Facts and Contents of Health Care Reform Bill Unveiled Today by Democrats (Open Thread)

Bend over, America — you’re going to feel a little pressure.

One thousand, nine hundred and ninety pages. 1,990. That’s the number of pages in H.R. 3962, the so-called Affordable Health Care for America Act unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference this morning.

Three thousand, four hundred and twenty-five. 3,425. That’s the number of times the word “shall” appears within those one thousand, nine hundred and ninety pages, representing all the ways the government shall become more and more involved in the daily lives of Americans. By contrast, the word “shall” occurs 306 times in our entire Constitution, which of course lays out our entire system of limited government as established by our founders. (And subsequently forgotten, it seems.)

Just from a cursory look and from what I’m reading elsewhere, it seems that there are no provisions in the 1,990-page health care reform bill which will increase freedom and drive down costs either through tort reform or by providing for portability of insurance or opening up the industry to interstate competition. Those are the ways which would allow many of the uninsured to obtain coverage and would drive down costs for all involved. But the Democrats haven’t included those provisions — because, remember, the health care reform bill is not about health care at all, but rather about expanding the size, scope and reach of the federal government.

It’s a nightmare, folks. Believe me, there will be more on this legislation here at America’s Right. In the meantime, grab some popcorn, unfold your Snuggie and clean off your reading glasses — because you can read the bill for yourself HERE.

Check back here for updates from me as I look through things and learn more.

Congressional Intervention in Vending Machines

Here’s one fun selection:

(viii) VENDING MACHINES.—In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that (I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and (II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.

A couple of things jump out about this particular tidbit. First, it appears that the federal government is in the business of regulating vending machines now. Excuse me while I thumb through my pocket Constitution and look for the provision providing authority for that. Second, Congress is establishing itself as the ultimate alternative to personal responsibility. I know that I shouldn’t be inhaling Twinkies by the dozen, and don’t need a calorie count to understand that. Third, look for vending machine costs to skyrocket. For those kids who aren’t fed breakfast because their parents cannot afford it, no longer will the two quarters found in the sofa cushions or on the floor of the school bus suffice for a six-pack of peanut butter crackers.

Dems: Color, Not Competence Should Govern Health Care Staffing

Also on the minds of Democrats in the 1,990-page bill is so-called “workplace diversity.” Supplemental materials released with the health care reform bill tout “greater support” to be provided to “workplace diversity programs to help ensure that the nation’s health workforce reflects the population it serves.” Three cheers for social justice!

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the hospital with a javelin sticking out of my chest and a super-apologetic teenager in a track team outfit pacing frantically outside the room, I don’t care whether my doctor’s name is Dr. John Smith, or Dr. Moojibooji Ooberjavango. I don’t care what my nurses look like. I don’t know about you, but I want a health workforce with competence as its defining characteristic; race, color, sex, national origin, political affiliation, favorite color, astrological sign and whether they’re left-handed or right-handed doesn’t figure into it.

The Unveiling of the Public Option Was Anything But


These videos show ordinary Americans being denied access to the press conference this morning at which Nancy Pelosi unveiled the health care bill. That’s right — for all the talk of “open and transparent,” the public unveiling of the public option at a public place was closed to the public.

In a Twitter entry, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint called it “a very disturbing trend from this administration in favor of secrecy and against transparency.” I agree.

On the other hand, that the Democrats have gone through with this brand of health care reform shows that they don’t give a rat’s posterior for the opinions of the people they represent anyway, so why should we expect them to want involvement from the unwashed masses now?

Didn’t Obama Promise No New Taxes on the Middle Class?

At 1,990 pages, it’s going to take a while for folks to work their way through the health care reform bill unveiled today by the Democrats. Thank goodness for folks like those at Americans for Tax Reform, who have been doing more than any one guy like me could ever hope to do.

According to that group, along with the word “shall” being used 3,425 times in the legislation, the word “tax” was used 87 times, “taxable” used 62 times, “excise tax” used ten times, “taxes” used 15 times, “fee” used 59 times, and “penalty” used 113 times. They also provided a list of 13 specific tax hikes contained within the bill, and even were so kind to include page numbers.

