Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care Support Steadily Declining

Rasmussen Reports polling shows, Health Care Reform - Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low. The most likely health reform plan at this time is the Baucus plan, yet what health care reform means is still largely unknown as numerous amendments to this bill are under review including whether a public option will be part of the bill. Many basic factors regarding cost and effectiveness have not been fully addressed, and a new CBO report states that Medicare benefits will likely be cut eventually even though supporters of the bill have stated the opposite. The Rasmussen poll and accompanying article is an interesting read as it shows how the American people are viewing health reform and its effects.
Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

Support For Obama Health Care Reform Continues to Drop
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

McConnell Upset About First Amendment Infringement

After numerous complaints about the Democrats rushing through health care legislation without adequate debate or explanation, a new complaint arises about Senator Baucus using his position to restrain companies (Humana in particular) from providing customers with information about the Senate Health Care Bill.

From the Wall Street Journal - Baucus Bludgeons Humana
Earlier this month, Humana sent a one-page letter to its customers enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, which offer private options to Medicare beneficiaries. Humana noted that, because of spending cuts proposed by Democrats, "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable." The Kentucky-based company also urged its customers to contact their Representatives. Pretty tame stuff, as these things go.

Mr. Baucus took it as a declaration of war. He complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal health-care agency, which on Friday duly ordered Humana to cease and desist. CMS claimed the mailer was "misleading and confusing" and told the company it has opened an official probe as to whether the mailer violated laws about how the insurers that manage Advantage plans are allowed to communicate with their customers, as well as other federal statutes.

"Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions," CMS concluded, ominously. Humana could be fined or booted from Medicare Advantage altogether.

"It is wholly inappropriate for insurance companies to mislead seniors regarding any subject—particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as health-care reform," Mr. Baucus said in a statement yesterday, playing the role of Congressional censor. "The health-care reform bill we released last week strengthens Medicare and does not cut benefits covered under the Medicare program—and seniors need to know that."

In fact, the Baucus draft legislation slashes $123 billion over the next decade from Medicare Advantage, which Democrats hate despite the fact that almost one-fourth of beneficiaries have chosen it over traditional fee-for-service Medicare. One reason seniors like it is because private insurers focus on quality and preventive care and try to manage benefits, as opposed to simply paying bills.

This did not go unnoticed by Senator Mitch McConnell who was uncharacteristically angry over the this impingement on Humana...

From ABC Blog "Shut Up! The Government Says" - McConnell on Humana Letter
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not normally get riled up, but he just gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor about the gag order, Humana, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who initiated the HHS investigation. McConnell referred to Baucus only as “a colleague.”

“Using the full weight of the federal government’s enforcement powers to stifle free speech should trouble all Americans — and all of us — even more,” McConnell said. “We cannot allow government officials to target individuals or companies because they do not like what they have to say.”

“Shut up! the government says,” said McConnell on the Senate floor of the CMS letter to Humana. “Don’t communicate with your customers. Be quiet and get in line,” he said facetiously.

There are two points to remember here. Humana is based in Kentucky, so McConnell is quick to protect them. And second, he is a staunch defender of the first amendment. For instance, McConnell is the often the only Republican to vote against a flag burning amendment when it periodically arises.

Dems Heavy Handed on Heath Care

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burress Starts Two Year Sentence

From the sad and stupid crimes section, Plaxico Burress has to serve a two year sentence for having an unregistered weapon in a night club, which he shot himself in the leg with. A sad case of a talented and gifted individual being stupid at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Ex-NFL player Burress enters prison

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress surrendered to authorities Tuesday to serve a two-year prison sentence on a weapons charge, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Burress was also sentenced to two years of post-release supervision with permission to travel for business, according to district attorney spokeswoman Tracy Golden.

Burress, 32, pleaded guilty in August to a weapons charge stemming from a shooting incident at a nightclub last year. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon and agreed to serve two years under a plea agreement.

The former New York Giants wide receiver accidentally shot himself in the leg with a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol he was carrying in his waistband. The incident occurred November 29, 2008, in the VIP area of the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ACORN's Government Money

An interesting article on shows that the problem with ACORN is not just that they receive federal funding, but many states fund them as well. Pennsylvania, even after the recent video tapes showed the depth of ACORN's corruption, are not resisting calls to de-fund the organization.

Despite receiving a “cease and desist” notice from the Department of State to stop soliciting contributions, Pennsylvania taxpayers have given ACORN over $200,000 in state grants since November 2007. Yet none of the mainstream media in the Commonwealth is bothering to cover this issue. Nor has it reported on recent efforts to defend this rogue organization.

Jeff Lord, writing in The American Spectator, noted how Rep. Steve Barrar’s efforts to investigate ACORN’s activities in Pennsylvania are being stymied by Rep. Babette Josephs—a self-identified member of ACORN. Josephs is the Chair of the House State Government Committee—the committee where good government legislation goes to die.

Quiet Car Dealerships reports on the 'Post-Clunker' sales drought for car dealership in their article Car showrooms quiet after clunkers clamor ends

It has been nearly a month since the car-buying frenzy of the Cash for Clunkers program ended, and many area auto dealers are longing for the good old days of July and August.

Like consumers nationwide, Massachusetts residents rushed to take advantage of the federal voucher program, which offered them up to $4,500 on old gas-guzzlers to be put toward the purchase of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. About $65 million worth of vouchers were handed out statewide during the monthlong program that ended Aug. 24.

But once the federal money dried up, so did the sales rally. Now, customers at dealerships like Silko Honda in Raynham are few and far between, and inventory is once again accumulating.

Manager Adam Silverleib said business was “pretty intense’’ as a result of the federal stimulus program, with the dealership hustling to accommodate customers and handle the piles of paperwork required for them to receive reimbursement on vouchers. “Now we’re kind of back to where we were in the spring,’’ he said.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACORN's Third Faud Tape

If there is any question that ACORN supplying tax cheat info, and overlooking human trafficking was a fluke or a couple isolated instances, here's a third tape from ACORN's New York office.

ACORN New York - Third Corruption Tape

Monday, September 14, 2009


The Baltimore office of ACORN gives tax advice to two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute who say they want to import underage teenagers from El Salvidor to work in the States as prostitutes. ACORN receives federal funding and has had numerous run-ins with the law usually regarding voter fraud. This however is a new low, at best these ACORN employees are condoning the human trafficking of underage girls, and in reality are likely breaking numerous laws.

Note: Except for when ACORN received government funding, I've posted very little about ACORN post-election. The public had their chance to learn about ACORN if they wished, they made their decision, voted, done deal, the race is over. However, this is insane. Democrats have to step to the plate, and renounce this. I in no way think that candidates aided by ACORN or any rationale human with any semblance of a moral compass thinks that human trafficking is acceptable. However, this is an example of an organization not just acting questionably, but this is evidence that ACORN has completely gone of the rails. Any politician to weak to stand up against ACORN will now be tying themselves to an organization that condoned prostitution and indirectly promoted human trafficking.

ACORN Condones Prostitution