Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ronald Reagan speaks out on Socialized Medicine

In 1961, President Reagan delivered a radio address on socialized medicine, where he stated, “Our government has invaded the precincts of private citizens.” He continued, “It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanity project. But the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine, and gave them the chance to choose, would unhesitatingly choose against it.”

Obama's to Blame for the "Birther" Movement By Tommy De Seno

Obama can end the "birthers" controversy in one single day by releasing the original documents, but for some inexplicable reason he refuses, and the love-struck media never ask him why...


July 29, 2009

Trust but verify.
Ronald Reagan

It's good practice to take a person at his word until someone shows you proof he is lying.

Barack Obama says he was born in Hawaii, and since no one has shown any proof he was born in Kenya or elsewhere, it's OK to conclude he was born in Hawaii.

Sure his grammar school records show that he was enrolled as an Indonesian Muslim, but some people will say anything to get their kid in the right school.  It doesn't really answer the question.

It's OK though for others not to use my deferential standard and continue to question whether Obama was born in Hawaii.  We aren't talking about a 12-year-old qualifying to play Little League here.  There is a Constitutional mandate that the President be a natural-born citizen, and if Obama is not one, he certainly will have committed the biggest fraud since the White Sox threw the World Series.

The reason why people still question Obama's citizen status is one-fold:  "President Transparency" has refused to release any original documents on the matter.  He can end the controversy in a day by releasing original documents, but for some inexplicable reason he refuses, and his love-struck media never asks him why he won't. The media instead spends hell-bent hours on making the Birther movement look like fringy, conspiracy-hungry kooks.

You have to admit though, even if you are a devout Obama-bot, Obama's refusal to release any original documents makes for a newsworthy story by itself.

If he really wants the Birthers to shut up, he has the power to do it by releasing the original documents. Why not just do it then? It's a simple task. Why not get rid of a conversation that has been with America since the campaign?

The issue is the subject of several lawsuits, which only seek a peek at original documents. Can anyone explain why it is smarter for Obama to spend tens of thousands of dollars and man-hours defending the suits when he can win the lawsuit for free by showing the original documents?

By defending the lawsuits and not showing the documents, Obama feeds the suspicion of those who already think he is lying.  That's why this issue has the power to linger, and that's Obama's fault alone.

Let's look at what Obama has released, and you will see they are hearsay documents and not best evidence.

The Birth Certificate: The certificate put on the Internet by Obama and held up by the media was created in 2007.  In the lower left corner of the form there is reference to a Hawaiian statute that was revised in November of 2001, and if you look closely at the front you can see bleeding through from the back the date stamp from 2007 when the document was created.  It's a certification that an original does exit.

So the the Birthers say:  "Fine.  Then show us the original."  Obama says, "No."  Why?

The Newspaper Announcements: Two birth announcements from Hawaiian local papers show Obama's birth.  The Birthers have a couple of good arguments about them.  First, Hawaii is where Obama's grandparents lived and it's not unusual for grandparents to announce a birth to their friends, even if the grandson lives elsewhere. Also, if Obama's parents lived in Hawaii then moved to Kenya when they birthed him, it wouldn't be unusual to announce the birth in the old neighborhood for friends to see.

The newspaper announcements cut against the Birthers, but they are hearsay documents and don't answer the citizen question any more than his grammar school records prove he is a Muslim. The original Birth Certificate will end it all.

School Records:  The Birthers believe that Obama's records from college and graduate school will show he matriculated as a foreign born student.  This is easy -- shut them up by releasing them!  Obama's response?  "No."  Why?

This one reminds me of John Kerry not releasing his Yale records until after the election.  During the campaign Kerry soaked in the warm media bath that swore he was the intellectual and George Bush the dolt. When the records came out later it was quietly reported that George Bush had a higher grade point average at Yale.

Media's penchant to cover for Democrat candidates fuels the Birther fire as well.  See as an example John Edwards' love affair.

Financial Aid Records:  Barack Obama relishes his own personal Sonia Sotomayor-like story of how he came from a broken home and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps.  But he refuses to show how his very expensive tuition at Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School were paid for.

