Posts Tagged "health care"


Great question.

Great question … if you’ve just entered this four-year-old debate.

The Evidence Is There's No Evidence →


There’s a fantastic article at The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s non-news news website for people who can’t handle the newsiness of Fox News. The headline is “Was Justice Roberts Intimidated Into Voting For ‘Obamacare’? Senator Mike Lee Presents The Evidence.” The article is a retelling of Glenn Beck’s radio interview of Mike Lee (R-UT), in which Lee explained his belief — meticulously written up, I’m sure, in his new e-book — that Roberts originally supported repeal of the Affordable Care Act and then was obviously intimidated into changing his vote.

Toward the bottom of the article, is this fantastic paragraph:

Lee continued to say that he has “no evidence” that Roberts was being blackmailed, but said that doesn’t mean Roberts wasn’t under any kind of “direct pressure.”

But even if he wasn’t, Lee reminded the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers were open in their warnings to the court, “denigrating the authority of the house,” and saying the Supreme Court would become irrelevant if it failed to uphold ObamaCare.

“Was Justice Roberts Intimidated? Senator Presents Evidence” screams the headline. And the evidence? Oh, there isn’t any. But buy the guy’s e-book; there’s also no evidence in there.

Here’s how The Blaze ends the article:

The argument that Roberts changed his vote has been made in the past, but is certainly lent additional credibility when a U.S. senator writes a book making the case.

Lee and Beck and tons of conservatives either don’t understand the ruling or don’t agree with it (or a little of both) so they assume that Roberts must have been intimidated; they even go so far as to suggest that the NSA might have blackmailed Roberts with pictures of himself or his family members. This is precisely the kind of conspiracy-mongering I always expect from Glenn Beck … but now we also get to enjoy it courtesy of a sitting U.S. Senator.

Really, there are two questions here:

  1. Did Justice Roberts change his vote on the Affordable Care Act?
  2. Was Justice Roberts intimidated into changing his vote?

Lee believes there’s some evidence that Roberts changed his vote between hearing oral arguments and writing the majority opinion. He seems to think this is the same thing as having evidence that Roberts was intimidated into changing his vote … because Lee apparently believes that one changes one’s mind only through intimidation.

You should watch the full fourteen minute interview because it’s a great example of what a whole bunch of people in this country are thinking. Of course, there are only a few moments in it that aren’t completely awash in lunatic conspiracy theorizing … and those are the moments when Lee repeatedly urges people to buy his e-book:


POLL: Over 40% of Americans don’t know if Obamacare is still law


Today, President Obama announced sweeping set of policies, including 23 executive orders, aimed at reducing gun violence. The unveiling was the result of the Joe Biden-led task force Obama formed last month in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, and proposed policies include an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and improved access to mental health care. The Washington Post calls it “the most expansive gun-control policies in a generation,” and the fact that the president issued no less than 23 executive orders suggests that he wants to avoid congress as much as possible with this (which, given his first term, is understandable). Here’s the flashy White House document outlining the proposals, here’s a list of the executive orders (one of which, somewhat amusingly, is “Nominate an ATF director”), and here’s audio of the event (courtesy of Matt Keys). Photo credit: AP source

Medicaid expansion in U.S. states found to cut death rates - Reuters →

State expansions of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Alternative New Yorker health care cover
More: The New Yorker

Alternative New Yorker health care cover

More: The New Yorker

The Atlantic: Newt Gingrich Supported an Individual Mandate as Recently as May 2009

Among other mandates, he also suggested that kids who live within a mile of school should be forced to walk there, even in rain and snow.

"If I see somebody who’s earning over $50,000 a year, who has made the calculated decision not to buy health insurance, I’m looking at somebody who is absolutely as irresponsible as anyone who was ever on welfare. Because what they’ve said is, A, I’m gambling that I won’t get sick, and B, I’m gambling that if I do get sick, I can cheat all my neighbors. Now, when you talk to hospitals, a very significant part of their non-collectibles are people who have money, but have calculated it’s not worth the cost to pay. And so I’m actually in favor of finding a way to say, whatever the appropriate level of income is, you ought to have either health insurance, or you ought to post a bond. But we have no right in this society to have a free rider approach, if we’re well off economically, to cheat our neighbors." - Newt Gingrich backing health care mandate for people making more than $50,000. 

(via Slate - Gingrich on Health Care Mandates, 2005)