Citing his pro-life beliefs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, became the latest political leader to slam the current “war on drugs” as a “failure.” Instead of putting illegal-drug users in prison, first-time non-violent offenders should be sentenced to mandatory treatment and rehabilitation programs, the GOP governor argued during a speech at the Brookings Institution this week.
The remarks came in the wake of a new law in New Jersey seeking to reform some elements of the state’s dealings with addicts and narcotics users. Passed overwhelmingly by the legislature last month but criticized by Gov. Christie for its “piecemeal” approach, the measure creates a pilot program ordering certain people caught with drugs into a year-long treatment regime instead of imposing criminal penalties.
"The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure," Gov. Christie argued in his speech.
On Monday Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the sixth Governor to refuse to implement ObamaCare's state exchanges or Medicaid expansion.
Dr. Richard Pan’s bill, AB 2019, to require a doctor to "sign off" on parents' decisions not to inoculate their children will wind up enforcing that inoculation. During a public hearing, Dawn Richardson, Director of Advocacy for the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC), showed up to explain why she and her organization opposed the bill.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has joined the ranks of other GOP governors eager to assert the sovereignty of their states by nullifying the ObamaCare law. Perry announced on Monday that he will not be expanding the Medicaid program or creating the necessary healthcare exchange to implement the president's signature legislation. As noted by Reuters, “The announcement makes Texas the most populous state that has rejected the provisions.”
In anticipation that the Supreme Court might rule in favor of ObamaCare, Avik Roy wrote in Forbes magazine that Health Savings Plans (HSAs) would be negatively impacted and possibly forced out of existence.
HSAs were first allowed under law as part of President George W. Bush’s prescription drug program passed in 2003. At the time it seemed a common sense answer to a sticky problem: over usage of health insurance benefits and the consequent rising costs to pay for that over usage.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has reassured the electorate that he agrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the infamous “individual mandate” that is the cornerstone of the Affordable Health Care Act — i.e. “ObamaCare” — is a tax. He also says it's constitutional. In his own words from his July 4 interview with CBS's Jan Crawford: “The Supreme Court has the final word. And their final word is that ObamaCare is a tax. So it's a tax. They decided it was constitutional. So it is a tax and it's constitutional. That's the final word. That's what it is.”
On Tuesday evening, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was asked about repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare, if Republicans take back control of the Senate in November. Said McConnell: "Repeal of ObamaCare will be the first item up in the Senate if I am Majority Leader. ... Our goal will be to get it off the books. In my view, it is the single worst piece of legislation that has been passed in modern times."
Florida Governor Rick Scott has said he will not expand the state's Medicaid program or support the establishment of ObamaCare insurance exchange programs in his state. Following last week's Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Scott said in an interview with NewsMax TV he will turn down the additional federal dollars for Medicaid expansion under the law.
Now that the Supreme Court has delivered its final verdict on ObamaCare, which upheld the law’s contentious individual mandate, insurance providers and industry groups are warning of even greater premium increases on Americans’ health plans. While President Obama touted the law as a cost-savior for the healthcare industry — going so far as to call it the “Affordable Care Act” — insurance premiums have consistently risen ever since the law was enacted.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s chief lobbying group, issued a statement following the ruling, stressing the importance of “secure, affordable coverage choices,” but saying that “major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed.” AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni suggested that due to the inflated costs, “it’s time for people to roll up their sleeves and look very carefully at those provisions.”
In a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the main provisions of the “ObamaCare” healthcare law, including the penalty for non-compliance with the mandate that uninsured persons purchase health insurance by 2014. The Court upheld the mandate on the strength of the taxing power of Congress, but not before writing another chapter in the Court’s often tortured and zigzag interpretations of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
Beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can expect to see their checks cut to 79 percent by 2016, according to the program's trustees.