Politics

Obama Pressures Dems, Media on Health Care

President Obama’s plan for a government takeover of health care is in trouble. Obama ordered up a prime-time last push on Wednesday from his media accomplices, and today will be a big day for them to be ganging up on opponents. Mostly, the targets are Democrats in the House and Senate who are rejecting his so-called public option.  

Obama has invited a number of wavering Dems to the White House today, planning on arm-twisting sessions aimed at getting their support for the gargantuan — and unread — plan to take over the health care of all Americans and add another enormous burden onto the already-too-large federal deficit.

With a non-partisan Congressional Budget Office price tag of $1.5 trillion in the House on the parts of the bill they were allowed to see, doubts abound from both sides of the aisle that the proposed tax increases on small business and deep cuts to Medicare will come close to paying for the bill.  

According to the Republican Study Committee, which is keeping the count, 105 rank-and-file Democrats in the House of Representatives have sent at least three letters to their leadership expressing concerns about the proposals they’re being forced to defend back home.

Over in the Senate yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) gave a blistering commentary about the President’s latest healthcare strategy.

“The last time the President made grand promises and demanded passage of a bill before it could be reviewed, we ended up with the colossal stimulus failure and unemployment near 10 percent,” DeMint said.  “Now the President wants Americans to trust him again, but he can’t back up the utopian promises he’s making about a government takeover of health care.

He insists his health care plan won’t add to our nation’s deficit despite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office saying exactly the opposite. And today we learn that the President is refusing to release a critical report on the state of our economy, which contains facts essential to this debate. What is he hiding?”

DeMint is referring to the White House decision yesterday to postpone the mid-year budget review and hide it on a back burner.

“If the actual legislation came close to matching the President’s rhetoric, he would have no problem passing this bill with huge Democrat majorities in both chambers,” DeMint continued.  

“But Americans aren’t being fooled and are discovering the truth about his plan which includes rationed care, trillions in new costs, high taxes and penalties that will destroy jobs, and even government-funded abortions.”

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Republican leader, also chastised the White House for putting off the important budget review that is projected to show more historic deficits.

“Let’s be honest about what this is: an attempt to hide a record-breaking deficit as Democratic leaders break arms to rush through a government takeover of health care,” Boehner said. “The Congressional Budget Office confirmed last week that the Democrats’ plans will increase health care costs and add hundreds of billions to the deficit.  Try as they might, the White House cannot hide the fact that the policies of this administration have buried our children and grandchildren under historic debt. Washington Democrats are spending with reckless abandon, yet by burying this budget update until after Congress leaves town next month.  The administration is not willing to own up to the consequences of this dangerous fiscal agenda.”

Physicians Group Challenges the AMA ObamaCare Endorsement

The largest online community of physicians in the United States says the American Medical Association (AMA) endorsement of government-run healthcare does not reflect the view of practicing physicians.  

Sermo is an online community of over 100,000 U.S. physicians.  On the website, doctors “collaborate on difficult cases, share clinical observations and work together to achieve better patient outcomes than each could individually.”

“Physicians are the only true advocates for their patients and this bill fails to meet what physicians need to improve the quality of care they deliver,” said Dr. Daniel Palestrant, Sermo CEO. “By endorsing a bill that does not adequately address concerns of physicians in this country, the AMA shows again that it is out of touch with physicians and is conflicted by its own business model.  We welcome both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to engage with real physicians who actually practice medicine to get real-time feedback on how to reform healthcare.”

Palestrant says the AMA needs to shed relationships with insurers that cause conflicts of interest.  He also calls for the AMA to end practices that take advantage of physicians and their patients to generate millions of dollars in revenue. 

“Physicians have voted with their feet with AMA membership now estimated at only 15-20% of US physicians,” Palestrant said.

The group recently released the results of a new survey of physicians using the Sermo website.  A representative group of 4,165 doctors participated in the survey conducted between July 1-7, 2009.  75% of the physicians surveyed are not members of the AMA.  89% of the physicians agreed with the claim, “The AMA does not speak for me,” and 91% of the physicians surveyed do not believe the AMA accurately reflects their opinion as physicians.

Physician respondents to Sermo online surveys “spanned 68 specialties and all 50 states. The average age of the participating physicians was 49 years old, with a median of 13 years experience in practice. The demographics of physician respondents were representative of the U.S. physician population with respect to geographic distribution, most specialties and age. All respondents were verified and credentialed, ensuring they have valid, active licenses to practice medicine in the United States. Physician respondents work in practices of all sizes in all major urban and remote rural locations across the Unites States.”


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