Revised Stimulus Plan Still Contains “Health Care Rationing” Provision – Where are you Senator Specter?

Despite his repeated assuarnces on TV that the provision would be removed from the stimulus bill – it still remains.

Isn’t your word any good Senator?

The language in question isn’t even remotedly related to “stimulating the ecomony” in the first palce – so the language/spending has no place in this bill.

This item should make its way through the Congress in the normal fashion and be subject to open and agressive debate – not smuggled past the American public in the dead of night.

A brief review of the provision follows – excerpted form the National Review On Line – the full article can be reviewed here:

The Stimulus and Health Care    [James C. Capretta]

The massive amount of spending in the so-called “stimulus” bill is startling, yes—but entirely predictable given the way the bill was set in motion.

There’s now $20 billion in new discretionary appropriations for HHS in the bill (not counting the HIT funding and Medicaid), and there is no real theme to any of it—other than more, pretty much across the board. $2.1 billion for Head Start. $0.5 billion for the NIH campus. $1.5 for university research facilities. $1.5 billion for NIH research grants. A $3.0 billion wellness fund. And on and on.

What’s just as troubling is the large number of far-reaching policy changes tucked away in the bill.

For instance, the Democratic majority is laying the foundation for government rationing of health care—and the public has heard virtually nothing about it.

The bill provides $1.1 billion for a new program of comparative effectiveness research. The idea is to study medical practice patterns, new products, and new technology to determine what is “cost effective.” In the UK, a similar program run by the National Institute for Clinical Evidence (NICE) is used to deny payment by the government for certain drugs and procedures that are said to be “cost ineffective.”

Democratic lawmakers will deny that rationing is their intent, but that is not credible. Why create a government program to study what’s cost effective if not to use the information to inform payment and coverage decisions? The problem is that this kind of research inevitably includes value judgments (how much is an extra year of life worth?) and interpreting the data is more art than science. In the wrong hands (like a distant government bureaucracy), so-called effectiveness research can be very dangerous indeed. (MCAULEYSWORLD: WORSE YET – MEDICAL DEVISE MANUFACTURERS OR MEDICATION RESEARCHERS CAN INFLUENCE THE SYSTEM WITH THEIR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AS HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST)

James C. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a health policy and research consultant.

Stimulus Bill Raises Concerns Over Government Rationing of Health Care
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

( – Two provisions in President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan could give the federal government the authority to oversee the medical decisions made between doctors and patients, critics warn, which could result in the rationing of health care.
The bill provides $3 billion to computerize health records, a measure intended to cut costs and reduce medical errors. Language in the stimulus bill calls for “the utilization of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.”
Further, the legislation also spends $1.1 billion to establish a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which would serve as an umbrella group for all federal health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP, and veterans’ care, with 15 members from various federal agencies making determinations about health care needs and cost-effective treatments. 
According to the bill, the secretary of Health and Human Services “shall seek to improve the use of electronic health records and health care quality over time by requiring more stringent measures of meaningful use” by health care providers.
The bill also indicates that a doctor who is not a “meaningful EHR user” in terms of using patients’ health records to provide the most cost-efficient coverage could face penalties

This will require the establishment of the office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The new office ‘‘provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care,” according to the language in the bill.

One problem critics note is that the electronic medical records will be mandatory.
“I am not against electronic records,” Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York, told “I am against coercing doctors to limit care. I certainly do not support vague guidelines. E-records are fine as long as they are not mandatory.”
McCaughey, an adjunct senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, told there is “no question” that the goal is to ration health care to control costs. That is achieved, she said, by first putting every individual in a medical treatment database, and secondly by putting the new effectiveness council in charge of providing doctors with guidelines for how to most effectively treat those patients based on the data.
“The powers of the secretary of Health and Human Services are so vague as to raise constitutional questions,” McCaughey said. “The guidelines of what is cost effective could penalize doctors for providing too much care. Treatment decisions guided by the information in the database could determine if a doctor is providing inappropriate care, or excessive care, which would be defined as giving more care to one patient than other patients. This is harmful to patients.”

Though the bill, still under final revision in Congress, states that privacy of electronic health records will be protected, Sue Blevin, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, is concerned that there is not an opt-out for people who choose not to have their records computerized and entered into the national network.
“Without those protections, Americans’ electronic health records could be shared – without their consent – with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health records network,” Blevin said in a statement.

“Unless people have the right to decide if and when their health information is shared or whether to participate in research studies, they don’t have a true right to privacy.”

