United States News Digest
Dirty Deals Ram Through Hitler Health Bill
Dec. 21 (EIRNS)Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Senate version of the Obama health-care travesty was rammed through in the wee hours this morning, and that there were now 60 votes to pass the bill, and defeat a GOP fillibuster. Now, more and more of the dirty details of the bill are leaking out. While claiming to clamp down on insurance companies, the Democratic bill actually permits significant price hikes, especially for older people, and the imposition of annual limits on health payouts, until 2014. In addition, it puts more cost-cutting measures in place, often sold under the title of "innovation" in billing. For example, the Democrats' own summary of the Reid Manager's amendment (which is virtually unintelligible, at over 300 pages, even though it was read on the Senate floor) includes the following: "Medicare will be able to test new models and, if successful, implement them via a strong Innovation Center, Independent Payment Advisory Board, and other authorities." In other words, new ways to cut. Some form of Independent Medicare Advisory Board (i.e., "death panel") is also included.
Reid managed to secure the 60 votes, after Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was paid off with a guarantee that the Federal government will cover all increased Medicaid costs for Nebraska.
Not surprisingly, the leading British voice in the U.S. press, the Washington Post, isn't satisfied. The Sunday editorial says that more killing will be required to make the health plan really profitable. After noting that the nation is heading for bankruptcynot due to the bailouts, but due to "rising health-care costs" and "the aging of the population"the Post praises the Senate health bill for containing "something like a medical Federal Reserve Board that would have considerable power to promote cost reductions even in the face of political pressure." However, it continues, "The medical board must be given sway over more of the health-care system than the Senate bill allows, and it must be tasked to tolerate less health-cost inflation than the bill has deemed acceptable."
The bill must still go back to the House for reconciliation, and presuming something will come out of that, must be voted on again, in both Houses of Congress.
There is only one appropriate response, and that's what LaRouche said yesterday: "Cancel that bill!"
Senator Exposes Health-Care Rationing Under Obama-Reid Bill
Dec. 21 (EIRNS)During the Senate debate on the health-care bill Dec. 18, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) exposed the rationing and cost-cutting that is part and parcel of the bill that has just passed the Senate.
Roberts presented two color charts, on of which was captioned "Here Come the Rationers," depicting some of the means by which rationing will be conducted under the Reid bill; the other was a graphic of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's "Complete Lives System," including what Roberts described as the "humpback whale" chart, which shows a sharp decline in health-care expenditures in later life. "The older you are, the more you've lived, the less you deserve health care," Roberts said in summarizing Emanuel's system. He also pointed out that this should be of interest of the Senate, since the average age of U.S. Senators is 62pretty far down on Ezekiel's chart. Roberts went on to suggest that Ezekiel should be named "the Rationing Czar" and said it's clear that Obama has been listening to him, since Obama's stated goal is to save money for the government by rationing care.
Office of Congressional Ethics Closes Murtha Inquiry
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) announced that it has closed its investigation into the relationships of Democratic Reps. John Murtha (Pa.), Norm Dicks (Wash.), and Jim Moran (Va.), to the now-defunct lobbying firm PMA Group, Roll Call reported today. The OCE also advised against an investigation into this matter by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, known as the House Ethics Committee.
The House Ethics Committee has up to 90 days to decide whether to accept the recommendation of the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE itself is a recent creation aimed to accelerate action by the Ethics Committee, in place of long-running investigations.
EIR has covered the political reasons for the targetting of FDR-style Democrat Murtha (See EIR Sept. 26, 2008).
GOP Senators Murkowski And Voinovich Will Move Against EPA
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a statement of support on Dec. 17 for Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Ak.) announcement of her intention to file a resolution of disapproval, to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act by declaring them dangerous pollutants.
Lyndon LaRouche has characterized the EPA's intent to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, as administrative fascism. It is pure "unitary executive" filth, LaRouche charged, noting that the U.S. Senate has made it clear that there is no chance of passage of any cap-and-trade law, so the Obama White House is circumventing the Congressand the Constitutionthrough executive regulatory fiat.
Sen. James Webb of Virginia has also questioned the constitutionality of an anticipated EPA move.
Voinovich said, "EPA's endangerment finding shows the Obama Administration's willingness to bypass the United States Congress ... I applaud Sen. Murkowski's disapproval resolution to stop the EPA.... The Clean Air Act was designed to address traditional, localized pollutantsnot climate change."
HHS Official: Obamacare Would Increase) Costs
Dec. 14 (EIRNS)The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that administers Medicare, in a report issued Dec. 10, said that the current version of the health-care bill in the U.S. Senate would actually raise, not cut, health-care costs for Americans. This blows away the primary stated rationale that the Obama Administration has put forward for imposing the billleaving its genocidal intent there for everyone to see, if they aren't willfully blind.
The chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of HHS, has estimated that if the Senate health-care bill became law, it would make the U.S. health-care system more expensive than if we simply did nothingundermining the primary rationale for the Nazi bill.
The CMS report concluded Americans would spend $234 billion more on health care over the next ten years than if no bill were passed at all. Under ObamaCare, health-care spending would rise to 20.9% of GDP, according to CMS, compared to 20.9% with no bill at all.
CMS, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid, also found that if the proposed cuts to hospital payment rates were imposed, medical providers would start losing money and be forced to drop Medicare. It said that 20% of providers to Medicare's hospital insurance program "would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection period." This would cut access to medical care for the nation's most vulnerable population, the poor and the elderly.