When President Obama announced that he wanted a long, hard look taken at federal regulations to remove any that were burdensome, some folks cheered. Others, like myself, were skeptically optimistic. Some just flat out didn’t believe it was going to happen. Well, it turns out that while the jury is still out on the issue in totality, it looks like ObamaCare regulations won’t get that second look.
From The Hill:
The Health and Human Services Department won’t be revisiting regulations that implement the new healthcare law during its review of potentially burdensome regulations.
Sherry Glied, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at HHS, said the rules are too new for a second look. She testified Monday at a hearing on President Obama’s executive order directing agencies to identify and revise regulations that can be streamlined or eliminated.
Glied said HHS is conducting that review but won’t include regulations that implement the healthcare law. Federal departments assess the costs and benefits of their regulations before issuing them. Because healthcare reform rules were issued so recently, she said, HHS is confident in its analysis of their impacts and doesn’t need to review those rules again.
“Nothing has changed to make us look at them” again, Glied said.
Really, this isn’t much of a surprise. We all had to kind of know this was coming. There was no way that President Obama intended for his crowning jewel to be examined critically. However, many opponents of the measure were hopeful. Color us stupid.
While Tim Pawlenty is being raked over the coals by commentators for declining to go after Mitt Romney on his disastrous health insurance reform bill that eventually became a blueprint for Obama, Thomas Sowell seems to like what he sees in the former Governor of Minnesota:
Tim Pawlenty cites his track record to back up his statements. That includes reducing Ethanol subsidies when he was governor of Minnesota and cutting the growth of state government spending from just over 20 percent a year to under 2 percent a year.
Governor Pawlenty fought Minnesota’s transit unions over runaway pensions and hung tough during a long strike. “Today,” he says, “we have a transit system that gives commuters a ride, without taking the taxpayers for a ride.”
Some fear that Governor Pawlenty doesn’t have the charisma and fireworks rhetoric that they would like to see in a candidate. Charisma and rhetoric are what gave us the current disastrous administration in Washington. Charisma and rhetoric gave people in other countries even bigger disasters, up to and including Hitler.
Politicians and the media may want a candidate with verbal fireworks but the people want jobs. As Tim Pawlenty put it: “Fluffy promises of hope and change don’t buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our cars, or pay for our children’s clothes.”
The only flaw in Sowell’s argument is that voters, including the conservative base of the Republican Party, tend to flock to candidates that build up a cult of personality.
Earlier today, I noted the importance of Iowa to Tim Pawlenty’s hopes to capture the Republican nomination. And we’re there is going to be a lot of emphasis on that fact over the next two months, it’s worth noting that he had an excellent week last week:
A successful economic speech, one rival’s campaign implosion and another’s decision to skip an influential Iowa straw poll have given Tim Pawlenty a very good week.
His campaign hopes to keep the momentum going, getting the traction its needs to catapult the relatively unknown former Minnesota governor into a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination.
The mass staff resignations from Newt Gingrich’s campaign, combined with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to skip Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll, gives Pawlenty an opening on which his campaign could capitalize.
The Pawlenty campaign’s gameplan has always relied on seizing moments in the race to help build the Minnesotan’s image and popularity.
Pawlenty was the most immediate beneficiary of the Gingrich implosion. Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), who was Gingrich’s campaign co-chairman, jumped to Pawlenty’s campaign following the mass resignations of the former Speaker’s staff.
Conservatives have also been swooning over Pawlenty after his “Better Deal” speech in Obama’s backyard, at the University of Chicago, on Tuesday. The plan, which would eliminate a number of deductions while slashing the top individual and corporate tax rates, won crucial praise from the right, whose support Pawlenty will need in the primaries.
Over at Peach Pundit, Todd Rehm has posted a short interview with Bob Barr, a former Congressman from Georgia, on the challenge to ObamaCare that is working its way through the court system; most recently heard this week in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals:
Despite that two of the three judges that heard the Obama Administration’s appeal this week, observers and the media note that the hearing seemed to go over very well for opponents of the health care law.
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:
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. They’ve already looked into the records of Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain. Next up is Mitt Romney; and it ain’t pretty.
The Club for Growth, which has received some good press on this release, points out that Romney has had a mixed record on taxes, supporting “fee” hikes, closing tax “loopholes” and tax hikes on businesses as Governor of Massachusetts. However, they do note some positives; such as unsuccessful proposals to cut the state’s income tax and a successful one-year rebate on the capital gains tax; certainly not an easy feat with a Democratic legislature.
But ulitmately, the Club concludes that Romney has been inconsistent on taxes; noting that while he supports keeping the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, he has also opposed pro-growth reforms:
While President Barack Obama’s team believes Mitt Romney is their biggest threat in 2012 (sorry, I just don’t see why they think that), the folks at FreedomWorks note that his lack of authencity and his health care plan that served as a blueprint for ObamaCare is leading tea party activists to reject his candidacy:
FreedomWorks is led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Matt Kibbe, an economist and former Capitol Hill aide. More than 30 employees, as well as a fresh class of several interns, work out of spacious seventh floor offices near the U.S. Capitol. The group knows they cannot impose their will on the fiercely independent conservative organizers fueling the Tea Party. But they say the activist base is just as anti-Romney as they are.
Kibbe said in an interview that FreedomWorks has no plans at the moment to endorse an opponent of Romney’s in the primary. But others in the organization made clear they will devote considerable resources toward helping whoever emerges as the most viable Republican in the primary other than the putative front runner.
Brendan Steinhauser, who travels around the country meeting with activists as FreedomWorks’ top liaison to the grassroots, said most people he talks to are “definitely trying to stop Romney.”
Potential Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, a former governor of the state and secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, isn’t happy about the portrayal of his record by the Club for Growth.
Last week, the Club for Growth slammed Thompson, calling him a “big-government pro-tax Republican whose time has come and gone.” They also launched a web ad featuring President Barack Obama noting Thompson’s support of his health care “reform” proposal:
Thompson called into a Milwaukee radio station - apparently without advance notice - in an effort to set the record straight:
In a clear effort to answer growing gripes from the right, the former Health and Human Services Secretary also said he never supported President Obama’s health care plan and pointed to 150 speeches he’s delivered speaking against the law.