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  • Morning Bell: Competition, Not Price-Controls, Will Save Medicare

    “I just want to be clear, again: Seniors who are listening here, this does not affect your benefits. This is not money going to you to pay for your benefits; this is money that is subsidizing folks who don’t need it.” Or so President Barack Obama promised our nation’s seniors earlier this year. Problem is, as we have pointed out many times, this is simply not true: Obamacare will absolutely cause reduced Medicare benefits for Seniors. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf told Congress that and even the New York Times has grudgingly admitted as much.

    Specifically, every version of Obamacare waiting to be merged into one bill on Capitol Hill cuts billions of dollars from the Medicare Advantage program. One of the dirty little secrets about Medicare is that it actually only covers slightly more than half of all health care costs for seniors and disabled citizens. Medicare recipients buy the balance of their health care coverage through private supplemental insurance or Medigap coverage. Most seniors, therefore, actually have at least two health insurance providers, the federal government through Medicare, and a private supplemental insurer. Medicare Advantage allows seniors to pay a single premium and receive a much broader range of health care services than just government-run Medicare provides, including prescription drug coverage, preventive-care services, routine physical examinations, and coor­dinated care for chronic conditions.

    The Baucus bill, which will be voted on in the Senate Finance Committee later this week, is the least offensive Medicare reform plan currently being included in Obamacare. However, the Baucus bill fails to achieve true reform in two ways: First, it takes all ‘savings’ from Medicare reform and immediately plows them into a new deficit exploding entitlement. Second, and more importantly, it preserves the old fee-for-service Medicare program which is based on central planning and price controls.

    The better option would be to move Medicare towards a true “premium support” system where the government would make direct contributions to all beneficiaries who could then control how to spend their own health care dollars. This would be the same model as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) which provides health insurance to Members of Congress. Heritage fellow Bob Moffit explains:

    With modifications, Congress could adopt a premium support system broadly similar to the FEHBP and secure the same positive results in intense competition, patient choice, high quality care, and patient satisfaction. Without such modifications, there is no real reform but just more of the same.

    Instead of breaking the President’s promises, and raising health care costs for America’s seniors, Congress should hit the reset button and start over with real competition and state based reform that lowers costs and improves care.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    77 Responses to Morning Bell: Competition, Not Price-Controls, Will Save Medicare

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      All this goes far beyond healthcare. It's about control. What part of the constitution's limited government clause do the Beltway's elected majority demagogues not understand? Does our constitutional republican form of government disturb them that much? Then again, a democrat mob vote is one way to get around the larger society's freedoms and best interests. I hope individual states are paying very close attention to these national power grabbers. If not, state governments can expect to find themselves face down in the dust with the rest of us. State opposition to this federal takeover is our last best hope to stop this nationalized socialist madness.

    2. harleyj says:

      Yeah, like "competition" has given the US the best medical care for all of its citizens in the world? Why are we so far down on the list regarding life expectancy? Why do we have so many uninsured Americans? Why do we pay almost 2 1/2 times more than any other first and second world nation's people do and still have such high premiums for so little in coverage (co-pays and deductibles)? When you can answer that with real stuff and not unsupported opinion, you will have my attention!

      • curtis n says:

        So every time there is a problem we're supposed to roll over and let the Left take away more of our freedoms. Tell me what freedoms you cherish so I can decide what is best for you because I know it all.

      • Jean says:

        I used to sell health insurance in Colorado and I went to one home. The dad was standing there with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, two kids, and two huge dogs and mom. They told me they couldn't afford insurance and the hospital had to take them in if they had an emergency. What we have is not people without insurance, it is people without common sense. It is people who need to set priorities. It is people who plan to take care of themselves…not let the government do it!
        I don't know what kind of insurance Harley has, but my insurance is great, I don't pay too much…but I also don't want to pay for the lazy ne'er do wells…and we certainly don't need to add 12 million illegals just so they can vote Democrat!

      • D A White says:

        Over the past 25 years I worked in the health care field and visited 8 countries with socialized medicine and studied their approach and results. Countries that consumed little fast food, walked a lot, and consumed small amounts of soda had the highest longevity numbers. Those same ethnic groups in the US who changed their life style to typical US died like their US peers. Few of these same people had advanced medical care available in a short period of time like the US. Also people in other countries spend more time preparing and eating food. And those folks pay up to four times the taxes to pay for the "free" health care. Many folks I met hoped to some day have enough money to go to a private doctor or clinic.

    3. Deanne Despain...Dec says:

      I am so appreciative of Heritage giving out facts. Where would we be without facts? There is so much being thrown at us it is impossible to know how to fight the onslaught. I hope my contribution to Heritage and other conservative entities will be a help. I have called and written but the dems have shut that off long ago. It is astounding that there are such few doing the big job of stopping this malaise. Keep up the good work. I will give as much as I can. Can Heritage help us buy stickers for cars and signs for our yards? I would like to let my neighbors know how they could get the facts and help the cause.

    4. Jack Lohman says:

      That's incorrect. Competition with private Medicare Advantage proved only that they were 17% more costly than public Medicare. So much for private being more efficient than public, eh?

      Certainly I would expect heritage to favor sending cash profits to insurers, but that is not the way to fix the nation's system. Medicare has over-use and fraud, but so does the private system, and at greater amounts. The major waste in healthcare is the 31% that we waste on the middleman private insurance bureaucracy. Allow companies and individuals to opt into Medicare (at cost), or provide a public option, and you'll see the effects of real competition.

      Jack Lohman
      http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

      • jdocsim says:

        Oh Yes! Just like England and Portugal and others. England has been returning to privatized medicine since the 1980's when I was there as a visiting surgeon. They had a three year waiting list for hip surgery and told us quite frankly that if one has an emergency that it wouldn't be done in the
        royal Orthopedic Hospital. Said hospital only had four operating rooms and insufficient x-ray equipment to perform other than bone studies. Anything else had to be referred to one of the general hospitals.

        If that's the affect of real competition then we are in real trouble with your plan.

        In Portugal the socialist medical system had MD's driving taxis because they couldn't get jobs in medicine.

        I am very sorry but you don't know about what you are speaking.. I do know because I have been there and seen it all over the world.

        "and Obama must fall" to parpphrase Cicero.

    5. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      The only true way for the USA to reemerge as a free and prosperous Country is to clean out All Liberals and Progressives (Marxists) from Government. As President Reagan said: "Government IS the problem". Never has that statement been more evident than it is today.

      Government should oversee but not direct or control. The best health plan would be for the government to get out of every aspect of our lives! We'd all feel, and be, a whole lot better off!

      To paraphrase MacBeth: "Out! Out! damned government"!

    6. Jeff, Rehoboth says:

      It seems to me that we cannot forget to insist to implement the hundreds of millions in savings from medicare OUTSIDE of a massive Government reform bill.

      Such savings, should they really exist, and should they truly be savings and not cuts, ought to be able to be implemented on a non-partisan basis.

      Having some insight into skilled nursing facilies, I know there's waste. Here's 2 examples: I bet you didn't know that cutting a nursing home resident's toenails is considered a surgical procedure and must be performed by a doctor. I also bet you don't realize how much medicine gets flushed down the toilet because it was purchased for a certain resident in quanity, and for a myriad of possible reasons is no longer needed for that resident.

      Administrators and Directors of Nursing at these facilities will also tell you that Medicare encourages facilities to be "creative". This is because they understand that skilled nursing facilities are shutting down across the country due to lack of fiscal solvency, and that the pay for 'treatment' nature of medicare does not necessarily cover the cost of a bed for some unfortunate elderly person, who is perhaps mostly bed-ridden, perhaps suffering from dementia, or perhaps incontinence, but is in otherwise reasonable physical condition and cannot be cared for at home, but can expeceted to live for another several months/years.

      As our population ages, one would expect that such facilities, are going to become more and more in demand and become a larger piece in the cost structure. In addition, innovative alternatives need to be postulated and implemented on a trial basis. (Look at it this way, it doesn't take long for the several hundered dollar cost per day of a nursing home bed to translate into a very large dollar figure…is there something the family could do with 1/10 the money that would have been spent?)

      Heritage has done a great job showing that the long term entitlement debt is currently weighing us down but before long will be crushing us.

      They have claimed to be able to come up with several hundred million. Ok show it to us, and to the extent that it's non partisan, let's do it.

    7. willtw Nashville, TN says:

      It is already occurring! We received the new Medicare Advantage Plan that goes into effect Jan 2010. Comparing it to the 2009 Plan, co-pays have increased by as much as 1/3!!!!!!!!!!!!! One way ambulance transport for the 100% disabled went from 0 to $125. !!!!!!!!!!!! Medications seem to the the same but office visits and in hospital co pays have all increased WHILE any SS advancements are locked for 2-3 years! The benefits are diminished BEFORE we even have a Reform Bill!!!!!!!!! If this is not a tax on the seniors disabled (yes we are all at or below the poverty level) then I will eat my hat! This is being done by Medicare, an arm of the Obama Administration! Wake Up America! Do not get old and do not get sick! You will lose under Obamanomics!

    8. Jack Lohman says:

      harleyj, the answer to all of your "whys" is that the insurance industry has given $46 million in 2008 alone to the politicians they need in their pocket to keep the "private" system protected from any "public" competition. So thank our corrupt political system for this and our many other distorted policies.

      Sen. Susan Collins recently claimed that corruption made the Afghanistan government unworkable. Can we also say that about our own congress?

      Jack Lohman
      http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

      • gregio says:

        Dear Jack, you are an excellent apologist for all things government but your assumptions that solutions to problems in healthcare or foreign policy are unsolvable because of American corruption is quite repugnant and reveals your liberal mindset. There is no "public competition" by having a single payer system, that is a myth that you liberals have been pushing because you are basically marxist and want government to control all area's of American life reguardless of cost. The concept that an individual would decide to choose an appropriate medical treatment or path to treatment is unacceptable to a marxist. Now the HHS is introducing us to the new world of food recipes that the government will dictate so we will eat healthy government food not that evil free enterprise stuff, the liberal virus will be very difficult to expell, maybe we should have special classes in school to teach children how to spot liberal
        stupidity and how to be critical thinkers and how to exercise their American freedoms.

    9. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Obama and the Demorats want no part of "competition". Again, this entire matter is not about medical care. It's about POWER. Obama and his henchmen will not stop until they get full power over every expect of our lives. No discussions will change anything. There is only one way to stop this disaster.

    10. Don Smith Oklahoma says:

      A public option is needed. I repeat, OPTION. That means you don't have to take it. Insurance coverage should not stay with the employer. Many people change jobs, and may lose their coverage. The coverage should stay with the person. Insurance companies love to exclude a person with a previous treatment or condition. Their interest is so that they do not have to pay MONEY. That is not in the best interest of the country or the individual.

    11. Don Smith Oklahoma says:

      Do not change.

    12. Dave O, VA says:

      A foundational belief among folks who support more government control over health care seems to be that the current system is a market-based system controlled by the corporations and it’s not working. But the current situation is not even close to a market-based system. It's state and federal laws and the infinite govt policies and regulations that cause corporations to jump through ridiculous hoops and the health care providers to struggle. When the President claims the status quo isn’t an option and he implies a free-market system as the status quo, he’s blowing smoke—he knows that’s not true (if he doesn’t that’s a whole ‘nother reason to worry). The status quo is govt control and his reforms are heaping more of what causes the problems on to the problem. A move away from status quo would be power to the people to exercise freedom of choice and make the corporations bend to our needs and desires as consumers. A free market system could work with the govt as overseer to ensure fair and comprehensive coverage for all. However, as long as govt is a player in the insurance business as a provider, the system will never be a free market.

    13. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Anyone can do anything with statistics to prove a point. The problem is that the results of politcal agendas typically don't come to fruition until years later. We live in an instant gratification e-mail society. Changes don't work that fast. Ask people who were alive at the end of the "depression" and most will tell you the government spending programs actually delayed the recovery by seven years compared to the rest of the world. We are quick to blame the previous person/adminstration/Congress but we actually need to look at the trends over the past thirty or forty years to find the answers. There is plenty of blame to pass around. For me, I know "Big Government" is bad. For them, "Big Business" is bad. Thus the conflicts.

    14. mike hutchings texas says:

      eugenics any one;

      it is a meassure of the moral

      and intellectual corruption of

      the our poltitical and academic leaders

      that a farce such as we are witness too

      continues and is as dislocated from logic

      as equating profits as part of overhead.

      sorry thats already been done.

      karl marx would like that

      one groucho marx could run on for a week

      how far do you take the bald face aggression

      of the facists and and not call a clown a clown and send for the men in the white coats.

      sorry thats been done too.

    15. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      And who in government believes this? Not even many Republicans believe in competition. In fact government hates 'it' because 'it' exposes just how incompetent and mind dead is government.

    16. Philadelphia Mike says:

      Can someone or any Lawer answer my question? The Constitution does give the Federal Government the power to "Regulate" Interstate Commerce but does the Government have the authority to "Engage" in commerce, e.g. GM, Chrysler, AIG, Banks, Health Insurance Companies et al. I think they should be challenged in Court (Federal or Supreme). With an abundance of Lawers out there can someone answer my question??? Can the Government just IGNORE the Constitution??? How can we put MORE Restrictions on the Government??? Eagerly awaiting any answer.

      Thank You!

    17. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      When did the government get into the business of making decisions for all??? If we the people continue to let this happen then the dems, obama, pelosi and reid will be telling us we can only breath at certain times of the day. The government is taking controll of each of us, it is making our decisions and tellling us what to think and how to act. When will we tell government that we have had enough of the interference and are able to make our own decisions, especially where our health is concerned. This like all the other government programs will become a huge drain on the system, they can not run or manage anything now. I just hope that people will wake up and see that the BS that obama and the dems are spouting is just that BS. WE MUST VOTE IN 2010 AND STOP THIS SOCIALIST STYLE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS THE ATTEMPT TO INSTALL A DICTATOR.

    18. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      This can not be said often enough. This "grab" by the federal government of 1/6th of the economy and the control achieved by this "program" IS NOT ABOUT REFORM.

      It is about ever increasing intrusion by our government into our private lives and decision making.

      Nothing can compare with the "control" that can be achieved if Washington District of Corruption is allowed to get its grubby paws on our medical industry, all of it.

      This must be the focus, reform stares us in the face:

      1. Change the rules on malpractice, particularly nuisance suits.

      2. Allow interstate health insurance competition.

      3. Allow "portability of coverage" or subsidize COBRA coverage as part of "unemployment" insurance

      4. Incent the states to "experiment" with various health care coverages. This is in line with the thoughts of our founders regarding one role of the states in our Democratic Republic.

      5. Lets once again take a real informed look at the idea of some form of "Catastrophic Coverage"

      PC is Thought Control

      LEE

    19. Wallyblu, Zion, IL says:

      The dirty little secret about Medicare is that it isn't free.

      When I retired 9 months before I was eligible for Medicare my Cobra payments to keep my employee insurance was $800.00 per month. Now that I am eligible for "FREE MEDICARE" my healthcare insurance payments are $600.00 per month.

      I'm sure that the Government is paying much more than $200.00 per month per person for those covered under Medicare.

      My question is why can the private insurance companies cover me for only $200.00 but the Federal Government has to spend Billions of dollars for the same results.

    20. Michael - New York N says:

      Wake up America….The world will be dumping the Dollar, and that will cause hyper inflation and huge deicits in the good OLD USA [yes remember that before Obama]. The world sees it, in fact Australia raised its benchmark rate 25 basis points since it knows inflation is coming and coming like an out of control frieght train. With Obama unemployment near 10% and climbing. we are in deep trouble. Our bonds will devalue, our currency will devalue, and with most goods manufactured oversees, everything will be more expensive. Get ready for hard times, and we all can thank the democrats. Health care only adds to our woes, and will be the final nail in the coffin of America as we once knew our great country.

    21. Ron, Derry NH says:

      It has become more and more clear that Obama is a mouthpiece for the Socialist party of America and their allies the Democrats.

      He seems to say what ever sounds good but is in every case, his actions and results are in opposition to the reality being put in place.

