D.C. Insurance Commissioner Fired Day After Rejecting Obamacare Fix

The District of Columbia\’s insurance commissioner was given his walking papers on Friday, one day after he challenged President Barack Obama\’s fix of the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, The Washington Post reports.

Obama held a Thursday press conference, saying he would allow insurance companies to continue offering people policies they wanted to keep, though they had previously been dubbed substandard because they didn\’t offer all the benefits required under the new law.\”

\”The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate,\” D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White said in a statement on the department\’s website afterward.

The next day, White was called into a meeting with the top deputies of Democratic D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and was told the mayor \”wants to go in a different direction.\”

White told The Post that he was never told his statement was the reason for his firing, but he suspected the timing was not coincidental.

While Obama\’s order did not require insurance companies to re-offer policies they have cancelled, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners noted that it \”threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.\”

White wrote that he concurred with that opinion.

Insurance officials have argued that changing the rules could cause rate hikes in 2015 because it would create separate pools of healthy and sick people – the very thing the Affordable Care Act was supposed to avoid.

White told The Post his comments were not intended to say he was either for or against Obama\’s ruling.

\”I didn’t know enough to fully support it,\” he said. \”I want to be clear, and I think it is, I was not speaking for Mayor Gray.\”

via D.C. Insurance Commissioner Fired Day After Rejecting Obamacare Fix.

Pope Francis on “progressives” | Fr. Z’s Blog

This morning Pope Francis didn’t exactly sound like a reader of the National Schismatic Reporter.

God save us from the “hegemonic uniformity ” of the “one line of thought”, “fruit of the spirit of the world that negotiates everything”, even the faith. This was Pope Francis’ prayer during mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on a passage from the Book of Maccabees, in which the leaders of the people do not want Israel to be isolated from other nations , and so abandon their traditions to negotiate with the king.

They go to “negotiate ” and are excited about it. It is as if they said “we are progressives; let’s follow progress like everyone else does”. As reported by Vatican Radio, the Pope noted that this is the “spirit of adolescent progressivism” according to which “any move forward and any choice is better than remaining within the routine of fidelity”. These people, therefore , negotiate “loyalty to God who is always faithful” with the king. “This is called apostasy”, “adultery.” They are, in fact, negotiating their values??, “ negotiating the very essence of being faithful to the Lord .”

“And this is a contradiction: we do not negotiate values??, but faithfulness. And this is the fruit of the devil, the prince of this world , who leads us forward with the spirit of worldliness. And then there are the direct consequences. They accepted the habits of the pagan, then a further step: the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and everyone would abandon their customs. A globalizing conformity of all nations is not beautiful, rather, each with own customs but united, but it is the hegemonic uniformity of globalization, the single line of thought . And this single line of thought is the result of worldliness . “

via Pope Francis on “progressives” | Fr. Z’s Blog.

Can anyone afford the “Affordable” Care Act? Not if you have religious principles. | Fr. Z’s Blog

Can anyone afford the “Affordable” Care Act? Not if you have religious principles.

Posted on 17 November 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

There is an alarming piece at CharismaNews which confirms what we have known all along.

Remember… it’s not really “Obamacare”… though his name, and party, are inseparable from this millstone. It’s really the AFFORDABLE Care Act.

How is that “AFFORDABLE” part working for you so far?

Obama Administration Puts a Price Tag on Your Religious Freedom

Can you put a price on religious liberty? [Aren\’t dhimmis suppose to pay a fine?]

Apparently the Obama administration has.

If you value your faith; if you are one of the millions of Americans who believe that abortion pills cause the destruction of innocent, God-given human life; if you are an employer who believes that being forced to pay for others’ abortion pills is morally reprehensible, the Obama administration wants you to pay a dramatically steep price for your religious liberty.

The penalty for failure to abide by the Obamacare HHS abortion-pill mandate is an astounding $36,500 a year.

Refusal to violate your faith will cost you.

The HHS mandate requires that all employer health insurance plans cover abortion pills—that the employer must, under penalty of law, pay for the abortion pills of its employees.

According to federal law, the penalty for failure to provide this coverage is “$100 for each day in the noncompliance period with respect to each individual to whom such failure relate.”

That’s $100 a day, per employee, per year.

Needless to say, this is a penalty that adds up quickly.

For example, a business with 100 employees would face a fine of $3.65 million dollars a year for refusing to violate one’s faith.

To put this in perspective, consider this. A violation of Obamacare’s employer mandate, which requires all employers of more that 50 employees to provide health insurance for those employees, is limited under federal law to $2,000 per employee and excludes the first 30 employees from the calculation.

So in the same example as above, if the employer chose not to provide any insurance for his or her 100 employees, the fine would be $140,000 a year.

So the same company would be fined $3.65 million for providing insurance but refusing to violate its faith by paying for abortion pills, but would only be fined $140,000 for providing no insurance at all. In fact, because the administration has now delayed the employer mandate until 2015 while seeking to enforce the HHS mandate now, an employer could refuse to provide any insurance to any employee and not face even a dime in penalties. Yet failure to provide abortion-pill coverage will cost an employer dearly.

It shows you exactly where the Obama administration’s priorities are. By its own regulations, it is clear that ensuring abortion pills for all is far more valuable to the administration than religious liberty or even universal health care coverage.

It is also important to take this out of the abstract. One of our clients, the Kortes, a family that runs a very small business but that is strongly committed to running their business in compliance with their faith, face over $700,000 in fines a year, something that would absolutely cripple any business.

Thankfully, this past Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a preliminary injunction preventing the HHS mandate from forcing our clients to pay these fines or violate their faith as their case continues. This has been the same result thus far in all seven of our lawsuits against the mandate.

But unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Businesses all across America are facing these Orwellian penalties for standing for their faith.

via Can anyone afford the “Affordable” Care Act? Not if you have religious principles. | Fr. Z’s Blog.