Monday, July 9, 2012

Affordable Care Act Update

  1. SUPREME COURT TERM ENDS, 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW STANDS
  2. HOUSE TO VOTE ON TOTAL REPEAL OF THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW
  3. HOUSE TO VOTE ON FUNDING IMPLEMENTATION OF 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW
  4. HOUSE HEARING TUESDAY ON TAX RAMIFICATIONS OF NFIB V. SEBELIUS
  5. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW THREATENS PRACTICE OF MEDICINE
  6. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW HINDERS MISSIONS
  7. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW IGNORES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
  8. NFIB V. SEBELIUS WAS FRAUDULENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT
  9. TAX INCREASES INCLUDED IN THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW
  10. STATES REJECTING THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW

1. SUPREME COURT TERM ENDS, 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW STANDS

Since our last weekly publication on domestic issues, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded its 2011 term at the end of June, and issued its opinion in the case of the National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius on its final day, June 28, 2012.

After initially writing what became the dissent, and then writing the opinion of the Court, Justice Roberts found the individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause and constitutional under the powers of Congress to tax.

Reaction has been all over the map, even among those of us who would prefer to see the law disappear in its entirety. Some see silver linings; others see no silver lining. Abortion remains an issue. One thing is clear: restoring freedom in health care must happen in Congress. (CHPP/Tim McGhee)

- Praise the Lord that whatever "sharp disagreement" was produced is being effectively channeled into action, and not just frustration. Ask the Lord to give the People and our leaders His wisdom for how to move forward with where we stand today. Pray for the will to pursue God's will with health care in America. Pray that the true agendas in this health care law be clearly known throughout the land. Pray for protection for the unborn who are clearly placed at greater risk under this law.

- “Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:3)

2. HOUSE TO VOTE ON TOTAL REPEAL OF THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced the House would vote Wednesday, July 11, on a repeal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The full text of the bill was released last Thursday. (The Hill)

Included in the bill are findings related to abortion funding and conscience protections. (Pray for Congress)

- Even if this is a symbolic vote, pray that it would be a resounding symbol throughout the land of the will of God's people who want freedom and protection for life in their health care community.

- "Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice." (Psalms 55:17)

3. HOUSE TO VOTE ON FUNDING IMPLEMENTATION OF 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW

Added to the normal annual appropriations process this year is the question of funding the implementation of the health care law. The Obama administration has requested an additional $1 billion for the IRS to implement the healthcare law.

The House bill, H.R. 6020, gives no new money to the IRS and prohibits the IRS from receiving any money from HHS for implementing the 2010 health care reform law. The House votes as early as this week on this legislation. (The Hill)

- Pray that Congress would neither provide nor allow any funds to be used to implement the 2010 health care law. Pray that the House would exercise its Constitutional restraint for spending measures to originate in the House, and may they hold fast until the FY 2013 Financial Services appropriations bill becomes law without any funds for this new bill.

- "The lazy man says, 'There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!'" (Proverbs 26:13)

4. HOUSE HEARING TUESDAY ON TAX RAMIFICATIONS OF NFIB V. SEBELIUS

The July 10 hearing will mark the first chance for members of Congress to formally hash out the surprise ruling, which allowed the law's mandate to buy health insurance by treating it as a tax, even though Chief Justice John Roberts said it could not be upheld as a way to regulate commerce under the Commerce Clause.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.): "As the tax-writing committee of the U.S. House of Representatives — where, under the Constitution, all revenue measures must originate — we have a responsibility to fully understand the court's interpretation of Congress's taxing authority and what that means for potential actions taken by future Congresses, the future of our country and the relationship that the government has with the American people." (The Hill)

Individuals who don't get qualified health insurance will be required to pay the penalty—or tax—starting for the 2014 tax year, unless they are exempt because of low income, religious beliefs, or because they are members of American Indian tribes.

The penalty will be fully phased in by 2016, when it will be $695 for each uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater, up to $12,500. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 4 million people will pay the penalty that year.

The law, however, severely limits the ability of the IRS to collect the penalties. There are no civil or criminal penalties for refusing to pay it and the IRS cannot seize bank accounts or dock wages to collect it. No interest accumulates for unpaid penalties. (AP)

- Praise the Lord for clarity about the tax. Pray for clarity about potential actions taken by future Congresses of the American people.

- "But I am the LORD your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared—The LORD of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’" (Isaiah 51:15-16)

5. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW THREATENS PRACTICE OF MEDICINE

A new survey of Doctors has been released. If the health care law is fully implemented, 83 percent will consider leaving the practice of medicine. 61 percent say it's an affront to their ethics. 85 percent say it destroys the doctor-patient relationship. 65 percent say governmental involvement is the cause of the problems in medical care now. 72 percent say the insurance mandate won't result in improved access to medical care. 74 percent say they'll stop accepting Medicare patients, or leave Medicare altogether. 70 percent say reducing governmental involvement would be the single best fix for healthcare in this country. (LeavenworthTimes.com)

- Father, we pray for humility in all our leaders to recognize the error of their ways, and to leave room for others to humbly do the same. You are the Great Physician, and we believe it is your will for us to have thriving health care providers and innovators. Protect the practice of medicine in America.

- "Have You utterly rejected Judah? Has Your soul loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but there was no good; And for the time of healing, and there was trouble. We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness And the iniquity of our fathers, For we have sinned against You." (Jeremiah 14:19-20)

6. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW HINDERS MISSIONS

From the administrator for a self-funded insurance program at a missions organization with thousands of missionaries: Premiums for all health insurance plans are projected to go up at least ten percent each year for the next five years. Medical expenses will continue to soar ever upward as more and more government mandates and regulations are put into place. Members’ medical premiums come out of their donors’ monthly support. (Tim McGhee)

- Pray that the work of spreading the Gospel would go forward. Pray that God would raise up voices that normally avoid public policy discussions yet are greatly and increasingly affected by ever-encroaching public policies.

- "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city." (Acts 18:9-10)

7. 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW IGNORES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Now that the Supreme Court has allowed Obamacare to proceed, the weight of the massive law’s implementation will begin to close in on Americans’ freedoms. One of the first places that will be felt is in religious liberty, when an especially controversial provision of the HHS preventive services mandate takes effect in a few short weeks on August 1.

After that, as employers renew their health plans in the coming year, they will have to comply with the HHS mandate’s coercive requirement to cover abortion drugs, contraception and sterilization — regardless of religious or moral objections. The religious exemption to the mandate effectively applies only to houses of worship.

Other employers with religious objections may be able to get a one-year delay of enforcement if they meet certain conditions. But this so-called “safe harbor” applies only to certain non-profit organizations, meaning that it doesn’t help the family business owners who want to run their enterprises without having to check their faith and morals at the door.

23 religious liberty lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate are proceeding. These are currently the primary challenge to the health care law. More than 50 plaintiffs are involved in the cases. They include businesses, Catholic and Protestant colleges, religious schools serving inner-city children, and charities providing care for the abused and neglected. (National Review)

Dr. Ken Smith, president of Geneva College, explained: “The issue that we have with the entire law is that the Obama Administration has tried to define religion as being that which churches do. We believe that religion takes us into the marketplace. There is both an internal community of faith responsibility of religion, but there is also an external service to community. That is religion.” (Heritage Foundation)

- Pray that whether officially religious or not, the rights of all Americans to worship in their work and to live their faith would be protected.

- "You, brethren, have been called to liberty." (Galatians 5:13)

8. NFIB V. SEBELIUS WAS FRAUDULENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT

Chief Justice John Roberts has voted to strike down the insurance mandate as exceeding the power of the government under the Commerce Clause, but he has upheld it as a tax. The Administration argued that this was not a tax when it passed it to Congress, then switched its position to argue that it was a tax in the court.

One of the parties can file for rehearing now on the issue of Estoppel. Equitable Estoppel means that a party cannot claim one thing at one time and then change its position to claim another thing. That is fraud which the courts will not allow. We believe that constitutional integrity requires that if something is a tax it be called a tax and passed by Congress as a tax. Obamacare would not have passed as a tax.

We have already asked Texas and another party to consider rehearing. We would then call the Nation for prayer for Chief Justice Roberts to change his mind. (Allan Parker, Justice Foundation)

- Pray one of the parties will file for rehearing at this time on the issue of Estoppel.

- "Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. " (James 4:8)

9. TAX INCREASES INCLUDED IN THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW

The law contains 20 new or higher taxes on the American people. These taxes are gradually phased in over the years 2010 to 2018. Five come into force in January 2013: The medical device manufacturing tax, the high medical bills tax, the Flexible Spending Account cap, the surtax on investment income, and the Medicare payroll tax increase. (Fox News)

- Pray that these 20 taxes would not be hidden from the American people and businesses, but that they would be clearly seen until they are fully implemented or fully repealed. Pray for repeal!

- "Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me." (Psalms 56:1)

10. STATES REJECTING THE 2010 HEALTH CARE LAW

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to establish a federally mandated health care exchange in his state, and said Friday that he will continue to ignore it. "We're not going to start implementing Obamacare," Jindal said during a conference call with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "We're committed to working to elect Gov. Romney to repeal Obamacare."

Under the Affordable Care Act, states must set up a health insurance exchange program by Jan. 1, 2014, and will receive grants from the federal government to implement it.

Several Republican governors, including both Jindal and McDonnell, have put off setting up the exchanges in the hope that the law would be repealed or struck down by the court. Now that the law has been upheld, Jindal said he won't change course. (Yahoo! News)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott now says Florida will do nothing to comply with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and will not expand its Medicaid program. (NBC Miami)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to blast President Obama's health care law and described the Internal Revenue Service as the "new Gestapo." (The Portland Press Herald)

- Father, we praise you for leadership among the states in limiting the power of the federal government. We ask you to give them wisdom in fostering a thriving and innovative system of health care in their states, and in presenting the proposals to the residents of their states. We ask for more leadership like this in states across the country.

- "And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous." (Exodus 23:8)

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