Here you go, from Americans for Tax Reform:

  • Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
  • Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
  • Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted. Cap on FSAs (Page 325): FSAs would face an annual cap of $2500 (currently uncapped).
  • Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326): Non-qualified distributions from HSAs would face an additional tax of 20 percent (current law is 10 percent). This disadvantages HSAs relative to other tax-free accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, 529 plans, etc.)
  • Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.
  • Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336): Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly). MAGI adds back in the itemized deduction for margin loan interest. This would raise the top marginal tax rate in 2011 from 39.6 percent under current law to 45 percent—a new effective top rate.
  • Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339): Imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.5 percent of the wholesale price. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public.
  • Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344): Requires that 1099-MISC forms be issued to corporations as well as persons for trade or business payments. Current law limits to just persons for small business compliance complexity reasons. Also expands reporting to exchanges of property.
  • Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345): Delays for nine years the worldwide allocation of interest, a corporate tax relief provision from the American Jobs Creation Act.
  • Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346): Increases taxes on U.S. employers with overseas operations looking to avoid double taxation of earnings.
  • Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349): Empowers the IRS to disallow a perfectly legal tax deduction or other tax relief merely because the IRS deems that the motive of the taxpayer was not primarily business-related.
  • Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357): Publicly-traded partnerships and corporations with annual gross receipts in excess of $100 million have raised standards on penalties. If there is a tax underpayment by these taxpayers, they must be able to prove that the estimated tax paid would have more likely than not been sufficient to cover final tax liability.

Just a few notes from the top of my head (the location of an as-yet-untaxable flesh yarmulke), if I may do so:

First, I cannot help but wonder how our nation’s seniors will be able to escape rising health care costs considering the inherent Medicare cuts involved in this bill, as well as the measures like the denial of tax deductions for employer health plans coordinating with Medicare Part D, and the excise tax on medical devices. These are people already on a fixed budget. Those seniors that do work could see employers drop plans which coordinate with Medicare Part D, and those who don’t work are going to see the price go up on motorized wheelchairs and other devices that have become a part of their everyday life.

Second, I cannot help but notice that the taxes here go right at the heart of American liberty. Health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts provide perhaps the most freedom for Americans with regard to managing their own health care. Increasing the tax burden on these people and increasing the taxable nature of these accounts only serve to make Americans more dependent upon private insurers and, after the public option pushes them out of the market, upon the federal government.

Third, look at the potential effect on small business, the engine of our nation’s economy. Surtaxes, excise taxes and mandates will make it more difficult and expensive for these people to do business, and will stifle growth and job creation. My goodness — an excise tax of eight percent of average wages? On top of the rising cost of doing business in America? On top of the increased energy costs which could come along with cap-and-trade? It’s absolutely insane, and it goes to the heart of the new Democratic Party’s War on Success and Prosperity.

$500 Million Per Page

I’m only now learning how to use Twitter, and I’m still not very proficient. Still, a very interesting note–I refuse to use the word “tweet”–popped up on Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s Twitter page:

DavidVitter According to GOP Leader’s office:2000 pg health care bill that costs $1 trill. means that every pg costs the U.S. citizens a half-billion $.

Translated into English from the constraints of Twitter’s 140-character limit, what Sen. Vitter is saying is that the health care reform bill released today will cost approximately $500 million per page given its cost and length, both of which will prove to be grossly underestimated by the time all is said and done.

Boehner: ’1,990 Pages of Bureaucracy’


You know me. I’m not Congressman Boehner’s biggest fan. As far as I’m concerned, he’s on the wrong side of where the GOP should be going politically, and is largely responsible for the nonfeasance which allowed for so many House seats to be lost in 2006 and 2008. However–and this is a big, big “however”–he was absolutely phenomenal when it came to debating the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill a few months back, and I’m seeing that same passion here as well.

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

Section 340(M)–found on page 1254–establishes the Public Health Workforce Scholarship Program. To be eligible for the $283 million in scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness measures, Section 340(M)(b)(B)(i) says that students must be enrolled full-time or part-time in a course or program at “an accredited graduate school or program of nursing; health administration, management, or policy; preventative medicine; laboratory science; veterinary medicine; or dental medicine.”

Now, don’t get me wrong — I love animals. We have a dog and two cats at home (in fact, one of them is pictured here). I grew up with dogs and cats. And I value veterinarians, and while I was doing my undergraduate work at Auburn University I knew quite a few in my Alma Mater’s fantastic School of Veterinary Medicine.

