Federal Judge in Texas Rules Affordable Care Act is Unconstitutional

The Affordable Care Act was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of US residents.

The decision Friday finding the ACA unconstitutional comes just before the end of a six-week open enrollment period for the program in 2019 and underscores a divide between Republicans who have long sought to invalidate the law and Democrats who fought to keep it in place.

US District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of Republican states led by Texas that he had to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act, the signature health-care overhaul by President Obama, after Congress last year zeroed out a key provision — the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance. The decision is almost certain to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

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Chipping Away at ObamaCare

By Scott W. Atlas M.D. – Re-Blogged From Headline Health

Americans keep winning on health care reform.

The public may only hear about a bungling Congress that could not repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – aka ObamaCare – even though it has been imploding on its own.

Less publicized, the Trump administration continues to implement important, strategic reforms that empower consumers, lower the cost of insurance, and improve access to more affordable medical care. And the administration just delivered again.

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Trustees Report: Medicare to Go Broke 3 Years Sooner

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class.

The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won’t be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point.

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Jobs, Wages, and Growth

   By Bob Shapiro

I posted an article wondering why wages haven’t been going up faster, considering that the Jobs picture looks so good. Though many of you may agree with the article, I’d like to offer an alternative point of view.

Have jobs been increasing dramatically? No, the official numbers are being misreported in news stories. What IS happening is that the US jobs market continues to lose full time workers while gaining a larger number of part time positions.

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Think College is Expensive Now – Wait Until its Free

By The Common Constitutionalist – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

There is a well known saying which most of us have heard. It goes: “You think it’s expensive now. Wait until it’s free.”

We heard it from those darned conservatives and fiscal hawks prior to the passage of ObamaCare, and the left claimed we were crying wolf. We said: “you think health insurance is expensive now – wait until it’s free.” And the left laughed and called us fearmongers.

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British Feds Ban Surgery for Smokers and the Obese

By Benjamin Arie -Re-Blogged From Conservative Tribune

Socialized medicine is a wonderful, compassionate system that brings important care to everyone… at least, that’s what leftists in the United States and Europe keep insisting.

As the United Kingdom is finding out, however, everyone is not actually equal under health care socialism. As soon as the system starts running out of other people’s money, people are quickly pushed out… and you’d better hope that you’re not one of the unlucky ones who gets thrown aside!

That’s exactly what happened this week in Britain, as the socialized National Health System announced that patients are being banned from important surgeries if they happen to be a bit overweight or smoke tobacco.

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Free Market Is Rising From the Ashes of Obamacare

By Will Ricciardella – Re-Blogged From Independent Journal Review

The complexity and costs of Obamacare mandates regarding medical records, billing codes, and prior authorizations forced thousands of independent doctors, mostly primary care doctors, to become part of large hospital networks to help absorb the added costs. Add the complexity and lack of cost transparency for the patient, and you have a recipe for a free market solution.

Government Recovery Act Funds South Florida Low-Income Health Clinics

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If You’re Going to get Sick – Better do it Before Single Payer

By The Common Constituionalist – Re-Blogged From http://www.iPatriot.com

On his radio program  Monday evening, Mark Levin was discussing the ghastly way the Republican Party has treated us regarding the whole healthcare debacle. Mark said, “It’s amazing to me that a man can remain the Majority Leader, McConnell, when the man controlling the Senate, for all intents and purposes, is Chuck Schumer.”

Levin said, “we thought Republicans would repeal ObamaCare – we thought that would be a no-brainer.”

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Larry Kudlow: Democrat Plan for Government-Run Healthcare a ‘Disaster’

By Rob Williams – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Larry Kudlow, the economist and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said the economic agenda spearheaded by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will be a “disaster,” if Medicaid is any guide.

“A government plan is not going to work. Medicaid, which is a disaster and has spiraled out of control and has expanded and expanded and expanded with no eligibility requirements anymore – that’s the perfect example,” Kudlow said on CNBC. “If you want a Democratic program that is going to be government-run, single payer – take a look at Medicaid, which has been a disaster.”

