This is no joke. If this bill becomes law, it will be the duty of the U.S. secretary of health and human services or the state governments overseeing federally mandated health-insurance exchanges to ensure that you can get your health insurance at the DMV.
You will also be able to get it at Social Security offices, hospitals, schools and “other offices” the government will name later.
Page 19 of the committee’s “plain English” text says: “The Secretary and/or states would do the following: … Enable customers to enroll in health care plans in local hospitals, schools, Departments of Motor Vehicles, local Social Security offices, and other offices designated by the state.”
This is the bill’s most revelatory passage because it sublimely symbolizes the bill’s true aim: a government takeover of the health care system.
You do not get food at the DMV. You do not even get auto insurance at the DMV. But under what The Associated Press inaptly calls the Finance Committee’s “middle-of-the-road health care plan,” you will get health insurance at the DMV.
What will the DMV and health care have in common if this bill is enacted? Government will control both.
A couple of weeks ago, the Finance Committee voted down the public option — a health insurance plan run directly by the government. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and all three House committees working on the bill had included the public option in their versions. So, the establishment media made much of the fact that the Finance Committee did not.
But the omission is almost meaningless.
The public option is only one lane on the road to socialized medicine. Government subsidies and government regulations are two others — and they run like a super highway through the Finance Committee bill.
The bill orders all states to create an “exchange” where companies offering government-approved plans can sell health insurance. Americans earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level ($103,000 for a family of five) would be eligible for federal subsidies in the form of a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance — but only if they buy one of the government-approved plans in the government-created exchange.
The government will not pay this subsidy to the individuals purchasing insurance. The U.S. Treasury will pay it directly to the government-approved insurance providers.
“The Treasury would pay the premium credit amount to the insurance plan in which the individual is enrolled,” says the committee’s “plain English” text.
Four different levels of insurance plans will be available in the exchange — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. But every year, the secretary of health and human services will determine what services need to be offered by these government-approved and government-funded plans.
“The Secretary of HHS,” says the “plain English” text, “would be required to define and update the categories of covered treatments, items and services within the benefit classes no less than annually through a transparent and public process that allows for public input, including a public comment period.”
Under this bill, the government commands individuals to secure insurance for themselves and their dependents. “In order to insure compliance, individuals would be required to report on their Federal tax return the months for which they maintain the required minimum health coverage for themselves and all dependents under age 18,” says the text.
The government would enforce this mandate with a fine. “The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax of $750 per adult in the household,” says the text.
The bill does not similarly order businesses to provide employees with health insurance. However, people who get insurance through their employer will not be eligible for the federal subsidies.
And here is the whip the government will use to drive most Americans into government-approved, government-subsidized, government-controlled health insurance: An employer that decides not to provide health insurance for its workers will be required to pay a fee to the government for each of its workers that receives a federal subsidy. But the total paid to the government by any employer will be capped at $400 times the total number of that employer’s workers.
Even though this fee will not be tax deductible, it will be far cheaper for a business to pay the government $400 per worker than to pay a private insurance company thousands per worker for an insurance plan.
The Finance Committee has created an irresistible incentive for American businesses to drop their workers off at the DMV where they can enroll in government-funded, government-approved, government-regulated health insurance plans.
Terence Jeffrey is editor at large of HUMAN EVENTS.
If you would like to send a comment to Mr. Jeffrey you can reach him by email at email@example.com
“Every free-market conservative….needs to read this book.”
The federal government now controls 30% of the U.S. economy, thanks to billion-dollar bailouts of insurance companies, banks, Wall Street firms, and the auto industry.
How did the freest economy in the world come to this?
In his shocking exposé, Obamanomics, investigative reporter Tim Carney reveals how Big Government partnered with Big Business and Big Labor to cover up failure—and squash small business.
From conspiring with the healthcare industry to cutting sweetheart deals with corporate cronies and union boss buddies, the Obama administration is working hand-in-hand with Big Business to line Wall Street’s pockets, gain more power, and crush tax payers.
