Student Loans to Pay for Health Care Bill -Except in ND

According to Mark Levin and Fox News, many kickbacks in the Healthcare bill remain, plus a couple of new ones. Mentioned were Dodd’s millions for a Hospital, as well as a North Dakota Bank that will still be able to make student loans. Healthcare paid for on the backs of student loans.

 As Senator Lamar Alexander noted today:

“This is how it will work: the federal government will borrow money at 2.8 percent and then lend it to students at 6.8 percent—spending the difference on health care and new government programs.”


The bill would see $61 billion in savings over 10 years from the switch to direct government lending. It would pay for Pell Grants and provide more than $4 billion to community colleges and historically black colleges. It also would direct about $19 billion to reducing the deficit and offsetting expenses in the health care legislation.

In addition, beginning in 2014, college graduates would be allowed to devote no more than 10 percent of their monthly income to repay their student loans. The current cap is 15 percent.

Still, the legislation is not as generous as the bill the House passed last year.

It proposes no increases in Pell Grants over the next two years and a modest increase over the five years that follow. The maximum Pell Grant, which a House-passed bill last year would have raised to $6,900 over 10 years, will now only increase to $5,900. The current maximum grant for the coming school year is $5,500.

Aside from the content of the bill, Democrats are also drawing fire for the “process” involved in passing the bill.  Specifically, Republicans are pointing to what has become known as the “Bismarck Earmark,” which would exempt The Bank of North Dakota from the student loan restrictions, presumably, in exchange for Conrad’s vote.

House Minority Leader John Boehner just released a statement asking about Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s involvement:

This ‘Bismarck Bank Job’ provision looks like exactly the sort of backroom deal that makes the American people hate Washington and the whole process that has led to this massive, awful government takeover of our health care.  Rep. Earl Pomeroy, the only House Member from the State of North Dakota, has some questions to answer.  Did he know about this provision?  Was it inserted in an attempt to secure his support for the health care bill?

By the way, it’s ridiculous that there is a “bank of North Dakota,” to begin with.  I was at a conservative meeting recently where Governor John Hoeven – who used to run the bank — was introduced.  The person introducing him noted that Hoeven used to run the Bank of North Dakota, and that it proved he was a real Free Market guy.  (I’m not sure the fellow realized the bank is owned by the state.)

Hat Tip:

Does anyone really know what is in this monstrosity

Dems defeat GOP effort to force separate vote on Senate health bill, 222-203

Not such good news. Maybe not such a good idea from the Republicans. The Dems got a chance to test the waters. Either way, no doubt  court cases galore with the Demon Solution by Slaughter

Democrats shot down a Republican effort to force an up-or-down vote on the Senate healthcare bill on Thursday afternoon.
In a 222-203 vote, Democrats beat back a GOP resolution offered by Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) that would have forced lawmakers to vote on the Senate healthcare bill separately from the series of fixes they hope to make to that legislation.

Go to HotAir for a list of the votes:

All Republican lawmakers who voted opposed the measure, which had the effect of ending the GOP’s effort to force a vote. They were joined by 28 Democrats, who broke with party members on the vote.

222 Democrats supported the measure, though, meaning enough to proceed. Three members of both parties did not vote.

Republicans had hoped for the separate vote to get Democratic lawmakers on record on the Senate bill, which includes some provisions on abortion, excise taxes, and other issues that House lawmakers find distasteful.

As this stand[s], Democrats plan a vote on a rule on Sunday that would make changes to the Senate-passed bill while deeming the original legislation to have passed the House.

CBO: Health Care Bill Costs $940B, Lowers Deficit $130B UPDATE:OUT

2nd Update: Fox news and Mark Levin report that the deals remain– Dodd’s hospital for millions, and a new one in North Dakota. A state run bank will be the only bank that still will be able to do Student Loans now that the government is taking the Student Loan program over. Other deals still to be revealed.
Five Phonies in HCB:
1. Medicare cuts

 The Senate health care bill relied heavily on unprecedented cuts in Medicare spending increases. If implemented, this would have a huge impact on seniors’ care. But Congress has always balked at Medicare cuts. (See No. 3).

