individual mandate

RomneyCare provided public aid to undocumented immigrants

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.

BREAKING: 11th Circuit Rules against Individual Mandate in Obamacare

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:

Poltifact’s “Lie of the Year” is Not a Lie

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.

Obama Administration flips, individual mandate is a tax after all

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 obtain health insurance or 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 by President Obama in 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:

Obama’s health care proposal increases taxes on middle class

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.

Robert Gibbs predicts demise of Obamacare’s employer mandate

Robert Gibbs

In a speech at an insurance industry event in Colorado, Robert Gibbs, a former White House official, predicted that the Obama administration will permanently nix Obamacare’s employer mandate, a destructive provision of the law that has been delayed twice already:

“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect. It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go,” he said to a notably surprised audience.

The employer mandate has been delayed twice, he noted. The vast majority of employers with 100 or more employees offer health insurance, and there aren’t many employers who fall into the mandate window, he said.

Killing the employer mandate would be one way to improve the law — and there are a handful of other “common sense” improvements needed as well, he said.

The employer mandate is a provision of Obamacare that requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, defined as someone who works at least 30 hours a week, to offer health insurance benefits or face a punitive, $2,000 per worker tax.

Yes, Jay Carney, Obamacare is a government program

Facing questions from reporters on Monday about Obamacare enrollments, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the administration’s inability to come up with the number of paid premiums. But there was one particular part of his comments that stood out.

“We are talking about private insurance. This is not a government program,” Carney told reporters. “The contract that you sign if you get health insurance through Healthcare.gov or through a state marketplace is a private contract between you and an insurance company.”

PolitiFact named statements that Obamacare is “a government takeover of healthcare” as its “Lie of the Year” for 2010. The fact checker, however, only examined the statement through the most basic lens.

“‘Government takeover’ conjures a European approach where the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are public employees,” Bill Adair and Angie Drobnic Holan wrote in December 2010. “But the law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market.”

It’s true that the Obamacare relies on private insurance companies participation in the state and federal exchanges. It’s also true that enrollees are entering into private contracts with insurers for coverage. But that doesn’t mean that Obamacare isn’t a government program.

Individual mandate: In a true free market, individuals decide for themselves if a product or service best suites their needs. Taking the politically convenient loopholes out of the equation, the individual mandate exists to coerce Americans into purchasing health plans.

Today in Liberty: Join Amash’s Rebel Alliance, Celebrate Human Achievement

“Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.” — Will Rogers

— Why buy coverage when you don’t have to?: Serious question. Obamacare’s individual mandate is meaningless, at least for the first two years. So meaningless in fact that Americans can escape it by claiming virtually any hardship. “Filed for bankruptcy in the past six months? Had medical bills you couldn’t pay in the past two years? Been a victim of domestic violence? Received a shut-off notice from a utility company? If you don’t want to buy insurance under Obamacare, you don’t have to. No penalty,” Politico explains. “The individual mandate may be the most despised part of Obamacare, but the reality is that it’s much smaller than people think. It’s riddled with exemptions, hardships and other loopholes that allow millions of people off the hook for enrollment by March 31.”

— Keep Calm and Join the Rebellion: Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) end of quarter money bomb began this morning. As of 7:15 am, he’s already raised $6,021.14. Amash is facing an establishment-backed primary challenger. “We’ll fight their army of starched collars and pinstripe suits with a different type of army — the grassroots,” the campaign says via Facebook. “The great news is that we far outnumber them. For every $1,000 check a lobbyist can cut to Brian Ellis, I’m confident there are 100 grassroots supporters who can send Justin $35 at www.justinamash.com.

35% of uninsured Americans don’t plan to participate in Obamacare

Despite the Obama administration’s final push for Americans to sign up for health plans on the state and federal Obamacare exchanges, more than a third of the uninsured intend to stay that way, according to a new survey.

The poll, commissioned by BankRate.com, found that 35% of uninsured Americans don’t plan on buying health insurance. The reason most frequently cited is the cost of coverage, though some are refusing to buy insurance because they oppose Obamacare or they’re health and don’t believe they need a health plan.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of the uninsured do plan on purchasing coverage, though time is quickly running out for them to do so.

The poll also found that 46% of uninsured Americans are unaware of the March 31 deadline to purchase health insurance, after which they could be hit with a tax penalty, assuming they don’t claim the “hardship exemption” loophole that the administration recently carved out.

What’s more, a staggering 70% of the uninsured aren’t aware of the subsidies available for health insurance coverage purchased through the exchanges. This, despite efforts by the administration to highlight the availability of the subsidies.

“This is a staggeringly high percentage,” Doug Whiteman, an insurance analyst at BankRate.com, told CBS News. “The government has spent over half a billion dollars promoting the Affordable Care Act, and more than two-thirds of uninsured Americans still don’t know about the subsidies.”

Sorry, Obama, young people can avoid Obamacare by claiming “hardship”

With just two weeks left in the open enrollment period, the White House is pulling out all the stops to sway young people to sign up for health plans available on the Obamacare exchanges, even enlisting the help of NBA star LeBron James and the mothers of celebrities to help spread the message.

In an appearance on Friday with radio host Ryan Seacrest, President Barack Obama made a different pitch: sign-up for Obamacare or we’re going to tax you:

President Obama warned young people that if they don’t sign up for Obamacare by March 31, they will face a penalty — if they can afford it.

“If you can afford it — you just decide you don’t want to get it because your attitude is ‘nothing’s ever going to happen to me’ — then you’ll be charged a penalty,” Obama explained.
[…]
Obama was careful to specify that people who can’t afford Obamacare will not suffer a penalty, thanks to a “hardship exemption,” but encouraged everyone to sign up.

“[Y]ou never know what kind of curveballs life throws at you,” he warned.

 
 


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