Dr. Boozman's Check-up

The cost of health care is skyrocketing. In a government report released late last week, it’s estimated that health care spending will account for 20 percent of our country’s economy by 2020. This means health care spending will grow faster than the economy.

While the President's health care initiative sought to reform the industry, this was not the answer. We need free market principles that will help drive the cost of health care down. Who is left to pay the tab? The American taxpayers. Read the Associated Press story that details the costs and what it means to the bottom line.

FLASHBACK:  August 3, 2010.

On this date in history, The New York Times ran an opinion piece authored by Treasury Secretary Tim Geither entitled “Welcome to the Recovery”.  Meant to help sell President Obama’s “Stimulus” bill, the Geither–penned piece was part of a larger PR campaign the Administration dubbed “Summer of Recovery”.

Let’s see how “well” that has worked.

This time last year, the nation’s unemployment rate was at an alarming 9.5%. 

Almost a year later, at 9.2%, the numbers aren’t much better.

The most incriminating number is where the national unemployment rate stood in February 2009, when President Obama signed the “Stimulus” into law.  On that date in history, the 8.2% unemployment rate was whole percentage point lower than it is today.

This summer the focus is still on job creation.  If we had done it right the first time— instead of the “Stimulus”—more Americans would be working this summer.

The Senate and the House approved a debt reduction bill that will allow our country to fulfill its financial obligations. I’ve heard from many Arkansans including Social Security recipients concerned they would not receive their checks if an agreement was not reached. The Social Security Commissioner announced today that payments are on schedule. Read it here.

The House of Representatives has sent two pieces of legislation for Senate consideration that achieves the goals of significant reductions in spending to honor our financial obligations and puts us on the path to fiscal responsibility.  Unfortunately, the Senate has refused to even debate the bills.

Now, at the 11th hour Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced his own legislation to address our nation’s debt crisis. This plan falsely claims to reduce spending by $2.2 trillion when it only reduces spending by the $1 trillion amount of the Boehner bill that was approved by the House and tabled by the Senate yesterday.

The Reid plan would seek to raise the debt limit by a record $2.4 trillion, about three times the $900 billion increase passed by the House, and three times the amount of spending that it cuts.

What’s worse, the Reid plan is an opening for takes hikes. Read the story in the Daily Caller that details the gimmicks accounting for tax increases.

Weak… Anemic… Barely crawling…

Revised figures show our economic growth expanded at a slower-than-expected 1.3% pace during the first quarter of the year.  The President claimed that his “Stimulus” would foster economic growth.  The recent jobs figures and now the revised first quarter GDP data paint a different picture.  The President’s “Big Government” policies will not create jobs.  Let’s pursue a real job creation agenda, one which spurs the private sector instead of wastefully adding to our already out-of-control national debt.
I visited with Mark Smith on KASU's "Morning Edition" today.  Along with a lengthy discussion about the debt ceiling debate, we talked about the Norwegian terror attack, FEMA's upcoming deadline for disaster aid and Congressman Mike Ross's retirement announcement.  If you missed it, you can listen to the entire interview here.

We started a new video segment this week entitled "From the Mailbag", where I sat down and answered a couple of constituent letters about the debt ceiling, "Cut, Cap & Balance Act" and the President's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Living in Arkansas we’re no strangers to severe weather. But when things turn dangerous and deadly we expect the help necessary to rebuild and recover from the losses left from Mother Nature. 

Arkansas has no doubt experienced more than its share of storms, floods and tornadoes in 2011, forcing the state to rely more on federal assistance. In every instance the Arkansas Congressional Delegation has supported the Governor’s request for aid in letters to the President and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator. 

After resubmitting a disaster declaration request for Franklin and Johnson Counties, FEMA determined individuals in Franklin and Johnson Counties can apply for and receive federal disaster assistance.

The disaster recovery centers are closing at the end of the week in these counties so if you or someone you know needs to register for aid please call 1-800-621-FEMA or go to the recovery centers. To read more information about this click here.