Sunday, September 5, 2010

7: Obama Accounting: "A House Divided" - Obamacare v. 36 States

"A house divided against itself cannot stand". (Abraham Lincoln, 1858, Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL)

Barack Obama echoed the words of Abraham Lincoln when announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nominee for President of the United States on February 10, 2007.

There are differences. Lincoln, a Republican, campaigning for IL Senator to the US Congress, lost to Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. In the debates with Douglas, Lincoln and his views became well-known. Lincoln's primary goal in this tumultuous time was the preservation of the United States, "the Union". His position on slavery was negotiable and pragmatic.

In the debates, Douglas identified "local control" as the key to maintaining Southern agricultural wealth. Farm wealth included slaves which aded $150-400 to the farm value and kept labor affordable in a barter economy dependent on exchanging work for room, board, and some farm products.

Two (2) years later, in 1860, Lincoln would campaign and win to become the 16th President of the US.

Those words, "A house divided", were prophetic for the new President Lincoln. Southern Democrats, believing Lincoln would be hostile to the South, began to withdraw from the USA. South Carolina adopted the Ordinance of Secession on December 20, 1860 to protest Lincoln's election with only 40% of the popular vote.

By March 4, 1861, seven (7) states had seceded to form the Confederate States of America (CSA). The Confederacy attacked a Union rescue expedition at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, on April 12, 1861. The Civil War had begun.

Barack Obama's challenge to individual freedom, including each American's right to buy or not buy health care insurance also has provoked a battle over "local control", "state sovereignty" 150 years later.

Idaho began a legal challenge on March 18, 2010, before Congressional passage of Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of March 23, 2010 (PPACA). Less than an hour after the Act was signed into law, 13 states, FL, AL, CO, ID, LA, MI, NE, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT and WA, filed a lawsuit in Pensacola, FL challenging the Act. Later 4 additional states joined the lawsuit (AZ, IN, MS, ND). VA has filed a separate lawsuit involving a recently enacted state law. In MO, a ballot initiative about exemption from Obamacare provisions has passed. At least 36 states have objected to this federal intervention into health care.

Obamacare demands each citizen buy insurance or register for the welfare medical card, Medicaid, if eligible, or be charged an IRS assessed and collected penalty.

Obamacare passes the cost of health care back to the individual and to the states. Ohio estimates budget increases of $444.00 for each of the 554,000 new welfare enrollees, $237 million dollars, during an expected budget deficit of over $8Billion dollars in the next 2-year budget.

Federal Congressional support for the Act was partisan. The Senate voted 60-39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for and all Republicans against on December 24, 2009. The Act passed in the House of Representatives by only 7 votes, 219-212 with all 178 Republicans plus 34 Democrats voting against, with 4 vacancies.

Public opinion has been largely negative. CNN polls of March 19-21, 2010 reported 59%opposed to it while 39% supported it. Bloomberg LP found only 4 of 10 supported it. Only a USA Today/Gallup poll had different results. 49% viewed it as "a good thing, while 40% viewed it "badly", wth +/- 4% error. However, senior citizens opposed Obamacare while those younger than 40 supported it.

Rasmussen Reports polled 59% opposed. After passage, 55% of Americans favored repealing Obamacare.

Rep. Steve King(IA) introduced HR 4972 to Repeal Obamacare.

Not often mentioned by Obama and the Democrats, or the media, is the IRS assessed and collected penalty for not purchasing insurance. Obama did mention penalties against businesses, employers who do not provide health care coverage benefits. However, seasoned employees will know that employer plans usually require a payroll tax deducted contribution by the employee.

Nor did Obama mention "rationed" medical care under the Obamacare plan. Obama appointed and Department of Heath & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius backed "rationed" medical care advocate Harvard Medical School Dr. Donald Berwick to be Director of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

(See 5: and 6: Obama Accounting for blogs on rationed health care and IRS penalties for the "non-compliant".)

Photgraph: Abraham Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton (left) and Major General John A. McClernard (right) following the battle of Antietam, October 3, 1862. Photograph by Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress. In Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, DS Heidler & JY Heidler, Editors, ABC-Clio, California, USA, 2000.

Other references: Wikipedia,, National Press Club archive video.

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