Rock Meet Hard Place

You have to feel for the Republicans (unless your a Liberal then the only feeling you have is a seething hatred and nothing else) because they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

UPDATE: Congressional Republicans have passed legislation to repeal Obamacare for the first time.

They know it’s an empty gesture because King Obama would never sign it.

But they have to do it to make the Rebel elements in the party happy.

But a lot of them also figure it’s a stunt to curry favor made by the disingenuous RINOs.

Both are likely true.

The Republicans spent so many years, especially under Jar Jar Boehner, being the Capitulation Weasals that they were no one quite believes them.

I know I don’t, YET. But it’s a good start.

The legislation would also significantly reduce taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, redirecting those dollars to other women’s health clinics and organizations that aren’t languishing under an ethical cloud amid credible allegations of criminality.  (When poll question wording includes the important point that no women’s health funding is actually being cut, a majority of Americans support the move).  A recent undercover journalistic investigation exposed the abortion giant’s grisly practice of harvesting and selling body parts from late-term fetuses.  The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the profits associated with this endeavor, as well as altering abortion procedures in order to obtain more intact organs — both of which are illegal.  A whistleblower also alleged that aborted children were picked apart and sold without their mother’s consent, another violation of the law.  Separately, Planned Parenthood has come under fire for its active promotion among young people of the notion that an individual’s ‘right’ to sexual pleasure supersedes his or her obligation to inform a partner of an HIV-positive status.  Republicans argue that taxpayers should not subsidize an organization that engages in these horrific abortion-related activities, and that pushes breathtakingly dangerous sexual ethics.

On Obamacare, the GOP says it is keeping its word to voters and fighting on behalf of the majority of Americans who continue to oppose the failing law.  A recent Gallup survey showed that uninsured Americans — who still number in the tens of millions — are most likely to disapprove of the so-called “Affordable” Care Act, largely because they can’t afford it.  The law has broken most of the biggest promises upon which it was sold, is actively harming real people, and is hurting the US economy, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — which has also just concluded that repealing the law would substantially reduce deficits:

    “CBO: ObamaCare repeal bill would reduce deficits by half a trillion dollars over 10 years”
    — Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) January 5, 2016

The New York Times reported this week that many Americans have run the math and determined that paying Obamacare’s individual mandate tax is more affordable than paying through the nose for costly coverage that doesn’t even kick in until after consumers fork over thousands in out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, a recent survey finds that more than one-quarter of American households have struggled to pay medical bills over the past 12 months, several years into the full implementation of the “Affordable” Care Act.  Among this group, a majority was insured:

    Kaiser/NYT: 62% of people who can’t afford to pay their medical bills are insured. pic.twitter.com/xVjqwlFjRS
    — Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 5, 2016

For the umpteenth time, coverage does not equal care — and being insured to does not mean your healthcare-related financial hardships disappear.  Indeed, under Obamacare, expensive compulsory coverage may very well exacerbate affordability woes.  Parting thought: Of the many worthy provisions in the soon-to-be-vetoed repeal legislation (exhibit A in the case for electing a Republican president), only one element will actually be the law of the land in 2016.  One of the bright spots of December’s ugly omnibus spending bill was an extension of the 2015 rollback of funding Obamacare bailout-style programs, which were designed to hide the true costs of the law for several years by defraying insurer losses with huge sums of taxpayer money.  This successful push to protect taxpayers and force policy transparency, spearheaded by Marco Rubio, constitutes a rare Obamacare win for conservatives.

But we have to start somewhere. King Obama will not relent on his Agenda one bit. He’s incapable of that.

So we have to force him to defend his Royal Majesty until we get someone that isn’t King Bernie or Queen Hillary.

Then maybe the American People have a chance. Maybe.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

The Best and Worst of 2015

Derek Hunter: As far as years go, 2015 certainly was one of them. The news was not wanting for content, and we columnists were not wanting for material. It was a year of tragedies and triumphs bookended by terrorist attacks in Paris. A reality TV star became the leading candidate of a major political party, “Star Wars” returned, and I got married. Yep, 2015 was quite a year.

I had a health scare that resulted in a pacemaker and a different view on mortality just months after my Dad died.

Not the best of times by far.

Politics:

The Best

Donald Trump. For all his problems, and they are legion, and the bluster, and it is constant, he’s done more than anyone in recent years to get people to pay attention to politics and just how corrupt the media and the Democrats have become. He’s been battering the media since the start, slamming his opponents since and changing how politics is done.

While, I’m still not a full on Trump guy I do like that he makes the Left and the RINOs crazy and just doesn’t give a damn. That really shakes them up.

Trump has been holding a clinic on how to run against Democrats and the media since his announcement. Aside from momentary flashes, none of the rest of the field appears to have learned a thing.

Because they are all stuck in their ways. They can’t see doing it any other way. Especially, Democrats, they have one playbook and they go to it every nanosecond of every day.

Expect all out nuclear war again on the Republicans. No atom will be lest un-nuked, no ethic or moral will not be cr0ssed in the quest for the Coronation of King Barack’s successor Queen Hillary.

The Republican RINOs are just plain lost.

If Trump is the nominee, Democrats may well win, but they will have been so battered and bruised they’d be hard-pressed to govern with any effectiveness. If he isn’t the nominee, whoever is will have learned how to be locked in a box with a rabid spider monkey and survive. The eventual nominee, whoever it ends up being, will be a much more devastating candidate thanks to Trump’s entry into the race.

The Media is still setting up the Coronation of Queen Hillary I like they have for 4 years now. I doubt they are going to change.

But maybe, just maybe, the sleeping stupid will recognize it for what it is.

That,and just maybe, the Republicans will actually run a campaign to WIN this time. Maybe.

 

The Worst

As awful as she is, Hillary Clinton is not the worst person on the national political stage. Until he leaves office, Barack Obama’s head wears the crown.

In a post-9/11, post-Paris, post-San Bernardino world, the president of the United States managed to go 12 months in which he used the words “radical Islamic terrorism” only to chastise others for saying them.

Well, you’re talking about his friends and mentors, the Muslims. They can’t be evil. That’s like Lule finding out Darth Vader is his Father…. 🙂

The economy continues to falter, our enemies are on the march, and the president has improved his short-game. The Obama presidency is a hilarious joke, but sadly it’s not the funny kind of joke.

But the Democrats continue to self-delude themselves that everything is awesome and we just need to get rid of those naybobs negativity.

One more year…

11 Months+ a few days. Don’t make it any longer than it has to be. Though if Queen Hillary wins we’re all doomed and you might as well close up shop and move to Fiji because it’s over.

Lie Of The Year

The “winner” of this category is obvious, which is why it hasn’t won any of these “awards” from the mainstream media: Hillary Clinton’s ever-evolving claims about classified material on her secret, unsecured email server.

Though I think her saying that the Benghazi families who have been ripping her for years about her You Tube cause of the incident are now lying because she never said it was pretty close.

“What Difference Does it Make?”

Her original statement at her press conference at the UN, was, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” High-stakes divorce settlements are less carefully worded.

Note how she specifically said she didn’t send any classified material, and how there “is” nothing classified on her server. She’d wiped it by then, though not thoroughly, so, in using present tense, she was telling her version of the truth.

After that original statement, Hillary’s story “evolved” at least two more times to she never “sent or received anything marked classified at the time.”

After that lie the media lost interest. Why wouldn’t they? Their candidate is ensnared in an FBI investigation that, were it anyone else, already would have led to an indictment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees by now.

But we aren’t named Clinton; we haven’t been selling, or at least renting, our positions for sums of money that rival the worth of third-world economies, and a president of her party still controls the prosecutors.

No, we’re civilians, bound by truth, and she’s Hillary, utterly unburdened by such trivialities.

As we wind up 2015, I think we’ve dwelled enough on politics. So a few notes on a couple of other things.

Sports

The year started with a great Super Bowl. What a game! But it will be remembered as the game that gave us Deflategate. Tom Brady won – everything. He continues to live a charmed life, and good for him. Unless you bet against him.

And the Seahawks created a blunder for the ages that will be talked about until Liberals outlaw football altogether sometime later in the Century.

 

The Super Bowl was the highlight of the year for New England sports fans, but the rest of the world had to suffer until the World Series. After decades of miserable losing, New England (particularly in Boston) started winning. And their fans, both in baseball and football, became even more miserable to be around during a game. And I say that as someone with many friends who fit this description.

But the highlight of the year was the World Series.

The Kansas City Royals are a lot of fun to watch. They scrap and scrape together runs in a way no other team does.

Arizona Cardinals anyone? Anyone?? 🙂

Movies

I love “Star Wars,” saw it three times the weekend it opened. But it doesn’t win for movie of the year with me. There were a lot of great “art house” movies, and I’m sure one with $48 in box office receipts will win the Oscar. But “The Martian” was the most enjoyable movie of 2015. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor. Even if you don’t care for Matt Damon (and I wouldn’t blame you), you’ll enjoy this movie.

I love “Star Wars” but I still think either Jurassic World or Avengers 2. I never saw “The Martian”.

Television

“The Walking Dead” remains TV’s best drama.

DOCTOR WHO! 🙂

The zombie aspect might turn your off, but it’s much more than that. Moreover, it’s a show that generates true suspense, in which no one knows what’s going to happen from week to week and no character, no matter who they are, is safe.

DOCTOR WHO! 🙂

If you’re a comic book nerd, or if you don’t mind super hero movies, might I also suggest checking out “Jessica Jones” on Netflix. It’s a surprisingly good series with humor, action and a great anti-hero. And, unlike “The Walking Dead,” you can binge-watch it over a weekend.

Haven’t got around to it yet. And that shows you how technology has changed so much.

I’m not sad to see 2015 go, though it does seem like it went fast. With 2016 being an election year, it will fly by as well. While I work and play in the first half of this column, life happens in the rest. Hope you had a great 2015, and I hope you have as much fun as possible in 2016. 

Here’s to 2016. The Hope of the future of our Country rests on your shoulders.

No pressure. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Star Wars Matters
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

You Just Might Be A Liberal…

Are you not sure that you’re a liberal? Well, there’s an easy way to find out. You might be a liberal if…

1) ….Your newspaper calls people “bigoted” for being worried about bringing Syrian refugees to America, but you won’t run pictures of Muhammad because you’re afraid Muslims might kill you for it.

2) ….You think every man accused of sexual assault is guilty until proven innocent except Bill Clinton.

3)….You insist that anyone who questions global warming hates science even though you don’t understand any of the science behind it yourself and you say we have to do something about climate change primarily because you want to impress your liberal friends.

4) ….You are terrified that holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay who are trying to murder Americans might make the other terrorists who are trying to murder Americans mad.

5) ….You believe there’s a “Republican War on Women;” yet you are okay with aborting baby girls for any reason, think any man who says he identifies as a woman should be able to use the women’s bathroom and you want to put Bill Clinton back in the White House.

6) ….You claim to constantly hear Republican “dog whistles” that 99% of the population misses; yet you’d deny you’re racist for insisting that black Americans aren’t competent enough to get an ID to vote.

 

7) …You think there’s a possibility that Obama might be able to have a productive conversation with radical Islamists who want to kill us, but dialogue with the NRA is impossible.

8)….You believe Hillary Clinton is telling the truth. About anything. Ever.

9) ….You simultaneously believe the police are violent trigger-happy racists who shoot people for no good reason and that we should disarm the populace so that only the government has guns.

10) ….You went to a talk given on your campus by a conservative just so you could scream at him for “invading your safe space.”

11) ….You think Chris Kyle was a monster for killing so many enemies of America while Bowe Bergdahl deserves to be treated with respect and compassion after deserting his unit.

12) ….You believe you’re a caring and compassionate person because you advocate giving other people’s money away to people you hope will vote for candidates you like.

13) ….You believe that anyone who dislikes Barack Obama must hate him because he’s a minority, but your hatred of Ted Cruz and Clarence Thomas is perfectly justifiable.

14) ….You think you are a sophisticated person with a deep understanding of complex political issues, but sum up every one with some variation of, “Republicans are evil, racist, and they hate you while liberals like me are nice!”

15) ….You think it’s vitally important to increase the number of Muslim immigrants coming to America so they can inform on all the other Muslims who are planning terrorist attacks.

16) ….You blame the Republicans for the failure of Obamacare even though none of them voted for it.

17) ….Your first response to a terrorist attack committed by radical Islamists who’ve sworn allegiance to ISIS is to try to disarm every law-abiding gun owner in the country.

18) ….You think an unemployed, white factory worker who’s struggling to feed his family has some sort of racial privilege compared to Barack Obama, Melissa Harris Perry or Al Sharpton.

19) ….You say fences don’t work and gun-free zones do, but if Republicans wanted the fence around the White House taken down and demanded that the Secret Service be disarmed, you’d accuse them of trying to get Obama killed.

20) ….You believe Bruce Jenner is a woman, Rachel Dolezal is black and Elizabeth Warren is an Indian.

21)  Food in any way can be a “microagression” based on race, religion, sex, or ethnicity.

22) Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Guns kill people so getting rid of Guns will kill less people.

23) The Power of Life and Death is “Pro-Choice”.

24) Any immigration is good no matter how it was done and anyone opposed to any immigration of any kind is “racist”.

25) A Religion is a Race, unless they are Christians, then they are just bigots.

26) Utter the word “islamophobia” and mean it.

27) Anything with a (D) after their name is ok and can do anything they want because it’s better than they alternative.

28) Democrats Lie, but it’s your fault not theirs.

29) A Tax is a Penalty, even after it’s ruled a Tax it’s still a Penalty.

30) “What Difference Does it Make?”

31) It was the fault of a You Tube Video.

32) That the Media is not biased and that people like Hillary and Barack are “moderates” and any Republican is “extreme”.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

United We Fall

A “Healthcare Workers for Obamacare” sign hangs torn in a parking lot in New York on Oct. 31, 2012.  AP

President Obama repeatedly promised that his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, would reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.

ObamaCare: United Healthcare’s surprise warning that it may scrap participation in federal health care exchanges is more than bad news for consumer choice. It’s a broader sign of an unsustainable system.

The nation’s largest health insurance provider surprised the markets Thursday by saying losses from its 550,000 individual ObamaCare exchange enrollments were sharply cutting its bottom line. That’s notable because ObamaCare exchange participation only forms a small slice of the $105 billion company by market capitalization.

Yet it was enough to make the giant company and all the value it creates throughout its many operations suffer enough to trigger, as IBD market reporter Jed Graham wrote, “a surge of red ink.”

The company forecast $425 million less revenue in the fourth quarter and cut its full-year 2015 earnings-per-share forecast to $6 from $6.25-$6.35.

Not surprisingly, its stock fell 5.6% by the close of trading Thursday, and other health care and hospital companies such as Aetna, Anthem, Tenet, Cigna, Humana and HCA took similar hits.

“We see no data pointing to improvement,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Helmsley said on a conference call. Patients, he explained, were using their plans more than the company had anticipated and, worse still, were dropping coverage when they got well.

Bad as that is for company profits, it’s a predictable outcome given the structure of the law and what it permits.

What Helmsley described was a company caught up in the classic “death spiral” that IBD and reputable economists have been warning about: Insurance policy sales going in the main to the sickest patients who use the most health care services, while the high prices of the larded-up government-mandated packages continue to drive off younger, healthier consumers.

DOH!  It’s not like it was predictable or anything… 🙂

In short, the ObamaCare master plan of having young and healthy consumers subsidize the oldest, sickest patients isn’t working as the White House’s central planners and self-proclaimed experts claimed.

<<chuckle>>

Not that the ideologically rigid Obama and The Democrats will care. They will continue to hammer on it until you give in to government control of who lives and who dies and the Insurance companies go bankrupt leaving only the government left.

That’s Democrat “compassion” for ya… 🙂

What’s striking here is that UnitedHealth is no tiny startup ship with a narrow margin of error riding the big ObamaCare regulatory waves. It’s the biggest of the big, a conglomerate that’s the product of the consolidation of the industry — Anthem and Cigna, UnitedHealth and HCA, HCA and private investors — that was supposed to enable the sector to absorb the blow of higher costs of insuring more customers and still continue to do well.

That’s not happening.

What’s more, UnitedHealth was in the ObamaCare exchanges for only a year, during a window of time when the government was supposed to cushion insurers against losses in the ObamaCare transition. The cushion ends next year, leaving companies on their own.

(Insert “Jaws” theme music here) 🙂

Will smaller health care companies really be able to make a profit in an atmosphere that even UnitedHealth found impossible to sustain a profit in? There’s plenty of reason to wonder, as the markets did Thursday. (IBD)

“We cannot sustain these losses,” CEO Stephen Hemsley said in an investor call Thursday morning. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Several nonprofit insurance cooperatives that were supposed to compete for customers on the exchanges have folded. Meanwhile, some big publicly traded insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana, say they are enrolling fewer people than expected or even losing money.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that the industry lost a total of $2.5 billion, or $163 per customer, in the individual market.

Insurance companies have had trouble attracting healthy customers to the exchanges to purchase their insurance products, many of which have deductibles of thousands of dollars.

The industry’s troubles are reflected in the insurance products being offered on the exchanges during the current enrollment period, reports The Wall Street Journal:

“For these plans, which will take effect in 2016, many insurers have raised premiums in order to cover the medical costs of enrollees, which have run higher than many companies originally projected, fueling this year’s losses. Insurers have also shifted to offering more limited choices of health-care providers”

Still, no other big insurer has signaled its intention to leave the exchanges. (NPR)

YET. But it will come. But don’t worry Obama and The Democrats are from the Government and they are here to help you! 🙂

The average premium for medium-benefit plans offered to 40-year-old non-smokers will rise 10.1% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

Never Saw that Coming…

Yeah, right… 🙂

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

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

Less Choice, Higher Premiums. 🙂

Preliminary 2016 premiums for benchmark silver plans in exchanges grew by 4.4 percent in major metropolitan areas in 11 states, including the District of Columbia, according to analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. While this is much lower than the numbers being tossed around the Senate floor, it’s a sharper increase than last year, which saw premiums climb by 2 percent nationwide.

An Avalere Health analysis released this month found similar results. Silver plans on exchanges (the plans of choice for more than two-thirds of enrollees) are expected to increase 5.8 percent in the eight states that Avalere examined.

In a House Ways and Means subcommittee meeting Wednesday, lawmakers pointed to instances where insurers were seeking drastic increases. For example, in Maryland, two of eight options in the individual market are seeking more than a 30 percent increase, and a third option is seeking a 26.7 percent premium hike.

“Many of the proposed increases are eye-poppingly huge,” said subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam.

“These rates are premised on the assumption that the court will side with the government. If the court signs with the challengers, all bets are off,” Levitt said. “There’s no doubt that we’d see some insurers pulling out of the market and the ones that stay would raise rates significantly next year.”

And they did. I wonder if that really why? 🙂

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

“Out-of-network care does not accrue toward out-of-pocket maximums, leaving consumers vulnerable to high costs if they seek care from a provider not included in their plan’s network,” said Elizabeth Carpenter, Avalere’s vice president. “Patients should evaluate a plan’s provider network when picking insurance on the exchange.

Overall, however, the limited choices are seen as a way of keeping patient costs down, said Dan Mendelson, the firm’s CEO.

“Plans continue to test new benefit designs in the exchange market,” he said. “Given the new requirements put in place by the ACA, network design is one way plans can drive value-based care and keep premiums low.”

Republicans and other health professionals have long charged that Obamacare has reduced healthcare coverage and choices for Americans.

“The American people are not happy on this birthday,” Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, told Newsmax TV as the law marked its fifth anniversary in March.

The report was based on a study of large healthcare networks in Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina, Avalere said. (Newsmax and more)

Forbes: June 2015

Texas Blue Cross stands out. The health plan commented in its federal government rate filings that it covered 730,833 Obamacare individuals in 2014 with premium of $2.1 billion and claims totaling $2.5 billion––for a medical loss ratio of 119%. The plan further commented that, after the “3Rs” reinsurance adjustments, they lost 17% to 20% of premium in 2014–that would be about $400 million. And, they are only asking for a 20% rate increase.

While we won’t see all of the rates in all of the states for a few months, some state regulators have begun to make the 2016 rate actions public:

• CareFirst Blue Cross of Maryland is asking for a 34% rate increase on its PPO plan and a 26.7% rate increase for its HMO. CareFirst has an 80% market share in the Obamacare exchange and only 30% of the eligible Maryland market has signed up on the exchange.

• In Oregon, where less than 35% of the eligible have signed up on the exchange, the biggest insurer with 52% of the market, Moda, has asked for a 25.6% increase. Lifewise, with a 19% market share, has asked for a 38.5% increase.

• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, with a 165,000 members making up 70% of the Obamacare exchange is asking for a 36.3% increase. The second biggest player, Humana HUM +1.18%, is asking for a 15.8% increase. Less than 40% of the eligible exchange market signed up in Tennessee.

• Georgia is the second biggest Obamacare market for Humana, having enrolled 254,000 people out of a total market of 479,000, and Georgia “maybe its biggest misstep”. Its CEO has said about Georgia, “We can’t have one business being subsidized by another business.” Humana is asking for 2016 individual plan rate increases from 14.8% to 19.44%.

• In Iowa, with the lowest enrollment rates in the country, and where its biggest Obamacare insurer went broke last December, Wellmark Blue Cross, which only sells off the exchange, is asking for a 43% increase on its Obamacare compliant policies. Coventry, which has 47,000 Obamacare customers, is asking for an 18% increase for its on-exchange business.

• The Kansas insurance department has not made its rate increases public yet but has said that plans will increase by as much as 38%. Less than 40% of the eligible have so far enrolled.

• Pennsylvania is not encouraging with market leader Highmark asking for increases ranging from 13.5% to 39.65% and the Geisinger HMO asking for increases from 40.6% to 58.4%. Pennsylvania enrolled 50% of the potential exchange market in 2015.

So let the politicking of your health continues.

We are from the Government, we are here to Help you…  🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Death Spiral

Well, this was predictable. It’s just to what degree are the Liberal Media and Obama going to do to hide it…

Obamacare is exhibiting early signs of a “death spiral” as hundreds of insurance plans listed on the federally-run exchanges in 37 states and the District of Columbia request double-digit premium increases for 2016, says David Hogberg, a health care analyst and senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).

A “death spiral” – which is the insurance pool equivalent of a bankruptcy – occurs when rising premiums force younger, healthier people to drop their insurance coverage due to the increased cost. But their exodus leaves the remaining “risk pool” older, sicker and more expensive to insure than before, necessitating further rate hikes.

Thirteen percent of the people who signed up for Obamacare in 2015 have already been dropped from coverage because many of them failed to pay their share of the subsidized premiums, The New York Times reported. 

And that’s before the premiums on many policies are due to skyrocket next year.

In an Oct. 4, 2008 speech in Newport News, Va., then-Sen. Barack Obama promised that if elected president, he would reform the nation’s health care system, adding that “we’ll start by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family.”

But in 2016, six years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, Obamacare premiums for hundreds of thousands of Americans will be going up, not down.  

Under the Affordable Care Act, state insurance regulators have until August to decide whether to approve or deny steep premium hikes for next year, which are inducing “sticker shock” even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that those enrolled in the federal exchanges were eligible for government subsidies.

“Unfortunately, those polices are on borrowed time,” Hogberg noted. “Eventually, older and sicker customers will purchase those policies, the rates will go up, and the young and healthy will flee the exchanges. At that point the death spiral will be in full gear. The insurance rate hikes for 2016 are just the beginning.”

“In the end, the exchanges are not sustainable, and free-market based reform of our health care system will be necessary,” Hogberg predicted.

According to HealthCare.gov, “the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurers planning to significantly increase plan premiums submit their rates to either the state or federal government for review. The threshold for this requirement is 10%.”

NCPPR found that 231 plans listed on Obamacare exchanges in 37 states and the District of Columbia have requested double-digit premium hikes of at least 10 percent for 2016, nearly double the number of plans (121) that did so for 2015.  

Another 126 plans want to raise their rates by 20 percent or more in 2016, compared to the 21 plans that made a similar request in 2015.

For example, eight plans listed on the District of Columbia exchange have requested 2016 premium hikes ranging from 10.13% for Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc.’s (GHMSI) BluePreferred Multi-State Plan- Individual to 20.44% for the company’s BluePreferred Multi-State Plan- Small Group policies.

GHMSI cites “projected increases in medical and pharmacy claims due to cost and utilization trend impacts as well as change in projected pool morbidity” as reasons for raising its premiums.

 
 

But some requested rate hikes are much higher.

On April 13, Aetna Life Insurance Co. submitted a request for a 59.71% premium hike for its Aetna Fee for Service-Small Group plan in Virginia, effective Jan. 1, 2016.  This plan is one of 38 that are seeking premium hikes of more than 40 percent for 2016 compared to the zero who made such requests in 2015, according to NCPPR.

“Medical costs are going up and we are changing our rates to reflect this increase,” the company said in its filing, adding that “several requirements related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also impact these rates.”

A 55.83% rate hike increase was also submitted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota for its “non-grandfathered individual risk pool” affecting 171,000 policy holders.

“In 2014, the ratio of claims to revenue received (excluding potential federal risk corridor payments) exceeded 115% and resulted in an operating loss in excess of $135 million,” the company explained in its filing.

“High claims trends for the first quarter of 2015 reflect an acceleration in costs, suggesting an extremely low probability of lower claims for the balance of 2015. Our responsibility to set plan year 2016 rates at levels that cover all anticipated costs will result in significant price adjustments for all 2016 individual reformed products.”

Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, noted in The Wall Street Journal that instead of decreasing health care spending, as Obama promised ACA would do, it is “picking up speed.”

He added that “greater use of health services as well as more people covered by the ACA appear to be responsible for most of the increase.” The double-digit premium requests for 2016 reflect insurers’ belief that this trend will continue next year.

In January 2014, CNSNews.com asked economist John Goodman, former president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, how Americans would know if Obamacare enters a “death spiral.”

“There won’t be any neon signs that say ‘Death Spiral Underway,’ but what you’ll see is premiums keep rising,” he replied. “And if premiums keep rising, then fewer healthy people will buy in and we may get to a point where you need government subsidies to prop the whole thing up.”

May?? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The Rise of The Left

 

Medical Costs: President Obama used to talk about “bending the cost curve” as a justification for his health overhaul. But it looks increasingly like ObamaCare is sparking a major health care inflation spiral.

This week three big insurance companies in Massachusetts announced they lost money in the first quarter, thanks to ObamaCare’s new taxes and fees.

Just wait until Burger King and other have to play $15/hr as a minimum wage, the job loss and the companies loss will mount.

But at least the Left will be happy in their “superiority” and their “vision” of a “better” America…

And it will be someone elses fault when it all comes crashing down because they had “good intentions” so it can’t possibly be their fault.

After all, these companies make millions of dollars, they can afford to make a little less to help out “the people” The Leftists would say.

The fact that they don’t fundamentally care about how business works is the scariest part.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts reported a $59.3 million loss after it had to pay $73 million toward financing ObamaCare. Pilgrim Health paid $22.9 million in ObamaCare taxes, leading to a loss of $17.3 million. And the Tufts Health Plan would have broken even if not for ObamaCare.

The main cost imposed on these insurers is ObamaCare’s “health insurance tax,” which is based on a company’s market share. This year, the tax will cost the industry a total of $8 billion, and the burden will go up from there.

“We think of it as a sales tax on health care,” Lora Pellegrini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, told the Boston Globe. “This is going to be passed on in higher premiums.”

And guess what, that will raise your Auto Insurance and your Home Insurance costs too. After all, Liability BODILY INJURY and uninsured BODILY INJURY…

Got that? Higher premiums. And that’s in Massachusetts, which had already imposed ObamaCare-like changes years before and has among the highest premiums in the nation.

And is dumping that exchange because it went bust!

But suggest anything else to a Liberal and they’ll howl about how you want to push grandma over a cliff and kill children.

The fact that THEY are pushing them over doesn’t even occur to them, because they are “doing the right thing” because “they care”.

Meanwhile, a new industry survey suggests that overall employer health costs will climb by 9% this year, and other surveys find small-business premium hikes in the double if not triple digits.

Keep in mind that premium growth was decelerating before ObamaCare — they climbed less than 6% in all but one of the past eight years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In addition, ObamaCare’s massive insurance subsidies are fueling demand, pushing first-quarter health spending up at a rate not seen since 1980.

The administration is aware of this problem. This week it decided to let insurance companies cap the amount they’ll pay toward expensive procedures (while requiring them to pay 100% of low-cost “preventive” treatments). It’s meant to keep premiums down, but turns the concept of insurance completely upside down.

Good luck with that Cancer treatment! But hey, you’ll get free birth control pills! 🙂

In the wake of this, Kaiser CEO Drew Altman predicted that “the conversation will soon shift back to health care costs because they are rising more sharply again.”

No kidding. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of economics knows you can’t turbocharge demand, pile on mandates and taxes, and expect prices to go down.

EXCEPT THE LEFT.

After all, it’s the “right” thing to do. 🙂

Anything else would be “greedy”, “racist” and “discriminatory”!! 🙂

Hope & Change 2014

“I guess what I would say, if you looked at that person’s budget, and you looked at their cable bill, their cell phone bill, other things that they’re spending on, it may turn out that it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care because right now everybody is healthy.” President Obama. The man who has ADDED 7 1/2 Trillion to the Debt in 5 years! I guess that was his priority!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously.

“I think premiums are likely to go up, but go up at a slower pace” than they did previously, Sebelius admitted at Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

“I can’t tell you that, sir, because I don’t know that,” Sebelius said when asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums. Sebelius said she also does not know how many Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.

However, an industry source says the White House “definitely knows” who has made these payments from two separate data points, as the exchanges were set up to be the “source of truth for information.” The source claims the White House is withholding the information for “political reasons because it would force them to lower their enrollment figures if 10% of 20% of enrollees had not paid.”

The Obama administration has delayed many provisions of the Obamacare law until after the 2014 midterms, including the economically consequential employer mandate.

The administration’s inability to meet its goal for enrolling young, healthy “invincibles” on the Obamacare exchanges has mired the entire Obamacare program in the so-called “death spiral,” which drives up health insurance rates because older, sicker people are primarily signing up. (DC)

Subverted Adverse Selection they did! 🙂

Most recently, the administration extended the “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate for those who had their previous policies canceled because of Obamacare until October 2016.

To qualify, your plan must have been canceled because it wasn’t compliant with Obamacare, and you just have to tell the government you “believe” that other insurance policies are unaffordable.

So the individual mandate is a “hardship” and the employer mandate is on hold until he’s not running anymore. BUT IT’S NOT POLITICAL!!!! And it’s doing good for everyone, anyone who says otherwise is a “liar” (Harry Reid).

So the 80-90% of the funding structure of this Magnum Opus just pissed down the drain…Gee, that’s very responsible budgeting Mr. president. Maybe we should cut your Cable bill!

“President Obama has refused to enforce those parts of our nation’s immigration laws that are not to his political liking, has waived portions of our welfare laws, has stretched our environmental laws to accommodate his policy objectives, and has waived testing accountability provisions required under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law,” according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.

For example, in June 2012, Obama created a temporary mini-amnesty for at least 500,000 younger illegal immigrants. The act boosted his election-day support among Hispanics, but made it more difficult for young Americans to find jobs.

“Political appointees at the Justice Department have announced that rather than work with Congress to amend the federal criminal code, they will simply stop prosecuting low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” said Goodlatte in a Fox News op-ed.

“And now that his signature health care law has not been working and revealed his empty promises, President Obama has changed that law unilaterally over 20 times,” Goodlatte added.

The House bill is titled “the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.”

The House is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, along with a companion bill, titled “ENFORCE the Law Act.”

The bills are expected to be blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. (DC)

Now that’s By-Partisan!
So do you “believe” in Hope & Change now…

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

The Roots of Success Part 1

In 2008, Barack Obama promised, “We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”

Of course, like everything else he promises, he’s LYING. But the American people are too narcissistic and too stupid to know that. And too programmed to put two-and-two together Now.

But middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.

Some may elect to go without coverage if they feel prices are too high. Penalties for opting out are very small initially. Defections could cause rates to skyrocket if a diverse mix of people don’t sign up for health insurance.

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'” Kehaly said

“This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act.”

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Blue Shield of California sent termination letters to 119,000 customers last month whose plans don’t meet the new federal requirements. About two-thirds of those people will experience a rate increase from switching to a new health plan, according to the company.

HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is canceling coverage for about half of its individual customers, or 160,000 people, and offering to automatically enroll them in the most comparable health plan available.

The 16 million Californians who get health insurance through their employers aren’t affected. Neither are individuals who have “grandfathered” policies bought before March 2010, when the healthcare law was enacted. It’s estimated that about half of policyholders in the individual market have those older plans. (LA Times)

So they won’t see the 1000 lb gorilla in the room and vote for Liberals again. Because, it’s not hurting them, after all.

And if it doesn’t hurt them personally, it’s ok.

All these cancellations were prompted by a requirement from Covered California, the state’s new insurance exchange. The state didn’t want to give insurance companies the opportunity to hold on to the healthiest patients for up to a year, keeping them out of the larger risk pool that will influence future rates.

Forcing good consumers out of their plans and their doctors to make the exchange look better.

Gee, Obama didn’t promise that either. 🙂

Here’s another one:

Forbes: A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)

Misdirection? Never sen that from Obama and his Alinsky-ites before…:)

The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.

P.T. Barnum couldn’t have done better.

The middle class that liberals go on about endlessly will pay more for their insurance so the poor can have more.

After all, socialist societies don’t have a middle class, do they… 🙂

Wayne Root: The GOP needs to stop calling ObamaCare a “trainwreck.” That means it’s a mistake, or accident. That means it’s a gigantic flop, or failure. It’s NOT. 

Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism. 

This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism. 

It’s not a failure, it’s Obama’s grand success. 

It’s not a “trainwreck,” ObamaCare is a suicide attack. He wants to hurt us, to bring us to our knees, to capitulate- so we agree under duress to accept big government.

Obama’s hero and mentor was Saul Alinsky — a radical Marxist intent on destroying capitalism. Alinksky’s stated advice was to call the other guy “a terrorist” to hide your own intentions. 

To scream that the other guy is “ruining America,” while you are the one actually plotting the destruction of America. To claim again and again…in every sentence of every speech…that you are “saving the middle class,” while you are busy wiping out the middle class.

The GOP is so stupid they can’t see it. There are no mistakes here. This is a planned purposeful attack.

I said that years ago, myself.

The real sign that this is a purposeful attack upon capitalism is how many Obama administration members and Democratic Congressmen are openly calling Tea Party Republicans and anyone who wants to stop ObamaCare “terrorists.” 

There’s the clue. Even the clueless GOP should be able to see that.

But they are too busy agreeing with them.

And the people are too programmed by “Vote for me the other guy’s an asshole”

The asshole being the person who disagrees with the Alinsky Liberal!

Here’s to the successful launch of ObamaNation.

To be continued tomorrow.

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

The Cost Curve

‘When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either,’ he said. ‘They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working.’– Sen Ted Cruz.

Last night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally began to provide some data on how Americans will fare on Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchanges. HHS’ press release is full of happy talk about how premiums will be “lower than originally expected.” But the reality is starkly different.

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/what-will-obamacare-cost-you-map.html

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

So the spin is full swing and if the sun rise in the west because the earth is spinning now in the opposite direction you’ll know why.

It’s Propaganda 24/7/365. The Premiums are low, they have always been low and always will be low. Anyone who disagrees will be shut down, investigate, harassed and destroyed.

There is nothing to see here.

HHS-27-yo-men HHS-27-yo-women

40-year-olds, surprisingly, will face a similar picture. The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.

For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. (They are a “red State” so who gives a rat’s asses-certainly not Democrats!)Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.

Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.

All of the analyses I’ve discussed thus far involve changes in the underlying cost of health insurance for people who buy it for themselves. Many progressives object to this comparison, because it doesn’t take into account the impact of Obamacare’s subsidies on the net cost of insurance for low-income Americans.

I’ve long argued that it’s irresponsible to ignore the change in underlying premiums, because subsidies only protect some people. Middle-class Americans face the double-whammy of higher insurance premiums, and higher taxes to pay for other people’s subsidies. However, it is important to understand how subsidies will impact the decisions by Americans as to whether or not to participate in the exchanges.

Remember that nearly two-thirds of the uninsured are under the age of 40. And that young and healthy people are essential to Obamacare; unless these individuals are willing to pay more for health insurance to subsidize everyone else, the exchanges will not serve the goal of providing coverage to the uninsured.

And remember, “subsidies” mean Government artificially suppressing the price with TAXPAYER money. THAT’S YOU!!! 🙂

And once you are truly addicted to it, they can remove the subsidies and then you’re really screwed but your too addicted to complain by then.

Hook you first. Then tell you that “the other guy” wants to take away your drugs!! So vote for me to continue letting you shoot up even if it will kill you. What do I care, if you vote for me life is good.

The bottom line: Obamacare makes insurance less affordable

For months, we’ve heard about how Obamacare’s trillions in health care subsidies were going to save America from rate shock. It’s not true. If you shop for coverage on your own, you’re likely to see your rates go up, even after accounting for the impact of pre-existing conditions, even after accounting for the impact of subsidies.

The Obama administration knows this, which is why its 15-page report makes no mention of premiums for insurance available on today’s market. Silence, they say, speaks louder than words. HHS’ silence on the difference between Obamacare’s insurance premiums and those available today tell you everything you need to know. Rates are going higher. And if you’re healthy, or you’re young, the Obama administration expects you to do your duty and pay up. (Forbes)

It’s only “fair” and “we are in this together” after all…

 

 

The Life of Riley

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The government we entrust our medical records to under ObamaCare has its EPA sharing confidential data on farmers with green groups and the IRS reading your email. Smile and wave at the EPA drone.

The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, violating their privacy rights and acting in collusion with private groups with private political agendas.

In Nixonian fashion, the EPA has provided these environmental groups with the dossiers of farmers it has gathered to help them create an enemies list of potential polluters. The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.

The EPA claimed the data were related to farms in 29 states with “concentrated animal feeding operations” and that the released information was part of the agency’s commitment to “ensure clean water and public-health protection.”

How? By giving environmental groups the identities and addresses of those they need to pressure?

“This information details my family’s home address,” J.D. Alexander, a Nebraska cattle farmer and former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told FarmFutures.com. “The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house.”

Recently we editorialized on how Nebraska’s congressional delegation had sent a justifiably angry letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson complaining that her agency had exceeded its legislative and constitutional authority by conducting drone surveillance flights over Nebraska and Iowa farms looking for Clean Water Act violations.

“They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted,” said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

The EPA argued that the courts, including the Supreme Court, has already authorized aerial surveillance, such as taking photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility. But nobody has their family home in a chemical plant, and such surveillance observes not only the farm, but also the farmers and their families who rightly have an expectation of privacy.

Such warrantless surveillance has found its counterpart in the claim by the Internal Revenue Service that it does not need a warrant to read our emails and that doing so does not violate the Constitution.

Incredibly, IRS attorneys have asserted in documents that the Fourth Amendment — which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures — does not protect email and that a warrant is not needed to plant a GPS location tracker on a car in its owner’s driveway.

“The Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications,” says a 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” by the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel.

The IRS claims that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government officials only need a subpoena, issued without a judge’s approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request and released the information on Wednesday, begs to differ.

It cites the 2010 Warshak decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the Fourth Amendment’s provisions trumped the provisions of the 1986 ECPA law. That means a warrant is required to read email — no matter where it is stored or how old it is.

In an October 2011 memo obtained by the ACLU, an IRS attorney explained that the Warshak decision applies only in the 6th Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Since when do our constitutional rights depend on geography?

The Obama administration’s war on the Constitution knows no bounds, whether it be our First Amendment right to religious liberty, our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms or our protection against the government grabbing our possessions unreasonably. (IBD)

OBAMACARE UPDATE

Retired as a city worker, Sheila Pugach lives in a modest home on a quiet street in Albuquerque, N.M., and drives an 18-year-old Subaru.

Pugach doesn’t see herself as upper-income by any stretch, but President Barack Obama’s budget would raise her Medicare premiums and those of other comfortably retired seniors, adding to a surcharge that already costs some 2 million beneficiaries hundreds of dollars a year each.

More importantly, due to the creeping effects of inflation, 20 million Medicare beneficiaries would end up paying higher “income related” premiums for their outpatient and prescription coverage over time.

Administration officials say Obama’s proposal will help improve the financial stability of Medicare by reducing taxpayer subsidies for retirees who can afford to pay a bigger share of costs. Congressional Republicans agree with the president on this one, making it highly likely the idea will become law if there’s a budget deal this year.

But the way Pugach sees it, she’s being penalized for prudence, dinged for saving diligently.

It was the government, she says, that pushed her into a higher income bracket where she’d have to pay additional Medicare premiums.

IRS rules require people age 70-and-a-half and older to make regular minimum withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement nest eggs like 401(k)s. That was enough to nudge her over Medicare’s line.

“We were good soldiers when we were young,” said Pugach, who worked as a computer systems analyst. “I was afraid of not having money for retirement and I put in as much as I could. The consequence is now I have to pay about $500 a year more in Medicare premiums.”

Currently only about 1 in 20 Medicare beneficiaries pays the higher income-based premiums, which start at incomes over $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples. As a reference point, the median or midpoint U.S. household income is about $53,000.

Obama’s budget would change Medicare’s upper-income premiums in several ways. First, it would raise the monthly amounts for those currently paying.

If the proposal were already law, Pugach would be paying about $168 a month for outpatient coverage under Medicare’s Part B, instead of $146.90.

Then, the plan would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue from the top tiers of retirees.

But its biggest impact would come through inflation.

The administration is proposing to extend a freeze on the income brackets at which seniors are liable for the higher premiums until 1 in 4 retirees has to pay. It wouldn’t be the top 5 percent anymore, but the top 25 percent.

“Over time, the higher premiums will affect people who by today’s standards are considered middle-income,” explained Tricia Neuman, vice president for Medicare policy at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “At some point, it raises questions about whether (Medicare) premiums will continue to be affordable.”

Required withdrawals from retirement accounts would be the trigger for some of these retirees. For others it could be taking a part-time job.

One consequence could be political problems for Medicare. A growing group of beneficiaries might come together around a shared a sense of grievance.

“That’s part of the problem with the premiums — they simply act like a higher tax based on income,” said David Certner, federal policy director for AARP, the seniors lobby.

“Means testing” of Medicare benefits was introduced in 2007 under President George W. Bush in the form of higher outpatient premiums for the top-earning retirees. Obama’s health care law expanded the policy and also added a surcharge for prescription coverage.

The latest proposal ramps up the reach of means testing and sets up a political confrontation between AARP and liberal groups on one side and fiscal conservatives on the other. The liberals have long argued that support for Medicare will be undermined if the program starts charging more for the well-to-do. Not only are higher-income people more likely to be politically active, they also tend to be in better health.

Fiscal conservatives say it makes no sense for government to provide the same generous subsidies to people who can afford to pay at least some of the cost themselves. As a rule, taxpayers pay for 75 percent of Medicare’s outpatient and prescription benefits. Even millionaires would still get a 10 percent subsidy on their premiums under Obama’s plan. Technically, both programs are voluntary.

“The government has to understand the difference between universal opportunity and universal subsidy,” said David Walker, the former head of the congressional Government Accountability Office. “This is a very modest step towards changing the government subsidy associated with Medicare’s two voluntary programs.”

It still doesn’t sit well with Sheila Pugach. She says she’s been postponing remodeling work on her 58-year-old house because she’s concerned about the cost. Having a convenient utility room so she doesn’t have to go out to the garage to do laundry would help with her back problems.

“They think all old people are living the life of Riley,” she said. (yahoo)

That’s the government’s job, did you know that. They run your life from beginning to end and you just trust that they know best and that everything will come out as it should. You should never doubt them.

We are from the Government and we are here to help you…. 🙂

 

 

More Skunk Spray

As Democrats grow increasingly worried that ObamaCare will explode on the launch pad just as midterm elections get going, the Obama administration seeks to pin blame on Republicans. Good luck with that.

Well, let’s think about that for a moment.

The Ministry of Truth is there to lie repeatedly with great gusto to ignorant masses 24/7/365.

Tell a Lie often enough and it can become truth, especially with low and no info voters.

After all, they bought the “Vote For Me the other guys an asshole” Campaign Strategy that Obama had last campaign season.

And he’s still in Campaign mode and still raising money.

