The story of O: becoming a dictator 210

Obama is energetically pursuing his policy of making as many Americans as he can dependent on the government.

This is from the Heritage Foundation:

The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform. …

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). … The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.

This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.

Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.

When it established TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from waiver authority. They explicitly did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of HHS bureaucrats. In a December 2001, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that there was no authority to override work and other major requirements…

But that did not stop the Obama Administration, which has been increasing welfare spending at an alarming rate already. President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program. …

Over the past two decades, welfare spending has grown more rapidly than Social Security and Medicare, education, and defense. The TANF reform was one small step in the direction of reducing Americans’ dependence on government programs and getting them back on their feet. Cutting its work component is likely to unnecessarily swell the ranks of welfare recipients and with no way to pay for it.

Heritage experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley explained further …:

In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work. The new welfare dictate issued by the Obama Administration clearly guts the law.

What can be done about a president who breaks the law, whose administration executes his orders in defiance of the legislature?

Will the Supreme Court stop him? Probably not.

This is from Townhall, by Ken Blackwell:

Chief Justice Roberts shows extraordinary deference to the federal government when the actions of the president or Congress are challenged for exceeding federal powers under the authority clauses. …

Part of the consternation from the Obamacare decision was seeing Chief Justice Roberts engage in linguistic gymnastics to ignore Congress’ word choice in writing the statute and the president’s televised vows, upholding the individual mandate as a tax despite 200 years of precedent that penalties are not taxes. …

This reluctance to unapologetically apply judicial review when authority clauses are implicated bodes ill for many current court challenges. There might not be five votes to succeed in challenges to Dodd-Frank, EPA’s cap-and-trade rules, the FCC’s internet-control rules, the recess-appointment challenges, and other power grabs.

Mr. Obama announced on July 6 in Ohio that this election is about a “clash of visions” about the role of government in our lives, arguing for massive entitlements and regulatory controls. If he wins, he will claim a mandate and take federal power to heights we’ve never seen. We can no longer be confident that the Supreme Court will stop him.

Liberty endures only when each branch fully and fearlessly checks and balances the other two branches. Abdicating judicial review empowers President Obama to subvert the Constitution with an imperial presidency, and fundamentally transform the United States to the detriment of future generations.

One remedy of course is to vote Obama out of office.

But if he is not voted out in November, how will the Republic be saved from becoming a full-blown dictatorship?

Americans should never have to endure anything like the British National Health Service 29

 Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) has been nominated to be the new secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Heritage Foundation has published an article by Robert E Moffit asking Senator Daschle ‘key questions’ and giving the ‘right answers’. The whole thing is worth reading. 

Here is an extract, relevant to the account posted below in 3 installment, Health of the nation by Madeleine Westrop, which provides a horrifying description of a patient’s experience at the hands of the British National Health Service:

Question #4: The British Experience with NICE

On page 127 of your book, you write, "In other countries, national health boards have helped to ensure quality and rein in costs in the face of these challenges. In Great Britain, for example, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is part of the National Health Service (NHS), is the single entity responsible for providing guidance on the use of new and existing drugs, treatments, and procedures." If that British agency determines that a treatment is cost effective, it must then be available within the NHS, but it also denies reimbursement for treatments, making them practically unavailable for patients. Based on your assessment of the record of NICE, would you like to see similar results for doctors and patients in the United States?

Answer. The right answer is that Americans should never have to endure anything remotely like the centralized, bureaucratic health care decision-making process that characterizes the British National Health Service.

Increasingly, the British media is reporting on the consequences of the role of NICE, and those results are nasty. For example, The Telegraph of London reports that NICE denied access to Velcade, a new drug for the treatment of cancer.Jacky Pickles, a 44-year-old mother with the disease, made a direct plea to Britain’s health secretary for coverage of the medication. Ms. Pickles, working in the British system as a midwife for 25 years, said, "I am going to give them the last years of my life. I’ve got to go to work in a Health Service that won’t support me when I most need it. I have given my life to the NHS, but it is a system that won’t give me something I need to save my life." Britain’s health secretary would not intervene to help Ms. Pickles, and NICE officials refused to comment, noting that while the drug for cancer treatment is "clinically effective" compared to chemotherapy, they deemed it not to be "cost effective." If members of the incoming Administration and the Congress really want such a system, they should thoroughly brief ordinary Americans what it would entail.

Posted under Articles, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 10, 2009

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