Obama & Democrats Blow More Smoke Up Your Ass – Executive Pay/Bonus Limitations Dropped From Stimulus

So, after spending last weekend playing to the liberal media and launching a tidal wave of 10 second sound bites attacking the Bankers the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress continues to bail out – yes the same Democratic bankers who ran Fannie, Freddie, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and AIG ( Oh, you didn’t know they were Democrats, what a surprise, you must read the Main Stream Media)  – The OBAMA ADMINSTRATION AND THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS HAVE DROPPED EVERY PROVISION IN THE BAILOUT BILL 2 (Now called Stimulus 2) THAT WOULD LIMIT EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION OR BONUSES – That is right! Every single provision that would limit the Executive Compensation paid by your tax dollars, every provision that would limit Executive Bonus/Perk payouts or curtail the purchase or lease of Corporate Jets has been eliminated from the Stimulus/Bailout. THAT IS RIGHT – AFTER ALL THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS – EVERY SINGLE PROVISION HAS BEEN DROPPED BY OBAMA HIS ADMISTRATION AND THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS. So exactly what was all the chest thumping about while the cameras were on …. politics, pure poltics.

Why did this happen? If you believe the bogus explanation “unamed” Democrats in Congress are offerring, it is because they, the Democrats, did not want to lose “the tax revenue generated by the payouts”. That is rich! 100’s of billions in bonus payments made out of trillions of dollars in tax payor’s money to collect a few million in taxes. Do you believe that expanation? Are you that stupid? 

The real reason – the people receiving the bonus payments made possible through our tax dollars are big name Democratoic Party Loyalists who grease the right palms come campaign contribution time.

Who pays? You already know who pays ………

Only 21 months to election day ……….. 


Executive pay cap could get axe in stimulus negotiations

 By Mike Lillis 2/11/09 10:49 AM

Citing unnamed Democratic officials, The Associated Press reports that there’s “pressure” on Congress to drop the executive pay limits for bailed-out banks as lawmakers reconcile the differences between the House and Senate stimulus bills.

The reason? It would cost taxpayers too much.


That’s right — the federal government has lent or guaranteed trillions to Wall Street firms, many of which remain reluctant to lend the cash, and Congress might drop the executive pay cap because the $10.8 billion it would cost in lost tax revenue over 10 years (as scored by the Congressional Budget Office) is too much.

So: No conditions on lending. No restrictions on executive pay. It looks more and more like The Onion got it right when it said this bailout cash is being dumped into a hole in New Mexico.

More Obama Double Talk – Obama Appoints Additional Advisors Tied To Financial Crash

Obama advisers’ Citigroup ties raise questions

Administration taps two former executives for high-level positions

WASHINGTON – Senior executives at Citigroup’s Alternative Investment division ran up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses last year on their esoteric collection of investments, including real estate funds and private highway construction projects, even as they collected seven-figure salaries and bonuses.

Now the Obama administration has turned to that Citigroup division — twice — for high-level advisers.

Jacob J. Lew, who served until late last year as the chief financial officer of Citigroup Alternative Investments, has been named deputy secretary of state, the department’s No. 2 position.

Michael Froman, another former chief financial officer at the Citigroup division, has joined the White House staff as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.

Both Mr. Lew and Mr. Froman are well respected in Washington for their extensive government experience, which includes work in the Clinton administration on budget matters, in Congress and on international financial affairs.

But their shift to the Obama administration from Citigroup has raised questions about the potential for conflicts of interest, and about whether Mr. Obama’s own staff members benefited from the kinds of Wall Street excesses he has criticized.

“You sort of have to wonder why it is so smart to put them in charge now, if they helped create the mess that we are in,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “They wouldn’t strike me as the natural choice.”

Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, has questioned whether the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, is relying too much on former bank executives in shaping the bailout of the financial sector. Recent appointees include Mark A. Patterson, a former lobbyist at Goldman Sachs, who is now the chief of staff to the Treasury secretary.

“It seems to be an incestuous financial relationship situation here,” Mr. Shelby said at a Senate hearing last week, referring to senior Treasury executives, like Mr. Patterson, who once worked at investment banks. “And that’s very troubling not only to a lot of people on this committee but to the American people.”

Mr. Lew, through a State Department spokesman, declined to comment. Jennifer R. Psaki, a White House spokeswoman, said by e-mail that Mr. Froman’s past government experience in international financial affairs is just what is needed “given the global scope of the economic challenges we are facing.”

Citigroup paid Mr. Lew, 53, at least $1.1 million in salary and bonus last year, according to a financial disclosure form filed last month. The form noted that he might get an additional undisclosed bonus for his work in 2008 before he started his federal job.

