Thursday, April 24, 2014

Just a Smidgen of Obamacareschadenfreude

Another cool, bright spring morning here in Slower Maryland. Not much Obamacareschadenfreude (don't you get to combine words in German when they get used together a lot?), but like the zombies of Walking Dead, it keeps popping up in the internets woods and dark places.

How the ACA Could Collapse

A long, article about how the Hobby Lobby case could be the death knell of Obamacare, using the case of how the Schecter's Chicken case, a Jewish chicken slaughtering firm in Brooklyn was the stake in the heart of the FDRs National Recovery Act back in the late 30s.  The Supreme Court decided for the Schechter's, effectively killing the NRA.
What was evident was that two large bodies of law were clashing. On the one hand was the elaborate and new NRA poultry code. On the other hand there was the code of the Jewish dietary law, based on the Bible itself. In a contest between NIRA (48 stat. 195) and Deuteronomy (14:21), perhaps Deuteronomy had more authority. The government had its health inspectors, but who were they to go up against Maimonides himself, who had proclaimed that Jews were forbidden to serve “unwholesome” food? As it turned out, the Schechters had not sold much, if any, bad meat — there was no actionable “sick chicken” in the Sick Chicken Case.

In the Supreme Court arguments, the standard jurisprudential challenges involving the Commerce Clause and delegation were standard. Violation of those principles turned the justices against the NRA. But what had also become clear to the justices and the public was that the Schechters were simple businesspeople. By now it was 1935, and recovery had commenced; the country understood that such businesses were needed if the recovery was to continue. When the Schechters’ lawyer, that same Heller, showed how ludicrous the regulations for chicken selection were, the justices and the whole room laughed. The same kind of slapstick humor that had worked against the butchers before now worked for them. Even the justices got in on the wordplay, writing in their 9–0 finding against the NRA that the Schechter case showed that not only the poultry code but also the entire NRA corpus must collapse, “bone and sinew.”
A nice history lesson. But we no longer have the court that FDR wanted to pack.

From the Department of "Do as I say, but not what I do": The administration has missed 44 of its own ObamaCare deadlines
I’m posting this report, not because I think anyone actually expected the Obama administration to abide by the requirements it set out for itself when devising this leviathan of a law (LOLz) — I mean, the thing is huge, and it would just be totally unreasonable to expect the administration to be able to churn out regulations and studies on time, every time, right? …Which is exactly my point. I’d just like to take this opportunity to once again highlight the practically unknowable degree to which Obama’s crowning legislative achievement is expanding our bureaucracy and its involvement in one-sixth of the United States’ economy, via the WFB:
The administration has failed to meet 44 statutory deadlines required under Obamacare, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
The report, released on Monday, documents every provision with a specific deadline within the health care law and the administration’s actions taken as of April 15, 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has missed more than half of the 83 deadlines mandated since March 2011. …
The secretary was one year and one month late in developing a plan to increase HHS’s Indian Health Service (IHS) by 500 positions. Due by June 21, 2010, HHS did not begin implementing a plan for a “skilled and culturally competent behavioral health workforce” for the agency until August 2011. …
The report details many lesser known provisions within Obamacare, including a required three year “Independence at Home demonstration” to test if “home-based care” can reduce hospital visits. HHS started the project four months past its deadline on Jan. 1, 2012. …
The report found six cases where it appears the administration has taken no action at all. The CRS could find “no public information” relating to a March 2012 mandate for health plans to “report on their efforts to improve health outcomes.”
When the requirements written into the law are so onerous it's impossible for the government that wrote and enforces those regulations can't abide by them, it's past time to reconsider whether the citizenry should be forced to similarly abide by them.  They need to start personally fine or fire a few of the bureaucrats who miss their deadlines.

AFP launches ObamaCare attacks on four vulnerable Senate Dems
Despite the unexpectedly gloomy news coming from the South in the NY Times/Kaiser poll earlier today — or perhaps because it’s difficult to consider credible — the latest push from Americans for Prosperity on ObamaCare mainly targets non-Southern races for the US Senate. New TV spots will go up in Michigan, Colorado, New Hampshire, and also in Louisiana. The latter spot features a Marine who returned from two tours in Iraq, only to find that he couldn’t keep the plan even though he liked it:

AFP’s ad in New Hampshire declares that it will be difficult to enjoy the “scenic drives” in the state while driving long distances to see the doctor, which the ad charges is likely under ObamaCare.

And in Michigan, a narrator declares that “Gary Peters said yes to ObamaCare — he’d do it to us again,” noting an estimated 225,000 Michigan residents that could lose their health care under the new law.
Americans for Progress is the Koch funded NGO.  Good for them

Democrat wants to reopen Obamacare enrollment
Arizona Democratic Rep. Krysten Sinema still wants the Obama administration to push back the deadline for exchange enrollment even further.

Sinema sent a letter to Obamacare administrator Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to argue for another delay several days after federally-run Obamacare exchanges had closed. She did not mention an end-date for her proposed deadline delay.

“As we approach the end of the extended enrollment period, I ask that you allow for additional flexibility for individuals who continue to face technical challenges enrolling and purchasing health insurance coverage,” Sinema wrote. The letter is dated April 18, three days after the enrollment period closed.
Keep those goal posts on wheels.

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