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Category : News: Healthcare

Black Doctor Who Performed First Surgery to Separate Siamese Twins Opposes Obamacare

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Published on: July 7, 2012

Dr. Ben Carson, who has been chronicled in Ebony and Jet for at least two decades for his achievements as a neurosurgeon, including his successful 1987 surgery to separate siamese twins, is also opposed to Obamacare.

In an interview with Black Christian News, Carson previously said, “The government is big enough and intrusive enough as it is. If you go back and read the ideals the Founders had, you’ll see they never intended for the government to grow so large. They said it is critical, if the United States is to maintain itself as a free and prosperous nation, that the people be well-informed and active in government. We’re becoming a nation for, of, and by the government. As that continues, we become less of a “can-do” nation and more of a “what can you do for me?” nation.”

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Dutch Assisted Suicide Policy Should Serve as a Grisly Warning

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Published on: July 7, 2012

In Canada, a judge in British Columbia has just struck down the law banning assisted suicide. Gloria Taylor, along with several other plaintiffs, filed suit claiming that the seriously ill should have the right to take their lives with the assistance of a doctor in Carter v. Canada. And it’s easy to sympathize with them. It’s easy to look at people suffering through a terminal illness and think that it’s cruel to deprive them of a quick, painless death as opposed to a long, drawn-out, painful one. But if you need to understand why both assisted suicide and euthanasia need to be illegal, you need only look to the Netherlands. Canadian columnist Anne McTavish explains:

We don’t need to speculate. The Netherlands has already gone down this slippery slope and provided the grizzly statistics that should stop us going down the same path.

A 1973 court decision in the Netherlands started the process. Doctors and lawyers set strict guidelines to restrict when doctors could assist a terminally ill patient who wanted to commit suicide, and to protect a terminally ill patient who didn’t want to be euthanized (i.e., killed).

“In only 23 years, Dutch doctors have gone from being permitted to kill the terminally ill who ask for it, to killing the chronically ill who ask for it, to killing newborn babies in their cribs because they have birth defects, even though by definition they cannot ask for it. Dutch doctors also engage in involuntary euthanasia without significant legal consequence, even though such activity is officially prohibited,” writes Wesley J. Smith in Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder.

Guidelines won’t protect us, if the Dutch experience tells us anything. For example, a key guideline is that a person should not be euthanized due to the expense of keeping them alive. In a television documentary, one man said he was only agreeing to be euthanized because he didn’t want to be a financial burden on his family. He was killed.

After the guidelines had been in place for 23 years, doctors were surveyed about people they euthanized. Incidentally, doctors later admitted they had under-reported euthanasia cases, so the following statistics are actually less than what really happened.

In 1990, 130,000 people died in the Netherlands: 2,300 people asked doctors to kill them; 400 asked doctors to provide them with the means to kill themselves; 8,100 died when doctors deliberately gave them an overdose of pain medication to kill them (for which 4,941 patients didn’t consent); 1,040 people died when doctors euthanized them without their knowledge or consent (72 per cent of those never having given any indication they would want their lives terminated).

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In first election bus tour, defiant Obama touts his health care law

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Published on: July 6, 2012

President Barack Obama promised cheering supporters in Ohio that he would “make no apologies” for his overhaul of health care and mocked rival Mitt Romney’s apparent change of heart on his own approach in Massachusetts.

“When you hear all these folks saying, ‘Oh, no, no, this is a tax, this is a burden on middle-class families,’ let me tell you, we know because the guy I’m running against tried this in Massachusetts and it’s working just fine–even though now he denies it,” Obama told about 300 supporters at Dobbins Elementary School in the village of Poland. Read More…

How to Defeat and Replace Obamacare Now

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Published on: July 6, 2012

Original Article - How to Defeat and Replace Obamacare Now

There is life after Roberts’ double cross and Obama’s latest flurry of lies.

