We’re faced with three possible outcomes as the Supreme Court weighs the Obamacare Mandate. The Court could uphold the mandate and Obamacare just as it is. The Court can strike down the entire Obamacare piece of legislation, all 2700 pages of it. Or they can strike down the mandate only, while retaining the rest of the legislation. It is this last possibility that is troubling … More…
By Tom Quiner
The Supreme Court seems reticent.
As Team Obama argues for a final rejection of the enumerated powers of the Constitution by upholding Obamacare’s expansion of the federal government, a few justices are saying “not so fast.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy is skeptical and said the government has a “very heavy burden of justification.” This comment seems particularly relevant since Justice Kennedy is considered to be the swing vote.
Chief Justice Roberts expressed concern that the law gives the feds virtually unlimited power. He wondered, then, if they could require people to buy a cell phone:
“Well, the same, it seems to me, would be true say for the market in emergency
services: police, fire, ambulance, roadside assistance, whatever. You don’t know when you’re going to need it; you’re not sure that you will. But the same is true for health care. You don’t know if you’re going to need a heart transplant or if you ever will. So there is a market there. To — in some extent, we all participate in it. So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?”
Who knows whether the Obama Mandate will hold up or not?
Here’s the lesson to the Republicans. Liberalism abhors a vacuum. In the face of a legitimate issue, Democrat’s instincts call for a big government solution. They will step in and push, and push, and push until they have usurped our freedoms in their heavy-handed approach to public policy issues.
Republicans sat on the sidelines when people were scared about losing their healthcare.
Prices were rising.
Folks were uninsured.
Employees were afraid of losing affordable coverage if they switched jobs.
If, and this is still a big IF, a portion of Obamacare is struck down, Republicans must be quick to intelligently present the free market alternative to the 2700 page Rube Goldberg piece of legislation now called Obamacare.
Republicans need to make the case for interstate commerce when it comes to shopping for health insurance products.
They need to put consumers back in control of purchasing their own products instead of their employers with new tax treatment of consumer-purchased products.
They need to embrace the Paul Ryan approach of defined-contribution Medicare coverage rather than the defined-benefit approach that is bankrupting the nation. And they need to talk to us like adults, with intelligence and logic and less emotion and bombast.
Democrats will demagogue this issue like we’ve never seen before. Republicans need to be the adults in the room when making their case.
The stakes are too high.
They need to lay out their vision on how to protect folks from having their insurance cancelled by greedy health insurance companies when they get sick.
Greedy is a liberal word. But that’s how the nation views insurance companies, and it is with some justification.
So Republicans, now is the time to present a united front with solutions to the legitimate healthcare and health insurance concerns facing America.
If you don’t, you’re paving the way for the social democratic solutions of Europe that Team Obama reveres.
Remember, liberalism abhors a vacuum.
By Tom Quiner
My wife and I own a small business. We carry a high-deductible health-savings account (HSA). To hold down the price of premiums, we essentially pay the first $5000 of our medical expenses.
I just got word that our premiums are going up another $600 this year on top of the $700 spike last year.
I’m paying $1300 more a year for health insurance since the Democratically-controlled Congress passed Obamacare.
Candidate Obama promised he would lower annual family health insurance premiums by $2500 by the end of his first term.
In fact, annual premiums have increased $2200 since he became president according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
I guess I should consider myself lucky. My premiums haven’t gone up as much as most, but that is become I essentially self-insure my first $5000 of coverage.
Why did Mr. Obama push so hard to pass what turned out to be the signature, if dubious, accomplishment of his presidency?
In addition to his claim that he would lower our premiums, he said the program would save the taxpayers money. The Democratic Triumvirate of Obama/Reid/Pelosi cooked the books when they presented their plan to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for financial scrutiny.
Based on assumptions they were compelled to accept, the CBO said Obamacare would reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion in the first ten years.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we would have to read the 2000 + page document to learn what was in it.
As the bill was scrutinized after the fact, the truth came out. Obamacare is a sham.
Team Obama acknowledged that long term care component of the bill, called the Class Act, was financially unfeasible. They pulled it.
In his 2013 budget, Mr. Obama inserted an extra $111 billion in spending to help subsidize the law’s health insurance exchanges. So the price tag for the entire Obamacare boondoggle has just about doubled from what they promised it would cost. And what was that?
$940 billion over the decade.
And what does the CBO tell us it is going to cost us now that they’ve read what it really says?
$1.76 trillion (this is the current number, but it keeps getting revised upward).
Watch the video above from American Doctors 4 Truth for an entertaining explanation of the problems of Obamacare.
It gets worse. Mr. Obama said we could keep our existing policy if we preferred. It’s not working out that way. Companies are pulling out of the health insurance business because Obamacare limits how much profit they can make. Even more, a study by McKinsey & Co. last year reveals that up to half of employers plan to stop offering health insurance once Obamacare is fully implemented.
Key promises of Obamacare have been broken.
In light of the impending fiscal carnage of this bill; in light of the overwhelming unpopularity of the bill; in light of the infringement on our religious liberties imposed by this bill, there is but one logical action: repeal it.
Let’s start over and craft a bi-partisan, market-driven piece of legislation.
Obamacare has already failed.
* … but were afraid to ask.
By Tom Quiner
The president seemed sincere:
“I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away.”
This came in 2009 in his address to Catholics at Notre Dame University.
Notre Dame’s president slobbered all over the president in his introduction, that the president isn’t …
“someone who stops talking to those who disagree with him.”
The president soothed with his rhetoric:
“[We] can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions. So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term.”
We now know this was all a con.
He stopped talking to the Catholic Bishops and went ahead and imposed the Obama Mandate on them. Although the president seems to recognize the moral repugnance of abortion by stating that they should be rare, his Mandate is certain to increase the quantity of human life that is ended in the womb with his imposition of abortifacients as a critical component of his Mandate.
The Mainstream Media and the president are feeding up bucket loads of disinformation. This humble blog will try to clarify some of the arguments surrounding the Obama Mandate:
Obama: “Churches are exempt from the new rules: Churches and other houses of worship will be exempt from the requirement to offer insurance that covers contraception.”
Quiner’s Diner: Only if they are not providing services to the broader community. To avoid running afoul of Obama’s new laws, churches must only hire and serve people of their own faith. If they are serving food to the poor, who are not of their faith persuasion, for example, they may jeopardize their exemption. Enforcement will be up to the whim of the Obama administration.
Obama: “The Obama Administration is committed to both respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. And as we move forward, our strong partnerships with religious organizations will continue.”
Quiner’s Diner: This is almost laughable if it wasn’t so dishonest. As this blog has reported, the Obama Mandate cuts no slack to faith-based organizations. Comply or pay fines. If you refuse to pay fines, prepare for enforcement. To demonstrate this administration’s lack of respect for religious beliefs, they denied a government grant to a Catholic organization providing assistance to women who were victims of human trafficking. Why would Obama do that? Because the Catholic organization wouldn’t compromise their values by providing “women’s reproductive health services” they deemed objectionable. Team Obama instead gave the grant to an inferior organization with “failing objective scores” according to the government’s own rating system. Obama’s radical ideology not only trumps religious freedom, it trumps the well-being of those in need of help.
Obama: “Contraception coverage reduces costs: While the monthly cost of contraception for women ranges from $30 to $50, insurers and experts agree that savings more than offset the cost. The National Business Group on Health estimated that it would cost employers 15% to 17% more not to provide contraceptive coverage than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of potentially unintended and unhealthy pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity.”
Quiner’s Diner: The premise that contraception coverage reduces costs is debatable. Experts can be presented on the other side of the aisle. For example, the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reports:
“Numerous studies examining sexual behavior and STD transmission have demonstrated risk compensation behavior, i.e., a greater willingness to engage in potentially risky behavior when one believes risk has been reduced through technology. Increasing access to contraception gives teens a false sense of security, leading to earlier onset of sexual activity and more sexual partners, which counteracts any reduction in unintended pregnancies.”
They site another study:
“Researchers in Spain examined patterns of contraceptive use and abortions in Spain over a ten year period from 1997-2007. Their findings, published in the journal Contraception in January 2011, were that a 63 percent increase in the use of contraceptives was accompanied by a 108 percent increase in the rate of elective abortions.”
Mr. President, abortions cost money.
But doesn’t this all miss the point? The president wants to pull the rug out from under our religious freedom to save money? If his premise is true, those who find no objections with his Mandate would scramble to offer this coverage all on their own. Those who do object can still avoid the coverage. What business is it of the government anyway?
Obama: “Contraception is used by most women: According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, most women, including 98% of Catholic women, have used contraception.”
Quiner’s Diner: Here the president manipulates the public. The real survey result attribute this statistic to “sexually experienced” women, whatever that means.They do not represent ALL women. Let us cut through the smoke. The survey goes on to say those devices and services to be included in the Obama Mandate are used by 69% of sexually active women “who do not want to become pregnant”.
This represents but a slice of the general public, and yet the Obama Mandate forces every man and woman to pay for it.
Obama: “Over half of Americans already live in the 28 States that require insurance companies cover contraception: Several of these States like North Carolina, New York, and California have identical religious employer exemptions. Some States like Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemption at all.”
Quiner’s Diner: Again the president manipulates. Every state mandate allows faith-based organizations to void the mandate in one of three ways: 1. If these institutions choose to self-insure prescription drug coverage. 2. By dropping that particular coverage altogether. 3. By taking refuge in a federal law (ERISA) that pre-empts state mandates. The Obama Mandate allows no such ways out. He has backed faith-based organizations into a corner: comply and compromise your religious freedom, or face the wrath of the State.
Obama: “No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception: This rule only applies to what insurance companies cover. Under this policy, women who want contraception will have access to it through their insurance without paying a co-pay or deductible. But no one will be forced to buy or use contraception.”
Quiner’s Diner: How do you think women who want the products demanded by the Obama Mandate are able to get it without co-pay or without it applying to their deductible? Because women (and men) who object are subsidizing it.
By Tom Quiner
The president, his party, liberal pressure groups, and their allies in the mainstream media (MSM) are hammering on the theme that the Obama Mandate is all about women’s reproductive health.
They know it’s not.
You know it’s not.
Everyone knows it’s not when you get free contraception by walking into Planned Parenthood, or even to many community action agencies.
The issue is about freedom. Rick Santorum has been eloquent in his defense of our religious freedom.
Barack Obama wants to take it away.
You may agree with Mr. Obama’s social policies. You may like Obamacare. You may like his foreign policy. You may like the way Bin Laden was killed on his watch.
Fine. But it doesn’t mean anything if we are forced to give up the most precious right enshrined in the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion.
It’s not a gift. It’s a right, the first right mentioned in the Bill of Rights.
I don’t care if you’re an atheist, no one can take away our religion freedom, no one. That is what the president and his party have put into action with the Obama Mandate.
I call on the president to waive the one year phase-in period and begin enforcing the Obama Mandate now.
Let the American people watch charitable institutions like Catholic Charities go bankrupt.
Let the American people see bishops carted off to jail.
Let the American people see the carnage caused by the man with the Napoleonic complex sitting in the White House.
Let them see all of this before they cast their vote this November.
The stakes are higher than they have ever been. I know there are folks with fuzzy religious values who are scratching their heads wondering why so many of the faithful like me are worked up about all of this. So let’s enforce the Obama Mandate now to crystalize the reality.
Let the Catholic hospitals expel their non-Catholic patients. Let the Catholic hospitals and schools fire all of their non-Catholic employees, for that is the only way they can avoid violating their religious convictions according to the narrow exemptions imposed by Barack Obama.
Their only other options are to be fined, go bankrupt, or close.
The Obama Mandate has nothing to do with women’s reproductive health. That’s a con.
It’s all about freedom.