As of last fall Citigroup Alternative Investments managed $49 billion worth of capital from individuals and institutions, investing in nontraditional ventures like a program that builds highways, runs airports and oversees other major public projects for governments.

In the first quarter of last year, the Alternative Investment division lost $509 million and for the whole year, it was part of a larger Citigroup division that lost $20 billion, according to Citigroup.

Mr. Lew’s job — overseeing financial matters at the State Department, with a focus on trying to increase the share of financing that goes to the diplomatic corps — will take him relatively far from this world.

Mr. Lew, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration and was a longtime aide to Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., said at his confirmation hearing last month that he would recuse himself from State Department matters having a “particular impact” on Citigroup.

This article, “Advisers’ Citigroup Ties Raise Questions,” first appeared in The New York Times.

International Economists State Stimulus Packages Don’t Work

That’s right. Stimulus packages don’t work – they just redistribute income. They take your income and redistribute to someone else.

Stimulus packages do not create jobs. They never have and never will. This isn’t new News ….. This has been taught in Graduate Level Business courses for nearly 50 years. The study of “stimulus packages” in Graduate Schools across this Country is limited to a study of the “lies” perpetuated by Politicans and the liberal press about how they, “Stimulus Packages”, work. They Don’t. When you hear “Stimulus Package”, think “Pork Barrel Spending” dressed up for Halloween.

So you doubt this is accuarte? You are completely wrong. Government sponsored stimulus packages have been universally rejected as effective means to stimulate national economies.

THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE OF DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGIES ….. It is a matter of Politicians lying to you while they feed their special interest groups off your tax dollars and the Economy and the Country go to hell in a hen basket……..

You doubt this ……. then read,

“Budget won’t spark growth, experts warn: Big scale belies lack of revenue, true stimulus”,

The fiscal 2009 draft budget unveiled Saturday isn’t likely to help Japan recover because the recession will probably accelerate the ongoing decline in tax revenues, economists warn. While some (politicians) say more spending is what is needed to stimulate the economy, others are suggesting the government should reconstruct its finances and embark on structural reforms to spur growth.

(Politicians everywhere are the same, they are simply looking to “buy votes” at public expense).

Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa stressed the budget would prevent the economy from worsening. Economists remain skeptical.”It is not clear whether it is really intended to improve the economy or perhaps with some consciousness of the impending election,” said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.

Experts, however, are stressing that fiscal reconstruction and structural reform within Government must be carried out. Regarding spending, Kumano suggested that the government should strictly select projects that will stimulate the economy.”Toward the future, (the government) should not lower the flag of fiscal reconstruction,” Naito said, urging the government to rebuild the framework for fiscal reconstruction at the earliest available date to slash the snowballing fiscal deficit.

Also see:  Flaherty says stimulus could come if necessary, but economists warn against it.

TORONTO – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a Politician, says his government is prepared to introduce a fiscal stimulus package if necessary in the 2009 budget, even if it means going into a deficit, but some economists say such a package could do more harm than good.

“I’m not a big fan of short-term stimulus packages,” said Don Drummond, chief economist at TD Bank. “They don’t really generate very much short-term stimulus and they very quickly become long-term structural problems.”

Drummond said the economic slowdown wasn’t created in Canada and therefore can’t be solved in Canada. “Canada is not the problem – we’re the only developed economy in which employment and consumption are still rising. Our economy’s been hit by international events, not by domestic events.” Drummond cautioned against doing “anything under the guise of short-term stimulus that doesn’t need to be done for longer-term interests.” For example, temporary tax cuts are often nearly impossible politically to reverse, and while spending on infrastructure can be beneficial, it takes a long time for major developments to be approved. “Most of the infrastructure you would mount right now isn’t going to hit the economy until 2011 or 2012 and hopefully we’ll be recovered by that point,” Drummond said. “In fact, we may even be facing an inflation problem again at that point.”

Jack Carr, an economist at the University of Toronto, said the Canadian government should be similarly wary. “I’m not in favour of a big stimulus package, particularly if it involves bailing out losers. Rewarding losers is not a way to compete in this global economy,” he said. 

Craig Wright, chief economist with Royal Bank, said whatever initiatives are introduced need to encourage productivity. “We have to do something to turn around productivity in Canada,” Wright said. He added that it was encouraging to see government trimming some of its own costs. By the time this world fiscal stimulus hits the road, the economies will probably already be in recovery,” he said. “That’s why these things never work. They’re supposed to be counter-cyclical and they end up being pro-cyclical.”

Also read:  Harper bets billions in stimulus will save economy”:

OTTAWA – The Harper government is breaking the bank in a desperate attempt to spend the economy out of recession. Tuesday’s federal budget makes no pretence at being anything but a return to Big Government that has Ottawa stretching its tentacles into every crevice of economic life – from how Canadians lease cars to imposing grace periods on credit-card companies before they can charge interest.
The underlying principle is that if the private sector won’t spend and invest, the government must do it.  

“I don’t want to call it a Christmas tree because sometimes that’s a derogative term when you’re looking at legislation,” said Bruce Yandle, an economics professor at Clemson University. “But it is a rather rich collection of things.”

Yandle said only about $170 billion, mostly the extension of unemployment benefits and the greater availability of Medicare for the unemployed, would provide much of a jolt to the economy in the coming year. And even then it’s questionable how much those breaks will lead to more spending that would help retailers and, in turn, manufacturers, he said. “When people are getting money in their pockets right now they’re not spending it. They’re saving more. They’re paying off debt,” Yandle said. “If people decided to save and pay off debt, that’s a good move, but it’s not the move that is contemplated by people who say we need to stimulate the economy.”

William Hauk, an assistant economics professor at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, said the infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, schools and upgrading the electrical grid, won’t stimulate the economy very soon because there’s often a long lag between when such projects are designed and when they’re built. “The phrase that gets thrown around a lot is ‘shovel ready.’ I’m not sure there are a whole lot of projects out there that are shovel ready,” Hauk said.

The infrastructure spending is creating capital assets, so that has some benefit in the long term, “but that’s not the biggest part of the spending bill,” said College of Charleston economics professor Frank Hefner. Hefner said the ideology behind such stimulus bills, that additional government spending will trickle through and revive the economy, isn’t proven to work. While some of the bill’s spending may have merit, Hefner said its effects may not appear before the economy is expected to recover on its own in a year or two.

David Brooks made the following observations in the New York Times:

There is a strong case to be made for a short, sharp stimulus package to restrain the collapse of the American economy. This would involve big, simple programs with immediate impact — a temporary cut in the payroll tax, expanded unemployment insurance and food stamps. 

There’s also a very strong case to be made for long-term government reform. America could fundamentally rethink its infrastructure policies — create a new model adapted to new modes of community-building. It could fundamentally rethink human capital policies — create a lifelong menu of learning options, from pre-K programs to service opportunities for the elderly.

But the stimulus bill emerging in the House of Representatives does neither of these things. It is an unholy marriage that manages to combine the worst of each approach — rushed short-term planning with expensive long-term fiscal impact.

The bill has three essential failings. First, it lacks any strategic vision. This $825 billion bill has to be passed within weeks. There’s no time for fundamental rethinking or new approaches. Instead, there’s a sloppy profusion of 152 different appropriations — off-the-shelf ideas that mostly create costlier versions of the status quo.

Second, the bill has relatively modest short-term impact. Many parts don’t even pretend to be stimulus measures, like funding for basic research, or special ed programs. But even the parts of the bill that aim to stimulate will have modest near-term impact.

A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that less than half of the money for infrastructure and discretionary programs would be spent by Oct. 1, 2010. (YES, THAT IS CORRECT, THE DEMOCRATIC CBO STATES LESS THAN HALF OF THE ALLEGED STIMULUS CASH GETS SPENT IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS). The total package is so diffuse, it costs $223,000 to create a single job.

According to The Washington Post, of the $30 billion devoted to highway spending, only $4 billion will be spent in the next two years. Less than $3 billion of the $18.5 billion for renewable energy and less than half the financing for school construction will be spent by 2011.


The Appropriations Committee chairman, David Obey, fulminated against the C.B.O. Wednesday, and the uselessness of economists in general, but he had no answer to these findings. ( I GUESS IT IS A REAL PAIN IN THE ASS WHEN THE EXPERTS YOU HIRED TELL YOU YOUR PLAN WON’T WORK – THE DEMOCRATIC SOLUTION – ATTACK THEIR OWN ECONOMISTS AND QUESTION WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT THE ECONOMY ANYWAY – WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION, “WHY DID THE DEMOCRATS HIRED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE”). 


Third, the spending measures in this bill have no sunset. In the middle of the Appropriations markup, the ranking member, Jerry Lewis from California, asked his chairman the crucial question: What happens when the economy recovers? Does this new spending disappear?Chairman Obey refused to answer, but he didn’t have to. 


On Tuesday, President Obama was inaugurated and vowed a new era. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee met and showed the old era was very much alive. Democratic subcommittee chairmen sat like potted plants because all power was wielded by Chairman Obey. Republicans were in the dark because of an information embargo placed on the majority staff.
President Obama is clearly going to have to show the hard way that he meant what he said about bringing change. He didn’t run for president just to sign whatever bills the Old Bulls put on his desk. (Oh, you believe so.  I have an alternate option, Obama is just another old time Democratic Hack and the Country has returned to the old tax and spend ways of every other Democratic Administration. Obama/Biden – They could be twins. IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND OBAMA’S FISCAL POLICY LOOK TO BIDEN’S RECORD).



He’s going to have to prove the hard way that he meant what he said about being pragmatic and evidence-based. That means he won’t sweep a C.B.O. study under the rug simply because the findings are inconvenient. He’s going to have to show that his plans have credibility, that a stimulus bill is really a stimulus bill, and not a Christmas tree for every special interest desire. (Let me ask you this, have your read or heard this anywhere else, that the Democratically controlled Congressional Budget Offfice questions wether the stimulus will stimulate growth or create even 1 new job? Of course not – Obama, with the help of the liberal media, is hidng this from the American People. Political “Payback” through “pork barrel spending” is more important to them than righting the American Economy).

American’s should be mad as hell at being lied to again and again. This is not a stimulus package – It is the largest pork barrel spending package ever to leave the Congress – This Pork Barrel extravaganza will not stimulate the American econmomy or help American Workers with new jobs. This “Package” will saddle the average American with huge increases in the taxes they owe down the line when the bill comes due.

If it works, the government (Politicians) estimate the $40 billion in stimulus will boost the economy by 1.9 per cent over the next two years. That’s a big if, say economists, who caution the plan could still come undone by poor execution, wrong assumptions about people’s ability or willingness to spend, and slow-to-start infrastructure projects.

As to the Obama/Pelosi Stimulus Plan passed by the House of Representatives, American Economists have said this,  

New Stimulus Package – 97 Cents Of Every Dollar Goes To Pork – $1,000 Per Illegal Alien

Sen. Inhofe: Stimulus Bill a ‘Big Buyoff’

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., says the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package the House of Representatives is heaping on Americans is nothing more than a huge spending bill with projects in it for people the Democratic-led Congress wants to buy off.

Inhofe, who says the bill will do nothing to stimulate the economy, says the bill will provide tax refunds to people who don’t pay any taxes, and would even give government checks of up to $1,000 to illegal aliens

“You have a stimulus bill that’s supposed to stimulate the economy,” Inhofe explains. “We know how to do that. We did it under John Kennedy; we did it under Ronald Reagan. We know what it does and what you have to do for capital gains and for all these things to open up the economy. But this [stimulus package] doesn’t do any of that. There’s so many things in there that are just bad.”

Inhofe notes that a lot of the pork lies in projects that have nothing to do with stimulating the U.S. economy, including:

  • $1.5 billion for homelessness prevention   
  • $650 million for digital TV coupons 
  • $650 million for wildlife management 
  • $600 million for the federal government to buy new green cars 
  • $570 million for climate change   
  • $75 million for smoking cessation activities  “The only tax decreases they have here are refundable tax credits,” Inhofe explains. “And that’s really just giving refunds to people who don’t pay taxes. That has nothing to do with stimulating the economy.”  One of Inhofe’s biggest objections to the $880 billion bill is that there is only $30 billion that goes toward some of what he believes are the real problems that should be addressed, such as roads and highways.  

    Inhofe says he personally met with President Barack Obama Monday to point out that the $30 billion earmarked for infrastructure represents only 3 percent of the total amount of the spending bill.  

    “When I told him that, he didn’t believe it was that small a percentage,” Inhofe says. ”I said, ‘If we find that I’m right and you’re wrong, would you go up to 10 percent?’ And he said, ‘I’d certainly look at that.’ Since then, he realizes that I am right. As far as roads and highways, it’s $30 billion, and then a few [dollars] for water infrastructure.” (CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS – “THE ONE” PROPOSES A TRILLION DOLLAR PORK SPENDING BILL AND “THE ONE” DOESN’T  KNOW WHAT HE AND PELOSI PUT IN IT .    YOU DECIDE,  IS THIS THE “CHANGE” WE WERE PROMISED OR JUST MORE TAX AND SPEND DEMOCRATIC POLITICS)

  • Inhofe believes it is the infrastructure improvements that could provide real jobs, while spurring the economy.
  • “We have over $1 billion worth of projects in America right now that are going to have to be done,” Inhofe points out. “Roads, bridges and that kind of thing; the type of thing government is supposed to be doing. We are going to do it, but this would allow them to do it earlier and use up some of that money they’re throwing away.”

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