Category Archives: Health Power

Government Surprised No One Wants To Play Their Silly Game

doctor_wallet_pickingHave your insurance exchanges in place by January 1st or else! Or else we’ll give you more time that is.

The White House says it will give states more time to comply with the new health care law after finding that many states lag in setting up markets where millions of Americans are expected to buy subsidized private health insurance.

[…]

The exchanges are a crucial element of President Obama’s health care law. Every state is supposed to have one by October, and most Americans will be required to have coverage, starting in January 2014. The federal government will run the exchange in any state that is unwilling or unable to do so. It now appears that federal officials will have the primary responsibility for running exchanges in at least half the states — far more than expected when the law was passed in 2010.

Hmmm…”far more than expected when the law was passed”. Gee, ya think? Even the states that are setting up the exchanges don’t want to, or they don’t want to do it the way the government wants it done. Rebecca D. Lockhart, Republican Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, is quoted in the article as saying, “I am opposed to using one dime of Utah state taxpayers’ dollars to comply with federal requirements for the exchange.”

Obamacare is about power and money. It has little to nothing to do with health. I find in humorous to see the administration dumbfounded by the notion that states don’t want to play their silly little game.

FTEs – Something about Obamacare that I understand, and I don’t think anyone’s going to like.

FTEs. I deal with them everyday, all day. They are the heart of my job. Not many people know what they are, but get ready, you’re going to be hearing a lot about them.

In my job I deal with people and insuring that the right number of people are working at the right times to get the job done. But, in fact, people are messy and inconvenient and don’t fit into neat boxes without complaining. They like to eat, they like to take breaks, they like to call out, come in late, and leave early. Because of that we don’t talk about needing 15 people, we talk about needing 15 FTEs – Full Time Equivalents. It may take 18, 20, or more “people” to make my 15 FTEs. Think of an FTE as a perfect employee. They never eat, are never late, and never do any of those other crazy things that people do.

So how does this apply to Obamacare you ask? Simple.

You’ve probably read the stories about employers planning to limit individual hours to a level that will keep them under the 30 hour per week cap that triggers Obamacare penalties. Of course that means they will have to hire more people to offer the same level of service or to accomplish the same amount of work.

“See, Mr./Ms. Bureaucrat, I don’t have 50 full-time employees, I only have 30 people working full-time and 40 working part-time.”

“Not so fast, evil rich person,” says Mr./Ms. Bureaucrat, “We’re on to your little game.”

An applicable large employer with respect to a calendar year is defined in section 4980H(c)(2) as an employer that employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. For purposes of determining whether an employer is an applicable large employer, full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), which are statutorily determined based on the hours of service of employees who are not full-time employees, are taken into account.

So, in our little example above, if the part-time workers were all limited to 20 hours/week the government is going to add up all those 20s and declare that you really have 30 full timers and 20 FTEs. Congratulations, you are still Obamahosed.

Businesses are going to try to get creative in their attempts to avoid the beast, but the beast is not going to be denied. I fully expect that every attempt to avoid, or even dampen the effects of Obamacare (ie remain profitable) is going to be adjudicated and/or regulated.

The short version, this is not a great time to be a business owner. It’s an even worse time to be an employee, even if it takes you and a friend to make one FTE.

Unconstitutional and Not Severable

NobamacareWhile it is surely true that the fight is not over, Judge Roger Vinson has found that a key provision in Obamacare, the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, is unconstitutional.

The US district judge said a key provision of the law known as the “individual mandate” exceeds Congress’s regulatory powers by requiring Americans to either purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine.

What has always seemed clear to me is how silly it would sound if you replace “Health Insurance” with any other product in the phrase “The government says you must buy __________.” Really. Try it. The government says you must buy tofu. The government says you must buy a Shamwow. The government says you must by a Glock 17. The stuttering argument from the left, “bu…bu…but it’s good for you!” failed to convince Judge Vinson of the law’s constitutionality. Aside from exploding liberal heads, you might make the argument that buying the Glock is even better for you. But, I digress.

I think that this quote from Judge Vinson is quite clear, and quite clearly antithetical to the left’s mindset.

“Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution.”

“Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution”? How quaint. Let’s hope this idea catches on.

Vinson went further than previous favorable decisions, saying that, “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.” My emphasis.

Of course, the fight isn’t over. The left has reacted by sticking their fingers in their ears and repeating, “Nah nah nah nah nah. We can’t hear you,” or something like that. Case in point, Harry Reid:

Healthcare reform is the law of the land and, now that Americans see its benefits, a majority of them oppose Republicans’ dangerous plans to repeal a law that put patients in control of their own healthcare.

I didn’t realize that marijuana was legal in Nevada.

This was, with out a doubt, a win for sanity and The Constitution. Don’t be fooled into thinking that will cause the left to leave this alone. We can’t afford to rest.

Imagine That

I you are surprised by this, you weren’t paying attention. Government report: New healthcare reform law could lead to higher prices, employers dropping coverage

A new government report from Rick Foster, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), finds that President Barack Obama’s new healthcare reform law would cost $828 billion over the next decade while saving $577 billion.

[…]

However, the report raises several warnings about the impact of healthcare reform.

Foster states, “The additional demand for health services could be difficult to meet initially with existing health resources and could lead to price increases, cost shifting, and/or changes in providers’ willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage.”

The report also suggests that some employers will stop offering their employees healthcare coverage benefits: “A number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the [Health] Exchanges. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their — and their employees’ — advantage to end their plans…”

How clearly do I need to put this? This is an awful bill. The American people never wanted it, and as they truly learn the details, want it even less. I guess what SanFranNan meant to say is that they needed to pass the bill to see what was in it, and how unbelievably bad it really is.

Allowing this bill to remain will hurt people and businesses, and we just can’t afford it. Taking action against this monstrosity should be a major focus of both the primaries and the November elections. We need to remove it before it kills us and our country.

I Will Not Comply

John Hood has written a very compelling article at the Carolina Journal that sums up the health control legislation’s end game. In discussing the legislative maneuvering, he makes this, I believe, accurate observation.

There is no conceivable way that the president or the leaders of Congress can legally enact their legislative monstrosity.

Instead, they are going to cheat.

And cheat they will. There’s no other way to describe it.

They are going to employ some kind of legislative trickery to pretend to pass a bill that, they now realize, will never become law through constitutional means. They may use the now-infamous Slaughter Rule, which would allow House members to claim to have voted to amend the objectionable Senate bill without actually having passed it through the House. Or they’ll come up with an even-zanier scheme, including a subsequent reconciliation process in the Senate designed to overcome the very filibuster they’ve used to block conservative bills and nominees in the past.

Here is the course of action John plans to follow in the aftermath of this mess, a plan with merit.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding. I’m not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees.

I will not comply. If the government tries to make me comply, I’ll sue. And I’ll win.

Please read the whole article. If you agree, there is a Facebook Page here.

Find The Pea

The phrase that keeps popping into my head whenever I read anything about the health system takeover bill is, “how stupid do they think we are?” The rhetorical answer, sadly, is, “pretty stupid.”

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

You don’t need to know a thing about the details of this bill to know just how terrible it must be. The fact that Democrats are running such a shell game to get the bill on the President’s desk should tell you all you need to know.

But, you have to admit, the Democrats aren’t being sneaky. In fact, they are being brutally honest in their disregard for the will of the people and contempt for the Constitution.

Pelosi reportedly told liberal bloggers Monday that “nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” and so she’s strongly considering the non-vote vote.

“I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill,” she said.

Did you catch that? “I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” Thank you San Fran Nan for telling us that you’re willing to ignore the clear wording of our Constitution.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.

The phone lines, fax lines, and email on Capitol Hill have been burning up. Let’s continue that today.

Four Bells, Nancy

Admiral Farragut Pelosi has a wonderful idea, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue’s massive role in this election year.

Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program “This Week.”
We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”

Let me be honest here, I do agree with the Speaker that the role of our elected representatives is to, “do the job for the American people” rather than get elected to Congress with the sole goal of being reelected to Congress. Where she is wrong, totally wrong, is that the direction she is heading is 180 degrees from what the American people want. She seems willing to ignore that even while acknowledging the political price.

Her comments to ABC, in the interview released Sunday, seemed to acknowledge the widely held view that Democrats will lose House seats this fall — maybe a lot. They now control the chamber 255 to 178, with two vacancies. Pelosi stopped well short of suggesting Democrats could lose their majority, but she called on members of her party to make a bold move on health care with no prospects of GOP help.

“Time is up,” she said. “We really have to go forth.”

Conservatives, and anyone who is opposed to the unaffordable cost and government control issues inherent in this plan, need to continue their opposition and education. The Speaker is wrong on this as well.

Pelosi told CNN that “in a matter of days” Democrats will have specific legislative language on health care to show to the public and to wavering lawmakers. She predicted voters will warm up to the bill once they understand its details.

“When we have a bill,” she said, “you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie. But you have to have a pie to sell.”

OK, I’m not sure where pie fits into all of this, but I am confident in this; rather than warming up to the bill once they understand the details, smart, aware Americans will run from this monstrosity when they understand the details. It is up to us to continue to educate and inform people about the economy ruining, choice killing, innovation suppressing details of the coming legislation.

The actual quote, according to WikiAnswers is: “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Crayton, go ahead! Joucett, full speed!” Thus the title to this post.

Cross posted at The Regiment.

The Unconstitutional Individual Mandate – Part II

Yesterday I wrote about the group of conservative leaders who were questioning the constitutionality of the health reform bill. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, along with Nevada’s John Ensign, has raised a Constitutional Point of Order on the Senate floor.

“I am incredibly concerned that the Democrats’ proposed individual mandate provision takes away too much freedom and choice from Americans across the country,” said Senator Ensign. “As an American, I felt the obligation to stand up for the individual freedom of every citizen to make their own decision on this issue. I don’t believe Congress has the legal authority to force this mandate on its citizens.”

“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”

As part of their reasoned objection to the bill, they rely on analysis from the Heritage Foundation.

This “personal responsibility” provision of the legislation, more accurately known as the “individual mandate” because it commands all individuals to enter into a contractual relationship with a private insurance company, takes congressional power and control to a striking new level. Its defenders have struggled to justify the mandate by analogizing it to existing federal laws and court decisions, but their efforts do not withstand serious scrutiny. An individual mandate to enter into a contract with or buy a particular product from a private party, with tax penalties to enforce it, is unprecedented– not just in scope but in kind–and unconstitutional as a matter of first principles and under any reasonable reading of judicial precedents.

Congress has a responsibility, pursuant to the oath of all Senators and Representatives, to determine the constitutionality of its own actions independently of how the Supreme Court has previously ruled or may rule in the future. But it is very unlikely that the Court would extend current constitutional doctrines, or devise new ones, to uphold this new and unprecedented claim of federal power.

There will be a vote on this later today. Tell your Senator that you expect them to uphold their constitutional oath and vote against this unconstitutional pile of garbage.