Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2010 OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, October 17th, 2009, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to a replay of the October 17th, 2009 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Saturday Radio Address:
"Taking the Insurance Companies on Down the Stretch"
The White House Press Office: In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the progress that has been made on health insurance reform, and spoke out against those who defend the status quo in order to score political points and protect their profits. With reform the closest it has ever been to becoming law, the insurance companies are rolling out deceptive ads, paying for misleading studies, and flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists. Now, Washington needs to serve the American people, not the special interests. (continued below)
October is Reformation Month
October 31st is “Reformation Day”
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. This was the accepted way of inaugurating public debate, and the debate turned into "The Protestant Reformation."
America's Founders envisioned the American people, acting as businessmen, humanitarians, and missionaries, engaging in commercial and charitable activities around the world, bringing peace and receiving the admiration of the world.
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]
"I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
Bush's unconstitutional military invasion of Iraq has destroyed Christianity in that country.
Under Saddam Hussein's secular government, Christians in Iraq had greater freedom than in most other Arab nations, and one of the largest Christian populations in the Muslim world was in Iraq.
Iraq is now an Islamic theocracy under Sharia law. The Christian population has been destroyed. Christian Churches are burned and terrorized with impunity.
Obama is following in Bush's unconstitutional, anti-Christian footsteps.
Over the better part of the past year, a great debate has taken place in Washington and across America, about how to reform our health care system to provide security for people with insurance, coverage for those without insurance, and lower costs for everyone. From the halls of Congress to the homes of ordinary Americans, this debate has helped us to forge consensus and find common ground. That’s a good thing. That’s what America is all about.
The desire for government-provided "security" is un-American.
Competition and freedom lowers costs, not government.
Now, as the debate draws to a close, we can point to a broad and growing coalition of doctors and nurses, workers and businesses, hospitals and even drug companies – folks who represent different parties and perspectives, including leading Democrats and many leading Republicans – who recognize the urgency of action. Just this week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support. For the first time ever, all five committees in Congress responsible for health reform have passed a version of legislation. As I speak to you today, we are closer to reforming the health care system than we have ever been in history.
But this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. This is not the time to grow complacent. There are still significant details and disagreements to be worked out in the coming weeks. And there are still those who would try to kill reform at any cost. The history is clear: for decades rising health care costs have unleashed havoc on families, businesses, and the economy. And for decades, whenever we have tried to reform the system, the insurance companies have done everything in their considerable power to stop us.
If the government is going to spend a trillion dollars to give everyone insurance, why would insurance companies be opposed to getting all this money from the government?
We know that this inaction has carried a terrible toll. In the past decade, premiums have doubled. Over the past few years, total out of pocket costs for people with insurance rose by a third. And we know that if we do not reform the system, this will only be a preview of coming attractions. A new report for the Business Roundtable – a non-partisan group that represents the CEOs of major companies – found that without significant reform, health care costs for these employers and their employees will well more than double again over the next decade. The cost per person for health insurance will rise by almost $18,000. That’s a huge amount of money. That’s going to mean lower salaries and higher unemployment, lower profits and higher rolls of uninsured. It is no exaggeration to say, that unless we act, these costs
will devastate the US economy.
Costs are going up because consumers don't pay, and therefore don't shop around.
This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking [out] open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people.
Of course, like clockwork, we’ve seen folks on cable television who know better, waving these industry-funded studies in the air. We’ve seen industry insiders – and their apologists – citing these studies as proof of claims that just aren’t true. They’ll claim that premiums will go up under reform; but they know that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that reforms will lower premiums in a new insurance exchange while offering consumers protections that will limit out-of-pocket costs and prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. They’ll claim that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket; but they know that this is based on a study that willfully ignores whole sections of the bill, including tax credits and cost savings that will greatly benefit middle class families. Even the
authors of one of these studies have now admitted publicly that the insurance companies actually asked them to do an incomplete job.
It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, "Take one of these, and call us in a decade." Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.
Now, I welcome a good debate. I welcome the chance to defend our proposals and to test our ideas in the fires of this democracy. But what I will not abide are those who would bend the truth – or break it – to score political points and stop our progress as a country. And what we all must oppose are the same old cynical Washington games that have been played for decades even as our problems have grown and our challenges have mounted.
Last November, the American people went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change. They wanted a change in our policies; but they also sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has fallen prey to the lobbyists and the special interests; that has fostered division and sustained the status quo. Passing health insurance reform is a great test of this proposition. Yes, it will make a profound and positive difference in the lives of the American people. But it also now represents something more: whether or not we as a nation are capable of tackling our toughest challenges, if we can serve the national interest despite the unrelenting efforts of the special interests; if we can still do big things in America.
I believe we can. I believe we will. And I urge every member of Congress to stand against the power plays and political ploys – and to stand up on behalf the American people who sent us to Washington to do their business.
Restoring America's Greatness by
Celebrating Christmas all year long
The Message of Christmas and the Principles set forth by the Christ (the Messiah) who came that first Christmas are the real solution to America's problems. The Federal Government is at war with Christmas and "The Way of Peace" announced by the Prince of Peace.
John the Baptist prepares the way for the Messiah, as prophesied of Elijah.
As you read the Gospel accounts, ask yourself how you would react if you knew these accounts were really true. Not just true in some "religious" sense, but reported in the New York Times, proven in a court of law, or acknowledged by your personal hero. (How do you know something is true? Do you even have any "heroes?") How should you change your life if your Creator became a human being? How should Washington D.C. react if this human being claimed to be the true Ruler?
The Prophet Micah predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Jesus' parents lived in Nazereth. Therefore God predestined Caesar to issue a decree (probably relating to taxes) that would bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem before Jesus was born.
Bush claims the same global power of confiscation and migration as Caesar did. Thousands of Christians have been forced to move out of Iraq to make way for Bush's Islamic Theocracy.
An army of angels announces the birth of the Messiah, saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace to those with whom He is pleased!”
Man's chief end is to glorify God and live in peace. The Bush Administration's chief end is to erect a "wall of separation" between God and government so that the State gives no glory to God, and to wage war, thereby "stimulating the economy."
When Herod got word of the birth of a rival king, he behaved in a perfectly logical way (for someone who wants to protect his power): he massacred all male babies the age of Jesus. Herod recognized that Jesus was a threat to Herod's power.
Every day in America 4,000 unborn babies are murdered. These babies must threaten something.
Millions of Americans who call themselves Christians, on the other hand, are no threat to tyranny. None of them are being killed. Bush has killed a thousand times more human beings than Herod did, and confiscated a billion times more wealth than Herod did.
Hi, I’m Congressman Kevin Brady. I’m proud to represent southeast Texas in Congress, and serve as the lead House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, which keeps tabs on America’s economic health.
There are three big myths hurtling around Washington these days: no jobs equals an economic recovery, government-run health care will make it more affordable and deficits don’t matter.
The American public – to their credit – isn’t buying any of these.
Start with the economy. We’re all pleased to see the stock market go up, but middle class America knows hundreds of thousands of jobs are disappearing each month. Many of them may never reappear.
As families in my communities and across the country watch the national unemployment rate close to topping double digits -- with very few real signs of relief ahead -- they have one question for the White House: ‘Mr. President, where are the jobs?’
Nobody should be asking the President about jobs. He has neither the power nor the Constitutional authority to try to create jobs.
Last January, the White House promised us all that if Congress passed the massive trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill, jobs would be created immediately and the unemployment rate would stay under eight percent.
Well, since then, nearly 3 million more Americans have lost their private sector jobs. Over 2 million have simply quit looking for work because they are so discouraged. And that’s frightening. And over 9 million Americans are working part time because they can't find a full time job. And those who do worry if they’ll be the next person standing in the unemployment line.
The truth is: no jobs, no recovery. Let’s finally admit America’s recovery can’t be built on the unsteady Democratic doctrine of spending more, borrowing more and higher taxes. It’s failing our families.
I guess what we need is the steady Republican doctrine of bailouts.
The second myth, that government-run health care will make it more affordable? Americans inherently know government interference drives costs up, not down. The massive health care plans being crafted behind closed doors in Washington will ultimately allow the government to decide what doctors we can see, what treatments the government thinks you deserve and what medicines you can receive.
The Democrats’ plans are loaded with new federal mandates and higher taxes on insurance plans, treatments and equipment – all of which will be passed down to patients. New taxes on professionals and small businesses will drive jobs out of our economy and push more families into a government-run plan.
At a time when families and workers want more choices and more options, Democrats in Washington are bent on creating a one-size fits all plan that Americans can just take or leave. By the way, these same Democratic members of Congress are making sure they and their families aren’t included in the plan. That should tell you something.
The third myth: deficits don’t matter? Tell that to your kids and grandkids and see what they have to say thirty years down the road.
Whether it’s wasteful stimulus spending, a cap-and-trade national energy tax that will put millions more out of work, or the trillion dollar health care experiment, congressional Democrats in Washington are boring new holes in our economic ship at a time when employers throughout America need a life preserver to help them stay afloat.
Liberal policies that will keep people out of work longer will only make the deficit worse. Americans know that deficits matter to our dollar, to our economy, to our future.
The federal budget deficit tripled to a record 1.4 trillion dollars this year. The government spent 199 billion dollars on interest alone -- or almost 10 times the entire budget for NASA.
Under the Obama Administration’s budget, our country is set to rack up 6.7 trillion dollars in debt over the next decade -- almost equal to all the federal debt accumulated in our nation’s history.
Democrats in Washington continue to pursue costly policies that tax too much, spend too much and borrow too much, all of which are discouraging small businesses from job creation and innovation while launching our national debt into the stratosphere.
Make no mistake, our children and grandchildren will end up buried under a mountain of debt if we continue down this dangerous path of taxing, spending and borrowing.
Let’s set aside the myths. Let’s get real.
Real economic growth starts when the people who have taken the hardest hit in this recession -- our small businesses -- get back to creating jobs. It's what these businesses that employ more than half our nation's workforce do best. Republicans want to give them new tax relief tools and get out of their way.
Republicans remain hopeful that this deep and painful recession will soon run its course, but Americans deserve better than a jobless recovery, which is no real recovery at all for American workers and families. Americans deserve affordable health care. And they deserve a nation that can pay its debt and live within its means.
That’s what Republicans believe. That’s what will create the jobs that will grow our economy and put our nation back on the path to long-term prosperity. This is Congressman Kevin Brady. Thanks for listening. ###
Republican government does not live within its means.
The Market Doesn’t Ration Health Care | Foundation for Economic Education
Economics 101 says giving more people access to the same number of doctors and hospitals means government rationing. Decisions about healthcare will be made by bureaucrats to "control costs," which MUST increase when "access" to a fixed supply of goods is increased.
Our choice is between rationing by bureaucrats (including insurance clerks empowered by government tax policy) and individual self-determination through free exchange.
The men who threw tea into the Boston Harbor over a tax of 3 pence per pound would not be happy with a tax ten times greater on every gallon of gas. Those who took up muskets over a total tax burden of less than 3% would not be happy with the fact that the federal government now takes more than half of everything you earn.
Today it is illegal for public school teachers to teach their students that the Declaration of Independence is really true (and not just an outdated historical document). The federal government is clearly at war with everything the Founding Fathers stood for.
America's greatest Americans would abolish today's federal government.
Muskets are Not an Option
There are two reasons why we should not take up arms to pull off the violent overthrow of the federal government, even if America's Founders would surely do so. First, the feds have nukes. Second, violent revolution is unChristian and unBiblical. We must beat our swords into plowshares and use persuasion to abolish tyranny. This is time for a revolution of ideas.
Revolution Won't Come in a Day
John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and
then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we shouldn't go 20 years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
Every great athlete has a coach.
If you want to be a great American you need a coach.
If you want to achieve great things for your country, you need a coach.
Imagine what you could do if George Washington, "the Father of his Country,"
could travel through time and be your personal coach.
The results could be extraordinary.
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Help End the Mexican Civil War
Black-market profits caused by drug prohibition fund a civil war in Mexico that's threatening to spill over our borders. Drug profits also fuel the terrorists who are killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It's time to dry up the black-market profits. It's time to end drug prohibition.
Make Congress Read Their Bills Before Voting
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
End the FED
The Federal Reserve System constantly inflates and deflates the supply of money and credit, causing booms and busts. It's time to get off this roller-coaster. It's time to end the Fed.
No government money, whether borrowed or taxed, should ever be used to bailout private financial interests. If you agree, please send Congress a message telling them so.
TWIC - A Backdoor Real ID Card
Real ID is dying. But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back. Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.
Stop the Killer Horse Hormones
The FDA "outlawed" the use of Estriol, an estrogen medication that's bio-identical to human estrogen. Doctors must now prescribe animal-derived estrogen instead. Are bio-identical hormones dangerous, while animal-derived hormones are safe? No. The practice of medicine is moving to chemically identical to human hormones and away from animal hormones. Learn why the FDA decided to endanger women's health in this way, and take action.
End Asset Forfeiture
If the government suspects you used your house or car in a crime, they can take it and sell it at auction. They don't even have to prove your guilt. They call this practice civil asset forfeiture, but it's really theft. It violates the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments. It also encourages law enforcement to put profits before justice. Tell Congress to end civil asset forfeiture.
Support an Iraq Referendum
Americans keep debating when, how, or if to leave Iraq. Maybe we should ask the Iraqi people what they want. After all, it's their country. Tell Congress to request that the Iraqi government hold a public referendum on the U.S. occupation. Learn more »
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats.
DownsizeDC.org has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation.” Click here . . .
"Cap and Trade" is not the way
The politicians seem to be unifying around "cap and trade" as a way to cut CO2 emissions. If they take this step it may be the largest increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government since the creation of Medicare. Worse still, it may not even achieve its purpose. Please tell Congress to oppose "cap and trade." Learn more »
Big government prospers through failure. Each new failure is used to justify more spending and new powers. Wasteful spending in Iraq is the latest example. One way to change this is to hold government accountable. A new bill in Congress seeks to provide some of the needed accountability. Please support it. Learn more »
Stop the War for Terror U.S. policy has inflamed the Middle East. It has made terrorism more likely rather than less. We seem to be fighting a war for terror, rather than on terror. This policy must stop. The place to start stopping is with Iran. We must not attack Iran. War with Iran would devastate our economy, disrupt world oil supplies, and recruit more terrorists. Click here to stop this war before it starts.
Click herefor a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall