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Obamacare is in Trouble November 19, 2013

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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One reason Obamacare is in trouble is that it overreached and tried to do too much.  Now courts are saying it may have violated the religious rights of corporations and their owners.  Both Hobby Lobby and an Ohio produce company have won early rounds in federal court challenging the healthcare law’s requirement that company insurance policies provide for birth control. These business owners say that violates their religious beliefs and they have taken the government to court, with some early success.

With over 70 of these lawsuits, one or more of them will surely wind up in the Supreme Court.

All of this could have been different if Obama and the Democrats hadn’t been determined to pass their bill without compromise on a straight party-line vote.  Now it will have to be pared back in court.

Please click on the link to hear the audio: http://townhall.com/talkradio/dailycommentary/694390

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Obamacare Battle Is Far From Over (Townhall.com) December 13, 2012

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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With the defeat of Mitt Romney, Obamacare dodged a presidential repeal bullet, but serious threats to the sweeping reform of healthcare remain. Obamacare depends heavily on the states and—especially with 30 Republican governors—it’s not clear they’ll play ball. 15 states have said they will not establish healthcare exchanges and some 20 states haven’t decided whether to accept the Medicaid expansion, which is crucial to covering the uninsured.

… And the lawsuits are far from over: Catholic charities are still suing over the law’s contraception requirements. And federal suits in Oklahoma, Maine and elsewhere challenge key elements of the law. Individual employers aren’t sure they can afford it, and the House of Representatives can still defund parts of it.

No one should be surprised: When you pass the largest new entitlement in 50 years on a party-line vote—and the public opposes it, questions should be expected.

Please click on the link to listen to the audio: http://townhall.com/talkradio/dailycommentary/660313

The ObamaCare Battle Is Far From Over (Forbes.com) November 20, 2012

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds.
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With the defeat of Mitt Romney, Obamacare dodged a presidential repeal bullet, but serious threats to the sweeping reform of healthcare remain.  In fact, given that the most important piece of domestic legislation in nearly fifty years was enacted on a party-line vote, it should not be surprising that as the bill approaches implementation, many difficult challenges are only now appearing.   And, with repeal of the measure still leading in public opinion polls 50%-44%, proponents are hard-pressed to claim that the recent election answered all the questions.  In fact, as the extensive reforms and regulations—13,000 pages and growing—sink into government, business and private lives, challenges will come from dozens of angles.

For starters, the success of Obamacare depends heavily on state governments, since health and welfare is constitutionally a state matter.  And right now, many states are not ready to play ball.  Republicans dominate the statehouses, with 30 Republican governors and, as Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia has said, “Where there are unfunded mandates on the states or there is trampling of the 10th Amendment or undermining of federalism that hurts the state or costs us money, then we’ll fight it.”  One such battleground is whether states will establish their own healthcare exchanges and so far 15 states have said they will not do so.  The feds have extended the deadline for a decision by another month, hoping to persuade a few more governors, but there is very little upside to states for taking on this essentially administrative role for Washington.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court decision on healthcare gave the states another key power in the healthcare balance:  deciding whether to accept the federal government’s proposed expansion of state Medicaid.  The law had originally attempted to force states to expand their Medicaid programs, offering them some additional money to do it (but not enough long-term) but threatening to withdraw all Medicaid grants if states did agree to a huge expansion of Medicaid.  The Supreme Court said this was like holding a gun to the head, which was not permitted by the Constitution, so now states can decide whether to accept the federal money and expand Medicaid or not.  Some twenty states are undecided on this, with a dozen or more saying or leaning toward saying “no.”  This would throw a major wrench in the Obamacare works, since state Medicaid expansion is a major key to covering the uninsured.

Meanwhile the lawsuits about Obamacare are hardly over.  Catholic charities are still pursuing their lawsuit over the law’s contraception requirements.  A federal court in Oklahoma is weighing a suit filed by the Oklahoma Attorney General arguing that the IRS would overstep its legal authority to tax Oklahoma businesses to subsidize healthcare which, if upheld, would undercut the entire funding mechanism for Obamacare.  The Attorney General of Maine has filed a suit in federal court seeking to drop health care benefits for 33,000 people or require the federal government to begin paying Maine’s share of coverage.  All of this is likely to keep the courts and Washington busy for some time.

Individual employers are also actively exploring their options, with some firms saying they will simply have to lay people off, reduce full-time employees to part-time status, or add surcharges to customer bills in order to pay for the new healthcare costs.  And the House of Representatives, which has voted over 30 times to repeal Obamacare, is doubtless not through with it yet.  The House can still vote to limit or eliminate funding for certain provisions of the bill, and generally make implementation difficult.

Do you recall the old car repair commercial:  “You can pay me now (for maintenance) or you can pay me later (for more expensive repairs)?”  That’s really where we are with Obamacare.  By forcing through a complex, fundamental reform of the entire healthcare system in a party-line vote with 2700 pages that doubtless few members of Congress even read, the President got his bill.  But by not bringing along the states, a few Republicans, and others in the process, the bill for that legislative strategy is now coming due.  There is a lot more legal and financial maneuvering to be done before we know what healthcare reform will finally look like.  And frankly, when a President seeks to add a  sweeping new federal entitlement, that’s the way it should be.

The Supreme Court Trauma CenterThe Supreme Court Trauma Center (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Please click on the link to view the op/ed on Forbes.com:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2012/11/20/the-obamacare-battle-is-far-from-over/

Healthcare Reform is Now on the Fall Ballot (Townhall.com) July 13, 2012

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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When an incumbent president runs for reelection, the campaign is a referendum on his performance. Campaign 2012 is about the economy and voters will have to decide whether Obama or Romney can best lead America toward economic growth.

But the Supreme Court has just placed a second big issue on the fall ballot: healthcare reform.  It is the signature achievement of Obama’s first term and, the Supreme Court said, it is not the Court’s job to protect the people from policy decisions of their elected leaders. That job belongs to the people themselves.  So now, issue number two this fall is healthcare. 

From the time it was passed, opinion polls have shown that the more people know about healthcare reform, the less they like it.  The fall election will be the time for the people to speak out.

To listen to the audio please click here: 

http://townhall.com/talkradio/dailycommentary/643746

Healthcare Needs Fixing, Not Overhauling (Townhall.com) January 25, 2011

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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With the House repeal of Obamacare, and 27 states challenging its constitutionality in the courts, 

Courtesy of Townhall.com

 perhaps it’s time to say what we need instead. The answer, which several of us have suggested from the beginning, is targeted fixes, not federal overhaul.

Although 80 percent of Americans say they like their present healthcare, there are 2 or 3 problems most people agree need to be addressed:

 ·        Portability and the removal of state boundaries to create a national market;

·        Increased cost;

·        The uninsured.

The best solutions involve opening up markets, while giving consumers better information and more responsibility to make the hard tradeoffs and decisions.  For the uninsured, direct assistance through tax incentives or aid, will be better than government-created markets. 

Obamacare clearly overreached—and it’s time to pull back.

To listen to the audio:  http://townhall.com/talkradio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=11&ContentGuid=e8dd4388-4653-47ae-9312-c0486ae90111

Healthcare Reform Unconstitutional (Townhall.com) December 16, 2010

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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Finally!   A federal judge, Henry Hudson of Virginia, said what a lot of us  

Courtesy of Townhall.com

have been thinking:  a key provision of the healthcare reform law is unconstitutional.

 Judge Hudson rightly said that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress power to make people to enter into a private contract.  So the mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. 

Now on toward the Supreme Court, since two other federal judges have ruled that it is constitutional.  And more lawsuits are out there—25 of them.

Not only is the law unconstitutional, but it has become unpopular as well.  A new poll shows Americans oppose the law now 52-43.  

With a new Republican majority in the House, new governors in statehouses, and judges reconsidering the matter, the battle for healthcare reform isn’t over yet!

To listen to the audio:  http://townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowId=11&ContentGuid=f854952b-d4ac-4566-9d0f-4a636da0bfe5

Healthonomics 101 (Townhall.com) March 12, 2010

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One of the cardinal rules of politics is, as they said in Watergate, to “follow the money.”

Courtesy of Townhall.com

Unfortunately no one seems to be paying much attention to the economics of this healthcare bill.

The biggest problem with healthcare today is rising costs, yet this bill will do absolutely nothing about that. Instead, it adds $2.5 trillion in new costs in the first 10 years alone—not counting the increased use of healthcare that will surely result.

It raises taxes selectively, and behind the scenes, to a tune of $500 billion. It cuts $120 billion from Medicare Advantage. It grows an expansive and expensive new bureaucracy.

The well-known book Freakonomics was subtitled, “the hidden side of everything.” Believe me, we will need to write a new chapter of that book on “Obamanonics” if Obamacare is enacted.

To listen to the audio:  http://townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=11&ContentGuid=20b06e64-c5cf-433f-9fd1-592dc98d54fd

People are Watching (Townhall.com) January 28, 2010

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One political myth is that people don’t really pay attention to politics until 

Courtesy of Townhall.com

 election time.  But a recent poll by YouGov suggests that isn’t the case—at least where healthcare is concerned.

A recent poll of voters in 11 states likely to have competitive Senate races this fall shows that support for Republican candidates correlates closely to voter opposition to the massive health-care reform bill. In these 11 states, Democrats trail in 6, lead in 2 and 3 are toss-ups, with support for healthcare reform running at only 33-48 percent. 

Amazingly, two-thirds of voters could accurately state how their incumbent senator voted on the healthcare bill. 

This poll, alongside the election in Massachusetts, suggests that incumbents need to watch carefully how they vote on healthcare.  Apparently, and to their surprise, the people are watching—and they’re not happy.

To listen to the audio:  http://townhall.com/MediaPlayer/AudioPlayer.aspx?ContentGuid=f7a7178f-e284-4d81-9181-bca0222b590a

People Are Watching (Townhall.com) January 28, 2010

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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One political myth is that people don’t really pay attention to politics  

Courtesy of Townhall.com

until election time. But a recent poll by YouGov suggests that isn’t the case—at least where healthcare is concerned.

A recent poll of voters in 11 states likely to have competitive Senate races this fall shows that support for Republican candidates correlates closely to voter opposition to the massive health-care reform bill. In these 11 states, Democrats trail in 6, lead in 2 and 3 are toss-ups, with support for healthcare reform running at only 33-48 percent. 

Amazingly, two-thirds of voters could accurately state how their incumbent senator voted on the healthcare bill. 

This poll, alongside the election in Massachusetts, suggests that incumbents need to watch carefully how they vote on healthcare.  Apparently, and to their surprise, the people are watching—and they’re not happy.

To listen to the audio:  http://townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=11&ContentGuid=f7a7178f-e284-4d81-9181-bca0222b590a

The Real Healthcare Problem is Cost (Townhall.com) October 27, 2009

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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President Obama has declared that the problem with healthcare is access. 

Courtesy of Townhall.com

 But with healthcare costs increasing 8-10 percent a year, isn’t the larger problem cost? Unfortunately Obamacare will only make that problem worse.

The bill on the sticker of his plan is $1 trillion , give or take a few billion.  But underneath the sticker price lie pressures that will push costs even higher.  When everyone has insurance, more money will be spent on healthcare.  Under the similar Massachusetts plan, access went up but so did costs—up 80 percent in 3 years.  One reason is that cost controls, which proponents count on, simply don’t work. 

 As Hoover economist John Cogan put it, healthcare is as big as the Chinese economy and growing as fast as the Indian economy.  What we need are more market alternatives, not more regulation and inefficient, government-run programs.

To listen to the audio:   http://townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=11&ContentGuid=ec4deadc-a1a1-427b-b084-0d96693cb698