Tag Archives: obamacare

Chris Christie Thinks Republicans Need To Compromise With Democrats. Let’s Look At The Truth Of The Matter.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today announced that he is a candidate for president on the Republican ticket, and one of his first comments about how to win the election and then govern the nation was to encourage Republicans to compromise with Democrats and liberals.  Evidently Mr. Christie has not been paying attention to recent current events and has missed the following examples of what trying to work with liberals gets us:

Did the Dems compromise with Republicans when they shoved Obamacare down our throats?

Did Obama’s NLRB compromise with Boeing on moving their manufacturing plant from Seattle to Charleston?

Did liberals compromise with caterers who didn’t want to participate in homosexual weddings?

Have Democrats stopped using the lie of the Republican war on women?

Do liberals allow warming deniers to present facts contrary to the lie they’ve been telling since the 1970s?

Has Obama compromised with his military advisors on his very restrictive rules of engagement for fighting in Afghanistan?

Did Obama compromise with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their objection to a government requirement to provide abortions?

Did the members of the Supreme Court cast aside their liberalism and politics and vote on whether Obamacare was constitutional or not?

Has New York Mayor DeBlasio compromised with the New York police department and stopped identifying them as criminals and racists for doing their jobs?

Did liberals compromise when the FCC took control of the internet?

Liberals never compromise, they just push to the win, and then start planning the next aspect of American liberty and prosperity they will take over and destroy.  Conservatives must sincerely try to win on their values and principles and stop sheepishly asking Democrats for permission to make necessary changes, and then crumble and run and hide when they are called racists, sexists and homophobes.

John Roberts Falls Victim to the Slippery Slope

When public officials want to gift themselves new powers, they usually justify their expansive actions with their favorite platitude, “for the greater good.”

Conservatives, in their turn, respond with the proverbial warning of the slippery slope.

The problem, of course, is the dynamism of American politics means the powers one party invests themselves with are then available for the next majority, which seizes the precedent and continues to expand federal jurisdiction. In this way, central power burgeons exponentially.

Perhaps the best modern example of this phenomenon is the Patriot Act, passed in the wake of 9/11 to protect the nation’s security. The always grasping hands of federal power destroyed the restraints placed on the security state by the original legislation and created bulk data collection, disturbing not only in its total disregard for civil liberties, but also in its parallelism to George Orwell’s omniscient Big Brother.

This sort of slow creep usually happens primarily through regulation. But in a stunning display of hypocrisy demonstrated by subsequent opinions issued last week, Chief Justice John Roberts demonstrated that this can happen in any part of the government.

Roberts, in writing the majority opinion in King v. Burwell, hypothesized on the intent of the legislature and President Obama in passing the Affordable Care Act and then allowed his decision to be influenced by this outcome:

“A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”

He gave the Court transcendent powers of interpretation. This was not a case of statutory or Constitutional interpretation; it was a case of assessing the intent of politicians and yielding to them.

Then, in his minority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, Roberts denounced the powers which had been integral to his rationale of only a day before:

“But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

Like other legislators who grant themselves powers and then later have them used against them by their political opponents, Roberts is a victim of his own hubris. There is some small sense of justice that the consequences of his unconstitutional actions came back to haunt him so quickly. Unfortunately, it does nothing for the irreparable damage done to the original intent of the Constitution.

Can America Survive “Post-Obama Stress Disorder”?

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a recognized ailment whereby someone who has experienced great stress or fright requires professional treatment to overcome their dis-ease.

 

Barack Obama has so frightened America and so stressed the nation that it may take decades for our population to overcome the Post-Obama Stress Disorder that he has inflicted on the nation.  And given the significant blow to the very soul of our society that Obamacare and illegal immigration have caused this great nation, we don’t know how to even begin our recovery.

 

Aside from undermining a successful economy that assured future wealth if you work and a political system that assured liberty and opportunity for all, it’s the absolute insanity of liberals that is the most upsetting and threatening.

 

When Nancy Pelosi says that legislators will have to pass a bill to find out what’s in it, citizens get frightened about their legislative system.  When she states that Hamas (the terrorist group currently at violent war with Israel) is a humanitarian organization (in spite of the fact that they store missiles and launchers in schools, in the hope that Israel’s  bombs will kill Hamas’ own children) our stress level increases.

 

When Obama lies repeatedly and emphatically about American citizens being able to keep their own doctor and their current healthcare plans under his Obamacare law, we feel threatened.  When the IRS targets peaceful conservative organizations for a denial of rights that liberal/progressive groups get without question, we feel threatened because we know we’re being denied rights as citizens and fear what additional rights will be denied under current or future liberal administrations.

 

When tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are allowed to cross the border and enter our country to join the millions of illegals already here, and our president threatens to use his pen and his phone to make their presence here both legal and permanent, we are frightened at his lawlessness, especially when Congress will do nothing to directly oppose his illegal actions.  When the EPA unconstitutionally imposes Orwellian punishment on citizens and businesses (and power generating companies in particular), we see our very way of life being stripped from us by a too-big, intrusive, fascist government, and the justification for the EPA’s illegal actions is the constant lie of Global Warming. And when our legislators sit and watch these abuses take place and allow them to continue, we become terrified for the future of our families and our nation.  Can we survive POSD?  We are facing absolute insanity from our government and the leftists, and we see no way or getting our voices heard and our complaints responded to from our rulers.

