Archives

Money and Finance

This category contains 223 posts

Health Insurance Choice Is Bad?

Health insurance choice is bad?

The San Antonio Express News picked up a Washington Post op ed on those big, bad Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Originally titled, “The reason Republican Republican health-care plans are doomed to fail,” by the editorial board that declared, “There’s no way to replace Planned Parenthood.”

And it’s bunk, even as prudently renamed and appropriately filed in the Opinion section.

What we are *actually *seeing *today is that costs are rising and insurers are withdrawing from States. Choices are certainly limited if there’s only one insurance company on the exchange and routine screening costs are “free” — But the care for treatment discovered at screenings is subject to high deductibles.

Limited coverage plans with major medical for extraordinary costs – rather than a wish list covered with other people’s money from first dollar – encourages personal responsibility and will cut costs. It would also allow people to own their insurance, rather than have it controlled and limited by current employers.

New York Governor: “Free” Abortions 

Cuomo wants no co-pays,   no deductibles,  and abortion business doctors to decide whether the abortion is “medically necessary.” And there are lots of taxes on the poor,  as well as the rich, to pay for it. 

What a perfect example to give as a rebuttal to those who tell me that as a Christian,  I have to support every social spending plan by government. 

That duty to help the poor is my personal duty to Christ. I don’t see any command to turn it over to someone else. 

The US Government spends and taxes –  doesn’t even dedicate  Medicare and Social Security taxes for the supposed purposes –  and hasn’t proven a trustworthy steward for my duty to Christ.  In fact,  Jesus said to give Caesar what is Caesar’s.  He didn’t tell us to take from our neighbors to give to Caesar!

But there are many scriptures addressing our duty to use well what we are given and to give credit to the One Who blessed us. And many more admonishing us to protect our fellow humans. 

Proverbs 24:11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

Pay attention: it’s policy, not bias

screenshot_20161109-175849The consensus of media pundits and bloggers, as well as quite a few liberal and even Conservative op-ed authors, is that Donald J.Trump was elected President out of some misguided national populism and anger at Congress, fueled with a lot of racism, misogyny and hate. The fact that those same voters elected a Republican majority in the House and Senate  – sending virtually every eligible Republican incumbent back to DC – is glossed over.

The idea that Conservatives really believe in small government and equal opportunity supported by personal responsibility is rarely voiced. That we might actually vote, not only for President but consistently down ballot, in order to defend the Bill of Rights and the right to life is ignored while we are accused of xeno-, homo-, and poly-whatever-phobia. I read that I am “afraid” of other lifestyles, religions, and losing my “privilege” based on being a White Christian.

Personally, I approve of most of the Republican Platform, especially where it addresses core Conservative issues, such as low taxes and equal treatment under the law. I want a Legislature that will uphold the Constitution as it’s written and defend against the infringement of inalienable rights. I don’t want activist judges nominated or confirmed at any level of the Federal Court system, especially the Supreme Court. I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress majority will decrease the hassle factors and threats placed on the practice of medicine and business in general by an overreaching Federal bureaucracy.

And, yes, my sense of fairness hopes that our existing immigration laws will finally be enforced, as an outcome of the”equal treatment under the law.”

Instead of facile clichés fed by cherry-picked sound bites and the latest talking points from the Left, try looking at and listening to the 59 Million voters across the country who elected a Republican candidate for President, and ensured a Republican majority including all those “establishment” candidates in both the House and Senate. 

It’s the Republican platform and Conservative policy that we Conservatives voted for, not one man.

Obama’s Abortion Cronyism 

Obama’s new Health and Human Services regulations will prohibit consideration of whether a provider does abortions – or sells body parts – or not.

Kansas and Texas, among other States, attempted to prioritize their limited tax dollars, preferring to steer money – and patients – toward continuing and comprehensive caregivers – primary care providers- over  reproductive health “boutiques:”

When PP sued, they lost. But Obama arbitrarily stripped the State’s Title X funds and gave the money to PP, anyway.

The “most transparent Administration ever” went further:

 In New Hampshire, the administration even refused to disclose information about its direct Planned Parenthood grant, claiming disclosure would harm the nonprofit’s “competitive position.”””

