Press Releases

 

Monday
Nov232009

DNC - SEN. GREGG LIES ABOUT PRICE OF HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM...AGAIN 

This evening on CNN Senator Judd Gregg again repeated his earlier debunked claim that the actual cost of Health Insurance Reform is $2.5 trillion, which he earlier made this morning:

 “I genuinely believe we need health care reform but it has to be done on a step-by-step basis and thought fully, not in a way that expands the size of the government by $2.5 trillion. That's how much it will cost when it's fully implemented... that's not debatable. it comes out of the cbo... that number is a 10-year number with the program starting in the fourth and fifth year. if you take ten years when the program is fully implemented throughout the whole ten years, it's $2.5 trillion so that number is sort of a bait and switch number.” [Gregg CNN Interview, 11/20/09]

Despite praising the CBO as “objective” and “non-partisan”, New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, speaking against health care reform on the Senate floor today, cited skewed data crafted by Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee which drastically and inaccurately inflates the cost of the bill over data from the independent Congressional Budget Office he previously praised.  See below for more on Senator Gregg's distortions:

RHETORIC: Sen. Gregg Claimed Actual Cost Was $2.5 Trillion, From CBO: “That's a lot of money, $897 billion or or $800 billion-plus. But that's not a real number. That's a phony number. That's a bait-and-switch number… well, when that occurs, this bill costs by

RHETORIC: Sen. Gregg Used “CBO’s Objective, Non-Partisan Analysis” To Criticize President Obama’s 2010 Budget. In a press release, Sen. Gregg said, “[t]oday’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the President’s complete Fiscal Year 2010 budget as submitted to Congress on May 7th again paints a bleak picture for the U.S. economy in the years ahead, as spending and borrowing result in publicly-held debt tripling by 2019…’CBO’s objective, non-partisan analysis again raises red flags that we cannot continue to ignore. The President’s economic agenda is unrealistic, unsustainable, and will crush economic opportunities for our children and grandchildren unless we take action to get our fiscal house in order.’” [Press Release, 6/17/09]

REALITY: SEN. GREGG HAS NO PROBLEM MAKING UP NUMBERS FOR CBO, EVEN THOUGH HE SAID THEY WERE “OBJECTIVE, NON-PARTISAN.”

Claim That Senate Bill Would Cost $2.5 Trillion Was Generated By Senate Budget Committee Republicans, Not CBO. Fox News reported that, “Republicans have countered the CBO estimate with a figure of their own: $2.5 trillion, an estimate that comes out of the Senate Budget Committee minority's analysis of Reid's plan.” [Fox News, 11/19/09]

CBO On Senate Bill: “Net Cost Itself Reflects A Gross Total Of $848 Billion”—Not $2.5 Trillion. [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

RHETORIC: Sen. Gregg Claimed States Would Lose Out Under Reform Because Of Medicaid Expansion: “The states, the states are just going to be taken to the cleaners by this bill. The allegation that you're going to expand Medicaid by 20 million to 30 million people and the states aren't going to end up paying a huge bill as a result of that?” [Gregg Floor Speech, 11/20/09]

REALITY: STATE MEDICAID PROGRAMS BENEFIT UNDER REFORM

CBO On Senate Bill: Federal Government Would Cover On Average 90% Of Additional Medicaid Costs, Up From 57% Currently; Federal Money Would Cover Higher Proportion Of CHIP Costs, Increasing From An Average Of 70 Percent To 93 Percent. The CBO concluded that the Senate reform legislation affected Medicaid in the following way: “Starting in 2014, most nonelderly people with income below 133 percent of the FPL would be made eligible for Medicaid. The federal government would pay all of the costs of covering newly eligible enrollees through 2016; in subsequent years, the share of federal spending would vary somewhat from year to year but ultimately would average about 90 percent. (Under current rules, the federal government usually pays about 57 percent, on average, of the costs of Medicaid benefits.)…Beginning in 2014, states would receive higher federal reimbursement for CHIP beneficiaries, increasing from an average of 70 percent to 93 percent. CBO estimates that state spending on Medicaid would increase by about $25 billion.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

 “Senate Staff Members Say The Governors Are Being Heard, And That Measures To Cut Other Health Care Costs In The Legislation Will Eventually Alleviate Their Concerns” On Added Medicaid Burden. The New York Times reported on nervousness from state governors based on concerns that some of the costs of Medicaid expansion would be shouldered by beleaguered states: “Senate staff members say the governors are being heard, and that measures to cut other health care costs in the legislation will eventually alleviate their concerns.” [New York Times, 8/7/09]

REALITY: WITHOUT REFORM, STATE BUDGETS WILL COLLAPSE

Study: If Reform Fails, “All States Would See Their Medicaid/CHIP Costs Rise By More Than 75 Percent From 2009 To 2019. Half The States Would Face Cost Increases Of More Than 100 Percent.” The Robert-Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute completed a study on the potential costs to states if health reform failed. The main findings for health care spending were: “In the worst case, all states would see their Medicaid/CHIP costs rise by more than 75 percent from 2009 to 2019. Half the states would face cost increases of more than 100 percent. Even in the best case, 13 states would experience Medicaid/CHIP cost growth of more than 65 percent. In the worst case, uncompensated care costs would more than double from 2009 to 2019 in 45 states. Even in the best case, uncompensated care would increase by more than 50 percent in 48 states.” [RWJF: The Cost Of Failure, 9/28/09]

RHETORIC: Sen. Gregg Claimed That Senate Bill Would Force Everyone Into Public Plan Eventually: “Well, it does what this bill is basically intended to do. It will force employers to drop private insurance and push people over onto the public plan, and that when you get down to it is what this is all about. This is an exercise at having the federal government basically get control over all health care, and it's being done in a -- in an incremental way.” [Gregg Floor Speech, 11/20/09]

REALITY: CBO SAID PUBLIC OPTION WOULD ENROLL ONLY 3 TO 4 MILLION

CBO On Senate Bill: Public Plan Would Enroll Between 3 And 4 Million. In its estimate of the Senate reform bill, CBO wrote: “Roughly one out of eight people purchasing coverage through the exchanges would enroll in the public plan, CBO estimates, meaning that total enrollment in that plan would be 3 million to 4 million.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

Wall Street Analyst To Health Insurance Industry: Public Option “Looks Like A [Blue Cross Blue Shield] Plan,” Which Are “Strong Competitors For Private Insurers, But Not Deadly Ones.” The New York Times Prescriptions Blog wrote, “[i]n a report sent to investors earlier this week, a Wall Street analyst, Richard Evans, concludes that the health insurance industry should probably not worry much about the prospect of a government-run health plan — at least not as it now is taking shape in Congress. As things stands now, Mr. Evans notes, the proposed legislation does not call for the new government-run plan, or public option, to be able to demand the same low prices that Medicare gets from doctors and hospitals. Private insurers have argued that Medicare-pegged rates would give the public option an unfair advantage over their plans… ‘It appears the public option would be required to negotiate price with providers, pay back its start-up capital, cover its operating costs, and earn sufficient reserves,’ wrote Mr. Evans, a managing partner for Sector & Sovereign. ‘In other words, it looks like a Blues plan.’ Mr. Evans writes that the not-for-profit Blue Cross plans may be strong competitors for private insurers, but not deadly ones. Where they operate, he notes, they tend to have the largest share of the market but seem to be able to co-exist with for-profit insurance companies. ‘This suggests that a not-for profit public option has some enrollment advantages over for-profit commercial insurers, but that the effect is modest,’ he wrote.” [New York Times Prescriptions Blog, 11/3/09]

RHETORIC: Sen. Gregg Claimed Reform Was All About A Washington Takeover Of Health Care: “And this bill is all about moving power here to Washington. That's what this legislation is about. It's about centralizing the decision process, the national decision process on health care.” [Gregg Floor Speech, 11/20/09]

REALITY: SUCH FEARS ARE BASELESS AND IRRESPONSIBLE

Fox’s Shep Smith To Sen. John Barrasso: “It’s Not A Government Takeover, Senator! That’s Not Fair And We Both Know It.” Fox News’ Shep Smith confronted Sen. John Barrasso over his boilerplate GOP talking points calling health reform a “government takeover,” and said: “SMITH: It’s not a government takeover, Senator! That’s not fair and we both know it. It’s not a government takeover because what it would be is a government option if you have insurance now and you like it you can keep it…That’s not a government take over if we’re being fair is it, Senator?...As the costs have gone up, the insurance industry’s profits on average have gone up more than 350 percent and it’s the insurance companies which have paid and have contributed to Senators and congressman on both sides of the aisle to the point where now, we can’t get…what more than 60 percent of Americans say they support, is a public option. This has been an enormous win for the health care industry. That is an unquestioned fact.” [FOX News, 10/6/09]

Sen. Frist Now Makes “Three Former Republican Senate Majority Leaders Who Have Endorsed The Sorts Of Reforms President And His Allies Are Pushing…For All Of The Crazy Talk About A Radical Government Takeover, Health Care Reform 2009 Is An Amalgam Of Compromises.” Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic noted that, “[f]or those keeping a tally, that's three former Republican Senate Majority Leaders who have endorsed the sorts of reforms President Obama and his allies are pushing. Previously, Howard Baker and Bob Dole signed on to a plan they negotiated with Tom Daschle and George Mitchell, former Democratic counterparts, through the auspices of the Biparitsan Policy Center. And this is as it should be. For all of the crazy talk about a radical government takeover, health care reform 2009 is an amalgam of compromises, many based on ideas taken straight from former Republican proposals--the kind of proposal, in other words, at least a few Republicans should be able to embrace in good faith. Now if only some currently serving members of the party could take a cue from the retired elder statesmen.” [The New Republic, 10/2/09]

