Obamacare

 
 

WATERS: Obamacare’s Kentucky success: A real fish tale

Jim Waters head

I spot some information on Obamacare’s far seas where the Kentucky Department of Insurance rides on high waters, indicating the leak that began forming last year in the creaky boat carrying Kynect – Kentucky’s version of Obamacare – is expanding.

Is water filling this boat?

I listened closely as the insurance department on Wednesday revealed rate increases being requested for 2016 by insurers offering plans through the Kynect health exchange, and could have sworn to hearing gurgling noises coming from air pockets as Obamacare drowns in the sea of broken promises offered by its namesake.

President Obama while campaigning for office in 2008 promised: “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

The fact that the Kentucky Health Cooperative, which was created with taxpayer-funded loans for the express purpose of providing coverage to Kentuckians seeking subsidized insurance, is seeking a whopping 25-percent increase in its rates makes the president’s claims equivalent to a big fish tale from the high seas.

After the real size of this whopper was revealed, Obamacare defenders tried to walk it all back, claiming that what they really meant was the situation would have been much worse without their reforms.

“It’s an indication of just how much the health insurance reform debate has changed that Obamacare defenders are now thrilled that premiums are going up, on average, only 7 percent or 8 percent,” Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, told the Heartland Institute’s Health Care News. “They now proudly claim that’s no worse than it was before Obamacare – even though the promise had been that premiums would go down.”

This fish tale grows even longer when combining Kentucky Health Cooperative’s demand for a 25-percent rate this year with last year’s requested – and granted – 20 percent increase, which makes it a 45-percent increase just during the past two years.

Obamacare

Other states have their own favorite Obamacare fish tales.

Health Care Service Corp., the primary insurer in New Mexico’s exchange, wants a 52-percent spike.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee asked for an increase of 36 percent – which, since it’s an average like Kynect, means the smallest increase any Tennessean enrolled in the plan will get socked with is 20 percent while some get hooked with ginormous 60-percent hikes next year.

Similar ranges will occur within the Kentucky Health Cooperative Plan. Some Kentuckians will get hit with a much-larger increase in 2016 than the 25-percent “average” being sought by the financially struggling cooperative.

Rate increases aren’t the only factor contributing to the leak in Obamacare’s boat.

High-deductible plans purchased through exchanges have resulted in one in four of their customers skipping doctor’s appointments and important medical tests, according to a new Families USA study.

Even though these lower and middle-income Americans are ineligible for Medicaid and have purchased plans through a government-run exchange, they cannot afford to pay their premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles – a minimum of $1,500 on exchange plans – while still going to the doctor and obtaining important tests.

Even as they struggle, these enrollees are held up by Obama and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear as evidence of the Affordable Care Act’s success.

In this year’s State of the Commonwealth speech, Beshear praised Obamacare, claiming “Kentuckians will visit the doctor half-a-million more times” and that the program will result in “a higher quality of life.”

That claim has all the elements of a really good, developing fish tale, a real whopper – Obamacare-style.

It’s like being on a sinking boat in the ocean’s midst while dreaming you’re on dry land.

Wishing doesn’t make it so.

Jim Waters is president of the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Reach him at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com. Read previously published columns at www.bipps.org.


Ted Cruz becomes first major candidate announcing 2016 presidency bid

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, his wife, Heidi, and daughters Catherine, 4, left, and Caroline, 6, wave to supporters after he announced his campaign Monday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Associated Press

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, his wife, Heidi, and daughters Catherine, 4, left, and Caroline, 6, wave to supporters after he announced his campaign Monday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Associated Press

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced on Monday morning at Liberty University that he has thrown his hat into the ring for president in 2016. Cruz has become the first candidate of either party to officially declare his candidacy.

Opening his speech by stating, “I believe God is not done with America, yet”, he began with his family and his connection to his faith as he provided a detailed story about his parents. His mother, who grew up in Delaware and became a computer programmer, while his father was a Cuban teenage rebel fighter that fled the chaos at the age of 18 to America. Moving along, he mentioned his family problems from alcohol abuse to marital problems until his parents had a religious awakening that helped find their faith. “There are people who wonder if faith is real, I can tell you in my family there isn’t a second of doubt because if not the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been raised by a single mother.”

Cruz, the first to officially declare his candidacy via Titter Monday at Midnight, his announcement included a 30-second video of “I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight, will you join me.” A day before, it was reported by the Houston Chronicle of his official announcement for the presidency will occur on Monday.

Mentioning many conservative principles, Cruz told an energetic crowd of students using ‘Imagine’ at the beginning of each sentence laying out what America would be like if he takes office, as each sentence drew many loud applauses. “Imagine instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth…Imagine abolishing the IRS…Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders…Instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through Common Core, imagine repealing every word of Common Core…imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel…Imagine a president who says we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name. We will defend the United States of America.”

