Archive for the ‘Republican Governors’ Category

OBAMACARE’S FAUX FEDERALISM

Friday, December 21st, 2012

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • December 18, 2012

ObamaCare’s Faux Federalism

GOP Governors are smarter than some of their conservative critics.

Having failed to persuade 26 states that participating in ObamaCare is a good deal, the liberals behind the law are denouncing these dissident Governors as federalist hypocrites. A few critics on the right are chiming in and arguing that the 26 are inviting worse results once the feds swoop in.

So someone ought to say a word on behalf of the people who run state governments in the real world and have examined the health insurance “exchange” question in detail. They’ve seen enough to know that the choice to set up and run these insurance bureaucracies is not a choice at all. 

The “federalism” ruse is a special instance of bad faith. If federal-state cooperation means anything, then it requires some element of genuine state control and the freedom to innovate. The Health and Human Services Department is abusing the laboratories-of-democracy line as cover even as it prohibits states from doing experiments. And it’s dictating details down to the lab coats and microscopes.

The folks at HHS envision the exchanges as centralized, interventionist, hyper-regulatory bodies. HHS’s idea of flexibility is telling the states they can make the exchanges even more centralized and interventionist. But if they don’t agree to that model, then Washington will impose it anyway.

The truth is that liberals never wanted the states involved. In 2010, the Pelosi Democrats were forced to swallow a Senate bill that included state exchanges because it was the only ObamaCare vehicle after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat.

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Getty Images

Now HHS is rewriting the law to create federal exchanges that the states only nominally govern. HHS for instance claims states can define the essential benefits that all plans must cover, within federal minimum standards, but those minimums are already much higher now than they were in the draft a few months ago. The Affordable Care Act forces states to use their own personnel and resources to do federal bidding and blurs if not erases the lines of political accountability between levels of government. (more…)

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THE SEBELIUS COVERUP – OBAMACARE EXCHANGES

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

 

Published on The Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com)

The Sebelius Coverup

Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny.

Jeffrey H. Anderson

December 10, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 13

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Prior to the election, most reporters — or their editors — weren’t interested in looking into any of this too closely. But in the wake of the refusal of elected GOP leaders in the states to do the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare, the development of the federal Obamacare exchanges might now receive closer examination. The idea of funneling about $1 trillion (according to the Congressional Budget Office) over Obamacare’s real first dozen years (2014-25) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to private insurance companies was always problematic. But it’s more problematic to hire a subsidiary of one of those insurance companies as an architect and policeman of the exchanges through which the Obama administration intends to have this abundant taxpayer money flow, more problematic still that Obama’s first head of the CCIIO may have profited personally from the venture, and most problematic of all that HHS may have told a private company to violate federal securities law in order to aid Obama’s reelection prospects.

Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level.

States are not required to set up Obamacare exchanges, but it seems to have surprised observers that many are choosing not to. Politico reports that, with only 17 states so far having said they will set up the exchanges, the “Department of Health and Human Services’s role in bringing the law to life is going to be a lot bigger than originally thought.” More than a third of all states have already said they won’t set up the Obamacare exchanges. Among others, Republican governors Scott Walker, John Kasich, Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Nathan Deal, Paul LePage, Robert Bentley, Mary Fallin, and Sean Parnell have said they’ll refuse to set up the exchanges in their states.

In Missouri, voters took matters into their own hands, approving a ballot measure to vest authority over the decision in the Republican-led state legislature, rather than leaving it up to the Democratic governor. Missouri will not be establishing an exchange. Utah governor Gary Herbert, meanwhile, has opted for a sort of mild civil disobedience, saying that his state will continue to pursue “our version of an exchange based on defined contribution, consumer choice, and free markets” — a type of exchange that is rather plainly banned by Obamacare.

States’ refusal to be complicit in this crucial aspect of Obamacare should shine a spotlight on the development of the federal exchanges — and what it illuminates won’t be pretty.

The Obama administration’s congressional allies botched the drafting of this aspect of the health care overhaul, as the plain language of Obamacare doesn’t empower federal exchanges to distribute taxpayer-funded subsidies to individuals; it empowers only state-based exchanges to distribute the subsidies. (The administration pretends otherwise.) Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is lagging behind in developing the federal exchanges.

It gets worse. HHS has contracted with a subsidiary of a private health care company to help build and police the very exchanges in which that company will be competing for business. The person who ran the government entity that awarded that contract has since accepted a position with a different subsidiary of that same company. An insurance industry insider (speaking on the condition of anonymity) says that HHS, in an attempt to hide this unseemly contract from public view until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission. (more…)

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NORTH CAROLINA’S RED-STATE RESURGENCE

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • December 8, 2012

North Carolina as the Blueprint for a

Red-State Resurgence

With party unity, good candidates and an inclusive message, conservative campaigns can prosper.

By FRED BARNES

Democrats across the country are celebrating the re-election of President Obama and the pickup of two seats in the Senate and eight in the House. But in two formerly Democratic states, Republicans have much to be joyful about.

The GOP victory in North Carolina included the governorship, veto-proof majorities in the state Senate and House, control of 54 of the state’s 100 counties, three new U.S. House seats, and a pivotal seat on the state Supreme Court. All this lifted Mitt Romney to a narrow victory in a state that Mr. Obama won in 2008.

It is premature to declare North Carolina a reliably red state, but Republicans are “positioned to be the dominant party in North Carolina for at least a decade if not beyond,” says GOP consultant Marc Rotterman.

The same is true in Arkansas, the second-best state for Republicans in last month’s election. Both states offer Republicans an opportunity to unseat Democratic senators in 2014. In Arkansas, the GOP trend has moved so quickly that Sen. Mark Pryor, who had no Republican opponent in 2008, is now considered highly vulnerable. In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagen, when matched against an unspecified Republican challenger, led just 45%-41% in a Public Policy Polling survey last month. The last Democratic senator to win re-election in North Carolina was Sam Ervin in 1968.

Republicans in the Tar Heel State were unified, with all elements of the party, including social conservatives, engaged with the various campaigns. The GOP ticket was ideologically balanced, with moderate gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory at the top. The party, Republican campaigns, and GOP-oriented groups joined in a massive turnout operation. Republicans exploited every opening that Democrats gave them—and there were plenty.

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Associated PressPat McCrory

The administration of incumbent Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue—though not Ms. Perdue personally—was marked by scandals. The John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank, uncovered numerous instances of misconduct and reported them in its publication, Carolina Journal. Gov. Perdue’s job approval sank to 25%, making her the second-most unpopular governor in the country (behind Pat Quinn in Illinois). (more…)

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WHY OBAMACARE IS STILL NO SURE THING

Monday, November 19th, 2012

 

The Wall Street Journal

  • November 19, 2012

Capretta and Levin: Why ObamaCare Is

Still No Sure Thing

The majority of state governors are Republicans, and they have the power to disarm the health-care law.

By JAMES C. CAPRETTA
AND YUVAL LEVIN

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Running the exchanges would be an administrative nightmare for states, requiring a complicated set of rules, mandates, databases and interfaces to establish eligibility, funnel subsidies, and facilitate purchases. All of this would have to take place under broad and often incoherent statutory requirements and federal regulations that have yet to be written.

Champions of ObamaCare want  Americans to believe that the president’s re-election ended the battle over the law. It did no such thing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won’t be fully repealed while Barack Obama is in office, but the administration is heavily dependent on the states for its implementation.

Republicans will hold 30 governorships starting in January, and at last week’s meeting of the Republican Governors Association they made it clear that they remain highly critical of the health law. Some Republican governors—including incoming RGA Chairman Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Maine’s Paul LePage—have already said they won’t do the federal government’s bidding. Several Democratic governors, including Missouri’s Jay Nixon and West Virginia’s Earl Ray Tomblin, have also expressed serious concerns.

Talk of the law’s inevitability is intended to pressure these governors into implementing it on the administration’s behalf. But states still have two key choices to make that together will put them in the driver’s seat: whether to create state health-insurance exchanges, and whether to expand Medicaid. They should say “no” to both.

At its core, ObamaCare is a massive entitlement expansion. Between vastly increased Medicaid eligibility and new premium subsidies, it is expected to bring 30 million more people onto the federal government’s entitlement rolls. The law anticipates that the states will take on the burden of implementing the expansions, but states can opt out of both.

Running the exchanges would be an administrative nightmare for states, requiring a complicated set of rules, mandates, databases and interfaces to establish eligibility, funnel subsidies, and facilitate purchases. All of this would have to take place under broad and often incoherent statutory requirements and federal regulations that have yet to be written.

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Associated PressThey are on opposite sides of ObamaCare, but President Obama and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal met in September in LaPlace, La., for a briefing regarding Hurricane Isaac. (more…)

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VIDEO – FORMER GOVERNOR JOHN SUNUNU ON OBAMA’S DEBATE PERFORMANCE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

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PHOTOS – PAT McCRORY AND SCOTT WALKER

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WERE TAKEN AT A LUNCHEON FOR PAT McCRORY, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR AT THE CAROLINA COUNTRY CLUB IN RALEIGH ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2012.  GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER OF WISCONSIN WAS THE GUEST SPEAKER.

 

From the left: Pat McCrory, candidate for North Carolina Governor and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Pat McCrory

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Pat McCrory

Governor Scott Walker

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VIDEO – GOVERNORS WALKER, PERRY AND SCOTT – TURNING THIS COUNTRY AROUND

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

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THE FACTS ABOUT ROMNEYCARE

Monday, July 2nd, 2012
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ROMNEY’S MASSACHUSETTS GREEN ENERGY FUND

Monday, June 18th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • June 15, 2012

Romney Green Energy Fund Draws Fire

From Democrats

By SARA MURRAY

Mitt Romney reiterated this week his belief that government shouldn’t be “picking winners” in the private sector, and his campaign is pounding away at the argument that the Obama administration did exactly that in its failed investment in the Solyndra solar panel company.

But as the Solyndra debate rolls on, that line of attack is being shadowed by a vestige of Mr. Romney’s own history: his championing of green-energy investments, some of which also went belly up, while he was governor of Massachusetts.

[ROMENERGY] Boston HeraldAs Massachusetts governor in 2003, Mitt Romney, above at right, spoke to leaders of Konarka Technologies.

The $15 million Mr. Romney set aside for the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund when he was governor was a fraction of the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy gave Solyndra before it went bankrupt, part of an overall $16 billion fund. Still, the campaign of President Barack Obama is now citing the Massachusetts fund in an attempt to undercut the Romney argument that the administration has wrongly meddled in the private sector. The Democratic message is simple: The Republican contender did pretty much the same thing.

The green-energy tiff is an example of a broader trend emerging. The Romney campaign is seeking to keep the spotlight on the Obama presidential record. Meantime the Obama campaign is trying to use Mr. Romney’s own record as a public official to show that on a series of issues—job creation, government debt, abortion rights and global warming—his gubernatorial performance is at odds with his campaign posture. (more…)

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AFTER WISCONSIN, OBAMA’S HOUSE OF CARDS

Monday, June 11th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • June 7, 2012

What’s Changed After Wisconsin

The Obama administration suddenly looks like a house of cards.

  • By PEGGY NOONAN

What happened in Wisconsin signals a shift in political mood and assumption. Public employee unions were beaten back and defeated in a state with a long progressive tradition. The unions and their allies put everything they had into “one of their most aggressive grass-roots campaigns ever,” as the Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey and Dan Balz reported in a day-after piece. Fifty thousand volunteers made phone calls and knocked on 1.4 million doors to get out the vote against Gov. Scott Walker. Mr. Walker’s supporters, less deeply organized on the ground, had a considerable advantage in money.

But organization and money aren’t the headline. The shift in mood and assumption is. The vote was a blow to the power and prestige not only of the unions but of the blue-state budgetary model, which for two generations has been: Public-employee unions with their manpower, money and clout, get what they want. If you move against them, you will be crushed. 

Mr. Walker was not crushed. He was buoyed, winning by a solid seven points in a high-turnout race.

Governors and local leaders will now have help in controlling budgets. Down the road there will be fewer contracts in which you work for, say, 23 years for a city, then retire with full salary and free health care for the rest of your life—paid for by taxpayers who cannot afford such plans for themselves, and who sometimes have no pension at all. The big meaning of Wisconsin is that a public injustice is in the process of being righted because a public mood is changing.

Political professionals now lay down lines even before a story happens. They used to wait to do the honest, desperate, last-minute spin of yesteryear. Now it’s strategized in advance, which makes things tidier but less raggedly fun. The line laid down by the Democrats weeks before the vote was that it’s all about money: The Walker forces outspent the unions so they won, end of story.

Money is important, as all but children know. But the line wasn’t very flattering to Wisconsin’s voters, implying that they were automatons drooling in front of the TV waiting to be told who to back. It was also demonstrably incorrect. Most voters, according to surveys, had made up their minds well before the heavy spending of the closing weeks.

Mr. Walker didn’t win because of his charm—he’s not charming. It wasn’t because he is compelling on the campaign trail—he’s not, especially. Even his victory speech on that epic night was, except for its opening sentence—”First of all, I want to thank God for his abundant grace,” which, amazingly enough, seemed to be wholly sincere—meandering, unable to name and put forward what had really happened.

But on the big question—getting control of the budget by taking actions resisted by public unions—he was essentially right, and he won.

noonan0609

Associated PressWisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. (more…)

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