ObamaCare

Mammogram nazi

Yes, you read that correctly. We here at Redneck Mansion are the living embodiment of Godwin's Law. Hop on over (hey, it's almost Easter) to South of 5 and 20 to read a great post about the real war on women:

You peasants must understand, under Norwegian-style government health care, vulnerable female citizens are spared the risk of "overdiagnosis" by simply substituting no diagnosis at all.  Bends the cost curve down, you see.
 

...Talk about a "war on women"...

Read the whole thing.

But one must glom on to identity politics to distract the masses from the real issues...

Oh, THAT Marbury v. Madison!

(CBS News) In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.
 
The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
 
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional...
Ah, yes, Marbury v. Madison.
 
Audio from the 5th Circuit hearing, with Judge Smith's order to DOJ, is available here (docket no. 11-40631).
...The bottom line from Smith: A three-page letter with specifics. He asked DOJ to discuss "judicial review, as it relates to the specific statements of the president, in regard to Obamacare and to the authority of the federal courts to review that legislation."
 
"I would like to have from you by noon on Thursday -- that's about 48 hours from now -- a letter stating what is the position of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president," Smith said. "What is the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review?"
 
Smith made his intentions clear minutes after the DOJ attorney began her argument, jumping in to ask: "Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?"
 
[DOJ attorney Dana Lydia] Kaersvang replies yes...
Hmmm.  Incoming...
 
 
h/t Tom
 

Obamacare at 2

A tantrum would have been justified but...Fox News has gone seriously amiss lately (although they're still better than CNN, MSNBC, et al).

The author of this piece at Fox starts out with a great (not) quote from Arlen Specter
“[President Obama] went wrong by unloading too much too soon. He came forward with three trillion-dollar proposals. He had cap and trade, he had health care and he had the stimulus package and that was more than America could swallow. That led to the outbursts once they had a chance.”
that could have been the basis for a good second-anniversary-of-Obamacare column, but instead Chris Stirewalt writes this:
For all of the political pain that President Obama has suffered for his health law, it’s understandable that the White House would not want to make the two-year anniversary of the law’s enactment anything more than a “Hallmark holiday."
and
At a moment when Americans’ primary concerns were about the economy and a skyrocketing federal debt, Obama made one of the all-time great rookie mistakes in presidential history.
Really?  Is that all it was? A rookie mistake?
From the time that Obama made his first call for Congress to pass the law in a February 2009 address to a joint session to the final throes of its passage 13 months later, the president had seemingly come to care much less what was in the legislation or how it was made.
What was in the legislation or how it was made was never the real point.
...arm twisting restive lawmakers and backing the use of procedural shenanigans uncommon for the passage of a law of such magnitude.
Oh, is THAT what you call them?  Procedural shenanigans.  Who knew?
The elders in Washington had warned Obama...  
WHAT "elders"?  Nancy Pelosi?
Congress ground to a halt over health care and the rest of Obama’s agenda – global warming fees, “cradle to career” public education, stringent financial regulations and even a missile treaty with the Russians – became trapped in the battle over Obama’s big law.
Dang!  We missed out on all that good stuff because of Obamacare.
Obama ran in the general election on good government, bipartisanship and innovative thinking. He ended up sacrificing all of that in the name of victory on a law that ended up looking very little like what he had originally called for.
Sacrificing?  SACRIFICING?  Get out those violins—time to play "Hearts & Flowers."
Bill Clinton had the political acumen to change course when his audacious agenda ran aground during his first term. Obama has instead concluded that his task was to reeducate the electorate.
Bill Clinton is etch-a-sketchlike (you can call that "political acumen" if you prefer). Marxists, however, tend to be into "reeducation."
With such uncertainty looming, most Americans would like to see the law either repealed or partly undone. And given the way the legislation was made, it’s understandable that voters would have little confidence in it.
 
The justices of the Supreme Court may yet bail out Obama and strike down the law, or at least big parts of it, before the election. But at the two-year mark, the legislation remains the unhappiest success of any modern American politician.
So if the Supremes strike down Obamacare, that's a win for Obama?  What is this person smoking?
 
If this is the kind of analysis that goes on at Fox News now, there's not much hope for the News Corpse other big holding, the WSJ.  I hope Stephen Moore is updating his résumé.
 

And that's the wrong finger.
 
 

Reductio ad absurdum

"I'm sorry, being forced to sell out your beliefs should not be a price you have to pay for going into business and taking on employees."

That's Tom Blumer at NewsBusters. He's writing about an editorial that appeared in the WSJ entitled "Immaculate Contraception":
Under the original Health and Human Services regulation, all religious institutions except for houses of worship would be required to cover birth control, including hospitals, schools and charities. Under the new rule, which the White House stresses is "an accommodation" and not a compromise, nonprofit religious organizations won't have to directly cover birth control and can opt out. But the insurers they hire to cover their employees can't opt out. If that sounds like a distinction without a difference, odds are you're a rational person.
If you're still having trouble wrapping your mind around the absurdity of the Obama administration argument, once again here's Bud and Lou to explain it all for you.  From contributor Tom Reynolds:
 
Abbott:     I see the Catholic Church will not have to offer abortion in their medical insurance plans.


Costello:  Their employees will not have insurance coverage for abortions?

Abbott:     No, their insurance company will have to cover it.

Costello:  But you just said the church doesn’t have to cover it.

Abbott:     They won’t, but their insurance carrier will cover it.

Costello:  So, the church will have to offer it.

Abbott:     No, just their insurance carrier.  It will pay for it for employees covered by the church’s policy.  The church won’t have to pay for it.

Costello:  So, who will pay for it?

Abbott:     The insurance company.

Costello:  Where will the insurance company get the money to pay for it?  

Abbott:     They will have to raise the church’s premiums.

Costello:  So the church will have to pay for abortions that are not covered by their insurance policy.

Abbott:     No, that’s not what Obama says.  The church won’t have to pay for abortions through their insurance policy.

Costello:  Wait a minute.  You just said that the insurance company will raise the church’s premium to pay for abortions.

Abbott:     Right.

Costello:  So, the church will pay higher premiums to pay for abortions.

Abbott:     Right

Costello:  But they won’t have to cover abortions in their insurance policy because they are paying for abortions by their insurance company.

Abbott:     Right

Costello:  Didn’t Obama say that Obamacare would not cover abortions?

Abbott:     That was just when he was trying to get it passed.

Costello:  And didn’t he say premiums would go down?

Abbott:     Yep.

Costello:  But you just said that the church’s premium would go up to pay for abortions it is not  covering.

Abbott:     Right.

Costello:  Won’t that conflict with the principles of their faith?

Abbott:     Obama has given them a year to work that out.

Costello:  So at the end of a year, the church will have to find a loophole in their principles so they can pay for abortions.

Abbott:     That’s basically it.

Costello:  What if God objects?

Abbott:     Obama has a rule that allows God to take an exception while not having any impact on abortion coverage. 

Costello:  How will that work?

Abbott:     They’ll require God to agree before he reads the agreement.

Costello:  What if God figures it out?

Abbott:     The Mayan calendar may turn out to be correct.


Oh, that guy on the right?  Another Tom.  Tom Aquinas.  Here at Redneck Mansion we appreciate a little claritas in our arguments.

 

           

Death panels? What death panels?

At the Weekly Standard a couple of weeks ago:

Is it just a coincidence that the people that President Obama nominates to fill high-level governmental posts tend to favor government-directed health care rationing?  Last year, Obama nominated Donald Berwick to head Medicare and Medicaid. Now he’s nominated Henry J. Aaron to head the Social Security Advisory Board.
 

