Scaling Illinois

Living in Illinois, I know something of the ravages of big government Republicanism.

It’s an approach to governance that sends people scurrying for the exits before the bills come due.

Which is why Trump’s decision to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, bump up the subsidies for P-hat-approved art and reward the swamp monsters with increased office allotments was a disastrous one.

Illinois is a model to discontinue not replicate.

In Illinois, the physical exodus from the state has cemented the GOP as the superminority party.

Nationally, the evacuation will be of a partisan nature not a physical one but the result will be the same: Democrat control.

In 2008 and 2012, the nation chose to scale Chicago Democrat governance nationally. It did no better inside the Beltway than it’s done in the Land of Lincoln, an officially-decreed Trump-free zone.

If Trump was looking for a Midwestern model to emulate, he would’ve done better to look to the states he actually won or ask his Vice President.


Perfectly Happy To Be In The Minority

What has the Obamacare replacement fight within the GOP revealed (again) about the party? What is the greater threat to a free society: Trump’s own brand of populism, or big government republicanism? Is the whole system of government set up to slow down populism? What can Trump accomplish without a working legislative majority? Is this a poor reflection on Senate Majority Leader McConnell? Dan & Amy posed these questions and more to Jonah Goldberg, National Review columnist, and author of “Liberal Fascism” & “The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in War of Ideas.”


Roskam Discusses Donald Jr., Obamacare, And Tax Hikes In Illinois

Is the Donald Jr. distraction expending Trump’s political capital? Will political pressure force the Senate Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare? Would a failure to replace Obamacare spell the end of Republican majorities in 2018? What is the likelihood of a federal government bailout for Illinois? Dan and Chicago Tribune Editorial Board member Kristen McQueary discuss with IL Congressman Peter Roskam.


3 Ways To Improve Obamacare Repeal

Avik Roy joined Dan & Amy to offer three ways to improve the Senate's Obamacare repeal bill. Will the repeal bill pass? Does Obamacare hurt the poor? Should repeal of the individual mandate be delayed till 2021?


We Will Win

Grover Norquist joined Dan & Amy to offer a note of optimism. Should the Senate GOP scrap the current Obamacare replacement bill and start over or pass it immediately? Do they have the votes to pass it? Is it the most conservative version that can pass? Why are Governors across the nation split on the bill?


Nancy Pelosi Read This Healthcare Bill

The Senate GOP unveiled their Obamacare replacement and they're already two votes short. But is "nice" enough for President Trump? Dan & Amy were joined by HealthInsuranceMentors.com's C. Steven Tucker to distinguish between the Senate GOP and House GOP versions of Obamacare repeal.


'Debacle' Doesn't Have To Be The Last Word

Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review, joins Dan & Amy to explain why last week's failure to repeal Obamacare shouldn't be the end of the fight. Lowry outlines National Review's argument that Republicans can still improve health care and reduce the size of the federal government by starting over on health care.


What Are Republicans' Aspirations For Healthcare?

"Wheatonian" and Congressman Peter Roskam (R-6th District) announced on Chicago's Morning Answer that, despite initial reservations, he is voting 'Yes' on the Republican Healthcare Bill. He goes on to explain why this legislation is more "Reconciliation" than "Replacement,"  and defines the next steps for the GOP.

Related Content

The Alternative to ACA Won't Be A Chapter From 'Capitalism & Freedom'

Is Paul Ryan's Obamacare replacement plan a policy win? What are the political ramifications if the bill is not passed? When it comes to Healthcare, why is the challenge for Republicans in 2017 different than it was in 2008? As Congress prepares for a vote, Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute and Healthcare expert Michael Tanner gives Dan and Amy his diagnosis of the Replacement Plan.

Related Content

What Would Reagan Do On Obamacare Repeal?

Dan & Amy are joined by John Heubusch, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Library,  to discuss the challenge President Trump faces trying to advance a conservative reform agenda without making the perfect the enemy of the good. John weighs in on how Paul Ryan is faring in pushing his Obamacare replacement, and what advice President Reagan would give to the Trump Administration and the House and Senate Caucuses.


Steve Cortes: Chicago Politicians, The People We Pay, Are Pretty Embarrassing

Dan & Amy are joined by Fox News Contributor and Former Trump Hispanic Advisory Council Member Steve Cortes to discuss the embarrassing state of our local politicians who demagogue us while demanding we continue paying their exorbitant salaries. They cover the CBO scoring of the GOP Obamacare replacement, voter fraud, and why Trump's victory has unhinged so many on the left.


Norquist: Their View On Health Insurance Is If You Don't Have A Cadillac, You Don't Have A Car

Grover Norquist, Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, unpacks the CBO scoring of the GOP's Obamacare replacement with Dan & Amy. Norquist says it is exactly what we wanted and extremely helpful because it projects $1.2 trillion in spending reductions and $900 billion in spending cuts. He also addresses the claim that people will lose their health insurance by pointing out the definition of insurance behind this claim is Obama's definition of insurance. It isn't the insurance you want, it is what Washington says is important, and if you don't have the insurance that the lobbyist wrote into Obamacare, Washington deems you uninsured.


On Obamacare Replacement, Don’t Treat Your Friends Like You Treat Your Enemies

Don’t treat your friends like you treat your enemies.

That’s one of the Rules of the Public Policy Process crafted by legendary Leadership Institute founder Morton Blackwell.

Conservatives understandably disappointed with component parts of the House GOP’s Obamacare replacement proposal, and I am one, should remember this rule.

You may disagree with House Speaker Paul Ryan as to what is the best offering the GOP can muster, which is fine, but Ryan is not an enemy inside the perimeter of the conservative movement.

Some argue Republicans should discard the filibuster and require only a simple majority vote so that a more market-oriented reform can be offered.

Ok. But many Republicans in the Senate beginning with the Majority Leader are reluctant to do that.

Some argue any concession that health care—and by extension, health insurance—is a right begetting an entitlement is unacceptable.

Ok. But I don’t hear critical conservative legislators lodging the same case in advance of a repeal and replacement of Medicare.

Some argue that the GOP should not be in a rush. They have time.

They don’t. The GOP needs to act quickly but not be hurried.

A proposal needs to be decisively presented, marketed and moved because it takes time to deliver impact.

A year from now, Republicans need to be in a position to make health care an election referendum question. The failure to deliver positive movement away from Obamacare would turn that question over to the Democrats.

Related Content

"They Are People, Not a Diagnosis"

There are 450,000 individuals with Down syndrome living in the US alone; and counting affected parents and siblings, over 2 million people face the diagnosis every single day. CNN Hero and Gigi's Playhouse Founder, Nancy Gianni joined Dan and Amy to offer powerful testimony about the difference her daughter's Down syndrome has made in her life, and to invite listeners to attend the "I Have a Voice" Chicagoland Gala on March 11.

Related Content

FNC's Ed Henry: Expect GOP Pushback On Obamacare Replacement

Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry previewed the latest WikiLeaks document dump expected later today, as well as the prospects for GOP unity on the proposed Obamacare replacement, as outlined in today's Wall Street Journal by House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady.

Related Content

HealthInsuranceMentors.com's Tucker Explains Good & Bad Of GOP's OCare Replacement

C. Steven Tucker joined Dan & Amy to provide analysis on the good and bad of the Republicans' proposed Obamacare replacement which turns out to be more of a "fix" than a replacement. Why isn't the sale of plans across state lines included? How will the Medicaid expansion be unwound? On the tax credits and expansion of HSAs? Provisions that will be kept include staying on parents insurance until age 26, covering persons with pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime caps.

Related Content

CS Tucker Previews Obamacare Replacement

C. Steven Tucker of HealthInsuranceMentors.com, spoke with Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson about the reasons that Obamacare has failed and why it needs to be repealed. He specifically touches on the ways in which people were gaming the system. Tucker also explains the implications for renewed competition and choice in health insurance and health care that will result if congressional Republicans replace Obamacare with legislation like that previously offered by Dr. Tom Price, Trump's nominee for HHS Secretary.

Related Content

What Happens If Obamacare Is Repealed?

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft & Hilary Gowins, Dir. of Content Strategy, Illinois Policy Institute, discuss right-to-work states and what it means for Illinois (a forced-unionism state), the results of Illinois’ medicaid expansion, what the future of Obamacare will look like, and the rise of “fake” news - specifically on Facebook.

Full Video Below:

Segment 1:

Segment 2:

Segment 3:

Segment 4:

Related Content

Sen. Ron Johnson On Trump Cabinet, GOP Policy Agenda

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson spoke with Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson about the immediate goals of the senate once President-elect Trump is sworn in. He is adamant about reversing executive orders put in place by President Obama, repealing Obamacare and appointing a constitutional SCOTUS judge.

Related Content

Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Big Govt, Obamacare w/ Law Prof Helen Alvare

On Wednesday, Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson were joined by George Mason University Law Professor Helen Alvare to distill the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Obamacare's contraceptive mandate (Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell) in advance of oral arguments before SCOTUS that afternoon.

View full transcript

Dan Proft: Dan and Amy. So if we needed a reminder about how important the Supreme Court is, and thus the nomination and nominee to replace Justice Scalia and who should offer a nominee, what should the Senate do; would respect to any nominee, like Mayor Carlin, that President Obama advances, what will happen depending on the outcome of the November election? All of these questions turn out to have real impact on our life because of the power of the Court in areas like for example religious freedom. Today all arguments will be heard in the Little Sisters of the Poor – v. Burwell case; this is the case challenging The Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate under Obama Care. Could there be a starker dichotomy than Little Sisters of the Poor vs. The Federal Government vis-à-vis Obama Care. Boy, oh boy. Let’s get a handle on what’s likely to happen in this case with a 4-4 High Court now, and joining us is our friend George Mason Law Professor Helen Alvare. Professor Alvare, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Helen Alvare: Thanks for having me. Dan Proft: So, the Little Sisters of the Poor lost at the appellate level; why did they lose and what chance did they have for reversal by the High Court? Helen Alvare: Right, so at the appellate level, the Government claims that unless the Little Sisters have to swallow or implant contraception, then the Government can tell the Little Sisters that they are mistaken, that there is a religious burden to them to have to attach contraception and abortion to their healthcare policies, because the Government is going to force them to do so. So the government is basically claiming there’s no burden because we can tell you when you are and are not religiously burdened, and the Lower Court bought that. They should, by ALCON law, constitutional law, on this are, they should win, because here’s the deal: the Supreme Court has already held, years ago, a guy who was working in a factory making part of a weapon that he didn’t have to shoot it in order to have his conscience violated. Any facilitation, in order to his own religion, making the weapon even, was enough to be burdened. If the Little Sisters can – and I think they can, under Supreme Court Law, show a burden, we have to turn over to you all the information about our healthcare plan, we have to help you contact our health insurance companies so that you can attach contraception and early abortion to this. That has got to be a burden under that precedent. I mean, it’s like the Government’s saying “I know you don’t want soda in your schools, but don’t worry, we’re going to pay for the soda machine so it’s cool that you’re giving them to your kids”. It doesn’t make any sense. Amy Jacobson: Well, where’s their religious freedom? I mean, it just seems that it was squashed by even this and Obama Care could have put a stipulation in there to exempt certain groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor, maybe Catholic Charities, maybe University of Notre Dame? Helen Alvare: Right, what’s interesting is you’ve got Catholic University, you’ve got Catholic Charities, you’ve got Little Sisters, you’ve got Protestant colleges who are leaders in the underground railroad. None of them are exempted. All of them are before the Court today. The Government could have exempted them; in fact, what’s really amazing about this is that the requirement to provide contraception is not even in Healthcare Bill. It was designed by Health and Human Services under then Kathleen Sebelius. Obama could get rid of it with a flick of his wrist, but instead, I think they have spent probably two or three times what it would cost to contracept every woman in America to take 300 plaintiffs up and down the Supreme Court. Dan Proft: Also, this note, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty estimates that the Government has effectively exempted the health plans of 1/3 Americans from the same coercive rule; big corporations like Exxon, Pepsi, are exempt from the mandate, but Little Sisters of the Poor are not. How to reconcile that difference? Helen Alvare: Right, so Becket has detailed on his website, becketfund.org, not only in New York City, Exxon, Chevron, Pepsi Bottling, The US Military, and the tens of millions Americans with grandfather plans that are working in small businesses, none of them are required to do this. Here’s where that shifts to a legal argument; after the Little Sisters prove a burden, we have to cooperate to attack this stuff to our healthcare plan, and if we don’t, the Little Sisters, who take care of 13,000 elderly poor will have to pay the FEDs 70 million a year. So after they’ve proved their burden, the Government would have to come back and say “We can still win if we demonstrate we have a compelling State interest”; well, there’s a lot of Supreme Court precedent on the subject of this that says “If you leave lots of people uncovered by the law, then that demonstrates on its face you have no compelling state interest”. So this should be a slam dunk for the Little Sisters and the other plaintiffs, because 1/3 Americans is not pushed around to do this. Dan Proft: And Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that for-profit employers, such as the closely held family of craft store Hobby Lobby; they could not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by paying for life ending drugs and devices as part of their plan. Now distinguish Hobby Lobby from the Little Sisters of the Poor case. Helen Alvare: Right, here’s the deal. Hobby Lobby is for-profit corporation had to cover contraception and early abortion drugs. Hobby Lobby was Prtestant Evangelical and said “We don’t object to the contraception”, but the FDA – you know, Food and Drug Administration – and Health and Human Services admit that four of these drugs can destroy an embryo. It was not contested in the case we don’t want to cover that. Hobby Lobby had no provision at all, where they could tell the FEDs “We’re not going to put it in our policies, but we’ll cooperate with you to stick it in”. Hobby Lobby had to do it or else. They didn’t have even – they didn’t have an exemption, like a plain old church, and they didn’t have what the Government’s calling an accommodation, which is what the Little Sisters have. We attach it to your plan; they had none of the above. So in that case, the Court said, number 1, for-profit corporations have always been able to have religious freedom; after all, they’re collections of people. Number 2, you’re burdened because you have to provide decent healthcare or pay. I think it was like 200 million dollars a year fine. Just step back and think about how insanely interested the Government is in drugs and devices that are like 9-20 bucks a months. It’s a little odd and obsessive. Amy Jacobson: Yeah, they’re pushing their agenda, it’s so strange. But you sound pretty confident about what’s going to be happening today, but what do you know about Justice Scalia not being there in your corner? Helen Alvare: Yeah, excellent point. I’m confident on the law, because the constitutional law is clear. I am not confident in the Justices, for this reason. Justice Canovine, and we’ve seen this on other opinions; the particularly on them, the same-sex marriage opinion. Whatever side a person is on same-sex marriage, they had to admit that Justice Kennedy’s opinion was super sloppy and constitutionally embarrassing. I mean lots of supporters of same-sex marriage have acknowledged that. Justice Kennedy sees kind of politically correct issues and he gets very, very worried that he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of certain words. He doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of what he things is what feminism on the Obama administration has often embraced as the centerpiece of women’s freedom, contraception, sexual expression, but no kids. We really worried that Kennedy, instead of applying the law, will apply his own worries. Dan Proft: Yeah. Helen Alvare: And if he does that, then we lost 5 to 3, and he is a precedent-setting loss. Dan Proft: He is, he’s really worried about being on the side of the words religious freedom, apparently. Let me go to that point, though, the presidential value of this case. If Little Sisters of the Poor lose, what is the presidential import and impact on religious freedom? Helen Alvare: Right, so today there are 7 consolidated cases at the court representing quest to 100 blankets. In fact, it’s going to start to be argued in 13 minutes. I’m teaching hundreds of my female friends down at the court, educating for religious freedom, a couple of miles away from me right now. So we think that it’s quite possible a couple of things can happen. We could get 4 to 4. At that point, the lower court opinion stands. Six of these blankets lost, one won, but it is not a precedent setting loss; it is merely a let the lower court stand, they could come back. What happens in between, we hope would be that the Obama administration, he flicks his wrist and says I’m not going to put the Little Sisters of the Poor out of business with these fines. We could lose 5 to 3 if Justice Kennedy decides that he’s a nervous person on the question of contraception and abortion, even though we have the Villages Freedom Law on our side. Then it’s precedent setting. The court could also decide to hold it over. You may or may not know, they held over the abortion case in 1973 for re-argument, because it was too important. That could happen too, so we are going to wait for the next couple of months, or it could be sooner. The court could decide to just issue in the next couple of weeks a statement that they’re going to hold the case however for re-argument with a nine-person court. Dan Proft: Alright, she is Professor Helen Alvare, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. Professor, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate your time. Helen Alvare: Thank you for having me, bye bye. Dan Proft: Let’s go to Lisa, on the North Side, you’re on Chicago’s Morning Answer. Lisa: Hi, good morning, Dan and Ami. Thanks for taking my call. Dan Proft: Sure. Lisa: What you said initially about look at the opponents here, Little Sisters of the Poor versus the Government, I have worked for Little Sisters of the Poor at their Nursing Home and with the elder care that they provide, and it is worth looking at. I’m not a Catholic, I’m not a Christian, and I have never in my life have seen the unbelievable dedication and commitment and piety of people ever; it is so incredible and it would be so worthwhile for them to show who they are and what they do, and to deny these people that are so utterly compassionate to the most, people who are completely shun to the side of our community and of the world, and in our country they should be given whatever they want. They should be given a lot of help and they should be allowed to be given their decisions and have their beliefs respected. Dan Proft: Thanks for the call, Lisa.


related content