Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: HHS

Michigan Foster Parents’ Conundrum: Give Up Gun Rights or Give Up Child

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 16, 2017:

Bill and Jill Johnson were asked by the state of Michigan to consider becoming foster parents for their grandchild after the state ruled his mother was incompetent to raise the child. Bill Johnson has had a concealed weapons permit for the last 10 years and has carried for personal protection ever since. So when the social worker told him that, as a condition of caring for the grandchild, he would have to provide the state with a list of the serial numbers of all of his firearms, Johnson resisted. A heated discussion ended when the social worker told Johnson, “You are going to have to give up some constitutional rights here if you want to keep that boy.”

The Johnsons took their case to court where, two weeks later, the judge sided with the state: “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.”

That’s when Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), got mad, and got involved:

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How Trump Can Accelerate the Failure of ObamaCare

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 27, 2017:

The seal of the United States Department of He...

With the withdrawal of a House bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Market Watch explored the options the Trump administration has to hasten the collapse of the ACA. ThinkProgress has reported that the process has already started.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, in announcing the withdrawal of the bill on Thursday,  said that ObamaCare would remain in place “for the foreseeable future.” He didn’t define that future.

The government healthcare plan is already fraying around its edges. Premiums are rising far beyond original estimates, partly due to the withdrawal of major health insurers UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna from offering coverages. And those remaining in the market have only until June 21 to submit their bids for offering coverages starting in November. But without certainty, a stable market and a broader pool made up more of healthy customers than those who are sick, those bids are almost certain to push premiums even higher.

Trump’s head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price, an opponent of the ACA, has already ordered the ending of the promotion of ObamaCare, which has caused a drop-off of enrollment of 400,000 compared to last year.

In addition,

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Senator Menendez’ Co-conspirator Charged With Medicare Fraud

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 15, 2015: 

Less than two weeks after being indicted on bribery charges along with his friend, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, North Palm Beach ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen (shown on right) was charged on Tuesday with 46 counts of healthcare fraud, 19 counts of filing false claims to Medicare, and 11 counts of making false statements to investigators.

A conviction would seriously impact his practice, which, until now, put him at the very top of all doctors in the country receiving reimbursements from Medicare. Each of the healthcare fraud charges could bring

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Obama Picks Another Leftist for Housing Secretary

English: Cropped picture of Julian Castro at a...

Julian Castro at a UTSA event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Determined to stuff every nook and cranny of his administration with hard-core leftists, news leaked on Saturday that the President will nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (no relation, at least by birth, to Fidel) as the next head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He’s a perfect fit.

During a reshuffling of his cabinet, the president is moving Sylvia Burwell from his Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and moving current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to take her place. That leaves the HUD spot open for Castro. The official announcement is expected soon.

What makes the appointment especially important is

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HHS Sebelius resigns, to be Replaced by Budget Director Burwell

Official portrait of United States Health and ...

Few noticed but at last week’s Rose Garden announcement by the president that his administration’s signature healthcare initiative had exceeded his 7 million signups goal by the end of March, he failed to mention Kathleen Sebelius’ name even though she was sitting right in front of him. On Thursday Sebelius made it official: she was leaving her post as head of Health and Human Services.

More than a month earlier

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Bleacher Envy and Title IX: Bleachers are unequal, must be torn down

Wooden bleachers

Wooden bleachers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 2,, 2014:

Thanks to bleacher envy, mission creep, and Title IX, Plymouth High School in Michigan has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to tear down the bleachers overlooking the boys’ baseball diamond.

An anonymous tipster notified the OCR that the boys’ bleachers were nicer than the girls’, and something had to be done. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t equal. It wasn’t right. Sure enough, after its “investigation” into this travesty, the OCR

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Feds Determine Bleachers are Unequal, must be torn down

English: President Lyndon B. Johnson at the si...

