individual mandates

10

Without individual and employer mandate, GOPcare won’t be able to deliver on popular obamacare provisions even if they keep it, like coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and no lifetime caps.

GOPcare is basically a massive tax break for the rich and insurance companies and low quality healthcare for everyone else, if you can afford it.

What’s also not being discussed or detailed is how it affects other important but not well known obamacare provisions, like for coal miners, for mental healthcare, opiod addiction, women’s healthcare, etc.

What’s more, their bill is designed around elections to let them get through 2018 and push all other issues to 2020, during the next presidential elections. All they care about is maintaining power, not American people.

Call your reps, don’t let it even go pass the house into the senate.
2

House Republicans introduce their plan to repeal, recycle and reuse Obamacare

  • House Republicans have released a draft version of legislation designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something different.
  • The new legislation will replace the ACA’s subsidies for purchasing insurance on the individual marketplace with refundable tax credits. 
  • Those tax credits will be doled out based on a person’s age, family size and income, and potentially provide less financial assistance than existing subsidies for low-income people.
  • It also ends future funding for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and returns the cutoff for eligibility to what it would have been had the ACA never been passed. 
  • However, the bill allows individuals who received coverage under the expansion over the past few years to retain Medicaid so long as they keep their coverage without any breaks.
  • The bill also maintains preexisting condition coverage, as well as a popular provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ health care coverage until the age of 26. Read more (3/6/17 7:53 PM)

The GOP’s health care plan penalizes you for not having coverage — sound familiar?

  • One of the most criticized parts of Obamacare is the individual mandate, citizens have to pay a tax penalty for not having insurance coverage.
  • Ironically, the GOP’s new plan contains a provision that forces people in the individual market to pay a penalty for not having health insurance.
  • Under the new plan, if a person in the individual market has a gap in coverage of more than two months and tries to buy health insurance, an insurer can “increase the monthly premium rate otherwise applicable to such individual for such coverage” by as much as 30%. Read more (3/6/17 10:19 PM)

Republicans in the Senate on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step towards achieving one of the Republican party’s major goals.

The Senate proposal is broadly similar to the bill passed by House Republicans last month, with a few notable differences. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been criticized for drafting the bill in secret with just a dozen Republican Senate colleagues, says the proposal — which he calls a discussion draft — will stabilize insurance markets, strengthen Medicaid and cut costs to consumers.

“We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare’s mandates. And policies contained in the discussion draft will repeal the individual mandates so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don’t need or can’t afford,” McConnell said.

The plan gets rid of those mandates. Instead, it entices people to voluntarily buy a policy by offering them tax credits based on age and income to help pay premiums.

CHART: Who Wins, Who Loses With Senate Health Care Bill

Graphic: NPR

The Republican health care plan would save Washington $337 billion over the next decade but result in 14 million fewer people with insurance by next year and 24 million by 2026, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.

While the CBO projects the GOP’s American Health Care Act would eventually fulfill one of its key goals of bringing down premiums, it paints an ugly picture for Republicans of heading into the 2020 election with higher premiums and millions more uninsured Americans.

A projected 14 million people would go uninsured in 2018, mostly because of the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalties. Some would choose not to buy insurance given that freedom, while others will forgo insurance because of higher premiums, the CBO report says.

Premiums for individuals are projected to rise by 15-20% in 2018 and 2019 compared to what would happen if Obamacare is left in place. After 2020, premiums are expected to fall relative to Obamacare as they are offset by grants to the states and the elimination of requirements on insurance companies.

By 2026, premiums for individuals are projected to be 10% lower than under Obamacare, but that year the CBO projects there will be 52 million uninsured people, compared with 28 million under Obamacare.

The AHCA would bring down costs by $1.2 trillion between 2017-2026, but also cut taxes by 900 billion. The net savings for government would be $337 billion.

[x]

Republican senators’ fear is the only thing that will defeat this bill — and their fear is dependent on the volume and intensity of opposition. The whole point of Mitch McConnell’s strategy of writing the bill in secret and then quickly pushing it through is to minimize public attention and opposition. There are senators who right now are what we might consider “worried maybe” votes — they’ll vote yes if the risks don’t seem too great, but they could bail out if they can be made to fear a public backlash. Senators like Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia know that their states will be absolutely brutalized by this bill, but as of yet they haven’t been convinced that their constituents know that.
 

There are now 10 Republican senators who have either said they oppose the bill “in this form” — which means they could switch to support once some changes are made — or have publicly expressed their doubts about the bill without saying they oppose it. Today, Republicans released a revised bill addressing some of their concerns; it includes a provision locking people out of coverage for six months if they go without insurance temporarily, which is supposed to accomplish the same goal as the individual mandate. But the bill’s essence remains the same. Only if media attention to the bill’s horrors increases, and if the calls pour in to their offices, will they decide that the risks to themselves are too great.

 
 

There could be a tipping point at which Republicans start abandoning the bill en masse — but we aren’t nearly there. With a 52-48 majority, McConnell can only lose two votes on this bill, and he has probably already granted one to Heller, giving him permission to vote “no” in order to save his own skin. But if pressure increases and two more senators look like hard “no” votes, then you’ll probably see lots of senators abandon it, not wanting to be associated with something that was not only so substantively awful but also carries the stench of defeat. That will only happen, though, if they’re sure that the bill is headed for defeat. And that in turn depends on activists and constituents raising the stakes high enough to make supporting the bill seem incredibly dangerous.

 
 

It’s possible that the release of the CBO score of the bill — which could come as early as this afternoon — will be the event that focuses everyone’s attention on the bill’s consequences and elevates the volume of the debate to the point where senators can’t avoid the consequences of their decision. But that will only happen if those consequences are made undeniably clear to them.

vox.com
Senate GOP expected to add new penalties for the uninsured into their health bill
A six-month waiting period for Americans who fail to maintain continuous coverage could come as early as Monday.
By Sarah Kliff

Sarah Kliff and Dylan Scott at Vox:

Senate Republicans are expected to revise their health bill early next week, adding in a provision that could lock Americans out of the individual market for six months if they fail to maintain continuous insurance coverage.

Health insurance industry sources familiar with the plan say the change could be announced as early as Monday.

The six-month waiting period would fill a big policy gap in the current Better Care Act, which requires health plans to accept all patients — but doesn’t require all Americans to purchase coverage, as the Affordable Care Act does. Experts expect that this would cause a death spiral, where only the sickest patients purchase coverage and premiums skyrocket.

But the six-month waiting period could also complicate the Senate Republicans’ repeal efforts, because it may run afoul of the chamber’s complex reconciliation rules. Republicans are using what’s called “budget reconciliation” to pass their health care bill with a bare majority of 50 votes and avoid a Democratic filibuster. But the rules governing reconciliation restrict what policies the GOP can include in their bill — the waiting period is one of the provisions thought to be in doubt.

Why Senate Republicans want an individual market waiting period

All health insurance markets need healthy enrollees and sick enrollees to keep premiums affordable. The healthy people end up subsidizing the high medical bills of the sick people — and also purchase protection against financial ruin should they become one of the sick people themselves.

The Affordable Care Act required all insurance companies to accept all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions. It also required all Americans to purchase coverage or pay a penalty, a way to push healthy people into the marketplace.

The individual mandate is the least popular provision of the Affordable Care Act and Republicans have promised for years to repeal it. But policy experts agree that they need some other policy to replace it — or else risk sending the individual insurance market into collapse.

[…]

It’s not yet clear if the Senate’s proposal, a waiting period instead of a premium surcharge, would be permissible. Republicans and Democrats will be negotiating with the Senate parliamentarian, who oversees the chamber’s rules, next week to decide what can be included in the bill and what cannot.

But if the waiting period is deemed to comply with the Byrd Rule, it is expected to be added to the Senate bill.

I fucking love how the Republicans realized that there is, in fact, a reason why the individual mandate was needed, so instead of truly getting rid of it they just kept it but had insurance companies enforce (and collect the benefits of) it. Without having analyzed the specifics (it may in fact be stronger or weaker than the current mandate), just looking at it as a general policy tool, their proposal has zero effects other than to transfer money currently going to the government to insurance companies. That’s it. That’s all it does. But it’s one less thing the government does, so it’s a good thing and we’ll all be freer for it, apparently. That says so much about how they see the world, that having a private corporation do the exact same thing as the government makes it okay for them.

youtube

The Obamacare provision that saved thousands from bankruptcy

Timmy Morrison was delivered by emergency C-section, weighing in at 3 pounds, 9 ounces. Doctors put him under anesthesia within a week and into surgery within a month. Some of the contents of his stomach sometimes made their way to his lungs. Workers in the intensive care unit frequently needed to resuscitate him.

He arrived seven weeks premature — but, in a way, just at the right time.

Six months before Timmy was born, President Barack Obama signed a sweeping health care law that would come to bear his name. Six days before Timmy’s birth, the Obama administration began to phase in a provision that banned insurance companies from limiting how much they would pay for any individual’s medical bills over his or her lifetime. At the time the Affordable Care Act passed, 91 million Americans had employer-sponsored plans that imposed those so-called lifetime limits.

That group included Timmy’s parents, whose plan previously included a $1 million lifetime limit. This Obamacare provision took effect September 23, 2010. Timmy was born September 29. On December 17, he surpassed $1 million worth of bills in the neonatal intensive care unit. He didn’t leave the NICU until he was 6 months old.

If Timmy had been born a week earlier, his medical benefits could have run out while he was still in the NICU. But that didn’t happen. His insurer covered everything. The NICU bills his parents save total just over $2 million (they come out to $2,070,146.94, to be exact).

“He would have lost his insurance at a million dollars,” his mom, Michelle Morrison, estimates, “which would have been about [halfway through] the NICU stay.”

Timmy still has significant and expensive medical needs. His rare genetic disease, called Opitz G/BBB Syndrome, causes abnormalities along the body’s midline. He is now 6 years old and has been under anesthesia 45 times. It happens so much, he and his mom have a routine: They sing the alphabet until he falls asleep.

Timmy breathes through a tracheostomy tube. A nurse accompanies him to school. But he’s still, in most ways, just a normal kindergartner. He climbs off his school bus wearing a backpack covered in cartoon dogs. He rides around his suburban Maryland neighborhood on a bright orange scooter with his little sister, Ivy, until they’re out of breath. He is obsessed with his collection of toy cars, which he zooms around the coffee table after school. He cannot decide whether he likes robots or pirates best.

Timmy’s parents switched insurance plans (and jobs) when Timmy was 8 months old and out of the NICU. On that new plan, he has run up $985,147.19 in medical bills. He will likely hit $1 million in the next few months.

Right now that doesn’t really matter. But if Republicans roll back this provision of the law — as some replacement plans do and some lobbyists are urging — it could drop a threat of bankruptcy onto Timmy’s family.

Timmy could find himself above the cap the moment the new law passed. Or he might have his old costs grandfathered in and the counting start anew. It would all “depend on the language of the statute that Congress passes,” says Nicholas Bagley, a health law expert at the University of Michigan. “I don’t think there’s any guarantee for the family of the 6-year-old boy. There’s just a lot of uncertainty.”

The Affordable Care Act is brimming with provisions like these: small parts of the law that are hugely consequential for the people who rely on them. These provisions complicate the matter of repeal and replace, because they all have constituencies that will show up for a lobbying battle in Washington — and their stories could tug at the heartstrings of voters who otherwise support the repeal effort.

The lifetime limits ban is a few paragraphs of a 1,300-page law. It isn’t crucial to making the coverage expansion work in the way that, for example, the individual mandate or insurance subsidies are. But the ban is absolutely crucial to making the Morrisons’ lives work.

“We don’t really know what to do right now,” Michelle Morrison says. “Should we start pressuring his doctors to do a surgery now so he can get it in time? That doesn’t feel right. Insurance is supposed to cover things that you can’t anticipate — and for us, this is one of them.”

Senate Republicans have little margin for error as they prepare for a vote this coming week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Some lawmakers are already raising concerns that the bill could aggravate the problem of healthy people going without insurance, driving up costs for everyone else.

“If you can get insurance after you get sick, you will,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told NBC’s Today Show. “And without the individual mandate, that sort of adverse selection, the death spiral, the elevated premiums, all of that that’s going on gets worse under this bill.”

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, tried to address that problem by requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. But that so-called “individual mandate” is one of the least popular provisions of the law. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his colleagues are determined to get rid of it.

How The Senate Health Care Bill Could Disrupt The Insurance Market

Illustration: Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images

theatlantic.com
Is Universal Health Care Having a Moment?
The winner in the fight between keeping Obamacare and rolling it back might be something else entirely.
By Vann R. Newkirk II

The Senate confirmed Tom Price as secretary of health and human services at 2 a.m. on Friday. After a contentious confirmation process, the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress had finally installed one of the leading generals in its war on Obamacare in the department that oversees its programs. Price is a titan in the GOP camp that wants to repeal the health law, and is perhaps one of the few Republican lawmakers with both the vision and the experience needed to begin the daunting task.  

But the battlefield under Price’s feet has shifted substantially in the past few weeks. Republicans have splintered, the timeline for repeal has dragged on and on, alternative plans have propagated in the fertile soil of disunion, and some have lost their resolve. And in the turmoil over the fate of Obamacare, the idea of universal health care has emerged as a third way among voters in both parties. The health system the mainstream GOP opposes most is now one some of its voters support—potentially making Price’s task of replacing Obamacare all the more complicated.  

The political appeal of a single-payer, universal health-care system is perhaps best outlined by Jessi Bohon, a high-school teacher who attended a raucous and often angry town hall with Republican Representative Diane Black in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, last week:

Bohon was able to ask Black a question, and she began with a defense of Obamacare. “As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is pull up the unfortunate,” she said, referencing the law’s individual mandate and how requiring healthy Americans to purchase insurance lowers costs for the sick. But Bohon went a step further in her support of expanding coverage and her criticisms of the private insurers who’ve complicated the law: “Why don’t we expand Medicaid, and have everybody have insurance?” she asked.

(Continue Reading)

If Trump wants, he can unleash serious damage by undermining the individual markets in three ways. Insurers currently making decisions will closely scrutinize signs from the administration to gauge those markets’ long-term viability. His administration can weaken the individual mandate through various mechanisms, which would mean fewer younger and healthier people and higher premiums. It can pull back on all forms of outreach designed to get people to enroll on the marketplaces. Or it can stop paying “cost-sharing reductions” to insurance companies, which enable them to reduce out-of-pocket costs for lower-income enrollees, which may encourage insurers to flee the markets.
 
 

This could strand many of the 12 million people who have gotten coverage on the individual markets, according to Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. They could be left with “no insurers in the marketplaces, no way to get tax credits, no way to get coverage at all,” Levitt tells me, adding that the insurer exodus could also prevent people who individually obtain coverage outside the exchanges from doing so: “You’re talking about small business owners, farmers, self-employed people, early retirees — who would have no way of getting health insurance.”

— 

After the health-care fiasco, Trump’s next move may be even more disastrous

Trump is a childish, vindictive, bully. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if he tried to hurt the people who benefit from the ACA just because he can.

Based on my reading of it all (I may have gotten some of this wrong or have missed some important stuff), the GOP healthcare bill:

  • Repeals the ACA’s individual and employer mandates and replaces them with a continuous coverage incentive, allowing insurance companies to charge you 30% extra if you go more than 63 days without health insurance.
  • Winds down the Medicaid expansion and eliminates subsidies to state healthcare exchanges by 2020.
  • Cuts back on some rules requirements for insurance plans in state insurance marketplaces.
  • Turns Medicaid into a “per capita” system. This means the federal government will cap its Medicaid payment to states to a certain amount per person enrolled. There’s a bunch of exceptions for what this applies to. If I’m reading this right, they’re going to base expenditure growth  on the healthcare component of CPI-U instead of something like CPI-U +1%, so this doesn’t seem to be a stealth cut, but I don’t know enough about this proposal to speak with any confidence about it, or really even what the point is.
  • Tightens requirements and restrictions on Medicaid.
  • It keeps protections for those with pre-existing conditions and the lower age for young adults to stay on their parents’ plans.
  • Repeals most of the ACA’s various taxes and tax credits; though, interestingly, keeps the tax on “Cadillac” plans.
  • It introduces a tax credit for health insurance, ranging from a maximum of $2,000-$4,000 a month depending on age, capped at $14,000 a year. The credit is refundable, so even those paying no income tax can receive it. The credit would start phasing out for individuals earning $75,000 a year and wouldn’t be available at all for those earning over $215,000 ($150k and $290k for joint filers, respectively).
  • Any money left over from that tax credit described above can be put into a Health Savings Account.
  • Eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.
    • [I think they’re trying to please conservatives without losing the votes of Republican Senators Murkowski and Collins, who said they wouldn’t vote for a bill that defunded PP].
  • Creates a Patient and State Stability Fund, which seems like a slush fund for states to use for healthcare programs.
  • Reforms some stuff to let people contribute more to Health Savings Accounts,  with state eligibility decided by need.
  • Provide extra “safety net funding” for states that don’t expand Medicaid.
  • Eliminates the Preventing and Public Health fund in 2019.
  • Increases spending on the Community Health Center Fund.
  • Eliminates Medicaid cuts to DSHs, or hospitals that serve a large number of poor patients.
  • Weirdly enough, there’s nothing in here to allow insurance companies to sell insurance plans across state lines, which was, like, Trump’s only serious healthcare proposal.

Various provisions here are going facing significant opposition from both the more moderate and more radical wings of the party, so I doubt it’ll be passed in exactly this form (assuming, of course, they pass something).

vivalarageandlove  asked:

Although almost no one mentions it, two Democratic presidents, President Carter and President Obama, have done this exact same thing in the modern era, both times for much longer periods. Why all of a sudden should we be worried when President Trump does it?

Obama never stopped refugee admissions. In 2011, the Obama administration added inter-agency checks to the refugee screening process. Due to strict expiration dates on each security check, this slowed down the arrivals of Iraqi refugees. However, Iraqi refugees continued to enter the U.S. every month that year – there was never a ban or a pause.

And Obama never banned individuals from these 7 countries from entering the U.S. – he mandated that individuals from these countries had to go through the usual visa process. They could still enter the U.S. – they just had to get a visa and couldn’t use the visa waiver program.

Carter issued a narrow travel ban on Iranian citizens as part of sanctions with the specific goal of pressuring Iran to release American hostages. Trump’s ban, however, does not serve a specific purpose and is not meant to have any impact on another country. More info: http://www.snopes.com/jimmy-carter-banned-iranian-immigrants/.

Regardless, two (or three) wrongs don’t make a right. Many people were upset about these incidents, but since Trump’s executive order is much broader and impacts far more people, it’s getting more attention. But Carter’s actions – and especially Obama’s – are far from being the same as Trump’s executive order.

I think you might be referring to Presidential declarations under INA 212(f), which allows the President to suspend immigration for certain classes of people if it is in the national interest. It’s true that several presidents, Democrats and Republicans, have made such declarations. Without endorsing or condemning these previous declarations, they applied to a specific group of people who are individually responsible for crimes or human rights abuses, such as individuals from a certain country who have impeded peace processes in a country torn by civil war. The only orders with any comparability to this Order are declarations from Pres. Reagan limiting access for most Cubans on immigrant visas and government officials on nonimmigrant visas. These orders fell far short of a blanket ban on entry for Cuban nationals. I am not aware of any other 212(f) proclamation that forbids admission of all nationals of an entire country, let alone seven.
This order is worrisome because it splits US citizens from their spouses, parents, and children; prevents US businesses from getting help from highly-qualified foreign employees; prevents military allies from coming to the country; and turns away refugees who are seeking safety from terror.

Why there is no ACA replacement

Notice how “repeal and replace” is looking more and more like just repeal, despite the protestations of, well, everyone (including GOP governors and the insurance companies themselves)?

There’s a big reason for that.

The GOP doesn’t want you to know this, but the truth of the matter is the Affordable Care Act is their healthcare plan. No joke!

The right-wing Heritage Foundation created the framework for the law, including the individual mandate, in 1993 while the Clinton Administration was attempting to pass healthcare reform. The same framework became the health care law that Mitt Romney successfully passed and implemented when he was governor of Massachusetts.

When the Obama administration began to tackle healthcare reform in 2009, it didn’t start with Medicare-for-all (read: single payer) the way people on the left wanted. Aiming for compromise, they took the framework that led to the Massachusetts law and added a public option – essentially a Medicare buy-in option designed to compete against the private insurers to drive down premium costs.

Republicans and conservative Democrats balked at the public option, so it was jettisoned – leaving the same law Republicans had been championing for decades. Only not a single one of them voted for the ACA when it passed – and since then, they have done nothing but try to sabotage and get rid of the law.

Think about that: a conservative idea worked. It was imperfect. There were issues. But the law did what it was designed to do: make health insurance more accessible to Americans and ensure the policies they paid for actually worked for them. Yet Republicans, so aghast at President Obama, sabotaged their own ideas!

Anyone with half a brain knows the only ACA replacement that would work would be single payer. But the GOP will never go for that (especially with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s obsession with gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security), so in gutting what was ultimately their own idea, they’re sentencing Americans to a lower quality of life and even death… just because they got all uptight over a black man occupying the White House for almost a decade.

The ACA is the Republican healthcare plan. They have nothing else.

Rand Paul Stands Up to Trump on Obamacare

When Trump singled him out in a tweet, Rand Paul made it clear that he won’t back down: “I don’t feel isolated by this. I actually feel emboldened.”

Written by Burgess Everrett for Politico:

Rand Paul is not backing down.

Hours after President Donald Trump exhorted the Kentucky senator to get behind his Obamacare replacement plan, Paul reiterated his opposition in an interview with POLITICO.

“Republicans across the country are unified on repeal, not on replace,” Paul said Wednesday morning, after Trump singled him out in a tweet. The libertarian-leaning lawmaker insisted that Republicans should vote on stand-alone legislation to repeal the Democratic health care law and figure out later what would replace it. He said he told the president as much in a telephone conversation Monday. …

Trump’s targeting of Paul was a gift for Republican leaders trying to shepherd their health care legislation through Congress. The Kentucky Republican has a national following, and he’s been loudly protesting how GOP leaders wrote the bill, dubbing it “Obamacare-lite.”

Paul is more daring and has more influence than any other individual opponent of the GOP to emerge so far. GOP leaders have privately chafed at his unabashed attempts to stoke an intraparty war over Obamacare. …

But the president’s targeting of Paul … doesn’t seem to be working, at least not yet. …

Paul made clear he’s not about to reverse himself.

“I don’t feel isolated by this. I actually feel emboldened,” Paul, who clashed at times with Trump during the Republican presidential primary last year, said of his reaction to the president’s attention. …

“Now I’m thinking we’re so far apart. I never believed in my wildest nightmares that we’re going to keep the Obamacare taxes or that we’re going to have a new entitlement program or that we’re going to keep the individual mandate in another form,” Paul said.

Read the entire article here.

It’s Official! Senator Rand Paul Just Introduced His Obamacare Replacement Act!

“The bill would remove parts of the Affordable Care Act including the individual mandate and minimum standards for care.”

Written by Bob Bryan for Business Insider:

Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican and one-time presidential candidate, introduced his own version of a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

The bill, named “The Obamacare Replacement Act,” would eliminate a number of provisions from Obamacare including the individual mandate and minimums on coverage standards. …

Additionally, the bill would provide every American with a tax credit worth up to $5,000 for contributions to a health savings account (HSA) to put towards health insurance and other healthcare costs.

“Getting government out of the American people’s way and putting them back in charge of their own health care decisions will deliver a strong, efficient system that doesn’t force them to empty out their pockets to cover their medical bills,” said Paul, an ophthalmologist, in a press release announcing the bill.

Paul, however, also said that the repeal of the ACA should not move forward without a replacement ready to go.

“There is no excuse for waiting to craft an alternative until after we repeal Obamacare, and the Obamacare Replacement Act charts a new path forward that will insure the most people possible at the lowest price,” said the release.

Read the entire article here.

3

Each pictogram in this Hopi petition of 1894 represents a family, and every family in the tribe signed the document.

This Hopi petition is on display as part of “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures.” See the exhibit before it closes on January 5: http://go.usa.gov/6VdQ

Seeking an answer from the Federal Government, the entire Hopi tribe in the Arizona Territory petitioned Congress asking that the tribe be given land collectively, rather than making allotments to individuals as mandated by the Dawes Act:

The Hopi lived in the arid desert and farmed communally to survive. The allotment process would sell off “excess” lands, reducing the overall acreage the tribe needed to survive. Also, the Hopi were a matrilineal society, meaning they traced ancestry through the mother. They were fearful that the allotment process would eventually end their way of life, and that women would not have control of their own homes.

They wrote: “During the last two years strangers have looked over our land with spyglasses and made marks upon it, and we know but little of what this means.”

The Government never formally responded to the petition, and the Hopi’s lands were never allotted. An annual report from the Indian commissioner recommended that the Hopis be allowed to continue their custom, stating, “it is believed that the best interests of the tribe would be promoted by granting the petition.”  

#arizona #NativeAmerican #AmericanIndian #DawesAct #Congress #petition #signatures #matrilineal

Document: Pages from Hopi petition, 1894. National Archives, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Read the revised Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare
As they rush toward an expected vote this week, Senate Republicans introduced a revised version of their legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Most notably, it adds a penalty for people who go without insurance, to replace Obamacare’s individual mandate. Read more

THE EIGHTH-GRADE STUDENTS gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California’s new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation’s Capitol. But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols.

The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement. “The American people in general and the black people in particular,” he announced, must take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetuated against black people The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.

Seale then turned to the others. “All right, brothers, come on. We’re going inside.” He opened the door, and the radicals walked straight into the state’s most important government building, loaded guns in hand. No metal detectors stood in their way.

It was May 2, 1967, and the Black Panthers’ invasion of the California statehouse launched the modern gun-rights movement. THE TEXT OF the Second Amendment is maddeningly ambiguous. It merely says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Yet to each side in the gun debate, those words are absolutely clear.

Gun-rights supporters believe the amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms and outlaws most gun control. Hard-line gun-rights advocates portray even modest gun laws as infringements on that right and oppose widely popular proposals—such as background checks for all gun purchasers—on the ground that any gun-control measure, no matter how seemingly reasonable, puts us on the slippery slope toward total civilian disarmament.

This attitude was displayed on the side of the National Rifle Association’s former headquarters: THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. The first clause of the Second Amendment, the part about “a well regulated Militia,” was conveniently omitted. To the gun lobby, the Second Amendment is all rights and no regulation.
Although decades of electoral defeats have moderated the gun-control movement’s stated goals, advocates still deny that individual Americans have any constitutional right to own guns. 

The Second Amendment, in their view, protects only state militias. Too politically weak to force disarmament on the nation, gun-control hard-liners support any new law that has a chance to be enacted, however unlikely that law is to reduce gun violence. For them, the Second Amendment is all regulation and no rights.

While the two sides disagree on the meaning of the Second Amendment, they share a similar view of the right to bear arms: both see such a right as fundamentally inconsistent with gun control, and believe we must choose one or the other. Gun rights and gun control, however, have lived together since the birth of the country. Americans have always had the right to keep and bear arms as a matter of state constitutional law. Today, 43 of the 50 state constitutions clearly protect an individual’s right to own guns, apart from militia service.

Yet we’ve also always had gun control. The Founding Fathers instituted gun laws so intrusive that, were they running for office today, the NRA would not endorse them. While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution.

For those men who were allowed to own guns, the Founders had their own version of the “individual mandate” that has proved so controversial in President Obama’s health-care-reform law: they required the purchase of guns. A 1792 federal law mandated every eligible man to purchase a military-style gun and ammunition for his service in the citizen militia. Such men had to report for frequent musters—where their guns would be inspected and, yes, registered on public rolls.

OPPOSITION TO GUN CONTROL was what drove the black militants to visit the California capitol with loaded weapons in hand. The Black Panther Party had been formed six months earlier, in Oakland, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Like many young African Americans, Newton and Seale were frustrated with the failed promise of the civil-rights movement. Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were legal landmarks, but they had yet to deliver equal opportunity. In Newton and Seale’s view, the only tangible outcome of the civil-rights movement had been more violence and oppression, much of it committed by the very entity meant to protect and serve the public: the police.

Inspired by the teachings of Malcolm X, Newton and Seale decided to fight back. Before he was assassinated in 1965, Malcolm X had preached against Martin Luther King Jr.’s brand of nonviolent resistance. Because the government was “either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property” of blacks, he said, they had to defend themselves “by whatever means necessary.” Malcolm X illustrated the idea for Ebony magazine by posing for photographs in suit and tie, peering out a window with an M-1 carbine semiautomatic in hand. Malcolm X and the Panthers described their right to use guns in self-defense in constitutional terms. “Article number two of the constitutional amendments,” Malcolm X argued, “provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun.”

Guns became central to the Panthers’ identity, as they taught their early recruits that “the gun is the only thing that will free us—gain us our liberation.” They bought some of their first guns with earnings from selling copies of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book to students at the University of California at Berkeley. In time, the Panther arsenal included machine guns; an assortment of rifles, handguns, explosives, and grenade launchers; and “boxes and boxes of ammunition,” recalled Elaine Brown, one of the party’s first female members, in her 1992 memoir. Some of this matériel came from the federal government: one member claimed he had connections at Camp Pendleton, in Southern California, who would sell the Panthers anything for the right price. One Panther bragged that, if they wanted, they could have bought an M48 tank and driven it right up the freeway.

Along with providing classes on black nationalism and socialism, Newton made sure recruits learned how to clean, handle, and shoot guns. Their instructors were sympathetic black veterans, recently home from Vietnam. For their “righteous revolutionary struggle,” the Panthers were trained, as well as armed, however indirectly, by the U.S. government.

Civil-rights activists, even those committed to nonviolent resistance, had long appreciated the value of guns for self-protection. Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in 1956, after his house was bombed. His application was denied, but from then on, armed supporters guarded his home. One adviser, Glenn Smiley, described the King home as “an arsenal.” William Worthy, a black reporter who covered the civil-rights movement, almost sat on a loaded gun in a living-room armchair during a visit to King’s parsonage.

The Panthers, however, took it to an extreme, carrying their guns in public, displaying them for everyone—especially the police—to see. Newton had discovered, during classes at San Francisco Law School, that California law allowed people to carry guns in public so long as they were visible, and not pointed at anyone in a threatening way.

In February of 1967, Oakland police officers stopped a car carrying Newton, Seale, and several other Panthers with rifles and handguns. When one officer asked to see one of the guns, Newton refused. “I don’t have to give you anything but my identification, name, and address,” he insisted. This, too, he had learned in law school.

“Who in the hell do you think you are?” an officer responded.

“Who in the hell do you think you are?,” Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms.

Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle.

“What are you going to do with that gun?” asked one of the stunned policemen.

“What are you going to do with your gun?,” Newton replied.

By this time, the scene had drawn a crowd of onlookers. An officer told the bystanders to move on, but Newton shouted at them to stay. California law, he yelled, gave civilians a right to observe a police officer making an arrest, so long as they didn’t interfere. Newton played it up for the crowd. In a loud voice, he told the police officers, “If you try to shoot at me or if you try to take this gun, I’m going to shoot back at you, swine.” Although normally a black man with Newton’s attitude would quickly find himself handcuffed in the back of a police car, enough people had gathered on the street to discourage the officers from doing anything rash. Because they hadn’t committed any crime, the Panthers were allowed to go on their way.

The people who’d witnessed the scene were dumbstruck. Not even Bobby Seale could believe it. Right then, he said, he knew that Newton was the “baddest motherfucker in the world.” Newton’s message was clear: “The gun is where it’s at and about and in.” After the February incident, the Panthers began a regular practice of policing the police. Thanks to an army of new recruits inspired to join up when they heard about Newton’s bravado, groups of armed Panthers would drive around following police cars. When the police stopped a black person, the Panthers would stand off to the side and shout out legal advice.

SOURCE: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/308608/

Okay so obviously I’ve only skimmed the more recent comics, but in an effort to find out what Sega’s new mandates for the comics actually are I ended up finding some forum threads and the like where people were arguing about them and like… man, I just don’t get what some people really expect out of a Sonic comic

Like who cares if Sonic has “plot armor”? Or if they can’t show his parents in the comics anymore? Or if his personality can’t change all that much? There are other ways to tell a compelling story than making Sonic get his ass kicked all the time, or showing his family, or having him grow up. “Character development” comes in many forms. Sometimes a character doesn’t need to actually change all that much if the audience’s perception of them can change. You can see how Sonic reacts to different situations, and that’ll inform how we see him as a character. We don’t need Sonic to hit rock bottom to tell an entertaining story

And of course people always argue about individual little Sega mandates and it’s just. It’s so silly. How mad can people really be about Sega not allowing Emerl to show up in the comics? He’s dead, dude. He died in Sonic Battle and then they made Gemerl, who IS in the comics. Who cares if they can’t call the planet Mobius anymore? Who cares if Amy can’t change clothes? Does that really affect anything?

Also, like. Honey’s in the comics now. That makes them objectively better