Obama Regime Misled Congress, Decided To Delay Part Of Website In August

Emails: Obama Administration Misled Congress, Decided To Delay Website In August – Daily Caller

The Obama administration knew in advance that Obamacare’s online small business (SHOP) exchanges would not be ready by deadline and agreed to delay part of the website as early as August, according to emails obtained by House Energy and Commerce Committee investigators.

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The Committee accused Obama administration officials of misleading Congress about the website’s progress.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials and Obamacare website contractor CGI Federal secretly agreed that the SHOP program would have to be delayed more than a month before the administration told the American public that the program would still be ready on time.

CMS and CGI Federal agreed on Aug. 13 that SHOP would not be ready and would have to be delayed until Nov. 15. The administration then waited a month before announcing on Sept. 26 that “The SHOP Marketplace for Federally-facilitated Marketplace states opens Oct. 1, 2013, when small employers can start the application process and get an overview of available plans and premiums in their area. All functions for SHOP will be available in November and if employers and employees enroll by Dec. 15, 2013, coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.”

The administration’s announcement came just one week before employers were set to begin using SHOP. On Nov. 27, President Obama finally delayed the glitch-ridden SHOP exchanges by one year.

The emails paint a picture of an administration desperate to avoid public embarrassment and unwilling to delay launch deadlines, despite glaring flaws with the website.

“I’ve escalated your concerns regarding the SHOP Employee application not being completed until 10/15/13,” CMS official Jo-Ann Webber emailed on July 26, indicating that the administration knew that SHOP would not be completed until more than two weeks after its scheduled launch date.

“I am not recommending delay of the employer application,” fellow CMS official Dean Mohs replied to Webber.

“Guys, this is absolutely urgent and I need an answer on this today. If this is late we have to public[ly] announce we are late with a deliverable which means Marilyn Tavenner and the Secretary will have to announce,” CMS official Monique Outerbridge said on Aug. 6.

Nevertheless, CGI Federal presented its plan to roll out SHOP on deadline, and CMS official Henry Chao asked, “Can we sign this [plan] in blood?”

Congressional investigators see this as evidence that the Obama administration concealed its knowledge about the website’s failures from the American people – until it was too late.

“As the paper trail broadens, we see more and more evidence that the administration was fully aware its signature health care law was not ready for prime time,” said Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The documents we are now reviewing tell a much, much different story than what officials testified to Congress. While it’s not clear if any ‘blood oath’ was taken, the president’s top lieutenants repeatedly looked us in the eye, insisting that they were ‘on track’ when they knew looming deadlines would be impossible to meet. These are not the characteristics of the ‘most transparent administration in history,’” Upton said.

“Secretary Sebelius must come prepared next week to provide answers about what January 1 and beyond will really look like,” Upton added.

“As President Obama embarks on his latest PR push to try and salvage his signature legislation, we’re finding more evidence that the administration was painfully aware the work would not be complete by October 1,” said Committee member Rep. Tim Murphy, who heads the Health and Energy oversight and investigations subcommittee.

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Suddenly, Democrats Up For Reelection Join Calls By Republicans To Delay ObamaCare Mandate

Dems Join Call To Delay ObamaCare Mandate Amid Website Failures – Fox News

Several Democratic senators are calling on the Obama administration to delay enforcement of the health care law’s individual mandate, joining their Republican colleagues in saying it would be unfair to penalize Americans for failing to buy insurance when the primary sign-up website doesn’t work.

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The Democratic dominoes began to fall quickly Wednesday, after Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., circulated a letter urging President Obama to extend enrollment beyond March 31, 2014.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in a statement released late Wednesday, said: “I believe, given the technical issues, it makes sense to extend the time for people to sign up.”

Shaheen and several moderate Democrats supporting her, including Pryor, are up for re-election in 2014, and no doubt taking note of the widespread discontent with the launch of HealthCare.gov.

But political motivation aside, the sudden support from moderate Democrats for delaying the mandate threatens to force President Obama’s hand.

