It seems President Obama is beginning to alienate his support base. First, the labor unions voiced their anger toward the administration for what they perceived to be its failure to stand up for them. Now, one of the top "progressive" organizations in the nation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, has issued a warning to the White House: If entitlements are cut, President Obama may not have their support in 2012.
According to CNN, nearly 200,00 of the organization's 700,000 members have pledged to withhold their support for Obama’s 2012 campaign if his administration concedes on cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Pills found on board a 2nd century B.C. shipwreck were packed with crushed carrots, parsley, onions, alfalfa, and other vegetable matter, conforming to the recipes contained in ancient medical treatises.
While the texts themselves were discovered long ago, the cache of ancient pharmaceuticals found onboard the sunken ancient vessel is the first time the medicines themselves have been found.
The definite usefulness of the medicines is as yet unknown, but archeologists believe that these pills were likely stored on board as part of an ancient “first aid kit” for use by sailors suffering from a variety of ailments.
Just 12 days after 49 congressmen requested an official inquiry into the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ObamaCare) during her tenure as U.S. Solicitor General, the House Judiciary Committee has complied. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a July 6 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for “relevant documents and witness interviews in order to properly understand” Kagan’s role with regard to the legislation itself and related litigation.
Perhaps the committee will have better luck in wresting those documents from the Justice Department’s clutches than private organizations have had. As the congressmen pointed out in their letter to the committee, “the Justice Department has been uncooperative to date with repeated [Freedom of Information Act] requests that seek the full body of relevant emails from the Office of the Solicitor General that would reveal the scope of Justice Kagan’s involvement in PPACA defense activities.” Both the Media Research Center and Judicial Watch were forced to sue the Justice Department in federal court in order to obtain the documents they sought, and even then only a small number have been made available to them.
As the list of GOP contenders for the White House continues to burgeon, voters are sizing up the field and picking favorites — including Democrat Bill Clinton. At the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday evening, the former President told reporters that he liked Republican presidential hopefuls Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney.
Unsurprisingly, the reasons that Clinton likes the two men are the very same ones that concern potential GOP voters. Clinton commented:
But, y’know, I like the governors: I like Huntsman and Romney. Romney’s a MUCH better candidate than he was last time, because he’s not apologizing for signing the health-care bill. He’s got another creative way of saying we oughta repeal Obamacare, but that’s prob’ly the price of gettin’ the nomination.
Did Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, in her Senate confirmation hearings, tell the truth with regard to her involvement in formulating a defense of ObamaCare while serving as President Barack Obama’s Solicitor General? Furthermore, was she involved in it to such an extent that federal law demands that she recuse herself from any ObamaCare-related cases that come before the Supreme Court? Forty-nine members of Congress want to know.
To that end, they have sent a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member on the committee, asking the committee “to promptly investigate the extent to which … Kagan was involved in preparing a legal defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) during her tenure as Solicitor General.”
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday in announcing their plan to reform Medicare before it goes “broke and take[s] our government down with it.” Noting that Medicare beneficiaries take almost three times more out of Medicare than they ever put in, Lieberman is persuaded that the flawed welfare-state program can be reformed.
With substantial increases in premiums and extensions of age of eligibility, Lieberman said their plan would save $600 billion over the next 10 years, and reduce Medicare’s unfunded liability from $85.6 trillion to under $75 trillion. Depending upon income levels, individuals would pay into Medicare at least $12,500 a year, with high income earners paying $22,500 a year. And Medicare’s eligibility age would be pushed out to 67, starting in the year 2025. He noted that there is something in his proposal for everyone to dislike:
The Obama administration has called off plans to conduct a “mystery shopper” survey of doctors’ offices to determine whether prospective patients with government health insurance have a more difficult time getting appointments than those with private insurance. This is, as the New York Times put it, “an abrupt reversal” from an administration that just two days earlier had “staunchly defended the survey as a way to measure access to primary care, and insisted that it posed no threat to privacy.”
The New American reported on the proposal on Monday, pointing out the deceptive nature of the survey, in which callers pretending to be patients — and blocking their caller ID information to hide their true identities — would request appointments with various doctors’ offices. Some callers would claim to have private insurance, while others would say they were on Medicare or Medicaid. The results of these calls would be compared to see if patients with private insurance were being given priority over those with public insurance. In addition, some doctors’ offices would be called again and asked to state their appointment policies to the Department of Health and Human Services to see if their answers jibed with the results of the “mystery shopper” survey.
Anyone who believes ObamaCare will mean lower healthcare costs and higher-quality healthcare has only to look to the state that has been suffering under the prototype for ObamaCare for the past five years to be disabused of such notions. Massachusetts’ healthcare costs far exceed those of other states; and now Bay State legislators and Gov. Deval Patrick (D) are resorting to the age-old, destined-to-fail approach to high costs: price controls. The result, of course, will be a shortage of quality healthcare.
Since 2006, when then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed Massachusetts’ so-called universal coverage law, Bay State spending for privately insured residents has “far outpaced national growth,” according to the Boston Globe, while access to healthcare has suffered. Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that average insurance premiums in Massachusetts are the highest in the nation; small business costs have increased by 5.8 percent since RomneyCare was instituted; and per capita health spending is 27 percent higher than the national average (15 percent higher when adjusted for local wages and research grants).
"Under the pretext of 'equalizing burdens' and preventing 'salary discrimination,' Obamacare mandates that insurance premiums must be based on the policyholder's income level — forget the objective value of the services covered or the health liability of the individual insured," reports Richard Ralston, executive director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. "But since the actuarial nature of insurance and the realities of long-term cost management cannot be ignored, the effect is that those with above-average incomes will be subjected to inflated premiums relative to costs."
In other words, ObamaCare is just another way for President Obama to achieve his goal of redistributing income and wealth. As candidate Obama, seeking to justify his redistributionist proposals for higher levels of government confiscation of higher incomes, made clear in 2008 to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everyone."
Among the many miracles ObamaCare was supposed to have wrought were reduced federal healthcare spending and lower federal deficits. Although those claims have long been suspect, the latest revelation ought to debunk them once and for all: “Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of” the healthcare law, according to the Associated Press.
Furthermore, many of the newly eligible will be members of the middle class, not the sort of people the program was originally intended to benefit. With Washington picking up nearly 60 percent of the tab for those new enrollees, it is virtually certain that federal spending and concomitant deficits will rise. (It won’t do state budgets any good, either, since they’ll have to absorb the remainder of the cost.)