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No Congressmen and Senators, you are not better than us. You passed this turkey. You're stuck with it just like we are. And surreptitiously working to exempt yourselves from it just proves how dishonestly mendacious you bozos are.
Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.
Listen up Congress. You wanna know what's gonna be "extraordinarily sensitive?" Your ass. Right after I, and the rest of America, get done kicking it if you think for one minute you're exempting yourselves from even the smallest provision of Dear Leader's health care socialist utopia. You created it. You had better live with it. Or else.
Do you guys really think Obamacare shouldn't apply to you? Fine. Repeal it. Because you ain't seen political fallout until you've seen the citizenry riled up enough to depose a bunch of effete snobs who believe they're our Lords and Masters. We got rid of that shit in 1776, and we damn well don't want Royalty V2.0. Got it?
UPDATE 25 Apr 2013 12:49:
From a friend on Facebook:
That light at the end of the Obamacare tunnel? It's an oncoming train.
A senior Democratic senator who helped write President Obama's health care law stunned administration officials Wednesday, saying openly he thinks it's headed for a "train wreck."
"I just see a huge train wreck coming down," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told Obama's health care chief during a routine budget hearing that suddenly turned tense.
Normally low-key and supportive, Baucus challenged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Wednesday's hearing.
He said he's "very concerned" that new health insurance marketplaces for consumers and small businesses will not open on time in every state, and that if they do, they might just flop because residents don't have the information they need to make choices.
"The administration's public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade," he told Sebelius.
Maybe he should've found out what was in it before he passed it. Because only an idiot would believe that the same people who brought us the Post Office and the DMV could ever manage our health care system.
And I might even believe that Baucus was being sincere, except he's up for re-election next year and the folks back home in Montana hate Obamacare with a white-hot passion. So I suspect Baucus's faux-outrage is nothing more than political kabuki, a smokescreen to fool low-information voters.
Dear Montana, please don't fall for his theatrics. Signed, America.
Barack Obama would have condemned my daughter to death. No, that's not an exaggeration. If he'd railroaded Obamacare through before she was born, it's quite likely she'd have died when she contracted a virus called RSV.
New guidelines issued by one of his Medicaid advisory boards eliminate payment for RSV treatment, calling the vaccine "unnecessary," because it costs too much. And when Medicaid speaks, insurance companies and doctors listen.
While there is no vaccine for RSV, there is an FDA-approved treatment available. When it became available in 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued evidence-based guidelines for its use, recommending that the treatment be administered once per month during outbreak season (an average of five months total).
But in 2009, with no clear medical evidence for doing so, the AAP both shrunk the pool of eligible infants and reduced the number of RSV treatments that would be made available — for some babies down to 3 doses, while for others as low as 1 dose. The only clear reason given was cost.
Unfortunately, the AAP s guidelines are widely implemented by Medicaid and insurance providers, who in turn followed suit and greatly reduced coverage.
Sophie got RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) soon after she was born. It was touch-and-go for a few days but she pulled through. Sleeping on the floor next to her hospital bed we did a lot of praying and a lot of worrying.
Left untreated, RSV causes pneumonia and weakens the heart and lungs. It hit Sophie hard, at first she could barely breathe, and the hospital had her on pure oxygen for days. Her doctors immediately prescribed a series of shots, along with inhaled steroids, for as long as she was susceptible to RSV.
Those shots saved her life.
And now Obamacare says paying for those shots isn't worth it. Really. Not. Worth. It. Because his kids never caught RSV? Or because he just doesn't care? There's no bloody shirt to wave for RSV victims. No RSV-control laws to browbeat Republicans with. Just 14,000 kids who die from it every year, none of whose parents were ever invited to the White House for a photo op.
So today a baby in her position probably won't get the same lifesaving treatment.
But remember, there are no Death Panels in Obamacare. There's just a cruel heartless asshole president who wouldn't lose 5 minutes of sleep even if his grand experiment in socialized medicine had killed my baby girl.