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Senate Pushing Obamacare Bailout

By Bill Hoffmann – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Newsmax TV on Thursday he remains dead set against the newly tweaked Senate healthcare bill and warned Republicans they will be clobbered with blame when their watered down version of the failing Affordable Care Act similarly begins to collapse.

“I don’t think some miracle happens with this Republican plan,” Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said on “Newsmax Now” with Bill Tucker. “The main thing that happens is now the . . . dysfunctional part of the marketplace is going to be blamed on Republicans.

Important: Newsmax TV is available on DirecTV Ch. 349, U-verse 1220, and FiOS 615. If your cable operator does not have Newsmax TV just call and ask them to put us on — Call toll-free 1-844-500-6397 and we will connect you right away to your cable operator! Continue reading

Rand Paul: Establishment Attempting to “Pull the Wool” over President’s Eyes on Obamacare Lite

By Onan Coca – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently sat down with Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle to discuss the bill that he calls “Obamacare-Lite,” and why it is that Republicans should be against it.

GOP leadership has long known that their “plan” for dealing with Obamacare would meet stiff resistance in Congress and on Main Street, which is why they did their best to hide the bill until the last moment possible. Now that it’s been made public, opposition has stiffened as conservatives begin to realize that this bill actually means that Obamacare will likely never be repealed, only retooled to satiate Republican opposition. How is it that the Republican Party, once opposed to socialized medicine, has now seemingly embraced some aspects of socialism? It’s a tremendous change from the way Republicans have been campaigning for the last 5 or 6 years, with their promises of repeal now giving way to simply offering mild adjustments to Obama’s healthcare disaster.

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Your Money or Your Life

By Herman Gazort – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

The armed robber puts a gun in your back and says it simply and frankly. The Marxist socialist says the same thing with more words.

As a matter of fact, the socialists main tool is words. They weaponize them by redefining concepts. They take a privilege and say it is a right. A socialist redefines himself as a “liberal” to confuse liberty with socialism. They redefine “tolerance” to confuse mercy and impunity and brand justice as “intolerant.” Now they redefine perversion as “sexual preference” so that soon pedophilia, necrophilia and animalism will be as “acceptable” as homosexuality. They have converted emasculation into “sensitivity” and masculinity into monstrosity, but in their insane rebellion against truth, the most “feminist” of “feminism” go to the most antifeminists of beliefs — Islam. In recent cases they are trying to convert immigration — a privilege by any sane standard — into a “right” for the purpose of eliminating nationality and thus national defense, sovereignty and patriotism. Socialists in judicial power will continue to do so until executive power stops their abuse and enforces constitutional law.

your-money-or

(Congratulations for standing up for RIGHTS President Trump.)

Globalists say they’ll take your money and kill you (wage external war or internal strife) if you don’t accept their debt based money, or accept their conditions of interest and political policy (like “human rights,” “social justice,” “tolerance,” “political correctness” and, eventually “global government and the New World Order.”) — These will use the money they created from our future to wage street protests and make nations fight each other Russia or China if you reject their money, their debt or their conditions, like not “bailing out” their banks with our future and the future of our future generations. Your money or your life — same concept different words.

In the “Affordable Health Care” plan, the globalists are, saying that they’ll keep you from even getting into a hospital if you don’t pay a big and ever increasing deductible or accept an unpayable debt. Same concept different words.

Communists say we’ll take your productive facilities or we’ll kill or throw you out. So they do, and the only thing they prove is that bureaucrats and politicians can’t produce, because they only know how to steal. And when the leaders only know how to steal, the people can’t learn how to produce. But they do learn how to steal from each other, so parasites eat parasites. In the early stages people have to wait in long lines to get bread, soap or toilet paper. In later stages, they hunt and eat each other. Same concept different words.

Fascists say, you need to buy our protection from competition with higher taxes or we’ll tax you to death and send criminal elements to shut you down. So, the net effect is big, inefficient, corporations that produce goods of less value for more costs, because of their overhead to government and banks. Honest, hardworking, creative competition dies out, and so does the morality of exchanging value for value. Same concept different words.

What dies is sovereignty, for the individual and the nation.

