Obamacare: All Is Well?

All is well with the Obamacare website, according to the administration. Never mind that it still crashes regularly; don’t mention that no more than 50,000 users can be on the site at one time; forget about whether you can actually complete an enrollment and pay for it; hey, at least you can get on it—sometimes, if you are lucky. I don’t know when I’ve ever witnessed an administration that could lie so blatantly and think they can get away with it.

Oh, wait, there was Bill Clinton.

Regardless, even if that website were to work perfectly, it wouldn’t solve the deeper issues: higher premiums than promised, unbelievably high deductibles, loss of doctors and hospitals where you can get treatment. So what if you can get on the site? Maybe you don’t really want to:

Bad News

President Obama, in an interview a few days ago, said his approval ratings had nowhere to go but up. Well, that might be a nice line in an attempt to appear humble, but I have news for him—there’s an employer mandate looming that may throw untold millions off their current health insurance plans. If he thinks he’s weathering a chaotic storm now, wait until the earthquake hits:

Nowhere to Go

This has Democrats up for reelection in 2014 extremely nervous. What can Obama possibly tell them to assuage their fears?

You Can Keep It

No, I don’t think that’s going to do it.

Amidst all this confusion and constant consternation, we must not neglect another constitutional issue: this president’s penchant for ruling by administrative fiat. He thinks he can simply change laws duly passed by Congress by just declaring that certain parts of the laws no longer are in effect. He thinks he can continue to tinker with Obamacare by exempting certain groups and delaying what were considered mandatory deadlines and actions—all for political reasons, seeking to avoid a Republican tsunami in the next election cycle. A president is supposed to execute the laws, but that means to carry them out, not to kill them by arbitrary decree:

Laws Executed

As much as I want to see Obamacare dead and buried, this is not the way. It sets an awful precedent for the future. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, and the rule of law should not be set aside. If it is, it will lead to tyranny.

Threat Levels

Does something have to crash and burn before a majority of Americans realize how awful it is? Well, if so, Obamacare is close to becoming the prime example, and all those conservatives who tried to sound warnings all along this policy road are now viewed as rather prophetic, even as the accusations against them continue:

Obstructionists

Even the author of this train wreck may soon be seeking anonymity:

Concerned Citizen

Question: how does one know the extent of the trouble one is in? How about if one of history’s classic liars takes you to task for lying?

Never Lie

Obama’s lies have become the center of attention in the political world. The general public, which often chooses to ignore what’s really happening in politics until it’s too late, is stunned by the brazenness of those lies. But they don’t begin and end with all those phony Obamacare promises:

Can't Believe

And how many Americans, eager for a quick fix, fail to understand that even Obama’s quick fixes are just as phony? Oh, and there’s another problem also:

Civics Quiz

Let’s go one step deeper: Where in the U.S. Constitution is the federal government authorized to do anything at all on the issue of health insurance? The general public is currently exercised over the abominable rollout of Obamacare, but that’s merely the surface problem. Go a step deeper and you come face to face with the bad policy itself, which is now causing havoc, and will only get worse if the employer mandate ever becomes reality.

But you have to go even deeper to grasp the ultimate problem—a president who is willing to shred the Constitution and the rule of law itself. If he’s successful at that, the constitutional republic is at an end.

We need to fight at all these levels.

Yes, decry the foolishness behind the botched rollout. Certainly, be relentless in pointing out the utter destruction that Obamacare leaves in its wake. Yet don’t neglect that deepest level, which overturns the very fabric of our society. Americans need to awaken to that threat, which is the most dangerous of all, and which gives rise to the other problems.

Obamacare: A Call for Action

Obamacare LogoIt’s time to take stock of where we stand with Obamacare. It’s also time for both Democrats and Republicans to consider the steps they need to take in this present crisis. And crisis is not too strong a term to use for this disaster. Millions are losing their healthcare plans and have nowhere good to go to replace them. That’s just the individual plans. Next year, this law will begin to affect employer plans, which will multiply the anguish nearly twentyfold.

What do we know for sure right now? First, as almost everyone on any place on the political spectrum admits, the promise that we could keep our healthcare plans if we liked them was either a gross misunderstanding of what was going to transpire or an outright lie. I opt for the latter. When we have President Obama in a video telling congressional leaders three years ago that 8 or 9 million individual plans will probably have to be scrapped, what else can the promise be but a blatant lie?

Second, Democrats are in panic mode. It’s as if they once were blind but now they see. But if they were blind, it was a willful blindness. Remember the classic statement from Nancy Pelosi—Speaker of the House at the time—informing us that we have to pass this law in order to find out what’s in it? In what universe does a congressman vote for a law first, then figure out what’s in it? Only in Nancy Pelosi’s alternate universe. And all those promises were no more than fantasy.

DC World

Democrats, my first admonition is to you: you put yourselves in this fix by your willingness to line up unquestioningly behind your leader, giving him your trust without taking responsibility for your own vote. You are fully to blame for what you are now experiencing. The only reason, it seems, that you now are frantically running here and there to find a fix is your fear of losing your seat of power. Well, frankly, you deserve to lose. No one who has done what you did should ever be entrusted again with the authority to pass laws for the rest of us.

What should you now do? Come to the realization that this entire thing called Obamacare needs to be scrapped. Your fearless leader came out yesterday and made a pronouncement from on high that he would deign to allow people to keep their plans for one more year. If you go along with this, you are making it pretty clear that your only priority is to put this off long enough to win reelection. If that’s all that matters to you, I pray you will lose, and lose big time.

Your obligation now is to make this right. Sign on to Republican efforts to overturn this destructive law. Laws, by the way, can be overturned, in case you didn’t know it. Don’t listen to Pelosi and Harry Reid say “settled” law is sacred. Slavery was once settled law. It’s time for you to set the captives free again.

Now, for you Republicans. First, congratulations that you have a solid record in opposition to Obamacare. Not one of you voted for it to become law when it sneaked through three years ago. But here is your real test. Will you now avoid the temptation to “fix” something that cannot be fixed? Will you put an ineffective bandaid on this cancer or will you root it out completely? Only the second option will work.

Another important point you Republicans need to make is that no president, regardless of political party, has the authority to simply declare a change in a law. Only totalitarian dictators can do that. We live in a constitutional republic where the rule of law must prevail. Make a strong case before the public that Obama has stepped so far out of bounds with his latest pronouncement that he has taken on the air of a dictator. Convince the citizens that this must be stopped at all costs. The very future of our form of government is at stake.

Prayer for NationFinally, for those of you who claim the name of Christ, now is the time to pray. That’s not just some pious platitude. I’m beginning to hope that the reason we are seeing this Obamacare monster blow up/disintegrate before our eyes may be the result of the fervent prayers of many. Those pleas to the God of heaven must continue, coupled with humility and a sense of our own culpability for ever permitting this nation to fall to this low ebb spiritually and morally. For some, the following Scripture may have become a cliché, but it’s worth repeating:

If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Lord, as a people, we lack humility. Wicked ways permeate our society. Yet Your promises of forgiveness and healing remain. Please forgive us and start the healing we so urgently need.

Sin, the Church, & the Nation

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The New Mexico Supreme Court rules that a Christian photographer who didn’t want to photograph a homosexual wedding has to do so. Her faith was not as important as the right of the couple to force her to be their photographer. Her faith has to accommodate to their wishes because anti-discrimination is more essential than religious liberty.

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A bakery in Oregon refuses to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. The business now faces an anti-discrimination lawsuit.

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Officials in Pennsylvania and New Mexico defy the laws of their states by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Pennsylvania’s attorney general states she will defy the same-sex marriage ban. The attorney general is supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer in the state.

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A lesbian training squadron commander in the Air Force punishes a sergeant who believes homosexuality is a sin. This occurred after he defended another sergeant who had shared his religious views on homosexuality in a classroom setting.

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On a day in which Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is memorialized, President Obama includes in his remarks comments about how gays are experiencing the same discrimination blacks have historically experienced, thereby equating the two.

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The lead singer for the popular Christian band Building 429 says that he doesn’t like to throw stones, that homosexuals are in a human rights fight, and that they should have the same rights as a traditional married couple. Although he says he believes homosexuality is a sin, it’s not all that big a deal because he sins “1000 times a day.” He’s not comfortable chastising people and telling them they may go to hell.

This is America, year 2013. We are a nation on the edge of moral ruin. The rule of law is breaking down. Even many who call themselves Christians can’t bring themselves to stand for Biblical truth. One of the biggest problems, in my view, is that our theology is off-base. If you sin a thousand times a day, are you really a Christian?

Hebrews HolinessWe are hesitant to judge. We don’t want to be seen as holier-than-thou. We want people to love us. Yet we are told in Scripture to speak the truth in love. Yes, we reach out to people, even to those caught in the ugliest of sinful bondage, but that outreach must begin with the truth: you can only be set free by repenting of the sin and receiving God’s forgiveness. Another part of the truth is that God now expects you to live a life free from sin. Holiness is a requirement; you no longer sin a thousand times a day.

So while I’m disturbed by the drift in this nation, I’m more disturbed by the drift in what is ostensibly the Body of Christ. And the connection between the two is evident. As the church goes, so goes the nation. If we want the nation to change, we must begin with ourselves. God will definitely hold us accountable.

Obamacare Confusion: Path to Liberty or Greater Control?

The mess that is Obamacare just keeps getting worse. It seems like every week another part of the “law” gets delayed. Not that I mind, of course, when it comes to the substance of the law. But the unprincipled way in which this administration handles what is supposed to be law is disturbing, since it’s almost always a violation of the rule of law itself:

U.S. Law

When it comes to Obamacare, people are getting more confused as it lumbers along. Some of that has to do with political chicanery:

Obamacare Puzzle

The delays are a combination of gross incompetence and political expediency. Obama knows his “landmark” legislation is wildly unpopular, and becoming more so with each new poll. He fears losing the Senate in the 2014 congressional elections, so he’s attempting to limit the damage by shoving this albatross down the road so fewer voters will feel its effects in the months leading up to the election.

The groups now opposing Obamacare number not only many unions that helped support it in the first place, but also over 90% of federal employees. There seems to be a lot of buyer’s remorse going around:

Voted for This

Conservatives warned of the consequences of this bill, but it was steamrolled through Congress anyway. It’s actually kind of funny/sad that the same arguments being used by this administration against a current proposed airline merger are the same ones conservatives used regarding Obamacare a few years ago:

Fight the Merger

While conservatives may chuckle about this development and rejoice that the rollout of this boondoggle has been so fraught with chaos, the danger is that all the chaos may make voters throw their hands in the air and demand order. That might not lead us toward greater liberty after all:

Almost There

I can see Obama now, reassuring the low-information voters that all this confusion can be resolved if we just let the government do it all. How many will drink that koolaid?

Eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty.

Obamacare & the Rule of Law

The Obamacare machine lurches forward—if indeed “forward” is the right word. This thing is so full of troubles, some Republicans are hoping it self-destructs, allowing them to just watch it fall without much effort. While it’s tempting to hope for this outcome, it would be folly to depend on it. No matter how inefficient and problematic its rollout becomes, once subsidies begin flowing, it will be nearly impossible to stop it. I know the tactic being used by senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio to defund it has its detractors—the main objection being Republicans will get the blame if this ends up shutting down some of government’s services—but I believe the effort is worth the risk. Frankly, if all Republicans, along with a few Democrats who know this is a train wreck, would unite, it could be stopped now. It’s always difficult to find backbones at the proper time.

