Health care update

Dear Friends -

THANK YOU! Because of your support of the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition, we're able to continue fighting against government-run health care. Thanks to you and more than 1.34 million of your fellow Americans, your voice is being heard by Congress every day.

Welcome to the Team! As a demonstration of our appreciation for your work on the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition, we are offering you a complimentary membership, with a $500 value, as a Policy Patriot of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).. You will receive:

  • Weekly Free Our Health Care NOW! petition updates. As the health care battle rages in Washington, this letter will keep you up-to-speed on all the latest developments.
  • The NCPA's Daily Policy Digest. This daily news service will provide you with an easy-to-read synopsis of the day's most pressing political and public policy news.
  • What's New at the NCPA. The NCPA is a busy place. With the monthly NCPA updates you will receive cutting-edge public policy research and the NCPA Alert, which will report other important NCPA news and activities.
  • Invitations to Events. The NCPA will provide you with opportunities to attend topical briefings and hear prominent guest speakers in your area.

What is the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)? You may know us best as the team with Salem Radio Network that brought you the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition, but we're actually much more. Established in 1983, the NCPA is a national, non-profit, non-partisan think tank headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and with a Washington, DC office. Our mission is to promote innovative, free market solutions to public policy problems. We pursue this mission by identifying, encouraging, and communicating scholarly research on the issues of health care, tax, the economy, small business, retirement and energy.

NCPA policy recommendations have improved the lives of millions of Americans. For instance:

  • Because of the NCPA idea of Health Savings Accounts, 16 million families are managing some their own health care dollars.
  • Because of the NCPA idea of Roth IRAs, $225 billion in personal savings has been taxed once and will never be taxed again.
  • Because of NCPA recommendations for Social Security reform, 78 million Baby Boomers will be able to work beyond age 65 without being penalized by Social Security.
  • Because of the recommendations of an NCPA/Brookings Institute plan, half of all future 401(k) enrollees will be automatically enrolled in a diversified portfolio enjoying higher and safer returns.
  • Largely because of the work of NCPA Distinguished Fellow, Bob McTeer, Mark to Market Accounting rules were eased allowing for more flexibility in measuring fair value of assets and the sale of toxic assets.
  • Because of you, 1.34 million Americans have signed the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition, the largest policy petition ever delivered to Congress against government-run health care.

Of course, we recognize that being a Policy Patriot is not for everyone. If you'd like to decline your membership, you can by clicking here. Thanks for your support!

Seniors Now Speedbumps? Increasingly, Congressional Democrats are throwing seniors under the bus. Although the battlefield for ObamaCare has now shifted to the Senate Finance Committee chambers, Democratic leaders' target for cutting costs remains the same: seniors.

  • ObamaCare Chooses Pharma Over Seniors. During last week's negotiations, Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) proposed an amendment to ObamaCare which would have closed Medicare's so-called 'doughnut hole,' saving 3 million 'in-the-gap' seniors thousands of dollars and saving taxpayers a CBO-estimated $50 billion over 10 years. Nelson's proposal, however, would have violated the $80 billion agreement which President Obama and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus cut with the pharmaceutical industry. Said Baucus during the meeting, "Although the goal is good, [breaking the deal with the drug industry is] inappropriate...The White House did reach an agreement." (
  • ObamaCare Targets Medicare Recipients. ObamaCare as expressed in the Baucus Bill cuts $123 billion from Medicare Advantage (MA), and, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director testified, half of the benefits currently provided to seniors under Medicare Advantage would disappear under the Baucus Bill. These proposed cuts come in spite of a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stating that MA beneficiaries saved an average of $804 per year in reduced cost-sharing and premiums.
  • Congressional Democrat Squares with the American Public. Representative Michael Michaud (D-Me.) said of ObamaCare, "I know [the Democrat leaders] say seniors aren't going to lose their benefits, but quite frankly, I think that's a little disingenuous."

The Baucus Solution to Health Care Cost: Stick States with the Tab. Quietly sitting in the Senate Finance Committee today is a Baucus Bill proposal that would dramatically expand Medicaid at no cost to the federal government. How? It requires states to pay for legislation drafted, amended and passed by federal legislators.

The CBO estimates that the Baucus Bill's proposed Medicaid expansion would impose a $37 billion unfunded federal mandate on state governments. This proposal would add cost at a time when states can scarcely afford it. Currently, 48 states have a total shortfall of $168 billion in their 2010 budgets and shortfalls are expected to increase to $180 billion in 2011 budgets.

As this recent Wall Street Journal article makes clear, Medicaid is the main culprit behind run-away state spending. According to the National Association of State Budget Offices, Medicaid is the second largest segment of most state budgets (21%) even before the Baucus Bill. For some states, Medicaid's imposition is as high as 39% (Ohio). As the article asserts, these unfunded mandates will crowd out other budgetary priorities or result in a wave of tax increases-or both.

With ObamaCare in the Senate Finance Committee, Congressional Democrats are not only setting their budgetary priorities, but their political priorities as well. Unfortunately, seniors needing care, taxpayers hoping for relief and state leaders struggling with ballooning budgets simply aren't very high priorities to most Senate Democrats.

FIGHT BACK - BE A PART OF THE ACTION ARMY! ObamaCare simply doesn't pass the 'what's right' test. It taxes the middle-class, cuts care for seniors and burdens states with unfunded mandates. It increases cost, decreases quality, and limits choice. This isn't right and YOU can fight back! Fight government-run health care by joining the Action Army! Just follow and you're a click away from telling YOUR Congress member and Senators what you think!

Thanks for your continued support of the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition and welcome to the NCPA. We hope you enjoy your membership as a Policy Patriot!

Warm regards,

Jeanette Nordstrom
National Center for Policy Analysis

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