Did the Dems pass Obamacare for 8,000 people?

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A $ 5 billion program to help 375,000 Americans denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions has a little over 8,000 enrollees.
American Thinker Blog

Morning Bell: The Obamacare Burden To Your State Budget

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Facing a $ 25 billion deficit for their next two-year budget cycle, Texas lawmakers are considering closing the gap by dropping out of Medicaid. “This system is bankrupting our state,” State Representative Warren Chisum told title=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/politics/07ttmedicaid.html?partner=rss&emc=rss” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/politics/07ttmedicaid.html?partner=rss&emc=rss”>The New York Times. “We need to get out of it. And with the budget shortfall we’re anticipating, we may have to act this year,” he said.

And Texas is not alone. American Legislative Exchange Council director of the health and human services Christie Herrera tells title=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/us/politics/12ttmedicaid.html?src=twrhp” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/us/politics/12ttmedicaid.html?src=twrhp”>NYT: “States feel like their backs are against the wall, so this is the nuclear option for them. I’m hearing below-the-radar chatter from legislators around the country from states considering this option.”

Medicaid already eats up a huge share of state budgets. In Texas, for example, more than 20 percent of the state budget is spent on Medicaid. The crisis facing states across the country is that Obamacare forces states to massively expand their already burdensome Medicaid rolls. Starting in 2014 states must expand Medicaid to all non-elderly individuals with family incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. At first, Obamacare picks up the first three years of benefit costs for expansion. But in 2017 states begin to shoulder a larger and larger share of these benefit costs, maxing out at 10 percent by 2020.

But that is just the benefit costs. Obamacare does not pay for any of the costs necessary to administer the expansion of the Medicaid rolls, rolls that are expected to increase by approximately 50 percent in states like Nevada, Oregon, and Texas. The Heritage Foundation’s Ed Haislmaier and Brian Blase title=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/07/Obamacare-Impact-on-States” href=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/07/Obamacare-Impact-on-States”>found that just the administrative costs of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will cost almost $ 12 billion by 2020. As Heritage visiting fellow Lanhee Chen title=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/11/How-Obamacare-Burdens-Already-Strained-State-Budgets” href=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/11/How-Obamacare-Burdens-Already-Strained-State-Budgets”>details, some states are beginning to add the benefit and administrative costs together, and the picture isn’t pretty: id=”more-46502″>

Texas recently concluded that the Medicaid expansion may add more than 2 million people to the program and cost the state up to $ 27 billion in a single decade. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration estimated in April that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion would require an additional $ 5.2 billion in spending between 2013 and 2019 and more than $ 1 billion a year beginning in 2017. In California, the Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will likely add annual costs to the state budget in “the low billions of dollars.”

Mississippi, Indiana, and Nebraska each retained Milliman, Inc., a national health care econometrics firm, to perform a fiscal analysis of the Medicaid expansion on their states’ budgets. For Mississippi, Milliman estimates that between 206,000 and 415,000 people will be added to Medicaid, with a 10-year impact on the state budget of between $ 858 million and $ 1.66 billion. The seven-year cost of the Medicaid expansion in Indiana is estimated to be between $ 2.59 billion and $ 3.11 billion, with 388,000 to 522,000 people joining the state’s Medicaid rolls. Finally, Milliman estimates that Obamacare will result in nearly one of five Nebraskans being covered by Medicaid at a cost of $ 526 million to $ 766 million over the next decade.

Obamacare’s unfunded mandates are a fiscal time bomb set to explode state balance sheets across the country starting in 2014. States can prepare for the worst by slashing discretionary spending where possible and lowering existing health care costs by repealing their own burdensome health benefit mandates. But the only real solution is full repeal of Obamacare.

Quick Hits:

  • Responding to recommended cuts from President Obama’s fiscal commission, NPR said it’s title=”http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/128819-npr-says-its-imperative-that-its-federal-funding-not-be-cut” href=”http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/128819-npr-says-its-imperative-that-its-federal-funding-not-be-cut”>“imperative” that it receives federal funding.
  • President Obama’s economic stimulus title=”http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obama-panel-probes-stimulus-waste—-at-Ritz-Carlton-107236598.html” href=”http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Obama-panel-probes-stimulus-waste—-at-Ritz-Carlton-107236598.html”>waste, fraud, and abuse oversight board will meet at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Phoenix later this month.
  • Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) says President Obama should come back to the health care bargaining table with a title=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44993_Page2.html” href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44993_Page2.html”>“mea culpa” if Democrats want to have a meaningful conversation about improving the future of health care.
  • Seven of the nation’s title=”http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2115275″ href=”http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2115275″>10 richest counties surround Washington, D.C.
  • As part of our “Lunch with Heritage” series, Nina Owcharenko, Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies, will answer your questions on what is wrong with Obamacare at title=”http://blog.heritage.org/2010/11/11/reforming-health-care-live-online-chat-friday-at-noon-et/” href=”../2010/11/11/reforming-health-care-live-online-chat-friday-at-noon-et/”>noon today.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Gallup shows only 20% thinks ObamaCare “about right”

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Worst of all worlds.

Democratic leaders and liberal pundits urged Democratic incumbents to run on their support for ObamaCare, but most of them had enough sense not to take that advice.  And for good reason, as the new Gallup poll demonstrates.  The poll shows twice as many people think Congress went to far as those who like the bill […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

British ObamaCare update: Hospital “failed to respect human rights”

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

“I’ll be honest, there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well.”
Barack Obama, June 15, 2009.

Great Britain has suffered under government-run health care, also known as single-payer, for over 60 years.

How bad is it there? According to inthenews.co.uk, a National Health Service hospital in Stafford, England offered care so poor it “failed to respect basic human rights.”

It appears that there is an IRS mentality to taking care of the sick, because staff “worked within a culture of fear, secrecy and bullying” at the hospital.

But of course the patients have it worse because the death rate at the hospital is double the national average.

Lord only knows what it is compared to American hospitals.

Related posts:

British ObamaCare update: Whistleblowers punished
British ObamaCare update: UK newspaper defeats health care rationers
British ObamaCare update: English get cancer drugs, Scots don’t
British ObamaCare update: Inadequate hygiene in Scotland
NHS buys porn for sperm donors
British ObamaCare update: Hospital produces instructional handwashing video for doctors and nurses
British ObamaCare update: Record increase in complaints
British ObamaCare update: Elderly left to starve in hospitals
British ObamaCare update: Rationing and shunning
British ObamaCare update: Wife succeeds in getting proper care for husband-after going on hunger strike
British ObamaCare update: Over 300 NHS bosses make more than prime minister
British ObamaCare update: Gov’t-run health care not really redistributional
British ObamaCare update: Even more rationing could be coming
British ObamaCare update: First baby born under NHS feels betrayed by system
British ObamaCare update: New PM looking at hospital with 1,200 needless deaths
British Obama Care update: Rationing expanded, kids are the victims
British ObamaCare update: Life-saving drug judged too expensive
British ObamaCare update: Hospital seeking “Hair Removal Specialist – Transgender Services”
British ObamaCare update: Babies’ blood used for secret DNA database
British ObamaCare update: Dead bodies dumped on floor of morgue
British ObamaCare update: Health care workers asked to rate Hitler on “coolness”
British ObamaCare update: Bureaucrats getting in the way of saving lives
British ObamaCare update: Fighting waste is not so easy
British ObamaCare update: Hero left to lie in own excrement
British ObamaCare update: Woman barred from surgery after seeing private doctor
British ObamaCare update: Basic surgeries being withheld to save money
2009 British ObamaCare entries

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Marathon Pundit

T-Paw’s challenge to ObamaCare

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, joined by fellow Republican Governor Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island, made a court filing in regards to challenging ObamaCare. The duo is seeking friend-of-the-court standing in regards to a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Democrats’ health care reform plan.

The filing cites “federal abuse of the spending power” that effects the residents of their states-and that the Medicare liability places extra burdens on them.

President Obama shouldn’t be so cocky about his health care legislation. He’s fighting a two front war-against Republicans in Congress and in the courts.

Related posts:

T-Paw on CNN: Repeal ObamaCareT-Paw to use FOIA against DNC
T-Paw statement on DFL anti-Catholic mailer
T-Paw on our $ 1 trillion annual deficit
T-Paw on ObamaCare six month anniversary
T-Paw fighting ObamaCare in Minnesota
T-Paw at Christian Science Monitor breakfast
T-Paw’s budget a model for success
T-Paw on runaway Washington spending and the 2010 elections
T-Paw proposes Minnesota teachers reapply for tenure every five years

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Marathon Pundit

Chuck Grassley: ObamaCare Repeal Will Not Pass Senate

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Iowa’s Charles Grassley makes an observation that actually seems fairly obvious:

GOP Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa) admitted Wednesday that a full repeal of President Obama’s healthcare law will die in the Senate.

Speaking to Iowa radio station KCIM, the current ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee conceded that Senate Republicans do not have the 60 votes necessary to force through a full repeal.

Republicans have long acknowledged Obama would veto a repeal bill, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the day following the elections that his caucus would attempt to completely roll back the healthcare overhaul.

The Iowa senator, who won a sixth term last Tuesday, is among the first GOP lawmakers to admit that a repeal would not make it past the Senate.

And, of course, this would be the case even if the GOP had gained control of the Senate.

Outside the Beltway

More Proof ObamaCare Is a Sop to Industry

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

By Michael F. Cannon

Reuters has helpfully published another article demonstrating that ObamaCare‘s biggest cheerleaders are the insurance and drug industries.  That’s because, barring repeal and despite the Obama administration’s fatuous rhetoric about standing up to the special interests, ObamaCare will shower those industries with massive subsidies.  Excerpts follow.

Health Overhaul Should Press Ahead: Industry
By Susan Heavey

Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:39pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Repeal reform? No thanks, say health insurers, drugmakers and others looking for a clearer picture of the U.S. healthcare market after the bruising passage of the controversial overhaul law…

The new healthcare law created “a stable, predictable environment, however painful it has been in the short term,” GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK.L) Chief Strategy Officer David Redfern said at the summit in New York.

“When you are running a business, the hardest thing is changing policy and a changing environment because it is very difficult to plan, predict and ultimately invest in that sort of scenario,” he said, echoing other speakers.

True enough.  How’s a firm supposed to develop a business plan around uncertain taxpayer subsidies?

Health officials must still hammer out how to implement the law and finalize hundreds of new rules and regulations. Many such details are key, as the sector looks to adjust its business for 2011 and beyond.

Wait, I thought the law created a “stable, predictable environment” and repeal would create uncertainty.  Hmmmm.

“Anti-reform made good talking points before the election,” said the Department of Health and Human Services’ Liz Fowler, adding that people “will find more to like than to dislike” in the law once it is more in place.

Boy, they just won’t let go of that chestnut, will they?  Remember: voters need re-education, not the Obama administration.

Even insurers, which were vilified by Democrats in passing the reforms, said they don’t want a repeal, even as they push for clarity on forthcoming rules and seek additional changes.

Cigna Corp CEO David Cordani and Aetna Inc President Mark Bertolini both urged the nation to move forward on the overhaul.

Even the insurance industry is against repeal?  The folks whose products the law will force 200 million Americans to purchase?  Never saw that coming.

Since the start of 2009, the Morgan Stanley Health Care Payor index has risen 75 percent, outperforming a roughly 35 percent rise for the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

You don’t say.

Unlike insurers[!], drugmakers have escaped largely unscathed under the law, although there is still incentive to shape it.

You don’t say.

More Proof ObamaCare Is a Sop to Industry is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog

Cato @ Liberty

Bad news from Jesse Jackson: Repealing ObamaCare would mean “creeping genocide”

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Via Greg Hengler, a sneak preview of the smart, sober rhetoric we can expect from the Party Of Ideas after the new GOP House is seated. What this means, I take it, is that “creeping genocide” has not only been going on in America for a few hundred years thanks to the absence of universal […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

Kaiser health tracking poll: ObamaCare hurt Dems in midterms

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In March soon-to-be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in response to ObamaCare critics, said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Well, voters know what’s in it-and that’s why Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) is replacing her in January.

From the Kaiser Family Foundation:

The November 2010 tracking poll was conducted in the days following the mid-term election that resulted in major gains for Republicans, including a shift in control of the House of Representatives. The survey attempts to gauge what role health reform played in voters’ decisions, and to measure the current public mood about the health reform law.

The poll finds that voters say health care reform was a factor that influenced their vote, but not a dominant one. The economy/jobs was the factor mentioned by voters most often (29%), followed by party preference (25%) and views of the candidates themselves (21%). Health care ranked fourth at 17 percent. Those 17 percent of voters who named health care as one of their top voting factors were more likely than non-health care voters to back a Republican candidate for Congress (59% vs. 44%), and to say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the law (56% vs. 33%).

ObamaCare faces more trouble. The GOP tidal wave means there will be more Republican governors. And While they can’t fully block implementation of ObamaCare, they can stimy it.

From the Washington Post:

Republicans’ consolidation of power in state capitols is likely to expand the number of states that employ a far more limited, free-market-oriented approach to implementing the nation’s new health-care law than the robust regulatory model favored by its supporters.

Although the law is a federal statute, it tasks states with administering many of its most important provisions and grants them considerable leeway.

It is up to states to run markets, known as “exchanges,” through which individuals and small businesses will be able to buy health insurance plans, often with federal subsidies, beginning in 2014. States will also oversee a mostly federally funded expansion of Medicaid to cover a far larger share of the poor.

Many incoming Republican governors made their antipathy to the law a plank of their campaigns. Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Haslam denounced it as “an intolerable expansion of federal power.” Wyoming Gov.-elect Matt Mead promised to join 21 states contesting its constitutionality in federal courts. And Maine, one of the first states to set up a task force to implement the law, will now be led by Paul LePage,a tea-party favorite who vowed to work against the legislation and predicted that voters would soon see headlines about him telling President Obama to “go to hell.”

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Marathon Pundit

Side Effects: Obamacare Encourages States to Drop Medicaid

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style=”float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;”> href=”http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/SideEffectsLogo4.jpg”> class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-42633″ title=”SideEffectsLogo” src=”http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/SideEffectsLogo4-300×185.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”185″ />

Because of Obamacare, states are considering dropping out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, rather than deal with the additional fiscal strain resulting from the health law.

One of the main drivers behind health care reform was to reduce the nation’s number of uninsured.  Under the new law, this will be partially achieved by adding href=”http://www.heritage.org/research/projects/obamacare/obamacare-in-pictures”>18 million Americans to the Medicaid program.

This expansion will strain already hurting state budgets.  By expanding a program for which states share the cost, the federal government is able to hide the true cost of the expansion while draining state coffers, at the expense of other state spending priorities.

This cost shift strategy to the states is pushing some states to consider dropping Medicaid altogether. href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/politics/07ttmedicaid.html?pagewanted=print”>The New York Times reports that Texas is already considering this route. Texas Rep. Warren Chisum (R-District 88) said the state will be restricted in how it can otherwise cut costs. “With Obamacare mandates coming down, we have a situation where we cannot reduce benefits or change eligibility,” he said in the article. “This system is bankrupting our state.” id=”more-46365″>

Heritage insurance expert Ed Haislmaier’s href=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/11/Medicaid-Meltdown-Dropping-Medicaid-Could-Save-States-1-Trillion”>analysis shows that Texas could save $ 46.5 billion between 2014 and 2019 by dropping acute care coverage and continuing to cover long-term care services with state dollars. Altogether, 40 states and the District of Columbia could achieve net savings by following suit. (Note: The numbers stated above reflect updates to Haislmaier’s research since the health law’s passage.)

State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-District 12) said in the Times article that “dropping out of Medicaid was worth considering—but only if it made fiscal sense without jeopardizing care.”  Starting in 2014, this could be the reality. The new law will then begin offering generous subsidies to all Americans earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level to buy insurance in the exchanges.

The subsidies are not available to Americans who are eligible for Medicaid or have access to employer-sponsored insurance. But href=”http://americanactionforum.org/files/LaborMktsHCRAAF5-27-10.pdf”>it’s already clear that the law’s incentives encourage employers to drop health coverage and move employees toward subsidized health plans within the exchange. States have a similar incentive to drop Medicaid: especially if beneficiaries who are no longer eligible for the program would become eligible for subsidies through the exchange.

The loser in this equation is the federal taxpayer. As Haislmaier writes, “[T]he federal government, however, would be left holding a trillion dollar plus tab.” The Medicaid provision is one more example of Congress failing to consider the consequences of a massive overhaul to the health sector. All the more reason for lawmakers to scrap Obamacare and href=”http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Getting-Health-Care-Reform-Right”>get health care reform right.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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