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Medicare and Medicaid

GOP Pledges to Keep Tinkering
Posted By:  - 09/23/10

Although I'm hardly the first to say it, the GOP's brand spanking new "Pledge to America" sounds pretty darn familiar.  I'm not talking about the obvious reference to 1994's Contract with America, but 2010's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

As the WonkRoom gleefully points out, the Pledge seems to be completely restating at least 7 practices that are ALREADY LAW.  To quote directly from the Pledge, "Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage."  Sounded nice when President Obama said that too.

The problem here has been discussed ad nauseum.  The GOP summed it up nicely themselves back in April (apparently before their pollsters told them to shut-up), "The basic tenets of economics, combined with inherent self-interest, guarantee that people will wait until they are sick before they buy insurance now that Congress has guaranteed they can get it at any time."  Why on earth would any healthy person who currently pays for insurance continue to do so?  Even with a fine, it will still be cheaper to stop paying until you get sick!  It doesn't matter how many times you say it, this will NOT in any way shape or form bring down the cost of coverage.

What will?  Stop tinkering, Stop regulating, Stop mandating.  Allow insurance companies to compete.  Allow insurance companies to sell cheap plans that only cover catastrophes.  We've heard GOP representatives talk about how regulatory uncertainty has been cripping our markets.  Let's go ahead and take that advice.

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Only 8 Weeks Until MidTerms, Are You Informed?
Posted By: Dan Barrett - 09/21/10

Tab Insert

The NTU Foundation wants you to be the most informed voter, armed with the best, up-to-date information, as America heads into the mid-term election season. The Taxpayer’s Tab is one of the tools NTUF provides to keep track of Congress' potential spending agenda. This will be our 12th issue in which we highlight the highest and lowest cost bills, as well as the most cosponsored bills working their way through Congress and into law. In those 12 issues, we have articled over 40 bills and shown you the ways our BillTally data can help you in deciding if the priorities your legislator supports match your own.

As our country heads into one of the most contentious election cycles in recent memory, be sure to keep the Taxpayer’s Tab at the top of you inboxes and forefront of your minds. NTUF’s research is independent and nonpartisan. We do the grunt work so you can cut through the campaign rhetoric about Congress's spending habits.

The new issue of the Taxpayer’s Tab tackles yet another bill eliminating waiting periods for Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance. Then we navigate through some of the Department of Defense’s weapons programs in a bill calling for their cancellation. A bill requiring earmark transparency is also showcased in our “Most Friended” section. Last, but not least, our Wildcard section centers on a bill which would continue and expand price reporting for businesses in the dairy and meat industries.

The specific bills of The Taxpayer’s Tab #12 include:

  • HR 2881, Kenny Callahan Act
  • HR 5784, Reduce and End our Deficits Using Commonsense Eliminations (REDUCE) in the Defense Programs Act
  • S 3335/HR5258, Earmark Transparency Act
  • S 3656/HR 5852, Mandatory Price Reporting Act

To help everyone get the most out of this upcoming election and The Taxpayer’s Tab, encourage your friends and family to join NTUF, follow NTUF on Twitter, subscribe to the Tab, and forward this important newsletter to others. Remember, transparency is everyone’s business and an issue in and of itself this election.

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Reducing Federal Workforce, Gun Law Modernization in Taxpayer’s Tab
Posted By: Dan Barrett - 09/14/10

Tab Insert

This week, the Taxpayer’s Tab brings you a Most Friended bill with the most cosponsors to date, 240 Congressmen and 35 Senators. Think you know what the bill covers? The answer may surprise you. NTU Foundation also presents a Least Expensive Bill section only rivaled by Issue 2’s HR 5615, which repealed the medical device tax. To check out all the exciting content the Taxpayer’s Tab offers you, subscribe and help NTUF bring Congress’s potential spending agendas to light.

The Taxpayer’s Tab Issue 11 content includes:

  • HR 2263, Disability Equity Act
  • HR 5348/S 3747, Federal Workforce Reduction Act
  • HR 2296/S 941, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act
  • S 3557, Sandy Feldman Kindergarten Plus Act

The NTUF Policy Analysis Team has received many requests for bill cost estimates. Do you have a suggestion? Email us and let us know what’s important to you! While you’re emailing us, send your friends a copy of the Tab and tell them if they followed us on Twitter, they could stay on top of all the ongoing research.

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Health Care Costs to Rise
Posted By:  - 04/23/10

In a report released yesterday by the Health and Human Services Department, it has been concluded that Obamacare will cause health care costs to rise.  According to the AP:

The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors. 

As the report's grand finale:

In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces "a very serious risk" of insolvency.

Wow.  The program will increase costs, ration care, and is ultimately unsustainable.  If only there had been somebody, somewhere, who could have seen this coming.  I'll try to contain my shock.

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