Archive for July, 2012

July News & Committee Reports

July 19, 2012

Christi Craddick

SPECIAL UPDATE TO JULY 25 MEETING – TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION RUNOFF CANDIDATES CHRISTI CRADDICK AND WARREN CHISUM WILL ALSO ATTEND AND EACH WILL PROVIDE A BRIEF INTRODUCTION AND PRESENTATION ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT RACE

FEATURED SPEAKER – Mary Louise Garcia, Tarrant County Clerk

Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia

RSVP for lunch to Joy Phelps-Nix, j.phelps@att.net, 817-423-4283 by noon on Monday, July 23. Lunch is $23 with a reservation ($25 without reservation). If you’re not  having lunch, no RVSP is necessary. (Those who RSVP but do not attend will be billed for their reservation cost.)

Valet parking WILL be available on the 25th!

(For more information about the July program, click HERE or scroll to bottom of this post.) 

Cyndy McCoy, President of Fort Worth Republican Women

President’s Message:

To read President McCoy’s July 2012 Message, look for it under Pages at the top of the column to the right, or click HERE

Susan McCoy

A Special Thanks to Susan McCoy –

… for providing refreshments and sponsoring the FWRW Board of Directors meeting in July!  Susan lives in Colleyville, but practices law in Fort Worth. Although her home club is in the mid-cities, she is also an associate member of Fort Worth Republican Women.  Mother of two children, wife of a Lockheed Martin engineer, Susan is also a skilled private airplane pilot.  Thank you for your support, Susan!  

Congratulations to Mary Mayo!

Last week, the National Federation of Republican Women announced the appointment of FWRW Associate Member Mary Mayo as the NFRW Fundraising Committee Chairman. Previously the Vice-Chairman, Mary assumed the position of Chairman when called upon by the NFRW Executive Committee to serve after the former Chairman resigned due to family needs.   Way to go, Mary!

To take the NFRW survey, click HERE.

To download the promotional flyer, click HERE.

MID-YEAR MEMBERSHIP REPORT

First Vice-President Marion Snipes reports that as of June 30, Fort Worth Republican Women has 51 new members for this year, bringing the club’s total membership tally to 226 (174 regular members and 52 associate members).  But the year isn’t over yet – invite your friends and neighbors to join us as we work to make a difference in November.

FROM THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

The following are excerpts from National Federation of Independent Businesses, et al vs. Kathleen Sebelius (aka the “Obamacare Decision”). 

Chief Justice John Roberts, a 2005 President Bush appointee, considered by most as a conservative member of the Court,  wrote the opinion of the court, holding that: 

  1. the Individual Mandate provision of the Act is constitutional under the narrow authority given to Congress in the Constitution’s “Tax and Spend” clause, but 
  2. the Act’s Medicaid Expansion penalty is unconstitutionally coercive and unenforceable against the States.  

Chief Justice Roberts was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kegan in upholding the Individual Mandate as a tax. Chief Justice Roberts was joined by all members of the court (except Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) in striking down the Medicaid Expansion penalty.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a 1993 President Clinton appointee, considered by most as the most liberal member of the Court, wrote a concurring and dissenting opinion, expressing the opinion that all challenged aspects of the Act were constitutional under all theories urged by the Government.  She was joined in part by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kegan, who agreed that the Individual Mandate is also constitutional under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and the Necessary & Proper Clause.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the only justice who joined with Justice Ginsburg in expressing the view that the Medicaid Expansion penalty was also a permissible exercise of Congressional authority.

Justice Antonin Scalia, a 1986 President Reagan appointee, considered by most as one of the most conservative members of the Court, wrote a dissent, expressing the opinion that the Act is unconstitutional and should be stricken in its entirety.  He was joined with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

These excerpts provide a small glimpse into the minds and ideologies of the three justices who wrote on Obamacare and the other six justices who joined them, either in whole or in part.

From Chief Justice John Roberts:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments.  Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with then.  It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

. . .

It is well-established that if a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so… The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.

From Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 

States cannot resolve the problem of the uninsured on their own… The crisis created by the large number of U.S. residents who lack health insurance is one of national dimension that States are separately incompetent to handle.  Far from trampling on States’ sovereignty, (Obamacare) attempts a federal solution for the very reason that the States, acting separately, cannot meet the need.

. . .

Why should the Chief Justice strive so mightily to hem in Congress’ capacity to meet the new problems arising constantly in our ever-developing modern economy?  I find no satisfying response to that question in his opinion.

From Justice Antonin Scalia:

What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power – upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States.

. . .

The Government was invited, at oral argument, to suggest what federal controls over private conduct could not be justified as necessary and proper for the carrying out of a general regulatory scheme. It was unable to name any.  If we were to accept the Government’s arguments, we are hard-pressed to (name) any activity by the individual that Congress is without the power to regulate.

From Chief Justice John Roberts:

The Framers created a Federal Government of limited powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits.  The Court does so today.  But the Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act.  Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.

— Chief Justice John Roberts

State Representative Dr. Mark Shelton Speaks Out on Obamacare and How Texas Should Respond to Its Provision for Medicaid Expansion

Member Photo

(Joined by State Senator Dr. Bob Deuell, State Representative Dr. Charles Schwertner and State Representative Dr. John Zerwas)

As the four physicians currently serving in the Texas Legislature, each of us brings firsthand experience to the challenges facing our health care system, as well as a unique perspective on the profoundly detrimental effect Obamacare will have on the citizens of Texas. That is why we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Governor Perry and support his decision not to expand the state Medicaid program or implement a federally controlled health insurance exchange in Texas.

