Archive for Legislation

Tom Monaghan sues feds over new health care law – New York News | NYC Breaking News


DETROIT (AP) — The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the new health care law.

Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a “gravely immoral” practice. He’s a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, along with his Domino’s Farms, which runs an office park near Ann Arbor.

Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new law requires employers to offer insurance that includes contraception coverage or risk fines. Monaghan says the law violates his constitutional rights, and he’s asking a judge to strike down the mandate.

The government says the contraception mandate benefits women and their role in society. There are similar lawsuits pending across the country.

via Tom Monaghan sues feds over new health care law – New York News | NYC Breaking News.

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The “star witness” against Pennsylvania Voter ID just got herself an ID card | Conservative News, Views & Books


Vote-fraud defenders have been using Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year old Pennsylvania woman whose birth certificate copies were destroyed in two separate house fires, as the “star witness” against Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law.  Her Social Security card was stolen a while ago, and she doesn’t have a drivers’ license.  Without either birth certificate or SS card, this sweet old lady would be ruthlessly “disenfranchised,” because she couldn’t get one of the new photographic voter ID cards the state is handing out.

Except… the day after a judge refused to issue a temporary injunction against the voter ID law, Applewhite hopped on a bus, went to the PennDOT center, and got herself an ID card.  She apparently did this without consulting the vote-fraud defenders that have been using her as a prop in their legal battles.  Now they’ll need a fire hose to clean the egg from their faces.

The Philadephia Inquirer article reads like a horror story for voter ID opponents.  The Pennsylvania law grants discretionary powers to Department of Transportation clerks, who are permitted to take the age of the applicant into consideration.  Applewhite was not entirely without documentation – she had a 20-year old Medicare card with some illegible numbers, hand-written Department of Public Welfare documents, and some other material that verified her address.  One of the biggest sticking points was that her last name had been changed through marriage.

The clerk carefully looked over her paperwork, decided it was good enough, and issued her voter ID card.  A delighted Applewhite rode the bus home with her pocketbook open in her lap, gazing fondly at her new ID card, while telling fellow passengers she was “happy as a clam.”  When she got home, she gushed to a neighbor, “I didn’t fight for nothing.  I fought and got my rights.”  She wasn’t trying to shred the duly enacted laws of the state, as part of some huge political drama.  She just wanted her voter ID.

The defenders of vote fraud have been reduced to hysterical antics in the wake of Applewhite’s personal triumph.  Penda Hair, co-director of something called the “Advancement Project,” sneered that “PennDot was flexible providing the ID without Mrs. Applewhite having the documents required by law. We wonder if that would be the case for someone who wasn’t a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit and the subject of a lot of attention in the press.”  But the Inquirer sent a reporter along with Applewhite, and this observer “saw no sign that the clerk recognized her or realized she was a major figure in the battle over the law.”

State ACLU director Witold Walczak’s warned there were “thousands of Ms. Applewhites out there who still don’t have ID. It would be nice if PennDOT relaxed the rules for all of them.”  Oooga-booga!  There are still monsters under the bed!  Trust us!

Walczak is as disingenuous as the defenders of vote fraud always are.  As verified by the Inquirer’s observer, the state did not “relax” any rules for Applewhite.  It followed the rules, which proved flexible enough to handle the most extreme hard case the ACLU could dig up.  Actually, an even better ending for the story would have been issuing a new birth certificate to Applewhite, who said she has been trying unsuccessfully to obtain one for years.  It has always been puzzling why these vast, well-funded “civil rights organizations” didn’t use their resources to help her, instead of using her as a puppet in the courtroom.

Well, okay, it’s not “puzzling” at all.  I was just being polite.  Game, set, and match for voter ID.

via The “star witness” against Pennsylvania Voter ID just got herself an ID card | Conservative News, Views & Books.

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Contraceptive Mandate Suffers Court Blow as Catholic Business Wins Crucial Court Case


A Colorado business owned by a Catholic family does not have to comply with President Barack Obamas new healthcare mandate that private employers provide employees with insurance coverage of birth control, a Colorado federal judge ruled on Friday.

U.S. District Judge John Kane in Denver temporarily blocked the government from the enforcing the contraception requirement against the religious owners of Hercules Industries Inc, a private manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

The ruling only affects this plaintiff but opens the door for any company to seek relief on religious grounds. Lawyers for the Department of Health and Human Services argued that a temporary exemption for Hercules would interfere with the governments ability to implement the law. But Kane was not persuaded.

