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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare


    How Five Republicans Let Congress Keep Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies

    Health-care experts call it D.C. insiderism at its worst.

    May 7, 2015

    The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on April 23: Republican leadership was quietly pushing senators to pull support for subpoenaing Congress’s fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange — the document that facilitated Congress’s “exemption” from Obamacare by allowing lawmakers and staffers to keep their employer subsidies.

    The application said Congress employed just 45 people. Names were faked; one employee was listed as “First Last,” another simply as “Congress.” To Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter, who has fought for years against the Obamacare exemption, it was clear that someone in Congress had falsified the document in order to make lawmakers and their staff eligible for taxpayer subsidies provided under the exchange for small-business employees.

    But until Vitter got a green light from the Small Business Committee to subpoena the unredacted application from the District of Columbia health exchange, it would be impossible to determine who in Congress gave it a stamp of approval. When Vitter asked Republicans on his committee to approve the subpoena, however, he was unexpectedly stonewalled.

    With nine Democrats on the committee lined up against the proposal, the chairman needed the support of all ten Republicans to issue the subpoena. But, though it seems an issue tailor-made for the tea-party star and Republican presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) refused to lend his support. And when the Louisiana senator set a public vote for April 23, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies got involved.

    “For whatever reason, leadership decided they wanted that vote to be 5–5, all Republicans, to give Senator Paul cover,” one high-ranking committee staffer tells National Review. “So they worked at a member level to change the votes of otherwise supportive senators.” Four Republicans — senators Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer — had promised to support Vitter, but that would soon change.

    Senate staffers, according to a top committee aide, reported seeing Missouri senator Roy Blunt make calls to at least two Republican committee members, lobbying them, at McConnell’s behest, to vote no on subpoenaing the exchange. By the time the committee was called to quorum, Enzi, Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer voted no.

    To many observers, it was curious that any Republican would move to put the brakes on an investigation into Obamacare fraud, and particularly curious that they would pull back in an instance where the federal government was actually defrauding itself, one that so clearly illustrates Obamacare’s flaws by exposing the bureaucratic jujitsu and outright dishonesty required of federal employees themselves to navigate the law.

    Conservative health-care experts can’t understand the reasoning behind the GOP senators’ opposition. They see politics and self-interest at play, and they allege that Republican leaders are as invested as their Democratic counterparts in maintaining their subsidies, fraudulently obtained, while avoiding scrutiny from an overwhelmingly disapproving American public.

    “We deserve to know who signed that application, because they are robbing taxpayers,” says Michael Cannon, director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. The staffers who signed the fraudulent application, he says, “know who was directing them to do this. And so we have to follow the trail of breadcrumbs. This is the next breadcrumb, and whoever is farther up the trail wants to stop Vitter right here.”

    The story of the ill-fated subpoena can be traced back to the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) insisted that lawmakers and congressional staff join a health-care exchange set up under the bill. For government employees, that meant giving up government-subsidized health-care contributions of between $5,000 and $10,000 per person. The White House scrambled to find a way to allow congressional employees to keep those subsidies. In Washington, D.C., only the small-business exchange allowed them to do so. After secret meetings with House speaker John Boehner in 2013, President Obama instructed the Office of Personnel Management to allow Congress to file for classification as a small business, despite the fact that the law defines a small business as having no more than 50 employees and the House and Senate together employ tens of thousands.

    After conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained the application through a Freedom of Information Act request and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you’ve got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

    “I think it makes sense to find out what happened,” says Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs, a noted conservative health-care voice and a National Review contributor. “It would be pretty interesting to see whose name is on the forms,” he says. “It has to go beyond mid-level staffers.”

    But some congressional Republicans, it seems, are also resistant to getting to the bottom of the mystery — or, at the very least, they are content to let sleeping dogs lie.

    Committee rules for a subpoena require either the consent of the ranking member or a majority of the group’s 19 senators. Because Democrats quickly made their opposition clear, Vitter needed the approval of all ten Republicans. Nine of them quickly consented via e-mail; one senator was strangely unresponsive.

    Senior committee aides say that Rand Paul’s staff didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting the senator’s consent and, when they did, they refused to provide it. When Vitter attempted to set up a member-to-member meeting, his overtures were ignored or put off. Paul’s policy staff refused to take a meeting. When Vitter tried to confront Paul on the Senate floor, they say, the Kentucky senator skirted the issue.

    It wasn’t until after the vote that Paul shared his reasoning. “Senator Paul opposes allowing Congress to exempt themselves from any legislation,” an aide told the Conservative Review. “To that end, yesterday, he reintroduced his proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit Congress from passing any law that exempts themselves. Senator Paul prefers this option over a partisan cross-examination of Congressional staff.”

    But a constitutional amendment is a longshot that would take years, and it hardly precluded an investigation of congressional corruption here and now.

