Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus Stuff

Stimulus Law Does Not Require All Americans to Enter Their Medical Records Into National System, Dems Say
(CNSNews.com) – Two top House Democrats told CNSNews.com on Friday that a section in the $787-billion economic stimulus bill that requires the creation of “electronic health records for each person in the United States by 2014” does not mean that the medical records of every American must be included in the system. “You mean that everyone has to be in the database?” House Health Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said when CNSNews.com asked him if the provision was mandatory. “I don’t think so.”

‘Exceptions’ in Stimulus Bill Allow Sale of Health Records
(CNSNews.com) – It could become easier to sell and exchange the health information of Americans under the economic stimulus package that awaits President Barack Obama’s signature on Tuesday. Although the legislation says there is a “prohibition on sale of electronic health records or protected health information,” there are five pages of exceptions to the prohibition, including research, treatment of an individual, or a decision by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to wave the prohibition.

Final Stimulus Bill Totals 1,071 Pages: Includes Money for Lunch, Preschool, and ‘Summer Jobs for Youth’
(CNSNews.com) – The stimulus spending bill passed by Congress Friday contains massive new spending for free school lunches, the Head Start program, and the postponed digital television transition. The 1,071-page bill was published late Thursday evening. Some of the bill’s other provisions include: $140 million for volcano monitoring systems; $1.6 billion to the Department of Energy for undefined “Science”; and $2.5 billion to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans.

From Congressman Tom Price, GA: Spending Bill Passes, Fight for Serious Long-Term Solutions Continues

Last week, Congress passed a massive $800 billion borrow-and-spend package, fittingly, on Friday the 13th. It was truly a sad day for those who care about fiscal responsibility. Instead of making the American people a priority, partisans in Washington made their agenda a top priority. While the country is looking for a real solution, all Congress could deliver was the largest spending bill in American history.

One of the most startling provisions of the package is one that has not received nearly enough attention – the groundwork for government-run health care. The Majority chose to use an economic crisis to advance a political agenda. Now that this legislation is in place, it is more important than ever to make sure that the patient-physician relationship is not destroyed in the name of more government intervention.

Of course, it might have been easy for some members of Congress to miss these health care provisions. After all, the bill is over 1,000 pages long, and Congress had less than 15 hours to review it. Without even a chance for any Member to read the bill, Congress passed it and handed off another trillion dollars worth of debt to our children and grandchildren. Without question, the so-called “stimulus” was poorly handled in every way – from overt partisanship to shoddy procedure to irresponsible policy.

While this mega-spending bill seriously hinders our ability to restore America’s prosperity, it is important to keep working toward serious long-term solutions. Though I know the bill is wrong, I will fight to make sure that Congress fulfills its obligation to oversee how these funds are used. Moving forward, both sides must come together to produce solutions that foster real economic growth and limit government spending, so that America may once again thrive.

From Americans for Prosperity

By the way, today when the President says this is a carefully drawn, fiscally responsible bill consider what is in the final legislation:

- Billions in outright pork and wasteful spending:
$300 million for buying cars for federal bureaucrats;
$3.7 billion for something called “green research” on military bases;
$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;
$2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization” to radical groups like ACORN;
$1.3 billion for Amtrak;
$10 million for"urban canals"(I'm not making this up); etc.

- The Road to Government Run Health Care
$1.1 billion for “comparative effectiveness research” that will establish a federal government board to begin rationing health care by having bureaucrats deciding which medical treatments will be appropriate for which Americans. (Page 52 of final conference report)

- Overturning the Historic Welfare Reform of 1996
$264 billion for direct welfare payments while overturning the historic welfare reform of 1996.The Pelos\Reid\Obama bill will reward states with federal welfare funds based on the number of people they put on their welfare rolls – a perverse incentive that will in effect give states “bonuses” for adding more people to welfare rolls AND work requirements are ignored in this legislation.

- $53.6 billion for a "state stabilization fund" otherwise known as a slush fund
This massive infusion of our tax dollars is designed to alleviate the need for genuine budget reform and cutting at the state level.

So, when you hear folks saying this Pelosi\Reid\Obama "stimulus" bill was a "compromise" that cut waste to the bone while focusing only on "shovel ready" priorities, call them on it!

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