Whatever else you may want to say about him, economist Robert Reich is a man who tells it like it is — or as he would like it to be. The former Clinton administration Labor secretary gave a taped lecture at Berkeley University in 2007 explaining how the “honest” candidate for president would sell healthcare reform to the American people.
The candid candidate would tell Americans, Reich ventured, that healthcare reform will mean young people will pay more, the elderly will die sooner, and medical innovation will suffer. When it comes to seniors, Reich’s not-poll tested stump speech would go like this:
If you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive. So we’re going to let you die.
They applauded in Berkeley — but advocates of healthcare reform were livid two years later when Sarah Palin offered an equally honest assessment of pending healthcare legislation, charging that it would introduce rationing and “Obama’s ‘death panel’” into American medicine.
The New York Times scoffed at the “death panel” claim, labeling it a “stubborn, but false rumor” and then-Newsweek editor Jon Meacham called it “a lie crafted to foment opposition to the president’s push for reform.”
Now we learn that buried deep within the healthcare law’s 2,801 pages of foggy prose is a provision to create a panel of bureaucrats with final authority on what treatments will and will not be paid for by Medicare, the federal insurance program that serves nearly 48 million seniors and disabled individuals. It’s called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member committee whose cost-cutting edicts are not subject to review by the courts or the people.
The health law gives this board of presidentially appointed and unaccountable “experts” the power to use price controls and other cuts to achieve spending reduction targets prescribed in the law. And there is very little Congress can do to stop the binding “recommendations” of this Independent Payment Advisory Board from taking effect. Its proposals are law unless Congress says “No,” which requires a majority House vote, an unlikely 60-vote Senate supermajority, and presidential approval.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, calls IPAB a “dramatic policy error” and “possibly the most dangerous aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The threat from IPAB, Holtz-Eakin points out, is that “It will effectively determine that patients should have coverage for one particular treatment option, but not another, or must pay much more for one of the treatment options.”
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) has practiced medicine for more than 30 years and calls IPAB the “real death panel.” His bill to repeal the healthcare cost-reduction board has won enough Republican and Democratic co-sponsors to pass the House. The Senate outcome is less certain.
Read the article here.
Democrats Flocking To Gingrich
BIG HAIRY NEWS – Latest poll results show that Democrat voters are flocking to support Republican Newt Gingrich, after allegations by his angry ex-wife that he is an immoral sex addict and serial adulterer.
“All I know is I can really relate to this guy,” said longtime Democratic voter Kip Fresner. “I guess he shares my core values and also reminds me of Bill Clinton – I loved that guy.”
The Gingrich campaign was initially caught by surprise by the unexpected influx of support from Democrats, but are now releasing photos of the candidate with various anonymous women, and quietly planting stories on-line of Newt’s sleazy sexual encounters.
The Romney campaign is reportedly very concerned that Gingrich may also claim to be gay, thus capturing even more former Democrat voters.
As I watch the media circus surrounding Marianne Gingrich’s interview regarding her relationship with her ex-husband and GOP candidate, Newt Gingrich, I am once again reminded of the double standard afforded to the Democrats and Barack Obama in particular. Coming on the heels of the Herman Cain melee in which the press had a field day parading one accuser after another before video cameras, it is difficult not to repeat the question of why the Democrats get a free pass. Why are calls for Mitt Romney to release his tax return not met with calls for Barack Obama to release his college transcripts — something that is just as customary for presidential candidates?
However, of greater importance in my view is the silence, save for a few journalists and pundits on the right, regarding exposing a videotape recorded in 2003 of Barack Obama at the farewell dinner for terrorist-supporting Palestinian Rashid Khalidi. News of the videotape’s existence came to light while Obama was a candidate, and the free pass given to him by the mainstream media was only just beginning to come to light when the enamored Chris Matthews’ shared news of the tingle up his leg.
While the birthers’ demands did draw some media attention, it was mostly negative and only made fun of the supposedly crazy loons on the far right who apparently were representative of all petty and irrational conservatives. No one seemed to notice that Obama had not written a single article while serving as editor of The Harvard Law Review, and no one pressed the issue of Obama’s suppressed college and law school transcripts since it was a given that his brilliance was perhaps surpassed only by the likes of Albert Einstein.
But there is a videotape sitting in the vaults of the Los Angeles Times, and every American should be screaming from the rooftops for its release. In light of the Arab Spring, Obama’s endless attempts to bully Israel into succumbing to all sorts of unprecedented and unsafe demands in the hopes that he would go down in history as the POTUS who made peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the administration’s ineptness in addressing Iran’s nuclear program and military threats, exposing this videotape is of utmost importance.
Work with Congress ‘when possible’ ???
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that President Obama would continue to roll out “We Can’t Wait” initiatives under his executive authority throughout 2012, but maintained that the president will “eagerly” work with Congress when possible.
“[Obama] has been talking about the fact that he will use his executive authority to advance the priorities of the American people, and he has been doing that,” Carney told reporters during today’s press briefing. “He will continue to do that. It is true that the context here is often, we can’t wait for Congress to act, and that will be true throughout the year.”
Obama has been criticized in the past for his apparent willingness, and sometimes desire, to circumvent Congress; his unprecedented reinterpretation of the conditions necessary to make recess appointments earlier this month was especially controversial.
Carney emphasized that Obama would like to work with Congress if Republicans wll stop blocking the stimulus program contained in the American Jobs Act. “Where Congress will act, he will eagerly join with them to get the people’s business done,” Carney said.
Hey, CAIR! Mind your own Goddamn business
The unmitigated gaul of CAIR! This Hamas-linked, pro-sharia group of convicted and unindicted co-conspirators in federal terrorist funding cases, has the nerve to demand that public officials disinvite anti-Islam speakers from participating at public events.
CAIR Asks Maryland Mayor to Disinvite Anti-Islam Speaker…
Retired Gen. Boykin says Constitution should not protect Muslims, there should be ‘no mosques in America’…
Via The Hill:
President Obama is acting like the Emperor from the “Star Wars” saga, stoking hatred and class warfare, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused in an interview with the conservative news site Newsmax published Thursday.
“He is playing class warfare, and I have been really hurt for America as I’ve seen our president basically take a page out of the playbook of Darth Vader’s leader, the evil Emperor, when he was saying, ‘Yes, feel the hatred,’” Ghomert said in a phone interview published on the conservative site.
“This president says, ‘Look around, see things you want,’” continued the outspoken Republican congressman. “‘You ought to be jealous of what they have. Help us push legislation that takes their money away and gives it to you.’”
It takes a lot to get the Catholic Church fired up, but apparently Obama has succeeded at doing it.
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Bishops of the United States called “literally unconscionable” a decision by the Obama Administration to continue to demand that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans. Today’s announcement means that this mandate and its very narrow exemption will not change at all; instead there will only be a delay in enforcement against some employers.
“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The cardinal-designate continued, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”
The HHS rule requires that sterilization and contraception — including controversial abortifacients — be included among “preventive services” coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans. “The government should not force Americans to act as if pregnancy is a disease to be prevented at all costs,” added Cardinal-designate Dolan.
At issue, the U.S. bishops and other religious leaders insist, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for the conscience of Catholics and all other Americans.
“This is nothing less than a direct attack on religion and First Amendment rights,” said Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairperson of the board at Franciscan Alliance, Inc., a system of 13 Catholic hospitals. “I have hundreds of employees who will be upset and confused by this edict. I cannot understand it at all.”
“The Obama administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand,” he said. “The Catholic bishops are committed to working with our fellow Americans to reform the law and change this unjust regulation. We will continue to study all the implications of this troubling decision.”