Friday, October 15, 2010

Medicare actuary: Reform will cost some seniors

A Medicare official concedes that seniors may have to dig deeper into their wallets next year thanks to the health care law.

The new analysis obtained by POLITICO finds the health care overhaul will result in increased out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare Advantage plans.

Richard Foster, the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, also tells Senate Republicans that the overhaul will result in “less generous benefit packages” for Medicare Advantage plans next year. Foster is independent from the administration and non-partisan. 

Democrats have long contended that Medicare Advantage plans – private insurance alternatives to Medicare – overpay private insurers, increasing premiums for everyone, and needs to be reformulated.
But Republicans say dramatic changes to the program mean some seniors won’t be able to keep their plans – a promise President Barack Obama made during the reform debate – and the GOP has made the issue part of its attempt to roll back the health law.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, says the administration is trying to downplay the effects of the overhaul on the Medicare Advantage plans.
“Painting a rosy picture of Medicare Advantage options denies the facts from the government’s own chief actuary,” he said in a statement to POLITICO. “And it’s a disservice to the 11 million current beneficiaries who count on this popular program.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says, in a separate letter sent recently to Grassley, the changes in the health care overhaul will end up strengthening the program.
“Next year, seniors will have new benefits, new protections against fraud, and better Medicare Advantage choices with meaningful differences at affordable premiums, and more beneficiaries will participate in the program,” she wrote.

Sebelius says that the remaining Medicare Advantage plans have higher standards to meet, stemming from a 2008 Medicare law. In addition, 99.7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who have access to an Advantage plan this year will have it next year and that premiums are expected to decline by 1 percent next year.
Foster says the additional costs seniors face will be partially offset by other pieces of the law, including reduced cost sharing for Medicare Parts A and B, lower Part B premiums and the filling of the prescription drug donut hole.

Last week, Grassley’s office highlighted an error Sebelius made in a speech to a gathering of AARP members. She incorrectly said the number of Medicare Advantage plans would increase next year. HHS later changed the written copy of the speech online without highlighting the change, which angered Grassley.
“Despite making a limited correction last week to an earlier speech delivered in Florida, the administration refuses to set the record straight appropriately,” Grassley said.

“But a new letter from Medicare’s chief actuary is nonpartisan and indisputable. Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage will pay more out of their own pockets as a result of the new health care law. Their costs will go up by hundreds of dollars on average in the coming years, by $346 in 2011 to a high of $923 in 2017.”

CLARIFICATION: The cost estimate came from the office of the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, an independent, non-partisan office.

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Climate Science’s Worst Week in History

Climate Science’s Worst Week in History

There now appears to be a photo finish in the horse race for the ‘worst week in climate science history’ with that already infamous week of the Climate-Gate hacking, aka the “East Anglia Event Horizon”. The universal increase in knowledge has been devastating to the Royalist-Monopolist-Elitist Alliance hell bent on universal serfdom.

There was so much bad news that it can only be covered as bullet points with one common theme. What had been presented as an appeal to authority, i.e. scientific consensus, is now being presented as an appeal to the COMMON PEOPLE. A point that will be emphasized throughout this article.

The week included the Michael Mann open letter in the Washington Post, begging the COMMON PEOPLE to vote for Democrats. In his best Elmer Fudd impression, Mann complains that the “waskily wepublicans will wack Mann if elected”. Yes, two coats of Penn State whitewash might not hold up under serious Congressional science inquiry.

The Eco-snuff flick “No Pressure” by the lovely 10:10 Division of the Climate Action group brought universal stinging rebukes. First, the two largest sponsors withdrew their support. Then over 20,000 supporters requested to be removed for the 10:10 rolls as supporters.

A protege of the flawed UK Climate Research Unit and a lead author of the IPCC reports was recognized to have tampered with the New Zealand temperature records. This prompted the following statement from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research: “There is no ‘official’ or formal New Zealand temperature record.”

Rumpelstiltskin Spins Fiction to Fact

The term ‘counter-intuitive’ implies an honest presentation of fact, opposed to what was expected. When applied by the warmists, it is intended to have the same effect as ‘settled’ science. Merely by being ‘counter’ it is new, revolutionary evolution of thought to be embraced without question. This week’s coating of greenwash is easy to parse.

The Imperial College and Nature magazine have announced ‘break-thru’ review of solar data, and opposite of reason, is the claim that a ‘cooling Sun, warms the Earth’. This based on a three year study of solar output and Earth temperatures. The study included this quote:

“The idea that science might not have quite understood the Sun’s effect on Climate should not provide ammunition for Climate Change skeptics.”

Thankfully the Earth is NOT a thermal Yo-Yo and there is a three year lag-time for response, rendering this study useless. But at least they are now looking at the SUN as a possible climate factor. It is proper to utilize nursery rhyme analogies to emphasize the adolescent thoughts and actions of this most juvenile branch of science.

The November issues of ‘Popular Science’ and ‘Popular Mechanics’ arrived with virtually NO mention of human caused climate change. Popular Science had a half-page article on a new waste fat bio-fuel conversion process and Popular Mechanics had a two- page comparison of the electric Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. Neither of these articles made any mention that bio-fuels or EV autos would be of saving the planet.

It has been almost one year since the Hadley hacking and neither Pop Science nor Pop Mechanics have made one mention of this epic, history-making event. But that subject is now going to be unavoidable after a few more of this week events.

It’s Waterloo for You Know Who

Facing mass revolt from its determined objective members, the Royal Society was forced to back off from the previous total endorsement of the ‘human caused climate’ FRAUD. The RS issued new guide lines which included the following statements:

“Lack of access to the latest knowledge about climate research is one of the primary reason[s] for the constant doubt and misinformation in the minds of COMMON PEOPLE”

Yes, COMMON PEOPLE are too stupid to neglect ALL information that is not filtered by the PROPER authority figure. The RS then amplified this statement urging mob rule to demand immediate action:

“COMMON PEOPLE armed with the right scientific knowledge would certainly exert pressure on their respective governments to take action on Climate Change.”

Yes, COMMON PEOPLE of the world rise up and demand to be placed in carbon shackles and chains. Adding to the UK woes, the BBC was forced to admit bias and issued the following statement:

“The BBC must be inclusive, consider the broad perspective and ensure that the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected.”

While disgust for this arrogant royalist behavior is rising in the UK, a giant of American science dropped a bomb on the science monopolists of the western hemisphere. Dr. Hal Lewis, a 67-year member of the American Physical Society announced his resignation. His letter is an instant classic in the science freedom movement and too important to be paraphrased or used for bullet quotes. The Dr. Lewis letter is a must read.

Apparently the loss of such a distinguished member must have aroused the over 48,000 members of the APS and the leadership was forced to issue a reply. This reply is posted at ‘Watts Up With That’, along with a brilliant running commentary. Again, too important to paraphrase, but there is one APS statement that should give interested reader’s some insight:

“We know now that the existing APS Statement on Climate Change was developed literally over lunch by a few people, after the duly constituted Committee had signed off on a more moderate statement.”

Anthony Watts goes on to describe the rampant conflicts of interest of APS board members, the ‘green industry’ and government research funding. Expect mass resignations by this corrupt board and a reinstatement of dear Dr. Lewis with full honors. The speed of these events is staggering, and a full week has yet to pass.

It is time for the COMMON PEOPLE to rise up against the Royalist, Monopolists and Elitist Alliance. They have intentionally dumbed-down our schools, corrupted our governments, systematically lied through their puppet media and bankrupted us with fiat financing. It is time for universal freedom from these tyrants.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gallup: 46 Percent Say U.S. Government 'Poses Immediate Threat to the Rights and Freedoms' of U.S. Citizens |

Gallup: 46 Percent Say U.S. Government 'Poses Immediate Threat to the Rights and Freedoms' of U.S. Citizens |

( - The percentage of Americans who think the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens has increased significantly over the last seven years, rising from 30 percent to 46 percent, according to a Gallup poll conducted Sept. 13-16 and released today.

Only 51 percent of Americans now say they do not think the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.

Similarly, the percentage of Americans who think the federal government has too much power has also significantly increased, from 39 percent in 2002 to 59 percent today.

In its Sept. 13-16 polling, Gallup asked the 46 percent of respondents who said that they think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of Americans in “what ways” they think the government is posing this threat. The top four answers were that the government has too many laws and is too big in general, that it is too involved in people’s private lives, that it is threatening freedom of speech, and that the health-care law signed by President Barack Obama is a threat.

Since 2003, Gallup has periodically asked adult Americans this question: “Do you think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens, or not?”

When Gallup first asked the question in September 2003, 30 percent said, yes, they did think the federal government posed an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens and 68 percent said, no, it did not. In September 2004, 35 percent said, yes, and 63 percent said, no. In September 2005, 37 percent said, yes, and 62 percent said, no. And in September 2006, 44 percent said, yes, and 54 percent said, no.

This September, 46 percent said, yes, they think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Only 51 percent said, no.

Gallup asked the 46 percent who said yes, this follow-up question: “In what ways do you see the government posing an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of its citizens?” The answers broke down as follows:

Answer Percentage

Too many laws/Gov’t too big in general 18

Too much involvement in people's private lives 17

Taking away freedom of speech/violating First Amendment 15

Healthcare law 11

Socialist government 8

Overtaxing/Taxes too high 7

Taking away freedom of religion 6

Gun control/violating Second Amendment 6

Failing to secure borders/Illegal immigration 3

Over-regulation/Too much involvement in business 3

Too much spending 2

Marriage issue 2

Other 3

None/Nothing 2

No opinion 9

Republicans and Independents were more likely than Democrats to say they think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Sixty-six percent of Republicans said this was the case, 49 percent of Independents, and 21 percent of Democrats.

Since 2002, Gallup has also periodically asked this question: “Do you think the federal government today has too much power, has about the right amount of power, or has too little power?” When Gallup most recently asked this question in its poll conducted Sept. 13-16, 59 percent said the federal government has too much power, 33 percent said it has the right amount of power, and 8 percent said it has too little power.

In a poll conducted, Sept. 5-8, 2002, only 39 percent said they thought the federal government had too much power, while 52 percent said it had the right amount of power, and 7percent said it had too little power.

Gallup has asked this question about the federal government's power ten times over the last eight years. The last time fewer than 50 percent of Americans said they thought the federal government had too much power was in a poll conducted Sept. 13-15, 2004. At that time 42 percent said the federal government had too much power, 49 percent said it had the right amount of power, and 7 percent said it had too little power.