Corruption Update: Obama’s Census Bureau Planning To Cook Obamacare’s Books Before Midterm Elections

Obama’s Census Bureau Officially Plans To Cook Obamacare’s Books – The Federalist

In a bombshell article, the New York Times reported earlier today that the U.S. Census Bureau planned to radically alter its method of calculating the number of people without health insurance in the U.S. The result? The changes will be so radical that “it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.”

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From the NYT:

The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

You know what else is due this fall? A big election in which the effects of Obamacare are sure to weigh on voters’ minds.

Don’t worry, though. Census officials said the timing of the change was “coincidental” and “unfortunate.” The latter is most certainly the case, but unfortunate for whom? Certainly not the White House, which mere days ago was bragging, Mission Accomplished-style, about how amazing the Obama implementation was going. Does anyone actually believe this White House would want to change and obscure favorable numbers in the weeks and months ahead of an election?

It turns out the suspiciously timed changes aren’t the only remarkable aspect of that NYT story. Apparently the government’s statisticians knew for some time that the old method of collecting data on the uninsured significantly overstated their numbers:

Census officials and researchers have long expressed concerns about the old version of insurance questions in the Current Population Survey.

The questionnaire traditionally used by the Census Bureau provides an “inflated estimate of the uninsured” and is prone to “measurement errors,” said a working paper by statisticians and demographers at the agency.

So not only will the new numbers be close to useless when it comes to using them to figure out if Obamacare has had its intended effect, it turns out the old numbers – which the White House used to cram the law down America’s throat – were bogus as well. Heads they win, tails you lose. But remember: all of this is totally coincidental and really unfortunate.

Unrelated: remember that time the Obama administration tried to force the head of the Census Bureau to report directly to the White House, rather than to the Secretary of Commerce, as required by law?

President Obama has decided to have the director of the U.S. Census Bureau work directly with the White House, the administration said today, a move that comes as the Census Bureau prepares to conduct the 2010 census that will determine redistricting of congressional seats.

We’re sure that was just a coincidence, too.

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*VIDEO* A Tax Day Message From Your Virtual President Bill Whittle


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Obuttmunch Has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office

Obama Has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office – Americans For Tax Reform

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of Obama administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

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The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The number of proposed tax increases per year is as follows:

-79 tax increases for FY 2010

-52 tax increases for FY 2011

-47 tax increases for FY 2012

-34 tax increases for FY 2013

-137 tax increases for FY 2014

-93 tax increases for FY 2015

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.

In addition to the 442 tax increases in his annual budget proposals, the 20 signed into law as part of Obamacare, and the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency, Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases.

During an interview with Men’s Health in 2009, when asked about the idea of national tax on soda and sugary drinks, the President said, “I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring.”

During an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in 2010, Obama said a European-style Value-Added-Tax was “something that would be novel for the United States.”

Obama’s statement was consistent with a pattern of remarks made by Obama White House officials refusing to rule out a VAT.

“Presidents are judged by history based on what they did in power. But presidents can only enact laws when the Congress agrees,” said Norquist. “Thus a record forged by such compromise tells you what a president – limited by congress – did rather than what he wanted to do.”

The full list of proposed Obama tax increases can be found here.

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President Asshat Decries “Bogus” Voter Fraud Complaints After 35,570 Double Votes Counted In NC

Obama Decries “Bogus” Voter Fraud Complaints After 35,570 Double Votes Counted In North Carolina – Gateway Pundit

The North Carolina Board of Elections discovered THOUSANDS of residents who voted in both North Carolina and another state in the 2012 elections.

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The investigation also found 81 deceased voters that had voter activity since they died.

But you wouldn’t know this from Barack Obama’s speech on Friday.

Obama decried “bogus” accusations of voter fraud in his speech Friday to the Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The Hill reported:

President Obama labeled complaints about voter fraud “bogus” and accused Republicans of cynically trying to prevent Americans from accessing the polls in a fiery speech Friday at a civil rights forum hosted by Al Sharpton.

Obama argued that attempts in some states to impose new voter identification restrictions were actually efforts by Republicans to make “it harder, not easier to vote.” And the president said that while voter fraud should be prevented, it rarely occurred.

“So let’s be clear, the real voter fraud is the people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud,” Obama said.
Obama sad that the efforts betrayed a weakness within the Republican Party, saying his opposition needed to restrict poll access to remain competitive.

“If your strategy depends on fewer people showing up to vote, that’s not a sign of strength, it’s a sign of weakness,” Obama said.

“What kind of political platform is that?” he added. “Why would you make that part of your agenda, preventing people from voting?”

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7 Blockbuster Obamacare Charts That The White House Doesn’t Want America To See (Kyle Becker)

7 Blockbuster Obamacare Charts That The White House Doesn’t Want America To See – Kyle Becker

Remember all those promises that were made to sell Obamacare? Like lowering premiums for a family of 4 by $2,500 a year, allowing people to keep their plans and their doctors, not adding a dime to the deficit, and all of that?

Well, let’s just see how much of a striking success “Obamacare” is based on the numbers so far. The Heritage Foundation created these charts based on the HHS’ own numbers, the CBO’s, and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s.

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If you’re a young person, you’re pretty much screwed. Not only will you be paying higher premiums to subsidize your elders, you will be paying more taxes over your lifetime to pay back the loans we’re accruing just to pay for this boondoggle. You’re welcome, right?

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So… Mr. Smooth was going to save a family of four $2,500 a year in premiums, as promised so many times it’s laughable. About that… a family of four is likely to get an increase in premiums, and in addition, basically anyone who wants to work and live the American Dream will be penalized with higher taxes.

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Speaking of taxes, check out these bad boys. Not just one, but 18 new taxes lumped into one giant bill that should be called “Obamatax.” Hey, it’s not a tax! Oh yeah, well, now it is.

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You would think from all the hysteria nowadays about Medicaid expansion to the states that this was the main purpose of Obamacare – to spread a huge soviet-style welfare program to as many homes as possible (and let those who are on it tell ya about the amazin’ service while they’re at it!) Anyway, let’s frame some of that left-wing hypocrisy by pointing out Obamacare’s massive cuts to another government program – Medicare.

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Now, show him the deductibles, Bob! Average deductibles on the “Catastrophic,” “Bronze,” and “Silver” plans are going through the roof. (No worries if you live in Colorado or Washington, just light up a joint and forget you read this.)

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Now here comes the biggie – cost. If you were one of the supporters of this law who thought it wouldn’t “add a dime” to the deficit, I want you to turn to your (theoretical) children and grandchildren and apologize. We’ll wait.

No, tell them the part how you’ll be sticking your kids with your generation’s bills, and how debt is the unpaid portion of the federal budget that gets passed on to someone else.

Still don’t feel guilty? How about realizing that all those taxes coming out of the private sector to pay for this disaster will limit your children’s future, as being evidenced in part by the half of college graduates who can’t find jobs in their fields? Oh, now you feel guilty.

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And lo and behold, this healthcare “reform” boondoggle passed through procedural gimmickry with no bipartisan support whatsoever loaded with nonsense and unread in full by most of the nation’s “representation” in Washington still has very little support – beyond those Democrats who would support anything the party told them to.

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*VIDEO* Andrew Klavan: The Revolting Truth About Obamacare


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President Obama Praises Racist Lyndon Johnson For Republican Civil Rights Act

President Obama Praises Lyndon Johnson For Civil Rights Act – In The Capital

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In honor of President Lyndon Johnson and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, President Barack Obama on Thursday honored Johnson, calling him a “master of politics and the legislative process” who paved the way for him to become the first African-American president.

“Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody,” Obama said. “Not just blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability. They swung open for you, and they swung open for me. And that’s why I’m standing here today – because of those efforts, because of that legacy.”

As the president faces a divided Congress and tries to recover from the rocky roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, Obama harkened back to Lyndon Johnson’s passage of significant pieces of legislation like the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act.

“Passing laws was what LBJ knew how to do,” Obama said. “No one knew politics and no one loved legislating more than President Johnson. He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required. He could wear you down with logic and argument. He could horse trade, and he could flatter.”

“What President Johnson understood was that equality required more than the absence of oppression,” Obama continued. “It required the presence of economic opportunity. He wouldn’t be as eloquent as Dr. King would be in describing that linkage… but he understood that connection because he had lived it. A decent job, decent wages, health care – those, too, were civil rights worth fighting for.”

Using Johnson’s legislative success as a backdrop, Obama made the case that government has a role to play in addressing economic inequality. “In a time when cynicism is too often passed off as wisdom,” Obama said, “it’s perhaps easy to conclude that there are limits to change; that we are trapped by our own history; and politics is a fool’s errand, and we’d be better off if we roll back big chunks of LBJ’s legacy, or at least if we don’t put too much of our hope, invest too much of our hope in our government.”

“I reject such thinking,” Obama added, emphatically.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:

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The Party Of Civil Rights – Kevin D. Williamson

This magazine has long specialized in debunking pernicious political myths, and Jonah Goldberg has now provided an illuminating catalogue of tyrannical clichés, but worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the rise of Richard Nixon. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century. Perhaps even worse, the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century. Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.

Even if the Republicans’ rise in the South had happened suddenly in the 1960s (it didn’t) and even if there were no competing explanation (there is), racism – or, more precisely, white southern resentment over the political successes of the civil-rights movement – would be an implausible explanation for the dissolution of the Democratic bloc in the old Confederacy and the emergence of a Republican stronghold there. That is because those southerners who defected from the Democratic party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century. There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.

The depth of Johnson’s prior opposition to civil-rights reform must be digested in some detail to be properly appreciated. In the House, he did not represent a particularly segregationist constituency (it “made up for being less intensely segregationist than the rest of the South by being more intensely anti-Communist,” as the New York Times put it), but Johnson was practically antebellum in his views. Never mind civil rights or voting rights: In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching. As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower. Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill. The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster. In both cases, the “master of the Senate” petitioned the northeastern Kennedy liberals to credit him for having seen to the law’s passage while at the same time boasting to southern Democrats that he had taken the teeth out of the legislation. Johnson would later explain his thinking thus: “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this – we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

Johnson did not spring up from the Democratic soil ex nihilo. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fourteenth Amendment. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fifteenth Amendment. Not one voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Eisenhower as a general began the process of desegregating the military, and Truman as president formalized it, but the main reason either had to act was that President Wilson, the personification of Democratic progressivism, had resegregated previously integrated federal facilities. (“If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it,” he declared.) Klansmen from Senator Robert Byrd to Justice Hugo Black held prominent positions in the Democratic party – and President Wilson chose the Klan epic Birth of a Nation to be the first film ever shown at the White House.

Johnson himself denounced an earlier attempt at civil-rights reform as the “nigger bill.” So what happened in 1964 to change Democrats’ minds? In fact, nothing.

President Johnson was nothing if not shrewd, and he knew something that very few popular political commentators appreciate today: The Democrats began losing the “solid South” in the late 1930s – at the same time as they were picking up votes from northern blacks. The Civil War and the sting of Reconstruction had indeed produced a political monopoly for southern Democrats that lasted for decades, but the New Deal had been polarizing. It was very popular in much of the country, including much of the South – Johnson owed his election to the House to his New Deal platform and Roosevelt connections – but there was a conservative backlash against it, and that backlash eventually drove New Deal critics to the Republican party. Likewise, adherents of the isolationist tendency in American politics, which is never very far from the surface, looked askance at what Bob Dole would later famously call “Democrat wars” (a factor that would become especially relevant when the Democrats under Kennedy and Johnson committed the United States to a very divisive war in Vietnam). The tiniest cracks in the Democrats’ southern bloc began to appear with the backlash to FDR’s court-packing scheme and the recession of 1937. Republicans would pick up 81 House seats in the 1938 election, with West Virginia’s all-Democrat delegation ceasing to be so with the acquisition of its first Republican. Kentucky elected a Republican House member in 1934, as did Missouri, while Tennessee’s first Republican House member, elected in 1918, was joined by another in 1932. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Republican party, though marginal, began to take hold in the South – but not very quickly: Dixie would not send its first Republican to the Senate until 1961, with Texas’s election of John Tower.

