The House Republicans have produced a devastating video. Keep doing this, guys.
Yeah, I know I’ve been harping on ObamaCare for quite a while now, but there’s just so much wrong with it. And I’m not speaking of the website. All I’ll say about that is that the oversight that was given to putting that together is the same oversight you’re likely to see on the program itself. How does that make you feel?
No, the big deal is the fact that what you were sold is not what you’re getting. You were given some promises about this that were repeated over and over.
Well of course no one was saying you’d lose your coverage. Obama couldn’t have sold this particular bill of goods if he’d been honest about it. What we’re getting are millions of Americans whose insurance companies had to—had to—cancel their policies because they didn’t meet ObamaCare’s standards. Yes, you can keep your plan, as long as the government says you can. And then you can’t. Ben Shapiro tweeted, “PolitiFact rated Obama’s ‘If you like your plan, you can keep it’ as ‘half true.’ Which half? ‘If you like it’?”
Oh, and you can keep your doctor, as long as he doesn’t leave the practice, or get laid off from the hospital. There are links in the show notes to stories about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is, for many Americans, not being very protective in this regard.
And the “affordable” part? Not so much, either. First there was the promise.
And now comes the reality. Supporters of ObamaCare, most notably, are getting acute cases of “sticker shock” as they find out how much their premiums will go up. A writer at the left-wing Daily Kos website was floored that his rates were doubling.
I never felt too good about how this was passed and what it entailed, but I figured if it saved Americans money, I could go along with it.
I don’t know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people.
What am I missing?
Well for starters, you’re missing the reality of basic economics. And, as Dave Ramsey says, you’re missing basic math skills. What happening is that non-subsidized premiums are skyrocketing, but even if you get the subsidies, the deductibles are huge, reaching 10-12 thousand dollars. Sure the insurance may be affordable, but the health care is not.
But it’s not even so much the broken promises, so much as it is the fact that they knew, from the start of this awful bill, that they couldn’t keep it. Regulations within the bill itself give an estimate that 40 to 67 percent of customers who bought their own insurance will not be able to keep their policy. That’s an estimate right in the bill.
But Obama kept parroting that promise, and the media kept dutifully reporting it. From the “Now They Tell Us” Department, NBC News now reports this rather important bit of information, now that the bill has passed the Congress and the Supreme Court, and has started signing people up. And this startling revelation was worth a whopping 21 seconds on the NBC Nightly News.
Yeah, you can report on how the administration lied to us, but what about the journalistic malpractice in not doing this digging years ago? I’m looking at all of you, including CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox.
Why is it that conservatives saws this coming but liberals didn’t? And why were conservatives who pointed this out called “racists” (and still are)? The truth would have benefited conservatives, liberals and independents. But blind partisanship won the day, and we’ve all been dragged into the same pit.
Indeed, dealing with the pre-existing conditions issue and lowering the cost of insurance are admirable goals. But the ObamaCare way of dealing with this is, overall, not the way to do it. The Republicans have had their proposal up on the web for all to see for years; a plan to fix the specific problems without upending the entire industry and forcing government’s choice on the individual.
Blogger Donald Sensing noted that someone writing at the very liberal Daily Kos website was rather irked that, due to ObamaCare, she’d wind up paying over $8000 a year for what she called “crappy, high-deductible insurance” in New York state. The writer notes, “This means we will all be required to pay steep premiums and deductibles but may not have the financial resources to actually access healthcare.”
You mean ObamaCare is not going to be the panacea its proponents claimed it would be? Color me meh.
She concludes , “I am reminded on days like today, that President Obama campaigned on the idea that people like me would see something like a $2500 reduction in health insurance costs. What was I thinking?” Don Sensing surmises that thinking didn’t enter into it. I’d say, wow, now who could have anticipated that?
The IRS will be one of the agencies collecting data for ObamaCare. Odd, then, that the National Treasury Employees Union, whose members include most of those IRS workers, is encouraging them to write their Congressman and protest being put into those very exchanges that ObamaCare proponents consider so wonderful.
Congressman David Camp has introduced legislation to force all federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the exchanges. Camp actually thinks that ObamaCare should be repealed, but if what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, why should government employees be exempt from this big government program? After all, the whole point is to get more people to participate so that (so the theory goes) insurance costs will be lower for those who need subsidies, right? The fewer the participants, the higher the cost for everyone, right?
And unions were the biggest backers of this plan. So, you have to wonder why this union is trying to get out of this. Oh, and DC legislators and their staff; they’ll be exempt, too. Subsidizing for thee, but not for me, so the saying goes. Or ought to.