Featuring a foreword by Ron Paul, Obamanomics reveals:
- How despite Obama’s campaign promises of hope and change in Washington, his record shows he constantly favors lobbyists and special interests over entrepreneurs and taxpayers
- The Great Health Care Scam—Obama’s backroom deals with drug companies spell profits and more government control
- The Global Warming Hoax—Obama has bought off industries with a pork-filled bill that will drain your wallet for Al Gore’s agenda
- How the GOP needs to drastically change its tune to battle Obamanomics
Think Big Government and Big Business are rivals with opposite interests? After reading Obamanomics, you’ll know that’s just a Big Myth. And you will understand the threat posed by Obamanomics to all entrepreneurs, small businessmen, and American tax payers.
|For Release: Immediate
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or email@example.com to schedule an interview with Tom Borelli
Black Friday Payback: Vote with your Wallet — Don’t Buy Products from Companies That Support President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade Policy
Patriots Need to Send a Message to Companies that Wield their Special Interest Influence to Undermine Liberty, says the Free Enterprise Project
Washington D.C.: Today the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research calls on patriotic Americans to vote with their wallets starting on Black Friday and avoid buying products from companies that are working with President Obama and liberals in Congress to impose cap-and-trade policies.
“The only reason why cap-and-trade is on the national scene is because CEOs of major corporations are actively lobbying for the legislation. Every time we buy products from these companies our money is rewarding CEOs who are the enemies of liberty,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., Director of the Free Enterprise Project. “Cap-and-trade legislation will cause higher energy prices, lower economic growth and increase unemployment. The consequence of this legislation will cause a severe reduction in our standard of living.”
Companies such as Starbucks, Levi Strauss and Company and Nike are members of the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy — a group that supports aggressive federal laws to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and limits on construction of coal-fired power plants.
General Electric, BP, Shell and Johnson & Johnson are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership – a lobbying group comprised of corporations and environmental special interest groups that have been active in supporting cap-and-trade legislation.
Al Gore is on Apple’s board of directors and the company recently canceled its membership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of differences over global warming policies.
“Avoiding that Starbucks cup of coffee and that BP gas station are easy choices we can make every day. Companies need to know there will be a price to pay for colluding with environmental activists and liberal politicians that seek to loot us of our liberty,” said Borelli.
“We don’t need to wait for elections to exercise our belief in limited government and individual liberty. Every day we have an opportunity to vote with our wallet and avoid products from companies that are advancing the left-wing agenda,” said Borelli.
The following is a partial list of companies whose products should be avoided on Black Friday and going forward until they stop lobbying for cap-and-trade: Starbucks, Levi Strauss & Company, Nike, Apple, Timberland, Gap Inc., General Electric, BP, Shell and Johnson & Johnson.
The Free Enterprise Project can be visited online at www.freeenterpriser.com/.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, DC. It receives most of its funding through hundreds of thousands of individual gifts.
Republican Party Could Change Image With an African American in Congress
“Let’s talk about race,” wrote Michael Williams.
It was September 22, six days after former President Jimmy Carter suggested that race was one reason for the special political animosity toward President Barack Obama. Williams, the four-term Texas railroad commissioner–a job, he tells everyone, that has everything to do with energy policy and nothing to do with railroads–had already dinged Carter for the remarks. But in a long blog post at his campaign website, Williams went further.
“As an African-American son of the South,” wrote Williams, “I grew up in a time and place where you didn’t have to divine intent or deconstruct code words to find racism.” The crisis in America, he explained, was the proliferation of people calling one another “racists” for their position on Obama’s policies. “We have rid our institutions of government of the practice of discrimination; if only we could rid our political discourse of the ugliness that ensues when we ascribe discriminatory motive to statements with no obvious discriminatory aspect.”
There was a nuts-and-bolts political point to this. Williams is one of the nation’s very few African-American Republicans who hold statewide office. He’s running for the U.S. Senate seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), a candidate for governor that year. If elected, he would be the only African-American member of the Senate, as the appointed and scandal-plagued Democrat Roland Burris is retiring next year. That means Williams is threatening to jump out of obscurity and into the position of a credible, high-profile critic of Obama.
