Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Lies. Damned Lies. And Obamacare Statistics

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

The latest batch of October statistics from the Obama White House credits me with buying a Mercedes, BMW and an Audi. And the best part is it didn’t cost me a dime! All I did was take three test drives and here I am: A GDP–generating fool.

This flexible interpretation of window–shopping and tire–kicking has great potential for the future. I’m thinking about taking credit for job creation when I get a haircut or have my car washed. With just a bit more attention to my personal appearance I could find states competing to offer me subsidies and tax breaks like Terry McAuliffe got from Mississippi.

And wouldn’t you know it, this conceptual breakthrough started with Obamacare and the HealthCare.dud website.

Some of my conservative colleagues complained when Obama minions began counting people who only visited the HealthCare.dud website and selected a plan, but didn’t pay for it as Official Obamacare Enrollees. These stalwarts contend that until the victim has actually paid for the plan there is no sale and consequently no enrollment, regardless of how much they need the insurance or how many hours they wasted on the website.

What’s more, if we let Obama get away with this, soon people who only thought about health insurance would be counted as part of the system.

The private sector equivalent of this new White House statistical interpretation would be Amazon.com counting items still on shopper’s ‘wish lists’ as being revenue generating sales; and then releasing the information to Wall Street so as to drive up the stock price.

Since he’s not president, the result would be Jeff Bezos facing charges, while Obama merely faces a hostile — make that mildly annoyed — press corps that is having trouble coming up with new excuses for the president’s failures.

The conservative objection, while true, misses the larger point. Based on the Phantom Obamacare Enrollee Precedent, when I buy my 2013 copy of TurboTax and fill out the form, I should be counted as having paid my taxes without sending the IRS a check!

I call it my own private sequester. And when you consider how the number of people who take more from the government than they pay in taxes is increasing, it finally puts me on the right side of history.

The Obamacare rollout — or ground out, if you prefer — does have implications for Obama’s future after the White House. If he’s as smart as the MSM assures us, Obama will steer clear of the private sector. That’s because if he tried the same marketing tactics outside of government, he would be subject to fines and possibly jail time.

As Orson Swindle, a Federal Trade Commission member from 1997 to 2005, pointed out in the National Review the HealthCare.dud website is deceptive, misleading and illegal. Jay Carney’s “wild west” indeed.

You may recall a recent furor over airline websites that were allegedly hiding baggage and other add–on fees until just before the consumer purchased the ticket. “Consumer advocates” and other busybodies complained that by waiting until the end of the purchase process to give the consumer a total price, airlines were trying to pull a fast one.

Airlines responded that where else would you give a total price unless it was at the end of the purchase process?

And besides the Carnac the Magnificent software was not ready for launch. Protests fell on deaf government ears and the FTC required the websites to be reprogrammed to sound a klaxon and flash red lights every time a consumer made a choice that would add more than a nickel to the ticket price.

Soon shopping for a big–ticket airfare came to resemble crash–diving in a submarine.

Yet the HealthCare.dud site is programmed to hide any cost information until after the consumer has created an account and been forced to divulge detailed financial information. And even then the information is purposely inaccurate.

As Swindle says, quoting CBS News, “HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance. The website’s “shop and browse” feature divides users into two broad age categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Price estimates for the first age group are based on what a 27-year-old could expect to pay, whereas as the latter group’s price estimates are based on what a 50-year-old would pay, a practice that inevitably produces wildly misleading results for individuals significantly older than the base age. In some cases, actual premiums are nearly double the projected amount.”

Swindle concludes, “The bottom line is that no private entity would be allowed to get away with what the Obama administration is trying to get away with.”

And we haven’t even mentioned the “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it” shuffle.

The bad news is we have conservative busybodies, too. Rep. Fred Upton (R–MI) — descendant of Civil War hero Gen. Emory Upton — passed a bill in the House to allow insurers to continue to sell policies that the feds have canceled. What’s more, Upton persuaded 39 Democrats to join him in supporting this “bi–partisan” legislation. (Unfortunately for comity in the House, the bill must have passed on the weekend, because I don’t remember any praise for Upton from the MSM for reaching across the aisle to garner Democrat support.)

Too bad this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

If we are to rid ourselves of this Obamacare monstrosity, it will only come after the pressure on Democrats is so great they beg for political mercy. And that will only happen after all those who didn’t take time to read the law, feel the impact of the law.

Interim fix–its to reduce the pain undermine what should be conservative’s long term goal, which is end it, not mend it.

Dispensing with the ‘It’s the Law’ Rhetoric

Over the past few months, Progressives and Democrats who favor the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – both elected and not – have insisted that the new and expanding entitlement will go forward as planned because, after all, it is “the law of the land.” When I ponder this statement I find myself less inclined to laugh and more inclined to succumb to sadness. That a faction that holds the Constitution in such disregard would so disingenuously foist the hypocrisy of this statement in defense of what is arguably an unconstitutional law, defies humor.

A cursory recollection of how this horrific, economy-killing piece of legislation came to be, not only illustrates a fundamental transgression of the spirit of American government, it shows how the Progressive movement executes an “ends justifies the means” political game plan. Because Progressives believe that the United States should provide socialized healthcare to every living being existing legally in the United States (and some who do not), they purposefully circumvented the legislative process, crafting the legislation with special interest groups – including labor unions, Progressive think tank operatives and foreign aligned special interest groups, behind closed doors and excluding members of the minority party. They then moved the legislation forward – at times threatening to “deem it passed” – along party lines, ignoring the protests of the minority party and howls of discontent from the American citizenry, and into law.

Today, as Republicans in the US House, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, threaten to exclude any aspect of Obamacare from the funding of government operations – which is their constitutional right to do, Progressives and toady Democrats protest that the ACA is “the law of the land.” The proclamation would have even the slightest bit of weight if these same hypocrites always acquiesced to “the law of the land.” The fact is that they transgress the “law of the land” as a matter of policy; to advance an agenda that is often times anathema to the American system of government and the rule of law.

One can look back to the first Obama Administration’s abdication of the rule of law when newly installed Attorney General Eric Holder approved of political appointees at the Justice Department quashing the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who executed one of the most egregious instances of voter intimidation in modern history. The “law of the land” mandated that the DoJ prosecute these constitutional transgressors to “the fullest extent” of the law. If “the law of the land” was so precious to these Obama-ite Progressives and Democrats, they would have been exploring ways to include charges of racial discrimination (as the perpetrators were Black and targeting White voters) and hate crimes. But, “the law of the land” wasn’t so important as to be followed in this instance.

One could look into the non-enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama Administration to evidence their selective support of “the law of the land.” For the entire tenure of Mr. Obama’s presidency we have witnessed border patrol members and their union representatives catalog a litany of directives emanating from DHS obfuscating efforts to secure our nation’s borders and hold to justice those who have broken our laws to exist here. Yet, in a post-911 world, when we hold proof-positive in our hands that Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda are working with Mexican and South American drug cartels, the “law of the land” isn’t so important to the Progressives and their sycophant Democrats so as to be honored.

The several Congressional investigations into operational and political malfeasance executed under the Obama Administration provide ample evidence that the Executive Branch Progressives have little use for “the law of the land” when it does not suit their need or the advancement of their ideological, globalist or social justice agendas. The US Constitution gives the power of oversight – including subpoena powers – to Congress. Yet today the Obama Administration routinely obstructs congressional investigators, usurping “the law of the land”:

▪ Fast & Furious saw the Holder Justice Department illegally facilitating the movement of banned weapons across the Mexican border. And even in the face of the deaths of US Border Patrol Agents, the Obama Administration – to this day – thwarts efforts to fully investigate the program.

▪ The politically motivated use of the Internal Revenue Service to target what can only be described as opposition groups, i.e. TEA Party, Conservative and Libertarian advocacy groups, stands as one of the more serious misuses of a federal agency to affect politics in the history of the country. In fact, it was the second count in the impeachment indictment leveled against former-Pres. Richard Nixon. Yet, the Obama Administration shows little interest in assisting congressional investigators in their pursuit of protecting the American citizenry from their own government’s unlawful actions. (Note to Mr. Obama…President Nixon at least had the nobility to resign).

▪ The expansion – not just the continuation – of the NSA domestic surveillance program arguably usurps the Fourth Amendment protections provided the citizenry, but under the guise of protecting the country, even some members of Congress who have Top Secret clearances are kept in the dark on the program by members of the Obama Administration.

▪ And as four brave Americans – Amb. Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith & Glen Doherty – lay cold in their graves, exclusively because Mr. Obama and his Progressive crew couldn’t be exposed for their putting politics ahead of protecting American assets overseas; American soil in the form of Embassy grounds, the “most transparent” administration in American history hides behind anything that will give them cover so as not to act in the spirit of “the law of the land”; so as not to afford the justice “the law of the land” is owed those four dead Americans (Note to former-Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Yes, it does matter, to every American but the Progressive elected class, evidently).

But getting back to Obamacare being “the law of the land,” and the fact that these Progressive ideologues intend to inflict this economy-killing, divisive, wealth-redistributing program onto the American people, regardless of the fact that it has never – never – been popular with over half of the nation, and that it now falls well short of providing health insurance to “every American,” I have two questions:

1) If “the law of the land” is so very important to follow, then how is it that these same people ignore the fact that “the law of the land” allows the House of Representatives to refuse to fund the entitlement program?

2) If the “law of the land” is so sacrosanct then how can these Progressive elitist oligarchs decry any part of the US Constitution – the literal “law of the land” – as malleable; as subject to dictates of the day?

The truth be told, the only time “the law of the land” means anything to Progressives is when it serves their purpose. In any other case it is an edict to be scorned, rebuked, castigated and/or ignored. That Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the White House Communications Office and President Obama himself shamelessly hide behind the “It’s the law of the land” declaration in their defense of the legitimate House effort to save the country from this legislative mistake would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.

So, let’s dispense with this rhetoric, shall we?

Untangling the web of NSA, Snowden, and PRISM

stevendepolo (CC)

stevendepolo (CC)

stevendepolo (CC)

Arguments over the value of what Edward Snowden revealed to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian have been out there ever since the story broke, and of course, the smearing of Snowden by official sources in government is in full swing. It is understandable that Greenwald is doing what he can to protect the integrity of his source. However, his current statements do not dispel some issues brought up by Mandy Nagy over at Legal Insurrection. If anything, the inconsistencies brought up by Nagy raise many legitimate questions that probably will need to be addressed sooner or later by Greenwald and The Guardian, presuming that there is a real desire to protect the integrity of their source, and the legitimacy of their reporting.

That is a relatively harsh way of putting another issue on the table – was The Guardian “right” to report on this in the first place? It’s a treacherous situation to report on intelligence procedures in the best of circumstances, and this case is particularly difficult to wade through, if for no other reason, because it appears that Snowden may or may not have been what he claims to have been. If Nagy is right, the big question becomes how did Snowden get the information in the first place? It is bad enough to think that someone that had been employed by the government through a contracted corporation could get this information if that person had access to it daily for years. But, it’s possible that Snowden only had real access to anything for just a few weeks, at most – taking into account training time, where it’s not unreasonable to assume he would have had limited access, regardless of his past history with the CIA. And that’s not even getting into the apparently spotted work and academic history of Snowden, that arguably should have been considered a warning sign that maybe he really wasn’t what he appeared. Given the nature of the information that he was revealing – government secrets that, by definition, can’t be verified by secondary sources – one would think that a great deal of scrutiny should be given to what should be verifiable – the life history of the source. Since it appears that Snowden’s history looks at least a little like a poorly pieced together “cover identity” from a spy novel, there should have been at least a little wariness about what the man had to say. One serious question should have been, has the CIA really taken to hiring people that had to get a GED because they couldn’t complete high school, and apparently couldn’t manage to complete a single degree in one school?

And then there is the PRISM program itself. While Palantir has a program of that name, they’ve categorically denied involvement in the NSA program of that name. Given the documentation of Palantir program, their claims appear to be true. However, that does not mean that Palantir doesn’t have hands in government intelligence gathering at all. The company specializes in data mining, management, and interpretation software, and openly states that it has clientele in government, law enforcement, the healthcare and pharmacy industries. While they tout their work against human trafficking in conjunction with Google, that doesn’t mean that their other endeavors are not worth scrutinizing. Just because they apparently are not involved in the development of NSA’s PRISM program does not mean that they are not involved in governmental data mining at all.

Snowden’s leaks to The Guardian have raised more questions than answers. The information that he has revealed still could eventually be proven to be of little value, but the fact that he had managed to hold any position in the government, or at a company that has been contracted to do security work is disturbing. It has been taken for granted that there has been some level of spying on U.S. citizens by the government since at the very least, 9/11. How far the government has gone, and continues to go, hasn’t been made any more clear by Snowden’s information. He’s merely pointed out that it probably is far more extensive than anyone had suspected previously. As for what citizens and journalists alike should be focusing on at this point is the simple fact that the government is spying on U.S. citizens. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the breadth of information on citizens that will be available to the government will increase radically. We should be more concerned with what the government intends to do with information it gathers, either through its intelligence infrastructure, or through purely domestic agencies like the IRS. The unfortunate fact at this point is that the conspiracy theorists are at least partially right. Government has grown to the point where no citizen should assume any level of privacy in anything that they do. They should assume that the government will not restrict itself to using that information for innocuous reasons – the claims that information could be used to intimidate citizens through threats of prosecution should be considered accurate, because there is nothing in place to prevent the government from acting in that way. Politics aside, this should be a wake-up call to the public. Unfortunately, until there are verified cases of the government using information that it has gathered through the use of PRISM or any other data mining programs to prosecute citizens as a tool of intimidation, it’s more likely that apathy will continue to keep the masses silent.

Exposing the tactics and language of the left

nation of sheep3

nation of sheep3The Democratic Party are masters of deception and illusion. When something sounds too good to be true it usually is. That is how the modern day Democratic Party operates. The left is very adept at hiding their true intentions by misnaming legislation. They can take an unpopular bill and soften its image by giving it a more appealing and inviting name. It is the equivalent of wrapping a piece of coal in a fancy box and putting a bow on top of it.

Here are a few examples of deceptive pieces of legislation:

The American Tax Payer’s Relief Act, also known as the Fiscal Cliff bill does not provide any real tax relief. The way this bill is named one would think it provides tax relief to all Americans. It does not. This bill actually raises taxes on the middle class and adds four trillion dollars to our already 16 trillion dollar deficit. Moreover, it is filled with pet projects and paybacks to people who helped Barack Obama get reelected. This bill does not address the nation’s biggest problem which is spending.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare makes you think that health care will become more affordable. Unfortunately for the American people that is not the case. In fact, most experts agree that not only does it raise health care costs but it strips away competition and will ultimately lead to a one payer system which was always its original intent. If that wasn’t enough it has had a negative effect on the economy by making it harder for small businesses to succeed due to the mandates, regulations, and new taxes.

The Employee Free Choice Act, also known as Card Check leads one to believe that employees will be given more choices. Once again, the devil is in the details. This bill actually would restrict a worker’s right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. Right now if a company and its employees want to unionize it is voted on by secret ballot. This bill would eliminate a worker’s right to vote in secrecy. By removing the secret ballot process you invite undue pressure from outside groups and union representatives. A more appropriate name for this piece of legislation would be the forced unionization act.

The Respect for Marriage Act once again sounds like it would be respectful to traditional marriage however it is anything but. This bill would completely repeal The Defense of Marriage Act in its entirety. The Defense of Marriage Act states in no uncertain terms the definition of marriage as a “union between one man and one woman.” The Respect for Marriage Act not only changes the definition of marriage, but it also voids other states legislative actions in regards to protecting traditional marriage. It should be named the disrespect for traditional marriage act instead.

These are just a few examples of how the left uses deceptive bill naming to trick the American people. We need to expose this trickery and make sure people are aware of how they operate.

The Democratic Party has remained in power not because of their good ideas or that they are the better choice for America; they have remained in power because they present bad ideas in a good light. They are also much better than Republicans when it comes to political warfare. They are masters at vilifying Republicans as evil, out of touch, and uncaring. They have sucessfully launched a disinformation campaign and convinced enough Americans that they are the party of the working class. The left goes around telling Americans that Republicans want to restrict individual freedoms while they force you to pay for health insurance and restrict your health care choices. They sold Americans on taxing the rich while simultaneously raising taxes on the middle class.

The Democratic Party survives and retains their power by using scare tactics and made up crises. They are not concerned with the middle class; they are only concerned with winning their votes. They want an uninformed electorate full of yes we can zombies. The more we allow the left to operate in this capacity the harder it will become to defeat them and save the country. They have become harder to expose due to a blatant and dangerously biased media at their side. It is up to us the freedom loving people of this great nation to find a way around the biased media and launch a successful counter attack.

Sometimes if you try to reason with a bully you just get punched in the nose. It is time we start hitting back. The time for the moral high ground is over. We have been trying that approach for years and look where it has gotten us. You can’t go to a gunfight with a switchblade and expect to win. We need to become more verbally brave and aggressive and never apologize for our beliefs.

When we allow the Democratic Party to paint Republicans as racist because we disagree with Barack Obama than we lose. When we allow the Democratic Party to paint us as extremists because we care about every human life and they don’t than we lose. When we allow the Democratic Party to paint us as uncaring because we would rather create jobs than dependents than we lose. It’s as though we allow the left to hit us over the head with a sledgehammer and instead of making them stop we ask for a rubber mallet so it doesn’t hurt as much?

Politics is a contact sport. If we are to defeat the left’s disinformation campaign we need to change our tactics. We have got to lose the label of compassionate conservatives and start acting like combative warriors. How do you stop a bully from hitting you? You punch him back harder.

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Obamacare: Bad for business and your health

One of the main reasons the economy is not recovering is because of the healthcare law. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare is not what the doctor ordered or what the people wanted. Every single poll ever conducted since its inception has shown more Americans in favor of its repeal than against it. The bill is a staggering 2,074 pages of hidden fees, oppressive taxes, and job killing regulations. To give you an idea of just how large this bill is keep in mind that Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace is only 1,440 pages.

According to a recent study from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Obamacare will make it harder to recruit and pay highly qualified workers. Businesses will have to weigh the risk/reward ratio on whether or not they can afford to expand their businesses past 49 employees. Imagine that. A government law that actually punishes a business from growing? Once a business has 50 or more total employees the Obamacare mandate provisions kick in. Many small businesses will be forced to make critical decisions. Should they continue to offer health insurance for their employees or should they pay the fine instead?

The businesses that decide not to expand and remain under 49 employees do not have to offer health insurance. Dropping the insurance for their employees won’t change the fact that those employees will still get fined for not having insurance. Obamacare has already been proven to be bad for business and will continue to cost small businesses more in production, labor, and manufacturing expenditures. Roughly74% of small businesses have said the main reason they are not hiring is because of the law. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the healthcare law will lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by the end of this decade alone.

In a cruel and ironic twist, Obamacare will also disproportionately affect the people it was designed to help the most; the poor. According to a recent joint study by Harvard and the University of Chicago, the workers most affected by Obamacare will be younger workers, minorities, and entry level or labor heavy workers. This is the exact group of people who can least afford to pay anymore for their health insurance. Instead of hiring and training new cashiers, receptionists, and customer service representatives small businesses will be forced to cut costs. They will develop new techniques such as automated kiosks and scanning machines instead of live workers. The end result will be fewer jobs for the people that need them the most. So when the poor get sick and suffer health problems from the added stress of not being able to find a job they can take comfort in the fact that they will be taken care of with government run healthcare.