Whether Left, Right, Independent, or Confused, no one who is not bought and paid for as part of the Obama political machine is going to like the Obama Double Cross of the American people on Obamacare. Before Obamacare was passed, Obama told the American people over and over, even on national TV, that the individual mandate was not a tax. After Obamacare was passed, Obama sent his lawyers into courts all over the country to argue that the individual mandate is constitutional precisely because it is a tax…

thumbFrustrated Megyn Kelly Calls Out Guest Who Refuses to Address Evidence of Obama’s Flip-Flop on Obamacare ‘Tax’

Walter E. Williams: States should nullify Obamacare — won’t lead to military action against states [AUDIO]

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Published on: July 6, 2012

BOEHNER: Congressional Republicans resolved to repeal Obamacare

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Published on: July 6, 2012

Original Article - BOEHNER: Congressional Republicans resolved to repeal Obamacare

There’s no doubt that the president’s health care law is hurting our economy. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Obamacare, the president’s law was driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. The court’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety, which House Republicans stand ready to do.

After enacting his massive “stimulus” spending bill in 2009, President Obama spent more than a year trying to push the health care law through Congress over the objections of the American people, who wanted the president to focus instead on policies that would remove obstacles to private-sector job creation. During that time, the president angrily denied that the penalty the health law would impose on Americans who fail to comply with the mandate was a tax, dismissing the charge as politically-driven rhetoric from his critics…

Rasmussen: Healthcare Now #2 National Issue

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Published on: July 5, 2012

The economy remains most important to voters on a list of 10 key issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports, but interest in health care is back up following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Obama’s health care law.

New national telephone surveying finds that 74% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the economy as Very Important to how they will vote in the next election. Sixty-seven percent (67%) rate health care as a Very Important issue and 64% say the same about government ethics and corruption. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Surveys of 1,000 Likely Voters each were conducted on June 27-28 and July 1-2, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Officials have already drafted 13,000 pages of rules & regs for health care law

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Published on: July 5, 2012

Original Article - Officials have already drafted 13,000 pages of rules & regs for health care law

…And they’re still going strong.

Now that they have the Supreme Court’s go-ahead, federal and state officials are looking to begin the implementation of the PPACA, meaning that it’s time to start adding to the already 13,000 pages-worth of the law’s directives — an endeavor that’s going to cost us all a lot of money and resources. I don’t know how the people actually writing the darn things aren’t daunted, but the thought of this many bureaucrats, trying to administer the minutiae of so many rules and regulations, on behalf of the entire country, has me shakin’ in my boots (h/t Gateway Pundit):

The Health and Human Services Department “was given a billion dollars implementation money,” Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana said. “That money is gone already on additional bureaucrats and IT programs, computerization for the implementation.”

“Oh boy,” Stan Dorn of the Urban Institute said. “HHS has a huge amount of work to do and the states do, too. There will be new health insurance marketplaces in every state in the country, places you can go online, compare health plans.” …

“It’s a delegation of extensive authority from Congress to the Department of Health and Human Services and a lot of boards and commissions and bureaus throughout the bureaucracy,” Matt Spalding of the Heritage Foundation said. “We counted about 180 or so.” …

“They are asking for several hundred new employees,” Dorn said. “You have rules you need to write and you need lawyers, so there are lots of things you need to do when you are standing up a new enterprise.” …

Did Roberts write both Obamacare decisions?

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Published on: July 4, 2012

Original Article - Did Roberts write both Obamacare decisions?

This is getting ridiculous. John Roberts appears to be a one man constitutional wrecking crew.

Salon:

This weekend CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote in regard to upholding the bulk of the Affordable Care Act. Crawford reports that Roberts voted with the rest of the court’s conservatives to strike down the individual mandate, but in the course of drafting his opinion changed his mind, and ended up siding with the court’s four liberals to uphold almost all of the law.

In response, according to Crawford’s story, the four conservatives then independently crafted a highly unusual joint dissent. If so, this would represent a powerful symbolic gesture: Joint Supreme Court opinions are rare. Normally a justice authors an individual opinion, which other justices may choose to join. Jointly authored opinions are reserved for momentous statements of principle, such as in Cooper v. Aaron, when all nine justices jointly authored an opinion declaring that the court’s anti-segregation decisions were binding on state governments that disagreed with the court’s constitutional interpretations.

It’s notable that Crawford’s sources insist on the claim that the joint dissent was authored specifically in response to Roberts’ majority opinion, without any participation from him at any point in the drafting process that created it. It would, after all, be fairly preposterous for the four dissenters to jointly “author” an opinion that was in large part written originally by the author of the majority opinion to which the joint dissenters were now so flamboyantly objecting.

