Mitt Romney has been hitting his key opponent, Rick Perry, relentlessly for his decision to allow undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition in Texas. Romney even made the issue into a campaign ad:
The former Massachusetts governor has stated that the educational benefits offered by the state of Texas act as an incentive to draw more undocumented immigrants across the border:
“You put in place a magnet — you talk about magnets — you put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which is giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country. And then you have states, the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years, they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration. Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants.”
Now we learn, via the LA Times, that the healthcare reform that Governor Romney ushered in during his tenure in Massachusetts, colloquially referred to as RomneyCare, contained a provision that provided public aid to undocumented immigrants:
The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.
It’s a great day for liberty — the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta has ruled against the government in Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
WASHINGTON - An appeals court ruled on Friday that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty was unconstitutional, a blow to the White House.
The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.
The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional.
There are a couple of things of important note packed into this ruling:
I have long had a problem with Politifact.
There is just something wrong with not being able to come out and call a statement straight up true or false. I guess I’m a black and white kind of guy. For crying out loud, they have four different versions of a statement being deemed true. For me, it is either true, or it is false.
What has happened in the political arena as a result of painting with so many shades of gray, is that politicians can use Politifact anytime they want to demagogue just about any issue their opponents have made a statement about. They can point to a Politifact rating of Half-True (Insert sneering chortle here) and say their opponent is being dishonest with the voters.
And I guess what really irks me out of my pants-on-fire is that they are simply wrong so often. Case in point; they recently deemed the Lie of the Year to be the following statement; “A Government Takeover of Healthcare.”
Really? Why not pick something a little more easily provable, like I dunno, Christine O’Donnell’s claim that she, is in fact, you.
Billy Hallowell over at Mediate does a good job pointing out how much of the debate Poltifact had to ignore to reach their conclusion that “Government Takeover of Healthcare” is a lie.
Despite saying last year that the individual mandate is not a tax, the Obama Administration is arguing the opposite as it defends ObamaCare in federal court:
When Congress required most Americans to obtainor pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”
And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.
Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.
Under the legislation signed byin March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.
In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.
Here is what President Barack Obama said last year:
As you probably know, President Barack Obama released his health care proposal yesterday (you can read it here), outlining what he sees as “reform,” in attempt to bridge the divide between the House and Senate versions of the bill:
The White House today unveiled President Obama’s health care overhaul bill, which it says will expand health insurance to 31 million more Americans and reduce the federal budget deficit by $100 billion in the next 10 years.
The White House also released the changes Obama wants to see in the Senate Democratic health care bill. Even before its release, the White House’s plan had already met with fierce Republican resistance.
Administration officials call the health care bill a “starting point” point for Thursday’s televised, bipartisan discussions on health care overhaul.
“I think it’s a starting point in as much… as Republicans come to Thursday’s meeting with constructive proposals that they’re willing to discuss,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today.
Obama made sure to pander to his constituencies, such as labors unions, and while the Cornhusker Kickback is gone, other vote buying provisions, such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Medicaid provision for Florida, are still included in the proposal.
If the technical problems with federal Obamacare exchange, Healthcare.gov, aren’t worked out before the end of November, as the White House and Obama Administration officials promised, then enforcement of the individual mandate may have to be delayed, says Sen. Al Franken (D-MN):
“I think then we have to consider extending the deadline for the mandate, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” Franken told MPR.
Franken has so far been relatively quiet about potential changes to the health-care law, but he now joins a growing group of Senate Democrats in seats that could be targeted by the GOP in 2014 who are speaking up on the issue.
While the GOP is mostly focused on winning a half dozen red states held by Democrats, there are another group of Democratic-controlled swing states and nominally blue states that have formed the second tier of GOP targets. Democrats facing reelection in these states in 2014 — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Jeff Merkley (R-Ore.) — have pushed for changes ranging from allowing people to keep their current insurance plans to extending the open enrollment period.
Two House Democrats running for open seats — Iowa’s Bruce Braley and Michigan’s Gary Peters — also voted for a House GOP bill that would achieve the former goal.
President Barack Obama has faced an avalanche of bad numbers since the embarrassing launch of the federal Obamacare exchange website and reports of millions of insurance cancellations, but the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has to be among the worst, if not the worst (emphasis added):
The flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act has pushed President Obama to the lowest point of his presidency, with dwindling faith in his competence and in many of the personal attributes that have buoyed him in the past, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Opposition to the new health-care law also hit a record high in the survey, with 57 percent saying they oppose the president’s most significant domestic initiative. Forty-six percent say they are strongly against it. Just a month ago, as the enrollment period was beginning, the public was almost evenly divided in its assessments of the law.
Disapproval of Obama’s handling of the health-care law’s rollout stands at 63 percent, with a majority saying they strongly disapprove. Last month, 53 percent disapproved.
[Obama’s] overall approval rating has fallen to 42 percent, having dropped six percentage points in a month, and equals his record low in Post-ABC polls. His disapproval rating stands at 55 percent, which is the worst of his presidency. Forty-four percent say they strongly disapprove of the way he is handling his job, also the worst of his presidency.
If you were watching television or listening to the radio, both before and after the launch of the state and federal Obamacare exchanges, you may have noticed the ads promoting the law. These 30-second ads featured positive imagery of families and people doing fun activities and placed heavy emphasis on getting covered.
What you won’t hear in these ads is any mention of the individual mandate, the provision in Obamacare that requires virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance coverage. That’s something The New York Times recently noticed:
The state and federal health insurance exchanges are using all manner of humor and happy talk to sell the Affordable Care Act’s products. But the one part of the new system that they are not quick to trumpet is the financial penalty that Americans will face if they fail to buy insurance.
On state exchange websites, mention of the penalty is typically tucked away under “frequently asked questions,” if it appears at all. Television and print ads usually skip the issue, and operators of exchange telephone banks are instructed to discuss it only if asked. The federal website, now infamous for its glitches, mentions the penalty but also calls it a fee, or an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. …
The weekend before the House of Representatives plan to vote on legislation that would give Americans the choice to keep their health plans, Republicans used their weekly address to discuss insurance cancellations caused by Obamacare and to promote the Keep Your Plan Act.
Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), who was tasked with giving the address this week, read some examples of heartbreaking stories his offices has received from constituents who have seen their health plans canceled and noted the financial impact the law is having on their families.
“Mike from Bloomington wrote in to say that the plan he has now – which he likes – is being canceled at the end of the year. This, of course, is exactly what the president and other champions of the law promised would not happen,” said Young. “Mike’s new plan will cost him $900 more a month.”
“And there’s Marvin from Bloomington, who shared with me this cancelation notice his wife, Kathy, received. To avoid a lapse in coverage, she must sign up for a new plan,” he noted. “I held up this letter last week at a hearing with the Medicare administrator responsible for the exchange. Her suggestion was that Marvin and Kathy go to the website.”
This couple, the Indiana Republican said, woke up in the middle to the night to try to get on the federal Obamacare exchange to no avail. They gave up after a month of trying to get through the glitchy website, and will now pay more for a health plan outside of the exchange.
“This is what betrayal looks like,” he said. “Here you have hardworking people who were repeatedly told not to worry, that their coverage would stay the same and — if anything — their costs would go down. Just the opposite is happening.”
The Obama Administration has insisted that the disastrous federal Obamacare exchange website, Healthcare.gov, would be functional by the end of November. But tech workers brought in to work on the site have found new problems that they’ll have to deal with before that promise can come to pass:
[Thursday]’s “Operational Update on the Health Insurance Marketplace” was not especially good news: As capacity problems at the start of HealthCare.gov get fixed, tech workers are finding new capacity problems later in the application process — ones that, up until now, they didn’t know about.
“Essentially what is happening is people are going through the entire process,” Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille, who runs the daily call, told reporters. “As we have fixed certain pieces of functionality, like the account creation process, we’re seeing volume go further down the application. We’re identifying new issues that we need to be in a position to troubleshoot.”
That means that, as the HealthCare.gov team ticks items off its “punch list,” it’s also adding new ones that need to be addressed.
Bataille says that Medicare still aims to have HealthCare.gov “functioning smoothly for the vast majority of users” by the end of this month.