Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama had a bad week. He cannot ignore the will of the people forever. Arrogance is catching up to him. People Power is speaking out.
“Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure aimed at nullifying the new federal health care law, becoming the first state in the nation where ordinary people made known their dismay over the issue at the ballot box.”
The Missouri voters’ intent was to protest a crucial element of President Obama’s health care law, the unconstitutional mandate that forces people to buy healthcare insurance or pay a penalty.
Missouri is a bellwether state in presidential elections. The vote was 71% for and 29% against the referendum. A significant 933,000 plus people voted.
"My constituents told me they felt like their voices had been ignored and they wanted Washington to hear them," Jane Cunningham, a state senator and Republican who had pressed for a vote. "It looks to me like they just picked up a megaphone."
Which state is next?
Arizona and Oklahoma have similar referendums on the November ballot, and Colorado may have one as well.
A Florida proposal was pulled off the November ballot last week by a state judge. The judgment will be challenged.
Idaho, Utah, Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana already have laws on the books approved by state legislatures opposing the healthcare reform bill. President Obama should listen to the will of the people.
President Obama’s administration had asked the judge, Henry E. Hudson of Federal District Court in Virginia to dismiss the challenge by Virginia’s attorney general, Ken T. Cuccinelli II to his healthcare reform act. Judge Hudson turned down President Obama’s request to dismiss last week.
“Mr. Cuccinelli had argued that Congress, in passing a measure that requires people to buy insurance or face a penalty, exceeded its limits under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and tax powers. Mr. Cuccinelli had also argued that the federal law violated a state law, the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which declares that residents cannot be forced to buy health insurance.”
Virginia is one of 21 states fighting the health care reform law. This is the first ruling by a federal court on the important question of whether states have standing to suit. Judge Hudson felt that the case had merit despite President Obama’s claim that the Virginia could not win on the basis of the interstate commerce clause.
“Judge Hudson wrote that the law “radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America.”
“The case, he wrote, “raises a host of complex constitutional issues”; the notion that the government’s authority could include “the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product” was new to the federal courts, the judge concluded, and so the state’s protest could not be dismissed outright.”
On July 16th President Obama and his administration sensing, Judge Henry Hudson would rule against the government, changed their argument. The administration now said this provision is not a mandate. It is a tax! Previously, President Obama insisted it was not a tax but a mandate.
The judge’s opinion does not address the merits of the health care law. It might not have a direct effect on the other state challenges. Then again, it might. I do not believe federal judges will bend to President Obama’s administration’s pressure.
The Medicare Chief Actuary Alternative Report: Richard Foster
After the Medicare Trustees Actuary Report was published, Richard Foster the Chief Actuary for Medicare warned “the projections in a Medicare Trustees Report “unreasonable” and “implausible.”
He encouraged everyone to ignore the report and view instead an “Illustrative Alternative” report. He said, “The projections shown in the report do not represent the “best estimate” of actual future Medicare expenditures.”
“Noting that the formal Trustees report assumes Medicare physician fees will be reduced by 30% over the next three years, Chief Actuary Richard Foster says that’s “implausible.” In addition, the Trustees report assumes Medicare fees will fall below Medicaid rates by 2019 and fall further and further behind private payment rates in future years, as the following chart shows:”
In his April 22 report, Richard Foster laid out the implausible aspects of the math. President Obama has used funny arithmetic to get his healthcare reform bill passed and budget neutral. He said;
- Cuts in Medicare spending of $575 billion over the next decade.
- 7½ million members of Medicare Advantage plans to lose their coverage and cause another 7½ million to face higher premiums and benefit cuts.
- About one in seven facilities — hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospices — to become unprofitable and possibly drop out of Medicare altogether.
- Many doctors to quit seeing Medicare patients entirely.
The public no longer believes President Obama and his projections.They understand his motives..
4. The 1099 Repeal Fiasco.
Another of President Obama tricks failed last week. The House succeeded in voting to repeal another ObamaCare mandate. The target was an ObamaCare footnote that could wreak havoc with more than 30 million small businesses.
Nancy Pelosi rigged the vote so that the mandate repeal failed, even though repeal got a majority of votes. The mandate was the 1099 reporting detail snuck in by Democrats. It required companies to track and submit to the IRS all business-to-business transactions exceeding $600 annually.
The Democrats claimed the 1099 clause closed a tax gap that permits unreported income. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was terrified that rank-and-file Democrats would defect. She pulled their entire bill. She then reintroduced the bill a few hours later repealing the 1099 burden but adding additional taxes to the bill. Democrats can now say they voted to repeal the 1099 burden. However, effective tax on small business is unchanged.
ericans are tired of these tricks. Americans are starting to connect the dots. The implications of connected facts reveal that Democrats want centralized control of our lives and freedoms.
People Power can be powerful. The people vote for these congress men and women. People Power is saying you better protect our interests and not your vested interests or we will kick you out of office.
It is important that the people do not get tired of speaking out. People Power can limit President Obama’s policy and his abuse of power.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.