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Entries in Obamacare (1344)

Tuesday
Feb012011

ALG - Florida Judge Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional

January 31st, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, released the following statement after Florida Judge Vinson ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional.

"For the second time, the federal courts have ruled that the federal government's takeover of the health care system is unconstitutional.  Congress needs to act now to defund the regulation writing on this unconstitutional law to prevent further damage from being done to our nation's health care system.   It is clear with a majority of states suing to stop the law, that it is unpopular, unconstitutional and unenforceable.  Congress needs to act now to correct this mistake."

 

With all Americans increasingly concerned about the unsustainable debt Obama and his cohorts have imposed on taxpayers, stopping any further advance of ObamaCare is vital to getting our fiscal house in order.  First, stop any further regulation or dictates to the states.  Second, repeal the law outright.  And finally, move with common sense, market-based proposals to make the necessary repairs.  Judge Vinson, following the ruling by Judge Hudson, has done a great service to the American people by beginning this crucial process."

Thursday
Jan272011

AFP - Our Union Doesn't Need More Government 

As I watched the President's speech I was struck by one thing - he still believes with all his being that more government is the solution to our problems and the hope for our future. 
President Obama identified job creation as his top overall priority and then laid out how he planned to create jobs and economic opportunity.

First, he spoke of new "investments" (the Left's term for new government spending) in renewable energy which is the radical environmental movement's holy mantra.  With gas now costing well over $3 per gallon across much of the nation and with utility bills increasing every month in our homes and businesses President Obama said he wants to pour billions into wind, solar, electric cars and other politically correct energy sources while keeping the government red tape and regulations in place that prevent new drilling for oil or mining for coal or new nuclear plant construction. 

Next, President Obama pledged to "invest" even more federal dollars on his education program called "Race to the Top" and he called for an "investment" in hiring at least 100,000 new teachers.  He told our children that "If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation...become a teacher.  Your country needs you."

I honor our teachers and the teaching profession.  In fact, two of my sisters and my sister-in-law taught in classrooms for many years.  But, the answer to our economic problems is not simply spending even more money on federal education programs that have not increased student performance in any nationally meaningful way. 

Then, President Obama called for our federal government to "redouble" spending on our infrastructure which is another tired, old liberal ideological axiom - when in doubt pour more pork-barrel programs that usually benefit allies or meet ideological litmus tests such as "high speed rail."

It was ironic to hear President Obama say that he wants 98% of Americans to have access to high-speed wireless internet coverage while at the same time his Federal Communications Commission bureaucrats are attempting to regulate the internet which will increase costs for Americans while lessening choices and discouraging private sector financial investment in one part of the economy where the free market has been allowed to create literally millions of jobs and billions in private wealth. 

He once again said he wants to spur job creation by conducting a "review of government regulations" but his own Environmental Protection Agency - the bureaucracy responsible for so many jobs being lost or not created - immediately responded that it was "confident" it would not need to alter a single current or pending rule.  Check out the Wall Street Journal editorial from January 24 that details the hypocrisy.  

 And, President Obama vowed to defend his health care takeover legislation that is going to create over 100 new government agencies or departments, add tens-of-thousands of new government bureaucrats, and increase government spending in the coming decade by hundreds-of-billions of dollars - all while raising health insurance costs for most Americans and limiting health care choices for our families. 

Oh yes, after signing legislation in December that kept the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in place for Americans President Obama caved in to the Left and called for raising taxes on many of these same Americans in two years - after the 2012 election by the way.

There was some good news -- including a promise to cut corporate taxes that we hope is sincere, and an unambiguous promise to veto any bill with earmarks.  That's bad news for Harry Reid, who insisted this week that Senate Democrats would keep earmarking!
 
When I traveled all over the country on Ending Earmarks Express back in 2006, I never thought a Democratic president would promise to veto all earmarks.  It's remarkable proof that when we bring grassroots pressure to bear we can win.  And you can bet we'll do everything we can to make sure Obama keeps his promise to veto all earmarks.

There's so much more I could share with you but you get the point. 

Despite the President rhetoric in recent weeks his policies still demonstrate a commitment to more big government, big spending, heavy-handed liberalism. 

Over the last two years we have not really asked you to send the President a direct message.  But, on this morning after his state of the union speech let's tell President Obama that we have examined his policies for 2011 and that we're saying NO WAY CLICK HERE

At the same time, we'll also send a copy of your message to President Obama to your member of Congress so that they know the American people are not buying the President's same old "government knows best" budget-busting policies and that we expect Congress to stand up for our economic freedoms.

We've got a big year ahead of us.  It's time to get moving!

 Tim's Signature

Tim Phillips

PS: CLICK HERE to send President Obama tell President Obama: Mr. President, we oppose your continued big government, big spending, heavy-handed liberal policies and we're still committed to changing our nation's direction.

One last thing, on this morning after the State of the Union speech, we want to hear your"state of the family" or"state of your business or job" -- please respond back and let me know what you're thinking as we move into the crucial early months of 2011.



Wednesday
Jan262011

NRN - Must Reads from January 25, 2011

Saturday
Jan222011

CEI Daily - Obamacare, Merit Pay, and Space Policy

 

Obamacare

 

In Tuesday's Washington Post, Glenn Kessler says that Obamacare was not actually a "government takeover" of the health care system.

 

Senior Counsel Hans Bader disagrees.

 

"Our health care system will become 'government-run' under Obamacare in important ways. Obamacare imposes onerous government rules on our health care system, creating much more red tape than exists in many European countries, and turning health insurers into tightly-controlled public utilities. It will also spawn a potentially vast wave of lawsuits against state governments and private employee-benefit plans."

 

 

 

Merit Pay

 

Baltimore is introducing merit-based pay for new teachers.

 

Research Associate Trey Kovacs commends Baltimore for doing what's best for the school system.

 

"Merit-based pay benefits the students, teachers, and the community. Clearly, the advantage for teachers is the ability to achieve pay raises from ability and success, and the system incentivizes quality teaching. Students are taught by the finest teachers because of increased competition for positions, in return receiving higher quality of education. Having elite teachers providing students with superior education provides the community with more productive and contributing members of society."
 

 

Space Policy

 

In the new CEI Podcast, CEI Adjunct Scholar Rand Simberg talks about NASA and the future of private space exploration.

 

Listen here.



Friday
Jan212011

Heritage - Our country is at a pivotal moment

 

The Start of the Debate

Fellow conservatives,

Last night, the House of Representatives, the legislative chamber of Congress closest to American popular opinion, voted to repeal Obamacare—the increasingly unpopular law which led directly to a change in the control of Congress just three months ago.

Many will tell you that yesterday’s bipartisan vote of 245 to 189 was an exercise in futility—an empty, symbolic measure. Liberals in Congress, the White House and their echo chamber in the media all insist, as NPR has duly reported, that "this measure will go no further."

Don’t believe this for a single minute. The vote last night was an important step in the democratic process of protecting and conserving our constitutional freedoms.

Our country, it is increasingly clear, has arrived at a pivotal moment - perhaps the pivotal moment - in its history. Together, we face a choice between two futures.  One is a collectivist future where the federal government claims ever increasing shares of our income and grants itself the authority to make decisions affecting virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The other future is built upon the idea that individual freedom trumps government authority, and that in those rare cases when solving a problem requires government, the government that governs best is the one that is smallest and closest to the people.  That is the future that we should seek – reaffirming our individual liberty, strengthening private markets, shrinking the size of governments, and making decisions wherever possible at the local level rather than in Washington.

No issue joins this debate more dramatically than the question of Obamacare, and what to do about it. It’s not just about health care. The law redefines our centuries-old understanding of the reach of federal authority, indeed whether there are any limits at all to the government’s ability to intrude upon individuals, families, business owners, physicians and other health providers, and state and local governments. Little or nothing will be allowed outside the new regulatory scheme - no alternative state programs, no individuals or businesses that choose not to participate, no truly private market alternatives.

The debate boils down to one big question: Shall we govern ourselves, or let unelected bureaucrats rule us?

Behind this question are the many other specific ones about health care:

 

  • Should the federal government control America’s $2.5 trillion health sector, fully one sixth of our economy?

 

  • Should government bureaucrats decide what form of health coverage is “acceptable”?

 

  • Should these bureaucrats be given the legal authority to require all Americans to purchase government-designed health plans and levy penalties on those who don’t comply?

 

  • Should the federal government require the States to devote scarce resources to the creation of federally designed health exchanges that State lawmakers may feel inadequately address the unique needs of state residents?

 

  • Should the federal government expand the Medicaid program so dramatically that States face a Hobson’s choice – either shoulder billions in new fiscal commitments (on top of an already unsustainable budget mess) or withdraw from the program entirely?

 

  • What about employers who want to continue to provide their employees with health coverage but learn that federal bureaucrats deem the coverage they can afford to provide insufficiently generous?

 


And these are but the most obvious concerns raised by last year’s law.

But what comes next, you ask?

First, it is incumbent on the Majority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV) to allow a vote on the floor of that chamber. A bipartisan majority in one half of Congress has just repealed the most ambitious expansion of the federal government in many decades following a major electoral reversal for his party. For Mr. Reid to prevent this vote from coming to the Senate floor would be to thumb his nose at the will of the American people.  Senators must be allowed to vote on this question so that repeal legislation might go to the president for his consideration.

In the meantime, Heritage Distinguished Fellow Ernest Istook (who sat on the Appropriations Committee for 14 years) and Government Relations Director Brian Darling say that an incremental strategy is critical. To start the de facto repeal of Obamacare, lawmakers should focus on dismantling the key provisions that form the very foundation of the law’s architecture.  This means, for example, going after the pillars of the law through a variety of means like de-funding its critical aspects, engaging in aggressive oversight of the consequences of the law and enacting legislative triggers to delay or block its implementation. All these approaches will contribute to Obamacare’s implosion.

While that important national debate is taking place, the House of Representatives can move to defund provisions of Obamacare through either a rescissions package or funding riders. Congress is not required to fund this law or the myriad of new programs that it spawned. Like every other federal program, the current Congress can adjust – or even zero out – the level of funding for the implementation of Obamacare. Special provisions in the health care law will complicate the process, but the propriety of de-funding is unquestionable. As noted by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), "Congress is not required to provide funds for every agency or purpose authorized by law."

De-funding is a legitimate use of the power of the purse that the Founding Fathers wisely granted to Congress. It won’t be easy. Obamacare was designed to be the governmental equivalent of kudzu - growing everywhere. However, Obamacare is not a fait accompli, no matter what the Left is telling you.

After a clean repeal we can move on to debate what good ideas on health care can be adopted in the future, as Heritage health care expert Nina Owcharenko does in her report, "Repealing Obamacare and Getting Healthcare Right."

The House of Representatives acted wisely last night. Now the debate opens again. It’s a national debate we need to have, and we need to have it now. Don’t listen to those who want to stifle this debate, or close this controversy. There’s nothing uncivil about standing up for your freedoms. This is no time for summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

None of our work on Obamacare would be possible without the dedicated support of our 710,000 members from around the nation. Join us as we keep the momentum going for repeal.

Sincerely,
Edwin J. Feulner
President