After Getting Creamed By Cruz, McConnell Just Did Something That Will Stun Conservatives

Only a few days after repeatedly being called an untrustworthy liar during a floor speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done something that Cruz and other conservatives will likely consider a positive move. The Kentucky Republican has pledged to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare and to do it in such a way that only a simple majority of 51 senators would be needed to turn thumbs down on the unpopular law.

CNS News reports that Sens. McConnell and Mike Lee of Utah, a Cruz ally, have issued a joint statement in which the majority leader promises to use the budget reconciliation process to cut funding to President Obama’s health care takeover law. Sen. Lee apparently came to the agreement with McConnell and other GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber after the Utah Republican dropped his effort to repeal Obamacare by attaching an amendment to the highway funding bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation.

The article on CNS News quotes Mitch McConnell from the joint statement:

“Earlier this year, Senate Republicans passed a balanced budget, and with it the necessary procedural tools – via the budget reconciliation process – to bring an end to the nightmare of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the joint statement with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“Americans have faced skyrocketing health care costs, rampant fraud and more government between them and their doctors. And Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare and allow our country to start over fresh with real health reform that Americans deserve,” he added.

While CNS News characterizes the McConnell pledge to conduct a simple-majority vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act as a win for Sen. Lee and his conservative colleagues, curiously The Hill takes a different view of this development in the Senate. The opening paragraph of The Hill’s coverage casts Lee’s maneuver in a negative light.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has officially conceded defeat in his effort to force a Senate vote on repealing ObamaCare, which ended Monday night after a tense face-off with leadership.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Senate Republicans will stand firm and united behind the latest attempt to kill the president’s signature legislative achievement — there’s no certainty that they’ll tally the 51 votes necessary to defund under the reconciliation procedure — but it would seem that the 114th Congress could be closer than ever to sending a kill-the-law bill to President Obama, who is certain to veto it.

With Congress members only days from leaving Washington for their extended summer break, there’s no timetable set for a vote on the budget reconciliation bill that McConnell has vowed to present. There’s also no indication that what Mitch McConnell just pledged to do as an attempt to repeal Obamacare and satisfy frustrated GOP voters was in response to the very public and very passionate assault on his integrity by presidential contender Ted Cruz.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

SCOTUS-Care The Fruit Of Lawless Government

Justice Antonin Scalia coined the term ‘SCOTUScare’ in his dissenting opinion on the King v Burwell case that – by a vote of 6-3 – once again rescued Obamacare from the dustbin reserved for bad laws. Scalia references the obvious fact that the Supreme Court again re-wrote the law in order to save what its majority regard as poorly-executed good intentions. Even the pundits applauding the decision agree.

At issue was whether the law permits the federal government – taxpayers – to subsidize insurance purchased from the federal exchange in states that declined to set up their own exchanges.  The law permits subsidies only through “an exchange established by the state.” In backing the government, the Court was forced to ignore the plain language of the statute – and make no bones about it. Chief Justice Roberts stood on the principle that says the court must act to preserve laws passed by Congress whenever they can. He noted the purpose of the law was to “improve health insurance markets, not destroy them,” and opined the Court’s duty was to see beyond what the law actually said and do what its guardians meant to do – as though he is better able to divine its meaning than are its authors.

One of its principal authors – MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber – testified before Congress and was videotaped stating that he deliberately framed the statute for state exchanges being necessary for subsidies as a ploy to force every state to set up exchanges. When nearly two thirds of the states thumbed their noses at Gruber and his presidential leash-holder, the leash-holder gave away the tax revenues on his own recognizance. The Court went along with this usurpation of power – just as they did when Roberts declared a penalty was really a tax after Gruber and congressional leaders said repeatedly it was not – in order to declare Obamacare constitutional in 2012. Oh, that principle of preserving law when one is able…

But the principle over the principle is one word – legitimate. When the language of the law is plain, the logical consequence is to rule for the plain language; there is no legitimate way to preserve perversions of law. When the chief executive has clearly exceeded his authority – he has none with which to re-write a law he has re-created some thirty times – the logic is to rule against him, no matter how well-intentioned a judge thinks the effort. That is called constitutional law. What Roberts did is not law at all – it is decree. And the Taney Court employed the very same logic in 1857 when it preserved the Fugitive Slave Law at all costs in the infamous Dred Scott decision that helped precipitate the Civil War.