With the loss of sovereignty comes the loss of freedom. True freedom, the responsibility-driven freedom of doing the best and promoting the common good instead of the average bad of giving in and taking in so that you get some loot. It is, in essence a gradual loss of values which comes at a gradual increase in price. This is what religion calls selling your soul to the devil. The bigger the religion, the more formalized is the acceptance and “tolerance” of the average bad. Now, Marxism is the biggest religion.

The same concept — Your Money or Your Life.

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Tax Reform Must Be First Priority

By Larry Kudlow – Re-Blogged From http://www.Newsmax.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition continues to go smoothly. Better than smoothly. Confidently. More than confidently. Transcendently.

And to top it all off, the Dow is up 9 percent since the election, while economic-sensitive small-caps have jumped nearly 16 percent. These are signs of Trump confidence.

Hard-nosed investment manager Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and a non-political guy, expects the Trump years to be as transformational as the Reagan-Thatcher years. Dalio says the Trump era could “ignite animal spirits” and “shift the environment from one that makes profit-makers villains with limited power to one that makes them heroes with significant power.”

That’s as good a summary as I have found.

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Now, Even Democrats Can See the ObamaCare Death Spiral

NY Post Editorial – Re-Blogged From http://nypost.com

Another day, another Democrat finally owning up to the fact that ObamaCare is a disaster. And another state facing the implosion of its health insurance market.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton — once one of the Affordable Care Act’s most enthusiastic champions — is the latest Democrat to publicly eat crow for that support.

With good reason: Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are losing their coverage next year. And premiums on individual plans — which enroll 250,000 North Star State residents — will rise an average 50 percent to 67 percent.

“The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people,” Dayton admitted last week, calling the situation in his state “an emergency.”

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America’s 50-Pound Ball And Chain

By Cliff Droke – Re-Blogged From http://cdroke.blogspot.com

America’s economic condition is truly a “tale of two cities.”  Upper middle class and wealthy earners have never been more flush thanks in large part to the record liquidity creation of the last eight years as well as to their financial market exposure.

By contrast, the middle and lower classes have either stagnated or are struggling as perhaps never before, due in part to their under-exposure to the financial market but also to the erosion of their real estate wealth in the last 10 years.

The turmoil for the middle class began with the implosion of the real estate market in 2006 and accelerating with the events of the two years following.  The deterioration of home values and the loss of employment imperiled the middle class during the crisis years, and while many the middle class have since recovered their overall fortunes have never complete rebounded to pre-2007 levels.

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Bernie Sanders Says We Should be Spending Less on Health Care

