CAN KING V. BURWELL REVIVE THE ECONOMY?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss an under-reported potential benefit of a SCOTUS ruling against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell:

The Democrats and their media allies have predicted wrack and ruin if the Supreme Court rules against the government in King v. Burwell, a decision that would stop the IRS from issuing Obamacare subsidies through federal insurance exchanges in three-dozen states. They have wildly exaggerated the inconvenience that such a ruling would cause a tiny percentage of the population and ignored the benefits that it would provide tens of millions of Americans.

One of these benefits would be the removal of PPACA’s dead weight from an economy whose first quarter performance suggests that the anemic Obama recovery may be stalling.

During the first 3 months of 2015, Gross Domestic Product contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent. And, euphoric “news” stories about the government’s May jobs report notwithstanding, this year’s monthly job gains remain well below last year’s average … Even if “reform,” isn’t solely to blame, there can be little doubt that removing its mandates from the backs of employers and workers in three-quarters of the states would stimulate the national economy.

And a SCOTUS ruling against the Obama administration would eliminate those job-killing mandates. To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE OVERHEAD STUDY A TROJAN HORSE

In today’s American Spectator, I point out that the much-publicized Obamacare overhead story was done by a couple of single-payer zealots famous for their phony studies:

During the past few days the legacy media and the internet have been flooded with news articles, editorials and blog posts with titles like “Overhead costs exploding under ObamaCare.” Sadly, when liberal and conservative publications are equally enthusiastic about breaking a story, it usually means the latter have been duped into promoting progressive propaganda. This case is no exception. The basis for these reports is a “study” produced by a couple of notorious lefty data diddlers.

The con artists in question are single-payer zealots David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler.

This pair co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), whose mission is to get the U.S. on a single-payer health care system, and their research is uniformly biased against the free market. The purpose of their Health Affairs post is to pitch a single-payer program based on the Medicare model as a replacement for Obamacare when it finally collapses. The overhead angle is just a Trojan horse used to sneak their statist infomercial into the editorial offices of conservative news outlets.

Beware of single-payer shills bearing gifts. To read the rest of the column, click here.

READY FOR ANOTHER OBAMACARE PRICE HIKE?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss how the price of “free health care” is about to go up … again:

In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83% of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? ‘All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.’

Obamacare apologists suggest different causes, of course.

Jonathan Cohn writes, “One reason could be the normal and predictable competition among insurance plans jostling for market share.” Cohn’s grasp of economics is so tenuous that he doesn’t know insurers compete for market share by reducing premiums. He also connects the increases to anxiety about that bête noir of Obamacarians everywhere, King v. Burwell: “If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs … millions will drop their coverage because they will no longer be able to afford it.” Cohn evidently thinks insurers will respond by making insurance even less affordable.

The real reason for the proposed increases is that insurers now have real data on real Obamacare enrollees rather than implausible projections from the Obama administration.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

CAN DR. PRICE CURE GOP COWARDICE?

In today’s American Spectator, I wonder if Rep. Tom Price can coax congressional Republicans out from under the bed with his eminently sensible plan to replace Obamacare:

The Supreme Court is probably about to hand congressional Republicans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to eradicate the Obamacare contagion from the body politic, but the GOP has been typically timorous concerning whether to take advantage of this opportunity. A refreshing exception to this poltroonery has been Tom Price, Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Price, who practiced medicine in Atlanta for twenty years before coming to Congress, has not only introduced an eminently viable replacement for the imploding health care “reform” law, but has also said he won’t support proposed legislation that would temporarily extend Obamacare subsidies that SCOTUS deems illegal.

The Democrats and their allies in the media have waged a vigorous propaganda campaign designed to convince Republicans that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs will put them in dire political jeopardy.

