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Old 02-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #871
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that's a lot of hopin and wishin, for all those ducks to line up.
Maybe, but that's just the reality of the situation. Romney will be competitive in those six states.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #872
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Maybe, but that's just the reality of the situation. Romney will be competitive in those six states.
The anti-contraception stuff is really working!

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Barack Obama now holds an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney in a general election matchup, and he has gained significant ground among independent voters. A month ago, 40% of independents said they would back Obama over Romney – today 51% say they would, while the number expressing support for Romney has slipped from 50% to 42%.

Over the course of the campaign, Romney’s image among independent voters has suffered substantially. Most notably, the number who believe he is honest and trustworthy has fallen from 53% to 41%, while the number who say he is not has risen from 32% to 45%.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:48 AM   #873
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but will the GOP give the administration any credit? nah, Obummer's done nothing good ever.



Quote:
Health Care Fraud Judgments: Federal Authorities Recovered $4.1 Billion In 2011
By By KELLI KENNEDY 02/13/12 06:37 PM ET

MIAMI -- Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in health care fraud judgments last year, a record high which officials on Monday credited to new tools for cracking down on deceitful Medicare claims.

The recovered funds are up roughly 50 percent from 2009. Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were expected to make the announcement at a news conference Tuesday.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services told The Associated Press that agencies are doing a better job of screening providers before they get in the system and have beefed up enrollment requirements. Now investigators are conducting site visits to make sure moderate risk providers have a legitimate office. Higher risk providers are also subject to fingerprint and criminal background checks.

Authorities have long said the solution to solving the nation's estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in vigorously screening providers and stopping payment to suspicious ones.

They also say it is important to end the antiquated system of paying the claims then chasing suspicious ones. By the time officials catch on to bogus billing patterns, crooks typically dump that provider ID and open a new one, or flee the country. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has come under fire for lax screening as violent criminals and mobsters are also getting involved, seeing the fraud as more lucrative than dealing drugs and having less severe criminal penalties.

Halting Medicare fraud has become even more paramount as the scams that once bilked $1 million or $2 million a decade ago have morphed into sophisticated multimillion dollar networks involving doctors, patient recruiters and patients.

"Fighting fraud is one of our top priorities and we have recovered an unprecedented number of taxpayer dollars," Sebelius said in a statement. "Our efforts strengthen the integrity of our health care programs, and meet the president's call for a return to American values that ensure everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules."

Federal health officials said Monday they are also doing a better job of sharing data with other agencies.

Officials credited the spike in recovered funds in part to strike force teams set up in fraud hot spots around the country, including Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles.

The teams charged 323 defendants, who collectively billed the Medicare program more than $1 billion last year. That includes a massive bust in February 2011, in which more than 100 doctors, nurses and physical therapists were charged with fraud in nine states. Stopping Medicare's budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

"These efforts reflect a strong, ongoing commitment to fiscal accountability and to helping the American people at a time when budgets are tight," Holder said in a statement.

Department of Justice officials also noted that judges are sending a message by doling out longer sentences. The average prison sentence in fraud cases was more than 47 months in 2011, compared to 42 months the previous year.

Health Care Fraud Judgments: Federal Authorities Recovered $4.1 Billion In 2011
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:32 PM   #874
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Chicago Tribune, Feb. 14
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Catholic bishops, energized by a battle over contraception funding, are planning an aggressive campaign to rally Americans against a long list of government measures which they say intrude on religious liberty. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to work with other religious groups, including evangelical Christians, on an election-year public relations campaign that may include TV and radio ads, social media marketing and a push for pastors and priests to raise the subject from the pulpit. "We want to make it something that will get peoples' attention," said Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn.

