WASHINGTON “" President Obama branded Wall Street bankers “shameful” on Thursday for giving themselves nearly $20 billion in bonuses as the economy was deteriorating and the government was spending billions to bail out some of the nation’s most prominent financial institutions.
“There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses” Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner
. “Now’s not that time. And that’s a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them.”
Initially designed for children of working-poor families, this new Super-Schip will be double in size, and even kids whose parents make $65,000 a year will be eligible. The program will also now cover pregnant women and automatically enroll their new arrivals. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 2.4 million individuals will drop their private coverage for the public program.
The bill even takes a whack at the private market. Under the guise of money for “health technology,” the legislation makes the government the national coordinator for electronic health records, able to certify what platforms are acceptable. This is an attempt to squelch a growing private market that is competing to improve transparency and let consumers compare providers and costs. In liberal-world, only government should be publishing (and setting) health-care prices.
Add it up, and Democrats may move 10 million more Americans under the federal health umbrella — in just four weeks! Good luck ever cutting off that money. Meanwhile, the Democratic majority is gearing up for a Medicare fight, where it may broach plans to lower the eligibility age to 55. Whatever costs accrue, they’ll pay for by slashing the private Medicare Advantage option.
Union officials say the new orders by Obama will undo Bush administration policies that favored employers over workers. The orders will:
_Require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change.
_Reverse a Bush administration order requiring federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit financial support of unions serving as their exclusive bargaining representatives.
_Prevent federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses meant to influence workers deciding whether to form a union and engage in collective bargaining.
“We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests,” Obama said during a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
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