Update: Senate passes Insurance Profit Protection Act 60-39….

Update: The bribe fest is over, for now. The worst of all worlds is in this bill. HotAir has it. Per Politico we will all know wait until February for further action on this, or that could be a leak, Who the heck knows with these folks anymore? What I do know is there will be backlash and it will swell to the 10 midterm elections. Reap the whirlwind.

Democratic Senators are mugging for the camera congratulating themselves and talking about how terribly, terribly hard this was for them to accomplish.

In the immortal words of Eliza Doolittle, ‘just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins!’ Voters never forget. Especially not we bitter, clingy types.

(ps Obama just told NPR he thinks the tax on ‘Cadillac’ plans is  ‘a good idea’. Funny, he excoriated MAC for that proposal during the campaign. JUST WORDS.)

December 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes. 2 comments.

Update: Video – GOP wants gag order removed; CBO tells Senate panel Humana is right & TOTUS is wrong (lies?!): Medicare Advantage benefits will be reduced under Baucus Bill…

Doug Elmendorf still hanging tough and telling the truth. I love this guy. He says today yes Medicare Advantage benefits are likely to be reduced. Gee guess Humana is in good company with CBO on their mailer then aren’t they? CMS and HHS better back the hexx off Humana then.

“It is wholly inappropriate for insurance companies to mislead seniors regarding any subject—particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as health-care reform,” Mr. Baucus said in a statement yesterday, playing the role of Congressional censor. “The health-care reform bill we released last week strengthens Medicare and does not cut benefits covered under the Medicare program—and seniors need to know that.”

In fact, the Baucus draft legislation slashes $123 billion over the next decade from Medicare Advantage, which Democrats hate despite the fact that almost one-fourth of beneficiaries have chosen it over traditional fee-for-service Medicare. One reason seniors like it is because private insurers focus on quality and preventive care and try to manage benefits, as opposed to simply paying bills.

100 BILLION they plan to cut from Medicare Advantage. OF COURSE the plans will drop out and/or cut bennies. So no more eye exam or hearing exam for you Granny! Tell your Seniors!


Congress’ chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama’s oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn’t see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare’s managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Elmendorf said the changes would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries.

*Fleetwood Mac courtesy of MusicSWrock

September 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics. 1 comment.

Update: Steny Hoyer (D-MD) gets booed at townhall…

Update from TheHill go read the whole thing! Steny tried to filibuster with a bunch of panelists and the crowd got mighty pixxed:

…at the conclusion of Hoyer’s planned speech, when five panelists were introduced and asked to give their own remarks, the crowd turned on its congressman, erupting angrily at having to continue to wait for their chance to ask questions.

“We don’t want to hear this!,” a man’s voice rose above the crowd “Get to the questions!” A chant of “We want questions! We want questions!” soon broke out

After a few questions about the cost of the healthcare overhaul, Hoyer repeated emphatically his pledge not to vote for a healthcare bill that wasn’t paid for, a statement that only drew a mix of boos and laughter….

…“A woman earlier asked who’s going to keep the health insurance companies honest. I’m concerned who’s going to keep the government honest,” an unidentified man asked Hoyer, prompting a roar from the crowd fit for a championship basketball game, as people in the packed bleacher seats stomped their feet, amplifying the noise….

He was rolling out the EEEEvil insurance company (TM) line when he got a round of boos…

A report from outside the townhall fromThe Sundries Shack via Instapundit:

Tonight, a standing room-only crowd of over 1500 people packed the gymnasium of North Point High School in my hometown of Waldorf, MD to attend a health care town hall meeting with Congressman Steny Hoyer….(go read the whole thing)

Here are some helpful facts as the new attack, this time ginning up class warfare HARD against insurance companies,  gets rolled out next week. Courtesy of a comment on TheAtlantic where Ambinder gently lays out all the approved journOlist talking points for Team TOTUS:

mfsheldon (Replying to: djaymick) September 1, 2009 4:58 PM:

Obama is not honest in his rhetoric.

– 61% of major health plans are non-profit. NON-PROFIT

– The other 39% earn a WHOPPING 3.2% profit margin, same as Wal-Mart. Google earns 25%. Google CEOs get invited to appear in Obama campaign ads. Insurance company CEOs, including non-profits, get villainized.

– 82% of hospitals are non-profit are government run. About half of nursing homes are as well.

Health care insurance and provision of services is one of the least profit-oriented sectors in the economy, given the widespread participation of non-profits.

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies make 15% profit margins, roughly. That is real money. However, other innovation-oriented technology companies often make more. Apple earns 15%. Google earns 25%. Microsoft earns closer to 30%. Pharma is not out of line with other R&D lead industries.

As for the uninsured, it is actually 46 million PEOPLE.

– 9 million are illegal immigrants
– 2 million are legal residents who can return to their home country if they get too sick, so they do not insure themselves
– 12 million are actually covered by Medicaid but have not signed up because they are not sick
– 15 million are uninsured, yet make more than $75,000 and CHOOSE not to purchase coverage

When you get down to it, the number of people who fall through the cracks because of economic reasons amounts to…

8 million people.

That is about 3% of the population.

Keep in mind another important factor. This data is collected by the US Census every year and they ask the following question.

“In the last year, were you without health insurance coverage?”

What that means is that anyone who was between jobs or failed to re-up their policy for any reason gets included.

This probably overstates the actual level gap in coverage significantly because lots of people may go for a month without coverage between jobs, even in a good economy….

September 1, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. 1 comment.

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