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Health Care Debate

The Death Book for Veterans


Ex-soldiers don't need to be told they're a burden to society.

If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

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DNC - National Spotlight Grows for OFA’s Health Care Forum With The President 

Yesterday at Organizing for America's National Health Care Forum, President Obama took questions from supporters and called to action a network of more than 280,000 dedicated volunteers listening by phone and viewing online.


Please see below for wide spread coverage of the President’s call to action during his live strategy meeting:


Politico: “Organizing for America still reigns as the biggest grass-roots movement in the nation — and its supporters are now beginning to outnumber opponents at more town hall meetings. Obama’s call to arms today could accelerate that trend ”: Amid White House concerns that it’s losing the message war on both its left and right fronts, President Obama on Thursday tried to rally his grass-roots army to regain momentum and redefine the battle for health care reform. In a conference call with Organizing For America activists, the 13-million-strong grass-roots wing of his machine, Obama told supporters they must battle misinformation being spread by opponents of his plan, such as claims that the bills in Congress would cover illegal immigrants or amount to a government takeover of health care.Organizing for America still reigns as the biggest grass-roots movement in the nation — and its supporters are now beginning to outnumber opponents at more town hall meetings. Obama’s call to arms today could accelerate that trend.


MSNBC’s First Read: “Obama hits stride in interview, at DNC”: Today at the DNC, Obama slammed the media for not correcting -- and even spreading -- the kind of misinformation that has riled up critics, such as promoting the idea of rationed care, death panels, and benefits for illegal immigrants. "We know where these lies are coming from," he said to laughter. "I don't think it's any secret. You know, if you just flick channels you'll -- and then stop on certain ones of them then you'll see, you know, you'll see who's propagating this stuff and so all we can do is just keep on pushing the truth."


Roll Call: “Obama Rallies Grass-Roots Supporters”: President Barack Obama on Thursday sought to rally the troops backing him on health care, delivering a call to action to the grass-roots membership of Organizing for America at an event streamed on the Internet from Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. Obama laid out some talking points for his army of volunteers, telling them to focus on those with insurance as well as those without it. The president said he wants to let Senate Finance Committee Democrats continue to try to reach a deal with Republicans on legislation, but he suggested he will not wait indefinitely for a bipartisan plan. “We’re going to get this done one way or another,” Obama said.


Huffington Post: Obama Confronts Misinformation About Health Care Reform, Back In Campaign Mode”: On Thursday afternoon, when President Barack Obama entered a room of 50 volunteers, with thousands watching via webcast, he was greeted with the campaign cry of "Yes We Can." In a speech and Q&A session that lasted over an hour, Obama spoke to members of Organizing for America (OFA), an almost entirely volunteer organization charged with mobilizing the campaign's grass roots strength into a fighting force for health care reform. Before Obama spoke, the Deputy National Director of OFA rattled off some impressive figures to show just how well they were doing... Perhaps the most impressive statistic, and possibly the one with the greatest long term impact, concerned elected officials: OFA members have made 64,912 visits to their local Congressional offices, far outnumbering the protesters screaming at town hall meetings. In the same calm way that he handled the talk of him palling around with terrorists, the President dispelled the lies one by one.


Politico’s Playbook: “1,500 supporters lined the streets around DNC headquarters”: WHILE THE DNC HAD A GREAT WEEK--President Obama’s webcast yesterday drew 273,000 viewers, and 1,500 supporters lined the streets around DNC headquarters, with nary a protester in sight. The DNC reported out-raising the RNC by $3 million in July, $9.1 million to $6 million. And in the New Jersey governor’s race, Republican Chris Christie has had a bad two weeks of press, tarnishing his story as a candidate who was supposed to a white knight, corruption-busting reformer.

