Category Archives: Health Care

Employers, employees hit by health care mandates

Howard Rich of Americans for Limited Government takes to the pages of Investors Business Daily to discuss the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now that the election results means it is here to stay. Along with the mandate on individuals to carry health insurance or be fined, Obamacare also requires employers to provide coverage to employees working thirty hours or more per week.

“Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income — people who cannot afford to lose these hours.”

Rich notes that Darden Restaurants, which employs 185,000 nationwide in popular chains like Olive Garden, announced last month it was reducing many employees’ schedules to twenty-eight hours a week. Kroger, a grocer with 350,000 employees, is making a similar move and will restrict part-time personnel to twenty-eight hours.

“In other words ObamaCare’s “employer mandate” will wind up hurting the very people Obama claims to be fighting for — reducing their take-home pay at a time when loose monetary policy is already whittling away at the value of every dollar they earn.”

The other possibility here – one that will be harder to detect and report – is that some employers will simply follow the law by providing insurance, but offsetting the cost through lower or stagnant wages. Or prices will simply rise, etc.

There simply is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Health Care

The true costs of insurance regulation

The New York Times published a story describing how New York Offers Costly Lessons on Insurance. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a story like this in the NYT, so needless to say I was somewhat surprised.

In the piece, Anemona Hartocollis reports that heavy-handed state regulations – such as the mandate on insurance companies to sell coverage regardless of a buyer’s pre-existing medical conditions – have driven up the cost of health insurance coverage for residents.

The silver lining in costly mistakes is that you are able to learn important lessons and not repeat such errors in the future. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats seem not to have learned much of anything from the health care misadventures of the Empire State.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Health Care

Travis Hankins files suit against health care action

I’m posting this email from Travis Hankins, who is running to take on Rep. Baron Hill (D-Indiana), a Blue Dog who voted for last night’s health care measure. Before the bill was passed I heard a few things about legal challenges – this is the first actual suit of which I’m aware.

Columbus-Today, Travis Hankins has announced that he is in the beginning process of filing legal briefs petitioning the courts to repeal “health care reform” on grounds that the legislation is unconstitutional.

Hankins will file a federal suit naming President Obama and every member of Congress that voted for the legislation alleging that they violated every American citizen’s constitutional rights. Hankins believes that Congress did not have the legal right to pass this bill.

Hankins is particularly concerned about the universal individual insurance mandate. Hankins believes this provision is very unconstitutional and would grant the government new powers that they have never had before.

Hankins comments, “When the President and Congress abandon their oath of office to preserve and protect the Constitution, then the Citizens must first look to the courts to restore and revive what the politicians failed to protect.”

Hankins continues, “We can’t wait until the elections in November. We need this legislation reversed now and my petition calls on the courts to do that.”

The Congressional Budget Office has commented on the historic expansion of Government power that the universal individual insurance mandate would usher in:

“A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.”

Hankins comments on the universal individual insurance mandate, “This is a tax on citizenship. If we give the politicians this power over our lives simply as citizens then it will never end. Someday they will be mandating what cars we MUST buy, what food we must eat, where we must live and on and on. We must put a stop to ever increasing government intrusion now.”

Hankins continues, “The Congress has limited, enumerated authority and they have to justify to the people that their bill is Constitutional and legal before they pass it. For Congress to make any law they must first point to the provision that gives them the right to take action. There is no provision in the Constitution authorizing Obamacare.”

Proponents of Obamacare will point to interstate commerce clause, but even in the Supreme Court’s most liberal interpretation, interstate commerce never gave the authority to regulate inactivity or to mandate inactivity to become activity. If illegally granted this power, there is no limit to potential government intrusion in our lives.

Hankins wants to make it clear that this is not a partisan issue for him. Many Republicans have strongly supported the concept of a universal individual insurance mandate including one of Travis’ primary opponents (another primary opponent supports something eerily similar). Travis has no problem saying that some Republicans are very much a part of the problem when it comes to a universal individual insurance mandate and if any of them had voted on it then their name would be included in the petition.

Hankins supports other petitions by the states and others but Hankins feels to many of them are watered down and not focused on the right Constitutional questions. Hankins’ petition will focus on the Unconstitutionality of the Universal Insurance mandate and Tax Payer funded Abortion.

Travis Hankins believes the court should be valuable piece of the puzzle in restoring and reviving the Constitution from the politicians and bureaucrats who are destroying it. The court must not follow the path of Congress, the President, and activists courts…but they must be the protector of the Constitution.

Hankins plans to file his petition one day after the May primary.

Travis Hankins is a real estate investor and conservative activist seeking the GOP nomination in Indiana’s ninth Congressional district. More information can be found at www.travishankins.com.

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Filed under 2010 House Elections, Health Care

The broken C-Span pledge, and why it matters

Republicans and an increasing number of independent observers are criticizing President Barack Obama for his failure to honor a promise he made repeatedly during last year’s campaign. On at least eight occasions throughout the primary and general election, the candidate told voters that health care reform would be worked out before the public eye, with discussion and deliberation televised on C-Span.

As an overhaul nears completion in Congress, the unmet pledge signals a stark reminder not merely of presidential limitations but of this president’s true nature, and the fundamental deception that marked and enabled his successful campaign for the office. More on that later, but first the facts.

Here’s Barack Obama on the campaign trail, playing up the C-Span pledge in various venues. The clips were compiled by Naked Emperor News, published on Breitbart.com, highlighted by the Drudge Report and have spawned a major story in the nation’s at-large news stream. New developments are in part responsible for that trajectory, but the overall attention on the issue testifies to the impact of new media, and some of its right and center-right elements in particular.

The video evidence was headlined by Drudge the day after C-Span chairman and CEO Brian Lamb‘s December 30 letter to House and Senate letters was publicly reported. The public-service cable channel founder asked House and Senate leaders to honor the president’s pledge regarding open negotiations.

While I watch C-Span regularly and value its objective and informative programming, I don’t believe that all aspects of policy-making should necessarily be open to public viewing. In our republic we elect representatives to govern and make decisions on our behalf, and vote them out if they break trust with the public. Americans share certain basic civic responsibilities, but a peering, omnipresent public leads to cynical posturing in our politics.

Nonetheless, the decision not to hold open discussions is a valid and poignant symbol of other shameful steps taken by majority Democrats in this process: disallowing members time to read bills and amendments, threatening an extraordinary and inappropriate use of the reconciliation procedure, calling a key vote at the dead of night, flagrantly buying votes at public expense, bypassing a conference committee and excluding Republican lawmakers from participation at this and earlier junctures.

The president is taking fire for his broken promise from Republicans but also major news outlets, liberal media voices like Bill Press and Jon Stewart, and partisan allies like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). However, the point to take away from all of this is not that Barack Obama should follow through on his promise to broadcast health care talks on C-Span.

The president does not have authority to televise congressional proceedings. In fact, Congress has no programming authority over C-Span, an independent organization. Leadership may control the cameras in the chambers, but they don’t decide what actually airs on television. These facts underscore the disturbingly casual manipulation in Obama’s empty, repeated assertions and assurances of coverage and the transparency it was supposed to represent. Not only did Barack Obama give his word falsely, or at least lightly, but it wasn’t his to give in the first place.

The entire episode illustrates the single most important political fact about Barack Obama: he is not a moderate, a centrist or a transformative political quantity superimposed upon a national political calculus of competing ideas and interests. Rather, he is an intense ideologue and determined partisan who will naturally use all practical political means to achieve all possible political ends. In this case, the president’s failed and foreign ideology of statism motivates further consolidation of governmental control over the country’s system of health care.

The C-Span flap is reminding many Americans – and thankfully, showing others for the first time as documented by plummeting poll support among independent and moderate voters – that Barack Obama is not who he told us he was. Let’s send him a message in the mid-terms to keep him honest in the future.

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Filed under Corruption, Democratic Party, Health Care, Media

Making the rounds

I saw a story start to pop up on friends’ Facebook live feeds today. Shortly thereafter, I was on Drudge and found out why. The blaring headline reads:

“Count the Lies: Obama Vowed 8 X to Televise Healthcare.”

We’ll see how much traction this gets and whether the issue will slow down the health care package in its final phases. Combined with the expected lack of a conference committee and some of the earlier shennanigans, Democrats’ cynical partisan gamesmanship is thrown into sharp relief by this recollection of Barack Obama‘s campaign promises to the contrary.

It’s not the sort of thing that helps the party’s already flagging midterm prospects.

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Dr. Coburn on the health care vote

United States Senator and practicing physician, Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), on the Senate’s health care vote, in today’s lineup at Real Clear Politics:

Voting Against Government Run Health Care

Dr. Coburn has always been a man of principle and passion, and he pulls no punches as he starts this piece:

“This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.”

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Filed under Health Care, Statism

Krauthammer on health care gimmickry

Charles Krauthammer explains some of the budgetary buffoonery in the health care bill. On Special Report of Fox News Channel, via Real Clear Politics.

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