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Ruling to strike down health law puts GOP in a quandary

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Ruling to strike down health law puts GOP in a quandary

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge’s ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional has landed like a stink bomb among Republicans, who’ve seen the politics of health care flip as Americans increasingly value the overhaul’s core parts, including protections for pre-existing medical conditions and Medicaid for more low-income people.

While the decision by the Republican-appointed judge in Texas was sweeping, it has little immediate practical impact because the Affordable Care Act remains in place while the legal battle continues, possibly to the Supreme Court.

HealthCare.gov , the government’s site for signing up, was taking applications Saturday, the deadline in most states for enrolling for coverage next year, and those benefits will take effect as scheduled Jan. 1. Medicaid expansion will proceed in Virginia, one of the latest states to accept that option. Employers will still be required to cover the young adult children of workers, and Medicare recipients will still get discounted prescription drugs.

But Republicans, still stinging from their loss of the House in the midterm elections, are facing a fresh political quandary after U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said the entire 2010 health law was invalid.

Warnings about the Texas lawsuit were part of the political narrative behind Democrats’ electoral gains. Health care was the top issue for about one-fourth of voters in the November election, ahead of immigration and jobs and the economy, according to VoteCast, a nationwide survey for The Associated Press. Those most concerned with health care supported Democrats overwhelmingly.

In his ruling, O’Connor reasoned that the body of the law could not be surgically separated from its now-meaningless requirement for people to have health insurance.

“On the assumption that the Supreme Court upholds, we will get great, great health care for our people,” President Donald Trump told reporters during a visit Saturday to Arlington National Cemetery. “We’ll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I’m sure they want to do it also.”

Economist Gail Wilensky, who oversaw the Medicare program for President George H.W. Bush, said the state attorneys general from GOP strongholds who filed the lawsuit really weren’t very considerate of their fellow Republicans.

“The fact that they could cause their fellow Republicans harm did not seem to bother them,” said Wilensky, a critic of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

“The people who raised it are a bunch of guys who don’t have serious election issues, mostly from states where saber-rattling against the ACA is fine,” she added. “How many elections do you have to get battered before you find another issue?”

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, top policy adviser to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said he was struck by the relative silence from top Republicans after the ruling issued.

A prominent example: “The House was not party to this suit, and we are reviewing the ruling and its impact,” said AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Republicans are “going to have to figure out what to do,” Holtz-Eakin said. “If it’s invalidated by the courts, it’s not … ‘We’re going to do it our way.’ They’re going to have to get together with the Democrats in the House.”

The GOP’s failed effort last year to repeal the law showed there’s no consensus within the party itself.

Trump tweeted Friday night that “Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”

“Get it done!” he told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is expected to be speaker in January. But Trump had no plan of his own to offer in the 2017 “repeal and replace” debate.

Two top House Republicans issued diverging statements.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said “Obamacare is a broken law,” but added, “I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure America’s healthcare system works for all Americans.”

The third-ranking GOP leader, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, praised the judge’s ruling and made no mention of working with Democrats, whom he accused of “running a fear-mongering campaign” to win control of the House last month.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said that if the law is ultimately overturned, then members of Congress from both parties should start over, working together. He urged maintaining provisions such as protections for pre-existing medical conditions, no lifetime dollar limits on insurance coverage, and allowing young adults to stay on parental coverage until age 26.

Democrats were united in condemning the ruling.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said voters will remember. “What will stand is Republican ownership of such a harmful and disastrous lawsuit,” Schumer tweeted.

The next chapter in the legal case could take months to play out.

A coalition of Democratic state officials led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will appeal O’Connor’s decision, most likely to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.

“The legal merits of the case are frivolous,” said University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley. “The notion that the unconstitutionality of an unenforceable mandate somehow requires toppling the entire ACA is bonkers.” Bagley supports the law generally, but has been critical of how it has been put into effect.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gene Ralno

    December 15, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Looks like Abomo wrecked the car and it’s the GOP that will pull it from the ditch and keep the keys after all. We all remember when the worst president in history gloated about his fabulous accomplishments but only plopped his feet on the Oval Office desk. I wonder if he got his Jackson Park property yet.

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Democrats

So-called Red Flag laws: An unconstitutional solution to a non-existent problem

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So-called Red Flag laws An unconstitutional solution to a non-existent problem

As with most Leftist affronts to Liberty, unconstitutional gun confiscation SWATing or so-called ‘Red Flag’ laws are based on a lie. The usual contention is that these laws that eviscerate basic constitutional protections of due process are desperately needed because there are no other means to deal with people who are alleged to be a danger to themselves or others. Our previous article on the subject dealt with this outright falsehood. There are laws and procedures for involuntary civil commitments already on the books to handle these extreme situations. In the case of Florida and the Parkland mass murder, the “The Baker Act” was already in place, but the authorities failed to take action in time. Other states such as Colorado already have procedures in place for Mental Health Holds.

The existence of these laws have been ignored in the effort to ‘enhance’ the government’s ability to confiscate guns. Its just another case of the Left exploiting a tragedy to ‘Rahm’ through new laws to deprive the people of their means of self-defense.

Laws built on lies

Most articles on what is supposedly the urgent need for gun confiscation SWATing or ‘Red Flag’ laws will make vague allusions there are no other ways of handling these situations to the point of asserting that the government has never had the authority to deal with these situations.

State governments clearly have these abilities, but the existing laws protect the Constitutional rights of the accused without having the primary purpose of confiscating guns – an intolerable situation for the authoritarian Left that sees 120 million gun owners as a threat simply because they are gun owners.

Why violate one human right when several can be attacked at once?

Leftists seem to be in some perverse competition to see which one of them can conjure up new laws to attack Liberty in as many ways as possible. For them, it’s a more efficient form of tyranny with one law doing the work of several. What better way to suppress Liberty than to confiscate guns because of someone exercising their right of free speech while destroying due process protections?

The dangerous implications to the 1st Amendment

These laws will have devastating consequences for the natural right of free speech. It will only take one concerned person in the group of people who can initiate these actions to decide an innocent gun owner is guilty of ‘thoughtcrime’ to have their property confiscated. The odds are that the Left will also expand who can initiate these gun confiscation SWATings and streamline the process.

This will only serve to further stigmatize gun owners and suppress their right of free speech. Talk too much about the human right of self-defense and the law-abiding could experience a knock on the door at 5:00 AM with property confiscation conducted at gunpoint. One would then have a protracted legal battle on their hands to prove they are innocent after being treated as guilty with all manner of legal costs and red tape just to have their property returned.

The 2nd Amendment – the primary target

In their ongoing efforts to rid the nation of Liberty, the Left has decided that it should be illegal to defend oneself. Thus they have expended copious amounts of digital ink in demanding the death of the 2nd amendment and the confiscation of guns. They are perfectly willing to do this one innocent gun owner at a time if they have to. Never mind that the common sense human right of self-defense is the bedrock of the Bill or Rights. They have no use for the limitations of their power afforded by the Constitution, much less the Liberty conserving provisions of the Bill of Rights.

But wait, there’s more – The 4th and 5th amendments also on the chopping block

These laws turn the presumption of innocence on its head, forcing the victim of one of these gun confiscation raids to have to prove they aren’t guilty of thoughtcrime before they can get their property returned. Not to mention the ‘ex parte’ nature of these proceedings depriving innocent of the critical right of due process and the right to face one’s accuser before these confiscations take place. Lastly, there is the takings clause applicable to the private property being taken for public use since not many innocent gun owners will have the means for a protracted legal battle with the government, resulting in the loss of private property.

Why the focus on firearms?-

The existing laws for Involuntary Civil Commitment are not only superior in protecting everyone’s civil rights. They also serve to keep people from harm by other means. The unconstitutional practice of gun confiscation SWATing only addresses the issue of guns, leaving the supposed danger to society free to use alternative methods to cause harm.

If safety is the point of the so-called ‘Red Flag’ or ‘ERPO’ laws, then why aren’t their proponents concerned about this issue? If someone has their guns taken away suddenly by unconstitutional means, what’s to stop them from using explosives – flour, etc.- from carrying out their deadly deeds? Suppose an alleged ‘danger to society’ no longer has their guns, but still has a motorized vehicle or the ability to make edged weaponry. What about that circumstance?

Well, if it were really the case in that these people are concerned about other people’s welfare to the point of having them committed, they would have to follow the rule of law and afford the target their right of due process, etc. They wouldn’t be able to take someone’s means of self-defense just on the word of some other aggrieved party. It wouldn’t serve their desire for gun confiscation and gun confiscation alone, so it has no usefulness for them.

Things aren’t going according to plan for the Liberty Grabber Left

The progression for the Left has always been one of control, registration and then confiscation. They used to think that it was just a matter of time before Intergalactic Background Checks would be put in place, then registration would be required – both of which would do nothing to keep people safe or ‘cut down on the carnage’. It was all supposed to happen as it did in the UK and Australia. Intergalactic Background Checks, registration, then confiscation.

But that isn’t happening, despite the baseless polling to the contrary, everyone isn’t clamoring to have the government control their private property. Most of the Pro-Liberty see the danger in this control, with it leading to registration, followed by confiscation. Most on both sides have already admitted that Intergalactic Background Checks don’t work, that the dirty little secret being that these have no other purpose than as a stepping stones to confiscation.

The Takeaway

As others have indicated, Leftists aren’t anti-gun, they are anti-Liberty. They love to see them in the hands of the ‘politically correct’, but cannot deal with them in the hands of the right people.

Leftists desperately want to deprive the Pro-Liberty Right of their guns. These firearms represent a vitally important and final check on unlimited governmental power. It’s the primary bulwark against them attaining government power to attain their wondrous utopia they desire. They are so desperate to remove it that they will confiscate them one innocent person at a time, without a care for its effects on safety or Liberty.


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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Do college students support abortion or life?

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PragerU Do college students support abortion or life

Progressive indoctrination centers, better known as American universities, have been pushing students towards a leftist worldview for decades. One might start believing the mainstream media narrative that college students are overwhelmingly pro-abortion based solely on other things we’ve seen coming out of college campuses.

PragerU tackled the issue. While nothing in this video will shock anyone, it’s a good cross-section of perspectives that likely reflects what’s actually going on at universities like UCLA. Will Witt went there and found the standard answers on both sides of the board. While the majority were pro-abortion, two pro-life students were found. Their responses were clearly more thought through than the answers given by their pro-abortion counterparts.

This leads to my next article. I’m starting to believe that if people are given all the information about abortion, and more importantly about the life attributes of preborn babies, they’d be more willing to accept a pro-life perspective.

Of all the challenges facing America today, the abortion issue is the most directly tied to life and death, literally. A world without abortion can only be achieved when we’re willing to have the conversations with everyone regardless of their current stance.


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Culture and Religion

A glimmer of hope: Only 7% of millennials support taxpayer-funded abortion without restrictions

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A glimmer of hope Only 7 of millennials support taxpayer-funded abortion without restrictions

A new poll reveals that a very small minority of millennials are in favor of the stated Democratic platform on the issue of abortion. While a large chunk still believe that abortion should be legal, only 7% believe that it should be taxpayer-funded and without restrictions.

As with pretty much every poll ever conducted, the polling process used by Students for Life Institute for Pro-Life Advancement was done in a way that heavily promotes the idea of opposing abortion. But it’s encouraging to see that such a small percentage were essentially willing to identify in favor of the most radical abortion stance available to them.

According to Live Action:

Only 7% of Millennials want taxpayer-funded abortion without restrictions

https://www.liveaction.org/news/7-millennials-want-taxpayer-funded-abortion/Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said the survey shows that Millennials are rejecting labels and instead are focused on the reality of how political policies will affect them. “Especially as we talk with Millennials, who are often outside the political structure of Washington, D.C., the anti-abortion movement must be clear on what we are advancing and its impact on mothers, the preborn and taxpayers,” she said. “And for those elected officials who want to engage in life-affirming legislation, Millennial voters are listening when you compassionately address the specifics of life in law.”

My Take

At the heart of the issue, we are in the middle of a cultural battle. Most still look at abortion as a discussion between political and religious groups, but the reality is the issue comes down to an understanding by American society about whether it’s morally or ethically correct to condone abortions.

The real question is whether one believes a preborn baby is a person. Generally, those who see the fetus as a living person side against abortion while those who see it as a collection of cells favor abortion. This is why I’ve said before we really need to look at this issue through the lens of cultural implications rather than fight solely on the political and religious fronts.

The only way to end abortion on-demand in America is to make it perceived as the immoral practice that it is. We need to promote the righteousness of adoption, empower the family system, and remove the stigma associated with being pro-life.

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