Avik Roy, Forbes: Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss:
Of all of the last-minute delays, website bungles, and Presidential whims that have marred the roll-out of Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges, what happened on Thursday, December 12 will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration. The White House—having canceled Americans’ old health plans, and having botched the system for enrolling people in new ones—knows that millions of Americans will enter the new year without health coverage. So instead of actually fixing the problem, the administration is retroactively attempting to force insurers to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured. If Obamacare wasn’t a government takeover of the health insurance industry, then what is it now?
On Wednesday afternoon, health policy reporters found in their inboxes a friendly e-mail from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announcing “steps to ensure Americans signing up through the Marketplace have coverage and access to the care they need on January 1.” Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.
HealthShare Advocates: If You Like Your House, You Can Keep Your House:
On October 17, Beverly Woods asked a disturbing question on the DailyKos.com website.What happens to the assets of people who now meet the expanded criteria for Medicaid? Medicaid was designed to ensure healthcare for the truly destitute, and existing state and federal laws, regulations, policies, and procedures are based on the assumption that people on Medicaid have essentially no disposable assets. The Act Formerly Known as Obamacare changes that.
In “Medicaid Estate Recovery+ACA: Unintended Consequences,” Ms. Woods explains the problem:
We haven’t had lots of people younger than 65 on Medicaid, because in most states simply earning less than the Federal Poverty Level did not qualify one for Medicaid.
And we haven’t had many people with lots of assets on Medicaid, because in most places you have to have less than around $2400 to your name before Medicaid will cover you. You can keep your house and your car, but Medicaid reserves the right to put liens on them and take them when you die.
But now we have the Affordable Care Act, and its expectation that everyone in the lower tier of income will end up in the Medicaid system. To accomplish this, they have dropped the asset test. So now we will have lots of people ages 55-64, who have assets but not a lot of income right now, for whatever reason, on Medicaid.
The kicker of it is, if you make the right amount to qualify for a subsidized health insurance plan, your costs are going to be shared and subsidized by the government. But if you go on Medicaid, you owe the entire amount that Medicaid spends on you from the day you turn 55.
As she ended her October 17 entry, Ms. Woods noted, “The fact that practically no one is talking about this makes me uneasy.” Four days later, she was back, with “Estate Recovery: It’s Worse Than You Thought.” The bottom line: Medicaid is not insurance, it’s a loan.
Foden Cartoon via Townhall
Flashback to MAY 13, 2010, John Goodman, President and CEO of National Center for Policy Analysis, and Kellye Wright Fellow, writing for Kaiser Health News: Rescissions: Much Ado About Nothing:
How many times have you heard President Obama say, “Health insurers won’t be able to drop your coverage just because you get sick?” Or Kathleen Sebelius? Or the Democratic leadership in Congress? Or the mainstream news media?
You would think that the private health insurance industry was being revolutionized.
In fact, it has been illegal since 1997, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, for insurers to drop coverage because someone gets sick. And even before then, the practice almost never happened.
Think of it this way: Do you think there would be a vibrant, active, ongoing life insurance industry if insurers could renege on their part of the contract after someone dies? How many of us would buy fire insurance if the insurers could change their minds and refuse to pay after our house burns down? Would you buy auto insurance from Allstate if the “good hands” could disappear after a collision occurs?
These things do not happen because
1. Insurers are contractually obligated to keep their side of the bargain and courts enforce these obligations just like any other contract; 2. Regulatory agencies enforce good behavior, quite apart from any lawsuit, and; 3. An insurer that routinely refused to pay claims would lose customers and go out of business.So what’s the fuss all about?
Keep reading…America has been and continues to be completely hoodwinked on this issue.
WHD: White House Delayed Rules Until After 2012 Campaign:
From the story, a great piece of journalism by veteran reporter Juliet Eilperin:
Some agency officials were instructed to hold off submitting proposals to the White House for up to a year to ensure that they would not be issued before voters went to the polls, the current and former officials said.
The delays meant that rules were postponed or never issued. The stalled regulations included crucial elements of the Affordable Care Act, what bodies of water deserved federal protection, pollution controls for industrial boilers and limits on dangerous silica exposure in the workplace.
And of course, they lied about it. It’s getting to the point where I wouldn’t believe this White House if they said night had fallen.
The Obama administration has repeatedly said that any delays until after the election were coincidental and that such decisions were made without regard to politics. But seven current and former administration officials told The Washington Post that the motives behind many of the delays were clearly political, as Obama’s top aides focused on avoiding controversy before his reelection.
And not everybody did this.
Note well, Democrats: These complaints are unrelated to Obamacare’s failed roll-out, and are being driven by the vast majority of Americans covered on the employer-based market — whom the White House has falsely claimed will not be affected by the law’s changes:
Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that health care remains politically charged going into next year’s congressional elections. Keeping the refurbished HealthCare.gov website running smoothly is just one of Obama’s challenges, maybe not the biggest.
Big Government: EXCLUSIVE – DARRELL ISSA: OBAMACARE ‘INEPTNESS’ PUTS LIVES AT RISK:
In his exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Operation Fast and Furious, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) noted that a larger picture of “ineptness” is emerging regarding President Barack Obama’s administration.
“I think what’s emerging in the last few months is the ineptness of administration,” Issa said, elaborating:
This is an administration that isn’t just ideologically driven to do things we shouldn’t want done; they also cannot do the things they want to do well. That’s perhaps more dangerous. With $3.8 trillion worth of your tax dollars being spent, if they do the wrong things, and do things that are outside the Constitution, we at least can push back and say they have no authority.
But, when there’s things that they’re supposed to do that they can’t execute on, then hundreds of billions of dollars and human lives could be affected. It’s what’s happening under healthcare. The Affordable Care Act is deeply flawed, but it’s also so badly executed that it’s causing people tremendous problems. Fixing the challenges created for healthcare providers may not be possible. Tens of millions of people may not get quality healthcare over the next year or two, and that means lives could be lost.
Seton Motley, RedState: Leftists to Americans: ‘Embrace the Government Suck’:
Uber-Leftist House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently chided her caucus to vote for a Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget agreement – which they didn’t particularly like – by telling them to“Embrace the suck.” Stay classy, Congresswoman.
This is the same woman who teed up the ObamaCare disaster by uttering the classic “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Who said government unemployment checks“create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”
Thank goodness she was as Speaker of the House just two heartbeats away from the Presidency. If San Francisco’s representative didn’t exist, we would have to invent her.
Ok, we could instead just substitute current-one-heartbeat-away-from-the-Presidency Joe Biden – who said the main challenge in the 2008 presidential campaign was “a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.
Weasel Zippers: EPA’s Top Climate Change Expert Charged With Fraud of “Massive Proportions”…
Via NBC News:
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and top expert on climate change engaged in “crime of massive proportions” by pretending to be working as an undercover agent for the CIA so he could avoid doing his real job for years, according to federal prosecutors and the agency’s top investigator on the case.
In a memorandum filed days before his sentencing in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, prosecutors asked that John C. Beale, 65, be sent to federal prison for at least 30 months for bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, and said his “historic” lies are “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.
Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales.
It’s actually quite fitting that our top man fighting a non existent problem is essentially Walter Mitty.
Campaign Spot: State Exchange With Wrong Prices Spends $75,000 on Murals:
Penny Bacchiochi, a Republican state representative exploring a run for governor of Connecticut next year, points out that the state’s new health exchange, which hadincorrect information online about deductibles and co-insurance for all of the individual health plans offered through the exchange, somehow had the funding tocommission three murals, plus nearly $4,000 to have one of them installed.
Total cost: Roughly $79,000.
The People’s Cube: Down With Santa’s White Privilege! Penguinify Christmas!
Our friend Daniel Greenfield has a few thoughts about ending the intolerable Santa’s White Privilege. Here’s an excerpt:
…no Christmas would be complete without a national conversation about Santa’s whiteness.
Over at Slate, Aisha Harris, its resident expert on being offended by racist things in pop culture, suggested replacing old white Santa with a penguin of no specific color. The little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) and the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) are equally welcome. So long as they aren’t the albino penguin (Aptenodytes albus) from beneath the earth. They’re too white. – See more at: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/down-with-santa-s-white-privilege-penguinify-christmas-t12599.html#sthash.8EIbh3hc.dpuf
Kurt Schlichter, Townhall: What Santa Should Bring for RINOs, Twerkers and Liberals:
Sure, Santa is a racist, hetero-normative imperialist who supports the dominant patriarchal power structure through his reinforcement of sexist stereotypes, but unlike the people who vote for Democrats, he has a job to do.
So, let’s help out Old St. Nick as he makes his list for some key players in politics and culture.
For Speaker John Boehner, let’s hope Santa brings him a brain. He seems to thinks it’s a great idea to shaft the GOP base on immigration. Don’t let the corporate K Street amnesty cheerleaders fool you, John. If you screw us over, you will split the GOP and lose the House. And you don’t even need a brain to see that.
For the wimpy Republican establishment, let’s hope Santa brings them a spine. Gumby is harder to bend – and would probably oppose amnesty too. They’re eager to surrender our one big success, the sequester, because it’s actually cut spending.
A spine might help them realize that their job is not to forge some sort of smiley-face, bipartisan compromise. Their job is to slash the budget as part of a comprehensive campaign to utterly destroy liberalism by gutting the mechanism that it uses to buy favors from its deadbeat loser constituencies.
Wait, scratch the brain and the spine. Santa, bring these guys a killer instinct, one that compels them to crush our progressive enemies, to see the progressives driven before them, and to hear the lamentations of sensitive, hipster males.
FTR Radio: I Am A Conservative Special Edition Audiobook:
A highly amusing, no-holds-barred meditation on what conservatives really think, and what they really want, by conservative pundit, Townhall andBreitbart contributor and Twitter maven Kurt Schlichter. Too often, conservatives have kept silent in the face of insanity, inanity, and outright idiocy. That ends here!
From mocking Democrat poobahs and Hollywood nitwits to beating on the wimps at the helm of the GOP, I Am a Conservative Special Audio Book Edition goes straight for the throat and says what everyone else only dares to think.
About the author: Kurt Schlichter is a weekly conservative columnist for Townhall.com. He was personally recruited by Andrew Breitbart in 2009 to write first for Big Hollywood, and then for Breitbart.com’s Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace sites. His freelance work has also been published in major newspapers and he is often on the air as a guest on nationally syndicated radio programs.
The Daily Caller: Who tops Cruz in early Iowa 2016 poll?
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is the most popular of the would-be 2016 Republican contenders among Iowa Republicans, handily outstripping his potential competition in the state that holds the first nominating contest every four years, according to a new poll.
The Des Moines Register poll, conducted by Selzer & Co. and released Sunday found that a whopping 73 percent of Iowa Republicans hold a favorable opinion of Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, while just 10 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. Among tea partiers, he is also far more popular than his competition, with 66 percent saying they view him favorably. 54 percent of born-again Christians like him; only former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is more popular among that group.
The Foundry: Raising the Minimum Wage Would Hurt the People It’s Supposed to Help:
Hike the minimum wage. For politicians trying to show their concern for those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, it’s a simple solution. It’s catching on again, with several states and municipalities approving local hikes, and a proposal before Congress to hike it by an unprecedented amount, from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over the next two years.
Unfortunately, this seemingly obvious remedy is also a very bad idea, not only for the economy as a whole, but for the low-wage workers it is supposed to help.
Indeed, studies show that the latest congressional hike would likely eliminate some 300,000 jobs per year and lower our national economic output by more than $40 billion annually. Why? Because raising the cost of labor naturally makes it more expensive to hire, leading cash-strapped employers with no choice but to slow down or freeze hiring.
Those who blithely propose large minimum-wage increases are ignoring a basic economic truth: When you raise the cost of something, you slow down the rate at which people purchase it. They buy less. So an employer who might decide to hire another worker when the cost is relatively low will forgo that expense when it gets too high.
That, in turn, can be bad news for those who already work for that employer. He may have no choice but to work his other employees harder, when he could have taken a chance on an unskilled worker and given that individual a chance to prove himself and to move up
NYTs: Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Laws on Gun Control:
When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.
He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.
“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.
Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.
Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.
Twitchy: Not Right: Gabriel Malor looks at ideologies behind high-profile violent acts:
As Twitchy noted, the Denver Post published a profile of Arapahoe High School shooter Karl Pierson, describing the 18-year-old as having “very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff” and holding political beliefs “outside the mainstream.” Ah, a Tea Partyer, huh? Oh, and a classmate also described Pierson as “a very opinionated socialist” — at least that’s how the Denver Post’s account read, until a stealth edit changed the sentence to read simply, “very opinionated.”
Why scrub the word “socialist”? Attorney and Ace of Spades HQ co-blogger Gabriel Malor has compiled a list of shootings, stabbings, terrorist plots and other attacks, along with the ideologies of the perpetrators, and the picture they paint is certainly not one of a Tea Partyer — not that the media would report that.
Selwyn Duke, American Thinker: White-washing Mandela’s Memory
See also: The Road to Genocide is Paved with Liberal Intentions
After his mother was raped, and then murdered along with his father, sobbing 12-year-old Amaro was gagged and drowned in scalding bathwater. And that’s how the youngest member of the Viana family became a statistic: another in a long line of white South African victims of black violence.
It’s an understatement to say that such crimes have a racial component, yet the government run by the African National Congress – Nelson Mandela’s party – denies even that. It claims that whites are more likely to be victimized in South Africa, one of the world’s most crime-ridden nations, only because they’re wealthier. And this surely is a factor. Yet it doesn’t explain the white car-jacking victim tied behind his vehicle and dragged until his face was completely scraped off.
Gateway Pundit: Leader of Iraqi Catholic Church to the West: “If They Kill Us All, Will You Do Something Then?”
The leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq asked the West, “If they kill us all, will you do something then?”
NRC Online reported:
Warning that a Middle East empty of Christians would be “just like the Taliban,” Iraq’s most senior Catholic leader pointedly called on the West to show greater concern for suffering Christians in the region.
“We feel forgotten and isolated,” said Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church.
“We sometimes wonder, if they kill us all, what would be the reaction of Christians in the West? Would they do something then?”
Sako made clear he’s not asking for a mobilization “to protect Christians,” but rather Western efforts to support “harmonious societies for all human beings”, based on “a civil state in which the only criterion is citizenship grounded in full equality under the law.”
Sako said that at the moment, the influence of Western nations in the region seems to be based primarily on self-interest.
Pope Francis was too busy slamming capitalism to comment.
NY Daily News: The Shack: Queens man breaks leg in Harlem attack, claims to be victim of the ‘knockout game’:
Clifford Wong, 52, was leaving his job at a New York Lottery office in Harlem and was nearing his car on W. 126th St. near Lenox Ave. at about 2:30 p.m. when he saw a group of black teens watching him.
“Something didn’t feel right so I crossed the street,” he said. “I took a few steps and in an instant one guy was in front of me.”
“Where do you think you’re going?” the suspect — believed to be about 15 — asked before he and several of his pals started lobbing haymakers at him.
“Basically they were trying to aim at my face,” said Wong in an interview at Harlem Hospital Saturday. “I had my hands up, but they hit my nose.”
The goons pummeled Wong until he fell to the ground and then ran off.
Paramedics rushed Wong to Harlem Hospital with cuts, scrapes and multiple leg fractures he sustained in the fall.
File under “fake trends”.
CBS Pittsburgh: 1 Arrested After Nun Hospitalized Following Assault And Rape:
BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) – An 18-year-old has been charged in the brutal rape and beating of an elderly nun in Aliquippa.
Andrew Bullock, of Orchard Street, faces at least 10 charges in the Friday morning attack.
The nun serves at St. Titus Church on Franklin Avenue.
She was walking in a parking lot behind the church when she was approached by a man who choked her, punched her, then threw her to the ground where she was assaulted and raped.
Assistant Chief Dan Couch told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “The first thing you notice when you look up up where this horrific act occurred, is the statue of the Virgin Mary looking down.”
Couch told Gable the savage beating outraged officers in his department.
Washington Free Beacon: Female Integration into Combat Roles Could Harm National Security:
The push to integrate female soldiers into formerly all-male combat roles and units could increase injuries, deaths, and incidences of sexual assault and ultimately harm national security, experts say.
The Department of Defense (DOD)rescinded the restrictions on direct ground combat for women in January as part of an effort to promote equality in the armed forces and increase opportunities for female soldiers. Military branches are currently researching the performance of females who volunteered for infantry officer and enlisted training courses, and the service chiefs have repeatedly said that standards will not be lowered to accommodate women in combat roles.
However, critics of the initiative say it comes with social and health costs that are counterproductive. And they say they are deeply skeptical of claims by military leaders that standards will not be altered.
“The Pentagon and the White House see this as being about equal opportunity—it’s not about that,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, author of the book Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat, in an interview. “What kind of nation pushes its young women into direct ground combat? A nation that is willing to compromise security even more and a nation that will not survive in the long term.”
Viral Nova: I Knew Dogs Were Loyal, But This…? I Have No Words For What He Did.
When the Andreev’s town became flooded, they took their dog and went to stay with friends.
On the third morning there, Druzhok disappeared. They went looking for him…
And found him guarding their house.
Watcher of Weasels: Forum: Whom Would You Name For Person Of The Year?
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day,the culture, or topics of daily life. This week’s question: Whom Would You Name For Person Of The Year?
Simply Jews: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. He proved several times during the year 2013 that he is a more astute and more consistent politician, loyal to his friends, disgusting as they may possibly be, than many other leaders, including Barack Hussein Obama.
Leonidas of the year: Ted Cruz, because he took a principled stand when it was unpopular and politically dangerous to do so, and has since been proven right.
Stalwart fellow of the year: Bibi Netanyahu who, so far, is standing strong against Obama’s love-fest with Iran. (And let’s pray that he continues strong.)
Lying Liar of the year: Barack Obama, the hands-down winner.
Pop culture person of the year: Miley Cyrus, for showing just how debased our culture really is.
Anti-pop culture family of the year: The Robertson family, of Duck Dynasty fame, for proving that Americans are still drawn to old-fashioned values.
Global warming event of the year: And it’s a tie, between snowfall in Cairo and an arctic ice cap that has increased in size by 29%
Party hack of the year: Another tie, this time between Kathleen Sebelius and Jay Carney
Best Democrat line of the year: Hillary Clinton, when talking about four murdered Americans, defends herself by saying “What difference at this point does it make?” (And she gets extra credit for scrambled syntax.)
Media star of the year: Megan Kelly
Revolting media personality of the year: This one was a tough one, but it’s pretty clear that Martin Bashir, who was a last-minute contender, managed to sink to new depths when it came to revolting ad hominem attacks against a conservative personality.
Retro Renovation: Same owners for 70+ years, this 1940 Seattle time capsule house has the most amazing basement ever — 24 photos:
Imagine living in one home for more than 70 years. The original owners of this charming 1940 time capsule in Seattle, Washington — listed by Realtor Lynly Callaway did just that. Over the years they thoughtfully decorated, loved and cared for every square inch — evident by the many unique custom details — from the adorable vintage kitchen to the extraordinary nautical-themed knotty pine basement. A home this charismatic was sure to go fast, and is already under contract. The hopefully soon-to-be new owners undoubtedly also fell in love with the original charm found in this house. Thanks to reader Kim for pointing us in the property’s direction and photographer Miguel Edwards from Vista Estate Imaging, for allowing us to feature his photos of this very special listing.
The Brothers Brick: Tolkien’s Rivendell comes to life with 200,000 LEGO bricks – exclusive interview with builders Alice Finch & David Frank:
The Brothers Brick is pleased to unveil official photos from the two builders and an exclusive interview with Alice and David.
The Brothers Brick: How did the two of you meet?
Alice Finch & David Frank: The July 2011 meeting was our first SeaLUG meeting, and I remember David brought a part of his Dragon Knight Castle. Even though we were both relatively new to LEGO, it was clear that he was already building like an expert. We got to talking about castles — those that we’d seen in person and those that we wanted to build out of bricks — and we both mentioned how we thought building Rivendell would be the ultimate challenge. We’re both avid readers and dedicated Tolkien fans, so our friendship began with a thorough discussion of Elven architecture.
Over the last two years, we’ve had other projects that we focused on: David has built several castles, one with accompanying village and market, we both participated in a collaborative build of Hobbiton for SeaLUG’s display at Emerald City Comicon, and Alice built Hogwarts Castle. after our building skills had been honed on our own big builds, and with the second Hobbit movie about to come out, we decided 2013 was a good time to take on the challenge of building Rivendell.
My Latest at The Conversation:
Shock Report: Federal Government Will Bill Peoples’ Estates After Death To Pay For Medicaid Expenses
As of last week, about 1.6 million Americans had “enrolled” in ObamaCare, and of those, 1.46 million of them had actually signed up for Medicaid (in some cases against their will.
) Dec 16, 2013 9:24 AM PT
The Obama administration has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to create a navigator program to help people wade through the onerous requirements of signing up for Obamacare.Dec 16, 2013 8:20 AM PT
Information that could shed some light on the mental state of the teenage gunman who entered Arapahoe High School in Denver, Colorado and shot two fellow students with a shotgun, trickled out, Friday night. Dec 13, 2013 10:20 PM PT
I was hoping last week’s judiciary hearing on the president’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law
was the first step by Republicans to finally do something about Obama’s lawlessness. Dec 13, 2013 10:09 AM PT