Three quick looks at how the government is above the law with our rights
Saturday, January 5, is Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day—an opportunity for individuals and communities to support the company and its owners’ brave stand against the anti-conscience mandate’s assault on obamacares-preventive-services-mandate-and-religious-liberty” religious freedom.
Unless the Green family, which founded and runs the company, violates its deeply held beliefs and gets in line with the Administration’s mandate, Hobby Lobby could face fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
On January 1, the family owned arts-and-crafts supply chain that employs more than 22,000 individuals renewed its employee health plan for 2013, triggering enforcement of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joined the chorus of supporters:
[Hobby Lobby’s] generosity to missions, to the relief of poverty around the world, to Christian education, and to their employees is legendary and exemplifies the kind of business principle that should be applauded and appreciated. Instead they are having to fight in court for the most basic American rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The Green family, which closes all Hobby Lobby locations on Sundays, simply seeks to operate in accordance with Christian principles, including offering an employee health plan that aligns with those values. Under the coercive Obamacare mandate, however, the company is now forced to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs such as ella (the “week after” pill) and Plan B (the “morning after” pill) or face ruinous fines.
Support Hobby Lobby: Send a thank you note to Greens letting them know you’re standing by their side.
Though the government’s entitlement spending is still spiraling out of control, taxpayers have finally caught a break: The recently passed “fiscal cliff” deal included the repeal of one of Obamacare’s worst provisions, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
The CLASS Act was a new entitlement program included in Obamacare. CLASS was created as a voluntary, government-run long-term care (LTC) program. From the inception of the program it was to be fully funded from the premiums paid by its beneficiaries and required no federal taxpayer dollars.
But the program was so poorly designed—much like the rest of Obamacare—that even the Obama Administration had to admit it wouldn’t work. A letter to Congress in 2011 from a CLASS administrator warned of extreme adverse selection in the program, stating “if healthy purchasers are not attracted to the CLASS benefit package, then premiums will increase, which will make it even more unattractive to purchasers who could also obtain policies in the private market.
This imbalance in the beneficiary pool would cause the program to quickly collapse.” While the U.S. does have a problem regarding people not being properly prepared for long-term care costs, CLASS was not the solution. Taxpayers can take comfort that this entitlement fiasco has been averted.
The Entitlement Problem
The core of the problem is spending. In CBO’s more realistic assumptions, spending continues growing at unsustainable rates, rising from $3.6 trillion this year to $6 trillion in 2022, or 24.4 percent of economic output. Tax revenues will rise above their historical levels—even with the Bush tax cuts made permanent. Thus, it is this relentless spending that results in continuing deficits near or above $1 trillion throughout the decade.
The principal drivers of this spending are the entitlement programs, especially Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These three programs alone will cost $1.592 trillion this year, about 44 percent of total federal spending. By 2022, if they are not reformed, these programs will total $2.991 trillion, almost half the budget (49.8 percent).
Obamacare added even more entitlement spending. The health insurance subsidies and exchanges in the program add a whopping $645 billion in spending over the next 10 years, and his expansions of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) add another $78 billion.
These figures are further evidence that Congress and the President must begin restructuring these programs soon. With every month of delay, the spending problem grows larger, and the actions needed to fix it become more wrenching.
In our humble yet, qualified opinions we’ve been addressing this particular issue for some time now. By empiriacle and unscientific observations our research at various “talk back or Comments sections” of the multitude of websites that have been featuring articles of this type, the overwhelming kick-back is in the notion that Social Security is not an entitlement…and we quite agree with that premise. Any time that a person pays with their own money into a system that allegedly is to keep those funds until one reaches a certain age is not an entitlement.
The author’s of this article are indebted to the Heritage Foundation for their coverage of these events.