The Money Faces of ObamaCare
House Republicans are calling this Stop Government Abuse Week -- and they'll be the first to tell you that there's no greater abuse than the President's health care law! With their summer recess just three days away, House leaders are trying to build as many speed bumps as possible on America's road to ObamaCare. Among the slate of proposals, conservatives in both chambers are trying to rally members around the idea of blocking any budget bill that funds the health care law. The hope is that Congress could delay the law by refusing to fund it.
President Obama helped boost their cause early this month when he ignored the law and postponed the employer mandate -- a sign that the law is still entirely unworkable. While the White House tries to smooth things over, Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) is hoping to sink the law's other pillar: the individual mandate. Together with 100 cosponsors, Rep. Price takes aim at a group with an even lower approval rating than Congress -- tax collectors! His Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act takes the teeth out of the department responsible for enforcing the law. Citing the IRS's growing scandals, Price says, "No American should be required to answer to the IRS, an agency that [by targeting conservatives] just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality." A vote on his bill is scheduled for tomorrow.
Meanwhile, on the Senate side, Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are continuing their campaign to strip away the policy's funding. "If the administration will not enforce the law as written," they write, "then the American people should not be forced to fund it." This afternoon they went down to the Senate floor to drive this message home. Based on the polling, the American people certainly don't want to fund it.
Time may have passed, but the country's negative feelings about ObamaCare haven't. In the latest Fox News poll, the President's signature accomplishment is just as unpopular as ever. A majority of the country is still pushing for the law's repeal (53-40%). Interestingly, the younger generations -- where the White House seems to poll best -- despise ObamaCare just as much as their elders. More than half of the under-45 crowd would vote to overturn it. And based on the reports out of Florida, it's no wonder. Even in states like Gov. Rick Scott's, which refused to set up a health care exchange, individual health insurance rates are set to skyrocket as much as 40%! A large plurality of the country also knows the law's dirty little secret: that it will cost Americans more than it will save them.
That's sure to disappoint the President's PR experts, who are spending a whopping $680 million just to promote the law to voters. (If it takes that much to persuade people, then ObamaCare must have more problems than even we realized!) Making ObamaCare likeable just got even tougher -- thanks to Democrat Howard Dean. The former presidential candidate agreed with Republicans that Congress needs to kill at least part of the bill -- before it kills Americans! The Independent Payment Advisory Panel (or "death panel," as it's been dubbed) has been a major sticking point with both parties since ObamaCare's passage.
Yesterday, Dean heaped his own criticism on IPAB in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, describing it as "essentially a health-care rationing body," and joining the calls for its repeal. Dean, who now lobbies in the health care industry, was blunt. "What ends up happening in these schemes... is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients... Most importantly, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic."
FBI to the Rescue!
More than 100 children woke up this morning free of the sexual predators who were holding them captive. In the largest raid of its kind, the FBI announced yesterday that it had rescued dozens of children over the weekend from the dark world of sex slavery. The operation, which involved every FBI field office in the country, brought 150 pimps to justice and released victims -- one as young as nine -- in the 76-city sting. As part of the "Innocence Lost" initiative started under President George W. Bush, the agency has netted 1,350 predators. This latest raid found the greatest concentration of sex trafficking in San Francisco, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver, and New Orleans.
"Girls," said the FBI's Ronald Hosko, "are enticed with compliments or offers, [asked if] they want to make some money." Most are prostituted at truck stops, casinos, and motels, Hosko explains. "Then they are trapped into this cycle that involves drugs, that involves physical abuse. It may involve torture." During the Bush administration, FRC began taking an active role in raising awareness on the crisis of sex trafficking, which is starting to affect more and more middle class teenagers. We're deeply grateful to the men and women at the FBI for successfully capturing traffickers and rescuing so many of America's children.
For more on the underground world of sex slavery in America, don't miss the video from our event, "Human Trafficking: Modern Slavery." Also, to learn more about how to protect your family, check out FRC's booklet, "Modern Slavery: How to Fight Human Trafficking in Your Community," available for free here.
Fight the Power
Who is Samantha Power? If Senate Republicans knew, they might not have offered their overwhelming support for the White House's nominee. Power, who has been nominated by the President to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, surprised everyone by sailing through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a 16-2 vote (only Sens. Rubio and Paul opposed).
Now, Power -- named one of the "top 10 most dangerous people in the Obama administration" by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck -- is headed to the Senate floor, where she is poised to win a permanent seat at the U.N.'s table. Back in 2002, the woman who famously called Hillary Clinton a "monster" in the press, suggested the U.S. stop investing in Israel and instead spend the dollars on a new Palestinian state. Her anti-Israel comments caused plenty of backlash, and until recently, were considered the biggest stumbling block to her confirmation.
Conservatives like Sen. Cruz are concerned that Power is so busy apologizing for America that she won't defend it on the global scene. "No nation has spilled more blood or sacrificed more for the freedom of others than ours, and yet Ms. Power publicly embraces the need for America to continue apologizing to the world for perceived transgressions," Cruz wrote, "going so far as to explicitly urge 'instituting a doctrine of mea culpa.'" Her exact words were: "We need a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States... Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors."
No wonder more than four dozen former military leaders, national security officials, and conservative groups are asking senators to block Power. If confirmed, she will hold the seat that was formerly occupied by Susan Rice. Contact your senators and urge them to oppose Power's nomination to the U.N.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.