WTH Weekly -06-28-15 – the week in review

Continuing the WTH (“what the heck” happened) series, this week we look at Obama’s Iran capitulation, a rocket explodes,Greece implodes, single payer closer than thought, gay marriage and concealed carry, Obamacare subsidies, flags of our forefathers, Jindal enters the race and more!

Shockingly, Obama isn’t serious about the Iran nuclear talks. Today, reports surfaced that Obama has given into Iran’s demands and that the deal can progress even if the Iranians never submit to inspections. Trust, but verify is now trust, and hope. But, we’ve been there already.

Unless you’re in the Foreign Exchange (forex or FX) investing community, you may not be paying attention to the collapse of Greek society. Capital controls, bank runs, money flight, you name it. Greece is in trouble. But have you evaluated America’s similar situation?

SpaceX Flacon 9 explodesNext up, Elon Musk’s SpaceX project has suffered its first cargo loss after several failures in recent months. The video shows a perfect flight, until about the 2:30 mark. It goes so terribly wrong so very fast.

Many predicted that Obamacare was not intended to save anyone money on healthcare, but instead be a bridge to a single-payer system. Well, voila, recent merger propositions and changes in the marketplace are making it happen – whether you’ve noticed or not.

ACLU-logoHow in the heck are gay marriage and concealed carry linked? Thank the Supreme Court! The decision on Obergefell v. Hodges said that same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry and that all states must recognize that right. Some in the pro-gun community are saying that the reasoning used to protect gays should extend to those that bear arms in a concealed manner. In other news, now that gay marriage is law of the land, the ACLU has decided that it no longer supports religious freedom. #eyeroll

The Supreme Court had more great news – Obamacare’s subsidies are legal even if someone gets insurance from the federal exchange. Somehow the justices got confused by the “natural wording” of the law. Now, we all get to pay for something the law was not intended to fund. Greece anyone?

Flags of our FathersIn the wake of the South Carolina shooting by captured psycho Dylann Roof, liberal groups have decided that the Battle Flag of the Northern Virginia Army is to blame. Charlie Daniels makes an intelligent and reasoned argument why they are doing nothing more than making a straw man argument against a piece of cloth. Some are even pointing at the Duke’s of Hazard’s “General Lee” as a new symbol of hate. yeah, a 1969 Dodge Charger with a Virginian Battle Flag painted on it signifies Jim Crow laws and segregation … or something.

Finally, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal has entered the race for the GOP nomination for president. A pointedly Christian announcement speech made it clear that he’s ready for prime-time, but is he ready for mainstream?

National Healthcare Insurers on Path to Merge from Five to a SINGLE PAYER

Many, including CDN, projected that consumer choice would become greatly limited after the imposition of Obamacare – this month is proving all of themhospital room right – and more.

The Economist published an article detailing the turmoil healthcare insurers are experiencing. The remedy they seek is to eliminate competition in an impossible marketplace:

A similar consolidation among health insurers was also predicted. But since the new insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare only went into operation last year, it has taken until now for it to be clear how big the merger wave may be. The largest insurer, UnitedHealth, has approached the number three, Aetna. The second-largest, Anthem, is trying to buy the number five, Cigna—which on June 21st rejected Anthem’s $47.5 billion bid. And the number four, Humana, has been looking at selling itself to either Aetna or Cigna.

Reduced competition is terrible for consumers. Prices inflate wildly and products/services become harder to get.

Once the healthcare marketplace is reduced to UnitedHealth, Anthem and Aetna, United and Anthem will fight over Aetna until just the two remain. With certain politicians in place, United will be allowed to acquire Anthem and there will just be one – a single payer.

It will be so much easier for progressives to regulate a single insurer into oblivion instead of dealing with a herd of cats all doing their own things. A behemoth like UnitedHealth needs the money the government gives it just to survive the weight of Obamacare. If UH doesn’t do what the government wants, that money is gone. And then – it will be gone anyway.

Once UnitedHealth becomes a figment of history, someone has to step in to save the imaginary “working class.” Gosh, who will that be?

Welcome to government healthcare. The crazy predictions from years ago are coming true and there will be no push back. People will just be happy to be getting “free” healthcare – no matter how unavailable or substandard it is.

The US Supreme Court Has Gone Rogue

Many on the Right side of the aisle are outraged. Gay marriage – a social issue at its core – has been validated by the US Supreme Court. The outrage is palpable. And while there is legitimacy to this outrage – especially with regard to the Court’s transgression of the 10th Amendment – the decision on gay marriage is a “bright shiny thing” that serves to quickly file us past an earlier decision that directly threatens the constitutional structure of our government: The Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell; the Obamacare subsidies.

