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Category: Healthcare



  • Wednesday Roundup: Obamacare and Green Building Standards

    David Williams on October 24, 2012

    Blog postings by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) usually focus on one issue.  Today, because there seems to be so much news about a variety of issues, TPA will be highlighting 2 issues, a new report  about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that was created by Obamacare and a story in USA Today about the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard (click here to read an op-ed about LEED by TPA in Real Clear Policy).  The Hill ran a story today about a report that was released today by the American Action Forum, which is headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  TPA has been long critical of IPAB and has spent the better part of the year talking to taxpayers about the problems with IPAB.  TPA is concerned with the proposed changes to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards known as LEEDv4.  The federal government and many state governments have adopted LEED as their green building standard which unnecessarily increases the cost of construction.  The costs of LEED for American taxpayers is exorbitant and this could be addressed by incorporating other green building rating systems to introduce competition to help bring costs down.

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  • TPA Wraps Up Health Care Bus Tour With 60+ Association

    David Williams on October 8, 2012

    Bus

    For the past six weeks, the 60+ Association has been traveling on the Health Care Reform:  Let’s Do Better bus tour, which visited Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Florida.  As one of the policy experts, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been on the bus for numerous stops including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida.  Joining us on the trip was comedian Jimmy Labriola (you may remember him from his role as Benny on Home Improvement) and Rick Heil (Grammy nominated Christian rocker).  The goal of the tour was to educate folks on the massive financial costs and the destruction of the doctor-patient relationship brought on by Obamacare.  The crowds at every stop were not only enthusiastic to see us but also concerned about the direction of the country.  After a program of policy speeches and entertainment, people were invited to sign the bus.  Yes, that’s right, the bus was wrapped in a material where folks could sign the bus so the folks at the 60+ Association could take it to Capitol Hill and show members of Congress that Obamacare should be defunded.  Many thanks to all who participated in the journey, but special thanks to 60+ Association Chairman Jim Martin and 60+ Association President Amy Frederick.





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  • New Study Exposes the Truth About Tobacco Taxes

    David Williams on September 28, 2012

    The New York State Department of Health recently released a study that raised a lot of eyebrows, and perhaps the results of the study will lead elected officials to implement policies that help rather than punish the people.  The study found that in New York cigarette taxes harm the poorest among us most.  Although the study did not examine the effects of such taxes beyond New York state, cigarette taxes have the same effects on the poor no matter what part of the nation we’re looking at.   The Daily Caller reported that “Low-income smokers [in New York state]... spent an average of 23.6 percent of their annual household income on cigarettes.”  Interestingly enough as the article also points out, “That number is up…in spite of increasing cigarette taxes imposed by the state and city governments.”  These findings fortify facts that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and others have been saying for quite some time.  Plain and simple: excise taxes such as those on cigarettes, alcohol and soda harm the poor by taking more from their pocketbooks.

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  • The Truth About Medicare Reform: Rep. Paul Ryan's Plan

    David Willliams on September 5, 2012

    (This is the second in a two part series on Medicare reform) Earlier this week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance posted a blog explaining President Obama’s plan to reform Medicare.  In this post, we will discuss an alternative plan that Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), has proposed. Unlike the president’s proposal, empowerment of individuals is the centerpiece of the Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare.  Whereas Obama’s reform measures seek to increase government’s powers at every turn and support its overreach in every aspect of our lives, the Ryan plan recognizes that individuals are best suited to determine their health care needs.  While this statement should appear obvious, the president and many members of Congress fundamentally disagree.  Unlike the federal government, an individual has a clear incentive and interest in making wise decisions about how to spend one’s money on health care.  The Ryan Medicare plan embraces this concept and includes a reform called premium supportPremium support provides seniors with the ability to choose their health care plan.  With more options of health care coverage to choose, increased competition among health care providers will result.  As competition increases, not only will seniors be able to enjoy an improved quality of health care, they will also benefit from lower costs.  Additionally, this Medicare reform proposal will encourage the next generation of retirees to begin considering private coverage.

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  • The Truth About Medicare Reform: The President's Plan

    David Williams on September 4, 2012

    (This is the first in a two part series on Medicare reform) If what the pundits say is true, then the issue of Medicare and what to do with it is what will define this year’s presidential election.  While Medicare may be the issue of the day, the discussion and its significance goes much deeper than merely a debate over health care policy. At the heart of the matter is the fundamental difference between the philosophical approaches undergirding the two predominant political parties in the U.S.  The decision a voter makes at the ballot box won’t be merely choosing between two candidates, it will be a question of who is the most capable agent to make decisions that will affect one’s health care as well as the way we live our lives.  Ultimately, the question is whether the individual or government is best at determining how we live in society.  Even though this seems like a tremendously important and complex philosophical question, the decision becomes a lot easier when considering what each candidate would do to “fix” Medicare and more generally health care. Obamacare is the epitome of government possessing control over your health care.   With a loud declaration of government might, the law effectively strips individuals from making their own decisions regarding the types of service and quality of health care.

