Displaying posts published in

September 2017

European Court Orders EU Countries to Take Migrants “Politics has raped European law and values.” by Soeren Kern

The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the EU’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized.

Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia.

“Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? If we lose sight of this, the idea of Europe could become a minority interest in its own continent.” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The European Union’s highest court has rejected a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia over the legality of the bloc’s mandatory refugee quota program, which requires EU member states to admit tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, has the legal right to order EU member states to take in so-called asylum seekers, and, conversely, that EU member states have no legal right to resist those orders.

The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the European Union’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized.

Opponents of the relocation scheme say that decisions about the granting of residence permits should be kept at the national level, and that by unilaterally imposing migrant quotas on EU member states, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are seeking to force the democratically elected leaders of Europe to submit to their diktat.

The dispute dates back to September 2015, when, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, EU member states narrowly voted to relocate 120,000 “refugees” from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece.

Of the 160,000 migrants to be “shared,” nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe were ordered to take in around 15,000 migrants. Although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the agreement, they were still required to comply.

Since then, several states have refused to accept their assigned quotas of migrants. Poland, for example, has a quota of 6,182 migrants, not one of whom has been admitted. The Czech Republic has a quota of 2,691 migrants, of whom only 12 have been taken. Hungary has a quota of 1,294, none of whom has been admitted.

In the EU as a whole, so far only around 25,000 migrants have been relocated (7,873 from Italy and 16,803 from Greece), according to the EU’s latest relocation and resettlement report, published on July 26, 2017. Of the 28 EU member states, only Latvia and Malta have taken in their full quotas — a combined total of 469 migrants.

Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia. Hundreds of migrants who have been relocated to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which rank among the poorest countries in the EU, have since fled to Germany and other wealthier countries in the bloc.

Hungary and Slovakia, backed by Poland, argued that the European Union broke its own rules and exceeded its powers when it approved the quota system with a “qualified majority” — around two thirds of the bloc’s members. They also argued that the relocation scheme is a direct violation of the European Union’s Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach.

Why an Obscure Strip of Land in the Himalayas is Important for the Free World by Lawrence A. Franklin

India’s withdrawal already has served China’s interest: to pressure Bhutan and Nepal to resist seeking help from New Delhi to defend their sovereignty. China wants these small Himalayan countries to view India as an unreliable ally, and probably hopes they will begin looking to Beijing for protection and leadership.

Where the wider region is concerned, China most likely considers India’s capitulation as a signal to other countries engaged in territorial disputes with it — such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Japan — to succumb to bilateral negotiations with Beijing, rather than solicit international or multilateral organizations to negotiate for them. All of these states, which are either U.S. allies or have friendly relations with America, are keenly aware of their vulnerability in the face of China’s growing military power.

The United States must not allow China to intimidate India and other friendly regional states. Rather, it must support the banding together of those countries to defy Beijing and contain Chinese expansionism. American influence in the Pacific is at stake.

A months-long confrontation between China and India over an obscure piece of land — the Doklam plateau in the Himalayas — has serious implications that should not be minimized or ignored.

China’s decision to pick a fight with India near their mutual border with the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is not just a local issue: the regional altercation could have global repercussions.

The crisis was sparked early in the summer of 2017, when China constructed a road inside Bhutan, an ally of India’s. (Bhutan’s border is internationally recognized, but China rejects its legitimacy, claiming that the area is really part of southern Tibet.) In response, Indian troops entered the disputed territory on June 12 and faced off with Chinese soldiers and road construction crews. No shots were fired, however brawling ensued.

(Image source: Nilesh shukla/Wikimedia Commons)

China’s behavior, which reflects its ultimate objective of achieving hegemony in the Pacific, runs counter to the U.S. policy imperative to protect freedom of navigation on the high seas, through which one-third of the world’s commerce passes. To this end, the U.S. Pacific Fleet conducts regular and frequent multilateral naval exercises to keep these waters free of Chinese control. One such exercise was conducted jointly with the Indian Navy during the recent standoff with China.

The upshot of the standoff was that India backed down. On August 28, New Delhi withdrew its troops from Doklam, a move that China has touted as a victory and deployed as a warning. As a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman triumphantly announced, “We remind the Indian side to learn the lesson from this incident.”

India portrayed the temporary resolution to the conflict differently, claiming the crisis was defused as a result of a mutually agreed-upon diplomatic decision, which it called an “expeditious disengagement of border personnel.” In any event, as no territorial issues were resolved along the 3,500-kilometer China-India border, future incidents are likely to erupt.

In the meantime, India’s withdrawal already has served China’s interest: to pressure Bhutan and Nepal to resist seeking help from New Delhi to defend their sovereignty. China wants these Himalayan countries to view India as an unreliable ally, and probably hopes they will begin looking to Beijing for protection and leadership.

Where the wider region is concerned, China most likely considers India’s capitulation as a signal to other countries engaged in territorial disputes with it — such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Japan — to succumb to bilateral negotiations with Beijing, rather than solicit international or multilateral organizations to negotiate for them. All of these states, which are either U.S. allies or have friendly relations with America, are keenly aware of their vulnerability in the face of China’s growing military power. If they become disillusioned and weaken their resistance to Beijing’s ambitions, the United States’ standing in the Pacific will be damaged irrevocably.

Trump’s ‘Never Mind’ DACA Tweet The president signals his enthusiasm for amnesty. Why would immigration activists give an inch? By Andrew C. McCarthy

This was supposed to be about how all of yesterday’s heated rhetoric, all the defiant “Stand by Your Dreamer” talk from Harvard and from tech CEOs, was just so much theater. In truth, no one — at least no one law-abiding — is going to be much inconvenienced, let alone deported, over President Trump’s supposed “rescission” of President Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. As I explained yesterday, a proper application of prosecutorial discretion would place young aliens who were brought to this country illegally (or maintained here illegally) by their parents — that is, through no fault of their own — in a low-priority enforcement status. With the exceptions of those arrested for serious crimes, those with extensive criminal records, or those presenting similar sociopathic circumstances, the DREAMers would be left alone.

Alas, there is a different reason to see the still ongoing hysteria as a waste of time.

Rich Lowry notes in his Corner post that the president — as ever — took to Twitter last night. It took less than 140 characters to remove any doubt: There has been no rescission.

Trump has just quasi-frozen matters for six months. He explicitly says that he wants Congress “to legalize DACA” (i.e., enact the existing program so he can sign it into law). Moreover, if the people we used to think of as lawmakers fail to codify DACA, Trump says that he “will revisit this issue!” Translation: The program won’t die; the president will simply re-extend it by executive action while encouraging Congress to continue working to pass it — just like Obama.

I argued during the GOP nomination battle that Trump is a phony on immigration. He camouflages this fact in provocative (and sometimes noxious) rhetoric about Mexicans and a border wall — a wall that would be physically impossible to build as he described it and that Mexico was never going to pay for. (Have you noticed our coming budget battle is over his insistence that American taxpayers foot the bill?) But if you listened carefully, there was always an amnesty subtext. Recall his truly absurd claims that he would round up and deport 11 million people and then bring most of them back with legal status.

Trump wants to be all things to all people: the restrictionist ideal of his rabid base as well as an amnesty enthusiast in the mold of a New York City Democrat.

The DACA sleight of hand proves the point. On the hustings, restrictionist Trump promised to rescind DACA as soon as he took office (and some people actually believed him). Of course, he did not do so . . . because he doesn’t think it should be rescinded; he thinks it should be law. But he wants credit for ending it — for being both against and for it.

Consistent with this utterly inconsistent approach to DACA, nothing he has done as president makes sense. He has contended (correctly) that DACA is unconstitutional, yet he has continued administering the program for the past eight months. He has now had his attorney general announce that the program is rescinded because it is unconstitutional, but the program is not really rescinded and — as Jack Goldsmith rightly pointed out on Twitter yesterday — the Justice Department has not withdrawn the Obama DOJ’s 2014 opinion supporting DACA’s purported constitutionality.

Beware of Narratives and Misinformation Narratives surrounding the DNC hack & Antifa reveal media bias and government bureaucracy at their worst. By Victor Davis Hanson

U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia was responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee e-mail accounts, leading to the publication of about 20,000 stolen e-mails on WikiLeaks.

But that finding was reportedly based largely on the DNC’s strange outsourcing of the investigation to a private cybersecurity firm. Rarely does the victim of a crime first hire a private investigator whose findings later form the basis of government conclusions.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is many things. But so far he has not been caught lying about the origin of the leaked documents that came into his hands. He has insisted for well over a year that the Russians did not provide him with the DNC e-mails.

When it was discovered that the e-mails had been compromised, then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server to probe the evidence of the theft. Why did the FBI accept that refusal?

That strange behavior was not as bizarre as Wasserman Schultz’s later frenzied efforts to protect her information-technology specialist, Imran Awan, from Capitol Police and FBI investigations. Both agencies were hot on Awan’s trail for unlawfully transferring secure data from government computers, and also for bank and federal-procurement fraud.

So far, the story of the DNC hack is not fully known, but it may eventually be revealed that it involves other actors beyond just the Russians.

There is not much left to the media myth of James Comey as dutiful FBI director, unjustly fired by a partisan and vindictive President Donald Trump. A closer look suggests that Comey may have been the most politicized, duplicitous, and out-of-control FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.

During the 2016 election, Comey, quite improperly, was put into the role of prosecutor, judge, and jury in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state. That proved a disaster. Comey has admitted under oath to deliberately leaking his own notes — which were likely government property — to the media to prompt the appointment of a special counsel. That ploy worked like clockwork, and by a strange coincidence it soon resulted in the selection of his friend, former FBI director Robert Mueller.

Comey earlier had assured the public that his investigation of Clinton had shown no prosecutable wrongdoing (a judgment that in normal times would not be the FBI’s to make). It has since been disclosed that Comey offered that conclusion before he had even interviewed Clinton.

That inversion suggests that Comey had assumed that whatever he found out about Clinton would not change the reality that the Obama administration would probably drop the inquiry anyway — so Comey made the necessary ethical adjustments.

Comey was also less than truthful when he testified that there had been no internal FBI communications concerning the infamous meeting between Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, and then–attorney general Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac. In fact, there was a trail of FBI discussion about that supposedly secret rendezvous.

Before he fired Comey, Trump drafted a letter outlining the source of his anger. But it seemed to have little to do with the obstruction of justice.

Robert E. Lee: Saladin of the South By Karl Spence

AN EXCERPT OF A LONGER PIECE ON ROBERT E. LEEhttps://amgreatness.com/2017/09/06/robert-e-lee-saladin-south/

What does any of this have to do with current events? Three words: Robert Edward Lee.

General Lee may fairly be considered the Saladin of the South: a noble adversary honored even by those who fought him. And, just as any Christian who refuses to honor what is honorable in Saladin may fairly be said to hate Muslims, any Social Justice Warrior who today refuses to so honor Robert E. Lee may fairly be said to hate Southerners. The Lee statues that dot the American landscape are not symbols of hatred; they are objects of it.

Yet. back in the day, or I should say, in the night they drove old Dixie down, hatred was not the spirit that prevailed. Ulysses S. Grant would write in his memoirs that upon receiving Lee’s surrender, “I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.” And Grant silenced his army’s guns, which had begun firing a salute in exultation on the event, saying, “The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again.”

The feeling in the victorious North came to be, “You fought a good fight, Reb.” Not that the Rebellion’s cause was good, but that the valor, prowess, and self-sacrifice of the rebels themselves was worthy of admiration. Such remained the prevailing sentiment in all of America, all the way through to my childhood, which coincided with the Civil War’s centennial. And if you stop to think about it, doing honor to the South does honor to the North as well. What glory is there, after all, in vanquishing a contemptible foe?

When the U.S. Army decided to turn Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, into a cemetery for Union war dead, the idea may have been conceived spitefully. But the move became a tribute to Lee in spite of itself. There stands Lee’s mansion, surrounded by Union graves like so many scalps around a tepee. It’s a testament not only to the courage and dedication of those who fought to preserve the Union, but also to the fearsome price that must be paid by anyone who thinks to conquer Americans, even when the conqueror is American himself.

So, do any of today’s Antifa thugs view today’s Lee-lovers as fellow Americans? Would any Social Justice Warrior today say, as Grant did, “The rebels are our countrymen again?” The question answers itself.

Consider another example, one especially appropriate in light of those other Live Action Role Players, the ones who marched around in Charlottesville with torches, as if they were extras in “Triumph of the Will.” Antifa is good at beating up people in the street, as good at it as any stormtrooper ever was. But beating real Nazis takes something more, something Winston Churchill had and Antifa doesn’t.

In all this world, Adolf Hitler had no deadlier enemy than that great British war leader. Had Churchill not become prime minister in 1940, Britain might well have made peace with Nazi Germany. Hitler then would have been free to achieve his dream of conquering Eurasia from Calais to Vladivostok. And when America’s turn came to go toe-to-toe with him, then even with every Lee-loving Southerner pitching in to whip the Axis, we might not have prevailed against such a behemoth. Had Churchill not lived, we all might be speaking German today.

Here’s what Churchill said about Hitler: “Nothing is more certain than that every trace of Hitler’s footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth.”

Kim Jong-Un’s Mainstream Media Defenders Leftists regurgitate North Korean propaganda in our own papers. Lloyd Billingsley

As Matthew Vadum notes, the violent anti-Trump groups Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party are siding with North Korea and “spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.” As it happens, North Korean propaganda is also showing up in the establishment media.

Consider “Reunification, not war, in Korea,” a “special” piece for the Sacramento Bee on September 5, when Kim Jong-un was fondling his new hydrogen bomb. Author Geoffrey Fattig, a “former speechwriter for the U.S. State Department,” is not disturbed by “Kim Jong-un’s blatant disregard of the will of the international community,” and describes it only as “distasteful.”

So threatening the United States and its allies is a matter of taste, as Molotov once said about fascism. Fattig’s problem is Donald Trump. “Unfortunately,” he explains, “sanity doesn’t seem to be a hindrance facing our new president.” But this is no boilerplate anti-Trump screed. For former State Department speechwriter Geoffrey Fattig:

“The problem, though, is not simply or even primarily Trump. The problem is that the country he leads has shown itself to have a capacity for violence that is matched only by its ignorance of foreign affairs. North Korea is not a threat to the United States; the only reason we fought the country in the first place was because the Truman administration split the peninsula immediately after World War II, then committed U.S. troops when Kim Il-sung sought to reunify the country in 1950.”

Likewise, regarding North Korea as a threat to the United States “profoundly misjudges the nature of the regime” which is “driven by a singular goal of reunifying the Korean peninsula, a goal that cannot be achieved while U.S. troops remain stationed in South Korea.” And back stateside:

“An American public that is naturally predisposed to fear and war” supports military action against North Korea. Instead of joining this chorus, “U.S. leaders should start thinking of ways to atone for our original sin of dividing the peninsula in 1945.” And according to Geoffrey Fattig, “Kim Jong-un isn’t going anywhere, and neither is his stockpile of nuclear weapons.”

Those fearful, violent, warmongering people in Anchorage, Boise, and Baton Rouge, can be forgiven for regarding Fattig’s “special” piece as goose-stepping North Korean propaganda. The former U.S. State Department speechwriter has had a lot of practice on that theme.

Fattig’s work has often appeared on the website of the Institute for Policy Studies, an interlocking directorate of the left. Despite the North’s “military bluster,” Fattig explains in a 2013 IPS piece, “there are signs that Kim Jong-un has been cautiously embarking on economic reforms during his first year in power.” Here Fattig shows the deft touch of a Walter Duranty or Anna Louise Strong, but there’s more.

The Korean standoff will improve with “withdrawal of American military forces, a normalizing of its dysfunctional relationship with the United States, and coordinated economic assistance from its neighbors.” So just get out, give Kim Jong-un what he wants, and all will be well.

Commie Mayor Unleashed Bill de Blasio reminds weary New Yorkers what a menace he really is. Matthew Vadum

New York’s unrepentant small-c communist mayor Bill de Blasio showed his true colors in a new New York magazine interview, reaffirming his radical roots and speaking of his plans to unleash a veritable Reign of Terror against wealthy, productive people.

In the interview, the America-hating, Puerto Rican terrorist-celebrating Democrat mayor reminds voters that he has learned nothing during his disastrous tenure at Gracie Mansion. The takeaway is that he believes taxes are too low not only in his city but throughout America, police haven’t been persecuted enough, criminals haven’t been coddled and subsidized enough, and President Trump is a dangerous racist demagogue whose fascistic policies need to be fought.

The great Anglo-American tradition, going back to the founding era and before, of strong governmental protection of private property is a bad thing, he believes. Get rid of property rights and utopia will be just over the horizon.

Like any leftist ideologue, de Blasio views markets – that is, the everyday choices made by free people – as an evil force that needs to be bludgeoned into submission by bureaucrats. Capital must be compelled, or better yet, abolished. Socialism works, he maintains, and people would see that if only the sclerotic, authoritarian system he adores were imposed on them by somebody smart and competent, like him, for example.

De Blasio told his interviewer he wants to see the end of private property and would like government to centrally plan more or less all living and financial arrangements. Yes, the mayor of New York City, the financial capital of the United States, actually said that.

When discussing property rights, de Blasio is a tedious garden-variety Marxist dreaming of imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat on his subjects. Come to think of it, the man sounds like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Asked about fulfilling his much-repeated promise to reduce the scourge of income inequality, also known as freedom, he lectured:

What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.

A “socialistic impulse”? Nothing could be more un-American.

De Blasio, like so many academics and activists, is trapped in a communist fantasy of his own making. Central planners should be telling every New Yorker how to live, the modern-day Bolshevik insists, even though a hundred years of hard evidence, including a Mount Everest-size pile of corpses, proves him wrong.

Administration Sources: Creepy Tweet Was a Coded Message to General McMaster About Leakers By David Steinberg

A story fantastically strange, dancing between lowbrow and stupid, and it matters: this masterwork of a news item belongs in a time capsule, one day making the case to our descendants that we were, at least, blessed to live in interesting times.

Because this sort of thing happens in 2017, an alt-right crank who hasn’t won anyone’s trust beyond that of his loyal travelers seems to have become the white-whale obsession of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Also, a multi-national public relations campaign which occupied much of August — a campaign seemingly intended to repair General McMaster’s reputation with the President of the United States, to sully the reputation of Trump loyalists whom McMaster had removed from the National Security Council, and to drive out Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, all in one shot — may have been unintentionally destroyed by said alt-Right crank tweeting the words …

“Spirit Animal” :

✔ @Cernovich

McMaster what’s your spirit animal? @Breitbartnews is Honeybadger.

Mike Cernovich posted this tweet on August 11. To an objective observer, that’s inscrutable nonsense. And — also objectively — it’s creepy.

