OBAMACARE ISN’T GOING AWAY AS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest attempt by the “news” media to neutralize the damage Obamacare will do to the Democrats in the November midterms:

The Los Angeles Times assisted in the launch of this propaganda campaign early this month with a piece titled, “Obamacare loses some of its campaign punch for Republicans.” The evidence provided … in support of this claim consists primarily of a July study involving GOP advertising: “The percentage of broadcast television ads focused on Obamacare dipped in the spring, according to a study conducted by Kantar Media/CMAG.”

This unremarkable fact has since been gleefully reported by countless “news” outlets as if it constitutes a tectonic shift in the dynamics of the midterm election cycle.

The Washington Post parroted the party line thus: “Obamacare disappearing as major issue.” Salon breathlessly announced, “GOP surrenders on Obamacare.” Bloomberg chimed in with a piece titled, “Obamacare Losing Power as Campaign Weapon in Ad Battles.” The latter provides a helpful quote from a doubtlessly objective political science professor … who opines that Obamacare “isn’t the kind of issue it was.”

The voters didn’t get that memo. They revile the health care law more than ever. To read the rest of the column, click here.

TAVENNER ORDERED CMS SPOKESPERSON TO DELETE INCRIMINATING EMAILS

Last Monday I wrote a column in the American Spectator about Marilyn Tavenner’s convenient inability to produce some emails that had been subpoenaed by congressional investigators. The story was that she had inadvertently deleted them. Well, it would appear that the lady was lying like a carpet:

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner regarding a document uncovered by the committee in which Tavenner instructs the top CMS spokesperson to delete an email exchange between CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House.

She was actually dumb enough to put it in writing. And, remember, this is the woman who oversees the “Sunshine Act,” a provision of Obamacare that will allegedly keep your doctor honest. But hey, it takes a thief to catch a thief …. Right? As House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton put it:

Right on cue, when the going gets tough, the Obama administration proclaims it can’t find the documents. Time and again, the self proclaimed ‘most transparent administration’ has been anything but. And now we know that when HealthCare.gov was crashing, those in charge were hitting the delete button behind the scenes. What was the Obama administration trying to hide?

Hmm … That they’re incompetent, dishonest, arrogant? You pick your own adjective, but it’s pretty clear that we need to get to the polls in November and get rid of this criminal regime’s enablers in the Senate. The GOP is nothing to write home about, but at least they aren’t out-and-out crooks.

TAVENNER: TRANSPARENCY FOR THEE BUT NOT FOR ME

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the ironic fact that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails subpoenaed by Congress oversees Obamacare’s physician transparency program:

It has been widely reported that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails requested by congressional investigators is Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Far less coverage, however, has been devoted to the ironic fact that Tavenner’s agency administers the Physician Payment Sunshine Act … In other words, the very bureaucrat whose emails have conveniently gone missing oversees the agency tasked with keeping your doctor and his business associates honest.

The Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs and other medical products to report anything worth more than $10.00 that they have given a physician.

If a software vendor takes your doctor out to lunch and buys him a steak, it must be reported on the CMS “Open Payments” website. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to $1 million. And Tavenner has by no means played a passive role in the implementation of this Byzantine statute. Late last year, ignoring the law’s explicit exemption of medical textbooks and peer-reviewed journals, she issued an imperial decree to the effect that all such materials “must be reported either as ‘education’ or a ‘gift.’”

Tavenner’s high handed behavior regarding the Sunshine Act combined with the deletion of her emails suggests that she applies a different standard of honesty to herself than she imposes on the hoi polloi.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

DID BEN NELSON DOOM OBAMACARE?

In today’s American Spectator I discuss an interesting aspect of Halbig v. Burwell, the lawsuit that may kill Obamacare in 36 states.

During the oral arguments that preceded the recent appeals court ruling against the Obama administration in Halbig v. Burwell, an under-reported yet crucial discussion took place between two of the judges and counsel for the plaintiffs. Judge Harry T. Edwards pronounced himself confused as to why Congress would have concerned itself with what entity ultimately set up Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.

Judge A. Raymond Randolph and attorney Michael A. Carvin did their best to enlighten the befuddled jurist:

JUDGE EDWARDS: I’m trying to understand … who cares who sets up the exchange?

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson …

MR. CARVIN: The enactors of the law …

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson cared.

JUDGE EDWARDS: Who cares?

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson.

MR. CARVIN: They couldn’t get to 60… Ben Nelson said we are not going to have a Federally run exchange, we are going to implement basic principles of federalism and the states are going to run those exchanges or I don’t vote for it and it doesn’t get passed.

Is this the first time you’ve read about Nelson’s misgivings? Well, it would appear that you’re not alone.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE’S PROGNOSIS WORSENS

In today’s American Spectator I discuss why Obamacare is likely to go the way of the McCain-Feingold “reform” law.

A while back, I suggested in this space that Obamacare might go the way of McCain Feingold. That campaign finance “reform” law was not, you will recall, killed by a single lawsuit or act of Congress. Indeed, the general consensus at the end of 2003 was that McCain Feingold was in perfect health. Less than seven years later it was, for all intents and purposes, dead. It had succumbed to a long series of attacks by determined opponents who were convinced that it was unconstitutional. Much the same thing is obviously happening to PPACA.

It took more than 6 years to kill McCain’s assault on the 1st Amendment. Obamacare may not last that long.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

VIDEO: OCARE ARCHITECT MAKES FOOLS OF FOURTH CIRCUIT JUDGES

Last Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that PPACA means what it says concerning IRS subsidies from state and federal exchanges. The law says “premium assistance” can only flow through exchanges “established by the state.”

The 4th Circuit said the text of the law means something other than what it actually says. This shows up the 4th Circuit judges as partisan hacks. The speaker is Jonathan Gruber, the acknowledged “architect of Obamacare” (at minute 31):

If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.

He’s on a separate audio saying the same thing. So much for the “typo” meme.

H/T Reason

OBAMACARE SLOWLY SUCCUMBS TO ITS BIRTH DEFECTS

At PJ Media, I discuss the dismal long-term prospects for Obamacare as it inevitably heads to the Supreme Court (again) over illegal IRS subsidies:

The supporters of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act” are attempting to downplay their latest legal defeats by pretending that they are disappointing but inconsequential stumbles in the law’s long march toward the pantheon of nanny state entitlements. These people are whistling past the graveyard. In fact, the president’s “signature domestic achievement” is moribund. It’s a congressional crack baby afflicted with multiple organ failures caused by the Democrat addiction to corrupt bargains and unconstitutional edicts.

Yesterday’s D.C. appeals court ruling against the Obama administration unequivocally confirms that reality:

The plain text of the “reform” law says that federal tax credits and subsidies can only be issued via state-created insurance exchanges. Yet the IRS promulgated an imperial edict indicating that it would also grant them through federally created exchanges. This is what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down: “[T]he ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges ‘established by the State.”

Why did the Democrats limit premium assistance to policies bought through Obamacare exchanges established by a state? It was part of a corrupt bargain.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

KING BARACK REWRITES OBAMACARE… AGAIN

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss His Majesty’s latest illegal decree:

Obamacare’s supporters have long insisted that it is the “law of the land,” implicitly suggesting that it is immutable and permanent. Evidently, it hasn’t occurred to these people to mention that to their dear leader. His Majesty, Barack I, obviously thinks of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a collection of royal decrees, any one of which may be altered at his pleasure. Thus, in a proclamation issued last week through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, His Highness declared that all U.S. territories are now exempt from most of PPACA’s morass of rules and regulations.

Neither he nor any other official of the executive branch possesses the constitutional authority to issue such an exemption to the territories.In fact, one of His Majesty’s courtiers made that clear in a letter written a year ago.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

CAN SHAMELESS, BASELESS PROPAGANDA SAVE THE DEMOCRATS

In my latest column for the American Spectator, I discuss the pathetic attempt by the Democrats to save their Senate majority with preposterous distortions of the recent SCOTUS ruling on the HHS contraception mandate.

For most of 2014, the Democrats looked on the looming congressional elections with considerable dread. All of the standard indicators portend an unhappy outcome for their party … Then came last week’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

In that imminently sensible Supreme Court decision, the Democrats found an unhoped-for opportunity for shameless demagoguery.

Indulging their gift for Orwellian rhetoric, they declared that the Court had re-opened hostilities in the fabled “war on women.” They began depicting a ruling that merely precluded the government from forcing business owners to violate deeply held religious beliefs as an outrageous attack on the reproductive rights of women everywhere.

Carly Fiorina captured the essence of the Hobby Lobby ploy Sunday morning on CNN:

A lot of women, me included, are sick of the ‘war on women.’ And we saw it in spades on Monday after the Hobby Lobby case … The ‘war on women’ is shameless, baseless propaganda.”

Fiorina’s view will probably be shared by most of the voters in November. No matter how much they lie about Hobby Lobby, the Democrats are almost certainly going to take another midterm shellacking

To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHY SCOTUS RULED IN FAVOR OF HOBBY LOBBY

In today’s American Spectator I try to cut through the hysteria about Hobby Lobby’s victory in the Supreme Court, and explain why the justices ruled they way they did. This is actually a big win for everyone:

This morning’s Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby will doubtless precipitate a flood of stories from the establishment “news” media claiming that an entrenched cadre of conservative justices have dealt a grievous blow to the reproductive freedom of women and somehow endowed corporations with religious rights.

These reports should be ignored as so much hysterical nonsense.

What the Court actually said was that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) requires the government to provide closely held corporate objectors to Obamacare’s contraception mandate the same accommodation it already provides nonprofit organizations.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood definitely had a big win.

But the sky really isn’t falling. This is a good day for religious freedom. The Supreme Court has ruled that the owners of for-profit enterprises have basic rights like the rest of us. They don’t have to check their beliefs at the door before entering the family store.

That’s a good sign regarding the health of our justice system and for the future of the republic. In the long haul, this victory for the Green and Hahn families is even a victory for liberals

To read the rest of the column, click here.