Gestapo Marches into Maine

by: Steve Mistler, Portland Press Herald

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to blast President Obama’s health care law and described the Internal Revenue Service as the “new Gestapo.”

The IRS description was a reference to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans not insured by their employers or Medicaid to buy health insurance or pay an annual penalty when filing their tax returns.

The provision, known more broadly as the individual mandate, was the subject of a multi-state lawsuit, but was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. LePage said the court decision has “made America less free.” “We the people have been told there is no choice,” he said. “You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant, responding to LePage’s remarks, said, “We’ve come to expect a bunch of nonsense from Gov. LePage, but this is a step too far. There appears now to be no limit to the extreme language he will use to misinform, degrade and insult people. Somebody needs to explain to him that he’s the governor of a state, and not a talk radio host. I demand a full apology on behalf of all those who suffered at the hands of the real Gestapo.”

“There is nothing that degrades politics more than purported leaders who so cavalierly invoke the worst in human history when they can’t get their way in legitimate, modern policy disagreements,” Grant said. The Gestapo were Nazi Germany’s official secret police under Adolf Hitler, who imprisoned and murdered thousands of people without cause.

The debate over the mandate has become a political flash point since the health law was enacted. Republicans maintain that the requirement is an unfair tax. Democrats say the mandate was originally a Republican idea born from the conservative Heritage Foundation, which introduced the measure in 1989 as a counterpoint to calls for a single-payer health care system.

LePage also addressed another element of the health-care law that was immediately thrust into the public debate: Medicaid expansion. Originally, Obamacare required states to increase eligibility for low-income residents or pay a penalty. The court decision struck down the penalty; however, the federal government is still offering to pay for the expansion. The federal government will fund 100 percent of the expansion from 2014 to 2016, gradually declining to 90 percent after that.

LePage says he needs more answers before making a decision about the Medicaid expansion, which has been assailed by fellow Republican governors. At least 15 have said they’ll forgo the federal funding. LePage said the state doesn’t know how the federal matches will be paid for and how the newly eligible recipients would be defined. “However, Maine is already a welfare expansion state because of the generous benefits offered,” he said, adding that Maine’s welfare costs are among the highest in the nation because the state had expanded Medicaid prior to the Republican electoral sweep of 2010.

The governor also appeared to preempt potential pressure from hospitals to support Medicaid expansion. Hospitals may end up supporting the expansion because increased Medicaid offerings lower uncompensated, or charity, care levels. Uncompensated care is health-care costs that hospitals absorb because people can’t or won’t pay.

A recent report in the Portland Press Herald showed that uncompensated care by Maine hospitals has doubled over the last five years, from $94 million to $194 million. LePage said that increasing Medicaid may make it more difficult to pay hospitals the $500 million the state already owes in reimbursement.

The governor added that Maine will not move forward the ACA’s insurance exchanges — the marketplaces where individuals can shop for health plans from private companies — until the proposed $800 million tab to pay for them passes Congress. “With these looming uncertainties circling around this issue, Maine cannot move forward right now with Obamacare,” LePage said.

The governor finished his radio address by outlining his ideological opposition to the health-care law, which he said “raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, and kills jobs.” “Even more disheartening is that reviving the American dream just became nearly impossible to do,” he said. “We are now a nation which supports dependency rather than independence. Instead of encouraging self-reliance, we are encouraging people to rely on the government.”

Unlimited Power to Tax

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

The Supreme Court has long distinguished the regulatory from the taxing power.

By PAUL MORENO

In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

In his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary (full & complete in every respect), but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare)

Editorial board member Joe Rago on how Chief Justice John Roberts’s rewrite of ObamaCare weakens the Constitution’s federalist structure.

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

I Should’ve taken the Blue Pill

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Remember this? (video below) I do. I also recall how Sarah Palin was savaged by the lefties for daring to speak the truth regarding the implmentation of “Death Panels” with the inactment of Obamacare.

Well folks, welcome to real life. Those of you non-believers will just have to wait for the truth of this monstrosity to be fully revealed. At this minute new regulations are being crafted by unelected beaurocrats. You read that correctly. The law is in place but the rules & regulations are still being written. In other words, no one, including those who originated the law, have any idea what it will morph into. That’s what Bella (I want to suck your wallet) Pelosi meant by, ” You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it”.

That regulatory burden will fall on people like Czar Cass (Philip Dru, Administrator) Sunstein. Beck doesn’t call him the “Most dangerous man in America” for nothing. If he could, he would mandate how many beats your heart can make per day.