Medicaid is a jointly-funded state and federal program intended to provide health care to some of our most vulnerable citizens: pregnant women, children, the disabled, and the truly indigent. Over the years, this broken but well-intentioned program has drifted progressively further from its intended purpose and further still from those it was designed to assist. The unprecedented expansion of Medicaid proposed under Obamacare will not fundamentally improve patient access to care, and as a greater number of physicians withdraw from the system entirely, will only make it more difficult for these individuals to seek the medical help they need.

In 1987, Medicaid accounted for roughly 11% of the state budget. Today, this entitlement consumes over 22% of our state budget – diverting funds that could otherwise be used to support public safety, build new roads, or educate our children. State spending on Medicaid has grown two and a half times faster than the rest of the budget, and will balloon even more rapidly under the Obama Administration’s proposed eligibility standards, which would place one out of every five Texans on the rolls of Medicaid by 2014. Our present course is clearly unsustainable, and expanding Medicaid coverage to over a million new able-bodied adults does nothing to repair a broken system that’s already groaning under the weight of those it serves.

While the federal government will claim to pick up the tab for this expansion, their share of funding is designed to diminish progressively over time, creating an ever-greater burden on our own state budget. Eventually, this situation will create a substantial budgetary crisis for Texas, forcing us choose between raising taxes and diverting increased resources from other areas of government just to keep Medicaid afloat. Funding an expanded Medicaid program under even the best of circumstances will mean higher taxes, increased federal debt, and reduced government services for the citizens of Texas.

The Obama Administration has also asked Texas to implement a new health insurance exchange controlled entirely by federal rules and regulations, many of which have yet to be written. Even those among us who have supported similar proposals in the past realize that instituting a health care exchange at this point would yield little or no benefit to the state of Texas. Washington has essentially presented us with a false choice – either we can do it their way, or they will do it their way – but ultimately, they are the ones calling the shots. Any input or control on behalf of Texans is negligible and largely illusory.

The best solution to ensure the long-term viability of our state’s ailing Medicaid program is to seek a federal block grant which would allocate funding to the state directly, thereby providing Texas with the freedom to design its own Medicaid system without burdensome federal regulations and one-size-fits-all mandates. Such a grant would provide us with the independence and flexibility to devise the best and most cost-effective solutions to the specific health care needs of Texas, while preserving the critical doctor-patient relationship and ensuring continued access to care.

The health care solutions proposed under Obamacare are simply wrong for Texas, and Governor Perry is right to reject them. As physicians, each of us has taken an oath which states that, first, we will do no harm. That is why we cannot in good conscience support these measures which threaten to reduce quality of care, place further barriers between doctors and patients, and do irreparable harm to the people of Texas.

OTHER REACTIONS TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT “OBAMACARE” DECISION

From the National Federation of Republican Women

The National Federation of Republican Women is extremely disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s healthcare law, particularly the individual mandate provision.  The only way to reverse course and repeal this overreaching, unprecedented, burdensome law is to elected a Republican present, and Republicans to the U.S. Congress this November.  Presumptive Republican presidential nominess Mitt Romney has  pledged that, if elected, he will immediately work to repeal Obamacare and to enact real healthcare reform.  Americans don’t want a one-size-fits-all big government system dictated by government bureaucrats.  They want common sense reform based on the free market – reform that increases choices and access, while keeping costs low.  The final chapter on Obamacare has yet to be written.  Voters have the opportunity to send a clear message to Washington  this fall, and NFRW and its members will be working between now and Election Day to ensure that (the ruling) is just a footnote and not the grand finale.

From State Senator Jane Nelson (Chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee)  –

(Responding to the Individual Mandate ruling): This ruling underscores what is at stake in November.  Taxpayers cannot afford the astronomic price tag of this ill-conceived plan, which will hurt employers and weaken our economy.  The health care system is nowhere near ready for the massive influx of patients who will be forced to buy coverage, especially given our existing health care workforce shortages.  The future of this law is now in the hands of voters.  

(Responding to the Medicaid Expansion ruling):  The Medicaid expansion is projected to cost Texas billions in state dollars. This provision represents the number one budget driver in the Act, and we will schedule hearings soon to digest how this and other aspects of the ruling will impact our state.  We will continue to advance Texas solutions to our health care challenges.

From U.S. Senator John Cornyn –

The Supreme Court made clear that the American people will be the ultimate judge of ObamaCare. As Republicans, we will redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing law.  We must replace it with reforms that expand access and enhance care without adding trillions of dollars to the national debt and inserting Washington bureaucrats between Americans and their doctors.  While I am disappointed in the outcome, there will be plenty of time to debate the Court’s decision; now we must focus on electing Republicans in November who will end ObamaCare and put Americans back to work.

 IT’S UP TO US – LET’S WORK TOGETHER FOR REAL CHANGE IN NOVEMBER!

 

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July Program – Mary Louise Garcia, Tarrant County Clerk

July 12, 2012

RSVP for lunch to Joy Phelps-Nix, j.phelps@att.net, 817-423-4283 by noon on Monday, July 23. Lunch is $23 with a reservation ($25 without reservation).

If you’re not  having lunch, no RVSP is necessary. (Those who RSVP but do not attend will be billed for their reservation cost.)