What competition??? That’s pure cronyism and blatant support of the Democrat’s  – and Obama’s – pro-abortion political ideology.

Edited 11/12/16: misspelling of Services in first sentence BBB

“Inaccurate and misleading” (Cruz attacks on Rubio)

At the Faith and Family conference, Senator Ted Cruz claimed that Senator Marco Rubio had not supported the defunding of Planned Parenthood by not voting against the annual budget vote in September, 2015.

I don’t know if most of my readers can understand what a big step it is for a group like National Right to Life to enter into this political debate between pro-life candidates. However, this accusation was enough to cause this statement to go out, as reported by Andrew Bair, @ProLifePolitics :

https://mobile.twitter.com/ProLifePolitics/status/698321269687775232/photo/1

“The following may be attributed to Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life:tobias feb 2016

“Marco Rubio voted to defund Planned Parenthood before Ted Cruz ever got to the U.S. Senate (see roll call on H. Con. Res. 36, April 14, 2011). Since Ted Cruz joined the U.S. Senate, both he and Sen. Rubio have voted the same on every roll call that National Right to Life regards as pertinent to defunding Planned Parenthood. To suggest that Rubio voted wrong or missed meaningful votes on the Planned Parenthood issue is inaccurate and misleading. National Right to Life is pleased that all of the major Republican candidates for president, Sens. Rubio and Cruz included, have stated that, if elected, they would work to derail Planned Parenthood’s government gravy train. “

Government shut down would NOT defund Planned Parenthood

For every one who still claims that Republicans should have shut down the government last year rather than pass any budget that included funds for Planned Parenthood,  read what National Right to Life had to say at the time.  Even if the government had shut down over the budget,  PP would have continued to receive funds!

“Additionally, as LifeNews.com reported recently, a study by the Congressional Research Service found that the majority of federal funds flowing to Planned Parenthood would not even be temporarily interrupted if the government shut down over this issue, because the funds flow through “entitlement” programs such as Medicaid – and those entitlement programs do not do not depend on enactment of the annual funding bills.

“It is also important to understand that federal spending bills do not include any “line items” that specifically designate money for Planned Parenthood. Rather, Planned Parenthood affiliates tap into funds from big programs like Medicaid and Title X. In order to deny Planned Parenthood such funds, a new law must be enacted to specifically prevent such funding. But for Congress to approve such a law will require 60 votes in the U.S. Senate, to overcome the filibuster.”

(Emphasis mine)

 

Remember this the next time you read or hear that nothing has come from a Republican majority in the House and Senate because Congress passed a budget September, 2015.

Then, ask the writer or speaker what kind of budget we would have had if Pelosi and Reid had been in charge.

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

Edited for formatting -BBN

TPA, TPP, TAA, and Tues. (“Fast track,” or “Obamatrade”)

Here’s where we are, according to Red State:

The Senate has already approved the TPA. On Friday, the House voted on it. The TPA portion was actually approved by a tiny majority, however it did not pass because it was tied to another provision: TAA, which failed miserably. In essence, the TAA is a multi-faced welfare program for those allegedly “hurt” by trade deals.

And,

“TPA ensures that only 51 votes are needed in order to pass the TPP. If you don’t think Obama and the Chamber of Commerce can engage in some bi-partisan vote whipping, you are living in fantasy land.”

Comal ISD and New Braunfels Early Voting Places and Times

There’s still 2 more days for early voting in the Comal Independent School District Bond and School Board Election. Regular Election Day is May 9.

 Here’s the times and places for early voting on Monday and Tuesday!
(Thanks to the New Braunfels Republican Women for the information!)

May 4 & 5Early voting

During early voting, you have the opportunity to cast both votes at one place!

