Published in the New York Post on November 30, 2009
The “health-care reform” bills in Congress would hit 39 states hard with new expenses, by raising Medicaid eligibility above the current income cutoffs.
The only states that won’t have to raise eligibility because of the Senate bill are Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin (plus the District of Columbia). And the House bill would force even Massachusetts and Vermont to pay more.
Previously, we reported to you that our national polling showed that the under-30 voters were the strongest supporters of the Obama healthcare initiative. While seniors opposed it by almost 2-to-1 and voters 30-64 opposed it by five- to 10-point margins, the under-30 voters backed his program by 58-30.
So with the funds you have donated, we ran television advertisments and an Internet campaign aimed at young people focused in Arkansas, North Dakota and Maine. The results are incredible! Now under-30 voters are the strongest opponents of the plan. In the table below, we show you the vote on the Obama plan broken down by age. (We aggregated all three states so we would have enough interviews to make the age subsets statistically meaningful.)
Anxious to avoid raising taxes too much to pay for their health care proposals, the Obama Administration and its Congressional allies hit on a great new idea: Make the states raise their taxes to fund the program instead.
Both the House and the Senate bills require that states cover a larger percentage of their people under Medicaid – a joint state and federally funded program. The idea was to force the state to raise their taxes to cover a big part of the health care bill for treating poor people. Since the Feds can simply charge any increase in spending to their already overdrawn bank account, but the states have to balance their budgets, the increased state spending for Medicaid will cause sharp increases in state taxes. And the Governors will get the blame, not Obama and not the Congress.
A Zogby Poll this week illustrates the stark choice facing Senate Democrats as they have to decide whether or not to vote for ObamaCare. The poll shows that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, high up on the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection in 2010, literally faces a choice between being reelected and voting for the bill.
The Zogby Poll shows Arkansans opposed to the Obama/Reid bill by 28-64, with 50 percent “strongly opposed” to the legislation. To swim in the face of such a current of public opinion is risky business for a U.S. senator.
Published on TheHill.com November 17, 2009
Joseph Stubbs, president of the American College of Physicians – the second-largest doctors’ group in the country – confirms that “the supply of doctors just won’t be there” for the 30 million new patients President Barack Obama wants to cover. Noting that the doctor shortage is “already a catastrophic crisis”. Stubbs noted that underserved areas in the U.S. currently need almost 17,000 new primary care physicians even before Obama’s proposals are enacted.
Published in the New York Post on November 16, 2009
As he flew to Asia on Saturday, President Obama told the media in Alaska that he opposes a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood massacre, saying that we must “resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into political theater.” Yet, even as he was posturing against political theatrics, he had just decided that the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would proceed on the greatest of public stages — New York City.
President Obama’s decision to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial in New York City along with four others accused of helping destroy the World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon on 9-11 paints a bulls-eye for terrorists right on New York City, their favorite target. Now Obama has identified where the terrorists should focus their energies – on New York City.
His decision to bow to political correctness and not to try Mohammed at a secure military base and to try him in a civilian court, according him all the rights of an American citizen, raises important questions:
Harry Reid can pass a bill in the Senate that has no public option or an easy opt-out, shallow subsidies for the uninsured, a low total cost, weak penalties for not having insurance, no coverage for abortion and no general tax increase (except for the premium and medical device taxes).
And Nancy Pelosi can pass a bill in the House (on final passage) that has a public option with no opt-out, steep subsidies for the uninsured, harsh penalties if they don’t buy insurance, a higher cost, full abortion coverage and a surcharge income-tax increase.
The question is: Can either one’s bill pass the other’s chamber?
Published on TheHill.com on November 10, 2009
Don’t assume that the 38 Democrats who voted against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) extremist version of healthcare reform wouldn’t have supported it if their votes had been needed. The days before the final passage on Saturday were not filled with stirring appeals to get Democrats to back the bill so much as an auction to decide whom to let off the hook.
As Sean Hannity is fond of saying: “Let not your heart be troubled.” We can still beat the Obama program in the Senate! Obama needed the momentum of House passage to help him in the Senate where the real challenge lies.
There, we have several Senators who might well vote no: Lieberman (CT), Bayh (Ind), Hagan (NC), Landrieu (LA), Pryor and Lincoln (Ark), Nelson (Neb), Johnson (SD), Dorgan and Conrad (ND), Tester (Montana), Engler (Col), and Feinstein (Cal). And Reid will need all of these Senators to back the bill to get the 60 votes to pass it (assuming we hold Collins and Snowe from Maine).