Hey Bernie and Kamala, Government Can’t Run Medicare

Legitimately that is. The crimes and fraud within the system are so bad already that the FBI is and has been overwhelmed with cases.

Image result for Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF)
Heck, just last month, the FBI announced the results of Operation Brace Yourself. 24 people were arrested due to Medicare fraud billing amounting to over $1 billion. Get that? One case, over a billion dollars. A medical equipment company out of the Philippines recruited people, there were kickbacks, money-laundering, yachts, luxury real estate deals all inside of at least 100 equipment companies. This FBI investigation involved 20 field offices, agency partners, the IRS, the IRS, Health and Human Services, the Department of Veteran Affairs and even Secret Service.

But wait, that was just one case.

How about a few more?

District of Columbia Physician Indicted for Alleged Role in $12.7 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
A physician with a practice in the District of Columbia was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his role in an alleged $12.7 million health care fraud scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare for complicated medical procedures he never provided.

Telemarketer And His Companies Agree To Pay $2.5 Million To Settle Allegations That They Operated Telemedicine Schemes Involving Illegal Kickbacks And Unnecessary Prescriptions
United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez and U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey for the Eastern District of Tennessee announce that Scott Roix, together with several entities through which he ran his telemarketing business, including HealthRight, LLC; Health Savings Solutions, LLC; Vici Marketing, LLC; and Vici Marketing Group, LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to as “marketing companies”), have agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations that Roix and these marketing companies violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false claims to federal healthcare programs in connection with telemedicine health care fraud schemes.

Patient Recruiter Found Guilty in $1.3 Million Medicare Kickback Scheme
A federal jury in Detroit, Michigan found a patient recruiter guilty today for his role in a scheme involving approximately $1.3 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for home health care that were procured through the payment of kickbacks.

Medical Business Owner Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Federal Prison for Medicare Fraud
AUGUSTA, GA: The owner of a Thomson, Ga., medical equipment company was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison Tuesday, July 30, for a wide-ranging Medicare fraud scheme.

Millcreek Community Hospital Will Pay $2,451,000 to Settle Claims for Medically Unnecessary Inpatient Rehabilitation Services
PITTSBURGH – Millcreek Community Hospital, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $2,451,000 to resolve claims that the hospital violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary inpatient rehabilitation services, Scott W. Brady announced today.

Read more here.

This information is coming from the Inspector General’s Office and is but a random sampling of cases in the last 3-4 weeks. Get that? 3-4 weeks.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF) was established in 2007. Imagine what was/is going on that a strike force had to be established….The Strike Force operates out of Baton Rouge, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Tampa Bay.

So, next time you see Bernie, Kamala or Liz or any of the rest of them, mention this little factoid. Could make for good TV and obviously an item that CNN missed altogether in the televised debates.

Senator Daines vs. Socialism

Resolution_draft by Fox News on Scribd

In his prepared remarks introducing the resolution, obtained by Fox News, Daines criticized the Green New Deal and “Medicare-for-all” — as well as the increase in partisanship on Capitol Hill. Less than an hour earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., similarly condemned “hyperventilating hacks” seeking to sow division, rather than make policy.

Daines Stumps For Gorsuch, Spars With Protesters At ...

“We are at a pivotal time in our great nation’s history,” Daines said. “We have shown the world time and time again the genius of American ingenuity and the grit of American determination. However, a radical, socialist, far-left movement is growing across this country. And it has taken root as the new voice of the Democratic Party.”

*** A hat tip to the Senator for his position on America vs. Democrats, Socialism and all things related to the Green New Deal. There is also Medicare for All, free college tuition and even paying criminals to behave.

Does this resolution go far enough? Not really, but it is a start. There should be legislation and eventually law that states socialism is forbidden in the United States. It is wishful thinking however, because our Federal government is slammed full with socialist programs that we can never undo.

All things government healthcare like Obamacare is socialism, Social Security is of course socialism, block grants, community reinvestment act and so many more fit the definition of socialism as do the countless entitlement programs.

You can however begin the challenge on yet another item that you personally pay each month. Have you checked your utility bills lately and looked at all those weird fees? Same thing with your cell phone bill. The cable bill too? Yes.

There is corporate socialism too, bailouts and subsidies…yes…all socialism. This is forced socialism with no oversight. That means no one is accountable, no one measures success, no one measures if the money really goes where it is supposed to go.

Places like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore and other major cities all have a major homeless program where tax money is earmarked to address that crisis. For instance, California voted in March to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase to help the homeless. It is expected to raise $355 million each year for a ten year period. That said, do California officials and residents really believe the homeless problem will go away in ten years? Really?

As long as Baltimore is in the news, thousands of residents in the inner city get a lead check along with living in Section 8 housing and getting food stamps. What is a lead check you ask?

Well our Congress voted in the 1990’s to create a slush fund to eradicate lead (paint) from homes and buildings constructed before 1977. By now, all that lead should be gone right? Nah..residents in Baltimore and other major cities get a monthly lead check as they choose to live in row houses allegedly still containing peeling lead paint. This whole scam was coordinated by several federal agencies including Housing and Urban Development, the EPA and Health and Human Services.

Socialism is a constant cancer, of which the ends we will never see but we can stop some of it at least by challenging those pesky fees in your power bill, the cable bill or your cell phone bill.

Anyway….hat tip again to the Senator.



lndivisible vs. Trump, lmmigration and Kavanaugh

Ever wonder where all these protests come from and how they are coordinated? Checkout this out.

  Directly after President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court nominee, there were protests on 1st Street in front of the Supreme court.

    Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The organization issues call scripts for each issue, including Obamacare, immigration, civil rights, education, EPA and how to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Grassroots at its best, designed by Obama and his sidekick, Valerie Jarrett.

This operation is located in Washington DC, with chapters in major cities and closely partnered with Act Blue.

This is not a new thing by the way, as it seems media did some reporting in 2017. n fact, you can click here and scroll down to see some interesting names that are part of this movement. Don’t forget those like Jennifer Palmeri as she is in this too. Soros money? Oh yes of course, all part of the resist and rebuild agenda.

Pushing the influence for many years, check out the background, the people, the money.

Meanwhile, the foot soldiers get training, perhaps as much as 6 weeks.  There have been summits like this one in 2017. The leadership of this operation includes:

lndivar Dutta-Gupta

Leah Greenberg

Ezra Levin

David Slifka

Meighan Stone, is Director of the Malala Fund. She served previously as Vice President of Communications and Special Projects at World Food Program USA and as President of the Developing Group, supporting the Global Partnership for Education’s 2011 $1.5 billion Replenishment Conference. Meighan has lead special projects in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum, 2010 FIFA World Cup and at UN and G8 summits globally. At Bono’s ONE Campaign, she was Communications Director and then Director of Special Projects, part of the team that helped build the organization in its early years. Meighan has also served as a Congressional Fellow, media consultant for the World Economic Forum and worked on HIV/AIDS projects in the office of President Clinton. A former campaign Press Secretary, Meighan has also worked on the Democratic National Convention and Inauguration of President Obama. She is a member of the Board for both Pencils of Promise and Good Labs.

Angel Padilla, Policy Director for The Indivisible Project. He has also served as the Health Policy Analyst for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), an immigration policy consultant at National Council of La Raza, and a legislative assistant for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), advising on issues related to health care and the Affordable Care Act, among others. Mr. Padilla also has interned with the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Maria Urbina, is the VP of Politics and National Campaigns at Voto Latino where she is charged with developing a voter engagement strategy, running multiple national campaigns, and heading up the political and communications department of Voto Latino. Before joining Voto Latino, Maria served as the Senior Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs in the office of Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In this role, Maria advised Senator Reid on policy, political strategy and outreach affecting Latino and Asian American communities in Nevada and across the country. Maria also worked with influential Latino and Asian American groups to elevate their advocacy within the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining Senator Reid’s senior staff, Maria served as his legislative correspondence manager and immigration legislative aide. In addition to her Senate work, Maria has worked on Latino political outreach in several key campaigns, including for Senator Reid in 2010, President Obama in 2012 and Senator Mark Udall in 2014. Maria was raised in Carson City, Nevada, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she majored in political science and journalism. Maria is a proud alumnus of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship program and American University’s Women & Politics Institute Leadership Training Program for young women in politics.



Here’s the quick-and-dirty summary of this document. While this page summarizes top-level takeaways, the full document describes how to actually carry out these activities.

Chapter One

Grassroots Advocacy

How grassroots advocacy worked to stop President Obama. We examine lessons from the Tea Party’s rise and recommend two key strategic components:

  1. A local strategy targeting individual Members of Congress (MoCs).
  2. A defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.

How your MoC thinks — reelection, reelection, reelection — and how to use that to save democracy. MoCs want their constituents to think well of them, and they want good, local press. They hate surprises, wasted time, and most of all, bad press that makes them look weak, unlikable, and vulnerable. You will use these interests to make them listen and act.

Chapter Three

Organize Locally

Identify or organize your local group. Is there an existing local group or network you can join? Or do you need to start your own? We suggest steps to help mobilize your fellow constituents locally and start organizing for action.

Chapter four

Advocacy Tactics

Four local advocacy tactics that actually work. Most of you have three MoCs — two Senators and one Representative. Whether you like it or not, they are your voices in Washington. Your job is to make sure they are, in fact, speaking for you. We’ve identified four key opportunity areas that just a handful of local constituents can use to great effect. Always record encounters on video, prepare questions ahead of time, coordinate with your group, and report back to local media:

  • Town halls. MoCs regularly hold public in-district events to show that they are listening to constituents. Make them listen to you, and report out when they don’t.
  • Other local public events. MoCs love cutting ribbons and kissing babies back home. Don’t let them get photo-ops without questions about racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.
  • District office visits. Every MoC has one or several district offices. Go there. Demand a meeting with the MoC. Report to the world if they refuse to listen.
  • Coordinated calls. Calls are a light lift, but can have an impact. Organize your local group to barrage your MoCs with calls at an opportune moment about and on a specific issue.

Ridiculous Deductibles Broke the Healthcare System

Hello democrats….what again did Obamacare solve?

Sky-High Deductibles Broke the U.S. Health Insurance System

Employers are questioning a system they say costs patients too much.

Bloomberg: When Carla Jordan and her husband were hit with a cascade of serious medical issues, she knew that at least her family had health insurance through her job. What she didn’t realize was that even with that coverage, a constant stream of medical bills would soon push the family to the edge of financial collapse.

The Jordans, both 40, were once solidly in the middle class, but ever since the 2008 financial crisis, money has been tight at best. Then calamity hit. In 2016, Carla needed a gallbladder operation. Her husband John suffered a seizure the same year, followed by an unrelated infection that sent him to the emergency room. Toward the end of the year, Carla was diagnosed with diabetes. Even after paying $501 a month for medical insurance, they ended the year owing $8,000 to 18 different providers, with creditors threatening to garnish John’s wages.

Health plans similar to the Jordans’ that put patients on the hook for many thousands of dollars are widespread and growing, but some employers are beginning to have second thoughts. “Why did we design a health plan that has the ability to deliver a $1,000 surprise to employees?” Shawn Leavitt, a senior human resources executive at Comcast Corp., said at a conference in May. “That’s kind of stupid.” A handful of companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CVS Health Corp., have recently announced plans to reduce deductibles or cover more care before workers are exposed to the cost.

Yet it’s still the reality for a growing share of Americans. Today, 39 percent of large employers offer only high-deductible plans, up from 7 percent in 2009, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health. Half of all workers now have health insurance with a deductible of at least $1,000 for an individual, up from 22 percent in 2009, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 41 percent say they can’t pay a $400 emergency expense without borrowing or selling something, according to the Federal Reserve. The bottom line: People like the Jordans simply can’t afford to get sick.

Deductibles Keep Rising

About 40 percent of Americans can’t afford an unexpected $400 expense, according to the Federal Reserve.


The family had an Anthem Inc. insurance policy through Carla’s job as a public school teacher in Stafford County, Virginia. But the monthly premium barely covered any of their bills before paying a $2,000 deductible. And by the end of 2016, the Jordans were deep in the hole to doctors, hospitals, an anesthesiologist, urgent care, and various labs and testing centers. Their doctors sent collections notices. Some dropped them as patients until they paid up.

“I actually dreaded going to the mailbox,” Carla recalled. “I feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do.” And yet, she said, sickness pushed the family “right over the brink.”

Related reading: Five Questions About Amazon’s Play for the $300 Billion Pharmacy Market

Since the early 2000s, employers have mostly embraced high-deductible health plans. The thinking has been that requiring workers to shoulder more of the cost of care will also encourage them to cut back on unnecessary spending. But it didn’t work out that way. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many families were hard-pressed to meet their soaring health-insurance deductibles. At the same time, studies show that many put off routine care or skipped medication to save money. That can mean illnesses that might have been caught early can go undiagnosed, becoming potentially life-threatening and enormously costly for the medical system.

Patients Exposed

The share of Americans under 65 enrolled in high deductible plans is rising

The family had an Anthem Inc. insurance policy through Carla’s job as a public school teacher in Stafford County, Virginia. But the monthly premium barely covered any of their bills before paying a $2,000 deductible. And by the end of 2016, the Jordans were deep in the hole to doctors, hospitals, an anesthesiologist, urgent care, and various labs and testing centers. Their doctors sent collections notices. Some dropped them as patients until they paid up.

“I actually dreaded going to the mailbox,” Carla recalled. “I feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do.” And yet, she said, sickness pushed the family “right over the brink.”

Since the early 2000s, employers have mostly embraced high-deductible health plans. The thinking has been that requiring workers to shoulder more of the cost of care will also encourage them to cut back on unnecessary spending. But it didn’t work out that way. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many families were hard-pressed to meet their soaring health-insurance deductibles. At the same time, studies show that many put off routine care or skipped medication to save money. That can mean illnesses that might have been caught early can go undiagnosed, becoming potentially life-threatening and enormously costly for the medical system.

Patients Exposed

The share of Americans under 65 enrolled in high deductible plans is rising.

*** Amazon Isn’t the Only Retail Giant Trying to Remake Health ...

How the U.S. insurance system came to stick its customers with increasingly onerous medical bills is a 15-year-long story of miscalculations and missed opportunities. It started in 2003 when President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans passed a change to the tax code that encouraged employers to experiment with high-deductible plans, which ask patients to pay out of pocket for care — sometimes thousands of dollars — before insurance coverage kicks in. The trend got a push when the financial crisis hit: As the economy stalled and employers shed nearly 9 million jobs over three years, companies desperate to slash costs turned to high-deductible plans to save money. The next wave came with the arrival of Obamacare in 2010. Millions who were previously uninsured could now get coverage, but many of them took on deductibles of $1,000 or higher.

The Jordan family never expected to become a casualty of the trend. Little more than a decade ago, they were making more than $100,000 a year. John Jordan had a carpentry business that did well during the housing boom. Carla’s job teaching computer science classes at a local high school gave them steady income and health benefits. When their children, now teenagers, were first born, she recalls paying $500 for her maternity stays in the hospital.

“That was the biggest bill we ever got,” she said.

Since then, Carla’s salary has barely increased and John’s business never recovered after the crash. With student loans, car notes and a house worth less than their mortgage, the Jordans filed for bankruptcy in 2013, allowing them to discharge some debts. But their income never fully bounced back.

They were ill-prepared to deal with sharply escalating health-care bills: Carla’s gallstone, her diabetes diagnoses, John’s seizures, followed by a serious campylobacter infection. The family couldn’t afford the $1,000 it would cost for Carla’s six-week diabetes class. Instead, she got a 40-minute crash course. They shelled out $125 for five pills to treat John’s infection. Still, the bills were piling up. Early in 2017, Carla took a day off from work to go through the stacks of paper, calling each office to negotiate. Few were willing to help.

“It did not really matter to them,” she said. “It was just, ‘When can you pay and how much can you pay?’”

By last year, the couple was making about $79,000, before taxes. They have no savings for retirement or for their children to go to college. “We both live paycheck-to-paycheck,” Carla said. They pay about $35 a month for medications for John’s blood pressure and acid reflux. Carla takes inexpensive metformin—just $3 a month—for diabetes, and doesn’t yet need insulin.

But her diabetes test strips and lancets cost $120 for a three-month supply. To stretch them as long as she can, she checks her blood sugar only when she feels dizzy or nauseous, rather than the standard three times a day. When she had the flu this past winter, she put off going to the doctor until her fever hit 105.

The Jordans’ response to spiraling family medical costs is repeated in families across the country, studies suggest. When one large employer switched all its employees to high-deductible plans, medical spending dropped by 12 percent to 14 percent, according to an analysis by economists at University of California, Berkeley and Harvard. But the workers weren’t learning to shop more effectively for health care. They simply reduced the amount of medical care they used, including preventative care. In high-deductible plans, women are more likely to delay follow-up tests after mammograms, including imaging, biopsies and early-stage diagnoses that could detect tumors when they’re easiest to treat, according to research in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“High-deductible plans do reduce health-care costs, but they don’t seem to be doing it in smart ways,” said Neeraj Sood, director of research at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California.

Some big companies are sitting up and taking notice. “We all thought high deductibles are going to drive people to get involved—‘skin in the game,’” Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan, said in early June. Instead, “they didn’t get the surgery they needed, when they needed it, because they can’t afford the high deductible in one shot.” JPMorgan is effectively eliminating deductibles for workers making less than $60,000 a year.

Dimon has teamed up with the top executives of Amazon.com Inc. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to improve the health care they provide for their workers. The incoming CEO of that venture, surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande, has also noticed the plight of such families as the Jordans. “I had one friend who was bankrupted with a health plan,” Gawande said at the Spotlight Health event in Aspen, Colorado, on Saturday. “He had a $3,000 deductible and couldn’t meet it.”

About five years ago, CVS switched all of its 200,000 employees and their families to health-insurance plans with high deductibles. As the company pushed more costs onto employees, some stopped taking their medications.

“Nobody in their right mind would think that it’s a smart thing to basically be keeping people away from taking their medications,” said Troy Brennan, the chief medical officer at CVS. The company had initially offered a limited selection of generic drugs for free to its workers. But evidence that people were skipping medications prompted CVS to broaden the list, including some brand-name treatments and insulins on the free-drug list, an approach it now recommends to its corporate customers.

The company is also studying a plan to allow employers to offer free, branded drugs to workers in cases where CVS has already negotiated deep discounts. The plan could be in place as soon as 2019.

For the Jordans, such changes are late in coming. On New Year’s Day, 2017, Carla Jordan sat down with her laptop at her kitchen table to write a 20-page letter railing against insurance companies and high medical costs, replete with tables showing their expenses and eight pages of references. She pointed out that health insurance companies’ stock prices, not to mention industry executive salaries, were both soaring, while the thousands of dollars in premiums she paid protected neither her family’s health nor its finances.

“This is an urgent situation, with dire consequences,” she wrote. “Please take action immediately.” She sent the letter to then-President Barack Obama, President-Elect Donald Trump and 220 members of Congress. Only four responded. Seven months later—and for the second time in four years—the couple filed for bankruptcy.


POTUS and Omnibus, No Line Item Veto?

2232 pages of stupid and everyone should take the time to just scan the $1.3 trillion spending bill. I got to page 184 last night and went to bed mad. There is no line item veto but there should be. President Trump can veto the whole truck load of crap and should. In place of the line item veto, he can wield his pen and sign an Executive Order eliminating countless crazy spending things or suspend some of the acts for the rest of his term. Something like the Food for Progress Act. And we are still bailing out the healthcare insurance companies…. anyway…there is also $687 million to address Russian interference. Just what is that plan?

  1. How about the Cloud Act? Foreign governments get access to our data? WHAT?   2. Okay how about Trump’s “wall funding.” It’s not a wall. It’s repairs, drones and pedestrian fencing – no construction. 3. Then we have the House Freedom Caucus with their letter to President Trump:   So…need more?  Conservative Review has these 10 items for your consideration.Here are the top 10 problems with the bill:

    1) Eye-popping debt: This bill codifies the $143 billion busting of the budget caps, which Congress adopted in February, for the remainder of this fiscal year. This is on top of the fact that government spending already increased $130 billion last year over the final year of Obama’s tenure. Although the Trump administration already agreed to this deal in February, the OMB put out a memo suggesting that Congress appropriate only $10 billion of the extra $63 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. Now it’s up to Trump to follow through with a veto threat. It’s not just about 2018. This bill paves the road to permanently bust the budget caps forever, which will lead to trillions more in spending and cause interest payments on the debt to surge past the cost of the military or even Medicaid in just eight years.

