Your ObamaCare Watchdog

Archive for the ‘ObamaCare’ Category

Latest news

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 06/2012 at 12:00 AM

Connect and engage with your ObamaCare Watchdog

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: OCare411

June 4, 2012 – Up or Down on ObamaCare:  Texas Attorneys to Hear Live Debate

David Rivkin and Harvard Law Prof to Face Off June 15

Washington D.C. – As the U.S. awaits the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), the various factions pro and con continue to line up and weigh in on both whether and how the controversial law will stand.  David Rivkin, who led the 26-state case against the U.S. government in Florida’s 11th District Court (whose judge, Roger Vinson, ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, will meet Harvard Law professor Einer Elhauge, author of amicus briefs that assert the legality of the individual mandate.  The debate is scheduled for 9:00 am, on Friday, June 15, at the Texas Bar Association’s Annual Conference in Houston.

For more information on the debate and the conference, visit http://www.texasbar.com. For more information about David Rivkin, visit http://www.davidrivkin.com.

May 7, 2012 – “The Healthcare Law and You” – Demystified A source forwards this copy of a 20-page Obama Administration PowerPoint presentation, circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services to allies. The aim: Making the unpopular law more politically saleable. Read the whole thing here.

March 26, 2012 – *This Just In* The SCOTUS will release same day audio of the ObamaCare Oral Arguments. First MP3 will be available at 1 p.m. EST today here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/

March 26, 2012 – *Breaking* Supreme Court Hearings on ObamaCare March 26 – 28.  – Follow @ObamaCare411 on Twitter for the latest!

March 23, 2012 – Liberty and ObamaCare – Few legal cases in the modern era are as consequential, or as defining, as the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court hears beginning Monday. The powers that the Obama Administration is claiming change the structure of the American government as it has existed for 225 years. Thus has the health-care law provoked an unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional showdown that endangers individual liberty.

It is a remarkable moment. The High Court has scheduled the longest oral arguments in nearly a half-century: five and a half hours, spread over three days. Yet Democrats, the liberal legal establishment and the press corps spent most of 2010 and 2011 deriding the government of limited and enumerated powers of Article I as a quaint artifact of the 18th century. Now even President Obama and his staff seem to grasp their constitutional gamble. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

January 13, 2012 – Archive: But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it” Watch the trailer that started it all! (YouTube) More > …

Happy Birthday ObamaCare!

January 10, 2012 – Night of the living dead  You’ve heard of Christmas in July, but Halloween in January?  In case you missed, Friday was a big day for those following the Obamacare litigation, as the first briefs arrived at the Supreme Court clerk’s office… (National Review Online) More > ….

October 5, 2011  – Think you heard the last of ObamaCare?

Ed Meese and David Rivkin to lead ObamaCare panel at Heritage Foundation

Published October 4, 2011

By Staff
(OfficialWire)

Former White House lawyer and leading conservative commentator, David Rivkin, was the first to outline the constitutional challenge to ObamaCare that will soon go before the Supreme Court.

ObamaCare, officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, marks the first time in history that the federal government has required every person to purchase a commercial product or service.

As part of its “Preserve the Constitution” series, the Heritage Foundation is presenting an expert panel, headlined by David Rivkin, to discuss the case on Nov. 3 at Lehrman Auditorium in D.C. from noon to 1 p.m.

Other speakers include: Todd Gaziano, director of the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies; Michael Carvin, partner at Jones Day and lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business; and Andrew Grossman, a visiting fellow and moderator with the Heritage Foundation.

The panel will be hosted by Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy and Chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

Among the questions that will be discussed: Is there any limit to what Congress can require? Does the Commerce Clause, which some argue has already been stretched beyond recognition, grant Congress the power to force citizens to purchase broccoli? What do the text of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent suggest? When is the Supreme Court likely to review the case? Will the Supreme Court strike down the individual mandate, but leave the rest of ObamaCare standing?

David Rivkin is highly regarded for his award-winning legal writing in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal. Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his writing in The Washington Post.

For more information on how to attend or watch online, visit: http://www.heritage.org/Events/2011/11/Is-ObamaCare-Constitutional

David Rivkin’s ObamaCare articles, such as The Wall Street Journal’s “Is government health care unconstitutional?”, and other writings can be found at www.DavidRivkin.com.

Source: http://officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=254247

Advertisements

How it affects you

In How It Affects You, ObamaCare on 06/2012 at 8:00 AM

March 26, 2012 – We didn’t forget! Engage with us on Facebook and tell us how you really feel about ObamaCare. More > …

ObamaCare, we didn't forget!

January 12, 2012 – Don’t show me the money! More insanity from Obamaville (ObamaCare411.com) More > …

Oklahoma!

May 5, 2011 – Your kids’ health will depend on Electronic health records “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling electronic health records (EHRs) and other information technology “essential” to success of the medical home model of providing quality healthcare management for children.” (InformationWeek) More . . .

May 3, 2011 – Susidies won’t keep up with premiums An interesting break down showing why the law’s shift of premium costs to individuals “may be difficult to sustain,” CBO director Doug Elmendorf recently testified. (Investors.com) More > . . .

April 28, 2011 – CBO says repealing ObamaCare grants would save $14 billion You heard right. The Congressional Budget Office also said eliminating the planned grants would also mean fewer people enrolling in ObamaCare.  (The Hill.com) More> . . .

April 26, 2011 – ObamaCare annual check-up? Doesn’t look good Being overweight is a personal matter, but being burdened by big government is a national problem. (New American) More > . . .

April 25, 2011 – Must read: How Health Reform Punishes Work “This new entitlement—which the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates will cost more than $100 billion per year once it is fully implemented—will damage the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. It also will introduce far-reaching negative effects on rewards to work and bizarre new inequities into American life.” (Wall Street Journal) More > . . .

April 20, 2011 – ObamaCare Preview: The great Romneycare giveaway.  It’s probably not how Mitt Romney envisioned it, but the former Massachusetts governor’s signature health-care law is turning out to be a gigantic freebie for illegal immigrants.  (Sunshine News) More > . . .

April 19, 2011 – States turning down ObamaCare money Three cheers for Oklahoma and New Hampshire for sticking to their guns.  (Wall Street Journal)   More > . . .

April 15, 2011 – Sen. Cornyn: Ryan’s health plan “exactly like ObamaCare.”  According to Sen.  John Cornyn (R-TX), Ryan’s plan would replace ObamaCare with another government subsidized system – so what’s the point? Is there just a lot of Red vs. Blue politics taking place here? (Talking Points Memo) More > …

April 14, 2011 – ObamaCare: The great American deathtrap!! While the HHS may never be this forthcoming in describing what is really going on inside of the health care law, people are comparing ObamaCare with Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals and discovering something: Ryan’s proposals make sense, Obama’s …. don’t. (NY Post) More > …

Op-Ed: We want a divorce! At the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare, states need to stand up and reject big government (ObamaCare411) More > …

Trending video: Oh-no-Bama didn’t! Two women in a McDonalds discover the truth to President Obama and the HHS’ agenda on their “new Medicare benefits” package under ObamaCare. Fail. (YouTube) More > …

An important message from Medicare

Click to watch the video

April 6, 2011 – Inside Paul Ryan’s “Mediscare” plan No need to read the whole article, instead just read the bold headers. Rep. Ryan’s plan includes reducing the size of federal government, making Medicare voluntary, repealing ObamaCare (sort of, kind of, not really) and yes, raising the Medicare retirement age. What more do you want? (Time.com) More > …

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Politics watch

In ObamaCare, Politics Watch on 03/2012 at 12:00 AM

March 26, 2012 – Let The Supremes have their cake, and maybe eat it too  David Rivkin, lead counsel who represented the 26 states alongside Florida challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, explains what is ahead for the Justices in the ObamaCare Hearings and what the Justices are expected to say. (Fox News) More > …

Jan. 13, 2012 – Don’t expect a TKO! Obama Administration boxing in Scalia on ObamaCare  David Rivkin, an outside counsel for the plaintiffs in the health reform case, told National Review he’s “very comfortable” that Scalia will seize upon this distinction to strike down the mandate. (Talking Points Memo) More > …

Welcome To Obamaville!