At the same time, Republicans went through a long dry spell on civil-rights progress. Many of them believed, wrongly, that the issue had been more or less resolved by the constitutional amendments that had been enacted to ensure the full citizenship of black Americans after the Civil War, and that the enduring marginalization of black citizens, particularly in the Democratic states, was a problem that would be healed by time, economic development, and organic social change rather than through a second political confrontation between North and South. (As late as 1964, the Republican platform argued that “the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.”) The conventional Republican wisdom of the day held that the South was backward because it was poor rather than poor because it was backward. And their strongest piece of evidence for that belief was that Republican support in the South was not among poor whites or the old elites – the two groups that tended to hold the most retrograde beliefs on race – but among the emerging southern middle class, a fact recently documented by professors Byron Shafer and Richard Johnston in The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard University Press, 2006). Which is to say: The Republican rise in the South was contemporaneous with the decline of race as the most important political question and tracked the rise of middle-class voters moved mainly by economic considerations and anti-Communism.

The South had been in effect a Third World country within the United States, and that changed with the post-war economic boom. As Clay Risen put it in the New York Times: “The South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the GOP. Working-class whites, however – and here’s the surprise – even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.” The mythmakers would have you believe that it was the opposite: that your white-hooded hillbilly trailer-dwelling tornado-bait voters jumped ship because LBJ signed a civil-rights bill (passed on the strength of disproportionately Republican support in Congress). The facts suggest otherwise.

There is no question that Republicans in the 1960s and thereafter hoped to pick up the angry populists who had delivered several states to Wallace. That was Patrick J. Buchanan’s portfolio in the Nixon campaign. But in the main they did not do so by appeal to racial resentment, direct or indirect. The conservative ascendency of 1964 saw the nomination of Barry Goldwater, a western libertarian who had never been strongly identified with racial issues one way or the other, but who was a principled critic of the 1964 act and its extension of federal power. Goldwater had supported the 1957 and 1960 acts but believed that Title II and Title VII of the 1964 bill were unconstitutional, based in part on a 75-page brief from Robert Bork. But far from extending a welcoming hand to southern segregationists, he named as his running mate a New York representative, William E. Miller, who had been the co-author of Republican civil-rights legislation in the 1950s. The Republican platform in 1964 was hardly catnip for Klansmen: It spoke of the Johnson administration’s failure to help further the “just aspirations of the minority groups” and blasted the president for his refusal “to apply Republican-initiated retraining programs where most needed, particularly where they could afford new economic opportunities to Negro citizens.” Other planks in the platform included: “improvements of civil rights statutes adequate to changing needs of our times; such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote; continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex.” And Goldwater’s fellow Republicans ran on a 1964 platform demanding “full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.” Some dog whistle.

Of course there were racists in the Republican party. There were racists in the Democratic party. The case of Johnson is well documented, while Nixon had his fantastical panoply of racial obsessions, touching blacks, Jews, Italians (“Don’t have their heads screwed on”), Irish (“They get mean when they drink”), and the Ivy League WASPs he hated so passionately (“Did one of those dirty bastards ever invite me to his f***ing men’s club or goddamn country club? Not once”). But the legislative record, the evolution of the electorate, the party platforms, the keynote speeches – none of them suggests a party-wide Republican about-face on civil rights.

Neither does the history of the black vote. While Republican affiliation was beginning to grow in the South in the late 1930s, the GOP also lost its lock on black voters in the North, among whom the New Deal was extraordinarily popular. By 1940, Democrats for the first time won a majority of black votes in the North. This development was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who crafted his Great Society with the goal of exploiting widespread dependency for the benefit of the Democratic party. Unlike the New Deal, a flawed program that at least had the excuse of relying upon ideas that were at the time largely untested and enacted in the face of a worldwide economic emergency, Johnson’s Great Society was pure politics. Johnson’s War on Poverty was declared at a time when poverty had been declining for decades, and the first Job Corps office opened when the unemployment rate was less than 5 percent. Congressional Republicans had long supported a program to assist the indigent elderly, but the Democrats insisted that the program cover all of the elderly – even though they were, then as now, the most affluent demographic, with 85 percent of them in households of above-average wealth. Democrats such as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze argued that the Great Society would end “dependency” among the elderly and the poor, but the programs were transparently designed merely to transfer dependency from private and local sources of support to federal agencies created and overseen by Johnson and his political heirs. In the context of the rest of his program, Johnson’s unexpected civil-rights conversion looks less like an attempt to empower blacks and more like an attempt to make clients of them.

If the parties had in some meaningful way flipped on civil rights, one would expect that to show up in the electoral results in the years following the Democrats’ 1964 about-face on the issue. Nothing of the sort happened: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 act, only one would ever change parties. Nor did the segregationist constituencies that elected these Democrats throw them out in favor of Republicans: The remaining 20 continued to be elected as Democrats or were replaced by Democrats. It was, on average, nearly a quarter of a century before those seats went Republican. If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the South – but not that slow.

Republicans did begin to win some southern House seats, and in many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans. One of the loudest Democratic segregationists in the House was Texas’s John Dowdy, a bitter and buffoonish opponent of the 1964 reforms, which he declared “would set up a despot in the attorney general’s office with a large corps of enforcers under him; and his will and his oppressive action would be brought to bear upon citizens, just as Hitler’s minions coerced and subjugated the German people. I would say this – I believe this would be agreed to by most people: that, if we had a Hitler in the United States, the first thing he would want would be a bill of this nature.” (Who says political rhetoric has been debased in the past 40 years?) Dowdy was thrown out in 1966 in favor of a Republican with a very respectable record on civil rights, a little-known figure by the name of George H. W. Bush.

It was in fact not until 1995 that Republicans represented a majority of the southern congressional delegation – and they had hardly spent the Reagan years campaigning on the resurrection of Jim Crow.

It was not the Civil War but the Cold War that shaped midcentury partisan politics. Eisenhower warned the country against the “military-industrial complex,” but in truth Ike’s ascent had represented the decisive victory of the interventionist, hawkish wing of the Republican party over what remained of the America First/Charles Lindbergh/Robert Taft tendency. The Republican party had long been staunchly anti-Communist, but the post-war era saw that anti-Communism energized and looking for monsters to slay, both abroad – in the form of the Soviet Union and its satellites – and at home, in the form of the growing welfare state, the “creeping socialism” conservatives dreaded. By the middle 1960s, the semi-revolutionary Left was the liveliest current in U.S. politics, and Republicans’ unapologetic anti-Communism – especially conservatives’ rhetoric connecting international socialism abroad with the welfare state at home – left the Left with nowhere to go but the Democratic party. Vietnam was Johnson’s war, but by 1968 the Democratic party was not his alone.

The schizophrenic presidential election of that year set the stage for the subsequent transformation of southern politics: Segregationist Democrat George Wallace, running as an independent, made a last stand in the old Confederacy but carried only five states, while Republican Richard Nixon, who had helped shepherd the 1957 Civil Rights Act through Congress, counted a number of Confederate states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee) among the 32 he carried. Democrat Hubert Humphrey was reduced to a northern fringe plus Texas. Mindful of the long-term realignment already under way in the South, Johnson informed Democrats worried about losing it after the 1964 act that “those states may be lost anyway.” Subsequent presidential elections bore him out: Nixon won a 49-state sweep in 1972, and, with the exception of the post-Watergate election of 1976, Republicans in the following presidential elections would more or less occupy the South like Sherman. Bill Clinton would pick up a handful of southern states in his two contests, and Barack Obama had some success in the post-southern South, notably Virginia and Florida.

The Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with the rise of the southern middle class, the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism and the welfare state, the Vietnam controversy and the rise of the counterculture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and the incorporation of the radical Left into the Democratic party. Individual events, especially the freak show that was the 1968 Democratic convention, helped solidify conservatives’ affiliation with the Republican party. Democrats might argue that some of these concerns – especially welfare and crime – are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.

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President Asshat Re-Gifts Rosary Beads Blessed By Pope Francis To Fellow Death-Cultist Nancy Pelosi

Seriously? Obama Re-Gifts Prayer Beads Blessed By Pope Francis To Nancy Pelosi Of All People – Independent Journal Review

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During Barack Obama’s meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican last week, the pope presented the president with a blessed rosary. Tuesday, Obama gave the rosary to Nancy Pelosi.

As noted by Life Site News, Pelosi is the only person in history to receive a papal sacrament and Planned Parenthood’s highest award – in the same week.

“I was happy to receive a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. It means a great deal to me,” Pelosi said.

Not everyone is as happy as is Pelosi. Adam Cassandra, communications manager at Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews:

“People could see it as somewhat disrespectful on the part of the president that he re-gifted the rosary given to him by the Holy Father,” especially to someone “who has been harshly criticized by the Vatican for championing the mortal sin of abortion in opposition to Catholic teaching.”

The level of irony here is startling. Again, in the exact same week, Nancy Pelosi was given a rosary from Barack Obama that was blessed by Pope Francis, and also received the highest honor from Planned Parenthood, the Margaret Sanger award. Why such irony?

Pelosi, who professes a deep Catholic faith, has been an outspoken opponent of the Church on the issue of abortion, and she just won an award whose namesake said such things as:

[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring. Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.

The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.

Last September, Vatican Chief Justice Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Pelosi must be denied communion under the law of the Catholic Church because of her longstanding support for abortion.

Were I a cynic, I’d suggest that perhaps Obama understood the irony full well, which would’ve been all the more reason to give the rosary to Pelosi.

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare Nightmare News Roundup

‘The Debate Over Repealing This Law Is Over’: Obama Boasts 7.1 Million Have Signed Up To Obamacare, But Study Shows Just 858,000 Newly Insured Americans Have Paid Up! – Daily Mail

A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America’s health care system ‘a lot better’ in a Rose Garden press conference.

But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.

Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

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Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements.

Still, he claimed that ‘millions of people who have health insurance would not have it’ without his insurance law.’

‘The goal we’ve set for ourselves – that no American should go without the health care they need… is achievable,’ Obama declared.

The president took no questions from reporters, but celebrated the end of a rocky six-month open-enrollment period by taking pot shots at Republicans who have opposed the law from the beginning as a government-run seizure of one-seventh of the U.S. economy.

‘The debate over repealing this law is over,’ he insisted. ‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’

The president also chided conservatives ‘who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it,’ and praised congressional Democrats for their partisan passage of the law without a single GOP vote.

‘We could not have done it without them, and they should be proud of what they’ve done,’ Obama boasted, in a clear nod to November’s contentious elections in which Republicans are expected to make large gains on an anti-Obamacare platform because of the law’s general lack of popularity.

‘In the end,’ he warned the GOP, ‘history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security… That’s what the Affordable Care Act represents.’

‘“The bottom line is this,’ said Obama: ‘The share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth in the cost of insurance is down. There’s no good reason to go back.’

Republicans will differ with that assessment as Election Day nears. They need to gain a net total of six Senate seats in order to reclaim the majority and control both houses of Congress, a goal that appears reachable since two-thirds of the seats being contested are held by Democratic incumbents.

No national political analyst has predicted a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

White House press secretary Jay Carney stopped short of saying ‘I told you so,’ but chided a sparse press corps in the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for ever doubting that the Obamacare system would enroll more than 7 million Americans.

‘At midnight last night we surpassed everyone’s expectations,’ he boasted, ‘at least everyone in this room.’

While he took great pains to emphasize that the total would grow – saying ‘we’re still waiting on data from state exchanges’ – he dodged tough questions about other statistics that reporters thought he should have had at the ready.

Those numbers included how many Americans have paid for their insurance policies, and are actually insured. Also, he had no answer to the thorny question of how few signups represented people who had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Aside from the issue of the numbers’ likely decrease when non-paying enrollments are taken into account, administration officials have been coy about the RAND Corporation study, which suggests that relatively few Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.

In addition to his claim of 7.1 million enrollments, Obama also announced that ‘three million young people’ under age 26 have gained coverage as add-ons to their parents’ policies. and ‘millions more… gained access through Medicaid expansion,’ he said.

Those totals – young adults attached to their parents’ insurance and new taxpayer-funded Medicaid subscribers – far exceed the 7.1 million number the White House trumpeted on Tuesday.

The Affordable Care Act carried with it the promise of covering ‘every American,’ and it appears to have fallen tremendously short.

The unpublished RAND study – only the Los Angeles Times has seen it – found that just 23 per cent of new enrollees had no insurance before signing up.

And of those newly insured Americans, just 53 per cent have paid their first month’s premiums.

If those numbers hold, the actual net gain of paid policies among Americans who lacked medical insurance in the pre-Obamacare days would be just 858,298.

Obama’s Rose Garden speech included an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act ‘has had its share of problems,’ and has at times been ‘contentious and confusing… That’s part of what change looks like in a Democracy.’

But ‘there are still no death panels,’ he joked amid laughter. ‘Armageddon has not arrived.’

A standing ovation greeted him after his speech. A White House aide said the crowd consisted of ‘”organizations and stakeholder groups who helped lead the enrollment and outreach efforts, as well as Hill lawmakers and staff from HHS, CMS and other agencies involved in implementing the ACA.’

Not among them: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathlen Sebelius, the administration official most responsible for the Obamacare program’s implementation. She also did not appear in the White House press briefing room earlier in the afternoon.

But Carney and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough distributed donuts to reporters in the press center on Tuesday morning – presumably without checking with the first lady – and eagerly pitched talking points to journalists writing about the milestone day.

Questions remain about the effectiveness and affordability of Obama’s plan, which he sold to congressional Democrats and the American people as a scheme to cover the uninsured, and about how the law is contributing to the spiraling cost of medical care.

As information about the chasm between Obamacare’s promises and its reality have reached the public, the program has become more and more unpopular – a fact that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with awkward silence during a Monday television interview in Oklahoma.

‘At last check, 64 percent of Oklahomans aren’t buying into the healthcare plan; they don’t like Obamacare, and they’ve been pretty vocal about it,’ a KWTV-9 reporter told her.

‘Now that’s going to be – still continue to be a tough sell, but we’ll see how that plays out over the coming months.’

Sebelius, a deer trapped in TV’s headlights, offered only a blank stare. Asked if she had lost the audio feed, the icy secretary responded, ‘I can hear you. But I – thanks for having me.’

Hours earlier, she tooted Obama’s horn during a fawning Huffington Post interview, claiming that healthcare.gov saw a surge in traffic when the president appeared on the gonzo show ‘Between Two Ferns’ on the Funny or Die website.

Obamacare ‘definitely saw the Galifianakis bump,’ she said, referring to the show’s host Zach Galifianakis.

‘As a mother of two 30-something sons, I know they’re more likely to get their information on “Funny or Die” than they are on network TV,’ she added.

Americans who missed the online broadcast still knew enough to queue up Monday for panic-induced sign-ups. Crushed with traffic, healthcare.gov crashed twice.

On its way to 7 million, the Obama administration has never answered some key questions about the open enrollment period.

The White House has instead kept to its talking points.

‘What I can tell you is that we expect there to be a good mix of people who were previously uninsured who now have insurance,’ Carney said Monday.

‘Certainly, there’s a significant number who now have qualified for Medicaid in those states that expanded Medicaid who will have insurance who didn’t have it before.’

The midnight deadline for enrollment has become a temporary formality, as the Obama administration has offered extensions to anyone willing to claim they tried in earnest to sign up in time.

Sebelius promised Congress weeks ago that there would be no extension.

The White House has compared it to voters who are permitted to cast ballots if they are in line when the polls close. But conservative opponents note that ballot officials won’t accept voters’ claims the day after an election.

California has also extended its deadline through April 15.

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The Most Un-American Speech Barack Obama Has Ever Delivered – Bryan Preston

Before getting to the speech itself, it’s worth noting a few things.

When the Democrats passed and Barack Obama signed Obamacare, the majority opposed it. About 56%, in fact. A majority have consistently opposed that law ever since.

The Obama administration touted 7 million sign-ups by March 31 as “success.” When that goal appeared to be unreachable, the administration suggested that maybe 5 or 6 million would be enough. Now, as if by magic, they have their number. Somehow.

All along, the administration has touted false numbers of enrollees. All along, the administration has neglected to admit that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans to lose their insurance, as they were forced to admit that they knew it would.

A simple bit of math shows that even if there are 7 million legitimate sign-ups, there are between 5 and 6 million who lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. What’s the net number? How many of these have even paid their premiums? And how many of them are now facing steeper deductibles?

Premiums are not going down. Access has not been expanded. Provider networks are shrinking, reducing choice. These are all consequences of Obamacare. The president mentioned none of it.

The Obama administration is also neglecting to admit that their law is killing jobs. It is strangling hiring. It is killing the work ethic that built this country. The CBO estimates that we will lose the equivalent of more than 2 million jobs’ worth of work hours. Small businesses say that Obamacare is keeping them from expanding their businesses, and keeping them from hiring and growing their workforces. They also say that Obamacare is forcing them to cut hours, which translates into lost wages, for millions of workers. Obama mentioned none of that.

But most importantly, the Obama administration is not admitting that it used naked, brute force to coerce Americans into signing up for Obamacare. Failing to sign up can get the IRS, with its auditors and armed agents, unleashed on you. When faced with that prospect, sure, it’s not all that hard to persuade people to do what you want. It’s a lesson that feudal chiefs, tyrants, pirates and bandits learned a long time ago.

The 7 million that President Obama touted today is a false number, he knows that it is a false number, and he knows that it is based on the threat of force. In fact, his administration couldn’t even give a solid number until today. How convenient.

So today, the day after the same administration that has cooked the books on deportations, and cooked the books on unemployment, the same administration that lied about Fast and Furious, lied about Benghazi, lied about “green jobs,” lied about last week’s meeting with the Pope, and whose IRS abused the president’s critics – the leader of that administration touted “7.1 million sign-ups” for Obamacare. Even going by the administration’s official numbers, the president’s claim is inflated. The administration only claims 7,041,000 – far from 7.1 million.

The president criticized Americans who donated their own money to run ads opposing Obamacare. But Barack Obama used government force to take Americans’ money and use that money to promote his law – whether we backed his law or not. Which is worse?

Obama said that now that his law is the law of the land, it cannot be repealed. Also false. It’s unpopular even before the employer mandate kicks in, which is destined to cost tens of millions of Americans the healthcare that they now have. We have a system by which laws and even amendments to the Constitution can be repealed.

But the most ghastly aspect of the president’s speech was its celebratory tone. This president stood in the Rose Garden in the lawn of the people’s house. He used force to coerce Americans into doing what he wants for the sake of politics and power. An American president should never celebrate taking freedoms away from Americans. This president has, and he is pleased with himself for doing it. He basks in the applause of those who celebrate with him, as if it’s an achievement to use the full force of government to impose yourself on others.

Outside the gates of his little ceremony, Democrats remain on the run because Obamacare is wreaking havoc on people’s lives. This president’s “mission accomplished” moment has come. The Democrats will still lose the Senate this year, in part because Barack Obama remains so out of touch, aloof, and dishonest.

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Mark Levin Blasts Obama For His Castro-Like Campaign Rally, Spewing Obamacare Lies To His Clapping Seal Sycophants – Right Scoop

Mark Levin opened his show tonight livid over Obama’s Castro-like campaign rally on Obamacare today, where he spewed lie after lie to his clapping seal sycophants. And the media just echoes what he says like it’s the truth.

Listen below to his first segment:

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5 Reasons Obama’s 7.1 Million Number Is Meaningless – Big Government

On Tuesday, President Obama triumphantly announced that, with the power of the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the threat of the IRS, the mission had been accomplished: 7.1 million Americans had selected an Obamacare plan.

Obama’s tone was nothing short of exuberant: “7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these market places. 7.1! Yep!” He then went on to criticize those who had expressed objections to Obamacare for its deprivations of plans, doctors, drugs, and liberty: “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?”

Now, it was always foolhardy for Republicans and conservatives to stake their objections to Obamacare on the number of sign-ups; Social Security is going bankrupt despite 100% enrollment. The reality is that Obama was always destined to hit his required numbers because, after all, he has the power of government to compel action. The real problem with Obamacare has little to do with the number of people signing up, and a lot to do with the restrictions on insurance companies and reimbursement rates to doctors.

Nonetheless, the 7.1 million statistic is a meaningless one. It’s meaningless for a variety of reasons:

It Doesn’t Measure How Many People Have Actually Paid. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted yesterday that of the 6 million people who had signed up for Obamacare at the time, “What we know from insurance companies… tell us that, for their initial customers, it’s somewhere between 80, 85, some say as high as 90 percent, have paid so far.” In other words, about five million people were signed up. As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post points out, “If between 80 and 90 percent of the six million have paid premiums, the number who are fully enrolled would be closer to five million than to six million.” With the increased number of sign-ups in the last days, that percentage number has likely dropped. This is not an unimportant distinction; insurance will not cover those who don’t pay.

7.1 Million Enrollees in the Private Exchanges Doesn’t Mean 7.1 Million Who Were Previously Uninsured. Some five million Americans saw their policies cancelled thanks to Obamacare. Those Americans were forced into the Obamacare exchanges by the government. According to a RAND Corporation study, only 858,000 previously uninsured Americans had actually joined Obamacare. That’s a far cry from 7.1 million.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2010 that 37.3% of all uninsured Americans would gain insurance thanks to Obamacare in 2014. That estimate rose to 38.9% in March 2011. In February 2014, the CBO suggested that in 2014, 22.8% would gain insurance through Obamacare. The actual statistic: 12.5%. In other words, the original estimates were off by approximately 66%.

The Chief Beneficiaries of Obamacare Have Been Medicaid Recipients and 26-Year-Old Basement Dwellers. There are approximately 6.1 million people who have gained coverage through Obamacare’s non-private exchange program. 4.5 million were beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion, and another 1.6 million 26-year-old “children” were forced onto their parents’ policies. That far outweighs any supposed gains in the private insurance market. As Chris Conover of Forbes writes, “At the end of the day, we appear to have covered 1 in 8 uninsured, but to get to this point, we have disrupted coverage for millions, increased premiums for tens of millions more and amplified the pain even further with a blizzard of new taxes and fees that will end up cost even the lowest income families nearly $7,000 over a decade.”

