Many conservatives were convinced that yesterday we would see the US Supreme Court strike down what we know is a massive expansion of the federal government and an unconstitutional use of federal power. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out as we had hoped. While there were not 5 votes to allow Congress to use the commerce clause to force individuals to buy health insurance, Chief Justice Roberts voted with Justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor to uphold the law on the grounds that Congress does have the power to tax and that requiring an individual to pay a tax for refusing to purchase health insurance is consistent with that power. A copy of the ruling can be found here.
There were only two small victories (if you want to call them that) for conservatives: 1) the individual mandate was not upheld under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution limiting (albeit to a small extent) Congressional power to regulate economic activity; and 2) attempts to force states to expand Medicaid by threatening to withhold all Medicaid funds from states that refused to comply was ruled unconstitutional. Under today’s ruling, states can choose to expand Medicaid programs and get extra money from Congress to pay for part of that expansion, but if they choose not to expand Medicaid, they cannot be denied existing Medicaid funds. This is extremely important to Alabama where our state General Fund budget is already in shambles due to the high costs of Medicaid. If this provision had been upheld, it would have made an already bad situation much, much worse.
So what lesson can we take away from today’s ruling? First and foremost, we cannot count on the US Supreme Court to save us from ourselves. This ruling makes the November election more important than ever before because it will literally determine the fate of our country. For those of us who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, it is vital to the future of our nation that we participate–along with working ourselves we should also encourage others to help get candidates elected who share a constitutional worldview and once these candidates are elected, do everything in your power to make sure they stick to their philosophy. We must help elect a president who will appoint judges with a strict constructionist judicial philosophy. Finally, we MUST hold these candidates accountable and let them know we will support them when they do the right thing.
The real loser yesterday was not Republicans or Conservatives or the Tea Party (no matter what the media says), the real loser yesterday was the United States of America and liberty as we know it. We cannot forget that and we MUST fight back.
More good resources on today’s Supreme Court ruling can be found here:
Analysis by Richard Epstein: http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/taxation-and-regulation-under-the-health-care-act/
Cato Institute Video Analysis of Ruling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMkg0y4vakM
On the Medicaid Provision: http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/court-holds-that-states-have-choice-whether-to-join-medicaid-expansion/
ALEC Guide to Repealing Obamacare: http://www.alec.org/publications/the-state-legislators-guide-to-repealing-obamacare/
Today marks the 2-year anniversary of the federal takeover of our health care system. A majority of Americans still oppose Obamacare and believe it must be repealed in its entirety. Unfortunately, Congress hasn’t gotten the message. The House of Representatives voted yesterday to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (a.k.a. the Obamacare Rationing Board). This sounds like a good thing, right? But this is a dangerous strategy for several reasons. First, this will give cover to many Democrats and Liberal Republicans who have consistently opposed a full repeal of Obamacare. They will now be able to tell voters they voted for repealing Obamacare when in truth, they did not.
The strategy of a piecemeal dismantling of Obamacare is troubling in itself. The American public has made it abundantly clear they want a full repeal. The idea that we can repeal the worst parts of Obamacare and fix the rest has already started circulating around Washington. As the Heritage Foundation so aptly pointed out in a letter to Speaker Boehner, if this idea is allowed to take hold, then Obamacare is likely here to stay. This would be completely unacceptable.
Congress holds the future of health care for millions of Americans in their hands and they cannot falter. Obamacare must be repealed in its entirety. Contact your legislators and let them know that a full repeal is the only way forward.
The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers for the Obamacare law in April. 38 of those were for upscale restaurants and nightclubs and fancy hotels in Nancy Pelosi’s district, 27 were for health care or drug companies, and another 31 were for unions. That brings the total number of waivers so far up to 1,372.
The administration claims it reviews waivers on a case by case basis and only grants waivers to those companies or businesses on whom it will be too much of a financial burden to meet the law’s first year requirements. Given the nature of some of the businesses chosen to receive waivers, one has to wonder what criteria they are using to judge the financial burden and the company’s ability to pay.
All of this begs the question, if Obamacare is so great and going to do wonderful things for health care in America, why is everyone opting out?
The Senate Health Committee voted to pass the following legislation out of committee:
SB301–Recognizing “life” as beginning at the point of fertilization
SB308–Requiring a doctor to show ultrasound pictures to a pregnant woman before performing an abortion. Called the Right to Know and See Act
SB298–Requiring a doctor to examine a woman both before and after an abortion-inducing drug. Called the Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act.
SB202–Prohibiting coverage of abortion by any health care plan offered in Alabama through federal health care legislation.
The Alabama House of Representatives took up legislation this afternoon that would have preserved the freedom of Alabama citizens to make decisions about and provide for their own health care regardless of federal mandates. Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Galliher, HB60 failed by a vote of 59-28.
8 Republicans voted “P”. P indicates that they did not vote or were not present. You can find out if your legislator was one of them by clicking here. Update: I’m told several of the Republicans who voted “P” were not present for this scheduled vote.
Another Update: According to ALISON, Rep. Bill Roberts and Rep. Howard Sanderford intended to vote Yes.
**Rep. Owen Drake is listed as “P” because he was not present for the vote. He is currently in the hospital in Birmingham.
You would think the Obama administration might get the message, but they still plan to appeal the decision. This ruling was particularly significant because more than half of the states were plaintiffs in the matter.
A federal judge in Florida struck down President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare overhaul as unconstitutional on Monday in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the reform law’s so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.
“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void,” he wrote, “This has been a difficult decision to reach and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications.”
Referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Vinson sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring the Obama healthcare reform unconstitutional. Read more
Update: Phyllis Schlafly has also written a good piece on the subject.
Matthew Continetti has a great article in the Weekly Standard explaining the significance of the vote to repeal Obamacare.
Something remarkable happened in Washington last week, and too few people in the media and politics appreciate it. The House of Representatives voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 less than a year after Congress passed it into law. What’s more, the vote for repeal (245-189) was larger than the vote for passage (219-212). We racked our brains trying to figure out the last time a major piece of legislation was repudiated by a chamber of Congress with such speed and decisiveness. The answer is 1989, when Congress repealed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act it had passed 17 months before, and President George H.W. Bush signed the repeal. Read More
Late this afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives voted
245-189 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
also known as “Obamacare.” Three Democrats joined a unanimous
Republican caucus in rolling back the wildly unpopular health care
law. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom says it will die in
the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to
allow the repeal to come to a vote, and even if Republicans were
able to get a vote, it is unlikely it would get enough support to
pass. If by some miracle, they could get the votes to pass
the repeal it is extremely likely that President Obama would veto.
This outcome was predicted by Republican leadership. They now
plan to try to repeal some of the more unpopular portions of the
health care law and replace them with conservative
alternatives. There’s also been talk of de-funding portions of the bill. However they choose to proceed, The GOP is off to a good start in keeping their promise to repeal Obamacare. Hopefully, that will continue.
|Wednesday, January 19th marks the one-year anniversary of the Special Election in which Scott Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate, largely on the promise that he would cast the 41st vote against ObamaCare. As you recall, Harry Reid broke his promise and broke faith with the American people when he used reconciliation, a procedural tool, to skirt the rules and pass ObamaCare.
Liberals just aren’t getting it! We need to keep reminding them of the message the people of Massachusetts sent last January 19th and that voters throughout America sent on Election Day last November: We want them to repeal ObamaCare and stop out-of-control government spending.
If passed, H.R. 2, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” would repeal P.L. 111-148, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) and the crooked “reconciliation” vehicle Harry Reid used to pass it, P.L. 111-152, the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.”
We need to put an end to thousands-of pages-long spending bills. H.R. 2 is barely three-pages long, consisting mostly of its lengthy list of co-sponsors, and it simply states that ObamaCare is repealed in its entirety.
This is a great opportunity to get to know your Congressman’s staff when you call and urge him or her to vote to Repeal ObamaCare on Wednesday!