No matter how you feel about the issue of gay marriage, the Court’s ruling on this social issue is an attack on the 10th Amendment, the rights of States to have authority over all things not enumerated in the US Constitution. But comparatively, the Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges is a “mosquito bite” to yesterday’s “beheading” of our balance of powers at the federal level. We are being led away from what is tantamount to a “genocidal slaughter” of the Separation of Powers to gawk at a “highway accident.” With yesterday’s decision we are all – Liberal and Conservative, Republican, Democrat and Libertarian – losing our government to a transformative end stage; a commingling of constitutional branches and a centralized governmental authority in the federal government; something uniquely anathema to our basic governmental structure.

The Court’s King v. Burwell decision is so much more than its Obergefell v. Hodges decision because the former strikes at the root of how our government is supposed to work. By moving on from this constitutional crisis (and this is a true constitutional crisis) to outrage over a social issue when there are still remedies to be affected for said social issue, we are acquiescing to the Court’s decision on King v. Burwell – and the mortal damage it would establish to our system of government. No, with the Court’s King v. Burwell decision we should be fundamentally and exclusively outraged to the point of immediate action, arguing our points effectively and making a singular and cohesive stand for the Constitution.

There are those who argue that the Court’s attack on the 10th Amendment in Obergefell v. Hodges is equally as important as the Court’s direct assault on the Separation of Powers. I vehemently disagree and for good reason. The immediate danger to the Constitution and the survival of our nation – as we face forces that are achieving the fundamental transformation of our governmental structure – is the failure of the government structure itself, not the prior or resulting social issue movements. To make this argument is akin to believing that the crew of the Titanic should have started examining how to better construct a ship’s hull as the vessel was sinking instead of doing everything that they could to keep the ship afloat.

A simple solution to Obergefell v. Hodges is to remove government from the authoritative realm of marriage all together. One way to achieve this is through the utilization of contracts for legal affairs between cohabitants, leaving the sanctity of the institution of marriage to the Churches where it belongs. Regarding the issue of taxation, where marriage is concerned, radically transforming our tax system from one based on income to one based on consumption makes the issue of “marriage” and personal taxation moot.

That social issue solution understood, we can see why King v. Burwell is so much more important. We live in a time when judicial precedent trumps constitutionality, and we are, in real time, witnessing an explosion of the very structure of our government. Precedent is being set – right before our eyes – that would allow the Judicial Branch to directly rewrite legislation via the issuing of judicial edicts from this point forward.

While both these decisions are important, one cements the destruction of our governmental model, while the other is a social issue battle that the Progressives will use to keep the citizenry away from being cohesive on the latter. Should we fail to see this true constitutional crisis then we will witness, in the immediate, the end of our constitutional form of government.

One battle is so much more important than the other. If we cannot see that then we are not worthy of the freedom we pretend to enjoy. Truthfully, I am stunned this has to be explained.

As The Supreme Court Betrays America, All The Upstream Political Dams Are Breaking

When one lives on a river one learns to pay attention to how the dams upstream are holding, because if the dams upstream fail, the resulting deluge will be released and there is no way to stop it as it takes out your life and home.

Below will be references to metaphorical political dams intended to make the point that our society is literally falling apart under Obama’s deluge of liberalism/progressivism.

The lesser political dams upstream can be related simply to how our governmental authorities behave when laws are broken by the government itself.  An example could be when the IRS singles out Obama’s opponents and denies Republicans the same tax benefits common to liberals; or when we know the Secretary of State was accepting large personal donations from foreign governments in exchange for favorable State Department rulings; and when she illegally destroyed emails on her illegal server to cover her criminal tracks.  No one in the Obama administration will lift a finger to punish these wrong-doings.  And how about the constant lying drumbeat from Democrats about the Republican war on women, and the Republican efforts to deny the vote to black citizens.  Any honest person would admit that this is just filthy talk, but liberals are not honest.

Then come the medium size political dams of liberals’ repeated attempts to deny Americans their second amendment right to own arms to defend themselves; repeated attempts to force homosexual marriage down our throats; the insistence that we accept the tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing our borders as merely being immigration reform; the unending EPA regulations which are contrary to the enabling legislation Congress passed (but no one seriously tries to stop them); the global warming brigade that seriously suggests that warming deniers be judged to be insane and made criminals (when common sense would tell anyone who cared to apply logic and their own senses that the oceans are not rising and that a predicted rise of one degree in temperature in fifty years is a good thing, not a bad one, because it would lengthen the growing season slightly and provide more food).

Another medium political dam that is being torn down finds the left attacking police forces across the country and leaving the population very much exposed to crime as the police back off from the dangers of their job in the face of public outrage and violence at their supposed excesses.

But the main political dam formerly holding back the hordes who have been damaging the lesser dams has just failed us a second time: the Supreme Court is all in on Obamacare and has used their own opinions, instead of legal reasoning, to finally shove the Affordable Care Act down our throats.

The political dams are breaking all along the river of life in America, and when you consider that the federal government, which is the primary wrecker of the dams that protect America from total destruction, is broke and that the stock market is now riding a new bubble equal to that of 2008, we’re all in big trouble.

Most people, especially the young who grew up in an era of plenty, have no idea where their liberties and their comfortable lives come from.  They have lived so well for so long that they believe that air conditioners and iPods and markets packed with food are the norm and simply the way life is, but their great grandparents could tell them that living in the U.S. today is a miracle compared to past times, and it could be lost in the blink of an eye if the traditional political dams that protected our nation from excesses and subversives all fall down.

 

Healthcare Ruling-Government Control Expands With Language

This week the Supreme Court struck another major blow to common sense and the English language. In a ruling upholding the subsidies afforded policies purchased on the federal insurance exchange, the SCOTUS opened a veritable Pandora’s Box of legal interpretation, and expanded power not only of the judiciary, but of the federal government itself.

2015-06-26-b1f429b7_largeSeven times throughout the Affordable Care Act (ACA) references are made to policies or individuals who are “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…” In each case, the context is citing policies purchased through insurance exchanges established and operated by the respective states. But the court ruled the actual legal language, and even the context, didn’t matter. What mattered was the “intent” of the congress. So reading “tea leaves” now has greater weight with our legal system than the literal words of legal documents!

To be clear, the case was brought to the court on that very issue, whether the literal meaning of the words of the statute were legally binding. The decision was not regarding the efficacy of the ACA, or whether it’s feasible. The decision was on whether the law could be interpreted to support federal subsidies for states with no insurance exchange or only those states that had established their own exchange.

Even Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority decision, conceded that a strict reading of the Act clearly meant only policies purchased through individual state exchanges were eligible for federal subsidies. He wrote, “While the meaning of the phrase…may seem plain when viewed in isolation, such a reading turns out to be untenable in light of the statute as a whole. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

109044_600The Court has historically ruled on constitutionality of statute. With this decision, however, the Court has clearly become a proactive partner with Nancy Pelosi’s 111th Congress in writing the wholly inappropriately named Affordable Care Act. Seven times the Act described, in context, that subsidies would be available through Section 1311 sanctioned State Exchanges. Yet the Court by a 6-3 majority became a partner in writing the law, ex post facto, by redefining a key component of it.

Obviously, legislative intent is now more consequential than legal wording. This means that even legal documents generated by the government, which establish the rule of law by the selection and utilization of specific words and phrases, will not necessarily be judged based on what they actually say, but what the intent was. And since intent can be interpreted far beyond the scope of actual legalese, taking the government to court on any matter of law will now be a potentially arbitrary and spurious crapshoot.

To illustrate the absurdity of such a notion, imagine if the same principle applied to our legal documents regarding wills, property ownership, and child custody issues. If the Supreme Court’s logic, or illogic, were to be applied to our legal documents, what they say literally becomes inconsequential, for the intent is what is meaningful, not the words. We can claim that we didn’t intend to break the law when charged, but that doesn’t matter. But if we broke the law, what our intent was becomes inconsequential. Yet now the government claims the plenipotentiary authority to claim intent matters more than the actual law, and the language that created it. A government should never be able to do what an individual citizen can’t.

2015-06-26-b8f7c82c_largeIt’s common to take such a cavalier attitude towards what people or organizations say or write. They can say something, and then apologize for it, claiming that wasn’t their intent. But for government, this is a new low. It now has legal precedence to make the same claim with regard to statute and laws, if their intent was different than the actual wording of a law!

Justice Antonin Scalia illustrated the absurdity of the ruling in his dissent. “I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them…

“Far from offering the overwhelming evidence of meaning needed to justify the Court’s interpretation, other contextual clues undermine it at every turn. To begin with, other parts of the Act sharply distinguish between the establishment of an Exchange by a State and the establishment of an Exchange by the Federal Government….Provisions such as these destroy any pretense that a federal Exchange is in some sense also established by a State…

“The Court has not come close to presenting the compelling contextual case necessary to justify departing from the ordinary meaning of the terms of the law. Quite the contrary, context only underscores the outlandishness of the Court’s interpretation. Reading the Act as a whole leaves no doubt about the matter: ‘Exchange established by the State’ means what it looks like it means.”

This ruling is not dissimilar from the 2012 ruling upholding the mandate of Obamacare. That ruling sustained the Act by identifying the “mandate” as a “tax.” It would appear with two major SCOTUS decisions upholding the Act, the only way it can be deemed constitutional is by the Court’s new precedence of reinterpreting and changing what the words actually say, legally. In other words, jumping through logical and linguistic hoops to make it so. As Senator Rand Paul said, “This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head.”

The omnipotent authority of the government over individual lives is now complete, when words can mean whatever the government chooses to make them mean. Alexander Hamilton, upon the founding of the nation, declared, “It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.” When government can arbitrarily change, reinterpret, and alter statute, after the fact, it is no longer just, or limited. It is totalitarian and hegemonic!

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Majority Decision in King v. Burwell Eviscerates Separation of Powers

According to the Fabian socialist-based government in George Orwell’s 1984, war is peace and freedom is slavery.

And according to the democratically-conscious Chief Justice John Roberts Supreme Court, a fee is a tax and state means federal.

The Court’s 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell upholding the legality of subsidies in states that refused to set up a federal exchange is hardly shocking in consideration of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, but it is nevertheless disheartening.

Even as Jonathan Gruber’s important role in the construction of the legislation becomes more evident, the Court bent over backwards to accommodate the legislature’s supposed oversight in using imprecise language.

Gruber, of course, revealed the unspoken secret of the law- that is was written so states that failed to set up exchanges would be taxed without receiving any of the benefits, a scare tactic meant to raise the specter of public anger and force Republican governors into complying:

Roberts, however, in affirming the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the subsidies were legal, went to great lengths to ignore the public record of fact and accommodate the stated intent of the administration, claiming in his opinion:

“we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

There is absolutely no legal rationale in this decision; there is instead sycophantic sophistry. Yet, the Court’s decision to interpret the Act in a way that clearly goes beyond the plain language of the statute does not respect the role of the Legislature; it supersedes it, continuing a precedent established by the decision to call the individual mandate a “tax,” despite the clear insistence by the Obama administration that this was not the case.

The Court’s decision by itself is troubling, but the majority’s rationale is even more so because it is a complete evisceration of the separation of powers and vastly re-interprets the meaning of judicial review, which was established as the primary responsibility of the Court in Marbury v. Madison.

There has been much talk of the King v. Burwell ruling being purely about statutory interpretation. This was obliterated by the centrality of Congressional intent to Robert’s ruling.

But, the Court’s guidance by statutory interpretation is in itself problematic. In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton explained the necessity of the chief judicial body being guided by the Constitution above other duly enacted laws:

“A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges as, a fundamental law. It, therefore, belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents..”

The original intent of the judicial branch, as laid out by Article III and further defined by Marbury v. Madison, is strict Constitutional interpretation. Its articles and clauses are the lodestone for the justice’s rationale. But the introduction of case law and precedent caused the Court to drift away from its purpose.

The Court’s two rulings upholding the ACA are a tidal wave, pushing the power of the justices into new territory. They have invested themselves with interpretive powers that too closely mimic those given solely to the legislature.

But then, maybe James Madison was merely imprecise in his language when he laid out the carefully delineated system of checks and balances in the Constitution.

 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As we approach the dreaded tax filing deadline of April 15th, many Americans are ill-prepared for the news they are going to receive from their tax preparers or tax preparation software. Between three and six million people are going to be affected by penalties, an “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment,” associated with the Affordable Care Act. And most of those affected have no idea how much financial pain they are going to feel.

When the Obama Administration was selling Obamacare to the American people – you remember, “It’s not a tax,” “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it,” “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” etc. – they alluded to the existence of penalties for those Americans who did not purchase ACA compliant health insurance. The amount for the first year non-compliance penalty was routinely quoted as $95. For many the choice was clear: keep the non-compliant health insurance, pay the $95 penalty (read: non-compliance tax), and hope that a Republican-led Congress would affect relief for the taxpayer as soon as they took control in Washington, DC.

But that scenario doesn’t impact this tax cycle. And while three to five million people have received subsidies through the Obamacare marketplaces to offset the cost of ACA compliant health insurance (still many more will qualify for exemptions), the penalty – or Individual Shared Responsibility Payment – for most of the three to six million Americans who opted to pay the fine and go without is going to be substantially more than they think.

Contrary to the commonly referred to fine of $95 for non-compliance, that amount is the least amount that can be imposed on an individual. The calculation used for the overwhelming majority of the non-compliant will be the higher of either one-percent of your household income above your filing threshold or a flat dollar amount up to $285 ($95 per adult, $47.50 per child). The important words to consider here are “household income.”

In the scenario where one spouse is covered by employer-sponsored health insurance but the other spouse is not – where one spouse is non-compliant, the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment is still based on the total of the household income; the compliant spouse is still entered into the penalty equation through the use of the household income as a defining integer. The idea that the ACA compliant individual cannot be adversely affected at tax time is a fallacy.

For example, let’s examine what the penalty (read: tax) would be on a Virginia household consisting of a man and a woman who, combined, made $150,000 for the year 2014. The woman is covered through her employer by ACA compliant health insurance, but the man is an independent contractor and chose to attain what used to be known as catastrophic health insurance, thus acquiescing to what he thought was going to be a $95 penalty. Using the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment calculator from HealthInsurance.org, the assessed penalty would be $1,297. A full $1202 more than the $95 for which they had planned. By contrast, a non-compliant single person making $75,000 in 2014 would have been assessed a $648.50 penalty. This means that the penalty for the “crime” of being from a household earning $150,000 with a single non-compliant spouse is $648.50; the penalty for being married to a non-compliant spouse is $648.50. The irony here is that the non-compliant spouse was still covered in the event of a medical emergency, even if he wasn’t ACA “compliant.”

The reasoning used by the Progressives and Democrats when arguing for the passage of the Affordable Care Act was that relief would be given to the healthcare system by virtue of the fact that everyone would be covered by health insurance; that everyone would be paying into the system. But having “passed the bill” so we can now “see what’s in it,” the reality of the matter is this. Obamacare was never about healthcare. It was never really even about everyone being covered by health insurance. And it wasn’t ever about everyone paying into the system. It was about creating two new revenue streams: one for the health insurance companies who now have a captive client-base, and another for the spendthrift federal government through the extraction of what the US Supreme Court has now identified as a tax.

And a heck of a tax it is…especially for the non-compliant and their compliant spouses.

Dementia or Dishonesty, Pelosi Is Unfit for Office

While it still requires a willing suspension of reality to believe Rep. Nancy Pelosi (P-CA), wasn’t the spearhead of the dishonesty campaign when she stood before the American people and professed that Congress had to pass Obamacare before we could all understand what was in the bill, her latest declaration about MIT professor Jonathan Gruber doesn’t. What it does evoke is a legitimate question. Is Nancy Pelosi a habitual liar or is she suffering from dementia?

When asked about Johnathan Gruber’s admitting to the overt deception of the American people where the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was concerned, Pelosi responded:

“I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill…and…so…with all due respect to your question, you have a person who wasn’t writing our bill commenting on what was going on when we were writing the bill…”

Yet, in 2009 when Pelosi and her congressional lemmings were selling the snake oil of Obamacare to the American people, she said:

“Our bill brings down rates…I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber’s MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo, versus what will happen in our bill…”

Let’s set aside for a moment that Ms. Pelosi’s declaration that rates would go down was about as wrong as it gets – pathetically and predictably wrong. Are we to believe that the two juxtaposed statements were simply a slip up; just a malfunction of her gray matter? Again, to sign on to that idea requires a willing suspension of reality.

No, it is more likely – and probable – that Ms. Pelosi is demonstrating the Progressive ethic of “ends justifying the means.” Under that ethic, the truth is relative to the outcome desired. To Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Gruber, President Obama and Valerie Jarrett, just to name the major players, lying to; deceiving, the American people to achieve the passage of Obamacare was a necessary evil. To the Progressives – who, incidentally, believe as Jonathan Gruber does that the overwhelming majority of American people are a dull, slow-witted intellectually challenged under-class in need of their brilliance, wisdom, and superior stewardship, lest we all revert back to the ethos of the Stone Age – it is irrelevant that deception was used to acquire their legislative goal, after all, we are simply too stupid to know what is good for us; what is good for society.

This understood, it is easy to see that Ms. Pelosi’s flip-flop on the Grubster wasn’t about a defective memory, it was about sticking to the Progressive meme, not unlike John Lovitz’s Saturday Night Live character “The Liar.” The only thing missing was the rhetorical punctuation, “Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!”

If Ms. Pelosi were afflicted with dementia rather than Progressivism, I would be sympathetic to her plight. No one can control the ravages of dementia; a tragic and debilitating disease. But she isn’t – to the best of my knowledge – afflicted with dementia, she is afflicted with Progressivism, an ideological malady, and one that a person has to make a conscious decision to foist upon themselves; a malady choke full of arrogance, elitism, condescension and malevolence for your fellow man. I cannot suffer the fools who inflict this malady upon themselves.

As for Ms. Pelosi, the point is moot. Whether it had been dementia rather than Progressivism is irrelevant, both maladies should preclude someone from holding public office. Sadly, not only was Ms. Pelosi re-elected as a US Representative in her congressional district, she was re-elected to party leadership in her chamber.

Do you see how Progressivism rots the brain?

Obamacare forces many to avoid preventative healthcare

President Obama promised huge reductions in premiums and greater access to care. Unfortunately, forcing insurers to create plans with easy payments, unaffordable deductibles terrible networks has had dire consequences.

Fox News reports that the White House pushed for low premiums regardless of the fact that they come with high deductibles, reduced benefits and very few doctors in-network because “most people buy only based on premiums.” That pushes Obamacare recipients into community health organizations and often making choices with expensive or dangerous consequences.

When those on the high-deductible “affordable” plans are told that additional treatment, tests or drugs may be needed to identify or prevent their condition from worsening, they often balk at the preventative measures because those costs would not be paid until they hit the huge deductible that their small premium dictates. Now, the politics of Obamacare have created a medical train-wreck out of someone who previously would have just needed preventative medical attention.

To avoid becoming a medical nightmare, many of these Obamacare enrollees are using community health centers, which offer low cost or free care, to deal with their health issues. So, what did these enrollees get for taking the President’s advice and getting enrolled? They get to go outside the standard healthcare system while still paying into it.

The Demotion of Harry Reid

With but a day left until the Senate likely knows its next makeup, Harry Reid might just be readying himself for a drastic change in job requirements – and America waits with baited breath.

Under Leader Reid’s expert guidance, the Senate has taken on virtually no controversial legislation since Obamacare. Reid has done everything in his power to prevent Democrats from having to vote on contentious issues and has therefore left them looking like patsies for the President – voting with the President’s wishes up to 99% of the time.

Reid has been worrying about campaigning instead of governing for one very good, self-important reason – if he loses too many Senate seats, he loses his leadership position. So instead of working to do the will of the people, Harry has been working to do no harm to Democrat Senators. In the end, that might just cost them – and him – their positions.