Republicans are already crafting bills to delay the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance. The GOP has the numbers to pass such a proposal in the House; with 15 Democrats, they might be able to muscle something through in the Senate.

Then Obama would have to decide whether to veto.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is not up for election next year, is working on a bill that would delay the IRS penalty for one year for anyone who does not get insurance.

This comes as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., drafts a separate bill to delay the requirement until the system has been certified as working for six straight months.

The White House, while defending the health care law and vowing to fix the problems with the website, has not explicitly ruled out the possibility of delaying the individual mandate. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, also backed Shaheen’s call in a written statement Wednesday.

“I have repeatedly said this law is not perfect and have proposed changes to make it work for Alaska families and small businesses,” he said. “Given the recent website issues, I also support extending open enrollment season. I want to work with the administration to ensure that individuals are not unfairly penalized if technical issues with the website continue.”

Other Democratic senators that spoke out in support of Sheehan Wednesday include Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina.

Shaheen, in her letter to Obama wrote: “As website glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. I also fear that people that have tried, and failed, to enroll online may become frustrated and not return to the website to try again at a later date. … Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll.”

Other Democrats were less gentle in their complaints.

“The president should man up, let us know who was responsible, who was in charge here and fire them,” Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., said.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said “somebody ought to get fired.”

Editorial pages in newspapers across America have been similarly rough on the roll-out, and the law itself.

Obama’s hometown newspaper, The Chicago Tribune, wrote: “The bugs aren’t just in the software. They’re in the law itself.”

Amid the complaints, the administration says its newly hired team of specialists is working around the clock to fix the site. Officials also met Wednesday with top insurance industry executives.

The meeting included representatives from insurance giants like Humana, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

A statement from America’s Health Insurance Plans described it as a “positive and productive meeting” that allowed CEOs to give an “on-the-ground perspective of how open enrollment is proceeding,” including the “ongoing technical challenges.”

Not all Democrats are joining the call for a delay.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urged the administration to fix the problems but stick to the current set of deadlines.

Some analysts claimed that individuals would have to sign up by mid-February in order to be registered by the end of March and avoid the IRS penalty. But a White House official said Wednesday that is not the case, and the deadline continues to be March 31.

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Obama Regime Violating Law With ObamaCare Delay In Desperate Attempt To Manipulate Midterm Elections

White House Violates Law With Obamacare Delay – Big Government

Obama administration officials are illegally delaying enforcement of a central provision in the president’s namesake legislation in a desperate attempt to manipulate the 2014 midterm elections and swell the ranks of those who look to government for healthcare.

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The White House is beginning to sense that when Americans realize the price of “free” healthcare, they’re likely to take swift vengeance on those responsible.

Section 1513 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, better known as Obamacare) requires all large employers to provide health insurance for their employees. “Large employers” are those with at least 50 full-time employees, and “full-time” is defined as averaging 30 or more hours per week.

Section 1513’s “Employer Mandate” is one of five parts of the ACA that are absolutely essential for this government-run system to work, with the most well-known of those five being the infamous “Individual Mandate” upheld by the Supreme Court as a tax by a controversial 5-4 decision in 2012.

And the Employer Mandate is mandatory. The law Congress wrote explicitly commands that this provision takes effect in January 2014. The ACA does not permit the government to grant a reprieve or an extension.

Yet in a blatantly illegal move, the Obama administration is presuming to rewrite the ACA by choosing not to enforce provisions that are causing visible problems. The IRS – which is tasked with enforcing the Employer Mandate – will simply not enforce it until 2015. Every large employer in the country is under the mandate. If they don’t comply, then they are breaking federal law.

But the IRS not enforcing Section 1513 is like a policeman who patrols a stretch of road who says for the next year, he won’t issue any speeding tickets. He has no authority to suspend the law, but if he chooses to violate his duty by failing to enforce the law, then to all the motorists on the road it’s as if the law does not exist.

However, the White House is doing nothing to stop Section 1501’s Individual Mandate. Almost every American is still being commanded to buy insurance or face a penalty (now called a “tax” by the Supreme Court). If you work at a large company, you might be on your own and need to buy insurance somewhere else.

This will force millions of Americans instead to purchase insurance on government-run healthcare exchanges. Not able to get insurance at work, and not able to buy full-price policies on the individual market because of the enormous increase in prices resulting from the ACA’s laundry list of new entitlements and mandates, these individuals will buy it on a state-based exchange where the prices are heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

It’s worth noting that the ACA only subsidizes insurance policies on an exchange run by a state. Yet 34 states have refused to join this government-run debacle, so in those states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will set them up.

This is why the IRS issued a regulation last year saying that these tax credits for state-run exchanges also extend to HHS-run exchanges. Several lawsuits are now underway challenging the IRS Rule, and they should quickly lead to federal courts striking down the regulation.

In the meantime, though, this will drive millions of Americans onto government-run healthcare, conditioning them to think of it as an entitlement. By promising them all the benefits now but delaying the massive costs until after the 2014 midterm election, Obama and his team hope to buy themselves a couple years to make this system work.

Bad policy makes for bad politics, however; sooner or later everyone has to pay the piper. Maybe Obama will delay the most onerous parts of Obamacare until after the 2014 elections in an attempt to keep the Senate and retake the House, but it might take a miracle to keep this shell game going until after the 2016 election, when voters decide on a new president and what direction we take as a nation.

Whether Obamacare remains the law of the land will be at the center of that national discussion for 2016. Suspending the Employer Mandate just added to that debate.

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Paultards Lose Their Minds Over Rand Paul’s Vote To Delay Muslim Sympathizer Hagel’s Confirmation

Ron Paul Supporters Denounce Rand Paul For Hagel Vote – Daily Caller

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s vote to temporarily block Chuck Hagel’s nomination for secretary of defense elicited blowback from an unlikely source: antiwar conservatives and libertarians, many of them supporters of his father’s GOP presidential campaign.

Paul, the son of former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, joined all but four Republican senators Thursday in voting against a motion to end debate over Hagel’s nomination. GOP leaders are saying that they will not filibuster Hagel indefinitely, but instead want to delay a vote until they have more information about his speeches and finances.

“That is also why I voted to not end debate on the Hagel nomination,” Paul said in a statement. “I do not believe Sen. Hagel has adequately explained his activities and their financing since he left the Senate, and I believe this criteria is especially important when dealing with the revolving door between government and the private sector.”

That explanation wasn’t good enough for Justin Raimondo, editorial director of x and a strong supporter of Ron Paul. “It’s time for libertarians to treat Rand Paul like the turncoat he is: boycott,” Raimondo tweeted. “No $$, no support, & start calling him Paul the Lesser.”

Daniel Larison, a blogger and senior editor for the American Conservative magazine, called it “an awful, indefensible vote.”

Scott McConnell, one of the magazine’s founding editors, went a step further: “If Rand Paul persists on going demagogic on Hagel, he will have established beyond any serious doubt that regardless of who his father is, he is Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin’s boy.”

Kristol is editor in chief of the Weekly Standard, and Rubin is a blogger at the Washington Post. Both were strongly opposed to Hagel’s nomination, partly on the grounds that the former senator was too dovish on foreign policy and insufficiently pro-Israel.

Paul, who argued for a more restrained Republican foreign policy in a speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this month, had previously x an open mind toward Hagel. But on Wednesday, he began to signal publicly that he would support delaying Hagel’s confirmation.

Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald, a liberal who has been sympathetic to the Pauls, complained, “Any hope Rand Paul was going to usher in some sort of new foreign policy in the GOP has just been torpedoed by his NO vote on Hagel cloture.”

The senator has weathered dust-ups with his father’s strongest supporters in the past, such as when he endorsed Mitt Romney for president near the end of the 2012 Republican primaries.

Republican opposition to Hagel’s nomination has intensified since his confirmation hearings. The cloture vote failed 58 to 40, two votes shy of what was necessary to end debate.

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