Yet that, I am told by a source within the court with direct knowledge of the drafting process, is exactly what happened. My source insists that “most of the material in the first three quarters of the joint dissent was drafted in Chief Justice Roberts’ chambers in April and May.” Only the last portion of what eventually became the joint dissent was drafted without any participation by the chief justice.

Read the rest of the article. It makes perfect sense – or, at least it explains what many legal experts were commenting on at the time. The dissent didn’t mention Roberts’ decision for the first three quarters of the ruling – an unprecedented occurrence.

I don’t know if this is true. But if it is, Roberts has accomplished exactly the opposite of what he set out to do when he voted the way he did; he has destroyed the integrity of the court.

House to prohibit IRS from implementing healthcare law

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Published on: July 4, 2012

Original Article - House to prohibit IRS from implementing healthcare law

The House as early as next week will pass legislation prohibiting the IRS from receiving any money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the 2010 healthcare reform law.
Passage of the financial services spending bill is especially timely in light of last week’s Supreme Court ruling that penalties the government can impose under the law against people who refuse to buy health insurance can be seen as a tax, because it is enforced like a tax.

That finding allowed the individual mandate to stand, and Republicans have already started reorienting their attacks against the law based on the knowledge that it only remains in place because it is an allowable tax.

The bill would have to get through the Senate and be signed by President Obama to become law.

The House will take up the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act sometime in July, and possibly next week when it returns from the July 4 recess. (The rule governing debate on the bill was already approved last week.) While the Obama administration requested another $1 billion so the IRS can implement the healthcare law, the bill, H.R. 6020, does not give any new money to the IRS.

Additionally, it “prohibits the IRS from receiving transfers from the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” according to report language accompanying the bill from the House Appropriations Committee.

The report notes that in 2010, HHS allocated $20 million to the IRS for enforcing the healthcare law “without the Committee’s knowledge.” It also notes that the IRS received $168 million from HHS to implement the law in 2011, and plans to get another $322 million from HHS in 2012.

“The Committee prohibits further such transfers during fiscal year 2013 in section 106 of this Act,” the report states.

The bill would spend a total of $21.5 billion on the IRS, Treasury Department and other related agencies, about 1.7 percent less than the current funding level. The bill increases funding in some areas, such as Small Business Administration business and disaster loans, public safety and education in Washington D.C., and the Treasury Department’s anti-terrorism financing programs.

To make up for these increases, the bill makes cuts in several areas, including the executive office of the president.

“The committee is disappointed that the administration’s request did not propose additional reductions for the EOP salaries and expenses accounts,” the bill report says. “The committee believes that the chief executive of any organization experiencing a fiscal crisis should share in the funding sacrifice along with the rest of the organization.
“Therefore, the committee has reduced the salaries and expenses appropriation for each organization under this heading,” it adds.

Specifically, the bill would fund salaries in the executive office of the president at $650 million, down $9 million from the current level. White House salaries and expenses would be cut $2.8 million, and funding for costs related to keeping up the White House would be cut $671,000.

Other executive branch agencies would receive token cuts as well, while the Office of Management and Budget would see funding drop nearly $9 million, to $80.5 million.
The bill would also take a swing at the General Services Administration (GSA), which faced harsh criticism this year for a lavish, 2010 conference in which more than $800,000 was spent. Under the bill, the GSA would face more oversight related to its travel budget, and would be banned from holding conferences that don’t comply with relevant laws and regulations.

The GSA would also have to submit quarterly spending reports to Congress, and face restrictions in monetary awards it gives to employees.

Salon: Roberts wrote most of the conservative dissent in the ObamaCare case too

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Published on: July 3, 2012

Original Article – Salon: Roberts wrote most of the conservative dissent in the ObamaCare case too

I wondered about this on the afternoon of the decision. It stands to reason: If, as most everyone believes, Roberts initially assigned the majority opinion to himself and then ended up flipping at the eleventh hour, the four conservative dissenters would have had to scramble to come up with an opinion of their own while handling the rest of their caseload. (Roberts authored no other opinions over the final two months of the term so he and his clerks could conceivably have drafted something new from scratch late in the process.) The easiest way to do that would be to salvage Roberts’s orphaned majority opinion — or, at least, the bits he wasn’t keeping for himself — and re-work as necessary. Maybe they took the sections he discarded on the tax power and severability, tacked on their own section rejecting the Commerce Clause argument, and called that a dissent. Using Roberts’s own words against him would have been a pointed rebuke to him for flipping, even if the Court and its clerks are the only ones with enough background on this process to fully appreciate it.

