Photos of the Kill the Bill Rally in DC Today

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Here’s some pictures that a friend on mine in Virginia, RightcoastConservative made of the Rally today.


We Makes Em Up As We Go…

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Congressman Alcee Hastings is an ex-federal judge. He spent ten years as a federal judge (1979-1989), but was impeached and removed from office for corruption and perjury. He was the sixth federal judge to be impeached and removed from office in American history. Obviously, corruption in a judicial office won’t keep you from service as a congressman….and obviously, he has no problem ignoring the Constitution….

CBO Report: 98% of Spending in HC Bill Comes in Last 6 Yrs

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Here’s some more info on the true cost of Obamacare and some more explaining about the “compromised”  CBO report on the cost of health care.

CBO Report: 98% of Spending in HC Bill Comes in Last 6 Yrs

So the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers are out. Sort of. While we now have an official document from the CBO evaluating the Democratic health care proposals, the analysis opens with this following cautionary note:

Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

What basically happened is that Democrats were rushing to get out the CBO scores so that they could have some sort of claim to have released them 72 hours prior to a vote, which they want to hold on Sunday. But we won’t have 72 hours to look at the actual final scores.

An initial reading of the report suggests that Democrats employed similar accounting gimmicks as in previous iterations of the health care bill, while making up a shortfall with more cuts to Medicare Advantage, siphoning money from the Student loan bill, and raising taxes further. While I’ll go into further detail later once I’ve had a chance to look at all of the moving parts, and analyze the actual bill itself, one thing worth highlighting is that as expected, Democrats have maintained the strategy of delaying the major spending provisions until 2014 to create the appearance that the bill is cheaper over the CBO’s ten year budget window, from 2010 through 2019. In this version, the bill spends $17 billion in the first four years, while the remaining $923 billion, or 98 percent, is spent in the next six years. I’ve illustrated this tactic in the chart below. One thing to note is that the oft-quoted $940 billion number only pertains to the cost of expanding coverage — which is the bulk of spending in the bill — but it does not include all other costs, such as the providing more Medicare prescription drug subsidies, which costs about $38 billion. I’ve used the $940 billion figure in the chart below, but have specified that it’s only the cost of the coverage provisions.

GOP:Not So Fast! Challenges Could Drag Out Health Bill Votes

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Well for those who think the debate and fight will be over Sunday  are wrong.

Not So Fast! Challenges Could Drag Out Health Bill Votes

Though Democrats are looking for a big vote Sunday on health care reform, the process could drag out for a while with Republicans looking to challenge the legislation and one Democrat mulling a new “sidecar” bill.

So the House will vote to approve the health care bill on Sunday, the Senate will promptly polish off a “fix-it” bill, and this whole political nightmare will end — right?

Not so fast.

Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat, is floating a plan to introduce an entirely separate bill — in addition to the main Senate bill and the House’s package of changes — to tighten restrictions on abortion funding. This would create a whole new set of votes that have to be cast before Congress can finish its work.

On top of that, Republican senators are warning that they will drag out the process of approving the “sidecar” package of changes that House Democrats want to see passed in exchange for their vote on the main Senate bill. Republicans plan to tinker with that bill so that after they’re done with it, the House has to take it up again.

If they succeed, it means the health care issue won’t go away Sunday — or even next week. And Democrats who are looking to get beyond the debate, particularly those in moderate or conservative districts, will be dogged by the issue as they enter the high season of campaigning.

he Republicans’ specific strategy for prolonging the debate is to exploit a potential problem with the reconciliation bill.

The main trouble spot is that the package includes a change to the controversial tax on high-cost “Cadillac” insurance plans — under a compromise, because liberal Democrats and unions despise it, the tax would be put off until 2018, as opposed to 2013.

But Republicans argue that the adjustment would run afoul of a congressional rule that says reconciliation cannot be used to tweak Social Security. Because the tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans is projected to bring in revenue to Social Security, any change to that tax would presumably affect Social Security.

This is a clear violation of the rule, GOP sources told Fox News.

It takes 60 votes to waive any objections Republicans might bring up on the floor on those grounds, but Democrats have only 59. And there aren’t a lot of senators crossing aisles these days.

Even Democratic North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, in an interview with Fox News, conceded that changes are likely. But his strategy is to fix the bill on the House side before it gets to the Senate to minimize the chances of it getting sent back.

The GOP strategy appears to be two-fold, though: Either toy with the bill when it gets to the Senate and drag out the process, or prevent the bill from coming to the Senate at all.

If Republicans can make the case that key parts of the “sidecar” bill will never be passed, then they hope a number of fence-sitting House Democrats will not want to go on record in support of a Senate bill they see as seriously flawed.

“So if you’re a member of the House of Representatives, the best you can hope for is you’re going to get a bill back to the House that has a lot of these provisions that you care about knocked out,” Thune said, calling the idea that the Senate is going to fix all the problems in the original bill an “incredible leap of faith.”

130 Economist Tell White House: Health Care Bill is a Job Killer

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Just another indication of what Steve and I have been saying for the longest time……..this bill is another JOB KILLER !!