ABC News: “Obama gave them ammunition and encouraged them to counter fall the ‘misinformation’”: Speaking before “Organizing for America” volunteers at the DNC headquarters this afternoon President Obama told them not to “lose heart” as they prepare to enter into their “toughest fight” yet on health care reform. Obama said the best offense against lies is the truth and prompted his volunteers – what he dubbed “the best ambassadors for true information” – to keep pushing just the facts. Obama gave them ammunition and encouraged them to counter fall the “misinformation” – specifically correcting the record that health are may be available to immigrants, that it's a government takeover of health care, that all of the money is going to be funding abortions, and that he’s in support of death panels.

Boston Globe: “Obama ramps up again on health care”: Later this afternoon, Obama held an online-phone strategy meeting with Organizing for America, the current iteration of his presidential campaign that is armed with 13 million or so email addresses. Obama did the pep rally in a small room at the Democratic National Committee, where about 50 volunteers chanted "Yes, we can," Obama's campaign slogan. According to the press pool report, Obama talked about the hardships of his longshot campaign, and compared them with his push for health care reform. "Now, we all know this has been an emotional debate. We've seen tempers flare. Accusations have been hurled. And sometimes it seems like one loud voice can drown out all the civil, sensible voices out there," Obama said.

TIME’s The Page: “Obama Rallies the Troops”: Uses forum at DNC Thursday to try to re-energize activists, urges them to keep pushing for health care reform. "We're not going to give up now. We're going to get this done and show the American people the government can work for them."

Associated Press: “Thousands watching online and listening by telephone”: "Winning the election is just the start," he told an audience at the DNC and thousands watching online and listening by telephone. "Victory in an election wasn't the change that we sought." Obama said lies had spread about Democrats' plans, including claims Washington would create "death panels" or pay for health insurance for illegal immigrants. "C'mon," a mocking Obama told the cheering crowd. "We can have a real debate because health care is hard and there are some legitimate issues that have to be sorted through and worked on."

Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp: ""Instead of being preoccupied with the polls and all the cable chatter... we're going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense out there, a lot of absurd claims that have been made about health care,'' said Obama, pointing to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing that most people believe things that aren't true about the plan - such as the notion that it will "pull the plug on Grandma.' Yet it's not only myths that are making things difficult, he suggested -- it's also an obsession with polls and talk radio and a relatively few boisterous town-hall meetings.

Kansas City Star: “Obama went into a passionate monologue about what was at stake”: On Thursday, at the end of his appearance with Organizing for America, Obama went into a passionate monologue about what was at stake. He implored the people at the event to stay involved and to add their voice to the fight for health care. "We are not going to give up now," he signed off. As Obama shook hands on his way out, the crowd began several chants, including a standard: "What do we want? Health care. When do we want it? Now."

Associated Press: “Obama is embracing a new role of fact checker-in-chief”: On the defensive, Obama is embracing a new role of fact checker-in-chief, trying to correct untrue claims such as that the proposals would provide health care for illegal immigrants, create "death panels" or pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars. Aides say the situation has left Obama exasperated. Obama told his DNC audience — as well as thousands watching online and listening by telephone — that health care was the toughest fight he has faced in office.

Associated Foreign Press: “Obama fires back at political critics”: Obama's counter-punch, delivered at a meeting of his Organizing for America network of supporters, follows a run of town-hall appearances and speeches, which have seen him mount a stern defense of his health care reform plan, which is facing stiff Republican attacks. He told backers not to get obsessed with polls, pundits and "cable chatter" but to take aim at what he described as fabrications drummed up by opponents to doom his top domestic priority. "We are going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense out there," he said.

USA Today: “Obama on health care: 'We are not going to give up now'”: The message from a feisty President Obama today on health care is that he's not backing down. After taking questions earlier today from listeners of conservative talk show host Michael Smerconish's program, the president met with some of his most devoted fans -- former campaign volunteers -- at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters on Capitol Hill. "Don't lose heart as we enter into probably our toughest fight," Obama told the volunteers in a question-and-answer session that was webcast over the Internet.


National Public Radio “Grassroots Used to Push Health Care Rx”: With polls showing public support slipping for the White House push to change health care, President Obama reached out to two different audiences Thursday. Obama invited a conservative talk radio show to the White House; then the president visited the Democratic National Committee headquarters where he talked about health care to the audience and to thousands watching online.


