With three major government events all occurring in October, the month ahead will prove to be full of political drama. Here are the three main things to keep an eye on:
1. Funding the Government
Without congressional authorization, there will be no funding for the government beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1. If no agreement is reached, all "essential" personnel will continue in their position while "non-essential" government employees will be on unpaid leave until Congress authorizes more spending. more >>
A British doctor who was fired from a hospital in England's West Midlands because of a prayer he sent to coworkers has lost his second appeal for wrongful termination this week.
Dr. David Drew, 65, had tried to convince an appeals court that he was fired from his post as a consultant pediatrician at Walsall Healthcare NHS (National Healthcare System) Trust in 2010 because he had been acting as a whistleblower against budget cuts that he argued put patient safety at risk. The hospital and two employment appeal tribunals argued, however, that Drew had been fired because he had refused to conform to the hospital's guidelines regarding religion.
With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," going into effect on Tuesday, there has been much misinformation about the new law. Here are three common myths you may have heard.
Myth #1: Congress is Exempt
The origins of this myth has to do with a part of the law inserted by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). While the law was making its way through Congress, Grassley inserted an amendment saying that all members of Congress and their staff would have to get their insurance through the new health care exchanges. Rather than being embarrassed by making the argument that they themselves should not get their health insurance on the exchanges, Democrats simply went along with the amendment. more >>
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has brought up popular shows and movies such as "Duck Dynasty" and "Star Wars" as he continues his marathon speech Wednesday morning, advocating for the defunding of Obamacare in the U.S. Senate.
"Jeff said 'Faith, family and facial hair,'" Cruz quoted "Duck Dynasty," according to ABC News. "I point out to the junior senator from Utah, if we continue doing this long enough, we may have facial hair on the floor of the Senate."
The Texas senator's speech began at 2:41 p.m. on Tuesday when he said he is raising objection to Obamacare and called it a "liberal train wreck." Although he is required to stand throughout his speech, Senate rules allow him to yield to questions from other senators. A number of GOP senators have helped him out in this regard, including Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), but he has also received questions from Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.). more >>
A Maryland-based Roman Catholic religious order has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the federal government's controversial preventive services mandate.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order that oversees multiple homes for the elderly, filed suit Wednesday in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
In the class action complaint, the Sisters argued that they cannot comply with the final rules of the mandate due to their religious views regarding "contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, and related education and counseling." more >>
It's been 18 months since Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a new requirement that all U.S. employers must provide insurance coverage for birth control, including abortifacients, at no cost to their employees. As lawsuits against the infamous HHS mandate increase in number, it's looking more and more likely that the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
One of the businesses resisting the mandate on the grounds of religious liberty has filed a petition to have the case reviewed by the Supreme Court after both the 3rd and the 6th Circuits for the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that for-profit entities are not "people" and thus cannot exercise religious liberty. From the Heritage Foundation:
"Conestoga is a kitchen cabinet manufacturer in Pennsylvania employing 950 individuals. Its owners, the Hahns, run their family business according to their Mennonite faith, including offering an employee health plan aligned with those values. Under the Obamacare mandate, however, the Hahns are forced to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs-despite the family's religious objections. Conestoga Wood could face fines of up to $95,000 per day for sticking to their deeply held beliefs and not complying with the mandate. more >>