The Scandalous Truth about Obamacare Is Laid Bare

A government program that is ruined by permitting more choice is not sustainable.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

by  Jeffrey A. Tucker

It’s not just that Obamacare is financially unsustainable. More seriously, it is intellectually unsustainable, even though this truth has been slow to emerge. This has come to an end with President Trump’s executive order.

What does it do? It cuts subsidies to failing providers, yes. It also redefines the meaning of “short term” policies from one year to 90 days. But more importantly–and this is what has the pundit class in total meltdown–it liberalizes the rules for providers to serve health-coverage consumers.

In the words of USA Today: the executive order permits a greater range of choice “by allowing more consumers to buy health insurance through association health plans across state lines.”

The key word here is “allowing” – not forcing, not compelling, not coercing. Allowing. Why would this be a problem? Because allowing choice defeats the core feature of Obamacare, which is about forcing risk pools to exist that the market would otherwise never have chosen. If you were to summarize the change in a phrase it is this: it allows more freedom.

The tenor of the critics’ comments on this move is that it is some sort of despotic act. But let’s be clear: no one is coerced by this executive order. It is exactly the reverse: it removes one source of coercion. It liberalizes, just slightly, the market for insurance carriers.

Here’s a good principle: a government program that is ruined by permitting more choice is not sustainable.

The New York Times predicts:

Employers that remain in the A.C.A. small-group market will offer plans that are more expensive than average, and they will see premiums increase. Only the sickest groups would remain in the A.C.A. regulated risk pool after several enrollment cycles.

Vox puts it this way:

The individuals likely to flee the Obamacare markets for association plans would probably be younger and healthier, leaving behind an older, sicker pool for the remaining ACA market. That has the makings of a death spiral, with ever-increasing premiums and insurers deciding to leave the market altogether.

The Atlantic makes the same point:

Both short-term and associated plans would likely be less costly than the more robust plans sold on Obamacare’s state-based insurance exchanges. But the concern, among critics, is that the plans would cherry-pick the healthiest customers out of the individual market, leaving those with serious health conditions stuck on the Obamacare exchanges. There, prices would rise, because the pool of people on the exchanges would be sicker. Small businesses who keep the more robust plans—perhaps because they have employees with serious health conditions—would also likely face higher costs.

CNBC puts the point about plan duration in the starkest and most ironic terms.

If the administration liberalizes rules about the duration of short-term health plans, and then also makes it easier for people to get hardship exemptions from Obamacare’s mandate, it could lead healthy people who don’t need comprehensive benefits to sign up in large numbers for short-term coverage.

Can you imagine? Letting people do things that are personally beneficial? Horror!

Once you break all this down, the ugly truth about Obamacare is laid bare. Obamacare didn’t create a market. It destroyed the market. Even the slightest bit of freedom wrecks the whole point.

Under the existing rules, healthy people were being forced (effectively taxed) to pay the premiums for unhealthy people, young people forced to pay for old people, anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle required to cough up for those who do not.This is the great hidden truth about Obamacare. It was never a program for improved medical coverage. It was a program for redistributing wealth by force from the healthy to the sick. It did this by forcing nonmarket risk pools, countering the whole logic of insurance in the first place, which is supposed to calibrate premiums, risks, and payouts toward mutual profitability. Obamacare imagined that it would be easy to use coercion to undermine the whole point of insurance. It didn’t work.

And so the Trump executive order introduces a slight bit of liberality and choice. And the critics are screaming that this is a disaster in the making. You can’t allow choice! You can’t allow more freedom! You can’t allow producers and consumers to cobble together their own plans! After all, this defeats the point of Obamacare, which is all about forcing people to do things they otherwise would not do!

Freedom or coercion: these are the two paths.

This revelation is, as they say, somewhat awkward.What we should have learned from the failure of Obamacare is that no amount of coercion can substitute for the rationality and productivity of the competitive marketplace.

Even if the executive order successfully liberalizes the sector just a bit, we have a very long way to go. The entire medical marketplace needs massive liberalization. It needs government to play even less of a role, from insurance to prescriptions to all choice, over what is permitted to be called health care and who administers it.

Freedom or coercion: these are the two paths. The first works; the second doesn’t.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, economics adviser to FreeSociety.com, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books, most recently Right-Wing Collectivism: The Other Threat to Liberty, with a preface by Deirdre McCloskey (FEE 2017). He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

Department of Health and Human Services: ‘Life Begins at Conception’

In a stunning turn of events President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has declared that life begins at conception.

The 2018-2022 DHHS draft strategic plan reads:

Mission Statement

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Organizational Structure

HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.

Readers may share their thoughts on each part of the draft strategic plan.

Download the HHS DRAFT Strategic Plan FY 2018 – 2022 – PDF

The Federalist’s Harvest Prude reports:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released their 2018-2022 plan, which unequivocally states that life begins at conception and deserves protection. In the introduction it says,

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”

The draft mentions conception five times total. The overwhelmingly pro-life stance in the draft is welcome news to many.

The debate over the personhood of unborn children has been a central issue of the abortion debate. Ever since Roe v. Wade in 1973, pro-life advocates have been trying to establish constitutionally protected rights for the unborn. In the ruling’s majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that Roe v. Wade would collapse if “the fetus is a person.”

In support of the HHS’s draft, author and bioethics expert Wesley J. Smith wrote, “life ‘beginning at conception’ … is a fact of basic biological science.”

Read more.

Watch what happened at Values Voter Summit 2017 today…

It’s time for Americans to seize the moment.

Opening day of the 2017 Values Voter Summit gave attendees a window into the opportunity before us to make America a place in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives. If you missed today’s sessions, you can watch all the action, including President Trump’s address, at the VVS website here.

My Fourth Health Care Plan Just Died Thanks to Obamacare by Michelle Malkin

Cue the funeral bagpipes. My fourth health insurance plan is dead.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I received yet another cancellation notice for our private, individual health insurance coverage. It’s our fourth Obamacare-induced obituary in four years.

Our first death notice, from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, arrived in the fall of 2013. The insurer informed us that because of “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA),” our plan no longer met the federal government’s requirements.

Never mind our needs and desires as consumers who were quite satisfied with a high-deductible preferred provider organization that included a wide network of doctors for ourselves and our two children.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

Our second death knell, from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, tolled in August 2015. That notice signaled the end of a plan we didn’t want in the first place that didn’t cover our kids’ dental care and wasn’t accepted at our local urgent care clinic.

