Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas and other Republicans have been urging that as part of any continuing resolution on spending in September that the ObamaCare bill be defunded. Is that a good idea for conservatives?
The arguments are strong for both sides. On the one hand, if the Democrats don't agree, the zeroing out fails in the Senate or to an expected Obama veto. Then who will get the blame? Based on past media performance we can expect the Republicans to be blamed, whether it's true or not.
On the other hand, we need to get rid of ObamaCare and maybe the media will blame Obama for the shutdown, if he vetoes the spending bill.
Regardless, conservatives need to release our own plan soon. With such ideas as free markets, self-empowerment, transparency, "maximum" price and quality information, we can offer a strong alternative.
The City Of Houston OIG:
Is It A Modern Version Of The Inquisition?
It has been recently revealed by Dave Welch, Executive Director of Houston Pastor's Council that the City via a Mayor Annise Parker Executive Order, investigates employees without any provision for full disclosure of the accusations toward the particular employee or the right to legal counsel being present for all interviews.
When this appalling, unfair process was brought to the attention of City Council last week, Mayor Parker to her credit said, "...there are opportunities to be represented by legal counsel through our disciplinary process ... and if the employee in question was denied the opportunity to be represented by legal counsel when he clearly has the right to be...that might be actionable towards the City..."
The big question now is this: Will the Mayor follow through with her concerns and instruct the City Attorney and OIG to follow the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States and Texas; and make sure the accused gets to see the accusations and that in an OIG interview the accused has a right to counsel present?
This is a developing story...
State Of Democrats In Texas
As of mid-August the GOP has quality statewide candidates in every race from Governor to Railroad Commission and so far the Democrats have nada. In fact, the only rumored candidate is Senator Wendy Davis, for Governor, but there has been no announcement so far.
The efforts to turn Texas blue aren't going anywhere unless and until they have a quality ticket. For 2014, don't hold your breath.
Why No U.S. Protests As Christians In Egypt Die And Churches Destroyed?
What's wrong with this picture? The U.S. is a Judeo-Christian nation predominately; yet, why is there no response from President Obama as the Muslim Brotherhood decides that the way to fight the Egyptian military is by murdering Christians by the hundreds and burning churches?
Why is it that Muslims killing Christians is something we don't condemn?
Write the President and Secretary of State and ask them why they are silent in the face of murdered Christians.
Arm And A Leg: Hospitals Are To Blame For Obscene Health-Care Cost
TCR Comment: Avik Roy, a columnist for National Review, recently took on hospitals. What follows are key concepts:
"In debates about health care, we spend a lot of time arguing over how we buy it: whether through government payers, private insurers, or health savings accounts. But there's an equally important story, one that nearly everyone in the political class has neglected: how we sell health care. Hospitals are at the center of this story. And they are using their economic and political power to drive up the price of their product."
"What has happened is that hospitals have charged more and more for the same services and treatments, and insurers have passed these costs on to the consumers in the form of higher premiums. Insurers are a convenient scapegoat, both for the real culprits - hospitals - and for political movement that is hostile to the concept of private health insurance. But blaming insurers is like shooting the messenger.
"The average hospital stay in the developed world costs $6,222. In the United States, the average hospital stay costs $18,142. That's true even though the average hospital stay in the U.S. is only five days long, two days shorter than the OECD average.
"...(new technology or special services) studies have shown that most of the difference cannot be explained by such factors.
"These higher prices are responsible for the growth in the cost of health insurance.
"In 1992...Nearly half of all localities in America already had a highly concentrated hospital market. Based on antitrust guidelines for the rest of the economy, the U. S. government ought to have blocked the vast majority of hospital mergers that took place thereafter.
"Hospital monopolies and oligopolies use their market power just as other monopolies do; to raise prices.
"Most hospitals are 'nonprofit' entities for tax purposes, which gives the public the impression that the hospitals focus on healing the sick instead of making money. But that's not true. 'nonprofit' status simply prevents hospitals from distributing earnings to owners or shareholders; it does not prevent them from paying large salaries to their executives and piling up cash for their proprietors. A McKinsey study found that the nation's 2,900 nonprofit hospitals have higher profit margins, on average, than our 1,000 for-profit hospitals do...
"Rather than address this problem, Obamacare, at the hospital lobby's behest, actively suppresses the ability of physicians to compete with hospitals. Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act bars the construction of new physician-owned hospitals if those hospitals will accept Medicare patients.
"Hospitals claim that they spend $50 billion a year on uncompensated care, but Obamacare will replace this 'hidden tax' with more than $200 billion a year in spending on the uninsured- spending that is funded mostly by explicit taxes.
"And $50 billion is an entirely fictitious number. In March, for Time Magazine, Steven Brill documented he degree to which hospitals massively overcharge the uninsured.
"The biggest domestic-policy problem facing America today is our fiscal crisis. The biggest driver of our fiscal crisis is the growth and scale of our health-care entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and related programs.
"Ultimately, we have to realize that hospitals... are the principal driver of rising health-care spending. America's hospitals form a trillion-dollar, taxpayer-subsidized behemoth that will do everything it can to grow larger and larger at the expense of remainder of the economy."
TCR Comment: Now you know why some hospitals advertise, like Houston Methodist Hospital System, as the official healthcare provider of the Houston Texans. They pay for it because non-profit hospitals make a lot of money!
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
Currently on Pledge Break, returns in September with a new season with: The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Fall Political preview with an All Star panel, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Congressman Ted Poe.
The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twelve years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 10 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his twelfth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.