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So, traffic’s moving a bit better in the DC region, I can attest to that.

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Report from the Washington Times:

Congress adjourned early Tuesday morning without renewing funding for the federal government and the White House issued orders beginning the grim task of shutting down “nonessential” services across the nation.

Senators gave up first, adjourning soon after midnight, while House lawmakers stuck it out past 1 a.m. But with a middle ground proving elusive and senators refusing to negotiate over changes to the health law, the House too gave up and vowed to try again later in the day.

With no prospect of a deal to continue funding into fiscal year 2014, the White House budget office issued an order just before midnight to begin closing operations, sending 800,000 federal workers on furlough and leaving hundreds of thousands more employees required to report for work though without the guarantee of paychecks.

One program that didn’t shut down was the program at the center of all the GOP ire — Obamacare itself. The president’s health care overhaul is funded through other laws and, despite the shutdown, is up and running as of Tuesday morning. Americans without health insurance can now go on state-based exchanges to begin shopping for insurance, often with the benefit of government aid.

Who is going to blink first in this political battle?

Update: Added “Federal” to the title so as to not misinform the low-information crowd.

62 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t see a way out of this, as things stand. I think Congress is gambling on how the public will respond. Since “essential” employees are still working, it’s possible that the public will decide we don’t need “unessential” employees. And that would lead to a whole new discussion.

    But my guess is that a lot of people will become upset by some inconvenience. And, of course, those people only want things to work, and they will want a “clean bill.” But it gets back to whether people are sufficiently inconvenienced to become upset.

    It’s a big gamble on both sides.

  2. The government shut down 17 times between 1977 and 1995/6, this is the first time since 1995/6 between Clinton and the republicans. Then came the government surpluses:

    •1996 – $107.4 billion budget deficit
    •1997 – $21.9 billion budget deficit
    •1998 – $69.3 billion budget surplus
    •1999 – $125.6 billion budget surplus
    •2000 – $236.2 billion budget surplus
    •2001 – $128.2 billion budget surplus

    If the media is correct in their assertion:
    “…Obamacare itself. The president’s health care overhaul is funded through other laws and, despite the shutdown, is up and running as of Tuesday morning.”

    Today marks the first day in American history that Americans no longer have the option to ‘not have’ health insurance. Today is the first day the Federal government is forcing Americans to buy health insurance. Next year, we may start seeing people jailed for not buying health insurance this year…assuming they also refuse to pay the tax for not buying health insurance.

    Yes, today is the first day your government will tax you for not buying something. You are now forced into a business arrangment with another private citizen, or private business, to purchase a product with minimail service requirements you do not set.

    I say the fight is worth it. Keep government shut down until the 2014 elections, or even the 2016 elections if that’s what it takes.

    I don’t know about you, but i’m e-mailing my republican congressmen to keep up the good work.

    • Josh: Sounds good, but it’s not really true.

      While it’s true that we DID have many times when we went for a few days without a formal budget, it was always business-as-usual. We did NOT have a “shutdown” until 1995. That was the ONLY “shutdown,” in which workers were sent home. And we remember the repercussions.

      “In the ’60s and ’70s down until 1980, it [no budget] was not taken that seriously at all,” says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives. But in 1980, Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti–who was in office for only a year-and-a-half–issued a legal opinion that government can’t work until Congress pays for it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Civiletti

      After that ruling, NO budget gap lasted more than three or four days, so it was not felt at all. The “shutdown” we all remember lasted only 21 days.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdown

      A second Civeletti opinion stated that “essential” government services could continue. And you know who determines who is “essential”?–the White House.

