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  • Nice Speech, Wrong Month

    President Obama gave a nice, thematic speech Wednesday night. But that was the speech he should have given in April or May at the latest. It is now September and four congressional committees have already completed their work. The President said there is agreement on “about 80 percent of what needs to be done …”. That is probably not true because about 80 percent of what is in the current legislation is not needed in order to achieve the three basic goals outlined in the speech.

    The speech is a lesson in the difference between campaigning and governing. If the Administration were truly serious about malpractice reform and attacking waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, there would have been more in the envelops he gave to the Vice-President and Speaker last night. To govern, he should have given actual legislative language (yes, the Executive Branch can and does draft legislation). If the Administration were serious, there would be a team from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on Capitol Hill all day today conducting briefings on the specifics of the President’s Plan.

    For example, the President declared, “[r]educing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan.” The Administration needs to provide something to back up this statement fast because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that Title VI of the House bill dealing with Medicare program integrity will save just $1.3 billion over ten years. That is roughly how much Medicare spends in a single day. CBO estimates ZERO savings from Subtitle F in the House bill that deals with Medicaid program integrity. For the President’s statement to have any credibility, the Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that oversees more than $700 billion in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures would be presenting data from the Office of the Actuary (OACT) showing how the President’s Plan to attack fraud will work and generate those promised savings. Oops, the Administrator of CMS has not even been nominated let alone confirmed.

    Congress and the Administration have no credibility on combating fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. They have rescinded regulations that would have ended abuses practices. They rescinded competitive bidding in Medicare that would have improved service for the beneficiary and lowered costs. To prevent illegal aliens from gaining access to taxpayer dollars, you have to have sufficient means of identifying them. Simply saying no funds will be used for illegal aliens is meaningless without the infrastructure and means to actually stop them from entering the programs. The President did not resolve the abortion controversy with one sentence. If he is serious to prevent taxpayer funds from being used for pay for coverage of abortion services, he needs to send the legislative language that would do so because the current Capps Amendment does not. He stated that the federal conscience laws remain in place. The Capps Amendment also impacts the conscience clause and would present a conflict with current law. Which one is he going to enforce?

    The understatement of the night, which resulted in audible laughter, was, “there remain some significant details to be ironed out …”. Details? How can a Member of Congress vote on a Medicaid expansion without knowing the impact on his/her state? The Administration was asked to provide data on a state-by-state basis months ago. Why has that data not been provided?

    The President tried and failed with another analogy as to how a government health plan and private health plans can compete. “They (insurance companies and their allies) (wait, do the allies include his own staff who apparently have been cutting deals with the insurance companies?) argue that these private companies can’t fairly compete with the government. And they would be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I’ve insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.” If that is the President’s Plan, he needs to send the legislation to back it up because there is no such firewall in the current legislation. Compete on a level playing field? Does that mean being licensed state by state? Does it mean paying taxes to the states?

    Moreover, he then compares public colleges and universities to private colleges and universities. Does he really believe that public colleges and universities operate only on the tuition paid by students and their parents and there are no subsidies from the taxpayers?

    Whether the White House understands this or not, it is the source of much of the confusion and misunderstanding that has plagued the health care debate. Thus far, the White House has been following, not leading. A speech is no substitute for the hard work it takes to govern.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Nice Speech, Wrong Month

    1. the czar in charge o says:

      great. another worthless speach by a worthless leader!!! the greatest country in the world (aside from all the democrats) deserves better!!!!

    2. jim sardis,ms says:

      His entire presidency up to this point has been nothing but speeches with no details. His agenda,is to have pelosi and reed sneak through the government controls creating thousands of government jobs and controls to allow even more corruption and waste of tax dollars. They would love to have some support of the republicans to be able to say the legislation was bipartisan but it won't work.The American public has caught on to what is happening. Even the college students that put him in office will see the light.

    3. Michael Reinemer, Ar says:

      Your statement that Congress and the Administration rescinded competitive bidding in Medicare is completely false (the program for home medical equipment and services is underway right now) and your interpretation of that program's imagined benefits for beneficiaries is completely backward.

      See http://www.aahomecare.org/competitivebidding or http://www.aahomecare.org/stopfraud for accurate information about this.

      Michael Reinemer, American Association for Homecare

    4. Ron, Derry NH says:

      You have high expectations for the mouthpiece reader.

      We have yet to see him lead us anywhere but into a reckless abandonment of our basic constitutional principles, allow congress to set in motion fascist rule and render debt with callous disregard for future American worth.

      If he is leading by anything, it is by allowing chaos, confusion, fear and debt to dictate the legislative agenda.

      Perhaps he has shown us his way of leadership and that is to allow failure to be rewarded and confusion to over rule sense, so that his greatest talent, the appeasement speech and his rhetoric announcements can be looked upon as eloquent rather than mundane, repetitive and basically childish.

      Disorder confusion and overwhelming neglect of correcting procedure is a way to topple even the most orderly.

    5. John R Creech jr - I says:

      I believe the Heritage Foundation is on the right track and presenting the truth to the public for their understanding. The public is getting smarter and smarter on a daily basis. Unfortunately as with all worthwhile things related to a public this large, it takes time, incredible energy from a large number of dedicated people simply to "spread the word". As with all projects of this size in a capitalistic society, adequate Financial Support can be the difference between "winning or losing".

      Stopping governmental corruption of all sorts must be the number one concern of the American people. We waste more money than half of the worlds governments have to govern with in totality. Correcting the corruption problem and demanding "Honesty and Integrity" from all governmental employees will provide immediate improvement to the people of the United States of America. With "Honesty & Integrity" as a "National Motto" the public has a chance of satisfying the largest amount of people, the largest percentage of the time.

      We must rid this government of "bad apples" as it is surely endangering the health and future of the whole. That in turn jeopardizes the future of the people of this country.

      I'm seeing more and more of the people "standing up, speaking their mind and demanding improvement". How can the majority of people support control of our borders and yet they are as "pourous as a spaghetti collandar". We are drowning in illegal aliens from all over the world. Mexico just happens to be the most flagrant violater of our immigration laws.

      We have a frightening amount of middle-class citizens laid off from failing businesses over the last year and there is no sign of relief. We will be in a "major depression" if we don't get moving, "with great haste", to ensure there is a job creation demand that is almost "mind-boggling"!

      We have the oil we need, we have the technical expertise, and we have the people needing and wanting those jobs. We need the refineries on United States of America soil. We have the people needing and wanting those jobs. Why do we tolerate governmental employees (elected Politicians) that support lobbyists telling us to buy our oil from the middle-east. We send between $8 to $10 billion dollars a week to the middle east and Venezuela in South America. These people do not "wish us well", they do not vote in our best interest on any issue in the "United Nations".

      We have foolishly "sold out" our countrymen in all manufacturing industries to China with "slave labor costs", to attain what we use on a daily basis, cheap, plus we get the added "low quality & sometimes harmful" effect of all this cheap product! We now are confronted with a unmanageable number of middle-class citizens with no immediate, or in the near future, job and they still have homes and families to support.

      We send between $8 to $10 billion dollars a week creating a "trade-deficit" with China for this cheap and sometimes harmful goods.

      We are financing a new Chinese Navy that will look like ours because the plans have been stolen through espionage from us. They will use that Navy around 2025 to demand supremacy of the high seas

      "Wake-up and smell the coffee America"! You are exporting your countries wealth to the middle-East, China and Venezuela! Our elected Politicians are "selling us out" to the highest bidder"! Our future is in jeopardy not theirs!

      Please, "Wake-up America"

      JRCjr

    6. Nutmeg Conservative, says:

      Obama: Always in campaign mode, always spinning, always short on details,and increasingly angry. A lethal combination for our republic!

      -NSC
      http://nutmeg-state-conservative.blogspot.com/

    7. Pingback: Dems False Talking Point of 80% Agreement &laquo Publius Forum

    8. Pingback: Dems False Talking Point of 80% Agreement : Stop The ACLU

    9. Pingback: Dems False Talking Point of 80% Agreement | Right Wing News

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