You can cast both your votes for New Braunfels City Council (Districts 3 & 4) and Comal ISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond locations at:

 

The Comal County Elections Office          May  58am to 5pm

178 E. Mill Street, Suite 10                                    May 47am to 7pm

New Braunfels  78130

Bulverde City Hall                                             May  48am to 5pm

30360 Cougar Bend                                                May 57am to 7pm

Bulverde  78163

 

Garden Ridge City Hall                                      May  58am to 5pm

9400 Municipal Pkwy                                              May 47am to 7pm

Garden Ridge  78266

 

 

Early voting for CISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond only:

May 4 & 57am to 7pm

Bill Brown Elementary              Hoffmann Lane Elementary      Rebecca Creek Elementary

20410 Hwy 46 W.                       4600 FM 306                                  125 Quest Ave.

Spring Branch  78070               New Braunfels  78132                 Spring Branch  78070

 

Comal ISD Support Serv.           Indian Spring Elementary          Smithson Valley Middle

Admin. Bldg.                                 25751 Wilderness Oak                6101 FM 311

1404 I-35 N.                                  San Antonio  78261                      Spring Branch  78070

New Braunfels  78130

 

Church Hill Middle                     Kinder Ranch Elementary          Timberwood Park Elementary

1275 N. Business 35                  2035 Kinder Pkwy.                       26715 S. Glenrose

New Braunfels  78130              San Antonio  78260                      San Antonio  78260

 

Clear Spring Elem.                       M.H. Specht Elementary

550 Avery Parkway                    25815 Overlook Parkway

New Braunfels  78130              San Antonio  78260

********************************************************************************************************************    

 

Saturday, May 9 – Election Day – Polls open from 7am – 7pm

 

New Braunfels City Council (Districts 3 & 4)

Election Day polling locations at:

 

**NB City Council District 3 – Seele Elementary School, 540 Howard Street, New Braunfels

**NB City Council District 4 – Faith United Church, 970 N. Loop 337, New Braunfels

 

For City Council District Maphttp://www.nbtexas.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1480

(also listed on your Voter Registration Card)

 

Comal ISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond only

Election Day polling locations at:

 

Single Member District 1                              Single Member District 2                  Single Member District 3

Clear Spring Elementary                                  Faith United Church                               Rebecca Creed Elementary

550 Avery Parkway                                           970 N. Loop 337                                      125 Quest Ave.

New Braunfels 78130                                       New Braunfels 78130                           Spring Branch  78070

Single Member District 4                              Single Member District 5                  Single Member District 6

Smithson Valley Middle School                      Bulverde City Hall                                   M.H. Specht Elementary

6101 FM 311                                                        30360 Cougar Bend                               25815 Overlook Parkway

Spring Branch 78070                                        Bulverde  78163                                      San Antonio  78260

 

Single Member District 7

Garden Ridge City Hall

9400 Municipal Parkway

Garden Ridge 78266

 

“How Government Killed the Medical Profession”

Contrast the Hippocratic ethic in which a physician recommends treatment to his patient, based on his best medical judgement in the patient’s interest, with that of the “veterinary ethic,” where decisions are made by the “payor” — or owner. Now, consider the effect of Government regulations which arbitrarily force doctors to learn protocols and guidelines (rather than adjust to the patient’s course of illness), to fit a patient’s illness into International Clinical Diagnoses (out to the nth decimal place) and which withhold payment when a patient becomes ill enough to need readmission to the hospital within 30 days of the last admission.

In an article published online by Cato, Dr. Jeffery Singer lays out the history of the destruction of Medicine as  a profession. In the past, Dr. Singer described the ethical transition toward the “veterinary ethic.”

Each of these articles is worth your time and consideration. The first article gives one of the best explanations of the Government move to “coding” of medical diagnoses in exchange for payment “reimbursement,” on through the forced move to Electronic Medical Records without evidence that patients will benefit and Accountable Care Organizations which assign patients to employee “providers.” The second, earlier article, reviewed the necessary change in medical ethics to allow doctors to practice without – or in contradiction to – their conscience.

