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From: Peter Dierks3/19/2012 8:58:26 AM
1 Recommendation   of 42113
KING & DEMINT: End Obamacare, don’t mend it
Americans must ensure Republicans don’t settle for partial repeal
By Rep. Steve King and Sen. Jim DeMint
The Washington Times
Friday, March 16, 2012

Every election, voters are told that this election is the most important of our lifetimes. In most elections, it’s not really true. In 2012, though, it probably is true, for one reason: Obamacare.

Two years after a Democratic Congress and President Obama foisted onto the American people an unpopular trillion-dollar takeover of American health care, we know that Obamacare is, in fact, even more unpopular than before and that it will cost almost $2 trillion.

The American people were told Obamacare would reduce health care costs, but premiums already are jumping. The American people were told they could keep their own coverage, but a new Congressional Budget Office report says millions will lose their current coverage every year.

Indeed, the final hurdle for Obamacare’s passage was Mr. Obama’s and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s scramble to convince religiously minded Democrats that religious liberty and individual conscience rights would be protected under their new law. The recent abortion-pill mandate shows those 11th-hour promises were false.

So, as should be the case about something as important as a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy, the final decision about Obamacare must be made by the American people at the ballot box. Already, voters voiced their disapproval in the historic 2010 elections, which sent many Obamacare supporters to the unemployment line.

This year, the November elections will either return to Washington a pro-Obamacare president and Congress or a pro-repeal president and Congress. They will have a mandate to enact the public’s will, one way or the other.

Conservatives should affirm these certitudes: First, legislating according to the consent of the governed is what our republic is all about. Second, Obamacare - contrary to Democrats’ expectations - has only grown more unpopular since it was passed, as its ugly details have emerged and offended. Third, Obamacare is not an indirect, gimmicky campaign issue but a direct, concrete, firable offense the president and Democrats in Congress committed against our will and in plain view.

Were the entire 2012 general election debate reduced to “candidates from this party will implement Obamacare and candidates from that party will repeal Obamacare,” that debate would do our nation credit and do great service to the electorate.

Unfortunately, the clarity of that choice may soon be muddied, not by Democrats desperate to hide from their record, but inexplicably, by Republicans pushing a vote on a bill to undo one part of Obamacare: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

IPAB is one of the most obnoxious parts of Obamacare: The unelected, unaccountable board of “experts” who effectively will be able to decide which patients can receive which treatments at what costs and from which doctors. The essence of Obamacare is government rationing of people’s access to medicine: IPAB bureaucrats are the rationers.

So we are as adamantly opposed to IPAB as we are to the rest of Obamacare - from the individual mandate to the abortion-pill requirement to the multitrillion-dollar price tag.

But IPAB is not distinct from Obamacare; it’s an inextricable part of the whole. As such, it should be repealed as part of the whole. The same holds true for attempts to surgically extract out the attack on religious freedom, the individual mandate and the financially unsustainable CLASS Act long-term care entitlement. Repealing little pieces of Obamacare here and there to render the cataclysmic merely disastrous undermines not only the essential causes of liberty and repeal, but the clarity of the choice the American people deserve.

The Democratic Party is the party of Obamacare. If Republicans, through their toying with Obamacare, present themselves to voters as the party of some of Obamacare, we will lose. We will deserve to lose. The blame for the coming decades of debt, dependence and decline will fall to us.

A vote to repeal only IPAB sends the message that we believe Obamacare is the patient and IPAB is the cancer that needs to be removed to save Obamacare. Our true patient is health care freedom, and Obamacare - not part of it, but all 2,000 pages - is the malignancy.

Given a choice between Obamacare as it is or full repeal, a majority of Americans and - if not now, very soon - a majority of Congress will choose full repeal. Therefore, that must be the only choice Republicans offer. Until Obamacare is fully repealed, the only health care votes Republicans should cast should be for full repeal of the unconstitutional takeover.

The idea that we can “fix” Obamacare is as fatal as the president’s conceit in contending that Obamacare would “fix” the health care system. We know what real reform looks like - people owning their own health plans; treatment decisions made privately between patients and their doctors; freedom to purchase health plans across state lines; and help for the poor, the elderly and the sick. It looks nothing like the monstrosity the president forced on us, and it looks nothing like the slightly less monstrous version partial repeals would leave us with.

The American people’s message to the Republican Party in 2010 should be the same message we send back to the people in 2012. When it comes to Obamacare, end it, don’t mend it.

Rep. Steve King is from Iowa. Sen. Jim DeMint is from South Carolina. Both have authored legislation to fully repeal Obamacare.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (23496)3/19/2012 11:49:30 AM
From: Lane3
   of 42113
For me, all those words apply.

Well, at least you acknowledge that they're not synonyms. That's a start. <g>

If Locke were intolerant of the Catholic church because it was a religious institution, he would have favored intolerance of the Church of England and other Protestant churches, but he didn't.

The Catholic Church and the Church of England are the two heavily institutionalized Christian churches. Other Protestant sects did not have infrastructure at that time. The Catholic Church and the Church of England had institutional heft. The Church of England was, duh, the official church of England, partner to the government. The Catholic Church was a competing institution, competing not just for the souls of the people. Were it not for that institutional heft and its exceeding its religious role of tending the souls of its believers, individual Catholics would have been accorded the same freedom of conscience as other Protestants.

Locke would be rolling over in his grave over the Church taking on the role of hospital business mogul and governor of the consciences of non-Catholics who were patients or employees therein.

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To: Lane3 who wrote (23499)3/19/2012 12:29:09 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 42113
I continue to be amazed at your microfocus on inane wording issues.

Locke might be rolling in his grave over the Catholic church running hospitals ... even though they don't in his homeland. He'd also be alarmed at the power of atheists and Muslims in his home country. The British government is now taking the position that the wearing of crosses in public should not be tolerated.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (23500)3/19/2012 1:35:03 PM
From: Lane3
   of 42113
He'd also be alarmed at the power of atheists and Muslims in his home country.

Locke was an enlightened thinker at the very beginning and he appreciated way back then the freedom of conscience of the individual. His knock on atheists was that their integrity couldn't be trusted because they don't have to face St. Peter, a belief held by many even today. But anyone who could have conjured up the notion of freedom of conscience so many hundreds of years ago would have by now come to the understanding that character doesn't necessarily depend on a divine carrot or stick and that plenty of believers exhibit poor character. There's no correlation there let alone inevitability, either way. I imagine he would have gotten over freethinkers by now. (Militant atheists, not so much.)

As for the Muslims, that would be our modern parallel to the Catholics back in his day.

I continue to be amazed at your microfocus on inane wording issues.

It's not about the words, themselves. Words represent objects, entities, and concepts. Words are the only way we have to express different concepts. They are our labels. I realize that, unlike the labeling of physical things, the concept is relatively high order. It shouldn't be beyond our reach, though, and labels are necessary if the concept is not to exist solely in our own heads.

As they say, poor minds discuss people, average minds discuss things, and great minds discuss ideas. Can't discuss ideas without word clarity.

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To: Lane3 who wrote (23501)3/20/2012 9:38:27 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 42113
I thought about whether I should bother responding to this. But here goes.

I see it as silly to elevate Locke as some sort of specially enlightened being, whose view would necessarily have evolved nearer to modern views if he were alive.

Locke's view on toleration and the limits to toleration were pretty clearly driven by Protestant (specifically Puritan) theology. It wasn't enough to be sprinkled as a child and be officiated by priests, one had to accept Christ to achieve salvation and such acceptance couldn't be compelled. Accordingly freedom to do that or not was necessary. His ideas on this weren't unique to him, though he prominently wrote about them. They were in the air in his time and place and he was a man of his time. So it's not like we had some super-enlightened heroic thinker who conceived something no one else agreed with or had thought of before and then others were struck by his brilliance into accepting brand new ideas.

But anyone who could have conjured up the notion of freedom of conscience so many hundreds of years ago would have by now come to the understanding

He didn't conjure up something new out of thin air, freedom of conscience was derived from his religious views, views that weren't unique to him. That his understanding would have evolved by now is wish fulfillment.

poor minds discuss people, average minds discuss things, and great minds discuss ideas. Can't discuss ideas without word clarity.

And sophists quibble and split rhetorical hairs.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (23502)3/20/2012 10:54:44 AM
From: Lane3
   of 42113
So it's not like we had some super-enlightened heroic thinker who conceived something no one else agreed with or had thought of before and then others were struck by his brilliance into accepting brand new ideas.

Did I claim that? I don't think so. Here's my context from the top of the discussion:

"the enlightenment was in its early stages when Locke wrote."

What about that suggests that he was the sole orchestrator of the enlightenment rather than a key player? Nothing, if you use my actual words rather than your inferences as the basis for your reaction.

He didn't conjure up something new out of thin air...

Perhaps "conjure up" wasn't the best choice of words since it has multiple connotations, although it should have been clear from context that I meant it in the sense of bringing to mind or imagining, not magically creating. I don't see how I could have anticipated, given the context of the discussion, that you would think I intended the latter.

And sophists quibble and split rhetorical hairs.

You call it sophism. I call it critical thinking. I guess the difference is a matter of degree and from one's own orientation along the continuum of mental exercise. And one's expectations regarding humanity. As a humanist, I feel disheartened at how indifferent people can be to the gift of the human mind. And at the ineffectiveness of the education system to instill appreciation for critical thinking. "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

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To: Lane3 who wrote (23503)3/20/2012 11:25:45 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 42113
A mind is a terrible thing to waste splitting rhetorical hairs.

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From: Brumar893/21/2012 8:00:57 AM
1 Recommendation   of 42113
Conservative Group Releases New Ad: Obama Throws Granny Off the Cliff (Video)

Finally, revenge for the video showing Paul Ryan pushing granny off a cliff.

Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 4:35 PM

American Doctors for Truth released a new Obamacare ad this week.
In the ad President Barack Obama throws Granny off the cliff rather than give her the health care she needs – just like Obamacare!

You can donate to this conservative group and help get the truth out about Obamacare here.

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To: TimF who wrote (22142)3/21/2012 9:24:24 AM
From: Peter Dierks
4 Recommendations   of 42113
Obama Still Lying About Mother’s Health Insurance Problem
Jonathan S. Tobin
03.19.2012 - 5:01 PM

Last summer, a brief stir was caused when a book published by New York Times reporter Janny Scott uncovered an uncomfortable fact about President Obama: He had been lying about his mother’s health insurance problems. During the 2008 campaign and throughout the subsequent debate over his signature health care legislation, the president used his mother’s experience as a cancer patient fighting to get coverage to pay for treatment for what her insurer said was a pre-existing condition as an emotional argument to sway skeptics. But as Scott discovered during the course of writing her biography of Anne Dunham, A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother, it turned out that her correspondence showed that “the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.”

At the time the White House chose not to dispute Ms. Scott’s findings. But apparently the Obama campaign thinks the public’s memory is mighty short. As Glenn Kessler writes today in the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column, the president’s much ballyhooed campaign biography film “The Road We’ve Traveled,” narrated by Tom Hanks repeats the same line that Scott debunked. Though the film’s script tries to avoid repeating the president’s false claims from 2008, as Kessler says, any reasonable person would infer from the movie that the president’s mother died because her insurance was denied.

As Kessler notes, the filmmakers were aware of the fact that the president had been caught in a lie about his mother’s insurance but were determined to get this story into the film without exactly repeating his mendacious statement:

We think there are few viewers of this film who would watch this sequence and conclude that Dunham was involved in anything but a fight over health-insurance coverage. … The filmmakers must have known they had a problem with this story or else they would have recounted it as Obama had done in the 2008 campaign, using phrases such as “pre-existing conditions,” “health insurance,” and “treatment.”

Instead, they arranged the quotes and images to leave a misleading impression of what really happened.

President Obama’s willingness to falsify the facts about a personal tragedy in order to make a political point speaks volumes about not only his cynicism but also his character. It’s important to remember that this is no misunderstanding but rather a bald-faced lie. Here’s what Obama said during one of his debates with Republican opponent John McCain:

For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.

It is true that Ms. Dunham did have a separate dispute about disability insurance but this had nothing to do with pre-existing conditions. Nor did it affect her fight for her life. And given that her son acted as her attorney, there’s no doubt he was not ignorant of the truth of the matter.

President Obama never apologized for his original lie. He just assumed, rightly it turns out, that even though this whopper was uncovered by the New York Times, neither that paper nor the rest of the liberal mainstream media would pursue the matter further as they almost certainly would (and should have) had his Republican predecessor been found out in a similar matter. Thus encouraged, he has now repeated the falsehood, albeit artfully recast in an attempt to avoid blame.

Having won election and then rammed his ObamaCare bill through Congress in part on the strength of this false argument, he has doubled down on it with the lie now coming from the lips of American’s favorite everyman, actor Tom Hanks as well as in edited clips of interviews with the president and his wife. Kessler gives the performance three out of a possible four Pinocchios on his scale of accuracy. This seems a bit generous but the point is that the story proves that Obama is willing to do and/or say anything, even lying about the death of his mother, in order to gain an advantage. That he thinks repeating the lie will help him get re-elected says a lot about what he thinks of the intelligence of the American people and the integrity of the press that failed to vet him the first time around.

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To: Lane3 who wrote (23503)3/22/2012 9:09:05 AM
From: Peter Dierks
4 Recommendations   of 42113
ObamaCare: The President's Monumental Failure
Obamacare, Two Years Later
It’s still a failure.
By Michael Tanner
March 21, 2012 4:00 A.M.

This week marks two years since of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and if the Obama administration has chosen to all but ignore the second anniversary of Obamacare, the rest of us should pause and reflect on just what a monumental failure of policy the health-care-reform law has been.

What’s more, it has been a failure on its own terms. After all, when health-care reform was passed, we were promised that it would do three things: 1) provide health-insurance coverage for all Americans; 2) reduce insurance costs for individuals, businesses, and government; and 3) increase the quality of health care and the value received for each dollar of health-care spending. At the same time, the president and the law’s supporters in Congress promised that the legislation would not increase the federal-budget deficit or unduly burden the economy. And it would do all these things while letting those of us who were happy with our current health insurance keep it unchanged. Two years in, we can see that none of these things is true.

For example, we now know that, contrary to claims made when the bill passed, the law will not come close to achieving universal coverage. In fact, as time goes by, it looks as if the bill will cover fewer and fewer people than advertised. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released last week, Obamacare will leave 27 million Americans uninsured by 2022. This represents an increase of 2–4 million uninsured over previous reports. Moreover, it should be noted that, of the 23 million Americans who will gain coverage under Obamacare, 17 million will not be covered by real insurance, but will simply be dumped into the Medicaid system, with all its problems of access and quality. Thus, only about 20 million Americans will receive actual insurance coverage under Obamacare. That’s certainly an improvement over the status quo, but it’s also a far cry from universal coverage — and not much bang for the buck, given Obamacare’s ever-rising cost.

At the same time, the legislation is a major failure when it comes to controlling costs. While we were once told that health-care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” we now know that Obamacare will actually increase U.S. health-care spending. This should come as no surprise: If you are going to provide more benefits to more people, it is going to cost you more money. The law contained few efforts to actually contain health-care costs, and the CBO now reports that many of the programs it did contain, such as disease management and care coordination, will not actually reduce costs. As the CBO noted, “in nearly every program involving disease management and care coordination, spending was either unchanged or increased relative to the spending that would have occurred in the absence of the program, when the fees paid to the participating organization were considered.”

This failure to control costs means that the law will add significantly to the already-crushing burden of government spending, taxes, and debt. According to the CBO, Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion by 2022. To be fair, some media outlets misreported this new estimate as a doubling of the law’s originally estimated cost of $940 billion. In reality, most of the increased cost estimate is the result, not of increased programmatic costs, but of an extra two years of implementation. Still, many observers warned at the time that the original $940 million estimate was misleading because it included only six years of actual expenditures, with the ten-year budget window. The new estimate is, therefore, a more accurate measure of how expensive this law will be. Yet even this estimate covers only eight years of implementation. And it leaves out more than $115 billion in important implementation costs, as well as costs of the so-called doc fix. It also double-counts Social Security taxes and Medicare savings. Some studies suggest a better estimate of Obamacare’s real ten-year cost could run as high as $2.7–3 trillion. And this does not even include the over $4.3 trillion in costs shifted to businesses, individuals, and state governments.

All this spending means that we will pay much more in debt and taxes. But we will also pay more in insurance premiums. Once upon a time, the president promised us that health-care reform would lower our insurance premiums by $2,500 per year. That claim has long since been abandoned. Insurance premiums are continuing to rise at record rates. And, while there are many factors driving premiums up, Obamacare itself is one of them. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, insurance premiums had been rising at roughly 5 percent per year pre-Obamacare. That jumped to 9 percent last year. And roughly half that four-percentage-point increase can be directly attributed to Obamacare. Even Jonathan Gruber of MIT, one of the architects of both Obamacare and Romneycare, now admits that many individuals will end up paying more for insurance than they would have without the reform — even after taking into account government subsidies — and that those increases will be substantial. According to Gruber, “after the application of tax subsidies, 59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.”

Finally, if the past two years should have taught us anything, it is that we may not be able to keep our current insurance, even if we are happy with it. The CBO suggests that as many as 20 million workers could lose their employer-provided health insurance as a result of Obamacare. Instead, they will be dumped into government-run insurance exchanges. And, the recent dust-up over insurance coverage for contraceptives is a clear illustration of how the government will now be designing insurance plans for all of us. Regardless of how one feels about the contraceptive mandate itself, it is just the tip of the iceberg as government mandates tell employers what insurance they must provide, and tell us what insurance we must buy, even if that insurance is more expensive, contains benefits we don’t want, or violates our consciences.

Next week, Obamacare will slouch its way to the Supreme Court. How the justices decide will be based on questions of constitutional law. Their decision will set a crucial precedent in setting the boundaries between government power and individual rights. But regardless of whether the Court upholds Obamacare or strikes it down, in whole or in part, we should understand that, simply as a matter of health-care reform, Obamacare is a costly and dangerous failure.

— Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

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