Sep
30
2014
--

Pruitt v. Burwell gets decided against government, starting up the #Obamacare subsidy rodeo again.

Here is the state of play:

Today’s ruling was in Pruitt v. Burwell, a case brought by Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt.

These cases saw two appellate-court rulings on the same day, July 22. In Halbig v. Burwella three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the administration to stop. (The full D.C. Circuit has agreed to review the case en banc on December 17, a move that automatically vacates the panel ruling. In King v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit implausibly gave the IRS the thumbs-up. (The plaintiffs have appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.) A fourth case, Indiana v. IRS, brought by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, goes to oral arguments in federal district court on October 9.

Today, federal judge Ronald A. White issued a ruling in Pruitt that sided with Halbig against King, and eviscerated the arguments made by the (more senior) judges who sided with the government in those cases.

(more…)

Aug
27
2014
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Rep. Andy Harris (R, Maryland): oh, yeah, the feds are doing subpoenas over Maryland #Obamacare exchange.

I should note that I have no personal knowledge that this is going on

A Maryland Congressman says subpoenas are being issued in a federal investigation into Maryland’s health exchange. He believes there was fraud in the system that cost taxpayers millions but didn’t work right at the start.

[snip]

Congressman Andy Harris says there appears to be evidence of fraud. He is Maryland’s only Republican in Congress and has fought Obamacare. But this investigation—if it’s happening—is being conducted by what is supposed to be a non-political government agency.

(more…)

Aug
27
2014
1

Gwen Graham’s (D-CAND, Florida-02) two-faced position on #Obamacare.

Ain’t that just like a politician?

The question is not whether Gwen Graham lies. She does. The question is, when did she lie?

  • Did Gwen Graham lie when told the voters in Florida’s Second Congressional District that she thinks that Obamacare needed to be ‘changed‘ so that it works?  – Don’t worry. Safe link.
  • Or did Gwen Graham lie when she agreed with campaign workers that Obamacare was a good thing and that it was becoming less of an issue?

– Because those are actually contradictory statements. If Gwen Graham thinks that Obamacare needs to be changed – and by that we all know that people mean ‘fixed’ – then she should be telling that hard truth to her own supporters, because her own supporters deserve to know what is actually going on.  But if Gwen Graham actually thinks that Obamacare is just jim-dandy and doesn’t need more than mild tweaking, then she shouldn’t cut official campaign ads that make it sound like she’s going to do anything in Congress besides, ah, ‘rubber-stamp the President and the Affordable Care Act and be Nancy Pelosi’s puppet.’

To quote one of the guys who Gwen Graham might be lying to: (more…)

Aug
22
2014
3

Ladies and Gentlemen… #obamacare. #cubs

No, really.

No. REALLY:

The staffing issues that hamstrung the grounds crew Tuesday during a mad dash with the tarp under a sudden rainstorm were created in part by a wide-ranging reorganization last winter of game-day personnel, job descriptions and work limits designed to keep the seasonal workers – including much of the grounds crew – under 130 hours per month, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge.

Ach, well, as Hot Air noted in the first link: Barack Obama’s a White Sox fan, anyway.

Aug
19
2014
15

Medical device tax reducing medical device sales, apparently.

Weirdest thing: if you tax something, you get less of it.

To help pay for President Barack Obama’s health law, Congress enacted a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices used chiefly by doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers and CT scan machines.

The tax took effect in January 2013. For the first six months of that year, the IRS estimated it would collect $1.2 billion from the tax.

The audit said the IRS collected only $913 million — 24 percent less than the estimate.

(more…)

Aug
15
2014
1

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner: ‘Delete this email.’

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.

(more…)

Aug
13
2014
3

AFP’s anti-Mark Udall ad: ‘Unaffordable.’

Pretty hard-hitting one from Americans For Prosperity.

This post from January addresses what Mark Udall did: the short version is that Senator Udall tried to pressure Colorado state officials into cooking the books to make it look like Obamacare didn’t cancel several hundred thousand people’s insurance policies.  This was, of course, later whitewashed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s pet cronies, because what is the point of having fellow-Democrats in office if they can’t cover for one of their own?  Even when the Democrat in question blatantly lied: (more…)

Aug
07
2014
2

Obama administration quietly doing back-channel evisceration of Obamacare’s individual mandate tax.

Point (July 2013):

President Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto a pair of Republican bills in the House which would delay the employer and individual mandates for one year in the Obama health reform laws, as GOP leaders pressed Democrats to break ranks with the White House on the issue.

Another Point (March, 2014):

The White House said Tuesday that President Obama would veto a House GOP bill to delay a contentious part of Obamacare for one year.

The House is set to vote this week on the Simple Fairness Act, which let Americans go without health insurance in 2014 without facing the tax penalty prescribed by the Affordable Care Act.

Counter-point (August 2014)

Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.

The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions.

(more…)

Jul
27
2014
3

Contra USA Today, the shrinking of Obamacare networks is not a surprise.

The USA Today article itself is fine enough…

Nancy Pippenger and Marcia Perez live thousands of miles apart but have the same complaint: Doctors who treated them last year won’t take their insurance now, even though they haven’t changed insurers.

[snip]

Both women unwittingly enrolled in policies with limited networks of doctors and hospitals that provide little or no payment for care outside those networks. Such plans existed before the health law, but with its expansion of insurance, they are covering more people — and some are shrinking enrollees’ options further than before. The policies’ limitations have come as a surprise to some enrollees used to broader job-based coverage or to plans they held before the law took effect.

…but the title (“Surprise! New health plans’ limitations anger enrollees”) bugs me.  Specifically, the surprise part.  You see… (more…)

Jul
25
2014
5

Another 2012 Jonathan Gruber ‘speak-o,’ apparently. #obamacare

Dear God but the Left is going to hate that term by the time we’re done with it. Via Breitbart: “An audio clip from a public appearance [Jonathan] Gruber made at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on January 10, 2012 reveals he made the same connection between subsidies and state-based exchanges on at least one other occasion (hat tip to MorgerR).”

Here’s the video (actually, audio clip on Youtube):

…and it’s pretty clear that in 2012 Jonathan Gruber fully endorsed the idea that the federal government did not set up Obamacare subsidies to be accessible to federal exchange policyholders and that that was a good thing.  Gruber considered that a feature, not a bug: the idea was that the lack of subsidy money would push states without exchanges to set them up, or else suffer the wrath of the electorate*.  It wasn’t until so many states declined to sign up that the Democrats changed their tune. (more…)

Jul
24
2014
4

2012 Video shows major Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber confirm that subsidies were meant only for state exchanges.

Oopsie?

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.

(more…)

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