    “That’s absurd,” says Robert Moffit, the director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You don’t need a constitutional amendment to get a subpoena . . . I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

    “The answers he has given do not make sense,” Cannon says of Paul. “And when someone with his principles does something that is so obviously against his principles, and does not give an adequate explanation, you begin to think that politics is afoot. It would have to be someone very powerful that made him a powerful pitch — or threat — to keep him from doing this.”

    Paul’s press secretary tells National Review that the senator “examines every opportunity to [oppose Obamacare] individually, and does not base his vote on requests made by other senators, including the majority leader.”

    Asked whether McConnell pushed Paul or any other senator on the subpoena, a spokesman for McConnell says the majority leader “didn’t make any announcements when that committee voted.”

    The flip-flopping Republicans justified their change of heart. Risch said in the April 23 committee meeting that legal wrangling with the D.C. exchange could take time away from the committee’s small-business work. Enzi said he saw little wrong with the application as is.

    “Each of us has our own budget, each of us has our own staff,” he said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m way under 50 [employees]. So my staff qualifies as a small business.”

    Enzi was one of the original sponsors of Vitter’s 2013 amendment to end the congressional Obamacare exemption, but his press secretary tells National Review he felt the probe “could inadvertently target staff who simply completed paperwork as part of their job.” He insists that Enzi “made up his own mind.” Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer declined to comment.

    A spokesman for South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who voted for the subpoena, says that nobody lobbied him one way or the other, while a spokesman for Florida senator Marco Rubio, who also voted in favor of the measure, declined to comment.

    Health-care experts dismiss Enzi’s claim that each member’s office is its own small business, and not just because the health exchange application was filed for Congress as a whole. “These congressional offices that think they’re small businesses, are they LLCs?” Cannon asks. “Are they S-Corps? Are they shareholder-owned? Are they privately held? What is the ownership structure of this small business that you’re running, senator? It’s just utterly ridiculous.”

    “They’re transparently absurd,” says Moffit of Senate Republicans claiming small-business status. “Who made the determination that Congress is a small business and is therefore eligible for subsidies that do not legally exist? How did that happen?”

    No one quite knows what’s behind leadership’s apparent push to kill the subpoena. The move baffled some committee staffers. “The amount of blood that McConnell and Paul spilled to prevent [the subpoena] from happening makes me wonder [if] maybe that isn’t all that there is to it,” the high-ranking staffer says. “Maybe other people signed it . . . They’re clearly afraid of something bigger than a person’s name getting out there.”

    Others, however, think the motives behind GOP leadership’s apparent obfuscation are clear. “If there’s one thing that absolutely drives Americans fundamentally crazy, it’s the idea that Congress can set one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else,” says Moffit. “That’s political poison, and that’s why they have been so desperate to avoid the issue.”

    “The most powerful interest group in Washington D.C., is not the Chamber or the unions or anyone else,” Cannon says. “It is members of Congress and their staffs. And when it comes to their benefits, they are all members of the same party.”

    Update: A previous version of this piece said Senator Vitter’s staff tracked down Congress’s applications to the D.C. health exchange. In fact, it was the conservative group Judicial Watch that first obtained the applications through a FOIA request.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare


    How Five Republicans Let Congress Keep Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies

    Health-care experts call it D.C. insiderism at its worst.

    May 7, 2015

    The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on April 23: Republican leadership was quietly pushing senators to pull support for subpoenaing Congress’s fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange — the document that facilitated Congress’s “exemption” from Obamacare by allowing lawmakers and staffers to keep their employer subsidies.

    The application said Congress employed just 45 people. Names were faked; one employee was listed as “First Last,” another simply as “Congress.” To Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter, who has fought for years against the Obamacare exemption, it was clear that someone in Congress had falsified the document in order to make lawmakers and their staff eligible for taxpayer subsidies provided under the exchange for small-business employees.

    But until Vitter got a green light from the Small Business Committee to subpoena the unredacted application from the District of Columbia health exchange, it would be impossible to determine who in Congress gave it a stamp of approval. When Vitter asked Republicans on his committee to approve the subpoena, however, he was unexpectedly stonewalled.

    With nine Democrats on the committee lined up against the proposal, the chairman needed the support of all ten Republicans to issue the subpoena. But, though it seems an issue tailor-made for the tea-party star and Republican presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) refused to lend his support. And when the Louisiana senator set a public vote for April 23, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies got involved.

    “For whatever reason, leadership decided they wanted that vote to be 5–5, all Republicans, to give Senator Paul cover,” one high-ranking committee staffer tells National Review. “So they worked at a member level to change the votes of otherwise supportive senators.” Four Republicans — senators Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer — had promised to support Vitter, but that would soon change.

    Senate staffers, according to a top committee aide, reported seeing Missouri senator Roy Blunt make calls to at least two Republican committee members, lobbying them, at McConnell’s behest, to vote no on subpoenaing the exchange. By the time the committee was called to quorum, Enzi, Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer voted no.

    To many observers, it was curious that any Republican would move to put the brakes on an investigation into Obamacare fraud, and particularly curious that they would pull back in an instance where the federal government was actually defrauding itself, one that so clearly illustrates Obamacare’s flaws by exposing the bureaucratic jujitsu and outright dishonesty required of federal employees themselves to navigate the law.

    Conservative health-care experts can’t understand the reasoning behind the GOP senators’ opposition. They see politics and self-interest at play, and they allege that Republican leaders are as invested as their Democratic counterparts in maintaining their subsidies, fraudulently obtained, while avoiding scrutiny from an overwhelmingly disapproving American public.

    “We deserve to know who signed that application, because they are robbing taxpayers,” says Michael Cannon, director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. The staffers who signed the fraudulent application, he says, “know who was directing them to do this. And so we have to follow the trail of breadcrumbs. This is the next breadcrumb, and whoever is farther up the trail wants to stop Vitter right here.”

    The story of the ill-fated subpoena can be traced back to the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) insisted that lawmakers and congressional staff join a health-care exchange set up under the bill. For government employees, that meant giving up government-subsidized health-care contributions of between $5,000 and $10,000 per person. The White House scrambled to find a way to allow congressional employees to keep those subsidies. In Washington, D.C., only the small-business exchange allowed them to do so. After secret meetings with House speaker John Boehner in 2013, President Obama instructed the Office of Personnel Management to allow Congress to file for classification as a small business, despite the fact that the law defines a small business as having no more than 50 employees and the House and Senate together employ tens of thousands.

    After conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained the application through a Freedom of Information Act request and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you’ve got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

    “I think it makes sense to find out what happened,” says Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs, a noted conservative health-care voice and a National Review contributor. “It would be pretty interesting to see whose name is on the forms,” he says. “It has to go beyond mid-level staffers.”

    But some congressional Republicans, it seems, are also resistant to getting to the bottom of the mystery — or, at the very least, they are content to let sleeping dogs lie.

    Committee rules for a subpoena require either the consent of the ranking member or a majority of the group’s 19 senators. Because Democrats quickly made their opposition clear, Vitter needed the approval of all ten Republicans. Nine of them quickly consented via e-mail; one senator was strangely unresponsive.

    Senior committee aides say that Rand Paul’s staff didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting the senator’s consent and, when they did, they refused to provide it. When Vitter attempted to set up a member-to-member meeting, his overtures were ignored or put off. Paul’s policy staff refused to take a meeting. When Vitter tried to confront Paul on the Senate floor, they say, the Kentucky senator skirted the issue.

    It wasn’t until after the vote that Paul shared his reasoning. “Senator Paul opposes allowing Congress to exempt themselves from any legislation,” an aide told the Conservative Review. “To that end, yesterday, he reintroduced his proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit Congress from passing any law that exempts themselves. Senator Paul prefers this option over a partisan cross-examination of Congressional staff.”

    But a constitutional amendment is a longshot that would take years, and it hardly precluded an investigation of congressional corruption here and now.

    “That’s absurd,” says Robert Moffit, the director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You don’t need a constitutional amendment to get a subpoena . . . I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

    “The answers he has given do not make sense,” Cannon says of Paul. “And when someone with his principles does something that is so obviously against his principles, and does not give an adequate explanation, you begin to think that politics is afoot. It would have to be someone very powerful that made him a powerful pitch — or threat — to keep him from doing this.”

    Paul’s press secretary tells National Review that the senator “examines every opportunity to [oppose Obamacare] individually, and does not base his vote on requests made by other senators, including the majority leader.”

    Asked whether McConnell pushed Paul or any other senator on the subpoena, a spokesman for McConnell says the majority leader “didn’t make any announcements when that committee voted.”

    The flip-flopping Republicans justified their change of heart. Risch said in the April 23 committee meeting that legal wrangling with the D.C. exchange could take time away from the committee’s small-business work. Enzi said he saw little wrong with the application as is.

    “Each of us has our own budget, each of us has our own staff,” he said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m way under 50 [employees]. So my staff qualifies as a small business.”

    Enzi was one of the original sponsors of Vitter’s 2013 amendment to end the congressional Obamacare exemption, but his press secretary tells National Review he felt the probe “could inadvertently target staff who simply completed paperwork as part of their job.” He insists that Enzi “made up his own mind.” Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer declined to comment.

    A spokesman for South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who voted for the subpoena, says that nobody lobbied him one way or the other, while a spokesman for Florida senator Marco Rubio, who also voted in favor of the measure, declined to comment.

    Health-care experts dismiss Enzi’s claim that each member’s office is its own small business, and not just because the health exchange application was filed for Congress as a whole. “These congressional offices that think they’re small businesses, are they LLCs?” Cannon asks. “Are they S-Corps? Are they shareholder-owned? Are they privately held? What is the ownership structure of this small business that you’re running, senator? It’s just utterly ridiculous.”

    “They’re transparently absurd,” says Moffit of Senate Republicans claiming small-business status. “Who made the determination that Congress is a small business and is therefore eligible for subsidies that do not legally exist? How did that happen?”

    No one quite knows what’s behind leadership’s apparent push to kill the subpoena. The move baffled some committee staffers. “The amount of blood that McConnell and Paul spilled to prevent [the subpoena] from happening makes me wonder [if] maybe that isn’t all that there is to it,” the high-ranking staffer says. “Maybe other people signed it . . . They’re clearly afraid of something bigger than a person’s name getting out there.”

    Others, however, think the motives behind GOP leadership’s apparent obfuscation are clear. “If there’s one thing that absolutely drives Americans fundamentally crazy, it’s the idea that Congress can set one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else,” says Moffit. “That’s political poison, and that’s why they have been so desperate to avoid the issue.”

    “The most powerful interest group in Washington D.C., is not the Chamber or the unions or anyone else,” Cannon says. “It is members of Congress and their staffs. And when it comes to their benefits, they are all members of the same party.”

    Update: A previous version of this piece said Senator Vitter’s staff tracked down Congress’s applications to the D.C. health exchange. In fact, it was the conservative group Judicial Watch that first obtained the applications through a FOIA request.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Obamacare lives...

    6-3, Roberts jumped ship and Kennedy joined him.

    Scalia said in his dissent it should start being called SCOTUScare. Judge Napolitano said on FNC he hasn't read such a scathing dissent before.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Wow...

    Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed ("penalty” means tax, "further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, "established by the State”means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence.And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.
    I dissent. - SCALIA, J., dissenting

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    How to kill a middle class. They should teach a college level class.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Anyone surprised? I'm not.

    We essentially have a kleptocracy in Washington that justifies itself by doling bits back to "the people" to pander votes.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Pretty much...

    Any guesses on how the gay marriage case is going to go down?

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Gay Marriage is going to become law everywhere. There's simply no way it can go any other way. The sooner it happens, the sooner I don't have to hear about it any more. I don't care what gays do, I simply don't want to hear about it. I also believe that if you don't want to bake a gay cake, you shouldn't be required to, so I don't know how that is going to unfold.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    I really did choose the right time to bail out of the country didn't I?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    For First Time Ever, Senate Votes to Repeal Obamacare

    Government
    For First Time Ever, Senate Votes to Repeal Obamacare — This Is What You Can Expect to Happen Next

    Oliver Darcy








    The Senate voted Thursday evening for the first time ever to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, passing the measure 52-47.
    Image source: Screen grab via CSPAN


    The bill will now head to the House, where it should win easy approval from the Republican majority.

    Congress will then send the measure, which also strips federal funding for Planned Parenthood, to Obama who will veto it.

    This marks the first time the Republican controlled Congress has ever sent a bill to repeal Obamacare to the president’s desk.

    In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has been relentless in his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, said the vote represented a “significant step towards repealing every word of Obamacare.”

    “Since before my first day in office, I pledged to do everything within my power to repeal Obamacare,” he said. “And over the last three years, I’ve worked day and night to do exactly that, sometimes to the dismay of those in Washington.”

    “This bill repeals as much of that failed law as we can under arcane Senate rules and the narrow guidelines of the budget,” Cruz added. “I am also encouraged that this bill prohibits taxpayer funds from going to abortion-providers. This bill is a substantial improvement over the original House bill, and I’m grateful to Senate conservatives and Senate leadership for joining me in making it so.”
    Planned Parenthood, however, saw things differently, releasing a statement calling the measure a “cynical political attack.”
    “In spite of these political attacks, we’re focused on providing high-quality, compassionate health care to people all across this country. We won’t be deterred by violence, smear campaigns, or cynical political attacks like this.”

    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Obama is gutting Medicare

    By Betsy McCaughey

    June 21, 2016 | 8:43pm

    Under the guise of “reform,” President Obama is dismantling Medicare — dooming seniors to needless pain and disability and shortening their lives.

    The stakes are high, because Medicare and the access it gives patients to medical innovations have transformed aging. Before Medicare, older folks languished in nursing homes or wheelchairs with crippling illnesses. Now, seniors dodge that fate, thanks to hip and knee replacements, cataract operations and heart procedures — all paid for by Medicare.

    The American Journal of Public Health reports that a man turning 65 can expect to live almost five years longer than he would have in 1970 — and almost all of it in good health. What a priceless gift.
    A gift Obama is snatching away.

    The president’s Medicare reforms make it harder for seniors to get joint replacements. His new payment rules shortchange doctors, discouraging them from accepting Medicare in the first place. New ER rules clobber seniors with bills for “observation care.” Under ObamaCare, hospitals get bonuses for spending less per senior, despite having higher death rates and infection rates.

    Expect the Medicare Trustees’ annual report, due out Wednesday, to ignore these problems.

    Obama’s latest assault is a 962-page regulation dictating how doctors treat patients. Precious minutes with your doctor are wasted completing mandatory reports for the federal government, and your ailment gets short shrift.

    Physicians are glued to computer screens, following prompts, seldom making eye contact with patients. Renowned New York cardiologist Jeffrey Borer’s fed up: “I need to interact with my patients.”
    “Doctors who want to provide individualized care” will have to “either opt out of Medicare or simply not comply,” explains Richard Amerling, past president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.

    Obama’s rules are “far too complex and burdensome to be workable for most physicians,” warns John Halamka, a Harvard medical professor.

    The new rules also make seeing Medicare patients a money loser. Annual fee increases for doctors are capped at a fraction of 1 percent — even though rents and other costs go up every year.

    No wonder nine out of 10 solo practitioners admit they’ll avoid Medicare patients — right when 10,000 new baby boomers are joining each day.

    Obama’s rules spell trouble for seniors with cancer. Doctors administering chemotherapy are getting a pay cut and being prodded to choose the cheapest drug, regardless of which medication is best for their patient. Dr. Debra Patt warned Congress this’ll hinder access to drugs like the immunotherapy that subdued former President Jimmy Carter’s cancer.

    Another Obama rule penalizes hospitals for doing hip and knee replacements on patients likely to need rehab after surgery, causing hospitals to shun older patients with complex conditions. Grandma will have to settle for the painkiller as candidate Obama notoriously suggested.

    Obama claims his rules reward quality instead of quantity. Don’t believe it. Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake has one of the worst scores in New York on patient outcomes, indicating its patients get more infections and die sooner from heart problems and pneumonia than at other hospitals. Yet Adirondack got a Medicare bonus because it’s a low spender.

    Same is true of Massena Memorial Hospital in Massena, NY, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Redwood City, Vacaville and Antioch, Calif. Sickening.

    During Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the president accused Republicans of plotting to “end Medicare as we know it.” A pro-Obama ad depicted a Republican pushing Granny’s wheelchair off a cliff.
    Who’s really pushing Granny off the cliff? Obama himself, with Hillary’s helping hand.

    Clinton proposes opening Medicare to people in their 50s. That would force seniors to compete with younger patients for resources — like in Britain and Canada, where seniors are labeled “bed blockers,” and certain treatments are reserved for younger patients with more life ahead.

    Seniors beware.

    https://nypost.com/2016/06/21/obama-...ting-medicare/

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    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Doctors Sue Obama Administration for Forcing Them to Perform Gender Transition Procedures

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/08/24/do...on-procedures/



    Kelsey Harkness / August 24, 2016

    Five states and a group of religiously-affiliated hospitals and physicians are suing the Obama administration over a federal mandate that forces doctors to perform gender transition procedures on adults and children against their medical judgment.

    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court, attempts to roll back a rule imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in May that expanded the interpretation of “sex” under the Affordable Care Act to include “gender identity.”

    In doing so, the Obama administration added transgender people to the list of protected classes under the Affordable Care Act, which states that individuals can’t be denied certain federally-funded health benefits because of their “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.”

    The move was part of a broader push by President Barack Obama to further transgender rights in the U.S.

    The implications of the HHS mandate are broad. By its own estimates, HHS said the rule would “likely cover almost all licensed physicians because they accept federal financial assistance.”

    For example, HHS said a doctor “specializing in gynecological services that previously declined to provide a medically necessary hysterectomy for a transgender man would have to revise its policy to provide the procedure for transgender individuals in the same manner it provides the procedure for other individuals.”

    “It’s a very rare moment in history when the government would force doctors to go against their conscience and their medical judgment and perform procedures that may be deeply harmful to patients,” said Luke Goodrich, a lawyer at the Becket Fund, which is representing Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, two of the parties involved the lawsuit.

    Also challenging the HHS mandate is Specialty Physicians of Illinois, along with the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Kansas, which are all led by Republican governors.

    Notably, the Obama administration does not require coverage of gender reassignment procedures under Medicare or Medicaid for children or adults because a government review of the clinical evidence available for gender reassignment surgery was inconclusive on whether it was helpful or harmful to patients with gender dysphoria.

    “Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria,” a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated.

    Instead, decisions for transition-related surgeries under Medicaid are made individually on a case-by-case basis.

    “So you have doctors reaching one conclusion, and then you have politically zealous bureaucrats in the Office of Civil Rights—a different branch of HHS—saying science be damned, every private health care provider in the country has to cover this stuff in their health insurance and the doctors have to perform it,” Goodrich told The Daily Signal.

    “It’s deeply hypocritical.”

    The lawsuit challenging the HHS mandate was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which is the same court that temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate on Sunday. In putting a halt to the policy that mandates public schools must open their restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to transgender students based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor argued the administration overstepped its authority.

    When HHS issued the new gender identity rule on May 18, the agency cited as authority the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate, whose legitimacy is now in question.

    In the HHS mandate case, plaintiffs argue that the Obama administration curtailed the voice of the people in issuing such sweeping regulations, and didn’t follow standard rulemaking procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act and multiple other federal laws. This argument is similar to the one brought by the 13 states challenging the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate in the same Texas court.

    Plaintiffs are also arguing that the HHS rules violate doctors’ ability to exercise their best medical judgement and their religiously-inspired desire to care for patients.

    “The new mandate forces doctors to perform gender reassignment procedures on individuals including young children, even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful and may violate the doctors’ faith and medical judgment,” Goodrich said. “These organizations care for transgender individuals all the time in lots of different respects but they cannot in good conscious or in their own medical judgment do procedures that would be harmful, so they felt like they had to get relief from the new regulation.”

    Jillian Weiss, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, suggested the lawsuit against HHS was unnecessary in a statement to The Associated Press.

    “The only thing a doctor is obliged to do is treat all patients, including trans patients, with dignity and respect and to make treatment decisions free from bias,” Weiss said. “If a doctor has a sound, evidence-based, medical reason to delay transition care for a specific patient, that would be respected under the regulations.”

    The Daily Signal sought comment from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, but they could not be reached.

    The Daily Signal also contacted HHS, which refused to comment. HHS referred The Daily Signal to the Department of Justice, which also chose not to make a statement.


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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Team Obama’s new low in the name of ‘trans rights’

    By Post Editorial Board

    August 27, 2016 | 9:00pm

    Modal Trigger

    Barack Obama Photo: Reuters

    One of the top guardians of American freedoms just entered the fight against the Obama administration’s insane excesses in the name of “trans rights.”

    The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued rules telling doctors they can’t decline to perform gender-reassignment surgery on kids if it’s recommended by a “mental health professional.” Refusal could be a career-ender.

    How crazy is the rule? Well, for starters, most trans teens identify differently later in life — yet reassignment surgery is often irreversible, and even less-radical procedures can be harmful, as HHS’ own medical experts note.

    Not to mention that the Hippocratic Oath (and basic human conscience) enjoins doctors from doing procedures they believe harmful to their patients.

    On top of that, the rule also orders private insurers and employers to cover the procedures — even though Medicare and Medicaid, which HHS oversees, don’t.

    Headed to court to toss the HHS rule is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is undefeated before the Supreme Court — capped by four wins when going up against the Obama administration.

    Becket’s clients of record here include Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations; five states have also joined the lawsuit.

    It seems an open-and-shut case: How can HHS possibly justify ordering a doctor to perform a surgery he believes harmful?

    Even the mandate to employers and insurers is a clear overreach. If the rule stands, those who won’t cover gender-transition procedures will face severe penalties — yet HHS has no basis in federal law for declaring this to be essential medical care.

    Indeed, a federal judge recently blocked another Team Obama trans-rights offensive for similar reasons.

    The Education Department wants to withhold federal funds from schools that don’t recognize trans kids’ right to choose which bathrooms and locker rooms to use. But that, US District Judge Reed O’Connor found, utterly misreads Congress’ clear intent in banning “sex discrimination” in schools.

    Bottom line: The administration is trying to impose its own trendy ideology across the land — in defiance of the law, science and democratic norms. Every friend of liberty should be fighting back.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    “Completely Unsustainable”: Obamacare Destroys Middle Class, Rising As Much as 67%. Just in 2017.

    Mac Slavo
    October 3rd, 2016

    Minnesota is in good company.
    Like dozens of other states across the country, its government-mandated health care exchange is facing steeply-rising premiums for individual plans at levels that are both outrageous and completely impossible for the average Middle Class family to pay or keep up with.
    And as future rates continue to rise – and it’s going to hurt a lot of people.
    Because the system was designed to fail; or, because the government and health care lobbies have so little regard for the people that will actually have to live and die by their rules, the prices are skyrocketing by more than 50% in Minnesota – and by similarly absurd numbers in other states – and the exchange narrowly avoiding collapsing altogether in 2017.
    via the Daily Caller:
    Minnesota will let health insurers increase their rates by at least 50 percent next year to protect the state’s Obamacare health insurance individual market from “collapse,” the state announced Friday.
    […]
    The increase in premiums for next year will range between 50 percent and a staggering 67 percent. This comes on the heels of an increase of between 14 percent and 49 percent for 2016. After those increases, Rothman warns, the annual growth rate will be completely unsustainable, showing a desperate need for reform.
    Of course, this massive failure – which, like everything else in the Obama Administration, is taking the heaviest toll on the middle class – is by design. Sen. Harry Reid admitted that the plan would collapse, only to usher in a truly-socialized single payer health care system from the ashes.
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was asked whether his goal was to move Obamacare to a single-payer system. His answer? “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.” (source)
    Regardless of the future of the system, it is hurting middle class Americans now, who are finding health care anything but affordable. Unlike those in the lower ranks of the working poor and the dependent, there are no government subsidies for those who work independently, and make too much for hand outs, but who are still a long way from being able to shell out for the cost of coverage.
    All that is definitely no good… the backbone of a vibrant American populace is being undermine and destroyed.
    As the Daily Caller notes:
    “Middle-class Minnesotans in particular are being crushed by the heavy burden of these costs. There is a clear and urgent need for reform to protect Minnesota consumers who purchase their own health insurance,” Rothman said at the time.
    About five percent of Minnesota residents, roughly 250,000 people, are dependent on the individual market for their health insurance. Obamacare requires all American adults who do not receive health insurance from their employer to either buy individual health insurance or pay a fine. The persistent increases in the price of individual insurance are a sign of a potential “death spiral” in the individual market, as the massive cost increases will likely encourage more people to go without insurance and pay the fine instead, thereby reducing the customer base for insurers and forcing additional rate hikes.
    The resulting cluster is driving insurance competitors out of the model, which is becoming increasingly monopolized by one or two providers… and even that won’t last.
    Under the problem-reaction-solution disaster model, this crisis will “require” yet another government intervention and takeover.
    Here are the expected premium increases for many other states, before Minnesota was added to the list (and don’t forget Texas, also added after this list, which faces a 60% increase):



    Read more:

    It’s True: Obamacare “Health Insurance Payment Is About To Jump”
    Not Wealthy Enough To Meet Skyrocketing Rates, “Middle Class Is Being Crushed By Obamacare”
    Texas Health Care Costs Skyrocket 60% in 2017: Obamacare At “Unaffordable Levels For Everyone”
    We Told You It Wasn’t Free: “I Was All for Obamacare Until I Found Out I Was Paying For It”
    http://www.shtfplan.com/commodities/...-2017_10032016

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare


    Sen. Rand Paul: Been Told To ‘Take It Or Leave It’ On Obamacare Strategy

    Kentuckian says ‘Conservatives are inclined to leave it’

    March 3, 2017

    Sen. Rand Paul on Friday said conservatives are being told to “take it or leave it” when it comes to the emerging House GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, setting up a major clash with leaders hoping to mark up legislation as soon as next week.

    Republicans are trying to repeal and replace as much of the Affordable Care Act as they can under a fast-track budget process that allows them to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

    Leaders have outlined a three-week timetable to get the legislation over to the Senate, where it must meet arcane budget rules and gather consensus among Republicans who hold a 52-seat majority.

    Yet a trio of Senate conservatives — Mr. Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — have objected to the House GOP approach, on top of centrists who are worried about unwinding Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid for the poor or defunding Planned Parenthood over its abortion practice as part of the draft plan.

    “The House is going to send something over, and you either take it or leave it,” Mr. Paul told CNN of leadership’s approach. “But I can tell you right now conservatives are inclined to leave it. We want a complete repeal bill, and the replacement bill should be separate, because we do have differences of opinion on the replacement.”

    Mr. Paul has swiftly become the chief agitator against a House GOP plan to provide refundable, age-based tax credits to people who purchase insurance on their own, while paying for it by taxing a portion of particularly generous employer-sponsored plans.

    Conservatives have cast the plan as a new entitlement, or “Obamacare lite,” and Mr. Paul angered House GOP leaders by searching for the latest draft of the bill on Capitol Hill, saying it’s being kept under lock and key.

    “When we heard it was secret, we wanted to see it even more,” Mr. Paul said.

    Relevant committees have said they aren’t trying to hide anything, but rather fine-tune their legislation before it’s held out for debate and amendments.

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan also said their proposals shouldn’t be a surprise, since members had the chance to offer their ideas before the GOP caucus released a consensus blueprint during last year’s campaign.

    A Politico report Friday said a revised version of the GOP’s draft bill, dated Feb. 24, retains the refundable tax credits but would tighten up the verification process for employed people, who must prove they don’t have access to adequate insurance through their jobs.

    It also said staff have been directed to consider whether an income cutoff for the tax credit is warranted, so that wealthier people don’t qualify for assistance.

    GOP lawmakers had floated the idea after emerging from a closed-door meeting on health care before leaving town for the weekend.

    “I certainly would favor that,” said Rep. Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican, said of an income cap. “I don’t think I need a refundable tax credit.”

    Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican and leading critic of the draft plan, this week had criticized the plan by saying it would tax the middle class “to give subsidies to others who could, indeed, be millionaires.”

    Still, conservatives’ objections are broader than income. They said Congress should fulfill their repeal promise to voters by reviving a 2015 effort that gained widespread consensus, before debating replacements separately.

    They also demanded transparency.

    “If they’re not embarrassed about the ‘Obamacare lite’ bill they have, they should show it to us,” Mr. Paul said. “But they also need to realize, they are not going to be able to do this against the wishes of conservatives. We have enough votes in the Senate, and we have enough votes in the House, to say, ‘Look, hold up a minute, if you want these big government programs, put them in a separate bill.’”

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    Well, from everything I've heard and read yesterday and today, if you hate your Obamacare, you're going to keep your Obamacare.

    Thankfully it sounds our Conservative allies like Lee, Paul, and Cruz are not only going to oppose the proposed Obamacare Lite but put forth their own Conservative replacement.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Until they open up interstate competition for health insurance it won't matter much what they do. It's the keystone to making any of this work. It's a simple ****ing fix, and every member of the government ignored it including Cruz and allies. Why? Because the Insurance Lobby is pretty powerful. Yes, I know they said it can be added later, but that's politician speak for "I like lobby money so no chance in hell!"
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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Baldwin View Post
    Until they open up interstate competition for health insurance it won't matter much what they do. It's the keystone to making any of this work. It's a simple ****ing fix, and every member of the government ignored it including Cruz and allies. Why? Because the Insurance Lobby is pretty powerful. Yes, I know they said it can be added later, but that's politician speak for "I like lobby money so no chance in hell!"
    Actually... Someone was beating the drum for a while.

    Unfortunately, no one listened.

    Ted Cruz Says Americans Should Be Able To Buy Health Insurance Across State Lines

    November 21, 2013

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested Wednesday that Americans should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines in order to increase choices and drive down costs as a solution to the Affordable Care Act.

    ...




    Cruz Pushes Obamacare Repeal Gambit That Could Roil the Senate

    March 10, 2017

    ...

    Cruz said he wants to repeal all of the insurance regulations in Obamacare that have increased premiums, and add back Republican ideas aimed at increasing competition, like association health plans and loosening regulations on insurers.

    “I think selling across state lines is an important piece of it,” he said.

    ....



    We missed a real opportunity...

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Wanted to mention I heard Pence on Mark Levin's show a short while ago and he did say they (he and Trump) want insurance across state lines as a part of the replacement.

    How badly they want it remains to be seen.

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    Default Re: Mandating health Insurance - Obamacare

    Man, if only we had control of the House, Senate, and Presidency. The things we could pass!


    House Freedom Caucus: Obamacare 2.0 Changes Do Not Address Illegal Aliens Receiving Health Care Through ID Theft

    March 21, 2017

    Recent changes made to the bill known as Obamacare 2.0 or “Ryancare” to persuade conservative House Republicans to vote for it do not address critical flaws—namely, allowing illegal aliens to obtain health care through identity fraud, a House Freedom Caucus spokeswoman told Breitbart News on Tuesday.

    On Monday, House Freedom Caucus communications director Alyssa Farah told Breitbart News last-minute amendments “do little to address the serious concerns of House conservatives.” Without the House Freedom Caucus, the bill does not have the necessary 216 votes to pass the House. On Tuesday, Farah confirmed that the updated bill does not, in fact, prevent illegals from receiving health care.

    Conservative author Daniel Horowitz explained earlier in March that a draft of Obamacare 2.0 tossed aside even perfunctory protections against illegal alien enrollment. “Although Obamacare didn’t require photo ID and fingerprints to verify identity, it did harness the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database. Thus, officials were at least able to check immigration status against Social Security numbers,” he wrote. “The problem with this bill is that because it tweaks Obamacare and creates a new massive entitlement system through the budget reconciliation process, it cannot have the statutory effect of mandating HHS and IRS work with Citizenship and Immigration Services to use the SAVE database because that issue is outside the jurisdiction of the reporting committees.”

    So, the Department of Health and Human Services and IRS will not even be able to check enrollees’ Social Security numbers to ensure that the buyer is a citizen, not an illegal alien.

    Estimates vary, but there are well over ten million illegal aliens present in the U.S., feeding an enormous appetite for fraudulent documents—including counterfeit Social Security cards using numbers that were either stolen from an American or will be assigned to a newborn in the future. During the Obamacare enrollment periods, Obamacare navigators signed up thousands of illegal aliens.

    The massive healthcare giveaway would incentivize greater illegal immigration in an era of suppressed wages, joblessness, and a raging opioid addiction epidemic. As more cheap labor surges over the border, so do drugs. The Republican leadership’s healthcare bill would only fuel this disastrous cycle.

    Furthermore, under the bill, illegals would receive care, counties that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton would receive a big financial boost, and Rust Belt voters who backed Trump would see their healthcare costs increase dramatically.

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