A letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) demands an explanation from the Treasury…
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Treasury Dept. Approves $3 Billion Transfer to Insurance Companies that Congress Denied

A letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) demands an explanation from the Treasury Department on why it allowed $3 billion in payments to ObamaCare insurance companies that Congress never approved.

In a well-documented piece, Philip Klein gives a disturbing summary of the Obama administration deliberately refusing to follow the law.

“At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies,” writes Klein. “These payments come about because President Obama’s healthcare law forces insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for certain low income individuals by capping consumer expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments, in insurance plans. In exchange for capping these charges, insurers are supposed to receive compensation.”

Here’s the rub.

“…[more]

February 26, 2015 • 08:23 pm

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New Polls Suggest Assault on Religious Freedom a Political Loser Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, March 15 2012
Two new polls suggest surprising popular opposition to Obama’s proposed mandate, including among women.

New opinion polls and government deficit projections create unexpected new difficulties for ObamaCare and its assault against religious liberty, as well as Obama’s reelection effort generally. 

In fact, the issue has turned so quickly against Obama that he pivoted from contriving it as a political bludgeon to despairing that others might use it as a political bludgeon against him. 

The issue, of course, is the attempted new ObamaCare contraceptive mandate for religious employers.  Desperate for an election year wedge issue to counteract failed economic policies, rising gasoline prices, trillion-dollar deficits and flagging popularity, the Obama Administration drafted a new federal regulation earlier this year that would suddenly require religious institutions to provide “free” abortives and contraceptives even if doing so violates their fundamental theological principles.   Such a requirement contravenes the First Amendment’s explicit free exercise clause, which states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

As we emphasized last month, this is not a debate about contraceptives themselves, and it’s dishonest to claim otherwise. 

After all, contraceptives were placed beyond prohibition nearly half a century ago by the United States Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).  So this is not about some new effort to restrict abortives or contraceptives currently available.  Rather, it’s an issue of the federal government suddenly trying to force religious institutions to violate their theological principles by either (a) providing abortives and contraceptives against their conscience, or (b) abandoning the charitable causes in which their theology requires that they engage. 

Attempting to force that choice violates the explicit terms of the First Amendment.  

Now, two new polls suggest surprising popular opposition to Obama’s proposed mandate, including among women. 

According to the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, “when asked whether the government should mandate that Roman Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals and colleges offer birth control paid for by the institutions’ insurance companies – as required by the rule – Americans were opposed by 45% to 38%.”  When asked more specifically whether the government should require religious institutions to provide contraceptives such as the “morning-after pill,” opposition increased to 49% to 34% overall.  In what must have jolted White House officials, women were opposed by a substantial 46% to 35% margin. 

Similarly, a New York Times/CBS News poll this week produced the same result.  By a 53% to 38% margin, women respondents said that “religiously affiliated employers should be able to opt out of the birth-control rule that requires employers, including religious institutions, to offer contraceptive drugs free of charge.”  Opposition among respondents overall was even higher.   

Startled that this issue appears to be backfiring on him, Obama changed course and complained about “using religion as a bludgeon in politics.”  As reported by The Hill

“Obama said it’s a problem when religion is used ‘to divide, instead of bring the country together’ in an interview that aired Monday on Iowa TV.  ‘When we start using religion as a bludgeon in politics, we start questioning other people’s faith, we start using religion to divide, instead of bring the country together, then I think we’ve got a problem,’ Obama told Des Moines’s local NBC affiliate, WHO TV.”

So there you have it.  After commencing a divisive assault against religious liberty, Obama now protests the consequences of his decision. 

But that wasn’t the end of the bad news for the Obama Administration. 

When selling his healthcare proposal before a nationwide audience in September 2009, Obama promised, “the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.”  He also said, “The plan will not add to our deficit.” 

This week, however, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that ObamaCare will cost $1.762 trillion over the next 10 years.  By now, Americans are accustomed to broken promises from Obama, but this instance provided particular symmetry because ObamaCare will cost almost exactly twice as much as he guaranteed. 

Accordingly, the centerpiece of Obama’s presidency continues to prove less popular and less fiscally sustainable as time progresses. 

The way things are going, rising gas prices may become a welcome diversion to him. 

Question of the Week   
FDR issued 635 vetoes over the course of his three terms in office, more than any other President in U.S. history. Which one of the following issued the second greatest number of presidential vetoes?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve so-called 'net neutrality' Thursday, but the fight over sweeping new regulation of the Internet may be just beginning. The vote represents the culmination of an unprecedented clash in Washington over the future of the Internet -- and the beginning of an onslaught of legal challenges to treating the technology like a public utility. After…[more]
 
 
—Brian Hughes, Washington Examiner White House Correspondent
— Brian Hughes, Washington Examiner White House Correspondent
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you approve or disapprove of the FCC decision to reclassify the Internet and expose it to public utlity-style federal regulations?