By Ryan McMaken – Re-Blogged From http://www.mises.org

In the announcement of of his new health care plan this week, Bernie Sanders claimed that the US spends more on health care than any other country, and he said it as if it was a bad thing.
The claim that the US spends more than anyone else can indeed be true, depending on what measurement you use. As a dollar amount for all spending, Americans are near the top.  If you accept the World Health Organization’s, data — something that may or may not be advisable —  then the spending breakdown looks like this:
According to WHO, the US per capita spending is $8,467, followed by Norway at $6,106 and Luxembourg at $6,020.
Most of what puts the US above everyone else in this case is private spending. Rich countries in general spend more on health care since, even if one has access to taxpayer-financed health care, those with the means will often elect to pay for even more services (if the law allows). This isn’t just out-of-pocket, by the way. This is all spending in the private sector, so it includes the services already covered by a private insurance plan.  Although health care is among the most regulated and subsidized industries in the country, most government transactions are technically “private”:
Even after all that private spending, though, there’s still a whole lot of spending done by the government, and we find that in terms of government spending, the US is not an outlier at all, but is among the spendy-est of nations:
In this case, the US comes in at $4,047 behind Norway ($5,198), Luxembourg (5,061), and the Netherlands ($4,070), and is also quite comparable to Denmark ($3,801).
Wait, So Is Spending Now a Bad Thing? 
Here’s where it gets silly, though. When we’re talking about government spending on social welfare programs, the US is often condemned for not spending enough. Americans are stingy, we’re told, and are so greedy, in fact, they refuse to tax themselves to pay for more welfare programs.
The truth, however, is that the US is among the biggest spenders on welfare in general, and on health care in particular.
By this measure put out by the OECD, in terms of direct government spending on welfare as a percentage of GDP, the US comes in at 19.2 percent, which means it spends more than Australia, Canada, and Iceland. Switzerland is nearly equal to the US at 19.4 percent, and Norway is at 22 percent. So, we’re apparently to believe that this alleged “free market” and social-Darwinist system in the US is defined by a 2 to 3 percent difference in spending when compared to Norway or the United Kingdom (21.7%).
And this doesn’t even take into account all the tax breaks that the US commonly uses to reduce the tax burden on low-income households. If those are taken into account, the OECD notes, then social expenditure in the US is even higher than Norway, Luxembourg, and many others.
Nor does the government neglect health spending as part of all that spending. The US, which spends 20.3 percent of government expenditures on health, ranks with Switzerland (21.1%), New Zealand (20.3%), and Japan (19.4%):
So, if the US is spending nearly as much as, or even more than, the “generous” welfare states of northern Europe, why are we be constantly lectured about the need for more taxes and a larger role for government in everything?
Well, that’s when the advocates for even more taxpayer largesse change gears. “Don’t get me wrong,” they say. “We definitely need more taxes, and lots of them, but we need to spend those taxes differently.”
And that’s where the Bernie Sanders plan comes in. Sanders would like to overhaul the US health care system for the second time in five years, but this time, after instituting universal health care via a single-payer system, he’ll eventually make health care spending drop, and then we can cut taxes spend that tax money on something else.
How to Lower Costs: Revoke Choices for Patients
How will Sanders make the cost of health care go down? Well, that’s where things get murky, because the entire “plan” for doing this is about four pages long, and just based on the idea that administrative costs in the US are too high.
Writing in The New Yorker, James Surowiecki, who is hardly an advocate for laissez-faire, remains skeptical:

The answer in the document is vague: “Reforming our health care system, simplifying our payment structure and incentivizing new ways to make sure patients are actually getting better health care will generate massive savings.” The general idea seems to be that moving to the single-payer model will lead to a huge drop in administrative costs, and will also allow the government to use its leverage to drive down the prices of drugs and medical devices. According toan analysis that the campaign released by Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, costs in the new system would also rise much more slowly than they do today. Sanders claims that, all told, his plan will save ten trillion dollars across ten years.Neither the plan nor Friedman explains where those ten trillion dollars would come from.

Surowiecki concludes:

The truth is that if you want to save a trillion dollars a year in health-care spending, you can’t do it solely by cutting administrative costs and drug prices.

The fact of the matter is that high health care costs in the US are a byproduct of US consumer choices and a variety of factors far beyond the fact that administrative costs are high. Victor Fuchs writes in The Atlantic:

Why does the United States spend so much more? The biggest reason is that U.S. healthcare delivers a more expensive mix of services. For example, a much larger proportion of physician visits in the U.S. are to specialists who get higher fees and usually order more high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than primary care physicians.

Compared with the average OECD country, the U.S. delivers (population adjusted) almost three times as many mammograms, two-and-a-half times the number of MRI scans, and 31 percent more C-sections. Also, the U.S. has more stand-by equipment, for example, 1.66 MRI machines per 6,000 annual scans vs. 1.06 machines. The extra machines provide easier access for Americans, but add to cost.

Similarly, occupancy rates in U.S. acute care hospitals are much lower than in OECD countries, reducing the likelihood of delays in admissions, but building that extra capacity adds to cost. Aggressive treatment of very sick elderly also makes the mix expensive. In the U.S. many elderly patients are treated in intensive care units (ICUs), but in other countries they would receive only palliative care. More amenities such as privacy and space in hospitals and more attractive clinics also add to U.S. costs.

While the U.S. mix of services is disproportionately tilted toward more expensive interventions, the other OECD countries emphasize a “plain vanilla” mix. Compared with the U.S., the average OECD country has 30 percent more physician visits and more than 30 percent more hospital days per capita.

