ObamaCare ObamaCare, more formally known as "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," will impose massive penalties on young workers, small businesses and others who choose not to buy expensive health insurance, beginning in 2014. ObamaCare is the biggest handout by liberals to a single interest group -- the health insurance industry -- in American history. Even a Democrat Senator recently admitted: ObamaCare "cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader." On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld ObamaCare -- by only one vote, 5-4 -- as being within the taxing power of the federal government. In essence, the Court said to Obama: you did raise taxes, and it's called ObamaCare. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) pointed out that there are no redeeming provisions of Obama's health care plan. AAPS observes that Obama's health care plan will significantly increase the overall cost of health care for a majority of United States citizens, plus reduce the quality of care that a free market system would otherwise provide. ObamaCare was passed by Congress on March 21, 2010, and signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on March 23. This law furthers the process of socializing the United States health care system begun with Medicare. The centerpiece of ObamaCare is the individual mandate, a provision that makes it mandatory for every citizen to purchase private health insurance, which is unprecedented in American history. Through legislative mandates, ObamaCare requires private citizens to purchase health insurance, involuntarily fund abortions, and pay for sex offenders to use Viagra under the threat of legal sanctions if they do not. The new law imposes penalties that will increase to 2.5% of one's income if he fails to purchase government-approved health insurance. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court voted 5–4 that, while Obamacare exceeded Congress’s authority under the commerce clause, the law was a permissible tax under the Constitution. The constitutionality of Obamacare was originally challenged under the theory that it exceeded the limitations of the commerce clause; more than 20 federal lawsuits have been filed against ObamaCare since President Barack Obama signed it into law. In total, 27 states have started or joined in a lawsuit against Obamacare. A federal judge ruled on 13 December 2010 that a central component of ObamaCare, the requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty, violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is quoted as saying the law "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power. Then on 31 January 2011 federal judge Roger Vinson ruled that as a result of the unconstitutionality of the "individual mandate" that requires people to buy insurance, the entire law must be declared void. The U.S. district judge declared ObamaCare unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause. In a footnote attached to the ruling, federal judge Roger Vinson cited Barack Obama's position in 2008 from an interview with CNN, when Obama stated that, "If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house." The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the invasive revenue generating device could produce as much as $36 billion over ten years. The fines are euphemistically dubbed "shared responsibility payments." Employers would be required to deduct the penalties from employees paychecks. The State of Massachusetts has had a similar program in place for several years, and many have elected to pay the penalties rather than purchase insurance, and many remain uninsured. ObamaCare will do more than detrimentally impact healthcare accessibility. According to the Heritage Foundation, Obama is intentionally sacrificing millions of jobs, at a time when unemployment is around 10%, with the Medicare surtax without any objective exception of increases in revenues. ObamaCare will cost 650,000 U.S. jobs if it is not repealed. The Congressional Budget Office says the figure would be more than 800,000 people would lose their jobs. On January 19, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 245-189 to repeal ObamaCare (56 percent to 44 percent). In an historic repudiation of an entitlement program that was only 10 months old, the House voted to overturn President Obama's health care takeover. Repealing the bill would eliminate $770 billion in the newly mandated tax increases, according to the CBO. The CBO released accounting data which shows that repealing the national health care law would reduce net government spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021; that number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. The Tea Party Movement firmly supports the proposed repeal of ObamaCare. On February 2, 2011, the U.S. Senate proceeded with a hearing to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and whether or not the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance under penalty of a fine is constitutional. The amendment to repeal ObamaCare failed in the Senate by a 51-47 vote. Basic Requirements Beginning in 2014, Americans will be required to buy government-approved, private health insurance or else pay a penalty. Health insurance companies will be required to spend on medical care at least 80% of the premium payments they receive from individual and small-group plans (and at least 85% from large group plans). The federal government will define what constitutes medical care. Immediate Impact in 2010 Creating temporary high-risk pool with subsidized premiums for certain people with pre- existing conditions. Imposing new taxes on some facilities, such as tanning parlors. Health insurers raised premiums for Americans as a direct result of President Obama's health care overhaul. Requirements for Insurance Companies Prohibit bans on pre-existing health conditions in children, lifetime and annual limits on expenses, and