      A more amicable, and willing deceiver couldn't have been better chosen to shoehorn in the shackles of communism upon our once great country and liberty based system.

      Like in a Circus act or great adventure story, the bigger and more outlandish the lie the more the audience wants to believe that it is all true, and the more they will sacrifice rationality to make it so.

      America is caught up in the greatest show on earth with the ticket price being your economic worth and your country being stolen while you watch the show. The performers are forging their futures with each prop they put in place to mesmerize confuse, and mystify the crowds, yet the only one who stands to lose in this three ring circus is the one who is playing without a net and that my friend is you, the audience, the American people.

    22. John Seaman Geneva says:

      The notion that individual citizens can and will be able to carefully chose among a diversity of plans offered by private insurers is absurd. This is not the open market place where the invisible hand will set prices. None of us as patients will be happy with anything but the very best and therefore the most expensive medical care. We will not sacrifice quality for price. Further, have you ever tried to deal with a medical insurance company? It is difficult at best, not anything like trying to decide which car or can of peas to buy. The most intelligent of us spend weeks on the phone trying to shift our 'choices" from one company to another and then we are caught in the "preexisting condition" trap.

    23. Ella QUINN N.C. says:

      We the people will not give up on our country.America is ours.All you liberals might as well move on out to another country because we the conservaties are not.You need to see the good of our country and you need to change your ways for the good,not like obama ways.His way is not good.

    24. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      if you go in and say, i am paying cash, lets negotiate, you will pay only a fraction of what is charged otherwise I know, I pay cash. I negotiate my cost.

    25. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      I agree with LEE!

      Tort reform in and of itself would reduce by half all of the cost of anything attributed to medicine and medical care. We all must demand this of our elected Officials, for they themselves are likely to be either Lawyers or have a degree in Law and thereby biased. Tort reform throughout all of American industry is badly needed. This , not Labor, is what causes undue and added costs to American made products. The six foot step ladder in your garage, for examle, half of its recommende manufatured price, is to cover the "Liability Insurance" for potential future 'TORT' suits!

      What LEE didn't mention, and needs to be answered, is why is Medical Insurance the only product in America that is not covered by the Constutions Amendment of Free and Open Commerce between the States? With over two thousand choices of Medical Coverage in the United States, Why are we, in each State so limited to so few choices?

      Open up Free Commerce to over two thousand choices for Americans for Medical coverage, and limit drastically all Tort Claims, and this will be a great beginning toward placing America back into the position of number ONE in the World!

    26. mike phoenix says:

      Some people NEVER learn and keep playing the same old tune. Left to its own devices "free market" capitalism will seek to destroy everything and even itself in the pursuit of PROFITS. This post is obviously written by a VERY SLOW learner. The federal government looked the other way as the Financial Services industry brought the world to its knees. It also let Madoff take a lot of GREEDY people for a horrific ride.When will these "free market" conservatives learn? Then we all watched as the taxpayers bailed out this greedy and corrupt industry in order to prevent a total collapse and possibly another depression.

    27. phyllis, texas says:

      This issue is being talked to death!

      and I am tired of it.

      I talk to any one who will listen and it seems only older people have a sense of what this will bring to seniors.

      And to nashville, no not all seniors are at the poverty level, however it is getting more difficult to live at the standard I thought I could have when I was forced to retire.

      I think there are 4 to 5 bills being tossed around,that all have the same idea, trim medicare from fraud and "overuse" by 500 BBBILLION $$$$$$$.

      Increase the people on it and medicaid and you will have a lot of doctors refusing medicare people. and I don't blame them.

      But I have a question, why is it people have enough money to go to Disney, {especially when they get their earned income tax credit up to $4,000?}they buy ready meals and eat out and maybe rarely cook, travel back and forth to Columbia, Mexico, or where ever they hail from and then when they feel sick, they say oh I don't have coverage. This of course is not the whole story but I have seen this over and over. It seems that the "so called POOR or the ones always in debt, have the newest TV, latest PC, telephone or electronic device, etc. just look on ''you- tube" and look at the fun fun fun everybody is having,

      except when they feel sick and need to see a doctor!

      But another aspect of health care that NO ONE addresses is dental!!Why does it cost almost a thousand dollars for a root canal that only takes 10/15 minutes? To have a tooth removed, with anesthesia, almost the same, and heaven forbid you want a tooth implant, it's close to $5,000. or more?

      I pay it and with all the co pays, deductables etc,and other medical expenses, I never get anything back on my taxes!

    28. jim smith says:

      For the Dems in Congress, if they didn't invent it, it doesn't exist.

    29. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      From Philadelphia Mike, "…but does the Government have the authority to “Engage” in commerce …?"

      An attorney friend suggested the following, http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitut…. John Marshall rendered his opinion on this matter in the 1800s.

      My personal belief is such government overindulgence has been stretched to its breaking point.

    30. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Mike, Look at the Necessary and Proper clause in Art I. To add to your question, is it proper for government to engage in private commerce?

    31. phyllis, texas says:

      All this reaction is nothing but blah blah blah!

      You are going to get Obama care and call it competion or what ever nonsense, but you are going to get it so now do what I do just give up. Nobody is listening!

      Not even the reviewers of Heritage!

      How did all the other countries get to be communistic?

      It's happening here. This is your new Government at work.YOU are in the minority and singing to the choir!

    32. donny letson says:

      harleyj: We do have the best healthcare sysem in the world in these United States. Regarging life expectancy-we have liberty here to chose to do with our bodies what we want, even hurt our bodies. Even with the best healthcare, some people will still die. Why so many uninsured- again, liberty. There are many americans that chose not to buy insurance. They want to spend their prosperity on other things. Even poor people can spend money on beer and cigs instead of insurance. About the money spent on healthcare in these United States- we may spend more money than anyone else but that again points to libery (God Bless America!). We are offered more choices in healthcare and more innovation than anyone else, therefore we chose to spend more money on our healthcare. This only helps innovation. More money means more equipment, tests, nurses, doctors, etc. I hope this gets your attention.

    33. Denise, RI says:

      It should be noted that Medicare Advantage plans through private insurers are very popular with seniors because they provide all-inclusive coverage beyond hospital and medical, such as dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs, whereas with the government’s Part A and B, you have to pay extra for these coverages. Plus Medicare Advantage plans have lower deductible and copays than the government’s plan. The health care reform proposals currently under review do cut back on Medicare Advantage payments and seniors may have to pay more for the comprehensive plan. But there are many Medicare Advantage plans available, as evident at PlanPrescriber.com. Put your zip code in the search box and you will see what I mean. So I think seniors will find some form of comparable Medicare plan regardless of the outcome of the health care reform bill.

    34. Steve Evans, Buffalo says:

      Obamacare at this point is just health insurance, not health care reform. True health reform would have five basic tenets: meaningful tort reform, modest payment reductions to specialists with increases to primary care docs, modest tax increases to pay for adding the millions of currently uninsured (including taxes on expensive policies currently in effect), and a different approach to care of the frail. This last is the sticky wicket that no one is really addressing honestly; we spend about 40% of total care in the last 6 months of life, with little benefit from a "system" vantage (though individuals obviously in some instances perceive value in this care). Without addressing this fact (and no one else in the world allows this sort of care to occur), we're bound to continue our economic decline; we're "wasting" about 40% of our health care expenditure, from a purely economic vantage, and yet continuing as a country to pay for this waste (if payment devolved to the individual, it would be another matter, of course, but we're all forced to pay for this waste in our "all sail and no anchor system).

      By the way, for people who either have insurance or who survive to Medicare eligibility, the US continues to have the finest healthcare system in the world (and it's why the wealthy from around the world still come here for care); it's just the problem of no or little care for either the poor or uninsured (along with some uniquely America problems like obesity and our terrible diets) that causes our stats to pale in comparison with others.

    35. Ken Jarvis says:

      Headline = When Did the American People Elect Eric Holder Commander in Chief?

      Answer – NEVER. Next question.

    36. Jjay - Louisville, K says:

      UH, GWB ( ie. Cheney ) designated the Attorney General to do the very same thing…

      Using SELECTIVE 'facts' will always come back to haunt you. You best learn your lessons while you can.

      YES, we elected Obama ( or the Electoral College did, to be more exact ) to make decisions on who in the administration should do what. He did that in this case, so live with it and stop your searching for something to just complain about.

    37. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      Its time we the people FORCE govt officials to do what is in OUR BEST INTEREST, NOT the interest of "groups" like UNIONS and TRIAL LAYWERS!! Democrats have for years TRASHED American Corporations who HIRE AMERICANS and thereby PAYING FOR ALL THE CROOKS WHO HOLD A GOVERNMENT SEAT!!! How much money do UNIONS pay to AMERICANS? Right! NOTHING except forced dues, then PAYOFFS TO SOCIALISTS…DEMORATS! How much money do TRIAL LAWYERS Pay to American workers? Not very freakin much! Demorats have been on a rampage to destroy AMERICAN CORPS/INDUSTRY/ MANUFACTURING and have done a very good job brainwashing the MORONS who are NOW GOVT DEPENDENTS FOREVER!!! Dear Obama, YOU WILL STOP WITH YOUR MINDLESS HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE! You have ZERO experience in this and every other area, so CEASE IMMEDIATELY with all the LIES and JUST DON"T DO ANYTHING ELSE! Just enjoy your Kobe beef, sit back and relax til we vote you out of office. You have done ENOUGH damage already, and it will take YEARS to clean up your childish mess. Thats OK.. some people made you out to be more than you really are, its not all your fault…the further damage you will do because you HAVE ZERO KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE WILL BE YOUR FAULT! People BLACK and WHITE will SUFFER, and everyone in between.

    38. miguel torres, san c says:

      Holder is an incompetent Marxist who has always been to the left of any matters having to do with the security of this country. I believe we should increase the pressure so that we can get rid of him. He and Obama are of the same kind, good for nothing Elitists !!!1

    39. American Patriot, CT says:

      It is becoming more evident that Obama got elected because the American people felt obligated to elect a black man. Had they done their homework it would have been evident he was not qualified for the position. His experience as a leader of any kind was nil. However his experience gained at the knee of those like Rev Wright and other anti America folks was abundant. Well, guess what, like attracts like. Mr Holder and all of the other Hussaniacs are following in the mindset of their so called leader. What did everyone expect? You got what you voted for. Now work with the same fervor to dethrone him and hope it is not too late. (Even the Prime Minister of Canada came here for healthcare, does that alert any of you Husseiniacs to the state of medical care in Socialist land)

    40. James Fife, Norman, says:

      Did you really mean the following, from the next to last paragraph of today's Morning Bell (Feb. 4), or did someone not proof read this carefully?

      "But it should dictate war-time policy for the entire Executive Branch."

      Should it not read: But it should NOT dictate war-time policy for the entire Executive Branch."

