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  • Morning Bell: A Desperate December Deal

    If you are one of the few Americans who still subscribes, your morning newspaper probably has a headline like this: Democrats Reach Deal on Health Plan. Don’t believe it. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is still light years away from producing the 60 votes necessary to pass Obamacare out of the Senate. And the few details that have leaked out about this new “broad agreement” only reveal just how desperate Reid is to get any bill on to President Obama’s desk by the New Year.

    Of course, there is no good policy reason why the Senate should be rushing the reorganization of one-sixth of our nation’s economy through their chamber. As leftist columnist E.J. Dionne has frankly admitted, the December deadline is a purely political invention, created for the sole purpose of enabling President Barack Obama to point to at least one accomplishment during his State of the Union speech in January. Details of the agreement have not been made public, and Senate Democrats are refusing to make them public until they hear back from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). But judging from what little has been selectively leaked to the public, this idea deserves to die:

    Doubling Down on Debt: Medicare is already bankrupting our country. In 2007 alone, Medicare was forced to draw $179 billion from the general revenues of the U.S. Treasury. According to the latest Medicare trustees report, the program already faces $36 tril­lion dollar long-term budget shortfall. Medicare’s annual drain on our resources is set to skyrocket in 2011 when the first wave of baby boomers retire. The new Senate deal would only make this problem worse by expanding Medicare eligibility to people without insurance between the ages of 55 and 64.

    Death Sentence for Hospitals: The Reid Health Bill already delivers a huge blow to our nation’s hospitals by cutting Medicare reimbursements to hospitals by hundreds of billions of dollars. Moving millions of more Americans to Medicare would cut into hospital revenues even further. That is why both the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals sent alerts yesterday urging their members to oppose the new Senate deal.

    A Government Run Health Care Coup: You might think that leftists who have been dreaming about single payer, government run health care for years would be upset about the new Senate deal. They are not. The existing Medicaid expansions in the bill, and the new Senate deal Medicare expansions, are just a continuation of the left’s health care agenda since the defeat of Hillarycare: Slowly expand existing government programs so that all private health care is strangled out of existence. So instead of fighting to preserve the public option, leftist activist Chris Bowers urges readers to fight “to expand the Medicare buy-in to all Americans between the age of 55 and 64 (inclusive).” Progressive health care guru Ezra Klein says the new deal is better than the public option because “it seed[s] health-care reform with scalable experiments.”

    When President Barack Obama gave one of his first national health care addresses in June, he instructed Congress: “As we move forward on health care reform, it is not sufficient for us simply to add more people to Medicare or Medicaid.” But after months of debate in Congress, that is all Obamacare has turned out to be.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to a new congressional oversight panel report, TARP is good for Wall Street, not Main Street.
    • President Barack Obama wants to fund a third stimulus by using leftover TARP funds as a political slush fund.
    • The climate deal in Copenhagen is expected to entail profound shifts in energy production and the creation of complex new regulations that will cost the world economy trillions of dollars over the next decades.
    • The Copenhagen climate summit is “in disarray” after developing countries reacted furiously to a leaked text that abandoned the Kyoto protocol.
    • According to a new Quinnipiac Poll, only 26% of U.S. voters say President Barack Obama deserves his Nobel Peace Prize.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    27 Responses to Morning Bell: A Desperate December Deal

    1. William Bradley Duli says:

      "Slowly expand existing government programs so that all private health care is strangled out of existence" is one of the key phrases in the above article. This is the insidious way that these things get passed. It is like the old adage about "how do you boil a frog". While we are looking the other way fighting a big government option plan, the left is gradually boiling us to death.

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      To quote my earlier comment for a different forum,

      " … Like everything on the left, [the Congressional majority's] position is obviously pseudo-whatever. Be it in science, basic constitutional principles, economics, federal’s role [healthcare] and so on. I’m at the point of throwing up my hands in total despair. How supposedly educated people [such as senators, representatives and presidents] keep coming out of the wood work to force their tyrannical socialist agendas. Didn’t our nation revolt against an aristocratic regime for such trespasses? Where the heck are people’s heads today?"

    3. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      PS: BO is neither FDR nor LBJ, but he's about to build a grandiose entitlement upon their already humongous crumbling social structures. It's out-of-control and totally irresponsible federal governance.

    4. Ed, ohio says:

      the question one must ask is…..

      "what is the breakeven point on the margin mix analysis… between Medicaid/Medicare payments and private insurance payements for an average Hospital???" In other words….if they get 35 to 40% revenue from public payments or higher… do they start to go bankrupt and close Hospital operations??? If so, where do we go then to get healthcare??

