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

 

Here We Go Again

First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.

Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly. One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.” Annual limits on cost-sharing are specified by Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act; in addition, starting in 2014, deductibles are limited to $2,000 per year for individual plans, and $4,000 per year for family plans.

Out-of-pocket caps drive premiums upward

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you ban lifetime limits, and mandate lower deductibles, and cap out-of-pocket costs, premiums have to go up to reflect these changes. And unlike a lot of the “rate shock” problems we’ve been discussing, these limits apply not only to individually-purchased health insurance, but also to employer-sponsored coverage. (Self-insured employers are exempted.)

These mandates have already had drastic effects on a number of colleges and universities, which offer inexpensive, defined-cap plans to their healthy, youthful students. Premiums at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., for example, rose from $245 per student in 2011-2012 to between $2,507 in 2012-2013. The University of Puget Sound paid $165 per student in 2011-2012; their rates rose to between $1,500 and $2,000 for 2012-2013. Other schools have been forced to drop coverage because they could no longer afford it.

According to the law, the limits on out-of-pocket costs for 2014 were $6,350 for individual policies and $12,700 for family ones. But in February, the Department of Labor published a little-noticed rule delaying the cap until 2015.

The delay was described yesterday by Robert Pear in the New York Times.

Last month the White House announced a one-year delay in enforcement of another major provision of the law, which requires larger employers to offer health coverage to full-time employees. Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, said that the delay of the employer mandate showed “we are listening” to businesses, which had complained about the complexity of federal reporting requirements.

Although the two delays are unrelated, together they underscore the difficulties the Obama administration is facing as it rolls out the health care law.

Advocates for people with chronic illnesses said they were dismayed by the policy decision on out-of-pocket costs.

“The government’s unexpected interpretation of the law will disproportionately harm people with complex chronic conditions and disabilities,” said Myrl Weinberg, the chief executive of the National Health Council, which speaks for more than 50 groups representing patients.

For people with serious illnesses like cancer and multiple sclerosis, Ms. Weinberg said, out-of-pocket costs can total tens of thousands of dollars a year.(NYT)

Delay needed to align ‘separate computer systems’

Notes Pear, “Under the [one-year delay], many group health plans will be able to maintain separate out-of-pocket limits for benefits in 2014. As a result, a consumer may be required to pay $6,350 for doctors’ services and hospital care, and an additional $6,350 for prescription drugs under a plan administered by a pharmacy benefit manager.”

The reason for the delay? “Federal officials said that many insurers and employers needed more time to comply because they used separate companies to help administer major medical coverage and drug benefits, with separate limits on out-of-pocket costs. In many cases, the companies have separate computer systems that cannot communicate with one another.”

The best part in Pear’s story is when a “senior administration official” said that “we had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers…They asked for more time to comply.” Exactly how is it in consumers’ interests to pay far more for health insurance than they do already?

It’s not. Unless you have a serious, chronic condition, in which case you may benefit from the fact that law forces healthy people to subsidize your care. To progressives, this is the holy grail. But for economically rational individuals, it’s yet another reason to drop out of the insurance market altogether. For economically rational businesses, it’s a reason to self-insure, in order to get out from under these costly mandates.

Patient groups upset

While insurers and premium-payers will be happy with the delay—whose legal justification is dubious once again—there are groups that grumbled. Specifically, groups representing those with chronic diseases, and the pharmaceutical companies whose costly drugs they will use. “The American Cancer Society shares the concern” about the delay, says Pear, “and noted that some new cancer drugs cost $100,000 a year or more.” But a big part of the reason those drugs cost so much is because manufacturers know that government-run insurers will pay up.

“The promise of out-of-pocket limits was one of the main reasons we supported health reform,” says Theodore M. Thompson of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “We have wonderful new drugs, the biologics, to treat rheumatoid arthritis,” said Patience H. White of the Arthritis Foundation. “But they are extremely expensive.”

The progressive solution to expensive problems? More subsidies. But subsidies don’t reduce the underlying cost of care. They only excuse the high prices that manufacturers and service providers already charge.

It’s one of the many aspects of Obamacare that should be repealed, if we are to combat the rate shock that the health law imposes on tens of millions of Americans. But that will require Republicans to come up with a smarter strategy than shutting down the government. (Forbes)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2012/03/22/how-obamacare-dramatically-increases-the-cost-of-insurance-for-young-workers/

135698 600 ObamaCare waivers cartoons

Waivers, Exemptions, And Deals, OH MY!

