Tonight during the Vice-Presidential Debate between VP Biden and Rep. Ryan, there were a number of references to the Affordable Care Act.
First, Ryan made a number of points about how Obamacare cut funding from Medicare:
Look at what — look what “Obamacare” does. “Obamacare” takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on “Obamacare.” Even their own chief actuary at Medicare backs this up. He says you can’t spend the same dollar twice. You can’t claim that this money goes to Medicare and “Obamacare.”
And then they put this new “Obamacare” board in charge of cutting Medicare each and every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. This board, by the way, it’s 15 people. The president’s supposed to appoint them next year. And not one of them even has to have medical training.
Next, Ryan turned to the contraceptive mandate–an issue the Supreme Court did not address in NFIB v. Sebelius, but is currently percolating in the lower courts.
What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through “Obamacare” with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious — religious liberties.
And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they want it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding, taxpayer funding in “Obamacare,” taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized or wouldn’t second- guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That, to me, is pretty extreme.
Biden replies with what I think is an inaccurate statement:
With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy — any hospital — none has to either refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.
Ryan replies, and asks if this is not the case why would Catholic organizations continue to sue:
REP. RYAN: All I’m saying is if you believe that life begins at conception, that therefore doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Now, I’ve got to take issue with the Catholic Church and religious liberty.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: You have, on the issue of Catholic social doctrine, taken issue.
REP. RYAN: If they — if they agree with you, then why would they keep — why would they keep suing you? It’s a distinction without a difference.
In his closing, Ryan again focuses on the costs of Obamacare.
Look at all the string of broken promises. If you like your health care plan you can keep it — try telling that to the 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance if “Obamacare” goes through or the seven point million — 7.4 million seniors who are going to lose it.
Or remember when he said this: I guarantee if you make less than $250,000, your taxes won’t go up. Of the 21 tax increases in “Obamacare,” 12 of them hit the middle class.
Or remember when he said, health insurance premiums will go down, and $2,500 per family per year? They’ve gone up 3,000 (dollars), and they’re expected to go up another 2,400 (dollars).
The word Constitution appeared zero times. But Scalia came up in this colloquy about the Supreme Court:
MS. RADDATZ: I want to go back to the abortion question here. If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?
REP. RYAN: We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people, through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process, should make this determination.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: The court — the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is.
Just ask yourself: With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for — for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw Planned — excuse me — outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.
I guarantee you that will not happen. We picked two people. We picked people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court —
REP. RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda.
Apparently Robert Bork was trending on Twitter tonight. Let’s not forget that Biden was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing.