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Category Archives: Healthcare

Mark Steyn on Flukemania

The always insightful and hilarious Mark Steyn finally weighs in on the charade surrounding the 30 year old child, Sandra Fluke’s perfectly sensible demand that we pay for her contraception and that a Catholic institution should be forced to violate its religious principles in order to accommodate her. That president Obama and the Democrats gleefully used this useful idiot to advance their big government desires granting the plebes protection for their sexual romps while stealing liberty with the other hand is not really surprising.

Bread and Circus. And Condoms.

Fantastic artwork from iMaksim. Click on the image to embiggen it.

All of us are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and a lifetime supply of premium ribbed silky-smooth ultrasensitive spermicidal lubricant condoms. No taxation without rubberization, as the Minutemen said. The shot heard round the world, and all that.

He’ll be filling in for Rush on Monday, so if you don’t want to go read the whole thing, I’m sure a portion of it will be covered then.

Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of the phoney congressional hearing, and aside from the moral implications, and aside from a government imposing tyrannical dictates on the people, the issue Steyn focuses on is whether this debtor nation can afford to do what Obama and the Democrats want to do.

Should we borrow money from China to pay for Sandra Fluke’s rampant promiscuity?

 

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” and other Obama lies.

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Aug. 11, 2009, President Barack Obama repeated a line he’s used many times in describing his health care proposal: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” In August 2009 PolitiFact scored this claim “Half True” and yesterday,  results from a Gallup Poll  would support my claim that Obama’s claim earns a score of “Bullshit”.

 Fewer Americans got their health insurance from an employer in 2011 (44.6%) than in 2010 (45.8%), continuing the downward trend Gallup and Healthways have documented since 2008. As employer-based health insurance has declined, the percentage of Americans who are uninsured has increased, rising to 17.1% this year, the highest seen since 2008.

Health insurance coverage in the U.S. for 2008-2011

It seems that this administrations mismanagement, at best or intentional destruction, at worst of our economy has resulted in more Americans being unemployed or underemployed in 2011 than in 2008 and fewer employees had health insurance from their employer, which may be because employers no longer offered it or the cost was too high for employees to afford.

What is most disturbing about this latest poll is that the segment of the population which has been most negatively impacted are those Americans that Obama falsely claims he is standing up for, those with lower incomes as well as young adults and Hispanics .

Employer-based health insurance declined among most major population subgroups last year, with the exception of young adults and seniors. It is also down significantly compared with 2008 across all groups.

High-income Americans are by far the most likely to say they get their health insurance from an employer, with 70.4% doing so in 2011. Low-income Americans are among the least likely to have employer-based health coverage, at 23.7%.

Young adults (31.1%) and Hispanics (28.3%) are also far less likely than most groups to get their health insurance from an employer.

Percentage with employer-based health insurace, by demo groups

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Healthcare, Obama

 

A Response to Tim Kaine’s Bumpersticker

Failed former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine’s Senate campaign has ripped off of Ken Cuccinelli’s KC4AG bumpersticker from 2009, when Ken was running for Attorney General.

This miserable former head of the Democrat National Committee, a man responsible for inflicting the scourge that is Barack Obama on the nation, the man who has publicly celebrated the reviled Obamacare, the man who wishes to fill the shoes of another miserable failure, Senator Jim Webb, a phony of the highest order, has offered up this as his bumpersticker.


This is my response.

Maybe I should go into production with this.

 

What am I to believe? The Chatter about an Improving Economy or my Lyin’ Eyes?

It is being spoken and respoken.  The Economy is in recovery.

For many years I commuted in and out of Richmond, VA’s far West End, but for economic reasons my Florida company decided that it would be best to close down our little office and have us work from home.  And I thank my lucky stars that I still have a job and a company that is reasonably solvent due to severe layoffs and belt tightening, even if it is in a dying industry.

But because my Internet provider had a malfunction, I temporarily lost Internet access today and had to find somewhere in town to log on to do my job. 

But that’s not the story.  Well, the layoffs and belt tightening, the austerity are PART of the story, but let’s move on.

When I left for home today at my old commute timeI was shocked at the light volume of traffic. 

When Circuit City corporate was here, this commute was extremely heavy and it took 5 or more traffic light cycles to make a left from Cox Rd. northbound onto Nuckols Rd., but then Circuit City died in Feb. 2009 and the traffic lessened considerably. 

Our office closed about 2 years ago, but still, it was a 3 traffic light cycle to get through that intersection.