And to all you smug Democrats who re-elected him, I have to say "thanks." What's one more dead kid compared to your free birth control pills, right?
I hope all you liberals are happy. And I pray that your messianic lightworker
pinko president doesn't eventually decree something that could kill one of your
children. But you'll forgive me if I continue to do everything I can to ensure
that Sophie never, ever becomes a Democrat. Or marries one.
This just in, The Affordable Care Act is unaffordable. Also, water is wet.
Health insurance premiums more than doubled over the last decade, driving employers to drop coverage and discouraging employees from signing up, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study released today.
Nearly 60 percent of private employers in New Jersey provided health coverage to their workforce in 2011 - a 4 percent decline from 2001, the study found.
Business owners who offered insurance required employees to shoulder a larger share of the cost. In 2011, workers paid $1,154 in premiums for an individual policy and $3,714 for a family - more than 2-1/2 and three times, respectively, than they paid a decade earlier.
If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance! That is if you're
independently wealthy, or win the lottery. Otherwise, not so much.
On one hand, Dear Leader is actually creating some jobs. On the other hand, they're government jobs. Hundreds of thousands of new government jobs are now open for Obamacare "navigators." At a starting salary of $48 an hour. And only unionistas and community organizers need apply.
Tens of thousands of health care professionals, union workers and community activists hired as "navigators" to help Americans choose Obamacare options starting Oct. 1 will be paid up to $48 an hour, more than six times the federal minimum wage of $7.25, according to new regulations issued Wednesday.
The 63-page rule covering navigators, drawn up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also said the government will provide free translators for those not fluent in English - no matter what their native language is. [...]
Does that include Klingon? Because I'm gonna insist that my "navigator" speaks Klingon.
Obamacare, it's so great you need a trained professional to explain it to you! Who's gonna explain it to the "navigators," Nancy Pelosi?
The rules allow navigators to come from the ranks of unions, health providers and community action groups such as ACORN and Planned Parenthood. They are required to provide unbiased advice.
Notice who's missing from that list? Religious organizations. Because the only religion allowed in Obamacare is Liberalism, and abortion is its sacrament.
Planned Parenthood will provide "unbiased advice?" I just shot coffee out of my nose.
Wanna guess what this is gonna cost? Because California alone wants 21,000 of these "unbiased" Oracles Of Obamacare. So let's say Barry hires 250,000 of his best and brightest party apparatchiks. That's $25 Billion dollars a year just in salaries, plus benefits, office space, management, oversight, etc, etc, etc.
Tell me again how Obamacare was supposed to save us money?
I've been saying it for years, Obamacare is bad for business. My liberal friends pooh-pooh me, and call me a partisan alarmist. But now Dear Leader's cronies at the Federal Reserve have reached the same conclusion.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released an edition of its so-called "beige book," that said the 2010 healthcare law is being cited as a reason for layoffs and a slowdown in hiring.
"Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff," said the March 6 beige book, which examines economic conditions across various Federal Reserve districts across the country.
Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Chicago all reported "changes in health care policy and fiscal uncertainty as reasons for delayed hiring."
I take no pleasure in it, but here's where I get to say "I told you so."
Sheesh, the guy sits next to Michelle Obama at a fancy dinner and the next thing you know Chris Christie is singing the praises of Obamacare.
Gov. Chris Christie will expand the state's Medicaid program to cover 300,000 uninsured New Jersey residents, The Star-Ledger learned today.
The governor's new budget, which he plans to unveil at joint session of the Legislature this afternoon, also relies on state revenue growth of 4.9 percent and delays some property tax rebates for local taxpayers, according to three sources with knowledge of the budget plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
As for his decision to expand Medicaid, the Republican governor, a critic of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, could reap up to $300 million by expanding the state program in the coming budget year.
Before passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, people without children were not eligible unless they applied for welfare and earned no more than $140 a month. Allowing the expansion would reduce the burden on hospitals to treat uninsured patients, and the state, which partly reimburses those costs.
The revised Medicaid program would shift 100 percent of the costs to the federal government for these new enrollees for the first three years, then gradually taper it to 90 percent. The state could expect $1.7 billion a year to cover the costs.
Does Chris Christie have principles? Sure! And if you don't like those, he's got others.
Instead of a tax cut, we get more government spending! How's that for "conservative?"
They suckered him in with a promise of $300 million now. Which he desperately needs to plug his budget deficit. But, three years from now New Jersey's gonna need to come up with $1.7 billion just to keep this boondoggle afloat. Probably more actually, since nothing in Obamacare even comes close to restraining costs.
Yeah, that's fiscally prudent. If you're a
It turns out that providing insurance for people with pre-existing conditions costs way more than HHS and Dear Leader thought. So their solution is simple. Close the program to new applicants.
New Jersey next Friday will suspend enrollment in an insurance program for people with preexisting medical conditions mandated by the new federal health care law, officials said.
The state was directed to do so by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which received limited funding from Congress to provide coverage in each of the 50 states. Without the suspension, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan would be in danger of running out of money to cover those currently enrolled, according to a message posted on the program's website.
Who'da thunk it, eh? People with pre-existing conditions are expensive to insure. That's because they don't want insurance, they want someone to pay their bills. Insurance is for people who might get sick. When you're already sick there's no way your premiums can begin to cover your costs. Someone else has to pick up the tab.
I'm just amazed that HHS is admitting there is more to health insurance than rainbows and unicorns. Obamacare promised "affordable" coverage for everybody, and Dear Leader waved his hands whenever someone asked how he was going to pay for it.
Now we know how. Denial of coverage. Sorry. The election is over. He won.
He doesn't need you anymore. And if you thought he was gonna take care of
your problems? I guess it sucks to be you.
Dear Kathleen Sibelius, "No means No." We told you we wanted you to set up your own confounded Obamacare Exchange for New Jersey, and so, no, that doesn't mean we want to "partner" with you in running it either.
Leave us out of it. Keep your Washington bureaucracy in Washington.
Now if only Bob McDonnell could be as forthright,
Smitty would be a happy guy.
Starting next year health insurers can charge smokers 50% more.
Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.
The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.
For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.
Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.
And if you thought that the health insurance tax credit Dear Leader promised you would help here, you're sadly mistaken.
First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.
Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.
And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.
So let's see. Health insurance premiums are already doubling. And a 50% surcharge on smokers really puts the affordable into the Affordable Care Act! Aren't you glad they passed the bill so you could find out what's in it?
From the "sucks to be you" file:
What's more important? Affordable higher education or health care coverage?
That's the question lawmakers are weighing as they consider controversial legislation that would eliminate New Jersey's requirement that all college students have health insurance in order to attend class.
College officials are pushing lawmakers to kill the law because the implementation of Obamacare is driving up the cost of the basic health insurance plans offered to uninsured students by their schools. The jump in premiums — from a few hundred dollars this school year to more than $1,700 next year in some cases — could force some students to drop out.
Most students use their their parents' plans, which cover children up to age 26. But a large number, especially low-income students and older county college students, purchase low-cost health care plans through their colleges to comply with the state law.
Those minimal-coverage plans, which currently cost $100 to $600 for bare-bones coverage at some schools, are being phased out as the country prepares to switch over to the new federal healthcare regulations championed by President Obama.
Raising the price of a basic health care insurance plan by $1,000 to $1,500 more a year will be enough to keep some students from attending college, school officials testified at the assembly hearing.
Hey, that individual mandate's a bitch, ain't it?
The poor dears. They rallied for Obama. The believed his mendacity. They never bothered to learn the sad truth — exhorbitant premiums for young people isn't a bug, it's a feature. Using the young and healthy to subsidize the sick and elderly is a central tenet of Obamacare's Marxist mandate. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
You've got the ability. Geezers got the need. Pay up suckas.
As surely as the sun will rise in the east, Obamacare's "cost cutting" promises will come up short. Converting every doctor's office in the known universe to electronic medical records was supposed to save us $81 billion a year. At least that was the theory. Reality? Not even close.