The Senate’s “Gang of Eight” has released a new version of the immigration bill that contains 999 references to waivers, exemptions and political discretion.

The revised 867-page bill contains multiple changes from the first 844-page version, released April 18, but Democrats have not announced any delay to the committee review of the complex bill that begins next week.

The bill includes roughly 1.14 waivers or exemptions per page. By comparison, the 2,409-page Obamacare law includes 0.78 waivers and exemptions per page.

The Obamacare law contains 1,882 mentions of “unless,” “notwithstanding,” “except,” “exempt,” “waivers,” “discretion” and “may.” “Waiver” is mentioned 209 times in the law.

The new draft of the immigration bill — which will allow officials much control over the supply and cost of labor needed by American companies — has 85 mentions of “unless,” 150 uses of “except,” 18 inclusions of “exempt,” 92 mentions of “waiver,” 42 offers of “discretion,” 47 use of “notwithstanding” and 618 uses of “may” in the 876-page bill.

The Daily Caller subtracted mentions of “may not” from both bills’ final tally of exemptions and options.

President Barack Obama backs the bill, and told reporters Tuesday that it “is going to be a historic achievement.” (DC)

So you know you’re about the get screwed!!! Be Afraid, Be very Afraid.

This thing has more holes in it than Swiss cheese and is probably going to be as toothless as whale.

But it will make the elitists “feel good” and the Republican go “see we aren’t racists!” as millions of new Democrats flood the polls.

Expecting Liberals to hold up their end of any bargain that is out THE AGENDA is like expecting Iran to give up it’s Nuke Program just because we ask nicely.

The bill could double legal immigration in the U.S. over the next decade. Immigration is the heart and soul of this nation. But can the nation handle doubling it so fast?

Well, in 1986 it was 3 million. Now it’s 12 Million (or more). So what a few more million Democrats between “friends”. 🙂

The bill also relaxes the rules for seeking asylum despite the tragic bombing in Boston and other terrorist attacks committed by asylum seekers.

Surprises like this are what you can expect from a comprehensive bill — meaning hundreds of pages no one in Congress reads.

You gotta pass it before you can find out what’s in it! 🙂

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York bristles at the suggestion that the nation’s immigration system should be improved one piece at a time.

“You can’t do individual bills,” he objected, “because the problem is people say ‘what about me?'”

Spoken like a deal maker. Employers who want high-tech workers got a piece of the deal, so did families hoping to bring in loved ones and politicians who want to be known as pro-immigrant.

But what about Joe Public, the average citizen? Congress ought to be asking what he gets.

• Doubling legal immigration: Legal immigration to the U.S. is already at an all-time high. In the 1970s, 3.2 million legal immigrants arrived; in the 1980s, 6.2 million; in the 1990s, 9.7 million; in the first decade of this century, 10.3 million.

But if this bill passes, a ballpark estimate will be 20 million over the next decade, according to Numbers USA, critics of the bill.

What will that mean for the school Joe Public’s kids attend or his tax bill?

And will such a rapid increase allow newcomers to assimilate and find jobs?

Shockingly, the Gang of Eight — four Republican and four Democratic U.S. senators — say they don’t know how much their bill will increase immigration.

Proposing a law without knowing its impact is whacky. It’s amateur hour.

• Senators in charge of asylum: The Gang of Eight’s approach to amnesty is even wackier.

Fifteen years ago, before the global terrorist threat was obvious, the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform declared that one of the nation’s top priorities was sheltering the persecuted. Perhaps it made sense then. But now Joe Public has nothing to gain from amnesty programs and everything — including his safety — to lose. Ask the people in Boston.

The radical Muslim parents of the Boston Marathon bombers came from Chechnya on tourist visas and sought asylum.Before them, in 1993, a Pakistani asylum seeker, Ramzi Yousef, bombed the World Trade Center. Another Pakistani asylum seeker, Mir Aimal Kansi, gunned down two CIA agents in Virginia.

The law currently says that any immigrant who enters the U.S. — on a tourist visa, business visa or illegally — has one year to apply for asylum and show they are victims of persecution. In 2012, over 40,000 aliens secured asylum, largely from China, Egypt, Guatemala, Pakistan, India and the Soviet Union.

