The following article elucidates the cited issues challenging the constitutionality of the Obamacare legislation and provides supportive legal history/cases bolstering this position. His argument is quite cogent and may serve as an appetizer for the argued positions when the States’ case is ultimately heard by the Supreme Court.
Importantly, this case can be considered to be a watershed one that can serve to vanquish and turn back the tide of ever expanding federal government insinuation and encroachment into our daily activities. Thus, if it is struck down by the Supreme Court, this defeat may very well be the Waterloo of the Progressive agenda.
ObamaCare: The 28th Amendment?
Roger D. Luchs April 17, 2011
ObamaCare is under assault, and properly so, because it tramples on enumerated constitutional rights of individuals and the states. Given President Obama's predilection, it must also be viewed as his most aggressive effort to date to recast the Constitution to empower the Federal government to inject itself into areas of everyday life from which it has been fenced off since its inception.
In a 2001 interview, Obama expressed frustration that the Constitution was framed as a "limiting" document rather than an "empowering" document. He understands that there is simply no prospect of amending it to bestow on Congress and him substantially broader authority to regulate broad sectors of the private economy. His sole option, then, is to convince the public that 225 years of constitutional jurisprudence is wrong or outdated.
ObamaCare is his opening salvo for making his case. No doubt there are more than a few liberal judges who will back him up. Some have already ruled in Obama's favor. If Obama succeeds even in only small part in recasting the Constitution as transferring powers to the central government beyond those expressly identified therein, then, to Obama and his liberal allies, it will be seen, to borrow a phrase, as "the end of the beginning" rather than "the beginning of the end."
Obama knows better, of course, which is why he said what he did in his 2001 interview. He can't change history, as much as he'd like to try, so he hopes to erase it from people's memories so over time, it is replaced with "progressive" reading of the Constitution. Facts, however, are stubborn things.
The colonies ceded to the newly-established Federal government only those powers they agreed among themselves would benefit the separate states, collectively. The Tenth Amendment reserved to the states those many powers not expressly ceded. The Bill of Rights was adopted to ensure that the Federal government could not infringe on the liberties the Revolution was fought to restore and preserve. Citizens of the colonies, and later of the territories, agreed to this arrangement with the understanding that the states and the Federal government would honor what was a set of covenants among them, which all agreed to honor so the nation would succeed. The Civil War was fought, in part, because to the Southern states, the North, when it elected Lincoln, signaled its willingness to violate that compact, by changing one of the key terms to which it had agreed to obtain Southern participation in the union. The Civil War, once concluded, was followed by several amendments which extended the reach of the Bill of Rights to state governments.
Though the Civil War brought forth a "new nation," by destroying the institution of slavery, and causing the amendment of the Constitution to protect freedoms of newly-liberated citizens, in all other respects, it reverted to what it was originally intended to be, i.e., a compact that ceded to the Federal government only those powers that would enable the nation to take on the character of a unified assemblage of willing actors. Although in the New Deal, its powers were broadened, neither Roosevelt nor succeeding presidents sought to recast the fundamental nature of the Constitution.
Those states which have already challenged ObamaCare have focused, in part, on the Tenth Amendment's preservation of state power over those realms of governance and regulation not expressly ceded to the Federal government. Historically, each state has exercised sovereign authority over the conduct of the insurance business within its borders. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 1944 that certain aspects of the insurance business were subject to the Commerce Clause and, therefore, the sovereignty of the states to regulate insurance within their respected borders could be preempted by Congress, in its regulation of interstate commerce, Congress rebelled. It overrode the Court's ruling, by enacting legislation reaffirming the sovereignty of the states over the insurance business, except as specified in the statute. Absent a change in that law, then, the President's ability to infringe upon and override state sovereignty over insurance business conducted within the states' respective borders is minimal. ObamaCare, nevertheless, includes several mandates to insurers which arguably exceed the Federal government's powers to regulate insurance. However, those pale in comparison to the individual mandate.
It is that mandate that most clearly signals Obama's intent to "rewrite" the Constitution to dispense with its fundamental character. The mandate implicates the Bill of Rights' guarantee that persons may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Obama, in this regard, must be creative, because his mandate infringes upon the same right of privacy liberals fought for years to establish, in order to afford women a constitutional right to abortion. It seems self-evident that if that right inhibits the Federal and state governments from intruding upon a woman's choice, then it also protects women, and men, from government interference in their choices affecting their personal physical and mental well-being.
ObamaCare's guiding principle, however, is not paternalism. It is about the government's power to identify "public uses," as contemplated by the Fifth Amendment, and then compel unwilling individuals to engage in conduct that would, in the government's view, advance such uses. Requiring someone to buy health insurance from a private insurer is no different, in kind, from forcing New London, Connecticut property owners to sell their land to a private development authority established by the city, so that it could devote that property to more "productive" uses. In the case of ObamaCare, the "public use" contemplated is a Federally- controlled, all encompassing healthcare system that would compel the citizenry to purchase insurance, to facilitate the government's exercise of control over how they make use of the healthcare system, which comprises about 16% of the private economy. It is a means to achieving a Federally-prescribed end.
However unjust the circumstances in Ms. Kelo's case, at least the Fifth Amendment ensured that she would receive "just compensation". The Constitution expressly recognizes the doctrine of eminent domain, though that is an ancient doctrine founded on the principle that real property belongs to its owners, and they may not be compelled by government to part with it, except under limited circumstances, and for a fair price.
Anyone forced to buy health insurance will also be compelled to part with private property, i.e., private wealth, but unlike in Kelo, what he receives in return is what the government instructs him to receive, i.e. insurance from a private insurer, the content of which will be regulated, to some extent, by the Federal government. It is fair to ask, if the Constitution required amendment to authorize a Federal income tax which taxpayers must pay to avoid punishment, why should an amendment not also be a prerequisite to the implementation of ObamaCare?
If there is any doubt about government's power to compel ordinary citizens to engage in conduct mandated by the Federal government, one need only look at Supreme Court precedent on the constitutionality of Federal rent control statutes to allay such doubt. Rent control, and its intersection with Constitutional rights, was taken up in challenges to rent control statutes enacted in World War I and World War II. In two precedential decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws were constitutional, because they were adopted as temporary measures, enacted by Congress in the exercise of its police power, to meet the exigencies of the pending wars.
In its decisions, the Court, both implicitly and explicitly, focused on provisions in each statute that carved out an exception for property owners who wanted to remove their properties from the rental market. Each statute reserved to this right to landlords, even if they did so solely to avoid being subjected to Federal regulation. In the decision upholding the World War I statute, Justice Holmes, writing for the majority, commented that "there comes a point at which the police power ceases and leaves only that of eminent domain." Applying this same reasoning to ObamaCare, anyone forced to purchase health insurance will find himself entangled in the Federal regulatory scheme that will accompany that law's implementation, but, unlike government-imposed rent control, without any viable way to escape participation.
It is no answer that ObamaCare offers the uninsured a choice, i.e. the option to pay a fine in lieu of mandated health insurance. Under the doctrine of eminent domain, there is no "option" to pay a fine in lieu of selling one's property to the government, but the government must pay the property owner the value of his property and the property owner may use that payment as he wishes. Under ObamaCare, the government will pay the involuntary purchaser nothing in exchange for forcing him to buy health insurance. The uninsured's choice, then, falls somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis.
Beyond this, the Eighth Amendment, which bars "cruel and unusual punishments," contains a separate provision which raises an additional doubts about ObamaCare's constitutionality. That provision prohibits government from imposing "excessive fines." This language was included to prevent the arbitrary use of what in feudal times were known as amercements, employed by the crown to punish those who offended the king, or violated the king's law. Amercements had sometimes been used to ruin people financially. Because ObamaCare's fines are intended as punishment for those who refuse to buy health insurance, they too, may be excessive, at least in some instances. Absent a binding court ruling in which it is held that the statutory fines may be imposed uniformly, they are ostensibly subject to review on a case by case basis. It is doubtful that the blanket imposition of more than a token fine without regard to each person's circumstances can withstand judicial scrutiny, except, of course, by liberal judges who are indifferent to the merits of challenges to ObamaCare's constitutionality.
To Obama and his fellow "progressives", it is too much to ask that the compact upon which the nation was founded should stand in their way. The Administration and the political movement it represents are intent on changing the rules of the game for all times, and not just to legitimize ObamaCare. If they succeed, over two centuries of jurisprudence consistent with the Founders' intent will be replaced by a new jurisprudence that leaves the Constitution, as drafted and originally adopted, just dust in the wind. Over generations, any understanding of the framers' original intent will gradually fade into the background.
But properly and aggressively challenged, ObamaCare could become this century's Hindenburg. If it does crash and burn, there is little doubt that whatever takes its place will have to heed the limits on government's power set by the Constitution. If fully informed, the public will expect, and demand, no less.
 United States Dept. of Treasury v. Fabe, 508 U.S. 491 (1993)
 Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)
 Block v. Hirsh, 256 U.S. 135, 154(1921). The World War II law is addressed in Bowles v. Willingham, 321 U.S. 503, 517 (1944). ("There is no requirement that the apartments in question be used for purposes which bring them under the Act.")
With the 2011 and 2012 budgets occupying much of the news these days, coverage of attempts to defund and dismantle Obamacare by the Republicans have been relegated to low priority and interest by the liberal “mainstream” media. We must make sure that the anathema of Obamacare be relentlessly publicized.
This dangerous, disastrous and extraordinarily expensive government take-over of healthcare and usurpation of our rights must be abrogated. The American people have unequivocally voiced their antipathy of this government confiscation. They know what this will lead to and on virtually all accounts, it is extremely bad.
Socialized medicine has been an abysmal failure worldwide and there were and are so many models that exemplify this. Canada and Great Britain are quintessential examples of this. Both countries are have been seeking radical changes in order to improve their abject care and bankrupting costs.
We must continue to keep the pressure on our politicians for the repeal of Obamacare. This corruptly passed (and probably unconstitutional) legislation was all about power and control by the Democrats – and not about costs or access.
Pain And Suffering
Investor’s Business Daily 04/06/2011
Health Care: Recall the complaints that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world that doesn't provide universal medicine? So how's that arrangement working elsewhere? Rather poorly, particularly in Britain.
Agitators for government health care can no longer, as they did at one time, hold up the British system as the model the U.S. should follow. They've learned to stay away — and for good reason. The system has followed the path that all socialist systems must follow: It is breaking under its own weight.
The nation with the reputation for rotten dental care is quickly developing a reputation for delays in medical treatment. "Devastating and cruel" is how British surgeons are now describing the long waits for operations.
It's the National Health Service's way, reports the BBC, of finding nearly $33 billion in efficiency savings by 2015. To achieve those savings, knee and hip replacements apparently have been limited by the bureaucratic rationing teams.
"We've started to get reports over the last nine months that access to these services is being restricted," Peter Kay, president of the British Orthopaedic Association, told the BBC. Of the 692 surgeons contacted by the broadcaster, 106 said "routine operations had been put on hold in their area. Others described new limits on when patients qualify for hip or knee replacements."
Meanwhile, "152 specialists said patients now have to be more disabled or in greater pain, and 118 told us hip and knee surgery had been regarded as a procedure of low priority."
The consequences of trying to treat everyone through the government go far beyond the pain and suffering of missed joint-replacement surgery. Sometimes, the wages are death.
That's how it ended for Margaret Hutchon, who happened to be a former NHS director. She died last month, the Daily Mail reported, "after waiting for nine months for an operation — at her own hospital" (emphasis ours).
She "had been waiting since last June for a followup stomach operation," but "her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery."
Not only are treatments being delayed, so is NHS legislation that would, among other provisions, make the system less bureaucratic and increase private-sector involvement.
The political left, which clings tenaciously to government programs that permit the exercise of power over others, has demagogued the legislation, sounded the dreaded "privatization" alarm and won a delay.
Britons should be outraged. If the government taxes them to fund universal care, they should get the care. If the government can't do the job — which clearly it can't — it should get out of the business of meddling in people's lives and let everyone take care of his or her own health care.
Americans should be outraged as well, because a Democratic Congress and White House have forced on them a program that will be no more successful than the British health care wreck.
Yes, ObamaCare is an unpopular law with low approval ratings. But the antipathy toward it and those who engineered its passage over constitutional limitations and public opposition is not as intense as it should be.
Pressure for ObamaCare's repeal should be so sharp that official Washington will be left with no other option. If not, the British health care problems of today will be America's health care problems tomorrow.
Through previously secret clauses in Obamacare, Obama and the Democrats are corruptly buying votes with billions of our taxpayer dollars. It’s an outrage that should not be tolerated by the American public.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), buried deep within the leviathan legislation, provides $5 billion to private companies, states and labor unions that is to be used for the payment of health insurance for those who are retiring and are under age 65. Not surprisingly, a significantly disproportionate amount of the money is going to unions, and companies and states that are strong supporters of the Democrats. Some is even going to the "mainstream" media (the Left) which, of course, doesn't hurt with regard to even more positive, gushing press coverage of Obama and the Democrats.
Such a slush fund is corrupt, intolerable and a massive waste of taxpayer dollars. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with the need for healthcare reform and everything to do with influence peddling.
This is yet more evidence of the depravity and duplicity of too many of our politicians (largely Democrats), the inherent problems of a large government and why it needs to be radically downsized, and the wasteful spending of the government. It adds another reason why Obamacare must be vaporized.
Washington Post and CBS receiving money from Obamacare slush fund
Matthew Boyle The Daily Caller 04/06/2011
Two mainstream news organizations are receiving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from Obamacare’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) — a $5 billion grant program that’s doling out cash to companies, states and labor unions in what the Obama administration considers an effort to pay for health insurance for early retirees. The Washington Post Company raked in $573,217 in taxpayer subsidies and CBS Corporation secured $722,388 worth of Americans’ money.
“It is fine with me if they continue covering the ObamaCare debate,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “When NBC used to cover energy issues, they identified themselves as a subsidiary of General Electric. CBS and Washington Post just have to disclose that they are subsidiaries of the Obama Administration.”
The ERRP, which Republicans call a slush fund, provides taxpayer money to Obama administration-selected states, companies and labor unions with already-in-place early retiree health insurance programs, and aims to make certain that their employees who retire early still have health insurance coverage before they reach Medicare eligibility age. Almost $2 billion of the $5 billion fund, which was supposed to last until 2014, has already been distributed to corporations. New projections expect the funding to run out before the end of 2012, if not sooner.
At a Friday morning hearing, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican, asked Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIO) official Steven Larsen for how the administration decides who gets a slice of the $5 billion pie – and how the application process works. In his response, Stearns referred to the fact that corporations like General Electric, Verizon and AT&T in addition to several labor unions were getting taxpayer funding.
Stearns was not impressed. “This program is providing ‘free’ money to corporations, states, unions, and pension plans,” the Congressman said in an e-mail to TheDC. “In addition, the Washington Post and CBS received funding under this program. How can the Washington Post and CBS be impartial on the issue of health care when they received funding under the health care law?”
CBS Corporation spokesman Gil Schwartz told TheDC that newsroom employees, like any other CBS employees, are indeed allowed to take the taxpayer subsidies.
“Yes they are,” Schwartz said. “Why wouldn’t newsroom employees be allowed access to that money like all other CBS employees?”
CBS gets the money from the government, then provides early retirees with health insurance.
Though no current newsroom employees can benefit from the ERRP funds, they could retire early and still benefit from the money – or any newsroom employee who has retired since Obamacare became law could benefit from it too.
The Washington Post declined to comment. “We have no additional information to provide you other than what you have,” Post spokeswoman Rima Calderon told TheDC.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told TheDC she couldn’t disclose information about applications or disbursements for specific companies.
In addition to CBS Corporation and the Washington Post Company, recipients of ERRP funding include the United Auto Workers union, which secured $206,798,086 in taxpayer money, AT&T, which took in $140,022,949, and General Electric (GE), which raked in $36,607,818. GE has made headlines recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year. IBM got $12,989,690 in taxpayer money.
Verizon pulled $91,702,538 in taxpayer cash, too, and General Motors received $19,002,669. More than $6 million went to different Teamsters groups nationwide, and millions more went to the United Mine Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Included in the House’s proposed 2012 budget is a complete defunding of Obamacare by the Republicans and the providing effective alternatives with far greater flexibility and immensely less cost. This offers the long needed fiscal responsibility by the federal government as well as options that the voters want.
Plain. Simple. Transparent.
GOP Budget Proposal: 'Not a Penny' for Obamacare
Terence P. Jeffrey April 05, 2011
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R.-Wis. (AP photo)
(CNSNews.com) - The fiscal 2012 budget proposal unveiled today by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) offers sweeping reforms in federal spending, including defunding and repealing the health-care law signed last year by President Barack Obama and converting the federal share of the Medicaid program into block grants to state governments.
The Republican proposal says one of its aims is “making sure that not a penny goes toward implementing the new [health care] law” enacted last year.
This includes repealing about $800 billion in new taxes that were built into the law.
The proposed Republican budget resolution lists as one of its “key objectives” that it “Repeals and defunds the President’s health care law, advancing instead common-sense solutions focused on lowering costs, expanding access and protecting the doctor-patient relationship.”
“There is no way for ‘experts’ in Washington to know more about the health care needs of individual Americans than those individuals and their doctors know,” says the proposal. “The new health-care law, rammed through Congress last year on a partisan vote, has taken the nation one step closer to this fully government-run system.
“The problems with this approach are already popping up all over the country,” says the proposal. “Health care costs continue to escalate relentlessly. The new law has aggravated the worst aspects of the U.S. health care system, without fixing what was broken. The country needs to move away from this centralized system, not towards it.
“This budget starts by repealing the costly new government-run health care law, saving roughly $725 billion over ten years by repealing the new exchange subsidies and making sure that not a penny goes toward implementing the new law,” says the resolution.
“Then, this budget goes further with reforms that make government health-care programs more responsive to consumer choice.”
On the health-care tax front, the resolution says: “The health-care law enacted last year contained roughly $800 billion in new taxes and tax increases--the result of dozens of changes to tax law that added complexity and unfairness to the code.” The proposal calls for repealing all of these new taxes and tax increases as part of repealing the entirety of the Obamacare law.
One of the new health-care reforms proposed by the GOP budget is converting the federal share of Medicaid—the federal-state program that provides health insurance to low-income people—into block grants to state governments.
The proposal says the GOP budget aims to: “Secure the Medicaid benefit by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant tailored to meet each state’s needs, indexed for inflation and population growth. This reform ends the misguided one-size-fits-all approach that has tied the hands of so many state governments. States will no longer be shackled by federally determined program requirements and enrollment criteria. Instead, they will have the freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations.”
The GOP budget proposal notes that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, federal Medicaid spending would increase by $627 billion over the next decade under Obamacare, which increases the number of people eligible for the program.
Consistent with the criminal and arrogant behavior of the Democrats while they held the American public hostage during their unopposed reign, $105 billion had been corruptly hidden in the Obamacare legislation. It was only recently exposed by the perspicacious Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.–MN) who these same Democrats have belittled with their misogynist attacks.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Representing far more than pocket change, the Democrats stealthily attempted to facilitate implementation of their programs later in time with pre-set financial arrangements. They buried these issues in disparate sections of the bill in smaller amounts in hopes of averting detection.
The contempt for Americans by Obama and these Congressional Democrats seems to know no bounds. They need to be held accountable for their egregious actions.