“I don’t know if some of the criticisms President Obama has received have been about veiled prejudices,” Frazier told TWI while on the road to an event in Durango, Col., a small city with a black population of less than one percent. “But when it comes to me, Democrats are not going to be able to use some of those same tactics and rhetoric–which have actually tended to work for them–accusing me of disagreeing with the president because of his race. I’m not one of those Republicans sitting around, questioning the president’s citizenship.”
While Republican strategists have spun some outbreaks of racial dialogue to their advantage–virtually all of them feel that Jimmy Carter’s comments reflected poorly on the former president, not on Republicans–there is a stark awareness that the party’s lack of African-American faces is a problem when opposing the first African-American president. Despite the elevation of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, not many Republicans spoke highly of his attempts to turn racial controversies against the Democrats, such as his suggestion that the White House may have pressured Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) to leave the 2010 campaign because he’s black. As the party has pointed to anti-tax Tea Parties for proof of political momentum, the lack of more African-American spokespeople has been notable.
“It’s hard for a white liberal to call black a Republican a racist,” said Richard Ivory, the editor of HipHopRepublican.com.
Since former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) retired in 2002, the party has had no African-American representation in Congress, and that’s led to some missed opportunities. In 2005, when then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean joked that Republicans couldn’t match the diversity of a Democratic meeting unless they invited “the hotel staff,” the semi-official Republican response to Dean came from a decidedly low-profile group of eight black Republicans in Mississippi.
In 2006, when the party ran credible African-American candidates in Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, GOP strategists gleefully turned the race card over on Democrats. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), for example, was pilloried by Republicans for saying then-Senate candidate, now RNC Chairman Michael Steele had followed his party “slavishly.” But in a bad year for the party, its top-tier African-American candidates were wiped out.
Black Republicans have no problem portraying Democrats as especially interested in bringing them down. Herman Cain, a 2004 U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia–who lost the primary to now-Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)–has claimed that Democrats want him and fellow black Republicans to “stay on the plantation.” The National Black Republican Association called the January 2009 election of Steele “the Democrats’ worst nightmare,” an accurate reflection of the reason some Republican National Committee members gave Steele a shot at the job. In an interview with TWI, Ken Blackwell–who has remained a sought-after conservative speaker since losing a 2006 race for governor of Ohio–argued that Democrats targeted him early to prevent the rise of a powerful black Republican voice.
“When I was re-elected as secretary of state, I got 42 percent of the African-American vote,” Blackwell reminisced. “That just worried the Democrat strategists and leaders. So I got targeted. If I had been running for another term as secretary of state, they wouldn’t have wasted the time on me. But a conservative, African-American governor? That’s problematic.”
Some of the party’s 2010 hopefuls have hurdles to overcome within the party. Neither Williams nor Frazier is the favorite in his respective Senate race. Despite polls showing that either of them would be likely to win their general elections, Williams trails either Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R-Tex.) and Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-Tex.), and Frazier trails former Lt. Jane Norton (R-Co.), who entered the race only last month. “Michael Williams is a black candidate for the U.S. Senate in Texas,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “How much of a chance would I give him of surviving a runoff with Dewhurst or Abbott? None.”
The prospects are better for Huddleston and West. Privately, Republican strategists suggested that they will not face serious primary challenges, and are strong contenders for support from the National Republican Campaign Committee if they post strong fundraising numbers of their own. West raised more than $550,000 in 2008 for his first race, with what he characterized as “nothing” from the state or national parties, and pulled 45 percent of the vote in a district that gave 48 percent to George W. Bush in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. West relished the idea of arriving in Washington and demanding membership in the Congressional Black Caucus.
“They don’t want that to be out there,” West told TWI. “They don’t want to see empowerment. They want to have entitlement. You undercut the people like the Jesse Jacksons, the James Clyburns, the Maxine Waterses. You know–the John Conyerses, the Diane Watsons. I am their worst nightmare and I understand that. I welcome them to come and engage me on that level.”
