You can take the political gang out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the gang… and it tends to infect even the non-Chicagoans in the gang. Case in point, Kathleen Sebelius.
The first lawsuit on behalf of a private business owner has been filed against ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate, joining seven states in taking the highly controversial mandate to the courts. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ, not to be confused with the ACLU) reported:
It is a tremendously important lawsuit. We filed suit today in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri on behalf of a St. Louis business owner and his company. Our argument is clear: the HHS mandate, which requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, violates the religious beliefs of our client.
Well, that wasn’t hard to predict.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) vowed today that she will join with the Obama administration in standing up against the Catholic Church in defending a new regulation that will require Catholic individuals to buy, and Catholic institutions to provide, health insurance plans that cover sterilizations and artificial contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.
There’s video at the link, but CNSNews gives us the heart of the discussion:
At her Wednesday press briefing, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi: “The administration has issued a regulation that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions. This would force Catholic individuals and institutions to act against their consciences. All across the nation, Catholic bishops are saying:–
Pelosi responded: “Is this a speech, or do we have a question in disguise as a speech?”
CNSNews.com continued: “‘We cannot–we will not—comply with this law.’ Catholic bishops are saying they will not comply with this law. Will you stand with your fellow Catholics in resisting this law or will you stick by the administration?”
Pelosi: “First of all, I am going to stick with my fellow Catholics in supporting the administration on this. I think it was a very courageous decision that they made, and I support it.”
“Stick with my fellow Catholics in supporting the administration,” Nancy? What planet are you living on? Bishops across the nation are saying that they oppose this, with one bishop going so far as to call HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “a bitter fallen-away Catholic (who) now requires…coverage for evil and grave sin.” And it’s no wonder, given what Sebelius is reported to have said last November:
“We are in a war,” Sebelius told a recent pro-choice meeting. Opponents of the administration, she said, are trying to “roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America.”
It may not have been a war in November, Secretary Sebelius, but you sure seem to have started one now.
(Cross-posted at PJ Tatler.)
And didn’t some people say that ObamaCare was going to impose these kinds of regulations on what used to be at least a semi-free market?
Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.
Even the AP isn’t trying to hide bad reports anymore:
A new report from government economic analysts at the Health and Human Services Department found that the nation’s $2.5 trillion annual health care tab won’t shrink under the Democratic blueprint that senators are debating. Instead, it would grow somewhat more rapidly than if Congress does nothing.
More troubling was the report’s assessment that the Democrats’ plan to squeeze Medicare for $493 billion over 10 years in savings relies on specific policy changes that “may be unrealistic” and could lead to cuts in services. The Medicare savings are expected to cover about half the nearly $1 trillion, 10-year cost of expanding coverage to the uninsured.
In still more bad news, the report starkly warned that a new long-term care insurance plan included in the legislation could “face a significant risk of failure” because it would attract people in poor health, leading to higher and higher premiums, and eventually triggering an “insurance death spiral.”
The one bright note: The bill would provide coverage to 93 percent of Americans, reducing the number of uninsured people by about 33 million, the report said.
It’s truly a sad state of affairs (for those who support government-run health care) that the one “bright note” the AP can find is actually somewhat of a failure, because it falls well short of one of the oft-stated goals of “universal (that is, 100%) health care” (nevermind that we already have that since hospitals are required by law to treat anyone that presents for treatment regardless of ability to pay).
Makes one wonder why Harry Reid is still pushing for a vote… you’d think sooner or later he’d get smart and back away from what is looking more and more like an impending disaster for his party.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) seems to have caught Speaker Pelosi in a bit of a double-standard:
Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is raising concerns that a Department of Health and Human Services Web site that urges visitors to send an e-mail to President Barack Obama praising his health care reform plan may violate rules against government-funded propaganda.
The Web page is accessed through a “state your support” button featured prominently on the HHS Web site and carries a disclaimer that the Web site is maintained by HHS.
In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday, Grassley warned that “any possible misuse of appropriated funds by the executive branch to engage in publicity or propaganda in support of an Administration priority is a matter that must be investigated and taken seriously,” noting that in 2005 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued that “the use of official funds for similar activities were ‘underhanded tactics’ and that these tactics ‘are not worthy of our great democracy.’”
It seems that these tactics are perfectly acceptable to the Speaker when it’s in an effort she supports, but “underhanded” when done to support something she doesn’t agree with.
I’m happy to be proven wrong… can anyone show me where Speaker Pelosi has denounced this part of the HHS website prior to this time? (Denouncements after people start talking about it don’t count, as she might have just been bowing to public pressure.) Post it in the comments, if you can find it.
CMS Gag Order To Humana
Sometimes the truth comes out when one least expects it:
Officials said yesterday that myriad tax questions had been posed to Daschle, Killefer and Geithner. But the problems were largely dismissed as less important than the nominees’ qualifications for the major tasks they were expected to confront in office, the officials said.
One person familiar with the appointment process said Obama and his top advisers were concerned about the possibility of political “combustion” occurring over the tax issues. “People were not unaware that might happen,” the official said. But they believed that Geithner and Daschle were uniquely qualified.
“We knew he’d get punched around on this, and that he had made a painful mistake,” John D. Podesta, who co-chaired Obama’s transition team, said of Daschle. “But we believed he could be confirmed and that he was — and I still believe this — the right guy for the job of leading the department and finally getting health-care reform across the finish line.”
Okay, so, let’s review… the Obama team knew about these three nominee’s tax problems but nominated them anyway, figuring that they could somehow sneak or force them through.
That right there says a lot about the governing philosophy of the Obama Administration.
Gee, one wonders if Obama’s cabinet vetting team was looking for tax cheats:
During the vetting process to become HHS secretary, Daschle corrected the tax violation, voluntarily paying $101,943 in back taxes plus interest, working with his accountant to amend his tax returns for 2005 through 2007.
(Mr. Daschle reimbursed the IRS $31,462 in taxes and interest for tax year 2005; $35,546 for 2006; and $34,935, a Daschle spokesperson said, adding that Daschle had asked his accountant to look into the tax implications of the car and driver five months before Mr. Obama won the presidency.)
What is it with rich lefties not paying the taxes they want to impose on the rest of us?