A Grand Bargain for Liberty?

by Ron Paul

As I write this, it appears that the federal government is about to shut down because the House and Senate cannot agree on whether to add language defunding or delaying Obamacare to the “Continuing Resolution”. Despite all the hand-wringing heard in DC, a short-term government shut down (which doesn’t actually shut down the government) will not cause the country to collapse.

And the American people would benefit if Obamacare was defeated or even delayed.

Obamacare saddles the American health care system with new spending and mandates which will raise the price and lower the quality of health care. Denying funds to this program may give Congress time to replace this bill with free-market reforms that put patients and physicians back in charge of health care. Defunding the bill before it becomes implemented can spare the American people from falling under the worst effects of this law.

As heartened as we should be by the fight against Obamacare, we should be equally disheartened by the fact that so few in DC are talking about making real cuts in federal spending. Even fewer are talking about reductions in the most logical place to reduce spending: the military-industrial complex.  The US military budget constitutes almost 50 percent of the total worldwide military spending.  Yet to listen to some in Congress, one would think that America was one canceled multi-million dollar helicopter contract away from being left totally defenseless.

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Sen. Mike Lee: Supreme Court ObamaCare Ruling a “Lawless Act”

Minutes after midnight on Wednesday, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) rose to give his colleague Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) a breather from what was already a marathon speech warning of the “train wreck” that is resulting from the collision of the American economy with the oppression of ObamaCare.

While the remarks delivered by both men were eloquent, engaging, and educational, Senator Lee’s impromptu descant on the unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court’s rewriting of the original healthcare legislation was particularly noteworthy.

For nearly an hour and without a teleprompter, Senator Lee rightly accused the Supreme Court of having “rewritten” ObamaCare, converting it from a penalty into a tax, thus placing it, as Senator Cruz said, “in a different stream of jurisprudence.”

Parenthetically, one wonders if “former law professor” Barack Obama could have stood for nearly an hour in the middle of the night and delivered an unrehearsed lecture on the Constitution without the use of a teleprompter.

Speaking of the court’s ruling last year on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Senator Lee said, “Those five lawyers wearing black robes, who we call justices, were no more empowered than the queen of England to impose a tax on the American people.”

“This was a lawless act,” he added.

It was indisputably a lawless act of unconstitutional lawmaking on the part of the black-robed oligarchy.

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Great Stand By Cruz Won’t Stop Obamacare. Nullify It.

I rarely get to report something “good” coming out of Congress.

But the Senate filibuster on Obamacare by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)  certainly falls into that category.

Cruz stood on his principles. He stood for 21 hours and 19 minutes. He stood, and he talked.  He stood despite a lack of support from Republican leadership (ie. Mitch McConnell). He stood up for the American people in the face of a draconian and unconstitutional law that will do unimaginable damage to the economy, and more importantly to freedom and liberty.

“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz said at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Technically, the speech wasn’t really a filibuster. He did not delay a procedural vote scheduled for Wednesday and gave up the floor at noon per to Senate rules. Essentially Cruz gave voice to a whole lot of Americans who rarely get heard. Kudos to him.

The speech featured some great lines, including a reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, and some amusing senatorial self-deprecation.

“This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who cares? … You know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?” Cruz said.

Rand Paul quoted Bastiat.

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Non-Compliance with Obamacare In Florida Riles Obama Administration

Florida continues to keep an arm’s length distance from the Patient Care and Affordability Act, and the state’s actions are creating impediments to the implementation of Obamacare.

First,the legislature opted not to create state run health exchanges during the 2012 session. Now Obamacare “Navigators” are barred from enrolling people into PACA on Florida Department of Health property.

An exception has been granted for federally qualified health centers operating within local health departments. There are 41 such clinics in Florida. These entities have received approximately $8 million in federal grants to assist uninsured Floridians with enrolling in the increasingly unpopular and unconstitutional health care scheme.

County Health Department staff may accept informational material from Navigators to hand out to health department patients who request it. The access prohibition order was made by the department’s Deputy Secretary for State Wide Services C. Meade Grigg. Ashley Carr, a spokesperson for the Department of Health issued this statement regarding the order

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Americans Asleep

Recently, I had a chance to meet with a close family member.  I hadn’t seen him in seven years.  We were both raised by the World War II generation with the American values of God, Country, and Family.  When we have talked on the phone, I noticed a few remarks that seemed out of character from what I knew we both believed.  He is good and intelligent, and so is his wife.

We met for lunch and chatted away.  The next day at lunch again, we got to talking politics.  We agreed on many topics, as I expected.  When I found that his wife had voted for the current guy living in the White House, I left it alone.  Eventually,we began talking about the mandate that everyone had to buy healthcare or pay a fine.   As he is not young anymore, I mentioned that I was concerned about him not being able to get the medical treatments he might need.  He wasn’t worried.  He is sure he will get anything he needs.  I pointed out the model diagram that Europe uses to decide if you are worthy of getting medical help.  Having been a member of the healthcare profession, I thought  he might appreciate the report on it that was in Lancet Magazine some years back.

After further discussion, we got onto the topic of being nothing more than a number to the government, and the fact that they might (and probably will) eventually tell you, “NO!” and not care for you.  They’ll pay for the pain pills (such compassion) so you don’t suffer as you are dying.   He said that was just fine.  I admit, it surprised me.   I asked “It’s OK if your government kills you?”