This bill, however, is about health care reform for people. At a time when we’re already spending trillions of dollars we don’t have, we could be spending hundreds of millions to educate veterinarians as well.

It just makes me wonder which of those soulless Democrats has the ear of the Purina lobby.

More Statements From the House Republican Leadership

Say what you want about the Republican Party, but one thing they’ve got going for them is unity, especially when compared with their fractured counterparts across the aisle. What we need to do is to take that unity and take that passion and ensure they know that the American right will be behind them so long as they do not abdicate conservatism.

House Leader John Boehner (OH): The American people have spoken. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have ignored them. Through the month of August, the American people let Members of Congress from both parties know that they didn’t want a government takeover of health care. That hasn’t changed.

But instead of listening to the American people, Democrats hid behind closed doors and came back with a bill designed to appease the liberal special interests. Three things about Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill are already clear: it will raise the cost of Americans’ health insurance premiums; it will kill jobs with tax hikes and new mandates; and it will cut seniors’ Medicare benefits. The fact that it weighs in at nearly 2,000 pages – more than 620 pages longer than the government takeover of health care Hillary Clinton proposed in 1993 – is as good an indication as any of just how costly and unsustainable Speaker Pelosi’s proposal is.

There is a better way. Republicans have offered solutions to lower health care costs and expand access at a cost our nation can afford. You can read about them at healthcare.gop.gov. Democrats need to listen to the American people, and work with us on the real reforms families want and need.

Rep. Phil Roe (TN): While I will be reading the 1900+ page bill over the next week to find out what other problems are buried in the text, one thing is clear – this bill will lead to decreased access to care, decreased quality of care, and increased cost to beneficiaries. It needs to be rewritten before we do irreparable harm to our health care system.

Rep. Judy Biggert (IL): Instead of producing a bipartisan proposal that delivers the solutions Americans want, Democrat leaders are simply pushing ahead with a go-it-alone approach that raises costs, slashes Medicare, and will drive families into government-run care. Americans need common-sense health care solutions, and those don’t require massive new costs on individuals and small businesses at the worst possible time for our economy.

Rep. Gregg Harper (MS): After weeks of negotiating behind closed doors, Democratic leaders emerged today with a plan that will increase premiums for Mississippi families by $3,869 per year according to an analysis by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Negotiators claim they were able to ‘lower the price tag’ of the legislation by expanding Medicaid. The truth is the federal government has irresponsibly pitched the burden to individuals through increased premiums for private policy holders and states in the form of unfunded mandates that will cost Mississippi an additional $200 million a year. This bill is bad for my state and our country.”

Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC): Nowhere in this 1,990-page bill are the common sense reforms that everyone agrees on. Insurance companies are not forced to compete with one another across state lines. Small businesses are not permitted to join together to purchase affordable coverage for their employees. Lawsuit abuse will continue to thrive so the real victims are denied justice and the cost of healthcare can continue to escalate.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO): Even though the American people spoke loud and clear this past summer against a government takeover of health care, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow liberals in the House have decided to ignore them and instead have chosen to proceed with a bill that puts government bureaucrats in control of health care.

Rep. Steve King (IA): The Pelosi Democrats are willing to spend nearly a trillion dollars to reduce the percentage of uninsured from less than four percent of Americans without affordable options down to perhaps two percent, and in the process put in place the framework for socialized medicine. This is a bad deal for every American, those present and grandchildren yet to be born. The American people need to rise up, shut down the phone lines in Congress and kill this bill.”

Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ): The House Democrats’ bill takes us in the wrong direction…This bill does nothing to control healthcare costs. It simply shifts billions of dollars of liability to taxpayers. It just creates a whole new set of problems.

