Thursday, August 18, 2016


1. Aetna's Exit Deals Blow to ObamaCare - via USA Today

Health insurer Aetna announced late Monday that it is dropping Obamacare insurance in 69% of the counties and 11 of 15 states where it currently offers plans.
The third largest health insurance company becomes the latest to pull back from the plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it cites heavy losses.
"Aetna’s withdrawal from nearly a dozen exchanges is another sign that ObamaCare is unsustainable," FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon said in a statement. "Conservatives must demand that Republicans begin to make ObamaCare an issue in this election and promote patient-centered solutions that will restore the American health care system." Read more here...

Regulation Alert
Obama is proposing a new regulation that would give a huge payday to his trial lawyer buddies. This regulation makes it easier for liberal trial lawyers to file big class action lawsuits, so they can make more money to donate to liberal causes.

And if that’s not bad enough this regulation ensures that actual victims get less money, while Obama’s liberal friends get rich. Don't let that happen.

2. New York Time' Analysis of 'The Obama Era' Focuses on All Those Oppressive New Rules - via Reason

It's extremely telling that the New York Times, for the start of a series of pieces exploring Barack Obama's ultimate impact in his two terms as president of the United States, bluntly refers to its first chapter as "The Regulator in Chief."
This first of what will be six deep dives into Obama's legacy is officially headlined "Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It." Yeah, no kidding. The writers, Binyamin Appelbaum and Michael D. Shear, note early in this first chapter that the Obama administration has finalized 560 "major regulations" that have significant impact. That's 50 percent more than the number under President George W. Bush, who was not much of an advocate for small government himself.  Read more here...

In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. Get your copy here...

3. IRS Gives a Big Gift to Unmarried Partners with Supersize Mortgages - via The Washington Post

Does the federal tax code favor unmarried partners when it comes to deducting mortgage interest on jointly owned houses with supersize mortgages? Can certain co-owners save big money on taxes by staying single rather than getting married?
Because of a little-publicized move by the IRS this month, the answer appears to be yes for potentially significant numbers of people with jumbo loans.
Under Section 163 of the Internal Revenue Code, taxpayers can write off interest paid on up to $1 million of “acquisition indebtedness” and on up to $100,000 of “home equity indebtedness.” You can deduct mortgage interest on both your primary home and a second home up to a combined limit of $1.1 million of debt. If you’re married but filing your taxes separately from your spouse, the law limits the mortgage amounts you can deduct interest against to half of that: $500,000 in acquisition indebtedness and $50,000 in home equity indebtedness. Read more here...
4. Obama Administration and Radical Environmentalists Seeking Massive Utah Land Grab - by Kenny Stein

San Juan County, Utah is the poorest county in Utah and one of the poorest counties in the United States. The large majority of the land in the county is owned by the federal government, meaning that locals already face severe limits on economic activity, hardly what a struggling county needs. Now rich, out-of-state environmentalists in San Francisco want to inflict even more pain on the citizens of San Juan County. These environmentalists are urging the Obama administration to undertake a national monument land grab that would put much of the county off limits to productive use. Oppressing poor, rural Americans so that rich, city environmentalists can pat themselves on the back? Sounds like a project the federal government will be happy to help along.
The Antiquities Act, passed in 1906, gives the president of the United States unilateral power to designate so-called national monuments to protect historic landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest on federal land. The act also specifically notes that these monuments should be confined to the smallest possible area. But the exact language of the legislation doesn’t matter to radical environmentalists and their ideological allies in the Obama administration. All they care about is power, and because national monument designations do not require input from Congress or locals, they have become a favorite tactic for federal overreach. Read more here...
5. California Asset Forfeiture Reform Heading to Approval - via Reason

The same California Assembly that killed off an attempt to reform the state's laws last year to make it harder for police and prosecutors to take people's assets and property reversed itself on Monday and voted in favor of change.
SB443, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Holly Mitchell, died in the Assembly last year after police and prosecutor groups declared their opposition. The bill would have required police and prosecutors to get convictions before crimes before they could attempt to use the asset forfeiture process to keep citizens' cash and property. The existing civil asset forfeiture process allows police to seize and keep property on mere suspicion of criminal activity, forcing citizens into a complicated and expensive civil process to try to get their property back, even if they are never charged with a crime.
After the bill failed, Mitchell and supporters vowed to keep fighting. This summer they worked out a compromise that managed to get most police and prosecutors to drop opposition to reform. In its current format, SB443 will now require a conviction before police can seize money totaling less than $40,000. For money greater than that amount, police and prosecutors will still have access to the civil forfeiture process, meaning that the owners of the money will not necessarily have to be convicted in order for the state to try to take it.  Read more here...

Jason Pye
Communications Director, FreedomWorks

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