ObamaCare’s “Family Glitch” Exposed

Obama signs ObamaCare

Let’s put aside for a minute that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, adds $6.2 trillion in debt, piles on countless new taxes, and has already racked up $31 billion and 71.5 million hours in regulatory compliance costs.  Yes, that’s a lot to put aside.  But for just a moment assume the role of a liberal with an entitlement mentality.  For a law with enormous riches and political capital invested in it, wouldn’t you expect it to at least function on its most basic level consistent with its namesake?  In other words, you would expect for the Affordable Care Act to provide affordable coverage.

The latest of ObamaCare’s fundamental flaws to be euphemistically reported as a “glitch” that needs to be “tweaked” is its failure to provide affordable family coverage for a broad group of employees.  As a result, Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 3.9 million family dependents may not be able to afford employer-sponsored family coverage or receive subsidized coverage on an ObamaCare exchange.

Understanding the family glitch requires a quick primer on the byzantine regulatory structure governing Obamacare’s subsidies:

Obama: Stupendous Man! and Lawgiver

My all time favorite comic strip is Calvin and Hobbes. It is about a young boy and his pet stuffed tiger, and the adventures they have jumping between real life and a world ruled by his imagination. He escapes the mundane tasks of life by escaping into his alternate reality, where he can be anything he wants to be, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, to the Intrepid Spaceman Spiff, from Stupendous Man!, to the Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. Calvin always wins in the end because, it being his imagination, he controls the outcome. In a comic strip, this is great fun. In real life…not so much.

President Obama seems to have determined that he is the new Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. At least, this is a plausible conclusion based on his actions since taking office. Our first real glimpse at his unbridled narcissism came at a rally in June 2008. Having won the Democrat Party nomination for president, Obama proclaimed to the adoring throngs that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.” Goodness, now all he has to do is cure cancer and raise the dead and he can call it a day!

The problem with Obama’s view of himself as a messianic leader is that he seems to feel not only that he is above the law, but that he is the Supreme Lawgiver. He sees himself as the voice in the burning bush, giving utterance to his subjects which has force of law by virtue of his having spoken it, and we are all commanded to obey.

Tenth Amendment Center Announces State Level Action Legislation Model To Combat ObamaCare

Nearly everyone in opposition to ObamaCare worked very hard to stop it before it made its way through both houses of Congress and to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  Once President Obama signed the legislation into law, all of these wound up activists found themselves without an issue to focus on after a year of “debate” over healthcare reform.  Some state officials took it upon themselves to file lawsuits over the newly signed law, while others sought to protect their constituents from the aspects they found to be Unconstitutional.  Today, the Tenth Amendment Center provided another state-level action.  From the press release:

“Now that Health Care reform has been signed into law, the question people ask most is “What do we do about it?” said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. “The status quo response includes lobbying congress, marching on D.C. “voting the bums out,” suing in federal court, and more. But the last 100 years have proven that none of these really work, and government continues to grow year in and year out.”

“We recommend a different path, one advised by prominent founders such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison - nullification,” said Boldin. Nullification, according to the Center, is the rightful remedy to an unconstitutional act, as it considers the recently-signed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

Watch Nancy Pelosi struggle to answer a teenger’s question about her vote to continue unconstitutional NSA spying

Nancy Pelosi

This is great. Andrew Demeter, who runs the YouTube channel TeenTake, recently put House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the spot by asking her why she supports the National Security Agency’s “illegal and ubiquitous data collection” program.

“Well, I…I do not…I have questions about the metadata collection that they were, uh, collecting unless they had a reason to do so. Uh, so I found…I was one who…I didn’t…I didn’t support Amash, that resolution. I didn’t think that was the appropriate resolution,” Pelosi told Demeter. “Uh, but I do think that the burden is on the, uh, department and I have fought them for years — on the community — on the wide swath that they have put out there.”

Whoops. Wrong video.

Ted Cruz slams Obama’s “pattern of lawlessness”

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has taken aim at President Barack Obama’s “lawlessness” in a four-part series documenting instances in which his administration has defied constitutional limitations on executive power.

Cruz, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the first part of the series, entitled The Legal Limit, in April 2013. The inaugural report slammed the Justice Department’s “radical theory of sweeping federal power,” outlining nine court cases in which the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s overreach.

The second report, released in December, highlighted the administration’s unilateral, unlawful enforcement delays of Obamacare provisions. Cruz also notes that Obamacare violates the Constitution’s Origination Clause, a requirement that tax bills originate in the House, and expansion of the employer mandate outside of the text of the law.

Cruz’s office released the third report in February. Its focus is on the administration’s “assault on Texas,” pointing to various federal laws and regulations that infringe upon the state’s sovereignty.

Rand Paul on Obama’s NSA speech: “If you like your privacy, you can keep it”

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wasted no time in responding to President Barack Obama’s speech on purported NSA and intelligence reforms. Within minutes, the Kentucky Republican sent out statement in which he expressed disappointment at what he heard.

“While I am encouraged the President is addressing the NSA spying program because of pressure from Congress and the American people, I am disappointed in the details,” said Paul in the statement.

“The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails,” he said. “President Obama’s announced solution to the NSA spying controversy is the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration.”

Paul added that he plans to continue to push for his legislation, the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act, as well as his legal challenge against the NSA, saying that “[t]he American people should not expect the fox to guard the hen house.”

Paul further addressed President Obama’s proposed reforms during an appearance on CNN earlier this afternoon.

“I think what I heard was if you like your privacy, you can keep it,” said Paul, a jab at President Obama’s now-infamous Obamacare promise. “I didn’t hear any lessening of the spying of Americans, or collecting records of Americans. I heard that ‘trust me I’m gonna put some more safeguards in place, but I’m gonna keep right on collecting every Americans’ records.’”

Paul said that he doesn’t have an issue with spying on suspected terrorists. His problem with the bulk metadata collection program is that it targets Americans who are not suspected of a crime, arguing that the government doesn’t need records not related to terrorist activity.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul praise NSA court ruling

The preliminary federal court ruling issued on Monday which found the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program to likely be unconstitutional has drawn bipartisan praise from several civil liberties advocates on Capitol Hill.

Among the politicians praising the ruling were Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY), both potential contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

“The government has no business conducting overbroad surveillance of ordinary, law-abiding citizens. At the same time, we must provide for national security and thwart terrorist plots against our homeland and our citizens,” said Cruz via a statement, adding that the Obama Administration “seems to consistently favor undermining the rights of law-abiding Americans.”

“The NSA’s massive data mining program raises serious civil liberties concerns, and Judge [Richard] Leon deserves praise for giving the program a close review,” he said. “The Senate too must carefully scrutinize our surveillance programs to ensure that they protect American citizens without infringing on their constitutional rights.”

Paul, who has introduced and cosponsored a measures to restore the Fourth Amendment, commended Judge Leon for “upholding and protecting our Fourth Amendment rights.”

NE Senate: Republican candidate slams Obama’s executive overreach

Ben Sasse

In a video from his campaign, Ben Sasse, a Republican running for Nebraska’s open Senate seat, blasted President Barack Obama’s so-called “administrative fix” that could mitigate some of the insurance cancellations that Americans have experienced because of Obamacare. The fix, however, is emblematic of a larger problem, as Sasse explained.

“The President did not actually fix anything. But he did provide a constitutional crisis,” said Sasse. “Understand, President Obama cannot legally do what he proposed to do [last week] and them media let him get away with claiming.”

“He can’t fix part of a law by fiat. Our President is not a king. He doesn’t get to make decrees. He doesn’t even have a line-item veto under our current system of government,” he continued. “The only branch of government under our Constitution that has any power to change this law is the Congress.”

FISA court found NSA spying program unconstitutional in 2011

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Electronic Fronter Foundation (EFF), the Obama Administration released an October 2011 FISA court opinion determining that the National Security Agency (NSA) violated the Fourth Amendment through one of its surveillance programs:

The Obama administration has given up more of its surveillance secrets, acknowledging that it was ordered to stop scooping up thousands of Internet communications from Americans with no connection to terrorism — a practice it says was an unintended consequence when it gathered bundles of Internet traffic connected to terror suspects.
The NSA declassified three secret court opinions showing how it revealed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that one of its surveillance programs may have collected and stored as many as 56,000 emails and other communications by ordinary Americans annually over three years. The court ruled the NSA actions unconstitutional and ordered the agency to fix the problem, which it did by creating new technology to filter out buckets of data most likely to contain U.S. emails, and then limit the access to that data — and destroy it every two years, instead of every five years, as mandated by the court for other U.S. records gathered by the NSA. The NSA still may retain Americans’ phone records and in some cases copies of their Internet traffic for five years or even longer in some circumstances.

We touched on this story yesterday, but it deserves more attention due to a few different factors.

Obama lied, your privacy died

In his post-NSA revelations press conference recently, President Obama spoke often of “abuse.” Unfortunately,it was always a hypothetical (emphasis added):

“make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people”

“I understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse.”

“how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used”

“And we’ve tried to set up a system that is as failsafe as so far at least we’ve been able to think of to make sure that these programs are not abused.”

And even one time he was explicit that there wasn’t abuse.

“What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.”

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