Forget patient autonomy, long elevated by the lawmakers, lawyers and  Ph.D’s (in the name of “Bioethics”) above the traditional physician Hippocratic values of beneficence and its foundation, non-maleficence. In the world of Government medicine, your life is in the hands of the “payor:” the Golden Rule of “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

 

 

 

NEJM admits “ObamaCare” isn’t “Affordable” without subsidies

The New England Journal of Medicine has some free articles you might want to read this week. (I’m afraid you will have to register – will you let me know if you do?)
The first asserts that we’re stuck with ObamaCare – but it calls ObamaCare, “ObamaCare.” The author, Jonathan Oberlander, Ph.D, also acknowledges that the only way the ACA (the Affordable Care Act) is “Affordable” is if the Federal government hands out cash subsidies. In fact, if the Supreme Court rules that the language of the law forbids subsidies in States that don’t have their own exchanges,

Here’s an excerpt:
“The calendar cannot be turned back to 2009. The ACA has made some irreversible changes in U.S. health care.

“Even if they have unified control of the federal government in 2017, Republicans will confront the reality that Obamacare has redefined U.S. health policy and the terms of the debate. In practice, future repeal legislation would probably not scrap the whole ACA, but rather remove specific provisions and remake other policies to conform to a more conservative vision. A Republican President could, through waivers and other means, undermine Obamacare in important ways, but he or she could not eliminate it.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case (King v. Burwell) challenging the legality of providing premium subsidies in federal exchanges is crucial to the GOP precisely because the chances for legislative repeal of Obamacare are so remote. The Court can seriously damage the ACA in a way that congressional Republicans cannot. A decision to prohibit subsidies for helping the uninsured to purchase coverage in the 34 states that have federally run exchanges would destabilize the health insurance marketplaces and unravel the individual and employer mandates in those states, exacerbating the already large disparities in insurance coverage among states. It would cause both a sizable increase in the uninsured population and sizable losses for the insurance industry and medical care providers as millions of Americans lost their health coverage.  Such a ruling could, in turn, produce enormous pressures on affected states and Congress to adopt measures to stave off those outcomes. Yet the ACA’s shaky political foundations would complicate policymakers’ responses, and Obamacare’s opponents would be emboldened to resist any fixes. A ruling against federal subsidies could have a spillover effect, dampening the chances for Medicaid expansion in some states. (Emphasis mine)

 

The ACA appears to be on track to destroy the financing of health care in our country, whether or not it is fully implemented.

 

Dreams of 2017

What “executive priorities” would you like to see implemented by Executive Order of the new Republican President, beginning January 20, 2017?

Even as a “dream,” it’s not easy to write all this. It’s easy to see the objections and possible pitfalls. I need help. I suggest not enforcing any law that can’t be justified in 2 to 3  sentences, using “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and a plain reading of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No “penumbras,” no nuances. Make it plain and transparent enough that even Gruber’s criteria of  “the stupidity of the American voters” is met.

Same 90 day deadline Obama set for his immigration fiat?

Here’s a short list:

  • Close the border.  Should we deport the “over-stayers” and those on Obama’s “deferment” lists?
  • The IRS should phase out, shut down, beginning with Obamacare enforcement.
  • The Secret Service will limit it’s scope to protection of dignitaries.
  • Tell the EPA, OSHA, EEOC, HHS, Education Energy and others to plan on shutting down as States take over their functions – the way the States want to do those functions.
  • Foreign aid should be held until Congress makes new, individual appropriations.
  • Any aide that goes to abortion-favorable services stops immediately.
  • ?????

 

The Insider – FeatureID 383

Read this article for a history (you probably don’t know about)  of the many attempts and failures in healthcare reform over the last 20+ years.

In 2001, Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, brought a tax credit bill to the House floor and passed it over objections of congressional liberals favoring Medicaid expansion. In the Senate, however, Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) blocked the tax credit bill twice. Nonetheless, as a political matter, conservatives were playing offense on health care policy for the first time in memory. While small, the proposal was a psychological victory for those who wanted to fix health care with more free markets.

via The Insider – FeatureID 383.

I say “fertilization,” you say “conception”

Forty years ago the words “fertilization” and “conception” meant the same thing to doctors, lawyers, and embryologists alike: the joining of the 23 chromosomes in the sperm with the 23 chromosomes in the oocyte (“egg”) to form a new complete, unique human organism. “Contraception” was defined as any method that worked before the existence of the embryo by preventing fertilization. These were the hormonal treatments and devices that prevent ovulation of the egg and condoms, diaphragms and sterilization that serve as “barriers” between the sperm and egg.   Drugs and devices that may or may not end the life of the embryo after fertilization were legally and correctly called “abortifacients.”

 

However, legalized abortion and the ability to accomplish fertilization through in vitro methods led to new legal definitions of “pregnancy” and “conception” as beginning at implantation rather than fertilization.   Even in vivo, healthy human embryos in healthy mothers were deprived of legal protection as human beings for at least the first 5 – 10 days of their lives, the window of opportunity for implantation when the developing embryo grows to hundreds of cells organized in 2 or 3 recognizable tissue layers and interact with the mother’s body in ways that may affect the timing of birth or risk of diabetes and other health concerns. Possible abortifacients that work after fertilization but before implantation were redefined as “emergency contraception.”

 

In spite of what you may have heard on the news, the June 30, 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) didn’t deny birth control for anyone. Everyone may still purchase his or her own FDA-approved birth control.  SCOTUS simply ruled that the government can’t force some employers to buy things that they believe are immoral.

 

In fact, Hobby Lobby only asked to be exempt from purchasing insurance plans that paid for specific drugs and devices used for “emergency contraception.” Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare” or ACA), the company purchased insurance that included true forms of contraception, including,

  • Those that prevent ovulation by preventing the normal ups and downs of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, such asBirth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill”),Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill”),Birth control pills (extended/continuous use), Contraceptive patches, Contraceptive rings,Progestin injections, andImplantable rods

and

  • Those that act as “barriers” to fertilization by preventing the union of sperm and egg: Male condoms, Female condoms, Diaphragms with spermicide, Sponges with spermicide, Cervical caps with spermicide, Spermicide alone, Vasectomies, Female sterilization surgeries, and Female sterilization implants.

The problem is that regulations written by the Obama Administration mandated that all insurances pay for all pregnancy “preventatives” approved by the FDA, including drugs and devices that may function after fertilization to end the life of the new human embryo:

  • Pills that mainly delay ovulation but may impair implantation and development of the placenta if fertilization takes place, such as over-the-counter Plan B and generic levonorgestrel tablets, and ella, which requires a prescription, and
  • Devices that mechanically and hormonally make the uterus inhospitable to implantation by the embryo, such as intrauterine devices like the copper-T, Mirena, and ParaGuard. These are inserted up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse to prevent implantation and then left in place to prevent fertilization and implantation for as long as 5-10 years.

 

 

Although the words we use do not change the fact that the human embryo is the same human life before implantation as after, they can change his or her legal status.

 

 

 

 

 

Wider impact of Hobby Lobby ruling? : SCOTUSblog

Remember, no one is forbidden to buy anything.  However, the US Government will not force people or their companies to pay for devices and drugs they believe are immoral.

 

The Affordable Care Act regulations issued by the federal government, however, required twenty different preventive methods or services, including sterilization and pregnancy counseling. Depending upon how lower courts now interpret the Hobby Lobby decision, companies that fit within the Court’s “closely held company” bracket and offer religious objections could be spared from having to provide any of those services through their employee health plans.

In three cases in which a federal appeals court had rejected the challenges to the mandate, the new Supreme Court orders told those courts to reconsider, applying Monday’s decision. The companies or their owners had taken those petitions to the Court.

On three petitions filed by the federal government, involving appeals court rulings rejecting the challenges by corporations. their owners, or both, the Justices simply denied review.

via Wider impact of Hobby Lobby ruling? : SCOTUSblog.

IRS to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group’s Tax Return, Donors

No punitive damages because the IRS guy plead the Fifth!

Forget ideological issues.  This is not about marriage. It’s intimidation and theft of information that the Federal government forces us to give them at the point of guns.

The leak of confidential tax records should be a crime. Isn’t it time for criminal charges against one of these “leakers?”

 

Testifying under oath in a deposition as part of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Meisel invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and declined to disclose the identity of his “conduit.”

To get at that fact, Eastman said, the National Organization for Marriage has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to grant immunity from prosecution to Meisel.