limits coverage exclusions of pre-existing health conditions in adults. Requires family policies to include children up to age 26. Does allow states to form compacts in order to allow the interstate sale of insurance. Requires direct access to obstetrical and gynecological care, which might include abortion. Creates (by 2014) health insurance exchanges or marketplaces that will be state-based and state-administered, but states can opt out of this if certain conditions are met; insurance can be sold within the exchange only if government-approved, but insurance can be sold outside of the exchange. Prohibits health plans from discriminating against providers, but plans are not required to contract with any provider. Requires health plans to develop politically correct language services, community outreach and cultural competency trainings. Employer Requirements Requires employers having more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance or pay a penalty. Employees having 25 or less full-time employees and average salaries of $50,000 or less can apply for tax credits to provide health insurance to their employees. Medicaid ObamaCare expands Medicaid (medical care for the poor) to everyone (under the Medicare age of 65) who has income less than 133% the federal poverty level. States must pay this enormous new burden, but federal government promises to reimburse costs of newly eligible patients under this program from 2014 to 2016. New Bureaucracy Establishes a new Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program with the goal of creating non-profit, member-run health insurance companies in every state Basis for Legal Challenges The basis for legal challenges against ObamaCare is predicated on the unconstitutionality of health care bill. ObamaCare includes an "individual responsibility requirement" compelling persons to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The legal justification for this requirement by Congress is the Commerce Clause: The individual responsibility requirement provided for in this section ... is commercial “ and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce, as a result of the effects described in paragraph (2). ... [Paragraph (2) states,] The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is purchased. ” Apparently uncertain that this would withstand legal scrutiny as a valid exercise of Commerce Clause authority, on March 21 (the same day as passage) the Joint Committee on Taxation released a 157-page "technical explanation" of the bill. This "explanation" grounded the justification for the bill in the tax authority of Congress, and nowhere mentioned commerce. As Professor Randy Barnett explained in an article on April 29, 2010 in the Wall Street Journal: The word "commerce" appeared nowhere. Instead, the personal mandate is dubbed an “ "Excise Tax on Individuals Without Essential Health Benefits Coverage." But while the enacted bill does impose excise taxes on "high cost," employer-sponsored insurance plans and "indoor tanning services," the statute never describes the regulatory "penalty" it imposes for violating the mandate as an "excise tax." It is expressly called a "penalty." ” Professor Barnett then explained that in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture (1922), "the Supreme Court struck down such a penalty saying, 'there comes a time in the extension of the penalizing features of the so-called tax when it loses its character as such and becomes a mere penalty with the characteristics of regulation and punishment.'" A subsequent Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Kahriger (1953), upheld a punitive tax on gambling based on an express statement in the law that Congress was exercising its power to tax. No such statement exists in ObamaCare. See also Sonzinsky v. U.S. (1937) ("Inquiry into the hidden motives which may move Congress to exercise a power constitutionally conferred upon it is beyond the competency of courts."). Professor Barnett noted that the penalty is not enforced as a tax in a customary manner, providing further evidence that ObamaCare is based on the Commerce Clause and not on any taxing authority. Requiring Americans to buy insurance "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers," wrote Judge Hudson, a George W. Bush appointee in the Eastern District of Virginia. The federal judge also wrote: At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or “ crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right ” to choose to participate. It has also been pointed out that because the penalty applies to inactivity, it is beyond the powers authorized by the Sixteenth Amendment. Since the federal judge decided the entire healthcare reform bill law was unconstitutional, states such as Alaska have decided not to implement the mandated reforms. This prompted Obama's Justice Department to appeal to Judge Vinson by claiming that states cannot ignore the new health care law while his ruling is being appealed. History of Mandatory Coverage One of the early proposals (a predecessor to the one enacted) would create a system to require adults (over age 19, U.S. citizens, not incarcerated) to enroll themselves and dependent children in a plan through the state-wide Health Help Agency (HHA) unless they provide evidence of enrollment or coverage through Medicare, a health insurance plan offered by the Department of Defense, an employee benefit plan through a former employer (i.e. retiree health plans), a qualified collective bargaining agreement, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Indian Health Service. There may by a religious exemption under this proposal. Each adult would have the responsibility to enroll each child in a plan. Dependent children include individuals up to age 24 claimed by their parents for deductions in the tax code. If an individual fails to purchase coverage and does not meet the exceptions or the religious exemption, then under Obamacare a financial penalty may be assessed for non-indigent individuals. History of Penalty for Failure to Purchase Coverage If an individual fails to purchase coverage and does not meet the exceptions or the religious exemption, then a financial penalty will be assessed for non-indigent individuals. Under an early proposal for mandatory care, the penalty was calculated by multiplying the number of uncovered months times the weighted average of the monthly premium for a plan in the person’s coverage class and coverage area, plus 15 percent. Fines were to be paid to the HHA of the State in which the person resides. That agency also may establish a procedure to waive the penalty if the penalty poses a hardship. Each State would determine appropriate mechanisms to enforce the requirement that individuals be enrolled. The law that was enacted replaced the state-based approach with a direct penalty to be paid to the United States. Privacy Rights Section 163 of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 would allow the government real-time access to a person's bank records - including direct access to bank accounts for electronic fund transfers. Rationed Care Doctors have said they anticipate more people waiting in the waiting-rooms, more phone calls, people upset because they want to be seen now. Doctors will be overbooked. As the health care system brings in more and more patients, the system will be overwhelmed. ObamaCare will be a tremendous burden for doctors in the United States. ObamaCare will shorten the amount of time Doctors have with each patient, and lengthen the amount of time patients will have to wait. Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu said that the current bill passed into law will create a scenario where the supply cannot meet the demand. Because the necessary health care reform needs are not included in ObamaCare, there are still no protections for physicians in the medical industry, and doctors are going into the profession to work harder to earn less. There will be an oversight board where the government looks at what should and shouldn't be given to patients, regardless of medical need. There is going to be rationing of care, according to Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu. Doctors have agreed there will be "rationed care" under ObamaCare. Disinformation If private citizens have disagreements, discussions, and dissections of ObamaCare, the proposed take over of the health care industry, whether its communicated through e-mail, websites, blogs, or even casual conversation the Obama administration has asked that these people be reported to the executive branch of the federal government. To counter any discussions related to the repeal of ObamaCare, or that are against the implementation of ObamaCare which will in turn destroy jobs and create more taxpayer debt, a Web page at whitehouse.gov entitled "Reality Check" has claimed that the president's program "would be fully paid for over 10 years, and it would not add one penny to the deficit." The CBO is mandated to prepare cost estimates and to show how individual legislative proposals would change spending or revenue levels under current law. A July 15 2009 letter from the CBO made this assessment, Enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficits of “ about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period." ” However, deceptively, CBO analysis of the House and Senate versions of the health care reform bills show that they would reduce the federal budget deficit by $109 billion and $81 billion respectively. In a 2010 report, HHS claimed a provision in the health-care law would extend the Medicare trust fund by 12 years. The Congressional Budget Office released a memo that said HHS’s math was more than a little off. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appearing on Capitol Hill for questioning admitted to double-counting in the Obamacare budget. Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania said “The same dollar can’t be used twice. This is the largest of the many budget gimmicks Democrats used to claim Obamacare would reduce the deficit.” Obama Administration health care plan and liberal elitism Barack Obama See also: Barack Obama and liberal elitism and Barack Obama and uncharitableness In 2007, when Obama was running for the office of President of the United States, he promised Americans "health care that is as good as the health care that I have as a member of Congress." However, recently when a newspaper reporter pressed Obama on whether he would commit to Americans having the same health care as congressmen, Obama repeatedly refused to commit to his previous promise of Americans having the same coverage as members of Congress President Obama merely claimed Americans would have health care coverage that would "largely match up" with what members of Congress have. President Obama also stated he is constantly followed around by a personal physician. The Obama administration's liberal elitism is not unusual when it comes to health care. For example, Belinda Stronach, a former Member of the Canadian Parliament, chose to have a surgical treatment in the United States rather than be treated in Canada for her condition (Canada has a socialized medicine system of health care). Congressman John Fleming has offered a legislative amendment that would require United States congressmen and senators to take the same health care plan they try to force on others (under proposed legislation they are curiously exempt). Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go to his website and sign his petition. Two-Tier Health Care System Socialist regimes reveal their true nature by the special treatment they give to their permanent ruling class; they deny such treatment for ordinary citizens of their country. The worst corruption in socialist regimes flows from that simple two-caste system. Obama’s medical takeover bill is a monstrosity in many ways, but the biggest danger comes from the separate treatment it reserves for the ruling left compared to us ordinary folks. The first example of ObamaCare's creation of a two-tier health care system was seen as millions of hardworking Americans struggle to make ends meet and watch as their health care costs increase due to provisions in ObamaCare. Senate staffers planned to participate in a two-day orgy of back massages, organic food tastings and milk mustache photos as part of a "health fair" for the staffers, who enjoy some of the best health care in the country. The Senate staffers will be treated to seated massages, herbal teas, polarity therapy, low-fat cheese samples and organic foods. A pharmacist and health coach will be available to speak to fair- goers about their medications, nutrition and healthy lifestyle questions. All of which is at the American taxpayers expense. Less than one year after ObamaCare was signed into law, 111 unions, companies, and organizations had received approval for Waiver of the Annual Limits Requirements of the PHS Act Section 2711. By December 7, 2010, the list of unions, companies, and insurers who have used the HHS waiver as an escape to avoid the costly, destructive consequences of Obamacare for their members and employees grew from 111 to 222. More than 50 unions have already received waivers. Moreover, three Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local chapters, including the Chicago chapter, whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, have received waivers from a provision in the Obamacare law. Treatment of Elders Some critics, including former Vice-Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, have accused Obama of planning on setting up "Death Panels" to judge the worthiness and "cost effectiveness" of keeping certain people alive, such as senior citizens. In spite of public outcry over death panels, the Obama administration is pressing forward to enact the same measures by bureaucratic regulations, called "end-of-life planning." Quoting research from the British Medical Journal, the Obama administration insists death panels are humane: "Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives." This "end-of-life" care is apparently to be doled out like pork from a salt barrel from the 200 or so "Elderly Care Centers" nationwide that will distribute strictly rationed medication to those in need until such time as the "committee" considers the patient to be too old. 200 centers in the country amounts to about 4 per state on average, though California, Massachusetts and Iowa were able to grab more funding from the Obama administration through a combination of political dealings and judicial activism The majority of Elderly Care Centers are located in urban areas of states; for example, the state of Kansas has only two Elderly Care Centers for their entire retired population and both are located in Topeka, far from the rural elderly who "need" government help the most. This may be a strategy to reduce the strain on the system by allowing a large portion of the elderly to die off "naturally," while still making a show of treating them in cities, where liberal voters tend to congregate. There have already been deaths attributed to doctors exercising newly-granted authority from these extra-judicial decision making bodies. A young girl, in liberal California of all places, was told that her liver transplant was not "worth it," because she wouldn't live long enough to justify the value of the organ. Though public outcry forced the doctors to change their minds after ten days, but those ten days were enough to kill an innocent child. Another woman, a nurse in Texas, was denied treatment for her breast cancer, purportedly because she was in middle age and was not worth the "investment." Under Obamacare, in every state taxpayer dollars originally slated for caring for the elderly in our communities have been transferred to a "Community Health" slush fund run by federal government-appointed bureaucrats. The purpose of this fund is to allow unscrupulous doctors and insurance companies, who are the acknowledged source of our high health costs, to charge ridiculous amounts of money for basic services, without leaving a paper trail or even committing a (legal) crime. Polls Taken from an AP poll, on January 17, 2011, Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, pointed out that when asked if voters would favor a law "that would require every American to have health insurance, or pay money to the government as a penalty if they do not, unless the person is very poor," 59 percent are opposed. When they actually hear what the health care reform is, they’re opposed to it," Conway “ said. ” One week after a federal district judge ruled in favor of 26 states and declared Obamacare to be unconstitutional, Rasmussen's poll of likely voters showed that Americans support its repeal by a margin of 21 percentage points (58 to 37 percent). Among independents, the margin in support of repeal was even higher: 27 points (63 to 36 percent). The pollsters also point out that many voters don't just want Obamacare repealed — they also want it replaced with a better system. On August 29, 2011, the Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters showed that 57% at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 46% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-seven percent (37%) at least somewhat oppose repeal, with 25% who are Strongly Opposed. According to the Kaiser Health Tracking poll, as reported on August 30, 2011, 44% of Americans have an unfavorable view of ObamaCare. Only 39% of those surveyed have a favorable view of the law. According to a monthly poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, as reported by The Hill on October 28, 2011, 51 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view while only 34 percent had a favorable impression of ObamaCare.
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