Obama chief of staff: ObamaCare not a tax, even though our own attorney argued that it was and SCOTUS ruled that it was.
Chris Wallace leads along the poor schmuck nicely, forcing the guy to basically say “Our own solicitor general argued that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is a tax, and SCOTUS agreed…but hey, lawyers say all kinds of crazy things that aren’t true, so don’t read anything into it!” Um…yeah.
Interesting analyses, from many different sources. Excerpts here, and you really should check them out.
Essentially, conservative pundits are wondering that while the ObamaCare ruling was a short-term win for Chairman Zero, maybe Roberts’ rejection of the Commerce Clause being used to regulate economic inactivity (which lower courts ruled was valid) will prevent future Congresses from trying to use that clause to expand the power of the federal government and thus advance the cause of limited government. Perhaps that cause, plus the outrage from the ruling which will galvanize the conservative base to rally around Romney (which they may not have otherwise done), will put Romney and Republicans in charge…or so the thinking goes. And if Romney and Republicans take control, they will definitely repeal ObamaCare…which means that ObamaCare got repealed PLUS the Court will have prevented similar abuse of the Commerce Clause in future sessions.
Anywho, that’s the school of thought…or spin, depending on how you look at it. What do YOU think?
I dunno. Maybe he’s trying to become the first back-to-back winner? Anywho, you’d think his speechwriter would have picked a slightly different variation of the words to display on his tele-binky. I guess not.
Chariman Zero tells those of faith to screw themselves…or, better yet, screw other people and have your contraception covered by society! He’s tried walking it back, but not really. Neal Boortz has a great post about the fraud here, and you should read it (it’s not long). Excerpt:
…All we have to do is present a simple before and after comparison.
Before: Obama’s mandate was that religious institutions had to provide for “free” contraception for all females working for those institutions through the health insurance policies provided to those workers.
After: Now the health insurance companies are simply going to have to provide “free” coverage for contraceptives in all health insurance policies.
Can someone please tell me the difference here? If Caesar Obammus steps forward and mandates that all insurance policies must pay for contraceptives, aren’t those insurance companies simply going to factor the cost of that coverage into the premiums paid by the employers? Doesn’t this mean that these Catholic institutions are still going to be paying for contraceptives?
The church is pushing back. This was a gross miscalculation by Oprompter.
Even many liberals turning against Obama on his decision to force Catholic institutions to violate their religious tenets in health care coverage
From the Washington comPost:
The White House sought Tuesday to soothe concerns over a controversial birth control rule that has led to Republican attacks and tension among close allies of the administration.
The efforts followed mounting criticism from Catholics and other faith leaders that a new rule requiring certain religious institutions to cover contraception as part of their employee health plans violates their constitutional rights.
And they came as White House officials began hearing complaints from some of their own allies and advisers, who view the rule as a policy mistake that feeds what they see as an unfair charge from Republicans: that President Obama is anti-religion. (Yeah, really! It’s unfair to note that the guy is pro-abortion, thumbs his nose at the church and the Constitution to throw a bone to his moonbat base, etc. … but hey, where would you get the crazy idea that the guy is anti-religion or anything? – CL)
Even Chris Matthews? Dude, when Tingles says his boy’s wrong, that should make the front page of the comPost!
Normally, the Catholic church runs interference for the Democrats. I’m guessing that’s why Chairman Zero shoved this down their throats: he figured they’d stick with him and his party like they always do. Considering they backed ObamaCare in the first place, I’m not sure why they are surprised by this. Unless they thought they could get a waiver just like every other B.O.-friendly organization that also didn’t want to be subject to ObamaCare’s onerous requirements.
The delicious hilarity of this turn of events? The Democrat is trying to tie the Republican to Obama! Details:
Here’s a telling sign of how much President Obama’s fortunes have changed since 2008 — a leading Democratic Congressional recruit is now attacking a Republican congressman for supporting the president.
Former Ohio Democratic congressman Charlie Wilson, who was attacked relentlessly for being too close with President Obama in last year’s losing campaign, kicked off his comeback bid today by accusing his Republican rival of the same sin.
Wilson, who represented a rural, blue-collar district along the Ohio River, is seeking a rematch against freshman Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. In his successful 2010 campaign, Johnson effectively characterized Wilson as a lackey of national Democrats, blasting him for casting a critical vote for Obama’s health care law and the stimulus. …
How awesome is it that B.O. is so massively unpopular that Democrats are not only running from him faster than Barney Frank from a Hooters restaurant, but now they’re actually running on “Vote for me, because unlike my Republican opponent, I won’t be tied to Obama”?
Wilson, you voted for ObamaCare, in direct opposition to the wishes of your constituents. You obviously thought they were too stupid to know what was good for them, so you voted for ObamaCare against their wishes. Apparently, you still think they’re stupid, if you think this absurd trick will work.
San Fran Nan’s rationale? Heh.
“They’re small. I couldn’t speak to all 1,800 of them, but some of the lists that I have seen have been very, very small companies. They will not have a big impact on the economy of our country,” Nancy Pelosi said in an interview with CNBC.
If, by “small companies”, you mean McDonald’s (one of the top employers in the nation), then yeah…”small companies”! Besides, didn’t she and her leftist ilk crow about how small business will love ObamaCare? Yeah, they love it so much that they’ve asked to be excused from its onerous requirements.
Way to go, San Fransicko.
Democrats: Stop calling it “ObamaCare”!
Use of the word Obamacare as a shorthand reference for the health care reform law has become a rallying cry for conservatives who are working to repeal the law.
Democrats have objected to the term.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY.) said Obamacare has “become sort of pejorative, for no particular reason — through usage and the way it’s used and who uses it. The Republicans are trying to make it pejorative.” (News flash, fat boy: the voters confirmed it as a pejorative in November 2010. Notice that a lot of your colleagues from last year haven’t been going to the swank D.C. buffets with you lately? “Man, it’s been quiet. Where’s Grayson?” – CL)
Nadler added that Republicans were trying to seize on Obama’s unpopularity to make the health care law unpopular as well.
“If you can identify something with someone who’s unpopular for whatever reason, then it becomes somewhat unpopular,” he said.
Obama: You know, I’m totally cool with “ObamaCare”!
Complicating things, President Barack Obama himself appeared to embrace the term in August.
“I have no problem with folks saying, ‘Obama cares,’” Obama said in Minnesota while he was on a bus tour of the Midwest.
“I do care,” he said. “If the other side wants to be the folks who don’t care? That’s fine with me.” (Dude, if crushing us with trillions in debt for a failed “health care” law that has delivered on none of its promises is caring, then please stop “caring” so much! – CL)
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Slackers, liberals, MSM (but I repeat myself) hardest hit. Excerpt:
An appeals court ruled Friday that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty was unconstitutional, a blow to the White House.
The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.
The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the 2010 healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional.
The case stems from a challenge by 26 U.S. states which had argued the individual mandate, set to go into effect in 2014, was unconstitutional because Congress could not force Americans to buy health insurance or face the prospect of a penalty.
“This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives,” a divided three-judge panel said.
And why must we render liberals impotent in politics? For #sshats like this guy:
…One of the three judges of the appeals court panel, Stanley Marcus, agreed with the administration in dissenting from the majority opinion. The majority “has ignored the undeniable fact that Congress’ commerce power has grown exponentially over the past two centuries and is now generally accepted as having afforded Congress the authority to create rules regulating large areas of our national economy,” Marcus wrote.
Just another turn in the road on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But take victories like this as we get them, folks.
A CNN poll of 1,007 adult Americans asks: ”From everything you have heard or read about the Republicans’ plan to change Medicare so far, do you favor or oppose it?”
The results: “58 percent of the public opposes the Republican plan on Medicare, with 35 percent saying they support the proposal.”
Interesting. As Tina Korbe points out:
Whoever crafted the CNN poll must not have minded misleading voters with questions that offered no real specifics. But Let Freedom Ring and the College Republican National Committee refuse to let President Obama — or CNN — off the hook.
“How can CNN possibly poll whether Americans prefer Obama’s or Ryan’s approach to Medicare when the president doesn’t have an approach?” said Alex Cortes, 22-year-old executive director of Let Freedom Ring. “Putting aside his moral obligation to save the program for our generation, he should present a plan at the very least so CNN can conduct an honest poll.”
At the very, very least.
Nope…no liberal media bias!
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said when asked about Ryan’s plan to transition to a “premium support” model for Medicare. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
Yeah, because trying to prevent the country from falling into insolvency is radical…but leaving spending on everything, including entitlements, is much more rational. Right? Continuing:
In another surprising move, Gingrich also reiterated his previous support for a “variation of the individual mandate” for health care. “I believe all of us — and this is going to be a big debate — I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care,” he said, insisting there is “a way to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy.” (Yeah, libertarians get all warm and fuzzy at the thought of government-mandated purchases. – CL)
“It’s a system that allows people to have a range of choices that are designed by the economy,” he said. “I don’t think having a free rider system in [health care] is any more appropriate than having a free rider system in any other part of the economy.”
As far as an alternative, Gingrich trotted out the same appeal employed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi — for a “national conversation” on how to “improve” Medicare, and promised to eliminate ‘waste, fraud and abuse,’ etc.
If he’s trotting out Pelosi’s idea, that just confirms my suspicions that her lunacy is actually contagious. He must have caught it from her on the couch. Notes Drew M.:
Either way, I’m sure the Democrats appreciate the campaign ad, “The GOP Medicare Plan Is Too Extreme For Newt Gingrich”.
Funny that he seems to oppose Paul Ryan’s plan for fiscal sanity now. He seemed to embrace it just two short weeks ago. John Kerry just e-mailed to say “Dude, you need to be more subtle than that.”
Exit question: What in the blue h3ll is this guy thinking? He does realize he’s running in a GOP primary where the conservative base is highly motivated, right?
Of course the Obamunist will sign it, with a veto-proof majority like this backing it:
After a months-long battle, the Senate voted Tuesday, 87 to 12, to repeal the 1099 tax-reporting requirement in Democrats’ healthcare reform bill.
The measure now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it, making it the first part of his party’s signature reform bill to be scrapped.
The measure, initially included as a funding measure for the healthcare bill, does away with the requirement for companies to report to the IRS transactions valued at more than $600. While the provision has had few backers in either party, debate over its repeal had dragged on for months.
Remember when San Fran Nan said we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it? As we’ve seen numerous times since then, there’s a bunch of stuff in it: a change in House Speaker, a reduction in Senate Democrats, etc. This anti-business measure was so massively unpopular that only the most liberal of leftists supported it.
One part of ObamaCare repealed, so many more parts to go!
The legislation that was so absolutely critical to the survival of this republic that…over 1000 entities have asked to be exempted from its onerous and burdensome requirements. Details:
The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000, according to new numbers disclosed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.
Big, flaming lie:
The department also said the number of waivers has been steadily decreasing. HHS approved more than 500 in December, which it attributed to most plan years starting Jan. 1. It then approved 200 waivers in January and 126 in February.
The number of waivers went from 0 to 222 to 770 to over 1,000. How in the h3ll is that “number of waivers has been steadily decreasing”? As this story illustrates, the number of waivers is going UP. If they mean the rate of added waivers is decreasing, fine. But that’s not what the liars in the administration and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) are saying, though.
Flashback: unions and pro-”reform” groups that pushed hard for ObamaCare’s passage granted waivers from its requirements.
Federal judge (Clinton appointee) rules ObamaCare constitutional because Congress can regulate “mental activity”
Arguably the scariest ruling yet in the ObamaCare court circus. Details:
A federal judge has upheld the national health care law, making it the fifth ruling on the merits of the legal challenges to the individual mandate.
The ruling by the Clinton appointee, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler of the District of Columbia continues the pattern of Democratic-appointed judges siding with the Obama administration and Republican judges siding with the plaintiffs in ruling the mandate unconstitutional. Kessler’s ruling comes in a case brought by individual plaintiffs, where as the two decisions striking down the mandate have come in cases brought by 27 states, based in Virginia and Florida.
Like the other decisions upholding the law, the logic of Kessler’s ruling demonstrates how broadly one has to interpret congressional powers to find the mandate constitutional. In something right out of Harrison Bergeron, Kessler notes that Washington has the authority to regulate “mental activity”:
As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power…However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not “acting,” especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.
It is worth noting, however, that even Kessler concedes that “there is little judicial guidance” on this question.
Apparently, “mental activity” is no longer a requirement to be a federal judge.
Got that? “Mental activity” can be regulated by Congress, which is something that the Founding Fathers obviously intended to be a proper federal role. For those of you on the left, the last part of the prior sentence was sarcasm.
Interestingly, remember when Chairman O got snippy with George Snuffalupagus (or whatever the h3ll his name is) about how ObamaCare’s individual mandate was a tax…then argued in court that Congress could issue the mandate because the Constitution allows Congress to tax? Yeah, the Kerryesque “it actually wasn’t a tax, before it was”? Well, even this Clinton judge rejected that notion, saying that the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate our thoughts and that alone was reason enough to allow the mandate to stand.
Orwell just called. He asked if we still think he was paranoid for writing 1984.
Obama administration found in contempt of court order in Gulf moratorium case. Contempt next for ignoring ObamaCare ruling?
The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.
Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.
“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.
“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re- imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.
Obama? Ignoring a court’s ruling? The hell you say! What kind of crazy wingnut conspiracy theory is that?
In his Jan. 31 Final Summary Declaratory Judgment, Judge Vinson, in the district court for the Northern District of Florida, said “it is hereby DECLARED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010) … is unconstitutional.”
And in the complete ruling, Vinson wrote that “there is a long-standing presumption ‘that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, this declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.’”
Paging Darrell Issa…
Back in 2008, when Candidate Obama was running against Her Highness Hillary, he slammed her for her plan requiring Americans to buy health insurance. You know, the individual mandate? Partial transcript below (video here for full context):
“Both of us want to provide health care to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it,” Obama said in a Feb. 28, 2008 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ television show. “So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”
So yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Candidate Obama was correct: the feds can’t force somebody buy a product or service. He even used Obama’s analogy from 2008 about mandating Americans buy a home:
In a ruling issued yesterday holding that the insurance mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson pointed to a similar statement that Obama had made in a Feb. 4, 2008 interview with CNN. “Indeed,” wrote Vinson, “I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.’”
So how did the prez describe the judge that agreed with Candidate Obama? Predictably:
“Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching,” wrote Obama aide Stephanie Cutter on the White House web site. “
The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent.”
Over at the Justice Department, officials made clear they would challenge the ruling immediately.
“We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling today and continue to believe – as other federal courts have found – that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional,” said a Justice Department statement.
In a conference call with reporters, senior administration officials went even further in their attacks, labeling the ruling “odd and unconventional” and “well out of the mainstream” – predicting it would not stand the scrutiny of higher courts.
Don’t you love it when moonbats try to tell Normal America what is and isn’t “outside the mainstream”?
And not just the clearly unconstitutional individual mandate part. It’s still fresh, but here’s the early takeaway:
Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
The VA judge ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but that the rest of the law was allowed to be intact. The FL judge disagreed, saying that because there was no severability clause, the WHOLE FRIGGIN’ LAW is unconstitutional!
By the way, the judge’s decision is here (PDF). My favorite quote (other than the part about ALL of it being unconstitutional):
It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting — as was done in the Act — that compelling the actual transaction is itself “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce” [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.
A “tea” reference, too…just to tweak the moonbats!
Obviously, this isn’t the end. It will most certainly wind up in the lap of the Supreme Court, where I strongly suspect there will be a 5-4 ruling one way or the other (depends on what side of the bed Justice Kennedy wakes up). Either way, savor the victory for now, my friends!
ObamaCare is so superwickedawesome that the number of entities who want to be exempted from its awesome requirements has nearly quadrupled. Details:
Well today, the day after the President’s State of the Union, the new waivers are up. You may recall that there were 222 such waivers approved in November. That number has now jumped to 729 through the end of December. The total number of people covered by the waivers has gone from 1.5M to just under 2.2M. The list includes the usual assortment of union locals and businesses.
So what does that mean for the non-exempted?
This ever-expanding list of waivers is the direct result of ObamaCare raising the annual benefit caps on certain health plans. Obviously, a plan with higher annual limits is potentially more costly than one without them. The money to cover the difference in premiums has to come from somewhere. Without the waivers, it will come from the employer who are forced by law to upgrade to the more expensive plan. In other words, the 729 organizations who have received waivers are not seeking refuge from an unintended consequence, but from the costs associated with one of ObamaCare’s features. The real question is what these businesses will do once the waiver program comes to an end.
If you’re not an FOB (Friend of Barack), then you may want to become one. That way, you too can get a pass on having to abide by ObamaCare’s onerous requirements.
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