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Q&A on Today’s Supreme Court Case on ObamaCare

Being argued today at the high court is King v Burwell, a lawsuit against ObamaCare (also known in some circles as the Affordable Care Act). This is a set of questions and answers that I imagine many people have about this.

Q: What is this case all about?

A: The crux of the issue is a 4-word phrase inside the massive law; “established by the States”. The subsidies supplied by the IRS, according to the text of the law, were to only go to those who applied for insurance via exchanges “established by the States”. If they used the federal exchange (HealthCare.gov), that is not “established by the States” so the subsidies wouldn’t apply.

That’s according to the plain language of the law, and according to Jonathan Gruber, a major influence in the creation of the law.

What happened was that the IRS gave out subsidies to those without state exchanges anyway. The lawsuit is saying that the government broke the law in doing so.

Q: What case is the government making?

A: That the rest of the law, taken as a whole, makes it clear that withholding subsidies from those who didn’t get their insurance via exchanges “established by the States” was not the intent.

Q: Does it actually say in the law somewhere, specifically, that those people should get subsidies?

A: Not that I’ve read. In fact, those articles I’ve seen that have written in defense of the subsidies (like this article by Robert Schlesinger in USA Today) don’t cite any other text that would buttress that opinion. Rather, they argue about the results if the subsidies were overturned.

To me, that sounds like they’re arguing that a law should say what the implementers want it to say, regardless of what the law itself says. That’s a precedent I don’t think we want to create. For example, if a Republican President vetoes legislation, and a Democratic Congress overrides that veto, is the President free to implement the provisions of the law he or she likes and ignore others? I’d say No, and I think those arguing for the ObamaCare interpretation would agree with me if the parties today were reversed.

The IRS did issue a ruling saying that they would, in fact, give subsidies to those in states without exchanges, but as far as I’m aware, the IRS is not part of the legislative branch.

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Filed under: GovernmentHealth CareJudiciary

Beware of  "free" stuff

Beware of “free” stuff

Seems like the more ObamaCare(tm) is implemented, the less the American people like it. First of all, a liberal, Ivy League university has sent its students into an uproar. They want to #FightTheFee that they’ll be charged for not buying the university’s health insurance. Welcome to the real word of socialism! Lesson 1: You won’t like it when it’s applied to you.

And on a broader scale, the American people in general are souring on the idea. A majority oppose the law now, and I wonder how many of them just took Nancy Pelosi’s word for it when she said that they’d have to pass the law to find out what’s in it. The blue-sky promises have turned to thunderclouds. Maybe folks should understand a law before they support it.

Mentioned links:

Cornell students erupt over health care fee

As Public Sours, ObamaCare Faces An Uncertain Future

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Filed under: Economics & TaxesGovernmentHealth CareSocialism

Spending on nothing?

Spending on nothing?

In this episode, I talk about how the money spent on (literally) nothing will soon outpace defense spending, and not much later, non-defense spending as well. And no, it’s not some right-wing think tank making that prediction.

Also, is it possible to have a moral disagreement with someone, and yet not hate them? The Left seems to think that impossible, and Dana Bash questioned Mike Huckabee about it specifically. He schools her in the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

(OK, normally I don’t like it when someone says, “Hey, X really schooled Y!” when all X did is say something the speaker agrees with. Usually there’s not actual educating going on. But this time, there certainly is.)

Mentioned links:

The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending

CNN Confused: How Can Huckabee Oppose Gay Marriage AND Have Gay Friends?

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Filed under: Budget & SpendingEconomics & TaxesGovernmentHomosexualityHuman SexualityReligion

Extending the benefits actually cost jobs

Extending the benefits actually cost jobs

Who would have thought that extending unemployment benefits further and further out would actually cause people to stop looking for work altogether? Well, actually, those who know that incentives (and disincentives) actually work; you know, market economics. How many jobs were created after the 99 week benefit system was stopped, and how many folks went back into the labor force? Lots. Listen in.

President Obama did not like the way Bush used executive orders to increase the power of the President. Yet he has used EOs and something just as powerful (but not as well known) to leave Bush, and all presidents for the last 70 years, in the dust. I’ll be discussing the Presidential Memoranda.

And finally, where’s that $2500 per year we were supposed to save from enacting ObamaCare(tm). Numbers grounded in reality tell quite a different story.

Mentioned links:

How Obama has used executive powers compared to his predecessors

Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’

Extended Unemployment Benefits Hurt Jobs, New Report Finds

OBAMACARE: $2 TRILLION IN SPENDING, $643M IN TAXES, INSURANCE FOR $50K A HEAD

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Filed under: Economics & TaxesEntitlementsGovernmentHealth Care

Another rerun

Another rerun

More free stuff, and making the eeevil rich pay for it. The State of the Union Address was a rerun of so many other speeches by Democratic presidents. So then, what is the state of the State of the Union Address?

There are some extreme medical circumstances that cause women to choose abortion. The latest is really pushing the envelope on the definition of “extreme”.

Harvard professors advised the Obama campaign on many things, including health care. Now that they have Obamacare(tm), their reaction to it is notable.

Episode 100 is coming up in a month or so. I’d like to get your thoughts on how this podcast has made a difference in your thoughts, or how you’ve made a difference in others, and celebrate 100 episodes with your voices. E-mail me at considerthis@ctpodcasting.com, or call 267-CALL-CT-0, 267-225-5280, and let’s hear how you have considered this.

Mentioned links:

Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard

Woman Aborts Baby at 28 Weeks Because of Baby’s Deformed Left Hand

5 Facts About the State of the Union Obama Neglected to Mention

Obama calls for civility, then immediately taunts Republicans over his two presidential wins

Obama Knocks ‘Constant Fundraising,’ Then Immediately Asks for Donations

Obama sets record for veto threats in State of the Union address

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Filed under: AbortionBudget & SpendingEducationGovernmentHealth Care

Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

How about those low gas prices? Who can we thank for them? Well, a number of people, none of which, however, are in the Obama administration. The “Drill, baby, drill” policy of the states have worked; something that Obama said was a lie.

But first, a follow-up on a story last episode about the Atlanta fire chief that published a book with his Christians views, and was docked a month’s pay and suspended. Upon returning from that suspension, he was promptly fired. Another shot on the religious liberty front.

And finally, we have a bounty on the head of a terrorist that we used to have in Guantanamo. I think it might have cost less just to keep him incarcerated.

Mentioned links:

Reed: Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy

Klobuchar says U.S. is world’s No. 1 oil producer

Saudi Arabia’s $750 Billion Bet Drives Brent Oil Below $54

Fracking Debunks Obama’s ‘We Can’t Drill Our Way Out’

Oops! U.S. Offers $5 Mil Reward for Al Qaeda Terrorist it Released From Gitmo

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Filed under: CanadaEconomics & TaxesMiddle EastReligionWar

Episode 93: My Christmas Wishes for You

My gifts to you

My gifts to you

I’m a little under the weather, and my voice sounds like it. But one more episode for 2014.

I celebrate Christmas, and it’s interesting to see how so much of the world also celebrates it, while giving the religion from which it comes such a hard time the rest of the year. But getting beyond all that, I have some specific wishes for you this Christmas, no matter the holiday you do (or don’t) celebrate.

Thanks for listening in 2014, and may 2015 be a good year to consider this!

Mentioned links:

This Guy Cited His Christian Faith in Refusing to Make T-Shirts Advertising a Gay Pride Parade — and Now His Company Is Being Punished

City subpoenas pastors’ sermons in equal rights ordinance case

Houston mayor removes church sermons from subpoena request after outcry

Atlanta’s Fire Chief Suspended For Publicly Professing Christian Beliefs

Gay couple files complaint to challenge Methodist marriage ban

Govt tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines

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Filed under: Religion

Stonewalled

Stonewalled

Sharyl Attkisson is the kind of reporter that you would think an adversarial press would love to have and spotlight. She was, in the words of two of her former bosses, CBS Evening News executive producers Jim Murphy and Rick Kaplan, a “pit bull.” But her reporting was sometimes aired based on the politics of the people involved, and she witnessed many biased decisions (and knows others who have experienced it as well). She has written a new book to expose what she saw behind the media curtain, and I discuss some of her allegations.

I end with some personal reflections on a funeral I officiated at recently. Perhaps many of you can relate.

Mentioned links:

Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama

Sharyl Attkisson to CNN: Facts Show I Don’t Only Target Democrats

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Filed under: InterestingMedia

The Verdict

The Verdict

The 2014 mid-term elections have been called a “wave” for the Republicans by some pundits. Call it what you will, it was certainly a great night for the GOP, and much more so than a typical mid-term. By some measures, the change was historic.

I’ll talk about some of the numbers, in the House, the Senate and the gubernatorial races, but also what I think (and I hope) that the people were saying with this election. President Obama himself was the one that put his policies on the ballot. OK then, what will he do now, now that the voters have sent a strong rejection letter?

Mentioned links:

Democrats Sink to Pre–Great Depression Levels in State Legislatures

Wisconsin’s GOP Gov. Walker Wins Re-Election

How Wisconsin Got a Billion Dollar Surplus (“Consider This!”, episode 65)

Republicans sweep to victory in key gubernatorial races

100% of Newly Elected GOP Senators Campaigned on Repealing Obamacare

Other links:

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM CAMPAIGN 2014

GOP takeover: Republicans surge to Senate control

Republicans seize Senate, gaining full control of Congress

Debacle for Obama as Republicans take control of US congress

Joni Ernst Wins Election, First Woman to Represent Iowa in US Senate

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Filed under: Elections

The Pope is still Catholic

The Pope is still Catholic

If you think it sounds like this episode is going to delve more into religion that it has up until this point, you have a discerning ear. But when I started this podcast, I promised you a take on these issues that you might not have heard elsewhere. So, depending on the circles you run in, this could very well fit the bill; a Protestant defending Catholic doctrine using Jewish texts.

I posted an article to my social media audience from CNS News headlined, “No Unambiguity: Homosexual Acts Sinful and Disordered”. It’s an opinion piece that explains the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality. I received a comment on the Google+ posting of it, with common misunderstandings that I thought I’d cover in the podcast. But 10 minutes or less is only enough to point you in the right direction, and so the links in the show notes will be very helpful.

Mentioned links:

No Unambiguity: Homosexual Acts Sinful and Disordered

Google+ conversation with Christopher Li-Reid

Bible Verses About Homosexuality

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INTERPRETING OLD TESTAMENT LAW

Does the Old Testament condone slavery?

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Filed under: HomosexualityHuman SexualityReligion

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