Despite asylum seekers committing terrorist acts, the proposed Senate bill loosens controls. Sec. 3401 removes the one-year deadline for applying; Sec. 3504 adds another layer of appeals for aliens turned down; and Sec. 3502 allows the Attorney General to provide government-funded counsel to aliens. Current law bars that.

These provisions should be stripped from the Senate immigration bill. Instead, it should suspend asylum from areas of the world that spawn terrorists.

Republicans and Democrats are battling over whether to punish illegal Immigrants and how to secure the border with Mexico.

More attention is needed on the asylum, refugee and student visa programs — see pages 151 to 844 — that we know, from experience, allow terrorists in.

Schumer is right that all the interest groups get something in the Senate bill. Everyone except Joe Public. (IBD)

Who doesn’t matter, in the end. After all, they are just racists… 🙂
rubiobillboard.jpg
Michael Ramirez Cartoon

You’ve Been Warned…

A ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ introduced in Congress last week would require employers to show pay disparity is related to job-performance and prohibit employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers.

Currently, the law allows employers to sue or otherwise punish employees for sharing their salary information and women still make just 77 cents on their male counterpart’s dollar, according to Sen. Mikulski’s office.

So expect massive “workers” lawsuits to force a quota for “fairness” and “equality” if this passes.

In other words, Government will be looking over your shoulder every time you hire a man or a woman and you’d be nice or The Grinch (NOW,etc) will come get you.

This isn’t about Men, you know. They are just evil to begin with. So you better be hiring more Women and minorities than Men, especially White Men.

Racial quotas, sexual quotas, income quotas…Nope, no socialism or authoritarianism here…Government is you friend and you will bow down to us or else!

Mikulski and DeLauro said the Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow women to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, establish a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities. (This being the same Department that wanted Illegal Aliens to call them if their boss was being mean to them).

Like I said… 🙂

The unemployment rate is at 7.9 percent which is .01% higher than when Obama took office 4 years ago.

So, what does Obama do?

He disbands his “jobs council” that rarely met anyways.

Mission Accomplished.

The new Normal has been achieved and no one is really complaining about it.

**********************

The welcome materials the federal government directs new immigrants to read — which detail, among other facets of American life, how and where to get government benefits — are in the process of getting a bit of a makeover to increase accessibility for newcomers.

The WelcometoUSA.gov website, which bills itself as “the U.S. Government’s official web portal for new immigrants,” maintained by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will soon feature information about President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation, USCIS spokesman Chris Bentley told The Daily Caller

Not that they are worried about Legal Immigration all that much, But gotta show the drug benefits to the new addicts so they’ll vote for Democrats.

******************.

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

I’m sure everyone can afford that and that rate will never go up. 🙂

And if you smoke, add $5,000. More restrictions (for your own good) to come…

And absolutely no “Pathway” death Panels… 🙂

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

Now, that’s Freedom at it’s core. 🙂

The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS’s clarifications of this new “penalty” rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).” (CNS)

UNIONS

The following is hilarious since Unions were the #1 beneficiaries of ObamaCare Waivers…

Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans.

As financial reality sets in, and rather than figure out a way to pay for the bill they helped pass, unions are trying to see if Washington will bail them out.

Poor Babies. Slept with the Devil, campaign for him, Now they found he is a Devil and he stabbed them in the back and now they want him to kiss their butts!

They are his favourite Pets.

Typical Union.

“A handful of unions say they already have examined whether it makes sense to shift workers off their current plans and onto private coverage subsidized by the government. But dropping insurance altogether would undermine a central point of joining a union, labor leaders say,” the report adds.

No, really, union heads are acting like no one warned them that costs would go up.

“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters.

“I heard him say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’” said John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.”

D’OH!

Why? Why? Why didn’t anyone tell these leaders about the costs associated with “Obamacare”?

“It seems someone finally noticed that mandating benefits and imposing regulations has a tendency to … increase costs,” Doug Bandow writes for the American Spectator. “Increases which workers are stuck paying. Who would have imagined such a result?  It’s not like anyone warned them, right?”

🙂

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

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Take Your Medicine, America…

It’s A Penalty and Not a TAX!

But first a little capitalist greed…

Anything for a Buck (gee, I though that was just capitalists):

“Keep cool while you’re canvassing this summer,” the Obama campaign tweeted Saturday evening. The message contained a link to a $30 Obama tank top. “Our Vote Obama Tank Top is a stylish and fun way to show your support,” the campaign says.

