Understanding Obama’s health care reform bill… with video clips!

Sen. Tom Coburn
Sen. Tom Coburn

Tom Coburn

These video clips feature one of the conservatives I like, Senator Tom Coburn! (H/T Club for Growth)

Tom Coburn is a medical doctor, and ran a medical business. He gives you the inside view of why American health care needs changing, and why big government socialism is not the answer. This is not just a lesson in health care. Listen closely – this is a lesson in economics, and it shows the vision of free-market capitalism, liberty and personal responsibility that drives the policies of the right-wing.

Part 1:

Part 2:

And here is Ronald Reagan talking about the loss of liberty that follows when a country adopts socialized medicine. (H/T Club for Growth)

This is the easiest way to learn about health care policy.

Note: If you prefer to learn about socialized vs consumer-driven health care with podcasts, click here.

More details from a think tank

Here is a comprehensive treatment of the problems of health care today, and the right way to reform it. This article by the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Edwin Feulner, Ph.D., is so long that it is exactly the kind of thing that lefties like commenter Jerry won’t have the patience to read! This is the best thing to read in this post if you can only read one thing.

Here is are some of the myths he corrects:

If you like your health care package you can keep it

“…a public plan will lead many employers to drop private health coverage for their workers and dump them into the public plan… According to independent analyses, as many as 119 million Americans could end up in a public plan….”

The end goal is not a single payer system

“…The “single payer” here is Uncle Sam, using taxpayers’ money, and not just paying the bills but calling the shots and deciding what care every American will get—or not get….”

The end goal is not a single payer system

“…Congress’s own watchdog–have issued preliminary estimates that the cost could be high as $2 trillion over 10 years, with most of that borrowed money…”

The quality of your health care will get better

“…Medicare has huge gaps in coverage. Medicaid’s quality is notoriously bad. They both offer substandard care compared to most private insurance plans…”

And of course his letter also gives conservative solutions to the problem of rising health care costs. The Heritage Foundation is my favorite think tank. Conservative across the board – not just on fiscal issues.

James Demint

And conservatives like James Demint are getting this message out to the public, too.

Sen. James Demint
Sen. James Demint

Here is Senator Demint’s article in Forbes magazine. He answers the question: “What is the cause of our current health care problems? Is it the free market? Or is it government intervention into the free market?”

Excerpt:

…Washington politicians make it hard for individuals to own their own health insurance policies. Government gives tax benefits to businesses to provide group health plans to employees, but offers no such tax benefit to individuals who try to buy their own plan for themselves or their family. Government prevents consumers from shopping for better plans across state lines, which limits competition and drives up prices. Government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay doctors and hospitals less than the full value of their services, and the difference gets priced into the higher premiums paid by people who do have insurance.

In other words, politicians deliberately restrict consumer choice, drive up prices, underpay doctors and hinder both access and portability. Then they turn around, blame the free market for the health care crisis and say the only way to save the system is a government takeover of health insurance in the form of a so-called “public option.”

And he’s goes on to explain conservative solutions to the problem of rising health care costs. A great article from one of my favorite conservatives.

The real costs of Obama’s plan

Keith Hennessey has an analysis of the costs of Obama’s new government-controlled, rationed health care plan. You may have heard that the CBO has issued an estimate about the costs of Obama’s plan: 1 Trilliion over 10 years. Keith says that the number is actually closer to 1.3 trillion.

Health care subsidies over 6 years
Health care subsidies over 6 years

Keith took at closer look at the CBO’s 1 Trillion estimate, which includes only ONE area where money will need to be spent (subsidies for the poor). He found that many items in the Democrats’ health care bill were not included in the CBO estimate!

Excerpt:

  1. The budgetary effects of neither the individual mandate nor the employer mandate are included in this score.  I think CBO will find these provisions would raise revenues for the government and reduce the deficit.  While the leaked draft of Kennedy-Dodd was specific about the employer mandate, the official version has just the placeholder language, “Policy under discussion.”  Both mandates leave wide discretion for the Secretaries of Treasury and HHS to create a level and structure of taxation “to accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage.”  It is extremely difficult for CBO and their tax counterparts, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) staff, to estimate something like this.
  2. The estimate does not include the budgetary cost of expanding Medicaid to childless adults with income below 150% of the poverty line.  I expect that this will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the cost over the next decade.
  3. It does not include the requirement that health plans define “children” as dependents up to age 27.  I expect this will raise costs.
  4. It does not include the effects of the Medical Advisory Council’s ability to define benefits, or the requirements that plans rebate premiums to the insured.  I think this too will raise costs.
  5. It does not include the budget effect of having a “public plan option.”
  6. There are a bunch of other programs in the bill, including a new disability program and lots of new public health programs.

Keith will be posting more articles on his blog as he calculates the real costs of Obama’s plan.

