Another election cycle and TCR's endorsement success rate is 86%, not bad. But now we need to unify for the tough November election. TCR will be there helping to ensure a GOP sweep.
Obamacare: A Mess That Needs Repealing
Yuval Levin, Editor of National Affairs in the April 5, 2010 Weekly Standard. In a brilliant analysis, he takes apart the recently passed Obamacare legislation. Here is TCR's executive summary for you.
1) The problem with American healthcare is financing, spending and costs are driven by three federal policies; fee for service for Medicare, disjointed financing of Medicaid and the open ended tax exclusion for employer provided insurance. One problem with current insurance payment systems is consumers almost never pay doctors directly so the costs are hidden and any potential competition squashed.
2) The present system, even after Obamacare, is not sustainable and is made worse by Obamacare requiring all Americans to pay always growing premiums to insurance companies, while doing nothing to control rising costs.
3) Obamacare, once it fully implements, will quickly force a crisis that will require additional reform. Liberals want that to be a public insurer (which Medicare's fiscal collapse is a preview of the end result there.)
4) Obamacare's cost was manipulated so its CBO fiscal score met President Obama's goal of spending less than $1 trillion in its first decade. Since no significant benefits will be available until 2014, but some tax increases, Medicare cuts, and regulatory reform will begin to push premium prices up well before then.
5) The bills so called benefits are illusory. For example, the pre-existing condition exclusion prohibits only refusal to cover treatment for a specific disease in the individual market only. Children to age 26 have little impact on half the states that allow this now. The $250 check to help fill the donut hole gap for, seriously, Medicare prescription coverage - whatever.
6) Obamacare will not reduce costs, individual markets will be up 10% very quickly and the new exchanges will give the middle class limited choice in plans, with the most inexpensive costing more than $12,000.00.
7) Taxes will increase $500 billion for Medicaid in the first ten years. Medicare payments are cut $500 billion, which probably results in 20% of providers dropping the program. And all this damage is done to increase those with health insurance from 85% to 95%!
8) What to expect? Consolidation of the insurance sector where companies become in essence, subsidized and highly regulated public utilities.
9) The way it's set up the disaster will unfold in four years, so it's avoidable. We need to begin the dismantling and delay the program by denying funding to key provisions, among other things. True repeal will require a new president.
10) What is real medical reform? Ideas like reform of Medicare and Medicaid, give the coverage tax exclusion to individuals, malpractice liability reform, being able to purchase insurance across state lines, expanded health savings accounts and consumer driven healthcare.
Advice To Governor Perry:
Laser-Like Focus On 2010
Governor Rick Perry, riding high from his primary victory without a runoff, wandered off to New Orleans last weekend to speak to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, that some call a preview of 2012.
Regardless, Governor Perry needs to take a page from then Governor George W. Bush's laser-like focus on his reelection, the forth-coming challenging legislative session and forget national politics.
We need Gov. Perry focusing on Texas.
Book Review: Courage And Consequence
Having first met Karl Rove in, can you believe, 1978, when he worked for President Bush's (41) PAC, Fund for Limited Government, TCR found it interesting to read his story. The book is a fascinating read about events that your editor had a front seat to. In some parts Karl does not spend many pages about his significant efforts to grow the GOP in Texas. That subject could be a whole book in itself.
In describing a "Rovian campaign," Karl focuses on eight ideas:
1) Centered on big ideas that reflect the candidates philosophy and themes that are important and relevant to voters.
2) Use the themes in #1 persistently in a way that resonates with the voters.
3) Political race driven by historical data.
4) Use sophisticated modeling to identify potential supporters and match them with issues that will persuade and turn them out.
5) Remember there are right and wrong ways to criticize an opponent.
6) The campaign has a strategic plan, discipline and a bias for action. No second-guessing.
7) Make sure you have the broadest use of volunteer friendly technology.
8) The campaign is focused on three vital resources: knowledge and information for the candidate, volunteers to persuade and get out the vote, and of course, money to make the other campaign elements possible.
The book is a front row seat to the Bush era in Texas and the U.S. Love or hate Karl Rove, he is clearly one of the key players in the rise of the GOP in Texas and of President George W. Bush.
The book is a bestseller and you can buy a copy at your favorite on-line retailer for 50% off. You should.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on PBS Houston Channel 8. Next broadcast on April 16 - Karl Rove, see Karl and David spar over WMD's. Coming soon Dr. Barton Smith, the Center for Houston's Future on where are we going? Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector standoff Don Sumners (R) v. Diane Trautman (D). As a new fun feature, please visit us at HoustonPBS.org, where you can see after-show commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week, where the show is also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eight years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.