Ace of Spades HQ: New York Times, Washington Post Finally Report What Everyone Else Has Known for At Least Six Months: Obamacare Has Thrown Insurance Into Chaos, and This is All Just a Prelude to the Next Big Batch of Cancellations:
Or, as Obamacare defenders call cancellations followed by roiling chaos: “transitioning.”
The New York Times reported (on Saturday, the least-read day of the news week) that the insurance market was in chaos, with insurers not knowing who their supposed insured clients even are. Digested at Hot Air:
In addition to the difficulties many face in proving they have coverage, patients are also having a hard time figuring out whether particular doctors are affiliated with their health insurance plan. Doctors themselves often do not know if they are in the network of providers for plans sold on the exchange.But interviews with doctors, hospital executives, pharmacists and newly insured people around the country suggest that the biggest challenge so far has been verifying coverage. A surge of enrollments in late December, just before the deadline for coverage to take effect, created backlogs at many state and federal exchanges and insurance companies in processing applications. As a result, many of those who enrolled have yet to receive an insurance card, policy number or bill.
Many are also having trouble reaching exchanges and insurance companies to confirm their enrollment or pay their first month’s premium. Doctors’ offices and pharmacies, too, are spending hours on the phone trying to verify patients’ coverage, sometimes to no avail.
ObamaCare SuperFan Ezra Klein interviewed Obamacare critic and insurance industry executive (i.e., someone who actually knows something) Bob Laszewski and heard similar grim tidings.
The Washington Examiner: What if Americans rebel against the Obamacare mandate?:
The Obama administration is trying to persuade millions of uninterested, or perhaps reluctant, Americans to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. But the heart of Obamacare is coercion. If Americans fail do what the law’s Democratic authors believe is best, the federal government will punish them, through the progressively higher penalties of the individual mandate, until it hurts more not to buy coverage than it does to give up and purchase it.
But what if many of those Americans rebel? Even if they know having health insurance is better than not having it, what if they refuse to be forced to buy the kind of coverage dictated by the government — which may not really meet their needs — at prices they don’t want to pay? What then?
It’s called civil disobedience, and we may be witnessing it on a massive scale.
The Conversation: Claim that 4 Million Enrolled in Medicaid Under Obamacare is Extremely Misleading:
It appears that most of the Medicaid numbers the administration is claiming come from a) states which did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare or b) previously enrolled individuals who were being renewed and would have been renewed in any case. The actual number of people who can be said to have enrolled because of Obamacare is probably fairly small. No doubt the administration has an idea what that number is but they aren’t saying.
Weasel Zippers: Obama Regime To Reimburse Insurance Companies For Obamacare Losses Up To $1 TRILLION…
Via Weekly Standard:
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.
For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation. Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies. It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes). It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.
But that’s exactly what it will do—unless Republicans take action. As Laszewski explains, Obamacare contains a “Reinsurance Program that caps big claim costs for insurers (individual plans only).” He writes that “in 2014, 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government [read: by taxpayers], for example.”
OpenMarket.Org: Obama Administration Undermines School Safety, Pressures Schools to Adopt Racial Quotas in Student Discipline:
Crime rates are not the same across different racial categories, and student misconduct ratesaren’t, either. The Supreme Court ruled many years ago that such racial disparities don’t prove racism or unconstitutional discrimination. But in guidance released last week by the Education and Justice Departments, the Obama administration signaled that it will hold school districts liable for such racial disparities under federal Title VI regulations. In the long run, the only practical way for school districts to comply with this guidance is to tacitly adoptunconstitutional racial quotas in school discipline. This will result in increased school violence, discrimination in discipline against white and Asian students, an increased racial achievement gap that harms black students, and more white flight from inner-city schools. Eventually, private and public colleges will be affected, not just school districts, since Title VI bans racial discrimination not just in the public schools, but in higher education as well.
The administration made clear that it views racial disparities in student discipline rates, which exist in virtually all school systems, as generally being the product of racism by school officials, not “more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of color.” Moreover, it also made clear that even if the school district proves itself innocent of racism, it will still be held liable for“racially disparate impact” – non-racist conduct that unintentionally has a discriminatory effecton a racial group, even though it treats individuals of all races alike – unless the school district shows that its discipline not only furthers an important educational purpose, but alsodoes not lead to more suspensions of minorities than other (more ideologically-fashionable) methods of discipline that the government views as equally effective.
Ace of Spades HQ: Guy Claims to Be Conan O’Brien’s Illegitimate Son:
Reserving judgement on this….
J. Christian Adams, PJ Media: True the Vote, Judicial Watch Reach Voter Roll Clean Up Settlement With Ohio:
True the Vote and Judicial Watch have reached a “historic” settlement with Ohio to ensure clean voter rolls in that state. The settlement is historic because it marks the first case brought by a private party under Section 8 of Motor Voter against a state to require the clean up of corrupted state voter rolls. Last fall, the American Civil Rights Unionreached settlements with two Mississippi counties under the same voter roll clean up law.
As PJ Media has reported for years, private parties have been forced to bring these cases because Eric Holder’s Justice Department has lawlessly shut down enforcement of Section 8 of Motor Voter, allowing millions of dead and ineligible voters to clog the rolls.
The Mental Recession: Education Department Website Links to “Are You a Sexy Bitch?” Quiz:
The New York State Education Department is self-described as a place “to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York,” according to their own website. Recently however, NYSED.gov has been linking to an outside website that included some controversial online tests designed to “make test prep fun.”
One link brought viewers to a website which included such items as blond quizzes, dumb quizzes, clown quizzes, evil quizzes, and even “bitch quizzes.”
The Daily Caller: Psychologist teaches mainstream Americans how to beat liberals at their own game [VIDEO]
For Dr. Timothy Daughtry, a clinical psychologist who has co-authored a book for mainstream Americans, too many citizens think they have done their civic duty if they show up to vote and return to their normal lives.
To Daughtry, they are “like summer tourists in politics,” whereas the progressives are like the “locals.”
“We’ve got to get active now or we are going to lose this republic,” Daughtry says. The danger is, he says, that “our country is being taken away from us right under our very noses.”
He believes that a historic debate is being played out about whether Americans are citizens or subjects of their government.
Conservatives are on defense too much to succeed, he thinks, but also believes that help is on the way as citizens are waking up to the problems caused by both political parties.
“We have to make the left start defending socialism instead of us defending liberty,” Daughtry said.
Mainstream America started waking up when Republicans and Democrats in Washington embracing bailouts, which he says “fundamentally struck Americans as wrong.”
Then, the widespread unpopularity of Obamacare became surprisingly irrelevant to a government that “rammed it through anyway.”
Newsbusters: 10 Best ‘Lone Survivor’ Takedowns of Lib Media:
The film “Lone Survivor, which ” took in $38.5 million at the box office its opening weekend is based on a 2010 book by Luttrell that tells the tragic story of a 2005 operation in which the three other members of Luttrell’s SEAL team, along with 17 other special ops warriors, were killed. The story turned on the team’s agonized decision to turn lose some Afghan goat herders who had stumbled onto its concealed position. As the SEALs had feared, the freed civilians went straight to the Taliban, precipitating the battle.
While the movie recounts the fateful decision, it doesn’t explicitly tell the audience that a big part of deciding not to kill the goat herders was the certain knowledge that, “The media in the United States of America would crucify us,” in Luttrell’s words.
To kill or not kill the goat herders was a horrible choice to have to make – a moral, ethical and military dilemma that weighed the lives of the civilians against the lives of the team. Luttrell was rightly furious at having to to decide knowing that the SEALs would never get a fair shake from a hostile news media.
Throughout the book, Luttrell registered distrust of liberals in the media and in Washington – and did so with a very direct eloquence. Here are 10 of the best examples from the book. (Page numbers correspond to the Kindle Edition.)
5. “I promise you every insurgent, freedom fighter and stray gunman in Iraq who we arrested knew the ropes, knew that the way out was to announce he had been tortured by the Americans, ill-treated, or prevented from reading the Koran or eating his breakfast or watching television. They all knew al-Jazeera, the Arab broadcasters, would pick it up, and it would be relayed to the U.S.A., where the liberal media would joyfully accuse all of us of being murderers or barbarians or something. Those terrorist organizations laugh at the U.S. media, and they know exactly how to use the system against us.” (p. 39)
Watcher of Weasels: Forum: How Would You Change Public Education in The U.S.?
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 daily living. This week’s question:How Would You Change Public Education in The U.S.?
The Independent Sentinel: I don’t like the idea of paying for two public school systems running alongside one another but public education needs competition. The union leaders block change and progress if they think it in any way inhibits their goals, which do not include the children except as an after-thought.
I do think private education, such as privately-funded Charter Schools, can work. I don’t mind vouchers in poor areas where the schools are failing.
Common Core could have been the answer. Instead it’s an abomination. The testing now tied into it will nationalize education. The leftists – and I do mean hard-left – have already taken advantage and plugged their propaganda into the Core-Aligned curricula. There are too many tests and, while I agree that more objective measures of teacher performance are needed, these standardized tests aren’t it.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: In no partic order – totally reshape the Dept of Edu to nigh inexistence, reshape teacher unions, implement text book reform for grade school with an asset kicking update to the famous 1879 version of the McGuffey Readers. The American History courses would be heavily influenced by the incredible “How America Got It Right”.
College Edu would get a serious kick at the campus bookstore – no more $3.00 pencils etc or Professors changing the foreward in $200 books they wrote and require every semester. A general jihad on campus bookstores and college tuition.
And this would prob never work – yet tenured teachers would have swear an oath of allegiance in public to Great Satan and her constitution a lot like the military.
Seton Motley, Redstate: Why Are the Media’s ‘Consumer Interest Groups’ So Leftist and Anti-Consumer?
The Media’s double standard when describing political advocacy organizations is as obvious as it is unsurprising.
The Media rarely if ever identify Leftist entities as Leftist – instead assigning them non-ideological descriptives. Often, it is the ridiculous “consumer interest group” – as if the anti-free market side of the equation is pro-consumer, and the defenders of freedom are against the purchasing public.
Never mind that no one is more pro-consumer than a private company – after all, they are the ones trying to please as many consumers as possible. It would then stand to reason that the organizations defending private companies from government overreach are also pro-consumer.
Because these “consumer interest groups” are in fact “government interest groups” – every “solution” they push results in larger, more interfering government. Which is about as anti-consumer as you can get.
How’s ObamaCare treating consumers? The Veterans Administration? The Department of Motor Vehicles? Would you rather head there – or to Amazon.com or your neighborhood deli?
Meanwhile, the Media almost always identify Conservative groups as conservative – that is, when they mention them at all. Often, marketplace political stories only quote Leftist groups – and company representatives.
Which is itself biased. It depicts the debate as a struggle between the plucky little “consumer interest” groups (who actually often have very large [George Soros] money behind them) – and the evil Industry Titans.
There are perhaps dozens of conservative/free market groups out there – yet the Media often can’t seem to find room for any of them in their stories.
Jack Cashill: Obama’s Magical Kenyan Mystery Trip:
In doing research for his Obama biography, Maraniss questioned Obama in the Oval Office about this research-oriented Kenyan trip.
Obama was at pains to insist that the story he told in “Dreams” about his 1988 African pilgrimage was true as written and that he “did not compress” it, meaning meld it with experiences from a later trip.
This latest trip, confirmed Obama, was for “fact-checking” and enabled him to do “more background on things like Kenyan history.”
As he has often done, Maraniss left a potentially revealing story on the table. According to all accounts, Obama made only two trips to Africa before his election to the Senate in 2004: the first one in 1988 recounted in “Dreams” and the second one with Michelle in 1992.
In his Oval Office discussion with Maraniss, Obama makes no mention of Michelle accompanying him on the fact-checking trip. Besides, in 1992, Obama was still under contract with Simon & Schuster to write a book on race and voting rights.
There are a few possible explanations for the obvious holes in this account. An unlikely one is that Ferris incorrectly recalled Obama’s return trip to Kenya, and Obama compounded this lapse with his own chronologically confused account to Maraniss.
A second possible explanation, an intriguing one, is that Ferris and Obama remembered correctly, that Obama did make a third trip to Kenya in 1994 or early 1995, and Obama chose to tell no one about it.
A third possibility is that Obama lied to Ferris about making a return trip to Kenya, possibly to show how serious he was about getting his facts straight.
Instead of going to Africa, Obama may have contented himself with going to the local library and pillaging the memoirs of longtime Kenya resident Kuki Gallmannn.
Cashill talked about his latest findings with Peter Boyle of Denver’s KNUS:
My Latest at The Conversation:
In response to When Obama and Biden Betrayed Sharon:Jan 13, 2014 11:30 AM PT
Powerline’s Scott Johnson thinks this little vignette, shared by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, “explains much,” but I’ll report and let you decide.Jan 13, 2014 9:59 AM PT
The Hill is reporting that Rep. Darrell Issa will be pursuing the IRS scandal, the Benghazi attack and the lethally stupid Fast and Furious operation in 2014 – which will likely be his last year as the House GOP’s chief investigator. Jan 12, 2014 6:20 PM PT
Thank God for small favors – Colorado Republicans have introduced a bill that if passed, would prevent food stamp recipients from withdrawing EBT cash inside pot dispensaries. Jan 11, 2014 12:09 PM PT
PhillyMag.com has a poll up asking readers if they think Obama was wrong to nominate Debo Adegbile, the former lawyer of cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.Jan 10, 2014 6:45 PM PT
It is already the law that private companies publicly disclose security breaches. As John Fund noted at National Review, last month, “state laws also require many of the 14 state-run insurance exchanges to disclose such information, but no such law exists for the federally run exchange, which 36 states rely upon.”Jan 10, 2014 9:46 AM PT
Co-sponsors include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Pat Roberts and Orrin Hatch.Jan 9, 2014 6:48 PM PT
God help us.Jan 9, 2014 2:52 PM PT 68
Rachel Maddow has doubled down on her spurious “bombshell” report alleging that the nefarious Koch Brothers helped fund a shockingly outrageous initiative in Florida (which the vast majority of Floridians happened to support), but no one outside of the MSNBC clown car seems to be buying it.Jan 9, 2014 12:19 PM PT 112
at the DC Auto Show. The subject he chose for his first full length documentary, is the cronyism that he believes brought down Detroit. In the documentary, he examines why Detroit failed and what rest of the country needs to do and avoid Detroit’s fate.Jan 9, 2014 8:15 AM PT
Syndicated columnist Jamie Stiehm penned a highly offensive oped for US News and World report entitled, “The Catholic Supreme Court’s War on Women”, enraging scores of readers who are currently venting their disgust in the comment section.Jan 8, 2014 1:41 PM PT
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio blocked the nomination of Judge William Thomas to the federal bench after a careful review of his record raised red flags. A spokeswoman for Rubio explained back in September that the Senator would be withdrawing his support for Thomas due to his concerns about his “judicial temperament” and “his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences.”Jan 8, 2014 11:04 AM PT