The campaign was pushing the tank tops as record heat combined with a loss of power following storms to create a humanitarian emergency in several states. (Washington Examiner)

Gee, I thought taking advantage of people’s misfortunes for a buck was a an evil capitalist White Republican thing to do! 🙂

President Obama warned top donors that he believes Republicans can take Congress and the White House this year and criticized the media for “hyperventilat[ing]” about Mitt Romney raising more money than his campaign in May.

Yeah, you’re job is to hyperventilate about how great I am and how evil they are. Don’t get caught in the horse race when you’re already biased for this horse!

“[T]he media hear these numbers and hyperventilate over it, and there’s a tendency to blow them out of proportion. But it does make the process more transparent. We see where we stand. And right now on a month-to-month basis, we’ve fallen behind.” (WE)

And god knows, the He and Democrats promised to be “the most transparent administration ever” 🙂

So to make up for it, he has George Clooney doing events for him…IN SWITZERLAND!!

Talk about “outside money”…

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Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer with the Wall Street Journal, told FOX and Friends this morning that nearly 75% of Obamacare costs will fall on the backs of those Americans making less than $120,000 a year.

“It’s a big punch in the stomach to middle class families.”

Obamacare: It’s not just a big f***ing deal (to quote VP Biden) It’s a big f***ing tax.

California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters praised the court’s ruling but told The Daily Caller that she personally has “not decided” whether or not to call the mandate a tax.

The former Speaker is saying ObamaCare is a penalty, not a tax, that is enforced by the tax code…or something.

David Gregory: Is it a tax?

Pelosi: No no, no no.

Is this what Pelosi meant by “passing the bill to see what’s in it?” The Supreme Court saw what was in ObamaCare, ruled it a tax, and she, along with top White House officials, are saying it’s a tax. It is very clear the Democrats have their talking points together.

Despite the fact that the Supreme Court upheld it BECAUSE it was a TAX. 🙂

And yet, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is accusing Republicans of being deceptive about the “Affordable Care Act.”

“When it came to championing the health care legislation, President Obama made sure that al though everybody — the vast majority of Americans have health insurance coverage, we want to make sure that if you’re a free rider, if you roll the dice and get sick and use the emergency room as your primary access point for health care. Those health care costs are going to get shifted to all of us. And if you choose not to carry health insurance, this legislation says you’re going to pay a small penalty so that we don’t have to pay for you rolling the dice,” DNC chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said on MSNBC today.

And the costs STILL Get shift and because of the law says that a pre-existing condition (like not having insurance) cannot be denied the premiums will go up anyhow and that person will still buy insurance, be treated, then drop it because it’s too expensive. Solving nothing but a 90 year old wet dream of liberals.

“That’s what the health care reform law says and the Republicans are engaging in deception if they say anything else,” she said.

Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter To The Blaze’s Will Cain:

“Well, let’s break that down for a second,” Cutter responded. “What John Roberts said is that we have the power to impose this penalty on people through the taxation clause. It’s a penalty. Let’s talk about who this impacts. Most people have private insurance. I’m assuming everyone at this table has private insurance, so it doesn’t apply to us.”

“So you said, it’s a penalty?” Cain asked.

“It’s a penalty.”

“But yesterday we learned it was a tax.” (The Blaze)

“It’s a penalty. That, if you choose not to get healthcare, and you’re imposing a hidden tax on all of us because we pay for your healthcare, then you’ll pay a penalty.”

HUH?

If you can’t dazzle them with intelligence baffle them with Bullsh*t!

Boy the Democrats have a lot of squirming and spinning to do on this one.

Watch this liberal say EXACTLY what he complains just seconds later that he  didn’t say when it’s pointed out to him.

http://townhall.com/video/katie-pavlich-takes-on-nyt-columnist-#

Boy this is going to be Orwellian Doublespeak overload on the Tax that is a Penalty that has been declared a Tax but is still only a Penalty by a TAX collection agency and assessed on your TAX refund. 🙂

It’s a penalty. It’s a penalty. It’s a penalty. This is what White House officials are arguing despite Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare classifying the healthcare legislation as….a tax.

Today, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew argued the same thing. Remember, ObamaCare was “sold” or shoved down the throats of the American people as a penalty to avoid the Obama administration looking like President Obama was raising taxes on everyone.

The White House insisted Sunday the consequence for Americans not having health insurance is a penalty fee, despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is a tax and said the debate on the Affordable Care Act should finally end.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on Fox News Sunday that “when the Supreme Court rules” the country “has a final decision” and that the presidential campaigns should focus on the economy and jobs.

“What we need to do is go forward with the implementation” of the law, Lew said.

So stop talking about the TAX…I mean penalty! let’s focus on the Economy that I’ve f*cked up!! 🙂

Watch the Spin and the Talking Points:

CBO also estimated the income levels of those 3.9 million uninsured who will pay higher taxes.  More than 3/4 of them are not rich.

Income relative to
federal poverty line
# of people
paying tax 
Income range
(single)
Income range
(family of 4)
Below poverty 400,000 $0 – 11,800 $0 – 24,000
100% to 200% 600,000 $11,800 – 23,600 $24K – $48K
200% to 300% 800,000 $23,600 – 35,400 $48K – $72K
300% – 400% 700,000 $35,400 – 47,200 $72K – $96K
400% – 500% 500,000 $47,200 – 59,000 $96K – $120K
> 500% 900,000 > $59,000 >$120K
Total 3,900,000    

 

Reading the first line of this table, CBO says that under this law in 2016 there will be 400,000 people below the poverty line who will be uninsured and pay the tax. (More will be required to do so — this is the number who will comply with the law.) Singles in that income range will have annual income less than $11,800, and families of four in that range will have annual income less than $24,000.  These are 400,000 poor uninsured people who will be forced to pay higher taxes.

And remember, The CBO was a darling of the Left during the ObamaCare debate.

But it’s still a penalty not a tax!

They think If they just lie about it often enough then they can change the reality.

Problem is, the ruling is in black and white and it’s a TAX! 🙂

And then there’s the Waivers, remember them?

When added together, the healthcare waivers excuse about 4 million people, or about 3 percent of the population, from having to participate, HHS said.

However, what’s slightly unsettling is the fact that the majority of the waivers were handed out to labor unions.

labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

By contrast, private employers with a total of 69,813 employees, many of whom work for small businesses, were granted waivers. (DC)

There were 1700+ total.

http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/files/approved_applications_for_waiver.html

Be these are not “freeloaders”. 🙂

obamacare.jpg

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Insurance 101

ObamaCare and Insurance 101. It may be a bit dry, but this is the problem with it and why the claims of lower premiums was such a lie and why this whole thing was either a scam or more pie-in-the-sky feel good liberalism taking a piss on reality.

So the Democrats have started working on what if it’s struck down:

Under the law, insurers would still have to accept all applicants regardless of health problems, and they would be limited in what they can charge older, sicker customers.

As a result, premiums for people who directly buy their own coverage would jump by 15 percent to 20 percent, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. Older, sicker people would flock to get health insurance but younger, healthier ones would hold back.

To forestall such a problem, the administration asked the court – if it declares the mandate unconstitutional – to also strike down certain consumer protections, including the requirement on insurers to cover people with pre-existing health problems. That would mitigate a damaging spike in premiums. (AP)

So the administration wants the parts that they say “the people love” to be struck down to mitigate the damage. Fascinating… 🙂

Kind of like the Mandate was going to be great for everyone, then 1700+ waivers, mostly to unions, were granted because it was going to hurt these people.

And of course, it wouldn’t be there fault when grandma gets thrown off a cliff and run over by the bus! 🙂

Mind you, as I have said since this whole thing started that ObamaCare was designed to destroy the private insurance industry and replace it with nothing but government controlled insurance anyhow.

Adverse Selection: 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, ethnic origin, genetic test results, or preexisting medical conditions, the last of which amount to a 100% risk of the losses associated with the treatment of that condition). The latter scenario is sometimes referred to as ‘regulatory adverse selection’.

The insurance company is unable to screen out “pre-existing conditions” so premiums will be higher simply because people with conditions that will cost more than the premium can charge will rush to the door and flood the system thus causing a financial hardship on the company. Thus premiums will inflate to cover this.

This has always been one of the factors in ObamaCare that made me laugh when they said premiums would go down.

That is simply NOT POSSIBLE with “pre-existing conditions” mandated.

But does that mean that people like this are just left out in the cold by mean old, greedy insurance companies?

No.

There are risk pools for that. Pools usually subsidized for their high risk, much like Flood is or that idiot driver that you can’t refuse auto insurance to even though they’ve had 5 DUI’s in the year (yes, that does really happen- rare, but it does happen).

