Two years ago, President Obama signed his health care reform plan into law with the promise that it would improve health care, job creation and the economy. Today, on the anniversary of ObamaCare Leader Cantor said, “I said then and I will repeat again today, the American people want common sense health care reform, not an overhaul that will increase costs and reduce the quality of care. Today we know what many of us were warning of at the time: ObamaCare leaves the American people with a list of broken promises. “ House Republicans are leading the way with health care solutions that will empower American people, not government bureaucrats. Yesterday, the House repealed ObamaCare’s Medicare rationing board, and we will continue to work on common sense, patient-centered solutions that lower costs and increase access to care.
Today In History: In 1839, the initials "O.K." were first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll correct," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
Birthdays: Maurice Jones-Drew, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan and David Milch
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
ObamaCare: Two Years Later Americans Continue To Reject President Obama’s “Landmark” Legislation
Democrats’ Played Jenga With ObamaCare – Careful Construction Hid Real Price Tag. Obamacare was carefully constructed to manipulate the standard 10-year cost projections of the CBO. Because benefits would not fully kick in for four years, President Obama could trumpet 10-year gross costs of less than $1 trillion — $938 billion to be exact. But now that the near-costless years 2010 and 2011 have elapsed, the true 10-year price tag comes into focus. From 2013 through 2022, the CBO reports, the costs of Obamacare come to $1.76 trillion — almost twice the phony original number. It gets worse. Annual gross costs after 2021 are more than a quarter of $1 trillion every year — until the end of time. That, for a new entitlement in a country already drowning in $16 trillion of debt. The Washington Post
Leader Cantor: The American People Want Common Sense Health Care Reforms, Not A List Of Broken Promises. “Two years ago, the President promised that his signature health care law would improve health care, job creation and the economy. I said then and I will repeat again today, the American people want common sense health care reform, not an overhaul that will increase costs and reduce the quality of care. Today we know what many of us were warning of at the time: ObamaCare leaves the American people with a list of broken promises. “At time when we need to encourage small businesses to grow and hire, ObamaCare is crippling them with skyrocketing costs and fees. House Republicans will continue to work to repeal this harmful law and replace it with common sense, patient-centered solutions that lower costs and increase access to care.” Press Release
Senator McConnell: Costs and Premiums Are Rising, Medicare Has Been Weakened and New Mandates Are Stifling Small Business Job Creation – ObamaCare Must Be Repealed. President Obama was right when he argued upon taking office that the U.S. health-care system was in critical need of reform. Among other problems were the rising cost of health care to private and public payers, the exposure of too many families to potentially catastrophic health-care costs, and the lack of coverage for millions of Americans. Yet rather than solving the most pressing problems in the old system, Obamacare has made many of these problems far worse. Costs and premiums are rising, Medicare has been weakened, states now struggle to keep pace with even costlier federal mandates, and the economy is being sapped as new mandates dissuade employers from creating new jobs. For these reasons and others, those of us who fought against Obamacare’s passage look forward to making our case before the Supreme Court next week. Americans continue to oppose Obamacare in large numbers. Indeed, a recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 72 percent of Americans, including most Democrats, believe that Obamacare’s core, a government mandate to buy health insurance, violates the Constitution. This, along with a growing list of unintended consequences, are reason enough to repeal it. National Review
By The Numbers:
• 83% Of Americans Say They Have Not Benefited From ObamaCare. Kaiser
• 73% Of Middle Class Americans Believe Obamacare Will Add To The Deficit. YG Network
• 67% Of Americans Say The Supreme Court Should Strike Down ObamaCare Or The Individual Mandate At A Minimum. ABC News
• 56% Of Women Believe ObamaCare Will Raise Taxes On Americans Making Less Than $250,000 YG Network
Ways and Means Chart: Republican Efforts to Repeal ObamaCare Have Saved More Than $52 Billion. As one of their first acts of the 112th Congress, House Republicans voted unanimously (along with three House Democrats) to repeal the Democrats’ health care law in its entirety. Although the Democrat-led Senate still refuses to take up legislation to fully repeal ObamaCare, House Republicans have not stopped looking for ways to defund it, resulting in more than $52 billion being taken out of ObamaCare … While Republicans have made progress, there is still much more to be done. With recent analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirming that the cost of the law has nearly doubled to $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years, the case for repeal could not be stronger. Republicans will continue to press for full repeal of ObamaCare. View the GRAPHIC HERE
Small Business Committee: Small Businesses Speak Out On The Negative Impacts Of ObamaCare
• Easy to sum up... unfunded mandates and over regulation - taxes, employment, operational, and reporting at both the state and federal government level. Very little, if any, regulatory or reporting requirement benefit the small business, but impose huge workloads. Employment taxes, healthcare mandates, and employment reports are a significant dis-incentives to create new positions and hire additional employees. David Mower (Kilmarnock, VA) NN Wifi, LLC
• The 2013 implementation of the health spending bill will impose a tax burden on the firm, even though we have a health care plan, we understand that all firms will have to pay additional payroll taxes based on the gross payroll. This is a disincentive to hire new employees and adds a new tax burden that did not exist previously. Sara O'Neil-Manion (Bethesda, MD) O'Neil & Manion Architects P.A.
• The unknown costs of healthcare are driving the decision not to hire new employees. Julian Irby (Pensacola, FL) Irby Engineering & Construction, Inc.
State Of Play: Senate Passes Bipartisan JOBS Act, Cantor Says The House Will Vote Early Next Week
Leader Cantor On Senate Passage Of The Bipartisan JOBS Act. “Small businesses and startup companies are the lifeblood of innovation and economic growth in our country. The bipartisan JOBS Act will cut through Washington red tape and help these small businesses and startups grow, expand and create jobs right away. Today’s strong Senate vote combined with bipartisan support in the House, from the President, and the business community shows even in a divided Washington we can come together to get things done for our nation’s job creators. I intend to schedule a vote on the Senate-amended bill early next week so we can get this bipartisan jobs bill to the President’s desk for his signature without delay.” Press Release
The JOBS Act May Be The Most Pro-Growth Measure The Senate Has Passed All Year. Legislation to help startup companies raise capital by reducing some federal regulations won easy passage in the Senate on Thursday … President Barack Obama supports the measure, which stands to be one of the few bipartisan bills to pass Congress during this politically contentious election year. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., a leading sponsor of the legislation, said it "might be the most pro-growth measure that this body will consider, perhaps this whole year." … Democrats did manage to pass one amendment to increase investor protections, so the legislation will require another House vote. … House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said he would schedule a House vote next week. The Associated Press
Common Ground: Cantor’s 20% Small Business Tax Cut Would Allow Small Manufacturers To Grow and Hire. But in other ways, the bill may actually dovetail with the President’s push to strengthen American manufacturing through tax policy, says Dean Zerbe, national managing director at alliantgroup and former tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. By setting the maximum at 499 employees, the proposal could bolster manufacturing by going beyond more-limited definitions of a small business, he says. “What I see too often is that policy makers have a far-too-tight definition of small businesses,” says Zerbe. This plan’s size limit would provide cash for the companies that are most likely to grow and hire, such as small manufacturers that have dozens, or even hundreds of employees, he says. CFO
State Of Play (2): Bipartisan Support For Keystone Mounts, Meanwhile President Obama Prevents Jobs, Energy Security
House Dem: President Obama Needs To Stop Waffling On Keystone. The California Democrat said the president needs to make a decision one way or another and stick to it. If he’s going to build it, “do it, take your lumps, be done with it,” he added. Cardoza said the latest maneuver amounts to “highlighting a waffle.” “They don’t build statues to wafflers,” he said. Roll Call
• Cardoza: President Obama’s Decision On The Keystone Is “The Most Idiotic Political Move I’ve Ever Seen.” Rep. Dennis Cardoza said the president’s move wouldn’t satisfy anybody and would merely keep the issue alive. “I think it’s the most idiotic political move I’ve ever seen,” said Cardoza, who supports the pipeline. Roll Call
President Obama Continues To Stand In The Way Of Growing Bipartisan Support For Keystone. Obama wasn't in Cushing because he has approved so much new pipeline. He was there because he is facing bipartisan opposition, in Congress and across the country, for blocking the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring about 700,000 barrels of oil from Canada to refineries in Texas every day, creating thousands of new jobs in the process. The opposition appears to be growing, and there's good reason to believe Obama will be forced to reverse himself sometime in the next few months. A new Gallup poll shows that 57 percent of Americans say the government should approve building Keystone. That number includes 81 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 44 percent (a plurality) of Democrats. … Recently, Senate Republicans forced a vote on a proposal to approve Keystone. The final vote was 56 to 42, with 11 Democrats breaking with the president to vote in favor of the pipeline. The only reason it didn't pass was that the Democratic leadership filibustered the measure, requiring 60 votes for passage. … If Obama has already lost 11 Democratic votes, with the election still several months away, it's likely he is going to lose more in the future … Obama will hear the word "Solyndra" many, many times this fall -- he is standing in the way of making America more self-sufficient in oil and gas. It won't matter how many photo-ops he stages in front of piles of pipes. In the end, he'll have to say yes to Keystone. The Washington Examiner
President Obama Continues To Take Credit For Policies Put In Place Prior To His Administration. Obama himself likes to take credit for this production increase, although actual federal acreage available for drilling is down slightly from the Bush administration. The extra production comes mostly from private land … CNN
Senate Passes House Version Of The STOCK Act 96-3, Next Stop President Obama’s Desk. Lead sponsors of legislation curbing insider trading by members of Congress were quick to trumpet its bipartisan passage Thursday. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act the “most significant” ethics bill passed by Congress in years. “This represents Congress at its best,” he said after the Senate approved the bill in a 96-3 vote. “We dealt with it quickly and on a bipartisan basis ... hopefully this will be a model for other critical legislation that we ought to be adopting.” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) called the bill a “no-brainer.” He sponsored a version of the bill after seeing a televised report suggesting some top lawmakers were using their positions for personal profit. … Cantor, who steered the bill through the House, also hailed the bipartisan nature of its passage. “The STOCK Act is a product of bipartisan efforts in the House and the Senate and will help restore the public’s trust in their elected officials,” he said in a statement. The Hill
• Leader Cantor On Senate Passage Of The STOCK Act: “With the Senate’s passage of the STOCK Act today we are finally moving forward to prevent insider trading at all levels of the federal government. People deserve to know and trust that Members of Congress and those in Washington are living under the same rules as they are. The STOCK Act is a product of bipartisan efforts in the House and the Senate and will help restore the public’s trust in their elected officials. I hope the President will act quickly to make it clear to the American people that transparency and accountability are the highest priority.” Press Release
Washington Post Fact Check: President Obama Should Accept Responsibility For Solyndra, Not Attempt To Blame Others. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus, added a new section — 1705 — which offered a more attractive loan package because it did not include credit subsidy fees. Solyndra ended up receiving a $535 million loan under section 1705 — not the original section 1703 program crafted during the Bush administration. … the president chose to emphasize the administration’s role in crafting the loan effort when he spoke about Solyndra, only to shift course once Solyndra failed. … The administration is straining too hard to reverse that aphorism — ie, saying the failure of Solyndra has a thousand fathers. While the original law may have set up the loan guarantee program, Solyndra received its loan through an expansion of that program that the administration was quick to take credit for. … We find it hard to believe that any reasonable person could interpret Obama’s remarks this week as anything but a distinct effort to put the blame for Solyndra in some one else’s pocket. The president should accept responsibility, not shirk it. The Washington Post