Associated Press “Obama calls for 'real debate' on health care”: President Barack Obama is trying to rally the activists who helped put him in the White House. Obama visited the Democratic National Committee headquarters this afternoon to talk about health care. He told an audience at the DNC and thousands watching online and listening by telephone that "winning the election is just the start." Obama said lies had been spread about Democrats' health care plans, including claims Washington would create "death panels" or pay for health insurance for illegal immigrants. He said there should be "a real debate" because "there are some legitimate issues that have to be sorted through and worked on." Obama says he's still looking for Republican support for a comprehensive health care bill, but Democrats privately are preparing a one-party push. Some Democrats say a strong-arm tactic on Senate health care legislation, one that would negate the need for any GOP votes, might be more effective than previously thought.


Tulsa Today: “Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he stated firmly that Americans should not lose heart.”: During a live press conference this afternoon, hosted by the Organization for America, (OFA) President Barack Obama took to the podium with one intent--to clarify his plans regarding health care reform. After a quick introduction by Beth Kimbriel, an OFA volunteer from Virginia, he addressed the crowd amid applause. Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he stated firmly that Americans should not lose heart. "Look at what we have accomplished so far," he said, detouring into a quick list of successes.


Associated Press “Obama Jabs at Health Care Critics”: President Barack Obama is taking some pre-vacation jabs at those he accuses of spreading misinformation about his health care reform proposal. As he spoke to supporters yesterday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, the president listed several falsehoods about various proposals. They included one that Washington's looking to create death panels. As he has in the past, Obama insisted no one is going to be "pulling the plug on grandma." He then took on the media, saying there's no question where the lies are being spread. But he says there's a way to counter the misinformation -- by having an honest debate.



SBA Federal Contracting Scorecard Released with Record $93.3 Billion to Small Business 

More Than Half of Federal Agencies Met 2008 Small Business Goal 

In SBA’s Annual Contracting Scorecard


WASHINGTON – Small businesses won a record $93.3 billion in federal prime contracts in Fiscal Year 2008 (Oct. 1, 2007-Sept. 30, 2008), an increase of almost $10 billion from 2007, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s third annual small business procurement scorecard, released today. In addition, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses increased their share of federal contracting dollars by at least $1 billion to $3 billion.


“This record $93.3 billion in contracts to small businesses is significant, however, across the federal government we are committed to ensuring that the 23 percent goal is met and even exceeded going forward,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “Especially during these tough economic times, federal contracts for small businesses can be just the opportunity they need to continue to grow and create jobs. At the same time, the federal government gets access to some of the most innovative and best products and services.”


Earlier this week, the Obama Administration reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that minority-owned businesses, small businesses, including women and veteran-owned businesses have greater access to federal government contracting opportunities. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced a government-wide plan that includes federal agency procurement officials holding or participating in more than 200 events over the next 90 days to share information on government contracting opportunities, including those available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


“President Obama has made a commitment to ensuring that small businesses have greater access to federal contracting opportunities and it is a commitment shared across this Administration,” Mills said. “We have already begun taking aggressive steps to connect small businesses with contracting opportunities, as well as increase our outreach to federal agency procurement officers to make sure they get the information and tools they need to help them connect with these good, innovative small companies.”


Small Business Goaling Summary Report













Small Businesses



$83.2 billion


$93.2 billion

Small Disadvantaged




$24.9 billion


$29.3 billion




$13 billion


$14.7 billion

Service-disabled Vets



$3.8 billion


$6.4 billion




$8.5 billion


$10.1 billion


Small Business Procurement Scorecards provide an assessment of federal achievement in prime contracting to small businesses by the twenty-four Chief Financial Officers Act agencies. It also measures progress that departments are making to ensure small business opportunities remain an integral part of their acquisition of goods and services to meet mission objectives. The Scorecard was designed as an internal control and monitoring device to ensure that (1) federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic goals, (2) accurate and transparent contracting data is used and (3) agency-specific progress is maintained. SBA is issuing the Small Business Procurement Scorecards for the third time.


The annual Scorecard rates federal agency performance in meeting the overall small business goal and the component contracting goals for small disadvantaged businesses, small businesses in HUBZones, and small businesses owned by women and service-disabled veterans. Procurement goals for federal procuring agencies may vary because the SBA negotiates individual goals with each federal procuring agency.


  • The following 13 agencies met small business contracting goals: the departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Transportation, SBA and Veterans Affairs.
  • The following 22 agencies met goals for contracts to small disadvantaged businesses: the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, SBA, Social Security Administration, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.
  • The following 14 agencies met goals for women-owned small businesses: the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Transportation, Treasury, and SBA.
  • The following nine agencies met HUBZone contracting goals: the departments of Agriculture, Energy, General Services Administration, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Transportation and SBA.
  • The following four agencies met goals for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans: the departments of the Environmental Protection Agency, GSA, Labor and Veterans Affairs.


According to the Scorecard ratings of performance on all five goals:


  • One agency – GSA – met or surpassed its goals in all areas.
  • Eight agencies – DHS, DOE, DOI, DOL, DOT, NRC, SBA, USDA – met or surpassed four of the five goals.
  • Four agencies – Education, EPA, HHS, VA – met or surpassed three of the five goals.
  • Four agencies – DOC, HUD, NASA and Treasury – met or surpassed two of the five goals.
  • Five agencies –DOD, DOJ, NSF, SSA and State – met or surpassed one of the five goals.
  • Two agencies – OPM and USAID – met none of the five goals.


About the Scorecard


SBA rates 24 agencies green, yellow or red on each of the individual goals established by Congress and gave a numerical score to each agency based on how many of the five goals were met or surpassed.


Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal, determined annually in consultation with SBA. SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals meets the 23 percent target established by law.


As part of its ongoing efforts to increase access to contracting opportunities for small businesses, the SBA is continuing to work with federal agency procurement staff to strengthen the integrity of contracting data, including providing tools to facilitate public review of data and training to improve accuracy.


The goaling reports released today by SBA are available at




CONCORD – Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on Senator Judd Gregg’s health care forums:


“I applaud Senator Judd Gregg for being the first member of the New Hampshire delegation to host a traditional, face-to-face forum with his constituents during the August recess. Senator Gregg has been a leader in the fight against the Democrats’ disastrous health care agenda, and he understands that New Hampshire voters deserve the right to question their elected representatives in an open and unrestricted environment.


“Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter have spent the entire August recess dodging their constituents and refusing to answer questions about their support for a government takeover of health care. They have used contrived telephone ‘town halls’ as inadequate excuses to avoid face-to-face contact with the people who elected them to the United States Congress. If Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter don’t have the courage to appear in person to defend their support for the Democrats’ budget-busting, job-killing health care legislation, they should not be running for public office.”



NRSC - Hodes' Massive 'Stimulus' Bill Funds State Government in New Hampshire 

WASHINGTON – Despite the Democrats’ claims that the so-called $787 billion “stimulus” legislation would jumpstart the economy in New Hampshire, the Nashua Telegraph reports today that the funds actually “created or saved 796 jobs, with 700 of those state workers.”


In February, U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) voted in favor of the Democrats’ massive “stimulus” bill, which he promised would “reduce soaring unemployment.” Unfortunately, the money allotted to New Hampshire has grown the size of government instead of returning to small businesses to continue investing in the ailing state economy.


Nearly two weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the federal deficit in July 2009 increased by an additional $181 billion, leaving the country $1.3 trillion in debt. A massive portion of this debt comes from the “stimulus” bill, which the Obama Administration claimed would “jumpstart growth and transform our economy.”


“Paul Hodes’ support for more bloated spending in Washington has grown our national deficit and continues to demonstrate that he’s completely out-of-step with the fiscally-responsible values of Granite State voters,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson.


“The people of New Hampshire are looking to elect a U.S. Senator who will safeguard, not recklessly spend, their hard-earned tax dollars. Unfortunately, Paul Hodes rubberstamp record in Washington demonstrates that he has embraced the opposite approach alongside Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,” Wilkerson concluded.


According to the Union Leader, $3 million in stimulus funds being given to the University of New Hampshire will not be used to rehire employees terminated in June. In Manchester, the Union Leader reported that $22,157 of stimulus funds were used to purchase a new SUV to replace a functional car. And ABC News reported that road signs touting “stimulus” projects in the state cost $500 each.


Background Information


Congressman Paul Hodes (D-NH) Said The “Stimulus” Would “Reduce Soaring Unemployment.” (Travis Andersen, “Hodes Says Stimulus Will Help,” The Nashua [NH] Telegraph, 1/27/09)


The Obama Administration Claimed The “Stimulus” Bill Would “Jumpstart Growth And Transform Our Economy.” (“American Recovery And Reinvestment Act: State-By-State Jobs Impact,” The White House, 2/13/09)


$3 Million In Stimulus Funds Being Given To The University Of New Hampshire Will Not Be Used To Rehire Employees Terminated In June. “Hopes that federal stimulus money would help restore cuts at the University of New Hampshire appear to be dashed after officials announced this week they will get $3 million, but none of the money will be used to rehire employees terminated in June.” (Clynton Namuo, “Federal Stimulus Money Will Not Restore Jobs At UNH,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 7/10/09)


Despite Four Years Of Dropping Home Prices In New Hampshire, $8.3 Million In Stimulus Funds Is Being Used To Build Lower-Priced Housing. “Home prices in New Hampshire have dropped for four years straight, according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. And the drop has been big. The median home price in the first five months of 2008 was $237,000. The median price in the first five months of this year: $200,000. That’s a 16 percent reduction. Housing has suddenly become vastly more affordable in New Hampshire. Now, enter the federal government. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen announced last week that through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill), New Hampshire has received $8.3 million ‘to jumpstart affordable housing projects across the state and create jobs.’ Genius. In the midst of a years-long decline in home prices, Washington gives us $8 million to reduce home prices. Even better, people struggling to sell their homes will now have to compete with federally subsidized housing projects. There is little demand for housing construction, and thus construction jobs. So Washington’s answer is to invent demand where there is none. Who cares if the new ‘affordable’ homes stay empty? The point is to ‘create jobs.’ That’s exactly the sort of make-work project we were assured the stimulus bill would not fund.” (Editorial, “Housing Stimulus,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 7/5/09)


Manchester Used Stimulus Funds To Purchase A New SUV To Replace A Functional Car. “The field supervisor at the Manchester Transit Authority will be driving a new SUV while on the job, thanks to the national economic stimulus program. The MTA is spending $22,157 of the $408,000 it will receive in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to purchase a six-cylinder, 2009 Ford Explorer, the MTA said last week. The city bus company needs the SUV to transport passengers in case a bus breaks down and to shuttle drivers occasionally during shift changes, said Carey Roessel, MTA executive director. . . . He said the SUV replaces a 1998 Crown Victoria that has 68,275 on the odometer. While the mileage is low, the car has had a lot of use,” Roessel said. (Mark Hayward, “City Transit Agency To Buy SUV With Stimulus Money,” The [Manchester, NH] Union Leader, 5/23/09)


Road Signs Noting “Stimulus” Projects Cost $500 Apiece In New Hampshire. “Signs with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act logo are plastered at stimulus-funded construction project sites around America. The costs of these signs -- some of them reaching into the thousands of dollars -- are drawing sharp criticism from one member of Congress...The signs cost $500 apiece in Maryland and New Hampshire, $1,700 in Georgia, $2,000 in Pennsylvania and New York, and $3,000 per project in New Jersey. For the price of one $2,000 sign, 40 potholes could be repaired. The costs of the signs are adding up for some states.” (Jonathan Karl, “Expensive Stimulus Road Signs Raise Eyebrows,” ABC News, 7/10/09)