A Terrible Day for the Republic

Really, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The turning point for the fall of the Republic happened in 1912 when Thomas Woodrow Wilson was elected President. Thanks to his fellow Progressive, Theodore Roosevelt (who split the Republican vote with his Progressive “Bull Moose” Party), Wilson was able to defeat the incumbent William Howard Taft.

At that point, the handwriting was on the wall. Wilson openly disdained the Constitution and said so in his many writings. For him, our Constitution was best suited for a “horse and buggy” Republic. Wilson thought he knew better. One of the first things that happened on his watch was the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which created the first permanent national income tax. This was immoral on its own merits, not merely because it was only applied to a few people (thereby negating the intent of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment) but because it had the potential to augment the powers of an increasingly intrusionary Federal government via the Internal Revenue Service). Unfortunately for the Progressives, it had little power on its own without a national bank.

It was for this reason that Wilson worked tirelessly to create a national bank, cleverly called a “Federal Reserve.” It’s ostensible purpose was to regulate the money supply, restrict inflation, and eliminate bank panics (i.e. depressions). Clearly it has failed spectacularly on all three of these fronts but this was not its real purpose. Its purpose was to make wage slaves of a formerly free citizenry, yoking their blood and treasure to international banking interests. It was for this reason that the United States entered the Great War, the end result of which was the destruction of Christian civilization in Europe.

Since then, the power of the national government has only grown. It could not be otherwise. As the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty said, “I care not who makes a nation’s laws as long as I control its money supply.” To be sure, some minor victories have been won by our side, but they have been few and far in between. The trajectory of growth has inexorably been in the power of less liberty, more government. In order to pay for World War II, the Federal government enacted withholding which made paying taxes “easier” and less painful. It also created Social Security, and began its remorseless attacks on Christian sensibilities via the public schools.

In order to fight all this, Conservatives and Libertarians have furtively placed their eggs in the basket of the Republican Party, the Courts, and most recently in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the Psalmist was right: “Put not your faith in princes or trust in the sons of men.” Speaking for myself, I thought that with four rigid Constitutionalists on the Supreme Court, Obamacare was doomed. Certainly the oral arguments led most to think so. What we didn’t expect was that the anti-libertarian rot would be so pervasive that it would infect normally sensible men to vote as they did on the recent ruling.

Some will say that the Supreme Court did not uphold the individual mandate and this is true as far as it goes. It called it what it really is –a tax. In this sense, one could say that it struck down the individual “mandate” as unconstitutional (which it clearly is) but it upheld the authority of the Congress to pass a mandatory “tax.” To me, this is a distinction without a difference. Regardless, it merely proves my larger point, that once a national government slips its ennumerated powers, there is no stopping it.

So, is there a silver lining? Not really. The House of Representatives will likely repeal it but if Obama is reelected, then he will veto it. I certainly can see an energized Republican base rallying around Romney and electing him in order to make repeal possible but his election is no sure thing. In fact, the more illegal aliens we allow in, the more likely that we will degenerate into a Greek-like kakistocracy with an entrenched favor-dispensing political class. Like Greece, this elite will pick and choose winners and losers among an increasingly balkanized “citizenry.” Perhaps several states will refuse to implement it. I imagine that the “Red States” will be especially ingenious in finding ways of opting out but we’ll just have to wait and see. The downside is that unemployment will grow as employers will increasingly not hire people, fewer qualified people will get into the medical field, and fewer poor people will receive adequate medical care. The well-to-do on the other hand will partake of “boutique medicine,” in which they pay doctors on a yearly retainer and a fee-for-service. Private hospitals will blossom and fewer doctors will take Medicaid in order to avoid accepting the dictates of Obamacare and Medicaid. The stratification of classes –and the gaps between them–will harden. Sarah Palin’s infamous “death panels” will become reality for the elderly. And America will continue its inexorable decline to Third World status.

I suppose the only other silver lining is that as bad as things are here, they are infinitely worse in Europe and the rest of the world. All things being equal, we may just plod along, especially if foreign capital continues to view us as a safe haven. This is thin gruel however, especially if we cannot get our national debt under control (and there’s no way that that’s going to happen now). There is no guarantee that the US dollar will continue to be the world’s reserve currency. At that point, the remaining worth of the dollar will evaporate overnight and America will become Greece on steroids.

Lord have mercy. And try not to get sick.


  1. Carl Kraeff says

    Here is my read.

    1. The Court struck as unconstitutional the provision to punish states who do not expand their Medicaid programs to cover citizens who fall in the 100 to 133 percent of the poverty rate.

    2. Roberts essentially threw the issue back to Congress and to the voters. In doing so, he also rejected the Commerce Clause” rationale that was advanced by the Administration. This is not a small thing: although in this case it may be a difference without distinction, it is a good precedent.

    3. The battle has now shifted to November, with the ideological difference brought in sharper focus. In effect, voters will decide not only the fate of Obama and Obamacare but the future composition of the Supreme Court.

    The task is clear: we cannot afford to and we must not vote for Democrats for any office.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Carl, your reading of the auspices is coming into focus. I’ve been reading some of the legal-beagle blogs out there (scotus.blog, Pethokoukis, George Will, etc.) and they seem to agree with your take. Roberts did two things: 1) called it what it was –a tax, and 2) stripped the tax of its dependence upon the Commerce Clause, thereby opening up the review and reversal of other laws which depended upon the Commerce Clause.

      Also the third thing: kicked it back to Congerss and the American people.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        George and company. I have yet to read the full opinion, which I plan to do the next few days and will attempt to write an analysis. However, as policy goes I have and continue to support President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act.

        This is a very Capitalistic Plan and one forged and created by Economic Conservatives and supported by Republicans. I truly believe if Reagan or Bush offered up this plan with Republican backing it would have been supported. a Pure Socialists Plan would have been Single-Payer. This is NOT single-Payer.

        Further, employers in this country have wanted a plan like this to ease their burden and place it on the consumer. The Insurance companies wanted this so as to get a “De Facto” bailout and much more customers, but with a “Wider” Pool of people to lessen the level of risk.

        We are human and we get sick. If Private Insurance companies, and a Republican Congress, had taken care of this problem back under the Clinton administration we would not be so polarized on this issue now. In any event, I do not nor do I plan on getting bent out of shape over this issue and this is NOT a loss of liberty, but people finally taking personal responsibility for their health. I would be inclined to think differently on this issue, but we all use the same health system and all costs are passed on by everybody to everybody else. As I see it no more free lunches for the people who get sick, use our facilities and then I as the responsible tax-payer have to pick up the bill at the end of the day for their Ambulance, thier ER visit, their physican(s) visit, etc, etc. Cook County/Stroger Hospital is a great example of that.

        For me pure liberty untied from responsibility is libertarianism or its darker self anarchy. I have my own views on what this means from an Orthodox Perspective, but I can tell you it has nothing to do with the Neo-Conservative diatribe. However, I will leave that to another day. First, I will read the decision and then make my analysis.

        Until then don’t worry our Republic is strong and “Obamacare” will not destroy it. IMHO.


        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Peter, your points are well-taken. I must disagree however with your assertion that had Reagan suggested it, the GOP would have been on board. I can’t for the life of me think of Reagan doing something along these lines. The aggrandizement of even more power to DC was anathema to him. True, he failed to demolish the Dept of Education (and other things) but he never grew them, it just wasn’t in him.

          When Bush 43 created Med Part D, he was going against the grain of Conservatism, that’s why he called it “compassionate conservatism”. We foolishly supported it because it was the first free-market based reform in socialized medicine so it was net good on a practical level, but it was still against our principles.

          You, Chris, Carl, and others on the net are correct in assessing that what Roberts did was now identify it for what it clearly was: a tax. This will probably backfire on the Democrats in the Fall.

          Regardless, my primary concern is not with who wins in November but whether this entire boondoggle from soup to nuts was even justified in the first place. If Obama loses, it will be said that he wasted two precious years pushing a deeply unpopular mandate when he could have been easing restrictions on businesses and capital formation. He could have been the second coming of Clinton and justifiably lauded (on the economic front at least). Instead, what he will be known for is the economic stratification, the loss of employment opportunities for the young, the loss of marriage as a viable relationship, is heartbreaking to me. I mean, the state I live in has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (4.8%). But not a day goes by that I don’t see men and women standing at busy intersections with signs that read “Homeless,” or “Anything will Help.” I’ve seen more every month. These people are at the end of their rope. Young people today have no ambition but to live in their mother’s basement

          As a Conservative with heavy Libertarian leanings, I have no problem with taxes per se, I just think that they should advertized as such and paid directly out of a person’s pocket. I think it was Goldwater who said “paying taxes should hurt.” I completely agree. If all our taxes hurt then we’d have less of them and people would not look to the government to do things for them.

          • You’re right George. And the $700 BILLION Tax Increase nightmare that’s coming will further accelerate the economic contraction, increase unemployment, reduce investments, and spread the misery.

            Furthermore, between now and November businesses will continue to stay in survival mode, trying to assess the full impact and implications of the tsunami of laws and regulations coming and attempting to manage the various financial risks the lunatics in DC have heaped on them. Meanwhile, they WILL NOT hire new employees and they will continue to look to relocate to other countries where they are not treated like criminals and their contributions and capital is welcomed.

            As Steve Wynn so wisely observed back in 2010 (and things have only gotten worse since!):

            “Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington. That’s where we get surprises every day. That’s where taxes are changed every five minutes. That’s where you don’t know that to expect tomorrow. To compare political stability and predictability in China to Washington is like comparing Mount Everest to an anthill.

            Macau and China is stable, Washington is not!

            Is there a businessman or a media person in America that isn’t frightened about the next crazy idea that is coming from Washington. The financial institutions, the cars, the businessmen, the taxes, the health care, everything is Coo Coo. And God knows what’s next?”

        • Ronda Wintheiser says

          Ummm… I’m a little late to this discussion, and I haven’t read all the comments yet, so this may be redundant… I apologise if that’s the case.

          Mr. Papoutsis, I hope your forthcoming analysis will include some sort of commentary on how unborn children fare in what you say is our indestructible Republic under this magnanimous and exciting new law.

          I can’t help but be sarcastic about it. I keep hearing this same optimistic, rosy, reassuring tone from those who are happy about the ACA and SCOTUS’ decision. But not one of them mentions that what we will all soon gain from it excludes anyone who has the misfortune to reside in the womb.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            How did Slaves fare in our indestructable Republic? Governments, like all human institutions make mistakes even morally egregious mistakes that take years upon years to correct. Some governments. like England, repealled and outlawed Slavery peacefully through the vote and force of law. Others, like our country the good lod U.S. of A, have to fight bloody wars to end injustice.

            Let me ask you this: Do you actually believe the GOP hates Abortion and wants it repealed? Why would it do that and lose all those Pro-Life votes? Its been in the GOP platform for years and yet, not one constitutional amendment has ever been passed or even supported. I want nothing more than to see Abortion ended, but it won’t happen with the GOP.

            Now do you think the GOP is against the ACA/ Really? Please read and seewho actually wrote and came up with the so-called “Obamacare.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/02/07/the-tortuous-conservative-history-of-the-individual-mandate/

            Kind of like John Kerry – First for it now against it right? Wrong. This is politics pure and simple. Also, the State’s rights argument is a false argument because you are arguing on priciple. Its OK for Mass., to have Romneycare but not the reast of th 49 States? What? I don’t think so.

            As far as the HHS Contraception Mandate I agree with you that its wrong and the Administration going back on it word and going against establish ‘Conscious Clause” legislation and constitutional case law that will render it inoperative and unconstitutional.

            Also, there is a practical aspect to this. It goes back to what Michael talked about – COST! The Catholics support, mostly on their own, most of the Hospitals and care facilities in this country. If the Court upholds this mandate without and mitigation towards religious institution or simply striking it down the Catholics will EN MASS get out of the health care industry. They are arleady on record on this point. Here in Chicago, Cardinal George made it very clear, and Cardinal George never, and I MEANT NEVER, takes stances such as this. This came from Rome and the USCCB. So I truly believe rationality and practicality will rule the day. If not let the whole system fall when the Catholics leave and see how fast that HHS mandate is repealed. In this instance money will trump feminist nihilistic ideology.

            Just my thoughts.


            • Ronda Wintheiser says

              No, I don’t believe the GOP cares about abortion.

              That’s why I’m voting for Ron Paul.

              • Ronda, a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obamma 😉 Nice to know you are still around and fighting…

                • Ken Miller says

                  Agreed. Better to get Romney elected now, and then get RAND Paul elected next time around. Clearly Ron plans to pass the campaign infrastructure on to his son eventually.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        For those who have the time and want to read the actual decision and NOT what other people think about the decision here it is: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf


    • This may explain somewhat what happened. Not sure yet, but I’m keeping an open mind. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/28/curl-roberts-to-the-rescue-for-romney/

      “Obamacare is unconstitutional if it were to be enacted via the Commerce Clause, but not if it’s simply a tax, the justice wrote. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

      In so doing, Justice Roberts has just busted Campaign 2012 wide open. The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases costing nearly $700 billion. Of those taxes, 12 would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year.

      Now that Obamacare’s penalty is a “tax,” not a “fee,” Mr. Obama is breaking a 2008 campaign pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000. This new “tax” will hit across the economic spectrum, despite his campaign declaration that health care should “never be purchased with tax increase on middle-class families.” Now, Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have enacted the largest tax increase in history.”

      It would have been much better for Roberts to stand on principle, do the heavy lifting, and do what’s right for America and all citizens. This punts the issue until November and makes the election an even more serious proposition. We HAVE to do everything possible to insure Obama is defeated at the ballot box, voter fraud and a partisan and militant DOJ notwithstanding.

      One sliver of hope is that the Catholic institutions’ lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue. Had the Court stuck down ObamaCare those lawsuits would have been rendered moot. Now those lawsuits will proceed and keep the issue front and center, hopefully energizing the people and reminding them of the serious dangers to all our constitutionally protected religious liberties.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        The HHS mandate will be stuck down, but we will have to wait until the next session to see. Yet, for political purposes the Catholic Church was very clear in also opposing then Gov. Romney for doing the same thing while he was Govenor. And CATHOLICS NOT LIKING IT THEN AS WELL! Not saying what he did was right, but lets not think President Obama is the only one infringing on our religious liberties. Here is the link: http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/did-romney-lie-about-cardinal-omalley-to-the-nation-during-the-wednesday-debate/

        Food for thought.


        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Peter, big-government Country-clubber Republicans are just as complicit as Liberal Democrats in expanding the scope of government.

          Logan46, this was inevitable given the institution of a central bank which created money out of thin air and multiplied our debt. That fact is inarguable.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Amen, Chris!

        • It would have been much better for Roberts to stand on principle, do the heavy lifting, and do what’s right for America and all citizens.

          Thanks Chris for speaking for all citizens. Care to leave room for those who think that Roberts did the right thing today? No. I guess you wouldn’t care to. 😉

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Niko, there’s no way that Roberts did “the right thing” today, because as Fr Patrick wrote earlier, it’s a tax and taxes can only originate in the House of Representatives –the People’s House. We are well on the way to becoming a Mickey Mouse Banana Republic where the rule of law doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

            Like I wrote in an earlier response, I have no problem with taxes per se, it’s just that they need to be advertised as such and follow due process.

            • George, re: “We are well on the way to becoming a Mickey Mouse Banana Republic where the rule of law doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

              I’m afraid it’s even worse than that! Even the plain meaning of the English language, truth, and basic reasoning skills don’t really mean much anymore. We’re living in an Orwellian nightmare that’s coming closer to the darkness and despair George Orwell described in 1984 and hundreds of millions of innocent souls experienced during the Communist Holocaust. I’ve escape that cancer once, only to see it gradually metastasize and flourish in this country. It’s chilling and ominous to see this evil engulf our institutions, government, and culture.

            • Carl Kraeff says
    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Carl Kraeff says, “The task is clear: we cannot afford to and we must not vote for Democrats for any office.”

      Carl may be on to something.

      As a registered Democrat, I went to the polls this spring for the primary elections, and I was handed a Democratic ballot. I read through it carefully.

      The wasn’t a soul on that ballot I could, in clear conscience, vote for—for any office whatever, from President down to municipal auditor..

      I “wrote in” one vote and dropped it in the box.

      It’s tough to be a Democrat these days.

      • At least you did vote, Fr. Patrick and did so well.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Ultimately, Fr, that’s why I had to leave the Democratic Party back in 1990. The Jeffersonian/Jacksonian tradition had been so utterly trotskyized that I couldn’t in good conscience remain in it. Not that I’m ecstatic about the GOP, especially it’s go-along to get-along Country Club wing. Because of their collaboration with Wall Street and the Democratic Party, they have formed a new caucus called the Cheap Labor Lobby. The purpose of this cabal is to undermine the wages of the white and black working class in order to maximize their profits.

        I thus predict a schism within the GOP along the Bush/McCain elites and the Palin/Buchanan populists should Obama win reelection.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        To be fair to our fellow Democrat posters, my position is based on the sorry state of the current crop of Democrat politicians. Instead of a Jackson, you have a Conyers who famously said that Obamacare was covered by the “Good and Welfare Clause of the Constitution” and also criticized folks who were insisting that they had to have the opportunity to read and consider the bill before it was voted on. Instead of a O’Neal, you have a Pelosi who famously told reporters that “The Affordable Care Act is about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the American people,” Throw in the obvious lie that all of them (Obama on down) insisted that the ACA was not a vast tax increase of $700 million and you come up with the conclusion that these new crop of Democrat politicians do not care about the Constitution, rule of law, or prudent governance. What I see is:

        – Charitably, a group of post-modern do-gooders who are focused on helping people and who are not guided in their effort by any principle other than feeling good and righteous.

        – Less charitably, a group of post-modern cynics who are intent on staying in power no matter what; so they use entitlements to buy votes.

        Bottom line: I know that the Democrat Party has some good people, but it is hard to find Democrat leaders these days who believe in the principles and basic documents of this Republic, indeed in freedom itself. One need only recall the recent assault on religious liberties (under the aegis of the ACA by the way) to be reminded of that fact.

      • Are you actually saying that, as a priest, you have been supporting the party that has been promoting abortion for the last 30 years—are you serious? I find that mind-boggling as well as disheartening. No wonder the church is in so much trouble.

      • Ronda Wintheiser says

        Pardon me for being ignorant, or obtuse, but… why ARE you a Democrat?

        I’m not anything, so please take that question at face value. Do you mind saying? Make your case? 🙂

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          Ronda asks, “Pardon me for being ignorant, or obtuse, but… why ARE you a Democrat?”

          I suppose, Ronda, for the same reason I am Irish. I was born that way. What else can I do?

          Become independent? That would be an improvement too slight to justify the effort.

          Become Republican? But why join the second-worst party in the country?

          So I’m a Democrat, even though this deplorable state prompts our friend “sad” to lament, “Are you actually saying that, as a priest, you have been supporting the party that has been promoting abortion for the last 30 years—are you serious? I find that mind-boggling as well as disheartening.”

          Following a line of reasoning too subtle for me to follow, he goes on to conclude, “No wonder the church is in so much trouble.”

          “Sad” has somehow reached the conclusion—notwithstanding my avowal of NOT voting Democratic—that I “have been supporting the party that has been promoting abortion for the past 30 years.”

          He infers, moreover, that my alleged “support” for the Democratic party is the cause of the “much trouble” in which Holy Church currently finds herself.

          I have no idea of the party membership of “sad,” but apparently it does not promote a high threshold with respect to logic and grammar.

  2. George, you may be already ‘sick.’ You’ve been reading far too many conspiratorial, right wing extremists–get a grip, pleeeeeeze.

  3. StephenD says

    I am shocked by Chief Justice John Robert’s part in this..Like many Liberal Democrats I was upset when he was nominated and confirmed.I thought he would be another right wing hack like Justice Scalia. He has proven me wrong by being someone who cares for all Americans despite party lines..I apologize Chief Justice Roberts. I was wrong

  4. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Let me remark—as a registered Democrat—on the reasoning of Chief Justice Roberts with respect to the “individual mandate” in the Obamacare law.

    The Chief Justice believes that the “individual mandate” may reasonably be regarded as a tax.

    Well, all right. Let’s regard it as a new tax.

    According to the United States Constitution, all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

    The Obamacare bill began in the Senate.

    Therefore, this new tax was imposed in violation of a specific provision of the United States Constitution.

    You see why some of us Democrats have trouble with this Supreme Court decision. The question of today certainly does not split along “party lines.”

    For some time I have entertained the possibility that the United States should consider moving toward a reasonable and benign form of universal health care through our federal tax system.

    Well, so long to that hopeful idea. This Supreme Court decision has now stuck us with Obamacare for good. How can anybody be happy with a health care law that still leaves 16 million citizens without health care insurance?

    And how in the world can we remedy that tragedy in the current noxious political climate, where even so sagacious a thinker as Antonin Scalia can be called—on this blog site—“another right wing hack”?