The Huge Majority of Those Signing Up Are Getting Subsidies – and Even Those Who Are Subsidized Aren’t Signing Up. In order for Obamacare’s cost structure to work, millions of Americans must sign up to pay inflated prices; that would help pay for the subsidies to cover insurance company costs on those with pre-existing conditions. In March, the Obama administration reported that 83% of those who had signed up were eligible for subsidies. As Robert Laszewski estimates, in the end, just 27% of those who are eligible for Obamacare subsidies nationwide have signed up.

How Much Will The Numbers Drop? These are all preliminary statistics. We now know that somewhere between 2% and 5% of people who paid their insurance bills in January did not do so in February, to go along with the high percentage of people who signed up and never paid at all (that number in Obamacare success story Washington state, for example, was 39% as of early February).

The 7.1 million statistic is not all that important, in the end. Obama will hit his numbers, by hook or by crook. Likely by crook. But conservative opposition to Obamacare should not be predicated on its ineffectiveness in forcing sign-ups. Instead, it should be based on deprivation of liberty and destruction of medical care.

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Compassion: Anti-Obamacare Cancer Patient Smeared By Reid Now Receiving Death Wishes From Liberals – Hot Air

Welcome to your feel-bad story of the month. Remember Julie Boonstra? She’s the single mother fighting leukemia who appeared in an anti-Obamacare television ad running in Michigan:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assailed Ms. Boonstra, and others like her, in a breathtakingly mean-pirited floor speech – going so far as to say that “all” of their negative experiences were “untrue” and “lies.” Reid now claims he doesn’t remember saying any such thing, but there’s video tape:

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In his effort to discredit Boonstra, Reid relied on a Washington Post “fact check,” which effectively ruled her story half true. In fact, every claim Boonstra made in the ad has been confirmed, as explained by the Detroit News’ Dan Calabrese:

Boonstra is on five different medications to help deal with her leukemia. The Blue Cross PR spokesman claimed that they are all covered. But when Boonstra went to fill her prescription for Loratadine – a prescription-level equivalent of Claritin that she uses to control congestion brought on by chemotherapy – she was told that Loratadine is not covered. She has not yet attempted to restock any of her other meds but she is already having to come with strategies to deal with that problem. The $5,100 cap on Boonstra’s out-of-pocket spending is for in-network care only. If she has to go out of network, she could spend an additional $10,200…When Boonstra was first diagnosed, she had to go through a painstaking process to get approval for her chemotherapy drugs to be covered. When she finally found insurance she liked, she had no problem with the chemo drugs. She now says that process is starting all over again. Boonstra has already had to cut back on her bone marrow biopsies, which she was having on a regular schedule she had worked out with her doctor, because she doesn’t have clarification on whether these will be covered. I could go on, but the bottom line is this: Julie Boonstra told the truth, and arrogant media “fact checkers” had a lot of nerve claiming she hadn’t when they never even talked to her.

Nevertheless, Reid’s inaccurate nasty gram touched off a torrent of bile from Obamacare supporters, including this delightful care package Boonstra received in the mail:

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Die, because your experience is inconvenient to my “pissed off” ideology. Incidentally, Ms. Boonstra isn’t the only Obamacare victim who received a cancellation notice, and whose subsequent plan presents out-of-pocket hardships:

Breast cancer survivor Ginny Mason was thrilled to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act despite her pre-existing condition. But when she realized her arthritis medication fell under a particularly costly tier of her plan, she was forced to switch to another brand. Under the plan, her Celebrex would have cost $648 a month until she met her $1,500 prescription deductible, followed by an $85 monthly co-pay. Mason is one of the many Americans with serious illnesses – including cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis – who are indeed finding relatively low monthly premiums under President Barack Obama’s law. But some have been shocked at how much their prescriptions are costing as insurers are sorting drug prices into a complex tier system and in some cases charging co-insurance rates as high as 50 percent. That can leave patients on the hook for thousands.

Another example from North Carolina:

Amy Newbold, a 57-year-old saleswoman from Randolph County, N.C., lost her employer insurance last year. Through HealthCare.gov, she found a mid-tier “silver” plan with premiums that at first blush are $75 a month lower than her previous policy. But there are no savings, she said, since her old premiums were paid with pretax dollars and Obamacare premiums are paid with aftertax dollars. Newbold said she faces substantially higher drug costs for arthritis and psoriasis and worries that an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000 could put needed medicines out of reach. “I feel left out in the cold, and I don’t know why it has to be that way,” she said.

Maybe Reid can make these “liars” famous, too. Indeed, unleashing left-wing wrath on ordinary people for the sin of speaking out must be a pretty effective method of stifling dissent – which is precisely what Reid wants.

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Kansas Hospital Lays Off Employees Due To Obamacare – Washington Free Beacon

The sky-high costs of Obamacare have forced a Kansas hospital to lay off more than a dozen employees.

Newman Regional Health hospital in Emporia, KS, a limited in-patient and outpatient services facility, has laid off fifteen employees- ten full time workers and five part time workers.

In a statement issued by Newman Regional, the hospital blames the lay offs on the “negative financial impacts of the Affordable Care Act.”

The staff cut is expected to save the hospital $1 million every year.

Bob Wright, CEO of Newman Regional told KTKA-KS, “It’s looking into the future, knowing that we need to make a profit, having the advantage of critical access, getting us most of the way there, but having really to do our part as good stewards of our resources to make sure that we’re profitable.”

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Harry Reid Dismisses Cancer Patient Tom Coburn’s Obamacare Concern – Washington Examiner

When Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., pointed out that the majority of cancer centers in the country aren’t covered under Obamacare while arguing that the law’s problems go beyond early website issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., dismissed the critique as too “in the weeds.”

Coburn, a medical doctor battling cancer, panned the coverage offered to cancer patients.

“Nineteen of the cancer centers in this country, only five are covered under Obamacare,” he told the Washington Examiner Tuesday, a data point he attributed to the low payments the Affordable Care Act provides for those treatments.

“You know, it’s a market, and what they’ve done is they’ve priced it where these cancer centers, a lot of them, aren’t going to participate because they don’t get paid to cover the costs,” he said. Coburn, who is retiring at the end of this year, said his cancer center initially refused to accept the government health insurance, but has since reversed that policy.

Reid suggested that Coburn was taking too narrow a view of the law. “Dr. Coburn is very good at getting into the weeds and trying to find something that he thinks makes sense, but I think we need to look at the overall context of this bill,” he replied when asked about Coburn’s comments during a Senate press briefing. “It really brings a lot of people in from the cold so that they have the ability to get health insurance, which they’ve never had the opportunity [to do] before.”

Reid hailed the White House’s announcement that seven million people had enrolled in insurance through Obamacare, but Coburn said the statistic is a “numbers game.”

“You had six million who lost their insurance, how many net new people got covered? How many who lost their insurance don’t have insurance today?” Coburn asked. “And is it affordable? …The ones that lost their insurance now have [Obamacare], and we don’t know what that number is. I guarantee you three-quarters of them are paying a significantly higher cost, have a higher co-pay and a higher deductible.”

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Your Daley Gator Anti-Obama Picture O’ The Day


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More Obamacare Madness

Obamacare Real Enrollment: Just 1.7% Of Uninsured Covered – Big Government

Obamacare, the plan purportedly created to provide health coverage for the uninsured, has enrolled just 1.7% of America’s 48.6 million uninsured.

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News of the disastrous numbers comes as nervous Democrats and President Barack Obama, ahead of the November midterm elections, did their best on Monday’s enrollment deadline to put a positive spin on the deeply unpopular Obamacare program. The latest Associated Press poll finds that Obamacare has now hit an all-time low approval rating of just 26 percent.

The White House now claims an Obamacare enrollment figure of six million people. However, according to The New York Times, at least 20% of those never paid their premiums to activate coverage, leaving them uninsured. That drops the number down to 4.8 million.

Next, as Washington Post columnist Ed Rogers notes, “the official HHS numbers still include duplicate enrollments.” No one knows how many duplicate enrollments are in the stack; the White House refuses to say. However, given the disastrous Obamacare website failures, it is reasonable to imagine that the pile is riddled with numerous “false start” applications.

That leaves the most important question: How many people are gaining insurance who were previously uninsured? After all, that was the stated reason for Obamacare in the first place. McKinsey & Co. says that only 27% of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare were previously uninsured.

Moreover, McKinsey says these individuals have an unusually high rate of failing to pay their first month’s premium. “Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured,” reports CNBC.

Even conceding the White House its alleged six million enrollment figure (which, again, includes duplicates and incomplete applications), that would mean that just 810,000 of paying Obamacare customers were previously uninsured, a figure that represents 1.7% of America’s 48.6 million uninsured people.

Indeed, most of those the White House counts as Obamacare enrollees are among the five million who had their health insurance plans canceled due to Obamacare.

Obamacare has taken a severe toll on President Obama’s approval rating. The latest Associated Press poll reveals that his disapproval rating has now hit an all-time high of 59%. As one Democratic member of Congress told The New York Times, Obama is “poisonous” to Democrats running in the November 4th midterm elections.

Americans head to the polls in 218 days.

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Obama Admin Delays Obamacare Enrollment Date By One Month For Oregon – Weasel Zippers

Just rewriting laws as we go along, nothing to see here.

Via Politico:

Oregon had all the right ingredients for a sparkling Obamacare success story: a Democratic doctor as governor, an eager Legislature and a history of health care innovation.

It ended up with Obamacare’s biggest technological disaster.

CoverOregon.com, the state’s equivalent of HealthCare.gov, is the only insurance exchange in the country on which people still cannot buy coverage entirely online. The flaws are so deep that Gov. John Kitzhaber concedes the state may give up on its own exchange and move to the federal HealthCare.gov next year. The challenges were so persistent that the state received federal permission to add a full month to its open enrollment season. The deadline for most of the country to become covered is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Monday; here, enrollment will run through April.

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Obamacare Site In Meltdown On Obamacare Enrollment Day – Daily Caller

HealthCare.gov is in the midst of another tech meltdown on the day Obamacare enrollment is scheduled to end.

The entire site was offline for hours early Monday morning due to a software bug discovered just before the deadline. HealthCare.gov was shut down from 3:20 a.m. until around 7:45 a.m. to repair the problem. The Wall Street Journal reported that the problem was related to how the website processes enrollment dates.

Once the site was functioning again, another glitch emerged around noon, preventing users from creating new accounts on the health care site. The newest glitch originates in the part of the system that processes peoples’ identities, a person close to the matter told the WSJ.

But the Data Services Hub, the federal computer system that connects several federal agencies with all state exchanges to verify identities, personal information and eligibility, remains operational, according to a spokesman from Obamacare administrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov in real time has identified an issue with users creating new accounts. The application and enrollment tools are unavailable to new users at the moment,” said CMS spokesman Aaron Albright. “The tech team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The Data Services Hub is still fully operational.”

In the meantime, users who attempt to log into the site will be put in the queue system developed after HealthCare.gov’s initial breakdown in October and November. Potential enrollees will be sent to a screen saying “HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now” and will have to wait to be able to access the site.

Experts have long expected HealthCare.gov to experience its largest rush of consumers on the final day for open enrollment. The website was nevertheless apparently unprepared for the rush, despite the warning of the website’s failures last fall.

The site was struggling to handle over 100,000 simultaneous users at one point Monday. Sunday saw the health care website’s largest daily traffic, with 160,000 enrollments processed.

While Monday is technically the final day of the open enrollment period, the Obama administration will allow anyone who checks a box claiming technological problems while signing up to enroll until an unspecified date in mid-April.

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Obama Regime Covertly Providing Russia With Free High Tech Military Equipment (Video)

Obama Administration Caught Giving Free High Tech Military Equipment To Russia – Gateway Pundit

This is not 21st century behavior.

The Obama administration has been secretly giving Russia free Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers.

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While slapping Russia publicly on the wrist, the Obama Administration has been giving Russia FREE high tech military equipment.

Judicial Watch reported:

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment – also used to train American troops – even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat.

It’s a crucial, military-grade technology that’s similar to a “laser tag” available in some commercial markets, according to one of the outraged lawmakers (Oklahoma Republican Jim Bridenstine) that helped uncover the scandal. Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has joined forces with Ohio Republican Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, to demand an end to the program. Along with about a dozen other House colleagues they penned a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversees the agency carrying out the “irresponsible military equipment transfers” to Russia.

The Obama administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is a grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, the legislators point out. “It is difficult to imagine a worse time to provide military-grade technology employed by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Special Operations Forces to Russia than when it has illegally invaded Ukraine and is violating the intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,” the letter to Moniz says. “To make matters worse, it is our understanding from the budget documents that the Department has been, and continues to propose, providing this technology to Russia free-of-charge.”

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Obama Disapproval Number Reaches New High

Disapproval Of Obama Climbs To New High – The Hill

Nearly six in 10 people disapprove of President Obama’s job performance in a new poll by The Associated Press, the highest rating recorded by the newswire.

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According to the AP-GFK survey released Wednesday, 59 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, while 41 percent approve.

A similar poll released by the news outlet in January found 45 percent approved of him, while 53 percent disapproved.

Other recent polling has found Obama’s disapproval rating slightly lower, remaining in the low 50s. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed 50 percent disapproval, while Gallup has his disapproval at 52 percent.

In the AP poll, only 40 percent approve of Obama’s handling of international relations, a new low. The newswire notes that Obama’s handling of foreign policy is usually neutral.

Fifty-seven percent dislike his handling of the situation in Ukraine, where the Crimean region of the country voted this month to gain independence and join Russia.

The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials who it found violated the sovereignty of Ukraine. Obama has also signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on some sectors of the Russian economy.

Fifty-four percent said they dislike Obama’s interaction with Russia.

The president is in Europe this week as he makes the case for continued condemnation of Russia’s moves, which the United States has described as a violation of international law.

About nine in 10 survey respondents support sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea. The public is split on whether the sanctions should be strengthened or are about right.

Most people have no opinion on providing monetary aid to Ukraine. Twenty percent support it, while about 30 percent oppose it.

The poll surveyed 1,012 people in online interviews. It contains a 3.4-percent margin of error.

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Putin’s Approval Rating Hits 80 Percent – Big Peace

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Vladimir Putin’s popularity is cresting again in his native Russia, according to the independent Levada Center. His approval rating now stands at 80%, with only 18% of Russians disapproving. The last time Putin was so popular in Russia was in 2008, after he won a war with Georgia and Russia’s oil sales were giving a huge boost to the economy.

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President Asshat Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty

Obama Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty – Weasel Zippers

Consumer protections and the use of domestic law in the U.S. may drastically change as President Obama forges ahead with two secretive international deals that impact major aspects of the economy, privacy and beyond.

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Wednesday, Obama defended a proposed mega free-trade zone between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and the European Union.

“I have fought my entire political career, and as president, to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections,” Obama said during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Obama was responding to criticism of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which the U.S. has been negotiated with the EU since last July.

Besides creating the world’s biggest free-trade zone, the TTIP will also bring about closer cooperation between EU and U.S. regulatory bodies while more closely integrating the two economies.

One leak about the TTIP revealed a proposed “Regulatory Cooperation Council” that would evaluate existing regulations in the U.S. and EU and recommend future rules while coordinating a response to the current regulations.

Writing in the left-leaning the Nation magazine, foreign policy analyst Andrew Erwin said the TTIP was less about reducing tariffs and “more about weakening the power of average citizens to defend themselves against corporate labor and environmental abuses.”

Erwin took particular issue with a section in the TTIP called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which stipulates foreign corporations can sue the government utilizing a special international tribunal instead of the country’s own domestic system that uses U.S. law.

“The tribunals are not accountable to any national public or democratically elected body,” wrote Erwin.

Last December, a coalition of more than 200 environmentalists, labor unions and consumer advocacy organizations drafted a letter asking for the Investor-State Dispute Settlement section to be dropped.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported earlier this week that some American companies “are concerned that protections for investors will not be part of a deal.”

While Obama is negotiating the TTIP largely in secret, talks continue to forge ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The expansive plan is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.

On Tuesday, the leaders of Canada and Japan reportedly met on the sidelines of a nuclear summit at the Hague to discuss the TPP.

The TPP negotiations have been criticized by politicians and advocacy groups alike for their secrecy. The few aspects of the partnership leaked to the public indicate an expansive agenda with highly limited congressional oversight.

A New York Times opinion piece previously called the deal the “most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.”

Last October, the White House website released a joint statement with the other proposed TPP signatories affirming “our countries are on track to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.”

“Ministers and negotiators have made significant progress in recent months on all the legal texts and annexes on access to our respective goods, services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets,” the White House said.

The statement did not divulge details of the partnership other than to suggest a final TPP agreement “must reflect our common vision to establish a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries.”

Secrecy

In February, the Open the Government organization sent a letter to Obama blasting the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP talks, stating the negotiations have been “conducted in unprecedented secrecy.”

“Despite the fact the deal may significantly affect the way we live our lives by limiting our public protections, there has been no public access to even the most fundamental draft agreement texts and other documents,” read the letter.

The missive was signed by advocacy groups such as OpenTheGovernment.org, Project On Government Oversight, ARTICLE 19 and the Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and Information.

The groups warned issues being secretly negotiated include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”

Lack of oversight

Normally free-trade agreements must be authorized by a majority of the House and Senate, usually in lengthy proceedings.

However, the White House is seeking what is known as “trade promotion authority” which would fast track approval of the TPP by requiring Congress to vote on the likely lengthy trade agreement within 90 days and without any amendments.

The authority also allows Obama to sign the agreement before Congress even has a chance to vote on it, with lawmakers getting only a quick post-facto vote.

A number of lawmakers have been speaking out about the secret TPP talks.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., recently proposed legislation requiring the White House to disclose all TPP documents to members of Congress.

“The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations – like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America – are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden.

However, Obama has so far refused to give Congress a copy of the draft agreement.

Regulates food, Internet, medicine, commerce

The TPP is “more than just a trade deal,” wrote Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a New York Times op-ed last June.

“Only 5 of its 29 chapters cover traditional trade matters, like tariffs or quotas. The others impose parameters on nontrade policies. Existing and future American laws must be altered to conform with these terms, or trade sanctions can be imposed against American exports.”

Wallach and Beachy spotlighted several leaks in the proposed TPP text, including one that would regulate the price of medicine.

“Pharmaceutical companies, which are among those enjoying access to negotiators as ‘advisers,’ have long lobbied against government efforts to keep the cost of medicines down. Under the agreement, these companies could challenge such measures by claiming that they undermined their new rights granted by the deal.”

Amnesty International USA warned draft TPP provisions related to patents for pharmaceuticals “risk stifling the development and production of generic medicines, by strengthening and deepening monopoly protections.”

Another leak revealed the TPP would grant more incentives to relocate domestic manufacturing offshore, Wallach and Beachy related.

Jim Hightower, a progressive activist, wrote the TPP incorporates elements similar to the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Hightower wrote the deal would “transform Internet service providers into a private, Big Brother police force, empowered to monitor our ‘user activity,’ arbitrarily take down our content and cut off our access to the Internet.”

Indeed, Internet freedom advocacy groups have been protesting the TPP, taking specific issue with leaked proposals that would enact strict intellectual property restraints that would effectively change U.S. copyright law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued the TPP would “restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector.”

In a petition signed by more than 30 Internet freedom organizations, the group warned the TPP would “rewrite global rules on intellectual property enforcement.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obama Administration: We Never Mean A Word We Say (Amy Payne)

Obama Administration: We Never Mean A Word We Say – Amy Payne

No, it cannot happen. It will not happen. The Obama administration absolutely, positively will NOT extend the deadline to sign up for Obamacare.

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This isn’t even a laugh line anymore. It’s just an eye roller. And how silly these guys look now:

“We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” – Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11

“Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently.” – HHS official Michael Hash, March 11

“March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You’ve heard us make that clear.” – Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21

“There is no delay beyond March 31.” – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12

There was no delay… until there was. The Washington Post reported last night that March 31 is not, in fact, the final word. To get more time, you tell the government that you haven’t been able to sign up yet:

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

Excellent plan. Sounds very similar to the expanded hardship exemption from the individual mandate – where the administration essentially said having your policy canceled by Obamacare was a new hardship that had to be accommodated. And all you have to say is that you “believe” other insurance policies available to you are unaffordable.

So the administration’s word means nothing, but officials expect the rest of America to operate on the honor system.

After years of Obamacare delays and changes, the administration has lost all credibility.

Americans deserve better. You deserve patient-centered health reform that is true to its purpose: giving you more choices and better value. You deserve to control your own health care-and not to have to worry what the whims of government bureaucrats will be tomorrow.

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President Asshat Trying To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

Obama To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs – Washington Free Beacon

President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.

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The Tomahawk missile program – known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile” – is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.

In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly – from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.

The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.

“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.

“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.

The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.

Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

Cropsey said that if someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”

The Navy has used various incarnations of the Tomahawk with great success over the past 30 years, employing them during Desert Storm and its battle zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans.

While the military as a whole is seeing its budgets reduced and equipment scaled back, the Tomahawk cuts do not appear to be due to a lack of funds.

The administration seems to be taking the millions typically spent on the Tomahawk program and investing it in an experimental missile program that experts say will not be battle ready for at least 10 years.

“It is definitely short-sighted given the value of the Tomahawk as a workhorse,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon staffer who analyzes military readiness. “The opening days of the U.S. lead-from-behind, ‘no-fly zone’ operation over Libya showcased how important this inventory of weapons is still today.”

Overall, the Navy has essentially cut in half its weapons procurement plan, impacting a wide range of tactical weapons and missiles.

Navy experts and retired officials fear that the elimination of the Tomahawk and Hellfire systems – and the lack of a battle-ready replacement – will jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s supremacy as it faces increasingly advanced militaries from North Korea to the Middle East.

The cuts are “like running a white flag up on a very tall flag pole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on,’” Cropsey said.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell called the cuts to the Tomahawk program devastating for multiple reasons.

“We run a huge risk because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” said Russell, who is currently running for Congress.

“The very instrument we will often use and cite, we’re now cutting the program,” Russell said. “There was a finite number [of Tomahawk’s] made and they’re not being replenished.”

“If our national policy is contingent on an immediate response with these missile and we’re not replacing them, then what are we going do?” Russell asked.

North Korea, for instance, has successfully tested multi-stage rockets and other ballistic missiles in recent months. Experts say this is a sign that the Navy’s defensive capabilities will become all the more important in the Pacific in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the experimental anti-ship cruise missile meant to replace the Tomahawk program will not be battle ready for at least 10 years, according to some experts.

The Long Range Anti Ship Missile has suffered from extremely expensive development costs and has underperformed when tested.

“You have to ask yourself: An anti-ship missile is not going to be something we can drive into a cave in Tora Bora,” Russell said. “To replace it with something not needed as badly, and invest in something not even capable of passing basic tests, that causes real concern.”

The Pentagon did not return requests for comment.

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare Nightmare News Roundup

O-Care Premiums To Skyrocket – The Hill

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Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.

The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.

The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past.

“The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,” the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry’s consensus about next year.

“It’s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out… is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity.

The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.

The hikes are expected to vary substantially by region, state and carrier.

Areas of the country with older, sicker or smaller populations are likely to be hit hardest, while others might not see substantial increases at all.

Several major companies have been bullish on the healthcare law as a growth opportunity. With investors, especially, the firms downplay the consequences of more older, sicker enrollees in the risk pool.

Much will depend on how firms are coping with the healthcare law’s raft of new fees and regulatory restrictions, according to another industry official.

Some insurers initially underpriced their policies to begin with, expecting to raise rates in the second year.

Others, especially in larger states, will continue to hold rates low in order to remain competitive.
After this story was published, the administration pointed to some independent analyses that have cast doubt on whether the current mix of enrollees will lead to premium hikes.

ObamaCare also includes several programs designed to ease the transition and stave off premium increases. Reinsurance, for example, will send payments to insurers to help shoulder the cost of covering sick patients.

But insurance officials are quick to emphasize that any spikes would be a consequence of delays and changes in ObamaCare’s rollout.

They point out that the administration, after a massive public outcry, eased their policies to allow people to keep their old health plans. That kept some healthy people in place, instead of making them jump into the new exchanges.

Federal health officials have also limited the amount of money the government can spend to help insurers cover the cost of new, sick patients.

Perhaps most important, insurers have been disappointed that young people only make up about one-quarter of the enrollees in plans through the insurance exchanges, according to public figures that were released earlier this year. That ratio might change in the weeks ahead because the administration anticipates many more people in their 20s and 30s will sign up close to the March 31 enrollment deadline. Many insurers, however, don’t share that optimism.

These factors will have the unintended consequence of raising rates, sources said.

“We’re exasperated,” said the senior insurance official. “All of these major delays on very significant portions of the law are going to change what it’s going to cost.”

“My gut tells me that, for some people, these increases will be significant,” said Bill Hoagland, a former executive at Cigna and current senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Hoagland said Sebelius was seeking to “soften up the American public” to the likelihood that premiums will rise, despite promises to the contrary.

Republicans frequently highlight President Obama’s promise on the campaign trail to enact a healthcare law that would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

“They’re going to have to backpedal on that,” said Hoagland, who called Sebelius’s comment a “pre-emptive strike.”

“This was her way of getting out in front of it,” he added.

HHS didn’t comment for this article.

Insurers will begin the process this spring by filing their rate proposals with state officials.

Insurance commissioners will then release the rates sometime this summer, usually when they’re approved. Insurers could also leak their rates earlier as a political statement.

In some states, commissioners have the authority to deny certain rate increases, which could help prevent the most drastic hikes.

Either way, there will be a slew of bad headlines for the Obama administration just months before the election.

“It’s pretty bad timing,” said one insurance official.

Other health experts say predictions about premiums are premature.

David Cutler, who has been called an architect of Obama-Care, said, “Health premiums increase every year, so the odds are very good that they will increase next year as well. None of that is news. The question is whether it will be a lot or a little. That depends in part on how big the insurers think the exchanges will be.”

Jon Gruber, who also helped design the Affordable Care Act, said, “The bottom line is that we just don’t know. Premiums were rising 7 to 10 percent a year before the law. So the question is whether we will see a continuation of that sort of single digit increase, as Sebelius said, or whether it will be larger.”

The White House and its allies have launched a full-court press to encourage healthy millennials to purchase coverage on the marketplaces.

HHS announced this week that sign-ups have exceeded 5 million, a marked increase since March 1.

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday claimed the administration has picked up the pace considerably, saying months ago reporters would have laughed if he “had said there would be 5 million enrollees by March 18.”

It remains unclear how many of those enrollees lost their insurance last year because of the law’s mandates. Critics have also raised questions about how the administration is counting people who signed up for insurance plans.

Political operatives will be watching premium increases this summer, most notably in states where there are contested Senate races.

In Iowa, which hosts the first presidential caucus in the nation and has a competitive Senate race this year, rates are expected to rise 100 percent on the exchange and by double digits on the larger, employer-based market, according to a recent article in the Business Record.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:

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AP: Best Cancer Hospitals ‘Off-Limits’ To O-Care – Sweetness & Light

From a suddenly ‘concerned’ Associated Press:

Concerns about cancer centers under health law

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | March 18, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation’s new health care program. Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.

With that missing Malaysian airliner getting all of the news media’s attention, the AP must think it is safe to finally get around to reporting on how the better hospitals are refusing to take Obama-Care.

An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their states’ exchanges…

Those patients may not be able get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications…

Tough toe nails. This is social justice. Not real justice, or even fairness.

To keep premiums low, insurers have designed narrow networks of hospitals and doctors. The government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.

Less choice than Medicare? How wonderful. But choice only matters when it comes to getting an abortion, anyway.

By not including a top cancer center an insurer can cut costs. It may also shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere…

Still, look on the bright side. Thanks to Obama-Care you can get a ‘free’ sex change operation. And ‘free’ birth control pills.

After all, it’s not like people buy health insurance to get cancer treatment.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obama Making Last Ditch Effort To Shame Youth Into Obamacare – Big Government

Obamacare does not have enough young people paying into the system to keep it all from collapsing. So President Obama is making a last ditch effort to shame America’s youth into signing up for Obamacare in these last weeks before the deadline hits.

The President appeared on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show to urge young people to hurry up and get signed on with Obamacare before the March 31 deadline. Fittingly, the very next day after the deadline is April 1, known across the nation as April Fools Day.

On Seacrest’s show, Obama scolded young people for not signing up in sufficient numbers and warned them that if they don’t come out and support him, he’ll have to fine them.

“If you can afford it–you just decide you don’t want to get it because your attitude is ‘nothing’s ever going to happen to me’–then you’ll be charged a penalty,” he told Seacrest.

The President is desperate to get more people under 35 years of age to sign up because it is that age group who will be footing the bills for Obamacare. Millions of young, healthy people who won’t be using the coverage any time soon are need to pay into the system so that the older generation can pull money out without bankrupting the whole thing.

The Obama administration has estimated that it needs some 38 percent of those enrolled and paying premiums to be made up of the important age demographic. Unfortunately for Obama, only about 27 percent of those signed up thus far fit into that age demo.

Experts warn that unless more young people sign up, the current premiums will have to go up for everyone in order to compensate for the lopsided statistics.

Obama is already under fire for his years of claiming that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will actually be affordable. He continually said that premiums would be cheaper than a cell phone bill, but those promises have turned out to be false. And now, if the already high premiums have to go up to compensate for a lack of young enrollees, that lie will only grow in stature.

Speaking of his faltering “cell phone bill” analogy, recently, the President drew criticism when he told a Latino audience at a Spanish language townhall that they should cancel their cell phones and cable bills so that they could pay their expensive new Obamacare premiums.

Finally, Healthcare.gov launched its own scolding campaign with a new ad featuring a stern looking mother figure warning kids that they’d better get covered – or else!

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Consumer Reports Warns: “Stay Away From Healthcare.gov” – Daily Sheeple

One of America’s most well known and trusted organizations has given potential health care seekers yet another concern over the Patient Affordable Care Act.

According to Consumer Reports the government’s healthcare.gov web site, which is the primary entry point for millions of people needing to sign up for health care plans, is a “mess.”

Citing numerous issues including login problems, non functioning activation emails and a near 97% failure rate for account creation, the consumer watchdog has warned that people should stay away from the site for at least another month.

Frustrated by trying to register on HealthCare.gov? You’re hardly alone. Of the 9.47 million people who tried to register in the first week, only 271,00 were able to create an account, according to one analysis. That’s about 1 in 35. Many people couldn’t even create user names and passwords.

If all this is too much for you to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can. Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made. The coverage available through the marketplaces won’t begin until Jan. 1, 2014, at the earliest, and you have until Dec. 15 to enroll if you need insurance that starts promptly.

Historically, when Consumer Reports issues product warnings manufacturers, distributors and retailers may initiate a product recall, advising consumers of the dangers involved. In a free market involving the free exchange of goods and service Consumer Reports’ warnings are often heeded in an effort to prevent a public relations nightmare and the potential for class-action lawsuits.

In this case, however, the warning involves government mandated services, so the normal rules don’t apply because, frankly, government officials could care less.

In a perfect world we could just issue a recall, take the product of the shelves, and send the promoters to prison for false advertising and consumer endangerment.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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McKinsey: Only 14% Of Obamacare Exchange Sign-Ups Are Previously Uninsured Enrollees – Forbes

The Obama administration has, for months now, been peddling nice-sounding numbers as to how many people are gaining health coverage due to Obamacare. But their numbers have been inflated on two fronts. First, not everyone who has “selected a marketplace plan” under Obamacare has actually paid the required premiums, payment being required to actually gain coverage. Second, only a fraction of people on the exchanges were previously uninsured. A new survey from McKinsey gives us a better view into the real numbers. Of the 3.3 million people that the White House has touted as Obamacare exchange “sign-ups,” less than 500,000 are actual uninsured people who have actually gained health coverage.

Many Obamacare ‘enrollees’ aren’t actually enrolled

McKinsey, the leading management consulting firm, has been conducting monthly surveys of the exchange-eligible population under the auspices of its Center for U.S. Health System Reform. McKinsey’s most recent survey, conducted in February with 2,096 eligible respondents, found that only 48 percent had thus far signed up for a 2014 health plan. Within that 48 percent, three-fifths were previously insured people who liked their old plans and were able to keep them. The remaining two-fifths were the ones who signed up for coverage on the Obamacare exchanges.

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Of the Obamacare sign-ups, only 27 percent had been previously uninsured in 2013. And of the 27 percent, nearly half had yet to pay a premium. (By contrast, among the 73 percent who had been previously insured, 86 percent had paid.)

Put all those percentages together, and you get two key stats. Only 19 percent of those who have paid a premium were previously uninsured. Among those that the administration is touting as sign-ups, only 14 percent are previously uninsured enrollees: approximately 472,000 people as of February 1.

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Those not signing up cited affordability of plans as biggest issue

Here’s an important finding from McKinsey. The authors of the study – Amit Bhardwaj, Erica Coe, Jenny Cordina, and Mahi Rayasam – asked those who decided not to enroll in a plan what their reasons were for doing so. The most frequent reason – cited by 50 percent of respondents – was that “I could not afford to pay the premium.” Only 27 percent cited technical challenges; 14 percent said they couldn’t find a plan that met their needs. 21 percent said they were still deciding.

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This is the biggest problem with the way the “Affordable Care Act” approached coverage expansion. The reason why so many Americans are uninsured is because health insurance in this country is too expensive. Obamacare increases the underlying cost of health insurance, and then uses taxpayer-funded subsidies to offset those costs for some.

AP: 4.7 million Americans have had their plans canceled

Keep in mind another fact: According to the Associated Press, at least 4.7 million Americans who shop for coverage on their own have had their plans canceled because they don’t conform to Obamacare’s regulations. So Obamacare has disrupted the coverage of millions of Americans, requiring many to purchase costlier policies with higher deductibles and narrower doctor networks, for a fairly modest expansion of coverage.

According to the administration, total sign-ups now exceed 4 million. But on a recent HHS conference call, Obamacare implementation point man Gary Cohen was asked the key question: how many of the people who have signed up for Obamacare were previously insured? His response: “That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way.”

So. The whole point of Obamacare was to expand coverage to the uninsured. But for the tens of thousands of regulations that the law has imposed on the country, its authors never bothered to try to measure the one thing that they were actually trying to achieve. That about sums it all up.

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Obama To Hispanics: We Won’t Deport Relatives Because You Enroll In ObamaCare – The Hill

President Obama on Tuesday sought to assure legal immigrants that they can sign up for ObamaCare without worrying that “the immigration people” will come for family members who are in the country illegally.

In an interview with Univision Deportes, a Spanish-language sports radio show, Obama said immigration officials won’t have access to the personal information that consumers provide when signing up for healthcare on the new exchanges.

“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with… the rules governing immigration,” Obama said. “And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are… legally present in the United States.

“You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information.”

Adolf Falcon, the senior vice president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, told The Hill that Hispanic families are wary of Obama’s assurances because of his record on deportations.

“It is a big concern of mixed status families – they hear [the president’s] assurance, but because of the level of deportations that have happened, there’s a lot of families that don’t know whether they can trust that assurance,” he said. “It creates an atmosphere of concern.”

In Obama’s first four years in office, his administration deported people at a faster rate than any of the four previous administrations.

Falcon said his group fields about 4,000 calls a week from potential Hispanic consumers seeking information about the exchanges. He said that a good deal of the callers are asking about mixed-status families, seeking to make sure their applications can’t be used against family members.

For example, a family with a parent who is in the country illegally, and thus not eligible for ObamaCare, will still have to enroll his or her child who is eligible. This provokes fears in the parent that they are leaving themselves exposed.

Obama on Tuesday sought to allay those fears.

“You know, you will qualify, you know, regardless of what your family’s status is,” Obama said. “So, you know, people should not hold back just because they’re in a mixed-family status.”

The White House has said there are 10.2 million uninsured Hispanics eligible for ObamaCare in the country, and about 8.1 million are likely eligible for tax credits. Hispanics have the highest rate of uninsured of any ethnic group in the country.

The federal government doesn’t require consumers to identify their ethnicity when applying for healthcare coverage, but data from some state health exchanges suggest Hispanics are lagging.

The administration has focused intensely on Hispanics in its final enrollment push through initiatives like the Latino Enrollment Week of Action, and in partnership with a broad array of Spanish-language media outlets.

There are a host of other reasons that Hispanics have been slow to enroll – many are gaining coverage for the first time and worry the costs are prohibitive.

Falcon said the enrollment push depended too much on the technology, rather than in-person assistance. The administration has been criticized for the long delay in releasing the Spanish-language ObamaCare website, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, and some have said the final product was sloppy.

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare Nightmare News Roundup

March Madness? Fake ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers – Commentary

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The administration is claiming a limited victory by saying the number of those enrolled in ObamaCare has now hit 5 million with two weeks to go until the March 31 deadline. If accurate, the number does represent a steep increase over the 4.2 million that were said to have signed up at the beginning of the month. At this rate, administration cheerleaders reason, the goal of 7 million enrolled in the Affordable Care Act may yet be reached at some point in the near future, if not quite on time. This burst of enrollments is seen as a vindication of President Obama’s all-out push to promote the law including such questionable activities as appearing on the “Between Two Ferns” web show where he traded barbs with comedian Zach Galifianakis.

But before the president and his team start popping the champagne corks to celebrate their achievement and their faux hipness, it’s time once again to point out that the administration’s Potemkin enrollment figures should be read with a truckload of salt. As the New York Times reported last month, as much as 20 percent of all those enrolled had not actually paid their premiums, meaning they were not covered by the program. While Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told Congress she had no idea what the numbers of unpaid enrollees were, more states are reporting these figures and, as CNBC reported last week, the results are literally all over the map. While some states report high pay rates, others like Maryland say only 54 percent have paid.

All this calls in to question not only the effectiveness of the sales job done by the president and celebrity supporters such as Lebron James. It also means that the odds that this system can sustain itself without mandating vast increases in rates for those who do pay are getting slimmer every day.

For months we’ve been told by the administration that the only problem with ObamaCare was a “glitchy” website that had since been fixed. But what has since become clear is that the effort to convince young and healthy Americans to sign up for insurance that is both expensive and not something they may need is a failure. Though many of those who clearly benefit from the new health law, such as the poor and those with pre-existing conditions, have signed up, the scheme requires large numbers of those who won’t need the coverage as often in order to be economically viable. That problem will be exacerbated by the failure of much larger percentages of customers to pay for their insurance.

As we’ve noted previously, the non-payment of the premium is not a technicality. Many of those purchasing the insurance may be first-time buyers and not understand that they must pay their bill before coverage starts rather than long after the fact, as they can with a credit card transaction. Or it may be that some enrolled with no intention of paying or thinking that the hype about the glories of ObamaCare they’ve heard in the mainstream media and from the president absolved them of the obligation to pay for it. But either way, the large number of non-payments renders the enrollment figures meaningless and ensures that the rates for those who do pay are going up next year by percentages that will shock them.

The president claimed that the number of enrollees has already reached the point where the law will work rather than collapse from lack of participation. But even if we accept his premise that falling millions of customers short of the announced goal of seven million is no big deal, the fact that hundreds of thousands of those being counted in the pool of those he’s counting are not covered because of non-payment of premiums makes his assertion a colossal fraud.

The president may think that a March madness ad blitz during the NCAA basketball tournament may save ObamaCare. But if the past pattern holds, any further surge in enrollment will provide the scheme with a false sense of security. Until we get a full accounting not only of those who signed up on a website but completed the process by paying for the plan they chose, we’ll have no idea how many people truly are enrolled. Seen in that light, the president’s enrollment promises may well turn out to be no different from other pledges he has made about the ACA in the last few years: completely untrue.

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Obamacare Leaves Las Vegas Man Owing $407,000 In Doctor Bills – Las Vegas Review-Journal

The hospital bills are hitting Larry Basich’s mailbox.

That would be OK if Basich had health insurance. But he doesn’t.

Thing is, he should be covered. Basich, 62, bought a plan through the state’s Nevada Health Link insurance exchange in the fall. He’s been paying monthly premiums since November.

Yet the Las Vegan is stranded in a no-man’s-land where no carrier claims him, and his tab is mounting: Basich owes $407,000 for care received in January and February, when his policy was supposed to be in effect. Instead, he’s covered only for March and beyond.

Basich has begged for weeks for help from the exchange and its contractor, Xerox. But Basich’s insurance broker said Xerox seems more interested in lawyering up and covering its hide than in working out Basich’s problems. Nor is Basich the only client facing plan-selection errors through the exchange, she added.

Xerox, meanwhile, said it’s working every day to fix Basich’s problem, and its legal counsel is routine.

In the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its insurance exchanges, you can find a success story for every failure. But Basich’s case is extreme.

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?

Basich said he began trying to enroll on Oct. 1, the day the exchange website went live. Like many consumers, he fought technical flaws during multiple sign-up attempts. In mid-November he finally got through and chose his plan: UnitedHealthcare’s MyHPNSilver1.

“It was like reaching the third level of Doom,” Basich said of the torturous sign-up process.

Basich paid his first premium on Nov. 21, and within days the exchange withdrew the $160.77 payment from his money-market savings account. Because Basich paid a month before the Dec. 23 deadline, his coverage was to begin Jan. 1.

Weeks ticked by, but Basich received nothing to confirm he had insurance. Nevada Health Link kept telling him he was enrolled, but UnitedHealthcare said he wasn’t in their system.

Basich’s predicament went critical on Dec. 31, when he had a heart attack. His treatment, which included a triple bypass on Jan. 3, resulted in $407,000 in medical bills in January and February that no insurer is covering.

Basich and his insurance broker, Tamar Burch of Branch Benefits Consultants, said the issue appears to be confusion at the state exchange. Xerox’s system says Basich chose a plan from another insurer, Nevada Health CO-OP, even though Basich has paperwork that shows he selected MyHPNSilver1. In short, Xerox can’t seem to decide where Basich belongs, Burch said.

So the exchange is trying to compromise, putting Basich with Nevada Health CO-OP for January and February, when he incurred his bills, and with UnitedHealthcare from this month on. But CO-OP officials say Basich is not their member.

Nevada Health CO-OP CEO Tom Zumtobel told the exchange board on Feb. 27 that the nonprofit carrier spent seven days with Xerox determining Basich’s eligibility, only to find that Basich hadn’t chosen the group’s coverage.

“If he had picked our health plan, we would be advocating for a solution. But he didn’t pick us,” Zumtobel said. “We need someone on the board to advocate for him.”

Why have four months passed without a resolution?

“Xerox is truly out of their league. They need to understand they are an administrator, they are not an insurance company,” Burch said. “They need to understand their boundaries. They don’t understand this world. Everybody is at the mercy of Xerox, and they are not doing this right.”

Xerox representatives responded that they’re working hard to make it right.

“Mr. Basich’s issue is complex, and we’re working on it every day. We are in touch with Mr. Basich, his broker, the carriers, (Silver State Health Insurance Exchange) leadership, and the Division of Insurance to sort it out,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer.

The help didn’t come fast enough, said Basich, who blames his back-and-forth with the exchange in December at least in part for stress that caused his heart attack. That stress has turned up a few notches now that Basich is getting the bills. He fretted in the exchange board’s Thursday meeting about what will happen to his credit rating – and his ability to qualify for a mortgage – if the bills are not covered.

“All I wanted to do when I moved here was buy a house, get a dog and go to some spring training games for the Dodgers,” said Basich, who moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2012.

Meanwhile, the exchange sent Basich premium invoices for January and February. He paid them both.

WHO CAN HELP?

Basich has sought help at virtually every level of the system, from the Xerox customer-service reps who answer the phones at the exchange’s Henderson call center all the way to Gov. Brian Sandoval and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Both Sandoval’s and Reid’s offices have told him they want to help, Basich said, but there’s been no resolution so far.

Even Reid, who took flak for his Feb. 26 statement that “all” Obamacare “horror stories” are “untrue,” is trying to help. Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said one of the senator’s health-care legislative aides has been on the phone with Basich almost daily, “but at this point it’s in the hands of Xerox to see what can be done.”

Sandoval spokesman Mac Bybee said the office “regularly engages” the exchange and Xerox on behalf of any consumer who reaches out with concerns about Nevada Health Link.

Officials with the Nevada Division of Insurance said they’re also watching the situation.

“Mr. Basich’s concerns are certainly on our radar. We have discussed them with our partners at the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, and we feel confident that his concerns will soon be resolved appropriately,” division spokesman Jake Sunderland said.

But there hasn’t been much action. What’s more, when Burch discussed Basich’s case with Xerox executives on March 11, they said they couldn’t tell her much because the company had hired legal counsel. That’s even though Basich has no interest in suing and has not retained a lawyer. He said he merely wants the exchange to keep the promise it made when it withdrew three premium payments from his savings account.

Xerox seems to be spending inordinate time documenting Basich’s phone calls, website access and emails, Burch said. She said a Xerox executive tried to throw blame on Basich for writing four different applications with four separate sets of information.

“I said, ‘Larry’s not the only one who did that. Lots of people have created multiple applications. Nothing is concrete until people pay. If you have a problem with multiple applications, then you’ll have to come to our office and take back hundreds of cases,’” Burch said.

“I believe Xerox is covering themselves because of a huge system error. They don’t want the accountability of saying, ‘Yes, we did mess this up, and here’s the plan you selected.’ It’s like, ‘What did he pay for?’ That’s it. They are making this more complicated than it has to be,” she added.

Wasmer said there was nothing unusual about bringing in Xerox’s attorneys.

“Our internal counsel is part of the extended Xerox team looking into the situation,” she said. “It’s regular practice for a corporation to tap experts across its organization to best understand complicated issues like this one. We’ll continue to keep the goal of resolving Mr. Basich’s issue front and center as we work through its complexities.”

Though Basich’s problem is exceptional for its dollar value, his situation is not unusual, Burch said. She estimates that of nearly 200 Branch Benefits Consultants client sign ups via Nevada Health Link, only 5 percent have gone through problem-free. More than 20 customers have the same plan-selection issue as Basich. One gave up trying to fix it and is sticking with the plan the exchange put her in.

With the March 31 enrollment deadline looming, Burch said she still sees other widespread enrollment problems, including frequent website error messages; inaccurate federal subsidy calculations; payments missing in the system despite clients’ canceled checks; and wrong effective coverage dates. One client chose an effective coverage date of March 1. Her insurance card showed an effective date of Jan. 1. Burch said that when she called to fix the issue, a customer-service rep told her the system showed a start date of April 1.

Burch said her brokerage supports the Affordable Care Act and launched a department to sell exchange plans. But she said the experience is not what she or her clients hoped for.

“We think it’s a great concept for those who need insurance. It’s just unfortunate, with all of the roadblocks we’re dealing with right now,” Burch said. “The bottom line is, we’re talking about people. It’s not a system, it’s people. I think, somehow, Xerox forgot that.”

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State Touted As Obama’s Healthcare Reform Model Fires Its Obamacare Website Contractor – Daily Caller

The state of Massachusetts – touted by President Obama as the model for national health-care reform – is firing the company that designed both its failed state Obamacare enrollment website and also the Obama administration’s federal enrollment site.

Massachusetts is firing Canadian company CGI, which holds a $69 million contract to run the state’s Obamacare site. The state has already paid the company approximately $15.9 million. CGI was previously fired by the federal government in January.

“We have made the decision that we are going to be parting ways with CGI,” said Sarah Iselin, who serves as Governor Deval Patrick’s special assistant on the state’s Obamacare website fix, at a Monday board of directors meeting for the Massachusetts Obamacare exchange.

CGI’s incompetence is costing the state $10 million per month in unforeseen enrollment costs and preventing Massachusetts from having a fully working enrollment website until October 2014, according to an estimate.

But while CGI’s relationship with the Bay State is over, the company is still on good terms with the federal government.

The Daily Caller reported that CGI received six additional contracts from the Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the disastrous launch of the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment site. The six contracts were awarded between October 1 – when the over $600 million Obamacare website launched – through January 2014.

CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of the Canadian company CGI Group, and was formed in 2009 to bring CGI into the federal contracting business. The company employs Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate, and 2010 White House Christmas guest, Toni Townes-Whitley as a top executive.

CGI, which received the Obamacare website contract in Obama’s first term, was fired from its role as prime contractor on the federal government website in January. But the company still holds numerous government contracts, including a $6 billion contract with the Department of Homeland Security awarded less than a month before the failed Obamacare site went live and a prime contract on the Army’s much-maligned Human Terrain System, a failed program that sends academics into war zones to help soldiers understand local populations.

Massachusetts’ capital city of Boston now has the longest wait times to see a doctor of any of the 15 major U.S. cities. Bostonians wait an average of 45.5 days for an appointment with a family physician, dermatologist, orthopedic surgeon, or cardiologist.

“And it’s because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on… Your law was the model for the nation’s law,” Obama said in an October 30 speech at Boston’s Fanueil Hall.

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Health Insurance Premiums Up 39% To 56% Under Obamacare, Reach $2,604 A Month In California – Washington Examiner

Americans buying health insurance outside the new Obamacare exchanges are being forced to swallow premiums up to 56 percent higher than before the health law took effect because insurers have jumped the cost to cover all the added features of the new Affordable Care Act.

According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, a nationwide online private insurance exchange, families are paying an average of $663 a month and singles $274 a month, far more than before Obamacare kicked in. What’s more, to save money, most buyers are choosing the lowest level of coverage, the so-called “bronze” plans.

The firm provided the costs to Secrets through their new online price index, which gives the averages of what people are paying for insurance sold through their system. In California, for example, some families are paying a high of $2,604 a month and in New York, $1,845.

The shocking surge in prices show what Americans not in Obamacare or covered by their employer are paying as they seek lower premiums. Typically, they are not eligible for the subsidies Obamacare offers those with low incomes.

“Premiums are increasing primarily because of the new required provisions for 2014 Affordable Care Act compliant plans, including guaranteed issue, essential health benefits, modified community rating and minimum actuarial values,” said Brian Mast, spokesman for eHealthInsurance. “It is also likely that health insurance companies expected additional risk in the risk pool, because people with pre-existing conditions could no longer be denied coverage, and may have priced their plans higher to accommodate for this risk,” said Mast.

His firm’s price index also gives an average age for singles buying plans, and the results are worrying for insurers and the Obama administration. That’s because the average age is 36, older than the administration had hoped for.

Explaining the higher costs, Mast said, “There are likely other factors, but what is important is that moving forward, there needs to be a collective effort to enroll as many people as possible and create a broad and diverse risk pool to keep premiums in check. eHealth can help in that effort by enrolling consumers off-exchange and is pushing to be able to enroll people in subsidy-eligible plans as well.”

There is a hint of good news, though, in firm’s the price index. While the current costs for insurance are higher than before Obamacare, they have come down over the past several months.

Below is a cost summary provided by eHealthInsurance:

- Premiums have increased by 39 percent to 56 percent, compared to pre-Obamacare coverage. As of Feb. 24, the average premium for an individual health plan selected through eHealth without a subsidy was $274 per month, a 39 percent increase over the average individual premium for pre-Obamacare coverage.

- The most recent average premium for plans without a subsidy chosen by families was $663 per month, a 56 percent increase over the average family premium in Feb. 2013, which was $426 per month.

- For both individual and family applicants, bronze plans have been the most popular plan type chosen since the beginning of open enrollment.

- Shoppers chose less expensive plans as open enrollment progressed

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Pastor Diagnosed With Cancer: ‘No Compassion In The Affordable Care Act’ – Weekly Standard

A pastor recently diagnosed with cancer, and who is covered under Obamacare, tells a local Iowa reporter that there’s “no compassion in the Affordable Care Act.”

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“Back in January, Pastor Angran was diagnosed with stage three cancer of the esophagus. He had insurance, but because of a previous heart condition, it did not cover the treatments he needed for his cancer. He found that out just minutes before receiving life-saving chemo,” says the local reporter.

The pastor says, “One of the workers came and said let me talk to you. And so I went to talk to her. She says that we found out that your insurance does not include chemo.”

“Over the past two months, the Angrans have emptied their savings account and racked up $50,000 in debt. They signed up for the Affordable Care Act,” says the local reporter, “but found it to be anything but affordable. It will cost the couple more than $800 per month, money they just don’t have.”

The reporter adds, “As a pastor, Angran has devoted his life to helping others, to being compassionate. He says, ‘There’s no compassion in the Affordable Care Act.’”

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White House Now Touting Obamacare With Twerking, Cat Gifs – Daily Caller

The newest Obamacare promotion has the official White House website imitating a March Madness-style bracket featuring gifs of twerking girls, cats and “YOLO” to convince coveted young millennials to sign up.

While President Obama’s campaigns were noted for their successful youth outreach, he has been unable to attract young people to sign up for insurance under Obamacare so far. Last week, Obama tried to up youth exchange enrollment with an appearance on “Between Two Ferns” with the often foul-mouthed star Zack Galifianakis.

Now the White House has moved onto gifs with “The 16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered.”

White House advertising experts spent taxpayer dollars putting together a bracket of new Obamacare benefits, intended to attract young viewers. People are encouraged to vote for their favorite benefit, with an accompanying gif that paints a picture of what Obamacare supposedly does for you.

One features young girl attempting to twerk on a countertop in a public bathroom and failing catastrophically – “because accidents happen.”

Twerk girl’s moves are set against Michelle Obama dunking a mini-basketball – because “women can’t be charged more than men,” despite women’s higher usage of health care services.

White House Deputy Director of Online Engagement Erin Lindsay already weighed in on the most pressing question facing the Obama administration – whether the girl in the gif is successfully twerking. Though she’s not a “twerk expert,” Lindsay admitted in a tweet Monday afternoon, “I certainly think she’s trying.”

“Birth control is free,’ one bracket proclaims, alongside a gif of several ducks that reads “I’m so excited.” Regulations directly hitting insurance companies are illustrated by cats – one decked out in a blazer with cash splashed about in front of it.

The benefits are illustrated with dogs, cats, pandas, even an over-excited Elmo. But the best might be a waving proclamation that “You only YOLO once,” “So don’t gamble with your health.”

Though the Obama administration predicted it would need at least 39 percent of exchange customers to fall between the ages of 18 and 35 in order for the marketplaces to remain afloat, they’ve currently topped out at 25 percent with just a few weeks left.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Obama-Loving SEIU Receives Second Largest Campaign Finance Fine In Michigan History

SEIU Hit With Second-Biggest Campaign Finance Fine In Michigan History – Washington Free Beacon

The Service Employees International Union will have to pay the second-highest fine in Michigan history for its failed 2012 campaign to preserve forced union dues among home care workers.

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Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said that the politically powerful union agreed to pay the state nearly $200,000 for failing to properly disclose donors and file timely campaign reports.

The union funneled more than $9 million into two 501(c)(4) non-profit groups, Home Care First Inc. and Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, which served as the public face of a ballot initiative.

“These organizations cannot be used as a means to conceal the identity of the true contributors,” Johnson said in a release. “This agreement reflects our commitment to transparency and accountability in the campaign finance process, especially in an election year.”

The union could have faced millions of dollars in fines if it did not settle with the Secretary of State’s office. SEIU said in a statement that reporting oversights were inadvertent.

“We have decided not to dispute the preliminary findings of the Secretary of State and SEIU Michigan consider this matter closed,” the union said. “The mistakes were a result of errors and reports by the Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care regarding the receipt and transfer of funds.”

The fine stemmed from an August 2013 complaint filed with the Secretary of State’s office. It alleged that the union and its 501(c)(4) groups misreported its campaign disclosures. For example, SEIU reported more than $4 million in direct contributions to the 501(c)(4)s in September filings, but those contributions were later scrubbed from an October campaign report, according to the Secretary of State’s complaint.

Patrick Wright, a senior legal analyst with the free market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the fine was an appropriate conclusion for an election battle “that started off ugly and ended ugly.”

The SEIU earned about $6 million per year from the forced dues program established by former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. It was willing to spend big money to preserve it, according to Wright.

“They were willingly bend the rules to set the scheme up in first place, so their attempts to continue it through questionable campaign finance is in no way a shock,” he said. “Clearly it was a major income source and they were loathe to let it go.”

The fine is the second highest campaign finance violation in Michigan history. Former Democratic congressman Mark Schauer was forced to pay the state more than $225,000 for taking excessive contributions from his state Senate campaign fund in 2009. Schauer is now running for Michigan governor.

Wright said that the large amount indicates that the union recognized the state had powerful evidence of campaign malfeasance.

“They seem to be clearly admitting fault. The amount of money seems to indicate that the culpability was rather clear and that they’re hoping this will go away,” he said.

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Thanks Barack… China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet

China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet – Breitbart

Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.

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This morning we heard from a few Republican critics of the Internet handover. National Journal adds Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to the list:


“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”

The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!

It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:

If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”

The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.

“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”

So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.

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