Now, isn’t this special.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is asking lawmakers not to seat ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber next to Medicare’s top official when the two testify on Capitol Hill next week.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation Jim Esquea wrote to the House Oversight Committee with the request, stating that government witnesses are “almost always afforded an opportunity” to sit alone or with other federal officials.
Continue reading Put ‘HHS Adviser’ on Jon Gruber’s nameplate at the Oversight hearings next week.
At this rate, the 2016 DEMOCRATIC candidate will run on repealing Obamacare:
Here’s a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.
Essentially, this is insurance-determination-via-bureaucracy: Reason argues that the goal here is to cut down embarrassing premium hikes to policies without having to turn off the imposition of auto-renewal rules… OK, let me back up here. Obamacare currently has auto-renewal enabled on its policies, because without it the signup and membership rate would probably slow, or even decrease. The problem here is that auto-renewal also means lots and lots of future stories about people signing up for policies and suddenly discovering that their rates have gone through the roof. Ostensibly the idea to prevent that is to expect consumers to change policies every year – trust a bureaucrat to think that this would be a thing that people would cheerfully do* – and if they won’t do it on their own, well, let the benevolent hand of HHS do it for them**. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading HHS contemplating rule allowing them to choose your Obamacare plan for you.
Boom. Quickly: CMS means Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Marilyn Tavenner is the person who runs that agency for Health & Human Services; and the subordinate is Julie Bataille, who was and is CMS’s Director of Communications. So that sets the scene for this:
The day after a CMS official informed the Committee about the potential loss of your emails, HHS provided the Committee with additional documents related to our review of HealthCare.gov. One of the e-mails in this production shows that you directed a subordinate to delete an email communication featuring a number of White House representatives. This e-mail is an October 5, 2013, communication in which you forwarded a discussion with White House representatives to the Director of Communications for CMS with the message: “Please delete this email-but please see if we can work on call script.” This contradicts the letter sent to the National Archives, which explained that your practice was to instruct subordinates to retain copies of e-mails. A copy of this e-mail is attached.
Continue reading CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner: ‘Delete this email.’
Or, as Erick Erickson put it: the Democrats are conceding that they’re going to lose the Senate.
Can’t say that I have a much more complex opinion than It’s about time. The woman was horrible at her job. I just wish that she had been more of a patriot and resigned in 2009, instead of staying to fight for Obamacare.
Glenn Reynolds has a question about this:
The Obama administration on Thursday pushed back the deadline for consumers to make their first payment for coverage under the healthcare law.
Rather than a deadline of Dec. 23, insurers will be required to accept premium payments through Dec. 31 for people who are seeking coverage that starts on Jan. 1.
In addition to the one-week extension for premium payments, the administration on Thursday formalized its announcement that consumers have until Dec. 23, instead of Dec. 15, to sign-up for healthcare coverage that goes into affect Jan. 1.
Continue reading This Is Not A Monarchy Watch: panicky HHS just making up new #obamacare ‘laws’ on the spot.
Oh, this should provide hours of amusement.
House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today unveiled a series of documents provided by the Department of Health and Human Services from July 2013 that reveal the administration internally voicing serious concerns about the progress of the HealthCare.gov website. Among the concerns raised by senior officials was the ability to meet the October 1 launch date and the impact the compressed timeframe would have on testing of the site. Continue reading House Energy/Commerce Committee: HHS knew all along #obamacare was failing.
So it would seem:
CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is out with documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee from the Department of Health and Human Services. A few interesting facts — there were only six (yes, six) enrollments on HealthCare.gov on day one, and only about 250 by the end of day two.
But that’s not the most interesting part. The most interesting part is that the Obama administration is in fact receiving a daily update on enrollments — and there’s no reason they can’t share the numbers.
Continue reading So, HHS actually *has* #Obamacare enrollment numbers?
Because serious Presidential candidates don’t say stupid stuff* like this in public:
Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded moments ago to questions about whether she will resign in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s problematic rollout. Her response is raising some eyebrows.
“My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”
Continue reading See, this is why Kathleen Sebelius was never a serious Presidential candidate.
A couple of things about this report:
The Obama administration Sunday said it’s called on “the best and brightest” tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.
The unusual Sunday 600-word blog post from HHS was the first update in more than a week on the many failings of an expensive website that HHS itself described as “frustrating for many Americans.” But it didn’t specify who the administration had called in, or when the American people would see clear-cut results on Healthcare.gov.
Continue reading White House bringing in “*Top* Men” to ‘fix’ #Obamacare exchanges.
Note that they haven’t won, yet: they’re merely no longer under the gun while they sue to have the HHS abortion drug mandate declared unconstitutional.
Today, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevents the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, which does not want to be compelled to pay for birth control or drugs that may cause abortions.
In an opinion read from the bench, the court said, “There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved.”
Continue reading Hobby Lobby locks down injunction over HHS abortion drug mandate.