Regarding Cookin’ The Books…

In light of the news of the past 24-hours, it perhaps entirely fitting that a TV cook decided to promote Obamacare this past week.

A bit of history as a prelude to this post:
October 30, 2012: Obama can’t get re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8%.

November 4, 2012: 2 days before election–SHAZAMM!!! Books are cooked, unemployment rate at 7.9% (ignoring, of course, those who gave up looking for jobs).

March 30, 2014: Obama woefully in danger of not meeting targeted goal of 7 million subscribers by March 31st. 2014 deadline– another postponement of the deadline would give anti-Obamacare elements endless fodder for Obamacare’s further de-legitimization.

Now, enter March 31, 2014–Zero Hour to deadline: SHAZAM!! Five million people miraculously sign their lives away on the Obamacare website, two million more flood the phone lines.

Does anybody REALLY believe this crap?

First–OK– I’ll give it that yesterday was the deadline–but even if their numbers are true, it doesn’t really portray that people so loved Obamacare that they just couldn’t wait to sign up.
It was either sign up, or get fined. It was coercion, at best.

Second: Obamacare was sold (read: shoved down our throats in the dead of night) as something that was needed because there were, at the time, 30,000,000 uninsured Americans out of a nation of 310,000,000 (9.6%). Which necessarily meant that nine out of ten people were inconvenienced at best and/or lost THEIR coverage at worst so that one out of the ten who weren’t covered in the first place could supposedly get covered.

The last estimates placed over 40,000,000 people who are currently uninsured; with 5-6 million of those uninsured as a DIRECT RESULT of their policies being cancelled under Obamacare. (As a matter of fact, companies offering insurance to males that didn’t cover pregnancy were fined over 2000 percent more per employee than companies who chose not to offer any insurance plan at all–but I digress).

SO– if their numbers are correct (and again–a bit too convenient, if you ask me, to be correct) we haven’t even gotten back to Square One in terms of Obamacare’s stated goals (to insure the 30,000,000 uninsured).

Yet, despite this, despite the perpetually-broken $600 MILLION website paid for with our taxpayer dollars, and most importantly, despite the broken promises made to the American people on so many fronts that you need a scorecard to keep track of them, his royal eminence, wannabe emperor and Grand Poobah of his own reality, Barack Hussein Obama (pbuh) is going to strut to the podium this afternoon and crow to the great unwashed masses that he’s single-handedly saved the nation’s health care system, and there will be more of that where it came from.

And, perhaps most pitiful of all, his dutiful. star-struck, sycophantic stenographer-media sheep, those supposedly charged with being a check and balance against our government, will happily and dutifully re-bleat his maniacal, delusional rantings.

Change in Our Health Plans… We Won’t Forget

“If you like your plan, you can keep it,” Obama said, oh, so many times. You know, it never ceases to amaze me how someone so deceitful can get away with it so many time, and yet so many (including, I’m sure, the liberals who read this blog) just make excuses for him, as if turning a blind eye makes it any better.

So, there have been a few numbers thrown out there regarding how many people are not going to be able to keep the insurance plans they liked. One analysis (via the liberal news outlet McClatchy) suggests the number is as high as 52 million.

It seems like this is the moment where the liberal media is less able to spin the truth. Because, let’s face it, no matter what the spin, if you lose your insurance because of Obamacare, that’s a very real way Obama has not only lied to you, but also negatively impacted your life in a direct, measurable way.

A few weeks ago, my health insurance provider released their Obamacare-approved plans—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—and the cheapest one they have is not only $2000+/year more than my current plan, but the coverage is worse. An even higher deductible and higher out-of-pocket maximum. So, it’s not even like I lost my current plan and got something better. I lost my current plan and got royally screwed.

There are many others who are having similar experiences. So, it’s hardly a shock that Obama’s approval ratings are sliding. The reality of Obamacare just isn’t the same bundle of wonderful that was pitched to the public. Granted, many of us knew Obamacare was going to be a disaster, but we didn’t vote for Obama anyway.

