Will The Supreme Court Kill The Republican Party In King v. Burwell?

As most politically informed people know, the Supreme Court is taking up the King v. Burwell case which could unravel provisions in the Affordable Care Act as they relate to state exchanges. The effect of this decision will have repercussions to millions of Americans who are just starting to reap the benefits of the law and get the care they need to live better lives. Personally, I have many family members who have health insurance for the first time in their lives and are getting their health under control. They are getting the medicines they need and have been freed from the worries that go along with not knowing if something may be wrong with them.

The Republican Party, in their zeal to disrespect, delegitimize and try to undo the last two presidential elections where President Barack Obama whooped their asses are walking blindly into the most serious blunder a political party has ever made, in my opinion. Their hatred, venom and racism has overcome any political common sense that might have existed in the far corners of that party. They are driving their party over a cliff, and taking millions of American with them. Sahil Kapur at TPM has a great piece about this.

“It’s an opportunity that we’ve failed at for two decades. We’ve not been particularly close to being on the same page on this subject for two decades,” said a congressional Republican health policy aide who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “So this idea — we’re ready to go? Actually no, we’re not.” Republican leaders recognize the dilemma. In King v. Burwell, they roundly claim the court ought to invalidate insurance subsidies in some three-dozen states, and that Congress must be ready with a response once they do. But conversations with more than a dozen GOP lawmakers and aides indicate that the party is nowhere close to a solution. Outside health policy experts consulted by the Republicans are also at odds on how the party should respond. The party that has failed to unify behind an alternative to Obamacare for many years now has five months to reach an agreement. It’s an unenviable predicament, especially for the congressional Republicans leading the effort to devise a response — all of whom hail from states that could lose their subsidies.
The new Republican controlled congress has a tremendous responsibility, they actually have to govern. A party that has invested in being the anti-everything-Obama-Supports party for 6 years no longer knows what they stand for. Ideas that once were theirs have been abandoned due to President Obama considering them or merely mentioning them. It seems they don’t consider any consequences of the actions they take, they just want or have to placate the racists and lifelong “liberal haters”.
I’ve said over and over that Republicans act like they know they won’t win the White House in the foreseeable future, so they just live for the moment and play to the base – Limbaugh, Fox News, Tea Party nuts, KKK, gun manufacturers (NRA) and the village idiots. But killing the exchanges in states that have not set up their own exchanges, which by the way are almost entirely Republican states, is going to directly hurt the people they count on to elect them to office. They don’t seem to consider the fact that their constituents aren’t free from medical problems, medical debt, medical bankruptcies and the worries of having sick family members and children. More from TPM…

As the court gets closer to hearing arguments in the case, there is a gap between the excitement among GOP political operatives and the nervousness of at least some GOP policy aides. “Our guys feel like: King wins, game over, we win. No. In fact: King wins, they [the Obama administration and Democrats] hold a lot of high cards,” the congressional Republican health policy aide said. “And we hold what?”

It’s hard to predict how the Supremes will rule. Something in me thinks that Chief Justice John Roberts is just a little bit smarter than the average Republican and will have the foresight to see the consequences for both the country and his political party. A middle ground solution may be what we end up with. Even though I am a political animal and think a “win” in the King v. Burwell case will benefit my party, the Democrats. I really don’t want to see millions of people return to the insecurity and pain of fending for themselves in the “medical marketplace”.

The only thing the Republicans seem to do well these days is keeping their voters uninformed, misinformed and angry. Oh, and they have the media helping them with that, and it’s not just the right-wing media anymore.

Reasons Why Obama Dares to Act Tough

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Oval Office, Feb. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Guest Post by Daphne Holmes

Each President marks his term with a leadership legacy that defines his administration. For Barack Obama, one of the hallmark characteristics of his time at the helm is unapologetic pursuit of policies that help the country. While this may seem like a given, under the circumstances, Obama’s tough stances on some issues has nonetheless sparked heavy resistance from the political right.

In order to set his own pace, however; the President has had to first clean up many of the lingering issues that predate his administration. In addition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama has faced a hornet’s nest of residual domestic policy that has also required strong leadership to rectify. As a result, the President has maintained an unwavering commitment to tackle tough issues – both here and abroad.

Real Issues At-Hand

Effective leadership requires proactive approaches to public policy, but it also relies on the ability to react quickly, in response to issues that arise. President Obama was thrown into the fire immediately upon securing the position, forcing him to reconcile very real issues facing the country. From domestic economic concerns to multiple foreign wars, the current administration has been elbow-deep in major policy reform since taking control of the executive branch of government.

To some; the President’s actions are off-putting, due to the decisive and unapologetic strategies he has implemented. But when held-up to the alternatives, it becomes clear that the President’s responses to some of this century’s most challenging realities have been tough, yet prudent.

Ineffective International Organizations

In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s administration has faced vexing foreign policy concerns elsewhere; including aggression and human rights atrocities in Syria and Russia. And while international support is put-forth by organizations like the United Nations, Obama’s policies have had to account for the fact that help from the UN and others does not always sway outcomes significantly. As a result, bold U.S. strategies and foreign policy decisions made by the Obama administration illustrate the tough stances the President has adopted to protect American interests.

U.S. Economy

The recent global recession and meltdown of important U.S. markets took its toll on the country and the world. Unemployment, home mortgage foreclosures and other important indicators illustrated never-before-seen economy turmoil that eventually reached every sector of the U.S. economy. Even so, the President understands the economic might at his disposal and operates accordingly on the world stage. Bold moves Obama made to correct the housing market downturn and Wall Street waffling show how the President’s tough policies have led to productive outcomes.

Public Support Drives Policy Decisions

While each President exhibits autonomy in his leadership role, policy outcomes are also influences by prevailing public opinion. In the case of health care reform, Obama took a tough position, which didn’t align with the beliefs of the political right. Tea Party protests and other displays of dissent followed, but the prevailing need for public health care overshadowed the misgivings of a few citizens clinging to the status quo. Though tough, the President’s initiatives would have been dead in the water, if not for the support of forward-thinking Americans lending their voices and activism to the collective cause.

Obama’s Personal Style

The President’s style has been characterized as “inflexible” and “unwavering”, so Obama has left his indelible mark on policy outcomes of the past 6 years. While ideological gains are a part of each presidential administration, Obama’s bold actions eclipse some of the cronyism seen in prior administrations. As a result, what some see as overly rigid or inflexible pursuits are actually a reflection of the President’s personal style. Whether from working within the Chicago political machine, or gleaned from years mobilizing support for grass roots issues, the current President is not afraid to adhere to his core beliefs.

Strong leadership cues from President Obama lead detractors to call him out for being too tough, at times. In reality, however; the President’s track record of decisive moves is simply a reflection of the issues he has faced and the prevailing public support for his policies.


Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at daphneholmes9@gmail.com.

How Many People Has Fox News Killed With Their Lies About Obamacare?

Fox News is hurting our country and the very people it relies on for viewership. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the right-wing in this country has been trying to convince people not to get insurance, not to trust “Obamacare” and they have instilled an irrational fear of it in a large swath of the country.

This story is just one illustration of how Fox News and the misinformation they spew has real consequences.

Dean Angstadt fells trees for a living.

He’s a self-employed, self-sufficient logger who has cleared his own path for most of his 57 years, never expecting help from anyone. And even though he’d been uninsured since 2009, he especially wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.

“I don’t read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they’re full of it,” he told his friend Bob Leinhauser, who suggested he sign up.

Before I get to the rest of the story, read this quote from a piece by Eric Wemple about Dean Angstadt’s experience…

Asked if Fox News had molded his view of Obamacare, Angstadt responded, “Yeah, yeah – they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it.”

I went for many years without health insurance and can relate to Dean’s situation. My family has a history of heart problems, my dad and his brother both died of heart attacks in their early 40’s…so yeah, going without health insurance as I approached 40 years old was a bit scary. Thankfully, I took my current job at the university and began taking care of myself after I got insurance through my employer. More of Dean’s story…

In 2011, Angstadt had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to help his ailing heart pump more efficiently. Not long after, the almost 6-foot, 285-pound man’s man was back in the woods, doing the Paul Bunyan thing.

But last summer, his health worsened again. It was taking him 10 minutes to catch his breath after felling a tree. By fall, he was winded after traveling the 50 feet between his house and truck.

“I knew that I was really sick,” said the Boyertown resident. “I figured the doctors were going to have to operate, so I tried to work as long as I could to save money for the surgery. But it got to the point where I couldn’t work.”

Continue reading

President Obama Showed Courage When He Took On The Health Care Industry!

Photo by Extreme Liberal
Photo by Extreme Liberal

Here is a great article from Jon Favreau, someone who knows President Obama quite well, having been his speech writer since 2005 when President Obama first entered the Senate. Go read it all, here are my favorite parts…

The warnings of those advisers turned out to be true. On the day Scott Brown won an upset victory in the special election to fill the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy, it appeared that the chances for reform had died along with history’s most passionate health-care champion. Obama’s advisers told him that the votes in Congress were no longer there, and that unless he was willing to cut his losses and accept a drastically scaled-back version of his health-care proposal—perhaps a small expansion of coverage for children or a few watered-down consumer protections—the political fallout could cost him reelection. And what the president said next is why so many of us chose to work for him in the first place:

“What are we here for? Did we come here to just put our approval ratings up on a shelf and admire them? Or are we here to try to make a difference—to actually start solving some of the problems we’ve talked about for so long?”

Barely two months after the press wrote countless obituaries for the Affordable Care Act, Democrats in Congress showed genuine political courage by voting it into law.

Now is the time to show that courage again.


But the president should never apologize for passing the Affordable Care Act, and neither should those of us who have supported this kind of reform for years, even decades. We didn’t fight for this law because it was good politics. We didn’t fight for this law with the hope that it would lead to some ideological victory for big government—otherwise we wouldn’t have proposed a plan that maintained the private insurance market with reforms that Republicans once championed.

We fought for this law because no other advanced democracy on Earth gave insurance companies free rein to profit by discriminating against all but the healthiest and wealthiest citizens. We fought for this law because 14,000 Americans, most of them working and middle class, were losing their health insurance every day—with no other options. We fought for this law because millions of other Americans thought they had decent coverage until their insurance company refused to pay for treatment that someone in their family desperately needed; because people died as a direct result of not being able to afford better health care.

The reason we fought so hard for this law—the reason Obama is willing to stake his entire legacy on making it work—is because so many of us have had a personal experience with the fear and vulnerability that comes with being sick.

ALEC Is Not Your Friend – Beware!

If you were wondering where a lot of the terrible laws and attacks on our rights are coming from, meet ALEC. From the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance…

“ALEC” is the American Legislative Exchange Council, and it may be the most powerful organization you (probably) never heard of. There’s a good chance ALEC already has impacted your life. And if it hasn’t yet, give it time.

ALEC describes itself as an organization that “provides a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues.” Others have called it a means for powerful corporations and interest groups to influence legislation to enrich themselves at the public’s expense.


Let’s look at specific examples. Insurance companies wanted off the hook from mesothelioma claims, so ALEC came forward with a model bill to protect corporations from asbestos exposure liability. The bill quickly was introduced in Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, and at the federal level. The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act would require asbestos victims and their families to publicly disclose all manner of personal information before receiving compensation. This information could be used to deny credit or employment and make the victims vulnerable to identity theft. The point, obviously, is to intimidate people from filing claims. No such disclosure is required of companies that exposed employees and customers to asbestos.

In fact, liability protection is a major focus of ALEC bills. As of August 2013, this year at least 71 bills crafted by ALEC have been introduced around the country that make it harder to hold corporations accountable for death or injury. Many have misleading names, such as the “Full and Fair Noneconomic Damages Act,” introduced in two states, that limits the amount a corporation has to pay to compensate people it has injured.

Go read the whole article and beware!

Cutting Through The Crap – The Truth About “Obamacare” (ACA)

The Supreme Court yesterday made an important decision that will improve the lives of millions of people and bring stability to American families across the country.

The decision was extremely close, with Chief Justice Roberts siding with the liberals in what many think is an effort to salvage some respect for the court.

I posted President Obama’s speech yesterday and highly recommend it to you, if you still haven’t seen it. Here are some of the real effects of the Affordable Care Act. Talk to your friends, family and anyone who will listen about the real provisions in the law. The amount of misinformation in the public sphere is crazy, we must correct at least some of it.

  • Preventive care will still be covered free of charge by insurance companies–including mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.
  • 6.6 million young adults will still be able to stay on their family’s plan until they’re 26.

The court’s decision will have an impact on 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions by bringing security to their lives and comfort in knowing that they will not be left out in the cold. These families will be saved from having to liquidate their life savings, sell their homes or go bankrupt in order to get the care they need.

The reaction from some on the right illustrates how the $210 million dollar campaign of lies against the Affordable Care Act has permeated the thinking of too many people. We all must pull together to counter that misinformation and talk to people, one on one, and inform them of what is really in the bill.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

A Growing Rift Between Religious Groups And The GOP

I’ve never understood how people who call themselves Christians can belong to the Republican Party. I read the Bible many years ago and seem to remember lessons that taught me to care for my fellow humans, to show compassion, to turn the other cheek and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That doesn’t exactly describe the modern Republican Party now does it?

With the craziness happening in the political world over contraception, the following story from ThinkProgress makes me think that the GOP is overcompensating in their reaction to the contraceptive issue.

Earlier this month, the nation was barraged with media coverage of the Catholic Bishops’ opposition to regulations promulgated under the Affordable Care Act protecting working women’s access to contraception. The loudness of the bishops’ complaints, which were echoed by conservative luminaries ranging from Speaker John Boehner to GOP presidential frontrunners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, easily could have conveyed the misimpression that churches and other religious groups are at odds with the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, however, a broad coalition of religious organizations filed an amicus brief supporting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that should give the lie to any claim that the faith community opposes the ACA. The brief includes a number of major religious denominations, including the policy arm of the United Methodist Church, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church. Additionally, the brief’s signatories include a wide range of Catholic groups:

Benedictine Sisters, Boerne, Texas; Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Texas; Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary, New York; Dominican Sisters of Hope; Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Massachusetts; Marianist Province of the United States; Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth Leadership Team, New Jersey; Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul of New York; Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregation Justice Committee; Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi, Texas; Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Justice Team, Nebraska; Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, Missouri; Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New York; Sisters of St. Dominic Congregation of the Most Holy Name; Society of the Holy Child Jesus, American Province Leadership Team; Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, US Province; JOLT, Catholic Coalition for Responsible Investing; Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee; School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund (emphasis mine)

And I would add that with Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham questioning President Obama’s faith, they are venturing into pretty dangerous waters. It seems to me that by going there, they are shooting off a warning signal to anyone who claims to be a Christian. You better watch out, you might be next!

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles