President’s Speech To Catholic Health Association

The White House

On Tuesday, U.S. President Obama spoke about America’s healthcare in a speech to the Catholic Health Association’s annual assembly, in Washington, DC.  He attempted to make the case that The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is an integral part of the country’s social safety net, much like Social Security or Medicare.

He condemned opponents of his signature health care law as “cynical” partisans seeking to deprive Americans of an important benefit, writes The New York Times. He built a tough political case against Republicans as the Supreme Court weighs whether to strike down a key element of the Affordable Care Act in the case of King v. Burwell.

“This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another — this is health care in America,” the president said in a speech to the Catholic Health Association, an organization that championed the law and has written a brief asking the high court to uphold it. “It seems so cynical to want to take health care away from millions of people.”

Is The U.S. Media Accurately Portraying Obamacare And The King v. Burwell Lawsuit Against It?


TYT Network

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in King v. Burwell, the case that centers on whether the Internal Revenue Service can allow payment of Affordable Care Act subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange.

The lawsuit is widely considered to be based on a technicality. The actual law reads “state exchanges” as opposed to “federal exchange.”

Should the Court rule against the Obama administration, subsidies no longer would be available to individuals who purchased coverage through HealthCare.gov, the federal website, in the 34 states that chose not to establish their own state-based exchanges, writes The Daily Signal.

It also would mean the Obamacare employer mandate would be effectively unenforceable, according to The Daily Signal.

Things would probably get ugly if that happens. Democrats would probably go on the offensive, blaming Republicans for “every case of a person who lost coverage just before giving birth, or having another round of chemo,” according to nhpr.org.

Some people – such as Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin – have said, however, that King v. Burwell may not destroy Obamacare, because Congress would feel compelled to legislate a fix with a bill.

http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/02/theres-broad-public-support-for-congress-to-reduce-insurance-costs-in-response-to-king-v-burwell/

http://nhpr.org/post/4-reasons-both-parties-should-be-sweating-bullets-over-king-v-burwell

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/244369-gop-fears-it-will-win-obamacare-court-battle

Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma: “There Has Not Been A Unified Republican Position” On How To Replace Obamacare

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the first time in the new Congress, according to the New York Times.

Democrats said it was the 56th time since 2011 that the House had voted to repeal or undermine some or all of the law, which was passed in 2010 without any Republican votes.

However, it was the first time any Republican in Congress has ever voted against the total repeal of Obamacare.  Three Republicans Tuesday voted against the GOP’s latest effort to fully repeal the law.

The measure passed 239-186, a margin that largely followed the outcome of House Republicans’ three previous bills. This time, however, the party hopes to offer a replacement within the next six months.

Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, acknowledged that “there has not been a unified Republican position” on how to replace the law.

Yet according to Politico, it was the three dissenters who attracted the most attention late Tuesday afternoon.  They were: John Katko of New York, Bruce Poliquin of Maine and Robert Dold of Illinois. All are in seats held last-term by Democrats and likely to be contested hard in 2016.

Both Katko and Poliquin said in statements Tuesday that while they did not support the Affordable Care Act, they couldn’t support its repeal without something immediately ready to replace it.

No Democrat crossed party lines to support the legislation.

In the end, the latest vote will remain largely symbolic.

Republicans in the Senate are expected to address Obamacare within the next several months, but a full-scale repeal bill has little chance of clearing that chamber’s 60-vote threshold. President Barack Obama has also made it clear he will veto any repeal or significant roll-back of his signature health legislation.

“In addition to taking away Americans’ health care security, the bill would increase the deficit, [and] remove policies that have helped slow health care cost growth and improve the quality of care patients receive,” the administration said in a statement. “The last thing the Congress should do is re-fight old political battles and take a massive step backward by repealing basic protections that provide security for the middle class.”

The question still remains, if the bill increases healthcare security and reduces the deficit, why would any Congresspeople be against it?

More:

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/3-republicans-say-no-as-house-again-votes-obamacare-repeal-114882.html#ixzz3Qo9jZpgY

House Appropriations Committee: Defunding Executive Actions On Immigration ‘Impossible’

US President Barack Obama at Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala

According to The Hill, it would not be possible to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) before Obama’s scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama’s actions is funded entirely by user fees.

As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.”

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/224837-appropriations-panel-defunding-immigration-order-impossible

Kyle Kulinski On Jonathan Gruber

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber is one of the developers of the health care bill that became the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).   He made some comments at a health care forum about American voters and the ACA.  With Obamacare open enrollment set to begin over the weekend and the Supreme Court set to weigh in again on the law next year, Fox News pounced on the comments, using the videos as ammunition in their case that President Barack Obama and his administration misled the American public on Obamacare.

Kyle Kulinski video.

Mitch McConnell’s Strange Stance On Obamacare

In a debate last week, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell was asked about his stance on The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). His answer was fairly vague.  He says it’s fine to “have a website.”

It is unclear what he meant. The website is part of The Affordable Care Act, as well as the subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and the mandates for insurance companies to be on the exchange.

Many patient-protection laws are part of the act, such as the law that allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26.  Laws outlawing pre-existing conditions are also part of The Affordable Care Act.

Was it an attempt to dodge the question?

Sam Seder of Majority Report discusses it.