Revolution PAC, a so-called “super” political action committee run by supporters of Ron Paul, released its first web ad of the cycle. The ad, which runs just over a minute long, calls the leading GOP contenders, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, “plastic men” that supported the Wall Street bailout. It also made note of Perry’s executive order mandating the HPV vaccine for young girls and Romney’s health care plan that became the blueprint for ObamaCare:
George reported on the Eleventh Circuit Court ruling striking down the individual mandate, but not the rest of ObamaCare. A lot of us are wondering what’s next for the case as it moves towards the Supreme Court. Elizabeth Price Foley, author of Liberty for All: Reclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality and healthy policy aide to then-Rep. Ron Wyden (D-OR), tries to read the tea leaves:
The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the critical relationship between individual liberty and federalism and limited powers only a few weeks ago in Bond v. United States. In Bond, a criminal defendant claimed that the federal law she was charged with violating was unconstitutional because Congress didn’t have the power to enact it. If Congress didn’t have the power to enact it, she reasoned, her crime was punishable only by the states. Lower federal courts said the woman couldn’t challenge the constitutionality of the federal law because her argument raised an issue of “states’ rights”—something only states, not individual citizens, could complain about.
There were signs of movement yesterday a deal that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling. According to a report from The New York Times on Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner were close to a $3 trillion deficit reduction deal:
Congressional and administration officials said that the two men, who had abandoned their earlier talks toward a deal when leaks provoked Republicans’ protests at Mr. Boehner, were now closing in on a significant package calling for as much as $3 trillion in savings that would be obtained through substantial spending cuts and future revenues produced through an overhaul of the tax code. If it could be sold to Congress, the plan could clear the way for a vote to increase the federal debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline.
What does each side want? Here is an idea:
[T]he president and Mr. Boehner were moving ahead with their plan, aides said, trying to agree on matters like how much new revenue would be raised, how much would go to deficit reduction, how much to lower tax rates and, perhaps most critical, how to enforce the requirement for new tax revenue through painful consequences for both parties should they be unable to overhaul the tax code in 2012.
The White House wants a trigger that would raise taxes on the wealthy; Mr. Boehner wants the potential penalty for inaction to include repeal of the Obama health care law’s mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance after 2014.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign was effectively over when he went on Meet the Press and trashed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal - just two weeks after saying he’d vote for it - and also endorsed a form of the individual mandate, the centerpiece of ObamaCare. But if there was any question that Gingrich was done, news that his senior campaign staffers bolted yesterday should leave little doubt:
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign imploded Thursday afternoon with his entire senior staff resigning en masse, according to multiple sources familiar with the moves.
“When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they’ve got to part ways,” said Rick Tyler, a longtime Gingrich spokesman who was among those who left the campaign.
Tyler as well as Rob Johnson, Gingrich’s campaign manager, Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, senior strategists to the effort, media consultant Sam Dawson, Iowa strategist Craig Schoenfeld, South Carolina operative Walter Whetsell and Georgia-based adviser Scott Rials have all stepped aside. Much of Gingrich’s early state operation was also headed for the exits, according to a one senior campaign source.
Yesterday in Atlanta the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard the challenge to ObamaCare filed by Florida and joined over time by 25 other states:
Judges on a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday repeatedly raised questions about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, expressing unease with the requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or face penalties.
All three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel questioned whether upholding the landmark law could open the door to Congress adopting other sweeping economic mandates.
The Atlanta panel did not immediately rule on the lawsuit brought by 26 states, a coalition of small businesses and private individuals who urged the three to side with a federal judge in Florida who struck down the law.
But the pointed questions about the so-called individual mandate during almost three hours of oral arguments suggests the appeals court panel is considering whether to rule against at least part of the federal law to expand health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans.
Hull and Dubina asked the lawyers on both sides to focus on a particular outcome: What could happen to the overhaul, they asked separately, if the individual mandate were invalidated but the rest of the package were upheld?
Parts of the overall law should still survive, said government lawyer Katyal, but he warned the judges they’d make a “deep, deep mistake” if the insurance requirement were found to be unconstitutional. He said Congress had the right to regulate what uninsured Americans must buy because they shift $43 billion each year in medical costs to other taxpayers.
A survey released Monday shows that 30% of employers who currently offer health insurance to their employees are expected to drop that coverage as ObamaCare provisions start in 2014. Wasn’t ObamaCare supposed to help people get insurance? I guess the Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Once provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows.
While only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published in McKinsey Quarterly.
The survey of 1,300 employers says those who are keenly aware of the health-reform measure probably are more likely to consider an alternative to employer-sponsored plans, with 50% to 60% in this group expected to make a change. It also found that for some, it makes more sense to switch.
“At least 30% of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage, even if they completely compensated employees for the change through other benefit offerings or higher salaries,” the study says.
It goes on to add: “Contrary to what employers assume, more than 85% of employees would remain at their jobs even if their employers stopped offering [employer-sponsored insurance], although about 60% would expect increased compensation.”
Of course, the White House took issue with the study:
There was some criticism yesterday of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who will soon decide on a presidential bid in 2012, because video surfaced of him suggesting that Republicans let go of divisive wedge issues and instead focus on the issues that we agree. For some reason, some conservative bloggers are losing their minds over this. Take Leon Wolf at RedState, for example:
So, as Republicans were gearing up for their biggest electoral victories in 16 years by fighting Obama and the Democrats tooth and nail on every aspect of their agenda, Mitch Daniels was telling everyone that the way to victory was to forget what a wedge issue even was, and just be nice so that people will like us again.
That’s not what Daniels was saying. Republicans won in 2010 because of the economy, not on because of their traditional positions on wedge social issues; it was the economy and dissatifaction with the politics of a Congress that was then-controlled by Democrats.
when this video was recorded, Americans were not too happy with the Republican Party. So, he proposed having a nicer appeal to voters so that we can embrace the fact that we need to get things done because there are real issues facing the country.
As I noted yesterday, Newt Gingrich is having a rough go of it lately. On Sunday, he slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, even though he seemed to endorse it two weeks earlier. He also endorsed an requirement that would force Americans to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not. He says it’s not the same as the individual mandate in ObamaCare, but explain that to a voter.
The comments haven’t been well-received by the House GOP (after all, Gingrich threw them under the bus) and other Republican politicians - including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley - and conservative talk shows hosts. If this conversation with an Iowa Republican is any indication, Gingrich has a lot of fences to mend:
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The first candidate they take a look at for the 2012 cycle is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In the white paper (which you can read below), the Club for Growth notes Gingrich’s consistent record when it comes to taxes and free trade. However, they also note that he ha supported expansion of entitlements - he supported and lobbied for a multi-trillion dollar expansion of Medicare - and TARP (ironically, he wasn’t even in Congress when those big government measures were passed; yet he still supported them).
What’s the bottom line on Gingrich? (emphasis mine):
As a historical figure, it is undeniable that Newt Gingrich has played leading roles in some of the most important battles on behalf of economic growth and limited government in the last quarter century.
The hits keep on coming against Mitt Romney. Despite presenting the case for the health care law he pushed while Governor of Massachusetts against criticism, most observers remain unmoved.
While lementing that it’s Romney’s “turn,” Mark Steyn notes how damaging this health care proposal is to his prospects in the fall of 2012:
Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!
American conservatives’ problem with Romneycare is the same as with Obamacare — that, if the government (whether state or federal) can compel you to make arrangements for the care of your body parts that meet the approval of state commissars, then the Constitution is dead. And Americans might as well shred the thing and scatter it as confetti over Prince William and his lovely bride, along with an accompanying note saying, “Come back. It was all a ghastly mistake.” For if conceding jurisdiction over your lungs and kidneys and bladder does not make you a subject rather than a citizen, what does?
I doubt Romney thought about it in such terms. In 2006, he was not a philosophical conservative. Like Donald Trump today, he sold himself as a successful business guy, a problem solver who knew how to make things happen. So he made things happen. And, as a result, he made things worse. How does that happen?