Huddleston, who ran and lost a campaign for the North Carolina legislature last year, may be running in a more favorable district. While Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) easily won the seat in 2008, he was aided by a massive turnout of African-American voters who make up 28 percent of the district. Huddleston said he’d had eyeball-to-eyeball conversations with black voters who split their ballots for Obama, Kissell and him. He also hinted at a possible endorsement from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whom Huddleston called a “mentor” in his military career.
“He and I have communicated,” said Huddleston. “Let’s leave it at that.”
Alone among the Republican candidates that TWI spoke to, Huddleston balked at the idea of becoming a high-profile, go-to spokesman on racial flare-ups if he got to Congress. Democrats keep their base “stoked” when they “play the race card,” he said. “I will not be a token for anybody. If I’m on your team, you let me on because I can play the position. And if you’re a reporter and you ask me to comment on what Jimmy Carter said about race, I will give you my time. I’ll have the expectation that you come back to me to talk about national security, or about trade, or about one of the issues I actually am running on.”
According to Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist whose book “Wrong on Race” argued that Republicans should be able to capitalize on Democrats’ weak record on racial progress, Huddleston might have the clearest view of how a black Republican could take advantage of the political scene.
“Not to be crude,” said Bartlett but I think [J.C.] Watts and [former Rep. Gary] Franks (R-Conn.) were always viewed as tokens in the black community. Their election led neither to an increase in voting for Republicans by blacks nor any increased effort by Republicans to attract black votes.”
Last weekend during a meeting with conservative ethnic minorities from around the state it was noted that during the past 52 years Republicans only won three statewide elections: two governorships and one Senate seat (the other senate seat was an appointment by Gov. Spellman). Technically speaking, Republicans have spent millions during the past 52 years and have come up empty. Why? Because in each of these elections they are losing the ethnic votes in Seattle and the greater King County area and this ethnic population is growing every year.
Since getting the black vote is vitally essential to future success, my 501 C3 foundation, the Legacy of Lincoln Foundation has decided to produce a special edition of my latest book to reach African American leaders and clergy throughout Washington State and beyond. The original book which revealed the role that the Democrats played in denying blacks Civil Rights received raved reviews from the Chairman of the National NAACP. We will change the title of this book to appeal to black leaders and update the contents to include discriminatory practices by the Democrats in 2009 (facts like cutting the funding for Historical Black Colleges by $73 million). The original title was: The Drama of Obama Regarding Racism. The new title will be:
The Politics Behind Racism
The Party That Supported Slavery & Opposed Civil Rights
The book will cover a period from 1792 to 2009, highlighting the Democrats racist past and the Republicans’ efforts to bring about equality. We hope to distribute the book during the week of Dr. King’s birthday and must to raise $25,000 to finance this project. With your help we can finally bring truth the black community before the 2010 election. Please mail your generous tax deductible donation immediately to help us reach our deadline. Send your check or money order to:
The Legacy of Lincoln Foundation
P.O. Box 256
Mercer Island, WA 98040
We will send you a complimentary copy of the book when it comes off the press.
Your help is really appreciated,
Wayne Perryman November 18th, 2009
Assemblyman calls on majority legislature to follow suit 11/17/09
Assemblyman Bill Reilich joined other members of the Assembly Republican Conference this morning to present real solutions to New York’s growing budget deficit. The budget deficit is currently $3.7 billion and is projected to grow to over $7.3 billion by next year.
We have consistently presented the governor and the Democratic majority with real solutions to the growing economic crisis in New York state. Time is ticking away at the chance for us to implement these solutions; it is critical that the Senate and Assembly Democrats step up to the plate and make the budget crisis their number one priority.
Eliminating member item funds, consolidating specific state agencies with overlapping functions, and reducing non-personal services across all agencies, are among the many solutions proposed by Assemblyman Reilich and the Republican Conference.
Residents of Monroe County and across the state have carried the financial burden of a dysfunctional government for far too long, Higher taxes and nuisance fees only add to a state in economic turmoil. It is time for real solutions; we have presented our proposal and ask that the majority – at the very least – to meet us half way.
New York State Assemblyman