My source insists that “most of the material in the first three quarters of the joint dissent was drafted in Chief Justice Roberts’ chambers in April and May.” Only the last portion of what eventually became the joint dissent was drafted without any participation by the chief justice.

This source insists that the claim [in Jan Crawford's CBS story] that the joint dissent was drafted from scratch in June is flatly untrue. Furthermore, the source characterizes claims by Crawford’s sources that “the fact that the joint dissent doesn’t mention [sic] Roberts’ majority … was a signal the conservatives no longer wished to engage in debate with him” as “pure propagandistic spin,” meant to explain away the awkward fact that while the first 46 pages of the joint dissent never even mention Roberts’ opinion for the court (this is surely the first time in the court’s history that a dissent has gone on for 13,000 words before getting around to mentioning that it is, in fact, dissenting), the last 19 pages do so repeatedly.

That’s lefty law prof Paul Campos writing for lefty web zine Salon. Did a mischievous liberal clerk leak to them in order to embarrass the conservative dissenters? Could be, except that … this is more embarrassing to Roberts than to Scalia and company. The idea that his words are on both sides of the Court’s decision makes the outcome seem that much more bizarre and his supposedly principled change of heart seem that much more dubious. He’s talking, almost literally, out of both sides of his mouth. It’s a shot at his credibility and the Court’s institutional legitimacy, which was supposedly the basis for his decision, more than it is a shot at the conservative dissenters. Why would a liberal clerk want to sandbag him for siding with them on the biggest case they’ll ever rule on?

Then again, if this is true, why wouldn’t the (presumably conservative) Court sources who leaked to Jan Crawford have simply said so? Obviously, they didn’t borrow his discarded opinion because they’re lazy. They borrowed it because they were pressed for time and/or because they wanted to make a point — or, just maybe, because they held out hope to the bitter end that he’d switch back and join them in striking down the law. By keeping the dissent intact as a potential majority opinion rather than larding it up with language lashing out at Roberts, the four conservatives made it as easy as possible for him to reconsider and climb back aboard right down to the wire. To my mind, that’s the best explanation for the tone of the opinion, the inclusion of the otherwise gratuitous severability section, and the lack of any references to Roberts’s opinion. They weren’t working on a dissent, they were working on a shadow majority, ready to go right out of the box in case Roberts came back into the fold. (Crawford notes that Kennedy was lobbying Roberts up to the last minute, in fact.) That doesn’t settle the issue of who authored most of the eventual dissent — maybe it was mostly Roberts’s draft or maybe it really was co-drafted by Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito with an eye to winning Roberts back over — but it settles most everything else.

Here’s Krauthammer accusing Roberts of letting the left intimidate him. Exit question via TNR: Were Thomas and Kennedy the CBS leakers?

Republican Establishment Will Not Repeal Obamacare

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Published on: July 3, 2012

Original Article - Republican Establishment Will Not Repeal Obamacare

Mitch McConnell is in the headlines again for saying the odds are against those wanting repeal of Obamacare. “[I]t’s a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place,” he said in part.

For once, let’s give McConnell the benefit of the doubt and suggest he is talking about the present Congress, not the next Congress, though in actual context he seems to mean both. Let’s be charitable.

The truth is, I don’t expect Republicans in Congress to be fully committed to repeal next year even if they have Mitt Romney in the White House, a Republican Senate, and hold the House.

We’ve played this game before. And yes, we are being played.

We are being played by a group of Republican leaders who have consistently shown in the past few years to lack the testicular fortitude to do what’s right when it counts — they are the John Robertses of Congress.

Republicans, at this point, are all about drawing lines in the sand against the Democrats only to wipe them away with their feet.

The debt ceiling? Cave.

The continuing resolution? Cave.

Republicans have excelled at theater and not much else. “Oh, pshaw!” you say. “They only control one house of one branch of the federal government. What could they do?”

In February, Mitch McConnell had the option of bringing Jim DeMint’s amendment to the floor of the Senate to force another vote on repeal. He wouldn’t. Why? He didn’t want to make Harry Reid mad.

