Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Final Five: July 31, 2012

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Tonight's Crazy Story:
Police: Ohio Woman Tried to Break Into Jail
Jailbreak attempts are not uncommon, but this attempt was unique in that the woman involved was attempting to break into the jail.

Topic One: ObamaCare
RomneyCare is in trouble: "After years of debate over how to contain health care costs, the Massachusetts Legislature is poised to approve a bill that burdens the entire health care system with more bureaucracy and hundreds of millions in increased expenses. "Real cost-containment is only possible when we encourage patients to reward low-cost, high-quality providers with their business," says Josh Archambault, Pioneer's director of health care policy. "Instead of providing financial incentives for individual patients to take charge of their own medical care, this legislation rearranges the system based on accountable care organizations (ACOs) and changes in payment methods. The legislation misses the mark by a long shot and will not lead to long-term, sustainable containment of health care costs."

Papa John's franchisee says ObamaCare may lead to job cuts: "Small business owners like Nichols have been studying their options since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one of the plan's most controversial elements - the individual mandate -- was constitutional. The mandate, which the high court determined was a tax, requires individuals to purchase medical insurance or pay a penalty. Companies employing 50 or more people but which do not offer health insurance will have to pay a tax of $2,000 per employee. Nichols currently has 85 employees and has a private carrier insurance plan in place. Each employee pays $90 per month, and Nichols matches that with $90 to cover the whole premium. "That's the cost if I continue to provide insurance. So I have two options, I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could keep my number of staff under 50 so the mandate doesn't apply."

The D.C. Daily: July 31, 2012

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Yesterday's Action
During business yesterday, the Senate took the following actions:
  • Passed S. Res. 533, designating October 2012 as "National Work and Family Month".
  • Agreed to the motion to proceed and began consideration of S. 3414, to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.
  • Rejected the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach to be Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit.

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will meet today at 10:00 AM. The Senate is expected to resume consideration of S. 3414, to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.

House of Representatives
Yesterday's Action
The House met yesterday in a pro forma session.
Today's Schedule:
The House will meet today at 12:00 PM. The House is expected to consider twenty bills under suspension. (The full list of bills to be considered is available here.)

Executive Agencies
(You can view the entire Federal Register here.)

Significant Proposed Rules:
There were no significant proposed rules printed today.

Significant Final Rules:

Presidential Documents:

Supreme Court
The Court has now completed its work for the October 2011 term. The Court will hold the first oral arguments of the October 2012 term on Monday, October 1.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Final Five: July 30, 2012

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Tonight's Crazy Story:
Belarus Admits Air Invasion by Teddy Bears
After weeks of denial, Belarus's President has finally admitted that a Swedish group dropped hundreds of teddy bears from an airplane in a pro-democracy stunt.

Topic One: Dancing Nurses
Britain promoted its NHS (National Health Service) during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics this past weekend, but perhaps Britain should have promoted something that was actually working as intended: "Britain is a country that has embraced socialized medicine for several decades and though you have outlets such as The Guardian declaring that citizens receive same or next day health care, they don’t tell you that they are running in the billions on deficits because of healthcare, which means that things may be well for while, but eventually you have to pay the bill. ... By the way, did each of those beds represent one of the 130,000 seniors they killed this year to make room for more patients? Or maybe they represented the patients doctors had to prescribe water for to make sure hospital staff didn’t let them die of simple dehydration."

More analysis from American Thinker: "Let's face it: in general, liberals are so proud of their accomplishments that to market their fantasy, they'd gladly don intricate costumes and push stage props around London's Olympic Park. The Brits did it at the Olympic opening ceremonies, and Barack Obama, harbinger of a similarly well-intentioned health care system that is similarly likely to fail, does it symbolically every time he promises the same type of medical quality and access that the NHS has proven for over 60 years is impossible to physically or financially maintain. ... Whether those merry dancing nurses realized it or not, they were representing a bankrupt system that relegates the very ill to waiting lists and denies drugs that are already paid for with the tax money of poor British citizens. What the nurses promoted was a system that has been known to refuse patients basic human needs like food and water, forces the sick to wait until it's too late for life-saving treatment, and effectively euthanizes 130,000 elderly people a year. Nonetheless, based on what the world witnessed at the Olympics opening ceremonies, the NHS accomplishes all those atrocities with a rollicking sense of national pride."

Finally, Rich Galen provides some perspective on how big the NHS bureaucracy is: "Then, at number five (with the condition described above) is the National Health Service which the BBC puts at 1.7 million employees. That seems like a lot of employees for a national healthcare system. ... Our population is about 314 million; just about five times the size of the U.K. If it takes as many people to manage our healthcare system per citizen as it does in the U.K then we can expect that, at full power, Obamacare will need 6.73 million employees to help you stay healthy. 6.73 million is about the population of Washington State, so it will be as if every logger and barista in the country will have been drafted to work in Obamacare."

Maybe ObamaCare is the solution to our unemployment problem: create a huge bureaucracy, allow 130,000 people (or possibly more here) to be left for dead, and watch the unemployment rate plummet.