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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

12/23/2009

Reflections of a Digusted North Carolinian


North Carolina’s state budget is already at the breaking point. This year, lawmakers – desperate to raise revenue - hit us with $1 billion in state tax hikes including a 1% sales tax increase, and 30% increases in the excise taxes on beer, wine, and liquor. Even with all that, they only managed to delay the inevitable train wreck for another year by using $1.4 billion in federal “stimulus” funds and nearly $100 million from various state “trust funds”. Marianne Suarez of the Civitas Institute writes in Federal Health Care “Reform” Proposal Would Add $600 Million to N.C.’s Already Strained Budget:
Yet even as states such as North Carolina are struggling to cover their spending commitments, a central part of the federal health care “reform” effort is to further expand the second-largest state-funded program: Medicaid.

the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” further expands Medicaid eligibility up to 150% of the federal poverty level – adding more than 17 million people to the system nation wide. By some estimates, this move is expected to cost North Carolina taxpayers another $599 million.
In the few months since state budget was passed, the state has already overspent on Medicaid by $160 million, and that number is expected to climb beyond $200 million before the close of the fiscal year. Due mostly to high unemployment, Medicaid expenditures are approaching 9 percent higher than in 2008-2009. Not only that, but this year North Carolina has spent 4 percent more on the average enrollee than was forecast.

If DemCare becomes law, North Carolina is facing a $2 billion budget shortfall - over ten percent of the budget - each year as far as the eye can see. Guess who is going to pay for that? Ms. Suarez continues:
The move to expand government health care programs already in place – Medicaid and Medicare - was pushed through by Democrats as a positive alternative for the public option. In reality, forcing such a dramatic expansion of programs such as Medicaid will do nothing more than make health care more costly and less accessible to the same people it aims to protect. Because Medicaid reimburses providers at a lower rate than private insurance companies, fewer doctors are accepting Medicaid patients. Piling millions more people into the Medicaid program reduces their access to care, as more Medicaid patients attempt to compete for the attention of fewer providers. Moreover, those providers still accepting Medicaid patients will attempt to compensate for the low Medicaid reimbursements by charging the private insurance companies higher rates – thus driving up premiums.

Senator Reid’s proposal to expand Medicaid will not only make medical care less accessible to our nation’s most needy citizens, it will impose an unaffordable burden upon already cash-strapped state budgets. North Carolina’s state budget is already in a multi-billion dollar hole. Where does Sen. Reid think we will come up with another $599 million?
Not only will North Carolinians be taxed to pay for the expanded Medicaid program in North Carolina, but thanks to Democrat bribery in the Senate, they’ll be paying for Medicaid Recipients in Nebraska and Nevada as well. From Kate Obenshain at Human Events, Obamacare Bankrupting States:
“Sen. Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback” for Nebraska may have given Harry Reid his coveted sixtieth vote, but it comes at a price for the other states, states that are already feeling the hammer of rising Medicaid costs.

Just coming to light is a concern that has been giving governors heartburn for months: the fact that states are going to be hit with a monstrous financial burden with the passage of Obamacare, and none are in a position to handle it.

…Ohio spends 39 percent of its state budget a year on Medicaid. Massachusetts spends 27 percent. [The HHS budget in NC accounts for 22% of the total.] On average, states fork over 20 percent of their annual spending on this joint state-federal program that originally began to assist women and children in poverty and the disabled.

…Who is going to get stuck with half the price tag? The states. Well, the states minus Nebraska. And probably Nevada…

…Dealing with the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, 48 states are already in the red -- in many cases due to their own profligacy -- and they expect to be facing even larger deficits next year.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasted that the expansion of Medicaid would add about $37 billion to states’ expenses. How would states pay for the increased costs? Cut services, including education, and yes, increase tax.

Those tax increases would be piled on top of several hundred million in federal tax hikes currently being bandied about to pay for the government’s power grab on health care. All this coming from a president who promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000.

Legislators have been getting an earful from the states on the devastating consequences of expanding Medicaid, but they aren’t letting that stop them. Or even slow them down.

Sen.Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has been outspoken in his advocacy for the states, but he has garnered little attention. He didn’t hold back when he said, “Any senator who votes to expand Medicaid and transfer the costs on to the states ought to be sentenced to go home and serve as governor for a few years and try to implement the Medicaid program which is bankrupting states and forcing funding cuts that will ruin public higher education…Unlike the federal government, states can't print money."
Sen. Kay Hagan absolutely doesn't care about any of this, but our Rep. Heath Shuler at least claims that he won't support any health care bill that will drive up the deficit. His offices are closed until Monday, January 5th, but you can contact him then (if it's not too late).

by John Cooper
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

7 comments:

John Cooper said...

Thanks for posting that, Joanie, and I want to emphasize that unless your readers live in Nebraska or Nevada, they need to be concerned as well.

Anonymous said...

Good work, Cooper. Sure beats all the emotional arguments that the left is throwing at us. There's nothing like having the facts on your side!

joanie said...

I had quite an emotional argument with a good friend the other day, who is very uninformed about the state of our republic and yet insists on forming immovable opinions on the basis of soundbites garnered from the likes of CNN.

She was telling me how wonderful she thinks it is that the ceiling for Medicaid may be raised, and the age for Medicare coverage will be lowered.

I nearly burst an artery and, as tactfully as I could manage under the circumstances, attempted to have her realize that both policies are simply a way to dramatically increase the number of citizens who will eventually be reliant on government healthcare, and therefore government in general.

My arguments were to no avail, so, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I had to suggest that we agree to disagree.

I truly believe that people like my friend, who do not realize the extent of what they don't know, are much more dangerous than the genuine left-leaning ideologues.

Thanks, John, for your well-researched, well-compiled, and well explained contribution. And God bless you for still trying to make a difference.

Merry Christmas!

~ joanie

Lou Barakos said...

Good info. Good compilation. Thanks.

Arlene Albrecht said...

The lies that are being told about this plan are ludicrous. Like the fact that it's deficit neutral, or worse yet that it will save money. And the claim that we will have more freedom of choice under a government plan.

Their hearts are as black as coal.

John Cooper said...

Joanie--

When Ayn Rand was asked "What is destroying the world?", she answered: "The sluggish inertia of unfocused minds."

She was speaking of your friend (and millions of other Americans).

Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

DaveBurkett said...

Even in their wildest nightmares, do you think our founders ever imagined the federal government passing laws that dictated states into bankruptcy? Laws that mandate programs that have no way of paying for themselves and then expecting the states to come up with some kind of magic to make them work?

Actually I don't think they want any of this to work. All they want is the destruction of America as we know it and the collecting of more and more power for the elite that seeks global governance --- and a place of importance for themselves in the whole thing.