President Obama spoke on Wall Street today about today’s economy a year after the Lehman Brothers collapse, crediting his $787 billion stimulus package for saving America from a second Great Depression. While natural market behavior has stabilized the economy, unemployment has continued to increase (in fact, only $90 billion of the $787 billion was supposed to potentially go toward job creation), the president’s 10-year budget deficit estimate has increased from $7 trillion to $9 trillion, and the housing market remains depressed. Obama’s only defense seems to be a claim that the economy would be worse without the stimulus, because it’s certainly not better.

Still, Obama is urging “the most ambitious overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression.” Part of his proposed plan is to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency and the put regulations in place that would discourage companies from getting too big. Oh, good… let’s spend money on yet another government organization and then put rules in place to discourage capitalism. Obama also repeated in his speech that he believes in the free market system, yet he keeps encouraging the increased intrusion of the government into the market.

The president also decided to tick off China today by raising tariffs on imported tires by 35%. While he did this in the name of saving American jobs (namely, United Steelworkers jobs which will please new manufacturing czar Ron Bloom who came from USW), many experts predict this will cost America 20,000 tire-related jobs and, as expected, will create a tense relationship with China from whom we’re borrowing money. China subsequently filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the U.S.

Back to the Obama health care plan, for those that seem to have bought into the president’s rhetoric that abortion isn’t included, think again. You can argue about whether or not “preventative care” refers to abortion or not since the same statutes in Medicare about prenatal care that have already been interpreted by the courts as “abortion services” is also included in this health care bill (Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice), but this slick little move seems clear enough. The package calls for medical clinics to be placed in or very near schools, which sounds nice, but guess who’s going to run those clinics? Planned Parenthood — which will also be funded by this bill. In a 2007 speech to Planned Parenthood, Obama stated that “reproductive care” is at the center of his health care plan.

Oh… and $10 billion is going to the AFL-CIO in his plan… the same AFL-CIO that helped him get elected and where he’s speaking at tomorrow on his current campaign tour.

Quick tort reform comment… Texas and California have alrady been doing it for years. Insurance premiums in Texas have dropped 30% and in California 40%.

ACORN Update: Mike Johann’s amendment to cut off current ACORN housing funds has passed 83-7.

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Comments
  1. Mark Baird says:

    Following is a GAO report on medical malpractice and could not find any evidence to substantiate the claims of lawsuits impacting health care costs, access to health care or defensive medicine (with one possible lose connection relating to OBGYN). But of course you will not see this report on any media outlet swinging left or right.

    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03836.pdf

    Remember the CBO report regarding the cost of a single payer system that we all grasped to support our arguments against a single payer system…

    Well, there is the CBO report which had this to say about tort reform:

    “But even large savings in premiums can have only a small direct impact on health care spending–private or governmental–because malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of that spending.”

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=4968&type=0#t3

    And of course there is Tillinghast-Towers Perrin (one of the largest in the world that provides risk management for the insurance and reinsurance industry).

    According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.

    Of that 1 to 1.5 percent what portion of that is “frivolous”?

    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf (Page 10)

    And then of course the report from Towers Perrin that states that the total tort cost in the US is 2% of the GDP. What percentage of that is “frivolous” and of that percentage what percentage is “frivolous” corporate lawsuits. So how much are “frivolous” lawsuits driving up the cost of everything? Maybe less than 2 cents on the dollar or maybe even less the 1 cent on the dollar?
    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf

  2. Mark Baird says:

    It seems doctors just do not want to be responsible citizens like the rest of us.

    “But it’s not all sweetness and light down on the border. An 11-hour hearing in the Texas Legislature last fall featured “angry, frustrated doctors from Houston to Laredo” venting about ” overzealous oversight” by the Texas Medical Board, the regulatory body that got beefed up to safeguard Texans from bad docs when the malpractice curbs were enacted, the Houston Chronicle reported. Complaints to the board have increased dramatically, and disciplinary actions against docs has nearly tripled since 2001. ”
    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/05/19/doctors-flock-to-texas-after-tort-reform/

    Or maybe they are not getting the doctors they want.

    “Want to know what else has gone up? Patient complaints and actions against doctors by the Texas Medical Board.”
    http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/2007/10/texas-tort-reform-and-new-york-times.html

    Texas”Tort Reform” a Disaster for Citizens
    http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/1025-14.htm

    http://www.robertsfight.com

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