    41. James Fife, Norman, says:

      The next to last paragraph in today's Morning Bell (Feb. 4): You wrote: "But it should dictate war-time policy for the entire Executive Branch."

      Didn't your mean "But it should not dictate war-time policy for the entire Executive Branch."?

    42. Rhonda, Texas says:

      Is there ANYONE in the Obama administration that is honest? They seem to all lie, cheat on their taxes and have no regard for who they throw under the bus or what is right. They really make Obama look bad with no integrity or morals. They seem like a bunch of bumbling baffoons. Sad that this is what the citizens of our country have ruling us.

    43. Julia Traverse City, says:

      he should be fired. he's not President of the United States of America and Congress and that who decide with actions will be taken.

    44. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I remain a skeptic of Republican Party politics and just as distrustful of Democratic Party politics. However, when important administration officials speak, contradicting one another, I pay attention. It is useful to know who says what is truthful. This administration is defining itself as one who has problems with what is truthful. That's ok, though. The next election period and the next Presidential

      election will take care of this problem.

    45. Brenda Cregor, CA. says:

      In regards to the Christmas-underwear-bomber:

      1) Is he an American citizen?…No

      2) Did he confess he was allied with enemy forces, who are now being confronted by our military in places around the world?…Yes

      Throw him in a military prision, get the information via any route sanctioned by the Geneva Convention, and let's get some viable intelligence.

      And America, you need to read PEOPLE OF THE LIE in order to understand this administration.

    46. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      As long as this ROGUE GOVERNMENT, FULL OF PROGRESSIVES/MARXISTS/COMMUNISTS have a STRANGLEHOLD on 1)the media 2) Hollywierd and 3) US we will continue this downward spiral. It makes no difference whether by design or accident, those in charge are KILLING CREATIVITY, KILLING EDUCATION, KILLING MANUFACTURING, KILLING ENERGY PRODUCTION, KILLING JOBS AND THE ABILITY TO PROVIDE FOR OUR FAMILIES, WITH POLICIES BASED ON LIES(GLOBAL WARMING!?) AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WHICH WILL KILL US ALL! The time is coming for us to march into the studios of ABC,NBC,CBS, MSNBC and drag these lying, truth destroying, Obama shills out into the streets and demand their replacement with REPORTERS rather than GOVT REPEATERS!!! LIES ARE BRINGING US DOWN!!!

    47. Jjay - Louisville, K says:

      Good to see someone ( thanks Brenda ) is recognizing the value of justice set out by the Geneva Convention, which we are obligated to follow.

      AND,

      in order to understand what this administration is having to deal with and build on, one needs only to review the last eight years of incompetents in the very same offices.

    48. A Person of the USA says:

      As a person of the USA I find two things obvious in this arguement,

      1. Nothing being mentioned about the hundreds of different groups of USA people raising strong and clearly proveable questions about the conspirital nature of the entire 911 attack.

      2. A profound linguistic attack using a crutch of only a few people in the USA, as the linguistic associative. There 300 million of us, and feeling like a group of terrorists because of constant and new linguistic association is a planned effort that a few capable of naming terrorist groups here in the USA are habitually guilty of. What is the problem? Not wanting to come to terms with the fact that the USA Constitution is the highest law of the land? Or is it that there is hatred against a gender that knows it has equal rights and is not compliant with being the new slave class, they said 'good girl' to this very compliant constitutional USA person, Imagine a fifty three year old with tons of job experience and education hearing 'good boy' after a good job. Or perhaps it is not liking criticism about preferential business and hiring practices from beyond the threshold of the not legally respectable establishment where any UnConstitutionality is fair game as it is not legal anyway and what to do with a Billion a day in HEREOF resources other than shore up the over bearing control from an economy run not by those adherent to the USA though instead by a duplicity of fraud neither adherent to USA Constitutional hierarchy nor the hierarchy of the foreign supremacy groups they vow adherency toward? Why not just name the terrorists names that do not constantly point fingers at USA people, for reasons of foreign supremacy using the third world nationals as rhetorical paper puppets, and while at it why not try a person suspected of international terrorism against the USA in Washington, where we have federal resources to protect all of us, instead of pointing a bludgeon of retaliation at one or two not as heavily protected places here in the USA.

      It is cruel and violent to constantly use one person as the rhetorical source for all the bloody verbage, when that one person is clearly a person of the USA and not the fodder for rhetoric that they all hoped USA people should be. The persons doing that know precisely who they are and from a position of profound power is using the entire international terrorism arena as a rhetorical basis for mean and unfair and not nice rhetorical grandstanding. In fact while at stop doing that to the same USA people, they could stop trying to use third party hatreds as a weapon against the few USA people they target. There are three hundred million USA people, allow someone else to be the rhetorical slave for the violence, it is not necessary and not nice.

      hd, a person of the USA.