130 Economist Tell White House: Health Care Bill is a Job Killer

In addition to all it’s other problems, economists also say the health care bill is a job killer, too.  They point to all the tax hikes needed to pay for the new $1,000,000,000,000+ entitlement as slowing economic growth and job creation.  130 economists signed the letter below (also here) and sent it to the White House today.

Dear President Obama and Congress:

As early as this week, the House of Representatives will vote on the Senate-passed health care bill as well as a reconciliation package making changes to the bill.  While Speaker Pelosi asserts that health care reform will create four million jobs, we disagree.  In our view, the health care bill contains a number of provisions that will eliminate jobs, reduce hours and wages, and limit future job creation.

New Taxes.  The bill raises taxes by almost $500 billion over ten years. A significant portion of these tax increases will fall on small business owners, reducing capital and limiting economic growth and hiring.

New and Increased Medicare Taxes.  An increase in the Medicare payroll tax included in the bill will affect small businesses employing millions of Americans.  Over time, higher payroll taxes will decrease wages for these employees.  And a new Medicare tax on investment income such as interest, dividends, and capital gains proposed by President Obama and likely included in the bill will threaten jobs and decrease economic growth.

Employer Mandate.   The bill will impose a tax of $2,000 per employee on employers with more than 50 employees that do not provide health insurance.  The bill will also tax employers that offer health coverage deemed “unaffordable” by the government.  These new taxes on employers will reduce employment or be passed on to workers in the form of lower wages or reduced hours.

In addition to constricting economic growth and reducing employment, the health care bill will increase spending on health care and will increase the cost of health coverage.  The new and higher taxes on America’s small businesses and workers included in the bill are detrimental to job creation and economic growth, especially now given the fragile state of the economy.  The Congress should instead enact a health care bill that will reduce spending on health care, reduce the cost of health coverage for every American, and that does not harm the economy or cost jobs.


(click here to see all 130 names on the letter)

UPDATE Caterpillar: Health Bill Would Cost Company $100M

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Here we have a huge old established company complaining about Obamacare and writing a letter to Nancy Pelosi (which she could care less) saying in just the 1st year along this new bill will cost them $100 million.

UPDATE Caterpillar: Health Bill Would Cost Company $100M

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) said the proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system could increase its costs by $100 million, signaling disquiet in corporate America about the controversial plan.

The heavy-equipment maker’s concerns are focused on the potential loss of subsidies to prescription drug costs it covers for retired employees.

In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio), Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.”

The company said the potential extra costs would primarily come from provisions to tax the federal subsidies the company now receives for providing prescription-drug benefits to retirees and their spouses.

Since the Medicare drug program was enacted in 2003, Caterpillar and more than 3,500 companies that already provided drug benefits for retirees have received tax-free subsidies from the federal government as an incentive to maintain their drug programs.(This is what happens, the federal government suckers us all in with money, then  sometimes years later dictates what we have to “voluntarily” do or we’ll lose the funding…..just watch other things and you’ll see this is a pattern.)

The subsidies average $665 per person covered under a company-sponsored prescription program, according to benefits consultant Towers Watson, which recently completed a study on the health-care legislation’s effects.

Watson Towers estimates federal taxes on the drug subsidies would amount to $233 per person receiving drug benefits under such programs.

About 40,000 Caterpillar retirees receive company-sponsored drug benefits, which are more generous than Medicare’s drug plan, in which recipients are required to pay some out-of-pocket expenses.

Proponents of subjecting the drug benefit subsidies to federal income taxes argue that Caterpillar and other companies are already able to deduct health care benefit costs, including the drug program, from their taxes as a business expense.

The Peoria, Ill., company also says it faces higher insurance costs from a requirement in the health-care legislation that would extend coverage for employees’ dependent adult children up to age up to age 26. The company currently covers adult dependents up to 25, but only if they are full-time students. (These type things will make most companies willing to drop their employees coverage and pay the cheaper fine to the government, thus forcing their employees on the government paid play…..thus in a few short years we will have the “single payer” system Obama said he liked best during his campaign.)

Caterpillar said this provision, along with eliminating the tax exemption on drug subsidies, would raise its health care costs by at least 20%, or more than $100 million, in the first year after the health-care overhaul program.

Although the health-care legislation would be phased in over a number of years, the tax effects of the legislation would be felt in 2010 if the bill becomes law this year.

“From an accounting standpoint it hits right away,” said Roland McDevitt, director of health care research for Towers Watson. The tax charges also would count against companies’ earnings at a time when corporate profits remain fragile because of the weak economy.

McDevitt estimates that a company with 25,000 retirees on subsidized drug benefits could see its 2010 earnings reduced by $70 million.

Caterpillar and other companies have been lobbying to maintain the tax-free subsidies as an effective way for the federal government to hold down its costs for Medicare prescription drug coverage by keeping retirees enrolled in company-run programs. They predict that taxing the subsidies will cause companies to curtail drug benefit programs for retirees.

“We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year,” said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar.

Business executives have long complained that the options offered for covering 32 million uninsured would result in higher insurance costs and hinder economic growth. Opponents of the legislation have stepped up their attacks in recent days as the House moves closer toward a vote on the Senate version of the health-care legislation.

A letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed by more than 130 economists predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring more workers and would cause reduced hours and wages for those already employed.