Category: Uncategorized

There’s no insurance plan if we fail to repeal Obamacare

A wise man once quipped, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” With the dawn of Obamacare, no truer warning has gone so catastrophically unheeded, and now American families are being made to pay the price – literally. The latest example of this all-too predictable crisis comes by way of the largest insurer in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, which was forced to raise rates by an average of 28-percent this year because of Obamacare. Executives recently said that, after all the counting is done, the company might have lost $135 million in 2015. So, if you think rates skyrocketed this year, wait until you see what they’ll be when insurers have to make up those losses. But wait a second. Didn’t the president promise that his massive healthcare scheme – ironically called the Affordable Care Act – would “bend the cost curve” downward? We’ve seen nothing of the sort, of course. Working Americans are instead seeing their premiums rise, their deductibles increase, and their out-of-pocket costs take, well, everything out of their pockets. So what’s the matter? Fundamentally, the insurance system has been turned completely on its head, and much of the increased costs come from Obamacare’s mandate that insurance companies offer regularly priced plans to those with expensive pre-existing conditions. “Beginning in 2014, ACA eliminated health underwriting and waiting periods for pre-existing conditions allowing individuals to buy healthcare coverage regardless of their health condition,”…

Conservatives should consider Ted Cruz

The establishment has spent the past few weeks warning conservatives that Ted Cruz is simply too mean and nasty to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. “We’ll lose if he’s our nominee,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. “His ability to grow the vote of the Republican Party is almost zero,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. “There’s no doubt he has harmed relationships,” added Sen. John McCain of Arizona. “There’ll be wholesale losses if he’s the nominee,” former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole warned. “Our party is not that far right.” Aside from their moderate political philosophy and a shared loathing of Cruz, what do those senators have in common? They all ran uninspiring presidential campaigns and either never emerged from the primaries or were badly beaten in the general election. So who would heed advice from this bunch? Not too many Iowans, it turns out. Republicans there showed up in record numbers earlier this week to deliver the primary season’s first win to Cruz, and in the process they endorsed his conservative message and forcefully rebuked the establishment’s candidates. One of Cruz’s surrogate speakers who helped deliver that winning message to Iowa voters was U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, the conservative Republican who represents several northern Alabama counties. “Ted Cruz is the only candidate for president who has a proven track record of doing the right thing,” Brooks told reporters before heading to Iowa to give speeches on Cruz’s behalf on caucus night. Conservatives in Alabama should also listen…

I want to believe Donald Trump, but no deal

A poll conducted last month for Alabama state Senate and House Republicans showed that Donald Trump might win our state’s GOP presidential primary by a comfortable margin. One in three of my fellow Republicans told pollsters that they’re voting for the New York billionaire even though he was quite recently a registered Democrat who has donated a small fortune to liberals (including Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and the campaign committees overseen by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi). “Never mind all that,” these voters must think. “Trump will build the wall, crush the competition, defeat the jihadists, and ‘Make America Great Again.’” I’ve been, and steadfastly remain, justifiably suspicious of the authenticity of Trump’s conversion to our way of thinking, but to borrow a classic line from the X-Files: I want to believe. I want to believe that Trump will be a pro-life president who’ll defund Planned Parenthood and appoint justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, but I cannot forget that he once claimed to be “very pro-choice” and said that his sister, who is a radical pro-abortion federal judge, would make a “phenomenal” appointment to the high court. I want to believe that Trump would protect our Second Amendment rights, but I cannot understand why he once supported the so-called “assault weapons ban,” which is an obvious scam to further disarm law-abiding Americans. I want to believe that Trump would uproot Obamacare and bring some market-driven sanity and patient choice to our health care system, but there’s that time Trump…

Conservatives could primary Robert Aderholt in 2018

Once upon a time in a capitol not so far away, Republican lawmakers were rarely held accountable for supporting bills that wasted tax dollars, increased debt, or made a general mess of our country. Folks back home would regularly hear their congressmen and senators talk tough, but at the eleventh hour their votes often fell into the “yea” column of whatever bloated, big-government bill the establishment put forward. There wasn’t much blow-back because many voters either didn’t understand the bills, didn’t care, weren’t paying attention, or were just happy to get their share of pork when the slaughter was finished. That’s how it use to be, but conservatives in Alabama’s fourth congressional district ought to remind U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, that the political landscape has drastically changed. Aderholt was the only Republican member of Alabama’s congressional delegation to vote last month in favor of a $1.8 trillion budget that was backed by the White House and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate. The budget’s ever-growing list of faults are outrageous. For starters, it adds $2 trillion to our national debt over the next 20-years, and in a staggering affront, it continues sending millions of our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood after its criminal abuses were exposed. It also pays for the president’s plan to resettle thousands of Syrians in our communities, despite a clear threat that Islamic extremists will infiltrate the refugee population. It expands a program allowing foreign workers into the nation at a time when…

Give an inch on guns and they’ll take a mile

It’s been said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch, while liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. That’s the essence of our Second Amendment. It’s not hunting, which is so acceptable that our founders never dreamed of having to enshrine its legality in our constitution. It’s not personal protection, which is already a natural right that should be recognized everywhere, and certainly in the “land of the free.” And it’s not the shooting sports, which even subjects in totalitarian states can enjoy. The amendment is about the preservation of liberty, by and for Americans. That’s exactly what I told my nine-year old son recently as we fired off shells with his new 20-gauge shotgun at a local range. He had heard much of the same talk during the last two-years while hitting aluminum cans with his Daisy Red Ryder BB gun – lessons about safety, accuracy, and responsibility. But my words seemed to carry far more weight after he first heard and felt the boom and kick of a real weapon. He seemed to grasp that now it was serious. Sure, it was great fun for him to see two-liter soda bottles explode in a fury of birdshot, but it was deeply satisfying for me to pass along to my son the sacred American tradition of owning and understanding firearms. The sad thing is, my boy probably already knows more about the principles of gun ownership than the people running…

Conservatives should help our “banished veterans”

It took an uncommon amount of courage and patriotism to join the U.S. military back in 2007. We had just rolled the dice on a surge of troops in Iraq, the death toll there was climbing, and few American families wanted their sons or daughters to enlist in what appeared to be a lost cause. But in Idaho, a young Daniel Torres heard the call of his adopted country and answered loud and clear. “I’ll do it,” he recalled himself saying. There was only one problem: Torres was Mexican, and he gave the military recruiter a false birth certificate so he could join. “When I enlisted, I didn’t just want to be another Mexican living in the U.S.,” he said in a story titled “Service Members, Not Citizens: Meet The Veterans Who Have Been Deported” that aired last week on National Public Radio. “I wanted to be able to say that I had done something for the country.” And do something he did. Torres became a United States Marine, one of the few and proud who have guarded our nation’s freedom for more than 240 years. He eventually deployed to Iraq in 2009 and spent time outside of Fallujah, a particularly hellish place. He survived, returned home, and was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan when everything unraveled. Torres lost his wallet, and the process to obtain replacement documents revealed his use of a false birth certificate. That probably wouldn’t have been a big deal in decades past. We’ve all heard…

Four things the left doesn’t understand about gun rights supporters

So let me get this straight: a couple of Muslim terrorists affiliated with a movement to enslave the world under an Islamic kingdom kill innocent Americans and our political left’s response is to attack the National Rifle Association? It appears so. Hillary Clinton lashed out at the NRA before the facts were even known about the attack in California. Liberals in Congress and the media immediately began beating their anti-NRA war drums. And the White House said those who oppose the president’s gun control measures are just “scared of the NRA.”Perhaps the most telling of these attacks came from the New York Daily News. It called the NRA’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, a “terrorist” and placed his picture below one of the two San Bernardino killers. The headlined charged that the Islamic extremists were enabled by the “NRA’s sick gun jihad against America.”Seriously? Okay sure, let’s have a debate about the NRA and forget that this was an attack by two Islamic State agents operating openly in our homeland. Let’s forget that a foreign terrorist easily passed one of those vaunted visa background checks by listing a fake Pakistani address. Most importantly, let’s forget that not a single gun control law being proposed by Democrats would have stopped this terrorist attack or any of the other recent high-profile mass shootings.But before we suspend these crucial truths to hold a red herring debate about the NRA, there are a few things leftists should know about gun rights supporters like me. First, the…

