california

Oregon Study Shows ObamaCare’s Medicaid Expansion Doesn’t Mean Healthier Americans

Obama signs the Affordable Care Act

The Obama Administration continues to insist that the Affordable Care Act will be good for Americans. With insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, they say that Americans will healthier. But is that true? According to a study out of Oregon, which expanded Medicaid in 2008, greater access to healthcare doesn’t mean that people will be healthier:

In 2008, the state of Oregon initiated an ambitious health care policy that allowed researchers to shed light on the effects of guaranteeing Medicaid coverage for low-income adults. The results have been closely followed in large part because insurance for the poor is a major component of the Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—that will soon be rolled out across the country.

CPS Tyrannizes Again; Abolish Child Protective Services Now

Yet another incident of Child Protective Services violating civil rights has emerged, this time in Sacramento:

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.

The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.

It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.

The mother had questions about what was going on with the care, but it soon escalated out of control:

Anna said Sammy suffers from a heart murmur and had been seeing a doctor at Sutter for regular treatment since he was born. After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said doctors began talking about heart surgery.

“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said.

Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without a proper discharge, she finally took Sammy out of the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.

“The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine,” Anna said. “They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.”

Mercatus Center Releases “Freedom in the 50 States” Rankings

Freedom in the 50 States

Do you live in a free state? This question would receive a variety of answers because, after all, the 50 states make up our Union each have their own versions and views on freedom.

Politicians on the “left coast” view freedom as “freedom from want,” which is why they have set in place a vast — and costly — welfare state and burdensome regulatory policies. The north isn’t too dissimilar, especially with its emphasis on nanny state policies.

States that comprise the “libertarian west” and the south tend to have fiscally conservative-leanings and the approach toward personal liberty is, while not great on every issue, generally much less regulated.

So how do you determine if you live in a free state? The Mercatus Center has released its annual report, Freedom in the 50 States, which serves as a guide to weigh various aspects of freedom — fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom.

The authors of the report, William Ruger and Jason Sorens, explained their findings yesterday and concluded that states that clamp down on freedoms are seeing people leave for states with more freedom.

“The more a state denies people their freedoms, increases their taxes or passes laws that make it hard for businesses to hire and fire, the more likely they are to leave,” wrote the authors of the report. “And while there’s clearly more to life than drinking oversized beverages and eating foie gras, the states that won’t allow you to often cause trouble for their residents in other ways.”

ICYMI: Bill Maher Slams California’s Oppressive Taxation

Bill Maher

You didn’t read the headline wrong. Bill Maher, an entertainer who has staked himself out as a leftist on his HBO talk show, has just about had it with California’s tax burden. During the show on Friday, Rachel Maddow, a MSNBC host, complained that the new House GOP budget is too helpful to “rich people.”

“The Ryan budget is a document that says the big problems in America right now are that rich people do not have enough money, they need relief from confiscatory tax rates,” she said sarcastically. “And poor people have too much access to affordable healthcare, and those things must stop. And if we fix those things, America will be on a better path.”

As Maddow started praising the atrocious House Progressive Caucus’ budget, which was blasted by David Brooks earlier this week, it was noted by former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) that the House budget also raises real issue — that Washington has a spending problem.

Maddow continued, explaining that post-9/11 defense spending should be cut. Maher jumped in. “That’s the key!” he said. But he turned the conversation towards taxes, which went against Maddow’s argument.

“You know what? Rich people –- I’m sure you’d agree with this — actually do pay the freight in this country,” he said, pointing to Davis. “I just saw these statistics. I mean, something like 70 percent.”

“Covered California” - ObamaCare Exchange Site Goes Live

Backed by $674 million in federal grants, California’s slick new ObamaCare exchange site for purchasing PPACA-approved health coverage starting January 1, 2014 is now up and running.  You can tour this marvel of government-driven healthcare at CoveredCA.com.  Only 288 days until “coverage” begins!

Some of the highlights:

- The exchange materials refer to Covered California as a “marketplace” rather than an “exchange.”  This is a recent policy change directive from HHS. As FreedomWorks’ director of healthcare policy Dean Clancy stated in response to the change, “They could call them motherhood or apple pie, but it wouldn’t change our feelings about them.”  We subsequently learned that the real motivation for the change is that is that there isn’t a good Spanish translation for “exchange.”

Taxes could cause Phil Mickelson to “go Galt”

Phil Mickelson

Since beginning his run for president in 2007, Barack Obama has endlessly complained that higher-income earners aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes, despite IRS statistics showing that the top 20% of income earners pay nearly 70% of all income taxes.

All signs are than President Obama will push for even more tax revenue increases in his second term. Much like a bank robber, President Obama and his acolytes in Congress feel that they can keep going back to the wealthy because, after all, that’s where the money is.

But what if those being targeted by these tax hikes decide to give up and walk away? Based on comments he made this weekend, that thought seems to have crossed the mind of golfer Phil Mickelson:

On the day President Obama was sworn in for his second term, Mickelson sent shock waves through the Humana Challenge when he said the political landscape in the United States was causing him to seriously contemplate his future in golf. Mickelson, who will turn 43 in June, has 40 PGA Tour victories, including four majors, and was inducted last year into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

30% of House Democrats come from two states

United States Capitol

There has been a lot of talk about Republicans ceasing to be a national party due to much of its support coming from the South. Josh Kraushaar, executive editor of the National Journal, noted yesterday that 46% of House Republicans come from that region.

While this does underscore a problem for Republicans, a new analysis from the University of Minnesota shows that the Democratic Party faces a similar problem as nearly 30% of House Democrats come from just two states:

When the 113th Congress convenes in January, 29.4 percent of the 201-member Democratic caucus will hail from California (38 members) and New York (21 members).

That marks an increase from the two-state delegation’s collective previous all-time high of 28.1 percent recorded after the Republican tsunami of 2010 (increasing for a few months to 28.5 percent after Kathy Hochul’s win in NY-26 in 2011).
[…]
While California and New York are two of the three most populous states in the country, it is important to note that the number of representatives from the two states collectively has remained relatively flat over the last 50 years.

Since 1962, New York and California have accounted for between no less than 18.2 percent and no more than 19.1 percent of all seats in the nation’s lower legislative chamber (with California’s delegation increasing and New York’s decreasing during this span).

And yet, during this 50-year period, the percentage of the Democratic caucus hailing from these two states has increased by more than two-thirds: from 17.4 percent in 1962 to 29.4 percent in January 2013.

California Officials: ObamaCare ‘Exchange’ Will Hike Premiums up to 25%

Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

California is one of the few states charging ahead on establishing one of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges.” According to the Los Angeles Times:

California insurance officials have expressed concern about substantial rate hikes for some existing policyholders going into the exchange.

Under a new rating map approved by state lawmakers, the Department of lnsurance estimated that premiums for similar coverage could increase as much as 25% in West Los Angeles, 22% in the Sacramento area and nearly 13% in Orange County.

California officials have floated the idea of legislating lower prices. One way would be to throw West Los Angeles and Orange County into the same risk pools. That might reduce premiums in West L.A., but only by increasing premiums in Orange County. With a few simplifying assumptions, premiums in both  West L.A. and the O.C. could rise by 19 percent. An alternative would be to cap premium increases. One state official proposes a cap of 8 percent. But that would just be an implicit form of government rationing. If insurers cannot charge premiums that cover their costs, they will cover fewer services.

Part 1: Tea Time with Max Pappas- Rep. Tom McClintock of California

Here is Part 1 of Max Pappas’ interview with Congressman Tom McClintock of California. The Congressman talks about his inspiration for getting into politics, and how he has fought against the big-government policies of both parties for his entire career.

It looks like FreedomWorks’ video team had a lot of fun with the introduction animation. If he can develop the mid-Atlantic accent, Max would certainly make a fine replacement host for William F. Buckley’s Firing Line:

Landlords on the hook for legal trade

How would you feel if property you owned was taken away from you by the federal government because of something your tenant did?  You’d probably be pretty pissed.  Now, imagine that they were doing something legal in that state?  How would you feel then?

According to Rueters, that’s a predicament many landlords in California may be faced with as Uncle Sam continues it’s assault on medical marijuana dispensaries in that state.

The authorities are pressuring landlords to shut down the shops or face possible loss of the real estate through the unconventional and low-key use of a civil statute designed primarily to seize the assets of drug-trafficking organizations.

While some states, including California, have legalized medical marijuana businesses, the federal government does not recognize their authority to do so and has targeted the shops for violations of the 40-year-old Controlled Substances Act.

The goal of the Justice Department’s effort, part of a crackdown announced last October, is to fight the medical marijuana industry, estimated at $1.7 billion annually, without confronting it head-on with costly and potentially embarrassing criminal prosecutions, industry sources and legal experts said.

This indirect strategy is reminiscent of the department’s attempts, which have met with only limited success, to sever the medical pot industry’s access to banking services. Many businesses have found ways around those restrictions, experts said.

“Filing asset-forfeiture lawsuits against these commercial properties is a very clever way to handle an otherwise horribly difficult and controversial situation,” said Greg Baldwin, a partner at the Miami law firm Holland & Knight and a former federal prosecutor.


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