Last night Megyn Kelly showed a 2nd video of Obama architect Jonathan Gruber talking about how Obamacare passed because Americans are “too stupid”:
Clearly Gruber thinks he knows what’s best for us stupid Americans, just like Obama and Democrats believe they are our betters. So much so that they’d hide important information about a bill just to shove it down our throats.
Republicans have ammunition to fight this thing in the court of public opinion but so far I don’t see them doing much about it.
The hosts of “Fox & Friends” confronted Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) on Tuesday over one of the Obamacare architects’ controversial assertion that the health care law made it through Congress thanks to a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter.” The video of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber making the revealing comments at a University of Pennsylvania event in October of 2013 went viral this week.
King said he was unsure of what Gruber was talking about and made it clear he doesn’t “endorse those kinds of comments.” He then defended the way Obamacare was passed.
“Everybody knew that there were going to be additional taxes required to support the premiums under the Affordable Care Act. I don’t see it as any deep dark conspiracy,” he added.
“Really? Senator, he said he wasn’t transparent. He wasn’t telling the truth,” host Brian Kilmeade responded.
The senator then seemingly downplayed Gruber’s role in crafting Obamacare. King was not in the Senate when the law was voted on.
“Who was he? I don’t know where he was in the process,” King said.
When co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle argued Gruber’s comments confirm the American people were purposefully not informed that Obamacare would “tax and penalize” people, King went slightly off topic and stressed the importance of having insurance.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Tax and penalize? Hold it, hold it, hold it,” King interjected. “We’ve got eight million people that have insurance now that didn’t before and don’t lecture me about this because 40 years ago, I had insurance. If I hadn’t had it, it caught a cancer that saved my life. If I hadn’t had insurance I’d be dead.”
“What does that have to do with it?” Kilmeade asked.
“It has to do with having insurance, man. If you don’t have insurance, it’s a high risk,” King shot back.
Confronted again with claims that Gruber’s remarks show “they lied about a health plan to the American people,” King asserted he was only “one guy” involved in the creation and passage of Obamacare. He then suggested the TV hosts believe “people shouldn’t have health insurance.”
“Are you that cruel? That is what you’re saying,” the senator added.
“Oh, my goodness,” a frustrated Kilmeade reacted.
Watch the video via Fox News below:
A third video has surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragging about pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public in order to help implement Obamacare.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.
He was discussing what is known as the Cadillac tax and how it came into being.
In an effort to add a cost-control measure to Obamacare, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber called a “hero,” successfully pushed through a 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies for plans that cost more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families.
This was an alternative to putting a cap on tax breaks employers provide employees for health insurance plans, which, according to Gruber, the public mistook for a tax increase rather than the removal of a tax break.
“You just can’t get through, it’s just politically impossible,” Gruber said during his talk.
The purpose of the Cadillac tax is to force the “overinsured” – people with expensive health insurance plans – to cut back on “excess benefits.” Many economists believe that such plans cause inefficiencies in the health-care system. The Cadillac tax, which will be implemented in 2018, is projected to save $250 billion.
Gruber has made remarks before in which he espouses a dim view of the American public while discussing the deception behind passing both the Cadillac tax and Obamacare in general.
The first instance came to light on Sunday when a video was published showing Gruber telling a University of Pennsylvania health-care panel that Obamacare was “written in a tortured way” and that it passed, in part, because it was difficult to understand.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the November 2013 event.
The discoverer of the video was not a journalist or a political operative, but, rather, a financial planner who was one of the millions of Americans who lost his insurance plan last year despite President Obama’s pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it, period.”
Gruber, who was paid $400,000 to consult on Obamacare, backtracked from those remarks on MSNBC on Tuesday, saying that they were “off the cuff.”
But the randomness of Gruber’s remarks was cast into doubt Tuesday night when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly revealed a second video that also shows the professor discussing the Cadillac tax in a speech at Washington University in St. Louis in October 2013.
Gruber said that the kludge worked because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference” between capping subsidies and taxing insurance companies.
The story about Rich Weinstein, an unknown investment advisor who poured through hours and hours of YouTube videos, radio interviews, and other media featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is both incredible and inspiring.
It is Weinstein who is responsible for ferreting out Gruber’s toxic comments about the “stupidity of the American people” and, more importantly, Gruber’s insistence that Obamacare subsidies were limited to state exchanges and should not be made available at the federal level.
A few days ago, Weinstein pulled a short clip from Gruber’s year-old appearance at a University of Pennsylvania health care conference. As a crowd murmured with laughter, Gruber explained that the process that created the ACA was, by necessity, obfuscated to pull one over on voters.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” said Gruber. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the America voter, or whatever.”
Weinstein’s scoop went around the world in a hurry. American Commitment, a conservative 501(c)(4) founded by Americans for Prosperity veteran Phil Kerpen, published the clip on its YouTube channel. Kerpen promoted it through tweets, which quickly became live coverage of the media outlets discovering Gruber.
The University of Pennsylvania actually pulled the clip for a few hours before a Tsunami of outrage forced them to put it back up.
Weinstein’s activism is the result of him losing his insurance in 2013:
Weinstein dates his accidental citizen journalism back to the end of 2013 and the first run of insurance cancellations or policy changes. He was among the people who got a letter informing him that his old policy did not meet ACA standards.
“When Obama said ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period’—frankly, I believed him,” says Weinstein. “He very often speaks with qualifiers. When he said ‘period,’ there were no qualifiers. You can understand that when I lost my own plan, and the replacement cost twice as much, I wasn’t happy. So I’m watching the news, and at that time I was thinking: Hey, the administration was not telling people the truth, and the media was doing nothing!”
So Weinstein, new plan in hand, started watching the news. “These people were showing up on the shows, calling themselves architects of the law,” he recalls. “I saw David Cutler, Zeke Emanuel, Jonathan Gruber, people like that. I wondered if these guys had some type of paper trail. So I looked into what Dr. Cutler had said and written, and it was generally all about cost control. After I finished with Cutler, I went to Dr. Gruber. I assume I went through every video, every radio interview, every podcast. Every everything.”
His second shot across the bow of Obamacare was an even bigger coup:
Weinstein dug and dug and eventually discovered the first Gruber quote, known in conservative circles as the “speak-o.” Gruber had been on TV arguing that the case against subsidies in non-exchange states was ludicrous. Yet at a January 2012 symposium, Gruber seemed to be making the conservatives’ argument. “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits – but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” said Gruber. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”
The investment advisor e-mailed this around. Nobody cared. Nobody noticed the clip until after the D.C. circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of plaintiffs who were suing to stop the subsidies. Weinstein clicked around for articles about the decision, and left a comment on The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, pointing to the clip. In short order, Ryan Radia of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute noticed the clip and promoted it. Within hours, Gruber’s “speak-o” had greatly muddied the liberal argument.
SCOTUS now has not only evidence of congressional intent to limit the subsidies, but also evidence that the people who wrote the law had the same intent. It’s going to be very hard for John Roberts to finesse this one, which probably means SCOTUS will uphold King and the subsidies gotten through the federal website will end.
That doesn’t mean the end of Obamacare. It is pssible that many states without exchanges will set them up to prevent the disruption in coverage for those in their states who got insurance through healthcare.gov. But Weinstein’s efforts have thrown a monkey wrench into Obamacare’s inner workings and whether the program can survive is open to question.
While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
And that’s how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.
So the next time Obama asks you if you are “better off now than 6 years ago” show him this chart of employment to the overall population: it speaks louder than the president ever could.
Vague language within Obamacare will result in nearly 2 million Americans being unable to afford health insurance, according to a new report by the American Action Forum (AAF).
The so-called “family glitch” occurs when an individual is offered health insurance through their employer but the plan is not extended to the rest of their family. Due to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation of the law, other immediate family members are not eligible to receive subsidies for insurance, even if their income is below the federal poverty level.
The AAF has estimated that 1.93 million Americans will be affected by the glitch, making it “practically impossible” for them to obtain affordable health care coverage.
“The ‘Family Glitch,’ as it has become known, is an odd and particularly problematic side-effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” the report said. “Since several provisions of the law are rather ambiguous, they unfortunately combine to create a perfect storm where obtaining affordable health insurance is practically impossible.”
Under Obamacare, Americans below 138 percent of the poverty line are eligible for Medicaid coverage, and anyone up to 400 percent of the poverty level can also receive subsidies to help pay for insurance purchased through the health exchange.
However, this provision does not apply to families who have been offered employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), even if it is only offered to the individual employee.
“This provision of the law lacks clarity on the point of whether or not the coverage offered must be family coverage, or whether individual coverage is sufficient,” the AAF said. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), through rule making, has interpreted the statute as only requiring an employer to offer individual coverage, and pegged affordability at 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income. The glitch occurs when one (or both) spouses are offered affordable individual ESI under the IRS definition, but family coverage is either not offered or is unaffordable.”
“Spouses and children of an employee offered ESI could be unable to afford the employer plan, but because it is offered to one family member, the rest are made ineligible for subsidies in the Exchanges,” the report added.
Using census data from April 2013, AAF estimated 947,000 spouses and 984,000 children could fall into this category, and left uninsured. The glitch will affect up to 428,000 women and 519,000 adult men.
If Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding expires, 2.28 million children would also be affected, according to AAF.
The provision could have unintended consequences for employees in the middle class, forcing them to not accept higher paying jobs out of fear of losing subsidy eligibility to pay for their family’s health insurance.
The AAF also said the glitch could result in families choosing to separate or divorce, in order to keep subsidies.
“The family glitch is just one of many problems that will inevitably arise from the ACA’s complete restructuring of the health care system,” the report concluded. “It is an unintended consequence that creates hardship and perverse incentives for American families struggling to obtain affordable health insurance. This year alone 1.93 million Americans will be impacted by this glitch and that number will likely increase as the employer mandate goes into effect.”
The insurance company that grabbed the most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange by offering the lowest rates told state officials Tuesday that it’s pulling out of MNsure, a major blow to the exchange as the next open enrollment period approaches.
The decision by Golden Valley-based PreferredOne may mean higher rates and again puts the troubled exchange front-and-center in Minnesota’s governor and House elections.
MNsure officials said the company’s exit won’t affect health coverage through the state-run exchange. The state will send out notices early next month to the nearly 30,000 people who enrolled in PreferredOne through MNsure to outline the next steps – customers can transition to another MNsure health plan or renew with PreferredOne, in which case they’ll no longer be eligible for government subsidies.
PreferredOne had a cumulative total of 59 percent of the private-plan market for MNsure enrollees through early August. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had 23 percent, HealthPartners 12, Medica 5 percent and UCare 1.
MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said he’s had no word any of the four remaining companies are mulling an exit. Open enrollment begins Nov. 15.
Despite a launch last year marred by technical problems and long call center waits, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration has called MNsure a success because it helped reduce the ranks of uninsured Minnesotans by nearly 41 percent to a record low while offering some of the lowest premium rates in the country. More than 327,000 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure since it went live Oct. 1, including nearly 55,000 in private plans. Most enrollees are in the publicly run Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs for lower-income people.
In a statement, Dayton cast the company’s exit as a result of its own low rates.
PreferredOne didn’t return calls from The Associated Press.
Company spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV, which first reported the decision, that staying on MNsure wasn’t financially or administratively sustainable. The membership they gained through MNsure was small, but was taking “a significant amount of our resources” to administer, Peterson said.
Republicans called it the latest sign of systemic problems in MNsure, an issue they plan to use to bolster their election-year pitch to take back control of the House and the defeat Dayton. Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said Tuesday’s news makes it clear Democrats have mismanaged the state’s health care overhaul.
“If you tell your average Minnesotan that we spent $160 million to develop a website and it doesn’t work, I think it makes a pretty strong argument for new management, not only in the state House, but in the governor’s office as well,” Hoppe said.
But Leitz and MNsure board chair Brian Beutner said it was proof the exchange is working as a competitive marketplace. Both officials acknowledged the exchange’s rocky rollout, but Beutner suggested PreferredOne’s low rates led to its exit.
“They offered the lowest rates and the broadest networks offered last year. I can understand how that might impact them,” Beutner said.
It’s unclear whether PreferredOne’s exit will affect premium rates for 2015, which were already expected to increase because health care costs have been rising. The state’s Department of Commerce is expected to release an early snapshot of rates in early October, with full details to follow when open enrollment begins. The department is still reviewing rates from the four remaining providers.
Rep. Joe Atkins, an Inver Grove Heights DFLer and the lead House sponsor of the legislation that created MNsure, said he expects premiums to stay low compared with the rest of the country. He laughed off the Republican criticism as election-season politics.
Atkins said he wasn’t surprised by the announcement because he expected some losses and some additions to the online marketplace for 2015. He pointed out that despite its large market share on MNsure, PreferredOne is one of the smaller carriers in the Minnesota health insurance market.
The Dayton administration opted to set up the state-run exchange rather than have Minnesota participate under the federal exchange created by the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.
Dayton’s GOP opponent, Jeff Johnson, blasted the governor and MNsure officials for PreferredOne’s withdrawal. If elected, Johnson said he’d sweep out the MNsure board and replace its top management.
Johnson said Dayton himself used PreferredOne’s “artificially low” rates to tout MNsure as having the lowest rates in the country.
“It was all a house of cards,” Johnson said. “Now 60 percent of policyholders are going to have to go through this whole nightmare again.”
Since Obama has been having an issue with actually banning Americans from owning guns he has turned to a sneakier, and more sinister, method of stopping the flow of weapons, through Operation Choke Point. However now it’s being reported that this same scheme is being used to seize the bank accounts of those who are targeted in some cases.
The Department of Justice launched Operation Choke point to literally “choke” off gun retailers by restricting their ability to do business with banks. Obama and Holder don’t even seem to care that these businesses abide by all the laws and are properly licensed.
According to a report from the House of Representatives issued by Darrel Issa, Choke Point is without question illegal. Unfortunately this isn’t stopping Obama and his cronies within his administration.
Now that thousands of dealer across the nation have been left without a means in which to do banking they’re facing bankruptcy. What are they to do if they can’t make cash deposits or accept checks?
This is entirely wrong and unconstitutional. Unfortunately it’s yet another example of a rogue regime stomping on the rights of law-abiding Americans, which seems to be commonplace with him.
The same failed Obamacare promise that plunged the individual health-care market into chaos last year is now hitting small group plans and could result in lost coverage for 20 million Americans.
Obamacare’s employer mandate does not apply to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but many of those those companies are still receiving notices from their insurance providers informing them their previous plans are being canceled because they don’t contain all the provisions required under the new law.
Much like individual policyholders last year, small group plan holders are discovering their plans don’t qualify for being grandfathered, despite the famed assurance that if they liked their plans they could keep them.
“If you had your plan prior to March 2010 when Obamacare became law, it was supposed to be grandfathered in. You were supposed to keep it, but the Department of Labor came out with these grandfather regulations. It’s almost like telling a guy you can keep walking on the beach as long as you don’t get any sand on your feet. It’s almost impossible not to violate,” said National Center for Public Policy Research health-care analyst Dr. David Hogberg.
“If one of your co-pays goes up $10 over one year, your plan is no longer grandfathered. If the co-insurance you pay for a procedure was at 15 percent and they moved it up to 16 percent, it is no longer grandfathered,” he said.
Hogberg points to Labor Department statistics that admit 66 percent of small group plans will fail to be grandfathered because of those types of technicalities. With 31 million people employed by firms with less than 50 employees, some 20 million Americans are facing cancellation of their policies.
“It was obvious from the start that these regulations were going to result in loads of people losing their health insurance, but the president kept making that promise that if you like your insurance you can keep it, when he should have known better and I kind of suspect that he did know better,” Hogberg said.
The issue is not just theoretical for Hogberg, whose employer has fewer than 50 workers. In January, the National Center for Public Policy Research was informed by Kaiser Permanente that the policy the organization used since 1996 no longer met federal standards and had to be canceled. Hogberg said the plan Kaiser now recommends requires a six percent hike in premiums, which is a much better deal than other small firms are seeing.
Hogberg said his boss noted the cancellation would provide most small employers plenty of incentive to scrap insurance altogether and force employees onto health-care exchanges. He said it’s hard to estimate how many businesses would actually do that.
Another concern for Hogberg is how the story seems to be slipping below the radar for a mainstream media that were all over the headaches caused by individual policies getting canceled. He said it’s probably because of how enrollment periods are defined for different groups.
“Individual policies are mostly renewed in January of each year, and so these cancellation letters had to all be sent out over a period of a few months. Small group plans are renewed practically every month,” Hogberg said. “I think that’s one reason why the media might not be giving small group cancellations quite the same coverage because it’s happening over a more protracted period of time. The number of cancellations doesn’t escalate very quickly, so at this point it’s not making a huge media story.”
However, the number of Americans set to lose their small group plan coverage is much greater than those affected by the individual market, whether their employers end up finding another plan or dropping coverage and forcing employees to find insurance on the exchanges. As a result, Hogberg predicts this will be another black eye for Obamacare.
“I think this is another reason why Obamacare is in such trouble. First of all, the law shouldn’t be forcing people to lose their insurance to begin with. But if that’s going to happen, if many people are going to lose the plans that they like, I suspect most people would at least prefer to get a new plan that’s better than the old one,” Hogberg said.
“So far, I really don’t see much evidence that that’s happening and quite a bit of evidence that it’s not. People are paying higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs. Networks of doctors and hospitals are more restrictive,” he said. “I suspect the Obama administration and other Obamacare supporters are kind of in denial about that. Maybe that denial will end come November, but who knows?”
Senator Richard Durbin revealed his wild imagination on Face the Nation this week, where he proclaimed that Obamacare has insured an additional 10 million Americans who wouldn’t have otherwise had insurance:
“Bob, let’s look at the bottom line. The bottom line is this. Ten million Americans have health insurance today who would not have had it without the Affordable Care Act – 10 million. And we can also say this. It is going to reduce the deficit more than we thought it would.”
However, there are some major problems with Durbin’s statement, which he seems to have taken by combining two numbers:
* The more than 3 million who signed up for Obamacare through the exchanges: The federal exchange counts people as enrolled as long as they have selected a plan, even if they haven’t paid for it. Also, a McKinsey & Co. survey estimates that only 11 percent of those who bought insurance under Obamacare didn’t have insurance previously.
* The 6.3 million people who were deemed eligible for Medicaid this year: In addition to some who were added to Medicaid as a result of Obamacare, this group also includes those who had Medicaid prior to Obamacare and those who are joining Medicaid in states that did not accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
The Washington Post Fact Checker estimated that, at the very most, the number of newly insured under Obamacare is 4 million but that even that number is generous. Durbin’s estimate of 10 million is ridiculous and not at all backed by fact though, sadly, many who hear his statement will believe it.