Cruz mentioned Obamacare, as Monday’s anniversary marks its fifth year into law. Gaining national media attention for his 21-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, Cruz and his vocal opposition of the law led to a tense standoff between Republicans and Democrats. Liberty University is also known for filing a lawsuit once President Obama signed Obamacare into law. Cruz mentioned the failures since it was signed into law of “joblessness, millions forced into part-time work, millions forced into part-time work and millions losing their health insurance and doctor.” Cruz ended by repealing “every word of the Obamacare” come 2017.

Ending his speech, Cruz stated his full announcement with “God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation and I believe God isn’t done with America yet. And that is why today, I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States…We will get back and restore that shining city on a hill that is the United States of America.”

A conservative shooting star and firebrand to the Tea Party coalitions, Cruz a first-term senator is seen as a figure who is outspoken, passionate and energetic of his conservative positions to fight against Washington’s status quo. Disliked by some of his colleagues due to his constant pushback against establishment republicans. In 2013, he is known for the 17-day government shutdown as many democrats and some republicans saw this approach of destroying the country due to his battle to defund Obamacare.

His early announcement now puts Cruz in the advantage as he can seize the attention of the tea-party coalition as well as the big donors. Debuting his campaign announcement at Liberty University, an evangelical university, Cruz is also looking to gain traction of evangelical voters with his Christian conservative message to cut through a crowded field. Evangelicals are looking into former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as their contender as well as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Cruz, if he wins the nomination and the presidency in 2016 is set to become the nation’s first Hispanic president. Although Cruz was born in Canada, stated by the constitution, he is able to run for president since his mother is a natural born US citizen which meets the standards to run. If Cruz fails to win the nomination or drops out, Cruz will still retain his Senate seat through 2019.


Is shutdown of the Kentucky state health exchange feasible?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Introducing his Blueprint for a Better Kentucky on Monday, gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin identified healthcare as one of his focus areas for improvement.

As Governor, I would close the KYNECT state exchange and facilitate the transition of enrollees into the federal healthcare exchange. Closing KYNECT would begin to free Kentucky from this financially ill-advised program and leave Obamacare management in the hands of the federal government.

While the plan as stated sounds simple enough, some may wonder whether a state can legally close their healthcare exchange, and return enrollment to federal responsibility? What impact would it have on those who have enrolled? What would such a transition cost? Would any federal money used to develop the exchange need to be returned?

Can a governor close the exchange?

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) issued Executive Order 587, which established the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange on July 17, 2012. This was renamed KYNECT in May 2013. The state legislature did not pass a bill concerning the creation of the exchange. The constitutionality of the executive order was challenged in Kentucky Court, in David Adams, et al. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky and opinions rendered upheld the authority of the governor to create the exchange. The decision cited that the General Assembly deferred this power to the Governor in absence of affirmative legislation, and that the governor was not violating the state constitution’s separation of powers provisions, as he was taking action upon a federal mandate.

The ruling upholding the executive power to create the exchange can still be overruled in Kentucky Supreme Court. If the Kentucky Supreme Court finds that Beshear’s actions were an unconstitutional exercise of his executive authority, then the state exchange could only be saved with legislative action. If the court finds the powers were appropriately wielded, it also opens the door to utilization of an executive order to remove the exchange. By precedent, the governor would still be adhering to the federal mandate in utilizing the federal exchange, as 37 states presently operate.

Has a state exchange ever been closed?

With healthcare exchanges being relatively new, a state that has developed an exchange diverting control to the federal exchange has only happened once; with Oregon. Thirty-six of our 50 states opted not to set up exchanges at all, and have been completely dependent on the federal exchange from the program’s onset.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, signed SB 99 into law on June 17, 2011. Unlike Kentucky’s exchange, the Oregon exchange WAS created within the state legislature.

The decision to move Oregon from a state exchange to the federal exchange, was rendered by the appointed board that managed Cover Oregon. The state has acted upon this decision sending Oregon healthcare through the federal healthcare.gov website. Legislation soon followed in the form of SB1, which recently passed the senate, and  and is now being considered in the house.

What impact does it have on those who used the state exchange to enroll?

The Cover Oregon exchange website now defers new enrollment with a link to the federal healthcare.gov exchange. Those who obtained their insurance through Cover Oregon for FY2014, were required to re-enroll for FY2015 via the federal exchange.

What will transitioning from a state exchange to a federal exchange cost?

Oregon believes the switch to use of the federal exchange will cost $5 Million.

The portion of the exchange used to enroll people in the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan will be sent to the Oregon Health Authority. The cost is estimated at $35 million to complete. Officials estimate that 90 percent of that cost will come from federal sources, with the remaining 10 percent ($3.5M) from the state’s general fund.

State health exchanges are developed in strict adherence to federal meaningful use guidelines. This means the data gathered and formatted by the exchanges is designed to be universal and portable.

The exchanges were built with federal grants… does the state have to return such grant money?

A total of $253.6 Million dollars in grants was received for development of KYNECT; Oregon’s failed “Cover Oregon” exchange received $303 Million.

In an interview with KATU news correspondent Chelsea Kopta, Oregon CIO Alex Pettit stated that Oregon would not be returning any of the grant money used to establish the Cover Oregon exchange.

