Healthcare

The loyal opposition

Republicans don’t have any power in Washington. The Democrats have a sizable majority in the House. They have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They control the executive branch. They have a news media that is largely compliant.

Republicans have nothing, with the possible exception of a slim majority on the Supreme Court (although the Supremes keep to the law, mostly, and stay out of politics).

So why do Democrats continue to blame Republicans for the fact that they can’t get their agenda through?

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Tax the sick: Obama’s new plan

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Faced with a need to scrounge for revenue to fund his plan for healthcare, President Barack Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have come up with a brilliant new idea: Tax the sick!

In a new amendment to the healthcare bill, they propose to limit the deductibility of medical expenses on income taxes.

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Jesus would support the public option

As the president appears to be pushing harder for the public option and Senate Democratic leaders appear to be joining him, here is one vitally important argument on their behalf: Isn't it fair to suggest that Jesus would support the public option?

Jesus spoke about the need to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, heal the ill, cure the sick and put the needs of the poor ahead of the hunger for money and wealth. Sure sounds more like the public option than premium-gouging and $10 million salaries for insurance-company CEOs. Right?

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The damage Olympia Snowe does to healthcare in America

Every voter and reporter in Maine should ask Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) why she opposes the public option while she states she may not support the current bill because it may not make insurance affordable for Americans. Of course it doesn't, because it doesn't include the public option, courtesy of Sen. Snowe.

Every voter in Maine should ask Sen. Snowe how many subsidies the taxpayers should finance to pay higher premiums that will be forced because of Sen. Snowe's opposition to the public option.

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Grayson beats Republicans at their own game

Good for Freshman Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida. He’s the only Democrat to fight back against Republican lies on healthcare — and give them a taste of their own medicine

They say “socialized medicine.” He says, “Don’t get sick!” They say “death panels.” He says, “Die quickly!”

Expressing shock, shock, shock at such straight talk, Republicans insist that Grayson’s just as guilty of inappropriate conduct as crazy Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). Puh-leeze! There’s a big difference between calling the president “a liar” on the floor of the House — and simply telling the truth.

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Senior-baiting in healthcare debate

For years, conservatives correctly argued that merely increasing the funding of a program did not guarantee better outcomes. They also diligently argued that rising spending on entitlements was unsustainable in the long term. Now in an urgent message to “the elderly,” Dick Morris and Eileen McGann argue in this forum that Congress should maintain the wasteful spending in the Medicare Advantage program. Consider this piece of illogic:

It is equally obvious that you cannot cover 30 million new patients without more doctors and nurses. And the Medicare cuts in doctors' fees will, of course, cause a decrease in the number of medical professionals…Indeed, current law provides for a 21 percent cut in Medicare fees to doctors next year and a 6 percent cut the year after. The new $500 billion in cuts are on top of these reductions! What kind of medical care do we expect our elderly to receive when the doctor they visit is getting $35 or $40 for seeing them!
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Does Obama have a secret deal with insurance companies?

Progressives throughout the nation should rally in full force in favor of the public option, and progressives in Congress should say they will not support a bill without it. The public option still lives because it would save $50 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with a president and Congress that claim they want to save money. The public option still lives because it is the only check and balance against insurance-company abuses.

Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.), the Democratic chairman of the Finance Committee, which is the only committee of the five that are reporting a health bill whose measure does not include the public option, says he is for the public option while he votes against the public option. But let’s look back at the history. It was in June when Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.), another Finance Committee Democrat who says he is for the public option while he votes against the public option, was approached by Sen. Baucus to find an alternative to the public option that both Baucus and Conrad claim they support.

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Elderly moving against ObamaCare

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

America's elderly are finally realizing that Obama's healthcare changes are largely financed by cuts in Medicare and are rallying against his proposals in increasing numbers.

The latest poll by Scott Rasmussen not only shows national opposition to Obamacare rising — now it is 41-56 against — but also shows the elderly moving against it even more strongly, by 33-59, or almost 2:1.

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A health plan to please liberals and conservatives

This piece is also published in The Washington Times.


Last week I described the political riddle of a national health care proposal called the Healthy Americans Act (HAA), which mandates universal health care insurance for all Americans, pleasing liberals; which empowers individual choices and private market competition, which pleases conservatives; and which fundamentally restructures our health care system substantially to reduce costs, which pleases liberals and conservatives.

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Liberal Dems now control the fate of health reform

The public option is back on the table; an amendment is being offered in the Senate Finance Committee next week. Though the amendment's sponsor, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), acknowledged it will go down in defeat, proponents want a public recording of support and opposition.
 
Over on the House side, notice that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) comments on a government health program have become stronger, not weaker, since the president himself backed off the necessity of the public plan in a final healthcare bill when speaking to a joint session of Congress. When asked this week about whether a public option with a trigger would garner more support from the center and right of her caucus, Pelosi said a trigger "is an excuse for not doing anything."

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