Now that the Supremes have brushed aside the pesky, majority of the American population, things will begin to implement more rapidly, although, will not be evident until after the election.

If you are over 50 with a medical condition beyond that of a common cold, be prepared to have your medical care limited. If your north of seventy, and not independently wealthy, good luck.

If you are a travel agent, I would suggest you consider getting in on the ground floor of a burdgeoning new industry, medical tourism.

Hurricane season will be arriving a bit late this year. It will begin on November 7th.

Yamamoto Redux

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

I hope this is exactly what has happened. Following the unbelievably bad decision doled out by Chief John Souter-Roberts and the other hacks on the bench, I believe conservatives will rise up & turn out in mass this November. They must!

Shockingly, I’ve already heard more than once today, Justice Roberts apologists trying to explain that Roberts is conservative but just got these 2 decisions (Arizona & Obamacare) wrong.

BULL CRAP!! You are the Chief Justice of the most powerful court in the world. He can’t and I contend, he didn’t “get in wrong”, in his eyes.

There are 2 likely scenarios presently floating around to explain his actions.

Scenario number 1, is that he has always been a moderate to liberal judge and was appointed by a like-minded individual, George W. Bush. Number 1A is that “W” insisted he did not have a litmus test for appointment to the court. Roberts was asked no hard questions and could better hide his true positions.

I think this is a mistake. The president should have a “litmus test”. How else would one find out how a judge will rule. I certainly would have a test. What the heck is so wrong with knowing where a candidate stands before potentially making a permanent mistake. After all, these are lifetime appointments.

It would be like hiring an employee with a wholly inadequate interview, and once he is hired, he makes all the wrong decisions, but you may never fire him, nor may you ever leave the company. You are stuck with him in perpetuity.

Scenario number 2 has been put forth today. It is that Roberts was somehow pressured from without to change his position. Could be. If that’s the case, I have even less respect for him than I did. I believe this scenario to be unlikely.

How, after all this time of hearing the tax is not a tax but a penalty, has it magically become a tax again. Simple. Like activists do, they just change the language. Simply reinterpret the penalty clause so it’s now a tax. Roberts all but comes out and states that the congress didn’t realize it was a tax when they labelled it a penalty. Wow, Congress sure is stupid.

Thank heavens the Chief Justice was there to set them straight. The problem is that congress knew full well Obamacare wouldn’t have passed to begin with if the penalty was called a tax. Obama said it himself on several occasions. That’s why they labelled it a penalty in the first place. Those who crafted this piece of crap knew exactly what they were doing. and how to properly word it.

So now the precedent has been set. Congress may now tax us for virtually anything they please in conjunction with the health of the citizenry. And, of course, everything can be said to involve our health. The food you consume, the car you drive, where you live, etc.

Keep Smiling Comrade Roberts

 But, you say, we can elect those who promise to repeal Obamacare in full. That will take care of it, right? Only partially. The law would be no more, but the Supreme Court taxing precedent cannot be undone without the court, itself, reversing it. What are the odds of that happening?

Don’t listen to the inside-the-beltway apologists like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, or even Erick Erickson. There was no lesson learned, no victory of any kind.

If you want to learn something, read the dissenting opinion of the 4 justices that stood up for us and more importantly, took their job seriously and did the only thing they were appointed to do, stood up for the Constitution.  

Thank you Justices Sam Alido, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas & I can’t believe I’m doing this, but also Anthony Kennedy. We had this won but for Roberts.

Never thought I’d say this either but, GO MITT!

Then we need to “repeal & replace” everyone in the republican leadership, both in the House and Senate.

Who Needs Enemies…

Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare

by: Michelle Malkin

During the summer of 2009, conservative activists turned up the heat on Democratic politicians to protest the innovation-destroying, liberty-usurping Obamacare mandate. In the summer of 2012, it’s squishy Republican politicians who deserve the grassroots flames.

In case you hadn’t heard, even if the Supreme Court overturns the progressives’ federal health care juggernaut, prominent GOP leaders vow to preserve its most “popular” provisions. These big-government Republicans show appalling indifference to the dire market disruptions and culture of dependency that Obamacare schemes have wrought.

GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chair of the Senate GOP Conference, told a St. Louis radio station two weeks ago that he supports keeping at least three Obamacare regulatory pillars: federally imposed coverage of “children” up to age 26 on their parents’ health insurance policies (the infamous, unfunded “slacker mandate”), federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions (“guaranteed issue,” which leads to an adverse-selection death spiral) and closure of the coverage gap in the massive Bush-backed Medicare drug entitlement (the “donut hole fix” that will obliterate the program’s cost-controls).

Some Republicans are even trying to out-Obama Obamacare. GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio is pushing a proposal to increase the mandatory coverage age for dependents to age 31. And once a fire-breathing dragon for repeal, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee hem-hawed when asked by the liberal Talking Points Memo website whether Republicans would be introducing specific bills to preserve the guaranteed issue and slacker mandate provisions.

“Well, I think we need to be prepared,” Alexander told TPM. “And we will be prepared.”

How about getting informed? As I reported while the Obamacare backroom wheeling-dealing was going on, some 20 states already had passed legislation requiring insurers to cover adult children before the federal rule was imposed, and nearly 20 others were already on the expensive path toward doing so. In New Jersey, Wisconsin and elsewhere, these top-down benefits mandates were among key factors driving up the cost of insurance and limiting access instead of expanding it.

Fortunately for fiscal conservatives, GOP Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina still has his head screwed on straight. Last week, he blasted GOP enablers of the welfare state. He notes that “multiple studies have suggested that every 1 percent increase in premiums increases the number of uninsured by approximately 200,000 to 300,000 individuals nationwide.” The slacker mandate has raised premiums by at least 1 percent since it was enacted, DeMint adds, meaning “that hundreds of thousands of individuals have lost coverage — because they were priced out of the individual market, or because their employers decided to stop offering coverage — as a result of the new requirements.”

This is no textbook hypothetical. No less than the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 — one of Obamacare’s biggest cheerleaders — dropped health care coverage for children in late 2010 because of costly mandates, including, you guessed it, the slacker mandate. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible,” the SEIU 1199 benefits managers wrote in a letter to more than 30,000 families, “and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Chris Jacobs, senior analyst for the Senate Joint Economic Committee, points to a new study by the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund that reveals that the benefits of the slacker provision have “disproportionately accrued to affluent and wealthy families.” Moreover, this unfunded mandate is fostering greater dependency — and providing employment disincentives — by encouraging high numbers of young adults to reject other forms of insurance in order to take advantage of “free” parental coverage.

Where does presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stand? Despite repeated assurances that he will abandon Obamacare in its entirety, Romney is surrounded by GOP socialized medicine helpmates. In January, Romney adviser Norm Coleman said, “(We’re) not going to repeal the act in its entirety … you can’t whole cloth throw it out.”

Earlier this month, Romney named former Utah GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt his transition leader. Leavitt supports and has profited handsomely from Obamacare’s health care exchange mandate. Then there’s the Romneycare mandate in Massachusetts, conceived by Obamacare architect and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, which includes the very same slacker mandate provision enshrined in the Democrats’ law.

Who needs enemies when you’ve got Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare waiting in the wings?

Law vs. Morality

 Liberty-loving Patriots Have a Duty to Disobey Unconstitutional Laws

By: Walter E. Williams
(One of my Heros & favorite Limbaugh fill-in host)

Let’s think about whether all acts of Congress deserve our respect and obedience. Suppose Congress enacted a law — and the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional — requiring American families to attend church services at least three times a month. Should we obey such a law? Suppose Congress, acting under the Constitution’s commerce clause, enacted a law requiring motorists to get eight hours of sleep before driving on interstate highways. Its justification might be that drowsy motorists risk highway accidents and accidents affect interstate commerce. Suppose you were a jury member during the 1850s and a free person were on trial for assisting a runaway slave, in clear violation of the Fugitive Slave Act. Would you vote to convict and punish?

A moral person would find each one of those laws either morally repugnant or to be a clear violation of our Constitution. You say, “Williams, you’re wrong this time. In 1859, in Ableman v. Booth, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 constitutional.” That court decision, as well as some others in our past, makes my case. Moral people can’t rely solely on the courts to establish what’s right or wrong. Slavery is immoral; therefore, any laws that support slavery are also immoral. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Soon, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare, euphemistically titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. There is absolutely no constitutional authority for Congress to force any American to enter into a contract to buy any good or service. But if the court rules that Obamacare is constitutional, what should we do?

State governors and legislators ought to summon up the courage of our Founding Fathers in response to the 5th Congress’ Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. Led by Jefferson and James Madison, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 were drafted where legislatures took the position that the Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional. They said, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … (and) whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” The 10th Amendment to our Constitution supports that vision: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In a word, if the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is constitutional, citizens should press their state governors and legislatures to nullify the law. You say, “Williams, the last time states got into this nullification business, it led to a war that cost 600,000 lives.” Two things are different this time. First, most Americans are against Obamacare, and secondly, I don’t believe that you could find a U.S. soldier who would follow a presidential order to descend on a state to round up or shoot down fellow Americans because they refuse to follow a congressional order to buy health insurance.

Congress has already gone far beyond the powers delegated to it by the Constitution. In Federalist No. 45, Madison explained: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” That vision has been turned on its head; it’s the federal government whose powers are numerous and indefinite, and those of the state are now few and defined.

Former slave Frederick Douglass advised: “Find out just what people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. … The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Medicare DisAdvandage

An $8 billion trick?

By BENJAMIN E. SASSE & CHARLES HURT

Call it President Obama’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President — a political slush fund at the Health and Human Services Department.

Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.

Here is how it works.

The most oppressive aspects of the ObamaCare law don’t kick in until after the 2012 election, when the president will no longer be answerable to voters. More “flexibility,” he recently explained to the Russians.

But certain voters would surely notice one highly painful part of the law before then — namely, the way it guts the popular Medicare Advantage program.

For years, 12 million seniors have relied on these policies, a more market-oriented alternative to traditional Medicare, without the aggravating gaps in coverage.

But as part of its hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts, the Obama one-size-fits-all plan slashes reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage starting next year — herding many seniors back into the government-run program.

Under federal “open-enrollment” guidelines, seniors must pick their Medicare coverage program for next year by the end of this year — which means they should be finding out before Election Day.

Nothing is more politically volatile than monkeying with the health insurance of seniors, who aren’t too keen on confusing upheavals in their health care and are the most diligent voters in the land. This could make the Tea Party look like a tea party.

Making matters even more politically dangerous for Obama is that open enrollment begins Oct. 15, less than three weeks before voters go to the polls.

It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election.

This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.

But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.

The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.

That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.

Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”

Past demonstration projects have studied new medical techniques or strategies aimed at improving care or reducing costs. The point is to find ways to lower the costs of Medicare by allowing medical technocrats to make efficient decisions without interference from vested interests.

Now Obama means to turn it on its head — diverting the money to a blatantly nonexperimental purpose to serve his political needs.

A Government Accounting Office report released this morning shows, quite starkly, that there simply is no experiment being conducted, just money being spent. Understandably, the GAO recommends that HHS cancel the project.

Congress should immediately launch an investigation into this unprecedented misuse of taxpayer money and violation of the public trust, which certainly presses the boundaries of legality and very well may breach them.

If he’s not stopped, Obama will spend $8 billion in taxpayer funds for a scheme to mask the debilitating effects on seniors of his signature piece of legislation just long enough to get himself re-elected.

Now that is some serious audacity.

Benjamin E. Sasse, a former US assistant secretary of health, is president of Midland University. Charles Hurt covers politics in DC.

Barack and the Supremes

By: The Common Constitutionalist

I’d like to speak of the Obamacare legacy. Not what Obamacare will do to just healthcare, but the affect it will have on virtually every aspect of American life.

I personally know people; friends, colleagues and coworkers that will be adversely affected if Obamacare is allowed to withstand Supreme Court scrutiny. Adversely affected. That’s an understatement. How about crushed.

We here the liberals decry how unfair the current free-market (had to gag a little there. Our healthcare is far from free-market) system is. The poor are literally left to die in the streets. We all know this to be bunk, but it’s pretty close to the way they describe it.

We will all be adversely affected, but the ones the grand designers claim to care about, those currently on Medicare & Medicaid, will suffer the most.

Medicare is, of course, government controlled medical care for the elderly & Medicaid mainly for the poor.

For those on Medicare, there will be death panels. Oh, they won’t be called that, but rest assured, or should I say, Rest in Peace, there will a panel of government bureaucrats to decide whether you deserve that new hip or pacemaker. Old Granny, at 85, can’t benefit from an MRI like that 30-year-old taxpayer or that 40-year-old would benefit more from a cancer screening than Gramps, at 80.

The poor, currently on Medicaid, will of course get the shaft due to rationing. They will get what’s left over from the productive members of society. This is of course a form of eugenics. If you are unable to prove that you are of value to the collective, you will naturally be last in line for medical care, as are the elderly.

Not a very rosy picture, I’ll grant you, but I believe that if we continue down this path, it will be the logical end.

