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Clarice's Pieces: From Cordoba to Marbella


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American Thinker:


Clarice's Pieces: From Cordoba to Marbella
By Clarice Feldman


The no good, horrible, terrible week for the credentialed morons.

Newton believed that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and while he was observing physical phenomenon, the same can be said this week of American politics.

If last week signaled this was going to be a long, hot summer, this week reminded me to start advertising more widely my new business venture: provisioning sharpened pikes at the gates of D.C.

Credentialed morons in Congress, with the President's urging, rammed down our throats a massive restructuring of our medical system, bribing, arm twisting, playing fast and lose with the rules and the truth. And overreaching jurists, with an imperial sense of there being no limits to their power under the Constitution, continued jabbing their thumbs in the electorate's eyes.

Last summer's town halls quickly morphed into the Tea Party movement and, in turn, into open rebellion by states and voters alike. Through all of this, the political class, locked in its parochial self-aggrandizing bubble, sees nothing amiss.

Speaker Pelosi called vacationing Congress back to enact a $26 billion payoff to public service employees and the improvident states, which will enable them to bankrupt us all. Michelle Obama headed off for a $375,000 tax payer paid vacation in Marbella, Spain with Sasha in tow, apparently in the misguided belief that this place has the kind of cachet suitable to prance around in her unbecoming but expensive fashions. (This is her sixth vacation since March and two more are scheduled before the kids return to school.) In the meantime, the Recovery Summer is, in Rush's words, looking more like the summer of life support. The true unemployment figure is credibly estimated at 22% ("unexpected" as that may be to media like Reuters and AP which also seem ensconced in the bubble with the political class). And despite billions spent on "shovel ready jobs" like sidewalks to nowhere, the economy is in bad shape as people shove what they have in their mattresses rather than leave it to the whims of the political class to steal to pay off their base.

(a) ObamaCare Stalls on the Shoals

The economy is not the only thing stalled. ObamaCare, the monstrosity which Obama envisioned as his historical achievement, is now becalmed. This administration persuaded itself that it knew better what we needed than the voters, the health care administrators, the physicians and other health care providers, and the insurers. It laughed at the suggestion that the Constitution permitted an individual mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance, the linchpin of the plan.

Last November, a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if it was constitutional for Congress to require Americans to buy health insurance. Ms. Pelosi responded, "Are you serious?"

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson got serious. He denied Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of Virginia challenging the new health law. His ruling stated that it is far from certain Congress has the authority to compel Americans to buy insurance and penalize those who don't.

Judge Hudson's ruling paved the way for a trial to begin on October 18, with possible appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, a lengthy process. Some states will likely delay creating insurance exchanges and slow down other costly preparations for ObamaCare until its constitutionality is determined by this case.

Because there is no clause in the act saving the remainder of it if this provision is deemed unconstitutional, if it fails the entire house of cards goes with it.

Twenty other states and several individuals are suing elsewhere to overturn the Act.

Virginia, the first case in which the government has failed to pass the motion to dismiss had made it illegal to require any state resident to purchase health insurance.

Contrary to Pelosi's imperious suggestion that the opposition was mere partisan posturing, Judge Hudson ruled that "never before has the commerce clause and associated necessary and proper clause been extended this far."

The suit has not been resolved but I think it fair to say Judge Hudson has tipped his hand about the merits of the case and should inspirit the 20 other states and the national federation of Independent Business which have similar claims pending.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many states will delay implementation measures based on this decision, contending that the uncertainty in the law justifies their refusal to undertake the costly, complicated measures needed to carry out the law in their states.

( b ) Financial Hocus Pocus Revealed

Voters overwhelmingly did not believe the claims advanced by Obamacare supporters that the Act would be a budget saver and their judgment is proving sounder than that of the proponents' of Obamacare.

HHS Secretary Sibelius was caught out double-counting Medicare savings which the Act was said to assure. Philip Klein writes:

Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Congressional Budget Office have said that the Obama administration cannot claim that the Medicare cuts they are enacting will simultaneously finance the new health care law, which is supposed to cover 30 million uninsured, and extend the solvency of the existing Medicare program.

But that hasn't stopped the administration from continuing to make both claims anyway. And when I asked about this on a Monday conference call held to tout Medicare savings, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dismissed the conclusion of the CMS actuary, and falsely claimed that the CBO had taken a different view. snip

Her statement that the CBO had taken a different view on this is demonstrably false. On several occasions, the CBO has determined that you can't double-count Medicare savings.

In a March letter to Paul Ryan, the CBO wrote that a majority of the Medicare savings from the health care law "would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits."

Last December, in a letter to Sen. Jeff Sessions, the CBO explained this in further detail. That letter concluded that: "To describe the full amount of (Medicare hospital insurance) trust fund savings as both improving the government's ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government's fiscal position."

And the lies continue, with a boost from the NYT's crack economist, Paul Krugman. From Just One Minute:

Economist and cheerleader Paul Krugman is ever so excited about the projected cost savings in the new report:

In other words, the Medicare actuaries believe that the cost-saving provisions in the Obama health reform will make a huge difference to the long-run budget outlook. Yes, it's just a projection, and debatable like all projections. And it's still not enough. But anyone who both claims to be worried about the long-run deficit and was opposed to health reform has some explaining to do.

Opponents of ObamaCare have some explaining to do? All they need to do is cite the actuary's opinion, found at the end of the Trustees report. The comedy gold (my emphasis):

...the financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable).

To rephrase the Excited Prof slightly, in other words, the Medicare actuaries don't believe that the cost-saving provisions in the Obama health reform will make a huge difference to the long-run budget outlook.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection summarizes the work if Mary Katherine Ham and Guy Benson, in cataloguing the President's ,Pelosi's and Reid's lies about ObamaCare, lies the public understood to be so almost from the moment they were made:snip
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