    • For some time I have entertained the possibility that the United States should consider moving toward a reasonable and benign form of universal health care through our federal tax system.

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions. For your greater edification I would suggest reading the online archives of the newspapers in the UK. Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Left, Right, no matter’; the story is abysmal. The Brits—and who, indeed, are more civilized, high-minded and liberal than the Brits—have had socialized medicine for the last 60 years (and are now trying to get rid of it). Search on the string “NHS”—National Health Service. It is an interesting exercise, replete with farce and tragedy. Make sure you have a box of Kleenex or a brandy—or both—at hand before you start.

      You would think that the United States, having the train wreck that is the NHS as an example, would be smart enough to avoid driving around the flashing lights and on to the track, but you would be wrong. Apparently, people never learn. That explains why the Marxists are going to keep on killing innocent people until they ‘get it right.’ That’s why their feckless victims are going to keep on falling for their nonsense.

      There’s a whole body of economic literature explaining why centrally-planned economies, and the social policies that arise from them, never work the way their supporters imagine they will. I’d look into that.

      • George Michalopulos says

        But Sad, I think the reason for us following the British headlong into the abyss is not because we are not wiser thanks to their terrible experiences, but because the natural tendancy of man is to pursue that which is evil. Remember, the israelites had an experience of the Lord Yahweh first hand, yet at the first chance they got, they wanted to be like the gentiles and worship golden calf. The gentiles had kings who lorded it over them, so the Israelites likewise demanded a tyrant. They worshiped purely in the Temple but they brought in baalim; they treasured life but then threw their infants into the yawning mouth of Moloch. Why should we be any different?

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Ok, being simple-minded, I can’t figure out why it wouldn’t be better to address the reasons that medical care (I refuse to call it “health care”; it is nothing of the sort, but that’s for another discussion…) costs so much rather than continuing along the way we have been trying to pay for it? With our without health insurance…

  5. Diogenes says

    What is the matter with you people? The Healthcare Law is good for all Americans. The poor and middle-class can obtain good healthcare. What is wrong with this? The Republicans want to get rid of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Healthcare for all. Again, what’s the matter with you people? The Republican policies are only for the rich; everyone else suffers. Can’t you people see this? Unless you are very well-to-do, voting for any Republican is like cutting your own throat.

    • Diogenes, there isn’t a single thing in your post which is actually true.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says


      If Obamacare is “good for all Americans,” why did Obama and the Democrat Congress exempt themselves from it?

      • Fr. Hans said “If Obamacare is “good for all Americans,” why did Obama and the Democrat Congress exempt themselves from it.” My incomplete reading is that Congress will no longer be covered under Federal insurance but that their insurance must be the same as offered under the insurance exchanges. If that’s changed, I guess I missed it.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Diogenes, if this such a good deal, then why has Obama and the Congress exempted themselves from it? How come Muslims, Amish, Mennonites, and Hassidic Jews exempted from taking part in it?

      Everytime I hear people say “it’s good for everyone,” I answer thusly: “government schools.” That was supposed to be “free” and mandatory but nobody in their right mind or unless they have no choice sends their kids to public schools any more. Instead, they go out of their way to move to white suburbs where the public schools are still fairly decent. The rest send them to private schools or home-school.

      FYI, just 20 years ago, homeschooling was illegal in almost all 50 states. now it’s legal in all 50 states. How did that happen?

    • The Healthcare Law is good for all Americans.

      Were that assertion true, there would be no opposition to it.

      Has it ever occurred to you that others may be able to perceive what you can not? I could write a long response to this, but my heart is broken thinking about the personal freedom we have just lost, and I’ll have to be satisfied with letting you find out the down-side of this “law” in God’s own good time. It gives me little satisfaction to know that one day you will come to see the naiveté of what you’ve just written.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      It’s not good for people who are unborn.

      I guess that doesn’t bother you, Diogenes?

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Here’s how it’s going to shake out Diogenes: The poor will suffer the most, just like they do with government schools. The worst schools in America are in Democratically controlled inner-cities.

      Government health care will impose rationing. There is no way around this. The numbers are indisputable. Crony capitalism (different from free markets; Obama is a crony capitalist) will ensure that anyone having an interest in the system will make out well like Wall Street or General Electric have under Obama and RINO Republicans. The middle class will be faced with substandard care while the poor will receive the worst.

      And yes, Sarah Palin was right. There will be death panels. Again, rationing is inevitable. End of life care will become nothing more than a cost-benefit analysis. Those panels will be appointed by people like Pelosi, Seballius, Hillary, and others who display grave moral confusion about the inherent value of human life. And the poor will be the first targets, just like the inner-city poor are the first targets of Planned Parenthood (most abortuaries are located near poor urban areas).

      They are already funding Planned Parenthood. Why wouldn’t they fund death-at-the-end-of-life “care” too, especially if they can sell it under the rubric of compassion? After all, it takes a couple of zeros off the balance sheet.

      • Fr. Hans is right! The blueprint is there already for everyone to see just how the left will handle gov’t run healthcare. Just look at our public education system!

        Don’t forget, these same individuals like Pelosi, Seballius, Hillary, Obama, etc. have absolutely no problem with unrestricted abortion and slaughtering unborn children (all opposed even bans on partial-birth abortion) and passionately defend such murder as an ideal to be celebrated as “freedom”!

        Does anyone really think the liberals/leftists/progressives would bat an eyelash at passing judgment on who lives and who dies? If they can snuff out life in its most defenseless and innocent phase, they will not hesitate to eliminate it later on. A broken moral compass will not suddenly fix itself! Trusting such characterless and immoral individuals and an unaccountable gov’t bureaucracy with your health and life is madness.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Chris and Fr, Hans I cannot disagree with you in regards to the overall motivations of the American left/Progressives to their anti-life stance or to their stated beliefs in world de-population. So I cannot argue with you on that point. You are correct.

          Yet, I and others like me, yourselves included, are not powerless. We have the right to vote and the right to debate these issues as we currently are. Further, if the current ACA was truly a government run healthcare system, like a single-payer system, I would tend to agree with your fears and analysis. However, it is not. It is a market based system driven by the priciples of Capitalism. Now “crony” capitalism is something we should always guard ourselves against, even under the ACA, but the benefits, at least for me, out-weight the risks.

          I cannot sugar-coat your objections to the HHS contraception mandate. That is a real concern and one we need to fight against as men and women of faith. But I will not scrap a systems that is a definite step in the right direction. The HHS mandate can be scraped or returned to what it was initially where religious institution did not facilitate abortion and contraception. I still have hope for this and will work to overturn this provision.

          As for the whole rationing issue, well, its a legitimate issue, but rationing happens already today and now in E.R.’s where people do not have health care insurance. If you had HMO’s you had rationed health care. However, Michael Bauman’s analysis of HMO is correct. So we will have government mandated health insurance that private providers will provide to people. These will be basic policies that will cover the bare minimum.

          You and I that can afford more coverage will purchase more coverage and rationing will not affect us with our “better” policies. For one who had nothing and never contributed to the system it will be a win for his/her health and a win for our system that needs the money to drive down costs. Will it? Don’t know yet. I hope the market-forces built into it will do so. Otherwise we will need to revisit this issue.

          Finally, whether we deal with private buracracy or government buracracy its still buracracy. Nothing as big and complex as health care can avoid buracracy either in private or public hands. But the government IS accountable, its accountable to us the people via our vote and the rule of law. For me thats good, and it means we must be vigilant.


          • Michael Bauman says

            Peter, on the ground with a lot of people I and other agents in the agency I’m with are met with the question: “When do I get me free health insurance?” This question is not always from uneducated folk but also from those who have bought the ideology hook, line and sinker or folks who are deeply ignorant of the reality. My experience with most folks over the years is that of deep irrationality when it comes to health insurance. They want the absolute cheapest price and then expect it to cover EVERYTHING or the insurance company is evil. When I or others attempt to simply go over actual coverage in even a summary user friendly manner, the eyes roll up and the folks go to sleep. PRICE, JUST TELL ME THE PRICE.

            When these folks get the bill for this health insurance, they will not direct their anger at the supports of the bill, but perversely against those who tried to tell the truth and those who have opposed the bill.

            The ‘free health insurance’ is how it has been sold and how the Democrats will attempt to counter anything the Republicans do to overturn the bill such as “They are trying to kill your kids, you AND Granny” Its already surfaced here.

            The Republicans stand there with there tumbs in a dark place and say things like “DUH-UH”

            We are in this place because politicians have been demogouging health insurance for decades and the insurance companies have played along. Don’t expect any ‘rational’ ballot box response. I don’t believe there is such a thing any more, at least on this issue.

            BTW anybody seen the commercial sponsered by The Freedom From Religion folks saying that the Roman Catholic opposition to the mandates has nothing to do with religion, its all just to oppress women? This given by a female playwrite who describes herself as an un-believing cultural Catholic so she knows what really goes on in the Catholic Church! So the nasty words about those evil ignorant perverts has also begun.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              I agree with you on what you are saying. My own clients develope “Selective” hearing when they have a lawsuit. They think that a rear-ender that has caused soft-tissue damage is somehow going to morph into a multi-million dollar case. So I get it.

              The thing is its not free and I would not support it if its was. In Chicago, and probably in most other cities the poor are given access to food, clothing shelter and even free health care provided by mostly the Catholic Church, but also by the inner city Black Evangelical Protestant Churches. And YET very, very few take advantage of these services. Just running for example a foodervice through “The Switchboard” brought in only a hand full of homeless and poor when Churches run these programs. The reality is the Poor and the homeless can be given access to some great programs, but never take advantage of them because they simply do not want to.

              One of the biggest debates that Catholics in Chicago always have is about their shelters whether to down-sixe them or not because they thought they were going to have alot of homeless using them, and sometimes they do, but mostly they do not. Again, they do not take advatage.

              So really who is the ACA really going to affect? mostly middle-class people to lower income of “Working Poor” people that really did not have access to healthcare or at least healthcare that was avilable whether they left one job and went to another.

              I am all for the Church reaching out and providing charity to people and it does a wonderful job doing this, but there are just some things that the Church does not have the logistics to pull off, but the government does. I recommend reading the book The Fall of the Evangelical Nation by Christine Wicker.read the story of Mr. Van Grubbs of Lake Point Church in lake Point, Texas. He is responsible for distributing a quarter of a million dollars each year to the needy and suffering in his community, The newly needy are those who were hit with foreclosure on their six figure home and they need cash just to stay afloat.

              This poor guy, all on his own, has to take people one at a time, with a staff of two to three, who are not even trained in this, and make a determination if they are worthy and if so how much he has to give. On a daily basis he has to make snap decisions in reagrsd to waste, fraud and abuse and is accountable to a Church Board. And that’s just ONE CHURCH! Expand that over an entire nation!
              You see the difficulty, and why the government or the Government in cooperation with the private sector is the only one that can tackle this logitical monstrosity.

              Its not going to be easy. Cost, like you said, is going to be an issue, and I wish I had all the answers to this, but I do not. But what I do have is faith. Faith in God and faith in our nation to work this out as we go along. That’s all I can say.

              I just want us all to work together on this to make it work, and not to fail. My clients, alot of working poor families, have one or both sometimes get into a work accident and they are calling me in desperation to figure out what they should do. Should they file a Workers Comp claim? If so will they get fired? What are their benefits? when will they get them, and for how long? Are these people greedy? NO! They have mortgages, utility bills, groceries they need to buy, cloths they need to get, children they need to care for, etc. Then when the Workers’ Comp benefits are not enough, then we get them on SSD ( Social Security Disability). When they do go back to work they are physically mited so we have to work with the employer under the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) to get they accomidations, for example a support belt for they low back, supportive slints for they hands and wrists, shorter worker hours, but a longer work week, etc.

              So all of these Acts (W.C., SSD, ADA) are from the government, from US that have said that Americans, Human beings, need protections and coverages when the ____ hits the fan and bills need to be paid.

              The ACA is another march towards the goal of giving our people a layer of protection they did not necessarily have in the area of Health Care. I honestly did not think such a thing was so radical, I honestly did not.

              As for the attacks on the RCC I agree with you as well. This is now the time when the RCC and our church will go through a time of natural purging. Where people will leave the Church because they will simply find out one day that they do NOT believe in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That’s fine. I want a church, whether small or not, to be a faithful and believing church. For people to be there that actually want to be there. Its happening now, and in the end it will be for the Greater Glory of Christ to actually have a Church that cares about him and him alone. Let wait and see.


    • George Michalopulos says

      OK, if it’s so good, then why is Congress exempt? And the Amish and Mennonites? And the Muslims?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Hi George:

        I think you are talking about the religious exemption clause in the ACA for Amish and Mennonites that have historically opted out of government systems due to their self-sustained religious communities and providing retirement and health care to their own members themselves. Snopes does a good job of breaking this issue down: http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/exemptions.asp. Muslims may also fall under this religious exemption IF they are or become a self-sustaining community like the Amish or mennonites, which, for now, I do not see happening.

        As for Congress being exempt, that is not true as well. FactCheck.org does also a good job of clarifying this point: http://factcheck.org/2010/01/congress-exempt-from-health-bill/.

        I hope this helps. Take care. I’m out for the night. Time to get home.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

  6. Ivan Vasiliev says

    Like many, I need to read the full text of the decision, but it seems well-reasoned in the sense that it doesn’t support the often and ill-used Commerce clause insinuation. That poor reasoning was struck down in favor of regarding the Health Care fiasco as another tax. Taxes can be repealed. After a few days (or months) of crowing about their “victory” the Democrats will realize that the Court merely affirmed what everyone who took Civics already knows: Congress has the power to tax. It did not rule or in any way imply a “Constitutional Right” to federally mandated insurance.
    Finally, it really does go back to the electorate. I’m all for repeal and replace–with equal emphasis on both. The original law/tax is hugely costly and badly conceived: It ought to be repealed. At the same time, the country really does need to make health care less costly and more available to all. Tort reform, buyers choice (real choice for purchasing insurance, the ability to purchase across state lines–a real application of the original intent of the Commerce Clause), block grants to the states for Medicaid/Medicare to decrease costs, etc.
    We’ll decide this as an electorate in November. Whatever we get, it won’t be the Kingdom of God. Thanks be to Him that we live in a country where, no matter how profoundly we disagree, we won’t resolve to guns and prison camps to decide the issues. We’ll use the most powerful political weapon ever devised: The ballot. And if we don’t like what we get, we use it again and again and again until we’re (almost) satisfied. Not too bad a deal, all in all.

    • Ivan, all of what you say is true. Taxes can be repealed, however in reality they almost never are. That is what vexes so many people. The Federal income tax was modest at one time. FICA was only 1% of a man’s wages, etc. The nature of government is to metastasize, especially when more and more people have their snouts in the trough.

      The only tax that was repealed was the national income tax that the Congress enacted in 1862 to pay for the War Between the States. The Supreme Court (!) struck it down about 12 years later or so.

  7. StephenD says

    How is the Affordable Healthcare Act different from Romney Care which he backed while he was Governor of Massachusetts?

    • Will Harrington says

      For a start, its federal

    • It’s not, except in scope. That is why I believe Romney will not repeal this if elected. There are too few differences between Mitt the Governor and Barack the President – notwithstanding the political rhetoric on both sides.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        And if that is the case, the Republic is finished.

        • The republic is already finished.

          Between the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act and the HHS mandate vis-a-vis the Catholic church, the Bill of Rights has effectively been destroyed. We no longer have freedom of speech, a free press, freedom of religion, protection from illegal search and seizure, due process, the right to a speedy public trial, etc… What’s left?

          In addition, the state is making great progress in controlling the economy, one of the the hallmarks of fascism. (Yes, it is fascism; see economist Thomas Sowell’s recent article online.)

          The good ship USA has hit an iceberg, the bulkheads are flooded, most of the crew is dead, and the icy waters of serfdom will soon be swirling around the passengers’ ankles.

          • sad says:

            The republic is already finished.

            Between the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act and the HHS mandate vis-a-vis the Catholic church, the Bill of Rights has effectively been destroyed. We no longer have freedom of speech, a free press, freedom of religion, protection from illegal search and seizure, due process, the right to a speedy public trial, etc… What’s left?

            If you truly believe that then your only option left is what the founders did, pick up your assault weapon, spread the alarm, go to your nearest military base, pick off a few soldiers, and begin another revolution.

            I’m sorry, but the republic is doing fine. When in our history has the communication and the exchange of ideas and viewpoints been so widespread? All this hand wringing, try advocacy and engagement. Btw, what freedoms have I personally lost? I must be so drugged and addicted to the nanny state, I can no longer think for myself. My apologies in advance, because like you I get exasperated.

            • If you all think the Republic is dead, or these are her darkest days, I am glad you weren’t around during the Civil War (WBS) or when the British burned Washington DC, or a myriad of other challenges that the nation confronted and survived. Calm down folks.

              We have moved now from health care being a privedege for those who can afford it to it being a basic right of the Republic. I see no boogymen with hammer and sickle about to take us over. Rather I see this country finally taking a step to make sure that everyone in this country can have access to affordable health care and the opportunity for all of us to band together as a country to make this happen. This is about all of us, not one group over another.

              BTW, if you are confused about the AHCA, here is a link which does a good job of explaining it with Citations from the original bill. It answered all the questions flying around the misstatement and flat out lies about the bill.

              There is way too much fear mongering over this constitutional law. Read the law for yourself and then let’s discuss it from the facts not what the left or right wing media is telling us and politicians who are out first and foremost to get themselves re-elected. This is our law now. Best we understand it and take advantage of its provisions.

              • StephenD says

                Nikos..please do not confuse us with the facts !!!!!!

              • George Michalopulos says

                Niko, there is no such thing as a “right” to health care. If there is, then why not a “right” to food? Clothing? Shelter? Revolutionary states uphold such nonsense and they can only do so by tyranny. The end result is always scarcity and privation.

                • Well George, things are changing and there is a thing as a right to health care. And people have a right to safe food (thanks T. Roosevelt for starting it) and safe clothing and safe shelter (building codes). I am not too sure that the Lord Himself would think that food, clothing and shelter are privileges. When one does not have those things, He commands us to do something about it. So if religious communities and or charities are not able to do the job, I believe that the government has a role to play.

                  I don’t know what you mean by “Revolutionary” states, you might wish to define the current ones since of the world’s 250 or some nations, 180 or so have democratic governments of which the right to basic health care is considered to be a priority in a majority.

                  When citizens don’t have to worry about their health insurance, that they can take it from one employer to another, that they can’t be denied coverage because they are too old, too sick or too poor, that people can look for another job, a better job, instead of being stuck in one because they are afraid to possibly lose their health insurance, as a nation, we will benefit.

                  And yes, there will be a role for the states to play. The new AHCA provides for that. If states don’t want the federal government health insurance exchange program, they can opt to run their own state exchange. And all this bluster by Gov. Bobby Jindal saying he won’t take any Federal dollars for health care, that is just political grandstanding.

                  Yes, there is doom and gloom these days, socialism is right around the corner, they will be coming after our guns next, and the white folk in the USA will be a minority. Gosh, next thing you know we will elect a black president. Oh, wait, we already did that and yes, in certain states whites will be in the minority, so like, when was it a sacred truth that whites would always be in the majority? As for guns, I don’t have one, don’t need one, but if others want one, it’s ok by me, but I am not sure why we need assault guns and AK47’s.

                  Call me a progressive on this if you like, but as an Orthodox Christian I find it wrong that this country has waited so long, since the Truman presidency to finally get meaningful health insurance reform accomplished creating a new baseline that our elected officials can improve upon as we go forward. Is the current law perfect? No. Can it be made better? Yes. Is health insurance for all that new baseline. You bet and try and take it away from people and you will have a heap of trouble on your hands.

                  Personally if this shows a change in American priorities and we can spend less money on military adventurism around the world, and more to provide for our citizens at home, I am all for it.

                  “There is no such thing as a “right” to health care”? Well, I am glad to say that statement is now in the past tense.

                  • Alexander says

                    Nothing about the law itself and nothing in Roberts’ irresponsible sophistry states taht there is a federal right to healthcare.

                  • Fr. Justin Frederick says

                    Our nation was founded upon the premise that any rights man possesses come from God, not man. Anything man or the state gives can be taken away. It isn’t a right, it is a privilege, (and that privilege could be just or unjust). What these God-given rights are can be discerned by reading the Ten Commandments or pondering the natural law written in mankind’s conscience. In other words, they are based on moral law higher than human legislation. Don’t murder. Don’t steal. Don’t bear false witness. These rights uphold the life, liberty, and property of each person, so that each person has space to live as he sees fit upon the face of the earth without harming others. These rights may also be classified as ‘negative rights’: they forbid others from acting harmfully against the right holder.