Sen. Dole: “I Want This To Pass…I Don’t Agree With Everything Obama Is Presenting, But We’ve Got To Do Something…I Don’t Want The Republicans Putting Up A ‘No’ Sign And Saying, ‘We’re Not Open For Business.’” Former Senate Majority Leader Bob “Dole, to his credit, is having none of it. ‘I want this to pass,’ he said. ‘I don't agree with everything Obama is presenting, but we've got to do something.’ He added: ‘I don't want the Republicans putting up a “no” sign and saying, “we're not open for business.”’” [Kansas City Star, 10/7/09]

FactCheck.org: Under Obama’s Health Care Plan, “Nobody Would Be Forced To Drop His Or Her Current Insurance.” “Obama has long said he would allow individuals or small businesses to buy insurance through a public plan – like the one now available to members of Congress. But nobody would be forced to drop his or her current insurance, and private plans would exist as they do now. This was the health care plan he promoted as a presidential candidate.” [FactCheck.org, 5/1/09]

AMA President-Elect Reassured: Physicians And Patients Don’t Need To Fear The Rise Of A Monolithic Health System With No Choice From President Obama. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that “American Medical Association president-elect Dr. James Rohack told Mississippi doctors Friday…Physicians and patients don't need to fear the rise of a monolithic health system with no choice, because it's not something the American people would accept, Rohack said. The president didn't advocate a single-payer system for the United States at the meeting, Rohack said. Obama said he believes in access to health care for all with a system that is a mix of public and private sources with patients still able to see the physicians of their choice.” [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 5/30/09] 

 

Monday
Nov232009

Waxman "Let's Cat Out of Bag" Says ALG's Wilson, Current Healthcare Legislation a "Trojan Viper" 

"As bad as the current healthcare legislation

already is, it is really intended to be a Trojan

Viper. It will open the door a total government

healthcare takeover." – ALG President Bill Wilson

Fairfax, VA—Terming the current Obama healthcare legislation a "Trojan Viper," Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today said that Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman "let the cat out of the bag," when he told a Washington news bureau, "If we get it in place, we can build on it later."

"That," said Wilson, "is the liberal MO: get any big government program in place, and then expand on it later until it costs trillions and dictates every move Americans make. It's all intentional. Obamacare is their next Trojan Viper."

"They will make whatever deals they have to make now just to get this in place, and then just 'build on it later,' costing taxpayers trillions of dollars," Wilson explained.  "In the Senate, they might offer the so-called 'trigger' tied to escalating health costs, only to later simply pull the trigger themselves and implement the government takeover.  It's an example of a 'compromise' to win enough votes, along with state "opt-outs," or restricting abortion funding in the House bill."

"As bad as the current healthcare legislation already is, it is really intended to be a Trojan Viper. It will open the door a total government healthcare takeover—even if as Waxman says he doesn't get everything he wants right away," said Wilson.  "Then they'll just 'build on it later.'"

Wilson said that, like other government programs, "The costs are radically understated at first, and then they are phased in later with a vengeance."

In the interview, Waxman told the Washington News Observer broadcast news bureau that he thought it was vital to get the bill passed "by the end of the year."

"There are going to be so many pressures next year, especially with the elections looming, that this is our opportunity," said Waxman.  "When the Clinton Administration tried to do it, they pushed it off into the second year, and the closer it got to the election, the special interests were able to bring it down."

Wilson agreed that time was not on Congress' side.  "The more the people learn about the the government health care takeover, the less they like it, and so Waxman wants the bum's rush," Wilson said.  He called on members of the Senate to delay procedural votes on the bill "for as long as they possibly can.  The final text of the Senate bill is still not available, and a complete analysis of its contents should be made publicly available prior to any votes."

The Senate is expected to vote on proceeding to the bill tomorrow night at 8PM.  "This is an opportunity for the Senate kill this bill.  If the vote to proceed passes, then at least 41 Senators must filibuster.  It's the only way to stop this madness," Wilson said.

The Senate version of the "public option" will start operating at massive budget-busting deficits starting in 2015, according to an Americans for Limited Government analysis of Congressional Budget Office data.  By 2019, the "public option" will have spent some $361 billion more than it took in via new taxes. 

"The 'public option' will be losing billions within 5 years," Wilson said, concluding, "and when it's fully implemented, this Trojan Viper government takeover will be losing trillions of dollars, ration health care away from seniors, raise the cost of premiums, drive the American people off of private health options, and bankrupt the Treasury."

Sunday
Nov222009

SEIA - FERC Decision a ‘Major Victory’ for the Solar Industry 

WASHINGTON, DC – Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement today applauding the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee’s (FERC) declaratory order confirming that sales by a developer of on-site solar generating projects to end-use customers do not constitute the sale or transmission of electric energy:

 “This decision by FERC is a major victory for the solar industry. Recognizing that FERC does not have jurisdiction over on-site solar generating projects removes a great cloud of uncertainty about the role of third-party solar system owners and paves the way for greater, more cost-effective, solar deployments. In short, this decision allows solar companies to be just that – companies creating jobs and deploying more solar – and not have to be under the same regulatory system as utilities.”

 
Sunday
Nov222009

NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Concord, NH – During this busy holiday season, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Bureau of Food Protection wants to remind everyone to follow some important food safety practices to avoid foodborne illnesses, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. “Food is always a central part of holiday celebrations, but foodborne illness shouldn’t be,” said Dr. Jose Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “There are an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.

The good news is that taking the proper precautions and following approved techniques can prevent these illnesses.” There are some simple precautions everyone should always take to reduce the possiblility of becoming sick when preparing food, which include:

Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods and always wash them after use. Avoid cross contamination. Wash any utensil after preparing one food item before going on to the next item.
Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.
Cook: Make sure all meats are thoroughly cooked by using a meat thermometer: turkey, stuffing, and casseroles to 165ºF; veal, beef, and lamb roasts to 145ºF; and ham, pork, ground beef, and egg dishes to 160ºF. When reheating, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to 165ºF.
Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. The refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the freezer should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods hot, 140ºF or hotter, and cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a cold-water bath, or in the microwave.
When using a microwave, meat must be cooked immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department ofHealth and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls fromconcerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public health official calls you to talk about an outbreak your cooperation is important, even if you are not ill.

For more information visit www.usda.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.befoodsafe.org , or www.dhhs.nh.gov.

Sunday
Nov222009

Bearse Warns Party to Change Its Ways or Lose NH CD 1 Again in 2010

This week (Sunday eve, Tuesday morn and Thursday eve, respectively), Congressional Candidate Peter Bearse spoke to the Tri-Town Republican Town Committee (RTC), the House Republican Alliance (HRA) and the Hampstead RTC. Tri-Town brings together Republicans in Stratham, Exeter and North Hampton. The HRA is a caucus of conservative Republicans in the State Legislature. At least 25 members of each group were present. Bearse was warmly received by them.

He spoke a message that is very different from what they are hearing from the other candidates vying for the opportunity to beat current U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. He said that the GOP will lose a great opportunity to win back the seat lost by Jeb Bradley if it continues to field the go-along/get-along, same-old/same old candidates in ‘10 that lost to the Democrats in ‘06 and ’08. 2010 will be a historic political year, Bearse remarked, because the great American

majority of voters are finally waking up to recognize they’ve got to get involved if the American economy is to be restored and our Republic revived. Independents, most of whom are sick of party politics, will make the difference. Seeking to do just that, they’ll be looking for a different brand of candidate.

Bearse went on to highlight what sets his candidacy apart from the others. He is the only:

v     Doctor of Economics prepared to provide leadership towards economic recovery and help people through the hard times -- the only candidate who has provided an alternative to the so-called “stimulus.”

v     Candidate speaking to people’s main concern: “Congress is Broke and only We the People can fix it!” Thus, Dr. Bearse has provided both the strategy and a program for a 21st Century “Compact with America”.

v     Long-term (40+ years) political activist at a time when people want someone to raise hell in Congress, not play the same-old, go-along/get-along and spend-spend-spend games that threaten to bankrupt America.

v     Candidate to consistently emphasize science, innovation and entrepreneurship as the prime drivers of economic recovery and sources of solutions to a number of the challenges we face. “Are these found in the Congress”, Bearse asked. “No. Are they needed? You betcha”

v     Only one to pledge a “higher level of constituent service”, featuring two additional Congressional offices to help constituents in the northern half of the District --offices to be paid for primarily out of the new Congressman’s salary.

An attachment to this release summarizes Dr. Bearse’s presentation. Time was allowed for Q&A in all settings, so Bearse was able to field a number of questions on some heartfelt issues of concern. Questions from readers of this release would also be welcome. Send to pjbearse@gmail.com or call to 603-819-1408 (campaign cell) to get a response, or go to: nhcd1peterbearse@googlegroups.com to participate in discussions on issues with Peter and others.

Released by Supporters of Peter Bearse for Congress on November 19, 2009