ObamaCare will require the use of an ID card. Does that make it racist? If not, would requiring an ID card to vote be racist? Or how about this; what if we used the ObamaCare card as a voter ID card? Would heads explode?
And will likely pay with his life.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is dying of cancer in Havana, in a live demonstration of Cuba’s vaunted socialized medical care. He went there instead of Brazil because he wanted to make a political statement. What irony.
As party cronies hover at his bedside, Cuban officials bark orders to the government in Caracas, and red-shirted Chavistas hold vigils, all signs are pointing to an imminent exit for the Venezuelan leader who controls a huge part of the world’s oil.
He’s going out exactly as he wouldn’t have liked — helpless and at the mercy of doctors, a far cry from the blaze of heroic socialist glory he might have preferred.
Most galling for him: It didn’t have to happen this way.
His expected demise will be entirely due to his gullibility to leftist propaganda and bad choices that came of it.
Remember, this is the Michael-Moore-acclaimed Cuban health care system covered in his movie "Sicko".
But don’t worry – I’m sure it’s for “the common good.”
From The Guardian,
Growing numbers of elderly and sick Germans are being sent overseas for long-term care in retirement and rehabilitation centres because of rising costs and falling standards in Germany.
…with increasing numbers of Germans unable to afford the growing costs of retirement homes, and an ageing and shrinking population, the number expected to be sent abroad in the next few years is only likely to rise. Experts describe it as a “time bomb”.
Germany has one of the fastest-ageing populations in the world, and the movement here has implications for other western countries, including Britain, particularly amid fears that austerity measures and rising care costs are potentially undermining standards of residential care.
Something to think about as we travers the road towards nationalized healthcare.
The Last Radicals
From the National Review,
There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction. It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional.
The author contends that opponents to homeschoolers have three core reasons.
The first is that progressives by their nature do not trust people as individuals and feel that, whether we are applying for a credit card or popping into 7-Eleven for a soft drink, Americans require state-appointed overseers.
The second reason for this hostility is that while there is a growing number of secular, progressive, organic-quinoa-consuming homeschool families, there remains a significant conservative and Christian component.
A third reason is that the majority of homeschool teachers are mothers. A traditional two-parent family with one full-time breadwinner and one stay-at-home parent is practically built into the model.
Long live independence!
Safe, legal and… rare?
From Touchstone Magazine,
The Federal Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) released a report on the eve of Thanksgiving showing that there was an historic drop of five percent in the abortion rate, the most in a decade. The data is from 2009, the latest year available, and shows that there were only 789,000 abortions. [emphasis in original]
The author states that data from California was not included, so the number of abortions most likely was over 1,000,000.
As for the demographics, this unsettling note,
Approximately 85 percent of women who aborted their babies were unmarried. The majority of abortions are performed by the eighth week of pregnancy. White women had the lowest abortion rate, at about 8.5 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age; the rate for African-American women was about four times that; and the abortion rate for Hispanic women was about 19 per 1,000.
The liberal mantra of being there for the disadvantaged seems to get turned on its head.
And to put some perspective on the killing of 1,000,000 unborn children every year, it’s like having 137 Sandy Hook mass killings EVERY DAY.
A belated Christmas Light Painting link for you all
Here’s a great example!
© Michael Ross
Doctrine vs. Methodology?
From The Gospel Coalition,
Pastors constantly face temptation to devote more time and energy to methods rather than to doctrine. If that includes you, then give heed to Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 4:16: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Following the imperative to keep watch on himself, Paul further instructs Timothy to keep watch on his doctrine. My observation, however, is that most ministers aren’t doing this. They don’t talk about doctrine. They don’t read it. If they’re paying close attention to anything, it is their methods and psychology. What’s the result? Less biblical fidelity. Less interest in truth. Less seriousness. Less depth.
Neglecting doctrine results in less capacity to offer a compelling alternative to the thinking of our generation. I often hear the excuse that pastors aren’t studying theology because they’re too busy trying to reach more people. Ironically, this pursuit of identification often comes with a corresponding loss of communication. We put forth all this effort to make people feel comfortable and at home so they don’t feel the difference between life in Christ and life without Christ. Problem is, it is supposed to be different when you come to Christ. That is the point.
From Radicals to Oddballs
Oh, those homeschoolers,
There are two facets to educating a child well. The first is to recognize that education is not merely the accumulation of facts, but that it has an unavoidably moral aspect. A suitable education must do more, therefore, than simply teach facts, even moral facts. Education must seek to cultivate the moral imagination of the child, for reducing moral education to a list of rules is bound to fail.
From the Daily Mail in London:
Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’.
Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults.
But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.
One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.
Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.
The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by ministers.
The fact is, when a bureaucracy pays for health care, its main focus over time becomes the money, not the lives. This, frankly, must happen when we hand over our freedoms to the government. Human nature fairly dictates that, again over time, our better natures lose to the almighty dollar/pound/euro. When we, individually, determine how and where our money’s spent, we can make better choices than society in the aggregate.
Individuals have a conscience. Government entities don’t.
(Hey, if Democrats can invent a war, so can I.)
Hobby Lobby had filed suit to block the ObamaCare contraception mandate. They lost round 1.
As a “secular” corporation, they have no rights to use the religious beliefs of their ownership as a justification not to abide by the contraception mandate. This decision is inconsistent with the Tyndale House one you may have heard about. So apparently being a Bible publisher does make you religious, but being a Bible seller doesn’t.
The argument the administration advanced successfully in the Hobby Lobby case is a particularly troublesome one for believers of all faiths who operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money. According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s "free exercise" clause because “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.”
Hobby Lobby is an all-American success story if there ever was one. Read the whole thing for their history. But now, with ObamaCare breathing down our collective necks, you lose your religious freedom the minute you start a company.
The company remained all privately owned, with no franchising. Their statement of purposes and various commitments all begin with Bible verses, commitments to honor the Lord. The Hobby Lobby folks pay well above minimum wage and have increased salaries four years in a row despite the recession. They are teetotalers of the old Oral Roberts variety, refusing to stock shot glasses, don’t sell any of their store locations with liquor stores, don’t allow backhauling of beer shipments – all things that could make them money, but they just bear the costs. Every Christmas and Easter, the Hobby Lobby folks advertise a free Bible and spiritual counseling. They are closed every Sunday. The family also signed the giving pledge, committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
So: I doubt this is the type of company to spend one dime on this contraception mandate. They will just drop coverage, and pay employees the difference, shifting them onto the exchanges or the taxpayer, rather than compromise their beliefs. It’s logical, it’s more predictable as a budgeting choice, and it will save them tens of millions in the long run versus retaining coverage and paying the fine.
I have to wonder if this wasn’t part of the plan all along; a self-fulfilling prophesy of the need for state insurance exchanges by forcing, in part, religious people who happened to have started a business to join them. That’s a little cynical, I’ll agree, but it’s tough to understand this blatant contravening of freedoms in the very first Amendment.
Arguing that a corporation isn’t a person is one thing. Arguing that you stop being one when you create one is another one entirely.
Same-sex marriage is approved in Maine. Colorado legalizes recreational marijuana. And (not, I think, coincidentally) Barack Obama wins re-election.
Is this the new normal?
ObamaCare will not be repealed, with its requirement that employers, even those that disagree on moral and religious ground, provide for abortions. And if we lose any Supreme Court justices, there’s no doubt that we’ll get replacements with the same disregard for the least of "the least of these".
In addition, ObamaCare comes with, using the term of one former Illinois Senator’, "massive, job-killing tax increases". In the short term I’m sure the folks will love it. So did the folks in the countries of Europe, where they’re going broke, running out of money to pay for the same sorts of things. Ask Germany, who will have to bail them all out, how much health care costs when it’s "free". Anyone in the US thinking "but this time it’ll be different" has their eyes tightly shut to their surroundings.
Financial guru Dave Ramsey tweeted this: "Expect the rich to dig in to survive big taxes rather than invest in the economy. Hope I am wrong. Good luck on new jobs."
And to my Christian friends who voted for Obama, this whole appeal to short-term thinking is, I believe, part and parcel to how the social issues came out in the election. How many of you really believe that abortion is what amounts to a civil right, and endorse same-sex marriage in spite of a clear Biblical definition of it? If you do, we have a whole set of other issues between us, but if you don’t, why would you vote for a party that does? If you believe charity is an issue of personal responsibility, why would you vote for an ideology that eschews person giving for the power and inefficiency of taxation? Did you buy into the lie that Republicans want to do away with the societal safety net?
A friend of mine tweeted, "Has it ever occurred to u that our party platform endorses the protection of innocent life & Dems end up demonizing us w/ impunity on issue?" And I would add, "and some Christians support such anti-life Democrats?"
My questions are not ones of frustration so much as they are out of confusion.
But Barack Obama did indeed get out the vote, with a good ground game (as I hear) and the American people have spoken. They also spoke and put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives, so I’m not sure exactly what they were trying to say. Essentially, we got the same government we had yesterday.
So "Forward!". Or something.
Death panels. "A 29-year-old woman will die without a new drug that the NHS is refusing to provide despite the manufacturer offering it to her for free, it emerged today." When Sarah Palin talked about death panels under ObamaCare, it wasn’t a prediction; it was a description of socialized medicine.
Extremism on abortion. "Obama and his party this fall are waging a political culture war, tagging Mitt Romney and his party as scary radicals on abortion and women’s issues. But for more than a decade in public office, Obama has fought a legislative culture war, holding abortion in higher regard than freedom of conscience or even basic respect for human dignity." Who’s the extremist, again?
Watching the polls, or not. "I think Mitt Romney is likely to win next Tuesday. For two reasons: (1) Romney leads among voters on trust to get the economy going again. (2) Romney leads among independents." Jay Cost looks at history and the independents; he doesn’t just number-crunch.
Unions. "[Utility] Crews from Huntsville [Alabama], as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can’t do any work there since they’re not union employees." When membership means more than helping people.
And another reminder that you can give to the Salvation Army for Sandy disaster relief.
Now that Paul Ryan is the VP nominee on the Republican ticket, his budget proposal has been in the spotlight all over again, and all the same distortions about it are being trotted out. Guy Benson writing at TownHall.com gives us 5 facts to remember about the Ryan budget.
- "The Republican reform plan totally exempts anyone over the age of 55 from any changes." Basically, if you like your plan, you can keep it. (I know I’ve heard that somewhere before.)
- The Democrats have already raided $741 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. They are the ones cutting Medicare.
- "Medicare’s own accountants have calculated that Medicare will be insolvent within 12 years." This means that doing nothing is really what guts Medicare.
- Ryan’s Medicare proposal is actually the result of a bipartisan solution, "co-authored by a committed liberal who understands that the clock is running out to save the program." And it’s means-tested so that the poorer get more protection.
- The plan increases spending every year, just not as much as Obama wanted in his budget proposal (which was, just to remind you, unanimously defeated by his own party).
That last point, calling a spending increase a "cut", is a ploy used by Democrats and parroted by the news media.
Keep these in mind when you hear talk of "gutting" Medicare. It’s just not true.
Does Andrea Mitchell of NBC really thing that’s in the Constitution, or is an inalienable right from the Creator? From yesterday evening’s NBC Nighty News:
MITCHELL: Playing a starring role for the first time in the campaign, Sandra Fluke, the former law student who became a lightning rod after Rush Limbaugh denounced her for supporting contraception rights.
I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means. I don’t really believe that it even exists.
Every time the Left wants you to pay for something, it reframes it as a "right". Don’t be fooled.
Episode 5 of the "Consider This!" podcast is out today and it’s all about a single topic, so I thought I’d post the script here for those who don’t do podcasts. If you do do podcasts, click here for the show notes and ways to subscribe, or just listen, to the show.
I mentioned previously that while the individual mandate was struck down as an exercise of the Commerce Clause, it hung in there as an exercise of the taxing authority of the federal government. That is to say, the way it was sold to the American people, and the way the Obama administration is continuing to try to defend it, is unconstitutional. By being given the authority to regulate commerce, Congress cannot force you to engage in commerce so that they can then regulate it. However, if arranged in a way such that you have to pay a tax if you don’t comply, well then it’s all hunky-dory. So then, when you hear Democrats insist that the mandate is not a tax, as they have been saying, remember that they are therefore arguing that it’s unconstitutional. They’re trying to have their mandate and eat it, too.
The main reason they’re arguing that it’s not a tax — going against a Supreme Court ruling that they are ostensibly in favor of — is because of the legislative ramifications. A tax can be repealed on a bare majority vote, and is not subject to a 60 vote Senate filibuster. This makes it much easier for, say, a President Romney and a Republican House and Senate to repeal. I would have thought that trifecta tough to accomplish this November, but with this ruling, I suspect a fire is going to be lit under many a conservative, and I hope that this translates into votes. I think Democrats, too, see this scenario as more plausible today than it was before the ruling, which is why they’re trying to make this particular hard sell. Billy Mays, the TV pitchman who used to try to sell you so many handy items, would be proud.
If you insist, against the advice of the Supreme Court, that the Commerce Clause should be good enough to implement a mandate, consider this. The intention of the clause itself was a negative power; a preventative, restraining one. It was written so that there was an authority to appeal to when there were trade disputes among the states. It was never intended to be a positive power by the federal government; one that allowed it to act on its own. Those aren’t my words. Those are James Madison’s. But hey, he’s just what some people call The Father of The Constitution. What would he know?