The bottom line

Obama’s health care plan is simply “Obama knows best”. You will pay money to Obama, based on your income, (not on your health risks). And then Obama will decide whether government will give you any health care. He’ll probably make these decisions the same way he makes other decisions: based on whether you are one of his unionized supporters, whether you donated to Democrats, or whether you investigate his corrupt dealings.

Obama thinks that you are more satisfied with the service at your local DMV than you are with Amazon.com. And he plans to make sure that you are dealing with government bureaucrats, not with private businesses, when you need health care. Who gives you better service? The government, that isn’t trying to compete with anyone to meet your needs? Or private businesses, which do need to compete to earn your business?

Further study

You can watch some videos containing horror stories from countries that have adopted single-payer health care, too.

My previous post on socialized medicine linked to even more horror stories from other countries with socialized medicine.

Paul Ryan explains the vision of conservativism

Rep. Paul Ryan
Rep. Paul Ryan

This article is long! You will have to print it out and read it in little bits. It took me 15 minutes to read!

The title is “How Will Conservatism Become Credible Again?”. Paul Ryan is one of the “ideas” conservatives in the Congress. His job is to think up new bills and initiatives that reflect conservative ideals.

Let’s learn about America

Here, he talks about how the conservative vision of government values liberty and personal responsibility over equality of outcomes and “social justice”:

Nowhere was the Western tradition epitomized more memorably than in the Declaration of Independence. By “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” all human beings are created equal…not in height, or skills, or knowledge, or color, or other nonessentials…but equal in certain inalienable rights – to live, to be free, and to fulfill their best individual potential, including the right to the “material” such as property needed to do this. Each individual is unique and possesses rights and dignity. There are no group or collective rights in the Declaration. Nor does basic human equality imply “equal result.” It means “equal opportunity”: every person has a right not to be prevented from pursuing happiness, from developing his or her potential. The results should differ from one to another because “justice” or “fairness” gives each individual what each has earned or merited.

The great conservative purpose of government is to secure these natural rights under popular consent. Protecting every person’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness should be the great and only mission of legitimate government.

He talks about how the Constitution’s purpose is to enable prosperity through free market capitalism:

The authors of the Constitution surrounded economic freedom with a multitude of guarantees: freedom of contract against government interference… private property rights… patents and copyrights…standard weights, measures, and monetary values…punishment of counterfeits…freedom under law for interstate and foreign commerce…enforcement of agreements in law courts… uniform bankruptcy laws, and other protections.

They promoted Smithian free markets to produce resources for strong military defenses and to keep America free of economic dependency on other nations. But they also expected commercial life to encourage certain moral qualities: personal responsibility to work, save, create businesses, hire employees, pay off their debts, earn the rewards of merited effort, moderate appetites, practice honesty and justice in business dealings, self-discipline, industriousness, timeliness, plus trust and confidence in other persons.

And he talks about how America is a country where social conservatives and fiscal conservatives should be united:

A “libertarian” who wants limited government should embrace the means to his freedom: thriving mediating institutions that create the moral preconditions for economic markets and choice. A “social issues” conservative with a zeal for righteousness should insist on a free market economy to supply the material needs for families, schools, and churches that inspire moral and spiritual life. In a nutshell, the notion of separating the social from the economic issues is a false choice. They stem from the same root.

Did you know that Republicans believe in the right to life, the sanctity of marriage and the public expression of faith? These values were present at our founding, and Republicans hold to them because they are American values.

Since America’s first political principles establish a high but limited mission of securing the natural rights of all, conservatives should expect government to fulfill that entire mission…by enforcing every human being’s natural right to life, which is the first clause of the social compact that formed America, the Declaration of Independence.

A credible conservatism will also seek to secure the privileged legal status of marriage. The traditional family must be protected as the indispensable mediating institution for developing the moral qualities of a free people.

A credible conservatism will resist the purging of faith from the public square. It will make public space for the practice of faith because belief is a central pillar of a free and prosperous society. Nor can government welfare programs substitute for the faith-based love that unites citizens in free bonds of charity and compassion.

Recommended for my readers from at home, or abroad, who need a refresher on the vision of conservatism… or a breath of fresh air from the fetid leftist gasses emanating from the White House.

More articles on conservatism from the New Ledger are here.

We haven’t forgotten our principles.

The Pugnacious Irishman invites Christians to defend their faith

His post is boldly entitled “Walking Around with our Pants Around our Ankles”.

A little bit about Rich: his background is in teaching and his most recent post was in a school in a very rough part of Los Angeles.

Rich makes an important point about the need to find people who disagree with you and engage them. You won’t find them in your house or in your church. You’ve got to go to the workplace or the university campus and start making friends with them to find out what they believe and whether they are open to new ideas!