Alabama simply can’t afford expanded Medicaid

Last month the committee appointed by Governor Robert Bentley to study the state’s health care situation issued a report that essentially recommended that a costly yet key ingredient of Obamacare be brought to Alabama – the much-debated Medicaid expansion. Members of the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force made a noticeable effort to distance their recommendations from that central tenant of Obamacare, probably because the overall law remains so unpopular. Their report states that we should pursue an Alabama-driven solution that “reflects Alabama’s values and meets Alabama’s needs,” but the framework is basically the same.Under most proposals, Alabama would increase the pool of those eligible for Medicaid, which is the government’s free health care program for the poor, to those low-income adults earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level, or about $16,000 per year. That would close the so called “Medicaid Gap” by providing insurance for the estimated 290,000 Alabamians who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid yet too little to afford government-subsidized private insurance. That sounds nice, except that we know that free health care isn’t really free. Estimates show the move could immediately cost Alabama taxpayers $40 million a year, but that’s only thanks to the federal government’s offer to pay the lion’s share for the first three years. After that, Uncle Sam starts walking away and Alabama would be stuck paying about $100 million in 2018, then $222 million in 2020, and who knows how much more of an increase after that. Nothing grows…

Carson and Trump don’t understand American conservatism

The campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump once looked unrealistic, but they kept rising in the polls.Many political pundits said they’d eventually fade and drop out, but they kept rising in the polls.And then other candidates, the establishment in both parties, and the media viciously attacked them. Yet they survived ... and both keep rising in the polls.Carson and Trump have enthusiastic supporters. They’re bringing new voters into the party, and both poll very well against Hillary Clinton, especially in battleground states. So why is a traditional conservative like myself seriously worried about a potential Carson or Trump ticket? Simple: because neither seems to believe in American conservatism and our movement’s organizing principle – limited government.One candidate would increase the government’s power to regulate speech – with no thought as to whose speech would actually be silenced. The other sees nothing wrong with the government snatching property from one citizen and handing it to another.First, let’s look at Trump.Our Founders believed, as did philosopher John Locke, that one of the reasons governments are instituted is to protect the property of its citizens. We all know that we have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but it was Locke who first wrote that our rights were actually to “life, liberty, and estate.” Thomas Jefferson saw no distinction between property rights and liberty itself, and conservatives have carried that torch throughout our nation’s history.“Property rights,” philosopher Milton Friedman once wrote, “... are the most basic of human rights…

Colleges and universities must defend free speech

The uneducated comments coming from higher education these days are startling.Over at the University of Missouri, a student body representative recently said she’s “tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students” who engage in speech she deems hostile.Up at Amherst College in Massachusetts, students are demanding the school issue a statement saying it does “not tolerate the actions of students who posted … the ‘Free Speech’ posters.”And here in the south, students at Vanderbilt University are protesting a professor who once wrote that Islam was “dangerous” and that Christians should strengthen themselves “spiritually and intellectually” for continuing challenges to traditional marriage. Good grief. So much for college being a liberated time and place for the open discussion of ideas. It’s become the opposite. But lest we roll our eyes and shrug the issue off as harmless antics from silly, spoiled college students, we should think hard about what is actually at stake. To adjust the phrase, a threat to free speech anywhere in America is a threat to free speech everywhere in America. It doesn’t require much imagination to see how our freedoms could vanish after decades of steady erosion or even in a flash flood of political correctness. The constitution cannot defend itself. Our rights depend on young Americans who’ve not only learned about things like the First Amendment, but who’ve also become convinced of their necessity, stalwart in their defense, and motivated to pass them along, intact. Sadly, our institutions of higher learning, which play a critical…