Here are a few examples of what type of decisions job creators are now asking themselves.

John Schnatter, CEO of Papa Johns Pizza said Obamacare will force him to raise his prices between 11 and 14 cents per slice. Under the law, the company which is the third largest pizza chain in the United States will have to offer healthcare coverage to its more than 16,500 total employees or be subjected to a fine. In order to offset the additional costs associated with the law many businesses like Papa Johns are passing the costs on to their customers by increasing their prices.

Here is a quote from Judy Nichols, a small business owner, “I have two options. The cost for providing health insurance per-worker per-year is approximately $4,000. I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could not expand my business and keep my number of employees under 50 so the mandate does not apply. It unfortunately is a no win situation for me. Obamacare will cost me between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars per year in new taxes. Many businesses owners, including myself are leaning towards dropping the coverage and paying the fine.”

Even a committed liberal like Jim Cramer of CNBC admitted that Obamacare will hurt most businesses. On his Mad Money show he said this, “What I’m telling you is that most of the business leaders that I have spoken with have a real fear of Obamacare. They don’t want to hire, this is part of the underground economy that is going to develop, because nobody wants to put people on the books. People have to recognize that this issue is front and center to every CEO I speak to. They tell me it is less expensive and less burdensome to hire and place workers in other countries. As a result of the law a lot more businesses will set up operations in China, India, or even Mexico.”

On July 16th, 2009 at a rally in Holmdel, New Jersey President Obama said something that we now know is not entirely true. In an attempt to solidify more support for his healthcare bill the President said this. “Let me be clear. If you have health insurance that you like, a doctor that you trust, you can keep your current plan.”

First off, we have learned these last four years that when the President starts a sentence with let me be clear it usually means he is not. His proclamation that you can keep the insurance you have is in many ways the political equivalent of former President Bill Clinton’s ambiguous statement ‘it depends on what the definition of is is.”

The Affordable Care Act, which is the epitome of an oxymoron, was never intended to be anything but a single payer system. The President and the Democrats knew if they could just get their foot through the healthcare door that over time it would become a single payer system through attrition. The law was purposely designed to be so cumbersome, so complicated, and so expensive for businesses that they would get frustrated and just stop offering insurance and pay the fine. Most independent studies have concluded that nearly 70% of privately insured carriers will eventually end up on the government plan.

Another potentionally dangerous stipulation included in Obamacare is known as the Independent Panel Advisory Board. This controversial provision of the bill creates a 15 member panel of unelected bureaucrats in charge of controlling costs. These officials are appointed by the President, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Minority Leader.

Once the board members have been chosen they must be confirmed by the Senate and are appointed for a term of six years. Perhaps what is most chilling about these appointees is the fact that they do not even have to have a medical background! And if this wasn’t enough, they will also be paid a salary of $165,300 per year.

The President and the Democrats insist this panel is not allowed to ration care. There is language in the bill that specifically forbids it. But lets be honest here, they are paid to control costs.

Suppose you have two equally infirm patients. One patient is 25 years younger than the other. Both patients need a life saving operation that would immediately improve their long term health and quality of life. The board realizes that if they authorize both operations it will put them over their proposed budget. Do you really think they’re going to authorize the older patient for the operation? Not a chance. They would instead more likely try to justify their decision by saying to patient A that he/she has had a longer life than patient B. It is time to discuss other means of treatment such as end of life practices and pain management for patient A instead of authorizing a budget busting life saving operation.

Since when is it ever acceptable for the government to play the role of God? What if that was your mother or father? How would you feel?

This is the insidious part of Obamacare that many Americans have a major problem with. Healthcare decisions should only be between the patient, the family, and the doctor. Healthcare decisions should never be between the patient, the family, the doctor, and some unqualified, unelected, government bean counter.

If Obamacare is fully implemented in America our country and our healthcare will never be the same. If you think healthcare is expensive now just wait until it is free and run by the government. Our premiums will sky rocket because there will be less competition. The overall quality of the healthcare we come to expect will also diminish over time. There will also be a shortage of good doctors and specialists as many will leave the profession. What is the best way to ruin the greatest healthcare system in the world? Hand it over to the government to run.
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Papa John’s Appreciation Day More Than a Buy-cott

What began as a simple discussion among conservative activists on social media has snowballed into an all out national Papa John’s Day.

The popular pizza chain has come under attack by liberal media and activist groups for holding true to its promise made before the recent election to reduce employee hours in preparation for the Affordable Care Act regulations set to take affect in January 2013.

I had the pleasure of discussing the event and the purposes behind it with HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin.

Friday, November 16th has been dubbed Papa John’s Appreciation Day complete with its own Facebook Event Page and Twitter Hashtag (#NationalPapaJohnsDay). The group credited with the idea is Rebooting America, a start-up activist organization still in its planning stages.

A point missed in much of the media attention circling Papa John’s Appreciation Day is that it began with the intent to encourage pizza enthusiasts and lovers of capitalism to show with their actions that the free market is charitable. Organizers of the event are asking that when you buy a pie on Friday, consider buying an additional pie for a local charity, church group, afterschool program, or even a neighbor that may be out of work.

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Affordable Health Care Act—What Are States Doing?

us obamacare

The country remains divided on whether the Affordable Health Care Act is good for states; whether it will cost more (or less); and whether the states will implement the Medicaid provisions as ruled by the Supreme Court.

Interestingly, some think states that are most against the Act will benefit the most. “Red states have, in general, done less than blue states to cover their residents, so they’re going to get a sweeter deal under the terms of the Affordable Care Act,” said Ezra Klein, a blogger for The Washington Post.

The federal government currently pays 57 percent of Medicaid costs, meaning the Affordable Care Act offer [100% for the first few years, then reduced to 90% federal payment] is “an incredibly, astonishingly, unbelievably good deal” for those states, Klein said.

So what are states doing? Many are still reviewing the law, the Supreme Court ruling, and their options. Here is a quick review of nine states across the country who made the news this week:

California

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed: “I have always supported the need for comprehensive health reform. However, for healthcare reform to succeed, states must either have the flexibility to live within the revenues that are available to them or the federal resources to fully fund its mandates.”

The big cost to the state will be for a generous expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid.

Because California can’t even afford its current Medi-Cal program, it has been cutting back on poor people’s care in recent years. The 2012 state budget passed last month included more than $1 billion in cuts to Medi-Cal and other health programs.

Still, the Brown administration is moving toward the act’s implementation. In fact, it already has begun covering 280,000 people. “This is a very great day,” state Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley declared. “We are in the full-go mode here.”

As George Skelton of the Capitol Journal writes, “But it’s another state cost that no one is considering how to pay for — not nearly as extravagant as the mostly unfunded bullet train, but the same basic idea: meritorious, but moneyless.”

Texas

Gov. Perry: Texas Will Not Expand Medicaid or Implement Health Benefit Exchange.

“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Gov. Perry said. “I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.

From Governor Perry’s Webpage: “Gov. Perry has frequently called for the allocation of Medicaid funding in block grants so each state can tailor the program to specifically serve the needs of its unique challenges. As a common sense alternative, Gov. Perry has conveyed a vision to transform Medicaid into a system that reinforces individual responsibility, eliminates fragmentation and duplication, controls costs and focuses on quality health outcomes. This would include establishing reasonable benefits, personal accountability, and limits on services in Medicaid. It would also allow co-pays or cost sharing that apply to all Medicaid eligible groups – not just optional Medicaid populations – and tailor benefits to needs of the individual rather than a blanket entitlement.

Gov. Perry has consistently rejected federal funding when strings are attached that impose long-term financial burdens on Texans, or cede state control of state issues to the federal government. In 2009, Texas rejected Washington funding for the state’s Unemployment Insurance program because it would have required the state to vastly expand the number of workers entitled to draw unemployment benefits, leading to higher UI taxes later.”

Florida

In an editorial to the Washington Times Florida Governor Rick Scott writes:

“I think everyone agrees there are far too many who want health insurance and can’t get it. But the truth is, the real problem isn’t with health insurance. The underlying cause is the rapidly increasing cost of health care.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s stunning pronouncement on Obamacare, all 50 governors face two big decisions:

1. Do we let the federal government impose a massive Medicaid expansion on us?
2. Do we establish a state insurance exchange or let the federal government come in and run it?

My answer is simple. No. We just can’t afford it.

Medicaid is the fastest-growing part of our state budget. And unlike the federal government, which isn’t required to balance its budget, we could only pay for expanding Medicaid by increasing taxes or cutting from other parts of the budget. Expanding Medicaid puts other vital government functions, such as education, public safety and infrastructure, at risk. That is not something I am willing to do.”

Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker released a statement last week, “Wisconsin will not take any action to implement ObamaCare I am hopeful that political changes in Washington D.C. later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.”

Walker indicated over the weekend that he will wait until after the November election before announcing whether Wisconsin will participate in the health care exchange program. Walker has shown no signs that he is interested in implementing the Affordable Care Act and has returned a grant from the federal government intended to help get the exchanges off the ground.

Louisiana & Virginia

“We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal said during a conference call with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “We’re committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare.”

“Here in Louisiana we have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we’re not implementing the exchanges. We don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana. We’re going to do what we can to fight it.”

On the same conference call on Friday, McDonnell, said he would evaluate the options for Virginia. “We don’t even know exactly what that federal exchange would look like so there’s still some uncertainty at this point as to what the right course is, and in the next days and weeks we’re going to be evaluating the case as well as the options for Virginia,” McDonnell said.

