Friday, March 24, 2017

Suicidal Herd Mentality

The first mistake was to insist that Obamacare be repealed and replaced immediately. This prompted Paul Ryan to lift most of Obamacare into RyanCare.  Repealing Obamacare should free consumers and insurance companies and providers to get rid of the Obamacare straightjacket and return to healthcare as it was in 2008, before Obamacare.

 

The cry for all Republicans to vote for the RyanCare Bill is suicidal.  If the votes are not there, the RyanCare Bill should be abandoned.  It is complicated and has too many moving parts.  It isn’t clear why the Senate couldn’t use the nuclear option on a simple Obamacare “repeal” Bill.

 

Trump should have warned voters how messy this could get.

 

Trying to begin the repeal/replace process using “Reconciliation” to get it passed in the Senate with 51 votes makes no sense if the Senate could use the nuclear option.

 

Medicare reform is included in RyanCare, but we don’t know what changes.

 

RyanCare includes a provision for States to receive $15 billion to pay for patient’s medical bills.

 

Mental health funding is in question, but should be an option to pick and should have its own limits imposed by insurance companies, like a mental health lifetime max.

 

The 30% penalty insurance companies would charge for pre-existing conditions is in RyanCare.

 

Reducing malpractice cost is its own battle and should be in a separate bill.  The facts need to be laid out, so that voters know what is at stake. The first option is to ban civil malpractice suits and let the medical associations handle cases. This would be a battle between lawyers and consumers.  RyanCare doesn’t address this.

 

Resistance to RyanCare will not dissuade the House from passing tax reform.



Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Letting Obamacare Crash

There are lots of things wrong with RyanCare. 

 

It continues to subsidize healthcare for illegals and refugees and it isn’t clear that insurance companies will be able to offer low cost cafeteria type policies if it passes. It would not decrease the cost of healthcare. It would simply transfer the cost shifting for the sick and poor from the consumer to the federal government.

 

The opponents of RyanCare are correct. If it passes, it could be the basis of permanent federal law with all of its flaws and costs.  Opponents won the amendment to remove Obamacare mandated coverage.  Now they want to allow insurance companies to impose lifetime caps and raise prices based on usage and reform tort law to reduce malpractice lawsuit costs.   

 

The US House should take the current RyanCare Bill to the floor for amendments to see if they can make it worth passing.

 

If the US House cannot pass anything, it could send the old Repeal Bill to the Senate to use the nuclear option to pass it with 51 votes. 

 

If Congress fails to pass anything, they could also just let Obamacare fall apart as more insurance companies back out.

 

The cleanest approach would be to simply repeal Obamacare in its entirety to remove future challenges to future changes.  Then a simple bill allowing insurance to sell across State lines could follow.  It should also include health savings accounts. This would allow consumers to take control.  This approach would remove the “supreme power” Tom Price at HHS currently has under Obamacare.

 

There is no reason for Congress to retain any aspects of Obamacare.  A simple “repeal” should bring us back to what we had before Obamacare.  There is no reason to believe that voters want to keep Obamacare.

 

The federal government needs to remove itself from healthcare completely. Moving it to the States is a start, but States should also get out of the healthcare business as soon as possible.

 

Many physicians have decided that insurance has no future in funding healthcare.  If providers can handle the finances involved, they should be able to do it. 

 

If we see a significant decline in healthcare product advertising on TV, we will know that costs are being reduced and this scam is coming to an end.

 

The US GDP for 2016 was $18.56 trillion and healthcare is 17% of US GDP, so we are spending $3.16 trillion a year on healthcare.  That is double what it should be.

 


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

The GOP divide

The Republican Party is divided between the True Conservatives and the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

 

The True Conservatives are originalists in their view of the US Constitution (as written). They are convinced that true free market economics must be returned to the US. We would be happy to make the federal government 100% compliant with the US Constitution (as written). The RINOs think we’re crazy.

 

The RINOs campaign like conservatives, but they vote like Democrats. They are masked as the “go along to get along” crowd, but are in the tank for special interest campaign contributions and are susceptible to threats from radical special interests.  They jealously guard their turf and will turn on to destroy all challengers, especially True Conservatives.

 

When the Tea Party movement surged in 2010, we were a threat to the RINOs.  We saw an immediate reaction as the RINOs attacked the Tea Partiers.  This was followed by the IRS attacking the Tea Partiers.  It’s a turf war, but it is based on specific beliefs.

 

RINOs believe that socialism is too embedded in the American character to extract it and they feel they are better off to tolerate it; even though it continues to creep and damage the US economy. They also didn’t mind the global warming hoax, UN abuse and bad trade deals.  I think they are territorial but spineless.