    Keep in mind that all the additional spending will be stuffed into just six months remaining to the fiscal year, not a 12-month period. A number of onerous bureaucracies will get cash booster shots instead of the cuts President Trump wanted.

    Remember when Mick Mulvaney said the fiscal year 2017 budget betrayal was needed so that he could do great things with the fiscal year 2018 budget? Good times.

    2) Bait and switch on the wall: Since this bill increases spending for everything, one would think that at least the president would get the $15 billion or so needed for the wall. No. The bill includes only $641 million for 33 miles of new border fencing but prohibits that funding for being used for concrete barriers. My understanding is that President Trump already has enough money to begin construction for roughly that much of the fence, and pursuant to the Secure Fence Act, he can construct any barrier made from any This actually weakens current law.

    3) Funds sanctuary cities: When cities and states downright violate federal law and harbor illegal aliens, Congress’ silence in responding to it is deafening. Cutting off block grants to states as leverage against this dangerous crisis wasn’t even under discussion, even as many other extraneous and random liberal priorities were seriously considered.

    4) Doesn’t fund interior enforcement: Along with clamping down on sanctuary cities, interior enforcement at this point is likely more important than a border wall. After Obama’s tenure left us with a criminal alien and drug crisis, there is an emergency to ramp up interior enforcement. Trump requested more ICE agents and detention facilities, but that call was ignored in this bill. Trump said that the midterms must focus on Democrats’ dangerous immigration policies. Well, this bill he is supporting ensures that they will get off scot-free.

    5) Doesn’t defund court decisions: Some might suggest that this bill was a victory because at least it didn’t contain amnesty. But we have amnesty right now, declared, promulgated, and perpetuated by the lawless judiciary. For Congress to pass a budget bill and not defund DACA or defund the issuance of visas from countries on Trump’s immigration pause list in order to fight back against the courts is tantamount to Congress directly passing amnesty.

    6) Funds Planned Parenthood: We have no right to a border wall or more ICE funding, but somehow funding for a private organization harvesting baby organs was never in jeopardy or even under discussion as a problem.

    7) Gun control without due process: Some of you might think I’m being greedy, demanding that “extraneous policies” be placed in a strict appropriations bill. Well, gun control made its way in. They slipped in the “Fix NICS” bill, which pressures and incentivizes state and federal agencies to add more people to the system even though there is already bipartisan recognition that agencies are adding people who should not be on the list, including veterans, without any due process in a court of law. They are passing this bill without the House version of the due process protections and without the promised concealed carry reciprocity legislation. Republicans were too cowardly to have an open debate on such an important issue, so they opted to tack it onto a budget bill, which is simply unprecedented. The bill also throws more funding at “school violence” programs when they refuse to repeal the gun-free zone laws that lie at the root of the problem.

    8) More “opioid crisis funding” without addressing the problem: The bill increases funding for “opioid addiction prevention and treatment” by $2.8 billion relative to last year, on top of the $7 billion they already spent in February. This is the ultimate joke of the arsonist pretending to act as the firefighter, because as we’ve chronicled in detail, these funds are being used to clamp down on legitimate prescription painkillers and create a de facto national prescription registry so that government can violate privacy and practice medicine. Meanwhile, the true culprits are illicit drugs and Medicaid expansion, exacerbated by sanctuary cities, as the president observed himself. Yet those priorities are jettisoned from the bill.

    9) Student loan bailout: The bill offers $350 million in additional student loan forgiveness … but only for graduates who take “lower-paid” government jobs or work for some non-profits! This was a big priority of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.  Government created this problem of skyrocketing student debt by fueling it with subsidies and giving the higher education cartel a monopoly of accreditation, among other things. Indeed, this very same bill increases Pell grants by $2 billion. But more money is always the solution, especially when it helps future government workers.

    10) Schumer’s Gateway projects earmark: Conservatives had a wish list of dozens of items, but it’s Schumer’s local bridge and tunnel project that got included. While the bill didn’t contain as much as Schumer asked for (remember the tactic of starting off high), the program would qualify for up to $541 million in new transportation funding. Also, the bill would open up $2.9 billion in grants through the Federal Transit Administration for this parochial project that should be dealt with on a state level. New York has high taxes for a reason.