                    It is “to secure these rights” that “governments are instituted among men”, so that the weak who may not be able to resist strong threats to their life, liberty, and property may be protected along with the strong. Government properly conceived and exercised serves to deliver a society out of the vicious realm of ‘might makes right.’

                    If we call health care or a free school lunch a “right”, we are not talking about a negative right. I possess the life God gave me until He takes it, or someone forcibly takes it from me, thus violating my right to live. I don’t come into the world possessing ‘health care’ or a ‘free lunch’. Those things have to be created the intelligence and labor of others or myself. If I want to eat, I must hunt, gather, plant, harvest. I have to work for the food I eat. If I want health care, and I lack the knowledge to care for myself, I have to find someone with the ability and willingness to share his time, labor, and knowledge with me for my benefit. In fact, to provide “free” anything necessitates taking from what someone else has, ultimately by force. That is a shabby ‘right’ and a violation of the command against theft. And it reduces productivity: why be productive, when my production is simply taken from me?

                    As Christians fearing God, we are commanded by God to be charitable, to be merciful to our fellow in need. But while the OT law prescribed strong penalties for breaking the commandments, for violating the negative rights of others and doing them harm via theft, murder, or false-witness, it did not prescribe similar legal penalties for failure to give alms. God declared himself to be the advocate of the poor, orphan, and widow, and if His people would not care for them willingly, they would suffer His just judgment.

                    To those who cry so passionately in favor of creating such ‘rights’, I say: when you live in such a way that you tithe to your local parish and offer another tithe for those in need, you may begin pointing fingers at others. Remember Joachim and Ann: they gave a third of their income to the temple, a third to the poor, and lived on a third. Ah, but it is always easier to charitable with other people’s money. Envy and sloth are ever with us.

                    Don’t like the high cost of medical care? Stop drinking sodas and eating the processed, dead “food” with which our restaurants and supermarkets abound. Exercise. Get adequate sleep. Respect your body. Take care of yourself so you don’t get sick. This in itself would eliminate much expense for health care. Work on tort reform. Get to know your local doctor as a person rather than someone who owes you ‘health care’ and work out a deal with him if you should need care. Learn to barter. Think outside the box. Trust God. Take responsibility for your life, get off the couch, turn off the entertainment system and find some real life and quit looking to government to save you. They won’t and they can’t. And when they try, it always comes at a high price. But habits a hundred years in the making can be hard to break (including our stupid military adventurism.)

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Father, you cannot heave life without proper heathcare. Parse it anyway you want the two are linked. Jesus connected them through the Great Commandment. We are our brother’s keeper. Thats a Direct Right and Direct Commendment from Our Lord. We are the Church, We were given this Commendment. We also make up the Government. We imbue the Government with our DIRECT NOT Negative morality. Thus, I repectfully disagree and do the US Catholic Bishops and many Orthodox Bishops and Theologians.

                      Again, is this our faith or is this GOP rhetoric. That’s the real discussion we need to be having because we have “Brought” alot of baggage in to Orthodoxy that Orthodoxy does not teach. The ROC does not teach it. The Church of Greece does not teach it, but American Orthodox do? Interesting.


                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Oh by the way its not free we do pay for it. Penalty or tax WE pay for our healthcare. No free riders Father.


                • But George, I think you’ve said there is a “right” to life. Whether it be short, brutal, impoverished, malnourished, painful, is of no matter?

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Of course there’s a right to life. It inures to the person because he is made in the image of God and nobody has the right to take it. Ditto with a right to own a firearm, pray as he sees fit, vote, etc. These are negative rights and cannot be taken away except by a duly constituted polity which observes due process. (Conversely, they do not have to be exercised but that is up to the individual.)

                    As for the quality of life, that is in the eye of the beholder. Egypt is one of the most impoverished countries on earth whereas Sweden is one of the richest. The suicide rate in Sweden is astronomically high when compared to Egypt.

            • George Michalopulos says

              And our Republic is doing fine because George W Bush added $2 trillion to the national debt, while Pres Obama added another 5?

              We’ll see how fine we’re doing when the welfare checks don’t go out, Medicare stops paying for Granny’s nursing home and the prison system breaks down because we already have more people than ever in it.

              Rose-colored glasses always come off, for some sooner than others.

            • Ronda Wintheiser says

              We have a revolution already underway, led by the Drs. Paul. It is bloodless, for now.

    • As Will said, it’s federal. I’m a huge believer in States’ Rights. If the people of the State of Massachusetts through their elected representatives decide that school should be year-round, that’s their right. If they do something stupid like hike the state income tax by 100%, then New Hampshire will benefit.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Two words: States’ Rights. If Massachusetts wants to have socialized medicine, fine with me. North Dakota is going to repeal its property taxes. Both are right, neither is wrong.

  8. Carl Kraeff says

    Here is Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post spilling the beans on Obamacare:

    “Rather than seek a radical reshaping of the health care system, Obama pushed through a set of relatively modest reforms that will expand insurance coverage to a large number of the uninsured — about 30 million — but still not all. He also tried to use free-market forces to “bend the curve” of rising costs, slowing but not halting their rise.

    The result — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — is a huge, complicated, unwieldy piece of legislation. I would have loved to see the president try for something simpler and more elegant, perhaps a “Medicare for everyone” single-payer system. Maybe that’s where we’ll end up someday.

    But despite all the rhetoric we’ll hear from Romney and the GOP until Election Day, health care reform is here to stay. Provisions such as guaranteeing insurance coverage to those with pre-existing conditions are too consumer-friendly to be taken away; and once these new measures take effect, which happens in 2014, insurance rates would rise sharply — and unacceptably — without the individual mandate.

    And medical costs will continue to soar, despite the law’s efforts to contain them. Inevitably, if only because of deficits and the national debt, Congress will have to revisit the health care issue with an eye toward more radical changes.

    When that next big push takes place, it will be with the underlying assumption that health care should be available to all who need it regardless of their ability to pay — that it is not a privilege but a right. Progressive presidents since Theodore Roosevelt have tried to enshrine this principle. Barack Obama did it. ”

    So, the plan was all along to act as a drug pusher. It is profoundly sad to see Americans being and getting addicted to entitlements. If the Democrat plan succeeds, we will become a banana republic eventually. I do not think that it will happen in my lifetime but I fear the future for my nine grandchildren is quite bleak.

    • StephenD says

      Its also a wonderful thing that children may be carried on their parent’s insurance until they are 26. I see a lot of patients who would not be able to be seen where I work because they would not have insurance if this provision were not provided in the Act.

      • Why pick the arbitrary 26? That’s quite harsh and discriminatory. It’s really not fair to those “children” that are older. I thought liberals/progressives/leftists were all about fairness and diversity?

        If 26 is good, than 30 would be even better. Why, let’s make it 35 and really raise the fairness/ethical bar. Heck, who are we to judge, let’s raise it to 65 and be done with it. As you know it’s already illegal to discriminate against people over 40. http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm

        PS – Note to the conservatives on this forum. Notice the Orwellian usage of the English language at play:
        – Rational and objective definition of “children” = persons under 18.
        – Orwellian-Leftist definition of “children” = persons under 26 (for now).

        • And let’s not forget that we are all God’s children, and that Jews and Muslims consider themselves to be children of not only Adam, but Abraham.
          Actually, all these expostulations, theories, revelations, hypotheses, and doctrinal points pale beside the magnitude of the main event. President Obama won one. So many were counting on the opposite. And one of the stars of the “illiberal right”, previously acclaimed, has lost all his qualifications overnight.

          • Naturally, for someone who is an admirer of socialism and enjoys the concept of government mandated tyranny (only when Democrats are in charge, of course), the ObamaCare decision would indeed be seen as a “victory” and something quite positive. Lest we forget, you made it pretty clear where you stand on this many years ago:

            “I am all for socialist medicine, so my rubber ducky would get an affectionate pat for that. I even would enjoy seeing a draft of all MDs into government service. Then we could be sure that only those who were *dedicated* to the health of human beings would enter the profession, none of the so many who are lured by cash and goodies for their families.”
            – Bishop Tikhon, Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:37 pm (Orthodox Tradition – Yahoo Group)

            PS – Make sure you include this little tidbit in the memoirs you keep reminding us you are writing. You never know, this memorable quote might be the one that helps it to #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

      • StephenD. You’d have done better to use the word “offspring”, for to those with hardened arteries the word “children” can only mean one’s ‘young.’ I know, I know, but: “What can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood.”

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Your Grace–The emerging science on brain development points to age 26 being a fairly good age for the period of adolescence, not childhood, to end and for adulthood to start. There has never been a scientific basis to call folks aged 12 and over as children. Indeed, since adolescence starts at puberty, age of 12 may be too late; perhaps we should consider adolescence to be ages 10 to 26. In any case, if 26 year old humans are children (or adolescents), we should immediately revise majority to commence on age 27–that is, when a person can enter into contracts, drink, vote and marry. No, the term was used for no other reason than to tug at the heart of parents.

          • I repeat, rather than “children”, the backers of the measure should have used the word “offspring.” What Carl, with almost superstitious awe, calls “the emerging science on brain development” has not emerged enough to discourage parents from referring to their offspring as “children”, no matter their ages. In fact, Carl, most people don’t care whether there’s a scientific basis to call their age twelve to sixty offspring “children.” My sister, 85, has three children, and those three children also have children.
            My sister’s children are not young: yet, on any scientific or non-scientific questionnaire that she may be asked to fill out, they’ll ask this 85-year old women if she HAS children. Any insurance company will also ask if she has children. They may ask for the AGES of their children. Then, they may say, “Your children are covered under this policy,” and even you, Carl, would have to agree that my sister’s children (ages 50 and up) are covered.
            Now do you get it?
            I’m encouraged though, to perceive the magnitude of the panic in those who are desperate to find a rationale for their opposition to “Obama Care” which will not be hating Obama. Reaching, reaching. “Your children are no longer your children when they become adolescents!!!!”

        • Michael Bauman says

          The real differentiation should be between dependent and independent.
          The worst part of the 26 year old child farce is that the ‘child’ can be married with children; living a financially independent life in every other way; be eligible for his/her own group insurance but still qualify to be carried under his/her parents insurance.

          The anti-selection possibilities under such a setup are enormous, costly and frankly make no sense.

        • Ronda Wintheiser says


          Why do 26-year-olds count, while those in the womb do NOT? And why would anyone Orthodox not find that a reason to decry Obamacare?

      • Michael Bauman says

        The young folks could more than likely qualify for individual insurance on their own for quite a bit less premium and comparable coverage. Of course, if the economy were creating enough jobs so that younger folks could more easily move into the work force where they could possibly be eligible for their own group coverage that would be good too.

        If my 25 year old son was on my group policy at work the premium would be about $200 a month even with a partial subsidy from my employer. The virtually identical coverage he has cost $70 a month.

        Now that’s here in Kansas– the folks on the coasts with their more arcane and intrusive government regulation and intervention in the insurance markets may not have such goodies as available but I’d be glad to check for you.

      • If Obama hadn’t , in his complete ignorance of economics, hastened the demise of the US economy, these ‘children’ would all have jobs and health “insurance” via their employers.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        All this does is to push infantilization of people who really should be assuming their role as adults. Read this for a start: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200703/trashing-teens

        Mat. Frederica Matthewes-Green recommended this on her FB page.

  9. The Real Winners

    So the Supreme Court — defying many expectations — upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans — people like you.

    You might say 30 million, the number of additional people the Congressional Budget Office says will have health insurance thanks to Obamacare. But that vastly understates the true number of winners because millions of other Americans — including many who oppose the act — would have been at risk of being one of those 30 million.

    So add in every American who currently works for a company that offers good health insurance but is at risk of losing that job (and who isn’t in this world of outsourcing and private equity buyouts?); every American who would have found health insurance unaffordable but will now receive crucial financial help; every American with a pre-existing condition who would have been flatly denied coverage in many states.

    In short, unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.

    But what about the cost? Put it this way: the budget office’s estimate of the cost over the next decade of Obamacare’s “coverage provisions” — basically, the subsidies needed to make insurance affordable for all — is about only a third of the cost of the tax cuts, overwhelmingly favoring the wealthy, that Mitt Romney is proposing over the same period. True, Mr. Romney says that he would offset that cost, but he has failed to provide any plausible explanation of how he’d do that. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, is fully paid for, with an explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts elsewhere.

    So the law that the Supreme Court upheld is an act of human decency that is also fiscally responsible. It’s not perfect, by a long shot — it is, after all, originally a Republican plan, devised long ago as a way to forestall the obvious alternative of extending Medicare to cover everyone. As a result, it’s an awkward hybrid of public and private insurance that isn’t the way anyone would have designed a system from scratch. And there will be a long struggle to make it better, just as there was for Social Security. (Bring back the public option!) But it’s still a big step toward a better — and by that I mean morally better — society.

    Which brings us to the nature of the people who tried to kill health reform — and who will, of course, continue their efforts despite this unexpected defeat.

    At one level, the most striking thing about the campaign against reform was its dishonesty. Remember “death panels”? Remember how reform’s opponents would, in the same breath, accuse Mr. Obama of promoting big government and denounce him for cutting Medicare? Politics ain’t beanbag, but, even in these partisan times, the unscrupulous nature of the campaign against reform was exceptional. And, rest assured, all the old lies and probably a bunch of new ones will be rolled out again in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision. Let’s hope the Democrats are ready.

    But what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed.

    Let me add a final word on the Supreme Court.

    Before the arguments began, the overwhelming consensus among legal experts who aren’t hard-core conservatives — and even among some who are — was that Obamacare was clearly constitutional. And, in the end, thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., the court upheld that view. But four justices dissented, and did so in extreme terms, proclaiming not just the much-disputed individual mandate but the whole act unconstitutional. Given prevailing legal opinion, it’s hard to see that position as anything but naked partisanship.

    The point is that this isn’t over — not on health care, not on the broader shape of American society. The cruelty and ruthlessness that made this court decision such a nail-biter aren’t going away.

    But, for now, let’s celebrate. This was a big day, a victory for due process, decency and the American people.

    • Michael Bauman says

      So, Diogenes, by implication anyone who opposes the bill is indecent want to oppress the American people through extra legal means?

    • You enjoy your celebration now, fella, because the hangover is going to be a doozie.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Once again the poorest of the poor are ignored.

      How can you exult? Obamacare has further entrenched the slaughter of innocents. As Orthodox, our repentance and shame are the appropriate responses to this decision.

    • “The leftist, like the polemicist of yesteryear, believes he refutes an opinion by accusing the holder of that opinion of immorality.” – Nicolás Gómez Dávila (aka Don Colacho)

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Two points.

      1. By citing Krugman, Diogenes has greatly tarnished himself.

      2. By resorting to ad hominem, Krugman curiously betrays insecurity about his own position.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Diogenes quotes a long comment by Paul Krugman.

      This is very helpful. I always wondered what sort of people still read Krugman.

      • Isa Almisry says

        “what sort of people still read Krugman.” Mostly those who haven’t read him. Those who have know better. At least the thinking readers do, which does NOT include the Nobel Prize establishment who devalued it in more ways than one over the past years, not the least 2008 when Mr. Krugman won one alongside Sen. Obama (wonder how President Kill List is doing in Oslo).

  10. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    After reading the first 6 pages of the decision, that is basically a clifnote version of the decision, I have to say it was very well-reasoned, thought out and exemplified judical constraint and support for our underlying constitutional concept of Federalism.

    First, the Court dealt with the constitutional viability of the Affordable Care Act pursuant to Article I, Section 8, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution – “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” (Commerce Clause). The Court was very clear that the Act was NOT constitutional under the Commerce Clause because the Commerce Clause regulates existing commercial activity, and the Individuaol mandate does NOT regulate existing commercial activity, but created brand new commercial activity. It compels individuals to become consumers as it will affect interstate commerce. (future tense).

    OPINION: This is a HUGE limitation of the commerce clause that has, in the past, become so unruly that many lawyers and constitutional sholars wanted an end point for the commerce clause. Well, we just received it. Even in those past incidents where the Court has said that certain activities may affect interstate commerce it was always an existing commercial activity. Adding 32 million consumers to the American Heathcare system under a brand new scheme and brand new market that will be created with the Insurance Exchanges is NOT an existing commercial activity, but a new commercial Activity. In other words, Congress can only regulate a given commercial field, but cannot first create and then regulate that commercial field. Thus, the Individual Mandate and the Affordable Heathcare Act is Unconstitutional under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to regulate interstate Commerce.

    Second, the Court held that the Affordable Heathcare Act was constitutional under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution to lay and collect taxes for the general walfare of the United States: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” This is a well-established right and the Court could not side-step this issue as this is an inherent power that Congress has and has always had.

    OPINION: The Court employed a very common rule of statutory review and interpretation and enacted a very conservative concept called Judicial Restraint. First, the Court is obligated to show deference to the Legislature in that it must first looks to see if a given law can be saved in any way so as not to infringe on the will of the People. Putting debates aside, once a piece of legislation is passed it hold the imprapature that it is the will of the People and the Court, exercising judicial restraint, must do everything in their power to uphold the law if they can. In this case they did.

    The Court held that althought this piece of legislation was being touted as a “penalty” and NOT a “Tax” it was going passed lables and looking at the substance of the law. Its substance was a “Tax” pure and simple, and as such, under Article I, Section 8, clause 1 Congress has the power to tax. Thus, the Individual Mandate, as a “Tax,” is constitutional and enforceable.

    Third, the Congress’ ability to withhold funding to States that refuse to participate in the Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional and a violation of the Congress’ ability to “amend” the medicaid program that the States are a part thereof. The Court correctly held that Congress was not amending, but radically altering and creating a whole new structure the kind that States never saw or initially agreed to, thus, this is a violation of Congress’ power under the Specing clause and the terms of the mediaid program and was struck down. The doctrine of Severability allows a court to strike down an improper, illegal and unconstitutional provision while leaving the rest of the act in place. And so it did.

    ANALYSIS: Overall, this was a good and well-reasoned decision. People may not like it, and I know I have not liked many of the Court’s decisions, such as Roe v. Wade and Citizen’s United, but its well-reasoned, exercises judicial constraint, which I wish it did in the two previously cited cases, and shows that this Court is truly independent.

    Everybody, myself included, criticizes the High Court for its decisions, especially when its our political view that they just trampled on, but this is what it means to be a Federal Constitutional Republic based upon the priciples of an indirect democracy. We may not like this decision, like many others, but we must accept it. Further, if we do not like it and want it changed, wait until November and let your vote do the talking.

    God Bless and Long Live the Republic.

    Peter A. papoutsis

    • Carl Kraeff says

      You forget a little law that was passed in 1867 that restricts the ability of ther SCOTUS to address taxation until said taxation has actually affected real people. Ergo, CJ Roberts was way premature in using his “this is a tax, no matter what they say” argument.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Good point, Carl. Still, if Roberts was going to be consistent in calling it a tax, he should have invalidated it on the grounds that this legislation did not originate in the House..

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Carl, I suggest you read pages 11-15 of the decision where the majority dealt
        with the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act. Basically, to bring it down to a nut-shell the authority that the HHS Secretary has in assessing a penalty in the same manner as a Tax is not the same as a”Direct” Tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. In other words, its not a “Direct” tax by Congress, but an “Assessed Penalty” that the Secretary of HHS imposes and collects. although it end up being a tax, because its not structured or set-up like a traditional tax it avoids the Anti-Injunction Act.

        Now the “Assessed Penalty” is a tax for purposes of finding the legal ground upon which the Law is predicated upon, but in the way its collected it is NOT a direct tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, and because its is trteated and set up like a penalty it is not a violation of the Anti-Injunction Act.

        In other words, it is a Tax, but because the Government did not set it up as a traditional Tax it avoids the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867. At least, that’s my reading of pages 11-15 of the decision.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          There is some convoluted thinking going on here. Here is another analysis;

          :In general, nobody can sue to challenge the collection of a tax before the tax is actually collected; instead, you have to pay the tax, and then sue for a refund. This policy protects the government’s ability to secure revenues. Thus, the AIA bars any suit brought “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.” 26 U.S.C. § 7421(a). Today, the Court held that the AIA does not bar the challenge to the individual mandate because the mandate is not a “tax” within the meaning of the AIA. But if the individual mandate is only constitutional as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power, then how can that be?

          The short answer is that – at least after today’s opinion – courts apply a different test to determine whether a law constitutes a tax for constitutional purposes (i.e., the taxing power) than they do to determine whether the same law constitutes a tax for statutory jurisdiction purposes (i.e., the AIA). The constitutional test looks not to the label on the law, but instead to the way that the law functions. The test under the AIA, however, looks to whether Congress intended for the law to function as a tax. After today’s opinion, the test might be whether Congress actually uses the word “tax” to describe the law.

          At first glance, the idea of using two tests to answer the same question – “Is this a tax? – is counterintuitive. But Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion explains the reason for the distinction: the Constitution imposes limits upon Congress, and it would undermine those limits if Congress could circumvent them merely by altering the label on a piece of legislation. That is why for purposes of determining the scope of the taxing power, the label does not matter. However, the AIA is Congressional policy, and so the key question in that context is whether Congress intended for that policy to apply in a particular case. If Congress wants the AIA to apply, it knows to use language echoing that statute. Similarly, if Congress does not want the AIA to apply, it will use different language, and courts should respect that judgment. In this case, because Congress deliberately avoided using the word “tax,” opting instead to describe the shared responsibility payment (the consequence of not purchasing insurance, and thus the sole incentive to comply with the mandate) as a “penalty,” the Court held that Congress did not intend for the AIA to preclude judicial consideration of the mandate.”

          Both your and Mr. Singh’s analyses depict a justice who is playing verbal games. This is more evident in the latter analysis: how could the Congress intended in 1867 for the AIA to preclude judicial consideration of the mandate? This is sophistry and nothing else. Now, in your analysis, CJ Roberts differentiated between “direct” taxes and “assessed penalty” that everybody and their mother swore up and down was not a tax, but turns out to be a tax in Roberts’ fertile imagination. So much for judicial restraints, no?

          However, I continue to think that even though Roberts resorted to judicial activism in redefining the mandate’s penalty as tax, he did so to distance the court from getting into a policy debate that is best decided by the voters and their representatives. I do not buy into the argument that he also wanted to limit use of the Commerce Clause as he could have done so by merely joining Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas. I have the feeling that this ruling will be revisited after the elections; if Republicans win big, Roberts will be praised for his sagacity and federalism. If not, well you know about the dust bin of history: the Republic’s descent into a banana republic will accelerate.

          I consider Obamacare to be the camel’s nose in the tent–that is, it is the lever to transform our healthcare into socialized medicine, with all the attending horrors that it entails. It is also an opening gambit to discard our free market system and replace it by a command economy. In this, the hubris of the liberal elite is evident in their fantasy that they are but the latest incarnation of Plato’s philosopher kings. I think we can do much better than this arrogant elite in reforming our healthcare system by using reasonable and workable solutions.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Its not convoluted I was saying the same thing. Congress did not structure it as a tax to fall under the AIA, but as an assessed penalty. If CJ Roberts wants to charaterize it as a tax to find it constitutional thats fine, but for purposes of the AIA it did not it the bill.

            As for your last statement that “I think we can do much better than this arrogant elite in reforming our healthcare system by using reasonable and workable solutions. is confusing. So you disagree with the ACA even though it was crafted by conservatives in the Heritage Foundation, which now oppose it? Even though Gov. Mitt Romney called it “Ultimate Conservatism?” The whiplash is amazing, I wish I could make money off of this.


            PS. There is a You Tube video of the Heritaga Foundation I think back in 2006 that touted and supported Gov. Romney’s version of the ACA and Individual Mandate. Huh? What?!

            • Peter,

              Your thinking is sound and balanced. The problem is that one side is committed to the defeat of the President. When Gov. Scott and Rep. West of Florida speak against the AHA, it only makes the case for the new law. I listened to Rep. Michelle Bachman last night on FOX and was amazed at the outright looney things she believes about the new law. And don’t get me started about Sen. (Ayn) Rand Paul who believes that just because the SCOTUS says a law is Constitutional, it doesn’t make it so. Really Sen. Paul? Really?

              Now having said that, I also believe that the HHS decision needs to changed. It is an overreach and it is wrong. No doubt about that. I also think that the White House will revisit it and adjust it. Religiously affiliated hospitals need to have their religious values respected and protected.

              Talk about abortion and the AHA is nonsense. If one really cares to read the new law, it is clear that the Act does not expand abortion beyond its current legal limits. Is abortion wrong? Yes, but it is the law of the land and it is Constitutional. I may not like it but that is the law. You don’t like it, then vote to change it. In the meantime, it needs to be safe and rare and pro-life groups need to work on it being rare and work to change the law.

              The real fear being projected in this AHA debate is the fear of “socilaized medicine”, iike Canada, Great Britain and in Western Europe currently enjoy. Sen McConnell said it clearly on FOX this past Sunday. “I will tell you one thing, we won’t have healthcare like Western Europe” aka “socialized medicine.” Well we already have it, it’s called Medicare, but we will skip over that point! The AHA is about insurance reform. It really isn’t a healthcare act accept that it encourages people to do a better job at preventative care, which everyone agrees is cheaper in the long run. Better to have healthy horses in the parade rather than just shovels at the end of the parade which is what our current healthcare system is based on. I know lots of people in Canada, Great Britain and in Europe and the folks I know have little problem with their “socialized medicine.” They look at us and just shake their heads over our current debate.

              Oh, yes, I will hear the cries from the right, “Government has no right to tell me how to live and thus if I want to smoke, drink, eat at McDonalds everyday, you ain’t gonna tell me I can’t.” And, indeed that is true, but there is a cost to all of us if you do, so if you choose to do so, you have to pay the rest of us for those poor decisions because we are all in this together. Taxes on cigarrettes are a case in point. You are free to smoke, but there will be a tax (DECIDED BY THE STATES) to enjoy your smokes.

              And all this debate whether it is a tax or not on the 3,000,000 people who are projected to pay the tax/service charge/penalty is another smoke screen (pardon the pund.) Bill O’Reilly last night was still banging the drum that everyone is going to be taxed. Not true, but as someone else said here, let’s not confuse the issue with the facts.

              If one takes a serious look beyond the fear mongering of “death panels”, “government run healthcare”, “socialized medicine”, “you will lose your ability to chose your healthcare insurance”, “you will lose your healthcare” blah, blah, blah this AHA is not the “end of the Republic.” Hey, if the Republicans want to run on this healthcare issue, be my guest. People are now taking a real close look at the law and polls show that they like what they read. And, in the absence of a real alternative by the right except “Repeal and Replace” it looks like Romney Care, the genesis of Obamacare, will be the new baseline as we go forward to improve the current law and hopefully as a nation.

              Good job, Peter. Jesus is proud of you!

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Thanks Niko, but as optomistic as I am about the HHS mandate being revisited we still need to remain vigilant on this point because Michael is right about the HHS Secretary being crazy Pro-Abortion. Also, we have to stay vigilant on the cost issue. but its a good start.

                By the way I think only England is a truly socialized medicine state. Most other Western European States have a mix of Public and Private Heath Care Insurance coverage I believe, but I could be wrong on that one.

                We are all coming to terms with this new piece of legislation, and even though I am a supporter of it I want and hope everybodies views are taken into consideration even people’s fears. This is how a democracy works. We yell, scream, debate and eventually at the end of the day some agreed upon “WILL” of the people emerges and goes forward.

                This Law is not perfect, just like Medicare was not perfect and has been amended since up to the present and will continue to be so amended. The same with the ACA.

                What I love about this blog is that we are ALL talking, debating and discussing very important and monumental issues. Hopefully our fellow citizens CAN tear themselves away from Facebook, and Footbal, and Basketball, etc., just long enough to care about their country. Only time will tell.



                • Michael Bauman says

                  Peter, there are at least 20 taxes concealed in the healthtax law, and a bunch more shenanigans to create the impression that the healthtax was ‘revenue netural’

                  The bottom line: The pricing assumptions are acutarily unsupportable. The only two ways of paying for the bill (even with all of the taxes internal to it) are massive tax increases and rationing–at least according to the head actuary of the Kansas Department of Insurance and his boss the Commissioner (and she supports the bill).

                  The massive tax increases are before you even get to all of the moral and religious issues that will come down the pike.

                  Even if one agrees with all of the so-called care provisions of the healthtax bill, it is simply too expensive.

                  BTW the exchanges are not a free market idea. They in fact greatly limit the market for health insurance in both what will be available and in the amount and quality of information available to folks to make a reasonalble choice.

              • Isa Almisry says

                ” Rand Paul who believes that just because the SCOTUS says a law is Constitutional, it doesn’t make it so. Really Sen. Paul? Really?”
                Yes, really. Mr. Roberts has made his decision. Now let us see him enforce it.

                Btw, on abortion and any number of other issues in the new tax, er, law:it mandates power to a whole unelected bureaucracy to implement as it sees fit. So even if you manage to plough through the thousands of pages of the law, you won’t see all that there is to it, as the bureaucracy will be able to work behind closed doors. Executive privilege you know….

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  You’re right, Isa. The fault lies in what the Supreme Court did 209 years ago in Marbury vs. Madison, in which they created out of thin air the right to “judicial review.” It was Jefferson’s great mistake to not challenge it at the time. Since then, SCOTUS has short-circuited the democratic process making things infinitely worse: Dred Scott, Plessy vs Ferguson, Roe v Wade vs Wade, and now this. Among others. Because of this, mischief is cooked into the books now.

                  Judicial Review is nowhere found in Article III of the Constitution or anywhere for that matter.

        • Isa Almisry says

          IOW, it depends on what your definition of “is” is. Or, a lawyer’s dictionary is rather malleable.

    • Alexander says

      Don’t rely on the syllabus.

      • Ronda Wintheiser says

        If it’s a tax, then why does the language refer to a “penalty”? And why does it keep going up every year?

  11. Here are the implications of Justice John Roberts’ convoluted thinking and confusing arguments:

    “Practically, what Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling does is offer future Congresses the now court-sanctioned right to use broadened tax powers to promote policies in lieu of regulations, which may be off-limits through a stricter reading of the Commerce Clause.

    This new taxing authority includes Congress’ prerogative to tax Americans for any inactivity; in other words, for not buying health insurance, not buying vitamins, or not buying Smart Cars.”

    • Here’s a perfect example of the kinds of new laws, regulations, and taxes we can expect from the leftist busybodies in Congress based on the convoluted arguments and justifications we’ve been hearing from the left:

      French to require all drivers to carry breathalyzer to curb accidents
      June 29, 2012
      France on Sunday will become the first country to require all drivers, including tourists, to carry hand-held breathalyzers in all vehicles — a move to help the wine-loving country crack down on drunken driving.

      The law takes effect July 1 and was approved in March 2011. It is aimed at convincing drivers to check their blood alcohol level before starting their vehicles.

      The law is being watched closely by auto safety advocates in the United States. In the U.S., 10,228 people were killed in 2010 in alcohol-related crashes, down 4.9 percent over 2009.

      Fines for not carrying one are small — 11 euros — or about $14 and begin in November. France has also instituted stricter drunk driving laws and tougher penalties in recent years.

      France requires drivers to carry a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare light bulbs for headlamps.

      C.S. Lewis was most wise and prophetic when he wrote:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

  12. The amount of hand-wringing from the Rush Limbaugh/Fox News axis on this site is spectacular! Really, what was enacted by this Administration and the last Congress was a conservative health plan invented at the Heratage Foundation as the Republican response to “HillaryCare” in the ninties, and which was actually implemented at the state level by the Republican Party’s current presidential candidate when he governed Massachusets!

    So let me ask the “Conservatives” on this board: what is your new plan (since you’ve abandoned your old plan) to cover every American and lower the cost of healthcare, which is one of the true crises this “Republic” faces? “Don’t get sick if you’re too poor?” and “If you do get sick, die quickly?”

    • StephenD says

      And what is the “Christian” response..where are the Orthodox hospitals? What would Jesus do? What would St.John Chrysostom do?

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Stephen, the forced taking of monies to do “good” (however that’s define) is not charity or philanthropy by definition. Anymore than the torture of parishioners to confess sins is “confession” or the torture of pagans to be baptized “evangelism.”

      • Carl Kraeff says

        There is no Social Gospel. All of the Biblical mandates fall on us individually. They do not empower us to take resources from others to do what is “Christian” or to do what Jesus would do. Keep your grubby hands out off my wallet; you are not responsible for my salvation. You will not stand before the Throne in my stead. I cannot believe that Orthodox folks get carried away in such a manner that they act contrary to the Gospel.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Carl, I couldn’t have said it better myself. You are 100% correct.

        • “…you are not responsible for my salvation. You will not stand before the Throne in my stead.”

          How very Protestant of you.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            CQ, if that’s “Protestant,” then we’re not Orthodox. But if you want to suffer for my sins, go right ahead.

          • Jesse Cone says


            I can see why the “you are not responsible for my salvation” comment would smack of Protestantism. However, the next sentence clarifies what George means here — and I think that is quite Orthodox.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      The whole process was a fraud and an exercise of raw power by Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress and of course the White House.

      If it was a tax bill, the bill should have originated in the House, but it did not.

      Democrat leaders were using imaginary constitutional clauses (Rep Conyers) or the Declaration of Independence (Rep Pelosi) to justify it.

      Our elected representatives had no time to read it, let alone consider it. In fact, Conyers expressed his amusement that any representative would want to read a1,000 page bill. I think it was Pelosi who said “let’s pass it and then we will see what’s in it.”

      Obama swore up and down that this bill would not raise taxes on anyone who earned up to $250,000. Now, we know that there are art least a dozen taxes in the bill that do just that.

      Obama swore up and down that the bill would not force anyone to foot the bill for abortions. The Democrats indignantly defeated a bill by the Republicans to make sure that the Administration kept its word. Y’all know how this promise was also not kept when HHS unveiled its guidelines on “preventive” services.

      Now, you and others are coming from the perspective of “but this is good for such and such people.” I understand that, but I wanted you to know that the way that this law was crafted and passed is an aberration. I wanted you to know that ends do not justify the means. Finally, I want y’all to know that your interjection of Christian morality into this debacle is disingenuous, short-sighted and plainly hypocritical.

      • Diogenes says

        Not so Carl. You forget the televised meeting across from the White House with both Dems & Repubs ironing out in public the healthcare bill. The Dems bent over backward to appease the Repubs. It was crafted by both parties. After it passed, the Repubs said they were duped; that it was done without them; etc. It’s all baloney. The issue is a BLACK Democratic President got something done on healthcare that hasn’t been done in 100 years. Past presidents tried, but couldn’t get it done. This BLACK President did! The Southern racist Repubs were horrified. Where do you think all the erroneous facts come from regarding healthcare? Racism is alive and well in our Congress and the Repubs better wake up. America is not just white, conservative, Southerners who still fly the Confederate flag and think of blacks as 2nd class citizens.

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          Diogenes refers to “Southerners who still fly the Confederate flag and think of blacks as 2nd class citizens.”

          Diogenes has not been down in the South for a while, I suspect, and I wonder if he is old enough to remember the most recent race riots in American history. They were in Boston.

          • George Michalopulos says

            As always Fr, thank you for posting the truth. Your devotion to fact is a breath of fresh air. And for what it’s worth, during the period of the great American race riots, we had a total zero in the South.

            Also Diogenes, the flag of the Army of North Virginia is the Cross of St Andrew. But guess that we Christians are too icky for enlightened secularists.

          • Diogenes refers to “Southerners who still fly the Confederate flag and think of blacks as 2nd class citizens.”

            Until recently, I lived in the rural south. While the the Confederate Battle Flag is not flown, it is widely plastered on pickup truck windows and bumpers. Blacks as 2nd class citizens? That characterization is probably more charitable than reality. Again, I’m speaking of the rural south.

        • That tells me that Diogenes is a racist.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            No, only Southerners are racists. Northerners who go out of their way to send their kids to “good schools” (a euphemism for non-black/hispanic) subsidized by high property taxes and worship and/or socialize only with other melanin-impaired people are not racists. Don’t you see the difference?

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Peter, you’re better than this. Nobody has let Grandma die in this country. True, nursing homes can be a blight but that’s because we have too good of medical care as people are living longer than they did generations ago.

              No indigent person goes without health care. Just go to any ER in this country and you’ll see. If things were so bad here before Obamacare, then why the heck do rich people from everywhere else come here for medical care?

              Why do half the graduates of Pakistani medical schools find their way here to practice medicine? Just recently, a doctor friend of mine who teaches surgery told me about two new students he has who are from Greece. Mind you, I don’t live on the coasts or in a megalopolis like Houston with its massive healthcare system or Baltimore which has the famous Johns-Hopkins medical school. And yet these Greeks found their way to Oklahoma. (This raises another point about the depletion of Greek professionals from Greece, how many went to the priority schools like UConn, Johns-Hopkins, UCLA, Boston General, etc?)

              • Poor people all have medical care? Nursing homes “can” be a blight? Looking no further than to my own experience with friends and relatives, I don’t know which one of those assertions makes me laugh the harder. (Cry, is more like it.)

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Antonia, I’m in the healthcare field. I’ve actually delivered medications to nursing homes. While most have that “old people smell,” some are very nice.

                  Also, the vast majority of poor people in this country have access to medical care. I used to do rounds in teaching hospitals so I actually know what I’m talking about here. Does “everybody” have access? No, that’s because “everybody” doesn’t eat three squares a day, or get married, or go to school, or run the Boston Marathon. But up until now, the vast majority of indigent people had access to healthcare. That’s more than can be said for the vast majority of poor people in countries where health care is “free.”

                  • Glad to know that your experience differs sharply from mine. (That is not “snark”.) My direct involvement and experience is nowhere near so “rosy”. With regard to eldercare facilities, I’m speaking of a level deeper than “bad smells”.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      So what’s your answer? Raise taxes even more on the working poor? Lots of injustice in the world Antonia. All things being equal, if they’re so bad here, then why are so many people wanting to come here?

            • Monk James says

              Geo Michalopulos says (July 6, 2012 at 8:07 am):

              ‘No, only Southerners are racists. Northerners who go out of their way to send their kids to “good schools” (a euphemism for non-black/hispanic) subsidized by high property taxes and worship and/or socialize only with other melanin-impaired people are not racists. Don’t you see the difference?’
              It’s been said that 11 AM on Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week.

              May the Lord forgive us.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Absolute nonsense.

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          “Diogenes,” I don’t know who you are or who you think you are, but I must say, particularly as a resident of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, that your resort to racist smears of an entire region and major political party in the United States are, at once, unworthy of this blog and a symptom of a deeply troubled spirit. Your nom de plume also besmirches the legacy of the original Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher who, famously, searched far and wide for a genuinely honest man, which you, spouting shrill and often vicious insults against many behind a veil of anonymity, manifestly are not.

      • Peter A. papoutsis says

        So lets just let all the old people and sick die right Carl? Every man and woman for him and herself, right? I guess that’s the better Christian Response. Get real, buddy.


        • And here comes the straw man hysteria from the left: “conservatives want to kill grandma and let sick people suffer.”

          Defense of constitutional principles based on law and order in defense of liberty and the preservation of individual rights against encroaching gov’t tyranny = “let all the old people and sick die”!

          Got it!

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Its not Left its Christian. Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Romans 13:9
            If you are going to insult me get it correct.


            • Michael Bauman says

              The Church has a reponsibility to care of her people. To transfer such responsibility to an atheistic state is really a problem. The more power we give to the state, any state under any political ideology, the more the state will use that power to marginalize and attempt to crush the Church.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                We are the State! We are the Governement! I am not turning over anything, but I am a part of this government and I and everybody else gets to decide if we want to help people. Also, if we follow your logic Michael what is the difference turing this responsibility over to Blue Cross Blue Shied? or Aetna? Or Humana?

                So a private Insurance Company is ok, but the Government that is controlled by checks and balances, the vote and the voice of the people, and the Courts bad?


                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Now the ACA did that but we the people choose to do this and to put these companies under a regulatory scheme that makes them responsible to us – The People!

                  That is something I DO NOT have a problem with because the Rule of law derived from the consent of us the people is our protection.


                • Michael Bauman says

                  I’m in the insurance business and frankly, a good deal of the cost increases in health care are because of insurance, i.e, the use of other people’s money AND people’s expectations that everything will be covered with no cost AND government mandates AND fraud AND lack of transparent pricing AND the cost of new technologies and drugs AND tort reform AND, AND, AND….

                  Insurance is about two things: transfering risk and the selection of that risk with an appropriate risk premium.. It would be nice if folks could negotiate to transfer only the risks that they want to transfer and pay only for those, but public policy and lawyers do not allow that (government regulation and mandates, lawsuits) that and public ignorance, apathy and inflated expectations.

                  From an insurance perspective covering pre-existing conditions is a bit like write home insurance on a home that is already on fire. It is simply not possible to do it and take care of the other people who are insured. That does not make the companies intrinsically evil or greedy. (not denying that greed is part of the equation but the greed is not the insurance companies alone)

                  There are some things that government can do to make the administration of health insurance better, but all of them could be done at the state level in a reasonable and constitutional manner that would not allow the government to ‘tax’ us into compliance. There is simply no Constitutional power that the federal government has to intervene. The states, however, are free to act in acord with their own constitutions as Romney and Massachusettes did.

                  The 10th Amendment limits the authority of the Federal Government to the powers specifically granted to it. The founders were not talking about any emanations from the penumbra of abstract ‘rights’ (Roe vs. Wade I believe) but specific grants of specific authority. Even in this day and age when the commerce clause has been expanded beyond anything reasonable, the SCOTUS rejected the healthtax law as un-Constitutional under the commerce clause.

                  Show me Peter, where in the Constitution does Federal Goverment have the authority do what it is doing. It does not take a Constitutional lawyer to figure out this stuff. There is not grant of authority for the Federal government to do anything with health at all. Its not there. Besides why should I expect and demand that my fellow citizens take care of me?

                  In my state, Kansas, health insurance is available for everyone regardless of health and has been for years. All of the companies who sell health insurance in the state are assessed money based on the number of policyholders they have in the state in order to fund the state’s high-risk pool but still premiums are necessary from the insureds. The only issue is the cost (quite high because they will accept anyone who can’t get covered through private companies). The cost issue could be addressed in a number of ways. It is decent coverage though not exceptional and will pay for, among other things, a person to have an organ transplant after a modest 90 day wait after that the person is free to drop the coverage. Most do.

                  The Obama law is actuarially unsupportable, the cost projections absurdly low. The staff of the Kansas Insurance Department, including the commissioner (a supporter of the plan) said in public meetings that the only way the plan could be paid for are 1. Massive (she used the word massive) tax increases, and 2. rationing. That was before any ‘improvements’ to the plan.

                  In the process of implementing the law all private carriers will be driven out of business because they can’t print money and will not be allowed to raise rates to cover their costs. Further any third party expertise will also be driven from the equation (health insurance agents) because they will not be paid. Even before the law selling comprehensive health insurance was more of a loss leader for an agent than anything else.

                  A big part of the public actually believes that now they will get all of their healthcare for free–anything they want done.

                  This bill was not proposed or written or passed to take care of anybody. It was proposed and written and passed for one reason only: Power That is not Christian

                  It was upheld as a tax law by the SCOTUS even though there was no legislative or executive intent that it be a tax law at its inception. Even if that intent was there it should have originated in the House of Representatives but did not. Its a fraud. That is not Christian

                  Oh, and don’t forget the infamous (to paraphrase) we’ll find out whats in the bill after we pass it from Nancy Pelosi. That’s fraud.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Michael, I’m in the law business and as a lawyer I deal with Health Insurance adjusters, Automobile Adjusters, Workers Comepnsation Adjusters all damn day long, and the increase in health costs, which everybody thinks its lawyers like myself that go after doctors that drive up the cost, is driven up by people who take advantage of our heathcare system and NEVER PAY FOT IT! Cook County/Stroger Hospital along with Lorretto Hospital, South Suburban Hospital, Lake County Hospital, etc., treat thousand upon thousands of people in their emergency room that do not have insurance or are on public aid that just do not cover their medical costs and then they are passed on to us who have insurance and we wonder why a vist to the E.R. is so expensive after waiting for 3 to 4 hours just to be seen by a doctor.
                    Its not just Governement healthcare that has long waiting lines Michael.

                    Private insurance companies, if never forced to have bigger Risk Pools, have to discriminate, but they are not doing it from a moral perspective of not caring they are doing it from the perspective of not having enough money to cover the sick people. Well to me that’s morally wrong and that government needs to step in and EXPAND the risk pool so that private insurance companies can insure people. We Get Sick Dude! Everybody gets Sick!
                    We as a society have to come up with a way to get people covered for at least the bare minimum and for the rest of us that can afford more then we should get covered no matter what.

                    The so-called death panels were around well BEFORE Obamacare. Humana, as an HMO, was denying care left and right and you know that. I saw it with my own mother back in the mid-90’s. So we are against Government Death panels, but corprate death panels are ok? Come on Michael that is wrong! We buy the policies, we now HAVE to buy the policies and the Insurance companies cannot say no. That to me is a good thing.

                    As for the costs, the Insurance Exchannges have not kicked in yet. The very purpose that you bring up about controlling costs is primarily, although not sufficiently, addressed by the Exchanges. Right now people in Illinois cannot buy California Policies. State borders prohibit people from buying insurance across state lines. However, once the Exchanges are established and ALL Health Insurance companies have to compete against each other and some new ones that will form to get in on the game, then the good old fashion Capitalistic market-priciple of competition should drive down the cost.

                    Competition has driven down cost in other exchange-type pools in the travel industry, hotel industry, and entertainment industry (i.e. Orbits, Travelocity, Priceline, etc.). Competition works if allowed to work. Now is this the only solution? No, like all insurance premiums they will go up and down depending on a host of factors, but that is something we can deal with later down the road. People have offered suggestions, but I am getting off track. For right now I am willing to let the Insurance Exchanges take affect and let competition do its job to reduce the cost. For now.

                    Private Insurers are the one that wanted this law. They will not be driven out of business, but over 30 million new customers will be drive into their hands. Not one insurance company complained about this plan. THEY WANTED THIS!

                    As for your fraud argument its still fails. It was not a direct tax, but structured as the “assessment of a Penalty.” Yes, its a Tax, but not, MY TERMENOLOGY, a direct traditional tax. As such the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply. You can argue that point all you want, but it how a law is structured that counts to trigger the AIC. Congress never structured it as a traditional Tax. That’s not fraud that’s how the Congress did it.

                    Also, as my law school professor told me and tells all new attorneys studying constitutional law. A law is constitutional only if the U.S. Supreme Court says it is. In this regard we as a nation needed a comprehensive Health Care/Heath Insurance Reform Plan. This is the first step and not the last.

                    Am I concerned with cost, sure, but costs can be addressed and handled. Once a person gets sick, you need to treat the person and there is no negotiation there. Michael, if you want to know where in the U.S. Constitution it says about health its right there in Article I, Section 8, clause one the Congress (that’s us through our elected representatives) shall levy and tax for the General Welfare (OUR Welfare, our needs, OUR Health). No Health, No Welfare. We consented to form a more perfect Union NOT a state of everybody for themselves.
                    As Christians AND as human beings we rise and fall TOGETHER no one is an island unto himself. In fact, if that was the case, why go to church? Stay Home, crack open the Bible and enjoy your alone time with God.

                    The pagans believed in this concept. When we die the Pagen Greeks believed we went “Alone into thr Alone.” Christians believe in Community and caring for our fellow man in exercise of Our Lord’s Great Commandment which is at the very heart of the Gospel. That’s why you should expect it because you ARE your brother’s keeper.

                    What does Our Declaration of Independence say: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Cannot have life Michael if you are sick and then die. If life is an unalienable right that also extends to the unborn, which I believe it does, it also extends to the sick and infirmed. We cannot cherry-pick. It either covers all of life or NONE of it. That’s why you and I and others have to expect it and why the Individual Mandate is needed and essential.

                    Finally I do not care about Nancy Pelosi. I care about you, and your family, and George’s and Chris’ and Michael Stankovic’s and Cynthia’s and helga’s and Mine. This is for us, its not against us. Its what we have needed since the at least the Great depression where we as a country and as a people came together and helps everybody through it, and, I might add, stopped Hitler and the nazi’s in the process. We didn’t say back then its Europe’s problem, of the Jews problem, or the Japanese’s problem it was ALL our problem and we ALL came together and got out of the Great Depression and stopped a madman.

                    We can still do the same thing today. We can act as a community again, and get ourselves out of another Great Depression and this time stop the madness that’s polarized us as a country and instead of treating each other down and saying this won’t work or this costs to much, now we can say let’s see if this works, and were it does not let’s fix it.

                    That’s the country I believe in, the America I believe in and want to believe in, and even though we scream and argue with each other we are still in this together and we have to make this work for all of us. Not about concepts of liberty or issues of taxation of costs, but finding ways to make this Health Plan work for US and OUR Families.

                    That’s just my 2 cents.

                    Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • Peter, thanks for your 2 cents, as it adds to much, much more in common sense. Alas, I’m not sure it will be viewed as such.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      It is not morally wrong for an insurance company to select risks. It is the only way they have of carrying out their moral and fiduciary responsibilty to their policyholders to pay the claims that are contractually covered.

                      As I said before, the way we do it in Kansas, everyone is eligible for some type of comprehensive health insurance. The only barriers to the coverage are knowledge of the plans and the cost of the high-risk plan.

                      It is a simple, workable plan that would work better in larger states than it does even in Kansas. What is needed is a mechanism to make it affordable for folks that need it but can’t pay for it.

                      The feds didn’t need to hijack the entire system to come up with a funding mechanism.

                    • Ronda Wintheiser says

                      What I don’t hear anywhere here yet is what is glaringly obvious to me — that individuals are ultimately responsible for themselves.

                      But without wading into that one again, here is something that fits with what Michael is trying to explain about insurance:

                      In Praise of Discrimination in the Health Insurance Market

                      Above all, discrimination is what makes insurance work. An insurance regime where everyone pays the same amount is called “community rating.” That sounds fair. No more cruel discrimination against the obese or people with cancer. But community rating is as destructive as ordering flood insurance companies to charge me nothing extra to insure my very vulnerable beach house, or ordering car insurance companies to charge Lindsay Lohan no more than they charge you. Such one-size-fits-all rules take away insurance companies’ best tool: risk-based pricing. Risk-based pricing encourages us to take better care of ourselves.

                      Car insurance works because companies reward good drivers and charge the Lindsay Lohans more. If the state forces insurance companies to stop discriminating, that kills the business model.

                      No-discrimination insurance isn’t insurance. It’s welfare. If the politicians’ plan was to create another government welfare program, they ought to own up to that instead of hiding the cost.

                      Obama—and the Clintons before him—expressed outrage that insurance companies charged people different rates based on their risk profiles. They want everyone covered for the same “fair” price.

                      The health insurance industry was happy to play along. They even offered to give up on gender differences. Women go to the doctor more often than men and spend more on medicines. Their lifetime medical costs are much higher, and so it makes all the sense in the world to charge women higher premiums. But Sen. John Kerry pandered, saying, “The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong, and it has to change!” The industry caved. The president of its trade group, Karen M. Ignagni, said that disparities “should be eliminated.”

                      Caving was safer than fighting the president and Congress, and caving seemed to provide the industry with benefits. Insurance companies wouldn’t have to work as hard. They wouldn’t have to carefully analyze risk. They’d be partners with government—fat and lazy, another sleepy bureaucracy feeding off the welfare state. Alcoholics, drug addicts and the obese won’t have to pay any more than the rest of us.

                      But this just kills off a useful part of insurance: encouraging healthy behavior. Charging heavy drinkers more for insurance gives them one more incentive to quit. “No-discrimination” pricing makes health care costs rise even faster. Is it too much to expect our rulers to understand this?

                      Of course, the average citizen doesn’t understand either. When I argue that medical insurance makes people indifferent to costs, I get online comments like: “I guess the 47 million people who don’t have health care should just die, right, John?”

                      The truth is, almost all people do get health care, even if they don’t have health insurance. Hospitals rarely turn people away; Medicaid and charities pay for care; some individuals pay cash; some doctors forgive bills. I wish people would stop conflating the terms “health care,” “health insurance” and “Obamacare.” Reporters ask guests things like: “Should Congress repeal health care?” I sure don’t want anyone’s health care repealed.

                      Reporters also routinely called Obamacare health “reform.” But the definition of reform is: making something better. More government control won’t do that. We should call politicians’ insurance demands “big intrusive complex government micromanagement.”

                      Let the private sector work. Let it discriminate.

                      John Stossel


                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Let the private sector work through the Insurance exchanges. Its called Competition. Free Market Priciples at work.


                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Peter, for those who “don’t pay for it,” I have a solution: since they’re not responsible citizens, take away their right to vote and let them know that as long as they engage in risky behavior, society won’t be on the hoof for their idiocy.

          • Interestingly enough a real example from the socialist state of California gives us a window into how the Democrats actually behave and how much they “care” for the children and the poor. They’re holding them hostage in order to protect all the Unions and the state workers who they are beholden to and rely on for their political power, influence, and campaign MONEY.

            California governor signs budget relying on taxes
            Democrats passed 21 budget implementing bills on a majority vote intended to satisfy the governor’s demand for deeper cuts to close a $15.7 billion deficit, and Brown signed the main bill in the courtyard of his Capitol office just hours before a midnight deadline.

            His staff was expected to detail line-item vetoes Thursday.

            “This budget reflects tough choices that will help get California back on track,” Brown said in a statement. “I commend the Legislature for making difficult decisions, especially enacting welfare reform and across-the-board pay cuts. All this lays the foundation for job growth and continuing economic expansion.”

            The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes welfare and social service cuts. It also assumes voters will approve Brown’s tax hike on the November ballot.

            If voters reject the tax initiative, a series of automatic cuts will be triggered, including three weeks less of public school for the next two years.

            When push comes to shove and the money runs out, who do the socialists in charge of California screw… the children!

            Who do they protect? Themselves, the Unions, and all the state workers with their taxpayer guaranteed benefits, many weeks of vacation, excellent healthcare plans, and extremely generous PENSIONS!

            Notice, not a peep about cutting their own salaries or benefits as politicians. Shared sacrifice, good of the people, and all that jazz is only ok when directed at others, but not themselves. Real greed, hypocrisy, and hard hearts in full display!

            Never mind that such massive tax increases will devastate the job market and worsen the economic conditions in the state, leading to even higher unemployment, actual reductions in tax revenues (as companies, higher income families, and retirees will continue to leave the state in droves), and the need for even more cuts in all services. It’s all about the Unions and the state elites. Full taxation ahead, damn the consequences!

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Well it is California. Its not like the great luminaries we have running the Great State of Illinois. Well, you have me there Chris. I will not even venture to support government incompetence. Yet, notice that these people we, the voters, put into office all these years to steal and feed at the troth. So in California, like Illinois, the fault ultimately lies with us – the voter.

              • I know Peter, you are right on that one. The voters keep putting these incompetents and hypocrites in office and everyone pays the price.

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Chris, Peter, let’s not forget, that once the income tax was paid, the US passed over the line in which the people realized that they could vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. Aristotle pegged it 2300 years ago in his study of the various Greek polities. That was about the timeline that a Scottish philospher (Alexander something or other) said that around the 7th generation from the founding of a state, the people start losing their pride and feel no shame in holding their hand out.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Chris, you also can’t forget that one of the most offending public-sector unions is the state prison worker’s union. Those guys got California by the short-and-curlies. They’re so much into it for themselves that they are against prison reform and decriminilizating marijuana. The more people in prison, the better for them.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Just to fact check you, Mr. Michalopulos, the CA Dept. of Corrections just this week reported to the 9th District of the Federal Court that they had met their mandated second-phase of prison overcrowding relief. Secondly, the operation & management of the medical delivery system – including all hiring decisions – was removed from the CA Dept. of Corrections by the same 9th District of the Federal Court because it was so disastrous. Regardless of what “they” may have wanted, reform was imposed and it has been massive.

                Secondly, the corrections officers’ union is a very powerful and influential union, and my thought is for good reason. While I do not agree with their every policy, decision, or action – and frankly, there are things I wish I had never seen – it is rightfully labeled as “California’s toughest beat.” Unlike most law enforcement officers, every interaction is a “felony interaction,” they are customarily outnumbered 50-100 to one, and the inmate’s saying, “we let them maintain order,” is because it is the truth. When I am there, I implicitly entrust them with my well-being, and I do not begrudge them a dime.

                A side note: I purposely make my notes like – this – rather than like -this- (with the proper “em space”) because I know it annoys Brian Jackson).

              • Brian Jackson says

                George, this statement from you surprises me. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I have no illusions regarding the altruism of the public sector unions; however, regardless of the correctional officers’ motivation for increasing prison populations, I can tell you that prison reform has already had a palpably negative effect on my community in the humble Inland Empire– Highland/San Bernardino. The increase in very public neighborhood “probation sweeps” is disconcerting for law abiding citizens who are suddenly finding that their quiet neighborhoods have been the repository of who-knows-who who apparently wasn’t quite criminal or violent enough to qualify for actual prison time. The multiple, multiple reports of teams of early parolees breaking into homes at all hours of the day or night continue to assault our ears, although we are never officially informed if these break-ins are truly the result of early parolees from the mandated “prison reform” or something else entirely. No one really knows. The term “reform” would seem to imply that there are alternatives provided for less-violent or nonviolent criminals which would still provide for adequate safety for the community. But these alternatives largely do not exist, except for stepping up neighborhood sweeps, etc. Bully for us. Regardless of the mixed motives of the correctional officers’ union, I agree with them that “prison reform” does not equal simply “early release into communities.” But that”s what California is giving us.

            • Brian Jackson says

              I share much of your anger in regard to the financial situation in California and in regard to the crony relationship between public employee unions and the Democrats which has contributed to the unsustainable condition in which California finds herself. California’s troubles, like everywhere else, were certainly increased as a result of the recession, but the experience here was worse than many states due to the steeply progressive income tax which leads to massive fluctuations in revenue, with an insufficiently wide base of stable taxpayers; excessive regulatory barriers to building and growing small businesses; etc. I pretty much agree with most of the arguments of conservatives in this regard. However, I am also a state employee and a member of a union. Consequently, I feel it necessary to correct some inaccuracies: we state employees have most certainly been given a pay cut of 5% beginning this month. This is subsequent to the pay cut that we experienced under Schwarzenegger (don’t blame me for him either– I voted for McClintock…TWICE!) and which was only reversed many months ago. Additionally, California legislators have indeed had pay and benefits cut ( http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4530275/state-panel-orders-5-percent-pay.html ). Since I largely share the cynical presumptions regarding the self-interest and corruption of unions and California legislators, I take these cuts in pay and benefits as signs that the financial gravity of our situation is perhaps even worse than is being presented for public consumption.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Of course not, Petrer. I am not a Libertarian but an common-sense conservative Republican. There ia a role for government but we should always resort to governmental solutions as a last resort. We should not, for example, live eyond our means and there must be a balance between encouraging investments by individuals and maintaining a safety net. I repeat, Obamacare is not prudent, is too bloated, and it was conceived in a fraudulent manner to be good public policy. There is a middle ground between throwing grandma onto the street (not a Republican desire or a consequence of any Republican policy) and throwing money around to buy elections and reward one’s supporters, regardless of the cost to the economy and the social fabric (certainly a commonly employed Democrat tactic). We cannot affort Democrats anymore as they are driving us into banckruptcy and dissolution of our Republic. We must elect Republicans, who believe in small giovernment, effective and affordable solutions, and common sense approaches to the use of power abroad. With such folks in power, you will have a prosperous economy, healthcare and safety net reforms that work, and a strong America that protects herself and her friends.

          • Ken Miller says

            Government’s role should provide a safety net, but should always be limited and should respect individual liberty. Obamacare took away every choice, so that our only choice in health care are those plans that the politicians in their infinite wisdom decided we ought to have. Kiss your catastrophic, limited service, and HSA programs good-bye. If you believe in naturopathic or some kind of eastern medicine, say goodbye to that choice – your only option is to take the plan the Obama dictates.

            What health care reform should have looked like is a guarantee for minimal catastropic coverage and a collection of reforms that cost virtually nothing but can drive down health care costs – tort reform, voluntary (as opposed to mandatory) exchanges, allowing health care plans to be bought across state boundaries, etc.

            The biggest economic issue threatening this country is the debt and deficit, and Obamacare made this much worse. Balancing the budget is the one paramount issue on which Romney needs to run and win.

    • George Michalopulos says

      BOOmer, here’s my plan: let people buy into their own healthcare plans. Some will choose co-ops, others will choose fee-for-service. By injecting (or at least allowing) market based payment plans, the actual cost of medical care will plummet significantly.

      We see this for example in those “non-essential” medical procedures which are primarily cosmetic and which third parties do not pay for: Lasik eye surgery, nose-jobs, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, etc. There is a real marketplace for these procedures but because no third-parties will pay for them, surgeons compete in a downward spiral to make them as affordable as possible. Usually it’s through financing..

      As for more “necessary” medicine, most laymen don’t realize but lots of self-employed doctors would gladly take reduced payment (check, cash, or even credit card) on a per-service basis. But most states won’t allow it if this fee is less than what Medicaid charges for these services.

      Example: a GP would easily charge a mother (Mrs X) $20 to see her baby who’s running a fever and needs an antibiotic. However if another mother (Mrs Y) has Medicaid, he would bill DHS $50 (let’s say) for this same service. If DHS finds out that he charged Mrs X only $10 but billed them $50 for Mrs Y, then they will consider the $10 fee the “Usual and Customary” and from that point on, only reimburse at the lesser rate.

      Is the Dr price-gouging? No, since the $50 fee was agreed upon by the medical association/med group and DHS. It’s contractural. Is he then undercutting or short-selling DHS? No, because he’s not billing Medicaid. If anything, he’s saving the State money that they don’t have to pay out later.

      So why doesn’t he negotiate the $10 price in the first place? For several reasons:

      1. There’s a significant time-lag between date of service and date of payment,
      2. DHS may send the bill back for more information,
      3. The patient may have had their coverage terminated temporarily (or permanently) and did not inform the dr.
      4. The bill may have got lost in the mail.
      5. The check may have got lost in the mail.
      6. Etc.

      If DHS were really smart, they’d encourage Drs to not submit to them and try as much as possible to legally undercut them. The Drs would have an increased cash flow, after all, it’s better to have a fast penny than a slow dime; the State would see disbursements decrease, and the taxpayers would save money.

      I will say this for Medicare Part D: it was the first time that real market-based reforms were implemented on the pharmaceutical side of things. Because it was renewable and the customer is not tied into a carrier forever but can choose to re-up in November or go with another carrier, this caused insurance companies to drop their premiums and/or expand services.

      • Peter A. papoutsis says

        Carl its not a fraud but a long overdue Health Plan that addresses the health needs of the American Public.

        George Obamacare is completely based on Market-Forces and good ol’Capitalism. This was the Republican response to HiliaryCare back in the 90’s from the heritage foundation.

        The objections that I am hearing is not coming from traditional conversative prinicples that would support the Individual Mandate on Personal Responsibility grounds, but from libertarian who just want not Government regulation. That’s will never happend. Liberty unshakled from Responsibility is pure anarchy and I do not subscribe to that, and nor do the vast majority of Americans.

        This Act is not perfect, but its a start. We can make it better. Not by repealing it, but making it stronger and better in the years to come.


        • Michael Bauman says

          Peter, the first ‘improvement’ I see coming down the pike from the current administrtion is to require all healthcare providers to due abortions or be ‘taxed’ Of course if that happens, the Roman Catholic Hospitals will be shuttered.

          What’s next–vote Democrat or you will be ‘taxed’? Don’t think it couldn’t happen

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            That HHS mandate is going to be challeneged in the courst just like this plan was. This HHS mandate is going to go up against very clear legislative intent of Congress that passed the Stupak Amendment and an executive order by the Obama administration so to congressional intent actually runs counter to what Sec. Sebellius did later on.

            Also, you have a clear infringment on people’s First Amendement fight to the “Free Exercise of their faith.” If the Court next session upholds it the meltdown that would occur by Catholic institutions “opting-out” would be catastophic.

            My gut is telling me that “If”, and its still a big “If”, Obama wins re-election you may see the HHS contracpetion mandate disappear after certain “High Level” talks with Catholic Church and Health Administration leaders. That’s just MO, I could be wrong on that


            • Michael Bauman says

              Peter, do you think that abotion ideologs like Obama and Sebalius will let anything get in the way? They are commited to abortion on demand and don’t care about human life. It may not be the first ‘improvement’ but it certainly one that is high on the list.

              Oh an don’t forget if you don’t eat the ‘right’ way you will be ‘taxed’ If you don’t by exercise equipment or a gym membership, you will be ‘taxed’.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Its a different set of facts under the HHS contraception mandate than the ACA Individual Mandate. Its also a completely different area of the U.S. Constitution that is being affected, and the justices will decide that next term, if its not dropped by Obama IF he is re-elected.

                But what do you want? Kill the whole Act because of the contraception mandate? Not me. I want to challenge it and declare it unconstitutional, and if the justices uphold it then let the Catholic Church pull out and let the whole structure that they support fail. Then you will see the HHS mandate go bye-bye as nobody, not even our government will want to support what the catholics have been supporting all these years and on their dime.


            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              Not likely Peter. With the HHS offensive against the Catholic Church, the Obama Administration tipped their hand. This is about establishing the technocratic vision of society by using the rubric of public health to accomplish it.

              As for “congressional intent,” what was it? Nobody read the law so nobody knows and almost all discretionary authority about how to implement the law is given to the secretary of the HHS anyway. As Michael explained, Sebelius has never met an abortion she didn’t like and neither has Obama. They will argue that the intent was to let the HHS decide and I can’t see SCOTUS wanting to micro-manage this law in anyway.

              If this law is stands past the next election, Hillary, Sabelius, Pelosi and their ilk will be appointing the panels that tell doctors how they will practice medicine.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                That HHS mandate came of the heels of this re-election cycle. Gov. Romney also attempted to enact such a measure. This part of the HHS mandate will not survive. I saw the debates I remeber the last minute negotiations on the Stupak Amendment and Executive Order 13535:

                Executive Order 13535 states:

                Section 1. Policy….

                The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges. Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, Pub. L. No. 111-8, §508(d)(1) (2009)) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

                Numerous executive agencies have a role in ensuring that these restrictions are enforced, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

                So the legilative intent for this HHS mandate will be looked at and seen and interpreted with existing “conscience protection” laws already in existence. For now I will let this sit with the court untill the court reviews it. I am willing to wait and see.


                • Michael Bauman says

                  What don’t you get Peter? Obama and Sebellius are rabid pro-abortion people. Why do you think she was selected fof HHS Secretary? They respect neither genuine religious freedom or human conscience.

                  Her political career in my state was supported big time by the aboritionists and she vetoed any legislation that in anyway might be construed to infringe on ‘abortion rights’ even a modest $300,000 bill for improving pre-natal nutrition amongst poor mothers.

                  To paraphrase one of her statements when asked about the rights of children in the womb: I believe in human rights, they just don’t extend into the womb. (that’s pretty close to a direct quote)

                  She is a cold, cruel and totally unprincipled person. I voted against her every chance I got it just didn’t do any good.

                  One thing that I will say about them,they are expert frog boilers. As you ‘wait and see’ they will continue to turn up the heat slowly and inexorably until it is just too much.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Father….and whom they will kill or not treat because it is just too expensive and the person’s utility to the state has passed its expiration point. That’s not Christian.

                Expect massive tax increases and rationing if this bill stands either that or the bankruptcy of the the United States. Maybe all three

        • Carl Kraeff says

          I think it is past time to distinguish between the way the ACA was pushed through and the substance of the act itself. The ACA is indeed a collection of best practices and innovative health approaches that had been developed by a variety of hospitals, insurers and university think-tanks. I must say that if taken individually, most of the myriad of approaches do have some merit. The main substantive issue is that it is a huge mixed bag of proposals that would have been hard to put together optimally even if the best and the brightest had three or four years o write a bill with buy in. I liken the bill to a restaurant: a fairly varied menu, with most dishes agreeable to very good and only one or two stinkers. The ACA is the equivalent of having each patron compelled to order, eat and pay for all of the items on that menu. You would of course get heart burn, vomit (if you are lucky) and have huge credit card balance. I would think that if the Democrats were really serous in helping folks, they would done this right: program at a time, with pilot projects, and with due attention paid to change theory and fiscal reality. Instead, it was an indigestible buffet of the Left’s pet projects, to include free abortion. As bad as this approach was, what makes me angrier than the way that the bill was enacted is the intent of this bill, which was merely to open the door to socialized medicine. How can fraudulent and fundamentally dishonest means produce a good product? If it does, it would because of pure luck or because God wills it. I hope the latter is the true, but just to be on the safe side, I will do all I can to remove Obama and Democrats from power so that they do not continue to damage the fabric of our society. After they are kicked out, we can then start to consider health care reform that is done right.

        • Ronda Wintheiser says

          It doesn’t address the slaughter of unborn children. It makes us complicit in their deaths if we weren’t already.

          Why is this ok with you???

      • Michael Bauman says

        A matter of language that I’d like to see corrected: Health Insurance does not equal health care. In fact there are times when the two are mutually exclusive especially when the payment for the health care is provided by the government.

  13. Joseph from L.A. says

    I think we should look at what other countries like Australia, Germany or Canada for example to see what they are doing right by offering affordable Health Care for it citizens and I am sorry but compare The US with Greece it is just naive and shows lack of understanding of what happened in Greece (fact: no one pay taxes but expect to receive services from their government, there is no free-market but several “clubs” that controls several sectors of society dictating who is going to work on that sector and how much should get paid) This selfish individualistic mentality that every men or women should care for themselves is a fallacy in itself as we are all interconnected in one way or another just like an epidemic when strikes will affect all independent of having a health plan or not.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      We should always look at modalities that are successful, whether in health care or any other area. I do agree that we can improve our health care system. I completely reject the notion that to do something is better than doing nothing because, as in the case of the ACA, the process was fraudulent and the result disastrous.

      • Peter A. papoutsis says

        Explain to me how it was a fraud Carl, and please be specific?


        • Michael Bauman says

          The Court rejected the Constitutional arguments of the administration but suddenly decided to agree with the Administration that the mandate was not a mandate but a ‘tax’–a position that the adminstration is now denying—its not a tax its a penalty. To try to have it both ways is fraudulent.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            It is not fraudulent, but based on statutory construction. It happens all the time in the law. If an assembly house or the Congress does not structure a piece of legislation properly it may not or is not affected by another piece of legislation.


        • Carl Kraeff says

          Proper procedure was not followed in the writing of this bill, which was kept from even Democrats until the very last minute.

          Lies were told about this bill: no free abortion, no taxes for folks earning up to $250K, it will pay for itself, etc.

          Misleading claims were made to gullible and uneducated segments of our society: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Mr Conyers told everybody that the bill was authorized by a non-existing but good sounding “good and welfare” clause of the Constitution. Speaker Pelosi said it was in pursuance “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”–hardly Constitutional provisions but fantastic concept found in the Declaration of Independence.

          Mr Conyers assured skeptical colleagues that they did not have to, and indeed should not, read the bill before voting on it. Speaker Pelosi I think followed up by saying, let’s pass it and then we will find out what’s in it.


          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            You want to go down this road? OK, how many people in Congress read the Patriot Act? How many people in Congress read the Clean Air Act? etc., Not saying its right, but I think you think Washington works in ways that it does not. Go find out and then let’s talk about it some more.


            • Carl Kraeff says

              Yes those things do happen. But, in this case it was most egregious and with “malice aforethought.” Think of it as the difference between manslaughter and first degree murder.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Actually, the passage of the Patriot Act was much more aggregious than the passage of the ACA IMO, but that is just a quibble.

                • Ronda Wintheiser says



                  Sorry. Can’t help it. 🙂 But you of all people should know how to spell it. 😉

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Nope. That’s why we are lawyers. How does a New England Attorney spell the word “Law?”

                    NE: “La”.

                    How does a Georgia Attorney spell the word “Law?”

                    Georgia: “Laaw”.

                    Thank you. I am here all week. Hee Hee.


            • very good point, Peter. I’m not happy with the Patriot Act but its enaction was within the boundaries of the Congress, to secure the border, provide for the common defense, etc. It may have (in reality, it does) have unintended consequences and it may very well be viewed as a way of growing the State, but it still was within the parameters of the constitutionally-ennumerated powers given to the Congress.

              The ACA however mandated each citizen purchase a product, which is something that is not only unconstitutional but unprecedented in history (at least to my knowledge). To be sure, Congress has the right to enact a tax and Roberts pulled their fat out of the fire by making them fess up that this is a tax, but he was still too clever by half.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Actually, on a side not totally unrealed with the ACA discusion we are having the thing that troubled me not necessarily about the Patriot Act, but the rounding up of Islamic Militants in Guantanamo, Cuba and at other facilities. What worries me is that the U.S. Government now has an establsihed track record of rounding up and putting into camps Japanese and Islamists (I think even Germans back in WWII era America). It toubles me greatly that a Government, our Governement had the planned out facilities, man-power and facilities to round people up that the State deems a danger.

                Could the U.S. turn against us? Many Christians while Gung-Ho about The Patriot Act and locking up Islamists in Guantanamo, and with the recent drone killing of American citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen back in September of 2011 tells me we allowed the U.S. too much power in this regard, and could back fire on many Christians in this country.

                How many times have we heard the term “Christian Militia” thrown around against Christians to paint them as extremists against the government. Troubling to say the least.


                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  You are right about the Patriot Act, Peter. It is as egregious as Obamacare in it presumptuous reach in the private lives of ordinary Americans. Obamacare will be worse in the long run of course because anything can be put under the umbrella of public health. At least the Patriot Act had some limitations but there too those barriers can erode as people crave more safety and comfort.

                  There is no real difference between neo-con and liberal foreign policy and that is where Republicans and Democrats converge — Arab Spring and all that. It’s aggressive expansionism both military and cultural (Hilliary”s homosexual and abortion activism primarily). At home liberals think they know what is best for everyone too despite the failures in education, controlling crime, institutionalizing poverty, averting bankruptcies and so forth. Chicago and California are the case studies.

                  Ironically, the liberal reluctance to jail combatants has led a policy of killing them instead, as Obama’s exponential increase in drone attacks makes clear. The problem is that innocents are killed alongside the targets. Will Romney do anything different? We’ll see.

                  Could the government turn against Christians? As secularism increases and the “technocratic imperative” prevails (Wesley J. Smith’s phrase) then, yes, it will.

                  See: Obamacare Ruling Reflects Technocratic Imperative.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Especially since drones are now legal in US air space

    • Michael Bauman says

      We are only interconnected in Christ and the Church. Outside that its all up for grabs and the devil take the hindmost. Well, I feel the Supreme just took a big chunk out of my hindmost and they’ve given the authority for any subsequent governement to force us to buy anything they choose or be ‘taxed’

      Hey, I got an idea. The next time there is a Republican majority just force everybody to buy a Glock or be ‘taxed’; take handgun training and get a conceal carry permit or be ‘taxed’ After all we are all entitled to be safe in the streets right?

      The possibilities are endless folks, don’t you get it?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        No the States reulate the streets with a Police Force Get it! The State also mandates that we all have to wear seatbelts, sponsored by Car Insurance companies, Get it! The State mandates that we have car Insurance, baby seats, working head lights, etc. Get it! Your house is burning you get the fire department putting out your fire, get it!

        The possibilities for safety and the proper regulation of society are endless.

        Yes, Michael, I and everybodyelse do get it and thank God we do


        • Michael Bauman says

          “The possibilities for safety and the proper regulation of society are endless”

          Yes and the possibilities for tyrannical power for our own good are also endless especially when such regulations are elevated beyond a level that is reasonable and where there is no accountablility to the electorate or their representatives.

          I prefer to err on the side of less government regulation and what regulation that is done should be done at the level closest to those who are being regulated.

          If states want seat belt laws and the people agree, fine and their insurance rates will be lower because of that, but they don’t need to be blackmailed into it by the loss of federal highway funds. It is simply not a necessary or proper federal function. None of the incidents you mention are. They are state and local issues.

          BTW, the healthtax law has nothing to do with God, any attempt at reasonable regulation or the care of anyone. I will say it again the actual health insurance parts of the bill are acutarially unsupportable and the coverage provisions can only be maintained, let alone ‘improved’, by massive tax increases and rationing.

          BTW the state mandates for car insurance are worse than useless and routinely ignored. When first introduced in Kansas the number of insured’s went down. Many others simply get a policy for as long as it takes to get a tag and then cancel until next year. If they get caught without valid insurance, the state suspends their license and guess what, they continue to drive.

          And the governments are doing a horrible job protecting folks especially with the degeneration of law into trial by money and combat thus vigilantism is on the rise and, Chicago for instance, is a combat zone in may areas.

          From a law enforement stand point, legalization of drugs would probably be a good thing, then there might be some extra money to pay for rehab under the healthtax law.

          The only regulation that works is the building up of the virtue of the people and that is the job of the Church. As Paul Evdokimov notes in his book (recently translated into English) Orthodoxy: “The State, Soloviev said, has as its goal not the realization of Paradise but preventing the world from becoming hell.”

          The state is only legitimate to the extent that the Church has sanctified it. When the state rejects the Christian virtues and embodies in its laws both vice and sin then the state ceases to be legitimate.

          The utopian/utilitarian statist wet-dreams of the perfect world are not going to help and IMO are antithetical to true Chrisitan life.

          • Very good point, Michael. The State is a good in and of itself as it was mandated by God. But it was never to be understood to be anything more than the restrainer of evil. It’s beneficience lies in a negative –to prevent anarchy. For this reason the “king does not hold the sword in vain.” The State sometimes must punish malefactors even to the point of death. As such, it is uniquely incapable of doing positive things. Those belong to the Church. By that I mean especially the acts of mercy (feeding the poor, clothing the naked, healing the sick, educating the young, etc.)

            “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God those that are God’s.”

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Madison also believed in virtue Michael, but Madison also said in the Federalist Papers that if men were Angels we would have no need for laws. Well men are not angels and we do NEED laws. In the famous movie “A Man for All Seasons” Sir Thomas Moore, a devout Christian and Lawyer by the way, said to his son-in-law who wanted to do away with all the laws so as to punish the King for his corruption and Tyranny that after we tear down all the laws to get to the Devil to stop him what if the Devil stops and turns around and goes after us? Where are the laws then to stop the Devil from tunring on us?

            I will repeat again the State, The Government, etc., is US! Corporation, Banks, heck even day to day business transactions require contracts. I am all for virture, but I also live in the real world, the fallen world, and the rules, regulations and laws that we pass and have are there for our protection. That unfortunately is the truth. So less regulation would have saved Bear Sterns, Lehmann Brothers, AIG, etc? Actually, it was the exact opposite.

            With the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, buy both a Democrat (Bill Clinton) and a Republican pro-business congress, led directly to the market crash we experienced almost 4 years ago. Glass-Steagall protected us since 1933! Where do you see Tyranny? You want to know where I see Tyranny?
            Banks that foreclosed on homes that didn’t allow home -owners to do a loan modification that are now selling those same homes for LESS than what they would have made if they allowed the Loan Modification in the first place. Ask around, see what the realotors and brokers tell you. The Banks screwed up and were left with more product and not profit. Now they are selling everything at a loss just to get them off their hands. That’s Tyranny. Tyranny to the Home Owner and Economic Tyranny directly destroying our economy.

            How about taking advantage of people that the underwriters knew they should never have given loans to in the first place? Ever hear of those NINJA (NO INCOME NO JOB VERIFICATION REQUIRED) Loans. But hey that’s not Tyranny, because we have LESS regulation. Sorry, no.

            Car Insurance, like Health Insurance works and works just fine in Illinois and also in Kansas. You want to know why I know? Because that’s what I do. I do alot of Car Accident lawsuits and I know that if you don’t have insurance the State does come after you and if you continue to drive without insurance not only are your driving privileges suspended, but if you cause severe injury, property damage or death you are arrested and put away. Seen it and been there for it.

            The State, via the Police and the Secretary of State, do a very good job in this regard so I disagree with you on this point just from my own personal and professional experience.

            Further,when you state “The state is only legitimate to the extent that the Church has sanctified it. When the state rejects the Christian virtues and embodies in its laws both vice and sin then the state ceases to be legitimate.”

            Well you are only partly correct. The State ceases to be virtuous, but remains legitimate. If you are referncing St. Paul’s teaching in this regard certin things must be taken into consideration. St. Paul was saying this of the Roman State. The Roman State was NO WERE NEAR MORAL OR VIRTUOUS, but it was legitimate. The State is there to regulate order, and is Moral and Virtuous only if we the People instill it with our virtue that we receive from the Gospel.

            Do not confuse the Theocracy of the Davidic Kingdom with the teacghing of St, Paul and the later Church Fathers. Rome butchered the martrys. Was this right? No, but Rome continued to exist. Even under St. Constantine the Great the Roman State was legitimate, but NOT MORAL. This is the distinction you are missing.

            I believe that Abortion and the Rise in the acceptance of the Homosexual lifestyle are sins and abominations in our society, but the US is still a legitimate Government, its just not moral. WE THE PEOPLE MUST MAKE IT MORAL! That’s the difference.

            As far as wet-dreams and the like I reject that! The US was once a great and noble nation. No nation fights a Revolution, a Civil War, ends Slavery, Two World Wars, defeats Communisim and comes out of all that in one piece if the strength of our nation founded upon our People, founded upon our People’s goodness was not truly moral and virtuous at its core. It may have grown small, but it still there, and I for one will not give up on America.

            You call it a wet-dream. I CALL IT THE AMERICAN DREAM! And its still alive!

            Peter A. Papoutsis

            • Michael Bauman says

              The repeal of the Glass-Stegall act. Wow, I totally agree with you on that. It was egregiously stupid, vain and greedy. That, however is my point and George’s. The Glass-Stegall act restrained behavior.

              Laws are needed, but good laws come from a virtuous people or at least a people who has not given itself over to licentiousness of all kinds as the only good.

              As to the insurance adjustors you deal with, I feel your pain. There is no question that insurance companies shoot themselves in the head everyday. They are lemmings. HMO’s are not insurance or were not suppoused to be. Do to governement meddling and stupidity on the part of the companies, HMO’s which were originally designed to encourage and pay folks to get early and frequent prevenative care (including proper nutrition, exercise etc,) and provided very limited benefits for major stuff morphed into a mega monstrosity that are a mini version of what the government run health system will be like IMO and there will be no appeal at all to the decisions of the government.

              Simply expanding risk pools does not do much good, in and of itself. Allowing those who are too sick to get into a standard risk pool in has an overweightying effect that negatively counterbalances the healthier people and does so quite quickly. And I am sure that insurance companies will be delighted to find a way to pruge their pools of as many unhealthy people as possible. ERISA group plans (outside of many of the pricing mandates and outside the exchanges) will be and are all ready becoming quite popular with group insurers. Most carriers are not committed to the individual market at all.

              I return to my earlier statements from highly trained and competent health actuaries from all over the country: the pricing assumption in Obamacare are actuarially unsupportable. The only way the healthcare costs can be paid for are 1. Massive tax increases, and 2. Rationing.

              However, insurance companies will, for the most part, be delighted to get out of the comprehensive major medical market. The supplemental policies that provide a direct value to customers for a more restricted and easily priced benefit are far more profitable and much less contentious.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says


                Listen, I share many of your concerns and I share your committment to ending Abortion, and all things Anti-Life, which as Niko previously stated includes ending our military excursion around the world. For me Abortion and HealthCare are linked. In the Declaration of Independence we have a “Right to Life” not just for the unborn, but for the sick and elderly.

                The ACA is a reflection of our morality in this regard as a people. As I said before cost is an issue, but one that can be constrained by competition through the exchanges. Will the issue of cost have to be revisted? Absolutely. But expanding the risk pools and front loanding them with young healthy people brings money into the system that it never had before. Further, if you view this in terms of the overall U.S. Budget in regards to the amount of money we spent in both the Iraq and Afganistan wars the U.S. spends $9.7 Billion a MONTH in prosecuting these wars. This is roughfly the annual budget of the Federal EPA!

                These two wars will probably put the U.S. in the hole for somewhere between $3.7 to $5.2 Trillion when all is said and done. To get a good snap-shot of this Reutgers did anrticle on this back in 2010. Here is the link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/01/26/afghanistan-iraq-usa-cost-idUSN2611591520100126.

                So answer me this: We found the money to kill and destroy, but we cannot find the money to heal and care for? That is unacceptable to me! for over 10 years we have spent, and spent and spent, both under Bush and Obama and yet when it comes to these two wars, and the expansion of our Global Military force we find the money and we never EVER argue about cost. Yet for healthcare we do? Huh?

                We could have taken that $9.7 Billion a month to prosecute the wars and but it into the healthcare system to support the ACA. The government did not fail to do that WE THE PEOPLE failed to do that when we voted for our elected representatives.

                Let competiion work through the exchanges, let market-based priciples work to bring down costs, and if we need to revist the cost issue, which we will we can work on it then. Here is one solution: Get out now from Iraq and Afganistan. Scale back our Global Military. start down-sizing NATO, close non-essential overseas bases, let our so-called allies pick-up the slack economically for their own defense. How about this, reduce the pay of many in Congress that get periodic pay increases or at least put a freeze on it. Get some real fraud, waste and abuse investigation going like we did back in the 70’s in all Federal Departments, buth the Repubs and the Dems won’t like to actually do that. They just want lip service to that.

                There are alot of thisngs we can do on the cost side. How about premium controls? They work on the State level. If not premium controls how about Governemntal Insurance Cost Review Boards? Let each Health Insurance Company go before the board every year or two years to justify their rate increases? California has this and it actually worked for a time for Insurance coverage for Doctors.

                California, and Chris probably knows this, has a Cap on non-economic damages for $250K. When this law was enacted back in the 70’s the same old arguments advanced then are being advanced now under Tort Reform. Put the caps in place and bring the cost of doing business as a Doctor down, bring the Doctor’s premiums down, stop runaway juries and make Plaintiff’s understand they did not just win the lotto.

                Well, funny little thing happend, which is currently happening in Texas, and has happend in Indiana where they have caps, PREMIUMS FOR THE DOCTORS WENT UP! What?! Huh?! Because premiums did not go down as the Insurance companies promised California passed a ballot inciative to have the California Department of Insurance review premium rate by having the insurance companies report the premiums they’ve earned and an estimate of the total amount of the claims payments they expect to make from cases in that year so as to show the State a justification for any rise in Premiums. When the companies cannot show a good enough justification the State prohibits a premium increase. It was that later ballot inicative and not the Cap, that started to lower doctor’s premiums. I know I’m biased but look it up and read it for yourself:http://www.protectconsumerjustice.org/while-injured-californians-face-damage-caps-medical-malpractice-insurers-have-record-surpluses.html. If you believe the info is biased then use it as a spring board to do your own analysis to figure this out.

                What does this all have to do with the ACA? Cost control! The Exchanges are one method, Premium controls another, or if people do not like that then Governmental review boards to make the companies justify any cost and or premium increase. This is just the beginning, but its something that can be done.

                But I and many others do believe that healthcare is an inate right recognized by our Declaration of Independence and by our U.S. Constitution where the Federal Government protects our “General Welfare.”

                In any event we have a disagreement on this. I see your point and they are good one’s, but I will always side with care and help towards our fellow citizens as opposed to inaction. Again, we found the money to kill, I firmly believe we can find the money to heal.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says


                  I also wanted to say I apologize if I let my emotion get the better of me. I am sorry. I tend to agree with you and George more than disagree so please view our back and forth as just vigerous debate with no malice or hatred intended on my part. E-mails and posts tend to seem mean when that is never the intention. So please accept my apology if I crossed the line at any time. I am sorry.


                • Ronda Wintheiser says

                  Ok, so you finally mention abortion.

                  I’m not a lawyer or any kind of expert, but even I recognise that your interpretation of the Declaration of Independence is preposterous.

                  The sick and the elderly cannot be guaranteed “the right to life”. We’re all going to die. What the Declaration meant is that no one will be deprived of his or her life without due process.

                  And in case you haven’t noticed, the right to life has not been extended “only” to the unborn — it has been extended to everyone BUT the unborn! They have been DEPRIVED of their lives and without due process and now that will continue ad nauseum ad infinitum.

                  How do you propose stop it NOW? How have you been expressing that commitment to this point? What HAVE you been doing all these years to fight abortion? And how can you POSSIBLY support the Affordable Health Care Act since it has only further entrenched the slaughter of unborn children?

                  You have a funny way of showing your commitment to end abortion. You are happy to benefit from this law on the backs of unborn children.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Please read the following and figure out my committment. http://www.aoiusa.org/blog/bishop-demetrios-goa-speaks-on-sanctity-of-life-sunday-in-chicago/

                    By the way he’s my Bishop and I agree with him. as he and many here in Illinois fought to end Capital Punishment I continue to fight to end abortion. Also, your due proces distiction is in direct contradiction to stated Pro-Life stances as this was never the pro-life distinction I adheaded to, or I would venture many an evangelicals adheared to. I went to enough ralies with the AG’er down in Florida to know that they argued for right to life as I did from the Dec. of Indep.


                    • Ronda Wintheiser says


                      No. I’m not going to try to “figure out” your commitment. You’re the one bragging about it — back it up. You’re setting yourself up here as the legal expert, so tell us what to do! What do YOU do? Specifically?

                      Abortion doesn’t belong in one big pot of things that are called “pro-life”. With that line of thinking, I could say making my kids eat their broccoli makes me pro-life.

                      The phrase comes in opposition to those who say “it’s not a life” when speaking of “clumps of tissue” in the womb.

                      It is self-evident that being anti-abortion is different from being anti-capital punishment. Abortion is the slaughter of innocents and belongs in a category of its own just as the Holocaust. It IS a holocaust. If it’s not different from capital punishment, then I should hear you speaking of the practice of capital punishment as a holocaust, and I don’t.

                      I’m suspicious of your assertion about fighting abortion. I’m afraid you are giving lip service to the subject and that’s all. Saying you “continue to fight abortion” isn’t saying anything. How do you do it? You are setting yourself up as the legal expert here, so I want to hear it from you. How do you personally fight abortion? Can anyone do it the way you do it, or only lawyers?

                      How are we going to do it?

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Well if you don’t want to read my post or exercise some indivudal critical thinking I cannot help you. Be suspicious all you want. I am not on a witch hunt my dear, nor am I a one trick pony. The People of Illinois, if you care to read the article won a geat victory for life by banning Capital Punishment. The same came be done under the guidlines of Casey, as I previously posted. Derailing the ACA will not happen. Repeal will not happen, and it is now with us. Its time to make the law as good as we can get it.

                      I strongly suggest you place all that vigor into fixing or repealing the the HHS contraception mandate. Now that would be constructive and we get to keep the ACA.


                    • Ronda Wintheiser says

                      You’re evading my question.

                      I read it. I’m just not going to be distracted by your fancy talk and obfuscation.

                      I have been putting all of this “vigour” into fighting abortion for several decades — and I’ll be specific if you like, not to pat myself on the back, but because I want to know what else to do. I have no intention of letting up, and I was hoping you were a real person who would have some real ideas to add to the arsenal.

                      We aren’t talking about capital punishment, Counselor. This is what we’re talking about, if you have the stomach for it.

                      Testimony of Dr. Anthony Levatino before May 17th, 2012 on H.R. 3803, the “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”




  14. Fr. Philip Vreeland says

    My, oh my! What a lot of “begging the question” goes on in the posts here!

    Bishop Tikhon, Father Riordan, and Father Jacobse (among others) will remember from Logic 101 what “begging the question” means. Many will misread my remark to mean “raising the question.” Oh, well.

    O tempora! O mores!

  15. StephenD says

    I thought this statement was interesting..its written from an Evangelical Protestant point of view but its thought provoking…


    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Good article Stephen. Very good indeed.


    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      From Stephens posted article I find this the crux of the dilema with American Christians:

      I should also point out that there is nothing biblical or even theological in Grudem’s arguments. It is a fairly standard GOP perspective on healthcare. But what if we were to bring Jesus into the healthcare debate, what would it look like? Well, I want to point out several things to my American friends about healthcare, government, and Christian faith:

      1. Beware of The Cult of the Individual and the Idolatry of Greed. American and evangelical opposition to universal healthcare has nothing to do with the Bible or Theology, but is driven purely by a cultural and economic ideological bias; a bias (or at least a disposition) of which very few are even aware that they possess. The American emphasis on freedom, civil liberties, individualism, low taxes, laissez-faire economics, and small government has always predisposed them against too much government regulation and intervention in the life of the individual. So it goes: Why take my money and redistribute it to someone else who is too lazy to work? Tell’em to get a hair cut, a real job, and then get their own healthcare!

      I get the point, I enjoy freedom, I benefit from a free market, I don’t like taxes either, and I don’t want my country to turn into the next Eurozone catastrophe where there is low productivity and a culture of entitlement. But it seems to me that this emphasis on individual liberty is advocated at the expense of commitment to and compassion for our wider community. There is no mitigation of economic opportunity and no disparagement of individual responsibility to think of ourselves as socially responsible for each other, working in and for our wider society to achieve a collective good that we cannot otherwise achieve individually.

      What is more, the libertarian approach is really a form of social Darwinianism, namely, every man for himself and survival of the fittest. To an outsider looking in, the American mythology of freedom is the cult of the individual. The libertarian view of “leave me and my money alone” owes more to Darwin and Nietzsche than it does to Jesus or Moses. Our treasure is in heaven with our good deeds, not in the Bank of America. In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan did not baulk at the cost of paying for the healing for the wounded stranger, an action that is irreconciliable with certain tenets of conservative American economics.

      So I don’t mind paying taxes, especially if it means that no child will ever go without needed medical attention, and to prevent any person from having to choose between financial ruin and seeking medical attention. The challenge I have for my American friends is to see their history and culture as things not to be baptized with Christianity, but to be weighed and measured against the biblical worldview and its ethical corollaries. American is a truly great nation (they saved Australia’s butt in WWII!).

      You guys have the best and worst of everything: great prosperity and great inequality; Chik-Fil-A and White Castle; Billy Graham and Benny Hinn, Jim Hamilton and Denny Burk (or is it Denny Burk and Jim Hamilton – I forget which one is the bad guy!), but it is not perfect as ya’ll know, and among its imperfections I think are the cult of the individual, a near-worship of economic prosperity, and a cultural inclination on reneging on moral obligations to anyone other than ourselves. The opposition to universal healthcare can only be given religious currency by either repeating the words of Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” or by quoting the apocryphal saying, “God helps those who help them themselves!” It has no traction in the Judeao-Christian ethic, nor in the teaching of Jesus, the instruction of Paul, and has no place in the testimony of the Christian tradition.

      This I believe is the bigger debate for Christians. Are we responding as Christians or are responding as GOP’ers and just clothing our politics with religious garb that does not necessarily fit. Who do we have an alligence to? Reagan or Jesus Christ? I think the answer to that question will disturbs many people.


      • Michael Bauman says

        The Christian reponse is none of the above yet you continue in true lawyerly way of painting two hard and fast opposites and then saying “Choose one”. When it comes to politics and anything else involved in organizing and ruling ourselves in this fallen world, all choices contain an element of evil some more than others to be sure.

        That’s kinda the point isn’t it. Since Eve we have been cursed with the knowledge of good and evil and our inability to handle it.

        In general the choice between the collective state or individual autonomy is a false dicotomy since even the most die-hard individualist will at some point acknowledge at least some need of collective action. However, I’m not so sure that is true for those who are ideologically intent on annihilating the unique person: communists, fascists and others who are totalitarian minded. Obama is a totalitarian.

        The saying “God help’s those who help themselves” is not apocryphal. It is a quote from Benjamin Franklin who was a cultural Chrisitan, a libertine. an immensely astute politician as well as quite bright. It is a deist formulation of the Golden Rule. Heretical to be sure, but not apocrryphal and considering its source has a lot of traction in the America mind unfortunately.

        The Christian attitude is kenotic giving but I continue to insist that has nothing to do with the state or taxes. Those are forced and therefore cannot be charitable.

        The Christian attitude is to protect and honor life and to not allow any compromises against it even if it means the sacrifice of our own life. A baby’s life should never be considered an acceptable loss in the great march of progress. That is the materialist’s idea, not the eschatology of the Church or of the Incarnate Christ.

        There is so much death intertwined into this supposed health care bill, so many burdens financially and morally placed on so many to end up with something that will not help anyone excpet the power brokers.

        We are to sanctify every part of human life. That includes the state to the extent that we can. Adapting and making compromises with any political ideology is the reverse of sanctifying, it is giving into the world: often at its worst.

        Obama is a totalitarian and a utilitarian. That means he will kill anybody and destroy anything that gets in the way of his idea of the greater good. This bill is a step in that direction. At the very best it is another ceeding of the Church’s repsonsibility to the state that will only continue to marginalize and secularize us.

        There are plenty of totalitarians and utilitarians on the so-called political right too. We must avoid them all and regain our own prophetic voice, our own Christian mode of action as independent from modern governments as possible.

        Christ brings freedom from sin,and communion with Him in a worshiping community. There is no analog in any political ideology despite our best efforts to create one. Specifically, there is too much of this bill that enshrines sin as a governemt policy and forces everyone to acquiese if not actually and directly participate. To glory in this bill as ‘progress’ glories in those sins.

        BTW the very idea of ‘progress’ is an idea that comes from social darwinism so be careful throwing that one around. In a Christian sense, there is no ‘progress’.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          The main thrust of the article that it and I were trying to get at is that currently there is such a intermingling between GOP politcs and Christian thology that the two are inseprable to many. Just like there is an intermingling between the Protestant left (Mostly Epicopalians) and the Democratic Left-Wing of the party that these two ideologies are inseparable to many.

          Its not a false dicotomy, but a harkening back to St. Paul’s warning to the Galatians to not substitute “another” Gospel for our Lord’s. That’s what I was getting at.

          As for Progress my sense is a very classical one. My parents lived in a world of no antibiotics or hot running water or even clean water in some cases. Now we live a world of advanced medical care, hot water, clean water, and even safer foods thanks to the FDA. (FDA=Govt.=US). That’s pretty good progress for me. I also like my IPAD, but my son usually plays with it. That last part is not good progress.


          • Michael Bauman says

            The FDA has taken to harrasing Amish farmers with SWAT teams for the production and sale of raw milk and impouding fruit juice that is of both great value to people and of no harm simply because the medical studies that support its value were not done by them.

            All the while they promote the sale and use of pharmacuticals that have numerous side effects and of realitively limited scope of efficacy. Oh, and BTW make a lot of money in the process.

            Like all regulatory agencies they are not content with regulating what needs to be regulated, they have power, they want to exercise it.

            Same with the EPA. CO2 a pollutant, really? The next tax will be on breathing and if you have taken too many breaths, you have to stop for the good of the planet.

            Franz Kaffka as the prophet.

            Children using IPads changes their thinking and not in a good, healthy way. Has a similar effect on adults. Over all it is making us a less human, less literate society.

            Make no mistake about it, material progress is often an illusion.

            • Fr. Justin Frederick says

              And, they often end up using that power to do the dirty work of large corporations to shut down small competitors or to generate regulations so onerous, that no family or small operation can meet them (because they were designed with the big operations, whose unnatural ways spawned most of the problems with contamination in the first place). There is no free market these days; it is long gone. I recommend reading Virginia farmer Joel Salatin’s most recent book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” for much more about the food police (SWAT teams sent to Amish farmers is no exaggeration) and federal regulation and many other topics of concern related to our food supply, the environment, etc. As an eloquent man whose writing is firmly planted in his practice of farming for the past 30 years and not a mere theorist, he gores sacred cows on both sides of the political spectrum.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Father and Michael:

                I make it a practice NOT to defend the bad practices of Government agencies, but to constantly ask for reform and proper monitoring. I know of no human institution or endeavor that is perfect or close to perfect, but I still would rather live in a world with the FDA than without it.

                However, at the same time, I cannot nor will I go against you on government agancy over-reach. The AFT’s current blunder with Fast and Furious is a clear point on this. However, the FBI, DEA, ATF, NSA and CIA have all messed up and continue to do so. Yet, many of these agancies also do alot of good and protect us.

                So yes, you are correct, but that is why we have checkes and balances, due process, congressional oversight committees, etc. Heck even the Serect Service messed up, and was probably messing up for awhile before they got caught. Yet, I still want them protecting our elected officials and prosecuting economic fraud cases.

                Correct and reform is the way, not abolish. However, your points are well taken.


                • Michael Bauman says

                  The point Peter is that the problems you deliniate do not necessarily need Federal government regulation, let alone intervention, it is just that once it is applied, all other remedies are off the table and not even considered. The only remedy given is more governement, more taxes, less freedom. That is from from both democrats and republicans. Most of what the feds do is un-Constitutional. There are alreay a number of states who are simply saying no to obamacare.

                  I would say that the federal government’s role in this should be limited to finding, and recommending best practices and perhaps equalizing funding on a block grant approach, but allow the states the freedom to implement what works in their states.

                  The so-called excesses or regulators are much more than that, they reveal the heart of the regulatory mind: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

                  But too many of our people are too busy facebooking and playing angry birds to even know where that quote comes from, let alone its relavancy. Brave New World was even more prophetic.

                  The epistomology of computer learning is, IMO, questionable.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – Animal Farm.

                    I read that once in College and on Vacation 4 years ago. Both that and Brave New World are very prophetic. However, I believe Huxley’s BNW is more prophetic than Orwell’s Animal Farm. Our Society is addicted to our own version(s) of “Soma.” – BNW as opposed to “Big Brother” control. Compliance through drugs is more symptomatic of our current society.

                    I would love to agree with you, but business needs to be regulated. Just look at the recent GlaxoSmithKline incident. The State or Federal Government needs to regulate certain sectors of our society and business. I’ve seen too many abuses that need to have government oversight.

                    We can go back and forth, but that’s where i’m at.

                    Yet, I agree with your book analysis.


                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Where I’m at is that the more that is moved the federal level, the less real the regulation becomes, the more likely to be corrupted and hence the more totalitarian so that you have really outrageous things like sending SWAT teams into Amish farms for raw milk.

                      Locally produced, locally consumed is not a federal problem to begin with. The state of Washington has told them so promising to encarcerate any FDA agent attempting in interfere in local agriculture in the future, especially with SWAT teams.

                      I’m not a libertarian. Government regulation is needed but somehow we also need to have much better oversite of the regulators. Too much legislative indifference and too much carte blanche laws: Here’s the law, let the regulators figure out what we mean and how to do it. The regulations are written too broadly to give as much inforcement power as possible

                      Let me ask you, as an attorney what do you see as a workable method to be able to have commonsense control of the regulators when legislative ‘intent’ is too broad?

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Let me ask you, as an attorney what do you see as a workable method to be able to have commonsense control of the regulators when legislative ‘intent’ is too broad?

                      Good question, I don’t have a good answer except that your answer is within your question: Legilative intent cannot be too broad. Congressional oversight either by a congressional committee or a congressional agency is what we have always had.

                      When it comes down to it “its an informed citizenry” going to those townhall meetings and placing their representatives on the spot about why they are not investigating, why they are slacking, why are they not looking into agency abuse.

                      Fast and Furious is a great example. The ATF completely messed up, Eric Holder covered up and Rep. Darrell Issa has every right to go after him. Now can you argue its political, sure, but its also investigating a real agency screw up and possible criminal activity.