When the blowback was so great after that news leaked, Americans for Limited Government and other groups demanded McConnell get in line or get out of the way. He folded like a cheap suit and in so doing promised March would be a month of fighting about repeal.

Nothing happened.

So now McConnell says he will force the issue before the election and then make repeal of Obamacare priority number one if the GOP takes back the Senate, but the odds are against full repeal. This is code for Republican leaders, timid as they are and driven by polling, keeping parts of Obamacare instead of doing full repeal and starting over.

The truth is many Republicans like parts of Obamacare. The truth is a number of Senate Republicans were willing to vote back in December of 2009 that the individual mandate was unconstitutional while keeping their names on healthcare legislation by Senator Bob Bennett that had an individual mandate.

The truth is with Republican leaders like we have in both Houses, who needs the Democrats? It was not just Democrats responsible for $16 trillion in debt. Even now, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and the rest are trying to find ways to weasel out of paying down the debt and bring back earmarks.

When Republicans won’t fight on their ground, they just won’t fight. John Boehner has to have David Winston, a pollster, tell him up from down, and Mitch McConnell only does WWE fights — lots of theater, but a predetermined outcome negotiated in advance with Harry Reid that can get both bases fired up while doing as little to advance freedom as possible. Maybe Linda McMahon in the Senate will do McConnell some good.

There is a truth that hurts Mitch McConnell. The truth is, Jim DeMint has now been joined by Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and others. The truth is they see what must be done. Send them men like Ted Cruz to help force McConnell’s hand.

And then there is this. Jim DeMint is parting ways with adding to the Senate Conservatives Fund. In its place will be a Super PAC called Senate Conservatives Action. Unlike DeMint’s prior effort, this Super PAC can take unlimited money. Conservatives with cash can pony up and force Mitch McConnell’s hand.* [Editor's Note: This is misstated based on my misunderstanding. The Senate Conservatives Fund will still exist. Senate Conservative Action will not accept funds to help specific candidates, but will raise money for independent expenditures. Gotta love campaign finance law.]

Let’s be very clear here — voting to repeal Obamacare is not enough. Repealing it is.

DNC Chair: It’s easiest for the IRS to administer the health care mandate, but it’s not a tax

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Published on: July 3, 2012

Original Article - DNC Chair: It’s easiest for the IRS to administer the health care mandate, but it’s not a tax

Just remember, guys: The Internal Revenue Service might be the best-equipped entity to administer the “penalty,” and the “penalty” might be assessed on your tax return, but the requirement to pay a “penalty” if you don’t buy health insurance is most definitively not a tax.

Speaking on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” Wasserman Schultz said Monday, that the law should be enforced by the federal government’s taxing arm because “it’s simply a matter of ease in administration.”

“The way we usually think of taxation, Wolf, is that taxation as the IRS administers is collected on broad swaths and large categories of individuals,” Wasserman Schultz said. “This is a penalty that will be assessed on the tax return if you choose to roll the dice and make us all pay for your being irresponsible and increase all of our health care costs.

“We’re not going to tolerate that any more in America. You have to be responsible and you have to pay a penalty if you choose not to be,” she continued.

Okay, whatever, Democrats — call it what you want. It looks like a tax, it smells like a tax, but fine, it’s just the feds penalizing you for exercising your personal freedom to not buy health insurance. But the fact remains that this “penalty” is going to funnel more of Americans’ money out of the productive private economy and into the government, and it’s going to be a huge imposition to the middle class.

In related news, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has led the charge of Republican states — so far including Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin — in declining to start battening down the hatches for the optional portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (Heh. “Affordable.” Sorry, I still can’t say that with a straight face.) While I applauded Gov. Scott’s leadership on refusing to accept that ObamaCare is going to become a historical fact and pledging to continue to work toward its repeal, Rep. Wasserman Schultz didn’t happen to see it that way.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), described her state governor as “a spoiled brat” for trying to fight Obamacare even though the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional.

“I think he’s acting like a spoiled brat,” Wasserman Schultz said of Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., per WOKV. “He insisted that the law was unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has ruled. The matter should be settled.”

Yes, I do think that perhaps someone is showing just a touch of petulance here — but it isn’t Gov. Scott.

A Tax Is a Tax Is a Tax

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Published on: July 3, 2012

Original Article - A Tax Is a Tax Is a Tax

obama and romneyOne of the few bright spots in last week’s Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health care overhaul was a political one: The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts argues that Obamacare is constitutional under the taxing powers of Congress. The Obama administration’s advocate before the Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, made this case during oral arguments, and Roberts bought it. The decision, in a sense, formalized what many conservatives had long argued: The Obamacare tax is a tax.

The politics could have hardly been better: The Obama administration and other Democrats would not only have to defend an unpopular law, but they’d have to try explain that a mandate upheld because of the power of Congress to tax was not, in fact, a tax. Democrats tried unsuccessfully to make that case this weekend with White House chief of staff Jack Lew and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, among others, struggling to deflect the obvious implications of the Court’s decisions.

Those struggles may have ended yesterday morning when the Romney campaign announced that their candidate does not consider the mandate a tax. Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom appeared on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, where he agreed with the host’s assertion that Romney “believes that you should not call the penalty a tax.”

Fehrnstrom explained: “The governor disagreed with the ruling of the Court. He agreed with the dissent written by Justice Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate is not a tax.” Later, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg confirmed that Romney doesn’t consider the mandate a tax, telling ABC News: “Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty.”

That’s an odd argument. It’s not only possible but also perfectly consistent to agree with the argument in Scalia’s dissent that the mandate should not have been considered a tax for the purposes of constitutionality, but to bow to the reality that the Roberts decision makes it so. Whatever the mandate was before the decision, and regardless of how strongly one disagrees with the ruling, it’s a tax now.

Why did Romney do it? Presumably because calling the Obamacare tax a tax would, by implication, mean that Romney’s mandate in Massachusetts could be similarly labeled. Romney has often boasted that he made his reforms “without raising taxes.” There are arguments he can make—federal taxing power versus police powers of states, for example—but Team Romney wants to avoid the issue altogether, preferring to give up an argument in 2012 to win one from 2005. Will general election voters care more about a bank-shot argument from Democrats that the Supreme Court ruling means Romney raised taxes seven years ago or about the Court’s decision having discredited President Obama’s claim that the mandate is not a tax and affirming Republican claims that it is one?

In any case, it won’t be possible to sideline the issue. It’s inconceivable that at least some of the campaign this fall will not focus on the differences between what Obama did at the federal level and what Romney did in Massachusetts, with the Obama campaign seeking to obscure those differences and Romney trying to accentuate them. Why not call it a tax and include those differences in that debate?

The Obama campaign, understanding the gift it’d been given, pounced quickly, tweeting: “Romney campaign: The individual mandate is a penalty on free riders, not a tax,” and sending out the video of Fehrnstrom on MSNBC. It’s not every day that a Democratic campaign turns to the spokesman for their rival to settle a semantic debate.

Congressional Republicans are reluctant to speak on the record, not wanting to take shots at their nominee, but it’s clear that many of them are not happy. “Romney is quickly proving himself to be what some of us expected, very reactionary without a clear alternative to Obamacare,” said one Republican congressman. “The American people want and need the truth from him. Romneycare was both legal and a failure at the state level. Romney should just come clean.”

House speaker John Boehner used the tax argument over the weekend on Face the Nation, saying that although Obama pretended “that it wasn’t a tax, nobody believed him, and now we know it.” Republicans across the country, including some of those representing Romney, have done the same. One Republican strategist says that will continue.

“It doesn’t quite matter whether Romney calls this a tax, a penalty, or a potato. Voters will call it a tax and so will every other Republican candidate running for every other office,” he says. “It will be the most popular attack ad in Senate and House campaigns. Much like the president resisted the term Obamacare before he embraced it, we are two months away from even Romney calling it a tax. Gravity cannot be suspended.”

By the end of the day, the Romney campaign sought to portray the episode as an example of Obama’s hypocrisy. “The Supreme Court left President Obama with two choices: the federal individual mandate in Obamacare is either a constitutional tax or an unconstitutional penalty,” said spokesperson Andrea Saul, in a press release. “Governor Romney thinks it is an unconstitutional penalty. What is President Obama’s position: is his federal mandate unconstitutional or is it a tax?”

It’s a question that the Court already answered.

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