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Report: Obamacare Exchanges Fraud Costs Taxpayers Millions

It seems an incredible waste to put tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of taxpayer dollars at risk through fraud on federal exchanges.

Christopher Jacobs reports: What do Obamacare and Haley Joel Osment have in common? They both see dead people.

On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released another report into eligibility verification checks on the federally run Obamacare insurance exchange used by more than three dozen states. As with prior studies, GAO concluded that regulators still need to improve integrity efforts to ensure the federal government spends taxpayer funds wisely.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

Among the report’s most noteworthy conclusions: A total of 17,000 federally subsidized insurance policies studied during the 2015 plan year—the most recent for which GAO had complete data at the time of its investigation—began or continued after the applicant’s reported date of death. In 1,000 of those cases, coverage began after the applicant’s reported date of death. In a further 2,000, the application was submitted after the applicant’s reported date of death—in most cases because the exchange automatically re-enrolled applicants without checking to determine that they remained alive.

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GAO previously recommended that the federal exchange verify eligibility periodically, checking changes in circumstances that would affect the status of federal subsidies, such as death. However, to the best of auditors’ knowledge, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not implemented this recommendation, one of 18 relating to exchange integrity that remain open (i.e., not completed) from two prior GAO reports. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Ted Cruz vs Bernie Sanders Debate the Future of Obamacare 

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[VIDEO] OH YES THEY CAN: This Is How to Finally Repeal Obamacare 

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[VIDEO] REWIND: Best of Late-Night Jokes Mocking Obamacare

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[VIDEO] Krauthammer: With Obamacare Insolvent, Democrats Want a ‘Single-Payer Government System’ 

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[VIDEO] Our National Obamacare Nightmare 


Williamson in Wonderland: ‘The Supreme Court Has Firmly Established That It Does Not Matter What The Law Says Or Does Not Say’

Illustration: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland original vintage engraving. Tea party with the Mad Hatter, Dormouse and the White Rabbit. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Illustration from John Tenniel, published in 1865. TEXT: Kevin D. Williamson, National Review http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420406/john-roberts-decision-kevin-d-williamson

Opening paragraph of “Ayatollah Roberts and His Sharia Council” by Kevin D. Williamson
Read Kevin D. Williamson‘s article about the SCOTUS rulings here, at National Review 

 


MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber Had Bigger Role in Health Law, Emails Show

GRUBER-WSJ

Adviser whose comments on Affordable Care Act touched off a furor worked more closely than previously known with White House

Stephanie Armour writes: Jonathan Gruber, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist whose comments about the health-care law touched off a political furor, worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape the law, previously unreleased emails show.

“His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted. There’s no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said. He put up this facade he was an arm’s length away. It was a farce.”

— Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R. Utah), chairman of the House oversight committee

The emails provided by the House Oversight Committee to The Wall Street Journal cover messages Mr. Gruber sent from January 2009 through March 2010. Committee staffers said they worked with MIT to obtain the 20,000 pages of emails.

They depict frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and that he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.

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The administration has sought to distance itself from the MIT economist in the wake of his controversial statements in a 2013 video where he said the health law passed because of the “huge political advantage” of the legislation’s lacking transparency. He also referred to the “stupidity of the American voter.”

Republicans seized on the comments as evidence that supporters of the law purposely misled the public about its costs. Mr. Gruber received nearly $400,000 from HHS for his work focusing on health-policy computer models, according to public records.

The White House has described Mr. Gruber as having a limited role in crafting the law. President Barack Obama in 2014 said Mr. Gruber was “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” In testimony last year before Congress, Mr. Gruber disagreed with the widespread characterization of his role as the “architect” of Mr. Obama’s health-care plan.

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“His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R. Utah), chairman of the House oversight committee. “There’s no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said. He put up this facade he was an arm’s length away. It was a farce.”

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Mr. Chaffetz on Sunday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwellrequesting information justifying the department’s sole source contract with Mr. Gruber for his work on the health law.

Mr. Gruber declined to comment. Read the rest of this entry »


Enhanced Interrogation: The Verdict is In

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Jonathan Gruber + MIT + Individual Mandate + Congressional Budget Office + National Review = Adolf Hitler?

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If you’re a WordPress blogger and post something critical of the Obama Administration and Health Care legislation, do you ever find unrelated content suggestions promoting creepy or offensive content leaking into the Content Recommendations panel?  Either this is innocently absurd (benefit of the doubt) or legitimate Op-Ed criticism is being suspiciously herded into a category that triggers “kooky conspiracy theory” suggestions.

Read this post and see if there’s anything that could possibly fit with “Adolf Hitler”, or “Barack Obama Citizenship conspiracy theories”.  Didn’t find anything related to Obama’s citizenship? Didn’t find anything related to Adolf Hitler? Exactly. Me neither.

The above screen cap records the list of suggestions offered in the content recommendations tags list when I prepared this post. A short post with only 88 words. If any one of the 88 words in that post is related in any way to these obnoxious suggestions (Hitler? Really?) I fail to see a connection.

One episode does not make a pattern, so there are no conclusions to draw here. But if any other WordPress bloggers find similar nonsense appearing in content suggestions, please, make a screen cap, and post it.

 


[VIDEO] Jon Gruber in… HEALTHCARE PLAN 9 FROM M.I.T.

David Burge @iowahawkblog


Why Raising Minimum Wage Means Less Money in Your Pocket

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“The Affordable Care Act demonstrates the phenomenon. This landmark piece of social legislation extended free or highly subsidized health insurance to millions of additional Americans. But it also, therefore, increases the loss of benefits to low-income workers after a raise.“

TIME

Will you actually be richer when your pay is raised to $15 per hour?

Perhaps the question seems ludicrous. Of course you’re better off making $15 an hour than you were at $9 per hour, right? But the answer is, unfortunately, not as obvious as you might think. And the question itself—will workers getting a raise be better off?—has been missing from debates in cities from New York to Los Angeles over whether to establish $15 per hour minimum wages for some workers.

Instead, we’re seeing the same old arguments — from San Francisco, where voters must decide on a November ballot measure proposing a new $15 per hour wage floor, to Seattle, which will begin phasing in $15 per hour next year — over whether the minimum wage hurts business and jobs, or whether it boosts local economies by giving workers more money to spend. For the record, I…

View original post 828 more words


[VIDEO] The Hammer: Affordable Care Act Language Is ‘Not Ambiguous At All’

 “If the D.C. Court is upheld, Obamacare is over. It won’t survive.”

Charles Krauthammer believes that the language in the Affordable Care Act saying that subsidies are to be provided through state exchanges is unambiguous…He referred to a point made earlier today on NRO by Andrew McCarthy, who argued that even if you accept the government’s defense that it was indeed a drafting error, Congress is the only instrument in the constitutional system that can change the error.

“It is not in the power of the executive to fix what’s written in the legislation.”

The Corner


Good News: Americans No Longer Required to Obey Laws, Regulations, or Court Decisions

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White House Signals Greater Flexibility and Autonomy, Encourages Non-Compliance for All Americans, All U.S. Laws and Regulations Subject to Individual Discretion

For The Daily CallerSarah Hurtubise reports: The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court’s ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.

A D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday morning that customers in the 36 states that didn’t establish their own exchange and use HealthCare.gov instead cannot be given premium tax credits, according to the text of the Affordable Care Act itself.

[White House on Obamacare Ruling: Letter of the Law Doesn’t Matter]

[RELATED: Federal Court Takes Down Obamacare: Subsidies In Federal Exchange Are Illegal]

[‘Court Upholds Obamacare; Liberals Hit Hardest’]

But the White House said in response that it will continue handing out the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies.  Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Panel Says Most Obamacare Subsidies Illegal

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Crash and burn for Obamacare?

 reports: In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on obama-exec-oHealthCare.gov are not legal under the Affordable Care Act.

“Now, Obama and Company will look for John Roberts to pull their fat out of the fire again. I am afraid he will.”

— Wesley J. Smith

[Obamacare Fed Exchange Subsidies Fall]

In its decision, a three-judge panel said that such subsidies can be granted only to people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up a state.

[Also see: Good News: Americans No Longer Required to Obey Laws, Regulations, or Court Decisions]

[White House on Obamacare Ruling: Letter of the Law Doesn’t Matter]

[See the court document here]

The decision is certain to be challenged by the Obama Administration, and does not immediately have the effect of law. But if it is ultimately upheld, it would cause insurance rates for those people who lost the subsidies to dramatically rise. Read the rest of this entry »


Employees Hired to Process Obamacare Applications: We Did Absolutely Nothing

Employees at a Missouri facility awarded $1.2 billion to process Obamacare applications told a local news station that they were “just doing nothing — absolutely nothing” over the past several months.

“You sit there and you wait and you wait and you wait.”

Over her six months at the facility, she said she processed only six total applications; another employee was told by her supervisor that processing just one or two applications per month was sufficient…(read more) NRO


Al Franken: People Don’t Like Me?

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

From NRO‘s Morning Jolt:

Here’s the headline from a new poll of Minnesota likely voters commissioned by American Encore and conducted by Magellan Strategies:

Only 41 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Sen. Franken, while 45 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Only 44 percent approve of the job he is doing.

• 54% of respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and only 38% approve.

• Only 40% of respondents think Al Franken deserves re-election.

Read the rest of this entry »


Memo To Clueless Democrats Crowing About Obama’s April 1st Deadline “Victory”: After Four Years and Millions of Sign-Ups, Obamacare Is Still Unpopular

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Democrats have said people would learn to love the law once they saw how it would help them. Polls show the public doesn’t agree so far.

Kristen Soltis Anderson writes:  “When people see what is in the bill, they will like it,” Nancy Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act back in November. So far, she’s wrong.Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Democrats have had a similar refrain. From the moment the bill was signed into a law, the reforms known as Obamacare have never been viewed positively by a majority of voters. Even on the eve of its passage, at least a plurality  said they opposed the law. But Democrats have long warned Republicans that eventually the public would come around. Sure, the law is unpopular now but just wait until people’s lives are really affected! They’ll love it!

“If last fall’s round of cancellation letters wasn’t enough, another round is expected to go out this fall for letting small businesses know that they too can’t keep their plans.”

They were right in one sense: the way people’s lives are concretely affected by the law will have a much greater impact on public opinion than any political messaging. The amount people spend on health care or the ability to see the doctor they want will be far more influential in generating support or opposition to the law than any speech or slogan. Yet as the enrollment window for health insurance plans on the exchanges came to a close this week, a look at the polling trends still shows significantly more Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act than support it, and that opposition to it is still higher today than it was on the day of the rollout of the exchanges. As initial opposition to the law based on fear of the unknown has given way to continuing opposition as implementation continues, and the notion that a fully implemented law would win plaudits from the public has not turned out to be the case. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hammer: ‘For All of the Words in Obamacare, None of Them Really Matter’

“For all those words” in Obamacare, none of them really matter, because they get changed arbitrarily after the law is passed.”

On Special ReportKrauthammer called this most recent change “cynicism to the level of comedy,” adding that nobody was surprised that the administration was lying when they said this deadline wouldn’t change.

“Of course, with this administration, there are no deadlines unless the president or Sebelius or somebody else decides the gig is up.”

National Review Online


Obamacare’s Hierarchy of Privilege

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No one who favors the law wants to be bound by it. 

Mark Steyn writes:  On his radio show the other day, Hugh Hewitt caught me by surprise and asked me about running for the United States Senate from New Hampshire. My various consultants, pollsters, PACs, and exploratory committees haven’t fine-tuned every detail of my platform just yet, but I can say this without a doubt: I will not vote for any “comprehensive” bill, whether on immigration, health care, or anything else. “Comprehensive” today is a euphemism for interminably long, poorly drafted, and entirely unread — not just by the people’s representatives but by our robed rulers, too (how many of those Supreme Court justices actually plowed through every page of Obamacare when its “constitutionality” came before them?). The 1862 Homestead Act, which is genuinely comprehensive, is two handwritten pages in clear English. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is 500 times as long, is not about patients or care, and neither protects the former nor makes the latter affordable.

“The Affordable Care Act means whatever President Obama says it means on any particular day of the week. Whether it applies to you this year, next year, or not at all depends on the whim of the sovereign, and whether your CEO golfs with him on Martha’s Vineyard.”

So what is it about? On Wednesday, the Nevada AFL-CIO passed a resolution declaring that “the unintended consequences of the ACA will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week.” That’s quite an accomplishment for a “health” “care” “reform” law. But the poor old union heavies who so supported Obamacare are now reduced to bleating that they should be entitled to the same opt-outs secured by big business and congressional staffers. It’s a very strange law whose only defining characteristic is that no one who favors it wants to be bound by it.

“A few weeks back, the president unilaterally suspended the law’s employer mandate. Under the U.S. Constitution, he doesn’t have the power to do this, but judging from the American people’s massive shrug of indifference he might as well unilaterally suspend the Constitution, too.”

Meanwhile, on the very same day as the AFL-CIO was predicting the death of the 40-hour week, the University of Virginia announced plans to boot working spouses off its health plan beginning January 1 because the Affordable Care Act has made it unaffordable: It’s projected to add $7.3 million dollars to the university’s bill in 2014 alone.

Read the rest of this entry »


And the Award goes to…

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George W. Bush found the solution to America’s healthcare crisis seven years ago. Too bad nobody listened.

 (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BUSHCARE

Edward Lazear writes:  The Congressional Budget Office’s warning that the Affordable Care Act will cause employment to fall by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers is just the latest of Obamacare’s negative surprises. Unfortunately, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” is proving to be depressingly accurate.

The law’s defenders legitimately argue that it is not sufficient merely to criticize the Affordable Care Act; responsible action requires proposing an alternative. Fortunately, Republicans have a good one, and it’s been hiding in plain sight for the past seven years. The plan was first described in President George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, but it remains timely. This plan would remedy most of the major problems that exist in America’s health care system and cause less destruction with fewer adverse consequences than Obamacare.

There are two main problems associated with health care in the United States today. First, it is expensive. Health economists, among them Daniel Kessler at Stanford, have shown convincingly that the United States spends a larger share of its gross domestic product on health care than other countries (for example, about one-and-a-half times what Switzerland spends per capita) because of inappropriate incentives to use care efficiently. Patients who have insurance or rely on state funds to cover their expenses bear little of the cost of any treatment received, which causes them to use health resources as if they were almost free. This means that health care is overused and the scarce resources do not always go to those who need them most. Part of this is a result of a Tax Code that subsidizes expensive plans, which have low co-payments and overly extensive coverage. The second problem is the large number of uninsured Americans who do not have reasonable access to health care and who obtain the health care that they do receive in inefficient ways, such as using emergency rooms for minor ailments.

Read the rest of this entry »


Magic Unicorns are Real! Republicans Who Love Obamacare

A very special report by paranormal phenomena WUSF News reporter :

Exclusive rare photo Obamacare-loving Republican

Exclusive. Rare discovery, screen capture of unique Obamacare-loving Republican

By now, the Republican Party’s view of the Affordable Care Act should be pretty familiar.

unicorns-rainbow“I’m fighting to repeal Obamacare, right away. It’s bad for our families, and our economy.”

But not all Republicans agree; one is Irene Jacusis of New Port Richey, who was uninsured until now.

“I did not vote for Obama,” she said. “But I am so in love with this plan, with this health care plan, what can I do?”

She knows that her party wants to repeal it. “But I don’t think they’re going to,” she said. “There are too many people out there who need this and require it.”

Other special Republicans agree. Another Republican who wants to keep the Affordable Care Act is Maryimages Fallon of St. Petersburg…

“In a half hour she had my account set up, and I had a confirmation, a password, a login, and I was good to go,” said Fallon, 49. “This was December and I cried. I just held my hands up in the air. Thank you, god. Finally, some relief. I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Glowing reviews from special Republican Obamacare supporters..

“ I have dental insurance!” she said in wonder. “And all the doctors that I do see, my dentist, my GYN, for a whole year I’m paying less than I paid per month.”

Read more…

Read the rest of this entry »


What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels

Health insurance should be individual, portable across jobs, states and providers, and lifelong and renewable.

David Gothard

David Gothard

John H. Cochrane  writes:  The unraveling of the Affordable Care Act presents a historic opportunity for change. Its proponents call it “settled law,” but as Prohibition taught us, not even a constitutional amendment is settled law—if it is dysfunctional enough, and if Americans can see a clear alternative.

This fall’s website fiasco and policy cancellations are only the beginning. Next spring the individual mandate is likely to unravel when we see how sick the people are who signed up on exchanges, and if our government really is going to penalize voters for not buying health insurance. The employer mandate and “accountable care organizations” will take their turns in the news. There will be scandals. There will be fraud. This will go on for years.

Yet opponents should not sit back and revel in dysfunction. The Affordable Care Act was enacted in response to genuine problems. Without a clear alternative, we will simply patch more, subsidize more, and ignore frauds and scandals, as we do in Medicare and other programs.

There is an alternative. A much freer market in health care and health insurance can work, can deliver high quality, technically innovative care at much lower cost, and solve the pathologies of the pre-existing system.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘We Screwed the Duck’: CNN Really Misheard Obama’s Health Care Apology

President Obama admitted during his big end-of-year press conference, “We screwed it up.” This was in reference to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, considered his signature achievement in office.

Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty has (regrettably) been in the news for three whole days now, and whether it had something to do with that or was just an innocent mistake, someone at CNN clearly misheard what the president said and this is what ended up on CNN’s Political Ticker instead.

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So… does this mean CNN screwed the duck too?

Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Americans Want to Go Back to Previous Health Care System, Disagree With President Obama on Size and Power of Government

 writes:  At a recent event, President Barack Obama said the health care law is here to stay and vowed, “We aren’t going back.” But 55 percent of Americans say they’d prefer to go back to the health care system that was in place before the Affordable Care Act, while 34 percent prefer the current health care system.

The latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds the Affordable Care Act’s troubled launch has made 47 percent of Americans less confident in government’s ability to solve problems. Forty-one percent say the troubles have made no difference and 11 percent say the health care law’s launch has given them more confidence in the government.

“This is the most transparent administration in history,” President Obama has declared. However, 57 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that the Obama administration is not the most transparent administration in history, while 37 percent agree with the president’s statement.

A majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they disagree with President Obama’s views about the proper size and power of government, while 38 percent agree with the president.      Read the rest of this entry »


Liberals’ Love-Hate Relationship With the Law

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Peter Berkowitz writes:  The controversies raging about the merits of two very different Obama administration policies, the Affordable Care Act and addressing Iran’s nuclear program, shed light on the common political outlook that underlies them.

President Obama’s signature domestic initiative and his grandest foreign affairs undertaking alike reflect a defining feature of the progressive or left-liberal mind. Both betray an incoherent opinion, or rather incoherent set of opinions, about politics and law. In both cases, Obama began by exaggerating the primacy of the rule of law. Subsequently, without fanfare, apology, or apparent regret he blithely disregarded the requirements of law.

 It’s not unheard-of for a politician to change his tune to suit changing circumstances — nor should it be. But the left-liberal tendency to exalt the supreme importance of the rule of law and then to nonchalantly set it aside when it is no longer expedient reflects something more than improvised adjustment to the needs of the moment. This attraction to the extremes is fueled by the same deep-rooted source.

The left-liberal mindset endemic on the college faculties and law schools where Barack Obama’s political sensibilities were forged holds that morals and politics are subject to a universal reason to which the left-liberal sensibility is uniquely attuned. This conceit receives expression in a faith that the left-liberal brain trust can embody complex public policy in general rules and regulations, which can then be administered smoothly by well-educated bureaucrats and adjudicated impartially by empathetic judges.

Read the rest of this entry »


SHOCK: Obamacare Fix Could Add Millions of Dollars in Government Costs

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Adam Aigner-Treworgy reports: President Barack Obama’s proposal to allow people to keep canceled health plans for one year could end up costing the government millions of dollars.

This is due to a provision of the Affordable Care Act called risk corridors that allows for insurers to share the cost of insuring more expensive customers…

CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs  [Full Story]


Which one is lying, Obama or the White House?

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If that sounds like a trick question, you’re just not smart enough to understand it. Go back to your coloring books, teabagger.

Whew! Glad they left. It’s just us now, the sophisticates who can appreciate nuance and subtlety and crap like that. We understand how the following two things can be reconciled.

Here’s President Barack Obama, speaking last Monday: Read the rest of this entry »


Will a ‘Tech Surge’ Save HealthCare.gov ?

There might yet be hope from the private sector — just not in the way you might think.
Flickr

Flickr

Christina Farr reports:  Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promised it would recruit the ”best and brightest” to fix HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s online insurance marketplace that’s part of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which has been plagued by technical defects. On Monday, President Barack Obama promised a “tech surge” to fix the problems.

It’s not going to happen.

HealthCare.gov is not going to get help from “the best and brightest” nor a “surge,” neither of which it can easily afford. In reality, the government’s options are limited, sources tell VentureBeat.

But there might yet be hope from the private sector — just not in the way you might think.

Read the rest of this entry »


All Sham, No Wow

The lady on the left passed out before the speech was done. Associated Press

The lady on the left passed out before the speech was done.      Associated Press

Obama Delivers an Infomercial when an Accounting is Due

James Taranto writes: “The Affordable Care Act is not just a website,” President Obama said at the Rose Garden today. “It’s much more.” It’s like a chamois, it’s like a towel, it’s like a sponge.

Another way of putting it is that ObamaCare isn’t just a technical failure. And it isn’t just an economically unsustainable scheme. Now it’s a rhetorical disaster too. Even by the standards of Obama speeches it was terrible. It was so bad, it was the ObamaCare website of political oratory.

Fine, blame us. After all, we called for an Obama speech. But remember that what we called for–it was right there in the subheadline–was an accounting. What he gave us was an infomercial. Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare seeks to segregate patients, doctors by race

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Separate but Equal Health Care

Katie McHugh writes: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor under Obamacare — if you both belong to the same race.

Obamacare’s spectacular flop of a rollout distracts from its crude calculus that encourages the allocation of healthcare resources along racial lines and a doctor-patient system splintered into ethnicities.

While the 2010 Patient Protecion and Affordable Care Act’s language on diversity sounds innocuous, a review of the frankly separatist thinking of the law’s ardent supporters indicates Obamacare is aiming for a health care system that puts political correctness above the struggle against illness and death.

A 2009 report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) examining the House and Senate bill eventually signed by President Barack Obama advocates pairing patients and doctors of the same race, a goal toward which the law channels taxpayer dollars. Read the rest of this entry »


WA State: 98% of UFCW Union Vote to Strike Because of Obamacare

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The Washington State United Food and Commercial Workers Union has voted to authorize a strike because of Obamacare regulations. Approximately 30,000 workers could walk picket lines as early as next week and the vote to strike was approved by 98% of the membership.

One of the new proposals in the current contract negotiations is to provide health insurance only to those employees working a 30+ hour work week.  “As with all employers, the Affordable Care Act will impact how we deliver health benefits to our employees,” said Allied chief negotiator Scott Powers. The previous contract provided healthcare for workers with 16+ hour work weeks.

Union officials say the President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act is being used as a convenient excuse to cut benefits.”The reason why the employers are doing this is it’s a big money grab,” said Tom Geiger of UFCW Local 21.

This could be the beginning of strikes around the country as the consequences of Obamacare become apparent.

The Conversation


That Sound of Big Government Hitting the Wall

Mark July 3, 2013, as the day Big Government finally imploded.

July 3 was the quiet afternoon that a deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy announced in a blog post that the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate would be delayed one year. Something about the “complexity of the requirements.” The Fourth’s fireworks couldn’t hold a candle to the sound of the U.S. government finally hitting the wall.

Since at least 1789, America’s conservatives and liberals have argued about the proper role of government. Home library shelves across the land splinter and creak beneath the weight of books arguing the case for individual liberty or for government-led social justice. World Wrestling smackdowns are nothing compared with Hayek vs. Rawls.

Maybe we have been listening to the wrong experts. Philosophers and pundits aren’t going to tell us anything new about government. The one-year rollover of ObamaCare because of its “complexity” suggests it’s time to call in the physicists, the people who study black holes and death stars. That’s what the federal government looks like after expanding ever outward for the past 224 years.

image

Douglas Jones

Even if you are a liberal and support the goals of the Affordable Care Act, there has to be an emerging sense that maybe the law’s theorists missed a signal from life outside the castle walls. While they troweled brick after brick into a 2,000-page law, the rest of the world was reshaping itself into smaller, more nimble units whose defining metaphor is the 140-character Twitter message.

Laughably, Barack Obama tried this week to align himself with the new age in a speech calling yet again for “smarter” government. It requires whatever lies on the far side of chutzpah to say this after passing a 1930s-style law that is both incomprehensible and simply won’t work. ObamaCare is turning into pure gravity. Nothing moves.

On July 5, the administration announced into the holiday void that because of “operational barriers” to IRS oversight, individuals would be allowed to self-report their income to qualify for the law’s subsidies.

If the ObamaCare meltdown were a one-off, the system could dismiss it as a legislative misfire and move on, as always. But ObamaCare’s problems are not unique. Important parts of the federal government are breaking down almost simultaneously.

Read the rest of this entry »