“This harm pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon the Newland familys constitutional and statutory rights,” the judge wrote. He noted that the government had already created numerous exceptions for religious employers, exempting over 190 million health plan participants.

The law posed an imminent harm to the companys owners by forcing them to support contraception, sterilization and abortion in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines, Kane said.

Members of the Newland family, which owns Hercules, sued in April, challenging the provision that is part of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Roman Catholic bishops and many Republican lawmakers oppose the provision. The Catholic Church launched a campaign against it from Sunday Mass pulpits across the country. Catholic Church doctrine opposes artificial contraception but most American Catholics do not adhere to church policy.

Hercules provides a self-insured group plan for its 265 full-time employees that does not cover birth control, sterilization or abortion-inducing drugs. But the new regulation would require Hercules to provide such coverage by Nov. 1, the ruling said.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressed disappointment with the decision in a statement.

“This lawsuit was not brought by a religious organization. Rather, it was brought by a for-profit commercial enterprise whose purpose is to sell HVAC equipment,” she said, adding that healthcare decisions should be between women and their doctors, not their employers.

“Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith,” Matthew Bowman, a lawyer for Hercules with the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a statement.

More than 20 lawsuits are pending around the country against the birth control mandate, brought by organizations including the University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of New York.

On July 17, another federal judge in Nebraska dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by seven states, two Catholic individuals and three Catholic non-profit institutions, finding that the plaintiffs did not face any immediate harm from the law.

via Contraceptive Mandate Suffers Court Blow as Catholic Business Wins Crucial Court Case.

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Indiana company scraps plans for expansion over ObamaCare device tax | Fox News


An Indiana-based medical equipment manufacturer says its scrapping plans to open five new plants in the coming years because of a looming tax tied to President Obamas health care overhaul law.

Cook Medical claims the tax on medical devices, set to take effect next year, will cost the company roughly $20 million a year, cutting into money that would otherwise go toward expanding into new facilities over the next five years.

“This is the equivalent of about a plant a year that were not going to be able to build,” a company spokesman told FoxNews.com.

He said the original plan was to build factories in “hard-pressed” Midwestern communities, each employing up to 300 people. But those factories cost roughly the same amount as the projected cost of the new tax.

“In reality, were not looking at the U.S. to build factories anymore as long as this tax is in place. We cant, to be competitive,” he said.

Company executive Pete Yonkman first revealed the scuttled plans in an interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal. The company later confirmed the decision to FoxNews.com.

The Affordable Care Act imposed a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices beginning in 2013. It is projected raise nearly $30 billion over the next decade.

But the Cook Medical spokesman said the impact is greater than just a 2.3 percent uptick in taxes. He said the impact on actual earnings is another 15 percent, and he projected the companys total tax burden next year will rise to over 50 percent.

Republicans and medical device makers have been railing against the tax all along, with the GOP-controlled House approving a bill last month to repeal it. The Senate, though, hasnt taken it up.

via Indiana company scraps plans for expansion over ObamaCare device tax | Fox News.

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Harry Reid: Ive Sponsored Legislation … For an Audit of the Federal Reserve | CNSNews.com


CNSNews.com – The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill 327-98 this week  to audit the Federal Reserve but the Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to take up a similar measure there, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-Nev. strongly favored auditing the Federal Reserve System several years ago.

On January 25, 1995, Reid argued in favor of an amendment by then Senator Byron Dorgan D-N.D. that would require the Federal Reserve to a prepare a report to Congress and disclose the financial impact of changing interest rates on the public and private sector.

“I have sponsored legislation that would call for an audit of the Federal Reserve System. I offer that amendment every year. Every year the legislation gets nowhere. I think it would be interesting to know about the Federal Reserve. I think we should audit the Federal Reserve,” Reid said.

He continued, “Its taxpayers money that’s being used there but we dont do that. Senator Dorgan has spoke out on the secrecy of the Federal Reserve System. Hes spoken out on the Federal Reserve more than anyone that I know in either body.”

“But even though there is no entity in the world that controls our lives more than the Federal Reserve System, his speeches go unnoticed Im sorry to say,” Reid said.

via Harry Reid: Ive Sponsored Legislation … For an Audit of the Federal Reserve | CNSNews.com.

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro: Congress Should Consider Federal Tax on Soda Pop | CNSNews.com


CNSNews.com – Rep. Rosa DeLauro D-Conn. said on Wednesday that Congress ought to look at imposing a federal tax on soda pop.

“We have to address the situation in the marketplace,” DeLauro said at a press conference on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. “Right now, the least expensive beverages are often those with the least value to our health like regular cola or juice drinks that are only 10 percent juice.

“But I will tell you that if you’re paying $3.49 for juice and 79 cents for soda, if you are in a low-income family and you have to stretch the dollar, you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you what you’re going to buy,” DeLauro said. “You’re going to go for the 79 cents.

“And maybe, quite frankly,” she said, “one of the things that we ought to look at and one of the things we ought to consider is a soda tax.

“Maybe we ought to look at that amongst several other areas that we are looking at in terms of nutrition,” she said.

“Look, the point is: This is a critical, critical issue,” DeLauro said. “We need to work together. And I, really, I beg you for your energy and your interest in all of this right now.”

via Rep. Rosa DeLauro: Congress Should Consider Federal Tax on Soda Pop | CNSNews.com.

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Supreme Court may reveal healthcare verdict Thursday – latimes.com


WASHINGTON — Television cameras will surround the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, as they did Monday, anticipating something that may, again, not happen.

The momentous healthcare decision could be announced Thursday. Or not. All we really know is that it is extremely likely to be handed down by the following Thursday, June 28, when the court is expected to end its current term.

The court works in secrecy as it prepares its opinions, and outsiders might be surprised to learn that  some of its work is done at the last minute. The justices would have voted almost immediately after three days of oral arguments last March on whether President Obama’s healthcare overhaul is constitutional. Although that vote would normally have determined the outcome of the case, there is a lot of back and forth before the majority opinion and the dissents, if any, are finished.

Last Friday was the deadline for justices to hand in dissents. Then whoever is writing the majority opinion – the betting is on Chief Justice John G. Roberts  Jr. – has the option of responding to any criticism of the ruling in his own opinion.

The decisions are printed inside the ornate 1935 Corinthian-style building, and handed out to reporters as the justice who authored the opinion announces the decision from the bench shortly after 10 a.m. By tradition the senior justice goes last, so healthcare is likely to be the last decision announced on the day it comes down.

Only a few times in modern history have the results leaked ahead of time, once reputedly from a comment by a justice to a reporter, another time from a talkative printer.

The court is not meeting Friday, so if the healthcare decision does not come Thursday, the next opportunity would be Monday.

via Supreme Court may reveal healthcare verdict Thursday – latimes.com.

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The American Spectator : Judgment Day Draws Nigh for Obamacare


If the mandate goes, two other crucial provisions may go down as well.

The Supreme Court will hand down its Obamacare ruling during the week of June 25, and Nostradamus himself would hesitate to make a prediction about the particulars of what will inevitably be a controversial decision. Nonetheless, its difficult to imagine that the Court will leave what Justice Scalia called “the heart” of the law standing. That the individual mandate is in genuine peril was made abundantly clear during last Marchs oral arguments, when Justice Kennedy asked the Solicitor General, “Do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?” Coming from Kennedy, widely considered the Courts sole remaining swing vote, that query completely unmanned the laws advocates.

Faced with such skepticism from Kennedy, the most obtuse of Obamacares cheerleaders were forced to accept reality. Even Ezra Klein got it: “The quick read is that today went very badly for supporters of the individual mandate.” What many of the laws boosters still dont get, however, is that they had a “bad day” not merely because the hapless Donald Verilli spectacularly failed to “carry the heavy burden of justification” for the mandate, but because that failure also portended the demise of two additional Obamacare provisions without which the law will be effectively eviscerated. If the justices strike down the individual mandate, they will very likely strike down the laws guaranteed issue and community rating provisions as well.

Why would they do that? Well, the DOJ recommended that very course of action. The third day of Marchs hearings was largely devoted to the dilemma created when the Democrats failed to include a severability clause in the law. The absence of such language, in theory, means the entire statute must fall if the mandate is struck down. This is, of course, the position the plaintiffs have taken all along. The DOJ disagrees, but does concede that the mandate is not severable from these other two provisions. As Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler told the justices, “If you take out minimum coverage, but leave in the guaranteed issue and community rating, you will make matters worse… we think those things rise or fall in a package.”

via The American Spectator : Judgment Day Draws Nigh for Obamacare.

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