We must remember this as one more reason to seek their defeats in their next election.
Hidden $105 Bil In ObamaCare Is A Fat Target
Phyllis Schlafly 03/15/2011
Michele Bachmann has again demonstrated her extraordinary leadership by discovering $105 billion of taxpayers' money that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi had hidden in ObamaCare.
Now, Rep. Bachmann, R-Minn., wants her colleagues to refuse to pass must-pass bills, such as the Continuing Resolution or raising the debt limit, unless they include recapturing that secret money. What a great idea!
After all, the new Congress was elected last November to cut spending and put the federal government back within the bounds of the Constitution. The new members promised not only to cut overall spending but specifically to repeal and defund ObamaCare. Michele showed them where to start.
When ObamaCare was passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve of 2009, senators had less than 72 hours to compare a 383-page package of amendments to the 2,074-page bill. Public outrage over back-room deals (such as the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase) led to the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
Democrats then cooked up a plan to link the now-2,409-page Senate-passed ObamaCare bill to dozens of amendments contained in a separate 150-page Budget Reconciliation bill that could pass both houses by a simple majority. That's when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously told the then-Democratic majority, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
When President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, that set in motion a series of funding triggers and money transfers that add up to $105,464,000,000 in pre-authorized appropriations that are scheduled to be paid up through fiscal 2019. In laymen's language, that means writing postdated checks that are guaranteed to be paid out over the next eight years.
This money was divided into dozens of smaller amounts so the big total would not be apparent. For example, Section 2953 of ObamaCare included a pre-funded appropriation of $75 million a year for five years to "educate adolescents" in "adult preparation subjects" such as "stress management" and "the development of healthy attitudes and values about adolescent growth and development, body image, racial and ethnic diversity, and other related subjects."
Section 4101(a) of ObamaCare prefunded $200 million a year over four years for the construction of school-based health centers. In Section 4002, a total of $17,750,000,000 will be deposited over 10 years to a discretionary account controlled by the HHS secretary (now Kathleen Sebelius), who may spend that money "to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention" and to "help restrain the rate of growth in private and public-sector health care costs."
At a hearing before the House health subcommittee, former Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., likened ObamaCare to a 2,700-page haystack in which a lot of needles are still being discovered. He urged Congress to place a stop-payment order on the massive postdated checks hidden in ObamaCare.
The Pelosi bunch's strategy was devious and highhanded. They bypassed the customary appropriations process and prefunded ObamaCare on passage, knowing that House rules would restrict a future Congress from defunding an already enacted law.
This makes it more difficult for Congress to deal with, but not impossible. Congress will both have to include the defunding language in the FY2011 Continuing Resolution and also pass a rule that makes this defunding language OK under House rules.
There is not only adequate precedent for this procedure, but it also is common sense. Congress, in its constitutional role, can completely stop this secret funding of discretionary funds.
What Pelosi did was like setting up a way to pay your monthly utility bills online out of your bank checking account. Each new date triggers the bank to pay the bill out of your bank account.
ObamaCare is very similar. The law Congress passed without reading it lists the dates up to 2019 on which payments totaling $105 billion are to be paid out of the U.S. Treasury.
Bachmann and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, are asking colleagues to join them in signing a letter to the House leadership stating that the $105 billion in postdated checks drawn on the U.S. Treasury must be stopped at once by including the necessary language in the continuing resolution.
It is an insult to the U.S. Constitution, which gives the House the power to originate all revenue bills, and to current and future Congresses, for ObamaCare to try to handcuff Congress in regard to future appropriations up through 2019.
We're lucky Bachmann is smart enough to figure out the cost of the secret money in ObamaCare. One of the smartest members of Congess, she used to be a tax attorney.
Socialized medicine has been implemented in numerous countries and has failed in all its myriad manifestations. Romney-care in Massachusetts has been an expensive, unaffordable disaster.
Obamacare which is somewhat based on this model but on a massively larger scale, is doomed to fail – in quality, cost, management and, of course, in the rights of the American citizen. It is so bad already, that over 1000 waivers have been granted to various businesses and groups, most notably a very high number of labor unions.
Of course, even a history replete with uniform failure of all socialized medicine models is just not enough to dissuade another arrogant group of Democrats from seeking to implement their own “success to be” version.
Welcome the Vermont socialized medicine model.
What Doesn't Work
Investor’s Business Daily 03/15/2011
Health Care: Vermont has plans to cover everyone. But why does a state need universal care when there's already a national program? And haven't lawmakers there learned from their neighbors to the north and south?
The Vermont House Health Care and Senate Health and Welfare committees held a hearing Monday night on a single-payer health care bill brought by Gov. Peter Shumlin. For the record, he's a Democrat who believes the old leftist adage that health care "is a right and not a privilege" and rode the issue all the way to the governor's suite.
A majority of Vermont voters — 117,561 — put Shumlin in office. But all deserve better, even those who supported him. Setting up a government-run system in the state will be a mistake, no matter how many promises about cost containment and wider coverage are made.
Attempts by government to cover and treat everyone are not the glowing successes the political left makes them out to be.
To the north of Vermont, the Canadian health care system is plagued by waiting lists that are often miserable and sometimes deadly.
Costs are out of control, and the only thing universal about health care for our northern neighbors is its rationing.
Conditions in Canada have become so poor that Claude Castonguay, the man known as the father of its national health care system, has publicly supported "a greater role to the private sector" in health care "so that people can exercise freedom of choice."
To the south, an experiment in ensuring "every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance" has failed. The system, a creation of former Gov. Mitt Romney, has been on line since 2006 but has yet to cover everyone. Costs have been so much higher than projected that the program had to dump 30,000 people from its rolls in 2009.
Last year, columnist Robert Samuelson, no conservative, succinctly summed up RomneyCare's problem when he wrote it "evaded the hard part: controlling costs and ensuring that spending improves people's health."
Of course, RomneyCare became the model for Obama-Care, the problems of which will be magnified by its national scope.
The tribulations of government health care continue beyond Vermont's immediate neighbors. Two states away, there's a government-run, taxpayer-funded program that's brought change but little hope. Known as Dirigo, it was sold as a means to insure all of Maine's 140,000 uninsured by 2009. But it fell far short of its goal: Only about 3,500 had been added to the rolls of the insured by that time.
Worse, instead of creating no additional burden for Maine's taxpayers, as was promised, Dirigo cost $150 million by 2009.
Despite these bitter experiences, there's always some politician on the left who believes the laws of economics can be suspended because he or she is more clever than those who've tried before. Shumlin is one of those politicians.
He even thinks he can do better than the Democrats in Washington who've already hatched their national health care scheme. But he'll fail where others have failed before him. To think otherwise is delusional.
Rather than miss the mark so spectacularly, policymakers should simply go with what works. Rather than force a plan on an ostensibly free people, let individuals and families make health care decisions for themselves.
Stop trying to create a right from the ether and move government out of the way.
Stepping back and letting the market — the peaceful, voluntary exchange between people — work freely won't yield universal coverage.
Some will always make poor decisions and forgo health insurance. But the market solution will expand coverage and bring down costs.
Neither an army of bureaucrats nor thousands of pages of dehumanizing legislation are necessary.
All that's required is for government to promote and protect liberty.
The consummate contemptuousness, incompetence, corruption, illegalities and destructiveness of Obama and his radical ideologies is beyond description. In his short two years which feel interminable, he has wreaked seemingly irreversible havoc on this country, its economy and citizenry. His forced and zealous transformation of America, abetted and facilitated by strategically placed and powerful Progressives and partially bankrolled by the dark force of Darth Soros, has brought our country to the precipice of bankruptcy and civil uprisings not too far from a civil war.
We must fervently and relentlessly fight this forced and unwanted transformation. The Tea Parties were spontaneously formed in response to this and have been quite effective in countering Big Government. Gov. Scott Walker and the citizens of Wisconsin versus the public unions and labor unions in general represents a critical but related battle that seeks to weaken the unions, their incestuously relationship with Big Government and the Democrats and this transformation. This is almost more important than the economic implications.
A president of misrule
Victor Davis Hanson February 24, 2011
President Obama established a bipartisan debt-reduction commission -- and then ignored its findings, which called for unpopular cuts in entitlements and spending. His first two budgets led to the largest deficits in US history. The ensuing $3 trillion in red ink prompted the Tea Party movement and led to the Democrats' largest midterm House defeat since 1938.
No matter. Obama has proposed a budget with an even larger, $1.6 trillion deficit. That record federal borrowing prompted columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe it as Louis XV indulgence, an allusion to the wild royal spending that brought about the French Revolution. Even Newsweek's Evan Thomas, who once gushed that Obama stood "above the world" as some "sort of God," called the president's new budget a "profile in cowardice."
After Obama leaves office, a perfect storm of rising international interest rates, an anemic dollar and panic on the part of foreign lenders may force an end to this unhinged American rush to borrow and blow what it has not earned.
Gas prices in many parts of the country are nearing $4 a gallon; it could get even worse as unrest spreads in the oil-exporting Mideast. Yet the Obama administration seems to see no crisis. It has curtailed leases for offshore-oil exploration for seven years and exempted thousands of acres in the West from drilling. It won't reconsider opening up small areas of Alaska with large oil reserves.
Instead, the administration in 2009 pushed through cap-and-trade legislation in the House on the dubious proposition that, in times of unusually cold US winters, the planet is warming up. Accordingly, the administration would like to tax further the already high price of fossil fuels rather than go all out to look for more. Yet importing more oil from abroad and growing more subsidized biofuels at home will lead to a disastrous trifecta of borrowing even more money, ensuring greater global pollution and causing higher world food prices.
ObamaCare was pushed through the Senate in 2009 through backroom deal-making and special perks for fence-sitting senators. The premise was that it would save both patients and the nation billions of dollars. But updated estimates now suggest that the takeover of health care will cost the country about $2 trillion over the next decade while disrupting and making more costly existing health plans.
That worry may explain why the administration has quietly granted waivers from its own "affordable" plan to some 700 organizations covering 2 million workers -- 40 percent of them union members. Long after Obama has left office, everyone else who isn't so privileged to be exempted will have to live with the consequence of a cumbersome and costly federal health bureau.
The president just weighed in on the Wisconsin budget deadlock, suggesting that Gov. Scott Walker was out to punish public-sector unions more than to figure out a way to close a $3 billion state deficit. But unlike the federal government, Walker can't print money, and he can't so easily raise taxes without losing residents who might flee to lower-tax states. That Obama wants unions to know he's on their side is clear; that he cares how Wisconsinites are going to pay for sky-high public-employee wages, benefits and health care isn't so evident.
In these lean times of nearly 10 percent unemployment and rapid hikes in gas and food prices, the president has chastised "fat cat" Wall Street bankers, the wealthy who jet to the Super Bowl, those who junket to Las Vegas, and in general suggested that strapped American families might wish to "sacrifice" and "put off a vacation."
But in "let them eat cake" style, the first family seems tone-deaf to the potential symbolism of postponing its own exclusive vacations. Michelle Obama just returned from skiing at an elite Vail, Colo., resort. Last summer, in Marie Antoinette fashion, she jetted to Costa del Sol in Spain for a costly Mediterranean vacation.
After Obama leaves office, we're all going to have to eat cake. Then a less eloquent president will have to balance budgets, pay off trillions in debt, develop more energy, come up with a sane health-care policy and in symbolic fashion have the first family share the sacrifice of a more mundane lifestyle. email@example.com
This is exactly what our government is doing with healthcare via Obamacare. Instead of some and changes and reforms, they are destroying the world's best health care system that will in the end cost far more, provide significantly inferior care, that is, if will even be able to obtain it, and have limited choices.