“So to sum up: McCain accurately dings Obama for being a tax-raiser. Obama responds by reiterating tax pledges he wouldn’t keep, while specifically (and ‘misleadingly’) attacking McCain for raising taxes with his health care plan. The ruse works–for most of the campaign, opinion polls showed that more people believed McCain was likely to raise taxes than Obama. Then, after the election, when Obama’s successfully passed health care plan imposes a new tax, he denies this fact in literally absolutist terms, until his administration is challenged to defend it in court. It’s breathtaking. And not in the good way.”

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“If the Commerce Clause claim of power were a slam dunk, as previously alleged, would there be any need now to change or supplement that theory? Maybe the administration lawyers confronted the inconvenient fact that the Commerce Clause has never in history been used to mandate that all Americans enter into a commercial relationship with a private company on pain of a ‘penalty’ enforced by the IRS. So there is no Supreme Court ruling that such a claim of power is constitutional. In short, this claim of power is both factually and judicially unprecedented.”

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Seeing rising health costs on the horizon, employers are scaling back their insurance plans to put more costs on the consumer. This is despite pledges from the White House that families will see their premiums decrease without any quality reduction because of ObamaCare. “That could come as a surprise to many who remember the repeated assurances from President Obama and other officials that consumers would retain a variety of health-care choices.”

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The new health system in Massachusetts included huge subsidies to provide insurance coverage on a new exchange, but lacked cost control components. This is leading employers to drop health insurance for their workers and get the government to pick up the tab. ObamaCare has the same features and incentive structure, which means the national costs will rise sharply over previous estimates, just like in Massachusetts.

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CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified before the President’s Deficit Commission and said that ObamaCare will not cause any notable improvement in the long term deficit picture. And since the law has lots of guaranteed spending which is paid for with speculative, future cuts, it might make things much worse.

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“Starting on Oct. 1, 2012, Medicare payments for hospitals with high readmission rates for certain conditions, including heart failure, will be reduced. This means Obamacare may actually punish hospitals and physicians for providing better quality care. As Dr. Eiran Z. Gorodeski of the Cleveland Clinic put it, ‘I think that the message to patients and the general public is that they should be wary of seemingly simple measures of quality of care.’ There’s also a message here for lawmakers: health care is too large and complex to expect central planning to yield positive results. Unfortunately, the passage of Obamacare and the recent recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare head only move the U.S. further in that direction.”

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“Indiana’s Medicaid chief told lawmakers Thursday that the federal government has largely left states in the dark on implementing the federal health care overhaul because it hasn’t yet provided needed guidelines. Medicaid Director Pat Casanova told the Health Finance Commission that key parts of the overhaul take effect in 2014 — about 3 1/2 years away — but states will need several years to pass their own rules and implement the overhaul.”

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Medicare is an enormous, unfunded liability for the government.  Medicare reform was urgently needed before ObamaCare’s passage, and the law was supposed to have addressed those problems. But instead of improving the program, and the country’s fiscal outlook, ObamaCare used the same failed policy changes tried over the last 20 years.

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“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the PPACA will add 16 million new individuals to Medicaid. And that almost certainly means many, many more emergency room visits. ObamaCare was sold as a way to ease America’s health care burdens. Instead, it looks more and more like its legacy will be to increase the strain on a broken system.”

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“This essay argues that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exceeds Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce and its taxing power, and infringes on state prerogatives. The lawsuits that have been filed by states and individuals arguing these points raise serious legal issues, not the least of which is whether there are any constitutional limits remaining on government power. Because the new law is unprecedented—in both its regulatory scope and its expansion of federal authority—it is difficult to predict how courts will react. However, a holding that these measures were in fact constitutional would fundamentally alter the relationship of the federal government to the states and the people, as there would seem to be no constitutional limits on federal power.”

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