Obama: ‘Procedural’ Spat Over Health Bill Vote Doesn’t Worry Me

Obama: ‘Procedural’ Spat Over Health Bill Vote Doesn’t Worry Me

 

President Obama is not worried about the “procedural” debate over whether House Democratic leaders should go ahead with a plan to approve health care reform without a traditional vote, he told Fox News on Wednesday. 

President Obama is not worried — and doesn’t think Americans should worry — about the “procedural” debate over whether House Democratic leaders should go ahead with a plan to approve health care reform without a traditional vote, he told Fox News on Wednesday. 

The president, in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, responded for the first time to the controversy over a plan to use a parliamentary maneuver to allow the House to pass the Senate’s health care bill without forcing members to vote for it directly.

The esoteric procedure has drawn fierce protest from Republicans, who say Democrats are trying to avoid accountability. But the president said there will be no doubt about where lawmakers stand on health care reform. 

“I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate,” Obama said. “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise. And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo. 

“So Washington gets very concerned with these procedures in Congress, whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats are in charge,” he said. 

Indeed, House lawmakers would be going on record for health care reform. But they wouldn’t be casting a vote for the Senate bill alone. 

Instead, under a process called a “self-executing rule,” the House could simultaneously approve the Senate bill while voting on a package of changes to it. This would “deem” the Senate bill to be passed, without compelling members to vote for it directly. 

Democratic leaders are considering the option because many House Democrats don’t want to cast a vote in favor of the unaltered Senate bill, which they oppose for numerous reasons. But the House must pass the Senate bill in order to move on to the package of changes intended to correct all the things about it that they don’t like. 

The tactic would allow members to temporarily accept the Senate version while keeping it at arm’s length.

Obama brushed off concerns about the special deals that helped get the Senate bill passed. 

“By the time the vote has taken place, not only I will know what’s in it, you’ll know what’s in it because it’s going to be posted and everybody’s going to be able to evaluate it on the merits,” he said.

Obama said the the debate over the deals “ends up being a little frustrating is because the focus entirely is on Washington process.”

Throughout the interview, the president repeatedly deflected questions about process.

Asked to respond to a viewer’s e-mail question about why he has to “bribe Congress to pass it,” Obama said, “I’ve got the same exact e-mails that I could show you that talk about why haven’t we done something to make sure that I, a small business person, am getting as good a deal as members of Congress are getting, and don’t have my insurance rates jacked up 40 percent?”

Obama later added, “I’ve got to say to you, there are a lot more people who are concerned about the fact that they may be losing their house or going bankrupt because of health care.”

Obama expressed confidence that the health care bill will pass.

“And the reason I’m confident that it’s going to pass is because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

“And yes, I have said that this is an ugly process,” he said. “It was ugly when Republicans were in charge. It was ugly when Democrats were in charge.”

 Video 1

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4113350/fox-news-exclusive-president-obama/?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a16:g2:r5:c0.037577:b31982604:z6

Video2

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4113349/fnc-exclusive-president-obama?category_id=86918

Idaho first to sign law aimed at health care plan

Idaho first to sign law aimed at health care plan

By JOHN MILLER (AP) – 2 hours ago

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho took the lead in a growing, nationwide fight against health care overhaul Wednesday when its governor became the first to sign a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government if residents are forced to buy health insurance.

Similar legislation is pending in 37 other states.

Constitutional law experts say the movement is mostly symbolic because federal laws supersede those of the states.

But the state measures reflect a growing frustration with President President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. The proposal would cover some 30 million uninsured people, end insurance practices such as denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, require almost all Americans to get coverage by law, and try to slow the cost of medical care nationwide.

Democratic leaders hope to vote on it this weekend.

With Washington closing in on a deal in the months-long battle over health care overhaul, Republican state lawmakers opposed to the measure are stepping up opposition.

Otter, a Republican, said he believes any future lawsuit from Idaho has a legitimate shot of winning, despite what the naysayers say.

“The ivory tower folks will tell you, ‘No, they’re not going anywhere,’ ” he told reporters. “But I’ll tell you what, you get 36 states, that’s a critical mass. That’s a constitutional mass.”

Last week, Virginia legislators passed a measure similar to Idaho’s new law, but Otter was the first state chief executive to sign such a bill, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which created model legislation for Idaho and other states. The Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit group promotes limited government.

“Congress is planning to force an unconstitutional mandate on the states,” said Herrera, the group’s health task force director.

Otter already warned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in December that Idaho was considering litigation. He signed the bill during his first public ceremony of the 2010 Legislature.

“What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control,” Otter said.

Minority Democrats in Idaho who opposed the bill called the lawsuits frivolous.

Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, also complained about the bill’s possible price tag. Those who drafted the new law say enforcement may require an additional Idaho deputy attorney general with an annual salary of $100,000 a year.

Kelly said that was irresponsible when Idaho is grappling with a $200 million budget hole.

“For Democrats in the Legislature, our priority is jobs,” she said. “We’d rather Gov. Otter was holding a signing ceremony for (a jobs package) meant to put Idaho residents back to work.”

Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16

Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16

By Janet I. Tu

Seattle Times staff reporter

Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won’t take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement.

The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients.

In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a “continued reduction in reimbursement” under the state’s Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents.

Walgreens follows Bartell Drugs, which stopped taking new Medicaid patients last month at all 57 of its stores in Washington, though it still fills Medicaid prescriptions for existing customers at all but 15 of those stores.

Doug Porter, the state’s director of Medicaid, said Medicaid recipients should be able to readily find another pharmacy because “we have many more pharmacy providers in our network than we need” for the state’s 1 million Medicaid clients.

He said those who can’t can contact the state’s Medical Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-562-3022 for help in locating one.

Along with Walgreens and Bartell, the Ritzville Drug Company in Adams County announced in November that it would stop participating in Medicaid.

Fred Meyer and Safeway said their pharmacies would continue to serve existing Medicaid patients and to take new ones, though both expressed concern that the reimbursement rate is too low for pharmacies to make a profit.

The amount private insurers and Medicaid pay pharmacies for prescriptions isn’t the actual cost of those drugs but rather is based on what’s called the drug’s estimated average wholesale price. But that figure is more like the sticker price on a car than its actual wholesale cost.

Washington was reimbursing pharmacies 86 percent of a drug’s average wholesale price until July, when it began paying them just 84 percent. Pharmacies weren’t happy about that.

Then in September came another blow. The average wholesale price is calculated by a private company, which was accused in a Massachusetts lawsuit of fraudulently inflating its figures. The company did not admit wrongdoing but agreed in a court settlement to ratchet its figures down by about 4 percent.

That agreement took effect in September — and prompted a lawsuit by a group of pharmacies and trade associations that said Washington state didn’t follow federal law in setting its reimbursement rate, and that that rate is too low. The lawsuit is pending.

“Washington state Medicaid is now reimbursing pharmacies less than their cost of participation,” said Jeff Rochon, CEO of the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Pharmacies that continue to fill Medicaid prescriptions at the current state reimbursement rate are “at risk of putting themselves out of business altogether,” he said.

Information from Seattle Times archives was used in this report.

America’s Political Crisis

America’s Political Crisis

By Deborah B. Sloan

It seems that every other day, one hears of another “crisis” that must be dealt with immediately — by government expansion. Examples include everything from swine flu to global warming to the rising cost of health care. We are warned that we need the government to protect us. We are asked to sacrifice. We are told that there is no time to think, and we must act immediately — Washington will do the thinking for us. 
The American people instinctively sense that there is something terrible happening, something that is antithetical to the indomitable spirit of benevolence, self-reliance, independence, and freedom that has characterized our nation from its beginning. Our government has been hijacked by collectivist radicals whose every act is designed to expand their power and chip away at our freedom. One never knows what new government fiat may emerge on any given day, what its effects will be, and whose lives will be damaged for the benefit of what purportedly needy segment of the population. This is the nature of the real crisis. 
In order to solve a problem, one must not merely define its practical manifestations, but determine its root cause. It is critical to determine the fundamental issue that makes all our current absurdities and injustices possible. Then we will know how to eradicate the hijackers and rescue our great nation from the precipice of an irrevocable disaster.
The essence of what has made this country great is the notion that each individual owns his own life, that every moment of that life is infinitely valuable and irreplaceable, that his sacred moral right is the freedom to live and pursue his own happiness. Each of us has the right to work, produce, and enjoy the fruits of her own achievements, and our only obligation toward others is to allow them that same freedom. 
Does the political manifestation of this ideal (capitalism) lead to widespread abundance and prosperity, raising the standard of living for even the poorest among us? As a matter of clear historical record, yes, it certainly does. But the mistake made by proponents of freedom and capitalism is to present these effects as the essential moral purpose of a free society, which they are not. Protecting the right of each individual to exist and live as he chooses, so long as he does not infringe on the same rights of others, is the ultimate purpose and moral justification of a rational government in a free society.
When one asserts that capitalism is the best system to achieve “the common good,” one is conceding the basic premise of collectivism: that the moral purpose of a government is to not merely protect, but provide for its citizens. And since it produces nothing, the only way a government can distribute wealth to some citizens is by first taking that wealth by force from those who have produced it. This throws the door wide open for tyranny; if forced expropriation of private property helps to provide for the “general welfare,” then it is morally justifiable under the premises of collectivism. Maybe one can argue that capitalism works in practice — and it does — but the legitimate rights of the individual are not defensible on principle once the tenet of sacrificing the individual to the collective has been accepted as the moral yardstick against which government action should be measured. This is the root cause of our current political crisis. 
Once the legitimacy of actual, objectively definable rights has been undermined by the tenets of self-sacrifice, needs take the place of rights. The collectivists claim that it is one’s “right” to be provided with health care. But what about the rights of doctors who would be required to provide the medical treatment and the property rights of every other American who would be taxed to subsidize it? This leads to an obvious contradiction: There can be no such thing as a “right” to violate the rights of others. 
A simple test for determining if a purported “right” is legitimate is this: Does it require the compulsory, active participation of someone else? This means, does the satisfaction of this right require others not merely to refrain from interfering with someone who claims this right, but to take some positive action, such as providing goods or services? Needs cannot and must not serve as a basis for rights; one person’s need is not a legitimate claim on the life of another.
For the reasons described above, every form of welfare state is fundamentally, irreconcilably at odds with legitimate individual rights. There are two options: a free society with a strictly limited government, or a runaway state with a limitless claim on individual lives. Those who have hijacked our government know this, they have made their choice, and their constant acts of secrecy and dishonesty show that they know that their goals are indefensible. After the long and blood-curdling record of collectivist governments throughout history, one cannot give the benefit of the doubt to those who seek to impose it on the United States of America.
Productive Americans already work a significant percentage of each year just to pay their taxes. Cumulative decades are taken from our lives by force to support a massive and corrupt government. How much enjoyment and abundance could the American people achieve with all those irreplaceable years that are instead spent toiling to support the bloated pensions of public-sector union workers, the caviar on Nancy Pelosi’s military jet transport, Barack Obama’s extravagant parties in the White House, and any needy incompetent who thrusts his hand out and insists that he is entitled to be provided for? 
The cause of our nation’s peril is a vicious set of moral premises. It is on moral grounds that the battle to take it back must be fought. The upstanding, responsible citizens of America must stop yielding to intimidation by the snarling leftists who claim that they have a right to do as they wish with our earnings and lives because they claim that they want to help people. The proper answer to this is that they are free to allocate their own resources as they wish, but they have no right to ours. And when the collectivists throw out the accusation that our refusal to submit to tyranny is selfish, we must proudly proclaim that they are correct. 
It is only when we stand against the collectivists on moral grounds that we will win back our country, our freedom, and our lives. 

White House Uses Department Of Interior To Bribe Two California Congressmen For “Yes” Votes On Health Care

White House Uses Department Of Interior To Bribe Two California Congressmen For “Yes” Votes On Health Care

March 17th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Obama Ireland

National Republican Congressional Committee:

Is this Another Backroom Deal to Force Obama’s Bill Down the American People’s Throats?

As a vote approaches on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare, Code Red is now considering two supposedly “undecided” California Democrats, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, to now be “yes” votes.

The U.S. Department of Interior announced yesterday that it is increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations to support local agriculture and jobs. The region has recently been starved for water and as a result unemployment has soared. Not surprisingly, Cardoza and Costa had a hand in the announcement:

“Typically, Reclamation would release the March allocation update around March 22nd, but moved up the announcement at the urging of Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressmen Costa and Cardoza.”(“Interior Announces Increased Water Supply Allocations in California,” U.S. Department of Interior news release, 3/16/10)

Will Cardoza and Costa come clean about this apparent backroom deal for their votes?

I Don’t Spend A Lot Of Time Worrying About What The Rules Are”

“I Don’t Spend A Lot Of Time Worrying About What The Rules Are”

March 17th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Fox News:

President Obama is not worried about the “procedural” debate over whether House Democratic leaders should go ahead with a plan to approve health care reform without a traditional vote, he told Fox News on Wednesday.

The president, in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, was responding for the first time to the controversy over a plan to use a parliamentary trick to allow the House to pass the Senate’s health care bill without forcing members to vote for it directly. The esoteric procedure has drawn fierce protest from Republicans who say Democrats are trying to avoid accountability, but the president said there will be no doubt about where lawmakers stand on health care reform.

Watch the Obama interview in its entirety on Special Report Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel.

“I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate,” Obama said. “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise. And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.

“So Washington gets very concerned with these procedures in Congress, whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats are in charge,” he said.

Indeed, House lawmakers would be going on record for health care reform. But they wouldn’t be casting a vote for the Senate bill alone.

Instead, under a process called a “self-executing rule,” the House could simultaneously approve the Senate bill while voting on a package of changes to it. This would “deem” the Senate bill to be passed, without compelling members to vote for it directly.

Democratic leaders are considering the option because many House Democrats don’t want to cast a vote in favor of the unaltered Senate bill, which they oppose for numerous reasons. But the House must pass the Senate bill in order to move on to the package of changes intended to correct all the things about it that they don’t like.

The tactic would allow members to temporarily accept the Senate version while keeping it at arm’s length.

Obama Aides See ‘Extended Period’ of Unemployment

Obama Aides See ‘Extended Period’ of Unemployment

By Rebecca Christie and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg

 Obama aides foresee more unemployment

U.S. employers won’t hire enough workers this year to lower the jobless rate much below the level of 9.7 percent reached in February, three Obama administration economic officials said today.

The proportion of Americans who can’t find work is likely to “remain elevated for an extended period,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a joint statement. The officials said unemployment may even rise “slightly” over the next few months as discouraged workers start job-hunting again.

“We do not expect further declines in unemployment this year,” the officials said in testimony prepared for the House Appropriations Committee. They predicted the economy would add about 100,000 jobs a month on average — not enough to bring the jobless rate down substantially.

Today’s projections are in line with the 10 percent average unemployment forecast for this year in last month’s budget plan. Christopher Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said the administration’s language risks damping expectations for a recovery.

Read More:

Obama won’t fly the US flag in Haiti

Obama won’t fly the US flag in Haiti

March 17th, 2010

By Alan Gomez and Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

 The Cubans, French, Brits, and Croations have no problem flying their flags…

The many nations helping Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that struck there have set up their own military compounds and fly their flags at the entrances.
France’s tricolor, Britain’s Union Jack and even Croatia’s coat of arms flap in the breeze.

But the country whose contributions dwarf the rest of the world’s — the United States — has no flag at its main installation near the Port-au-Prince airport.

The lack of the Stars and Stripes does not sit well with some veterans and servicemembers who say the U.S. government should be proud to fly the flag in Haiti, given the amount of money and manpower the U.S. is donating to help the country recover from the Jan. 12 quake.

The Obama administration says flying the flag could give Haiti the wrong idea.

“We are not here as an occupation force, but as an international partner committed to supporting the government of Haiti on the road to recovery,” the U.S. government’s Haiti Joint Information Center said in response to a query about the flag.

The absence of the American flag bothers Navy veteran Arthur Herriford, national president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

“It’s very improper,” Herriford said. “Our military people always engage and function under the American colors — always have and always will.”

Read More:

National Debt Up $2 Trillion on Obama’s Watch

National Debt Up $2 Trillion on Obama’s Watch

March 17th, 2010

by Mark Knoller, CBS

 421 days, 2$ Trillion…. how much more will he spend before 2012?

The latest posting from the Treasury Department shows the National Debt has increased over $2 trillion since President Obama took office.

The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion.

President George W. Bush still holds the record for the most debt run up on his watch: $4.9 trillion. But it took him over four years to rack up the first two trillion dollars in debt. It has taken Mr. Obama 421 days.

But the Obama Administration routinely blames the Bush Administration for inheriting a budget surplus and turning it into years of record-breaking deficits and debt — and then leaving it on the doorstep of the new president.

“I walked into office facing a massive deficit, most of which was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program,” Mr. Obama said last month in a speech to corporate executives at a Business Roundtable conference.

Read More:

Our Social Security

Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this. It’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it.

Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts!!!

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary,

No longer Voluntary

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program,

Now 7.65%

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

No longer tax deductible

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

Under Johnson the money was moved to

The General Fund and Spent

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Under Clinton & Gore

Up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month –
and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put
away’ — you may be interested in the following:

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —-

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —–

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— -

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

AND MY FAVORITE:

A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65,
began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

———— — ———— ——— —– ———— ——— ———

Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so.

But it’s worth a try. How many people can YOU send this to?

Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

AND CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES 100% RETIREMENT FOR ONLY SERVING ONE TERM!!!

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

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