America’s Public Schools Are Obamacare For Children

In 1992, the Republicans promoted a health care plan to compete with the White House’s Hillarycare. In the end, neither was passed, and health care reform was taken off the table. Upon taking office, Barack Obama, in direct contradiction to his campaign promises, picked up the Republican plan and passed it. The Republicans are furious about this, referring to their own plan as socialist, Marxist, etc. Libertarians can laugh at the entire spectacle – until we get sick, of course.

In any case, the most offensive and obviously illiberal part of the plan is the individual mandate. A group of Attorneys General challenged that aspect of the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional to require people to purchase specific products from a small group of specific companies. They were right, of course. The Supreme Court ruled differently, of course. Since the mandate does not have as a remedy jail time, but rather a fine, the Court simply redefined the fine as a tax, and ruled that the entire mandate falls under the power to tax.

This is an interesting legal argument, to be sure, but leaves a gaping hole. My challenge to those who oppose the Affordable Care Act, particularly the Attorneys General who filed the lawsuit, is:  are you willing to make use of the gaping hole, in other areas, to promote other freedoms? More to the point – will you do so when it would free people who cannot vote?

This ruling clearly implies that any individual mandate, any legal requirement to buy or use a product from a limited number of vendors, is unconstitutional and illegal if the remedy cannot be classified as a tax. This would not apply to, say, car insurance, because, it would be argued, the choice to buy a car is a voluntary one. So a mandate, under this decision, is only unconstitutional if it applies by virtue of pure existence, and if the penalty for non-compliance is non-monetary.

There is a group of people in this country who face precisely such a mandate. There is a group of people, a rather large group, all of whom are forbidden to vote, who face the requirement to either make use of a particular government service or purchase a government-approved alternative, or prepare a government-approved alternative at home (although this last option is constantly in jeopardy.) They face this requirement, not in light of any voluntary action, such as owning a car, but rather simply by virtue of age. I refer, of course, to students and mandatory school attendance.

I will, no doubt, be referred to Jefferson and his comments about an educated population. I note that Jefferson, living 100 years before Horace Mann, did not, at any time in his career, propose a mandatory school attendance policy, or even a public education system. If he did not believe that his comments justified such laws, I find it hard to see why others should either. Further, Jefferson referred to an educated population, not a schooled population. Whatever goes on in schools, it is hard to refer to it as education. That aside, certainly education can take place outside of schools.

Further, Jefferson, in my opinion, misspoke. He should have said that a learned population is necessary, not an educated one. Learning is a natural process, a most pleasant one, one that people of all ages do naturally, with no compulsion necessary. It arises from curiosity, and from the baby’s natural desire to categorize the stimuli they are exposed to and to learn to manipulate their world. If not interfered with, this natural desire to learn will last a lifetime. Our schools have performed the remarkable task of making our most natural desire into a chore that few want to bother with.

Children do not belong in school. They belong in the world – participating in it, and experiencing it. This is what learning is made of. Education is another means of learning, and is sometimes useful. Schooling may be useful for the professions, but certainly not for children. Children need to learn about the world, the universe, and everything in it. This cannot happen in a building cut off from reality – it takes place by experiencing reality and questioning. Between natural curiosity and constant exposure, together with access to those who can encourage questioning, provide answers when needed, and guide research, learning is a non-variable trait in children.

katz_joshua (1)So I ask the Attorneys General – will you act, in accordance with your demonstrated beliefs, to remove mandatory attendance policies, as an individual mandate whose remedy is criminal, not tax? If not, please explain to the voters why some individual mandates are acceptable. Is it because the only victims are children? Children are more defenseless than others – they require more defense from aggression, not less. Is it because you claim there is social value in schooling – if not education, then perhaps socialization? Spend some time in a school to disabuse yourself of that notion. There is no socialization in an age-segregated building, where authority figures provide the schedule, tell you what to think, and assess your success at following instructions. Children learn socialization by socializing, particularly with people of various ages. Even the limited socialization that can go on in schools is cut where possible – students have few outlets to speak to each other in school, and teachers are required to maintain ‘professional distance,’ which means not socializing in an organic way with students. The school is shut off from the world, and teaches an anti-social worldview. That aside, that very argument – that the mandate is good for society even if it hurts individuals – was made for the ACA. You rejected it there. Explain why it is valid here.

Joshua Katz, JP(L) [send him mail], is Chair of the Mathematics Department at the Oxford Academy in Westbrook, CT. He is Secretary of the Connecticut Libertarian Party. He was recently elected to the Zoning Commission in Westbrook, defeating a Republican incumbent in a year where that party took control of every other board and seat in the town. He is a paramedic with the Westbrook Fire. He was state co-director for Gary Johnson 2012, and is current state director for Our America Initiative. Mr. Katz provides a wide range of services for homeschoolers and unschoolers, as well as children still trapped in schools but seeking to learn while free from school, including basic consultation, direct work with students, and day trips and travel. He draws on his long experience as a teacher, particularly to learn what not to do, but also on the fact that, for the last few years, he has essentially unschooled his students, with incredible success. He has taught Mathematics, History, Economics, English, and Philosophy. Contact him for more information on services available.

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Obama’s Healthy Communities, The Antithesis Of America

Barack Obama made the following statement regarding the White House’s “Healthy Communities Challenge,” where 20 cities with low numbers of insured Americans compete against one another to see which community can sign the most people up for health insurance.

“I’ll come visit the city that enrolls the highest percentage of folks who aren’t covered right now. That’s a promise…After all, this country’s at its best when we look out for each other.”

“This is reality,” said Obama, “This is healthcare in America, and the bottom line is, Americans like it. They’re happy with their plans, and they’re happy with their premiums.”

According to an aggregate of polling data from Real Clear Politics, 49.5 percent of Americans are against the healthcare law, as opposed to the 42.3 percent who are in favor of the law.

Many claim that the Obama scheme is a disaster and a very bad idea for America’s future. They say it will bring much debt, suffering, sickness and death for you and for your family.

I agree that it is a bad plan and an unconstitutional plan. But these are not the same thing.

To say that something is a bad idea and to say it is unconstitutional is to say two different things. Let me explain…

Suppose you invite me to your house for dinner, and while I’m there I notice that your window treatments are shabby and that your furniture does not match your wall colors. So, the next day, while you’re not at home, I break into your house and change the windows and the walls. For the sake of argument, let’s say I actually make it look better than it did before I broke in. I’m still guilty of the crime of breaking and entering and trespass.

Do you see that even if it was a good idea to change the décor, it was a crime because it was outside of my authority to do it?

The talking heads and millions of others are screaming that the government takeover of the health care system is a very bad idea, and they are right. But even if it was a good idea, it would be a criminal scheme all the same because the Constitution provides no authority for the federal government to involve itself in “health care” or in “health care financing” or in “insurance” of any kind. 

The operative clauses to look up here are Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, as well as the Tenth Amendment. It will only take you about six minutes to read and understand that Obamacare is more than just a bad idea for American health care. It is a dangerous and tyrannical trespass into American homes and lives.  

All the smoke and mirrors about what “Obamacare” costs and what it will, or will not, provide are irrelevant. “Obamacare” will not work because it cannot work.

Simply put, there is no right way to do a wrong thing.


Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

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

These Nuns Are Standing Up To Obama In A Way That Will Drive Him Crazy- And Could Cost Him

The United States Supreme Court will hear a case brought by nuns centering on religious liberty issues affected by the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The court announced on Nov. 7 that it will hear the case that pits Little Sisters of the Poor against the federal government. This is the fourth case the high court has heard involving Obamacare. It is likely to be heard in the spring of 2016.

This case, filed in 2013, focuses on religious non-profits requirements to include birth control in their employees’ government-mandated health care plans. The nuns said forcing them to provide contraception, which goes against Catholic teaching, would cause them to violate their religious beliefs.

The Little Sisters operates homes servicing the elderly in 31 countries. Under the Affordable Care Act, the group is required to either provide health coverage or release the responsibility to insurers. The nuns believe signing a release for an insurer to take over the responsibility is tantamount to distributing contraception.

The case was filed under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Under the federal law, the government must provide additional relief for citizens to freely exercise their religion. It states that religious expression shouldn’t be “substantially burdened” except where there is a “compelling government interest.”

A review by the Supreme Court may not bode well for the health care law that President Barack Obama cherishes as a key victory for his administration. The lawsuit brought by the nuns is similar to one filed by Hobby Lobby in 2012. In the Hobby Lobby case, the central issue was whether a privately owned company must obey Obamacare mandates regarding contraception if they went against the owners’ religious convictions.

Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma, is owned by the Green family. The Green family are known for their devout Christian beliefs and do not believe in contraception.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects closely-held firms and agreed that Hobby Lobby should be exempted from the mandates.

The rule mandating birth control be provided through a private company’s insurance “would put these merchants to a difficult choice; either give up the right to seek judicial protection of their religious liberty or forgo the benefits, available to their competitors, of operating as corporations,” said Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion.

Doctors Agree: Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Mandate Sucks!

Hey, who’s up for a stiff dose of “See, I told you so?”

For the past several years, medical professionals have warned that the federal electronic medical records mandate — buried in the trillion-dollar Obama stimulus of 2009 — would do more harm than good. Their diagnosis, unfortunately, is on the nose.

The Quack-in-Chief peddled his tech-centric elixir as a cost-saving miracle. “This will cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests,” he crowed at the time. In theory, of course, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, which many private health care providers had already adopted before the Healer of All Things took office.
But in the clumsy, power-grabbing hands of Washington bureaucrats, Obama’s one-size-fits-all EMR regulations have morphed into what one expert called “healthcare information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers.”

I reported in 2012 how my own primary care physician quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the meddlesome EMR burden. Untold numbers of docs across the country have done the same.

In 2013, health care analysts at the RAND Corporation admitted that their cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year were vastly inflated. In 2014, RAND researchers interviewed doctors who spotlighted “important negative effects” of the EMR mandate on “their professional lives and, in some troubling ways, on patient care. They described poor EHR usability that did not match clinical workflows, time-consuming data entry, interference with face-to-face patient care, and overwhelming numbers of electronic messages and alerts.”

And the hits keep coming.

Robert Wachter, author of the recently published “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age,” chronicled the damage he’s witnessed: “Physicians retiring early. Small practices bankrupted by up-front expenses or locked into ineffective systems by the prohibitive cost of switching. Hours consumed by onerous data entry unrelated to patient care. Workflow disruptions. And above all, massive intrusions on our patient relationships.”

The American Medical Association, which foolishly backed Obamacare, is now balking at top-down government intrusion into their profession. Better late than never. The group launched a campaign called “Break the Red Tape” this summer to pressure D.C. to pause the new medical-record rules as an estimated 250,000 physicians face fines totaling $200 million a year for failing to comply with “meaningful use” EMR requirements.

In Massachusetts last month, physicians decried the failure to achieve true “interoperability” between EMR systems despite a $30 billion federal investment through the Obama stimulus. Dr. Dennis Dimitri, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, noted at a rancor-filled town hall that the mandate has “added significant time to the daily life of most physicians in their practices,” WBUR reported. “It has not necessarily lived up to expectations in terms of its ability to provide cues to physicians to make sure that necessary treatments are not being missed. It has certainly not been able to swiftly disseminate information from one clinical setting to another.”

That’s in no small part due to the cronyism embedded in the federal stimulus “incentives” — a massive chunk of which the White House doled out to behemoth EMR company Epic Systems, headed by Obama crony Judith Faulkner. As I’ve noted repeatedly in this column the past three years, Epic continues to be plagued by both industry and provider complaints about its creaky, closed-end system and exorbitant fee structure to enable the very kind of interoperability the Obama EMR mandate was supposed to ensure.

Now, even left-wing Mother Jones magazine reports this week that “instead of ushering in a new age of secure and easily accessible medical files, Epic has helped create a fragmented system that leaves doctors unable to trade information across practices or hospitals. That hurts patients who can’t be assured that their records — drug allergies, test results, X-rays — will be available to the doctors who need to see them. This is especially important for patients with lengthy and complicated health histories.”

The Obama White House has responded by doubling down on its destructive EMR rules that punish both patients and providers. Congress must intervene. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced a bill Thursday to repeal the draconian penalties “so that providers can get back to the business they are uniquely trained to do — utilizing their skills and knowledge to heal the sick and support the continued vitality of the healthy.”

Prescription: Butt out, Washington. Primum non nocere.


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

BREAKING: The House Just Poked Obama Right In The Eye With A Massive Shot At His Pet Project

The House of Representatives just sent Obama a stern message that will make conservatives cheer and liberals scream with legislation that guts Obamacare and cuts funding for Planned Parenthood.

On Friday, October 23, with a 240-189 vote, the House passed a bill that would undo parts of Obamacare and block all funding to Planned Parenthood.

While House Republicans have sent numerous bills to the Senate to nibble away at Obamacare–and some have passed–many faced tough odds of passage in the upper chamber. But as Fox News reports, this bill is a bit different in that the bill is “wrapped in a procedure that would shield it from a Senate filibuster–meaning it will need only 51 votes to pass that chamber, as opposed to 60.”

Still, at least three influential senators–Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah–sent a letter to the House arguing that the bill doesn’t go far enough.

Specifically, the bill the House is sending to the Senate would eliminate Obamacare’s requirement that people who don’t have health insurance with their employer must buy individual policies. The bill also eliminates the rule that most companies provide medical insurance for employees. It would also eliminate Obama’s taxes on both medical devices and high-priced insurance policies often called “Cadillac plans.”

The bill would also cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, but only for one year.

Obama has promised to veto the bill if it gets to his desk, saying the law “would take away critical benefits and health care coverage from hard-working middle-class families.”

Obama and his allies have lambasted the House for its many attempts to repeal all or parts of the president’s signature healthcare law. Earlier this year, Obama accused the House of trying to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act “56 times,” but his calculations are not quite on the mark.

In February, House leaders noted that there have actually only been four up-or-down votes on Obamacare, and that the House has not made 56 attempts to repeal Obamacare.