Where does the money come from to cover the expense of the switch?

The reported cost to develop KYNECT was $60 Million, leaving $193.6 Million in grants received for the development, unaccounted for in the process.

Kentucky received more than $11 Million in 2014 grants just to promote KYNECT with 622 employees.  It is unclear what amount of these funds have been spent.

Oregon CIO Alex Pettit confirmed that of their developmental grant funds, $57 Million remains unspent. (and would not be returned)

Why opt out of the state exchange program?

The estimated annual operation costs for KYNECT is a $39 Million burden on the Kentucky taxpayer. With no loss of service or functionality, utilizing the federal exchange will not only cost the state nothing, but will save them the annual administrative costs that are associated with the duplicitous service already being offered by the Federal Government.

Heading into the 2016 election cycle, the Obamacare model faces an uncertain future nationally, and likely will mean major changes to the exchanges. Utilizing the Federal exchange shifts any associated burden from the State to the Federal government.

Healthcare matters are sure to be a prominent discussion point in the Kentucky Republican primary gubernatorial election. In addition to the removal of Kentucky’s healthcare exchange, Bevin has also announced plans to modify the existing Certificate of Need Program, and Scope of Practice laws, while vowing to do everything within his power to roll back Beshear’s unsustainable expansion of Medicaid in Kentucky.


Who are you voting for in the GOP Primary for Kentucky Governor?

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Lawmakers ask Jonathan Gruber, “Are you Stupid?”

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Jonathan Gruber at his hearing with the House Oversight committee

MIT economist and consultant to the Obamacare law, Jonathan Gruber was hammered on Tuesday by the House Oversight committee for his remarks of “Stupidity of American Voters”.

The remarks made over a few years span were released just days after Election Day, which sparked a firestorm that gave the Republicans the advantage to beat up not only on Gruber, but to examine the failures and lack of transparency of Obamacare.

Also appearing on Capitol Hill was Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who Rep. Darrell Issa, the Chair of House Oversight accused of inflating enrollment numbers. Issa tied both Gruber and Tavenner together calling them “a perfect pairing, a pairing of individuals who are responsible for what we know and don’t know, before during and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.” However most of the hearing saw only members scolding Gruber with just a few questions being asked to Tavenner, mainly from Rep. Issa.

Gruber who helped develop the economic model for the Massachusetts health care plan under Governor Mitt Romney was sought to architect Obamacare at a national level. In the video, Gruber stated the bill was written to “make sure the CBO didn’t score mandate as taxes” and “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” He also said “Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.” These statements led to the House Oversight to investigation of the truth and impact of Obamacare

Tuesday’s hearing led by Rep. Issa featured a bipartisan beating to Gruber as he tried to minimize his role and continued to apologize for his remarks that he described as “glib, thoughtless and sometimes downright insulting comments.”

Gruber repeatedly tried to explain his past comments, as “The comments I made were really inexcusable.” Continuing on, Gruber said “I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that, but my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act. The A.C.A. is a milestone accomplishment for our nation that already has provided millions of Americans with health insurance.”

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Rep. Trey Gowdy

Republicans sought to confront Gruber to disclose the total amount of works related to grants and contracts from the federal government. Refusing to disclose the other amount, Gruber confirmed he received $400,000 under contract with HHS. As numerous Republican members try to inquire the exact amount, Gruber declined and avoided the question by stating “You can take it up with my counsel.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wasn’t accepting this answer, scolding Gruber, “So you’re not going to answer the question? You come to the committee, we ask a question, and you’re supposed to answer the question,” We wanna know how much you got from the taxpayers. Then you made fun of them after you got it from them.”

As Republican Representatives tore into Gruber on his remarks, Senior Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) tried to savage Gruber as best as he could, but joined in on the scolding for his comments that gave the Republicans the ammunition to belittle the administration as “absolutely stupid” and “incredibly disrespectful.” Worse, he continues, the statements gave Republicans “a political gift in their relentless campaign to tear down the ACA and eliminate health care for millions of Americans…great job, you wrapped it up with a bow.”

Gruber tried to accredit his comments and role in creating the ACA. “I’m a professor of economics at MIT. I’m not a politician nor a political advisor,” Gruber said, stressing that his role with the administration was purely technical. I was not the ‘architect’ of President Obama’s health care plan.” This led to Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) having enough of Gruber speaking about politics and became Gruber’s worst nightmare. “So you’re a professor at MIT and you’re worried about not looking smart enough?” Gowdy asked. Gruber replied, “yes” to which Gowdy fired back “Well, you succeeded if that was your goal,” Gowdy said.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis

Rep. Cynthia Lummis

The most moving moment of the hearing came from Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo). Her personal story about her late husband was a statement rather than of questioning neither Gruber nor Tavenner. “My husband had a massive heart attack in his sleep at age 65. A perfectly, by all accounts, healthy man. Come to find out, in a conversation with his physician after he died, he chose not to have one of the tests, the last tests, his doctor told him to have. This happened to coincide with the time that we were told that we were not covered by Obamacare. I’m not telling you that my husband died because of Obamacare. He died because he had a massive heart attack in his sleep.” She ended her statement “I want to suggest that regardless of what happened to me personally, that there have been so many glitches in the passage and implementation of Obamacare that have real-life consequences on peoples’ lives, ” she said, almost choking up. “The so-called glibness that has been referenced today has direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”


VIDEO: Romney praises Jonathan Gruber’s ‘Econometric Model’

Mitt Romney praised MIT professor Jonathan Gruber at a signing ceremony for Romneycare.

“Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model,” Romney said.

That econometric model is now very controversial as Romneycare’s costs have exploded.

Read more at Got News.


Kentucky Governor Beshear opens Obamacare store front in Lexington

Kentucky’s Obamacare store opened last week at Fayette Mall in Lexington with attempts to sign up more Kentuckians for policies they may not want, need, or able to afford. Who needs a kiosk when you can have an entire store?

Credit: Josh James / WUKY

Fayette Mall’s new Kynect store
Credit: Josh James / WUKY

Kynect, the state’s health insurance exchange, opened its first retail store this past Thursday in one of Lexington’s busiest shopping centers.

“I hope we will find thousands and thousands more and I’m confident that we will,” Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said during the store’s grand opening. “We’ve got some things for free, and that’s pretty good for Black Friday.”

Situated across from Jamba Juice and Hot Topic, the Kynect store attempts to lure in the harder-to-reach crowd in their 20s and 30s, often called the “young invincibles.”

The average cost for every Kentuckian enrolled in Medicaid is $9,634 per year. From September of 2013 to August 2014, Kynect signed up 439,576 new medicaid customers in Kentucky.

This means that the state’s medicaid debt will jump by $4,234,875,184 PER YEAR!

The state of Kentucky owes $10 Billion Dollars in bonded debt and may borrow as much as $2 billion in the next legislative session. Kentucky owes its pension fund another $34.5 Billion Dollars.

We need to know where this additional $4.2 Billion Dollars a year will come from?

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is paying 100 percent of the cost to cover people eligible under the expanded Medicaid rules for three years. But states must pay for a small percentage beginning in 2017 that will grow to 10 percent in 2020 and years after

Beshear said he had no estimate of that future added cost to the state budget. But Republican state legislators have warned that it will be substantial and will crowd out state spending for other programs.

Kentucky tax dollars continue to be wasted by Governor Beshear and the far left liberals in Frankfort, but at least now if you like your Jamba Juice, you can keep your Jamba Juice as you “shop” for health insurance nearby.


Dana Loesch does interview with Ed Show on MSNBC & gets shouted at over Obamacare

Round One: Ed Schultz vs Dana Loesch

On Thursday, conservative commentator and TheBlaze TV host Dana Loesch went on the Ed Show on MSNBC and gives an epic interview. On the show, it appears Ed tries to get the upper hand on Dana, but she will not go down without speaking her mind or at least correcting Ed and the other guests. Other guests were Dr. Corey Hebert and Schultz’s MSNBC colleague Krystal Ball.

The interview lasts about 10 minutes about Obamacare, but during the interview Mr. Schultz says Dana is being rude several times while she attempts to get her point across or at least answer his questions.

Dana Loesch with the right uppercut and down goes Schultz.

Watch below and let us know what you think:


GA12 Battle Allen vs Barrow

Governors_20142

The race between Democrat incumbent John Barrow and Republican businessman Rick Allen has been explosive. Rick Allen’s campaign and the NRCC have done an amazing job of putting Barrow on defense. I was listening to WGST in Atlanta online and decided to call in to the Peach Pundit hour on Rich Sullivan’s show. I asked them about how Obamacare will play in the GA12 election. They told me voters are concerned about Obamacare. John Barrow is insulated from the issue because he didn’t vote for Obamacare and people see the votes for repeal as symbolic and don’t see the Obamacare card being played at all. Thank God John Allen didn’t follow that advice! Allen has a great commercial calling out Barrow for over 20 times that he voted either to fund Obamacare or vote no on repealing Obamacare.

John Barrow goes to great lengths to never bring up Obamacare. I’ve been on dozens of telephone town halls with Barrow and he never brings it up and nobody really asks him about it either thanks to his call screeners. Barrow decides to tout commercials saying he will repeal Obamacare for the first time with less then 40 days out of the election.

I thought he was insulated from Obamacare? Why would a Harvard educated lawyer like Barrow be making a big deal about something he’s insulated from? Barrow also said that he will repeal Obamacare only if there’s something to replace it with. John Barrow can play this political game that he’s waiting for the perfect replacement plan and then he’ll vote to repeal Obamacare and until that perfect replacement plan comes along he will continue to vote “no” on repeal. That little charade conveniently can go on forever. John Barrow is also relying on the false liberal media narrative that the GOP is not offering up an alternative. There are over 7 replacement plans to Obamacare that the GOP has offered up.

Some plans are very conservative and some are not. There’s at least one plan in there that gives Barrow everything he wants but he’ll continue to rely on low information voters who believes Republicans haven’t offered alternatives. Healthcare before Obamacare was 100 times better then what we have now so John Barrow’s promise to repeal is full of holes and I’m hoping that Allen will be exposing Barrow on this.

The NRCC has provided the silver bullet in this GA12 race that is making Barrow run for the hills and scramble.

In their latest ad called “Barrow’s Letter” they catch Barrow in a bald faced lie. Barrow has been called out for voting for Obama and Pelosi over 80 percent of the time. Barrow came out with an ad saying that he would never vote for anyone 80% of the time. The NRCC show a letter Barrow sent out to democrat voters detailing how he has voted for Obama over 80% of the time. Allen brought this up in the debate and Barrow had no answer.

Jon Fitzpatrick from Politipage did an amazing job of exposing this voting record and fighting back the media narrative:

The Hill wrote this tidbit about the controversy.

“The statistic itself is accurate but very dated — it comes from Congressional Quarterly’s 2009 vote analysis. In subsequent years Barrow has voted less often with Democratic leadership, dropping to 83 percent in 2010, 59 percent in 2011, 28 percent in 2012 and 35 percent last year.”

The liberal fact checkers, naturally, attempted a rescue mission.

One big problem, though.

Barrow voted with Obama 85% and 83%, in years 2009 and 2010, respectively. Guess what, liberal media? Those were the most damaging Obama years, when everything happened. And Barrow was right on board with the big liberal agenda.

Guess what, part two? In 2010, the Democrats took a “shellacking,” of historic proportions, at the ballot box. Including most every red-district House Democrat .

In the 2010 mid terms, Republicans easily captured the House of Representatives.

Now I’m no political genius, like the fact checkers, but I’m gonna take a wild guess here and say that the political death of Barrow’s fellow red-district Dems had everything to do with the congressman’s, ahem, partisan conversion.

I don’t think it was a coincidence.

Bottomline, John Barrow was fully behind the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda when he thought Hope and Change was set in stone, and they’d be no punishment back home. Remember, the media, at the time, were writing that the GOP was dead for the next 40 years or so – giving phony moderates like Barrow a false sense of the country’s mood. And Barrow only corrected his ways when he realized his political life was at risk.

The media can crow all they want to about how Republicans are using the same old strategy against John Barrow. The truth is Rick Allen is the right candidate with the right message making the right case against John Barrow and nationalizing this election and effectively tying John Barrow to Barack Obama. Rick Allen needs your support though please donate to his campaign!


Wal-Mart Eliminates Health Care Insurance Coverage for Most Part-Time Workers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for most of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest private employer.

Starting Jan. 1, Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move, which would affect 30,000 employees, follows similar decisions by Target, Home Depot and others to eliminate health insurance benefits for part-time employees.

“We had to make some tough decisions,” Sally Wellborn, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of benefits, told The Associated Press.

Wellborn says the company will use a third-party organization to help part-time workers find insurance alternatives: “We are trying to balance the needs of (workers) as well as the costs of (workers) as well as the cost to Wal-Mart.”

The announcement comes after Wal-Mart said far more U.S. employees and their families are enrolling in its health care plans than it had expected following rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Wal-Mart, which employs about 1.4 million full- and part-time U.S. workers, says about 1.2 million Wal-Mart workers and family members combined now participate in its health care plan.

Read more on Fox Business.


Federal judge in Oklahoma rules no tax subsidies without a state run exchange.

A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled against the Obama Administration in a case challenging the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services decision to extend tax subsidies to states without a state health insurance exchange.

The decision comes on the heels of several other rulings, including the opinion of the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Sebelius.

Much of the discussion in political and legal circles have centered on the phrase in the ACA legislation that requires the taxes to be levied to pay for subsidies on exchanges “established by the State”. ObamaCare supporters have argued that the intent of the legislation should override the actual language, while detractors have said the legislation prohibits federal rules from extending the tax subsidies to states unless the state has set up an insurance exchange.

This ruling agrees that the federal government may not extend tax subsidies in a federally administered exchange and must only do so through the state.

The case, Pruitt v. Burwell, was decided by District Judge Ronald A. White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma. White’s ruling had strong words for other courts that “rewrite legislative compromises”.

The ruling stated:

Of course, a proper legal decision is not a matter of the court “helping” one side or the other. A lawsuit challenging a federal regulation is a commonplace occurrence in this country, not an affront to judicial dignity. A higher-profile case results in greater scrutiny of the decision, which is understandable and appropriate. “[H]igh as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still. . . This limited role serves democratic interests by ensuring that policy is made by elected, politically accountable representatives, not by appointed life-tenured judges.”

This is a case of statutory interpretation. “The text is what it is, no matter which side benefits.” Such a case (even if affirmed on the inevitable appeal) does not “gut” or “destroy” anything. On the contrary, the court is upholding the Act as written. Congress is free to amend the ACA to provide for tax credits in both state and federal exchanges, if that is the legislative will. As the Act presently stands, “vague notions of a statute’s ‘basic purpose’ are nonetheless inadequate to overcome the words of its text regarding the specific issue under consideration.” It is a “core administrative-law principle that an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate.” “But in the last analysis, these always-fascinating policy discussions are beside the point. The role of this Court is to apply the statute as it is written – even if we think some other approach might ‘accor[d] with good policy.’”

ANM News will have more reaction to the ruling throughout the week.


White House reassessing Obamacare enrollment goal for 2015

obamacare

From the LA Times, 24 September 2014

By: Noam N. Levey

“The Obama administration, which is scrambling to prepare a new push to enroll Americans in health coverage under the federal health law, is reassessing how many more people will sign up, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday.

About 7.3 million people are enrolled in health plans being sold through marketplaces created this year by the Affordable Care Act, according to federal figures.

And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which analyzes the effects of federal legislation, has estimated that 13 million people should be in the market in 2015, the marketplaces’ second year.

But speaking to reporters Wednesday, Burwell suggested that number may not be the right target. “One of things we are doing right now is applying analytics to how should we think about that goal,” she said.

She declined to say when a new target might be announced, saying the administration is consulting with insurance industry officials and market analysts to gauge the performance of a new market like that created by the health law.”

Read More


46 percent of doctors give Obamacare a ‘D’ or ‘F’

Forty-six percent of doctors give President Obama’s healthcare law a “D” or an “F,” according to a new survey from the Physicians Foundation. In contrast, just 25 percent of those surveyed gave the law an “A” or a “B.”

The findings come from a survey that was emailed to “virtually every physician in the United States with an email address on record with the American Medical Association” this March through June as the law’s major provisions were taking effect, and received more than 20,000 responses from doctors.

In their comments that were included (but kept anonymous) in the report, a number of doctors complained about the vast amount of bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

“Get government OUT of healthcare,” one doctor wrote.

Another wrote, “Repeal Obamacare.”

Another comment read, “I’m a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works.”

Read More

 


Rand Paul’s Son is Forced Into Medicaid Through Kentucky Obamacare Exchange

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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky appeared on This Week with George Stephanoupolis this past Sunday to discuss how his state is handling the Obamacare exchanges. Democrats have been praising Kentucky for allegedly having their Obamacare exchanges operating smoothly and the most efficient in the country. Democrats will tell you that there’s no better way to register than via Kentucky’s state-run exchange. No problems whatsoever.

The Kentucky Senator has been a sharp critic of Obamacare and says that he makes enough money (Base salary of $174,000) that he doesn’t need Medicaid and simply wanted to buy insurance for his son. After signing up through the state-run program, his son was automatically signed up for Medicaid, which is for low-income families.

“He had to go down to the welfare office, prove his existence,” Paul said. “Then the next thing we know, we get a Medicaid card.”

The Kentucky site sputtered on the Oct. 1 roll out date. But fixes have resulted in roughly a fifth of the state’s uninsured population enrolling in Obamacare and about 75 percent of enrollees signing up under Medicaid, official said in late December.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, who has been a strong supporter of Obamacare has some serious questions to address in regards to this disaster. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility is determined by a formula based on taxable income. The formula counts disability income as income, but excludes SSI payments. Until Thursday, applications for Kentucky Obamacare excluded all disability income. That means potentially thousands of applicants to Kentucky Obamacare who were placed into Medicaid were put there erroneously.

“This is an unfolding disaster that I don’t think gets better any time soon.” – Sen. Rand Paul


Republican Wins Democrat Seat in Kentucky Running Against Obamacare

housekyTuesday night in Western Kentucky’s 7th District, Republicans moved closer to flipping the house and taking control in 2014. Suzanne Miles defeated Democrat Kim Humphrey by just 112 votes in a special election to give Republicans 46 seats in the 100-member house. This was a huge upset and a huge win for the GOP because Miles had been trailing Humphrey by 6 points in recent polling. Even more important is that this win gives Republicans the momentum they need to gain control of the State House, which they haven’t controlled since 1921.

milesSuzanne Miles will take over the seat from Democrat  John Arnold, who resigned in September amid allegations of sexually harassing three staffers.This seat had been held by Democrats for decades and Miles won running against Obamacare. This is very telling and could prove to be costly for more Democrats because she was able to have success in using a federal issue to capture a seat in the state legislature.

Humphrey had strong support from Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear. The Democrat Party in Kentucky poured resources in the race and Humphrey also benefited from spending by a third party group, the Democratic Kentucky Family Values PAC. Obamacare, however, apparently trumped all of those advantages. Things are not looking good for Democrats in 2014 as the Obamacare train continues to wreak havoc on the lives of many Americans who are starting to see their tracks pulled up from under them.

The win in Kentucky is extremely significant because of how it was won and how quick Miles was able to come back from being down in the polls. Towards the end of her campaign, she was able to turn the tide because of her strong opposition to the President’s significant achievement, Obamacare.

Miles sounded confident of victory in a statement Tuesday night, saying she will be a strong voice for residents of Daviess, Henderson and Union counties.

“Winning this election puts Kentucky Republicans on a clear path to flipping the House in 2014 and putting Kentucky back on the right track. I am excited to be a part of that change.” – Suzanne Miles, Kentucky State Representative 7th District

Obamacare is causing state house seats to flip, just wait until the Democrats who actually voted for it are up for re-election.


WATCH: Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare

Obamacare or the “Affordable Care Act” as it is known has been extremely controversial, but many have no idea how it was constructed. Many supporters have only listened to the President and Democratic politicians talk about the bill from a personal perspective. They have made it out that any critic of Obamacare is just heartless and pure evil, or what they call Republicans. The liberal media have been on President Obama’s side throughout his presidency going all in with their support of Obamacare. Obama and his Democratic congress were not looking out for America when they shoved this bill down our throats. The bill was passed when President Obama and Democrats controlled the White House, the US House of Representatives, and the US Senate without a single Republican vote. That’s right, the bill was rammed through with zero Republican votes.

We now know that President Obama and his team lied to us on whether we can keep our doctors and health care plans. More than five million Americans have lost their insurance to date and turning America into a part-time nation. It has reshaped the 40-hour work week. It will cost taxpayers $1.8 Trillion over the next ten years and has already been a jobs killer. Here are the top five Obamacare catastrophes the media will not cover.

Watch the below video to learn everything you need to know and more on Obamacare:

 

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it. – Ronald Reagan


AN INDICTMENT OF LIBERALISM

Though I am still reeling from Ken Cuccinelli’s loss in the Virginia Governor’s race, I know that his strong performance was due in no small part to the fabulously dismal Obamacare roll out. The whole country is finally seeing what we conservatives have said since the law was passed in 2009, that the law is destructive and that the government cannot mess with 1/6 of the American economy without dire consequences. I met Ken Cuccinelli and watched him speak several times. I can tell you that his ideas were great but he was not the most charismatic speaker. His performance in the election that defied all the polls was itself an indictment on liberalism.

Now, like many conservatives, the satisfaction I get from being proven correct to all the liberals I have bashed over this subject for over three years now cannot be expressed with mere words. The terms Schadenfreude or fahrvergnügen nor any other emotion the Germans came up with could possibly measure the joy I feel at watching President Obama squirm at the podium when he tries to wiggle away from his past lies or as we see his legacy legislation circle the drain. The fact that this subject has finally become something that the press will jump on to show the incompetence of Barack Obama, well that part is just fun. His approval ratings dropping simultaneously with the late fall temperatures also shows how Americans feel about his lies and the law itself.

To hear that DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz plans for democrats to “run on Obamacare” in 2014 is just another part of the circus that has been the Obamacare roll out that makes me happy. I know that the DNC Chair has to play the cheerleader, but I wonder if she is actually delusional enough to believe that statement or if it’s just something she’s saying to be supportive of this terrible law because she knows it will be repealed or severely modified before the fall 2014 elections? Based on prior statements she’s made, I’m inclined to believe that former before the latter. I truly believe that she does not see the performance of the Obamacare law and this administration’s totally disastrous handling of the roll out as something to cause the American public to turn on the Democratic Party. I think that it’s worse than that for democrats. Americans will use their “kitchen table economics” to see how this joke of a policy affects both their pocketbooks and wallets. It will cause many to use the distrust they now have of Obama to distrust big government policies and liberalism itself.

Can you imagine if this law is actually allowed to continue in its current state or, as I suspect will be the case, there are several aspects of the law that most affect Americans modified? What will be the reaction of the American voting public when the democrats come out and say “we’ve got some great ideas about your healthcare coverage”? Will Americans fall for that line again? I have my doubts. One way or another, Obamacare will turn into the type of policy that will turn a whole bloc of voters away from the Democratic Party. I see it as a once in a generation chance for Republicans to turn American politics back on a conservative path. Look at recent polling that shows more Americans, age 25-40, think that Obama purposely lied about the effects of Obamacare. Look at the exit polls from the Virginia Governor’s race, in almost every precinct Ken Cuccinelli won this same bloc of voters. Republicans have a great opportunity to show these voters how big government solutions do not work to solve our problems. To restate what I said before, if the Republican Party can use Obamacare as “an indictment on liberalism” we can win national and local elections for the next 20 years.

The latest bit of fun has included the simple terminology used by the President when he speaks of Obamacare. During the debates with Governor Mitt Romney, President Obama stated “I have come to embrace the term Obamacare” and during the 2012 campaign he said “I actually like the name”. Now in all of his statements and those by the administration, you never hear it called anything but the ACA (Affordable Care Act). To watch the President and his administration try to distance themselves, as Hillary and Bill Clinton and their entire group of supporters like James Carville have done, from the term Obamacare is nothing less than delicious. It’s so filling, I am not sure I can even take another bite. Admittedly, I have become a glutton, feasting myself on Obama and democrats’ shame.

Let this be a lesson to the democrats. When you take a government solution to a free market problem, this is what you get. I hear over and over from democrats that Republicans have no plan for healthcare. When will they understand that our solution is the free market itself? When will they understand that what they have addressed in Obamacare is nothing to do with the cost of healthcare? When you call crappy health coverage for a low price the solution to the cost of healthcare, it shows your lack of understanding of economics itself. Some simple steps like addressing the cost of doctors’ malpractice insurance and tort reform or allowing insurance companies to operate across state lines, just these things alone will help the free market bring down the cost of healthcare for everyone. It’s too bad for the democrats they chose not to listen when Republicans brought these ideas up three years ago. Between that, their lies about keeping your plan, and their refusal to do anything to change the law during the partial government shutdown, they get complete ownership of this mess. It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of folks.


Obamacare Targets Youth With Sex & Drinking Ads

The Obama Administration has been taking it pretty hard on the chin for the disastrous roll out of Obamacare. The website was built and cost nearly $1 Billion taxpayer dollars and it still doesn’t work. They have been answering questions in a variety of different committee meetings with even the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius forced to testify on the website’s launch failure. They know that in order to make this health scheme actually “work”, they need to enroll millions of healthy young people in order to defray the cost of older less healthy people.

Now with all of these major problems and a failing website to worry about, the Thanks Obamacare campaign has released multiple ads targeting young people by marketing sex, birth control pills, and drinking. These ads are part of a “Got Insurance?” campaign, which seem to be offending quite a few Americans, even millenials who are those being targeted. What do you think?

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Hey-Girl

These ads are obviously aimed at making Obamacare seem cool and hip by marketing to the young, healthy millennials they need to enroll  in order for it to work, but are they appropriate at all?

The ad refers people to doyougotinsurance.com, which redirects to gotinsurancecolorado.org, “a project of the Thanks Obamacare campaign, created by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education to educate everyone about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.”

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What do you think of these ads? Too far and ridiculous or  perfectly okay because this is how young people act?


The Affordable Boat Act: Every Citizen MUST Purchase a New Boat

Written by Right Punditry

The U.S. government has just passed a new law called: “The Affordable Boat Act” declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new boat, by April 2014.

These “affordable” boats will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, trailers, towing fees, licensing and registration fees, fuel, docking and storage fees, maintenance or repair costs.

This law has been passed, because until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase boats. This new law ensures that every American can now have an “affordable” boat of their own, because everyone is entitled to a new boat. If you purchase your boat before the end of the year, you will receive 4 “free” life jackets; not including monthly usage fees.

In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable boat, the costs of owning a boat will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their boat will be regularly fined, and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents boats to party on until they turn 27; then must purchase their own boat.

If you already have a boat, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can’t). If you don’t want or don’t need a boat, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment.

Failure to use the boat will also result in fines. People living in the desert or urban areas with no access to lakes are not exempt. Age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge, nor lack of desire are acceptable excuses for not using your boat.

A government review board (that doesn’t know the difference between the port, starboard or stern sides of a boat) will decide everything, including; when, where, how often and for what purposes you can use your boat along with how many people can ride your boat, and determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their boat. They will also decide if your boat has outlived its usefulness, or if you must purchase specific accessories (like a $500 compass), or a newer and more expensive boat.

Those who can afford yachts will be required to do so…it’s only fair.

The government will also decide the name for each boat.

Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.

Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a boat, they and their families can obtain boats free, at the expense of taxpayers. Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations are also exempt.

(H\T: Right Punditry)


Obamacare by Morning

bradcarrie2For those of you watching the Country Music Awards show on Wednesday evening got to see a classic from Country Superstars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. They are the hosts of the show and were going through several jokes and songs when Carrie asked Brad if he had that Obamacare. They went from singing “Why Can’t We Be Friends” to soon mocking the failed health care rollout.

Watch below to hear “Obamacare by Morning” as the two stars pretend to signup for the ACA.


Jon Stewart Finally Wakes Up on Obamacare Disaster

jonstewartNow you know the Obamacare rollout has been a complete disaster when even The Daily Show host Jon Stewart mentions its epic failure. On Monday’s edition, Stewart hammers the rollout and gives his unique perspective on the nightmare that is coming to be known as Obamacare. Remember though, this website cost taxpayers a whopping $634 Million, but hey President Obama is now bringing in the “best and brightest” to help fix this thing. We should be good now.

Oh my God, less than 10 percent?” Stewart said. “How bad is that? Twenty percent is the number of dentists who recommend sugared gum. How low is it? According to a recent poll, more of this country believes Obamacare has been repealed than have been able to sign up for Obamacare. The whole point of web sites is to design them so that it is nearly impossible to not sign up for something. Every time I go on Amazon there’s a 40 percent chance I’ll mistakenly overnight myself six seasons of ‘Night Court.’ It’s just the way it’s designed. ‘Are you sure you want to leave this page?’ Yes I am — oops, turns out I ordered something. So how are the Democrats going to spin this turd?

httpv://youtu.be/2Qtx_ZcHOjw