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Entries in Obamacare (1384)


Oklahoma Second State To Sign Health Care Compact Into Law

Alexandria, VA – Today the Health Care Compact, an agreement between participating states that restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to member states,  was signed into law by Oklahoma's Governor, Mary Fallin. The compact allows Oklahoma to create their own health care policies by joining an interstate compact that supersedes prior federal law. Oklahoma is the second state is sign the compact into law following Georgia.

"Today, Oklahoma's Governor Fallin joined the Oklahoma legislature in taking a bold step to give the people of Oklahoma control of their health care future. By acting to move authority and responsibility for health care from Washington, D.C. to Oklahoma, Governor Fallin will help to trigger a robust conversation among citizens and their local representatives about sustainable reforms that meet the needs of all Oklahomans," said Eric O'Keefe Chairman of the Health Care Compact Alliance. "Oklahoma's leaders have acted to escape the mandates handed down from a centralized bureaucracy in Washington which threatens to bankrupt the country while rationing health care.The Health Care Compact Alliance congratulates Governor Mary Fallin as well as all of the sponsoring legislators."

The Health Care Compact has been introduced in 14 states and was signed into law in Georgia in April. It has passed the State House of Representatives in Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia and Texas.  It has passed the State Senate in Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri and Georgia. In addition, in more than 36 states, citizen groups and state legislators are actively considering the Health Care Compact.

For the Health Care Compact to become law it must be passed by both houses of the General Assembly, signed by the governor, and approved through Congress. The way health care works in a member state is not prescribed in the compact. Who and what is covered as well as the level of regulation are determined by each state after the compact is ratified.
The Health Care Compact is an initiative of the Health Care Compact Alliance, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing Americans more influence over decisions that govern their health care.

Interstate compacts have been used throughout U.S. history to allow states to coordinate in important policy areas. Authority for compacts was established in the Constitution (Article I, Section 10), and more than 200 such agreements are currently in effect. They are voluntary agreements between states that, when consented to by congress, have the force of federal law.

CEI Daily - Obamacare Amicus Brief, Protect IP, and Swipe Fees 

Obamacare Amicus Brief


Though alarmists have long decried the effects of global warming on Greenland, the Washington Post now reports the island may actually be profiting from warmer weather.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader responds.


"The brief explains how the health care law violates the 'clear statement' rule in the Supreme Court’s Pennhurst decision by imposing vague, indefinite, open-ended additional burdens on states, including massive, unpredictable costs in the billions of dollars. Federal officials have issued over a thousand waivers of burdensome rules imposed by Obamacare, mostly to unions or other entities with political connections.  Meanwhile, HHS officials have vastly expanded the reach of other burdensome provisions of the law. For example, they have largely nullified the law’s grandfather clause, which was put into the law to keep Obama’s broken promise to let you keep your existing health insurance if you like it. They also issued a rule rewarding end-of-life counseling, even though such a provision was removed from the bill prior to passage after the so-called 'death panels' controversy."


Protect IP


Last week, a handful of senators introduced the Protect IP Act, a bill intended to combat copyright-infringing websites.


Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia compares Protect IP to last year's Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). 


"As several dozen law professors warned last year, COICA lacked procedural safeguards, was overly broad in its scope, and risked hindering free expression by triggering “false positives” rendering lawful websites inaccessible. Compared to COICA, PROTECT IP represents a more balanced approach to fighting online copyright and trademark infringement while recognizing fundamental civil liberties."




Swipe Fees


In his recent Huffington Post column, Dean Baker took the side of "big retailers" against "big banks" when he defended debit card "swipe fee" price controls.


Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau explains how Baker got it wrong.


"In making his case, Baker was on the other side of the facts. He completely misstated the findings of the Federal Reserve in writing the rule in question, asserting that the Fed estimated that the price caps would cover costs of banks and credit unions that issue the debit cards, when in fact the Fed said explicitly said it was setting price controls below-cost. Baker was defending the Durbin Amendment from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which puts price controls on the interchange fees — or 'swipe fees' as retailer critics call them — that banks and credit unions charge merchants to process debit process debit transactions. Retailers pay this fee on each card purchase and in return they get more sales and the guaranteed payment for all purchase that was lacking in the 'good old days' of bounced checks. But in implementing the Durbin Amendment, the Fed is drastically reducing this fee from an average of 44 cents to no more than 12 cents per transactions. The biggest retailers will get the biggest short-term benefits from these price controls."


DNC - BRUTAL: WSJ Ed Board on Romney: "Not Credible"

Obama's Running Mate

In a scathing editorial published tonight in advance of Mitt Romney's latest health care roll out, the Wall Street Journal labels Romney "Obama's running mate" because of the similarity of the plan Romney championed and signed into law as Governor of Massachusetts and the Affordable Care Act President Obama signed into law last year.

The Journal excoriates Romney as "compromised and not credible," calling his candidacy "serious[ly]flawed."

Brutal. Just brutal.

Key excerpts below:

"As everyone knows, the health reform Mr. Romney passed in 2006 as Massachusetts Governor was the prototype for President Obama's version and gave national health care a huge political boost."


"Mr. Romney now claims ObamaCare should be repealed, but his failure to explain his own role or admit any errors suggests serious flaws both in his candidacy and as a potential President."