Today, on a Monday in non-vacation season, it took only 1 light cycle and the turn lane wasn’t even half way filled.

There just weren’t that many commuters anymore. 

OK.  Maybe I was just lucky.  It was peculiar.  I was prepared for the usual vehicular combat from the days of old and I found myself with no competition to speak of.

Are other companies becoming more enlightened and allowing more and more of us to work from home thereby lessening the traffic flow? 

I’m thinking not. 

These are the everyday things that both distress me AND give me comfort that in spite of the spin from the White House and Clint Eastwood and the Obamasseuses from NBC et al.  You can’t escape the fact that the economy simply sucks and everyday people can’t help but notice the closing stores, the defunct retail chains, and the lessening job opportunities.  Properties, both residential and commercial are becoming increasingly vacant.  Prices for energy, food, and essentials are sky rocketing.

Couple all of this empirical evidence with all the people you know personally that have been devastated and it’s a pretty damning picture that’s hard to ignore and all the spin in the world can’t convince a recent victim of a business failure that the president and the Democrats have done them anything but harm.

This is Obama’s fundamental transformation of America.

You know what to do come November.

 

Now, even the left is calling on Kagan to recuse herself from hearing Health care case.

Now that the Supreme Court has officially decided to hear the challenge to the constitutionality of the PPACA (Obamacare), the calls for Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the case are flooding in. The issue is whether or not the Justice and former Obama administration Solicitor General through her previous duties, involvement, and expressed opinions, would be able to maintain the appearance of impartiality as required by federal statute. Predictably, these calls have come from pundits and politicians on the right. As noted in a previous post on DTN, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder does not see any reason for Kagan to recuse herself. I was unable to find any direct commentary on this from the president but his spokesman Jay Carney stated that this issue was examined and settled during the nomination process and any further calls to revisit the issue “sure sounds like a political thing”. Of course, Carney’s explanation makes no sense whatsoever, the senate confirmation process is an effort to determine whether or not that body should consent to the appointment of that individual to the court, not to excuse them from recusing themselves from any future case that court may hear. Also, as Fred Lucas of CNS news noted, we now have new evidence in the form of DOJ internal emails that strengthen the case for recusal.

Now a prominent and self-professed liberal and loyal Democrat constitutional professor of law is making the same argument. Eric Segall of Georgia State University College of Law recently made a non-political, fact based case for recusal. First, Segall explains the law as it pertains to judicial recusal;

A federal statute requires that any “justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Federal law also requires that a judge recuse herself if the judge previously served in governmental employment “and in that capacity participated as a … counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or has expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”

He then goes on to make a brilliant matter of fact case for recusal.

1)  She served as the solicitor general of the United States during the time that the ACA was furiously debated in Congress, discussed in town halls across the country, and enacted;

2) The ACA is the most important, controversial, and partisan piece of legislation put forward by the Obama administration while Kagan worked as the president’s top lawyer to the Supreme Court. If he didn’t consult with her about it, he should have;

3) She was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama shortly after the ACA was passed, and the president is closely and personally identified with the law;

4) She has to review the law just a few months before President Obama runs for re-election;

5) His re-election might well be affected by how the Supreme Court rules; and

6) We know she celebrated the passage of the law.

We know about her celebrating the passage from a recently released email from Kagan to Laurence Tribe, a liberal Harvard constitutional law professor who was also working for the administration at the time the law passed, in which she said, “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.” The email’s subject line was “fingers and toes crossed today!”

Now CNS is reporting that yet another email is indicating that Kagan was brought into the loop on Mark Levin’s Obamacare complaint. As evidence piles up and calls for recusal from both sides increase, it will be interesting to see if, as Eric Segall asks, Kagan views herself as a judge of law who is obligated to approach legal issues objectively and open-mindedly without regard to partisan political outcomes or if she is merely a left-wing ideologue with no regard for the integrity of the court.

 

Cuccinelli breaks down the 4th Circuit Court ruling of Obamacare mandate challenge

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli breaks down the recent ruling by the 4th Circuit Court masterfully in his most recent newsletter..

As you all probably know, we heard from the Fourth Circuit last week in Virginia’s
healthcare lawsuit.

The court decided unanimously to throw the case out on standing and not address the
merits of our constitutional arguments.

However, the story is far more complicated than that.  You may recall that Liberty University’s suit was heard at the very same time as Virginia’s. The court threw that case out as well; however, two of the judges stated
what they would have done on the merits, and that has interesting implications as we press on to the Supreme Court.