One can agree or disagree from a medical perspective as to whether or not all those C-sections and tests are a good thing, but the fact of the matter is that Americans seem to have no problem with taking advantage of all these “extra” health services. Old people are free to refuse intensive efforts to save their lives, and opt for the European model of letting very-ill old people die sooner rather than later to save money. But many choose procedures designed to prolong their lives instead of merely ease their pain.
These are choices that real people make, and the only way to truly cut the cost of health care such a system is to diminish the ability of people to make these choices.  Rather than leave these decisions up to the individuals, who may opt for more expensive options, these choices would instead have to be made by administrators who are primarily concerned with keeping costs under control.
Now, even if one has no particular problem with government control of the health care system, anyone whose honest about any political decision knows that there are both winners and losers, and upsides and downsides. There are upsides to single-payer type health care if all you need is some antibiotics and a hernia surgery.
However, if your problem involves difficult diagnostic problems, you may opt for the more “expensive” health care system.
But What About Outcomes?
Having been robbed of the idea that the US welfare state is unusually stingy, the advocates for more welfare must then fall back on the idea that the outcomes are worse, so, therefore, the US taxpayers must both spend more and spend differently.
The problem is that it is not at all obvious that the outcomes would be significantly different after some additional tinkering with the system.
After all, the divergence between US outcomes and the outcomes in the supposedly superior systems of western Europe can be quite small.
Here’s a map of life expectancy at birth for Europe, using OECD data. It ranges from the mid-70s in Russia and Eastern Europe, to 83 in Iceland and Switzerland. Government-provided health care is the norm throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe:
 Below is the same scale imposed on North America.
It ranges from a high of 82 in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, to 75 in West Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma. (Nearly all of Mexico is below 76 years.)
Most of the northern and Western US, however, has life expectancy levels at or above 80, putting is in the same category with Denmark, the UK, Belgium, and others.
Moreover, what we find is that, while all the US health care law is dominated by federal law, the differences in state life expectancy statistics can range by several years depending on regional factors. In other words, health care law in the US is nationwide, but health care outcomes vary significantly by region.
Logically, this would lead us to believe that health care outcomes depend on something more than mere public policy, including obesity rates, foreign born populations, and ethnic makeup. (See here for more.)
These issue can have profound effects on health outcomes, and although its been recently implied in the context of migrants that Europe is very ethnically diverse, the reality is that European countries are far more ethnically uniform, far more “white” than the US, and definitely less fat.
Indeed, if the US had an ethnic mix like Canada, where the largest non-white group is Asians (who have higher life expectancy than whites), and where the percentage of immigrants is higher than it is in the US, the life expectancy of the US would immediately increase significantly. (In North America, immigrants are healthier than natives.) Like Europeans, Canadians are also less obese than Americans.
Conclusions
None of what I say here should be regarded as an endorsement of the American health care system which today is largely a hodgepodge of government regulations and historical accidents that led to the creation of a system driven by huge insurance conglomerates in a response to federal public policy after World War II. It’s a system that encourages more private spending on health care, by the way.
There is, of course, nothing “free-market” or laissez faire about American health care.
However, we should also be realistic about the effects of the suggested alternatives, which seek primarily to replace a highly regulated system with a totally centrally-planned one. Both are very sub-optimal, and a shift from the current system to a new system will bring both costs and benefits for different groups.
But, this idea that a move to a European-style system of health care will slash costs is based on nothing more than pure speculation, which is why no details are provided. In the meantime, taxpayers will be expected to pay far more in taxes.  And in the midst of it all, there’s no reason to believe that outcomes will be changed significantly in light of the realities of lifestyle, demographics, and geography.

Happy New Employment

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

As we are about to ring in the new year, we can give thanks for the “Full Employment” Economy. That big Thank You needs to go to the manipulators of the official statistics over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and elsewhere in our government.

It should be remembered that the Participation Rate among working age Americans is at a multi-generation record low. 10 Million Americans or more burned through over a year’s worth of unemployment benefits, and still could not find a job which payed more than Welfare and Food Stamps.

These people, who have given up hope, were re-defined out of the ranks of the officially unemployed. Too bad for them, but they no longer count – or rather no longer are being counted.

However, some people were able to find full time jobs, even if the skill level – and pay level – was far below what the had become accustomed to. Too bad for them, but having to accept half of what they used to be paid, doesn’t mean they are unemployed. Under-employed people don’t count – or don’t get counted by the BLS.

Some formerly unemployed Americans have accepted part-time jobs. Checking the official numbers, part-time positions have skyrocketed while full-time openings have plunged. (The surge in part-time vs full-time jobs must be one of the hidden “Benefits!” of ObamaCare.) But again, a job is a job, so no use complaining about it. And, no use expecting to be counted as unemployed.

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Restaurants Try to Make Customers Eat Obamacare

B Joe Scudder – Re-Blogged From http://www.politicaloutcast.com

Chief Justice Roberts said that the Affordable Care Act’s fine for not purchasing Obamacare insurance was Constitutional because it was really a tax. That was legally outrageous but it was economically interesting. What is the difference between the government taxing you for the sake of “services” the government wants to provide and the government fining you for the same reason? The fact is Obamacare is a massive tax in lots of ways. Being required to pay more for services we don’t want (at least, not at that price) is no different than having our taxes raised.

And it has the same effect on businesses–it hurts and destroys them. Ellie Bufkin writes at The Federalist,

By now most people have heard that many popular restaurants in New York City have abolished tipping, and raised their menu prices by up to 40 percent, which now gives them the ability to pay everyone on staff more and provide full-time health coverage. Some restaurants tried a different tactic, including Brooklyn pizzeria Franny’s. They announced that checks would soon include a line item that reads “3% surcharge for Obamacare,” then quickly reversed that decision after complaints. Now they will raise all their prices, despite their concerns this means “putting $22 pizza on the menu.”

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How the Federal Government Betrayed Millennials

By Veronique de Rugy – Re-Blogged From http://www.Reason.com

Candidates running for president should take the following warning seriously: Years of bad government policies catering to interest groups have created a generation of young people facing tremendous challenges in the labor market and little chance to experience the good old American dream. We can hope that someone will put this government-created generation of disinherited at the center of his or her platform.

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Ending the US Economic Tailspin

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

After WWII, with the advent of the jet engine, a race was on to see who could break the Sound Barrier first.

To pick up the final burst of speed in order to get past Mach I, just over 760 mph, test pilots would go up to 45,000 feet, and then point the nose down and fall to earth. At the last moment, they would “pull up” on the stick, expecting for that to pull the plane up and out of the dive.

Several pilots killed themselves in crashes, until in October, 1947, one pilot, Chuck Yeager, realized that pulling up on the stick was making the plane go down even more.

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Responding to King v. Burwell: Congress’s First Step Should Be to Remove Costly Mandates Driving Up Premiums

By and – Re-Blogged From http://www.heritage.org

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in King v. Burwell before the end of June. Should the Court reject the Obama Administration’s regulatory interpretation of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at issue in the case, the Treasury would be barred from paying health insurance subsidies to individuals who obtained coverage thorough Healthcare.gov, the federally run exchange for the 34 states that have not established their own state-based exchanges.

In considering its response, Congress should keep in mind both that a fundamental flaw of the ACA was its imposition of new regulations that made health insurance more expensive for millions of Americans and that, in large part, the ACA’s health insurance subsidies are intended to mask this effect.

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Believing Impossible Things

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The other night, I talked with my new friend Jack about the Economy, Taxes, and eventually Social Security. I explained that the unfunded liability for Social Security was far beyond what was possible to meet, and that somewhere down the road, Social Security would default.

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On Obamacare, It’s the President Who Refuses to Embrace Reality

By Peter Suderman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Reason.com

Obamacare turns five years old this week, and to mark the occasion, President Obama took after critics of the health law, noting their ongoing opposition while briefly laying out the reasons he believes it to be a success. “It’s time to embrace reality,” he said, according to The Hill.

The president ticked off a string of points in support of the law: an additional 16 million insured, 50,000 fewer preventable deaths, slow growth in health premium costs, and lower deficit projections as a result.

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Federal Budget in Pictures

Federal Spending and Debt are Out of Control – Re-Blogged From http://www.heritage.org

If America does not change course, the future will be dramatically worse. Now more than ever, it is crucial that Americans understand what our nation’s spending, taxes, and debt mean for them and their families. The Heritage Foundation’s Federal Budget in Pictures offers a unique tool to learn about the federal budget in a clear and compelling way.

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White House looking to creep into 401(k)s

Last Monday, President Obama attacked Wall Street, again, for essentially helping in what the federal government and businesses can no longer provide — a decent retirement.

Under the false pretense of calling for new and tougher so-called fiduciary standards for financial brokers, advisers and retirement plan representatives, the White House once again horned in on Wall Street’s compensation formulas.

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How to Balance the Budget

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The US federal Budget has been in Deficit for generations. Our leaders in Washington have borrowed from our children without any prospect that the money will be paid back, at least not in Dollars with anywhere near the same value.

The current National Debt stands at over $18 Trillion, and with annual deficits resuming their previous $1+ Trillion, some projections are that the National Debt will double within 10 years. If the current levels are not sustainable, why would any sane person expect that a $36 Trillion National Debt could be reached without a collapse of the US Economy?

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Supreme Court Could Alter Obamacare & EPA

Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org – By Larry Bell

Two high court rulings this year may potentially alter the paths of Obamacare and EPA regulatory authority in significant ways.

Early this year, most likely in March, the court will hear arguments on whether or not the Obama Administration has legal authority to grant tax subsidies through health insurance exchanges established by the federal government….

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Which Way the US Economy?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

There have been a lot of news items lately which will / could have an impact on the US Economy and the Jobs outlook. The US currently has about 140 million people working, a rise of 2 million over the last 7 years. At less than 24,000 rise per month, that doesn’t come close to satisfying the demand for jobs with roughly 120,000 Americans entering the job market each month. The US would have needed to create 10 million new jobs during the last 7 years to do that.

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Government vs Free Market Solutions

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I have written several times about how we should allow the Free Market to provide services rather than give the job to a government agency, mentioning ObamaCare and Medicare specifically. I have said that the Free Market will produce better, more efficient, more innovative results.

Now, it’s not that the people working for the government are trying any less hard to do a good job, compared to their private sector counterparts. When I worked as an outbound mail manager at a large mail service

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Mini-Milestone – 100th Post

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

This is the 100th post to US-Issues.com. Most of the posts are original, plus about 10 reblogged posts. I’ve been active for about two months and have gained a small, but respectable size, following with about 1150 page views so far.

Comments have been received, although interestingly, most of these come through my personal (Bob Shapiro) Facebook page. So far, there have been no flames (Thanks!), and several back and forth comments.

Action Item

One feature that is included on the web site, is a listing of all the “Action Items” that I’ve called for, including a few US Constitutional Amendments, a few Congressional Rules changes, and a lot of new laws. These Action Items have dealt with reducing the size of our federal government:

  • Balance the Budget & Repay the National Debt
  • A Dollar Cap on Federal Spending
  • Eliminating Agencies like EPA, FDA, & the FED
  • Bill Max Length (50 pages) & Legislator MUST know what’s in the Bill in order to vote yes
  • Phase out various Entitlement Programs like Food Stamps, Medicare, ObamaCare, & Social Security
  • Stop Debasing the Dollar & Return to Silver and/or Gold Standard
  • Deregulate industries like Food, Drugs, Airline, & Energy
  • Stop Green Anti-Energy Programs like ending subsidies on Wind & Solar, prohibitions on fossil fuels, and CO2 CAGW Nonsense
  • Oversee & Correct Statistical Standards like CPI Manipulations
  • Stop Bailouts & Bail Ins allowing Too Big To Fail businesses to go into bankruptcy if they’re broke & incompetent

Issues

I’ve dealt with a broad range of issues, sticking mostly to our Tag Line, “Political Issues of Economic Importance.” I’ll try to keep giving you more good, thoughtful pieces that you’ll be happy to read.

Thank you for reading my Blog!

Obama Administration Encourages Illegals to Sign Up for Obamacare

(Reposted from EagleRising.com, by Tim Brown)

Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell recently told a group of Latino bloggers in an online chat that the Obama administration wants to make Obamacare available for illegal aliens.

You may recall back in 2009 that Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from my home state of South Carolina, yelled out “You lie!” to Barack Obama. He was chided and maligned in the press and even by so-called “conservatives” for calling Obama what he is. But do you recall what he said Obama was lying about? Let me refresh your memory.

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