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Health Care Reform
The Republican judge on this panel agreed with the ruling that the health insurance mandate is Consititutional:
Michael Bersin of Show Me Progress transcribes comments from Rep. Vicky Hartlzer at a recent town hall:
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Well, this is disappointing.
Back when Chris Koster called himself a Republican, Republicans like Kit Bond were trying to expand access to affordable health care with a health insurance mandate. But some things change with time, it seems.
The good news is that Koster's selfless, timely and decisive move will please everyone, will have a real impact on the way Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and won't give GOPers a fresh set of reasons to trot out tired talking points.
Kurt Bahr is bored with actual issues and legislation already
Representatives Kurt Bahr (R-St. Charles), Andrew Koenig (R-Winchester), Shane Schoeller (R-Willard), Melissa Leach (R-Springfield), Kathie Conway (R-St. Charles) and Thomas Long (R-Battlefield) are sponsoring legislation (HB1010) to make it a crime -- a crime!-- when any federal or state employee "enforces or attempts to enforces" any part of the federal health care reform law.
From the bill as proposed:
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Peter Kinder doesn't talk about it much these days, but one year ago today, he stood on the steps of the Missouri Capitol and declared that he would be joining the lawsuit with Florida's now-unemployed Attorney General against the Affordable Care Act. Demonstrating an incredible ignorance of state laws and the powers of his own part-time office, Kinder falsely claimed that he had the power to sue on behalf of the state. And demonstrating an incredible disregard for facts, Kinder lied about the costs of the ACA to Missouri, and lied about how he'd been called out publicly for his campaign of misinformation.
As you can see in this video of the press conference, Kinder was so confident in his positions that he immediately ran away from reporters after delivering his statement -- only to be cornered in an elevator in the scramble back to his office for an interview with Fox
Last week, a great group of St. Louis area activists decided it might be fun to attend a health care "hearing" put on by Ed Martin's Senate campaign. Joined by fellow luminaries Peter Kinder, Phyllis Schafly and Bill Hennessy, Ed was expecting a platform to distribute the same tired lies, bad information and bad ideas about the federal Affordable Care Act.
But equipped with facts and an actual interest in policies that expand access to affordable health care, the progressive activists effectively out-hustled and embarrassed Martin at his own event.
Crazy Eddie was clearly caught off guard by the progressive activists' attendance and questions. Immediately after the "hearing," he attempted a lame ACORN smear, but then abandoned that line of attack the next day when he praised the crowd for their civil discussion.
The Center for American Progress released a report this week detailing how Congressional Republicans' proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the new funding it provides to community health centers would have real job costs around the country. According to their analysis, the GOP repeal effort would cost 6,114 jobs in the Show-Me State.
Check out the full report here.
Clay and Carnahan Call on Justice Thomas to Recuse Himself from Health Care Case Because of Personal Conflicts
Politico reports this afternoon that seventy-four House Democrats, including Rep. Lacy Clay and Rep. Russ Carnahan, are "asking Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any health care reform cases, citing reports that his wife financially benefited from efforts to repeal the legislation."
Here's the text of the letter, as published by the Washington Post:
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Is there a chapter in Running God's Way that outlines the best practices for lying to your constituents, week after week?
I ask because Rep. Vicky Hartzler can't seem to speak or write about the federal Affordable Care Act without lying about it. In her most recent newsletter to Fourth District residents, Hartzler falsely claims that the law will add "over $700 billion to our nation’s deficit," and repeats PolitiFact's 2010 "Lie of the Year" about how the law is a "government takeover of health care." She also says health care reform is a "job-killing" act, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have called the claim "misleading" and "false."
Honestly: Why can't she talk about the law honestly?Read More »
Honest question: Does Billy Long know what the word "Marxist" means?
Either way -- and let me state this emphatically -- I hope that Long gets to the bottom of Kit Bond's Marxism soon.
We interrupt your extended Ronald Reagan birthday party to bring you this video of the Gipper's Solicitor General, Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, explaining to the Senate Judiciary Committee his thoughts about the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate. "I am quite sure that the health care mandate is constitutional," he told the committee. "The mandate is necessary to the accomplishment of the regulation of health insurance."
It isn't exactly earth-shattering news that conservative legal scholars affirm the constitutionality of the bill -- Sen. Kit Bond, for instance, co-sponsored legislation in the 1990s that featured an individual health insurance mandate. But facts haven't exactly gotten in the way of Republican grandstanding on the issue, as you know.Read More »
Politics Daily summarizes a new Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Health poll conducted January 4-14: "Americans oppose the idea of using the appropriations process to cut off the funding needing to put health reform into place by a 62 percent to 33 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided...A key factor in the contrast between these findings is the attitude of independents. While 47 percent of them want the law repealed outright or replaced with a Republican alternative, compared to 40 percent who would expand it or keep it as is, they reject using the power of the purse to whittle down the law by a 62 percent to 32 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided."
In this week's constituent newsletter from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer:
For the two hundred and thirty billionth time, it's the Republican repeal plan that would dramatically increase the federal debt and deficit -- Affordable Care Ac will reduce the deficit -- and health care reform ain't a "government takeover of the health-care sector."
Accordingly, press outlets in the Ninth Congressional District should just print his newsletter without challenging his lies, and should definitely not conduct any follow-up reporting. It's not like they're responsible for informing the public about what elected leaders are doing or anything.
Perhaps concerned by the general lack of interest in her Senate candidacy, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman has decided to voice her support for Congressional Republicans health care dog and pony show. Steelman isn't a fan of the Democrats' health care reform bill, of course, and is doing her part to continue the misinformation and lies we've been seeing from Republicans for a long, long time.
Steelman regurgitates Republicans false rhetoric about the law's impact on unemployment (PolitiFact.com weighed in on this talking point today), and declares that "Obamacare adds $1 trillion to our national debt." This is completely misleading, of course, as the reform bill reduces the federal deficit over ten years, and it's the GOP repeal bill that will add $230B to the federal deficit.
DOJ Asks Judge to Dismiss Kinder's Political Lawsuit, Citing Numerous Problems With Standing and Facts
This afternoon in federal court, the Department of Justice asked a federal judge to dimiss the amendment complaint filed last year by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and a few other plaintiffs as part of his Health Care Inaction media tour. In a memorandum detailing the reasons why the suit should be dismissed (embedded below the break), the DOJ details a host of problems of standing for Kinder and his co-plaintiffs, and an embarrassing list of factual errors included in their complaint, which was drafted and filed by GOP attorney Thor Hearne.
Essentially, the DOJ argues that Kinder and his co-plaintiffs lack the standing to make a number of their claims, are improperly claiming to have been harmed by parts of the law that haven't yet taken effect, and say their rights are being trampled by provisions that exist only in their imagination.
A detailed summary of the feds' arguments may be found below the jump -- along with all documents filed tonight -- but here are a few lowlights:
Via CQ's Political Wire, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds just 25% of Americans favor a complete repeal of the federal health care reform law as Republicans in the U.S. House prepare to vote on just such a repeal. Even support for repeal among Republicans has "dropped sharply." After the November election, 61% of GOPers supported repeal; now, it's down to 49%.
There is strong support for changing some portions of the law, though there are obviously differences of opinion in how to do that. A full "43 percent say they want the law changed so it does more to re-engineer the health care system," the AP reports.