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  • IRS Getting Ready To Collect More Taxes for Obamacare

    David Williams on August 21, 2012

    Let’s be honest, government comes up short in most things it does.  Whether we’re talking about the quality of education, our roads and in just a few years, our health care system, time and time again the government fails to deliver and meet the needs of the American people.  However, there’s one sector of government that is an outlier from the rest of the programs the government commands where the government is relatively efficient – or as efficient as a government can be.  The bad news is that the efficiency is in tax collection.  This revelation may be somewhat intuitive because even if government has no interest in doing anything else well, it must ensure it has a revenue source to continue its spending propensity.  Given this reality, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman recently announced that the IRS will have its greedy hands prepared and ready to take more taxpayer dollars come 2014.  Specifically thanks to Obamacare, the new source of revenue will be extracted from those that refuse to succumb to the government’s requirement that all Americans have health insurance.

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  • Grant Recipients Continue to Break Law and Lobby With Taxpayer Funds

    David E Williams on July 17, 2012

    It’s bad enough when Washington spends your hard earned tax dollars on duplicative, ineffective and/or unnecessary programs.  It’s even worse day when we learn that our money is being used to lobby for laws or regulations that will restrict consumer choice and promote nanny state policies that infringe on our freedoms.  Unfortunately, that’s what appears to be occurring thanks to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant program funded by the 2009 stimulus bill.  The eye-catching lead sentence in an article from The Hill describes the matter succinctly: “Federal healthcare grants may have been illegally used for political lobbying.”  As The Hill recently reported, Daniel Levinson, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Inspector General (IG) said nearly the exact same thing last week.  The Hill obtained an “early alert” letter Levinson sent to CDC Director Thomas Friedman.  In his correspondence, Levinson wrote that some documents and information the CDC provided to grant recipients “appear to authorize, or even encourage, grantees to use grant funds for impermissible lobbying.”  And as disconcerting as this revelation is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact for well over a year, TPA has worked to bring more attention to this flagrant misuse of taxpayer money by writing letters to Congress and many blogs on this issue. 

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  • Taxes? We Don't Need No New Stinkin' Healthcare Taxes

    David Williams on July 2, 2012

    Last week (June 28) the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is constitutional under Congress’ power of taxation.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s reaction was swift (read here).  Very few could imagine a day when our President and some in Congress would actually embrace (and exuberantly at that) a law that will create the biggest tax increase in our nation’s history.  Rather than running from the fact that they are responsible for imposing such a hefty tax increase, the Obama administration and others have prized this as a victory.  If the likes of Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are the “winners” of Thursday’s decision, then the losers are the American people, who will soon see tax bills rise as a result of this detrimental policy.   Setting aside for a moment the grave financial implications this disastrous law causes, let’s look at one disturbing fact that deserves closer examination.   The most troublesome aspect of the initial passage of the bill is that roughly half of the elected officials in Washington and others around the country willingly and eagerly opened their arms to a tax increase.  And while for a second a few may contend this action warrants at least some positive recognition because of its honestly, we should quickly remember and subsequently be appalled by the fact that the policy proposal of Obamacare and its individual mandate was marketed throughout its debate and eventual passage as a fine.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, take President Obama’s. From a 2009 interview on ABC, interviewer George Stephanopoulos asks, “But you reject that it’s a tax increase?” President Obama responds, “I absolutely reject that notion.”  Oops!

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  • TPA: Obamacare is Largest Tax Increase in American History

    David Williams on June 28, 2012

    Alexandria, Va. - Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams today released the below statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Healthcare Act.  "Obamacare today became the largest tax increase in American history. The health care law has nearly doubled in cost from $940 billion to $1.76  trillion and taxpayers deserve nothing less than full repeal and defunding by Congress. American taxpayers can't afford the tax increases in the law and seniors can't afford the reckless and irresponsible Medicare cuts in Obamacare."  Williams is currently on the road with the 60 Plus Association's Healthcare  Freedom bus tour where he has been talking to seniors about the healthcare reform law and how they will be impacted by the Supreme Court's decision.

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  • The Fiscal and Physical Health of Selling Spectrum

    David Williams on March 5, 2012

    The issue of government owned spectrum is a debate that has been raging for many years but fiscal and technological urgency have driven the issue closer and closer to the headlines.  As part of the payroll tax cut legislation, there was a provision to sell certain parts of the spectrum to “pay” for the cost of the legislation*.  A couple weeks ago CNN did a week long report on the spectrum crunch.  According to Part 1 of the series, “The U.S. mobile phone industry is running out of the airwaves necessary to provide voice, text and Internet services to its customers.  The problem, known as the ‘spectrum crunch,’ threatens to increase the number of dropped calls, slow down data speeds and raise customers' prices. It will also whittle down the nation's number of wireless carriers and create a deeper financial divide between those companies that have capacity and those that don't.”

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  • It is Time to Look at Every Agency for Spending Cuts

    on January 6, 2012

    President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a new Defense strategy on January 5, 2012.  The new strategy involves hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts.  The mysteries in these cuts are the specifics.  According to the Austin Business Journal, “President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave few specifics about program cuts at the U.S. Department of Defense [DOD] during a briefing Thursday on DOD’s strategy…”  This is problematic because as much as the Pentagon budget needs to be cut, it should be done responsibly with the Pentagon still having the ability to meet the defense needs of the country.  In addition to the Defense cuts, President Obama should also require all federal agencies to do the same and come up with target cuts.

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  • Trick or Treat! Healthcare and the Food and Drug Administration

    on October 28, 2011


    This Trick or Treat highlights Healthcare and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Without a doubt, the biggest trick played on taxpayers was the passage of Obamacare.  As part of Obamacare, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of 15 “experts” to slow the growth of Medicare, was passed.  IPAB will be a board of 15 unelected members who, according to the American Medical Association, would “extend Medicare solvency and reduce spending growth through the use of a spending target system and fast-track legislative approval process.”  In reality, IPAB will be nothing more than a way to ration health care for seniors.  Even though the FDA is “responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation,’ the FDA is quickly becoming the silent killer of the economy and the free market. WARNING!! We repeat, we advise strong parental guidance because some material may not be suitable for children since they are the ones that will ultimately be paying for these tricks.

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  • The Food and Drug Administration Needs to Tread Lightly With Any New Regulations

    David Williams on August 30, 2011

    The federal government is obsessed with controlling behavior, and despite President Obama’s call to repeal regulations with a projected cost of more than $1 billion, the federal government is also obsessed with regulating businesses, large and small.  One program that symbolized the obsession with controlling behavior was the creation and the expansion of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (see previous blog post).  Now, as part of an all-out assault on one industry through regulation, the federal government has its sights on new smokeless tobacco products.  Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and most are probably most familiar with chewing tobacco or snuff.  But there are two new forms of smokeless tobacco that show quite a bit of promise for smoking cessation, e-cigarettes and nicotine lozenges.

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  • Washington Plays Familiar Blame Game in Wake of Credit Downgrade

    David Williams on August 8, 2011

    By now, most people inside and outside the beltway have heard that Standard and Poors (S&P) has downgraded the United States’ credit rating.  In short, it means that, according to S&P, investing in the United States is riskier today than it has ever been.  Like any good crisis, both sides of the political aisle are blaming the other side for the downgrade.  Republicans have called for the resignation of Secretary Treasurer Tim Geithner and Democrats have blamed the Tea Party for the downgrade with the Vice President of the United of the States agreeing with a characterization that the Tea Party acts like terrorists.

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  • Debt Ceiling Negotiations: Time for Real Spending Cuts and Not Tax Increases

    David Williams on July 8, 2011

    New unemployment numbers were released today (July 8) and the bad news is that the unemployment rate jumped to 9.2 percent.  This number was released smack dab in the middle of the negotiations on raising the debt ceiling and just 48 hours before a rare Sunday meeting between members of Congress and the President as they try to hammer out a deal on raising the debt ceiling. Fiscal conservatives are staking their ground by insisting on spending cuts without tax increases while others keep the door open to tax increases.  Rumors have been leaked about Republicans accepting a deal that would include an increase in revenues.  Now is not the time to burden the taxpayers with more taxes.  That is why it is imperative to tell your member of Congress to stop the over spending and demand real spending cuts and no tax increases.  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.

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  • The Debt Clock is Ticking: Tell Congress to Make Real Spending Cuts NOW!

    David Williams on July 4, 2011

    July 4th is a time to reflect and be thankful and proud of everything that America has to offer.  This year July 4 has also come to symbolize a monumental struggle to get serious about spending cuts as Congress and the President debate raising the debt ceiling.  Fiscal conservatives are staking their ground by insisting on spending cuts without tax increases while others keep the door open to tax increases.  With a $14.3 trillion debt, a projected deficit of $1.5 trillion, and unemployment at 9 percent, Americans are well are of the impending financial crisis.  Tell Congress to stop the over spending and demand no tax increases and real spending cuts NOW!  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.


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  • The Debt Clock is Ticking: Tell Congress to Make Real Spending Cuts NOW!

    David Williams on June 29, 2011

    The country is struggling to recover from one of the worst economic downturns in American history and unemployment is still more than 9 percent.  Politicians in Washington seem oblivious to reality while they struggle to institute real spending cuts as the impending debt ceiling limit is reached and the country is faced with a potential massive financial crisis.  With a $14.3 trillion debt and a projected deficit of $1.6 trillion, Americans are well are of the impending financial crisis.  Tell your member of Congress to stop the over spending and demand real spending cuts NOW!  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.

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