But when considered with its actual context, and pivotally, its timing, that rational observer should be driven to conclude that, ahem, the “McMaster what’s your spirit animal” tweet is a political thunderbolt with ramifications much beyond what Cernovich appears to have intended.

Here goes:

Sources within the Trump Administration claim that the “spirit animal” tweet is a reference to a small meeting that McMaster and select others within the National Security Council held in the days prior to August 11.

At that meeting, attendees reportedly joked about each other’s “spirit animals.” Indeed, as of this writing, I cannot neither confirm nor deny that a prominent member of the NSC is imbued with the soul of a platypus.

Since August 11, Cernovich has offered other information that also points to him having sourcing within the NSC. However, the “spirit animal” tweet reportedly represented a more concerning breach. Yet even so, the breach itself is of less evident concern to McMaster and his supporters than is the fact of its August 11 publication.


Because if Cernovich still had a source leaking to him on that date or in the days immediately prior, then the tweet necessarily deconstructs much of the past month’s administration-orchestrated media defense of General McMaster’s personnel decisions.

The Inconvenient Truth About Obamacare’s Premium Spiral By Sally C. Pipes

Insurers have until Sept. 5 to reveal what they will charge for coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges next year. They are required to finalize their rates by Sept. 5 — and sign their contracts by Sept. 27. The numbers they’ve released thus far aren’t pretty.

In Iowa, insurer Medica is seeking a 43.5 percent increase. BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina put in for a 33 percent increase. Molina, which is pulling out of most states’ exchanges, wants a 55 percent boost in the few markets where it will remain. In Idaho, one insurer is asking for an 81 percent jump.

Obamacare’s defenders — and insurers themselves — have attributed these rate hikes to the “uncertainty” Republicans have injected into the marketplace. First with their on-again, off-again effort to repeal the law, and second with their indecision about ending the law’s Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies.

But a new analysis of premium data from the past four years provides evidence that two regulations at the heart of Obamacare are largely to blame for years of rate hikes. Those regulations are the law’s guarantee of coverage to all and its requirement that insurers charge the same premium to all people of the same age, regardless of health status or history.

The analysis was conducted by McKinsey for the Department of Health and Human Services. The consulting firm looked at rate hikes in four states: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Tennessee. Premiums in each had doubled or tripled since 2013 — the year before Obamacare went into effect.

In Georgia, the average premium for the equivalent of a mid-level “Silver” plan for a 40-year-old male went from $94 a month in 2013 to $323 a month in 2017. In Tennessee, it went from $104 a month to $431.

Some critics of Obamacare have claimed that the law’s “essential health benefit” mandates, which require policies to cover certain treatments, bear much of the blame for these premium hikes. According to McKinsey they have raised premiums, but not much. These mandates contributed as little as 5 percent to the hikes in Georgia and Ohio, 7 percent in Pennsylvania, and 1 percent in Tennessee

Obamacare’s taxes and fees have boosted premiums, too — but only between 3 and 7 percent. The general growth of health costs is responsible for 10 percent of the premium increases in the four states studied.

The biggest reason for Obamacare’s rate hikes? Two of its most popular provisions, guaranteed issue and community rating. These are the technical terms for Obamacare’s ban on insurance companies denying coverage or charging people who are sick more.

The McKinsey report found that in Georgia, these mandates added between 44 and 52 percent to premiums. In Ohio, they were responsible for 41 to 50 percent of the hikes — and in Pennsylvania, as much as 62 percent. In Tennessee, guaranteed issue and community rating accounted for between 73 and 76 percent of premium increases.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. A study by Milliman, a consultancy, in 2013 predicted that Obamacare’s guaranteed issue and community rating rules would sharply increase premiums.

Further, several states experimented with guaranteed issue and community rating in the 1990s. All of them saw premiums spiral upward, insurance companies drop out of the market, and consumers stop buying individual policies. Most of those states ended up either abandoning the two rules altogether or seriously watering them down.