The insurer pulled out of the individual market in all but one county in Colorado, following the complete withdrawal from that sector by Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

Our third “notice of plan discontinuation,” again from Anthem, informed us that the insurer would “no longer offer your current health plan in the state of Colorado” in August 2016.

With fewer and fewer choices as know-it-all Obamacare bureaucrats decimated the individual market here and across the country, we enrolled in a high-deductible Bronze HSA EPO (Health Savings Account Exclusive Provider Organization) offered by Minneapolis-based startup Bright Health.

Now, here we are barely a year later: Deja screwed times four. Our current plan will be discontinued on Jan. 1, 2018.

“But don’t worry,” Bright Health’s eulogy writer chirped, “we have similar plans to address your needs.”

Riiiiight. Where have I heard those pie-in-the-sky promises before? Oh, yeah. Straight out of the socialized medicine Trojan horse’s mouth.

“If you like your doctor,” President Barack Obama promised, “you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

Is pathological lying covered under the Affordable Care Act?

Speaking of Affordable Care Act whoppers, so much for “affordable.” Our current deductible is $6,550 per person—$13,100 for our family of four. Assuming we can find a new plan at the bottom of the individual market barrel, our current monthly premium, $944.86, will rise to more than $1,300 a month.

“What’s taking place is a market correction; the free market is at work,” says Colorado’s state insurance commissioner, Marguerite Salazar. “[T]his could be an indication that there were too many options for the market to support.”

This presumptuous central planner called federal intervention to eliminate “too many” options for consumers the free market at work. Yes, friends, the Rocky Mountain High is real.

This isn’t a “market correction.” It’s a government catastrophe.

Premiums for individual health plans in Virginia are set to skyrocket nearly 60 percent in 2018. In New Hampshire, those rates will rise 52 percent.

In South Carolina, individual market consumers will face an average 31.3 percent hike. In Tennessee, they’ll see rates jump between 20-40 percent.

Private, flexible preferred provider organizations for self-sufficient, self-employed people are vanishing by design. The social-engineered future—healthy, full-paying consumers being herded into government-run Obamacare exchanges and severely regulated regional health maintenance organizations—is a bipartisan big government health bureaucracy’s dream come true.

These choice-wreckers had the arrogant audacity to denigrate our pre-Obamacare plans as “substandard” (Obama), “crappy” (MSNBC big mouth Ed Schultz), and “junk policies” (Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa).

When I first called attention to the cancellation notice tsunami in 2013, liberal Mother Jones magazine sneered that the phenomenon was “phony.” And they’re still denying the Obamacare death spiral. Liberal Vox Media recently called the crisis “a lie.”

I don’t have enough four-letter words for these propagandists. There are an estimated 450,000 consumers like us in Colorado and 17 million of us nationwide—small business owners, independent contractors, and others who don’t get their plans through group coverage, big companies, or government employers.

The costs, headaches, and disruption in our lives caused by Obamacare’s meddling meddlers are real and massive.

But we’re puzzles to corporate media journalists who’ve never had to meet a payroll and don’t even know what is the individual market.

We’re invisible to late night TV clowns who get their Obamacare-at-all-costs talking points from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

We’re pariahs to social justice health care activists and Democrats who want us to just shut up and subsidize everyone else’s insurance.

And we’re expendables to establishment Republicans who hoovered up campaign donations on the empty promise to repeal Obamacare—and now consider amnesty for immigrants here illegally and gun control higher legislative priorities than keeping their damned word.

We’re the canaries in the Obamacare coal mine. Ignore us at your peril, America. You’re next.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the senior editor of Conservative Review. She is a New York Times best-selling author and a FOX News Channel contributor. Twitter: 

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Why Trump’s Executive Order on Health Care Is a Positive Step

Trump, Paul Forge Alliance on ‘Biggest Free-Market Reform of Health Care in Generation’

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

New Report on Impact of Legal Pot in Colorado Schools

This week, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released its fifth annual report titled The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5. We devote today’s issue of The Marijuana Report newsletter to highlighting a few of many significant findings the report contains.

National Families in Action has remade some of the graphs and charts in the report to emphasize key findings. This one shows how many of Colorado’s students were expelled, referred to law enforcement, or suspended in the 2015-2016 school year. This is the first year the Colorado Department of Education differentiated marijuana violations from all drug violations, and this year’s report will serve as a baseline to determine whether marijuana violations increase, decrease, or stay fundamentally the same.

Read The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5 here. This information appears on page 41 (PDF page 49).

The new report explains that although Colorado created its own Healthy Kids Survey, the combination of a poor response rate and the fact that several major counties with large populations had low or no participation rendered the 2015 survey’s results invalid. For a discussion of this see page 33 (PDF page 41). Volume 5 relies on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to compare Colorado marijuana use with the national average for ages 12-17, 18-25, and 26 & older over a ten year period (2005-2006 to 2014-2015).

See data for these graphs on the following pages:

  • Ages 12-17, page 36 (PDF page 44)
  • Ages 18-25, page 56 (PDF page 64)
  • Ages 26 & Older, page 60 (PDF page 68)

Read The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5 here.


The report notes that data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006-2011 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and 2012-2016 Colorado Department of Transportation show that drivers testing positive for marijuana who were killed in traffic crashes rose from 6 percent of all traffic deaths in 2006 to 20 percent eleven years later. Marijuana-related traffic deaths jumped from 9 percent to 14 percent once the state commercialized marijuana for medical use and from 11 percent to 20 percent after legalizing the drug for recreational use.

Read more about marijuana-related driving in Colorado here starting on page 13 (PDF page 21).


In 2016, more than one-third of Colorado drivers who tested positive for marijuana had marijuana only in their systems. Another 36 percent had marijuana and alcohol. Slightly over one-fifth tested positive for marijuana and other drugs but no alcohol, while 7 percent had marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs on board.

See page 18 (PDF page 26) in The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5 here.

Obamacare Failed Breastfeeding Mothers

In a classic case of unintended consequences, what was meant to help new mothers actually made things more expensive and difficult.

Lauren K. Hall

by  Lauren K. Hall

I recently had a conversation with my health insurance company that gave me some interesting perspective on the current US health care system. I’m pregnant, so I called to figure out whether my insurance covered a new breast pump for when I return to work while nursing. There was good news and bad news.

Good news: insurance covers (most of) a new breast pump!

