Archive for June, 2013

Teens urged to promote ObamaCare to their family members!!!

Teens urged to promote ObamaCare under California grant, report says

FoxNews.com

The Los Angeles school system reportedly plans to use a state grant to promote ObamaCare, in part by teaching students to become “messengers” for the law.

The Heartland Institute first reported on the grant, one of $37 million in state grants announced in May by Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange.

Of that, $990,000 was awarded to The Los Angeles Unified School District.

A brief synopsis of the grant says it would be used for “outreach calls” to families and “adult-student class presentations.” But it also states as an objective: “Teens trained to be messengers to family members.”

According to The Heartland Institute, a spokeswoman for Covered California said the group has “confidence” the Los Angeles program “will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students.”

A spokesman for the district also told the institute that teens will be part of a “pilot” program to see if they can be trained to “deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes.”

“Teens will be educating adults that they already know (e.g., family or friends) and not other adults,” the spokesman said.

The grant comes amid controversy in Congress over the Obama administration’s other efforts to promote the law, in advance of the entire law’s implementation.

Several Republicans this past week urged major sports leagues to rebuff the administration’s call to help advertise for the Affordable Care Act.  The NFL on Friday issued a statement saying it had “no plans” to do so.


Scalia Dissent: Gay Marriage Decision ‘Jaw-Dropping’

Image: Scalia Dissent: Gay Marriage Decision 'Jaw-Dropping'

In a blistering rebuke of the Supreme Court decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Antonin Scalia said the self-governing power of the people has been eroded.

“Today’s opinion aggrandizes the power of the court to pronounce the law,” Scalia wrote in the dissenting opinion. It will have the predictable consequence of diminishing the “power of our people to govern themselves,” wrote Scalia, who was joined in his dissent by Justices Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, while Justice Samuel Alito wrote a separate dissenting opinion.

Scalia described the “assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’s representatives in Congress and the executive” as “jaw-dropping.”

“It envisions a Supreme Court standing (or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empowered to decide all constitutional questions, always and everywhere ‘primary’ in its role,” said Scalia. “This image of the court would have been unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter.”

Scalia had particular disdain for fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling in the 5-4 case, saying it opened the door for a federal law allowing same-sex marriages.

“It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here — when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it,” he wrote.

In another section of his ruling, Scalia said, “To defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution.

“In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence — indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history.”

The court’s decision takes issue especially with Section 3 of DOMA, which defined marriage on a federal basis as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” and the word “spouse” referring “only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

“DOMA rejects this long-established precept” of states themselves determining the definition of marriage, said the court’s the majority opinion, written by Kennedy.

However, the court’s action goes well beyond merely rejecting a federal definition of marriage, Scalia says.

“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition. Henceforth those challengers will lead with this court’s declaration that there is ‘no legitimate purpose’ served by such a law, and will claim that the traditional definition has the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure the ‘personhood and dignity’ of same-sex couples.

“The result will be a judicial distortion of our society’s debate over marriage — a debate that can seem in need of our clumsy ‘help’ only to a member of this institution,” said the 77-year-old justice.

The decision, he wrote, was not clear cut.

“Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better.”


Access to Quality Care for All Citizens

By State Senator – Patrick Colbeck

State Senator Patrick Colbeck

There is a great debate in Michigan and in other states around the nation on the topic of Medicaid Expansion. Like most of you reading this, I desire to find ways of providing access to quality, affordable healthcare for more Americans. But I wonder, is expanding Medicaid the best way to do this? What if you could provide access to affordable quality care to more individuals without expanding Medicaid? After extensive research, I have come to see that there are other, more sound options.

Rising healthcare costs are a serious issue for all of us. And costs are increasing in most areas of healthcare, but not all. Where are costs not increasing and what can we learn from this? Look no further than free market healthcare segments such as laser eye surgery or plastic surgery.

Medicaid, on the other hand, joins the long list of government services that do not promote quality. Due to the poor Medicaid reimbursement rates for services many physicians try to control costs by capping the number of Medicaid patients that they serve. As more and more doctors begin refusing Medicaid recipients to avoid going out of business, where will these people go to be treated?

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) seeks to control costs by increasing the premiums for everyone and then providing subsidies, tax breaks or outright waivers to special segments of our society. For example, employers with 25 or less employees will receive up to 40% subsidies on their healthcare costs. I suppose this is to hold them harmless in light of the projected premium cost increases of 30-60% in our state. This is not “cost control”. It is simply “control”.

When you boil down the options available to us when it comes to healthcare systems, there are three basic choices: federal control, state control, or individual control. The Governor’s proposal to implement Obamacare by expanding Medicaid and utilizing a state-operated exchange is an example of federal control. An excellent example of a state controlled option is Senator Bruce Caswell’s bill SB 422. His option would likely not require any waivers from existing federal law nor would it rely upon additional federal funds. As a third option, I have been pursuing a Michigan healthcare system that prioritizes individual control and the free market.

This third option starts with the observation that the proposal pursued by the Governor called for two waivers by the federal government. If waivers are on the table for discussion, I would like to propose two alternative waivers that get to the heart of why I believe that the Affordable Care Act is neither “affordable” nor “caring”.

The first of these waivers is to Obamacare’s “minimum essential benefit” mandate. It is this mandate that is the primary driver behind the obscene jumps in healthcare premiums our citizens will see in October of this year as open enrollment begins on the government-run health exchange. Many people would simply like catastrophic insurance rather than all of the bells and whistles found in the minimum essential benefit laundry list. They should have that choice.

The second of these waivers would be to allow government assistance eligibility information to be provided via one or more private exchanges rather than a single government-created exchange. Limit the government involvement to its current role of determining eligibility for government assistance. Let the private sector provide a framework where competition thrives in a consumer-friendly environment and people have more choice over what type of insurance they think is right for themselves and their families.

These two waivers would put Michigan on a path to lower healthcare costs and expanded access to healthcare that would not only improve the health and well-being of our citizens, but would also improve our competitiveness with other states for jobs. Do you remember when competition, personal responsibility and freedom were core American values? It is time to restore these principles in our government policies.

This July 4th, we celebrate our independence and we celebrate our freedom. I implore you to not take that freedom for granted. If you do, there are too many people in government more than willing to exchange some of your freedom for a false sense of security. Obamacare is about control,… not freedom.

If we truly want to increase access to quality care for all of our citizens, we need to pursue free market solutions.


I got a call from Gov. Snyder’s office,…I felt I needed to be honest with him!!!

By Priscilla Miller – Antrim County Republican Party, Secretary

Priscilla MillerDid anyone else hear from the Governor? I did!  Governor Snyder’s Office called me yesterday!   Seems I inadvertently gave out Lt. Governor Brian Calley’s personal cell phone number on Facebook Thursday, leading up to the Senate’s decision on the Medicaid Expansion Bill, and the governor’s aide wanted to clarify my message to the Lt. Governor and asked, if I had anything to say to the Governor.

I told him I had called out of concern for a bill the lawmakers had only had seven days to consider, and couldn’t see why the Governor felt it necessary to return from his trade mission to Israel, in order to push through his agenda!

All too often we have laws rushed through, only to find out ‘what’s in the bill’ after it’s passed, and I could see no harm in allowing lawmakers the time to thoroughly study, and explore the possible ramifications of such a bill before voting.

I also mentioned the fact that I disapproved of the Governor contacting Kathleen Sabelius, who I believe did a Webinar with our MRP lawmakers, to try and convince them to pass the bill, and this left me with the impression that our Governor is siding with the Democrats and Obama, in regard to our healthcare and not listening to ‘We the People!’

When his aid told me, “the Affordable Care Act was the Law of the Land”. I told him that was his opinion, but there are people like myself, who believe since there are no provisions set up to finance the Obamacare exchanges in the act itself, and if enough states refuse to do anything to help facilitate its implementation, the law will implode.

I also expressed my belief that citizens no longer ‘trust’ their government, and are tired of hearing the people they elect, instead of listening to them, decide what’s “good for them”.

In addition, I told him I thought the governor’s press conference yesterday, was very divisive, pitting members of the party against one another, and when I saw Governor Snyder, standing with that group of healthcare professionals, lined up beside him, all dressed in their scrubs and lab coats, it brought back the distasteful memory of Obama, when he signed the Affordable Care Act, and the people lined up behind him, dressed in the same manner.

The Governor’s aid assured me that he was going to convey all of my thoughts and what I had to say, to the governor, and that the governor is always interested in hearing what people in the state have to say. I told him I didn’t believe that was the case, that the governor is only interested in his own agenda.

I also mentioned that just last week the governor appeared to dismiss the ‘Tea Party’ as a group he wasn’t going to listen to. I explained to him, that there are many Democrat and Republican friends, who share the same views, even though they are not part of any Tea Party organization, and last but not least I closed by telling the governor’s aid that “I believe yesterday, the governor heard the voice of the Tea Party!”


Tuesday, 6-18-13 @ 4:38 p.m. – Senate Postpones Medicaid Vote (HB 4714)

Senate Postpones Medicaid Vote 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

After caucusing for the better part of the day, Senate Republicans today tabled a vote to expand Medicaid as Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe) tries to scrounge up more GOP support.

MIRS has learned that it seemed likely there were 20 votes in the chamber — providing the 12 Democrats were OK with a substitute on HB 4714 they haven’t seen. But Richardville still wants to hit 13 Republican votes, which would be half the caucus’ support.

Potentially complicating matters was the fact that Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY is in the Upper Peninsula and unable to break a 19-19 tie. Although sources tell MIRS that Richardville doesn’t want to exercise that option, Calley’s absence did spark talk today.

The fact that Gov. Rick SNYDER is off on a trade mission to Israel didn’t go unnoticed, either, as he’s not around to twist arms. Instead, Budget Director John NIXON made the case to the Senate GOP caucus.

Josh PUGH of Progress Michigan tweeted this afternoon: “Maybe it would be easier to get Medicaid expansion through the @MISenate if the governor were actually in the country right now.”

As MIRS reported Monday, a substitute for HB 4714 has been crafted while votes were being rounded up (See “Senate Medicaid Sub Being Prepped,” 6/17/13).

A damper was put on the bill when three GOP senators — Sens. Howard WALKER (R-Traverse City), Goeff HANSEN (R-Hart) and Jack BRANDENBURG (R-Harrison Twp.) — were threatened with Tea Party primary challenges if they were “yes” votes.

The House last week passed HB 4714.

 


Congressman Mike Rogers Opts Against U.S. Senate Race

U.S. Rep. Mike ROGERS (R-Howell) announced this morning he would not seek the U.S. Senate seat being opened in 2014 by the retirement of U.S. Sen. Carl LEVIN (D-Detroit), knocking out one of the Republicans’ potential first-tier possibilities. 

Mike Rogers“I am truly humbled by the encouragement I have had to run for the United States Senate. After careful and thorough deliberation and long talks with my family, friends and supporters, I have determined that the best way for me to continue to have a direct impact for my constituents and the nation is to remain in the House of Representatives,” Rogers said.

The decision leaves GOP National Committeewoman Terri Lynn LAND as the only formally announced candidate for the slot, with Dr. Rob STEELE giving the race serious consideration.

Other potential candidates include U.S. Rep. Justin AMASH (R-Cascade Twp.), Sen. Roger KAHN (R-Saginaw) and Rep. Pete LUND (R-Shelby Twp.).

Many Republicans viewed Rogers as the strongest challenger to the Democrats’ nominee, likely U.S. Rep. GaryPETERS(D-Bloomfield Twp.), due to his access to money and his general likeability, particular to swing independent voters. Rogers consistently overperforms in his mid-Michigan/Oakland County congressional district.

However, a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released last week showed Land polling the best against Peters in hypothetical one-on-one parings. Land trailed Peters by 5 points (41 to 36 percent) while Rogers was down 10 to Peters (42 to 32 percent).

Bill BALLENGER of Inside Michigan Politics said these numbers show Land may be underestimated as a candidate. She has won twice statewide as Secretary of State, is a “heck of a campaigner” and has support from Tea Party and libertarians types, as is evident from her national committeewoman race, Ballenger said.

While Peters is developing into the consensus candidate among Democrats, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is a slam-dunk in a General Election. Roughly a third of voters know Peters by name, which is less than the percentage of people who know Land.

“Gary Peters may very well be a 6,000-foot-tall tower of jelly,” Ballenger said.

On the other side of the coin, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon JOHNSON said based on the polling numbers, Rogers “read the handwriting on the wall.”

“Republicans’ anti-middle class agenda undermines our economic recovery. Cutting seniors’ benefits to give tax breaks to outsourcers is no way to win in Michigan,” Johnson said. “Michigan middle class families can count on Gary Peters to fight for them.”

Today’s announcement may come as a disappointment to some people, said Stu SANDLER of Decider Strategies, but there’s still time for Republicans to field a candidate to beat Peters and that may very well be the only candidate out, there — Terri Lynn Land.

“Terri Lynn Land has an opportunity, once she officially gets in, to get together a strong operation, raise money and show a command of the issues,” he said. “It could be her or it could be someone else.”

Rogers’ decision does not come as a surprise in the state’s political circles.

Rogers had been steadfast in not showing his hand publicly on where he leaned on his decision. But as chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Rogers would have a lot to lose in giving up a safe 8th Congressional seat and his role as the Republicans’ point political person on national security issues in exchange for a highly speculative race that, even if successful, could put him in the minority.

Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby SCHOSTAK said Rogers’ responsibilities as Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee are “critical to our national security — a role that, while at a tense time in our nation’s history, we can trust he will perform to the best of his ability.

“Although he will not be running for U.S. Senate, the people of Michigan are honored to have Rep. Rogers’ continued service in Washington. I have no doubt that Republicans will field a strong candidate to win this seat in 2014.”


Medicaid Expansion Bill Heads to the House

House Republicans help Obamacare provision move to a vote

 

Rep. Mike Shirkey said a little less than two months ago he was a hard “no” vote on the expansion of Medicaid in Michigan.

On Wednesday, the GOP State Representative from Clarklake voted in favor of sending a bill that would allow Medicaid expansion to the House floor for a vote.

The House Michigan Competitiveness Committee voted 9-5 to send House Bill 4714 to the House of Representatives for a vote.

Rep. Shirkey, chair of the competitiveness committee, and fellow GOP State Reps. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey; Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs; and Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, all voted “yes” along with five Democrats.

Reps. Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant; Ken Goike, R-Ray Township; Ray Franz, R-Onekama; Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt Township; and Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, voted “no” to moving the bill to the House for a vote.

Rep. Gail Haines, R-Waterford, was absent.

Rep. Shirkey said once he researched Medicaid expansion, there were several points that he said made him think it was in the best interests of taxpayers to push for it, although he said he is against Obamacare.

“I hate these rules,” Rep. Shirkey said. “I hate Obamacare. I hope at the end of the day, Obamacare is a miserable failure. But it is the law of the land. We got this hand dealt to us.”

He said he thinks what eventually will defeat Obamacare is when people realize how truly expensive it will be.

He said Medicaid expansion addressed uncompensated care in the health industry and that estimates of the costs of uncompensated care in Michigan vary from half a billion to a billion dollars year.

“This provides us an opportunity to address that,” Rep. Shirkey said.

Small- and medium-sized businesses in Michigan would be subject to “extreme uncertainty” if Medicaid expansion wasn’t an option, he said.

Employees who make between $8 to $10 an hour could go on Medicaid as opposed to signing up for the government health exchanges to get their insurance, Rep. Shirkey said. If the entire population that was from 100 percent to 133 percent of the poverty level went on the government health exchange, taxpayers would pay more in subsidies than they would in taxes if that same group went on the expanded Medicaid, he said.

Critics of Medicaid expansion say they don’t trust the federal government to live up to its promise to pay 100 percent of costs even for a few years. And they complain that expanding Medicaid as part of Obamacare will further increase health care costs and further entrench the federal government in people’s lives, among other issues.

An Oregon study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that expanding Medicaid found that there were few positive effects from Medicaid coverage.

In an email, Rep. Franz said he was worried the expansion could cover as many as 600,000 additional people.

“What happens to our health care system with the influx of 600,000-plus new covered individuals? It can only be overwhelmed,” Rep. Franz said. “While the bill states that it will stop benefits if the Feds don’t pay 100 percent … I don’t believe for a moment that the benefit could be stopped and I don’t believe for a moment that the Feds will pay 100 percent forever. There simply isn’t the money for it.

“I believe it will cost our state more than half a billion dollars a year,” he continued. “Where is that revenue going to come from — schools, roads or new taxes? While it would be an easy vote and be a very politically advantageous position, I will not leave that bill to my successors in this seat or to future generations. … This legislation will hurt and entrap people over the long haul; hurt our doctors and health system; cost millions and billions we don’t have, and leave future generations with bills and responsibilities that will be difficult if not impossible to handle.”

Wednesday’s vote to move the bill to the House floor followed a vote on Tuesday that accepted substitute language for HB 4714. The new version of the bill, stripped out items that made passage conditional upon the federal government agreeing to specific terms.


Antrim County Businesses that are owned by Democrats,…”I’m not interested in helping your organization”!!!

Goofy Joe BidenI just spoke with Ralph Naples of Pine Hill Nursery on U.S. 31 in Torch Lake Twp. and yesterday with Bill Peterson of Moka Coffee House in Bellaire,…asking for a gift certificate of $50 to their business to be auctioned off at our “Fun Day – 2013” event.  These gift certificates would bring customers into their businesses and perhaps get them to spend even more money as a repeat customer.

Unfortunately, both of them confirmed that they are Democrats and are not interested in helping to raise money for our Antrim County Republican Party.

Perhaps, Republicans should consider purchasing their coffee and nursery items at other locations in Antrim County???


Is Obama waging psychological warfare on Americans? (Opinion by Dr. Keith Ablow)

Dr. Keith AblowI believe that the Obama administration is conducting psychological warfare on conservative Americans. Not only that but it is also waging this war on all Americans who previously viewed themselves, their country, their Constitution and their overwhelming belief in God as a force for good in the world.

The psychological warfare began with an apology tour in which President Obama publicly “confessed,” presuming to speak for all of us, for the shortcomings of America and our supposed contributions to tyranny and all manner of evils around the world.

This confession planted in the American mind the notion that our values and beliefs might not be in line with freedom and truth.

The president, with the help of his administration, is attempting to conduct psychological warfare on Americans who value autonomy and free will.

It was reinforced by the first lady stating during the 2008 presidential campaign that she had never felt pride in our country.

These statements were seemingly shrugged off by Americans who, collectively, seemed to be telling themselves that they were hearing discontent channeled from disenfranchised groups in our nation who, nonetheless, loved the country—and all of us, too.

But, deep inside the American psyche, something more malignant could have been planted—the seeds of self-hatred and self-doubt.  And I no longer believe that those seeds were planted unintentionally by people as smart and capable as the president and first lady.

Psychological warfare has been described as a set of techniques aimed at influencing a target audience’s value systems or beliefs and inducing confessions of wrongdoing or attitudes favorable to the group proffering the techniques.

The techniques are often combined with black ops strategy, in which covert initiatives seek to dispirit, disempower and confuse adversaries.

The psychological warfare has continued, I believe, with other opportunities the president has had to make American’s question their individual freedoms and autonomy.

This has included misrepresenting horrific crimes, such as the one which unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut, as evidence of the need for gun control measures, when they clearly evidenced a need for revamping our mental health care system.

Gun rights are inextricably entwined in the American psyche with freedom to defend oneself.  Attacking gun rights, I believe, is an element of the psychological warfare on the American belief that force is justifiable when confronting evil.

My belief that psychological warfare is being deployed on Americans by this American president and his administration has been solidified as news has come out of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

This black ops targeting doesn’t just have the effect of slowing the financial momentum of these groups. It has the goal of dispiriting them and making them feel helpless to achieve their goals.

If liberal Americans stand by and do not seek swift and severe justice for those who perpetrated these acts, then they will have tacitly been victimized, too. Because they will have tacitly agreed that it is acceptable for their government to target certain political movements for persecution—and that will have fundamentally changed the psyche of America.

Seen through the lens of psychological warfare, the failure to defend our embassy in Benghazi need not be understood simply as a screw-up. It could reflect an actual strategy on the part of the administration to reinforce the notion that homicidal violence born of hatred toward America is understandable—even condonable—because we have generated it ourselves and are reaping the harvest of ill will we have sown.  In other words, we should take our punishment.

The president said as much when he blamed the murder of our Ambassador to Libya on a film that criticized Islam.

This misstatement may disclose not just incompetence and may not just be evidence of a cover-up, but may be evidence of exactly what I am theorizing here: that the president, with the help of his administration, is attempting to conduct psychological warfare on Americans who value autonomy and free will and free markets and small government, by convincing them that they are wrong-minded, prejudiced and pathological and should deeply question their beliefs—including some ensconced in the Constitution.

The wiretapping of journalists would be, then, just another black ops technique in an ongoing war against our freedoms.

There will be those that say that many American leaders have sought to target groups hostile to their views.  Some will point to President Nixon or Senator McCarthy or J. Edgar Hoover.  And that debate can be had.

But I assert that this administration is engaged in a coordinated attempt to dispirit, disarm and disenfranchise large portions of the American population and to weaken our founding principles through what is best understood as psychological warfare.

And with that statement in the public domain, let us, at least, be aware and notice how many events unfold in-keeping with it, over the next months and years.

The enemy of psychological warfare is the knowledge of what is really happening to us and remembering who we really are.

 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com

 


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