Obama: Supreme Court Shouldn’t Overturn Passed Legislation

April 3, 2012

At what point do you just stop taking anything any Washington politician says seriously? In a place where incoherent and meaningless rhetoric abounds, it becomes hard to avoid.

One of the latest examples being this recent blurb from President Obama on why the Supreme Court overturning the Affordable Care Act would be hard to imagine:

Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme  Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a  democratically elected Congress.

And I just remind conservative commentators  that for years what we have heard is that the biggest problem on the bench was  judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint; that an unelected group of  people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well,  this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will  recognize that and not take that step.

And with that he quite possibly places a lot doubt on his supposed expertise as a former constitutional law professor. What could he possibly even mean by these statements? It may be helpful to pick them apart.

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The Waivers List

January 29, 2011

As an objection lesson, below is a list of health plans that have been granted waivers from the requirement in the new healthcare ‘reform’ law ending yearly benefit limits. There are two main problems with this scenario. One is that it flies in the face of the promise that Americans would be able to keep their existent health insurance plans if they want to. The other is that it grants the authority to an appointed, unelected government official – the Health and Human Services Secretary – to simply exempt certain companies from a law.

While you think about those issues, gaze upon this list of over 700 plans that have been granted waivers (Warning: It’s long!):

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Timeline for the Unintended Consequences

October 12, 2010

Here is an informative link I ran across in the last week: http://healthreform.kff.org/timeline.aspx . It is an interactive timeline from the Kaiser Family Foundation displaying the implementation dates for the changes brought about by the health-care ‘reform’ law.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=health+care+law&iid=9840211″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9840211/first-obama-health-care/first-obama-health-care.jpg?size=500&imageId=9840211″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]Several provisions took effect a few weeks ago, and we’ve already seen some of the unintended consequences of the law — from some insurers refusing to write new children-only policies to large companies signaling that they may have to drop their insurance plans for employees. If these ‘reforms’ are going to cause all of these unintended consequences, it will be important to note when they take effect.

Exemptions from ‘Reform’?

October 10, 2010

Certain companies have been exempted from part of the new health-care ‘reform’ law that requires minimum benefit levels for insurance policies. It seems that, maybe at some point, even the Obama administration has to acknowledge the reality of economics.

A recent Bloomberg news article reports the following:

Thirty companies and organizations, including Jack in the Box Inc., won’t be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees. The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn’t lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop their health insurance altogether. Without the waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013, and unlimited coverage in 2014.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=sebelius&iid=9839083″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9839083/sebelius-democratic/sebelius-democratic.jpg?size=500&imageId=9839083″ width=”234″ height=”158″ /]This was just one of the many mandates imposed under the new law — many of which predictably have and will lead to unintended consequences. The most obvious consequence is that many employers are now faced with not being able to afford providing coverage to their employees due to the cost of these well-intentioned (at least, we think) yet misguided attempts at ‘reform.’

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Stossel: ‘Congress Can’t Repeal Economics’

October 6, 2010

John Stossel’s latest column from today covers much of the same issues that I blogged about last week. The column, titled “Congress Can’t Repeal Economics,” laments the fact that the new health-care ‘reform’ law attempts to ignore the basic realities of economics, leading to perhaps unintended, but predictable, consequences.

Here is an excerpt:

When Obamacare was debated, we free-market advocates insisted that no matter what the president promised, the laws of economics cannot be repealed. Our opponents in effect answered, “Yes, we can.” Well, Obamacare has barely started taking effect, and the evidence is already rolling in. I hate to say we told them so, but … we told them so. The laws of economics have struck back.

Read the column here.

Political Attempts to Ignore Economics in Health-care ‘Reform’

September 28, 2010

Politicians are experts at ignoring economics. One of their favorite activities is to mandate price and service requirements from private companies and just expect that, like magic, all will be fixed. They seldom acknowledge the perhaps unintended, but yet inevitable, consequences of their wishful mandating.

The most pertinent example is the list of nice-sounding mandates on insurance carriers included in the new health-care ‘reform’ law. Many of them took effect this week.

The list includes, among others, the following requirements:

  • Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
  • Insurers can no longer put lifetime caps on benefits
  • Preventive services are now free
  • Kids can stay on a their parents’ plan until 26

All of these, of course, will add to the overall costs of insurance policies. There is a difference between “price” (how much is directly charged a consumer for a service) and “cost” (the amount of money required to provide the service).

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Legal Challenge to Obamacare Underway

August 4, 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=obama+sebelius&iid=9183874″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9183874/obama-speaks/obama-speaks.jpg?size=500&imageId=9183874″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]The “individual mandate” section of the ‘Obamacare’ law passed earlier this year is now being officially challenged in the courts. A recent decision in a U.S. district court furthers this legal challenge by denying an effort by Kathleen Sebelius, acting in her official capacity as Health and Human Services Secretary, to have a case disputing the constitutionality of the law dismissed.

It’s an interesting read. Here’s one notable excerpt from the concluding remarks that summarizes the importance of considering the case:

While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate — and  tax — a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce. Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue. No reported case from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce.

It should be interesting to see how far this legal challenge goes.

Post on Candidate’s Health-Care Views Fosters Lively Comment Thread

July 23, 2010

Over at the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) blog, my post from earlier in the week (posted here and on the YAL blog) on a Florida Attorney General candidate’s view that health care “should be” a right has fostered quite a long comment thread. Here are the comments.

Florida AG Candidate: Health Care ‘Should Be’ a Right

July 21, 2010

Nestled in an obscure Florida Attorney General candidates’ debate Friday was a fundamental disagreement over the nature of rights. The specific issue at hand was whether health care is a right.

Notably, one Democratic candidate, Dan Gelber, asserted the following on the matter:

Health care should be a right, not a privilege.

Note the verb “should be.” Gelber didn’t claim it “was” a right. Such phrasing seems to deny that rights are fundamental to all individuals (e.g.; “endowed by their Creator“) and not determined by the whims of popular opinion or government decree. He is suggesting, at least in his wording, that rights become rights after being acknowledged by government.

Florida AG candidate Dan Gelber

Government creation of rights is anathema to the framers’ understanding of rights. Rights, to them, were innate to being human. They were only to be protected by government, not dependent on government for their existence.

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Feds to Fund Abortion?

July 15, 2010

Remember when the passage of health-care ‘reform’ was in question earlier this year due to concerns that it would cover abortion? It eventually was passed thanks to the assurance from President Obama that no federal funds would go toward abortion.

Now comes this news:

Forget Barack Obama’s executive order to the contrary — the federal government will finance abortions in Pennsylvania. … $160 million in federal money will be used in Pennsylvania to finance a “high-risk insurance pool” plan that includes abortion — and those funds reportedly are available immediately.

Did anyone really think this wouldn’t eventually happen?