should stop – look – listen –

… Whenever any health issue gets place before America’s   U S  Supreme Court … now corporate owned … Americans of all color, creed, sex should stop – look – listen – as this court is focused on one thing only … providing profit$ to those manipulating their puppet strings…

 

A Viper In the Grass: Could the Supreme Court Find Medicaid, And Programs Like It, Unconstitutional?

 

Posted: 03/21/2012 8:28 am… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-kendall/a-viper-in-the-grass-coul_b_1369333.html?ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=032112&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

 

In the lead-up to next week’s historic, six-hour Supreme Court argument on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the press and commentariat remain focused almost exclusively on the challenge to the ACA’s minimum coverage provision (which requires many Americans to obtain health care insurance or pay a tax penalty) and the argument that this provision exceeds Congress’ power under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Lost in the avalanche of coverage of that aspect of the case is the fact that the Court will also be hearing a sweeping attack on the Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program to provide health care for 16 million more low-income Americans. The challengers claim that the Medicaid expansion is "coercive" to the states and thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s Spending Clause authority. This claim is wrong, but if it were to succeed, it would be a constitutional earthquake that would throw into question Medicaid and other federal statutes that create federal/state partnerships to solve nationwide problems such as health care, child welfare and discrimination.

Progressives should be particularly attuned to the attacks on Medicaid and Congress’ Spending Clause power. Unlike the minimum coverage provision — a concept designed by the conservative Heritage Foundation that has generated considerable unease among some progressives — Medicaid is a quintessential social safety net program. Its expansion is perhaps the single most significant progressive victory in the ACA. Thus, for progressives — including more than 500 state legislators from all 50 states who are defending the Medicaid expansion — the Supreme Court’s decision to review the claim by 26 states that the ACA unconstitutionally coerced states by conditioning Medicaid funds on the states’ agreement to expand coverage to more of their residents was a particularly unsettling surprise. In contrast to the claims against the ACA’s minimum coverage provision, there was no split in lower court rulings on the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion: not a single lower court judge ruled for the states on this claim. Indeed, no court hasever ruled that any Spending Clause statute is unduly coercive, a recognition that it is difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between an appropriate financial inducement and unconstitutional coercion.

 

So why did the Court decide to review this claim? Could this particular claim of coercion succeed where all others have failed? The text and history of the Constitution and the Court’s precedents say otherwise. The Spending Clause in Article I, Section 8 grants Congress the power "to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States." In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton described this broad grant of authority to tax and spend as "an indispensible ingredient in every Constitution." The Supreme Court, too, has generally interpreted the Spending Clause according to its broad terms, ruling in the leading case in this area, South Dakota v. Dole (1987), that "Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds, and has repeatedly employed the power ‘to further broad policy objectives by conditioning the receipt of federal moneys upon compliance with federal statutory and administrative directives.’"

 

Paul Clement, the high-profile conservative lawyer representing the Medicaid challengers, argues that the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid is a bridge too far. Because the federal government could withhold all Medicaid payments to states that fail to comply with the Act’s expanded coverage and other requirements — which is no small thing, given that the federal government will fund 100% of the Medicaid expansion initially, eventually tapering down to 90% — Clement argues "[t]here is no plausible argument that a State could afford to turn down such a massive federal inducement." Essentially, the argument is that the federal government’s Medicaid spending is too generous, that the states and their residents have become too dependent on this valuable program, and that it is therefore an offer the states cannot afford to refuse. This argument should be a loser. While the Supreme Court has suggested that there might be a "point at which pressure turns into compulsion," it has never found any conditioned spending to be inappropriate coercion or compulsion. In addition, the Court has recognized that "every rebate from a tax when conditioned upon conduct is in some measure a temptation" and "to hold that motive or temptation is equivalent to coercion is to plunge the law in endless difficulties."

Clement is asking the Court to take the plunge, which is what makes this aspect of the ACA case so scary. Clement argues that a ruling for the challenger states on this point would invalidate "the entire Affordable Care Act," an enormously significant outcome, even if this were the only fallout. But that limited result seems unlikely. To some degree or another, the objective of Congress in employing the Spending Clause is always to make an offer to states that is so generous — or politically popular — that they cannot afford to turn it down: the federal government always wants to convince states to participate. As a result, a ruling for Clement and his clients would throw into doubt prior expansions of Medicaid and federal/state partnerships across a wide range of areas including education (No Child Left Behind), child welfare (Adoption and Safe Families Act), disabilities (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act), and civil rights (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), a prospect that has some conservatives cheering.

 

Even if the Supreme Court ultimately rejects the states’ coercion argument in this case, as it should, its ruling could make important new law on the ability of the federal government to use the Spending Clause to enlist states in federal-led efforts. As the Court turns to the ACA next week, most eyes will focus on Tuesday’s oral argument on the minimum coverage provision, but we should all be watching just as closely during Wednesday’s argument on Medicaid. While this aspect of the case could easily fizzle out, it could also end up being the part of the challenge to health care reform that matters most.

 

They are all part of the same “cabal”

… What does the World Water Forum … Bechtel … World Bank … IMF … World Health Organization … Water Privatization … SUEZ… Veolia all have in common … They are all part of the same “cabal” …

 

World Water Forum- Marseille

 

 

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012… http://www.waterefficiency.net/WE/Articles/16488.aspx

MARSEILLE – 15 March 2012: UNDP has led a group of 25 institutions including local, regional and national authorities, international and multilateral organizations, water operators, NGOs, private organizations and prominent public figures in the assessment, design and constitution of a new international tool to promote decentralized cooperation in the water and sanitation field. 

The new instrument, called the Global Water Solidarity Platform, was launched yesterday at the World Water Forum in Marseille, France, where 20,000 participants from the private, public and non-profit sectors have gathered this week to address the water crisis. At the UNDP event, numerous organizations joined local authorities from across Africa and Europe at a special ceremony to sign the Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms International Charter.

“This UNDP initiative is important because 11 percent of the planet’s population still lacks access to potable water, and 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation services, said UNDP Deputy Director for External Relations and Advocacy, Romesh Muttukumaru, at the launch event in Marseille. “We believe this platform, and the International Charter, are important because local actors acting in solidarity can be a very effective tool to reducing the conditions that create poverty.”

The Global Water Solidarity Platform, which is supported by the governments of France and Switzerland, connects local authorities and organizations to take action to solve water and sanitation challenges, through which, for example, municipal water authorities in more developed countries can take direct action to support the improvement of water and sanitation services in developing contexts by contributing 1% of their revenue or budgets.

Muttukumaru said local authorities and water utility companies play a key role in responding to the challenges. “Together with an active coalition of stakeholders and concrete cooperation mechanisms, local leaders from across the globe are working in solidarity so everyone can access safe water and sanitation services,” he said.

Sub-national institutions hold an essential position in the provision of water and sanitation services, said Jean-Philippe Bayon, senior water expert at UNDP. “These institutions have found efficient solutions and accumulated best practices to overcome technical, political or financial obstacles to ensure availability, quality, acceptability, accessibility, affordability, inclusiveness and sustainability of their water and sanitation services,” he said, adding that the nature of these obstacles is generally shared by many sub-national institutions in many countries and regions in both the north and the south and “the successful experiences developed by one of them can serve to inspire others in their path to universal access.”

Idrissa Doucoure, Secretary General of EAA, said the linkages between developed and developing cities has a multiplier effect that reaches far beyond the immediate impact. “Through South-South cooperation further catalyzed by access to financing mechanisms and capacity,” he said, “helps ensure that the benefits are replicated again and again as the knowledge and technology migrates from community to community.”

Manfred Kauffman, chairman of solidarit’eau Suisse, a founding member of the Global Water Solidarity, said his organization has raised more than 2 million euro thus far by connecting communities in Switzerland with communities in the developing world to improve their water and sanitation. Through this network, for example, the City of Lausanne is helping to ensure clean water to the people of Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Issoufou Issaka, Minister of Hydraulics and Environment in Niger said the new platform gives him hope that new partnerships can be established to support his ministry to overcome the challenges of ensuring widespread access to clean water. “The difficulties may seem insurmountable,” he said. “But through the types of decentralized partnerships promoted by the Global Water Solidarity Platform we will be able to confront them together, in Niger, across Africa and around the world.”

More information at www.undp.org/geneva/watersolidarity or (in Marseille): Adam Rogers, UNDP – mobile +41 79 849 0679 or adam.rogers@undp.org To view a video of the signing ceremony, please visithttp://youtu.be/gE_IBdl0KOY

 

No surprise here to learn the military industrial complex employs most of the world’s population … We love War ..

clip_image002

 

 

 

No surprise here to learn the military industrial complex employs most of the world’s population … We love War ..

 
 

Amazing Chart: World’s Largest Employers

I don’t know what’s more amazing:  that the US Dept of Defense is first with 3.2 million employees (but, according to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and most other Republicans other than Ron Paul, can’t be cut a measly 10% to 2.88 million in order for the military-industrial complex to do its share in saving the country from an excrutiating suicide by debt and monetary folly); or that Walmart ranks third; or that the UK National Health Service ranks fifth with 1.7 million employees out of a small population of 60 million.  

Note:  The Dept of Defense is one percent of the U.S. population, while the People’s Liberation Army of China, with 2.3 million employees, is one-tenth of one percent of China’s population, although China sits in between some well-armed neighbors, with India having 1.3 million in its armed forces and Russia having 1.0 million.

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Demolishing Due Process

…Due Process like so much of the “rights” we took for granted have been under attack by Republicans and Democrats for decades … what we are witnessing today are the falling of the final dominos …

Demolishing Due Process


03-21-2012   http://lewrockwell.com, by Ron Paul 

 It is ironic but perhaps sadly appropriate that Attorney General Eric Holder would choose a law school, Northwestern University, to deliver a speech earlier this month in which he demolished what was left of the rule of law in America.

In what history likely will record as a turning point, Attorney General Holder bluntly explained that this administration believes it has the authority to use lethal force against Americans if the President determines them to be a threat to the nation. He tells us that this is not a violation of the due process requirements of our Constitution because the President himself embodies "due process" as he unilaterally determines who is to be targeted. As Holder said, "a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to ‘due process.’" That means that the administration believes it is the President himself who is to be the judge, jury, and executioner.

 
Read Full Story

One snip here, one there, and there goes the Constitution

What a profound analogy and “we” have sat and watched and did nothing to prevent it … no shots need be fired to take control of the United States of America as “we” will gladly and willingly participate in its demise …

 

One snip here, one there, and there goes the Constitution

03/17/2012  •  The Examiner

Major challenges to the Constitution are pretty easy to spot. It’s the small snips here and here that present the greatest danger, in this case a free speech, right to assembly and redress of grievances got a hair cut. .

Until then we will allow Arizona’s CHILDREN to continue to be ABUSED …

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clip_image002… For anyone living in Arizona the headline below should not come as any surprise …

Report shows child protection agency struggling

 

clip_image003Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — A new report shows Arizona’s Child Protective Services is struggling to keep up with a number of cases involving a dramatic rise in abuse and neglect along with an unprecedented number of children in foster care.


The report covering a six-month period ending Sept, 30 also shows the agency has been unable to respond to investigations within the time frames required by state policy.

The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/GDrm8H ) reports CPS workers told investigators that some cases dating back to last summer still haven’t been investigated

By our choices of those ‘we’ elect ‘to serve & to protect’ us a very clear message is sent.   And that message is Arizona citizens have little or no tolerance for those of “color” – – the future of our economy is to be one where employment is one of our Governor’s friend’$ private prisons at minimum pay with few if any benefits and limited health care ranks as a good job.

 

“We” choose to allow our elected officials to engage in whatever behavior they choose making you and me the butt of their daily jokes at the State Legislature is SOP.   Where ‘we’ allow them to hold themselves above the rule and the intent of any law – – – Where being a shill for corporate interests is rewarded with re-election – – – where the rights of women, in particular is under daily attack, by female members of the our state legislature – – -  where education of our children is pitiful allowing us to rank near the bottom of the barrel – – – where “rage in the cage” is entertainment – – – where the antics of law enforcement is a daily TV side show – – – where students protesting the antics of America’s toughest sheriff is to be trotted off to his “tent city” – – – wear his pink underwear – – and eat his bologna sandwiches – – and ‘we’ find this funny and acceptable …

 

With this as ‘leadership’ can anyone wonder why CHILD ABUSE is rampant in Arizona … monkey see, monkey do … we do not hold our leaders to any rational standard so why would we believe that abusing a child is not acceptable after all we all turn our heads when reports surface of the more than 1,000 years of pedophilia tolerated and sanctioned in the Catholic Church..?  We remain deaf, dumb, silent as our Governor appoints her private “kitchen cabinet” Commerce Authority granting them carte-blanche and NO oversight by us. 

 

Since we refuse to honestly educate our citizens we lack the “tools” necessary to ask cogent questions, to know and to understand it is our right to challenge and demand answers from all those we elect.

 

When “we” choose to hold ourselves accountable and responsible “we” will automatically demand and hold all those serving in any elected office accountable and responsible to us.

 

Until then we will allow Arizona’s CHILDREN to continue to be ABUSED   

…Did you really anticipate that corporate health insurance companies were going to cover

…Did you really anticipate that corporate health insurance companies were going to cover us and not enjoy their traditional “perks” … and besides they own Congre$$ and the $upreme Court …

 

Health Insurers: We’ll Deny Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions if Health Mandate Is Repealed

by: Fatima Najiy, ThinkProgress | Report…http://www.truth-out.org/health-insurers-well-deny-coverage-pre-existing-conditions-if-health-mandate-repealed/1332259202

Health insurers and supporters of the Obama administration’s health-care reform law are currently in the midst of drawing up possible contingency plans in case the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

 

The insurance industry argues that premiums are likely to skyrocket without the individual mandate in place to aid in pushing millions of new enrollees into the marketplace, as healthy people will be less likely to buy insurance, while insurers will still be required to sell policies to all applicants. In fact, a repeal of the individual mandate would increase insurance premiums by 25 percent, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The insurance reforms would have to change if the mandate were struck,” said Justine Handelman, vice president of legislative and regulatory policy for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association trade group.

Health-insurance officials say that if the mandate is repealed, “their first priority would be persuading members of Congress to repeal two of the law’s major insurance changes: a requirement to cover everyone regardless of his or her medical history, and limits on how much insurers can vary premiums based on age.” Their next step would be to “set rewards for people who purchase insurance voluntarily and sanction those who don’t.”

Other possible alternatives to the individual mandate that insurers are weighing:

- Penalize those who enroll outside of short annual windows; deny treatment for specific conditions, especially right after a policy is purchased

- Reward certain insurance buyers, such as offering much lower premiums for younger and healthier people

- Expand employers’ role in automatically enrolling employees for health insurance

- Urge credit-rating firms to use health-insurance status as a factor in determining individuals’ ratings

Although the mandate has been upheld in two appeals courts, it was struck down in a third. The Supreme Court hearings are scheduled to begin March 26, and an official ruling is expected to be delivered in June.

 

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