House And Senate Claimed Only 45 Employees Each, Then Signed Up 12,359 On Obamacare ‘Small Business’ Exchange

U.S. House And Senate Each Said They Had Only 45 Employees, Then Signed Up 12,359 For Insurance On Obamacare ‘Small-Business’ Exchange – CNS

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Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives certified that they had only 45 employees each in order to sign up for the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. But 12,359 – or 86 percent of the exchange’s enrollees – are members of Congress, congressional staff members, and their spouses and dependents, according to an appeal filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals by Judicial Watch.

The public interest law firm announced Monday that it is appealing the February dismissal of its lawsuit challenging congressional participation in the Obamacare exchange even though the D.C. Exchange Act limits enrollment to small companies with 50 or fewer employees.

“Congress obviously has far more than 50 employees,” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha pointed out in his opening brief. “It has thousands of employees.”

Congress enrolled in the small business exchange when its previous coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan was terminated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and congressional employees stood to lose thousands of dollars in “employer contributions” if they enrolled in the District’s individual exchange.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both certified that they “employ 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees.”

In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange… These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.

“Congress authored the law [ACA], and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted,” Vining said.

Although the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority conceded that D.C. law limits participation in the exchange to small employers, it argued in court that “the local statute must yield to the extent the federal statute or regulation applies.”

In its motion to dismiss the case, the authority also stated that the exchange “has been funded exclusively by federal grants awarded to the District to establish its Exchange, and more recently, an assessment imposed on health carriers doing business in the District.”

In dismissing the lawsuit, D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon ruled that Vining had no standing to challenge the OPM rule because he “has not demonstrated a reasonable inference that municipal taxpayer funds have been appropriated to defendant exchange authority to establish a cognizable injury to maintain standing to bring his underlying complaint.”

However, in a budget report submitted to Congress, the Exchange Authority’s actual budget for Fiscal Year 2013 ($10.9 million) and FY 2014 ($66.1 million) was identified as ” ‘municipal monies’ as originating from the District’s General Fund. No monies are identified as Federal Funds, Private Revenue, or Intra-District Funds,” according to the appeal.

“In Fiscal Year 2015, the Exchange Authority’s budget was reclassified from the General Fund to a newly created fund, separate and distinct from ‘Federal Funds’,” it continued.

Dixon also ruled that the OPM rule preempts the D.C. Exchange Act, noting that “allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”

But Judicial Watch argues in its appeal that the D.C. law cannot be preempted because it is “completely consistent and entirely compatible” with the federal law and in fact its “sole purpose is to implement various provisions of ACA.”

“In reality, the court ruled that a determination by a federal bureaucrat – in this instance, the director of OPM – trumps the 50-employee limit of the Exchange Act, at least with respect to Congress,” the group’s appeal brief stated. “No lawful regulation – much less a regulation that purports to delegate such authority to an agency head – can do that, and the Court cites no legal authority whatsoever for their astonishing conclusion that it can.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that allowing Congress to enroll in an exchange meant for small businesses is both “unlawful and unethical.”

“It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress,” Fitton said in a statement. “It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud.

“The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.”

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Leftist Nightmare Update: 22 Of 23 Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare Co-Ops Lost Money In 2014

22 Of 23 Taxpayer-Backed Obamacare Co-Ops Lost Money In 2014, Audit Finds – Daily Signal

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A new report from a government watchdog examining the success of taxpayer-funded Obamacare co-ops found that the vast majority lost money last year and struggled to enroll consumers, throwing their ability to repay the taxpayer-funded loans into question.

According to the audit from the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, 22 of the 23 co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act experienced net losses through the end of 2014. Additionally, 13 of the 23 nonprofit insurers enrolled significantly less people than projected.

Co-ops, or consumer-oriented and operated plans, are nonprofit insurance companies created under Obamacare. Co-ops exist in a variety of capacities, and lawmakers hoped the entities would foster competition in areas where few insurance options were available.

The co-ops received $2 billion in loans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist in their launch and solvency. However, the government watchdog warned that repayment may not be possible.

“The low enrollment and net losses might limit the ability of some co-ops to repay startup and solvency loans and to remain viable and sustainable,” the report said.

Andy Slavitt, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, attributed the co-ops’ financial losses to the difficulties of moving into a new market.

“The co-ops enter the health insurance market with a number of challenges, [from] building a provider network to pricing premiums that will sustain the business for the long term,” he said. “As with any new set of business ventures, it is expected that some co-ops will be more successful than others.”

Roughly half of the nonprofit co-ops struggled to enroll consumers, and the vast majority experienced significant losses in 2014.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general report, Arizona’s co-op, Meritus Health Partners, saw the lowest enrollment when compared with its projections. Through the end of 2014, the insurer enrolled just 869 Arizona consumers, compared with its projected enrollment of 23,998.

By contrast, New York far surpassed its enrollment projections. As of Dec. 31, Health Republic Insurance of New York signed up 155,402 people. It expected to enroll 30,864.

Additionally, 22 of the 23 co-ops experienced net losses as of Dec. 31, with the exception of Maine Community Health Options, which was profitable.

Just two insurance companies, including the co-op, offered plans on the federal exchange in Maine. Maine Community Health Options offered the lowest-priced coverage and enrolled 80 percent of marketplace consumers in the state, according to the inspector general.

In South Carolina, Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company exceeded profitability projections as of the end of 2014. However, the co-op still incurred net losses of $3.8 million. It expected a net income loss of $8.1 million.

Information regarding income for the co-op serving Iowa and Nebraska, CoOportunity, was not available, as the insurer was liquidated in March. CoOportunity received $145.3 million from the federal government in startup and solvency loans.

The report from the Department of Health and Human Services watchdog came after Louisiana’s co-op, Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc., announced last week it would be discontinuing operations at the end of the year. The nonprofit insurer projected to enroll 28,106 Louisiana consumers in 2014 but signed up just 9,980 through the federal marketplace.

Additionally, Louisiana Health Cooperative incurred $20.6 million in net losses as of Dec. 31.

Similarly, Tennessee’s co-op, Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Company, froze enrollment during Obamacare’s second open enrollment period, which began in October. The co-op cited its financial conditions as a reason for its enrollment freeze.

According to the inspector general’s report, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services placed four co-ops on “enhanced oversight and corrective action plans.” Two were put on notice for low enrollment.

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Leftist Incompetence Update: Yet Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Utter Failure

Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Failure – Daily Caller

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Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.

It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.

Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million.

The co-op had only enrolled 17,000 paid subscribers out of a total state population of 4.6 million, according to state census data.

AM Best, the insurance rating company, reported in the third quarter of 2014 that the Louisiana co-op’s indebtedness was 198 percent, among the worst performing Obamacare nonprofits in the nation.

“The onerous burdens of Obamacare have shocked health insurance markets and caused instability in pricing and predictability, and as a result, we’ve seen premiums spike upward,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon wrote in a press statement July 24 when he announced closure plans for the co-op.

“Start-ups in insurance, especially health insurance, are always a tough row to hoe. Obamacare has made that even more difficult,” the commissioner noted in a press release.

The LDI’s Office of Financial Solvency will be examining the financial issues that led to its decision to close, and the commissioner has said that the department is “on-site at the co-op.”

The Louisiana Health co-op began with controversy over Terry Shilling, its first CEO. Shilling arranged a lavish contract with his own Atlanta-based consulting firm, Beam Partners, LLC, an arrangement approved by federal Obamacare CMS officials.

Federal officials also approved Shilling as original founder and “interim CEO” for the co-op, even though in 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for insider trading as a health executive. Shilling’s consulting firm received more than $3 million from the co-op in 2013 for “health plan development,” according to its IRS Form 990 filing.

Louisiana insurance documents obtained by the Washington Examiner in August 2013 showed that Beam would receive a separate $4 million contract from the start-up co-op. On top of the contract, the Atlanta firm would receive a 20 percent “performance fee,” according to the documents. Finally, Beam additionally reaped a “benefit payment services” that began at $66,667 per month in 2013, culminating in $72,917 in 2016, according to Louisiana co-op insurance filing documents.

Separate from the preferential contract with Shilling, the co-op represented a potential political conflict of interest. After Shilling’s relationship with the co-op went public, the Atlanta businessman stepped down as interim CEO, to be replaced by Louisiana Rep. George Cromer.

Cromer, a Republican, also was the chairman of the Louisiana House committee on health insurance. He did not step down from the position after assuming the co-op post.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cromer’s office, but has yet to receive a response.

The Louisiana co-op is not the first to fold.

In February, the Iowa Insurance Department assumed receivership and closed the doors of Co-Opportunity Health, an Obamacare co-op that served more than 100,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska. Co-Opportunity had a loss ratio of 140, which meant that for every dollar it received in premiums, it had to pay out $1.40 in benefits.

The first failure occurred in 2013, when the Vermont Insurance Commissioner refused to grant a license to a new Obamacare health co-op.

The Commissioner refused to license the co-op because the president had steered as much as $500,000 of the co-op’s money to his own firm. CMS had approved the loan to the Vermont co-op despite the conflict of interest.

She also said the co-op’s math was inadequate and failed to meet the state’s financial standards.

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Obamacare: Now With 34% Fewer Providers!

Report: Obamacare Plans Have 34% Fewer Providers – Weasel Zippers

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But you can keep your doctor!

Via Newsmax:

Thirty-four percent fewer healthcare providers are available to Obamacare patients – backing up “anecdotal reports that exchange networks contain fewer providers than traditional commercial plans,” a new report says.

According to an analysis by Avalere Health, the Washington-based advisory firm, the Obamacare networks offer an average of 42 percent fewer heart and cancer doctors – along with 24 percent fewer hospitals and 32 percent fewer primary care physicians for patients to choose from.

But most importantly, the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on out-of-pocket costs by patients do not apply to healthcare services outside the plan’s network.

Keep reading

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How Uncle Sam Plans To Cheat Granny Out Of Health Care (Betsy McCaughey)

How Uncle Sam Plans To Cheat Granny Out Of Health Care – Betsy McCaughey

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Everybody knows if you don’t pay to repair your car, you limit its life.

The same is true with people. We need medical care to avoid becoming clunkers.

For a half-century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get that care. But now the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals to skimp.

Last week, the administration announced the largest-ever change in how Medicare pays for care. It’s called “bundled payments,” and it’s the latest trick to squeeze care from seniors.

Bundling will make it financially risky for hospitals in New York and many other areas of the country to do hip and knee replacements. These two procedures have transformed the experience of aging, allowing seniors to stay active.

But President Obama says too many seniors are getting these operations.

When the subject of hip replacements came up in a 2009 town-hall meeting, he said “maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer.”

Science proves the president is wrong. Seniors with severe arthritis who opt for a knee replacement are 50 percent more likely to still be alive seven years later than seniors who don’t. Pain and immobility are killers.

Medicare is moving from paying doctors and hospitals for each item and service they provide to the new bundling system in January 2016.

It’s being rolled out in New York City, Newark, Buffalo, New Haven and New London, Conn., and many other regions, including Los Angeles. About 100,000 seniors will feel the pain, one quarter of the number expected to get hip and knee replacements each year.

Hospitals in these areas will have to settle for a flat fee for all the care a knee- or hip-replacement patient might need – including surgery, pain killers, hospital stays, rehabilitation and home care – regardless of how things go.

If there are complications, the hospital and doctors lose out. Hospitals will have to cut corners, and avoid the costliest patients altogether. So if you’ve been considering getting a hip or knee replacement, do it before January.

Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s health-care adviser, applauds the impending change, promising that “savings are immediate and guaranteed.” What savings? Not for you.

Bundled payments will force cuts in care, not necessarily “savings.” The new system will set up a conflict of interest between patients and the very people they need to trust.

Whatever the patient gets will come off the hospital’s bottom line and out of the doctors’ own pockets at the end of the year.

Seniors are guinea pigs in this new scheme. The RAND Corp. says there are no studies to show the impact on patients.

Isn’t that what health care is supposed to be about? RAND says the scheme risks putting “pressure on physicians to spend less time with patients or on hospitals to decrease amenities.”

Health-care analysts at Lewin Group predict hospitals will scrimp by sending patients directly home with only a part-time health aide instead of to full-time rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility.

Another risk is that hospitals will use low-cost implants instead of allowing surgeons to opt for newer prostheses that give patients more range of movement.

Bundling payments is one of several ploys to shortchange seniors. In October 2012, Medicare began awarding bonus points to the hospitals that spend the least per senior, despite evidence that spending less results in higher death rates.

Americans know Medicare is running out of money.

But it’s better to have an honest conversation about how to extend its solvency, including raising the eligibility age and enlisting competition among private insurers, than to have the hidden incentives to cut care the Obama administration is using.

Rationing is invisible. Patients won’t know about the care they should have gotten or how much less they could have suffered.

Bundled payments, like other perverse incentives buried in ObamaCare, destroy Medicare as we’ve known it.

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Yes, Donald Trump Is A Douchebag Who Often Speaks Without Thinking…

And yes, when he said that John McCain is only considered a war hero because he got caught by the enemy, that was not only douchey, it was untrue. John McCain is a hero because he was offered a chance to be released early from captivity and refused to go, knowing that to do so would mean taking the place of another POW who had been there longer and deserved to be set free ahead of him.

What Trump said was petty and ignorant, and he owes McCain an apology for it, but that doesn’t mean he’s been wrong about practically everything else he’s said about McCain, nor does it mean he has gone out of his way to intentionally insult every POW in American history.

Let’s face it, the guy is a carnival barker who’s made his living in recent years firing people on television for fun and profit. To suspect that he thinks with greater depth than a mud puddle about most issues before commenting on them during an interview is unrealistic, to say the least. Furthermore, to suppose that he hates all POWs because he made an off-the-cuff statement designed to hurt John McCain’s feelings is a stretch, but if he has any brains in his head he will man-up and beg the forgiveness of every former POW still alive (except Bowe Bergdahl) for talking out of his ass about something he is completely unqualified to discuss.

If he does so, perhaps in time people will start to remember that the only things Trump has said about our veterans with any forethought at all is that they’ve been treated like third-class citizens by our federal government for decades, and that the V.A. health care system is a disgraceful joke. The Donald has said these things over and over again, so why aren’t most of the other GOP candidates talking about them? I mean, it’s not like these opinions aren’t firmly anchored in the truth!

Trump has also made illegal immigration a front-page news story again, something that I guarantee most of the other Republicans in the race want to ignore like Bruce Jenner’s twitter account. In fact, I can only think of a few of the current 15 who wouldn’t have put that issue on the back-burner this campaign season had it not been thrown in all their faces so forcefully.

So why did Donald Trump even bring these subjects up in the first place? I believe it’s because he’s a populist who will say pretty much whatever he thinks people want to hear to get elected, but then I’m a cynical bastard when it comes to the thought processes of politicians.

No matter what his motives may be, however, at least he’s talking about things that genuinely matter; things that the vast majority of conservatives have been begging their elected representatives to deal with since forever, only to have those issues dropped like hot potatoes over and over again.

Yes, Trump is a blowhard and a media whore, but the fact that he’s also the only GOP candidate who has repeatedly proclaimed Hillary Clinton to be an out-and-out criminal – which she clearly is – has caused many millions of people to perk up their ears and say: IT’S ABOUT FREAKIN’ TIME SOMEBODY SAID THAT!

When The Donald points out that America consistently loses untold billions of dollars to it’s trade partners year after year, and that we are essentially building China’s infrastructure and military while ours goes to hell in a handbag, people stand up and cheer because they know he’s right. And when he says he would do a lot better than the inept clowns we’ve put in charge of our trade policies since the 1980s, folks tend to believe him. Why? Because despite his arrogant public demeanor and mockable hair style, he probably would!

Moreover, when Trump gives a speech on practically any topic, his audiences take heart in the fact that, despite his many, MANY flaws, at least he won’t be another squishy, establishment Republican who will play Mr. Nice Guy when confronted by the Clinton political machine and Hillary’s leftist minions in the Jurassic press.

The main reason why Trump has gained so much momentum in recent weeks is because people don’t see him as a pushover or a loser, and the GOP base is sick to death of getting their heads handed to them by a pack of socialist dirtbags who are more than happy to arm Islamic terrorists while simultaneously disarming American citizens. They are tired of seeing their top political candidates fold like paper kites in a hurricane every time they are confronted by the left over some invented media controversy about something they said that no right-winger would ever consider controversial.

In essence, Republican voters are begging their candidates to grow some balls and tell these Marxist parasites to go pound sand once and for all, and the only one they see with a bulge in his pants right now is Donald Trump.

A lady friend of mine asked me the other day what I thought of The Donald, and my answer was basically this: I don’t like him very much at all. I think he’s a self-centered, loud-mouthed prick who probably knows a lot less about the issues he discusses than he wants you to believe. Yet, despite all his negative attributes, I’d still vote for him if he were to win the GOP nomination because at least he has some positive leadership qualities, and I don’t see him becoming the sock-puppet of any special interest group anytime soon. What does Hillary Clinton have to offer, other than a closet full of pantsuits and a long history of corruption and failure?

Would I rather see somebody like Ted Cruz or Scott Walker win the primary election? Of course, who in their right mind wouldn’t? That having been said, whoever becomes the Republican nominee had better damned well take a page from the Trump campaign handbook and start hammering Hillary relentlessly over genuine scandals like Benghazi and e-mailgate because if they don’t, you can stick a fork in this once-great nation of ours. It’s all done!

Edward L. Daley

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Leftist Nightmare Update: IRS Might Not Refund $38M In Overpaid ObamaCare Fines

IRS Might Not Refund $38M Overpaid ObamaCare Fines – Sweetness & Light

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Fines? What fines? Those are ‘shared responsibility payments.’

From the Washington Free Beacon:

300,000 Taxpayers Overpaid Obamacare Fine by $38 Million, IRS May Not Return Money

By Morgan Chalfant | July 15, 2015

Approximately 6.6 million U.S. taxpayers paid a penalty for not having health insurance imposed this year under Obamacare, and hundreds of thousands of them overpaid the fine.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the number of taxpayers paying the fine, which was put in place to encourage Americans to enroll in health coverage, exceeded the Obama administration’s initial estimate by 10 percent.

Funny how all of the ‘bad stuff’ about Obama-Care was underestimated. What are the odds?

According to a new report from the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the average fine paid by taxpayers was $190. The penalty, however, can reach up to 1 percent of one’s income.

The report also discovered that about 300,000 taxpayers, most of whom should have been deemed exempt because of low income, overpaid the fine by $35 million. The average amount overpaid by each individual was $110.

So Obama-Care even fined the poor. What a surprise.

The IRS has yet to decide whether or not it will return the funds to those who overpaid…

According to the report, approximately 10.7 million U.S. taxpayers filed for exemption from the penalty…

And never mind that most of these people getting exemptions are the very people Obama-Care was supposed to get to pay their ‘shared responsibility.’

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Assurant Health Insurance Company Fined For Charging Healthy Customers Less Money

Health Insurance Company Fined For Charging Less For Healthy Customers – Weasel Zippers

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No fines for charging smokers a higher premium. Single payer here we come.

Via Helena Independent Record

A health insurance company will refund roughly $1.7 million to Montana customers who have been forced to pay what the state calls unfairly high prices.

Wisconsin-based Assurant Health finalized a settlement with the state this week agreeing to pay the restitution and a $25,000 fine.

An investigation by Montana’s Insurance Commissioner found Assurant charged lower prices for healthy customers and higher prices for about 1,600 sicker customers with the same coverage.

State law prohibits health insurance companies from imposing higher prices based on any factor other than age.

“Our allegation is that they discriminated against people who were in poor health,” said Jesse Laslovich, deputy state auditor.

The commissioner’s office found Assurant subsidiaries John Alden Life Insurance Co. and Time Insurance Co. offered a “healthy discount” of 10 percent off premiums to Montana policyholders who claimed less than $500 the previous year and completed a questionnaire.

“That $1.7 million, that represents the amount that the other people who didn’t get the discounts should have gotten,” Laslovich said. “These folks don’t know they’re getting a check in the mail, so that’s something we’re excited about.”[..]

The company announced in April that it will be leaving the national health insurance market amid declining revenue. Montana customers were notified last month.

Assurant Health’s profit began dropping when the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010. The company attributed its projected first-quarter losses of $80 million to $90 million to higher customer claims under the ACA and a reduction in what Assurant could recover through the health law’s risk mitigation programs.

Keep reading

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Woman With Rare And Dangerous Form Of TB May Have Exposed Hundreds In Three U.S. States

Report: Patient With Rare & Dangerous Form Of TB Sent To NIH, May Have Exposed Hundreds In 3 States – Big Government

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An unidentified female patient with an extremely rare and drug-resistant form of tuberculosis is being treated at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and authorities are reportedly attempting to track down hundreds of people who may have been in contact with her and exposed to the dangerous form tuberculosis.

According to an NBC report, the unidentified woman flew from India to the United States and “traveled to at least three states before she sought treatment from a U.S. doctor.” The patient was reportedly “isolated in a suburban Chicago hospital before she was sent to the NIH.”

“The patient traveled in April from India to the United States through Chicago O’Hare airport,” the CDC said in a statement to NBC. “The patient also spent time in Missouri and Tennessee. Seven weeks after arriving in the United States, the patient sought treatment for and was diagnosed with active TB.”

The CDC said it “will obtain the passenger manifest for that flight from the airline and will begin a contact investigation.” The agency said that though “the risk of getting a contagious disease on an airplane is low, public health officers sometimes need to find and alert travelers who may have been exposed to an ill passenger.”

But the unidentified woman does not have a normal case of tuberculosis.

She has what is known as XDR-TB (extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis), which is so rare and dangerous that the CDC reportedly “got reports of 63 cases between 1993 and 2011″ and “only about a third to half of cases can even be cured.”

Though ordinary TB is “hard to treat and requires, at a minimum, weeks of antibiotics,” XDR-TB “resists the effects of almost all the known TB drugs” and patients sometimes “have to have pockets of infection surgically removed.” In fact, XDR-TB is reportedly “so dangerous that health officials will have to make a concerted effort to warn anyone who may be at risk.”

According to the CDC, “TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, shouts, or sings,” and “these bacteria can float in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB bacteria can become infected.”

The NIH said that “the patient was transferred to the NIA via special air and ground ambulances” and is staying in an isolation room that is “specifically designed for handling patients with respiratory infections, including XDR-TB.” The special isolation rooms reportedly “control air flow to prevent germs from escaping into the rest of the hospital or outside.”

The woman reportedly “may face months or even years of treatment,” and, according to NBC, “the average cost of treating multidrug-resistant TB is $134,000, compared to $17,000 for a normal case.” The cost can even “shoot up to $430,000 for an extensively resistant case.” NBC noted that it is not yet clear at the moment who will pay for the patient’s extensive treatment.

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2015 – The Year In Obamunism So Far


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President Asshat Promises To Keep Doing Everything He Can For Illegal Aliens

Thanks Barack… Obama Regime Released 3,700 ‘Threat Level 1’ Criminal Immigrants Last Year

Obama Lackeys Defend Iran Over Alleged Nuclear Violations

IRS Commissioner Admits Illegal Aliens Can Get Back Taxes Under Obama’s Executive Amnesty

President Asshat To Release 10 More Gitmo Terrorists This Month

George W. Bush Outpolls President Asshat

OSHA Retards Publish Guide Telling Workers To Use Restrooms Of Their ‘Gender Identity’

Obamaconomy Update: Factory Orders Scream Recession, Drop 6% From Year Ago

Obamanomics Update: Economy Shrinks By 0.7% In First Quarter

Emails Show Hitlery Wanted To Arm Libyan Rebels Using Private Security Contractors Despite Prohibitions

Federal Court Deals Blow To President Asshat’s Executive Amnesty Scheme

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? (David Catron)

Thanks Barack… U.S. Welfare Rolls Explode Under Obamacare

Your Daley Gator Hitlery Clinton News Roundup

As Iran And Saudi Arabia Seek To Acquire Nukes, Obama Regime Pressing Israelis To Lose Theirs

Thanks Barack… Regime Granted Amnesty To Accused Child-Sex Criminal

So, How Come Hitlery Isn’t In Jail Right Now?

*VIDEO* Obama Lied About Benghazi Terrorist Attacks – Weapons Moved Through Benghazi To Syria

As A Reaction To Obama’s Iran Deal, Saudis Trying To Buy Nuclear Bombs From Pakistan

Hitlery Personally Took Money From Companies That Sought To Influence Her

Obama DHS Blames ‘Technical Glitch’ For Continuing To Approve Amnesty Applications Despite Judge’s Order

Thanks Barack… Taliban Terrorists Exhanged For Deserter Bergdahl To Be Freed By Qatar In 2 Weeks

Obama VA Illegally Spending $6 Billion A Year

Leftist Nightmare Update: Hawaii Shutting Down $205 Million Obamacare Exchange (Video)

Thanks Barack… Illegals Charged With 200 Counts Of Sexual Assault Against NC Children In March

Email-gate Update: Federal Judge Reopens Case Against Hitlery

Thanks Barack… Federal Regulation Cost American Businesses And Consumers $1.88 Trillion In 2014

Regime Lawyers Finally Admit Obama Violated Federal Injunction By Approving 2,000 Amnesty Applications

The IRS Hates Tax Cheats… Unless They Work For The IRS

Contrary To Democrats’ Promises, Emergency Room Visits Surge Under Obamacare

Infernal Revenue Service Wasted $5.6 Billion On Bogus Obama Stimulus Tax Credits

Obamanomics: Major U.S. Retail Chains Closing 6,000 Stores

U.S. Economy Slows To A Crawl As GDP Grows A Scant 0.2% In First Quarter

Leftist Corruption Update: IRS Watchdog Recovers Thousands Of Missing Lois Lerner Emails

Thanks Barack… ‘Dreamer’ Accused Of Multiple Murders Was Spared Deportation By Obama

Leftist Corruption Update: Multiple Clinton Charity Donors Got State Department Awards Under Hillary

Obama-Backed Islamist Mohamed Morsi Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Torturing Protesters

Shocker! California’s Obamacare Exchange Plagued By Incompetence, Mismanagement

USSC Shuts Down Obama’s Attempt To Force Christian Groups To Pay For Their Employees’ Abortion-Inducing Drugs

FL Governor: Obama Resorting To Extortion In Attempt To Force State Further Into Obamacare

Thanks Barack… Over Half A Million Illegals Have Received Social Security Numbers Since 2012 Executive Order

Hillary Deleted Emails After Congressman Issa Asked Her About Private Email Addresses In 2012

AZ Sheriff Says He Can’t Get The Names Of 500 Criminal Illegal Aliens Released In His County By Obama

VA Officials Illegally Accessing Medical Records Of Whistleblowers In Order To Harass And Discredit Them

Obama’s Insane Nuke Deal Causes Russians To Lift Ban On Missile Sales To Iran – Israelis Not Happy Campers

Amazing Douchebaggery: Defense Dept. Claims Bible, Constitution And Declaration Of Independence Perpetuate Sexism

Federal Judge Slaps Down Obama Regime’s Request To Let Executive Amnesty Move Forward

Tehran Will Start Using Fastest Centrifuges On Day Obama Nuke Deal Takes Effect

Social Security Administration Approved Disability Benefits For Puerto Ricans Because They Can’t Speak English

The Bats And The Bees: Obama’s Easter Sunday Nightmare (Video)

Just Hours After Obama Boasts About Historic Nuke Agreement, Iran’s Lead Negotiator Calls Him A Liar

Leftist Incompetence Update: Obama Regime Capitulates To Nearly All Iranian Demands In Nuke Deal

Impeachable Offenses Update: Obama Using Taxpayer Money To Fly Central American Minors To U.S.

Timeline Puts Lie To President Asshat’s Story About Bowe Bergdahl

Infernal Revenue Service Ignoring Over 60% Of Taxpayer Phone Calls

Maryland Obamacare Exchange Wrongly Billed U.S. Taxpayers $28M

Clinton Crime Update: Private Emails Reveal Ex-Hillary Aide’s Secret Spy Network

*VIDEO* General Michael Flynn: Obama Has A “Policy Of Willful Ignorance” Regarding The Middle East

Clinton Crime Update: Hillary Scrubbed Email Server Clean After Being Subpoenaed To Turn Over Emails

Even NBC Thinks Obama Is Completely Incompetent When It Comes To Middle East Policy (Video)

Obama Regime Declassifies Top-Secret Document That Reveals Israel’s Nuclear Secrets

About Freakin’ Time! Obama’s Favorite Army Deserter To Be Court-Martialed

Republicans Verbally Bitchslap FDIC Chairman Over Despicable ‘Operartion Choke Point’ (Videos)

Over 100,000 Federal Employees Owe Back Taxes Totaling $1.4 Billion

State Department Had No Permanent Inspector General During Entirety Of Hillary Clinton’s Tenure

Leftist Corruption Update: Hillary’s Aides Emailed Her About Benghazi From Their Private Email Accounts

Border Patrol Agent To Congress: We Are Punished If We Report Too Many Illegals (Videos)

President Asshat Enjoys Women’s College Basketball Game As U.S. Troops Flee Yemen

A Complete Timeline Of Obama’s Anti-Israel Hatred (Ben Shapiro)

Supreme Leader Of Iran Calls For ‘Death To America’ As Traitor John Kerry Hails Progress On Nuke Deal

Half A Billion Dollars Worth Of American Weapons Fall Into The Hands Of Islamo-Nazis… Again

Veterans Still Struggling To Get Medical Treatment As Obama Regime Continues To Lie To Congress

Your Daley Gator Obama-Is-Pure-Evil Diplomatic Catastrophe Update (Videos)

Federal Judge Not A Happy Camper After Being Lied To About Excutive Amnesty By Obama Regime

President Asshat Humiliated As Allies Rush To Join China’s New Bank

Thanks Barack… 167,527 Illegal Alien Murderers, Rapists And Child Molesters Loose In The U.S. (Video)

Federal Government Shelled Out $125B In Bogus Payments Last Year

Iran Nuke Deal Update: Obama Regime Goes Full-Blown Batshit Crazy

U.S. State Department Uses British IslamoNazi’s Pro-Sharia Law Photograph To Promote Free Speech (video)

In 2008, Candidate Obama Sent Secret Emissary To Iran Telling Them Not To Negotiate With Bush (Video)

Your Daley Gator Hillary Email Shenanigans Update

Obama’s FCC Nazis: The First Amendment Does Not Apply To Internet Providers

Ferguson: A Murderous Mob Incited By Holder And Obama (Joel B. Pollak)

Corruption Update: Hillary’s Top State Department Aides Used Private Emails Too (Video)

Traitor John Kerry Now Says Obama Regime “Not Negotiating A Legally Binding Plan” With Iran

Obama’s ATF Backs Down (For Now) On AR-15 Ammo Ban, Acknowledging Massive Public Outcry

Obama Caught Lying About Hillary’s Illegal Emails (Videos)

Obama Regime Ordered Back To Federal Court To Explain Why It Lied About Executive Amnesty

National Intelligence Director Clapper Admits Obama Arming Terrorists But Calling Them ‘Moderates’ (Video)

Inspector General: 6.5M Dead People Have Active Social Security Numbers

Hallelujah! Unemployment Plunges Due To 354,000 Americans Leaving The Workforce (James Quinn)

26 States Call For Investigation Of Obama’s Executive Amnesty Scheme And Federal Court Perjury

*VIDEO* Obama Comments On Netanyahu’s Address To Congress

Hillary Clinton Exclusively Used Private Email Account To Conduct Official Business As Secretary Of State

Corruption Update: DOJ Shut Down Search For Lois Lerner’s Emails; First IRS Tech Inspector Legally Blind

IRS Inspector General Now Undertaking Criminal Investigation Into Lois Lerner’s “Missing” Emails

Documents Reveal Top Hillary Clinton Advisers Knew Immediately That Benghazi Assault Was Terrorist Attack

Lawless Leftist Update: Obama Attempting To Ban AR-15 Ammo

ObamaNazis At FCC Approve Net “Neutrality” Rules

President Asshat Makes Japanese Internment Camp A National Monument In Attempt To Vilify America

Obama Regime Summit On Violent Extremism Opens With A… Wait For It… Muslim Prayer

*VIDEO* Joe Biden: Our Creepy, Gropey, Pervy, Leftist Vice President

*VIDEOS* Pajama’s Media: Trifecta – Obama’s Insanely Idiotic, Bullshit-Leftist, Anti-War War On ISIS

Federal Judge Slams The Brakes On President Asshat’s Executive Amnesty Scheme

Leftist Politicians Beg Obama To Illegally Change Obamacare Rules So Their Constituents Can Avoid New Tax Penalties

Undocumented Democrats Update: Obama’s Executive Amnesty Creates Easy Loophole For Illegals To Vote

IRS Thanks Iraq War Veteran By Seizing Nealy $1 Million From His Legal Gun Business’ Bank Account (Video)

President Asshat Attempts Internet Power Grab… Again

Obama Regime Continues To Stonewall On IRS Targeting Scandal (Video)

Eco-Nazis At EPA Caught Concealing Controversial Scientific Data, Trying To Silence Skeptics

Buried In The Numbers: Obamacare’s Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding (Sally Pipes)

*VIDEO* The Trillion-Dollar Obamacare Tax Tsunami Is Upon Us

Arizona Sheriff To House Judiciary Committee: Only 44% Of Southern Border Under Operational Control

Thanks Barack… Student Loan Forgiveness Program To Cost Taxpayers $21.8 Billion

The New York Post’s Editorial Board Asks Us A Really Good Question About Obama

Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch Tied To Massive Obama Money-Laundering Cover-Up

Obama “Dreamers” To Get Retroactive IRS Refunds For Money They Earned While Working Illegally

Secret White House Muslim Meeting Guest List Won’t Be Released – What Could Be The Reason For That? (Rick Wells)

Two-Thirds Of Reporters Say Obama Regime Spies On Them

President Asshat Equates Muslim Terrorists To Christians During National Prayer Breakfast (Video)

Obamaconomy Update: Number Of Full-Time Jobs As Percentage Of Population Lowest It’s Ever Been

Obama Regime Unlawfully Issued Work Permits To Nearly A Million Illegals; Green Cards To 5.5 Million More

47 Inspectors General Accuse Obama Regime Of Stonewalling In Variety Of Scandal Investigations (Video)

Thanks Barack… Terrorist Mastermind Traded For Bergdahl Is Back At Work

Ted Cruz’s List Of 76 Abuses Of Power And Lawless Actions By The Obama Administration (Ed Brown)

Obama Props Up Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt While Simultaneously Attempting To Oust Netanyahu In Israel

Nevada And Tennessee Join 24 Other States Suing To Stop Obama’s Executive Amnesty

Obama Regime Forced To Pay $570,000 To Pro-Life Legal Group Over Abortion Pill Mandate

Obama Foreign Policy Collapse: Yemen President, Prime Minister Resign After Muslim Terrorists Overrun Government

Day After Obama Mentions eBay As Example Of Booming Economy In SOTU, Company Lays Off 2,400 People

Company Fired By HHS Over Botched Healthcare.Gov Rehired By IRS To Provide Support For Obamacare Tax Program

*VIDEO* Pissed Off Black Folks From Chicago Verbally Bitchslap Obama After 2015 SOTU Address

President Asshat Refered To Himself 75 Times During SOTU Address Few People Watched

*VIDEOS* Even Noted Leftist Douchebags Agree That Obama’s SOTU Foreign Policy Claims Were Bogus

House Democrats Unanimously Agree That Obama Should Be A Dictator

Obama Regime Blows Off Largest Anti-Terrorism Rally In The History Of France (Video)

Leftist Corruption Update: 3.4M Obamacare Subsidy Recipients May Owe Refunds To The IRS

2014 Federal Register: A 26-Foot-Tall Stack Of Neo-Fascist Regulations

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*VIDEO* Pajamas Media: Trifecta – Fraud On A Grand Scale! Is Congress A Small Business?


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Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? (David Catron)

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? – David Catron

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In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? “All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.”

Obamacare apologists suggest different causes, of course. Jonathan Cohn writes, “One reason could be the normal and predictable competition among insurance plans jostling for market share.” Cohn’s grasp of economics is so tenuous that he doesn’t know insurers compete for market share by reducing premiums. He also connects the increases to anxiety about that bête noire of Obamacarians everywhere, King v. Burwell: “If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs… millions will drop their coverage because they will no longer be able to afford it.” Cohn evidently thinks insurers will respond by making insurance even less affordable.

The real reason for the proposed increases is that insurers now have real data on real Obamacare enrollees rather than implausible projections from the Obama administration. And this new information makes it clear that they’ll lose their shirts if they sell coverage at anything resembling 2015 rates. Many young, healthy individuals have refused to buy pricy Obamacare coverage, leaving insurance carriers with sluggish premium streams out of which to pay the large dollar claims coming in from seriously ill patients willing to buy coverage regardless of cost. This dynamic has already caused a number of health insurers to incur huge losses.

Obviously, not even an evil insurance company can stay in business if it consistently loses large amounts of money. Earlier this month, Assurant Health announced that losses related to Obamacare are causing it to close its doors. Western Journalism reports, “The company and industry watchers blamed its losses directly on the impact of Obamacare… Assurant lost $63.7 million in 2014. The insurer raised its rates by 20 percent in 2015, in hopes of returning to profitability, but lost between $80 to $90 million during the first quarter of this year.” The company has been in business for 123 years and provides coverage for 1 million people.

Assurant is based in Wisconsin, but insurers all across the country are attempting to survive the same perverse incentives that finally undid that venerable company. The Journal lists proposed increases by companies offering plans through exchanges in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. And many of these companies are already losing huge amounts of money: “BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee… lost $141 million from exchange-sold plans, stemming largely from a small number of sick enrollees.” It is asking for a 36.3 percent rate increase.

All of which suggests that the “premium stabilization” safeguards ostensibly meant to prevent Obamacare from sending the health insurance industry into a death spiral aren’t working. The “reinsurance program,” as Philip Klein explains at the Washington Examiner, “slaps fees on insurance policies and uses the revenue to funnel payments to insurers to compensate them for taking on individuals with a high-risk profile.” “Risk corridors” are a corporate redistribution scheme whereby the government uses the profits of some insurers to offset the losses of others. But, as Klein points out, both programs will be gone after 2016.

If disasters like Assurant and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee are occurring while these programs remain in place, what will happen when they’re gone? Well, we’ll have more insurers proposing hair-raising rate increases in order to avoid the fate of Assurant. But, not to worry, says Charles Gaba at HealthInsurance.org, upon whom the erstwhile “Citizen Cohn” rather desperately relies upon as the voice of reason: “These requested rate changes are being submitted to the state insurance commissioner’s office… and in most states either the commissioner or some other regulatory body has to either approve the requests or deny them.”

In other words, some state bureaucrat may simply deny the insurance company’s rate request and impose a more “appropriate” premium. This means that, in New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. may get a mere 25 percent increase rather than the 51 percent it has proposed. In Tennessee, Blue Cross may get only 20 percent rather than the requested 36.3 percent increase. In Maryland, the state bureaucrats may decide that, instead of a 30.4 percent increase, Blue Shield may only get 18 percent. All of these outcomes have one thing in common: The rate goes up by double digits. That means you pay a higher premium no matter how it turns out.

In other words, in the best case scenario, the your health insurance premiums are going up. And this is not simply because Obamacare has been unable to accomplish the main thing most Americans wanted from health reform in first place – more affordable medical care. Barack Obama’s “signature domestic achievement” is actually making health care less affordable. Good job, Mr. President. Please use the rest of your term perfecting your chip shot.

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Thanks Barack… U.S. Welfare Rolls Explode Under Obamacare

U.S. Welfare Rolls Explode Under Obamacare – WorldNetDaily

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The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has created more dependency on government and perverted the capitalist foundations of America, according to a top surgeon.

“You just can’t keep giving everything away to people without them working for it,” said Dr. Lee Hieb, former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “It’s not capitalism when you let people who are able-bodied not contribute to society but take the spoils. I mean, that’s just not capitalism. We have too many people that don’t work to eat.”

Obamacare appears to be worsening America’s dependency issue. The Associated Press reported food-stamp enrollment increased in 11 states between January 2013 and the end of 2014, the period during which Obamacare went into effect.

Ten of those 11 states expanded Medicaid under the ACA, and six of them used new online enrollment systems that made it easy for customers to sign up for both Medicaid and food stamps at the same time. Such streamlined application systems were built specifically for the health-care overhaul.

In total, nearly 632,000 people were added to the food-stamp rolls in those 11 states during that period, at an estimated cost of almost $79 million a month to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the food-stamp program also known as SNAP. This came at a time when the national economy was improving and food-stamp enrollment declined nationwide.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, sees the phenomenon as part of a government attempt to place more Americans under its thumb.

“Self-reliant Americans are being crushed by taxation and regulation, directly and indirectly, and turned into government dependents,” Orient said. “How can you resist if government can cut off your food and medicine?”

In almost all of the 16 states that didn’t expand Medicaid, food-stamp rolls have been decreasing as the economy improves.

Hieb, author of “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare,” said Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion damaged the American medical system by dropping people from their private insurance and putting them on Medicaid.

“People think that all these people getting on Medicaid through Obamacare were uninsured,” Hieb said. “That’s not true. A number of those people had private insurance, but now, because they qualify under these new guidelines, why not have somebody else pay for your health insurance? So instead of paying for health insurance, they’re taking Medicaid.”

She continued, “So you’ve turned paying patients into nonpaying patients. It’s absolutely, clearly a failing economic model, and I don’t understand how smart people believe it. I just don’t understand how they do not see that point.”

Hieb, an orthopedic surgeon, has observed firsthand the damage Medicaid expansion has done to hospitals. She recently reached the end of a contract to perform surgery two-and-a-half days a week at a small hospital, and she is now looking for a similar arrangement. However, she says she’s found hospitals are running scared from orthopedic surgeons like her because they fear they won’t make enough money to pay the surgeons’ salaries.

According to Hieb, the hospitals are struggling to bring in money because of the increase in Medicaid patients and corresponding decrease in private-pay patients. Medicaid does not reimburse hospitals as much as private insurance does. Hospitals have also struggled to cope with Medicare provider payment cuts and increased administrative paperwork.

But while Medicaid expansion has hurt hospitals, it has been a boon to health-care consumers. In states that expand Medicaid, adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level must qualify, and states are allowed to set even higher thresholds. Before the ACA took effect, the median Medicaid eligibility limit for parents was 106 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid expansion also made adults without dependent children eligible for the first time.

Hieb said she believes Americans are smart enough to act in their own financial self-interest, and, for many who hover just above the poverty level, that involves taking advantage of the welfare system. Hieb lives among the patients she serves in rural Iowa, and she says they know how to look out for themselves.

“It’s a mistake to think that all these poor people are children who cannot navigate this very complex medical system,” Hieb asserted. “These are the people who have figured out if you don’t make $35,000 a year working, it’s not worth working because you can do that well if you know how to work the system of welfare.”

If people can cobble together enough disability payments, unemployment payments and food stamps to earn a halfway decent living, Hieb argued, they are smart enough to hitch themselves to Medicaid, even if they might be able to afford health insurance on their own.

“People act in their own economic self-interest,” Hieb said. “If you can get things for free, why pay for them?”

She answered her own question: “One, because that’s ethical, and two, medical providers cannot be in business unless somebody actually pays the bill.”

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Obama VA Illegally Spending $6 Billion A Year

Veterans Affairs Improperly Spent $6 Billion Annually, Senior Official Says – Washington Post

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has been spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal contracting rules to pay for medical care and supplies, wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk, according to an internal memo written by the agency’s senior official for procurement.

In a 35-page document addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the official accuses other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws that require competitive bidding and proper contracts.

Jan R. Frye, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, describes a culture of “lawlessness and chaos” at the Veterans Health Administration, the massive health-care system for 8.7 million veterans.

“Doors are swung wide open for fraud, waste and abuse,” he writes in the March memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post. He adds, “I can state without reservation that VA has and continues to waste millions of dollars by paying excessive prices for goods and services due to breaches of Federal laws.”

Frye describes in detail a series of practices that he says run afoul of federal rules, including the widespread use of purchase cards, which are usually meant as a convenience for minor purchases of up to $3,000, to buy billions of dollars worth of medical supplies without contracts. In one example, he says that up to $1.2 billion in prosthetics were bought using purchase cards without contracts during an 18-month period that ended last year.

He also explains how VA has failed to engage in competitive bidding or sign contracts with outside hospital and health-care providers that offer medical care for veterans that the agency cannot provide, such as specialized tests and surgeries and other procedures. Frye says VA has paid at least $5 billion in such fees, in violation of federal rules that the agency’s own general counsel has said since 2009 must be followed.

Frye alleges further violations in the agency’s purchase of billions of dollars worth of prosthetics and in the acquisition of a wide range of daily medical and surgical supplies. He says many products are bought without the competitive bidding and contracts essential to ensure quality care, effective use of tight dollars and proper government oversight.

“These unlawful acts may potentially result in serious harm or death to America’s veterans,” Frye wrote. “Collectively, I believe they serve to decay the entire VA health-care system.”

VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said in a statement that some of the care the agency pays for is not covered by federal acquisition law. She also said that the agency is trying to manage rapid growth in medical care administered by outside providers, with authorizations for outside medical care jumping 46 percent in the first four months of 2015 over the same period last year.

Dillon said VA officials are urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow an “expedited form of purchasing care” for veterans who need to go outside the VA system. She said the bill “would also resolve legal uncertainties that have arisen” regarding the use of purchasing agreements other than those required by federal acquisition regulations.

VA has been under intense pressure to provide adequate care to the surge of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Frye makes clear in his memo that the agency’s violations of purchasing law have been going on for years and that senior leaders have had many opportunities to revamp their practices.

He discloses his repeated efforts to raise his concerns with other senior officials at the agency but says he was consistently ignored. He also accuses top agency officials of deceiving Congress when they were asked about questionable practices.

VA operates one of the largest health-care systems in the country, spanning 150 hospitals and more than 800 outpatient clinics. The agency has been struggling to serve not only the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but also a surge in veterans who served in the 1960s and 1970s.

VA has been rocked since last year by revelations about long wait times for veterans seeking treatment for health issues including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. McDonald’s predecessor, Eric K. Shinseki, resigned as VA secretary last year after a coverup of months-long hospital wait times became public, and Congress has given the system $10 billion in new funding to ramp up private medical care.

On Thursday, Frye will have a chance to explain his concerns directly to lawmakers. He is scheduled to testify before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee about waste and fraud in the purchase card program.

Frye, 64, is a retired Army colonel who has overseen VA’s acquisitions and logistics programs – one of the federal government’s largest – since 2005. In his role as the agency’s senior procurement executive, he is responsible for developing and supervising VA’s practices for acquiring services and supplies, but he is not in charge of making the purchases. A former Army inspector general, he has held senior acquisition positions over 30 years in government.

Some of his concerns were previously flagged by VA’s inspector general, who has reported for years that weak contracting systems put the agency at risk of waste and abuse. Thousands of pharmaceutical purchases were made without competition or contracts in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, often by unqualified employees, investigators found. And according to documents that have not been made public, the inspector general’s office has warned VA repeatedly that its use of purchase cards needs better oversight.

For the most part, Frye does not explain why the rules are so widely flouted. But he suggests, in this discussion of purchase cards, that the reason may be laziness. He calls these payments an “easy button” way of buying things. Frye told McDonald he became aware in 2012 that government purchase cards were being used improperly by VA. About 2,000 cards had been issued to employees who were ordering products and services without contracts, Frye recounts.

He said his concerns grew after learning that a supervisor in New York had recorded more than $50 million in prosthetics purchases in increments of $24,999 – $1 under the charging limit on each card. In a response to a member of Congress who inquired about the purchases, Shinseki had few answers. “No contract files exist” and “there is no evidence of full and open competition,” Shinseki wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Purchase cards, Frye says in his memo, can be a sufficient means of acquiring goods and services for “micro-purchases” up to $3,000. Above that limit, the cards can be used for payment only if there is a certified invoice linked to a properly awarded contract.

Frye’s concerns about payments for outside medical services are rooted in the reality that VA hospitals do not have the resources or specialists to provide all the treatment veterans require, such as obstetrics and joint replacements. For these services, VA normally refers veterans to a list of doctors or labs in their area.

The agency, Frye says, is required to identify providers through a competitive process and contract with them to ensure that the government pays reasonable prices and gets the best value and quality. And contracts help ensure veterans are legally protected if they get poor care or if a medical procedure goes wrong.

But according to Frye’s account, VA spent about $5 billion on outside medical care in both 2013 and 2014 in the absence of contracts, and such practices “extend back many years.” “Based on my inquiry in January 2013, [the Office of the General Counsel] confirmed in writing the fact VHA was violating the law,” Frye says.

Large medical systems similar to VA order many supplies in bulk through a list of approved vendors, identified through a competitive process, to ensure quick delivery for the best price. But VA’s system for these “just-in-time” purchases is deeply flawed, and this is yet another way that the agency wastes money, Frye says.

He writes that there are many types of supplies that are not covered by these arrangements. Instead, they are ordered off the shelf, without competition and for higher prices, from a “shopping list” containing 400,000 items, “indiscriminately and not in accordance” with acquisition laws.

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Leftist Nightmare Update: Hawaii Shutting Down $205 Million Obamacare Exchange (Video)

Hawaii’s $205 Million Obamacare Exchange Shutting Down – TPNN

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Hawaii’s state legislature rejected legislation giving a $28-million cash infusion to its troubled Obamacare insurance exchange, making it impossible for the website to operate after this year.

The exchange will stop taking new enrollees on Friday.

Hawaii’s Connector Exchange released a statement saying:

“Now that it is clear that the state will not provide sufficient support for the Hawaii Health Connector’s operations through fiscal year 2016 (ending June 30, 2016), the Connector can no longer operate in a manner that would cause it to incur additional debts or other obligations for which it is unable to pay.”

“Staff reductions will commence immediately, with the executive director ( Jeff Kissel) exiting once the bulk of operational activities end.” The statement continued saying: “If the state cannot facilitate an orderly transition, the Connector’s operations will abruptly end, as the Connector does not have the resources to continue operations.”

According to Americanthinker, more states, including: Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Oregon – are having massive problems with their Obamacare websites, and are expected to close also. The cost? Almost a Billion dollars more of our money flushed down the drain.

Can any state exchanges continue to exist? With 36 states refusing to open their own exchanges and the Supreme Court ready to deal the death blow to subsidies, the future of the Obamacare exchanges appears uncertain at best.

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How Rand Paul And A Few Other RINO Douchebags Let Congress Keep Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies

How Five Republicans Let Congress Keep Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies – National Review

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The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on April 23: Republican leadership was quietly pushing senators to pull support for subpoenaing Congress’s fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange – the document that facilitated Congress’s “exemption” from Obamacare by allowing lawmakers and staffers to keep their employer subsidies.

The application said Congress employed just 45 people. Names were faked; one employee was listed as “First Last,” another simply as “Congress.” To Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter, who has fought for years against the Obamacare exemption, it was clear that someone in Congress had falsified the document in order to make lawmakers and their staff eligible for taxpayer subsidies provided under the exchange for small-business employees.

But until Vitter got a green light from the Small Business Committee to subpoena the unredacted application from the District of Columbia health exchange, it would be impossible to determine who in Congress gave it a stamp of approval. When Vitter asked Republicans on his committee to approve the subpoena, however, he was unexpectedly stonewalled.

With nine Democrats on the committee lined up against the proposal, the chairman needed the support of all ten Republicans to issue the subpoena. But, though it seems an issue tailor-made for the tea-party star and Republican presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) refused to lend his support. And when the Louisiana senator set a public vote for April 23, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies got involved.

“For whatever reason, leadership decided they wanted that vote to be 5-5, all Republicans, to give Senator Paul cover,” one high-ranking committee staffer tells National Review. “So they worked at a member level to change the votes of otherwise supportive senators.” Four Republicans – senators Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer – had promised to support Vitter, but that would soon change.

Senate staffers, according to a top committee aide, reported seeing Missouri senator Roy Blunt make calls to at least two Republican committee members, lobbying them, at McConnell’s behest, to vote no on subpoenaing the exchange. By the time the committee was called to quorum, Enzi, Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer voted no.

To many observers, it was curious that any Republican would move to put the brakes on an investigation into Obamacare fraud, and particularly curious that they would pull back in an instance where the federal government was actually defrauding itself, one that so clearly illustrates Obamacare’s flaws by exposing the bureaucratic jujitsu and outright dishonesty required of federal employees themselves to navigate the law.

Conservative health-care experts can’t understand the reasoning behind the GOP senators’ opposition. They see politics and self-interest at play, and they allege that Republican leaders are as invested as their Democratic counterparts in maintaining their subsidies, fraudulently obtained, while avoiding scrutiny from an overwhelmingly disapproving American public.

“We deserve to know who signed that application, because they are robbing taxpayers,” says Michael Cannon, director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. The staffers who signed the fraudulent application, he says, “know who was directing them to do this. And so we have to follow the trail of breadcrumbs. This is the next breadcrumb, and whoever is farther up the trail wants to stop Vitter right here.”

The story of the ill-fated subpoena can be traced back to the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) insisted that lawmakers and congressional staff join a health-care exchange set up under the bill. For government employees, that meant giving up government-subsidized health-care contributions of between $5,000 and $10,000 per person. The White House scrambled to find a way to allow congressional employees to keep those subsidies. In Washington, D.C., only the small-business exchange allowed them to do so. After secret meetings with House speaker John Boehner in 2013, President Obama instructed the Office of Personnel Management to allow Congress to file for classification as a small business, despite the fact that the law defines a small business as having no more than 50 employees and the House and Senate together employ tens of thousands.

When Vitter’s staffers tracked down the application and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you’ve got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

“I think it makes sense to find out what happened,” says Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs, a noted conservative health-care voice and a National Review contributor. “It would be pretty interesting to see whose name is on the forms,” he says. “It has to go beyond mid-level staffers.”

But some congressional Republicans, it seems, are also resistant to getting to the bottom of the mystery – or, at the very least, they are content to let sleeping dogs lie.

Committee rules for a subpoena require either the consent of the ranking member or a majority of the group’s 19 senators. Because Democrats quickly made their opposition clear, Vitter needed the approval of all ten Republicans. Nine of them quickly consented via e-mail; one senator was strangely unresponsive.

Senior committee aides say that Rand Paul’s staff didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting the senator’s consent and, when they did, they refused to provide it. When Vitter attempted to set up a member-to-member meeting, his overtures were ignored or put off. Paul’s policy staff refused to take a meeting. When Vitter tried to confront Paul on the Senate floor, they say, the Kentucky senator skirted the issue.

It wasn’t until after the vote that Paul shared his reasoning. “Senator Paul opposes allowing Congress to exempt themselves from any legislation,” an aide told the Conservative Review. “To that end, yesterday, he reintroduced his proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit Congress from passing any law that exempts themselves. Senator Paul prefers this option over a partisan cross-examination of Congressional staff.”

But a constitutional amendment is a longshot that would take years, and it hardly precluded an investigation of congressional corruption here and now.

“That’s absurd,” says Robert Moffit, the director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You don’t need a constitutional amendment to get a subpoena… I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

“The answers he has given do not make sense,” Cannon says of Paul. “And when someone with his principles does something that is so obviously against his principles, and does not give an adequate explanation, you begin to think that politics is afoot. It would have to be someone very powerful that made him a powerful pitch – or threat – to keep him from doing this.”

Paul’s press secretary tells National Review that the senator “examines every opportunity to [oppose Obamacare] individually, and does not base his vote on requests made by other senators, including the majority leader.”

Asked whether McConnell pushed Paul or any other senator on the subpoena, a spokesman for McConnell says the majority leader “didn’t make any announcements when that committee voted.”

The flip-flopping Republicans justified their change of heart. Risch said in the April 23 committee meeting that legal wrangling with the D.C. exchange could take time away from the committee’s small-business work. Enzi said he saw little wrong with the application as is.

“Each of us has our own budget, each of us has our own staff,” he said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m way under 50 [employees]. So my staff qualifies as a small business.”

Enzi was one of the original sponsors of Vitter’s 2013 amendment to end the congressional Obamacare exemption, but his press secretary tells National Review he felt the probe “could inadvertently target staff who simply completed paperwork as part of their job.” He insists that Enzi “made up his own mind.” Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer declined to comment.

A spokesman for South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who voted for the subpoena, says that nobody lobbied him one way or the other, while a spokesman for Florida senator Marco Rubio, who also voted in favor of the measure, declined to comment.

Health-care experts dismiss Enzi’s claim that each member’s office is its own small business, and not just because the health exchange application was filed for Congress as a whole. “These congressional offices that think they’re small businesses, are they LLCs?” Cannon asks. “Are they S-Corps? Are they shareholder-owned? Are they privately held? What is the ownership structure of this small business that you’re running, senator? It’s just utterly ridiculous.”

“They’re transparently absurd,” says Moffit of Senate Republicans claiming small-business status. “Who made the determination that Congress is a small business and is therefore eligible for subsidies that do not legally exist? How did that happen?”

No one quite knows what’s behind leadership’s apparent push to kill the subpoena. The move baffled some committee staffers. “The amount of blood that McConnell and Paul spilled to prevent [the subpoena] from happening makes me wonder [if] maybe that isn’t all that there is to it,” the high-ranking staffer says. “Maybe other people signed it… They’re clearly afraid of something bigger than a person’s name getting out there.”

Others, however, think the motives behind GOP leadership’s apparent obfuscation are clear. “If there’s one thing that absolutely drives Americans fundamentally crazy, it’s the idea that Congress can set one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else,” says Moffit. “That’s political poison, and that’s why they have been so desperate to avoid the issue.”

“The most powerful interest group in Washington D.C., is not the Chamber or the unions or anyone else,” Cannon says. “It is members of Congress and their staffs. And when it comes to their benefits, they are all members of the same party.”

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Contrary To Democrats’ Promises, Emergency Room Visits Surge Under Obamacare

Contrary To Goals, ER Visits Rise Under Obamacare – USA Today

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Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect – just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.