    5. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      They are calling Christians "BIRTHERS" and people that have enough intelligence to research the climate hoax on thier own, and use their brains instead of blindly following Al Gore "deniers" on the senate floor. If you watch c-span you will vomit. I cannot understand how supposedly educated people can sink into this.

    6. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Socialism stinks.

      Obama and his Gang are Socialists.

      Therefore………….!

    7. Bob in St. Louis, MO says:

      Amen J.C. Hughes! and it appears it's only going to get worse! The congressional morons up in D.C. are just so gah-gah over Obama, Reid and Pelosi that they just don't care what the majority of americans want for their healthcare; REAL REFORM IN INCREMENTAL STEPS! We just want a fair shake, not backroom shady deals, vote payoffs, arm twisting and threats! I mean, where are their principles? Our own Sen. Claire McCaskill has turned her back on Missourians and Sen. Bond who is retiring is our only voice on this fraud and sham of a bill! 2010 can't come too soon for me because I'll never vote for another democrat again! And in the House, our very own Rep. Lacy Clay has got to go! He could care less about his district!

    8. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The "in charge Left" in Washington is not paying attention to the People. At least not the majority who are against this whole mess! The Left is only listening to the small group – the same group that wants everything handed to them – and insisting that WE pay for it ALL!

      We are not and WILL NOT BECOME surfs to the Government! Our fore-fathers left England for this, fought a Revolution for this and fought in foreign lands to stop this from happening to others. Our Constitution strictly forbids the Federal Government from doing this or a President to become a king. I will repeat OUR CONSTITUTION PREVENTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM FULL CONTROL OR THE PRESIDENT TO BECOME A KING!

      Where are the voices? Where is the anger? Why are we all sitting like sheep? Letters, emails, meetings seem to do nothing to move the "in charge Left". What do we have to do, "fire a shot over their bow" to show them we will not be led like sheep to a slaughter?

    9. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      If there is a solution to government funded healthcare, it is not to have any, at all. The government may want to fund the difference between what is covered and what is not. Seems to make more sense. Problem is, we have a Congress that no longer believes in the authority of the Constitution. In my opinion, there are a bunch of Republicans who have the same problem. Secondly, the health maintenance organizations have to unload the top heavy side of their organizations; $19 million for the CEO of United Health a couple of years ago seems a bit outrageous. But, then again, the HMO's are creatures of Wall Street, are they not?

      It is time for concerned Americans to vote in term limits; vote out people like Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Frank, Markey, Kerry, Dodd, Feinstein, Schumer, etc. Vote in people who are true republicans and start bringing some semblance of order out of the chaotic group that rules this country. We created and elected a political class. Now, we have the constitutional right to vote them out of office. Let's do it!

      Bernard P. Giroux, Fall River, MA 508-677-9500

    10. Ron, Derry NH says:

      America, once the ship of liberty and freedom's destiny is giving over self control and purpose to people who do not even deserve to ride in the bowels of that ship.

      To give up freedom and liberty to enslave oneself to debt and government control without a fight, is the sure sign of a nation attached to its mommy and not being weened off of that dependency.

      No country with a people so desperate to enslave their neighbor to a financial catastrophe of more government chains so they don't have to be more responsible, have given up on the spirit that is so necessary for their children to be free.

      This is a catastrophe of spirit where the government itself has forced the economic failure upon its people by never ending cycles of falsifying worth with socialized mandates designed to alter personal worth in favor of those that do not care for liberty or freedom and are willing to be enslave to gain political status.

      Those that have died to make this country great are being tread upon, so socialists can reap the benefits of their sacrifice.

      America must fight, or we will be forever a footnote in history as just another good cause, an adult a purposeful cause of liberty and justice for all, strangled by childish ideals of peace and tranquility by servitude to government bureaucrats. The comfort that chains eventually bring to captures too ignorant to desire or act to preserve freedom and liberty for their own children, are being forged in each Marxist proposal by these un American elitist would be rulers.

      They will get some of what they want…a stepping stone to the oppression of the greatest nation on earth, so Government servitude will be the calculator of worth and not personal value.

    11. Clarence Carroll - 1 says:

      Just a note to Mary Landriew (Senator La.)

      What is a person that sells themselves for dollars?

      When a person sells themselves, their integrity & honor for dollars knowing what is right, & does what is wrong on the pretense they are doing it for others. What kind of person is that? There are not any polite words to use,but you are that person.

      Shame on you.

    12. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      The really sad part is the fact that there is no competent leadership in government on either side of the aisle, and there hasn't been for a long, long time. Both groups want big government, big spending, much control, and are more interested in re-election than what is good for the Country. Only minor difference, the Dem's will get us to disaster and destruction a tiny bit faster than the Pub's. Sad, but true.

    13. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Something about the French Revolution comes to mind given the attitude of Congress. When their promises are not kept and our quality of life falters I can envision a serious revolt in our country. For those who actually study history our Civil War was about over taxation of the South to support the industrialization of the North. Slavery was a side issue (but clearly an important one). History could very well repeat itself with the average productive citizen fed up with an unjust tax burden supporting the non productive citizens of our country. "Spreading the Wealth" will become very old very quickly.

    14. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      This is the same Dirty Harry Reid who did a fraudulent land deal in his home state of Nevada and wants to sell us down the river with so-called "health care reform," right? Let's give

      them the bum's rush. Let's show Reid, Pelosi, and three years

      from now, Obama. As the sign in P.T. Barnum's American Museum in New York said: "This way to the egress."

    15. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      This is business as usual.

      Mr. Harry said he could not release the details but to believe him because it was a really good plan.

      He can't be serious?

      The left-wing media (most of the media) is already hyping that the dems have a deal.

      Let's hope it is just the dems because they need to be held responsible now and forever.

      If it works they can be heroes in American history. But it will not work because it cannot be sustained without further burdening the people.

      MOST Americans will regret this for decades…

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    17. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I remain a skeptic regarding any program by democrats.

      Because I went to a small, rural private school in the 1960's, I was taught to add and subtract, to divide and multiply, using a sheet of paper, a pencil and my brain. Every time I 'crunch' democrats' numbers, I arrive at different answers.

      Is this because so many democrats attended public school?

    18. M. Egan, St. Louis M says:

      I cannot believe that Americans are not up in arms over all that is going on these days, unless they are just not paying attention to the news.

      This country is vastly different than it was one year ago, and in another year, we won't even recognize ourselves!

      When are we going to wake up and do something about these people who are trying to make our country into something the majority of Americans don't want? And I can't help think that the WH Administration and many Democrats (and some Republicans?) are spending us into oblivion on purpose? What are they trying to do to us? Make us a third-world country or something? I just don't get it.

      The news that got to me the other day was when the EPA basically said that we better pass cap and trade, or else they will find their own way to make us pay and it could even be worse! HUH?!?!?!

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    20. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      Two terrifying things occur to me as I read this column.

      In the event that this health care legislation is passed in some form close to current design:

      1) How quickly and how many hospitals will be forced to close their doors. I think particularly hard hit will be rural area medical facilities.

      2) How long before these criminals take a page from LBJ's book and try to make up the shortfall using military and VA hospitals and clinics.

      These leftists would have no compunctions when it would come to screwing active military or veterans.

      Hang on folks I can guarantee that this ride will get bumpier and bumpier if somehow this thing is not killed.

      PC is Thought Control

      LEE

    21. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      There are but three places that I look for truth; The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, and the Christian Science Monitor.

      I'm not saying that these three hold the truth exclusive, but that it is less hidden than other sources.

      We, The States of the United States, have come far a field from placing the whole of our trust and faith in our Constitution. We somehow ended up placing it all in the hands of the Federaal Government, who was never designed to hold such power over us. The Federal Government is to be but our Agent, with very specific and very limited powers. Yet somehow we all cower in fear of their bark! They may bark my friends,but they cannot bite! We, the States, hold the ultimate Power through the People. That is what the Laws set forth in the Constituion say to us. Why are we all so afraid to challenge the lies put forth to us? Right is on our side, just as God is on our side, just as it was when our Great Documents, our Declaration of Independence, our Bill of Rights, and our Constitution and its Amendments were written.

      I shout,'Fear no more, and challenge the wrong doers and their lies!"

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    24. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      The American are like sheep being led to the slaughter on health care. The dems, reid, pelosi and obama are feeding all a line of BS, and the people are eating it like sugar. When the final vote is cast and this BS passes people will be wanting to know how all this happened. Well, it will be simple to figure out, you sat on your butt and let it happen. Let your voice be heard now, make it loud and clear.

    25. Melvin, North Port, says:

      If this congress passes Obama Care they should get the "Nobel Fleece Prize".

    26. jim toledo says:

      The beat just keeps going on and on. What these guys are doing, Reid, Obama, the Democrats, is pathetic; it's not about the people or health care or America, it's about the illusion that only government can provide the right ingredients for a good life. They can't even be honest with us or themselves about what they want to do. Without a public option or a government ran system what would be the purpose of passing the bill. So, regardless of what words they use the governmemt will still be the major provider overtime.

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