Your ObamaCare Watchdog

Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

The Danger of ObamaCare Misinformation: At CPAC

In Politics Watch on 03/2011 at 11:30 AM

By: Colin Fuess

At the 2011 CPAC, the Heartland Institute handed out free copies of The Obamacare Disaster: an Appraisal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Heartland Policy Study #128).  The study was written by Peter Ferrara, whose curriculum vitae is quite respectable.  The author of numerous articles in The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and Forbes, Mr. Ferrara has written reports for the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and served as a senior staff member in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan and as associate deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.  Those who received Mr. Ferrara’s The Obamacare Disaster at CPAC have good reason to trust his work.   While The Obamacare Disaster as a whole provides sound analysis of the Affordable Care Act, on the very first page is a particularly troubling sentence: “Most of the bill’s provisions, except its taxes, do no go into effect until 2014.” On this fundamental point, Ferrara is flat-out wrong.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ website about the Affordable Care Act (www.HealthCare.gov) explicitly contradicts Ferrara.  From the page “Timeline of the Affordable Care Act” (http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html): “The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond, with most changes taking place by 2014.” The detailed timeline shows that 38 major reforms will come into effect between 2010 and 2013.  In 2014 and beyond, just 10 reforms will take effect.

Many of the hallmark reforms will be implemented in 2014, such as the infamous individual mandate, the elimination of annual limits on insurance coverage, the establishing of health insurance exchanges, and so on.  One could successfully argue that the most important reforms don’t go into effect until 2014, but that’s a qualitative assessment.  Ferrara’s statement, however, is quantitative.  Numerically speaking, he says, more provisions go into effect before 2014 than in 2014 and beyond.

Given the quality of the rest of Obamacare Disaster, Ferrara’s mistake probably was an honest one.  Because his entire book is a scholarly forecast of Obamacare’s dire consequences, it would make no sense to open with a broad generalization that effectively neuters the sense of urgency he tries to instill in the reader.  But as a rule, disseminating misinformation free of charge to thousands of willing and eager readers at a major political event is dangerous.

I will go out a limb and say almost everyone who attended CPAC thinks Obamacare is and will be a disaster.  Their minds are already made up.  It is good for an accomplished and respected writer like Ferrara to provide them legitimate analysis that they would not easily find elsewhere.  But people like to read and hear what confirms their beliefs (in psychology, this is know as confirmation bias).  If a person at CPAC dislikes Obamacare and someone hands that person “literature” about how awful Obamacare is, that person agrees with the literature before reading it.  In this way, people are extremely vulnerable to flagrant lies, and unfortunately, not everyone is as well-meaning as Mr. Ferrara.

Buyer beware, even if it is free.

What’s justice got to do with it?

In Politics Watch on 02/2011 at 10:19 AM

At a Saturday night Federalist Society event at the University of Virginia, Judge Clarence Thomas responded that his critics “seem bent on undermining” the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an institution. He said such fiercely ideological attacks could erode the ability of Americans to protect their freedoms. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

Clarence Thomas U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. Thomas and Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector.

The Danger of ObamaCare Misinformation: At CPAC

In How It Affects You on 02/2011 at 2:46 PM

by Colin Fuess

At the 2011 CPAC, the Heartland Institute handed out free copies of The Obamacare Disaster: an Appraisal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Heartland Policy Study #128).  The study was written by Peter Ferrara, whose curriculum vitae is quite respectable.  He has published articles in The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and Forbes; written studies and reports for the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and served as a senior staff member in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan and as associate deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.  Those who received Mr. Ferrara’s The Obamacare Disaster at CPAC have good reason to trust his work.   While The Obamacare Disaster as a whole provides sound analysis of the Affordable Care Act, on the very first page is a particularly troubling sentence: “Most of the bill’s provisions, except its taxes, do no go into effect until 2014.” On this fundamental point, Ferrara is flat-out wrong.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ website about the Affordable Care Act (www.HealthCare.gov) explicitly contradicts Ferrara.  From the page “Timeline of the Affordable Care Act” (http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html): “The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond, with most changes taking place by 2014.” The itemized timeline shows that 38 major reforms will come into effect between 2010 and 2013.  In 2014 and beyond, just 10 reforms will take effect.

Many of the hallmark reforms will be implemented in 2014, such as the infamous individual mandate, the elimination of annual limits on insurance coverage, the establishing of health insurance exchanges, and so on.  One could successfully argue that the most important reforms don’t go into effect until 2014, but that’s a qualitative assessment.  Ferrara’s statement, however, is quantitative.  Numerically speaking, he says, fewer provisions go into effect before 2014 than in 2014 and beyond.

Given the quality of the rest of Obamacare Disaster, Ferrara’s mistake probably was an honest one.  Because his entire book is a scholarly forecast of Obamacare’s dire consequences, it would make no sense to open with a broad generalization that neuters the sense of urgency he tries to instill in the reader.  But as a rule, disseminating misinformation free of charge to thousands of willing and eager readers at a major political event is dangerous.

I will go out a limb and say almost everyone who attended CPAC thinks Obamacare is and will be a disaster.  Their minds are already made up.  It is good for an accomplished and respected writer like Ferrara to provide them legitimate analysis that they would not easily find elsewhere.  But people like to read and hear what confirms their beliefs (in psychology, this is know as confirmation bias).  If a person at CPAC dislikes Obamacare and someone hands that person “literature” about how awful Obamacare is, that person agrees with the literature before reading it.  In this way, people are extremely vulnerable to flagrant lies, and unfortunately, not everyone is as well-meaning as Mr. Ferrara.

Buyer beware, even if it is free.

America, we’re picking up the ObamaCare tab

In How It Affects You, ObamaCare on 02/2011 at 12:11 PM

No surprises here, ObamaCare will add almost 20 million Americans to Medicaid by 2019, estimated at a cost of up to $190 billion that will be paid by the federal and state governments. The states, businesses and you will have no choice in the matter; Washington is simply requiring all pick up the tab. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

‘Good ol’ fashioned lynching’

In Politics Watch on 02/2011 at 10:50 AM

Liberals launch media attack on Justice Thomas in an attempt to alter ObamaCare ruling

By Edward Hassell

The once-venerable New York Times has lived off its reputation for worldclass professionalism despite its recent yield of a veritable mountain of liberal slant.

Why was it that a Feb. 12 hit-piece, “No Argument: Thomas Keeps Silence,” which aimed squarely at denigrating Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, saw fit to quote a third-year law student?

“’If Justice Thomas holds a strong view of the law in a case, he should offer it,” David A. Karp, a veteran journalist and third-year law student, wrote in the Florida Law Review in 2009.”

A third-year law student? The Florida Law Review? Was no other worldclass authority available to talk to the Times on this subject? Or was it the fact that this was a “veteran journalist” and the author of the piece, Adam Liptak, is always going to trust one of his own?  No matter. The rest of the piece is equally disturbing in its characterization of Justice Thomas as “less than” the standard for a Supreme Court Justice. Instead of pursuing a more newsworthy story idea, Liptak invented a “five-year anniversary” of Justice Thomas’ last utterance in the highest court in the land—as if it compared to historic events or tragedies.

In his meandering attempts to explain this phenomenon, Liptak quotes Thomas’ memoir in which he admitted he was ashamed of his Georgia accent, as well as his belief in the importance of listening in court, which he told a Bar Association in Richmond, Virginia. But Liptak doesn’t leave it at that—he is after all, a New York Times reporter. Recalling Thomas’ past questions of a defense lawyer in a case on race, he attempts to not-so-subtly undermine the Justice.

The point of the article becomes increasingly clear: Position Justice Thomas as a biased judge, subject to persuasion by external forces. Whether the author is using a journalist friend and third-year law student, or a liberal professor from Minnesota as his source, the message to the reader is “Be afraid. Be very afraid of this Justice.”

No surprise that just two days later, the Times ran another story on Thomas: this one about the ongoing efforts of liberal watchdog group, Common Cause, and its steady efforts to force Thomas to recuse himself from the inevitable ObamaCare case.  Accusing Thomas of  ‘conflict of interest,’ the group cites a 2008  “brief drop-by” the Justice made to a Palm Springs event, where his travel expenses were paid by its organizers, as well as the connections of Thomas’ wife to the conservative Heritage Foundation. [Note: No one has actually accused Thomas’ wife of any wrongdoing and Thomas was not under any requirement to disclose her earnings]

Worried by conservative plans to attack Justice Elena Kagan for her very real association with President Obama—the liberal media has joined with Democratic politicians and a phalanx of liberal activist groups to ‘even the score’ and take out a conservative judge likely to vote against the law on solid legal principles. One should note that even while Democrats and liberals scream out against Justice Thomas, they have been relatively mum on Kagan. One can’t pick and choose when making this kind of argument.

Do we think Supreme Court judges are incapable of making a legal decision due to the influence of their spouses? Or should judges and their families simply lead a cloistered life in which they are not allowed any contact with the general public or possible educational opportunities and seminars that may be beneficial to their understanding of a subject?

Not only has Common Cause gotten its facts wrong in the past, as noted by lawyer David Rivkin in his Jan. 25 Wall Street Journal article “Common Cause v. Scalia and Thomas,” but the whole idea of attacking judges before major cases is an unfair attack on the judiciary as a whole.  Such attacks and the latest incarnation of ‘yellow journalism’ should not be tolerated.

Some states considering banding together to offer insurance?

In How It Affects You on 02/2011 at 11:53 AM

They’ve got to do something. They sure as heck can’t afford ObamaCare and its crushing Medicaid expansions being forced by the feds. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

ObamaCare rewards friends, punishes enemies

In Politics Watch on 01/2011 at 1:50 PM

A disproportionately high number of waivers are being granted to administration allies. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

Joan Korman , Dawn Tabrizi protesting against ObamaCare!

Op-ed: Wall Street Journal says Florida case is the strongest

In Politics Watch on 12/2010 at 11:58 AM

“While Judge Hudson’s ruling is the first to declare part of the law unconstitutional, more than 20 state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business are also suing in Florida. Oral arguments will be heard on Thursday in that case, which we think is the strongest constitutional challenge to the law.” (Wall Street Journal) More > …

Medicare killed the family doctor

In How It Affects You on 11/2010 at 2:49 PM

“The primary-care doctor has become a piece-rate worker focused on the volume of patients seen every day. As Medicare and insurers focused on trimming the costs of the most common procedures, the income and job satisfaction of primary-care doctors eroded.” (Wall Street Journal) More > …

To 2010 healthcare and beyond!

In Politics Watch on 10/2010 at 10:29 AM

“Republicans will need a reform alternative and a coherent health-care philosophy, and the time to start shaping it is now, so that voters can see how future decisions will be made according to a set of principles they can understand.” (Wall Street Journal) More > …

 

\Protestor courtesy of Getty Images

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers

%d bloggers like this: