Archive for the ‘Health care’ Category

Chief Justice John Roberts targeted by conservative ire

Suffice it to say when Mitt Romney next talks about U.S. Supreme Court nominations he intends to make as president, he’ll point to Antonin Scalia, or Samuel Alito, or Clarence Thomas.

In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama greets Chief Justice John Roberts before he delivered his State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP/Charles Dharapak

In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama greets Chief Justice John Roberts before he delivered his State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP/Charles Dharapak

John Roberts, the surprise swing vote in the court’s 5-4 decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, has suddenly become persona non grata in certain Republican circles – although friends of the chief justice are putting up a healthy defense. Here’s a quick afternoon breakdown:

From Rush Limbaugh:

”The chief justice was hell-bent to find a way to make this law applicable, so he just decided, you know what, as a tax increase, it works, because there’s no limit on the federal government’s ability to tax….Even when they don’t ask for it, the Supreme Court is gonna find a way …

Continue reading Chief Justice John Roberts targeted by conservative ire »

In which young Barack Obama opposed John Roberts’ SCOTUS nomination

By siding with the White House on health care reform, by turning a “mandate” into a “tax,” U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have just done more than any single individual to help Barack Obama to a second term as president.

The irony is that as a wet-behind-the-ears U.S. senator in 2005, Obama voted against confirming Roberts’ nomination by President George W. Bush to the high court. In “The Bridge,” an Obama biography, New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick says that Obama, determined to make a splash in Washington as a different kind of Democrat, gave serious thought to voting for Roberts.

But Obama was persuaded that it would hurt him, should he aspire to higher office. From Obama’s speech on the topic, via Obamaspeeches.com:

[T]he decision with respect to Judge Roberts’ nomination has not been an easy one for me to make. As some of you know, I have not only argued cases before appellate courts but for 10 years was a member of the …

Continue reading In which young Barack Obama opposed John Roberts’ SCOTUS nomination »

What the U.S. Supreme Court actually said about health care reform

Read the U.S. Supreme Court decision on health care reform for yourself here, but feel free to take a walk with me through these excerpts:

On the penalty vs. tax question:

The present challenge seeks to restrain the collection of the shared responsibility payment from those who do not comply with the individual mandate. But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit…..

Why the “commerce clause” flunked as a vehicle for health care:

The Constitution grants Congress the power to “regulate Commerce.” … The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. This Court’s …

Continue reading What the U.S. Supreme Court actually said about health care reform »

Your morning jolt: Barack Obama leaking white voters

The Gallup organization has become the bearer of worrisome mathematics for President Barack Obama:

Barack Obama is receiving less support in the 2012 presidential election from some of the white subgroups that gave him the strongest support in 2008. These include non-Hispanic white registered voters who are 18 to 29 years old, female postgrads, and the nonreligious, among others.

The 46% of registered voters supporting Obama today is five percentage points below the 51% supporting him in final weeks of the 2008 election campaign. Similarly, whites’ support for Obama is six points lower than it was in October/November 2008 (38% vs. 44%), and blacks’ is down four points (87% vs. 91%). At the same time, Hispanics’ support, at 67%, is essentially unchanged….

Even if Obama were to regain his 2008 level of support among blacks and improve his support somewhat among Hispanics, he could still lose if his support among whites slips any further. By the same token, even a slight …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Barack Obama leaking white voters »

D.C. group says cigar deregulation would free teen favorites from scrutiny

The D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is putting out word that a majority of U.S. House members from Georgia, as well as U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, are backing a quiet effort to remove premium, hand-rolled cigars from federal regulation – a move that could include sweet, fruit-flavored ones favored by teenagers.

sweetcigars

Among the products that Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says would be freed from deregulation.

U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah; Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta; Sanford Bishop, D-Albany; Tom Graves, R-Ranger; Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County; Austin Scott, R-Tifton; and John Barrow, D-Augusta, are all sponsors of H.R. 1639, also known as the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2011.

Chambliss is backing similar legislation on the Senate side.

From the memo sent out by Marie Cocco, spokeswoman for the anti-tobacco group:

The House bill (H.R. 1639) would exempt from regulation “traditional large and premium cigars,” …

Continue reading D.C. group says cigar deregulation would free teen favorites from scrutiny »

Health care redux: Phil Gingrey targets the AARP

This Monday, or perhaps the next one, the U.S. Supreme Court will render its judgment on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul legislation, narrowly passed by Congress two years ago.

As a prelude, House Republicans are re-constructing the behind-the-scenes conversations that took place in 2009 and 2010. From the New York Times, as the weekend broke:

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta. AJC file

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta. AJC file

WASHINGTON — After weeks of talks, drug industry lobbyists were growing nervous. To cut a deal with the White House on overhauling health care, they needed to be sure that President Obama would stop a proposal intended to bring down medicine prices.

On June 3, 2009, one of the lobbyists e-mailed Nancy-Ann DeParle, the president’s health care adviser. Ms. DeParle reassured the lobbyist. Although Mr. Obama was overseas, she wrote, she and other top officials had “made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation” on a different proposal. …

Continue reading Health care redux: Phil Gingrey targets the AARP »

Gay marriage react good news for Romney in Georgia — but women voters a problem

A new Gallup Poll says a slight majority (54 percent) of American adults continues to say that same-sex relations are morally acceptable:

newsweekcover

Public acceptance of gay/lesbian relations as morally acceptable grew slowly but steadily from 38% in 2002 to 56% in 2011 and is now holding at the majority level….

The 63% now saying gay relations should be legal nearly matches the record-high 64% of a year ago, which came after a long-term increase in support for legality from 32% in 1986.

That’s hardly the case in Georgia. A Landmark/RosettaStone poll of 600 likely voters, commissioned by Channel 2 Action News and released as the weekend began, shows that President Barack Obama’s personal endorsement of gay marriage is likely to harden support for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Georgia.

Read the cross tabs here. The automated poll has an MOE of +/- 4 percent. A summary:

– Romney leads Obama, 51 to 40 percent in Georgia. Support largely falls along racial …

Continue reading Gay marriage react good news for Romney in Georgia — but women voters a problem »

Your morning jolt: Brandon Beach to challenge Chip Rogers

Last week, out of the blue, a press release in the name of state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers declared that the Cherokee County lawmaker had received re-election endorsements from every Republican in the north Fulton legislative delegation.

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Now we know why Rogers felt the need to put the information out there.

This morning, Brandon Beach, president of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and a member of state transportation board, announced that he would challenge Rogers in the July 31 primary.

Beach, who was narrowly defeated by John Albers of Roswell in a 2010 race for the Senate, named jobs and transportation as his top two priorities – but apparently expects dissatisfaction in the local education community to provide much of the spark for his campaign.

Beach, from the press release:

“We have excellent schools in Cherokee County and North Fulton because of dedicated parents, teachers and principals. …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Brandon Beach to challenge Chip Rogers »

The coming Republican debate over replacing ‘Obamacare’

With a U.S. Supreme Court decision on health care reform in the offing, Republicans are making preparations.

Near the top of the GOP food chain, we’ve heard Attorney General Sam Olens and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss both declare the party that brings down President Barack Obama’s premier piece of legislation should be ready to cope with the fallout.

It is akin to Gen. Colin Powell’s attitude toward the war in Iraq: “If you break it, you bought it.” (Although one could argue that a system in which an appendectomy might cost $1,529 or $182,955 – depending on the color of a California hospital administrator’s mood ring – already qualifies as damaged goods.)

Given his experience in Massachusetts, former Gov. Mitt Romney may allow congressional Republicans the first crack at floating a substitute. Already, several are blazing their own trails, including U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens.

Broun, a physician, has come to recognize that the expectation of guaranteed health …

Continue reading The coming Republican debate over replacing ‘Obamacare’ »

Southern Baptist leader: Jesus wouldn’t like health care panels

On C-SPAN this morning, Richard Land, president of that arm of the Southern Baptist Convention that concerns itself with national issue, was asked by a caller to justify his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Said Land:

”I don’t think Jesus would support the rationing panels that are in place for Obamacare. I’m getting letters every day – every day – from people who are already being rationed care since the new head of Medicare came in. They’re being told if they have terminal conditions, they can’t get treatment for other diseases.

“Even Mr. Obama said that perhaps it wasn’t the best allocation of resources to give his grandmother, who was dying of cancer, a hip replacement. So I guess she can hobble around in terrible pain with a bad hip while she was dying of cancer. I don’t think that’s very Christian, ma’am.”

The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died of cancer at age 86 in 2008, two days before her …

Continue reading Southern Baptist leader: Jesus wouldn’t like health care panels »