The bishops spent the past few weeks pressing President Barack Obama to exempt religious employers from a federal mandate that all health insurance plans offer free birth control. Obama agreed to modify the mandate a bit, so that religious employers wouldn't have to pay for contraceptive coverage directly. That satisfied some Catholic groups, but the bishops were not mollified. They want the mandate repealed altogether. And now, they are aiming higher still, lobbying Congress to enact a law that would let any employer opt out of covering any medical treatment he disagreed with as a matter of his personal faith. So, for instance, a pizzeria owner who objected to childhood vaccinations on religious grounds would be able to request an insurance plan that did not cover them, in effect overriding a federal requirement that vaccinations be provided free with any health-insurance plan. Leaving coverage decisions up to each employers' conscience might create chaos in the marketplace, "but chaos is sometimes the price you pay for freedom," said Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, who is backing the bishops whole-heartedly.

Democrats, who control the Senate, are likely to block any bill with such broad opt-out provisions. But supporters, including prominent Republicans, say they will keep pushing for the change, which fits into a wider theme of defending individual freedoms against government intrusion which is expected to play prominently in the November election.

Along with the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals stands ready to contribute money and manpower to the bishops' campaign, said Galen Carey, an association vice president. The group is also considering the unprecedented step of asking pastors of every evangelical denomination across the country to read their congregations an open letter protesting the contraception mandate as an assault on religious liberty.

Liberal groups are already launching counter-attacks. This week, NARAL Pro-Choice America, which works to keep abortion legal and expand contraceptive access, spent $250,000 to air radio ads in four swing states that will be crucial to the presidential election--Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Wisconsin. The ads urge support for Obama and his effort to ensure that "women of all faiths, no matter where they work," can get free birth control with their health insurance. More than 30 organizations supporting Obama teamed up to create the Coalition to Protect Women's Health Care, which has started an online petition and plans further action.
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The Conference of Catholic Bishops began preparing months ago for a battle royale over religious freedom. Last fall, the conference bulked up its staff, hiring a lawyer who had devoted his career to religious liberty cases and a lobbyist to press the cause in Washington. The group also created a special committee on religious liberty, chaired by Bishop Lori. In a September letter announcing the committee, Archbishop Timothy Dolan declared that religious freedom "is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America." He and other officials offer many examples of that perceived assault.

On the federal level, the Obama administration has cancelled or threatened to cancel contracts awarded to Catholic charities for work to prevent HIV and to help victims of sex trafficking. The administration says the charities have to provide services such as condoms, emergency contraception and abortion referrals to maintain the contracts; the charities protest that such conditions violate their religious faith. Several states, meanwhile, have required adoption agencies that receive public funds to treat same-sex couples on par with any other prospective foster or adoptive parent. Catholic Charities object, saying the church doesn't sanction gay and lesbian relationships. Rather than comply with the laws, bishops in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. have shut down Catholic adoption agencies.

The bishops portray this as an out-and-out war on free exercise of religion. But secular and liberal groups say no one's assailing the freedom to worship, to proselytize--or even to perform social services, such as placing needy children in loving homes, according to religious precepts. It is only when a religious institution accepts taxpayer money to do such work that religious freedom must take a back seat to secular laws, said Marci Hamilton, a constitutional scholar at Cardozo School of Law. Courts nationwide have repeatedly ruled that religious groups must follow the same rules as everyone else when holding a government contract, Hamilton said. Any institution that can't in good faith follow those rules shouldn't apply for public funding, she said. With regard to contraceptive care, courts in New York and California have upheld state laws--similar to the federal mandate--that insurance plans, including those sponsored by religious employers, must cover birth control if they cover other prescription drugs.

It is unclear whether such nuances will filter into the public debate over religious freedom and contraceptive coverage. Both sides say they believe public opinion is firmly in their corner--and they're determined to keep it that way with a steady drumbeat of snappy soundbites.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:15 PM   #875
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Archbishop Timothy Dolan declared that religious freedom "is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America."
Yep. I'm totally preparing for the battle by sharpening my weapons right now .

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On the federal level, the Obama administration has cancelled or threatened to cancel contracts awarded to Catholic charities for work to prevent HIV and to help victims of sex trafficking. The administration says the charities have to provide services such as condoms, emergency contraception and abortion referrals to maintain the contracts; the charities protest that such conditions violate their religious faith.
So...they want to help prevent HIV and protect people who've been involved with sex trafficking by...removing every single sort of option that would provide that help.

I'm sure the logic's buried in there somewhere.

Quote:
Several states, meanwhile, have required adoption agencies that receive public funds to treat same-sex couples on par with any other prospective foster or adoptive parent. Catholic Charities object, saying the church doesn't sanction gay and lesbian relationships.
Yeah. Better these kids just fumble around the system parentless instead of go with a couple whose lifestyle is different from yours.

Not to mention, if they're so bothered by the government getting involved, why take public funding at all?

This isn't an attack on religion. Not even close. Prejudice, ignorance, and unrealistic sexual attitudes are what's "under attack" here. The religion of the people involved is irrelevant.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:35 AM   #876
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Religion isn't under attack, it's becoming more irrelevant and their leaders know this and are grasping at what they can to hold on. While I don't think America will become an atheist or "souless" country, I just don't see many people being tied to a specific organization.

There will be plenty of spirtual/religious people, and they'll continue going to church, but they'll go to a more progressive thinking church.

I said it in another thread, but in the Western world, society has evolved to the point where we've started throwing away a lot of the useless dogma's of religion. When 98% of sexually active catholic woman don't obey their religious law on contraceptives.....or the fact that no one has stoned their new wife for not being a virgin, means that eventually we'll move on from this crap and maybe have real discussions on what it means to be a good person.

People like these Bishops are just screaming the loudest right now because they KNOW they are in the minority and really have no more control over their flock than anyone else.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #877
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Religion isn't under attack,


nope. but now people think birth control is.

advantage: White House.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #878
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mediaite.com

Appearing on On The Record with Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin strongly lambasted President Obama‘s plan to make religious employers offer contraception coverage in their health insurance plans, calling it an “un-American act.”

“Welcome to government-mandated health care!” Palin snarked. “Very poor politics they would choose such a battle. One, to pick a fight with faith-filled Americans. You know, we will fight — as the father had said earlier on the Hannity show — we’ll fight to the death for our freedom of religion and for the rights that are protected by our United States Constitution. This is an un-American act of our president. Anything that would so blatantly violate an amendment within the United States Constitution is un-American.“

“Barack Obama needs to rethink what he has just done to the people of America,” Palin continued. Because we are rising up on this one, we’re not going to back off and say, ‘Okay, it is all right that such a violation of conscience. Such a violation of those things that our founders fought and died for, we’re going sit back and let it happen to us.’ Not this time!”
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:31 PM   #879
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Appearing on On The Record with Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin strongly lambasted President Obama‘s plan to make religious employers offer contraception coverage in their health insurance plans, calling it an “un-American act.”
This is outstanding.

I hope that they keep banging on about contraception as long as possible. All summer would be nice. Toss in some gay marriage too.

It is such a gigantic loser of an issue and they don't even get it. Have to hunt down yesterday's poll in which 55% of respondents stated that the GOP positions are "extreme."
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #880
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will Santorum march to victory in Michigan on an issue that will positively kill him in the general? freaking BIRTH CONTROL!?!?! it boggles the mind. how stupid is the GOP base and their politicians? much stupider than the American public:



Quote:
Poll: Most back mandating contraception coverage
By Lucy Madison Topics Polling

(Credit: CBS) Amid continued controversy surrounding an Obama administration policy mandating that women working at religiously-affiliated institutions be provided with free access to contraceptive health care, a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that most Americans - including Catholics - appear to support the rule.

According to a survey, conducted between Feb. 8-13, 61 percent of Americans support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers; 31 percent oppose such coverage.

The number is similar among self-professed Catholics surveyed: 61 percent said they support the requirement, while 32 percent oppose it.

Majorities of both men and women said they are in favor of the mandate, though support among women is especially pronounced, with 66 percent supporting and 26 percent opposing it. Among men, 55 percent of men are in favor; 38 percent object.

The survey's margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

President Obama announced Friday that the government will not force religiously-affiliated institutions such as schools, charities and hospitals to directly provide birth control coverage as part of their employees' health care coverage, in the wake of an uproar from religious leaders over the administration's original language surrounding the regulation.

According to the tweaked rule, employees of religiously-affiliated institutions will have access to no-cost contraceptive coverage through the employee's health insurer, which will be required to offer the coverage for free. Organizations will not be required to refer women to the contraception coverage or subsidize it.

The rule in question has always exempted religious institutions, such as houses of worship, from providing their employees with mandated contraceptive coverage. CUT sentence, seems redundant to above

A number of voices on the right remain dissatisfied with the compromise. Leading U.S. Catholic bishops have vowed to fight the decision with legislative and court challenges; most congressional Republicans object to it as well.

Republicans frame the matter as an issue of religious liberty; Democrats counter that no person is being forced to exert her right to use birth control. Democrats also point out that 99 percent of women, and up to 98 percent of Catholic women, have used birth control at some point in their lives, according to two separate polls by the Guttmacher Institute.

Poll: Most back mandating contraception coverage - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:45 PM   #881
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sure, go ahead, mock, make fun of Christians

I, along with most decent Americans are sick and tire of all the Christian-bashing

persecution is wrong !
would you same people mock MLK jr?

Because he had a dream? the end of persecution.

'I too have a dream, that one day I will live in a country where an openly Christian American will be elected to the highest office in the land,
and that Christian President will be able to take the 'Oath of Office' with his hand on the Holy Bible."

Is this so wrong?
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:37 PM   #882
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is it wrong when people who protect pedophiles and remain silent on issues like torture, elective war, and universal health care, while at the same time battling against the dignity and equal treatment of gay people under the law, suddenly think they have the god-given religious freedom to deny women access to contraception, something that seems rather likely to, you know, reduce and prevent something like abortion?
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:18 PM   #883
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The Hill, Feb. 14
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Tuesday that he’ll let the Senate vote on a proposal to reverse the White House’s controversial birth-control mandate. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would let employers opt out of any coverage mandates they find immoral.

...A vote on the Blunt amendment could re-expose divisions among Senate Democrats. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who opposed the original contraception mandate, haven’t taken a position on Obama’s revisions, and the Blunt measure is in line with the broader exemption endorsed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. But the amendment could also energize Democrats and women’s-rights groups riding the momentum from a battle between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood and what they see as a win on the contraception compromise.

...Critics focused on the fact that the Blunt bill would let employers opt out of healthcare services not just because of religious objections, but also on “moral” grounds. That standard is nearly impossible to define, they say, and could ensnare services like vaccination.
Text of the proposed amendment here. List of cosponsors here should you wish to contact your Senator. (Note this is different from Rubio's bill, S.2043/H.R.3897, which Irvine posted about earlier; that one's still in committee.)
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:24 PM   #884
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I just read that, too, about many Americans being in favor of this contraception thing. So, if supporting this stuff is "un-American", as Sarah Palin so wonderfuly overexaggerated it, I guess a whole bunch of us here in the States don't love this country anymore.

And in regards to Sarah's "un-American" comment-I'm sorry, whose husband is it that belongs to a group that wants the state of Alaska to secede from the U.S. again?

I'm not Christian-bashing at all. I'm making fun of the people who think being against this is any sort of a good, logical idea. They have no legitimate reasons as to why this should be opposed, they're full of complete and total hypocrisy on this issue, and they have idiots calling it "un-American". It's pretty hard to take these people seriously when it gets to that point.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #885
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Both of my senators are firmly in the D camp, and I can't imagine they think this Blunt business is anything resembling a good idea, but I sent them both a message anyway.

This whole thing makes me so frustrated.
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