Two explanations for the President’s inexplicable remark 2


By Tom Quiner

In the summer of 2009, angry voters crammed into townhall meetings with their Senators and Congressman. They expressed in no uncertain terms their concerns about the health care legislation being advanced by the Democratic Party.

They were against it.

They responded in three critical off-year elections by defeating candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts by convincing margins. These were districts that had voted for President Obama not that long ago.

The wedge issue was the Democrat’s plan for health insurance. Candidates who opposed the Democrat’s proposed expansion of the federal government won. Turnout was high. The result was unmistakably a vote against what is now dubbed “Obamacare.”

Despite polling data that showed voters opposed the plan, Democrats crammed the legislation through in a partisan fashion. Not one Republican voted for the legislation.

Voters got their chance to express their views on Obamacare this week. They voted Republican, giving Republicans historic gains in the House, the Senate, Governorships, and the State Legislatures.

No Democrats campaigned touting their vote for Obamacare. Every Republican campaigned in opposition.

That leads me to the President’s take on the election:

“We’d be misreading the election if we thought the American people want to see us for the next two years re-litigate arguments we had over the last two years.”

In light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, how could the President so misread the electorate? There are two explanations. One could be that he is not very bright. There are people who are book smart but not people smart. Maybe Mr. Obama is just not very good at reading people.

Or there is another explanation. Maybe he doesn’t care. In his press conference on Wednesday, he maintained that his policies were good, but that a lot of folks just hadn’t studied the issues closely enough.

Translation: the voters are stupid.

Translation: he knows what’s best for us, someday we’ll thank him for his superior wisdom.

And yet I read this morning that here in Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross has suspended the sale of their “child-only policies.” Why? Because Obamacare banned insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

And yet I read today that AARP, a big supporter of Obamacare, is forced to raise health insurance costs to their employees by 8 to 13 percent because of the healthcare overhaul.

And yet I read today that Boeing is doing the same because of coming new taxes on high-cost health insurance plans.

Voters reject Obamacare for good reasons, and President Obama doesn’t care. He thinks he knows best.

***

[I may be critical of our President’s policies, but I pray for his safety during his trip to India.]

What is the most important vote on Tuesday’s ballot? 1


By Tom Quiner

Brenna Findley at the Pro-Life Townhall meeting

Iowans are faced with huge choices on Tuesday.

Do we replace our big-spending Governor?

Do we oust three activist Supreme Court judges who imposed gay marriage on Iowa?

Do we replace a Congressman with a 100% voting record on the Pelosi index with a fiscally-prudent conservative?

These are all big choices.

But the biggest may be to replace Iowa’s long-standing Attorney General, Tom Miller. And we have a stellar conservative candidate in Brenna Findley to do that and help right Iowa’s course.

I heard Ms. Findley speak at the Pro-Life Townhall meeting a week ago. I was impressed. I was struck by her intelligence and articulation. I appreciated her work ethic. She worked her way through Drake University and went on to earn a law degree at the University of Chicago.

She is the same age with the same amount of experience as Tom Miller had when he was first elected Attorney General of Iowa.

Mr. Miller has staked out clear-cut positions in support of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Regarding Planned Parenthood, AG Miller refused to prosecute Planned Parenthood for performing telabortions despite a law that requires a doctor to be present when an abortion is performed. He passed the buck saying it was up to the county attorney to make the call. However, Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue, who filed a complaint against the practice, said this doesn’t make sense:

“Because Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortion scheme involves remotely dispensing dangerous abortion drugs at the push of a button in as many as twelve Iowa counties, it was only logical to file our complaint with the Attorney General’s office since he would be the only one to have jurisdiction in all of the locations involved. There is a jurisdictional question since the licensed physician never leaves Polk County, yet distributes abortion drugs to remote counties over 100 miles away. In which county is the crime committed, the county where the button is pushed or the county where the drugs are actually dispensed? Filing with the AG solves the obvious jurisdictional problems.”

