Watch Out For The Bright, Shiny Object

Rightwinggranny is a little more than ten years old. I have learned a few things along the way. One of those things is that when the media is screaming headlines in unison, there is probably something going on behind the scenes that I need to be aware of. This article is an example of that.

On January 16th, Breitbart reported that New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be serving on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is led by Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has made some remarks that indicate she may not totally understand exactly how America’s Representative Republic works, but that’s okay–she still got elected. So let’s look at who supported her election. Opensecrets.org is a website that tracks political campaign donations, The link I highlighted leads to information on the funding of Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for the House of Representatives. There is nothing illegal here, but it is always interesting to see where a candidate gets their funding.

The campaign funding information on Representative Ocasio-Cortez shows that during her primary campaign, two-thirds of the donations came from small donors. She may not fully understand how our government works, but she did a very good job or organizing a campaign. Eighty-eight percent of the large donations to her campaign (over $200) came from outside her district. From the time she won the primary election until the end of June, she received $70,000 from out-of-state donors. How does a newcomer to politics build that kind of a political machine? Who were the people who helped her organize her campaign? I don’t have answers to those questions.

So why is it significant that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been appointed to the House Financial Services Committee? That is the committee that oversees big banking, lending, and the financial sector. Representative Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed an interest in looking into the student loan crisis (a crisis created when the government took over student loans). It is quite possible that the committee will attempt to undo the deregulation President Trump has done that has led to the economic growth we are experiencing. Hopefully the Senate can protect our booming economy.

The other significant appointment you might not have heard about is the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (You can read more about Ilhan Omar at Power Line Blog.) 

Breitbart posted an article about the appointment yesterday.

The article reports:

Omar supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been called antisemitic because it singles out the Jewish state for isolation and ignores the Palestinian side.

…House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a statement in which he reminded Pelosi that she said Congress “must” oppose BDS, and that Schumer had called BDS “anti-Semitism.”

“I would love to know what changed, because Democratic leaders just promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that deals with the State of Israel.”

McCarthy continued: “Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Pelosi for appointing Omar to the committee, saying she had a “documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”

He added: “House Democrats have now just endorsed that ideology.”

This appointment may simply be a reflection of the ongoing battle between Nancy Pelosi and President Trump as to who is going to lead the country. However, both of these appointments represent a very severe left turn on the part of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen if Americans will support this extreme left turn.

More Rules For Thee But Not For Me

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that there are some questions as to the amount of money Elizabeth Warren spent to set up the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” as a federal watchdog to prevent financial institutions from abusing U.S. consumers.

The article reports:

The Office of Inspector General of the United States Federal Reserve (OIG) was requested by the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Committee on January 29, 2014, to evaluate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) headquarters renovation costs that rose from $55 million to at least $215.8 million.

…According to a 2012 Independent Performance Audit, the legislation uniquely guaranteed the CFPB an automatic percentage of the Federal Reserve System’s operating expenses and that “funding is not subject to the traditional formulation and review of the Congressional appropriations process.” In addition, “Receipt of funds from the Federal Reserve authorizes the agency’s budget spending authority.”

The article explains why this spending is a problem for Ms. Warren:

The OIG found that the “Scope and Justification for Estimates” for the “$55 million and $95 million budget amounts for the renovation for fiscal year FY 2012 [beginning October 1, 20011] and FY 2013 [beginning October 1, 2012], respectively, were published in the CFPB’s public budget documents.” The OIG also found that “Approvals through decision memorandums were obtained for these amounts.” But the OIG reported that “CFPB was unable to locate any documentation of the decision to fully renovate the building.”

It therefore appears that although Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the responsible party at the CFPB who approved the “decision to renovate,” the design, and the cost “Scope and Justification for Estimates,” all documents regarding her decisions have vanished.

More missing paperwork from the Obama Administration. Someone needs to open a Lost and Found for these people. Ms. Warren was supposed to be protecting consumers from overzealous corporations, meanwhile she was exploiting the taxpayers to create her own luxurious offices. This sort of expense can be added to the list of places the federal budget could easily be cut.

 

We Knew This Was Coming

One of the main problems with the programs put forth by the Obama Administration is that they have a way of rewarding friends and punishing enemies. We saw that in the stimulus and we saw that in the green energy programs. Now we are seeing it in ObamaCare.

