November 4, 2013

Obama: What I Said Was You Can Keep Your Health Plan ‘If It Hasn’t Changed Since the Law Was Passed’ (Update: Video Added at End)

Well, let’s see how well this unspeakably pathetic attempt to explain away the lie of the century (so far) works with the establishment press.

Two separate tweeters — Reid Epstein at Politico and Mark Knoller at CBS News — are reporting that President Obama, at a rally of the Organizing For Action faithful this evening, told his audience that “What we said was you can keep it (your health plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed” (HTs to Hot Air and Twitchy):

OcareRevisedPromiseTweets1103

Reminder: On September 30, Calvin Woodward at the Associated Press wrote the following in a “Fact Check,” conveniently buried at Paragraph 15:

.. REP. KEVIN McCARTHY, R-Calif.: “When we started this health care debate, the president led with a very big promise to the American people: If you like the health care that you have, that you currently have, you can keep it.” – At a Sept. 20 House Republican rally after passage of the bill that would finance the government on condition the health care law is starved of money.

THE FACTS: McCarthy is correct, Obama said exactly that. It was an empty promise, made repeatedly.

Nothing in the health care law guarantees that people can keep the health insurance they already have. Costs can rise, benefits can change and employers can drop coverage.

You don’t get to change your evaluation now, Cal. Or the rest of you at AP. Or Bill Maher. Or progressive cable clowns. Or prog pundits. Or anyone else who correctly recognized Obama’s serial statement as the lie that it was.

Don’t even try.

Oh, and one more thing. As Megyn Kelly noted a week ago, Obama, responding to a question from Arizona Senator John Kyl in February 2010, promised that you could even keep your “Acme Insurance” plan, with no qualifications:

Actually, any insurance that you currently have would be grandfathered in so you could keep it. So you could decide not to get in the exchange the better plan. I could keep my Acme Insurance, just a high deductible catastrophic plan. I would not be required to get the better one.

So even the new lie doesn’t fly.

UPDATE: Video of Obama's statement (HT Mediaite) –

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘A No-Growth Obamacare Christmas?’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday evening (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

NYT Trumpets How ‘Millions Are Eligible for Free (Obamacare) Policies,’ Reveals Out-of-Pocket Maximums in Paragraph 21

On Sunday, the editorialists at the New York Times claimed that President Barack Obama merely “misspoke” when he dishonestly promised the American people that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” to get Obamacare passed.

Sunday evening for Monday’s print edition, reporters Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas carried heavy buckets of water on behalf of Obama and his administration. The headline: “Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible for Free Policies.” It took the Times pair 21 paragraphs to inform readers that the “free” plans have annual out-of-pocket cost limits of $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. They never described how the deductibles or copays work, and never noted that taxpayers are funding the subsidies. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Obamacare Vs. ‘Scam Insurance’ Comparison of the Day (110413)

Filed under: Health Care,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:03 pm

Obamacare defenders have taken to calling the individual insurance plans terminated because they couldn’t survive the strict rules for grandfathering “substandard” policies. One particularly fevered troll at one of my NewsBusters posts called them “scam insurance.”

Well, here’s a comparison of Obamacare and “scam insurance coverage” detailed in an Associated Press report this weekend:

The Griffins, who live near Philadelphia on the Delaware border, pay $770 monthly for their soon-to-be-terminated health care plan with a $2,500 deductible. The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple wouldn’t be able to see the doctors in Delaware whom they’ve used for more than a decade.

So the Griffins will have to pay over $10,000 more out of their own pockets before any insurance coverage kicks in (other than a couple of things like annual physicals, perhaps). And to be able to do even that, they’ll have to pay $6,060 more per year ($505 monthly difference times 12).

I think we all know which policy of the two is the real “scam insurance.”

Venezuela Seizes U.S. Firm’s Oil Rigs; AP Story Headlines Mislead

The Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro has put the country back into the expropriration business, seizing two oil rigs owned by Houston-based Superior Energy Services.

Two different Friday headlines at Associated Press stories about the seizures, one at the AP’s national site and the other at the Washington Post, appeared designed more to mislead than to inform.

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110413)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

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At Heritage (HT Andrew Malcolm at Investor’s Business Daily): “HealthCare.gov Users Warn of Security Risk, Breach of Privacy,” which “disclosed eligibility letters addressed to individuals from another state.”

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A reminder from mid-October: “A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping.” Why? Because “It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are.”

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At Business Insider, on White House meetings discussing first-day HealthCare.gov problems:

The documents from the “War Room” meetings from Oct. 2 and 3 bullet point some of the early issues with the site:

  • “High capacity on the site, direct enrollment not working”
  • “Experian” credit reporting agency was “creating confusion with credit check information”
  • “Issuers are not receiving 834s when they should be,” a reference to early problems with that health insurers receiving correct enrollment data from consumers signing up.

So you’re credit IS being checked during the process of HC.gov enrollment. Maybe Florida Obamacare navigator Anne Packham accidentally let the cat out of the bag three weeks ago (“health insurance providers can make an educated decision about who to insure based on if someone is defaulting”).

Note at the link that HHS’s denial related to “credit scores” and not “credit check information” (i.e., the raw data, which may be run through a separate HHS algorithm).

Related: A press release from Experian in late September indicates that the scope of credit checking will extend to providers of medical services.

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 At the Wall Street Journal, via cancer patient Edie Littlefield Sunby:

You Also Can’t Keep Your Doctor
I had great cancer doctors and health insurance.My plan was cancelled. Now I worry how long I’ll live.

… My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines.

For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point.

Another milestone for the self-described “party of compassion.”

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CBS News (video at link; HT Hot Air):

Obamacare: Memo reveals health care adviser warned W.H. was losing control 3 years ago

CBS News is learning the Obama administration knew of the risks associated with the Obamacare rollout well before last month.

Three years ago, a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of Obamacare. A memo obtained by CBS News said strong leadership was missing and the law’s successful implementation was in jeopardy. The warnings were specific and dire — and ignored.

David Cutler, who worked on the Obama 2008 campaign and was a valued outside health care consultant wrote this blunt memo to top White House economic adviser Larry Summers in May 2010: “I do not believe the relevant members of the administration understand the president’s vision or have the capability to carry it out.”

Cutler wrote no one was in charge who had any experience in complex business start-ups. He also worried basic regulations, technology and policy coordination would fail.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey: “Remember when you’re watching this that it pertains to the same people who now argue that they know better than you about what kind of insurance coverage you need.”

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Can’t Make This Up: “Feinstein: Hey, you could have kept your plan … until we enacted ObamaCare.”

Positivity: Pope prays at papal tombs on Feast of All Souls

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 2, 2013 / 01:54 pm

Late Saturday afternoon Pope Francis went to the Vatican grottos to pray in private for the souls of the deceased pontiffs interred there.

November 2 marks the Feast of All Souls, a day traditionally dedicated to praying for those who have died.

In his homily on November 1, the Feast of all Saints, Pope Francis had spoken of the deceased saints saying, “Those who have preceded us and have died in the Lord are there (in heaven). It was proclaimed that they were saved not through their own work – even though they had done good work – but they were saved by the Lord.”

Today was not the first time Pope Francis has prayed at the tomb of his predecessors. On Easter Monday last April, the Bishop of Rome had prayed at the tombs of Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul I, preceding his moment of prayer close to the tomb of St. Peter under St. Peter’s Basilica.

Last Thursday, he prayed at the tomb of John Paul II inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Friday’s mass was celebrated in the Verano Cemetery, one of the largest in Rome, where many Catholics from the city were buried in the 19th century.

Pope Francis spoke of the importance of gratitude and hope in life when facing death. …

Go here for the rest of the story.