A number of GOP “leaders” have bought this balderdash. Senator Ron Johnson, for example, has introduced legislation to perpetuate the controversial Obamacare subsidies through 2017. Price has more intestinal fortitude. When questioned about his view of that option late last week, he replied thus: ‘I don’t think that I would be supportive of continuing the subsidies beyond what the Court would allow.’ Oddly enough, this puts him on the same page as the Republican base. As Greg Sargent reports, ‘A new poll finds that a solid majority of GOP respondents want the Court to nix subsidies … an even larger majority of Republicans want Congress not to update the law if the Court rules that way.’

If the Supreme Court rules that the IRS can’t funnel subsidies through federal exchanges, Price wants to pull the plug on Obamacare and replace it with his own alternative, the Empowering Patients First Act.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

RAND PAUL’S OBAMACARE HYPOCRISY

In today’s American Spectator I discuss Rand Paul’s complicity in covering up the brazen fraud that permits the congressional exemption from Obamacare to continue:

In every speech he has made since announcing his presidential bid, Rand Paul has vowed to repeal Obamacare. At a Las Vegas rally he put it thus: ‘I will make it my mission to heal this nation … and to repeal every last bit of Obamacare!’ But if Paul’s behavior in the Senate is any guide, this is empty rhetoric. Shortly after his Vegas speech, he aided the Democrats in obstructing an investigation into falsified documents submitted to the D.C. Small Business Exchange so that members of Congress and their staffers could receive subsidies to which they aren’t legally entitled.

That’s right. The great healer who pledges to cure the Obamacare contagion voted to protect the perpetrators of the scam. What a phony this guy is. To read the rest of the column, click here.

REPUBLICANS AND RACE: A REALITY CHECK

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the ACTUAL record of the GOP on race as opposed to the propaganda put out by the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself):

Let’s begin at the beginning: The first Democrat president was Andrew Jackson, who was not merely pro-slavery. He personally owned 150 African-American slaves who worked his 1,000 acre cotton plantation. The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln. In addition to issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, he persuaded Congress to pass the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery throughout the U.S.

Sadly, Lincoln didn’t live to see the amendment become part of the Constitution because he was murdered by a Democrat before it was ratified by the requisite number of states.

After the failure of their attempt to preserve slavery by seceding from the Union, the Democrats … embarked on a campaign of domestic terror … Historian Eric Foner debunks a considerable amount of historical revisionism in A Short History of Reconstruction. For example, despite attempts by modern Democrats to associate the Republican Party with the KKK, Foner’s book contains this inconvenient fact: ‘The Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.’

And, so it went until Brown v. Board of Education, a ruling by SCOTUS when it was led by a Republican named Earl Warren. At this point in any comparison of the two parties, Democrats usually try to prevent further embarrassing revelations.

They claim that such contrasts are unfair because the two parties have somehow reversed their positions, leaving Democrats in possession of the moral high ground. According to this tale, all the racist Democrats defected to the GOP during the late 1960s. This is revisionist nonsense. In reality, virtually all of them remained Democrats, including those named above and other racist luminaries such as Russell Long, John Stennis, Herman Talmadge, Richard Russell, and Al Gore, Sr.

The best hope for African-Americans in Baltimore and other dysfunctional cities is to dump the Dems and put Republicans in charge of their local governments.To read the rest of the column, click here.

LET OBAMACARE’S SUBSIDY VICTIMS SUFFER

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the GOP’s dumb plan to let the Obama administration off the hook if SCOTUS rules that PPACA subsidies cannot be funneled through federal exchanges:

The GOP seems determined to reinforce its reputation as “the stupid party.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans plan to co-sponsor a piece of legislation introduced by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson that, as he recently admitted in the Wall Street Journal, would allow Obamacare subsidies issued through federal exchanges to continue for two more years—even if the Supreme Court declares them illegal.

This will not only mask the ill effects of the sloppily-written law, it will antagonize the voters who reinstated the GOP congressional majority last November, and provide yet more time for Obamacare to metastasize.

Senator Johnson and his co-sponsors have evidently fallen for the counterintuitive Democrat talking point, relentlessly repeated in the media, that a Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell will harm the GOP … This problem was created by incompetent Democrat lawmakers, compounded by the illegal distribution of subsidies by an out-of-control IRS, and complicated even further by the refusal of the Obama administration to warn vulnerable enrollees of their peril.

Republicans should not be so anxious to rush in and prevent the victims of this Democrat skulduggery from feeling the resultant pain. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHAT PART OF ‘NO’ DOES HHS NOT GET?

In the American Spectator I discuss the Obama administration’s continued attempts to bully exempt organizations into obeying the contraception mandate despite its Hobby Lobby defeat last year.

The Supreme Court has again thwarted the Obama administration’s illegal crusade to coerce employers into violating their religious convictions. Late last Wednesday, Associate Justice Samuel Alito stayed an order secured by the administration in a lower court that would have forced several Catholic organizations to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Despite a high-profile Supreme Court defeat last June in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, President Obama’s HHS bureaucrats and lawyers have continued their attempts to bully obviously exempt entities into obeying the mandate.

Justice Alito’s action constitutes the fifth time SCOTUS has been compelled to rein the government in.

The Court has found it necessary to issue similar orders protecting Little Sisters of the Poor, Wheaton College, the University of Notre Dame, and of course Hobby Lobby. This latest stay shields a number of organizations based in Pennsylvania, including charities, schools and social service operations associated with the Catholic dioceses of Erie and Pittsburg. It also requires the Obama administration’s lawyers to provide a justification to the Court, “on or before April 20,” for their threat to fine these institutions for refusing to acquiesce in the mandate.

Obama’s lawyers will have to explain how this group of organizations is any different from the others to which SCOTUS has already granted relief. To read the rest of the column, click here.

MATH IS HARD FOR OBAMACARIANS

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss misrepresentations of a new Urban Institute study by Obamacare apologists in the “news” media:

If you read the “reporting” of the legacy media on Obamacare, you will have noticed a spate of stories with titles like the following from CNBC: ‘Health spending post-Obamacare seen $2.5 trillion lower.’ This headline misrepresents a new study from the Urban Institute in a way that suggests the nation has saved enormous amounts of money thanks to the “Affordable Care Act.”

This is absurd, of course, but it highlights an underappreciated element of the health care reform debate—the adversarial relationship that exists between Obamacare’s partisans in the press and basic statistics.

This running gun battle between math and the media manifests itself in two ways, depending on the limitations of individual journalists: Most just can’t handle the numbers, and are thus easily taken in by specious studies and grifters like Jonathan Gruber. A far smaller group can manage the math but must ignore its implications in order to support ‘reform.’

A prominent member of the former cohort is Jonathan Cohn, who writes that the Urban Institute study is ‘one more reason’ to feel good about PPACA. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHO WILL BE BLAMED FOR KING V. BURWELL CHAOS?

In today’s American Spectator I suggest that the fallout from a SCOTUS ruling against the IRS in King v. Burwell won’t come down on the heads of the local officials who refused to set up state exchanges:

A Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell, according to conventional Beltway wisdom, will create serious political problems for governors and legislators in the 34 states that declined to set up Obamacare insurance exchanges. Most of these officials are Republicans, the thinking goes, and will thus be blamed for letting petty partisanship deprive their constituents of subsidies while plunging state insurance markets into chaos. Public wrath, we are told, will eventually force them to create PPACA exchanges.

However, a new voter survey conducted in the affected states suggests that this is very unlikely to occur.

According to the survey, published by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), the refusal of governors and state legislators to create Obamacare exchanges would not be seen by the electorate as the cause of any lost subsidies or disruptions in their insurance markets: “Instead, the vast majority of the voters are likely to blame Congress or the IRS.” This view is held by more than two-thirds of the electorate in the 34 states that would be impacted by the Supreme Court ruling.

The conventional Beltway wisdom regarding the political fallout from King v. Burwell is wrong. To read the rest of the column, click here.