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Defending ObamaCare With Anecdotes

You’ve no doubt heard them yourself. I’ve heard them quite a bit; on social media, on blogs, and even in TV commercials. I’m talking about people with their own personal stories about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, has helped them personally.

It’s great to hear that people are able to get coverage for things that they either couldn’t get covered for before, or for less money. Who wouldn’t be in favor of that, and be glad for these people? It feels good hearing how people have benefited from this government program.

And that’s what those, especially on social media, are trying to say with their success story; this is a good thing, because it worked for me. Then I have to ask, what do we make of this story?

William Rivers Pitt, is the senior editor and lead columnist at the leftwing web site TruthOut. He has his own story which he posted at the Democratic Underground website, a forum for the far Left. (Have we figured out where this guy’s politics lie on the spectrum?) He first extolled the wonders of Obamacare, writing about his experience in getting signed up. System goes down in the middle of the session. No problem. Call the 800 number and finish the process there. “No. Big. Deal. Thanks, Obama.” That’s how he signs off that post.

And then reality set in. In another post later on, he relates his experience, not with signing up for Obamacare, but actually trying to use it.

What I’ve learned after a three-month war with these fiends: the ACA says the insurance companies cannot deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, which is true as far as it goes. But they can deny coverage for the life-saving medications necessary to treat those conditions. The insurance company I signed up with through the ACA exchange just denied coverage of my wife’s multiple sclerosis medication. We’re "covered," to the tune of $700 a month…just not for what she really needs.

He signs off that post quite a bit differently. Later he said he feels like a dupe, and wishes he had a time machine to undo what he’d done. His criticisms get to the point that the DU folks stopped allowing him to comment on his own post.

So then let’s consider this. Does this prove that Obamacare is an abject failure? No. Additionally, good experiences with it don’t prove that it is a success, either. If you contend that one is true, then you have to accept the other, and they come to opposite conclusions. Well then, what does any of this prove, other than that some people are doing better and others doing worse?

The answer is, it proves nothing.

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    Does the Pope Shop at Hobby Lobby

    No, but he does seem to be watching their Supreme Court case.

    Pope Francis and Vatican officials on Thursday told U.S. President Barack Obama they were concerned about "religious freedom" in the United States, an apparent reference to the contraception mandate in Obama’s health care plan.

    The talks included "discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church" in the United States, including "the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection," a Vatican statement said.

    Obama’s 2010 healthcare law, widely opposed by Republicans, includes a provision that requires employers to cover the cost of contraception in their health insurance plans.

    Catholic and other religious groups say the mandate forces them to support contraception and sterilization in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines.

    Just wondering if all those Democrats who have been falling all over themselves over the Pope when he seems to be saying something they like (whether or not he’s actually saying what they think he’s saying) will take note of this rather obvious political stance.

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      I don’t know how much the Vatican’s Chief Justice holds sway in terms of official church policy, or how much his opinion reflects the position of the Catholic church, but I thought I’d pass this along.

      In an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine –and transcribed by Life Site News — Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Obama “promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”

      “It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” Burke told the magazine.

      The former archbishop of St. Louis stated that Obama is trying to “restrict” religion.

      “Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,” Burke said.

      Burke took a swipe against Obama’s Affordable Care Act over the law’s birth control mandate, saying “such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago.”

      “In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly,” Burke told the magazine. “It leads to the loss of the freedom which a democratic government exists to protect. It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation.”

      Since this was transcribed by Life Site News, you know there’s an abortion angle, and there’s just a bit more at the link.

      The freedom of religion vs. freedom of worship is a distinction that I’ve heard elsewhere, and it’s good to hear it given voice by someone at the Vatican. These days, it’s almost like you lose that First Amendment right upon leaving the church building. You don’t, even if you own a business (i.e. Hobby Lobby). This is a serious concern.

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        From Russia, With Love

        • Russia taking over Crimea.
        • Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia worried about the same thing happening to them.
        • Russian forces massing on the border of Ukraine.

        No, this is not the opening scene of some pre-World-War-2 movie; it’s history from the past couple of weeks. But during the Cold War, Russia had control of all of these under the umbrella of the Soviet Union.

        In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan set out to defeat – not just contain, as his predecessors has done, but defeat – the Soviet Union. He succeeded. His detractors said, and continue to say, that he got lucky; that the Soviet Union was going to collapse under its own weight anyway, and it just coincidentally happened on his watch. But Reagan was the first President to actively try to bring it down. That it happened right after this attempt is a cause & effect that is extremely rare in geopolitical affairs. And those he liberated – from places already mentioned as well as Poland and other former eastern Bloc nations – certainly give him that credit. And he did it without causing a nuclear World War 3, which those detractors predicted.

        A huge foreign policy success in the 1980s liberated millions and kept them free. Understanding the world as it was – not being afraid of the Soviets, but projecting strength to keep them at bay – set the stage for their downfall. And understanding today’s world as it is, is absolutely required in order to deal with the foreign policy challenges of today. But our current President doesn’t recognize what’s going on right in front of him. Here’s an excerpt from one of the debates he had with challenger Mitt Romney

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1409sXBleg

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          New Source of Stem Cells

          Your blood.

          Scientists at A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have developed a method to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from a single drop of finger-pricked blood ("Human Finger-Prick Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitate the Development of Stem Cell Banking"). The method also enables donors to collect their own blood samples, which they can then send to a laboratory for further processing. The easy access to blood samples using the new technique could potentially boost the recruitment of greater numbers and diversities of donors, and could lead to the establishment of large-scale hiPSC banks.

          Imagine a stem-cell bank much like a blood bank. There is truly no need at all to destroy embryos for stem cells. Using blood and skin, the supply is endless.

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            Behind the Curtain of Macro-Evolution

            Professor James M. Tour is a highly-credentialed chemist, and a Christian. Check this link for the list, and for his contention that there is no scientist alive today who understands macro-evolution. Tour, of course, comes at this from a chemical point of view, and has no idea how something like that can happen at the molecular level. He’s asked over and over for someone to explain it to him, but so far no takers.

            In an article about an insider’s view of the National Academy, he explains the situation behind the curtain.

            Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public – because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said – I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go “Uh-uh. Nope.” These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, “Do you understand this?”And if they’re afraid to say “Yes,” they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.

            I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, “Let me ask you something. You’re a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?” We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, “Isn’t it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can’t go out there and talk about this?”

            If you understand evolution, I am fine with that. I’m not going to try to change you – not at all. In fact, I wish I had the understanding that you have.

            But about seven or eight years ago I posted on my Web site that I don’t understand. And I said, “I will buy lunch for anyone that will sit with me and explain to me evolution, and I won’t argue with you until I don’t understand something – I will ask you to clarify. But you can’t wave by and say, “This enzyme does that.” You’ve got to get down in the details of where molecules are built, for me. Nobody has come forward.

            The Atheist Society contacted me. They said that they will buy the lunch, and they challenged the Atheist Society, “Go down to Houston and have lunch with this guy, and talk to him.” Nobody has come! Now remember, because I’m just going to ask, when I stop understanding what you’re talking about, I will ask. So I sincerely want to know. I would like to believe it. But I just can’t.

            Now, I understand microevolution, I really do. We do this all the time in the lab. I understand this. But when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line –concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment … this is very hard to fathom.

            He does not claim the Intelligent Design label because:

            I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion.

            He is searching for the scientific proofs, but for macro-evolution, they just aren’t there, and no one in academia can provide them.

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              Equality

              No doubt, this is fallout from the Kermit Gosnell incident.

              The Arizona Daily Sun reports the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ or HB2284 pro-life bill has passed through the Arizona state House by a 34-22 vote on Tuesday. This came after an hour of debate on whether legislation is needed to make unannounced inspections at abortion clinics.

              The Center of Arizona Policy states abortion clinics are the only health care institutions in Arizona that the Department of Health Services (DHS) can’t immediately inspect when a violation is believed to have occurred. In order to have an inspection, a warrant must be obtained by government authorities. In addition after a clinics initial inspection when licensed and follow-up inspection a year later, no further inspections are mandated for the next two years.

              This is most certainly not a “restriction” on abortion or the availability thereof. It’s simply protecting women from unscrupulous abortion providers, and brings them in line with other health care institutions.

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                The Delaying Game

                Great line by James Taranto, summarizing the latest ObamaCare delay: "If you like your plan, and your state insurance commissioner likes your plan, and your insurance company likes your plan, you can keep it, possibly until after the next presidential election."

                How blatantly political.

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                  Hollywood "Tea Partiers" (Sort of)

                  “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality”, so the cliché goes. Well, if only it were that easy. Usually, they stay liberal.

                  Take Hollywood, please. This bastion of liberalism is now trying to get lower taxes to bring business back to California. Turns out that high tax rates have been pushing filmmakers out of the Golden State, into other states that don’t take as much of your gold.

                  The result is job loss there, and gains in states like Louisiana and North Carolina, with more business-friendly policies. The group Film Works has started a petition to have taxes cut on the filmmaking industry to bring back those jobs and economic development.

                  Now let’s see; high taxes push out business, and the solution is to cut taxes in order to jump start the economy and bring jobs back. If I didn’t know better, I’d say these folks were prime candidates for inclusion in the Tea Party. But of course, I do know better. One would hope that, seeing this economic reality mugging them, these Hollywood liberals would realize that this works for other industries, or the state as a whole. One would hope.

                  But hold not thy breath.

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                    Since I know there are some folks who deny that ObamaCare is impacting workers’ hours, here’s a NY Times article that notes that even the public sector is feeling the pinch already.

                    Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.

                    The cuts to public sector employment, which has failed to rebound since the recession, could serve as a powerful political weapon for Republican critics of the health care law, who claim that it is creating a drain on the economy.

                    President Obama has twice delayed enforcement of the health care law’s employer mandate, which would subject larger employers to tax penalties if they do not offer insurance coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week, on average. But many public employers have already adopted policies, laws or regulations to make sure workers stay under that threshold.

                    Harry Reid recently claimed, ”There’s plenty of horror stories being told [about Obamacare],” Reid said. “All of them are untrue.” Tell that to the workers of this country, Harry.

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                      Pens and Phones, Then and Now

                      A pen and a phone. That’s what President Obama recently said he had which could circumvent Congress on policy topics he wanted to get moving. Conservatives, like me, compared him to a king, giving orders and expecting everyone to jump. The Left took this opportunity to show that the number of executive orders that have been issued by Obama was less than any President in at least the last half-century. True enough, but as is usual, it’s a cherry-picked data point. There is more than one way to dictate.

                      Take ObamaCare, please. The number of times Obama has delayed, changed, or outright repealed parts of the law is staggering. If the law has that many problems, fix the law. Instead, he’s doing the very thing he campaigned against when running for President. He said that George Bush had taken too much power into the executive branch.

                      And now, with his pen and with his phone, he’s changing laws that he has no Constitutional powers to change.

                      Lately, he’s been doing the same thing with marijuana laws. John P. Walters, writing at the Weekly Standard, observes:

                      First, the administration made a unilateral decision to curtail enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in states where smoked marijuana has been defined as medicine (the only “medicine” that cannot meet modern medical standards). Next, the administration announced it would not enforce the federal law when the states of Colorado and Washington sought to permit the open sale of marijuana.

                      Ted Cruz, in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, had more examples:

                      When Mr. Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

                      None of these are executive orders, but they are just as empowering of the Executive branch, and are, in fact, worse, because you can’t easily count the number of times these power grabs have been done. Executive orders are numbered. Sitting on your hands and not enforcing something goes below the radar of the average American.

                      When we say we are a nation of laws, not men, we mean that it is the laws that govern us, not the whims of a particular man or group of men that have no accountability. If you’re a Democrat, would you be fine with this sort of behavior from a Republican? If not, make your voice heard. Because if you don’t, we will once again get the government we deserve. The government only has what power we give it. If you want a king, you’d better be happy with a king from either party.

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                        Wedding Cakes and Conscience

                        Is it un-Christian-like to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding? If so, isn’t it then hypocritical if the baker doesn’t look into every other wedding ceremony to see if any sin is being committed?

                        No, says Russel D. Moore. The two questions are completely different issues. The former defies the Biblical definition of marriage. He discusses the difference, complete with citations from the apostle Paul, in "On Weddings and Conscience: Are Christians Hypocrites?"

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                          "Doc Shock" Occurs As Predicted

                          As predicted, that is, by Megan McArdle:

                          In December, I predicted that “doc shock” was going to be a major problem for the U.S. health-care overhaul, as people found out that the narrow networks insurers use to keep premiums low often don’t cover the top-notch doctors you’d like to see if you get really sick:

                          And indeed, it’s already started, according to the Wall Street Journal:

                          Health-care wonks can insist that narrow networks aren’t news, but clearly, these networks are news to the folks in the plans — and now that they know, they aren’t happy.

                          Read the whole thing. They’re trying to fix this by passing laws, but that’s been done before with the whole HMO thing years ago. The result was costs continuing to rise.

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                            A Loose Definition of "Law"

                            I mean, if you can make it say whatever you want, if you can change it on a moment’s notice, is it really a law?

                            Most employers won’t face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, the Obama administration said Monday, in the latest big delay of the health-law rollout.

                            The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. Companies with more workers could avoid some penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers.

                            It’s such a great law, we have to keep delaying it! Well, for big employers. For the small ones and the individual, you’re stuck with it.

                            Oh, and why was this done?

                            The move came after employers pressured the Obama administration to peel back the law’s insurance requirements. Some firms had trimmed workers’ hours to below 30 hours a week to avoid paying a penalty if they didn’t offer insurance.

                            Because the administration saw the effect it was having on the economy, that’s why. It was causing such problems, that it just had to be delayed. Until after the mid-term elections.

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                              How Did Wisconsin Run a $1 Billion Surplus?

                              Scott Walker, the governor of the state of Wisconsin, survived a recall effort by unions in his state. I’d hope, though I wouldn’t bet, that they are glad that effort failed.

                              Because since then, he and the Republicans in his state legislature, have been busy cutting taxes and balancing their budget. The result has been that, over 3 years, they’ve cut taxes by about a billion and a half dollars, and the economy is chugging along a good clip, such that just this year they have almost a billion dollar surplus.

                              We ought to be asking our federal government to look at this. How did they do it? Let’s listen to Governor Walker describe it.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuzZRgEAw1k

                              Tough decisions, predicted by his detractors to destroy the economy, instead turned the economy around, gave them a surplus, more in their rainy-day fund, and which will be returned to the people instead of turned into a slush fund.

                              Now, you might not have heard about this from your typical media sources. A Republican governor, hated by the unions, putting conservative policies into place, with the result being a booming economy, just doesn’t fit the narrative. And when it comes time to vote again in Wisconsin, I hope the people there remember who fixed their economy, and who opposed those very policies.

                              Heck, I hope the rest of the country remembers that, if they get to hear about it. A state that generated a billion dollar surplus without mortgaging their future is a model that Washington, DC should be following. If they really cared about the economy.

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