Even before, reading the complaint, Mr. Miller’s office said the Iowa Board of Medicine needed to weigh in on the telabortion scheme before any legal action would even be considered. Here’s Ms. Sullenger’s reaction:

“As for waiting until the Iowa Medical Board acts, it is irresponsible for the state’s ‘top cop’ to continue to allow women to be placed at risk while they delay law enforcement on the outcome of an investigation of a Board that very likely operates under different burdens of proof.”

Ms. Sullenger and Ms. Findley both spoke at the Pro Life Townhall Meeting where Findley said she would not have waited for the Iowa Board of Medicine to decide. She would not have referred this issue to County Attorneys.

She would not have passed the buck on this critical health question for women and their unborn babies.

On another key issue, Obamacare, Ms. Findley said she will join 14 other Attorney Generals around the country in filing a lawsuit to block enforcement of the law’s provisions,  a lawsuit Mr. Miller refused to join. Here is Ms. Findley’s reasoning for filing suit:

“The Constitution does not give Congress unlimited power. The federal government is claiming that it has the authority to force Iowans to buy health insurance under its power to regulate interstate commerce. However if a person decides not to buy health insurance they are, by definition not engaging in commerce and therefore are not subject to the federal mandate. As Iowa’s Attorney General I would take a stand for Iowans against this abuse of power by joining 14 other Attorneys General from other states to challenge this unconstitutional law in court.”

Mr. Miller, on the other hand, equates the issue with a state’s mandate to purchase car insurance. Ms. Findley says the comparison doesn’t hold up:

“Our current Attorney General claims that Congress forcing you to buy a certain kind of health insurance is no different than our state law which requires licensed drivers to carry proof of car insurance. There are several fatal flaws with his argument.

First of all, there is a fundamental constitutional difference between the inherent police powers of a state and the enumerated powers of the federal government. Our country was founded on the principle that the federal government is limited to the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution and that Congress does not have unlimited power.

Second, car insurance coverage required by state law covers damage to other people’s cars and property (liability coverage). It doesn’t mandate that we insure against damage to ourselves. State law gives us the freedom to decide whether we want to buy full coverage insurance for our cars. Congress mandated “full coverage” health insurance for everyone.

Third, car insurance requirements are for a voluntary activity, driving a car on public roads. The health insurance mandate imposes a mandate on a condition of life itself—our very existence as human being.

Finally, driving on public roads is a public behavior. Your health is a private matter and the federal government shouldn’t be able to force you to buy their mandated coverage.”

I like Brenna Findley. She has my vote. This may be the most important vote Iowan’s make this year.

More fallout from Obamacare 3


By Tom Quiner

“When people better understand the Affordable Care Act, they’ll understand, I think, that this isn’t something being done to them but is something that’s really going to be valuable to them.’’

This was the President’s recent defense of the Affordable Care Act, also know as ObamaCare.

The law mandates elimination of lifetime coverage limits.  Sounds good, right?

The law mandates “free” immunization for children. Sounds good, right?

The law eliminates co-pays for mammograms and some preventative care. Sounds good, right?

The law bars insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. It all sounds wonderful, right?

What the law does is increase the price of health insurance. Does it still sound so good? Aetna and Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield are jacking up rates due to increased costs. Here in Des Moines, Principal is getting out of the entire health insurance business because, according to the New York Times:

“The company’s decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. More insurers are likely to follow Principal’s lead.’’

Over six-hundred more jobs will be lost in a city already stung by layoffs.

Speaker Pelosi infamously stated that “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.’’

As we find out what’s in it, we’re increasingly stung by how bad it is.

Please remember, this was a totally partisan bill. Not a single Republican voted for it.

Please remember, Democrats celebrated when they passed Obamacare.

Please remember, that Iowa’s own Leonard Boswell voted for the bill.

Now Congressman Boswell makes unsavory personal attacks on his rival, Brad Zaun, who would have voted against the bill.

Now the only Democrats who mention the bill in their campaign ads are those who voted against it. South Dakota Congressional candidate, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat in her ad above. Look hard for her party affiliation. You won’t find it.

President Obama and his party have inflicted a grave wound on this country’s health care system. It all sounded so good at the time.

Sebelius vs. Gingrich 1


By Tom Quiner

Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sibelius, has issued two major threats to the healthcare industry.

Threat #1: “There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

Taking a cue from the Communist Party, Ms. Sibelius asked Americans to turn in their neighbor if they said something “fishy”  about the radical legislation her party was promoting.  She made this statement last August (’09) as Democrats were getting hammered in townhall meetings by constituents who had turned against the Democrats’ vision of socialized medicine.

Imagine if former President Bush had tried such a stunt.  The media would have crucified him.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that health insurance companies are being forced to raise premiums because of looming higher costs wrought by ObamaCare.  This led to her next threat.

Threat #2: Calling the increases unjustified, the HHS Secretary said, “There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases. We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections.”

Ms. Sibelius’ holds a serious club over these private businesses.  She can run them out of business by barring them from the coming new state-run insurance exchanges. Obamacare will determine what is fair, not the CFOs of the companies.  Many Americans are okay with that until they lose their existing coverage.  Health insurance companies may be run out of business if they can’t increase rates to keep ahead of the higher costs imposed by Obamacare.

Former Speaker, Newt Gingrich commented a few weeks ago that “The new healthcare law is one of the largest pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress. It is now apparent that despite good intentions, this law will increase healthcare costs, cut Medicare for seniors and result in many people losing coverage under their current insurance plan.”

Mr. Gingrich points out three specific consequences of Obamacare:

1. It will create a new tax on prescription drugs.

2. It will create new taxes on specialty wheelchairs, pacemakers, and other medical devices.

3. It will cut Medicare benefits for seniors.

This just scratches the surface of the concerns Americans have about this overreach by the Federal Government.

Obamacare is not going to be repealed.  It us unrealistic to think that even if Republicans regain both houses of Congress that they can muster the votes to override the certain Obama veto.

Obamacare, with the support of Iowa’s own, Congressman Leonard Boswell, is an albatross we’re most likely stuck with the rest of our lives.  For this reason alone, Mr. Boswell deserves to be replaced by Brad Zaun, Republican, who is running for his seat.

A radical controls a budget larger than the Pentagon’s 1


By Tom Quiner

Donald Berwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The healthcare of one out of three Americans is controlled by a radical.

I wrote about this man, Donald Berwick, in my Quiner Diner’s post on May 26th.  You can read about his radical health care ideas there.  Here is the essence of his philosophy:

“I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it.”

He was talking about Great Britain’s single payer healthcare system.  He is an advocate of healthcare rationing.  And most importantly, the President put him in charge of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The President made a “recess” appointment to put Mr. Berwick in charge of Medicare and Medicaid. His radical views wouldn’t hold up to public scrutiny if he had been properly vetted by the Senate.

Mr. Berwick’s budget is bigger than the Pentagon’s.  This is a huge job.

The American people have been anxious to question this powerful man about his socialist healthcare longings.

Will he push for a single payer healthcare system?  Americans have a right to know.

Is he going to push for rationing?  After all, here’s what he has said in the past:

“Most metropolitan areas in the United States should reduce the number of centers engaging in cardiac surgery, high-risk obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, organ transplantation, tertiary cancer care, high-level trauma care, and high-technology imaging.”

He suggests we need to cut back and ration healthcare.  Does he still advocate that as the most powerful man in healthcare today?  Americans have a right to know.

In prepared remarks at a health conference yesterday, Mr. Berwick moderated his socialist rhetoric.  He said American healthcare policy shouldn’t involve “withholding from us, or our neighbors, any care that helps” … nor should it harm “one hair on anyone’s head.”

He said that a “massive, top-down, national project is not the way” to control healthcare costs in this country.

He’s backing away from his previous rhetoric.  That’s good, but is it sincere?  After all, he left the conference without taking a single question from reporters.  He’s been in his appointed position for three months and has yet to talk to reporters and the American people about his current views on healthcare.

President Obama promised transparency.  His cynical appointment of Donald Berwick undermines his pledge.  Mr. Berwick’s refusal to engage his critics fuels our cynicism in this administration.

Until Mr. Berwick stands up and faces public scrutiny, we can only assume that he still harbors a radical vision for our healthcare system and can’t be trusted.  The President has demonstrated little respect for the American people on this critical issue.