 

The True Conservatives believe that socialism, if not reversed, will consume the US and result in sovereign bankruptcy.  The facts are on the side of the true conservatives.

 

With respect to the RyanCare Bill, True Conservatives oppose using tax dollars to subsidize insurance companies. That would be the “advanced tax credits” that the government would pay to health insurance companies as subsidies for big healthcare spenders.  We believe that the healthcare industry needs to lower their costs and won’t do this unless federal tax dollar subsidies are planned to be reduced.

 

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader


RyanCare includes Subsidies for Illegals

Obamacare 2.0: Paul Ryan’s ACA Replacement Does Not Remove Subsidies for Illegal Immigrant Healthcare, by Heidi Hecht, 3/23/17

A last-minute amendment to Paul Ryan’s proposed replacement for Obamacare could leave taxpayers on the hook for health care provided to illegal aliens. Conservatives who have kept track of proceedings related to Republican attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are now asking voters to contact members of Congress to ask them to oppose specific changes outlined in a document titled “Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Repeal and Replace of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” as soon as possible to make sure that this and any other potentially harmful amendments to the replacement bill do not pass.

Paul Ryan’s ACA Replacement Does Not Remove Subsidies for Illegal Immigrant Healthcare If the bill passes, Forbes estimates that taxpayers could be forced to continue paying as much as $6.5 billion dollars per year to support heath care costs for illegal immigrants. Not even Forbes was able to track the entire amount, though, because sanctuary cities that protect illegals refuse to release the data on how much money is being used for this purpose.

Conservatives observers give credit to Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) for revealing this harmful amendment as she says that as many as 500,000 illegal immigrants have received Obamacare subsidies and passed the bill to American taxpayers.

This bill also fails to scuttle other harmful components of Obamacare such as a refusal to allow health insurance companies to compete across state lines, which limits the amount of choices that consumers in each state have when shopping for health insurance. This creates effective insurance oligarchies in each state that can set both health insurance premiums and deductible higher than they would have been otherwise.

The bill also fails to address concerns about “death panels” that can ration health care coverage to the detriment of the elderly and individuals with chronic and serious illnesses.

Some physicians are taking the reins and choosing to ditch insurance altogether. This includes a group of doctors in Maine who hope to replace monthly insurance premiums with a monthly subscription to their respective clinics. The benefits of a monthly subscription include a predictable income for doctors who worry that their patients might skip a checkup because they can’t afford the copay.

With a plan like this, no one needs to worry that a claim will be rejected because a clerk mistakenly entered the wrong code when filing the claim. Patients also say that the cost per person – which can run as low as $50 a month – actually saves them money compared to what they would have paid with an Obamacare plan. Some physicians that offer a monthly subscription plan will even go out of their way to find specialists that will accept cash when they need to refer a patient.

However, there is continued concern among patients who rely on insurance to help with health care costs. They worry that Obamacare will not be fully repealed, leaving regulations that could force taxpayers to foot the bill for illegal immigrants and hope that “death panels” won’t ration treatments that they need to manage serious chronic illnesses. A monthly clinic subscription could catch on as a concept, but only if government regulators and Obamacare supporters get out of the way and make such a thing the most cost-effective option for both clinics and patients.

If Paul Ryan’s team has its way, this bill could face a full vote as early as the afternoon of March 23. If the bill fails to pass, Congress will be forced to return to the drawing board to replace Obamacare, so anyone who wishes to contact their Senator or Representative on this matter should not waste any time calling or emailing them on this matter.




Refugee Count at 38.453

Here we go again, refugee numbers jump, 342 since Wednesday, by Ann Corcoran 3/24/17

As we have said repeatedly, and most recently here, the Hawaiian judge did not have the power to slow the flow of refugees entering the US, nor did he have any power to set the ceiling.   That said, a week after the 120-day slowdown was  to go in to effect, the numbers entering the US picked up dramatically since we reported 38,111 as of Wednesday (for FY17).

Who is calling the shots on refugee admissions? Career bureaucrats or Sec. of State Tillerson? Either way, why the big jump in admissions over last two days? And, what is taking Trump so long to choose Asst. Sec. to oversee refugee program?

Today data at Wrapsnet indicates that another 342 refugees arrived in the US in the last 48 hours.  We are now at 38,453!

If the US Department of State had been preparing for a 120-day pause to begin on March 16th, how is it that this large number of refugees was ready to board planes?  Is there anyone in charge (other than the career people) at the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration? Are they still calling all the shots?  Or, is it possible that the White House isn’t willing to fight on this portion of the EO (assuming we wouldn’t notice)?