This is just one of the reasons this Supreme Court decision is so paramount.

If the High Court bestows constitutional precedence on Obamacare, there is no end to the government’s meddling in our everyday affairs.

Why couldn’t the government just tell us that we have to buy broccoli or brussel sprouts or some other nasty vegetable and must consume them daily, in the name of improving our health?

A whole new government department could be formed. Think of all the new jobs. It could be called The Major Intergovernmental Council of Health Education for Life Long Excellence or MICHELLE. There would be an army of agents similar to the electric company meter readers. They would travel the countryside making sure we all had our proper intake of good food and, of course, all the while, keeping a trained eye out for contraband like salt or a black market cheeseburger hidden under the mattress.

The president could appoint a new government fast food oversight board. After all, it is said that fast food is making us fat and killing us all. This will surely put a strain on the health care system. Maybe the board recommends to the president that fast food restaurants simply be closed.

Another board could be responsible for alcohol and tobacco coupons. Those who consume these substances will have to present a coupon giving them permission to buy the substance. Of course, the coupons will be rationed. We wouldn’t want anyone to abuse them. That would put a strain on the health care system.

Again, look at all the jobs that are being created, but I digress.

This is what can happen with a simple Supreme Court ruling. If the Supreme Court rules that the government can force us to purchase health insurance why could they not force us to purchase anything?

Once the Supreme Court rules in favor or against anything it sets precedence. Once this precedence has been set the Constitution is all but thrown out the window. Any subsequent case that comes before the Supreme Court will simply cite that precedent as proof of its constitutionality.

Ask yourself  just how far this could go? Why could they not just start demanding more control over us?

Why could we not be told what car we had to buy or what house or where we must go on vacation? Surely having too many children would put a strain on the health care system, not to mention the school system, the food supply, et al.

The government must also concern itself with not only our health but also the health of the planet. They wouldn’t want us burning all those fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes. Naturally we would be required to purchase smart meters and smart thermostats so they could control the heating, cooling and electrical use of each house.

It would be great! We could have rolling blackouts just like Venezuela.

Now just sit back and imagine the utopia. Life will be easy. You’ll never have to make another decision again. Everything will be taken care of and we will be wanting for nothing. Kind of like being in boot camp all over again.

Life in Utopian America:

We will grow up being told what foods to eat, what school to attend and what clothes to wear.

We will be told what college to attend, what our vocation will be and how much money we will be allowed to make.

Prior to starting our new job we will be required to give one or two years of community service in order to help pay for our free college education and for the good of the collective.

We will then be free to marry a woman, a man, or perhaps our pet hamster. We will have no more than 2.4 perfect children. Of course, if they’re not perfect, we can always abort them. Don’t worry about that whole parenting thing, the schools will take care of that.

We will work at our preselected vocation for a number of years until such time as our usefulness to the collective is exhausted.

At that time we will be given our choice of residence at a lovely nearby government rest home.

When another board decides it is too costly to care for us we will simply be given a pain pill and asked to go sit in the corner and die with dignity.

It’s a Wonderful Life! Where do I sign?

Stickum Up and Buy this Healthcare plan

By Eric Peters

This is written as the Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of ObamaCare – in particular, it is considering whether the federal government has the authority under the Constitution to force people at gunpoint to buy a health insurance policy from a private, for-profit business. That this is even being – as opposed to dismissed out of hand – tells us just how far down the slippery slope we’ve already slid. But what most people – especially people who support the mandate – may not have considered is where the precedent about to be established will take us.

Unfortunately in law, precedent is everything, because it becomes practice.

Once the courts countenance a given thing, it becomes the basis for countenancing other, similar-in-principle things.  Some 25 years ago, when the courts ruled it was within the government’s constitutional authority to stop motorists at random, without even the pretext of probable cause (as clearly demanded – without qualification – by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution), a precedent was established. Today, we are subject to random stops – and random searches – at any time, just about. It has become a routine – and routinely accepted – practice.

If the government has the authority to force each of us to buy a health insurance policy on the basis of “interstate commerce” or some appeal to the collective greater good – then a new precedent will have been established. Why, having gone that far, would they stop there? Do you imagine the government will stop there?  Has it ever once, having expanded its authority, failed to expand upon that authority?

Why not also force people at gunpoint to buy life insurance?  As things stand, there are families left without a breadwinner – and the breadwinner’s income – following an untimely death. Perhaps some people cannot afford to buy life insurance.  Surely life insurance is just as vital to interstate commerce – and the “security” provided by a policy just as much a “right” as the “right” to health care? Precisely the same arguments can – and will – be used. You are a fool if you don’t see it coming. And it will not come because of the government’s concern for you. It will come because of the concern over the money (and power) to be had – the two things really driving the individual mandate of Obamacare.

Private (an increasingly meaningless term) businesses have had an epiphany. They have come to realize that it’s in their interests to crawl under the sheets with the government. Because government can force people to buy the businesses’ product or service. Why compete for customers’ dollars when you can use the police power of the state to compel them to hand over the loot? And even better, you (the “private” business) no longer need worry much about quality, efficiency or customer service. After all, what are your customers going to do? They have to buy what you’re selling – or else.

As bad as HMOs and PPOs are – as Soviet and DMV-like as the staff at your doctor’s office may be – at least they cannot put a gun to your head. At least, you have the option of telling them what you think – and walking out the door. Shortly, that may change. And the only thing that will change is the threat of violence for noncompliance. The Soviet and DMV-like experience will be the same – no, it will grow worse. Because you won’t be able to say no – or walk out the door.

Not without the NKVD[People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs] stepping in to correct you. 

And then the precedent will be expanded – and become the general practice.

Life insurance. Home insurance (even if you’ve paid off your home and would rather save the $800 a year that is typically charged). And since this is a car-minded column, let’s not forget cars.

GM and Ford and the rest of them are having a heck of time selling the American consumer on the merits of electric and other “green” cars. Surely, it is in the interests of the furtherance of interstate commerce and the Greater Good that Americans be required to purchase a “green” vehicle. It would help the car companies. It would be an investment in “our future.” Surely, we cannot afford to allow selfish and irresponsible people to avoid paying their fair share….

I wish this were farce. But if the Supremes hold ObamaCare “constitutional” then we no longer have a Constitution. What we will have is the precedent of unlimited, open-ended federal authority – which in short order will become the routine practice of forcing each of us to do (and buy) literally anything. The flower will have blossomed. America will cease to exist.

But we’ll have “health care.”

And much more besides…

Could They really Do It?

By David G. Savage

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices said last Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely.

Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law’s controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it.

The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional.

“One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto,” said Justice Antonin Scalia.

Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an “extreme proposition” to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.

Meanwhile, the court’s liberal justices argued for restraint. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court should do a “salvage job,” not undertake a “wrecking operation.” But she looked to be out-voted.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said they shared the view of Scalia and Kennedy that the law should stand or fall in total. Along with Justice Clarence Thomas, they would have a majority to strike down the entire statute as unconstitutional.

An Obama administration lawyer, urging caution, said it would be “extraordinary” for the court to throw out the entire law. About 2.5 million young people under age 26 are on their parents’ insurance now because of the new law. If it were struck down entirely, “2.5 million of them would be thrown off the insurance rolls,” said Edwin Kneedler.

The administration indicated it was prepared to accept a ruling that some of the insurance reforms should fall if the mandate were struck down. For example, insurers would not be required to sell coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But Kneedler, a deputy solicitor general, said the court should go no further.

But the court’s conservatives said the law was passed as a package and must fall as a package.

End Article

Editor’s comments:

So the Supreme Court seems poised to do the right and constitutional thing. It’s funny how all the Internet outlets, newspapers, TV, et al, classifiy the justices as Conservative or liberal.

The Supreme Court has one job. It’s only job is to determine the constitutionality of the case before it. It is not supposed to write law or somehow fiddle around with the laws that are being decided by the court. Yet Justice Ruth (buzzi) Bader Ginsburg suggests that the court should perform a “salvage job” on the law. The only way that one could perform a “salvage job” on the law would be to rewrite it at the bench.

Somehow this minor inconvenience escapes justice Ginsburg. She must’ve forgotten that the justices are forbidden from writing or creating law from the bench. Either that, or she just doesn’t care. I vote for the latter. But Ginsburg is of course a liberal justice.

As I’ve stated many times in the past, liberals are liberals, first and foremost. What ever their vocation may be, a liberal will always think and act as one without regard to said vocation.

As for Mr. Kneedler’s plea regarding the 2.5 million young people that will may be kicked off their parents insurance if the court strikes down Obamacare, may I remind him, or maybe he doesn’t know, that the Constitution is not a conditional document.

Let’s hope that at least five of the justices will make the right constitutional decision and strike this travesty down in toto.