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Health Care by Committee
It’s been described as "misleading," "anti-family," "anti-job," "pro-abortion," and, my personal favorite, "a proverbial mackerel rotting on the beach in the moonlight"–but no matter what you call it, Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) health care plan may be the President’s best shot at reform. Today, Baucus’s Finance Committee approved his "concept" by a 13-9 vote, even as more news breaks on what the proposal would actually mean to American families.
In the last few days, plenty has been written about the plan’s hidden taxes and higher premiums, but the most glaring revelation is the fact that lower- and middle-class citizens will be the ones hurting under Baucus’s "compromise." Despite President Obama’s promise that he wouldn’t raise taxes "one penny" on the average family, Bloomberg News broke down the report from the Joint Committee on Taxation and found that individuals who make less than $200,000 a year will be footing a whopping 87% of Baucus’s bill. And these are folks who already have health insurance!
Experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers have also studied the fallout for families under the Finance Committee’s plan. By their calculations, the average family pays about $12,300 for their current coverage, but under Baucus’s concept, it would increase to $21,300 by 2016." The Heritage Foundation fleshes it out this way: instead of reducing a family’s health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year, as President Obama promised, this plan would actually raise them $4,000 more than they would have been without reform. On top of that, the plan still includes abortion as a necessary part of health care.
As bad as it is now, the final plan will be worse. Despite what does or doesn’t pass today, the leaders in the House and Senate intend to stuff the conference bill fuller than a turkey at Thanksgiving. Sen. Harry Reid has promised to reinsert the public option along with a host of other bad amendments concocted behind closed doors that no one will see–until it’s too late.
The White House may not be moving as quickly as homosexuals would like, but Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is more than happy to pick up the pace. In an interview with The Hill newspaper, the Senate’s most high-profile Independent said he is prepared to drive the bill on domestic partner benefits for federal workers. Under his plan, gay, lesbian, and transgender government workers would be eligible for the same perks as married spouses, including health care insurance, retirement, disability, and life insurance–all at taxpayers’ expense and in plain violation of the Defense of Marriage Act! The bill’s only other co-sponsor is "Republican" Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who regularly crosses the aisle to demean core conservative issues. Over in the House, a companion bill could be scheduled for a mark-up before the end of October.
Elsewhere, just when we thought Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t be any less popular, the California leader flip-flopped on an earlier position and signed a bill into law that celebrates homosexual activist Harvey Milk with a statewide holiday. While he was at it, Schwarzenegger also took a swipe at the majority of Californians who define marriage as the union of a man and woman by recognizing out-of-state "marriages" performed for homosexuals before November 2.
President Obama won’t be following suit any time soon, according to NBC News. Despite his outreach to the Human Rights Campaign last weekend, a member of the Obama administration said that homosexual activists need to have more realistic expectations about their agenda. The President "is doing well with 90% or more of Democrats." He "views this opposition as really part of the Internet Left fringe." What a coincidence! So do we!
Keep the Change!
If there’s anything positive about Kevin Jennings’s appointment, it’s been the heightened sensitivity about President Obama’s inner-circle. Today, the Washington Times wrote a great editorial about Obama’s "administration of radicals" and how "ethically dubious" his advisors appear to be. While the Times briefly profiled nine of the President’s appointees, FRC has been keeping detailed tabs on almost 40 of the administration’s key figures. Starting back on December 4, we launched "Change Watch" as a regular feature on our website, where we break down important people in the White House in light of their positions on life, marriage, the homosexual agenda, and faith. As the controversies over the administration heat up, our team has made a comprehensive list of the Change Watches to date. Please stop by FRC Action’s Change Watch page to read up on all the President’s men–and women.
Family Research Council: 801 G Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001
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