I’m hopeful that those who voted for Obama, and, let’s be honest, the Democratic Party, will remember this betrayal of trust next November and again in 2016. Even though people forget a lot of things by the time they vote (see 150 Reasons Why Barack Obama is the Worst President in History for a rather thorough list of things Obama voters forgot about when they voted) but it will hard to forget the higher premiums they’ll be paying because of Obama’s crowning achievement.

Government Shut Down We’re All Gonna DIE!!!1!!Eleventy!!1! Open Thread

As Matt noted on Facebook, the two worst people in America are Harry Reid and Barack Obama…bringing on crisis after crisis because, quite simply, they can’t have regular order in Congress as that would result in the whole Obama-Reid project going down in flames…remember, even Democrats don’t want this nonsense (or, at least, enough of them who are under threat in 2014 don’t want this).

But as we’re all going to die due to lack of government as of October 1st, let us just relax and enjoy our last few moments…and discuss whatever comes to mind.

UPDATE:  Have you ever been to the WWII Memorial in DC?  I have.  So has Matt.  Its a beautiful, moving monument to the men and women who sacrificed so much to win the Second World War.  Its an open park.  There is no “gate”; no entrance, as it were.  It is just there and you are free to wander through it as you will.  But for some reason the Park Service put up barricades to prevent entry this morning.  Why?  I can only surmise to make us all feel bad – in other words, on orders from on high, they decided to be rat bastards and prevent people from visiting the memorial in order to punish us and so get us to blame the bad, old Republicans for Obama and Reid shutting down the government.  Well, the veterans of WWII are equal to any task – and so they just broke down the barricades and went on in, anyway.

UPDATE II: From what I’ve read, what I thought would be a day or two shutdown until the House GOP caved looks like it might go on for a couple weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still an urge to surrender in the GOP House…but also a dawning realization that surrender won’t help the country or the party.  True, there is a risk of a national backlash against us – but I believe such a risk is small.  Most of the people who are going to really hate us over this already hate us – but, meanwhile, as long as we fight those who love us, will love us even more.  Eventually there will be a resolution of some sort – but I’m willing to go for weeks on this and see what we can get.  I bet if we hold firm we do get at least a year’s delay on the individual mandate and some other reforms.  And a year’s delay on that sets up a situation where we might even get another year’s delay…and so on.  Stand firm, GOP.

UPDATE III:  Ed Morrisey over at Hot Air notes a new CBS poll taken after the shutdown started – it is rather unsurprising.  Overwhelming majority disapproves of the shutdown and more people blame the GOP than blame Obama…but the kicker on that is that during the 1995 shutdown the blame GOP/blame President breakdown was 2 to 1 in favor of the President…now its 44% blaming GOP, 35% blaming Obama, and the poll was taken before the debacle of the WWII memorial and Reid’s comments about kids with cancer made the news in a big way.   Compromise is demanded by overwhelming majorities, and so the Obama/Reid plan to automatically reject everything unless they get 100% of what they want will probably work over time to increasing disadvantage to the President and his Democrats – they are going to have to give ground (so will the GOP, but as we’re already willing to do that, its less of a sacrifice for us).

Remember, this is not 1995 – the MSM does not control things as well as they used to. The New Media is out there.  The longer this goes on, the worse this gets for Democrats.  And, of course, the Democrats know that – which is why we’re getting so much advice that its in our interest to end this as swiftly as possible by a complete surrender.  Democrats wanted the shut down because they figured it worked best for them, and so we got it – Democrats now want this ended quickly with our surrender, because they figure that works best for them.  Don’t fall for the lies.  Stand firm!

UPDATE IV:  Mark Steyn hits a point no one has yet made:

…In fact, government by “continuing resolution” is a sleazy racket: The legislative branch is supposed to legislate. Instead, they’re presented with a yea-or-nay vote on a single all-or-nothing multi-trillion-dollar band-aid stitched together behind closed doors to hold the federal leviathan together while it belches its way through to the next budget cycle. As Professor Angelo Codevilla of Boston University put it, “This turns democracy into a choice between tyranny and anarchy.” It’s certainly a perversion of responsible government: Congress has less say over specific federal expenditures than the citizens of my New Hampshire backwater do at Town Meeting over the budget for a new fence at the town dump. Pace Senator Reid, Republican proposals to allocate spending through targeted, mere multi-billion-dollar appropriations are not only not “irresponsible” but, in fact, a vast improvement over the “continuing resolution”: To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, but continuing power corrupts continually…

A continuing resolution is essentially a blank check to the Executive to just keep doing whatever it wishes – each department is supposed to have its own appropriation so that Congress can review what the money is going to be spent on, and make changes as appears necessary.  Just continuing things is an abdication of Congressional authority – and a nullification of the Constitution in a lot of ways.  The plain fact of the matter is that the government should be shut down right now – and should stay shut down until the House and Senate agree on a series of funding bills to send to the President…and this will take negotiations between the House and Senate, and therein lies the real reason Reid and Obama don’t want it:  such negotiations would force cuts in various Democrat proposals which are unpopular with the public, but popular with the cronies of the Democrats.

UPDATE V:  Obama kicks out a 77 and 80 year old couple who have owned their house on Lake Mead for decades.  Because it sits on federal land, Obama says “get out”, and, of course, we’re all supposed to blame the Republicans because of this.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Lake Mead but its mostly just empty land with a big lake in the middle of it.  It has a gate, of course, and they charge you $10 a car load (which means during this splendid fall weather the government is denying itself a large amount of money in entrance fees) to get in…people do live in private homes in various parts of the Lake Mead area, and there is no risk at all in them being in their homes.  But Obama and Reid just want to be creeps, and so this happens.

An Open Letter To Al Franken

I received an email from Senator Franken. Among his accomplishments touted was supposedly keeping college affordable for Minnesotans, accomplishing this by keeping student loan rates low, and trying to expand the issuance of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid. 

This was my response to the Senator:

Dear Senator Franken 

While I appreciate your wanting to keep the cost of education affordable for all Minnesotans, your solutions appear to be centered on only one side of the equation. 

While I applaud your efforts to keep interest on student loans low, and to expand the availability of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid, I must wonder what is being done on the other side of the equation– to keep college costs down? 

What is happening in colleges seems to be highly analogous with what is happening in health care. In health care, raises in prices are passed on to health insurance companies, who in turn merely charge higher premiums to their users. There is no competition nor pressure brought to bear on medically-related institutions to hold the line on costs, as they simply pass the costs, almost whimsically, back to the consumer. 

In the same manner, as colleges raise their tuition rates with impunity, government responds not by holding educational institutions accountable for their costs, but by increasing the levels of debt on the part of students and/or cost to the taxpayer in terms of financial aid subsidies. This necessarily keeps tax burdens on individuals and businesses elevated, and necessarily increases the already insurmountable mountain of debt incurred by students. 

What is the threshold under which government will put a ceiling on financial aid? 

If government places such a ceiling on the level of financial aid given to students, colleges will necessarily need to adjust tuition and other associated costs or face severely declining enrollment. 

In other words, competition and market-driven forces will bring pressure to keep the costs of college at affordable levels. 

And, incidentally and likewise, competition and market-driven forces will force health care providers to keep their costs at affordable levels (I present the lowering costs and higher quality and availability of laser eye surgery as a shining example of this concept). 

Senator Franken, at the beginning of this screed, I didn’t think about tying these concepts, health care and higher education, together. But now that I am typing this, I have come to the conclusion (and I hope that you can follow me) that what it comes down to is this: what is missing from Higher Education and what is missing in health care–including Obamacare–is the very thing that will alleviate issues in both of these problematic areas– the introduction of market forces to bring costs down to affordable levels. 

Sir, I have little hope that you will take this to heart, as no doubt your partisan blinders will prevent you from seeing the inherent similarities between these two out-of-control aspects of our society, and that these two sectors share a nearly identical solution (market-driven forces); but then again, one can certainly dream. 

Sincerely, 

Leo Pusateri

House GOP Grows a Backbone?