“Yeah, I don’t think about it.  If it’s my time to go, it’s OK.”

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Fed. Judge Rules Oklahoma Challenge to ObamaCare May Proceed

In yet another indication that ObamaCare must be repealed, a federal judge ruled last week that a challenge to the healthcare “law” filed by the state of Oklahoma may proceed.

According to a report in the Washington Times, the suit filed by the Sooner State “claims the federal government is unlawfully extending tax credits to states that opted not to set up their own insurance exchanges under the new health care law.”

In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald A. White refused to rule on the merits of the case, but simply permitted the challenge to proceed along the path of adjudication.

Although not all of the state’s assertions were accepted by White, among those that the judge did sign off on was the claim that the state as an employer would be harmed by the administration’s application of various provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Specifically, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argues that President Obama is permitting federal healthcare agencies to ignore the letter of the law in order to benefit the federal government. The Washington Times explains the government’s alleged errant interpretation:

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And You “Can’t” Defend Obamacare…Why?

Freedom and popular government in Britain and America became possible because over the course of many years the English House of Commons, and later the American colonial legislatures, were willing to exert the power of the purse to discipline an overreaching executive.

In Britain, the House of Commons—Parliament’s lower chamber—sometimes defunded the executive in order to curb it. The House was willing do this despite threats from the Crown and “bad press” from the English establishment. In America, the colonial assemblies were willing to defund the king’s governors to check their power.

Freedom likely would have been impossible without the constancy of the “people’s houses,” led by great parliamentary leaders like Edward Coke in England and Patrick Henry in America.

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The Cost of Third Parties and the Founder’s Economic System

Recently, Harry Reid, said “We must work past medical insurance, to a one payer system.”

Well I agree with him, (for once). But my one payer system is this – individuals responsible for their own healthcare.

We need to get back to pay for your services healthcare.  We need to have the third party control over our healthcare removed.  This includes the government, insurance companies and employers.

With all of these out of the way, the cost of healthcare will be subject to the marketplace, and this will allow healthcare costs to drop.  This is because the individual consumer of healthcare will now be courted by healthcare providers.  And we all know, if a business wants to attract customers, they offer a better quality product at better prices than competitors.  Costs go down and better quality services and products result.

The disconnect between patient and medical cost is what has allowed those costs to soar far beyond the pocketbook of most people.  The evolution to a system of third party payers created a situation where developers do not need to concern themselves with a product that will serve many.  They can go out and create all sorts of expensive abstract medical equipment without having to worry about whether there is a need.  All that research and development is expensive, and since there isn’t a consumer for the pie in the sky products, the cost is spread over all the other products the company offers.  I am not bashing big industry here. It is reasonable that they must cover their costs in some way.  However, in a free marketplace where they need to focus on lowering costs to attract users to their products, they will more likely choose an item that will have more usefulness.

Those of you who read history, might recall that there was a time when an injury or illness that required a doctor might include bartering for the doctor’s services.  Chickens, milk, corn, a quilt or even a return service would settle the bill.  Well, you might say things are so much more expensive now; you can’t do that. But I am hearing of local physician groups offering outside of insurance, healthcare.  Depending upon the area you live, the costs vary.  Your costs could be $100/month for entire family.  When you need the services of the doctor, you just call for an appointment.  I have heard in some other areas, its $10/month for a person.

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Big Business Gets Yet Another ObamaCare Delay That Individuals Don’t

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

“I didn’t simply choose to delay this on my own,” President Obama reassured the nation about his unilateral decision to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate. “This was in consultation with businesses all across the country,” he said, as if that made the situation better instead of worse. Obama threw his “consultants” another bone when he decided to delay the reporting requirements the law imposes on employers, also until 2015. The president’s generosity toward large corporations will be financed by the American taxpayer. The Congressional Budget Office projects these delays will cost taxpayers another $3 billion in new government spending and reduce federal revenues by $9 billion, for a total increase in the federal debt of $12 billion. Yet the president fails to show the same concern for individual taxpayers. When the House of Representatives, including dozens of Democrats, voted to extend the same break to individuals by delaying ObamaCare’s individual mandate by one year, President Obama threatened to veto that bill. Bizarrely, he also threatened to veto another bill (approved by an even broader bipartisan majority) that would make legal hisillegal delay of the employer mandate.

So perhaps we should not be too surprised now that the New York Times reveals yet another delay the president approved at the behest of big business:

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‘Stupid’ ObamaCare Provision Offends America’s Highest Caste: Congress

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

ObamaCare’s gravest sin may be that it has offended America’s highest caste: members of Congress and their staffs. Thanks to an amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the law provides:

the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are created under this Act…or offered through an Exchange established under this Act…

In effect, ObamaCare throws members of Congress out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (where most members and staff obtain health insurance) and offers them no other choice but to enroll in coverage through one of ObamaCare’s Exchanges. But here’s the kicker: though the federal government currently pays thousands of dollars of the cost of the congresscritters’ FEHBP coverage, neither ObamaCare nor any other federal law authorizes the feds to apply that money toward a congresscritter’s Exchange premiums. Today’s New York Times reports:

David M. Ermer, a lawyer who has represented insurers in the federal employee program for 30 years, said, “I do not think members of Congress and their staff can get funds for coverage in the exchanges under existing law.”

So ObamaCare essentially delivers a pay cut to members and staff in the neighborhood of $5,000 for single employees and $10,000 for families. 

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