Category Archives: Health Care

Dear Chris Matthews, My Opposition to President Obama is Not Based on Hate

Today, I sent this message to Chris Matthews of MSNBC to counter the claim that he made on last night’s Rachel Maddow’s show that opposition to President Obama is based on hate…
October 15, 2013

To: Chris Matthews of MSNBC  

Dear Chris, 

Last night, on Rachel Maddow’s show, you came to the conclusion that southern conservatives oppose President Obama because of hate. I am a 52 year-old white male from the south, who generally votes conservative, but I am not a racist — I was baptized by an African-American pastor, who also presided at my wedding — and I don’t hate the President. I just disagree with him on many of his policy positions.   

You came to your conclusion while discussing Sunday’s Million Vet March at the World War II memorial, where there was one man with a confederate flag. Many who own such flags say they keep them as a symbol of heritage and independence, not in support of slavery and racism. I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just that we don’t know the man’s heart on that issue. Either way, he was only one of thousands of people who attended the rally. His flag doesn’t justify condemning the rest of the crowd, let alone everyone who opposes the President.

The anger that you saw among others at the event was not driven by hate but by indignation. The National Park Service, a department of the Executive Branch under President Obama, had erected barriers at an open air memorial. It was an apparent attempt to create a backlash against the Republicans over the government shutdown. Those barriers did not have to be erected. The public outrage was understandable, especially when coupled with the Defense Department’s recent refusal to pay death benefits to families of soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan. This should have been the story. Instead, the story centered only on the one guy with a confederate flag, and the anger of the crowd as if it had no justification.

The shutdown itself occurred because we have divided government. Many in the media have expressed dismay that there is opposition to the President and his health care law, since he was elected not once, but twice. A majority of House Republicans were also elected twice, in 2010 and 2012, chiefly due to a majority of the American people being opposed to “ObamaCare.” Those of us who voted for Republicans were concerned that the new health law would hurt middle class people. The facts are bearing that out.

I am a self-employed attorney. My wife worked nights as a nurse while I was in law school. I took on $65,000.00 in school debt to make it through. The reward: I don’t have to answer to a boss, just my clients. That used to be the American dream. However, it feels less and less like a dream since I pay for my own health insurance. I just received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield telling me that my current plan has been canceled and my monthly premium will go up from $588 to $897 for a plan with a high deductible. The letter stated that the increase was due to the Affordable Care Act, and that I have to pay more to help cover the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. Essentially this is a tax on the middle class, a redistribution of what wealth I have. Maybe NBC pays your health insurance. I have to pay my own. What happened to the President’s promise that I will save $2500.00 and be able to keep my current plan?

There are so many other ways we could have addressed the uninsured and pre-existing conditions: expanding Medicare with full federal funding for the states, direct government subsidies helping everyone pay their premiums as they do in Germany, and why not throw in some good GOP ideas for keeping costs down like interstate competition between insurance companies and reasonable tort reform? We could have paid for health care reform through tax reform. A frank national discussion in tough times might even have gotten the majority to support an increase in the amount of income that is subject to payroll tax. Instead, the Democrats imposed a massive new bureaucracy, with individual mandates, enforced by the IRS, without a single Republican vote. If I hate this, does it mean I hate the President? No. I hate the fact that he addressed a real problem with a bad solution.

The House Republicans wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act. I appreciated that, as I want it repealed and replaced, but that was an over-reach since the Democrats control the Senate. The GOP soon backed off that position, attempting merely to delay the individual mandate for one year. Prior to the shutdown there was bipartisan support for such a delay. Once the shutdown began, the left labeled that position “terrorism” and “insanity” borne by “hate” and “racism”.

It is all too easy to dismiss the reasonable grievances of the opposition by vilifying them personally. Not only is it unfair, it’s unproductive. If you really want the country to come together: acknowledge the real concerns of those you don’t agree with, engage them in dialogue without condescension, consider their recommendations, try to win them over, attempt to find reasonable common ground, and don’t attempt to judge hearts — that is God’s province alone. I will do my best to do the same.

Jim Edsall

Banner Elk, NC

Facts Correcting Liberals’ Misconceptions

by Jim Edsall

MISCONCEPTION 1: Tax revenues are down because the rich don’t pay enough.

FACT: Tax revenues are down because 46% of Americans pay NO federal income tax

The biggest reason that government revenues are relatively low compared to GDP recently is NOT that the tax rate on the rich is “only” 35%. It is because Bush got so progressive with his tax cuts that 46% of Americans now pay NO federal income taxes:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/26/pf/taxes/income-tax/index.htm

Yes, all who are employed pay payroll taxes (“FICA” toward Medicare and Social Continue reading

The ObamaCare Ruling – Chief Justice Roberts Creates the Penaltax

July 2, 2012 by Jim Edsall

On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the mandate to purchase health insurance in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) is constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal wing of the court to form a majority upholding the law, and how he reached that conclusion is highly problematic for all Americans. Writing the majority opinion, Roberts declared that “penalties” imposed for failure to purchase health insurance are not permissible under the Commerce Clause, but that they are constitutional as a “tax”. In so doing, he strayed far beyond the limits of the role of the court, re-writing a statute in the name of deference to the legislature, and disregarding precedent established by previous tax cases.

By this ruling, Roberts greatly expanded the power of Congress to impose punitive penalties on people who do not behave as they wish. The government can now punish you with a tax if you don’t buy an energy efficient house, or a GM car, or, yes, even broccoli. Liberals who applaud this ruling, beware – one day a different Congress and President could use this power in ways that you would not like. A law could now be passed declaring that unless a person joins the military and serves a minimum of two years he or she will be charged $2000.00 per year until they change their mind and join. Under the precedent set by John Roberts’ ruling, such a law would be “constitutional”. The government wouldn’t be telling anyone that they have to join, just that if they don’t they would have to pay for their “non-participation” and for being a “free rider”. They can even call it a “penalty” to avoid the political fall-out of calling it a “tax”. The government would just take it out of their tax refund, just like with ObamaCare.

If you are not already bothered by the effect of this decision, consider the twisted reasoning by which it was reached. Continue reading

It’s All About Color, but it’s Not About Race

by Jim Edsall

According to recent polls, half of the American people believe that Barack Obama should not be given a second term as President, and it’s all about color but it’s not about race. In his 2008 campaign, Obama positioned himself as uniquely able to unite all Americans by respecting divergent viewpoints and working to achieve consensus. That message had particular appeal in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, which are not all Republican “red” or all Democrat “blue”. Many who voted for Obama were hoping for unifying, moderate, bi-partisan, purple governance. What they got was something else entirely.

Stimulus

With a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, the President Continue reading