Why We Shouldn’t Call The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”

I was looking over a recent poll by High Point University, and one of the questions sparked my interest. The question read:

Would you say this statement is true or false?

“The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare refer to the same U.S. health care reform legislation that was signed into law on March 23, 2010.”

At first glance, the answer to this question would seem obvious. For the last four years, the word ‘Obamacare’ has been used synonymously with The Affordable Care Act. Even the president himself referred to the bill as Obamacare and embraced the fact that such a controversial bill held his name.

However, after the terrible rollout of the law back in October, and following an apologetic news conference concerning the bill last Nov. 14, the word Obamacare seems to have disappeared from the mouths of Obama and his surrogates.

Unlike most conservatives, I believe that Obamacare and The Affordable Care Act are two completely different things; and they deserve two completely different names. Surprised? Here’s why.

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act was passed four years ago in March of 2010.

As the public learned that we actually couldn’t keep our plans, and that premiums would rise and individuals would lose their insurance, the popularity of the law and Obama began to plummet.

How did the President plan to “fix” the problems that were destroying the poster child of his administration and what he envisions as his legacy? Through administrative and executive orders of course!

While the president issued executive order after executive order, delay after delay, and exemption after exemption, the media stood silent, except to blame Congress for problems and to congratulate the President “for taking action, while it continues to be gridlocked”.

The law we now have is no longer the same law passed by Congress. It is now truly Obama’s law and can rightly be called “Obamacare.”

President Obama was quoted saying he has a “phone and a pen” and that he’s “ready to take action”. Problem is, he’s not in any position to take legislative action or make executive orders to the ACA that legislatively change the bill.

Any American who has sat through a high school civics class knows that our government is made up of three separate but equally powerful branches. If one of the branches oversteps the bounds of their power, it is the job of the other two branches to “check” the usurping branch.

The president is the head of the executive branch; and in short, the executive branch’s job is to execute the laws passed by the legislative branch. The legislative branch legislates, or passes laws; and the judicial branch interprets the legality of the laws passed and the way the laws are executed.

The president has the power to make executive orders; but when these executive orders begin to change a law, that executive order then becomes unconstitutional. The president isn’t allowed to legislate; but that is exactly what Obama has been doing, issuing more than a dozen executive orders regarding the ACA.

The current state of The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act is completely different than what was passed four years ago. This is what separates the ACA and Obamacare – they are two fundamentally different bills because the president himself has radically altered the law.

The ACA is what Congress passed four years ago, and Obamacare is the current state of the bill. He has made the changes – they are his and his alone. Now it’s time for Congress and the courts to perform some oversight on the president’s actions and decide whether the executives orders are constitutional or not.

Spoiler Alert: THEY AREN’T!

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

An Argument For Modern Federalist Papers

Federalist Papers SC An Argument for Modern Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers are a set of 85 essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, published in 1787 and 1788. These papers were written in defense of, and promoting, the new American Constitution.

At this time in history, America’s leaders knew that their current system of government, the Articles of Confederation, were not able to sustain their new and fragile country. The Articles were considerably flawed; the state governments held all of the power, and the central government held very little power.

This was the time when the first two political factions arose – the Federalists being in favor of the Constitution, and the Anti-Federalists who weren’t exactly in favor of the Constitution.

In 1787, when the first Constitutional Convention was called to convene in Philadelphia, the majority of the delegates believed that they were there to revise the Articles and fix the problems that were present in the country.

However, from the onset of the convention, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and others went with the sole idea of creating a new government, rather than fixing the existing one.

Following the submission of the new Constitution to the states for ratification, opponents of the new government began to voice their opinions in the New York Press. These articles would become to be known as “The Anti-Federalist Papers”.

In response, Alexander Hamilton decided to write an extensive defense and explanation of the Constitution for the people of New York. He later recruited John Jay, James Madison, and “Publius” to help him write his essays.

People who believe that the Constitution is a living document tend to argue that, “The Federalist papers were written to support the ratification of the Constitution only and are biased papers that don’t explain the intent behind the Constitution.”

However, this could not be more wrong. The entire purpose behind the essays was to support the ratification of the new Constitution as well as explain each part of the Constitution and why it was written the way it was.

Moreover, Hamilton and Madison, who wrote the majority of the papers, were in attendance at the Constitutional Convention; and they were among the thirty-nine signers. Because they were there and participated in the debates, they would have a more working knowledge of the intent behind each part of the new document.

Therefore, when explaining the Constitution in the papers, they were able to give first-hand knowledge behind the intent and creation of the Constitution.

This can be seen with the Second Amendment, for example. Those who are against the Second Amendment say that it only grants the right to bear arms to a militia (or in modern times, our military.) However, both Hamilton and Jefferson explain that the Second Amendment protects our individual right to bear arms and that without that right, the people are subordinates of a tyrannical government.

In current times, our government continues to grow and become bloated well beyond its needs. Many people believe that our government’s hands and power extends well beyond that which is allotted to it in the Constitution.

And it’s true.

Our government is becoming more and more progressive every day. With this “progress” comes programs and policies that go against everything that the Constitution stands for.

In addition, the majority of people in our country are not well educated on the Constitution, such as what it says and why it says what it does. This is probably where the largest problem lies. If people don’t know the law that protects them, how are they going to be able to identify when the government oversteps those bounds?

The simple answer is that they won’t know. Without working knowledge of the Constitution, a common person will become a subordinate of the government.

This is why we need a modern set of Federalist Papers. More than two hundred years ago, they were written to support the ratification of the new document as well as explain to the people the intent behind it.

Well, with the extreme lack of Constitutional knowledge, we need a new set that explains, in modern terms, what the Constitution means and why it is important that, instead of continuously “progressing” away from the Constitution, we need to find our roots and mold our government and policies back towards the Constitution and something that would make our Founding Fathers proud.

The Federalist Papers arguably had a profound impact on the ratification of the Constitution. We are in need of a profound awakening; and without one, we may be on track to single-handedly destroy the “more perfect union” that was created for us so many generations ago.

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Photo credit: Rob Dumas (Creative Commons)

Is Defining Marriage The Court’s Job?

US supreme court building SC Is Defining Marriage the Courts Job?

This past week, the Supreme Court was busy hearing two cases concerning the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States. No decision is likely to be made until the court takes their recess sometime in late June.

Many think that the court is going to make a wide, sweeping decision, declaring that same-sex marriage is legal. But is that really the court’s job?

The court’s job is to interpret the Constitution and our laws and to make sure the latter aligns with our founding document. However, the court has been more “judicially active” in the past few decades, meaning they have been legislating from the bench – which isn’t their job.

The fact that one of these cases, the Proposition 8 case from California, is even being heard is complete blasphemy. During the 2008 California State elections, Proposition 8 was a proposition on the ballot to amend the California Constitution by defining marriage in their state as “between a man and a woman.”

In 2008, the people of California spoke, saying that they want marriage in their state to be only between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

Of course, soon after the people spoke, litigation was filed; and in 2010 in a district court, the law was ruled unconstitutional. Again in 2012, the very liberal Ninth-circuit court of appeals upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that the law is unconstitutional under Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses in the Constitution.

I do not believe that these two court rulings could be more wrong.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly enumerates the powers that are given to the federal government. The 10th Amendment says that any power not enumerated to the federal government is reserved to the states.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate marriage. That is a power that is reserved to each individual state.

If the people of a state decide to not allow same-sex marriage, then that is perfectly okay! The same goes for any state that wants to allow same-sex marriage; it would be perfectly okay for the people of a state to allow same-sex marriage because that is their reserved power.

It is completely wrong and unconstitutional for our federal government to overstep their bounds and arrogantly believe that it is their duty to define what marriage is.

Frankly, that isn’t the government’s job at all. Marriage is purely a religious institution; and the government, on any level, should not be regulating this ageless and sacred practice.

However, I know the inevitable is for the court to throw out a decision either for or against.

Firstly, they should look at marriage under the scope of “Is it a fundamental right, or isn’t it?” If they believe it is, what are the reasonable restrictions that can be placed on it? Would marriage in the cases of incest or polygamy be okay?

These are questions that are going to have to be asked and answered before any decision can be made.

If the court decides for America that same-sex marriage is legal, what are the limits? Where is the line in the sand for the court and the federal government? A wide, sweeping decision could likely open a whole new bag of issues concerning the power of the federal government.

These court cases made the nightly news headlines all last week, but there’s one question I have to ask: Why is same-sex marriage more important than some of the bigger issues we have as a country, such as the $16.7 trillion debt?

One thing is for sure; 10 years ago, this movement didn’t have nearly as much steam as it does now. America is fundamentally changing. But is it really the change we want or need? We are going to have to answer that question come the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.

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The Shot Heard Around The World

Guns SC The Shot Heard Around the World

“The shot heard around the world” is most commonly taught today to be the shot that started the Revolutionary War and America’s fight for freedom. However, I believe that as time has gone on, the true meaning behind “the shot heard around the world” has been quite distorted; and this can easily be tied into the media narrative today.

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, there has been a nasty haze looming over DC, figuratively speaking of course. The need to control guns and restrict our rights seems to be the number one issue on Capitol Hill, and it has been that way since that fateful December morning.

If you have studied American history, then you will understand that the basis of needing to separate from Britain was the restriction of freedoms and, ironically, high taxes. I’m not calling for any succession, but I am calling for all Americans to open their eyes and read the writing on the wall.

“The shot heard around the world” wasn’t a literal shot fired out of a musket; the shot heard around the world was the order sent out by King George III to confiscate the colonists’ guns.

Are you recognizing the parallels yet?

The Colonists of 1775 wouldn’t stand for having their own personal weapons confiscated from them. In that time period, weapons were handmade by each individual owner or by a local blacksmith, not massed produced, such as the case today.

The musket was the livelihood of a family in those times. The men in the family used the gun to hunt for food and protect the family, should the need arise. They didn’t keep their guns unloaded and stored away; they kept them loaded and ready to fire at the press of the trigger.

They would be kept over or around the door. People were taught how to responsibly handle and care for the gun because they knew they wouldn’t survive without properly knowing how to use it.

We need to read into the past and take large lessons away from the actions of those brave Americans who stood up for what they knew was right.

The original intent behind the Second Amendment was not to tell citizens they are allowed to bear arms when they need to put food on the table. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Chuck Schumer are completely wrong to be sitting on Capitol Hill and holding investigations as to why someone needs more than 10 rounds of ammunition to kill a deer.

Truth is, you don’t need 10 rounds of ammunition of kill a deer. BUT, you do need 10 rounds of ammunition to protect yourself and others from a tyrannical government and tyrants like Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer who believe that guns must be restricted in order for our society to be safer.

And this was the original intent behind the Second Amendment. Jefferson and Madison knew that if the need ever arose, the people would have to check their government. It’s like a fourth “check and balance.”

The legislation that Feinstein introduced last month, the new “Automatic Weapon Ban”, was shot down in Congress obviously (pun intended.)

What is an automatic weapon anyway? Are automatic weapons just scary “military-style” weapons? Or how about that concealed .40 caliber handgun in my house; isn’t it automatic?

Any kind of gun ban or restriction, outside the terms of precedent-leading Supreme Court cases, is 100% and undeniably unconstitutional.

Furthermore, they don’t even work. The Columbine tragedy occurred when there was a national assault weapons ban. I wonder why that is?

The moment that our guns are taken from us or are so heavily restricted that we won’t be able to easily obtain, use, and manage them, our country will need to take a step back and rethink the path that we’re heading down.

The Founding Fathers, with the writing and passing of the Constitution, put America on a path of freedom and extremely limited government; but I feel as if we’re living in 1940’s Russia. Something is obviously wrong.

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Restricting Our Rights Is Not The Answer – Pt. 2

second amendment SC Restricting Our Rights is Not the Answer   Pt. 2

Read Part 1 of this Column.

About this time one week ago, the news about a shooting at an Elementary school in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut was first breaking. At the time, no one but those who were there and the first responders truly knew the magnitude of the situation.

One thing was for sure though – gun control would become the topic of discussion very soon.

Hardly did I or anyone else know, within moments of the news breaking worldwide, that liberal pundits and those who are pro-gun control began to spin a terrible tragedy into a few political shenanigans as they blamed the guns for killing innocent people.

However, it wasn’t the guns that were used. It was a 20 year-old man named Adam Lanza – a very crazed and abnormal man.

Needless to say, America was about to succumb to the narrative that we had faced each and every time a tragedy of this magnitude occurs.

Gun Control.

Oh, how I hate the term “gun control”. I hate that people want to blame the guns for killing 27 innocent people. I hate that the president wants to take our guns away; and in doing so, he has created a task force to “solve the problem of gun violence in America” headed by none other than the magnificent Joe “I’m a walking gaffe” Biden.

Let’s get a few things straight, shall we?

First, it wasn’t guns that murdered 27 innocent people; it was a single man with free-will to do so. We all should be blaming him, and not the guns. It’s called personal responsibility – something our society lacks to a great deal.

Secondly, every shooting tragedy that I can remember has happened in a gun-free-zone. Now, shouldn’t this tell us something?

Criminals who are dead-set on going on a shooting rampage aren’t going to go shoot up a police station. Why? Because THEY ALL HAVE GUNS AND WILL DEFEND THEMSELVES.

A gun-free school would make a perfect target because no one on campus has a gun, especially if it’s a place like an elementary school where resource officers are not likely to be present, unlike at a Middle or High School.

Let me be clear: Saturday afternoon, when the reports of the heroics of the staff at the school were first surfacing, it was told that the principal of the school and the school psychologist were the first two people to make contact with Lanza.

Now, if either of them would have had a weapon and were properly trained on how to use that weapon to defend themselves and the children at the school, I strongly feel like the only person who would have died at that school would have been Lanza himself.

So what am I proposing?

I would like teachers at every school in the country to be packing heat. Not every teacher of course, but possibly something like one handgun and one assault rifle per 50 students. Also, it would have to be known that the campus is not a gun-free zone. Most likely, this would probably deter any possible shootings at schools ever again.

Now, my AP European teacher told me that he wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying a weapon at school because there is a chance that students could jump and disarm him. I offered him a very simply solution: If you are conceald-carrying correctly, no one but you should know that you are carrying. Therefore, the likelihood of you being jumped for your weapon is very, very low. It would be like playing Russian Roulette with the teachers.

I said in part 1 that I wouldn’t be discussing the ramifications of gun control in our country, and I have stuck to that. I offered a solution to the problem of gun violence in American schools, and I wish that a narrative like the one I have offered would be discussed more than gun control.

My next column will probably be on gun control in America. However, I am leaving today to head out to New Mexico to spend time with family that I so rarely see. This being said, my next column will probably not be for another 10 days.

If this is the case, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that joy is brought to each and every one of you this Christmas season.

God Bless you, God Bless Newtown, and God Bless America.

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Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) (Creative Commons)

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