You have to ask yourself why the Democrats would change the entire United States healthcare system for just 5 % of the electorate? Doesn’t make sense does it?
Fact: Senator Chuck Schumer, a key democratic senatorial leader, made the following public statements recently to the National Press Club:
Only about 5 % of the electorate benefits from Obamacare.
Only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote.
The Democratic controlled Senate and Democratic controlled House of Representatives ignored the need of United States middle class citizens for better wages and jobs in order to pass Obamacare.
Senator Schumer actively supported the passage of Obamacare, voted for its approval and aggressively fought any attempts to correct the shortcomings of Obamacare.
Now, Senator Schumer admits that Obamacare has not benefitted the Democratic Party. He doesn’t seem interested in the damage Obamacare has done to the practice of medicine and the welfare of American middle class citizens. He is only concerned about the damage Obamacare has and will do to the Democratic Party.
The Democrats controlled the House and Senate when they wrote and passed Obamacare. The Democrats did not seek any input from Republicans when crafting Obamacare. So, why should the American Public have any faith in a political party which:
Ignored the obvious economic pain and need of American middle class citizens for more and better jobs in favor of passing the mandate called Obamacare,
Changed the entire United States healthcare system in order to benefit 5 % of the electorate,
In order to push through their leader’s agenda at the expense of 95 % of the electorate.
A lack of common sense and a lack of compassion for the middle class deluded Democrats into the belief that ignoring the interests of 95 % of the electorate in order to ram through the ideology of their leader would not ultimately backfire. The American Public is too smart to allow the Democrats to get away with that. Now, Senator Schumer acknowledges that “[t]o aim a huge change in mandate [Obamacare] at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense.”
American citizens cannot rely on a Political Party that admits it sacrificed the welfare of 95 % of the electorate in order to pass a healthcare entitlement that only benefits 5 % of the electorate. That is not a political party that is interested in the well-being of all American citizens.
In October of 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Jonathan Gruber who has been identified as one of the architects of Obamacare, made the following statement:
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really critical to getting the thing [Obamacare] to pass.”
Transparency means clarity. It means that information needed by voters to make a sound decision on an issue is fully known. It means that those presenting the issue tell the American public the truth. Without transparency and truth, the American voter cannot make a sound decision.
Transparency can prevent corruption. The lack of transparency propagates corruption by those who manipulate the truth. The lack of transparency is the lack of truth.
Professor Gruber’s statement, one of many similar statements, indicates that a conscious decision was made to not be transparent when presenting the facts of Obamacare to the American voter. In order to insure the passage of Obamacare, a conscious decision, on the part of the Obama administration, was made to not tell the truth to the American voter. Professor Gruber admits this was necessary to insure that the bill would be passed.
Professor Gruber indicates that “the stupidity of the American voter” was the reason the Obama administration was able to dupe the American public with a lack of transparency concerning Obamacare.
The American public is not stupid. They have the ability to make sound decisions when they are presented with truthful facts concerning an issue. No one can make a sound decision when they are only presented with untruths and obfuscations.
Only elitists would consider the American voter “stupid.” Only elitists would abandon the common good and the rights of the American voter in order to proceed with their own agenda.
The Common Good
The common good insures that the social systems and institutions, which we depend upon, must operate in a manner that benefits all people. An example of a particular common good is a just and fair government that does not deceive its citizens. The common good does not just happen. It must be attained through cooperative effort.
The common good is served when a government does not deceive its citizens in order to promote its leader’s own agenda. Demanding that others bear the burden for this deceit does not serve the common good of either the government or its citizens.
A right is a justified claim on others. The justification of a claim is dependent on some standard acknowledged and accepted not just by the claimant, but also society in general.
U. S. citizens have a right to expect that their elected officials, and staff, shall function in a manner that will allow citizens to accurately understand the impact of legislative changes. The social costs of abandoning this right will result in damage to the institutions and individuals honored with preserving this right.
When will the American voter demand that this administration cease untruths and obfuscation. The ultimate betrayal of a government is to knowingly deceive its citizens.
With the recent lapses, intentional and non-intentional, in self-monitoring by Ebola exposed healthcare workers it has become apparent that certain questions must be answered.
Question 1: Is a 21-day self-monitoring quarantine adequate to determine Ebola exposure and infection?
Question 2: Can a negative blood test for Ebola be definitive before symptoms have developed?
Question 3: Can a mandatory quarantine be imposed upon an individual exposed to Ebola?
Fact: CDC Ebola interim guidance states:
“Ebola virus is detected in blood only after the onset of symptoms, usually fever. It may take up to 3 days after symptoms appear for the virus to reach detectable levels. Virus is generally detectable by real-time RT-PCR from 3-10 days after symptoms appear.” http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ebola-lab-guidance.pdf
Fact: Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 U. S. Supreme Court decision will support the right to quarantine an individual when there is a public need for quarantine.
Fact: Treatment of a quarantined individual has to be reasonable and decent. It cannot be punitive.
Fact: An individual must be given the right to protest an imposed quarantine.
Fact: Ebola is an infectious agent that has a known high lethality.
Quarantine is a time-tested response to slowing the spread of infectious disease. Voluntary compliance with an imposed quarantine is an important part of infectious disease control. A self-monitoring quarantine may be appropriate for individuals that have discipline and empathy toward their community. But, if the individual does not consider the impact of noncompliance on the community then a mandatory state imposed quarantine is justified.
“The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 11 (1905).
“It might be that an acknowledged power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all, might be exercised in particular circumstances and in reference to particular persons in such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts at 27.
Healthcare workers should be cognizant of the impact their behavior has on the community and act in the best interest of the community. If they elect to self-monitor they should confine themselves for the duration of the quarantine. They should not potentially expose others to disease, even if they are not infectious, until the quarantine period is over. Currently, it seems that healthcare workers feel that they should not be subject to the rules of quarantine. This attitude does not reinforce confidence in the profession. It also creates a standard for the rest of the community to not be compliant if they are quarantined.
There are a certain percentage of individuals that will not show Ebola symptoms until after the standard 21-day incubation period. Both the CDC and the WHO understand this. Therefore, the incubation period and quarantine period will have to be increased in order to insure the safety of the community.
Ebola can be diagnosed by blood test only after the individual has developed symptoms. So, if an infected individual is tested before he or she develops symptoms, the blood test may come back as a false negative. Therefore, a negative blood test should not be used as a definitive test if there are no symptoms being demonstrated.
If you are an exposed healthcare worker feeling good, do not assume that you will not develop symptoms until at least 42 days out.
If you are a healthcare worker, recently exposed to Ebola, you have an obligation to adhere to any quarantine either imposed by the state or self imposed. You must consider the impact that noncompliance will have on others. Noncompliance will erode trust in the healthcare profession and may unnecessarily expose others to disease. That is morally and ethically wrong.
Any “fundamental” liberty interest you think you may have that justifies your noncompliance does not exist. Your liberty will be balanced against the state’s interest in protecting its citizens. The Court will usually side with the state.
The CDC has been aware of the lethality of Ebola for decades.
I have been listening to the Obama administration’s public health officials continually state that there is no need to terminate incoming travel into the U. S. from the West Africa Ebola hot zones. These public health officials justify their inaction with statements that limiting travel from countries in the hot zone will damage the West African nations’ economies, or make it difficult to get supplies and healthcare personnel into these countries, or make other nations less likely to announce, in the future, that they may have similar disease scenarios. These are baseless reasons for not enforcing a travel ban into the U. S. They defy common sense. They abandon the duty of the Obama administration’s public health officials to protect the American people from a deadly disease.
The correct public health action would have been to ban travel from West Africa until the Ebola crisis could be contained and managed. That would have eliminated the present situation of Ebola becoming a viable entity in the U. S.
Common sense dictated a ban.
The Obama administration should rethink its Ebola policy and initiate a travel ban immediately.
An important U. S. House of Representatives Bill designed to increase primary care physicians is only given a 1% chance of being enacted. If the Bill is structured differently, its chance of passage would be greater.
On September 16th, a Bill [H.R. 5498] was introduced to the U. S. House of Representatives. It attempts to reduce the primary care physician shortage by enticing primary care physicians, who have left active clinical practice, to return to active practice. The Bill is titled: “To establish a demonstration program to facilitate physician reentry into clinical practice to provide primary health services.“
The justification for the demonstration pilot programs is a forecasted shortage of primary care physicians that will reach 45,000 by the year 2020. The shortage of all types of physicians will surpass 130,000 by 2025.
The Bill wants to conduct a demonstration pilot project in each of the 10 regions served by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Bill authorizes grant funds to be appropriated to carry out the projects for fiscal year 2015.
Any physician participating in these reentry projects must agree to provide primary care services in a health center for the medically underserved, a Veterans Administration Medical Center, or a school based health center for not less than two years.
There are two primary structural flaws to this attempt to induce primary care physicians to reenter active clinical practice:
1. There is no need of demonstration projects.
Primary care physicians, who have previously been educated, trained, and engaged in active clinical practice, simply need a three to six month re-introduction to clinical practice. Such a program should be aligned with existing primary care residency and fellowship programs. These programs have the structure needed for a reentry program. Participating in these programs would be enough to update reentering physicians. The institutions, residents and reentering physicians would all benefit from this arrangement.
2. The Bill has a built in penalty for any physician that seeks reentry through it.
If you want to entice primary care physicians to reenter active clinical practice you must make it worth their while. Requiring a two-year period of indentured servitudeis not an enticement. It is the opposite and will severely limit the pool of physicians who will consider reentry.
Also, most reentering primary care physicians may only want to work part-time. Forcing them to make a full-time commitment will limit the pool of primary care physicians considering reentry.
The need to bring back primary care physicians to active clinical practice has to be done simply and quickly. There is no need for demonstration projects. Structured vehicles to accomplish this already exist. Use them.
Fact: ISIS has explicitly stated it intends to attack, terrorize and destroy the United States mainland and Western Europe.
Fact: The U.S. government has known about this threat for a long time but has not reacted to it.
Fact: In January of 2014, President Obama told New Yorker magazine’s David Remnick that ISIS, which was then still considered a part of al Qaeda, fighting in Syria was like a JV basketball team.
Fact: President Obama, on August 29, 2014, told the World that “We don’t have a strategy yet” for ISIS in Syria.
Fact: ISIS leadership is based in Syria.
Fact: ISIS is a much greater threat to Western Civilization than Al Qaeda ever was.
Fact: ISIS is a splintered form of Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Wahabi Islam that has become more dogmatic and barbaric than the Saudi’s anticipated.
Fact: The ISIS form of Islam operates on the premise that any person who declares that he or she will not conform to the ISIS form of Islam must be killed.
Fact: The Sunni’s of Iraq have become acutely aware that ISIS’s Sunni Wahabi form of Islam does not accept or support all Sunni’s and Shiites.
Fact: All Middle East Muslims, including Saudi Arabia, now fear the spread of ISIS.
With the advent of ISIS taking control of part of Syria and Iraq the remainder of the Islamic countries in the region are aware that ISIS is not simply interested in creating a limited Islamic State. ISIS wants to conquer the remainder of Islam and then proceed to conquer the remainder of the non-Islamic world.
Strategy to deal with ISIS:
The only strategy that can be considered is a military strategy. Such a strategy must have a clearly defined end, ways of applying force to reach the end and means consisting of instruments and resources that can be used in order to achieve the end.
End: The only end that can be applied to ISIS, is the clear destruction of ISIS. A Carthaginian Solution that results in the total destruction of ISIS so that it can never be reborn.
Ways: A coalition of regional forces must be quickly assembled to respond to the ISIS threat.
ISIS leadership based in Syria must be destroyed quickly.
The remainder of ISIS must then be destroyed.
Means: U.S. and Western Europe must join the coalition and give the regional powers the support needed in the form of intelligence, arms, airpower and ground support as needed.
Saudi Arabia has sufficient airpower to make a major contribution. The Kurds have the desire and ability to defend their territory. The Iraqis, both Sunni and Shiite, know that ISIS intends to make both subservient. Jordan’s survival is on the line. Syria’s survival is also on the line. Iran, as a Shiite nation, is a target for ISIS. The entire Middle East is subject to the ISIS threat. The entire region has a vested interest in destroying ISIS. They should supply effective manpower to do so.
If the regional powers do not marshal their forces, then the West should act alone and destroy ISIS. But, do so with the utmost efficiency possible. Do not fight in major cities with ground forces, simply bomb the cities with ISIS presence to the ground. Then go in when everything is leveled.
Send a message to the World that the West must not be threatened. Make those, who desire to terrorize us, think twice before acting. Machiavelli said it best: “Better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”
War weary U. S. does not want to go back into the Middle East. But sometimes, reality does not give one a choice. President Obama should have little trouble in coming up with a strategy to deal with ISIS. I am sure that the Department of Defense has presented multiple strategies to him already. It is better to act sooner than later in this situation.
Again, the “political experts” on cable TV continue to state that Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama is a “stunt” and will not be accepted by the Court because it addresses a “political question.” But, the problem with this argument is that Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit will address a question of constitutional law, not a political question.
President Obama and his administration unilaterally delayed the clearly defined implementation date of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare].
