ObamaCare

Shut thy pie hole, knave!

At the Daily Caller via Weasel Zippers:

A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended...
Almost don't need to say any more than that but you could read the rest anyway, just for kicks.
 
Watch that water cooler chit-chat, you scurvy swabs.
 

I feel like Charlie Brown--yet again

At the rate things keep changing, this post may be obsolete before we've even finished writing it, but here goes anyway...

One more time:

Yup, Congress and all their enablers think we're the stupidest people alive.  And that, sometimes, quaint traditions—like the Constitution—should just fade away.

Keep in mind that many grassroots Republicans have been opposed to Obamacare ever since it was a mere gleam in the progressives' eyes. And now a sizable portion of the "stupid" people in the Democrat party isn't too thrilled with it, either:

...moderate and conservative Democrats have fled on health care. In 2010, as Obamacare careened through a Democratic Congress, 76 percent of center-right Democrats cheered, while 20 percent hissed. By last July 23, only 47 percent of those Democrats endorsed Obamacare; 46 percent disapproved. So, among middle-of-the-road Democrats (57 percent of those surveyed), net support for Obamacare is just 1 percent, the Washington Post and ABC News report...

Yet, despite having what is often laughably described as a representative form of government, here is what the stalwarts in the House GOP came up with to lob over the transom to the Senate after the noble senators, including many so-called Republicans (remember, though, that Caligula had his horse made a senator—there's a message there), stripped the defunding language from the House bill and kicked it back to them:

...Early this morning, the House voted to amend the Senate bill (H. J. Res. 59) with three changes:

1)      It changed the duration of the CR from November 15 to December 15, offering an extra month of government funding.

2)      It repeals the 2.3 per cent medical device tax [Paulsen amendment].

3)      It delays implementation of Obamacare and the rest of the tax increases for one year without defunding the law [Blackburn amendment].  However, it does not delay everything.  All the mandates – guaranteed issue and the slacker mandate – will be left untouched.  These mandates are most responsible for the inexorable rise in insurance premiums.  They also create the most dependency.  There is no way we will ever repeal them if we let them slide now.

Got that?  Who exactly are our "representatives" representing, anyway?

By the way, the unfunded "slacker mandate" is the federally imposed coverage of "children" up to age 26 on their parents' health insurance policies, and "guaranteed issue" is federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions—which leads to an adverse-selection death spiral (in simplest terms, that's when nobody bothers to buy insurance, except for the very ill, because it's too expensive).

Read the whole thing.  The post is entitled "Beware The Medical Device Tax Fig Leaf," which seems rather apt since fig leaves are designed to hide members whose function is to screw us.

Ted Cruz spoke long and eloquently about all the myriad reasons why Obamacare is a disaster for individuals, families, and businesses.  But the underlying reason why this beast needs to be slain now, not a month, or a few weeks, or a year from now is that many of the provisions of Obamacare—which aren't even all being delayed under the latest iteration of the House CR—constitute a "morphine drip": 

So what's going to happen if when the Senate turns down the latest House offering? According to Rep. McCarthy,

House GOP whip Kevin McCarthy said the House will send a third government-funding bill with “a few other options” if the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects the bill passed in the House last night, as expected.
 
“We will pass a bill . . . that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept, that will have fundamental changes to Obamacare that can protect the economy for America,” McCarthy said on Fox News Sunday.
 
The remarks confirm National Review Online’s reporting yesterday that House leadership is considering an eleventh-hour play like passing a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) with language added to end a subsidy for congressional staffers to purchase health insurance...
They're gonna cave, people.  We knew this all along.
 
We have, de facto, a three-party system: the Dems, the elected GOP elites and their associated consultants and bootlickers, and what's left of the GOP grassroots (the ones who haven't abandoned ship yet, anyway).
 
The wimpy party is the one sporting the fig leaves.
 

Pretzeldom

Once again, the people who choose death rather than choose life have to twist themselves into pretzels in order to justify that choice.  At Salon, via RedState:

...Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always....
 

...We let the archconservatives browbeat us with the concept of “life,” using their scare tactics on women and pushing for indefensible violations like forced ultrasounds. Why? Because when they wave the not-even-accurate notion that “abortion stops a beating heart” they think they’re going to trick us into some damning admission. They believe that if we call a fetus a life they can go down the road of making abortion murder. And I think that’s what concerns the hell out of those of us who support unrestricted reproductive freedom...

...In an Op-Ed on “Why I’m Pro-Choice” in the Michigan Daily this week, Emma Maniere stated, quite perfectly, that “Some argue that abortion takes lives, but I know that abortion saves lives, too.” She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Wow. Just wow.

Read the whole thing, chillingly entitled, "So what if abortion ends life?"

As a RedState commenter drily remarked, "We all enjoy "unrestricted reproductive freedom". There is nothing to stop any of us from conceiving at any time."

This Salon piece a stunning example of both an inability to drive past the hood of one's car—can the author imagine herself being shunted against her will on to an Orwellian "care pathway" as in Britain?—and an ability to ignore cognitive dissonance that is positively breathtaking:

 

Paying taxes is about as much fun as a root canal

Tags:

This concept takes on a whole new meaning under Obamacare. That's Steve Martin over there to your left, playing an IRS agent.

Via the Lonely Conservative:

With all the chatter about the fiscal cliff, you may not have heard of a tax change that will take effect on January 1 — and why going to the dentist now may be the right response to it.
 

If you’re under 65, on January 1 your medical tax deduction rate (including expenses for dental work) will take a big jump from 7.5% of gross income to 10%. (No change for folks 65 and older.)...
 
...So if you’re under 65 and have been putting off having dental work done, wait no longer — and do NOT accept an appointment in January.
 
The article points out that the "why" of what amounts to a dental tax is to help pay for the astronomical cost of Obamacare.  But I take something else away from it, too—with all the grievance politics that this administration has been playing, this is just another form of "warfare"...age warfare.  After all, aren't all those evil over-65ers, including our friends and loved ones, given special treatment here, and isn't their very existence the reason why we're in this health care-and-entitlements pickle to begin with?
 
Don't fall for it.
 
And I hope all the low-information (but not necessarily low-income) voters out there who voted for Obama not just once but twice are happy with the deleterious impact your own choices are having on your personal bottom line.     
 

Maybe Schumer & Gillibrand should have read the bill...

...before they voted for it so they could find out what was in it. Via Weasel Zippers:

Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed.  Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a “job-killing tax” — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.
 
The senators, who made the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal.  All voted for Obamacare...
 
Yes, there are several businesses in NYS that are impacted by this, including Welch Allyn in Skaneateles:
...In September, the company announced that it would cut 10 percent of its global workforce, including 45 jobs from its Skaneateles Falls headquarters. Welch Allyn employs about 2,700 workers worldwide...
 
Our morally and intellectually superior two-headed monster, Chuck and Kirsten, should have known that voting on Marxist ideological grounds for bills that you haven't actually read has consequences.
 

If it walks like a duck...

...then according to Stephen Moore of the WSJ—gasp!—it's a duck:

IOW—nah, they're the same words—nearly 75% of Obamacare costs will fall on the backs of those Americans making less than $120,000 a year.

But this was not a newsflash...Gateway Pundit had called our attention to it via Fox News back at the beginning of July:

And as he now says

Obamacare: It’s not just a big f***ing deal… It’s a big f***ing tax.

For those who prefer a little less hyperbole and a little more analysis, go to Heritage here

But any way you look at it, in the immortal words of our esteemed Vice President, it's a big f***ing deal.

So, you morons and moronettes (as they say at Ace of Spades, where it's a term of endearment--I don't mean it that way) who thought that Obamacare was the best thing since Obamamoney and who pay taxes and who make $120K a year or less and who voted for more of this nonsense—and, yes, I realize that this constitutes a very small group of people—why was this a good idea exactly?

Actually, I think I can answer that question...at Ace (I like this post a lot, so I'm making a rare exception and not excerpting):

Bad News: The Human Race Has Been Getting Stupider For 10,000 Years


Via Instapundit (with obligatory joke), a geneticist believes human brains were more powerful back when we were hunting mastodons than now when we're hunting to find a new episode of Hoarders.

His argument is based on the fact that for more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” Professor Crabtree says in a provocative paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics.

“Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2,000 to 6,000 years ago,” Professor Crabtree says.

Well no duh on that last one. I'm not sure you can even have petty neuroses in dangerous environment filled with genuine sources of stress and hazard. If your brain is predisposed to worry and stress, it's going to have a lot of serious threats to worry and stress about. There's no such thing as a hypochondriac when the plague is in town.

There's a theory -- I don't know if this is a real theory or just the sort of thing that Adam Carolla says -- that as our environment and diet get cleaner, we actually become more sensitive to allergens. Fear and neurosis almost certainly works that way.

What's so provocative about the professor's paper? Sounds right to me.

Death & taxes

The only sure things, according to Benjamin Franklin.

Not much to look forward to.  At AMAC:

BOHEMIA, NY, Sep 14 – “There may not be a ‘death panel’ lurking in the Affordable Care Act but there is an Independent Payment Advisory Board [IPAB] that has some folks – including many physicians – scared it will ultimately find a way to ration care for the elderly,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
 
“You can hide a lot of mischief in a 2400 page law.  Perhaps, that’s why they didn’t want you to know in advance what was in the legislation that the President calls ObamaCare.  And, the IPAB is, in fact, one of those hidden threats all set to rear up and bite us come 2015 when the Board is expected to begin functioning.”
 
The stated purpose of the IPAB is to control costs and that’s a good thing, said Weber.  However, he added, when you dig down into the descriptions of the Board’s functions and powers a lot of questions are raised.
 
“For one thing, it creates the very real possibility that the Board will reduce payments to doctors as a means of controlling costs.  In turn, it raises the specter of physicians choosing to not treat Medicare patients at all or, if they do, they might elect to limit the amount of care they will provide”...
And as always, the media is carrying water for the administration, the kind of water that gets you acclimated to your own imminent demise:
 
 
You're being trained to think that the road the administration is going down is the only path to take and is the only solution to existing problems.  For example, in USA Today:
The number of total knee replacement surgeries has soared 161.5% among Medicare participants over the past 20 years, a $5 billion annual tab that will continue to grow as the USA's 77 million Baby Boomers age, according to a large study out today...
 
...The challenges, [lead author Peter Cram] adds, are how to address post-surgery problems that can develop from shorter hospital stays and in patients with other conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and how to ensure doctors are not overusing a "highly reimbursed procedure"...
 
...the authors say the yearly demand for total knee replacements could be as high as 3.48 million procedures by 2030 and can potentially "decrease the allocation of health care resources used by patients."
 
Yet the surgeries also "will be a driver of health care costs,'' and steps need to be taken to address "predisposing modifiable factors such as obesity and to advance efforts at early intervention strategies to treat mild arthritis and to prevent progression'' requiring surgery...
 
The solution to existing problems is to vote out of office the people whose policies are completely driven by leftist ideology and who are thus unable to think outside that box.
 
Grandma says it best:
 
 
h/t Tom


UPDATE: At the Lonely Conservative..."Former Obama Adviser Steven Rattner Called for Death Panels in NYT Op-Ed"

Wisdom from The Old Perfessor

Casey Stengel:

I've been in this game a hundred years, but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before.

Hold yer water

We just received the Redneck Mansion water & sewer bill for the quarter.  Down towards the bottom of the bill is a statement: "Your neighbors in the town average 11,900 gallons /quarter."

Well, we're breaking our arms patting ourselves on tha back since we don't use nearly that much water because, as everyone knows, rednecks don't shower, shave, brush their teeth, or flush the commode.

But that's neither here nor there.

It did remind us, though, of a recent Freakonomics podcast entitled, "Riding the herd mentality."  You can listen to the podcast here, but the gist is that it's about "how peer pressure – and good, old-fashioned shame – can push people to do the right thing."

Of course, another method of pushing the great unwashed to do the right thing is the proper kind of zoning, as Alice discovered in Zoningland a while ago...but we digress.

The problem with relying on peer pressure and shame is that people can be exceptionally creative when it comes to avoiding doing the right thing.

To wit:

...in west Texas...a severe drought forced people to cut down on their water use. At least they were supposed to cut down — but those lush green lawns that some Texans were used to don’t just get green on their own...
Local talk-show host Robert Hallmark remarks on the invocation of the Slip 'n Slide Rule:
HALLMARK: The Slip ‘n Slide Rule was that you could operate a Slip ‘n Slide in your front yard for the kids anytime you wanted to. Now you know as well as I do a Slip ‘n Slide is nothing but a water hose with holes in it. It is just pouring water out onto the lawn. So we determined how much it would cost to hire kids to stand in your yard in a bathing suit just so you could water your yard.
Somehow all that good old-fashioned American ingenuity, though, has to get stoppered up or people will just keep on not doing the right thing, dag nabbit!
 
Enter John Roberts, Esq., and the concept of mandating behavior whilst seeming not to mandate behavior, and all by the fiendishly simple (not to mention revenue-producing) technique of imposing a tax—you know, just to get people to do "the right thing."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shades of BF Skinner?
 
 

Our Dred Scott

Last year I wrote about eerie parallels between the pre-Civil War period and present day events.

Of course, one of the major events that set the stage for the war was the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, which was decided in March of 1857.   In that case, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that all blacks, slave and free, were not and could not ever become citizens of the United States.

It was a case about the buying and selling of people and of people's labor. 

Abolitionists rose up in fury, but Frederick Douglass said, "my hopes were never brighter than now"—because he knew that the injustice of taking the fruits of one's labor, to regulate every aspect of a person's life, could not stand.

Just as that decision increased the tensions between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the country, the ObamaCare decision today will only fan the smoldering division between the progressive and Constitutional factions we have today.

As I wrote a year ago, this is a time to write in your diaries.  Historians will look back at this time with wonder -- how could we let it all happen again?

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