Morning Action: A House-Senate Conference on Immigration Almost Certainly Leads to Amnesty
AMNESY. Lawmakers pushing for amnesty know that the best chance for it is a House-Senate conference on immigration reform:
Chuck Schumer has spent the better part of a year saying how essential it is that immigration reform be dealt with in a comprehensive bill. But he has had a sudden change of heart. He now says he is fine with the incremental approach emerging in the House. Forgive us if we don’t believe that this is because Schumer has abandoned hope for his Gang of Eight bill and its instant amnesty paired with large-scale increases in low-skilled legal immigration. Nothing if not a shrewd political operator, Schumer knows that the best chance for the Gang of Eight bill is a House-Senate conference and that the only way to get there is incremental legislation in the House.
Incremental fixes to the immigration system make sense on the merits, and House Republicans understandably want to show that they favor their own set of reforms rather than oppose anything and everything. But incremental bills are destructive if their ultimate purpose is to get to a conference committee that would bless a version of the Gang of Eight bill. House leadership aides pooh-pooh the possibility of a conference committee. Well, then, there is a simple way to allay our fears and those of other opponents of the Gang of Eight — for Speaker Boehner to make a blood-oath commitment to oppose any conference committee.
OBAMACARE. The Heritage Foundation discusses the results of our Heritage Action poll on defunding Obamacare:
A new poll of American voters shows a majority—57 percent—support defunding this unfair, unaffordable, unworkable law.
Heritage Action for America and Basswood Research asked voters in 10 different congressional districts for their views on Obamacare, and respondents were decidedly against the law. Six of these House districts are represented by Republicans and four by Democrats, but across the board, an overwhelming 77 percent of voters favored either a slowdown in implementation or outright repeal.
They also indicated that political scare tactics haven’t made them shy away from these opinions.
Defunding Obamacare would protect millions of Americans from losing their current health insurance. It would prevent executive enforcement of Obamacare’s mandates, regulations, and tax increases. And time is growing short, because the Obamacare insurance exchanges are set to open on October 1.
CON ARTISTS. As if there were not enough reasons to hate Obamacare, here’s yet another frightening reason:
As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists.
Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information.
“Any time you roll out a big government program like this, confusion is inevitable,” said Lois Greisman, an associate director in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. “This confusion creates a tremendous opportunity for the fraudster.”
Scammers have been at it for more than a year now, but consumer advocates and security experts warn that the problem will worsen as we get closer to Oct. 1. That’s when the millions of uninsured Americans can use a health insurance exchange, set-up by their state or by the federal government, to shop for coverage.
OBAMA. Only 35 percent of Americans approve of the way Mr. Obama is handling the economy, a new Gallup poll finds:
Despite President Barack Obama’s renewed focus on the nation’s economy this summer, he scores worse with Americans on the economy than he did in June. His approval rating on the issue, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points. During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points.
At least he’s not feeling the pain, though, as he vacations on the luxurious Martha’s Vineyard.
SMALL BUSINESSES. The Affordable Care Act has turned out to be unaffordable for small businesses:
A year ago, Teresa Hartnett was on the verge of expanding her small business. The company had hit $1 million in sales, and requests from clients were flowing in. She planned to transition from nearly 30 freelancers to a full-time staff of 60 by 2014.
Then the reality of the Affordable Health Care Act hit. Hartnett realized she might not be able to afford to carry out her plan.
“At the end of that marathon of effort and sweat and stress, I’d face the impact of the ACA. I decided against it,” says Hartnett, whose company, Hartnett Inc., transforms printed documents into digital content.
The expected surge in health insurance costs under the ACA has many small business owners changing the way they operate. For many like Hartnett, hiring and expanding is going on the back burner. Others expect to cut back on some of the services their companies provide, raise prices or cut employees’ hours and bonuses.