A political question is an issue that is controlled by the decision-making authority of elected politicians that is outside of the domain of constitutional law. When a law is clear on when it must be executed, there is no decision to be made by the President concerning the time to implement. He must execute the law and implement it as the law requires. Article 2 of the U. S. Constitution directs the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” A failure to do so is a breach of the U. S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
The lawsuit will ask the Court to resolve a legal question, not a political one. Simply put, did President Obama violate the U. S. constitution by refusing to implement a law, which the President acknowledges was prescribed by Congress and is a valid and constitutional law?
Even if there was some political undertone to the issue, the Court must still address it as Chief Justice Burger confirmed in 1983:
“It is correct that this controversy may, in a sense, be termed ‘political.’ But the presence of constitutional issues with significant political overtones does not automatically invoke [462 U.S. 919, 943] the political question doctrine. Resolution of litigation challenging the constitutional authority of one of the three branches cannot be evaded by courts because the issues have political implications in the sense urged by Congress.Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (1803), was also a ‘political’ case, involving as it did claims under a judicial commission alleged to have been duly signed by the President but not delivered. But ‘courts cannot reject as ‘no law suit’ a bona fide controversy as to whether some action denominated ‘political’ exceeds constitutional authority.’ Baker v. Carr, supra, at 217.” INS v. Chadra, 462 U.S. 919, 942-43 (1983).
Chief Justice Burger continued on to say:
“Chief Justice Marshall observed: ‘It is the peculiar province of the legislature to prescribe general rules for the government of society; the application of those rules to individuals in society would seem to be the duty of other departments.’ Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch 87, 136 (1810). In my view, when Congress undertook to apply its rules to Chadha, it exceeded the scope of its constitutionally prescribed authority.’” INS v. Chadra at 967.
So, if Congress’s action against Chadra exceeded the scope of Congress’s constitutional authority and required the Court to rule against Congress, then so should the Court rule on the President’s refusal to exercise his constitutional duty to execute a law that was prescribed by Congress. Each is a constitutional question.
Congress represents the citizens of the United States. The U. S. Constitution gives Congress the duty to enact laws for the benefit of U. S. citizens. A President’s unilateral refusal to see that these enacted laws are faithfully executed disenfranchises the citizens of the United States from their Congressional representation. This is a clear violation of the U. S. Constitution.
Recently, two separate Federal Courts ruled on whether or not the payment of Obamacare health insurance tax credits [subsidies] are conditioned upon an individual purchasing health insurance through an Exchange run by a State rather than a Federally run exchange. One Court ruled it did matter whether or not the insurance policy was purchased on a State exchange rather than a Federal exchange. The other Court ruled that it did not matter. Two separate rulings on the same issue and same facts. Why did this difference occur?
The Court ruling that health insurance tax credits [subsidies] were only available to those who purchased their insurance from a State exchange was composed of two Judges appointed by Republican Presidents and one judge appointed by a Democratic President. The Democratic judge dissented against the ruling of the two Republican judges who favored the position that tax credits [subsidies] were only available for health insurance policies purchased on State exchanges.
The other Court consisted of three judges appointed by Democratic Presidents. They all ruled that it did not matter if an individual purchased insurance from a State or Federal exchange.
The decisions in each Court were strictly along party lines. It seems like political judicial activism.
Obamacare provides a tax credit [subsidy] for a qualified health plan offered in the individual market within a State which covers the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent of the taxpayer … “that was enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under [§] 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
The verbiage of Obamacare is specific. It says that tax credits [subsidies] are only allowed for insurance policies purchased through State exchanges. It does not say they are available for policies purchased on Federal exchanges.
In January 2012, Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor, who played a key role in helping write the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] for Congress, publicly said:
“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.”
Professor Gruber publicly supported this logic during another speech on a separate occasion.
It seems that a major architect of Obamacare supported the specific verbiage of Obamacare which limits tax credits [subsidies] to policies purchased only on State exchanges.
A Court must ask itself whether or not the verbiage in the statute at issue unambiguously expresses the intent of Congress. The verbiage is not ambiguous. It is specific and does not say that tax credits [subsidies] are available to policies purchased through a Federal exchange. The statutory text is not ambiguous and that is all a Court has to determine.
If the statute’s text, at issue, was ambiguous, the Court could then look into legislative history to determine if the intent of Congress differed from the language of the statute. But, Professor Gruber’s statements support the specific verbiage of the statute at issue.
In the Halbig v. Burwell case, the Court, ruling in favor of the literal acceptance of the statute’s verbiage, correctly said:
“As the Supreme Court explained just this term, ‘an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate.‘ UARG, 134 S. Ct. at 2446. And neither may we. ‘The role of th[e] [c]ourt is to apply the statute as it is written—even if we think some other approach might ‘accor[d] with good policy … [T]he fact that Congress might have acted with greater clarity or foresight does not give courts a carte blanche to redraft statutes in an effort to achieve that which Congress is perceived to have failed to do.’”
