Daily Archives: September 4, 2009

Where Are The Groups That Were So Outraged by Bush’s State Dept Appointments by Gregory Hilton

Where is this coalition of 10 groups that was so concerned about unqualified people at the State Department? They were outraged over the Ellen Sauerbrey nomination in October of 2005. She had the rank of Ambassador and served at the UN addressing the issues she would later confront at the State Department. She was in the legislature for 16 years, was Minority Leader and twice ran for Governor. They said she was completely unqualified.
According to the Associated Press, “A coalition of 10 women’s health and rights groups has urged Bush to withdraw the Sauerbrey nomination calling it “yet another in a long string of crony nominations of unqualified individuals for critical positions”. The groups’ statement followed editorials denouncing Sauerbrey’s appointment by two of the country’s most important newspapers, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, which called her unqualified and too ideological, as well as criticism by prominent emergency relief groups.
“‘This is a job that deals with one of the great moral issues of our time,’ Joel R. Charney, vice president for policy at Refugees International, told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month. ‘This is not a position where you drop in a political hack.’
Sauerbrey has served in State Department positions since Bush took office in 2001, most recently as U.S. representative to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women.
“‘Amb. Sauerbrey falls short on every count,’ said June Zeitlin, executive director of the Women’s Environment and Development Organisation, one of the groups which urged her withdrawal. ‘She has no experience managing refugee or humanitarian crises and no experience administering the type of large-scale programmes that fall under the direction of PRM.'”
Do these groups know about the Obama appointments to our major embassies? Are they aware that our new U.S. Ambassador to Japan does not speak the language and never visited that nation prior to his appointment? He did “bundle” over $500,000 for the Obama campaign. Of course they will not protest the new nomination because they never cared about the State Department.
They were only motivated by political considerations.
By the way, because of their opposition Bush was forced to make a recess appointment. Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration for over two years, and led the global fight against trafficking. The Bush Administration contributed over $375 million to counter-trafficking projects worldwide, and Sauerbrey’s work was highly praised by the Refugee Council USA and Refugees International. She was an outstanding appointment.

Problems with Health Care’s Public Option by Gregory Hilton

Health care spending in every Western country with a public option has been growing faster since 2000 than it has been in the United States. The public option is really the government option. It will not promote competition, it will eliminate it. It would sooner or later takeover over our health care system. It will deprive people of choice. If it was just another insurance policy, then we would have 1,501 opportunities.
President Obama has frequently reassured us that, if we are happy with our present insurance, there is no cause for alarm—our right to keep it will not be denied. Of course, it will no longer exist in a few years, so the right to keep it is pointless. A new “public option” would provide employers with a strong financial incentive to drop insurance for their employees, to give way to the public plan. Private insurers will be forced out of the game as the public plan draws unlimited credit from a government.
No one knows how much this public option will cost. Some estimates peg the 10-year cost at $1.7 trillion. When the government introduced Medicare in 1965, the estimated cost to taxpayers by 1990 was supposed to be $9 billion. In reality, the cost was $67 billion — a seven-fold miscalculation. So what happens if this public option ends up costing just three times as much as estimated? That’s a 10-year cost of $5.1 trillion to taxpayers. How will we pay for it? Through tax increases. It is interesting that one of the first arguments put forward by supporters of the public option is that it won’t result in a government-run system like single-payer health care. That may be so at first, but it puts the nation on the road toward single-payer.
The UK’s National Health Service is socialized medicine and it produces some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialized world. Britain is the Western state where you’d least want to have cancer or a stroke or heart disease. Ours is now a country where thousands of people are killed in hospitals for reasons unrelated to their original condition. Britain has become a place where foreigners fear to fall ill.