Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.
After the law passed, in 2011 and throughout 2012, multiple states sought his expertise to help them understand their options regarding the choice to set up their own exchanges. During that period of time, in January of 2012, Gruber told an audience at Noblis, a technical management support organization, that tax credits—the subsidies available for health insurance—were only available in states that set up their own exchanges.
2012 Video shows major Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber confirm that subsidies were meant only for state exchanges.
And it’s a sockeldanger.
New IRS draft 1040 form shows Obamacare indiv. mandate under “Other Taxes” — line 61: pic.twitter.com/0oWbEwkXur
— John Kartch (@johnkartch) July 25, 2014
Line 6: it’s official and the federal government has to admit it. The individual mandate is a tax. That means that changing it even by a penny is – no fooling, seriously, this is not something that you can just executive-order away – only possible via an Act of Congress. This will not happen (Obamacare was designed to keep Republicans out of the loop for as long as possible) which means that the current very low penalties for noncompliance are never going to get any higher.
Shoot, at the rate things are going paying the fine and getting insurance on your own will be a pretty good deal. Assuming, of course, that the Supreme Court doesn’t make the whole thing moot by declaring that the individual mandate is invalid in federal exchange states*.
*Yup, Halbig. If the government can’t provide subsidies to a state that doesn’t have an exchange, effectively the mandate goes away for that state. Dang but the Democrats are bad at writing legislation, huh?
Who am I kidding? The DSCC will forgive ALL of their candidates their sins. It is not in their nature to do otherwise.
DSCC chair Michael Bennet says committee "absolutely" stands by Sen. Walsh despite plagiarism episode
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) July 24, 2014
So, remember: the Democrats don’t think that lying and misrepresenation are necessarily deal-breakers for one of their candidates.
Barbarians (if the story is true, of course):
A top UN official in Iraq has said the Sunni Islamist group Isis controlling the city of Mosul is seeking to impose female genital mutilation.
All females aged 11 and 46 in the northern city must undergo the procedure, according to an Isis edict, UN official Jacqueline Badcock said.
She said the unprecedented decree was of grave concern.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m pretty much at the point where I want our government to go tell the Kurds that they can simply keep whatever territory they take back from ISIS. As I recall, Mosul is traditional Kurdish territory, and clearly it could use a change in ownership. And that’s even if this particular story turns out to be false: we already know that ISIS is committing war crimes. I see no reason why they should have free rein to commit any more.
Via Hot Air.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: You would think that the Western feminist movement would be the first in line to slam the butt of a rifle into the face of radical Islamist terrorism.
Yes, she and her family have finally escaped Sudan.
A mother put on death row for refusing to reject Christianity met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, just hours after she fled Sudan.
Meriam Ibrahim was flown out of the country with her American husband and two young children. She was blessed by the pontiff during a private audience and is expected to fly onto the United States in the next few days.
Original news via a Ted Cruz press release.
Mind you, this isn’t a bug.
An undercover operation found that the majority of fake Obamacare applications submitted were approved by the health law’s enrollment system.
Fake applicants were able to get subsidized insurance coverage in 11 of 18 attempts, according to a report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted the sting operation to test the strength of the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility-verification system.
The findings will be discussed at a House Ways and Means hearing Wednesday. They were revealed in an advance copy of the testimony from Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, provided to the Associated Press.
More accurately, the administration hasn’t particularly acted as if this sort of thing was a bug. A scam still counted as a signup, after all: and the Obama administration was absolutely desperate to get signups, pretty much by any means necessary. Note: I am not saying that the administration deliberately let people scam the system. I am saying that keeping people from scamming the system was in no way a priority for anybody involved with Obamacare.
Not that one should expect the Democrats to be anything but cavalier with your tax money, of course. Far too many of them are bitter about the fact that you technically had that money to be taxed in the first place.
Megan McArdle lays out the problem for the administration with regard to Halbig v. Burrell*:
When you read through the ruling, it’s easy to see the many ways in which the law’s architects brought this on themselves. The law was highly complex, badly drafted and highly controversial. When a Republican won a special election for the Senate in Massachusetts (!), the Democrats had to push it through on a straight party-line vote with some adroit parliamentary maneuvering — which gave them a health-care law, but one that was badly put together and couldn’t be substantially amended. The gaping holes were patched with administrative fixes, like an Internal Revenue Service ruling that held federally established exchanges to be equivalent to an exchange established by the state. But the vast scale of the law meant that the administrative gymnastics that held it together might not be sustainable.
Legislate in haste, repent at leisure. Not that this administration ever repents anything, of course. They’re not exactly enamoured of ever admitting that Barack Obama was wrong about anything, although when it comes to Obamacare it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what the administration was right about. Even their justification for the individual mandate (Commerce Clause) got shot down, 5-4**… (more…)
And I will give the Old Grey Lady this: They didn’t play NAME! THAT! PARTY! with the title.
Montana Democrat’s Thesis Presented Others’ Work as His Own
Senator John Walsh of Montana Confronts Questions of Plagiarism
…Shocking, isn’t it? And, here: let me give my readers an idea of just how serious this is. (more…)
Oh my, oh my, oh my.
With Albany rocked by a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo set up a high-powered commission last summer to root out corruption in state politics. It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party.
The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010.
…the New York Times maybe-possibly-glumly goes on at that point; I’ll give the summary, for people who don’t want to click through. Basically, the governor’s office quashed the subpoena, which was part of a general rule of quietly killing any corruption-related investigation that might have a chance of a possibility of a potential to make Gov. Andrew Cuomo look bad. And the excuse offered by Gov. Cuomo’s office? “While [Gov. Cuomo] allowed the commission the independence to investigate whatever it wanted, the governor’s office said, it would have been a conflict for a panel he created to investigate his own administration.” (more…)
This conversation between Sally Kohn and Guy Benson on the possibly meritorious aspects of violence – specifically, this particular exchange:
.@guypbenson and drawing distinctions between “good” violence vs “bad” violence is morally righteous!!??? Not according to my faith…
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) July 22, 2014
Well, at least he didn’t call them ‘baby-killers.’ That’s progress, right?
Let me explain the entire good/bad thing. There’s Roger Simon, over at Pajamas Media. I generally call him ‘Good’ Roger Simon, because that way I can distinguish him from the Roger Simon over at Politico, who I used to typically call ‘Bad’ Roger Simon. Only now I’m just going to call Bad Roger Simon nothing but Bad Roger Simon, on the basis of this particular tweet.
As if things weren’t going badly enough for Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate got caught inflating her campaign’s finances this week by counting a Willie Nelson concert as a contribution.
Davis, the Texas Democrat best known for her 2013 filibuster against an anti-abortion bill, is facing an uphill battle to beat state attorney general Greg Abbott to lead the Lone Star State in November. Polls have Davis consistently trailing by 10-15% and the erstwhile Democratic rock star, who is already on her second campaign manager, seems to be on course for an early election night and a big MSNBC contract.
Admittedly, I am a hyper-partisan, but in this particular case I’d be also a pretty accurate one. If not downright ‘prophetic:’ Wendy Davis will make a great addition to the MSNBC lineup, for the stereotypical given value of ‘great.’ (more…)