From Volume 36, Issue 48 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 11, 2009

United States News Digest

Obamacare Faces Growing Opposition

Dec. 6 (EIRNS)—Despite growing public opposition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's corrupt "Obamacare deals," the President and a White House team descended on Capitol Hill today to pressure Senate Dems to strengthen the bill's Nazi-like core, the proposed care-denying Medicare Commission. A similar "strengthening" of the Medicare Commission's authority to eliminate care for seniors, was demanded on Dec. 3 in a speech by Obama's budget director and kook behavioral economist, Peter Orszag, whose "baby" the Medicare Commission is. Today, Obama went to the Senate for an emergency meeting to try to shore up Obamacare with the entire Democratic caucus, gave a 30-minute lecture, then left without any discussion.

Despite near-universal media reporting about great debates over the "public option," it is the Medicare Commission, the Obamacare version of Hitler's infamous "T-4" bureau which carried out euthanasia by denial of medical care, which is at the center of the current fight. After Orszag's speech, amendments to give the Medicare Commission more power, including to cut even more than $500 billion from Medicare, and cut it more quickly, were put forward by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Me.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Joseph Begich (D-Ak.), and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). The White House wants them passed.

But, the American people are opposed in growing numbers, estimated at 75% opposition among independents, in new polls by Rasmussen and RealClearPolitics. Even the American Association of Retired People (AARP), which has endorsed the Obama health-care reform, is now threatening to turn against it, if the Medicare Commission is given extraordinary powers to cut funds for Medicare. And most House Democrats oppose the Medicare Commission.

Reid, according to Politico, also fears Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) amendment which would undo the corrupt deal Obama made with the giant pharmaceutical companies, and use the resulting savings to close the infamous "doughnut hole" in current Medicare costs for drugs. The White House and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) got this Nelson amendment defeated in Baucus's Finance Committee; if they defeat it again on the floor, both Nelson and AARP say they will oppose Obamacare from then on.

Transportation Dept. Conference on Domestic High-Speed Rail

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hosted a "Conference on Domestic High-Speed Rail Manufacturing" on Dec. 4, in which over 30 rail manufacturers and suppliers participated. LaHood promoted rail infrastructure as a means of rebuilding the American manufacturing base.

Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) also spoke, noting that his union had its origins in the rail industry, and now is in aerospace and everything in-between. Since we're used to building things that go 86,000 miles per hour, he said, it's no problem for us to build things that go 110 or 250 mph. Noting that manufacturing czar Ron Bloom had said that "railroads point to the future," Buffenbarger said he wasn't the first to say that: Abraham Lincoln said this 100-plus years ago. He emphasized that labor and management need each other in this effort; he attacked 20 years of deregulation; and he said we may need to create a new bank for domestic companies.

The executives warned that the U.S. is losing its manufacturing base. One speaker said that there are 4,000 locomotives just parked right now, due to the fall-off in rail traffic. Others pointed to the layoffs and idle capacity in their industry, and declared that they are ready to go to work building high-speed rail in the United States.

The Obama Administration has only allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail, however. It will take a total shift in policy control over the Administration to realize the promise of this conference. The head of the American Public Transportation Association announced another conference for next month, which will include still more firms and other transportation unions.

House Hearings Expose How Mammogram Recommendations Will Be Used to Kill

WASHINGTON, D.C. Dec. 2 (EIRNS)—Extensive hearings before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, confirmed the original reports on how the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force will reduce women's access to life-saving mammograms, should the Obama Hitler Health bill be passed. As Republican Congressmen confronted the chairman and vice-chairman of the USPSTF—Dr. Ned Calonge and Dr. Diana Petitti—it became increasingly clear that women under 49, in particular, will be systematically denied cancer screening, on the basis of the Nazi thinking behind "evidence-based medicine" and "comparative-effectiveness" research.

Calonge and Petitti kept saying that they were the victims of terrible "communications problems" and bad timing. They said people were misunderstanding their recommendations, which had been adopted in June-July 2008, and had absolutely nothing to do with the current health-care bill or cost considerations. We are only interested in "science," said Petitti, and, in trying to get women treated as individuals, not according to "one size fits all."

Most of the Democratic questioning echoed this line, while sometimes lashing out against the Republicans for lying and for impugning the integrity of these "experts," who, in fact, know nothing about oncology or radiology.

John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) and Michael Rogers (R-Mich.) cited, in painstaking detail, the sections of the House bill that mandate that the USPSTF's "C" designation deny routine mammograms to women between 40 and 49, saying that this will become law for insurance coverage. They exposed the lie that what the Task Force was doing was only establishing a "floor" under coverage, rather than a ceiling. They demonstrated that both the new Health Care Benefits Advisory Committee and the Secretary of Health and Human Services would have to override the C designation for early mammograms, in order to mandate they be provided. Until then, they would be prohibited.

Shadegg exposed the lie that USPSTF had not taken cost into account. He pulled out Appendix C1, which contained a cost-benefit analysis, citing how much each "Quality Adjusted Life Year" (QALY) should be valued, in dollars and cents. Petitti again denied that the Task Force's decision had anything to do with cost—even as she admitted that Appendix C, among others, were all taken into account in the Task Force's deliberations.

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