    49. John T. Sewell says:

      Dear Sirs: My fellow Americans, I know that by now all of you understand that we the people that Love this Great Country of ours, can NOT stand 4 more years of Obama or his Czars and Senators in Congress, even the Republicans that vote with their Democratic buddies instead of them standing up for the principles at stake. This Congress as it is right now will KILL any bill that is introduced that will limit Congress to two terms or anything else we need to get done. Obama is NOT upholding the Constitution of The United States and is selling her down the tubes toward Socialism. That kind of behavior in anybody esle would have been called a traitor–one who betrays a person, a cause or any trust, one who betrays his COUNTRY by violating his ALLEGIANCE, one guilty of TREASON. My American Brothers and Sisters, if I am speaking too harshly of Obama and what he has already done, then please call me down and explain to me where I have missed something. Rush, Glenn, Bill, Dick, Newt, Lou, Palin, ect. are all Great Americans that are trying to wake peolple of this Great Country up. We have to realize where we headed and that is a China take over, if we let Obama stay another 4 years. Don't you realize, that if this had been a Republican President doing the same thing Obama is doing, the Democratic controlled Congress would have had him already charged with treason or would be holding hearings getting ready to do the same. AS the saying goes," Put that in your pipe and smoke it", you know it is the TRUTH. I see that there are several good canidates that might run for office. We all know Hillary will be going for the Democratic Nomination, I don't think that she will have a chance but we will see. What I haven't seen yet is a REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE, stand up and take hold of the party and lead them anywhere. They have to SEIZE this time in History and take control and run with it, to show THE AMERiCAN PEOPLE, they are the party of the FUTURE and will be the party of the People and by the People. Well, that's enough said for now, if the Republican Party can not find No one else to stand up and take control: Then I will and watch out when I do. You can talk to me at: sewelljt@gmail.com. Respectfully, John T. Sewell

    50. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      To ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, INCLUDING OBAMA, PELOSI, REID, FRANK, WATERS, AND THE REST: GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR LIVES! AND STAY OUT! ANYONE WHO DOES NOT FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION TO THE LETTER SHOULD BE THROWN OUT INTO THE STREET AND BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE THEY TOOK AN OATH TO SERVE!

    51. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Once again in the Obama Administration we have a case of the Blind leading the Deaf.

    52. Ken in SB says:

      Some good comments here. Obama was elected and the electoral college supported the fact he was the clear choice. I like the new thinkers here who see that although we have the best health care money can buy, that is not the best health care system for accessibility to those who would like to participate in that system due to the lack of true competition from the insurance industry.

      I disagree with the communistic method of purging opposition as the person from Arlington TX proposes. Although I appreciate his support of communism and fascism I wish he would consider a more round table approach to solving or dealing with the issues he feels he has with his imaginary adversaries.

      I find the comments from the American Patriot disturbing and offensive to any American.

      We will all have the chance to see the best of conservative thinking with the dismantling of campaign finance laws by the Supreme Court.

      Candidates will wear the badge of the corporation who bought them. The concept of free speech and campaign financing on the behalf and behest of corporations has some very interesting repercussions I think.

    53. Mike says:

      I wonder about Holder's intentions as well as Obama's.

    54. Sal Borgese, Voorhee says:

      Eric Holder assumed the position of Commander In Chief because President Obama refuses to accept the responsibility of his office.

    55. Elliot Johnson, San says:

      I have a feeling that a number of the Presidents appointees nearest him will be forced to resign. My only fear is who will replace them?

      Elliot Johnson

      San Antonio, TX

    56. Ken Jarvis says:

      6 – 20 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis
      I took a look at Foundy.org

      and saw this – Why Does Obama Want to Destroy 265,000 Jobs?
      Does anyone, in their right mind believe that?

      Remember – Things Will Get BETTER.
      Murdoch and HF are the ONLY ONEs TELLING YOU they won’t.
      Murdoch is the Voice of the GOP.

      When did things NOT Get Better?
      They always do, and they ALWAYS WILL.

      WHEN did Murdoch EVER say – in WSJ or on FOX –
      When did he ever say – THINGS WILL GET BETTER?
      WHEN?
      He NEVER has.
      ====
      Ryan’s Shrewd Budget Payday
      Exclusive: The congressman stands to make money from his stakes in four businesses that lease land to energy companies which would benefit from $45 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in his proposed budget. Daniel Stone reports.
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/17/
      ===
      HF – “Should Tax Increases Be Considered in Debt Limit Debate?”

      *** Tax the Rich, they have the $$$.

    57. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      You continue to believe that by writing, entertaining and cajoling these life-long politicans, Republican & Democrats you will change their greed to suck the rest of us dry. They continue to eat cake while the average person pays for them….and, by the way, we are paying for you too.

    58. Victor Barney says:

      I only wish that it were possible, but I fear that America today is nothing like the America founded by our orginal forefathers! In fact, Karl Marx hadn't given a way yet for the "intellectual" to transend religion when governing it's people! Marxism and the Islamic Caliphate now work together against our Republic and it also is written that it will continue this way until our Savior COMES BACK and destroys them completely! No? Watch!

    59. toledofan says:

      The entire strategy behind Obamacare is government control of the industry and the ability to force everyone to have insurance regulated by the government. I think that the more I read, the more of a catastrophy this bill is and just like everything else the government calculates, the cost is going to be out of sight. There are alot of other weays that we should try first like tort reform, increasing competition by letting the insurers trade over state lines, and create some incentives and possible health savings accounts, I know there are many more ideas, but, the more government gets involved, the big, more bloated, and for sure more costly; if you don't believe me I know where we can buy some $200 dollar toliet seats and some hammers for a measly $100 dollars. Heritage keep up the good works.

    60. HEDY says:

      WY O WY ARE THE AMERICANS SO GANG HOO TO BELIVE OB THAT SOCIALISTIC MEDICINE IS GOOD, I WISH ALL OF YOU THAT BELIVE OB SHOULD GO AND LIVE IN A SOCIALISTIC COUNTRY , THEN THE WILL SEE AND FIND OUT THAT IT IS BAD _ I WLL WAYS SAY NOTHING IS FOR FREE, AND YOU WILL BE SORRY YOU ASK FOR IT _WAKE UP YOU MISERABLE FREE LOADERS AND DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR COUNTRY AND GET OBAMA OUT NOW

    61. Jim Reinarz says:

      Why doesn't heritage show the actual cost of employees in the federal government? The growth of federal employees over the last 30 years? Also the cost of of the federal retirement programs? This is where the costs have absolutely soared.

    62. Jeff says:

      Micro-analysis isn't germane to our present condition. This is a purely macro situation requiring a macro solution: cut programs, stop spending, lower taxes — and fast.

      Just do it. The time for talking about it is over.

    63. Kaydell Bowles says:

      The problem is citizens deciding on what to spend their money for–wants or needs! What is their priority? I see that there are some families where there is prudent spending, that is seeing that the needs are met before their wants. Then again I see families whose wants are first met and not needs. In the former group it has been my experience that there is little demand for government to give one all the freebies, insurance, education, and etc. In the latter group these are the ones who want government to provide for them their safety net. Yet I see that the Americans pay over 2 billion dollars per year for sports and sport programs; I see that Americans pay a similar amount for movies, games and entertainment; I see that Americans pay a similiar amount for pornography. Yet we want more of the needs from government. This is the road to dependency and ruin–examples are, Greece Empire, the Roman Empire, the Weimar Republic, and the Argentina. Maybe it will not be too long before Madonna can sing the song, "Do NOt Cry For Me America".

    64. lv2rd117 says:

      The United Nations political government and world rich elite has a Middle East agenda and they are going to conquer it. Where do they reside and make the decisions to sabotage the United States of America, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, etc.?  Look no further then at the 3,000 members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and 300 members of the Trilateral Commission (TC).  Doubt it?… look it up!

      You will be surprised of the U.S. corporate CEO's, U.S. politicians, U.S. military Generals, and foreign members who don't believe in the people or our Liberty and Constitution. So, you might think we as the U.S. want to be in the Middle East? Every U.S. President (dead and alive) and Congress has never had any say what-so-ever to what happens in our country, let alone a foreign nation. We are being used and our military is being used by the CFR and TC through your tax money to fight these false wars for the purpose of gaining control of the world. Does the New World Order ring a bell?

      Wake up and smell the coffee. Our jobs are going overseas and the corporate CEO's know the Middle East and South America labor and resources is cheap, yet we just can't seem to do without their union products, can we? So we spend, spend, spend and while we make them more rich, we are subjected to propaganda volumes of LAW into poverty.

      Until we rid the Federal Reserve of the their false interpretation of freedom currency, we must all agree to get out and eliminate the financial support to the UN, reducing the corrupt Federal government, and going back to the gold standard to generate the economy, or we are at the point of no return.  In an age of slim political picks, look at the 2012 presidential contenders whose campaigns are being financed by the corporate rich, they are partisans eager to impress upon the impressionable a worldview that will serve their cause in the future through propaganda and lies.

      The problem is we have so many corrupt Presidents, public servants, and private individuals working now in Washington working with the rich CFR members and rich TC members, they think "oh well, anything goes", I'll be taken care of.

    65. Walter Mattson says:

      I feel that we are apporaching a time where our government is broken byond repair. 90% of our representatives are more concerned about getting re-elected than saving the country. Nobody in Washington can see past their own ego's and materialist greed. The facts show how they feel toward We The People. They consider us Tea Baggers, uninformed, and not able to think for ourselfs. This of course isn't true, however We The People have some hard decissions to make in 2012. How we choose will determine what kind of country we will have and the future we give our children.

      THIS IS A WARNING! Unless we elect representatives who live by the rules of the constitution and follow this document. We will fall as did all the other great civilizations. The choice is ours to make. We are in trouble as a nation and the status quo is no longer viable.

      I personally want to see representatives in office that arn't worried about the next election, but doing the right thing for the people and the country.

      THE CHOICE IS OURS………..CHOICE WISELY

    66. Robert says:

      The Boehner/Obama ten-year scheme is a joke. The spending cuts need to be made now! Then, only increase the debt limit by $ 300 million per vote – and only once every 90 days. Boehner and Obama want this issue to go away. Boehner wants to complain about big, bad Obama for the next year (while he does nothing to help the nation), and Obama is willing to give little johnny all the rope he needs

    67. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      In regard to Medicare and Social Security being termed "entitlements", I must object. I paid into both of those while I have been working, since before 1966, as a corporate employee and then as a self-employed individual. So, I am personally entitled to a return on my money; I have not asked that people be taxed to repay me.

      Secondly, why not open up every state to all 1500 medical insurers? It seems to me that this common sense proposal might just bring down premium costs. What is wrong with that idea?

    68. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Do you want to see another 'nightmare' picture? Look at Boehner playing golf with Barry O. The lifer Republicans are no better than the socialist lifer Democrats

    69. Carol USA says:

      The Foundry.org sounds great and I wish you well. I however do not have one of any of the means you mentioned. I pad or kindle.

    70. Edwin Gaster says:

      When Heritage refers to the USA's national debt, does that figure include what is owed to the Federal Reserve bank? I have heard that all IRS collected taxes go to the FED because of this debt, and each year the federal tax does not pay off the debt. Due to the miracle of compound interest, the debt only becomes ever larger. Is this true?

    71. Nancy C says:

      Get rid of the entitlement programs. They are not only inappropriate but downright dangerous during an economic downturn cycle. That doesn't mean forever, just for now…

    72. Wayne, La. says:

      This is another way for the Government to control and steal peoples' property. They will own the current and future generations.

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