Maine

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address Saturday to further his long-running criticisms of the federal Affordable Care Act and explain why he is delaying its implementation in Maine.

LePage said his administration would resist implementing the Affordable Care Act, particularly an expansion of Medicaid, because of debt Maine already has on the books — including $500 million due to the state’s hospitals — and what he characterized as a welfare program that is already too generous.

“Our welfare costs are among the highest in the nation as a result of some of the lowest eligibility requirements. Maine has increased its spending by more than a billion dollars during the last decade because of expanded welfare programs,” said LePage “We cannot afford our current programs, so to require Maine to expand coverage even more is fiscally irresponsible.”

Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law HB5007, which allows the Cook County Health and Hospitals System to immediately increase Medicaid eligibility for 100,000 county patients and pay for it through increased federal funding. The money will allow the counties to continue treating needy people  who have not been on the Medicaid roles but now to be reimbursed through a direct federal waiver.

Oklahoma

“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the (act), Governor Fallin believes it is her responsibility to thoroughly and thoughtfully review the state of Oklahoma’s options regarding the future of both Medicaid and the creation of a health insurance exchange,” Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said. “Her priority is not to make a decision soon; it is to make the right decision. The governor will continue to review how the state of Oklahoma can best meet the health care needs of its citizens.”

It appears many states’ budgets will dictate their actions and many will wait until the November election before making any further commitments.

America: Can still be that Shining City on a Hill

Since the passing of Obamacare, which is now being re-branded as “ObamaTax” due to the ruling that was handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States last Thursday. Now, more Americans seem to be displeased with the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act as a constitutional law.  Thursday was a historic day for America, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government can tax any citizen for their inactivity, Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives, with 17 democrats joining the Republican party for that vote, which was over shadowed by the ObamaTax ruling and its constitutionality.

Since last Thursday, Mitt Romney has raised more campaign funds than President Obama, leaving the President to make desperate campaign calls from Airforce One, asking for donors who maxed out there campaign donations last time, to do the same for him this time.  Over that same time period multiple emails went out from the campaign asking for supporters to donate now and fast, and soon to Obama/Biden 2012.  Most likely this was sparked by the fact of Mitt Romney raising over four million dollars last Thursday as a result of the Supreme Courts decision.  In addition to the one day massive money bomb that Mitt Romney received, CNN Politics is reporting that;

the presumptive GOP nominee appears to hold an eight point advantage among voters who live in the 15 states considered in play in the race for the White House.

However according to that same poll, President Obama is actually leading Mitt Romney 49% to 46%, which is within the 4% margin of error, putting both men in a dead heat for the November General Election.  In a different poll taken by Rasmussen, in their Daily Presidential tracking poll, that was taken on July 2nd 2012, Mitt Romney is leading President Obama 46% to 44%, with 4% wanting another candidate and 5% undecided.

After the Supreme Court released their decision on ObamaTax, has seen a decline in their job approval rating according to Rasmussen, who reported that;

A week ago,  36% said the court was doing a good or an excellent job. That’s down to 33% today. However, the big change is a rise in negative perceptions. Today, 28% say the Supreme Court is doing a poor job. That’s up 11 points over the past week.

It is not surprise than that a large portion of Americans see that the country is heading in the wrong direction, as well as less than half of American citizens believing that America is the last best hope.  In addition to Americans see the country slant in the wrong direction, no matter who is President, 60% of American citizens “don’t believe the United States is better off today,” according to another poll taken by Rasmussen.  In regards to the Affordable Care Act passed last week all current politicians in office have seen a dip in their approval ratings, with Congress always having the lowest rating.

However, that being said, there is still some hope.  Many Americans believe that the size of government matters to the health of this nation.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 58% of  “Americans feel a government that is too powerful is a bigger problem than a government that is not powerful enough.” In addition to 51% of “Americans continue to believe that the government is more of a threat to individual rights than a protector of them.” With an even larger percent, 57% of ” American Adults think the Constitution should be left alone,” and “no one thinks the United States should scrap the foundational document and start over.”

The actual hope that Americans STILL love this nation, is shown in this poll from Rasmussen stating that 70% “of American Adults agree with”  governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.  In addition to all this hopeful statistics, Rasmussen reports that; 63% “feel U.S. society is generally fair and decent.”  All of these positive polls show that American citizens are the key to the future of America, and not the Federal Government.
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In Deep with Michelle Ray – ObamaCare, Contempt and Stolen Valor

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When: Thursday, June 28th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: Grass roots activist Andrew Xifos (@FigDrewton), United Liberty contributor Jason Pye (@jaseliberty) and Conseravative Daily News contributor Tj Thompson (@_TjThompson) join the discussion.

Supreme Court Strikes Blow for Tyranny

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The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the progressive wing of the court to effectively uphold the individual mandate of the Obamacare law. In an unusually direct example of legislating from the bench, Justice Roberts argued that although the mandate to cover health insurance was unconstitutional as a penalty, it was constitutionally permissible under the Congress’ taxing powers.

