Tag Archives: Health Care Reform

Individual Mandates in Health Care Reform Law

By Rep. Steve Austria

As you may know, the recently passed health care law includes a provision that will require individuals to enroll in a health insurance program. The individual mandate provision will go into effect on January 1, 2014. At that time, 19 million additional Americans will be required to enroll in a health insurance program. Most of the details surrounding the implementation of individual mandates will be left up to the states to decide, including creating exchanges, educating the public, and organizing an enrollment structure and process.

In response to the new law, voters in Missouri recently passed a measure that would block the health insurance mandates included in the law. While Missouri is the first state to take such action, other states, including Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma are expected to consider similar measures in November.

The sweeping regulations and mandates in the new law have also generated activity in Congress. Congressman Ted Poe has introduced a bill, that I cosponsored, which prohibits the use of funds to enforce the Federal mandate to purchase health insurance. As the implementation of the new health care law moves forward, it is important that the process is carefully monitored, and the American people stay well-informed regarding the law’s potential impact on their personal health care.

Ohio Republicans Ask Gov. Strickland to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care

In the wake of a dustup last week that saw pro-life groups uncover how the Obama administration planned to fund abortions in new high risk health insurance programs created by the new federal health care program, Republicans in Ohio have asked Gov. Ted Strickland to make sure there is no funding.

Ohio’s Republican congressional delegate today wrote a letter to Strickland asking him to ensure Ohio does not go down the same road as Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland.

The National Right to Life Committee uncovered how those three states planned to use federal taxpayer dollars for abortions, and now the Obama administration has promised that will not happen.

The signers acknowledged the new promise to make sure the high risk pools cover only abortions allowed under the Hyde Amendment.

However, since the amendment does not apply to the new health care program Obama signed into law, they asked for Strickland to make sure Ohio doesn’t fund abortions since their is no formal prohibition of it in place federally.

“We are urging you to assure Ohioans that the final plan our state will submit to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will not include elective abortion as a taxpayer-funded benefit,” they write in the new letter, according to a report in The Hill.

Their letter went on to say: “Furthermore we respectfully request that you direct the Ohio Department of Insurance to thoroughly review its negotiations with the third-party provider your administration designated to run Ohio’s high-risk pool plan to ensure that the use of federal funds to perform abortions is clearly and definitively prohibited under any coverage.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner signed the letter along with Reps. Steven LaTourette, Patrick Tiberi, Jean Schmidt, Michael Turner, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta and Steve Austria, The Hill indicated.

Source: LifeNews.com, July 19, 2010.

Judge to Hear Arguments on Whether Congress had Constitutional Authority to Enact ObamaCare

Federal District Court Judge George C. Steeh, agreeing “that a prompt resolution of the constitutional issue would serve the public interest, ” will hear oral arguments on the merits of the case challenging ObamaCare.

Judge Steeh ordered the consolidation of the Thomas More Law Center’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction to prevent enforcement of ObamaCare with trial on the merits.

“The significance of this court hearing cannot be overstated, ” said Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center. The hearing will take place in Judge Steeh’s courtroom located in the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit.

Moments after President Obama signed the health care bill into law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), on March 23, 2010, the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and co-counsel Washington, D.C. lawyer David Yerushalmi filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Law Center and four Michigan residents who object to being forced by the federal government to purchase health care or face a federal penalty. The basis for the lawsuit and the motion is that Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause by mandating that private citizens purchase health care coverage or face a penalty.

Presenting arguments in support of the motion for Preliminary Injunction will be the Law Center’s Senior Trial Counsel Rob Muise and co-counsel David Yerushalmi.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid OKs Additional Payment to Ohio Hospitals for Medicaid Expenses

After lobbying from Gov. Ted Strickland, officials at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have given the go-ahead to a state plan to pay hospitals an additional $87 million this year for the care they provide to low-income Ohioans on Medicaid (Source: “Feds OK plan to let hospitals recoup Medicaid expense,” Columbus Dispatch, July 15, 2010).

The bulk payment, which will be disbursed to hospitals by the end of this month, and a 5-percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement fees effective in October were included in last year’s state budget to let hospitals recoup some of the money they were losing through a new state franchise fee.

The fee is projected to cost hospitals statewide $718 million over the two-year budget ending June 30, 2011. The two provisions aimed at offsetting that expense will let hospitals recoup $569 million, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

Source: Ohio Health Policy Review, July 16, 2010.

The Ohio Project at Clark County Fair

What is the Ohio Project? I’m glad you asked.

The Ohio Project is a grass root initiative opposing recently passed federal health care reform legislation mandates. The initiative seeks to introduce a state constitutional amendment giving Ohioans the legal to oppose those mandates that extend beyond the Constitutional authority of the federal government. It will make the 9th and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution enforcement for this specific set of issues.

The central region coordinator, Nancy Channell, has arranged for a petition signing booth at the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market.
All are invited to enjoy the many unique displays of antique collector items, booths offering consumer goods, information about area service organizations, and political efforts of organizations like The Ohio Project. At the same time, you can help the Ohio Project succeed by signing the petition.

Supporting the Ohio Project means enforcing your constitutional rights to government limited to the rule of law under the Constitution.

For more information, go to the Ohio Project website. You can also find out more about the Springfield Antique show by going here.

America does not have a shortage of doctors, it has an excess of disease

By by Mike Adams, Editor of NaturalNews.com

Now that health reform relying on monopolized pharmaceutical medicine has become the law of the land across America, the mainstream media is reporting on a sudden shortage of doctors. The nearly one million doctors who already treat a sick, diseased population is no longer enough, it seems, and medical schools are ramping up to churn out more doctors to treat yet more disease. There are never enough doctors to go around when everybody’s sick, it seems…

What we’re witnessing here is a massive expansion of the sick-care industry which already swallows 20 percent of the U.S. economy. Over the next few years, that percentage will rise to 25 percent, then 30 percent, and this financial sinkhole called “mainstream medicine” may even hit one-third of the entire national economy.

That puts the U.S. in a dire financial situation. If a third of the economic productivity is being spent on sickness and disease, and another third (or so) is being spent on war and imperialism, and another third is spent on debt interest and social security, then where do you get the money to actually build roads and schools, pay government employees or administer the business of government?

The answer, of course, is that you simply print more money and keep on spending — a sure path to currency hyperinflation.

But that’s another story. The topic of today is how to solve the doctor shortage. And the answer to that is quite simple: Unleash the power of nutrition to prevent and reverse disease.

Nutrition ends the doctor shortage
We already know that vitamin D, all by itself, can prevent nearly 4 out of 5 cancers (http://www.naturalnews.com/021892.html). It also helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, depression, seasonal flu and kidney disease. Distribute free vitamin D supplements across the entire population and you solve the doctor shortage problem in one year as the public gets healthier and reduces doctor visits.

It’s a simple, cost-effective solution that any intelligent nation would embrace without a second thought: Invest a few pennies in the health of the population and save yourself many dollars in reduced health care costs. Regular vitamin D supplementation has no negative side effects and requires no prescriptions, no injections and no visits to the doctor. What’s not to like about that?

Except the sick care industry doesn’t like it at all. Drug companies, hospitals, conventional doctors, med schools, medical journals and now even the mainstream media all generate extreme profits from the ongoing business of sickness and disease. Vitamin D would disrupt their profit agenda and send people home healthy and well instead of bringing them back into the hospital sick and diseased.

America, you see, does not have a shortage of doctors… it has an excess of disease. And that’s an excess that the sick-care system seems determined to continue.

Healthcare Boondoggle

By Jarrod Martin, Representative of the 70th Ohio House District

At the hands of your “representatives” in Washington, a $940 billion health care spending bill will skyrocket your taxes, diminish care services and expand the federal government’s control over your personal decisions. Are you willing to sacrifice more of your hard-earned money, as well as your liberties that are guaranteed by the Constitution, to satisfy Congress’s spending spree they call reform?

The political elites believe that inundating families and small businesses with taxes, penalties, mandates and bureaucratic red tape is the right course of action in this recession. However, as a fiscal conservative I believe that we cannot fix a deficit by accruing more debt, nor can we fix our nation’s spending problem with more spending.

After receiving feedback from the residents of the 70th Ohio House District, I’ve found that our community, just like other communities across the nation, believes that America’s health care system needs to be reformed. However, this partisan, corrupt bill that caters to special interests is not the “change” that any of us want.

America and especially Ohio does not want or need a multitrillion-dollar entitlement program that entails backroom deals, special interests, intimidation tactics and dishonest circumventing of a fair democratic process. We don’t want a bill in which the only bipartisanship was in the opposition-especially a bill that allows the government to now control one-sixth of the American economy.

What hard-working Ohioans do want is a government that is accountable and transparent. It is important that elected officials fight to preserve the people’s rights and freedoms, while still working to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Here in Ohio, the aftermath of this bill will be profound. We will likely see accelerated job loss when small businesses that cannot afford the new government mandates eliminate more jobs just to make ends meet. With an $8 billion deficit fast approaching in the next budget, it is crucial that lawmakers take steps now to not only avoid undue costs and mandates, but also become more conscious of our spending habits.

Although the Ohio legislature has no control over federal bills and was unable to stop the passage of the health care bill, House Republicans are working to ensure that new pricey mandates will not be imposed on the people of Ohio. We are urging the passage of two pieces of legislation, House Joint Resolution 3 and House Bill 489, to protect the freedom of Ohioans to make their own health care decisions. Specifically, these measures will help prevent individuals from being forced to buy into any particular health care plan according to our state policies. I cosponsored both of these proposals because I believe that although we certainly need to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care, this bill will unnecessarily raise costs at a time when families and businesses can least afford them.

The American people would have greatly benefited from a bipartisan effort to improve our health care system with the best ideas both Democrats and Republicans could bring to the table. I will continue to defend your family’s concerns as I fight to hold down the tax burden and protect your liberties from Washington’s growing control.

Eugenics in 2010: Obamacare Cost-Cutting Genetic Discrimination

In the March 31st edition of LifeNews, Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life, wrote how Obamacare further the eugenics the Left introduced in the United States through abortion.

Hawkins interest in the current health care reform stems from her infant son’s battle with Cystic fibrosis, an expensive-to-treat and fatal genetic disease. Obamacare threatens to ration top notch healthcare for children like her son.

The question is does she have any support for her concern?

The following quote is from her LifeNews article:

A week before the doomed healthcare vote, Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) admitted to the National Review Online that Congressional Democrats argued that passing his pro-life amendment which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion will result in more children and therefore higher healthcare costs. They’re saying: “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more.”

This argument isn’t new but in fact is the same old 1970’s argument that John Holdren (the President’s Science Czar) used when saying that the more people there are, the less food there will be. This 1970’s argument has been regurgitated in 2010 with a healthcare slant: the more people, the less healthcare available for you and me.

Democrats in Congress know that incentivizing abortions by making them cheaper and more accessible will lead to higher abortion rates costing less healthcare dollars and making those limited funds available for some other person.

When the state is involved in the cost of healthcare, it knows that it is dealing with scare resources and that rationing will have to occur. This fact has already been reiterated multiple times by President Obama’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Council appointee and brother to his Chief-of-Staff, Dr. Zeke Emanuel.

Emanuel admitted in The Lancet medical journal last January that cost-cutting measures in healthcare reform are merely “lipstick” and rationing will have to occur in any government healthcare system.

He even went so far as to describe his ideal rationing plan where those at the beginning and end of life would receive 2nd tier healthcare when scarcity develops. In the article, he further talks about his sense of “communitarianism” and how those who are unproductive members of society are a burden and healthcare dollars could be best spent elsewhere. Bottom line Message: We only want the “genetically” superior people and less is better.

To Dr. Emanuel, my son Gunner is an excess burden on society.

Yet, he has been appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Council, the body that will make “recommendations” to doctors as to how to treat their patients in the most cost-effective way.

Today, new advances being made with prenatal genetic testing aren’t for the benefit of the family, but for the destruction of the pre-born child within the mother. The ability to diagnose diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, and others while the child is still in the womb means a greater chance a woman will be encouraged and pressured to abort, thus limiting that child’s “burden” on society.

It is shocking what you find if you Google search the phrase “cost benefit analysis of prenatal testing” and read the medical journal articles (especially those coming out of Europe on this issue).

Now that Obamacare has passed, will prenatal genetic tests eventually move from being voluntary to mandatory, in the name of cost-savings? Down the road, will abortions be encouraged by the state or even forced on those children who will have special needs or will need life-long medical care?

Further, what will happen to children to who are born with costly diseases? Will they receive the best medical care or just enough to “make them comfortable?” Today, in America, this rationing is already happening to many babies born with Trisomy 18 and 13, as parents have gone on the record proving medical doctors told them they had to think about “resources” when making the decision as to how to treat their children. Thankfully, the cases today aren’t uniform but the misjudgment of one or two doctors. What will happen if people like Dr. Emanuel are writing the guidelines of care for all doctors?

Let me offer some additional observations.

Obamacare as depicted above is a cost-benefit application of Darwin’s survival of the fittest, but one imposed by the socialist state. This is not much different than Hilter’s Darwinian-based eugenic program to create a superior Aryan race. The difference is not in principle but rather one of goal. Unlike Hitler, the goal of the socialist Left may not be creating the perfect race. Their goal may be more practical: Forcing on America one world socialism–their version of perfect economics and governance.

Now, that the courts and Left have declared abortion is a Constitutional right with many true believers, the Left funded by those like billionaire Soros and led by Pelosi, Reed, and Obama are seeking to further the original agenda of creating the Great Society by bankrupting the nation while promising to decrease the budget at the great expense of more innocent lives. (Remember, the reason for the Great Recession was over-indebtedness.)

The loud proponents of anti-discrimination it turns out are the most hideous of discriminators. They obstruct the right to life because they are fully prejudiced against any who they deem unworthy of it. Just as the CIA has been used to destroy uncooperative regimes, the Left uses courts and deceit to convince the masses that killing the unwanted is a right to the good life. Irresponsibility, immorality and killing is part of the Left’s definition of freedom. Freedom has thus been perverted for the benefit of killing those who may cost the socialist state too much money.

Yet, no one seems to question whether the genetic diseases of those like Hawkin’s son, Gunner, who will be discriminated against are preventable. That is, are they merely the result of genetic accidents or are they induced by a polluted environment, contaminated food, stress resulting from an unjust political economy, or other factors?
If the later, one solution maybe be in public policy that is based on a holistic view of the common good for all citizens rather than imposing ideological party or special interest agendas though piecemeal problem solving policies.

Obama’s State of the Union Address: Economic Plans Only Problem Causers Believe In

Last Tuesday, Obama presented his “let’s get the party agenda done” speech. Like his campaign rhetoric, it was long on feel good sales hype and short real substance.

While blaming all of the nation’s economic woes on Wall Street, he proclaimed our economic salvation is to be found in spending more money. The core of his spending plan was focused on three areas: The first is developing clean energy because it will save us from the impending catastrophe of climate change. The second is spending more money on health care because it will supposedly save us all money. The third is spending more money on education so that the next generation will be able to afford more loans in the global economy. Before Obama can increase spending on those three areas, money must be spent on getting banks to lend more money because credit (meaning more debt) is the lifeblood of the American [corporate] economy.

Ramussen recently published the results of its national survey of American opinions about government spending and the economy. The results make it clear that Obama and congressional Democrats are out of touch with the nation, which is to say Obama only hears the cheering choir of the elite liberal and socialist Left.

About 53 percent of Americans told Ramussen reduced government spending would help the economy. Sixty-one percent (61%) said cutting taxes is a better way of helping the economy than increased spending. One of Obama’s save the nation initiatives, heath care reform, is opposed by 61 percent of the nation. Americans want it dropped. Apparently, American fail to believe the presidential sales hype that health care reform will save money or do much to create good paying jobs.

Will Obama’s federal spending freeze help the economy? If temporarily halting the rate of spending 17 percent after increasing it by 20 percent in a single year, then yes it will help. Financial advisors like John Mauldin also say such a gesture is laughable. It’s laughable because the freeze covers only a small part of the federal budget and consequently maintains the 20 percent increase in discretionary, social security, military, stimulus, health care spending, according to the Independent Institute.

Obama’s statement that he is not for big government is as laughable as the spending freeze, but his placing the sole blame for the economic crisis on Wall Street and banks is not.

Remember, the economic crisis began with the collapse of the housing market. The mortgage industry bubble burst because Washington lawmakers made it possible for cheap loans to unqualified buyers continued unabated. Big banks held very large portfolios in those types of loans. We should not forget that the SEC is the federal regulator of Wall Street as Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve is of the banking system. The Bush administration appealed to the various oversight committee of Congress to correct the mortgage problems evident at Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the Democrats refused, and it gets even better. The legal counsel of ACORN who was the main player in forcing banks to lend to the unqualified home buyers was none other than Barak Obama, whose Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a federal reserve insider, a previous Fannie Mae executive, and a reputed bailout king of Wall Street. It is Obama who selected Geithner and fought for Bernanke’s return the Fed to continue wrecking our national economy. As the old saying goes, point one finger and three are pointing back at you, Mr. Obama.

In a May 2009 article, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland points out the practices of the Federal Reserve that produced the housing bubble and financial industry meltdown. To soothe Wall Street jitters after 9/11, the Federal Reserve lowered the federal fund rate, printed huge sums of new money, flooded the credit market making easy loans the norm, which led to overly inflated housing values, inflated costs of consumer goods, and decreased spending.

Those are a few likely reasons why 72 percent of Americans surveyed by Ramussen expect Obama and congressional Democrats to increase spending and the national debt. In other words, most Americans realize elected and unelected bureaucrats are expected to continue the same policies of spending our way out of debt. Those who have suffered bankruptcy know it will not work.

Okay, but, what about energy and education? Surely, spending more on developing new forms of energy and related technologies as well as improving education will surely create more jobs. According to the Ramussen survey, about 60 percent of Americans believe government spending less will result in the creation of more jobs.

The issue is who should pay for the development and marketing of new energy and related technologies? Loaning taxpayer money to businesses developing new types of energy or new related technologies would benefit society. However, investors and banks exist for that purpose–not government. Increasing taxes or taxpayer debt to spur profitable businesses is a misuse of taxpayer money. Let the private sector invest in and profit from new forms of energy and related technologies. That is how capitalism works. Government’s job is to ensure it benefits all citizens, consumers, groups, industries, businesses, and employees.

Obama’s rhetoric about spending more taxpayer dollars to make all of America’s children globally competitive is the same old sales baloney regurgitated since the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The poor still are dropping out of school in alarming numbers, students still to not do as well as others in the world, the gaps between poor and non-poor student still (and is not actually expected to cease to) exist, and more money is being spent to solve the problem they do not solve. Why spend more on failed policy and practice? In her book Dependent on DC, Economic professor and lawyer Charolette Twight explains how ESEA spending was never meant to solve the problems of education. The purpose of ESEA (now, NCLB) is to expand federal power over state and local education. Federal spending on education means more dependency of local school for funding on unaccountable elites in Washington D.C.

Transparency in the Health Care Reform Debate

By Rep. Steve Austria

House and Senate Democratic leadership continue to negotiate health care reform in an attempt to reconcile the differences between the house-passed and senate-passed versions. Recently, the President of C-SPAN, Brian Lamb, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders requesting that they be allowed to televise the current negotiations, which will decide the ultimate fate of the legislation. House and Senate Democratic leadership largely denied the request.

The potential passage of health care reform has widespread implications for all Americans and it is imperative that these negotiations are not done behind closed doors. The American people and Members of Congress need to have access to the talks so they can adequately evaluate the merits of the bill.