Rich reacts to my post from yesterday here:

…Another thing is that when people are caught in an environment where they have to defend God’s honor, they suddenly become starved for the kind of training Wintery advocates.  If you regularly find yourself amidst a bunch of atheists, agnostics, and Muslims who are constantly challenging you on the reasonableness of your faith, chances are, you’ll start searching for answers pretty quickly.  Hey, it happened to me. In other words, if your pants fall down, buying a belt suddenly moves up a few notches on your priority list.

The kicker is that many people never experience that felt need; they are sequestered in an environment of comfort.  A decent number go to great lengths to maintain this bubble, avoiding being exposed.  They are walking around in closeted quarters, with the shutters drawn and drapes pulled down, oblivious to the fact that their trousers are hanging around their ankles.

Many people assume apologetics is all about merely “winning an argument,” but nothing could be further from the truth.  WK puts it in the proper perspective: it’s about defending God’s honor in public.  If someone were clowning on your spouse at work, wouldn’t you want to stand up and say something?

That’s the first key point about apologetics: protecting God’s reputation as a way of participating in a friendship with God. He’s also got some book recommendations in his post for beginnners and I could not agree more. I own every stinking one of them!

And he’s got an update here, where he makes the second key point about apologetics.

Excerpt:

Addition to today’s post:  I don’t think I underscored enough another motivation of apologetics–love.

Why defend the faith?  Because we love our neighbors.

This is a good point for Christians who value love. Apologetics is love. It’s one way that you can love your neighbor. God expects us all to spend some time responding to his overtures to us in nature, in conscience, and in history. It does no good to help atheists to ignore God’s calling by keeping silent about God’s will for that person.

CRISIS! Obama fires Inspector General after investigation of Democrat corruption

UPDATE: Hot Air says 2 IGs have been fired, and a 3rd is in trouble.

Michelle Malkin’s latest column explains the incident from the beginning. But I’ll jump to the middle for the excerpt.

Excerpt:

The second program Walpin challenged is the non-profit St. HOPE Academy, run by Obama supporter Kevin Johnson, the Democrat mayor of Sacramento and a former NBA basketball star. In a special May 2009 report, Walpin’s office blew the whistle on a highly politicized U.S. Attorney’s Office settlement with Johnson and his deputy, Dana Gonzalez. The pair exploited nearly $900,000 in AmeriCorps funding for personal and political gain.

But in the wake of Johnson’s mayoral victory and President Obama’s election in November, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento rushed to settle with the new mayor so he could avail himself of federal stimulus funds and other government money. It was, Walpin said in his special report last month, “akin to deciding that, while one should not put a fox in a small chicken coop, it is fine to do so in a large chicken coop! The settlement…leaves the unmistakable impression that relief from a suspension can be bought.”

Shortly after, the White House announced that it had “lost confidence” in Walpin. With Walpin’s removal, the top management positions at AmeriCorps’ parent organization are now all open. The decks are clear to install lackeys who will protect the government volunteerism industry and its Democrat cronies. And a chilling effect has undoubtedly taken hold in every other inspector general’s office in Washington.

This is a MUST-READ.

Let’s see what hope and change really means. Nothing like this abuse of power ever happened in 8 years under George W. Bush. Bush was an evangelical Christian who took morality and honor seriously. Even if he sometimes made mistakes, they were generally mistakes of policy – not abusing his power to cover up corruption.

In a Hot Air post we learn that Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill isn’t happy about Walpin’s dismissal.

“The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal. ‘Loss of confidence’ is not a sufficient reason.  I’m hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible,” McCaskill said.

Ed Morrissey writes “They can’t provide the real reason, which is that Walpin went after a political ally of the President’s.”

Fox News has more about Walpin. (H/T Hot Air)

In the letter, White House Special Counsel Norman Eisen wrote that Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented” at a May board meeting, was “unduly disruptive,” and exhibited a “lack of candor” in providing information to decision makers.

“That’s a total lie,” Walpin said of the latter charge. And he said the accusation that he was dazed and confused at one meeting out of many was not only false, but poor rationale for his ouster.

“It appears to suggest that I was removed because I was disabled — based on one occasion out of hundreds,” he said.

“I would never say President Obama doesn’t have the capacity to continue to serve because of his (statement) that there are 57 states,” Walpin said, adding that the same holds for Vice President Biden and his “many express confusions that have been highlighted by the media.” Obama mistakenly said once on the campaign trail that he had traveled to 57 states.

When tyranny comes to a nation, the honest men are the first against the wall.

Michele Bachmann explains why government should not meddle in the free market

Video was found by the Maritime Sentry, a conservative policy-oriented blog.

We’ve seeing a lot of my two favorite Congresswomen lately. Did you miss the previous posts?

If we had elected these two as POTUS and VPOTUS, we would not be spending trillions of dollars on single-payer health care.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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