This is an absurd argument that contradicts even President Obama’s own reasoning that the individual mandate is “not a tax.” Nowhere in the healthcare law itself was the individual mandate ever labeled as a tax, and for a member of a court to imply that the law is feasible under such an arrangement, boggles the mind.

But here we are America, on the cusp of seeing the biggest tax on the middle class in the nation’s history. All in the midst of an economy the Vice President recently called “a depression for millions.” And the market will continue to tank. The jobless rate will continue to rise. And insurance premiums will continue to soar. That has been the plan all along; to force us into the single payer system that Obama supports by hook or by crook.

It is inconceivable that the Congress has the authority to “tax” individuals into buying private health insurance or else be forced to enroll in the so-called “public option.”

What America is experiencing is a complete breakdown of our system of laws, devolving into a government ruled by a unified cohort of self-interested men. The law is being deformed to suit predetermined political ends, which are directed towards dissolving individual liberty and strengthening centralized power.

Thomas Jefferson was prescient when he declared of the argument that the judiciary is the final recourse against tyranny:

If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se [suicide pact]. […] The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted no where but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law.

And indeed, nine men in robes had their say in court today. But we concerned citizens will have our final say in the court of public opinion via the ballot box come November. For today’s ruling should not be taken as a demoralizing rejection of the Constitution’s principles, which live so long as they survive in our hearts.

But it is a sad day that one of the institutions of our government has so debased itself as to become a trivial appendage of tyrannical men. The Supreme Court has lowered itself to the same standard as politicized courts around the world, making the United States that much less exceptional.

It is not the first time the Supreme Court has sided with the abusive power of government over the freedom of the citizens, and it will not be the last, so long as the unvarnished progressive Justice Roberts presides in the court.

But this is a rallying cry to raise the American flag, and to reassert with all force that can be mustered to oppose growing tyranny in our once great country. Whether by the ballot box, or by state nullification, or by civil revolt, tyranny will be opposed in this nation. And a Supreme Court ruling is not going to change that political reality.

Supreme Court Rules Obamacare Constitutional

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At 10:07 today, the Supreme Court ruled, against all expectations, to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. Chief Justice Roberts joined the left side of the Court, causing a 5-4 ruling, which upheld the individual mandate. Justice Kennedy did join the minority and vote against the ACA. The Court ruled that the individual mandate is a tax and is therefore constitutional.

In the words of the SCOTUS blog:

“The bottom line: the entire ACA [Affordable Care Act] is upheld, with the exception that the federal government‘s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read,”

Details are still emerging, however, this ruling can be read as nothing but an overwhelming defeat for President Obama and his big government policies.

No ‘Obamacare’ Decision Today

News networks have been teasing the possibility that today the Supreme Court might make the decision on Obama’s health care reform law public, but it was not to be.

The on the  pivotal health care law had been expected to be included in releases this morning, but it was not. The decision is expected no later than the end of the month and may surface as soon as the Thursday press event.

On Monday, three decisions were released: Williams v. Illinois was affirmed, Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter was overturned, Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. was upheld, and Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak was upheld.

Now for the waiting, will Americans hear whether all or part of the Affordable Care Act will be deemed unconstitutional on Thursday or will the court make a decision at all before they go on summer recess at the end of the month?

 

Supreme Court Decision May Not Matter to ObamaCare Authors

TUCSON, Ariz., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The late libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that laws are generally passed to grant some privilege to those who advocate them. So we must always ask “Who benefits?” writes G. Keith Smith, M.D., founder of Surgery Center of Oklahoma(www.surgerycenterok.com), in the summer 2012 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeonshttp://www.jpands.org/vol17no2/smith.pdf.

Smith believes that the main supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) have already achieved their main objectives, and so may be indifferent to whether the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it.

One huge beneficiary is the health information technology industry. Physicians and hospitals were presented with a carrot (subsidies to purchase government-approved systems) and a stick (progressive fee cuts If they fail to implement electronic medical records or EMRs). Billions of dollars have already been made, and since the subsidies were in the HITECH Act that preceded the ACA, overturning the ACA might have little effect.

Hospitals favored the costly EMR requirement. The additional overhead cost makes physicians more vulnerable to hospital takeover offers. And once physicians become employees, the EMR provides the hospital the tool it needs for remotely controlling their practices.

Central planners get most of what they need with the EMR, as they will be able to identify high-cost patients. Overturning just the individual mandate would not affect the “death panel” or rationing feature, as the enforcement tool — the EMR — would remain.

The medical loss ratio provision of the law, which requires insurers to pay out all but 10% to 15% of premiums in claims, will do the same thing to small insurers that the EMR requirement does to small hospitals — drive them out of business. For relief from competition, “big businesses are more than willing to pay big money,” Smith writes.

The political theater at the U.S. Supreme Court may serve mainly to divert attention from the real objectives of the biggest proponents of the ACA.