2. Delayed start

To make the budget math work, Democrats plan on delaying the start of subsidies and other costly provisions for several years. (The bill spends just $17 billion through 2013). The true 10-year cost is far higher.

3. The “doc fix” is excluded

The Sustainable Growth Rate imposes automatic cuts in Medicare payment rates to doctors.

For several years, fearing a revolt by doctors — and seniors — Congress has suspended those cuts. The original draft of the House health care bill included a permanent “doc fix.” But that ballooned deficits, so Democrats dropped it, even though everyone knows Congress isn’t going to slash doctors’ rates. The CBO has estimated a “doc fix” would cost $247 billion over 10 years.

4. Student loans are included

Doctors’ payments are excluded from the health bill, but major student loan program changes are included? Yep. The reconciliation bill will end student loan subsidies to lenders. The CBO says this will save $19.4 billion over the first decade, accounting for virtually all of the $19.8 billion in deficit reduction from the health care reconciliation bill. Reconciliation bills must cut the deficit by at least $1 billion. So, without the non-health care items, the health care reconciliation bill would not pass muster.

5. It’s a CLASS act

In the Senate health bill, a new, voluntary long-term care insurance program called CLASS accounted for some $72 billion of the deficit reduction.  The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program is supposed to be deficit-neutral long-term. But Democrats are counting the upfront premium surplus in the short term and ignoring the significant operating deficits after 2029.

Breaking: CBO releases the actual report; Update: Almost all $940 billion incurred in just six years.

This why they’re delaying the start of the program, of course. If it kicked in right away, the decade-long estimate would obviously be well into the trillions. So they simply stalled it for four years, incurring just $17 billion in costs — or 1.8 percent of the total 10-year estimate — through 2013 so that wavering Democrats could go back to their districts and tell baldfaced lies to their constituents about the pricetag. A perfect ending to this travesty.

Here you go: Here is the CBO Report:

CBO: ObamaCare Will Cut Medicare Advantage Further

The same Congressional Budget Office report that puts the price for 10 years of ObamaCare at $940 billion says the legislation will further cut back Medicare Advantage, jeopardizing care for America’s senior citizens.

Just how big are these cuts? The reconciliation legislation will cut Medicare Advantage by an additional $13.7 billion over the Senate version. Not $13.7 billion overall, mind you, but an additional $13.7 billion.

Cutting back Medicare Advantage to fund a new entitlement program. Sounds like a plan only Washington could like.


Cynical is the understatement. Crass support for the Unions is what it’s all about.  It would be great for Olympia Snowe to explain her nay vote. I guess it’s hard for a Mainer to relate to the plight of inner-city kids whose only chance is education.

On Tuesday evening, the Senate rejected an amendment to reauthorize the Opportunity Scholarships program, which provides private school tuition vouchers to 1,300 poor D.C. children.

The nearly party-line vote was a serious mistake for Democrats—both educational and political.

Only three Democratic senators— Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ben Nelson (D-Fla.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.)—in addition to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) voted with Republicans to save the program. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) co-sponsored the reauthorization amendment, but did not vote. A single Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, voted with the majority.

Why do Democrats oppose school choice for poor families so strongly?

Senator Dorgan (D-N.D.) questioned the need for vouchers, arguing that they rob public schools of desperately needed funds, He also asserted that public schools are not failing. “Whose boot print is on the mo0n?

That is cold comfort for D.C. public school students. Few of them will ever make it beyond the Earth’s atmosphere—roughly half don’t make it out of high school in four years. The District’s on-time graduation rate has been pegged at just 48.8 percent. By the eighth grade, most D.C. students score below “Basic” in both mathematics and science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Read more:

St. Patrick’s Tainted Celebrations

To the American Irish community, we have been raised with careful training in racial stereotypes: the black-face minstrel show, Speedy Gonzales, and a variety of other characters and figures are commonly regarded as repulsive, racist, and socially unacceptable. Meanwhile, though, the stage Irishman remains commonplace, with his howls of “by Jaysus!” and his liquor-guzzling stagger. How different, really, is “kiss me, I’m Irish!” from “Lohdy, Lohdy, Ah’ll nevah go roamin’ again!”. Is it really so less offensive, really so less racist to show the caricatured Irishman with a beer in his fist rather than a black man with a watermelon under one arm and a bucket of fried chicken in the other?

How much the Irish themselves have devolved to fit the image the English—our enemies—designed. Meanwhile, we stand back and laugh and smile as foreigners continue to insult us and degrade us with cheap imitations and stage Irishmen, with shamrock goggles and plastic green hats, by using us as an excuse to guzzle their cheap green swill as a celebration of an “Irish drinking culture” as if a single half-breed contemporary American could ever understand the depth of culture that has grown from Irish soil.

The worst of it  is that full-blooded American Irishmen not only allow this green-died minstrel show to continue, but actively participate in it. Eire’s sons are buried in unmarked graves spit on and shown all forms of disrespect and disgrace with the Irish tricolour mockingly whipped about by hordes of ape-like insults to the island for which the martyrs bled. The Green-White-Orange tricolour has become the American emblem of animalistic excess rather than the freedom from the centuries of oppression we have suffered at the hands of an oppressive and genocidal regime. Meanwhile, tears are shed and shouts are heard for the Jew, the Black, and every other variety of minority before whom we Irishman have been trained to solemnly genuflect. Meanwhile, those same foreigners who share a hand in our common oppression and slavery may continue to mock and deride the Irish race.

Those to whom I write know why this evil cannot be tolerated, and why it is our ethnic duty to prevent it, to bring it to the forefront each and every year and remind people what Irishness is and with whose blood it has been won: not just MacDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pierce, immortalized by Yeats, but Wolfe Tone and Sarsfield and McCorley and Sands as well; Irish heroics!

St. Patrick’s Day  is the forever tainted “St. Paddy’s Day”—Paddy, a word less than a century hence equivalent to “nigger”, “sami”, and every other racial slur leveled by the representatives of the crown against their slaves. To-day we go forth as Irishmen, not micks or paddys, we go forth not in the green of celebration of our ancient and beloved culture, but in the black of mourning for the blood of the martyrs of decades and centuries past, of the six counties still politically enslaved, and of our entire cultural edifice, defaced and degraded by willful ignorance and mindless hedonistic animals.  ~ Stephen Borthwick

California Considers Smoking Ban at All State Parks

One small step for the loss of freedom, One giant step for government control. Drip, Drip, Drip……

California lawmakers on Thursday will consider what is believed to be the nation’s most far-reaching smoking ban in state parks as a way to get unsightly cigarette butts off the beach, eliminate second-hand smoke and reduce the threat of wildfires.
The move would not be surprising in a state with a long history of cracking down on smoking as a way to eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke. A California law that took effect in 2008 slaps motorists with a $100 fine if they are smoking in a car that contains a minor under the age of 18.

N. Korea Executes Former Finance Chief

North Korea and its Economy

Well, isn’t it swell living large in a Communist Country. No room for error here.

In November, North Korea redenominated its currency as part of efforts to lower inflation and reassert control over the country’s nascent market economy.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea executed a former senior official last week as punishment for the country’s botched currency reform, a news report said Thursday.

In November, North Korea redenominated its currency as part of efforts to lower inflation and reassert control over the country’s nascent market economy. However, the measure reportedly worsened the country’s food situation by forcing the closure of markets and sparked anger among many North Koreans left with piles of worthless bills.

Pak Nam Gi, the ruling Workers’ Party finance and planning department chief who spearheaded the currency reform, was executed by a firing squad in Pyongyang last week, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing unidentified sources.

Pak was accused of ruining the nation’s economy in a blunder that also damaged public opinion and had a negative impact on leader Kim Jong Il’s plan to hand power over to his youngest son, Yonhap said.

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