Bad news: Due to federal regulations and insurance bureaucracy, I cannot simply order the pump I want from Amazon, where prices are clearly laid out, the pump I want is in stock, and I know what I am getting. Instead, my insurance gave me a list of 10 different medical supply companies, all of which provide different pumps and half of which do not list prices. This is a problem since my insurance only covers $178 of the pump’s price.

So rather than spending two minutes ordering a pump from Amazon, I will spend at least an entire morning sifting through websites mostly designed circa 2004 and filling out various information request forms to find out whether the company carries the pump I want and how much the same pump costs at these different websites. I will also need to get a prescription from my doctor, which will require another appointment and more paperwork.

All in all, a process that should take two minutes will now take at least a week of back and forth, many emails, multiple phone calls, and shipping that will definitely take longer than two-day Prime shipping.

So what’s going on here?

The Unintended Consequences of Health Insurance Mandates

The breast pump example is a classic case of unintended consequences. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, one much-lauded goal was to provide better support for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The requirement was touted as a way mothers could nurse longer (a major public health goal that may or may not make a lot of sense), particularly once they re-entered the workforce.

The requirement, as many have noted, turned a normal consumer good into a medical device that all women could get for “free,” regardless of income level. Some four million American women give birth every year, and some large percentage of those at least attempt to breastfeed. Many, if not most, nursing mothers will need a breast pump at some point, so the costs of this mandate are not small.

Insurance companies, predictably, did not respond altruistically and absorb the costs of an expensive new mandate. They passed some of these costs on to consumers in the form of higher premiums but also sought to control costs by limiting the kinds of pumps mothers had access to. My insurance, for example, only covers a single electric pump, which is ironic because the last time I checked, most women have two breasts. But insurers’ rationale is understandable: they’ve been ordered to provide a free thing — not necessarily the best free thing out there, nor the free thing that actually would meet women’s wants and needs for pumping.Companies also, predictably, increased the red tape associated with ordering a breast pump, both to ensure they can prove their compliance to the federal government, and also probably in part to make it harder for women to access the benefit. I didn’t bother getting an insurance-covered breast pump for my second child (the ACA wasn’t fully in effect when I had my first) because I had an old breast pump a friend had given me and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of getting a new pump while wrangling a newborn.

Without government interference in my insurance plan, where would I be today? I probably would have taken some of the money I would have saved in slightly lower premiums and bought myself the breast pump I really wanted. Instead, I’m faced with both paying higher premiums and being forced to choose a product that does not fit my needs. As FEE’s Pamela Hobart discussed, lower-income women already had access to low-cost breast pumps through the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Why did the government believe it necessary to mandate coverage for all women, when most women not on WIC would have been better served simply buying the breast pump they really wanted out of pocket? Obviously, the answer is political, but it makes little to no economic sense.

Government Micromanagement and Insurance Bureaucracy

My breast pump saga is merely one example of a much broader lesson that goes well beyond nursing mothers. The more government micromanages what insurance companies are required to do, the more insurance companies will respond with red tape and hurdles to lower their own costs and prevent being taken advantage of.The breast pump saga is also an important reminder of what insurance was originally not meant to do. Health insurance was meant to help cover the catastrophic costs of medical care that an average person could not have foreseen: getting hit by a bus, developing cancer, or needing a liver transplant. Health insurance was never meant to provide people with basic consumer goods they can and should be saving for themselves. It also was never meant to pay for regular checkups, physicals, and the foreseeable and moderate expenses of being a human being with a fallible body.

Now we use health insurance to pay for everything from yearly physicals to breast pumps to blood pressure screenings, and the government continues to mandate more and more covered items and procedures. The result has not been better care, but escalating costs and more restrictions on consumer choice. None of that seems like much of a “benefit” to me.

So how did my pump saga ultimately end? After a few hours of wasted time Googling and talking to medical supply companies on the phone, I ended up ordering the pump I wanted from a local medical supply company. That pump, available for $174.98 on Amazon, ended up costing my insurance $178.00 and me another $70, while the sticker price on the receipt inexplicably totaled $318.00. Total extra bureaucratic costs: a few hours of my time, my insurance company’s time, the medical supply company’s time, and an extra $70 to $140, depending on which price you hold to be the “real” price.

But yes, by all means, let’s get MORE government involvement in healthcare.

Reprinted from Learn Liberty

Lauren K. Hall

Lauren K. Hall

Lauren has is Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology. She is also a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

SEIU Community Organizer behind the anti-woman “Women’s March to the Polls” in Chicago

There will be a Woman’s March to the Polls in Chicago, Illinois on October 11th, 2017. Is the march about protecting mothers and their children from the gang violence in Chicago? Is the march focused on eliminating the growing number of murders on Chicago’s streets? Is the march’s mission to restore the family and help create jobs for women?

Jaquie Algee

As of October 10th, 2017 Chicago had a total 530 murders, 8 murders since October 1st, according to DNAInfo.com. Is not the murder rate in Chicago a woman’s issue? Does the Woman’s March to the Polls care about Chicago’s murder rate and its impact on women, families and neighborhoods?

QUESTION: What does The Women’s March to the Polls have to do with helping women?

The organizer of the march is Jaquie Algee the Vice President/Director of External Relations for The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois/Indiana/Missouri/Kansas (SEIU HCIIMK).

The Woman’s March to the Polls (WMC) website describes its mission as follows:

WMC is an organization advocating for women’s rights, promoting intersectional feminism, and challenging the political system regarding issues affecting women. WMC brings together women and allies in support of reproductive justice, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights, affordable childcare, racial justice, access for persons with disabilities, environmental protection, voting rights, and active citizenship, and other critical issues.

Let’s look at three of the missions of the Women’s March to the Polls.

The first is promoting “intersectional feminism.”

What is intersectional feminism and is it good for women? USA Today’s Alia E. Dastagir defines intersectional feminism thusly:

A white woman is penalized by her gender but has the advantage of race. A black woman is disadvantaged by her gender and her race. A Latina lesbian experiences discrimination because of her ethnicity, her gender and her sexual orientation.

Intersectionality has received increased attention in part due to how the Women’s March on Washington came together.

So does it help a white woman to hate herself because she is white? Does it help a black woman to hate anyone who is not black? Does being a lesbian help women and promote traditional families? Do LGBTQ+ rights help women, fathers, mothers and children?

Here are ten truths about the LGBTQ+ agenda. Here’s a pediatricians take on LGBTQ+.

Of course affordable childcare helps women and is a priority of the Trump administration as is equal justice under the law.

The second is advancing “reproductive justice.”

Reproductive justice are code words for abortion on demand. Is the act of a woman aborting her unborn child good for her health?

According to the Illinois Department of Health in 2015 there were a total of 39,856 abortions of which 25,809 were by unmarried women. Girls under the age of 14-years old accounted for 82 abortions, with girls between the ages of 14-17 years old aborting 1,144 babies. Chicago is in Cook County, which accounted for 22,892 or 64.7% of all abortions in Illinois. Abortion is the inextricable outcome of “reproductive justice.”

Why do underage girls and women abort their babies?

The Federalist’s Greg Scandlen has an answer in an article titled “How Many Women Are Pressured Into Abortions?” Scandlen reported:

One study from the pro-life side reported, “In a national study of women, 64% of those who aborted felt pressured to do so by others. This pressure can become violent. 65% suffered symptoms of trauma. In the year following an abortion, suicide rates are 6-7 times higher.“ See also this report from “Clinic Quotes.”

But even the pro-choice side is beginning to wake up to the issue. An article in The Daily Beast is headlined, “Coerced Abortions: A New Study Shows They’re Common.” The article is based largely on information from the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research center) but raises the topic of “reproductive coercion.” This is an interesting twist on the concept. Rather than looking at women who are coerced into having an abortion, it looks at women who are coerced or tricked first into getting pregnant, then also coerced into aborting the baby, identified as “reproductive control.”

Reproductive justice is a form of “reproductive control” and “reproductive coercion.”

Thirdly is futhering “environmental protection.”

How does environmental protection help women? Alex Epstein in “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” writes:

What does it mean to be moral?

This is an involved philosophical question, but for our purposes I will say: an activity is moral if it is fundamentally beneficial to human life.

By that standard, is the fossil fuel industry moral? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. By producing the most abundant, affordable, reliable energy in the world, the fossil fuel industry makes every other industry more productive—and it makes every individual more productive and thus more prosperous, giving him a level of opportunity to pursue happiness that previous generations couldn’t even dream of. Energy, the fuel of technology, is opportunity—the opportunity to use technology to improve every aspect of life. Including our environment.

Any animal’s environment can be broken down into two categories: threats and resources. (For human beings, “resources” includes a broad spectrum of things, including natural beauty.)

Epstein notes, “To assess the fossil fuel industry’s impact on our environment, we simply need to ask: What is its impact on threats? What is its impact on resources? The moral case against fossil fuels argues that the industry makes our environment more threatening and our resources more scarce.”

With scarce natural resources comes higher prices for food, home heating, gasoline and all other products used by women to sustain human life.

Perhaps the Women’s March to the Polls is all about politics and little to do with the life, liberty and happiness of women?  Or is this march just another a get out the vote to reelect Democrats to continue to lead Chicago on the same path that it is headed? You be the judge.

RELATED ARTICLES:

California Can Now Jail People for Misusing Gender Pronouns

When It Comes to Cost of Living, Red States Win

EDITORS NOTE: The feature image is of Colette Gregory, right, with her mentee Sara Phillips, 27 from the January 20th, 2017 Women’s March on Chicago. Photo by WTTW PBS channel in Chicago.

The United States Rejected Obamacare in 1918

The AMA set out to destroy the excellent system of healthcare insurance set up by fraternal societies.

Roger McKinney

by  Roger McKinney

The US rejected Obamacare in 1918. What a difference a mere hundred years makes! US voters rejected mandatory health insurance, or Obamacare, at the turn of the last century. It took supporters almost another century, but they finally won.

For a quarter century before WWI, many of the nation’s young people went to Germany to complete their college education and returned determined to recreate the US in the image of socialist Germany. Richard Ely was one. He founded the American Economic Association for that sole purpose. He and economist Irving Fisher would lead the drive for universal, mandatory health care insurance.

At the time, middle class and wealthier Americans paid a fee each time they visited a doctor. But the fees were too high for the working poor who instead organized into mutual aid societies to help each other with medical costs. Known as lodges, such as the Elks, or secret societies such the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) or the Freemasons, or just fraternal organizations, mutual help societies existed for centuries. They followed the ancient guild practices of mutual aid to craft members. David T. Beito beautifully writes their history in his book From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services 1890-1967, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2000.

Socialists became wary of lodges, or fraternal societies, partly because of their secret passwords and handshakes. But the societies developed those for security purposes because they suffered from fraud by non-members wanting to cash in on the benefits. Two centuries ago an IOOF chapter in one state couldn’t easily contact another out-of-state chapter to confirm the membership of someone who wanted aid. The passwords and handshakes solved the problem.

In the earliest day, the lodges offered burial insurance because poor people were terrified of suffering the indignities of a pauper’s burial. Later, they added healthcare and life insurance, built orphanages and hospitals, and provided pensions. The Shriners branch of the Freemasons still maintain children’s hospitals. Without the lodges, most members could not afford to pay fee-for-service doctors and would otherwise go without medical care. Readers who want to know how medical care should operate and what is wrong with today’s system should read Mr. Beito’s book.

Medical Establishment Attack on Mutual Aid

The medical establishment began attacking the lodges as early as the 1890s because the lodges would contract with doctors for a flat fee per year per member to provide medical care for lodge members. The practice, known as “capitation,” is making a comeback with the federal government as a means to restrain the explosive growth in the costs of medical care. Lodges usually contracted with doctors from private medical schools set up by other doctors to fill the deficiency in the supply of new doctors by the state schools.

The American Medical Association (AMA) claimed that the lodges kept doctor pay too low, causing some to starve. So they launched public relations campaigns to stigmatize the lodge system and the doctors who served the working poor. They bribed politicians to shut down the medical schools they didn’t approve of, of course in the interest of “public health and safety” in the Baptists and Bootleggers style, in order to create a shortage of doctors. They bribed hospitals to reject doctors who worked with lodges and convinced medical organizations to ostracize them. AMA doctors refused to work at lodge-owned hospitals and the AMA worked tirelessly to shut those hospitals down. The AMA’s assault on “low pay” for their doctors finally worked,

Lodge practice was also a victim of an overall shrinkage in the supply of physicians due to a relentless campaign of professional “birth control” imposed by the medical societies. In 1910, for example, the United States had 164 doctors per 100,000 people, compared with only 125 in 1930. This shift occurred in great part because of increasingly tight state certification requirements. Fewer doctors not only translated into higher medical fees but also weaker bargaining power for lodges. Meanwhile, the number of medical schools plummeted from a high of 166 in 1904 to 81 in 1922. The hardest hit were the proprietary schools, a prime recruiting avenue for lodges.

When socialists and the AMA proposed mandatory health insurance for every citizen in the early 1900s, the lodges saw it as an attack on their system of self-reliance and mutual aid. Enough Americans shared the same values as the lodges that they defeated the proposals in two referenda. In 1918 the citizens of California voted three to one to reject mandatory health insurance. It failed again in New York in 1919.

Abandoning Traditional Values

But the times they were a-changing, and morality with it. Americans were abandoning traditional Christianity rapidly and its values of self-reliance and mutual aid. Of course, churches had always provided charity to the poorest since the early days of Christianity recorded in the Book of Acts in the Bible. But until the 1920s, Americans resisted accepting charity as much as they could out of a sense of honor. The lodges intended to help the working poor, not supplant charitable work. By the 1920s Americans interpreted self-reliance as selfishness. As Beito wrote,

The traditional fraternal worldview was under attack. Age-old virtues such as mutual aid, character building, self-restraint, thrift, and self-help, once taken for granted, came under fire either as outmoded or as drastically in need of modification.

In 1918 Clarence W. Tabor used his textbook, Business of the Household, to warn that if savings “means stunted lives, that is, physical derelicts or mental incompetents…through enforced self-denial and the absence of bodily comforts, or the starving of mental cravings and the sacrifice of spiritual development – then the price of increased bank deposits is too high.” An earlier generation would have dismissed these statements. Now they were in the mainstream. Bruce Barton, the public relations pioneer and author of the best-selling life of Christ, The Man Nobody Knows, espoused the ideal of self-realization rather than self-reliance, declaring that “life is meant to live and enjoy as you go along…. If self-denial is necessary I’ll practice some of it when I’m old and not try to do all of it now. For who knows? I may never be old.”

JM Keynes echoed Barton in the 1930’s with his famous line, “In the long run we’re all dead,” and with his continual assault on the evils of the Protestant work ethic and savings. The ideal of “service” replaced that of self-reliance. By “service” socialists meant that the wealthy should give to the poor. They helped remove the stigma of charity by convincing the poor that they shouldn’t be ashamed of receiving aid because the wealthy owed it to them.

The U.S. Became Increasingly Socialist

In addition to the efforts of the AMA to destroy the excellent system of healthcare insurance set up by the fraternal societies, the progress of socialism continued to erode the appeal of self-help. For example, the federal government gave favorable tax treatment to corporations who offered group insurance without extending that to individuals while members of fraternal organizations received no tax deductions for their healthcare insurance.

Corporations then paid the premiums so workers were fooled into thinking their insurance was free. Good economists understand that corporations merely deducted the premiums from future pay raises. The lodges argued that group insurance from the employer would enslave workers to a single company because they would lose their insurance if they lost their job whereas lodge insurance traveled with the individual. The lodges were right as we have found out.

The Great Depression weakened lodges as the bulk of the 25% unemployment came from their ranks, the working poor. More assaults on mutual aid came with the passage of social security legislation, company pensions, and worker’s compensation insurance. Again, the government allowed corporations to deduct expenses for those from their taxes without extending the privilege to individuals in fraternal organizations. Then came Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s.

The book exposes the lie that socialists proposed their welfare measures because they saw a desperate need for them. Churches and charities had provided for the poor who couldn’t work since Biblical times, while the fraternal societies took care of the working poor very well. In 1924, 48% of working-class adult males were lodge members.

Socialists opposed the lodge system, not because it failed; it hadn’t. They opposed it because they wanted the services provided by the state as they were in Germany. They convinced the American people that socialism would not just help the poor, as the churches and fraternal organizations were, but would eliminate poverty. And as Helmut Schoeck warned us in his Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, the lust to destroy successful people served as fuel for the fire. Beito’s concluding paragraph is worth reprinting in full:

The shift from mutual aid and self-help to the welfare state has involved more than a simple bookkeeping transfer of service provision from one set of institutions to another. As many of the leaders of fraternal societies had feared, much was lost in an exchange that transcended monetary calculations. The old relationships of voluntary reciprocity and autonomy have slowly given way to paternalistic dependency. Instead of mutual aid, the dominant social welfare arrangements of Americans have increasingly become characterized by impersonal bureaucracies controlled by outsiders.

Roger McKinney

Roger McKinney

Roger D. McKinney works as an analyst for a tiny healthcare insurance agency in Tulsa and writes a blog about economics at rdmckinney.blogspot.com. He has an MA in economics from the University of Oklahoma and is author of the book Financial Bull Riding.

Football Will Perish from the Earth

By 2050, the National Football League (NFL) will be like the Barnum and Bailey Circus of today. Bankrupt, closed, irrelevant, morally passe.

In the early 20th century, the circus was all the rage. After a century of the product’s consumption by a culture increasingly sensitive to the abuse of the weak and helpless—in this case, circus animals—the “Greatest Show on Earth” has been relegated to an empty sideshow. It is simply too brutish for sophisticated moderns who wince at the crack of a whip on an elephant’s rump.

Football as Bloodsport

The parallels of football and Roman gladiatorial games have been noted before.

Football will soon follow. Its massive billion dollar stadiums and marketing machines seem immortal for now. But these titanic playpens will soon crumble under the same cultural force that killed the circus: our culture’s growing concern for victims.

I am not judging football’s coming demise as a good or bad thing. I see it as simply a symptom of larger social forces that we should understand.

The parallels of football and Roman gladiatorial games have been noted before. In the Colosseum, the Roman emperor would have a grand procession into the arena to the standing ovation of the assembled masses. Today, our U.S. Defense Department-sponsored games begin with the procession of the American flag and anthem. It is often accompanied by dramatic aerial flyovers by jet fighters and fireworks, symbolizing the transcendent might and grandeur of America’s military conquerings. So too, the Roman games often reenacted the empire’s greatest battles.

Today’s latest controversy involves whether football players should stand united in honor of the flag. The sacredness of the flag rests in its long-standing ability to unify even enemies as the opposing teams simulate. Like any symbol, the flag serves as a vessel for people to place powerful emotions: memories of grandpa’s military service, apple pie, cookouts, neighborly support for one another are all wrapped in its colors.

Above all, the one thing the flag represents the most is the unifying power of sacrifice. We are united as one collective family in our reverence for the flag and anthem. The flag is sacred because it represents, as its loudest defenders proclaim, the blood shed by soldiers fighting for our freedoms.

Interestingly, gladiatorial games were first started as sacrificial offerings accompanying funerals. It was thought that the blood spilled by slaves and captives honored the death of state leaders with the transcendent unity of the crowd. With every pitiful animal howl and human cry, citizens felt swept up as one body in collective satisfaction and relief from mundane rivalries and resentments.

Football as Distraction

Today, governments like to take the suffering and courage of our sons and daughters who enlist and turn it into a marketing ploy for why we all need government coercion controlling our lives—who we hire, what we pay them, permission to cut hair, how big our sodas can be, how much we cook our milk, which drugs we can use to alter our minds, and so on. Governments also like to transmute our goosebumps we feel when the anthem plays into maintaining a trillion dollar annual foreign policy paid by debt created out of thin air and backed by the OPEC oil cartel’s energy markets.

At sporting events, our government captures the nostalgia we feel for neighborhood friendship and family pastimes, associates it with the anthem and flag, and then converts it into passive, numb surrender to perpetual warfare. Even while the nation divides over whether players should kneel or stand for the flag, our government continues to expand its military footprint overseas and drop more bombs, all in our name.

But the state, in collusion with powerful corporate allies, uses spectacles like football to distract and pacify the people. Instead of the violent slaughtering of Roman games, our Christianized culture sends players into simulated, padded warfare. We pick teams to unite our personal lives under and forget about the state’s socio- and economic abuses just outside our doorsteps. Studies even suggest that violent crime drops during major televised sporting events.

But now, Trump and his liberal mirror rivals have pierced the veil by injecting the NFL with the profanity of politics: the realm where real factions use real violence of the state to punish their rivals through regulations, mandates, and taxes. When Trump said “fire them” about the protesting players, invoking the specter of both the penal and paternal side of government, forcing people to take sides and not over the gridiron but at either side of the water cooler and dinner table, it did the game no favors.

Eventually, it took a church monk named Telemachus challenging the violent sacrifice of the Roman gladiatorial games to end their carnage. He climbed into the arena and protested until he was summarily slaughtered. His self-sacrifice for the defense of victims led to the public’s loss of appetite for the violence.The last known Roman gladiatorial event was in 404 AD, less than two decades after Telemachus’s death.

Today, myriad scandals serve as a persistent Telemachus threatening to bring the NFL down. Mothers and fathers all around the country are pulling their sons out of football due to the increased revelations of concussions and resulting brain damage caused by the sport. Whereas Roman citizens demanded their fighters stripped of armor to maximize carnage, increased paddings will end up making players look like Michelin men with bobble head-sized helmets.

In Rome, no one cared how gladiators treated their lovers. Today, growing public disgust with widespread reports of spousal abuse is souring the NFL’s mystique.

In college, the NCAA’s state-protected profiteering off of unpaid players’ physical sacrifice is increasingly criticized as well.

Meanwhile, diehard fans once thrilled by simulated violence are losing interest with ever constrained penalty rules and concussion concerns. The suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the game is waning: talks of brain damage, flags no longer able to unify people around soldiers’ sacrificial deaths, spousal abuse, and racial undertones are all exposing football as just a silly game to appease desires for tribalism and aggression—and make fat cat owners fatter. Not worth all the drama.

We should be proud that we do not send hungry lions into arenas with naked prisoners anymore. We have made progress because of Christianity’s leavening of the collective’s history-long abuse against the misfit person. Yet absent such gladiatorial games, our culture must confront our sacrifices of the innocent and nonviolent to appease our love for aggression as the means of keeping peace.

Reprinted from American Conservative

David Gornoski

David Gornoski

David Gornoski is your neighbor – as well as an entrepreneur, speaker and writer. He recently launched a project called A Neighbor’s Choice, which seeks to introduce Jesus’ culture of nonviolence to both Christians and the broader public. A Neighbor’s Choice is also the name of his weekly radio show on state violence and alternative solutions to it. Email him here.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of the Pontiac Silverdome, Michigan is by Brandon Davis.

Soporifics and Soullessness: Have we lost our collective minds?

Have we lost our collective minds? A mass shooting with no readily apparent motive is an extreme representation of our sense that our social fabric is unraveling. This is one of those things that people don’t believe can happen until it happens. And despite the unspeakable tragedy, it took less than an hour for politicians to criticize the President, ghoulishly exhorting that we need more than prayers and consolation. Maybe we do, but at least give the circle of victims a chance to deal with their personal grief before spouting off. At least CBS had the decency to fire its soulless vice president and senior counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold after she posted “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

We have become a culture where Tim Tebow is mocked for kneeling in prayer before a football game while others are praised for “taking a knee” during the National Anthem—which by the way is not praying. Taking a knee in American football is when the quarterback drops to one knee immediately after receiving the snap, thus automatically ending the play. Taking a knee is a boring but effective move by the winning team toward the end of the game, as it does not allow the opponent the opportunity to regain possession of the ball. In urban lingo it means to take a temporary break from an activity.

Clearly, “taking a knee” is not praising a Higher Power that many on this earth believe in. And standing for the Anthem does not make one a racist. Note to partisan “news” presenters: when you push a pendulum in one direction really hard, when released it swings the other way with equal or greater force.

Living in virtual reality is no longer beyond the fringe. Children are becoming obese because they are participating in sports through video games rather than actually tossing around a ball to one another.

What happened to talking to each other? You don’t need a psychology professor to tell you that smart phones increase loneliness. Just walk down the street and you’ll see far too many couples walking, each with their own cell phone, obviously not talking to each other. Texting a few abbreviated words has replaced real conversation and emotional connection.

And we wonder why opiate use has risen to epidemic levels. People have always had their troubles. And man’s desire to avoid suffering whether physical or emotional, whether through alcohol, opium, mushrooms, or coca leaves has been documented for at least 9,000 years. But now the public has been convinced they can’t just be “high on life” and learn to cope. Big Pharma’s direct-to-consumer television ads quietly list innumerable side effects while extolling the virtues of their wares and the consumer’s inability to live without them.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. The statistics from the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minnesota (which are comparable to those elsewhere in the United States) reveal that the top three medications consumed are antibiotics (17%), antidepressants (13%), and opioids (11%). Antidepressants and opioids were the most commonly prescribed among young and middle-aged adults.

As physicians we do not want to become numb to patients’ needs while being consumed by government dictates. Electronic medical records should not become the excuse for hiding behind a computer screen—particularly with members of the younger generation who came out of the womb with a cell phone strapped to their ear by the umbilical cord. We need to be free to spend precious time getting to know our patients. Medications have saved countless lives, but prescriptions cannot become the tool to move along the overbooked office schedule or a quick fix to placate the demanding patient.

Let’s take heart. When left to our own devices and stripped of artificial political labels, we humans rise. Just ask our first responders and medical personnel or the hurricane volunteers or the victims helping victims or the thousands of people donating blood or the over 30,000 donors to the Go Fund Me page for the Las Vegas victims.

United we stand.

EDITORS NOTE: The medical definition of Soporific is: Something such as a drug that causes or induces profound sleep. Tending to cause sleep or to dull the sense of awareness or alertness.

Faith-Based Groups Free to Believe after HHS Rollback

Congress wants to take another crack at repealing Obamacare, but the president isn’t going to sit on his hands until it does. After months of watching the Senate fumble its replacement plan, Donald Trump is taking some matters into own hands. And conservatives will be relieved to know that the unconstitutional HHS mandate is one of them.

In a huge victory for religious liberty, the Department of Health and Human Services dealt a death blow to Barack Obama’s order that forced faith-based groups to offer free contraceptives — even if it violated their conscience.

After the Supreme Court scrapped Obama’s mandate for companies like Hobby Lobby, the 44th president tried to hide the same rule under a fancy accounting gimmick. A group of nuns became the poster women for Obama’s “accommodation,” which HHS concocted to spare religious groups from the choice of violating their faith or the law. Or so it said. In practice, the religious groups would still have to pay for the “health care” they oppose — just through a third-party.

People on both sides of the political spectrum blasted Obama’s phony compromise, failing to understand why HHS would demand that even the Little Sisters of the Poor should have to pay for birth control. The message was simple: abandon your conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith.

Thanks to President Trump, churches and religious groups no longer have to make that choice.

Today, HHS issued two regulations that beat back this idea that the government can strong-arm Americans into surrendering their beliefs. The first exempts employers and educational institutions from covering pills or procedures they believe destroys a human life. The second exempts some small businesses and pro-life organizations if they have similar objections. No one — not nuns, not store owners, or everyday Americans — should be faced with the choice of violating their beliefs or paying ridiculous penalties to exercise them. The courts realized that, siding with more than 200 plaintiffs on the HHS mandate 90 percent of the time! Like us, they understand that if the federal government can threaten people and organizations with fines for their beliefs, what can’t it do?

Of course, liberals are hysterical about Trump’s decision, claiming that millions of women are somehow going to lose their birth control because a handful of religious groups won’t pay for it. At most, experts think Trump’s new regulations will affect about 190,000 employees, a far cry from the Left’s sky-is-falling estimates. And if anything, these regulations protect employees from losing their insurance altogether. Let’s not forget that under the HHS mandate, some pro-life employers were faced with no choice but dropping employee health care.

As if keeping that promise weren’t enough, the White House also put a stop to the Obama guidance that forced millions of Americans to secretly pay for elective abortion on the health care exchange. After hiding the abortion fees for years, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bulletin that any policyholder who pays for an Obamacare plan will be notified if it includes a separate abortion fee. For the last several years, the law buried these abortion surcharges. This new CMS guideline creates transparency for millions of Americans who may not know they’re paying for abortion coverage in their Obamacare plans.

The same First Amendment that gives Little Sisters of the Poor the right to object to liberal health care coverage is the same First Amendment that gives Jack Phillips the right to walk away from a same-sex wedding cake job.

Our deepest gratitude to the White House for restoring what Obama stole: the freedom to believe.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Also in the October 6 Washington Update:

Trump Keeps Promise, Restores Religious Liberty in Workplace

Laura Ingraham to Star at Next Week’s Summit!

Trump Administration Reverses Obama-Era Policies on Religious Freedom

The Trump administration came out strongly in defense of religious freedom Friday, with new legal guidance and a move to reverse one of the most controversial Obamacare mandates.

“Every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith,” Jeff Sessions says.

The Justice Department guidelines direct attorneys and agencies that freedom of religious extends to both organizations and individuals, and includes living out one’s religious beliefs. Under the Justice Department guidelines, this could expand to allowing employers to hire in accordance with their religious beliefs and prohibit denying federal contracts to entities based on religious beliefs.

The Department of Health and Human Services is rolling back the Obamacare mandate that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, creating both a religious and moral exemption. This will expand the number of covered nonprofits and nonpublicly traded for-profit businesses.

In both cases, the departments are following up on President Donald Trump’s directive that was part of a May 4 executive order on religious freedom.

“Our freedom as citizens has always been inextricably linked with our religious freedom as a people. It has protected both the freedom to worship and the freedom not to believe,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith. The protections for this right, enshrined in our Constitution and laws, serve to declare and protect this important part of our heritage.”

Trump’s executive order directed the attorney general to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law” in order “to guide all agencies in complying with relevant federal law.” In response, Sessions issued 20 “high-level principles” that federal agencies will follow. The guidelines don’t represent a new policy, but are based on more than 200 existing statutes and 158 existing regulations. These include the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Among the principles are that “Americans do not give up their freedom of religion by participating in society or the economy, or interacting with government;” “Religious employers are entitled to employ only persons whose beliefs and conduct are consistent with the employers’ religious precepts;” and “Generally, the federal government may not condition federal grants or contracts on the religious organization altering its religious character, beliefs, or activities. Implementation of the Guidance at the Department of Justice.”

“The constitutional protection of religious beliefs and the right to exercise those beliefs have served this country well, have made us one of the most tolerant countries in the world, and have also helped make us the freest and most generous,” Sessions said.

The Obama administration carried out a “relentless assault on the First Amendment” and promoted “anti-faith policies,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a social conservative think tank.

“President Trump and the Department of Justice are putting federal government agencies on notice: you will not only respect the freedom of every American to believe but live according to those beliefs,” Perkins said in a statement Friday. “This is a freedom that has been a fundamental part of our society since the beginning of our nation.”

Under the Obama administration, HHS required employers pay for their employees’ contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, even if this violates the conscience of employers. The Obama administration exempted houses of worship, but religious-affiliated groups that objected still had to allow a third-party administrator handle the contraception coverage.

The new policy under Trump offers a separate religious and a moral exemption. The religious exemption would cover a religious-affiliated nonprofit employer, such as a church, school or charity. The moral exemption would be available to employers that have moral opposition to providing contraception or abortion-inducing medication for employees, including a nonpublicly traded company, or a nonprofit even if it doesn’t have a religious affiliation.

Already there are 200 entities suing the federal government in 50 difference lawsuits opposing the mandate, according to HHS.

However, the liberal group Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced plans to sue the Trump administration over the new HHS rules.

“The Trump administration is carrying out the agenda of religious fundamentalists, the biggest part of the president’s remaining devoted supporters,” said Maggie Garrett, Americans United’s legislative director, in a statement Friday. “The rights of LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, nontheists and others hang in the balance as the Trump administration continues to toe the line for its fundamentalist base.”

The Obama rule was “onerous” and the Trump action has made some progress in changing course, said Melanie Israel, a research associate for The Heritage Foundation, in a statement.

Americans will remain free to make their own decisions about, and purchase or find coverage for, the drugs and devices at issue in the mandate, and entities with objections will not be forced to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.

Now that the administration has provided regulatory relief from the mandate, pending cases in courts across the country—including the case brought forward by the Little Sisters of the Poor—should come to a resolution as well.

The Becket Fund, which represented Little Sisters of the Poor in its lawsuit against the Obamacare mandate, supported the change.

“HHS has issued a balanced rule that respects all sides—it keeps the contraceptive mandate in place for most employers and now provides a religious exemption,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor, said in a statement. “The Little Sisters still need to get final relief in court, which should be easy now that the government admits it broke the law.”

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

On Average an NFL Player is Arrested Every Seven Days for a Violent Crime

There is a dark side to the National Football League that few media outlets are talking about. Donald J. Trump, Jr. highlighted the issues in a Tweet:

According to NFLarrest.com:

The average time between [NFL player] arrests is just seven days, while the recorded without an arrest is slightly more than two months, at 65 days.

NFLarrest.com provides an interactive database of National Football League player arrests and charges. NOTE: Due to a spike in visits the website is now down and is asking for “donations will be put into development and server upkeep.”

The NFL appears to embrace players who abuse women.

Stephen L. Carter in a Chicago Tribune article titled “The NFL has a serious violence problem” on the 2017 NFL draft wrote:

In the first round, the Oakland Raiders drafted Gareon Conley, who has been accused of rape. In the second round, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Mixon, who in a much-viewed video punches a woman so hard that she falls down unconscious. In the sixth round, the Cleveland Brownsselected Caleb Brantley, who was accused of doing pretty much what Mixon did. And they are not the only drafted players who face or have faced such charges.

The below chart from NFLarrest.com shows the past 5 years data on crimes/arrests by NFL team:

NFLarrest.com notes that the top team for arrests is the Minnesota Vikings with the top 5 teams for arrests are: Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 2006 there were 71 arrests of NFL players, 2013 had 62 arrests, while the lowest in the NFLarrest.com data base is 28 arrests. The player with the most arrests is Adam Jones who has played for both the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals.

The top positions of those arrested are:

  • Wide receiver – 140
  • Linebacker – 119
  • Cornerback – 116
  • Running back – 99
  • Defensive tackle – 80

In 2016 the Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law issued a report titled Unnecessary Roughness: The NFL’s History of Domestic Violence and the Need for Immediate ChangeThe report reads:

One week after the start of the National Football League (NFL)’s 2014-15 season, TMZ.com publicly released a video showing the Baltimore Ravens’ star running back, Ray Rice, knocking his fiancée Janay Rice unconscious in an
Atlantic City casino elevator. The couple is seen arguing in the casino lobby as they walk towards a waiting elevator. Less than ten seconds after entering the elevator, the grainy surveillance video shows Ray Rice slap Janay across the head. Less than ten seconds after entering the elevator, the grainy surveillance video shows Ray Rice slap Janay across the head. She immediately lunges towards him in the elevator to confront him and he punches her in the temple. Her head hits the metal safety rail in the elevator as she falls, rendering her unconscious. When the elevator doors reopen, Ray Rice, who has been described as a 212-pound “fire hydrant of muscle and speed” 1 drags the unconscious body of his fiancée halfway out of the elevator as her small black dress gathers around her waist.

[ … ]

The video shocked and horrified the nation.

Today the nation is shocked and horrified by players disrespecting the American flag and the National Anthem. Perhaps the National Football League should look inward.

RELATED ARTICLE: Boycott the NFL on Veterans Weekend, Sunday, November 12th

RELATED INFOGRAPHICS:

Cuban doctors tired of ‘being slaves’ sue Cuban Government

As former Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy stupid!” For the Cuban people it truly is the economy, stupid.

Perhaps a few of my first hand experiences during my visit to Cuba will help those who favor big government understand where “socialismo” leads.

One of the things some people, many of whom have never visited Cuba, tout is their “excellent” healthcare system. Let me explain about the Cuban single payer government healthcare system. First, every visitor to Cuba must purchase health insurance from the Cuban government. For example, the cost of my health insurance was automatically included in the price of my plane ticket. So how much does the Cuban government pay its doctors to provide universal healthcare? The salary of a doctor is $30 a month.

In 2013 Brazil hired 4,000 doctors from Cuba to “work in areas where medical services and physicians are scarce.” These Cuban doctors were to be paid approximately $30,000 a year to provide medical services to remote areas of Brazil. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Analysts say the export of medical services adds about $6 billion a year to Cuba’s economy.”

How does this work? Brazil paid the Cuban government the $30,000 annual salaries of the Cuban doctors and the Cuban government then paid the doctors $30 a month or $360 a year. This equates to an 83% profit for the Cuban government. Not surprisingly many of these Cuban doctors sought asylum in Brazil to be paid what they actually earned, $30,000.

In socialist governments the “minimum wage” inextricably becomes the prevailing wage.

 in his New York Times article “Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’” reports:

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.”

Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island’s Communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.

But the doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.

“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” said Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the doctors who filed suit. “There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”

Read more.

What I observed is that the Cuban people have great potential if they are unleashed and allowed to earn what they are truly worth.

As one Cuban man put it to me, “the people have no love for their work.” They have no love for their work because Cuba needs a change in direction. This change in direction will only come when there is a change of the socialist regime.

VIDEO: Conservative on ABC Panel talking Obamacare repeal, Norks and President Trump

I appeared on an ABC Channel 7 panel on another failure of Obamacare repeal, Trump and Russia and the North Koreans.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Four Reasons the NFL is Dead Wrong on Protests
Tax Dollars are Subsidizing NFL National Anthem Protests
NFL’s Actions During National Anthem are Despicable, Time to Tune Out
Why Americans Hate the Media
The Megaphone Left vs. Non-Megaphone America

EDITORS NOTE: This video originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.