The report predicted that widespread use of electronic records could save the United States health care system at least $81 billion a year, a figure RAND now says was overstated. The study was widely praised within the technology industry and helped persuade Congress and the Obama administration to authorize billions of dollars in federal stimulus money in 2009 to help hospitals and doctors pay for the installation of electronic records systems.
"RAND got a lot of attention and a lot of buzz with the original analysis," said Dr. Kellermann, who was not involved in the 2005 study. "The industry quickly embraced it."
But evidence of significant savings is scant, and there is increasing concern that electronic records have actually added to costs by making it easier to bill more for some services.
Officials at RAND said their new analysis did not try to put a dollar figure on how much electronic record-keeping had helped or hurt efforts to reduce costs. But the firm's acknowledgment that its earlier analysis was overly optimistic adds to a chorus of concern about the cost of the new systems and the haste with which they have been adopted.
And lest you think I'm parrotting some Right Wing Rag, the link above goes
Pravda The New York Times. You know, the Official Media
Outlet of the Obama Administration, where they print all the news that's
approved by the DNC.
Wanna guess who paid for that overly optimistic RAND report?
Did you say "the electronic medical records industry?" You did? Bingo!
RAND's 2005 report was paid for by a group of companies, including General Electric and Cerner Corporation, that have profited by developing and selling electronic records systems to hospitals and physician practices. Cerner's revenue has nearly tripled since the report was released, to a projected $3 billion in 2013, from $1 billion in 2005.
Ain't crony capitalism grand?
Over the past 10 years health insurance costs have risen nearly 5 times faster than income.
The Commonwealth Fund, a privately funded, New York-based health research clearinghouse, looked at premiums across the conutry and found the average cost of a family health insurance plan is just above $15,000 — up 62 percent since 2003.
Median family income rose only 11 percent during the same time period, the report said.
In New Jersey, average premiums for a single payer have risen to $5,673 — up from $3,814 in 2003. For a family, the price has gone up to $15,589 — up from $10,168. All while incomes in the Garden State have basically stagnated in the last decade.
And it's not just premiums that increase. Because employers must pay more for healthcare, there is less money to be doled out in raises to employees.
The study's author's believe that the Affordable Care Act makes small steps toward reduce the rate with which costs increase, but predicts they will still rise far faster than median income.
Obamacare: You get less than half the value at more than twice the price!
I think Democrats call that "fairness".
Meanwhile in California, rates are going up twenty percent next year.
Blue Shield of California is calling for a 20% rate hike on some individual policyholders. The company expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.
Remember when Obama said we'd save $2,500 per year on our health insurance?
Then there's all the crippling taxes buried in Obamacare's fine print. They had to pass the bill to find out what's in it dontcha know. And when they found out, they weren't happy.
Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed. Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a "job-killing tax" — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.
Wait, raising taxes kills jobs? Why wasn't I informed!
Oh, I see, raising taxes on people who vote for Al Franken kills jobs. Raising taxes on Republicans? That's patriotic!
Chalk up the "Affordable" Care Act as yet another one of those government oxymorons like "military intelligence" or "bureaucratic efficiency". They're from the government and they're here to help you go broke.
Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.
Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a "sleeper issue" with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers.
"Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, (companies will) be hit with a multi-million dollar assessment without getting anything back for it," said Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.
Based on figures provided in the regulation, employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans could owe the per-person fee.
Most of the money will go into a fund administered by the Health and Human Services Department. It will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering uninsured people with medical problems. Under the law, insurers will be forbidden from turning away the sick as of Jan. 1, 2014.
People with pre-existing conditions don't want insurance. They want
someone to pay their medical bills. And thanks to Obamacare, that someone is
you and me.
Sorry Obamabots. The feds created the mess, the feds can administer the mess. New Jersey won't be helping Obamacare trample our freedom.
Governor Christie has vetoed legislation that would have set up a state-run health exchange needed to implement the federal Affordable Care Act in New Jersey.
Though the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a bill to have the state run its own exchange, New Jersey under Christie, a Republican, had been one of several states delaying a final decision.
Christie said in a statement released Thursday afternoon that the federal government hadn't provided "all the necessary information" he needed to make decision.
"Any other action than this would be fiscally irresponsible," Christie said in a statement.
"Thus far, we lack such critical information from the federal government," he said. "I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit today to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to other options, and how much control they will give the states over this option that comes at the cost of our state's taxpayers."
Alas, it looks like the feds don't exactly have their act together. They never imagined states would want to opt-out of Obamacare. You know, because it's so swell and all.
Will the feds be ready to provide an insurance exchange in all of the states that don't have one on October 1, 2013?
I have no idea. And neither does anyone else I talk to inside the Beltway. We only hear vague reports that parts of the new federal exchange information systems are in testing.
The former CIA director couldn't get away with an affair in this town but the Obama administration has a complete lid on just where they are on health insurance exchanges and haven't shown any willingness to want to talk about their progress toward launching on time — except to tell us all not to worry.
We are all worried. I would not want to be responsible for the work that remains and only have ten months to do it…
And Christie wasn't kidding about that cost uncertainty either. The lobbyists are chomping at the bit to lard these exchanges up with all sorts of mandatory, necessary coverages. Like accupuncture.
This is happening as states develop the requirements for insurance under Obamacare. Chiropractors and acupuncturists are lobbying to make sure that their services are included among the "essential" services that the new insurance must provide.
Also, infertility treatments. Which kinda goes against that whole free birth control shibboleth, but hey, nobody ever said liberals had to obey logic.
Good for Governor Christie. The less we have to do with this trainwreck the
better off we'll be.
Here's another one guaranteed to make liberal heads explode. Call it Irish socialized medicine #fail. Because when you've got a rare incurable disease, the U.S. is the only place you'll get treatment. At least until Obamacare fully kicks in.
Ryan McCormack suffers from adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), the genetic disorder profiled in the 1992 movie "Lorenzo's Oil." His prognosis is not good, but there's a chance that a bone marrow transplant coupled with gene therapy could arrest the disease.
Can Ryan get this life-saving treatment from the fully socialist and ostensibly "free" Irish NHS?
It costs €3 million. What do you think?
So he's traveling to Minnesota, and relying on the charity of strangers.
Hmm, what is it that Minnesota doesn't have, at least not yet?
Did you say "socialized medicine"? You win!
Amazingly when you take the bureaucrats out of the loop and put the free market into play you find that treatments for rare diseases are available. No, they're not "free". But then, neither is Obamacare. Oh sure, it's "free" to you. If you're named Sandra Fluke or you've got a disease the bureaucrats have decided is worth treating. But if your ailment isn't on their list? Come to America, while you still can.
Godspeed Ryan. I pray your treatments are successful. And that they're completed
Donald Berwick and his
IPAB (please don't call it a "Death Panel"!) finish mucking up the
greatest health care system ever designed.
Remember when President Obama assured us that his health care reform legislation would reduce costs? Me neither.
Millions of senior citizens enrolled in some of the most popular Medicare prescription drug plans face double-digit premium hikes next year according to a private firm that analyzes the highly competitive market.
Seven of the top 10 prescription plans are raising their premiums by 11 percent to 23 percent, according to a report this week by Avalere Health.
Just last month Barry said premiums would remain flat!
In August, officials had announced that the average premium for basic prescription drug coverage will stay the same in 2013, at $30 a month.
So why are the premiums going up? Expanded coverages! Close that "doughnut hole" and somebody's gotta pay. Turns out it's us.
But what did you expect from the guy who promised us a $2500 annual premium reduction only to deliver a $3000 average increase? He lied through his teeth and gullible Americans ate it up.
That had better not happen again, because you simply cannot trust a word Barack Obama says, including "and" and "the".
UPDATE 26 Sep 2012 10:55:
But wait, there's more!
Students at Portland State University will see their premiums jump from $444 to $1,680 thanks to Obamacare-mandated increases in coverage. How's that Hope and Change working out for you now kids?
Certain people keep telling me Obamacare will reduce costs. Not my costs though, my premiums only go one way. Up. And not a major pizza chain's costs, Papa John's plans to raise prices thanks to Obamacare.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been blamed for a lot of things—higher taxes, potential insurance rate hikes, and now, higher pizza prices. According to Papa John's Founder, Chairman and CEO John H. Schnatter, health-care reform will cost the company an additional 11 cents to 14 cents per pizza.
Schnatter added that on a corporate basis, the reform would increase Papa John's price per pizza by 15 to 20 cents.
"If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs. And of course strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholder's best interest."
Pay more for insurance. Pay more for health care. And now pay more for pizza.
Is Obamacare the bee's knees or what?
What happens when Obamacare adds millions of new patients to the insurance rolls while doctors fed up with paltry reimbursements and onerous red tape leave the profession in droves?
In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama's health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area's needs. There are not enough now.
"We have a shortage of every kind of doctor, except for plastic surgeons and dermatologists," said Dr. G. Richard Olds, the dean of the new medical school at the University of California, Riverside, founded in part to address the region's doctor shortage. "We'll have a 5,000-physician shortage in 10 years, no matter what anybody does."
Experts describe a doctor shortage as an "invisible problem." Patients still get care, but the process is often slow and difficult. In Riverside, it has left residents driving long distances to doctors, languishing on waiting lists, overusing emergency rooms and even forgoing care.
Rationing. And longer waits for care from harried doctors who can't afford to devote the time they should to your case. Unless you're willing to pay more.
If you're rich enough to afford a gold plated policy, you will likely have no trouble finding a physician to treat you. Health care for the average American is not going to get better, it is going to get worse. And we have Obamacare to thank for that.
Remember Obama's promise? "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor."
Here's the missing codicil: Only if your doctor wants to keep you.
Also linked by a new fan from Argentina, El Opinador Compulsivo.
The Catholic family that owns a Colorado-based company won a court victory in their battle to stop the Obama administration from requiring them to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception, a mandate they say violates their religious beliefs and First Amendment rights.
Hercules Industries, a Denver-based heating ventilation and air conditioning manufacturer that employs nearly 300 full-time workers, got an injunction in federal court which stops enforcement of the controversial ObamaCare mandate. The company's lawyers said they needed the injunction immediately because if the mandate is enforced, it must begin immediately making changes to its health plan, which renews on Nov. 1.
The case is similar to ones brought by Catholic-based colleges that have refused to provide employee insurance with such coverage, except this time, it is a secular corporation.
In his order, Colorado District Judge John Kane said that the government's arguments "are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion."
And what was the government's argument? Why that "Amish Exemption" that Nadz hangs his hat on!
The Obama administration argued in a 76-page response that the Newlands' challenge "rests largely on the theory" that a for-profit, secular corporation can claim to exercise a religion and avoid laws regulating commercial activity.
"This cannot be," the motion reads, citing the 1982 case of United States v. Lee, in which the court held that self-employed Amish workers could be exempt from Social Security taxes, but did not extend the exemption to Amish employers. "Indeed, the Supreme Supreme Court has recognized that, '[w]hen followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.'"
But that's not their only argument. Don't like Obamacare, go out of business.
"Hercules Industries has made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business," the Justice Department said in a formal filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
In response to the Justice Department's argument that the Newlands can either give up practicing their religion or give up owning their business, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the family, said in a reply brief: "[T]o the extent the government is arguing that its mandate does not really burden the Newlands because they are free to abandon their jobs, their livelihoods, and their property so that others can take over Hercules and comply, this expulsion from business would be an extreme form of government burden."
Let 'em eat food stamps!
Heck, they didn't build that business anyway. Somebody else made that happen.
Looks like Scalia's gonna have the last word on this one afterall.