather than to benefit the population as a whole. Overall, I agree with the concept that we need some way to cover those people who cannot afford health care. But at the same time, those already paying their own way shouldn’t be punished by having their current policies systematically cancelled just to meet a set of arbitrary requirements established to force enrollment in the government’s new insurance monopoly.

Speaking of monopolies, wouldn’t it have made sense to have something in the law requiring premium caps and policy cost regulations? What about some kind of legislation that would control the pricing of health care services and keep the cost lower in the first place? One would think our government is more concerned with the expensive cost of a pack of bubble gum than the outrageous price of a critical medical test.

Lobbyists from the medical and insurance industries are extremely powerful, far more so than the average small business owner or individual health insurance consumer. Since most legislators are in the pocket of some major lobbying group, it would be financial suicide for them go against anything as massive as the insurance industry.

The only practical solution to this issue is to correct the problems within the content of the Affordable Care Act; not by presidential mandate, but through the legislative system. Congress needs to re-open the letter of the law and grab an eraser. Force the insurance companies and hospitals to lower costs and let people keep their insurance. Bad legislation only gets worse and wastes taxpayer dollars instead of more efficiently allocating that money to more productive purposes.

Congress is robbing Peter to pay Paul … and Mary

In Business, National News, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

debt calamityAnytime you take resources originally allocated for one use and direct it towards another, you are “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Although there’s some dispute about the origins of the old saying there seems to be no doubt about its meaning, particularly with the United States Congress. Given the scope of the debt and the amount of money coming in, perhaps the saying should really be, “robbing Peter to pay Paul and Mary.“

Now that we’re past the overblown, media-hyped and mostly imaginary fiscal cliff, the next challenge is to get both sides of the congressional aisle to come together on how to pay America’s bills.

Just like the rest of us, the government takes in a certain amount of revenue every day and congress decides how it is going to be spent. In recent years, however, money coming in doesn’t come close to what has to be paid out – an issue all too familiar to their constituents.

To be fair, juggling America’s money is no easy task and trying to comprehend the full scale of fiscal goings on in Washington would be impossible in this short essay. So, let’s just focus on a single day in the life of the almighty federal dollar; say, February 15th.

On that day alone, according to a recent CNN report, the Treasure will take in only $9 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Not when you consider the government is already committed to pay out $52 billion. Deciding how to allocate spending is the major challenge taking into account the kinds of bills that need to be paid.

On our random date, February 15th, again from the CNN report, America’s bills include $30 billion in interest on the national debt; $6.8 billion in IRS refunds; $3.5 billion in federal salaries and benefits; $2.7 billion in military active pay; $2.3 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments; $1.5 billion to defense vendors; $1.1 billion in safety net spending, including for food stamps and unemployment benefits; and $4.4 billion in other spending.

Just like balancing your home checkbook, there is only so much money to go around and you have to decide what to pay and when. The stakes are a bit higher at the federal level, of course. If you don’t pay your electric bill the power company disconnects you. It’s inconvenient, but unless you’re on some kind of life-sustaining device, you aren’t likely to die from it.

If congress fails to pay Medicare or Medicaid or the salaries of our military, it becomes far more than an inconvenience. People could lose their homes, hospitalization and child support.

That said, the danger is also a bit over dramatized for the evening news. What happens next is a game of musical bucks, shifting and reallocating funds from one program or department to another until the immediate needs are covered without causing too much uproar in the area from which the money originated. Sound familiar?

It should. This is how most middle-class families balance their budgets every month; choosing which bills get paid over the ones that are less urgent. It’s more about weighing consequences and trying to keep from adding more debt to the pile than actually paying off the amount owed.

The debt ceiling is one of the determining factors in reallocating resources. If the debt ceiling is higher, they get more time to cover certain bills, thus allowing them to pay other, more critical ones.

Every bill passed by congress has “pork” in it; pet project funding that really benefits no one but the congressman or senator who sponsored it. In most cases elimination of that kind of spending would ratchet up the country’s bank account and allow more debt to be paid down, instead of using it for a study like how long it takes a cockroach to eat a bar of chocolate.

Congress has several fiscal deadlines coming up and, as usual, Democrats and Republicans are already posturing to gain ground before debate even begins. But in the end, the American people will be the ones paying the price; higher taxes, higher energy costs and more wasted money on a congress that has simply failed to do its job.