“The Affordable Care Act demonstrates the phenomenon. This landmark piece of social legislation extended free or highly subsidized health insurance to millions of additional Americans. But it also, therefore, increases the loss of benefits to low-income workers after a raise.“
Will you actually be richer when your pay is raised to $15 per hour?
Perhaps the question seems ludicrous. Of course you’re better off making $15 an hour than you were at $9 per hour, right? But the answer is, unfortunately, not as obvious as you might think. And the question itself—will workers getting a raise be better off?—has been missing from debates in cities from New York to Los Angeles over whether to establish $15 per hour minimum wages for some workers.
Instead, we’re seeing the same old arguments — from San Francisco, where voters must decide on a November ballot measure proposing a new $15 per hour wage floor, to Seattle, which will begin phasing in $15 per hour next year — over whether the minimum wage hurts business and jobs, or whether it boosts local economies by giving workers more money to spend. For the record, I…
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“If the D.C. Court is upheld, Obamacare is over. It won’t survive.”
Charles Krauthammer believes that the language in the Affordable Care Act saying that subsidies are to be provided through state exchanges is unambiguous…He referred to a point made earlier today on NRO by Andrew McCarthy, who argued that even if you accept the government’s defense that it was indeed a drafting error, Congress is the only instrument in the constitutional system that can change the error.
“It is not in the power of the executive to fix what’s written in the legislation.”
White House Signals Greater Flexibility and Autonomy, Encourages Non-Compliance for All Americans, All U.S. Laws and Regulations Subject to Individual Discretion
For The Daily Caller, Sarah Hurtubise reports: The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court’s ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.
A D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday morning that customers in the 36 states that didn’t establish their own exchange and use HealthCare.gov instead cannot be given premium tax credits, according to the text of the Affordable Care Act itself.
But the White House said in response that it will continue handing out the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »
Dan Mangan reports: In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are not legal under the Affordable Care Act.
“Now, Obama and Company will look for John Roberts to pull their fat out of the fire again. I am afraid he will.”
— Wesley J. Smith
In its decision, a three-judge panel said that such subsidies can be granted only to people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up a state.
The decision is certain to be challenged by the Obama Administration, and does not immediately have the effect of law. But if it is ultimately upheld, it would cause insurance rates for those people who lost the subsidies to dramatically rise. Read the rest of this entry »
From NRO‘s Morning Jolt:
Here’s the headline from a new poll of Minnesota likely voters commissioned by American Encore and conducted by Magellan Strategies:
Only 41 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Sen. Franken, while 45 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Only 44 percent approve of the job he is doing.
• 54% of respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and only 38% approve.
• Only 40% of respondents think Al Franken deserves re-election.
No one who favors the law wants to be bound by it.
Mark Steyn writes: On his radio show the other day, Hugh Hewitt caught me by surprise and asked me about running for the United States Senate from New Hampshire. My various consultants, pollsters, PACs, and exploratory committees haven’t fine-tuned every detail of my platform just yet, but I can say this without a doubt: I will not vote for any “comprehensive” bill, whether on immigration, health care, or anything else. “Comprehensive” today is a euphemism for interminably long, poorly drafted, and entirely unread — not just by the people’s representatives but by our robed rulers, too (how many of those Supreme Court justices actually plowed through every page of Obamacare when its “constitutionality” came before them?). The 1862 Homestead Act, which is genuinely comprehensive, is two handwritten pages in clear English. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is 500 times as long, is not about patients or care, and neither protects the former nor makes the latter affordable.
“The Affordable Care Act means whatever President Obama says it means on any particular day of the week. Whether it applies to you this year, next year, or not at all depends on the whim of the sovereign, and whether your CEO golfs with him on Martha’s Vineyard.”
So what is it about? On Wednesday, the Nevada AFL-CIO passed a resolution declaring that “the unintended consequences of the ACA will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week.” That’s quite an accomplishment for a “health” “care” “reform” law. But the poor old union heavies who so supported Obamacare are now reduced to bleating that they should be entitled to the same opt-outs secured by big business and congressional staffers. It’s a very strange law whose only defining characteristic is that no one who favors it wants to be bound by it.
“A few weeks back, the president unilaterally suspended the law’s employer mandate. Under the U.S. Constitution, he doesn’t have the power to do this, but judging from the American people’s massive shrug of indifference he might as well unilaterally suspend the Constitution, too.”
Meanwhile, on the very same day as the AFL-CIO was predicting the death of the 40-hour week, the University of Virginia announced plans to boot working spouses off its health plan beginning January 1 because the Affordable Care Act has made it unaffordable: It’s projected to add $7.3 million dollars to the university’s bill in 2014 alone.
President Obama admitted during his big end-of-year press conference, “We screwed it up.” This was in reference to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, considered his signature achievement in office.
Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty has (regrettably) been in the news for three whole days now, and whether it had something to do with that or was just an innocent mistake, someone at CNN clearly misheard what the president said and this is what ended up on CNN’s Political Ticker instead.
So… does this mean CNN screwed the duck too?
Peter Berkowitz writes: The controversies raging about the merits of two very different Obama administration policies, the Affordable Care Act and addressing Iran’s nuclear program, shed light on the common political outlook that underlies them.
President Obama’s signature domestic initiative and his grandest foreign affairs undertaking alike reflect a defining feature of the progressive or left-liberal mind. Both betray an incoherent opinion, or rather incoherent set of opinions, about politics and law. In both cases, Obama began by exaggerating the primacy of the rule of law. Subsequently, without fanfare, apology, or apparent regret he blithely disregarded the requirements of law.
The left-liberal mindset endemic on the college faculties and law schools where Barack Obama’s political sensibilities were forged holds that morals and politics are subject to a universal reason to which the left-liberal sensibility is uniquely attuned. This conceit receives expression in a faith that the left-liberal brain trust can embody complex public policy in general rules and regulations, which can then be administered smoothly by well-educated bureaucrats and adjudicated impartially by empathetic judges.
Adam Aigner-Treworgy reports: President Barack Obama’s proposal to allow people to keep canceled health plans for one year could end up costing the government millions of dollars.
This is due to a provision of the Affordable Care Act called risk corridors that allows for insurers to share the cost of insuring more expensive customers…
If that sounds like a trick question, you’re just not smart enough to understand it. Go back to your coloring books, teabagger.
Whew! Glad they left. It’s just us now, the sophisticates who can appreciate nuance and subtlety and crap like that. We understand how the following two things can be reconciled.
Here’s President Barack Obama, speaking last Monday: Read the rest of this entry »
Mark July 3, 2013, as the day Big Government finally imploded.
July 3 was the quiet afternoon that a deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy announced in a blog post that the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate would be delayed one year. Something about the “complexity of the requirements.” The Fourth’s fireworks couldn’t hold a candle to the sound of the U.S. government finally hitting the wall.
Since at least 1789, America’s conservatives and liberals have argued about the proper role of government. Home library shelves across the land splinter and creak beneath the weight of books arguing the case for individual liberty or for government-led social justice. World Wrestling smackdowns are nothing compared with Hayek vs. Rawls.
Maybe we have been listening to the wrong experts. Philosophers and pundits aren’t going to tell us anything new about government. The one-year rollover of ObamaCare because of its “complexity” suggests it’s time to call in the physicists, the people who study black holes and death stars. That’s what the federal government looks like after expanding ever outward for the past 224 years.
Even if you are a liberal and support the goals of the Affordable Care Act, there has to be an emerging sense that maybe the law’s theorists missed a signal from life outside the castle walls. While they troweled brick after brick into a 2,000-page law, the rest of the world was reshaping itself into smaller, more nimble units whose defining metaphor is the 140-character Twitter message.
Laughably, Barack Obama tried this week to align himself with the new age in a speech calling yet again for “smarter” government. It requires whatever lies on the far side of chutzpah to say this after passing a 1930s-style law that is both incomprehensible and simply won’t work. ObamaCare is turning into pure gravity. Nothing moves.
On July 5, the administration announced into the holiday void that because of “operational barriers” to IRS oversight, individuals would be allowed to self-report their income to qualify for the law’s subsidies.
If the ObamaCare meltdown were a one-off, the system could dismiss it as a legislative misfire and move on, as always. But ObamaCare’s problems are not unique. Important parts of the federal government are breaking down almost simultaneously.