Ten Facts Every American Should Know About H.R. 3962

From Congressman Boehner’s Web site, released only a few minutes ago:

Members of Congress and the American people are just beginning to look at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) 1,990-page government takeover of health care, but it’s already becoming clear just how costly and unsustainable this proposal is. From higher taxes on middle-class families to job-killing mandates on small businesses to cuts in Medicare benefits for seniors, here are 10 facts every American should know about Speaker Pelosi’s 1,990-page government takeover of health care:

  1. RAISES TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a range of tax increases on families with income below $250,000, breaking a promise made by President Obama. Tax increases on middle class families include: an individual mandate tax of up to 2.5 percent of income for taxpayers earning as little as $9,350; repeal of a tax break on medicine purchased with funds from an HSA (health savings account); limits to tax relief through FSAs (flexible spending accounts); taxes on medical devices that will inevitably be passed on to consumers; and a new tax on all insurance policies.
  2. MASSIVE CUTS TO MEDICARE BENEFITS FOR SENIORS. Despite grave warnings from CBO, FactCheck.org, and the independent Lewin Group that cuts to Medicare of the magnitude included in Speaker Pelosi’s bill would have a negative impact on seniors’ benefits and choices, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill stays the course and cuts Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.
  3. NO PROTECTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to exempt small businesses from the steep eight percent ‘pay or play’ employer mandate. The facts tell a different story. Using Census data compiled by the Small Business Administration, this so-called ‘exemption’ hammers small employers with only, on average, 17 or more employees to new taxes and mandates. The outfits affected employ 70 percent of all small business employees, or 42.3 million workers. Adding to the assault on small businesses, the bill does not index the small business “exemption” amounts, meaning more and more small businesses will be ensnared by this job-killing employer mandate each year.
  4. INCREASES THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE. Imposing a new $2 billion tax on insurance policies will be passed on to patients in the form of higher premiums. Changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will, according to estimates by CBO, will raise Medicare Part B premiums by $25 billion and Part D premiums by 20 percent. And imposing an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for the bill’s Medicaid expansion will shift the burden of this expansion on state taxpayers who may experience tax increases to cover the cost.
  5. USES GIMMICKS TO HIDE BUDGET-BUSTING COST, PILES UP DEBT ON FUTURE GENERATIONS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to be deficit neutral, but uses budget gimmickry to hide its massive total cost. Working families across America know they cannot simply decide that a bill they get in the mail doesn’t exist, but that’s exactly what congressional Democrats are doing. In order to meet the President’s ‘target’ spending total of $900 billion, Democrats have simply swept costly provisions under the rug, including the $245 billion ‘doc fix.’
  6. IMPOSES JOB-KILLING EMPLOYER MANDATES. Additional taxes on employers and new government mandates that dictate acceptable insurance will place new and crushing burdens on employers. These are burdens that will ultimately fall squarely on the backs of workers in the form of reduced wages, fewer hours or lost employment. CBO agrees that “[e]mployees largely bear the cost of… play-or-pay fees in the form of lower wages.” According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, an employer mandate of this magnitude will disproportionately impact small businesses, triggering up to 1.6 million lost jobs. Two-thirds of those jobs would be shed by small businesses.
  7. TILTS THE PLAYING FIELD IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT-RUN INSURANCE COMPANY. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill promises not to give the government-run plan advantages over private insurers in the market, but the opposite is true. The bill provides billions in start-up funding for the government-run plan, and while it requires the plan to repay the money over time it does not require the plan to pay interest on this “loan.” This interest-free, taxpayer-subsidized loan is potentially worth millions of dollars and tilts the playing field in favor of the government-run plan.
  8. THREATENS CASH-STRAPPED STATES WITH UNFUNDED MANDATES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill swells the number of Americans on the government rolls by expanding Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid is financed through a federal-state partnership, but the bill dumps nearly ten percent of the mandated expansion included in the bill onto the states. States, already struggling with fiscal constraints, would be left on the hook for billions of dollars due to this unfunded mandate.
  9. CREATES A NEW MONSTROSITY IN THE TAX CODE. Starting in 2011, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a 5.4 percent tax on adjusted gross income above $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for married couples. Yet, the dollar amounts for which the tax kicks in are not indexed for inflation. We’ve seen this horror film before: the Alternative Minimum Tax, another Frankenstein’s monster of the tax code, also wasn’t indexed for inflation and now affects millions of middle class families with incomes below the Democrat’s surtax.
  10. MISSES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CURTAIL JUNK LAWSUITS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill misses a critical opportunity to rein in junk lawsuits and costly defensive medicine. The bill includes only a voluntary grant program to deal with the medical liability crisis instead of including real reform, which would produce tens of billions of dollars in savings, improve efficiency in our health care system and reduce costs for patients and providers.

BONUS: Republicans have offered better solutions to lower health care costs and expand access to quality, affordable coverage at a price our nation can afford. Learn more by visiting healthcare.gop.gov.

CBO Scores Sub-$900B Bill at $1.055 Trillion

So, the Democrats aren’t much for promises. Tell me something I don’t know. This time around, it’s the Congressional Budget Office which, despite being kind to bills in committee over the past few weeks, burst the bubble when it came to White House assurances that health care reform would cost less than $900 billion.

Instead, the CBO says, by the end of the next ten years, the bill will cost $1.055 trillion. Furthermore, there’s some other things which need to be considered about that number: First, remember that the primary measures within the bill will not come into effect for three years–conveniently after the next presidential election–while the increases in the tax burden necessary to pay some of the associated costs will come right away. Second, remember that in 1965, when Medicare first was on the scene, Congress estimated that it would only cost $12 billion yearly by 1991. Point being, not only is Congress fudging the numbers to begin with, but they’re also not too good with numbers at all anyway.

Speaking of number-fudging, consider this from the Dow Jones Newswire report:

Penalties imposed on individuals who did not purchase insurance, and employers who did not offer coverage to their workers, would raise $161 billion over that time-frame. That brings the net cost of the bill to $894 billion through 2019, CBO said.

House Democrats have seized on that net cost figure to claim that their bill is below President Barack Obama’s upper limit which he set for health-care legislation of $900 billion.

The $1.055 trillion estimate also does not include $245 billion needed to stop Medicare payments to doctors from decreasing, which the House plans to address through separate legislation introduced Thursday.

The costs of the bill are fully offset by cuts to existing spending programs– including the Medicare Advantage and other programs–saving $426 billion through 2019, and by tax increases raising $572 billion over that time, CBO said. In fact, the combined impact of provisions in the bill would be a net deficit reduction of $104 billion in the next decade, according to CBO.

So, in order to even be able to argue that they’ve come below the $900 billion threshold, Democrats extracted a $245 billion portion of the bill and is working to pass it separately. That’s like going out to a nice dinner, spending $200 on the meal and $75 on martinis, only to argue later that you only spent $200 that evening.

Furthermore, the idea that the costs associated with the Democrats’ health care reform bill will offset through excising waste is preposterous. When has the government ever cut $426 billion from anything? And don’t even get me started on the tax increases, when balanced with promises from presidential candidate Barack Obama that Americans making less than $200,000 yearly would not face a single dime of increased taxes.

For the full text of the CBO report, click HERE.

More coming, I’m sure, as I learn more…

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Comments

  1. sharon says:

    If Hoffman pulls it off in NY 23rd, GOP wins in NJ and VA, maybe we can breathe a little easier… My thought is that health care reform is dead on arrival at that point. Hopefully optimistic…

  2. Walt says:

    As the insurance companies so called plant so aptly spoke this morning about Speaker Nazi Pelosi, we are not on the road to socialism we have arrived.

    I have a suggestion for the health care program. If the left will sponsor the next video from a song from the Moonglows replayed by the Muppets we can solve this issue at no cost and just a little common sense.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJ6PcRyd0o

    Can't we just all get along—-NO!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    In keeping with the infamous Al Gore picture….

    Try using the Blink 182 – Enema of the State album cover to increase readership.

  4. Chuck in San Diego says:

    It looks like a HUGE infrastructure is being created for the Native American Indian population.

    The word "Indian" occurs 1060 times in the document.

  5. g33kspeak says:

    I like how the Individual Mandate Tax works… Do as I tell you, or I will tax you for disobeying.

  6. Gail B says:

    I have already emailed my two senators that four things must not be passed IN ANY FORM:

    * Nationalized Health Care in any form – (It’s NOT a public option, it’s a government take over);

    * The UN Copenhagen Treaty in any form—(Read it!);

    * Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants in any form; and

    * Cap and Trade in any form.

    I am going to copy Jeff's article, give them the link, and send both to all my senators and house representative, plus a few others!

    Dear Lord, don't those Marxists KNOW that people have other things to do in life than FIGHT WITH THEM?! I don't know how anyone's time can be spent better, however, than by fighting this 111th Congressional set of thugs!

    verify: supexio –Do not know how that could apply to anything; it just struck me as strange, for some reason. Everything is strange these days.

    OH!!! – That was excellent, Jeff. Thank you!

  7. PENN STATE says:

    CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez said he met privately with actor Sean Penn on Wednesday, and that the Oscar-winning celebrity may film a movie in Venezuela .

    Penn may shoot a film based on a novel by Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, which is set largely in the jungle along Venezuela 's southern Orinoco river, Chavez said. He appeared to be referring to Carpentier's 1953 novel, "The Lost Steps," about an American anthropologist and composer's journey into the jungle region.

    Penn's publicist could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Chavez added that he discussed politics with Penn, who said he would soon see U.S. President Barack Obama . Chavez said he'd asked Penn to tell Obama he should take action to earn his Nobel Peace Prize , and should scrap a plan for the U.S. military to increase its presence at bases in Colombia.

    "They gave him the Nobel Prize, very well, now he should earn it," the socialist leader said, paraphrasing an open letter by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore to the U.S. president.

  8. TNelson says:

    Chuck: Perhaps they were speaking of 'Indian' in the literal sense and not Native Americans. After all, they have the workplace diversity program to implement. In the case of Native Americans I suppose passing legislation that also applies to sovereign nations can be tricky.

  9. Gail B says:

    No one has mentioned this, but I am forever amazed by the great photographs that you find (or take) for illustrations in your pieces.

    That's the reason I said what I did about Halloween yesterday (or whenever).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Van Jones lives!!!! "GIVE THEM THE WEALTH" "GIVE THEM THE WEALTH" "GIVE THEM THE WEALTH"

    What's with the sudden crush on the American Indians?

  11. Rix says:

    Phhhh… 1900 pages… The monsters were so much nicer and smaller in my AD&D playing days…

    1) Jeff, I absolutely love the pictures you attach to posts. My Russian experience says that the government can take everything from us except our sense of humor; I'm thankful that you share your stockpile with us.

    2) No, Jeff, I actually do care a lot what my doctor's name is. In my seven-odd years in America, I couldn't help but notice that Jewish, Italian and Eastern European names tend to be associated with doctors and offices that show much higher care of standard, medical knowledge and professional skill. The exceptions, I found out, are few and far between. When it comes to taking care of my health and that of my family members, I prefer to be a healthy racist than an ill liberal.

    3) I also do not precisely care what my nurses' political affiliation or astrological sign is, as long as they are competent and reasonably kind. If, however, I stop noticing what they look like, someone please call the pathologist – it is too late for medical care.

    4) Whoever doubted that the healthcare reform envisioned by the pack of Democrat weasels in the Congress is about taxes and control should live in a soft-padded room with around-the-clock supervision and no access to glass or cutlery. It never ceases to amaze me, however, that the Republicans never tried to repeal any of the legislative nightmares piled upon us by the Democrats.

    5) Boehner is fine. He is hardly responsible for the losses incurred by Republicans in the Congress, and he fights against the unenviable odds in the House with so much bravery and skill as very few politicians display. It is the RNC clowns that I worry about: Gingrich and Steele behave as if they are on Democratic payroll, and I don't see any mechanism that could part them from party's money trough.

  12. NIP AND TUCK says:

    Jeff, looks like your cat has been to Pelosi's face tucking doctor.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is that first photo Mr Frank's date getting romantic?

  14. GOOD RIDDANCE COMMIES says:

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to give all these Chavez lovers a billion dollars cash each and a free Greyhound ticket to Venezuela????

  15. Anonymous says:

    "The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." – Tacitus

    It appears that there is only one solution to this situation.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If this is for Native Americans that is because Obama/Soetoro was adopted by Native Americans before he became the "resident".

    Sally

  17. ONE SMART PROFESSOR says:

    The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named Indrek Wichman.

    Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association. The e-mail was in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were 'hate speech'

    Enter Professor Wichman.

    In his e-mail, he said the following:

    Dear Muslim Association,
    As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called 'whores' in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

    This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many of my colleagues..I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Muslims to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.'

    If you do not like the values of the West – see the 1st Amendment – you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option.

    Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

    Cordially,
    I. S. Wichman
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well. They're demanding that Wichman be reprimanded and the university impose mandatory diversity training for faculty.

    And mandate a seminar on hate and discrimination for all freshmen. Now the local chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently doesn't believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion..

    For its part, the university is standing its ground in support of Professor Wichman, saying the e-mail was private, and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks.

    Send this to your friends, and ask them to do the same.

    Tell them to keep passing it around until the whole country gets it.

    We are in a war.

    This political correctness crap is getting old and killing us.

  18. Chuck in San Diego says:

    The comment about the "Indian" in the bill was for "Native American Indian". And I was incorrect, it is not 1106 occurrences – it is 1290.

    And as for including vets in the bill, I've actually had a vet stitch me up in an emergency. She was a friend and not worried about liability nor reimbursement – but she definitely knew what she was doing…no scar. :-)

    Another word in there that scares me is "retroactive". I've seen mention of "retroactive reimbursement". An example, page 552 where it says:


    "(v) the Secretary shall establish procedures for retroactive reimbursement of part D eligible individuals who are covered under such a plan for costs which are incurred before the date of initial implementation of subparagraph (A) and which would be reimbursed under such a plan if such implementation occurred as of January 1, 2010."

    I read this to mean that even if it takes 1 year to pass this bill, people will be reimbursed as though it took effect Jan 1, 2010.

  19. Gail B says:

    Mighty fine cat you have there, Mr. Schreiber! Have you been spreading the food?

    Where did the name Piwo come from?

  20. Dee says:

    Each time you post more, my blood pressure rises! OOPS! Best not let THEM know that. I'm stunned! Regarding Twinkies. They are my favorite but I have switched to "Lite Twinkies" so that should get me some bonus points.
    Great posts, Jeff. Keep us informed. I have bookmarked the bill so I can read it but not all in one night.
    Apparently, there are all kinds of mandates in this bill. One is that everyone will be mandated to get health insurance coverage that is approved by the government. There were several questions in our local paper about this regarding the Amish. I had the same question about a month ago. They do not subscribe to health insurance because they pay cash for their hospital bills. I have worked with many Amish families and only 2 have ever applied for Medicaide after much discussion with me and their church elders. One patient had to get a special shot twice a day that cost $1200 per shot. The other patient lost a limb in a work accident and his bill was well over 1 million dollars. This patient had to spend the $5,000 that he had saved for his impending marriage before he was approved for Medicaid. He did not fuss about it and did what needed to be done. Usually the Amish help each other. I attend an Amish Benefit auction each year where the proceeds go to their hospital fund. I wonder if this healthcare plan will Mandate that they get insurance.
    What a joke this is. Also, Jeff, by the look in the cat's eyes, you better watch out. He might not like the comment about the veternarian. I agree with you that this was to be about People, not animals.
    Thanks again for all your hard work and to all who contribute their thoughts.

  21. Linda says:

    Gail: "Dear Lord, don't those Marxists KNOW that people have other things to do in life than FIGHT WITH THEM?!"

    Of course they do. They're hoping you give up. I was proud to be at the second stop of the Tea Party Express – Countdown to Judgment Day last Sunday at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Those people deserve our gratitude for carrying our banner across this country.

    Here comes Pelosi again – piling on the papers with yet another deadline; again trying to ram it through without any reading, let alone comprehension. CALL, FAX your representatives and senators and tell them NO!! Do it today!

  22. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Gail … how, um, did you know the name of my cat?

    "Piwo" (pronounced PEE-VOH), is "beer" in Polish.

  23. Jan says:

    Unfortunately the same uneducated and/or hypnotized individuals that elected this flunky (as in Constitutional flunky) won't be able to get past all the rhetoric that will be spewed in the coming days. Blah, blah, blah. Will the states stand up and file against this infringement? Will the states insist the government has no authority to 'force' people to buy a certain product? That States need to be able to retain their sovereignty? Maybe Texas will succeed – I just may trek south!

  24. Gail B says:

    Uh, Jeff, don't you remember when someone asked you to put captions under the pictures of the cemeteries, and I said that if he would hold the cursor over the picture, the information at the bottom would identify it?

    Piwo's says:
    http://4bp.blogspot.com/_R-liejogZw/SunvL16RqQI/AAAAAAAAKU/tdddrNh8lZw/s1600-h/Piwo.JPG

  25. SAM ADAMS says:

    That cat looks like a hungover Pol, it was a good guess….. lol

    actually, it's a handsome cat

  26. Anonymous says:

    Gail, you CIA or NSA?

  27. Anonymous says:

    "provided to "workplace diversity programs to help ensure that the nation's health workforce reflects the population it serves.""

    So if I go to a hospital in a white neighborhood only white people will be working their? or if in a black neighborhood only black people?

    So where do you think the longest lines will be?

    Yep, in the Jewish neighborhood hospital.

    And here I thought obambi was supposed to bring us together.

  28. Anonymous says:

    "the American people are just beginning to look at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) 1,990-page government takeover of health care"

    So even obambi wont put his name on this or take credit for this monstrosity. So we know who is next to go under the bus. about time.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It's alive! End-of-life counseling in health bill
    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR (AP)

    …The counseling provision is supported by doctors' groups and AARP, the seniors' lobby…

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hH5D8HNGJ05AvGKc7Fxd33wv8dXgD9BL3N780
    ——————-
    BTW, if you have time, check out: http://www.newsfifty.com/ Headlines from all 50 States.

  30. Bodenzee says:

    Almost 2,000 pages, and so far I've also had to read significant portions of Tirle 31, the IRS Code, and ERISA because they are incorporated by reference.

    HR 3962 alone has over 380,000 words. The New Testament only has about 180,000 words…ever read that for comprehension in 72 hours?

    HR 3962 is an insult to any thinkng and working person.

    We are about to be hoisted on the proverbial ambihelical screw.

  31. Leah says:

    We are working our tails off here in VA. Richmond hit a grand total of 24,000 doors we have knocked on. WE WILL DO THIS!

    I am trying very hard not to get depressed about this, but I can't wait to see the look on the blue dog faces when they see VA turn red again.

  32. Roses, WA says:

    I hit my limit at "Didn't Obama promise no new taxes on the Middle Class?" Good to know there is a reliable bunch analysizing this nightmare.
    You mention vets getting in on the action, but I have a question… considering Barry's perfect smile.. when is he going to pick on dentists and dental benefits? Or is he saving that for his second term…

  33. mdeals says:

    Well, President Obama and his plans both are ..LOL..

  34. Ryan says:

    The more details I get on the bill, the less concerned I am about it. Way too radical to be passed.

  35. Roses, WA says:

    Yes, it is way to radical to pass a normal congressional process…but Harry and Nancy no longer feel obligated to proceed normally. Making this mushy mess into law will be exactly the Change that Obama promised.

    I hear NJ plans another tea party for Nov 1st. Might as well kick while we still have a leg to stand on.

  36. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    Thanks for helping us to understand this nightmare.

    I heard a guest on an NPR show comment that the tea-party movemnt was winding down. He also said, in response to a caller's question, that the Republicans were left out because they refused to compromise.

    Has anyone here heard that they are planning to split this bill into 2 parts & ram one of them through by reconciliation???

    God, please help us!
    Susan

  37. suek says:

    "This bill, however, is about health care reform for people. At a time when we're already spending trillions of dollars we don't have, we could be spending hundreds of millions to educate veterinarians as well."

    Hey! Don't knock the veterinarians! We may need them by the time the Feds get done with "fixing" health care. I'm an animal too – even if I _do_ have only 2 legs!

  38. NO CHALLENGES says:

    Piwo, great scrabble word.

  39. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 10:30 PM–

    Neither CIA nor NSA, but my first husband used to accuse me of being a member of the CIA because I could always find him, even when he was in a coffee shop.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Just So you know, veterinarians do more than just take care of kitties and puppies. This legislation refers to veterinarians in PUBLIC health, not private practice. These veterinarians work as meat inspectors, disease diagnosticians, and epidemiologists. If you think about the last few major disease outbreaks (West Nile Virus, Avian Influenza, SARS, H1N1), they all come from animals (one way or another), and veterinarians are key to keeping them at bay. Who do you think figures out there even is an outbreak of a zoonotic disease? In the case of West Nile, it was a veterinarian. I hope that helps you understand why they included them in the bill.

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