The top five nationalities among the 342 newly arrived are as follows:
Syria (55 and 51 of those were Muslims)
Somalia (50 and all are Muslims)
Burma (44 and a surprisingly high number of those—17—are Muslims)
Iraq (41 and 32 are Muslims)
Ukraine (32 and zero Muslims)

The top five states receiving Syrians over the last two days are: Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho and Ohio.

The top five states receiving Somalis since Wednesday are: Massachusetts, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, and New York.

This post is filed in our Trump Watch! category as well as ‘refugee statistics’ and ‘where to find information.’



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Obamacare Repeal Problems

A full repeal of Obamacare would completely remove all of its components including subsidies. Declaring these subsidies as a “new entitlement” that cannot be taken away is a bad decision.  Obamacare didn’t work and all of it should be repealed.

 

Healthcare costs are too high precisely because of excessive federal subsidies and they won’t be reduced until federal subsidies are announced to decline over time.

 

The question is: can ObamaCare be “defanged” and then repealed after healthcare costs are reduced enough to allow normal Americans the chance to purchase their own “affordable” health insurance.

 

Adding an amendment that would allow health insurance companies to ignore the required coverages in ObamaCare should be added to the RyanCare Bill.

 

Knowing that excessive federal subsidies are the reason why healthcare is so expensive, the Freedom Caucus is refusing to add subsidies to the current Bill. This bill is not a full Repeal Bill, but it is a bill that moves subsidies from being consumer paid to subsidies that are tax dollar paid. It also removes the taxes, fines and many job-killing rules.

 

Trump must believe that Ryan’s 3 Step process will work and that healthcare costs will actually be reduced in Steps 2 and 3. The Freedom Caucus has never seen a 3 Step process ever work in Congress and they are raising flags.

 

Trump is a realist and knows that there will be a battle over Steps 2 and 3, but AI don’t believe Trump will give up like Reagan did on the amnesty and the wall.  The lawyers will scream if Congress tries to pare back malpractice costs that are tied to defensive medicine.  The Democrats will scream every step of the way because they are committed to advancing the socialist policies that created the problem in the first place.

 

Trump also knows how unconstitutional 80% of Congress is and knows that most Republicans vote like Democrats. But Trump is proceeding in a 100% Constitutional fashion by letting the Congress handle legislation. Trump is supporting the Ryan plan so that tax cuts can proceed.

 

The restoration of the US private sector market economy requires that we start electing members of Congress based on their support of the US Constitution (as written), their zeal to shrink the federal government and their devotion to restoring the free market economy.

 

I must conclude that Trump believes that the 3 Step process will work and the completion of Step 1 must come before tax cuts.  I don’t believe that Trump will abandon any of his promises and will continue to make remarkable progress on all of them in a short amount of time.

 

Trump appears to have the heart of a boxer and enjoys boxing 15 rounds.  His experience as a developer has increased his stamina as he endured daily problems with permits, sellers, funding, unions and a myriad of obstacles as he transformed properties with potential into more valuable venues. I expect he will succeed in attaining his goal to restore the US economy.

 

Trump understands that reducing immigration in all of its forms is necessary to restore the US to “full employment” by increasing jobs and decreasing foreign job seekers for all except the best H1b Engineers and H2a Seasonal Workers we can find. He will secure the border, deport illegal criminals and put the rest of the illegals at the end of the line for citizenship.

 

Trump refuses to touch welfare and prefers to lift the unemployed to become employed and lift themselves above welfare eligibility limits. This is consistent with his approach to replacing ObamaCare. He wants ObamaCare consumers to migrate to more affordable coverage.

 

Trump’s gentle approach to all of these issues can be disconcerting to conservatives like me.  I would remove illegals and refugees from welfare to encourage them to go home.  I would ban Sharia Law from replacing US Law. I would quit the UN to punish them for the global warming hoax and UN Agenda 21.  I would not bail out the health insurance companies who got us in this mess.

 

I must defer to Trump’s judgement on his support of the 3 Step repeal and replacement plan. I encourage you to do the same.

 


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Ryan Bill Options

From: Mike Lee <info@leeforsenate.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Subject: Go Small or Go Big!
To: conradquag@gmail.com

<http://email.sermodigital.com/ct/41281876:sXZjH5l_N:m:1:1531169179:BCF3CB1DD8FCED9091D30ECE3498232A:r>

<http://email.sermodigital.com/ct/41281877:sXZjH5l_N:m:1:1531169179:BCF3CB1DD8FCED9091D30ECE3498232A:r>
Conrad;

I wanted to give you a quick update on the effort to repeal Obamacare. Unfortunately, the news I have isn’t good.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news you will know that one of the first things Republicans in Congress did this year was pass a bill that would set the wheels in motion to repeal Obamacare through the budget reconciliation process.

