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Congress: Vote For The Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013 (HR 900) ACTION US

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: congress, sequestration, food and ag, discretionary programs, budget, economy, education, infrastructure, unemployment, americans, money )

- 2327 days ago -
We must not allow the sequester to be used to force unpopular cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits through the Congress. The only responsible thing to do is to completely cancel the sequester through legislative action.


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jan b (5)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 12:50 pm
Representative John Conyers understands that and released "The Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013 (HR 900)." It is a simple one sentence bill that, if passed, would completely eliminate the sequester.

David C (75)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 1:09 pm
signed. thanks.

Carrie B (306)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 3:08 pm
Signed and noted.

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 3:46 pm
Forget social security, medicare and medicaid. Check out The Affordable Care Act and what that is doing to our country.

Anyone with half a brain knows that the three programs listed above are in badly need of reform. What part about the taxpayers funding over $60 billion a year in fraud and abuse in these three programs don't you understand?

It's called "needed reform." Meanwhile, The Affordable Care Act is driving up the costs in our country to do business. It's a colossal train wreck. Take your eyes off "The Messiah" for a few minutes and engage yourselves in the basic math. Math is important. American people have taxes deducted from their salaries every week. You have a right to agree how that money is spent. You ARE funding over $60 billion a year in fraud and abuse. That should make you very angry that nothing is being done about that.

Judy C (91)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 6:36 pm
Signed. It's time we have a functional, adult government that is able to do its job, focus on the common good, and stop bickering and blaming. Manufacturing these cheap, petty dramas at the expense of the people of our country s going to lead to our demise. We're circling the drain as it is. Thanks Nancy.

Christeen A (312)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 6:20 am

TomCat S (124)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 6:21 am
Been there - signed that - thanks!

Helen Porter (39)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 6:46 am
Joyfully and visualizing it done

Pamylle G (458)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 7:37 am
I support Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security - the lives they improve & save are PRICELESS !

For REAL fraud & abuse on every level, look to corporate interests & the uber-wealthy. It's THEIR greed which robs this country of prosperity for all, not your neighbors in need or the elderly.

lee e (114)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 8:15 am
I siggned it (again) and shared it (again) - Thanks!

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 8:59 am
already done, TU

. (0)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 9:31 am
Signed and Noted.

Carlene V (202)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 9:35 am
Signed and thanks. The rethugs are all proud and happy with themselves and are still not in touch with the people who did NOT vote for them. They are trying to rebrand themselves and that won't work either. They can't figure out why they lost the last 2 elections for President and will surely lose in the upcoming elections for 2014 and for President again in 2016. They are more intrested in a uterus and whoring themselves out to corporate pimps with coninued tax breaks, they got what they so well deserved.

Julian Robert Gonzalez (112)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 9:57 am
S&N. Don't cut what we paid for in our taxes through out the years. WE are entitled and we own these distribution entitlements.

Sunday March 3, 2013, 10:19 am
Gladly signed, thanks.

Solitary Eagle (324)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 10:56 am
signed and noted

jan b (5)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 1:01 pm
COST before PEOPLE DIANE ???? We’ve allowed those on the "island of wealth " and their lobbyists and allies to control the debate up til now.

Folks don't listen to the parrots and the lies coming out of the GOP who are against anything for the common people....... Instead ---refer to the
The Affordable Care Act which provides new coverage options and tools you need to make informed choices about your health. Learn more at

My grandson in college can get coverage now til he's 26 through his parent's insurance.
My friend who is 57 with a heart condition can not be denied insurance any longer.
My single daughter's boss is very happy to be paying less per employee for insurance
Insurers can no longer just raise premiums..... ( well---look it up there is too much to list here)

Elizabeth M (65)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 2:45 pm
Noted and signed with thanks for posting Nancy.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 2:50 pm
The Affordable Care Act is dying on the vine in case you haven't noticed. The cost is forcing businesses to cut fulltime hours down to 30 hours or less a week. This is what happens. Obama was never qualified to put together a healthcare plan. He was a community organizer. Michelle Obama is not a registered dietician. Power does crazy things to ordinary people.

Our government cannot manage the healthcare programs we already have in place. Taxpayers must fund over $60 billion a year in fraud and abuse. The taxpayers are paying for this. Imagine what it will be five years from now.

Just so you are current on Obamacare:

President Obama will deliver a second inaugural address later this month. He’ll no doubt reflect on what he’s done during his first four years in office — and on his signature healthcare law in particular.

Let’s reflect with him. During his first campaign for the presidency in 2008, the president promised that his health reform plan would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family” by the end of his first term.

Well, that first term is just about up. And health insurance isn’t any cheaper. In fact, it’s more expensive. Premiums have increased by an average of $3,065. And they’re about to go up even more, as Obamacare takes effect during the president’s second term.

At the end of 2012, Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the country, warned that many consumers would face “premium rate shock” with the advent of Obamacare’s major insurance regulations in 2014. He predicted that unsubsidized premiums would rise 20 to 50 percent, on average.

For some people, premiums would double. “We’re going to see some markets go up as much as 100 percent,” Bertolini told Bloomberg News.

Aetna isn’t the only company forecasting higher health-insurance premiums. In California, Blue Shield has asked regulators to approve premium increases of up to 20 percent. Obamacare’s new regulations were a factor in the request. A spokesperson for the company said the new law “will bring a lot of volatility” into the market.

A shock? Not to those who’ve been paying attention. When Obamacare was making its way through Congress, the Congressional Budget Office warned that premiums in the individual market would increase by 10-13 percent.

Even the law’s designers admit that it will raise premiums. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics Professor Jonathan Gruber, one of Obamacare’s chief architects, estimated that premiums in Wisconsin would rise by about 30 percent by 2016 following implementation of the law. Most of the Badger State’s individual insurance market will see an even larger increase, averaging about 41 percent.

Obamacare’s defenders typically respond that the law’s subsidies will decrease what people actually pay out-of-pocket for insurance.

But that’s not always the case. Many individuals will still pay more even after they receive the generous subsidies to which the law entitles them. According to a report conducted by Gruber, 59 percent of the individual market will end up paying more after taking the subsidies into account. The average increase? Nearly a third.

These premium hikes will hit young people hardest. As The New York Times reported in October, insurers and health policy wonks are warning that the young will “face higher premiums because of a provision that limits how much rates can vary based on a person’s age.”

Typically, insurers charge older individuals more because they have higher average health costs. But because Obamacare includes a “community rating” provision that restricts how much insurers can charge people of different ages, the young will end up paying more — essentially subsidizing the coverage of older individuals who require more expensive care.

These won’t be small increases. Health insurance expert Bob Laszewski has said that young adults should expect their premiums to double thanks to Obamacare’s rules.

The law will make insurance more expensive for everyone else by saddling it with expensive mandates. Obamacare tasks states with figuring out which health benefits are “essential” and thus mandatory for insurers.

The result? Furious lobbying by every healthcare group, from acupuncturists to chiropractors to fertility specialists, all of whom want to make sure that coverage of their services is required for all policies issued in the state. The more coverage mandates there are, the higher premiums rise. Indeed, benefit mandates can add as much as 50 percent to the cost of insurance.

As President Obama’s second term unfolds, few — if any — families will see the $2,500 in health insurance savings he promised four years ago. The White House is now clinging to the hope that premiums won’t rise quite as fast as they have in the past.

In other words, health insurance costs are going up. And for that, you can thank Obamacare.

More on Forbes:

Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The Pipes Plan: The Top Ten Ways to Dismantle and Replace Obamacare (Regnery 2012).

DORIS L (61)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 5:45 pm

Terry V (30)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 7:19 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 8:05 pm
Noted and signed.

Fran F (116)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 10:39 pm
Noted, signed and commented: "Please act for the common good and cancel the sequester."

Esther Z (94)
Monday March 4, 2013, 8:37 am
Noted and signed.

. (0)
Monday March 4, 2013, 10:31 am

Lisa Neste (202)
Monday March 4, 2013, 11:25 am
Thanks for signing!

Marilyn K (50)
Monday March 4, 2013, 1:54 pm
Congress should lead by example - they should take a 10% cut in their salaries and pay completely for their and their family health insurance. Signed and Noted!

Past Member (0)
Monday March 4, 2013, 3:06 pm
Marilyn, you have a valid point. Their healthcare is a cadillac plan and they wouldn't dream of going on Obamacare. Guess they read the 2,200 pages of it.


Susanne R (236)
Tuesday March 5, 2013, 9:21 am
"The ACA gave the federal government several new tools for fighting fraud, including reforms in payment processes, and consolidation of fraud-fighting initiatives. Last year, the government recovered $4.1 billion, the most ever recovered in a single year - but only a fraction of the estimated total loss." (Source: Reuters)

Not bad for a program still in its infancy...

Gladly signed and noted.
It's not just the number of recipients that is driving up health care costs. Consider this article written by Steven Pearlstein, which appeared in the Washington Post:

Adding Up the Reasons For Expensive Health Care

"It's hardly an original point, but now that health-care reform is back on the political agenda, it's worth emphasizing: The reason the system has been so resistant to change is that lots of powerful interests do very nicely with things just the way they are.

Or, put another way: Although doctors, hospitals, insurers and drug companies say they, too, want things to change, any comprehensive reform would reduce their incomes and their profits.

All this becomes quite clear from a new study on the U.S. health-care system released without fanfare last month by McKinsey Global Institute, the independent research arm of the giant consulting firm, which counts many health-industry giants among it clients.

The study aimed to determine why the United States spends nearly double the average of other industrialized countries on health care -- with no better, and in some cases inferior, medical outcomes. Even after adjusting for wealth, population mix and higher levels of some diseases, McKinsey calculated that we spend $477 billion a year more on health care than would be expected if the United States fit the spending pattern of 13 other advanced countries. That staggering waste of money works out to 3.6 percent of the nation's entire economic output, or $1,645 per person, every year.

In laying out with remarkable clarity how and where we overpay, the McKinsey report punctures myths, exposes common misconceptions and highlights realities long ignored in the health-care debate.

Let's start with one the American Medical Association hopes no one will notice, which is that American doctors make a lot more money than doctors elsewhere -- roughly twice as much. The average incomes of $274,000 for specialists and $173,000 for general practitioners are, respectively, 6.6 and 4.2 times those of the average patient. The rate in the other countries is 4 and 3.2.

According to McKinsey, the difference works out to $58 billion a year. What drives it is not how much doctors charge per procedure, but how many procedures they perform and how many patients they see -- a volume of business 60 percent higher here than elsewhere.

Included in the income figures is $8 billion physicians earn as INVESTORS in diagnostic labs and outpatient surgical clinics. The good news is that those private facilities charge 20 to 30 percent less than hospitals for what they do. But McKinsey found that they don't save the system any money because the doctors who invest in them wind up ORDERING MORE tests and surgeries than doctors who don't -- in the case of tests, TWO to EIGHT times more.

What we have here is pretty good circumstantial evidence of Pearlstein's First Law of Health Economics, which holds that if you pay doctors on the basis of how many procedures they do, and you leave it to doctors and their insured patients to decide how much health care they get, consumption of health services will rise to whatever level is necessary for doctors to earn as much as the lawyers who sue them.

Don't be distracted by arguments that American doctors need to make more because they have to pay $20 billion a year in malpractice insurance premiums forced on them by a hostile legal system, or an equal amount for all the paperwork required by our private insurance system. The $58 billion in what the study defines as excess physician income is calculated AFTER those expenses are paid.

And McKinsey gives the back of its hand to the argument that American doctors deserve to earn more because of all the loans they take out while going through medical school and residency. Comparing median lifetime annual salary to median educational debt at graduation, McKinsey found that doctors do better than those in other professions requiring advanced degrees.

While higher volume is the story behind higher physician costs in the United States, the culprit for spending on hospitals and drugs is higher prices.

While Americans spend fewer days in the hospital than people elsewhere, that efficiency is more than offset by a higher average cost per day -- $1,666, four times the industrial-country average. There are multiple causes for this $224 billion in annual overspending on hospital services -- everything from more serious illnesses to more nurses per bed to extraordinary overhead and capital costs. The hospitals will whine about all their free care for the uninsured. McKinsey concludes that is a relatively minor factor in an industry that has managed to rack up hefty operating profits in recent years, even at supposedly nonprofit hospitals.

Despite all that annoying drug advertising on TV, Americans pop fewer pills than people elsewhere. But, according to McKinsey, we still manage to spend $57 BILLION a year MORE for drugs than other developed countries. Some of that is because the newest and most expensive drugs are typically available here 18 months before most other places. But the much bigger reason, McKinsey found, is that drug companies ARE ABLE TO CHARGE, on average, 60 to 70 percent MORE for branded prescription drugs.

We can debate whether drug companies really need the extraordinary returns they get to sustain the level of innovation they produce; one can certainly point to other innovative high-tech industries that manage to thrive on more reasonable returns. But the industry's vast LOBBYING apparatus has yet to come up with a credible reason for why such a disproportionate share of that return has to come from Americans.

Proponents of a government-run "single-payer" system will certainly home in on the $84 billion a year that McKinsey found that Americans spend to administer the private sector portion of its health system -- a cost that national health plans largely avoid. But as long as Americans continue to reject a government-run health system, a private system will require something close to the $30 billion a year in after-tax profits earned by health insurance companies. What may not be necessary, McKinsey suggests, is the $32 billion that the industry spends each year on marketing and figuring out the premium for each individual or group customer in each state. Insurance-market reform could eliminate much of that expense.

Of course, any effort to reduce these excess costs faces determined opposition from WELL-FINANCED LOBBIES, which is why many reformers prefer to focus on the goal of extending coverage to the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance. But doing the one without the other, the McKinsey researchers warn, would be economic folly. Offering universal coverage without reining in costs would add another $77 billion each year in unnecessary and unproductive health spending.

Steven Pearlstein can be reached
Perhaps we should rid our government of one of the most flagrant forms of fraud: lobbyists and politicians on the take.

Carol H (229)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:19 am
signed and noted
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