“Under the 136-page rule, the federal government will now decide what counts as an ‘unreasonable’ rate increase, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote to Governors yesterday urging them ‘to prevent unjustified and excessive health insurance premium growth.’ Apparently, ‘unreasonable’ means rate increases that exceed 10% next year, except when it doesn’t. If an insurer crosses this arbitrary threshold, ‘The review process would then determine if the increase is, in fact, unreasonable.’ So that’s cleared up.”

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“Christmas gift-giving always begins with a wish list. This year, conservatives yearning to halt the government-driven health care provisions of Obamacare are making their list – and hoping the new GOP majority won’t hesitate to check it twice.”

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“But while the health-care issue has been problematic for the Democrats, it hasn’t worked particularly well for Republicans either, 1994 notwithstanding. That may have just changed. The Democratic Party’s association with unpopular government-run health care has now become so complete on a political level that the issue now may become a distinct advantage for Republicans going forward. That would be revolutionary.”

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“Thin-skinned, vain, prone to seeing conspiracies — Barack Obama now broadens his Richard Nixon impersonation with the imposition of price controls. Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving — giving us higher real taxes, a bigger deficit, a bloated federal state, and now, if past is prologue, significantly lower quality and less innovation in the field of health care. As some of the smarter critics predicted, Obamacare, butt-ugly as it was in legislative form, is turning into a real beast in the hands of the executive-branch geniuses charged with implementing it and dreaming up the new regulations to make that possible.”

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“While making the case for his health care reform package, President Barack Obama argued that his proposal would make life easier for small-business owners. Unfortunately, now that it is law, Obamacare threatens to undermine a group of small-business owners that, perhaps, is more important than any other to his reform effort – doctors in private practice.”

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“Individuals seeking maternity coverage in the non-group insurance market are discovering fewer options are available as insurers seek to cut costs to meet the regulatory demands of President Obama’s health care law. Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina dropped the coverage to save costs and keep premiums competitive, and insurers in other states have followed suit.”

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“Already, Medicaid is the second largest item on the average state budget at 21% (education is first at 22%). But according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that is all about to change very soon thanks to Obamacare. Remember, more than half of the health care coverage expansion under Obamacare is attained by placing Americans on Medicaid. CMS projects that state and local spending on Medicaid will increase 41.4% between 2010 and 2011. 41%!!!”

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“And yet the future of our health care system need not depend at all, as the future of our legal system unfortunately does to a considerable degree, on the whims of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Obamacare is a disaster for a host of reasons of which the individual mandate is only one. The 112th Congress need not wait for the courts to decide the fate of the mandate. For reasons constitutional, economic, and moral, Congress can repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reform.”

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Health care regulations create new costs to employers when hiring additional staff. ObamaCare’s new rules create strong disincentives for firms to hire low-wage workers or expand their businesses. “With higher-skill jobs, employers can offer the required benefits and pay for them by cutting the wage. But low-wage jobs in the restaurant and retail sectors leave little room for cuts in wages.”

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“Critics contend that Judge Hudson has unduly restricted Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, the principal basis on which the government defends the law. Some also claim that he ignored the ‘necessary and proper’ clause of the Constitution, which allows Congress leeway to choose how to put in place national economic programs. Yet a closer reading shows that Judge Hudson’s analysis could prove irresistible to the Supreme Court and that there is a reasonable chance it will agree that the insurance mandate is invalid.”

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