                      That’s the only answer I can give – congressional and even local State and County accountability. I’m old Fashion about these things, but I am open to new ideas on this subject because regulators need to be monitored. Its the Old “Who watches the Watchmen” argument. Answer “We the People.”

                      I know of nothing else beside Congression or State Assembly oversight and the Court System to keep these guys honest. A good private Right of Action against these guys as an agency and personally would do the trick as well, but, like I said, I am open to suggestions on this one.


            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Quick point on the IPAD. However, there are some situation where the IPAD is actually used as a learning tool. Yet, your overall assessment of its use along the lines of the old – “TV rots the brain” saying is well taken.


  16. cynthia curran says

    Well, I’m conservative but conservatives have overspend as well. A county in Alabama filed for bankrupty and take Orange County Ca in the 1990’s the politcians invested in junk bonds and lost a lot of money. In fact the less spending is not done by Texas but by Oregon. Texas like California has a large population that has lower education than most of the US since they came illegality from Mexico and lower job skills. Also, probably a smaller state like Oregon probably does a better job of spending its money. Like Geroge I think each state should be allowed to have their own health policy which means I’m a decentralized.

  17. Diogenes says

    Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show
    And these documents challenge Romney’s claim that he left Bain Capital in early 1999.
    —By David Corn | Mon Jul. 2, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

    Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Zuma

    Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate’s reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.

    But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.

    The Stericycle deal—the abortion connection aside—is relevant because of questions regarding the timing of Romney’s departure from the private equity firm he founded. Responding to a recent Washington Post story reporting that Bain-acquired companies outsourced jobs, the Romney campaign insisted that Romney exited Bain in February 1999, a month or more before Bain took over two of the companies named in the Post’s article. The SEC documents undercut that defense, indicating that Romney still played a role in Bain investments until at least the end of 1999.

    Here’s what happened with Stericycle. In November 1999, Bain Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, filed with the SEC a Schedule 13D, which lists owners of publicly traded companies, noting that they had jointly purchased $75 million worth of shares in Stericycle, a fast-growing player in the medical-waste industry. (That April, Stericycle had announced plans to buy the medical-waste businesses of Browning Ferris Industries and Allied Waste Industries.) The SEC filing lists assorted Bain-related entities that were part of the deal, including Bain Capital (BCI), Bain Capital Partners VI (BCP VI), Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors (a Bermuda-based Bain affiliate), and Brookside Capital Investors (a Bain offshoot). And it notes that Romney was the “sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of BCI, BCP VI Inc., Brookside Inc. and Sankaty Ltd.”

    The document also states that Romney “may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to” 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle “in his capacity as sole shareholder” of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm’s stock—the largest bloc among the firm’s owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.

    Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds “voting and dispositive power” with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?

    The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also call into question the account of Romney’s exit from Bain that the company and the Romney campaign have provided.
    Stericycle was a lucrative investment for Romney and Bain. The company had entered the medical-waste business a decade earlier, when it took over a food irradiation plant in Arkansas and began zapping medical waste, rather than strawberries, with radiation. The company subsequently replaced irradiation with a technology that used low-frequency radio waves to sterilize medical waste—gowns, masks, gloves, and other medical equipment—before it was transported to an incinerator. By mid-1997, Stericycle was the second-largest medical-waste disposal business in the nation. Two years later, it was the largest. With 240,000 customers, its operations spanned the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Fortune ranked it No. 10 on its list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the nation.

    But the company had its woes, accumulating a troubling safety record along the way. In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited its Arkansas operation for 11 workplace safety violations. The facility had not provided employees with sufficient protective gear, and it had kept body parts, fetuses, and dead experimental animals in unmarked storage containers, placing workers at risk. In 1995, Stericycle was fined $3.3 million—later decreased to $800,000—by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility in Woonsocket. Two years later, workers at another of its medical-waste processing plants in Morton, Washington, were exposed to tuberculosis. In 2002—after Bain and its partners had bought their major interest in the firm—Stericycle reached settlements with the attorneys general in Arizona and Utah after it was accused of violating antitrust laws. It paid Arizona $320,000 in civil penalties and lawyers’ fees, and paid Utah $580,000.

    Despite the firm’s regulatory run-ins, the deal worked out well for Bain. In 2001, the Bain-Madison Dearborn partnership that had invested in the company sold 40 percent of its holdings in Stericycle for about $88 million—marking a hefty profit on its original investment of $75 million. The Bain-related group sold the rest of its holdings by 2004. By that point it had earned $49.5 million. It was not until six years later that anti-abortion activists would target Stericycle for collecting medical waste at abortion clinics. This campaign has compared Stericycle to German firms that provided assistance to the Nazis during the Holocaust. A Stericycle official told Huffington Post that its abortion clinics business constitutes a “small” portion of its total operations. (Stericycle declined a request for comment from Mother Jones.)

    In 1995, Stericycle was fined by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility.
    In response to questions from Mother Jones, a spokeswoman for Bain maintained that Romney was not involved in the Stericycle deal in 1999, saying that he had “resigned” months before the stock purchase was negotiated. The spokeswoman noted that following his resignation Romney remained only “a signatory on certain documents,” until his separation agreement with Bain was finalized in 2002. And Bain issued this statement: “Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies since that time.” (The Romney presidential campaign did not respond to requests for comment.)

    But the document Romney signed related to the Stericycle deal did identify him as a participant in that particular deal and the person in charge of several Bain entities. (Did Bain and Romney file a document with the SEC that was not accurate?) Moreover, in 1999, Bain and Romney both described his departure from Bain not as a resignation and far from absolute. On February 12, 1999, the Boston Herald reported, “Romney said he will stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions.” And a Bain press release issued on July 19, 1999, noted that Romney was “currently on a part-time leave of absence”—and quoted Romney speaking for Bain Capital. In 2001 and 2002, Romney filed Massachusetts state disclosure forms noting he was the 100 percent owner of Bain Capital NY, Inc.—a Bain outfit that was incorporated in Delaware on April 13, 1999—two months after Romney’s supposed retirement from the firm. A May 2001 filing with the SEC identified Romney as “a member of the Management Committee” of two Bain entities. And in 2007, the Washington Post reported that R. Bradford Malt, a Bain lawyer, said Romney took a “leave of absence” when he assumed the Olympics post and retained sole ownership of the firm for two more years.

    All of this undermines Bain’s contention that Romney, though he maintained an ownership interest in the firm and its funds, had nothing to do with the firm’s activities after February 1999. The Stericycle deal may raise red flags for anti-abortion activists. But it also raises questions about the true timing of Romney’s departure from Bain and casts doubt on claims by the company and the Romney campaign that he had nothing to do with Bain business after February 1999.

    • Geo Michalopuls says

      Diogenes, just so you know, The Washington Post has retracted most of what it has said about Romney and Bain Capital. Not that it matters.

      Regardless, the display of insoucuanbce by many Orthodox laity and priests regarding Obamacare tells me that the Orthodox Church has to a great extent been secularized. That does not mean however that we won’t be judged because we have long refused to be The Church. (I.e. where are our hospitals? soup kitchens? orphanages?) We will coninue merrily along our way in the privatization of religion until we are rightly judged. Oh well.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Just about everything claimed in this message from Diogenes has been disproved and/or retracted.

  18. Ronda Wintheiser says

    “I cannot sugar-coat your objections to the HHS contraception mandate. That is a real concern and one we need to fight against as men and women of faith. But I will not scrap a systems that is a definite step in the right direction. The HHS mandate can be scraped or returned to what it was initially where religious institution did not facilitate abortion and contraception. I still have hope for this and will work to overturn this provision…”

    I’ve heard this expressed over and over again by many of my Orthodox friends who are pleased that the Affordable Health Care Act has been upheld.

    I’m looking forward to hearing how you — and they — will work to overturn this, Mr. Papoutsis.

    While I’m waiting…

    What if one of the options included in the Affordable Health Care Act was the ability to take an elderly family member, or one who is terminally ill or disabled to a freestanding, hospice-like clinic or perhaps a floor in a hospital and put them gently to bed for the last time… ?

    What if that were part of the health care system that Obamacare established?

    You could put your loved one out of their misery in a humane, safe, environment. You could have control over the circumstances of the death, and be sure there was no pain or suffering, so that your loved one could experience a peaceful “death with dignity.”

    What if that were part of health care — as abortion is?

    Would that curb your enthusiasm about the Affordable Health Care Act as a “step in the right direction”?

    Would you still be confident that it is SUCH a good step in the right direction we’ve simply got to pass it, and then figure out what we have to fight against as men and women of faith… ?

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Rhonda Wintheister writes:

      I’m looking forward to hearing how you — and they — will work to overturn this, Mr. Papoutsis.

      Step One: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America:

      The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.

      In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers.

      The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

      Step Two: File a lawsuit. The Catholics already filed their lawsuit. Have the Orthodox joined them? If not they should. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/catholic-groups-file-suit-over-hhs-birth-control-mandate/2012/05/21/gIQAtVrFgU_story.html

      Step Three: Negotiate with the White House to exempt religious groups from the mandate coverage or from facilitating the contracpetive mandate. Notice a very telling line in the Washington Post article: “In addition, the part of the mandate that deals with religious groups does not go into effect for more than a year, and the Obama administration is currently processing feedback from Catholic groups — including many who filed lawsuits — on how to accommodate their concerns in the final regulation.” Are election year politics at work here? Will the White House do a full about face (Proposed Accomidation) after the November election if President Obama wins? Sounds like it does it not?

      Step Four: “Have the Orthodox Bishops joing in the behind the doors negotiations to put pressure on the White House to accomidate. (Which I believe it will after November as the Catholic threate of leaving the Healthcare Field is just too great).

      Step Five: Just like we did in Illinois to end the death penalty, we work to end Abortion. First, ban Partial Birth-Abortion, Second, follow the decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey as closely as possible. Justice O’Conner, while upholding a woman’s right to an abortion, lowered the standard on analyzing an abortion law. She took the Abortion analysis out of the “Trimester” model and placed it within a framework of a baby’s “Viability.” Current levels of pre-natal medicine can now push a baby’s viability well into the second trimester and even into the latter stages of the first. Pre-Natal Care facilities and care is amazing, as I saw it first hand with the birth of my twins. States AND the Federal Government have had an incredible opportunity to pass legitimately restrictive Abortion laws since 1992. QUESTION: Where are those laws either Federally or on a State-wide basis? Republicans have been in control since 1992 where are the laws? Hmmmm?

      Step Six: I and many others have pleaded and wrote letters detailing the lengths to which both the States and the Federal government can go within the framework of Casey to pass restrictive laws, and our lawmakers have to step up to do it. having failed to do so tells me other motivations are at work. And don’t tell me about parental consent and ultrasounds. I am talking about either State laws or Federal laws that outlaw abortions based on a viability scale based on current medical knowledge. That’s the type of law we need. OUTLAW IT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY CASEY! Untill full repeal can be done, repeal as much as you can now. Until I see that from the GOP and its Pro-Life Democratic allies I will continue to believe the GOP does not want to loose the pro-Life vote so keep this going, keeps allowing babies to needlessly die and spend more time reading the Constitution from the floor of the Congress instead of repealing Abortion as much as it can for now until we can repeal it all later. GOP Politics as usual.

      Step Seven: This should have been STEP ONE – PRAY! Pray, pray, pray and pray! You want Abortion to end then Pray! You want Abortion to end stand up for life to everbody who asks and even those who don’t ask let them know where you stand on this issue. You may loose friends, but this is not about friends its about The Sanctity of Life.

      That’s the plan I have followed. It may not be perfect, but my Bishop is committed to ending abortion. Our local Orthodox Right to Life chapter is strong and committed and with our Bishop’s leadership we can continue to chip away at Abortion and all other Anti-Life measures out there – Euthanasia anybody?

      Don’t let the HHS Mandate become a wedge issue to destroy a Health Care Plan that is needed and way over due. That’s a GOP tactic. Focus on the goal of getting access to health care and fight abortion at the same time.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Ronda Wintheiser says

        Thank you, Mr. Papoutsis. This helps.

        I’m happy to give you some ideas, too, if you’d like to get involved at the grass roots level as well. 😉

        But I notice you still didn’t answer my question.

        I don’t think you dare.

        I think your position is indefensible and you know it.

        If this law included gassing Jews as part of “health care”, you’d be singing a different tune, as you would in the scenario I described above.

        But we’re only gassing unborn children, and for some inexplicable reason, that gets a pass from you.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Ronda, I bid you peace.


          • Ronda Wintheiser says

            Hear the word of the LORD…

            When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
            Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

            Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

            And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

            How is the faithful city become a harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers…

            …To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me?
            Their ears are closed so they cannot hear.

            …I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in.

            “Pour it out on the children in the street
            and on the young men gathered together;
            both husband and wife will be caught in it,
            and the old, those weighed down with years.

            “Their houses will be turned over to others,
            together with their fields and their wives,
            when I stretch out my hand
            against those who live in the land,”
            declares the Lord.

            From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.

            They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.

            “Peace, peace,” they say,

            when there is no peace.

            From Isaiah 1; Jeremiah 6

      • Geo Michalopuls says

        Peter, a lot of what you say is spot on. Unfortunately, as regards to abortion, it will never be overturned because our elites want to have a way to permanently cull the underclass, call it a low-level genocide if you will. As for the ACOB joining the Catholics, I welcome that day, but unfortunately the Phanar will never allow GOA bishops freedom of conscience on this one because their paymasters are part of the Global elite (Soros, Buffett, etc.) As it is, it was only because Fr Peter Preble and John Couretas published power editorials taking them to task that they came up with this hasty response. It said the right things but you could tell that their heart wasn’t into it.

        Basically, word on the street was that the 45 or so non-GOA bishops have been chomping at the bit to get the GOA to do something but the GOA, which is really led by the Archons/Leadership 100 axis, don’t have the stomach for this fight. Please don’t think that this is another anti-GOA diatribe, I was going to throw into this indictment the entrenched bureaucracy of the OCA (i.e. Syossett) but two of the main stalwarts of this elite (Kishkovsky and Jillions) did the the stand-up thing and signed Rev Harrison’s bold declaration. Some of course are already calling me naive, saying that they did so because they saw the way the political winds were blowing but I have no way of knowing such and anyway, when somebody does the right thing, the decent thing to do is acknowledge it and then say “what next?”

        Anyway, we are seeing a division in Orthodoxy, between traditionalists and the globalists. It’s not all Russians/Slavs on one side or Greeks on the other. I think that the Ephraimite movement (which is Greek in origin) is most definately part of the traditionalism.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          All I can say to that is agree 100%. It is truly lamentable. What a waste, what a damn waste!

      • Michael Bauman says

        In Kansas, it is illegal to fire someone simply for filing a work comp claim. We had a client do that, against our advice, and then they had to defend (and settled) a wrongful termination lawsuit. That cost them more than the extremely dubious work comp claim that was eventually denied did. Any employer who fires someone for filing a work comp claim is just plain stupid.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Yeah, its illegal in Illinois as well. Its rare, but people still worry about it, and sometimes it still happens. But yes, it is stupid.

      • Michael Bauman says

        The problem in Kansas is that we have two politically active pro-life groups. One is an absolutist–full ban or nothing. Plus we have a Republican elite who does not want to discuss the issue let alone act on it.

        On top of that the pro-abortionists are quite prone to filing criminal complaints against anyone who attempts to restrict abortion.

        All in all a nasty situation that means no real progress. The Pro-aborts refuse any restrictions and have the political clout to hold the line even in a so-called Republican State becasue the divided nature of those who opposed abortion.

        Our two so-called pro-life Senators could not get to the microphones fast enough to lick Sebellius’ boots when she was appointed HHS secretary. They wanted the pork.

        The only thing, regretfully, that curtailed abortion in this state was when George Tiller was shot and killed in his church on a Sunday morning right across the street from the Catheral. That was evil eating up evil. I’m quite surprised there was not more of a backlash.

        When politicians and the legal community refuse to act, vigilanties are encouraged.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I agree. I regret Tiller’s death, but that man performed Late-Term Abortions. I can abhore his death, and would never advocate his or anyone’s death, but I cannot shed tears for such an evil person. This truly was evil eating up evil. The Casey decision can easily and without any undue constitutional consternation ban such a horrific procedure. Its because of this and other cases like this that I agree with both yours and George’s assessment of the current politics of Abortion in this nation. There is no excuse for this.


    • Geo Michalopuls says

      Cynthia, death panels are part of the future. Mark my words.

  19. cynthia curran says

    Well, Ii came across an interesting article, it stated that in the early Byzantine empire free doctor care was the reesult of Patronage by the upper classes after the Plague a lot of the upper classes gave less moeny to providing free health care for the citizens of different cities. Anway, I think that Patronage is a good thing and George Soros and William Buffet and Bill Gates should contributed more directly toward it instead of the state. The state needs to reform some of the current system it has but the Wealthy should be more directly provide the welfare state than passed it along on taxes which will fell on the guy that just made a million compared to are billionaries mention above.

  20. cynthia curran says

    The Republicans are the party of the rich, well what about the Democratics taking money from George Soros and William Buffett who are billionaries. The Republicans have not been able to get rid of Medicare and so on for the past 40 eyars since the parties go back and forth. Unless you are a hardcore leftist the rich have influcne on both parties. If tax rates go up, millions might pay them but billionairs like Soros or Buffett or Gates don’t since their tax lawyers make certain they don’t. As for Father Reardon politics I like that he thinks different.

    • Geo Michalopuls says

      cynthia, probably the greatest canard of the last 50 years has been that the Dems are the party of the working man. If that were true, then they would be doing everything in their power to restrict illegal immigration, which together with feminism (women entering the workforce), has done more to depress the wages of the native white and black working man. We forget that Cesar Chavez –a known Communist sympathizer but third-generation American–had his compatriots patrol the southern border and turn back illegals filtering across. He knew that his attempt to unionize migrant workers would be undermined by untrammelled illegal immigration.

  21. cynthia curran says

    George, Cesar Chavez was the last on the left that cared about the wages of farm workers. California and Arizona and Texas were once under the bancero program which kept wages low but the farm workers were legal for a certain period and many overstayed their work vistas. In fact, the dems in California which wanted to win the elections supported mass immirgation of hispanics and some poorer asian groups to get votes. The Republicans in the central Valley where Cesar Chavez tried to get the wages up supported the agri-business that hates the current guest worker program since they have to provide some housing for their workers and prefer to use illegal immirgation. In fact both parties with some exceptions usually opposed e-verify and other measures that make it hard for illegal immirgants to get jobs. Both parties also with some exceptions like to import labor also from China or India to compete against more skilled jobs as well.

  22. Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

    Happy Fourth of July! Following on some of the constitutional debates here, maybe some would like to read this reflection on holy kingship: http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/2012/07/04/fourth-of-july-reflection-holy-kingship-and-ecology/

  23. cynthia curran says

    This is true about the South, Georgia is very popular for blacks. Many of them left the expensive north-east and went to Georgia and Atlanta has more blacks than whites. As for the South most of the south is white-black but their is a lot more other, Nicki Haley governor of South Carolina family came from India and both Texas and Florida spanish surnames outnumber Afro-Americans but huge margins. In fact a lot of orthodox are unaware that Washington and Hawaii have more asians than Blacks and New Mexico and Arizona are latino-White with low Afro-American populations. California has a lot more hispanics and asians also than Afro-Americans, Orthodox are still living in the past to not understand that a lot of the US particulary in the West and some of the South doesn’t fit the white versus black.

  24. cynthia curran says

    bu huge margins.

  25. cynthia curran says

    I mean by huge magrins.

  26. Carl Kraeff says

    Two of the blocs that voted for him are showing cracks:

    1. The Roman Catholic Church is unhappy (as all right-thinking Americans are) about Obamacare’s assault on religious liberty.

    2. Now, we have some crass racists and homophobes who are unhappy:

    “A large coalition of African-American pastors, snubbed by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in their demand for a meeting to discuss same-sex marriage, are calling on blacks to boycott the president and sign a petition demanding that the administration withdraw support for gay marriage.”

  27. cynthia curran says

    Well, this is true but in both California and Texas now even in upper middle class schools, the student population is now over 20 percent hispanic. There are still some upper middle class schools public in both Ca and Texas that aren’t. Immirgaiton has changed things since immirgants that do service jobs for upper middle class people have moved into those cities renting an apartment sometimes with another family to afford it.

  28. cynthia curran says

    What I don’t like today Carl is Republicans don’t want to help other Republicans in Democratic sates. Republicans cry everyone likes say in New York stats is a socialist. Upper state New York is different than New York CIty. New York City has several reasons why Democratics dominate: one reason is there are a lot of immirgants in New York city that tend to have less money than the native born. There are also more educated and wealthier immirgants that become Democratics like East Indians according to the pew study on asians.