The $50,000 to be paid by the IRS represents actual damages NOM incurred responding to the illegal disclosure, not punitive damages, since the marriage group was unable to prove disclosure of the confidential records was deliberate after Meisel took the Fifth.

Meisel provided the marriage group’s tax data to the Human Rights Campaign, documents found as part of the investigation show. HRC is among organizations and activists advocating same-sex marriage that routinely describe NOM as a “hate group” or “anti-gay” for making the case for preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

via IRS to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group’s Tax Return, Donors.

All nine justices reject recess appointments in Noel Canning case – The Washington Post

UPDATE: A few quick observations. First, the central holding of the opinion for the Court is that the Senate gets to determine when the Senate is in recess, provided the recess is of sufficient length. This is significant in that it gives Congress the ability to prevent recess appointments.

Second, none of the justices were willing to accept the position of the Obama Administration, which was unnecessarily extreme. In choosing the make the recess appointments in the way it did, such as by not following precedents set by prior administrations (including Teddy Roosevelt) and filling some Board spots that the Senate never had time to fill, the Administration adopted a stance that was very hard to defend, so it could not attract a single vote.

via All nine justices reject recess appointments in Noel Canning case – The Washington Post.

Do you feel male, female, American, other?

It's all in your headCan’t help worrying that I might be prosecuted for hate speech for insisting that physical evidence matters, but . . .  if a person can demand a corrected birth certificate based on his/her subjective feelings about his/her gender, why can’t an illegal alien access his/her own new birth certificate if they feel American?

And if it’s all in our heads, why make Medicare pay for surgery?

The same month that the American Medical Association voted that the physical body is irrelevant to gender, President Obama uses his pen to award physical privileges to those people who claim/decide/are born to be transgendered. But he’s doing it very, very quietly.

The latest wins came this month, when the Office of Personnel Management announced that government-contracted health insurers could start covering the cost of gender reassignment surgeries for federal employees, retirees and their survivors, ending a 40-year prohibition. Two weeks earlier, a decades-old rule preventing Medicare from financing such procedures was overturned within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Unlike Obama’s support for same-sex marriage and lifting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay troops, the White House’s work to promote transgender rights has happened mostly out of the spotlight.

Some advances have gone unnoticed because they also benefited the much larger gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. That was the case Monday when the White House announced that Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In other instances, transgender rights groups and the administration have agreed on a low-key approach, both to skirt resistance and to send the message that changes are not a big deal, said Barbara Siperstein, who in 2009 became the first transgender person elected to the Democratic National Committee.

 

 

 

Justice Department’s Latest Action Violates Federal Immigration Law

There is one big problem with Holder’s plan to fund legal representation for illegal aliens: It violates federal law. Federal immigration law (8 U.S.C. §1229a) lays out the rules governing removal proceedings in the immigration courts, which are administrative courts run by the Justice Department, not Article III federal courts. Under Section 1229a(b)(4)(A), aliens have the “privilege of being represented, at no expense to the government, by counsel of the alien’s choosing.” Thus, there is no question illegal aliens can be represented by lawyers in immigration removal proceedings, but it also is clear representation cannot be at the expense of the government.

via Justice Department’s Latest Action Violates Federal Immigration Law.

Best of the Web Today: The Lois Stretch – WSJ

Not only are the emails lost, but they hoped the notice would be, also:

Camp notes that the IRS decided to “bury” the claim of lost emails “deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon.” He isn’t kidding. It appears on the 15th page of the document, which is actually the seventh page of the first attachment to an eight-page letter, addressed to Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Orrin Hatch of Utah, respectively chairman and ranking Republican of the Senate Finance Committee.

The IRS asserts that it has “determined that Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed in mid-2011. . . . The data stored on her computer’s hard drive was determined to be ‘unrecoverable’ by the IT [information technology] professionals.” The agency further claims to have “confirmed that back-up tapes from 2011 no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

via Best of the Web Today: The Lois Stretch – WSJ.

 

And there’s more:

IT professionals from outside the administration say the Lois Stretch is quite a stretch, too. Norman Cillo, identified as “an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft,” tells TheBlaze.com that if the IRS is telling the truth, it means the agency is “totally mismanaged and has the worst IT department ever.” According to Cillo, there should be multiple backups, on server hard drives as well as tape.

 

Medicaid backlog creates payment hassles for physicians | Medical Economics

And the docs will pay if the patient doesn’t qualify . . .

 

Though 6 million new patients have enrolled for Medicaid coverage due to expansion of the program, media reports say that nearly half of those enrollment applications have yet to be processed.

Because of the bureaucratic backlog, physicians might get stuck waiting even longer on Medicaid reimbursements for patients who have yet to receive authorization. In addition, practices may incur costs from patients who signed up for but were denied Medicaid coverage.

via Medicaid backlog creates payment hassles for physicians | Medical Economics.

Tea Party Patriots give to themselves, not candidates

Corruption knows no party lines. (Give your money to the Candidates!)

The Post found that of the $7.4 million that the Georgia-based group’s super PAC has spent since the beginning of 2013, just $184,505 has gone to boost candidates. Three-quarters of the spending by the Citizens Fund — $5.5 million — has been devoted to fundraising and direct mail.

In addition, Tea Party President Jenny Beth Martin, who runs the super PAC, has been receiving $15,000 monthly consulting fees.

via Tea Party Patriots defends its spending.

Debate . . . between Dewhurst, Patrick

What Republican thinks it’s “dangerous” to have “a lot of money?”

Dan Patrick told the Houston Chronicle that Lieutenant Governor David H. Dewhurst is “dangerous because he has a lot of money.”

Dewhurst might be dangerous because of the skills he learned serving our Nation in the Air Force and CIA. But he’s not dangerous because of his success in business.

 

 

Texas doesn’t have State property taxes

I’m reading Republican primary run off ads stating that our Republican State Legislators and, in particular, the leader of the Senate – the Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst – haven’t done enough to lower property taxes. Well, those candidates are indulging in the worst sort of campaigning, since there are no State property taxes in Texas!

Here are the sources of State revenue in Texas: http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Revenue_by_Source/revenue_hist.php . The fact is that the bulk of Texas revenue comes from our sales tax and the return of tax money from the Federal Government.

In 2006, Lt. Governor David H. Dewhurst led the Senate when they cut and limited the amount local governments may assess as property tax rates and the property assessments those taxes are based on.

Unfortunately, the local districts *and their voters* raised those taxes up to the limit in some districts.

In areas such as Houston and Harris County, the appraisals are being *inflated* and/or *rising* nearly 100% due to the good economy there.  It seems that the problem is at the School Districts, City Councils, and County Commissioners Courts, not at the State legislature.

Again: there is no State property tax in Texas. The solution to high property taxes is in your home town, not Austin.

Our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The First Amendment protects political speech, which includes donating what we want, when we want, and to whom we want.

The Supreme Court today did not get rid of the individual candidate limit with the ruling, only the limits on overall donations to multiple candidates. You still can’t give more than $5200 per campaign cycle to any one candidate for Federal office.

Like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, we may pledge our fortunes to political candidates – within limits.

 

Taking vs. Redistribution

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”  Alex De Tocqueville

A March 27th Op-ed in the San Antonio Express News by Nicholas Kristof calls us a “Nation of Takers,” claiming that the US government gives welfare to the wealthy with mortgage tax “subsidies” for the wealthy and lower capital gains taxes as opposed to earned income taxes.

Forget that Kristof doesn’t understand the difference between taxes – where the government takes from some – and subsidies – where the government gives tax money to the benefactors the government selects. Taxes take, subsidies and benefits give.

Kristof assumes that all money is the government’s to tax, rather than the property of individuals who have the unalienable right to earn and accumulate what they earn to provide for themselves, their dependents, and for the future when they are unable to earn. The money doesn’t belong to even the most utilitarian – or Utilitarian* – government plan for its use.

Those capital gains taxes are on money already taxed and invested for a certain period of time. If you want to encourage investment, don’t tax it. If you want to encourage hoarding on the other hand . . .
As to those yachts and beach homes – people who don’t use these dwellings as their actual homes can’t claim the mortgage deduction. In any case, thanks to the effects of the alternate minimum tax, the wealthy don’t receive any mortgage tax deduction.

*Utilitarian good is the idea that government should rule “for the greatest good.” We end up with the biggest gun, the most charismatic leader or the majority voting — and eventually, “might makes right.”

 “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you’ve earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” – Thomas Sowell

The battle over Medicaid expansion

When people have the facts, they oppose ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion.

When Virginia voters learn that ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion slashes seniors’ Medicare, gives taxpayer-funded Medicaid coverage to former prison inmates and could deplete funding for critical state priorities, their support for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion plummets; this according to a new poll released today by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a multi-state free-market think tank based in Florida.

The 10-question poll was conducted between March 7 and March 9, 2014, with 469 likely Virginia voters responding to all 10 questions.

via The battle over Medicaid expansion.

Drs discover that sick people use health care!

Ezekial Emanuel is Rahm’s brother. He has been one of the Obamacare pushers for years.

The new goal, according to Emanuel, should be per-capita annual health care costs by 2020 that increase no more than the annual gross domestic product.

“It’s clear and easily measured,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen overnight.”

It would require a “renewed, systemwide focus on transforming the delivery system to improve the way we care for the chronically ill,” said Emanuel, because 10% of the population with chronic illnesses now consumes nearly two-thirds of health care dollars.

Another recipe for reform was offered by Joanne Lynn, MD, of the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute, Washington.

“We almost all get to grow old; it’s the terrific success of modern medicine,” she said, but the system hasn’t evolved to cope with this reality.

via Physicians outline critical issues facing US health care | Healio.

Untested Waters (TMA on ObamaCare)

From the Texas Medical Association website:

Both Texas Oncology and ARC, for example, already participated in most major health plans in Texas before the launch of the exchange. Because not all of those insurers explicitly invited Texas Oncology to join their new marketplace networks, the group was combing through its contracts and contacting carriers to find out how to opt out of the exchange plans. All of ARC\’s existing contracts require insurers to renegotiate with the group before including it in any new products or networks. Some payers never approached the group; others came back with lower fee schedules, which ARC declined. On the other hand, 27 percent of respondents in the MGMA survey said they are participating in the exchange because their existing contract terms required them to participate in all of an insurers\’ products under so-called \”all products\” clauses.

Because a number of Dr. Buckingham\’s contracts include such clauses, the six-physician practice, Eye Physicians of Austin, faces the prospect of renegotiation in order to opt out of certain exchange plans.

\”To me, my hands are tied, and they are making me jump off of a plank I don\’t want to jump off of. And it\’s an expensive process, and it interrupts patient care,\” she said.

via Untested Waters.

You say “Mispoke,” I say “Lie” – NYTimes.com

“That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.

“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.”

via Insurance Policies Not Worth Keeping – NYTimes.com.

Food Stamp Enrollment Growth (with Interactive Map)

If Federal Food Stamps Map WSJIf the Federal government increases spending and decreases limits, is it surprising that people take advantage of it?

If you’re concerned about the news that the Federal food stamp program funding will be cut 5%, take a look at this map from the June, 2013 Wall Street Journal, showing the percentage of population in each state which receives Federal food stamps.

It is accompanied by a graph of growth of food stamp enrollment depicting periods of enrollment. Food stamp growthThat bright red line is Texas’ growth, which is nearly parallel with the US average, shown as a grey-green line. (Take a look at the annual spikes of Alaska’s enrollment, which I guess is due to the disbursement of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.)

But take a look at the growth since the “Stimulus” was passed by the Dem-controlled House and Senate, nearly doubling funds for food stamps and increasing the number of recipients from 28 million to 48 million.Food stamp growth 2008 2012Since the increase in enrollment has been over 70%, that 5% cut in payments will not bring the spending levels back to pre-recession levels. Wouldn’t it make sense to tighten up on the eligibility requirements, rather than make an across-the-board cut?

 

@bnuckols tweets

Click here to get your “Choose Life” license plate

Rick Perry RickPAC

Yes, I'm still for Governor Perry!

RickPAC

What to read around here

Archives

SiteMeter