Berwick, to whom Obama issued a dubious recess appointment to circumvent the usual Senate confirmation, has become notorious for statements like, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open” — and, in progressive-speak, “The social budget is limited.” 
Aaron, a recent Obama nominee, has expressed similar views. He wrote a piece earlier this year called, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board — Congress's ‘Good Deed.’” The grisly IPAB, one of the most underreported of Obamacare’s myriad of liberty-sapping features, would have the power to cut Medicare spending each year — if Obamacare isn’t repealed first. The dictates of its 15 unelected members would effectively become law. In fact, Congress couldn’t even overturn the IPAB’s decrees with a majority vote in each house and the President’s signature....
Read the whole thing, including this little gem near the end of the article:

...“The burden of enforcing medical rationing in Britain falls mainly on doctors, who act as ‘gatekeepers’ in the system. They know funds for kidney dialysis are limited, so they simply don’t refer older patients for the life-saving treatment.
 

“Asked how he could turn away over-55 kidney patients from life-saving dialysis, one doctor told Aaron and Schwartz: ‘What you don’t seem to understand is that everybody over the age of 55 is a bit crumbly.’…

Well.

And now over at the Lonely Conservative, this:

Mark Levin took a call from a neurosurgeon who explained how Obamacare treats patients over the age of 70. He said that the plan for advanced neurosurgical care issued by the Department of Health and Human Services refers to patients as “units” and that patients older than 70 years of age are to receive “comfort care” only. He said this information is not yet published, but it’s been discussed with the medical community.

Alrighty then.  What could possibly go wrong?

h/t Tom

 

And the lion shall lay down with the lamb?

Errr, not so much...but it is shades of yesterday's WSJ editorial (h/t Henry):

...There are numerous other new taxes in the bill [the 2010 Affordable Care Act] , all adding up to some $438 billion in new revenue over 10 years. But even that is understated because by 2019 the annual revenue increase is nearly $90 billion, or $900 billion in the 10 years after that. Yet Mr. Obama wants to add another $1 trillion in new taxes on top of this....

For more on geese and golden eggs, see here, here, and here.

Magnetic Medicaid

Do read the whole article in today's Ithaca Journal, but here are some highlights (or lowlights):

New York leads nation in spending on social aid

ALBANY — Here's another distinction for New York: It gets more government aid per person from social programs than any other state.

A USA TODAY analysis Tuesday found that the state's Medicaid program is the most expensive in the nation, driving the average cost of all government benefits in New York to $9,442 per person — the most in the country...

Of course, as a commenter on this piece remarked, the article almost needs "To be read last paragraph first" for the sake of clarity.  Nevertheless,

[....] spending on Medicaid, the health program for the poor, has long exceeded other states because of New York's broad initiatives and high poverty levels... 

[....] New York had to close a $10 billion budget deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which began April 1. The Legislature largely adopted the recommendations of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team, which will produce savings of $2.8 billion for the $53 billion Medicaid program...

[....] The program represents about 26 percent of the state's operating budget, slightly more than school aid, according to a report from the Medicaid Redesign Team.

Medicaid enrollment has soared, from 2.7 million enrollees in 2000 to 4.7 million in 2010 — fueled by an aging population and an expansion of the Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus programs for people whose incomes are too high for Medicaid benefits. (emphasis mine)

[....] The state and county governments split the cost of the state's share for the program. [E.J. McMahon, senior fellow for the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy, said] That has blurred financial accountability and allowed state lawmakers to "buy up to a dollar's worth of political capital for 25 cents,"...

McMahon said he doesn't think the Medicaid redesign will make much of a difference. The state would have to look at eligibility to have an impact, he said....

[....] But Frank Mauro, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute [and a favorite of Barbara Lifton's--tvm], said New York's Medicaid benefits are on par with neighboring states. New York has a higher poverty rate than they do, so its per capita spending exceeds other northeastern states....

So, let's just say that in the very short tern anyway, the situation is what it is.  What's the outlook for NYS particularly under Obamacare, a topic that isn't touched on apparently in the USA Today study?  According to a paper recently published by Cato, "The New Health Care Law's Effect on State Medicaid Spending: A Study of the Five Most Populous States," it's not looking good for NYS:

Unless it is repealed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 promises to increase state government obligations for Medicaid by expanding Medicaid eligibility and introducing an individual health insurance mandate for all U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents...PPACA provides states with no additional federal financial support for new enrollees among those eligible for Medicaid under the old laws. That makes increased state Medicaid spending from higher enrollments by “old-eligibles” virtually certain as they enroll in Medicaid in response to the individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

....Both Illinois and New York have the potential for considerably higher enrollments and increased expenditures.

Why are IL and NY "qualitatively different" from the other states?

Population projections for Illinois and New York (shaded) exhibit considerably greater constancy, both in population size and age composition, and suggest that Medicaid expenditures will not increase as rapidly in these two states compared with the other three states with more robust population growth and faster aging population.

Great.

The point is that you don't need to understand regression analysis in order to be able to see that while the current Medicaid situation in NYS is bad, under Obamacare as currently configured it would be even worse...and not only for fiscal reasons, but for societal reasons as well.  As E.J. McMahon says in the Journal article, "This is really a measure of dependency on government." 

And on a related note: Ace went to Andrew Breitbart's book signing, where Breitbart commented on the sheer wonderfulness of Ace commenters.  It's true that you can learn a lot from comments on internet postings, sometimes more than you learn from the original article itself.  I often recommend here that people read the comments attached to an article we link to. In fact, one of today's commenters at the Journal inspired both the title of this post and the illustration. So read the comments on the Journal article already.

BOEHNER & HANNA - TIME IS RUNNING OUT

By Tom Reynolds:

I campaigned with Richard Hanna last year and often heard him talk about leaving a better America for our children.  Obamacare is NOT leaving a better America; it will leave a bankrupt America for our children.  The solution is not chipping away at Obamacare.  It must be repealed.
 

We sent a new class to the House of Representatives to make a major change in the direction of the country. Over 40 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government is borrowed; does anyone believe that can continue?  Obama does and apparently the "New 'Republicans'” in Congress share that belief.  Their recent efforts at budget reform are just not good enough. Actually, laughable comes to mind, but it’s no laughing matter.
 

Did they believe they could get away with using accounting tricks instead of real reform?  Welcome to the age of the internet, Mr Boehner.  Information is not controlled by the news agencies of the liberal left who will take a pass on your efforts since it serves their purposes.
 

There are good points in the Republican budget proposal, but a six year plan is no plan at all.  And what happens if we did get a balanced budget in six years?  We would still have a $20 trillion debt to service.  A balanced budget doesn’t pay it down.
 

Perhaps Speaker Boehner has a clever plan that he will implement shortly.  Personally, I doubt it, since his latest efforts show an opposite inclination.  I can give him a little more time, but just a little.
   

Stand up Mr. Boehner.  Stand up Mr Hanna.  Stand up or get out.  America can't wait much longer.

Campaign to Defund -- UPDATED

This letter is reprinted from Forward Thinking: The Ithaca Tea Party 

Dear Fellow Tea Partiers:
 
The time has come to honor our pledge to hold the "feet" of the Republican members of the House of Representatives "to the fire."  The issue is ObamaCare, which the House voted to repeal and/or defund.  It appears that the House leadership is reneging on their promise to do whatever is possible to rid the country of this threat to our freedom and the very existence of our country as we have known it. Here are the facts:
 
1. On March 18, 2011, the House will vote on another continuing resolution to keep the Federal Government funded.
 
2. It has recently come to light that buried in the 2700 page so-called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" are advance appropriations in the amount of $105,464,000,000 providing funding to the Health and Human Services Secretary starting now and extending through FY2019. It took the Congressional Research Service 11 months to identify and total up all the billions of appropriations and fund transfers in the bill. 

3. There is no language in the current version of the continuing resolution to defund ObamaCare. 

4. House leadership, under Speaker Boehner, is reluctant to include language about defunding in the upcoming CR for the usual political reasons. They talk about not wanting to break House rules. The Republicans are the majority party and they can make the rules. They do not want to be the Party to shut down the government. But it is more important to do whatever can be done to remedy this urgent problem than to worry about what will amount to no more than an inconvenience. They seem to want to delay this battle until next year. 

5. Therefore Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-MN)  and Rep. Steve King (R. IA)  will not support the CR if language to defund ObamaCare is not included.  
 
6. HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP.  Contact Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers. Urge them to withhold their support of the continuing resolution unless it contains language to defund ObamaCare. Contact your own representative even if he is the recalcitrant Maurice Hinchey and make your position clear to him. Contact as many members of the Tea Party Caucus, listed below, as you can, and urge them to honor their pledge to repeal ObamaCare and support the CR only if it contains language defunding ObamaCare. 

MEMBERS OF THE TEA PARTY CAUCUS

Sandy Adams (FL-24)
Robert Aderholt (AL-04)
Todd Akin (MO-02)
Rodney Alexander (LA-05)
Michele Bachmann (MN-06)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06)
Joe Barton (TX-06)
Rob Bishop (UT-01)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-09)
Paul Broun (GA-10)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Dan Burton (IN-05)
John Carter (TX-31) 
Bill Cassidy (LA-06)
Howard Coble (NC-06)
Mike Coffman (CO-06)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-04)
John Culberson (TX-07)
Jeff Duncan (SC-03)

Stephen Lee Fincher (TN-08)
John Fleming (LA-04)
Trent Franks (AZ-02)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Wally Herger (CA-02)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)
Steve King (IA-05)
Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-09)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
David McKinley (WV-01) 
Gary Miller (CA-42)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Rich Nugent (FL-05)
Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Mike Pence (IN-06)
Ted Poe (TX-02)
Tom Price (GA-06)
Denny Rehberg (MT-At large)
David Roe (TN-01)
Dennis Ross (FL-12)
Edward Royce (CA-40)
Steve Scalise (LA-01)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Adrian Smith (NE-03)
Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Cliff Stearns (FL-06)
Tim Walberg (MI-07)
Joe Walsh (IL-08)
Allen West (FL-22)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)
Joe Wilson (SC-02) 

If you have any questions about any of this, let me know.  Remember this has to be done before the vote on Friday, March 18, 2011.
 
Thanks for all you do,
 
Fran Weissman

UPDATE:

Dear Tea Partiers,

I am having trouble determining the exact time the House has scheduled the vote on the Continuing Resolution. A few minutes ago, Hinchey's Ithaca office told me it could be as soon as tomorrow, March 15, 2011 and Michele Bachmann's Woodbury, Minnesota office told me it was scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 2011.  My current understanding is that Friday, March 18, is the date that the federal government will run out of money. I am so sorry for my misunderstanding and any inconvenience it may cause. At the same time, I urge you to contact the relevant House members as soon as possible so that your message will count. Again, thanks for all you do.

Fran Weissman

Obamacare news for us toothless, shoeless ones...

...and a call to conservative artists.

From Reuters, via Drudge:

The House of Representatives will vote to block funding for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul when it takes up a budget plan it will consider next week, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said on Tuesday.

"I expect to see one way or other the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for that," Cantor said at a news conference, referring to an effort to block implementation of the health-care law.

Wonder what our Mr. Hanna will do.

Meanwhile, back here at Redneck Mansion (photo right), we're breathlessly waiting for the release of a graphic novel comic book that's going to explain the wonders of Obamacare to all us bitter clingers to guns and religion (from the Boston Herald, via Weasel Zippers):

The MIT economics whiz who crafted President Obama’s national health-care overhaul now plans to explain the complex and controversial plan to the masses — in one long comic book.

Jonathan Gruber, a nationally recognized health economist who devised the economic underpinnings of Obamacare (Gruber hates the term), said his three comic-loving kids encouraged him to use the hip format of the graphic novel — basically an expensive comic published in book form — to tell the story of the complicated plan to 300 million Americans.

[...]

“I’m going to use the facts to tell the story,” Gruber, 45, told the Pulse yesterday. “I’m the narrator guiding the reader through the law. It’ll have lots of pictures and text.”...

[...]

Now Gruber is breaking down the president’s 2,400-page legislation into illustrated, bite-sized panels for non-wonks who either don’t understand or don’t like the national plan....

OK, countermoonbat artists, have at it. No money involved, just glory.

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