See the absurd things that happen in the town of Obamaville

May 3, 2011 – U.S. Senator from Arizona pens column on ObamaCare rationing  From text: “the point is, we do not give 15 government bureaucrats the right to ration Americans’ health care.”(Miner) More > …

April 26, 2011 – Boehner Boldly Goes Where No GOP Rep Will Go According to Speaker John Boehner, the House Republican budget, which passed on April 15, “transforms Medicare into a plan that’s very similar to the President’s own healthcare bill.” (TPM) More > …

April 25, 2011 – Rexcuse Me? Kagan stays in for Virginia ruling “With Kagan apparently set to vote in the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision on the Affordable Care Act . . . the chances that the law, or part of it, will be ruled unconstitutional are diminished. Justice Anthony Kennedy likely remains the critical vote, though there has been speculation that a more conservative court member could end up voting to uphold the law.” (Huffington Post) More > …

April 22, 2011 – Obama likes comparing his plan to Social Security and Medicare Line of the week: ObamaCare does have something in common with these two entitlements: Both of them could have worked if they had been less ambitious. (Washington Examiner) More > …

April 21, 2011 – Craftiness of the Otter! Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed an executive order that prohibits Idaho’s government entities from taking federal dollars meant to pay for national healthcare reform in the state. (Fox12 Idaho.com) More > …

April 20, 2011 – Deadline FAIL The Georgia Legislature is trying to set up mandatory health exchanges before a not-yet-determined deadline. (GeorgiaHealthNews.com) More > …

April 18, 2011 – Peace out 1099 tax reporting This couldn’t had come at a better time, ObamaCare’s new small business tax reporting requirement—the so-called 1099 provision—is no more, making it the first part of the law to be repealed. (Reason.com) More > …

April 15, 2011 – Are you rrrrrready to rrrrrumble?! Now that the budget has passed the House, the real fight can begin. (Wall Street Journal) More > …

April 14, 2011 – Deep thoughts with Philip Klein Writing for the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein mused on the 12-year window the Obama Administration is using to calculate the levels of ObamaCare spending and how much money it will supposedly save taxpayers. According to Klein, this finagling of the numbers may be potent ammo for those disputing ObamaCare’s supposed benefits. More > …

April 12, 2011 – RyanCare and ObamaCare’s common double standard “It’s really peculiar to come along and say you want to repeal the Affordable Care Act exchanges but create exchanges for the elderly,” Brookings health care expert Hank Aaron tells Ezra Klein in this interview on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.” (The Atlantic) More > …

ObamaCare and the Limits of Government

In ObamaCare on 11/2011 at 12:34 PM

When asked if the health law was constitutional, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi sneered, ‘Are you serious?’ Now the Supreme Court has decided it’s a worthy question.

By David B. Rivkin Jr. & Lee A. Casey

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether ObamaCare is constitutional, granting certiorari in a case brought by 26 states shortly after that law was enacted in March of last year. In so doing, it will be ruling upon the very nature of our federal union.

The Constitution limits federal power by granting Congress authority in certain defined areas, such as the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. Those powers not specifically vested in the federal government by the Constitution or, as stated in the 10th Amendment, “prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The court will now determine whether those words still have meaning.

As we argued two years ago in these pages, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is unconstitutional. First and foremost, the law requires virtually every American to have health insurance. Congress purported to impose this unprecedented “individual mandate” pursuant to its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, but the requirement is not limited to those who engage in any particular commercial or economic activity (or any activity at all). Rather, the mandate applies to everyone lawfully present in the United States who does not fall within one of the law’s narrow exclusions.

Under our Constitution’s system of dual sovereignty, only states have the authority to impose health and safety regulations on individuals simply because they are present. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that the Constitution denies to the federal government this type of “general police power.” Federal legislation must be grounded in one of the “enumerated” powers the Constitution grants to Congress—such as the power to regulate interstate commerce. Although the Supreme Court has interpreted that power broadly (especially since the 1940s), it has consistently held that the Commerce Clause has limits.

If Congress can require individuals to buy or otherwise obtain and maintain health insurance simply because they may be said to impact commerce by their very existence, without regard to any particular activity in which they have chosen to engage, then there is no limit on federal power. For example, if Congress can require you to buy health insurance because your lack of insurance may, at some point in the future, impose costs on the wider economy, then on the same theory it can require the purchase (or sale) of virtually any good or service, since the failure to have or use the relevant product can always be said to have some economic impact.

Both the trial judge and Court of Appeals in Florida et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services duly struck down the mandate as outside the scope of Congress’s legitimate authority. It is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will overturn that decision. To do so would require it to junk nearly 200 years of its own jurisprudence and create a federal government of unprecedented and uncontrolled power.

