by Dave Carter
Whatever the perceived shortcomings of Ted Cruz and his hardy band of stalwarts, they’ve performed a remarkable public service by highlighting the fate that awaits all who rub wrongly the translucently thin skin of King Barack the Petulant. The Spartans may have had their shields, Native Americans their tomahawks and arrows, the Samurai may have wielded his sword with all the deadly grace of a tiger in mid-attack, but pound for pound, nothing comes close to the audacious stupidity of “Barrycades” and people in pointy little Smokey the Bear hats, poised to protect America’s monuments from law-abiding citizens.
Welcome to liberal utopia, where barriers are not erected against terrorists or illegal aliens on our nation’s borders, but rather against citizens, and where wheelchair-bound veterans enroute to honor their comrades face tighter security than terrorists enroute to murder a US Ambassador.
Read More -> The Bleeding Heart becomes The Iron Fist
As August winds down, it’s time for the next wave in Ted Cruz’s grassroots TSUNAMI.
-You’ve asked representatives for town halls and set up your own when the rep didn’t want to hear from you. Great job!
-You’ve asked your members of Congress to represent America and to stop Obamacare in September by signing the Mark Meadows letter (US House) and the Mike Lee letter (US Senate). We’ve added two more signers from NC – Great job!
-Your Republican National Committee passed unanimously NC’s resolution instructing Congress to defund Obamacare on the Continuing Resolution (CR). Great job!
Yet, US House leadership, which has the power to stop Obamacare before it starts, is still not willing to do it.
Ted Cruz has again asked the grassroots to bring a “tsunami” (FF to 6:08). Here we go.
4 phone calls from each 1 of us = The Cruz Tsunami:
1. Flood the offices of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Ask him to honor the Meadows letter, the RNC Resolution, the wishes of his caucus, and the American people:
Call Speaker Boehner at 877.976.7521 or fax his office at 202.225.5117.
Tell him you expect him to defund Obamacare through the CR and to NOT raise the debt ceiling. Not raising the debt ceiling means there will be no additional funds for Obamacare. Boehner is using the debt ceiling debate as a “shiny object” to deflect from the defund issue.
2. Flood Senator Burr’s office and insist that he represent us and sign Mike Lee’s letter committing to defund: 202-224-3154 or 800.685.8916
Tell him you expect him to back up his co-sponsorship of the Cruz Act to Defund Obamacare by signing Senator Lee’s letter. Co-sponsoring the bill is meaningless without the procedural context outlined in the Lee letter. Burr is using political cover by signing the bill and not the letter. Tell him funding Obamacare is “dumb”.
3. If your rep is listed below, call and insist that they sign the Meadows letter. Tell them you expect them to back up their previous votes against Obamacare by signing on to the Meadows letter. A vote to defund doesn’t mean a vote to shut down government. Signing the letter gives procedural context to the Graves Defund Obamacare Act. Simply co-sponsoring the Act is only political cover.
Virginia Foxx, District 5: (336) 778-0211 or 202-225-2071
Patrick McHenry, District 10: 800.477.2576 or 202-225-2576
Robert Pittenger, District 9: (704) 365-6234 or 202-225-1976
Renee Ellmers, District 2: 1-877-645-8764 or 202-225-4531
OR If your rep is listed below, thank him for signing the Meadows letter and ask him to stand firm:
Mark Meadows, District 11: 202-225-6401
Richard Hudson, District 8: 202-225-3715
Walter Jones, District 3: 202-225-3415
Howard Coble, District 6: 202-225-3065
George Holding, District 13: 202-225-3032
OR If your rep is listed below, ask them to represent you and to sign the Meadows letter to defund Obamacare. Democrats know the ACA is a train wreck, and we are asking them to be brave enough to stop it:
GK Butterfield, District 1: 202-225-3101
David Price, District 4: 202-225-1784
Mike McIntyre, District 7: 202-225-2731
Mel Watt, District 12: 202-225-1510
4. Call Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) 202-224-6342 or 877.852.9462
Tell her you expect her to listen to the majority of North Carolinians who don’t want Obamacare imposed on them. Point out that she and her staff are receiving 75% subsidies for Ocare provided by the taxpayers because Congress found out it was so expensive. Don’t let staffers tell you otherwise!
Thank you and Good luck!
Additional numbers for reference
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Rep. G. K. Butterfield, Jr. (D-01) (252) 237-9816
Rep. Renee L. Ellmers (R-02) 1-877-645-8764
Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-03) 800-351-1697
Rep. David Price (D-04) 919.859.5999
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-05) (336) 778-0211
Rep. Howard Coble (R-06) (336) 333-5005
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-07) (910) 815-4959
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-08) 704-786-1612
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-09) (704) 365-6234
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-10) 800.477.2576
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-11) 828-693-5660
Rep. Mel Watt (D-12) (704) 344-9950
Rep. George Holding (R-13) 919-856-9778
Senator Burr: 800.685.8916
Senator Hagan: 877.852.9462
Morning Bell: The Next Threat to Your Privacy
Who has access to your Social Security number, your bank information, and your tax records?
When Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges open, your data could be exposed to shysters and hackers, thanks to serious vulnerabilities in the system.
The exchanges are scheduled to open on October 1 (just 53 days away). But the list of implementation failures keeps growing, and the security of Americans’ data is threatened.
THREAT #1: Obamacare “Navigators”
Navigators are a group of people and organizations that are going to be facilitating signups for Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.
- Example: Planned Parenthood has applied for navigator grants to work with consumers.
- Danger: HHS will not require navigators to undergo “minimum eligibility criteria and background checks.” The Administration’s training program does not require navigators to participate in anti-fraud classes. And many states do not have plans for investigating unscrupulous navigators who may attempt to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting Americans. Even California’s Democratic insurance commissioner—a strong supporter of Obamacare—admitted “we can have a real disaster on our hands” if scam artists posing as navigators get access to applicants’ Social Security numbers, bank accounts, and other personal information.
THREAT #2: Obamacare’s Data Hub
The data hub is a massive compilation of tax filings, Social Security reports, and other government data that will be used to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance.
- Insecure? The hub isn’t scheduled to be certified as secure until September 30—only one day before the exchanges open for business.
- Cutting Corners: The HHS inspector general recently released a report highlighting major delays in implementation of Obamacare’s data hub. The report amplifies what former HHS officials have been saying for months: The Administration has been cutting corners on data privacy for the exchanges, raising major questions about whether the data on the hub can be certified as secure—or whether Obamacare will place Americans’ tax and other personal information at risk.
The Obama Administration’s shoddy, slapdash approach to Obamacare implementation is placing the sensitive personal data of millions of Americans at risk. It’s one more reason why Congress should refuse to spend a single dime implementing this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular law.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
- Debunking some myths in the fight to defund Obamacare.
- It’s the president who is threatening to shut down the government, though the media won’t cover it that way.
- You may not believe that the majority of parents want this at their kids’ schools.
- How does President Obama’s economic recovery compare to those of other Presidents?
- Liberals are marshalling their forces to push Obamacare against growing opposition.
- The heartwarming story of two people who left Cuba to make a life in America.
- Obamacare even includes the food police.
President Pro Tempore
Senator Phil Berger
February 4, 2013 Shelly Carver, 919-301-1744
How would you like 4 more years of his leadership?
HURT: Brutal week for Obama, the worst of his presidency
By Charles Hurt
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The past seven brutal days will go down as one of the worst weeks in history for a sitting president. It certainly has been, without any doubt, the worst week yet for President Obama.
Somehow, Mr. Obama managed to embarrass himself abroad, humiliate himself here at home, see his credentials for being elected so severely undermined that it raises startling questions about whether he should have been elected in the first place — let alone be re-elected later this year.
• Last Friday, Mr. Obama wandered into the killing of Trayvon Martin. Aided by his ignorance of the situation, knee-jerk prejudices and tendency toward racial profiling, Mr. Obama played a heavy hand in elevating a tragic situation in which a teenager was killed into a full-blown hot race fight.
Americans, he admonished, need to do some “soul-searching.” And then, utterly inexplicably, he veered off into this bizarre tangent about how he and the poor dead kid look so much alike they could be father and son. It was election-year race-pandering gone horribly wrong.
• By the start of this week, Mr. Obama had fled town and was racing to the other side of the planet just as the Supreme Court was taking up the potentially-embarrassing matter of Obamacare. While in South Korea he was caught on a hidden mic negotiating with the president of our longest-standing rival on how to sell America and her allies down the river once he gets past the next election.
• Meanwhile, back at home, the Supreme Court took up the single most important achievement of Mr. Obama’s presidency and, boy, was it embarrassing. The great constitutional law professor, it turns out, may not quite be the wizard he told us he was.
By most accounts, Mr. Obama and his stuttering lawyers were all but laughed out of the courthouse. They were even stumbling over softball questions lobbed by Mr. Obama’s own hand-picked justices.
• Mr. Obama closed his week pulling off a nearly unimaginable feat: He managed to totally and completely unify the nastily-fighting Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Late Wednesday night, they unanimously voted — 414 to zip — to reject the budget Mr. Obama had presented, leaving him not even a thin lily’s blade to hide behind.
So, in one week, Mr. Obama got caught whispering promises to our enemy, incited a race war, raised serious questions about his understanding of the Constitution, and then got smacked down over his proposed budget that was so wildly reckless that even Democrats in Congress could not support it.
It was as if you lumped Hurricane Katrina and the Abu Ghraib abuses into one week for George W. Bush. And added on top of that the time he oddly groped German Chancellor Angela Merkel and got caught cursing on a hot mic.
Even then, it wouldn’t be as bad as Mr. Obama’s week. You would probably also have to toss in the time Mr. Bush’s father threw up into the lap of Japan’s prime minister. Only then might we be approaching how bad a week it was for Mr. Obama.
Not that you will see any trace of embarrassment in the face of Mr. Obama. He has mastered the high political art of shamelessness, wearing it smugly and cockily. Kind of like a hoodie.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue. I apologize for my delayed response.
Since the start of the health reform debate over two years ago, I have carefully examined how this legislation will impact our state. I have listened to the personal stories and concerns of constituents and have been extremely focused on working to ensure that our health care system works for every North Carolina family. In these last two years, I have received hundreds of thousands of letters, emails, and telephone calls from North Carolinians, and I truly appreciated hearing your views on many of the issues discussed.
In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act became law. Currently, there is a lot of discussion about repealing this legislation. Throughout the health reform debate, I consistently heard stories from North Carolinians who were denied health insurance because they had a “preexisting condition,” or had been dropped from their insurance plans once they became sick. Repealing this legislation would only create countless more stories from people denied coverage. Through its various provisions, health reform will help an estimated 32 million people that previously were without health insurance to secure medical coverage. A 2009 study in the American Journal of Public Health found 45,000 people a year died because they lacked health insurance. Quite simply, I believe North Carolina’s families deserve better than this.
In addition, our current health care spending is simply unsustainable. Each year, costs associated with our current health care system increase. Ten years ago, North Carolinians paid $6,000 in annual family premiums. Today those premiums cost more than $12,000. With these reforms, we will reduce health care costs for families, seniors, and small businesses, not just in the next few years, but also for the long term.
Another important consideration in the discussion of repealing health reform is the cost to our federal deficit. In January 2011, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that repealing the health care overhaul would increase the deficit by a total of $230 billion over 10 years. Our country cannot sustain continued deficit spending far into the future and I am working to enact a number of policies that will help address our nation’s deficit and debt.
Although the various provisions in this historic legislation will be implemented over time, many critical protections have already gone into effect in the last year. These provisions have expanded access to high quality, accessible, and affordable health insurance for thousands of North Carolinians. I would like to bring your attention to several of these provisions.
Starting on September 23, 2010, the new law ended some of the worst insurance company abuses and provided important new benefits for you and your family. First, the new law prohibits insurance companies from refusing coverage to or limiting the benefits of children (up to age 19) because of a preexisting medical condition. This prohibition applies to all health plans offered by employers and when an individual purchases a new policy. In 2014, discriminating against all individuals who have a preexisting condition will be prohibited. Second, the law prohibits all insurance plans from putting lifetime caps on the dollar amount that they will spend on benefits. In the past, patients with cancer or other chronic diseases ran the risk of hitting a lifetime cap and losing access to care. The law also restricts most insurance companies’ use of low annual dollar limits on benefits. In 2014, annual limits will be eliminated. Third, the law prohibits all insurance plans from canceling your coverage because of an unintentional mistake on an application.
Also beginning on September 23, 2010, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Prior to health reform, insurance plans could remove enrolled children — usually at age 19, sometimes older for full-time students. By allowing children to stay on their parents’ plan, health reform makes it easier and more affordable for young adults to get health insurance coverage. If health reform legislation were repealed, an estimated 37,300 young adults in North Carolina would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans.
On July 1, 2010, a new Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan program went into effect. This program offers uninsured individuals with preexisting conditions coverage in special state-based “pools” at an affordable rate. Prior to health reform, many people with illnesses or disabilities were unable to obtain private health insurance or the coverage offered to them was so costly that they could not afford it. For more information on this program, visit www.inclusivehealth.org
Over 120,235 North Carolina small businesses are also now eligible for a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable. This small business tax credit gives small employers the ability to offer insurance to their workers. Tax credits will be provided up to 35% of the employer’s eligible premium expenses for tax years 2010-2013. Beginning in tax year 2014, employers can receive a tax credit for up to 50% of the cost of the premiums.
Effective January 1, 2014, most individuals who can afford it will be required to obtain basic health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. If affordable coverage is not available to an individual, he or she will be eligible for an exemption or will be able to utilize new tax credits to help them afford health insurance. Medicaid will also be extended to Americans with low incomes of up to $14,000 for an individual or $29,000 for a family of four in 2010 dollars. If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, you will be able to buy insurance directly in an Exchange — a new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable insurance coverage.
Health reform also made needed improvements that will keep Medicare strong and solvent. Guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t change-whether beneficiaries get them through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Instead, beneficiaries will see new benefits and cost savings, and an increased focus on quality. Most importantly, seniors in North Carolina can more easily afford their medications. Last year, over 97,000 North Carolina seniors who hit the prescription drug “donut hole” received a $250 rebate check. The donut hole will be incrementally closed over the next several years until it is completely closed by 2020. Beginning this year, beneficiaries who reach the coverage gap will receive a 50% discount when buying Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs. In addition, the 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina are now eligible for an annual wellness visit with their doctor without cost-sharing or out-of-pocket payments. This wellness visit includes free preventive care services like colorectal cancer screening and mammograms.
Like you, I am concerned about rising health insurance premiums, which is one of the many reasons I supported health care reform. Health care reform includes new resources and authorities to crack down on unjustified rate hikes. Today, 46 states, including North Carolina, are using resources under the new reform law to pass or strengthen rate review laws, which will help to keep rates low. This year, the law requires insurance companies to publicly justify, on their websites, any unreasonable premium increases.
If health reform is repealed, all of these protections would be taken away from North Carolinians and insurance companies would be put back in control over your health care – discriminating against individuals with preexisting conditions and canceling coverage when people get sick. It would also allow insurance premiums to continue to skyrocket – forcing many families to choose between purchasing food and paying for a place to live or being able to purchase necessary health care. This would be bad for North Carolinians, bad for business, and bad for our economy.
So much information is circulating about health care reform, and sorting through it can be overwhelming and frustrating. I encourage you to visit my website, www.hagan.senate.gov, where I have factual information about what the law does and what it means to you and your family. Other useful information about health care reform can be found at http://www.healthcare.gov. Finally, do not hesitate to call my office if you have a specific question about the health care reform law.
Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.
Kay R. Hagan
Congressman Jones did not answer the heart of the question, which was “what are you doing to defund the $105 billion already funded in the Obamacare Law?”
Dear Mr. Lang:
Thank you for contacting me about the funding of Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (CR). I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and I am happy to respond.
Let me be clear: I strongly opposed and voted against Obamacare. I support its repeal and have cosponsored every bill introduced that would do that. I have joined many of my colleagues in filing multiple amicus briefs in support of several states’ efforts to overturn the law in court on constitutional grounds. I also strongly support cutting off funding for implementation of Obamacare, and have voted accordingly; this includes my vote against the most recent continuing resolution to fund the government, because it did not, among other things, cut off all funding for Obamacare.
Please rest assured that I will be vigilant in supporting all efforts to repeal, block or cut off funding for this government takeover of our health care system.
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this critical issue. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Walter B. Jones
Member of Congress
House sustains veto
Gov. Perdue vetoed House Bill 2, titled the “North Carolina Health Care Protection Act,” citing questions about the bill’s constitutionality, necessity and unintended consequences.
On Wednesday, the N.C. House sustained the veto.
“This is an ill-conceived piece of legislation that’s not good for the people of North Carolina,” Gov. Perdue said last week when she vetoed the bill.
Gov. Perdue’s priorities remain jobs, education and resetting state government. She said this week she looks forward to working with the General Assembly on those issues.
The constitutionality of the federal health care law is already going to be decided in the U.S. Supreme Court, which made House Bill 2 unnecessary, Gov. Perdue said. There were also serious questions about whether the bill itself would have been constitutional and whether it would have cost North Carolina federal Medicaid funding.
To see a short video clip about Gov. Perdue’s veto, click here.
Gov. Perdue announces accelerated start dates for road projects
Gov. Bev Perdue announced that several Urban Loop projects scheduled to begin between 2014 and 2019 will begin earlier, because of available cash and cost-savings from a favorable construction environment.
While no additional money exists to add new Loop projects to the construction schedule, the N.C. Department of Transportation expects to see additional savings of about $50 million by being able to take advantage of today’s lower real estate and construction costs, which could move forward other Loops in their priority order.
At a transportation roundtable event in Charlotte U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Gov. Perdue’s aggressiveness and leadership on transportation issues. Watch a clip here.
Charlotte I-485 widening:
Construction will begin in 2012, two years sooner.
Greensboro Western Loop:
Part C (Bryan Boulevard to Battleground Avenue) – Construction will begin in 2013, one year sooner.
Part D (Battleground Avenue to Lawndale Drive) – Buying right of way will begin in 2011, eight years sooner.
Greensboro Eastern Loop:
Part B (US 70 to US 29) – Buying right of way will begin in 2011, four years sooner and construction will begin in 2014, three years sooner.
Wilmington US 17 Bypass:
Part B (US 74/76 to US 421) – All grading and structures work will be consolidated into one contract in 2013. Paving work will be done under a separate contract in 2017, completing the overall project in 2018, two years sooner.
Medicaid initiative saves money
An N.C. Medicaid initiative to better manage utilization of prescription pain relievers and other powerful drugs has produced significant savings and improvements in quality of care.
Only a few months old, the controlled substances “lock-in” program limits Medicaid recipients who have a medical need for those drugs to a single prescriber and to a single pharmacy. The heightened tracking that results helps ensure Medicaid recipients are receiving appropriate treatment, and in appropriate amounts. Around 950 of 3,000 eligible N.C. Medicaid recipients are currently “locked in.” Early analyses show the lock-in program could reduce Medicaid expenditures by $9 million annually — $3 million of which would be state tax dollars.
The lock-in serves as part of Governor Bev Perdue’s strategy to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.
“This is a perfect example of my priority of setting government straight,” Gov. Perdue said. “We’re providing better health care and saving taxpayer dollars.”
Governor’s schedule for the week
Monday, March 14
Office time, Raleigh
Visit Eaton Corporation, Arden
Speak to Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism, Asheville
Tuesday, March 15
Legislative meetings, Raleigh
Staff meetings, Raleigh
Press conference, Raleigh
Wednesday, March 15
Legislative meetings, Raleigh
Office time, Raleigh
Thursday, March 16
Office time, Raleigh
Sign proclamation for Wilmington’s Azalea Festival and greet Azalea Queen and Court at the Executive Mansion
Visit Northeast N.C.
Friday, March 17
Conference Call with weekly papers
Representatives Michele Bachman and Steve King report that the House Republican Leadership has not yet agreed to include a provision to rescind the $105 billion that was surreptitiously inserted by the Democrats in the Obamacare legislation.
We are urgently asking Patriots to melt the phones of all Republican Representatives today, Friday, March 11:
1. Urge them to pledge to vote “NO” on the next CR unless it contains a provision to defund Obamacare of the billions that were secretly and fraudulently appropriated by the old Democratic Congress.. If this is not done now, this funding will be self-perpetuating into the future.
2. Then, place a second call to the Speaker’s Office and urge Speaker Boehner to honor the will of the voters (who gave him a Republican majority and the Speaker’s Office) by including a provision to rescind the $105 billion with which Obamacare has already saddled the American Taxpayer.
Via Washington Examiner
NC House Republicans set override vote on Perdue veto on health care overhaul challenge
Never before approved, 2007 land transfer tax given initial approval for repeal by NC House
House gives initial OK to end requirement for community colleges to join fed loan programs
House Democrats roll out alternative bill to GOP plan for charter school changes that ends cap
Education advocates tell NC legislative budget writers to avoid making deep budget cuts
Former Union County Sheriff McGuirt appointed to succeed Gibson in North Carolina House
VETO OVERRIDE: Republicans will attempt to cancel Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto rejecting a measure designed to challenge a key provision of the federal health care overhaul law for North Carolina. House GOP leaders set an override vote for Wednesday. Over the weekend, Perdue vetoed a bill that attempts to block a provision of the federal law requiring most people in 2014 to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Perdue said the bill would have violated the U.S. Constitution and referred to a memo from Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office arguing the measure could harm other health programs. House Republicans may need a few more Democratic votes to get the three-fifths majority needed to override. The Senate also would have to override to let the bill become law. Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory is lending his voice to automated phone calls on behalf of Americans for Prosperity urging voters to ask lawmakers to vote for the override.
Breaking News: Governor Perdue has Vetoed House Bill 2,
The Health Care Freedom Act
The Health Care Freedom Act was approved by wide margins by both the North Carolina House and Senate. This important bill would block the unconstitutional provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requiring Americans to buy insurance beginning in 2014 or face a monetary penalty.
Despite calls from hundreds of thousands of citizens and the urging of Americans for Prosperity, Attorney General Cooper has refused to defend the constitutional rights of North Carolina citizens by challenging Obamacare’s constitutionality in court and now Governor Perdue has vetoed this common sense legislation.
Join your other AFP activists in North Carolina by telling the legislature to override Governor Perdue’s veto and pass the North Carolina Health Care Protection Act immediately!
Click here to compose an email to your NC Legislators.
Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue has vetoed a Republican-backed challenge to the federal health care overhaul that North Carolina’s attorney general argues is unenforceable.
Perdue announced Saturday her rejection of the measure, which attempts to block a provision requiring most people in 2014 to buy health insurance or face a penalty. The challenge was a GOP fall campaign platform plank.
Perdue had sounded willing to let the bill become law without her signature. She changed her mind when Attorney General Roy Cooper wrote that the federal law trumped state legislation and suggested the language could harm state health programs.
General Assembly leaders must decide whether to attempt an override. It’s Perdue second veto in under two weeks.
Cooper’s analysis of House Bill labeled ‘incomplete,’ concerns called ‘unfounded’
By CJ Staff
March 01, 2011
RALEIGH — The John Locke Foundation, Center for Constitutional Litigation, and a scholar with the libertarian Cato Institute have submitted letters to N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue that bolster the legal case for a bill protecting North Carolinians from federal government overreach on health care.
The letters specifically target N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Feb. 23 memo arguing that House Bill 2, the North Carolina Health Care Protection Act, is unconstitutional. That bill is designed to exempt North Carolinians from the individual health insurance mandate tied to the March 2010 federal health care reform law. Cooper’s memo urges Perdue to veto H.B. 2.
“[Cooper’s] concerns are unfounded and therefore do not provide a valid reason for vetoing H.B. 2,” according to the letter (PDF link) from Daren Bakst, JLF Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies, and Joseph Coletti, Director of Health and Fiscal Policy Studies.
Bakst and Coletti’s letter specifically challenges Cooper’s assertions about the potential conflict between state law and the federal Constitution, along with Cooper’s prediction that H.B. 2 could threaten state Medicaid funding.
Clint Bolick of the Center for Constitutional Litigation, a program of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, also rebuts (PDF link) Cooper’s arguments. “House Bill 2 is a version of the Health Care Freedom Act, which we helped draft,” Bolick writes. “Different versions of the Act have been adopted as constitutional amendments or statutes in several states. In no state has the constitutionality of the Act been challenged, nor to our knowledge has Medicaid funding been threatened in any state that has enacted the Act.”
Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute senior fellow in constitutional studies, focuses (PDF link) on H.B. 2’s protection of two “essential rights.” “First, it protects a person’s right to participate or not in any health care system and prohibits the government from imposing fines or penalties on that person’s decision,” Shapiro writes. “Second, it protects the right of individuals to purchase — and the right of doctors to provide — lawful medical services without government fine or penalty.”
The N.C. House approved H.B. 2 with a 69-49 vote Feb. 22, less than a week after the Senate endorsed the measure 30-18. Lawmakers presented the bill to Perdue Thursday. She has a total of 10 days to decide whether to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without her signature.
Perdue had signaled she would allow H.B. 2 to become law without her signature. Then Cooper submitted his memo. In addition to labeling H.B. 2 unconstitutional, Cooper argued the bill “could create other problems for the state,” according to the JLF letter.
Cooper’s memo argues one piece of H.B. 2 could jeopardize state Medicaid funding by prohibiting the state from assessing a new federally mandated fee designed to help combat Medicaid fraud and abuse.
“H.B. 2 does not prohibit a fee for the purposes of fighting fraud and abuse,” Bakst and Coletti counter. “The Attorney General is reading the bill to mean that no fee can ever be imposed on a person who contracts with a public health care system, unrelated to why the fee is being imposed. This ignores the language of the bill.”
The JLF experts also tackle Cooper’s “incomplete” analysis of the supremacy of federal law over a state law such as H.B. 2. “States often enact laws that conflict with federal laws,” he explains. “This by itself does not make the state law unconstitutional.”
The attorney general’s memo is “100 percent backward” when it suggests the state and its residents must comply with the 2010 federal health care reform law until and unless a court orders otherwise, Bakst and Coletti write. “The state and its residents have every right to not comply with the law until a court orders otherwise. North Carolina does not have to pre-emptively strike down its own laws.”
Bolick’s letter concludes by addressing the significance of the Feb. 23 memo from Cooper and N.C. Solicitor General Christopher Browning.
“It is troubling that the Attorney General and Solicitor General would conclude in advance that House Bill 2 is unconstitutional,” Bolick writes. “Their incomplete analysis of applicable constitutional principles and precedents will serve the State of North Carolina poorly in any future defense of the state’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.
“Especially given that two federal courts have invalidated the individual mandate, the question of the constitutionality of House Bill 2 is very much an open question,” he adds. Bolick writes there is “no constitutional impediment” to Perdue signing the bill, allowing it to become law without her signature, or enforcing it after enactment.