August 23, 2014

Wesley J. Smith: Obamacare Lives


Source: National Review Online | Wesley J. Smith The people of the United States ensured an Obamacare future by apparently reelecting President Obama and maintaining a Democratic Senate. Here are the immediate consequences: 1. The IPAB will go into effect: As I have written, IPAB is the cornerstone of a planned bureaucratic state. The only way now to thwart that is pure obstructionism. First, by filibustering the nominations that President Obama will make to the Board. Not going to happen. Second, by defunding. Even though the House will stay Republican, I don’t see them taking that route on what, to most people, is an abstract issue. 2. The attack on religious freedom will continue: The Obama Administration is an implacable foe of faith operating outside the four walls of church or cloister. Don’t look for the president to offer religious institutions who oppose the free birth control rule anything other than lip service to accommodation of religious institutions. Businesses will … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Cult of Government


Source: Real Clear Religion | By George Neumayr Either say "long live the federal government" or die, Mexican government officials hectored Catholics in the early twentieth century, as depicted in the movie, For Greater Glory, an account of the Christian resistance to this persecution known as the "Cristeros war." Is Mexico's past America's future? After four years of in-your-face secularism from Barack Obama, it is not an idle question. "Darn tooting," Barack Obama said to militant feminists when they asked him, after the passage of the "Affordable Care Act," if he was going to force Christians to pay for the contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients of their employees. Under his secularist mandates, of which his HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate is the most obvious example, Americans are in effect forced to say "long live the federal government" or face financial death. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the essence of the "Affordable Care Act," … [Read more...]

Fr. Gregory Jensen On Our (Orthodox Christianity’s) Cultural Failings


Fr. Gregory Jensen wrote the following response to my essay (Catholic Online: The Republic is Finished and the America We Knew is Gone). It's good, really good in fact, and I am posting it here to generate discussion that not only analyzes the reason for the present decline but to generate discussion of where to go from here. Excerpt: American Orthodoxy is as secular as the rest of America. Like the Catholic Church and the various Protestant communities...we have discovered that he who drinks the king’s wine sings the king’s song. Thank you to Fr Hans Jacobse for his recent essay (Catholic Online: The Republic is Finished and the America We Knew is Gone) and for the many thoughtful comments it has inspired. As to whether or not the latest decision of the SCOTUS supporting the constitutionality of the Patient Affordability Act is the end of the Republic or not I can’t say. If however our' Republic is rooted in virtue understood as the … [Read more...]

Obamacare Ruling Reflects Technocratic Imperative

Wesley J. Smith

Why is anyone surprised? Obamacare was never going to be overturned. Not that it is constitutional, as the Constitution was originally conceived. It surely isn’t. But that Constitution has been terminally ill for a long time. Now it is dead. Why would the Supreme Court’s conservative chief justice rewrite the individual mandate’s penalty to be a tax, when the law’s authors unequivocally stated it was not a revenue generator during the legislative process? Let’s call it the “technocratic imperative” — faith in big government solutions for societal problems — a mindset that generates a far stronger gravitational pull than the standard conservative/liberal paradigm. The technocratic imperative is why, when push comes to shove, conservative judges almost always move “left” and liberal judges almost never move “right.” The case was always about two contrasting approaches to law and government. Opponents of Obamacare mounted a legal challenge to the individual mandate. They argued that the … [Read more...]

Wesley J. Smith: At what cost?

To the Source Obamacare is now the law of the land. Because health care and wellness are such essential parts of our lives and our culture, America will never be the same. For now, Obamacare preserves a private financing system—no public option. Nonetheless, it still represents a government takeover of healthcare. By eliminating risk assessment–and seizing control of benefit determinations—government bureaucrats will now choose winners and losers. Because we are all now ensconced in the same closed system, we each now have a direct financial stake in the health care received by every other one of us. Government control is, by definition, intensely political. Politically powerful “in crowds” are rarely denied what they want, while “out crowds” may be excluded altogether. The same will be true in health care. Canada is a vivid example, where terminal cancer patients are routinely refused life-extending chemotherapy by cost containment boards, while support is growing … [Read more...]

“If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more”

From The Corner on National Review Online. Sitting in an airport, on his way home to Michigan, Rep. Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat, is chagrined. “They’re ignoring me,” he says, in a phone interview with National Review Online. “That’s their strategy now. The House Democratic leaders think they have the votes to pass the Senate’s health-care bill without us. At this point, there is no doubt that they’ve been able to peel off one or two of my twelve. And even if they don’t have the votes, it’s been made clear to us that they won’t insert our language on the abortion issue.” According to Stupak, that group of twelve pro-life House Democrats — the “Stupak dozen” — has privately agreed for months to vote ‘no’ on the Senate’s health-care bill if federal funding for abortion is included in the final legislative language. Now, in the debate’s final hours, Stupak says the … [Read more...]