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Health-Care Strategy for 2014: Freedom

Obamacare-exemptionsObamaCare repeal is out until 2017, but here’s an agenda to unite the GOP and offer Americans relief.

by Phil Gramm

Contradictory rulings this week by the D.C. and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals mean that ObamaCare will probably return to the Supreme Court. The crucial issue is whether the government can subsidize premiums for health insurance bought on federal exchanges, though the Affordable Care Act’s plain language authorizes subsidies only for policies purchased on “an Exchange established by the State.”

If the Supreme Court decides that ObamaCare must be implemented as written, Democrats will have to bring the legislation back to Congress. This gives Republicans an opportunity to develop a new strategy to rid the country of ObamaCare.

President Obama and virtually every congressional Democrat believed that once the Affordable Care Act passed it would become popular, thanks to the law’s massive subsidies. Many Republicans believed this as well. It hasn’t worked out that way. Four years later 59% of Americans still oppose ObamaCare, according to the most recent CNN poll. It has become clearer over time that the president’s health law has made many problems in health care worse. Judged by the deeply flawed roll out and the necessity for endless illegal waivers, merely implementing the law as written seems to be far beyond the capacity of the U.S. government. [Read more...]

Questions for Obamacare Now

by Megan McArdle

obamacare logoYesterday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to outline what we don’t know: namely, what will happen after the case winds its way through the court system.

If the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules for the government, the answer is, “not much; things go on as they are.” But what if the justices take the case and rule for the plaintiff? [Read more...]

Federal Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies in 36 States

obamacare tire mudby Susan Jones

A federal court on Tuesday struck down health insurance subsidies for people in the 36 states that did not set up their own Obamacare exchanges.

The ruling “is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted shortly after a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. issued its ruling in Halbig v. Burwell.

While the ruling is a “significant victory for the American people & rule of law…we must not rest,” Cruz added. [Read more...]

No, Halbig Did Not Gut Obamacare Because Of A “Drafting Error”

Reading is fundamental, unless you’re a liberal blogger.

obamacare-2by Sean Davis

Words mean things.

That was the message delivered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in yesterday’s Halbig opinion. At issue was whether Obamacare required federal health insurance subsidies to be limited only to plans purchased via a state-based health exchange. To date, only 14 states (plus Washington, DC) have established state exchanges; the federal government established and is operating the exchange used by residents of the other 36 states. In May of 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a rule stating that the subsidies would be available even if they would be applied to a plan purchased via the federal health exchange. [Read more...]

Liberalism as an Instrument of Coercion

Free speechby Michael Barone

Liberals just aren’t very liberal these days. The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century, liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade — for minimal state interference in people’s lives.

In the 20th-century, New Dealers revised this definition by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want. [Read more...]

Obama Hasn’t Hit Rock Bottom Yet

obama_frownby Alex Castellanos

Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that’s the good news.

As painful as it is to note, your presidency has not yet hit bottom. You’ve got a long way to go in your descent.

Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels. Americans are whispering that each political missile you fire seems to hit not its target but our own house.

You have undone the core idea you’ve advanced, that a larger public sector can save us. You are becoming the one-man Keystone Cops of an experiment in weakness and incompetent government. [Read more...]

Selling Obamacare

The weird, misleading propaganda behind the federal health care law

ObamaCare Cartoonby Mark Hemingway

It might seem odd that Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, was invited to the White House for lunch. After all, why would the most powerful person in the world bother meeting with the editor of a publication that specializes in hot summer sex tricks and the year’s most dangerous diet? Particularly on May 2, 2014, when just about every important political journalist was in town for the White House Correspondents Dinner, the annual gala where pols and press rub shoulders and bond over bottomless booze.

But Coles had a big favor coming to her. In 2013, she publicly pledged her magazine’s ad space and editorial content to help promote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. There are now more than 100 references to Obamacare on Cosmo’s website, almost all of them glowing. [Read more...]

Megyn Kelly’s Critique of Obama’s Presidency

Is Barack Obama’s presidency imploding? Al Qaeda is resurging. Iraq is disintegrating. And now we may look to Iran to help us stop it. Iran – a terrorist regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. What could possibly go wrong? We have drawn red lines in Syria we refuse to enforce. We stood by as Russia ceased part of Ukraine. And now we are releasing top Taliban leaders as the Afghanistan war is still going. Not to worry, they tell us Cutter’s gonna watch ‘em. For a year. We hope. Domestically, we have a president who has lost the trust of the American people by repeatedly misleading them. He bypasses Congress, the people’s representatives, on matters ranging from Obamacare to immigration law, to the point where one of the most respected liberal law professors in the country has called our president “the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid”. The American public overwhelmingly regrets Obamacare. Our veterans are dying waiting to see doctors. The IRS intimidates conservative groups. The southern border is compared to a sieve. And the president assures us not to worry – smiling, golfing, and, at this very moment, partying with fashion queen Anna Wintour. Because the fundraising never stops – not when four Americans died at Benghazi and not when Baghdad is at the brink.

5 Major Takeaways From The Hobby Lobby Decision

HobbyLobbyStowOhioby Sean Davis

The Supreme Court this morning issued its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. At issue was whether closely held companies like Hobby Lobby could be forced by the government to provide abortifacient coverage to its employees, in defiance of its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs.

In a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies do not have to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the religious beliefs of the companies’ owners. Here are 5 major takeaways from the Supreme Court’s decision. [Read more...]

Cronyism and Coercion

by Jeffrey H. Anderson

obamacare pay less for healthcareAfter the upset of House majority leader Eric Cantor at the hands of GOP primary voters, many congressional Republicans may be looking for ways to show they are listening to their constituents. One way they can do so is to take renewed aim at Obamacare.

Obamacare’s risk-corridor program is serving as a slush fund for President Obama. He is using that fund to placate his insurance company allies whom he double-crossed. After Obama declared last fall that insurance policies banned by Obamacare would be unbanned by presidential proclamation, insurers were understandably alarmed. Obama’s lawless decree meant that millions of people who already had insurance—and who were likely to be healthier on the whole than those who didn’t—would not be forced into the Obamacare exchanges after all. His decree, therefore, likely made the exchanges’ risk pools even worse. [Read more...]

ObamaCare is harming millions of Americans

ObamaCare Cancelled Policiesby Byron York

To hear administration officials and their supporters in the press tell it, this is a great time for Obamacare. People who signed up for coverage are actually paying for it; more insurance companies are joining exchanges; some consumers have more choices than originally envisioned. “The news surrounding the Affordable Care Act has been so good this week, it’s almost hard to know where to start,” wrote MSNBC’s Steve Benen in a recent post headlined “Everything’s Coming Up Aces for the ACA.”

Not so fast. Yes, Obamacare is a big help for those now receiving something substantial from the government — large subsidies for the lowest-income Americans who purchase coverage on the exchanges, free health care for people eligible for the expanded Medicaid program.

But for millions of other Americans, it’s a different story. In fact, one respected analyst worries that Obamacare, while helping some, is actually “creating a chronically uninsured class” of those ineligible for its taxpayer-paid assistance. [Read more...]

Canada Is No Model for Health Care

obamacare logoby Jason Clemens and Bacchus Barua

The heated and often emotionally charged debate over the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) hasn’t subsided despite it being the law of the land for more than four years. Indeed, with the VA scandal, continuing problems in the rollout of aspects of Obamacare and the upcoming mid-term elections, the likelihood of increased acrimony is high.

One aspect of the health care debate in the United States that is, unfortunately, riddled with misinformation is the state of Canada’s single-payer health care system. Too often advocates of Canadian-style health care in the U.S. present limited or even misleading information about the true state of Canada’s health care system and worse, often times present the ideal of Canadian health care rather than its reality. [Read more...]

America: Beware of Single-Payer Health Care

The real lesson of the VA scandal.

POW_veterans affairs_VA scandal_by W. James Antle III

Before Bowe Bergdahl dominated the headlines, the country was engrossed by the Veterans Affairs scandal. The VA was subjecting veterans to onerous wait times while massaging the data to show otherwise.

Much has been said about how poorly this reflects on President Obama’s managerial prowess. Secretary Eric Shinseki, a hero of the last war, has already been forced to resign. And the conduct of the bureaucrats involved was, in Shinseki’s own words, “indefensible.”

The real lesson of the VA scandal, however, is even more sobering. It’s that a single-payer healthcare system would be a calamity in the United States. [Read more...]

VA Scandal Further Discredits Obama’s Big Government Policies

Long queues are the price of free care.

veterans affairs_obamacare_healthcareby Michael Barone

President Obama evidently was caught by surprise by the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, apparently, was VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who evidently took at face value the corrupt VA statistics — and who, after a distinguished military career, resigned last week.

One who was probably not taken by surprise is longtime Yale Law Professor Peter Schuck, who identified the problems at the VA before the scandal broke in his recently published book, “Why Government Fails So Often and How It Can Do Better.” [Read more...]

What Obama’s Many Messes Really Mean

Dems blame . . . big government?

bureaucracy_big governmentby S.E. Cupp

Another week, another scandal.

From Fast and Furious at the ATF to the Pigford fraud at the Department of Agriculture, the IRS’ political targeting to the State Department’s Benghazi mess, the healthcare.gov debacle at HHS to spying at the NSA and the DOJ, President Obama is running out of agencies and departments to defend in his two years left in office.

This White House has either had the worst luck in recent memory or it is responsible for breaches of public trust so vast, it’s no wonder public faith in our government is at a record low.

And now, we must add the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs — one so singularly sad, offensive and disappointing it almost feels wrong to put the callous deaths of at least 40 veterans who served our country in the same category as political tax targeting. Still, in some ways it is more of the pitiful same. [Read more...]