Breitbart.com is reporting today that President Obama has changed ObamaCare to give a financial break to labor Unions.

The article reports:

The tax, known as the reinsurance fee, requires self-insured organizations, such as unions and some large companies, to pay $63 for each covered member and an additional $63 for each additional family member on a health plan.

The fee was expected to raise $25 billion over three years, with the funds going to insurance companies to offset the cost of covering pre-existing conditions and other mandatory benefits.

Meanwhile, on top of the carnage already hitting millions middle class families in the individual market, there is a coming ObamaCare tax in the employer-based market that’s about to affect millions who are apparently not among the president’s top donors.

We, as voters, are responsible for the leadership we have. Yuck.

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Elections And Laws Have Consequences

America was promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Many Americans believed that and were told that the people who were saying it wasn’t true were fear mongering. Well, here we are, ObamaCare is about to be in force, and we have discovered that the warnings were true. There is now a website called MyCancellation.com that shows cancellation letters from health insurance providers to policy holders. In some cases insurance premiums of the people who have received these letters will increase 300 percent.

Meanwhile, many insurance executives have been intimidated to the point that they are afraid to speak up about the damage ObamaCare will do to healthcare in America. Yesterday National Review posted an article about some of the comments health-care consultant Larry Thompson is hearing from insurance company executives.

The article reports:

Thompson predicts that by the end of next year, two phenomena will begin to unfold: first, that insurance companies, taking losses, will begin to remove themselves from the federal exchanges, and second, that wait times for doctors will rise. He even suggests that some of the exchanges may close by 2015. 

The crux of the problem: “Expectations are high, and delivery is going to low. When those two things converge, the law is going to get a pretty bad rap.”

We are only beginning to see the negative impact of ObamaCare.

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How Much Does It Cost?

ObamaCare was supposed to allow everyone in America to get health insurance, and it was supposed to lower the cost of health insurance for everyone. So far that is not the case.

Yesterday RedState posted an article about the cost of insuring a family under ObamaCare. It’s not a pretty picture.

The article tells the story of one man’s search for healthcare on the website for ObamaCare:

First, I decided to look at the low-tier, catastrophic coverage, under ObamaCare.  This should typically be the cheapest plan per month.  Yet one option would have cost my family over $50,000 a year in premiums.

My first thought was maybe this was just a mistake, another technical “glitch” in the website.  So I kept looking.

Here are a few more of the plans I found, costing as much a $4,910 a MONTH in premiums.  That’s nearly $58,920 a year for a family of five.

When I looked at the chart, I thought it showed yearly premiums, in which case the numbers would be reasonable. However, the chart below shows MONTHLY insurance premiums for basic policies under ObamaCare.

Heathcare.gov

I’m hoping we can end ObamaCare before it bankrupts America and the American people. The best way to do that is to elect people who oppose it in the next election cycle. If we continue to elect people who support ObamaCare, we will be stuck with it.

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Did You Know About The Belly Button Tax?

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about the debate over the Belly-Button Tax in Obamacare. Yes, you read that right. There is a tax on every person covered by an insurance plan–policy holder, spouses, and children. This has become known as the belly-button tax.

The article reports:

It’s paid by every company that provides insurance — big businesses, organized labor, and insurance carriers. The likely beneficiaries of the compensation fund, though, are just the traditional insurance carriers, who will become required to sell coverage to everyone, regardless of their medical history.

Large employers and unions have fought hard to get an exemption, saying the levy is unfair because they don’t directly benefit from the fund. Insurers say it’s an important fee they need to keep.

If you are going to require insurance companies to insure everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, you need to find a way to keep them from going bankrupt. We need to remember that companies are in businesses to make money. If they are not able to make money, why should they stay in business? The International Economic Development website reports that the profit margins for health insurance companies is about 3 percent. They rank about 88 among 215 industries as far as profit margins go. That profit margin is not overly large–these companies don’t have a lot of wiggle room to accommodate the federal government seriously impacting their profits. I don’t support ObamaCare, but if you are going to have ObamaCare, you need a belly-button tax.

ObamaCare does not make sense economically or otherwise. It will eventually collapse under its own weight. We just need to make sure it collapses before it totally destroys healthcare in America.

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