Failing to pass a budget compromise since 2009 and doing little else but cower to the President’s demands, the Senate has been the obstacle that America resents. The House has pushed bill after bill to the Senate with Reid preventing anything requiring compromise to hit the Senate floor. It has all been Obama’s way or the highway.

XL pipeline, petroleum exports .. or even .. a BUDGET would have been great. Instead, the Senate has been largely allowed to only vote on approving (or else) the President’s nominees for lower court judge seats or Whitehouse administration positions.

Getting hyper-partisan Harry Reid out of the Senate offers America some hope that Congress will get some bills on to the President’s desk. Perhaps even some that might finally reverse the shrinking percentage of Americans in the workforce. Shrinking paychecks, higher grocery bills and huge jumps in Obamacare health insurance costs will not be missed either.

Veterans Are the Healthcare Canary in a Coal Mine

JeffDarcy VA scandalBetween today and June 6th’s 70th anniversary of the D–Day landing I want you to find a veteran and talk to him. This doesn’t mean cornering some unsuspecting vet and ambushing him with the latest insipid leftist cliché: ‘Thank you for your service,’ which manages to be both pretentious and condescending.

(However, it is an improvement over the left’s former greeting for vets: ‘How many babies did you kill today?’ But it’s still rote trivialization.)

Ideally your vet should be a veteran of either the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War. Not because the fighting was far enough in the past be non–controversial, but because this vet has had plenty of time to experience the tender mercies of the Veterans Administration health care system.

And that system should be the main topic of conversation, because if the left has its way, everyone will experience this type of health care under the coming Obamacare regime. Don’t make the mistake — encouraged by the cheerleading mainstream media — of believing the VA is a problem unto itself and has no relation to civilian health care and certainly no relevance to the future of Obamacare.

That is spin and it is completely untrue. The VA hospital system is essentially the pilot program for Obamacare. It’s been a single–payer system from the beginning and single–payer is the ultimate goal for Obamacare. The VA system was designed to accommodate a smaller subset of the population and it was immune to competition from the private sector. Think of it as the United States Postal Service with syringes.

The theory is after the bugs have been worked out of the pilot program, then a benevolent government can expand it to accommodate the entire country. Unfortunately with leftist big government, when a pilot program fails the verdict is always the failure was due to a lack of resources. The cure is to take the same program, bulk it up with taxpayer dollar injections and make it mandatory for the entire country.

So the VA is very relevant to Obamacare

Our veterans have been used as guinea pigs since 1930 when the VA was founded. One would think 84 years is long enough to get the kinks worked out of the program, but one would be wrong. VA hospital horror stories have been a staple of government scandal coverage for years.

If you fall for the ‘it’s just the VA and won’t affect civilians’ cover story then you are believing what the Obama administration wants you to believe. The goal of the White House is to keep the VA scandal bottled up in a silo off to one side. Obama wants you to think it’s just a rogue VA hospital in Arizona that cooked the books.

But it’s not just Arizona. It’s Florida, it’s West Virginia, it’s Missouri, it’s all over the country. And the problem can’t be solved because there is no real penalty for failure and no competitive pressure to excel. And the same government that runs the VA will soon be running Obamacare if the left can expand it into a single–payer system.

My family has it’s own story of an encounter with the Oklahoma – Texas VA administration. One of my uncles — a WWII veteran — fell ill and went to the VA for treatment in the 50’s. The good doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and they hospitalized him in the mental wing.

Today suffering a nervous breakdown means you are forever immune to negative job performance reviews and the Angel of Downsizing will probably pass over you, too. But in the 50’s a mental problem was the kiss of death.

My uncle lost his career, his wife and his future. He was in and out of VA hospitals for two decades trying to find a cure so he could reassemble the shards of what had been a normal life. And then one fine day he got a new VA doctor. This doctor announced that my uncle had never had any mental problems and that all his difficulties had been caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumor that had been growing in his skull since the first time he saw the inside of a VA hospital.

So my uncle went home to the bedroom he’d inhabited in my grandmother’s house since he lost everything he held dear. And he thought about his life. And he thought about what he had lost. And he carefully took a blanket off his bed, went over to the gas space heater, sat down on the floor, covered his head with the blanket and turned on the gas.

So my family knows all about VA medical care and we want no part of it.

These poor vets were promised first–class health care in return for going to war. Instead they received secret waiting lists, bureaucrat cover-ups, buck passing and incompetent care.

On the other hand the rest of us, that haven’t gone to war, have been promised we could keep our doctor and our insurance.

So find a veteran and ask him how the government keeps its promises.

The continual problems of the VA health care system are what the rest of the country will face if Obamacare isn’t stopped in its tracks. Government can’t run a smaller health care network and it certainly can’t run universal health care.

Our veterans have been the canary in the health care coalmine for decades, but Uncle Sam just keeps replacing the dead canaries with new ones.

The BO Behind the Obamacare Numbers

If there was one thing that then presidential candidate Barack Obama had right it was his assertion that words matter. That understood, it has always seemed a bit odd to me that a man who presents and proudly proclaims himself a full blown Progressive – if not the quintessential Fabian Progressive – would have alerted the electorate to this fact. Why, you ask? Well, because Progressives are notorious for manipulating the meanings of words to suit their objective needs. Remember, Progressives are the ones who insist that the United States Constitution is a “living document,” meant to facilitate the needs of the times (read: allow government to morph into any authority that the elites believe is needed at any given time).

So, it is with a gigantic grain of salt – a Guinness Book sized grain – that I consume the declarations being made by the Obama Administration on the “numbers of people who have signed up” for health insurance through the federal health exchange. There is a stark difference between “signing up” for the website and purchasing health insurance. Even then, there is a lot of ground between applying for health insurance through the exchange and actually paying the premiums each month.

The truth is, we won’t know how many people have successfully attained health insurance coverage through the “Obamacare Exchange” until after the first month of coverage has completed. This is because for coverage to be in effect it must be paid for. To that end The National Journal reports:

“One of the biggest players in Obamacare’s exchanges says 15 to 20 percent of its new customers aren’t paying their first premium – which means they’re not actually covered.

The latest data come from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members – known collectively as “Blues” plans – are participating in the exchanges in almost every state. Roughly 80 to 85 percent of people who selected a Blues plan through the exchanges went on to pay their first month’s premium, a BCBSA spokeswoman said Wednesday.”

It would seem that some – oh, maybe 15 to 20 percent – of those who “signed up” for health insurance through Healthcare.gov have figured out that as long as it appears as though they have signed up for health insurance through the exchange they might be able to circumvent the inaugural Obamacare fine (read: tax, per SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts) for not actually having health insurance. Of course, this remains to be seen, but given that the Obamacare website is the laughingstock of the tech world, maybe – just maybe – they might get away with it.

And another facet of this totalitarian Progressive overreach of government – this unconstitutional encroachment into our private lives – is the question surrounding the employer mandate. To date, there have seen so many exemptions given to both organizations and corporations alike, the idea that this is actually a “mandate” is becoming laughable. Let’s face it, when a mandate becomes something only applicable to select factions and demographics, it is less a mandate and more a punishment, and a punishment for “not thinking correctly.”

This Progressive line of thinking is typical of an elitist faction that truly believes – truly believes – they know what is best for everyone, even if the overwhelming majority views the “opinion(s)” of said Progressive elitists as undesirable and oppressive. It is for this reason – the elitist narcissism of the Progressive Left – that a recent declaration by former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shouldn’t surprise anyone.

TheHill.com reports:

“Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs predicted Wednesday that the oft-delayed Obamacare employer mandate will never go into effect.

“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect. It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go,” Gibbs told a crowd in Colorado, according to BenefitsPro.com.

“The website described the audience as being surprised by Gibbs’s comments…

“Gibbs argued that most employers with more than 100 workers already offer health insurance, and only a relatively small number of companies have between 50 and 99 employees.”

Putting aside, for a moment, Mr. Gibbs’ contention that only a small number of companies have employees numbering between 50 and 99 employees, this is another example of the “words matter” bait and switch, and with ramifications.

We the People, were told – in no uncertain terms – that the employer mandate was essential to the success of Obamacare. The Obama Administration has been so obstinate about this point that they were willing to fight the Hobby Lobby Corporation all the way to the US Supreme Court in an effort to force them to provide “end-of-life-causing” contraception options to their employees – against the moral and religiously-based objections of the company owners. The Obama Administration even tried to strong arm Catholic charities operated by nuns to do the same. Yet now we have one of the “soldiers of the Obamacare Movement” shrugging his shoulders insisting that the employer mandate is no big deal? If that’s true, why coerce nuns and those objecting to the mandate on religious grounds?

Looking further down the list of forced mandates, what could we expect next? Should we get ready for the individual mandate to become expendable, but for, of course, the demographics that are “not thinking correctly”?

If words matter, as now President Obama claimed in the days before his presidency, why don’t they matter now, now that he is president? He promised that Americans could keep their doctors and the insurance plans they enjoyed “period.” Yet that turned out to be a lie, bald-faced. He and his cronies said that the mandates were non-negotiable. But now one of the primary mouthpieces who trumpeted the need for these mandates during this blatant coercion of the American people says the need to mandate employer participation is “not so much.”

Truth be told, there are some provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are beneficial to the American people (dealing with the purchase of health insurance across state lines and addressing pre-existing conditions being two). But the negatives of this legislation far, far out-weigh the positives. Additionally, if federally elected politicians weren’t playing the whore for the behemoth insurance companies and their heartless lobbyists on K Street (let’s remember who was “all in” on getting Obamacare passed) purchasing health insurance would have been open to a national market, thus lowering prices through competition and creating viable options to address the issue of pre-existing conditions.

Don’t look now, but Capitalism is the answer to high health insurance prices and accessibility.

Yes, worlds matter. And where Obamacare is concerned, the only applicable words that matter are these, spoken by then candidate Obama:

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

« Older Entries