      • Goethe…this really isn’t a shutdown over the budget. It is a shutdown because for the 45th time a very determined segment of the House couldnot get the Affordable Care Act repealed or at best defunded. I was very disappointed in Rand Paul when he said (Sep25th) that people who do not buy health insurance next year and refuse to pay the tax penalty “will go to jail’. The law specifically precludes jail as a penalty for those who do not pay the fine for failing to buy insurance. It is spelled out in a section called “Waiver of Criminal Penalties.” (See page 131) “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure”. And Ted Cruz insisting that unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, want to “repeal” the health care law “because it is a nightmare.” On the same day that Cruz concluded this floor speech, Hoffa issued this statement (Sept. 25) “though we may have concerns with specific provisions of the ACA, we share the president’s goal of ensuring that every American has affordable access to top-quality health care. It is on this main point that we disagree wholeheartedly with the efforts of extreme right-wing Republicans to gut the ACA. Any suggestion otherwise is simply political posturing”. But Ted Cruz was still repeating this same accusation on the floor on Sep 27.

        The law that needs to be repealed is the one that protects congressmen from prosecution regardless of whatever they chose to say on the floor of the House or Senate.

        • I completely agree with this comment: “It is a shutdown because for the 45th time a very determined segment of the House couldnot get the Affordable Care Act repealed or at best defunded.” They need to keep the gov’t shut down until its repealed or defunded.

          However, for jail time, I wouldn’t call that quote (page 151 in what i read for those who go fishing for it) a specification of no prison sentence for those who refuse to pay. “Timely” payment is about being late, not about refusing. What happens when people absolutely refuse to buy health insurance and refuse to pay the fines/taxes?

          But let’s say it is about refusal. That would make the law unenforceable. Pass any law, and then put in the law this provision..those who break this law “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty” – does that not make the law unenforceable? Cannot be prosecuted, cannot be fined. What *can* they do?

          I find it far fetched to say that our government passed a law they have absolutely no intention of enforcing especially not a bill with as much exposure as this one.

          The Obamacare document does talk about how the payment will be made on the tax returns. Doesn’t everybody know what happens if you refuse to pay your taxes?

          • Josh: I have to admit that I don’t know specific details about ACA. But I do feel that the “jail” argument is as silly and dishonest as the old “death panels” nonsense.

            http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/supreme-court-issue-obamacare-decision-135554880.html

            The Supreme Court determined that the individual mandate is a tax, and as such, it makes sense to collect it with the income tax. And, as they always say about oil, taxes are “fungible.”

            The problem with trying not to pay it is that you can’t pick and choose what you’ll pay–just as you can’t withhold taxes that would go to war. And the mandate is so small that if you paid the rest of your tax, it would not end you in jail.

            • Goethe…this is from “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Secretary [of Health and Human Services] shall not file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section … or levy on any such property with respect to such failure”.
              So what exactly can the IRS do if people refuse to pay the tax penalty for non-compliance? ultimately the IRS says it would deduct the penalty amount from a person’s future refunds.
              The bill is indeed 1990 pages but not that hard to read. There is no jail time coming from this Act.

            • Looking at your statement, you are saying (from a different perspective on your statement) that the government has no ability to enforce the law on citizens.

              ITEM 1:
              If the Jail arguement is dishonest, that means the government will not enforce the law at all. Doesn’t it? If you disagree, then tell me – how will the government enforce it? how will they know whether or not a private citizen who works for themselves (say a handyman) has health insurance? They will have to know and will have to enforce. If law enforcement is not involved in enforcing the law…(which includes guns, jail, judges, decision, and maybe even sentencing)…then exactly how could it realistically be enforced. Explain please?

              ITEM 2:
              This statement only works when government doesn’t have specifics on the collection side, but does on the distribution side: “you can’t pick and choose what you’ll pay–just as you can’t withhold taxes that would go to war. ” If you can’t pick and choose what you pay…doesn’t that mea they don’t have ability to pick and choose what they enforce…making it unenforceable?

              ITEM 3:
              As for this comment: “And the mandate is so small that if you paid the rest of your tax, it would not end you in jail.” Again, if you’re saying the fine is so small we won’t notice, then they won’t be able to notice if we aren’t paying either…making the law unenforceable.

              Sorry to be long on that, but i don’t think you realized that your perspective, if true, would mean the law could not be enforced.

              But it *is* enforceable. They will ask on the tax forms we file every year. If we do not have health insurance that meets Obama’s requirement, then we will be fined on the form…taxes added. If we do not pay the additional taxes, then the IRS will come knocking. If we don’t answer, then the police will come. Its not a big leap to come to that conclusion.

              If we are employed we will likely be given a form like a 1099. If retired it would be something like the SSA-1099. The form will probably be HEL-666…or something like that…;^P….well maybe not that, but it will likely be something.

            • Josh: Adding a few bucks to your IRS bill will not be noticed unless you make nearly nothing. And if that’s the case, I suppose they could take it out of any support you get. But I mean, really, the penalty is just pennies. So little that I suspect a lot of people will just pay it instead of forking over to the insurance companies.

              Tess: It’s starting to sound as if this law has no teeth at all.

            • This really means no enforcement:”ultimately the IRS says it would deduct the penalty amount from a person’s future refunds”

              If they will not prosecute, will not enforce fines, confiscate property…etc..all the normal things they do with tax laws, that really means no enforcement.

              It is easy to calculate your tax payments to ensure you don’t over pay and get zero refund.

              I’d be surprised if our government was that incompetent….oh, wait, what am I thinking…

            • Josh: I think they were so afraid of hurting anybody’s feelings that they have taken all the teeth out of the law. It’s actually cheaper to go without and pay the penalty, so my guess is that a lot of young people might do just that.

            • Goethe Behr & Tess Liehard — both of you are trying to arrive at a conclusion by the use of circumlocution. Such a technique is doomed to fail.
              ——————————————————————————

              Goethe Behr — you state: “The Supreme Court determined that the individual mandate is a tax, and as such, it makes sense to collect it with the income tax.”

              Tess Liehard — you state: “So what exactly can the IRS do if people refuse to pay the tax penalty for non-compliance? ultimately the IRS says it would deduct the penalty amount from a person’s future refunds.”

              Goethe Behr — you further go on to conclude: “And the mandate is so small that if you paid the rest of your tax, it would not end you in jail.”

              Tess Liehard — you also conclude: “There is no jail time coming from this Act.”
              —————————————————————————

              Both of you are basing your *no jail* “conclusions” on an erroneous premise — that all people pay income tax, and some are due a refund. Therefore, they are fallacious.
              ————————————————————————–

              Many States recognize the right to work — and a lot of Americans do not file income tax. In such a case the IRS would than be forced to go after such individuals to collect Obama care penalties since there are now deemed as taxes. Continuous refusal to pay such a tax/penalty will eventually land them in jail.

              The same will happen to those that are not due a tax refund — refusal to pay for something extra, that such citizens are unwilling to accept.
              ——————————————————————-

              The logical conclusion is that some Americans will eventually be jailed for refusing to accept a service they decline.

              What kind of Government would do this to its own people — the answer, therefore, must be: Not a Free Republic, but a Dictatorial one that has no regard to the rights of the individual.

            • Surfisher: Should we “mark your words” that someone is going to be jailed over this? Can you put a deadline on that, so you can be wrong by some specific date?

            • Goethe – you mention that you don’t know much about the bill, yet seem to be pretty adamant that the costs will be so small no one will notice. Claiming ignorance before making claims isn’t very persuasive…

              In perusing the bill some, I found that the fines imposed will be partially based on the average current cost of insurance. That’s not a small cost. Costs for insurance are already going up because the government is requiring insurance companies to pay for more things.

              What is your basis for saying the costs will be minimal per person?

              But again, I do say, that not only will the fines be substantial, they will also be tracked and enforced. Non-compliance would mean the same treatment as tax evaders. *Maybe* the bill sets the sentences for non-compliance to exclude incarceration, but still it means people are ‘forced’ to buy health insurance.

              No person should be forced to buy insurance for themselves by the government. This is a tyrannical law that should be repealed.

            • Josh: You don’t have to know every detail to know the ones that matter. As noted elsewhere, I won’t be involved with ACA, because old farts have Medicare. So I haven’t paid that much attention to it, but here’s a good chart from the Kaiser Foundation:

              http://kff.org/infographic/the-requirement-to-buy-coverage-under-the-affordable-care-act/

              The last time I bought health insurance was in about 1995, and I paid $440 per month ($5,280/year) for myself and two daughters. I assume that the cost is more now.

              As you can see from the chart, the penalty would be less than a HUNDRED bucks for one adult and less than a hundred bucks for two kids. That’s a total of less than $200, which is much less than $5,280. And that qualifies as “not much” in my book.

              As for costs going up, as noted elsewhere, health-care and insurance costs have actually gone DOWN, or have increased by a lower rate over the last three years than previously.

              The whole “sky is falling” craziness is unwarranted. If things get going and it doesn’t work, we can try something else, or finesse it. I think everyone agrees that the system we have NOW is what is really “socialized”–except that we are using the most expensive methods possible (the ER) to take care of the uninsured hangnails. . . .

            • Goethe – you need to read your own links more thoroughly. Here are the numbers on that link:

              For ONLY 2014: Minimum would be $95, 1% of income (which ever is greater), specifics are:
              $95 per adult and $47.50 / child (not to exceed $285) or 1% of family income, whichever is greater

              For ONLY 2015: Minimum would be $325, or 2% of income (whichever is greater), specifics are:
              $325 per adult and $162.50 / child (not to exceed $975) or 2% of family income, whichever is greater

              For 2016 and beyond: Minimum is $695, or 2.5% of income (whichever is greater), specifics are:
              $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (not to exceed $2085), or 2.5% of family income whichever is greater. If their household income is more than $83,400, then it will be higher than $2085.

              This means the real ‘penalty’ to a family of 4 would be a minimum of $2085. That’s not small change. That’s almost $200/month.

              You are dancing around the fact that this is ‘forced’ on Americans. We are ‘forced’ to purchase health insurance now, there is no choice.

              A few years ago my company offered $600/year to employees if we wanted a different health care option than what they offered. I looked around and there really wasn’t a cost difference. But at least I knew I could look for something that fit *me* and not have to be concerned about reporting my health care choices to the Federal Government. They never asked.

              Who really cares about the costs, most Americans are paying for health care already…but its by choice. The biggest change with this bill is that choice is taken away.

              If I choose no coverage from my employer, I have no idea how i’m going to make sure I’m compliant with the law. And I shouldn’t have to be concerned.

              This is an evil bill and needs to be repealed. I hope the republicans stand as long as it takes, even if it goes into 2014 or 2016. This bill hurts everyone, by taking their freedom…and the freedom many have fought and died to preserve for others.

            • We’ve seen 42 bills to kill Obamacare. You know, they say the definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. . . .

            • I’m sure the democrats would disagree with you. They’ve wanted universal health care since at least Wilson. I remember Carter even talking about it, and remember HillaryCare?

              So we’re talking almost 100 years for democrats and they finally got their way. We’re just a few months into the republicans attempt to return to a freer society…maybe that’s what’s gone wrong with the democrats. They’ve got to be insane to follow the logic that forcing American’s to buy health insurance is somehow a good thing. Maybe those 100 years took their toll…

            • Josh: A better example would be the Democrats repeatedly trying to kill funding for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Nothing ever happened there, either.

              As for health-care reform history, the first bill was vetoed by Franklin Pierce (a Democrat) in 1854.

              The next attempt was Teddy Roosevelt (Republican) in 1912.

              In 1970, a “universal national health insurance” bill was introduced by Jacob Javits (Republican).

              In 1972, Richard Nixon (Republican) signed a bill to extend Medicare for those under 65 for the first time.

              In 1974, Gerald Ford (Republican) called for “health insurance reform,”

              and in 2003, of course, we all remember George Bush’s (Republican) “Medicare Modernization Act,” adding Medicare Part D (coverage of drugs),

              and in his 2004 campaign, Bush promoted a plan for further expanding health-care coverage.

              In 2008, John McCain (Republican) had a “Guaranteed Access Plan,” which featured tax money going to subsidize insurance plans.

              And then, there’s Willard’s Romneycare (Republican), which is very much like what we have now.

              Obamacare is pretty much what Stuart Butler, then director of domestic policy research at Heritage Foundation, wrote a 1989 pamphlet titled “A National Health System For America” in collaboration with Edmund Haislmaier. In a lecture, Heritage’s Butler said:

              “Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seatbelts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.”

              Of course, the Heritage Foundation plan did not require insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions, but it did include a form of “insurance exchanges.”

              The bottom line is that health-care reform has NOT been a Democrat-vs-Republican issue.

            • Thanks for the history lesson, but we’re talking about universal health care. Not healthcare reform generally.

              Using your perspective, one could say that Clinton and Reagan were both for tax reform. Reagan cut taxes, Clinton raised them, but hey…its tax reform so its all the same right?

            • Josh: Well, yeah, but my point was just that it is not a Democrat-vs-Republican issue.

              Romneycare is “universal” for Massachusetts, and even if you then make it a “conservative-vs-Massachusetts” issue, that doesn’t work, because the program promoted by the Heritage Foundation is pretty much what Obamacare is–with insurance companies running things, and an “individual mandate,” to boot.

              I think Heritage was trying to counter the single-payor plans that were circulating at the end of the 1980s, leading up to Hillarycare, but the fact remains that having the program focus on insurance companies WAS the conservative argument.

            • Yeah, too many times the republicans try to have an ‘alternative’ rather than just explain why something is a bad idea. They end up being a 1 step back from their 2 steps forward, and that just doesn’t end up well.

            • Josh: Yeah, both parties do that, and that’s the problem with the party system. It’s all “not-my-idea,” so they try to come up with some way to criticize instead of working together. Too bad they can’t leave their labels at the doors, and talk like real people.

              I have friends who have VERY different ideas from my own. I appreciate having coffee and discussing things, since I get to see a different viewpoint. I don’t like talking to people who agree with me–what’s the point in that?

              My favorite political discussions are with my ex-wife’s husband, because we disagree about things, but we know where we DO agree, so we can get quite heated–in agreement–and it drives my ex crazy, because she has no clue about politics, and thinks discussions have to be fights.

          • Josh — excellent (you also caught the “what if no refunds are due”)!

            Kudos on all points:

            “ITEM 1:
            If the Jail argument is dishonest, that means the government will not enforce the law at all…..”

            ITEM 2: and 3: and the conclusion! Well done, Josh!

        • Tess Liehard — still shilling for Obama…?

          “The law that needs to be repealed is the one that protects congressmen from prosecution regardless of whatever they chose to say on the floor of the House or Senate.” — really…?!

          People here are catching on to your perfidy and not just I but others now are exposing you for the Obama apparatchik that you are.

          Keep them lies coming, Tess Liehard, it only opens peoples eyes wider.

          • What do you suppose is the answer to Surfisher’s mostly irrelevant, hate-filled drivel? Would it help to just ignore his vomit? Or should we call him out? Nothing has seemed to work so far.

            Oh, and by the way, Surf, it’s now October, and your “mark my words” that we’d have war in a few days from August 26 has been marked. Ready to say you were wrong at least once in your life? Hmmm?

            • Goethe Behr — I was wrong, Obama has not bombed Syria as I predicted.

              You also state: “Surfisher’s mostly irrelevant, hate-filled drivel? Would it help to just ignore his vomit?”

              “Vomit” — really?

            • Surfisher: Yeah. Vomit. You are disgusting.

              I thought after you were thumped by me, Tess, and Sam that you would recoil a bit and try to develop some humanity.

        • Any doubt the “Tess”character is an Obama shill — who else but an organization paid to disseminate misinformation that benefits their employer uses “code names”…?
          ————————————————
          Tess Trueheart states on September 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm :

          “Tess Trueheart wrote the above [as ‘prairieflower’]. Prairieflower was a typo. It is (or was) a code name.”
          —————————————————————————-
          Nate: I thought you drew the line at paid shills, and banned their posts here.

  3. Good job Josh. I agree. We choose to live healthfully and yet are forced to buy care we don’t need to pay for those who make poor choices. I buy I durance for emergency purposes. My annual home and car insurance is still less than one month of health “insurance”. Good for us. Not good for congress, their staff, the president, unions etc. We pay these people. They work for us. Not dictate to us. I moved out of my fathers home long ago. We are adults . We make choices. We are responsible for them. End of story.

  4. I should have looked at those 17 shut downs closer. After looking at them it is true that they only lasted a few days a piece, except for the 95/96 21 day stand off. Looking further at it…i think the president and congress just wanted a vacation. The 21 days was from late december to early january…probably when most government workers were on vacation anyway.

    But the larger point is still valid. Government shut downs aren’t necessarily a bad thing. The last one didn’t result in terrible times, this one won’t either. Unemployment didn’t blip, and deficit spending went down. With what’s at stake with this bill, they should keep things shut down until the president blinks. The longer they do it, the louder the American people will get.

    • Josh: I agree. Having serious discussions about what we fund, how much we pay, and periodical review of results are important.

      I have often thought that ALL laws should have a sunset clause, and after a certain number of years, everything should be reviewed and confirmed or allowed t die.

      And, of course, with the current situation, the interpretation of Carter’s attorney general should be rescinded, and let services continue until both sides agree on the budget numbers.

  5. We have complete health care right now (or at least we did) from poorest, even illegals, to richest – without government control and closer to a socialist state. If the middle class believes they will get a break – wrong! They will make too much for a subsidy and their employers will throw theirs benefits in the trash and cut their hours. Has anyone looked up “Bronze coverage” and it’s deductible? And now health insurance is “must buy” or a tax fine. unless of course you are government or belong to a union. Closer and closer to a Monarchy or Communism – POTUS does not care what “We the People” want or think, he is on his personal crusade and even admits the MSM will back him as well as his party. We’ll see if Nov 2014 holds a different tale despite the MSM.

    • Sam…I know that you already have a strong reply ready for me but I have to cross your bow again. Middle class has already gotten a break from the Affordable Healthcare Act. Previously, insurance companies dropped children, at the age of eighteen, from family coverage. Because the Affordable Healthcare Act is law, children can be carried on tax returns and insurance through the end of the taxable year in which the child turns 26. This is a big financial break for families already under the burden of college tuitions and costs. Medicare, now under the Affordable Healthcare Act, has given seniors an unbelievable drop in the cost of prescription drugs in the last year. Insurance companies cannot refuse coverage because of a preexisting condition, nor can they drop coverage if you develop cancer or other life threatening diseases. Some plans are not for seniors; the plans names are Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Bronze plans have the least coverage and platinum plans have the most. The quality of care provided, or the access to doctors, does not vary between plan types. The out of pocket cost is the difference.

  6. I plain words:

    Barrack Hussein Obama is the only one to blame — upset that his minions won’t obey him blindly, he ordered federal government shutdown with 7 minutes left till the midnight deadline….

    Instead of negotiating to avoid putting further hurt on the American people, Barrack Hussein again displayed his narcissism and placed himself above all others.

    Shame on Lil’ Hussein!

  7. Goethe Behr — so if the dollar amount penalty is very low, principles can be tossed away…?
    —————————————————————————————

    Goethe Behr wrote on October 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm:

    “Josh: Adding a few bucks to your IRS bill will not be noticed unless you make nearly nothing. And if that’s the case, I suppose they could take it out of any support you get. But I mean, really, the penalty is just pennies. So little that I suspect a lot of people will just pay it instead of forking over to the insurance companies.”
    ———————————————————————————————-

    Any other rights you think the people may forgo, because the penalties would be only pennies…and do you have a cut off limit at which we should eventually stand up in defense of our rights as free citizens — $10, $20, $100, $10,000…Goethe Behr?

    • Surfisher: You vacillate between delusions of grandeur and possibly pathological paranoia. Such extreme views can be amusing and even sometimes spark an interesting wild speculation, so if you stopped there, you’d be contributing something. But you cannot avoid your pompous pronunciations, as if we were seeking your paternalistic approval. You give a condescending pat on the head if someone says something you can construe as likewise weird, and you condemn anyone else who doesn’t rant your flavor of idiocy.

      One thing that seems to drive you crazy is that I try to keep to real-world view of things, and open discussions on what might actually happen. You have a problem separating fantasy with reality–and what you WANT to be true from what actually is true.

      And, yes, in the case of the ACA, while it feeds into your paranoia to imagine that people will be jailed and beaten if they pay a piddly amount, nobody really thinks that will happen. It’s another case of a fearful, extremist rant about something that won’t happen, and as such, you are no different from the people who see terrorists under every bed, and think we should give up every possible right to fight the so-called “war on terror.” Your delusions are just differently focused.

      • Goethe Behr — you assume what I have not stated.

        And, you failed to answer the main question: “…do you have a cut off limit at which we should eventually stand up in defense of our rights as free citizens — $10, $20, $100, $10,000…Goethe Behr?”

        You seem to be quite willing to toss away principles since the dollar amount to stand for them is not high enough — “just pennies”….

        Your above post again displays your inability to respond in a rational and logical manner.

  8. Yesterday, there were “glitches” in the signup for the ACA. Millions tried to apply on the every first day, and ran into system overload. I’m surprised that the administration didn’t say that while the program is working, that they don’t have enough IT people, because of the shutdown.

    Do you suppose they are afraid to suggest that the shutdown achieved any effect on the program? Or do you think they liked the overload problems–because it showed how popular the program is?

    • You’re assuming that a server crash indicates the program is popular. Of the 2.8 million hits, probably 2.7 million were journalists.

      • Nate: Pfffft. No, I’m not assuming anything. You are.

        The fact is that there were glitches attributed to overload. I asked two questions about the glitches and the administration’s assumptions, to wit:

        (1) “Do you suppose” they were afraid to admit that the government is having problems due to the shutdown?
        Or–
        (2) “Do you think” they liked the overload, because it gave the appearance of program popularity?

        But, have it your way: 2.7 million were journalists, and the other 100,000 were calling to ask if anyone knew where they left their car keys. Regardless, my question was why they didn’t blame the overload (regardless of who they were) on the shutdown.

        • Goethe – you have to get serious – there was never an Alpha or Beta rollout on Obamacare. Even the most meticulous of Programs don’t work until Alpha, Beta, & Phase 1 have been wrung out and working correctly – because this is a Government program it’ll be two years of Bud & Abbott.

          • Sam: I agree completely. And when large programs are instigated, you have to assume that there will be bugs and disagreements that will have to be worked out. That’s why I am nervous to install System 7 on my iPhone.

            But my question wasn’t about that. It was why the administration didn’t take advantage of the frustration of people logging into the Obamacare site. Why didn’t they blame it on the Republicans? I’m not saying they should, I’m just saying there was a handy scapegoat, and they didn’t use it. Why not? Curious.

  9. Texas is one of 27 states that did not set up its own health care exchanges. Texas did not expand Medicaid to the poor so millions of Texans have remained uninsured. Texas hospitals, clinics, churches and charities are helping the uninsured enroll in the Affordable Healthcare plan. Our Governor is too busy trying to clarify his wife’ s stance on abortion.

    The Walt Disney Corporation is offering full-time employment to the 427 part-time employees at its Disney World theme park in Orlando, Florida who work at least 30 hours per week — the threshold at which the Affordable Care Act requires large employers with 50 or more workers to offer basic health benefits to employees or risk paying a $2,000 per employee fine after the first 30 workers. Whether it was a desire of helping it’s employees to have a better life or the fine, their effort will help the economy as well as elevate the lifestyle of the employees.

    Since Americans can sign up,or inquire, until March 2014, reports of online and physical enrollment by states, on the first day,shows the desire for every citizen to health insurance.

    • Tess Liehard— if you are not a paid Obama shill (as you claim) and also state: “I do believe… to protect civil liberties, individual and human rights…”, than where do you find any Constitutional Authority that could possibly mandate ALL Citizens to BUY a governmental product/service, or be penalized by Law for refusal NOT to do so, in your ” to protect civil liberties, individual and human rights” ..?

      Here is the truth about Obamacare:
      Nowhere in the US Constitution is there even the slightest clause that can force any US Citizen (let alone ALL US Citizens) to buy a product/service against their will. And worst of all is the complete disdain of the US Constitution by Obamacare to PENALIZE citizens for refusing to buy into something they are unwilling to do!

      Come on, it’s not that hard — your “think tank” (that you work for) that gets lots of $$$$$$ to post Barrack Hussein’s propaganda, should be able to take on single me hands down…right?

  10. Here’s an interesting twist on this statement:
    “Texas did not expand Medicaid to the poor so millions of Texans have remained uninsured. ”

    Just because people are poor and uninsured is not a reason to force them to buy health insurance with the treat of tax penalties for non-compliance. Just because people are poor and uninsured doesn’t mean we should put them at risk to pay over $2000/year in tax penalties (which will start happening in 2016, depending on the details of their plight).

    This Obamacare only adds to their plight the requirement of ‘health care or else’ i hardly see that as a good thing for helping the poor.

    • Josh — spot on!

      Obamacare is unconstitutional to its core — nowhere in the US Constitution is there even the slightest clause that can force any US Citizen (let alone ALL US Citizens) to buy a product/service against their will. And worst of all is the complete disdain of the US Constitution by Obamacare to PENALIZE citizens for refusing to buy into something they are unwilling to do!

      Why I say, and will keep on saying — Impeach Obama NOW, he is nothing but a wannabe Dictator!

  11. Tess – unless TX is unique in the disbursement of Medicaid and Hospitals in doing taxes, EVERYONE GETS HEALTHCARE. no one is turned away from a hospital. when a patient can’t pay their bill, they submit to Medicaid for assistance. If turned away the hospital writes it off on FIC & SIC. The patient may receive bills but has no money so nothing happens. EVERYONE IN THE U.S. GETS HEALTHCARE and there is no pressure for a Government controlled monopoly / Monarchy demanding penalties or coming up with money/mo they don’t have. – what happened to your liberalism, Tess? Oh, that’s right, a liberal believes that something is correct and so they’ll force it on everyone else.

    • samreusser — I said the “Tess” character was a paid Obama shill.

      Perhaps, as time goes on, you’ll see that my long-ago conclusion has been correct all along….

  12. Sam…I suppose it all depends on what you believe is healthcare. Thankfully, most Texas hospital still attempt to treat the ill. A hospital cannot submit a claim to Medicaid unless the patient has a medicaid card. The taxpayers picks up the tab. Most hospital ER’s have crowded reception rooms with the sick waiting, sometime hours, to be seen by an intern or if lucky, a doctor. The ER doctor does give a shot or prescription and advises the patient go see his own phsyican. Very few, especially our undocumented population, have access to a doctor so if they don’t get well, it’s back to the ER and the Taxpayer must pay for another visit.
    I am not much on belonging to any labeled group. I do believe in equal opportunity and equality for all, to protect civil liberties, individual and human rights, and, as a fortunate person, to help alleviate social ills within my reach.

    • Tess Liehard — ” I do believe in equal opportunity and equality for all, to protect civil liberties, individual and human rights, and, as a fortunate person, to help alleviate social ills within my reach.”

      Than why do you do the opposite by shilling for Obama’s perfidy…nonstop?!

      Could it be that you are a paid shill to post his pernicious propaganda, here?

  13. Folks: Here’s a question I’d like to post on the related threads, because I’m asking for a response:

    Both houses just voted unanimously to pay government workers retroactively for time lost. I mean, it was a nice thing to do, for people who are being used as pawns.

    HOWEVER, how can Tea Party legislators rationalize paying people for NOT working?? Isn’t that exactly counterpoint to the Tea Party philosophy? If they’re not on salary, shouldn’t they be paid only for the hours they work?

    Billy, in particular–what’s your feeling about paying bureaucrats for NOT working??

  14. Goethe Behr — what a silly assumption, kid.

    How could you possibly establish as a fact that the “Tess” character is a “girl” (female) — and not a paid shill that is a male/or female, using a really cute and “trustworthy sounding” monicker …?!

    My recommendation to you: You seem to be smitten with “Tess”, but don’t get a room yet — “she” may turn out to be a transvestite…LOL.

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