It won’t be easy since it was and is his singularly most proud moment. But that just makes the lies more challenging.

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t realize how complicated getting ObamaCare off the ground would be.

So you just blame the Republicans for “obstructing” the process as usual. That at least has worked on the moron peasant crowd before.

Sebelius complained that “no one fully anticipated” the difficulties involved in implementing ObamaCare, or how confusing it would be with the public.

Hey, the 2,700 pages of crap that no one in the Congress or The Administration actually read wasn’t a clue!

She wasn’t talking about the massive and impossible task of imposing central planning on one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

Because that was the goal all along and they wanted that. They want to control everyone and everything eventually.

Instead, she was trying to find a way to blame Republicans for ObamaCare’s failures when the inevitable problems start emerging.

And since the Republicans want to get rid of it, lets blame them for the problems and say they created them by trying to “piece meal” UNDO it or there obstruction is “causing” the problems.

Just like doing it to begin with “piece meal” was bad, according to the Left. Which is what the Republicans wanted, if anything.

Then you blame the Republicans “friends”, the industry, rich people, etc… and you have your class warfare element and your next “throw grandma/poor off the cliff” ad.

Rather than say “let’s get on board, let’s make this work,” recalcitrant Republicans have forced her to engage in “state-by-state political battles,” Sebelius said at a Harvard School of Public Health forum. “The politics has been relentless.”

So the war is the Republican’s fault. If they had just let them do it all without a fight there wouldn’t be these problems!

Of course, there would be, probably even worse than these, but that’s not how this game is played.

So let’s see if we get this. Democrats shoved an unpopular, expensive, ill-conceived and poorly written law down the country’s throat with no Republican support, and without bothering to see whether states would want to take on the thankless and costly task of helping the feds implement it.

Yes. So it MUST Be their fault! 🙂

It sure as hell can’t be the Democrats fault. There intentions and ambitions were pure as the driven snow. They are the Angels of Mercy and Compassion…Besides, they can lie about the votes and the support. Hell, that was 4 years ago, the low or no information moron won’t remember it and if we lie about the History well enough…

And now that many of these states are rebelling, it’s the Republicans’ fault?

Of Course it is. Any time you rebel against the yoke of your Morally and Politically Superior Masters on The Left it’s your Fault! 🙂

Sebelius’ fellow Democrat, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, had a more accurate take on the problem the administration faces: the law is “probably the most complicated piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress” and “if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse.”

Or it could just be worse to begin with… 🙂

Rockefeller, like a growing number of Democrats, realizes that ObamaCare is shaping up to be a political disaster for the party next November.

So we have to start the Campaign Now to blame someone else for it!

The influential Cook Political Report noted earlier this month that almost all of the Democratic insiders they talked to “voiced concern about the potential for the issue to hurt Democrats in 2014.”

And just what could explain these concerns?

Maybe it’s because even Sebelius now admits that ObamaCare will force insurance claims up 32%.

Gee, that’s a bit of a ways from lowering your premiums by thousands of dollars.

Or possibly it’s because, despite endless assurances that the insurance exchanges would be ready on time, the administration had to delay for a year a key feature meant to give small business a choice of health plans.

Or because neither Sebelius nor the states have provided evidence they can get the rest of the exchanges ready by Oct. 1, when ObamaCare’s open enrollment begins.

Or that a key provision, The High Risk Pool (pre-existing conditions) portion is already bankrupt NOW and will need a “bailout” by the time this all kicks off. 🙂

Or perhaps Democrats’ fears stem from state insurance commissioners warning of a rate shock once ObamaCare’s “community rating” rules and benefit mandates start. Or from rising evidence the law is hurting job growth as small businesses try to avoid its costs.

Townhall: The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will initially accomplish less than intended. Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President Barack Obama yesterday sent to Congress. That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half the 50 U.S. states are participating. The unanticipated spending is a consequence of an ambitious timetable dictated by Congress and a complex new way of offering people medical coverage, say analysts, lobbyists and administration officials. Combine that with a majority of Republican governors declining to cooperate with a Democratic president and U.S. regulators are left grasping to get the 2010 health law up and running by a Jan. 1, 2014, deadline. For the areas that money can’t solve, the Obama administration is opting for delay. It temporarily backed off some provisions of the law, including restrictions on coverage for executives and a promise to offer small businesses greater choices of health plans. 

And there are still the 1,700 Waivers they gave their friends.
Costing more, and doing less.  What a deal. (sounds like a typical liberal idea) Remember, the federal government simply assumed that every state would set up its own exchange — despite strong public opposition to the law, and high associated costs coupled with heavy-handed federal mandates with scant flexibility.

Oh course they did. They are the Morally Superior Left. Everyone loves them because they are so vastly superior to you morons that you’ll just roll over and do whatever they want you to do.

Why would anyone question that?

And if you fight them, then they have to be the Parent who blames the other one for wanting to be so mean because they are so perfect it can’t possibly be their fault.

None of this, mind you, has anything to do with Republicans. And if the GOP were smart, it’d be focused on making sure that, come next November, the public knows that, too. (IBD)

Yeah, but I’m not convinced they are that smart. They don’t have a great track record of it lately. Especially with “Jar Jar” Boehner at the helm.

Conservatives must resist the temptation to bury their heads in the sand for possible short term political advantage.  That’s what liberals are for!

Which means come 2014 we won’t smell success against Obamacare, just more Skunk spray.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

Bending the Curve

“The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.” – Barack Obama, October 2008

Eventually the “affordable” portion of the “Affordable Care Act” kicks in, right?

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” Thomas Sowell

The must-issue regulation built into ObamaCare increases costs for the insurers, who cannot draw all of the needed revenues from the high-risk pool, thanks to mandates on rates.  That means those costs have to get spread out to everyone in the pool.  This is nothing more than Risk Pool 101, a course that Congress flunked repeatedly in the ObamaCare debate because that wasn’t the point of the exercise to begin with.

As I have said before, to put it very simply, look up Adverse Selection and you’ll know why this was doomed to failure.

My Adverse Selection Blog

Insurance companies try to minimize the problem that only the people with big risks will buy their product, which is the problem of adverse selection, by trying to measure risk and to adjust prices they charge for this risk. Thus, life insurance companies require medical examinations and will refuse policies to people who have terminal illnesses, and automobile insurance companies charge much more to people with a conviction for drunk driving.

Or a Person who never had insurance get’s a terminal disease and gets insurance to pay for it and it costs  A LOT to the insurer then dies shortly thereafter.

If the insurer had known they’d have adversely selected to not insurer this too a high a risk person but if they can’t do that then You and I get higher premiums to pay for it!!

Ta da! 🙂

Moral Hazard: In insurance markets, moral hazard occurs when the behavior of the insured party changes in a way that raises costs for the insurer, since the insured party no longer bears the full costs of that behavior. Because individuals no longer bear the cost of medical services, they have an added incentive to ask for pricier and more elaborate medical service—which would otherwise not be necessary. In these instances, individuals have an incentive to over consume, simply because they no longer bear the full cost of medical services.

And does this all not sound like ObamaCare to you??

But ObamaCare was a political decision not an economic decision so that’s why the economics are bass-ackwards AGAIN.

Obama and The Democrats are masters of this. Pass a Political bill that sounds like economics but is purely an ideologically based bill meant to benefit THEM politically and nothing else.

In the meantime you, the moron ,I-don’t-wanna-know voter gets it in the shorts but you’re happy to be given yet another government approved enema!!

Case In Point….

The latest government report on national health spending provides more evidence that ObamaCare will act as poison to a health care system that was already on the mend.In 2011, the last year for which data are available, spending on health care climbed just 3.9% for the third year in a row.The press is dismissing it as the result of the recession, while the Obama administration claims ObamaCare deserves credit. Neither is true.

Health spending skyrocketed during previous economic slumps — it saw double digit increases during the deep, prolonged 1981-82 downturn, for example.

Plus, the spending trend had been falling for years before the last recession, dropping from 7% in 2004 to 4.7% in 2008. In any case, even after the recession ended in mid-2009, spending growth still slowed.

Insurance premiums showed the same trend. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, annual family premium increases fell from 9% in 2005 to 5.4% in 2007, and to 3% in 2010.

The health care market, it turns out, was already figuring out how to control costs long before ObamaCare. Witness the explosive growth in Health Savings Accounts.

These plans — which combine high-deductible insurance policies with a tax-free health spending account that rolls over at the end of the year — went from virtually nonexistent in 2005 to become the second most popular plan offered by employers, the Kaiser study found.

These plans hold down health spending by giving consumers a more direct financial stake in their own health care decisions.

The problem is that ObamaCare declares war on this cost control effort by capping deductibles at $2,000 and making it harder to offer health savings accounts. And ObamaCare’s ever increasing list of benefit mandates will drive up costs just as they have at the state level.

The “guaranteed issue” rule will force premiums still higher, which even ObamaCare fans now admit, and its huge subsidies will drive up taxpayer costs.

The result: Annual spending increases will shoot up to 7.4% in 2014, when ObamaCare fully kicks in, and will remain at or above 6% for the foreseeable future.

Insurance premiums are already spiking, up 9.5% in 2011 and 4.5% last year. And as we pointed out in this space yesterday, double-digit premium increases are now popping up all over the place.

Doctors take an oath to “first do no harm.” Too bad Obama didn’t adhere to that when he forced ObamaCare down the country’s throat.

But it’s the HOLY GRAIL of Authoritarian Liberalism!!

Getting to choose who lives and who dies. Getting to choose how you live. It was irresistible. They’d been slobber over the idea for 80 years.

Now they can decide when you are no longer of any use to the State. They can have the Food Police out there deciding that what you’re eating isn’t “healthy” enough for the State’s purposes. And they get to have the IRS to kick down your tax door if you don’t pony up!!

What’s not to like, if you’re a petty dictator and consider yourself so far above mortals in “enlightenment” and “compassion”??

After all, if you disapprove you must be and evil, mean, poor-hating “granny-off-the-cliff” arsehole! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Battle Begins Anew

A Little From our Post Traumatic Image is Everything First (Constitution Second) Conscious Chief Justice:

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joked that he’ll spend some time on an “impregnable island fortress” now that the court has ended a session that featured him casting the decisive vote to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Responding to a question about his summer break, Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation.

“Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea,” Roberts said, drawing laughter from about 300 judges, attorneys and others attending a four-day conference Friday at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort.

The only direct question Roberts got about the health care opinion came when those at the conference were invited to ask questions.

That’s when Roberts was asked what he thought his court’s legacy would be in 50 years and “how one recent opinion might fit into that” – an obvious reference to the health care decision.

“Well, I won’t answer anything that has to do with the second part of that,” Roberts said. But he said he hopes that the court under him is remembered as one that “did our job according to the Constitution, of protecting equal justice under the law.”

Lamberth hinted at the controversial decision when he asked Roberts if it bothered him that he can’t respond to his critics.

“No,” Roberts said, his brief answer hanging in the air to more laughter.(AP)

Public opposition to the health care law remains high. Forty-seven percent of respondents in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll said they oppose the law while 33 percent said they support it. Thirteen percent said they are neutral. Those who strongly oppose the legislation also outnumber those who strongly support it, 32 percent to 17 percent, about a 2-to-1 margin.

Critical to both parties, just 21 percent of independents support it, the lowest level of support the AP-GfK poll has recorded on the issue. (AP)

But here comes the old fearmongering and division that Liberals are so congenitally wired for:

“Now the American people are going to say, `Now what’s in that for me?'” Harkin said. “As long as Democrats are willing to go out there and positively say, `Look, now you are guaranteed that you will get affordable health insurance if you had breast cancer in the past … preventive care, free mammograms. … And they (Republicans) want to take it away from you. You have it now and they want to take it away from you. If you want it taken away from you, you just go ahead and vote for them.'” (AP)

So…

Republicans also used the ruling to craft a new attack line. Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion said the law’s requirement that Americans purchase health care is a tax, which Republicans argued contradicted Obama and Democrats who insist they aren’t raising taxes on the poor and middle class.

“The court blew the president’s cover,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

The tax debate will be at the forefront when the House votes the week of July 9 to overturn the law, a largely symbolic step with a Democratic-controlled Senate but one that will put Democrats and Republicans on record and provide fodder for the campaign.

Because guess what, IT’S A TAX!  The Supreme Court says so!!

And who will get it in the shorts the  most– why the middle class and the poor!! Will the Democrats tell them that? Nope. It’s all Fear, Loathing, and Me-Generation Greed.

The Battle begins again.

The medical overhaul is also a choice killer. Many will recall Obama promising that under his plan, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”

Those aren’t the facts.

As we reported in April, the CBO estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will be forced out of their plans as employers toss workers into government health exchanges to avoid ObamaCare’s costs.

A survey by McKinsey and Co. found that nearly one-third of employers will likely to drop coverage for their workers once ObamaCare kicks in.

And an analysis by the Medicare actuary found that ObamaCare’s attacks on Medicare’s private insurance options will force nearly 8 million seniors out of the coverage they’ve chosen.

• Consumer costs will rise. CBO says premiums will increase over the next decade faster than they did in the past five years.

• The Affordable Care Act is just the beginning. It’s the door to a single-payer government system run by a DMV-type bureaucracy.

• The quality of care will suffer. The Democrats’ law will chill the incentives to become a doctor, to create innovative drugs and to produce live-saving and life-enhancing medical equipment.

• Don’t be surprised when treatment is rationed by government. As it takes over a larger portion of health care — it already controls nearly half — resources won’t be able to keep up with demand. Somebody wins, somebody loses based on someone else’s whim. (IBD)

But don’t worry, the Democrats will just focus on fear, intimidation, and “mean” old Republicans who want to throw grandma off a cliff and you to “just die” as former Rep. Grayson once said on the House floor.

Meanwhile, the Democrats WILL tax you to death and give you 2nd-3rd world care (unless you are “rich” that is) but it won’t be their fault. 🙂

And if you increase demand but they supply doesn’t increase or even decreases then what happens? Hmmm….

And it all points to a single solution: Repeal the law before it takes deep root, and replace it with policies that put the patient in charge.

“What has happened in this system for too long is that the patient has kind of been second or third in line behind everybody else,” Ed Haislmaier health policy worker for the Heritage Foundation says.

And then he made a good point on why Democrats may be opposed to it if they get their ideological heads out of their asses:

Critics of the mandate say Republicans and Democrats alike oppose it.

“Republicans are against it because they see it as an impingement on their personal freedom,” says Ed Haislmaier, who works on healthcare policy at the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The Democrats are against it because they don’t like health insurance companies in the first place, and they don’t like to be told they have to go buy from someone they don’t like.(VOA)

And I would add, make them aware of how much everything costs because this is far from “free healthcare”.

Yahoo question from the public at large: Since conservatives are so greedy, I am surprised they would oppose Free.

Need I say more? 🙂

How about From a UK message board: congratualations {sp} USA on your free healthcare – now you can do something about your obesity and retardation.

The Bright Spot from the perspective of damage and ability to provide clarity on what this really means:

Because the one ”bright spot” of the ruling was on the matter of Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor, in which both governments split the cost. ObamaCare mandated states accept more federal money and expand eligibility to ensnare a larger number of Americans in this dismal government-run plan. But along with that mandate for the states to spend hundreds of millions more than they can afford, the law included a penalty for states that didn’t expand the Medicaid eligibility – the loss of all federal Medicaid money. Essentially it was a choice between spending more money that states don’t have or receiving no federal money, yet still being obligated to provide Medicaid.

The Supreme Court rejected that provision. It said states can be offered the option but can’t be forced to accept the expansion money, nor to extend Medicaid to people who don’t currently qualify. Given many states are going broke now, and Medicaid is their largest expenditure already, it’s highly doubtful many will spend more on this program.

So, given Medicaid was a key component to extending coverage to all Americans under ObamaCare, and given it’s now dead or at least an unlikely option, the uninsured near-poor – the people this whole mess was designed to help – won’t be getting Medicaid. Since they also probably won’t soon earn enough to buy insurance on their own, they finish right where they started – in no-man’s land.

Middle-class Americans without insurance will have to pay an Obama Tax that will grow with each passing year. The near-poor were exempted from the tax, but they won’t get insurance either.

Given the ease – relative to the rest of the world – with which Americans can move up the economic ladder, many will work at jobs that can’t afford to provide insurance under ObamaCare and are too small to be required to provide it. But those jobs will pay enough so employees eventually will qualify for the Obama Tax. So, just as these near-poor approach some semblance of economic security, the IRS (which Obamacare empowered to enforce the Obama Tax) will be right there to whack them back down.

Therefore, and not for the first time, the people ObamaCare was supposed to help will be hurt the most.

Middle-class families also will take a hit.

Most Americans work for small businesses. The law requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine. Since ObamaCare forces insurance companies to accept everyone with pre-existing conditions – which is like requiring car insurance companies to insure cars after their owners have wrapped them around a tree – premiums will skyrocket. Companies quickly will notice it’s easier to simply pay the fine. This means a new group of uninsured Americans.

If the slight bump in pay doesn’t permit them to afford insurance, they will be hit with the Obama Tax. (And for those of you keeping score at home, they make significantly less than the $250,000 per year the President promised to never, ever raise taxes on. “Read my lips!” anyone?)

The government doesn’t care about your expenses. It doesn’t care about your kids in private school, your mortgage or student loans or the relatives you’re trying to help through a bad time. It doesn’t care how or really even whether you make ends meet as the Obama Recession rolls into another year. It sees you as a number – the number of dollars you make, whether you make enough to buy insurance according to its formula.

Don’t believe me? Try discussing with a bureaucrat anything you owe government on any level and see if you can appeal to their mercy. You might get a traffic fine reduced occasionally if you catch the right bureaucrat on the right day. But the IRS deals with tens of millions of people over hundreds of billions of dollars. Bureaucracies are not in the mercy business.

So now that Obamacare has morphed into a tax on staying alive, it will become yet another liberal “well-intentioned” attempt to “strengthen the social safety net” that ends up functioning more like a spider web that ensnares people in the life it was supposed to help them escape.

It also forces the health insurance market into a bastardized market that threatens its very existence. It will cause many insurers to fail, which will lead to consolidation, concentration and ultimately corporate welfare. Or the government will step in, take over the entire market and give us the American version of Britain’s detestable National Health Service, which is something Democrats have been working towards for decades. Either way, government wins and we – all of us – lose.

Of course none of these taxes and insurance drops will take effect for these impacted people until after the election, which was by design. Costing people you need to vote for you more before they vote is fool’s errand, a lesson Barack Obama learned from President George H.W. Bush. But once he no longer need their vote, ever, for the rest of his life…lookout.

Did we reject a tyranny 236 years ago to gradually create our own without the accent and powdered wig? Did we replace “No taxation without representation” with “Taxation through misrepresentation”? As you celebrate our nation’s independence this week, commit yourself to talk to as many people as you can about how we’ve lost that which we are celebrating and how November is our next, and maybe our only, chance to declare it again. (Derek Hunter)

Time for a more literal TEA PARTY revolution against our Would-be King. And time to re-instill freedom into this great land.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


What You’re Up Against

“Part of my platform is, of course, the guilty must be punished and that we no longer let our children see their guilty leaders getting away with murder. Because it teaches children, you know, that they don’t have to have any morals as long as they have guns and are bullies and I don’t think that’s a good message,” Barr told Russia Today (RT).

“I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty.

“I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded,” Barr said with a straight face.

Mind you, all the Liberals, like Barney Frank who are equally if not more so, responsible for this mess are completely outside of her universe.

And don’t worry, it’s the conservatives and Tea Partiers who are the violent psychopaths who just want to destroy with their racist rhetotic, after all. 🙂

And she has an estimated net worth of $80 million dollars so she fine with herself being very, very rich.

Frances Fox Piven (at the Wall Street lynching rallies): I think we desperately need a popular uprising in the United States.

Yeah, the current one you don’t like, so they don’t count, they are called the Tea Party. 🙂

Isn’t ideological orthodoxy fun. 🙂

Bill Maher: wants to know the exact date former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose days are “numbered,” will die so he can call the catering for a death celebration party of some sort.

More Bile from that Liberal Bastion of  “journalists” at MSNBC:

O’donnell: “the Republican Party of the 21st Century, if we are to judge by the debate audiences, has obviously lost its soul.”

So along with racist, mean,vicious,unpatriotic, the opposition to Democrats are now souless.

Anyone for “negotiating” for a “compromise” with such people. 🙂

The “Super” Committee

Democrats want tax hikes to be the first item negotiated in “super committee” deficit-reduction talks, trying to force Republicans to confront an issue at the heart of this year’s budget fights, sources told Reuters.

In other words, they want to play political games and create TV ads to shame the Republicans into doing what they want so that they win the fight and do nothing substantive like CUTTING SPENDING. Gee, no one saw that coming… 🙂

The panel has the task of finding ways of cutting the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

That’s $120 Billion a year.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.89 billion per day since September 28, 2007.

These idiots will spend that in a month. Ohh! Look we’re doing something. Now we’ll just be overspending 11 months of the year! Hurray!! 😦

We need to cut Trillions in One Year ya morons!

But Washington politicians of any stripe will never do it. But the Liberals surely never will.

During the super committee’s initial closed-door meetings, “Republicans wanted to just talk about spending cuts and Democrats said, ‘No,'” the aide said.

So bend over and spread ’em wide the galactic sized smoke machine is about to go right up your backside. Meanwhile they will be stealing your wallet.

ObamaCare

  Following two major studies revealing that millions of businesses — big and small — will dump their employees’ healthcare plans once Obamacare fully kicks in, an ebullient Howard Dean extolled that outcome.

Dean calls this “incredibly good”news for small businesses because they’ll no longer have to pay for their employees’ plans.  Setting aside the fact that this is an obvious breach of Obama’s dishonest “like your plan/keep your plan” pledge, another reality is that all of those employees will have to get their healthcare somewhere — and that somewhere will be on the government-subsidized exchanges.  This, in turn, will cost billions upon billions of additional dollars.  Plus, in light of Obamacare’s individual mandate and guaranteed issue rules, a lot of people will pay the relatively low non-compliance fine until they really need “insurance” (by that point, it’s no longer really insurance), at which point the health insurance companies will be forced to take these patients.  In order to make up for those hits to their bottom lines and stay in business, insurers will raise premiums on everyone else.

The health-insurance premiums employers pay rose sharply this year, with the average annual cost of family coverage passing the $15,000 mark for the first time, according to a major survey.  The 9% average increase, reported in an annual poll of employers performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, comes despite a continued trend toward more limited use of medical services in the U.S. Last year, family premiums rose just 3%, the survey found. Employers’ average annual family premium for 2011 was $15,073, up from $13,770 last year

Thanks, Obamacare!  The reason that Dean is so cheery over this devastating news is that once enough employers drop their coverage, and anger over premium increases reaches a critical mass, he and his fellow Leftists will be poised to swoop in an push single-payer health care as the only solution.  This is, and has always been, their long-term goal And “they” includes Barack Obama.  Toss in crippling doctor shortages, huge middle class tax hikes, startling coverage oversights, and ramped up bureaucratic rationing, and it becomes fairly clear why support for repeal is as stable and robust as it is.  Republicans might get that shot after 2012.  Until then, they may have to keep their fingers crossed that the Supremes will grease the skids substantially.

If Obamacare falls, what alternative will Republicans propose?  Rep. Paul Ryan gave a major address at Stanford University this week, in which he outlined a free-market, cost-lowering healthcare reform package.  The Wall Street Journal editorial board and healthcare policy expert Avik Roy applaud the tent pole of Ryan’s plan, as described by CNN Money’s Shawn Tully:

Ryan argues that the tax laws make it far cheaper for a corporation to purchase coverage for workers than for the worker to buy a similar policy on their own. He’s correct. For example, ABK Auto Parts (a hypothetical employer) can provide a worker with a $50,000 salary with a $15,000 family policy without including that $15,000 in the worker’s compensation, so the benefit is tax-free to the employee. Under the current tax regime, if the company simply increased the worker’s salary by $15,000 to $65,000, he or she would have to pay tax on that extra income — say at a 25% rate, including payroll levies. Hence, the worker would be to buy only an $11,250 policy with the extra pay. “This tilts the compensation scale toward benefits, which are tax-free, and away from wages, which are taxable,” the speech says.

He also argues that the system is especially helpful to the “rich:” “It also provides ways for high-income earners to artificially reduce their tax-able income by purchasing high-cost health coverage — which in turn can fuel the overuse of health services.” So what’s Ryan’s solution? He proposes shifting the tax exemption that now goes only to company-provided plans to individuals instead. In our example, if ABK Auto Parts keeps providing coverage, employees will need to pay tax on the value of the policies. But the employee will be able to buy a policy on their own and get a tax credit for the entire cost of the plan.

If Ryan’s plan becomes law, it’s likely that most companies would drop their plans. Why provide coverage when employees now pay tax on the benefit but get a tax credit if they buy their own plans? The advantage is that employees would no longer lose their coverage if they lose their jobs. The policies would belong to them and be fully portable to the next job. It would also turn workers into consumers, giving them an incentive to shop for the lowest cost plans with their own money.

 

But since it comes from the Son of the Devil, you forget about anyone on the left in politics or the media saying anything but nuclear war style crap bombs about it.

Democrats, it goes without saying, are licking their chops to demagogue this plan, as Obama successfully did in 2008.  It’s what they do best:  Scare the hell out of people by lying about conservative solutions, then angrily insist that big government fixes are the only safe, responsible options.  One wonders if the American public is wising up to this scam, especially in light of how magnificently Democrats statist “solutions” have turned out over the last three years. (Guy Benson)

I have been saying a lot of this for 2 years. So I am in agreement with the analysis.

But don’t worry, if you object you’re just a mean old heartless racist. No big deal 🙂

Now don’t you feel better. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino


 

 

 

 

The Role of Government

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett: “We have to give people a livelihood so they can provide for their families,” Jarrett says in the video. “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

But that’s not socialism or government trying to run your life for you. Nope. Nothing to see here…

Contrast that with Sen. Marco Rubio during a recent speech at the Reagan Presidential Library:

These are proper roles of government — within the framework of creating an environment where economic security and prosperity is possible.  And on the compassion side of the ledger, which is also important to Americans — and it’s important that we remind ourselves of that — I don’t really like labels in politics, but I will gladly accept the label of conservatism. Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them the tools at their disposal that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. And our programs to help them should reflect that.

Now, yes, there are people that cannot help themselves. And those folks we will always help. We are too rich and prosperous a nation to leave them to fend for themselves. But all the others that can work should be given the means of empowering themselves to enter the marketplace and the workforce. And our programs and our policies should reflect that. We do need a safety net, but it cannot be a way of life. It must be there to help those who have fallen, to stand up and try again.
Amen.  Even if you’re a bleeding heart type who’s inclined to agree with Jarrett that the feds ought to take a more proactive role in directly aiding the poor through wealth redistribution, I’d point out that Big Government has done a really lousy job at achieving that goal through the years.  The Democrats’ Great Society and its “war on poverty” has been a wildly costly and tragically ineffective proposition.  More recently, President Obama promised that his 2009 “stimulus” program would “lift two million Americans from poverty.”  Hundreds of billions of dollars later, 2.9 million more Americans have fallen into poverty.  Which is to say nothing of the gutwrenching economic desolation that has afflicted so many of human history’s socialistic dystopias. 

Big, overbearing, meddling government isn’t merely philosophically wrongheaded, it just doesn’t work.  That’s why conservatives are exempliying true compassion when they work to limit the size, scope, and influence of a Leviathan that consumes greedily, but has little to show for it. (Guy Benson)

Speaking of overbearing…

The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

Justice Department lawyers have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state’s immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials. (WP)

This would be the same Justice department that refused to prosecute the Black Panther Case, and is trying desperately to cover up the forceable walking of guns into Mexico under “Fast & Furious” amongst many other problems.

But states wanting to crack down on illegal immigration where this government refuses to go, well…That’s just evil. 🙂

He <Obama> told a roundtable of Latino reporters Wednesday that Arizona’s immigration law created “a great danger that naturalized citizens, individuals with Latino surnames, potentially could be vulnerable to questioning. The laws could be potentially abused in ways that were not fair to Latino citizens.”

The same old tired parroted argument that is, of course, utterly false and has been proven to be so. But since when did truth ever stop a liberal from using fear and intimidation? NEVER.

“We can’t have a patchwork of 50 states with 50 different immigration laws.”

We must have only 1 law. Ours. And if we chose to ignore it well too F*cking bad for you you can’t do anything about it! We are all powerful and what we say goes. Period. End of story.

Isn’t Democratic government grand? 🙂

PASS THE BILL

“Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools? Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?”–President Obama

He’s going to drive the price of straw through the roof if he keeps this up? The army of straw men he’ll have by election time will rival the Chinese Military.
So if you’re against his bill not only are you racist, but heartless, mean, cruel and just want to kick people in the nuts repeatedly!
Emotions must trump logic because logic tells you he’s full of bovine fecal matter!
“Well, this isn’t about giving me a win, and it’s not about [Republicans],” Obama said.

Pinocchio’s nose just grew so long it hit the other side of the universe!
“This isn’t just about what I think is right.”
Yes it is.
Your Ego would have it no other way.
Liberal Economist God Paul Krugman: The truth is that we’re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too much.
Dozens of infrastructure projects could qualify for expedited treatment under a White House plan to create jobs by cutting through regulatory red tape that critics say is holding up important initiatives.
But I thought we needed MORE regulations? 🙂

President Barack Obama last month ordered Interior, Agriculture, Housing, Transportation and Commerce Department officials to identify by Friday up to three big projects each that could merit faster environmental approvals and other permits. Funding must already be arranged or identified.

Obama is facing a tough re-election fight next year in the face of a stubborn 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Infrastructure projects, which can help state and local economies, are a key part of his job creation strategy.

Administration officials would not discuss proposals while they were under review, but transportation and construction groups say there are at minimum 50 projects in the permit process that could qualify for faster treatment.

Most are winding their way through a federal, state and local maze that often takes several years and can last between 15 and 20 years for the biggest proposals.

“It’s just the whole process itself. The way we build things in this country ensures that it will take decades,” said Mark Policinski, executive director and chief executive of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

“We are very interested in any relief the president and his agencies can give us on the red tape that usually ties our projects up for years,” John Horsely, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told Reuters. “I’ve characterized the process we’ve been going through as one step forward, two steps back.”

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

We Need to Spend More. Regulate More. And it is the role of government to make sure everyone is “lifted up” and provided for.
Thanks comrades, but no thanks.
OBAMACARE
Guy Benson

ABC Newsman Jake Tapper surveys the national landscape and is startled by the observation that several of President Obama’s famous healthcare promises don’t quite seem to be coming to fruition.  (You don’t say).  He confronts White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle with the evidence, and oh my does she spin.  Even I’m dizzy:

A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming.  Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted.  On May 3, 2008, the president told voters that he had “a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.”  Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.

The Kaiser Family Foundation shows family premiums topped $15,000 a year for the first time in 2011, increasing a whopping 9% this year, three times more than the increase the year before. The study says that up to 2% of that increase is because of the health care law’s provisions (me: and that’s just the beginning), such as allowing families to add grown children up to 26 years old to their policies.

What does Nancy-Ann have to say for herself?

DeParle insists families will see that savings — by 2019.  “Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”  DeParle said that the “big increases that occurred last year were probably driven by insurance plans overestimating what the impact would be and maybe trying to take some profits upfront before some of the changes in the Affordable Care Act occur.

In other words, everything will be turning up roses eight years from now — you’ve gotta trust us.  Plus, these know-nothing insurance companies are “probably” overestimating the impact of the law.  I mean, what do they know?   I wonder if Kathleen Sebelius is scribbling furiously in her “zero tolerance” notebook.  Tapper continues:

The Kaiser study also indicates employers are switching plans and shifting costs onto employees. Half of workers in smaller firms now face “deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent facing deductibles of $2,000 or more,” according to the study.  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the president’s promise that “if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan”? ABC News asked DeParle.

Perfectly legitimate question.  Back to you, White House flack:

She said no — the president wasn’t saying the legislation would guarantee that everyone can keep his or her preferred plan, just that the legislation wouldn’t force anyone to change. “What the president promised is that under health care reform, that he would make it more possible for people to have choices in these (health insurance) exchanges,” DeParle said. “And that’s going to be what will help businesses bring costs down. Right now, they’re just struggling. That’s one reason why they’re shifting costs to employees.”

Unbelievable.  President Obama didn’t really mean you could keep your plan if you like it, we’re now told; he just meant the law would help provide more choices in the government-approved exchanges.  I’m sorry, but I’m quite certain that’s not what he said at all.  Unfortunately for the White House, there’s this thing nowadays called “the internet,” on which people can research topics such as, “what exactly did President Obama say about me being able to keep my plan?”  Well, well, well.  Look at what the search engine turned up:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.

Contrast that unambiguous, definitive pledge with DeParle’s historical revisionism and hedging.  You know, I’m beginning to suspect Joe Wilson’s sentiment — albeit disrespectful and inappropriate for the venue — was absolutely, positively on the money.

So remember how this blog started: “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

Now don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers


Happy Birthday, ObamaCare

Facinating Site: http://www.thirdway.org/taxreceipt

A year after the passing of health reform, a new industry report revealed that consumers may be paying billions of dollars more in out-of-pocket health care expenses than was previously thought.

These “hidden” costs of health care — like taking time off to care for elderly parents — add up to $363 billion, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research group.

That amounts to $1,355 per consumer, on top of the $8,000 the government says people spend on doctor fees and hospital care.

The out-of-pocket costs that the government tallies usually include only insurance-related costs like premiums, deductibles, and co-payments.

The study is the first to estimate how much consumers dish out on health care related goods and services not covered by private or government insurance.

These include: ambulance services, alternative medicines, nutritional products and vitamins, weight-loss centers and supervisory care of elderly family members.

The average household income fell 1.9% last year while health care costs rose 6%.(KFYI)

I guess findout what was in the bill after passing it was like finding a zonk on “Let’s Make a Deal”.

But don’t tell that to a Liberal, they will just rant on about evil capitalists.

But it’s not a real surprise. Not really. Not if you live in reality. Not Liberal socialist fantasy land.

You have massive number of new regulations.  More Adverse Selection has been forced on the industry.

The term adverse selection was originally used in insurance. It describes a situation where an individual’s demand for insurance (either the propensity to buy insurance, or the quantity purchased, or both) is positively correlated with the individual’s risk of loss (e.g. higher risks buy more insurance), and the insurer is unable to allow for this correlation in the price of insurance. This may be because of private information known only to the individual (information asymmetry), or because of regulations or social norms which prevent the insurer from using certain categories of known information to set prices (e.g. the insurer may be prohibited from using information such as gender or ethnic origin or genetic test results). The latter scenario is sometimes referred to as ‘regulatory adverse selection’.

The potentially ‘adverse’ nature of this phenomenon can be illustrated by the link between smoking status and mortality. Non-smokers, on average, are more likely to live longer, while smokers, on average, are more likely to die younger. If insurers do not vary prices for life insurance according to smoking status, life insurance will be a better buy for smokers than for non-smokers. So smokers may be more likely to buy insurance, or may tend to buy larger amounts, than non-smokers. The average mortality of the combined policyholder group will be higher than the average mortality of the general population. From the insurer’s viewpoint, the higher mortality of the group which ‘selects’ to buy insurance is ‘adverse’. The insurer raises the price of insurance accordingly. As a consequence, non-smokers may be less likely to buy insurance (or may buy smaller amounts) than if they could buy at a lower price to reflect their lower risk. The reduction in insurance purchase by non-smokers is also ‘adverse’ from the insurer’s viewpoint, and perhaps also from a public policy viewpoint.

So all that “can’t refuse people with pre-existing” conditions means your insurance goes UP!

But then again, as I said repeatedly, and I do mean repeatedly, that ObamaCare was about bring down the cost of health care, it was about bringing down the entire private health care industry so that socialist government health care is all that was left and you’d have no choice.

And that still stands.

So Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. the Damien Hell-child of The Left.

Oh, and then there’s this from Rep. Anthony “The Whiner” Weiner, one the most vocal leftists:

Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City.

Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city’s special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense. Weiner is one of the health care law’s biggest supporters; during the debate leading up to reform, he was one of the last holdouts in Congress for the public option.

“The president said, ‘If you have better ideas that can accomplish the same thing, go for it,’” said Weiner. “I’m in the process now of trying to see if we can take [President Barack Obama] up on it in the city of New York, … and I’m taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.”

Hey, Mr. Weiner I have a much better plan to never have passed the damn thing in the first place, but since you crammed down our throats and now your political fantasies are gagging on it here’s your better plan — REPEAL THE DAMN THING!!!!! 🙂

During the debate over his health care law, President Obama repeatedly promised that “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” but for millions of Americans that promise has already been broken.

In a shocking admission, Obama’s administration has granted more than 1,000 waivers to the health law to prevent 2.6 million workers from losing their coverage. Millions more weren’t lucky enough to get a waiver, and have already been forced to switch plans.

Most waivers have been distributed to Fortune 500 corporations like Pepsi and McDonald’s, unions, Las Vegas casinos and in one case an entire state.

If corporations and unions can get a waiver from the health law, every American should get one. That is why I have introduced a bill that would allow anyone – an individual, a family, a small business – to receive a waiver. You should not need to be politically connected to keep your health insurance.

My bill uses the same standard created by the Obama Administration. If the law increases your insurance premiums, you can apply for a waiver. If you’re forced to drop the coverage you like, you can apply for a waiver. The bill also requires the Obama Administration to educate the public about the option and regularly report how many families and employers have received waivers.

The Obama Administration has been pretty clear why these waivers are necessary. In an application posted on the Department of Health and Human Services website, applicants are told they can receive a waiver if the lifetime limit mandate would result in a “significant increase in premiums” or a “significant decrease in access to benefits.”

“We don’t want to take away people’s health insurance before they have some realistic other choices,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told one newspaper.

This confession by the administration is telling. There are countless mandates in the law which would increase premiums and decrease the ability to obtain coverage. For example, by 2014 every American will be required to purchase expensive, government-designed health insurance. Most employers will be forced by Washington to offer comprehensive health benefits or face a fine. The law’s one-size-fits-all benefit mandates will likely eliminate Health Savings Accounts for 11 million families. According to the administration’s own data, the law’s restrictive rules will force 80 percent of small businesses to drop their current plans and purchase more expensive coverage.

The President promised his health law would reduce premiums by $2,500 per family, but insurance has only become more expensive under the law. In New Hampshire, some plans are seeing premiums go up more than 40 percent. In Massachusetts, several plans have announced rate increases of 20 percent or more. In my home state of Michigan, 15 percent rate increases are becoming routine.

Increasing costs are the number one reason Americans cannot access insurance. Yet ObamaCare does nothing to actually reign in health care costs. Instead, it forces Americans to purchase a government-designed insurance product which will be unaffordable for countless employers and workers.

If given the chance, most Americans would prefer to keep the coverage they have. Expanding the administration’s own waiver process will allow families to keep their plans and small businesses to continue offering benefits. (U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI))

Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. 😦

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

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Chicxulub II

Americans & Democracy are being systemically exterminated.

“There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish  something. . .  .All this talk about rules. . . When the deal goes down . . . we make  ’em up as we go along.”—Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.)

Let me remind you this [Americans allegedly dying because of lack of universal health care] has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.–Rep Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced bills in both chambers of Congress today that will restore voting rights to millions of American citizens with past felony convictions. An estimated 5.3 million citizens cannot vote as a result of felony convictions, and nearly 4 million of those individuals are living and working in their communities. The Democracy Restoration Act of 2009 is a welcome measure that will establish a uniform standard restoring voting rights in federal elections to millions of Americans who are not incarcerated, but continue to be denied their ability to fully participate in civic life.(ACLU)

And it’s a fact that Democrats traditionally get the majority of the “Felon Vote”.

So add the Felons to the Amnesty Illegals and you have as many as 25 million new Democrats who can be herded to the polls and informed to vote for the people who will kiss their buts.

And in the gerrymandering of the Census  (after it is being run by the White House and not the Treasury Dept) for the 2012 election cycle.

You get some real Chicago Politics.

Now we just need the Dead voting for Democrats.

President Obama said his bill will end some of the worst practices by insurance companies, provide the same health care coverage that Congress receives to the uninsured and small businesses, and will decrease health care costs. (Crains)

Problem: There is a provision in the bill to exempt members of congress from the regulations in the bill. What is more under this bill if you don’t have a “qualified plan” you will be fined for several thousand dollars. The other problem in the quote, “nothing changes for you”…that is, unless the plan you currently have doesn’t qualify on the government’s list of what is acceptable. If it doesn’t qualify you will be fined and given a plan of their choice. Ouch!

“Most of the major public policy changes embodied in the health care reform legislation will become effective only after the next presidential election in 2012,” said Maury Harris, an economist with UBS AG, said in a research report.

Gee, I wonder why… 😦

Insurers also will have to reveal how much of members’ premiums they spend on medical care, as opposed to executive salaries or other administrative costs. Next year, they’ll owe a rebate to customers if the insurers spend less than 80 percent on benefits for people in individual or small-group plans. (Bloomberg).

NYT: There will also be limits on overhead and profit. Insurers will be required to spend between 80 cents and 85 cents of every premium dollar on health care. They have been paying about 74 cents on average.

So You have a business that is required to spend 80-85% of their money on expenses and cover millions of new people and high-risk people that they previous didn’t and children they previously didn’t.

Some of them have to be covered for little or for free on preventative care, like colonoscopy’s and mammograms.

And forget things like employee expenses and business expenses.

Sounds like a sustainable business to me, doesn’t it. 😦

But then again, that was the plan.

Private Health Insurance was just hit with it’s own Chicxulub Meteor (the one that killed off the Dinosaurs) and will be extinct in 5 years or less I’d bet.

Leaving, guess who to step in and save the day!!! 😦

Mind you, a lot of this is based on Medicare and Medicaid, that are almost bankrupt and will have $500 Billion dollars in cuts (at least that’s what is supposed to happen, what are the chances it won’t happen).

The Cuts are most in Medicare Advantage, because AARP’s insurance arm has a higher cost alternative plan that will not be targeted.

Gee, I wonder why AARP supported the bill. 😦

So the idea that premiums will go down is fantasy.

And then there’s your friendly IRS agent. ALL 16,000 new ones to be Health Care Enforcement.

HR 4872 (The Reconciliation bill), Heritage reports, would “force companies to pay a tax penalty if that business employs 50 or more workers as soon as one worker qualifies for, and opts to accept, a health insurance premium subsidy.”

That $3,000 penalty is on top of the $2,000-per-worker penalty for all workers beyond the first 30 for such companies not offering a “qualified” health plan or paying 60% of employee health premiums. Such companies would be faced with a $3,000 penalty for hiring a single parent, the very kind of person desperately in need of employment.
Here’s where it gets even more bizarre. According to Heritage, under the reconciliation bill, if Company A lays off an employee with a working spouse, this could generate a $3,000 tax penalty for the other spouse’s employer, unless Company B also lays off the other spouse.

We’re not making this up. This byzantine legislation is a job-killer that will destroy small business, the major creator of new jobs. Some 77,000 businesses in the U.S. have 50 to 200 workers that could face the $2,000-per-employee tax penalty. An additional 116,000 businesses have 35 to 49 workers.

This nonsense will stunt economic growth and worsen the economic downturn by actually providing financial incentives to not hire people. It’s not worth the trouble. Businesses that might have expanded will stop at 49 employees. Those already considered a “large” business will face a minefield of taxes and penalties due in some cases to events beyond their control.

The power to tax is indeed the power to destroy. As we have said, this is not about health care. This is about power and the redistribution of wealth. And the IRS will be making a list and checking it twice to see who’s being naughty and who’s being nice.

And this you add this ditty:  In a joint statement to Congress, the president’s top economic advisers hedged against expectations of lower unemployment this year, saying the jobless rate — still hovering around 10% — will “remain elevated for an extended period.” “We do not expect further declines in unemployment this year,” the White House budget director, top economist and Treasury secretary testified.(IBD)

But at least they’ll have Government Health Care, in the future, that’s what’s really important. 🙂

And so, for Obama and The Democrats, it’s on to the next target.

They have to cram as much of this in this year as they can, so if they lose in November, they still win in the long term.

Amnesty, Financial “reform”, Global Warming, The EPA…

So much to control, so little time.

The Acid Rain and aftershocks  from the 21st century Chicxulub Meteor are now upon us.

And all we can do is our best.

It’s all we have left.