Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012

Get 'Em Addicted: Obama Admin Boosted Obamacare Spending After Oral Arguments 
By Tony Lee
June 23, 2012

It seems the Obama administration saw the writing on the wall after the Obamacare oral arguments ended. According to a Politico report, the administration has spent “at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28” on Obamacare, which is “more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments." A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human services told Politico that there was nothing to see here, because these funds had been in the pipeline. 

The timing, though, is curious and important, because Obamacare funds “would dry up” if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, but money that is spent before the ruling “won’t have to be repaid, most likely.”

There is an obvious political reason for this -- to try to make Obamacare more popular even as it becomes one of the only pieces of such broad legislation that has become more unpopular the more people hear about. Usually, when legislation is passed, those who become dependent on it do not want parts that they like taken away from them, and with Obamacare, provisions that have been implemented -- like allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 years of age -- have polled better than other provisions, like the individual mandate, that have yet to be enacted. 

Since most of Obamacare’s provisions do not get implemented until 2014, most of the public has not had an opportunity to be dependent on various parts of it, and, with this increase in funding, the Obama administration is trying to accelerate people’s dependence on various aspects of the law to try to make it more popular. 

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The Tragic State of American Advocacy Groups

by Austin Hill
June 24, 2012

Hey AARP, and AMA – where did you lose your souls? And where does the iron fist of President Obama end – and where does your influence begin?

Throughout our nation’s history, private advocacy groups have given a voice to the “voiceless,” and have changed the way our government has treated people who otherwise had been trampled-upon or ignored. But today, two of the more prominent groups of these sorts have become indistinguishable from President Obama’s agenda for “change.”

And these two groups may also be learning a very painful and costly lesson: when you get too close to “the man,” eventually “the man” can own you.

Let’s start with the American Medical Association. Any individual who can earn the title “M.D.” is worthy of significant respect, and one would hope that an entire association of M.D.’s would be equally as worthy – but the A.M.A. has seemingly got itself caught in the crossfire of the “Obamacare” war.

The association’s stated mission is to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health; to advance the interests of physicians and their patients; to promote public health; to lobby for legislation favorable to physicians and patients; and to raise money for medical education. It is also noteworthy that the group originally opposed Medicare, fearing undue government intrusion in the medical profession.

But soon after Medicare’s beginnings, the A.M.A. changed their position – presumably they realized that government-funded health care through Medicare produced more guaranteed, government-funded wages for MD’s. Thus for all of my lifetime, the A.M.A. has aggressively opposed any cuts at all in Medicare funding.

Over the years the A.M.A. has also supported tight government limits on medical school entries – likely for the purpose of limiting the “supply” of M.D.,’s, and thereby enhancing the wages of M.D.’s. On this point the late Economist Milton Freidman once noted that the A.M.A. had become a “guild,’ and was shielding its present-day members from the potential competition of future would-be Doctors.

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Open Thread: Sunday Morning Talking Heads
by Allahpundit
June 24, 2012

It took months of document demands plus a contempt charge for the Attorney General to put Fast & Furious front and center on the Sunday shows, but better late than never. Darrell Issa gets to make his case this morning on NBC, ABC, and Fox News; Eric Holder’s rebuttal will be presented by … nobody, apparently. Unless I’m overlooking someone, none of the Democrats on those three shows is involved in the F&F investigation. Interesting that the White House hasn’t tapped anyone to take Issa on.

Today’s other hot topic is immigration, with Marco Rubio in the spotlight on “Meet the Press” to talk DREAM and what really happened with that VP kerfuffle last week. As a counterpoint, CNN will have on Democrat Luis Gutierrez, whom you might remember for having once said, “I have only one loyalty and that’s to the immigrant community.” I wonder what he thinks of Obama’s new DREAM power grab. The full line-up via WaPo:

NBC’s Meet the Press: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM); Jonathan Martin, Politico; Andrea Mitchell, NBC 
CBS’ Face the Nation: Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX); Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles; former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN); Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager; Eric Fehrnstrom, Senior Adviser to Romney Campaign; Joe Klein, TIME; Dan Balz, Washington Post; Norah O’Donnell, CBS News; John Dickerson, CBS News 
ABC’s This Week: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA); George Will, ABC News; Major Garrett, National Journal; Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal; Hilary Rosen, Democratic strategis
Fox News Sunday: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); T. Boone Pickens, BP Capital; Brit Hume, Fox News; Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast and Fox News; Nicole Wallace, former senior adviser to the McCain campaign; Jeff Zeleny, New York Times 
CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ed Gillespie, Romney senior adviser; former Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez; Rep. Luis Guiterrez (D-IL); Susan Page, USA Today; Peter Baker, New York Times

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