There are, however, a number of other critical questions the Supreme Court will now resolve. In addition to imposing the individual mandate, ObamaCare revolutionizes the Medicaid program. For more than 40 years, Medicaid has been a cooperative federal/state program to fund medical care for the poor. The states also contribute funds and have enjoyed wide discretion in designing and implementing their own programs. Now, as a means of ensuring the universal coverage ObamaCare set out to achieve, Medicaid has been transformed into a massive new health-insurance program for many in the middle class. The states must accept new, detailed federal requirements or lose all federal Medicaid funding—leaving their neediest citizens without any safety net.

Although there is always an element of choice in accepting federal money, the Supreme Court has clearly stated that if federal funding conditions and threats become coercive, they also violate the Constitution’s fundamental federalism principles. Here, both the trial and appellate judges acknowledged this rule—based on a 1987 case called South Dakota v. Dole—but felt constrained to uphold ObamaCare’s Medicaid provisions because they found no direct and controlling Supreme Court precedent on the point. By accepting certiorari on this question, the Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to determine where that all-important line of federal versus state coercion may be, and whether ObamaCare has crossed it.

The Supreme Court will also consider the question of “severability”—whether the entire statute must be struck down because one or two of its provisions are unconstitutional. The test here is whether Congress would have still enacted the law without the unconstitutional provisions. As the trial judge correctly concluded, there is little question that without the individual mandate Congress would not have enacted ObamaCare’s other provisions, many of which make little sense without that critical requirement.

Finally, the Supreme Court has also agreed to consider one of the highly technical arguments raised in the case, whether the federal Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) prohibits a challenge to the individual mandate before the requirement actually takes effect in 2014. This issue has always been a red herring, arising because the government tried to argue that the individual mandate can be justified under Congress’s power to tax, even if it is insupportable under the power to regulate interstate commerce.

 

Virtually every lower court to consider ObamaCare—both those that have struck down the law as unconstitutional and those that have upheld it—has agreed that the AIA does not apply here. There is every reason to believe that the Supreme Court will do the same. The AIA was designed to protect federal tax-collection activities, generally requiring that a tax be paid before its legality can be challenged in court. The mandate, of course, is not a tax—but an affirmative regulatory requirement. It is enforced by a penalty. The only connection with the federal tax apparatus is that the penalty will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service from tax refunds otherwise due to violators, and its application here would only postpone challenges to the individual mandate to 2014.

Overall, the Supreme Court’s agreement to review ObamaCare’s constitutionality probably sounds that law’s death knell. When asked about these constitutional issues before the law was enacted, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi simply sneered, “Are you serious?” At this point it is safe to say, yes we are.

Messrs. Rivkin and Casey are lawyers who served in the Justice Department during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. They represented the 26 states in their challenge to ObamaCare before the trial and appellate courts.

Giving it another try! House GOP launches new effort to defund ObamaCare

In ObamaCare, Politics Watch on 05/2011 at 10:26 AM

The House goes after two funding measures, one dealing with the setting up of state insurance exchanges and the other for school-based health center construction. (Newsmax) More > …

Can’t break the mold!

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 04/2011 at 10:25 AM

At 53%, most voters still favor repeal of the national health care law and believe it will drive up the federal deficit even as President Obama and Congress are stepping up the debate on how to cut the government’s massive debt. (Rasmussen) More > …

Supreme Court meets today to decide whether to expedite Virginia ObamaCare case

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 04/2011 at 8:53 AM

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has said he expects the Supreme Court to announce its decision either today or Monday. (Washington ExaminerMore > …

ObamaCare’s latest prognosis, not good

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 04/2011 at 8:51 AM

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 41% who strongly favor it. (Rasmussen) More > …

The latest ObamaCare prognosis

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 04/2011 at 9:57 AM

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of likely U.S. voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care measure, with 45% who strongly favor it. Thirty-nine percent (39%) oppose repeal, including 27% who are strongly opposed. (Rasmussen) More > …

Galluping away from ObamaCare

In Breaking, ObamaCare on 03/2011 at 10:28 AM

“Gallup’s most recently released poll offers further evidence to that effect that ObamaCare is even less popular today. However, the poll’s headline—“One Year Later, Americans Split on Healthcare Law” — suggests otherwise and is exactly the kind of straw at which the Obama administration likes to grasp.” (The Weekly Standard) More > …

Obama on the Trojan Horse

%d bloggers like this: