November 22, 2014

Friday Obamacare Doc Dump: HHS Proposes ‘Default Re-Enrollment’ — Into Another Plan

Even if you like your Obamacare insurance plan, Health and Human Services may move you by default into a different one — often with a different network of providers. In such situations, you wouldn’t get to keep your doctors and other providers unless you acted.

That’s what HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid has communicated in a 300-page proposal dumped yesterday so it would get minimal media attention (a six-page summary is here). Bloomberg News is one of the few outlets which has noticed it, and is predictably spinning it as a good thing (bolds are mine throughout this post; and numbered tags are mine):

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November 18, 2014

Terse 5-Paragraph AP Story Shows It Clearly Wants the Gruber Story to Go Away

As I noted yesterday, the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, finally broke down on Friday and mentioned the name “Jonathan Gruber” in a news story — a Friday afternoon item which, among other things, dishonestly attempted to distance the Affordable Care Act advisor from his long acknowledged and celebrated (until recently) “architect” role.

As of early this evening, the only other AP mention of Gruber has come in an unbylined Sunday morning story on President Barack Obama’s insistence that, in AP’s words, “the American public was not misled about certain provisions of his health care law,” and that, again in AP’s words, “there was no provision of the health care law that was not extensively debated and was not fully transparent.” The terse, “Now will you people please go away?” five-paragraph report follows the jump:

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Immigration Study: Obama’s Executive Action Will Make Many Illegals De Facto Full Participants in the Welfare State

Link (organization’s home page):

Through a maze of statutes and regulations, aliens granted deferred action or parole in place will be eligible for many public benefits. This is true even though they are still illegal aliens. To summarize:

Aliens with parole for less than a year are eligible for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, and Medicare (with sufficient authorized work history). Paroled aliens, whether for less than a year or greater, who are children and pregnant women are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them.

Aliens with parole for more than a year retain their eligibility for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, and Medicare. If they are children or pregnant women, they are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them. Finally, because paroled aliens become qualified aliens after a year, paroled aliens become eligible for all federal public benefits after 6 years, including SCHIP and TANF.

Finally, aliens with deferred action are eligible for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, Medicare (with sufficient authorized work history). If they are children and pregnant women, they are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them.

Even if this was a good idea — and it most emphatically isn’t, for reasons which would take up a book — a government running serious deficits as far as the eye can see and long-term unfunded liabilities approaching and perhaps by now exceeding $100 trillion can’t even begin to afford this.

NYT Editorial Calls Gruber’s Obamacare Role ‘Limited’; Past Times Articles Disagree

The New York Times wants America to ignore Jonathan Gruber. Pay no attention to that architect behind the curtain!

Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today that a Times editorial on Jonathan “stupid voters” Gruber claims that the MIT economist was not an important player in the law’s creation. The Times now insists that “In truth, his role was limited.” The trouble is, Times reporters and columnists have paid quite a bit of attention to Gruber and the importance of his role in the creation, passage and defense of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, during the past five years.

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Fournier: Obama Has Destroyed His, Admin’s, and Government’s Credibility; But He Still Wants ACA to Work

Two cheers — and two cheers only — for the National Journal’s Ron Fournier.

On Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier last night, the former Associated Press Washington Bureau chief observed that the Jonathan Gruber videos about how the Affordable Care Act was dishonestly written and promoted, as well as President Barack Obama’s reaction to those revelations, demonstrate that he (Obama) has destroyed the credibility of his administration, himself, and government itself.” Fine. But then, imitating the naive lover who won’t give up despite constant betrayal in the hit song “I Can’t Let Go,” Fournier stated that he “would like to see this bill work.” Video follows the jump (HT Washington Free Beacon):

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November 17, 2014

AP’s Elliott Tries to Separate Gruber From His Obamacare Architect Role

The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press — the entity which to our great misfortune is considered the de facto news source of record by the nation’s establishment press — finally broke down several days ago and mentioned the name “Jonathan Gruber” in a news story.

Of course, the wire service saved Philip Elliott’s story for Friday afternoon to minimize its visibility; the time stamp at the AP’s national site is 4:20 p.m. ET Friday; that’s only a minute later than the 3:19 p.m. CT time stamp found here at the earliest Google News entry I could find. Elliott largely made the story almost entirely about Republicans’ and conservatives’ reactions to what Gruber has said — as if they’re the only ones who should be deeply troubled about Gruber’s insulting descriptions of the American people and the fundamental dishonesty involved in drafting and passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in early 2010. But he also quite dishonestly tried to claim that Gruber wasn’t even an “architect” of the law (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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November 16, 2014

Greenhouse’s False Claim: No One Is ‘Required’ to Spend More Than 8 of Income on ACA Insurance

On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted the hypocritical fury of Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times that the Supreme Court has taken on the King v. Burwell case over the legality of Obamacare subsidies in states which don’t have their own Obamacare exchanges.

I need to address another item of Greenhouse gas contained therein, namely her claim that the Affordable Care Act requires no one to “spend more than 8 percent of his or her income of health insurance.” That’s only true if one chooses not to get covered.

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November 15, 2014

NYT’s Linda Greenhouse Is Furious That Obamacare Case Got to the Supreme Court, and Has a Conveniently Selective Memory

Linda Greenhouse covered the Supreme Court for the New York Times for 30 years until accepting a downsizing buyout in 2008. She continues to write bi-weekly columns there.

Greenhouse is absolutely appalled that the King v. Burwell lawsuit has gotten to the Supreme Court. As will be seen, she’s also quite selective in her outrage.

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November 14, 2014

That Kasich ‘Magic’: Ohio Turnout Was Really Down by Over 11 Points (i.e., Over 21 Percent)

It turns out that Nate Silver’s turnout map was way wrong about Ohio. I don’t have time to audit his state-by-state claims, but someone should.

Silver’s map says Ohio turnout was down by 8.7 percent.

Uh, more than double that, as seen in a press release this morning from Tom Zawistowski of Ohio Citizens PAC (bolds are mine; some minor editing was done and paragraph breaks added by me):

Media Spin of Kasich Win in Ohio Distorts the Facts

PRESS RELEASE 

Akron, OH – Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC, today rejected the spin the media is putting on the re-election of Ohio Governor John Kasich, prompted by Kasich and his staff, as a distortion of the facts.

Kasich won re-election by a 31% margin and won in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties. He and his team are trying to use the results, such as their winning “69% of Independent Voters, 60% of Women Voters, and 57% of Young Voters”, to suggest that Kasich could be a viable republican candidate for President in 2016.

Commenting on the Governors “race,” Zawistowski said “Here are the facts that the media is leaving out of their post election reports of what actually happened in Ohio. As the chart below shows, nearly a million more Ohioans stayed home this year compared with 2010 – 3,956,045 vs 3,010,760 – because the voters are not stupid and they knew they had no real choice for governor.

This year Kasich ran virtually unopposed, due to his nefarious actions, and had … $20 million compared with $4.6 million for FitzGerald, yet he only attracted a measly 33,000 more votes than he got in 2010. Which shows that his popularity is not what he claims.

Furthermore, 88,000 Ohioans voted and left the Governor’s choice blank, more than his margin of victory in 2010. In his two elections for governor, Kasich has yet to attract even 25% of the votes in the state – having had only 23.5% of voters vote for him in 2010 and only 24.81% in 2014. Hardly a mandate.

Kasich did not get people to vote for him, he only got people to not vote at all and stay home. It they would not vote for him his year, they would not come out to vote for him for president in 2016, they would come out to vote against him.”

Zawistowski concluded, “We just had an election for Governor in which not one issue was discussed. Not one debate was held about the actual state of the Ohio economy and our future direction. Despite Kasich’s dubious claims of economic growthOhio is 44th in the nation in job growth, we are still 200,000 jobs down from where we were when the bottom fell out. We haven’t even recovered let alone grown jobs and Kasich is just blowing smoke about how everyone is doing great.

Does anyone believe that Kasich could win Ohio in a presidential race when Barack Obama got over 1,000,000 more votes in 2012 than Kasich did in 2014 running without any credible Democratic campaign or money against him? Particularly after alienating the conservative base with his liberal first term record as indicated in the chart below?

Like we said before this election, not only would conservatives not vote for John Kasich for president, we would not work for him as a presidential candidate and he can’t win if we don’t.  He would not have won re-election this year if he had not bribed the democrats and kept other candidates off the ballot. What he did to win re-election this year will not work in a presidential election.”

Actually, the turnout decline is higher than the 21.5 percent seen in a straight calculation from the first table above (38.66% vs. 49.22% is a 10.56-point, 21.5% decline), whose registration and turnout numbers, after getting burned by Silver, I traced back to the Ohio Secretary of State’s site.

That’s because, in the meantime, Secretary of State Jon Husted did a purge which took 245,000 dead people off the voter rolls.

Redo the math for 2010 considering the purge, and you end up with turnout of 50.77 percent. That would mean that the decline from 2010 in 2014 was really almost 12 points (11.91, to be exact), or 23.5 percent.

Nothing creates apathy and depresses turnout like a poorly performing governor who for all practical purposes is unopposed.

Zawistowski is right. How any of the above credibly translates into presidential viability for John Kasich is a mystery.

What’s not a mystery is why the national press is presenting Kasich favorably as a potential 2016 candidate. It’s because, if he were to somehow win the Republican nomination, he’d lose the general election.

November 13, 2014

Gruber in July 2012, Confirmed In White House Logs: Obama Discussed Benefits Taxation Subterfuge

I think this makes six videos (CNN says they have Number 4, and I believe this is Number 5) of Obamacare co-architect Jonathan Gruber giving away the Obama administration’s comprehensively deceptive game in drafting and promoting the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

The most relevant 40-second snip is at the YouTube account and a Thursday afternoon post by the indispensable Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. It’s a small portion of a 33-minute June 2012 interview of Gruber at PBS’s Frontline. The most important revelation is that President Barack Obama was in the room and actively participating in, if not leading, a discussion about how to effectively take away the tax benefits of the most generous healthcare plans which were then being offered in the marketplace. What resulted is now known as the “Cadillac Tax.” But there is much more to that Frontline video.

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Positivity: Religious freedom battle ‘daunting,’ but bishops urged to persist

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Nov 12, 2014 / 05:05 pm

The leader of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee encouraged his fellow bishops not to lose heart, but to place their trust in God, in the ongoing battle for religious liberty.

“Sometimes it might seem that fighting or struggling against threats to religious liberty is a daunting task,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged, but we know that “with God all things are possible.”

“And we realize that with prayer is the ultimate source of our wisdom and our strength and our pastoral love in these struggles,” he stressed.

Archbishop Lori addressed the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov 11, giving an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, which he chairs.

He listed current affairs that the committee is keeping a close eye on, which include new state proposals requiring all health plans to cover abortions with no religious exemptions.

In a similar case in August, California’s state Department of Managed Health Care declared that employee health plans at two Catholic universities limiting abortion coverage were in violation of state law.

The state’s Catholic conference had deplored the action, saying it “directly targeted” Catholic institutions and calling it “government coercion of the worst kind” and a “flagrant violation of their civil rights.” Archbishop Lori singled out that case as one of particular concern to the committee.

Also among the laws and regulations being monitored by the committee is the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs.

The federal mandate has prompted lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court issued a ruling affecting some of these cases over the summer, upholding the right of closely-held corporations owned by individuals with religious objections to the mandate, such as Hobby Lobby.

However, more than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. “That’s keeping us all pretty busy,” he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops’ religious freedom committee.

In addition, Archbishop Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by “laws redefining marriage.” Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on marriage.

Despite the ongoing challenges in the realm of religious freedom, the archbishop called for hope.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 12, 2014

ANOTHER Gruber ‘Stupid Voters’ Video Surfaces; Fox’s Megyn Kelly Goes Off

If Jonathan Gruber, the Obama administration and the establishment press thought that Gruber’s faux mea culpa appearance on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon would get them off the hook and avoid the need to deal with and cover the Obamacare architect’s exposure of the left’s mendacity, they were sadly mistaken.

There’s yet another damning “stupid voters” video. Megyn Kelly was all over it Tuesday night, exposing the defiantly silent White House’s and others’ former financial and emotional love for and dependence on the MIT economist’s work.

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November 11, 2014

Man Who Has Surfaced Damning Gruber Vids Faults Media’s Failure to Discover Them

David Weigel's writeup this afternoon at Bloomberg Politics ("Meet the Mild-Mannered Investment Advisor Who's Humiliating the Administration Over Obamacare") is about the guy who has found at least two incriminating videos of Jonathan Gruber revealing the true intentions behind the Affordable Care Act. In some respects, it's well done and interesting.

What’s not well done is Bloomberg’s choice of the pull quote to highlight:

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Yeah, We Need to Post Obamacare Architect Gruber’s Damning Deception Admission

And I have saved it too.

Here it is:

Transcript (most):

You can’t do it (pass the law) politically. You just literally cannot do it.

Okay. Transparent financing … transparent spending. I mean, the, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it was written to do that.

In terms of risk-rated subsidies, you get a law which said healthy people are going to pay in, it made explicit that healthy people pay and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Ok? Just like the cal – people transparent – lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting this thing to pass.

And y’know, it’s the second-best argument. … but I’d rather have this law than not.

The Affordable Care Act’s legitimacy is now indisputable. Without question, it has no substantive legitimacy. On that basis alone, those who choose to ignore and defy it have an airtight defense in fact, if not in law.

Nancy Pelosi infamously said that “we’ll have to pass the health care bill before you can find out what’s in it.”

She should have added, “In the meantime, at least until we pass it, we’re going to deceive you about what’s in it, and we’ll for as long as we can withhold our deception from the American people.”

Fortunately, that wasn’t forever.

Unfortunately, it took 4-1/2 years to learn the truth.

And of course the establishment press pretends it means nothing and ignores it, when it means everything.

___________________________

UPDATE: So Gruber appeared on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow show to attempt damage control, which only proves two things:

  • First, his lies won’t stand up to any kind of questioning by a legitimate journalist.
  • Second, he was pressured to appear in front of a sympathetic interviewer somewhere, ANYWHERE, so the rest of the press, which was on the verge having to be forced to get his comments out in the open or look absolutely foolish, can now pretend that it’s over, no big deal, and not worthy of being exposed to low-information voters.
November 9, 2014

David Ignatius: Obama ‘Perhaps the Least Political President in Modern U.S. History’

On Thursday, the first paragraph of a column by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius on what he thinks President Barack Obama’s foreign policy might be for the next two years contained what may qualify as the “Notable Quotable” of the year.

The first sentence was a pretty impressive failure at perception: “President Obama looked almost relieved after Tuesday’s election blowout.” Look, David, even the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, noted that Obama “struck a defiant tone.” But it’s the second sentence of Ignatius’s opening paragraph that is the side-splitter (HT Patterico):

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