Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2010 OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, February 20th, 2010, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to the February 20th, 2010 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Weekly Radio Address:
Premiums, Profits, and the Need for Health Reform
The White House Press Office: – President Barack Obama used his weekly address to call on Democratic and Republican leaders to attend next week’s health care meeting in good faith to find reforms that work for American families and small businesses. With several health insurance companies announcing steep hikes in their rates – from 10 to over 30 percent – it is clear that the status quo, while good for the insurance industry, is bad for the American people. After a year of exhaustive debate, it is time to move forward on reform. (continued below)
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.
The other week, men and women across California opened up their mailboxes to find a letter from Anthem Blue Cross. The news inside was jaw-dropping. Anthem was alerting almost a million of its customers that it would be raising premiums by an average of 25 percent, with about a quarter of folks likely to see their rates go up by anywhere from 35 to 39 percent.
Health care costs are going up rapidly—something everyone acknowledges. But the people who provide health insurance should continue to behave as if costs are staying the same, or perhaps only rising at the rate of inflation?
Now, after their announcement stirred public outcry, Anthem agreed to delay their rate hike until May 1st while the situation is reviewed by the state of California. But it’s not just Californians who are being hit by rate hikes. In Kansas, one insurance company raised premiums by 10 to 20 percent only after asking to raise them by 20 to 30 percent. Last year, Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield raised rates by 22 percent after asking to raise them by up to 56 percent. And in Maine, Anthem is asking to raise rates for some folks by about 23 percent.
The President presents absolutely no evidence that insurance premiums are rising faster than the costs of drugs, MRI's, hospitals, and doctors -- which insurance has to pay for.
The bottom line is that the status quo is good for the insurance industry and bad for America. Over the past year, as families and small business owners have struggled to pay soaring health care costs, and as millions of Americans lost their coverage, the five largest insurers made record profits of over $12 billion.
The Federal Reserve made windfall profits of $52 Billion -- more than four times as much as the top five insurers combined!
And as bad as things are today, they’ll only get worse if we fail to act. We’ll see more and more Americans go without the coverage they need. We’ll see exploding premiums and out-of-pocket costs burn through more and more family budgets. We’ll see more and more small businesses scale back benefits, drop coverage, or close down because they can’t keep up with rising rates. And in time, we’ll see these skyrocketing health care costs become the single largest driver of our federal deficits.
Why are things "bad?" Which country is better? How could things be better? More government manipulation?
That’s what the future is on track to look like. But it’s not what the future has to look like. The question, then, is whether we will do what it takes, all of us – Democrats and Republicans – to build a better future for ourselves, our children, and our country.
That’s why, next week, I am inviting members of both parties to take part in a bipartisan health care meeting, and I hope they come in a spirit of good faith. I don’t want to see this meeting turn into political theater, with each side simply reciting talking points and trying to score political points. Instead, I ask members of both parties to seek common ground in an effort to solve a problem that’s been with us for generations.
It’s in that spirit that I have sought out and supported Republican ideas on reform from the very beginning. Some Republicans want to allow Americans to purchase insurance from a company in another state to give people more choices and bring down costs. Some Republicans have also suggested giving small businesses the power to pool together and offer health care at lower prices, just as big companies and labor unions do. I think both of these are good ideas – so long as we pursue them in a way that protects benefits, protects patients, and protects the American people. I hope Democrats and Republicans can come together next week around these and other ideas.
Nothing could be more obvious than that the Free-Market ideas touted by Republicans (but never implemented when they are in power) have been ignored by the Democrats during the past few months.
To members of Congress, I would simply say this. We know the American people want us to reform our health insurance system. We know where the broad areas of agreement are. And we know where the sources of disagreement lie. After debating this issue exhaustively for a year, let’s move forward together. Next week is our chance to finally reform our health insurance system so it works for families and small businesses. It’s our chance to finally give Americans the peace of mind of knowing that they’ll be able to have affordable coverage when they need it most.
What’s being tested here is not just our ability to solve this one problem, but our ability to solve any problem. Right now, Americans are understandably despairing about whether partisanship and the undue influence of special interests in Washington will make it impossible for us to deal with the big challenges that face our country. They want to see us focus not on scoring points, but on solving problems; not on the next election but on the next generation. That is what we can do, and that is what we must do when we come together for this bipartisan health care meeting next week. Thank you, and have a great weekend.
“Why Americans Should
365 Days a Year”
The word "Christ" means "King." 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. The Government should be on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7). Abolishing a Messianic State is the only appropriate way to honor the Messiah.
Otherwise Christmas becomes mass hypocrisy.
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.
A listener in California comments:
Insurance Companies are "for profit" and also are hard-wired to government. Not "free market" business, locked to the banks (THE FED) and even owned by the banks! Further, their "profit" is guaranteed by the government, paid out of TAXES. Talk to any Doctor who faces this control.
Kevin Craig responds:
This is true. When I defended insurance companies against the President's attacks, I was defending Free Market insurance companies. Obama's attack was not against existing government-crony capitalism, threatening to cut off government subsidies and favorable regulation for the benefit of insurance companies, but rather the President was attacking profit in general, and free markets in general. I responded to his theoretical attack in an equally theoretical way. PhysicianRon Paul would agree.
Hello, I’m Congressman Dave Camp from Michigan, and I serve as the lead Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee.
This is a time of economic uncertainty. Tens of millions of Americans are either looking for work or have just given up entirely. They’re looking to Washington for solutions. But instead it seems Washington keeps adding to their problems.
That’s why Americans are demanding that President Obama and the Democrats in control of Congress scrap their misguided plan of a government takeover of health care. They don’t want a 2,000-page bill that threatens jobs and drives up health premiums; they already have enough challenges to deal with in their daily lives.
They want Washington to start over with a step-by-step approach to health care reform that begins with reducing costs and ensures they can keep their current plan if they like it.
For those families and small businesses looking for a sign that Washington is ready to wake up and find common sense on this issue, next week’s White House health care summit may not be it.
In fact, right now, Democrats are continuing to work behind closed doors, putting the finishing touches on yet another massive health care bill Americans can’t afford and don’t want.
If it is like Democrats’ other health care bills, this one will drive up premiums, destroy jobs, raise taxes, slash Medicare benefits, and add to our already-skyrocketing debt.
Medicare should be abolished. Republicans properly opposed it when it was first proposed.
But this won’t be just another bill written in secret and signed off on by special interests. Democrats have admitted they are working on an undemocratic plan to jam this bill through Congress and subvert the will of the American people.
Democrats themselves are describing this latest maneuver as a ‘trick.’ If the starting point for this summit is more of the same backroom deals and partisan bills, then this meeting will likely be a charade.
From the beginning, Republicans have listened to the American people and offered reforms that lower health care premiums for families and small businesses.
The bill I and House Republicans proposed last fall implements common sense solutions focused on lowering costs. Our bill ensures nobody will be denied coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition.
It gives states the tools to implement their own innovative reforms. And we put an end to the junk lawsuits that are forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine and drive up the cost of health insurance for all Americans.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the Republican health care bill would actually lower health insurance premiums across the board by up to 10 percent – about $2,000 per year. The Democrat bills do just the opposite – they increase the cost of health care.
Just as important, Republicans get the job done without cutting Medicare, without raising taxes, and without piling more debt on our kids and grandkids. All the details of our plan are available at healthcare.gop.gov .
Republicans remain ready to discuss these ideas with President Obama and move forward in a bipartisan way to lower health care costs.
But Americans' health care is way too important to risk on a rushed backroom deal that puts federal bureaucrats in charge of your personal health care decisions.
Instead of hurting small businesses by forcing them to pay new taxes and meet new regulations, our focus should be on lowering their health care costs so that they can expand and hire more workers.
So in order to have a productive bipartisan conversation on health care, Democrats must first listen to the American people and scrap their massive government takeover of health care. We must go into the summit with a clean slate focused on making healthcare affordable.
That is what Americans are asking for, and that is what Republicans will continue to work for. Thanks for listening.
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