Maybe:

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday that the chamber will pass a resolution this week to continue funding the government but to deny any funds to implement President Obama’s new health care law.

“The law is a train wreck. The president has protected American big business. It’s time to protect American families from this unworkable law,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said at a press conference Wednesday morning…

Obama, naturally, has said he’ll reject any bill which defunds ObamaCare.  This, as you might expect, has frightened the RINOs who have been told by the Democrats and the MSM that the shutdown of the government during the 1990’s destroyed the GOP for a generation…except for the fact that the GOP post-shut down managed to hold on to their House and Senate majorities and elected Bush President in 2000.  If we get “crushed” like that because we shut down the government over ObamaCare, then I’m all for it.  It looked for a long time like the House leadership would cave to RINO fears – but, I guess someone on Boehner’s staff decided to step an inch outside the Beltway and discovered (doubtless much to his surprise) that ObamaCare is hideously unpopular with the American people and especially with the GOP base.

This isn’t a gray area – it is a stark fact of life.  ObamaCare is a train wreck and everyone outside the White House and MSNBC can see it’s a train wreck.  People don’t want it.  They might not be sold on a free market solution to ObamaCare; they may, indeed, eventually opt for a very government-run health care system…but ObamaCare is a disaster that people have already seen too much of.  It has to go.  Only Obama’s pride and stupidity prevents him from just saying, “now that we’ve seen the complexities of health care reform, it is time for us to change the law in light of recent experience”.  If he did that, he’d probably wind up with 80% of what he wants…but, as I said: stupid and proud.

I’m just glad we’re fighting a bit…more drift like we’ve had the past 6 months and 2014 could end up a disaster for us.  Fight and win…and, heck, even if you fight and lose its better than “chicken out” and lose.

How to End the Argument Over Birth Control

From the Wall Street Journal via Hot Air:

…As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.

Let’s ask the question: Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

So at present we have an odd situation. Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription. Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so…

That is Bobby Jindal.  Have I mentioned that he’s smarter than the next 100 Republicans?  And also smarter than the next 1,000 Democrats?  Just make birth control an over-the-counter medication.  Personally, of course, I think the whole concept of “birth control” to be the most idiotic of twaddle – but its not for me to decide for anyone else whether they want to participate in it.  And if we make it over-the-counter then its like going to buy Nyquil when you’ve got a cold…just go buy it.  And as Jindal points out, if we make it over-the-counter the massive competition for market share which will result will drive down the cost of birth control to the point where if you can’t afford it then its likely because you blew all your money on drugs or gambling.  This takes it entirely out of the debate – no need to mandate it for religious institutions; no need to worry if a woman working at a religious institution should get coverage because any working woman will be easily able to afford it entirely on her own, without the risk of forcing religious people to participate in what some believe to be an evil.  Problem solved.

Now, of course, our liberals won’t sit still for this – and they’ll naturally start to demand that abortion be covered by all insurance plans, but that is a fight we can win as America is becoming increasingly pro-life.   But, meanwhile, by applying our free market principals as well as our demand for individual liberty and freedom of conscience, we can totally destroy this argument which did so much to fuel the Democrats absurd claims of a “war against women” this year.

Big Brother Is Reading Your Medical Records

See, this is scary.

As part of its implementation of Obamacare, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new federal regulation to require private health insurance companies to give the government all of the health records of every person they insure. The rule is shrouded in the usual bureaucratese, but, as Huelskamp pointed out in a Washington Examiner op-ed, “abstract terms are used to distract from the real objectives of this idea: no matter which ‘option’ is chosen, government bureaucrats would have access to the health records of every American — including you.”

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims the government must have the records in order to evaluate the performance of health insurers. Aside from the absurdity of having federal health bureaucrats judge the job performance of anybody else, the proposal raises a gigantic red flag: Federal and state governments have proven repeatedly in recent years that they are all but incapable of fully protecting sensitive records of individuals.

Seriously, who can read this and think Obamacare was a good idea? How much more Orwellian nonsense is there?