A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases last year in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.

Such hikes run counter to one of the goals of the health care overhaul, which is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by getting more people insured through Medicaid or subsidized private coverage and providing better access to primary care.

A major reason that hasn’t happened is there simply aren’t enough primary care physicians to handle all the newly insured patients, says ACEP President Mike Gerardi, an emergency physician in New Jersey.

“They don’t have anywhere to go but the emergency room,” he says. “This is what we predicted. We know people come because they have to.”

Experts cite many root causes. In addition to the nation’s long-standing shortage of primary care doctors – projected by the federal government to exceed 20,000 doctors by 2020 – some physicians won’t accept Medicaid because of its low reimbursement rates. That leaves many patients who can’t find a primary care doctor to turn to the ER – 56% of doctors in the ACEP poll reported increases in Medicaid patients.

Emergency room usage is bound to increase if there’s a shortage of primary care doctors who accept Medicaid patients and “no financial penalty or economic incentive” to move people away from ERs, says Avik Roy, a health care policy expert with the free market Manhattan Institute.

“It goes to the false promise of the ACA,” Roy says, that Medicaid recipients are “given a card that says they have health insurance, but they can’t have access to physicians.”

Complicating matters, low-income patients face many obstacles to care. They often can’t take time off from work when most primary care offices are open, while ERs operate around the clock and by law must at least stabilize patients. Waits for appointments at primary care offices can stretch for weeks, while ERs must see patients almost immediately.

“Nobody wants to turn anyone away,” says Maggie Gill, CEO of Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. “But there’s no business in this country that provides resource-intensive anything and can’t even ask if you’re going to be able to pay.”

Some people who have been uninsured for years don’t have regular doctors and are accustomed to using ERs, even though they are much more expensive. A 2013 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says going to an ER when a primary care visit would suffice costs $580 more for each visit.

Damian Alagia, chief physician executive for KentuckyOne Health, says he’s seen the trend play out in his large hospital system. There are more than a half-million people in the state newly insured through Obamacare. Many who put off care in the past now seek it in the place they know — the ER. “We’re seeing an uptick pretty much across the system in our ERs,” he says, calling the rise “significant” in both urban and rural hospitals.

Gerardi acknowledges that some people come to the ER for problems that would be better handled in a primary or urgent care office. But he says the ER is the right place for patients with vague but potentially life-threatening symptoms, such as chest pain, which could be anything from a heart attack to indigestion.

ER volumes are likely to keep climbing, and hospitals are working to adapt. Alagia says his ERs have care management professionals who connect patients with primary care physicians if they don’t already have them. Gill says her Georgia hospital has a “whole staff in the emergency room dedicated to recidivism,” who follow up with patients to see whether they’ve found a primary care doctor, are taking their medications or need help with transportation to get to doctors.

Still, seven in 10 doctors say their emergency departments aren’t ready for continuing, and potentially significant, increases in volume. Although the numbers should level off as people get care to keep their illnesses under control, Alagia says, “the patient demand will outstrip the supply of physicians for a while.”

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Hillary Speaks To Women About Women At Women’s Summit – Ed Responds


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The following quotes were taken from the above-embedded speech by Hillary Rotten Clinton at the 6th annual Women in the World summit. After each one, I have posted a response in the hopes that every leftist in America will take a few moments out of his or her (or its) utterly pointless day to write me some hate-mail.

Let’s begin.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or an artist, a journalist, an ambassador, maybe even a future president. We all have our stories.”

Fortunately for America, you’re none of those things.

“Some of you, I know, were with me in Beijing back in 1995 at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. Representatives from 189 countries came together to declare with one voice that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

I wonder how many Islamic countries were involved in that event. No matter, I’m sure that by now every Muslim-run nation on Earth has fully embraced women’s rights. After all, wasn’t it you who once said that Islam respects the fundamental dignity of all human beings?

“All the evidence tells us that despite the enormous obstacles that remain, there has never been a better time in history to be born female.”

Especially if you’re born in the United States, and your last name is Clinton.

“Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive healthcare, and safe childbirth.”

Yes, and while the maternal mortality rate has surely been cut substantially over the decades, leftists like you have worked overtime to help dramatically increase the mortality rate of unborn infants. How proud you must be.

“All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced.”

You mean like the various Obamacare laws that you claim the president has every right to amend whenever he sees fit? And don’t even get me started on the immigration laws he habitually ignores or rewrites whenever the mood strikes him. By the way, I’m not holding my breath waiting for you to express outrage over any of Barack’s numerous, impeachable offenses. If you had any genuine respect for the law, you wouldn’t have intentionally destroyed untold thousands of emails belonging to the American people from your illegally-employed, private computer server in Chappaqua.

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seeded cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Are you referring to the deep-seeded cultural codes and religious beliefs of genuine Christians and Jews who don’t just pay lip-service to them in order to win elections, but actually live them every day? Just curious.

“As I have said, and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century. And not just for women, but for everyone.”

Well then, it’s a good thing there’s a section of Obamacare that forces single men to pay for maternity coverage that they can’t possibly use, don’t you think?

“If we closed the gap that remains in the workforce between men and women, our economy in the United States would grow by nearly 10 percent by 2030.”

It’s too bad that leftist policies – like the ones you’ve spent your entire adult life promoting – encourage women to have children out of wedlock, and then reward them with taxpayer dollars for sitting on their asses and watching ‘The View’. That’s got to be disappointing.

“The lack of quality, affordable childcare, unequal pay, work schedules that are not only far from predictable but often simply unfair, fall disproportionately heavily on women.”

It seems to me that there are only two realistic ways to make childcare more affordable. A.) Force childcare facilities – which are mostly run by women – to charge less for their services, or B.) force women to stay home and take care of their own kids while their husbands work. Beyond that, the notion that there is any real inequality in pay between men and women who work equal numbers of hours at equally difficult jobs is just another leftist myth invented by politicians like you. By the way, what is it about unpredictable work schedules that makes them less fair to women than men?

“It is outrageous that America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee paid leave to mothers of newborns.”

So, not only should companies be expected to hire an equal number of women and men – even though only women take maternity leave – but now they should be forced to pay women who’ve chosen to have kids wages for not working? How is that fair to all the other employees who still have to put in a 40-hour workweek before receiving a paycheck?

“It’s hard to believe that in 2015 so many women still pay a price for being mothers.”

What, you mean that after all this time people are still expected to incur the costs associated with the decision they make? I am fucking shocked beyond words.

“It is also hard to believe that so many women are still paid less than men for the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color.”

That truly is hard to believe, mostly because it isn’t so. Think about it, if such an absurdity were true, what employer in his right mind would ever hire a white man again?

“Now, when I talk to men about this – which I frequently do – I remind them, if it was your wife or your sister or your daughter or your mother getting taken advantage of at work, you would suffer, your kids would suffer, your family would suffer, and you’d want to do something about it.”

I sure would, and it’s a damned good thing that’s never happened to any woman I know.

“America moves forward when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own healthcare choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby.”

What rights or choices were taken away from women by that company, exactly? Are you suggesting that Hobby Lobby’s female employees are no longer allowed to use contraceptives? As far as I’m aware, the only thing its owners have ever asked for is that they not be forced by the government to add contraception coverage to their employees’ health insurance policies, because their religious faith does not allow them to disseminate birth control – especially the abortion-inducing drugs included in the infamous Obamacare mandate. Since when does anyone have a right to force the people they work for to provide them with contraceptives that they can easily and cheaply buy on the open market themselves? For that matter, when did products designed to prevent people from conceiving children get redefined as elements of health care?

“when we deny women access to retirement that is secure; when we continue – as we do – to discriminate against women in the Social Security system, we are leaving too many women on their own.”

How are “we” denying women access to a secure retirement? Is there some law I haven’t heard about that prevents American citizens of the female persuasion from saving money in a private account for that purpose? As for Social Security, payments from that system are based on lifetime earnings figures, so the more you make and pay into it over the years, the larger your S.S. checks will be when you retire. A person’s gender has nothing to do with that equation, and the truth of the matter is that women generally live longer than men by several years, so they actually receive a larger percentage of S.S. funds overall.

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced as our colleagues and friends, not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are.”

What exactly is a transgender woman? Do you mean a man who wears dresses and pretends to be a woman? And when was the last time you heard of someone being fired simply because they weren’t heterosexual? Just what decade are you living in, anyway?

“We move forward when women who came to this country in search of a better life can earn a path to citizenship.”

That’s been going on since this nation was founded. So, unless President Obama drafted an executive order recently that prevents women from legally immigrating to the U.S. and doing what is required under the U.S. Code to become a naturalized citizen, what’s the problem?

“There are those who offer themselves as leaders who even play politics with the nomination of our nation’s chief law enforcement officer…”

Yes there are. That’s because the Attorney General of the U.S. is a political appointee, and the most recent nominee for that office will be replacing the most politically biased AG in the history of the republic. Of course, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand partisan bickering over presidential appointments. Why, you’re as pure as the wind-driven snow when it comes to such things, right? I mean, you’ve never spoken out politically about a Republican president’s choice for – say – the federal judiciary, have you?

“Here in the United States, just last week we saw fast-food workers marching in the streets, asking for nothing more than a living wage and a chance at the American dream.”

What they were actually doing was calling for the unionization of the entire fast-food industry, and insisting that their employers pay them $15 an hour to do entry-level jobs that most well-trained chimpanzees would do for a bunch of grapes and a ripe banana. Then they went on to threaten larger protests in the future if their unreasonable demands weren’t met. But then, who cares about little things like facts when you’re committed to demonizing American businesses for purely political gain, right?

Sincerely,

Edward L. Daley

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Shocker! California’s Obamacare Exchange Plagued By Incompetence, Mismanagement

Incompetence, Mismanagement Plague California’s Obamacare Insurance Exchange – Daily Signal

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California’s health insurance exchange, established under the Affordable Care Act, has been held out as a national model for Obamacare. In some ways – not all of them good – it is. Whether it’s falling far short of 2015 enrollment goals or sending out 100,000 inaccurate tax forms, Covered California is struggling with its share of challenges.

Now, several senior-level officials integral to the launch of Covered California – who enthusiastically support the Affordable Care Act – are speaking about what they view as gross incompetence and mismanagement involving some of the $1 billion federal tax dollars poured into the state effort.

‘Somebody Must Have Been Smoking Something’

Consultant Aiden Hill became a “foxhole convert” to Obamacare in July of 2010 when he lost his insurance, had a serious medical issue and couldn’t get a new policy.

“I lived through a health care nightmare. That’s one reason why I took a cut in my pay rate to work for Covered California.”

In March 2013, Hill was hired as project manager over Covered California’s massive $120 million call center effort. In just six short months, it would face an avalanche of customers seeking insurance mandated under the new law.

But five months on the job converted Hill from avid supporter to disenchanted whistleblower. He says the secretive and dysfunctional culture was more interested in cheerleading than real results. After he persistently raised concerns, Covered California abruptly terminated his contract. He says the experience drove him to raise allegations about waste and cover ups at a Covered California board meeting.

Covered California quietly launched an independent investigation into Hill’s grievances. Nine months later, the results were summarized in four sentences stating that evidence did “not support” Hill’s complaints. Hill calls the probe a sham and says the inquiry didn’t include interviews with many witnesses he suggested.

Today, Hill describes himself as disgusted by the process – and soured on Obamacare.

“I really believe that we’ve created a monster – and it’s an unaccountable monster,” Hill told The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined comment on Hill’s allegations.

Other officials integral to Covered California’s efforts concur with Hill’s assessment. One of them headed the largest call center.

“They started this way too late for what they needed to do,” says the official who was hired in April 2013, five months before the website’s launch. He has since left that position and asked not to be named to protect his current job status.

“This program had to touch 58 counties, 11 federal agencies, all medical carriers and all advocates. To have a system that would be integrated seamlessly – somebody must have been smoking something if they thought that was going to happen.”

Disappointing Enrollment

It’s against that backdrop that Covered California finds itself now grappling with a big disappointment: low enrollment growth. California ranked near the bottom in overall growth, with a scant 1 percent increase over last year.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the growth they were expecting,” says an official who helped implement the Affordable Care Act and examined California’s numbers.

As recently as last fall, the official says, California hoped to increase enrollment by 500,000 this year. But only an additional 7,098 have “selected a plan” for 2015.

“Their total enrollment is a step in the right direction but nowhere near what anyone thought it would be for the largest state in the country.”

Covered California would not answer our questions about enrollment figures.

Another telling statistic is Covered California’s poor retention rate. Even though people are required by law to have health insurance, only 65 percent of Covered California’s 2014 customers reenrolled in 2015. The rest dropped off.

Covered California would not address our questions about lackluster retention and growth.

Last month, the agency issued a press release touting a younger and more diverse mix of customers.

“New enrollment for 2015 coverage is strong and has brought in consumers who our marketing and outreach targeted,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, overlooking the fact that his organization’s retention of last year’s customers was among the lowest in the country.

Hoping for a bump, California followed the lead of the federal HealthCare.gov effort and repeatedly extended this year’s enrollment deadline. The Feb. 15 cutoff was pushed back to Feb. 20 and then Feb. 22. Now, it’s been extended to the end of this month.

“I lived through a health care nightmare. That’s one reason why I took a cut in my pay rate to work for Covered California.”

In March 2013, Hill was hired as project manager over Covered California’s massive $120 million call center effort. In just six short months, it would face an avalanche of customers seeking insurance mandated under the new law.

But five months on the job converted Hill from avid supporter to disenchanted whistleblower. He says the secretive and dysfunctional culture was more interested in cheerleading than real results. After he persistently raised concerns, Covered California abruptly terminated his contract. He says the experience drove him to raise allegations about waste and cover ups at a Covered California board meeting.

Covered California quietly launched an independent investigation into Hill’s grievances. Nine months later, the results were summarized in four sentences stating that evidence did “not support” Hill’s complaints. Hill calls the probe a sham and says the inquiry didn’t include interviews with many witnesses he suggested.

Today, Hill describes himself as disgusted by the process – and soured on Obamacare.

“I really believe that we’ve created a monster – and it’s an unaccountable monster,” Hill told The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined comment on Hill’s allegations.

Other officials integral to Covered California’s efforts concur with Hill’s assessment. One of them headed the largest call center.

“They started this way too late for what they needed to do,” says the official who was hired in April 2013, five months before the website’s launch. He has since left that position and asked not to be named to protect his current job status.

“This program had to touch 58 counties, 11 federal agencies, all medical carriers and all advocates. To have a system that would be integrated seamlessly – somebody must have been smoking something if they thought that was going to happen.”

Disappointing Enrollment

It’s against that backdrop that Covered California finds itself now grappling with a big disappointment: low enrollment growth. California ranked near the bottom in overall growth, with a scant 1 percent increase over last year.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the growth they were expecting,” says an official who helped implement the Affordable Care Act and examined California’s numbers.

As recently as last fall, the official says, California hoped to increase enrollment by 500,000 this year. But only an additional 7,098 have “selected a plan” for 2015.

“Their total enrollment is a step in the right direction but nowhere near what anyone thought it would be for the largest state in the country.”

Covered California would not answer our questions about enrollment figures.

Another telling statistic is Covered California’s poor retention rate. Even though people are required by law to have health insurance, only 65 percent of Covered California’s 2014 customers reenrolled in 2015. The rest dropped off.

Covered California would not address our questions about lackluster retention and growth.

Last month, the agency issued a press release touting a younger and more diverse mix of customers.

“New enrollment for 2015 coverage is strong and has brought in consumers who our marketing and outreach targeted,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, overlooking the fact that his organization’s retention of last year’s customers was among the lowest in the country.

Hoping for a bump, California followed the lead of the federal HealthCare.gov effort and repeatedly extended this year’s enrollment deadline. The Feb. 15 cutoff was pushed back to Feb. 20 and then Feb. 22. Now, it’s been extended to the end of this month.

Call Center Chaos

The devastating crash of Covered California’s website and call centers on Oct. 1, 2013 was “the canary in the coalmine, an early warning of deep dysfunction,” according to Hill.

Pre-launch testing had proven disastrous. As with the national HealthCare.gov website, “it was breaking at the first click of the button,” says the former call center manager who worked under Hill. “Behind the scenes, states were worried. I know we were worried.”

Covered California contractors projected 10,000 calls the first day. The call center manager says he knew they were way off. “I and my training manager, who had launched call centers before, projected 20,000. We had 21,000 on day one. Our contractors were wrong.”

The HealthCare.gov website was on a parallel trajectory. It, too, suffered under hasty development and failed performance tests days before launch – all while the Obama administration put on a positive public face.

“Everybody knew it wasn’t going to function,” says a third Covered California official. “Calls start coming in and within the first hour, the entire system went down – phone and web.”

“The train was coming off the rails,” adds Hill. “The call center was going into meltdown.”

The meltdown lasted for months and fixes proved costly. Covered California would not provide a tally of expenses, but the agency ended up asking the federal government for an extra $155 million. That put the cost of Covered California at more than $1.06 billion federal tax dollars.

Enrollment Exaggeration?

Covered California’s disastrous debut triggered a house of cards. When the website crashed, consumers were directed to fill out paper applications; they were 33 pages long and took at least an hour to complete. What’s more, they couldn’t be coordinated with the electronic version because of a major design flaw. The forms didn’t match.

But Covered California counted duplicate applications as if they were enrollments, giving the impression that more people had successfully signed up. (The Obama administration did the same with national HealthCare.gov applications.)

For example, Covered California’s Lee publicly touted 30,000 successful enrollments for the first month. Hill says the actual number was closer to 4,000.

“A lot of the information that came out of Covered California was misleading or outright lies,” Hill insists.

Another Covered California official agrees.

“There’s no way he didn’t know he wasn’t telling the truth,” says an official, who still works at the agency and asked not to be identified. “We were fully aware that those numbers were inflated. It was horrible… morale busting. Things were being said that were blatantly untrue.”

The Daily Signal asked for Lee’s side of the story, but Covered California declined to make him available.

Hill says misinformation was aided and abetted by an uninformed press. In the midst of Covered California’s fiasco, he was stunned to read a New York Times article claiming the Golden State was an Obamacare utopia: the crown jewel of the health care reform effort.

On Nov. 24, 2013, Paul Krugman of The New York Times gushed:

What would happen if we unveiled a program that looked like Obamacare, in a place that looked like America, but with competent project management that produced a working website? Well, your wish is granted. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you California… The California authorities have been especially forthcoming with data tracking the progress of enrollment. And the numbers are increasingly encouraging.

That assessment was far from the reality, say the Covered California officials who spoke to The Daily Signal.

Covered California declined to respond to our questions but issued this statement:

Covered California is proud that it has been the portal for nearly four million people to find coverage through one of our participating health plans or through low cost/no cost Medi-Cal; is helping more than a million people access financial assistance to lower their monthly health insurance premiums; through the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured in California by half.

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Who Is Dennis Michael Lynch?


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Dennis Michael Lynch (born August 28, 1969) is an American entrepreneur, documentary filmmaker, and conservative commentator. He is the founder and CEO of TV360Media, a company specializing in the production and distribution of digital film, and often appears as a guest on Fox News and TheBlaze. He is currently running for President of the United States as a conservative Republican.

Official Campaign Website
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Documentary: They Come To America

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VETERANS TEAR DOWN OBAMA BARRICADES AT WWII MEMORIAL

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SEAN HANNITY TELEVISION SPECIAL: THE COST OF AMNESTY

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BUNDY RANCH STANDOFF

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DML FOR AMERICA PAC

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SPEECH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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