The Obama Administration argued successfully before the Roberts Court that many American lives would be disrupted – six and one half million – by the sudden cessation of their subsidies if the Court found against the new and improved version of a law never submitted to the sole agency – Congress – with authority to make federal law. But the Court ignores the fact that it is the administration that has made these millions dependent on an illegal program that Congress has the power to repair – should it wish to. It ignores the reality that this administration has disrupted the lives of scores of millions more by triggering massive insurance premium increases, doctor shortages, and lost medical plans with this moronic healthcare law. When something is the colossal failure we have with Obamacare, the solution is to leave the ship and rebuild, not rearrange the deck chairs while John Roberts whistles a happy tune.

Under our Constitution, the Congress is alone entrusted to make federal law. Let them do their job. And let the citizens of this land – especially the Christians and their leaders – rise in tough love to say we gave government its authority–and we can take it back. We will accept the constitutional government that we established; we will neither accept nor tolerate the perversion Obama and Roberts have made of it.

The Word of God says: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” In other words, we cannot fail to find our God when we seek Him to the exclusion of all others. The “all others” includes Barack Obama, the Congress, and the John Roberts Supreme Court.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

NY Times Just Noticed Something Huge About Obamacare That Must Have Shocked Them

According to a report, health insurance consumers nationwide could be stuck with premium increases anywhere between 20 to 40 percent in 2016 because new customers were sicker than expected.

The New York Times reported last week that plans provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) are seeking rate increases which average to 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee, and 54 percent in Minnesota. BCBS is the market leader in several states. Federal officials are doing what they can to minimize the increases. The ‘Paper of Record’ offers more staggering facts:

The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.

Jesse Ellis O’Brien, a health advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, said: ‘Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.’

President Obama, on a trip to Tennessee this week, said that consumers should put pressure on state insurance regulators to scrutinize the proposed rate increases. If commissioners do their job and actively review rates, he said, ‘my expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.’

Last fall, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute (HRI) shared data that indicated several states could have premium increases by as much as 35 percent in 2015. Now states are faced with rising premiums again. “There’s not a lot of mystery to it,” Roy Vaughn, a vice president of Tennessee BCBS told the Times. “We lost a significant amount of money in the marketplace, $141 million, because we were not very accurate in predicting the utilization of health care.”

h/t: Cain TV

Are you worried about your health coverage? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Obamacare’s Best Allies: The Courts And The Republicans

By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare’s clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care subsides, on the grounds that enforcing the statute as written would cause havoc in the marketplace. The court found that Congress could not have intended this result and that the court needed to uphold Congress’s mythical intention and ignore Obamacare’s actual language.

While Obamacare may be safe from court challenges, its future is far from assured. As Obamacare forces more Americans to pay higher insurance premiums while causing others to lose their insurance or lose access to the physicians of their choice, opposition to Obamacare will grow. Additional Americans will turn against Obamacare as their employers reduce their hours, along with their paychecks, because of Obamacare’s mandates.

As dissatisfaction with Obamacare grows, there will be renewed efforts to pass a single-payer health care system. Single-payer advocates will point to Obamacare’s corporatist features as being responsible for its failures and claim the only solution is to get the private sector completely out of health care.

Unfortunately, many Republicans will inadvertently aid the single-payer advocates by failing to acknowledge that Obamacare is not socialist but corporatist, and that that the pre-Obamacare health care system was hobbled by government intervention. In fact, popular support for Obamacare was rooted in the desire to address problems created by prior government interference in the health care marketplace.

Republicans also help the cause of socialized medicine by pretending that Obamacare can be fixed with minor reforms. These Republicans do not understand that replacing Obamacare with “Obamacare Lite” will still leave millions of Americans with inadequate access to quality health care, and could strengthen the movement for a single-payer system.

Republicans’ failure to advocate for a free-market health care system is not just rooted in intellectual error and political cowardice. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the other special interests that benefit from a large government role in health care are just as — or perhaps even more — influential in the Republican Party as in the Democratic Party. The influence of these interests is one reason why, despite their free-market rhetoric, Republicans have a long history of expanding the government’s role in health care.

Those who think a Republican president and Congress will enact free-market health care should consider that the last time Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, their signature health care achievement was to expand federal health care spending and entitlements. Furthermore, Richard Nixon worked with Ted Kennedy to force all health care plans to offer a health maintenance organization (HMO). Even Obamacare’s individual mandate originated in a conservative think tank and was first signed into law by a Republican governor.

Instead of Obamacare Lite, Congress should support giving individuals direct control over their health care dollars through individual health care tax credits and expanded access to health savings accounts. Other reforms like long-term group insurance could ensure that those with “pre-existing conditions” have access to care. Another good reform is negative outcomes insurance that could help resolve the medical malpractice crisis.

America’s health care system is just as unsustainable as our foreign policy and our monetary system. At some point, the financial and human costs of Obamacare will prove overwhelming; and Congress will be forced to replace this system. Hopefully, before this happens, a critical mass of people will convince Congress to replace Obamacare with a truly free-market health care system.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Government Hegemony Expands To Meaning Of Words!

This past week, the Supreme Court struck another major blow to common sense and the English language. In a ruling upholding the subsidies afforded to policies purchased on the federal insurance exchange, the SCOTUS opened a veritable Pandora’s Box of legal interpretation, and expanded power not only of the judiciary, but of the federal government itself.

Seven times throughout the Affordable Care Act (ACA), references are made to policies or individuals who are “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…” In each case, the context is citing policies purchased through insurance exchanges established and operated by the respective states. But the court ruled the actual legal language, and even the context, didn’t matter. What mattered was the “intent” of the Congress. So reading “tea leaves” now has greater weight with our legal system than the literal words of legal documents!

To be clear, the case was brought to the court on that very issue, whether the literal meaning of the words of the statute were legally binding. The decision was not regarding the efficacy of the ACA, or whether it’s feasible. The decision was on whether the law could be interpreted to support federal subsidies for states with no insurance exchange or only those states that had established their own exchange.

Even Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority decision, conceded that a strict reading of the Act clearly meant only policies purchased through individual state exchanges were eligible for federal subsidies. He wrote: “While the meaning of the phrase…may seem plain when viewed in isolation, such a reading turns out to be untenable in light of the statute as a whole. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

The Court has historically ruled on constitutionality of statute. With this decision, however, the Court has clearly become a proactive partner with Nancy Pelosi’s 111th Congress in writing the wholly inappropriately-named Affordable Care Act. Seven times, the Act described, in context, that subsidies would be available through Section 1311-sanctioned State Exchanges. Yet the Court by a 6-3 majority became a partner in writing the law, ex post facto, by redefining a key component of it.

Obviously, legislative intent is now more consequential than legal wording. This means that even legal documents generated by the government, which establish the rule of law by the selection and utilization of specific words and phrases, will not necessarily be judged based on what they actually say, but what the intent was. And since intent can be interpreted far beyond the scope of actual legalese, taking the government to court on any matter of law will now be a potentially arbitrary and spurious crapshoot.

To illustrate the absurdity of such a notion, imagine if the same principle applied to our legal documents regarding wills, property ownership, and child custody issues. If the Supreme Court’s logic, or illogic, were to be applied to our legal documents, what they say literally becomes inconsequential; for the intent is what is meaningful, not the words. We can claim that we didn’t intend to break the law when charged, but that doesn’t matter. But if we broke the law, what our intent was becomes inconsequential. Yet now, the government claims the plenipotentiary authority to claim that intent matters more than the actual law, and the language that created it. A government should never be able to do what an individual citizen can’t.

It’s common to take such a cavalier attitude towards what people or organizations say or write. They can say something, and then apologize for it, claiming that wasn’t their intent. But for government, this is a new low. It now has legal precedence to make the same claim with regard to statute and laws, if their intent was different than the actual wording of a law!

Justice Antonin Scalia illustrated the absurdity of the ruling in his dissent. “I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them…

“Far from offering the overwhelming evidence of meaning needed to justify the Court’s interpretation, other contextual clues undermine it at every turn. To begin with, other parts of the Act sharply distinguish between the establishment of an Exchange by a State and the establishment of an Exchange by the Federal Government….Provisions such as these destroy any pretense that a federal Exchange is in some sense also established by a State…

“The Court has not come close to presenting the compelling contextual case necessary to justify departing from the ordinary meaning of the terms of the law. Quite the contrary, context only underscores the outlandishness of the Court’s interpretation. Reading the Act as a whole leaves no doubt about the matter: ‘Exchange established by the State’ means what it looks like it means.”

This ruling is not dissimilar from the 2012 ruling upholding the mandate of Obamacare. That ruling sustained the Act by identifying the “mandate” as a “tax.” It would appear with two major SCOTUS decisions upholding the Act that the only way it can be deemed constitutional is by the Court’s new precedence of reinterpreting and changing what the words actually say, legally. In other words, jumping through logical and linguistic hoops to make it so. As Senator Rand Paul said, “This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head.”

The omnipotent authority of the government over individual lives is now complete, when words can mean whatever the government chooses to make them mean. Alexander Hamilton, upon the founding of the nation, declared: “It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.” When government can arbitrarily change, reinterpret, and alter statute, after the fact, it is no longer just, or limited. It is totalitarian and hegemonic!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth