Nov
23
2014
0

There’s actually a pretty big silver lining in that Obamacare cloud.

This AoSHQ piece from a couple of days ago actually makes me a bit chipper.  Why? Because of that Gallup graph.

You see, it’s an interesting thing: since 2000, Gallup has been polling on the question on whether or not Americans think that the federal government has the responsibility to ensure health care coverage. In 2009, the breakdown for that was 54/41; and today the number is… 56/42. Well, more accurately, it’s 42/56. Because back when Barack Obama took office a majority of the American people were happy to have the government involved in ensuring health care access; and now that the government has a majority of the American people would like the government to stop now, please.

…Oops?

Moe Lane

Nov
22
2014
3

HHS contemplating rule allowing them to choose your Obamacare plan for you.

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? (more…)

Nov
15
2014
3

A reminder: Jon Gruber was used to attack Romney for Romneycare.

John Dickerson of Slate drills down on why Jon Gruber is such an awkward ally for the Obama administration, and hits the nerve:

Before he was causing problems for the Obama administration, the Obama team was using Gruber to unsettle Mitt Romney. In the 2012 campaign, Obama’s camp was claiming that the Massachusetts health care plan was the intellectual model for Obamacare, just as Romney was trying to disavow it. Gruber was essential to this case. In a video produced by the Obama campaign celebrating the anniversary of “Romneycare,” Gruber says, “I helped Gov. Romney develop his health care reform or Romneycare, before going down to Washington to help President Obama develop his national version of that law.” The spot includes old footage of Romney thanking Gruber for his work on the Massachusetts health bill. “The core of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare and what we did in Massachusetts are identical,” Gruber says. The MIT professor was such an important part of the creation of Obamacare that his association with Romney’s effort proved the link between the two programs. If that involvement in Obamacare was sufficient to condemn Romney in 2012, it’s sufficient enough for Republicans to raise it now over Gruber’s claims about the Affordable Care Act. What’s Gruber for the goose, is Gruber for the gander.

(more…)

Nov
14
2014
1

Oh, Ted Cruz’s Jon Gruber-Obamacare video is choice.

As is some of the epic-level butthurt in some of the responses. But, hey, we’ve all done that. …Yes, even you.

Moe Lane

PS: Always assume cameras. ALWAYS assume cameras.

Nov
07
2014
3

King v. Burwell is *not* a major constitutional challenge to Obamacare.

Which is why the plaintiffs might win.

Background here (via here): the short version is that the Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments on King v. Burwell (which is effectively the same as Halbig v. Burwell).  For those who don’t remember, the underlying issue is whether Obamacare actually gives the President the ability to provide subsidies to people who use state-sponsored Obamacare exchanges AND the federally-provided one, or whether the law only permits subsidies for users of the state exchanges.  The administration’s defenders, apologists, and sycophants have been arguing that it’s all due to a typo or a technicality… and in the face of some compelling counter-arguments (and not a few amused head-shakes), including some inadvertent coutner-arguments from those who helped create the legislation in the first place.

Anyway, regarding the actual scope of the case; this is a very important point that was made by Philip Klein.  Assuming the court found for plaintiffs:

…Instead, [the Supreme Court would] merely be ruling that the administration wasn’t following Obamacare as written.

[snip]

The case now before the court is not making a constitutional claim that Congress doesn’t have the power to pass federal exchange subsidies, but merely that the statute they wrote did not authorize such subsidies

…And the remedy for that claim is very simple. If it truly was the intent of Congress to give the administration the power to provide Obamacare subsidies even in states that did not set up a healthcare exchange, then the Court can simply send the matter back to Congress and have them add whatever authorizations Congress desires to the law. There! Problem solved.

(more…)

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
--

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…)

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