2010: Last year, Charles Baker, former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, one of Massachusetts’s largest health plans, noticed some health insurance brokers posting comments on his widely read blog. They were suspicious that people were applying for health coverage after a medical condition developed, got the care they needed, and then dropped the coverage.

From April 2008 to March 2009, 40% of the individuals who applied to Harvard Pilgrim stayed covered for less than five months. Yet claims were averaging about $2,400 a month, about six times what one would expect.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts has now confirmed it is experiencing similar problems. The company says that in 2009, 936 people signed up for three months or less and ran up claims of more than $1,000.

And that’s just Two Examples. Just Two. From 2010. Imagine the Future.

Furthermore, if there is a range of increasing risk categories in the population, the increase in the insurance price due to adverse selection may lead the lowest remaining risks to cancel or not renew their insurance. This leads to a further increase in price, and hence the lowest remaining risks cancel their insurance, leading to a further increase in price, and so on. Eventually this ‘adverse selection spiral’ might in theory lead to the collapse of the insurance market.

And ObamaCare does this in spades, but with the Mandate in place these lowest risk individuals are not allowed to cancel and assume their own risks. Not without a penalty and a visit from an IRS agent that is. But if the penalty is less than the premium then you just keep gaming the system.

To counter the effects of adverse selection, insurers (to the extent that laws permit) ask a range of questions and may request medical or other reports on individuals who apply to buy insurance, so that the price quoted can be varied accordingly, and any unreasonably high or unpredictable risks rejected. This risk selection process is known as underwriting. 

That’s why now a policy can be cancelled by Underwriting if it is found you made fundamentally false statements because it has to be assumed at the time of the contract that both parties are acting in good faith.

Mandates increase a moral hazard is a situation where there is a tendency to take undue risks because the costs are not borne by the party taking the risk.

Uber Liberal Economist Paul Krugman described moral hazard as “any situation in which one person makes the decision about how much risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly.”

Aka, you and higher premiums.

Also you get high premiums from what could be called REGFARE (aka Regulatory Warfare) and boy does the Obama Administration love using this with HHS, The EPA, The FCC, the IRS, Justice Dept., ad nauseum.

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 not sound like ObamaCare to you?? :)

Example: if you know you have terminal cancer and you buy insurance to cover your last 6 months but don’t disclose this to the insurance company (“pre-existing condition”) the company will be paying 10’s of thousands of dollars in claims potentially with virtually no premium to cover that.

Now multiply that by millions of people. The 30 million uninsured. They may not all have this intent, but the scale is still relevant and the effect is too.

Are you starting to see the problem here and how ObamaCare was meant to subvert it?

And if it’s struck down, the Democrats will just come back with another pig and new lipstick.

Being able to decide who lives and who dies and to control every facet of your life “to cut your costs” (Food Police anyone?) is the Holy Grail of Liberalism so they won’t give up if even if it’s unconstitutional. They’ll just re-brand it and call the pig by another name but the effects will still be the same though.

LAWFARE. Waging a war by lawsuits and REGFARE, waging war by regulation and subversion of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard.

That’s the Insufferably Morally Superior Left in a nutshell.

So endeth the lesson.

Political Cartoon by Chuck Asay
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Snippets from the Frontier

In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”

The new measure would apply to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Here is how it would work, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in today’s Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government; the agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative that’s a U.S. citizen.

Bottom of Form 1

Currently such aliens must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. In other words, they must enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Besides the obvious security issues, changing this would be like rewarding bad behavior in a child. It doesn’t make sense.

But the system often causes U.S. citizens to be separated for extended periods from their immediate relatives,” according to the DHS. The proposed changes, first announced in January, will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. citizens are separated from their loved ones while required to remain outside the United States during the current visa processing system.

The administration also claims that relaxing the rule will also “create efficiencies for both the U.S. government and most applicants.” How exactly is not listed in the Federal Register announcement, which gives the public 60 days to comment. That’s only a formality since the DHS has indicated that the change is pretty much a done deal. (KFYI)

Way to Go Janet. Gotta look out for those future Democrats and 2012 Votes!

Here’s a good one:

While President Obama reportedly was outraged at the lavish party and gift spending by the General Services Administration, a controversy that prompted agency chief Martha Johnson to resign, the same White House blocked the GSA from releasing records related to questionable spending by the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice.

Rice widely is reported to be on a short list to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in a second Obama administration.

At issue is the construction of the new office complex hosting the U.S. mission to the U.N., which sits directly opposite U.N. headquarters on Manhattan’s First Avenue.

Insiders allege almost $250,000 was squandered by the U.S.ambassador on cosmetic changes to her new suite of offices.

GSA confirmed that Rice ordered changes but needed State Department approval to publicly release the corresponding files.

The U.S. mission has refused comment on the move to block access to the records in question. Inquiries to the State Department were briefly responded to by the under secretary for management, Patrick Kennedy.

Kennedy confirmed that the decision to block access to the building records was his. (KFYI)

Ah, that liberal sense of selective “outrage”….

A Candidate for the Obama Administration

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan at 5 A.M.,   flashed a gun, and demanded cash.   The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order.    When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast…   The frustrated gunman walked away.

If he was black maybe they could charge Burger King with racism. It might be an urban legend, but at the very least that level of incompetence must be rewarded with some Cabinet level position.

EDUCATION UPDATE

Santa Monica College students angry over a plan to offer high-priced courses tried to push their way into a trustees meeting, authorities said.

Raw video posted on the Internet Tuesday evening showed students chanting “Let us in, let us in” and “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.” (AP)

Ah the fruits of liberal socialists education labor. 🙂

Obama on the Paul Ryan budget: “We wouldn’t have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat. Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country. Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites and that means governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane. That’s just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget.”

Is this from now, 2011,2010,2009? Can you tell? 🙂

2011: “My plan says we’re going to put teachers back in the classrooms, construction workers back to work,” President Obama said at a campaign event today. “Tax cuts for small businesses, tax cuts for hiring veterans, tax cuts if you give your workers a raise –- that’s my plan.”
The Republicans plan, Obama says, boils down to this: ‘Dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.’

2012: “As all of you are doing your reporting, I think it’s important to remember that the positions that I am taking now on the budget and a host of other issues. if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago or even 15 years ago … would’ve been considered squarely centrist positions,” Obama said.

Whoa! someone has been smoking his own hubris! Yikes!!

“This is supposed to be paying down our deficit? It’s laughable. The bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission that I created, which the Republicans were for until I was for it, that was about paying down the deficit. I didn’t agree with all the details. I proposed about $600 billion more in revenue and $600 billion — I am sorry, it proposed about $600 billion more in revenue and $600 billion more in defense cuts than I proposed in my own budget. But Bowles-Simpson was a serious, honest, balanced effort between Democrats and Republicans to bring down the deficit.

That’s why I trashed it and ignored it because it was a sincere effort!! 🙂

WARREN BUFFETT: I think what happened with Simpson-Bowles was an absolute tragedy. I mean here are two extremely high-grade people. They have somewhat different ideas about government but they’re smart. They’re decent. They’ve got good senses of humor, too. They’re good at working with people.
They work like a devil for ten months or something like that. They compromise. They bring in people as far apart as Durbin and Coburn to get them to sign on and then they’re totally ignored. I think that’s a travesty.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 11/12/11)

Whoops! But remember liberals don’t have any standards so the contradictions are to be ignored and you are only to react to their new “outrage” and forget about what came before.

Ignore, the partisan behind the curtain!

OBAMACARE UPDATE

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation’s leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients.

The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed.

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The group of more than 200 oncologists released the list from a report in its Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“I think this is a great effort from ASCO,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “They are putting their patients ahead of their own financial interests,” since in the existing fee-for-service health-care system physicians make money on every test and treatment they order.

Brawley does not see the effort as leading to health-care rationing. “This is the rational use of health-care, not rationing,” he said.

ASCO recommends against routine use of four other procedures: chemotherapy for patients with advanced cancers who are unlikely to benefit; advanced imaging technologies such as CT and PET or bone scans to determine the precise stage of both early breast and prostate cancers at low risk for metastasis; and drugs to stimulate white blood cell production in patients receiving chemotherapy if they have a risk of febrile neutropenia, an often-fatal condition marked by fever and abnormally low numbers of certain white blood cells.

One recommendation likely to stir controversy, and even revive charges of “death panels,” is to not use chemotherapy and other treatments in patients with advanced solid-tumor cancers such as colorectal or lung who are in poor health and did not benefit from previous chemo. (yahoo)

It’s a wild Socialist Frontier.

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