Item: “Thousands more children would eat lunches and dinners at school and all school food would become more nutritious under a bill President Obama signed into law Monday, part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity,” reported an Associated Press story on December 13.
Prior to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as ObamaCare, the Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis of the bill stating that it would result in a reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion between 2010 and 2019. This projected deficit reduction was never very convincing. It relied on politically untenable cuts in Medicare and Medicaid physician reimbursement — cuts that have already been forestalled for another year by Congress and the President. It counted as savings minor reductions in enormous future outlays. It was skewed because the tax increases in the bill began almost immediately while much of the spending — including, for example, a long-term at-home healthcare benefit that the CBO projected would “add to future federal budget deficits in a large and growing fashion” — will not commence for several years. And it did not include $115 billion in probable additional spending because of the speed with which the bill was rammed through Congress. (Most of these matters were raised by Richard Foster, chief Medicare actuary, in a pair of reports, one during the congressional debate on the bill and one last August.)
On Dec. 7 MSNBC.com reported that the government has conceded there’s too much fluoride in the water, and plans to lower recommended levels — the first change in nearly 50 years.
When Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin first used the term “death panels” to reference a provision of Obama’s signature healthcare law, she was mercilessly mocked. She even appeared in MAD Magazine’s Mad 20, which features the top 20 “dumbest” people of 2009, for her mention of what MAD called “imaginary death panels.”
Perhaps to the pleasure of Tea Party activists everywhere, Michigan’s Republican Representative Fred Upton has hinted that House Republicans may have the necessary votes to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law. Additionally, Upton indicates that the House Republicans may have enough votes to override a potential presidential veto of the repeal measure.
Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said, quite presciently, “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Americans found out in a big way during the 20th century that they could rob their neighbors via the voting booth. And senior citizens, among the most regular and outspoken voters, made sure they got the lion’s share of the loot with two huge entitlement programs: Medicare and Social Security.
When, in 2009, the American Medical Association (AMA) endorsed President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bill, many Americans probably assumed that most physicians therefore backed the legislation. In fact, that was not the case at all.
If one needs further proof of the ineptness of government agencies, one need look no further than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reportedly lost millions of dollars worth of property in 2007. The CDC, while it does not dispute the claim, asserts that it has since located 99 percent of the lost property.
Back in September, when Republicans first floated the idea of starving the ObamaCare beast, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that "what the Republicans will be faced with" when they try to defund ObamaCare "is really taking those benefits away," something the Obama administration was counting on to be a losing proposition for the GOP. The "benefits" to which Sebelius was referring include such things as the prohibition of denying health insurance to persons with pre-existing conditions, the extension of dependent coverage for children up to age 26, and the ban on lifetime coverage caps.
In the original Star Wars, rebels fighting for freedom from the Empire destroyed Darth Vader’s Death Star, which was capable of obliterating an entire planet. The Empire was reluctant to part with such an instrument of death, however, so the Death Star was rebuilt in Return of the Jedi.
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. That should be the maxim for the federal government, which continually tries to circumvent the checks and balances system to push controversial measures. The newest example of that involves the implementation of death panels under the new healthcare law. During congressional debates over ObamaCare provisions, public outcry forced Democrats to drop proposed end-of-life planning (a.k.a. death panels) from the healthcare plan. However, the contentious debate over death panels has resurfaced as Democrats are now attempting to enact them via bureaucratic regulations.