Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obamacare - Responses

It's a Civil War: What We Do Now
Dennis Prager
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A terrible thing happened to America on Sunday, March 21, 2010.

The country took its biggest step ever down a road diametrically opposed to its original intent of keeping the state small so that the individual can be free and great.

Therefore, in this unprecedented crisis of values, this is what needs to be done:

1. Know and teach America's core values.

We got to this point solely because over the past few generations, Americans have forgotten the values that have made America distinctive and great. Even the "Greatest Generation" failed to communicate them.

In a nutshell, they are what I call the American Trinity: "In God we trust," "Liberty" and "E Pluribus Unum." The left has successfully made war on all three -- substituting secularism for God and religion in as much of American life as possible; substituting equality (of result) for liberty; and multiculturalism is the opposite of "E Pluribus Unum."

People who do not understand American ideals -- especially small government -- now dominate our schools, our entertainment media and our news media.

(My own contribution here is a video titled, "The American Trinity" at Please view it and forward it.)

2. Recognize that we are fighting the left, not liberals.

Conservatives and centrists are no longer fighting liberals. We are fighting the left.

Liberalism believed in American exceptionalism; the left not only does not believe in it, the left opposes it. President Obama, when asked if he believes in American exceptionalism, replied, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

Liberalism believed in creating wealth; the left is interested in redistributing it.

Liberalism believed in a strong defense. The left believes in cutting defense and a strong United Nations.

3. Democrats should be referred to as Social Democrats. This is not meant to be cute, let alone as a slur. But calling Democrats Social Democrats is an effective way of reminding Americans that there is no longer any difference between what is now known as the Democratic Party and the Social Democratic parties of Europe. When the Democratic Party returns to its roots as a liberal, not a left-wing, party, we will happily resume calling the party by its original name. However, since no Democrat can cite a significant difference between the Democratic Party and the SD parties, there is no good reason not to use the more accurate nomenclature.

4. Work tirelessly to repeal the bill.

We must single-mindedly work to repeal the government health plan. We all know that it is difficult to repeal entitlements because they are like drugs and it is very difficult to wean people off drugs. But it is not impossible. We need to warn our fellow Americans that entitlements will do to America what drugs eventually do to addicts.

All Republicans must run for office on the "repeal" issue. Even when they lose, the difference between right and left, between Republicans and Social Democrats will have been made clear; and clarity is our best friend.

5. Our motto: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."

I used this phrase in addressing the Republican members of Congress. It has become widely used, including by Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., on the House floor during the Congressional debate on Sunday. It encapsulates this epic battle of American values versus leftist values. Every movement needs a motto. I nominate this.

6. Do not let other matters distract.

Neither Republicans nor conservatives are united on every issue facing America. Immigration is one example. But we are united on the big government vs. free individual issue, which, more than anything else, has defined America. If we allow any other domestic issue to divide us, we will lose.

And here's why: If Americans forget what America stands for, it won't help us if there is not one illegal immigrant here. And if we do remember what it means to be American, we can handle anything.

7. Acknowledge that we are in a non-violent civil war.

I write the words "civil war" with an ache in my heart. But we are in one.

Thank God this civil war is non-violent. But the fact is that the left and the rest of the country share almost no values. The American value system and the leftist value system are irreconcilable. If the left wins, America's values lose. If American values prevail, the left loses.

After Sunday's vote, for the first time in American history, one could no longer confidently believe that the American system will prevail. And if we don't fight for it, we don't deserve it.
Obamacare Versus Freedom
Phyllis Schlafly
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi spent the weekend telling Democrats to hurry up and get the job done -- i.e., end the legislative agony by passing Obamacare (even though polls show that a solid majority of the American people oppose it). Obama argued, "This is why I got into politics."

But the congressional votes to pass Obamacare will not make the issue go away. It will stick around to plague the Democrats not only through the 2010 elections but for the rest of Obama's administration.

The American people have figured out that the issue is not health care, it's freedom. It's whether Obama will succeed in "fundamentally transforming" the American nation, the first leg of which is to put complete control over every individual's health into the hands of government bureaucrats and their appointed "experts."

Opposition to this Obamanation is manifesting itself not only in Tea Parties, Town Hall Meetings, a tsunami of phone calls to the U.S. Capitol and spontaneous demonstrations in unprecedented numbers. The revolt against Obamacare is also resonating in state capitols all over the country.

Virginia was the first state legislature to pass a Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act to protect Virginians' right to make their own health care and health insurance choices, to pay directly for medical care and to prohibit any individual or employer from being penalized for not buying government-defined health insurance. When Virginia's House of Delegates voted 80 to 17, 21 Democrats sided with the GOP.

Idaho had the first state governor sign a Freedom of Choice in Health Care law. The Arizona Legislature has placed the Health Care Freedom Act as a proposed constitutional amendment on Arizona's 2010 election ballot.

Three states have passed a Freedom of Choice bill in one House. Similar measures are under consideration in more than 35 states.

Oklahoma passed a law to allow its citizens to opt out of Obamacare. Utah passed three resolutions, one of which asserts the "inviolable sovereignty of the State of Utah under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution."

Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, South Carolina's Attorney General Henry McMaster and Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum are gearing up to sue the federal government. They say the bill is unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to purchase health insurance.

McMaster said, "It's essentially a direct tax on the people. ... There's no authority in the Constitution that allows the Congress to do that."

The New York Times reluctantly admitted that these state laws and constitutional amendments are "on a roll." The Times is worried -- it's not sure whether they constitute a movement or a backlash or just political theater.

Many people look upon Massachusetts as the model for Obamacare. That state imposed individual and employer mandates in 2006, and it's time to look at the results.

By 2010, one-third of the uninsured still don't have coverage, and it's become harder to see a doctor. Health insurance is 40 percent more expensive than in the rest of the country, and Massachusetts is expecting a $2 billion to $4 billion shortfall over the next decade.

Obama says repeatedly that under his plan you can keep your present health insurance. But Massachusetts told 20 percent of its already insured citizens they had to buy more expensive health insurance because their existing coverage wasn't "good enough."

Remember, if the government can force us to buy health insurance, it can define what that insurance must cover. It's estimated that a federal mandate would force 100 million Americans to drop their existing plans and buy more expensive health insurance to meet Obamacare requirements.

Now that state legislatures are flexing their state sovereignty muscles, some are tackling other issues, too. Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee and Utah enacted laws declaring that federal regulation of guns is invalid if a weapon is made and used only within the state. Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin passed bills to reaffirm their state's authority over the National Guard.

Opponents of these state sovereignty laws claim they are unconstitutional because the Constitution's Article VI states that federal law prevails over state law. Supporters of state sovereignty laws respond by asserting the Tenth Amendment.

Texas opted out of Obama's pot of $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" (a.k.a. Race to the Takeover) grants to states that accept federal control of public school curriculum and standards, and Rick Perry just won an unexpected landslide in a gubernatorial primary by warning Washington, "Don't mess with Texas!"

Obamacare is a major weapon to carry out Obama's plan to transform America into a country of incredible debt, government control of industries, redistribution of taxpayers' earnings and savings to non-taxpayers, and massive authority exercised by weirdo czars. The American people -- and the various states -- are not going to accept Obama's transformation.

Cal Thomas
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pork is the preferred metaphor in Washington for misspending. But last weekend, pork took a backseat to baloney, which was present in abundance as President Obama and House Democrats tried to convince the public -- and themselves -- that their takeover of one-sixth of the economy is going to improve health insurance and the availability of medical treatment.

The biggest laugher was the promise to save $500 billion (the current annual cost of the Medicare program) over the next 10 years by cutting waste, fraud and abuse. Democrats used to accuse Republicans of wanting to bump off seniors when they proposed Medicare reforms. Now that they claim to be doing it, they declare themselves righteous.

As Lloyd Brown writes for the Web site "American Thinker": "Medicare cost $3 billion in 1966. In what it called a conservative estimate, the House Ways and Means Committee that year projected Medicare would cost $12 billion after inflation by 1990. The actual cost in 1990: $107 billion."

Medicare costs doubled every four years between 1966 and 1980 because the population grew older and politicians added more promises. Politicians want us to believe that their inability to control spending and add-ons is over and that they'll go on the spending wagon while still protecting the elderly. Puh-leeze!

In remarks to the House Democratic caucus, President Obama claimed the bill would reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion. He must know that isn't true because the money "saved" from Medicare cuts will go to pay for new spending. Only in Orwellian Washington can money be saved and spent simultaneously.

Addressing critics of the bill, President Obama said no one is "going to pull the plug on grandma." They won't have to. The opposition believes that Grandma will be denied treatment because she's too much of a financial burden on government. It's called rationing. Is that why the president emphasizes sick children? Will children be the only ones to get the most -- and best -- treatment? Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ezekiel, has said government has a right to decide how many health-care dollars you are worth. And if children with a lifelong taxpaying potential are worth more than grandma who is taking more from the tax pot than she is contributing, too bad for grandma.

The president also said the bill will save money by requiring only one test by the doctor "not five tests." But what if the first test doesn't reveal the nature of an illness? Suppose a cancer is hiding in one organ and the test is for cancer in another organ? A second (or fifth) test might reveal the location of the disease, but under Obamacare, a government bureaucrat will allow just one test.

The president promised again "you can keep your doctor." But the doctor might retire because he or she can't afford to accept reduced fees mandated by government while paying ever-increasing premiums for malpractice insurance to protect him or her from lawsuits, which, by the way, is another reason so many tests are ordered.

Government-run health care has been tried in Massachusetts ... and it's a disaster. According to Peter Suderman, associate editor at Reason magazine, "since 2006, the cost of the state's insurance program has ballooned by 42 percent, or almost $600 million. According to an analysis by the Rand Corporation, 'in the absence of policy change, health-care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8 percent faster than the state's gross domestic product.'"

Insurance costs in Massachusetts are the highest in the nation and double-digit rate increases are expected again this year. Yet, President Obama claimed Saturday that under the Democrats' plan, rates would go DOWN. How is this possible? The only reason Massachusetts hasn't become insolvent is because of large transfusions of cash from Washington, which perpetuates the illusion the program works.

As for Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak's deal with President Obama for an executive order banning federal funds for abortions, laws trump executive orders. Stupak caved; so much for standing on principle.

President Obama quoted Abraham Lincoln, who said he was "bound to be true" and suggested that he, too, was bound to be true. This legislation is so full of budget gimmicks, tricks and lies that the only thing true is that it will make health care in America worse, not better.

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