The latest ludicrous development was the realization by members of Congress that the bill they passed will apply to themselves and their staffs. Perhaps if they had read the bill before they passed it? Anyway, the outcry was huge because they were afraid staff people couldn’t afford it. Wait a minute; wasn’t the name of this law the Affordable Care Act? Right.

So they argued there had to be a loophole or something before staffers decided to leave their jobs. Perhaps the funniest part of the panic was the fear that this would be a “brain drain” from Congress:

Brain Drain

I’m trying not to laugh. Really. With respect to a couple hundred of those congressmen, I don’t think we’d notice any drain at all. Their resignations, and the resignations of staffers who tell them how to vote, might actually raise the intellectual level of our premier lawmaking body.

The outcry was heard in the White House, where President Obama soothed their fears by giving them and their staffs taxpayer subsidies to cover the extra costs. They are, consequently, getting a benefit most other people won’t receive. I think that’s called special treatment. It’s reserved for supporters of the current regime.

Lifeboats

The rest of us, meanwhile, remain on the Titanic.

There’s an even more ominous aspect to this:

I Write the Laws

It’s another example of how Obama simply “declares” something to be law, even though he has no authority to do so. He did the same as an end-run around immigration laws, just declaring that they didn’t apply to those of a certain age under specified circumstances. This is a president who has no regard at all for what is traditionally called the rule of law. If the president wants it, the president gets it. Congress is inconsequential. The Constitution is not a factor.

More than anything else, this attitude is the greatest threat to our future as a nation.

Pro-Abortion Lawlessness

Late last night—actually, early this morning—abortion supporters “won” a “victory” in Texas.  Yes, I put quotation marks around those two words for a reason. Any victory for those who favor abortion is an abomination before God. A win, for them, is by any means possible, even at the cost of disrupting a legislature and overturning the rule of law.

Here’s what happened.

Unborn ChildThe Texas legislature was on the verge of passing a bill that would protect the lives of unborn children, disallowing abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy. This bill would save hundreds of lives in that state and move us closer to being a nation with a conscience once more. Those without a conscience, however—or rather, those with a seared conscience—decided to stage a combination of legislative chicanery and outright riot to forestall the possibility.

One Democrat woman legislator held a filibuster on the bill, seeking to keep the chamber from voting before midnight, when the legislative session would legally end. She had help from a raucous crowd, both inside and outside the building, attempting to create an atmosphere of chaos. Republicans were finally able to end the filibuster at 11:45 p.m., but then were kept from voting on time by the mob that made it impossible to conduct business.

I’m reminded of the same strategy in Wisconsin a couple of years ago, when protesters occupied the state capitol and even made death threats against Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators there. What we are witnessing is an ongoing tactic of trying to get one’s way by intimidation and lawlessness.

Is this where we have come as a society? Well, that’s really a rhetorical question. You can see it plainly. We celebrate the murder of innocent children, all in the name of reproductive rights. There’s a translation of that phrase I can give you: utter selfishness and depravity.

By the way, that unlawful mob yesterday received direct written support from Barack Obama, who may be perhaps the most lawless person ever to hold the office of the presidency. It’s time to stop acting as if he’s just a nice guy who simply holds an uninformed opinion on abortion. No, he’s the foremost proponent of killing innocent children. How often do I and others have to remind an uncaring people that he’s one of the few legislators on record as opposing a bill that would have required medical attention from doctors for any child born alive during an abortion? Who else has pronounced God’s blessing on an organization—Planned Parenthood—whose primary purpose is to carry out as many abortions as possible?

Barack Obama fits the description offered by C. S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters, when he has the senior devil gloat over how wickedness is no longer found primarily in the dark corners of society, the sordid dens of iniquity, but rather in the corporate offices and government bureaucracies of the land run by people who are well-manicured and respectable.

This is the face of evil in our day. It’s time to stop mincing words. It’s time to speak the truth more boldly than ever.