Here are the things I’m going to address today:

-The court’s ruling that Virginia lacks standing to bring the lawsuit;

-The implications of the court’s standing ruling for state sovereignty; and

-The extraordinary position of the court as compared with Federalist 51 (you know,
written by that radical guy by the name of James Madison…).

Then I’ll do a quick walk-through of the Liberty ruling, and I’ll explain how itrelates to Virginia’s case.  Finally, I’ll note the three unique aspects of what this court did last Thursday that make the decisions true outliers that need to be corrected.

The Court’s Ruling

Before the federal health care bill became law, Virginia passed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (VHCFA).  The VHCFA applies to employers and governments in Virginia and anyone else who might seek to force a Virginian to buy health insurance. With limited exceptions, it provides that no one can mandate that a Virginian buy health insurance.

Along came the federal government and passed the federal health care bill. In that bill was the individual mandate requiring most all citizens to buy federal government-approved health insurance.  The individual
mandate conflicted with the VHCFA, and under the supremacy clause the federal law would trump; however, the supremacy clause does not apply if the federal law is unconstitutional.

Thus was born Virginia’s lawsuit.

We sued the day the President signed the bill – May 23, 2010 – the 235th anniversary of Patrick Henry’s ‘give me liberty, or give me death’ speech.  So began our fight for liberty against the unconstitutional federal mandate.

To bring any lawsuit, a plaintiff must have what is called “standing.” Standing is the right to sue.

To have standing, a plaintiff has to be able to show three things: 1) an injury; 2) that is currently occurring or is certain to occur; and 3) the court must be able to remedy the injury if the plaintiff wins.

Virginia’s injury is that the federal government’s health care law stops Virginia from exercising its legal authority to regulate health insurance mandates using the VHCFA.

This is an injury unique to a state.  You and I don’t have a code of laws.  States do.  And States have the right to
protect their code of laws.  In fact, as attorney general, I have an obligation to protect Virginia’s laws (the district court judge in our case explicitly noted that responsibility).

Our suit was premised on redressing this sovereign injury.  However, the Fourth Circuit rejected our position, stating that, to allow Virginia to bring this suit would allow States to act as “roving constitutional watchdogs”
over the federal government.  And yes, that quote comes straight from the opinion!

We now know what caused the earthquake in Virginia – James Madison obviously saw a
draft version of the final order and rolled over in his grave!

This ruling is an extraordinary assault on state sovereignty and the role for States
envisioned by the Founders in our constitutional system.

If you read Federalist 51 – written by that constitutional radical from Virginia, James Madison – you will find that States are supposed to check federal power when the federal government gets outside its constitutional
authority!!!

From
Federalist 51:

“In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments [federalism], and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments [separation of powers].  Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people.  The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”

How do you suppose the “different governments” are supposed to “control each other?”  Contests of authority are carried out in the federal courts – exactly what we are doing, and directly contrary to the Fourth
Circuit’s opinion! In fact, as the United States Supreme Court noted in 1992 in New York v. United States,

“In 1788, in the course of explaining to the citizens of New York why the recently drafted Constitution provided for federal courts, Alexander Hamilton observed: ‘The erection of a new government, whatever care or wisdom may distinguish the work, cannot fail to originate questions of intricacy and nicety; and these may,
in a particular manner, be expected to flow from the establishment of a constitution founded upon the total or partial incorporation of a number of distinct sovereignties.’ Hamilton’s prediction has proved quite accurate. . . .
While no one disputes the proposition that the Constitution created a Federal Government of limited powers, the task of ascertaining the constitutional line between federal and state power has given rise to many of the Court’s mostdifficult and celebrated cases. At least as far back as Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 304, 324, 4 L. Ed. 97 (1816), the Court has resolved questions ‘of great importance and delicacy’ in determining whether particular sovereign powers have been granted by the Constitution to the Federal Government
or have been retained by the States.”

The Liberty Ruling

Liberty lost its case in the district court in the Western District of Virginia (we were in the Eastern District of Virginia), and so they appealed to the Fourth Circuit.  Their oral argument was the same day and before the same three-judge panel as Virginia’s.

The Liberty plaintiffs were found not to have standing in their case under what is known as the Anti-Injunction Act or “AIA”.  I won’t go into this, but suffice it to say that other judges around the country considered the AIA in
other cases and not one judge anywhere in America found this statute to apply. In fact, even President Obama’s Justice Department conceded in the Fourth Circuit that the AIA did not bar Liberty’s suit.

So,in addition to being the only appeals court to deny a State the authority to defend its own law, they are also the only court in any of the health care cases to find that the AIA applies.  That’s two “unique” conclusions.

The vote to dismiss the case based on the AIA was 2-1.

Normally, when a case is kicked out under the AIA (or on standing), the judges do not comment on the merits of the case.  To do so would violate the long held principle that the federal courts do not issue merely “advisory”
opinions.  However, in Liberty’s case, two judges did comment on the merits.

Judge Davis was the one judge that voted against kicking the case out under theAIA.  He said that he agreed with all of the other judges around the country who had concluded that the AIA did not apply. He then explained how he would have ruled on the merits, indicating he would have found Congress had the power to implement the mandate and penalty under the commerce clause.

It was not unusual for Judge Davis to issue an opinion that discussed the merits. Because he voted not to kick the case out under the AIA, all he was doing was saying how he thought the case should have been resolved.

Despite finding that the case was not properly before the court because of the AIA, Judge Wynn wrote an opinion that also addressed the merits of Liberty’s challenge. This opinion provided the THIRD “unique” aspect of the Fourth Circuit’s health care opinions.  Judge Wynn said that he would have upheld the federal health care law under the taxing power of the constitution.

So far, 16 different judges have addressed this subject and he is the ONLY judge in America to say he would uphold the federal health care law under the taxing power.

This is truly an extraordinary position.  What it means is that Congress can pass a law to tell you to do anything (as long as it doesn’t violate some other part of the constitution like the free speech or double jeopardy clauses),
and as long as they fine you ($$$) if you disobey their command, that fine is an exercise of Congress’ constitutional taxing power and that makes the underlying statutory command constitutional!

Congress could pass a law ordering us all to wear purple on Mondays, pink on Tuesdays,etc. and fine you $50 if you disobey.  And Judge Wynn’s reasoning would say that the $50 fine is an exercise of the taxing power and therefore such a statute was constitutional.

Conclusion

So, we lost in the Fourth Circuit; however, we are working on our appeal right now and will file it as soon as practicable.  And the fact that the Fourth Circuit is utterly alone in three extraordinary aspects of its rulings
leads me to be cautiously confident that the Supreme Court will take a different course regarding all three of those aspects of the Fourth Circuit’s decisions.

I am still cautiously optimistic that the individual mandate will be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and I am hopeful that we will have such a ruling by the end of June of 2012. Whether that happens in our case or in another does not matter so long as the correct constitutional answer is reached.

The federal government will likely try to slow the case down by asking for more time to file its brief in our case and by asking to drag out the appeal in the 11th circuit (where the Florida case with 26 other states wa decided). So it is still possible that this will not be decided before Election Day 2012; however, if you were President Obama, do you really want this being argued in the Supreme Court in October of 2012?  I would think he’d want it disposed of in June 2012 rather than watching a maelstrom of news coverage related to the case on the verge of the election.

Nonetheless, they keep doing everything they can to drag it out.

I will keep you informed!

Sincerely,

Ken's Signature

Ken Cuccinelli, II

Attorney General of Virginia

 

Politifact derails The DCCC’s MediScare Express

The DCCC is attempting to convince their loyal base that the evil Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, are attempting to end Medicare. They have sent out emails directing their followers to their brand new Medicare Action Center web site complete with talking points, key facts, letter templates, canvassing kits, and a schedule of upcoming Republican townhall meetings and encouragement to “Tell Republican Members of Congress to keep their hands off the Medicare benefits”.

We have already discussed the Democrats lie that despite enrolling 10,000 new baby boomers into the program the Democrats claim they can magically maintain the Medicare program as is with no reform. Now the main stream media may finally may be starting to report the truth. The St. Petersburg Times Politifact has given the DCCC a FALSE rating on their claim that Republicans and specifically Representative Robert Hurt R-VA5 voted to end Medicare and raise health care costs by voting for the House Republican budget and a Pants on Fire rating for its claim that “Seniors will have to find $12,500 for health care because Republicans voted to end Medicare.”

Politifact stated that the DCCC knows their claims are false but their incredible desire to scare seniors outweighs the need to be truthful and the DCCC is extremely misleading, kind of like Wiener’s desire to stay in office outweighs the need to be truthful. I guess it’s a Democrat thing.

 
 
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