You have to ask yourself why four judges, with Democratic affiliations, ruled the other way?
Democrats in Congress state that they simply forgot to include Federal exchanges in the statute at issue and this should be overlooked. But, it was a statute written by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democratic President. The text is unambiguous. Dr. Gruber’s statement supports that the intent of Congress was the same as the text of the statute. Now, the only recourse is to have the statute changed by Congress. The Courts must not change the statute.
This issue will be resolved when the King v. Burwell case [in which the Court changed the statute to include Federal exchanges] is reviewed by the U. S. Supreme Court.
I hear “political experts” on cable TV deride Speaker Boehner’s future lawsuit against the President as a cheap stunt and as an attack on Obamacare. Some in his administration say that the suit will “have no legs,” meaning it will get nowhere because the Speaker has no “standing” to bring a lawsuit.
They are wrong. The suit is not a stunt. Nor is it an attack on Obamacare.
The suit is a means of correcting a harm that has been done to Congress. The U.S. Constitution created the “Separation of Powers” as a check and balance against an abuse of power by one branch of government. Article 1 of the Constitution vests the power of creating laws solely with Congress. Article 2 of the Constitution directs the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and “preserve and defend the Constitution.”
Congress makes law and the President must insure that law is faithfully executed. The President cannot ignore or change a law.If the President wants a law to change, he must ask Congress to change it.
If the President unilaterally and arbitrarily fails to execute a law or decides to change it, he has usurped the power of Congress. He has harmed the constitutionally granted power of Congress. Congress cannot allow this to occur. If they do, it will indicate that they agree to an unconstitutional erosion of Congressional power and an undermining of the “Separation of Powers.”
President Obama and his administration unilaterally delayed the implementation of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. The Obama administration did this without getting the agreement of Congress. The employer mandate, as part of Obamacare and to begin in 2014, requires certain employers with 50 or more “full-time equivalent” employees [working 30 or more hours a week] to be fined if they do not provide health care coverage for their employees.
Speaker Boehner’s suit uses this particular constitutional violation as a clear example of the President’s illegal encroachment on the constitutional power of Congress. The problem with the Obama administration’s action is that it cannot ignore a Bill that a Democratic Congress has passed and the Democratic President has signed into Law. That is a clear violation of Article I, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution.
Speaker Boehner, representing the Congress, must show an injury caused by the President’s action that can be remedied by a favorable decision. The President’s unconstitutional encroachment on the Congressional power to make law has injured Congress. If the President’s act is allowed to stand it could damage the future of constitutionally granted powers of Congress. A decision in Congress’s favor will remedy the injury to Congress. If the courts look at standing in this fashion, the suit will “have legs.”
President Obama has given Congress no other alternative then to move forward with the lawsuit.
While on sentry duty, in a past war, an unknown soldier etched the following into a checkpoint wall:
“God and the soldier, all men adore in time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the soldier slighted.”
This is what happened during and after the Vietnam War. No one wanted it to happen again, but it has.
The unprepared for demands on the Veterans Administration have insured that many returning soldiers will be and have been “slighted.”
The soldiers, men and women, have and will continue to return home. They have been touched by war both mentally and physically. Let’s make sure that they are not “slighted.” Let’s make sure they get the services and care they need to return to a productive civilian life.
A poem, “The Sacrifice”, by Nancy Meeks aptly describes the long-term effects of war on soldiers:
“Will he ever find peace here on this earth?
Before death’s fingers encircle his throat
Or will peace remain just beyond his girth
Abandoning him eternally to a land remote
Will no one heed the gutteral cries
Of this bleeding soldier swaying in the wind
Seeing his own soul burning in demonic eyes
Fighting eternal battles which refuse to end.”
Let’s make sure that they find some peace and do not have to continue to fight “battles which refuse to end.”
The VA must redefine its mission as that of serving the patient firstand not as serving the bureaucracy first.
A new Secretary of Veterans Affairs will have to be able to roll up of his or her sleeves and be able to work down to the level of the weeds in order to insure that change will take effect. He or she will also need to have the authority to make changes without delay. This means that he or she must have the authority to terminate and replace bureaucrats.
Military code dictates that no soldier will ever be left behind. When you bring a soldier home and do not care for physical and mental injuries, he or she may be home, but they have been left behind. That is morally and ethically wrong.