"In the name of personal responsibility, Mr. Romney also introduced the individual mandate, first in the nation, requiring everyone to buy coverage or else pay a penalty. Free riders, he said, transferred their own costs to others, either through higher premiums or taxes. This is the same argument the Obama Administration is now using."


"Mr. Romney's refusal to appreciate this, then and now, reveals a troubling failure of political understanding and principle."


"[I]n Mr. Romney they took advantage of a politician who still doesn't seem to understand how government works."


" Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible."

The full editorial is available here:



AFP -Big Day in Court on ObamaCare

I'm writing to you from Richmond, Virginia where today Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit to overturn ObamaCare was heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Americans for Prosperity hosted a rally outside the court house supporting Attorney General Cuccinelli's crucial effort.

A year ago, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously responded to a questioner who asked her about the constitutionality of the health care legislation by flippantly saying "Are you serious?" Well today, AFP grassroots activists and Attorney General Cuccinelli made it clear that we are indeed serious about protecting the Constitution.

AFP-VA State Director Trixie Averill speaks to fired-up activists in front of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today while AFP President Tim Phillips looks on.

Click here for more photos from the rally.

Attorney General Cuccinelli first filed this case against ObamaCare the day President Obama signed it into law. Cuccinelli's health care challenge was upheld in December 2010 when Judge Henry Hudson of Virginia's Eastern District Court ruled that the individual health care mandate was unconstitutional. While today's arguments were paramount to overturning this gross infringement on our health care rights, whichever side loses will undoubtedly appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide on the constitutionality of ObamaCare next year.

But no matter what happens on the legal side, as grassroots activists we must continue educating our fellow Americans on just how dangerous and disastrous this legislation is.

These are just a few of the countless harmful effects of ObamaCare:

  • Costs trillions of dollars, burdening our government with inescapable debt
  • Adds 16,000 new IRS agents who will be administering ObamaCare at the cost of billions
  • Constitutionally flawed, forcing individuals to buy health care or be fined
  • Over 1,000 unions and big corporations have been given exemptions by Obama's HHS Department while no small businesses or individual Americans are exempted

The fight also continues on Capitol Hill as conservatives are still working to dismantle ObamaCare piece-by-piece.  The latest effort is from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) who have introduced identical bills to repeal the ObamaCare maintenance of effort requirement that is handcuffing state lawmakers as they grapple with budget deficits.  In the stimulus bill, Obama promised states an easy fix to their budget problems by handing them a big payout for their Medicaid program.  The only catch was that the states had to promise not to reduce Medicaid enrollment or reform their programs in any way that Washington didn't sign off on.  Some states were so desperate for the cash that they took the deal.  Now the money's gone but the "maintenance of effort" mandate is still in place, tying the states into knots.  Hatch and Gingrey are working to repeal the mandates.  Click here to read AFP's letter of support for their bills.   

Rest assured AFP is going to stay on top of this issue as we have been. Today, I spoke to a couple in their 40s from Mechanicsville, Virginia who are caring for their elderly parents. The woman's mother is suffering from chronic heart problems. They told me they live in fear that a public bureaucrat will be deciding if her life merits continued treatment since quality of life is considered in the funding of patient's health care under ObamaCare. Those important health care decisions are between her mother, doctors, and family- not the government.

AFP is committed to ensuring that doesn't happen. We must defeat and overturn ObamaCare.


Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

P.S. If you would like to thank Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for his efforts to overturn ObamaCare, click here.


CEI Weekly: Special Interests Walk Away With Multi-Million Dollar Obamacare Handouts

Friday, May 6, 2011




Feature: The now-broke Early Retirement Reinsurance Program benefitted major corporations and labor unions---and no one else.

FEATURED STORY: Special Interests Walk Away With Multi-Million Dollar Obamacare Handouts


Today, May 6th, is the last day that businesses and unions can apply for the Early Retirement Reinsurance Program (ERRP). ERRP is an Obamacare program intended to help employers cover costs for early retireees. It was supposed to last until 2014, but it stopped taking on new applicants far ahead of schedule. That's probably because groups like the United Auto Workers cashed in early and walked away with millions---in UAW's case, hundreds of millions---of taxpayer dollars. CEI Labor Policy Counsel Vincent Vernuccio last week exposed ERRP waste in a National Review op-ed. This week, Vernuccio revisited the issue in BigGovernment to mark the final week of the expensive, short-lived program.





Maryland's BPA Ban Exposes Children to Greater Risks Than the Chemical Itself

Angela Logomasini's op-ed in The Baltimore Sun


The NLRB Overreaches--Once Again

Iain Murray and Ivan Osorio's op-ed in Real Clear Markets


Ten Thousand Commandments: How Much Regulation Is Enough?

Wayne Crews' column in Forbes


Free Trade Agreements Don't Kill Jobs

Ryan Young's op-ed in The Daily Caller


The Washington Post's Junky Rant Against Princess Catherine's Entrepreneurial Family

John Berlau's op-ed in The Daily Caller


DOJ's Poker Shutdown: Holding on to Americans' Money

Michelle Minton's op-ed in The Daily Caller


Do Americans Care About Climate Change Anymore?

Myron Ebell's citation in U.S. News & World Report


Princess Entrepreneur
John Berlau's citation in The Times of India






May 5, 2011: Salt


Land Use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner looks at China’s experience with high-speed rail, and finds that it may not be a very good deal for the United States. Costs are so high that revenues don’t even cover the interest on the $271 billion of debt that high-speed rail has incurred for China.