In 2015 Republicans had successfully passed a bill that would repeal most of Obamacare, but President Obama vetoed this bill. After promising for years to repeal Obamacare, Republicans in Congress and Americans across the country rightfully believed after the 2016 election that they would finally get relief from the onerous burdens of Obamacare.

We expected President Obama and his supporters to organize in defense of Obamacare, and they have.

I also wasn’t surprised when Republicans in Congress stepped in with a plan that would repeal less of Obamacare than the 2015 bill and replace it with something worse.

What I didn’t expect was for some of those who have been fighting to repeal this bill to settle for something far less than full repeal.

The good news is that the current Obamacare replacement plan doesn’t have enough support in the Senate to pass. I have been one of the senators leading the fight against it.

While I generally believe the intentions of my fellow Republicans are good, I know we can do better. And I know the American people expect more.

So right now when it comes to repealing Obamacare we have two choices: Go Small or Go Big!

<http://email.sermodigital.com/ct/41281877:sXZjH5l_N:m:1:1531169179:BCF3CB1DD8FCED9091D30ECE3498232A:r>

Now both of these options will be better than leaving Obamacare intact. Both of these options will also be better than passing the current replacement bill.

Let me explain.

If we go small, that means we simply repeal Obamacare. We pass an updated, more aggressive version of the 2015 repeal bill that every Republican has already voted for.

Despite the hysteria coming from the Obamacare supporters, no one will immediately lose their coverage if we pass this bill. The 2015 repeal bill creates a two-year window for Congress, the states, insurance companies, the medical industry, the American people, and their doctors to come up
with solutions that finally give the American people the healthcare system they deserve.

The “go small” approach will require putting extra faith in the American people that they can solve these problems without heavy-handed intervention from Washington.

I have faith in the American people, and I would be satisfied with this approach.

Now, if Republicans in Washington decide that the problems plaguing our healthcare system are so big and complicated, that we need a revolutionary change to the system driven by federal legislation, then we should go big.

This approach would require a different kind of faith – a faith in our conservative principles. I am equally confident that this approach would work if we would go all in and replace the current healthcare system run from Washington with a system fueled by consumer choice, competition, and
innovation.

While I think either of these approaches would be an acceptable way to keep our promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare, I am certain that the current Obamacare replacement is a missed opportunity and a step in the wrong direction.

I plan to continue to fight to repeal Obamacare. It is worth taking our time and doing this right.

Because, we can’t afford to lose the trust of the American people right now. When the Democrats ignored the American people and voted for Obamacare, their agenda became dead in the water.

We have too much work to do ahead of us to squander this opportunity. There has never been a more important time to engage in this fight.

Supporters of Obamacare are rallying behind this failed healthcare law – not because premiums or deductibles have finally started getting smaller, nor because insurance companies have stopped fleeing the exchanges, nor because Americans suddenly began enjoying being penalized for being forced to buy something they can’t afford.

No. Obamacare supporters are mobilizing because they sense for the first time that we are on the verge of succeeding in repealing this disastrous law.

So add your name to the list of Americans who are not going to give up when we are so close to winning.

<http://email.sermodigital.com/ct/41281877:sXZjH5l_N:m:1:1531169179:BCF3CB1DD8FCED9091D30ECE3498232A:r>

I will keep you updated on how this all unfolds, and I need you to help me get this message across.


Best, Mike Lee, Utah Senator

Healthcare Cost History

Healthcare for serious illness is unsustainably overpriced and underperforming.  We’ve spent $trillions on healthcare since 1965 and have little to show for it.  The idiocy of ObamaCare destroyed healthcare in the US and now it’s time to look at what got us here. There is ample evidence that federal subsidies for healthcare have cause the destruction of healthcare in the US.

 

Prior to 1965, hospital room and board charges were $24 per day and test and treatment costs were modest. Major Medical insurance was $100 per year. The cost of delivering a baby was $600.

 

Healthcare cost inflation began in the 1960s in a perfect storm that included the Vatican Council in 1962 that regrettably inspired “Liberation Theology”, “Social Justice” and a myriad of liberal causes in the Catholic Church.  Many hospitals were owned and run by Catholic Nuns, but that was soon to change.   In 1965, Medicare and Medicaid were passed to give government healthcare subsidies to retirees and the poor. This inspired a rapid increase in hospital costs.

 

In the 1970s, more federal dollars poured into healthcare with strained promises of new cures for cancer and heart disease.  Medical specialties had been established and very expensive specialized hospital test equipment was added. The Nuns were selling their hospitals to “Accountants” and room and board charges moved to $100 per day, test and treatment costs had also quadrupled.

 

In the 1980s, the notion that “everyone”, including illegal aliens should be treated at hospitals regardless of their ability to pay for this treatment was implemented. States closed their public health facilities and mental hospitals. Counties began to close their county hospitals that had been used to treat the “poor”. Cost shifting to paying hospital customers began to rise with the influx of illegal aliens.

 

In the 1990s, health insurance costs were still low at about $150 per month for family coverage. Employers were moving from paying 90% of this premium to 70% of the employee premium to shift the cost to employees. Deductibles were still $100 per person.

 

By 2000, household income flattened as wage increases declined.  Excessive immigration and open borders caused US citizen work participation to decline and interest rates were reduced, while home prices soared. The 2008 Mortgage Security Meltdown scam exploded and the US economy went in the tank, but healthcare costs continued to rise.

 

In 2009, ObamaCare passed and everything was about to change. Health Insurance became mandatory and costs increased by $2500 per year for families and deductibles began to rise. Cost shifting was now imposed on consumers to pay all the costs of care for the sick and the poor.  Premiums rose for families to $6000 a year with $4000 deductibles.

 

Now in 2017 we are looking at the result of decades of reckless and costly government actions that prompted scams by those who could benefit from these actions.

 

It is no surprise that “healthcare” is not one of the “enumerated powers” given to the federal government. By ignoring the US Constitution, this unconstitutional involvement in healthcare by the federal government has resulted in pricing the healthcare industry out of business.

 

The solution is to let the air out of this bubble gradually. Congress could announce a 10 year plan to defund federal healthcare subsidies by 10% per year beginning in 2018. Costs will not decline until this is done.

 

This is not a life or death problem.  There is no reason for everyone to have health insurance.  50% of the US population is healthy and spends an average of $274 per year on healthcare.  The availability of healthcare savings accounts will give self-reliant, responsible folks who can afford it to contribute to these accounts to pay for their own healthcare needs.

 

Involving the States is currently in place with Medicaid and federal subsidies should be reduced by 10% per year along with Medicare.  Patients need to be given the charges for hospital services, so they can compare these with home-care options. Patients need the right to shop around for the best value to avoid overcharging scams.

 

Those who prey on patients, doctors and hospitals should be restrained.  Malpractice lawsuits should be discouraged or eliminated; this should remove “defensive medicine” costs to be reduced.  Insurance companies should be ready to price catastrophic major medical coverage for medically necessary items that rescue and restore patients.

 

Employers should look at self-insuring by adopting medical trusts and purchasing reinsurance and hiring a third-party administrator to process claims for their employees. This delivers a 30% savings to employers who are large enough to have their own medical insurance plans. Employers should also look at giving employees a 25% match to their healthcare savings accounts.

 

Counties should revisit their needs and partner with low cost clinics to serve the poor by providing facilities that can be used by low cost or free clinics.  There will be millions of poor folks who will not buy any health insurance at all.  Providers and hospitals should be free to turn them away unless they can pay their bills eventually.  Providers may, as they have done in the past, volunteer to work in free clinics.

 

Patients need to take control of their own preventive healthcare strategies and be wary of the current medical business model that overcharges for expensive treatments that don’t work. Patients should make sure that they are getting 100% of their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium. Patients should avoid going on “fishing trips” to see if they “have anything”. These tests are expensive and unnecessary unless your symptoms are debilitating. Patients need to know that pain can be caused by inflammation. If the inflammation is caused by bacteria rather than pulling a muscle or tendon, anti-biotics can relieve bacterial inflammation. Patients need to know that diabetes II is curable if you lose weight.

 

Healthcare hasn’t really changed; it has always been a “trial and error” business.  Physicians need to do a better job diagnosing illnesses with less expensive testing, a lost art, to avoid sending patients through $20,000 worth of testing and still not finding out what is wrong with them. Another “buck-burner” is post-op infections; these are all too common.

 

Taxpayers should be able to deduct all IRS 502 medical expenses on Schedule A of form 1040 without subtracting 10% of their income. Patients should use this deduction to give them an incentive to do smart things that are not “medically necessary” and therefore not covered by insurance.

 

In the end, what we need is for healthcare costs to go down at least to their pre-Obamacare levels for the 50% healthy patients.  

 


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader