Insurers will need to report publicly how they spend premium dollars beginning next year, according to the new rules. The regulations also specify that insurance companies in the individual and small-group markets need to spend at least 80% of the premium dollars they collect on medical care and quality improvement activities; those in the large-group market must spend at least 85%.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandated that HHS issue the regulations and implement them by Jan. 1, 2011.
Yes We Can -- Unless Republicans Don't Want To
Yes We Obama all by himself through sheer charisma and force of will Can had better regardless of how insane the degree of deliberate opposition he encounters or we'll drop him faster than Jimmy Carter to join in on the Republican pile-on.
So these Senate rules that make his agenda impossible were passed after the election somehow?
Blah blah blah. They couldn't do anything if the Democrats didn't let them, right? That is how the Senate works.
Oh, they insist that they want bipartisan action. But in the coming weeks McConnell’s party will three times vote against even allowing debate on the matter to proceed in the Senate—all part of a deliberate strategy, openly articulated by McConnell, of forcing the G.O.P. to play “team ball” and vote no on everything Obama proposes, regardless of principle or conviction, in hopes of fielding a “bigger team” after this fall’s midterm elections. Never mind that taxpayer bailouts are precisely what this bill is intended to avoid. The Republicans know—as one of their party’s leading message and polling gurus, Frank Luntz, has advised them—that “big bank bailout” is a catchphrase guaranteed to spark public opposition. Never mind, too, that when Boehner says the bill will “protect the biggest banks in America and harm the smallest banks” he knows that this is untrue, and that in fact the biggest banks are all lobbying fiercely to block it, with Republican help.
Under McConnell, Republicans have consistently consumed as much of the Senate’s calendar as possible with legislative maneuvering. The strategy is not to extend deliberation of the Senate’s agenda but to prevent it. Tom Harkin, who first proposed reform of the filibuster in 1995, called his Republican colleagues “nihilists,” who want to create chaos because it serves their ideology. “If there’s chaos, things will tend toward simple solutions,” Harkin said. “In chaos people don’t listen to reason.” McConnell did not respond to requests for an interview, but he has often argued that the Republican strategy reflects the views of a majority of Americans. In March, he told the Times, “To the extent that they”—the Democrats—“want to do things that we think are in the political center and would be helpful to the country, we’ll be helpful. To the extent they are trying to turn us into a Western European country, we are not going to be helpful.”
One of the mysteries of the Senate is how Mitch McConnell has been able to keep his members in line, on vote after vote. Why do moderates with years of experience and their own power base back home—Richard Lugar, of Indiana; Susan Collins, of Maine; George Voinovich, of Ohio—keep siding with the more extreme members of their caucus? Alexander said that McConnell listens well to all his members, adding, “When you have your back against the wall and the gallows are hanging in front of you, it tends to unify. Operating with forty members—it concentrates the mind.”
Lindsey Graham described to the Times how McConnell exhorted his caucus after the disastrous 2008 election: “He said if we didn’t stick together on big things, we wouldn’t be relevant.”
So the problem is a lack of purists, too much compromising. Yes, in fact I have noticed that.
The Republicans get what they want anyway.
They want gay marriage banned. Gay people can't cross most state lines and still be considered married. They got what they want on the federal level with DOMA. I mean seriously, you are gonna look at the state of how the law treats gay people right now and tell me the Republicans aren't on top? Get real.
Can you lay out the path to passing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage that is different in any way if McCain is in the White House instead of Obama. Guess what? President doesn't even have to sign it.
Similarly, the Court upheld a ban on the growth of marijuana intended for medical use on the grounds that Congress could rationally conclude that this growth might make enforcement of drug laws more difficult by creating an otherwise lawful source of marijuana that could be diverted into the illicit market:In assessing the scope of Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause, we stress that the task before us is a modest one. We need not determine whether respondents' activities, taken in the aggregate, substantially affect interstate commerce in fact, but only whether a “rational basis” exists for so concluding. Given the enforcement difficulties that attend distinguishing between marijuana cultivated locally and marijuana grown elsewhere, 21 U.S.C. § 801(5), and concerns about diversion into illicit channels, we have no difficulty concluding that Congress had a rational basis for believing that failure to regulate the intrastate manufacture and possession of marijuana would leave a gaping hole in the CSA. Gonzales v. Raich
In assessing the scope of Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause, we stress that the task before us is a modest one. We need not determine whether respondents' activities, taken in the aggregate, substantially affect interstate commerce in fact, but only whether a “rational basis” exists for so concluding. Given the enforcement difficulties that attend distinguishing between marijuana cultivated locally and marijuana grown elsewhere, 21 U.S.C. § 801(5), and concerns about diversion into illicit channels, we have no difficulty concluding that Congress had a rational basis for believing that failure to regulate the intrastate manufacture and possession of marijuana would leave a gaping hole in the CSA. Gonzales v. Raich
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