[StBernard] 'Gigantic, unintelligible, unaffordable, over-regulatory, federal legislation'

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 28 21:13:50 EDT 2009

October 28, 2009 | By Amanda Reinecker

'Gigantic, unintelligible, unaffordable, over-regulatory, federal

After 13 days of secret, closed-door negotiations on health care
legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Monday that
he had reached an agreement
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=IrmE681BqJLveQprS7svUg..> with
Senators Chris Dodd (D-MT) and Max Baucus (D-CT), and three top
administration officials. Unfortunately, Senator Reid did not tell the
American people much else.

Even many lawmakers remain in the dark regarding the outcome of this "secret
deal that Senator Reid wants to get passed and signed into law 'this year,'"
writes Heritage Senate Relations expert Brian Darling.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=wq_8B3jjM9poDw0xYWJppA..> Mitch
McConnell, the Senate minority leader, summed it up: "It will be a
thousand-page, trillion-dollar bill that raises premiums, raises taxes and
slashes Medicare for our seniors to create new government spending programs.
That's not reform."

Even as some of the final details of the bill do go public, it is likely
that lawmakers won't know in advance entirely what it is they are voting on.
This is because the legislation the Senate Finance Committee "agreed" to --
all 1,502 pages of it -- is the most massive piece of legislation ever
introduced by Congress.


But length isn't the only record the "America's Healthy Future Act of 2009"
claims, as Heritage health policy analyst Ed Haislmaier notes.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=qnR2ulXpUKwUB3-6US2p0Q..> "For the
first time in fifteen years, [Congress] has set a new all-time division
record for gigantic, unintelligible, unaffordable, over-regulatory, federal

What we do know about Reid's 'secret deal'

Although Senator Reid did not go into great detail about the health care
"reform" legislation, he did mention that bill includes a government-run
health insurance "option" that would "compete" against private health plans.

In an attempt to gain much-needed support from skeptical moderates in both
parties, liberals have added a new twist to the "public option": a provision
allowing states to opt out of the program. This would require states to pass
legislation by 2014 rejecting participation in the federal government run

But this new wrinkle is really more of the same, warns Heritage health
policy analyst Nina Owcharenko
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=Uu_A8er00bTOP_3GGwHDCw..> . "This
latest Senate ploy creates the illusion of an 'option' rather than making
any fundamental changes to the controversial proposal."

Owcharenko explains why this "opt-out" model is just another government-run
plan that is guaranteed to fail:

1. States can only opt-out of the government-run plan, not the entire
bill. But the rest of the bill contains hundreds of provisions, such as the
expansion of Medicaid, which will place major financial burdens on the

1. It is still a government-run plan because the government will
require non-participating states to meet federal conditions. These
government-determined conditions could include the creation of state-level
public options that mirror the federal plan.

1. States will likely select the public "option" because of the
bureaucracy and enormous administrative complexity required for a state
opt-out. Federal conditions will limit states' ability to create

1. State innovation will suffer under the massive health care
proposal's employer and individual mandates, and government micromanagement
of an industry that represents one-sixth of our economy.

So even though the states would be able to "opt out" of the government-run
health insurance program, the federal government will make it very difficult
to do so. And for the few states that do succeed in withdrawing, the
government will still dominate their health care systems.

A true state "opt-out" provision would allow states to opt out of the bill
in its entirety, argues Owcharenko. "Any other opt-out is just another shell
game that is intended to appear as a concession but in reality provides for
greater federal control and blocks much needed structural changes."

> Other Heritage work of note

* "If Congress wanted to make real progress" on immigration reform,
Heritage President Ed Feulner advises
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=3WuT9p9XjE6y0L61B-jjHw..> , "it
should embrace the KISS principle: Keep it Simple, Stupid." For example,
rather than trying to completely overhaul immigration policy all at once,
lawmakers should gradually introduce policies that would achieve real reform
and advance America's interests. Feulner recommends that Congress work to
strengthen the E-Verify program, a cost-effective and proven way for
employers to ensure that they are operating within the law by hiring only
legal residents. And he urges lawmakers to consider a genuine temporary
worker program -- not just another form of amnesty -- that would allow
foreign workers to reside in the United States for a short period.

* President Obama's "plans for the Pentagon are awfully reminiscent of
Carter's defense program," writes Heritage national security expert James
Carafano. <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=j3l2vA_BIHq-5jof0Hwc_Q..>
Unfortunately, many of Carter's policies of soft diplomacy and military
cutbacks made the U.S. a vulnerable target in the eyes of her enemies -- and
the danger is that we could face these dangers again today. "Unless the
nation seems firmly committed to backing [rhetoric] with some hard muscle,"
argues Carafano, "those with no love of America will interpret the rhetoric
as the vapid mooings of a nation in retreat."

* "Because Fox dares to report news critical of the administration,
President Obama has instituted a White House boycott of the network," writes
Heritage expert Brian Darling.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=1WS2Ln3PffNJ_I_gvS7m0Q..> And while
the White House heaps abuse on its critics, the administration its heaping
taxpayer money on its allies. For example, $250,000 from the so-called
"stimulus" package has been assigned to a National Resource Center for
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders.

* The Obama administration's plan to send a $250 check to every senior
-- nominally to offset the lack of a cost-of-living increase -- would cost
future generations about $13 billion. "With [Social Security] already facing
massive unfunded deficits in the decades ahead, the proposed giveaway is
exactly the wrong approach," writes Heritage President Ed Feulner.

> In other news

* The United Nations is looking into pricey housing markets, such as
those in New York City, and investigating whether such expensive locations
violate the "right to affordable housing."

* A Los Angeles man has been arrested on "suspicious circumstances of
a miscarriage"
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=HSWC4XRcuC3k2G39bHOeDw..> of a
13-week-old fetus believed to be his. If he is charged with murder, the case
could reignite the controversy over when human life begins.

* Two suicide bombers struck Baghdad
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=kdPxwZtbDpSGiLjwACAXYA..> over the
weekend, killing 155 people in the worst bombing in two years. Meanwhile,
President Obama recently reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to withdrawing its
troops from the country.

* The U.S. dollar continues to slip
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=K7T_tPqENo_5ykBFIxrwPQ..> as the
Euro and Chinese Yen increase in value.

* Conservatives still outnumber liberals
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=e2iynnoTsrgzs4-HIZrHaw..> and
moderates, according to a Gallup poll. The most recent poll found that 40
percent of Americans identified themselves as conservative while only 20
percent said they were liberal.

Amanda Reinecker is a writer for MyHeritage.org-a website for members and
supporters of The Heritage Foundation. Nathaniel Ward, the Editor of
MyHeritage.org, contributed to this report.

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