The Birthers believe the records will show Obama received financial aid as a foreign born student.  Obama says they won't.  Not to sound like a broken record, but releasing the records will end the controversy, and Obama refuses. Why?

The Birther movement is Obama's fault for not releasing the records.  I hope the Birthers continue to bite his ankles until he releases the records. He deserves nothing less.

Read more Tommy De Seno at

CBO's Gift to Dems: A Closer Look


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Health Care: The people who debunked the cost-saving claims of ObamaCare have come back with a seemingly reassuring review of the "public option." But the devil is in the assumptions.

IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure

Democrats promoting a new government health insurance plan got some good news, for a change, from the Congressional Budget Office this week. The nonpartisan fiscal scorekeeper sent a letter to Dave Camp, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, in which it rebutted the claim that the so-called "public option" would drive private insurers out of business.

Most people with job-based private plans would keep them, the CBO said, though it did note that "estimating enrollment in the public plan is especially difficult."

Indeed it is. But House Democratic leaders wasted no time in declaring victory in the analytic wars. "Now we've heard that the reform will represent a government takeover of health care," said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. "A point of fact: The opposite is true."

The real point of fact, as noted by more impartial observers, is that the rival scenarios for the future of private insurance rest on differing assumptions about the future pricing and eligibility rules for the government plan.

An earlier analysis by the Lewin Group, a private consulting firm owned by the health insurer UnitedHealth Group, estimated that more than 100 million people would eventually move to the public plan. The CBO puts the total much lower, at about 9 million. It also says about 12 million would be added to private plans because of the proposed new mandate that employers provide coverage.

Essentially, the Lewin study foresees radical change — a true government takeover. The CBO says that, for most employed Americans, not much is going to change.

Why the huge gap? One answer is that the assumptions of these studies differ in two key areas. One is pricing. The Lewin study assumes that the public plan's premiums would be about 20% below those of private plans. The CBO assumes a discount of just 10%.

The other crucial difference regards eligibility. Lewin assumes that all employees would eventually be able to jump to the public plan, no matter how large their employer. The CBO assumes that workers at firms of more than 50 employees would be barred from that choice.

As we (and the CBO) have noted, it's hard to predict the future behavior of employers, employees and the government around the year 2015, when the health care overhaul envisioned by the current House bill is to be fully implemented. But we can say this much: The motivation behind the public plan will have a lot to do with how things turn out.

If the government really means to keep the public "option" just that — one of many options in a competitive exchange dominated by private players — it can do so. If the real agenda is to engineer a transition to single-payer public coverage, it can do that too. Both courses are possible under the House bill, which of course can also be revised in coming years.

It all boils down to a question of trust. If you take President Obama and other backers of the public plan at their word, the plan is supposed to be priced to cover its true costs and is not meant to supplant plans offered by larger employers. It's also supposed to keep private insurers "honest," as the president puts it, by serving as a model of efficiency — not by trying to price them out of business.

The CBO, for its part, has no choice but to trust the language of bills and their sponsors. Its assigned role is to judge legislation as written, not as it might turn out in practice. It's up to others to scrutinize political motives and judge how they would influence the future course of health care.

One can get a clue about those motives by seeing how relentlessly Big Labor and the left wing of the Democratic Party push for the public plan. For them, the public option sketched out in the House bill is just a first step. After all, it would make little sense for unions, representing mainly large-employer work forces, to push for an option that would be unavailable to most of the members.

Leading Democrats can claim that a government takeover isn't in the cards, but the party's base has different ideas. It's waiting for an opening, and the public option would give it one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

States, Look Out!


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Reform: What if there are too few millionaires to pay for a big expansion of tax-paid health care coverage? Congress may then adopt its tried-and-true Plan B, dumping the burden on lower levels of government.

IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure

Ever since the Congressional Budget Office delivered its harsh verdict on the ObamaCare bills — that they would raise the cost of health care and would add $240 billion or more to future deficits — Democrats have been frantically looking for a way to square the tax circle.

They need to find some source of revenues that covers their spending but doesn't cost them votes.

Adding a surtax for the merely well-off, as the bill just passed by the House Ways and Means Committee would do, catches too many voters in its net. So Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants the new tax to be limited to people making $500,000 (up from the current bill's $280,000) and couples making $1 million (up from $350,000). That would make it a true millionaire's tax, she says.

It also would bring in less money. Maybe a lot less, given the volatility of income at high levels and the options that high earners have to defer, shelter and otherwise shift their income out of the taxable stream. Democrats have hit a wall and they know it.

But they do have one detour left. They can play the old game of unfunded mandate — in this case shifting burdens to states, local governments and individuals without covering the added costs. Congress has done this countless times in big and small ways.

Major regulatory laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, impose heavy costs on the private and public sectors that are not reimbursed.

Federal law since 1986 has required hospital emergency rooms to treat all comers, regardless of ability to pay. The Medicaid program requires states to pick up 43% of the tab, on average, for medical services to the poor.

Governors are worried, with good reason, that Congress will deal with its revenue problem by expanding state obligations under Medicaid. Half of them were at last weekend's meeting of the National Governor's Association, and everyone there seemed to have the same fear that, as Tennessee's Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen put it, they would get hit with the "mother of all mandates."

The current House and Senate bills would add millions more people to Medicaid rolls by loosening eligibility standards. The House bill would add 11 million, according to CBO projections, and would commit the federal government to covering all the costs of those newly eligible.

Under a draft bill in the Senate Finance Committee, Washington would cover those costs, but not forever. In five years or so, states would have to pick up their share of the tab.

All these commitments look iffy in light of the CBO's new shortfall projections. They would have been shaky even if the CBO had come through with a rosier forecast, simply because the projected deficits beyond health care are so huge.

The federal government will need trillions of dollars from somewhere if it sticks to the spending plans of President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress. And it's always easier to close a budget gap by shifting burdens than by openly raising taxes.

The states are experts in Medicaid and its problems. If consulted seriously, they could have given Congress plenty of reasons why expanding the program is a bad idea.

Bredesen's Tennessee tried such an expansion in the 1990s and had to scale it back.

Massachusetts is learning a similar lesson with Commonwealth Care, its insurance for low-to-middle income people who aren't poor enough for Medicaid.

The Massachusetts plan has produced soaring costs and no significant savings.

The state has started to tighten eligibility (starting with 30,000 legal immigrants) to rein it in.

At least Massachusetts has engaged in this experiment freely. There's a real threat that the other 49 states would be forced to do the same, this time with no say in the matter.

Ignoring Science


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Climate Change: A new scientific paper says that man has had little or nothing to do with global temperature variations. Maybe the only place it's really getting hotter is in Al Gore's head.

Read More: Global Warming

Because he must be getting flustered now, what with his efforts to save the benighted world from global warming continually being exposed as a fraud.

The true believers will not be moved by the peer-reviewed findings of Chris de Freitas, John McLean and Bob Carter, scientists at universities in Australia and New Zealand.

Warming advocates have too much invested in perpetuating the myth. (And are probably having too much fun calling those who don't agree with them "deniers" and likening skeptics to fascists.)

But these scientists have made an important contribution to the debate that Gore says doesn't exist.

Their research, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, indicates that nature, not man, has been the dominant force in climate change in the late 20th century.

"The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Nino conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Nina conditions less likely" says co-author de Freitas.

"We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis."

These findings are largely being ignored by the mainstream media. They simply don't fit the worn narrative that man is dangerously warming the Earth through his carbon dioxide emissions and a radical alteration of Western lifestyles mandated by government policy is desperately needed.

They will be ignored, as well, by the Democratic machine that is trying to ram an economy-smothering carbon cap-and-trade regime through Congress.

Despite efforts to keep the global warming scare alive, the growing evidence that humans aren't heating the planet is piercing the public consciousness and alarmists are becoming marginalized.

Sharp Americans are starting to understand H.L. Mencken's observation that "The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it." That pretty much sums up the modern environmentalist movement.