English: President Lyndon B. Johnson at the signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. White House East Room. People watching include Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Senator Hubert Humphrey, First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, Speaker of the House John McCormack. Television cameras are broadcasting the ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six years ago some parents of high-schoolers in Plymouth, Michigan, decided they couldn’t see their students play baseball very well through the chain-link fence surrounding the field, so they chipped in and built some bleachers so they could see better. Last week the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in the interest of fairness and equality, told them to take it down. One of the parents who helped pay for and build the bleachers, Dan Gilbert, told a local Fox News affiliate, “It was hard to watch the game through the black chain link fence, so we created our seating deck to sit above it.” They also bought a new scoreboard as well, using their own money.

But someone – anonymously – complained that

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Head Start Doesn’t Give the Kids a Head Start

Photograph of Lady Bird Johnson Visiting a Cla...

Photograph of Lady Bird Johnson Visiting a Classroom for Project Head Start, 03/19/1966 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Here’s how the cancer of government grows. Head Start began in 1965 as a summer program. It didn’t work. An apologist who edited content at Wikipedia said “Experience showed that six weeks of pre-school couldn’t make up for five years of poverty.” And so the program, which failed, was – you guessed it – expanded in 1981. It grew further in 2007. It is, according to Wiki, “one of the longest-running programs to address systemic poverty in the United States.” More than 22 million kids have “participated.”

The Department of Health and Human Services finally decided to see if there were any positive results after spending $180 billion: they finished collecting the data in 2008 but the results were so

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Welfare Tops $1 Trillion for the First Time

homeless

homeless (Photo credit: digital bullets)

In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that federal welfare spending reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars last year. When added to what the states spent on welfare, another $300 billion, total government welfare payments in 2011 hit $1.03 trillion. More unnerving is that the report from the CRS didn’t include spending on Social Security or Medicare.

Putting it all together, federal spending on welfare greatly exceeded spending on the military ($540 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), Medicare ($480 billion) as well as the Departments of Justice ($31 billion), Transportation ($77 billion) and Education ($65 billion).

Welfare spending is likely to increase in light of the Obama administration’s determination to eviscerate the welfare reform bill passed in 1996 which contained modest work requirements to qualify. In a unilateral, unconstitutional move on July 12th, the administration essentially removed all work requirements that previously applied to the states, claiming that it had, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the power to “waive compliance” and use instead “alternative” requirements. As noted by Robert Rector, writing in The New Media Journal, “The policy will clearly waive compliance with the law’s existing work participation standard. If this is not gutting the work requirements, it is difficult to imagine what would be.”

Not only is this usurpation unconstitutional — effectively neutralizing and negating legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in 1996 — it also hastens the day of

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Medicaid Fraud in the Billions

Darrell Issa - Caricature

Darrell Issa – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The response to the admission by Deputy Director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Penny Thompson, made in September before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), that payments made by the federal government to New York’s state-run development centers were “excessive and unacceptable,” was simple and to the point: those overpayments were “inexcusable” and “exceeded the entire Medicaid budgets of 14 states” and added that “the failure … suggests an institutional failure and a pattern of irresponsible actions that have cost the taxpayers billions.”

The amount, just in New York, is estimated by Issa’s committee to be in excess of $15 billion, equivalent to $1.9 million per patient per year!

Using the bureaucratic shuffle which Thompson has no doubt refined in her 20 years as a top-level bureaucrat for Medicare and Medicaid, she admitted:

The growth of the daily Medicaid reimbursement rate for [New York] State’s developmental centers has significantly outpaced those of privately operated developmental centers and New York claimed significantly more for the State-run developmental center services than its actual costs. (emphasis added)

The daily rate for a Medicaid beneficiary to reside in a developmental center grew from $195 per day in 1985 to $4,116 in 2009, vastly outgrowing the Medicaid daily rate for private developmental centers. (emphasis added)

Simply put, bureaucrats in New York have been milking the system for decades, but Thompson claims she just found about it a few months ago. Here’s more from her report to Issa’s committee: 

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Congress, Not Obama, Is Doing the Spending

Walter E. Williams: Who May Tax and Spend?

Constitutionally and by precedent, the House of Representatives has the exclusive prerogative to originate bills to appropriate money, as well as to raise revenues. The president is constitutionally permitted to propose tax and spending measures or veto them. Congress has the authority to ignore the president’s proposals and override his vetoes…

Seeing as a president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate, what meaning can we attach to statements such as “under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent” and “under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent”?

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Williams makes an extraordinarily important point. There is misdirection doing on here and we are wise to make note of it.

By blaming Obama (or Bush or Reagan or…) for the spending that is bankrupting (has bankrupted?) the country, focus is directed away from the very folks who are responsible for it.

As Williams notes:

No matter how Obama’s presidency is viewed, if we buy into the notion that it’s he whose spending binge is crippling our nation through massive debt and deficits, we will naturally focus our attention on the White House. The fact of the matter is that Washington has been on a spending binge no matter who has occupied the White House…

Believing that presidents have taxing and spending powers leaves Congress less politically accountable for our deepening economic quagmire. Of course, if you’re a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want.

He makes an excellent point regarding Obamacare. That monstrosity is funded with the concurrence of the House. Accordingly, the House may also eliminate the funding. To rail against Obamacare while continuing to fund it is hypocrisy of the highest order. As Williams points out:

Most members of our Republican-controlled House of Representatives say they’re against Obamacare. If they really were, they surely would attach a legislative rider or some other legislative device to the Department of Health and Human Services‘ appropriation bill to ban spending any money on Obamacare; they have the power to.

But they don’t have the political courage to do so, and their lives are made easier by the pretense that it’s the president controlling the spending. And we fall for it.

Thank you, Mr. Williams, for the reminder.

More than Executive Orders Needed to Reign in Regulators

The Executive Order issued by President Obama last week, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” made it sound as if the reality of crushing regulatory burdens was at long last being recognized as part of the cause of the sluggish economy. Said the order:

Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements.

His order then went on to state that “our regulatory system must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements… [through] periodic review of existing significant regulations.” Since his previous Executive Order issued in January 2011 agencies have already identified over five hundred “initiatives” that are supposed to save “billions of dollars in regulatory costs and tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens.”

Cass Sunstein, the head of one of those regulatory agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the “regulator of the regulators” so to speak—touted some of the burdens that allegedly have already

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Modest Temporary Free Speech Victory in Cigarette Pack Pictures Ruling

Marlboro Cigarettes

On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of five tobacco companies protesting requirements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have them put on their cigarette packs graphic images of the consequences of smoking.

At issue was the right of free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” When Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) in June of 2009, it gave regulatory authority over tobacco products to the FDA, requiring it to develop a new tobacco-regulation center.

The newly created center was only too happy to spell out the “rules” tobacco companies must now follow in its advertising, including images and statements on cigarette packs. When horrific images were required to be placed on packs, five tobacco companies sued, claiming infringement on their First Amendment free speech rights. Judge Leon agreed.

The companies argued that the images go way beyond the simple conveying of facts to the consumer but reach into actual forced advocacy of a government position, turning the companies’ advertising into billboards for government policy. The judge wrote that those images “were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase

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How Leviathan Works: FDA to Regulate Medical Apps

The press release issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which operates under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on July 19, 2011, signaled the beginning of its regulatory process, this time concerning “mobile medical apps.” The announcement made it plain that such regulation certainly fell under its jurisdiction, as if declaring it made it so: “The use of mobile medical apps on smart phones and tablets is revolutionizing health care delivery,” according to Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Our draft approach calls for oversight of only those mobile medical apps that present the greatest risk to patients when they don’t work as intended.”

Beginning its existence in 1927 as the Food, Drug, and Insecticide organization (becoming the Food and Drug Administration in 1930), a significant expansion of the FDA’s reach sprang from the elixir sulfanilamide disaster which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people in 1937. Under the Roosevelt administration this was an opportunity to be seized, and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) was passed in 1938 under which Congress “gave authority” to the Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics.

The July 19 announcement allayed concerns that the FDA was going to regulate every app somehow related to food, or drugs, or cosmetics. The press release said the agency would attempt to regulate only “a small subset of mobile medical apps that impact or may impact the performance or functionality of currently regulated medical devices.” These would include, initially at least: 

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Two Years Later: Where Did the Haiti Earthquake Money Go?

US Navy 100224-N-6278K-064 International Organ...

Two years after the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010—which killed 316,000, injured 300,000 more, left one million homeless, and destroyed $8 billion in property—most of the billions of dollars pledged to help the island recover can’t be accounted for. And of that which can be, precious little found its way into the hands and mouths of the Haitians themselves.

Some $12 billion was pledged, including $2.75 billion from the United States, $650 million from the European Union, and the balance from 35 other countries.

Much of the U.S. government’s aid was funneled through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which reported that it helped build a 10-megawatt power plant and repaired and upgraded five electric power substations in Port-au-Prince, provided some $10 million in financing for 46 “micro financial institutions and financial cooperatives” and another 7,600 loans to coffee, cocoa, and mango growers. USAID rebuilt roads, irrigation systems, and storage and processing facilities, while offering “improved seeds, fertilizer and technologies to more than 9,700 farmers [who] have increased rice yields by 64 percent, corn yields by 338 percent, bean crops by 97 percent, and plantain outputs by 21 percent for beneficiary farmers.”

According to the USAID report, the agency built 600 semi-permanent furnished classrooms, which allowed some 60,000 students to return to school after the earthquake. It also helped build a temporary Parliament building to replace the one destroyed by the earthquake.

So far, so good. But when the Government Accounting Office (GAO) looked at the progress made by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), a joint effort between the Haitian authorities and international donors to coordinate the flow of assistance last May, the GAO was chagrined to find that

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Obamacare, Price Controls, and Theft

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Hum...

With the announcement by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, that Trustmark Life Insurance Company’s recent increases in premiums for their health insurance were “excessive” comes the certain result: A few may be helped, but many will be harmed.

She declared, “It’s time for Trustmark to immediately rescind these rate [increases], issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so.” Under ObamaCare’s usurpations of prior state law, any premium increases of more than 10 percent are to be reviewed and if determined to be unreasonable, made subject to public exposure and pressure to abide by the agency’s dictates as to what is reasonable.

A spokeswoman for Trustmark, Cindy Gallaher, responded to Sebelius: “We respectfully disagree with the assumptions and conclusions drawn today by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our premiums are driven by the rising cost and increased utilization of medical services.”

Those premium increases affect about 10,000 policyholders in five states, including Alabama where Trustmark has raised its premiums by 27 percent over the last year, Arizona with raises of 18 percent, and Pennsylvania with increases of 15 percent.

At present, Sebelius can only complain publicly about Trustmark’s premium increases, as ObamaCare does not yet contain the power to block those increases. The Obama administration sought such powers but

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Voters: Spending Cuts, Yes; Cutting My Programs, No

The Cato Institute’s massive 262-page study, Downsizing Government, by Chris Edwards, is the most recent offering of suggestions and recommendations for cutting severely the size, cost, reach, power and influence of the federal government in the lives of American citizens. In general, those citizens welcome such suggestions, according to Rasmussen Reports, which announced that two out of three Likely Voters they polled “prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes rather than a more active one with more services and higher taxes.” Surprisingly this was supported by almost half of those Likely Voters who were also Democrats, along with 67 percent of unaffiliated voters, and 90 percent of Republicans voters.

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Starving ObamaCare

ObamaCare

Image by wstera2 via Flickr

When the new House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (left, R-Wis.) announced that his budget committee would produce budgets for the agencies of the Executive Branch “that assume Obamacare has been repealed,” Ryan was using the most effective limitation provided by the Founders to keep the Executive Branch under control: its funding.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann