Right Start 12-18-13

Posted on Wed 12/18/2013 by



“There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1790
Budget Passes First Senate Test

The Ryan-Murray budget compromise passed its first test in the Senate Tuesday, 67-33. Debate was thus ended and the legislation will come up for a final vote later in the week. National Review’s Jonathan Strong notes, “Republicans voting for cloture included Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Orrin Hatch of Utah, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Rob Portman of Ohio, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, John McCain of Arizona, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.” There are no at-risk seats among that bunch, so expect those facing primary challenges from the Right to tout their opposition to the deal while it still passes easily.

Next Up: Immigration?

After the budget fight this month, the House is already looking ahead to the agenda in January. And that includes immigration reform. House Republicans are divided on what that means, and what’s best for the party and the country. Some are looking to build support for last year’s Senate plan (or something similar) in which a path is provided for 12 million illegal aliens to apply for citizenship. “We’ve been getting a good percentage of our conference signing on,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA). It remains to be seen whether the rift between establishment and Tea Party base stops immigration reform in its tracks, or if an election year is the time when that legislation can pass. Illegal immigration remains a problem, despite Obama’s best efforts to slow it with his bad economy.

Better Read the Fine Print

There is an extremely unpleasant surprise awaiting some Medicaid users. The Seattle Times has the scoop on an older couple who discovered the fine print for Medicaid: “If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.” In other words, Medicaid is a loan payable with your assets when you die. This isn’t new, but it’s a far bigger problem thanks to ObamaCare, which is going to force many people onto Medicaid who have more assets for seizing than the previously typical Medicaid enrollee. It’s just yet another way ObamaCare’s a lousy deal.

Big Insurance Advertising Budget

The stated (ahem) purpose of ObamaCare was to ensure that 30-50 million uninsured Americans could get affordable insurance. Reality, on the other hand, has been that insurers may have a net loss in subscribers for the year. But they’re going to do something about it. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reports, “In all of 2012, health insurers spent $216 million advertising on local television stations. But that’s nothing compared to what they’re about to spend. According to trade association TVB, insurers will spend more than $500 million on local television ads in 2014.” So part of your premium increase will help pay to advertise to people who haven’t yet paid through the nose. That’s the “Affordable” Care Act for you.

Posted in: Immigration